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Posts Tagged ‘Amazon Author LaTaeya Lane’

by LaTaeya Lane

AMC’s The Walking Dead started with a Georgia Deputy Sheriff named Rick Grimes, portrayed by (Andrew Lincoln). Suffering from an on-the-job gunshot wound, Rick ended up in a coma only to wake up and learn that the world he once knew was gone and riddled with the dead as they plagued the Earth roaming, lurking, and walking, ready to devour any living being that crossed their path.

Rick set out on a journey to find his wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) and son Carl (Chandler Riggs), and along the way, he met a man named Morgan Jones (Lenni James) that would save his life and set him on a path to great leadership. Rick found his family and a group that would be the genesis of a story that eventually changed how humanity would survive the apocalypse.

Rick’s sole purpose was to survive, and through that purpose, he strived to find a permanent place where his family and the community that he has grown to love could thrive and have a future; however, for Rick’s purpose to have true meaning he had to endure the psychotic nature of many different enemies. Unfortunately, those enemies included people from other groups.

Rick’s leadership started with a small camp just outside of Atlanta. From there, his survival adventure led him to a farm where he met The Green family, then he and his group lived on the road for a while. Next, he found a Prison where he thought he could build a life and fortify. After he crossed paths and fought and survived Woodbury’s Governor (David Morrissey), he and the group again tried to start over. On the road again in search of a new place, he and the group met a man named Aaron (Ross Marquand), bringing them to a gated community called Alexandra. It is there where Rick and the group find their place until they meet a group called The Saviors, led by the now famous Negan (Jeffery Dean Morgan). After many lives lost and another war, the Alexandra safe zone is where Rick brings other local communities together, such as Hilltop, The Kingdom, and Oceanside.

As the years went by, Rick developed many friendships, allies, and enemies. He lost his wife Lori and his son Carl, but he was able to start over and build a new life with his daughter Judith (Cailey Fleming) and his partner, the katana-wielding Michonne(Danai Gurira).

After years of fighting and shortlived moments of peaceful times, Rick’s survival is tested again as he attempts to save his community from Walkers breaching the borders of the Alexandra safe zone. We last see Rick being taken away in a helicopter as he seeks medical attention for his injuries as directed by his possible ally Jadis (Pollyanna Mcintosh), who he met while trying to form an alliance to fight against Negan and the Saviors.

The surviving members of Rick’s group have done their best to pick up the pieces of a life first orchestrated by Rick. Many years have gone by, and we now see the group has left Alexandra to seek a new home and more opportunities for growth and expansion in a place called the Commonwealth. However, things are not as they seem. The organization of this group quickly reveals a vast amount of unfair treatment, injustices, and corruption among its leaders. We see the legacy of Rick Grimes live through each and every character as they prepare to fight the injustices of the Commonwealth.

Rick’s brother Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) has been there from the beginning and has now taken on the leadership role in Rick’s absence. However, he has also taken on another important role: father figure to Rick’s daughter Judith and his youngest son RJ (Antony Azor), whom he shares with partner Michone. As the final season wraps up, we find Daryl and the group back at Alexandra as they try to fight their way through a herd of evolving Walkers, tapped by the Commonwealth’s troupers,  searching for a safe place to regroup. At the same time, Judith suffers from a wound after she attempts to save Maggie’s (Lauren Cohan) life. Meanwhile, as Aaron and Jerry (Cooper Andrews) try to help Lydia (Cassady McClincy) cope with a newly amputated arm, they do their best to get back on track to be reunited with the rest of their group.

All the puzzle pieces move together simultaneously as the group fights through the darkness of what they thought would be a good life in the Commonwealth community. They fight for the true meaning of freedom and eventually are victorious, but not without the consequences and casualties of war.

The Walking Dead’s Series Finale tied some loose ends while keeping the door open to various storylines and spinoffs. Despite knowing that some stories will continue, such as Daryl’s, Maggie’s, Negan’s, and Rick and Michonne’s, it’s sad to see the end of an Era. The showrunners did an excellent job with the flow and finalization of the story as they showcased the continued strength and determination of the group to fight for what is right. The feature film length of the final episode brought tears to my eyes as I experienced the final zombie visualization push through the screen.

