REVIEW: SHE-RA AND THE PRINCESSES OF POWER – SEASON 1

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (2018)

CAST (VOICES)

Aimee Carrero (The Last Witch Hunter)
Karen Fukuhara (Suicide Squad)
AJ Michalka (Super 8)
Marcus Scribner (The Good Dinosaur)
Reshma Shetty (Blindspot)
Lorraine Toussaint (The Night Before)
Keston John (The Good Place)
Lauren Ash (The Disaster Artist)
Christine Woods (Flashforward)
Genesis Rodriguez (Tusk)
Jordan Fisher (Teen Wolf)
Vella Lovell (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend)
Sandra Oh (Sideways)
Krystal Joy Brown (Castle)
Grey DeLisle (Paradise PD)
Merit Leighton (Alexa & Katie)
Antony Del Rio (Avengers Assemble)

65e75070b848312396faa28b8863a06424bed9a8I am both happy She-Ra And The Princesses Of Power exists and deeply jealous I didn’t have it as a kid.  What struck me most in watching the series is just how different it is from anything else on TV. The sheer amount of women on screen and how different they all are shouldn’t feel so unique but it is. It’s a breath of fresh air, especially watching so many action adventure series that might only have one or two women in a cast of mostly guys. Here though it’s switched, with the guys being the side characters and all the women taking charge.Catra_She_Ra.0It gives the series a fresh perspective and a different feel. It’s not that nothing like this has been done before (Sailor Moon and the original She-Ra before it set the standard for women being amazing in action animation) but it’s the way it’s done. You can feel the excitement of every person working on this show that they’re doing something special. That they’re getting the chance to create something that’s been all too rare in television.
1047659-dreamworks-showcase-she-ra-and-princesses-power-new-york-comic-conRight from the jump She-Ra And The Princesses Of Power sheds anything that held the original series back. It’s serialised. Its characters have a tonne of depth. The animation is gorgeous. It’s incredibly inclusive. It ditches any connection to He-Man and stands on its own (though there are enough easter eggs to send hardcore fans into a frenzy). She-Ra is a character that doesn’t need to be the twin sister of He-Man, she’s powerful in her own right. It’s the strength of Adora, the characters around her, and their relationships that make this series shine. The most important of these being the slowly fracturing friendship between Adora and Catra. The two start as best friends working for the Horde but when Adora discovers the horrors they’ve caused, she decides to join the rebellion.SHE_PD102_01010418_RGB_FIN.0This angers Catra and much of the arc of the first season is devoted to the back and forth between these two. Adora desperately tries to get Catra to come to her senses while Catra can’t understand why her best friend would leave her. It’s gripping stuff and forms the backbone of the season’s best episodes. The series puts an incredible emphasis on the powerful emotions that come with deep friendship. Where other series might default to love stories to mine these depths of feelings, She-Ra And The Princesses of Power is keenly aware the pain of losing your best friend can hurt even more than a breakup. It also celebrates friendship as well, with the main trio of Adora, Glimmer, and Bow a main focus of the season. How these three come together and learn to love each other is what gives them more power than any magic sword.She-Ra-header (1)The season’s main plot arc is our trio trying to rebuild the Princess Alliance, a once great group of magical women who kept Etheria safe. These journeys not only gives the series a chance to do some excellent world building but also introduce its colorful extended cast. Each of the characters you’ll meet throughout these episodes is incredibly diverse both in appearance and personality. You’ll love them all, I promise. The series does take a little time to get going and a few character introductions are done quicker than I would have liked, but by the second half of the season the story really starts to get gripping. The world of Etheria comes into sharp focus and you see just how wide and open the universe of She-Ra can be.she-ra-and-the-princesses-of-power-reviewShe-Ra And The Princesses of Power easily steps out of the pop culture shadow of not only the original She-Ra but He-Man as well. This isn’t a series that’s stuck in the past, trying to recapture that franchise’s old glory. It’s taking the building blocks of OG She-Ra and making it something fresh and new for the audiences of today. It’s an empowering and affirming series not just for girls but anyone who watches, young or old. It shows girls and women they can be and look like whatever they want and still be strong. It shows boys and men the amazing things women can be and that they can be along for the ride. It shows everyone you don’t have to fit into societal norms. You can dress how you want, act how you want, and be with whomever you want. For that alone, She-Ra And The Princesses of Power is going to change a lot of lives for the better.

