Category Archives: Movie Reviews

Blu-Ray Review: Captain Marvel

CAPTAIN MARVEL [Blu-ray]

Review:
When “Vers”crashes to Earth (in the mid-’90s), she begins searching for answers to her strange flashes of memories of a life she doesn’t remember. But the Skrull are also on earth and can appear as anyone. Vers teams up with a young Nick Fury to find a piece of technology before the Skrull can steal it.

As a huge Captain Marvel fan, I had very high hopes for this movie. I’m usually disappointed when the whole movie is given away in the trailers. And I try to stay away from spoilers (not fan theories though). Thankfully, they still had a few surprises for me. Some a little predictable, but still fun. But there was a big twist I didn’t see coming. Some comic fans may not like one of the bigger changes made to Captain Marvel lore, but I enjoyed it.

The cast was fantastic. Brie Larson (Captain Marvel) and Samuel L Jackson have great chemistry. And Ben Mendelsohn and Annette Bening were exceptional in their roles. I only wish Agent Coulson had more screen time! The story was an origin story and a prequel. But the story was layered with a good plot and fun easter eggs. It’s definitely action-packed as well and loaded with humor and feel-good moments.

Captain Marvel is an inspiring woman. She has had to work harder to get to where she’s at – and never gives up. She has a sense of humor and can still be vulnerable – even though she’s one of the most powerful superheroes in the MCU. It’s no wonder she has become one of my all-time favorites.
There’s a lot packed into this powerful and inspiring movie. And I look forward to seeing it again.

Bonus Clips:

Blu-Ray Review: Replicas

Replicas [Blu-ray]

Synopsis:
In this suspenseful sci-fi thriller, Keanu Reeves stars as William Foster, a neuroscientist on the verge of transferring human consciousness into a computer when his beloved wife (Alice Eve) and children are tragically killed in a car crash. Desperate to resurrect his family, William recruits a fellow scientist (Thomas Middleditch) to help secretly clone their bodies and create replicas. When William learns that he can only replicate three of the four family members, he makes a decision with fateful consequences.

Review:
William Foster (Reeves) is a scientist obsessed with figuring out how to put human consciousness into clones of his family members who died in a car crash. Instead of calling the police or EMTs, his first thought it to map their brains. There were several decisions along the way that made me question the writer’s thought process. But suspending all disbelief, this was an exciting and suspenseful thriller. Keanu Reeves’ role is a bit different than I’ve seen from him before, and I thought he did a great job with this quirky character.

This film has gotten very mixed reviews. But I’m glad I gave it a chance. As a fan of most science fiction, the techno babble doesn’t faze me. The story, though strange and frustrating at times, is surprisingly unpredictable and really picks up in the last 30 minutes. I was even surprised by the ending – it took several turns I didn’t see coming. Through it’s faults, I enjoyed this one.

BLU-RAY / DVD/ DIGITAL SPECIAL FEATURES:
· Audio Commentary with Director Jeffrey Nachmanoff and Executive Producer James Dodson
· “Imprint Complete: The Making of Replicas” Featurette
· Deleted Scenes

Movie Review: Shazam!

Synopsis:
We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s case, by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam, courtesy of an ancient wizard. Still a kid at heart—inside a ripped, godlike body—Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them! Can he fly? Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands? Can he skip his social studies test? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana.

Review:
Billy Batson is a foster kid, constantly looking for his birth mother and getting into trouble. He has a chip on his shoulder, but has a good heart… deep down. When he becomes a magical superhero in an adult body, there is a definitely learning curve. He has to learn how to use his powers… and not abuse them. But Dr. Sivana is coming for him and tries to take Billy’s power before he realizes his full potential.

This is finally a DC film that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s fun and exciting and loaded with laughs. It could have easily been a PG film and more family-friendly. But unfortunately, there are a couple scenes at the beginning that show how dangerous the evil entities are by getting a little gruesome as well as some language that earn the PG-13 rating. I was just disappointed as my niece and nephew enjoy Shazam comics, as they’re geared toward a younger audience. And my 11-year-old niece had to turn her head during the violent scene.

