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Most Anticipated Movies of 2023

With The Last of Us on the horizon, yes I know it’s a television show. It reminded me that 2023 is going to be one hell of a year for the movie industry and I’m here for it. I would say that movies are officially back. The pandemic is kind of in the rear view with movies and theatres being back in full force. So here are 15 movies that I cannot wait to see this upcoming year, in no particular order, I’m tired of ranking things.

Scream 6: Director: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillett. Release Date: March 10th, 2023

See new Ghostface mask in Scream 6 photo | EW.com

In the next installment, the survivors of the Ghostface killings leave Woodsboro behind and start a fresh chapter in New York City.

New city, new rules. Ghostface is heading to NYC for the same old song and dance. Stalking the most recent survivors, no one is safe, no matter how far you run. Scream 5 was a massive success, it kind of reinvented the franchise, promoting a new slate of teens in the spotlight, while the legacy characters of Gale, Dewey and Sidney kind of took a back seat. In such a big way, that one of them bit the dust for good, won’t say who incase of spoilers, and what comes as the biggest shock for this newest entry. No Neve Campbell. According to sources and hell even Neve herself, she felt that she wasn’t getting the right amount of financial compensation for this role and she has every right to be pissed off. On the Mount Rushmore of Scream Queens, not having her be apart of this franchise is nonsense. Now, this could be one of the ultimate marketing ploys, and it turns out that Neve will be back (as the killer) or sets up the 7th installment with some sort of stinger at the end of the movie. Either way, I hope that issue can be resolved and we get her back. Scream isn’t the same without her.

Creed III: Director: Michael B Jordan. Release Date: March 3rd, 2023

Jonathan Majors' Creed 3 Bad Guy is Far More than a Mustache-Twirling Villain, Says Michael B. Jordan

Adonis has been thriving in both his career and family life, but when a childhood friend and former boxing prodigy resurfaces, the face-off is more than just a fight.

Much like the above post, this movie will be suffering from one of their legacy characters missing. The first movie in the Rocky universe that won’t have Sly Stallone. What is this world coming to? But there’s a lot to be grateful for and so much to look forward to. Jonathan Majors, yup. Michael B Jordan’s directorial debut, yup. Both of these two just looking like Greek Gods, yup. This could perhaps be the definitive installment in this franchise. Creed II had so much history and emotional baggage, that it almost overshadowed the movie. Drago Jr was a great villain, but Jonathan Majors is such an incredible and well-versed actor, that he will no doubt steal this entire movie. This could be the end of it all as well, who knows. Just something about boxing movies just puts a smile on my face.

Killers of The Flower Moon. Director: Martin Scorsese. Release Date: TBD

Killers of the Flower Moon' - The story of the Osage murders is in production - Alberta Native News

Members of the Osage tribe in the United States are murdered under mysterious circumstances in the 1920s sparking a major F.B.I. investigation involving J. Edgar Hoover.

Okay this movie has to come out this year. A movie people have been waiting for what seems like 3 years now, could 2023 finally be the year it happens? Leo’s next outing with his pal Marty, what more could you want? Toss in De Niro and Jesse Plemons, and you have yourself one heck of a cast. No trailer, no real new stills, nothing on the marketing campaign yet. This thing is shrouded in mystery. Wasn’t a huge fan of his last movie, and the world just needs a Leo movie every few years to keep us all sane.

Barbie. Director: Greta Gerwig. Release Date: July 21st, 2023

Barbie' teaser trailer turns the world pink and sparkly | CNN

To live in Barbie Land is to be a perfect being in a perfect place. Unless you have a full-on existential crisis. Or you’re a Ken.

We got Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken. Like what else does one need to say about this movie? Like look at that photo, come on now, it’s perfect. All I can say is this, if at some point in this movie, “Barbie Girl” by Aqua doesn’t drop, Greta Gerwig has failed us all. Not really sure what this movie will be about exactly, maybe Margot’s Barbie gets kicked out of Barbie Land or something? Regardless, the cast is stacked beyond belief, an insanely talented director is at the helm, and I feel like this movie will be for everyone. I’m excited for it, because when talented and hard working people come together, that often results in success. This could go down as one of the best looking casts of all time and I just hope this doesn’t fall flat on its face. I want Barbie to be a success so maybe we get the BCU down the line.

Oppenheimer. Director: Christopher Nolan. Release Date: July 21st, 2023

Oppenheimer (2023) - IMDb

The story of American scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer and his role in the development of the atomic bomb.

