Furie

POSITIVES…

  • Easiest description would be that this is the Vietnamese Female version of “Taken” and “John Wick.” That’s obviously a big compliment for fans of action movies.

  • Veronica Ngo is amazing as Hai Phuong. The Mother you don’t want to cross because she can and will kick your ass.

  • Cat Vy also deserves credit for playing Hai Phuong’s daughter; Mai. Gotta love her spunkiness.

  • Besides the ass-kicking, Veronica Ngo actually gets to showcase a whole range of emotions in her acting. Incredible performance here.

  • From chase scenes, hunting scenes, to those hand-to-hand martial arts scenes, this movie is an exciting action thriller, that is oh so enjoyable to watch.

  • The plot is admittedly not that unique or deep, but it serves its purpose to string along the fight sequences.

  • Besides the simplicity of the story, it has a really strong thematic message that I really appreciated.

NEGATIVES…

  • There are some scenes that I felt were kinda manipulative.

  • There are definite moments of plot conveniences and situations that require a heavy dose of suspension of disbelief.

  • There are also some scenes that I thought embarrassingly panders to the audience.

  • There’s a certain character in this movie that I thought embodied a predictably familiar plot device that this movie could have lived without.

P.S….

  • Even after all these decades watching action flicks, this might actually be the very first Vietnamese martial arts movie that I’ve ever seen.

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Captain Marvel

POSITIVES…

  • Brie Larson gives Captain Marvel a good bit of cheekiness, playful irreverence, and cockiness. I liked her character. Definitely made me want to see more of where she goes beyond this movie.

  • Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury is as good as you expect him to be in the role. Loved the sense of humor that he contributes here.

  • For a good chunk of the movie, it essentially became an enjoyable buddy style picture, but with a woman from space, and a covert secret government agent. The chemistry between Larson and Jackson here is easily one of the main highlights of seeing this film.

  • Ben Mendelsohn as the main Skrull character is simply excellent in the role!

  • Goose the cat! Best new character for the MCU ;-)

  • That Stan Lee cameo. Shout out to Kevin Smith!

  • There were several entertaining action sequences throughout the movie. From a sparring match, an escape fight sequence, to an altercation on a train, and several more. Fun stuff.

  • Some of the more quieter dialogue scenes were good as well, between Brie and Sam, Brie and Ben, Brie and Lashana, Brie and Akira, Brie and Jude, plus Brie and Annette.

  • The de-aging technology for Samuel L Jackson and Clark Gregg is just mind blowing. Wow, was it impressively and effortlessly executed on screen.

  • All the 90s references may be accused of just pandering to the audience, but I thought they were delightfully fun and entertaining in the movie.

  • Genuinely liked the general thematic message of this film. Very fitting for Captain Marvel’s character arc in this particular story.

  • It feels like it’s straight from the “we’re still learning how to do these kinds of movies” Phase 1 MCU film days, which gave me a bit of a comforting feeling and acceptance to how unambitious the general plot really is.

NEGATIVES…

  • It feels too much like a Phase 1 MCU movie. Fun and entertaining, but not completely meeting it’s true more ambitious potential. Some will say it’s underwhelming because of this fact.

  • The movie feels a little too straight forward in it’s directing, and may seem a little too generic for it to stand out among the other more “epic” MCU films.

  • This is just barely scratching the surface of giving Captain Marvel a fully formed character.

  • Some will complain that there isn’t enough screen time for several of the supporting characters.

  • Certain themes in the movie were a little too on-the-nose with it’s messaging.

  • There are some plot conveniences here and there that you’re just going to have to suspend your disbelief with.

P.S….

  • The “custom” Marvel Studios opening logo shown in front of this movie was just perfectly done.

  • I would argue that this movie exaggerates a little too much about how slow a computer from the 1990s is. It was a funny moment though.

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Apollo 11

POSITIVES…

  • Most people today likely doesn’t know what it must have felt like, during that time the Apollo 11 went to the Moon and back. THIS documentary film is the closest thing you’ve got to experience it.

  • It’s simply incredible how clean the 50 Year old footage looks here. The stark clarity makes the whole experience even more immersive, and truly made me feel like I was there in 1969.

  • Seeing this movie in IMAX only made it even more captivating to watch.

  • Despite already knowing the outcome, this movie still successfully conveys that sense of wonder, excitement, and triumph. It practically dares you to not be inspired by this film.

  • For you space race nerds, there’s a ton of unseen footage here that you will really appreciate getting a chance to see for the first time.

  • Footage after footage after footage, this film relies on letting all the footage shown in sequential order tell us the story. There is almost no traditional narrative device here, besides letting the visuals speak for themselves. This really wants to make the whole thing immersive don’t they?

