Film Review -Thor: Ragnarok

It took a total of four additional years since Thor: The Dark World for Thor to catch up with Iron Man and Captain America by adding a third solo movie to the MCU. Between the three members of The Avengers, Thor’s solo movies just continue to get better and more entertaining. Since the first installment, Thor (2011), those movies had a lot of growing up to do. Compared to the rest of the MCU the first two Thor movies are very low in the ranks but what has improved with each one is that Chris Hemsworth continues to get better with his comedic chops and his surrounding world becomes more interesting.

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picture via video.disney.com

Ragnarok involves Thor going back to Asgard to deal with a prophecy he had a vision about in Avengers: Age Of Ultron and learns about Loki’s last mischievous behavior and the whereabouts of Odin. From there he has to deal with the people of Asgard becoming instinct with the arrival of a new villain Hela, played by the amazing Cate Blanchet. She has a bone to pick with Odin and Asgard and she is a force to be reckoned with. Before Thor can deal with her he has to escape a planet he was sent to that captures strong warriors and uses them to fight each other for entertainment to the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum).

Director Taika Waititi, who directed What We Do In The Shadows, brings us one of the funniest installments and probably one of the top five in the entire MCU. The hype definitely adds up from all the advertising you have seen leading up to its release this weekend. Thor movies have a lot more pressure I believe than the rest of The Avengers when you think about it. While still intertwined in the main story with a few lines and references in the overall story, the plot usually is very separate and distance from the main mission that rarely effects the whole scheme of things. With that being said, Thor is no longer an origin story anymore so having a plot that has to do more with him and Asgard instead of driving the story further like Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Civil War. With Ragnarok, we finally got a Thor movie that not only connects more to the overall story but has set up some groundwork to a lot to look forward to.

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Jigsaw Is Fun And Entertaining But a Tamed Version Of Its Predecessors

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picture via horrorpedia.com

In 2004, a tradition was born. A franchise of 7 movies were released back to back, once each year around the last weekend of October for Halloween. That franchise is the Saw franchise. The group of films also gave birth to a horror icon and one of the most diabolical killers on the silver screen. His name is John Kramer a.k.a. Jigsaw Killer. Director, writer, and producer James Wan along with an assorted group of writers and directors kept this franchise going pass anyone’s expectation and gave us one of the biggest twist in a horror film or any genre for that matter to be executed, one of the longest running franchises to tie into each other, all the while providing us with social issues and giving us some creative deaths like you have never seen.

It is now 2017, 7 years after the latest installment, Jigsaw, the long-anticipated sequel, has graced us with its presents. I love this series and I always told people, “If they keep making them, I will keep watching them.” The sequel comes back with a story to tell that attempts to tie in to the previous installments, still keeping them all connected and the illusion that Jigsaw is always thinking ahead. Unfortunately, this entry wasn’t the best way to bring back the franchise after such a long-extended break. While the movie was still fun and exciting to watch, it seemed to have borrowed from an old playbook that has already been used; making this film a watered-down version of what it could have been. Jigsaw fans will still get some enjoyment out of it but will be disappointed if this is a preview of more of these films in the future.

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If You Enjoyed “Boo! A Madea Halloween”, Then You Will Enjoy Boo 2!

This review is a little bit of a rant on the hatred of Tyler Perry movies as well as a brief telling of the latest horror comedy brought to you by Tyler Perry. Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween is a direct sequel from the first. I remember being led to believe in the first one that the sassy, ain’t having it, old woman Madea, played by Tyler Perry himself, would be dealing with actual monsters. Sadly that wasn’t the case but nonetheless, the movie still gave me the laughs I was expecting.

The film picks up a year after the first one with Tyler Perry’s character Brian, nephew to Madea, celebrating his daughter’s 18th birthday. In the first one, she was not allowed to party with frat boys because she was too young. Now that she is 18 she feels a bit freer from the rules and takes up the opportunity to party again with said frat but this time at a lake where it’s rumored 10 kids were murdered. Upping the stakes for illegal shenanigans and possible promiscuity, he forbids it but of course she goes anyways and it’s up to Madea and pals to go up there and protect her…because that’s what family does. Hallelujer! Praise the Lordt!

 

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Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle Trailer Looks Like A Fun Ride Full Of Laughs And Action

Let’s talk about the first full trailer to the new movie Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. As the title hints at, we are taken into the game this time around and explore the jungle Alan Parrish (Robin Williams) lived in for 26 years. To keep it a little modern, they decided to whimsically send them to the jungle not by the original board game but through a video game instead. I personally was a little skeptical when hearing the idea of the movie. I personally would have loved to see the wonders of the game come out into the real world. Also for the portal to be a video game and not the board game was a little disappointing. After watching the first trailer, I must say that I am excited. It looks funny and there is plenty of action sequences that makes it look like a wild ride. Plus the intensity and jam-packed jungle animals and creatures we saw in the first are not missing from the action either which is good. Check out the trailer below.

As you can see, the movie has a stellar cast which includes buddy duo Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Kevin Hart who worked on Central Intelligence together, as well as Karen Gillan, and Jack Black who play the avatars of the titular video game 4 kids found in a basement of their school who are sent there to clean it up after getting detention. The four students take on the typical roles of character types you see in high school films including the Jock, the nerd, the awkward shy girl, and the hot popular girl. Choosing the avatars they play forces them to be something that they are not challenging them to walk a mile literally in the others shoes. The Nerd gets Dwayne Johnson, The Jock gets Kevin Hart who is no longer the tall toughest one in the group, The shy awkward girl gets the sexy women avatar who shows more skin than the men in the game. Which they poke fun at, and last but not least the popular girl got to be Jack Black who is a middle-aged man.

From the trailer, you see that there is more to the jungle then just the dangerous animals and creatures you saw from the first, It seems that Van Pelt is not the only human in the game. You also see that because it is a video game they all have specific skills that when the time is right they will be able to shine in their own way to help them get through the game.

I do have a few questions that I hope they answer like….

Is this the same exact jungle from the board game? They hinted that some evidence of Alan Parrish is in the jungle so even though this isn’t the board game, are they in the same jungle?

Seeing as the video game is based on the board game, how did the concept of the game come up since it looks like it was made back when Atari was made? I wonder how they are going to incorporate the timeline of how long this video game has been in play and if anyone else has played it and got sucked in.

Since they are in a video game, will they have extra lives if they happen to die or get hurt? Watching Jack Black almost get swallowed by a hippo, it looks like he will either lose a life and come back or they will poke fun that they are just avatars and not real people.

Which brings me to my next question, If they die or lose all their health in the game, will they die in real life? The trailer definitely highlights the fun and adventure of the game and what to expect but they didn’t capture the suspense and danger the first one had getting mixed in with the contents of the game. For me, that is what worked with the first one is that even though it is a kids film, these people were in danger.

With the comedy chops of the cast and the action pack sequences you got from the trailer, I am sure this will be a fun movie to watch.

Movie Review: Alice Through the Looking Glass

The follow-up movie to Alice in Wonderland (2010) continues the story with the return of Alice back to Wonderland to discover that her bestie, The Mad Hatter, has become fairly ill because he believes that his family, who supposedly died during an attack, is actually alive but no one believes him. Alice determined to get The Mad Hatter back to help, she turns to the White Queen and Time himself to go back in time and figure out what happened to his family the day of the accident. Which also causes a chain of events that could wipe Wonderland from existence.

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