‘The Last Airbender’ Film Review: More Than a Disappointment

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Have you ever seen a film that that you had close to no expectations for and you still ended up being disappointed? Avatar not only accomplishes that feat it’s also difficult to find any redeeming qualities throughout this blundering mess of a film.

Overview

The four nations of Air, Water, Earth and Fire lived peacefully until the Fire Nation declared war on the world. Even a century after their reign began, the fighting continues with no end in sight.

The being meant to keep the peace among the land is called the Avatar but he mysteriously vanished when the world needed him most. Now 100 years later a young boy is found encased in ice and learns he must master all four elements to stop the Fire Nation from bringing the world to their knees.

Clearly No One Watched the Show

From the opening moments something just feels off. The show this film is based upon is one of the most beloved cartoons of the 2000’s era and to this day the show is held in high regard.

The Last Airbender genuinely feels like no one knew what the show was about but right before they started filming someone gave them a brief description of all the characters and the plot. The actors/actresses screw up pronunciations of just about every single character in the original show.

If that were the biggest issue I think that most people could get over the mistakes this film makes but none of the characters are the same. The show Avatar: The Last Airbender knows how to balance seriousness and comedy in the best way possible.

While the film is the most serious children’s films I have ever seen. It’s difficult to find out who this movie’s audience truly is. It’s not for the fans clearly and for people who enjoy bad movies I doubt you’d even like this.

Going Through the Motions

About 70% of this film is going through the events in season 1 which most of the time just is not a great idea. That’s an abundant amount of information to cover in a less than two hour film. Many emotional beats are lost because everything feels so rushed.

Even if the film did well enough to get a sequel the movie left out key characters. If you never watched the show I couldn’t imagine how confused you’d be since the film feels like everyone skimmed a book then attempted to give a rousing presentation.

Weird Camera Work

I’ve never seen so many awful shots in a film with a decent sized budget. There are scenes that last over a minute that are just a one-shot that consists two characters just talking. Not only is it boring which is a crime in itself but also it’s such a lazy way of giving exposition.

Conclusion

Saying that The Last Airbender is a bad film is a given the reasons behind it being bad are pretty impressive though. From the terrible acting to the god awful camera work you’ll struggle trying to defend the movie in any way.

The characters both heroes and villains are beloved by fans of the show. However, when it came to the movie adaption they all lost their character.

They are almost unrecognizable. One of the main characters Sokka is known for his sarcasm and being pretty funny both of those are some of his biggest traits. Once he went on the big screen though that part of his character was gone and the same can be said about the rest of the cast.

Effects being awful in comparison to the show goes without saying as well. Bending is one of the best aspects of Avatar: The Last Airbender so of course they have to ruin it in the adaption. At the end of day this just isn’t a quality film it wasn’t worth your money when it was in theaters and its not worth your time now.

Verdict 2 out of 10 Stars

‘Bad Boys: For Life’ Film Review: Third Time’s a Charm

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Have you ever wanted to watch a film just because you loved the actors/actresses that starred in it? Although many were excited to see Mike (Will Smith) & Marcus (Martin Lawrence) return to the big screen after an abundance of years fans and critics alike didn’t expect the newest entry to live up to the 2000’s classics.

However Bad Boys: For Life blew my expectations out of the water and the film delivered after a 17-year wait.

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Overview

The wife and son of a Mexican drug lord plan to kill everyone who ended up putting him in prison. This includes Miami Detective Mike Lowrey the cop that arrested him years ago.

Father Time Doesn’t Stop the Action

It’s no secret that Will & Martin aren’t as young as they used to be but that doesn’t stop any of the good stuff. The action scenes are engaging as ever with high-speed chases, gunfights, and burning buildings.

Deeper Than I Originally Thought

Nothing told me that Bad Boys: For Life would be anything more than just your average run of the mill action film. The beginning starts out fairly slow and while it’s enjoyable it’s nothing that truly stands out.

After the film hits the 20-minute mark it picks up and never really takes its foot off the gas.

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Weak New Additions

Sadly even though this outing was better than expected that doesn’t mean the newest characters stand their ground among the veterans. The new roles are simply forgettable and are all pretty one-note.

Fans of the previous films will definitely enjoy the way that Mike and Marcus were handled along with some other old faces but new ones not so much.

Just Having Fun

Easily one of the best aspects of this film is that its not a cash grab. It feels like a love letter to the fans of the first two films in the series. After all these years it would be easy to make some money by just throwing in Will Smith and Martin Lawerence.

Instead of that, we’re given a movie that I believe has been pretty overlooked since it’s release.

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Conclusion

Will Smith and Martin Lawerence bring their absolute best to the film and it shows throughout. From their action scenes to their dialogue the chemistry they possess is immaculate and it makes me begin to wonder why this entry released so much later after the first two.

While fast cars and gunfights are in just about every action film there’s just something about the creativity used in this motion picture when it comes to the scenes that make me prefer this over your average action film.

There are definitely funny moments throughout the movie and most audiences will get a good laugh just about every other sentence when Marcus is on screen.

Even though the supporting roles are forgettable it doesn’t mean the actors/actresses didn’t perform well just the main focus of the film was on the main duo.

In conclusion, Bad Boys: For Life is a good time and it delivers a well thought out story that easily competes with what the rest of the series had to offer.

Verdict 8 out of 10 Stars

’13 Cameras’ Film Review: An Unnerving Surprise

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Have you ever seen a film that just makes your skin crawl? This particular experience was designed to make its audience feel uncomfortable and it does a pretty bang-up job at it, to say the least. The villain himself makes the outcome intriguing but other aspects tend to make going through the film a bit sluggish.

Overview

A newlywed couple gets more than they bargained for when their new landlord isn’t who they thought he was.

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Simplicity

Many films suffer from not having an easy to follow plotline. Audiences can get confused and just uninterested if a story tries to juggle too many things at once.

13 Cameras is as straightforward as it gets in a good way. The majority of the film focuses on the new couple who have just moved in while at the same time showing their landlord who from the beginning will make your skin crawl.

He could simply be standing there and you’ll just have a chill shiver down your spine.

Mixed Focus

Although the story has a pretty good balance of focusing on different characters it doesn’t mean that everything is interesting. 10 – 20 minutes of the film could be cut out because it’s just not exciting.

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Not only is it unexciting it doesn’t add to the plot. At the end of the day, it feels like they were just padding out the film’s runtime. It’s still a fun watch with a couple of friends but it’s difficult to give it more credit than that.

Reasoning

In this film, you’ll find zero motivation behind the antagonist’s actions. In the sequel 14 Cameras, we see more of a reason behind his deeds but no one should have to watch another movie just to understand a villain’s motivation.

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Conclusion

Although 13 Cameras is not the most exciting thriller it does have it’s moments. When the film actually does try to focus on being exciting it’s pretty engaging sadly there are only a few of those moments throughout the film.

There are so many unnecessary scenes in the movie that could be cut out simply because they don’t offer anything. However, picking apart the weird scenes with a few friends will make for a fun night.

The most frustrating aspect of the film is how the protagonists could’ve avoided their dire situation if they just behaved how a normal person would.

In conclusion, don’t go into 13 Cameras with the expectation it’s going to blow your mind it’s a pretty fun film, and if you don’t have much going on just turn it on.

It’s available on Netflix currently along with its sequel.

Verdict 7 out of 10 Stars

Bored in Quarantine? Here Are Some Movies & TV Shows That’ll Keep You Busy

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Being locked in the house all day isn’t what most people would call fun. However, if you have Netflix or Hulu there are some quality shows & movies worth your time. Hopefully, these entries can make staying in your homes a bit more bearable.

1. You (Netflix)

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“There are terrifying people in the world. It’s important to be safe and that’s why I have to do what I’m going to do”

What would you do for love? For Joe Goldberg, nothing is off the table. Throughout the show, you’ll see just how far Joe is willing to go in his pursuit of love in ways that are just truly unexpected.

With a steady build-up to the final episode of each season tensions rise. The storytelling is done in such a way that the audience will remain interested from beginning to end to get the answers they want.

2. Creed 2 (Hulu)

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“If you want to change things in a big way, then you gotta make some big changes”

Who would’ve thought that when Rocky was released in 1976 it’s impact would still be relevant in 2020? The story of Creed II takes place shortly after the events of the first and the protagonist Adonis Johnson has built up quite a reputation since then.

The biggest reason why Johnson became a boxer in the first place was because of his late father Apollo Creed. In 1985, Apollo died in the ring against a Russian boxer named Ivan Drago. Now 33 years after the incident the son of Drago challenges Johnson to a match in the ring.

3. A Quiet Place (Hulu)

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“If they hear you they hunt you”

In a world where people must live in silence or face certain death a compelling story is born. From the first scene onward you feel as though you’re right inside the shoes of the family we watch throughout the film.

A Quiet Place follows Evelyn (Emily Blunt) & Lee Abbot (John Krasinski) as they do all that they can to protect their family in a living nightmare.

4. Tiger King (Netflix)

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“I’d shoot you before I shot my cat”

Easily one of the most shocking shows to come out recently. From the tiger king himself being Joe Exotic hiring someone to murder his long term enemy Carol Baskin. To the general public’s assumption that Baskin fed her husband to tigers.

Surprisingly as the show continues it only gets more ridiculous. Words can’t begin to describe the Netflix Original it’s truly something you’d need to see for yourself.

5. Kung Fu Panda 2 (Netflix)

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“Your story may not have a happy beginning, but that doesn’t make you who you are. It is the rest of your story, who you choose to be”

Sequels more often than not pale in comparison to the original product and that just isn’t the case in Kung Fu Panda 2. Po (Jack Black) alongside the Furious Five are the protectors of the Valley of Peace. They are all martial artists with extraordinary skills.

While the valley has been safe for quite some time a new enemy threatens to take over all of China. Now it’s up to Po and his friends to defeat a foe who seeks out to wipe Kung fu from the world.

6. Bojack Horseman (Netflix)

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“Not Understanding That You’re A Horrible Person Doesn’t Make You Less Of A Horrible Person”

Bojack Horseman is a bitter, bad-tempered, self-loathing washed-up celebrity from the ’90s. After quite some time out of the limelight, Bojack decides he wants to gain his fame back.

The show has its happy moments as well as its sad ones. However, throughout the journey, while everyone tends to realize Bojack isn’t a great person there’s something about him that makes you want him to change for the better.

 

‘Onward’ Film Review: A Heartwarming Sense of Déjà Vu

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“‘I think, with a little bit of magic in your life, you can do almost anything.”

From the world-renowned Pixar comes a new adventure filled to the brim with excitement, amusement, and deep heartfelt moments. While the story itself doesn’t reinvent the wheel it still serves its purpose as an entertaining animated film.

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Overview

Two teenage elf brothers Barley (Chris Pratt) & Ian (Tom Holland) must set out on an adventure to spend one more day with their late father. Along the way, Ian must practice his newfound skills while their mother Laurel (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) attempts to get them back.

Magical Chemistry

While the plot is straightforward, along the way are some memorable characters and beautiful locales to boot. Holland & Pratt have both shared the screen together before so it’s not surprising that they play off each other well. From beginning to end I believe in their relationship as people who truly care for each other.

Barley would do anything for his brother and it’s expressed without shoving it in the audience’s faces. Laurel also plays a bigger role than expected in the film, in fact, there weren’t any characters that bothered me while they were on screen.

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Going into the film I believed it would entirely be about the two brothers but I was wrong. The movie benefits from having other characters with big roles. Even some with small roles give the film some added spectacle and its satisfying to watch play out.

World Building Done Right

From the opening shot, the audience is aware that their world is similar to ours except it’s filled with magical beasts. From unicorns digging through the trash like raccoons to centaurs riding in police cars, this magical land has been brought to the modern world.

To see these creatures placed in such an environment is refreshing it’s not where you’d expect to see them.

