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Once Upon a Time in Mexico / Desperado 2 (2003)

Once Upon a Time in Mexico / Desperado 2 (2003)


Antonio Banderas
Salma Hayek
Johnny Depp

Directed by Robert Rodriguez

Once Upon a Time in Mexico or Desperado 2 is total bull crap of a movie. Done eight years after Desperado (1995) the second movie in the Mexico Trilogy, this is the finally movie in the trilogy. This movie wasted too much time focusing on everything else. It was like El Mariachi was just a supporting cast.
This tale follows the story of El Mariachi from the first movie, through the second and to this one which is just overly stuffed with too many characters and subplots.
The running tale of him being lonely and after revenge for his girl is the same theme here. Just that this time it seems old and just over flogged.

You have to be on your toes in this movie, cause the plot is everywhere. The movie gets going with a tale, we get a glimpse that a man is obsessed with killing El Mariachi. This obsession led to the death of his woman (Salma Hayek) from the second film.
This is being told to a man (Johnny Depp) who wants to capture El Mariachi for his own dubious plan. He does get him early enough in the movie, our man is sad because of the lost of his lover, but then revitalized by the pointing to the direction where revenge lays.

Johnny Depp’s character also is dubious he wants to be in charge of everything and using everyone to his pleasure and ultimate aim. That aside we also have a gangster boss who wants to get involved in some facial reconstructive surgery to stay alive and rule.
You will this all this is all that is going on this movie, but more things and subplot keep showing up that just makes this movie cumbersome.

I have one question for Robert Rodriguez, what happened to plain and simple?
That was the mastery in the first two movies, they were plain and simple. I didn’t have to worry about a coup, or some guy doing facial reconstructive surgery, or Johnny Depp.

Then there was Eva Mendes whose sole purpose in this movie is to introduce the facial reconstructive guy and die sometime later.
Our hero has gone political people and if you think he is all madness and no heart for his country, you are wrong my friend.

Do not bother seeing this last movie in the trilogy.

The movie did make money for the studio, but the ratio of the box office returns to the production budget s very much lower than that of the previous movie Desperado (1995).

Desperado (1995)

Desperado (1995)


Antonio Banderas
Salma Hayek

Directed by Robert Rodriguez

There is something that independent movies have over the mainstream ones, and it is the liberty of the producers to deliver what they envisioned. This Desperado is set for a mainstream audience and unlike the first film, El Mariachi the magic is small production is gone.

The only film in the Mexico Trilogy I had seen before now was Desperado. It was not a spectacular movie for me back then and even now the movie is just good to watch, but nothing spectacular. Robert Rodriguez did not spare the life of the people in this movie and shooting guns was just everywhere. Here in this movie thanks to a handsome budget of $7 million which is better than the $8,000 he used in making El Mariachi in 1992, we get to see a more robust story.
The shooting is better choreographed and the effects are better mastered for the TV screen. As Antonio Banderas is taking over the lead in this here movie, the last scene in the first film where his (Mariachi man) girl was killed, was redone. This time we get to see Antonio Banderas look unhappy and devastated by her death. This unlike the first film is in English.

The movie plot here is now set as thus, El Mariachi is looking for a man named Bucho. Bucho was not in the first film, but he is the head of the criminal gang that was involved in the death of his girl.
El Mariachi is all over town looking for him, killing all his men and everyone that tries to keep the information of his whereabouts from him.
In a new town, after a massacre in his hand at a bar, he was saved by a lady (Salma Hayek) who happens to see someone who escaped from the bar unhurt trying to shoot him in the back.
She not only saved him, but cleaned him but and tended to his wounds. They fell for each other and as luck will have it she is the girl of Bucho, which is similar to the other girl he lost in the first film.

Bucho discovers that she is keeping him safe and attacks her store, burning it down and there our El Mariachi sees Bucho for the first time.
From here the movie gets a cameo from the guy that played the role in the first film and that’s it for this summary plot.

The acting here is far better than the one of the first film and you can also tell by the way of the production that this movie had more money invested in it.
In the end, after seeing this I still have more appreciation for Robert Rodriguez for what he was able to do in the first film.

El Mariachi (1992)

El Mariachi (1992)


Carlos Gallardo

Directed by Robert Rodriguez

The Mexico Trilogy, Robert Rodriguez brain child was a movie that tells a tale of mistaken identity. Done in 1992, with a production budget of less than $8,000. Rodriguez was able to use amateur actors and very low budget effects to get this movie done.
Rodriguez also wrote it, directed, produced and was involved in the cinematography and editing of this movie. The movie was shot in Mexico and the language is Spanish. This is the movie that preceded 1995’s Desperado which started Antonio Banderas and with a much more bigger budget.

The movie’s plot is very straight forward and no shooting of guns was spared in this movie. Two men did a job and one screwed the other over. The one screwed over and in jail is Azul and the one who did the screwing is Moco.
Moco called Azul while he was in jail and told him he is sending him help to get him out. Moco instead sent three hit men to kill Azul. This plan did not go well, as Azul was waiting for them and killed them. He then breaks out of jail and goes after Moco, dressed in black with a guitar case filled with guns.

On the other side we have a young man, a mariachi who is looking for work. He too is going about town in black carrying a guitar case. Moco passes the message around his men that they should find and kill Azul, marking him as dressed in black carrying a guitar case.

You can guess how the mistaken identity thing started and how the mariachi man was forced to pick up the gun to defend himself.

For me, Columbia Pictures who took over the movie and spent some more money in the post production to make the movie sell-able in the American market are the winners. Because this movie spawned two other sequels for them which were financially profitable.
This movie is very significant as it set a Guinness World Record for a movie with the lowest production budget to make over a million in the box office. It was also this movie that led to the reign of many independent movies in the 90s.

Also, out of the three movies in the trilogy, it has the highest critic approval rating. From my point of view, seeing the movie after knowing about its background makes me better appreciate the work done on it. The acting by the lead, who plays the mariachi looking for a job is what will make you doubt that these were amateurs. Everyone involved in this movie seemed to want to deliver some kind of acting that will make them stand out, and from my view they did.

The Legend of the Naga Pearls (2017)

The Legend of the Naga Pearls (2017)


Wang Talu
Zhang Tianai

Directed by Yang Lei

Well this movie was surprisingly captivating. I was very interested in seeing what the movie was all about. Why a man had some blue glow on his hand and what is all this talk about winged people?
The questions were answered and knowing that this movie was set in a fictional world called Novoland, it was a lot easy for many impossibles to happen.

This Chinese fantasy adventure film was produced in such a way to make it easy for everyone to enjoy and follow. You can guess, it was very predictable. No matter how much the movie tried it just could not get that dark shadow of predictability of its back. Although, I give the movie credit for the fact that it tried.

So the plot starts with a tale of how one day the winged people and the humans lived side by side. The winged people decided that they wanted dominion over the humans and then a war broke loose. The humans won and many winged people were killed and the peaceable ones were left to live among the humans.
We see a young boy who has a blue glow emanating from his hand. He was bullied a lot as a child, being cut by other older children wanting to see where the blue glow came from. He grew up to be a thief and called himself the Saint of Thieves.

Many of the winged lost their ability to fly after the war because of the lack of some particular substance which their wing is made of. One of the winged people named Vlad, whose wings are intact was plotting his return to dominance over the humans. He and his crew decided to get a weapon that will do the deed for them. To get that weapon working, which is a door way into another realm that will release creatures that will kill all humans, he needs two items. He already got one by killing a Prince and raiding his collection of weird items. The second was a blue pearl, called the Naga Pearl.

The opposition to his plans was a lady named Raven, a winged person who works as a security authority in the human world and her brother works with Vlad. One of the Princes of the human world wanting revenge for the death of his kin, which Vlad killed. The last person of the trio was Ni the thief with the hand that glows. He was the one who found the Naga Pearl, as it seems his hand and the pearl have a connection. He and his team know that the pearl meant doom if Vlad gets it so they are on a journey to destroy it, while Vlad and his cohorts are after them to retrieve it.

The whole set design is beautiful and you will get food for your eyes when you see it.
The plot as you can see above is just predictable and the movie was so done to make room for the others that will follow. What I do not get is why not much was done to make the movie less predictable. I do not know if the movie was a hit in China or not, but I do not see this movie become a regular word of mouth prompting you to go see it.

Instant Family (2018)

Instant Family (2018)


Mark Wahlberg
Rose Byrne

Direced by Sean Anders

Instant Family promises to be a cool movie, with enough heart warming drama to keep you entertained and if you want to, cry.
The movie did deliver on those promises and I enjoyed practically every moment of the film. It is a feel good movie about how adopting a child or children can turn into a nightmare. The nightmare was not placed for us in a comedic triumph of love and mistakes, but outta nightmare. The couple that took on the role regretted it and tried all they can to change things. Soon they started going at each other, and before long they didn’t know what to do and were just making things worse when they tried to make it better. But in the end it all worked out.

The plot has Pete and Ellie Wagner a married couple who are happy being together with no kids around. They have not concluded on whether they want kids or not, but they have concluded to think about it much later in life.
Their family talk about them and they can take it, until Ellie went online to read about adoption. She got hooked on the wonderful pictures and she with Pete attended a seminar on it. There they were won over by a nice tale of a family who adopted a daughter.

They decided to do it, and they did it big, adopting three kids. It was hell for them. They had to learn to care for children who have been brought up in a certain unconventional way. One of the child is a teenager who just wants to be away from them. She has been the one caring for her brother and sister since their mum is a drug addict and she was no help.

So the Wagner learned in the most heart wrenching way how hard it was to raise a family and also how hard it was for children in the foster care system to break into new homes.

Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne played Pete and Ellie Wagner in this movie. They were the parents who thought adopting will be easy and it is their story the movie is about. The acting put up by this two was just out of this world. On a story that could easily fall into the trash with acting that was just subpar, this movie is well casted from head to toe.

For me Sean Anders the director, producer and co-writer of the movie has done something I appreciate as much as I did his 2013 movie, We’re the Millers.
Here in this movie the plot was taken away from the conventional all good idea of adoption that you would get from Despicable Me kind of movie, to something which is just a dose of reality.
The movie he did in between that and this for example Horrible Bosses 2 and Dumb and Dumber To were not that great. Even the Daddy’s Home series did nothing for me after his 2013 movie We’re the Millers, but this movie is much better and I throw my hat to him.

Here is a good movie to see anytime, you will be guaranteed to feel good afterwards.

Gran Torino (2008)

Gran Torino (2008)


Clint Eastwood

Directed by Clint Eastwood

When a movie like this grazes the screen it just blows you away. I was very curious how the movie handled the Hmong people and I went online to read about the production. The cool thing was that Clint Eastwood cast Hmong actors, including amateur actors which is very obvious.
The movie is a keeper and the comedy comes at you in ways you will not expect. The movie itself is a drama, but it had some mad thrilling events and the way the movie grows on you makes you not want to miss any thing.

Here is an old man finding it hard to make the best of his life. His wife just died and as an old war veteran, she was the only thing in his life that gave it stability. Her death pushed him off the edge a little. Hating life and everyone in it, until one day his neighbor a young Hmong tried to steal his car. That day he stopped the man and by doing so without his knowledge thwarted his chance of joining a gang. The gang came back trying to get the boy named Thao to try again. When the whole Hmong family objected, the gang became violent and our old man, Walt came out with a gun and saved the day.

The next day the Hmong community tried to show appreciation and there he met Thao’s sister Sue. The next time he sees her she is being harassed by some thugs and he goes there to save her. Now he is somewhat dragged into their life. The Hmong people started to be like his own family and the movie takes a turn from cool to great.

Clint Eastwood was just ahead of himself in this one, pulling off so much acting masterpiece that this movie started with a limited release then turned out to make more than ten times its $25 million production budget.

The movie also carries us into how Walt decided to handle the problem of the community he was living in. Being an old veteran and having issues with his own children and unable to find a way to connect with his grandchildren, the only people that knew anything about him were his neighbors. Same people you can hear him mutter racist remarks at.
Thao became like a mentee to him, and soon Thao and Sue were able to break this old veteran and he was willing to put himself in the line of fire to protect not just them, but the whole Hmong people from the gangs.

This is a movie that if you have missed seeing it back in December 2008, you should get to see it now. It is still amazing and just rings the bell in all the right places. If you are familiar with Clint Eastwood works, you will now that there are some deep dark events in this movie that were really sad.

Space Cowboys (2000)

Space Cowboys (2000)


Clint Eastwood
Tommy Lee Jones
Donald Sutherland
James Garner

Directed by Clint Eastwood

Space Cowboys was one of those movies I looked forward to seeing when I was a young lad of 2000. I just could not get turned away by the trailer back then and looked forward to a ride, where four men missed their chance to go to space.
I had seem Armageddon (1998) and I loved it and this for me was like reliving a new set of guys destined to go to space no matter what. The only difference is these guys are old. When I did get to see the film I was impressed by the intensity of the movie itself. Unlike Armageddon (1998) where the drama was mostly delivered when the space destined team were on the asteroid. Here the drama is mostly delivered before they even get shot into space.

The movie plot does not pretend to have any such of urgency. Unlike Armageddon (1998) where the world was at stake if these men fail. Here the American Government is trying to help the Russian fix their communication satellite.
The plot is simple sometimes via viewing can be predictable, as the satellite that was down was old and not something the new engineers can figure out. So they decided to get the man who designed the old ones guiding system to come help solve the problem.
That man and his crew is what makes this movie enjoyable. Clint Eastwood and Tommy Lee Jones were the head of this fantastic performance and then we have Donald Sutherland to throwing the occasional laugh here and there.

As it begins in 1958, two U.S. Air Force pilots and aspiring astronauts, William "Hawk" Hawkins (Tommy Lee Jones) and Frank Corvin (Clint Eastwood), are testing a modified X-plane when Hawk decides to break a height record. The plane crashes and their commanding officer gets them reassigned. As the Air Force were no longer going to be in charge of Space flight, it was now going to be handled by NASA. Because of this Franks team of four missed their chance to go to space.

Now in the present time with the whole communication satellite problem, and the thing decaying fast the only solution is to go up there and fix it. Since time is a problem, the old four man crew of aspiring astronauts back in the day have to go. Well, that is Frank’s suggestion as he wants his shot of going to space.

The movie was good financially at the box office and critic wise it was well received and seeing it now, it is still one hell of a good drama.

Spider-Man: into the Spider-Verse (2018)

Spider-Man: into the Spider-Verse (2018)


Starring the voices of
Shameik Moore
Jake Johnson
Hailee Steinfeld
Mahershala Ali
Brian Tyree Henry
Lily Tomlin

Directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman

Spider-Man: into the Spider-Verse is an amazing computer animation and a welcome addition to the list of cool Spider-Man movies. The animation is like comic reading, the way the characters are introduced and the action sequences, just feels like you are flipping through a comic book.
The voice acting is golden, but not as golden as the way the movie depict the last action sequence scene where our hero and his fellow partners save the day.

It seemed not possible for Miles to take down Kingpin, but he did. The way he was able to do it are the things that set his Spider-Man apart from the rest when taking on this universe’s Kingpin.

The movie is set in a shared multiverse called the Spider-Verse. The Spider-Verse is filled with alternate versions of Spider-Man and not all are Peter Parker. Also, not all are white or male.
The fun and difference between animation and live-action is that everything the writers and director can imagine can be done. There seems to be no limitation and so we can see in the story telling of the below plot.
Miles, while spray painting with his uncle was beaten by a radioactive spider and became a version of Spider-Man.
The Kingpin in Miles’ universe blames the Spider-Man (Peter Parker – Miles’ universe) for the death of his family. This Spider-Man is known by the public as Peter Parker. The Kingpin along with Olivia "Liv" Octavius (Dr. Octopus of Miles’ universe), created a particle accelerator to access parallel universes, so that The Kingpin can reconnect with alternative versions of his family.

While Spider-Man and Green Goblin where at it, Miles wondered into a lab where this fight was on going. He and Spider-Man met and immediately knew the other was a version of Spider-Man. The Goblin, working for Kingpin and wanting to stop Spider-Man pushed him into the particle accelerator beam. This mortally hurt Spider-Man leaving him close to death, but his thrust into the beam unleashed all the other versions of Spider-Man into Miles universe.
Before this mortal injury had his toll on Spider-Man, he gave Miles a USB disk, telling him this will destroy the accelerator. He tasks Miles with stopping Kingpin, before Miles ran off and Kingpin killing Spider-Man.

Soon Miles runs into another Spider-Man named Peter B. Parker from another universe and together they tried to stop Kingpin, when they were faced with Octavius. Then another version of Spider-Man (Spider-Woman (Gwen Stacy)) saves them. The trio then goes to Aunt May’s house hoping to get to remake the USB disk that has been damaged when they were introduced to other versions of Spider-Man staying at Aunt May’s house.

The Spider-Men and Women versions teamed up and took on Kingpin and his plan.

Seeing the other Spider-Men and Women get into their roles makes me wish this was a TV-series with many episodes waiting to be engulfed.
That said, this universally acclaimed animation is pulling in some money and it better pull in enough, so we can get to see this happen again.

The First Wives Club (1996)

The First Wives Club (1996)


Diane Keaton
Bette Midler
Goldie Hawn

Directed by Hugh Wilson

The First Wives Club to me is one movie that just hits home at every turn. The movie packs some of the top leading ladies you can lay your hand on and it was like the female movement in the 90s before the #MeToo.
The movie was a surprised financial success, taking in that it got mixed reviews upon its release. I give the praise to the writing because the movie was close to being sad and depressed as it was about three women who were tired of being pushed around. The pushing around were from the men in their lives, but as the movie states it, these women decided it was time they pushed back. Their pushing back was fun to see, comedic to behold and strong, driving out all the blues from the tragic beginning.

Bette Midler (as Brenda), Diane Keaton (as Annie) and Goldie Hawn (as Elise) were the three leading ladies in this movie and they made sure that we knew it. The movie is based on a 1992 bestseller of the same by Olivia Goldsmith. The movie plot focus is on one of the ladies, Annie who also happens to be the narrator of the movie.

Annie starts the tale at their college when four lady friends graduated with big dreams for the future. The future comes, with them no longer in touch and what has brought them together in this present time is a letter from Cynthia, who had committed suicide.
Cynthia’s life was in a twirl she had just gone through a divorce and then to make it worse her Ex was now remarried to a younger more attractive lady.

The remaining three friends reconnect over a very long lunch. They soon found out that it was not just Cynthia having a hard time. Annie is separated from her husband and is battling low self-esteem issues. Brenda is divorced, her husband left her for a younger woman. Brenda is also depressed and going through a financial worm hole. Elise is financially settled as a movie star. She is a plastic surgery addict with alcohol problem, as her husband also left her for a younger woman.

They decided to be there for one another, bonded together to help each other get through the pain they are going through. They also decided to start a club to help other women who are going through the same thing. Movies like this do not end well, if there is not a tone of revenge as the three went after the men who hurt them.

The movie was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Music Score, something you will understand when you see the movie. There has been many talk about a sequels and remakes, but I do hope when one is done it does deliver the same sort of fun that this first movie gave us.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)

My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)


Nia Vardalos
John Corbett
Lainie Kazan
Michael Constantine

Directed by Joel Zwick

Nia Vardalos wrote a masterpiece of a screenplay and when the movie was made with her starring in it, she nor the studio could believe the movie would be a sleeper box office hit. I mean, the budget was just $5 million and the take home was over $360 million.
It set box office records during its release, and the film at the 75th Academy Awards, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Not only that it was a great production and was well received by all.

This romantic dramedy starts with us getting some depth into our lead, Fotoula "Toula" Portokalos (Nia Vardalos). She is from a traditional fanatic Greek family, who follow some kind of rules in their little family. They all work for each other, the ladies get married to Greek men and have many kids.

She was different, Toula wanted something more in life and that made it difficult for her to get in line with the way of the family. She was a source of worry to her family and to herself. One day a man walked into the family owned restaurant for a meal and Toula was head over heels hooked on him.

This was a man she could like she hoped. Things didn’t kick off there as Toula decided to get a new job away from the restaurant with the help of her mum and aunt. She was working at her aunt’s travel agency and there she runs into the man again. Long story short, they fell in love and wanted to get married. Problem is, that is against the family tradition and she is now stuck with her father wanting her to do what he believes is the right thing and find a Greek man or stick it out with her choice.

Now do not get lost thinking this was some kind of romantic driven chick-flick, the comedy and fun is how things turned out great and the wedding that followed.

In the end the movie was just an amazing romantic comedy that deserved all the praises that it got. I do not know why this was done, but a second part called, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 was done and released fourteen years after the first film. It was neither a critical or commercial success as the first film even though it was written by Vardalos and starred practically the same cast. The whole spirit of the first film was missing in this sequel.

Here is a movie that is fun to watch after you give it some gap. The movie is interesting, engaging and please oh please skip the second part, it was not worth seeing in the end.

