REVIEW: STAR WARS – EPISODE VIII: THE LAST JEDI

 

CAST

Mark Hamill (Batman: The Killing Joke)
Carrie Fisher (Sorority Row)
Daisy Ridley (Murder on The Orient Express)
John Boyega (Pacific Rim: Uprising)
Adam Driver (Logan Lucky)
Oscar Isaac (Mojave)
Andy Serkis (King Kong)
Lupita Nyong’o (Black Panther)
Domhnall Gleeson (American Made)
Anthony Daniels (The Lego Movie)
Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones)
Kelly Marie Tran (XOXO)
Laura Dern (Jurassic Park)
Frank Oz (The Dark Crystal)
Benicio del Toro (The Wolfman)
Billie Lourd (Scream queens)
Justin Theroux (American Psycho)
Kate Dickie (Prometheus)
Lily Cole (Snow White & The Huntsman)
Warwick Davis (Leprechaun)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises)

Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017)Resistance forces, led by General Leia Organa, flee D’Qar when a First Order fleet arrives. Poe Dameron leads a costly counterattack that destroys a First Order dreadnought, but after the Resistance escapes to hyperspace, the First Order tracks them and attacks the Resistance convoy. Kylo Ren, Leia’s son, hesitates to fire on the lead Resistance ship after sensing his mother’s presence, but his TIE fighter wingmen destroy the bridge, incapacitating Leia. Disapproving of new leader Vice Admiral Holdo’s passive strategy, Poe helps Finn, BB-8, and mechanic Rose Tico embark on a secret mission to disable the tracking device on the lead ship.Mark Hamill in Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017)Meanwhile, Rey arrives on Ahch-To with Chewbacca and R2-D2 aboard the Millennium Falcon to recruit Luke Skywalker to the Resistance. Disillusioned by his failure to train Kylo as a Jedi, and under self-imposed exile from the Force, Luke refuses to help—even after he learns of Han Solo’s death at Kylo’s hands—and believes that the Jedi should become extinct. Unbeknownst to Luke, Rey and Kylo can communicate through the Force, puzzling the two enemies. As the rival Force users learn about each other, each has future visions of themselves as partners.Gwendoline Christie and James Cox in Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017)R2-D2 persuades Luke to train Rey. After Kylo tells Rey what happened between him and Luke that caused him to choose the dark side of the Force, Luke confesses that he momentarily contemplated killing Kylo upon sensing that Supreme Leader Snoke was corrupting him, causing Kylo to destroy Luke’s new Jedi Order in retaliation. Convinced that Kylo can be redeemed, Rey leaves Ahch-To to confront Kylo without Luke. Luke prepares to burn the Ahch-To Jedi temple and library, but hesitates. Yoda’s ghost appears and destroys the temple by summoning a thunderstorm, claiming Rey has all she needs to learn, and encourages Luke to learn from his failure.Adam Driver in Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017)Holdo reveals her plan to discreetly evacuate the remaining Resistance members using small transports. Believing her actions cowardly and risky, Poe leads a mutiny. Finn, Rose, and BB-8 travel to the Canto Bight casino and acquire the help of the hacker DJ, who says he can help them disable the tracking device. They infiltrate Snoke’s ship, but all but BB-8 are captured by Captain Phasma. Meanwhile, Rey lands on the ship, and Kylo brings her to Snoke, who claims that he facilitated the mental connection between her and Kylo as part of a plan to destroy Luke. Ordered to kill Rey, Kylo instead kills Snoke and, with Rey, defeats Snoke’s guards. Rey believes that Kylo has returned to the light side of the Force, but he instead invites her to rule the galaxy with him, which she refuses. They use the Force to fight for possession of Anakin Skywalker’s lightsaber, which splits in two.Carrie Fisher in Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017)Leia recovers and stuns Poe, allowing the evacuation to begin. Holdo remains on the ship to mislead Snoke’s fleet as the others flee to an abandoned Rebel Alliance base on Crait. DJ reveals the Resistance’s plan to the First Order, and the evacuation transports are slowly destroyed. Holdo sacrifices herself by ramming Snoke’s fleet at lightspeed; Rey escapes in the chaos, while Kylo declares himself Supreme Leader. BB-8 frees Finn and Rose, who escape after defeating Phasma, and they join survivors on Crait. When the First Order arrives, Poe, Finn, and Rose attack with old speeders. Rey and Chewbacca draw the TIE fighters away with the Falcon, while Rose stops Finn from completing a suicide run against the enemy siege cannon, which penetrates the Resistance fortress.Luke appears and confronts the First Order to enable surviving Resistance members to escape. Kylo orders the First Order’s forces to fire on Luke to no effect. He then engages Luke in a lightsaber duel; upon striking Luke, Kylo realizes he has been fighting a Force projection of him. Rey uses the Force to help the Resistance escape on the Falcon. Luke, exhausted, dies peacefully on Ahch-To. His death is sensed by Rey and Leia, but Leia tells surviving rebels that the Resistance has all it needs to rise again. At Canto Bight, one of the children who helped Finn and Rose escape grabs a broom with the Force and gazes into space.Mark Hamill in Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017)This movie was fun, exciting, and expanded the Star Wars universe more. Since when has Star Wars been about answering all of the nitty gritty questions of how the force and the universe work. When people are upset about that, I am astounded that they “expected more” explanation from the series. Since the prequels, people have been crying that there was too much revealed, and not enough mystery, as there had been with the originals. I for one am glad that we are introduced to characters who aren’t fleshed out here, that leaves room for the imagination and the extended universe to delve into. I’ve seen some reviewers complain that the movie is too slow, some that it is too scatterbrained, but I think the nuance of the movie outweighs either of these.  I think that what they did with each character felt good, and by no means did I feel cheated by the movie. I loved the questions it left unanswered and the new questions it posed, and am excited to have months of speculative discussions again.

