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Lilo and Stitch (2002)

Lilo and Stitch (2002)



Chris Sanders

Daveigh Chase

Tia Carrere

Ving Rhames

Directed by Chris Sanders

The movie is one of the most underrated gems of the mouse house. We did not have those regular protagonist, we had Lilo. A little girl, whose taste in music is beyond her years and her brave unique view of things sets this movie on a pedestal.

When Lilo and Stitch came out back then in 2002 it was different than what we were used to from the mouse house. The plot was edgier the characters were sharp and brave plus there was no princess/damsel needing rescuing, an island needing saving or some treasure adventure. This was a weird family which composed of two sisters, the older raising the younger and their family grew to include a very destructive and dangerous alien life form.

What I will never forget about this movie is the soundtrack, this movie blasted some good old Elvis songs all through it’s run. It has cool fantastic artwork and the whole sci-fi setting was different. This is one of the few good animations Disney did between the end of their renaissance with Tarzan (1999) and when they got back to their winning ways in 2008 with Bolt.

In Hawaii a young lady named Nani is struggling to care for her very energetic and independent little sister named Lilo since their parents passed. Elsewhere in the universe a scientist of a an alien race made a creature using some genetic mutilation which he named Experiment 626. The scientist was facing sanctions for his crimes. The creature was to be banished to an abandoned asteroid when he broke free stole a spacecraft and 626 crashed on earth. There he was caught by animal control when he disguised as a dog and placed in a shelter.

Nani felt the best way for Lilo to feel better was to get her a dog, and you can guess they went to shelter and Lilo went home with 626 an ugly looking thing which was way too strong. She named 626 Stitch. The aliens sent their people to earth to retrieve 626, but they were having difficulty doing so without being seen. 626, is aware of the ones sent to catch him, so he decides to hide it out with Lilo until he can come up with a way of escape. While a military alien was not having it and we had him on earth willing to do anything to catch 626.

In the end you will always have fun memory of this movie. Watching it now, I noticed that the movie took a while to get started and then ended a little too quickly, but still everything adds up to a great animation which deserves more recognition than it does now.

The Ice Road (2021)

The Ice Road (2021)



Liam Neeson

Benjamin Walker

Amber Midthunder

Marcus Thomas

Holt McCallany

Directed by Jonathan Hensleigh

Note: This review contains mild spoilers

Ice Age is another Neeson action flick that puts our hero up against a company who are willing to do anything to cover up their crooked dealings. The movie is as cold as the terrain to which it is filmed. The main challenge like all other Neeson films nowadays is that Neeson seems to be a fit for the role and puts his all into it. But the writing all seems to fall by the way side. This movie lacks the needed thrill, yes there is the action which it has in its own subtle way, but the thrill not that much.

This film is highly predictable, the moment the clouds clear. This happens one third of the way, the moment you discover where the company stands when it comes to the rescue and where all the characters fit in. From here on, you can pretty much guess everything that will happen.

The thrilling aspect of the movie is of the deaths on the way of this rescue. The movie then ends the way movies like these does, with nothing to hold on to that you have seen an action/thriller.

The main twist in the movie is that the rescue takes a background to the main plot at hand.

In a mine in Canada an explosion happens trapping twenty-six miners underground. In order to save these miners they need to cap the methane line that was bridged which caused the explosion. The main challenge is that, there was never meant to be an explosion, but it so happens the methane sensors were all turned off in the mine.

The company in charge of the mine and their insurance decided to hire a team to go deliver three wellheads so as to save the miners. Neeson’s character Mike, was one of the people set to drive a rig through the ice road to save the miners, this expedition is lead by Jim (Laurence Fishburne). So on this journey we had five people Mike, Jim and Tantoo driving three trucks. Mike’s brother in Mike’s rig as their mechanic and someone from the insurance company. Things looked legit when the journey started, until tragedy struck plus they lost one of the trucks. They started to accuse one another, when the script flips and we discover that the company was not clean and not ready to do all it takes to save the people trapped in the mine.

You can catch this movie on Netflix (U.S.) and Amazon (U.K.). Don’t expect much from Laurence Fishburne here, his character lost significant less than half way into the movie.

Luca (2021)


Luca (2021)


Starring the voices of

Jacob Tremblay

Jack Dylan Grazer

Emma Berman

Saverio Raimondo

Maya Rudolph

Directed by Enrico Casarosa

The movie will not break any norm, be a standout or even be engaging enough to hold the attention of some older viewers. The movie plays it safe and doesn’t try anything risky. This new Disney/Pixar animation is made very colorful and focuses more on friendship, jealousy and the fear of being alone. The innocence of the characters and how their focus is on being free believing all they need to achieve this is to get a vespa. There is no love story in this one and as animations goes, the antagonist is just way to much into himself to notice that he was losing the crowd.

