• Unbroken: Path to Redemption (2018) Review

    A FORMULAIC AND UNNECESSARY CODA TO UNBROKEN   Back in 2010, author Laura Hillenbrand released “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption”, a non-fiction biography book

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  • Captain Marvel Official Trailer

    Get ready for see something “marvelous” as Marvel Studios releases the official teaser trailer for their upcoming superhero feature Captain Marvel. View trailer below.

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  • Mary Poppins Returns Official Trailer

    The “magic” always returns as Walt Disney Pictures and director Rob Marshall release the official trailer for their upcoming film Mary Poppins Returns. View trailer below.

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  • 12 Strong (2018) Review

    A STEADFAST (YET SLIGHTLY GENERIC) MILTARY BIO PIC   On September 11th, 2001, the entire nation of the United States faced an imaginable horror; an act of terrorism, which was

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  • The Nun (2018) Review

    GOD ENDS HERE   Back in 2013, during the same July weekend of when R.I.P.D. and Red 2 were released, director James Wan released the supernatural horror film titled The

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Kin (2018) Review

A MESSY HODEPODGE OF IDEAS


 

A famous quote reads “nothing is stronger than a sister’s bond”. While no one can really deny that in intangible feeling, the same can be said (and argued) over the bond between brothers. Yes, a relationship with a sibling a brother (be it fraternal, step brother, or adopted) can be one that produces a lot love-hate (in both playful good times and powerful heartache), but also one that can simply be beneficial to a person; bonding through the years, sharing experiences, and having the special connection with each other through life’s trials and tribulations. Naturally, acting as a catalyst for dramatic storytelling, the relationship ideas of brothers has taken centerstage in several Hollywood movies. This idea of film narrative designs (be it supporting idea or a narrative centerpiece) has been seeing in many movies and from different genres, including Step Brothers (comedy), The Godfather (drama), the MCU Thor movies (fantasy / action), Warrior (drama), Legendary (drama), The Lost Boys (horror), The Outsiders (drama / crime), The Blues Brothers (comedy / crime), Defiance (war / suspense), Foxcatcher (drama), amongst many others. Now, Summit Entertainment (as well as 21 Laps Entertainment and No Trace Camping) and directors Josh and Jonathan Baker presents an interesting take on the brotherly bonding relationship with the movie Kin. Does the feature strike a chord with the sibling relationship drama or is it a cobbled-up iteration of different ideas and of a classic “mistaken identity” motion picture endeavor? Read more

The Darkest Minds (2018) Review

A CLUNKY “ONE AND DONE”

TEEN / YA ENDEAVOR


 

The YA (Young Adult) / Teen genre has had its ups and downs in some of its book adaptation franchises. Barring the more teen fictional romance “page to screen” endeavors (i.e. The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns, Love, Simon, and few others), which more of a “one and done” projects, the YA / Teen genre of films has focused on the more fantastical side of storytelling, weaving in elements of fantasy, sci-fi, and paranormal to entice moviegoers into watch the film and supplanting the idea for a potential franchise tag on these adaptations. While some have cultivated in both movie and pop culture success like the eight-part Harry Potter films series, the four-part Hunger Games films, and the four-part Twilight series, some films failed to spark popular cinematic praise for the “book to film” adaptations. Movies like Ergaon, The Mortal Instrument: City of Bones, Beautiful Creatures, The 5th Wave, The Golden Compass, and I am Number Four were widely considered “bad movies” and failed to connect with its viewers (or even its source material) and were halted after their initial installment was released, scrapping their cinematic sequels and abandoning their potential franchise tag. Even more so, some franchise, despite having an overwhelming bestselling success in its literary format, have either failed to find a steady medium with moviegoers, with movie franchises like The Chronicles of Narnia series, the Percy Jackson series, and The Divergent Series were all able to produce two or three installments, but failed to connect with audiences, which lead their potential follow-up sequel to be cancelled in the process. Now, in the latest endeavor of the YA / Teen book adaptation realm, 20th Century Fox and director Jennifer Yuh Nelson, present the film The Darkest Minds, based on the first book Alexandra Bracken’s teen novel series. Does this theatrical representation of Bracken’s 2012 book rise to the challenge of cinematic potential or does fall into obscurity with the rest of the “one and done” YA / Teen films of the past? Read more