REVIEW: CHARLIE’S ANGELS 2: FULL THROTTLE

CAST

Cameron Diaz (Bad teacher)
Drew Barrymore (Poison Ivy)
Lucy Liu (Kill BIll)
Bernie Mac (Bad Santa)
Crispin Glover (Alice In Wonderland)
Justin Theroux (American Psycho)
Robert Patrick (Terminator 2)
Demi Moore (G.I. Jane)
Rodrigo Santoro (300)
Shia LaBeouf (Transformers)
Matt LeBlanc (Friends)
Luke Wilson (That 70s Show)
John Cleese (Rat Race)
Robert Forster (Dragon wars)
Eve (XXX)
Pink (Rollerball)
Carrie Fisher (Star Wars)
Steve Hytner (The Prophecy)
John Forsythe (Scrooged)
Ashley Olsen (Full House)
Mary-Kate Olsen (Full House)
Jaclyn Smith (The Bourne Identity TV)
Bruce Willis (Die Hard)
Shanti Lowry (Family Time)
Tommy Flanagan (Sons of Anarchy)
Sven-Ole Thorsen (Mallrats)
Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly)

Cameron Diaz in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003)After rescuing U.S. Marshal Ray Carter (Robert Patrick) in Mongolia, the Angels: Natalie Cook (Cameron Diaz) Dylan Sanders (Drew Barrymore) and Alex Munday (Lucy Liu) together with John Bosley’s adoptive brother Jimmy Bosley (Bernie Mac) are sent to recover H.A.L.O. (Hidden Alias List Operation) titanium rings stolen from the United States Department of Justice which can display the people listed in the witness protection program. DOJ official William Rose Bailey (Bruce Willis) and a protected witness, Alan Caulfield (Eric Bogosian) are among those killed. At Caulfield’s house in San Bernardino, the Angels track his assassin Randy Emmers (Rodrigo Santoro) to a beach where they meet with former Angel Madison Lee (Demi Moore). During the Coal Bowl motorcycle race, Emmers targets another witness named Max Petroni (Shia LaBeouf), but is killed by the Thin Man (Crispin Glover). Inside Emmers’ pocket, the Angels discover the photos of Caulfield, Max, and, surprisingly, Dylan, under her birth name, Helen Zaas.Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003)Dylan reveals that she is a protected witness after sending her former boyfriend, Irish mob leader Seamus O’Grady (Justin Theroux) to prison. O’Grady has since targeted those who wronged him, including Dylan and Max, whose parents O’Grady killed. Max is sent to the home of Bosley’s mother (Ja’net Dubois) for his protection. At a monastery, the Angels learn about the Thin Man’s past from the Mother Superior (Carrie Fisher), who reveals his name, Anthony. Afterward, the Angels track O’Grady’s mob at San Pedro and manage to get the rings, but O’Grady threatens Dylan with the murder of everyone she loves.Cameron Diaz and Demi Moore in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003)While Natalie attends her boyfriend, Peter Kominsky (Luke Wilson)’s high school reunion at Hermosa Beach and Alex returns home to find her action star boyfriend-under-timeout, Jason Gibbons (Matt LeBlanc) telling her awestruck father (John Cleese) about her exploits, Dylan leaves the Angels and heads to Mexico. When Natalie, Bosley and Alex notices her letter, they read her reasons for leaving them. While Alex is upset by this, Natalie understands why Dylan led to protect them. When she asks about O’Grady’s break out from jail, Charlie reveals someone had him released on good behavior. While in Mexico keeping a low profile, Dylan is convinced to return after seeing an apparition of former Angel Kelly Garrett (Jaclyn Smith).Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003)Natalie and Alex deduce that Carter is a part of O’Grady’s scheme after seeing him return Bosley’s keys without any pain, since he had earlier claimed to have broken his ribs, which is now proved to have been a lie. Following him, the two witness him being shot to death by Madison, the true mastermind behind all of this. Though Dylan arrives to back the group, the Angels are shot by Madison, who takes the rings, though they survive by having worn Kevlar vests beforehand. At the base, Charlie through the speakers reprimands Madison for what she’s done. He confronts her for endangering the lives of her former teammates.Lucy Liu in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003)By the time that he had rescued them, the girls were in critical condition and Madison was kicked out of the Angels for it. Madison responds by pulling out her gold guns and shooting the speaker. The Angels realize that Madison, with the protection of O’Grady, is going to sell the rings to the Antonioni Crime Family, the Tanaka Yakuza, and the Diablo Cartel at the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where Jason’s film’s premiere is about to commence. The Angels set the three groups up to be arrested by the FBI instead, while they confront Madison and O’Grady. Anthony comes to the Angels’ aid, where it’s revealed he’s in love with Dylan and is doing his part to protect her. O’Grady kills Anthony, but Dylan manages to throw him down to his death. The Angels fight Madison all the way to an abandoned theater, where they kick her to a gas-filling chamber, with her dooming herself by shooting her bullets, exploding it.The Angels attend the premiere where they learn that Mama Bosley is adopting Max. Peter postpones his engagement with Natalie by buying for them a puppy named Spike while Alex terminates her timeout with Jason. The Angels celebrate their victory together with Bosley.Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003)Overall, this is actually a very easy movie to watch. The laughs will come not only from the comedic parts but also from the dorky action. If your looking for a hip, comedy flick come see Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.

