TONY VS T’K’S VIEW OF PACIFIC RIM RISING – Rated PG-13 – I hr. 51 mins – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Pacific RIM UPRISING

 

PACIFIC RIM:  UPRISING – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 15 mins.

Director:  Steven S DeKnight

Starring:  John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman

Rise Up

It’s been 10 years since the War against the Kaiju ravaged the globe; the Pan Pacific Defense Corps continues to evolve and strengthen the Jaeger program.  Some cities still lay in ruins, littered-with the bones of the dead kaiju and destroyed buildings. Others are prospering and have been rebuilt bigger and better.  People are scouring the Earth for old Jaeger tech and equipment to construct their own, which are kept in highly-secured lots.  “Pacific Rim: Uprising” follows Jake Pentecost (John Boyega), the son of the late Stacker Pentecost and a former PPDC Ranger, who lives as a smuggler and thief profiting from those who seek the Jaeger tech.  After a situation goes awry, Jake discovers a young girl named Amara (Cailee Spaeny) who’s constructed a miniature Jaeger of her own; landing him right back with the PPDC.  Brought-in to serve as an instructor (and Amara as a recruit), Jake is reunited with his sister, Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), and an old friend Nate Lambert (Scott Eastwood).  Jake and Nate’s relationship makes it evident that their past ended on bad terms.  While ushering-in a new era of sentinel Jaegers, introduced by Shao Industries to be controlled from a safe, remote location, Jake and Nate are co-pilots once again.  While in-control of Gipsy Avenger at the Pan Pacific Summit, a rogue Jaeger attacks and badly-injures Gipsy Avenger and the whole PPDC is put on-alert.  As the sentinels are approved, a surprise turn of events leads-to the reopening of the Breach, causing three kaiju to enter the Earth.  With PPDC’s Jaegers mostly destroyed, Jake and Nate must turn to the recruits to stop these kaiju before they begin a mass extinction event.

When “Pacific Rim” was released back in 2013, Guillermo del Toro introduced us to a new World of Jaegers and Kaiju that, while the film as a whole may not have been universally loved, blew audiences away with the large-scale battles.  Newcomer director Steven S. DeKnight has taken full advantage of that as “Pacific Rim: Uprising” is chock-full of big, glamorous, beautifully-shot Jaeger action sequences.  Another big hit from the first film was the banter and relationship between Dr. Hermann Gottlieb (Burn Gorman) and Dr. Newton Geiszler (Charlie Day).  Not only do they pick-up right where they left off, but they play a much bigger role this time around as well.  The rest of the cast is led-by John Boyega, as he continues to prove that he is one of the top new leading men in Hollywood; his wit, charisma, and comedic timing are impeccable.  Spaeny and Eastwood assumed most of the secondary acting duties, both convincing in their own right, as well as Tian Jing.  The film does a good job of not handcuffing itself this time around, leaving room for new adventures if audiences want to see more.

However, there is strangely only 1 single mention of Raleigh Beckett from the first film, but it is left open-ended.  The film also features impressive CGI, as the Jaeger battle sequences and other action set pieces.  However, “Pacific Rim: Uprising” has its fair share of problems as well.  Firstly, the film takes a long time to get going, with the plot moving painfully slow until a big twist is unveiled about 40 minutes in.  While the first half is certainly underwhelming, the second does its best to make-up for it.  The film also takes an interesting turn that pushes the boundary of belief but, as the premise itself is unbelievable, manages to work in the story.  “Pacific Rim: Uprising” has a run time of 111 minutes, considerably shorter than the original, but it struggles to get off the ground early.  The film never tries to be more than what it was originally meant to be, bad-ass action and dumb, outrageous fun.  On this, I’m happy to say, it delivers on all fronts and fans of the original will be pleased to hear that their worst nightmares can be put to bed!

“Pacific Rim: Uprising” picks-up ten years after the War against the kaiju, with a new threat front-and-center and all hope is nearly lost.  The film features some great action sequences, some fun new characters, and excellent visual effects.  If you’re a fan of the original or excited to see some robot vs kaiju battles, go see “Pacific Rim: Uprising” this weekend

3/5


This humble opinion is brought to you by T. K. Edwards

PACIFIC RIM UPRISING

Director by:  Steven S. DeKnight

Cast:  John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman

It has been 10 years since the Kaiju attacked Earth and were defeated.  Now a new generation of Jaeger pilots must learn to work together to fight against a new Kaiju threat.

