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Dog Days (2018)
3/10
If they only would have made it mostly about the dogs instead!
17 August 2018
'DOG DAYS': One and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

A comedy about various dog owners living in Los Angeles, and their relationships with each other as well as their dogs. It's mostly about the humans though, sadly. The film was directed by actor turned filmmaker Ken Marino, it was written by Elissa Matsueda and Erica Oyama, and it stars Nina Dobrev, Vanessa Hudgens, Rob Corddry, Jon Bass, Finn Wolfhard, Thomas Lennon, Eva Langoria and many others. It's gotten mixed reviews from critics, and I mostly hated it. I'm a dog lover (and animal loving vegan), and I could never respect a film like this. It's so dull, cheesy, and poorly written. I expect so much more from Ken Marino as a filmmaker too. If they only would have made it mostly about the dogs instead!
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5/10
Couldn't stay awake for most of it!
17 August 2018
'TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES': Two and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

An animated superhero comedy film, based on the popular animated kids' TV show, which is based on the popular DC comic book (of the same name). It was directed by Peter Rida Michail and Aaron Horvath, and it was written by Michael Jelenic and Horvath (all three also served as series creators of the show). It features all of the same main voice cast as well, plus Will Arnett (who also served as a producer of the movie). The story revolves around the teen superheroes dreaming of movie stardom, like the adult superheroes they idolize, when they have to take on a supervillain that's trying to take over the world (voiced by Arnett). The film bombed at the Box Office, but it's gotten mostly positive reviews from critics. I think that parts of it are funny, and I like the plot of the film, but it's extremely silly and geared entirely towards children. I'm sure kids will probably love it, and adults that have to watch it with them might find it mildly amusing, but it's mostly a waste of time. I also couldn't stay awake for most of it.
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Like Father (I) (2018)
5/10
Not horrible if you're looking to pass the time with Netflix.
17 August 2018
'LIKE FATHER': Two and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

A comedy-drama about a work obsessed woman who's left at the altar, and then still goes on her honeymoon with her estranged father, who she hasn't seen since she was a child. The movie stars Kristen Bell, Kelsey Grammer and Seth Rogen. It was directed and written by actress turned first time feature filmmaker Lauren Miller Rogen. It was released by Netflix through it's streaming site, and it's gotten mixed reviews from critics. I mildly enjoyed it. I really like Kristen Bell and Seth Rogen (of course), and I think Grammer is a talented actor (but an unlikable conservative ass in person). It's definitely not horrible if you're looking to pass the time with Netflix.
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Slender Man (2018)
6/10
Obviously nothing special or original, but watchable enough if you like horror movies.
17 August 2018
'SLENDER MAN': Three Stars (Out of Five)



A horror flick about a group of high school girls who attempt to prove that Slender Man (a popular internet supernatural character) doesn't actually exist, and then one of them turns up missing. It was directed by Sylvain White, written by David Birke, and it stars Joey King, Goldani Telles, Jaz Sinclair, Annalise Basso and Javier Botet (in the title role). The film did well at the Box Office, but it got horrible reviews from critics and moviegoers. I thought it was decently made, and effective in some ways. It's obviously nothing special or original though, but watchable enough if you like horror movies.
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The Meg (2018)
8/10
I enjoyed it, but not nearly as much as I had hoped to.
17 August 2018
'THE MEG': Four Stars (Out of Five)

Jason Statham vs. a giant 70-foot sea creature! How can you go wrong? It was directed by John Turteltaub, and it was written by Dean Georgaris, Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber. It's based on the book 'The Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror', by Steve Alten. The film costars Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose, Winston Chao and Cliff Curtis. I was hoping for a lot more craziness and comedy; the film is definitely not the campy old school B-movie monster flick that the trailers promised it to be. It does have Jason Statham vs. a giant megaladon shark though, and Rainn Wilson. I enjoyed it, but not nearly as much as I had hoped to.
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10/10
Spike Lee's best movie to date, and one of the best films of the year!
17 August 2018
'BLACKKKLANSMAN': Five Stars (Out of Five)