Nolan is back! We have one of the biggest movie battles in history going down July 21st. Could be one of the best double feature days in cinemas in recent memory. Greta Gerwig’s Barbie and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer are opening on the same day. I’m not sure the world is ready for this. Apparently Nolan build a real atomic bomb and detonated it for this movie, that’s how fucking committed this guy is. Doing something really cool as he always does, it appears that half the movie will be in colour, while the other half (assuming after the atomic bomb goes boom) will be in black in white. Much like it’s opening day counter-part, Oppenheimer has just a cast full of legends. A list too long to name, but few directors get the “event” status when they open a new movie, and Nolan is one of the select few. I expect this to be nothing short of extraordinary.

Air Jordan. Director: Ben Affleck. Release Date: TBD

Matt Damon Ben Affleck Nike Michael Jordan Movie | SneakerNews.com

Follows the history of shoe salesman Sonny Vaccaro, and how he led Nike in its pursuit of the greatest athlete in the history of sports: Michael Jordan.

The boys are back, the boys are back! The dynamic duo are back together again! Ben Affleck is back directing and Matt Damon is coming along for the ride. A movie about the rise of Nike shoes which involves Michael Jordan? That sounds so incredibly fun and awesome. Honestly, I’ve been waiting a while for these two to properly reunite. They did a little bit during The Last Duel, but this feels more like a homecoming for the pair. I hope this is like a mixture of Moneyball and The Big Short, obviously, I’m not even sure if this will get released this year, it’s suppose to, but nothing from this movie is available. So it’s extremely difficult to get a sense of the tone and vibe of the film. Doesn’t matter, Affleck is nearly perfect when it comes to directing, his only falter was his last outing, a time when he wasn’t in the right state and I have a feeling this is going to be his big comeback to the directors chair. Will forever root for these two, especially when they are working together.

The Super Mario Bros Movie. Director: Aaron Horvath & Michael Jelenic. Release Date: April 7th, 2023

Animated Super Mario movie official trailer: Watch now | SYFY WIRE

The story of The Super Mario Bros. on their journey through the Mushroom Kingdom

I’m not saying this is going to be the biggest movie of 2023, but it has potential to be the biggest movie of 2023. I’ve always considered myself a Luigi guy and getting Charlie Day to voice him is perfect. The only complaint about this movie really is Chris Pratt voicing Mario, but honestly, if it works 70% then the movie will be fine. Anya Taylor-Joy as Peach and Jack Black as Bowser, like are you kidding me? It’s so well done, the trailers have been incredible, the animation is top notch. This just looks like so much fun. Basically watching a video game played out on the big screen. All the little sights and sounds being used (Sonic franchise take note) makes this one of the more appealing video game movies ever made. Just look how happy these two guys are, you can’t tell me you don’t want to watch this. Yoshi is here and Seth Rogan is voicing Donkey Kong, which I’m sure will be some end credit stinger, ultimately setting up another MCU (Mario Cinematic Universe) I can’t wait. Like they are driving in go-carts down Rainbow Road, HOW ARE YOU NOT EXCITED.

Dune Part 2. Director: Dennis Villeneuve. Release Date: November 3rd, 2023.

Dune: Part 2' Wraps Filming, Timothée Chalamet Announces - Variety

A boy becomes the Messiah of nomads on a desert planet that has giant worms that protect a commodity called Spice. Spice changes people into travelers, mystics and madmen. What price will he pay to become the new ruler of their universe?

We cannot fail this movie. Plain and simple. As a society we need to band together to make Dune Part 2 a giant success. I think after Dune, and the great word of mouth and its successful life on streaming, Dune Part 2 has a great chance to no doubt be a bigger financial success. This will incorporate the second half of the novel, where things really pick up and the stakes are bigger, the action is louder and we get to see a ton of cool shit go down. The final 3rd of Dune the novel is tremendous and I can’t wait to see how it plays out on the big screen. Villeneuve does scale better than anyone working today and honestly Dune is one of the best IMAX experiences in the last decade. No doubt in my mind this will be his finest work to date and this movie is going to blow people away. Really excited for the role Dave Batista is going to play in this sequel.

Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part 1. Director: Christopher McQuarrie. Release Date: July 14th, 2023

Mission: Impossible 7: Tom Cruise's 'Dead Reckoning' Plot, Date, Cast - Variety

We don’t even have a blurb on IMDB yet, that’s how little is known about the upcoming Mission Impossible movie. What we do know is that Tom Cruise jumps off a cliff riding a motorcycle, one of his biggest stunts yet. The man is truly the greatest action star we have, and he’s just on a serious role. So dedicated to his craft and providing us, the audience with the best possible entertainment, it’s hard not to love the guy. This is only part 1, but I’m sure part 2 will serve as the finale to his tenor as Ethan Hunt and this franchise. Arguably one of the most thriller and best movie franchises we have right now, you know this is going to be a banger. Cruise is willing to die for the right shot, to pull off the stunt and he’s probably going to space in the next one. Hard not to be over the moon for this movie. There really isn’t a bad installment in the entire franchise.

