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Power Rangers (2017) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace


Power_Rangers_(2017_Official_Theatrical_Poster)The fate of planet earth is at stake when the evil Rita Repulsa is resurrected from the ocean depths. When five teenagers of attitude are chosen to save earth, they form to become the power rangers. With superhuman strength and a leader behind Zordon the rangers set to face Rita and battle her closest ally in Goldar. Can the rangers save their city of Angel Grove before its too late? Stay tuned to found out.

A sensation of the 90’s swept the globe as Saban’s Power Rangers took kids and future generations by storm. It was a time like nothing else and would live on with countless variations of the hit series. But nothing could compare to the original power rangers and the influence it had on television. Come 1995 we’d see ‘Power Rangers: The Movie‘ come to life with great success. Twenty-two years have passed and now Saban, with the help of Lionsgate, return to deliver a new and revamped property with a more modern take.

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Gone are the cheesy action and dialog that has not aged well over time. Even in the earliest stages of the 90’s with the mixture of martial arts and cut-in scenes of the original Japanese series plagued creative for some time. It wasn’t until Rita was recast and new footage was filmed that helped take the series to a whole new level. In the coming seasons we’d get a taste of the powerful mastermind Lord Zedd or King Mondo of the Machine Empire. Thereafter would become history with action figures, VHS tapes, cereals, video games, and even a gateway to Saban spin-offs that weren’t as successful but will always be remembered.

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This time around we get a more dark and serious toned movie that takes what made the original series so great with charismatic actors and incorporating an origins story with it. How I’d describe this movie is that it’s more of a redo of the first episode ‘A Day in the Dumpster‘ with different circumstances and origins tale for both Zordon and Rita. And the main villain being Goldar who’s one of her main henchman’s. There’s even a reference to the Zeo crystals that in some cases looks to bring the reboot a culmination of major events from the early years.

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From a technical and production standpoint I thoroughly enjoyed the costume designs of the new rangers and even the location of the Command Center. There was early criticism of the Alpha robot but to me it wasn’t a problem as his personality matched well with his design, even if it’s far different from the original incarnation. There had to be more of an alien feel and look to the suits, Zordon, and Alpha to match the origins of where the rangers came from. Looking back at the series there was a big displacement between the enemies attacking earth and what the suits and everything else seeming more earth like.

If we’re looking at a rebooted franchise with sequels in the works I’d say they’re headed in the right direction. I like the fact that the movie took chances and incorporated current trends and cultural relevancies that brings a breathe of fresh air. RJ Cyler, who plays the blue ranger, breaks from what the original series had with Walter Jones playing the black ranger. A lot of attention was put on it at the time when it was then revealed that it was just a coincidence. But nonetheless RJ Cyler brings a combination of the blue and black ranger from years past and does it phenomenally and was a standout.

There’s even a reveal by the yellow ranger, Trini, played by Becky G., being part of the LBGT community. Some may say Hollywood is going overboard by including more and more LBGT characters into their films to aide a cause but to me it represents a cultural shift, and that is a good thing. The scene in which the reveal occurs is quick, effective and welcoming. Without causing a stir, I say all this because it reflects diversity and a step forward for future generations.

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Some of the disappointments I have with ‘Power Rangers‘ has to do with the handling of Rita (Elizabeth Banks) and the poor effects that were done for Goldar. Starting with Rita, I thought she started strong but then was handled in a clunky manner towards the end. There’s one scene, that for anyone who’s watched the film will agree, that had me scratching my head. And for Goldar they could’ve done a better job in the special effects department. One may argue the original costume looks better in comparison for what we got. For a second I thought they used stock footage from ‘Gods of Egypt‘ and how awful the effects were for that. One last thing to mention, there’s a moment when the iconic power rangers music comes on and feels displaced compared to the tone of the film; seeming to appease the diehard fans. Personally, they didn’t need to do that.

Believe it or not I’m curious to see where Saban and Lionsgate take this property next as they’ve put their best foot forward. It’ll be interesting to see which villains are thrown in next and seeing as how the studio may be taking a different approach from the television series. Could we be seeing Lord Zedd in the sequel? Time will tell and fans young and old should enjoy ‘Power Rangers‘ for its vision and charismatic actors. It’s morphin time!!

Rating: 6.8/10

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What do you guys think? Are you a fan of the ‘Power Rangers‘? Which era are you a fan of and do you look forward to the reboot? Comment below and share your thoughts?

