Tag Archives: 2017

Get Out (2017) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace


get-out-2017-2In an age of reciprocal storytelling and an audience that clamors for something new there sometimes comes a breakthrough. The writer and directorial debut of Jordan Peele presents a fresh concept with a thrilling take on social commentary. Not only is ‘Get Out‘ a thriller but it also has a mix of comedy and a great ensemble cast. The film stars Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, and LilRel Howery. As the story goes, Chris is about to meet the parents of his new girlfriend, Rose. What starts as a warm welcome then turns to bizarre events as Chris realizes he may be caught in a sinister plot.

We’ve been fortunate to have seen some great work from new and upcoming directors from these last couple of years. And this is no different as Jordan Peele takes risk in using social commentary of interracial relationships and injecting a bit of horror. After watching ‘Get Out‘ the one thing I appreciated most was how simple the concept was and didn’t overcomplicate itself. Many times movies can bombard itself with plot twists and then lose focus as to what made the movie effective in the first place. Credit also has to be given to the cast because they didn’t over do themselves nor did they fall victim as movies tend to do.

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I’m not going to go into detail as to what happens in the movie because everyone should go in with a fresh set of eyes. All I will say is that there was a great use of suspense that managed to carry all the way through the film. Not once are you looking at your watch and asking yourself if the movie is over. And again, the movie runs with great pace that allows the audience to stay on their toes. Daniel Kaluuya, who plays Chris, on many occasions was paranoid considering he was black and if you put yourself in his shoes you would be just as freaked out. That’s what made the movie unique and many people from all walks of life could connect with his character.

This was a great film and one that took me by surprise. Jordan Peele is on the right track and has a bright future in his film career. Could we see another project down the line that mirrors a similar plot? It’s too early to tell but I hope we get more of these because original features seems too much to ask now-a-days.

Rating: 8/10

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What do you guys think of ‘Get Out‘? Do you plan on watching the movie? Comment below and share your thoughts.

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A Cure for Wellness (2017) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace


cureforwellnessposterComing from the director who brought us ‘The Ring‘ and the first three films in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Gore Verbinski returns to direct a psychological thriller in ‘A Cure for Wellness‘. The film stars Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs, and Mia Goth as the movie centers around a representative of a company, Mr. Lockhart, who is sent to retrieve a fellow colleague, Mr. Pembroke, who is staying at an institution due to health reasons. However, once he arrives and discovers that the institution is keeping their motives and methods of operation in the dark, Lockhart scrambles for answers before he himself gets stuck there forever.

The trailer got me interested in seeing the movie mainly because Dane DeHaan was in it and the startling imagery that gave me the impression that the story was going to be good. Gore Verbinski is a great director and can find ways in getting under the audience’s skin. This is why his latest film, although had some decent performances out of DeHaan and Isaacs and some creepy visual effects, struggled from a narrative point of view and wasn’t always in focus.

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One of the things this movie reminded me of was of ‘Shutter Island‘ (2010) and how Dehaan’s character, Lockhart, is sent to a location that’s isolated and gets caught up in a scheme. Of course, the main characters of each film had different motivations but they did share similar character traits. And just as we saw in ‘Shutter Island‘, there is a girl involved but only this time she is an innocent who unbenounced to her is in danger. So given there were similarities between the two movies I did enjoy some aspects nonetheless by Verbinski.

This is a visually appealing film to watch and I thoroughly enjoyed a scene that shows Lockhart arriving to the institution by car. Just that scene alone and the locations in which the movie was filmed took my breathe away. From an aesthetic point of view everything looked amazing. We then get into the performances by Dehaan and Isaacs who individually held their own up until the very end which is where there were problems in the narrative that needed to be addressed.

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When watching the film it really took its time building the narrative and for subsequent events to occur. Sometimes the movie dragged on a little bit too much and there were times when I wondered when something would happen. A lot of the suspense scenes you see in the trailer is unfortunately given away and thus makes the movie feel even more of a drag. As we approach the climax of the movie and after all the talk about the townspeople and how there’s been fear of the institution it leads up to a big ball of confusion. And that’s where the narrative failed to weave the needle in a coherent way that eventually fails in its own mess.