REVIEW: JOKER

Starring

Joaquin Phoenix (The Master)
Robert De Niro (Limitless)
Zazie Beetz (Deadpool 2)
Frances Conroy (How I Met Your Mother)
Hannah Gross (Mindhunter)
Brett Cullen (Truth Be Told)
Douglas Hodge (The Report)
Dante Pereira-Olson (Happy!)
Glenn Fleshler (All Good Things)
Leigh Gill (Game of Thrones)
Bill Camp (12 Years a Slave)
Shea Whigham (Agent Carter)
Marc Maron (Almost Famous)
Josh Pais (Teeth)
Bryan Callen (Old School)
Justin Theroux (Maniac)
April Grace (A.I.)

Joaquin Phoenix in Joker (2019)In 1981, party clown and aspiring stand-up comedian, Arthur Fleck, lives with his mother, Penny, in Gotham City. Gotham is rife with crime and unemployment, leaving segments of the population disenfranchised and impoverished. Arthur suffers from a medical disorder that causes him to laugh at inappropriate times and depends on social services for medication. After a gang of delinquents attacks Arthur in an alley, his co-worker, Randall, gives him a gun for protection. Arthur meets his neighbor, single mother Sophie Dumond, and invites her to his upcoming stand-up comedy show at a nightclub.Joaquin Phoenix in Joker (2019)While entertaining at a children’s hospital, Arthur’s gun falls out of his pocket. Randall lies that Arthur bought the gun himself, and Arthur is fired. On the subway, still in his clown makeup, Arthur is beaten by three drunken Wayne Enterprises businessmen; he shoots two in self-defense and executes the third. The murders are condemned by billionaire mayoral candidate Thomas Wayne, who labels those envious of more successful people as “clowns.” Demonstrations against Gotham’s rich begin, with protesters donning clown masks in Arthur’s image. Funding cuts shutter the social service program, leaving Arthur without his medication.Joaquin Phoenix in Joker (2019)Sophie attends Arthur’s stand up routine, which goes poorly; he laughs uncontrollably and has difficulty delivering his jokes. Popular talk show host Murray Franklin mocks Arthur by showing clips from the comedy routine on his show. Arthur intercepts a letter written by Penny to Thomas Wayne, alleging that he is Thomas’ illegitimate son, and berates his mother for hiding the truth. Arthur goes to Wayne Manor, where he meets Thomas’ young son Bruce, but flees after a scuffle with Alfred Pennyworth, the family butler. Following a visit from two Gotham City Police Department detectives investigating Arthur’s involvement in the train murders, Penny suffers a stroke and is hospitalized.Joaquin Phoenix in Joker (2019)At a public event, Arthur confronts Thomas, who tells him that Penny is delusional and not his biological mother. In denial, Arthur visits Arkham State Hospital and steals Penny’s case file; the file says Penny adopted Arthur as a baby and allowed her abusive boyfriend to harm them both. However, Penny alleged that Thomas used his influence to fabricate the adoption and commit her to the asylum to hide their affair. Distraught, Arthur returns home and enters Sophie’s apartment unannounced. Frightened, Sophie tells him to leave; their previous encounters were Arthur’s delusions. The following day, Arthur kills Penny at the hospital.Joaquin Phoenix in Joker (2019)Arthur is invited to appear on Murray’s show due to the unexpected popularity of his comedy routine’s clips. As he prepares, Arthur is visited by Randall and fellow ex-colleague Gary. Arthur murders Randall for revenge but leaves Gary unharmed for treating him well in the past. En route to the studio, Arthur is pursued by the two detectives onto a train filled with some of the clown protesters. One detective accidentally shoots a protester and incites a riot, allowing Arthur to escape.Joaquin Phoenix and Dante Pereira-Olson in Joker (2019)Before the show goes live, Arthur requests that Murray introduce him as Joker, a reference to Murray’s previous mockery. Arthur walks out to applause, but the mood quickly changes when he tells morbid jokes, confesses to the train murders, and rants about how society abandons the downtrodden and mentally ill. Arthur kills Murray and is arrested as riots break out across Gotham. One rioter corners the Wayne family in an alley and murders Thomas and his wife, Martha, sparing Bruce. Rioters in an ambulance crash into the police car, freeing Arthur, who dances to the cheers of the crowd. At Arkham, Arthur laughs to himself about a joke and tells his psychiatrist she would not understand it. He runs from the orderlies, leaving a trail of bloodied footprints.Joaquin Phoenix in Joker (2019)Joker to me is a life journey, many may feel sympathy for him, some may even feel related to him or to what he has socially experienced while others will deny his actions. It’s very understood to have mixed feelings about this film, I know this movie will be perceived by each viewer differently basically according to their life experiences, how they were raised and may be even their moral values. I for one believe that it should not be misunderstood as an incitement to violence but more of a wake up call for all of us, a fresh look at ourselves and our social actions towards everyone we encounter in our lives and deeply reconsider how we treat each other in our daily lives and how it can shape our future society.

REVIEW: MEGAMIND

CAST

Will Ferrell (The Lego Movie)
Tina Fey (Muppets Most Wanted)
Jonah Hill (21 Jump Street)
David Cross (Scary Movie 2)
Brad Pitt (Fight Club)
J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
Ben Stiller (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty)
Justin Theroux (The Girl On The Train)

