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Posts Tagged ‘New Movie reviews’

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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 Marvel’s Venom, starring Tom Hardy and directed by Ruben Fleischer tells the story about an investigative journalist named Eddie Brock who is on the verge of exposing some dangerous and incriminating information about a company lead by Carlton Drake. In the process, Brock is exposed to a powerful extraterrestrial substance, which transforms him into a powerful creature known as  Venom. Venom/Brock, who is also known as a symbiote wrecks havoc upon the city as he tries to protect himself from the very people that claim to want to help others. Brock’s life is turned upside down as he tries to make sense of what is happening to him.  In the process of him trying to protect himself and the one he loves he loses everything that he has worked so hard to gain.

Venom is a great movie. The storyline works well, but I think it does conflict with the past knowledge of the fact that Spiderman and Venom are enemies. This stand-alone film eventually portrays Venom as one of the good guys, so I am assuming that Marvel must have another Spiderman movie in works that will go back and fill in the gaps among these two characters. The special effects were great, and the character design was really vivid and creative. The character transition between Brock and Venom was multidimensional and done in a very unique way that showcased the individualism between the two. Hardy did a wonderful job portraying the double role and bringing both characters to life in such a self-defining manner. Everything with this movie fell into place, the score, supporting actors and the visual representation worked well. I’m looking forward to seeing Hardy reprise this role in the near future. I want to know more about Venom.

Overall this movie is a must-see, a new villain is introduced which will be portrayed by the great Woody Harrelson (Cletus Kasady). The complexity and depth that he puts into his acting will be much anticipated in the Venom sequel.

I gave this movie 5 stars!

Check out the trailer below.

L.L.

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dr-strange-poster

Dr. Strange Movie Review

Marvel’s Dr. Strange starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton was directed by Scott Derrickson. This was a thrilling adventure that was absolutely sensational.  The story follows a very successful neurosurgeon Steven Strange as he suffers from a horrific car accident. His body is left broken and spirit shattered as he tries to pick up the pieces of a life that will never be the same again. Strange receives word from an occupational therapist that a man he knew was in a similar situation and found an alternative way to heal his body and spirt in the process.

Strange seeks answers across the world, with the hope that he will be able to heal and become the surgeon that he once was. He meets two people on his journey Mordo and the Ancient One. They expose Dr. Strange to a world of infinite possibilities by opening the doors to a wider consciousness and teaching Dr. Strange the rules of magic that dwell within the realms of multiple dimensions. Strange opens himself up and allows his belief in medicine fuel his drive to see this world and the worlds beyond differently. In the process he is faced with many challenges and an enemy that poses a threat that could end humanity. Strange takes on the threat and becomes an entity that’s strength is built on his knowledge and increasing magical abilities. Throughout the film Strange is constantly evolving and becoming better than his previous self. He ends up becoming the guardian of New York City.

Dr. Strange came out on top and was one of the best superhero movies I’ve seen since the Avengers. There were references to the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, so I am excited to see how this whole story is going to unfold. The special effects were amazing and had a strong Inception feel to it. I would love to see what the storyboards look like frame by frame for each scene. Hopefully the DVD will have bonus features like that in it.  The storyline was great and I actually felt like there were also many Swept into the Darkness references made throughout the film as well. The dark dimensions and the ability to manipulate time within the cosmos, are major elements in the book and movie. Swept into the Darkness is about the battle between Good and Evil among Heaven and Earth and Sydney London, the main character must travel within the dimensions and use her angelic powers to defeat the evil.  Swept into the Darkness is available on Amazon.com and written by yours truly.

Benedict Cumberbatch was a great casting choice and I felt that the whole cast was awesome in contributing to the story-telling process. I rarely see movies a second time in the theater but this movie is worth the money and a second trip. I saw it in 3D which added to the overall experience. If you have not seen this movie yet please go see it.

I give Dr. Strange 5 stars for being just outright awesome and giving meaning to what a cool movie can look like.

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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Lucy poster

Lucy directed by Luc Besson and starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman tells an interesting story about a young woman living in Japan that gets swept up into an international drug trade.

The film opens with a so-called friend Richard, trying to convince Lucy to take a mysterious briefcase to someone that she doesn’t even know. Very reluctant to do this favor, Lucy denies his request and she is forced to put herself in a situation that will eventually change her life forever.
Lucy enters the dark world of the unknown as she encounters a group of Japanese Mob men that basically plays Russian Roulette with here life.

She is attacked and forced to smuggle drugs back into the US with an implanted bag of a synthetic pregnancy hormone.
Lucy tries to rebel against her captors and is attacked once again. The bag explodes inside her, and the drug is released into her bloodstream as it opens up a whole new world of abilities that her brain unlocks.

Lucy escapes the prison that she is being held in and soon reeks havoc upon everyone that was responsible for her pain and suffering.
Lucy’s brain functioning is evolving by the minute. She seeks the help of Professor Norman, a Brain Scholar (played by Morgan Freeman, as she tries to cope with her new found intelligence.
One by One she picks off the Japanese Mob crew. Her crusade to put an end to their plan starts a war between her and the Boss. He will stop at nothing to see her die and does everything in his power to make that happen.

In the end Lucy meets allies on her journey for revenge and leaves the legacy of her intelligence behind for the professor.

