Sunday, December 27, 2015

Daddy's Home Review: A long shot from best comedy of 2015

The Hit:


Daddy's home is about a step father and biological father competing for the affection of their two children. The duo of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg make this story quite comical. Will Ferrell's character Brad Whitaker is living the life as a radio executive and has slowly been winning the love of his two step kids. But just as soon as he thought he has them, the real father, Dusty Mayron (Wahlberg) comes back into the picture. Now, both fight to be the better daddy.


The two go back and forth with love, affection and gifts but what they eventually notice is, that they just need to "be there" for the kids. Aside from the bickering and feuding between Ferrell and Wahlberg, Daddy's Home was not the best comedy of the year but I had some laughs here and there. There was also an ironic twist at the end that turned things around for the two competing dads.


Daddy's Home had a good story and message while being comical as well. It's not on my must-see films, so if you want to wait until the DVD or Bluray release I wouldn't blame you.


The Verdict:
Yellow Light (Proceed with Caution)

Friday, December 18, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review: A glorious return

The Hit:

The Force has returned and it was glorious! I will add no spoilers so those that haven't seen it can have a chance to enjoy it with all the surprises intact.

We get lots of old faces from Episodes 4-6. But even with old friends, this is a new story with a fresh slate of characters and those newcomers did a remarkable job. 

First, we have the new villain by the name of Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), the wannabe Darth Vader with a secret past. Next is Finn (John Boyega), a person trying to figure out who he really is when he meets Rey (Daisey Ridley). Rey has a secret past, surrounded by much speculation. She is a character I enjoyed and am excited to see where her destiny takes her. BB-8, the ball droid seen in the movie trailers is one you will really love as well.

Again I will refrain from any spoilers but will try to add what I can without doing so. The Force Awakens was a story similar to another episode but with its own unique twists and flavor. There is classic Star Wars comedy and action throughout. I never felt that Force Awakens slowed down or was dull, even for a second. Each new character built upon one another to bring it all together. The Force was mentioned, of course and to this day the Dark Side is still on top, unfortunately. There is still no balance and Luke seems to remain the only hope of restoring light to the galaxy. We see a new villain above Kylo Ren as well, Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis), an evil being that takes the place of the Emperor from the original trilogy.

Seeing The Force Awakens will be the greatest way to end 2015. It brought back the joy and memories from the original trilogy and played on all my emotions. I'm a sucker for lightsaber duels and you will see that for certain as well, along with a wide variety of other action scenes. Waiting for the next movie will be cruel indeed. 

May the Force be with you. 

The Verdict:

Green Light (Go See It)

Sunday, December 13, 2015

In the Heart of the Sea Review: Fantastic acting, directing and effects all come together

The Hit:

What a ride from start to finish. In the Heart of the Sea was a flick I was about to not see but would have made a mistake if I had missed out on it. Some reviewers are saying the only good thing about the movie was the acting and not much else, but from what I saw everything was great, the story and design and everything you can think of. Don't be fooled by those saying this was not good.

Ron Howard known for Rush, Cinderella Man, the Davinci Code and many others brought Moby Dick, the White Whale to life. It's so massive it brings fear into the eyes of men foolish enough to attempt to kill it and take the oil from inside its hide. 

Chris Hemsworth plays first mate Owen Chase, a whaler who has had past successes in getting large amounts of oil but has not been able to be a captain of his own ship because of his last name. The captain of the ship is George Pollard (played by Benjamin Walker) and together with Chase and the crew, they set out to get 2000 barrels of whale oil. In the Heart of the Sea is told from the perspective of a boy named Thomas Nickerson (Tom Holland) who is now an old man. He wanted to be a great whaler and admires Owen Chase very much. He is actually going to be playing the next Spiderman in the Marvel series and from seeing him in this movie he will be amazing.

In addition to key characters, the entire cast does a great job acting. When you see them doing their job in securing and killing whales you get the idea of how crucial it is to get oil and the hardships involved in retrieving it. Failure was not an option if you wanted to make a name for yourself or money. 

In the Heart of the Sea is all about survival. As seen in the trailers, Moby Dick, the enormous whale damages the ship they voyaged on and now the crew fights just to get home alive. This movie was a thrill ride and the effects were extraordinary. I loved the story, the acting, and imagery. Chris Hemsworth who is mostly known for playing Thor has been rising to the top as a great actor and in this he soars again. You will not regret seeing In the Heart of the Sea.

The Verdict:
Green Light (Go See It)

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Creed Review: Balboa and Jordan are a killer combination

The Hit:

What more can you ask for than Sylvester Stallone reprising his role as icon Rocky Balboa and Michael B. Jordan playing Adonis Creed the son of Apollo Creed? The chemistry these two bring to the floor is beyond words. Sylvester and Michael made the film, added a little comedy and tugged at your heart strings. Their characters need each other: Adonis wants to make a name for himself and make the name of Creed famous. Rocky is just the owner of a restaurant and doesn't want to step in the ring as a fighter or coach, but deep down he knows that is what he loves and needs because he was born to do so.