Will Ferrell and David Cross in Megamind (2010)Supervillain Megamind has been in constant struggle with superhero Metro Man for dominance of Metro City since they had both arrived on Earth as infants. However, Metro Man always has had the upper hand. In his latest plan, Megamind and his sidekick Minion kidnap reporter Roxanne Ritchi and hold her hostage in a copper-lined room. When Metro Man arrives to save her, he reveals he is weak to copper, and Megamind is able to obliterate him with a death ray. Megamind finally takes control of the city, but his celebration is short-lived as without Metro Man to challenge him, he finds his life has no meaning.Will Ferrell and David Cross in Megamind (2010)While wandering the recently-opened Metro Man Museum, Megamind sees Roxanne nearby, and uses his holographic disguise to take the form of Bernard, the museum’s curator, whom he had “dehydrated” into a small cube. He talks to Roxanne and becomes attracted to her, and then later is inspired by one of her statements to create a new superhero for him to fight. Megamind returns to his lair and creates a serum containing Metro Man’s DNA which he plans to inject into a proper candidate. However, Roxanne’s arrival at his lair with her dimwitted cameraman Hal Stewart causes Megamind to inadvertently inject Hal with the serum. Megamind takes advantage of the situation by disguising himself as Hal’s “Space Dad” and convinces him to become the superhero “Titan”, which Hal interprets as “Tighten”. Hal spends several days training with his Space Dad before issuing a challenge to fight Megamind.Tina Fey in Megamind (2010)On the day before the fight, Megamind gets into an argument with Minion, and Titan tries and fails to woo Roxanne. Megamind, disguised as Bernard, takes Roxanne on a dinner date. Hal sees them, and as he had been infatuated with Roxanne, becomes upset and leaves. Shortly thereafter, Megamind’s disguise fails, revealing his identity to Roxanne, who also storms off. The situation leaves him unable to find his invisible car, where he left an antidote to undo the change to Hal.Megamind (2010)Hal does not arrive at the scheduled fight, and Megamind finds that he has used his abilities for criminal purposes. As “Space Dad”, Megamind tries to convince Hal to fight, but his disguise fails, and Hal realizes Megamind has used him and taken Roxanne from him. Hal engages in a super-powered fight with Megamind. Realizing he wants to kill him instead of arresting him, Megamind lures Hal into a copper-lined trap, believing this would stop Hal, but he is unaffected and continues to fight. Megamind escapes from the battle and seeks out Roxanne, hoping she can help. She offers to take him to Metro Man’s secret headquarters, where they are both surprised to find Metro Man alive. Metro Man faked the vulnerability to copper as he had become tired of being a superhero and wanted to retire to become a music star. Metro Man refuses to help, but offers Megamind the advice that a hero will always rise up to challenge evil.Brad Pitt, Will Ferrell, and Tina Fey in Megamind (2010)Returning to the city, Megamind does not believe he can become the hero the city needs, and allows himself to be locked up in prison. Hal kidnaps Roxanne and demands Megamind show himself or he will kill her. Megamind has a change of heart and pleads with the prison warden, apologizing for his past actions. The warden reveals himself to be Minion in disguise, accepting Megamind’s apology, and frees him so they can fight Hal.Brad Pitt and Will Ferrell in Megamind (2010)As Hal is about to kill Roxanne, Megamind appears and frees Roxanne. The two escape, but Hal traps Megamind under rubble and threatens to kill him when Metro Man suddenly arrives, and Hal flees. Roxanne discovers that “Megamind” is really an injured Minion in disguise, while “Metro Man” is Megamind. Hal, in his flight, recognizes Megamind’s inability to pronounce words from Metro Man, and realizes he was duped. Hal flies back and fights Megamind, during which Megamind finds his invisible car. He grabs the antidote and is able to inject it into Hal, restoring him to normal. Now hailed as heroes, Megamind and Minion appear at the reopening of Metro Man’s museum, now dedicated to Megamind instead, while Metro Man, in disguise within the crowd, silently congratulates his former rival. In a mid-credits scene Minion is doing the laundry when a re-hydrated Bernard pops out of the washing machine. After chiding Megamind about cleaning out his pockets, Minion knocks Bernard out with the Forget-Me Stick.Will Ferrell in Megamind (2010)If your looking for a good old time and lots of laughs. I suggest you watch Megamind. This movie had all around laughs and took a different spin at superhero movies and gave us a great surprise that i know you would all enjoy. This flick is for all ages.

REVIEW: LADY AND THE TRAMP (2019)

Justin Theroux and Tessa Thompson in Lady and the Tramp (2019)

Starring

Thomas Mann (Project X)
Kiersey Clemons (Flatliners)
Yvette Nicole Brown (Mom)
Adrian Martinez (Army of One)
F. Murray Abraham (Last Action Hero)
Arturo Castro (Narcos)
Ken Jeong (The Hangover)
Tessa Thompson (Thor: Ragnarok)
Justin Theroux (Bumblbee)
Sam Elliott (The Ranch)
Ashley Jensen (Ugly Betty)
Janelle Monáe (Rio 2)
Benedict Wong (Doctor Strange)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)