Spike Lee's new biographical crime-drama about an African American police officer who infiltrated the Klu Klux Klan, with the help of a white officer, in the 1970s Colorado Springs. It was directed by Lee, and written by Lee, Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott. It's based on the memoir by Ron Stallworth. The movie stars John David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier, Topher Grace, Jasper Paakkone, Ryan Eggold and Michael Buscemi. It was also co-produced by Jordan Peele. It's received nearly unanimous rave reviews from critics, and it's a hit at the Box Office as well. I loved it, and I think it's Spike Lee's best movie to date, as well as one of the best films of the year. It's a really well made cop buddy flick, as well as a great dramatic study of interracial relationships (throughout history). It's also got a little Tarantinoesque vibe going for it the entire time too. I found it immensely entertaining, as well as really emotionally powerful (I even teared up a little in the end) and insightful. It's a must see!
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Lean on Pete (2017)
8/10
I liked the movie overall, because in the end it's about saving animals.
3 August 2018
'LEAN ON PETE': Four Stars (Out of Five)

The critically acclaimed drama about a teenage boy who befriends an old race horse, named Lean on Pete, and tries to save him from being put-down. The film stars Charlie Plummer, Steve Buscemi, Chloe Sevigny and Travis Fimmel. It was written and directed by Andrew Haigh, and it's based on the book (of the same name) by Willy Vlautin. The film has received nearly unanimous positive reviews from critics, and despite some of it's themes, I enjoyed it quite a bit as well.

Charley Thompson (Plummer) is a fifteen-year-old boy, who moves to Portland with his single father, Ray (Fimmel), and gets a summer job there. He starts working for an old horse trainer, named Del (Buscemi), and befriends an old horse he works with, named Lean on Pete. Lean on Pete has outlived his profitability, and he's about to be put down. Charley decides he'll do anything he can to save his new friend.

The film is beautifully shot and acted; Charlie Plummer is fantastic in the lead, and who doesn't love Steve Buscemi. It's also a touching troubled youth/animal lovers tale. There's of course the horse racing/animal abuse aspect of the story, that I don't like (being a vegan). It's true to life though, and in the end it's about saving animals from this cruel world, and appreciating them as the beautiful beings that they are. So I liked the movie overall.
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7/10
It seems like it should have delivered so much more!
3 August 2018
'HOW TO TALK TO GIRLS AT PARTIES': Three and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

A sci-fi romcom directed by John Cameron Mitchell (who also helmed 'HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH' and 'SHORTBUS'), and written by Mitchell and Philippa Goslett. It's based on the short story (of the same name) by Neil Gaiman, and it tells the story of a young alien who separates from the group that she's touring the galaxy with, in order to get to know a young London punk better, named Enn. The film has received mixed reviews from critics, and it stars Alex Sharp, Elle Fanning, Nicole Kidman, Ruth Wilson and Matt Lucas.

Enn (Sharp) is a young misfit in London who really wants to be a punk. While attending a punk party, apparently full of beautiful foreign exchange students, Enn meets Zan (Fanning). Zan is also a misfit, who desperately wants to leave the group she's traveling with and join Enn on his adventures. What Enn also later finds out, is that Zan is actually an alien (and so are all of her friends). Enn must then defend Zan from her alien people, with the help of his London punk friends.

The movie is zany, crazy and somewhat original. It's also got a great punk rock/sci-fi comedy feel to it (which are all things I like). With all the potential though, it seems like it should have delivered so much more. It is funny, mildly romantic and amusing enough though. Plus it's free to rent on Amazon Prime right now, which is where I saw it.
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Extinction (2018)
5/10
I'd watch it if you're really bored and desperate.
3 August 2018
'EXTINCTION': Two and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

The new Netflix sci-fi thriller about a man who keeps having the same dream about his family being killed by an unknown invading force, and then his dreams start becoming a reality. It was directed by Ben Young, and written by Spenser Cohen and Brad Kane. It stars Michael Pena, Lizzy Caplan, Mike Colter, Amelia Crouch, Erica Tremblay and Israel Broussard. The film has received mostly negative reviews from critics, and it was released by Netflix through it's streaming site. I found it pretty dull and bland, but it's not without it's quirks though.