BELOW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS…CONTINUE READING AT OWN RISK

I went to see Pacific Rim Uprising with mediocre expectations.  Usually sequels do not live up to their originals and that once again seems the case for this franchise.  Now…that’s not to say Pacific Rim Uprising was a bad movie. That is definitely NOT what I am saying.  It just wasn’t as good as the original.  It had everything I was looking for and expected, but there were some flaws to it that I could not get past.  So, let’s start with the flaws and then move into the compliments. First there was the acting. I was not impressed by John Boyega’s surrounding cast.  He did great, but It felt like everyone acting around him was doing their first movie (and some were). Second, the film’s humor. If you’re going to do comedy in a movie you can’t push it on your audience.  Every joke in this film felt like there was this 5 second delay added to it because you didn’t realize you were supposed to laugh at it. It was an admirable attempt throughout the movie, but none of them were played out correctly.  Finally, the backstory to some of our characters was not there. The film did give you backstory on its’ main characters, but as far as it’s other minor characters a.k.a. the “away team” (Star Trek reference…LOL) we got nothing, so there was no emotional connection to any of them when they died in battle.  Now onto the compliments… 🙂
John Boyega was excited to play this role and you can tell by his performance on screen.  His energy throughout the film is what grabs your attention and keeps you in your seat. If he was not in this film, then Pacific Rim Uprising would have just been a bunch of giant robots fighting alien monsters, which I would still watch because it sounds awesome…Ha!  The special effects in this sequel were incredible! Sometimes I’ll catch a movie slipping with their CGI and a Beavis & Butthead quote will pop up in my head – “These special effects are NOT very special” – Butthead.  But that is not the case with PR2 because they went all out with their CGI.  Each action sequence was amazing and all the camera angles chosen were terrific.  As far as the story, I loved all the subtle connections to the first film and the plot twist that was thrown in was also a fun surprise.  All in all, my recommendation for Pacific Rim Uprising is go ahead and see this one in theaters or watch it at home. It’s worth a ticket for those who are fans of the franchise and for those who just want to see giant robots fighting alien monsters…again, awesome!  Until next time, thanks for reading.

BLACK PANTHER – Rated PG-13 – 2 hrs. 14 mins.

BlackPanther

BLACK PANTHER – Rated PG-13 – 2 hrs. 14 mins.

Director: Ryan Coogler 

Starring Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, Sterling K. Brown, Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis, Winston Duke and John Kani

As we venture from the streets of Cali to the beautifully breathtaking world of Wakanda, we meet T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), about to take over the throne after his father T’Chaka’s (John Kani) untimely death.  As the tribes of Wakanda come forth to approve this coronation, it seems that TChaka’s first love, the breathtakingly beautiful Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) has returned home to witness this grand ritual first hand.

With the New King now in his rightful place, his sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) is working away in the high-tech world in which they all flourish, while General Okoye (Danai Gurira), and her army are keeping the King, and Wakanda, safe from the outside world…

When outsider Erik Killmonger (Michael B Jordan) shows up to renounce T’Challa’s rights to the throne…it seems that the people of Wakanda are going to be forced to take sides.  Now, as T’Challa and Erik’s rivalry starts a tumultuous existence that no one within Wakanda is prepared for, it seems that the ancestral existence of the smartest and bravest of humankind, is about to be turned upside down…

I give BLACK PANTHER a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN:  As Marvel movies have gone over the past few years, this film, and its ancestral significant storyline, was a pleasant release from the forced comedy and team bonding mentality of the last few films.  Boseman is superbly cast as Black Panther, as his commanding performance is exquisite throughout this entire film.  Jordan’s performance was just as imposing, as he plays outsider Erik Killmonger.  And the brilliant casting of Nyong’o, Bassett and Gurira, as the incredibly beautiful, and powerful women in Black Panther’s life, was marvelous as well .  I mean the only insignificant flaw for me throughout the entire film was the few frames of substandard CGI that caught my eye.  But, beyond that glitch in the cinematography of this film, everything else was absolutely perfectly orchestrated throughout, including its magnificent soundtrack.   I even enjoyed the smaller roles on screen performed by Brown, Whitaker and Kaluuya in this film too…leading me to suggest that even if you aren’t a big fan of MARVEL characters (I’m sure there are one or two of you out there 😉 ) or if you weren’t fond some of the past films this decade, you must head out to a theater near you to see BLACK PANTHER, as he is one smooth cat (pun intended), that you absolutely don’t want to miss experiencing on the big screen, at a theater near you ~ and don’t forget to stay to the last frame passes by…so you’re ready for the next installment 🙂

Kathy Kaiser

MAZE RUNNER: DEATH CURE – Rated PG-13 – 2 hrs. 22 mins.