Justin Theroux and Tessa Thompson in Lady and the Tramp (2019)Disney’s glossy live-action update of Lady and the Tramp, like the majority of the studio’s other IRL remakes, exists purely because it has to rather than because it should do, a product born not from a creative brainwave but from a commercial inevitability. The hugely profitable, and mostly tiresome, trend of dusting off handcrafted classics and rehauling them for a new audience has sped up this year with Aladdin, The Lion King, Dumbo and a Maleficent sequel all released theatrically, the underwhelming box office of the latter two hinting at growing audience fatigue. The decision to premiere Lady and the Tramp digitally, morphing it into a TV movie, launching Disney’s splashy new content platform Disney+, is therefore a wise one and taken as such, it’s adequate if wholly unnecessary entertainment, ending up somewhere between a lady and a tramp.Justin Theroux and Tessa Thompson in Lady and the Tramp (2019)The story, still simple and still effective, tells of romance across class borders between two dogs: Lady (voiced by Tessa Thompson), who lives a comfortable life as the surrogate child of a human couple (Kiersey Clemons and Thomas Mann), and Tramp (voiced by Justin Theroux), a street-dwelling loner whose day-to-day depends on whatever scraps of food he can find. Lady’s domestic bliss is sent into a tailspin when an actual human baby arrives and through a frantic set of circumstances, she finds herself on the street, roughing it with her unlikely new friend.Justin Theroux and Tessa Thompson in Lady and the Tramp (2019)There’s some low-stakes enjoyment to be had here, benefited largely from the film’s Disney+ drop. It’s certainly slick and boasts higher production values than the average streaming premiere but it’s a comparatively modest Disney remake that would have felt dwarfed, in a number of ways, on the big screen. The 1955 original was a breezy 76 minutes and in updating, The Lego Ninjago Movie director Charlie Bean has added almost half an hour, a considerable amount of padding and one that didn’t do Kenneth Branagh’s 38-minute-longer take on Cinderella any favours. It’s a smoother expansion here, the film’s laid-back pace pairing nicely with the Savannah setting and a jazzy soundtrack, even if the extended plot doesn’t add a whole lot more of notable worth (although thankfully the uneasy orientalism of the Siamese Cat Song has been replaced with something far less problematic).Lady and the Tramp (2019)The central dogs are impressively trained and cute to watch but there’s a lingering problem that also affected this summer’s big-budget remake of The Lion King. In trying to make talking animals look as real as they can, there’s an emotional depth missing from their expressions when they’re speaking. Thompson and Theroux, along with fellow voice actors Janelle Monáe, Sam Elliott and Ashley Jensen try hard, but there’s something not quite, ahem, animated enough about their on-screen incarnations.Lady and the Tramp (2019)There’s also a frustrating waste of Clemons, who was so incredibly charming in last year’s little-seen music indie Hearts Beat Loud, stuck here with little to do, or sing, as the human lady of the house. But perhaps the strangest thing about the film is that it was co-written by the “godfather of mumblecore”, Andrew Bujalski, an indie auteur whose acclaimed lo-fi films often feel improvised in nature, given his rejection of so many traditional scripting standards. His influence is sadly invisible here and any hope that the film might have followed in the footsteps of 2016’s exceptional Pete’s Dragon, a remake from similarly mismatched arthouse staple David Lowery, is left out on the street. The script, like so much of the film, is serviceable at best, never once explaining to us why Bujalski would want to get involved other than for financial reasons, which one wouldn’t begrudge him given the scale of his output to date.Lady and the Tramp works well enough on its own simple terms as watchable, competently made home viewing.

REVIEW: THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE

CAST

Dave Franco (Bad Neighbours)
Michael Peña (Ant-Man)
Kumail Nanjiani (The Five-Year Engagement)
Abbi Jacobson (The Master)
Zach Woods (Veep)
Fred Armisen (The Ex)
Jackie Chan (Rush Hour)
Justin Theroux (The Girl On The Train)
Olivia Munn (X-Men: Apocalypse)
Randall Park (Swx Tape)
Retta (Ringmaster)
Constance Wu (Crazy Rich Asians)
Charlyne Yi (This is 40)