Peter (Pena) is an engineer who keeps having nightmares of his family being wiped out by an invading alien-like force. His wife, Alice (Caplan), wants him to seek medical help for it, but Peter insists that his dreams might mean something. Then an unknown force does attack them, and the rest of civilization as well, just like in Peter's dreams. It's up to Peter to realize who he really is, and understand his full potential, in order to save them.

The movie is the type of bad B-movie sci-fi flick that I would have really enjoyed when I was a kid, and I still mildly enjoyed it for that reason. The truth is though, that I was really pretty bored during most of it sadly, despite the mild nostalgic feel of it. It's also pretty unoriginal, and routine too, despite one clever main twist at the end. I did enjoy the twist though, but Pena and the rest of the cast are so wasted here, that it's kind of sad really. I'd watch it if you're really bored and desperate, only for that bad B-movie sci-fi feel, and the twist.
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6/10
Enjoyed it more than I do most Adam Sandler movies lately.
3 August 2018
'FATHER OF THE YEAR': Three Stars (Out of Five)

The new Netflix comedy film from Happy Madison Productions (Adam Sandler's production company). It stars David Spade as an alcoholic father who wants to fight the father of his son's best friend, due to a debate the boys had about who would win. The movie also costars Nat Faxon, Joey Bragg, Matt Shively, Bridgit Mendler and Jared Sandler (Adam's nephew). The movie was directed by Tyler Spindel, and written by Spindel and Brandon Cournoyer. The film was released by Netflix through their streaming site, and it's gotten only negative reviews from critics so far. I enjoyed it more than I do most Adam Sandler movies lately.

Ben (Bragg) is a recent college grad who's hoping to get a high paying job, and move away from the small town he grew up in for good. Larry (Shively) is Ben's best friend, who also wants to start a new life for himself (and move out of town). When the two boys have a drunken debate over which of their father's would win in a fight, it encourages Ben's father, Wayne (Spade), to actually pick a fight with Larry's father, Mardy (Faxon). This causes problems for both of the boys, and their future plans, as well as their dads.

The movie is actually funny, most of the time, which is a change from most Adam Sandler flicks. It has likable characters, that you actually want to root for, and decent performances. It's the best acting I've seen from Spade in some time, and Faxon is good in his role as well. The film also works well because it focuses more on the kids than the adults. I enjoyed it, but I had pretty low expectations going into it though.
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Eighth Grade (2018)
10/10
I found almost everything presented in the film to be really relatable!
3 August 2018
'EIGHTH GRADE': Five Stars (Out of Five)

A comedy-drama about an extremely insecure teenage girl who's struggling with social acceptance, while finishing her last week of eighth grade and preparing for high school. The film was written and directed by actor turned first time feature filmmaker Bo Burnham. It stars Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton, Emily Robinson and Jake Ryan. The movie has received nearly unanimous positive reviews from critics, and I was pretty blown away by it as well!

Kayla (Fisher) is an introverted and extremely insecure teenage girl, who's preparing for high school. She doesn't have any friends, but she really wants them, and she spends most of her free time on social media, and making YouTube videos explaining her social issues to others. Her father, Mark (Hamilton), constantly tries to help her, while still trying to keep the distance from her that Kayla desires. The entire film takes place during Kayla's last week of the eighth grade.

The movie is a beautiful examination of what it's like to be a social outcast trying to fit in in middle school. I remember what that's like very clearly, obviously not from a teenage girl's point of view, but I still found almost everything presented in the film to be really relatable. It's funny, and completely believable. It's also very heartbreaking, charming and touching; I cried tears multiple times while watching it. I definitely highly recommend it, to everyone.
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5/10
I could care less about any of the characters in either film, or any of their drama, but I love ABBA though!
27 July 2018
'MAMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN': Two and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

A sequel/prequel to the hit 2008 jukebox musical comedy (based on the 1999 musical of the same name). The film is once again filled with music by the band ABBA, and it was written and directed (this time) by Ol Parker. It tells the story of how Sophie's mother became pregnant with her, while Sophie is now dealing with pregnancy herself. The movie stars Lily James, Amanda Seyfried, Jeremy Irvine, Hugh Skinner, Josh Dylan, Jessica Keenan Wynn, Alexa Davies, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard, Christine Baranski, Julie Walters, Dominic Cooper, Andy Garcia, Cher and Merly Streep (in a brief cameo). It's received mostly positive reviews from critics (unlike it's predecessor), and it's another big hit at the Box Office as well (much like the original). I liked it just about as much as I did the first film, which isn't much.

