Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem Review

Seth Rogan does Seth Rogen things to the four heroes in a half shell, with a new outlook at our beloved Ninja Turtles. A coming-of-age story that looks at how everyone has a place in the world and it’s still hard as hell to be a teenager.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem Review | Den of Geek

The film follows the Turtle brothers as they work to earn the love of New York City while facing down an army of mutants.

I’ve loved TMNT my entire life. It’s one of the very first movies I remember watching, and one of the first video games I remember playing. These four brothers hold a special place in my heart. It feels like at all times in my life some sort of iteration of these characters has been in my life. Whether its been from a movie, cartoon show or a video game, they always seem to be part of the pop culture conversation. Now imagine someone like Seth Rogan taking the reigns and having a fun time writing and producing a beautifully animated TMNT movie. Basically take the kids from Superbad, tone down the humor to make it appropriate and make them teenage mutant ninja turtles and that’s exactly what we got here, a home run.

We’ve gotten plenty of TMNT movies in my lifetime, but one aspect of the movies that always lacked was the “teenager” part of the story. This is where this movie shines, for the first time maybe ever, the turtles actually felt like kids. Teenagers trying to find their place in the world, all different, all unique, all while trying to balance the life of being a mutant turtle but also just trying to be a regular teenager. So when Leo, Donnie, Raph and Mikey finally get their first actual exposure to the outside world in the from of April O’Neil, they realize that they are ready to integrate into society. Held back by their close in of a father (Master Splinter), they have longed for a regular life and just want to go to high school. Whether it’s trying to find a girlfriend, maybe join the improv team or be apart of school sports, these turtles just want to be normal for once. Yes they still love pizza and marital arts, but the a funny and new twist of these turtles is how they learn about the outside world. Much like kids today, it’s all through technology, learning new ninja skills through YouTube, or listening to Beyoncé and Drake, the turtles feel more human than they ever have. It gives them all such different and hilarious personalities, the voice work for each turtle is incredible. They did a smart thing and had all four kids do the voice work together, so they could act off one another and react to lines and improvise. It makes the movie feel more fluid and not just basically line reading.

The cast of voice actors in insane, Seth Rogen brought all of his friends, it’s a list longer than Donnie’s bo staff. Stand outs for me were Paul Rudd (Mondo Gecko), Ice Cube (Superfly) Micah Abbey (Donnie) and Shamon Brown Jr (Mikey). Ice Cube plays the movies villain Superfly, and for a kids animated movie, he was actually kind of scary. The film does a great job at balancing between tones and shifts from being fun and dumb to serious and heartfelt really well. The biggest star of the movie is the animation. Much like the Spider-Verse movie this separates itself from other animated movies released this year simply because of its sleek and unique animation style. They are setting the tone for the future of animation and what we can expect for years to come.

It’s laugh out loud funny, I found myself wishing I saw this in a busier theatre because that always helps elevate a movie especially when it comes to laughter, I was laughing every couple minutes it felt like. From all the references, the brothers acting like dumbasses, and all the gross and hilarious mutants, Mutant Mayhem is just a fun time at the movies. You don’t need to be a fan of TMNT to enjoy this movie, simply because of how down to earth it is. They are speaking our language, talking about things that most people know about and the jokes work on every level. The turtles themselves are super cute and you legit just want to be friends with them.

Sets up for one heck of a sequel and I can’t wait.

TMNT: Mutant Mayhem = 87/100


‘Oppenheimer’ Review

Christopher Nolan has given us a great American epic. Showcasing all of his talents. Some say his magnum opus. A cerebral and captivating drama that will be talked about for years to come.

Review: 'Oppenheimer' emerges as a monumental achievement on the march into screen history - ABC News

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

This is a hard movie to digest. A morally complex story about how one mans idea is powerful enough to change the entire world. How theory can only get you so far and ultimately with great power comes even greater responsibility. Christopher Nolan’s new biopic about one of the most important men in the history of the world; Robert Oppenheimer played by Cillian Murphy explores his life and how he became the “father of the atomic bomb.” A 3 hour epic that focuses on men talking in different rooms, I couldn’t help but find myself stimulated, enthralled and engaged the entire time. That’s the power of Nolan, he’s doing things that no other living film-maker can do.

