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    Rating Breakdown

    • Direction 3.0
    • Acting 3.0
    • Dialogue 2.0
    • Screen Play 2.0
    • Visuals 2.0

    Battle On Buka Street

    PG - Comedy, Drama | December 16, 2022 Storyline:

    Two women who have had several conflicts in the past find themselves at loggerheads again when they establish food businesses in the same vicinity.

    Things reach a violent climax when it dawns on neighbours that the women will take the battle to any length.

    • 2.4
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 1 month ago

    I lowered my expectations before seeing this and looked forward to it as Funke Akindele said it was her farewell to Nollywood. I ended up disappointed.

    Battle On Buka Street is a messy, repetitive comedy that didn't have to be as long as it is.

    Despite its talented lead stars and a resonating theme, the film wallows in the predictable cycle of exaggerated antics that keep plaguing the comedy genre in the Nigerian movie industry.

    Funke Akindele amazed me in Omo Ghetto: The Saga but here she seems to be a shadow of herself and was almost outshined by her co-star Mercy Johnson.

    For Johnson, she works with a mediocre script; the result is a character who is arguably the most engaging but whose arc (which was supposed to be a big deal in the final act) is executed off-camera.

    Nkem Owoh is a sight for sore eyes and the acting veteran does evoke laughter without trying to at times. 

    For the better part of the film, we are treated to several acts of buffoonery all in the name of comedy.

    The unexpected tonal shift to drama threw me off guard but just when it seemed to work well in advancing the plot and developing the characters, the outlandish humour returns, climaxing in a rather abrupt ending that made me ask if it deliberately sets up a potential sequel.

    In terms of technicality, Battle On Buka Street pales in comparison to some of Nollywood's best.

    The set pieces are okay and the scene transitions are nothing special but the indoor scenes lacked the expected creativity.

    As I mentioned earlier, this movie has resonating themes which Nigerians need to be reminded of, especially at a time when we are on the precipice of deciding our nation's fate in the forthcoming election.

    Besides the above, Battle On Buka Street is yet another forgettable comedy in the long list of comedies Nollywood keeps churning out.

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    Rating Breakdown

    • Direction 3.0
    • Acting 4.0
    • Dialogue 3.0
    • Screen Play 4.0
    • Visuals 4.0

    Avatar: The Way Of Water

    PG - Sci, Action, Adventure, Drama | December 16, 2022 Storyline:

    Jake and Neytiri flee with their family when invading humans arrive on Pandora on a mission of retribution.

    Taking refuge with one of the water tribes, they must adapt to the new way of life as their relentless enemies close in on their trail.

    • 3.6
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 1 month ago

    Award-winning filmmaker James Cameron set the bar high when he crafted the visual wonder called Avatar in 2009. It was hard to think of ways to beat that. 

    Now, 13 years after the original, Avatar: The Way of Water is here and while it doesn't thump its predecessor, the world-building and focus on family dynamics make it stand out in its own unique way.

    Unlike the first part where Jake and Neytiri were quick to rush into danger, here they have evolved as they have their children to think about.

    The couple makes the painful but wise choice to flee their home to start a new life with one of the water tribes after vengeful marines come for them.

    It doesn't take long before they realise that they can't keep running and the inevitable showdown leads to a heartbreaking third act.

    Performance-wise, Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana carry this film like the professionals that they are, with all the supporting characters doing some spectacular acting as well.

    The CGI here is impeccable and the focus on the waters of Pandora shows Cameron's love of the sea.

    While the cinematography is out of this world (pun intended), the time it takes on showing the world of the alien seas gives the impression that this is a documentary and not a movie.

    The action here is better than the first and the stakes are way higher, with the fear that anyone could be a casualty at any moment.

    So, is this sequel better than its predecessor? The answer to that is both yes and no.

    Yes because Cameron's penchant for taking your breath away comes into play again and this time, it is taken up a notch. Plus, there is more drama here, with the acting going far beyond what was seen in the first part.

    No, because when everything is weighed collectively, you realise that the sense of wonder that fans got from the first film can never be recreated.

    In all, I would call this one of the year's best. After all these years of waiting, Cameron's passion for filmmaking shines through yet again.

