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    Rating Breakdown

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

    Home Sweet Home Alone

    PG - Comedy | November 12, 2021 Storyline:

    A remake of the original classic revolving Max Mercer, a young boy left by his family during a holiday trip. He is forced to contend with two thieves hellbent on stealing a priceless heirloom from his home.

    • 1.4
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 2 years ago

    This remake was both unnecessary and bland, bereft of the charm and magical comedy that made the original an instant classic.

    For whatever reason, the producers deemed it fit to helm this movie, only this time making the protagonist and his mother British and the two thieves husband and wife.

    Archie Yates stars as Max Mercer, a ten-year-old boy whose sleeping inside a car throughout the night leads to his pea-brained mother leaving him behind when she and the rest of his annoying cousins and relations travel for the Christmas holidays.

    Home Sweet Home Alone is dead on arrival; the comedy falls flat, the characters are unmemorable, and the little hero is as insignificant as this pointless remake.

    There is a scene where a character makes a joke about a film he is watching is a remake that shouldn't have been made; that pretty much sums up this film.

    The acting is terrible (the two thieves make the clueless duo in the original look like geniuses) and the traps laid out for them could have been easily avoided.

    The film is so bad that the director includes the soundtrack from the original and even features an actor from the first two films but these don't help in any way.

    I knew that Home Sweet Home Alone wasn't going to be able to evoke the same feeling as the original film but I never expected it to be this bad.

    There is no need to waste more words on the film as viewers would have to see for themselves how terrible the entire thing is.

    A total and absolute disaster.

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    Rating Breakdown

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

    Finch

    PG - Sci-fi, Drama | November 5, 2021 Storyline:

    In a post-apocalyptic future, a lone man builds a robot to protect his life. The machine learns about life, love, friendship, and what it means to be human.

    • 3.6
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 2 years ago

    Finch is one of those movies that fall into the category of those flicks that lack originality but when you have an actor like Tom Hanks headlining it, you easily forget that because he gives you countless reasons to.

    Directed by Miguel Sapochnik (the filmmaker behind some of those breathtaking battles in Game of Thrones), this sci-fi drama sees the eponymous character (played by Hanks) create a robot (Caleb Landry Jones) to take care of his dog after he is gone.

    Finch is sick and knowing that his end is near, begins to teach his robot the basics to survive in a harsh and unforgiving post-apocalyptic world. 

    Unlike many men who would crave the company of their fellow humans in a condition like the one he is in, Finch is a loner who has serious trust issues. Having experienced the lengths to which humanity can go after most of the world's population is wiped off, he prefers to be left alone to scrounge.

    Jeff (the robot) arrives to bring much-needed excitement to the hero's uneventful existence. His naivety is a sharp contrast to Finch's experience and the latter's patience is tested like never before as they embark on the journey of survival.

    Tom Hanks is one of my favourite Hollywood actors. He is without a doubt one of the best at what he does. Here, he brings his A-game and leaves no stone unturned in depicting a character who has accepted the inevitability of death.

    Jones' vocal delivery is pitch-perfect and one gets lost easily in his performance as the robot that evolves into something more.

    The score is apt, differing in melody and tone to match the various scenes and emotions, the cinematography is amazing, and the story itself isn't particularly extraordinary but may lead to a tear or two being shed when it concludes.

    Finch is definitely one of the best films of 2021 and Tom Hanks has shown that age isn't slowing him down when it comes to knocking it out of the park with his acting.

    Miguel Sapochnik, you've done well. I had a great time seeing this movie. Two thumbs up to you and Hanks.

     

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    Rating Breakdown

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

    The Harder They Fall

    PG - Western, Action, Drama | November 3, 2021 Storyline:

    Jonathan Majors stars as Nate Love, an outlaw who reassembles his former gang to seek revenge against the man who killed his parents.

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

    Jeymes Samuel's western is an intriguing tale of revenge made more appealing with a talented ensemble cast and hard-hitting action.

    Jonathan Majors' take on a protagonist bent on executing the man who murdered his parents is pretty convincing but it's the charismatic Idris Elba as the villain who makes you want to see how this bloody tale ends.

