Friday, March 31, 2017

Ghost in the Shell Review: Strong Story Combines With Great Action

The Hit:

Not many people know this, but I am die-hard fan of manga/anime. However, this is the first time I have seen the genre adapted for the big screen. Anime is Japanese animation that is mostly geared toward adults but also entertains children as well. Ghost in the Shell was first introduced as a manga in 1989 and soon after evolved into its anime format. But don't worry, you don't need to be familiar with anime or the 80's version of this story to enjoy this new flick. Everything is explained throughout the movie. I went in with a bit of fear that I would be lost, but I left with a smile. 

Scarlett Johansson plays a character named 'Major' who has gone through a successful operation that implanted only her brain in a robot. She is an android and is known as being a ghost in shell. She is placed in a group of elite soldiers to fight crime, and she is a rare asset to the company that made her. But if she ever strays off on her own she is to be eliminated. She has no recollection of her past, and we get to find out alongside her what really happened and how she ended up the way she is now. 

I really liked the story and I felt that it flowed very well. The action in a futuristic setting made it that much better. The visuals and the score kept me hooked from beginning to end. Give this movie a chance because it's worth seeing on the big screen. I did not see it in IMAX, but I hear it's much better that way. But however you see it, you might just walk out liking it like I did. 

The Verdict:

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Life Review: Horror and space combine in a predictable plot

The Hit:

Life is a movie about astronauts who collect and study a sample from Mars, discovering there is life beyond earth. The question they are trying to uncover is if it's friendly or not to figure out what happened to other life on Mars.

In this cast, we have doctors and scientists alike and they include; Sho Murakami (Hiroyuki Sanada), Rory Adams (Ryan Reynolds), Miranda North (Rebecca Ferguson), David Jordan (Jake Gyllenhaal), Ekaterina Golovkina (Olga Dihovichnaya) and Hugh Derry (Ariyon Bakare). Each one has a different role: taking care of the space station, keeping everyone healthy or studying the new life form. Each person is talented but they rely on each other as a team to survive in space 

I love sci-fi movies and when flicks include space I am hooked. Life reminded me a little of the movie 'Alien' and although we don't see any xenomorphs, we get a new scary creature that must be stopped or killed in space so it doesn't reach Earth. This was a thrill of survival between the new life form and the humans. The cast and story were on par but Life was predictable. That was the only negative thing that bothered me. This was a good horror movie in space and if you want to be scared to ever go up, then I would not suggest seeing this because no one can hear you scream up there.

The Verdict:

YELLOW LIGHT (Proceed With Caution)

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Power Rangers Review: Delivers Classic Action for Power Rangers and Superhero Fans

The Hit:

With today's movie-making technology, the Power Rangers series deserved to be reignited on the big screen. Not only did the Power Rangers look real in costume, but they looked even better when they were in combat. Some of you probably didn't grow up watching the Power Rangers on TV, but that shouldn't stop you from seeing this flick because you will still have fun. However, if you are not a fan of superhero movies or didn't enjoy the Power Rangers on TV, you probably won't like this flick as much. But if you like superhero movies this is something you need to see. 

This story takes place in a town called Angel Grove and we meet 5 high school teenagers who have made some poor choices in their lives. By some chance, they unearth an ancient power from a previous generation of Power Rangers and they become the new Power Rangers of the present. Now they must learn to work together to stop the evil that awaits them. 

The leader of the Power Rangers is the Red Ranger Jason (Dacre Montgomery), followed by the Pink Ranger Kimberly (Naomi Scott), Blue Ranger Billy (RJ Cyler), Black Ranger Zack (Ludi Lin) and Yellow Ranger (Becky G.). Together they are trained by Zordon (Bryan Cranston) and Alpha 5 (Bill Hader) to go up against the evil Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks). 

This was a fun time, and I felt like the flick delivered the classic Power Rangers I grew up with. I liked the introduction of the 5 rangers and the way their personal stories were told, which made the flick more realistic. There were some cheesy moments, but I enjoyed the story and perhaps would like to see a sequel. Again, this flick is not for everyone but if you are into superheroes and Power Rangers mixed with a great up-and-coming cast then go have fun and watch this flick. Go Go Power Rangers! 

