Archives

The Fate of the Furious: Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious
Recently, I was invited to a screening of Universal’s newest movie, The Fate of the Furious. While not completely familiar with these movies, my friend, John, is a huge Furious fan. Since he has seen all of the movies, I knew he was far more qualified to write this review. I will say I did enjoy this movie – it was not at all what I expected.  Please enjoy his review – leave your thoughts in the comments below!
THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS has been rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned – Some Material May Be Inappropriate for Children Under 13) prolonged sequences of violence and destruction, suggestive content, and language and is in theaters now!


The Fate of the Furious. The definition of fate is the development on events beyond a person’s control. For those that have followed this series since the beginning, you know that the of the main theme is family. “You don’t turn your back on family” is one of the lines said in the movie that has a powerful meaning. The fate of this series is family comes first, even if a person a part of the family isn’t with them. This movie has the right amount of suspense, comedy, and action all in one. What else can you ask for?What is a movie without suspense? Boring movies are cinemas that the audience knows what’s going to happen next. Hints on what is going to happen next are fine, but totally giving up what’s going to happen next does not keep the audience engaged with the movie. The Fate of the Furious definitely gives the right suspense. Wondering if the actors would get hurt, if they can make it in time, or a mysterious objective all will keep you at the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next. Throughout the movie you will be wondering what happened during the suspenseful parts. No worries though, all will be revealed to you at the end of the movie.

Laughter is an instant vacation. Smiling and laughing takes away what problems you currently are dealing with. While you watch this movie, you will be on a vacation with all of the funny parts put into the cinema. There are hilarious, amusing, and silly scenes, all of which will make you smile, laugh, or both. Although the comedy scenes are a great asset of the movie, the placement on where they inserted the humor was perfect. It would show up out of nowhere or interrupt a scene for a small comedy part. The placing is perfect and seemed to flow with the movie.

Action catches everyone’s attention. It grabs the attention of the audience for a few seconds until they start getting bored because the same things are happening and it goes on for 5 minutes. But The Fate of the Furious does not have that boring part. This movie has it all. They included fighting, guns, cars, planes, and even hacking scenes to portray the entire movie. There is always something new every second. You won’t entirely know what’s going to happen next until you see what happens. This will keep you involved and engaged throughout the movie.

Although the suspense, comedy, and action scenes were all great aspect of the movie, you have to give it up for the director and the whole cast on how they all incorporated “Brian O’Conner”, also known as Paul Walker, in the movie. He was a major piece of this movie series. Although he wasn’t in the movie, the actors all did a great job on their acting and giving their emotion when it was a time to think of and remember Paul Walker. The Fate of the Furious was a great movie put together all around. If Paul Walker was here to experience this, it is safe to say that he would be proud and have that smile of his that no one can forget.

“Get Out” – A Movie Review

Get OutWe all need a little thrill in life. You know, sensations that leave you begging for more, capturing each emotion and watching them come to life, whilst anticipating whats going to happen next. Those intense feelings of fear and suspicion that make you laugh so hard you cry! The cast of Jordan Peeles’ new movie “Get Out” do exactly that.

I absolutely love any horror movie that grabs my attention and keeps me captivated. Jordan Peele took a different approach at this horror/thriller film, but you won’t expect anything until you see it for yourself. Be prepared for some surprising twists and funny turns! I would highly recommend this movie to my friends and to all who seek havoc and thrill in their lives!

Get Out begins with a couple, Rose (Allison Williams) and Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), packing for a weekend getaway to meet her parents, Missy and Dean. Chris, being understandably nervous already, has added concern because he is black and she is white. Rose reassures him he has nothing to worry about, well at first! Her father (Bradley Whitford) insists he would have “voted for Obama for a third term” and her mother (Catherine Keener) being a psychiatrist wants to hypnotize Chris out of his smoking habits. All in all, they seem like friendly, loving people who are calm and collected by his race. And this is where the movie turns. No worries, no spoilers from me :)

Get Out” is a Thriller/Horror movie, but it also has a twist of comedy in it. In addition to keeping me on my toes and at the edge of my seat, this movie left me wanting more! Jordan Peele amazes me as a director. From scene to scene, everything flowed putting the story line together.

GET OUT has been rated (Restricted – Under 17 Requires Accompanying Parent or Adult Guardian) for violence, bloody images, and language including sexual references.   I will say the trailer was just as creepy and mind blowing as the movie. It sums up every emotion and pulls you in like no other! This film may not be your first choice, but it is a great movie for adults that love a little scare!

