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  • Image

    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 year 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 - 1 year 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 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 - 1 year 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 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 - 1 year 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 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 - 1 year 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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    Rating Breakdown

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

    Bullet Train

    PG - Action Thriller, Comedy | August 5, 2022 Storyline:

    Hollywood legend Brad Pitt stars as a retired assassin who is pulled back into the violent life when he is hired to deliver a briefcase from a bullet train travelling from Tokyo to Kyoto.

    • 3.8
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 1 year ago

    David Leitch, Brad Pitt, and the rest of the stars who make up the ensemble cast in this movie make it one of the most memorable action flicks of 2022.

    The first trailer of Bullet Train did not pique my interest and I only decided to see it because of Brad Pitt (the dude has a way of making most movies he appears in awesome).

    A few minutes into it and I was already regretting being in the cinema as the exposition on some of the characters almost muddled things up.

    A few minutes after the above, things became clearer, kicked up a notch, accelerated and went full throttle, sending me into an ecstasy of non-stop entertainment.

    The plot is brilliantly written and every character brings a new unique input to the overall progression of events as they unfold.

    Director David Leitch (known for the first John Wick film) fuses style with an engrossing storyline, spectacular action and a mind-blowing finale to get you so involved in this fantastic feature that nothing else matters.

    Brad Pitt is amazing as usual and all the other supporting actors bring flair and wonderful acting chops to what becomes a dream come true for action lovers.

    The antagonist was really made to be as scary as possible and the myth was only reduced when he was finally unveiled.

    As for the action scenes, I found them quite enjoyable even though some of the punches and kicks obviously don't land in a few sequences.

    The sound is perfect and the special effects are out of this world.

    All in all, I say Bullet Train blew me completely away, taking me to places that I never expected it to. It's a genuine crowd pleaser for sure.

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    Rating Breakdown

    • Direction 3.0
    • Acting 3.0
    • Dialogue 2.0
    • Screen Play 3.0
    • Visuals 4.0

    Thor: Love And Thunder

    PG - Superhero, Action, Adventure | July 8, 2022 Storyline:

    Thor alongside his buddies Valkyrie and Korg reunites with former girlfriend Jane (who has become the Mighty Thor) to stop a powerful foe known as Gorr, who has made it his mission to annihilate all gods.

    Along the way, the hammer-wielding Asgardian wrestles to keep his emotions in check to stay focused enough to defeat an unstoppable antagonist.

    • 3.0
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 1 year ago

    Finally, the fourth chapter of Thor Odinson is here. While it certainly isn't as spectacular as netizens are making it out to be, those who loved Ragnarok will have a total blast with this one.

    Director Taika Waititi is one crazy and creative dude; his comic genius is all over the place yet again. He employs the wacky comic element that most fans loved about the previous film and takes it up a notch here.

    Thor: Love and Thunder will make you fall in love with its heroes, laugh at its almost endless humour, almost tear up when it gets emotional and cheer after its awe-inspiring second end-credits scene.

    But while it has all the above, it somehow fails to ascend to the heights that I expected it to due to a somewhat lacklustre beginning, disappointing fight scenes in the first battle sequence, and some unexplained plot details.

    I am a fan of both Marvel and DC Comics and Thor as a character is my favourite from the former brand. For me, no other actor embodies the superhero like its lead star Chris Hemsworth.

    Talking about Hemsworth, the dude's amazing body is something to behold (fans are no doubt looking forward to that infamous Zeus strip scene).

    Every gigantic muscle and the insanely buffed-up physique is a testament to the hard work the actor put in to go beyond how big he was in Ragnarok.

    But more than the physical, Hemsworth as Thor once again drives this movie; as the hero, he has never been more conflicted, more vulnerable, and more lovable.

    Despite the jokes that often come out of his mouth (the character has become a comedian apparently), I was glad to see that his fiery temper and rash nature shined through yet again. It is the last two that make him imperfect.

    Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie is adorable and badass when she fights but I was disappointed that she wasn't fully utilised as I expected. 

