Tag Archives: film reviews

Red Notice: Movie Review

By: Karissa Meno

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Red Notice is set up to be a fun and adventurous movie, and as always contains a little comedy. The Netflix Original movie beats views of the Disney+ film Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings.

This Flynn Picture Company, Seven Bucks Productions, and Bad Version, Inc. production is directed by Rawsn Marshall Thurber. This action/comedy has a starring cast of Gal Gadot (Sarah Black/The Bishop), Dwayne Johnson (John Hartley), Ryan Reynolds (Booth), Ritu Arya (Inspector Urvashi Das), and Chris Diamontopoulos (Sotto Voce) that make this movie eventful.

This movie offers the story of the worlds greatest con-artist (Booth) and intelligent FBI Agent (Hartley) looking for Ancient Egypt’s Cleopatra’s famous and expensive glamour eggs. While trying to beat the worlds greatest thief (Sarah Black) to the eggs as well. All while creating an action filled and adventurous roller coaster throughout different places.  

The movie begins fast paced, introducing our two main characters Booth and Agent Hartley. Booth is the world’s greatest con-artist and Agent Hartley is part of the FBI trying to track down Booth. Booth’s main objective is to gain Cleopatra’s extravagant glamour egg given to her by Mark Antony. After Hartley goes on a chase for Booth, a misunderstanding leads both Hartley and Booth to work together. They are given an offer by Sarah Black who also wants to retrieve the glamour eggs. Now Booth and Hartley are on a race to beat Sarah to the eggs. This adventure brings Booth And Hartley closer together as Hartley is looking to regain his reputation in the FBI. Later the three of them are forced to work together on their trip to the third egg.

The beginning of the movie is fast moving but still easy to keep up with. Ryan Reynolds as always offers some great comedy throughout any scene. Even though the action begins a couple minutes before the start, it was eventful to watch for an action/comedy. The events that follow make sense, in a way but are very random; and even though the story has an objective it lays a little bit of history behind the story all tying it up to the places they travel. I’ve never been one for your “historical con-artist action movies” but this one seemed eventful to me in some way that I never took a chance on action movies. Some aspects of the movie were your typical cheesy action scenes, but all is well and good enough for me.

If you love your action-filled car chases, slow motion air scenes, sort of predictable twists and turns, going from place to place, and some occasional safe-cracking, this is the movie for you.

Suicide Squad: Film Review

By Karissa Meno

The Suicide Squad knocks the first movie out of the park with an even bigger cast and an eventful ride.

Directed by James Gunn and produced by Charles Roven and Peter Safran, the film introduces to us a new team of villains. These villains/heroes are portrayed by Idris Elba (Bloodsport), Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), John Cena (Peacemaker), Daniela Melchior (Ratcatcher), Sylvester Stallone (King Shark), Joel Kinnaman (Rick Flag), David Dastmatchian (Polka-Dot Man), Pete Davidson (Blackguard), Viola Davis (Amanda Waller), Julio Cesar Ruiz (Milton), Jai Courtney (Captain Boomerang), Flula Borg (Javelin), Peter Capaldi (Gaius Grieves), Sean Gunn (Weasel), and Michael Rooker (Savant).
Director James Gunn's new take on The Suicide Squad succeeds in gloriously  gory fashion where its 2016 predecessor failed | Film News | Spokane | The  Pacific Northwest Inlander | News, Politics,

This enormous cast makes the best scenes and the most amazing adventures of the movie. The movie is very vibrant and full of action, the story is driven and well written, making it a fun but impactful story.

The story opens up with the first group on their way to complete a mission along with showing off some of the opening characters. It isn’t until a couple minutes later, after an exaggerated and eventful battle, that we are introduced to the main group that continues the rest of the movie and carry out an important mission.

Bloodsport, or Robert DuBois (Elba), is given a very important role and portrays it well; his character stands out as well as his “abilities.” We are introduced to other important characters and given background on them, yet their background stories didn’t take away from any of the movie’s story time which was a good thing to see.