REVIEW: RUN ALL NIGHT

Starring

Liam Neeson (Taken)
Joel Kinnaman (Robocop)
Ed Harris (Westworld)
Common (Terminator: Salvation)
Vincent D’Onofrio (Daredevil)
Boyd Holbrook (The Predator)
Bruce McGill (Ride Along 2)
Genesis Rodriguez (Tusk)
Holt McCallany (Justice League)
Malcolm Goodwin (Izombie)
Beau Knapp (Southpaw)
Lois Smith (The Nice Guys)
Aubrey Joseph (Cloak & Dagger)
Nick Nolte (Hulk)

Liam Neeson and Joel Kinnaman in Run All Night (2015)Haunted by his past, former Irish mob enforcer Jimmy “The Gravedigger” Conlon has become an angry drunk. His son Mike, a retired professional boxer who mentors at-risk kids at the local gym, is disgusted by his father’s actions and refuses to call him “Dad” or involve him in the lives of his daughters.Liam Neeson and Joel Kinnaman in Run All Night (2015)Jimmy’s old boss and closest friend, Shawn Maguire, rejects an offer to allow the sale of Albanian heroin in his territory. His son Danny, who received a large fee to arrange the deal, is told to return the money or suffer the consequences. Mike, working as a chauffeur, takes the two Albanian creditors to Danny’s house. The deal goes bad once Danny reveals that he does not have the money, and a brief shootout ensues which kills one of the Albanians. The other Albanian, wounded, stumbles out of Danny’s flat and attempts to escape, only to be shot dead by Danny. The events are witnessed by Mike and his mentee Legs and are captured on Legs’ phone. Danny spots them and attempts to kill Mike, but he escapes.Joel Kinnaman and Genesis Rodriguez in Run All Night (2015)Jimmy has Mike promise not to expose Danny, but Mike refuses to listen. As Mike is leaving, Jimmy spots Danny trying to kill his son and shoots him before he can fire. Shawn sends two corrupt police officers to pick up Mike and kill him, but Jimmy rescues him and shoots and kills one of the corrupt cops before taking Mike him to his family. Mike still distrusts his father, but agrees to give him that night to fix the situation. Jimmy meets Shawn and tells him that Danny was about to kill Mike, and that he might have to speak to the N.Y.P.D. about his criminal past. Shawn furiously says that the cops care nothing for Jimmy’s information, and tells Jimmy he will kill Mike and his family, only then letting Jimmy die.Liam Neeson in Run All Night (2015)Jimmy sends Mike’s family to a remote cabin and takes Mike with him to retrieve proof of his innocence, but Andrew Price, an assassin hired by Shawn, intercepts them before they can collect the evidence. Jimmy is able to subdue him, but is wounded. Jimmy later contacts Detective Harding, a cop who has not been able to prove Jimmy’s responsibility for a long list of homicides. Harding says that witnesses claim Mike was the shooter, not Danny, but Jimmy makes a deal with him: he will prove Mike is innocent and then turn himself in with a list of all the people he murdered in his mob career. The two hide at the house of Jimmy’s brother Eddie. An incensed Eddie reveals that Jimmy is loyal only to Shawn — he once killed his own cousin to prevent him testifying against Shawn and will do the same to Mike. Disgusted and unwilling to trust his father, Mike returns to his family. Seeking to end the blood feud, Jimmy attacks Shawn’s hideout and kills him and his gang. At the same time, Legs visits Harding with the video he shot of the murder of the Albanians. Convinced, Harding has the police check the ballistics on Danny’s gun.Liam Neeson and Joel Kinnaman in Run All Night (2015)Mike arrives at the cabin and alerts the police to his location. Jimmy soon arrives, and Mike finally introduces him to his grandchildren. Suddenly, Price returns and attacks the cabin, fatally shooting Jimmy and then hunting down Mike. Mike is cornered by Price, but Jimmy kills him at the last second. Mike runs up to Jimmy and finally calls him “Dad”. The police arrive and confirm Legs’ evidence has cleared Mike as Jimmy dies, holding the list of his past victims as promised. In the film’s epilogue, Mike is back working as a boxing trainer and chauffeur and living happily with his wife and daughters. He looks wistfully at a photo of himself and Jimmy from long ago on his dresser before he heads out to his shift.Liam Neeson and Joel Kinnaman in Run All Night (2015)This is a very enjoyable film,  The replay value seems to be high with not only the great visuals from the directing angle, but also from the great performances from the actors. Fans of films in general should put this film on on your list to watch, certainly a must see film.

