‘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


‘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


‘John Wick: Chapter 4’ Review

Keanu Reeves is back as the silent but deadly assassin who has more kills than words spoken in the fourth instalment in this legendary franchise. Arguably the best action movie of this century.

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.

I stayed up way past my bedtime in order to see this movie, and let me tell you something, WORTH IT. John Wick kind of came out of nowhere all the way back in 2014 when Keanu was seeing a dip in his stardom. The sleek and stylish action film has gone on to become one of the more reliable franchises and has pumped out some of the best action movies that I have ever seen. Legitimately, the first John Wick almost went straight to DVD, that’s how little faith the studio had in this property and its star Keanu Reeves. Since his career has once again blossomed and this franchise has reached new heights with each additional film. Something that can be rare for a movie franchise, especially of the action genre, but these things just keep getting better.

I had extremely high expectations going in, and they were certainly met. The difference between these films and your run-of-the-mill action flicks is how beautiful they look. The locations, the lighting and the gorgeous sets they build for mind-blowing action sequences, it’s all here. They even know how to properly light these movies. That’s all because of the mastermind behind it all, Chad Stahelski. From his pitch-perfect choreography to the brilliant lighting, Chad has really come into his own as a filmmaker for this latest John Wick. Sure, there is an abundance of violence in these movies, but the way it’s portrayed and shown is like watching a ballet. It’s just so well done and flows so beautifully you can’t help but smile and throw aside the absurdness of what’s actually going on. I turned to the person beside me at one point and whispered “this is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen” during an action sequence that is still on my mind as I write this review. That’s what separates these from other movies, the inventiveness and creative ways they kill people and how they film the action. They’ve continued to up the ante with each one and I don’t care if John Wick has become basically a superhero that doesn’t take away from what you are seeing unfold on the big screen. 

This movie does come with a tragedy as Lance Reddick (Charon) sadly passed away one week before the film’s release. Just an immense talent with a beautiful soul, who will be missed by everyone. All the old players are back, Bowery King (Fishburne) and Winston (McShane) and like always they add in some new and exciting characters. Caine (Donnie Yen), Shimazu (Hiroyuki Sanada) and Akira (Rina Sawayana) are all standouts for me, who are introduced during an insane Osaka sequence to kick-start the movie. This franchise does such a great job of introducing new players and getting the audience to immediately invest in them. More so, Donnie Yen’s character who will be the biggest standout for all the new characters has a fun and unique spin on his character that was really fun to watch. Bill Skarsgard steps in to fill the void of villain and he does a fantastic job. I was a little upset we didn’t get more action from him, but he was a presence on the screen. One of the best-dressed people I’ve ever seen in a movie. It’s remarkable the wardrobe that this man has.  

We all come for Mr Wick and Keanu is just so good in this role. Really dialling back on his lines and focusing more on physical performance, this is by far the best he’s ever been. Doing crazy stunts, the stunt work in this movie is some of the best we’ve ever seen. Keanu is just ripe and giving it all he’s got. I can’t think of another actor who could play this role, it was simply made for him. There are three separate action sequences all one-up the previous one. The movie is close to three hours and I didn’t for a single second feels its runtime.   

I was just smiling throughout the movie, amazed at how they pulled all of this off. This is just a well-put-together piece of film, From every aspect of film-making. Score, costume design, set design, cinematography, it’s all here. I’m just so happy to have movies like this in my life and it’s something I will be rewatching for the rest of my life.

John Wick Chapter 4 = 96/100


‘Scream VI’ Review

Ghostface is back in another killer installment in this legendary franchise. We shift to NYC, where we see the new “Core Four” fight for survival against the most brutal Ghostface yet. An all-around impressive second outing from directors Matthew Bettinelli and Tyler Gillett.

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

For a franchise to span this many years and remain fresh and new is nothing short of spectacular, because in all honesty, there never has been a lousy Scream movie. Fans of this beloved franchise love ranking these films. If you ask ten Scream fans, it will be hard to find a large number of people who rank these films in the same order. Each has its own highs and lows, things fan love and things that fall flat. This new addition is no different. With some big pros and some cons, Scream VI is a ton of fun and it keeps you guessing until the very end. Well, unless you’re me and you figured out who Ghostface was 20 minutes into the movie, but we all can’t be me, can we?