In Universal Pictures’ Get Out, a speculative thriller from Blumhouse (producers of The Visit, Insidious series and The Gift) and the mind of Jordan Peele, when a young African-American man visits his white girlfriend’s family estate, he becomes ensnared in a more sinister real reason for the invitation.

 

Now that Chris (Daniel Kaluuya, Sicario) and his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams, Girls), have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate with Missy (Catherine Keener, Captain Phillips) and Dean (Bradley Whitford, The Cabin in the Woods).

 

At first, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he could have never imagined.

 

Equal parts gripping thriller and provocative commentary, Get Out is written and directed by Peele (Key and Peele) and produced by Blumhouse’s Jason Blum, as well as Sean McKittrick (Donnie Darko, Bad Words), Edward H. Hamm Jr. (Bad Words) and Peele.  The film also stars Caleb Landry Jones (X-Men series), Stephen Root (No Country for Old Men), Milton “Lil Rel” Howery (The Carmichael Show), Betty Gabriel (The Purge: Election Year), Marcus Henderson (Pete’s Dragon) and Lakeith Stanfield (Straight Outta Compton).

The Great Wall – A Review

The great wall

1700 years to build. 5,550 miles long. What were they trying to keep out? That is the big question for Universal’s new movie, The Great Wall starring Matt Damon.

When I first watched the trailer for  The Great Wall, I knew that I was intrigued and wanted to see more. I can appreciate a great historical film, but I love when there is a twist! This movie is action-packed, suspenseful and serves as a reminder that being brave and selfless is important. 

The Great Wall begins with two westerners, William (Matt Damon) and Tovar (Pedro Pascal), being chased in the desert. They end up running right into the Great Wall of China. This is where they meet the very intense and prepared, elite army that is ready for battle against a swarm of gruesome creatures. Now they must decide whether to help the soldiers stay alive or leave to save themselves.

The Great Wall was very well put together. I felt as though the story line was smooth and touched on important virtues such as bravery and selflessness. I think Zhang Yimou (director) added a few very creative elements, such as the army’s battle techniques. I feel these techniques really  helped give this movie an edge. Scenery throughout The Great Wall was breathtaking, including perfectly matched scoring. The battle scenes are intense and realistic, pulling you right into this movie! It was these elements that really helped bring the movie together. 

This movie is rated PG-13 for “sequences of fantasy action violence”. I’d say this rating is appropriate and fits the content of the movie. As usual, use your judgement when bringing younger children. However, this is definitely a movie for those that enjoy an action-packed monster fantasy. I would definitely recommend seeing this movie. 

The Great Wall intrigued me from the very start and I am very happy I was able to see it! This movie was a perfect blend of action, fantasy, and real life virtues. Zhang Yimou really put all the pieces together to make this a well rounded movie. I would recommend The Great Wall. Go see it and get ready for a very exciting and nail-biting battle!

THE GREAT WALL has been rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned – Some Material May Be Inappropriate for Children Under 13) for sequences of fantasy action violence.   Running time: 103 minutes

Starring global superstar Matt Damon and directed by one of the most breathtaking visual stylists of our time, Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers), Legendary’s The Great Wall tells the story of an elite force making a valiant stand for humanity on the world’s most iconic structure.  The first English-language production for Yimou is the largest film ever shot entirely in China.  The Great Wall also stars Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe and Andy Lau.

The film will be released in 3D by Universal Pictures.

***Disclosure: We were invited to a special screening of this movie in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are our own. No other compensation was received. 

Fifty Shades Darker – Review

50 Shades darker

50 Shades darker

Fantasies.

Desires.

We all have them, especially when it comes to romance. Some are basic and platonic while other fantasies are intimate and thrill seeking. E.L. James portrays those sexual thrills exquisitely in her novel turned movie, Fifty Shades Darker, the sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey. This film  had me intrigued by the way it made me laugh and tear up, but mostly by how it made me want more!