We have seen Rick’s story evolve through his eyes and through the eyes of some of the most beloved heroes and anti-heroes that the TWD universe has to offer. The reason why The Walking Dead is the greatest show of all time is because it is through its heroes that it displays the true nature of what it means to be human; the light, the dark, the strength, perseverance and determination, the hope of family faith and love, the spirit of friendship and loyalty all wrapped up into a shared experience that has transcended time and American Television. Rick’s story will live on because it is the story that has pushed the envelope and defined what it means to truly live as hope and light guide the way forward.

Check out the final episode trailer below:

L.L.

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by LaTaeya Lane

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Review

Wakanda Forever directed by Ryan Coogler and starring Angela Bassett, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, and Lupita Nyong’o follows the story of how the world of Wakanda tries to find its place as they deal with the tragic events of losing King T’Challa.

This film was an epic adventure that introduced fans to a new villain, Namor portrayed by Tenoch Huerta as well as introduced us to a new generation of Black Female superheroes. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s overall theme explored the impact of how devastating grief can have on loved ones as well as a community, but it also displayed the gentle tenderness of pain while exposing the grandeur and immense power of love, hope, family, and traditions.

The all-star cast conveyed raw emotion as their on and off- screen chemistry and love for Chadwick Boseman poured through each heartfelt performance. Angela Bassett delivered an award-winning performance as the mother of the late King while ruling as the Queen of Wakanda. Letitia Wright also deserves recognition for a job well done as she walked on the line of displaying such realism and strength in her role.

The Walking Dead’s Danai Gurira did an amazing job portraying the Wakandan General Okoye. Her performance projected the true spirit of love and loyalty in only a way that she could deliver.

The special effects blended well throughout the film and the score added to the raw emotion that the performers gave. The costumes and set designs were stunning as each look created a unique balance within the characters’ personalities as well as set the tone and mood to make the setting more magical. The action sequences were intense and drew you in as if you were fighting along with the characters. The origin story of Namor and his people was written very well and opened the door to an infinite form of possibilities regarding story development and the possible expansion of the Marvel Universe including the further exploration of Wakanda’s place in the world of the Avengers.

Marvel created an amazing tribute to Chadwick that is sure to leave moviegoers in tears. Overall, I gave this film five stars for the beautiful story and theater experience that it showcased.

L.L.

Check out the trailer below:

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by LaTaeya Lane

Spider-Man No Way Home Poster

Spiderman: No Way Home, directed by Jon Watts and starring Tom Holland, Zendaya, and Benedict Cumberbatch, picks up right after the events of Far from Home. Spiderman’s identity has been revealed, and he now must suffer the backlash of the world knowing who Peter Parker is. Out of desperation, Peter seeks help from Dr. Strange. Dr. Strange agrees to help, but in that process, the Multiverse is unraveled by a chain reaction of entities that poses a major threat to the current reality. Peter learns the hard way that his actions come with serious consequences despite the good intentions behind them.

Spiderman: No Way Home is packed with action that includes thrilling fight sequences that showcase a physically maturing Spiderman. The special effects are intensely done, and the cinematic elements transport the Marvel fan into Spiderman’s world. The Multiverse concept is blended into this story brilliantly and uniquely displays the creative components of writing. This film was exciting and worth all the time, energy, and funding used to create it. Tom Holland did a great job in his role as Spiderman. Benedict Cumberbatch was excellent as Dr. Strange, and the supporting cast had a beautiful way of projecting their chemistry on camera for all to see.

Spiderman: No Way Home is a must-see movie. I gave this movie five stars.

L.L.