I thought the overall concept for this film was awesome and I could see the future makings of a great superhero film.
I really enjoyed the special effects, but felt as though there were some unnecessary scene flashes such as the animals running in the beginning,it seemed out of place. The movie was too short, but I felt that the imagery was Sci Fi driven and the action scenes were engaging.
I gave this movie 3 stars.
L.L.

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Dawn of the planet of the apes

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, directed by Matt Reeves and starring Andy Serkis was an outstanding film that has all the elements that make a blockbuster.

The movie takes place ten years after the Apes emerged to claim their freedom. The world is plagued with a virus that has wiped out most of the human race. Led by Ceaser and portrayed by Andy Serkis, the apes build a world where they thrive as they band together to protect their home. A group of human survivors led by Malcolm and played by Jason Clark encounter the apes in their search to bring electricity back to the city, so they can begin to restore the life they had before the virus.

Caesar struggles with trust issues with the humans as Malcolm tries to convince him to come into their territory so they can restore power. Ceaser agrees but on the condition that the group of humans enter without weapons. Some of the people in the group battle with their own issues with the apes, in fear that they will be attacked. They betray the trust that is established and Caesar questions their true intentions.

Koba—one of Caesar’s lieutenants, who was rescued from the Genesis research facility in the first film holds an unforgiving grudge against the humans and will stop at nothing to break the peace among the two species.

Ceaser sets an example by teaching non violence, community and morels to his fellow apes, but despite his efforts to spare the lives of humans and the apes—a fight between the two is inevitable.
Initiated by Koba, a war breaks out as the two groups fight for freedom. Ceaser almost meets his death as Koba betrays him in the worse way. After his home is destroyed in the forest and he is left for dead, Caesar is saved by Malcom. They seek a safe haven away from all the destruction as Caesar returns to his old home with Malcom and his family to recuperate from a gunshot wound. While on the mend, Caesar makes a connection with Malcolm and reconigizes his genuine nature as demonstrated with his past relationship with Wil Rodman, played by James Franco in the first film.

Meanwhile Koba kills his kind as he makes an attempt to intimidate the other apes to follow him. The apes invade the community of humans and capture them. Koba’s intention is to inflict the same pain on the humans that he endured within the facility.

The final battle between Koba and Caesar is an intense one, filled with lots of action and high energy sequences. The power and emotion behind these scenes are adrenaline driven and will leave you on the edge of your seat the entire time. In the end, power was restored within the city, Caesar killed Koba, re-claimed leadership among the apes and was reunited with his family.

The 20th Century Fox film is an experience that movie goers must see to believe. The visual presentation, special effects ,score and the emotions behind the CG characters bring the story to life in way that demonstrates a creative craft that is absolutely impeccable. Even the language of the apes was impressive, the sign language blending with English and the dialect of the apes fit the tone of the film and was delivered in a manner that made you appreciate what this film represents.

Andy Serkis’ portrayal of Caesar was astounding. If the Academy does not nominate Serkis for an Oscar then they really need to re-evaluate their whole nomination process. This movie grossed big at the box office and the marketing plan was strong in their efforts to draw in movie goers, so why are most films nominated that people have never even heard of, seen and or released in a limited capacity? I’m looking forward to Andy being acknowledged in the Oscar Realm. He deserves it.

Dawn of the Planet of Apes has become an instant modern classic and was masterpiece in every way shape and form that a film can be.
A must see on your summer movie list. I gave this movie 5 Stars!!
L.L.

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Transformers Age poster

Transformers:The Age of Extinction directed by Michael Bay and starring Mark Wahlberg was an action packed film filled with heartstoping adventure. The movie takes place 5 years after Optimus Prime and the Autobots saved the human race from Megatron and the Decepticons.

Prime and the surviving Autobots are now in hiding from the government and have a large price on their heads. A struggling mechanic, Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) purchases a run down truck that just so happeneds to be the transformer Optimus Prime. As the the Autobots come out of the shadows, they rise up to face a new threat— the humans, and newly manufactured transformers. Feeling betrayed by the humans, the transformers put aside their trust issues to team up with Cade and his family. Cade and his daughter Tessa are now wanted for harboring a transformer fugitive— Prime. They band together with Optimus and the other Autobots to once again save the human race from being destroyed. This time they must locate and take an object called “the seed” and remove it from the possession of the humans. The humans working on the project unknowingly realize that the seed has the power to destroy the entire world. An inside man working for the government- Harold Attinger played by Kelsey Grammer betrays his people by being in league with one of Optimus’ worse enemies.

The battle is on as good faces evil. The Autobots strive to defend and protect the planet. Optimus recruits the Dinobots as they lay dormant, deep in the mountains of China. They fight with bravery and honor as they struggle to battle a power that has been engineered.

The age of extinction was a great movie. Every other scene was an action sequence, and the special effects were eye-catching and emotion driven. Mark Wahlberg, Kelsey Grammer and John Goodman portrayed memorable characters. The storyline was a bit predictable, but overall you really don’t miss the characters from the past three films. It stood out on its own and everyone contributed a little something new to the already established franchise. The score was the only thing that I had a problem with. It wasn’t nearly as good and engaging as the past three movies, but the cars that were featured were more luxurious. Nicole Peltz— Tessa aka Bates Motel’s Bradly, was a breath of fresh air which added a modern flair to the film. Spielberg executive produced and Micheal Bay’s vision once again reflected the overall tone of the film.

Put this movie on your summer to see list. I gave it 5 stars.
L.L.

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