Category Archives: Movie Reviews

My personal views on Movies I go see.

Terribly Common Yet Fun | Review of ‘The Belko Experiment’


By Cynthia Ayala

The Belko Experiment starring John Gallagher Jr., Tony Goldwyn, Adria Arjona, John C. McGinley, Melonie Diaz, Josh Brener & Michael Rooker
Orion Pictures & BH Tilt
Image Credit: IMDB

“In a twisted social experiment, 80 Americans are locked in their high-rise corporate office in Bogotá, Colombia and ordered by an unknown voice coming from the company’s intercom system to participate in a deadly game of kill or be killed.”

—IMDB

This is one of those movies that is enjoyable, just as long as you remember to shut your brains off. The Belko Experiment isn’t an entirely unique or fresh take on the cliché story of putting people in a room and seeing who will kill to survive and who won’t. Battle Royale did it, The Hunger Games did it, and many more. This film is just another film on that list. Does that make it any less enjoyable? No, just as long as you just shut your brain off, otherwise you won’t enjoy this film at all.
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Suspenseful & Thrilling | Review of ‘Life’ (2017 Film)


By Cynthia Ayala

Life starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ariyon Bakare & Olga Dihovichnaya
Columbia Pictures
Image Credit: IMDB

“A team of scientists aboard the International Space Station discover a rapidly evolving life form, that caused extinction on Mars, and now threatens the crew and all life on Earth.”

—IMDB

The alien in space movie is not new, many are failures, but others have become staples of the genre. Life is part of the latter. The premise of the film is about a team of scientists who have discovered life on Mars. At first, the creature is docile, but when provoked, the alien has entered monster territory, if only for its desire to survive. The problem is it doesn’t know when to stop feeding, creating a being that is incredibly dangerous. What makes it even more dangerous is how smart it is. It evolves, and with its evolution, it grows bigger. It’s a sinister being and the writers knew how to develop the creature, its needs and everything that made it dangerous.
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Tons of Fun and Tons of Character, Power Rangers is a Must Watch | Review of ‘Power Rangers’


By Cynthia Ayala

Power Rangers starring Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Becky G, Ludi Lin, Bill Hader, Bryan Cranston & Elizabeth Banks
Lionsgate
Image Credit: IMDB

“A group of high-school students, who are infused with unique superpowers, harness their abilities to save the world.”

    —IMDB

Sometimes Hollywood can remake our childhood, tapping into everything that made us smile. Power Rangers is a perfect example of that. The old show was always intended for a much younger audience, layered with a degree of absurdity and campiness that made the show so good. With the new adaptation, the movie capitalizes on the absurdity but without the campiness, a deeper level that the writers used to make the story more grounded for an older audience.
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The Perfect Wolverine Film | Review of ‘Logan’


By Cynthia Ayala

Logan starring Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart & Dafne Keen
Marvel Entertainment
Image Credit: IMDB

“In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X somewhere on the Mexican border. However, Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are upended when a young mutant arrives, pursued by dark forces.”

—IMDB

There’s simply no limit to the beauty this film has wrapped in all the swearing and gritty glory that defines Wolverine’s character and this film. Wolverine has not had an easy life, he has gone through so much and the writers knew just how to capitalize on the character, the Wolverine, and evolve the story for him. They took a risk, and they ended the story properly, they ended it in such a way that they gave closure to the character and his legacy in the X-Men.
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A Tale as Old as Time | Review of “Beauty and the Beast”


By Cynthia Ayala

Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline & Josh Gad
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Image Credit: IMDB

“Disney’s animated classic takes on a new form, with a widened mythology and an all-star cast. A young prince, imprisoned in the form of a beast, can be freed only by true love. What may be his only opportunity arrives when he meets Belle, the only human girl to ever visit the castle since it was enchanted.”

—IMDB

A magical live action remake of the classic tale following Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the cursed prince. Needless to say—but it has to be said—this film had exceptional casting. Emma Watson has become an exceptional actress, taking on the part of Belle and molding her into something new. She was able to capture the essence of Belle from the original, the stubborn opinionated girl with dreams as vast as the eye could see. And her performance was breathtakingly amazing. She is Belle, there is no question about it. Then there is Luke Evans. God, what a wonderful Gaston he made. Much like Watson, he was the perfect person to take on this role, to sing the songs, the be the perfect narcissist.
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Racially Empowering…and Thrilling | Review of ‘Get Out’


By Cynthia Ayala

Get Out starring Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams & Bradley Whitford
Universal Pictures
Image Credit: IMDB

“A young African-American man visits his Caucasian girlfriend’s mysterious family estate.”