It’s been 6 months since the events of Scream V and the Core Four, Chad (Mason Gooding), Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown), Tara (Jenna Ortega) and Sam (Melissa Barrera) have packed up and moved to the big city of NYC to attend college. Leaving Woodsboro doesn’t always mean that Ghostface won’t find you, and it doesn’t take long for our survivors to be reunited with not only their past but their biggest fears as well. Trying to live their lives, each one of them is dealing with the events and all the baggage that comes with it in a different way. Sam is trying to be the protective big sister, while Tara is finally trying to spread her wings and let go of the past.

With each new movie, it becomes harder to reinvent the wheel in a way, but with a unique opening kill sequence, the best since the second, you see right away that this isn’t just your typical Ghostface. This is now a “franchise” as movie expert Mindy puts in and no one is safe this time around. We are following in the same eerie footsteps as the original sequel did, as we follow our survivors to college. With that comes some fresh new faces, the roommates, Ethan (Jack Champion) and Quinn (Liana Liberato). Who seemingly happen to fall into this horror show just by being a part of the group. When Detective Bailey (Dermot Mulroney) who is actually Quinn’s father gets involved it makes it all too real for the friend group. Even more so when fellow survivor and fan favourite Kirby (Hayden Panettiere) returns as now a full-fledged FBI agent. Another legacy character to root for baby! With Neve Campbell not in the first Scream movie, her absence felt really weird, we only have one of the remaining trio left, none other than Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox). She’s really underutilized here, and that’s a shame, but gives us one hell of a chase sequence with Ghostface.

The theatre was packed and everyone was having such a good time, Scream VI is such a blast, but that doesn’t take away from the biggest flaws and letdowns of the movie. Now, we are reaching a point where there can only be so many killers with great motives and the best part about these movies is the big reveal at the end and find out why they are doing all of this. It fell kind of flat for me, maybe because I knew what was coming the entire time, or when the reveal did happen, I just found myself disinterested in who Ghostface ended up being. But leading up to that was what made this movie really great. The chemistry and friendship of the Core Four, how they bond and stick together really works. They’re all so talented and bring so much charisma to this franchise. Especially Chad and Mindy who seriously shine in the later half of this movie.

I left wanting more Scream and I have high hopes for the next one. Little seeds have been planted and I hope they follow through. Scream 7 in my opinion can be special if they go a certain direction because you need an interesting Ghostface next time around. For the new directors who clearly have a passion for the source material and the franchise, the thing that lacks from their movies is a truly compelling Ghostface, and that’s how you get serious butts in the seats. They have megastar Jenna Ortega involved with this franchise and they can’t squander this opportunity. Bring on Scream VII.

Scream VI = 87/100


Super Bowl Movie Trailers

I’m getting to the point where the best part of today is the movie trailers.

First up, The Flash.

The Flash.

A movie that has been in development hell, switched directors an insane amount of times and even the star of the movie has been in hot water. Finally has itself a trailer, and The Flash finally seems real. Keaton, Affleck and who knows who else is showing up as Batman, but we got two of them in this trailer, and to hear Keaton say that iconic line “I’m Batman,” goosebumps every time. With everything that has gone on with DC movies over the last 5 years, this is so important for them. This is resetting everything and everyone (for the most part) and a lot is riding on the success of this thing. Now, that was a terrific first trailer and playing during the biggest television watching day of the year is a great kick start to the marketing campaign. Time will tell if The Flash will be a success and who knows where the future of the DC universe will stand come June, it changes so much, but from this trailer alone, it looks like The Flash is going to be a fantastic and fun movie going experience.

All hail the speed-force.

Guardians of The Galaxy: Vol 3 

The swan song for the Guardians is here. James Gunn and his final outing with the MCU is upon us and say what you want, he took a bunch of heroes no one cared about and made one hell of a trilogy. It looks like this could be the end for a few of the team as well. Dave Batista has talked about how he is parting ways with the MCU and I wouldn’t be shocked if Bradley Cooper (Rocket Racoon) also follows suit. The clock is ticking for a lot of the original members of the MCU, you can’t do this stuff forever, and it’s weird seeing the dynamic shift, because they have been a part of our lives for about a decade now.


‘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


‘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


‘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