The story takes place five years after the events of the original, and Sophie (Seyfried) is now pregnant herself. While dealing with this news, she reminisces about the life of her (now) deceased mother, Donna (Streep); when Donna was younger (James) and became pregnant with her. The film explains how Donna met Sophie's three possible dads (Irvine, Skinner and Dylan), and the romances that developed with each of them. The entire thing is of course played out (once again) while characters are singing and dancing to ABBA tunes.

I like the band ABBA (I have their 'Best Of'' CD), and I do like the music in both films. I also like musicals, sometimes a lot. These films are just so cheesy and cliched though. They're totally uninvolving as well; I could care less about any of the characters in either film, or any of their drama. The music is of course fun to hear though. Fans of ABBA, and musicals, will probably find it enjoyable enough (especially if you like the first film).
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How It Ends (2018)
6/10
Seems really uneventful to me, and kind of pointless.
27 July 2018
'HOW IT ENDS': Three Stars (Out of Five)

An action-thriller about a man trying to reach his pregnant fiance, with her father, after an apocalyptic disaster hits. It was directed by David M. Rosenthal, and it was written by Brooks McLaren. The film stars Theo James, Forrest Whitaker, Grace Dove and Kat Graham. It's received mostly negative reviews from critics, and it was released by Netflix through it's streaming site. I enjoyed parts of it, like the casting.

Will Younger (James) has had a very difficult relationship with his soon-to-be father-in-law, Tom (Whitaker). Tom appears to hate Will, and he's not happy that his daughter, Samantha (Graham), is going to marry him, and have a child with him. So when an unexplained apocalyptic disaster hits, Will is not happy that Tom wants to take a road trip with him, to make sure Samantha is OK. Still, the two set out on a very uncomfortable end of the world adventure together.

The movie surprisingly seems really uneventful to me, and kind of pointless. James is good in the lead though, and I wish he'd do more movies. Whitaker is also of course fantastic in it, like always. I do like the father-in-law and son relationship developed between the two characters, in the movie, but that's about all it has going for it. Besides a few cool disaster flick action scenes that is.
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6/10
Pretty routine Stallone action fun, so I enjoyed it!
27 July 2018
'ESCAPE PLAN 2: HADES': Three Stars (Out of Five)

A sequel to the 2013 action flick 'ESCAPE PLAN'. Star Sylvester Stallone returns as a security expert who must enter an inescapable prison yet again, in order to rescue one of his team who's trapped there. Dave Bautista replaces Arnold Schwarzenegger in this sequel, while Huang Xiaoming, Wes Chatham, Jesse Metcalfe, Jaime King, Chen Tang and Titus Wellive also join the cast. 50 Cent reprises his role from the original movie as well. It was directed by Steven C. Miller and it was written by Miles Chapman (who also co-wrote the first film). The movie was released directly to video in the U.S., and it's gotten mostly negative reviews from critics. I found it to be mostly entertaining.

Ray Breslin (Stallone) has built a new team of security experts. One of them has lost his trust though, Jaspar Kimbral (Chatham), so he fires him. Shortly later, another one of Ray's team, named Shu (Xiaoming), goes missing. Ray believes he's being held in a new inescapable fortress like prison. So he gets himself locked up again, in order to get his friend out.

