Telling The Real Stories

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All action in “Fate of the Furious”

From the series inception in 2001, the ‘Fast and the Furious’ has become Universal’s greatest franchise. It delivered financially once again as the 8th film in the series generating the largest opening weekend earnings of all time with $532.5 million globally in the box office. “The Fate of the Furious” departs the story away from the Brian O’Conner (previously played by the late Paul Walker) while staying true to the action that made the series famous. Opening with Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) honeymoon in Cuba, the movie quickly jumps into scenes of fast driving and aggressive action. Dom quickly defeats Raldo, a man seeking to repossess his cousin’s car, and chooses to give his current car to his cousin. This seeks to emphasize Dom’s commitment to “family” which is a topic repeatedly touched on in the previous films. Dom faces a huge obstacle when approached by Cipher…

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Belko Experiment: Not for the faint of heart – or anyone

After seeing the trailer for, “The Belko Experiment” I was definitely expecting some dark and/or gory moments. The movie portrays a government office in the middle of nowhere, where the workers get too-good-to-be-true benefits, and they all have a “tracking device” in their head. However, nothing could have prepared me for the gore I witnessed. The film’s plot takes shape through a voice over the loudspeaker in their 80- person office building, telling the workers that if 30 of them aren’t dead within the next hour, 60 of them will be dead. The workers all laugh as if it’s a complete joke, until large, metal doors that are unbreakable come down over every window and door in the building, trapping the workers inside. At first, everyone besides a few believe that this has to be an elaborate hack or prank. That is – until the killing starts. The first death…

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Ghost in the Shell: factory recall recommended

For a good number of people, the 1996 film “Ghost in the Shell” (GitS) is classic dystopic cyberpunk. A movie about investigating terror plots and internal political chess games in an age where you can ‘physically’ move on the internet; it can easily be said that it is a movie for those people who like their movies to have an intellectual meat to their fantasy. For fans of the series, there is only one real debate in the community that resurfaces: ‘Which is better, subtitles or the English voice dub. The reboot/remake/homage clip show that is “Ghost in the Shell” (2017) decided to attempt to bring both camps of the debate together. What results from this combination is just one example of a growing hypothesis that the movie development team had little to no idea what they were doing outside visuals. I am certain that, outside the actors’ costs, the…

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Evolver: You will believe a man can fry

If you ever wanted to watch a film that embodies the essence of the late 80’s and early 90’s do I have a bad movie for you. It was a simpler time when virtual reality didn’t cost a new computer and $700, and people got away with wearing clothes from the abstract art collection. The movie of focus for this session of “Attack of the Bad Movie Stack” is “Evolver” a movie about love, high stakes laser tag, and brutal robot murder. “Evolver” starts with our protagonist, Kyle Baxter, playing the virtual arcade game “Evolver” and has drawn a crowd that surrounds him, not unlike people who excel at DDR back when arcades were still popular. Kyle has made it to the final stage and his friend is taking bets on whether he’ll survive. The lone vote against him is the school bully Dwight, who wins the pot with Kyle losing to…

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‘Moonlight’: a Powerful Look at Identity

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Understanding identity may be one of the most important battles that one confronts throughout life. Many films throughout time have touched on finding one’s identity, however, Moonlight deciphers this in an incredibly human way. Set in the ghettos of Miami, the story Moonlight follows a boy named Chiron in three different stages. Chiron, born to a crack addicted mother under harsh circumstances, finds it hard to fit within the society and community in which he lives. Throughout Chiron’s journey, he struggles with self-identity along with his sexual orientation. In part one of the story, Chiron befriends a young couple that takes him in as he needs. From this couple, he develops a sense of knowledge and self-respect. This relationship serves as the base for this young boy as he grows older in the last two stages. Director Barry Jenkins does an incredible job keeping all three parts incredibly distinct. This…

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“Logan” The Wolverine We Always Wanted

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Both Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart give heartfelt, incredible performances in their last ones as Wolverine and Professor X. For every comic book loyal fan who has dreamt of one day watching a bloody, violent, “perfect” Wolverine movie, this delivers it and so much more. Giving old fans and new fans of the X-Men franchise a movie they can all enjoy – with an “R” rating no doubt.  In this film, we see a different Logan than we are used to seeing. The year 2029 has come and mutants have all but gone extinct. Logan is much older, a drunken mess, not healing the way we are used to seeing him heal, and the very thing (Adamantium) that makes him – is breaking him. Each scene Logan is in you can see the pain he endures. The discomfort that he feels. The anger that is boiling over – you can…

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House of the Dead: Home to careers and more

If you’re like me and spend more time indoors than taking in the (lack of) sun, you’ve likely been bored since the ball dropped to ring in the New Year. The Hollywood dump months have been held true to their fecal related name and have only released a handful of quality films to watch. John Wick’s return was stellar, while the new Rings movie made people recoil in horror for paying to see a bad movie. The way I see it, if I’m going to see a bad movie, it might as well cost only a dollar at the local pawn shop. Enter “The House of the Dead” and recoil in horror, for the movie may be low on price but not in schlock. John Wick’s return was stellar, while the new “Ring” movie made people recoil in horror for paying to see a bad movie. The way I see…

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Get Out: Expect the unexpected

When I saw the trailer for Get Out, I was immediately intrigued, but ultimately, I came to the conclusion that it would likely be another cheap, typical horror flick. Two things changed my mind on this film: that its director is Jordan Peele of Key and Peele fame, and that it currently has an 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes by critics. Peele had never directed a movie before, but I’m a big fan of their show, so it made me excited to see what he could do in a movie. It’s also very rare to see a movie with so many unanimously good reviews, so I thought I’d go check it out. The premise of this movie shows a young black man, Chris (played by Daniel Kaluuya), and his white girlfriend, Rose (played by Allison Williams) and their trip back to Rose’s house for the weekend. Chris had been worried…

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John Wick Chapter 2: Bliss and bullets

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I periodically mention in these reviews of how tired I am of modern filmmaking and the products they output. A good majority of the films that will release this year are sequels or are a part of an established franchise, and it’s honestly becoming tiresome to just keep seeing series just going on seemingly perpetually. That being said, if future entries into the John Wick series are just as enjoyable as the first and this second film I will be discussing, then I will be willing to start an exceptions list. For those who are unfamiliar with the plot of John Wick, let me give you the backstory of John Wick’s character before the first film’s events. John Wick was an extremely successful assassin who managed to do something unheard of in his occupation: retire. John married a woman named Helen and lived happily with her until death from an…

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