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Spider-Man: Far from Home

Good solid summer time tentpole flick
I liked Spiderman: Far From Home. I enjoyed it a lot. I am still surprised at the type of fan fare it is getting though with many people giving it a ten and saying it's the best live action spiderman they've ever seen. I wouldn't go that far to giving it credit. What it does well is follow up Endgame very well and tells a whole new story. It also manages to bring the underlying story of Spiderman to the big screen and that is a kid with superhero powers trying to balance that with being a teenager and falling in love and school and friends etc. This manages to capture that very well considering it's all about monsters and aliens and destruction. The CGI battles are plenty and the CGI is quite well done but there is a lot of it. It was nice to have some of the younger people playing supporting cast members like Zendaya (who actually makes a very good, layered MJ) , Jacob Batalon and Angourie Rice. Jake Gyllenhaal plays a decent villain as the bizarre Mysterio. He sort of overplays it, a little campy at times but it works for the most part. I didn't think his chemistry with Tom Holland was all that great but it was still good to see a new villain on the big screen. Speaking of chemistry, I think Tom Holland and Zendaya are actually great together and I wasn't sure how she would fare as Mary Jane but the two of them are quite good together. This is a great summer flick, exactly what you would expect, shows the Marvel Universe has more to offer and it's a lot of fun. 8/10


Aja does it again
Alexandre Aja is my favorite horror director/producer just based on Piranha 3D, High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes and Evil Dead. Those four films were so phenomenal that I wanted to see Crawl just based on the fact that this was his latest movie. If you want suspense, Crawl will practically make you uncomfortable the entire film. It's simply shot with a minimum cast and it still manages to put you on the edge and tell a solid story. I don't know how else they could have told it but I could have done without the "swimmer" sub-story which was a little on the nose and obvious. I don't know enough about Alligators to know how real this could be but the amount of times these two are chomped on by alligators and keep going felt a little unbelievable. However, the tension and suspense is enough to keep you going and you root for them throughout. Kaya Scodelario is an excellent lead in the film. She's very down to earth and relatable and she makes her scenes believable. Barry Pepper is also good as her father and they have great chemistry opposite each other. The supporting cast is fine but barely get any screen time to make a difference. Despite complaints about the CGI in the film, I thought it was quite good. Great movie, great suspense, solid story, absolutely worth checking out for something a little different. 8.5/10

Escape Plan: The Extractors

What the hell is this series?
Why does Escape Plan exist as a trilogy? I mean done correctly it could have been fine to do a sequel or two but this was thrown together and tossed out straight to DVD like a fan made film only with less passion. The second film was atrocious and this one is not as bad but still as completely forgettable and horribly executed. There is literally no sensical reason for this to exist but even less reason that Sly Stallone and Dave Bautista would do these films? Both have much bigger careers than this and in this film they seem so bored and completely useless that it begs me to wonder why this exists. No one is a bigger Sylvester Stallone fan than I am, no one. (I bought this film blindly on Blu-Ray because it's necessary to own it for me) . The first Escape Plan is such an incredible movie and then this junk drags it's name through the mud. Where this one wins over the previous one is that they actually tie it a little bit into the first, there is some very decent martial arts scenes from some very talented martial artists and the villain was actually not bad played by Devon Sawa. Outside of that there is very little worth seeing here. Stallone's role is fairly limited as is Bautista's except for a few main fights and Curtis Jackson has about 40 seconds of screen time. This is a huge miss and I hope we can finally bury these sequels where they belong and focus on how good the first film was. 5/10


Cute and fun, it strives to bring something different to summer
I loved the concept of Yesterday and was excited to see it. It doesn't disappoint and it presents exactly what you would anticipate from the movie. The music is wonderful, the cast is very good, the romance is awesome, it has some good laughs and some genuine heart. And yet somehow it stops short of being great. The film is good but for some reason forgettable. It never really seems to find it's own magic and that's unfortunate because the concept is very neat and watching Jack's rise to fame. I understood Kate McKinnon's role as the power hungry manager but her performance of it made it slapstick comedy which didn't fit in the walls of this bittersweet-indie-romance-comedy. She felt out of place and almost annoying which is her vibe in a lot of things to be honest. Himesh Patel and Lily James are magnificent though. They are perfect in the movie and their chemistry is excellent. It actually is the backbone of the movie rather than the songs or the concept but actually the romance that goes on between them. Certainly if you're looking for something different or a nice date movie, this is worth checking out because it's nice. It won't floor you but it's nice and nice is okay. 7/10