Luca is a sea monster (based on humans interpretation) they are sea creatures more like mermaids. He is a goatfish herder, who always dreams of being free and getting himself into various adventures. His parents try their best to keep him safe in the underwater world, and Luca’s nativity and fear made it more sure he will never venture beyond his home. While herding one day he came across a human picture and an alarm clock, when another young boy sea monster (Alberto) swam to him and says it is his. Luca gave it up and followed Alberto who took him to the surface. It turns out when these creatures get out of water their whole body changes from fish form to human form.

 Luca panicked when he was drawn to the surface by this stranger. He calmed down and soon Luca and Alberto became friends with Luca coming to the surface against his parents wishes to visit Alberto. Alberto claim to be an expert in surviving in the human world and everything human, but it was fun watching him dish out childish fantasy knowledge to Luca who believed every word as he does not know any better. Together they dream of running away the moment they can lay their hands on a vespa.

Luca’s trip to the surface was found out by his parents and he was supposed to be sent to the underwater for punishment. Luca runs away to Alberto’s home up above and together they take a risk by going to the Italian town. There they were being harassed when a young girl named Giulia saved them. Conversations erupted between them, then they formed a team to take part in the local triathlon. With the hope of using their winnings to buy a vespa. Luca and Giulia became close and she showed him things about the world that blew his mind and he wanted to explore more, which made Alberto jealous and soon, these two start to have issues, while Luca’s parents too have ventured to the lands of the humans to search for their son.

The main magic in this film is the visuals the effects of the water, the colorful nature of the Italian setting. It’s main setting also follows the Disney narrative of a single parent setting. As our two leads Luca and Alberto meet Giulia who stays with her father in the summer. Which means her parents are separated, and the magical friendship bond she had with this two magical creatures was a summer partnership which seems set to reignite every summer. The movie also covers abandonment as Alberto was abandoned by his father and was able to find a home in the most unlikely place, the world of humans to which these sea creatures are told to stay away from.

For me, it took a while to get into the animation, but when I did it was an ok ride until the end. I feel they should have left the mystery cap on, instead of the kumbaya ending.

You can catch Luca on Disney+ and selected cinemas.

Rurouni Kenshin: The Final (2021)

Rurouni Kenshin: The Final (2021)




Takeru Satoh

Emi Takei

Mackenyu Arata

Munetaka Aoki

Yū Aoi

Tao Tsuchiya

Yōsuke Eguchi

Directed by Keishi Ōtomo

In summary this is not as good as the previous three although it is watchable. I wonder if I have not known the story of Tomoe before seeing this, if the flashback scene would have been clear enough. The movie did not make the life of Tomoe clear enough, her death and the changes in the story in comparison to the manga made that aspect of Kenshin's life fuzzy. It is inferred rather than clearly shown that her death was a mistake and not at all Kenshin's intent. 

Seven years after the release of the third installment in the Shishio trilogy Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends (2014), we get to see the live adaptation of the final story arc in the Rurouni Kenshin Manga series.

After the end of the battle with Shishio a new character emerges Yukishiro Enishi, who basically wants revenge on Kenshin for the death of his sister Yukishiro Tomoe. If you are following the anime Samurai X Shishio arc and the live action movies, you may not have come across this character and her significance in Kenshin’s life. This arc in the Rurouni Kenshin series, gives us light to how Kenshin got his scars and the love he had before he decided to stop being Battusai.

The story differs from the manga, and the movie takes a long while to kick in. There are many instances in the movie in the early stages that seem to be dragging the inevitable. But as you would expect, the movie does showcase powerful martial arts and sword mastery. The fight scenes are as cool as you would expect.

Enishi wants revenge on Kenshin because of his past, we find out that Battusai used to be in a relationship with his sister Tomoe. At first it seems it was a setup to get her close to him by the ones who are after him, but before long they develop feelings for one another. Incidents led to her death to which Kenshin was the cause.

Now in the present, Enishi is back for revenge and he is taking his revenge out on everyone and anything that Kenshin loves and holds dear, including the Japanese government.

As you would expect, when Enishi brought with him carnage, blood and unrest.

One thing I liked is how the movie did not drop into wasted flashbacks, which seems to be the Hollywood technique. There you see flashbacks into an aspect of a character’s life which by coincidence have something to do with the present predicament, which he is unaware of at the times of the flashbacks. But become relevant when he faces the present predicament.

Here when the chaos hit the fan and Kenshin confronted the person involved, the veil was removed from our eyes and we learn of Kenshin’s past and who this new enemy is.