Amanda Waller (Davis), along with a few other workers, help the team in order to complete their mission. Amanda Waller becomes enraged with the team or makes her to where she could have too much power, not enough to take away from the movie’s true aspect. As the team is on their mission to first retrieve Harley, and to get help from a mad scientist Gaius Grieves (Capaldi), we see some action and slight competition from the characters during their “accidental” cleanout mission to retrieve Rick Flag. We see some solo adventures and action scenes from Harley, which were truly a highlight–her stunts and action were a sight for sore eyes.

We see the team starting to get along and create bonds on their mission to get Gaius Grieves in a momental bar scene. After they retrieve both Grieves and Harley they are on a mission to destroy anything that relates to a mysterious project that is called “Project Starfish.” As per usual, Amanda Waller stretches the truth that the team finding out the main villain is an invasive and enslaving alien that can take over multiple people at a time killing off a human’s life as soon as they enslave them. “Project Starfish” was started when a group of astronauts saw a giant-eyed starfish floating in space named Starro, those astronauts sent by the government took the starfish and brought it home with them to Earth causing a conflicting chain of events.

The final scenes of the movie revolve around taking down Starro, this scene was eventful and a delight to watch. Not too much was going on at one time to take away from the movie. The fight wasn’t making me anxious but making me excited to see what will happen next for the team after the mission is complete.

This movie was incredible, making for a more eventful and much greater story than the first Suicide Squad movie released in 2016. The Suicide Squad as a great addition to the DC Universe. The characters are always close to comically accurate, making them look and have better characteristics then in the comics. The twist and turns of the movie weren’t too dramatic for the movie. Every bit of new information or action didn’t take away from the movie or create any confusion, it just made the story even better. Even though I would have loved to see more screen time of the new characters as well as Harley the movie was perfectly laid out, with perfect inserts of comedy. Even though I wish more DC films could be like The Suicide Squad,  other films are possibly meant to be more light weight. The Suicide Squad, like Joker and Zack Snyder’s Justice League, have sort of a deep and dark storyline that most people like to see. 

Overall The Suicide Squad was truly delightful and had a very laid out and perfectly timed storyline. The action wasn’t too little and wasn’t too much, the story was eventful and easy to keep up with. Even if you didn’t know much about the villains before this, the story has a quick and easy way of giving you that information about the villains without taking away from the events of the story. This great DC film has me and possibly many others wondering: What will DC do next to become an even greater and popular franchise?

Watch The Suicide Squad (2021) (4K UHD) | Prime Video

Halloween Kills: Film Review

By Karissa Meno

Halloween Kills was an eventful horror movie and a fun addition to the Halloween series. 

How to Watch 'Halloween Kills' for Free from Home | IndieWire

A Blumhouse, International Pictures, Rough House, and Miramax Production. Directed by David Gordon Green and produced by Malek Akkad, Jason Blum, and Bill Block.

Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis (Laurie Strode), James Jude Courtney (Michael Myers), Judy Greer (Karen Nelson), Andi Matichak (Allyson Nelson), Anthony Michael Hall (Tommy Doyle), Kyle Richards (Lindsey Wallace), Robert Longstreet (Lonnie Elam), Nancy Stephens (Marion Chambers), Dylan Arnold (Cameron Elam), and Omar Dorsey (Sheriff Barker). 

Some can argue that Halloween Kills is “good,” “okay,” or “terrible,” but I would describe the overall experience of Halloween Kills as simply “eventful.” The movie offers a very eventful and fast-moving story. Sometimes you can find the story irrelevant but still enjoy the aspects of the movie.

The beginning felt very rushed, seeming like they wanted to get straight to the point with the movie. It’s very hard to keep up with the actual story of Halloween, but the best part is watching Michael go around on his traditional killing spree. Some scenes felt very dramatized and not involving itself to actually stopping Michael. It was very eventful to watch how Michael catches his prey–idiotic but eventful. The movie isn’t particularly scary except for the loud bumps and loud music, and no real jumpscares. The movie also offers little flashbacks and even characters from previous Halloween movies. Many scary movies nowadays feel like an action movie. Halloween Kills doesn’t truly give you that feeling but it gives you the thrill of watching Michael.