    Taika Waititi's Korg is just there to mostly provide the comic relief as usual. While that is acceptable, I hoped to see him be more than just the funny guy.

    As Jane Foster/Mighty Thor, Natalie Portman is one of the best things in this film. She easily blew away whatever doubts I had that she would make a compelling fighter besides Thor.

    At a time in her life when she needed something to make her feel alive, the hero's former lover becomes so much more than his sidekick, eventually stealing the spotlight in the final battle scene.

    The antagonist Gorr is one scary and powerful dude made believable and layered by Christian Bale's remarkable acting.

    When I first saw him in the trailers, I asked myself what a guy with a sword could do to harm Thor and his formidable allies. The first fight he had with them made me see him in a totally different light.

    There is some major character development with Thor and Jane here, and that makes the plot far better than the previous Thor movies.

    The action in the second and third acts is a major improvement from that of the first, with Waititi sparing no expense in delivering some of the best set pieces ever seen in the MCU.

    In terms of visuals, Thor: Love and Thunder delivers and while it certainly ranks as the best of the Thor films, it doesn't climb to the lofty heights I thought it would.

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    Rating Breakdown

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

    Jurassic World Dominion

    PG - Sci-fi, Action, Adventure | June 10, 2022 Storyline:

    Set four years after the events of the last movie, the latest film in the franchise sees Owen Grady and Claire Dearing go on a mission to rescue their adopted daughter Maisie, a girl who holds the key to unravelling the mystery behind using the dinosaurs' genome for groundbreaking medical research.

    Along the way, the couple must survive killer henchmen and the expected rampaging prehistoric creatures whose very existence continues to threaten the entire human race.

    • 2.8
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 1 year ago

    Colin Trevorrow's latest entry into the blockbuster franchise is arguably his best; the action and dinosaurs make for spectacular sequences and the return of the original cast members is the icing on the cake.

    As a fan who revers the first two films by Steven Spielberg, I have never expected Trevorrow to be able to capture that first magic and wonder and that has helped me accept the latter's flawed but commendable interpretations.

    In Dominion, Chris Pratt returns as dino handler/trainer Owen Grady, the protagonist who finds himself at the forefront of a fight against a bioengineering corporation called Biosyn after his foster daughter is kidnapped.

    Owen and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) fight their way to Biosyn's facility in the attempt to rescue their daughter as the world seems to collapse around them following the dinosaurs doing what they do best.

    Jurassic World Dominion is first of all an action sci-fi so those expecting something more than the predictable would be sorely disappointed.

    There isn't much to expect in terms of acting but that is pretty decent. The script has several plotholes and the science mumble-jumble comes across as annoying, but all that is forgiven when the viewer is treated to some over-the-top action scenes.

    The CGI or animatronics (it's possible both were used, I don't know) are pretty convincing. I particularly enjoyed a scene where one of the creatures stalk Owen and another person by navigating the freezing waters beneath some thin ice.

    The return of Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum had the expected nostalgic effect. A scene where they meet Owen, Claire, and their daughter gave me goosebumps as it obviously symbolised the convergence of the old and the new.

    The one thing that seems to be an issue with these kinds of flicks is how all the people you root for always find a way to make it out alive despite the countless threats they face while the big bad dude always gets his comeuppance.

    Die-hard fans of the Jurassic World films and those who love big-budget action movies or dinosaurs will also get a kick out of it as I did.

    While Jurassic World Dominion was fun for me, I sincerely hope this is where the popular franchise ends as I have a feeling the producers wouldn't want to make fans get tired of it by churning out more movies.

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    Rating Breakdown

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

    Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    PG - Fanstasy, Superhero, Action, Adventure | May 6, 2022 Storyline:

    Doctor Strange teams up with the Sorcerer Supreme Wong and a young girl named America Chavez to get to an object of immense power while being pursued by a most powerful foe.

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

    Marvel movies rarely disappoint and I came out of the cinema with a feeling of immense satisfaction. The second chapter of the eponymous character is dark, pulsating, emotional, and spectacular.