    Majors is Nate Love, a man who watched the notorious Rufus Buck (Elba) kill his parents as a child. For some reason, Rufus decides to spare the kid's life, giving him a scar on the head before leaving.

    Years later, Nate has become the leader of his gang. When he hears that Rufus is getting out of prison, he mobilizes his gang for the inevitable confrontation he has waited for all his life.

    If there is one thing that makes The Harder They Fall really unique is the way the director uses music to set the tone and mood of almost every scene. It works so well that you get lost in the plot and can't quite distinguish the melody from the mayhem which happens from time to time.

    Westerns aren't particularly known to boast spectacular cinematography so this one doesn't really shine in that category. But the action scenes which are well-choreographed and bloody make for a visual spectacle because of the way they are shot.

    Talking about the action, there isn't as much as one would expect given what is glimpsed in the trailer. After the first few scenes, the middle is more or less filled with dialogue and this is where there is a little lagging in terms of pacing. But when the final confrontation does begin, it's truly something to behold.

    The acting here is top-notch (that is to be expected given that the casting director managed to get some of the best black actors in Hollywood). Jonathan Majors as the lead is compelling to watch but I was a bit disappointed that his journey to becoming the outlaw he is wasn't shown. Also, it felt like there were some unexplored layers to the character.

    The supporting cast members gave phenomenal performances but three names come to mind as the ones who make this movie simply worth it. They are Idris Elba, Regina King, and Lakeith Stanfield.

    Zazie Beetz as the love interest of the hero isn't portrayed as your typical damsel in distress (that is until she becomes a damsel in distress). She is a fighter whose showdown with Regina King's Trudy Smith proves to be the best part of the third act.

    Idris Elba as Rufus Buck is simply amazing (I'm yet to see a role the actor messed up). He inspires fear in both his allies and enemies, plus he is a man of few words who lets his actions speak for him. The distaste I felt for the character disappeared when he and the hero finally had their moment in the third act. 

    The dialogue is well-written and apart from some questionable choices made by a few characters, The Harder They Fall proves to be worth it.

    Jeymes Samuel delivers with The Harder They Fall and I hope to see more action drama flicks from him in the near future.


     

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    Rating Breakdown

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

    Army of Thieves

    PG - Comedy, Thriller | October 29, 2021 Storyline:

    A bank teller who is also a skilled safecracker is recruited by a mysterious woman to crack three legendary safes across Europe.

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

    Matthias Schweighofer makes Army of Thieves a fun encounter from start to finish. Unlike the dark and gloomy Army of the Dead, this prequel opts for a funny tone that works in making it a delightful surprise.

    I'm a Zack Snyder fan but his zombie movie was a major disappointment in all ramifications. I almost decided not to watch this sequel, especially with the involvement of Matthias Schweighofer whose take on the safecracker character in the first movie was an irritation.

    I wasn't particularly impressed with the trailer but when I saw the movie's rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I decided to see it for myself.

    Reprising his role from the first film (which is apparently the second chronologically), Schweighofer plays Sebastian, a bank teller whose insignificant life takes an exciting turn when the beautiful Gwen (Nathalie Emmanuel) comes along, offering him the chance to crack three safes made by a genius he has always admired.

    The hero joins Gwen's team and as they begin their heists, a vengeful Interpol agent closes in on their tail. 

    The humour fused here works so well, with the lead star making his character very interesting to watch. He is a nerd who is attracted to Gwen from the moment he sets his eyes on her. By agreeing to the mission, he is able to do that which he loves most and connect on a personal level with a man he has always revered.

    Directing and starring as the protagonist in a film is a daunting task but Schweighofer does both so well that the final product is commendable.

    While the actor was annoying and unconvincing in Army of the Dead, here he is the polar opposite, making you want to see how he may or may not be able to do the unthinkable.

    The delectable Nathalie Emmanuel isn't given the opportunity to show why she is regarded as one of the best pickpockets in the world. She is undoubtedly eye-candy material but I was more impressed with Ruby O. Fee, the actress who plays the hacker in their team.