Adonis never met his dad because he was not born yet when Apollo died. We see his struggle early in his life and even though he had a good job later on, deep down that was not what he wants to do with his life. Instead, he takes a leap of faith and asks Rocky to train him. When Rocky finds out that Adonis is Apollo's son, he can't let his old friend down. Although Creed is sort of the continuation of the Rocky films, it's mostly about Adonis, as the title suggests. Sure, I liked seeing Rocky again, but watching a new fighter begin his own story was a great way to continue the Rocky franchise.

I have nothing negative to say about this film, it was a fight straight through and through. Rocky is old so we see him struggle and go through a phase which was sad to see but Adonis was there for him, not just as a student but as a son, as family. Other cast members did amazing, including Adonis's love interest, Bianca, played by Tessa Thompson. She also became a big part in Adonis' life and is there by his side in the end. 

Creed is a must see and a must own when out, it is touching with a great story and a great cast. When you hear the old Rocky music playing, it sends chill throughout your body. The last fight in the movie is an all-out brawl each round. With rocky in his corner and his loved ones at home watching, can Adonis win and bring fame to the Creed name once more? The Rocky and new Creed duo was fantastic. 

The Verdict:
Green Light (Go See It)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Night Before Review: A funny flick for the holidays

The Hit:

The Night Before is brought to you by the same folks who did "This is the End" and "Neighbors" and they've outdone themselves again. This comedy follow three best friends: Ethan (Joseph Gordon Levitt), Isaac (Seth Rogan), and Chris Roberts (Anthony Mackie) and their Christmas Eve tradition that's ten years and counting. The reason for this tradition is for you to find out but it's really touching.

This year will mark the end of the tradition because, with time, life has become too busy for each friend. In the movie adaptation of The Night Before, this is done in a similar way to the Christmas Carol — each of the three receives a vision related to their lives. The spirit showing them this vision is a weed dealer and the only way for the vision is to smoke this special weed. The dealer, Mr. Green's (Michael Shannon) wisdom makes for some good laughs.

Each friend is going through some trial in their lives: one is focused on their tradition and making the last time they spend together the most memorable while also figuring out his love life, one is just high on the drugs his wife gave him as a gift to have a wild night and one is the supplier of the weed for the party and wants to look cool to the others. Together, they're trying to make it to the party of all parties. 

I laughed throughout The Night Before but just like "This is the End" and "Neighbors", the rating is R for a reason. If you liked those two flicks, I'd recommend this one too. Some actors and artists make a special appearance later in the movie and make it even funnier as well. But even with all the R-rated comedy, this movie still delivers a message about the importance of friends and family, especially during the Holidays.

The Verdict:
Green Light (Go See It)

Friday, November 20, 2015

Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Review: A grand series finale

The Hit:
I cannot believe this is the last movie in the Hunger Games series. It's sad to think that Jennifer Lawrence's incredible performance of Katniss Everdeen has come to an end, as well as those of Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Willow Shields, Sam Claflin, Elizabeth Banks and many more. The Hunger Games is a series to own and watch again and again.

 Mockingjay picks up without intro right where Part 1 ended — you are sucked right back in the world of Panem. We left off with Peeta going crazy and trying to kill Katniss by choking her out. At that point, Katniss is being examined by a doctor to make sure the symbol of the rebellion is still good to lead. Mockingjay follows the book really closely. Because the last half of the book was so dark I pondered if the movie would be the same with a PG 13 rating. This movie is dark in a few scenes and am surprised they were shot to do so. Some scenes are not just gut wrenching but really emotional. Mockingjay shows what war can bring and at what costs and sacrifices. The war on the capital in this movie is shown to be real and to me this is my close second favorite in the series. 

Unlike the first part of Mockingjay where it was a build up and not much going on, this is the climax we have all been waiting for. Action junkies like myself will love this movie and will be surprised at what the game makers do to keep the rebels at bay with each trap they set. They set up a minefield of traps and if you don't have a special tool to locate them, each turn you take will be lead to certain death. There is so much death in this movie and if you are in love with certain characters, they just might perish and leave you with brief sadness. I can say I forgot a certain person dies in the book and seeing it happen made me think to myself "NO!! Why??" So be warned. 

Mockingjay Part 2 is one not to miss and one that makes the ending a little more soothing than the ending of the book, which I know we all didn't like. The movie closes it nicely and makes it a lot easier to say goodbye. The only negative things I can mention about this film is that one scene from the whole movie was briefly cheesy, as in a couple seconds, and the other thing is seeing characters you know meet their doom on screen is really sad. Will Katniss end up with Gale or Peeta and have kids of her own? Book readers don't spoil the answers and those that don't know go find out. 

The Verdict:

Green Light (Go See It)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Spectre Review: Doesn't quite match up to Skyfall

The Hit:

Spectre was just a little less great than its predecessor, Skyfall. We got to see the Daniel Craig back one more times as James Bond and other old favorites reprise their roles as well: Ralph Fiennes as the new M, Ben Whishaw as Q, and Naomie Harris as the lovely Eve Moneypenny. Other new actors, both hero and villain, alike were also introduced such as Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, and many more.