The movie is pretty routine Stallone action fun, so I enjoyed it. Once again, he's casting an ensemble of younger (and hipper) actors as his costars though. I'm fine with that here. Still, as I look back at the movie now, it definitely wasn't that good (I realize now). I did like it while I was watching it though, and I'd definitely still recommend it to a Stallone movie fan.
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8/10
I find offense to the character's personal beliefs, but not to the film itself.
27 July 2018
'THE LEGACY OF A WHITETAIL DEER HUNTER': Four Stars (Out of Five)

A comedy about a hunter, and his loyal cameraman, who spend a weekend wilderness trip together trying to reconnect with the hunter's son. It stars Josh Brolin, Danny McBride, Montana Jordan, Carrie Coon and Scoot McNairy. The film was directed by Jody Hill (who previously teamed with McBride on the 2006 comedy feature 'THE FOOT FIST WAY', and the comedy TV series 'EASTBOUND & DOWN'), and it was written by Hill, McBride and John Carcieri. The movie has received mostly positive reviews from critics, and it was released by Netflix through it's streaming site. I hated the hunting aspects of the film (which are a lot of it), but I do think it's a very funny and well made movie though.

Buck Ferguson (Brolin) is a successful deer hunter, who's made a living selling videos of his kills. Jaden (Jordan) is his estranged young son, who Buck wants to reconnect with by teaching him how to hunt. So the two set out on a weekend hunting trip together, along with Buck's loyal cameraman, Don (McBride). Don and Buck try to create a hit video from their experience, while Buck also desperately tries to grow closer to his son again.

The movie is hilarious, I'll give it that definitely, and Brolin and McBride are both excellent in their roles. The macho hunting shit though, is completely offensive and obscene. Hunters do still exist in this world though, and a movie of course never has to deny reality in order to gain my respect. It's a story about a traditional hunter and his son, so I find offense to the character's personal beliefs, but not to the film itself. Like I said, the movie is really funny too, and it's definitely worth seeing for that reason I'd say.
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9/10
This is definitely one of those 'really good horror movies'!
27 July 2018
'UNFRIENDED: DARK WEB': Four and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

A stand-alone sequel to the 2014 hit found footage horror flick 'UNFRIENDED'. This one tells the story of a teenager who steals a laptop only to discover that the original owner is watching him and his friends, and he'll do anything to get it back (including kill them). The film was written and directed by horror screenwriter turned first time feature filmmaker Stephen Susco. It stars Colin Woodell, Stephanie Nogueras, Rebecca Rittenhouse, Betty Gabriel, Andrew Lees, Connor Del Rio and Savira Windyani. The movie has gotten primarily positive reviews from critics, but it kind of bombed at the Box Office it's first weekend. I really enjoyed it, much like I did it's predecessor.

Matias O'Brien (Woodell) is working on an app to help him better communicate with his def girlfriend, Amaya (Nogueras). She's not impressed by it though, and she's instead upset with him about it. While trying to reconcile things with her, Matias receives a Skype call from his other friends wanting to do game night. Matias engages with them, while still trying to makeup with his girlfriend, and he's also receiving hostile messages from the original owner of the laptop he's using, which he stole. He later finds out that the guy he stole from is watching him and his friends, and they're all in grave danger over it.

The movie is intense and extremely creepy and disturbing, almost for it's entirety. I've been getting bored with so many slow-paced movies lately, and I sometimes even have trouble paying attention to them, but not this one. I was totally involved with it, from start to finish. Which is kind of the way I felt about the original film as well, and all really good horror movies in general. This is definitely one of those 'really good horror movies'. I highly recommend it.
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9/10
The movie reconfirmed my beliefs that were socially conditioned to make almost all of the choices we make in life!
27 July 2018
'THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS': Four and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

A documentary about three identical triplets who were separated at birth, and neither they or their families were aware of it, until the siblings all accidentally meet at the age of 19. Then they later learn why. The film was directed by Tim Wardle, and it's received nearly unanimous positive reviews from critics. I found it to be extremely intriguing, but it's also highly disturbing. It's a really well made doc!

Eddy, David and Robert were three identical triplets who were separated at birth, and put into different families. Neither they or their families knew this, until the three siblings accidentally meet at 19-year-old. They are amazed to learn just how similar they all are, right down to the women they like and their career choices. Their fascinating story becomes a huge news story as well, as the trio tours different talk shows, and then they later learn why this knowledge was kept secret from them (and their families).

