“The First Purge” MOVIE REVIEW

Plot:

To push the crime rate below one percent for the rest of the year, the New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA) test a sociological theory that vents aggression for one night in one isolated community. But when the violence of oppressors meets the rage of the others, the contagion will explode from the trial-city borders and spread across the nation.

Review:

As a fan of how The Purge trilogy progressed from a standard Break-in thriller to a horrific, anarchy filled action series- I was intrigued by the thought of a prequel exploring how exactly The Purge got created.

After seeing the original Purge movie with Ethan Hawke, I joked about how I could see something like The Purge happening in the next 10 years, but after seeing this movie- and seeing how the economic, political, and social unrest that’s portrayed in this film is mirrored by our own- I could see The Purge happening in the next 3 years…. and that’s the most horrifying thing about this film.

I thought my dude, Skeletor (Rotimi Paul) set-up the tone perfectly in the beginning of the film when he was being interviewed on whether or not he would participate in the experiment, and seeing how psychotic he was let me know I was in for a wild ride. He honestly stole the show for me the more I saw him in action.

Much like the first film, this movie starts as a thriller with political elements sprinkled in… Actually, sprinkled in might be a bit of an understatement because this might be the most politically driven film of the franchise- some of it is done subtly, others are blatant. Most of those blatant political themes have to do with President Trump- honestly I’m surprised I haven’t seen him tweet something about this movie yet… but even if he did, I guarantee this movie would use his tweet as promotion, which is somewhat ironic, but at this point, nothing really surprises me anymore.

I will say, there are two negatives to this film- The Architect (Marisa Tomei) created The Purge experiment as a social experiment for citizens to release their anger and frustrations- but when the Government sends out trained mercenaries to dispatch lower class citizens, she’s horrified… that bugged me because honestly, how else did you think your research was gonna be used? Another thing that bugged me was the ending was so flat, and I know it’s because they’re releasing a TV Show, but I just want some finality in my movie.

Once the action ramps up, that’s when I found myself really enjoying the film. I thought that Demetri (Y’lan Noel) was a total badass, and I really liked the costume designs in this film… one of them that really caught my attention was a dude dressed as Black Skull with the full leather jacket, Nazi garb leading a bunch of dudes wearing blackface masks. I chuckled a bit to myself when I saw this because of the sick, twisted, demented logic of it.

Grade:

I found myself enjoying this film more than I thought I would, but The Architect complaining about how her study was being used, and that flat ending really bothered me.

I’m giving The First Purge a 7.5/10 or a C+

The Incredibles 2 UPDATED Movie Review

I try not to make this sort of thing as a habit because I try to review movies as accurately as I possibly can, no matter what outside factors I’m faced with, however- I was so distracted by two teenagers talking next to me, ruining my experience, that I felt like that aspect didn’t allow me to judge the movie fairly.

Today I went and saw the movie again and had a MUCH better experience… So instead of going through the usual motions of describing the plot and all that, I’m going to provide a deeper analysis on what I picked up the second viewing of seeing this motion picture.

For starters, I immediately noticed that the animation quality is immensely improved from the first film… the colors are richer and more dynamic. The action in this movie is amazing, especially the scene with Elastigirl chasing a runaway train on a motorcycle. And I also love the fact that there’s a subtle time period this film takes place in, which looks like the 1960’s to me.

I’m still not a fan of Screenslaver after seeing this again, and wish The Underminer had a bigger role since I really wanted to see more of him. Speaking of villains, I’m calling this right now: if they make The Incredibles 3, I believe a grown up Jack Jack is gonna be the Villain because if his lack of control over his powers, and his potential as a threat to society could push him to the path of evil.

The movie goes through the basic superhero beats, but it keeps up the energy and charm that makes it stand out from other super hero films- and I like the fact that there’s a huge message in this film: that parenting is just as heroic as going around town in a costume, saving the day.

Taking in account all the things I noticed this time around, and the fact I had a more pleasant experience this time, I’m bumping up my rating of this film to a 8.5/10 or a B+

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom REVIEW

Plot:

Three years after the destruction of the Jurassic World theme park, Owen Grady and Claire Dearing return to the island of Isla Nublar to save the remaining dinosaurs from a volcano that’s about to erupt. They soon encounter terrifying new breeds of gigantic dinosaurs, while uncovering a conspiracy that threatens the entire planet.

