Cars 3

It’s been more than ten years since the first Cars movie was released, which was a sweet and sensitive racing comedy film. The sequel, Cars 2 turned out to be a soulless and disappointing with no real sense of purpose. Cars 3, fortunately, delivers a good story and gets the series back on track.

Lightning McQueen, voiced by Owen Wilson, is enjoying his time as the racing legend. His life changes when Jackson Storm, voiced by Armie Hammer, an arrogant and ridiculously fast young racer, defeats him in a race. This continues until the last race of the season where McQueen crashes and goes into rehab.

Now, Storm is the new champ. Everyone thinks McQueen is old and it’s time for him to retire. But he doesn’t give up and decides to reinvent himself to become the champion again. In this journey, McQueen meets Cruz, voiced by Cristela Alonzo, his trainer who never believed in herself as a racer. She is an important character in the story which will surprise you at the end.

The animation looks more realistic than before. The racing sequences are entertaining too. It is a touching and motivational tale which will connect with all. It’s not only about McQueen trying to win a race but something more than that. The movie has some funny scenes which will bring out laughter.

Overall, Cars 3 is an enjoyable ride for both kids and adults alike. It is the best movie of the series and definitely a one-time watch.

Rating – πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹

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Genre: Animation, Comedy

Directed by: Brian Fee

Starring: Owen Wilson, Cristela Alonzo, Chris Cooper, Armie Hammer, Bonnie Hunt, Larry the Cable Guy, Nathan Fillion, Kerry Washington, Lea DeLaria

Music by: Randy Newman

Cinematography: Jeremy Lasky, Newton Thomas Sigel

Edited by: Stephen Schaffer

The Mummy (2017)

The Mummy is a reboot of The Mummy franchise and the first installment in the Dark Universe film series. This time we have a woman mummy in the form of the evil Egyptian Princess Ahmanet, who is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert.

The story starts with Nick Morton(Tom Cruise) who accidentally reawakens the Mummy of Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) and immediately gets cursed. A young archeologist Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis), and the scientist Doctor Jekyll(Russell Crowe) come to Nick’s rescue. They are part of Prodigium, a secret society dedicated to hunting supernatural threats.

The story does excite you to some extent initially. But it doesn’t live up to the expectation when it reaches to the end. The character of Nick lacks purpose and isn’t properly fleshed out. His love for Jenny is never built up and lacks conviction. The character of Princess Ahmanet is very well designed but never used up to its full potential. The same goes with Doctor Jeykyll.

Sofia Boutella is compelling and immensely watchable. Russell Crowe manages to entertain too. But Tom Cruise fails to make an impression. It is probably one of the worst movies of his career.

The production design is impressive in many places and the visual effects are decent. But, the action sequences don’t do justice to it. The climax is far too simple with nothing exciting to offer.

Overall, The Mummy is a bad mixture of comedy, action and horror. It is a one time watch for movie freaks for its visuals and nothing more.

Rating – πŸ’‹πŸ’‹

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Genre: Action, Horror

Directed by: Alex Kurtzman

Starring: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance,Marwan Kenzari, Russell Crowe

Wonder Woman

After delivering multiple disappointing superhero films, DC & Warner Brothers have made a terrific comeback with Wonder Woman.  This is a superhero origin story that digs into Diana’s transformation from a naive warrior to an inspiring hero.

Diana, played by Gal Gadot, is the princess of the Amazons, who are living peacefully on a hidden island. Their sole purpose is to defeat the god of war, Ares, and bring peace to the world. One day a British spy Steve Trevor, played by Chris Pine crashes on the island while escaping from the German forces in the First World War. Trevor tells Diana of the β€˜war to end all wars’ and she decides to go with him and end the war.

Diana’s innocence and no knowledge of the human world brings out humor without using any cliched one-liners. Diana experiences falling in love for the first time and the romantic moments between Diana and Trevor are emotional and heart warming. Gal Gadot fits the bill perfectly as Wonder Woman. She pulls off the fight sequences with ease and style. Chris Pine plays an important supporting role and does justice to his character. 

The cinematography on the film is stunning. Also, the background score is memorable, especially during Diana’s fighting sequences which stays with you past the movie. The climax war scenes look incredible with great visual effects.

Overall, Wonder Woman is an emotional and inspirational tale of a woman superhero. It will engage and entertain you for sure.

Rating – πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹
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Genre: Action, Superhero

Directed by: Patty Jenkins

Starring:  Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen, Elena Anaya

Music: Rupert Gregson-Williams

Cinematography: Matthew Jensen

Marvel’s Agent Carter (Season 1)

Agent Carter is an American television series inspired by the film Captain America: The First Avenger and the Marvel One-Shot short film of the same name. The first season of this action-adventure series follows Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) as she secretly helps Howard Stark(Dominic Cooper) to clear his name from the accusation of selling weapons to enemies of the United States.

