The Most Unique Animated Series on Netflix

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

 

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The Best Film of 2018

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

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!

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

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

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

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

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!

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