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.
Continue reading “Deliciously Frightening | Review of ‘IT’ (2017 Film)”

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.
Continue reading “Hail, Caesar | Review of ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’”

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.

Continue reading “A Generic Fantasy Film | Review of ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’”

The Perfect Wolverine Film | Review of ‘Logan’


By Cynthia Ayala

Logan starring Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart & Dafne Keen
Marvel Entertainment
Image Credit: IMDB

“In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X somewhere on the Mexican border. However, Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are upended when a young mutant arrives, pursued by dark forces.”

—IMDB

There’s simply no limit to the beauty this film has wrapped in all the swearing and gritty glory that defines Wolverine’s character and this film. Wolverine has not had an easy life, he has gone through so much and the writers knew just how to capitalize on the character, the Wolverine, and evolve the story for him. They took a risk, and they ended the story properly, they ended it in such a way that they gave closure to the character and his legacy in the X-Men.
Continue reading “The Perfect Wolverine Film | Review of ‘Logan’”

A Remarkable Piece of History | Review of ‘Hidden Figures’


By Cynthia Ayala

Hidden Figures starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer & Janelle Monáe
20th Century Fox
Image Credit: IMDB

“Based on a true story. A team of African-American women provide NASA with important mathematical data needed to launch the program’s first successful space missions.”

  • IMDB

Such a remarkable film that brings to life the history not only about NASA and the space race but also about three amazing women who were instrumental in the space race and the war on racism.

Taraji P. Henson plays Katherine Goble, African-American physicist and mathematician in the aeronautics space program. She plays this incredible woman who had to face not only racism but sexism in the space department as she fights to prove her worth to the program and that her smarts go beyond her gender and race. It was a remarkable performance that is important for the present because it is a film that fights and pushes against those boundaries.
Continue reading “A Remarkable Piece of History | Review of ‘Hidden Figures’”

19-Years-Later & Still Magical | Review of ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ (Harry Potter #8)


By Cynthia Ayala

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany
Arthur A. Levine Books

The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later.

With Voldemort dead and gone, Harry Potter’s life hasn’t gotten any easier. As an overworked employee of the Ministry and a father of three, his life is as hard as ever. But not only for him. The past is creeping on the Potter’s, especially on his son Albus, and on their journeys, they must each come face to face with the darkness around them.

Published on July 31, 2016, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a work compiled by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany. It is a special version of the story written by J.K. Rowling and adapted for the stage continues the story in a beautiful way that shows the challenges of parenthood and living up to your parents.
Continue reading “19-Years-Later & Still Magical | Review of ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ (Harry Potter #8)”

Strong Cast, Weak Characters | Review of ‘The Girl on the Train’ (Film)


By Cynthia Ayala

The Girl on the Train starring Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett & Rebecca Ferguson Universal Pictures
The Girl on the Train starring Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett & Rebecca Ferguson
Universal Pictures

A divorcee becomes entangled in a missing persons investigation that promises to send shockwaves throughout her life.

­—IMDB

Based on the New York Times bestseller of the same name, this film captures a high-intensity struggle of an alcoholic woman who is struggling to remember what happened the day she came home bruised and bloody on the same night someone goes missing.

I heard much about the novel, both good and bad, and as for the bad, I’m beginning to understand why those people I know felt the way they did. But I went into this film thinking it looked good, and when you add Emily Blunt in the film, I thought “now there’s a lot of potential to save a story.” Continue reading “Strong Cast, Weak Characters | Review of ‘The Girl on the Train’ (Film)”