Maze Runner Death Cure

This humble opinion is brought to you by T. K. Edwards

MAZE RUNNER:  THE DEATH CURE

Director by:  Wes Ball

Cast:  Dylan O’Brien, Aidan Gillen, Patricia Clarkson, Barry Pepper, Walter Goggins  

This last chapter of the Maze Runner trilogy finds Thomas and his friends set out to find a cure for the “flare” disease and also rescue their captured friends from the evil organization known as WCKD.

 

BELOW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS…CONTINUE READING AT OWN RISK

 

Maze Runner: The Death Cure is the final installment of the Maze Runner trilogy series and it is exactly the way I thought it was going to be.  Entertaining but not amazing.  You can always tell where a movie is going to take you by the opening scene and this one opened with a train hijacking scene that was mediocre at best.  The rest of the story moves forward with more of your dramatic cliche scenes, where your hero says he got to go do something on his own without anyone’s help, but his friends show up right before he leaves and say, “we started this together and we’ll finish it together” – (You know, that old chestnut).  So our heroes go to finish what they’ve started, only to find even more obstacles in their way.  One in particular is the discovery of an old enemy, thought to be dead, but now wants to help them.  Who can we trust?, becomes the question they begin asking themselves and as we all know, the answer is…no one.  Our story keeps moving forward and we finally make it to our climatic endings, (because there are like four of them) and we the audience finally get the closure we have been wanting since this Maze Runner film series began.  There is no final scene that shows there could be more story to be told.  There is no post credit scene that shows our Maze Runner villain somehow miraculously didn’t die.  There are no written words in the credits stating “Maze Runner will return”.  There is simply just closure and that is fine by me.

 

Now on to our cast…
Once again, Dylan O’Brien leads Maze Runner: The Death Cure as our hero Thomas and does a more than adequate job.  I really feel like he’s becoming a very good film actor.  He’s even started to branch out of being known as just “that maze runner guy” by either starring or co-starring in more well known movies like: American Assassin (WELCOME BACK MICHAEL KEATON!!!), The Internship (first we’re in a blender, now we’re saving lives…WHAT?!), and Deepwater Horizon (You almost lost me w/ Battleship Berg).  I think the Maze Runner series has helped shape him into a better, more watchable actor because it forced him to play a character that goes through all the movie genres (action, drama, comedy, sci-fi, and horror) and what more can an actor ask for in a franchise, let alone their career.  Some of the supporting actors that I thought did a very good job in this film were…Barry Pepper (Battlefield Earth will never leave our brains. Pepper…thanks a lot! – That was sarcasm…I hated that film), Aidan Gillen (Question – How did you let Bane get away?), and Walter Goggins (Major League: Back to the Minors – that’s all I’m saying…LOL).  Everyone brought their “B+” game and that was, once again, what I expected from them.  All in all, Maze Runner: The Death Cure was exactly what i thought it was going to be.  A conclusion to a story that I was not extremely interested in, but still watched anyways because…well…it was either that or the Divergent series – I chose right 🙂 .  My suggestion for this movie is to go see it in the theaters if you have spent the time to watch the other two previous films, otherwise wait to watch them all at home or not at all, it doesn’t really matter.  Until next time, thanks for reading.

Review of DOWNSIZING – Rated R – 2 hrs. 15 mins – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS 

Downsizing Poster

DOWNSIZING – Rated R – 2 hrs. 15 mins – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS 

STARRING – Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig, Hong Chau and Christoph Waltz

Writer and Director Alexander Payne is taking us down a satirical path of no return, as we meet the ever vigilant and very green minded Paul Safranek (Matt Damon).

When the technology is developed that can make us all just a smaller version of ourselves, thus allowing us to take up less space in our ever-changing, and ever shrinking world…Paul convinces his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) to join him on his quest, to live a quite smaller life.