The story takes off from where the first Captain America movie ended. After the end of World War II, Peggy Carter is recruited by SSR. But everyone treats her like a secretary and she is never given any serious work other than taking lunch orders. When her millionaire friend Stark asks for her help, she uses this opportunity to prove her worth. Carter is accompanied by a partner, Jarvis (James D’Arcy), who is Stark’s personal butler.

Atwell looks stunning as Agent Carter and pulls off the fighting sequences with ease. Agent Carter is not a typical Marvel superhero kind of story. It is a spy thriller adapted for television with small hooks within the episodes. The scale of the series is not huge but smart use of VFX makes it less evident.

Agent Carter is an average suspense thriller with lots of smart action and comic one-liners. It is an entertaining show for sure.

Rating – πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹

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Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller, Suspense

Created by: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely

Based on: Peggy Carter by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Starring: Hayley Atwell, James D’Arcy, Chad Michael Murray, Enver Gjokaj, Shea Whigham

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge is a fantasy-action film and the fifth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series. This time Captain Jack Sparrow takes us on an adventure trip to find a map-less treasure which no man has managed to find till date.

Johnny Depp, Kevin McNally, and Geoffrey Rush reprise their roles as Jack Sparrow, Joshamee Gibbs, and Barbossa, respectively. The story has a new villain in the form of a Spanish Captain Armando Salazar, played by Javier Bardem. We also have two new characters Henry Turner and Carina Smyth.

Henry wants to free his father(Will Turner) from the curse, Carina wants to fulfill her father’s wish, Captain Salazar wants revenge from Jack and Jack wants to save himself from dying. All these things lead to one thing, finding the Trident of Poseido. It is a treasure which has the power to wash away all the curses of the sea.

Depp and Bardem carry the whole movie on their shoulders with their fine acting.  The story is low on excitement and curiosity but still, manages to entertain with some exciting visual effects. This movie tries to complete the whole franchise story by tying all the loose ends. You may feel the franchise is going to end. But do wait after the end credits for another surprise.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge has lots of action, comic scenes, and fantasy elements. Even though it is not the best film from the franchise but it will entertain you for sure.

Rating – πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹
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Genre: Fantasy, Action, Comedy

Directed by: Joachim Ronning, Espen Sandberg

Starring: Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Kevin McNally, Geoffrey Rush

Stranger Things

Stranger Things is a sci-fi, horror web series created by the Duffer Brothers. The story revolves around the disappearance of a young boy and the struggle of his mother, his brother, a police chief, and his friends in order to get him back.

Set in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana in the 1980s, Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) gets disappeared after he encounters a supernatural creature. His traumatized mother Joyce(Winona Ryder) along with Jim Hopper(David Harbour), who is the police chief, start searching for him. The investigation slowly uncovers a mystery involving secret experiments and terrifying supernatural forces. The most interesting characters are Will’s three best friends Mike(Finn Wolfhard), Lucas(Caleb McLaughlin) and Dustin(Gaten Matarazzo) who fearlessly try to find Will with the help of Eleven(Millie Bobby Brown), a young girl with psychokinetic abilities.

The show grips you from the first scene itself. As the story is based in the 80’s, we don’t see much of high tech gadgets and labs. Still, it is a pretty good sci-fi story. Not too much of VFX used, which makes it more real and believable.

Stranger Things is one of the best Netflix shows till date. It is a great blend of sci-fi, thriller, horror and drama. It is just perfect. You have to binge watch the series to satisfy your curiosity.

Rating – πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹ & 1/2

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Genre: Science fiction, Horror, Supernatural, Period drama

Created by: The Duffer Brothers

Starring: Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Cara Buono, Matthew Modine, Noah Schnapp, Joe Keery, Sadie Sink, Dacre Montgomery

American Gods

American Gods is a fantasy-drama television series based on the novel of the same name, written by Neil Gaiman. The story focuses on an ex-convict named Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle)  who starts working for a mysterious man called Wednesday (Ian McShane) and is drawn into a big bloody battle.
With only days remaining in his sentence, Shadow is given an unexpected early release after his beloved wife Laura is killed. Taking a plane back home to her funeral, Shadow finds himself next to  Wednesday, who knows everything about Shadow and offers him a job. Wednesday appears to be a con artist but he is someone bigger. Two other characters are also introduced, Bilquis(Yetide Badaki) and Mad Sweeney(Pablo Schreiber), who are also an important part of the story.

During the first half of the one-hour long episode, many things happen but you never get an idea what is the story all about. You start getting some idea only during the last 10 minutes. This is a long time to get viewers attention in this highly competitive web series market.

American Gods is not a gripping story but has some good vfx scenes which gives it a fantasy touch. Only good actors and meaty one-liners couldn’t make the show entertaining. It also needs smart writing which is clearly missing in this show. 

Rating – πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹ kisses

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Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Action

Developed by: Bryan Fuller, Michael Green

Starring: Ricky Whittle, Emily Browning, Crispin Glover, Bruce Langley, Yetide Badaki, Pablo Schreiber, Ian McShane