In Spectre, we follow James take on a mission left behind for him from the Previous M. He plans to do it solo, in part because while this is happening MI6 is in danger of being replaced by a new type of technology that wouldn't require any more 00 field agents. It's James' job to finish what M left behind, but little does he know it is all connected to this new technology. The new M also realizes 007 may turn out to be the last chance for MI6.

Although Bond starts the mission on his own, he soon turns to Q, and Moneypenny for help. And like other James Bond movies, in Spectre we get to see him seduce multiple women. The person he is trying to stop this time is an old friend, someone who has been affecting him in all the previous Daniel Craig James Bond installments — the puppeteer of all those bad guys he has taken down. I would say this villain is his biggest challenge yet.

I enjoyed Specture but I liked Skyfall just a little more. Even though it's a long movie it doesn't slow down one bit. The cast was great and so is Daniel Craig. 

The Verdict:
Green Light (Go See It)

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Burnt Review: Bradley Cooper is Oscar-worthy

The Hit:

Burnt was not a movie I was planning on seeing — being a flick about cooking it was really not something I wanted to check out. But with few choices this weekend and Bradley Cooper being the lead in the film, why not? Do not go in this movie hungry because there are some tasty dishes and scenes that will make you even more hungrier.

In Burnt, Cooper plays a head chef in London struggling to start fresh and make it back to the top. To some, he is so popular that he is compared to the Rolling Stones of cooking and other references name him a  Luke Skywalker or even Yoda of Culinary Arts. Although he's a big deal, Adam Jones (Cooper) was not always the nicest guy. We follow him return to London after events that didn't exactly go right previously in Paris.

Adam was in a bad shape with addictions that took over his life and his career as a chef, and now he is determined to come back, rebuild the relationships he ruined in Paris and regain trust he severed along the way. Cooper does a commendable job portraying this character's emotional journey. Not only do we see the life of a chef, it also made me realize that cooking can be an art. Another thing that was portrayed was the head chef's power in the kitchen. Whatever a chef says, you do it and you never talk back. Needless to say working for a chef is not a job I'd like.

The supporting cast was a group of old friends Adam screwed over in Paris then hires as his crew for the new restaurant he plans to start. With a little convincing, they all agree and strive to be one of the best places to eat in London. Another person he recruits Helene, played by Sienna Miller. She played Bradley Cooper's wife in American Sniper and is something of a love interest again in Burnt but all professional in the kitchen. Helene is a struggling single mom trying to balance her daughter with a career as a top chef. Other characters are of great help to Adam — you see old friends take him back, betrayal and even some enemies that might not be after all.

Bradley Cooper did an even better job in Burnt than Silver Linings Playbook. I will be surprised if he does not get an Oscar nomination for this role. This movie did not drag for a second and I can see myself watching it again. You will not be disappointed. 

The Verdict:
Green Light (Go See It)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Last Witch Hunter Review: Nothing new from Vin Diesel

The Hit:
The Last Witch Hunter is more than just a hunter who protects humans from those who use magic in evil ways, he is one to be feared and as an immortal, he's learned all the tricks to come out on top while facing any opponent. Vin Diesel brings Kaulder, the Last Witch Hunter to life and just like all Vin Diesel movies, he has the same acting persona. I'm a Vin fan,and enjoyed him and this character. His sidekick is a previous Hobbit from the Shire (Elijah Wood) who works for the church as the 37th Dolan and is equal parts useless and a great help. His character does a surprise turn toward the end that might shock you. 

Both Diesel and Woods are in a secret organization that governs those who use magic strictly to follow the laws. If you don't follow them they send their weapon, the Witch Hunter, to track you down and if it's a major crime they are imprisoned for a long period of time.

One witch who befriends the witch hunter is Chloe (Rose Leslie), and without her their main foe would be too hard for Kaulder. Another iconic actor who makes an appearance is Michael Caine as the 36th Dolan, You don't see him too much but when he's on screen he's always a treat and reminds me of the times he played Alfred in Batman with a similar role here.

I liked The Last Witch Hunter but I can see where some might not enjoy it — some scenes were cheesy and Vin's acting doesn't bring anything new. The storyline was pretty fun, especially with magic in the air. The Last Witch Hunter faces an evil he has faced before and without the help of his current and new comrades it would be all but impossible to triumph. Does he save the world entirely or is there something even more evil out there?

The Verdict:
Yellow Light (Proceed with Caution)

Monday, October 12, 2015

Pan Review: Completely misses the mark

The Hit:
I don't dislike too many movies but Pan was a movie that should not have been made, at the very least until they could get it right. The story was rushed and characters were smashed into our faces with little to no backstory. Pan also had too much CGI and should have backed off. Some scenes looked faker than fake and even the actor who played Peter (Levi Miller) looked  computer animated when he didn't need to be. 

Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman) was hard to follow. Hugh has roles where he dominated: X-Men, Les Miserables, Prisoners...but this was one I didn't enjoy him in. Other main characters like the iconic Hook (Garrett Hedland) and his sidekick Smie (Adeel Akhtar) made this a little better to watch with the comedy they brought forth, especially Smie. A love interest between Hook and Tiger Lily (Rooney Mara) was also forced. No chemistry was really there to begin with except some cheesy smiles.

