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Cruella (2021)

Cruella (2021)



Emma Stone

Emma Thompson

Joel Fry

Paul Walter Hauser


Directed by Craig Gillespie


I swear, I already judge the casting of Emma Stone (as Cruella) in this live-action spin off before I even saw it. Now that I have seen her in the role, I have to say she is an amazing actor and her portrayal in this movie the way she framed the character was magnificent to see.

The movie is fun and you will enjoy it, especially for the wonderful world build. It is visually dazzling with colorful is screenplay and creativity. But the movie is forgettable and the movie way too long. The story is written in a Dickensian style and it is not so predictable as I expected. Be ready for some fantastic performances from Stone and Emma Thompson, especially when they go at it.

It is obvious that Disney is pushing the limits of their fanbase. Cruella is not a bad try and this crime comedy gives nothing more than an OK feel and leaves you wondering the reason for the making of this movie in the first place. It was so not needed. They also did something meaningless by tying to Cruella's past some characters we know from the main movie this spinoff is based (the animation of One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)). For all the ingenuity plus creativity the director and writers put into this, that for me deducted from their ingenuity points. I think giving Cruella a clean break from everything that is her from the animation would have been a better take.

The plot takes us way back, the movie starts from the birth of Estella/Cruella and we witness that from childhood Cruella has always been different and the white and black hair, is not a style. Now, what I liked about this depth they gave her was she has never been one to follow rule and her lack of keeping to them, led to a tragedy that changed her life. Cruella became homeless and lived on the streets, stealing and conning with the aid of her two friends Jasper and Horace.

Jasper always knew Cruella had a thing for fashion and got her a job working for the Baroness (Emma Thompson) a fashion icon whose character reminds you of Meryl Streep’s Miranda in The Devil Wears Prada (2006). She noticed the potential and took her under her wing, but the tragedy in Cruella’s life is tied to the Baroness. Cruella’s past was jolted back to the front of her present when she saw the Baroness wearing a necklace that belonged to someone she loved. The Baroness complete dismissal of the person hit Cruella hard and she wanted to get revenge plus the necklace back.

This is where the evil side of Cruella took over and we watch her and her partners bond, scheme and do everything they can to bring down the Baroness.

In the end, even though I enjoyed the movie I still did not get for the life of me why they added so many things to make the movie over two hours long. I for one saw the intro of her and her mother a bit too long. They were other parts too that felt way too irrelevant to the main story that could have been cut. Like the many minutes of bonding between the Baroness and Cruella could have been shortened.

Then the movie's major twist, for me, I liked the movie for what it was before the twist.

Rule of Engagement (2000)

Rule of Engagement (2000)




Tommy Lee Jones

Samuel L. Jackson

Guy Pearce

Bruce Greenwood

Blair Underwood


Directed by William Friedkin


This movie drags so much, that if you are not in an upright position, you will probably sleep off while watching. The script is very unrealistic and its own setup was not compelling. Then when they get to the courtroom where the main plot is meant to unravel, even there the whole process failed to win me over.

The movie spends half the time setting up a probably unrealistic view of an incident, based on a successful military mission. Pushing the blame on the commander of a team and ventured to sacrifice that man for doing something that happens to be so gruesome that only one man saw the reason for it to be done.

Many other soldiers were on the roof and it made no sense that none saw the bullets from the ground. After the incident, it made no sense that none of the soldiers in whatever record they wrote mentioned seeing on the ground after the shootings any fire weapons. Then the idea that a country will sacrifice one of its own for doing what I saw was the minimal action based on the situation at hand seems so unconvincing, even though it is possible, but this scenario was off.

Then comes the court case, after waiting an eternity to see it happen, the drama was lacking the needed catch and the whole event was just on its head. Then the prosecutor acted like he had a personal agenda against the defendant.

The plot is about Colonel Childers (Samuel L. Jackson) who was sent on a mission to rescue an ambassador. On getting to the site the whole embassy was in turmoil with shootings which led to the death of three marines. Childers noticed that the shootings were coming from the ground as well as from snipers so he ordered his men to shoot the attacking crowd.

Back at home the government decided to push the blame on Childers. Hiding evidence that can exonerate him and getting the ambassador to lie that the protest was peaceful.

Childers called his old war body to come defend him in this case, to save him from being court-martialed.

The courtroom drama is not mainly on Childers and his actions. No, the drama is about Childers and the extent the government will go to blame a man for doing something although gruesome, but last resort to save face politically.

The movie was not successful critically and commercially. Seeing it again now after so many years I can understand why it never stood out for me as a courtroom drama worth recommending to anyone.

The Negotiator (1998)

The Negotiator (1998)




Samuel L. Jackson

Kevin Spacey

David Morse


Directed by F. Gary Gray


Awesome movies will forever standout and wade through time to remain relevant. The Negotiator bases itself on the ability to deliver a simple story on strong dialogues and outstanding performances. Not setting you on characters, but allowing you to be swallowed by the captivating performances of the two leads, as they try to navigate the conspiracy before them

I like the way the movie just leaves everything in the air about who to trust and who not to, when the cloud starts to clear the movie still leaves you in the dark on who and who can be trusted. Even in the dramatic ending of the film, our lead Danny (Samuel L. Jackson) finally gets to know the truth and still the movie makes you doubt if you have finally got everything that is going on.