One thing Nolan loves is the tortured genius that is fueled by something. Batman, Inception, The Prestige, and now Oppenheimer all dealt with trouble and tortured men in some capacity. How they deal with this is all different of course and for Robert Oppenheimer he brought to the world the most dangerous bomb the world had ever known. In the end, he didn’t quite know how he felt about it. “Now I become death, the destroyer of worlds.” Truer words were never spoken to by him. Remember Prometheus stole the power of fire from the gods and gave it to man. For that he was chained to rock and tortured for eternity. Well, this was no different. Oppenheimer gifted the world something truly horrific and he wasn’t the one who got to decide how to use this power, he had to sit back and watch as man used it for evil, evil unlike the world had ever known.

This is the kitchen sink game for Nolan, he uses everything he has ever learned as a film-maker and used it here to propel this to a defining achievement in his already lustrous career. Technically the movie is solid, from the sharp editing, side note – it must have been such a tough job to edit and piece this movie together. The cinematography is impeccable, he has gone on record to say that no CGI was used to make this movie. A thunderous and emotional film score by Ludwig Goransson that sucks you into certain scenes and haunts you in others. One thing Nolan always does so well is how he ebbs and flows the score into his movies Like a perfect symphony. They enhance the most mundane scenes while elevating those already set for glory. How we bob and weave throughout time periods, the back and forth between black and white, is hard to juggle for a lot of film-makers, but not Nolan, who has perfected that craft here with Oppenheimer. The movie moves at a rampant pace, and it’s up to the audience to keep up.

After the movie ended, the theatre felt stunned, almost cold. I said in the beginning, it’s a hard movie to digest with a lot to say and plenty to think about as you walk out. The last scene in particular is some-what of a gut punch. Cillian Murphy morphed himself into Oppenheimer, one of the better overall performances I’ve seen this year. We spend most of the movie with him, just starting at his face while he theorizes and dissects the problems laid out before him. This is a party, there are way to many amazing talents and performances in this movie, some of which I didn’t even know about until I audibly gasped when they appeared on screen. But some standouts were Robert Downey Jr, Alden Ehrenreich, Emily Blunt and Josh Hartnett. I loved all there respected performances and I expect RDJ to be nominated for an Oscar, and hell, I think he must just win. Matt Damon was terrific, Jason Clarke and Florence Pugh. The list could literally go on and on. That was the beautiful thing about this movie, so many famous people on screen and they all meshed together so cohesively, the perfect mixture to create something so powerful.

All roads lead to one significant spectacle and when you get there, it’s almost like the wind gets sucked out of your body. You kind of need to experience this moment for yourselves to understand, but it’s a theatre moment I won’t soon forget. Heck, there’s even a quick moment where Oppenheimer picks up his trademark hat and pipe and it felt like Batman was suiting up to go fight crime in Gotham, I kid you not, you can’t lose who you are deep down.

If you had the intellect to change the course of human history, while also potentially destroying it, what would you do? The fine line between doing what is right or wrong and doing your job as a scientist is towed pretty tightly here.

We get a classic Oceans 11 team up of the worlds most brilliant minds. It kind of serves as Nolan’s Social Network, where we get this mega important biopic that cements him as one of the best living directors of our time. I don’t want to say this is his best work, but it’s very close. After multiple viewings and letting this all sink in, that could change with time. I know that I felt a certain way during and after the movie. This movie won’t be for everyone, not a single punch is thrown, there’s no big chase scene, this is a stone cold drama that features memorable performances across the board. Not everyone can sit and do a 3 hour movie these days. but for me the pacing worked just incredibly well.

I can’t wait to see this again, I believe I need to see it again so fully grasp everything and honestly appreciate it more. You might not like the movie, but there’s no denying the craftsmanship and immaculate work that went into making Oppenheimer. This will have Oscar nominations out the wazoo, and I feel like this is kind of an all time American classic.

Oppenheimer = 94/100


‘Mission Impossible – Dead Reckoning: Part 1’ Review

Tom Cruise ups the ante yet again with insane stunts and world building. This franchise doesn’t know how to slow down.