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    Rating Breakdown

    • Direction 4.0
    • Acting 4.0
    • Dialogue 4.0
    • Screen Play 4.0
    • Visuals 3.0

    Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

    PG - Superhero, Sci-fi, Action, Drama | November 11, 2022 Storyline:

    After the untimely death of King T'Challa, Queen Ramonda, Princess Shuri, and the rest of Wakanda must defend their country from a new threat and a powerful new foe.

     

    • 3.8
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 2 months ago

    Before I saw this, I told myself that it would be an emotional moment for me due to the painful reminder that Chadwick Boseman isn't coming back.

    I determined that I was not going to get teary-eyed but that proved to be almost impossible because director Ryan Coogler's sequel kept tugging at my heartstrings.

    Story-wise, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever trumps its prequel. The themes of love, loss, grief, sacrifice, revenge and redemption steer the plot to places that make the movie one heck of a roller coaster of emotions.

    The character development here is amazing and the acting is arguably the best ever seen in the MCU.

    I tip my hat to Angela Basset as Queen Ramonda and Letitia Wright as Princess Shuri. For their out-of-this-world performances, they both deserve awards.

    Visually, the film is dope. The special effects are what you would expect from a Marvel film and the action, though not as spectacular as I hoped, is an improvement from that of the first film.

    The antagonist here (I choose not to call him a villain because he is not) is someone who many will relate to.

    He is motivated by the need to protect his people and all that he holds dear and his actions, as terrible as they might be, show that he walks the grey area between good and bad.

    Coogler's decision to focus on storytelling and drama makes this movie a triumph and I have a feeling that the late Boseman would be proud.

    Black Panther: Wakanda Forever lives up to the hype and brought up a whirlwind of emotions in me at some point.

    A job well done by Coogler and the rest of the team.

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    Rating Breakdown

    • Direction 3.0
    • Acting 3.0
    • Dialogue 4.0
    • Screen Play 3.0
    • Visuals 3.0

    Elesin Oba: The King's Horseman

    PG - Drama | November 4, 2022 Storyline:

    Based on Wole Soyinka's play, this is the story of a horseman who must sacrifice himself to serve his ruler in the afterlife. But sudden distractions lead to unexpected tragedy.

    • 3.2
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 2 months ago

    The late Biyi Bandele put in a lot of effort translating Wole Soyinka's literary work onto the big screen and while the final result is commendable, it is let down by its rather anti-climatic third act.

    The story begins and you are drawn in from the very first scene. The set pieces are beautiful, the costumes impressive, and the characters all play their parts well.

    Elesin Oba thrives when it comes to its dialogue; rich, poetic, and infused with unending proverbs and metaphors, the interaction among the characters is nothing short of amazing.

    Odunlade Adekola is imposing and impressive as the King's Horseman. He does a pretty good job with the role. The only complaint from me is that ridiculous fake beard.

    I almost didn't recognise popular singer Brymo when he was first shown on screen. As an artiste, he has shown talent but I never expected to be won over by his acting as well.

    To me, the standout of this film in terms of performance is Shaffy Bello as Iyaloja. The scene where she reprimands Elesin Oba continues to stand out in my memory as one of the highlights of the third act.

    I will not forget Deyemi Okanlawon who equally shines despite limited screen time.

    Plot-wise, this film does well until the concluding path which fails to produce the expected effect. This is where a theatrical performance thrives whereas a film doesn't.

    Soyinka wrote the book to be acted on stage and maybe that's the only place Elesin Oba can really be the masterpiece it ought to be.

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    Rating Breakdown

    • Direction 3.0
    • Acting 3.0
    • Dialogue 3.0
    • Screen Play 3.0
    • Visuals 5.0

    Black Adam

    PG - Superhero, Sci-fi, Action | October 21, 2022 Storyline:

    Dwayne Johnson is Teth Adam/Black Adam, a man with god-like powers who is awoken thousands of years after everything he loved was taken from him.

    Thrust into a world he barely recognises, the anti-hero unleashes his fury and vengeance on those who cross his path, drawing the attention of the Justice Society of America.

    Sooner or later, Black Adam must decide to either be the one who ends up destroying the world or the one who saves it.

    • 3.4
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 2 months ago

    Right from when this project was officially greenlit, I couldn't wait to see Dwayne Johnson (one of my favourite Hollywood stars) play the unforgiving anti-hero.