Logan (2017) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace


mv5bmji1mjkzmjczmv5bml5banbnxkftztgwndk4njyymti-_v1_ux182_cr00182268_al_It may be the curtain call for Hugh Jackman as he steps into the shoes of Wolverine but he leaves a lasting impression. What is probably the most character driven installment in Twentieth Century Fox’s X-Men series, Director James Mangold puts heart and soul into what has to be considered every fan’s dream. As Logan’s health deteriorates he discovers that he has a daughter, Laura, who is fleeing from danger and discovers a safe haven that is located in North Dakota. Their journey is met with obstacles and may push Wolverine to the brink. The film also sees Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Boyd Holbrook, and Stephen Merchant.

The anticipation for an R-rated Wolverine movie has been brewing for years amongst the fan base. And that’s exactly what the studio delivers in what may very well be the last time we see Hugh Jackman don the claws. Being someone who doesn’t follow the series, it not only satisfied me as a comic book movie but it stood tall as a proper send off to an iconic Marvel character. It could even be said that ‘Logan‘ was the least comic-book to film adaptation because of its themes and tone. As exciting as it was to watch Wolverine splice and dice his victims we get a better insight into the emotional strings that have made him so bitter for so long. And the reveal of his daughter Laura helped to bring that compassionate side of him out; though it took a pretty good while before Logan to come around. logan-2017-trailer-sees-hugh-jack-playing-the-most-emotional-wolverine-he-has-ever-been-in-any-x-men-movie-youtube-movieclips-trailers_931699

We get good performances all around as we start off by mentioning Hugh Jackman. He will always be Wolverine to the eyes of the fans and nobody, as far as the eye can see, can replace him. Patrick Stewart reprises his role as Professor X (aka Charles Xavier) as we see him falling to the bits. In many ways we can see both characters reaching their end to a degree. There were many heartfelt moments between them as their relationship had really built over time. Then we see Dafne Keen who is the daughter of Logan. Their relationship took a while to develop but when the time came it would hit home. The chemistry between Jackman and Keen managed to work out and had plenty of surprises to go with it.

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Obviously the action was what everyone wanted to see and a more brutal and bloody one at that. From the opening action sequence to the very end, let’s just say that heads were rolling. And a mentioning has to go out to Dafne Keen who surpassed my expectations and then some because of how easy she made it look. And that’s what elevated the fun element and depending on where Twentieth Century Fox decides to go hopefully we’ll get to see her again. There were twists and turns along the way that caught me by surprise and that I didn’t see coming. In many ways the film centered around closing story arcs and is the overall interpretation that’s given for some of the characters.

Where Fox decides to take the X-Men series next with or without Hugh Jackman as Wolverine remains to be seen. It’s going to be an adjustment for not only the studio but especially the fans. There are seeds of development that could spill into the next movie but to avoid spoilers they will not be mentioned. A lot of attention and effort was put into ‘Logan‘ and everyone should leave satisfied as probably the best performance by Hugh Jackman in the series. If it truly is the end for Wolverine as we know him in this incarnation then kudos to an amazing journey.

Rating: 7.8/10

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What do you guys think? Do you plan on watching ‘Logan‘? And is this really the last performance by Hugh Jackman as Wolverine? 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.

Suicide Squad (2016) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace


Suicide_Squad_(film)_PosterIt’s the most anticipated movie of the summer as Warner Bros. rolls out David Ayer’sSuicide Squad‘ into cineplexes. As the story goes, a group of the baddest criminals alive are banded together by the CIA to undergo a secret mission to stop a powerful metahuman that plans to end the world as we know it. With their lives on the line they can only complete their duties and failure is not an option. The movie stars Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Will Smith, and Jai Courtney as DC introduces the next chapter in the growing cinematic universe.

There’s a lot going for ‘Suicide Squad‘ considering the reaction of Zack Snyder’sBatman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice‘ that opened last May. Many complained the movie was too dark and suffered from a lack of a narrative that gave any understanding for the characters motivations. The biggest complaint was the fact that the movie was no fun and disappointed many of the DC loyalists. It’s not to say there weren’t any fans of the movie but overall there was a consensus that ‘BvS‘ could have been so much better. So we head into ‘Suicide Squad‘ where it’s a little different this time around as villains take center stage and hopes to turn things around for the studio.

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My initial reaction to ‘Suicide Squad‘ is that it was entertaining and fun, which was lacking sorely in ‘BvS‘, so that’s definitely a bright spot. The introduction of Jared Leto’s Joker was even a surprise because they went a different direction with his character that worked. His chemistry with Harley Quinn, played by Margot Robbie, was to me the best in the whole movie and makes me want to see more of them together. Now as it’s been reported the studio made cuts to the movie involving the Joker and may be saving them for an extended edition, if and when that should happen. On the one hand it’s a shame because Jared Leto’s portrayal of the Joker was awesome but on the other hand it may work to its advantage by not revealing too much and will give us something to look forward to in Ben Affleck’s Batman solo film.

