Black Panther

20180207 poster Black Panther

Wow! Marvel definitely delivers on this movie. I have to admit, I had never heard of Black Panther until I saw him in Captain America: Civil War (which was really more of an Avengers movie than a Captain America movie). T’Challa returns home to Wakanda to formally become king and Black Panther, but he is challenged by an outsider. The story, gripping action, amazing special effects, and humor make the 2+ hours mostly fly by. I am also very glad the movie is truly about Black Panther, rather than the Avengers. But what I like the most are the kick-ass women of Wakanda, including T’Challa’s all-female bodyguards and his sister. In fact, the movie might as well be about them as it is about Black Panther. Stay all the way through the end credits for a couple of extra clips. Definitely recommended!

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20180104 poster Hostiles

An Army Captain is tasked with escorting a Cheyenne Chief and his family through dangerous territory to Montana. But he lost many friends to Native Americans and also killed many Native Americans in his career – how does the journey affect him? As expected, there are violent and gruesome scenes. But there are also intense moments and the acting is good. Overall, I liked the story even if it developed slowly. However, you can probably wait until this movie comes out on video before watching it, unless you are a Christian Bale fan.

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The Commuter

20180110 poster The Commuter v1

During his regular train commute home, an insurance salesman is contacted by a mysterious woman and tasked with finding an unknown person carrying an unknown bag, and he must do it before a specified stop, or else. Liam Neeson excels in this type of movie. The suspense draws you in as you try to figure out who he needs to find and why. The action though is a tad bit unbelievable for a 60-year-old salesman (yep, he mentions his age a few times in the movie), but being an ex-cop, maybe he kept up with his physical training. If you liked Taken, you’ll like this.

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Paddington 2

20180109 poster Paddington 2

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie! Paddington is arrested and jailed over the theft of a one-of-a-kind pop-up book, but who really did it? This family movie is full of laughs, heart, and even suspense! And you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy this movie. Never saw the first Paddington movie? Doesn’t matter, this movie stands on its own. And stay through the end credits for a fun clip!

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Darkest Hour

20171130 poster Darkest Hour

Winston Churchill becomes Prime Minister amidst the advance of Hitler’s troops across Europe. Should he consider a peace treaty or should he fight on? Gary Oldman is amazing – not only is he unrecognizable in his Churchill prosthetics/make-up, his mannerisms and the downturn of his mouth and his acting also capture Churchill very well. The story itself is informative, although the filmmakers most likely took some liberties with the details, as most “based on a true story” movies do. Also, the scenes are pretty dark – most of the scenes are set in dimly-lit or windowless rooms, which kinda makes the movie gloomy. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but I’d say watch this movie, if only for Gary Oldman’s performance.

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Pitch Perfect 3

20171219 poster Pitch Perfect 3

The Bellas have graduated and are forging their own paths in the real world, but the call to reunite is strong, so Aubrey asks her father to get them a gig touring with the USO. As with the previous two movies, this movie combines good harmonies with laughs. However, there is a completely superfluous side story involving Fat Amy’s estranged criminal father that adds action and explosions to the movie. Really? What for? If you ignore the side story, the rest of this movie is definitely a fun watch!.

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Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

20171218 poster Jumanji Welcome To The Jungle

Fun, fun, fun!!! I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and am glad that this is not a remake of the original one with Robin Williams, which I did not like that much. In this version, Jumanji is now a computer game, not a board game. A young man gets sucked into the game in 1996, and 20 years later, four teens get sucked into the same game and take on the physical traits and skills of their avatars, and the adventure begins. The chemistry amongst the characters is very obvious, and there is non-stop action, suspense, comedy, even romance. Definitely a gooood movie to watch!

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The Shape of Water

20171204 poster The Shape of Water

In the early 1960’s, a lonely woman discovers a humanoid water creature being tortured at the secret lab where she works, and as she develops interest in the creature, she tries to find a way to save him. The story kinda reminds me of Splash, which starred Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah, although this story is heavier, more adult-oriented, and more surreal. Other than a tad bit slow start, the pacing of this movie is just right. The tension towards the latter half keeps you pulled in. The visual effects are also done very well. If you don’t mind inter-species relationships, you’ll like this movie.

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Roman J. Israel, Esq.

20171114 poster Roman J Israel Esq

Roman is an idealistic but kinda savant-like lawyer who has lousy negotiation skills. A series of events results in him doing something wrong. Can he recover from it? I wanted to like this movie because, well, Denzel. But, the first hour and a half dragged on too long and could convey the story just as well if it were compressed by 30 to 40 minutes. The last half hour though – that part is well done. The suspense leading up to the final resolution and after-effects – that part of the movie was well done. Just be patient if you want to watch this movie.

Official Movie Website


20171120 poster coco_ver6_xlg

Young aspiring musician Miguel’s family has banned all music because his great-great-grandfather left his family in pursuit of music, but Miguel somehow finds himself in the Land of the Dead during Dia de los Muertos and learns his true family history. The story is very good but there are some scenes that may not be too kiddie-friendly – there is at least one scene that may scare little kids. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed this movie about family. And the animation is amazing!!! The vibrant colors, intricate details, life-like movements – wow! Definitely a must-see!

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