Mission Impossible 7' First Reactions: Tom Cruise Dazzles Critics - Variety

Ethan Hunt and his IMF team must track down a dangerous weapon before it falls into the wrong hands.

“If you choose to accept.” These are the famous last words of this entire franchise. One that has spanned roughly 30 years. Movie franchises just don’t do this. Span 30 years and really only get stronger. The last two entries in the Mission Impossible franchise have been some of the best action movies of the last ten years. Coming off the massive success of Fallout and riding the extreme high of last years darling Top Gun: Maverick. People were excited to see Tom Cruise do crazy shit at the movies again. 

Ever since he took over this franchise (starting with 3) things have changed. This has become his pet project and he does all his stunts, goes to places no other actor is wiling to go, all to just have the audience be entertained for a few hours. You have to hand it to the man, he loves his craft and just wants to make people happy, and get butts back in the theatre. It was the perfect pairing of Cruise and director turned friend Christopher McQuarrie. They understand each other and push one another to new heights each time they work together. 

This time around Ethan and his team are fighting against the most powerful weapon they’ve ever come across, AI. It’s Mission Impossible so clearly this isn’t just the run of the mill AI, this is a world ender. Toss in some assassins’, old foes and new companions, and we have ourselves a real winner here. I’m going to start off by saying that Pom Klementeiff who plays the silent assassin Paris is the best part of this movie. She does so damn much with her just body and facial expressions and I was so impressed with her performance. One chase sequences in Rome in particular that really blew me away. So kudos to Pom because I don’t think we really get many performances like that these days in big action movies, so it was refreshing to see that old movie troupe brought back to life.

The whole team is here Ethan (Tom Cruise) , Benji (Simon Pegg), Luther (Ving Rhames) ,and  Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson). Hayley Atwell joins the fun as Grace one of the new recruits and the cast is once again in top form. The best part of these movies is always the ensemble that they get. How much fun they have while making these movies and how they never ever lean into the fact that everything happening is utterly absurd. One of the strongest aspects of these movies is how serious they take themselves, because if they don’t believe what’s going on, how can we?

You can tell that this franchise isn’t so much losing steam but coming close to the final curtain. You can only do so much and go on so many missions before you burn you and the audience out. I think they set up the epic conclusion very nicely and I would be shocked to see the franchise go past Dead Reckoning Part 2. I have a feeling where things are going and some how Cruise is going to do his most ludicrous stunt work yet. There’s only so many stories you can tell before things start to feel dry. So it’s time to go big or go home.

My only gripe with the movie was the lack of fights. I really thought after the unbelievable bathroom fight in Fallout that they would try to one up themselves here but that moment never really came. There is one alleyway sequence but it didn’t have the same raw power and emotion that came with the bathroom scene. Perhaps they are saving it for the sequel.

The movie never drags and you are just amazed by all the stunt work throughout the film. These characters and this franchise will be missed, but I think they have a perfect swan song on the horizon that should please everyone. The biggest failure of this movie? The release date. Paramount chose the worst possible date for this movie to come out and now it will end up being a box-office bomb rather than hugely successful. I feel bad for everyone involved. 

Mission Impossible – Dead Reckoning: Part 1 = 82/100    


‘Transformers: Rise of The Beasts’ Review.

The Maximals are finally joining the Transformers party. With the 7th addition to the franchise, Steven Caple Jr. is still able to keep things new and fresh.

During the ‘90s, a new faction of Transformers – the Maximals – join the Autobots as allies in the battle for Earth

It feels like I’ve waited my whole life to see the Maximals in live-action. They were actually the first introduction to the Transformers franchise with the incredible ‘90s cartoon Beast Wars. Just an all time cartoon from my childhood, that still holds up to this day. Introducing me to all sorts of awesome characters, most importantly Optimus Primal, Rattrap, Cheetor and Rhinox. These are characters that I grew up not only watching but playing with as well (had all the action figures). So back in 2007 when the first Transformers film came out I actually got reintroduced to a whole new slew of Autobots and Deceptions. I was so happy to hear that the Maximals were finally coming into the mix with the newest outing and they didn’t disappoint. One of the biggest gripes with the movie? Not enough Maximals!