Check out the trailer below:

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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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The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It “Review”

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, starring Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson and directed by Michael Chaves is the third film in the Conjuring Franchise. The film follows Ed and Lorraine Warren as they investigate a murder that is potentially linked to a demonic possession. Documented as true events, we see two characters and a story that explores how strong Ed and Lorraine’s love for each other is. Ed and Lorraine are in a different stage in their lives and careers as they continue to battle the dark forces to save and protect the families they connect with.

Overall, this film was strong in its storytelling components. Wilson and Farmiga make a great pair, as their on-screen presence continues to charm movie goers. The supporting cast did not do much for me. I was hoping to see some storytelling blending between the court case and the haunting/exorcism, somewhat like the Exorcism of Emily Rose. There were some noticeable horror references throughout the film that were fun to point out, but I did feel like the first two films were much better than this latest installment. I was also looking for a deeper connection to the Nun in this film, but that also fell a bit flat. Since the Nun has appeared throughout the franchise, including a prequel, I was still hungry to see if there was more to that story despite the ending in The Conjuring 2. The special effects were average according to my expectations. This film did not give me that “jump out of my seat” feeling, but it was still worth watching and it was a lot of fun.

This was my very first in-theater post pandemic movie. I gave this movie 3 ½ stars. I highly recommend watching all the Conjuring Universe Films.

L.L

Check out the trailer below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9Q4zZS2v1k

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WARNING SPOILERS BELOW!

Godzilla versus Kong, directed by Adam Wingard, is a sequel that merges the Godzilla and King Kong story franchises beautifully. A couple of years after a fellow Titan awoke Godzilla, the story takes place as fate and humanity’s influence evolves. Godzilla and Kong battle it out to rein as Supreme. As a new manufactured threat is soon unleashed, Kong and Godzilla realize that they are not enemies but allies. The two team up to defend the Earth and protect the people.

This movie was a great adventure that was a long time coming. It was filled with action, and the merging of both storylines added a lot of depth and complexity to the characters. It is rare to see monsters have such personalities and traits that humans relate to. People usually see typical monsters as entities that are not intelligent and are unreasonable. In this case, these characters’ foundations have such a compelling backstory that adds to the elements that make these characters so unique and memorable.

In the beginning, we see an older, gray Kong that appears to be relishing in peace, as if he is enjoying the first years of retirement. Kong has spent his life protecting others and defending those around him. He was a leader, a Real King. (A new foundational story that could come out in a future film). Godzilla, we see a powerful out of this world entity that does his best to find a space in the world that will accept his uniqueness as he molds the space to adapt to his unique needs. He understands the difference between right and wrong throughout this experience and has more human traits than we realized. 

(I love Millie: shout out to Stranger Things and the entire cast of this film, but it was clear that the stars in the movie were Godzilla and Kong.

The movie gets straight to the point and moves fast, which is excellent. The visual effects were amazing, making the fight scenes intense and an incredible experience to gaze upon the screen. The score and sound effects also added to the home theatrical experience while viewing on HBO Max.

Overall, Godzilla vs. Kong was that classic movie you watched as a kid in the 80’s but with an update that incorporates modern technology with futuristic fantasy elements. This movie is worth a second viewing, and I gave it five stars!

L.L.

Check out the trailer below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odM92ap8_c0

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As the intensity and anticipation grew over the last few months, The season Premiere of The Walking Dead unraveled like a roll of gift wrapping paper. Directed by the talented Greg Nicotero, the story continued as the wrath of Negan brought down his bat upon two of TWD’S most beloved characters. I’m still in shock over the whole thing and must say that theTWD PR team did a great job at creating such buzz for this season. The Internet was fuming with kill theories and videos about the potential victims but I must say that my own theories were inconsistent at times. I had a feeling that Glenn was going to die but I figured that the writers had other plans for Abraham.  I’m surprised that the show let go of two major characters at the same time.

I would like to begin with the flow of the story and the story telling process,which was done in classic Nicotero style. It was done in a way that brings the audience even deeper into the story with the realization that these events are happening to the characters.