Transformers: Rise of The Beasts. Director: Steven Caple Jr. Release Date: June 9th, 2023

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts' Trailer Introduces the Maximals, Predacons, and Terrorcons! - Bloody Disgusting

We got Beast Wars coming to the Transformers universe! Honestly, this movie looks cool as hell. I loved the 90’s Beast Wars cartoon and all your favorites are present in this trailer. It looks like it’s piggybacking off the success of Bumblebee, one of the strongest Transformers films to date. If Hailee Steinfeld is involved in this movie, that’s a big plus for the franchise. Anthony Ramos takes the lead human role this time, and he looks the part. Happy they ventured away from Mark Wahlberg and taken the franchise to new heights. The Transformers have never looked better. These movies are always so big and grand, they just let the humans get in the way, but judging from the last little sneak peak, they are going to war. Epic battles, great designs and honestly some terrific voice acting is going to make this perhaps the best Transformers yet. Lets go to Cybertron!!!

John Wick: Chapter 4. Director: Chad Stahelski. Release Date: March 24th, 2023

John Wick: Chapter 4' Trailer: Keanu Reeves Back On The Attack – Deadline

John Wick uncovers a path to defeating The High Table. But before he can earn his freedom, Wick must face off against a new enemy with powerful alliances across the globe and forces that turn old friends into foes.

Donnie Yen and Bill Skarsgard being added to the list? I’m fairly certain Donnie Yen is playing a badass blind assassin and I’m here for it. The franchise that once again reinvented Keanu Reeves is back for the forth installment and it looks like it could be the final chapter. One of the best action franchises this century, the face paced, hard hitting, close combat flick is once again upping the ante for what is sure to be one of the best movies this year. Each movie gets elevated to new heights and the action is more bold, making John Wick a superhero of sorts. That’s all fine and dandy, I’ve loved how they have expanded the universe and made this feel like a really special franchise. I don’t think they envisioned a four movie run like this before the first one came out. I for one am not ready to see him die or leave.

Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse: Director: Kemp Powers, Joaquim Santos & Justin K Thompson. Release Date: June 2nd, 2023.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023) - IMDb

Miles Morales returns for the next chapter of the Oscar®-winning Spider-Verse saga, an epic adventure that will transport Brooklyn’s full-time, friendly neighborhood Spider-Man across the Multiverse to join forces with Gwen Stacy and a new team of Spider-People to face off with a villain more powerful than anything they have ever encountered.

So this is just a juggernaut year for animation. Between this and Mario Bros. I don’t know which one I’m more excited for. My expectations weren’t low for the first Spider-Verse, I just didn’t really have much thought about it. Then I walked out of the theatre thinking it was one of the better animated films I’d ever seen. Now, we are getting the much anticipated sequel, and this movie is HUGE. One of the biggest animated features ever, with over 200 talking characters, which I believe is some sort of record. Spider-Man from all over, anything that’s ever had a Spider-Man in it, is popping up in this movie. This is also only part 1, so you know this will be ending on some sort of massive cliff hanger, that’s going to leave us wanting so much more. Miles Morales in just a fantastically fun character, and I can’t wait to see what they ultimately cooked up for this sequel.

The Flash. Director: Andy Muschietti. Release Date: June 16th, 2023

Ezra Miller's 'The Flash' Movie Gets New Teaser Trailer with a Michael Keaton Voiceover! | Ezra Miller, Michael Keaton, Sasha Calle, The Flash, The Flash (Movie) | Just Jared

DC’s last ditch effort? Do we even need this movie at this point? Is this going to piss off so many fans, yes. Honestly, I’m only putting this on my list because I want to see Ben Affleck back as Batman. Who knows what this movie has in store. Since it started production, star Ezra Miller has been a shit show, the higher ups over at DC films has changed twice, and I feel like this movie won’t even matter in 3 years time. None the less it’s finally coming out this year, and it could be really great. Something unique and hopefully puts a new spin on the speedster tale in the comic book world. I just have a feeling, it could bomb and everyone involved and everyone in this movie will be erased from the DC Universe, and just like that, all the hoop-la around this thing will have been for nothing. Just please don’t be a big pile of shit.

The Iron Claw. Director: Sean Durkin. Release Date: TBD

Zac Efron Bulks Up to the Extreme in A24's 'The Iron Claw' First Look - Variety

Follows the story of the Von Erichs, a dynasty of wrestlers who made a great impact on the sport from the 1960s to the present day.