The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018) Review

A TONALLY UNBALANCED SPY PARODY


 

Comedy films are a dime a dozen, examining the value of laughter within various types of jokes and gags in order to drum up entertainment humor within its viewers. While this genre has parody / satire other genres of movies, the combination of the comedy mixed with the action spy genre has been one of the more interesting ones to tackle. The blending of action aesthetics and bountiful spy nuances (secret agents, villainous baddies, high-tech gadgets, etc.) with the humorous beats of comedy is indeed an odd one, but has essentially proven to work, producing a concoction (if done right) that’s effective in both their respective categories. This includes films like 1985’s Spies Like Us, 1997’s Austin Powers (and its two sequential sequels), 2003’s Johnny English, 2008’s Get Smart, 2012’s This Means War, and 2015’s Spy are proof that the parring of spy / action aspects could effectively work underneath the guise of a comedy movie. Now, Lionsgate (and Imagine Entertainment) and director Susanna Fogel present the latest movie in the spy comedy subgenre with the film The Spy Who Dumped Me. Does the feature strike a balance between spy action and big laughs comedy or is it an unremarkable endeavor that doesn’t go anywhere? Read more

A-X-L (2018) Review

A BLAND AND FORGETTABLE FILM


 

The old saying “a dog is a man’s best friend” is a phrase that everyone has heard of, playing up the assumption of how the canine species (in all its variant breeds) have a special intangible bond with humans. The characteristics of loyal, kindness, protective, and intelligence are such traits that are commonly linked to dogs and the relationships they share with their owners. Given this special and emotional bond between humans and animals, Hollywood has utilized this “dog is man’s best friend” mantra in a plethora in both the small screen (TV shows) like Lassie and The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, (as well as Rin Tin Tin: K-9 Cop) as well as feature films like 1974’s Benji, 1993’s Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, 2008’s Marley & Me, 2009’s Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, 2017’s A Dog’s Purpose, and (most recently) 2018’s Dog Days. Now, Lake Shore Entertainment, Globe Road Entertainment, and director Oliver Daly presents the newest film to feature the relationship between man and dog with the movie A-X-L. Does this film find its cinematic human / canine bond or does the movie’s bites off more than it can chew? Read more

Deadpool 2 (2018) Review

A SEQUEL THAT REACHES A SATISFYING

EFFORT (NOT A MAXIMUM ONE)


 

In 2016, audience moviegoers were introduced to raunchy, darkly humor of the Marvel’s “merc with a mouth” comic book character in the movie Deadpool. Directed by Tim Miller, the movie, which starred Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, and Ed Skrein, follows the story of Wade Wilson, a mercenary, who develops cancer and undergoes a risky procedure that renders him deformed but granted with healing abilities; succumbing to the idea of getting even with the individual who made him this way. Despite the R-rating the movie received (a bit uncommon for a superhero movie of late), Deadpool was deemed a success, with many praising the violent and dark humor from its comic book source material as well as Reynolds portrayal of Wade Wilson. Given the success of the film, which raked in roughly $780 million at the worldwide box office (against its measly $58 million production budget), the movie was big hit and it was an almost forgone conclusion that a Deadpool sequel would be green-lit sometime after. Now, two years later, a follow-up sequel has finally materialized as 20th Century Fox and director David Leitch present the film Deadpool 2. Does this second installment keep in tone and presentation of how the first movie was or does its high expectations falter to what many are expecting in this sequel? Read more

The Meg (2018) Review

BIGGIER ISN’T ALWAYS BETTER


 