Halloween begins with looking at the story of Lonnie Elam (Robert Longstreet) and his encounter with Michael Myers, as well as the story of two cops who encounter and battle against Michael. The movie then gives you the traditional Halloween opening credit scenes with lit up pumpkins and the familiar music.

The movie starts exactly where it left off with Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis), her daughter Karen (Judy Green), and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) going to the hospital after a battle to get rid of Michael. As you can already tell if you’ve seen the trailer or knew about another Halloween movie, Michael is obviously not dead nor is his terrorizism on Haddonfield. An amazing opening house fire scene shows you exactly the kind of treat you’re in for the rest of the movie.

We continue to see scenes at the hospital as we follow Judy and Karen. At a bar on Halloween night, we are introduced to some of the old survivors from previous Halloween movies, as they and others at the bar find out Michael is very much still alive. The town becomes determined to end Michael’s reign of terror and goes on a town watch to find him. We start to see Michael take out many of his new and old victims throughout the manhunt. Laurie and the rest of the hospital also become involved with the finding and ending of Michael.

Halloween Kills marks new high in 'horror renaissance' | Horror films | The  Guardian

Allyson and Cameron, with Cameron’s dad (the little boy Lonnie all grown up) also become involved with the manhunt for Michael. With the escape of an asylum inmate, it creates complications for the town as they mistake him for Michael, dividing the town in half. After realizing Michael’s plan, Allyson and Cameron head to the original Myers house to put a stop to Michael. The end is near and we see little hope of Allyson stopping Michael, but help comes to step in ultimately stopping Michael but not truly stopping or ending the Halloween series, yet.

Halloween Kills was a very eventful and fun Halloween movie to watch. It doesn’t particularly give you that scare factor or have you sitting on the edge of your seat, but it is still eventful to watch. It felt as if it were missing important factors to make it more of a “scary movie” and not like an action movie. The scenes with Michael were great and the suspense factors were sort of lacking. Many of the actions characters take feel as if they were not involved in stopping Michael and more for the drama of the movie. Even though the logic of the victims wasn’t the best, it was fun to watch and made you want to scream at them, “No don’t do it!” or “Why would you do that?” I couldn’t remember the last time I had fun watching a horror movie, and even if movies like this aren’t scary enough for you it’ll still be very enjoyable to watch. Many of the scenes and actions taken can have you waiting for more, or not waiting at all.
Halloween Kills is an exciting start to the Halloween season.

And just in case you wanted to know, in 2022 the finale to the Halloween series will be released: Halloween Ends gives me the excitement to see how it all finally ends.

HALLOWEEN KILLS - Michael Myers Halloween Horror Movie T-Shirt – Fright-Rags

Candyman: Film Review

By Karissa Meno

Candyman (2021) a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Monkeypaw Production, and Bron Creative Production.

•Director: Nia DaCosta. •Producers: Ian Cooper, Win Rosenfeld, and Jordan Peele. 

•Cast: Tony Todd (Candyman), Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Anthony McCoy), Teyonah Parris (Brianna Cartwright), Coleman Domingo (William Burke), Nathan Stewart Jarrett (Troy Cartwright), and Vanessa Estelle Williams (Anne-Marie McCoy)

I started off my Saturday night with the sequel to the original 1992 Candyman. This movie gave me high hopes but I started to slowly become less and less invested. The movie did have some ominous visuals, and great paper-craft like puppet storytelling. The plot and story of the movie were very clear laying all out on the table, but the movie itself was still missing something. The movie did not give me that horror and suspense that I was looking for. The gore scenes were pretty eventful, but not as horrifying as I wished.  