Now, living in a specially designed “small people” neighborhood, Paul finds that becoming small may not have been his best decision… as he forced to come to terms with living without his wife, while forging new friendships with fellow littles Dusan Mirkovic (Christoph Waltz) and amputee Ngoc Lan Tran (Hong Chau), trying to make sense of what this new existence truly means…

I give DOWNSIZING a rating of WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON DVD or NETFLIX:  I almost always enjoy Matt Damon’s films, but this little “Honey I Shrunk the Adultsesque” storyline was just a little to ho hum for me.  I have really enjoyed Waltz on his previous roles, but this particular character and his interaction with Damon was rather blasé’ as well.  And Wiig’s role is so small, even her usual funniness isn’t given enough material to shine through.  But, on a small positive note, I was extremely entertained by Chau’s performance, and her role was the only one that truly pulled at my emotions throughout this film.  Suffice to say that DOWNSIZING isn’t as bad as some of the films I’ve seen this year, but it’s clearly not one of the best films I’ve seen either, thus leading me to suggest that you wait and catch this film on DVD or NETFLIX when it’s distributed, because as engaging as it seems it might be from the trailer, it’s not near as good as I was expecting from Payne, having thoroughly enjoyed his previous films ~ SIDEWAYS, THE DESCENDENTS and most of all NEBRASKA.

Kathy Kaiser

BLADERUNNER 2049 – Rated R – 2 hrs 43 mins.

Bladerunner 2049

BLADERUNNER 2049 – Rated R – 2 hrs 43 mins.

Starring Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling, Robin Wright, Jared Leto, Dave Bautista, and Ana de Armas 

As we venture into the future of our world, new Blade Runner K (Ryan Gosling), has unearthed a part of the past, that new creator Niander Wallace (Jared Leto), and Lieutenant Joshi (Robin Wright) would like to keep under wraps…as unleashing what K has found, will lead to absolute destruction of their world…

Following his instructions from Lt. Joshi, and finding more questions than answers as he continues to search for clues, K finds no other alternative, than to seek out previous Blade Runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), hoping he can shed some light on what really happened, some 30 years ago…

As the life of replicants vs. humans hangs in the balance, K must find a way to get the truth out of Deckard, before its too late…

I give BLADERUNNER 2049 a rating between MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN and WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON DVD! Having thoroughly enjoyed the science fiction thriller that Ridley Scott created back in 1982, I knew Director Denis Villeneuve (PRISONERS, SICARIO, ARRIVAL) was going to have to make this film absolutely incredible, if he was going to win me over. Well, he tried really hard, as the twists and turns in the storyline had my attention, along with this film periodically having the same dark and intense feel of its predecessor, but the slow and somewhat stagnating first half of this film, made it really hard to stay engaged. I mean, I’m not complaining that Gosling is in almost every frame of this almost 2.43-hour film. And I loved the dark and sinister character that Leto does once again with sheer perfection. I was even lost in anticipation as to when our original blade runner would appear on screen. But, by the time the action, suspense and storyline finally began to pick up…I was kind of over it already, thus, leading me to suggest ~ If you loved the original film as much as I did, then you owe it to yourself to catch BLADERUNNER 2049 on a BIG SCREEN near you…as you won’t be happy if you don’t experience this film just like you did the original. But, if you weren’t sold on the original, or haven’t had the opportunity to view it, then you may want to make a movie night of it at home and catch the original, and this sequel on your small screen…allowing you to follow along with this storyline…plus allowing for those potty breaks within this films almost 3 hour sequence as well, because take my word for it…there is ample time to take one or two of those at the beginning of this film too…

Kathy Kaiser

VALERIAN and THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS – Rated PG-13

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VALERIAN and THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS – Rated PG-13

Welcome to the Future!

Luc Besson’s latest, “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”, takes place a few hundred years into the future, many great Worlds have grown-together and established a metropolis colony named Alpha. Alpha’s inhabitants represent over 1000 different planets, with 4 distinct regions to live in. Next we are introduced to a young pair of special operatives, Valerian and Laureline. Off on a secret mission to retrieve a priceless relic, Valerian begins to suffer painful memories that are both incredibly vivid and lifelike. After the mission goes awry, Valerian and Laureline are brought to Alpha for a debriefing on the classified material. Tasked with protecting the Commander, the two fail when the species in Valerian’s visions show-up to kidnap the Commander. With so many things not making sense, Valerian and Laureline are convinced the Commander is hiding the truth and they are determined to uncover the truth.

