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

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

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Kong: Skull Island

Kong: Skull Island is a reboot to the King Kong franchise. In this monster flick, a team of scientists and army men are on an expedition to this mysterious and hidden place called ‘Skull Island’.

The story is set in the 1970’s which is aptly supported by the songs and music used in the background. Unlike the previous Kong films, the ‘King Kong’ is brought in almost immediately without keeping any suspense. The island is also inhabited by other huge creatures like spider, bat, octopus. But the real bad ones are these flesh-eating monsters, called Skullcrawlers, who come from below the ground. Kong’s only purpose is to protect the island from these monsters.

The story lacks conviction and purpose. The cast is full of big actors such as Tom Hiddleston, Samuel Jackson, John Goodman who are barely allowed to show their acting prowess. 

The action scenes where the Kong fights with the bad creatures adds excitement and energy to the film. The monsters are brilliantly designed and skillfully animated. The focus of the film is more on the ‘King Kong’ than the other characters who are just there to fill up the screen.

To sum up, Kong: Skull Island is an action fuelled film with no brains.

Rating: πŸ’‹πŸ’‹ kisses

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Genre: Action

Directed by: Jordan Vogt-Roberts

Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, Jing Tian, Toby Kebbell

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Fast and Furious 8

Fast and Furious 8 is the eight installment in the Fast and Furious franchise starring Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson and his other team members from the previous film F7. This time Dominic Toretto goes rogue while on a mission and his own team has to stop him at any cost.

For the first time in this franchise, we have a lady villain in the form of a mysterious cyber-terrorist called β€˜Cipher’ played by Charlize Theron who blackmails Toretto to rob some Russian nuclear codes.

F8 has more humor and more realistic action scenes as compared to F7. Two of the action sequences are mind blowing and worth mentioning:

1.  When Cipher hacks into thousands of cars and uses them as zombies

2.  A huge iron ball blows away all the cars from the road

What may disappoint you is that the villain never engages in a physical fight or a action sequence and it’s only computers and technology along with some evilish dialogues.

Overall F8 has all the elements for which the franchise is known for. It is a thrilling and entertaining ride with lots of surprises at the end.

Rating: πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹ kisses

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Genre: Action, Thriller

Directed by: F. Gary Gray

Starring: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges, Scott Eastwood, Nathalie Emmanuel, Elsa Pataky, Kurt Russell, Charlize Theron

 
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Ghost in the Shell

ghost poster

Ghost in the Shell is a sci-fi action film based on the classic Japanese anime of the same name that inspired the movie ‘Matrix’. Set in the near future where the line between humans and robots is becoming blurred. The movie revolves around the main character β€˜Major’, played by Scarlett Johansson, who has her brain placed in a cyborg body after meeting a dreadful accident.

The actual story starts when Major and her team are asked to hunt down an anonymous hacker who is brutally killing all the top scientists of a top robotic firm. Simultaneously, Major is also trying to find her own identity and her past. Is she a human, a robot, or just a weapon? What’s her purpose? Does she have a family? All these questions get answered as the story moves forward.

The visual effects and action sequences are stunning and even more enjoyable in 3D. Scarlett Johansson is the soul of this film and she is an absolute beauty to watch on screen. Director Rupert Sanders has successfully managed to keep the balance between technicality and human emotions which are essential for the story.

What might disappoint fans is the missing haunting background score of the original anime movie, which was used only during the end credits.

Overall, Ghost in the Shell doesn’t drag and keeps your curiosity intact till the end. If you are looking for a good sci-fi film with some exciting visual effects, you should definitely watch this!

Rating:  πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹ and a half kisses.

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Genre: Sci-fi, Action, Thriller

Directed by: Rupert Sanders

Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Michael Carmen Pitt, Pilou Asbæk, Chin Han, Juliette Binoche

Produced by: DreamWorks Pictures, Reliance Entertainment, Arad Productions, Shanghai Film Group Corporation, Huahua Media