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Same Old Same Old

While the overall idea for the film is fresh this isn’t an animated tale that breaks the mold. At the end of the day, it doesn’t tell a story that most audiences haven’t heard before.

However, that doesn’t make the film bad the idea of a family being able to reunite with their dead father is a story that I didn’t think I’d see from Pixar. At times the film really tugs at some heartstrings and it touched my heart. That’s a mature theme that I’m sure will leave audiences surprised that the film dealt with that.

While it’s great that most will be able to connect to the movie on an emotional level that doesn’t take away the fact that there is manufactured tension between the brothers. In most animated films at some point, the main characters will have a little bit of a falling out.

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Everyone watching knows that they’ll make it up to each other and it’s just a matter of time before they do. I’ll love it when one day writers decide they don’t need to have something separate from the main characters in every film. It’s just exhausting at this point.

Conclusion

The idea for Onward to mix the modern world with magical characters was great. With plenty of sight gags as well as all the magic sequences the film just wouldn’t be the same if the story took place during a different time.

The film is entertaining, to say the least, and the chemistry between Tom Holland and Chris Pratt is strong from the very beginning. Their characters are both some of the best parts of the film and having them on screen together makes the movie even stronger.

Onward doesn’t tell a story that most people who have seen a film before haven’t seen. Many of the story beats are copy and pasted from other films. While I’d prefer for completely new ideas most animated films do fall into the realm of not being entirely original.

Even though the film isn’t too innovative that doesn’t make it non-enjoyable. It’s fun and adventurous you feel like you’re joining the characters on their quest. Not only that you truly support the main duo because at the end of the day who wouldn’t wanna see someone special they lost even if it was only for a day.

Verdict 8 out of 10 Stars

Has Family Guy gone on too long?

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With 18 seasons and counting, Family Guy is one of the longest-running cartoons to have aired. For decades the show has been the cause of many laughs and positive memories. However, in the last few years, many have wondered should the show even continue it’s run?

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Down Hill

It’s no secret that Family Guy does not carry the same quality that it had at the beginning of the shows run. To have a show last that long is not easy and the crazy antics can get stale.

There’s only so many times where Peter Griffin can do something idiotic and apologize at the end of the episode. Only to be met with forgiveness every single time before things start to get a little stale.

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Family Guy still has their fair share of laughs but even 10 seasons ago the series was highly regarded as just a funny show. Today I rarely hear anyone talking about the brand new episode of Family Guy it just does not have the same relevance as before.

Fixing the Issue

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In its 18th season, Family Guy has delivered nothing out of the ordinary. The show in its current state is not worse or better than other recent seasons. Personally, I hate that shows can get away with being just average. This show, in particular, had a pretty great run and could get back to its former glory.

I think that Family Guy needs to feel like it’s writers are genuinely trying to make a quality show. Give audiences more diverse stories and I’m certain it would help. We all know Peter is an idiot but that shouldn’t get every single story on its way. Give us something new while also retaining what the fans have loved from the beginning.

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Conclusion

If Family Guy continues in its current direction then it’d probably be better if the show came to an end. Such a long-running series is bound to run into issues but it seems like the writers don’t care too much about making a quality show. The past few seasons have just been okay which just isn’t good enough.

The future of Family Guy is in the hands of those who make it and only they can choose if they want their series relevant in 2020. If the show can be as original and funny as it has in the past I have no worries about the future of the series however if they can’t then Family Guy will just stay an average adult comedy when it could be so much more.

 

‘You (Season 1)’ TV Show Review: The Price of Love

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“There are terrifying people in the world. It’s important to be safe, and that’s why I have to do what I’m going to do.”

Have you ever seen the world through the eyes of a person who believes they’re in the right when that couldn’t be further from the truth? Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) is a loner who works at a book store that keeps to himself for the most part.

Until one faithful day when a woman named Genevieve Beck (Elizabeth Lail) walks into his store. Joe becomes infatuated with Beck, and he will stop at nothing to gain her love.

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Rooting for a Bad Guy?

Narration is typically considered to be lazy, mainly because it allows for the writers to give the audience information easily. Joe Goldberg, among other characters, does not go many scenes without narration, which seems like it would be exhausting. However, it suits the storytelling well.

From the outside, looking in most would have very different thoughts about the entire cast of You. Because we get to see how their minds work, we may end up understanding some motives even if we don’t agree with how they necessarily go about solving their issues.

Subverting Expectations Constantly

Audiences will be surprised by how much they actually know about the story, or should I say how little. You does an astounding job at subverting expectations, and often viewers won’t know what’s going to happen in the story next.

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Superb Acting for the Most Part

A couple of the performances are astounding with how well the actors/actresses represent their characters. Penn Badgley, the actor who portrays Joe Goldberg, can act out a flurry of different emotions with incredible skill. In one scene, he can go from two extremely different moods such as anger into being at peace.

Elizabeth Lail, the actress that plays as Genevieve Beck, also holds her own throughout the show. For story purposes, her character just isn’t as exciting as Joes, but she completes her role with flying colors.

Wanting Everything to Work Out

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One of the weirdest feelings is watching someone who you know isn’t necessarily a good person and wanting them to find happiness. It’s because of how well Joe and Beck interact with each other, not to mention everything that the audience goes through with them.

Previously I spoke about how the narration benefits the storytelling, and in terms of Joe and Beck’s relationship, it adds much-wanted depth. There are two different layers of storytelling going on, and I’ve never seen any media, for the most part, use narration in such a way that was a serious show or movie.

While they’re very different people, I believe their differences benefit the other for the most part. To put it lightly, Beck isn’t the most put-together person, and she has many personal struggles.

When she meets Joe, that begins to change, and it is a great thing to see. Pacing for relationships in media can often feel off; however, You succeeds once again with allowing Beck & Joe’s relationship to progress naturally.

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Conclusion

What makes someone a bad person? You forces the audience to answer that question. The cast chosen for this show does their job to the best of their abilities. Because of that, the first season of You is bursting with quality.

From Joe and Beck’s relationship to the unusual method of storytelling used, the program uses all of the tricks that it can pull out of its hat to make an exquisite show about a stalker obsessed with a woman.

Not only that, but the writers succeed at writing the story in such a way that people support the stalker. That’s incredibly impressive; however, it is not only because of the writing team. Badgley took his time in the spotlight and showed audiences his vast range of acting skills.

All of the characters in his show, for the most part, do their role to be the best of their ability based on their job. If a character is supposed to be annoying, then the actor/actress gets the job done.

Finally, the pacing is perfect; the audience will not have to spend hours watching the same plotline. Secrets that are uncovered add to the show and allow the story to progress naturally, making every episode feel fresh, especially towards the season finale.

Verdict 9 out of 10 Stars

 

‘Coach Carter’ Film Review: More Than an Athlete

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“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world.”

Doing what you know is right sometimes can be the most laborious task. Ken Carter (Samuel L. Jackson) knows this all too well when he must return to his old high school to coach an undisciplined, insubordinate, and obstreperous group of young men. 

Kobe Tribute

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The world of basketball was changed forever a few days ago in the shocking death of Kobe Bryant. While the film does not directly relate to the man, it does not change the fact that his life meant so much to the game and so many people around the planet. You will be sincerely missed.

Real-Life Issues

It’s easy to watch this film and judge the basketball team harshly. The way that they act can be rude without a doubt. However, you don’t know whatever these teenagers have been through. The world that these kids live in is not easy.

Kenyon Stone, one of the few level headed players on the basketball team, even has his own struggles. With a pregnant girlfriend in high school, along with having the chance to play college basketball, he has to decide what’s worth more to him.

Even if you can’t relate to their stories and backgrounds personally, you feel some of the pain that they experience. You know, even though some of the boys have a rough exterior that these teenagers are not bad people that they’ve just had harsh lives.

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Feels Real

An aspect of the film that I love is the language used. High school films often feel very outdated no matter when they were released. People just don’t talk like movies assume high schoolers talk. While this film was released over 15 years ago, the slang, along with the sayings, are still used today.

Clothing styles in the film feel a little dated but that’s what people wore during the time the film took place. 

Basketball is being Played

When you have spent a vast amount of time dedicated to a specific activity, it can be scary to see it played out in a film. Because it’s hard to enjoy a movie that doesn’t go through the effort of making the situation look real. If you love basketball, then you’ll immediately love the scenes concerning basketball.

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From the games to the scrimmages it feels like actual basketball players are out there playing. Instead of some guys that don’t know about the sport. It’s honestly refreshing getting both good actors that can also at least appear to play basketball well.

Samuel L Jackson Steals the Show!

I don’t think I’ve seen a movie that had Samuel L. Jackson in it, and I didn’t enjoy his performance. Regardless if I liked the film or not, he always stands out. Here especially, it shows that he can take a serious role and perform very well.

Jackson is a coach who doesn’t act like basketball is the only thing that matters. The parents of the children who play on the basketball team have already spent their lives telling them that this sport will be the best part of their lives. So the only thing that matters to many of these kids is basketball.

Ambitions outside of that aren’t too lofty, and Coach Carter doesn’t want that to remain true. The basketball players are student-athletes, which means they should go to class and learn not just play basketball until they can’t anymore.

I truly felt that Jackson cared about the future of the teenagers that he coached. It’s a beautiful thing, and he feels so genuine.

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Conclusion

Coach Carter succeeds at one of the most challenging things for films to do, correctly and it’s to cast accurately for a movie that takes place in high school. Everything feels right from the dialogue to the clothes that the teenagers wear. Those may seem minimalistic, but it’s one of the easiest ways to get disconnected from a film.

The serious themes that the picture tackles are also grounded in realism. It may seem astonishing to some how life is for people in impoverished areas. Not everyone was born in the suburbs and had a pretty easy life. Most people don’t know what it’s like to be aware you have a baby on the way in high school, but that’s a serious issue that some must face.

Outside of that, there’s constant gang violence and it’s pretty much unavoidable depending on where you live. I really do appreciate the film for diving deep into these harsher themes.

From major to minor characters the acting is very believable. In my opinion, Samuel L. Jackson outperforms the rest of the cast simply because he crushes his role. I simply don’t know how his performance could’ve been improved.

Verdict 9.5 out of 10 Stars

‘Holes’ Film Review: A Diamond in the Rough

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“It was all because of his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig stealing-great-great-grandfather!”

If bad things always happened to you, would you think you were cursed? Well, our protagonist Stanley Yelnats IV (Shia LaBeouf), doesn’t believe so but his family sure does.

When a pair of shoes worn by a famous baseball player falls into Stanley’s hands, he’s soon picked up by the police and shortly after is thrown into a boot camp straight from a nightmare. Doomed to dig holes in the blazing hot sun for hours on end.

His only hope is to live out his days doing whatever it is the Warden asks of him and one day being able to gain his freedom.

You’re Involved

Making someone feel invested in the struggle of a fictional character is the hope of any writer. Making the audience feel as the protagonists do is one of their crowning achievements and Holes does just that!

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You want our leads to get through their trials and tribulations with as little trouble as possible. You truly do feel for these characters, and when they are met with hostility, you feel for them.

Wanting Justice

Stanley Yelnats IV has to put up with quite a few people who will really get under the audience’s skin. The Warden (Sigourney Weaver) & Mr. Sir (Jon Voight) are the two most significant villains that Yelnats faces. While watching the film, you’ll hate both of these characters, but that’s how you know the writers did a great job.

In the beginning, you’re subjected to watching the boys suffer under the wrath of Mr. Sir, and you can’t possibly understand how it could get worse for these kids. Then a whole new level of wickedness is introduced once the Warden appears on the screen. It’s quite the sight to see.

Good Young Actors

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Finding a good child actor is already a dime a dozen. However, having a film full of good performances from children is lovely. I usually dread to see children on screen with plenty of speaking lines solely because more often than not they won’t be able or act as well as their castmates. When children or anyone cannot act well, it pulls the viewer out of the narrative.

Not Just a Plain Donut… It Has Sprinkles!