It’s not to say the movie is terrible because Dane DeHaan was great along with Jason Isaacs. And as mentioned earlier the locations in which the film was made are stunning to look at. However, with the narrative mess and inconsistencies throughout I just couldn’t appreciate it as much as I could have. I’d say this not as good as ‘Shutter Island‘ nor does it succeed as a whole from an entertainment point of view. Go into ‘A Cure for Wellness‘ with low expectations and just enjoy the visual appeal that it presents.

Rating: 5.5/10

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What do you guys think of ‘A Cure for Wellness‘? Are you planning on seeing it? Comment below and share your thoughts.

The LEGO Batman Movie (2017) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace


mv5bmtcynteyoty0m15bml5banbnxkftztgwotaynzu3mdi-_v1_ux182_cr00182268_al_One of the most renowned comic book characters in the DC cinematic universe is brought to life in Lego form. Directed by Chris McKay and taken from the highly acclaimed ‘The LEGO Movie‘ (2014) with its own spin-off by Warner Bros. sees the caped crusader in the tiniest of ways. In what is a tribute to one of the most universal superheroes in all of comics is a movie made with love and understanding of the Batman character. The film sees the voice-over work played by Will Arnett as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Michael Cera as Robin/Dick Grayson, Rosario Dawson as Batgirl/Barbara Gordon, and Zack Galifianakis as The Joker.

After seeing ‘The LEGO Movie‘ there was a fast response by the studio to announce a spin-off for the LEGO Batman movie. The character of Batman is so iconic and in many ways stole the show in Warner Bros. success with the LEGO property that it was a no brainer that the studio would give fans something they would want to see. And having seen the film I have got to say that not only do the writers and director nail the character but we get to see homage to the character that has spanned television, comic, and cinemas for nearly 75 years. We also get references to many of the villains from years past but all the while staying true to Batman’s truly dark and testy villain of all, The Joker.

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As for the premise, Gotham City is about to usher in a new Commissioner in Barbara Gordon who wants to do away with the masked Vigilante. All the while Batman receives notice that he is now the caretaker of Dick Grayson and has to face his fears of accepting people into his life that over the years has kept him in darkness. And with the sudden emergence of The Joker’s plan to destroy Gotham using the help of the Phantom Zone, Batman must work with his allies and enemies in stopping the city from being destroyed.

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There’s a lot to take away from this movie and is not only for kids to enjoy but for parents as well. If you’re a fan of Batman you’ll not only enjoy the movie but also receive life lessons as Bruce Wayne tries to mend the wounds that have plagued him from not allowing people into his life. From the opening credits you get a hilarious monologue by Batman that pokes fun in and of itself. From references to the Justice League and even the most divisive movie of 2016 in ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice‘, Warner Bros. is not afraid to own up to their missteps. We even get a glimpse into the possibility of seeing Superman or even the Justice League getting their own spin-offs somewhere down the line.

Warner Bros. and those behind the LEGO property are doing great things with the DC universe. From the graphics and storytelling elements there is a tremendous amount of care being put into these properties that in many ways outshines the live action takes we’ve seen with ‘Batman v. Superman‘ and ‘Suicide Squad‘. But as far as ‘The LEGO Batman Movie‘, Chris McKay delivers and everyone who goes out to watch the film will not only be impressed but may even be moved in ways you didn’t expect to be.

Rating: 7.5/10

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What do you think of ‘The LEGO Batman Movie‘? Do you plan on watching it? And do you think WB is having more success with the LEGO films compared to live action? Comment below and share your thoughts.

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace


john-wick-chapter-2-posterThe boogeyman returns as Keanu Reeves stars in the sequel to Chad Stahelski’s action hit ‘John Wick‘ (2014). The original film was a huge hit amongst moviegoers; although it wasn’t a box-office smash, Summit Entertainment moved forward with the project and leads us to ‘John Wick: Chapter 2‘. Director Chad Stahelski returns to the chair and helms the brutal carnage that made it the success that it is. The film also sees Common, Ian McShane, Riccardo Scamarcio, and Lawrence Fishbourne.

When John Wick refuses to take the mark by Santino D’Antonio, Wick’s life turns upside down as he is thrust back into the life he’s so desperately tried leaving behind. But with no option he carries through with the order and that’s when he is double-crossed and that leads Wick to fend off the enemies and tries to get revenge and return to the life he so cherishes. But the further he’s pushed may be all little too late.