    The comedy works for the most part except for when jokes come in when they are not needed. For the most part, the plot doesn't require a lot of acting input but when it does on the part of the lead star, he doesn't disappoint.

    I enjoyed the cinematography, camera shots and angles, and the effects used in a few of the action scenes.

    The major downsides of this film are the plot being totally predictable (that is until the final act which was quite touching) and the lack of a real villain. 

    Kudos to the lead actor and director for a job well done. Army of Thieves is a truly fun heist flick.

     

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    Rating Breakdown

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

    Needle in a Timestack

    PG - Romance, Sci-fi | October 15, 2021 Storyline:

    In the near future where people can travel back in time, a man who feels that his marriage is threatened slowly realizes that his worst nightmare is playing right before his very eyes. As the life he knows vanishes, he decides to do anything possible to get back the love of his life.

    • 2.0
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 2 years ago

    This movie is quite ambitious and could have succeeded in its delivery but its over-reliance on melodrama proves to be a major hindrance.

    Starring Leslie Odom Jr. in the lead role, Needle in a Timestack is directed by John Ridley based on the short story of the same name by Robert Silverberg.

    Odom is Nick, a man whose suspicions about his wife being taken away from him slowly begins to consume him. When a 'time shift' wipes away their entire marriage history, he is left with no choice but to attempt the seemingly impossible task of getting his partner back.

    I didn't get to know about the film until a few days before its release. I stumbled upon its trailer and after watching it, decided it was worth seeing. Having seen the film, I would say that the trailer is far more interesting than the entire movie.

    Adapting a literary work is a tricky affair and if as a filmmaker, if you want to do it, make sure you create something remarkably resonant.

    I haven't read the story (and now that I've seen the movie, I don't plan to) but I daresay it's far better than its cinematic adaptation.

    First off, the whole concept of the 'time shifts' poses a lot of questions that remain unanswered by the end of the film. They happen regularly and can potentially mess with many lives, so why the heck are they even allowed? Who allows them? Who creates them? The rich people?

    I love sci-fi flicks that are believable and this one is anything but. A little background explanation before the unfolding of the plot could have helped a lot but that wasn't included. The director just expects the viewer to just catch up on everything happening.

    Leslie Odom Jr. is not quite the interesting protagonist that he should be. It got to a point where I literally got tired of seeing him drown in his own misery. His acting isn't bad but the character he portrays is very unlikeable.

    Cynthia Erivo is one of Hollywood's most promising stars. But like her co-star, she isn't given anything much to work with here. She is just the wife who is destined to be snatched away so as to create the conflict for the hero. There is zero chemistry between her and Odom's character.

    Orlando Bloom and Freida Pinto are wasted here. They are the supporting characters I got tired of seeing way too early after they were introduced.

    I could go on and on about how the film dragged and sucked in different ways but I will just bring up one more downside to it; Erivo and Pinto's characters switch between English and British accents that I didn't quite know what to make of them.

    Finally, the dialogue is as boring as hell and the pacing issues made me fight to stay awake until the end credits. 

    I expected an endearing romance film masquerading as a sci-fi thriller. What I got was a predictably bland love story masquerading as a sci-fi flick. A missed opportunity for whoever decided to adapt this to the big screen.

     

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    Rating Breakdown

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

    The Guilty

    PG - Thriller | October 1, 2021 Storyline:

    A troubled police detective demoted to 911 operator duty attempts to help a distressed caller during a shocking day of revelations — and reckonings.

    • 3.6
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 2 years ago

    Simply put, Antoine Fuqua's thriller is a worthy entry into those rare films that thrive using the little things to make a big statement.

    Starring the talented Jake Gyllenhaal, The Guilty sees the actor play Joe Baylor, an LAPD officer whose experience working the night shift at a 911 center becomes a defining moment in his life and those of four other individuals.

    Among the numerous calls Joe receives is one of distress from a troubled woman who has been taken against her will by her husband, with their little kids left home by themselves.

