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by LaTaeya Lane

Warning: Mild Spoilers Below

Halloween Ends, starring (Jamie Lee Curtis) and directed by David Gordon Green, takes place four years after the last battle, which left Laurie Strode and the residents of Haddonfield still reeling from the traumatic events after Halloween Kills.

We find Laurie once again attempting to pick up the pieces of her life. This time we see her and her granddaughter managing to fuse their lives as they try to move on. Things quickly spiral once Laurie’s granddaughter Allyson played by (Andi Matichak) finds a love interest, Cory, portrayed by (Rohan Campbell) who completely changes the narrative of Michael Myers.

Laurie Strode, portrayed by the legendary Jamie Lee Curtis, is a formidable force to be reckoned with. After all these years, she still has a lot of fight in her. However, Laurie is much older and is in a different place in her life as she continues her battle with Evil. On the other hand, the Shape has also weakened with time, and moviegoers will see the effects of that weakness and how it plays such a pivotal role within this storyline.

Without giving too much away, I think that the film presented a fresh take on the lasting impact that Michael has had on Laurie and Haddonfield. It also gave fans an interesting spin on how the magic of horror can be revealed without remorse or explanation. Finally, this film introduces dedicated fans to a new concept of energy transference to The Shape’s, aka Michael Myers’ persona.

To some degree, the film did miss the mark on providing a better conclusion to Michael’s and Laurie’s story but overall, I was very satisfied with how the way things ended with Michael. At one point, I got excited about Cory’s introduction, thinking he might take the reins as a new reincarnated version of Michael Myers.

After 44 years of screaming, running, chasing, hunting, hiding, fighting, haunting, struggling, hoping, believing, and persevering, the Halloween saga has pushed the limits of horror. It has transcended time as the ultimate Good versus Evil theme and will forever reign as a staple in cinematic horror history.

Halloween Ends is must-see for those fans dedicated to the franchise.

I gave this movie 4 stars

L.L.

Check out the trailer below:

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Warning: Mild Spoilers Below

Nope, written and directed by Jordan Peele and starring Daniel Kaluuya (OJ Haywood), Keke Palmer (Emerald Haywood), and Steven Yeun (Ricky Park) follows a family and small California Ranch community as they experience and attempt to document a series of strange phenomena linked to an extraterrestrial probe that is connected to the sudden death of siblings OJ and Emerald’s father.

This Sci-Fi Horror is the summer blockbuster of the year. It was so exciting to experience this film in IMAX. For fans that believe in the Ancient Alien Astronaut Theory, this is the film we have been waiting years to see. The story was very well written and uniquely presented.  Filled with subject matter that Sci-Fi moviegoers are familiar with, however, the level at which this was brought to life was moving, and eye-catching. Daniel’s character performance showed a humbled strength that transformed and elevated every scene. Keke’s performance created a balance among the onscreen family dynamic and Steven Yeun’s character portrayal (Ricky Park) gave filmgoers the invitation to think and ask deep questions about the character’s traumatic past while connecting the elements of his story with the story of OJ and Emerald. The elements of horror were prevalent in certain parts of the film. There are some scary moments that will make you almost jump out of your seat.

The setting was structured well, and the plot had a special backstory intertwined within that gave fans an acknowledgment of great respect. The film’s visual effects and score were magical. All the components were blended to create a cinematic masterpiece. Nope is a movie that will open the door to a world of possibilities.  It is a great film that will give you the means to live in the moment while escaping into a world where the existence of aliens is no longer a secret conversation, and their presence is no longer part of the dark shadows of conspiracy theories. Nope…

I gave this movie 5 stars! It is worth seeing again..

L.L.

Please check out the trailer below:

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Thor Love and Thunder, directed by Taika Waititi and starring Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman, takes place some years after the events of Endgame. The story follows Thor as he tries to rebuild his life and the world of the Asgardian people. In the process, we find Thor battling against a dark entity known as Goor, the god Butcher (portrayed by Christian Bale), whose sole purpose is to kill all the other gods in the universe.