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It’s been a long while that fans of the original movie were anticipating a sequel to probably one of the most unexpected films of 2014. With the combination of Keanu Reeves and non-stop action with guns and knives being wielded left and right, there was just nothing you could’ve asked for. So going into this movie I anticipated nothing  but the same fun that we got the last time around. And ‘John Wick: Chapter 2‘ doesn’t disappoint. Not only is it more of the same but it flows effortlessly as the movie travels from one location to the next and delivering an adrenaline punch at best.

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What you got from the first movie is what you’ll get in the sequel but a new plot thread arises and leads John Wick into uncharted territory. Another great performance by Keanu Reeves as he continues to take the pain and punishment while kicking ass and making you regret you ever came face to face. Another mention goes out to Common who is the protector of one of the main villain’s sister. He had some great chemistry along with Keanu and there were brutal fight scenes between the two of them that on their own could have made the movie. The supporting cast all around did their job and although they weren’t breakout performances they did what they needed to do and carried the movie along.

You could easily say that the carnage we get in this movie is over the top compared to the previous film but it’s so much fun to watch that you forget about it. I mean who ever knew the damage that could be done with just a pencil. Yes the pencil makes an awesome return and even a deadly weapon if one were so inclined to use in self-defense. There are many sequences to mention but that wouldn’t be fun to divulge as it should be experienced in its full glory on screen. Could this movie outdo the greatness of the original? That’s a tough argument considering you can look at these films as art and trying to discern between the two can get complicated. But never-the-less they are exactly what they’re intended to be.

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Seeing as how the movie ended it is safe to say that the studio could go for another sequel and may be the case if the box-office is any indicator. There are many directions the John Wick franchise can go and it’ll be interesting to see how the studio plans to move forward from here. Definitely one the best action films we’ve seen this year with a star-studded performance by Keanu Reeves. Let’s get Chapter 3!!!

Rating: 7.5/10

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Are you looking forward to ‘John Wick: Chapter 2‘? What are some of your favorite Keanu Reeves films? Comment below and share your thoughts.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2017) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace


resident-evil-the-final-chapter-posterWith a five year delay, and after countless sequels, it looks like Milla Jovovich is hanging her artillery up for good. Paul W. S. Anderson returns to direct ‘Resident Evil: The Final Chapter‘ and looks to bring the franchise he started back in 2002 to a close. All the lingering questions everyone’s had about the Umbrella Corporation and if and what can stop the T-virus from whipping the face of humanity into extinction will be revealed. For over 15 years, it’s a franchise that many gave up on as the series dragged on with Jovovich at the helm. Some may argue the sequels gave a clear identity of what it wanted to be, as we’ve seen in other franchises such as in the Fast and Furious series. It all comes to an end and much of the production is more of like a thank you to everyone that stayed the course, for good or indifferent.

Alice (Milla Jovovich) arises to find out that much of humanity has now been deceased. However, with a little help from the Red Queen, she discovers that an anti-serum exists deep within the hive’s location. And with Dr. Isaac (Iain Glen) on the hunt to stop Alice in her tracks, his master plan is in jeopardy. It’s a race to Raccoon city with the true fate of humanity resting in Alice’s hands.

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I was a fan of the Resident Evil video games back in the 90s and it was announced that a film adaptation was in the works everyone was intrigued; especially with Milla Jovovich being attached to the project. Once it hit theaters it was drawn with a mix bag with some liking it and others thinking it was mah. Though not a complete transfer from the storylines we’d seen in the games it had an appealing premise and action sequences to entertain. Thereafter, the series became a thing on its own and eventually giving us that videogame feel with ‘Resident Evil: Afterlife‘ (2010). By this point, the series seemed like a cash grab and became a huge appeal to audiences overseas where much of the revenue came in.

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One thing you could take from the recent and supposedly “final” chapter is that you could tell it was made for the fans; whichever how many are left that is. It went away from a level by level game mode to more of what ‘Apocalypse‘ brought. Story elements were thrown in to tie up the loose ends of the series, including the backstory behind the Umbrella Corporation and why the T-virus was created in the first place. We’d even get a philosophical explanation by Dr. Isaac that really takes the originality of the premise into familiar territory. But what would you expect from the last and final film?  Aside from the beginning and end, everything in between is exactly what fans come to pay and see. And rightfully so.