    —IMDB

An amazing film that really looks at society and racism, taking it to another extreme that isn’t all that unbelievable. This is one of those films that’s just incredible because it works so well and builds so well. The beginning is so stark, it’s amazing how it works to create this atmosphere of eerie suburbia that everyone sees and no one talks about. But it also tackles society and racism in a remarkable way. It’s a fresh new take on racism and how it functions and can mutate in society taking on several forms, all of which are harmful to any individual. Acting like you’re not racist doesn’t make it true and this film addresses that.
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Shyamalan Does it Again | Review of ‘Split’


By Cynthia Ayala

Split starring James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley & Haley Lu Richardson
Universal Pictures
Image Credit: IMDB

“Three girls are kidnapped by a man with a diagnosed 23 distinct personalities, they must try to escape before the apparent emergence of a frightful new 24th.”

—IMDB

Shyamalan does it again. Split is such an amazing film that takes the scientific basis of dissociative identity disorder and expands upon it in an extreme way. Enter James McAvoy with a breathtaking performance. McAvoy plays a variety of personas within this film, creating a different identity for each, well, identity. He’s amazing. Not once does he break character, but he creates and moves between the characters, between the personalities so effortless it’s scary. What makes it scary is how good he is at switching between the personas when he brings them to life.
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Best Batman Movie Ever | Review of ‘The Lego Batman Movie’


By Cynthia Ayala

The Lego Batman Movie starring Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson & Ralph Fiennes
Warner Bros. Pictures
Image Credit: IMDB

“Bruce Wayne must not only deal with the criminals of Gotham City, but also the responsibility of raising a boy he adopted.”

—IMDB

By far the best Batman movie out there, The Lego Batman Movie is awesome for so many reasons. Focusing on who the character is, in such a playful way, the writers understood what makes Batman such a strong character and a fan favorite character. He’s always had his head up his tushie, and this film uses that element to make the film so funny. But then there are those sadder moments, the moments that reflect on the past and the defining moment that makes Batman who he is. The writers understand Batman better than I’ve seen in such a long time. Then there is that classic dynamic he has with Joker. This film nailed that relationship, that very toxic and twisted relationship, with perfection! Not since The Dark Knight has their relationship been so clearly and wonderfully established to build up this duo that has been the cause of so many iconic comic book moments.
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An Amazing Action Flick | Review of ‘John Wick: Chapter 2’


By Cynthia Ayala

“After returning to the criminal underworld to repay a debt, John Wick discovers that a large bounty has been put on his life.”

—IMDB

What an amazing movie. Sequels are always touch and go, but this one was a sequel done right. It follows that saying “live by the sword, die by the sword,” and it really captures those elements. It was just an amazingly executed sequel that has tons of action in it, but thankfully, the action doesn’t take away from the story. And that’s probably why this film is so successful, it has a story, it’s not just action sequence after action sequence of non-essential details for a mind-numbing experience. No, this film has a story. John, played by the ever so talented Keanu Reeves, got out of the crime world, he was out, he’s happy, he just wants to remain retired. But, of course, the darkness as a lure to it, and then there is blackmail. The person who helped him get out is calling in a favor. But it’s not just any favor, it’s an impossible favor that will leave John with a mark on his back.
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An Action Packed and Surprisingly Emotional Ending | Review of ‘Resident Evil: Endgame’ (The Final Chapter)


By Cynthia Ayala

Resident Evil: The Last Chapter starring Milla Jovovich. Ali Larter & Iain Glen
Screen Jems
Image Credit: IMDB

“Picking up immediately after the events in Resident Evil: Retribution, Alice is the only survivor of what was meant to be humanity’s final stand against the undead. Now, she must return to where the nightmare began – The Hive in Raccoon City, where the Umbrella Corporation is gathering its forces for a final strike against the only remaining survivors of the apocalypse.”

Screen Jems/Constantin

Ah, what a perfect ending for a franchise. Okay, maybe that’s stretching it a little bit. It wasn’t perfect, but it was almost there. Aside from being ill-titled (it should have been titled Resident Evil: Endgame vs. being titled Resident Evil: The Last Chapter — I dare you to argue with me) the film was not without plot holes.
Continue reading An Action Packed and Surprisingly Emotional Ending | Review of ‘Resident Evil: Endgame’ (The Final Chapter)