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Knives Out is a maze of a murder mystery (review)

In August, I wrote a post about the problem with remakes and reboots. My main concern was the lack of originality as properties are driven in the whole over and over again. However, recently a few original properties were released. One being 21 Bridges and the other being Knives Out.

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21 Bridges is an action-packed movie that may trigger you (review)

21 Bridges is an action-packed movie with an easy plot to follow. Chadwick Boseman asserted himself quickly while playing his character Andre Davis, and made a great impression in his first role since Prince T’Challa in the Marvel franchise.

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Buried in Netflix: Time Trap (2017)

I was surfing through Netflix and just as I was about to give up because there were too many options, I found Time Trap. The film surrounds a professor looking for his parents that disappeared years ago while chasing the fountain of youth.

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Zombieland: Double Tap highlights (review)

Zombieland: Double Tap was a fun movie to watch. It expanded on the Zombieland universe we were introduced to in 2009. Most of the jokes were amusing and I especially liked the references to Terminator 2: Judgement day.

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Is ‘Fall Inn Love’ the perfect romantic movie? (Netflix)

[This review was contributed by (AF).]

Triple entertainment threat Christina Milian taps into her acting skills as she joins more celebrities going the streaming route with Netflix’s romantic comedy Falling Inn Love. 

Gabriela Diaz (Christian Milian) is on the verge of pitching her dream Eco-friendly renovation and cementing her relationship with her boyfriend Dean (Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman). Things suddenly take a turn for the worst. 

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Is JEXI an encouragement or a warning? (review)

[This review was contributed by (AF).]

Coming from Lionsgate and CBS films is the 2019 romantic comedy, Jexi. Adam DeVine stars as Phil, a late 20’s millennial working in the social media industry. He spends every waking moment on his phone. In exchange for human relationships, he escapes into the digital world of streaming media, online ordering and Facebook updates with just one voice command. However, all that changes when Phil meets Cate (Alexandra Shipp) and his phone meets the pavement.

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Hamilton and Schwarzenegger have undeniable chemistry in Terminator: Dark Fate (review)

I was excited to watch Terminator: Dark Fate. I’m a fan of the series, even the ones that are not so critically acclaimed. When Linda Hamilton and James Cameron announced they were joining the project, my expectations for this movie soared. So what are my thoughts after seeing the movie?

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Dolemite Is My Name (review)

[This review was contributed by (AF).]

Eddie Murphy stars in the origin story for the 1975 blaxploitation (or blacksploitation) movie called Dolemite. After several failed attempts to break into the entertainment industry, record store manager Rudy Ray Moore (Eddie Murphy) tries comedy but faces more rejection from his boss and friends.

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Late Night and workplace diversity (Amazon Prime Video)

[This review was contributed by (AF).]

Produced by Film Nation Entertainment and theatrically released in June 2019, Amazon Prime acquired and streams the comedy-drama, Late Night. The premise initially deals with legendary host Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson) being forced to revitalize her dying talk show or be replaced with younger relevant talent.

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Gemini Man (review)

Henry is retiring after 72 assassinations. He was working for the government as an assassin after years in the armed forces. On the day of his retirement, he is contracted to terminate an assumed terrorist. Unfortunately for Henry, the target was a biologist that worked with the Gemini program.

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Furie (2019) – Hai Phuong (Review)

[This review was contributed by (AF).]

Furie is a powerful, emotional and action-packed film that is nominated for Best International Picture for the 92nd Academy Awards. It features Vovinam (a Vietnam style of martial arts) and highlights the growing epidemic of human and child trafficking set in Vietnam.

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Joker (2019) is mind-bending (review)

I finally had the opportunity to watch Joker this week and was quite unnerved by the time the credits rolled. Before you watch this film, you may think it’s just an origin story of how the Joker came to be Batman’s greatest nemesis, but it’s far from that.

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47 Meters Down: Uncaged (Review)

[This review was contributed by (AF).]

Following the (2017) 47 Meters Down theatrical release, the sequel, 47 Meters Down: Uncaged centers around four high school girls that take an adventure into the underwater Mayan City burial site in Mexico. Through some missteps and bad choices, they soon find themselves being hunted by great white sharks that have adapted to their cave-like surroundings. 

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Rambo: Last Blood is a pure revenge story (review)

Here is a lesson for all children.

Usually when your parents tell you not to do something, and you have no reason to believe they would try to hurt you, it is because it’s a bad idea.

