“IT Chapter 2” Movie Review

“But you know what they say about Derry? No one who dies here ever really dies!”

Plot Synopsis:

Evil resurfaces in Derry as director Andy Muschietti reunites the Losers Club in a return to where it all began with “IT Chapter Two,” the conclusion to the highest-grossing horror film of all time. Twenty-seven years after the Losers Club defeated Pennywise, he has returned to terrorize the town of Derry once more. Now adults, the Losers have long since gone their separate ways. However, kids are disappearing again, so Mike, the only one of the group to remain in their hometown, calls the others home. Damaged by the experiences of their past, they must each conquer their deepest fears to destroy Pennywise once and for all…putting them directly in the path of the clown that has become deadlier than ever. (Rotten Tomatoes)

Critique:

After the phenomenal success of IT in 2017, and the reveal that it was part one of a two part adaptation, I was excited and pumped to see this movie… however, early reviews of the film had me worried, so I approached the film with more caution. However, after seeing the film, and as someone who read the book in High School- my review is the end all be all for this Dancing Clown’s second film!

The way this movie begins by adapting chapter 2 of the book was a bold choice in my opinion, and after giving it thought…. there was no other way it could’ve began. If you haven’t read the book, then you have to go in the theater cold to know what I’m talking about, otherwise it won’t be as effective.

One of my personal favorite Pennywise scenes in the film is the way he lured Victoria, a little girl, to her fate. What I loved about the scene is the way it mirrors in a polar opposite way with how Pennywise charmed Georgie in the first film. The way Georgie got tricked was because Pennywise acted like his friend and used Bill’s boat as leverage. In this film, Victoria is smarter than Georgie so she doesn’t fall for that tactic. However, Pennywise shows how cunning he’s become and switches his tactic to make her feel more sympathetic to him.

Pennywise doesn’t appear that often in the film, but much like the first film: when It appears, it’s effective. Pennywise is more vicious and bloodthirsty than in the first one.

The adult Losers are played brilliantly, and the standout is Bill Hader as adult Ritchie, who’s comedic timing is on point in this film.

The use of flashbacks are almost seamless in this film, much like Andy Muschietti’s previous film, “Occulus” which I enjoyed very much. Apparently the kids got de-aged in this film, but to be honest- I didn’t even notice.

My only negatives regarding this film is the fact that about in the middle portion of the film, you start to feel the weight of this 2 hour and 50 minute film… the runtime doesn’t make this an easy ‘sit down on your coach and hang out’ kind of film, like the first one- this one requires your full commitment.

Grade:

Other than that, I highly enjoyed the film and loved the nods and changes they made from the book… along with a couple of clever cameos.

I’m giving “IT Chapter 2” a 8/10 or a B.

“Spider-Man: Far From Home” REVIEW

Plot Synopsis:

Peter Parker returns in Spider-Man: Far From Home, the next chapter of the Spider-Man: Homecoming series! Our friendly neighborhood Super Hero decides to join his best friends Ned, MJ, and the rest of the gang on a European vacation. However, Peter’s plan to leave super heroics behind for a few weeks are quickly scrapped when he begrudgingly agrees to help Nick Fury uncover the mystery of several elemental creature attacks, creating havoc across the continent! (Rotten Tomatoes)

Critic:

Spider-Man: Far From Home is the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame as well as being the final film in Phase 3 of The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). This film deals with the aftermath of Infinity War and Endgame, which as we can see in the film- those movies have huge repercussions. People who were affected by Thanos wiping out half of all life in the Universe suddenly get brought back, and it messes up the status quo that was in effect for the five years after the snap. This film also deals with the fact that since Tony Stark isn’t available to help anymore- it’s now Peter Parker’s responsibility to carry on Tony’s legacy.

I will say that most of the jokes in this film don’t work as well, especially in the first half- but there were some stuff that made me chuckle quite a lot. What I really liked was that this movie was mostly a teen romance film, laced with super hero moments. In this film, Peter is on a school trip in Europe and he has this elaborate plan to ask out Mary Jane- but it goes horribly wrong when things out of Peter’s control become involved… mostly by either a rival of Peter’s who also likes MJ, or Nick Fury who wants Peter to stop this catastrophe that happens to be where his school trip takes place at.