The triplets were separated as part of a scientific 'nature vs. nurture' twin study, and the results of it are the most fascinating part of the film (and the most disturbing). This is why the movie reconfirmed my beliefs that were socially conditioned to make almost all of the choices we make in life, and how we accept and tolerate others. It's why we believe we need to consume meat and dairy, and it's also why all the same people are perceived to be unattractive, by almost everyone, and vice versa. There's a really established and controlled hierarchy, and everyone has their set place in it. We can break this social conditioning (and go vegan, and learn to find unique looking people beautiful), but it's like breaking an addiction. It takes a lot of conscious effort and determination. That's what this movie reconfirmed in me.
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9/10
Being a huge film fan, sometimes minor drunk, and a very passionate artist, I could really relate to this film!
27 July 2018
'DON'T WORRY, HE WON'T GET FAR ON FOOT': Four and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

The new comedy-drama biopic based on the autobiography of cartoonist John Callahan, detailing his story of how he came to sobriety after severe alcoholism. It was directed by Gus Van Sant, and written by Van Sant, Jack Gibson and William Andrew Eaton. The movie stars Joaquin Phoenix (as Callahan), Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara and Jack Black. Danny Elfman also did the score for the film. It's received mostly positive reviews from critics, and it's playing in select indie theaters now (like Portland). I found it to be really well made, and quite involving.

John Callahan (Phoenix) was a horrendous alcoholic, living in Portland, OR, when he got into a car accident which left him severely disabled. The disastrous accident just makes him even more depressed, and more addicted to the dangerous drug as well. Then he falls for a woman named Annu (Mara), who works at the hospital he's first treated at, and she encourages him to enter rehab. With the help of a really supportive sponsor (Hill), John keeps at it. When he starts drawing popular, but highly controversial, newspaper cartoons, John's life really starts to change for the better.

I've definitely had times when I've drank too much in my life; not to the extent of the characters in this movie but I could still really relate to that important part of this film. I could also really relate to how John used alcohol as medication, for handling past trauma in his life (I know this is something a lot of drinkers do). Then again I could also really relate to the beautiful healing magic of art, presented in this movie, especially creating it (I'm a very obsessed aspiring filmmaker). Being a huge film fan, sometimes minor drunk, and a very passionate artist, I could really relate to this film. Especially also now that I live in the PDX area (where this was set). It's my favorite city ever!
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Blindspotting (2018)
9/10
A highly entertaining buddy flick that also has a large amount of social commentary too (that's very fitting to today's most common headlines).
27 July 2018
'BLINDSPOTTING': Four and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

A comedy-drama about a black parolee, who's almost done with his sentence, that witnesses a racially charged police shooting, and also has to deal with his trouble making best friend. The movie stars Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal, two lifelong best friends that also wrote the screenplay (based on their real life experiences living in Oakland). The film was directed by first time feature filmmaker Carlos López Estrada, and it's received almost unanimous rave reviews from critics. I really enjoyed it as well.

Collin (Diggs) is on his last three days of parole, and he's really hoping to start a fresh new life for himself when he's done. He works with his best friend Miles (Casal), at a moving job in Oakland. While Collin is trying to leave his violent troubled life behind him, Miles (who's white) seems to keep seeking out trouble. To complicate things even more Collin also witness a white police officer (Ethan Embry) shoot and kill a black man in the streets one night, while he's out after his curfew. This continues to haunt him.

The movie is funny, and it's two lead characters are both likable (in very different ways) and relatable (also in very different ways). Collin is definitely the more likable of the two, but the film also does a pretty good job of depicting Miles' troubles as well, in an equally sympathetic way. The movie is a really well made buddy flick, that also has a large amount of really insightful and intriguing social commentary too (that's very fitting to today's most common headlines). It's definitely a film worth seeing in my opinion.
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Dominion (2018)
10/10
Could be groundbreaking in the Animal Rights movement!
20 July 2018
'DOMINION': Five Stars (Out of Five)

The new Animal Rights documentary exposing the horrific truths of the animal agriculture industry. It was written and directed by Chris Delforce, who also performed both duties on the 2014 critically acclaimed Australian pig farming documentary 'LUCENT'. The movie is narrated by Joaquin Phoenix (who also famously narrated the 2005 Animal Rights documentary classic 'EARTHLINGS'), Rooney Mara, Sia, Sadie Sink, Katherine von Drachenberg and Delforce himself. I think the film is an absolute masterpiece, that needs to be seen by all!

