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    Rating Breakdown

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

    Coming 2 America

    PG - Romance, Comedy, Family Drama | March 5, 2021 Storyline:

    Prince Akeem is about to become the King of Zamunda but first, he must find his son who is a street-savvy young man in Queens, New York.

    • 1.4
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 1 year ago

    Despite its ensemble cast and numerous references to the original film, Coming 2 America ends up being a wasted effort that should never have been made.

    Right from the moment a sequel was announced, I knew there was no way it could live up to the first movie. That line of thought prepared me for what was to come, and even with my low expectations, I was still disappointed.

    With much of the cast of Coming to America returning, the second part sees Eddie Murphy's Prince Akeem Joffer of Zamunda made by his dying father, King Jaffe Joffer (James Earl Jones) to go to America to bring his son (Jermaine Fowler) back home.

    Akeem finds the young man whose name is Lavelle Junson and seduced by the affluence of his father, he goes back to the African kingdom of Zamunda where he must face the princely tests to decide if he will be a worthy successor to the throne.

    While getting used to his sudden change of status, Lavelle is faced with marrying the daughter of a military man; a woman he doesn't know or love or decide to follow his heart and choose a Zamundan who befriended him from the moment he entered the kingdom.

    There are so many plotholes in Coming 2 America, and I will try to mention the most pertinent ones. The first one that comes to mind is how the film didn't prove in any way that Lavelle is actually Akeem's son.

    One of the burning questions I hoped would be answered when I saw the trailer was this; how on God's green earth did Akeem father a son in America when we saw that he had only ever been with Lisa (Shari Headley) while he was there?

    The answer to the above question was given and as it turns out, it was a pretty lame one (told through a flashback scene that had me cringing in irritation as the de-aging effect on Murphy there was absolutely ridiculous).

    Now, I found it strange that Prince Akeem finds out about his son, and when he sees the young man, it doesn't even occur to him to want proof that he is his son (not even a DNA test). He just takes the dude back to Zamunda.

    Wesley Snipes plays General Izzi, an antagonistic fellow who longs for an opportunity to wage war on Zamunda as a result of the wrong Akeem did to his family years ago. As the villain, the character was portrayed as a clownish and brainless man who easily changes his mind, deciding to let bygones be bygones after being outmatched and outwitted.

     Here, Lisa isn't given much to do and her character is quite different from how she was depicted in the prequel. While she was portrayed as a strong, independent, and intelligent woman in the first part, here she is pretty much a dumb person who is easily swayed and seems to have little connection to her family.

    As the prince, Fowler's acting is limited to how his character is written (which is nothing remarkable, by the way), so he isn't someone you hate or love. He just amused me a few times.

    The CGI employed here was a load of crap; cheap and unconvincing. The set pieces were laughable (so unlike the first film), the humor didn't hit the right notes most of the time, and pretty much everyone was making a fool of themselves onscreen.

    Coming to America is a classic because despite being made over 30 years ago, it still retains its magic. Among other things, it entertained and educated. It is the total package and spoke to audiences of all ages on different levels.

    Part of what made the original movie succeed was the heart in the fairytale story. Despite being a comedy, there were moments where human emotions were convincingly depicted, with the humour coming in at appropriate times.

    Those who decided to make this sequel can be forgiven for failing in their efforts to live up to the impact of its predecessor. But what is unforgivable is assuming that a stellar cast and horrible jokes make a good comedy.

    There are cameo appearances by notable stars but even those are undermined by the silly exposition which unfolds. 

    And yes, Nigerian music sensation Davido makes an appearance, giving a brief rendition of one of his most popular songs. But even that is trumped by the general buffoonery spread among the characters.

    I won't even go into Eddie Murphy's Akeem performance here. The only thing I will say about the character is that he left much to be desired.

    For me, the only person I enjoyed watching was actress KiKi Layne. As Princess Meeka, her character is what her mother was in the first film; strong, intelligent, and loyal. Too bad these are not enough to save the film from its descent into mediocrity.

    I don't enjoy writing negative reviews because the art of filmmaking is not an easy one. But when you decide to piss on a classic like Coming to America by making a lackluster sequel, you and I will definitely have issues.

    Before I saw Coming 2 America, I saw a reviewer caption his/her review something like this; Don't Try To Fix It If It Isn't Broken. That is an apt description for this unworthy sequel. It is unfortunate that an actor like Eddie Murphy's name is attached to this kind of mess.

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    Rating Breakdown

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

    The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

    PG - Horror, Thriller | June 4, 2021 Storyline:

    Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren find themselves involved in a case unlike any they've ever seen before. In the course of trying to solve the mystery, they become the target of a powerful individual who dabbles in the occultic world.