    The protagonist must use his wits, will, and experience as a law enforcement agent to solve what eventually reveals itself to be a heinous crime.

    What the film lacks in originality, it more than makes up for in wonderful and mesmerizing acting from Gyllenhaal. His character is in the middle of a major crisis as his court case is set for the next day. As he delves deeper into the woman named Emily's case, his connection with her family and the unspeakable deed done leads to him experiencing catharsis, leaving him a far better man.

    Gyllenhaal's name attracted me to this film as I am a fan of his. The director, Antoine Fuqua, also has an impressive record when it comes to making movies, so I expected something worthwhile. Neither of them disappointed me.

    With a very small cast, restricted shots, and camera angles, The Guilty uses the only thing it has to its advantage; a gripping emotional story. In this, it succeeds spectacularly.

    As the lead, Gyllenhaal simply makes you never want to miss a second of seeing him convince you that he is whoever he wants you to believe he is. He left me awed, tugging at my heartstrings with his performance.

    The Guilty is a remarkable thriller, one made by a filmmaker who knows his thing, with the help of an actor who is at the top of his game.

     

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    Rating Breakdown

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

    The Protégé

    PG - Action Thriller | August 20, 2021 Storyline:

    Action star Maggie Q stars as Anna, a skilled contract killer, who goes on the hunt after the legendary Moody who trained her is murdered.

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

    Martin Campbell's film is an absolute blast from start to finish. Maggie Q and Samuel L. Jackson light up the screen in this enjoyable action fest.

    Q stars as Anna, an assassin who hunts those behind the brutal killing of her friend and mentor, fellow killer Moody (Jackson). The trail of vengeance leads to Vietnam where she meets a mysterious individual named Michael (Michael Keaton) whose affiliation with a powerful syndicate pits her in a situation where she will have to fight for her life.

    I deliberately didn't finish the trailer because I misjudged the plot and concluded that it was another brainless action film with forgettable characters. The first 15 minutes proved just how wrong I was.

    The Protege is a remarkable movie that is well-made, thanks to a director whose attention to detail shows in every way. As the lead, Maggie Q is impressive (as she always is) and Samuel L. Jackson is a joy to watch.

    The action scenes are done well, but that's not all there is. There is drama that makes the characters well-grounded in reality and their motives are understandable.

    The cinematography and visual effects also work in tandem to provide a visually appealing experience action lovers won't forget in a hurry.

    It's sad to see that we're in a time when less attention is paid to the elements that make for a compelling action flick. I'm glad to say that this film doesn't fall into that category as Martin Campbell stays true to the genre while adding a little extra suspense to keep viewers glued to the screen.

    I really enjoyed this film and the performances from the actors (especially Maggie Q, Samuel L. Jackson, and Michael Keaton) are top-notch.

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    Rating Breakdown

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

    Vacation Friends

    PG - Comedy | August 27, 2021 Storyline:

    A couple's wedding is crashed by some casual friends whose outrageous ways always seem to mortify those around them.

    • 1.6
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 2 years ago

    I really wanted to like this film but in the end, I found a lot of reasons not to. Though Lil Rey Howery and John Cena put in a lot of effort into what should be hilariously fun characters, they (and pretty much every other person in film) come off as buffoons.

    Vacation Friends revolves around a man named Marcus (Howery) and his fiance Emily (Yvonne Orji). They go on a trip to Mexico where they meet the extrovert duo of Ron (Cena) and Kyla (Meredith Hagner). Their lives are forever changed as it's one bizarre adventure after the next, with their newfound friends showing up uninvited to their wedding.

    This R-rated comedy is directed by Clay Tarver, with a script that is predictable, a few times funny, but mostly annoying. The only thing that made me sit through it to the end was the fact that I had to so I could write this review. I will try to keep it short as best as I can.

    First off, I don't know why Hollywood keeps going with the trend of making almost every comedy film R-rated. It doesn't have to be hardcore to be enjoyable.

    Secondly, the humour here is totally outrageous and borrows from basically almost every comedy movie ever made. I kept a straight face almost throughout as I didn't exactly find it funny. I only laughed in two or three scenes.