    But I was also sceptical about how the film was going to be helmed; superhero films (especially from DC) have been messed up and I didn't want the former wrestler to be involved in anything that would be mediocre.

    Fortunately, my fears were totally laid to rest within the first ten minutes of sitting through 'Black Adam'.

    One thing critics should remember is that this is first and foremost a superhero movie. That means it most likely would get mixed reviews.

    If you can watch a flick that has someone flying around then you can suspend your disbelief and not rate the film like you would a normal drama.

    This film grabbed my attention early enough and I had to try to keep up with its rather fast pace in the beginning but when things settled, it became a glorious spectacle.

    Dwayne Johnson was truly born to play this role and it shows right from when he begins doing his thing.

    The story is not remarkable (how many superhero films are?) and some of the main characters aren't fully fleshed out but 'Black Adam' excels in every way a movie of the genre should.

    The action is literally pulse-pounding, the visual effects mind-blowing, and the main character is just awe-inspiring.

    Director Jaume Collet-Serra proves how good he is when it comes to delivering jaw-dropping spectacle and I can't wait for the next chapter.

    Besides Black Adam himself, Hawkman and Dr Fate are amazing (the other two in the Justice Society of America are cool too but can't be compared to the others).

    That mid-credits scene was something I knew would happen and when it finally did, I still couldn't stop the big grin on my face.

    'Black Adam' is dope and while critics won't find it good enough, they should know that this movie was made for the audience that really matters; the fans.

     

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    Rating Breakdown

    • Direction 3.0
    • Acting 3.0
    • Dialogue 3.0
    • Screen Play 2.0
    • Visuals 2.0

    Anikulapo

    PG - Drama | September 30, 2022 Storyline:

    Kunle Remi stars as Saro, a young man who arrives in a village to earn a living. His weakness lands him in trouble and changes the course of his life.

    • 2.6
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 2 months ago

    I have watched Kunle Afolayan thrill audiences over the years with his outstanding movies. Unfortunately, 'Anikulapo' doesn't have a place among them despite his best efforts.

    Kunle Remi and Bimbo Ademoye star in this tale of a man's tragic flaw, forbidden love and power. As the leads, they give exceptional performances but that isn't enough to catapult the film to greatness.

    The opening scene made me cringe as a result of the poor CGI (a recurring issue in Nollywood) and while the costumes and set pieces are not bad, the locale didn't quite capture the ancient kingdom being portrayed.

    I heard Afolayan purchased acres of land to film this project. Kudos, bro but it was quite evident that it was just constructed solely for this. It lacked the expected verisimilitude.

    Kunle Remi is not an actor I know that well and apart from Afolayan's previous feature 'A Naija Christmas', I don't think I have seen him act before.

    He plays the hero of the story very well, embodying a handsome fellow who can't escape the consequences of giving in to his weakness.

    Bimbo Ademoye is also compelling here (when has she ever been otherwise). The chemistry between them is sizzling and I have a feeling that sex scene between her and Remi will be something fans will chew on for some time.

    I found the pacing a bit slow at the onset as the director took his time in establishing the characters. Things pick up and become more interesting later on.

    The conflict that sends the lovers into exile propels the film to a whole new dimension and I expected a series of events that would lead to a worthy conclusion. While the ending isn't bad, it left a lot to be desired.

    The production value of this project somehow doesn't really shine through as I thought it would. The cinematography didn't exactly meet my expectations, and the visual effects are just laughable.

    Nothing speaks Karma like a woman scorned and that proves to be the case for the protagonist in the final act. The story is good but the execution isn't anything spectacular.

    Conclusion: This isn't Kunle Afolayan's best and it sure won't earn any standing ovation. But Kunle Remi and Bimbo Ademoye make it worthwhile.

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    Rating Breakdown

    • Direction 3.0
    • Acting 3.0
    • Dialogue 2.0
    • Screen Play 3.0
    • Visuals 2.0

    The Woman King

    PG - History, Action, Drama | September 16, 2022 Storyline:

    Set in the African kingdom of Dahomey in the 1820s, this film follows the Agojie, an all-female group of warriors who must protect their land from both foreign and close threats.