Toy Story 4

Proof of Disney's prowess
Let's be honest, this could have been a complete disaster. It could have completely tarnished a nearly untouchable franchise and trilogy. Many people call this the sequel no one needed/wanted but much to our's good. It's great even. It lacks a few key things in my opinion that the original three had but it still is a just little prologue to Woody's story. I also think interestingly that much like Toy Story 3 this was made more for the adults that grew up watching Toy Story 1/2 then it is for the kids of this generation. I think my daughter (she's 4) enjoyed it but it is kind of sad, a little creepy, and certainly has Woody at the forefront of the film. One of the things that makes Toy Story so great is all the characters and this one put the main group in the background significantly and that was a little tough to swallow. They have a few key moments but overall, they are reduced to minor supporting characters. We got to meet Ducky and Rabbit and Forky and Duke Kaboom in an sadly small role but all of whom are great additions to the cast and our somewhat villainous Gaby Gaby who also is a good addition.

Tom Hanks is magnificent as Woody once again and this story is solely about wrapping his storyline up and it shows. You will leave with some mixed feelings about how this story ends but overall it is fun and exciting and keeps the Toy Story spirit alive and they did a good job of bringing it back one last time (allegedly.) . 8/10

Avenging Angelo

Not as bad as you might think
This is one of those movies that is infamous for being released during Stallone's lacklustre years. It's not an action movie by any means and you enjoy it more if you go in with the right representation of what it is. This is a black, black, black comedy/satire that actually has some genuinely funny moments but you really have to see this humor for what it is. The chemistry of the main cast leaves something to be desired but the plot line is so silly that it works for this. It's also known for being the last role of Anthony Quinn although it's a very small role. Sylvester Stallone plays a role for wit and charm instead of brute strength and as an enormous fan of his, I can appreciate this role he's trying. It's a little more depth than what you might get from some of his other action roles but not something you'd go out of your way to see him play. I've never been a huge fan of Madeline Stowe but she plays her role decently enough and her and Stallone have average chemistry at best. Stowe on her own though has some really corny dialog and gets most of the satirical comedy on her shoulders and she does that well enough. The film is quite slow which would turn some people off but for an average film it's still worth watching especially if you're a fan of Stallone's or Stowe's as both of them have some great moments throughout the movie. 6/10

The Secret Life of Pets 2

Cute but falls short of the original
I'm not sure what made the original so watchable, the cast is very good and the story was fun and how lifelike they make the pets seem. This all translates to the sequel very well. The cast is still great (Louis CK being replaced by Patton Oswalt is hardly noticeable) and Eric Stonestreet is not used enough in the sequel in my opinion so Duke fans might feel a little left out. Basically you get 2.5 stories all rolled into one movie and honestly any of those stories could have been fleshed out to make an entire movie and I think that's where SLOP2 falls short. It doesn't have one really good story and the characters don't get together enough until the very end and you have this trip to the farm which had potential for so many new characters (Rooster was a great addition and Harrison Ford did a terrific job!) Then you have the sub-story about Captain Snowball and the evil circus owner which easily could have been it's own movie. Then you have the sub-sub story of Gidget trying to retrieve Max's favorite toy from the cat-lady's house. All the stories eventually intertwine and each have their own ups and downs but you never feel really invested in any one of the storylines. Still the film is insatiably cute and the pets feel as real as they ever did. Chloe teaching Gidget how to be a cat was amazing. Other scenes felt a little forced to try to fit more of the original cast into it. Kevin Hart is terrific as Snowball and he really could have done his own movie I think. All in all kids will love it but I can see why it's not making the same splash as the original did. 7/10

