In recent years, the latest horror franchise to conjure up globs of money from audiences has been the Conjuring Universe (the name Warner Brothers gave this horror franchise). While the first Conjuring movie, The Conjuring, reshaped the modern-day horror genre, its spin-off, Annabelle, was very underwhelming; in fact, I was so bored that I never finished watching it. But last year, the Conjuring Universe returned to its roots with The Conjuring 2, which was a formidable sequel to the original Conjuring. Up until this week, I wasn’t so sure audiences needed another horror franchise to follow due to what we have seen in years past with horror franchises and their lackluster sequels. But before seeing Annabelle: Creation, which is set before anything that happens in the three previous Conjuring movies, I can’t believe I would ever say this: if Warner Brothers and can keep making horror follow-ups as horrifyingly pleasing as Annabelle: Creation, count me in for this Conjuring Universe. Continue reading Annabelle: Creation is a Satisfyingly Scary Entry in the Conjuring Universe (Review)
As evidenced by The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, director Kathryn Bigelow is no stranger to tense movies. While Detroit is another rigid movie from the Oscar-winning director, this depiction of the racially-charged events that transpired in Motown 50 years ago is her most unsettling movie yet. First and foremost, you should know this movie is not an easy watch; while this movie is meant to start discussions, there is no happy ending here. If you see Detroit, you’re likely to leave the movie angry. Even though Bigelow does not hold back when it comes to telling this story, it is also jagged and in need of editing. If you were to cut 40 minutes from Detroit, you would have yourself a harrowing American classic; I would even say it would be a front-runner for Best Picture at next year’s Oscars. But that’s not the case here. Despite Detroit’s issues, it’s still a captivating movie with a gut-wrenching story worth your attention. Continue reading Detroit: Uneven and Unnerving, Yet Still Effective (Review)
Castlevania premiered on Netflix over the weekend. Categorised as an animated show, the first season consists of four episodes with each one lasting no longer than 25 minutes. Due to the short length of the first season along with my shared interest with Fox Force Five News’ Editor in Chief, Keven Skinner, we have each reviewed Castlevania from our own perspectives, and consolidated our reviews into one overall rating of the show.
In 2014, Universal Pictures attempted to launch their Dark Universe (the name of their Universal Monsters cinematic universe) with Dracula Untold. Unfortunately, the movie received mixed reviews and was underwhelming at the box office. Fast forward three years and Universal is once again trying to launch the Dark Universe with The Mummy. But unlike Dracula Untold, which had its moments, The Mummy, on the other hand, takes poorly setting up a cinematic universe to a whole new level. Bad in almost every facet, it makes you wonder if Universal should just scrap this Dark Universe altogether and save other A-list actors (Javier Bardem and Johnny Depp) from wasting their time with it. By the time the credits roll for The Mummy, you’ll be yearning for another Brendan Fraser-starring Mummy movie instead of where this Dark Universe goes next. Tonally all over the place mixed together with a humdrum story and exhaustive CGI, The Mummy is a conglomerate mess from start to finish.
In one scene plastered all over the marketing for Wonder Woman, we see the female heroine step onto the battlefield, alone, to try and take out the German forces. This action-packed scene and what follows immediately after it combine to deliver not only one of the best action sequences in a superhero movie of all-time, but it is also a testament to just how crowd-pleasing the movie is as a whole. Wonder Woman is a bold, confident movie with as much heart as it has soul. Wonder Woman is not only a groundbreaking achievement, but also a movie that inspires much-needed hope in dark times like this. And given how crazy things are around the world, Wonder Woman is exactly the type of hero we need right now.
“Fifty years have passed”
These are the first lines spoken in the intro for Samurai Jack and they come from the warrior himself in this new season. This marks a notable change given how the lines in the intro for the first four seasons of the show were spoken by Jack’s arch nemesis, Aku. Fifty years have passed for Jack while 13 years have passed since viewers last saw the samurai onscreen before the show abruptly ended without a proper ending. Thankfully, the show was revived and given a limited series order on Adult Swim to conclude Jack’s story. Before the revival, Samurai Jack already was considered a masterpiece of the animated genre. But after watching Jack’s journey finally come to a close on Saturday, this animated masterpiece should now be in the discussion for best animated show of all-time. From the season premiere back in March to finale on Saturday, Jack’s farewell journey, told over the final 10 episodes, was nothing short of phenomenal.
Three years after coming out of left field and becoming everyone’s favorite group of superheroes overnight, the A-holes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) are back in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The first entries in these superhero outings from Marvel Studios are usually “fairly good.” But that was not the case with 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which is arguably one of the very best movies to date in the MCU. So, going into Vol. 2, the expectations are fairly high. Vol. 2 hits all the right notes as a sequel; it’s bigger in every aspect – from scope to characters and action. Bigger can be better in many cases, but Vol. 2’s plot keeps those bigger things rather slender and rangy at times. But still, director James Gunn’s usage of these characters we’ve all come to know and love help propel this robust, entertaining sequel.
It’s hard not to watch The Fate of the Furious and think about the void left by Paul Walker, who played one of the two main characters in the Fast & Furious franchise until his tragic death in 2013. Walker’s character, Brian O’Conner, was given a proper sendoff in Furious 7, which paid great tribute to the beloved actor and his place in the NOS-infused series. After seeing Furious 7, I figured this was not only a near-perfect way to end the story of Walker’s character, but also to end the franchise with the remaining characters in play. But being that the franchise continues to make money, another sequel was inevitable. Fast forward three years from Furious 7 and we now have The Fate of the Furious. While the latest entry offers a number of impressive, physics-defying action sequences and some good laughs, as a whole, none of it pushes the franchise either forward or in reverse, making The Fate of the Furious just “okay.”