 Fifty Shades Darker opens with Anastasia (Dakota Johnson) receiving a massive bouquet of white roses from Christian, whom she broke off ties with at the end of the first movie. Anastasia(Ana for short) starts her new job at SIP as an assistant to one of the editors. She is trying to build her career while Christian (Jamie Dornan) tries to lure her back into his life. She caves in, but not too quickly without new arrangements for the sexual relationship they have. Things start getting hot and heavy until the past tries to come back. Shadowy figures from Christian’s past try to eliminate any chance of a future for the couple. Now Christian will do anything within his power to make sure that does not happen.

 James Foley (director) and Niall Leonard, who wrote the screenplay, put E. L. James novel together elegantly. They really focused on all the little details without straying away from the plot. My favorite details were  Ana’s outfits and lingerie. Her outfits were chic and her lingerie was elegant and sexy. The scenery was gorgeous and made everything flow so well. You can tell how hard the whole crew worked and how much they put their all into making this movie.

The movie is rated R, purposely so for the fact that there are multiple sex scenes and some language.  This type of movie is not everyone’s cup of tea, if you will, but it is definitely worth watching. If you love romance and fantasy, this drama packed movie is for you.

I’ll be honest with saying that this movie did not peak my interest much until I watched it. And I’m glad I did!  I will definitely recommend this movie to all of my friends. There are twists I did not see coming, tears I did not know I would shed, and laughter I did not realize would come out. Fifty Shades Darker  will make you want more – just like it did to me!

FIFTY SHADES DARKER has been rated R for strong erotic sexual content, some graphic nudity, and language. Fifty Shades Darker opens in theaters Friday, February 10, 2017.

Disclosure:***Written by Guest Blogger, Mara B.*** We were invited to a special screening of this movie in exchange for a review. All opinions are our own and no other compensation was received.

Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson return as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades Darker, the second chapter based on the worldwide bestselling “Fifty Shades” phenomenon.  Expanding upon events set in motion in 2015’s blockbuster film that grossed more than $560 million globally, the new installment arrives for Valentine’s Day and invites you to slip into something a shade darker.

 

When a wounded Christian Grey tries to entice a cautious Ana Steele back into his life, she demands a new arrangement before she will give him another chance.  As the two begin to build trust and find stability, shadowy figures from Christian’s past start to circle the couple, determined to destroy their hopes for a future together.

 

Also returning from Fifty Shades of Grey are Academy Award® winner Marcia Gay Harden, Rita Ora, Luke Grimes, Victor Rasuk, Eloise Mumford and Max Martini, who are joined for the first time by Oscar® winner Kim Basinger, Bella Heathcote and Eric Johnson.

 

Fifty Shades Darker is directed by James Foley (Fear, House of Cards) and once again produced by Michael De Luca, Dana Brunetti and Marcus Viscidi, alongside E L James, the creator of the culture-spanning blockbuster series.  The screenplay is by Niall Leonard, based on the novel by James.

A Dog’s Purpose – Review

a dog's purpose

a dog's purposeIf you are a dog owner, I am sure you have, at one point or another, had the  thought, “I wonder what my dog is thinking right now.” Amblin Entertainment’s newest movie, ‘A Dog’s Purpose,’ sets out to give us that answer by sharing a dog’s perspective on the world they live in. This movie will get you to experience some of the many different emotions a dog could go through –  happiness, laughter and sadness. Dogs are known as ‘man’s best friend’ and generally make people happy. What could be better than a movie completely dedicated to our furry best friends? Because I am a dog lover, I knew I would need to see this movie. 

‘A Dog’s Purpose’ follows one dog’s journey through many different lives. Yes – you read that right. MANY different lives. During one of his lives, a puppy meets a young boy named Ethan (Bryce Gheisar). They form a friendship that cannot be broken. Ethan names his new pup Bailey, and they end up doing everything together. Through Bailey’s many lives, he wonders a lot about why he is ‘here’ and what his ‘purpose’ is. For every new owner he has, he learns another lesson about the importance of love and laughter. 

While I truly believe that ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ was adorable and had a few important messages behind it, I do feel as though the story line was a bit scattered.  I do not want to give away any spoilers, so I will not be going into too much detail. At some points during the film, I felt unsure of what I was supposed to be feeling. Bottom line, this movie was really sweet and could teach about the important things in life. I laughed, I smiled and I cried a whole lot! 

