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.”
If you grew up in the 90s like I did, then you were either a fan of the Power Rangers or were aware of their towering existence in both television and merchandise. Even though the Power Rangers have been on television since 1993, the Power Rangers are back on the big screen for the first time since 1997. In this big budget reboot, Power Rangers focuses on the story of the original Power Rangers television series characters from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (who also graced us with the classic 1995 movie). When Power Rangers hones in on its moments that bring out nostalgia, it’s a blast. And if you grew up watching this superhero team fight and make “whoosh” noises, you’ll appreciate the subtle nods that bring out undeniable glee. Continue reading Power Rangers: Just Enough Nostalgia to Go Go See this Movie [Review]
The original Beauty and the Beast, the 1991 animated version, is one of the five best animated movies of all-time; it was so good that it became the first ever animated movie to be nominated for Best Picture by the Academy Awards. With movie studios going through their vault of hit movies and remaking them, it was inevitable that Beauty and the Beast would get a live-action remake sooner or later. And thanks to the advances in creating special effects that make the unimaginable look more realistic than ever, along with Disney coming off a string of successful live-action remakes (Maleficent, Cinderella, Jungle Book), the studio fast-tracked remaking the “tale as old as time.” Even though the narrative of this Beauty and the Beast is uneven at times, the movie, as a whole, hits most of the right notes. I would say it’s difficult not to compare this live-action remake to the near-perfect animated movie; but, in reality, there’s just no way around it.