Review:

Before I start, I want to admit something: I haven’t seen all the Jurassic Park movies, I’ve only seen the OG Jurassic Park and the third movie…. Now, going into this movie- if you just wanna see a bunch of Dinosaurs, you’re going to enjoy this movie quite a lot. If you came to see the story- you might as well stay home, because this movie gets dumb REAL quick!

For starters, this movie focuses on a group of people who wanna save the Dinosaurs, a group of animals that have been extinct already- so all you’re really saving are a bunch of Dino clones. Another issue this movie has is a bunch of dumb, incompetent villains… one that willing goes into a cage holding a genetically engineered, dangerous dinosaur. I’ve never seen a movie start off so well, only to trip over itself so quickly until I watched this movie.

There’s a few bright spots in this film: the two scenes that I enjoyed were the group escaping an island with an active volcano exploding… and the scene with the Indoraptor stalking Chris Pratt and a few other characters. The second scene was done better because the director of this movie is known for directing the horror movie “The Orphanage” so when the horror element kicks in… it’s done extremely well! An honorable mention is a scene where a villain points out the fact that the fault isn’t his own, but the heroes in their own way contribute to it… this movie has such a black and white viewpoint so it was cool that for a moment, there was a shade of gray.

I had a few nitpicks and I was willing to let them slide…. then came the ending- Jesus Christ, that ending!

I don’t care how much science fiction you put in this movie, you simply don’t get away with an ending like that! It was dumb, and completely absurd on so many levels, and if they make a sequel, the next movie is gonna have to address repercussions that this movie raises. While we’re on this absurd path, let’s just make a bunch of friggin dragons- because at least that makes sense after what I just saw!

Grade:

It’s just amazing to me how the longer these movies go, the dumber they become… I had some enjoyment here and there, but to me the ending is paramount… and this ending ruined everything good about the movie for me.

So with that, I’m giving Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom a D+

“The Incredibles 2” Movie Review

Plot:

Everyone’s favorite family of superheroes is back in “Incredibles 2” – but this time Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is in the spotlight, leaving Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) at home with Violet (voice of Sarah Vowell) and Dash (voice of Huck Milner) to navigate the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life. It’s a tough transistion for everyone, made tougher by the fact that the family is still unaware of baby Jack-Jack’s emerging superpowers. When a new villain hatches a brilliant and dangerous plot, the family and Frozone (voice of Samuel L. Jackson) must find a way to work together again—which is easier said than done, even when they’re all Incredible.

Review:

It’s been 14 years since the last “Incredibles” movie came out, a fact they addressed in the video package at the beginning of the film, so it’s safe to say that expectations were pretty high for this film, especially with how nearly perfect the first film was.

So, I’m just gonna get straight to the point with this, and I’m gonna address this right here and right now… This movie is not as good as the first Incredibles movie, but I had a feeling that was gonna be the case since the first movie was lightning in a bottle.

However, this is still a good movie in my opinion. The film takes place right after the end of the first movie, so Superheroes are still banned from society, which makes it extremely difficult since this movie centers on a whole family of superheroes, especially and infant that has no control of his powers.

The unique approach this movie took with Helen AKA Elastagirl going out on missions to help a spokesman get Superheroes unbanned while Bob AKA Mr. Incredible stays at home to help with the kids was a welcomed change to me. One of my favorite aspects of that whole subplot was Violet’s story on her struggling with a guy she likes while also having the responsibilities as a superhero, and of course she’s a teenager so she doesn’t really handle these situations the best way possible.

Now let me talk about the weakest part of this movie… The villain, Screenslaver. I’m sorry but there’s no way they were gonna beat Syndrome from the first one because he wasn’t just a villain, he was also a statement on how toxic a fan can get. And they tried to put some message with Screenslaver, but this message felt weaker to me.

Another observation I made (which was neither good or bad) was the fact that these other superheroes that appear in the film looks like a bunch of Fortnight reject skins, and I thought that was hilarious.

Grade:

This is still a good movie to me, but the villain sucked, there wasn’t as many laughs, and two teenagers just kept talking next to me. (That’s not the fault of the movie, I just wanted to mention it because I’m still heated about it.)

Incredibles 2 gets a 7.5/10 or a C+

“Hereditary” Movie Review | Genuinely Scary or Overhyped?

Plot: When Ellen passes away, her daughter’s family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry. The more they discover, the more they find themselves trying to outrun the sinister fate they seem to have inherited.