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The movie promises to come full circle and for the most part we get a conclusion to Alice’s character. But to argue that the movie is the best in the series is a tough argument to make. There were moments when the effects looked cheap and the acting was never top notch either. Some of the plot points had me scratching my head at times when there was talk about the anti-virus. I could’ve sworn the anti-virus was mentioned in the very first movie and thus had me wondering why it was supposed to come as a surprise that one exists. But again, we’re not here for story so it doesn’t even really matter.

With the series coming to a close and Milla Jovovich bowing to her fans for one last time (let’s hope) I sincerely hope it is the end. After a five year break it’s a little surprising Paul W. S. Anderson would even return given the lack of interest in the U.S. market. ‘Resident Evil: The Final Chapter’ does have action for everyone as one would expect by now. As a sendoff to a franchise that fans have come to endure it does leave you with some satisfaction. And that’s being nice coming from someone who lost interest after the original.

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Rating: 5.5/10

What do you think of ‘Resident Evil: The Final Chapter‘? If you had to rank the films in order from worst to best, how would you rank them? Comment below and share your thoughts.

DC still has hope with the upcoming ‘Justice League’ and ‘Wonder Woman’ films even after another disappointing reception from ‘Suicide Squad’…

3098626-wwThe fallout of David Ayer’s most anticipated movie of the Summer ‘Suicide Squad‘ (Read review here) hit theaters with similar yet better reception compared to Warner Bros. last outing. Many criticized Ayer’s feature of a thin plot with questionable editing that felt as if some holes needed to be filled. The bright spots came from Jared Leto and Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Harley Quinn and The Joker when seen together on screen. We also got a great character in Deadshot played by Will Smith who was the centerpiece of the squad when they teamed together to fend off a dangerous witch in Enchantress. However, after all was said and done and with a $267 million* opening world-wide audiences showed up in droves.

Warner Bros. is trying to match the momentum of Marvel at a rapid pace which is evident in how we’re introduced to so many characters in both ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice‘ and ‘Suicide Squad‘. Trying to build a cinematic universe with backgrounds being crammed in such a short amount of time has really cheated DC from fleshing out their characters in a way that gives the respect their fanbase really deserves. Marvel started their universe building by introducing us to solo properties before getting to the first Avengers in 2012. WB had a different approach by reverse engineering the formula that had us be acquainted with DC characters in two films and then branch out into their individual properties. The approach hasn’t benefited the cause for a promising cinematic universe thus far but having been introduced to many of the characters, we now may be getting the films we are clamoring for.

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Yes it’s been a rocky start but sometimes these things work out for the best and we just have to trust in the system. It’s a different approach and can be ballsy at times with the creative decisions such as killing off Superman in ‘BvS‘ or attaching a post credit to ‘Suicide Squad‘ that can leave audiences scratching their heads. There has to be a method to their madness and DC may be righting the ship when ‘Wonder Woman‘ releases in 2017. As Patty Jenkins takes the reigns in telling the tale of the god’s fiercest female warrior, fans of the comics or of Wonder Woman herself should be excited for what’s to come. This year’s Comic Con in San Diego was a true indicator of the excitement for Wonder Woman as the first trailer debuted.

Soon after Wonder Woman we’ll be getting the ‘Justice League‘ in November that will see Zack Snyder returning to direct. The difference this time is that we’ve already got introduced to the main three of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman in ‘Man of Steel‘ and ‘BvS‘ respectively, so going into ‘Justice League‘ we can get more of a narrative and focus on the most important thing that has been lacking for much of the universe, FUN! This is where Flash (Ezra Miller), Aqua Man (Jason Momoa), and Cyborg (Ray Fisher), can all make their mark as they are assembled by Bruce Wayne to face the next threat on humanity. If the teaser trailer was any indication we can be in for a treat when justice comes Fall of 2017.

What do you guys think? Are you still optimistic that DC can deliver the goods? Comment below and share your thoughts.

*Source: BoxOfficeMojo

After Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, where does Warner Bros. & DC go next?