But I still really enjoyed the movie and story. Billy discovers he has a real family, and it had a great message. Full of humor, danger, suspense, fun abilities, and heartwarming drama – this was a great addition to the DC universe. I hope the future installments continue to live up to this quality and more lighthearted feel.

Blu-Ray Review: Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase

Nancy Drew and The Hidden Staircase

“Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-Ray I reviewed in this post. The opinions I share are my own.”

Synopsis:
After the death of his wife, Carson Drew decides to leave Chicago behind and make a fresh start with his daughter in River Heights. But for 16-year-old Nancy Drew, life in a small town is mighty dull. She longs for excitement, adventure, and the chance to make a difference. Nancy gets that opportunity when she is asked to help solve the ghostly activity at the Twin Elms mansion. Can she help explain the creaking footsteps, exploding lightbulbs and the ominous creature? Is it the handiwork of high-school bully Derek Barnes? Or is it possible that the ghost of original owner Malcolm Colfax is back for revenge? Recruiting her best friends George and Bess, along with local “mean girl” Helen, Nancy Drew is on the case!

Review:
Nancy Drew is fearless and always up for an adventure. She also has a soft spot for those who can’t stick up for themselves. So, after the fallout of avenging her friend with a school bully, Nancy finds herself in community service. But helping out a sweet old lady with a ghost problem is just the thing she needs to save herself from boredom.

Nancy Drew and The Hidden Staircase resembles the second book in the Nancy Drew series of the same name. Though, this has obviously been modernized. Nancy, George, and Bess have very different looks and personalities. And this Nancy seems much more immature and brazen than her original character from the books. The story is intriguing and engaging. Though, most of the mystery is very predictable for any adult, children will still enjoy the suspense and silly humor. Despite the exciting suspense, it still remains lighthearted and fun. This family friendly film was a hit with my 9 and 11 year old nieces, who immediately wondered if there would be sequel.

Own it on Blu-Ray and DVD April 2!

Bonus Features:
A Sleuth, A Girl and an Inspiration (Featurette)
Pink Footprints: Touring Twin Elms (Featurette)
– Gag Reel

Blu-Ray Review: Bumblebee

Bumblebee

Synopsis:
CYBERTRON has fallen. When OPTIMUS PRIME sends BUMBLEBEE to defend Earth, his journey to become a hero begins. Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld), a teenager trying to find her place in the world, discovers and repairs the battle-scarred robot, who’s disguised as a Volkswagen Beetle. As the DECEPTICONS hunt down the surviving AUTOBOTS with the help of a secret agency led by Agent Burns (John Cena), BUMBLEBEE and Charlie team up to protect the world.

Review:
Bumblebee is a prequel to the Transformer movies. It’s set in the 80s and has a great soundtrack. Besides the setting changes, this story focuses mainly on Bumblebee with a couple Decepticons in pursuit. He is helped by teenage Charlie, who lost her father years ago and is trying to find direction.

This is easily the best movie in the series since the original Transformers. This story has focus and direction. And it’s still action-packed and full of humor and heart. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters, especially Charlie and her awkward friend Memo. And fan-favorite Bumblebee really gets to shine, of course. And finally someone (Agent Burns) comments on the obvious “They literally call themselves Decepticons. That doesn’t set off any red flags?” It’s kind of silly that the government would work with the Decepticons, but they believe they’ll gather advanced technology out of the deal. This is a light-hearted, exciting and just plain fun movie for all ages.

BONUS FEATURES ON 4K ULTRA HD COMBO, BLU-RAY COMBO & DIGITAL*
• Sector 7 Archive
o Agent Burns: Welcome to Sector 7
o Sector 7 Adventures: The Battle at Half Dome (All-New Motion Comic)
• Deleted and Extended Scenes
• Outtakes
• Bee Vision: The Transformers robots of Cybertron
• Bringing Bumblebee to the Big Screen
o The Story of Bumblebee
o The Stars Align
o Bumblebee Goes Back to G1
o Back to the Beetle
o California Cruisin’ Down Memory Lane

And this mini Sector 7 comic was included with my 4k copy!