I put Pan on the pedestal and went in with high hopes and that was my downfall. Movie trailers made this movie better than it was. I wouldn't suggest seeing this movie.

The Verdict:
Red Light (Don't See it)

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Martian review: An out of this world home run

The Hit:
The Martian was indeed a movie out of this world. The  movie is two hours of suspense. Martian, unlike Everest, not only kept me on the edge of my seat, but had me rooting for the protagonist to survive.

This cast was full of stars but the one that stands out is Matt Damon who plays "The Martian" Mark Watney. We follow his journey to stay alive for help to come back to retrieve him, which takes a long period of time. Other big name stars are Jessica Chastain, Michael Pena, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie, Sean Bean, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and many others.You'll probably recognize many of these names (a handful were also in Interstellar) and they all did an amazing job.

The Martian begins with the crew on Mars. When a sudden storm hits their home base, they are tasked to wait it out or leave. But their space shuttle is slowly being tipped by the wind and if they don't leave they'll be trapped on the planet. All is going as planned when Mark gets hit by debris and missing and presumed dead so the rest of the crew has to make the tough decision of leaving before it's too late. 

After the storm we find out he somehow survived and on his own. The instant Mark realizes he is alone, he doesn't go crazy but goes into survival mode and plans out how much water and food he has left and rations that to live out for a rescue. Luckily he's a botanist and growing food on a planet that can't sustain life is not hard for him.

As Mark says, "I'm going to have to science the shit out of this." Not only do we see his side of the story but also experience his crew and NASA back on earth as they plan a rescue operation. The whole world is involved in his rescue.

The Martian is a movie not to miss and will be one to own when it comes out. Don't leave as soon as the movie is over because there is a little scene that brings it all to a close before the main credits start rolling. 

The Verdict:
Green Light (Go see it)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Everest Review: A thriller not for the faint of heart

The Hit:

Everest is a story about a guide leading a daring group up to the mountain and back down. The key thing mentioned in the film is that going up is not really the hard part but after your body is drained of its energy, the adventure back down is more brutal and exhausting and quite scary.

Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) is the guide paid to take them up and bring them back down safely. This story depicts real events that happened on May 10, 1996 and the tragedy that befell them. Two crews make it up and suddenly a huge storm that wasn't supposed to hit caused heavy snow storms and icy cold temperatures. The battle for survival starts.

Everest starts out with the guides and the climbers — you get to learn each of their back stories and connect with those characters. Not only do they have to climb Everest but the journey to the base of the mountain is a hike in it of itself .

The movie made you want to take the challenge of going up Everest's peak or stay home, warm, and out of harm's way. My point of view was stay home and if you choose the same after watching this film I wouldn't blame you — Everest was gut wrenching and sad. There are gleams of hope but don't rely on that too much.

I would suggest seeing Everest in Imax because a bigger screen was meant for a film like this. Also get some hot water for hot chocolate going when you get home just in case you leave feeling cold. Snowfall is just around the corner and Everest reminded me of that. You'll enjoy it and the characters. Now go and find out if everyone makes it out alive or if some perish. 

The Verdict:
Green Light (Go See it)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Black Mass Review: A can't miss, thanks to a great cast

The Hit:

Black Mass was a different movie I wasn't planning on seeing but it turned out to be a good flick. Johnny Depp plays notorious South Boston criminal James "Whitey" Bulgar who's committed pretty much every crime in the books and his true story comes to life. Black Mass starts in the late 1970's and the story slowly takes place from there. Black Mass depicts a crime boss who was ruthless and if loyalty was broken, that was it for you. 

Whitey didn't get where he was by himself — connections he made during childhood helped him reach the top. He gets a leg up from his brother Billy (Benedict Cumberbatch) — a big time senator — and then befriends an old ally, John Connolly (Joel Edgerton), who is now an FBI agent.

With the help of John, Whitey makes a deal he cannot refuse: helping the FBI catch another crime boss above him by being an informant. In exchange, John gives Whitey information and other favors to help him climb to the top of the local crime ladder. John's loyalty to Whitey is his number one priority.

Black Mass shows scenes not meant for kids that might make adults cringe too. Johnny Depp takes Whitey from a semi-criminal to one to be feared. But those loyal to him have a limit and you will find out what I mean in the climax of the story. Great acting brought the real story to life and made Black Mass a crime/drama/biography you won't want to miss.

The Verdict:
Green Light (Go See it)

Maze Runner — The Scorch Trials Review: Shaping up to be a better series than Hunger Games

The Hit:

Maze Runner was all about a group of kids trying to escape "the Maze". After achieving the unthinkable, they now face their next challenge, the Scorch. The Scorch Trials is basically going through the desert and the heat it comes with. The Gladers also face who they thought were the good guys at the end of the first, but were revealed to be the same people who put them in the maze, the organization called WCKD.