Who would’ve thought a film that spends more than 70% of its runtime in a desert would be a fresh, enjoyable experience. While the environment isn’t breathtaking in the slightest, the story and characters bring life to the film.

In a location that screams dry, sorrow, and boring, it goes to show how well the pacing is during the film. A new factor or detail that changes the movie is often introduced. It’s almost like you’re getting hit with a large gust of wind during the summertime. You appreciate it, and no, it’s not happening every other minute, but it is present enough for you to bask in it.

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Conclusion

You mix a mystery, with hard labor, and despicable people all in a desert surrounded by nothing but sand. My first thought would be that it just doesn’t sound like a captivating film, but I’d be dead wrong.

From the child actors to the adult actors/actresses, I was sold from the start. Their performances really help you dive into their world, and you feel for the characters who are punished. Whether they deserved it or not, you still have some remorse for the children.

Making an exciting movie out of a dull environment is not an easy task. However, with excellent pacing and performances, you barely notice. You will sit there scene after scene wanting to continue watching the film until it’s over, and even then, you might still not have gotten your fill.

It’s a movie you’d have to see for yourself to understand why it is still remembered to this day. No one can tell you exactly how you should feel while watching the motion picture or not. However, it is definitely up on my list of family films that everyone should give a shot.

Verdict 9 out of 10 Stars

‘The Mandalorian (Season 1)’ TV Show Review: An Incredible Journey That’s Just Getting Started

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Out of nowhere comes one of the best Star Wars pieces of media seen in the past decade. From the first episode, I could tell that Disney had something special in their hands. Now, after finishing the last chapter of season one, I’m more than excited to see where the future of this show lies.

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Overview

The story of the Mandalorian takes place after the Empire had fallen and before the rise of the First Order led by Kylo Ren. The series stars a lonesome bounty hunter who completes jobs far outside of the authority of the New Republic to make ends meet.

Simple

One of the most significant issues that show and movies alike fall into is trying to over complicate their stories. The Mandalorian does the opposite most of the time, and each episode has a singular goal. This formula works well since if you didn’t like the previous story, you have another tale waiting to unfold. 

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While some characters return from episode to episode, it’s clear that the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal), also known as “Mando.” As well as his companion, commonly known as “Baby Yoda,” are the only continually recurring characters. The season was absolutely stellar but if you happen to not enjoy an episode it wasn’t because the story was too complicated. If you’ve watched Star Wars for a long time you’d know that can be a real issue for the series.

Always Something New

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Star Wars is one of the biggest sci-fi series the world has ever seen. In Star Wars, there are so many worlds, and it’s always been a let down when the creators of one of the movies or tv shows don’t take advantage of its the colossal universe.

Unsurprisingly the Mandalorian fixes this issue as well. Mando practically journeys to at least one new planet or location every episode, if not two.

Fans will love the fan service and the different tones of the episodes. From the beginning of the show where the storytelling was primarily visual, and Mando didn’t speak very often at all to the events where a band of misfits joins him. You never know what to expect going in the latest installment.

Still Star Wars Even Without Lightsabers

Lightsabers are not what makes Star Wars suitable. The action in The Mandalorian was incredible for a live-action TV show. It was a concern of mine that the action would either look uninteresting or just be lacking. However, I can say I’ve never been more happy to be wrong.

The choreography during battle is astonishingly impressive. Whether blasters are involved or hand to hand combat, you’ll want to see even more.

Successful in Different Formats

Most episodes throughout season one star Mando and Baby Yoda. From chapter to chapter the pair are thrown into various situations. Maybe they’re joined by allies or end up getting separated. No matter what issue they have to go through the episode flows exquisitely.

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It’s not easy to make a great show and even harder to shuffle in and out the cast and make the show still enjoyable. Not only that, but the supporting characters, although they do not possess primary roles, they all give strong performances. Talents that stand out the most are Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) and Cara Dune (Gina Carano), who meet Mando during his journey.

Conclusion

The show’s simple premise allows for each story to be it’s own. Fans don’t have to be too worried if they don’t enjoy a particular episode because of its story since the next adventure will be different from the last.

From space battles to shoot outs in the desert the action scenes are superb. Nothing is too clunky or awkward looking which can be a common occurrence for conflicts within tv shows.

How can a masked figure convey so many different feelings or emotions? The acting as a whole is very pleasing. If the Mandalorian weren’t a good actor, the story itself would not be nearly as satisfying. His performance alone was so important to this series, and he doesn’t even speak often. It’s his body language and his attitude to every situation that proves his expertise.

The Mandalorian is one of the most excellent series to come from Star Wars, and during a time where Star Wars isn’t as loved as it used to be, it couldn’t have been released at a better time.

Verdict 10 out of 10 Stars

‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ Film Review: A Safe yet Exciting Conclusion

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In 2015, when The Force Awakens released and it was declared, it would be apart of a trilogy. Kids and adults alike flooded the theaters to see where this story would take the series.

Finally, with the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the last film in the Skywalker Saga has been unveiled. The question is, will this conclusion, please audiences? Let’s find out.

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Overview

Rey, Finn, and Poe’s journey continues as they attempt to find a way to defeat the First Order. Supporting them are the dwindling members of the resistance; however, with the return of a dangerous foe, our heroes are up against a much more significant threat than ever before.

What We Wanted All Along!

Say whatever you want about the newest trilogy in the Star Wars saga, but keeping Rey, Finn, and Poe together was the best idea that director J.J. Abrams had.

Similar to the original trilogy with Luke, Han, and Leia, the film is just more enjoyable with them sharing the screen. Both of these trios have great chemistry and work off each other well.

Many audiences dislike The Last Jedi, and they’re definitely are some valid points as to why some think that. However, in that film, I believe one of the biggest mistakes was splitting up this trio. Unfortunately, much of their bonding happened off-screen. This has been an issue throughout Star Wars as a whole, just not picking up where the last film left off.

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This tends to lead to confusion when watching these movies since so many important story beats don’t take place on the big screen. While this can be seen as an issue, it is not a huge flaw, just a minor disappointment that we didn’t get to see Finn, Rey, and Poe working together more.

Action Packed

Star Wars has had a bad habit of not having enough excitement. While yes, audiences love to see new planets and meet new characters, those aspects are not all that they want. Since the release of Star Wars, lightsabers have become one of the most well-known movie props in history.

Previous films in the newest trilogy have almost felt like they tried to shy away from massive battles and lightsaber duels. I’m proud to say that’s not an issue in The Rise of Skywalker. 

From thrilling space battles, desert speeder chases, and lightsaber battles that stand out compared to other films in the franchise. The conflicts throughout the flick should be enough to entertain most audiences.

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Feels like a Finale

Some films do not know what they’re setting out to do. While the lastest trilogy does not feel like all three of the movies and all their ideas were planned out from the very beginning, this film knew what it was. Almost reminiscent of Avengers: Infinity War in the way that the movie doesn’t go too in-depth with the newest characters introduced.

Nothing is going to distract the film from its final battle, and while some may complain about that, I believe it would’ve ruined the pacing. The focus on the primary characters is what fans of the newest trilogy want anyways, so why take screen time away from them. It was better to be safe rather than sorry for a film that’s intention was to conclude eight movies worth of story

Deja Vu

While it is my belief that the pros outweigh the cons, there are definitely issues present throughout the film. The biggest one being that the film may have played it too safe. We’ve seen this movie before; while it makes changes, it’s all too similar to Return of the Jedi. Without getting into spoiler territory, you’ll notice at multiple points throughout the film that the movies are comparable.

Rey herself does make the film stand out as its own story. Her struggle with the dark side is unlike anything that Luke experiences, and it’s excellent! In these movies, Anakin is the only one who struggled with which side he’d align himself with, which is just hard to believe. Ultimately I think because of her own story arc, we get a storyline worth watching from start to finish.

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Quality V.S. Quantity

As previously mentioned, this film is filled to the brim with action. However, they never surpass the best battles that take place within the saga. Especially the final conflict it was a let down watching the last campaign that would take place during the Skywalker saga.

Conclusion

There are quite a few things that this film does to improve over the past few entries, and keeping the vital main characters together was one of them. I love the scenes where Rey, Poe, and Finn are together. The actors themselves seem to be having fun, which helps. While the movies did not show why their bonds are as strong as they’re the actors indeed sold their relationship.

The storyline is not thrown off. It’s a course to introduce anyone or focus on other stories. For some may not enjoy this, I’ve always felt like Star Wars was about action and adventure. While some characters could’ve had more back story, I think the focus on the central trio was more important than any new role present.

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Personally, I think the series best lightsaber battles are not topped by the couple that takes place in The Rise of Skywalker. The film itself has plenty of action that will keep audiences engaged. From the Millennium Falcon leading the charge into tons of battleships to racing against stormtroopers in the desert, you won’t be bored.

The Rise of Skywalker is too similar to other films in this franchise, most notably the Return of the Jedi. While the newest picture does a few things to differentiate the two, it’s too apparent that the films are incredibly indistinguishable.

Finally, some emotional beats aren’t earned. It’s unfortunate because there are moments that could’ve been so much better if the previous films had built up to them. The fanservice is, of course, nice to see, but some of those instances feel empty.

Verdict 7.5 out of 10 Stars

‘Treasure Planet’ Film Review: The Best Film No One Ever Saw

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Have you ever seen a film and wondered why more people haven’t seen it? In 2002, Treasure Planet released in theaters to a resounding whisper as it completely bombed in the box office. Sadly the film was lost in the wide array of Disney films however, I believe it deserves another chance at greatness.

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Overview

15-year-old Jim Hawkens (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a rebellious teen going through a rough period in his life. All of that changed the day he found a map that leads to “the loot of a thousand worlds.” Knowing that finding the treasure will flip his life upside down Jim travels across the universe in this thrilling space voyage.

Sets the Tone Immediately

From the opening few moments of the film, you see two ships waged in battle. There’s no water to be seen both ships firing cannonballs out in space. The fight is shown in the form of a hologram being displayed by a book.

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I love the world this story takes place in. Filled with objects that we are used to seeing on an everyday basis however, now they have more of a futuristic take. For example, there are curtains with the flick of a button that can change the background from a flowery meadow to a monstrous volcano.

Deep Themes

When darker themes are discussed in films where the main audience will consist of children I always tend to enjoy the fact that the story was willing to dive that deep. When the writers avoid common clichés like the death of parents it’s truly special and Treasure Planet possesses no such cliché.

Colorful Cast

Right off the bat, we’re introduced to Doctor Doppler (David Hyde Pierce) a close family friend to the Hawkins family. He’s your stereotypical intelligent character who’s also kind of a goofball. However, it’s not fair to say he doesn’t stand out.

He has some of the best lines in the entire film combined with his seemingly constant act of tripping over himself he really takes this character from a forgettable role to a major player in the film.

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John Silver (Brian Murray) is another welcomed addition to the cast. His relationship with Jim is a major contributing factor to why I enjoy the film so much. The best scenes of the movie always occur when these two share the limelight and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Alluring Animation

To say the animation is enchanting is taking it lightly. Throughout a scene, there may be three or more changes to the way the scene is being captured. From using a point of view shot to changing from 3D animation to 2D animation in the matters of seconds is phenomenal.

The leaps and progression that this movie used to stand out from its competition are insane. I’m shocked that even by today’s standards this motion picture wouldn’t be left in the dust animation wise.

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Conclusion

You’re thrown in the world of Treasure Planet from the start. There aren’t minutes and minutes of exposition things are just the way they are which keeps the pacing steady. You begin to just enjoy what you see instead of questioning was that a ship flying? It’s simply a fun film.

Outside of the characters I’ve already mentioned, there are numerous others that deserve just as much praise. The voice talent is immaculate and I still feel chills during tense scenes because of that fact.

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As a child, there are themes I wouldn’t expect you to understand. However, returning to the film older and wiser I can’t help but appreciate the mature themes. Lastly, the animation is top-notch.