Precious Cargo

It's bad but it's not the worst waste of an hour and a half
Sometimes I like bad movies...I admit it. Sometimes horrible cheese can be fun especially if I have a particular affinity to who stars in it. Call it a bizarre fascination but I grew up in the height of Saved By The Bell so I have a soft spot for Mark Paul Gosselar and on top of that, full well knowing he does these terrible movies now, I'm a Bruce Willis fan. I watch everything he does even when I suspect he'll spend ten minutes in the entire movie as the bad guy. He is hardly in this movie. The movie is formulaic, predictable, has horrible dialog and rocky cast chemistry at best and yet you know what... I didn't hate it. It was fun, silly, worth laughing at, had a few good action sequences and was a predictable heist movie. It tries to be clever and complex but never even comes close. The relationship between Gosselar and his best friend/pseudo-sister is the best part of the film and Claire Forlani is awful in the movie. Her chemistry with Gosselar is non-existent. There is a ton of action which keeps the pace going nicely and a lot of gun fights but it's the type of gun fights that you can't ignore the fact that neither the good guys or the bad guys ever hit much of anything. They're unloading clips like crazy and never hitting their target or even coming close. I actually do think Gosselar carries the film well as the lead and with better direction and a much better script they could have actually done something decent with this but it's made on a certain budget with a certain demographic in mind and you can expect a ton of bad one-liners but if you want something cheesy and fun to make fun of you might enjoy this one. It's far from Bruce Willis' worst mistake of the last few years. 6.5/10

On the Basis of Sex

A fascinating and well made biopic
I knew very little of Ruth Bader-Ginsberg going into this movie and I know some seem to say this film builds up her "legendary" status more than tells the truth and I don't know if that's true or not but I know as a film it was incredibly entertaining, fascinating and powerful. I'm amazed the film didn't get more traction because it is incredibly well acted, well directed, moves at a very good pace and is actually very mainstream in it's delivery. Felicity Jones is absolutely electric as Ginsberg. She commands the screen fiercely and I've always been a fan of hers and this is why because she sinks herself into a role and embodies the character so well. Armie Hammer is also very good as her supportive and brilliant husband. Justin Theroux and Cailee Spaeny (a brilliant young actress gives a terrific scene stealing performance as Ginsberg's daughter) Both of them are terrific in their supporting roles. The film for me was spellbinding, it completely drew me in and I think there is nothing wrong with making a real life person a little bit heroic. The film expertly weaves together the struggle women have gone through for equality and the stand Ginsberg took in many different areas of her life but not only that it shows the people that inspired her both good and bad and those who supported her through her life. To me this was as an Oscar worthy film and easily one of the best movies of 2018. I encourage you to check this out and enjoy it without any predisposed notion about how factual it is or isn't. It's a film that tells a story based on real events. 9/10


A synopsis musical fantasy biography
I can see how some won't take to Rocketman well even if they are fans of Sir Elton John. It doesn't really follow the typical biographical film path. It's part fantasy, part bio-pic and really just small snippets of Elton John's life. It has his music dabbed throughout it and captures what I presume he feels are the major points in his life. It does a good job of capturing many of his relationships and inspirations too and gets the point across of some of his major trials and tribulations. Taren Egerton is brilliant. He gives an Oscar nominated worthy performance as Elton John. He completely embodies the role and disappears into it and some of the shots and profiles of him look eerily like a young Elton. And then on top of that to do his own singing it just fantastic. Jamie Bell is good as his life long writing partner Bernie. They have a definite chemistry on screen and the role is underplayed in a lot of ways but still emphasizes the importance of their brotherhood. His sexuality is handled blatantly but well including his relationships on that front as well. A brilliant lead performance, performances of iconic music, a flashy musical, it's a lot of fun and it's unique and definitely unlike anything else out there right now so well worth checking out but understand this is going for something a little more fantastical than just a biopic like Bohemian Rhapsody was. 8/10

Never Grow Old

Brilliant, captivating and depraved
I'm a long time fan of John Cusack which ultimately led me to this. I'm also a fan of Westerns and it's been awhile since I've seen one. Despite it's horribly unfortunate title which makes no sense to the story that I can see, this film is brilliant. The authenticity of the set and the clothing and the people and the small settlement is exquisite and dark and foreboding. This isn't a flashy western with guns blazing but rather a slow burning thriller that really gets under your skin. The cast is nothing short of amazing. Emile Hirsch does a terrific job of playing the soft spoken, determined Patrick Tate. Déborah François is equally as good as his strong-willed, scared wife. John Cusack is villainous and twisted as the evil Dutch Albert. He and Hirsch play well off each other, maybe not brilliantly but still really captivating relationship between them. Everything in the film is so dreary and bleak from the music to the setting to the characters and it just has this way of keeping you on the edge waiting for something to give when Cusack pushes these people to their very limit. It's almost a question of who is going to snap first. What you hope for throughout the film is that this slow burn will erupt into a climatic finale and it doesn't disappoint. This film proves that not only do westerns still have legs but straight to DVD can still impress. 9.5/10

