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.

The Top 10 Worst Films of 2018

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10. A Wrinkle in Time:

The problem that this movie had to me was the fact that it didn’t know what it wanted to be. There were times where it was a movie for kids, and then other times it felt like it was the brainchild of someone who took too much drugs. The main character in this movie is looking for her dad, who disappeared, and she’s unlikable in the film instead of being sympathetic like she should be. I didn’t have a huge problem with the movie, but what put it on this list was the video package in the beginning of the the movie with the director pretty much telling me to lower my standards- and I did not appreciate that.

9. Truth or Dare:

If you think about this movie as a comedy instead of a horror movie, and you hang out with friends while eating pizza and drinking- then this should be a fun time! The stupid Snapchat face isn’t terrifying at all, the rules of the game change constantly, there’s unnecessary info that’s put in as a ‘twist’ and the ending was dumb because the main character completely changes her morale when the issue could’ve been solved in a better way.

8. Venom:

A Sony classic right here- take a promising concept and straight up ruin it. “Venom” only has one thing going, and that’s Tom Hardy. The problem with this movie is that it’s tone is all over the place- it’s a horror movie, a comedy, a romance, and an action film- and the film is a mess. But the biggest problem to me was the dumb wig Woody Harrelson had to wear as Cletus Kasady in the Post-Credit scene.

7. The Strangers 2: Prey at Night:

This movie bummed me out because the first movie was so good. To me, I was disappointed because it took them ten years to make the sequel, and this was the best they could do? It felt lazy to me… and the fact that they tried to end it on a cliffhanger made me laugh.

6. Slender Man:

Another example of classic Sony taking a cool concept and messing it up. “Slender Man” could’ve been a cool psychological horror movie with this creature terrorizing these kids- instead we get a “The Ring” ripoff. The worst part was this movie was so BORING! I couldn’t care less if any of these characters lived, especially the main girl who acted like a jerk to her clearly distressed friend all because she wanted to hang out with some dude. The final nail in the coffin was the dumb ending with Slender Man turning into an awful CGI tree. Now that I think about it, this movie’s problems could’ve been solved if one of the girls had kept her eyes closed during the Slender Man ritual… but nah, she had to be a dumb girl in a horror film.

5. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom:

This movie had so much promise… It stated off great, but just stumbled and tripped all over itself. The fact that there’s people who are trying to save dinosaurs is dumb to me, because they’re a race of creatures that had already went extinct millions of years ago… and these are highly dangerous creatures that have wrecked havoc over the whole series. And the worst thing about this movie is the dumb ending it had. I don’t care how sci-fi your movie is- you don’t end it like that!

4. Unfriended: The Dark Web:

This movie is everything that’s wrong with these Found Footage films. It had dumb, unlikable characters. It explored the concept of the dark web, but unless these hackers are from Hogwarts, none of what they did could be possible… I’ve seen Mr. Robot, I have a basic idea of how hacking works. But the worst part of this film is the fact that it was promoted with multiple endings- and the one I got was really really stupid: the main character is in the middle of the street on his bike and get run over by a hacker driving a car. THAT’S THE PAYOFF??!! I took a look at the other endings and I’m mad that I didn’t get the casket ending, because that one I felt tied things together better.

3. The Nun:

This film was everything I feared it was going to be when it was announced that the Marilyn Manson Nun from “The Conjuring 2” was gonna get his own movie. To be fair, it had a cool RPG set-up with a badass priest, a farmer who knew the town, and a lady who wasn’t a nun yet. But as soon as they got in the church abbey, all the problems of this film were unveiled. It had cheap jump-scares, and The Nun, the title character, only had 5 minutes of screen time and relies on “The Conjuring 2” to make the demon, Valek,  frightening instead of the movie trying to make the demon scary.

2. Winchester:

The problem with “Winchester” is unlike “The Nun” it doesn’t have a cool beginning… It has a cool hook, but the film is super boring and lazy. It was so bad that I fell asleep at points watching this movie. The problem is that this film is riddled with lazy jump-scares, and it tries to throw a “Sixth Sense” twist that failed miserably.