Knowing this, Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) escapes with Minho (Ki Hong Lee), Teresa (Kaya Scodelario), Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), Frypan (Dexter Darden), Winston (Alexander Flores) and a few new comers into the Scorch to find out what WCKD is all about. They also question what to do should they survive the Scorch and wonder about those infected with the Flare Virus who are just as dangerous as WCKD.

Throughout the film, Thomas gets flashbacks of his early work with the WCKD and the reasons why he was sent into the Maze in the first place. Another key person also gets their memory back but when said person does, it effects the rest of the group in a negative way. Action and mystery are what grabbed me in the first movie and this flick does the same. If you had any questions of what was gonna happen next and the whole story with WCKD, Scorch Trials answers them and more. You will see more characters who are key figures in coming sequels (so far there are four books and from what I read a fifth is coming in 2016). The story must be great enough to have so many books and the actors bringing these characters and world to life are fun to watch.

Don't go to Scorch Trials if you haven't seen Maze Runner. A friend of mine didn't and was confused with the story so watch the first before you go. Scorch Trials was fun, entertaining and one that you will enjoy! 

The Verdict:
Green Light (Go See it)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Visit Review: Not quite what you'd expect

The Hit:
Grandparents are a blessing in our lives and they are always there for you, through the good and the bad. In The Visit, two grandkids are about to see their Nana (Deanna Dunagan) and Pop Pop (Peter McRobbie) for their first time. The reason for it being the first time is that mother (Kathryn Hahn) and her parents got in a fight resulting in years of not speaking to each other, but when the grandparents reach out to see their grandchildren, the mother relents. The daughter, Becca (Olivia Dejonge), films the whole trip including the before, during, and after. Her younger brother Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) doesn't really cooperate and ends up filming with another camera as well.

The Visit starts out with some comedy and  family moments but when the kids are out on the farm with the grandparents, they slowly notice something is not right. Nana and Pop Pop are really weird, not only during the day but at night as well. Of course all things weird and scary happen when it gets dark and The Visit has moments that make you jump out of your seat too and make you glad you have normal grandparents.

If any of you know the works of the director M. Night Shyamalan then be prepared for a twist at the end of the film where all is revealed in the climax.

The Verdict:
Yellow Light (Proceed with Caution)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

No Escape Review: Owen Wilson surprises in a new role

The Hit:

No Escape was a shocker of a movie. Sure, Owen Wilson and Lake Bell play mostly in comedy flicks and I thought they couldn't really play in something serious like an action/thriller, but trust me when I say that they nailed the part. I wasn't so sure Owen was the same Owen I know when I walked out. 

Wilson plays the father named Jack Dwyer and Bell plays his wife, Annie Dwyer. They have two daughters who are very very talented actresses, Lucy (Sterling Jerins) and Beeze (Claire Geare). All four do a great job. 

Another key figure was Hammond (Pierce Brosnan). Although he is shown in an early stage of the movie, he later becomes a great help to the family. He and his partner Kenny Rogers (Sahajak Boonthanakit) team up to battle the rebels that would have been tough for Jack and his girls to faceon their own. Their combined skills are a force to be reckoned with.  

No Escape is about a country undergoing a coup that starts when Jack gets a new job overseas. Little does he know the company he now works for is partly to blame. The movie hits the ground running with action and keeps on getting better and better. The whole time Jack and his family try to get away and stay ten steps of their enemies. Their hope diminishes by the hour and is even taken away just when you think they've made it.  No Escape kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.

No Escape is rated R for a reason: torture, blood, intense scenes and strong violence. If you want to see a family go through it all and if you want to see IF they make it out alive, I would suggest you go watch No Escape. Owen Wilson shocked in this role and I really hope he plays more roles like this. I walked in with low expectations and came out amazed. 

The Verdict:
Green Light (Go See It)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

American Ultra Review: An interesting take on agent movies

The Hit:

American Ultra starts with a stoner who used to be an agent and was brainwashed into forgetting his past. He's the result of a program created by the CIA experimenting on inmates to make the best agent and although the movie states that some are successful, others are failures.Things get going when his previous skills are activated by certain words.

Mike Howell (Jesse Eisenberg) is the ultra agent in this flick but he's not alone. The only person who can put up with him and his addiction is his girlfriend Phoebe Larson (Kristen Stewart). Although he doesn't seem like it at first, Mike is the best success they ever got out of the program and when agent Victoria Lasseter (Connie Britton) finds out the CIA plans to terminate Mike, she goes head-to-head against the man behind the plan, agent Adrian Yates (Topher Grace). Lasseter goes out of her way to save Mike but soon comes to realize he is able to take care of himself. 

American Ultra features action and gory scenes. Not over the top gory, but just right. Mike and Phoebe's relationship was not over the top lovey dovey either, and enjoyable to watch. The acting was good but one CIA agent was just too into his role. Luckily, he makes his main appearance at the very end and doesn't ruin anything.

If you want to see what a stoner ultra agent can do, you will get a kick out American Ultra. You'll laugh at some scenes and wonder why would he do that in others. This is not your typical save the world agent movie, but one where the agent saves himself and it's fun to watch. 