Wrestling movies can be awesome. A movie about one of the most famous families in the entire industry sounds delightful. Besides, look how insanely jacked Zac Efron looks here. This cast is STACKED, Efron, Holy McCallany, Lily James, Jeremy Allen White (MY BOY) and Harris Dickinson. This is really the only piece of marketing that has hit the web so far. I have no idea if this movie will be terrible, or a masterpiece, but I do know that I love so many of the people involved in this project that it was hard to leave it off the list. The movie will make or break with Efron, has it usually does, but he’s kind of turned a new leaf lately and I’m excited to see what he brings to the table here. Could be one of the hidden gems of 2023.

Bernstein. Director: Bradley Cooper. Release Date: TBD

Bradley Cooper's first look as legendary composer Leonard Bernstein will leave you awestruck - Entertainment News

The complex love of Leonard and Felicia, from the time they met in 1946 at a party and continuing through two engagements, a 25 year marriage, and three children.

Last but not least. Have to shout out Bradley Cooper and this wicked hair style. Besides the last time he wrote and directed a movie, he made me cry each time I watched A Star Is Born. So maybe this love life tale of Leonard Bernstein will be no different. He’s all in for this role, perhaps Oscar hunting, but after you make a movie so powerful, it’s hard not to get excited for what’s next. A great ensemble cast next to him, this is one of the bigger what-if’s of 2023. With the success of Tar, and Cate Blanchet almost a mortal lock for the Oscar this year, can Bradley follow suit as back to back composers to win the gold.

Reviews

‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ Review

Travel back to Pandora for one of the most jaw dropping, transcendent movie going experiences of all time. No one does sequels better than James Cameron.

The First 'Avatar 2' Reviews Are Here

Jake Sully lives with his newfound family formed on the extrasolar moon Pandora. Once a familiar threat returns to finish what was previously started, Jake must work with Neytiri and the army of the Na’vi race to protect their home.

Aliens, Terminator 2 and now The Way of Water, I do dub thee James Cameron the King of movie sequels. It’s been 13 years since he once again claimed the throne of cinema. Movie criticism and just the overall landscape of movies has changed so much since the last time we travelled to Pandora. So we’re off. James Cameron is back and it was worth the wait. Avatar: The Way of Water is nothing short of spectacular, something that you will honestly remember forever. A movie going experience for the ages.

James Cameron teamed up with some of the best writers in science fiction, to deliver an emotional, thunderous, breathtaking thrill ride. The first Avatar blew audiences away across the globe and this promises to be no different. In one year we got a pair of top notch sequels. Between this and Top Gun: Maverick, waiting to make the perfect sequel    really pays off with each movie. Patience is virtue and that’s why The Way of Water is a triumph. Time to craft a perfect blend of action, emotion, faith and ground breaking visuals, Cameron waited this long so he could complete a masterpiece. A movie like this just wasn’t possible 10 years ago, even 5 years ago.

So we return to Pandora and a lot has changed. It’s been 10 years since the events of the first and Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) have started a family and are the most important people of their tribe. Family is the main driving factor in this movie. “Sully’s stick together” is the biggest strength and weakness of this close knit family. Big Jim is a family man himself, and this movie is a story about fathers and their sons. The relationships between them and what it means to have your father either be proud of you, or want more out of you. I would say the Sully kids are the backbone of this film. They are the emotional weight that carries it and without a doubt on screen for the longest time. Including their pseudo adopted human son Spider (Jack Champion). I don’t want to say that Mom’s take a back seat in this movie, but the bond between father and sons is honestly the focal point of the film. How we bond with our fathers and there’s even a subplot that showcases the bond between man and animal. That reminds us just how important having any bond in our life can be.

I knew going into Avatar exactly how the movie would shake up. The first hour would be a reintroduction to Pandora and the characters while we get reemerged into this gorgeous world. While the second half would be a tour of the beautiful water, a visually stunning experience and the third act would be what Jim does best. I wasn’t wrong, the last hour is some of the best action I’ve seen in a movie in years, while showcasing the most visually stunning images since honestly, the first Avatar. The emotion is high, the action hits hard and we are rooting for this family to succeed.

Big Jim also knows how to make a great villain. His best villains are all true haters, they will stop at nothing to get the job done, even if it means death. Stephen Lang returns as Quaritch and I won’t spoil how, but I really liked how they were able to bring all these people back that we lost in the first movie, it made the movie feel more personable.

The reason to come to this movie is the film making. It’s practical, impressive, immersive, other worldly, created with both science and technology. This isn’t something you watch on an airplane or your TV at home. You would be doing yourself and injustice by doing so. It’s truly unlike anything I’ve ever seen, and something that I will want to see again in theatres. The performances are fantastic, especially Zoe Saldana, who gives arguably the most emotional performance of the movie. Great villains, a grounded and simple story, and a world that you just wish were real.

