Monster Hunter ⭐️⭐️½

Originally released in theaters Dec 25, 2020

Monster Hunter – PG-13 – 1 hr 43 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Sunday February 7, 2021
AMC Lakewood 12 – Lakewood, Washington
2nd new movie seen in theater in 2021

A ship is under attack by a massive, angry sea creature during a violent storm. The beast tears through the boat and a man is thrown into the lightning and clutches sand.

Cut to the next scene and a female Army Ranger leads her group toward a lightning storm only to inexplicably be transported to a desert world. They forge ahead and see the prior unit, completely burned to blackened skeletons, spent shell casings, but no footprints or evidence in the sand of who or what took the trained military unit down.

Suddenly, another creature appears and drives the team into nearby caves where giant bug-sized monsters afraid of light await, ready to capture and kill (some of?) the team. It’s not long before the woman meets up with the man from the ship and they try to plot a plan of survival and monster killing to go back to the lightning storm in the distance and return home. In their path are huge monsters that will test their ultimate fighting skills.

The movie starts fast, frenetic and somewhat erratic and left me thinking of something Michael Bay might have directed. Fortunately, once the monster threats are uncovered, it lets off the throttle enough so we can figure out who the main characters are. Turns out, we saw them from the beginning and the central plotline forms. It’s a survivalist adventure story that starts out feeling like a little bit of Starship Troopers meets a Godzilla-like monster movie. It has a pulpy, yet warm feel and design running through it.

At first I wasn’t that thrilled with the story itself — it’s possible for a feature film to be too simplistic story — then I came to like the basic nature of it and warmed up a little. The creature design is good. That must be where most of the money went into this picture. The characters are so thinly drawn you’ll see right through them if you look too long. The dialogue, what little of it there is since one of the main characters barely speaks English, is about as empty as the characterization.

Music? Sort of a weird techno mashup that doesn’t really fit. The action is where everything lives and dies throughout this film. If you are all about action with almost zero exploration in characters, any sort of complex story arc or twisting narrative, you’ll find this film more welcoming. If, like me, you prefer to have flesh on the skeleton, this comes up embarrassingly short.

On a positive note, this movie succeeds well at one thing: it makes you want to play the videogame it was based on. I left the theater longing to slay monsters with primitive weapons. For a movie based on a videogame — a genre that is known for producing awful movies — making viewers want to play the spotlighted game is a good thing. Sony, makers of the Playstation, clearly know how to promote games. This aspect of the movie is solid and rewarding.

Had the movie offered a more definitive ending — and since this is spoiler free, going to be intentionally vague here — I’d have given this a little higher rating. If you want to talk about a blatant sequel play, well, we will save that discussion for later, but come on, be at least a little less obvious. Even so, a better ending wouldn’t have made this rating high enough to recommend because that requires some sort of compelling story that makes me feel something for the characters. When we aren’t able to get to know these characters beyond skin deep flesh wounds, that disappoints instead of entertains.

It’s the monster hunting equivalent of using your weapons on a creature and having little effect. Yeah, that actually happens in this movie — a lot. I mean, how many times can you shoot fire inside a creature and it doesn’t die? The audience can only take so much of that before we start thinking it’s all a little hopeless. I’ve heard the game is pretty difficult, too, but am intrigued to give it a try. That’s the most positive thing I can say about this film. In the crowded space of movies trying to capitalize on videogame IP, it’s somewhere between meh and O…K.

Rating (out of 5 stars): ⭐️⭐️½ (Todd)

Promising Young Woman ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Promising Young Woman – R – 1 hr 53 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Thursday February 4, 2021
Century 16 Sante Fe Casino Station Las Vegas, Nevada
1st new movie seen in theater in 2021

Cassie (Carey Mulligan), a promising med student, drops out of school after the death of her friend and fellow student Nina. Cassie was traumatized by the sexual assault of Nina at a party with a bunch of students and plans to seek a very unique and unusual revenge to everybody who didn’t do anything.

Fogell/Mclovin(!) from Superbad (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) doing cocaine lines and trying to put the move on Cassie was strange, awkward and creepy — precisely the mood the scene was looking for. The entire movie is built from scenes like these, cleverly placing Cassie intentionally in compromising situations where she acts drunk and able to be preyed upon or is confronting those who stood by or actively participated in Nina’s assault.