To this day I don’t see many animated films that make me want to replay a scene just to watch the film frame by frame to see how the creators completed their task.

Verdict 10 out of 10 Stars

Is Disney+ Worth Your Time?

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One of the most anticipated streaming services of the year was Disney Plus. It was released 12 days ago on November 12th with an incredible amount of support. However, is the service right for you? Find out below!

Ever since Disney Plus’ release, I have been subscribed and enjoying their huge collection of Disney owned properties. From their original shows such as The Mandalorian to forgotten films like Treasure Planet. If you’re a fan of Disney you’re sure to find entertainment new and old.

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Fair Price

For the low price tag of $6.99, I’d have to say its worth it for the amount of content you receive. If you aren’t a fan of Disney, Marvel, or Star Wars this probably doesn’t need to be said but you aren’t going to enjoy at 80% of the substance that is provided.

Take it Anywhere

I love the fact that I can take this service wherever I go. The other day I was on a 3-hour bus ride and I was able to just whip out my phone and start to watch Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It’s just so convenient not to mention a lot of the content available was never on Netflix or Hulu two streaming giants of today.

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Surprising Amount of Show & Movies

You’ll be shocked by just how many shows are on Disney Plus. Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Ultimate Spider-Man, Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place and so many more shows are available at the click of a button. The Disney library of films is not lacking either with even the most obscure Disney films being readily available.

Lacking Basic Wants

While Disney Plus has plenty of positives there are a few mistakes that are present as well. Sadly there’s no easy way to continue a show that you’re watching. If you don’t watch every episode all the way through you won’t be able to just click “play” when you pick a show to watch. You’ll have to find the exact episode you left on every time.

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The option known as “continue watching” on Netflix is not present on Disney Plus. Plenty of people watch a show and fall asleep so it sucks that the show will continue playing even if you haven’t interacted with your TV or your computer for a long time.

Conclusion

Being able to see so many shows and movies I haven’t seen in ages is wonderful. It makes me feel like a kid again. The huge collection of Disney related content is mind-blowing not to mention the service also has plenty of movies that just released this year.

For such a low price there’s not a doubt in my mind that it’s worth your money. Even with its issues the service’s pros far outweigh the cons.

Verdict 8 out of 10 Stars

‘Zombieland: Double Tap’ Film Review: A Redundantly Amusing Adventure

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Most sequels often feel out of place, almost like they don’t belong. While “Zombieland: Double Tap” is a fun time at the cinema, it sadly falls under that category of missing the mark. Especially since this sequel came out 10 years after 2009’s “Zombieland.”

Overview

The gang is back together! Four survivors Woody Harrelson, Jesse EisenbergEmma Stone and Abigail Breslin who met and joined forces in their previous outing in “Zombieland” leave their safe new home of the White House to travel to Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee. Now, these zombie slayers must rely on their abilities and weapons to defeat a threat like none they’ve faced before.

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While the film was released in 2019, it was supposed to start filming shortly after the release of the first movie in 2009. A theme of the movie is leaving the nest. Rhett Reese, one of the Zombieland writers said, new additions to the writing team “did a wonderful job updating the story, bringing it to a more of an empty nest story about a young woman who used to be a girl, and used to love to look up to her father figure, but now really wants to get out in the world.”

Made their path

The first 30 minutes of the movie benefits from not having a specific path to follow. With the lack of a focal point, the writers can focus on jokes and tossing in new characters randomly. Don’t be confused while the film is very much a comedy, there’s plenty of gory visuals sure to make you look away from the screen every once in a while.

The lack of focus becomes apparent around halfway through the movie. While jokes are constantly being thrown out I’m confident in saying that most of them don’t stick. I chuckled a few times and genuinely thought some scenes were funny, but nothing made me feel like I had to control my laughter.

Chemistry

Tallahassee (Harrelson), Columbus (Eisenberg) and Wichita (Stone) have one of the greatest on-screen relationships I’ve seen in a long time going to the cinema. They allowed me to dive into their world. They made me feel like their relationships were real and that’s not an easy task. Outside of those three, I think the acting takes a little bit of a hit. No one else steals the show and its kind of disappointing. 

While Little Rock’s (Breslin) performance didn’t seem off, the writing for her was just bad. I felt like her motivation didn’t make much sense. Watching her story unfold reminded me of films that simply go by the book. For example, before the climax, the main characters have a falling out or a character thought to be dead comes back and saves everyone. It was just so predictable that I dreaded even having her on screen. She got much less screen time than the other three main characters which to me was a good idea. 

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Conclusion

While the wait was long we finally did receive the sequel to the cult classic known as “Zombieland.” The film doesn’t feel too out of place. It feels like we never left besides for a few differences. When Little Rock decided she wanted to leave her friends and family it gave the writers much freedom. However, maybe it was too much freedom.

The film lacks direction and if the jokes were to fall more often I don’t think that audiences would care. Many times in the movie I felt like they were just stalling to get to that 109 minutes run time. However, the chemistry between our protagonists will keep spectators entertained just because of how well they work together.

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Sadly that doesn’t save the film from wasting a few resources. The new characters such as Madison (Zoey Deutch) and Berkeley (Avan Jogia) weren’t fleshed out in the slightest. They both were one-note characters, but it still feels like neither of them reached their true potential. 

With a more refined focus and fewer jokes that tattered on the edge of annoyance, I think that this sequel could’ve blown the original out of the water. It’s still definitely worth watching, especially if you enjoyed the first.

Verdict 7.5 out of 10 Stars

Zombieland: Double Tap (Rated R) is playing at a theater near you.

‘Good Boys’ Film Review: Define Good…

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What happens when you combine adult humor with middle school boys? You get 95 hilarious minutes of unadulterated fun. I had my doubts but this film surprised me with its level of quality.

Overview

Lucas (Keith L. Williams), Max (Jacob Tremblay), and Thor (Brady Noon) get invited to a “kissing party” by the most popular kid in their grade. All seems to be going well until Max loses his father’s drone, and the three friends do everything they can to get it back.

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Legitimately Funny

Having children do what they’re not supposed to do has always been seen as funny to many people. Therefore, going into this film I expected some kids to drop a couple f-bombs and then I expected the audience to keel over in laughter.

While that still happens the comedic scenes are much better than that. From one of the children giving a girl a sex toy believing it was a necklace to thinking that tampons are used to stop babies from falling out.

There was no long stretch of time where I didn’t at least smirk or crack a smile. That wasn’t just me either the entire theater was filled with laughter from beginning to end.

Actual Lessons

I didn’t expect to learn anything in this film. Generally, these kinds of movies exist to make their audiences laugh not contemplate their own life decisions.

Not only did this film surpass my expectations for the content of the motion picture. It also surprised me with the themes. There are parts of the film that don’t try to be funny. Which isn’t a bad thing other filmmakers could learn from this.

However, the themes present make me enjoy the movie even more. Learning that nothing lasts forever or that as you grow up people who you were once close with might not be your friends anymore. It’s all apart of growing up but seeing it on the big screen doesn’t make it any easier.

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Conclusion

The idea of combing adult humor with children was an interesting idea that paid off at the end of the day. The casting was great and the humor was consistently good.

The jokes weren’t just potty humor I think there something for most ages which I can’t say about most comedies.

It’s a good watch and is deeper than one would think after watching the trailer.

Verdict 8.5 out of 10 Stars

 

 

‘Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus’ Netflix Original Review: More Than Nostalgia

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It has been 13 years since the last time we saw Invader Zim. While the show only ended up getting two seasons it grew quite a large audience when it went off the air. For years people have clamored for the return of the green little alien and at long last, he’s come back in full force.

Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus follows the original show’s plot just in a longer format. Zim (Richard Steven Horvitz) plans to take over the earth with his robotic assistant GIR (Rikki Simons) while his nemesis Dib (Andy Berman) attempts to stop him and prove to the world aliens exist.

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Random Humor

The comedy that this series has always gone for is sort of aimless shock gags. For example, two characters could be having a conversation then an explosion comes out of nowhere and GIR screams ‘I LOVE TOAST”.

This movie contains the same kind of humor and it truly does not miss a beat. While this kind of comedy isn’t suited for everyone it’s a blessing that they don’t follow the same comedic routine as every other show. It’s original, to say the least.

Animation

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I did not believe that it was possible but the characters, environments, and action to look even more incredible than the original series. This film ends up feeling like a better-looking episode of Invader Zim and that’s the best we could all hope for.

The designs are not exactly the same but I see no harm done. Unique animation is hard to come by I generally feel that most animated shows or movies can be compared to a multitude of other media.

However, even after all these years, the style of Invader Zim is still pretty exclusive to this series itself.

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Unexpected Depth

I’ve mentioned already that this film is much like an extended episode of the original series but there are some elements that were never really explored in the show.

The rest of Dib’s family being Gaz (Melissa Fahn) and Professor Membrane (Rodger Bumpass) are more involved than ever before. Gaz is Dib’s sister and she’s generally a cold individual with that being basically her only mood.

While I won’t get into spoiler territory she acts more like Dib is part of her family and not just some annoying individual that she doesn’t care for. Professor Membrane is Dib’s father and he’s one of the most brilliant minds the world has ever seen.

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Dib just wants to prove to him that aliens exist but his father claims its unscientific. Their bond is nothing special in the show but during this film that changes. He goes from a very minor character that I didn’t have much to say about to a fully-fledged individual.

Conclusion

I’ll say this from the start if you enjoyed Invader Zim you’ll love this film. It brings everything back that made the show so great with tons of passion. You can tell that the creators did not phone this project in. Instead, they put their all into making this worth watching.

The random humor is back at an even higher volume than the original series but not so much that it becomes annoying. It’s very well balanced and I had quite a few laughs through this special.

Animation wise this looks as though they poured every resource into making sure this visually look the part. Honestly, I couldn’t see this looking any better.

Finally, we get some depth which wasn’t needed for this to succeed. However, it does improve the film tenfold.

Verdict 9 out of 10 Stars

 

‘The Lion King’ Film Review: A Visual Spectacle

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This film has been a controversial title for weeks at this point. Many believe that the Lion King should’ve been left alone and that a live-action remake couldn’t capture the spirit of the source material.  As the lights went down in the theater and I witnessed various animals make their way to Pride Rock my heart became overjoyed with happiness.

As the film begins almost every animal in the plains of Africa come to celebrate the birth of Mufasa’s son, Simba (Donald Glover). Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Mufasa’s brother is not thrilled with the arrival of the future king and begins to mastermind a plot that will allow him to take the throne.

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Breathe Taking Visuals

Whether you enjoy this film or not it is impossible to say that this movie is not beautiful. The aesthetics are easily one of the best qualities that this film possesses.

Every animal looks realistic and I wouldn’t be surprised if younger audiences actually believed that they trained wildlife for the film itself.

The locales such as Pride Rock or the Elephant Graveyard capture the essence of the original. They truly look like a live-action version of the animated phenomenon.

The Chemistry

Watching Simba interact with his father is another highlight of this story. Personally, I always felt that Mufasa (James Earl Jones) was only used as a plot device and never truly bonded with Simba in a natural way.

The moments they spend together on the screen feel very genuine. Due to their incredibly talented voice actors, it does not surprise me that they work well together.

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Timon (Billy Eichner) and Pumba (Seth Rogen) are yet another duo that greatly increased my enjoyment of the film. When they were introduced to the viewer the entire theater I was in could not stop their laughter.

Seth Rogen makes an amazing Pumba I prefer him even to the original. Not only is he funny but he plays off of Timon very well. They seriously are my favorite parts of the film I’d love to see it again just for their performances.

The Score

In most Disney films the music pieces are very important to the movie itself. Generally, they have something to do with the plot or how a certain character is feeling. The Lion King does not shy in that department of having musical set pieces and it doesn’t fall too far behind the original.

