The 355

A poster featuring five women standing in front of a wall covered with country flags of the world. Below them is the following text: "From the producers that brought you Jason Bourne", "The 355", "Work Together or Die Alone", "In theaters January 7".

The 355 premise may seem great, but it is still a cliched action flick!!!

Real Rating:

3 Government Agencies

What I Like:

-I was intrigued to see an action movie with a stellar all women cast, the acting and fights didn’t bore me at the very least

The So So:

-I love a good action movie as any of us do, however, other than an all lead women cast, it really didn’t add nothing new to the table, if you see one action flick, you seen them all, at least it wasn’t boring

What I Didn’t Like:

-The tropes for this action flick made it very predictable, you can practically predict the story right after the first act

Overall:

I was hoping this film will bring something new, especially with a premise that made it seem something new. Unfortunately, it is an action film that is way too familiar that loses it thrillingness. It wasn’t boring which I do give it credit for, but you can’t shake off the tropes that makes this predictable!!!

Real Rating:

3 Government Agencies

Hotel Transylvania: Transformania

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Hotel Transylvania: Transformania just seemed uninspired, and a long overdue ending to this franchise!!!

Real Rating:

2.5 Naked Invisible Men

What I Like:

-The animation wasn’t boring at the very least

The So So:

-Without Adam Sandler as Drac, and to a lesser extent Kevin James as Frank, it was just different, but as for the rest of the voice cast, it was still good enough

What I Didn’t Like:

-The story, the execution, pretty much everything just felt so uninspired, I just wasn’t feeling it, and it did feel like the same old story since the first film

Overall:

This film really should have ended after the first film. To me the sequels just kept being repetitive with their character development and story. Same goes with this film that just felt straight up uninspired. It wasn’t the same without Adam Sandler which is still a mystery into why he wasn’t in this film. Fortunately, this will finally end. So, good riddance!!!

Real Rating:

2.5 Naked Invisible Men

Scream (Sidenote: The Night House)

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Scream went back to its original roots, but the third act just went off the rails!!!

Real Rating:

3.5 Stab Films

What I Like:

-The first two thirds of the film I pretty much enjoyed, it was thrilling and creepy enough, and also the self awareness of the tropes of a horror film (a requel as they say), it kept the essence of the first two films which huge fans will enjoy, plus the who done it aspect in figuring out the killers is always fun and entertaining
-It is a good tribute for the late Wes Craven

The So So:

-The story is the same old thing, but that is what fans came in to watch and enjoy
-Roger L. Jackson still does the classic voice of Ghostface on all the phone calls which still sounds creepy for sure, with that said, it seemed like it lost its luster and doesn’t sound the same, I almost thought it was a different person

What I Didn’t Like:

-The third act, once they reveal who the killers are and their motives (which is a really dumb reason), but the way the action went down just seemed way too dumb and comical, I was shaking my head all the time
-Without spoiling it, let’s just say the deaging CGI is terrible

Overall:

The spirit of this “requel” of the Scream franchise was actually quite entertaining even though it is the same old story. With that said, it went back to its original roots that we all enjoyed from the first two movies. However, that third act just went off the rails with just plain stupidity. I appreciate the legendary characters, and even the new ones that continues to make this horror classic creepy and scary. Fans will like it, and appreciate the tribute to the late Wes Craven!!!

Real Rating:

3.5 Stab Films

The Night House.png

(Sidenote: The Night House – This is a psychological horror film starring Rebecca Hall as a person trying to recover from a trauma of her husband committing suicide. It is interesting to see her discovering the reason for the tragedy, but in the end, it got too creepy and demonic for my liking. However, fans of horror would enjoy!!!
Real Rating: 3 Lake Houses)

Licorice Pizza

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Licorice Pizza had it’s moments with its comedy, but it does seem all over the place to understand the cohesiveness of the story it is trying to tell!!!

Real Rating:

3.5 Water Beds

What I Like:

-There is a lot of funny moments that did make me laugh, some dialogue is hilarious, some funny cameos from well known actors, but the quirkiness it brings does add a genuine comedic touch
-The quirkiness from the acting is what made it funny, and these are from beginners actors which is impressive

The So So:

It did lack any emotional depth and just relied on its quirkiness which was fine for what it is, but there was one moment at the tail end of this film that did add a touch of emotional depth

What I Didn’t Like:

-It was more than two hours, and there were times that it did drag, especially at the beginning where it took me some time to get into it
-The themes were all over the place which can be hard to follow, and there are some themes here that it did seem problematic, and nothing to address it

Overall:

It is a quirky comedy movie. The acting was surprisingly great, and gave it a nice touch for a coming of age story. Yes the lack of focus and the slow points are strong in this, but once you get use to it, it is pretty funny and interesting at the very least!!!

