Tag Archives: action

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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A DC Miracle | Review of ‘Wonder Woman’


By Cynthia Ayala

Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen & Elena Anaya
Warner Bros. Pictures
Image Credit: IMDB

“Before she was Wonder Woman she was Diana, Princess of the Amazons, trained warrior. When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, she leaves home to fight a war to end all wars, discovering her full powers and true destiny.”

    —IMDB

As a comic book fan and reader, I tend to set my standards high, especially for DC because those are the comics I buy. But ever since The Dark Knight, there hasn’t been a decent DC film. Until now. Personally, they either miss the mark on understanding the characters (Harley Quinn being the exception) or lack the humor needed to keep the audience entertained between all the drama and darkness. Wonder Woman doesn’t do that. Wonder Woman gets everything right and let me say this, it was amazing.
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A Generic Fantasy Film | Review of ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’


By Cynthia Ayala

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword starring Charlie Hunnam, Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey, Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, Jude Law & Eric Bana Warner Bros. Pictures Image Credit: Goodreads

“Robbed of his birthright, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy – whether he likes it or not.”

—IMDB

Another film about King Arthur. Tales of his majesty and the realm of magic and swordsmanship have been adapted in many ways, from the big screen to the small screen. There hasn’t been an accurate adaptation of the tale since Excalibur and the Merlin miniseries, but pivotal characters weren’t left behind, weren’t forgotten in the telling of the stories. This film seems to have forgotten all about Merlin, Morgan Le Fay and Mordred and the pivotal parts they played in shaping up the Arthurian legend.

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Hilarious, Sweet, and Downright Spectacular | Review of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’


By Cynthia Ayala

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Sylvester Stallone & Kurt Russell
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Image Credit: IMDB

“Set to the backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ continues the team’s adventures as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage.”

    —IMDB

One word: amazing! Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 does not disappoint. The film looks at the characters allowing for character growth while also establishing a family unit for the characters. The movie goes back to trace back the origins of Peter/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt). But there’s more to this film than just that. It had heart and focuses on the Guardians not just as a group of heroes or friends, but as a family. And that’s one of the things that makes this film so good because everyone focuses on the characters and their dynamics with one another. They care about each other, they fight with one another and for one another. They are a strong unit and the cast and crew make sure that that resonates off the screen.
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Terribly Common Yet Fun | Review of ‘The Belko Experiment’


By Cynthia Ayala

The Belko Experiment starring John Gallagher Jr., Tony Goldwyn, Adria Arjona, John C. McGinley, Melonie Diaz, Josh Brener & Michael Rooker
Orion Pictures & BH Tilt
Image Credit: IMDB

“In a twisted social experiment, 80 Americans are locked in their high-rise corporate office in Bogotá, Colombia and ordered by an unknown voice coming from the company’s intercom system to participate in a deadly game of kill or be killed.”

—IMDB

This is one of those movies that is enjoyable, just as long as you remember to shut your brains off. The Belko Experiment isn’t an entirely unique or fresh take on the cliché story of putting people in a room and seeing who will kill to survive and who won’t. Battle Royale did it, The Hunger Games did it, and many more. This film is just another film on that list. Does that make it any less enjoyable? No, just as long as you just shut your brain off, otherwise you won’t enjoy this film at all.
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Tons of Fun and Tons of Character, Power Rangers is a Must Watch | Review of ‘Power Rangers’


By Cynthia Ayala

Power Rangers starring Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Becky G, Ludi Lin, Bill Hader, Bryan Cranston & Elizabeth Banks
Lionsgate
Image Credit: IMDB

“A group of high-school students, who are infused with unique superpowers, harness their abilities to save the world.”

    —IMDB

Sometimes Hollywood can remake our childhood, tapping into everything that made us smile. Power Rangers is a perfect example of that. The old show was always intended for a much younger audience, layered with a degree of absurdity and campiness that made the show so good. With the new adaptation, the movie capitalizes on the absurdity but without the campiness, a deeper level that the writers used to make the story more grounded for an older audience.
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