This film had a lot of subplots going on. It was enjoyable; however, too many comical elements within the film took away from the storytelling process. Some adult references were not appropriate for children. This movie felt a bit out of sorts with the cohesive story we are familiar with in a Thor movie. Parts of the story did fit, but I think it was how the story was presented that made me question the film. Christian Bale’s character was fascinating. This role added to his repertoire of diverse acting, but I think too much time was spent on how Thor would handle Goor. His idea to build a large team to help fight the villain failed fast, so it ended up being Jane, Valkyrie, and Korg as Thor’s backup. The costumes throughout the movie were very cool, and the score added an old-school youthful tone to the film. The visual effects were nothing out of the ordinary; however, I did have an issue with the look of some of the intergalactic creatures. The fight scenes were exciting to see. Jane’s storyline was a disappointing shocker, but I did enjoy (Portman’s) transformation into the “Mighty Thor.”  She did do an excellent job of portraying a superhero. It was also great seeing (Tessa Thompson) reprise her role as Valkyrie. As the “King” of Asgard, I thought I would see her take on a more leadership role in the film, which never really happened. She has the potential to be an extraordinary force in the Marvel universe with more character development and solo screen performances that truly showcase that potential.

Overall, I think that this film was fun. So please don’t expect it to be as complex as most Marvel movies in the past. I gave this film three stars. However, I think this film is better suited for streaming on Disney+.  

Please check out the trailer below:

L.L.

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Warning: Light Spoilers Below

by LaTaeya Lane

Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness is the second installment of Marvel films centered around the beloved Sorcerer.  Directed by Sam Raimi and starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen, this film follows Doctor Stephen Strange as he protects a powerful Multiverse Traveler, America Chavez, from the wrath of Scarlett Witch, aka Wanda Maximoff.

The movie opens with an action sequence only fit for a Marvel production.  The opening scene sets the tone for an unforgettable theatrical experience.  It was great to see how Sam Raimi’s directorial vision came to life, opening the door and allowing moviegoers to be inside the Multiverse.  Fans of Doctor Strange know that he has been seen across many films within the MCU.  The Multiverse of Madness was a film that showed how much Doctor Strange has evolved in his role as a leader and magical being.  He seems to be quite settled in his life and very confident in his abilities.

This fast-moving thrill ride brings Scarlett Witch to the forefront of being a major villain.  Her past trauma from facing Thanos and suffering from losing the alternate reality she created is the foundation of her pain.  Scarlett destroys everything and everyone in her path to get what she wants in an attempt to change the past and rewrite her future.  

The Multiverse of Madness was a film that brought many theatrical and literary elements together.  The visual piece that this movie presented was magical.  The plot sequences opened our minds up to the endless possibilities that the human imagination can create and execute.  The creatures, monsters, and other mystical entities were a blast to see on the Silver Screen.  More questions and theories surfaced while the adventure ran its course.  There were elements of horror and classic Sam Raimi representations throughout the film that worked together perfectly like intricate pieces of a puzzle.

The main cast worked very well together.  Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen made a great team, while cast members who played America, Wong, Mordo, and Christine created tight chemistry that added to the film’s overall tone.  There are a few surprises near the end, and fans should expect to hang back in the theater for two post-credit scenes.

I am looking forward to what the future holds for Doctor Strange.  This movie is worth going to see a second time.

I gave this movie five stars!

L.L.

Check out the trailer below:

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The Walking Dead season 11B Mid-season Recap and Review

Warning Spoilers Below!

In The Walking Dead’s season 11B mid-season Finale, we see Daryl, Aaron, and Gabriel on a mission with the Commonwealth’s troopers to clear out some buildings nearby. Unfortunately, things go left when Daryl realizes Hornsby is leading him and his crew into a trap. As they move with the troopers, Daryl works out a plan to take them down. A major shootout erupts in a salvage yard, and Daryl and company come out on top as they take down Hornsby’s men. However, Daryl is on his trail after learning that Leah is after Maggie.

