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Archive for the ‘Fantasy literature’ Category

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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Warning  Light Spoilers below…

Season 10 of The Walking Dead directed by Greg Nicotero picks up several months after the people of Alexandria suffered major losses at the hand of the Whisperers. The story continues as Rick’s legacy lives on within Alexandria. The communities band together to prepare for another battle.

Daryl and Carol once again make a deep-rooted connection while attempting to make plans to see what’s beyond the realm of Alexandria, Hilltop, Kingdom and Oceanside. MICHONNE learns that Judith is a lot stronger than she seems and realizes that her maturity level is more than she anticipated. The group faces a major challenge as they attempt to stay within the boundaries of the agreement between the communities and the Whisperers.

Overall this was a very enlightening episode that showcased the strength of many of the newcomers. Some of our favorite characters like Daryl are opening up more and making more connections with the community. Alpha’s daughter is trying to create a home for herself in the community while Negan continues to step out embracing humanity.

The flow of the episode was good and provided fans with the expectations and excitement of what our vision of a season 10 premiere should be. The opening scene was epic and the show displayed a great deal of elevation and evolution among characters, plot, setting, and mood. The Walking Dead has now stepped into the future of survival and has demonstrated what true unity means within the spectrum of humanity.

I can’t wait to see how this season unfolds.

L.L.

Check out the trailer below…

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IT Chapter Two directed by Andy Muschietti and starring Bill Skarsgard, James McAvoy, and Bill Hader follows a group of friends 27 years later as they returned to their childhood home to battle an ancient entity known as Pennywise The Clown. Based on Stephen King’s original novel and adapted film, IT chapter 2 was the horror movie that I’ve been waiting for the past two years. This particular film answered a lot of questions for those who are familiar with the franchise, closed many gaps and connected the historical elements that the original film brought horror fans. It delves into the history of Pennywise as well as provided a deeper back story within the Losers Club characters.

Overall this was a very good movie; and all of the elements connected extremely well. The writing provided a sense of closure and final reality which crossed over into the elements of horror, romance, and comedy. The casting choices were amazing and each adult cast member brought their own uniqueness to the story while still being true to the story and the nature of the characters themselves. The blending of the past and the present was done very tastefully and with concise elegance and commitment. The special effects were interesting at times and well done with the goal of getting audience members scared. There were times when some of the special effects drew on the amazing historical connections of classic horror movie magic. I saw elements of a Nightmare on Elm St., The Shinning, and Evil Dead; all of which contributed to my love for the genre. My only critique would be that I just wished that this movie was released during the official Halloween season which would have added to the eeriness and scare tactics of what horror brings during the fall.

I think that Bill Skarsgard should be extremely proud of himself and the work that he did to create a character that was intensely scary. He can now join the elite club of iconic horror movie monsters with great honor.
This is a great movie to see again and I’m looking forward to adding it to my modern classic collection.

I gave this film five stars,

L.L.

Check out the trailer below:

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Marvel’s Spiderman Far From Home, starring Tom Holland and Jake Gyllenhaal tells the story of how a young Peter Parker and the world learns how to pick up the pieces of life without Ironman aka Tony Stark. Eager to go on a class trip to Europe, Peter plans to start living a normal life and finally decides to tell Mary Jane how he feels in hopes of inviting her to a romantic evening at the Eiffel Tower in Paris. His plans are quickly interrupted when he learns an evil villain has manifested halfway across the world to get Spiderman’s attention. Despite Peter’s efforts to ignore his calling from the legendary Nick Fury, Peter believes there is no chance to resurrect the once and thriving Avengers. A message sent by Tony put’s Peter’s life back in perspective, only for him to once again realize that it is still in his destiny to carry on Tony’s Heroic Legacy.

