Wish Dragon

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Wish Dragon was so on the nose with the film Aladdin, but the culture and thought provoking ending makes up for it!!!

Real Rating: 3.5 Tea Kettles

What I Like:

-It is always good to see culture and diversity in this animated film which captures the beauty of the city of Shanghai, China of today, that was great to see
-The voice cast was good, most notably, John Cho voicing the wish dragon, Long, it isn’t up there with Robin Williams genie, but his character development and his funny sarcasm really made this a plus for this film
-The fights and action scenes were fun to watch

The So So:

-The beginning of the film was pretty much the Chinese version of Aladdin set in the years of today, but in the end, it does go done differently which is something I can appreciate, and made it worthy to watch

What I Didn’t Like:

-Predictability at it’s finest, especially since it is so on the nose with the film Aladdin, especially in the first half (maybe two thirds) I almost lost interest to see how it ends

Overall:

As I’ve said plenty of times before, it reminds me a lot of Aladdin, a film I adored as a child. In the first half, it practically went down like Aladdin, only in China of today. With all that said, the animation was still great, the culture and diversity was a breath of fresh air, and the voice casting made it authentic enough. Jackie Chan produced this film, which is why the fighting scenes were fun, but I could see why he cared for this film to be made. So if your family needs something to watch, this one won’t hurt at all!!!

Real Rating: 3.5 Tea Kettles

Awake

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Awake was intriguing, but in the end, it just falls flat and confusing!!!

Real Rating: 3 Old School Cars

What I Like:

-The story is intriguing, a page out of the old sci-fi book about people not being able to go to sleep and start going crazy, it made me care to see how this story will go down
-Gina Rodriguez was everything we can ask for in her role, it is everything we expect and love about her
-The scenes in the car where it seems unedited were great filmed scenes

The So So:

-There were some tense scenes that can be thrilling, but it seems to have a knack of either abruptly ending or underwhelmingly end, it happens a lot, and with something that really starts to get thrilling and just end, it can ruin the effectiveness

What I Didn’t Like:

-There was barely any exposition which is rare for a sci-fi film, and it left me confused in the end to know what is really going on with the world, and never grasped it, so it was all still a mystery
-The way things unfolded, especially at the end, just wasn’t good enough, it should’ve been thrilling, but it all just falls flat for me, and I just lost care for it, it could’ve been a film to make us think, but instead, I was like whatever, just end this

Overall:

It had the potential to be a really thrilling and maybe even a scary sci-fi movie, with a great lead actress in Gina Rodriguez. However, the execution of everything just left things confusing, and in the end, bland. A lot of wasted potential. Especially in a sci-fi flick with no real exposition, it just made the story worse and worse, and maybe not believe in the future of humanity!!!

Real Rating: 3 Old School Cars

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

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The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It does have an interesting premise, but in the end, it’s the same old horror film, and probably the least creepiest in the trilogy!!!

Real Rating: 3 Possesions

What I Like:

-I would say for the first half of the movie it still had the creepiness that made these films good, especially the exorcism part in the beginning was pure The Exorcist terrifying

The So So:

-The premise of this story made it interesting about a trial where the defense is blaming on a demon possession that committed the murder, it made our two favorite ghost hunters get to the bottom of it with a mystery clue finding type of ordeal, but then the payoff in the end just left me unsatisfied with how everything played out

What I Didn’t Like:

-Michael Chaves took over for James Wan in the directors role, but I felt it lacked James Wan touch of the ultra level of creepiness that made the first two movies great, especially in the third act, I thought it heavily relied on the jump scares trope instead of letting the creepiness and anxiety scare you, Wan does add that touch and it was missed heavily

Overall:

I can honestly say this is the worst one in the trilogy. I believe the story lost its focus in the middle of it, and lacked James Wan’s touch of creepiness that made the first two movies horrifically good. The story started off great, but it just fell off into the scary movie tropes that makes me not like horror movies to begin with. It is a franchise, and probably more will come, but maybe enough is enough when it comes to this The Conjuring franchise!!!

Real Rating: 3 Possessions

Xtreme(o) (Sidenote: The Courier)

Xtreme (2021) - Rotten Tomatoes

Xtreme (or Xtremo) shows what Spain has to offer in action films, though the action is Grade A, the story is same old, same old!!!

Real Rating: 3.5 Nokia Phones

What I Like:

-This is all about action, the fighting scenes were choreographed well, the violence is intense, and very rarely it was slow or boring, so for all my action junkies, you will like this film for sure
-It is my first look at Teo Garcia as an action star, and he doesn’t disappoint, shows me why he is BA, and not to be messed around with, same with Oscar Jaenada as the villain, he was also intense and showed what he got as an action star villain
-The cinematography was really good, especially showing stunning views of Barcelona, Spain

The So So:

-I saw this film dubbed in English, and it kind of made a lot of actors subpar in their acting, I have to see it in its original language, but I give it the benefit of the doubt

What I Didn’t Like:

-It has all the tropes of an action movie storywise, the good old you killed my family now I want revenge plot that does get old

Overall:

Tropes and cliches aside, if you like pure action Jackie Chan or Jean Claude Van Damme style, you will enjoy this flick. It has great exploding action, great fights, gory violence, a likeable protagonist, and an intense villain. What more you need in a action movie? Once you get used to the English dub, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy. It’s on Netflix, so what do you have to lose?