What I also really enjoyed was Jake Gyllenhaal as Quentin Beck AKA Mysterio. Mysterio claims to be from an alternate dimension and he starts bonding with Peter and serves as a sort of big brother figure for Peter. For those of you who have read the comics and are confused on the marketing for Mysterio- don’t worry… they do Mysterio right! (That’s all I’m going to say without spoilers.)

I liked the second half of this film more because the action scenes were more impressive, the movie flowed better- and the relationship between Peter and MJ are more natural.

There are two end credit scenes in this movie: the Mid-Credit scene is the best one in my opinion and you’ll lose your mind when you see it! The second one is alright in my opinion, but it’s still pretty important.

Grade:

I’m going to give “Spider-Man: Far From Home” a 8/10 or a B.

The first half had some humor that didn’t land most of the time, but the second half and Mid-credit scene helped the film from suffering too badly.

Hellboy (2019) REVIEW

Plot Synopsis:

Based on the graphic novels by Mike Mignola, Hellboy, caught between the worlds of the supernatural and human, battles an ancient sorceress bent on revenge (IMDb).

Review:

I was a big fan of what Guillermo del Toro did with “Hellboy” and “Hellboy: The Golden Army” he made great use with practical and a bit of special effects in his film to make an interesting story, but his concluding third movie got the kibosh and instead we got this reboot, so- with bad word of mouth, what do I think of it?

I’ll start off with the positives: David Harbour was a pretty good Hellboy (even though I still prefer Ron Perlman) and I thought the creature designs were pretty cool- especially the pig demon henchman. I also liked the father and son relationship between Hellboy and Professor Broom.

Now, let’s traverse the 9 Circles of Hell that make up the bad portions of this film:

There’s some pretty bad CGI that’s noticeable. The swearing and the gore (especially towards the end) felt like it was there just because the film is rated R now with no real purpose (this film feels like it’s trying WAY too hard to be edgy), and the story is very incoherent. Another problem I had is the main villain, the Blood Queen played by Milla Jovovich and she’s a bland villain that wants to destroy the world because she was cut into pieces and put inside boxes, she’s a boring villain that lacks any real personality.

The way they ended this movie introduces a character in a very hokey way and it leaves it open for a sequel that I’m betting money isn’t going to happen.

Grade:

It’s not the worse thing I’ve seen in the world, but it’s not great either. I’m more angry at the fact that Hellboy 3 died for this when no one was asking for a reboot.

I’m giving Hellboy (2019) a 6/10 or a D.

“Pet Sematary” (2019) Review

Plot Synopsis:

Dr. Louis Creed and his wife, Rachel, relocate from Boston to rural Maine with their two young children. The couple soon discover a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near their new home. When tragedy strikes, Louis turns to his neighbour Jud Crandall, setting off a perilous chain reaction that unleashes an unspeakable evil with horrific consequences (Google).

Critique:

I remember my dad showing me the 1989 version of “Pet Sematary” in my senior year of High School and I thought it was an interesting concept. As years went by, and we started getting more Stephen King adaptations, I felt like “IT” and “Pet Sematary” needed a revamp. We already got that treatment for “IT” in 2017, which became really successful, and now we have one for “Pet Sematary”. As far as Stephen King adaptation goes, how is this one?

One positive thing I’ll say about this film is they definitely nail the atmosphere in this film. The Pet Sematary is creepy, which includes creepy little kids in animal masks that make a ritual out of this- but the woods beyond the cemetery has a foreboding feel and you can tell something supernatural is at work in the woods.

Jason Clarke does a good job as Luis Creed. He gets the solemn tone of the character down, and he does a good job of portraying the obsessive nature that the character later develops. Amy Seimetz does an excellent job as the mom of balancing a lot of emotions in the film. And John Lithgow brings heart and humanity to the film.

One thing I can definitely say about this film is that there are certain artistic liberties that are taken in this film- some of it works, but some of it doesn’t. I didn’t like how exposition heavy the beginning of the film was, but once they got that stuff out of the way, the filmmakers were free to go as crazy as they wanted- and boy does it go crazy.