    Thirdly, all the actors (and I mean ALL of them) try too hard to be funny that they only end up being really silly. I expected John Cena (who has shown that he has some potential in the genre) to be a good distraction but even his performance here falls flat. His acting is only bearable to watch the very few times he is serious.

    I don't care how many other reviews praise this film; for me, it sucks big time. Putting a lesson about not judging people for their shortcomings and the positive ways they could impact your life even if they cause you misery doesn't change that.

    For me, this was a wasted opportunity.

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    Rating Breakdown

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

    The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf

    PG - Anime, Fantasy, Action | August 23, 2021 Storyline:

    Vesemir, a witcher, must literally face the demons of his past when he is called upon to help stop a horde of ravaging beasts.

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

    The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf is a blast from start to finish. With superb writing, impeccable 2D animation, and memorable voice work from Theo James, it is sure to please anime fans.

    Directed by Kwang Il Han, it follows Vesemir, a witcher who abandoned his impoverished past to embrace the world of demon/monster hunting for coin.

    When a job pits him against his most dangerous adversaries yet and reunites him with a childhood friend, the protagonist finds himself in the fight of and for his life.

    As the hero, Vesemir is easily likeable; he loves his job, swears a lot, is full of swagger, and is bloody good with a sword. His journey sees him face both his inner and outer demons.

    I decided to stop watching 2D animated films some years ago but the new wave of outstanding movies in the genre has made me a believer in them again.

    With this film, director Kwang Il Han succeeds in making something unique and entertaining. The action is visceral, the dialogue is witty, and the special effects are awesome. Also, the musical score is out of this world.

    I like the direction Netflix is going with its anime content. Not all of them are great but they are doing a good job with most of them so far.

    The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf is a visual triumph.

     

     

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    Rating Breakdown

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

    Reminiscence

    PG - Sci-fi Thriller | August 20, 2021 Storyline:

    Nick Bannister, a private investigator of the mind, navigates the alluring world of the past when his life is changed by new client Mae. A simple case becomes an obsession after she disappears and he fights to learn the truth about her.

    • 2.8
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 2 years ago

    This film starts with a very interesting premise, gets entangled in a web of its numerous plotlines, but manages to redeem itself, with Hugh Jackman bringing the emotions to his well-layered character.

    Set in a dystopian future where the people now cling to memories to relive the best moments of their lives, Reminiscence sees Jackman take the reins as Nick, a man who becomes obsessed with a mysterious woman named Mae (Rebecca Ferguson) after she comes into his life and disappears without a word.

    Knowing that something is wrong, Nick follows a cold trail that leads him to uncover more and more about the dark past and true nature of the lady he thought he knew, all the while navigating the corrupt underbelly of the flood-ridden cities.

    The concept of humans reliving their most treasured memories is an intriguing one and the science-fiction here is believably realistic.

    Midway, the film begins to lose its way by taking on too many subplots and I then asked myself if it was a sci-fi thriller, an action sci-fi, an action thriller, or a romance thriller.

    Anyway, as the lead, Hugh Jackman makes you care for his character. He is a man hanging on to the one person who lit up his dreary existence and like a moth to the flame, he will pursue her even if it means dying in the process.

    Thandie Newton is amazing in a supporting role. Besides Nick and Mae, she is the most interesting to watch. Unlike the protagonist, she doesn't hold on to any fantasy to get by; she forges ahead in spite of life's tragedies.

    Rebecca Ferguson as Mae is your typical femme fatale; she comes into Nick's life and from the moment he sees her, is swept off his feet (Hollywood needs to stop with the overly melodramatic romance themes). Her acting is never in doubt but I wished she didn't have to be so predictable in the damsel in distress role most of the time.

    I commend the director Lisa Joy for tackling this film which must have been challenging to make. Even though it doesn't become what it aims to be, it leaves a lasting impression.

    Reminiscence should be better than it is but that notwithstanding, it proved to be an enjoyable sci-fi thriller for me. 

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