How we view this movie will come down to money, which is sad. That’s how all movies are judged these days. It’s hard to top one of the most successful movies of all time. I’m sure The Way of Water will be a juggernaut at the box-office but will it be enough? I’m not sure. I know it will be nominated for a ton of awards and people from across the world will remember this movie going experience for a long time. Sometimes the experience is worth more than box-office success.

Thank you James Cameron and I can’t wait to return to Pandora. He’s conquered the land and sea. I wonder if he’s taking Pandora to the air next?

Avatar: The Way of Water = 92/100

Reviews

‘Bones & All’ Review

Taylor Russell and Timothee Chalamet both give raw and powerful performances, in this genre splitting look at life, love and cannibalism

.Sinopsis Bones and All, Kebencian, Kesepian, dan Keputusasaan

Maren, a young woman, learns how to survive on the margins of society.

Luca Guadagnino’s follow up to his impressive hits. 2017 ‘Call Me by Your Name’ and 2018 ‘Suspiria’ is a very unique and emotional look at what it’s like to be different and trying to fit into an already broken world. Finding love is hard, apparently finding love in the 80s was even harder. Toss in the fact that you need to feed on human flesh in order to live your life? That’s going to make things a little more complicated. This is a lot of movies all rolled into one. It’s a beautiful movie, beautifully shot, tons of gorgeous landscapes and a true-blue cannibal story. 

I’m just a fan of how Luca makes his movies. They almost at times seem like a documentary at times, because the realism that is on display really grabs you. Even with big named actors throughout the movie, they play such unique and magnetic characters that you forget who you are looking at most of the time. The first 30 minutes plays out like a true horror movie I’d say. A lot of tension and scares and for the more squeamish people, this is the time when the movie really goes for it in regard to the body horror element. The movie then kicks into a love story/road trip movie. Where two people who share a special bond are falling in love and trying to make the most of having nothing. 

When Maren (Taylor Russell) can no longer control her urges for flesh, she is ultimately abandoned with nothing and no one except for her birth certificate and is now trying to track down her mother in order to perhaps understand why she is the way that she is. She meets all sorts of other “eaters” along the way. Sully (Mark Rylance) is the first one she comes across, who could sense her presence from blocks away. When he teaches her about his code for eating and how to perhaps get a handle on this new life, she learns what she can and heads off for more answers. That’s when she meets Lee (Timothee Chalamet) and the two instantly share a connection and bond and together try to navigate this hellish landscape they have made for each other. 

The movie belongs to the two of them, both delivering emotional performances and for Chalamet, I also want to say physical. I don’t know if he’s actually that skinny in real life, but what he does in this movie is so captivating and he’s just such a terrific actor and Luca Guadagnino is able to capture magic with him whenever they work together. I think he just understands his limits and is able to get the very best out of him. Taylor Russell no doubt gives her best performance, and clearly didn’t back down from this acting challenge. They have such great chemistry; you can tell they enjoyed working together and got the best out of one another. Shout out to Michael Stuhlberg who plays another eater, who appears for a mere 7 minutes probably and totally blows you away. An elevated scene and perhaps one of the more troubling and psychotic moments of the film.

It’s a lovely movie that flips from bloody horror to sensible and sensual love story. A coming-of-age film, that transports you on a road trip with two people trying to find their place in the world. One of whom doesn’t quite understand her past, present or future. It’s a bleak look at love when you have nothing else in your life, the movie is dirty, in the sense where these two leads have nothing except one another. Rarely bathed or groomed and for a lot of it, covered in blood. I liked how they didn’t make these clearly two beautiful movie-stars shine like diamond and rather rust like copper. It will make you laugh, cry and turn away from the screen. I was engaged the entire time, because you really were invested in these characters. Really happy I caught this one in theatres.     

This movie will stay with you for a while after you watch it. 

Bones & All = 76/100

News

First ‘Transformers: Rise of The Beasts’ Trailer Is Here!

The Autobots are back and this time they are bringing some animal friends with them. The Beast Wars are finally here!

One of my favourite cartoons growing up was none other than Beast Wars. I had all the toys and it was just a cartoon that felt like it wasn’t just for kids. It dealt with mature themes and to this day still holds up as a great piece of the Transformers universe.

Say what you want about these movies, mindless entertainment, feel good-bad movies, classic Hollywood troupes. This franchise has only good things going for it as of late. Bumblebee the latest outing was met with great reviews from critics and fans and this appears to be more of the same. Michael Bay has left the directors chair and this time it’s Steven Caple Jr (Creed II) filling in. Anthony Ramos is taking the reins has the human lead with possible cameos of both Hailee Steinfeld and Marc Wahlberg? Perhaps that’s how they bridge the gap between the franchises. Who knows. All I know is BEAST WARS BABY!