Captain Marvel Movie Spoiler-Free Review

Captain Marvel

Synopsis:
Captain Marvel is an extraterrestrial Kree warrior who finds herself caught in the middle of an intergalactic battle between her people and the Skrulls. Living on Earth in 1995, she keeps having recurring memories of another life as U.S. Air Force pilot Carol Danvers. With help from Nick Fury, Captain Marvel tries to uncover the secrets of her past while harnessing her special superpowers to end the war with the evil Skrulls.

Review:
When “Vers”crashes to Earth (in the mid-’90s), she begins searching for answers to her strange flashes of memories of a life she doesn’t remember. But the Skrull are also on earth and can appear as anyone. Vers teams up with a young Nick Fury to find a piece of technology before the Skrull can steal it.

As a huge Captain Marvel fan, I had very high hopes for this movie. I’m usually disappointed when the whole movie is given away in the trailers. And I try to stay away from spoilers (not fan theories though). Thankfully, they still had a few surprises for me. Some a little predictable, but still fun. But there was a big twist I didn’t see coming. Some comic fans may not like one of the bigger changes made to Captain Marvel lore, but I enjoyed it.

The cast was fantastic. Brie Larson (Captain Marvel) and Samuel L Jackson have great chemistry. And Ben Mendelsohn and Annette Bening were exceptional in their roles. I only wish Agent Coulson had more screen time! The story was an origin story and a prequel. But the story was layered with a good plot and fun easter eggs. It’s definitely action-packed as well and loaded with humor and feel-good moments.

Captain Marvel is an inspiring woman. She has had to work harder to get to where she’s at – and never gives up. She has a sense of humor and can still be vulnerable – even though she’s one of the most powerful superheroes in the MCU. It’s no wonder she has become one of my all-time favorites.
There’s a lot packed into this powerful and inspiring movie. And I look forward to seeing it again.

Blu-Ray Review: Viking Destiny

Viking Destiny Blu-ray

Synopsis:
A Viking princess is forced to flee her kingdom after being framed for the murder of her father, the king. Under the guidance of the god Odin, she travels the world gaining wisdom and building the army she needs to win back her throne.

Review:
“It is a curse for a child to be born with an absent father.” At least, that’s the phrase repeated throughout the film. Though, Princess Helle only seems cursed with a terrible uncle. The story is fairly simplistic and the pacing slow. The only exciting parts are the battle scenes. Odin does appear briefly, a few times to Helle to give cryptic guidance. But Loki appears many times to lead mortals astray. Unfortunately, this Loki doesn’t have much personality. And while Princess Helle is beautiful, she doesn’t have much character depth either.

I really wanted to enjoy some part of this film, as I enjoy Norse mythology and learning more about my Scandinavian historical roots. But the movie doesn’t look like it was even filmed in Scandanavia, so even the scenery was disappointing. If you’re looking for historical Viking fiction, stick to the Vikings tv show.

Viking Destiny is rated R for violence and nudity.

BLU-RAY/DVD/DIGITAL SPECIAL FEATURES:
· “One True Heir: A Warrior’s Destiny” Featurette
· “Of Gods, Women & Men: The Cast” Featurette
· “Strength from Within: Staging the Battles” Featurette

4K Blu Ray Review: Justice League: Throne of Atlantis – Commemorative Edition

Justice League: Throne of Atlantis 4K Blu Ray

About the Film:
In Justice League: Throne of Atlantis – Commemorative Edition, Cyborg discovers an imminent threat in the depths of the oceans so powerful that it rallies together the newly formed Justice League. Meanwhile, wandering thousands of feet above the ocean floor is drifter Arthur Curry, a man with strange powers who may be the last chance to bridge the ancient Atlantean world with our own. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the rest of DC’s Justice League must band together as they face off against warmongering Orm, an army of sea creatures, otherworldly weapons and perilous odds. In this all-new epic adventure from the DC Universe, mankind’s only hope of escaping from the darkness lies with the guiding light of a man – Aquaman!