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That brings us to where Batman makes appearances in the film and for what he does isn’t crucial nor forgettable. All that can be said is that it was cool to see Batman in the movie and whom he may run up against in his solo outing. We even get to see another DC hero for a brief second but that’s all that needs to be said. One man who certainly takes a commanding role in the film is Will Smith as Deadshot. Even as a villain and after everyone he’s killed that led him to prison is the relationship he has with his daughter. Deadshot can even be considered the leader of the team as they work with CIA in stopping the world from getting destroyed. For Will Smith I’m looking forward to seeing more of him and hope he’ll have some involvement with Batman somewhere down the line.

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Where the movie makes strides in being fun and watching these villains team up with all their own unique powers to save the world, it does suffer from the storytelling and trying to cram every character’s backstory. For a good part of the movie we get a lot of backstory into their characters while also trying to introduce the threat that ends up in Mid City. Because so much attention was put on the villains we got very little into Enchantress and what her motivations were. This even hurt some of the other members like Jai Courtney’s Boomerang or even Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s Killer Croc who didn’t have much to do. I would’ve liked to have seen more of them be involved in some way but ultimately it wasn’t  meant to be.

Coming off of the studio’s reaction to ‘BvS‘ the studio decided in having reshoots to lighten the mood per say. This becomes evident as the movie looked like it had trouble balancing between being dark and having that edge factor with levity. For instance, some of the character’s backstories like Deadshot and Diablo, played by Jay Hernandez, dealt with some heavy material that almost didn’t fit with the tone of the movie. Tone is what threw the movie off and makes you wonder what David Ayer’s version of the film was before the reshoots. The editing was choppy where at one moment your introduced to Enchantress as the main threat and then some 30 minutes later you see the city in chaos without seeing it come to be.

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There’s a lot to admire of Director David Ayer’s take on ‘Suicide Squad‘ with Jared Leto as the Joker. The world we’re introduced to with these villains gives us a good indication of what we can expect when Ben Affleck dones the black cape. Visually the movie grabs you; especially from the opening and end credits. And speaking of the end credits don’t leave too soon or else you’ll miss the tidbit that may lead into future films. But it has to be said, you can’t help but overlook the choppy editing, lack of storytelling, and a desire to see more of Jared Leto and Margot Robbie together as the dark prince and princess of Gotham tearing the streets. This movie is surely better then ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice‘ and entertaining for everyone who watches it. If Warner Bros. is hoping to win over their fans, they best listen to the criticisms and not interfere with the directors who make their movies because their hopes of building a DC cinematic universe is as tender as it gets.

Rating: 6/10

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What do you guys think? Are you looking forward to ‘Suicide Squad‘? If you’ve seen the movie share your thoughts below and if DC can right the ship.

Nerve (2016) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace


Nerve-2016From the directors of Paranormal 3 & 4, are Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman’s take on a game that takes a person to their limits and once you start you’ll have to finish, or else. When Vee is pressured to take risks for a change by her best friend Sydney, she takes part in a viral game called Nerve. What starts as an innocent game of truth or dare soon takes a turn towards danger as complicated scenarios are thrown Vee’s way that could mean between life and death. The movie stars Dave Franco and Emma Roberts.

This movie reminded me a lot of ‘13 Sins‘ (2014) which has a similar premise when it came to making money and how someone is thrust into a deadly game with everything to lose. It worked as a thriller as the main character had to complete a series of tests but with each one being more dangerous as the last. But as for ‘Nerve‘ we get a more modern take on how the game utilizes social media to thrust people into uncharted territory and even to the point where it turns players against each other. Another way of looking at it is how so many people have embraced Pokemon Go and hearing how far people would go in catching all of the Pokemon, from getting into accidents or walking off cliffs. Now most of the events were unintended  but the gist of it is in the fact that it created a social media storm.

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Let’s start with the performances by Emma Roberts and Dave Franco as they each participate in Nerve but also finding attraction for one another at some point along the way. This in many ways was Franco’s first stand out performance, coming off of the Now You See Me franchise and ‘Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising‘ that came out earlier this year. He did a good job and was likable as a character who ends up playing a pivotal role along the way. Same can be said for Emma Roberts who at times can make it not seem believable; especially when she’s known for playing it safe to then jumping into being a risk taker. You do get a sense of understanding though for Vee as someone who wants to better herself and wants to move out of her mom’s home. By participating in Nerve it not only breaks her fear of risk but she can also make money along the way as a means.