The Verdict:
YELLOW LIGHT (Proceed With Caution)

Friday, March 17, 2017

Beauty and the Beast Review: The beloved classic comes to life

The Hit:

Beauty and the Beast was my favorite Disney movie as a kid and this live-action remake did not disappoint the original. It really tugged at my heart strings. The story was superb and the CGI wasn't distracting either, from the Beast to everything else in the castle. Singing along to old tunes was also a delight.

The cast shined as well: Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast, Luke Evans as Gaston, Josh Gad as LeFou, Kevin Kline as Maurice, Ewan Mcgregor as Lumière, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, Nathan Mack as Chip, Audra McDonald as Madame Garderobe, Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza and Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, to name a few.

This version of Beauty and the Beast follows the original storyline almost exactly. They added to and tweaked some scenes to make the movie longer and fill in some plot holes the animated version had. I tried to find easter eggs from other Disney films but failed miserably.

Any negative things you've read about this version of Beauty and the Beast, ignore them. You'll walk out amazed, I promise. Emma Watson IS Belle. Everyone did a wonderful job. Go check it out! 

The Verdict:

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Kong: Skull Island Review: A monster miss

The Hit (by Tom):

The movie Skull Island, much like the fictitious island of the same name, is something you should stay far, far away from. Unless all you are interested in are mindless CGI fight scenes between monsters, this movie offers nothing for you.

The movie boasts a strong cast including Tom Hiddleston, John Goodman, Samuel L. Jackson, and Brie Larson, but even this all-star cast is not enough to save the film.

The dialogue is dreadful, the plot and the premise are full of holes, and the film is choppy, rushed, and littered with cliches.

In scenes that were supposed to be dramatic and tense, the film forces awkward comedy lines on us which fall flat and had me shaking my head.

Sure, Kong looks good and so do his enemies, but this monster movie is scary for all the wrong reasons.

And I just have to say this to Samuel L. Jackson: You are a fine actor. Stop agreeing to do terrible movies.

There is also an after credits scene if you choose to stick around for that and maybe the sequel can redeem this flick.

The Verdict:
Red Light (Don't Go)

Friday, March 3, 2017

Logan Review: Might be the best X-Men movie to date

The Hit:

We all know that this will probably be the last time Hugh Jackman reprises his role as Logan (a.k.a the wolverine). Jackman has told us that he is done playing the character, so he wanted to make sure this film provided a great exit for the iconic character. Director James Mangold made that a reality and fulfilled Jackman's wishes; the film ended with a bang and maybe left a tear or two in the viewers' eyes.  

This was not your typical X-Men movie at all. It still had great action, but the focus was not on super powers. Like previous trailers have mentioned, most of the mutants have died off and the only ones that are left are Logan, Professor X (Patrick Stewart), and Caliban (Stephen Merchant). 

But one day while working his normal job, Logan meets this little girl named Laura (Dafne Keen) who by some chance has the same abilities as him. Professor X is ecstatic to find that other mutants have risen and urges Logan to help the girl and any others. But Logan wants nothing to do with her and the other mutants at first. He is known for being a hard person, but eventually he succumbs to helping people and doing the right thing. That's when the epic adventure begins.

We are introduced to a couple of new young mutants, and you will have to see for yourself what powers they posses. The baddies in this film are Pierce (Boyd Holbrook), Dr. Rice (Richard E. Grant), and X-24. And with Logan getting old these villains are quite hard to clash with. 

No spoilers, but this movie was a wild ride from start to finish. You get to see the hardships Logan has gone through just to survive this long. You see him taking care of Professor X and using every last ounce of his energy to help the young girl and other fellow mutants to safety. It was sad seeing it come to an end, but it was a fitting way to finally say goodbye to Hugh Jackman as the wolverine, trust me. This film doesn't hold back and is rated R for brutal violence, language, and brief nudity that lasts maybe 2 seconds at most. It was the right choice to go with this rating and fans out there will realize why. You'll walk out loving it and I urge you, fan or not, to go see this movie. It might just be the best X-men movie to date.  

The Verdict: