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Sing 2 (2021)

Sing 2 (2021)


6/10

Starring

Matthew McConaughey

Reese Witherspoon

Scarlett Johansson

Taron Egerton

 

Directed by Garth Jennings

 

The movie is the same feel as the first Sing movie. The assurance that if you liked the first movie, you would like this one, is sure. Sing is a CGI animation from the stables of Illumination. I expected to see Minions 2 before this movie, but I guess Universal has other plans, with Minions delayed to later in this 2022.

There was no need for a Sing 2 to be honest, the way Sing (2016) ended everything worked out well, but it was a financial success so Universal wanted to milk this franchise. This new movie is just the same notes on a different instrument. This time our group has nailed it locally and the new Moon theatre is selling out. They want to expand to the big leagues and play in bigger and more popular theatres. There was a scout sent to watch their local show, but she does not gel with it and does not believe their production is suited for bigger theatres.

As you can guess, Moon after some inspiration decided to not take the criticism and sneaks himself and his group to audition for the entertainment mogul Jimmy Crystal.

As you can see, if you compare this setup with that of the first movie it is just too similar, there is no step up or a change in the challenges for our characters. Again, Moon is up against the odds and he has found a way to smuggle himself and his group to the front of the line, convincing Crystal they are more than they seem.

The movie from the start does not shy away from giving us some popular songs from the oldies that will have chill and listen. The more recognising change in Sing 2 also comes from the inclusion of more popular current songs that will have you nodding along.

The writing of this movie decides to up the challenge for Moon, not only has he found his way to Crystal and has promised to deliver a killer show on the whim. He also promised to deliver a popular singer called Calloway. A musician no one has seen in more than fifteen years. The movie at this point does not hold any suspense that I can tell you. Because here is a character no one has seen for years, yet Moon and his assistant were able to find him in like minutes.

That’s the setup for the movie, we have Moon trying to wing it and convince Crystal that he can deliver, while also scared to bits to confront Crystal to add an extra challenge. Finding Calloway is one thing, Moon still needs convince him to join the show.

Sing 2 like I said was not needed, but it is a good family movie. It will not make a splash in the box office, but I hope there will not be a Sing 3.

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021)

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021)

 


3/10


Starring

Kaya Scodelario

Hannah John-Kamen

Robbie Amell

Tom Hopper

 

Directed by Johannes Roberts

 

The movie has this taste of a low-budget horror movie which I feel it is not supposed to be. This reboot of the Resident Evil franchise spends more than thirty minutes of its time talking, with characters just juggling about and leaves you waiting for things to happen.

I recall the first Resident Evil video game where you can choose to either play as Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine, each character had its own props. This movie tries to give you the first game feel and As it is an adaptation of the first two resident evil games.

Here in this movie, we see the two (Chris and Jill) as partners as in the game, but their story is tied in a lackluster story to the Umbrella Co-operation saga. Jill had little to do with the plot and had less screen time than the main characters.

The biggest let down of this movie is the underdeveloped characters. Chris and Clare orphanage life was a glimpse in this movie. Before we see Clare hitchhiking back to the town she left. She breaks into her brothers (Chris) house to show him a video of a friend reaching out to her for help, Clare we come to know is a somewhat news investigator.

As the story develops, we come to understand that Umbrella through one of their agents in the city have planned to destroy the city to contain the virus. The past of Chris and Clare which we were getting glimpse off, did not brighten. All we get to know is that the orphanage was like a rat cage for Umbrella, as they were using the children there as test subjects for their virus.

This movie plot fails to even meet up to the low bar set by the previous set of films starring Milla Jovovich. How this movie with all the tools it had failed to even be good enough to ask someone to see it goes over my head. Here we see a new take on the main characters, giving Clare (who joined the games series in Resident Evil 2) a lead role as she is the one who gets the gist and tries to get her brother involved.

The movie’s b-movie feel starts with Clare getting to Raccoon City and survive some very near-death experiences before her brother and the other officers were called on the case.

What I liked in the first six Resident Evil movies is the introduction of a new character (Alice – Milla Jovovich) whose life runs parallel to the main game characters. There are some meets here and there, but a new character made it a lot easier to invent stories around her.

Finally seeing this movie and wishing that I did not bother.

Last Looks (2021)

 

Last Looks (2021)


 

3/10


Starring

Charlie Hunnam

Mel Gibson

 

Directed by Tim Kirkby


This movie is really nonsense because the director failed to make the actors matter when it comes to the scene or the things that concerned them. The plot unravels like the characters already know the end from the beginning and so when you expect them to be worried or act in a different way they don't. The movie is based off a book called Last Looks by Howard Michael Gould who also wrote this screenplay.

Last Looks is anything but a movie you should imagine is worth your time. Here is a movie about a retired police officer who was once one of the most decorated young officers in his district. His retirement for like a quarter of the movie is a mystery that I felt they wasted time trying to make a big deal out of, he put the wrong guy in jail and ruined his own life in the process.