The screenplay and Carey Mulligan’s performance are both outstanding. Mulligan milks every scene for the ick factor. We want her to enact a special type of revenge — and you have to watch the movie to understand what that is and how it works, because I don’t want to spoil it here. It’s an unconventional, fresh exploration of date rape, primarily from the victim’s perspective, which I found very refreshing, albeit uncomfortable plenty of times, to watch.

Didn’t expect this movie to be this strong, but it was one of the best new movies to come out in 2020, even though it was released at the end of the year. Kara, however, didn’t feel as strongly. You’ll have to watch the video below for more details on how she felt.

Also, it’s the first “leaving the movie theater review” that we weren’t able to record when we left the theater. Long story short, the theater was located inside the casino and we stuck around afterwards for quite some time at the casino, not allowing us to record the “just left theater” experience. We recorded our feelings two days later on Saturday.

Promising Young Woman is showing in scattered open theaters throughout the United States right now as well as on VOD (although we would say wait for the rental to go down to the $5-7 price. It was the first movie we watched in a theater in 2021, at the Sante Fe Station Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Hoping more movie watching theater experiences are like this in 2021. Off to a good start. Kara doesn’t recommend this, but I do.

Rating (out of 5 stars): ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Todd) ⭐️⭐️ (Kara)

Snappy Burger – Drive-Thru Burger Joint In Nevada That Shows Movies and sells Comic Books

Drive-thru burger, fries and bottled soda at a reasonable price + comics and FREE drive-in movie and TV

Snappy Burgers shows drive-in movies, TV shows, sells food and comics and is located at: 101 N Decatur Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89107

Snappy Burger is a drive-thru burger joint with a concept so absurd that it might actually work. The premise is this: After picking up your burger, you can park your car and enjoy a movie on the big screen. It’s definitely a unique twist on dinner and a show, and if anything, you’ll walk away knowing you just had a true “Only in Nevada” experience!

There’s A Drive-Thru Burger Joint In Nevada That Also Shows Movies

Ok, we just had to visit this place. It was near the top of our to-do list while visiting Vegas. They were showing old Batman ’66 TV show at lunch time today.

I had one of their double cheeseburgers. It was tasty. Fries reminded me a bit of Burger King’s, not as good fries as McDonald’s, but the burger was better. Maybe somewhere between Five Guys and the various fast food burger places.

If you’re ever visiting Las Vegas, it’s not far from the strip and is right off the highway exit, so very easy to get to if you rent a car.

Fuelster – Fills Up Your Vehicle While Waiting In Las Vegas Parking Lot … or Just Get Gas Station Yourself

Fuelster on Google Play

As we’re nearing a return vacation to Las Vegas, our flight leaves later this morning, in fact, we’re checking out the Las Vegas scene.

Apparently the MGM casino and resort, the largest on the strip, has cut a curious marketing deal with a company.

Enter Fuelster. Cool name for an app. Apparently while you’re vehicle is in the parking garage, you can pay Fuelster an extra 50 cents a gallon to stop by and fill up your tank.

That’s where Fuelster, an application-based gas fill-up provider that offers on-site service, hopes to be of assistance.  Simply leave your gas tank door open in the parking garage, and one of the service’s technicians will drive by with a fuel truck and do the rest. Fuelster recently entered into a marketing agreement with MGM Resorts International to provide their service at the 10 MGM properties on the Strip.

Fuelster app aims to fill a niche, and your gas tank, on the Las Vegas Strip – VEGAS INC

Unfortunately, the first review from January 2021 we read says a customer tried the app and waited 15 hours for a fill-up that never came.

Hmm. Think we’ll probably avoid using Fuelster, but I do like the concept.

Sure sounded like a good idea to refuel a rental car while the car was there, apparently there are some issues.

See: Movie Cars at Terrible’s Casino Just Outside Las Vegas

Imagine while you are watching a movie at a theater having a service come and fill up your tank? Then again, we’ll probably be using electric or non-gas combustible engine cars in the not too distant future.

Guess we’ll we’ll just go the traditional method and visit one of the many, many Vegas area gas stations.