I think seven years is a long wait for a sequel and it did add to the not so interested feel I had initially before I sat to see this. In the end, the acting were on point and as you would have expected from a Kenshin movie, the sword fights were fast, slick and make you wish you can pick up the sword and move like him.

You can catch this movie on Netflix, and I will advise you see the three movies before seeing this so you can get a feel of who Kenshin is and the characters involved.

Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends (2014)

Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends (2014)




Takeru Satoh

Emi Takei

Tatsuya Fujiwara

Yosuke Eguchi

Munetaka Aoki

Yūsuke Iseya

Directed by Keishi Ōtomo

This is the end of the main arc in the Samurai X anime. This popular anime builds you up to this final showdown which has been long overdue, the one between Kenshin Himura and Makoto Shishio. When watching the anime you can understand the build up, the whole journey of Kenshin trying to be a person who no longer kills or wants to be involved in a fight. We get to see his friendships take shape and in the final set of battles before Shishio, we get to see everyone in his circle reach their full potential. From Sanosuke to Saito all taking on the challenge ahead and overcoming their battles.

This movie was shot back to back with the previous one Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno in this trilogy of the main villain Shishio. This live action adaptation since it is supposed to be the long awaited main fight between the protagonist and the antagonist, the cinematography and fight scenes were just on another level. With the speed of both men, best matching what you would have expected when you envisioned the battle happening before your eyes.

The movie continues from where Kenshin discovers Shishio's ship about to set sail with the kidnapped Kaoru onboard. He gets on the ship with what looked like the main battle between the men set to take place, but when Kaoru is thrown over board Kenshin jumps into the sea to try and save her.

He did not succeed in finding her and the sea dealt with him and we find our hero's unconscious body on the beach and a man carries him away. We discover that the man who saved Kenshin was his master Hiko, who had trained Kenshin in the Hiten Mitsurugi style. Kenshin begs his master to complete his training so he can learn the Hiten Mitsurugi technique, "Amakakeru Ryu no Hirameki" so he can stop Shishio. Kenshin at this point accepted the faith that Kaoru is dead as her body did not wash up on shore like his.

Shishio on the other side of things has seized the prime minister and holds the country hostage asking for Battousai to be brought to him. Kenshin on the other side is struggling to level up his Hiten Mitsurugi training, learning that when he picked up the name Battousai he lost his will to live. Hiko his master then reveals the secret to Kenshin on how to master the Hiten Mitsurugi technique, "Amakakeru Ryu no Hirameki."

After his training he returns home and surrenders to the police. From here on, anything said will be spoilers. If you have seen the anime, you can definitely piece it all together by now, if not I don’t know why.

Again Takeru Satoh picks up the reversed edge sword as Rurouni Kenshin and his portrayal will be remembered for time to come. His face will be stamped on our minds as Kenshin in the flesh. I was surprised to learn later that a two parter continuation to this will be released on Netflix in 2021.

Wish Dragon (2021)

Wish Dragon (2021)


Starring the voices of

Jimmy Wong

John Cho

Constance Wu

Natasha Liu Bordizzo

Directed by Chris Appelhans

What jumps at you is that this movie is a Disney’s Aladdin rip-off set in China. Now do not expect to find the wonderful relationship which Genie and Aladdin had, their relationship and Aladdin’s selfishness created the reason for that movie’s length. Wish Dragon is like if Aladdin found Genie in the 21st Century. The movie does the simple mistake all these wish magic lamp movies do, waste too much time. I never seem to get that. The moment you have figured out that you get three wishes, what is stopping you from making it all at once and move on with your life. In the case of Aladdin we saw that his selfishness was the reason for the delay wanting to hold on to the last wish in case. In Din’s case there seem to be no reason why he was delaying.

They movie did everything from Aladdin, from the way the man is trying to catch the girl and the whole distraction left right from the Wish Dragon.

In this Chinese setting we do not have a magic lamp, but instead a magic tea pot. This Jackie Chan produced animation made enough changes especially in the animation itself to try and distant itself from Aladdin, but not at all it stuck close to the Aladdin script. The story centers around the same theme a not so wealthy young man, finds a magic wish granting thing which he uses to get him closer to the woman he loves.

Our young man is Din. Din met Li Na when they were in pre-school and they built a beautiful relationship. Li Na and her family moved away and they both grew up apart. But Din never forgot Li Na and always dreams of meeting her again one day. In fact he takes this dream one step further having dream dates with her on the rooftops.

On one of his delivery trips one old man who was unable to pay for his food gave him a teapot as payment. Din took it, mostly because the man was weird-ing him out. While on his dream date he made a wish and a magic dragon appeared telling him he has three wishes. Before Din could figure out things, his life became in danger as we discover that a sinister man sent some goons to go get the magic teapot, and they were able to track its presence to Din.

