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Stranger Things 2 (2017) - Series Review

Stranger Things 2 is a follow-up to last year's excellent Netflix original series Stranger Things, and it takes place approximately 1 year after the events of the first season. A new threat is looming, and poor Will Byers is once again at the center of it. 
I absolutely adored the first season, it was one of my favorite new series to come out recently and I was super pumped up for the second season. And thankfully, it delivered once again. The Duffer Brothers managed to give us another season full of mystery and thrills, fun and feels.
Once again, the performances were great across the board, talking about them would take too long so I'll just mention my personal favorite this time. Mille Bobby Brown (Eleven) was the standout last time; this time, however, Noah Schnapp (Will) absolutely KILLED IT. He didn't have much to showcase his acting talent chops in season 1 since he was absent for most of it, but here he brought it all, and it was wonderful. Shawn Levy (producer+di…
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Shin Godzilla (2016) - Movie Review

Shin Godzilla is the newest Godzilla film from Toho, the studio behind the Japanese Godzilla films dating back all the way to 1954. This one is a reboot of the franchise, yet again, for the contemporary Japan and the plot is basically what you'd expect; Godzilla arrives and wreaks havoc, all the while the Government tries to defeat it. Since the original Godzilla was inspired by the effects and scars from the WWII Atomic Bombings on Japan by USA, and how destructive and horrifying that power is, this one is similar and was inspired by the 2011 Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, and the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant disaster, all the while being disguised in a monster movie.

Godzilla in this movie instills a sense of dread and fear as this indestructible monster with the power to lay waste to everything, a biological TERROR, and I really liked that about this movie. The way its proper form looked, particularly the head, was unsettling and that was the movie's intention, so props fo…

Baywatch (2017) - Movie Review

Baywatch is a movie based on the old TV series of the same name. It's about a bunch of lifeguards on a beach who try to uncover drug smuggling in their area...yeah, that is the plot. It's dumb, it's stupid, but I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't that bad. Don't get me wrong, it's not good, but it wasn't horrible either. 
The movie actually had some fun in it. The Rock, as always, was charismatic, funny and likable; and Zac Efron, surprisingly, was similar to that. He got ripped AF for the movie. Alexandra Daddario was fun as well, although any movie gets bonus points for just including her in my book. Priyanka Chopra was in it as well, and between her in this and Deepika Padukone in XXX: The Return of Xander Cage, Priyanka definitely was the better one. 
There were legit funny scenes sprinkled throughout, but there were also a shit ton of scenes that tried too hard to be hilarious but fell flat instead. Baywatch also had a large dosage of the three …

The Hitman's Bodyguard (2017) - Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard stars Nick Fury and Deadpo-I mean Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds in a buddy action-comedy where Reynolds is a professional bodyguard who gets tangled up with a hitman portrayed by Jackson. 
What worked for me in this movie were the scenes with Reynolds and Jackson together. Their performances were what you'd expect them to give in a movie like this. Not breaking new grounds or anything like that but being their usual comedic personas, and they both were entertaining....well for the most part anyway. They had a nice chemistry, and they worked off each other well. And most of the action scenes were enjoyable, one in particular, which was a long take including Reynolds.
The problem with The Hitman's Bodyguard, though, was that it had a lot of other stuff going on as well which just wasn't interesting enough for me to care because not only did it detract from the fun of the main duo, the movie took it way too seriously. It was actually jarring …

The Mummy (2017) - Movie Review

You know, I see people saying they're sick and/or tired of the whole shared universe style that has been the craze for the past almost decade or so. But I, personally, still enjoy it. Thing is, there is a correct way of doing it, and then there is a shitty way of doing. I don't know why Universal thought the shitty way was the path to be on.
The Mummy should have been a movie about, well, THE MUMMY. But instead, it is an amalgamation of several poorly executed plot threads in an attempt to jump-start the new 'Dark Universe', with one of them being related to The Mummy. And it all comes together to create an incoherent messy movie. There are so many things going on with multiple changing rules that you just don't give a shit. 
Tom Cruise is the lead, and I will say that even in a movie like this, he still brings his charm and charisma to give somewhat of an enjoyable performance. His buddy in the movie made for some funzies as well. But even then, most of the humor…

Arrival (2016) - Movie Review

Arrival is a sci-fi drama directed by Denis Villeneuve, who I think is one of the better directors working today with previous films like Sicario and Prisoners under his belt, and it is about mysterious aliens spaceships coming down to our blue planet and our attempt at understanding why. 
The movie focuses on the character of Amy Adams, who's a renowned linguist and is recruited to help the US army communicate with the visitors. She gives one of the best performances of her career here, and I hesitate to reveal anything more in the case of spoiling anything, so I'll just say that her character arc was profoundly moving. She is accompanied by several side characters, notable ones being portrayed by Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker, and they both delivered good performances.

Now the way this movie approached the aliens scenario was my favorite thing in Arrival. The focus on language and communication felt like a fresh take. It was really intriguing to see Amy Adams' chara…

Hacksaw Ridge (2016) - Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge is a war-drama based on the true story about Desmond Doss, an American combat medic in WW2, who saved 75 lives in the battle of Okinawa, one of the bloodiest battle of the pacific theater. Directed by Mel Gibson who, after a 10 years gap, returned to the world of cinema, and in full form. 
Andrew Garfield plays as Desmond Doss and in the process gave the best performance of his career. You feel for him, you understand his character, and you root for him all the way. Teresa Palmer plays as the love interest, and she was simply lovely. Their short love story was quite sweet and they both had great chemistry. The performances were great across the board, and there were some surprising ones too like Vince Vaughn. He portrays a sergeant and I loved him in this film. He had a comedic layer to his role but was also dramatic when the movie called for it. The show stealer side-character performance was from Hugo Weaving, though, who plays as Desmond's father, and he was simp…

Battlefield 1 (2016) - Video Game Review

Battlefield 1 is the next title in the franchise from DICE, bringing a much-appreciated change of setting, taking place in The Great War (World War 1). Now I was quite excited to finally play it, but at the same time, had some reservations about the campaign considering DICE's history with them. Thankfully, the improvement curve that was witnessed from BF3 to BF4 continued. 
Story:  I'll be honest, I LOVED the fact that this took place in WW1 as I don't think I have ever played a big-budget AAA game focusing on that era. And it felt like a breath of fresh air amongst the saturated futuristic focus we've been getting for the past several years.  
The campaign is divided into five war-stories, each taking place in different parts of the war with characters of their own. This enhanced the feel of the war and reeled you in more. Also, each of the stories boasts great cinematic presentation, with well crafted cut-scenes and moments, giving it a more EPIC feel. It also makes…

John Wick 2 (2017) - Movie Review

John Wick 2 is a sequel to the 2014 surprise hit John Wick, and it follows him as he is forced to return to his former life once again. The trailers did a good job of not giving much away, so I'll keep it vague as well. The first one was great, so naturally, I was hyped for the sequel, and suffice to say it delivered where it mattered. 
Keanu Reeves once again reprises the role of ultimate bad-ass assassin John Wick, with different character motivations this time around, resulting in a more subdued performance than last time, which nonetheless works for the story, and it's just great seeing Keanu again in style. There are some familiar faces from the previous film like Ian McShane (Winston) and Lance Reddick (Hotel Manager), giving similarly good performances. And new ones like Laurence Fishburn, resulting in a reunion of Neo and Morpheus, which should make any Matrix fan cheer up inside, and he gave a good performance as well.
One of the things that stood out to me in Part 1…