1. Life of the Party:

This movie makes me have the shakes whenever I see Melissa McCarthy advertised in a movie. This movie felt like a nepotistic, vanity project by Melissa McCarthy and the director… who is also her husband. The film isn’t funny, and the script feels like it was written on loose leaf paper in crayon. McCarthy’s character makes a Harry Potter reference in the beginning, but when a character says she’s like Dumbledore, she doesn’t know what he’s talking about- which to me makes no sense. There’s a scene where McCarthy’s husband in the movie dumps her after they drop off their daughter at college, and when the daughter finds out, all she says is “Wow, dad sucks.” THAT’S IT??!! She should’ve been way madder in my opinion. I felt like this film was personally attacking me with the weird Goth chick that’s McCarthy’s college roommate. And the worst part about this film is it doesn’t have a third act until they involve a celebrity.  Melissa starts acting up, so her husband pulls the money that’s paying for her to go to college, so her daughter and her friends decide to throw a party and say that Christina Aguilera is gonna show up… but McCarthy’s weird Goth roommate says she knows Christina isn’t coming because she’s her cousin and Christina appears at the party. The only thing I liked about this movie was that my favorite extra, Demetri Landell pops up in the movie. I hated this movie so much.

The Top 10 Best Films of 2018

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10. A Quiet Place:

The simple premise of living in a world overrun by creatures that hunt with incredible hearing, and having to survive that is terrifying. This movie was really effective in the theater because the audience knows from the very beginning of the film that the smallest sound could mean death, and the fact that this movie grips you to your seat with barely any dialogue is impressive to me. And the fact that this is the directorial debut of Jim from “The Office”, John Krasinski- to me, that’s impressive.

9. Overlord:

A World War II action film mixed with zombies, this film was a lot of fun to watch and the film knew exactly what it was. This is a film that didn’t take itself too seriously, it gave some great action, and it dipped. And I respected “Overlord” for being able to do that.

8. Searching:

Finally, a found footage movie that’s actually effective! “Searching” takes the found footage genre and applies it effectively in the real world. In this movie, a father is searching for his missing daughter, and it’s nerve-wracking.

7. Teen Titans GO! To The Movies:

To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the Teen Titans GO series, I grew up watching the original series, and I didn’t really get the appeal of Teen Titans Go, but this movie honestly surprised me! It poked fun at a lot of problems that DC Comics films have nowadays, it had great heart, and it even had a Stan Lee cameo segment that was hilarious to me!

6. Game Night:

This was one of my favorite comedies this year. The reason why the gags in this film works is because it has the blueprints of a murder mystery, but none of the characters are taking it seriously because they’re all over-competitive jerks… Especially Jason Bateman’s character who is competing against his more successful brother.

5. Ralph Breaks The Internet:

I was a huge fan of the original movie, “Wreck It Ralph”, but the reason why this movie works, is because unlike “The Emoji Movie” this movie understands the internet. The friendship between Ralph and Vanellope is sweet, and the animation is gorgeous.

4. Mission Impossible: Fallout:

This was the knuckles to the seat film of the year. Mission Impossible: Fallout might be my new favorite film in the series because this film humanizes the characters by exploiting their weaknesses during their missions. The dynamic of Tom Cruise and Henry Cavill was a highlight to me because their characters are polar opposites in every sense of the word.

3. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse:

See Sony, it’s really not that hard to make a Spider-Man movie! The style of the film is solid, and it also has a great story. This movie focuses on Miles Morales, which is a Spider-Man character I didn’t know a whole lot about. This movie is packed with a whole bunch of references, and Nicholas Cage as Spider-Man Noir was a true highlight for me.

2. Upgrade:

This was the sleeper hit of 2018 for me. This film follows the traditional revenge story, but adds a twist to it. It funny, violent, and nerve-wracking all at the same time. This movie is what “Venom” should’ve been. The cinematography by Leigh Whannell made this movie stand out in the crowd, and this movie has a clever twist that you don’t see coming.

1. Avengers: Infinity War:

The amount of superheroes that were able to fit on the screen is impressive to me, and this felt like a cool, popcorn action film. However, what separates this from the other Marvel movies is Josh Brolin’s Thanos, who is cool, calm, and collected villain that doesn’t have to shout, and gives a compelling reason why he wants the Infinity Stones. So, why is this movie number 1? Because it took a lot of balls to do the ending this film chose, and if you saw the movie, then you know what I’m talking about.