Great first trailer, the song choice elevates it. All the Beast Wars looks stunning and that last snippet we got makes me melt. We just need these sorts of movies every five years to keep us sane as a population. Bring it on.

Reviews

‘The Menu’ Review

A movie ripe with flavor. The Menu is a fast-paced thriller, that will have you laughing and salivating from the mouth with the delicious food put in front of your eyes. A must see

A young couple travels to a remote island to eat at an exclusive restaurant where the chef has prepared a lavish menu, with some shocking surprises.

How much would you pay to have the best meal of your life? Is there a price tag for such a thing? Would you pay the ultimate price, your life? These questions arise in Mark Mylod’s The Menu. A satirical look at the wealthy, the corrupt and the world’s best chefs. This movie leaves you guessing and having a hard time deciding who to root for. I would say there are no good people in The Menu, and that’s what makes the movie so engaging.

The most expensive meal you will ever eat, but when the chef tells you not to “eat,” you don’t fully understand the types of food that are about to be presented to you. Each course that tells a different story, the folks that have come to a remote island to experience something only for the select few. Little do they know; this night will change their lives forever.

Margot (Anya Taylor-Joy) is at the forefront of this movie. She tags along with new beau Tyler (Nicholas Hoult) who is head over heels for world renowned Chef Slowik (Ralph Fiennes). They are accompanied on this small boat headed for his remote gateway by finance bros, washed up actors, the usual couple and top-notch food critics. Margot isn’t who she says she is and is hiding something and she immediately notices a similar vibe when she arrives on the island. Thinking she’s about to eat this world class meal (she is), from the very get-go she is underwhelmed but not only the service, but the food put in front of her. When dinner service takes a serious turn for the worst, and the guest find out that they will eventually all die this evening, it becomes a game of survival, all while enjoying some of the best dishes the world has to offer. 

The supporting cast is terrific, the financial bros, give the film a lot of the comedy, pulling out the “do you know who we are” card more than once. Thinking that money and power can just buy their way out of their current situation. This reminded me a lot of Knives Out, I know we are getting a sequel very shortly, but just the assemble cast, the dark comedy, the twist and turns. The movie can be very tense, but moments later you find yourself laughing hysterically. The movie flows really well, in a time where you find yourself at the movies for 3 hours, this was a breath of fresh air. A tight hour and forty-five minutes, that just plops you into this world and it’s a fast charged start. 

Truly a hard film to discuss, because I watched a trailer month ago, and just knew from word of mouth and the cast alone that I needed to see this. So going in basically blind was a lot of fun, because I didn’t know what to expect. This is a dark comedy, no horror elements, with a splash of a thriller. Just a really fun time at the movies. The three leads really carry this thing and the back and forth between Fiennes and Taylor-Joy is sometimes pulse pounding. I have also watched countless hours of Hell’s Kitchen lately, so I was all in and seeing an intense and perfectionist Chef really just hit home for me.   

This is a five-course meal with a sundae for dessert. If you like food, comedy and incredible acting, The Menu is a dish best served with some cherry coke and popcorn. Really dug it. 

The Menu = 84/100 

Reviews

‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ Review

Head back to Wakanda, where tragedy has struck its people. It just so happens the same tragedy has struck the real world as well. The follow-up to the massively successful Black Panther is here and it’s not without saying that this movie comes with all sorts of emotional baggage.

See the source image

The people of Wakanda fight to protect their home from intervening world powers as they mourn the death of King T’Challa.

It’s been over 2 years since the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman, and his death is no question at the forefront of this movie. A tribute to his name and what he stood for, this movie is not only dealing with the passing of King T’Challa in the MCU, but the actors themselves mourning with the death of their friend. Those emotions are felt throughout the entire movie and it’s that emotion that really propels the movie forward.

Shuri (Letitia Wright) is hurting more than anyone throughout this movie. She doesn’t know how to deal with grief and guilt and it’s swallowing her alive. Unable to move on from her brother’s death, she is determined to help the world with her technology and distract herself by any means necessary. Even when Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) tells her about a ritual that will help her move on with her life, she turns it down. She’s not ready to say goodbye and doesn’t exactly know how. Wakanda is without a Black Panther for the first time in centuries. When a new threat Namor (Tenoch Huerta) rises from the water, literally, this is Marvels Aquaman. He wants peace for his people underwater and wants the help from Wakanda. Nor friend or foe at that point, it’s up to Shuri to decide the future for Wakanda. Namor is by far the best part of the movie. A great new MCU villain, who is officially the first “mutant” of the MCU, he was badass, well-acted and had a sympathetic backstory. Finally, a memorable villain for the MCU, something lacking as of late. Whenever he was on screen I was invested in the movie, and I’m excited to see where they take his character next.

