Tag Archives: universal pictures

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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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)

Racially Empowering…and Thrilling | Review of ‘Get Out’


By Cynthia Ayala

Get Out starring Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams & Bradley Whitford
Universal Pictures
Image Credit: IMDB

“A young African-American man visits his Caucasian girlfriend’s mysterious family estate.”

    —IMDB

An amazing film that really looks at society and racism, taking it to another extreme that isn’t all that unbelievable. This is one of those films that’s just incredible because it works so well and builds so well. The beginning is so stark, it’s amazing how it works to create this atmosphere of eerie suburbia that everyone sees and no one talks about. But it also tackles society and racism in a remarkable way. It’s a fresh new take on racism and how it functions and can mutate in society taking on several forms, all of which are harmful to any individual. Acting like you’re not racist doesn’t make it true and this film addresses that.
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Shyamalan Does it Again | Review of ‘Split’


By Cynthia Ayala

Split starring James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley & Haley Lu Richardson
Universal Pictures
Image Credit: IMDB

“Three girls are kidnapped by a man with a diagnosed 23 distinct personalities, they must try to escape before the apparent emergence of a frightful new 24th.”

—IMDB

Shyamalan does it again. Split is such an amazing film that takes the scientific basis of dissociative identity disorder and expands upon it in an extreme way. Enter James McAvoy with a breathtaking performance. McAvoy plays a variety of personas within this film, creating a different identity for each, well, identity. He’s amazing. Not once does he break character, but he creates and moves between the characters, between the personalities so effortless it’s scary. What makes it scary is how good he is at switching between the personas when he brings them to life.
Continue reading Shyamalan Does it Again | Review of ‘Split’

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)

A Bundle of Love and Laughs | Review of ‘The Secret Life of Pets’


By Cynthia Ayala

The Secret Life of Pets starring Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate & Ellie Kemper
Universal Pictures
Image Credit: IMDB

“The quiet life of a terrier named Max is upended when his owner takes in Duke, a stray whom Max instantly dislikes.”

    —IMDB

Where should I start? As an animal lover, I adored this movie, and as a filmgoer, I loved it. This movie had a compelling story to it that also didn’t shy away from what it means to be an animal and an animal lover. Pets get lost all the time, their collars break off, they get taken by animal control, or they are just abandoned. This film touches all of this making this a dynamic movie to behold. The best part about that is that it has a lot of heart, it has a lot of strength, and it has a lot of humor in it. This film is an adventure in the eyes of lost dogs and his friends as they try to find him and bring him back home.
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A Bitter Disappointment | Review of ‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War’


By Cynthia Ayala

The Huntsman: Winter’s War starring Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain
Universal PictureS
Image Credit: IMDB

As a war between rival queen sisters Ravenna and Freya escalates, Eric and fellow warrior Sara, members of the Huntsmen army raised to protect Freya, try to conceal their forbidden love as they combat Ravenna’s wicked intentions.

    —IMDB

This movie had so much potential, but all of it went down the drain. At first look, it seems like a great move for Universal to distance itself from Stewart and the director Rupert Sanders of the previous film because some bad press is bad press. That scandal hurt sales, everyone knows it, and it did not receive many great reviews, probably the biggest fault in the previous was the story which wasn’t praised. This film, while written by different people, suffers that same problem.
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Laughter and Love in Every Scene | My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2


By Cynthia Ayala

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 starring Nia Vardalos, John Corbett & Elena Kampouris
Universal Pictures
Image Credit: Wikipedia

For Toula and her husband Ian, balancing her own marriage and her family haven’t gotten easier. And with some of the spark leaving their relationship, these two are not only dealing with a rebellious teenager who can’t wait to get away from her suffocating family, but now they must deal with the fact that Toula’s parents were never marriage. What’s another wedding mean for Toula? Only more laughs and love.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is the long awaited sequel of the 2002 film My Big Fat Greek Wedding that generated rave reviews and numerous awards. Nevertheless, the sequel, well it hasn’t been received well.
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Visually Beautiful | Review of ‘Crimson Peak’


By Cynthia Ayala

'Crimson Peak' starring Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain & Tom Hiddleston, Universal Pictures
‘Crimson Peak’ starring Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain & Tom Hiddleston,
Universal Pictures

After marrying the charming and seductive Sir Thomas Sharpe, young Edith finds herself swept away to his remote gothic mansion in the English hills. Also living there is Lady Lucille, Thomas’ alluring sister and protector of her family’s dark secrets. Able to communicate with the dead, Edith tries to decipher the mystery behind the ghostly visions that haunt her new home. As she comes closer to the truth, Edith may learn that true monsters are made of flesh and blood.

– Google

Guillermo del Toro impresses once again with this fantasy film filled with numerous gothic tropes to build the story of romance and mystery set in a Victorian background amidst snow and bloodied clay that bleeds into the ground. Continue reading Visually Beautiful | Review of ‘Crimson Peak’

An Excellent Spin-Off of Despicable Me | Review of ‘Minions’


By: Cynthia Ayala

Minions starring Sandra Bullock & Pierre Coffin
Universal Pictures

“One Minion named Kevin has a plan, and he—alongside teenage rebel Stuart and lovable little Bob—embarks upon a thrilling journey that ultimately leads them to their next potential master, Scarlet Overkill, the world’s first-ever female super-villain.”

–– Minions (2015) Synopsis, Fandango

Adorable, simply adorable. From Illumination Entertainment and Universal Studios, the companies that brought viewers Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2 comes a spin-off about the Minions before they came to Gru. In this film, viewers see where they came from and discover what their purpose is: to find the biggest baddest villain and serve them without question.
Continue reading An Excellent Spin-Off of Despicable Me | Review of ‘Minions’