I feel like the ending to this film is gonna split a lot of audience members. For me personally, I felt like the ending leaves a lot to be desired, I get what they were going for- I just don’t feel like they were quiet able to nail it.

Grade:

I feel like this movie is an improvement over the 1989 film, however the film still has its fair share of issues, but I liked some of the changes that were made in this version.

With all that being said, I’ll give the 2019 version of “Pet Sematary” a 7.5/10 or a C+

Jordan Peele’s “US” Review

Plot Synopsis:

Accompanied by her husband, son and daughter, Adelaide Wilson returns to the beachfront home where she grew up as a child. Haunted by a traumatic experience from the past, Adelaide grows increasingly concerned that something bad is going to happen. Her worst fears soon become a reality when four masked strangers descend upon the house, forcing the Wilsons into a fight for survival. When the masks come off, the family is horrified to learn that each attacker takes the appearance of one of them. (Google)

Critique:

Jordan Peele burst onto the scene with his horror masterpiece “Get Out” which was a critical success and garnered him an Academy Award… so the pressure was on when his sophomore film “US” was announced- so does this film crumble under the pressure or is it another hit for Jordan Peele?

I’m going to be as vague as possible with this review because it’s better to go into this film knowing as little as possible. The biggest difference between “Get Out” and “US” is the script. “Get Out” had a very tight script where questions were brought up and eventually answered very satisfactory. In the film “US”, some questions are raised, but there’s not necessarily an answer to it… a lot of this film is intentionally left open-ended and vague, which depending on how you are as an audience, can be very annoying or really cool.

Lupita Nyong’o is easily the break-out star in this film as she has to balance playing Adelaide, a loving- yet very protective mother, and Red her twisted and disturbed doppelgänger. Thinking about it, there wasn’t really anyone I remember who did a bad or horrible job with the role they had in this film, but Lupita is definitely the star in this film.

There’s a lot of symbolism, metaphors, and hidden meanings in the film that requires multiple viewings… however, like I said- not everything has an answer. That doesn’t mean you still can’t talk about this movie with your friends and share theories with each other– it just means that a lot of stuff is up to interpretation.

The only real negative I have with the film is the fact that the doppelgänger‘s, also known as the Tethered, have certain rules they abide by- but when you start questioning things about them and how things are supposed to work- the film starts to fall apart.

Grade:

Is this film better than “Get Out”? I wouldn’t say so- but it’s still a very good movie that has an ending that makes you think for a while… which is why it took me such a long time to get to this review- however as I mentioned… asking questions about the logistics of the Tethered blows holes in this movie, and the script isn’t as tight.

Therefore I give Jordan Peele’s “US” a 8/10 or a B.

Fate/Stay Night: Heaven’s Feel ii. Lost Butterfly REVIEW

Plot Synopsis:

“The story focuses on the Holy Grail War and explores the relationship between Shirou Emiya and Sakura Matou, two teenagers participating in this conflict. The story continues immediately from Fate/Stay Night: Heaven’s Feel i. Prestige Flower, following Shirou as he continues to participate in the Holy Grail War even after being eliminated as a master (IMDb).”

Review:

As someone who’s become a fan of the Fate series, this was honestly the movie I’ve been the most excited to see this year- and thankfully this didn’t disappoint me at all!

Heaven’s Feel is the third route in the Fate/Stay Night visual novel, and it’s been regarded as the darkest route- and after this movie, it could not be more apparent as it explores dark elements and themes from the visual novel.

After rewatching Heaven’s Feel i. Prestige Flower last night, I’m glad that this movie immediately picks up from where the first movie left off. Compared to the first film, I honestly have to say that I like this movie more.

Ever since Studio Ufotable came in to adapt the Fate franchise, starting with the prequel, Fate/Zero, they’ve done an amazing job adapting these stories. The animation in this film is absolutely gorgeous, and honestly- there’s a lot of shots that can be used as desktop backgrounds or even wallpapers. The score in this film is amazing. And the fight scenes in this film are breath-taking, especially the fight between Saber Alter and Berserker- which to me is the highlight of the film as far as fights go.