Beyoncé is a welcome part of the cast having her lend her voice towards “Spirit” and “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” was a great idea. I could sense the excitement in the theater whenever she began to sing. The audience was loving every second of it as well as myself.

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Too Good?

Visually as I said before this film is breath-taking. It looks amazing but there are things you can’t do with a real lion that you could do with an animated one. Because of this choice, many scenes don’t carry the same impact as the original.

Sadly I don’t think that they ever could’ve topped the original with the design of this remake. I don’t regret seeing this film and I’m glad it exists. It’s a shame that many are bashing the movie for factors that were out of their control.

Conclusion

While there has been quite a lot of negative buzz surrounding this film it is my belief that the pros outweigh the cons. It’s a gorgeous movie with extraordinary environments along with a stellar cast. The music is a joy to be heard even if some songs aren’t better than the original.

The chemistry between some of the main cast is surprisingly good. Many of them play off of each other well and you’ll believe that they’ve been working together for decades.

Lastly, even though the movie looks great a more realistic take on this classic does take away some of the soul of the original. In some ways, the movie is worse because of the style that they chose.

Verdict 7 out of 10 Stars

 

 

‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Film Review: Tom Holland’s Best Outing Yet!

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After the conclusion of Endgame, I didn’t know really what to expect from the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). I had hoped that the following movies would live up to amazing titles such as Avengers: Infinity War or Thor: Ragnarok. It’s astonishing to think that Spider-Man: Far From Home exceeds every expectation and gave me one of the best movie experiences I’ve had in quite a while.

Following the devastating events of Avengers: Endgame Spider-Man will have to learn how to protect a world that has been changed forever.

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Nice Change of Scenery

From Wakanda to space Spider-Man has been everywhere. What changes this time around is that Spider-Man isn’t the one who’s far away from home it’s Peter Parker. With his class, they explore various stunning locations.

The locales are beautiful, breath-taking even with great camera work to boot. During action scenes, it can be difficult to show off the terrain and make a fight worth watching. This film proves that it’s possible to do both and I love it.

No One Overstays Their Welcome

At times when a film attempts to give screen time to 12 or more actors/actresses, it can make the product suffer. To make all of those characters enjoyable and give them time to shine during the movie is a true skill.

There are characters I do not like in this film, but that doesn’t mean they were not enjoyable. For instance, a minor antagonist of Peter makes me wanna just beat him up myself. However, for a film to make me feel so strongly about something is a win in itself.

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Some characters whose only role was to be comedic relief accomplished their mission. I don’t think 20 minutes went by ever where I did not laugh. An attempt at comedy at the wrong time can really leave a bad taste in the mouth of the viewer. With that being said the timing of the jokes was great and never came at a time where it was inappropriate. While a few jokes did not land they were inoffensive.

The Action

Without giving much away this film possesses arguably one of the best fight scenes throughout the entire MCU. You’ll know soon after it starts exactly the moment I’m talking about. It is so creative and uses CGI in a phenomenal way.

You don’t see much of the typical Spider-Man action this time around. No saving civilians from robbers or thieves. Instead, he’s dealing with much bigger threats. While some believe it hurts the film I don’t think we need to see our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man knocking out some random thug in every movie.

A Love Interest Worth Our Time

SPIDER-MAN: ™ FAR FROM HOME

Most movies fall into the realm of clichés at some point. Most things have been done before so it’s quite difficult to do something no other film has. However, Mary Jane or MJ for short is one of my favorite love interests in a long time.

This MJ isn’t like every other girl the protagonist is after. She’s quirky and weird. She’s a quiet girl and Zendaya truly makes the character her own. Something crazy will come out of her mouth and she won’t bat an eye.

Her delivery is so good and believable. I hope this will encourage other filmmakers that they don’t have to play so safe with the love interest of the protagonist.

Conclusion

While I had worried about the future of the MCU this film proved I had no reason to fear. An interesting plot along with amazing scenery and standout characters makes good a great flick on its own.

The action is superb and gives us something new in the Spider-Man universe. This movie is no slouch in comedy either and I can’t keep track of how many times I busted out laughing.

The cast is great I can’t imagine any of the main characters being replaced. Tom Holland remains a terrific Spider-Man and Peter Parker. He was born to play the role.

Finally, Mary Jane is fantastic and Zendaya crushed my expectations. I can’t wait until our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man makes his way back to the movie theater.

Verdict 9 out of 10 Stars

The Best Sequel Yet!

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As the lights dimmed soon after the film began I see Woody and the gang back together and my inner child wanted to leap out. This is a very different Toy Story from what we are used to. Not only plot-wise but even the tone at times. Hours after watching the film I’m still thinking about the rush of emotions I felt throughout this wonderful adventure.

Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the group have been given to a little girl named Bonnie and they join her on a road trip with her family and a brand new toy, Forky. Along their journey, both familiar faces and newcomers are met.

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Everyone Laughs

Making jokes for both adults and children is not an easy task. Not only does Toy Story 4 accomplish its goal for being comical for all ages. It surpasses all of the past films with its comedic genius.

While it can be argued that some jokes went on for too long. Personally, I enjoyed the majority of them and the jokes that didn’t fall for me were inoffensive.

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Emotional Rollercoaster

Throughout this series, I’ve never felt this many emotions from one particular film. One moment you’ll be happy seeing some of your favorite characters from your childhood. Then the next you’ll feel heartbroken. Admittedly I did cry twice during the movie and for a bunch of toys to make me feel such a strong emotion must be commended.

Missed Opportunity

I can’t think of anything terrible in this film. The worst that I can think of is just missed opportunities. The main focus of this story is on Woody and a character thought to be forgotten. While having a focused story did benefit the plot it made the huge collection of toys who have been important throughout the series feel wasted.

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New Additions Are Welcomed

I was concerned about Forky during the promotions he just didn’t seem like an interesting character. I’m overjoyed to say that I was wrong and he’s one of the best parts of the film. With his addition, It is my belief that it made the film stand out from past entries.

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Conclusion

While a fourth film wasn’t necessary for this series Pixar made it work. There’s a story to be told here and they weren’t just capitalizing off of everyone’s nostalgia. This film made me laugh, cry, and reminded me why I love movies.

Visually it looks perfect so crisp and so clean. The lengths that the animators went to just to make this film look as beautiful as it does must be appreciated.

While it is my belief that some characters have wasted potential it doesn’t make the film worse. Not to mention the new characters easily pick up the slack. Regardless of age, I recommend this film wholeheartedly it is a fantastic watch.

Verdict 9 out of 10 Stars

 

 

The Most Underrated Film of 2019

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I finally went to see the live action Aladdin and all I can think of is how horrible the film was going to be simply by word of mouth. From what I’ve heard from reviewers and fans of the original Disney picture I walked into the theater believing I was going to watch a two-hour long soulless cash grab. However, I’m proud to say that this film was not that in the slightest.

Aladdin is a likable thief who’s day to day consists of stealing to survive. One fateful day he meets Princess Jasmine, the daughter of the sultan of Agrabah. This catches the attention of an evil sorcerer named Jafar soon targets the boy and Aladdin’s adventure begins.

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The Disney Magic

Only Disney can make an adult feel like a child again from just an opening song. When “Arabian Nights” played I couldn’t help but smile. From the very beginning, you could tell this project wasn’t completely about the money there’s a certain level of quality and passion you can’t get anywhere else.

When the opening set piece is so excellent it’s hard not to be excited for the rest of the film. Other notable songs were “A Friend Like Me” And “A Whole New World”. I have to tip my hat for the Will Smith (Genie), Noami Scott (Jasmine), and Mena Massoud (Alladin) because they knocked it out of the park for the most part.

Good but Different

No one expected Will Smith’s Genie to even compare to Robin Williams. He just set the bar too high, however, I think Will Smith executed a close second. My favorite parts of the film are when the genie is in it. Just with his presence, the movie is elevated to a different level.

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He’s funny, wacky, zany and just a joy to have on screen. Many times throughout the film I cracked a smile or a grin just because of something the Genie was doing.

The Relationships

In the original Aladdin, they made me buy that the Genie was Al’s best friend. In this live-action remake, they do the same and it does not feel forced. We’ve all seen a movie where two or more characters have a relationship that doesn’t feel earned. They may act like they’ve known each other their entire lives but they’ve done nothing in the movie to convey that.

I find that in this film Jasmine and Aladdin’s relationship seems more natural. In typical Disney fashion, the princess lead falls In love with a man soon after meeting them. While that still happens somewhat there seem to be more layers in their relationship.

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Conclusion

The bad reputation that this film has received does not do justice to this motion picture. The score is great in true Disney fashion. Will Smith’s performance of the Genie is one of the best parts of the movie and his relationship with Aladdin feels genuine. While I believe Jafar could’ve done better I think they should’ve cast someone more menacing. Ultimately I enjoyed the film. It did not surpass the original but I would gladly go see it again.

Verdict 8 out of 10 Stars

 

 

Why Transformers Sucks!

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In 2007, the first Transformers film released starring Shia Labeouf and Megan Fox. Who would’ve thought that the series would receive so many sequels but also spiral into mediocrity? Personally, I enjoy the first two films and tolerate the third. However, when the fourth and fifth movie released I realized we’d get nothing like the film that started it all.

Rehashing the Same Plot

As a series continued I felt like we are watching the same movie over and over again. The government says that they cannot help the heroes that have protected earth with their lives and they state they’re not allied with them.

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Then the government proceeds to help the Decepticons find and defeat the Autobots. The story boils down to both alliances trying to find an artifact that will grant the user a great advantage in battle. After that point, the day saved and everyone goes home happily ever after.

Something New

In 2018, Bumblebee released and I believe it was received pretty well. Hopefully, as we go into the future more good transformers films will be released. As much as I hate to say it I don’t think Michael Bay was the issue nor Mark Walberg. One of the main reasons I believe the series is spiraled out of control is simply bad storytelling.

After the third film, I believe we needed something fresh and new. However, the formula kept on repeating itself. In Transformers: Age of Extinction I don’t believe Mark Wahlberg was really an issue I believe he did the best in the cast. I think the characters that surrounded him were the problem.

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Lack of Reasoning

For instance, his daughter and his daughter’s boyfriend added nothing to the narrative. At least in the first three films, it made sense why our protagonist is not the only one caught up the situation. The enemy constantly came after Shia Labeouf and the people surrounded by him.

In Transformers: Age of Extinction and Transformers: The Last Knight I felt that the other characters didn’t have to be put in danger. They weren’t really involved in the conflict and they could’ve walked away at any point.

Too Predictable

If I can tell you what happens in a film before it begins that’s a problem. My biggest issue from the Transformers series is how massive the threat is. In each film it’s the end of the world for heroes fail The stakes are so high but they always come out on top so where’s the tension.

In the MCU, each film has differing levels of severity. If every entry was as high-stakes as the Avenger’s movies there’s no way they could’ve held the public’s attention for as long as they did. An Action-packed franchise, not every single found needs to possess a world-ending antagonist.

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If this is truly what they want they should make a different result in the end. Do something to shock audiences. Be bold if they kill off a character don’t bring them back. Maybe not make Megatron the main villain every single time. Who says that the villain has to be someone the audience already knows. Make a brand-new villain!

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Conclusion

I believe that huge amounts of money that the Transformers series has received has led to the creators of these films getting lazier and lazier. Each film was the same with minor differences here and there. At times the plot feels like it doesn’t make sense because of the decisions that certain characters make in these movies.

Finally, it’s all just too predictable audiences know exactly what the getting into. I want more good films to come from this franchise and I hope that future releases surpass the mediocre entries such as Transformers: Age of Extinction and Transformers: The Last Knight. 

 

 

 

The Worst Film of 2019

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Have you ever seen a comedy that fails at the genre itself? Whether the answer is yes or no The Hustle will undoubtedly be one of the least funny attempts at comedy you’ve seen in 2019.