Review:

As a huge fan of horror movies, this was one of the films I was looking forward to this year- but based off all the horror films that have let me down this year (Winchester, Insidious 4, Truth or Dare) I was a bit skeptical of all the praise the film had gotten at the film festival it premiered at… Because to be honest, all the drunk hipsters tend to overhype movies they see at the festivals. One example of a film I actually liked from one of the festivals was the last film I reviewed, which was “Upgrade.”

Now let me just get this out of the way before I continue… “Hereditary” is NOT the scariest film ever made, it’s creepy and there’s some effective moments, but this film suffers in my opinion because of all the hype that those drunk hipsters provided for it. I honestly thought the trailers were much scarier than the film itself.

I could be wrong in my opinion, after all- fear is subjective… different things scare different people, and this film explores a pretty dark topic, which is family drama- the fear of inheriting traits from your family that you despise, and insanity in general. This film explores how the simplest mistakes can have dire consequences, and I thought that Toni Collette did an amazing job portraying all these moods as the mother who has recently lost her own mother and has to try to keep her family together.

Some of the creepiest shots and scenes in this film involves the miniature houses that Toni Collette’s character works on in the film, and there’s scenes with a wide shot where you may or may not see something peering from the shadows… those are the scenes that truly got the hairs on my neck standing up. But my problem with the film is that it starts to lead you in one direction, but towards the third act- goes into a completely different direction. To put it better, I felt that the ending to this movie was very contradictory to the story the film was telling.

Grade:

“Hereditary” may not be the scariest film ever made, but it’s a lot better than most of the horror films I’ve seen this year… it’s creepy and effective with what it tries to achieve- but like I said in my review, it suffers from the festival hype.

I’m going to give Hereditary a 7.5/10 or a C+

“Upgrade” Movie Review | The Sleeper Hit of 2018

Plot:

In the distant future, a brutal mugging leaves Grey Trace paralyzed and his beloved wife dead. Not content with how his life has been changed, a billionaire inventor offers Grey a solution- an artificial intelligence implant called STEM that enhances his body. Now with his life upgraded, Grey uses his newfound superhuman skills to hunt down the men who ruined his life and seek the vengeance he feels he deserves.

Review:

If this is the future that’s in store for us, then it’s a truly horrifying future to live in. There are people in this film that have mechanical implants that are crudely done, such as guns being implanted into people’s arms.

As a film with a small or limited budget- I was very impressed with what was done, mostly due to Leigh Whannell’s directing. In case y’all don’t know who Leigh Whannell is, he’s one of the creative producers of the first SAW film- a film he also starred in, and he directed Insidious Chapter 3. The camera angles and tricks used in this film were both very impressive and effective to tell the dark gritty mood of this film, but also to ramp up the action in this film.

If y’all saw the trailer to this movie, you might’ve mistaken the actor in this film as Tom Hardy because how similar both men look, sorry to disappoint you, Logan-Marshall Green isn’t Tom Hardy, but he might as well be with his amazing acting chops in this film. He was able to balance horror, comedy, drama, and the robotic movements the AI implanted into his body had him doing. All these different things were done seamlessly and without that, I’m not sure the movie would have succeeded as well.

Another thing about this movie I enjoyed were the dark tones of the film, and the action. There’s gore in this film, but it’s not over-used and whenever it is used… it’s used effectively to let the audience know that things have gotten serious.

One of the things that I didn’t like about this film is how some of the characters aren’t completely fleshed out… you have some villains that are just bad guys with mechanical enhancements. You have a female detective that you don’t know much about. And the billionaire inventor is a weird, quirky, anti-social Leonardo DiCaprio clone that was made in a lab somewhere.

However, the ending to this film was so dark, so clever, that it somehow evened everything out for me… the more I think about it, I feel like this would be great for something like “Black Mirror”, a Netflix show that is the Sci-Fi, modern day Twilight Zone.

As a jaded Movie Critic, it’s hard for me to find a movie that feels different, and breathes fresh air into my lungs as I’m surrounded by giant Blockbusters that all feel so manufactured and by-the-numbers. It’s nice to finally have something fresh and different in the theater, and I feel like this movie is gonna take a lot of people by surprise.

Grade:

I said a lot of good things about this film, but it’s not a perfect film, the problems are still there- but that doesn’t mean it isn’t enjoyable… I came to see the action and it delivered that and more. I’m giving “Upgrade” a 8.5/10 or a B+

This is the Sleeper Hit of not only the Summer, but I’d also say it’s the Sleeper Hit of 2018. I defiantly recommend giving this film a watch!