However, where this film truly shines is focusing on the relationship between Shirou and Sakura. It’s a relationship that’s believable- but also heartbreaking at the same time as we begin to unravel Sakura’s past- seeing how much pain she’s been hiding underneath her care-free exterior.

Grade:

I feel like I have to grade this movie on a curve- because as someone who’s a fan of the Fate franchise, this is easily an A. However, if you’re just an average audience with no knowledge of the franchise- this movie is going to confuse you… especially if you haven’t seen part one of this three part adaptation.

So, for me personally, this movie is a 9/10 or an A.

As a Fate fan, this was everything I wanted, and I can’t wait to see the last part: Heaven’s Feel iii. Spring Song, whenever it’s released!

“Happy Death Day 2U” REVIEW

Plot Synopsis:

Tree Gelbman discovers that dying over and over was surprisingly easier than the dangers that lie ahead (IMDb).

Review:

I was a huge fan of the 2017 film “Happy Death Day”, it was an innovative way to do a slasher film by implementing the “Groundhog Day” formula- thus making it comedic at the same time. Going into this movie, I was really worried because I was afraid that this movie would tarnish the first one- but surprisingly, this one is a bit better than the first one.

Part of the reason why this one is a bit better is because this movie implements another genre in this film: Sci-fi. I can’t tell you how it uses that genre, but if you watch the trailer, you can come up with a guess- and it actually freshens up the film by expanding the story. I also liked that there were some innovative ways characters were killed in this film.

Another thing I liked about this movie, is that it starts with Carter’s roommate, Ryan, as the loop happens with him. Meaning that anyone can be affected by the loop that affected Tree in the first one.

Part of the charm of these films is the subtle messages that’s in the film. In the first one, it was about the stuck-up Tree learning to be a better person. And in this one, Tree is thrusted into a situation where she’s stuck choosing between two hard choices, each with their own consequences.

The only negatives I have with this movie is 1) we gotta stop referencing “Back To The Future” with these time travel movies… there’s more time travel movies out there. Plus, I already saw a movie that referenced “Back To The Future” last week, so this is becoming an epidemic. And 2) just like in the first one, the killer has a pretty petty reason for wanting to kill his victim. I rolled with it in the first one, but for this film- I just wasn’t feeling it.

There’s a pretty entertaining stinger in the middle of the credits, so I recommend staying for that.

Grade:

I’m gonna give “Happy Death Day 2U” a 8.5/10 or a B+

I liked this film a lot, but those negatives bothered me too much from giving it anything higher.

“Glass” Movie Review

Synopsis:

Following the conclusion of Split, Glass finds Dunn pursuing Crumb’s superhuman figure of The Beast in a series of escalating encounters, while the shadowy presence of Price emerges as an orchestrator who holds secrets critical to both men (Rotten Tomatoes).

Review:

I was a big fan of “Split” and I thought the idea of making a superhero movie that’s grounded in the real world like “Unbreakable” was cool… and after three years of waiting for the concluding story in this trilogy, I found myself a bit disappointed with this film.

To start things off, I thought the first act of the movie was great! The scenes with Kevin Wendell Crumb AKA The Horde was suspenseful, and I thought it was cool that David Dunn’s son (who is also the same actor from “Unbreakable”) worked with his dad at his security store to keep tabs on crime in the area.

The second act was kinda slow to me, and you could argue “Well the movie “Unbreakable” was slow so it makes sense.” But my problem with that is it felt like it didn’t fit with the movie that was set up in the beginning.

Mr. Glass, Samual Jackson’s character in the film is in a catatonic state for most of the film, but he has shifty eyes, and you can tell he’s planning something- but you’re unsure of what it is.

Now here’s some of the major problems I had with the film: There’s no way that you have these three potentially dangerous patients in this insane asylum, and have employees that are this incompetent. Another thing I wasn’t too crazy about was during some of the fight scenes, there’s some POV shots that are used- and in concept it should work, but it doesn’t really work in execution.

Sarah Paulson plays a psychiatrist but she mentions comic book facts to try to dispute the fact that these three individuals aren’t superheroes and I felt myself getting annoyed because I was thinking in my head “I know how comic books work, you don’t need to stand here and say these things like you’re dropping some knowledge on me.” And the last thing I didn’t like was the ending… without spoiling anything it’s confusing, messy, and makes no sense.