The plot introduces us to Danny a hostage negotiator and we later find out one of the board members of the disability fund for his department. His friend Roenick has been investigating the fund, discovering that money has been going missing. He tells Danny about it, telling him he was able to get the information from an informant. Things took a turn when Roenick was murdered when he was supposed to be meeting with Danny. Danny was the chief suspect (as first one on the scene) and things got worse when they discover an offshore bank account in his name with some suspicious balance. He was now under the hammer for murder and embezzling. Danny was suspended even though he claimed innocence. He decided to confront the lead Internal Affairs investigator, Neibaum and it was there Danny when faced with a struggle decided to do something drastic. He took Niebaum hostage along with one of the officers from his precinct and two other people. He then requested to only deal with another hostage negotiator a stranger to him from another precinct, Sabian (Kevin Spacey).

We are now watching as things get more twisted and Danny seems to be way above his head as many are willing to kill him and others want to end everything in a blood bath to protect their involvement.

The movie was a mild box-office success, but a strong critical one. Even after seeing this movie numerous times back in the early 2000s, seeing it now, still had me hung on the screen to the end.

This movie stands tall on the list of notable movies directed by Gray, and for me this is my favorite from his list and one of Jackson’s best performances.

Wrath of Man (2021)

Wrath of Man (2021)




Jason Statham

Holt McCallany

Jeffrey Donovan

Josh Hartnett


Directed by Guy Ritchie


To get things out of the way, this movie is based on 2004 French movie Le Convoyeur. Do note there are some changes here and there. Now that, that is out of the way in summary this movie is absolutely one of the worst things you can see. It is long for no reason and upon a very thin plot this movie tries to make everything possible happen. The plot is all over the place with things happening every time and in almost every scene. I had to double check to be sure this is a Guy Ritchie film and not a rip-off. Ritchie wrote, directed and produced this film in a way that makes you wonder if he has forgotten how to make movies.

There is no depth and the movie seems to take so much pride in the suspense and the stupid development of a character named Hill (Jason Statham) whose only good side is that he does not talk much. Because when he does drop some of his lines, you just wish you can reach into the screen and slap him.

The plot introduces us to Hill who just got a new job at an armored truck company. The movie shows us how dangerous their job is with the first scene focusing on an armed robbery of an armored truck.

I give the movie one thing – It made a quick intro and went straight to the action. It is not likely you will like Hill, because his whole overconfident, silent macho man persona was more irritating than captivating.

On one of Hill’s run, the armored truck was hit and with Bullets flying everywhere, Hill killed all the bad guys. He is the fastest gun in the west never missing, although the bullets miss him. Here is what is supposed to be a good movie, giving me a failed B-movie setting. This guy walks after a running man and catches up with him, then kills him. You must know tough bad guys, never break a sweat.

Well, we soon discover that Hill is actually a bad guy in his own rights, actually working with the company for his own personal agenda.

Tragedy struck when a team of armed robbers hit an armored truck, while he was with his son. Hill went to buy something and his son witnessed the whole robbery and got killed.

Things have now changed; Hill is now on the revenge case.

What I did not get was the whole vexing because a newcomer joined. This happened in the beginning when Hill got the job. Then we get this stupid line "we ain't the predators.. we the prey" which is supposed to be a justification for the meaningless vexing that his teammates had on him on his first day.

I have to say make better use of your time. This movie is not worth it.

Sabotage (2014)

Sabotage (2014)





Arnold Schwarzenegger

Sam Worthington

Olivia Williams

Terrence Howard

Joe Manganiello


Directed by David Ayer


Well what a waste of time is this movie which even failed at the box-office.

You need a character to play a stiff role, then Arnold Schwarzenegger is your man. Even though this movie had the whole 90s feel style of action movie, it was toned down a lot from what you'd expect from a 90s type action film. The story can best be described as shabby, wasting more than a third of its runtime telling me about everyone and everything in the most boring way it can before kicking off the main plot.

The movie has a very convoluted beginning, but then falls into a rhythm where you can put together who is who and what it is you are supposed to be focused on. This does not mean the movie still did not play hide and seek with itself, tripping over its very own idea of suspense. With a pacing problem and some very horrible set of characters this movie can be hard to watch. Even though the cast roaster looks like you should be getting the best, every character was annoying and you find yourself wishing they all get killed. One thing I can tell you to watch out for before seeing this movie is that, the testosterone level is high to the point of silliness.

The plot introduces us to John (Schwarzenegger) who leads a team of DEA special operations. From the get go of the bust they did, you get the feel that this team is not all there. Every member seems to have a screw loose somewhere. The drug bust was a success and the team stole $10 million. They hid the money and blew up the whole building hoping to get rid of the evidence, but things did not go as planed all together. First the money they hid away was stolen, second because of the way things went down, they are being suspected for theft and were all suspended while the investigation ran to the ground with nothing to show. When the team was reinstated back to their roles, things did not get any better. They started to drop dead one by one. The remainder started to suspect that the drug dealers they took down were behind the hit. But as the investigations continued, we discover there is more going on and a lot of framing is being done. The whole plot reminds me of the Agatha Christie novel And Then There Were None.

In the end, this is one of those movies that if you never see you are not missing a thing.