Black Panther is highly regarded as one of the strongest MCU movies to date, so any sequel was a daunting task, given the circumstances at play, this movie had such a tough task ahead of it. At the end of the day, Wakanda Forever is a stylish sequel, that lives up to the name, but ultimately felt over bloated and overstuffed. The biggest problem with the MCU right now, connectivity. They need to remind you that this is part of a much larger story (we already know this) and characters that serve no purpose to the story at hand keep popping up, again to remind us that this is the MCU! We are almost 30 movies in, the audience knows this and in an already long movie, dealing with the death of Chadwick, tossing in more screen time for a few people that had zero business being in the movie, felt like a terrible idea. It’s Evertt Ross and De Fontaine, they just take you out of the movie every single time they pop up. That was my biggest gripe with the movie, and a lackluster third act, the movie as a whole is fine, but I can’t prop something up because of the story behind the movie, that’s not fair to anyone. You also felt the absence of Daniel Kaluuya, who couldn’t be in the movie because he was filming NOPE at the same time, he could have elevated this movie even more.

Much like the first, the cast is stacked. Angela Bassett gives a powerful and raw performance. Showcasing some of the finest acting in the MCU to date. Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke and Danai Gurira are all back and thriving. Duke provides most of the laughs in the movie and remains one of the best characters within Wakanda. The newest addition, young inventor of sorts Riri (Dominque Thorne) is a really fun addition to the movie and a cool new side kick for Shuri. Letitia Wright also gives a great performance here, and without spoilers I won’t really say much else. The movie is long and at times it feels long and there certainly is a difference between a long movie and a movie that feels long. I was also hoping for a really great third act and it didn’t happen, it actually felt like the most MCU part of the movie. CGI stuffed, fake backgrounds and poor action. They barely showcase the new Black Panther and it felt like a misstep to do so. This was going to be an impossible task to begin with, but I do think in the end up Ryan Coogler pulled it off. But I would love to see him go smaller and step aside from the MCU.

 

Black Panther Wakanda Forever = 71/100

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‘Super Mario Bros’ Trailer is Fire

Mario has been apart of my life for 30 years. This first trailer looks just magical.

I’m not saying it’s about time they made a proper animated Nintendo movie but it’s about damn time. And who better to lead the charge of what will probably be the Nintendo Animated Universe than the best plumber the world has ever known, Mario. Voiced by Chris Pratt, because why not, the movie has plenty of star power (no pun intended). Charlie Day will voice is loveable brother Luigi, while Keegan Michael-Key will voice Toad. Princess Peach will be voiced by Anna Taylor Joy and none other than Jack Black will be voicing the films big baddie Bowser.

Smart of them to show off more of Bowser than Mario and the rest of the gang in the trailer, because he is one of video games greatest villains and I’m super excited to see this great cast go to work. Pratt does drag the trailer down a little bit, I think they could have gone with someone different but he puts butts in seats and this is primed to make the big bucks. This could honestly be one of the most successful animated movies ever if this turns out to be good. Mario one of the most recognizable faces in the world, he is known everywhere.

Such a fantastic kick off trailer and I’m so excited to see more from this going forward. WHO DOESNT LOVE MARIO?!

Reviews

‘NOPE’ Review

Jordan Peele once again demonstrates why he is becoming one of the most reliable directors in Hollywood. Nope builds on his already impressive resume, cementing him in the big leagues. Hitting home with some social issues all while telling a unique and original alien tale. Paying homage to films before it, while adding his own unique twist on a disturbing discovery.

Nope Teaser: New TV Spot Features A UFO But No Aliens, Nope

The residents of a lonely gulch in inland California bear witness to an uncanny and chilling discovery.

What lengths would you go to for that perfect shot? To capture the impossible on screen? If you were to witness what can only be described as a “bad miracle” would you be able to turn away, or would you like most people look up in not only curiosity but also fear? These are just a few of the questions that Jordan Peele asks with his newest film. A film that centers around a brother and sister dynamic who run a Hollywood horse ranch and are trying to capture the unimaginable on tape, but with all things supernatural, it comes with a price.

Here’s the thing. When you see something out of this world, your first inclination would be to look up not only in amazement but potentially in fear. Well, what if doing so meant it was the end of the line for you? We live in a world that is obsessed with likes, clicks and seeking attention. It’s rare now that something amazing happens in your life and you don’t try to capture it with a video or photo. No one tends to live in the moment and just let life happen around them, everyone needs that validation and to cement their legacy as it is.

