Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Shallows Review: simple, but it works

The Hit:

The Shallows is a movie about a young woman trying to survive out in the water until help arrives. While she waits, she is fighting off a shark that caused her to go into survival mode in the first place.

The lovely Blake Lively plays Nancy, a girl who has lost her mother and for the moment, wants to get away from that drama and her own personal life to travel and have fun and hopefully in the end make things a little bit better. She is taken to a secret beach in Mexico, by Carlos (Oscar Jaenada) a local who at first seems to be a little sketchy. She asks what the beach is called several times, but jokingly keeps getting turned down with the answer. Not only does Carlos deny the answer, but also two other locals she meets surfing with, does the same thing. But at this point it doesn't matter. Nancy gets in her surfing attire, says goodbye to her ride and has a fun time surfing the waves in this beautiful secret place. 

Towards the end of the day, Nancy decides to do one more wave, which at that point I thought was a bad idea. She discovers a dead whale and it has been fed on for quite some time by some predator. Turns out that predator is a shark and he is pissed. The rest of the movie she is stuck on a rock and has to try and survive until help arrives. 

There's really not much to The Shallows but what made it so intense was how terrifying they made it seem to go up against a shark and how powerless one person can be against one. It reminded me of Jaws a little bit. You see Nancy struggle to survive and the hardships she endures. If you are looking for something intense and a story about survival I would not miss this. Also, the shark wasn't bad either.


The Verdict:

YELLOW LIGHT (Proceed with Caution)

Independence Day Resurgence Review: Hit and miss with a side of extra sci-fi

The Hit:

The sequel to a classic has got its up and downs. The only negative things I can say is, some acting is cheesy and you get a feeling of it throughout the show. Independence Day Resurgence tried to add the fun element of what the first had but didn't really achieve it.

What I liked about Resurgence is that it reminded me of Star Wars/Star Trek in a way -- a futuristic setting and upgraded weapons. The Sci-fi element was heaped on a whole lot more than the first because the story is 20 years after the events of the first Independence Day. Now the world has used that alien technology to upgrade everything, especially their firepower. Some fear that the aliens will come back again to finish what they started, so preparing for a "resurgence" has been Earth's main goal. 

Will Smith is not in this sequel and the trailers mentioned killing him off on a training exercise. The hero of the first is killed off in a training exercise. How disappointing. He's survived by his son, Dylan Hiller (Jessie T. Usher). Because he's the son of a hero, he is thought of highly by everyone and has reached the top of the ladder in status. Dylan's not entitled and has worked very hard to be a top pilot in the world. He has a couple of friends and acquaintances who have been with him all along: Jake Morrison (Liam Hemsworth), Charlie Miller (Travis Tope), Rain Lao (Angel Yeung Wing) and daughter of the president from the first movie, Patricia Whitmore (Maika Monroe). Together with the help of old faces like David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) and ex-president Whitmore (Bill Pullman) they will need everything to beat this new threat. 

Unlike the first movie, the aliens are back but in a huge, gigantic mother ship and the queen of the aliens is pissed. It will take the whole world to fight an enemy this big.

Independence Day Resurgence was a good sci-fi film and enjoyable. If you like such things, I'm sure you will like this one too but if you are looking for the same technological elements as the first you will leave disappointed. Things were left open for a sequel. There is action throughout, the story is okay and the acting is sometimes cheesy but if that's okay enough for you to go see, I suggest going.


The Verdict:
YELLOW LIGHT (Proceed with Caution)

Monday, June 20, 2016

Finding Dory Review: A worthy successor

The Hit:

Finding Dory had a lot going for it being a sequel to Finding Nemo. Following up on a movie with beautiful imagery and such a great story, could Finding Dory stack up to its predecessor? I say yes, it did! Sure I will still pick Finding Nemo as the best of the two but this was close to being equal with it. 

This time instead of Finding Nemo (Voiced by Hayden Rolence), we get to follow our always forgetful aka short term memory loss blue fish, Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) in her own adventure. She gets flash backs of her own family, her mother and father. She wants to swim across the sea and find them, but Nemo's dad, Marlin (Voiced by Albert Brooks) tells her that her family is with them and that she should just stay. Then at one point Dory asks him if he's ever missed someone, and of course he says yes because of the previous movies events and decides to help her. 