Real Rating:

3.5 Water Beds

A Journal for Jordan

Promotional release poster

A Journal for Jordan has some substance in there, but the romance story kind of got too boring for me after a while!!!

3.5 Drill Seargents

What I Like:

-It is a well done film, I thought the direction from Denzel Washington was good, some good cinematography with many landscapes of New York really stands out beautifully
-The acting was pretty good, you can feel the chemistry between Michael B. Jordan and Chante Adams which flowed very well for the story of the film

The So So:

-The story is mostly about love and hardship with dealing with close ones in the military, it can be relatable, but for me it wasn’t impactful until they’re son, Jordan, finally reads the journal from his father and that is where the true emotion starts coming in, it just took a while to get there

What I Didn’t Like:

-I’m not into romance movies, but this one I tried to go in with an open mind, but it just got too boring for me, I always get flack for this, but I just can’t relate to it

Overall:

I wanted to like this film, but it just fall flat for me. The most impactful parts didn’t come to the end, where I’m already exhausted from it. There is some good stuff in it for people who can relate to it. Denzel Washington’s direction is good with its execution and cinematography. It wasn’t for me, but I believe it can be something good for other people that may go through with this kind of situation. Which probably means I have no soul. Eh, whatever!!!

American Underdog (Sidenote: Passing)

A football player prepares to throw the ball.

American Underdog is a formulaic sports movie, but I’m a sucker for them!!!

Real Rating:

3.5 Barnstormers

What I Like:

-I thought Zachary Levi played the character of Kurt Warner very well, and the chemistry between Anna Paquin as his girlfriend and wife was authentic enough
-The film did seem low budget, but the football scenes were fun to watch, especially seeing actors playing some of the legendary football players

The So So:

-It is no different than any other sports movie you have seen, yes it is a true story, but the ones that do get made into a movie do follow the same formula, with that said, I still enjoyed the inspirational story, and that is because I am a sucker for these types of sports stories, formulaic or not

What I Didn’t Like:

-They touched a little bit about faith in God, but I felt it wasn’t enough to make it powerful enough, it was just mentioned and that is it

Overall:

As I said before, I am a sucker for inspirational sports movies. This one is no different, but I remember seeing this story unfolding during that time. It is something inspirational when you follow the story of Kurt Warner. Yes it is formulaic, but there is only so much you can do with a sports story. It is a nice movie for the whole family to watch. With all that said, I’m waiting for my Tom Brady movie!!!

Real Rating:

3.5 Barnstormers

A poster divided in black and white with a woman on each side. Under them is the tagline, "Nothing is black and white."

(Sidenote: Passing – This was an interesting watch about being black in the 20’s and how some people try to pass for white people to live good lives. It does bring good conversation, but that’s all there was conversations. I didn’t think it was powerful enough. The message was there, but I needed more feeling. In the end, it was just an ok film for me!!!
Real Rating: 3 Jazz clubs)

Nightmare Alley

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Nightmare Alley is beautifully shot Guillermo del Toro style, even though the story is just a bit too simple for his style!!!

Real Rating:

4 Carnies

What I Like:

-The style of Guillermo del Toro is there on full display, even though it is not as scary as his past movies, but it is definitely creepy, especially the carnival scenes where the set productions were great, del Toro’s vision is definitely there
-Bradley Cooper still impresses me, and in this role, it is no different, his mix of seriousness, charm, and insanity really mixes well in this role

The So So:

-del Toro may not have weird creatures or monsters, which is dearly missed, but he went with a more psychological approach which was still creepy and mysterious, in the end it pretty much worked out

What I Didn’t Like:

-The ending is not what I expected for a del Toro movie, and it is the real missing piece to this film
-There are some slow points in this that does make a two and a half hour movie drag

Overall:

This is still a visionary film from Guillermo del Toro with practically all the fixings he brings. However, the real missing ingredient is some sort of scary or peculiar monster, instead it was a psychological thriller that still felt a bit bland. With all that said, it is still creepy and the production designs are still on point. Plus Bradley Cooper still continues to impress. In the end, I felt like something was missing. A dessert for this full course meal which can be disappointing!!!