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Without giving away spoilers as it’s implied in the trailer is how focus was put on the use of social media and the consequences that could follow. The game requires both watchers and viewers which after the movie you’ll understand to the extent of what I am saying. It brought to light how influential social media can have on people, good or bad, and how being a watcher is just as powerful. The ending to the movie is where I’m making my point and it reminded me of how feeding into an event or participating in something that you’re not so sure about can be just as dangerous as to those behind the lens. Things that came to mind were bullying or even the political climate where the media can influence viewers in ways we don’t even know and can sometimes determine the outcome.

Some of the problems I had with ‘Nerve‘ stemmed from the lack of origin of how the game came to be. It’s given some explanation of how the game exists but is treated as a game that doesn’t have an origin. However, what got me the most was how illogical and irresponsible watchers could be when it came to daring people. Some of the challenges were downright dangerous and made you think that the watchers were the real villains as they watch people die from dares they all agreed to. The love component between Vee and Ian is unrealistic and always makes me wonder why that’s thrown in because they easily could’ve turned into good friends. It’s almost as if the filmmakers were trying to appeal to the female audience when in fact the movie was advertised as an action thriller. Last but not least, this is a one trick pony and doesn’t have a re-watchability to it which may as well have been put straight to Video-On-Demand.

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There is fun to be had with a premise that isn’t so original and some good chemistry between James Franco and Emma Roberts, but ultimately the thrills go over the top and becomes illogical as the movie progresses. Without making comparisons, ‘Nerve‘ is definitely better then Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman’s found footage projects in horror. That said, it is entertaining enough and has some jaw dropping camera work especially if you have a fear of heights.

Rating: 6/10

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

Ghostbusters (2016) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace


ghostbusters_ver6It’s been over 30 years since Ivan Reitman’s feature, including Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson, about a group who band together in discovering paranormal activity all around New York. The movie would become a staple to Reitman’s career and a fan favorite. We’d then see a sequel in 1989 with the original cast returning that would lead to mixed reactions. And with Paul Feig wanting to resurrect the franchise he does so by replacing our fond male leads with an all female cast of Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones as they dawn the jumpsuits and take fight to the ghosts and ghouls of New York City.

As Erin Gilbert sets herself for tenure at Harvard, she pleads with her friend Abbey to take down a book they both worked on that dealt with the paranormal. But after the Aldrich hauntings and callings of paranormal events popping up around New York, they assemble a team to investigate the events as they find out someone is perpetrating the ghost sitings and is planning for something much bigger. There was a lot of flack for Paul Feig’s decision for an all female cast. More so was the expectations for ‘Ghostbusters‘ as many wondered if it could harness the charisma and wit that came from the original cast. Now that the movie is released and many have gone to see it, we can say it’s not a blunder.

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Not being sure how I would react to ‘Ghostbusters‘ I went in with low expectations so to not set myself up for disappointment. Also was the amount of chatter in regards to how awful the movie was with what seems to have audiences and critics at odds. The movie opened in great fashion as we see some paranormal activity over at the Aldridge Estate. This leads us to meeting Erin and Abbey, who after a fallout over their book, agree to investigate the Aldridge case. And this is how the Ghostbusters unit is born. The chemistry between Wiig and McCarthy flowed and did too with Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones. All of them had their own quirks which was a compliment to Bill Murray and company.

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Many wondered if the original cast would make appearances in the new movie and so they did. They weren’t big roles nor were they crucial to the plot, instead it was a trickle here and a trickle there that made it fun rather then all in one take. One of the interesting roles we see is in Chris Hemsworth as the Ghostbuster’s new receptionist. He definitely found a fit with the cast as his odd personality matched that of Kate McKinnon but not as you may expect. Seeing him in future installments, if there are any, will be a welcome that’s for sure.

For the most part the movie brought nostalgia as to the return of the jump suits, ghostbusters mobile, old ghosts we’ve seen in the past, and the iconic theme music. The music was hit and miss and personally wasn’t all that memorable when compared to the original. The overall story started off great but then it fell into a borage of ghosts that the Ghostbusters had to shoot at. I got the impression that the person pulling the strings, played by Rowan North, was being set up for future installments as the main villain. Come to find out it doesn’t turn out that way and all we get is a dissatisfied character.

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Yes the movie is entertaining to watch with an all female cast and we do get shout outs to the original. There’s promise for a franchise as was started by Paul Feig, but the question lies into whether the audiences respond well to the reboot. And with audiences and critics at odds over the movie, it should make for interesting results and whether or not a ‘Ghostbusters 2‘ will be green lit. As for now, ‘Ghostbusters‘ pleases but can do much much better.

Rating: 6.3/10

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What do you guys think of the new ‘Ghostbusters‘? Are you planning to go watch it? Do you want to see a franchise with the all female cast? Comment below and share your thoughts.