Dane DeHaan stars as Valerian, the cocky and arrogant agent with feelings for his partner. Cara Delevingne stars as Laureline, Valerian’s partner and fellow agent. Clive Owen plays Commander Arun Filitt, Valerian and Laureline’s commander. Rihanna has a brief role as a shapeshifting alien named Bubble. Ethan Hawke plays her holder, Jolly the Pimp. Elizabeth Debicki plays a member of an extinct species, Emperor Haban Limai. John Goodman has a brief role as the voice of an alien criminal, Igon Siruss. Herbie Hancock plays the Defense Minister. Kris Wu plays a member of the World State Federation, Sergeant Neza. Sam Spruell plays General Okto Bar.

Luc Besson does a wonderful job bringing this gigantic, beautiful Universe to life; filled with so many interesting characters, ships, and details that one can’t help but to be entertained! “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” is true, cinematic immersion. Besson built (well, borrowed from the graphic novel) a universe that contains so many different species and environments, each one more interesting than the next. The film is able to show these in truly-stunning visual effects; the species look life-like and the backdrops and action sequences are breathtaking. Ranging from a trio of cheeky, con artists to various other aliens and a large hidden marketplace, adding another dimension of fun to the film; a beautiful combination of “The Fifth Element” and “Avatar”. Another fun aspect of the film is its’ characters. DeHaan and Delevingne share a strong chemistry, with Delevingne proving that she can be a leading actress. John Goodman, Rihanna, and Ethan Hawke (in a Ruby Rhod-esque role) are clearly having a blast playing some of the most outlandish characters of their career as well! “Valerian and the City of a Thousands Planets” does suffer from being too-jam-packed of story at times, as the film jumps around a bit, not fully-exploring one thread before switching to the next. There is certainly plenty of material for a sequel though, and I would definitely sign-up for another adventure through Besson’s beautiful creation. “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” has a run time of 137 minutes, which maybe could have benefitted from trimming a little away from its’ bloated story. I didn’t have high hopes for Besson’s newest offering, but I must say that I was wildly-entertained by its in-depth storytelling and its diverse and visually-stunning universe; “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” is a breath-of-fresh-air in the visual effects-driven genre and I can’t wait to see where it goes next!

“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” follows a pairing of special operatives as they must navigate and save not only their home, but the future of the Universe. The film features visually-stunning storytelling, fun and original characters, and a multi-layered plot. If you are looking for a family-friendly adventure (well, not the little little ones) this weekend, go see “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”!!

4/5

Tony Mosello

SPIDER-MAN HOMECOMING – Rated PG-13 – 2 hrs 13 mins.

Spider man HC

SPIDER-MAN HOMECOMING – Rated PG-13 – 2 hrs 13 mins.

Starring Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr., Michael Keaton, Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Gwyneth Paltrow, Zendaya & Donald Glover

Here Comes Spider-Man!

After our introduction to Spider-Man in “Captain America: Civil War”, fans were left eagerly-anticipating the new look and feel of the character. The film opens as cleanup from the Battle of New York against Loki and the Chitauri is underway. A small construction crew is hired to remove all of the alien items, until they are shut down by Stark Industries. Fast–forward eight years later. “Spider-Man: Homecoming” introduces us to Peter’s normal, everyday life. Struggling for something more after the events in Germany (see “Captain America: Civil War”), Peter spends his nights thwarting small crime in the city. Until one night, he encounters powerful and enhanced weaponry that nearly kills him. With Peter wanting to investigate and contribute, and Tony (aka Happy) keeping a watchful-eye, he must discover who is making all of the weapons. Peter faces the ultimate test in-balancing his public life and his secret one, but he must do so in-order to protect his city, and those he loves.

Tom Holland stars as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. As we witnessed in “Captain America: Civil War”, Holland’s charisma and youthful-nature fit the character perfectly, as it gives us one of, if not, the most true-to-from iterations of the character. Michael Keaton plays Adrien Toomes, the man tasked to clean-up New York and who eventually becomes Vulture. Robert Downey Jr. reprises his phenomenal role of Tony Stark/Iron Man, as he is serving as the “father” figure to Peter. Marisa Tomei returns as Peter’s attractive aunt, May Parker. Jon Favreau is back as Tony’s most-trusted assistant, Happy Hogan. Gwyneth Paltrow reprises her role of Pepper Potts. Laura Harrier plays a high school senior who shares her affections for Peter, Liz. Donald Glover has a small role as Aaron Davis. Jacob Batalon plays Peter’s best friend and “the man in the chair”, Ned. Zendaya, Tony Revolori, and Abraham Attah play fellow classmates of Peter: Michelle, Flash, and Abe. Bokeem Woodbine plays one of Toomes’ associates, Herman Schultz/Shocker. Hannibal Buress has a small role as a high school gym teacher, Coach Wilson. Tyne Daly plays the woman in-charge of Stark’s asset containment, Anne Marie Hoag.