Sister Act (1992)

Sister Act (1992)


Whoopi Goldberg
Maggie Smith
Harvey Keitel

Directed by Emile Ardolino

In 1992 Whoopi Goldberg gave us a comedy performance that will always be one of her most memorable role. The movie Sister Act was just a comedic genius of a film, the songs, the acting and the plot were just so well fitted to give you a movie that you will always remember.
It won two Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical for Whoopi Goldberg. The movie was a huge financial success and a critical success that led them to make a second part.

This musical comedy of some sort has a plot that shows our lead Deloris (Whoopi Goldberg) starting out being a naughty little girl. We see her all grown singing in a nightclub where nobody cares enough to listen. She is apparently dating a married mobster named Vince LaRocca and we see them get into an argument as she is asking him to leave his wife.
He sends her a fur coat later on to try and smooth things over, Deloris later discovers that the coat was not meant for her at first. In anger she marches up to give it back to him in his office and witnesses a murder.

She runs to the cops and a Lieutenant Souther who is doing everything to get LaRocca. He convinces her to go into a witness protection program with a convent in a run-down neighborhood.

Her name was changed to Sister Mary Clarence and she struggles to deal with life as a nun for even just the temporary basis. There at the convent she is elected to become choir leader and she turns things around, helping the choir to excel in all their activities and bringing back life to the church attached to the convent.

But that was not all with LaRocca, he continues to use his contacts to look for Deloris. Soon we get into somewhat chase between LaRocca want to get Deloris so as to stop her from testifying and Souther wanting to save her life, so she can testify.

The movie is funny anytime you sit down to watch it and I can guarantee you will be ordering your own copy when you do. You may be tempted to see the second part of this movie which was done in 1993. It was a critical and financial disaster and for good reasons too. The movie just packed young real life musicians in it and just didn't bother to add a good tale.

Trading Places (1983)

Trading Places (1983)


Dan Aykroyd
Eddie Murphy
Jamie Lee Curtis

Directed by John Landis

Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy teamed up in 1983 to give us a movie about a social experiment which was carried out by two stingy, greedy and evil men. Trading Places was a hit when it was done, being both critically and commercially successful. Seeing it now doesn’t take away anything from this movie, it is still fun to watch.
This John Landis directed movie tries to give answers to what some think about nature vs nurture being the result of what makes a man. Well, that is what the evil men did. They used the idea of luck and a nurturing environment and the reverse of such on two men to see if this will change them. One from a high horse to a criminal and the other from a criminal to sitting on a high horse.

The movie plot introduces the first person Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd), he works for a commodity brokerage firm. The firm is owned by the wealthy Duke brothers and they are not just wealthy, they are dubious, stingy and greedy.
We also meet the second person, Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) who is a common crook. Louis and Billy run into each other with Louis making a scene and getting Billy arrested for absolutely nothing.

The men witness this and decide to conduct the above social experiment. They ruin Louis stripping him of everything and making sure he has nothing and his name was wrecked. Louis was not at the mercy of Ophelia (Jamie Lee Curtis), a prostitute who was unwilling part of the people that ruins Louis, She has mercy on him and takes him in to care for him.

Billy was bailed from jail and giving everything Louis had and we are set to watch as these two struggle at first to get their life together then settle in to the new life they had. How things turned on its head against the Dukes, is for you to see when you watch this movie.

The movie is fun to watch and Jamie Lee Curtis on her own was just a thrill. It was fun to see how the experiment would go even though we know this is a movie and not a real life situation. As a movie Trading Places delivers in excitement, thrill and suspense. It makes you sit and wonder how things were going to turn out and how much you want to see these evil men get theirs served back on a hot plate.

Bumblebee (2018)

Bumblebee (2018)


Hailee Steinfeld
John Cena

Directed by Travis Knight

When you watch Bumblebee you start to wonder what the hell the other Transformers movies think they were doing. The Bumblebee formula for a Transformers movie worked, as the movie is way more interesting than all the other Transformers movies.

This movie was not just packaged for us to see a prequel to the 2007 Transformers movie, but for us to enjoy as we watch what the director (Michael Bay) could have done. As in that is what I felt when the credits started to roll in to this sixth installment of the live-action Transformers film series.