There seems to be a fascination of sharks in theatrical / cinematic endeavors. Over the years, these underwater sea predators, mostly the apex predator ones (i.e. great white shark, tiger shark, mako shark, blue shark, thresher shark, and hammerhead shark) have graced the silver screen with their intent to terrify viewers (and the characters in the feature) and usually act as a catalyst for a movie’s narrative path. Perhaps the most famous of all would be director Stephen Spielberg’s 1975 Jaws, which has become a hallmark feature in the history of filmmaking (even considered to be one of the greatest films of all time). Given its success by both critics and moviegoers, Jaws went on to spawn three sequels films (i.e. 1978’s Jaws 2, 1983’s Jaws 3-D, and 1987’s Jaws: The Revenge). However, none of these sequels movies ever surpassed nor matched the success to what the original Jaws film was able to achieve. Beyond the Jaws franchise, other films that feature sharks as primary antagonist includes 1999’s Deep Blue Sea, 2003’s Open Water, 2004’s Shark’s Tale, 2010’s The Reef, 2016’s The Shallow, and 2017’s 47 Meters Down. Now, Warner Bros. Pictures and director Jon Turteltaub head back into the depth of the ocean to unleash an enormous ancient predator in the movie The Meg. Does this movie sink its teeth in campy overtones or does it bite off more than it can chew? Read more

Christopher Robin (2018) Review

THE RETURN OF OLD FRIENDS


 

Since the start of the 2010s, Disney has undergone a sort of renaissance resurgence by going through some of its most beloved and cherished animated features and bringing them under a new light of live action. Beginning back with 2010’s Alice in Wonderland (presented as sequel to the original tale), Disney began its journey in presenting their beloved and cherished tales in a new live-action cinema light, translating the animated adventure into something more developed and elaborate than ever before. This includes 2014’s dark fantasy Maleficent (presented as a “another side” to the classic Sleeping Beauty), 2015’s more straightforward yet colorfully whimsical Cinderella, 2016’s epic take on The Jungle Book, 2016’s smaller scope (yet big heart) tale of Pete’s Dragon, and to 2017’s elaborate grandeur of the musical adventure in Beauty and the Beast. While these films have some debate / criticism amongst critics and moviegoers, it appears to be a winning formula for Disney, with general public of viewers are “enchanted” by these live-action adaptations and with their exorbitantly large box office numbers to prove it. Naturally, with a proven track record of success (and with other live-action remake projects on the horizon), Disney does not seem to be slowing down on this endeavor. Now, Walt Disney Studios and director Marc Foster releases the latest live-action remake with the movie Christopher Robin. Is this newest adaptation of an old Disney Classic worth seeing or is it a far cry from childhood memories of the Hundred Acre Woods? Read more

Teen Titans GO! To the Movies (2018) Review

A HILARIOUS SUPERHERO MOVIE

(THAT WE ALL NEED RIGHT NOW)


 

Back in 2003, the animated cartoon show Teen Titans premiered on Cartoon Network, showcasing the younger generation of DC Superheroes. The TV show which was primarily based off of the 1980s New Teen Titans comic book series, followed the adventures of the Titans team, consisting of superhero characters like Robin, Beast Boy, Cyborg, Starfire, and Raven and how the battle numerous villains and encounter several ally companions along the way. Teen Titans was met with overwhelming success, becoming one of Cartoon Network’s most beloved and critically acclaimed shows; being praised for its character development of its main cast and the overall serious tone of the series. Teen Titans, which was also nominated for three Annie Awards and one Motion Picture Sound Editor Award, ran for five seasons (a total of 65 episodes) before the show ended in 2006, with the TV movie Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo acting as the series finale. However, while fans cried out for the show to revived for a sixth season, the Teen Titans brand did return (several years later), but in a slightly different form. In 2013, a Teen Titan spin-off show emerged dubbed Teen Titans GO! on Cartoon Network. Much like before, the show followed the familiar roster of Titan team members (i.e. Robin, Beast Boy, Cyborg, Starfire, and Raven), but was a more comical-based series (more of loose misadventure series rather than its serious episodic narrative of the previous series). In a nutshell, the show explores what the Titans do when there hanging around the tower, more or less. The overall tonal change was a change of pace, especially for Teen Titans fans, but it was a welcomed one, with Teen Titans GO! still currently running (as of this review) in its fifth season (a total so far of 213 episodes). Now, expanding on the popular success Teen Titans GO!, Warner Bros. Pictures (Warner Bros. Animation) and directors Peter Rida Michail and Aaron Horvath present their first movie titled Teen Titans GO! To the Movies. Does this big-screen feature film endeavor do the Teen Titans GO! franchise justices or is it just a bloated madcap adventure or its fanbase (and nothing more)? Read more

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