Rambo: Last Blood started calmly enough. John Rambo seemed like he had retired on his dad’s farm near the Mexico border. He lived there with his close friend Maria and her granddaughter Gabriela. Both were very dear to his heart and he considered them family.

John managed his PTSD by taking medication to “keep a lid” on his issues as he told his niece, Gabriella. Though he still built himself tunnels under the farm grounds and that is where he stayed.

Unfortunately, Gabriela wanted to find her abusive father after she graduated high school and against Maria and John’s advice, she traveled to Mexico to see him after one of her friends found out where he lived.

I’ll say this. Her friend was shifty from the moment we saw her. She was clearly not as naive as Gabriela. And when Gabriela was pretty disowned (again) by her father instead of going back to her friend’s house, the opted to go to a club. It may not have been a setup, but it might as well have been because Gabriela had no business being there.

That’s when Gabriela was drugged and abducted by the cartel.

Very sad.

I screamed at the movie screen, “Rambo I need your spidey sense to go off!” But it didn’t go off fast enough. However, word got back to Maria. She then told John and then he drove to Mexico to retrieve his niece.

He stopped taking his meds, almost smacked up her “friend”, and tracked down the cartel member responsible for selling off his niece. This gives you an idea of the headspace he was in.

Rambo: Last Blood is not easy on the mind. It’s not a feel-good heroic story. It’s sad and horrifying. When John’s niece is finally rescued she dies because of a bunch of reasons. I’m pretty sure it was mostly because they kept drugging her.

Rambo does not save the day. Rambo: Last Blood is a pure revenge story.

In the final act of the movie, Rambo goes after Gabriela’s captures and leads them back to the tunnels he’s had prepared for years under his farm. We get an intense preparation montage and then it’s on when the cartel comes to his doorsteps to avenge their fallen.

From the time they arrive on the farm, it is non-stop action. This part of the movie was amazing. Shotguns, claymores, grenades, secret passageways, and John was surgical with the shotgun. The fact that he played his own soundtrack to throw the enemies off and get them frazzled in the tunnels made Rambo feel like the iconic character that we know him as.

And finally, Rambo gets 1 on 1 with the person who ordered the demise of his niece. He tells him that he is going to gonna rip his heart out and then he actually does it! Man, what a scene!

The whole third act was nonstop impact action and excitement that keeps you looking at the screen without blinking. I am confused about if Rambo is dead or not due to injuries he sustained at the end of the movie, but either way, this is one of the best of the franchise.

Ready or Not (2019) – review

[This review was contributed by (AF).]

With the cinematic flavor of Happy Death Day or The Purge franchise, Ready Or Night centers around a young couple that just married participating in a deadly family initiation, or more so the bride is being hunted by her in laws. The wealthy Le Domas family gained their fortune through distributing board games. They have a family tradition set two generations back of playing a game for new additions to the family. This could be as harmless as a game of chess, go fish, or hide and seek.  

For this dark comedy, co-directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett visually set the screen with a luxurious but vintage mansion, rich with wood paneling, hidden compartments, candles and the occasional stuffed animal. The audience is quickly introduced to the bride, Grace. She is played by Samantha Weaving and her husband is Alex Le Domas, played by Mark O’Brien.

In search of a real family dynamic, Grace marries Alex but the price of admission is steep. The story reduces our heroine to a pure survivalist, as she makes a valiant effort to endure her crazy In-Laws.

Viewers won’t get bored exploring the hunting ground of the Le Domas estate as the audience is taken to all corners of the area as Grace tried to escape the grounds.

The supporting cast has a descent line-up, but the dialogue severely handicapped the acting potential. Some of the dialogue had limited but derogatory language. Regardless, Weaver pulled off a great performance by conveying determination and feelings of betrayal and anger while being pursued in the most vicious and gross ways by her new family.

Adam Brody (Daniel Le Domas), Alex’s brother deserves a shout out for displaying an emotional range that raised the bar story wise. Some actors interpreted their characters better than others but overall it was immersive.

Grace fought to the end, using tools and intuition, which I have to give credit to. This movie served as a huge metaphor. Ask yourself, would you give up if you were being dragged down? Not by machete wielding psychopaths, but in simpler terms. What if you wanted to achieve a goal, yet life kept throwing curve balls and disappointments?

Our heroine was bruised, bloody, and tired. Still she kept trying to survive. If anything that philosophy could be applied to our own lives, minus the ritual killing thing. With laugh out loud moments and jump scares this is a fun movie for large groups of friends to watch in the comfort of your own home.

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