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Posts Tagged ‘Weekend Box office’

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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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!

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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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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Joker starring  Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro and directed by Todd Phillips, tells the story of a Gotham City man Arthur Fleck as he attempts to achieve his dreams of becoming a standup comic while battling mental illness and struggling to find his place within a society that does not treat or accept him fairly.

I saw this movie opening weekend in October 2019, and then 5 more times after that. With so many things going on with work and grad school, I just did not have the time to review this film. This by far, I think is the best Joaquin Phoenix movie I have seen, in addition to one of the best movies of all time. There is something extremely deep about this film and the story behind it. There is such an odd connection that moviegoers have with the lead character Arthur. We see that he does his best to live a life that mainstream society may call, “normal”. Arthur works as an entertainer, trying to make ends meet, he takes care of his sick mother, and he is even receiving treatment and attempting to live with his inner struggles, by dealing with his mental illness, to the best of his ability. The character tries to deal with his issues as he displays independence and even attempts to have a relationship with a neighbor that appears to understand him, but overall the movie is not quite what it seems to be, at least through the main character’s eyes.

Arthur, as portrayed by Joaquin, is completely transformed into this the dark and complex character that we all thought we knew just through our background knowledge of the Batman comic book and film franchise but as we all know now, this film is a standalone movie but still artistically connects the historical relationship between the Wayne family and Arthur aka the Joker in a way that makes the two storylines blend together very well.

All the elements of this film are massive ingredients for a film success on so many levels. The visual representations were creative and authentic.  We were brought into the character’s world and underwent a journey of emotional experiences that enveloped a multitude of highs and lows, as well as revels shocking moments and moments of happiness and potential hope. This film has won several awards including a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama and an Academy Award for Best Actor as well as an Academy Award for Best Original Score. The Score took me to that place where emotions dwell deep within, where questions about the structure of how our society appropriately and inappropriately deals with mental illness, bullying, and the differences among people. Joaquin Phoenix in conjunction with  Robert De Niro and the supporting cast all created a world where the moviegoer sees the world of mental illness, poverty and the other complexities of life including the horrors of child abuse and enabling as ongoing issues that need to be exposed and changed for the better to improve the quality of human life.

Overall, I gave this movie 5 stars

Joker is a great film.

L.L

Check out the trailer below…

Check out the Amazing Bathroom Dance song that received an award for Best Score.

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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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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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Captain Marvel directed by Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck and starring Brie Larson tells the origin story of how a Kree Military agent becomes a superhero. Bound on an intergalactic mission to capture alien terrorists, Carol Danvers learns the truth about her past and understands how her past connects the future of the Universe. Brie plays a very stoic character that is determined to embrace the power she has to defeat the evils that surround her. Overall I thought that this movie was interesting but lacked the full development in the storytelling process. Carol’s storyline seemed to be all over the place and appeared pretty disjointed. As far as Brie holding her own as the leading lady in the film, she did a nice job with making the role her own. Visually the movie did not disappoint. The costume designs were fierce and for the most part, the supporting cast was well matched.  I thought Jude Law tried too hard to capture the essence of his character, but Ben Mendelsohn as Talos was one of my favorites. Carol and Fury had nice chemistry, and their relationship made me appreciate his character more. I did enjoy the movie very much, but I think the overall concept was rushed to be marketed to the apparent links that will surface in Avengers Endgame. I hope to see more and learn more about Carol’s story in a way that will put the pieces together more clearly.

I gave this movie 3 ½  stars.

L.L.

Check out the trailer below

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 Halloween 2018 directed by David Gordon Green, written by John Carpenter and Debra Hill and starring Jamie Lee Curtis continues the decades-old saga between Laurie Strode and her serial killer brother Micheal Myers. Two podcast journalists interested in getting into the mind of Michael Myers unknowingly provokes his killer instinct during a visit at the maximum security facility. Their presence unleashes a chain of events that reeks havoc once again on the small town of Haddonfield Illinois. Laurie spends her whole life preparing for Micheal’s return and in the process has neglected her daughter Karen and granddaughter. As she tries to prepare them and make an attempt to mend their broken relationship, Myers sets his sights on finding Laurie to finish what he started 40 years ago.

This movie was a great way to bring a fresh light upon the franchise. A classic in its own right, the evolution of Laurie Strode is just remarkable. Her resilience and strength are awe-inspiring and one of the greatest elements of the storyline is that fact that Laurie is a grandmother now. Jamie Lee Curtis’ portrayal is just plain epic. To see her in this role as a mature woman in Hollywood is magnificent. I’ve always been a fan, but this just makes me love her even more. Micheal’s personality has always been dark and creative when it came to his carnage, and this time it was even more intense. You would think that being locked up for so many years, that he would weaken a bit but absolutely not. There is a moment where his humanity does surface but only for a second, which is followed by the shadows of the monster that we know move within him.

There were surprises at every corner and more questions raised about the real family connection that Laurie and Micheal share. There were references from the past films and a great tribute to the legacy that Dr. Samuel Loomis left behind. The effects were realistic and the cinematography had some great elements to it.

I think that the casting choices were very wise and overall the movie was fun and exciting to watch. I may try to get back to the theater to see this movie again. There was nothing disappointing about this film. The mood was very classic and I found myself comparing scenes to the previous films.

I gave this movie 5 stars!

 

L.L

Check out the trailer below!

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