    There is no need to go into the plot as the different trailers have already given fans a glimpse of what to expect. However, let me state that there are many surprises in store for them.

    One of such surprises is the villain; the person is someone I didn't expect and the unfathomable power displayed by that individual was just awe-inspiring.

    Strange (Cumberbatch giving yet another impressive performance) is now more powerful but even his magical skills pale in comparison to the threats he faces this time around. Added to that are some of the issues from his past that confront him at different times.

    Benedict Wong as Wong gets a bigger role here and gets a chance to shine even more than he did in previous MCU films.

    The young actress who plays America Chavez does the role justice but I was disappointed by the range of her power (which was teased as something great but ended up being limited).

    As is Marvel's custom nowadays, several major characters from the comics appear here (I assure fans that they will be delighted), albeit for a brief time.

    Strange's love interest Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) has a more important role here and comes to his aid at a crucial moment.

    Also, Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) who wowed fans with the WandaVision show goes even a step further, embracing her Scarlet Witch alter ego.

    Director Sam Raimi knows how to make films of these kinds, splashing in a little dose of horror while keeping you glued to the screen with mind-blowing spectacle after mind-blowing spectacle.

    The plot is well-written and even though there is humour, it is very minimal compared to the overall dark tone.

    All the actors give their best in terms of role interpretation; Cumberbatch and Olsen are amazing and should be applauded for their remarkable acting.

    The action is engaging, the visual effects are jaw-dropping, and the score is hauntingly surreal.

    I lowered my expectation so as not to get disappointed but after seeing this film, I believe even if I hadn't, I would have still given a positive review.

    Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is undoubtedly one of the best of the recent MCU films, packing a lot of punches in terms of entertainment value and having an emotional resonance that many fans will relate to.

    Good job, Sam Raimi. Good job.

     

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    Rating Breakdown

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

    Morbius

    PG - Sci-fi, Action | April 1, 2022 Storyline:

    Michael Morbius is a doctor desperate to find a cure for his affliction. Throwing caution to the wind, he splices the genes of vampire bats and creates a solution that changes him forever, enhancing his physical abilities. But with the good comes the bad as he develops a craving for human blood.

    • 3.0
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 2 years ago

    At the risk of being bashed, I daresay Morbius is a genuinely entertaining film that has been grossly misunderstood or is deliberately being slammed by naysayers.

    Jared Leto brings the Marvel Comics vampire legend to life as Daniel Espinosa takes the reins as director in a film that should please comic book fans who see it without unrealistic expectations.

    Tapping from its source material, this has a pretty generic plot; a sick genius develops a cure for his ailment and becomes an enhanced being. However, his gift comes with a curse and as he races against time to try to stop himself from becoming a monster, the cops close in on his trail.

    My advice to movie fans is simply this; do not mind the harsh reviews, just try and see this for yourself and you might be pleasantly surprised as I was.

    For the first time (as far as I know), the vampire action is portrayed in a different way and this is obviously why a lot of naysayers are saying the action sucks. I disagree as I enjoyed the fight scenes and the special effects.

    As the eponymous character, Jared Leto is compelling enough to convince you he is the conflicted hero. His role here doesn't require the method acting he is famous for but he still delivers in his performance as the fanged doctor.

    Matt Smith is simply deliciously devilish as the antagonist; he is the opposite of Morbius and at some point, he almost outshines the lead star.

    Apart from Adria Arjona who plays Morbuis' love interest, the supporting characters are rather insignificant and seem to be just there for little or no reason.

    The musical score matches the film perfectly and the I can't remember a dull moment.

    Perhaps the most noticeable downside of this film is the fact that (spoiler alert!!) there was only a scene or two where blood is shown. 

    This is a vampire movie for Godssake! Why would you make it PG-13? I assume it's to make it appealing to a wider audience but in so doing, the director robs it of one of its most fundamental aspects.

    Other than the above and the totally predictable plot, occasioned by some subpar acting by a few characters, Morbius is well worth the watch.

     

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