REVIEW: IDENTITY THIEF

 

 CAST

Jason Bateman (Hancock)
Melissa McCarthy (The Boss)
Jon Favreau (Iron Man)
Amanda Peet (2012)
T.I. (Ant-Man)
Genesis Rodriguez (Hours)
Morris Chestnut (Kick-Ass 2)
John Cho (Flashforward)
Robert Patrick (Terminator 2)
Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family)
Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad)
Ben Falcone (New Girl)
Clark Duke (Two and A Half Men)
Ellie Kemper (21 Jump Street)

MV5BZmRiMzA2MzAtNzAxZC00M2EyLTg1NDctODJkOWQ1MGEyM2UzXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMzY5MzAxMDc@._V1_There aren’t very many actresses who have received an Oscar nomination for their performance in a comedy, especially within the past decade. Melissa McCarthy was an absolute riot in the hit Bridesmaids and even delivers plenty of laughs to TV audiences in Mike & Molly. Under Seth Gordon’s direction, she now stars in the latest comedy called Identity Thief. There has been a massive campaign behind this picture, making McCarthy’s involvement the focal point, but don’t be fooled into thinking that this is the next Bridesmaids. While this comedy won’t be leaving theaters rolling in laughter, it will certainly deliver some laughs and even a little bit of heart.08IDENTITY_SPAN-videoLarge-v3Mild-mannered Sandy Patterson (Jason Bateman) is a successful man with a great job and a loving family. However, his life begins to fall apart when a deceptively harmless-looking woman, Diana (Melissa McCarthy), steals his identity. She spends large amounts of his money and commits numerous crimes under his name, which gets him in trouble at work and with law enforcement. Sandy departs on a journey from Denver to Miami to take Diana to the police in order to clear his name and get his life back. It doesn’t take long for Sandy to discover just how clever Diana can be.
Screenwriter Craig Mazin doesn’t waste a moment, as he instantly jumps into the bulk of the story. Sandy Patterson gets himself into a lot of trouble after he gives a substantial amount of his personal information out to a woman over the phone. The audience is kept in the dark as to who Diana really is. While we know that nearly every word that comes out of her mouth is a lie, we’re constantly trying to figure out who this character truly is. She’s quickly identified as the antagonist of the film, but we learn that there’s a lot more to her persona than just a sly criminal. She begins to open herself up a little bit as she spends more time with Sandy. Despite the unfortunate reasons for these characters having to meet, they learn a lot of values from each other through this eventful adventure. Identity Thief often plays with the irony of a thief and her morals. Despite the over-the-top and unnecessary subplots, the second half of the running time is quite a bit funnier than everything preceding it. Without giving too much away, Sandy and Diana experience some hilarious situations, especially the one found in the woods at night. A lot of the jokes have been heard before, but they’re used in an original context.MV5BMTQzMTk1NTE2Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTg2MzEwOQ@@._V1_SX1500_CR0,0,1500,999_AL_This film wouldn’t have worked without this particular cast. Jason Bateman delivers a solid performance as Sandy Patterson. He’s convincing in the role, as he easily relates to the audience as an ordinary man going through a difficult situation. Melissa McCarthy is the absolute star of this movie. She fills Diana’s character to the brim with the same charm and charisma that got her popular in the first place. Her delivery elevates average dialogue to something audiences will find rather funny. McCarthy has quite a bit of comedic chemistry with Bateman, which makes them a great match on screen. However, she also manages to draw viewers in through the more emotional moments the story has to offer. There are a variety of entertaining cameos offered by Eric Stonestreet, Jon Favreau, Ben Falcone, Ellie Kemper, and others. This is an excellent cast that makes this script much more appealing than it would have been with other actors.MV5BMTUyMzk0MDI1NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTQ3MzEwOQ@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1294,1000_AL_