ENJOY THE MOVIES

Review: 'M3GAN' is Precisely How January Horror Flicks Should Be

M3GAN Review

New year, new January horror movies. According to popular sayings, the infamous month is often called the "recycling bin" of Hollywood studios, where the films they most regret creating are released in the hopes no one talks about them too much. A more accurate statement would be that the first month of each year rarely delivers any movie of such a level of excellence that, by the end of the same year, it is still being mentioned by viewers and cinephiles worldwide. The horror genre is undoubtedly the one genre that usually suffers the most, but occasionally some good surprises come around the corner. Fortunately, M3GAN is one of them.

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 Posted on January 15 in Horror, Review | Comments

Review: 'Avatar: The Way of Water' is a Must-See Cinematic Adventure

Avatar: The Way of Water Review

James Cameron is arguably one of the most influential filmmakers in movie history. He's also considered the sequel master – Aliens and Terminator 2: Judgment Day remain two of the best sequels ever made – and he's one of the leading artists behind the technological evolution within this respective art, it would be absurd to not have Avatar: The Way of Water as one of your most anticipated films of the year. As a fan of the original, expectations for the continuation of the saga – which will have at least three more movies in addition to this one – were very high, and, for the most part, they were fulfilled… for better and for worse.

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 Posted on December 16 in Review, Sci-Fi | Comments

Review: Guillermo del Toro's 'Pinocchio' Film is a Stop-Motion Wonder

Pinocchio Review

The famous, beloved tale of the wooden puppet named Pinocchio has been passed down from generation to generation since 1883 when Italian author Carlo Collodi released the iconic children's novel The Adventures of Pinocchio. Countless literary, film, television, and stage adaptations have taken the story and transported it from decade to decade without losing the essence of the original work. 2022 already provided Disney's live-action version, based on their own 1940 musical, but the filmmakers Guillermo del Toro and Mark Gustafson are also ready to deliver us their own stop-motion animated – and improved – reimagination.

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 Posted on December 6 in Animation, Review | Comments

Review: Gina Prince-Bythewood's Captivating Film 'The Woman King'

The Woman King Review

Every year, dozens of films are released based on or inspired by (semi-)true stories. While some filmmakers try to avoid the typical Hollywoodisms with this type of adaptation, others simply pick up the general idea or concept behind that historical point and recreate their own version of the events – no creative choice is wrong. American filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood draws inspiration from the Agojie, a unit of African female warriors from the XVII-XIX centuries in the Kingdom of Dahomey (located in today's Benin, West Africa), to convey a poignant message of anti-slavery, anti-racism, and equal human rights in The Woman King. She shares their empowering story, with a few alterations for this film, with tremendous success.

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 Posted on December 2 in Review | Comments

Review: Tommy Wirkola's 'Violent Night' is a Modern Christmas Classic

Violent Night Review

Christmas is known for being a jolly, joyous season filled with precious family time. Socializing around the dinner table loaded with traditional food and beverages, decorating the Christmas tree, or opening presents are common activities during this holiday time, but watching a seasonal film on the couch under a warm blanket is the ultimate form of comfort. A fun animated flick, a marathon viewing of a beloved franchise, or a classic Christmas-themed pick such as Die Hard – yes, I'm on that side of the intense debate – there's no wrong choice. Well, Violent Night is officially a new modern Christmas classic for viewers with gory taste.

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 Posted on November 29 in Review | Comments

Review: Fighter Pilot Film 'Devotion' is a Compelling Character Study

Devotion Review

One of the most complicated, unfair obstacles that a cinematographic work sometimes must overcome is the audience's anticipation when, in the same release year, another film of the same genre with a very similar premise had a monumental success, creating extremely high, often completely wrong, expectations. The legacy sequel Top Gun: Maverick is, without a doubt, the biggest blockbuster of 2022, but it's clearly an action-driven movie, which is the main reason for the love from audiences worldwide. Devotion couldn't be more different, focusing on its complex protagonists and leaving much of the action in the background…

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 Posted on November 28 in Review | Comments

Review: Coogler's 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' Deals With Grief

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

One of the most arduous tasks for a director is dealing with an external issue that affects the filmmaking process entirely, changing all their original plans and carefully constructed ideas. The life & career of actor Chadwick Boseman impacted the world in an immeasurably, overwhelmingly positive way, leaving an inspiring, culturally significant legacy after his passing in 2020. Black Panther director Ryan Coogler had to take on an impossible mission crafting the Marvel Studios sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, but regardless of the film's issues, there's no doubt T'Challa would be proud of what he created in the end.

