Tag Archives: Muna Agada

Film Review: Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

By Muna Agada

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Cast: Daniel Craig (Benoit Blanc), Janelle Monáe (Cassandra and Helena Brand), Kathryn Hanh  (Claire Debella), Kate Hudson (Birdie Jay), Edward Norton (Miles Bron), Leslie Odom Jr. (Lionel Toussaint), Dave Bautista (Duke Cody), Madelyn Cline (Whiskey)

Director: Rian Johnson 

Screenplay: Rian Johnson Distributed by: Netflix

Synopsis:

Detective Blonc (Daniel Craig) is back at it again, when he’s invited to tech billionaire Miles Bron’s (Edward Norton) deserted Greek Island for a murder mystery party that takes a turn when someone really ends up dead. Now Blanc is on the case to try and figure out who was the culprit.

Things I liked: First thing I liked would have to be the set: the deserted island, and the scenery of it all was just beautiful. The cast would have to be another thing, it’s made up of a lot of A-list actors, which worried me. Most of the time movies with big known actors tend to be bad, but this was good. You could tell that the actors were committed to their roles and were giving it their all. I liked the spin that they had with this movie.

The first Knives Out movie got big in the first place because it added a twist to the average, everyday murder mystery film. And this film was no exception. You find out that Detective Blanc wasn’t really invited by Miles, but by Helena Brand (Janelle Monáe), to discover who killed her twin sister Cassandra, who used to be friends and business partners with the group, but was stabbed in the back by them. She was ready to get her justice but ended up dying from an apparent “suicide”. There was also two murders being investigated, because Duke Cody (Dave Bautista) also ends up being killed. 

Things I hated: I feel like the murderer in the film was pretty obvious from the get go, which the first film did as well, but I was hoping it wouldn’t be so predictable this time. Spoiler Alert: the killer ends up being Miles, the one who killed Cassandra and Duke. And Duke’s cause of death was obvious, he dies when Miles slips him a drink with pineapples in them, something we learn from the beginning, he’s allergic to. I figured that out from the second he dropped dead. 

I was also disappointed that they didn’t use some of the actors more, like how they did for Janelle Monáe–I mean she plays two characters. Like Dave Bautista who ends up dead within the first 20 minutes and Madelyn Cline who they made a big deal out of in the promos, but barely used her. I just thought her character was useless and meaningless. In the movie Cline is dating Bautista’s character and they had a rocky relationship. The movie could have used that to their advantage and made Cline be the one who killed Bautista out of revenge for treating her like garbage in the relationship. He would basically sell her body to promote himself.

Dave Bautista as Duke Cody

Events in the Norwalk Area for December

By Muna Agada

Event: CHRISTmas Services and Fellowship Meal

Date: Saturday, December 17, 2022 from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Location: Boys & Girls Club of Fullerton, 340 West Commonwealth Avenue Fullerton, CA
•The Fullerton Boys and Girls Club will be hosting their annual holiday event. Families will be able to drive around the community for treats, crafts, and most importantly, toys! 

Event: Long Beach’s Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl 

Date: Sat, December 17, 2022, 4:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Location: Downtown Long Beach 300 The Promenade N. Long Beach, CA 90802
Tickets: $12-$20
•Drink specials with no cover charge with purchase of a wristband. Enjoy contests, games, and chances to win prizes.

Event: RGE Cares 3rd Annual Christmas Giveaway

Date: Saturday, December 17, 2022, 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM PST
Location: 961 W Alondra Blvd, Compton, CA 90220
•Event will help the countless families that might struggle during the holiday season.

Event: Once Upon A Holiday 

Date: Sunday, December 18 2022 from 09:00 am to 2:00 pm
Location: Liberty Baptist Church of Norwalk, 12029 Pine St., Norwalk, CA
•Regular church service with a Christmas-themed lunch 

Event: An Irish Christmas 

Date: Sunday, December 18, 2022 at 2:30 pm
Location: Downey Theatre, 8435 Firestone Blvd, Downey, CA
•Showcases some of the great Irish holiday traditions. Christmas carols you know plus some high energy Irish Dancing

Event: City of Compton’s 67th Annual Christmas Parade

Date: Monday, December 19, 2022 11 AM – 1 PM
Location: Along Compton Blvd., Compton, CA 
•The city of Compton will be holding their annual Christmas Parade, starting from Compton Boulevard and Bullis Road and ending at Alameda Street. 

Event: Bellflower Farmers Market

Date: Monday, December 19, 2022 at 9:00 am
Location: Simms Park parking lot, 16614 S. Clark Avenue, Bellflower, CA 90706
•Vendors will be selling fresh fruits, vegetables, and holiday treats.

Event: Las Posadas 2023

Date: Saturday, Jan 7th 2023, 6-9pm
Location: Norwalk City Hall Lawn, 12700 Norwalk Blvd, Norwalk, CA
•A candle lit on the city hall lawn. Will have caroling, light refreshments, and performances from mariachis and ballet folklorico dancers. 

Film Review: Black Adam

By Muna Agada

Cast: Dwayne Johnson (Black Adam), Sarah Shai (Isis), Aldis Hodge (Hawkman), Pierce Brosnan (Doctor Fate), Noah Centineo (Atom Smasher), Quintessa Swindell (Cyclone)
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Screenplay: Sohrab Noshirvani, Adam Sztykiel, and Rory Haines
Film Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures

Synopsis:

In the country of ancient Kahndaq, Tenth Adam (Dwayne Johnson) was bestowed upon the powers of the gods. After using his powers for revenge, he is imprisoned for 5,000 years. Now free and causing chaos, he is challenged by the Justice Society.