Spiderman Far From Home is an adventure thrill ride that brings forth the dawn of a new age of the Marvel comic films, while respectively giving fans closure for the loss of Ironman. It honors his heroism while still giving Spiderman the recognition he deserves to step in to be one of the sincerest heroes ever brought to life. The cast was great, and this movie returned the cinematic form of Spiderman into the beloved character we have loved in the comics for decades. Tom is a great Spiderman; this role was meant for him. Spiderman Far From Home is a great Midsummer Blockbuster film that fans will love. The humor, action, and the introduction of Mysterio was a breath of fresh air to the franchise.

I give this movie 5 stars, a rating that is deserving of a 21st century Marvel film.

L.L.

Check out the Trailer Below:

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Warning: Light Spoilers, nothing major…

Marvel’s, Avengers: Endgame directed by Anthony and Joe Russo and starring an all-star cast continues the saga of the tragic aftermath of how a once thriving Universe attempts to survive the events of Infinity War. This movie was more than an epic adventure. It was a riveting odyssey that had many defining moments that changed the way we look at life, face tribulations, and connect to each other through the meaning of love and sacrifice.

Endgame is probably the best movie I’ve ever seen. The blending of each character’s storyline and how they each connect was absolutely amazing. After Thanos destroyed more than half of the Universe, the remaining Avengers spend years trying to think of ideas that will help to undo his actions. Before seeing Infinity War, I predicted the method in which these Superheros would try to destroy Thanos, and I was right. Without giving too much away, I will say that time travel plays a major part in this villain’s demise.

Each one of the Avengers deals with the heartbreak, loss, grief, and guilt over the situation in their own way. They each find it difficult to pick up the pieces of life and move on. There really is no moving on in this situation.

The Avengers do their best to execute their plan, while Thanos continues to relish in his victory always staying one step ahead of the Superheroes.

This movie is beyond anything I could imagine for this realm of cinema. Every element worked. The writing is strong, and each character complemented each other. The onscreen chemistry and presence within the cast are immense. The connection they make with the audience transcends every heroic and love story ever told. The special effects were great. The emotional energy that this movie has will impact how you see the characters and comprehend the story; it will forever impact your life as a fan of the Marvel universe.

Avengers: Endgame is worth seeing multiple times. This an unforgettable Blockbuster movie that deserves 5 stars.

Check out the trailer below:

L.L.

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Pet Sematary, directed by Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer and starring Jason Clarke tells the story about a family that moves into a house and discovers an Ancient burial ground on their property. After ER doctor Louis has a paranormal experience working in the Emergency Room, Louis and his wife Rachel are haunted by two different ghostly creatures. Believing in the afterlife is the main theme of this film. Compared to the original film there were elements of it throughout the remake. The overall cinematic structure of the film was a dark homage to 80’s classic horror. The mood of the film mirrored that old-school feeling that scary movies gave off years ago. The actors onscreen chemistry were fitting and the writing was true to its originality. The effects did not overshadow the tone of the film. Overall the film was very entertaining and storyline convincing. However, I did feel that the movie was a bit short; like there is more story to tell, but something is missing. I would go for a prequel to this film and tell the story of how and who created that burial ground in the first place.  There is definitely more that can be created as a franchise feature. I highly recommend this film.

I gave this movie 4 stars.

L.L

Check out the trailer below:

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Us directed and written by Jordan Peele and starring Lupita Nyong’o is a supernatural horror that tells the story of a family’s encounter of doppelgangers. A family vacation at the beach becomes horrifying as Adelaide Wilson’s past portrayed by Lupita Nyong’o come to resurface with deadly vengeance. This movie had me at every turn. The opening scene in conjunction with a strong and mysterious score set a very intriguing tone for this film. The process of storytelling was done extremely well and the fact that I have never seen or heard of a horror film concept such as this made this movie so fresh and new. Lupita did a wonderful job holding her own in displaying a vulnerable inner and outer character strength. The children played by Joseph and Alex were very believable and shared a great presence with Nyong’o. My only reservation was the character of Gabe Winston portrayed by Winston Duke, the character appears to be a little out balance for me, but, the overall family dynamic and chemistry was blended well. There were some elements of light comedy that added to the authenticity of the film.