The CGI as usual was mastery and Hailee Steinfeld pulled off an amazing performance as Charlie the lady who finds, mends and become friends with Bumblebee.
As usual what I was looking forward to seeing was Cybertron showdown, a fight between Autobots and Decepticons. What I got was two awesome fights, the first was between Bumblebee and Blitzwing, which happened earlier on in the movie. The second was way better, it happened later on in the movie at the end and it was between Bumblebee again and Dropkick.

The movie plot starts in Cybertron with the Autobots having their asses kicked. Optimus Prime knows that losing is not an option, even though at the moment it is happening. He made the best decision and called a fall back and he starts to plan a regroup. Earth was picked as the point of coming together.
Optimus Prime then sends B-127/Bumblebee to earth to secure and protect it until he comes and calls the Autobots to regroup.

Bumblebee’s arrival was not well timed as he landed in a military training zone and not just any military zone, but the ones in charge of policing extraterrestrial activities.
His arrival was met with a standoff between him and the military led by agent Jack Burns played by John Cena. While Bumblebee was trying to get the humans to understand that he was not here with an intent to harm, the Deceptiocon’s Blitzwing arrives.

He shoots up the place killing many humans, but Burns survived. He and Bumblebee went at it and there, Bumblebee’s voice box was destroyed and his memory chip damaged. Bumblebee transformed into a 1967 Volkswagen Beetle, to stay hidden as he was about to shutdown. All this happened in the year 1987, Bumblebee was hurt and out of commission for all that time, until a lady named Charlie asked for the Beetle as a birthday present.

She fixed him up and he transform’s back and their intro was something best left seen than written.
They form a bond, with she still helping him come to realization who he was, since his memory chip was damaged. She helped him get a radio which he used as his voice and together they stopped the two Decepticons sent to kill him.

Best Transformers movie and worth seeing this holiday.

Aquaman (2018)

Aquaman (2018)


Jason Momoa
Amber Heard
Patrick Wilson

Directed by James Wan

Well, well… it seems Warner Bros has woken up. Aquaman is a fun movie to see and it was sort of a comedic adventure superhero film that just takes you on a fun ride. The director, James Wan did a good job in the way he merged this CGI filled movie with live action additions.

You may critic the messy plot, the over drawn story line and the needless references to his time as a young man, but you cannot over critic Jason Momoa’s performance. His performance is well done, but all of the other actors who played Arthur at various ages were dreadful. The movie also had a shitty dialogue which jumps at you from the moment it starts, but i enjoyed the movie.

Aquaman is based on the DC Comics character of the same name. This movie is the sixth installment in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). Its plot has our character born to Thomas Curry and Atlanna, the princess of Atlantis (you know Atlantis, the underwater nation).

Their son by the status of Atlanna is royal blood and being the first born of Atlanna, the rightful ruler. They named him Arthur (Jason Momoa), and he grew up being able to talk to any animal born of the sea. He was trained by Vulko an Atlantis' counselor. Vulko served his mother and it was his duty to teach and train Arthur in the way of an Atlantian.

A year after the invents of the movie Justice League (2017), we find Arthur continue to be a hero saving a submarine from pirates. It is there that he was party to the death of David Kane’s father, and that led Kane to become Black Manta with a single desire to kill Aquaman/Arthur Curry.

Arthur’s brother (Ocean Master/ORM) on the other hand was working up a plan to wipe out the human race. He was uniting the rulers of the various part of the oceans to have an army that will go up to the human world and seize it.
Mera was sent by Vulko to tell Arthur that he has to comeback to become the rightful heir to the throne or lose the human world that he loves.
The threat level here is high and Aquaman had to step up, he – under the direction of Vulko must find the Trident and wield it to control the oceans and be seen as rightful ruler.
Those points above is what the movie is about.

Again Jason Momoa is good at this role you can really see the fun he is having at it. Add to that we have alongside him Amber Heard who plays Mera and did she deliver on fantastic performance on a supporting role? Yes she did and did it in style.
I hope Warner Bros stay woke because Wonder Woman (2017) was a good film then the crap called Justice League (2017) followed it. The movie Justice League (2017) made it hard to take Warner Bros serious in the way they are driving their Extended Universe, but Aquaman has resurrected our attention.

The movie did not deliver the same needed emotions like Wonder Woman (2017), nor did it have the comedy of Disney’s MCU or the adventurous power the MCU commands. What it does have is something like three stories so merged to make a film that you just appreciate the idea and enjoy the time spent seeing the movie.

Go see it, it is worth the time.