The Verdict:
Yellow Light (Proceed with caution)

Sinister 2 Review: An average horror film to kick off the scary season

The Hit:

Horror movies are slowly making their way back in the big screens now we're only a couple of months from October. That can either be a good thing or a bad thing — it all depends if the movie is good enough to scare you or boring enough to swear off horror movies forever. Sinister brings its sequel to the light (or dark in this case) to kick off the season. 

If you remember the first, it is about an evil that somehow takes control or manipulates a child from a family and that said child films himself killing his family in the situation he's in and in return the bagul or "boogeyman" takes his soul and moves on to his next victims.

In Sinister 2, the deputy who was helping the family in the first returns to prevent the same tragedy from happening to another family. He (James Ransone) meets with a mother by the name of Courtney Collins (Shannyn Sossamon) and her two boys Dylan (Robert Daniel Sloan) and Zach (Dartanian Sloan). The way he meets them is by shock — he was going to burn down the house they were staying at for reasons you need to see for yourself. Instead, the deputy helps out the family who the bagul has set his eyes on next. 

Sinister 2 was a good change of pace from summer action flicks. I'm not saying this is the scariest movie I've ever seen but it had some good scenes where I jumped a few times. The story was a good follow up for the first but go in with low expectations. You will see more of the origin of the story of bagul and the souls he takes because without those souls he would have a harder time convincing his next victim to do the same dreadful things to their family. 

The Verdict:
Yellow Light (Proceed with caution)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Man from U.N.C.L.E Review: Don't miss this dark horse spy thriller

The Hit:

The premise of The Man from UNCLE revolves around the Cold War and the production of nuclear bombs in the 60's — specifically trying to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands. Two unlikely agents from two different countries have to work together to save the world despite their differences. 

On one side, we have United States CIA man Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and on the other, a Russian KGB operative Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer). At first they are in a quarrel over Gaby Teller (Alicia Vikander), a girl who has secret ties vital to their plans. Later on, Solo, Illya and Gaby are sent on a mission together. There's a whole lot of bickering between Solo and Illya and that's when the comedy of the flick turns on. 

It's a constant contest about which agent and which country is doing a better job, and a feud emerges in several scenes. Later on, they become brothers-in-arms but still carry on that rivalry that makes it fun to watch. Gaby is forced to play a mother role between the two arguing agents, a job she doesn't relish.

The main antagonist of this film is Victoria (Elizabeth Debicki), a beautiful and cunning villain that nailed the role. She's too much for one agent alone — only teamwork can take her and her evil plan down.

The Man from UNCLE was a fun follow up to the latest Mission Impossible, and I especially enjoyed the time setting. The past culture lifestyles and fashion statements shown were creative and enjoyable to watch. I also didn't know this, but the movie was actually based on a TV series from back in the 60's/

The Man from UNCLE doesn't have any misses and keeps you entertained all the way through. Don't be sick of agent movies just yet — go check this out.

The Verdict:
Green Light (Go see it)

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Fantastic Four (2015) Review: A great buildup ending with disappointment

The Hit:

This Fantastic Four reboot was good — I'm not gonna say it was the greatest thing since the Avengers but it was okay. We get a new set of heroes and they all did a fine job of acting out the characters: Reed Richards (Miles Teller), Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan), Sue Storm (Kate Mara), Ben Grimm/ The Thing (Jamie Bell) and villain Victor Von Doom/ Dr.Doom (Toby Kebbell). 

The way our cast acquires their powers this time around is through going to another dimension and becoming infected by the energy in that other place. Reed Richards helps Victor in the making of a machine where they get transported and that's when the team is born.

On the plus side, this is a Marvel movie, meaning it can only be so bad. I enjoyed the build up, the action and how each member brought their own personality into the mix.

Negatively, the build up was rising and rising until really nothing happens and then the movie is over. The final half hour tried to wrap up and end the movie quickly and that was disappointing. Fantastic Four should have either been longer or split into two movies. 

The storyline was great, but it was a build up that ended too quickly.

I hope this cast gets a second chance at being the Fantastic Four. Give this movie a chance and you might enjoy it, but go in with low expectations or wait for DVD.

The Verdict:
Yellow Light (Proceed with caution)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Mission Impossible Rogue Nation review: I'll have another!

The Hit:

Mission Impossible without Tom Cruise would be no Mission worth accepting and Tom Cruise takes stage not only as an agent who can do the Impossible but as an actor willing to do his own stunts. As seen on clips he is on a plane taking off in air — some might think it's a green screen, but in fact the scene is real and it's actually Cruise. Tom has my respect for soaring in the skies just to shoot a scene.

But Mission Impossible is more than Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) doing the unimaginable for his country and even the world. Rogue Nation begins with IMF disbanded and Hunt on the run from the CIA. His only way to keep from getting caught is by losing all traces of himself and not involving those close to him. There's just one catch: in order to take down another organization similar to the IMF, he needs the help of his team, past faces we all know like William Brandt (Jeremy Renner), Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), and Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames). Together they go Mission Impossible to take down a Rogue Nation. 