He is asked to get involved in case concerning an actor Alastair (Mel Gibson), who is being investigated for the murder of his wife. Problem is that Alastair is finding it hard to put two and two together because he is a drunk.

He claims he is not taking the case, then the case which he was not on, then later was on – turned into another mystery. The friend/lover who had initialling asked him to come join her in the investigation goes missing after their visit. He learns of this when he is visited by some supposed to be intimidators which brings to his notice that the studio to which his supposed client works did a press release saying his has taken up the investigation.

The missing friend was the driving force that makes him take the case, but the director of the film didn’t want to make that a very compelling reason. Why he decided to make the lead Charlie (Charlie Hunnam) be complacent about his missing friend while jumping around on a case he said he does not want to have anything to do with, goes over my head. I kept wondering, when is he going to jump on the case of his missing friend.

The director had other plans, it turns out the friends was in it big in some investigation on some next level gangster named Don Q and he (Don Q) was the reason she has gone missing. The moment this hits we are halfway into the movie. So you will think, the director will now make the lead focus on that now. No, he still dives into the Alastair case and the movie then makes the whole missing friend debacle disappear with what they will call a movie twist. I for one call that a let down on movie writing, because now he can focus on the Alastair case and in the end whole thing ends up to be all about money.

My God, there are better things in life I should have done instead of watching this movie.

Riders of Justice (2020)

Riders of Justice (2020)

 


7/10


 Starring

Mads Mikkelsen

Nikolaj Lie Kaas

Andrea Heick Gadeberg

Lars Brygma

 

Directed by Anders Thomas Jensen

 

Here is a Danish movie everyone should see. It is in Danish, and you must see it with subtitles, but it is worth every minute.

First a good revenge movie is always a fun watch, then add the twist of a revenge movie go wrong based on wrong perception and you have a masterclass of how to make a movie.

Mads Mikkelsen plays Markus a soldier who was on duty when things went down the drain for his family.  His tour had to be cut short so he can come home to care for his daughter, but he is so messed up that he almost ruins her. The movie is written with some dark comedy to make the thrilling drama go down well.

When we see a mother and a daughter waiting to meet the man of the house who is on duty and will be away on duty for another three months, your mind start looking for links. Then we see a man (Otto) who seems to be obsessed with algorithms you start to wonder where all these characters will meet. The three met in a train where Otto was a gentleman giving his sit to the mother, before the train had an accident.

The train incident led to the death of the mother leaving the daughter Mathilde alone. From here we start to connect the links a little. The train incident also led to the death of a witness needed to put the leader of a gang called Riders of Justice behind bars.

Otto loves to crunch out numbers and he saw a man leave the train moments before it took off. The same man threw away the meal he just bought without eating much of it. Otto starts to suspect that this train accident must have been staged to get rid of the witness. To help cement his case, he ran a facial recognition to discover that the man who left the train was a brother to the leader of Riders of Justice.

Otto and his friends find Markus to tell him (the reason for this is not strong enough). Otto tracked down Markus because he recalled the daughter. Markus asked to be updated when the locate the man. They did and he drove there with Otto and his two friends and kills the man.

The leader gets free and now knows that someone killed his brother, and he wants revenge. While Markus wants to continue his revenge on the people, he believed are responsible for his wife’s death.

This a good film, one worth seeing.

The Matrix Resurrections (2021)

The Matrix Resurrections (2021)


5/10


 

Starring

Keanu Reeves

Carrie-Anne Moss

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II

Jessica Henwick

Jonathan Groff

Neil Patrick Harris

 

Directed by Lana Wachowski

 

The idea to make this movie must have been, let’s sell nostalgia. Because the amount of flash backs in this movie should be a record. I would say this was a bad idea and that weak writing did not help. We spend like 75% of the time searching for threads to link up things from the trilogy to why things are the way they are now. This could have been better done within a minute, with an update of how things stand now, and we move on. It was like watching a child tell a story, you have no idea where it is going to end or how, but it is long, incoherent and you cannot wait for it to stop.

This new Matrix movie reminds me of the problem I had with the Star Wars franchise. The whole Skywalker saga went on for nine movies.  The franchise has multiple animated and game stories all taking place in the same universe. But when it comes to the movies, it must be about the Skywalkers. Then they took a chance with Rogue One, and for me that is the best movie in the whole franchise. Rogue One runs perpendicular to the movies and did not focus on the Skywalkers. That risk that Disney took in making that movie made them know people crave other Star Wars stories, and from there we have had the great popular series The Mandalorian.

Why Warner Bros did not do the same with this franchise is beyond me. If their plan is to make another trilogy of Matrix movies, then I wish they just don’t. This one was crappy enough to warrant a rethink.

In the years after we discover that the machines have kept both Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) alive (resurrected them). They needed them to continue to have power, the merger of those thoughts I will leave for you to watch the movie and discover.

