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Posts Tagged ‘Dark Betrayal Author’

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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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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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:

Bill and Ted Face the Music, directed by Dean Parisot and starring Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter, picks up over twenty years after the events that took place during the Battle of Bands. Bill and Ted, married with adult children, still find themselves struggling to make their musical dreams come true while still hanging on to their unfilled destiny to save the world with a song that is intended to realign the Universe. As they try to fulfill their destiny and attempt to save their marriages, Bill and Ted are recruited by Rufus’ Daughter, played by Kristen Schaal, to come up with the Universe saving song in just a few hours.  Bill and Ted accept the mission and quickly head off in their iconic Phone Booth time machine to travel into the future to get the song they wrote. Meanwhile, Bill and Ted’s daughters set off on their own adventure to help gather important historical figures to create a brand-new band for their fathers.

Overall, Bill and Ted Face the Music is a great movie. The flow and tone of the film had a sweet familiarity that fans will appreciate and love. The reprisal of the original cast was refreshing to see; characters such as Missy, Deacon, Death, and Sargent Logan. The addition of Bill and Ted’s daughters added a refreshing take to the franchise while giving them their own special moments to share. (I got the feeling that Bill and Ted were passing the torch.)  Most of all, it was amazing to see the Holographic Image of Rufus played by the late and talented George Carlin. The emotions flowed when he came across the screen, and Bill and Ted acknowledged him tenderly.

The story was presented fluidly, while it answered some questions and tied some storyline loose ends. Some new characters were introduced, and the addition of Robot, played by Anthony Carrigan, brought the concept of “feel-good comedy” into the film. The scenes and visual effects brought the movie franchise into the 21st century, and Alex and Keanu’s performances were classic and magical. My only disappointment was the music within the film. I felt like there weren’t any staple musical performances within the soundtrack that added to the elegance that the first two Bill and Ted movies brought. I know that music plays a significant role in films, especially with Bill and Ted, but it is not a total loss. Just seeing Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter on screen together is worth it. Their on-screen chemistry displayed a connection as if the adventures of Bill and Ted never stopped. This movie will add to their legendary status.

I really liked this film and gave it four stars for good theatrical fun.

Check out the trailer below.

L.L

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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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