Hitching off the success of Bumblebee, Rise of The Beasts finds ourselves now in the ‘90s and a new threat is heading towards Earth. One throw away line tells us that this is in fact a sequel to Bumblebee even with the absence of Hailee Steinfeld. So years later we still have Autobots living among us and when Unicron (Coleman Domingo) comes a knocking it’s up to them and the hidden Maximals to save life on Earth. Like always the best part of these movies is the Transformers, the movie starts off by introducing us to the Maximals and how they arrived on Earth. It’s just all Transformers, not a human in sight. It’s not when we get introduced to humans do these movies get away from us. In comes Noah Diaz (Anthony Ramos) and Elena Wallace (Dominique Fishback). That’s the hardest thing to pull off with these movies the balance between the human story and Transformers side of things. We all want as much robot action as possible, in fact I think a movie that took place elsewhere with just Transformers could work really well. The two human leads are not the worst part of the movie and when it comes to humans in this franchise, they rank pretty high up there. Both had spunk, and gave decent emotional and captivating performances. Just sometimes you want them to get the hell out of the way and let the Transformers do all the heavy lifting, but of course they always need to be the ones to “save the day.”

The legend Peter Cullen returns as Optimus Prime, who’s been doing extraordinary voice acting for almost 40 years now. I did love that they kind of made Optimus an asshole in this. Something we haven’t seen before. A time before he trusted humans, it was cool to see another side of his character. Legit just shit kicking robots and giving attitude, my kind of Optimus. Ron Perlman voiced his equal with Optimus Primal, and I won’t even lie, we got some really fantastic voice work in this thing. Standout is newcomer Mirage voiced by Pete Davidson who really shined in every scene he was in. We had the newly Queen of the Oscars Michelle Yeoh voicing Airazor and Peter Dinklage rounds out the cast as Scourge, the films main baddie. It’s the 7th one, by now you should know these movies are ridiculous, but I have a soft spot in my heart for giant robots fighting. But I’ll admit this is on the higher end of the list. It flies by, the action is great, some big laughs and the movie does pack somewhat of an emotional punch. It just feels more compact and less hectic than the Bayhem we used to get with Michael Bay directing. But when that was good, the franchise has never been better. I do miss the colour, this movie felt so grey and bleak at times, especially during the 3rd act climatic battle.

Overall I had fun with this. Gripes are not enough Maximals and I wish the 3rd act was a little more lively. Interesting final scene to this movie, which I won’t spoil but it means an expanding future for the franchise. I’m sure this won’t be a massive box-office hit but they always do well enough to get another kick at the can. So bring on the next one, because I will simply be watching these movies until the day I die

Transformers: Rise of The Beasts = 73/100


‘Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse’ Review

Swing into one of the best animated movies of my life-time. The Spider-Verse Universe continues to impress, providing us with one heck of a sequel.

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

Miles Morales catapults across the Multiverse, where he encounters a team of Spider-People charged with protecting its very existence. When the heroes clash on how to handle a new threat, Miles must redefine what it means to be a hero.

This movie truly has it all. The pitch-perfect Spider-Man movie that asks a ton of questions and has so much heart. Save one life or save a million? Known as a “cannon” event, sometimes in order to become the person you’re intended to be, something truly awful needs to happen to you. These sorts of events happen all the time to heroes and especially the vast array of Spider-People we meet in this movie. So when Miles finally enters the multiverse and realizes that not only was becoming Spider-Man one of the biggest blunders in the multiverse but a cannon event is heading straight for his life, it’s up to him and him only to try and save something precious to him.

I wasn’t to impressed when the first trailer for Into The Spider-Verse dropped, in fact, I remember not thinking it looked good at all. Wasn’t even sold on the animation, boy was I wrong. Since then, just two of my favourite animated movies ever have come out and a third movie that is so highly anticipated, I’m counting down the days now. You can always get away with so much more with animation, take bigger risks and this movie spares no expense. Literally every single frame is a work of art. You’re constantly looking around at the screen in amazement, seeing things we just haven’t seen in animation before. Throw in an unbelievable story, world class voice acting (way too many people to name) and a booming and robust soundtrack. The end result is one of the very best animation has to offer.