Josephine Chesterfield (Anne Hathaway) is a British con-woman who makes a living off of gullible men. After years of perfecting her craft soon comes another woman named Penny Rust (Rebel Wilson), an energetic Australian woman who is also a con-woman. Despite their different methods, the two come together to try and pull off an extravagant score on a young billionaire in the South of France.

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From Bad to Worse

The beginning of a film is generally where you can tell if a movie will be good or bad. The opening scene is pivotal to nail and in The Hustle, they failed completely. However, seeing how the movie began it made me not surprised in the end result. The end result being an unfunny comedy.

Sorry to break it to you Hollywood but being fat just isn’t funny. Penny Rust is the one and only character who even utters something that could be considered comical. With that being said I still don’t find her too amusing.

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Having one of your main characters entire comedic routine be about how they’re fat is a film that is destined to fail from the start. I’ll admit that I did chuckle a couple times throughout the picture simply because of the adlib Rebel Wilson had to offer but a few chuckles throughout a full feature-length film are not enough to call a movie a comedy.

Running Terrible Jokes into the Ground

One of my biggest pet peeves while watching comedy is hearing the same unfunny joke multiple times. It wasn’t funny the first time so how do you think that it will be received when it is heard again. This is one of the reasons I believe this film is so unfunny because they don’t stop beating the dead horse.

Overdone Plot

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You have seen this movie before just in a different circumstance with other characters. We’re introduced to a character who knows how to do everything perfectly. Then, later on, we are greeted by a second character who isn’t necessarily as well polished in their craft as the protagonist. However, they still get the job done at the end of the day.

The film feels as though it’s on autopilot. Mainly because The Hustle seems like it wants to be like every other film that has a similar story. One example I have is that even though the two main characters are butting heads throughout the film and possess to signs that they enjoy each other’s company. They still become friends and it doesn’t feel right.

Conclusion

In conclusion, this film is a failure at comedy from beginning to end. Ninety percent of the jokes don’t fall and the other 10% that do aren’t too funny. You’ve all heard this story done before in many other films. Plenty of motion pictures have executed this plot with much greater quality than this.

Verdict 3 out of 10 Stars

 

 

The Peak of the Most Ambitious Movie Franchise

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Making History

In 2008, when Iron Man released I’m sure that no one saw this franchise becoming as big as it has become. Now 11 years later the hype that was built up for Avengers: Endgame is unavoidable. There is no escape if you have a social media account or are around people often since the announcement of the fourth Avengers film the public have made their excitement known.

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The idea of having a movie franchise composed of over 20 films all to culminate into one huge event has never been done before. To keep the interest of the public for years and years is a feat in its own right. For the fans, it is my belief that Avengers: Endgame is the event of a lifetime.

The Story

After Tony Stark’s battle with Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War he has drifted aimlessly in space. With not much oxygen in his ship and lack of food, the end seems near. On Earth, the remaining Avengers Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, and Bruce Banner are tasked with finding a way to retrieve the allies they lost because of the infinity stones that Thanos wields.

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Hard Work Pays Off

After spending all of these years assembling the Avengers it has paid off with what I would say the definitive superhero film. I couldn’t imagine a replacement for any member of the MCU. The actors & actresses picked for their roles expertly portrayed their characters. Before these films, many audiences had no interest in the majority of the superheroes Marvel had under their belt.

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Depending on how invested you are in these films will determine how much you enjoy Avengers: Endgame. While I think this film can be enjoyed alone without seeing previous entries the development that most characters received will not be known to that individual. Not one hero is the exact same person they were when they debuted.

The Array of Emotions

To not mention the flurry of emotions that one goes through when attached to these characters would be a crime. There will be times where you laugh, feel tense, be filled with excitement, or maybe even cry. At no point was I hoping that the film went by faster and that’s because they kept me engaged.

To keep the audience engaged for three hours is no easy task and with that being said the Russo brothers did it expertly. In a film this long there will be slow moments that aren’t necessarily filled with action. Even in these instants a little or a batch of jokes kept most people entertained throughout.

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Some films can’t manage to make a movie funny while the protagonist has to engage the enemy. Marvel knows their audience and it shows since the different moods never ruin a scene throughout the motion picture.

Expectation Subversion

Without diving into spoilers what you expect to happen probably isn’t what actually develops. This goes for much of the film, not just the story. The superhero genre needs more of this. Many superhero films boil down to superhero battles the villain and the hero succeeds in the end. Because of this, it has made the general audience believe all of these films are exactly the same which the MCU has proven is not true.

A Love Letter to the Fans

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The creators, actors, actresses, and everyone who was involved in this project want the fans to enjoy this film. They want to reward the fandom and they do in the best way possible. Avengers: Endgame is a great movie but it’s a fantastic payoff of what’s come so far. This is much more than a movie it was a monumental event that has been talked about around the world for weeks. It leaves me thinking how in the world can they top this already marvelous peak.

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Conclusion

This is the first movie franchise of this scale and that has had this much success in the movie industry since it’s inception. Avengers: Endgame will leave audiences in shock at how many emotions they express while watching the epic. Your expectations will be subverted and in the best ways possible. Finally, This passion project not only promises to please fans of the MCU but even stands its own ground as a motion picture.

Verdict 9 out of 10 Stars

The Most Unique Animated Series on Netflix

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Love, Death, & Robots will be without a doubt one of the weirdest shows you can watch among all of the Netflix Originals. Many episodes leave you in need of answers or at least want a full series based on the particular episode.

This series consists of a collection of animated short stories that range from horror to comedy to science fiction all from episode to episode.

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The Style

Regardless of how you feel about the show as a whole the animation style cannot be underappreciated. Most episodes look very different from the one previous, but it’s never distracting.

The Witness is the third episode of the series and it has a drastically different look from the CGI animation from the first two episodes. It is most reminiscent of Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse with its overall look.

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Episodes such as Sonnie’s Edge & Beyond the Aquila Rift are some of the best-looking episodes throughout the whole series. Their CGI look as impressive as feature-length films produced by the biggest names in the business.

The Twists

Often when watching this series there will be a twist that occurred and it becomes something that you’ll to look out for. Sometimes the ending will be pretty obvious but many times my guesses were way off. This show is not trying to give you a happy ending most of the time and at times you’ll think “no they won’t do that” then they do exactly that.

 

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With the show not being so easily telegraphed it interesting to watch each episode all the way through. The suspense really gets to the viewer and the element of surprise is without a doubt one of the best things this series does.

Everyone Has Their Own Experience

When watching this series you’ll have a different experience from most people. There have been a few episodes that have consistently shown up at the top of viewer’s lists but most of the episodes I have seen people rate have been all over the place. The Dump is one of the weakest stories for me, but I have seen many people stand up for the short.

Episodes that I believe have much higher quality than others have been pushed to the side by fans in favor of episodes I believe are weaker. That’s the beauty of this show and good on Netflix to give these creators a platform for their beloved ideas to blossom. I look forward to seeing what other ideas stem from this anthology series.

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Conclusion

This is an odd show but implore you to give it a shot. The genres span between sci-fi, horror, comedy, and fantasy. The visuals are top notch when they want them to be and in the episodes that have cheaper looking animation is done that way on purpose. While some episodes deserve a full-blown series more than others I think that every episode offers something.

Verdict 7 out of 10 Stars

 

The Best Film of 2018

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Regrettably, I didn’t see Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse during the year of its release. I had the opportunity to see the film this past weekend and it surpassed every single expectation. Through the excellent characters, writing, score, and animation this becomes one of the greatest experiences you can have as a Spider-Man fan.

Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) is your average teen who’s entire world gets flipped upside down when he gets by a radioactive spider. Thus he becomes the Spider-Man of his reality and must team up with others of his kind to defeat a threat who dangers all realities.

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Different Spider-Man? No problem

Miles breathes new life into the role of the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. He’s biracial but the film doesn’t take advantage of his race to push some agenda. The film isn’t about him being both African American and Puerto Rican but his heritage gives him a little more character.

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He’s a young kid and for an animated film, the mastery of his newfound abilities are pretty grounded in reality. Miles doesn’t start jumping off buildings and swinging throughout the city the second he gets bit. This film could’ve easily made Miles a Gary Stu, but the writers refrain from doing that and the movie benefits from that choice.

Playing safe is a thing of the past

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Many movies fail because they don’t push their respective genres enough. When creating a film that doesn’t try to do many new things you can’t expect to do much better than average. Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse is the furthest film from that state of mind. The movie wouldn’t have been nearly as impressive if they just told us the same old Spider-man story.

The animation alone allows this film to stand out in a good way. In every scene, you could pause the movie and find a great freeze frame. Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse is filled to the brim with style. There are details that you might only notice after your third or fourth viewing and that is a sign of a film that does more than what is needed. This is a passion project and knowing that this film wasn’t about just making money and that it’s creators just love what they were working on makes me appreciate the picture more.

A Very Effective Soundtrack

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Having a soundtrack isn’t special it’s a thing that the majority of films have in common. However, there are very few films whose soundtracks elevate the product they’re played in. If you have a musical itch that needs to be scratched you’ll certainly be pleased while watching. Artists such as Post Malone, Swae Lee, Lil Wayne, etc. offer new songs and long after watching the picture you’ll be trying to look up a few their songs played through the film.

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Conclusion

This will go down as one of the best-animated films ever produced. The characters are varied and all have their place throughout the narrative. Deciding not to make a “safe” Spider-Man film really pays off by giving us an experience like none other in the realm of this superhero. Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse oozes personality at every opportunity and the soundtrack is memorable, to say the least.

Verdict 10 out of 10 Stars

Netflix’s Umbrella Academy Is Not Your Typical Superhero Show

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The story of the Umbrella Academy begins all the way back to 1989 when 43 children were born to different women around the globe who didn’t show signs of pregnancy the day of. Seven of these children were adopted by a man named Sir Reginald Hargreeves and he creates what is known as the Umbrella Academy. While he raises them he prepares his children to save the world. During their teenage years, the family disbands all creating their own paths. However, in present time their father Reginal Hargreeves passes and this forces the family back together again. Now they must work together to uncover the mysteries behind their father’s death and the upcoming threat to the world itself.

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Weird Is the New Good

This is anything but your average superhero show. If you go into this expecting crime-fighting action around every corner this isn’t what you’re looking for. Our heroes are all but retired at this point and they dislike the sight of each other. Their personalities clash at every instant without fail. These people are flawed with many issues including narcissism, drug habits, and more giving us a very different perspective of heroes since they are almost the opposite of any Marvel hero we see on the big screen.

Not an Origin Story

Instead of telling this story in order the viewers are subjected to a lot of jumping around. We are introduced to plenty of characters in a short amount of time and throughout the season we’ll learn more about each one. Flashbacks are present to give some background on the story and its characters.

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This is not a show that you can start watching at any point. You’re going to want to watch this from start to end or just not at all if you want to understand the plot. You’ll also need to be paying close attention being on your phone or talking can make up miss out on important moments that affect the story at a later time.

Our Heroes

As previously mentioned these characters were all introduced in quick succession, but they all earn their screen time. Number 1 otherwise known as Luther (Tom Hopper) has been on the moon for the past four years of his life and possesses superhuman strength. Diego (David Castañeda) also known as Number 2 has the ability to thrown knives with great accuracy and works as a vigilante taking down criminals any way he sees fit.

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Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman) is Number 3 and she can make “rumors” reality just by saying them aloud. Klaus (Robert Sheehan) is Number 4, he can speak with the dead when he isn’t under the influence which is pretty difficult for him since he’s a junkie. Number 5 (Aidan Gallagher) doesn’t have a name, but he can jump through time. Ben is Number 6 and he was killed before the events of the Umbrella Academy happened. Finally, Vanya (Ellen Page) is Number 7 and she doesn’t have any powers. However, her skill with the violin is rivaled by close to none.