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 Posted on November 10 in Marvel, Review | Comments

Review: Harry Bradbeer's 'Enola Holmes 2' Surpasses the Original

Enola Holmes 2 Trailer

Every movie genre contains numerous movies whose purpose is nothing more than to entertain viewers with basic ingredients. Whether it's a generic rom-com starring a charming cast or a mission-driven action flick filled with high-adrenaline moments. I will stand my ground and defend that there are no problems with enjoying straightforward stories on an empty weekend afternoon. That said, personal expectations for the investigative murder mystery sequel Enola Holmes 2 were precisely the same as for the original Netflix film from 2020, so I was surprised that the sequel managed to surpass its predecessor in several aspects.

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 Posted on November 4 in Review | 1 Comment

Review: Zach Cregger's Unique Storytelling Sharpens 'Barbarian'

Barbarian Review

The horror genre has been a tad inconsistent this year, not everything has ended up that good. The chances of leaving the theater either disappointed or quite satisfied are very similar, but curiously, the most praised horror films of 2022 are the ones that have most often negatively surprised me. This "curse" has been fading slightly over time, but it has been difficult to enter the theater with high expectations and end up having those expectations met. Barbarian is another movie in the genre that has been incredibly complimented by the vast majority of viewers so far… This time, I'm happy to say that it deserves all of the hype received.

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 Posted on October 31 in Horror, Review | 15 Comments

Review: Edward Berger's Adaptation of 'All Quiet on the Western Front'

All Quiet on the Western Front Review

With the exponential growth of streaming, highly anticipated cinematographic works with high production value inevitably will end up being seen on one's tiny home screen (or mobile phone) rather than on the giant screen found in movie theaters. Despite constantly feeling sorry for not watching certain movies on the big screen, I believe a peaceful, satisfying future for all viewers involves offering both options for watching a film. Thus, everyone can choose the "format" they prefer for their experience, and no one is bothered. That said, Edward Berger's latest adaptation of All Quiet on the Western Front deserves to be seen on the biggest screen and with the best possible sound conditions, as it's undoubtedly one of the best films of 2022.

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 Posted on October 28 in Review | Comments

LFF 2022 Review: Sam Mendes' Cinema Love Story 'Empire of Light'

Empire of Light Review

When a film brings in many of Hollywood's most talented people to work on every technical component, it's hard not to have high expectations. Empire of Light has acclaimed British filmmaker Sam Mendes as both writer & director, beloved cinematographer Roger Deakins as the Director of Photography, award-winning Lee Smith in the editing room, and acclaimed composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross on the score, not to mention a cast with a few prominent names – there's an interesting mix with less known actors in the ensemble. Many of these people are Oscar winners, along with so many other awards. The only unknown variable – Mendes writing his first-ever solo screenplay – turns out to be the only divisive factor…

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 Posted on October 21 in Review | 7 Comments

LFF 2022 Review: Nicholas Stoller's Hilarious Romantic Comedy 'Bros'

Bros Review

Whether as an audience member or a critic, the viewer's mindset is almost never addressed in conversations about any type of entertainment. However, it's a factor with as much impact on the overall enjoyment of the work as any other. In the same way that a fun, light, inspirational film can transform a crestfallen face into a happy smile, a heavy, slower, contemplative movie is also capable of leaving the public seriously thinking about their own lives. Bros belongs to the former group, being even more satisfying after an emotionally draining previous viewing at the 2022 London Film Festival (Aronofsky's The Whale - read my review here).

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 Posted on October 17 in Comedy, Review | Comments

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