Hordes of Spider-Men/ Spider-Women are swinging around this time, too many to count in fact, and it was so cool to see all the different variants interact and find out why Miles is so important and different then the rest. The leader of it all Miguel O’ Hara (Oscar Isaac) loves order and discipline and leads a team of heroes to sort out the multiverse and keep things in check. When things start to unravel, we actually don’t know if Miguel is friend or foe. What we do know is Miles cares about his friends but more importantly his family and no amount of Spider-People will stand in his way.

It’s hard to talk about the movie without giving away anything and this is a movie you just want to experience on the biggest screen possible. I will say that the ending had me shook and I usually see things coming but I didn’t see this ending happening. So clever and just ends on the best cliff hanger since Infinity War. Tons of cameos, surprises and never before seen Spider-Man stuff. Gwen Stacy has a lot of do this time around, it’s just as much about her as it is about Miles and I thought her story arc and progression was one of the strongest elements of the whole thing.

The third and final entry arrives within a year (hopefully) and the team behind these movies are on track to have one of the strongest and fulfilling trilogies of all time. I simply can’t wait to see how this all ends.

Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse = 94/100


‘Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 3’ Review

The farewell for the misfits of the MCU. This doesn’t just seem like an end of an era for the Guardians but also for the MCU. They are losing much of their heart and soul, and this is the best MCU movie since Infinity War.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3' Is Yet Another Marvel Movie Misstep – Rolling Stone

Still reeling from the loss of Gamora, Peter Quill rallies his team to defend the universe and one of their own – a mission that could mean the end of the Guardians if not successful.

It feels like forever since we’ve gotten a strong outing from the MCU. Sure, some of the newest movies have pleased fans and made some money at the box office. But for the most part, it felt like a ton of fluff and filler. One thing leads to the next and a ton of world-building. James Gunn cares so much about these characters and I feel like that is what separates these movies. They just don’t feel like another entry into the MCU, where it’s just copied and pasted with no emotion, heart and actual storytelling. Gunn came out swinging, delivering his strongest film in the MCU yet, with an emotional rollercoaster that has some of the best action in the entire MCU. The Guardians are by far the best group of heroes in the MCU and I know they will be truly missed.

All the way back in 2014 it was crazy to think that these crazy and mostly unknown characters would be one of the biggest building blocks of the MCU. Providing us with the best trilogy yet and making these people some of the most beloved characters in all of comic book movies. What makes them so great, is the cast. James Gunn nailed every single casting decision. Chris Pratt, Dave Batista, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Pom Klemmentieff and Vin Diseal are so perfect. Each provides a memorable performance, diving so deep into their character and making you feel like they also care so much about these roles. This movie is all about Rocket Raccoon, and man does Bradley Cooper bring it. It’s such a powerful voice-acting performance, you just get all the feels from it. Pratt is so terrific as Quill, his best time out. Nebula has had without a doubt one of the best character arcs in the MCU, she’s evolved so much and she’s become arguably the most likeable Guardian. Drax and Mantis again have a beautiful friendship, with Pom stealing the entire movie for me. James Gunn had a tall task dealing with the fallout of Gamora’s arc from Infinity War and Endgame. I think he handled it well for the most part considering he had no decision on what happened with his characters in those two movies.

Having Rocket being the focal point of the film works so well, it’s his story and he’s always been the guy. Not Quill, these movies have been secretly about Rocket this entire time and this was a tremendous way to end it. Every great story and hero needs that antagonist and in comes The High Evolutionary. Chukwudi Iwuji is just a straight-up piece of shit. No way around it. He’s turned himself into a top-tier MCU villain and gives one heck of a performance. A chilling and manic villain who doesn’t really want world domination, he’s just pure evil and it helped this movie reach that excellent stratosphere.

There’s one action sequence that has the fans talking. It’s one of the best action sequences we’ve gotten so far in a comic book movie. Showcasing teamwork, music and just how far James Gunn has come as a director. Mix that in with stunning visuals, the most prosthetics ever used in a movie, an amazing soundtrack and without a doubt some of the most emotional, gut-punching scenes in the MCU. It’s a recipe for success. Plain and simple, it’s hard for me to find any real faults in this movie. I wish this was how every MCU movie was treated, with care and respect.