A young boy ventures into an old relic shop, where he meets the mysterious owner, Mr. Liu, who begins to tell the boy the legend of Ninjago. Ninjago is a city within the Lego Universe that is frequently attacked by the evil Lord Garmadon, who is the father of Lloyd Garmadon and ex-husband of Misako (AKA Koko). Ninjago despises Lloyd for being Lord Garmadon’s son, which puts Lloyd under emotional stress. They do not know that Lloyd is part of the secret ninja force, consisting of Nya, Zane, Jay, Cole, Kai and their master named Wu, who always stop Garmadon from taking over the city by fighting with mechs. On Lloyd’s birthday, Garmadon attacks the city once again only to be defeated. He escapes and fires nine generals of his Shark Army for failing to help him. He then begins to plan a big attack to conquer Ninjago, and his GIT`s show him plans to build a gigantic mech that is immune to weapons.Dave Franco in The LEGO Ninjago Movie (2017)Meanwhile, Lloyd and his friends see the return of Master Wu, back from a long trip he took. Master Wu tells them they aren’t real ninjas if they use only mechs to fight, and discusses with Lloyd that his element is green, confusing Lloyd. Master Wu tells Lloyd he must not be angry at Garmadon; he must use his mind to fight. Wu mentions an Ultimate Weapon, giving Lloyd the hope of defeating Garmadon once and for all, despite being forbidden to use the weapon.Fred Armisen, Michael Peña, Dave Franco, Zach Woods, Abbi Jacobson, and Kumail Nanjiani in The LEGO Ninjago Movie (2017)The next day Garmadon attacks the city with his giant mech and defeats Lloyd. As Garmadon declares his rule over Ninjago, Lloyd returns with the Ultimate Weapon. He fires it, revealing it to be a laser that attracts a real-life cat named Meowthra. Meowthra starts destroying the city while trying to get the laser. Garmadon points the laser to make the cat destroy the other mechs, before Lloyd breaks it. As Garmadon celebrates his victory, Lloyd reveals that he is the Green Ninja, and tells Garmadon that he wishes he wasn’t his father, leaving Garmadon confused.Justin Theroux and Dave Franco in The LEGO Ninjago Movie (2017)Lloyd meets up with his friends and Master Wu, who are all upset with him for using the weapon. Wu tells them they must use an Ultimate, Ultimate Weapon to stop Meowthra from destroying the city, which they would reach by crossing the Forest of Dangers, the Canyon of Death, and the Temple of Fragile Foundations. Garmadon overhears Wu talking about the weapon and follows close behind. He meets up with Wu and fights him, only to end up in a cage, defeated. However, Wu loses his balance and falls off a bridge into a river, telling Lloyd he must use inner peace before getting swept away.Fred Armisen, Michael Peña, Dave Franco, Zach Woods, Abbi Jacobson, and Kumail Nanjiani in The LEGO Ninjago Movie (2017)The ninjas decide to continue on, with Garmadon leading them much to Lloyd’s disappointment. They are caught by the Shark Army, who want revenge for being fired by Garmadon and shot out of his volcano lair. The ninjas try to fight, but are easily defeated. They retreat leaving Lloyd and Garmadon behind to be