Delforce and his crew use drones, and handheld cameras (including many hidden ones) to capture the horrors of the modern animal agriculture industry. He explores how different animals are used for food, entertainment, research and clothing, while also posing questions of the morality of using animals in these ways. The film also details how many different types of animals are abused in their own different unique ways, while Phoenix and others narrate this information. The title of course comes from humankind's belief that we have dominion over non-human animals.

The movie is extremely comprehensive and educational. For those who know very little about animal agriculture, this film should blow them away. I'd say it's even more thorough, in it's detailed information, than 'EARTHLINGS'. I don't think it's quite as classic as that all-time masterpiece though (in my opinion). It is just as hard to watch though, and emotionally shocking, so of course it'll be really hard to get non-vegans to watch it too. If they can be talked into it though, I think this movie could be groundbreaking in that movement. It's arguably one of the most important films ever made (in my opinion at least).
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10/10
One of the most original (and bizarre) movies I've seen in years!
20 July 2018
'SORRY TO BOTHER YOU': Five Stars (Out of Five)

A sci-fi comedy about an African American telemarketer who begins using a white person voice in order to get ahead in his job. It was written and directed by debut feature filmmaker Boots Riley. The film stars Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Jermaine Fowler, Steven Yeun, Armie Hammer, Omari Hardwick, Terry Crews, Danny Glover and the voices of David Cross, Patton Oswalt and Lily James. It's received nearly unanimous rave reviews from critics, and it's also a modest hit at the Box Office as well. I absolutely loved it.

The film is set in an alternate version of present day Oakland, where Cassius Green (Stanfield) has had a really hard time finding a good paying job and making a living. He's living in his uncle's garage, with his girlfriend Detroit (Thompson), when Cassius first gets a job as a telemarketer. He at first has a lot of trouble making sales while doing this job, until he learns the secret to success is using a 'white voice' (Cross). Cassius's problems quickly disappear as he gains more and more success doing this, but so do his morals as well.

The movie is refreshingly original, I'd even say it's one of the most original (and bizarre) movies I've seen in years. It's also very funny, witty and extremely insightful; with spot-on social commentary throughout. Stanfield is great in the lead, and I think Boots Riley really makes a name for himself here. I can't wait to see what he does next.
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8/10
A great character study, highlighted by two outstanding lead performances (especially LaBeouf)!
20 July 2018
'BORG VS MCENROE': Four Stars (Out of Five)

A biographical sports-drama flick based on the classic rivalry between tennis players Björn Borg and John McEnroe, during the 1980 Wimbledon Championships. It was directed by Janus Metz Pedersen, and it was scripted by Ronnie Sandahl. The movie stars Sverrir Gudnason and Shia LaBeouf, as the two title characters, and it costars Stellan Skarsgård, Tuva Novotny and Robert Emms. The film has received mostly positive reviews from critics, and it's won multiple prestigious awards as well. I enjoyed it, especially for it's intense climax.

Björn Borg (Gudnason) was a professional Swedish tennis player who was number one in the world in 1980. John McEnroe (LaBeouf) was a professional American tennis player, who was also number one in the world at one time. Borg was known for being really calm and robotic, while McEnroe was well known for having a really short temper and being extremely crude. The two became classic opposites, and rivals, at the 1980 Wimbledon Championships.This movie intensely depicts that rivalry.

The film is a great character study, highlighted by two outstanding lead performances (especially LaBeouf) and an awesome sports climax (I really enjoyed the ending). It's also educational, for anyone who didn't know the real story (like me), and it's an interesting look at professional tennis as well (especially at that time). I was also really fascinated to learn what became of the two famous athletes, after the events of the movie. If you're a sports flick fan, I'd say this is definitely the movie for you.
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8/10
Deliberately, and quite painfully, slow-paced and boring. It does have it's moments though.
20 July 2018
'THE NIGHT EATS THE WORLD': Four Stars (Out of Five)

A French zombie flick about the sole survivor of a zombie apocalypse, trapped in a Paris building surrounded by the undead. It was directed by first time feature filmmaker Dominique Rocher, and it was scripted by Jérémie Guez, Guillaume Lemans and Rocher. The film stars Anders Danielsen Lie, and it's based on the book by Pit Agarmen. I found it to be extremely slow-paced, and pretty dull at times, but it's also well made and effective.