The dark aura that the film carried was a sheer genius and it gave me more reasons to question how deep is our reality. It was a fun thrill ride with unbelievable twists. This movie is an example of bringing horror to a whole new level of thinking and realization. The effects were good, just the perfect balance of visual representation through a lens. This movie is worth seeing twice.

I gave this film 5 stars.

L.L

Check out the trailer below.

 

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Captain Marvel directed by Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck and starring Brie Larson tells the origin story of how a Kree Military agent becomes a superhero. Bound on an intergalactic mission to capture alien terrorists, Carol Danvers learns the truth about her past and understands how her past connects the future of the Universe. Brie plays a very stoic character that is determined to embrace the power she has to defeat the evils that surround her. Overall I thought that this movie was interesting but lacked the full development in the storytelling process. Carol’s storyline seemed to be all over the place and appeared pretty disjointed. As far as Brie holding her own as the leading lady in the film, she did a nice job with making the role her own. Visually the movie did not disappoint. The costume designs were fierce and for the most part, the supporting cast was well matched.  I thought Jude Law tried too hard to capture the essence of his character, but Ben Mendelsohn as Talos was one of my favorites. Carol and Fury had nice chemistry, and their relationship made me appreciate his character more. I did enjoy the movie very much, but I think the overall concept was rushed to be marketed to the apparent links that will surface in Avengers Endgame. I hope to see more and learn more about Carol’s story in a way that will put the pieces together more clearly.

I gave this movie 3 ½  stars.

L.L.

Check out the trailer below

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DC’s Aquaman directed by the talented James Wan and Starring Jason Momoa tells the story of a half human hybrid that learns he is the heir to the underwater Kingdom of Atlantis. Born from the love of a human and the Queen of Atlantis— Atlanna portrayed by Nicole Kidman, Arthur Curry finds himself amidst a potential war between the Surface world and Atlantis- all initiated by his half-brother King Orm. Arthur makes several attempts to escape his destiny but is eventually swept away in a world that he can not turn his back on.  After much struggle and facing the battles of the sea, Arthur embraces his identity and takes his place as the rightful King of Atlantis.

Aquaman was a sheer delight to see. It took me into a world that was so unique and visually alluring that I did not want it to end. The origin story of Aquaman was well written and exciting. Jason’s portrayal of the main character was fitting. Even though we have seen Jason in this role before in the Justice League, Momoa still delivered in a way that was refreshing. It was nice to see him carry the whole movie, and not just have a few lines. I think he did a great job with the role. Nicole Kidman was stunning as Atlanna, and I was pleasantly surprised to see Patrick Wilson grace the screen as King Orm. It was nice to see him play a villain instead of the unassuming father or paranormal investigator, which I both love by the way.

This movie was a nice change for me when it came to James Wan’s directing. The special effects were amazing and well done. I’m looking forward to seeing this movie again. Visually it was so enjoyable to watch. The creativity behind the creature designs, as well as the underwater realm, can really be respected by moviegoers that appreciate the hard work that is put into a project like this.

Overall, I gave this movie five stars. It is a must-see for the holiday season.

L.L.

Check out the trailer below.

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The Journey of Rick Grimes all started with him being an average husband, father and Georgia Sheriff Deputy as he went out into the field to serve and protect the citizens of King County. He and his partner Shane answered a routine call to track down a perp in a stolen car. As Rick and Shane engage in attempting to subdue him a shootout erupts, and Rick is Shot in the process. This injury would change the normal path that Rick pursued while putting him in a coma for at least 6 months. When Rick awakens, he finds himself in a hospital bed hooked up to an IV and machines that are no longer working. As he manages to make sense of what’s happening, he realizes that the hospital has been abandoned for some time. He stumbles upon a set of double doors and written on the outside is “Don’t Open Dead Inside.” Unaware of what that really means, Rick manages to get out of the hospital. His first instinct is to locate his wife and son. He sets out on foot to his neighborhood and then his house only to find out the Lori and Carl are not there. Rick tries to convince himself that what he is experiencing is not real but things get worse as he continues to discover the truth. As Rick tries to gather himself outside of his home, he is knocked in the head by a stranger that would later become a friend along the journey.