 Maggie is on a path to put an end to Hornsby’s shenanigans. Accompanied by Elijah, Marco, and Lydia, she converses with Negan and Annie as she plans for Negan to watch Hershel, so he is protected from the crossfire of war. In the process of Negan accepting Maggie’s offer, she tells Negan that she is starting to trust him, which is a defining moment between these two characters. Maggie leaves Hershel with Negan and Annie and sets off the end things with Hornsby.

Back inside the Commonwealth Community, Connie, Kelly, Eugene, Magna, and Ezekiel are working to expose the community to the truth behind all the missing people in the Commonwealth. Max is working Behind the scenes to provide the group with evidence so she can fully expose Pamela Milton and the underhanded agenda that the Commonwealth community poses.

Leah and Maggie eventually face off in a fight to the death. This very intense fight sequence ends with Leah’s demise as Daryl saves Maggie with one fatal shot. However, as he defends her, Daryl shoots Hornsby in the face, which only angers him to such a degree that Lance eventually takes over Hilltop, Alexandra, and Oceanside.

Maggie and Daryl reunite with Aaron and Gabriel, not realizing they don’t have a safe and stable place to call home anymore.

Overall, this was a good episode that closed the chapter on Leah and her one-woman Reaper army while starting a new chapter revealing Lance Hornsby’s true intentions with the Hilltop and its sister communities. The shootout scene with Daryl, Aaron, and Gabriel was well structured and had a great flow. In addition, the scene’s mood had a freshness that added to the TWD universe.

The Maggie and Leah fight scene was epic, creating solid layers of character dimension among the two women. This scene gave us a chance to see Maggie in a different light. The fierceness within Maggie displays a complex character that has evolved since we were introduced to her in season two. Another character that has undergone a tremendous transformation is Daryl. First and foremost, Daryl has learned to trust himself and understands that he has a lot to offer. He has grown to become a force that people love, respect, and follow throughout this journey.

The scene with Connie and Kelly created a new mood that graduates the TWD universe into a New Era of progression. It makes a statement that whispers notes of the past while simultaneously implying that a future of collaboration and peace will not be possible in this post-apocalyptic world.

The final eight episodes of The Walking Dead will air this Fall and will surely keep us on the edge of our seats.

This is the perfect time to binge the entire show before the Fall.

L.L

Check out the episode trailer below:

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Warning: Beware of Spoilers!

Morbius starring Jared Leto and Matt Smith and directed by Daniel Espinosa, tells the origin story of the vampire hybrid that is known to be part of Spiderman’s Universe.

Morbius is a brilliant doctor that suffers from a degenerative blood disease. Determined to find a cure for himself and his best friend, he attempts to conduct an experiment that he hopes will change his quality of life. But instead, Morbius finds himself in a realm between good vs. evil.

I understand that the buzz going around has suggested that this was not up to Marvel’s standards, and fans have not been pleased; however, I thought that the film had a lot going for it. The most important concept was that this was not a traditional vampire story. This character was created in a laboratory: an extreme side effect due to the medication that Dr. Morbius injected himself with. The whole concept around this type of vampire was fascinating. The fluidity of the character was almost magical, and the transitions between vampire and human were blended creatively. When engaged in combat, the intensity behind the characters brought the anti-superhero concept into full force. I thought that the storyline had a good foundation, and the overall flow and mood of the film connected well. The movie gave us enough to gain interest and left us open enough for many questions to be asked.

I think that Morbius being added into the Spiderman Universe at this time could be interpreted as random since we haven’t even seen or heard of him since now. However, at least with Venom, he was slowly introduced, and then we got to see his character fully evolve with his stand-alone movies. Please note that the classic end credit scenes pose more questions, but we should anticipate a future Spiderman encounter with Morbius.