Real Rating: 3.5 Nokia Phones

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(Sidenote: The Courier – This film brings back Benedict Cumberbatch in a true story about an English businessman working with a Russian spy to help save the world during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The beginning was interesting, and it can be thrilling at times. However, it started to get boring by the middle end and not even Cumberbatch’s acting good save it from it’s dragness. Regardless, it is a good piece if history for people to learn about!!!
Real Rating: 3.5 Gulags)

Blue Miracle

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Blue Miracle is a feel good story, but it is a way too cliched sports movie!!!

Real Rating: 3 Marlins

What I Like:

-The cinematography of this film is great eye candy, love great shots of the ocean

The So So:

-This is a true story, and it can guilt trip you into liking this film because of the feel good story, but for me it is a all too familiar story even though it is a “true” story, but at least you see a film about the biggest fishing tournament ever
-The acting was decent, but you can tell who are the veteran actors, and who are the amateurs

What I Didn’t Like:

-This was all a sports movie cliche buffet, if this was a Disney movie, I would’ve believed you, but just the title alone can tell you how predictable this movie will be
-Why does actor Raymond Cruz always plays the same character in all his roles?

Overall:

Like I said before, it is a feel good “true” sports film. This time about a fishing tournament. It has all the cliches in the book of sports films. Because if that, it is way, way too predictable. At least you have some decent acting and nice cinematography for you too enjoy. With all that said, this is a film on Netflix that you watch when there is nothing else to see, and you’re bored!!!

Real Rating: 3 Marlins

A Quiet Place Part II

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A Quiet Place Part II continues with the thrills, same as its predecessor, but still a good watch!!!

Real Rating: 4 Supersonic Sounds

What I Like:

-It is still a thrilling movie that does continue a good story of these blind aliens taking over the world, and people trying to survive, the silent thrills always gives that tense feeling that something is about to go down
-The reason the thrills worked so great is because the sound editing was on point, the mixing was so good that it gives you that feeling sensation of you actually really being there, and that’s why it is so tense
-The actors once again give a great performance, and the new character of Emmett, played by Cillian Murphy, really added a new dynamic to the story which made it fresh

The So So:

-The first movie was such a unique horror thriller that it would be hard for a sequel to live up to those expectations, I have to agree, but I give credit to the writing for doing their best to make it good and thrilling, is it as good as the first one, no, but it’s still good enough to give you that classic horror thrill

What I Didn’t Like:

-I’m not a fan of the abrupt endings, and this one did it again, it just doesn’t sit well with me, clearly they were setting up for another sequel, but give me a more satisfying ending at least

Overall:

It would be very hard to live up to the original movie, but this sequel did their best. Their best was good enough with the thrills and chills it continues to bring. The acting, the sound editing, and story was pretty darn good, and I highly suggest it to watch it in theaters. It just continues to bring the thrills that everybody comes to watch for!!!

Real Rating: 4 Supersonic Sounds

Cruella

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Cruella is a work of art that is well acted, directed, and built, but not sure if it truly represents the Cruella De Vil we know!!!

Real Rating: 4 Fashion Shows

What I Like:

-The direction and style of everything was truly a piece of art, I mean, a movie about fashion really needs to show the beauty and creativeness, from the dresses, to the makeup, all the way to the production design set in the early 70’s was just an awesome spectacle to see
-The acting is what brought it to life, it truly felt like an authentic film from London, Emma Stone as Cruella De Vil was great and being rivals with another fashion icon in Baroness, played by Emma Thompson, was fun to watch them go at it each other, also, Paul Walter Hauser as Horace really impressed me as well, the British accents were good, and Americans have come a long way since Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins
-The last thing that brought everything together and made it fun was the soundtrack, the oldies music was just great and it blended in wonderfully, it really made the film that much more enjoyable

The So So:

-I guess the biggest debate is how they developed the character of one of Disney’s notorious villains, at first it took a dark beginning which was expected, but then, once things start unraveling, instead of making Cruella maniacally evil, it made her more relatable and had me scratching my head from the canon of 101 Dalmations and it old blends in together, at least we had an enjoyable story for us to enjoy

What I Didn’t Like:

-It was a little predictable, some things that happened I saw from a mile away, and some things did cross my mind, but I didn’t dwell on it, but you do know how things are about to go down

Overall:

With this, you can’t shake your head that this is truly a work of art. I give credit to director Craig Gillespie for creating something spectacular. The acting all around was great, and Emma Stone brought the classic villain back to life in a fun way for all of us to enjoy. Yes, I do question how the development of the Cruella De Vil ends up, but the ride getting there is good enough. May be dark for kids to watch, but then again Disney movies can be dark so tread carefully parents. With all that said, I personally enjoyed watching this film, and aspiring fashion and costume makers really should watch this movie to be inspired!!!

Real Rating: 4 Fashion Shows

Army of the Dead

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Army of the Dead is bloody good with Zack Snyder’s fingerprints all over it, but it is a cliched zombie movie!!!