Cold Pursuit

An interesting attempt to translate a Norwegian film
Usually when a foreign film gets remade, it gets very much "Westernized" to the point where it retains nothing from it's original source or style but I have a feeling (I haven't see the original) that Cold Pursuit tried to retain some of that feel from the original Norwegian version. It is a vengeance film but it's far different than Taken or any other of Liam Neeson's recent action films because it has a very specific style and it's got that vibe to it of an independent film more than anything. That doesn't make it bad, or good, it just makes it different than what a lot of people probably expect. It was a little slower than I thought it would be, a little darker and a little more dark humor than I expected too. If you watch it from a certain perspective it has some genuinely funny (albeit very morbidly) funny moments. Liam Neeson's character is anything but a "bad-ass" . In fact he's just a guy pushed to the brink by the loss of his son and someone who knows the area around him better than anyone else and then he has the luck of mistaken identity throughout most of the film. It's gritty and violent and hard to watch and then it's a little bit odd and over the top at the same time. I'm not sure how Cold Pursuit did financially but I could understand if it didn't do as well as his other pictures because this one is a very distinctive style. But if you want something different and really like Neeson than you can be sure this will wet your whistle. 7/10

Pokémon Detective Pikachu

Fun and simple, it works
I missed the Pokemon craze by a few years being too old for it but I'm familiar enough with it to know it's fan base. This was a risky movie no matter what they did but I really wanted to see what they would do to bring this world to life. Most die hard fans seem to approve of what they've done. Adding Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu's voice was an odd move and almost forced to me. I mean why not put Deadpool's insanely successful voice inside of Pikachu to get the fans to come in. But in the context of the movie, it actually works better than I would have thought. I still feel like it was an odd move but Reynolds is charismatic enough to pull it off. Justice Smith is very good leading the film, this should do great things for his career. He takes what could have been a very silly movie and actually gives it heart and seriousness and he and Reynolds (well Reynolds' voice) have great chemistry together. Kathryn Newton is also good but in a very typical sort of role for this type of movie. Seeing the Pokemon brought to life was very cool, I think director Rob Letterman who has done mostly animation did a great job of making you believe in this world where Pokemon and humans live together like pets and masters. The story tries a little too hard but it helps make the film feel more serious and that's not a bad thing. At times this film reminded me of those really cool "puppet" type movies of the 80's like Dark Crystal and Labrynth and that's a great accomplishment and a great compliment. It's fun, you'll enjoy it, it's clean enough for most kids and adults will enjoy it too. 7.5/10

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

Exactly what you came for
John Wick launched a whole new franchise that is known for brutal violence, stylized fighting and consistent story of vengeance. I felt like John Wick 2 went heavy on story and missed the mark in some ways on some of the things that John Wick made so great but John Wick 3 brings it all back together. One fight after another, crazy stunts, brilliantly choreographed fighting ... it is exactly what you would expect coming to see this film. The reason why it's doing so well and getting the reviews it has been is because it fills expectations. You can't go into this knowing you're going to see a John Wick film and come out disappointed. It delivers in every way you can think of. Is it brilliant? No. It's really one fight after another with a very thin thread of a storyline that continues on from the first and second film and the entire character of Halle Berry seemed pointless to me and she also seemed to be just as immortal and unstoppable as John Wick is which makes no sense but in the end the film is a good time at the movies and delivers an exhilarating R-Rated experience. It throws back to the purposely violent films of the 80's while dabbling in this 1940's Detective/Gangster vibe while still keeping things completely fresh and stylistic. John Wick 3 will not disappoint fans of John Wick period. 8/10