Morgan Jones helps Rick and explains to him what is happening. Rick stressed the importance of how he must find his family immediately. Rick then takes Morgan and his son Duane with him to the local sheriff station where he arms himself with ammunition and other supplies. Morgan Duane and Rick eventually go their separate ways but Morgan and Rick attempt to continue to keep the lines of communication open on a walkie-talkie. Rick soon finds himself among the ruins of a once and vibrant city of Atlanta. It is there where he meets Glenn Rhee and a group of local survivors. The relationship bond begins to form as they take Rick back to a so-called safe haven which is a camp in the woods not far from Atlanta. It is there where he is unexpectedly reunited with his wife Lori and his son Carl as well as his best friend and partner Shane.

From there on, Rick’s Journey turns him into a Hero and a Leader. The group he encounters from Atlanta follows him to the CDC as he searches for answers to what this thing is and why the world has fallen apart. From the devastation of the events at the CDC, Rick leads the group to a quaint little farm which stems from the events of his son Carl being shot accidentally. The trip to the farm leads to loss but also to a road of remarkable strength. Once the farm fades and is overrun by Walkers. Rick must now face the Zombie Apocalypse with a pregnant Lori while Carl is on the mend from his gunshot. Broken by the separation of the group, Rick finds solace in the wisdom of Hershel as he soon finds himself back reunited with his family and friends. They set off to find a more secure place as they are on the road for the majority of Lori’s pregnancy. Rick finds the prison and makes an attempt to create a safe haven for his family and the people around him. After they begin to settle in, and Rick finds the will to manage the issues at the prison, he ends up dealing with the unexpected death of his wife as well as the birth of a little girl that he later realizes is not his biological daughter. He is riddled with grief and regret over his attitude with Lori. He goes into a depressed state but eventually comes out of it. He runs into the Woodbury leader, The Governor and with much determination faces off with him. After the Governor is subdued, the group is out on the road again. Separated again, Rick, Carl, and Michone set off to a place called Terminus. Lead into another trap where killers, psychos, and cannibals dwell. Rick reunites with everyone and meets some new friends along the way, as they work together to take down the people of Terminus. The road is filled with many threats, seen and unseen.  As the group gathers themselves in search of a new place. Rick and the group run into a man named Aaron where he brings the group to Alexandria. This is the place where he begins to build his life up again until he realizes that Deanna, the first leader of Alexandria made a deal with the Saviors. Obligated to continue the deal to keep people safe, Rick finds himself in an uncompromising position until he discovers his spark to fight back again. Death is on the rise among some of Rick’s closest friends. He is later faced with another brush with death as Carl is killed and comes to grips that the war against Negan and the saviors are the only way to survive the world. The war is won but as time passes Rick takes on some of Morgan’s “all life is precious” sayings as he spares Negan’s life. Rick spends his time rebuilding civilization with Michone and the others.

Rick has dealt with unspeakable violence, by witnessing the dead walk the Earth. By losing his wife, and so many people that he has cared for including losing his only son Carl. By being attacked, traded, by maniacs, Wolves, cannibals, psychopaths and other bloodthirsty villains. Rick has survived, persevered and been determined throughout his journey. I can’t imagine what life is going to be like without him. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a strong character as Rick. Now as he has entered another trial and tribulation period in his life, we must step back and think is this really the end?  Now we know the answer is no. After everything that has happened with his new injury, We know that Jadis helped him to survive. Rick Grimes has evolved into a superhero. All superheroes have a weakness, but superheroes don’t die. Even Superman came back from the dead, and I must say that Rick is TWD’s Superman. He will forever be deemed as television’s greatest man turned superhero. Rick will always be loved and always be part of The Walking Dead. Rick Grimes will forever be loved and adored. Thanks Andy!!!

L.L

Check out the Trailer to Rick’s Final Episode!

 

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