Creating A Las Vegas Event and Activity Schedule – February 2021

In March 2020, when we last visited Las Vegas, we saw a Beatles imitation show — only limited shows will be playing in February 2021 — and social distancing in action, of course

When taking a vacation, we like to make a list of possible planned activities. In a city like Las Vegas, where we’ll be a few days, the list of potential activities is long.

NOTE #1: This post, unlike most, will continue to be updated with things we find to do. It’s been a work in progress for a couple weeks already.

(NOTE #2: Taking vacations during the pandemic could be a controversial topic for some considering the current times were living in. We have been working the entire time uninterrupted during the pandemic. Not that I feel like we need to make any excuses for taking vacation, it’s important to note this with sensitivity since many people are out of work. By us vacationing and spending money, we’re helping to keep at least some people employed. We’ll be responsible, wear masks, and follow safe travel guidelines. People need to spend in order for businesses to make money and employ others.

There’s multiple ways to look at things. Our position all along has been that if we can be in public working and putting ourselves at risk 40 hours a week, every week, then we can relax and put ourselves at risk (responsibly, of course) once in awhile on vacation. Luckily, neither of us has gotten sick yet. Maybe that’s pure luck, or evidence that we’ve worked safely this whole time or, who knows, but we’re not going to stay cocooned at home forever. We’re going to go out, live our lives, follow the safety guidelines, wash our hands, wear our masks, and so on.)

Just for reference, in March 2020, the first of two times that month we visited Vegas, here’s what our list looked like:

Event Schedule + Interest List – 3/4 – 3/6/2020

  • WED 3/4/20 – 12pm,3pm,6pm or 9pm @ Regal Red Rock Casino – My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising 4DX + 2D MOVIE
  • WED 3/4/20 – 7pm @ Red Rock Casino – Rocks Lounge – THE FAB: Beatles tribute lounge act — NO COVER CHARGE (FREE)
  • THU 3/5/20 – 1:20pm or 4:20pm @ Galaxy – Sonic The Hedgehog D-BOX MOVIE
  • THU 3/5/20 – 9:30pm @ Regal Red Rock Casino – Onward 4DX + 3D MOVIE
  • FRI 3/6/20 – 9pm @ Palms Casino – Billy Idol – tickets at ticketmaster – start at $36 USD / each.

The second trip ended prematurely when all gaming in Las Vegas was shut down. All movie theaters, too (see: Regal Closes All US Theaters, Suspends Billing for Unlimited Pass Customers)

Tag: Cinebarre Palace Station (our tag is misspelled, argh!)

Now check out our list for 2021 …

Event Schedule + Interest List – 2/3 (Wed) – 2/4 (Thur)

We’ve greatly expanded on that list for this trip, although we don’t have as much time scheduled there this trip.

#1 “new” movie we want to see, highly rated by others

Movie Theater Showtimes in Las Vegas

We probably will only have time to take in 1 or 2 movies while we’re in town for this trip, because we have so many different things we want to do and are only down there a short time. These are the three movies we’d most like to see:

  1. Promising Young Woman
  2. The Mad Hatter
  3. The Marksman

Other movies we haven’t seen are listed with showtimes at various theaters in the greater Las Vegas area. We also want to catch a Snappy Burger drive-in movie, but we’ll have to text (see below) for the movies available there. Seems like they are probably showing older full length movies there.

#2 new movie for our

Galaxy Theater Green Valley – (closest to where we’re staying)
4500 E. Sunset Rd. Ste 10
Henderson, NV

  1. The Mad Hatter
    WED: 4p, 6:25p, 8:50p
  2. The Marksman
    WED: 4p, 9:05p
  3. News Of The World
    WED: 5:05p

Sante Fe Station Casino – Century 16 Theater
4949 N Rancho Drive

  1. Promising Young Woman
    WED: 4:40p, 7:40p
    THURS: 4:40p, 7:40p
  2. The Marksman
    WED: 4:05p, 5p, 7:55p
    THURS: 4:05p, 5p, 7:55p
  3. News Of The World
    WED: 4:25p, 7:25p
    THURS: 4:25p, 7:25p
  4. Monster Hunter
    WED: 4:50p, 7:35p
    THURS: 4:50p, 7:35p
  5. Fatale
    WED: 7:20p
    THURS: 7:20p