Things I Loved:

Firstly, coming into the movie I was hoping for it to be good because it’s like a spin-off of Shazam and that movie was great. But it is a D.C. movie, and when it comes to their movies they aren’t always the best. However, I was thoroughly surprised and glad that this was a great movie.

Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam

I enjoyed the coloring of the movie. It really did give off that superhero vibe. I liked the portrayals of the characters that the actors gave. The plot twists about how it was actually Black Adam’s (Dwanye Johnson) son being the true champion of Kahndaq, and that he was the one whose powers were bestowed by the gods were excellent. Furthermore, I loved the way that his son transferred those powers onto him. And because his son passed those powers onto him, it doesn’t save him when he gets killed, which is why Black Adam goes on his path of revenge. I don’t know why this film only got 45% on Rotten Tomatoes. I really enjoyed myself.

Things I Hated:

I expected the movie to be funnier considering its predecessor, Shazam was hilarious; but there was only one time where I laughed out loud. Most of the time, the cinematics were great but there were times where it was a little choppy; and when it came to the action scenes, it looked like it came straight out of a video game.

Additionally, this might be a bit of an unpopular opinion, but I wished they had picked a different person to play Black Adam. I don’t hate the guy. I think Johnson is a good enough actor, and he played the character well. I just think it would have been nice to see someone else playing this character.

They also could have done without the extra characters they added like Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo) and Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell). They just didn’t bring anything to the story, except for maybe the scene when Atom Smasher made me actually laugh once in the movie.

Atom Smasher added humor to the film

Film Review: The Woman King

By Muna Agada

Actors: Viola Davis (Nanisca), Thuso Mbedu (Nawi), Sheila Atim (Amenza), Lashana Lynch (Igozie), John Boyega (King Ghezo); Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood; Writer: Dana Stevens; Film Studio: Sony Pictures

Synopsis:

The Woman King is about a group of all female warriors in the year 1800 from the African country of Dahomey. They train to be skilled fighters in a way of combat that helps them fight an enemy who is trying to destroy their way of life. It follows a young woman named Nawi (Thuso Mbedu) who is on her journey to becoming a Dahomey warrior, after her parents disown her for not marrying the man they picked for her. The experiences she goes through is what shapes her into becoming the warrior she is by the end of the movie.

Things I liked:

While watching this movie you learn a lot. I had no idea that in Africa, women could once be warriors or rulers of countries. I thought men held all the power, so finding out something new like that was a great experience. Who says you can’t learn from movies? 

The actors in this movie were extraordinary. There was a scene where Igozige (Lashana Lynch) dies and the actress who plays Nawi (Thuso Mbedu) gave an excellent performance. She was crying her eyes out, while spit came out of her mouth. The audience could really feel that she was absolutely heartbroken. Another scene where Viola Davis (Nanisca) revealed to Nawi that she was her mother was really powerful and made me once again acknowledge the effort put in by the actors. 

Anytime companies create movies about people’s culture they have to make sure they are being real and authentic about it or it will be labeled as culturally offensive. And I know this movie was not culturally offensive, because my mother wouldn’t stop talking to me about how she grew up doing the exact same things the movie was portraying. So for them to actually take the time and study the culture speaks volumes.

Things I didn’t like:

The movie was a bit too long. There were things that it could have definitely done without. For example, the small scenes with the extra warriors could have been left out, because they were not important to the storyline, why give them that much screen time? Same thing goes to the little romance that was going on with Nawi (Thuso Mbedu) and Malik (Jordan Bolger), a mixed race Brazilian who associated himself with slave traders and owners. It was an unnecessary and a ridiculous addition to the film. The thing about Dahomey women warriors is that they cannot be with men, they stay away from them and for her to be breaking their number one rule was crazy to me. If you didn’t believe in the whole no men rule, then why be a warrior in the first place. She would act as if the rules didn’t apply to her. 

I furthermore hated how they killed off Igozie (Lashan Lynch). Killing her off didn’t add anything to the story, because the movie was almost over at the time of her death. Why not just keep her in? I will say however that her death did make me want to cry.

 Also before I watched the movie I believed it was going to be a lot more pretty and eye-catching. There was definitely color in the film, but it seemed very saturated at times. I understand they did that in order to show that it’s not exactly an upbeat movie, but I couldn’t help feeling a bit disappointed by the visuals. 

Minor Controversy:

The movie actually has a bit of controversy to it. Many members of the black community wanted to boycott it. I am aware that when you are going into the movie it says that it’s based on true events; which it is, but very loosely. Some things are going to be changed to present a certain story to the audience. And this movie was changed drastically. In the movie the Dahomey people and warriors are presented in a good light. They are essentially made to look like good people. When in reality that was not the case. The Dahomey people played a big role in the slave trade, as they were the ones capturing people and selling them to the Europeans and Americans. That is what led to it becoming a controversial film.

Muna Agada

Muna Agada is a high school junior at John Glenn High School. She is a lover of literature, mainly in the fantasy and romance genre. When it comes to romance she’s a bit of a sap about it. She likes to consider herself a movie buff. She loves watching films and going back to it, and breaking it down. Analyzing the decisions the director took to lead you to a certain conclusion. She wants to one day travel the world, especially to go look at the different architecture of places around the world.