    • 2.6
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 1 year ago

    Despite being touted as the standout from its predecessors, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It ends up falling below the standards set by the prequels.

    Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga return as the couple battling the metaphysical in the third film in the franchise. During the course of an exorcism, a malevolent entity is transferred from a child to an adult.

    Weeks later, the couple finds out that the case they thought was over has only just begun as they race against time to unravel the mystery behind a potent curse and unmask the one behind it.

    The trailer got me pumped and though I told myself that there was no way this part would be better than its predecessors, I still ended up being disappointed when I finished it.

    For starters, the movie is more of a thriller than a horror film. Compared to the earlier parts, this is quite tame and I missed the dread, chills, and originality of the previous ones.

    As a standalone film, it is an enjoyable movie. As a sequel to the first two films, it is a little underwhelming. This is due to issues with scene transition, editing (at times), and a largely uneven plot that takes too much time in getting to the third act.

    The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It opens with a scene that grabs your attention but struggles to maintain that intrigue and suspense for the better part of the first and second acts.

    As the leads, Wilson and Farmiga don't disappoint (Farmiga is clearly the standout, with a compelling performance rivaling those of the first two films).

    The special effects are top-notch but sometimes, the attempt to produce the hair-raising chills needed fails due to the continued application of formulaic elements.

    At a time when a lot of substandard so-called horror movies are being made, the third chapter of The Conjuring saga could have separated itself from the others by bringing something new to the table. Sadly, this is not the case.

    In conclusion, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is engaging and movie fans will enjoy what it has to offer. But those who have been following the adventures of Ed and Lorraine Warren will be disappointed with the latest part.

     

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    Rating Breakdown

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

    The Water Man

    PG - Adventure, Drama | May 7, 2021 Storyline:

    A young boy embarks on a trip with a stranger to find the legendary Water Man in order to find a cure for his ailing mother.

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

    The Water Man is a touching adventure for the entire family. David Oyelowo succeeds in his directorial debut, but the real star of the film is Lonnie Chavis.

    Chavis is Gunner, a boy who finds it difficult to accept that his mother may never get well again after she is diagnosed with Leukemia. When he hears about the tale of the mysterious Water Man (an individual who is said to possess the power of immortality) he enlists the help of a girl named Jo (Amiah Miller) to help him.

    Meanwhile, Gunner's father Amos (Oyelowo) finds out his son has disappeared and sets out to find him. The problem is there is a raging wildfire in the woods and the concerned parent must get to his son before all hope is lost.

    The film is engaging and poignant, thanks to Oyelowo's directing, Chavis' performance, and a relatable plot. Gunner's strained relationship with his dad is something that is explored well.

    The relationship between Chavis and his mother (Rosario Dawson) is the heart of the film and is what fuels his quest for the Water Man. He forms an unlikely alliance with Jo, and the latter ends up being a better person for it.

    I didn't like the way the conflict was resolved in the third as one or two things didn't sit well with me. But other than that, this movie succeeds.

    Oyelowo has shown that he has what it takes to be a great filmmaker and I look forward to seeing more movies from him.

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    Rating Breakdown

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

    Cruella

    PG - Comedy, Crime | May 28, 2021 Storyline:

    Estella is a young woman who has always had a knack for fashion. When she meets the famous Baroness, she begins to hone her designing skills in order to make a name for herself. Her life takes a remarkable turn when she finds out that her boss is connected to a tragedy that took place in her past. This leads to her unleashing her true self, the one who has always lurked deep down within.

     

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

    Cruella is a delightful crime comedy that captures the wacky soul of a determined woman who walks the thin line between madness and genius.

    Emma Stone exudes the craziness associated with the character first played by Glenn Close years ago. Her performance as the titular character is amazing, matched only by the seasoned acting of Emma Thompson as the antagonist.

    Stone plays Estella, a girl whose tragic past leads her to the big city where a chance meeting with the devious and powerful Baroness (Thompson) sets her on the path to making her dreams come true.

    When the protagonist discovers that her boss was responsible for the demise of a loved one years ago, she hatches a plot to exact her own form of revenge, enlisting the help of her three goons.

    In order to strip the Baroness of everything she holds dear, Estella will have to go, giving way for the unhinged Cruella to take over.

    Everything about this film is outlandish, outrageous, and extraordinary. The plot is fast-paced and the two leads are compelling in their roles.

    Stone is riveting and Thompson is ravishingly delectable. Both of them take Disney's latest film to great heights and I couldn't help but smile throughout.