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

More of what you'd expect
I admit for some reason I'm not a fan of the monster genre. This recent universe they've been building has been okay but nothing that blew me away by any means. They all seem the same to me and offer up the same sort of titan battles and mass destruction. However, as popcorn flicks they are reasonably entertaining. I will say I thought the cast of Godzilla: KOM was far superior to the 2014 Godzilla cast in many ways. Vera Fermiga, Millie Bobby Brown and Kyle Chandler were all excellent in their roles. I wasn't sure this would be the right break out vehicle for Brown from Stranger Things but I think this will do it because she really is great and steals the show in many ways. Ken Watanbe is also very good in a smaller supporting role. The big problem with this genre of film is believability and I know that lots of movies require a suspension of belief but monster films don't address the "monster" in the room in that if this were real, no one would ever survive but the heroes always do unless they make a stupid decision not to. The monsters lay waste to each other, the story is decent, the acting is solid and it fits into the Universe it created so it delivers everything it promises to. 7/10


A genuine surprise and a great start to movie season!
My expectations for this were relatively low. I was just wary they could pull this off in live action and the trailers didn't help those expectations. I, like many others, were very worried about Will Smith's genie who didn't look quite right. Any and ALL of my concerns melted away within minutes of the start of this film. Aladdin is a glorious, splashy spectacle and Will Smith was one of the best parts of the movie. He absolutely nails the role of genie and makes it his own but still pays a certain homage to the animated version. It was the first movie in a really really long time that made me remember Will Smith is a superstar. This was the perfect role for him. Additionally, Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott were magnificent both on their own and together. Their chemistry was perfect. In fact, the chemistry between all of the cast was so great which really helped the film. I've read a lot of positive reviews about the film and all of them seem to imply that Jafar was a weak point in the film but I actually though Marwan Kenzari was very good as Jafar. He was underused perhaps a little but he still played a very good villainous role and was the perfect adversary. Navid Negahban and Nasim Pedrad were also good in smaller roles. The music is amazing, all the original classics are in place and don't disappoint and some new music as well that is very good. I think they added a certain depth to Jasmine that really works well for today's audiences. Aladdin is the movie to beat this summer in my books. I loved it. It was very nearly a perfect experience and if I were to see it again, I think it might become a 10 for me. 9/10


Surprisingly dry and misses the magic
I waited anxiously to see Dumbo. I'm actually a fan of these recent Disney live action rollouts because they're magnificently done and they're bringing classics to a new generation in a whole new way. The biggest problem with Dumbo is that it doesn't help up well as it is. If you watch the 1941 original, there is so much content in there that needs to change due to political correctness and such and there is a lot in there that doesn't translate well to live action either. Overall the story just felt really dry to me. There was nothing particularly exciting or different or anything that stood out to make it unique. The performances were fine. Collin Farrell did a good job and the children were both very good and Eva Green was decent. Michael Keaton who I think is amazing, he's one of my favorite actors, overplayed his role quite a bit. He was supposed to be the villain but he was campy and over the top which was sort of the point and yet it didn't really work in the context of this film I didn't think. Danny Devito was very good as the ringmaster Medici who had one of the most interesting characters in the film. The special effects were good and yet you knew what to expect from the movie. You know he's going to fly and so even that isn't exactly a stunning revelation. I did have a lot of expectations for this going in and I just felt like it didn't really meet them very well. The direction was good and the sets were brilliant to see but the story and script lacked true heart and it didn't move me the way I expected from the trailers. It ended up being okay at best and I was disappointed when all was said and done. 6/10


A nice little romance but lacks substance of the author
I knew nothing of Tolkien's life prior to this film so it definitely introduced me to him as a historical figure but the bulk of the movie is a romance between him and his future wife. I think the film makers chose to focus on the key relationships that inspired him and encouraged him in his youth and that makes sense but it does leave you wanting more about his later life when he actually becomes an author and begins to create the universe he is known for. The cast is very good. Nicholas Hoult does an excellent job playing the young author and Lily Collins is also very good and the two of them together have excellent chemistry which really does help the pace of the film and give you something to root for. It does certainly remind me of The Theory of Everything where it is focusing on how a romance impacted a great mind. For the directors first English language film he does a good job of putting you in the era and the situations that Tolkien experiences but the inspirational moments that help him create his Lord of The Rings Universe does feel a touch forced and yet at the same time these have to be things that did inspire him. I know everyone in the theater I saw it in seemed to enjoy it a lot. There was even some applause at the end which is unusual. It is absolutely entertaining and watchable and fans of romance especially era-specific (WWI) will really find this appealing but as a biography of JRR Tolkien it does miss some marks and it could have given us more instead of hyper focusing on the one area of his life and then jumping ahead so far into the future when he's publishing. 7.5/10

