REVIEW: Against all odds, ‘Alita’ is still worth checking out

There’s a lot to unpack here with this movie so let’s just jump right in.

“Alita: Battle Angel” is based on a Japanese comic book (better known as manga), with a similar name. The original source material, which eventually had an animated adaptation, was titled “Battle Angel Alita.”

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REVIEW: ‘Isn’t it Romantic’ has the laughs, charm to engage an audience

This isn’t the first time the romcom genre has been poked at in satirical fashion, and likely won’t be the last. In terms of quality, “Isn’t it Romantic” isn’t the best or worst of its kind, but falls somewhere in the middle.

“Romantic” centers on Natalie (Rebel Wilson) an architect who lives a fairly straightforward life, but is rather skeptical of love, largely because of her hatred of romantic-comedies.

Her worst nightmare is realized, though, when one day she wakes up in a generic romcom world, complete with perfect jobs, romantic rivals and even somewhat of a love triangle.

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REVIEW: While not as fresh as original, ‘Death Day 2’ will entertain

“Happy Death Day 2U,” a follow-up to a 2017 thriller, is the kind of sequel that seems to be in search of a reason to exist. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad to watch.

The movie picks up right where the first movie left off. Theresa (Jessica Rothe), who casually goes by Tree, put an end to a time-loop where she was living the same day over and over and in doing so, made several changes to improve her life.

However, she soon finds out that her issues aren’t completely over. In the first act she learns that her boyfriend’s roommate Ryan (Phi Vu) is actually one of three students working at her university’s science lab. There, the students have created a device that can cause disturbances in space and time. As a result, Tree, and this time her new friends, are put into a position of having to make fixes to the space time continuum, while also dealing with a murderer on the loose.

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REVIEW: ‘What Men Want’ is a forgettable, generic feature

The question of what women want was answered with a movie starring Mel Gibson, so naturally there’s an alternate version titled “What Men Want,”… 18 years later.

This time around, the movie follows Ali Davis (Taraji Henson), a businesswoman working at a sports talent management agency, looking for her next promotion. With the next NBA draft right around the corner, Ali is hoping to sign the next big basketball star and earn the promotion she thinks she deserves. However it doesn’t go that way and the promotion ends up going to one of her office rivals.

Not long after, Ali goes to a bachelorette party, still angry about the situation at work, especially in regard to the misogynistic nature of the business. At the party, though, during a meeting with a psychic, Ali somehow picks up the power to hear what men are thinking. While she’s hesitant at first, Ali eventually decides to use the ability to her advantage.

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REVIEW: ‘Cold Pursuit’ is a great dark comedy

There’s no doubt most, including myself, saw the trailer for “Cold Pursuit” and ‘thought here we go again.’ Since he appeared in 2009’s “Taken,” Liam Neeson has become somewhat of an action star, mostly in the taking revenge variety. In that recent filmography, the flicks have been hit or miss.

Thankfully, I can report “Cold Pursuit” is one of the good ones.

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REVIEW: ‘Lego’ sequel is satisfactory

Like the original, while not perfect, “The LEGO Movie 2” puts together the building blocks in a nice enough way to create a pretty good movie.

The first Lego movie was released in 2014 and the five year difference is reflected in the sequel. The protagonists of the first film, having seemingly saved the world, came under an immediate new threat right away, this time from other types of Lego blocks. As a result, Emmet (Chris Pratt), Lucy (Elizabeth Banks), and the other heroes are forced to live in a world that looks like “Mad Max” in Lego form.

The situation only gets worse when several characters, including Lucy, are kidnapped by the new foe. As a result, it’s up to Emmet to go on a rescue mission and save his friends.

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REVIEW: ‘Miss Bala’ mostly misses the mark

So the name of the movie is “Miss Bala” but a big part of the film has to do with a beauty pageant called “Miss Baja.” Consider me somewhat confused.

Anyway, “Miss Bala” follows the character Gloria (Gina Rodriguez), a young woman who takes a trip to visit her friend in Mexico. During her time there, she and her friend go out to a night club. A fun night out turns deadly, though, when a cartel shooting takes place and Gloria barely makes it out of the crossfire. Unfortunately, despite getting out of the club safely, Gloria soon learns that her friend, Suzu (Christina Rodlo), is missing.

As a result, Gloria begins exploring her surroundings to find her friend. However, in doing so, she’s dragged into a dangerous situation involving both a powerful cartel and United States Drug Enforcement Administration agents.

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REVIEW: Poor twist sinks ‘Serenity’

On the surface, “Serenity” looks like a film maybe worth checking out. Written and directed by a filmmaker with plenty of experience along with a cast of Oscar winners and nominees, it seems like it could be fine.

However, one should beware of what lies beneath.

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REVIEW: By-the-books ‘Upside’ has its moments

“Upside” is a film with both ups and downs, leaving the overall quality of this film about friendship somewhere in the middle.

The film follows the story of Dell Scott (Kevin Hart), a man out on parole, estranged from his family and looking for a new job. In his search, he crosses paths with Philip (Bryan Cranston), a billionaire who became disabled in an accident and is in need of a life auxiliary.

In a state of depression and with little care to who works for him, Philip decides to hire Dell. Despite both being unenthusiastic about the situation, the two eventually form a friendship which is explored through the rest of the picture.

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