Published by: Anthony Wallace


Batman_v_Superman_posterWhat has been certainly an unexpected and surprising response by Critics and movie-goers to Zack Snyder’s epic showdown in ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice‘ has Warner Bros. and DC scrambling to retain the loyalty to it’s world building franchise. Only making $872 million* at the global box office with a $25o million budget was not the success the studio was looking for. Where does the finger pointing begin? Certainly blame can be attributed to the director and studio but where in fact lies the problem for a movie that was supposed to lay the groundwork for a DC cinematic universe. And with an extended cut of the film being released with additional footage not seen in theaters has left many to question why Snyder’s original vision wasn’t realized by the fear of studios showcasing a 3-hour long motion picture.

The overwhelming responses are in as ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice‘ was muddled with plot devices, plot holes, choppy editing between scenes, and the overall dourness of the characters that left the word fun at the door. Even if the Ultimate Edition helped to clean up some of the criticisms that plagued the theatrical release, and gave more of a motivation to Lex Luthor’s master plan, it still leaves a sour taste to those who didn’t like the original cut and only adds to the experience for those who enjoyed the film. In what should have been a clear victory for the studio ends up leaving more questions then answers. Now we look into how everything led up to this point and where the future of the franchise may lead.

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Going back all the way to when ‘Man of Steel‘ was announced and the casting of Henry Cavill as the next Superman, Warner Bros. was banking on this film’s success to jumpstart the DC universe. After it’s initial release with mixed reactions by critics and audience goers, it led to Zack Snyder announcing at the 2014 Comic Con of Batman v. Superman. Snyder considered it the next step into building towards the Justice League and introducing everyone to a new Batman. The initial reaction to the casting of Ben Affleck as the new Bruce Wayne led the airwaves in blasting the studio for their decision. We also saw the casting of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman which too saw skepticism upon being announced as the new goddess warrior. Everything was heading into the right direction until the decision to delay the film’s release from 2015 to the Spring of 2016 as script issues came up.

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An additional year was necessary for Zack Snyder as he proclaimed that they (Warner Bros.) wanted to flesh out the script and get it right. This then leads to the first trailer to leak online and a slew of other trailers hitting the web that were hit and miss as to the overcrowding of plot points drew red flags. With the film heading into its week of release, critics responses were mostly negative with an 11% tomato-meter score on Rotten Tomatoes. This caught the attention of movie-goers early on and with the bad word of mouth after release it would just all go down hill from there. In what should have been a $1 billion grossing event would lead to a less then stellar opening and doubt over whether the DC universe will weather the storm.

Even with criticisms abound, Warner Bros. continues on with keeping Zack Snyder at the helm for his next chapter in ‘Justice League: Part 1‘ (2017). However, before that we’ll be seeing David Ayer’s much anticipated ‘Suicide Squad‘ starring Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, and Will Smith as villains are forced to come together in Black Ops missions in exchange for mercy. Having dealt with the criticisms of it’s last outing has the studio banking on ‘Suicide Squad‘ to being a massive hit. With David Ayer’s success in war dramas, he most certainly has confidence by the studio that he will turn the tide and make things right. However, if the film is a dud and leaves a mark as it did in ‘Batman v. Superman‘ we can most certainly see a slow down by the studio with future projects scheduled down the pipeline. maxresdefault

It just seems like Warner Bros. and DC are playing catchup with Marvel as each film has been pressured to succeed. First with ‘Man of Steel‘ and the most recent ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice‘, the obvious is present as they are starting to look desperate for answers into making the franchise a success. The studio shouldn’t be playing catch-up but rather taking it’s time as did Marvel in setting up their universe. After the first ‘Iron Man‘ in 2008 and the subsequent releases that followed, the quality and feel to the films just flowed. We’re not seeing that with DC as each film feels like it has a lot to lose with the stakes being so high. Typically the quality of a franchise goes down hill after it’s been around for a while but isn’t the case with DC as they’re already struggling from the start.

The studio needs to give itself time to flesh out the story arcs when building its properties. Warner Bros. still has a chance to head into the right direction and become the success it’s looking for. Against the argument that people want to see DC fail, it’s actually the opposite for fans of comic books as a whole as we live in a generation where superheroes and comic-book fandom has finally arrived at the cinemas. It just takes one film to turn things around and to re-instill confidence back to DC comic readers. All is not lost.

*SourceBox Office Mojo

What do you guys think? Will Suicide Squad make or break an already fragile DC Universe? Comment below and share your thoughts.