Angel Has Fallen Review

Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) has seen more action in his career as a Secret Service Agent than most superheroes see in a lifetime, but Angel Has Fallen pits the rugged hero against a new threat to the president he is sworn to protect: himself.

In the second sequel to 2013’s Olympus Has Fallen, Banning is dealing with a mild addiction to painkillers stemming from a series of concussions he’s suffered on the job throughout his career, keeping his physical struggles a secret from his wife Leah (Piper Perabo, taking over for Radha Mitchell) and his superiors, President Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) and Secret Service Director David Gentry (Lance Reddick).

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Netflix’s Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus Movie Review

Back in 2002, Jhonen Vasquez’s dark sci-fi comedy Invader Zim was cancelled just 27 episodes into its run. And yet, over the past (almost) two decades, its cultural status has ballooned into something comparable to many other beloved Nicktoons with much longer lives, like Rugrats, Hey Arnold!, Spongebob Squarepants, and Rocko’s Modern Life (which got its own terrific revival special just last week). In 2019, a property cancelled too soon is ripe for revival.

Enter the Florpus is largely akin to what Serenity did with Firefly, taking the basic crux of its sci-fi story and hurrying it along to what feels like the ultimate climax, stuffed with lots of action and big character moments. At times, that makes for an immensely fun watch, but like Joss Whedon’s big-screen conclusion to his own cult classic, it moves a little too hastily for how much it tries to cram in. Naturally, it likely would have been more satisfying had the plot of this 71-minute movie played out over the course of a season of television.

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The Angry Birds Movie 2 Review

In a summer where the box office has been hit and miss when it comes to giving audiences what they wanted or expected, The Angry Birds Movie 2 is pretty much exactly what you would expect it to be. While fans of the first film will likely be satisfied with the sequel and there’s nothing fundamentally bad about The Angry Birds Movie 2, it’s unlikely that anyone who wasn’t already planning to see it will change their minds and buy a ticket.

The good news is that if you’re an adult taking a child to this, it won’t be an unpleasant experience. You’ll probably have sat through worse. Would you recommend someone go and see it without kids? Probably not. Another bonus is that at 96 minutes long, one minute shorter than The Angry Birds Movie, it doesn’t overstay its welcome.

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Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution Review

When was the last time you saw Pokemon: The First Movie? If you happened to see it as an adult, you probably won’t find this review of the 3DCG remake of the first Pokemon film all that surprising. If you’re still holding onto the fond memories you had of it as a kid, I’ll admit that I’m a little bit jealous. Taking a step back and viewing this movie through a critical lens helped me appreciate just how far some of the newer Pokemon movies have come in their storytelling. Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back - Evolution is a near direct recreation of its predecessor. While the new animation style makes action scenes more flashy and there are still some genuinely funny and emotional moments, its story still starts to drag about halfway through and never quite recovers (it’s also a shame that the delightful Pikachu’s Vacation didn’t make the cut for a 3DCG remake).

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Little Monsters Review

This is an advance review out of Fantasia Fest. Little Monsters does not yet have a US release date but is currently slated to open in Canada on September 13, 2019 and in the UK on November 15, 2019.

Apparently there's been something of an indie resurgence in taking on the sometimes saturated market of the undead. Jim Jarmusch's deadpan commentary, The Dead Don't Die, hit earlier this year and Little Monsters' writer/director Abe Forsythe obviously got the same memo. Whereas Jarmusch's indie ditty was bleak and rambling, Forsythe has packed every minute of Little Monsters with accessible humor, heart, and Lupita Nyong'o in one of the standout roles of the year.

Making its Quebec debut at Montreal's Fantasia Fest, the horror comedy centers on Alexander England's unemployed bum, Dave. Living in the past and wishing for the glory days of his old band, Dave quickly finds himself on his sister's sofa and entwined with the life of her young son, Felix (Diesel La Torraca), who happens to have a gorgeous, sunny, and sweet kindergarten teacher named Miss Caroline (Lupita Nyong'o).

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Dora and the Lost City of Gold Review

Some of the effects are silly, and don’t look for logic here, but the jokes in Dora and the Lost City of Gold are great and the cast is a delight. If you’re a fan of the animated series (or even a parent of a fan) you’re going to be happy with the film.

Dora the Explorer ran as a kid’s animated series for over a decade and was translated into dozens of languages. A generation of children sang along with the singing map, told Swiper the fox not to swipe and followed a little explorer and her monkey through all of their adventures. Though the film version of the popular series starts off when Dora and her cousin Diego are kids, Diego has to leave the jungle for Los Angeles, and Dora is largely left to her own devices, exploring on her own.

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The Kitchen Review

Although it keenly recreates the gritty milieu of New York’s Hell’s Kitchen in the late ‘70s and offers up a timely tale of female empowerment within the usually hyper-masculine trappings of a gangster movie, The Kitchen never quite congeals into a fully formed film despite having three strong lead actors and a compelling premise to anchor it.

That premise -- inspired by the DC Vertigo comic also titled The Kitchen -- sees three mob wives — Kathy (Melissa McCarthy), Ruby (Tiffany Haddish) and Claire (Elizabeth Moss) — take control of their fates after their Irish-American gangster husbands go to prison. Needing money, they decide to assume control of Hell’s Kitchen rackets, much to the obvious chagrin of the local male mobsters. Kathy, Ruby and Claire quickly succeed well beyond their expectations before they’re inevitably confronted with internal divisions and life or death decisions.

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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Review

It's been a while since a studio really committed to the concept of a horror movie for kids. Even with the comedy-heavy revival of Goosebumps and Eli Roth's spooky but silly The House With a Clock in its Walls, the trend for truly scary kids movies has long been relegated to the shelves of video stores past. That's all about to change, though, as horror heroes Guillermo del Toro (Cronos, The Devil's Backbone, The Shape of Water) and André Øvredal (Troll Hunter, The Autopsy of Jane Doe) take on the iconic book series by Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell. It's a momentous task but for the most part the late '60s period film is a thrilling and chilling success.

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Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw Review

The Fast & the Furious franchise’s slow evolution into whatever they goddamn want it to be at any given time is complete with Hobbs & Shaw. This ninth installment and first spin-off of Universal’s insanely lucrative franchise bears virtually no resemblance to the 2001 film that started it all, aside from a handful of clever nods and callbacks. But in a lot of ways, it’s better for it.

When Fast Five breathed fresh life into the series in 2011, it was Dwayne Johnson, as Luke Hobbs, who became the symbol of that creative resurgence, escalating the racing and smaller crime plots by hiring the main heroes to pull off high-profile heists for the government. Johnson hasn’t left the franchise since, bringing the hulking amount of energy and charisma that makes him one of Hollywood’s most consistently entertaining stars to each entry he’s been in. Thankfully, Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw, the electric villain of Furious 7, hasn’t left either.

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TCL Alto 5+ Soundbar Review

TCL has a reputation for value-priced TVs. That’s not faint praise; TCL routinely punches way above its weight. In our recent roundup of the best 4K TVs for gaming, TCL showed up twice on a list of seven models, both the cheapest by a wide margin. And now the company has gotten into the soundbar biz. The TCL Alto (See it on Amazon) is an inexpensive family of soundbars for gamers who are tired of pumping audio out of the tiny speaker built into their TV.

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