AMC Rainbow Promenade 10
2321 N Rainbow Blvd

  1. Supernova
    WED: 5p, 7:15p
    THURS: 5p, 7:15p
  2. The Marksman
    WED: 5:15p, 7:45p
    THURS: 5:15p, 7:45p
  3. Fatale
    WED: 5:30p, 8p
    THURS: 5:30p, 8p

Other Theaters In Las Vegas We Might Want To Check Out

  • Maya Cinemas – D-Box, Dolby Atmos and more — DINNER & MOVIE theater
    2195 N. Las Vegas Blvd

CASINO Promotions and Other Activities

As in all prior casino-related visits, we’ll be looking for and playing movie-themed slot machines.

The Rocky slot machine pictured above was found in a California casino (yes, we won some $$ on it, too)
  • WED – STATION CASINOS Casino – SWIPE CARDS AT Red Rock, Green Valley Ranch, Palace, Boulder, Sunset or Santa Fe BEFORE PLAYING ANYTHING — 50+ Senior Wednesday
  • WED / THURS – 3am – 3am – SOUTH POINT CASINO – 9777 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV – $400,000 SPIN TO WIN, earn 500 points on any machine, play Spin To Win to win free play and free points
See: Spokane, WA Hobby Lobby May Not Be Singing In The Rain like Northern Quest Casino
  • WED / THURS – 10am – 5pm – MANDALAY BAY – strip – Shark Reef Aquarium – ($43/person for 6×9 picture and souvenir)
  • WED / THURS – 4pm – 10pm – EXCALIBUR CASINO – strip – 4D San Andreas Adventure ($9.99/person)
  • WED / THURS – 10am – 11pm – VENETIAN CASINO – strip – indoor or outdoor Gondola Rides ($29/person buy tickets at venue)
  • WED / THURS – 4pm – Midnight – LINQ CASINO – strip – High Roller Ferris Wheel ($32.75/person anytime ticket)
  • WED / THURS – 2pm – 10pm – PARIS CASINO – strip – Eiffel Tower Viewing Deck ($21/person price varies, best at night in dark)
  • WED / THURS – 11a-11pm – Snappy Burgers – 101 N Decatur Blvd, Las Vegas, NV – Snappy Burgers (drive-in movie, adult feature length movies are after 9pm, text SNAPPY 474747 for movie schedule)
  • THUR 11am – 6pm – Luxor Casino on the strip – Titanic BODIES Exhibit ($42 per person purchase at door — $84

Do you live in/near/around Las Vegas? Recommended movie-related events or activities?

As always, your feedback is welcome. Can you mention any movie-related events and activities in/near/around Las Vegas? We’re going to have a rental car, so we can travel. Think broadly, could be location shooting of movies, so places to possibly visit? We’re open to any/all suggestions, no matter how far out they might be. Don’t want to be too limiting.

See: Caesars Las Vegas offers Twilight Zone by Monster Mini Golf

Tried to get Kara interested in the Dinner In The Dark event, but she’s not that adventurous an eater. While that might be an activity that doesn’t seem movie-related, darkness, horror, yeah, it’s stretch, but hey!

Caesars Las Vegas offers Twilight Zone by Monster Mini Golf

From the “wish we could have done this while on vacation in Las Vegas” list, comes The Twilight Zone mini golf experience at Caesars.

Looking for an affordable, yet extraordinarily unordinary experience in Vegas? Twilight Zone by Monster Mini Golf is a unique 10,000 square foot themed attraction featuring an extraordinary custom-designed indoor glow-in-the-dark 18-hole miniature golf course entertainment venue.

Twilight Zone by Monster Mini Golf

On May 1 some casinos in Vegas are taking reservations (right now). This is about in line with the 45 days behind China that we are on the pandemic and they are starting to open businesses. We’ll be back in Vegas again, hopefully this summer, so am hoping to catch this cool looking mini golf experience next time.

Flying at 30,000 feet as the sun sets … dreams in the cloud

In the meantime, we’ll just have to dream among the clouds.

Movie Cars at Terrible's Casino Just Outside Las Vegas

The Terrible’s Casino is closed, but when it reopens, those of you who are visiting Las Vegas should check out the movie cars exhibit. It’s small, but cool.