Conclusion

The different approach that this show took to the superhero genre is welcoming, to say the least. Having the story bounce around from time to time allows for the exciting bits to be constant. We also aren’t given an overload of information at any one time except for the beginning. The cast is stellar and they all deserve much praise. Each performance was convincing and they all brought something different to the table. I implore you all to sit down and watch Netflix’s newest hit show.

Verdict 8.5 out of 10 Stars

The Surprise Hit of 2018 Has Been Green Lit for a Sequel!

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I’ve mentioned time and time again that 2018 was a great year for the cinema. Marvel had an outstanding showing with titles such as Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Deadpool 2. I found myself attending the theater the most I have in recent history last year. Every couple of months something I had been dying to see would have its release and I was seldom disappointed. Little did I know when I went to see A Quiet Place it would be one of my favorite movies of the year it was truly a surprise hit.

What I Loved About the First

This film can be seen in two different lights depending on how you saw it the first time. Watching A Quiet Place in the theater is astonishing. With very few lines of dialogue you can tell from the start this isn’t your standard horror/suspenseful thriller. Generally, when one watches a movie in the cinema they are subjected to others who talk or make noise. This movie can’t be fully appreciated unless it is quiet. I implore you if you have an interest in seeing this film to watch it with as little outside noise as possible.

When you aren’t invested in the characters horror movies can fall pretty flat. I can say confidently you’ll be able to connect to at least one person. The father (John Krasinski) was that individual for me. The things he does to protect his family are just admirable it would be difficult not to enjoy his character. The mother (Emily Blunt) can’t be forgotten either her character is so strong, but she doesn’t quite get to Mary Sue status which is a good thing.

 

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Expectations for the Sequel (Spoilers)

The ending of A Quiet Place definitely left room for a sequel, but with that being said can it live up to the first? While I’m excited for this sequel I’m a little concerned because of the mood change at end of the first film. Our characters defeat one of the aliens that have been hunting them the majority of the film, and this is the only one that died throughout the entirety of the movie. Unless they change the genre I don’t see how they’ll capture the same concern I had for these characters in its first outing.

My hope is that this film can give me an extraordinary viewing experience like they did with the original. I want to see the characters continue to grow and I want them to sell their situation well. If director John Krasinski wants his audience to be scared then I want the actors and actresses to appear that way as well. I hope this film can exceed all expectations and can even surpass its predecessor.

The Most Anticipated Horror Movie of 2019

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The Horror genre has been incredibly popular for decades. There’s just something so compelling about the plot of these films. You want to find out what will happen to our main characters in the end. The question we ask ourselves is will they survive or meet their brutal end? In more recent years these films have evolved into something beyond the antagonist murdering everyone in sight. In 2017, moviegoers were blessed with the release of Get Out directed by Jordan Peele. This upcoming film that many are raving about is another film directed by Peele named Us.

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Plot

Adelaide Willson (Lupita Nyong’o) accompanied by her husband, son, and daughter return to her vacation home where she lived when she was younger. Because of a traumatic experience from her childhood, she grows concerned for the safety of her family. Her fears are realized when four masked strangers show up at her home. When the masks come off each of the strangers have the appearances of all four family members.

The Astonishing Trailer

Around a week ago I saw the trailer for Us, and I was blown away. It was expertly shot and the music added so much to the overall product. Normally, I hate seeing trailers because they spoil many movies. Way too often they just reveal too much in them, however,  this time I was left with more questions. A horror film that goes beyond a gore fest and makes you have to use your brain to figure out the twist adds much-needed depth to the ever-growing genre.

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Conclusion

My hope is that this film becomes the new standard. I hope that it’s good enough that the entire genre stops being lazy. Horror movies these days are pretty much all the same with their abundance of jump scares and simplistic plots. From what I’ve seen and heard Us seems to bring it’s “A” game to the party and I couldn’t be more excited for it.

Review: Big Mouth’s Valentine’s Day Special Gives Fans All They Could Ask for

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A Bright Future Ahead

In a show, all about teenagers going through puberty in a comedic fashion the idea for a Valentine’s Day special is genius. If this is a good representation of the following season I am incredibly anxious to see the continuation of this series. The controversial comedy this series is known for has not lost its knack to leave you speechless. So much so that you’ll have to ask yourself if you really should be laughing at times.

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Chemistry is at an all-time high

The relationship between Andrew (John Mulaney) and Maurice (Maya Rudolph) has easily been one of the best parts of the show since it’s inception. Andrew’s weird sexual obsession with almost anything as well as being convinced to do things he wouldn’t normally by Maurice never gets old. Maurice himself is unpredictable nothing is off the table and that reminds me of the early seasons of Family Guy. The creators of Big Mouth aren’t afraid to be bombarded by today’s sensitive people all over the internet and that’s the only way to make a show of this nature.
While Andrew and Maurice are a great pair this special brings us another interesting relationship being Nick (Nick Kroll) and Connie (Maya Rudolph). Both of these characters have been on the show for quite a while, but with Connie being Nick’s new hormone monstress plenty of new problems arise.

Valentine’s Day is the Worst

This particular holiday is generally disliked by many people and it’s not hard to know why. For people not in relationships, a day that focuses on the love in the air can be frustrating. There are people that to step outside of their comfort zone and finally ask that person out that they’ve always wanted only to get rejected. This day isn’t just hard for people who aren’t in relationships it’s hard for people with partners as well because they are expected to be as romantic as possible. Seeing these ideas explored during this episode is not only relatable but entertaining to see play out.

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Conclusion

The no holds barred comedy is back and is the best it has ever been. New relationships have been forged and have only changed the show for the better. The odd musical numbers and taboo topics make their return as well. Fans of Big Mouth will be pleased with this double episode and if the following season can keep to the standard of this special we are in for the best episodes of this show yet.

Verdict: 8 out of 10 Stars

My Most Anticipated Films of 2019

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Last year, was a great year for the cinema. With movies such as Avengers: Infinity War, A Quiet Place, and Incredibles 2 just to name a few. To say I have high expectations for this year would be an understatement. Disney is coming out with live action remakes of their animated classics from years and years ago. Movies series that we thought were finished are getting sequels. There will definitely be a wide variety of fans in the theater.

Toy Story 4

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This movie series has been around for quite a while. The first film dates back to 1995 and now 24 years later its fourth installment is going to be in theaters. I think what’s so surprising about this entry is that most people thought the series had been concluded. The third movie seemed like a great place to end this series off, but hopefully, if they really have a reason to bring this franchise back then I believe this sequel will be great.

Spider-Man: Far From Home

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A couple weeks ago a trailer dropped for Spider-Man: Far From Home and it was everything I could’ve hoped for. Tom Holland is my favorite representation of Spider-Man on screen. He captures the character as I remember from my childhood watching the cartoons. Just the fact that he has to deal with high school drama along with being a superhero is a huge plus for me.

In the trailer, Peter Parker and his class take a trip to Europe when they are interrupted by Mysterio, a famous Spider-Man villain. Not much else is known about the story details, but this is the first time that Mysterio has been on the big screen. I’m interested in finding out if his first appearance will be a good one. I loved the previous film so it’s hard not to have high expectations. If they can capture the magic of the first film then this will be a good flick to see.

Star Wars: Episode IX

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I think that it’s pretty well known that Star Wars has the worst fanbase in movies and on the internet. The new trilogy has been met with tons of hostility and it’s a shame. I really liked the past two movies. I hope that this final installment in the main line of Star Wars will be better accepted than the past couple of films.

Avengers: Endgame

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This is easily my most anticipated film of 2019. Avengers: Infinity War blew me out of the water last year. I didn’t watch it expecting to like it so much. The entire film I was glued to the screen watching these superheroes just work together to save the earth was a spectacle. That along with Thanos being the greatest villain in the MCU makes for a film worth watching.

The trailer posted shows Tony Stark drifting in space with his oxygen depleting the end seems near. The Avengers are broken and defeated which is just an interesting premise in the first place. The rest of the Avengers plan to find a way to bring back their past allies to defeat Thanos. My expectations for this film are average simply because I don’t want to be disappointed when it doesn’t live up to previous Avengers film. If it does manage to surpass Infinity War that would be a welcoming surprise.

 

 

Is Netflix’s Bird Box Worthy of the Buzz it’s Receiving? Movie Review

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In this world, suddenly hundreds of thousands of people begin committing suicide at an alarming rate. The cause of this are these mysterious creatures that when seen causes the individual to take their own life. A woman named Malorie (Sandra Bullock) must go on a dangerous quest for the benefit of her and the children she must protect. Her journey has the chance to bring her to a safe haven, but the only way to get there is by not having her sight.

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Interesting Premise

This film isn’t revolutionary in terms of a plot, but it is interesting to see how things unfold. Time is not wasted getting into the post-apocalyptic setting it happens quite fast in fact. We see plenty of deaths just at the start, and I think most people are just wondering what’s going on. Why are people killing themselves? Why do these people stop responding when they see these creatures? There’s a lot of questions that don’t get answered until much later in the film and it can be pretty annoying.

The survivors stay inside their homes because the creatures cannot get to them there. This leads to much of this film taking place in one location. Which wouldn’t be so bad if the cast wasn’t the everyday horror movie characters. You have the old man who everyone thinks is a jerk, but he’s the most intelligent in the group. You have the comic relief nerdy character along with the person who thinks everyone is doomed from the very start. I don’t hate the cast because a few of the characters stick out in a good way, however many of them didn’t add anything to the film.

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People Don’t Act Like This in Real Life

In most horror movies I’d say that the characters make their fair share of dumb mistakes. In recent history, I’ve started seeing that less and less especially in Halloween (2018). When characters died in that film it was mostly because they were outsmarted not because they made it easy for Michael Myers. I wish I could say the same about this film. In Bird Box, there were a handful of characters who actually made smart choices and the plot was only pushed forward because of the mistakes made by certain individuals in the film.

The Cast

During this review, I haven’t given the good parts of the cast much recognition and they did deliver at the end of the day. Tom (Trevante Rhodes) played a pretty big role in this film. From his protective nature over Malorie and leader like qualities he quickly became one of my favorites. Douglas (John Malkovich) stood out to me as well. He’s definitely not a very nice guy, but he knows what must be done. His acting skills also elevated this otherwise by the book’s character. Then, of course, Malorie was consistent throughout the film. I felt her need to want to protect her children. She’s strong as well, but not in an annoying way. Movies will make the impossible possible for the protagonist, but I don’t believe they made her practically a superhero or anything of that sort.

Conclusion

This movie isn’t quite what it’s hyped up to be, but it’s not a bad film. Some of the cast really sticks out and make the film better overall. Bullock had the leading role and crushed it as the protagonist. She really made the character her own and I couldn’t see many other people being able to outperform her. The movie’s downfall is the basic character traits as well as being a bit too confusing. There are just things that are never explained throughout the film. To top it off there are many coincidences that push the plot forward and there doesn’t seem to be a clear path this movie would’ve taken if most of the characters had acted like they had common sense.

Verdict 6 out of 10 Stars

Spoiler-Free Review: Can ‘Creed II’ Live up to Its Excellent First Outing in 2015? Let’s Find Out!

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For Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) life has become increasingly difficult with having tried to balance his personal life and training for future fights. This time he’s up against his greatest challenge yet. This next opponent he must face in the ring has personal ties with his family. In Adonis’ corner, the retired boxing legend Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) is there to guide him in ways no one else could. Throughout this film, Adonis must walk his own path and discover what he’s fighting for.

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Perfect Pacing

This is quite a lengthy film, but it didn’t seem long at all. Every scene seemed to have importance to the overall film. It was something I noticed pretty early on in the film as well. When the hour mark hit I realized that this wasn’t just a cash grab. There’s a story to be told here and it’s worth seeing it come to fruition. Not to mention everyone in the cast had their moment to shine and no one overstayed their welcome.

It’s not often that the antagonist gets a ton of screen time without the star of the film. This movie establishes at the beginning that Adonis and his upcoming opponent have lived very different lives. They both have had rough lives, but Adonis’ life doesn’t even compare. Ever since he was young all his opponent has known is fighting and this leads to an interesting conflict. The pacing does not disappoint here because without this is just another boxing match the build-up is key and the director, Steven Caple Jr. understands that. 