One thing that is certain when watching a Jordan Peele film is the layers and questions and themes that he presents to the audience. Living in the moment, is just one of those themes, how our obsession with social media, and capturing every moment can ultimately consume us. It’s always difficult to discuss his movies without spoiling anything, but if you’ve seen any trailers, you know this is about some sort of alien aircraft and the repercussions that come with it. When OJ Haywood (Daniel Kaluuya) and Emerald Haywood (Keke Palmer) stumble upon the supernatural, they both realize that this is a once in a lifetime moment for the both of them. See their family has been apart of Hollywood royalty for sometime, well they are descendants of the man who was in the first movie ever made. Now taking a place behind the camera, training horses for movies and commercials, they play a vital role in the film industry, whether the industry itself wants you to know or not. Early in the film, OJ is trying to go over the safety protocols around the horse, and when it’s apparent that no one is paying attention and think little of the horse, it’s a reminder that people take animals for granted. Not only that, but using animals as “spectacle” rather than let them be one with nature. Even the vastly important people training these animals are never mentioned or brought up with talking about movies. Leading to another theme throughout the movie, the exploitation of crew members on film sets. Usually the people doing the brunt force of the work, pouring in hours of work and most of the time doing the most dangerous things, are usually the ones who get the least recognition from the industry and audience. Peele makes this clear by having our hero OJ where a bright orange sweater in the finale with the word CREW in giant letters on the back of his sweater.

There’s two other notable performances in this movie, one belonging to Brandon Perea as Angel who helps the Haywood’s set up their cameras. He’s the much needed comic relief in this insane story, that helps ease the tension, but also wants to be apart of history. Knowing that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, he digs in deep and jeopardizes his entire future, for the perfect shot. Steven Yeun plays Ricky ‘Jupe’ Park a former child star turned ranch owner. It’s not much of a park but he relies on nostalgia from his dark past to bring the costumers. He was part of a sitcom that went array, when an ape attacked cast members, and he’s been leaching off that horrid moment for his entire life. Another theme from the movie, not messing with nature, and that it can not be control. No matter how hard you try, nature always wins. When we fail to learn from our past experiences we are doomed to repeat ourselves. Jupe falls right into this trap and he ultimately learns that mother nature is undefeated.

Overall, it’s another stellar outing from Peele, who is in full control of his movies from every aspect. He wants the audience to leave asking questions and pondering the themes he has presented for us. He’s telling original stories, and cementing himself as one of the best to do that in recent memory. This is a spectacle in its own self, while feeling like a true summer blockbuster. See it on the biggest screen possible, and feel the weight of this thing.

NOPE = 81/100

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‘Shazam: Fury of The Gods’ Trailer

The Shazam family is back for what will be a bigger more entertaining sequel.

Growing up is hard for everyone, even when you’re a superhero. Billy Batson is getting older and his alter ego, Shazam are both feeling the pressures of growing older and not knowing where he belongs. With his family and how to be a proper hero.

Comparing himself to the legends of the DC Universe, Shazam is having a tough time deciding what the best use of his powers are. Trying to hold together the Shazam family, as they appear to all be heading in different directions in life, all he wants is to be part of a family. He’s got abandonment issues so it all makes sense.

It’s not until some Gods show up, Hespera (Helen Mirren) and Kalypso (Luci Liu) that Billy realizes it’s up to him to save the world.

This sequel looks like they got more money, so expect a larger movie in terms of scale and scope. More screen time for our heroes and probably twice the laughs.

I’m not entirely sure where the DC universe is heading but as a fan of the first Shazam, I’m excited for the sequel. Zachary Levi does a fantastic job and it would be really cool to see him interact with some of the other DC heroes and most importantly Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam.

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‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ Trailer Hits

What an emotional, stunning teaser trailer that will surely be a movie to remember.

Well SDCC is in full effect, it’s been a day chalk full of news, promos and trailers. Disney and Marvel never disappoint in Hall H and they brought in the big guns tonight dropping the first official look at the sequel to one of the most successful films of all time, Black Panther.

We all know the tragedy that struck this franchise and fandom and everyone who knew and loved Chadwick Boseman. After his passing, it was unclear how the Black Panther franchise would be handled and carried on. Well, judging from this brief trailer, I can confidently say, it’s being handled with the upmost respect, and carefulness as you’d come to expect. Ryan Coogler is not shying away from making this an emotional ride and a tribute to the late great actor.

The trailer is simply stunning, something the MCU has severely been lacking as of late. Hitting some what of a standstill for someone like me, this certainly feels like a breath of fresh air and makes you wonder, why every MCU movie can’t look and feel this way. There is care behind the camera and visually speaking this is one of the better looking MCU trailers I can ever remember.

I’m sure people will be at a loss for words after watching this and there’s a time and place to talk about what happened in the trailer, but right now just sit back and experience what should be one of the strongest Marvel movies to ever grace the big screen.

Kudos to Ryan Coogler and the entire cast. They really pulled it off.