The events are unfolding through the eyes of Rick as he watches the deaths of members of his family. Glenn has been there since the very beginning so it makes it an even harder pill to swallow. Rick is more vulnerable that he has ever been before. The kill scene spews an unimaginable sence of emotion that deeply impacts us, especially the charcters in the show.

Rick and the group are heartbroken over the loss of Abraham and Glenn and it seems as though the group is torn in a way that will never allow them to heal. 

The evil within Negan is gut wrenching but there is something about him that makes me like him. Maybe it’s the writers or Jeffrey Dean Morgan but I’m excited to see what kind of future he will have on the show. 

Overall the episode was hard to watch. I can’t stand to see Rick go through this turmoil. This season is already intense. What else can I say…..

L.L.

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The Magnificent Seven, directed by Antone Fuqua, and starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt, follows a bounty hunter (Chisolm) and six members of aquaintances as they help to protect a local western town from a rich industrial tycoon.

This movie was a lot of fun to see. It was well executed and the overall production was presented and delivered in a very authentic manner. The multicultural cast was just perfect and the on screen chemistry gave off a natural vibe as the movie goer watched the story unfold. The score was engaging and the mood of film was pure and reflected a feeling of old school adventure, something that most remakes lack. I thought that the movie was well done and exciting. It was a nice change from all the horror and drama that has been on the silver screen lately.  It was refreshing to see a cross of classic 90’s Hollywood actors like Denzel and Ethan, work with modern Hollywood actors like Chris Pratt. For those people who are not familiar with the 1960’s version, you will not feel like you missed out when watching this version. The movie had a great blend of modern film aesthetics while still staying true to the naturalness that the time period represents. The effects were not overwhelming but was done in a way that sharpened the story-telling process. Before the movie was over, I was hoping that a sequel could be possible, but I think this was a stand alone film.

This is a must see, if you are looking to have fun and be taken away to the past. I give this movie 5 stars. 

L.L 

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Don’t Breathe directed by Fede Alvarez and produced by Horror Legend Sam Raimi, stars Stephen Lang and Jane Levy.  The story follows a young woman and her two friends as she tries to make a better life for her and her daughter. Living the life of a criminal, Rocky and her two friends have knowledge and experience in robbing houses. They soon come to learn that a local blind man is sitting on hundreds of thousands of dollars of settlement money. The three decide to rob the man with the hopes of everything going smoothly. The plan is underway but things soon go sour despite the blind man’s disability.

This movie was just outstanding. It’s the perfect horror movie that fans have been anticipating for a long time. The intensity and suspense building is great. The overall concept was nice and fresh. The score kept the thrill going and Stephen Lang did an amazing job portraying “the blind man.”

I give this movie 5 stars, this is the type of film that people will be talking about for a long time. Go see it, if you haven’t already!

Happy Haunting

L.L 

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The Conjuring 2, starring Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson was thrilling and intense. Directed by James Wan, the true story follows the paranormal case files of the famed demonologist Ed Warren and his Psychic Medium wife Loraine Warren. This time the couple travel to Enfield England to investigate potential paranormal activity that a local family claims that is terrorizing them.

The Catholic church hires the couple to do a formal investigation to prove to them that a potential exorcism is needed to help the family.

From the moment they enter the house strange things seem to be happening but there are signs that just don’t point to demonic activity. A local sceptic is determined to prove that the young girl is faking possession episodes in order to gain attention. She films the girl having an episode and states that her video is evidence of the girl’s false intentions.

Ed and Loraine make an attempt to head home when the two of them discover that not only is the girl telling the truth but also that there is something deeper that they may have to face in order to save the girl and her family.

 

This movie was the most anticipated horror film of 2016. It was well done and did not disappoint. Since it was based of the real case files of the Warrens, it really made you think about the real dark forces that do exist within the world. Farmiga and Wilson were great as usual and I really hope that there are multiple films that come from the franchise. New Line still has the magic of bringing horror to us in ways that give their films a distinct feel that demands an emotional response from its fans and movie goers alike.

I give this movie five stars, it’s a must see film of the summer.

L.L.

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