Real Rating:

4 Carnies

Being the Ricardos

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Being the Ricardos is an excellent take on this classic show, and I give most of the credit to Aaron Sorkin!!!

Real Rating:

4.5 Script Readings

What I Like:

-Aaron Sorkin has done it again, this time showing the ins and outs of this classic tv show and how it wasn’t all cheery, Sorkin is the king of arguments in his writing, and with this film, it is no different, and his direction was pretty good as well
-I did like the stories of how Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz met, and how the show got started, it was interesting
-I thought Nicole Kidman was fine as the famous Lucille Ball, she looked the part, and we do see a side of her we don’t normally see, and why she is a genius in her craft because of her vulnerability, J.K. Simmons as William Frawley and Nina Arianda as Vivian Vance were great as well

The So So:

-The way it was executed may seem all over the place with their timeline because of lack of transitions, but once you get over that, you see the purpose of it all, and why that week of recording was so crucial for everyone, and yet it created the big moments

What I Didn’t Like:

-I did not think Javier Bardem was a good Desi Arnaz, don’t get me wrong he was great in his own right, but Bardem didn’t look or sound like the famous Ricky Ricardo, it was just off

Overall:

Aaron Sorkin created another classic with real people with his writing, and even his direction. It was perfect for show business during that time. The acting was great from top to bottom, even though Javier Bardem didn’t look like the role. With all that said, this proves that Aaron Sorkin is a great screenwriter, and a good filmmaker which I always will look forward to when he is on board!!!

Real Rating:

4.5 Script Readings

Sing 2 (Sidenote: The Harder They Fall)

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Sing 2 had nice songs to enjoy, but the story was just way too out of control!!!

Real Rating:

3 Performances

What I Like:

-You really watch this films for the music performances, and that is what you get, you can sit back an enjoy these performances

The So So:

-You have all these characters you enjoyed from the last movie, but with the development with these characters it seemed to be forced to perform in a Las Vegas like city, but I did enjoy some of their challenges they have to endure to be great performers

What I Didn’t Like:

-The rest of the story, especially in the third just got way too out of control, it just seemed dumb and juvenile, and just added tension which wasn’t really necessary and eye rollingly bad

Overall:

As I said before, you go for the musical performances which were enjoyable. The story is greatly disappointing, and you can endure it as an adult. I do enjoy these characters from the first movie, but the stakes in the first movie seemed more genuine than the stakes in this film. Regardless, I found the music relaxing and enjoyable, and that is really the man point of it all!!!

Real Rating:

3 Performances

"Promotional release poster": The silhouettes of a group of four people wearing Western-style clothing. Above their heads, to the top right corner of the poster, is the title in a yellow font: "The Harder They Fall".

(Sidenote: The Harder They Fall – I cowboy movie starring an all black cast. With that said, I found it entertaining, fun, and humorous. It did take a page from Quinton Tarantino’s book with dialogue and what not. I enjoyed it watching on Netflix, and highly recommend it!!!
Real Rating: 4 Gunshots)

The Matrix: Resurrections

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The Matrix: Resurrections was just all too familiar in a good and bad way with exposition that didn’t quite make sense!!!

Real Rating:

3.5 Keanu Reeves Quips

What I Like:

-The production designs, cyber punk clothes on the characters, and music really gave the nostalgia you need for a Matrix movie
-Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Ann Moss seems like they never left their roles in this franchise and it was great to see them again

The So So:

-The action was great with their hand to hand combats which had great choreography, but all the special effects is something we have already seen before since the first Matrix movie, so in that regard, it didn’t bring anything new to the table

What I Didn’t Like:

-The story didn’t quite make sense, especially with the new Agent Smith, some I didn’t like, like the new Morbius arc, and a lot of familiarity to the first movie, actually, too much familiarity, so all in all, the story wasn’t great

Overall:

Bottomline, this has the Star Wars: The Force Awakens complex where it was rehashing an old story and make it new. So the originality was out the window. Especially since the special effects weren’t as mind blowing as before. With all that said, did it have an essence of a Matrix movie? Absolutely. Fans will still enjoy certain aspects that it brings, and it is still entertaining enough. Just not as good as the original trilogy, unfortunately!!!

Real Rating:

3.5 Keanu Reeves Quips