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    Rating Breakdown

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

    The Boss Baby: Family Business

    PG - Animation, Comedy | July 2, 2021 Storyline:

    Tim Templeton and his little brother Ted are now grown men and must revert to their baby forms to stop a wacky genius from executing a sinister plan which involves taking all the parents in the world out of the picture.

    • 2.4
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 2 years ago

    Even though the animation is colourful and vibrant, this sequel just ends up having everything that made the first movie easily forgettable.

    Alec Baldwin returns as the genius baby in adult form. His relationship with his big brother Tim is now strained and they both get the surprise of their lives when they find out that Tim's last daughter, Tina, is also a talking baby genius.

    Tina informs her dad and uncle about a ploy by a deranged innovator at her sister's school and together, the brothers go on a  quest to foil the plan, learning to bond again.

    The voice acting is okay, the animation cool, but the outrageous comedy just gets in the way. Almost everything is exaggerated and the pacing almost too fast to let the viewer soak it all in.

    I enjoyed Baldwin's vocal portrayal of Ted and Jeff Goldblum as the antagonist. Other than these, The Boss Baby: Family Business doesn't have anything outstanding to offer.

    I admit that I laughed a few times but the plot and everything going on was just so silly that I didn't connect with it. Young children and maybe some teenagers will like this but a lot of adult folks will find it a bit much.

    I didn't see any need for a sequel after watching the first one and having seen this too, I can say I was justified. On the whole, the movie doesn't work because almost everything put in it is too distracting to make a coherent whole.

     

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    Rating Breakdown

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

    The Tomorrow War

    PG - Sci-fi | July 2, 2021 Storyline:

    A biology teacher is selected among those who must fight a war against vicious aliens several decades in the future. Their goal is to stop the seemingly inevitable annihilation of the entire human population by the invaders. 

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

    The Tomorrow War starts as a movie desperately trying to make the viewer like it but ends as a pulse-pounding and entertaining joyride filled with touching moments and a never-ending visual spectacle.

    It is directed by Chris McKay and stars Chris Pratt who is a husband and father who finds himself forcefully conscripted to fight for the survival of the human race.

    The plot is basically the same as almost every sci-fi movie we have seen about aliens but what sets this film apart is the humanity and the battle to change the fate of a doomed race.

    I was happy that the aliens were introduced on time and are they vicious and ugly! They are all out to extinguish the human race and nothing will stand in their way.

    As the hero, Pratt's character doesn't make the kind of impression you expect in the early goings but as the movie progresses, he develops into the kind of guy you root for.

    He meets a future version of someone close to him in the future war and together they find a weapon that could change the course of the fight for humanity.

    Those who love action will get a load of it here; the spectacle is glorious and the battle scenes are well executed. My only complaint is the lack of gore for a movie that has a lot of onscreen carnage.

    For the most part, the humour doesn't really cut it as a lot of the jokes fall flat and are unnecessary. In terms of the acting, Yvonne Strahovski excels above everyone else. She plays her role with the emotion needed and the performance is a winning one.

    J. K. Simmons plays the stereotypically estranged father and grandfather but the actor leaves quite the impression as well. He had to bulk up for the part and it was good to see.

    Most of the supporting characters end up being hollow apart from Edwin Hodge's Dorian who goes out with a bang in the final act.

    In all, The Tomorrow War is an epic action science-fiction film that works as a result of the family dynamic added to it. More than just the compelling action, it is a reminder of why we fight our battles and those we fight for.

     

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    Rating Breakdown

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

    Ayinla

    PG - Musical, Drama | June 18, 2021 Storyline:

    A fictional depiction of late Apala musician Ayinla Omowura, giving audiences a glimpse of the man behind the legend.

    • 3.2
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 3 years ago

    Ayinla succeeds largely because of its lead star Adedimeji Lateef, whose embodiment of a man fallible and flawed just grips you and refuses to let go.

    Tunde Kelani's account (which is not a biopic) of the eponymous character isn't without a few downsides here and there, but in all, it's a commendable effort.

    The film kicks off at a point in the life of Ayinla where he has already made a name for himself in his hometown of Abeokuta. Soon, a show promoter (played by Kunle Afolayan) and a journalist arrive at his doorstep as a tour to London is planned.

    Ayinla's relationship with his manager (Mr. Macaroni) is tested when the latter introduces him to one of his girlfriends. The singer's subsequent romance with the girl starts a chain of events that lead to a confrontation at a beer parlour that ends in tragedy.