Real Rating: 3.5 Blood Splattering Head Explosions

What I Like:

-For fans of zombie movies, they won’t be disappointed, you have everything you need, good action, blood and gore, and intense scenes, it is everything you need
-Acting was pretty good, blending some humor, action, and drama, Dave Bautista you get what you expect, but Tig Notaro, who is known for her deadpan humor, was actually pretty funny and delightful

The So So:

-Yes Zack Snyder’s hands are all over this one as well, the slow motion action and what not are all there which can be eye rolling nowadays, but for this film, it worked for the most part, I thought the humor in this blended well, but the emotional drama did seem forced and out of whack, but granted that the film is more than two hours, Snyder’s ego didn’t want to cut the unnecessary stuff
-Even though the zombies are a lot smarter and more “human” they are still stereotypical zombies of films nowadays, only more intense

What I Didn’t Like:

-The story is all too typical, without spoiling it, you just know that things will not go the way it should, and not everyone will survive, and sacrifices will be made, and everything you freaking see in a zombie movie, yes, it was really that obvious and it does affect this story a lot if it didn’t take itself too seriously

Overall:

It is a good and fun watch, especially if you are into zombie films. Zack Snyder at least put in some good bloody zombie action to keep you entertained. It has a good blend of action, tense moments, and humor that will entertain with this cast. Yes, the story is all too cliched, and it is eye rolling because it does take itself serious, but once you get passed that you get what you’re really watching it for, a bloody good zombie movie. A good one to watch on Netflix after you put your kids to bed!!!

Real Rating: 3.5 Blood Splattering Head Explosions

The Woman in the Window (Sidenote: The Marksman)

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The Woman in the Window may be a good psychological thriller with the good acting, but the third act just had to ruin everything!!!

Real Rating: 2.5 Eavesdropping

What I Like:

-What really made two thirds of this movie work was the acting, most notably Amy Adams playing a person suffering from agoraphobia, she really hit it out of the ballpark with her performance, and made it interesting to watch

The So So:

-The execution of everything was weird, but it was expected for a psychological thriller, you can’t get everything all at once, I would say the way the first two thirds of this film went down kept my interest to see what is happening and if the protagonist is really losing it, yes it can be slow and uneven at times, but it was supposed to do that to keep you on your toes

What I Didn’t Like:

-With all that said, the third and final act really took a freefall to its death, it turned out to become a cheap horror film, without spoiling it, the way how everything unravels just did not make any sense, I can’t even defend it whatsoever, it really was that bad

Overall:

Like I said before, pretty good in the first two thirds of it, terrible in the last third of it. Honestly, a wasted role of Amy Adams acting. It’s a shame really. I’m not even sure why Gary Oldman or Julianne Moore took this role as well. Just seems like wasted roles of great actors. It also seems like the writing started of with great writers, and had monkeys finish it. It was that bad. If I were you watching it on Netflix, watch the first two thirds of it, and stop it, and draw up your own story. It would probably be better than what I saw!!!

Real Rating: 2.5 Eavesdropping

A man stares down the scope of a sniper

(Sidenote: The Marksman – Liam Neeson plays a border patrol officer who decides to rescue a young boy from the Mexican Cartel. Overall, I thought the film flowed well and it did kept me engage with its action and what not. However, it was all too formulaic with every single aspect. I practically predicted what is going to happen before it happened. With all that said, at least I wasn’t bored watching this film, and seeing Liam Neeson being Liam Neeson!!!
Real Rating: 3.5 Comprendes)

Spiral: From the Book of Saw

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Spiral is an interesting angle on the Saw franchise, but in the end it is the same old story!!!

Real Rating: 3.5 Death Traps

What I Like:

-I like the angle they took for this franchise, it is a spin off with completely different characters with the motive on corrupt cops, it did keep me engaged from beginning to end, and liked how it was executed with a message that is relevant today

The So So:

-Chris Rock was the lead as a detective leading out on finding a Jigsaw copycat targeting cops, to me Chris Rock will always be a comedian, and it was hard to take him seriously as a serious actor, especially in the beginning where he was still cracking jokes, but in the end I saw some good glimpses of it, especially with his facial expressions, but it will take a lot for me to take Chris Rock seriously as a serious actor
-I’m not sure if fans of the franchise will love this spinoff or not, for me, who is not a fan, think that this version was like the first one where it focused on the story and less on the blood and gore, which to me is not a bad thing, but I believe fans will want more of the blood and gore

What I Didn’t Like:

-After seeing all of this, if you’ve seen one Saw movie, you practically seen them all, and this one is no different, and it does get redundant

Overall:

I like where the story and execution that this franchise took. In some ways, it was a breath of fresh air. It kept me engaged and entertained. With all that said, it is still a Saw movie even though they are completely different characters. It still has the same problem like all the Saw movies, it is the same old thing. If it wasn’t for the different traps and what not, it would be boring. At least with this one there is a better story for me to care about. If there is more sequels, they have to be more creative to make these films more good than derivative!!!

Real Ratings: 3.5 Death Traps