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Posts Tagged ‘Swept Into The Darkness Author’

by LaTaeya Lane

Avatar: The Way of Water, directed by James Cameron and starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Kate Winslet, Sigourney Weaver, Cliff Curtis, and Stephen Lange, takes place years after we see Jake Sully permanently assimilated into the world of Pandora. Now mated for life with partner Neytiri, portrayed by Zoe Saldana, we find that Jake is also the father of four children. However, the Sully family’s happiness quickly fades as Jake’s old enemy Quaritch, portrayed by Stephen Lange, takes the form of an Avatar to finish the war he started against Jake.

Jake and his family are no longer safe within the trees of their forest home, so he makes the tough decision to move his family out of the forest and into the water world to seek refuge among a new community of warriors. The Sully family begins a new life as they learn the ways of the Metkayina Tribe.

Avatar: The Way of Water is a cinematic masterpiece with a little bit of everything packed into the three hours plus film. This film made magic real for me as I took this magical thrill ride of adventure into another realm of imagination and wonder. The addition of new characters quickly became favorites while we were enthralled to explore how Jake and Neytiri’s world has evolved since we last saw them.

This movie was a visual spectacle on levels that are difficult to express. Experiencing it in 3D created a layer of dimension that only a movie theater could bring. The characters and the actors that brought them to life created an element of cohesiveness and chemistry that worked to maintain a balance that made the movie flow effortlessly. The storyline-maintained interest, while the score made me want something more to add to the theatrical experience. James Cameron has done it again with his directorial skills and deserves an Oscar nomination and win for best film and director.

Overall, I gave this film five stars. It is worth watching again. It is absolutely amazing!!

Check out the 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.

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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.

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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.

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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 Spoilers Below!

Jurassic World: Dominion starring Chris Pratt, and Bryce Dallas Howard and directed by Colin Trevorrow picks up a few years after the events of Fallen Kingdom. We now see Clair and Owen immersed in a relationship while human society and the world of dinosaurs have been completely merged. Meanwhile, we see Allan (Sam Neill), Ian (Jeff Goldblum), and Ellie, (Laura Dern) reprise their roles as prominent paleontologists as they set out to expose a major revelation in the area of genetics. Clair and Owen quickly find themselves caught in a rescue mission while the doctors find themselves at the center of a dark conspiracy theory that continues to raise eyebrows in the scientific world.

Jurassic World: Dominion was a thrill ride that I hoped it would be. This film was packed with a lot of great action sequences. The casting was spot on and blending the classic franchise characters with the new generation characters worked extremely well. Adding new characters, DaWanda Wise (Kayla), and Mamoudou Athie (Ramsay), gave the storytelling process and overall character chemistry a light that brightened the story. The elements of humor and action added to the film while the mood created an atmosphere of adventure that left moviegoers on the edge of their seats. The special effects didn’t feel like effects. The components of cinematography brought you into the world as if it were real. This movie is worth seeing again for the overall thrill of adventure.

I gave this movie 5 stars. It is the blockbuster we have been waiting for!

Check out the trailer below:

L.L.

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Warning: Some Spoilers Below!

by LaTaeya Lane

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, directed by David Yates and starring Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law, continues the story of beloved magizoologist Newt Scamander as he protects one of the Wizarding World’s most delicate magical creatures from the hands of Grindelwald.

The third film in the Fantastic Beasts franchise touched on several storylines. We learned more about Dumbledore’s private life and his struggles while he embraced his role as a future leader of Hogwarts. In the process, we were able to see his power in full force and see how he manages to put the needs of others before his own. This film had a very mature tone while still managing to infuse moments of lightheartedness and triumph.

The introduction of a few new characters only tightened the plot and added to the story’s overall flow. The cast’s chemistry was on point, which created a unique feel that only the Wizarding World could portray. The costume design and classic score added to the mood, while the special effects created that magical atmosphere that all Harry Potter fans adore.

Overall, this was a great film that added to the thrill of an undying franchise. I gave this movie four and a half stars.

L.L.

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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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Season 11 Episode 9: Major Spoiler Alert!

The Walking Dead Season 11-part B picked up where we last left Daryl as he was officially recruited to join the Reapers. Still reeling from Pope’s death and Daryl’s so-called “betrayal,” we find Leah completely changed as her true colors surface while taking on the leadership role of the Reapers. Maggie, Elijah, and Negan find themselves in an all-out war against Carver. Determined to capture her to settle the score with Maggie, Carver’s army of one is eventually subdued. Negan leaves after the fight with Carver. Daryl manages to make his way back to Maggie while using the Reaper Carver as bait to negotiate a peaceful truce between the two groups. Gabriel lurks in the shadows while he waits for the perfect moment to strike. He briefly battles an inner struggle of faith, reason, and survival while engaging in a defining character moment with the Reaper Preacher. This moment shows strength and a formidable force that Gabriel tries to remain contained within but unleashes when necessary. Elijah is injured from the fight with Carver and makes Maggie promise that the Reapers get what they deserve after they kill his sister Josephine. Maggie’s take no prisoners attitude quickly contributes to things ending with the deaths of the Reapers by her own hand. Daryl and Maggie find themselves on opposite sides as Maggie attempts to end things with Leah. She takes a shot at Leah but only grazes her shoulder. Leah manages to get away, and Daryl goes after her but allows her to leave, realizing that they might have had a life together if they had made different choices. Maggie and the group find the food they are looking for, and she keeps her promise to go back for Alden. Unfortunately, she learns that Alden is now a Walker.

Suffering from another loss, Maggie and the group push forward as they reunite with Gabriel and the members of their Alexandrian Community. Daryl discovers that Connie is alive and well. Aaron and Rosita save Judith and Gracie from the basement Walkers. The community experiences a moment of peace, and when they think, they may need to fight again, Eugene returns with the Commonwealth Community. 

No Other Way was a great episode that closed one story chapter and opened another. We soon experience another time jump in the Walking Dead’s storytelling process. In the upcoming scenes, some Alexandria members are trying to fit into the Commonwealth lifestyle. As we see Daryl dressed in Commonwealth soldier attire, we are unsure what this means exactly. He approaches The Hilltop and comes to talk to Maggie or offer her something. Maggie seems uninterested, and the Hilltop looks like it is undergoing reconstruction. Those who have read the comics know that the presence of the Commonwealth may not mean that it is a good thing.

Overall, the production of The Walking Dead has gotten better with time. The Basement Walker scene with Aaron was amazing. At this point, Aaron has taken on the persona of a superhero as he keeps pushing his human limits; he has evolved on so many levels. Judith’s abilities have also improved, and she proves time and time again that she is Rick and Michonne’s daughter. Maggie’s ability to lead and her strength has transformed into a powerful force to reckon with. We see a complete pillar of determination with her and the other characters as well. The Walking Dead’s look has also transformed into a blockbuster theater experience. The sets are more extensive and have more depth, personality, and energy. The story expands with each episode, and the bricks are being laid to reveal Rick’s return. As the story develops, Daryl is more than the lone wolf. We see his ability to love, fight and survive among the harshest and trying of circumstances. Daryl’s love for holding on to his true family has ignited a light in him that cannot be easily extinguished. This episode is worth watching more than once.

I am looking forward to seeing what the rest of the season will bring with the hope of Rick and Michonne returning before the end of the season.  

Check out the trailer below:

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