    Lateef gives an award-worthy performance (I will be surprised if he doesn't win any for this) and Kelani spices up the film with pleasing Yoruba melodies.

    The supporting characters play their different roles well enough (Afolayan most of all). The costumes and set pieces are a true reflection of the 1980's period in which the film is set.

    I had just three issues with the film; one is the make-up for Mr. Macaroni's Bayowa's hair. It wasn't well done and showed that it wasn't really his. The second is the fans seen in some scenes; they are never on. The third is Adedimeji's rendition of Ayinla's songs (sometimes, his lips weren't totally in sync with the lyrics).

    Other than the above issues, Ayinla ends up being a success, and by the time the hero's tragic flaw leads to his demise, the viewer has no choice but to empathize with him.

    Kudos to Tunde Kelani and Adedimeji Lateef. This is a film that largely lives up to the hype.

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    Rating Breakdown

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

    Luca

    PG - Fantasy, Animation, Comedy | June 18, 2021 Storyline:

    Luca is a teenage sea monster who has always wanted to explore the surface world. When he meets Alberto (another teen sea monster), the latter introduces him to the world of humans as they both explore endless possibilities. But the town they find themselves in is occupied by people who have always hunted sea monsters, and it's only a matter of time before Luca and Alberto's secret will become revealed.

    • 3.4
    • Users Rating 5 ( 1 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 3 years ago

    Luca effectively employs the traditional Disney/Pixar formula to continue the creation of a family-friendly tale that is heartwarming and didactic.

    The story is magical, the characters are endearing, and the animation is beautifully rendered. With all these in place, how can one expect nothing less than another classic from the Mouse House?

    Luca (voiced by the talented youngster Jacob Tremblay) meets the adventurous Alberto (Jack Dylan Grazer) and his boring life takes far more interesting than he could have anticipated.

    In exploring the human world, they befriend a girl named Giulia, and together they join an upcoming race to win a motorcycle. What they don't bargain for is the townspeople's intolerance and hatred for their kind, and when Luca's parents come looking for him, things spiral out of control.

    I was hooked from the opening scene and I couldn't just take my eyes away for the duration of this film. It isn't Disney and Pixar's best film but it is definitely something remarkable.

    The voice acting is great (especially from the two leads) and the humour comes in the needed doses. At the heart of this film is a lesson to accept everyone the way they are, irrespective of beliefs, race, religion, or sexuality. It's a message that never gets old and Disney and Pixar tell it in the best way possible.

    Luca is another win and ranks among the best animated films of 2021. Disney fans will not be disappointed.

     

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    Rating Breakdown

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

    Wish Dragon

    PG - Action, Animation, Comedy | June 11, 2021 Storyline:

    A teenage boy who longs to be reunited with his childhood friend gets his chance when he becomes the owner of a mysterious teacup that houses a magical dragon.

    • 3.8
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 3 years ago

    Wish Dragon is an unexpected delight, one which touches the soul and teaches some of life's most valuable lessons.

    Never judge a book by its cover (in this case, never think you know a movie after seeing just the trailer). After watching the trailer, I thought this was just a Chinese remake of Disney's classic Aladdin story. I was so wrong!

    Animation lovers might just need to keep their handkerchiefs handy while watching this because it will melt the stoniest of hearts. This might be the best animated film 2021 has to offer.

    Wish Dragon sees Din Song (Jimmy Wong), a poor teen, put on a facade to make an impression on his childhood best friend. He is aided by the titular power-wielding dragon; a creature who just wants to finish his servitude to humanity and return to where he belongs.

    As Din reconnects with his pal, he learns that he has to shed the cloak of deception and be proud of who he really is. His journey takes a dangerous turn when he stumbles into dangerous men looking for the mysterious teacup. It's a path that will teach him and his reptilian ally that sometimes the things we crave the most do not compare to what we already have.

    Despite its lack of originality, Wish Dragon turns out to be a load of fun and heart. It has a message for all ages and its colourful animation will keep viewers spellbound.

    The subpar character designs are easily forgotten in a plot that takes the viewer where he/she least expects. The end result is a wonderful viewing experience that will shake you to your core.

    I highly recommend this film to not just animation fans, but to all movie lovers. Don't think you know where the story is going because you don't, trust me.

    John Cho, the voice behind the dragon, does a splendid job in his vocal performance of an imperfect creature that becomes something far more by the end of the film.