    • 2.6
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 2 months ago

    Perhaps this is going to be one of the first reviews that aren't overwhelmingly positive but as a critic who must speak my mind, I don't hesitate to say The Woman King doesn't live up to the hype.

    I looked forward to this film while being careful not to expect too much. I also avoided early reviews and got to see it at an advanced screening. Coming out of the cinema, I was left thinking, 'Is that what they could come up with?'

    The above is not say that film is bad. It's not just that it is not good as the trailer makes it out to be.

    The plot is quite engaging and the actors don't do badly (I will single out Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, and John Boyega as the obvious standouts).

    Viola Davis is a great actress no doubt but her role here doesn't leave any lasting impression on me. 

    We are led to believe from the film's title that she is the protagonist (maybe I'm wrong in that assumption) but the movie actually belongs to Mbedu's character Nawi.

    As Nawi, the young actress flourishes and astounds, leaving little else to be desired. She showed range and I couldn't get enough of her.

    Lashana Lynch is equally amazing as the fierce but loving warrior Izogie, whose bond with Nawi helps make the plot more interesting.

    As the proud monarch of the Dahomey kingdom, John Boyega is one heck of a scene stealer. I never knew he had such charisma, bringing humour to a rather serious role with such professionalism.

    Apart from the aforementioned positives, almost every other thing in The Woman King is mediocre.

    First off, the cinematography is a major letdown. I mean, I have seen better camera work in some Nollywood films. Brutal and harsh, but that's my honest take.

    The dialogue is nothing out of the ordinary and the pacing is also a bit inconsistent.

    Perhaps the most disappointing thing about this film is the action. The action sequences were plain dull and it was easy to see that most of the blows and kicks didn't land despite the impressive choreography.

    The film would have us believe that the Agojie are an army but I never saw anything beyond a handful of soldiers numbering about 40 at most.

    Before I forget, the antagonist (played by Jimmy Odukoya) is a major presence and came off as one fit for the film but sadly doesn't get adequate screen time and his backstory isn't even explored.

    In all, The Woman King is far less than it should be, never rising beyond a mediocre interpretation despite committed performances from its talented cast.

     

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    Rating Breakdown

    • Direction 3.0
    • Acting 3.0
    • Dialogue 2.0
    • Screen Play 3.0
    • Visuals 2.0

    Passport

    PG - Comedy, Drama | September 2, 2022 Storyline:

    Jim Iyke stars as Oscar, a rich young man who must find his passport so that he can travel to the UK to see his ailing mother.

    The arrogant protagonist enlists the help of his uncle (Jide Kosoko) and the semi-literate, street-wise Kopiko (Mercy Johnson) to locate the missing document.

    • 2.6
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 5 months ago

    I went to the cinema with an open mind as I did not even watch the trailer for this film directed by Dimeji Ajibola and produced by Vincent Okonkwo.

    The major draw for me was the combination of Jim Iyke and Mercy Johnson; I was eager to see how they would play off each other and having seen Passport, I say it was a wise decision casting them in the lead roles.

    As Oscar, Iyke once again gives off the vibe of the kind of character he is known for playing; arrogant, spoilt, and temperamental.

    Oscar's pairing with the trash-talking loudmouth known as Kopiko (Johnson) results in unending clashes between the two, which is the movie's greatest strength as the comedy is what holds this rather mediocre film together.

    Story-wise, Passport doesn't have a lot going for it. We have two people from opposite sides of life brought together.

    Their shared experience working together teaches them some of life's valuable lessons and they find something neither of them expected.

    While the above is good, the execution is something that has played out in Nollywood times without number.

    Johnson's Kopiko character is perhaps the best thing about this film. The actress has comedy running in her veins and apart from the occasional jokes that don't land and the expected 'overacting', she steals every scene.

    The antagonist is an interesting character, one I would have loved to see more of or have his backstory explored. Since comedy is the goal here, I guess that is easily forgiven.

    The cinematography, for me, does not really measure up to what we see in Nollywood these days. Only a few aerial shots and one chase scene piqued my interest.

    In the end, Passport was made to do one thing; make audiences laugh and have a good time. While its execution isn't outstanding, it does what it sets out to do thanks to its two leads.