    The cinematography is awesome, the music phenomenal, the set pieces gorgeous, and the costumes and makeup out of this world. 

    Cruella is a feast for the eyes and one of Disney's best films in recent years.

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    Rating Breakdown

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

    Wrath of Man

    PG - Action, Thriller | May 7, 2021 Storyline:

    H is a mysterious guy working for a cash truck company. When he displays amazing combat skills during a heist, those around him begin to realize that he is far more than he says he is.

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

    Guy Ritchie and Jason Statham have made another remarkable movie with Wrath of Man, a bloody tale of one man's search for vengeance.

    Statham stars as H, a man recruited by an armoured truck company. He barely passes his training and resumes the job only to single-handedly foil an attempted heist by unknown gunmen. This is when his co-workers start to suspect he is not who he claims to be.

    Meanwhile, H has a reason for working at the truck company. He is looking to settle a personal score, one that fuels him like nothing else. Consumed by his goal, he begins to lay the groundwork for the ultimate showdown. And when it does come, it is one hell of a finale.

    The fact is that the plot of Wrath of Man is nothing new. It's the way the story is told that makes it appealing. The director deliberately starts at a point where things are unclear and uses a non-linear plot for the exposition. It works beautifully as past and present collide for a memorable third act.

    I've been a fan of Guy Ritchie and I'm glad to say that everything about his latest film plays a vital part to make it outstanding. As the protagonist, Statham is convincing as a man with a grudge. His cool demeanor hides his ferociousness and he is a predator on the prowl. This may not be his best performance but it is damn good to watch.

    All the supporting characters play their parts well, especially Scott Eastwood. He is part of the crew that H must face. They are not known for failure and he is the most unrelenting foe they have ever met. One way or another, one side must lose.

    The editing is seamless and the music perfect and foreboding. By the middle of the movie, all the jumbled pieces begin to come together for a coherent whole, with Statham doing what he does best.

    Wrath of Man is another triumph from Ritchie and Statham. It is a solid action thriller that is undoubtedly one of the year's best. I will definitely be watching it again.

     

     

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    Rating Breakdown

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

    Those Who Wish Me Dead

    PG - Action Thriller | May 14, 2021 Storyline:

    A firefighter takes it upon herself to protect a young boy who witnessed the murder of his father. As the assassins close in on them, she must confront her inner demons and succeed where she failed in the past.

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

    An intriguing movie from start to finish. Angelina Jolie and the young actor named Finn Little give riveting performances, making Taylor Sheridan's film a pulse-pounding encounter.

    The action is cool, the plot suspenseful, and the cinematography stupendous. Nicolas Hoult is the genuine badass hitman; his icy cool demeanor and precision are unnervingly convincing.

    The only issue I had with the film is that its biggest question is left unanswered. Besides this, the movie is great. 

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    Rating Breakdown

    • Direction 2.0
    • Acting 3.0
    • Dialogue 2.0
    • Screen Play 1.0
    • Visuals 2.0

    Army of the Dead

    PG - Action | May 14, 2021 Storyline:

    A group of daredevil mercenaries take on a mission to pull off a heist in Las Vegas. The problem is that the place has been overrun by zombies.

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

    Zack Snyder appears to have lost his magic touch as Army of the Dead turns out to be a disappointing film that is anything but a heist movie.

    From unrealistic character choices to a plot full of holes enough to make a standard soccer goal post, this is Snyder's worst movie.

    The worst thing about the film is the way the zombies are portrayed; they have a leader who has a mate and he rides a horse. Plus, these creatures keep human captives and move around with the demeanor of apes.

    The film is for the most part boring and when things start to get interesting, the below par action hinders it from being outstanding. 

    In all, this film isn't worth the hype and the director should figure out to win the hearts of audiences because this may not be good for his career at all.

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    Rating Breakdown

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

    The Mitchells vs. the Machines

    PG - Action, Animation, Comedy | April 30, 2021 Storyline:

    A disunited family must find a way to work together in the aftermath of a robot apocalypse.

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

    This film blew my mind, defying expectations and making a bold statement on the importance of staying together to battle seemingly insurmountable odds.

    The Mitchells are a family only in name; they can't seem to get along and the patriarch's relationship with his teenage daughter is the film's major conflict.

    When robots created to help humanity unexpectedly stage an uprising, capturing every human (except the titular family of course) in the world, it falls on the dysfunctional heroes to brace up, put their differences aside, and save the day.

    I wasn't particularly thrilled with the character designs but midway through this visually delightful movie, I forgot all about that and was lost in the plot.