Sam (Lie) passes out at a raging party, in a Paris apartment building. The next morning he wakes up surrounded by zombies. All the exits are cutoff by them, and it appears that he's the only survivor. Sam attempts to escape, but he quickly ends up stuck back in the building. Living alone for quite some time, madness starts to set in, and a desperate escape soon seems like his only option for survival.

The movie is deliberately, and quite painfully, slow-paced and boring. It does have it's moments though. At times it's really beautiful to watch, and somewhat involving. It's definitely nothing new or original, but it still surprisingly seems like a fresh version of something old. I enjoyed it.
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7/10
I really enjoyed the third act, but not so much the first two.
20 July 2018
'THE EQUALIZER 2': Three and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

A sequel to the 2014 hit action flick based on the 1980's TV series (of the same name). Denzel Washington returns as Robert McCall, a retired CIA Black Ops operative, turned vigilante, who this time wants revenge for the murder of a friend. The sequel was once again directed by Antoine Fuqua (a usual partner of Denzel's, many times now), and Richard Wenk also returned to write the screenplay. The movie costars Pedro Pascal, Ashton Sanders, Jonathan Scarfe, Melissa Leo and Bill Pullman. It's gotten mixed reviews from critics, and it's projected to be a modest hit at the Box Office as well (the first one was a big one). I really enjoyed the third act, but not so much the first two.

Robert McCall (Washington) is now working as a Lyft driver, who sometimes acts as a vigilante still (especially when he picks up a woman who's been assaulted by a group of young privileged white men). Then one day Robert learns that his good friend Susan Plummer (Leo) has been murdered. He of course investigates the crime, and learns that an old associate was involved. McCall of course then returns to his violent vigilante ways full time, until revenge is accomplished.



The movie is really slow-paced and uninvolving (at least in my opinion) for more than fifty percent of the film. Then it picks up though, at about the beginning of the third act. There are some entertaining and interesting moments before that, but I was mostly bored with the movie until the big climax. The climax is pretty cool though, and there's some awesome Denzel action hero moments in it. The scene where Denzel gets revenge for the assaulted young woman (early in the film) is pretty cool too. It's not as good as the original definitely though, or as entertaining as most Fuqua/Washington action flicks are.
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6/10
Not quite as clever and funny as the others
20 July 2018
'HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION': Three Stars (Out of Five)

The third installment in the popular computer-animated horror-comedy series. The story has to deal with Dracula and his monster friends taking their summer vacation on a Luxury Monster Cruise Ship, when Dracula falls for the ship's captain, who's also trying to kill him. The film was once again directed by Genndy Tartakovsky (who also helmed the first two), and it was written by Tartakovsky and Michael McCullers. It once again stars the voice talents of Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, Kevin James, David Spade, Steve Buscemi, Keegan-Michael Key, Molly Shannon, Fran Drescher and Mel Brooks (all reprising their roles from the other movies). While Kathryn Hahn and Jim Gaffigan join the cast. It's gotten mostly positive reviews from critics, and it's also another hit at the Box Office as well (just like the others). I enjoyed it, but not quite as much as the first two.

Dracula (Sandler) and his monster family decide to take a summer trip, aboard a Luxury Monster Cruise Ship. When Dracula meets the ship's captain, Ericka (Hahn), he immediately falls for her. What Dracula doesn't know is that Ericka is the great-granddaughter of his longtime archenemy, Professor Abraham Van Helsing (Gaffigan). Dracula then spends the rest of the trip trying to impress her, while she continuously tries to kill him.

The movie is charming, and somewhat witty and funny as well (just like the others). It's not quite as clever and funny as the others though, but it's still likable enough (in my opinion). It also, once again (of course), has a great message about not discriminating against others based on their appearance (which is a really important message to me). This is one of the reasons I really liked the film's predecessors as well. I think if you enjoyed the other ones, you'll probably like this one almost as much too.
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