Who Says Love Ruins Films?

Adonis and his partner Bianca (Tessa Thompson) must be mentioned in every review of this film. Their relationship is one of the best parts of this picture and there’s plenty of reasons this holds true. They feel like a real couple first off and both of their acting skills are displayed in a beautiful form in this 2-hour outing. They both have their own things going on and I think that was the correct choice. Bianca doesn’t seem like the kind of person to let Adonis work and she would just take care of the house. She’s a strong female character who doesn’t need the whole world to know that she’s a strong female character.

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The World’s Best Coach

If I didn’t mention Rocky and how good he was in this film I’d be doing Sylvester Stallone a disservice. Some of the best scenes in this entire film star Rocky and Adonis. Their relation is truly tough to match. Everyone knows how much Adonis means to Rocky and in this movie, I feel like Stallone’s acting has gotten better. He could’ve easily phoned this in but he has a plethora of emotional scenes that he perfects because of his acting skill.

Seeing these movies come full circle has to be mentioned as well. With Rocky as Adonis’ coach it still seems weird, but in a good way. I grew up watching the Rocky films so it’s odd to see him as an old man training someone to do something he was the champ of decades ago. However, I wouldn’t have it any other way if Stallone wasn’t able to reprise his role in this film it definitely wouldn’t have been a must see for me.

Intense, Bloody, Brutal Fighting!

This film does not hold back in the ring for a second. The boxing in this film is done, unlike any other fighting scene I’ve seen in recent history. With long takes that show you every blow to say I was pleased by it would be an understatement. I felt the punches land when they were thrown and at times it even caused me to flinch after a big hit. The sound design is incredible throughout the picture and camera work is excellent.

Conclusion

While the plot is predictable it is also enjoyable and just because it’s predictable doesn’t mean that the film is bad. The actors make this film more interesting just with all of their wonderful performances. Creed’s relationship with Rocky and Bianca certainly takes the cake for being the most entertaining characters to see on screen. They make this film ascend to levels I don’t think to would if Stallone and Thompson weren’t in this cast. Never in the film was I irritated because a certain character was around longer than they should’ve been. The pacing was just right which was a worry of mine before I decided to see the picture. It feels realistic the boxing life seems exciting, but it takes a lot of preparation. The fighters prepare months in advance before they’re ready to step in the ring with their opponent.

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Finally, the movie is a marvel technically as well with its expert sound design and great camera work. In a boxing film, sound design is important it’s crucial to be able to feel the punches being thrown and you do here. The camera work isn’t something to scoff at either. Generally, I remember a few camera shots during a film and that’s because they stood out to me. Time and time throughout this movie I was surprised by the great camera work. This film is an unreal sequel that I had the pleasure to see in theaters. I wholeheartedly recommend this to Rocky fans and newcomers as well with the need to see a quality film.

Verdict 9 out of 10 stars

Review: Is Night School as Bad as the Reviewers Say? Let’s Find Out!

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Night School is a comedy about Teddy Walker (Kevin Hart) having to attend night school to obtain his GED after running into some unfortunate events. Once Teddy returns to Highschool he finds himself in a class full of misfits. A teacher who isn’t going to let him pass unless he puts in the work and a principle that he used to go to school with that holds a grudge with Teddy to this day. Let’s just say things aren’t going Teddy’s way.

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Don’t get me wrong this film is not a revolutionary comedy, but I think critics got it wrong. There are plenty of genuinely funny moments along with enjoyable characters as well. The pros far outweigh the cons with this flick and I’m not just saying that because I like Kevin Hart.

This cast stands out even while being total cliches of other comedies. You have the conspiracy theorist, the person who is in a bad relationship, the teenager with a bad attitude, and plenty of other tropes we’ve seen before. Surprisingly, they make it work in this film. The classmates are one of the best parts of the movie for this reason.

In my opinion, this movie wouldn’t be half as good without the excellent work of Carrie (Tiffany Haddish). She is the night school teacher and she does not disappoint. The way that Teddy and Carrie work off of each other in this film works very well. This isn’t a Shrek and Donkey situation where one hates the other. They have their differences, but even early on you can tell they enjoy each other’s company. That only makes their scenes funnier because of their chemistry.

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On the not so bright side, I don’t believe the level of friendship these characters share towards the end of the film. There were definitely bonding moments, but not enough on the screen to justify how they treat each other in the final act. Also, the conflict feels a bit too forced.

Conclusion

Night School is a great flick to go see with your buddies. It has plenty of cliches but the cast works together well enough that you gloss over the things that you’ve seen before in other films. Some of the moments in this film aren’t deserved because they didn’t put enough effort into building up to them. I don’t think this film is bad by any means or that it’s even average. It is my belief this movie deserves better ratings from critics despite the fact the directors didn’t try to do anything revolutionary.

Verdict: 7 out of 10 stars.

 

Halloween Spoiler-Free Review: A Surprisingly Interesting Sequel That Improves off of the Mediocre Most Recent Entries

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7.5 out 0f 10 – 7.5/10

It has been 40 years since that night where Micheal Myers struck for the first time now the time has come for him and his previously escaped victim Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) to resume their dangerous feud. This film is a direct sequel to the first movie created by John Carpenter that released all the way back in 1978. Admittedly I didn’t quite know what to expect coming into this motion picture, but I certainly was not disappointed. Instead of an hour and 44 minutes of Myers going around leaving blood and gore wherever he goes, the movie seems to be more sophisticated than that. Director, David Gordon Green doesn’t play it safe which was a fear of minegoing into the film. I can say now that this movie benefited from being independent of the other sequels.

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A lot has changed since we saw both Myers and Strode on the big screen. Myers has been locked in an Institution for 40 years, but when a bus transfer goes haywire he’s on the loose once again. Strode has been preparing herself for this moment for a long time and she’s finally ready to face her fear and kill the masked murderer.

As mentioned previously the movie doesn’t begin with blood everywhere, in fact, it’s the second half of the film that gets all of the action. I cannot complain about the way Green went about pacing the first act though. We meet all of the important characters of the film early on and get a sense of what they’re like. The most interesting in my opinion is Strode. Being attacked by Myers changed her life forever and she is living in constant fear. While watching this film I believe that she is ready to deal with her demon, but she’s fearful. She wants Myers out of her life for good and she is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve that goal.

As much as I would like to praise this film the dumb horror tropes are something to be frowned upon in this suspenseful sequel. I won’t get into specifics, but the classic questions pop into viewers heads while watching this film: “Why did he go in there?” “How did she trip?” “Why aren’t they running?”. It’s very frustrating because not all of the scenes are like that. Sometimes characters don’t deserve to die because they did something stupid they died because the antagonist was smarter than them. At the end of the day though I can’t really forgive the ways some particular characters lost their lives.

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As horror movies have evolved they generally have one thing in common and that’s jump scares. They are the fart jokes of comedy movies, just so expected and disappointing to see in a large abundance. While watching this film I didn’t think it was scary none of the scenes made me jump in terror. However, that’s fine I normally don’t react to most horror films. Ultimately though I think this movie could’ve been scarier if they didn’t rely on so many jump scares. The only thing worse than a jump scare is a jump scare everyone in the audience saw coming. In most horror movies that manage to scare their audiences the people watching most of the time didn’t expect what actually scared them to occur at the time it did. For example, if someone slowly opens a closet and the murderer is behind that door no one gets surprised. I don’t know if the director meant for this to be a terrifying film, but if that was his goal he did not achieve it.

In Conclusion, Halloween (2018) is just the change that this series needed. Rebooting after some terrible sequels sometimes are the perfect way to launch your series back into the limelight. Strode is the reason why I enjoy this movie as much as I do. She really holds the film together even at the slower parts of the film. This movie admittedly could’ve been scarier and there are some scenes that will upset you with a character’s actions. However, at the end of the day, I think this movie achieved its goal of bringing the Halloween series to a new generation, but also leaving enough for the audiences who saw where it all began.

Brad Miller

Spoiler Discussion: Avengers: Infinity War Takes the Superhero Genre to Places It’s Never Been

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Thanos Level Villains Are the Expectation Going Forward

Most superhero movies don’t have memorable villains, which is a shame. When Infinity War released it changed that reputation. That’s not to say that there are no good villains in superhero flicks, however the bad definitely outweighs the good. Thanos is a character that as an audience you want to hate, but you also realize he isn’t just evil in general. He’s attempting to save the universe, but he’s going about it in the wrong way.

Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War Official Trailer

On Titan, one of the best battles took place. Thanos possesses a weapon that makes him one of the most powerful beings in the universe. It was important to make it seem that he does have an insane amount of power. We haven’t seen that very often where we fear our heroes might not win the fight. Iron Man, Spiderman, Doctor Strange, Starlord, and Mantis all come together here to make an amazing battle sequence. This is the first time in the film, we see Thanos actually show off some of the impressive powers of his gauntlet. At one point he even drops a moon on Tony Stark which just shows he is so incredibly strong and that’s good. I think it’s important for the villains of these types of film to challenge the heroes. If there’s no challenge its hard to take the antagonist as a threat.
Marvel did not disappoint here at all with the ending of this movie either. They did something most people in the audience could not believe. Thanos wins and defeats our heroes. Once he gets all of the infinity stones half of the population gets wiped out. People begin to turn to dust and the Avengers cannot believe what they’re seeing. It left chills down my spine after the movie ended. I seriously was in shock, I expected a couple of deaths, but never did I think that the Avengers would lose the fight. On top of that, they end the film with so many questions to be answered. I’m sure this will make audiences flood the theatre when the next Avengers film comes out and I am truly excited for the sequel.

Review: Deadpool 2 the Prime Example for R-Rated Superhero Flicks

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Spoiler-free review: Deadpool 2 may take a while to get into the bloody action and the fourth wall breaking jokes. However, when it does this film easily proves why Deadpool belongs in the cinema.

For the past few years, it feels like Marvel has completely taken over the superhero movie audience. These movies while enjoyable also tend to have quite a lot in common. Deadpool shakes up that formula and it is very refreshing. Ryan Reynolds truly is Deadpool he has taken this character much further than most even anticipated. Only a few actors can make their face stick to a character and Reynolds surely gets that job done in this violent comedy.

The first film spends a lot of its runtime catching the viewer up with the current events of the film. This sequence ends up taking about one act away from the film which makes you feel like you aren’t getting anywhere. Deadpool 2 doesn’t have many long sequences the story flows well and doesn’t have that awkward period in the first film where there is just an overabundance of violence with no comedic sections.

The action in this movie is easily better than in the previous film. Deadpool 2 ties jokes even into the action which leaves audiences laughing even at the goriest moments. Other characters within the film make up for the fact Deadpool has no flashy powers. Black Panther suffered from this during its action sequences. there’s just nothing very special about a fist fight in a super suit. When audiences come to view superhero movies they want to see things they haven’t seen a billion times.

Deadpool 2 – Official Trailer 

In a film where your protagonist can break the fourth wall and can regenerate from almost everything, it’s hard to feel tense while they are in combat. You know Deadpool will get the job done so there’s not really any tension during the action sequences. That’s not a complaint either that’s just how this character works, however that means there must be a fine balance of comedy within the action. In this sequel, l it seems that they drop many more jokes than in the first. Even if all the jokes don’t land for you there’s a good amount throughout the whole film so you’ll most likely find yourself laughing at some point in this comedy.

If plot-heavy films are your preference this will not be the film for you. It is very all over the place and only in the third act do they focus on the antagonist of this film. The villain leaves a bit to be desired, however, they do give hope to a brighter future in the Deadpool franchise. In conclusion, Deadpool 2 does many things better than its predecessor. The pacing is improved, the action is certainly better, and the introduction of new characters leaves a bright future for the murk with a mouth.