Deadpool 2 Review

Plot:

Foul-mouthed mutant mercenary Wade Wilson (AKA. Deadpool), brings together a team of fellow mutant rogues to protect a young boy of supernatural abilities from the brutal, time-traveling mutant, Cable.

Review:

As a huge fan of the first Deadpool movie, I was very excited to see what they were gonna do with the sequel. But I’m gonna be honest, I think the first Deadpool movie is better, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that this one isn’t good.

Now it’s time for my formula of what I liked, and what I didn’t like….

The positives for this film are, it’s extremely funny- if you don’t laugh once, or at least chuckle- then you’re either easily offended, or you just have no sense of humor. The action in this movie is amped up to 10 and there’s some cool action sequences that are an improvement upon the first film. I thought the X-Force character, Domino was a cool addition to the film, she’s funny and a complete badass- and I loved how stylish her ‘lucky’ powers are filmed and used. Speaking of the X-Force, I won’t go into it too much- but I absolutely loved how they were used in this film. It’s so hilarious and unexpected that I feel like I should praise the film for deciding to do that, it might be a slap in the face to hardcore comic book fans, but I feel like the team did their job. The fourth wall breaks are amazing, and the mid-credit scene was so meta- I loved it.

Now let me get into the negatives:

The kid that Deadpool is trying to save from Cable, I honestly felt no attachment to. Some of the CGI was a bit spotty in my opinion, I appreciate what they were trying to do- but I felt like they were being a bit over zealous. As much as I liked Josh Brolin’s portrayal of Cable, I felt like the character lacked any personality and he seemed like a cardboard cut-out that was put in the film. And my final critic is I wasn’t too fond with the main story of the film, I felt like the story in this film was weaker than the first Deadpool movie’s story. The first Deadpool was focused on one thing start to finish, and this one seemed to be all over the place in my opinion.

Grade:

As much as I wasn’t a huge fan of the story on this film, I had a lot of fun! I laughed a lot, I enjoyed the action. The references were great, and there’s some cool surprises that caught me off guard.

So with all that being said, I’m giving Deadpool 2 a 7.5/10 or a C+

Now hold on, hold on! I know y’all are probably upset that I gave it that grade, but it’s honestly a fun time, you know what, forget it- I stand by my grade.

Batman Ninja movie review

Plot:

In this groundbreaking anime adaptation of the legendary Batman franchise, Gotham City is swapped out for feudal Japan, where Batman fights his infamous foes as an armored ninja. With Catwoman, Two-Face and the Joker all showing up to battle the Bat, will Bruce Wayne be able to save the day?

Review:

When I heard the concept to this movie, it had me intrigued. I’m a fan of Batman and a fan of anime, so going in you’d think that this would be awesome right?

Before I get into my review, let me tell you guys how I ended up watching this movie and the version I watched. I rented this movie on Amazon Video for $5.99 and I saw the English Dubbed version because that’s what played first. Apparently this was done in Japan first, and they decided to port this to America with American voice actors, and the script ended up being translated into English.

So, with all that being said, let me get the positives out of the way:

I love the 2D/ 3D animation style that’s done in the film, in pictures it doesn’t work that well, but seeing it in motion is where it really shines. The voice actors that impressed me were Grey DeLisle (Catwoman), Tom Kenny (Penguin), and Tara Strong (Harley Quinn), everyone else is passable in my opinion. The character designs are fantastic for the most part, although I wasn’t really thrilled with Bane’s design. The one on one fights are done extremely well. And there’s a scene involving Red Hood that is done completely in a watercolor style that’s beautifully done.

Now let’s get into the negatives of this Straight-to-Video movie:

The Joker is extremely irritating to me, and not in a good way. The movie goes completely off the rails around the 17 minute mark in the film. Not all the humor worked for me. And the minute a giant robot, that had a Power Rangers type of transformation, started fighting a giant version of Batman, made of monkeys and bats, I immediately tuned out of the film… speaking of which, the deus ex machina ending irritated the hell out of me.

Grade:

Overall this film is completely batty (see what I did there? 😉) and the few moments I liked in this film got squandered away by the bad stuff pretty quickly and too often for my liking.

I’m going to give “Batman Ninja” a 6/10 or a D.

It’s not completely horrible, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely enjoyable as well.

It’s a real bummer because I was actually kinda hyped to see this movie.

Avengers: Infinity War (Non-Spoiler) REVIEW

Plot: Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk and the rest of the Avengers unite to battle their most powerful enemy yet — the evil Thanos. On a mission to collect all six Infinity Stones, Thanos plans to use the artifacts to inflict his twisted will on reality. The fate of the planet and existence itself has never been more uncertain as everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment.