     

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    Rating Breakdown

    • Direction 2.0
    • Acting 2.0
    • Dialogue 1.0
    • Screen Play 2.0
    • Visuals 2.0

    The Set Up 2

    PG - Action Thriller | August 12, 2022 Storyline:

    Four years later Chike has barely come to terms with her life as a US Government Agent, when she is forced to risk everything she holds dear once again after an international Terrorist kidnaps Grace’s daughter in order to blackmail Chike into doing hr bidding.

    Chike and Grace must reunite and build a team to defeat the terrorist and save Grace’s daughter.

    • 1.8
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Damilare Odunayo - 5 months ago

    The Set Up 2 continues the story of Chike and Grace as they navigate the underworld of drug trade, business secrets and professional trickery while trying to stay alive amid new different obstacles they now face.

    The film is a follow-up to the events of the first part and is written and directed by Chinaza Onuzo.

    Grace (played by Kehinde Bankole) now has a child and the conflict begins when Usi (Nancy Isime) kidnaps the child so as to ensure that Chike (Adesua Etomi) does her bidding. Grace and Chike reunite to get back Grace’s daughter and take down Usi once and for all.

    I liked that the story actually looked like it knew where it was going. It showed originality and a flair that Nollywood seems to have forgotten it can muster.

    I loved the costumes, especially Nancy Isime's bodysuit. It was really hot. A big thumbs up to the wardrobe and make-up department.

    I think the lighting and scenery choice was exciting as it projected exactly what we'd like to see in Nollywood movies.

    I also loved the casting choices as it was exciting to see many of Nollywood's sweethearts on the big screen once again.

    The movie however leaves a lot to be desired as it fails to live up to the expectation and thrill I got from its trailer.

    Firstly, the choreography was a constant eyesore. I shook my head through most of the action sequence. They could have done better, it was that bad.

    Also there were some scenes that were grossly unrealistic in a real life setting. For example, how do you suddenly just let go of someone you've been gunning to kill for virtually most of the movie, just like that.

    I think characters were also underutilised. The writing felt lazy and it failed to really show the strength that we all know this rich cast could conjure.

    For people who are not as picky and choosy as me when it comes to movies, you'd probably enjoy this movie.

    But for someone like me, it pains me, but this is not a movie I'd go to watch a second time.

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    Rating Breakdown

    • Direction 3.0
    • Acting 2.0
    • Dialogue 2.0
    • Screen Play 3.0
    • Visuals 3.0

    Day Shift

    PG - Action Comedy, Action | August 12, 2022 Storyline:

    Jamie Foxx stars as a vampire hunter in California who must score big in his quest to take down the fanged creatures or lose his family in a matter of days.

    • 2.6
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 5 months ago

    This movie starts on a high note and gets it right until it doesn't halfway through, held back by its weak plot, cliche dialogue, and stupidly predictable ending.

    Netflix seems to be the home of every kind of film these days; the good, the bad and the cringy. Day Shift manages to make its way in between the first and second categories.

    Those who have seen the trailer should know that it never gets better than that.

    Jamie Foxx is dangerously lethal, charismatic, and ruthless as the lead but can't help the film become more than crowd-pleasing mediocrity when it's all said and done.

    The plot is pretty ambitious; vampires living comfortably in LA, finding ways to move about during the day, with hunters from the police force hunting them down in day and night shifts.

    How on earth could these bloodsuckers live in the city for that long without residents (e.g. the family of the protagonist) knowing about them?

    Another thing that didn't sit well with me is the way the vampires' abilities are portrayed here. I kept wondering if they were contortionists or stuntmen instead of the dreaded creatures of old.

    Jamie Foxx as Bud is one heck of a killer but the way he always seems to overcome the vampires reduced the threat level to an almost laughable degree.

    The dialogue is full of cliches (some of which don't even evoke the expected response) and at times the dark humour seems forced.

    The villain of the movie is shown as an extremely powerful vampire whose revenge mission puts her on the trail of the hero. But even her powers are underutilised and become pretty inconsequential because the good guy always has to win.

    Despite the above issues, Day Shift does have a few good things going for it; the sound, action, and visual effects are on par and will please most fans who like to see Foxx kick ass.

    In all, this film isn't as good as it pretends to be and not even Snoop Dogg's legendary swagger and smooth drawl can save it from its many shortcomings.

    Day Shift is an average action film and nothing more.

     

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