One thing I’ll mention that I liked before I give my rating was the tender moments between Kevin and Casey, the girl that Kevin let go in “Split” and you feel like there’s a real connection between these two characters.

Grade:

To recap my TL;DR review: The beginning was cool, the middle was too slow, and the ending was sloppy and made no sense. I debated between giving this either a C or a D so I’ll go 6.5/10 or a D+. I don’t know what happened, but this could have been a lot better.

“Reign of the Supermen” Movie Review

Synopsis:

Following Superman’s sacrifice to defeat Doomsday, the world reels from the superhero’s death. Several different versions of the hero pop up on Earth to take his place, including Superboy, Steel, Cyborg Superman, and Eradicator (Wikipedia).

Review:

To be honest, this was an unplanned review from me, and y’all can thank the snow for me being able to see this film.

This film is the sequel to “Death of Superman” and serves to complete the famous comic arc, and as an animated adaptation- this is as faithful an adaptation that we’ll get because the DC Animated movies have always been great 9/10 (we don’t talk about the animated “Killing Joke” film.) So I feel like if this got a live action adaptation, it wouldn’t have been as good.

The voice cast in this film does its job well, and I have to give credit to Patrick Fabian as Cyborg Superman for being able to capture the madness the character possesses, this also goes to the animators for being able to physically twist the character in certain shots to truly show the audience the torment and shear madness the character is going through.

Another thing I’ll say about Cyborg Superman is I understand his motivation- I don’t agree with his methods, but I get where he’s coming from.

Another character I really enjoyed is Superboy voiced by Cameron Monaghan, (famous for his portrayal of Jerome in the TV Series “Gotham”) the thing I liked about the character is he’s cocky and arrogant, and feels like he has a chip on his shoulder, but over time he acts more mature in the film, especially when he learns vital information about himself.

The one thing I was hoping to see that I was excited about was the debut of the black suit, mullet Superman- and it was worth the wait in my opinion. Superman isn’t fully powered because of the process used to revive him, so his fight with his cybernetic counterpart becomes more nerve-wracking.

Grade:

DC has always excelled at their animated features, as opposed to their live action counterparts, and after seeing this back to back with Death of Superman… it’s a sequel that serves its purpose whilst also telling its own narrative. I felt like Steel was shafted, but that’s the only negative I have with the film, so I’ll give this a 8.5/10 or a B+

“Escape Room” Movie Review

Plot:

Six adventurous strangers travel to a mysterious building to experience the escape room — a game where players compete to solve a series of puzzles to win $1 million. What starts out as seemingly innocent fun soon turns into a living nightmare as the four men and two women discover each room is an elaborate trap that’s part of a sadistic game of life or death (Google).

Review:

The first thing I’ll say about this movie is the opening to the film had me hooked… it was tense, nerve-wracking, and you want to know what’s going on.

We’re introduced to three characters: Zoey, Bill, and Jason…. we get some information about them in order to relate to them, then when the characters go to the facility to enter the Escape Room, we’re introduced to three more characters.

The cool thing about this movie is the Escape Room puzzles are intricate, and unique in different ways… my favorite room is an upside down billiards room where the floor falls apart during a timer.

Another thing I liked about the movie is normally in movies like this, the characters paired together try to sabotage each other and stab their peers in the back- but for the most part, they’re actually working together to solve the puzzles.

I was having a great time, I knew there were flaws in the movie- but I was rocking with it… I was gonna let this movie slide on a C+, but then came the ending- I’m sorry, I meant the second ending.

This film felt like it had two endings… the first one I was like “well, that’s a bit disappointing- but it’s not awful.” But then they had an epilogue ending, where it honestly felt like Inspector Gadget… and it feels like it’s trying way too hard for a sequel that it ends up betraying the whole movie towards the end.

Grade:

I tried y’all, I really really tried to let this slide, but I couldn’t… that epilogue ruined it for me, but not enough for it to be on an upcoming Worst Of list… so this gets a 6/10 or a D.