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” does a marvelous job of establishing Peter Parker in the MCU; it’s filled with humor, storytelling, and plenty of action, which makes it not only one of Marvel’s finest, but the best Spider-Man film yet! First of all, the film relies-heavily on Tom Holland, which is a great thing because he IS Peter Parker. He absolutely nails it, from his moral contemplations to his interactions at school; he is absolutely the most accurate Peter Parker yet! Also making the film such as success is how “young” his character still is. In “Spider-Man: Homecoming”, he’s only 15 years old. Not only do they make plenty of references to the fact, but he is still figuring-out how to use the suit, let alone for what. I love that he isn’t fully-defined or functioning, it makes him seem much more real and it’s a breath of fresh air in the “origin story” canon. It also brings a great father-son dynamic between him and Iron Man, which is clearly what Tony has wanted all along. The supporting cast is great as well: it’s always fun to see Happy, his friends (primarily Batalon) offer plenty of comedic moments, and Keaton is (to the surprise of no one) an excellent villain. Not a villain in the typical sense of the word though. Keaton’s Toomes is the film’s primary antagonist, but I loves how he wasn’t focused on destroying the World or killing innocent civilians; instead, he had his own agenda which I thought was a great change-of-pace for the MCU. While being released under the Sony umbrella, obviously Marvel had their hands-in this as well. This showed that, with compromise and understand, that a joint-studio superhero production is entirely possible; maybe there’s hope for “Fantastic Four” yet! Michael Giacchino’s courageous score is a great addition to the film as well, one that I can’t wait to listen to once it’s released! Sure, the film strongly-benefits from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (with countless references, characters inclusions, etc.), but it is also a great free-standing superhero film that everybody can relate to. Just make sure you go-in knowing as little as possible! “Spider-Man: Homecoming” has a run time of 133 minutes and it slings-by! “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is yet another monstrous hit for Marvel and a badly-needed one for Sony; 2+ hours of pure entertainment, the Spider-Man that we’ve always wanted, and one of the best MCU films yet!

STAY UNTIL AFTER THE CREDITS!!

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” follows Peter Parker after squaring-off against the Avengers, while he is in-search of his true purpose. The film features plenty of humor, a fantastic story, and a ton of awesome action sequences. If you are going to the movies this weekend, go see “Spider-Man: Homecoming”!!

Rating 4.5/5 

Tony Mosello     

TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT – Rated PG-13 – 2 hrs. 29 mins.

Transformers

TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT – Rated PG-13 – 2 hrs. 29 mins.

Starring Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins, Josh Duhamel, Laura Haddock, Isabela Moner and Stanley Tucci

As we venture back to the days of Sir Lancelot and our favorite magician Merlin (Stanley Tucci), it seems that the Transformers have already arrived, many moons before Optimus Prime was in our midst…

When the folklore of the past seems to cast a shadow on the present, we find our world under siege against our Transformer friends, some of who are now under the care of the young and courageous Izabella (Isabela Moner).

Still aiding our Autobot friends, we meet again the brash Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), whose hiding place for our steel friends is revealed, forcing them to seek refuge from our military, and the new Transformers who are arriving to annihilate our world…

And as Optimus Prime is summoned back to the world of his creation, it seems that he must choose between saving his own world ~ or saving ours ~ as the “tales of old “ finally come to fruition…setting up an epic battle between the present and the past…

I give TRANSFOMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT a rating WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON DVD or NETFLIX. Sorry to say, this franchise ~ and its storylines ~ are getting rather blah and mundane…as even taking us back to the world of medieval times can’t save this ailing franchise. I’m guessing that the medieval world is the “new way” to attempt to save every franchise that needs a reboot, as this storyline was also just ventured into as one of the subplots of the last MUMMY movie too, and it didn’t work for me in that film either.   Bay once again has put his mark upon this film, as some of the action sequences are better than a lot of the war films I have seen. And even though the acting by Wahlberg, Hopkins, Tucci, and even newcomer Isabela Moner was adequate ~ the truth is, not even Optimus Prime himself can save this film from coming across as way-too-long, and way-to-mediocre when it was all said and done. If you have loved the previous films, then by all means, venture to a theater near you to catch this one in 3D too. But, if you are hoping for a new and exciting adventure into the untold past of our favorite Autobots, then you are going to be sadly disappointed, which is why I suggest you wait and see this film on DVD or NETFLIX!