So, they placed both in a very funny setup where, they will always be close and yet far apart. Neo is a game developer and Trinity works at a bike shop. Zion is no more; it is now Io a place where some machines and humans built. Yes, there is a division in the machine world some now side with the humans. Neo is trapped living a life he believes to be true while dreaming of the life he once lived, all this came to a halt when he came across a game character he created. Turns out Neo subconsciously wants to be free, so he created a game character that was the merger of both Morpheus and Agent Smith. As expected, Morpheus found him and helped him get free from the Matrix again.

Now free Neo is ready to do anything he can to get Trinity out.

The movie can be summed to be 75% here is what has happened while you have been gone Neo and 25% let us save Trinity. Nothing else seemed to matter.

This was not a needed movie and not worth anyone’s time as far as Matrix standard goes. The movie was done by only one of the Wachowskis.

Don’t Look Up (2021)

Don’t Look Up (2021)

 


5/10


Starring

Jennifer Lawrence

Leonardo DiCaprio

Rob Morgan

Jonah Hill

Meryl Streep

 

Directed by Adam McKay

 

Don’t Look Up is packed with satire silliness and a collective mass denial of something that is inevitable. I do not feel the movie is well written enough to gain the publicity that it has, but I cannot deny that the acting is good.

The film sums up what you can expect when such an incident is really going to happen, and we have a president like Tump as the leader of the free world. Don’t be surprised if the turn back a lifesaving mission for profit, because of a last-minute discovery. I for one felt this movie fails to deliver the needed attraction and that in its so full of itself portrayal, it gets wrapped up in its own silliness that it fails to either thrill or entertain me.

Now the cast strength in this movie is not a laughing matter though, everyone of the cast member delivered a strong performance and that is the only thing I believe the movie has.

Imagine a PHD student discovering a comet, a great day. The said comet is 5 – 10 kilometres wide and during the calculation of its trajectory they discover it is heading towards earth. Imagine that lady and her professor head to the White House along with someone from NASA to tell the president of the pending doom. They were expecting some deep meetings with Madam President and her staff, but only got treated as a disturbance and their message a spook.

Worse still that president is surrounded by yes-men who fail to see the gravity of anything that does not add to the common goal of making her look good or lining her pocket. That is the set-up for this movie and the PHD student Kate (Jennifer Lawrence) is shocked by how the matter is being handled and her professor Mindy (Leonardo Di Caprio) is swept up in the moment as the whole incident gave the two some public light and he got lost in it.

Meanwhile the President (Meryl Streep) is crunching numbers of how they can exploit the comet heading towards earth for some financial gain.

The movie drowns all this dramatic incident with some outlandish comedy that never hit home for me.

On rotten tomatoes critics are divided and the audience score is below 80% so even though this movie is highly popular and will be seen by millions it is far from being the class see everyone is making it out to be.

You can find this movie on Netflix.

Encanto (2021)

Encanto (2021)


 

6/10


 Starring the voices of

Stephanie Beatriz

MarĂ­a Cecilia Botero

John Leguizamo

Mauro Castillo

 

Directed by Jared Bush and Byron Howard

 

 

I must be honest it has been a while that I watched a Disney animated musical and enjoyed the songs, in that area Lin-Manuel Miranda delivered. Encanto is Disney’s 60th animated production and it does not try to set itself apart from familiar fantasy stories we all seem to have grown to know. The way Frozen sets its own story a little bit different from the regular. Or the comedy masterpiece that Zootopia delivered. Encanto has an average production with an easy-going story which makes it easy to enjoy as Disney continue to deliver family fun.

The movie is set in South America, and it tells the story of the Madrigal family, which is led by Alma. She suffered a casualty during their refugee run when their town was attacked. Pedro, Alma’s husband died protecting her and their three children. His sacrifice opened a magical door which blessed Alma with a magical home and a magical candle. The candle then blessed the three children with magical powers and Alma’s grandchildren. Well, that hit a little snitch when it was Mirabel’s turn. She did not get any magical gift and in a way, you can sense where the movie is going from here.

From this point the movie fell into the regular formula we know, the one person not blessed will be the one tasked with saving everyone. What you will expect happens, even though the family loves her and the new society which they live adore her for being so cheerful, she was treated differently. She was excluded from a lot of things, and she had to deal with it, being left out of things because she was different. There was a certain fear in the air, since Mirabel never got powers, it was time for her nephew Antonio, so they were worries that he may not get too, but he did get his and Mirabel was cut out of the separation, it was then she saw it. The magic in the home was failing.

She is now tasked with figuring out why, (tasked by no one mind you). In her search she comes across her uncle who has been set aside from the family. He left them behind because his powers were to see the future and people did not like what his predictions brought.

With his help, she must now sort out the reason why the magic is failing and then stop it before the family loses their magic.

Encanto is ok, fun family movie with musical numbers that are easy to digest. It is not going to break any ground financially is why it is now available on Disney+ and didn’t dominate the box-office. The way it is set is also a little disappointing as the story could have been much more.

Instead they settled for the conventional plot, Disney decided to stick to a colourful average landing instead of a grand design followed by a powerful plot.