I’ll miss all these people because it’s time for them to go their separate ways.

GOTG 3 = 90/100


‘Dune 2’ Trailer

We are heading back to Arrakis, the land of spice and sand. Denis Villeneuve is whipping up a bonafide masterpiece, which will no doubt be one of the best science-fiction sequels of all time.

Dune 2 release date, casting, characters, and what we know so far - Polygon

Meet Feyd Rautha everyone, the new big baddie of Dune 2. Played by Elvis himself (Austin Butler), in what should be another career-defining performance. Now this is just the first trailer for a movie that is months and months away, but did this thing rock. Sequels are always bigger and pack more of a punch, well Dune 2 should be no different. Dune 2 will have a ton of action something that the first lacked, but that is because they were setting up the story and what’s to come. More action, higher stakes and more characters for us to hate.

The trailer is grandiose, epic and beautiful beyond measure. The visuals are simply stunning, allowing us to dive deeper into the mythology of spice, sandworms and the people of Arrakis. The cast is so damn loaded, we are evening getting the legendary Christopher Walken, in his first major role in almost a decade. Florence Pugh joins in the fun as well, and all the heavy hitters are back.

Dune fell at the very end of the pandemic and didn’t become a box-office success, something I see happening for the sequel. The opening weekend could be double of the original and I would love nothing more.

Just watch the trailer like 10 times, I did.


‘Air’ Review

Ben Affleck is back in the directors’ chair, crafting the story behind how Nike risked it all to sign Michael Jordan to a shoe deal that would change the course of history for all parties involved.

Ben Affleck's 'Air' Is the New Feel-Good Movie We Didn't Know We Needed – Welcome to Hollywood First Look

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

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, are two names that will forever be linked in Hollywood’s history. Best friends, Oscar winners and two people who have had polar opposite Hollywood careers. Growing up watching movies was different, no streaming services, and heck the internet was a new thing. So either you saw movies in the theatres, rented it at Blockbuster, perhaps caught it on cable years later or completely missed it altogether. Well, Good Will Hunting was one of those movies, a movie I missed until I was away at university. I will always remember sitting on my bed, clicking play and watching this movie that kind of changed my perspective on movies as a whole. I believe it was that experience on my bed, that made me fall in love with movies. So ever since then, those two dudes have had a special place in my heart, and it wasn’t until recently did they finally re-team for The Last Duel, but I felt like this movie was the real getting back together for the duo. Remember Good Will Hunting was in 1997, it took them close to 30 years for that to happen, and both of them have come so far in their respective careers and it just felt like this was once again, lightning in a bottle.

From the very opening of this movie, I was hooked. An epic 80s montage that probably cost a fortune to make.Synced to the legendary track by Dire Straights, “Money For Nothing.” It took this movie a whole 3 mins for me to realize I was about to watch something special. When it comes to athletes, you’d be hard-pressed in finding someone who doesn’t recognize the name Michael Jordan. That’s why hes’ Michael Jordan. But what about before he becomes the man, the myth and the legend? We all know the tale, but seeing it from the beginning was pretty neat to watch unfold. One of the greatest competitors to ever lace em’ up, we witness the chase to signing him to the most luxurious shoe deal in history. Sonny Vaccaro (Matt Damon) knew just how special he was going to be, and with the help of his friends over at Nike, they devised the greatest basketball shoe pitch anyone had ever seen at this point and decided to build an entire empire around the soon to be greatest basketball player this world has ever seen.

Ben Affleck has directed some of my favourite movies, and he’s on top of his game here. Probably his best all-around work, he’s almost perfected his craft. Starring alongside Damon as eccentric CEO Phil Knight, it was just so great to see these two act together once again. Both Damon and Affleck give outstanding performances, while Damon does some of his very best work. I will say that Damon gives one of the most powerful and emotional speeches in recent movie history, I legit had goosebumps. It works so well when you know the context and hell, everyone knows the story of Michael Jordan. Jason Bateman and Chris Tucker are a part of the Nike team that helps get Micahel and they are both tremendous here, especially Tucker who was a lively presence on the screen.