Avengers: Endgame

Definitely an epic finale unlike anything else
Marvel has been up and down for me over the last decade. The superhero genre is definitely wearing thin and then comes this juggernaut of film which is breaking all records and likely to become the biggest film in history. The ratings and reviews have been all around great but I still had reasonable expectations. For the most part, Avengers Endgame fulfilled every expectation I had for it. It has a massive runtime and doesn't actually feel slow at all. The three hours goes by easily and the film builds expertly on it's previous films. There has never been an ensemble cast like these movies and this film specifically. There was a significant character development change with Hulk/Bruce Banner and also Thor and I'm not sure I liked either one. Hulk wasn't really Hulk but then it also made a lot of room for new development. Thor's change was sort of unnecessary and fans of Thor would be quite annoyed at his change I would think. Captain America and Iron Man though are as solid as they've ever been. Robert Downey Jr gives one of his best performances as Iron Man that he's ever given (no it's not Oscar worthy - sorry fans!) . The first 2 + hours of the film are not action packed. It takes it's time building the story and visiting previous points in time throughout the Avengers history and then comes the final battle. Now the final battle of this film is the definition of blockbuster. It is massive in scale and incredible to watch and edge of your seat, popcorn thrills. You can't help but want to cheer when the entire Marvel Universe shows up and Captain America utters "Avengers Assemble" (for the first time) before one of the largest battles I've ever seen. The last 30-45 mins of the film is a solid 10 in spectacle. Avengers Endgame is fulfilling a lot of expectations and for me it was a good time at the movies and a worthy end to this particular leg of one of the most successful franchises in film history. 8.5/10


Undeniably adorable, sweet and fun
Ugly Dolls delivered exactly what I expected of it. But it also delivered more than I expected. It's one of those animated film so full of heart that it catches you off guard. It's full of songs and an in your face non-subtle message about being who you are (what else can you expect from Ugly Dolls.) . The cast is a ton of fun. Kelly Clarkson, Pitbull, Blake Shelton, Wanda Sykes and Nick Jonas are all truly outstanding in their voice over roles. I was particularly impressed by Blake Shelton who really takes on the role quite well and Clarkson's voice is near perfect for Moxie, our hero of the film. Some of the complaints of the movie I've seen call it predictable and it certainly doesn't bring anything brilliant to the table but it is so sweet and pure and fun and my 4 year old daughter loved it and I think that's worth something because I loved it too! It's a feel good movie and not much else. Sure that means it doesn't have a ton of depth but sometimes just feeling good is enough!! I had tears in my eyes when the credits rolled because it drew me in enough to care about the characters and root for the heroes and I had a lot of fun with this one. For families and young kids, you cannot go wrong with this one! 8/10


Typical shock comedy but watchable
You can't say Snatched doesn't deliver exactly what you would expect from an Amy Schumer film. It's dumb, raunchy, R Rated and Schumer's schtick of "not being pretty" is peppered throughout the movie. If you're an Amy Schumer fan you can't say it doesn't bring what she usually does to the table. It is watchable too. There are absolutely some funny moments, the shock comedy works in some cases (and I'm not a fan of shock comedy for the most part) but it's got a very short run time and it's an easy viewing experience. Goldie Hawn is great as Schumer's uptight Mom. The role is very cookie cutter but she likely needed that after almost two decades away from film. She absolutely has a charisma on screen and her and Schumer are actually delightful together! They play off each other well and she is definitely the "straight" woman to Schumer but she gets a lot of great scenes and lines as well. The film tries to have some genuine heart to it with a story of mother and daughter and growing apart and the agoraphobic brother played in a small dose (thankfully) by Ike Barinholtz. Christopher Meloni makes a fun and brief cameo (love that guy) and the film holds it's own but it's very generic in it's delivery. Sometimes there is a lot to be said for a film that knows exactly what it should be and is and delivers on that promise and Snatched does that. 7/10