Review:

10 years, 18 movies… That’s what has led up to this film. I feel like in order to get the most enjoyment out of this film, you have to put in the work and dedication by watching at least 90% of the films in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) however, that doesn’t mean the average audience member isn’t gonna get something enjoyable from this film… it just means you may have a lot of questions that you’ll have to get your friend or family member to fill you in about.

I would describe this film as a superhero WWE WrestleMania event, meaning there’s a lot of characters on the screen beating the crap out of each other for the majority of the film. Calling this film ‘action packed’ is a bit of an understatement, but there’s also Marvel’s signature moments that gets some chuckles.

One of my only complaints in this film is that we meet The Black Order, also known as The Children of Thanos- and we don’t really get to see any development or backstory from them… except for Ebony Maw who is pretty much Thanos’ Hype Man in the film.

Speaking of Thanos… I don’t ever wanna hear anyone defend Steppenwolf from ‘Justice League’ because THIS is how you truly make a terrifying, awe-inspiring, and powerful villain for a bunch of heroes to fight. Josh Brolin did an amazing job as Thanos. He’s a self-assured villain who has his own ideals, and morals. He’s planned for this moment for years, and he will let nothing get in his way of achieving his goal. He’s also a villain that’s cool, calm, and collected- he never has to shout or raise his voice because he doesn’t see the point in it. And to be honest, after hearing his reasoning for what he wanted to do, I have to admit I kinda saw where he was coming from, and in a way I kinda rooted for him to win.

I won’t go into spoilers, but I will say that if you’ve attached yourself to a certain character in the MCU, you’ll have to say goodbye to them in this movie, because a lot of characters die in this film. At the end of the film, there wasn’t a single applause in the theater- everyone was silent due to sheer shock and awe. I feel like this is exactly how it was to see ‘Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back’ in the theater back in the day, and I gotta hand it to the film makers for creating that feeling for the audience.

Grade:

I’ve had 24 hours to process this film, and I’m in between a rock and a hard place with my rating. I really enjoyed the film, but there were some stuff that didn’t exactly work. Overall though, with as many characters as there are in this film, I’m impressed with what they were able to do. If I have to snap my finger (😉) in order to get a proper grade, I’ll give Avengers: Infinity War a 8.5/10 or a B+.

“Rampage” Movie Review

Plot: Rampage is a 2018 American science fiction monster film directed by Brad Peyton, loosely based on the video game series of the same name. It follows a primatologist named Davis Okoye who must team up with George, an albino gorilla who turns into a raging creature of enormous size following a rogue experiment, in order to stop an invasion of monsters.

Review: In case y’all didn’t know, this movie is based off a 1980’s game of the same name where you play as humans who have drank a formula that turns them into giant animals (a gorilla, a wolf, and a lizard) and you’d go around destroying the city… and if you died, you’d revert back to your human state. I didn’t play that version, but I played the PlayStation arcade version with the better graphics, and this movie is TOTALLY different from the games… but is that a good thing or a bad thing?

It’s a bit of both. I admire how much story they were able to do with the simple plot of the games, but that plot gets stretched REAL thin once you’re about halfway through the movie. I really enjoyed the beginning and the ending, the middle is when the movie gets super goofy. I liked the relationship between Dwayne Johnson and George the gorilla, and for the most part the creature designs were cool- the only one I wasn’t a fan of the way it looked was the giant wolf, I felt like that design was the weakest. I thought all the destruction the animals do in the film were really cool, and they really tore up Chicago. Jeffery “Lean” Morgan was pretty much just playing Negan from “The Walking Dead” and yes, I changed his middle name cuz that dude was leaning a majority of the time.

Now that I got the positives out of the way, kinda, let’s get into the negatives: the main villains of this film were just Team Rocket from Pokémon pretty much, The Rock gets shot with a bullet and he’s down for a minute, but then he gets back up and gets stronger somehow, I don’t know. There’s about three helicopters that get destroyed in this film because the director did San Andreas and he’s got a helicopter fetish for some reason, and the whole science on why the creatures are acting up makes no sense.

Overall it’s an enjoyable film, but it’s definitely not gonna win any Oscars, but that’s fine. I still think they should’ve gone with the humans turning into animals idea, but apparently from what I read, the director thought that was silly- so what do I know?

Grade: I’m giving “Rampage” a 7/10 or a C. I had fun but that middle part was really really goofy.