The movie begins with a puppet show recap of the 1992 Candyman with Tony Todd and Virginia Madsen, the story of Helen becoming insane and taking baby Anthony into a giant bonfire under the attack and terrorism of Candyman (Tony Todd). This is the story of Anthony McCoy, a struggling painter who finds inspiration from his girlfriend Brianna Cartwright (Teyonah Parris) and her brother Troy Cartwright (Nathan Stewart Jarretr) and the story of Helen and Candyman one night as they all drank together. Anthony gets inspiration from the neighborhood where Candyman was originally found or where he lives.

This movie tries to involve the arts like painting along with the story of Candyman; that just doesn’t sit right. The movie does, however, make a clear reference to the mirror scene in the original, showing what’s behind the mirror. Much of Anthony’s story relates to much of Helen’s story, but instead of being a more eventful story, Anthony’s story feels more like trying your best to make a five paragraph essay sound smart without any background information. I found that the original provided a more eventful story than the sequel did.

The movie shows the slow process of the transformation for Anthony to become Candyman himself. Even if the Candyman story didn’t make sense, how simple it is to turn a normal person into a bee-infested, hook-for-a-hand killer doesn’t make sense. Anthony starts his research on Candyman at the abandoned building where the 1992 Candyman was set, and at an almost-always-empty laundromat, Anthony runs into William Burke (Colman Domingo) who explains to Anthony the story of his run-in with Candyman. Anthony is having trouble creating new paintings to express his racially-involved emotions. With his piece of a mirror with a description of how to “summon” Candyman, many people follow with this “legend” or “rumor,” with both a couple and a few teenage girls being slaughtered in the bathroom. During this, Anthony continues his research on Candyman in what seems to be a library with a chilling and horrific elevator scene.

Throughout the movie, we see the process that Anthony and Helen both experience with the terrorism of Candyman, as we watch Anthony become horrifically involved with Candyman affecting his relationship with Brianna and causing her to leave. Later, Brianna converses with her brother Troy as he convinces her to go to Anthony. On her way to see Anthony she is taken as the sacrifice for Anthony to become the Candyman. Resulting in a very fatal and mysterious ending.
This movie isn’t slow-paced, but is still uneventful. The horrific and halfway suspenseful scenes are fun to look at but were not keeping me on the edge of my seat. Even the ending felt unnecessary and was also possibly teasing yet another Candyman movie. I wouldn’t completely recommend this movie to others, but I would recommend the original 1992 Candyman over 2021 Candyman. This movie, along with many others, can’t grab my attention like older ones can.

Shang-Chi: Film Review

By Karissa Meno

•Directed by: Destin Daniel Cretton

•Cast: Simu Liu (Shang-Chi), Awkwafina (Katy), Tony Leung Chiu-wai (Mandarin), Fala Chen (Leiko Wu), Meng’ er Zhang (Xialing), Michelle Yech (Jiang Nan), and Benedict Wong (Wong).

Shang-Chi was the perfect Labor Day plan. The phase 4 of Marvel continues to get better and better with the release of Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Marvel Studios and the cast are what made Shang-Chi perfect. The film offers amazing visuals as well as an incredible storyline. The beautiful scenery and visuals gave me chills along with the incredible fight scenes; and it even offers a little comedy.

The movie shows the story of the man known as the Mandarin and his Ten Rings organization, with the story of Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) and his sister Xialing (Meng’ er Zhang) who grew up at the Ten Rings compound. After losing something important, Shang-Chi and Xialing must face their father alone as he goes on an impactful investigation to regain that important thing. This movie offers the symbolism of letting go of who you were made to be and to become who you are. The importance of family, home, and the people with the meaning of aiming for something much bigger.

Shang-Chi begins with the story of their father, Mandarin, who is looking rich in power and all of the above, but he is looking for more. While looking for more riches he meets Leiko Wu, Shang-Chi and Xialing’s mother. Years later Shang-Chi and Xialing are left with the Mandarin after the loss of their mother. As the years go on, we see Shang-Chi training with the rest of the soldiers while Xialing watches from the sidelines training herself and being better than the boys. On an important mission Shang-Chi is sent to finish, he runs away leaving Xialing behind.

