Action Packed Ninja Fun | Review of ‘The LEGO Ninjago Movie’


By Cynthia Ayala

The LEGO Ninjago Movie starring Dave Franco, Justin Theroux, Fred Armisen, Abbi Jacobson, Olivia Munn, Kumail Nanjiani, Michael Peña, Zach Woods & Jackie Chan Warner Bros. Pictures Image Credit: IMDB

“Shunned by everyone for being the son of an evil warlord, a teenager seeks to defeat him with the help of his fellow ninjas.” —IMDB

I have loved every single LEGO movie that had come out, and while I admit that the first was so incredibly impressive, the films that have followed have not failed to impress me, and the LEGO Ninjago movie is no exception to that. These films do not try to be more than anything than they are, which is a comedic family friendly, fun, action-packed adventure. Moreover, that is precisely what the film achieves quite perfectly.
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Flatlining Cheap Thrills | Review of ‘Flatliners’ (2017)


By Cynthia Ayala

Flatliners starring Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, James Norton, Kiersey Clemons & Kiefer Sutherland Sony Pictures Image Credit: IMDB

“Five medical students, obsessed by what lies beyond the confines of life, embark on a daring experiment: by stopping their hearts for short periods, each triggers a near-death experience – giving them a firsthand account of the afterlife.” —IMDB

Oh boy. Where to begin. First, let’s begin by saying that this film at the very least had a very strong beginning. As a reboot, there were parts where this film improved upon the original. It delved into their view of the afterlife, the energy was there, and the longer they stayed dead, the darker it seemed to get, much like the original. However, what It improves upon is the fright factor of their guilt, of what they have done in their lives which comes back to haunt them. It has the spook factor for about ¾’s of the film. You have the ghost’s of their guilt coming back to haunt them, something sinister and almost demonic hunting them.

That is about it. Continue reading “Flatlining Cheap Thrills | Review of ‘Flatliners’ (2017)”

Deliciously Frightening | Review of ‘IT’ (2017 Film)


By Cynthia Ayala

IT starring Jaeden Lieberher & Bill Skarsgård Warner Bros. Pictures Image Credit: IMDB

“A group of bullied kids band together when a shapeshifting demon, taking the appearance of a clown, begins hunting children.” —IMDB

Before I begin, let me just say this: I was not a fan of the original miniseries, even as a child it bored the crap out of me and I did not find Pennywise frightening. It was unimpressive, the original. Part of the reason was the length. It was too long, making it dull. Yes, I understand the concept of a miniseries, some of my favorite things are miniseries (The 10th Kingdom, Dune, Children of Dune). However, with a story like this, something that is supposed to be a horror, the energy, the tension has to be consistent, it has to be there lurking behind every shadow, every corner, every scene. It needs to keep the audience on edge, and I do not feel like the original does that properly. Especially when it hits the adult part of the story, it becomes repetitive and lackluster. It stopped being scary.
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Fast-Paced Coupled with Stellar Performances | Review of ‘The Dark Tower’


By Cynthia Ayala

The Dark Tower starring Idris Elba & Matthew McConaughey
Columbia Pictures
Image Credit: IMDB

“The last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black, determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.” —IMDB

You know, I went into seeing this film knowing all the bad reviews that others had given it and I can 100% say this: they are wrong.
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Thankfully Light and Fun | Review of ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’


Spider-Man: Homecoming starring Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Marisa Tomei & Robert Downey Jr.
Distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing
Image Credit: IMDB

“Peter Parker tries to balance his life as an ordinary high school student in Queens with his superhero alter-ego Spider-Man, and must confront a new menace prowling the skies of New York City.” —IMDB

It took forever to see this movie. You may think that since I work at the theater, I get to see the movies, but that is not the case. I do not get to see the movies when I am working, and after a hard-long weekend, the last thing on my mind is going to the movies. So just keep that in mind the next time you ask the person selling you the tickets if they have seen the movie yet. Continue reading “Thankfully Light and Fun | Review of ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’”

Stunningly Ambitious | Review of ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’


By Cynthia Ayala

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets starring Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen & Rihanna STX Entertainment Image Credit: IMDB

“A dark force threatens Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets. Special operatives Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.” —IMDB

Many of the critics have been a bit too harsh on the film, but I can personally see where they are coming from. I’m not a reader of the comic that this is based on, although I would like to be, especially after seeing this film. I will say this, while the visuals are stunning, the story at the end lends itself to predictability.
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80s Fueled Family Fun | Review of ‘Despicable Me 3’


By Cynthia Ayala

“Gru meets his long-lost charming, cheerful, and more successful twin brother Dru who wants to team up with him for one last criminal heist.” — IMDB

Fun and zany probably sums it up best. Despicable Me 3. Sure, the original will always be the best because it was original, but the heart isn’t lost from the original. The story expands as the story has the group discover a whole new family member. Turns out Gru has a brother, it’s Dru. Dru has the hair, and money, and a mansion. Talk about sibling rivalries. But he reveals some hidden secrets to the family legacy.
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Hail, Caesar | Review of ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’


By Cynthia Ayala

War for the Planet of the Apes starring Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson & Steve Zahn
20th Century Fox
Image Credit: IMDB

“After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind.” —IMDB

Wow. The Planet of the Apes franchise that Matt Reeves and team have given birth too is one so remarkable not only because it gives insight into the past but because it is systematically setting up the world fans know all about. But there is also a progression to the story line, a way it moves forward from the first film and develops those aspects from the first film. The series itself has led up to this amazing moment where it builds the characters, where it builds the story to this moment. There was no other way for the story to go, no other direction that would have felt so emotional and so grounded in reality as this franchise. It’s an amazing film that has the audience rooting against the humans and rooting for the apes.
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Not Great but Not Terrible | Review of ‘The Mummy’ (2017)


By Cynthia Ayala

The Mummy starring Tom Cruise, Annabelle Wallis, Sofia Boutella, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance & Russell Crowe
Universal Pictures
Image Credit: IMDB

“An ancient princess is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension.”

    —IMDB

Where to start. Okay, so as a fan of the Brendan Fraser Mummy from back in the day, like many I was skeptical. But at the end of the day, I have to appreciate that this film was not a copycat. And it’s still funny. Tom Cruise has proven that he is a very versatile actor, and like many actors, he’s going to have some bad movies under his belt. This certainly isn’t his worst film but it’s not his best either, I’ll admit to that. Was the story the best? Certainly not. I’m going to go ahead and agree with some of the critics who question if the film would have been better had it not been so set on establishing the Dark Universe. Continue reading “Not Great but Not Terrible | Review of ‘The Mummy’ (2017)”

Mediocre but Entertaining | Review of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’


By Cynthia Ayala

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales starring Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Kevin McNally, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley & Geoffrey Rush Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Image Credit: IMDB

“Captain Jack Sparrow searches for the trident of Poseidon while being pursued by an undead sea captain and his crew.”

    —IMDB

Yet another Pirates film. I missed out On Stranger Tides, although I was told I didn’t miss anything considering it was terrible. Not that I was surprised. But considering this film was returning to its roots with a ghost story, well I thought I would give it a try. What did a get? Just more of the same, nothing new, nothing fresh, only mediocrity.
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