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’”

Advertisements

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.
Continue reading “A Bundle of Love and Laughs | Review of ‘The Secret Life of Pets’”

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.
Continue reading “A Bitter Disappointment | Review of ‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War’”

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.
Continue reading “Laughter and Love in Every Scene | My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2”

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’”

The Perfect Pitch | Review of ‘Pitch Perfect 2’

By: Cynthia Ayala

'Pitch Perfect 2' starring Anna Kendrick & Rebel Wilson
‘Pitch Perfect 2’ starring Anna Kendrick & Rebel Wilson
Universal Pictures

Three years have passed since the Barden Bellas proved that they were just as good as the boys when they became the first all-female group to win a national title. But after a disastrous performance at the Lincoln Center leads to scandal, the school strips them of their performing duties. All seems lost until they are given one last chance: win the cappella world championships in Denmark and they will be reinstated. Can the girls get their act together or will they lose everything?

This film is, in one word, perfect. Pitch Perfect 2 delivers great laughs with a down to earth tone and amazing musical mash-ups. This was just an amazing film that recaptured the humor from the first film and brought it another level. These girls are seniors now, with their futures very close on the horizon and their fears are getting to them. After their debacle of a performance, their fears are rising. Being a cappella girl is what these girls have mastered in, so with their chance to continue performing in their last year, they are losing a pivotal part to enjoy their senior year.
Continue reading “The Perfect Pitch | Review of ‘Pitch Perfect 2’”

The ‘Seventh Son’ is Unoriginal & Overly Embellished | Review of ‘Seventh Son’

By: Cynthia Ayala

Seventh Son:
Distributed by: Universal Pictures

Seventh Son stars Ben Barnes and Jeff Bridges in this science fiction/fantasy journey about the seventh son of the seventh son becoming the next “spook” apprentice. Ben Barnes and Jeff Bridges play side by side as master and apprentice, keepers of the dark, and the darkest of the darkest being witches.

Julianne Moore plays the lead villainess, the Queen Witch and scorned lover of Jeff Bridges. Taking a central focus on her, the movie builds an army of exotic villains spanning through various cultures.
Continue reading “The ‘Seventh Son’ is Unoriginal & Overly Embellished | Review of ‘Seventh Son’”

Snow White And The Huntsman Director Rupert Sanders To Helm Sci-Fi Romance The Juliet

By: Eric Eisenberg Director Rupert Sanders made Universal Pictures a lot of money this summer -his film Snow White and the Huntsman bringing in $396 million internationally – and while the critics didn’t love what he had to offer and there was the controversial affair with Kristen Stewart, Hollywood is still totally motivated by money. So, naturally, Sanders has been getting his fair share of … Continue reading Snow White And The Huntsman Director Rupert Sanders To Helm Sci-Fi Romance The Juliet