We get to meet new creatures, some scary, some helpful and not, and others really funny along the way. Dory retraces her steps with flash backs that eventually leads her back to a marine rehabilitation/aquarium for different types of sea species. It is there where the real adventure is and without the help of an octopus named Hank, (voiced by Ed O'Neill) it would be impossible to get anywhere. We also get to meet an old friend of Dory's, a whale by the name of Destiny.

Finding Dory is a must-see for all families, young and old. There are some tender moments throughout the film so prepare to hold back some tears. Pixar has yet again created a great story and also with amazing visuals of the ocean. Will Dory find her family? Or will she settle with Nemo and Marlin? Also, if you're not in a rush wait until the very last of the ending credits and old familiar faces from the last movie will appear. 

The Verdict:
GREEN LIGHT (Go See it)

Central Intelligence Review: Dwayne Johnson steals the show

The Hit:

Central Intelligence revolves around Dwayne Johnson's character Bob Stone and Kevin Hart's, Calvin Joyner. Bob is a secret agent who would put Jason Bourne to shame and Calvin is an ordinary accountant looking for something more in his life. 

Both characters have a past with each other -- in high school, Bob was bulled and thrown into a gymnasium full of his fellow senior class butt naked and the only one that helped him was the senior standout in both sports and academics: Calvin. Bob has never forgotten that day and has come to meet up with Calvin for their 20 year high school reunion. But it's more than just a meet up, and ends up asking Calvin for a favor that will change his life for 24 hours. 

Calvin gets a taste of the dangers and thrills of a CIA agent and without really agreeing to being a part of it, gets pulled in. This time Kevin Hart (usually the comedic actor) has given Dwayne the reins of that position and is super serious in this role. He does have some comedic moments but because he's trying to escape other agents he's more hardcore than usual. Bob however is laid back and, as mentioned above, a go with the flow attitude but Calvin is not having it. 

Sure we've seen a lot of Kevin Hart movies lately and maybe some of you are getting tired of him but trust me when I say that Dwayne is the comical side in this movie and steals it. Central Intelligence reminded me of the movie Spy with Melissa McCarthy and if you enjoyed that movie you'll enjoy this one.  It has almost the same elements that made it pretty enjoyable. "Saving the world takes a little HART and a big JOHNSON". 

The Verdict:
GREEN LIGHT (Go See it)

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Conjuring 2 Review: a worthy successor

The Hit:

I am a firm believer that sequels can never equal or triumph the original. The Conjuring 2 isn't better but it was almost equal to the first. The Conjuring was scarier and kept me up for a couple nights. 

Based on true events, Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) have done case after case of supernatural investigations. Lorraine at this point is tired and scared that, if they don't take a break, whatever is lurking in the shadows will harm or do something to injure them. She has a vision of Ed's death and this is what really has her scared and the reason she wants to stop. Because Ed believes what they do is good, he still wants to keep helping people and they continue to go wherever the church sends them.

There is a family in North London who desperately needs their help and are in danger. A single mother raising four children all by herself notices one of her children showing signs of possession. The family are the Hodgson's and the one possessed is Janet (Madison Wolfe). When people start to believe she is making it up for attention she begins to do things that are unexplained and also things happen in the house: furniture moves by itself and not only does the family witness it but also the neighbors and the police as well. That's when the Warrens take action and fly to London to help. 

I also want to say the musical score is also another factor that makes it more scarier. Director James Wan is superb in horror flicks: both Conjurings, Annabelle, Insidious, and pretty much the whole Saw franchise. 

The Conjuring 2 is worth watching on the big screen and if you were a fan of the first then you will love this one too. 
The Verdict:
GREEN LIGHT (Go See it)

Now You See Me 2 Review: Another wild mind bender

The Hit:

In Now You See Me 2, the Four Horsemen are back in this crazy mind-blowing, eye-deceiving flick of a sequel. First off we have the original cast back: J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Merritt Mckinney (Woody Harrelson), Jack Wilder (Dave Franco), and new horsemen Replacing Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher) by the name of Lula (Lizzy Caplan). Not only are they the magic enthusiasts they are now under their leader and if you haven't seen the last movie that had a twist, exit out of this page. Still reading this? It is now too late. FBI agent and part of the Organization "The Eye" from which the horsemen work under is Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo). Not only is he a good leader but you get to see how much he cares about his Horsemen even though his Horsemen don't believe in him at times.