James Bond receives some of the best movie cars.

This is the actual car in the movie with Roger Moore. Oh yeah.

And speaking of cars. A little further away in the small town of Primm, Nevada, you can see the actual Bonney & Clyde death car.

This car was first mentioned here: 13+ Queen and Slim Reviews – Almost No Relation To Bonnie and Clyde and Other Critical Discussion

What would you look like as Clyde Barrow or Bonney Parker?

You can find out at Whiskey Pete’s in Primm, Nevada. About 30 minute drive from Las Vegas. It will open again, and it’s a worthy diversion, fellow movie fans.

Lowest Week 11 Domestic Box Office since 1995

From 2003-2020 domestic box office, courtesy of Box Office Mojo

The last five years week #11 box office sales domestically have exceeded $115 million. This week? $50 million. Last time the sales were like that? 25 years ago in 1995. We have to go back to 1998 to see less releases than the 44 this month.

Onward picks up the top slot, followed by: I Still Believe, Bloodshot, The Invisible Man and then The Hunt rounds out the top five. With no wide releases next week, I’ll be watching the two wide releases we haven’t seen over the next week or two. Trolls World Tour is next, see: Trolls World Tour next wide release a month from now, while My Spy and other films missing wide release opportunity.

I’m heading out on a plane tonight to Las Vegas, where I’ll be renting a car this time around so we can get out and do some sightseeting. Also will be checking out any/all movie and TV slots.

Got to play Mad Max Road: Fury Road at the Las Vegas airport

And then there was American Gods.

Actually won $58 on this one at the airport.

See how many I can find out there and where they’re at. Seems like this scavenger hunt might be fun.

The airline is showing recent movies in theater in-flight. I caught Western Stars on there on the flight home.

Cinebarre Palace Station Las Vegas

“One Flew Over the Cookie’s Nest”, nachos and a shake at Cinnebar Palace Station in Las Vegas

On Friday 9/20/2019 we went to see Ad Astra⭐️ at the Cinnebar Palace Station. The movie was bad, the service and food was not.

This was our first trip to a Regal Cinnebar theater. The concept is cool, you go to the movies and have dinner and a show. The location of the Cinnebar is upstairs above the newly remodeled Palace Station Casino a few miles from the strip in Las Vegas.

Once you buy tickets, you enter the theater just like any other Regal Cinema. The difference is that outside the theater you’ll see pool tables, a full bar and the ability to eat dinner and tables without ever seeing a movie. So, they are selling either the dinner or the show or both. We were there for both, so we entered the theater.

The movie chairs are comfortable and contain a decent sized table to eat dinner while you watch the movie

Under the table is a menu with a variety of food and drinks. A Regal waiter/waitress will appear to take your order shortly after you enter the theater. He has a credit card scanner and printer attached to him and will take payment when you order.

An added creative twist are menu items being a variation on a movie title. EXAMPLE. it’s not just popcorn, it’s “Children of the Popcorn” Check out the IT-themed drink options:

Who wants to sip on some Pennywise Punch while watching IT: Chapter Two?

We were surprised how fast the order came. Sure, it was just ice cream and nachos, but the order literally came to us hot and ready within five minutes. We also had our water glasses refilled before the movie started.

Will we visit another Cinnebar? Absolutely. It was a great experience. That makes two firsts for us while we were in Las Vegas celebrating our 30 year anniversary. We also watched our very first HDX movie.

If you are interested in the history of dine-in movie theaters, dives in, forks first.

Movie-related Things To Do In Las Vegas

Sunny weather for our trip to Las Vegas

We are celebrating our 30th Anniversary in Las Vegas this week, I’m compiling the following movie-related things to do in Las Vegas:

  1. Play at least one spin of every movie-related slot machine type seen.
  2. Visit the Cinnebar Palace Station and try one of their tasty dinner menu items, while watching a movie.
  3. Watch at least one 4DX movie. The Red Rock shows 4DX movies. Maybe Rambo: Last Blood will have a 4DX showing on Thursday? Think this would be a cool movie to see in 4DX.
  4. Visit the MGM Casino and view their movie-related props and items
  5. Visit the famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop from the hit TV show Pawn Stars

If we think of more, we’ll add to the list. Feel free to use the comments if you can think of any more.