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Archive for the ‘Comic Book Movies’ Category

Warning Spoilers Below

Candyman 2021, directed by Nia DaCosta, written by Jordan Peele, and starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, appeared to be a retelling/sequel of the classic 1992 Horror film. The story follows artist Anthony McCoy, also known as the baby that was taken and almost sacrificed to Candyman in the original movie. Anthony’s goal is to become a prominent name in the art world. However, to reach his goal, he opens the door to resurrect Candyman through his artwork and loses himself and the life he has built with his girlfriend in the process.

Without trying to give too much away, I struggled to like this film. I tried because I loved the original, and I like Jordan Peele’s work. The storytelling process was a bit much, and I didn’t particularly appreciate how the writers tried to water down the legend that Tony Todd worked so hard to create. I was sitting on the edge of my seat the whole time, hoping to see Tony.  Honestly, the main reason why I wanted to see this film was that I was hoping to see Tony throughout the film, not just in the last five minutes.  The story about the baby being all grown up was a good concept, but it became lost when the writers attempted to recreate the story by adding “new Candymans” in the mix. The whole idea of trying to turn Anthony into Candyman wasn’t a good idea at all. The haunting elements that made this franchise so thrilling weren’t present. The story was overworked, and the kill scenes were just “blah.”  I will say that I was very excited when I saw Coleman Domingo (FEAR THE WALKING DEAD); however, when his character arc came full circle, it was just another letdown for me. The storyline was a little disjoined despite some elements from the original blended within. Although the cast was ok, I didn’t get that initial chemistry I usually see and discuss in my reviews. I was not too fond of the idea of multiple Candymans and one of them leaving candy on the floor before a victim succumbs to the hook. Another thing I didn’t like was how they tried to alter Daniel Robitaille’s (Candyman’s) origin story.

I still want fans of the original to see this film because it does make a great conversation piece. You will find yourself constantly comparing this new version to the original and analyzing the conceptual process of this film. Unfortunately, the film missed the mark for me, but maybe some new fans will come to like this version. I might attempt to watch it again once it is released on a streaming service.

I gave this film 2 ½ stars.

L.L.

Check out the trailer below:

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by LaTaeya Lane

New Wonder Woman 1984 poster is totally '80s

Wonder Woman 1984, directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot and Kristen Wiig is the second installment in the Wonder Woman Film Franchise. This film focuses on how Diana tries to deal with the devesting loss of her one true love, Steve Trevor, while she attempts to find balance in other aspects of her life. As Diana faces her grief, she encounters a darkness that is unleashed upon the world that threatens humanity’s survival. Diana’s choices and the choices that others make around her have a domino effect upon Diana.

Warning: Spoilers Below:

 I must say that Gal Gadot is an amazing actress and I love her in her role as Wonder Woman. Kristen Wiig, as Barbara Minerva, did a fantastic job playing the female antagonist.  Both women were great in this film. They had a lot of great scenes together and had great chemistry.

The main problem with this film was the overall storyline and score: The writing was so disconnected from the time, and the story did not cohesively connect to Diana. The opening scene takes place in a Mall, and I felt like Wonder Woman taking on a mall robbery was more appropriate for Spiderman (excuse the Universe crossover) but Wonder Woman in a mall saving people is beneath her and her abilities.)

The whole concept centered around Max Lord could have been done in a more creative and balanced manner. I liked Pedro Pascal as the villain, but the idea of him consuming the powers of an ancient stone could have turned into one of the greatest superhero good versus evil concepts ever written. The movie fell so flat on so many levels with the writing aspect. I also felt that the directing was a bit disconnected. When people watch this film, or at least when I anticipated watching this film, I came in with the same high expectations that the first Wonder Women film and the Justice League films created and delivered.

I must admit that I was disappointed.

If you are going to put a year in the title of a film, then you better be prepared to present aspects of score and cinematography in a way that transports your audience to that time. The mall scene looked like a mall from the ’80s but I can’t recall any other important components that would bring me to that time. As an 80’s kid, I wanted to feel those happy feelings and see those sights that would bring me back there. This film missed the mark big time, especially with the music. The music in a movie is responsible for the entire mood of a movie. It brings emotions, magic, connections; it is the last puzzle that connects all the other pieces together and unfortunately WW84 did not deliver that.

I have mixed feelings about the fashion. Gal and Kristen’s costumes were amazing! I loved everything that was presented in the film with those two. Even Steven Trevor’s costumes looked good, (they did try too hard with his wardrobe changes. I even loved Diana’s armor. I just had a problem with the fact that Diana should have had that armor when she and her Justice League colleagues battled Steppenwolf. The use of the armor did not seem to fit the situation she was in.

Overall, I gave this movie three stars for my loyalty to Gal and the Wonder Woman Franchise. It’s worth watching since WW3 is in the works, as well as additional Justice League Franchise films. I just hope that they upgrade their writing team for the future.

L.L.

Check out the trailer below:

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Joker starring  Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro and directed by Todd Phillips, tells the story of a Gotham City man Arthur Fleck as he attempts to achieve his dreams of becoming a standup comic while battling mental illness and struggling to find his place within a society that does not treat or accept him fairly.

I saw this movie opening weekend in October 2019, and then 5 more times after that. With so many things going on with work and grad school, I just did not have the time to review this film. This by far, I think is the best Joaquin Phoenix movie I have seen, in addition to one of the best movies of all time. There is something extremely deep about this film and the story behind it. There is such an odd connection that moviegoers have with the lead character Arthur. We see that he does his best to live a life that mainstream society may call, “normal”. Arthur works as an entertainer, trying to make ends meet, he takes care of his sick mother, and he is even receiving treatment and attempting to live with his inner struggles, by dealing with his mental illness, to the best of his ability. The character tries to deal with his issues as he displays independence and even attempts to have a relationship with a neighbor that appears to understand him, but overall the movie is not quite what it seems to be, at least through the main character’s eyes.

Arthur, as portrayed by Joaquin, is completely transformed into this the dark and complex character that we all thought we knew just through our background knowledge of the Batman comic book and film franchise but as we all know now, this film is a standalone movie but still artistically connects the historical relationship between the Wayne family and Arthur aka the Joker in a way that makes the two storylines blend together very well.

All the elements of this film are massive ingredients for a film success on so many levels. The visual representations were creative and authentic.  We were brought into the character’s world and underwent a journey of emotional experiences that enveloped a multitude of highs and lows, as well as revels shocking moments and moments of happiness and potential hope. This film has won several awards including a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama and an Academy Award for Best Actor as well as an Academy Award for Best Original Score. The Score took me to that place where emotions dwell deep within, where questions about the structure of how our society appropriately and inappropriately deals with mental illness, bullying, and the differences among people. Joaquin Phoenix in conjunction with  Robert De Niro and the supporting cast all created a world where the moviegoer sees the world of mental illness, poverty and the other complexities of life including the horrors of child abuse and enabling as ongoing issues that need to be exposed and changed for the better to improve the quality of human life.

Overall, I gave this movie 5 stars

Joker is a great film.

L.L

Check out the trailer below…

Check out the Amazing Bathroom Dance song that received an award for Best Score.

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