We also get to meet the new antagonist of the film and from being such a protagonist in Harry Potter, Daniel Radcliffe (as Walter Mabry) is a surprising villain. He is the son of Now You See Me's villain, Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine) and both are hard to handle. Good ol Morgan Freeman returns in this flick but with a bigger role.

Now You See Me 2 still plays mind games the whole time and it was fun seeing how they did it. This time the Four Horsemen are rallied together by Walter and if they don't do this impossible heist and/or do what he says, then each one of them will be killed off. So, Atlas being the leader of the four when Dylan isn't around, takes the lead and agrees to whatever Walter asks.

The film is a roller coaster of a good time and worth seeing on the big screen. Yes, there is a reveal in the end which is not as big as the last one but it's still pretty good. If you enjoyed Now You See Me, missing out on seeing Now You See Me 2 will be a mistake. The Four Horsemen are back.

The Verdict:
GREEN LIGHT (Go See it)

Monday, June 6, 2016

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle: Out of the Shadows Review: An underwhelming sequel

The Hit:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadow is a super hero movie mainly just for the kids -- it was fun and entertaining. Nickelodeon Movies is the studio behind the Turtles and did a good job portraying the cartoon to this live action. It's also the sequel, so if you haven't seen the last one you might be a little lost but not too bad. Check out our review of the prequel here to catch up


The Turtles save the city of New York during the night as in the title "out of the shadows" because if they are seen during the day they fear that they will not be accepted and may even be hunted. The leader of the four brothers is Leonardo (Pete Ploszek), the brains is Donatello (Jeremy Howard), the muscle is Raphael (Alan Ritchson), and the dumb one but with a big heart and youngest of the bunch is Michelangelo (Noel Fisher). 

Each one helps each other out and without teamwork they really begin to fail. They also have human friends and one certain gorgeous lady is April O'Neil played by the lovely Megan Fox. Although she is good to look at, she did not really contribute much to the film but has gotten better since her last couple movies. Another new addition (if you watch the CW's Arrow then you will recognize Stephen Amell) who plays Casey Jones, a correction officer dreaming of becoming a detective. Together, they are a team not to be messed with.

The plot of the movie is that the Shredder (Brian Tee) has escaped from prison through a transfer and when the Turtles fail to capture him they fear the city will be in chaos again. They battle it out against Shredder and his evil forces (and at one point make the decision to turn into regular humans) as well as a new villain by the name of Krang (Brad Garrett). In my opinion Krang was pretty much worthless and Out of Shadows would have been better without him but other than a few things like that this movie was okay. It's not one I suggest seeing in theaters. If you're not a fan of the Turtles wait for Redbox or Netflix

The Verdict:
YELLOW LIGHT (Proceed with Caution)

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Me Before You Review: Don't pass up this chick flick

The Hit:

I don't do chick flicks too often but since I love movies so much I should go more to explore all kinds of genres. In reality, what really pushed me to go see Me Before You was the lovely Emilia Clarke. Why do you ask? Well, because she is the Mother of Dragons on the hit popular TV series, Game of Thrones. Passing this movie up would have been a big mistake solely for that reason. I love the type of actress she is and how she can be a complete bad ass in GOT then a sweet, loving, and caring person in Me Before You. She is very talented and has a bright future.

Based on a book, Me Before you features Emilia Clarke as Lou Clark, a young woman with a smile always on her face and a positive outlook even when life is not so great, She is always on the cheery side with a dash of spunk. Lou is job searching and with help, becomes a caretaker for a recently paralyzed young man. Will Traynor, played by Sam Claflin (Finnick on the Hunger Games), had it all going for him and now pouts every day about his current condition.

At first when Lou tries to cheer Will up, he rejects her. Throughout the movie you see why Will is the way he is. Truly it would be terrible for anyone to depend on others for everything. People in real life who overcome this challenge have my respect. Not only does Lou shed light back into Will's dark soul, but a romance begins to brew as well.

Me Before You made me laugh and Lou was hilarious. Other than being chatty, her sense of style was ridiculous in a funny way. The ending was not what I suspected and those that do plan on seeing this, bring some tissues because you will need them. Don't miss out on Me Before You

The Verdict:
GREEN LIGHT (Go See it)