Kathy Kaiser

Check out the FINAL TRAILER for VALERIAN and the CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS – Hits Theaters 7/21/2017

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VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS is the visually spectacular new adventure film from Luc Besson, the legendary director of The Professional, The Fifth Element and Lucy, based on the ground-breaking comic book series which inspired a generation of artists, writers and filmmakers.

In the 28th century, Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are a team of special operatives charged with maintaining order throughout the human territories. Under assignment from the Minister of Defense, the two embark on a mission to the astonishing city of Alpha—an ever-expanding metropolis where species from all over the universe have converged over centuries to share knowledge, intelligence and cultures with each other. There is a mystery at the center of Alpha, a dark force which threatens the peaceful existence of the City of a Thousand Planets, and Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.

In Theaters July 21, 2017

Cast: Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, John Goodman, Herbie Hancock, Kris Wu

Director: Luc Besson

Writer: Screenplay by Gaby Chiappe. Based on the novel by Lissa Evans

Producers: Luc Besson and Virginie Besson-Silla

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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets | Final Trailer | In Theaters July 21, 2017
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ALIEN: COVENANT – Rated R – 2 hrs. 2 mins.

ALien Covenant

ALIEN: COVENANT – Rated R – 2 hrs. 2 mins. 

Starring James Franco, Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Damien Bichir, Carmen Ejogo, Jessie Smollott, Callie Hernandez and Amy Seimetz 

From the Director who brought us the original ALIEN invasion & this films predecessor PROMETHIUS ~ Ridley Scott ~ comes a new crew, a new planet, and an ALIEN encounter that seems to never end…THIS IS ALIEN: COVINANT.

Venturing to colonize another planet deep within our Solar System – we meet a new team of space travelers, including Vessel Commander/ Robot Walter (Michael Fassbender), Branson (James Franco), Daniels (Katherine Waterston) Oram (Billy Crudup), Tennessee (Danny McBride), Lope (Damien Bichir), Karine (Carmen Ejogo), Ricks (Jessie Smollett), Upworth (Callie Hernandez) and Faris (Amy Seimetz).

As the ship sustains uncontrollable damage, it seems that the pods that they inhabit are faulty, causing one of their own to perish right before their eyes. With the loss of Branson, Oram steps up to take on commanding the ship, continuing the search for the perfect place to inhabit for his crew, and for all the embryos they are carrying along for this ride too.

When the perfect planet appears out of nowhere, it seems that Oram and Daniels aren’t agreeable on whether or not to check it out, or to continue to their planned destination point, insuring everyone’s survival…

Determined to venture to this new earth-like planet, and to claim it for their colonization efforts, Omar and a portion of the team venture to this new land, in hopes of finding paradise…but ultimately finding demons that no one can stop, or eradicate!!!

I give ALIEN: COVENANT a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN: I was definitely excited to check out this latest installment in the ALIEN franchise, hoping that Scott would outperform his last film PROMETHEUS ~ which he most certainly accomplished! From the partial intertwining of the storylines of the previous films, to some of the nastiest ALIEN encounters yet, this film dragged me in to all its madness, and didn’t let go. This new team of voyagers was enjoyable to watch as well, as Cudrup, Waterston and McBride seemed up for the challenge of kicking ALIEN bootie the whole way threw. Fassbenders performance was slightly above average this time too as Walter/David, plus, from a cinematic viewpoint, I think this new ALIEN put all its predecessors~ except for the original~ to bed. The scariness of these aliens is close to the nightmarish phenomenon that overtook me when I viewed the original, thus causing me to suggest that you venture to a theater near you this weekend and see this intoxicating outer space experience AT IT’S BEST, on THE BIG SCREEN & in 3D!

Kathy Kaiser 

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: VOL 2 – Rated PG-13

Guardians of the Galaxy

“Vol 2 is definitely an AMAZING MIX that supersedes the awesomeness of the original, at every turn!”  – Kathy Kaiser, Matinee Chat

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY – VOL. 2 – Rated PG-13 – 2 hrs 16 mins.

Starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell

Back for a second go round – Writer and Director James Gunn (and the numerous other writers that came along to get this one in the can too) take us on a cosmic journey of epic proportions – so buckle up, settle in and get ready to be amazed at how awesome this sequel truly is…

Venturing the cosmos yet again, we meet our crew Peter Quill/Star Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), and Baby Groot (Vin Diesel) all saving the galaxy from harm at every turn…

As our team ventures far beyond in an attempt to explore Quill’s heritage, Peter confirms that Yondo’s (Michael Rooker) parenting style really was totally off base growing up, when he meets his biological father Egos (Kurt Russell).

Caught up in this new world of power and prestige, it seems that it may take ALL THE GUARDIANS to snap Quill back to the reality of who he is, and to save each other from total annihilation, whether at the hands of foes from their pasts, or from the unconditional love of our new found “Daddy dearest”… 

I give GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN and in 3D!! As sequels go…this has to be one of the best EVER…as I truly loved this film even more than the original!! Of course, everyone is fab reprising their roles as the “Best Cosmic Family unit EVER” too ~ and it looks like Pratt spent a little more time in the gym, preparing for this next go round as Star-Lord as well (Anna Farris is one lucky girl!) The storyline this time around is flawless perfection as well, the imagery is flawless, as it doesn’t feel CGI’d at all, even though you totally know it is…PLUS~the casting of Russell as Eros was sheer genius…as Kurt in this role, couldn’t have been played out any better either! I even enjoyed the twist and turns of foes becoming allies throughout this incredible cinematic journey. And don’t worry about the length of this film either, as they need each and every minute to share this action-packed and family oriented story! And talk about one of the best soundtracks in a film EVER as well ~ as It’s holding a candle to SUICIDE SQUAD’s, which in my estimation, is really hard to achieve! Gunn and his team literally didn’t miss a thing, in making this incredible sequel literally – SECOND to NONE!!!

Kathy Kaiser  

THE CIRCLE – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 50 mins.

The CIrcle

THE CIRCLE – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 50 mins.

“Knowing is good, but knowing everything is better”

Starring Tom Hanks, Emma Watson, Bill Paxton, Ellar Coltrane, Glenne Headly and Patton Oswalt

Directed by the man who brought us THE SPECTACULAR NOW (2013) and THE END OF THE TOUR (2015) – James Ponsoldt – and based on the novel and screenplay by Dave Eggers, we venture into the life of young and rising Mae Holland (Emma Watson), who has just secured a new job in the high tech world of THE CIRCLE, thanks to her bff Annie (Karen Gillan).

As Mae starts to acclimate herself into this new world of “full disclosure” at THE CIRCLE, it seems everyone on staff knows everything, about everyone, and not sharing EVERYTHING about your own life is totally frowned upon…

Seeing no better way to fit in, than to become engrossed in this new age of constant surveillance, Mae starts to share her life with THE WORLD, which in turn end ups alienating her from her best friend Mercer (Ellar Coltrane) and her parents Bonnie (Glenne Headly) and Vinnie (Bill Paxton) too, as they aren’t feeling this type of life is suitable, or ethically moral in their minds…at all!

As this world of high tech communication begins to cloud Mae’s mind, and her process for rational thinking too it seems, a grim situation unfolds, jolting Mae back to reality! Now it seems the only way to stop the founder of THE CIRCLE Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks) and his invasive attack into every aspect of our lives, is place full disclosure on him, allowing us all to see what lies beneath the surface of this technical genius

I give THE CIRCLE a rating of WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON DVD OR NETFLIX! It pains me to rate a film with one of my favorite academy ward winning actors – Tom Hanks – like this, but THE CIRCLE just isn’t worthy of anything more. Watson’s performance is average, along with Headly’s too, and although it was nice to see Paxton on the big screen, after his untimely death this year, between the subpar cinematography and the drawn out and sometimes painfully slow delivery, this film just doesn’t play out High-tech in any way for me. Although, in its defense, the subject matter of us living in a world of full disclosure – and our every move being tracked in one way or another through our interaction with our “friends” in the internet, isn’t as fictitious as some of us would like to believe. Plus the entrancement factor of how we become so engrossed in technology, and dispelling those reprecussions in our lives that occur because of it isn’t too far off either. All In all, THE CIRCLE feels like a cross between the WORLD OF GOOGLE portrayed in the film THE INTERNS and the second coming of Steve Jobs, as Hanks plays his role totally “Jobsque” the whole way through, leading me to feel like I’ve experienced this film pretty much in it’s entirety before…

Kathy Kaiser