Affleck decided to do something really smart, Michael Jordan isn’t really in the movie. Sure he says a few lines and he’s in a few scenes, but we never see a face. Having someone portray him could have taken us out of the movie and we didn’t need to actually see him for this to be successful. At that point in his life,, he wasn’t an unknown, but his future was and not having a big on-screen persona in the film works beautifully. Because at one point early on in the movie, Chris Tucker’s character says that in order to get through with certain athletes, it’s all about the mothers. In comes, Deloris Jordan played by none other than Viola Davis herself. She’s a scene stealer and so damn good. According to both Ben and Matt, when they talked to Michael to get his blessing about the movie, he told them that they could only do it if Viola Davis played his mother. When MJ asks for something, well MJ is going to get that request. It worked out well for everyone because she turns in a powerful and emotional performance.

This movie was just designed for me, the 80’s, Damon and Affleck, basketball, and even the soundtrack, all meshed together so well. There was simply no way I wasn’t going to like this movie, but I ended up loving it. It’s a blend of Moneyball and Jerry Maguire. The writing is slick, tight and really clever. With Affleck directing the hell out of it. I know we just had the Oscars, but don’t be surprised if this does well in the theatres, gets watched by everyone you know when it hits streaming and finds its way into every single Oscar conversation next season. I’m not saying it can win best picture, but as of right now, it stands as the very best of 2023. Crazier things have happened, but this is just such a well-put-together film that I can’t help to think it will be nominated for several awards.

Affleck is all the way back and I can’t wait to see what he directs next.

Air = 93/100


‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’ Review

After nearly 30 years, Mario and company are finally back on the big screen. It’s been such a long wait for fans and he’s not coming alone. This is a fun family-animated outing that will please fans while also disappointing them at the same time. This could have been so much more, but for now, a great launching pad.

Nintendo Reveals New Trailer for Super Mario Bros. Movie: Watch

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

Since I’ve been alive there hasn’t been a more recognizable face in the world of pop culture than Mario. He’s on the Mount Rushmore of faces that’s for sure. He’s been a part of my life since I can remember, you’re looking at a guy who put coins in his brothers’ NES because he thought that’s how they worked. I’ve been playing these games for 30 years. That’s crazy to think, that after all this time Mario is going to finally have a big Hollywood movie that will make a billion dollars because this has been so long overdue that it’s not even funny. Nintendo has some of my favourite characters in all of gaming and this movie being super successful means that Nintendo can possibly expand this universe and we could see the likes of Kirby, Link and maybe even Samus on the big screen. That’s something that can have a lot of fans happy worldwide.

Mario and his brother are simple men. That’s who they are, there’s no crazy backstory or a ton of Mario lore, they are just two brothers, being plumbers and trying to always save the day. We didn’t play these games for the stories, well at least I didn’t. So when word broke that an animated flick was finally coming, fans rejoiced. Mario voiced by Chris Pratt was immediately met with skepticism and caution. First, he’s not Italian and second, the voice of Mario is a pretty sacred thing. Well, we were all wrong because Pratt did just fine with this voice work, in fact, he did a great job. His brother Luigi (Charlie Day), that’s my guy, he’s always my pick for games. He crushed it was the Italian Stallion, while everyone else really brought it. Anya Taylor-Joy is everyone’s favourite Princess, and Peach is cool as a cucumber. Keegan Michael-Key is Toad and he does the most voice work out of everyone. Seth Rogan does a bang-up job as Donkey Kong. He’s a big part of this movie and I’m glad they decided to involve the Kongs in this movie. They are a big part of Nintendo and Mario and DK just mesh so well together and seeing them interact on the big screen was just so awesome. Finally, the big baddie himself Bowser. Jack Black was born to voice him, and simply put, they did such a great job expanding on his character. You would figure that a guy like Bowser would have the hots for Peach and love heavy metal and that’s exactly what we get. Clearly, the games have never really explored deep stories and the movie is no different. The plot is simple but so are the games. Some people will use that as an excuse but this is a quick rip through the Mushroom Kingdom. The 90-minute run-time flies by, which will bode well for kids.