Mission Impossible: Rouge Nation is full of action like previous installments and has that James Bond vibe in addition to humor from Benji bringing out a few laughs. After watching Rogue Nation, I can say the franchise is still strong and I believe there's no reason for Mission Impossible 6 not to happen.

Will Ethan Hunt and company take down the Syndicate? Will the IMF be reinstated at the end of this movie? You'll have to go see it yourself. If you're new to the franchise and want a movie similar to the James Bond films, I recommend Mission Impossible. Summer movies are almost over and Rogue Nation is not one to miss.

The Verdict:
Green Light (Go see it)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Southpaw review: An emotional ride you can't miss

The Hit:

Southpaw is a movie with bumps along the way and by bumps I mean serous emotional trauma. The premise is an undefeated boxer with the world in his hands until something goes horribly wrong.

Southpaw Boxer Billy Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal) and daughter Leila Hope (Oona Laurence) are a family held together by wife and mother Maureen Hope (Rachel McAdams). Sadly, a tragic event happens and Billy loses Maureen due to a situation that is partially Billy's fault.

 Billy spirals out of control and loses all sense of what to do because Maureen called the shots and he just fought. . With Maureen gone, Billy has to be a father and provider to Leila but has a tough time. His daughter is taken by child protection services and the only way to reunite himself with her is if he cleans himself up for a couple months and that's when Southpaw gets rolling even faster. 

Billy gets himself a day job while training at the same time to enter the ring again with gym owner and new coach Tick Wills (Forest Whitaker). Together with Tick, Billy changes his fighting style while dealing with his grief and learning to be a better father. 

Southpaw is an emotional roller coaster that breaks the mold of your typical fighting movie. It was great seeing a fighter lose it all and fight back to the top with the help of close friends and family. Jake Gyllenhaal did an awesome job playing Billy and Rachel McAdams is always a dime. Aside from an appear from 50 Cent as Billy's agent, Jordan Mains, another key actor who shined was Oona Laurence as Leila. Yes Southpaw is worth it and yes you will want to start a boxing gym after because it's just that good. You'll love it. 

The Verdict:
Green Light (Go see it)

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Ant-Man Review: A surprise home run for Paul Rudd and the rest

The Hit

Because Ant Man is a part of the Marvel Universe and will be a future avenger according to the comics, I had to go see it, even though I had really low expectations. I was glad I gave it a try because I walked out loving it! I might even see it again in theaters. 

The reason Ant Man was so good was the added humor (a lot of it). One funny character, Luis, (Michael Pena) brought humor to every scene he was in. Aside from Luis, our main hero Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) nailed it as the new Ant Man. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) from the comics passes his torch down to Scott to save his own company and the world in general. 

Scott asks why Hank can't just call the Avengers for help and an earlier flashback shows why Hank won't deal with anyone Stark-related. The only Avenger appearing in Ant Man is Hawkeye and that scene gets pretty heated.

Ant Man starts sort of slow with a build up of characters and the story of Hank when he first donned the suit. This flashback revealed previous Marvel characters, including someone close to Tony Stark and someone really close to Captain America. My inner geek/nerd was at an all time high throughout those scenes where other Marvel connections from past movies were made. 

Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), the daughter of Hank Pym, will kick some butt in the future and might even give Black Widow a run for her money in looks and moves. She played a big role in the movie and gets a treat after the credits which has been a long time coming for her. Do not leave after that scene, stay until the very end and (NO SPOILERS) watch the short scene setting up the next Marvel movie.

I went into Ant Man not expecting much and walked out loving it. I hope you feel the same as well. 

The Verdict
Green Light (Go see it)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Selfless Review: Hit and miss for big name actors

The Hit:

We've all thought of death and asked if there was a possibility to live longer? The truth is, eventually it's a tragic fact of life we must all face at some point. Well, what if you could just keep transferring your consciousness to a new body, a younger body and be immortal through that type of path? Selfless explains just that and falls under the category of a mystery and sci-fi flick and was a different movie I have been waiting to see.

Selfless takes place in the present time we are right now and the introduction of such an experiment gets introduced to a dying old man dying from cancer. Not only is he old but rather wealthy and the thought of going young and starting new would be great so after much thought he decides to do it. Damian (Ben Kingsley) gets transferred into a younger body (Ryan Reynolds) and even though all is great, he has to start new. All of his old past connections must be forgotten for purposes of the company doing the procedure — it has to be top secret or else they will do anything to keep you quiet for its protection. 

The storyline for Selfless is great throughout, and when Damian starts getting old memories from the new body he is in, things turn for the worse and soon uncovers the bodies used for the procedure are not humans created in the lab after all. The trailers gives away what is going on so some of you know where the bodies come from but I'd rather you go see it. 

Selfless is great for sci-fi lovers but is not really worth seeing on the big screen. It's a mediocre movie and if you want to wait to Red Box it, I wouldn't blame you, even though it has a good storyline and a good ending. The acting was meh — some actors were better in other roles and some did great in this. What really had my attention and held me in my seat was where the story was going.