caught by the Shark Army. The Shark Army begin to fire Lloyd and Garmadon into a volcano, but the rest of the ninjas save the day using stealth fighting. They all work together with Garmadon to escape the angry Shark Army by building a makeshift helicopter, and Lloyd and Garmadon bond together in the process.Fred Armisen, Michael Peña, Dave Franco, Zach Woods, Abbi Jacobson, and Kumail Nanjiani in The LEGO Ninjago Movie (2017)They eventually crash down onto the Temple of Fragile Foundations. Garmadon reveals that it is his home, as well as Koko formerly being a ninja warrior herself. He tells Lloyd that he wishes he had stayed with him and his mom after deciding to conquer Ninjago, but he couldn’t change so he had to stay behind. The ninjas find the Ultimate Ultimate Weapon, consisting of a set of trinkets, only to have it stolen by Garmadon who still wants to take over the city. He offers for Lloyd to be his general, but Lloyd rejects his offer. Out of fury, Garmadon locks all of them in the temple as it begins to collapse. Lloyd realizes that inner peace means for them to unleash their power within, and they successfully do this,using their elemental powers and escaping from the collapsing temple. As they fall of a cliff, Wu saves them with his ship,the Destiny`s Bounty and they head towards Ninjago.Dave Franco in The LEGO Ninjago Movie (2017)Garmadon arrives and tries to control Meowthra with the weapons but Meowthra eats Garmadon instead. Lloyd and the crew arrive and begin fighting Garmadon’s army. As Lloyd approaches Meowthra, he reveals to everyone that he is the green ninja, and realizes that green means life, which brings everything together. He comforts Meowthra and tells Garmadon he forgives him and that he’s sorry. Garmadon cries tears of fire, which causes Meowthra to spit him out. After reconciling, Garmadon moves in with Lloyd and Koko, Meowthra becomes the mascot of Ninjago, and Lloyd is hailed as a hero. As the story concludes, Mr. Liu tells the boy that he will start to train him as a ninja. A mid-credits scene also shows a gag reel of a cup stunt performed by Chan as Liu at the film’s opening.Fred Armisen, Michael Peña, Justin Theroux, Dave Franco, Abbi Jacobson, and Kumail Nanjiani in The LEGO Ninjago Movie (2017)This movie likely isn’t for everyone. And I doubt it was intended to be. It’s a kids film and stays comfortably in that realm while not boring adults to death – which is more than can be said about a number of other films for ‘grown ups’ in 2017.

REVIEW: BUMBLEBEE

 

Starring

Hailee Steinfeld (Barely Lethal)
John Cena (Sisters)
Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (Alita: Battle Angel)
John Ortiz (Kong: Skull Island)
Jason Drucker (Every Witch Way)
Pamela Adlon (Better Things)
Stephen Schneider (Chasing Life)
Glynn Turman (House of Lies)
Len Cariou (News Movie)
Gracie Dzienny (Zoo)
Ricardo Hoyos (Degrassi: Next Class)
Megyn Price (The Ranch)
Edwin Hodge (The Purge)
Dylan O’Brien (American Assassin)
Angela Bassett (Black Panther)
Justin Theroux (Maniac)
Peter Cullen (Dungeons and Dragons)
David Sobolov (The Flash)
Grey Griffin (Paradise PD)
Steve Blum (Wolverine and The X-Men)