I am looking forward to a tighter storyline and more character development with Morbius, but I will continue to be optimistic about his involvement and evolution in the Marvel films.

Give this movie a chance; It’s not as bad as some reviews state.

I gave this film 3 stars.

L.L

Check out the trailer below:

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Warning: Spoilers Below!

Halloween Kills “Movie Review”

Halloween Kills, directed by David Gordon Green and starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Anthony Michael Hall, and Andi Matichak, is the sequel to the 2018 film Halloween. The film takes place right after the first film’s events where Laurie Strode and her daughter and granddaughter attempt to trap Michael Myers in a burning home to rid the world and Haddonfield of decades-old trauma and torment.

While Laurie recovers in the hospital, she and her family quickly realize that Michael is still alive as they band together with the local townspeople to help defend and protect each other. This movie was a lot different from the others in the franchise because it mainly focused on a variety of other characters’ perspectives that writers never before explored in the original films, such as Tommy Doyle, Officer Hawkins, and Lonnie Elam. We even see Nurse Marion as she joins the cause to help. However, once again, Michael proves to Haddonfield that he is a force to be reckoned with. Despite the efforts of Laurie and the strong women in her family, the darkness that is Michael Myers is practically impossible to overcome in this case.

Overall, I thought the film was exciting and well done. As a Horror fan and a fan of the Halloween Franchise, it’s just tradition to love a movie that defines the spirit of Halloween. It was good to see a more realistic hospital concept filled with patients and their families considering the deserted concept in the original Halloween sequel all those years ago. However, we’ve seen it all at this point, as police and the people in the town take shots and swings at Michael that have no lasting effect on him. We’ve seen him take out a whole police department and now practically an entire fire department. We’ve seen him throw people out of a window, strangle people in a car, impale people with strange objects, and so on. I’m not sure what the franchise has in store for fans in the future, but it may be time for Michael to retire his mask and for Laurie to enjoy the rest of her days with peace. The special effects and other production elements were done with a clear vision, but aside from the opening credits, the score missed the mark on so many levels. The classic John Carpenter Halloween theme wasn’t touched in a way that allowed fans to connect to the films as done in the past traditionally. I still don’t know how much I like the new story to reflect that Laurie is not Michael’s bother. I’m still processing that idea, and honestly, I may never get over that. This film’s body count is high, and Michael’s comedic and dramatic personality was still the same. Jamie’s performance was thrilling as usual, and the supporting cast brought a unique wave of interest that helped produce a decent flow of the film.

I gave this film 3 ½ stars.

L.L.

Check out the trailer below:

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Warning Major Spoilers Below:

The Walking Dead Season 11 Premiere starring Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, Lauren Cohan, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, opened with fans sitting on the edge of their seat.  We find Alexandria’s group trying to pick up the pieces of a broken community after the Whispers War. The group tries to move forward as they attempt to search for much-needed food and supplies with the hope of rebuilding everything that they lost. Unfortunately, their new mission takes them into unfamiliar territory within an abandoned military base.  In classic TWD style, the group must face a variety of threats, seen and unseen. Daryl leads the group as they work together to tactically maneuver throughout the space in order to gather the materials they need. Things go awry quickly as Daryl suffers from a cut that leads to a chain of events that once again threatens the group’s survival.

Meanwhile, we finally see how things unfold with Eugene, Ezekiel, Princess, and Yumiko as they undergo processing at the Commonwealth Community. With much anticipation, we are introduced to the Comicbook Character Mercer. He has a strong military background and is the head of security of this community. Mercer is very hard to read, but I am looking forward to knowing his on-screen persona. Trust is big here between both Eugene’s group and the leaders of the Commonwealth.  Ezekiel and the others attempt to convince Eugene that coming to this community was not a good idea, but by the time he realizes it, it’s too late. Princess reveals that she has some interesting and valuable skills to help the group escape; however, those skills bring Yumiko closer to a family member she thought she once lost.