An Interview with God

Terrific concept, mediocre delivery
I thought this film sounded fascinating in it's write up on Netflix and I wasn't wrong. The idea behind the film is terrific and this would even make a great stage play but the problem lies in the script. It tells this story, builds these characters and then doesn't have any place to go with them. Another reviewer said it perfectly when they said it asks a lot of questions and gives no answers to any of it. And instead in the end it "chickens" out and wraps everything up in a neat little bow which makes no sense for the story before it. The cast is very good. I can't think of a better person to represent God on screen than David Strathairn who has a certain royal quality to him. Brenton Thwaites is very good as the pushed to the edge reporter who agrees to meet with the man claiming to be God. There is very little explanation as to what brings them together (which is the point as we find out) and God offers him all these questions and redemption and salvation and then when you feel like you're just about to uncover the landmine of answers and have your mind blown ... nothing. He realizes life ain't so bad and everything falls into place. I don't know if this is a book or not but I see some incredible potential here that is just never ever fleshed out. Still it's a good faith based film that's easy to watch and entertaining and well acted. 7/10

Fast & Furious 7

Finally watched The Juggernaut of Fast and Furious films
I remember vividly when this came out. Due to Paul Walker's death it was all anyone could talk about and it went on to gross over 1 billion dollars. Well in an effort to binge this franchise I finally watched it. So far my favorite of this series has been Tokyo Drift and Fast 5 but Furious 7 holds it's own. The makes of this franchise know what people want to see and this delivers even more of it. The action is non-stop, the stunts are ridiculously insane and the characters are over the top macho versions of themselves. The ending was also a very sweet memorial to Paul Walker. Jason Statham makes for an incredible villain that I actually think they underused just a little bit but he still is great in his role. Vin Diesel is exactly what everyone wants him to be in the film and he is great at it. I don't particularly see why this instalment seemed to be so massive compared to the others but then I also get at an enormous run time and the scope of the action that this is as close to action-epic as you get. It was definitely a fun watch and gets the adrenaline pumping and is anything but boring. I also think previous cast members Gal Gadot and Sung Kang were definitely missed as well and Ludacris and Tyrese Gibson were underused. Still, consider me a fan of the series and this one was a must see on that list! 8/10

The Curse of la Llorona

Another similar entry into The Conjuring Universe
I love horror films and I like The Conjuring series. Some have been great, some have been good, but all follow a very similar pattern and bring the same things to the table. The Curse of La Llorona is exactly what you should expect and I mean that in a good way. It had some genuinely freaky moments and definitely a few jump scares that got me good and that's not entirely easy to do. It has a strong cast and a familiar story and fans of the Conjuring Universe will likely enjoy it for what it is. Director Michael Chaves certainly has a good handle on the recipe but it also doesn't really bring anything remarkable new to the table either. It would be nice to have something a little more unique and exciting but this one follows the recipe to a T and has Exorcist nostalgia written all over it. Linda Cardellini is very good as the mother who finds her children haunted by the spirit. She usually gets runner up supporting actor status but she proves she can hold her own in the lead in the film. I really wanted more out of Raymond Cruz in his role as the Priest who wasn't really a Priest. I think someone with more charisma on screen was needed for the role. Overall it is a good film, entertaining and a great part of the franchise but not the best of it either. 7.5/10

He Who Dares

Die Hard Meets The Raid if those movies were terrible.
He Who Dares is some sort of extremely low budget "fan-film" quality movie that is just shy of ridiculous and utter crap. I do think, unlike some others, that there are some minorly redeemable qualities such as the performances. The actors I don't think are bad but the script is atrocious and gives them nothing to work with but they still show they have some acting ability under different circumstances. The gun fights and special effects are decent given the extremely low budget. The last ten minutes of this film have some of the most horrendous dialog and scenes I've ever seen. I'm only amazed that this landed on amazon prime because it is revoltingly awful. Despite my not giving it a complete 0 don't take that as a reason to bother with this. I can hardly believe there is a sequel (made in the same year) with triple the budget! This is bad by any standards and has a graciously short run time but it's still not worth the time you would put into it. This one is a dud. 2/10

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