Hailee Steinfeld in Bumblebee (2018)On the planet Cybertron, the Autobot resistance, led by Optimus Prime, is on the verge of losing the civil war against the Decepticons and prepare to evacuate the planet. A Decepticon force, including an army of Seekers, led by Soundwave, Starscream, and Shockwave, intercepts them during the evacuation, and Optimus sends Autobot scout B-127 to Earth on an escape pod in order to set up a base of operations where the Autobots can regroup. B-127 reaches Earth alone, crash-landing in California and disrupting a training exercise by Sector 7, a secret government agency that monitors extraterrestrial activity on Earth.John Cena in Bumblebee (2018)Colonel Jack Burns presumes B-127 to be a hostile invader and pursues him. B-127 scans a Willys MB jeep and flees to a mine, where Blitzwing, a Decepticon Seeker, ambushes him. When B-127 refuses to reveal Optimus’s whereabouts, Blitzwing tears out his voice box and damages his memory core; despite this, B-127 stabs and destroys Blitzwing with one of his own missiles. B-127 flees from the soldiers, scans a nearby 1967 Volkswagen Beetle and collapses from his injuries.Hailee Steinfeld in Bumblebee (2018)In 1987, teenager Charlie Watson remains traumatized by the death of her father, and resentful of her mother Sally for moving on too quickly with a new boyfriend named Ron. Charlie finds a yellow Volkswagen Beetle (which is actually B-127) in a scrapyard belonging to Hank, who gives it to her as an 18th birthday present. When trying to start it, Charlie unknowingly activates a homing signal that is detected by Decepticons Shatter and Dropkick as they interrogate and execute the Autobot Cliffjumper on one of Saturn’s moons. The pair heads to Earth, where they adapt Earth vehicle forms and pretend to be peacekeepers, persuading Dr. Powell and the rest of Sector 7, despite Burns’s disagreement, to help them find and capture B-127, whom they claim is a fugitive and a traitor.Bumblebee (2018)While Charlie attempts to fix the Beetle, it transforms into B-127, whom she befriends and nicknames “Bumblebee”. She then unknowingly unlocks a message from Optimus urging Bumblebee to defend Earth in their absence, which restores some of his memories. Bumblebee begins to speak using songs. He is discovered by Charlie’s neighbor Memo, who agrees to protect their secret due to his feelings for Charlie. Left alone, Bumblebee accidentally destroys Charlie’s home and causes an energy spike that attracts Sector 7’s attention. When Sally blames Charlie for the destruction, Charlie finally expresses her pain over her father’s death and angrily leaves with Bumblebee and Memo, only to be intercepted by Sector 7 and the Decepticons. Bumblebee is captured while Charlie and Memo are returned home.John Cena in Bumblebee (2018)Charlie convinces her brother Otis to cover for her and Memo as they follow Burns to the Sector 7 outpost where Bumblebee is being held. Shatter and Dropkick torture Bumblebee into revealing the Autobots’ whereabouts, discovering that the Autobots are coming to Earth. They leave him for dead after revealing their plan to bring the Decepticons to Earth. After alerting Burns to the truth about the Decepticons, Dr. Powell is killed by Dropkick.Bumblebee (2018)Charlie electroshocks Bumblebee back to life, restoring his memories. After fighting past Burns’ obstruction and attempt to re-secure Bumblebee with the help of Memo, Sally, Ron, and Otis, Charlie and Bumblebee set out to prevent Shatter and Dropkick from contacting the Decepticons using a radio tower at a nearby harbor. Burns also intervenes and defends Charlie. His helicopter is shot down by Shatter, but Burns is saved by Bumblebee. While Bumblebee fights Dropkick, he binds him with a chain, entangling his systems when he transforms, and Bumblebee rips him apart. Charlie deactivates the Decepticon beacon, causing an enraged Shatter to pursue her. Bumblebee destroys a dam wall, triggering a flood that causes a cargo ship to crush Shatter into the docks, killing her.Bumblebee (2018)Burns, having a change of heart and grateful towards Bumblebee, gives him and Charlie time to escape before the army arrives, having yet to convince them that Bumblebee is not the enemy. Charlie and Bumblebee arrive on a cliff overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, where Charlie, realizing that Bumblebee has a greater purpose on Earth, says goodbye. Bumblebee scans a 1977 Chevrolet Camaro, transforms into a yellow version of it, and drives away, and Charlie reunites with her family and Memo. Using his new name, Bumblebee reunites with Optimus Prime. Prime praises Bumblebee for keeping Earth safe as they watch more Autobots arrive through Earth’s atmosphere. Meanwhile, Charlie finally finishes repairing the Corvette she and her father were working on, and drives off into the sunset.Hailee Steinfeld in Bumblebee (2018)This by far is the best Transformers movie yet. It has great characters, a decent storyline, and the fight scenes between the Autobots and the Decepticons were fantastic. Even John Cena isn’t bad in this movie. I highly recommend this to any who is a fan of the Transformers.