‘A Dog’s Life’ is rated PG for “thematic elements and some peril.” I would say be cautious when thinking of bringing your little ones. The movie does touch on a few themes that you may not be comfortable with younger children seeing. Worth noting (and a potential SPOILER – you have been warned), the film depicts the reincarnation of Bailey many times –  which brings up the point that the movie does hint at the dog’s passing each time.

a dog's purpose‘A Dog’s Purpose’ is a beautiful movie that can make you cry and laugh all at the same time! The many different dogs and puppies were great and there is no shortage of cuteness in this movie. I would recommend this movie for any dog lovers. “A Dog’s Purpose’ is such an important reminder of why we should take care of our furry family members and why they are our best friends! 

Based on the beloved bestselling novel by W. Bruce Cameron, A Dog’s Purpose, from director Lasse Hallström (The Cider House Rules, Dear John, The 100-Foot Journey), shares the soulful and surprising story of one devoted dog (voiced by Josh Gad) who finds the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans he teaches to laugh and love. The family film told from the dog’s perspective also stars Britt Robertson, KJ Apa, John Ortiz, Juliet Rylance, Luke Kirby, Peggy Lipton, Pooch Hall and Dennis Quaid.

A Dog’s Purpose is produced by Gavin Polone (Zombieland, TV’s Gilmore Girls). The film from Amblin Entertainment and Walden Media is executive produced by Alan Blomquist, Mark Sourian and Lauren Pfeiffer, and it will be distributed by Universal Pictures.

SPLIT – Movie Review

Split

Split

Chances are, if you are reading this review,  you are like me and love watching a good thriller! You know – the one that gives you goosebumps and you just can not look away; a thriller that makes your heart almost pump right out of your chest. That was exactly what I felt while watching M. Night Shyamalan’s newest release, SPLIT. There are many moments of suspense, some terrifying scenes and even a few laughs. This movie had me on the edge of my seat during some scenes and hiding my face for others!

SPLIT begins with three teenage girls, Casey, Claire and Marcia, being kidnapped by Kevin (James McAvoy), a man with DID (dissociative identity disorder). Kevin has 23 different personalities (alters) that live in his mind. The girls soon learn that they were kidnapped by one of these “alters” and they start to meet a few different ones. With the help of a quick thinking Casey (Anya Taylor Joy), they start to slowly figure out what has happened. Now they have to find a way to escape and maybe one of the alters can help them.

In my opinion, this movie was well  put together. M. Night Shyamalan amazes me as a writer, director and producer. I tend to think about the truth behind movies. SPLIT is about Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), which was more commonly known as Multiple Personality Disorder. Many people in the world deal with this disorder. SPLIT was thought provoking and eye opening as to what a person with this disorder may have been through and go through daily.

James McAvoy (Kevin) blew me away with his ability to portray so many different personalities for his role. His many transformations on screen were unbelievable.  I really feel like he put his all into this role and it pays off. Betty Buckley (Dr. Fletcher) also does a beautiful job in her role as Kevin’s therapist. You can feel every emotion with her throughout the movie and you can tell she is very passionate about helping Kevin and his alters. Anya Taylor-Joy (Casey) was such a refreshing addition to this movie. Taylor-Joy is great at keeping your attention and knowing how to convey her feelings without ever saying a word. You really just follow her character every time she’s on screen.

SPLIT is rated PG-13 for “disturbing thematic content and behavior, violence and some language.”  I will say that the trailer made this movie seem more terrifying than it actually turned out to be. But that does not mean it was not scary at moments or that you shouldn’t be cautious with bringing your teenagers. This was less of the normal “scary movie” type and more disturbing because it has such a truth and realness to it. It’s definitely not a movie for young children, but its a great movie for the adult crowd that enjoys psychological thrillers.

M. Night Shyamalan’s SPLIT peaked my interest from the very beginning. Now that I’ve seen it, I can say with certainty that I will be seeing it again. The cast really makes this movie worth seeing.  I would highly recommend SPLIT. When you do see it, get ready for some twists and turns and an ending you would never think of! SPLIT is in theaters now.

Writer/director/producer M. Night Shyamalan returns to the captivating grip of The Sixth SenseUnbreakable and Signs with Split, an original film that delves into the mysterious recesses of one man’s fractured, gifted mind.  Following last year’s breakout hit The Visit, Shyamalan reunites with producer Jason Blum (The Purge and Insidious series, The Gift) for the thriller being hailed as “Shyamalan’s most terrifying film to date.”

 

Though Kevin (James McAvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities—each with unique physical attributes—to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley), there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all the others.  Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy, The Witch), Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him—as well as everyone around him—as the walls between his compartments shatter apart.