NEGATIVES…

  • Some people might prefer a more traditionally told documentary.

  • The narrative doesn’t exactly dig real deep into the informative details of the space program, or the astronauts themselves.

P.S….

  • Probably one of the best companion pieces to the movie “First Man.”

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Greta

POSITIVES…

  • Isabelle Huppert is really good in this, and seemed to have gone all-in with the intensity of her character.

  • Chloe Grace Moretz does a good job playing the naive and scared young Woman.

  • The movie itself does a great job of being creepy and tense, with an amazing suspenseful tone to keep you on the edge of your seat.

NEGATIVES…

  • Unfortunately, the characters in this movie constantly make really bad and stupid decisions that really ruined my suspension of disbelief over and over again.

  • It’s got an interesting but boring first act.

  • It’s got thrilling but frustrating middle acts.

  • It’s got an exciting but idiotic final act.

  • So much in this movie really made me do multiple face-palms and eye-rolls.

  • While there were some clever moments, the movie never really earned them.

P.S….

  • Remember folks. If you see an unattended bag, always first assume that it’s a bad thing.

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Arctic

POSITIVES…

  • Mads Mikkelsen does an incredible job here, especially considering he doesn’t get many lines to say at all.

  • The mostly dialogue-less nature of this film, really adds to the tone of isolation to the premise.

  • Considering what this movie is about, I was definitely invested to see how it was going to end.

  • As a story about survival in a harsh climate, it’s always impressive to see clever / practical survival skills demonstrated on screen.

  • There are certain story beats that happen throughout the movie, to grab your attention just in case you are starting to get bored with the methodical slower pace of the narrative.

  • I thought the final act was incredibly emotional to watch, plus that final line said in the movie was just so very heartbreaking.

  • No, the trailer actually does not show how this movie ends.

NEGATIVES…

  • People might get frustrated and bored with the narrative. Even at 90+ minutes, there’s still a little bit of patience required to watch this.

  • Some might have conflicting thoughts on how they feel about the character that María Thelma Smáradóttir plays.

P.S….

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How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

POSITIVES…

  • The visual graphics and animation never looked better in this franchise than they do here.

  • Hiccups connection with Toothless; and also Astrid, are this movie’s strengths.

  • The whole thing with Toothless trying to woo the Lightfury definitely entertained me, and are probably the main highlight of this movie.

  • Concluding last acts of this movie, should be enough justification for fans to see this. They are going to want to see what happens.

NEGATIVES…

  • Kinda wished the main plot was more engaging than what we got.

  • For that matter, I wished it didn’t feel like such a generic story.

  • Expect the cliche moments and predictable plot tropes.

  • On that note, the villain voiced by F. Murray Abraham; while he had his moments, also felt generally wasted in this movie.

  • I couldn’t help but think that this movie felt more like it was made out of obligation, than out of inspiration.

P.S….

  • I’m not holding my breath, but I wouldn’t mind seeing another Dreamworks Dragons TV series; as they were enjoyable for what they are. Maybe a new show that continues on from where this movie ends.

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Fighting With My Family

POSITIVES…

  • If you are a fan; or have ever been a fan, of Professional Wrestling, then you should check this out. This movie is made for you.

  • If you have never been a fan of Professional Wrestling, then you should still check this out. This movie is also made for you.

  • Florence Pugh is excellent in this as Saraya Knight AKA Paige, and you couldn’t help but feel invested with her story here.

  • The rest of the cast is great here, from Jack Lowden, Nick Frost, Lena Headey, plus a fantastic supporting role by Vince Vaughn, and excellent cameo scenes by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

  • There’s actually a lot more drama than I original expected from this movie, but it makes the film even better for giving me that emotional pull towards this story. It still has some good funny bits though.

  • Several story threads involving Saraya and Zak, Saraya and Hutch, Saraya and the other NXT women, plus of course Saraya and her Family, are all the glue that makes this story worth checking out.

  • The themes in this movie are also quite laudable and inspirational. It’s definitely a good feel good movie.

  • There’s a blind kid who can wrestle!

  • It showcases a fascinating look into what happens behind the scenes of creating a Wrestling Superstar. Interesting stuff here. Truly makes anybody appreciate what Professional Wrestling is all about a bit more than they might have before.

  • Underdog sports stories are a dime a dozen, but this is a good one right here.

NEGATIVES…

  • Despite this being based on a true story, it’s still a generally traditional underdog sports story. Which means that it can feel very predictable and cliche. Expect some familiar plot tropes, and plot conveniences.