After Daryl’s group retrieves some food and supplies from the military base, they realize that their food won’t last long. So Maggie proposes that they go on another mission; to return to the community, she went to when she was with Georgie. Maggie states that Meridian has food, water, and supplies to help Alexandria rebuild; however, the Reapers killed everyone and took over the place.  Daryl and the majority of the group agree to go on the mission, clearly understanding that it is a considerable risk in many different ways. The group begins their mission, where a host of dangers lurk around. A major storm blocks their path, but Maggie suggests using the subway tunnels to avoid the bad weather. They all agree, but as more dangers strike, Negan feels it is a bad idea to continue. He seems to have a working knowledge of the area; but, since Daryl and other members of the group struggle with trusting Negan, he and Daryl struggle to find common ground.  As they continue, Daryl gets separated from the group, and Maggie is put in a situation where she has to lean on Negan for help. Unfortunately,  it looks like he ends up betraying Maggie, but looks can be deceiving.

This is the final season of The Walking Dead, and I felt that this was a great start to building a conclusion that will open doors for more storytelling. It was so exciting to see Daryl and Maggie together. Norman’s on-screen presence brings happiness and delight to fans. His demeanor and attitude are the definition of cool.  He looks amazing in the opening scene as he overlooks to scan the area below to ensure the group’s safety. Carol’s strength and leadership skills are impressive and have evolved with time. The military set with the lurkers was a great scene. Their positions on the ground and the darkness of the scene was a different type of darkness shown on TWD. The atmosphere was a muddled, cloudy, dusty, desolate environment that doesn’t understand the concept of light. The lurkers appeared to be sleeping, which is something very different we see in this world. When Daryl’s arm is cut, and the blood drops into the eye of the lurker, it starts a chain reaction that awakens the rest of them. This moment reminds me of when Selene awoke Markus in the Underworld films. Remember, they were vampires. This whole place brings up a lot of questions that I hope fans would get answers.

Another major scene in this episode was the subway tunnel that was filled with Walker body bags. This was another dark area that looked cool and scary at the same time. It seems as if those bodies were there from the start, but I hope we are told a good story that explains what happened there and at the military base. Both sets were done with a lot of creativity and consideration of the changing world. The artistry behind the Walking Dead brings fans into the world. This is not just any television show, but it is the greatest show of all time. I suggest watching the episode again in search of Easter eggs. The premiere episode was great in all aspects.

Five stars!!

L.L.

Check out the official trailer below:

As a bonus, check out the official TWD promo song “Who Will You Become.”

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Marvel’s Black Widow, directed by Cate Shortland, stars Scarlett Johansson, David Harbour, Florence Pugh, and Rachel Weisz. The film goes deep into Natasha Romanoff’s past as it explores her origin story within the MCU. The events pick up between the events from Captain America Civil War and the start of Infinity War.

In this film, there are many questions about Romanoff that are answered. First, we are introduced to members of her family. We also were able to look at how her involvement as a spy/assassin has impacted the relationship she has with her family.  It is very evident to see the deep-rooted emotional scars that Romanoff carries throughout the franchise films, but now we understand why.  

What is nice about this film is that the director, writers, and Scarlett do an excellent job at creating and showing multiple layers of Romanoff that we have seen before while still allowing the audience to explore this character in a brand-new way without losing any depth to her.

Overall, the film was great but also very fresh. The chemistry between Romanoff and her family was tight. I loved the little comedy added into the script and enjoyed the detailed and elaborate action and fight sequences. The movie flowed well, and I had no issue with the length of it.  Florence, David, and Rachel did a great job bringing their characters to life. Their performances added more thrill to the film.  Scarlett did a fantastic job with her overall performance, and the storytelling process made us fully understand her character in a newfound way.

This movie is worth seeing multiple times. I gave this film five stars!

Please check out the trailer below.

L.L

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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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