 

For the film The Guardian calls “a masterful blend of Hitchcock and horror,” Shyamalan and Blum reassemble their core team from The Visit, the No. 1-grossing horror film of 2015.  Their fellow collaborators on Split include producer Marc Bienstock and executive producers Ashwin Rajan and Steven Schneider.

‘Sing’ – Don’t Let Fear Stop You: A Review

illumination's SING

illumination's SINGAmerican Idol – the animal edition.

If you asked me to sum up Illumination’s newest animated venture, SING, that is exactly what comes to mind. But I know what you are thinking – how many talking animal movies can one see in the course of a year? And American Idol – that was so done many seasons ago. How can this movie be any good at all? Give it a chance….

Without giving away any spoilers, the characters of SING will warm your heart and be a welcome treat for your whole family this holiday season. All too much we are exposed to movies that bring doom and gloom or excessive violence, inappropriate scenarios or too much innuendo. SING is devoid of all that.

Instead, SING brings this message:

Don’t let fear stop you from doing what you love.

SING does not promise to be the next blockbuster hit. But for a holiday movie, this is a welcome treat that will have everyone leaving the theater feeling good with a message that resonates. SING focuses on people coming together, for a common good, and bettering all involved.  To quote Buster Moon, “You know what’s great about hitting rock bottom, there’s only one way left to go, and that’s up!”

Wondering if the kids will like SING? Here is my 9 year old’s opinion:

Sing is about a koala,Buster,who has a theater that is hitting hard times. So Buster decides to put on a singing competition. I love the movie setup and how the theater is modeled after an old,rustic,crumbling theater you might pass on a road trip. The movie animation is so detailed. The animation seemed like it was filmed in a real place. The characters are: Buster Moon, a koala; Mike, a mouse; Mrs.Crawl,an iguana; Miss Nana Noodleman, a sheep; Rosita, a pig;  Ash, a porcupine; Johnny, a gorilla;  Eddie Noodleman,a sheep;  Meena an elephant;  and finally, Gunter, a very funny pig.

My favorite character was Meena who is a shy elephant who has a very pretty singing voice. She is my favorite character because she faces her fears just before the movie and is a good animal who will do anything to help make the show  go on. Meena is very kind and is very helpful someone who a parent would want there kid to be like.

The whole movie is just amazing,and has some heartwarming family parts, something the whole family will enjoy. 

Released by Universal Pictures, Sing arrives in theaters on December 21, 2016.


 

Illumination has captivated audiences all over the world with the beloved hits Despicable Me, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, Despicable Me 2 and Minions, now the second-highest-grossing animated movie in history. Following the release of this summer’s comedy blockbuster The Secret Life of Pets, Illumination presents Sing this holiday season. 

With its highly relatable characters, heart and humor, the first collaboration between writer/director Garth Jennings (Son of Rambow, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) and Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri marks the sixth fully animated feature from the studio.

 

The event film stars Academy Award® winners Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon, alongside Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton and Grammy Award-nominated Tori Kelly. 

 

Set in a world like ours but entirely inhabited by animals, Sing stars Buster Moon (McConaughey), a dapper koala who presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times. Buster is an eternal—some might even say delusional—optimist who loves his theater above all and will do anything to preserve it. Now faced with the crumbling of his life’s ambition, he has one final chance to restore his fading jewel to its former glory by producing the world’s greatest singing competition. 

 

Five lead contestants emerge: Mike (MacFarlane), a mouse who croons as smoothly as he cons; Meena (Kelly), a timid teenage elephant with an enormous case of stage fright; Rosita (Witherspoon), an overtaxed mother run ragged tending a litter of 25 piglets; Johnny (Egerton), a young gangster gorilla looking to break free of his family’s felonies; and Ash (Johansson), a punk-rock porcupine struggling to shed her arrogant boyfriend and go solo.

 

Each arrives under Buster’s marquee believing that this is their shot to change the course of their life. And as Buster coaches each of his contestants closer and closer to the grand finale, he starts to learn that maybe the theater isn’t the only thing that is in need of saving. 

 

Featuring more than 65 hit songs, Sing is produced by Meledandri and his longtime collaborator Janet Healy. Together, they have produced all of Illumination’s films since the studio’s inception. Released by Universal Pictures, Sing arrives in theaters on December 21, 2016.