Six years later, Shang-Chi is living a normal life with his best friend Katy (Awkwafina). After an attack with the Ten Rings men, Shang-Chi is obligated to find Xialing and help their father to regain his consciousness after he has come to believe Leiko Wu is being hidden away by her family in a secret civilization. A trip back home made Xialing and Shang-Chi realize they have to find their mothers hidden home. Once arriving at their home, Shang-Chi is taught to fight with nature and not violence, while giving Katy and Shang-Chi a meaning of becoming more mature. Shang-Chi is forced to fight his father, leading him to gain the Ten Rings and restore peace to his home. 

Shang-Chi is one of the best movies in the phase four MCU or MCM now. Shang-Chi has beautiful graphics and visuals along with interesting animals and new and exotic places. The fight scenes were well played out and incredible to watch. Shang-Chi has great promise to future films, hopefully bringing back Shang-Chi, Katy, and Xialing in other films, along with the continuation and investigation of the Ten Rings.

Shang-Chi was the perfect plan for my Labor Day weekend. Audiences agreed, as Disney once again reached the No.1 spot over the Labor Day weekend with an astonishing $90 million in ticket sales in both the U.S. and Canada.

Spider-Man: No Way Home Trailer Drops

By Karissa Meno

The Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer is finally out after many months of asking. This Columbia Pictures, Marvel Studio, and Pascal Pictures production is directed by Jon Watts, written by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, and produced by Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal.

The trailer includes important appearances from Tom Holland (Peter Parker/Spiderman), Zendaya (Mary-Jane Watson), Benedict Cumberbatch (Steven Strange/Dr. Strange), Marisa Tomei (Aunt May), Jacob Batalon (Ned), Benedict Wong (Wong), with a special appearance from Alfred Molina who plays Dr. Octavius/Dr. Octopus from the 2004 Spider-Man 2 film. With theoretical and hopeful appearances from both Toby Maguire (Spider-Man 1, 2, & 3) and Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man 1 & 2).

The trailer offers so much leaving you with so many questions and theories. It also has a beautiful way of opening up the multiverse while providing a combination of Doctor Strange visuals and aspects, while offering an overwhelming amount of action creating a very exotic and eventful trailer.

With many theories going around about the possible characters and events in the movie, it’s hard to determine who the whole cast might be or what most scenes in the trailer might be. The trailer gives a lot of information just from little snippets of a scene, you get the general plot of what the movie will contain giving you that excitement and shocking feeling every trailer and Marvel movie should.

The trailer begins with how Spider-Man: Far From Home ended, revealing the true identity of Spider-Man with challenging tribulations to Peter Parker and his family and friends. Peter Parker contemplates the thought of what life would have been like if people didn’t know he was Spider-Man, and thinks to consider and seeks help from Dr. Strange. When arriving at the Sanctum, Dr. Strange tells Peter about a certain spell that could help Peter to regain his normal life back, even though Wong encourages Dr. Strange not to use the spell. But Dr. Strange goes against Wong’s wishes. As Dr. Strange performs the spell Peter continues to blab about those who should know about him being Spider-Man and the spell is ruined. The spell was a much bigger part of the timeline and everything is affected by the disruption of the spell, bringing in the Dr. Strange aspects into the trailer. With the troubled spell, much of Peter Parker’s world is turned upside down, figuratively and literally. The rest of the trailer and movie is up for elaboration until December 17, 2021.

This trailer gives some hopeful and exciting view into what No Way Home is about, with the trailer raking in over 355 million views, beating 2019’s Avengers: Endgame trailer. Much of the trailer and events in the movie are being theorized. As more and more theories and rumors are coming in, it’s hard to tell exactly what the movie is going to offer or who it’s going to offer. Spider-Man: No Way Home will open a month and a half after Marvel Studios’ Eternals and Disney+ Series Hawkeye in theaters. Don’t forget to stick around for the post-credit scene and even the after-credit scene.