    I could go on about how awesome the film is but I would just stop here and urge every member of the family to see this beautiful work of art from the talented minds behind Sony Pictures Animation.

    The director Chris Appelhans couldn't have done better in making this exceptional masterpiece. Thanks, man. It was a joyride from start to finish!

     

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    Rating Breakdown

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

    Infinite

    PG - Action | June 10, 2021 Storyline:

    A man must unlock his hidden memories when he finds out that he is an infinite; someone who reincarnates over several lifetimes. He is pursued by a sinister adversary who wants to end the world as we all know it.

    • 2.4
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 3 years ago

    Antoine Fuqua's action film starts fairly well but plummets into mediocre territory with cheesy dialogue, lack of character development, and a forgettable plot.

    Starring Mark Wahlberg (looking buff as usual), Inifinite centers on a man who discovers that he has lived many lives before after a run-in with the law reunites him with an old foe (a fearsome-looking Chiwetel Ejiofor) he can't remember.

    Evan (Wahlberg) gets help from a fellow infinite, Nora (Sophie Cookson) and together they must find the location of a capsule with the power to destroy the world before it ends up in the wrong hands.

    As if the storyline isn't predictable enough, the exposition loses steam midway and even Ejiofor's commendable performance can't save the movie from its downward plunge.

    Without giving away too much away, let me say that the whole concept of the infinites and their evil counterparts is just too cheesy. You have the reluctant hero who doesn't know who he is but at some point, you know he will regain his memories and save the day. When you know the end from the beginning, the journey just ends up being boring.

    Director Fuqua has an impressive record when it comes to making interesting action films but here he falls short of expectations. The fight scenes fluctuate; they toe the line between great and lackluster.

    The special effects are not bad, the acting is okay. Wahlberg does what he does best, Ejiofor as the creepy bad guy with an even more creepy beard is charismatically evil, but the other cast members leave a lot to be desired.

    Then I had an issue with the tall girl who was a bodyguard (or whatever the heck she was) to Bathurst (Ejiofor). She was practically useless for the length of the film. When she has a confrontation with Nora, her demise is as inconsequential as her existence.

    I daresay the best part of the movie is the opening car chase sequence (look out for a cameo appearance from a talented upcoming movie star). It had this Fast & Furious vibe that just gets you hooked to the screen.

    Infinite has the potential to spawn a franchise but with Fuqua's interpretation, I doubt plans for subsequent sequels might be shelved. Wahlberg and Ejiofor make for an intriguing pair but their combo isn't enough to make this movie fail before it succeeds.

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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 - 3 years 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 - 3 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 - 3 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 3.0
    • Acting 3.0
    • Dialogue 3.0
    • Screen Play 3.0
    • Visuals 2.0

    Strain

    PG - Family Drama | September 7, 2020 Storyline:

    A man and his family struggle to adapt to their new reality when their young son is diagnosed with sickle cell disease.

    • 2.8
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 3 years ago

    Despite some shortcomings, Strain is a family drama I recommend for everyone as there are lessons in it for all ages. 

    Director Uduak-Obong Patrick's movie centers on the Ezeji family whose lives are disrupted after their son Ekene (Nifemi Lawal) is diagnosed with sickle cell disease.

    Ekene repeatedly experiences crisis and his father Nnamdi (Okey Uzoeshi) begins to succumb to the pressure that comes with watching his beloved child slowly fade away.

    Nnamdi is powerless to stop the worsening medical condition of his son and vents his frustrations on his wife (Shushu Abubakar). To make matters worse, his daughter Ebere (Angel Unigwe) begins to feel unwanted as everyone seems to forget she exists.

    Things go from bad to worse when Ekene begins to contemplate suicide and his parents are left with no other option but to take action, opting for the only solution they see before them.

    Kudos to all the child actors for not disappointing as is mostly the case in Nollywood films. In this regard, Unigwe as Ebere outshines them all.

    Uzoeshi as the concerned patriarch gives a convincing performance but his onscreen partner Abubakar can't quite match his acting with her own.

    I would fault the soundtrack for being unnecessarily distracting at times and the exterior shots being needlessly repetitive. Besides these and a few more lapses, Strain turns out to be a pretty good film.

    The last part of the movie will melt hearts and the makeup department did a swell job in the physical transformation of the sickle cell patient after surgery.

    In all, Strain sends a much-needed message of hope to those living with sickle cell disease. Rather than being stigmatized, these poor souls deserve all the love, care, and medical attention in the world.

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