One thing the movie does is trip on its own ten master rule, which I believe the movie thinks they can swipe away saying. As long as Din has not made a third wish then.. yada yada for me it goofed there.

As said the animation is not as grand as that of Disney, but the voice casting is cool enough and the movie as a whole is watchable. Do not go diving it expecting something great, it is just there.

Infinite (2021)

Infinite (2021)



Mark Wahlberg

Chiwetel Ejiofor

Sophie Cookson


Directed by Antoine Fuqua


Remember how much we all loved The Matrix, now mix that with The Old Guard, that is what this aspired to be, but failed woefully. The movie is not well stringed together, very incoherent and I have to hand it to the special effects team here. It seemed they got the gist that this movie should be exciting more than the director and the screenplay writer. Their hard work is wasted as the movie tries to keep you entertained with stunts, high-octane car chase or weirdass explosions – all these cannot make up for the badly directed and horribly written screenplay.

The movie just seems to fold in on itself, because the more you get to know what was going on the more your dislike on how the whole thing is playing out. It seemed like a good idea this adaptation of D. Eric Maikranz book The Reincarnationist Papers but the delivery well… glad I did not go to see this in the cinema.

Here is what they had to work with, in this world are these set of people called Infinites. These guys have the ability of reincarnation and some like Evan (Mark Wahlberg) can recall things done in the previous lives they lived. These infinites have a group amongst them called nihilist who believe this whole reincarnation thing is a curse. Led by Bathurst (Chiwetel Ejiofor) they want to end life on earth as we know it. Evan has a secret from his past life which can save humanity from those who wish to end it (Bathurst).

Problem is Evan is struggling with remembering who he is and his deep struggle in this present reincarnation has led him to believe he is suffering from a mental disorder. As he knows things he shouldn’t, has skills, he never learned and understands things more than he should.

His path and that of Bathurst crossed when he tried to get drugs from drug dealers. Bathurst seems to know more about Evan than Evan does of himself. Their innocent meeting in a police station where Evan was being held after his dealing with the drug dealers was going south when Evan was saved by unknown people. They later reveal themselves to be infinites and try to help Evan come to the realization of who he is and the secret buried in his memory. While also try to stop Bathurst

The whole line of - you are special, you are more than who you think you are, seem to be lines picked up from every other movie. The movie stole The Matrix seeking “the one” who doesn’t have a clue that he is “the one.”

When it comes to the acting, I know Wahlberg can do better than this, it is just disgraceful to see him put his performance in the hands of the idea that the plot will do the job. His acting is emotionless and he must have forgotten that facial expressions go a long way in conveying an idea.

The Misfits (2021)

The Misfits (2021)




Pierce Brosnan

Rami Jaber

Hermione Corfield

Jamie Chung

Mike d Angelo

Tim Roth

Nick Cannon

Directed by Renny Harlin

Everyone in this movie had some weird shitty facial expression with acting skills that felt like they were being made to do this film against their own will. The acting in this movie is so poor, you will think neither of these actors have ever acted in any major movie before. With lines that seem to have jumped out of a kiddy early morning cartoon, this poorly written film can best be summarized as a best seen only if your life depended on it.

The Misfits is a comedy heist film, about six characters trying to steal gold bars from some bad guys in the middle east.

One thing that stands out is the main character Richard, you wonder all through the movie his significant, because his portrayal warrants to be shot on sight. His ideas and inputs are so basic I wonder how stupid everyone on his team must really be in this movie world to need him to point it out for them. Here is one very significant point he laid on them, “the problem with gold is, it is heavy...” My thought was of all the people that planned this heist, none of them thought of how to transport this gold and needed Sherlock here to come tell them how heavy gold is.

The whole movie is about this team coming together with the whole idea of doing some good. Each in their own way steal from bad people and do some good with it. Their next victim was a bad reach middle eastern who built a prison and stored in it gold. Get ready now to spend the next thirty-nine minutes getting to know nobody. The movie tries to give us a little depth into four characters in the first eight minutes (Ringo, The Prince, Violet and Wick). Then spends the next thirty minutes trying to get Richard (Pierce Brosnan) character onboard on the whole plan.

These thirty minutes will be one of the most boring bad acting setting i have seen in a while. Then we meet the last member of the crew Hope, Richard's daughter in the last minute of the thirty-nine.

The movie seems to have a bet on itself, like if the viewer has not slept off in this agonizing long intro. Then we will get them in the next agonizing, stupid, outright ridiculous plan to carry out a gold heist. The whole show was over done with explosions and driving, fights and non-fights, escapes and the idea of being trapped.

There is not much I can dive into concerning this plot without giving anything away, but know this see this movie at your own peril.