Dog’s Movie House: What To Watch This Week!

Let’s start with last week’s DC comic entry, “Birds Of Prey.” (Yes, I know it has a longer title, but the folks at Warner Bros. have already changed it, so what’s the freakin’ point!) “Birds Of Prey” is essentially a movie about the delightfully deranged Harley Quinn (the magnificent Margot Robbie) who, after the events of “Suicide Squad) has broken up with The Joker and is attempting to strike out on her own. The trouble is that with the Joker to protect her, Harley becomes to target of everyone she’s ever done wrong, including one Roman Sionis (Ewan McGregor), also known as The Black Mask. To keep breathing Harley agrees to help Sionis recover a priceless diamond from a pickpocket named Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco). Of course, Harley being Harley, things don’t go according to plan and she ends up protecting the kid with the help of a hardened cop (Rosie Perez) and a couple of other hard women with fanciful names like The Black Canary (Jurnee Smollet-Bell) and Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winestead).

This film is told from Harley’s point of view, so it gets skewed all over the place, but Christina Hodsen’s script is smart and quick and Cathy Yan’s direction really focuses on the terrific action, so you’re too busy having a good time to notice. It’s not “Deadpool” funny, but it has some good laughs and Robbie is just a joy to watch as Quinn, so much so that I can’t imagine anyone else playing her. Fair Warning: This Sucker is a hard R rating so don’t take the kiddies, okay? 4 Out Of 5 On Kendog’s Barkometer!

Next we have “Sonic The Hedgehog” based on a video game Sega created in 1991 as their alternative to Nintendo’s Mario. In this film, a superfast hedgehog named Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) is hiding out on Earth away from his home in a different dimension. He’s pretty good at being a loner but one day his frustration gets the better of him and his actions cause a massive power outage, bringing him to the attention of the U.S. government and the evil genius Dr. Robotnik (a scene stealing Jim Carrey). Sonic teams up with a local sheriff (James Marsden) to outrun Robotnik and his army of. . .well, robots to get to his golden teleport rings that will allow him to escape back to his own world.

Is it silly? Yes it is. Is it based on a video game? Bingo! But “Sonic The Hedgehog” is a lot more charming than the headache inducing trailers would suggest. The VFX are very good and the script is just interesting enough to get you invested in the adventures of the little blue guy. It’s also fun to see Carrey indulging in the type of comic genius (even if it’s in little bursts) he does so well. Doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but “Sonic The Hedgehog” movies well enough, and the kids will love it! 3 Out Of 5 On Kendog’s Barkometer!

Finally we have another public service announcement from yours truly. Avoid the film “Fantasy Island” like the plague. This is easily one of the top contenders for one of the worst films of the year. I know Blumhouse productions likes to go for the low hanging fruit with it’s low budget horror films but this is freakin’ ridiculous. The sad thing is I believe there could be a good horror story to be told in a cinematic version of “Fantasy Island” but this ain’t it folks!

In his film, five “movie people” (you know, impossibly hot young men and women we average folks can’t possibly relate to) win a contest to this mysterious island to have their fantasies come true. Mr. Roarke (a miscast Michael Pena) informs them that while these may be their fantasies, they must play out to their natural conclusion, whatever the hell that means. Instantly the five’s fantasies begin to morph into violent and horrifying tests that they have to fight to survive. Jeff Wadlow (the director behind last year’s equally unwatchable “Truth Or Dare”) can’t elevate his weak script past tired genre tropes and the PG-13 rating doesn’t even allow for some good old fashioned kill scenes. Talents like Pena, Michael Rooker, and Maggie Q are wasted in this undercooked piece of celluloid. Watch this one only if you have trouble sleeping. Will work better than Z-Quill! 1/2 Out Of 5 On Kendog’s Barkometer! So Sayeth The Kendog!

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