The celebrity laden cast features primetime television stars Matt Lanter (Timeless, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, 90210) as Aquaman, Sam Witwer (Being Human, Smallville, Star Wars: Rebels) as Orm, Jason O’Mara (The Man in the High Castle) as Batman, Christopher Gorham (Insatiable, Two Broke Girls, Covert Affairs) as Flash, Nathan Fillion (The Rookie, Castle) as Green Lantern, Shemar Moore (S.W.A.T., Criminal Minds) as Cyborg, Rosario Dawson (Sin City, Daredevil) as Wonder Woman, Jerry O’Connell (Real Men Watch Bravo, The Death of Superman) as Superman, Sean Astin (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) as Shazam, Sumalee Montano (Scandal, Critical Role) as Mera, Sirena Irwin (Superman: Unbound) as Queen Atlanna, and Harry Lennix (Man of Steel, The Blacklist) as Manta.

“Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this Blog Post. The Opinions I share are my own.”

Review:
I don’t watch a lot of animated tv or films. But I love superhero stuff. And with the Aquaman film releasing soon, I wanted to check this one out. I was already familiar with this story, as Arthur Curry fights his half brother for the right to lead Atlantis. But I enjoyed the cast of characters and the numerous voice actors. Nathan Fillion as Green Lantern was the easiest to recognize. And he brought a fun and humorous element to the film, that was a great opposition to Batman’s dark, grumpy mood.

There were little things I didn’t care for – like Wonder Woman’s costume and that it was PG-13 instead of PG. The bloody violence and swearing means it isn’t for children. Which seems strange when it’s an animated superhero film that kids will want to see. But I still enjoyed the movie overall. It was fast-paced and a full cast of the Justice League – including Shazam, who was another fun addition. The special features were decent too. There’s a bonus sequence of Robin and Nightwing with a nice explanation of it’s purpose.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
Justice League: Throne of Atlantis – Commemorative Edition contains two all-new bonus features, along with special features from the film’s original release:
• Aquaman: The New King (NEW featurette) – An immersive look at Arthur Curry’s evolution from guardian of the ocean to the King of Atlantis and key member of the Justice League.
• Audio Commentary (NEW) – Renowned former DC Editor and current Creative Director of Animation Mike Carlin, Creative Director of Animation, and Throne of Atlantis screenwriter Heath Corson share their insights into the legend of Aquaman.
• Scoring Atlantis: The Sound of the Deep (Featurette) – Every great film needs a great musical score. Filled with emotion, music takes us on a dynamic journey as we adventure with the hero. Throne of Atlantis takes us on that quest through the eyes of Arthur Curry.
• Robin and Nightwing Bonus Sequence – Producer James Tucker provides video commentary for this exciting bonus sequence where Robin and Nightwing join forces.
• Throne of Atlantis: 2014 New York Comic Con Panel – The entire, lively one-hour panel discussion between actor Matt Lanter, producer James Tucker, screenwriter Heath Corson, character designer Phil Bourassa and dialogue director Andrea Romano.
• Villains of the Deep (Featurette) – From Ocean Master to Black Manta to King Shark, each villain operates from his own deep sense of conviction, presenting an incredible challenge for the hero in Arthur Curry, aka Aquaman. This documentary goes into the biographical details of the villains.
• A Sneak Peek at The Death of Superman – The Death of Superman is widely considered one of the most popular stories in the Superman canon and the DCU. This sneak peek at the exciting new film discusses the story and its place in pop culture.
• A Sneak Peek at Reign of the Supermen – An exciting look at the new film which brings the epic and emotional story of a world without the Man of Steel to life.
• Bonus cartoons from the DC Comics Vault:
o Batman: The Brave and the Bold, “Aquaman’s Outrageous Adventure!”
o Batman: The Brave and the Bold, “Evil Under the Sea!”
o Aquaman, “Menace of The Black Manta” and “The Rampaging Reptile-Men”
o Justice League Unlimited, “Far from Home”