    The humour is rib-cracking, the action engaging, and the characters totally relatable. The actors give mesmerizing vocal performances and the director, Rianda makes one heck of a fun movie in his directorial debut.

    I love the various artistic illustrations used to depict the moods at different points, and even though the villain is cheesy in a predictable way, it doesn't stop the film from being awesome.

    The Mitchells vs. the Machines is one of the best animated comedies ever made and I urge all fans of the genre to see it if they haven't.

     

     

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    Rating Breakdown

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

    Without Remorse

    PG - Action | April 30, 2021 Storyline:

    A betrayed U.S. Navy Seal goes on the trail of vengeance after his wife, unborn daughter, and team members are killed by unknown gunmen.

    • 2.2
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 2 years ago

    The impressive trio of Michael B. Jordan, Jodie Turner-Smith, and Guy Pierce isn't enough to save this movie from its own mediocrity.

    Though based on the Tom Clancy novel of the same name, Without Remorse lacks everything that readers have come to love about his stories.

    The script is poorly written, the characters are uninteresting (with the exception of Jamie Bell's), and the action is nothing out of the ordinary.

    I saw the trailer and foresaw something lackluster. In the end, I was proved right. If there is one lesson to learn from here it's this; not every interesting book should be adapted to the big screen.

    Jordan is John Kelly, a man who was set up with his team members after a major operation. His wife and team members are murdered by unknown gunmen and injured, he is the only survivor.

    Upon regaining consciousness, John decides to find answers, using any and all means necessary. His journey takes him to Russia and back to his home country in a trail that leads to the highest echelon of power.

    I love watching Jordan act; he is good at it. But here, his character is nothing more than a bitter, scowling man who is happy to just fight and fight.

    Smith is anything but the character she portrays. Her performance is as unconvincing as it's uninspiring; a shame considering her award-worthy turn in Queen and Slim.

    As for Guy Pierce, it doesn't take a genius to predict that he is the film's antagonist. It's easy to see through his facade of pretense. I didn't even bat an eyelid when he met his waterloo; that's how minute his existence was to me.

    In all, Without Remorse is a movie better forgotten and not worth recommending to film enthusiasts.

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    Rating Breakdown

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

    Mortal Kombat

    PG - Action | April 23, 2021 Storyline:

    A washed-up martial artist must team up with a group of skilled fighters to defend earth from the evil Shang Tsung and his crew (led by Sub-Zero).

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

    Mortal Kombat proved to be an enjoyable encounter for me, but I doubt those who aren't fans of the popular video games will say the same thing.

    Real-life martial artist Lewis Tan plays Cole Young, the descendant of Scorpion (Hiroyuki Sanada) who joins Sonya Blade, Jax, Lui Kang, Lord Raiden, and Kung Lao to fight for earth's survival in the tournament known as Mortal Kombat.

    Easily outmatched, Cole and his new pals must reach down deep within themselves to find the secret to beat their evil opponents in what will be the fight of their lives.

    Joe Taslim is simply amazing as the antagonistic Sub-Zero. Even though he is masked, his eyes reflect his villainy and he is a legitimate badass.

    Among the heroes, for me, Kung Lao made the best impression. I loved the way his character used his hat during combat scenes; a real homage to the video games.

    Making the film R-rated was the best decision as the gore was an apt nod to the source material and worked well in depicting the brutalities and fatalities.

    I was expecting more from Lord Raiden (Tadanobu Asano) and Shang Tsung (Chin Han) but was disappointed that I didn't get to see them engage in a duel.

    The action is commendable most of the time; only a few times was it less enjoyable as a result of the movement of the camera and the uneven editing.

    The special effects also worked as well, but the CGI used to bring the gigantic Goro to life wasn't as realistic as expected. Despite the budget concerns, a lot more attention should have been paid to his character.

    The score isn't bad at all but there were times I felt the music was too loud and distracting.

    As I said earlier, those who are lovers of the action genre will have fun watching this reboot. Movie critics on the other hand will most likely pan it.

    If you're expecting more than just entertainment and fun, then look elsewhere because I assure you that this movie will not give you that. But if you want to have a blast watching people engage in brutal fights then this is for you.

    Lest I forget, the actor who played Kano (Josh Lawson) stole every scene he appeared in. The banter between him and every other character (especially that of Jessica McNamee's Sonya Blade) was just wonderfully humorous.

    A lot of effort went into making this film and I commend the director and the cast and crew for giving it their all. Did the movie live up to expectations? In some areas, yes. In others, no.

    In the end, Mortal Kombat packs a bloody punch but it's definitely not for everyone.

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