Personally, the movie did fall short of my expectations, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy myself. I just wanted to be blown away, but the animation is stunning and it’s so much fun seeing all these characters on the big screen finally. It’s something I’ve waited literally my entire life to see. I just wanted more from this, it’s as simple as that. Fans and critics are divided because overall this is really enjoyable and it’s going to make so much money. This is going to be the start of the Nintendo Cinematic Universe. Filled with so many Easter Eggs and nostalgia that you can’t help but smile every few minutes. Fans of the games are going to have a field day with this movie. The two biggest strengths are the pitch-perfect animation and the beautiful and joyful score from Brian Tyler, he did such a wonderful job at capturing the essence of sounds and music from all the games to put together something special.

This is a movie when it gets to streaming I will rewatch and rewatch. One more thing this movie needed, was more platforming sequences. That’s the primary reason we play the games and when we do get these sequences, it was the best part of the movie. Toss in one heck of a Mario Kart scene and there are bits and pieces that everyone is going to love. I’m sure the studio will listen to fans and the sequel is going to be bigger and better.

I think over time my score could get higher, but for now, because I do feel like it let me down more than picked me up, I’m giving it this score.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie = 65/100


‘Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves’ Review

I don’t know why Hollywood rarely makes this kind of movie anymore. A refreshing film, with a great cast, a ton of laughs and some epic action sequences. D&D is the first major surprise of 2023!

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves trailer has jokes, one fat dragon - Polygon

A charming thief and a band of unlikely adventurers embark on an epic quest to retrieve a lost relic, but things go dangerously awry when they run afoul of the wrong people.

I never played D&D growing up and never thought much of the material or the game itself, but when the movie was announced and we started getting little bits and pieces of the product, it piqued my curiosity. When I heard the two guys behind Game Night, one of the more underappreciated and underrated comedies of the last decade were helming D&D, I knew it would be a hit. So now directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein are two for two in their directing outings.

The recipe is simple for this, a band of misfits are trying to get back what is rightfully theirs. There’s no reinventing the wheel here, but this movie didn’t really need that. We’ve had big fantasy action/comedy movies before, but it seems not recently. Everyone in the film is just so damn likeable, Edgin (Chris Pine), Holga (Michelle Rodriguez), Simon (Justice Smith), Doric (Sophia Lillis) and Xenk (Rege-Jean Page). Each is interesting enough in its own right, and given enough screen time and backstory to make you root for these heroes. They all had terrific chemistry with one another and played off each other’s strengths really well. Much like the game D&D, they all have their own unique abilities and traits about them that help in one-way shape or form. Some being more powerful than others, it was cool for them to showcase their own individual powers, while also working best as a team. This is a story about family, friendship and in the end doing what is right. I thought Justice Smith was the standout of the movie as the magic wielder of the group and thought he was just the true driving force of the film.

In movies like this, you’re always going to get a corny villain and that’s exactly what Hugh Grant did. His character Forge a great con-man is crossing paths with our group the entire film, jeopardizing Edgin’s family. Stealing away his daughter Kira (Chloe Coleman) and using the powers of the powerful Red Witch Sofina (Daisy Head), I just thought Hugh Grant totally understood his assignment and chewed up the scenery and was exactly the type of bad guy this movie needed. There are plenty of fun action sequences and set pieces sprinkled in. One involved a very chonky dragon that was cute as heck. But the third act is strong, it’s rare for movies like this to stick the landing, but that was by far the best part of the entire thing. The team all working together, showcasing their abilities and taking down the bad guy is what we came to see. Some strong emotional beats as well, this movie does have some heart to it.

In a world where we are now getting a new comic book movie every few months, it seems like, where it all feels the same and it’s honestly painted by numbers at this point, D&D felt like a breath of fresh air and something we needed. A fun family fantasy adventure flick that flows well, and will be an enjoyable theatre experience. We can’t fail these types of movies because we need more of them to come out. Now D&D doesn’t need to be insanely franchised, sure a sequel will do. But it doesn’t need spin-offs and numerous amounts of films. We just need more movies like this.

Dungeons and Dragons = 73/100