The Verdict:
Yellow Light (Proceed with Caution)

Monday, July 6, 2015

Terminator Genisys Review: A new cast makes for an instant classic

The Hit:

"I'll be back" a famous phrase we all know from Arnold Schwarzenegger and it's still just as great hearing it come out of his mouth. Aside from that phrase, Terminator Genisys was action, action, action. Did I like it? Well, because I'm a guy I enjoyed it — the story was straight and narrow. If you haven't seen the rest of the series, you better pay extra attention or you will be lost.

Everyone in Terminator Genisys is new besides Arnold but they're all likable. The new Sarah Connor is played by the lovely Emilia Clarke (known for her role as Daenerys in Game of Thrones), her son John (Jason Clarke) and Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney). Arnold is the terminator and guardian for Sarah Connor and anyone that tries to mess with her will have to go through him. The story is rather different from the original because now when kyle goes back in time to save Sarah from the Terminator sent to kill her it's a whole new timeline. Now they must change their course in planning and stop the machines from taking over in a new way.

It was a treat seeing the future where humans were fighting the robots and how it all started when they sent Kyle and the Terminator back in time. You can't forget seeing a terminator beat a mere human and also the liquid type from Terminator 2. With all the new and old stories combined into this sorta remake it was really awesome. Emilia Clarke wowed me as Sarah and being the Mother of Dragons in Game of Thrones she was a bad ass mother to John Connor here too. I don't want to spoil the storyline so if you're a fan I suggest you go watch Terminator Genisys and again pay attention. Will this be the last Terminator movie they make? Stay during the ending credits and find out. Don't' stay until the very end because there is nothing, only stay for the mid credits.

The Verdict:
Green Light (Go see it)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Ted 2 Review: Promising, but not better than the first

The Hit:

Seth Macfarlane does it again and brings smiles and laughter with the voice of Ted in a sequel worth seeing. If you  haven't seen the first one, however, I probably wouldn't suggest it. A friend went with me and by not seeing the first he didn't really enjoy it. I heard him laugh at some scenes but all in all he was not a big fan. There were a lot of inside jokes in the first half of the movie that you wouldn't get if you hadn't seen the first Ted. The last half was rather boring and really dragged out. Even though some critics say this was better than the first I would disagree and say otherwise. But give it a chance if you're a fan and go see it. 

The story follows Ted and John (Mark Wahlberg) from the first but now we see Ted getting married with Tammy Lynn (Jessica Barth) and the after effects of that marriage. It's not so happy so they decide to have a baby and from trailers, that's when it gets funny, including a Tom Brady cameo.

When finding a donor for the baby doesn't work, Tammy Lynn and Ted try to adopt, only to discover that Ted is considered property, not a person. Everything goes down hill and that's when Samantha (Amanda Seyfried) comes in and takes the case to prove Ted can have rights just as a human does. They have fun with drugs and are immature just like the first and the lines are funny enough to keep watching it all the way to the end. 

There are other cameos from different actors you know and love and that makes it just as fun. The story I would say is just okay and if they do a third, I hope they can make it better and not dull for the last half of the movie. Don't go in with high expectations. You'll come out disappointed. 

The Verdict:
Yellow Light (Proceed with caution)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Inside Out Review: One of Disney/Pixar's best and most creative films

The Hit:

We all know Pixar/Disney has some great movies and let me tell you that Inside Out has to be one of the best.The theme here is that they take you to a world where your emotions take control of situations you're in and why in some cases it is needed throughout life and the obstacles we face. 

We begin inside the brain of a young girl named Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) and the emotions there: Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Bill Hader) and Disgust (Mindy Kaling). Each one can take control of Riley in whatever situation she is in. The main emotion who is in constant command at headquarters is Joy and her job is to keep Riley happy at all times. Even though she is outnumbered she still tries her best to keep everyone in check.

What is so great about this movie is that it shows how young kids and adults alike go through different stages of their lives and the ensuing emotions. Riley is in one of those changes because she moves from one place to another at the age of 11 or 12 and what she leaves behind is her life that she grew up on, including friends, school, and memories. All of a sudden, she has to start from scratch and try to make new memories with new strangers. Joy has a lot on her hands trying to make Riley happy as much as she can and with the help of the other emotions, including sadness it's the only way to get through it. 

Inside Out takes you on an adventure when Sadness and Joy get sucked up away from headquarters and must make it back or else Riley is under the control of emotions Anger, Fear, and Disgust. With those three you can see Riley is in a situation no one wants to be in. They explore through the mind and all that's old from all that is new in terms of memories and events, they go through dreams, facts, opinions and even imagination. You will enjoy what this movie has to offer and the message it sends. 

Inside Out is really a great idea and that's what makes it so unique that I wonder why it wasn't thought of before. A friend mentioned that now that they have done what goes through a young kid's mind, maybe they can make a sequel or sequels about different ages. Our emotions are a beautiful thing and making those memories is what life is all about. Take your family and make sure to get there early because they show a short film right before the movie begins. Stay a little after to see emotions from other people including some animals. 
Great touching story with a lovable cast and colorful animation, you'll love it. 

The Verdict:

Green Light (Go see it)