  • There was a wonky CG interlay that is done towards the end of the movie, that even though it was very very brief, it still looked really really bad.

P.S….

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Happy Death Day 2U

POSITIVES…

  • Definitely made for fans of the first “Happy Death Day,” who will appreciate how this movie acknowledges the previous entry, and how it expands on the story.

  • Embraces the silly but fun premise, and goes for broke in how far they can go with it.

  • Jessica Rothe is once again incredible in the role of Tree Gelbman. The way she just throws herself completely into her character is absolutely the most entertaining thing about this film.

  • Rachel Matthews as Danielle Bouseman gets to shine a bit more here. Especially in one particular scene involving keys.

  • The big montage death sequence. Fun stuff.

  • I liked that it had a lot more heart and emotional scenes than what I would have expected.

  • I appreciated the fact that while it shares many similarities with the previous entry, the style, tone, and direction felt completely like a different movie.

NEGATIVES…

  • Some people will be disappointed that this is much less a weird sci-fi horror slasher movie, and much more into the weird sci-fi thrilling fantasy aspects.

  • Because of all the different plot directions this movie goes, there are just some story beats that don’t really work as well as they should.

  • The story relies on several plot conveniences that just to move things along, which isn’t exactly a complimentary thing for me to say.

  • So much suspension of disbelief is required. Maybe a little too much?

  • Kinda loses steam before the movie reaches the final stretch, and might make you feel a little impatient and frustrated with the progress of the narrative.

  • Slightly less fresh, less funny, and less exciting than the previous film. Just slightly though.

P.S….

  • If there is a third movie, what would the title be? Happy Death Day Tree? Happy Death Day 3-peat? Happy Death Day 3D?

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Alita: Battle Angel

POSITIVES…

  • Alita herself is essentially the main reason to get really invested with watching through the whole movie. Witnessing how she reacts to everything that is thrown at her is part of the fun in watching this.

  • The fight scenes! There are several awesome fight sequences in this movie, and is the other driving factor in how enjoyable the whole thing is.

  • A particular one-on-one fight scene also had the most incredible conclusion to it, that I don’t think you’ve ever seen in a live-action movie. Simply amazing!

  • Sequences involving the futuristic roller derby were also a lot of fun to watch.

  • The whole plot involving Alita and Hugo is also one of the more compelling things about this movie, probably more so than the plot involving Alita and Doctor Ido.

  • I appreciated the mish-mash of many different sci-fi / action / fantasy ideas here that resembles the kind of outrageous creativity usually found in manga / anime. Hopefully people beyond the niche audience for this will also appreciate it.

  • This movie is rated PG-13, and it’s incredible how many violent things happen in it anyway.

  • As a huge fan of the manga “GUNNM” AKA “Battle Angel,” I was really happy with how this adaptation turned out. Arguably the second best Hollywood adaptation of a manga / anime property right after “Edge Of Tomorrow.”

  • I liked how this movie handled the world building. Iron City comes to life.

  • It ends in a way that made me really want to see a sequel.

NEGATIVES…

  • It ends in a way that made me really want to see a sequel, and I don’t think it’s getting it.

  • I never did get used to Alita’s big giant eyes (admittedly enough, the movie implies why they are that big).

  • Alita’s CGI face itself always seemed odd throughout the movie, and it’s likely due to the uncanny valley issue.

  • The opening scenes were a bit shaky, due to too much heavy exposition sequences.

  • Some (or a lot) of the dialogue can be quite clunky.

  • There’s a lack of real development with the supporting characters, and that includes main characters played by Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, and Mahershala Ali.

  • There’s also a lot of plot that the movie is juggling here, and you’re going to have to give it some leeway in how successful it actually was in hitting the landing.

P.S….

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The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

POSITIVES…

  • Continues the adventures of our favorite Lego characters from the previous movie!

  • A premise and plot that seems outrageous enough to keep your attention!

  • More random yet clever humor!

  • Pop culture references and character cameos!

  • Songs! There are new musical numbers to capture your fancy!

  • It has more thematic things to say that makes the movie worth checking out!

  • In a three act structure, the third act here is pretty darn strong!

NEGATIVES…

  • Despite the laudable thematic intentions of this movie’s premise, it’s just not quite as entertaining or as fun as the previous entry.

  • Some of the clever moments of this movie, only seem like clever moments, but are really more just uninspired cleverness. It’s trying too hard at times.

  • Once again, your suspension of disbelief will be tested here.

  • There’s an unsuccessful attempt to capture the magic of “Everything Is Awesome.”

P.S….

  • Those star weapons are really really cute.

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