REVIEW: After slow start, ‘The Outpost’ rallies for strong finish

A major battle during the War in Afghanistan where United States soldiers were completely out numbered is featured in this 2020 war movie.

The picture is set 11 years ago, in the fall of 2009, and follows United States soldiers who are stationed at Combat Outpost Keating. Life for the soldiers is never easy, as the outpost was labeled indefensible.

Centered in a valley and with an enemy threat constantly looming, it is difficult to keep the outpost safe and secure. This becomes most apparent in early October, when more than 300 Taliban insurgents attacked the location in what’s called the Battle of Kamdesh.

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REVIEW: ‘The Old Guard’ flops despite strong premise

“The Old Guard” is a pretty accurate title because this film doesn’t offer many new tricks.

The movie stars Charlize Theron as Andy, an immortal woman who’s lived for centuries as a warrior. She is the leader of a group of immortal fighters who’ve come together as a group of mercenaries. The film picks up with the team getting hired by Copley (Chiwetel Ejiofor),  a man who’s heard of their skills in combat.

However, the group soon learns that they were set up by Copley, who wants to conduct research on the immortals as part of a pharmaceutical scheme. Meanwhile, Nile (KiKi Layne), a U.S. soldier in the Middle East, learns that she too is immortal and ends up joining the mercenaries in their work to evade Copley’s associates.

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REVIEW: ‘7500’ offers thrills in close quarters

All of “7500” takes place within the small confines of a cockpit. Considering this film was made for just $5 million, doing so probably kept costs down. It also brought the tension up.

The film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tobias, a co-pilot for a German airliner just leaving the airport. Joining Tobias in the cockpit is the Captain Michael (Carlo Kitzlinger), who’s the older, more experienced of the two. Meanwhile, working as a flight attendant is Tobias’ girlfriend Gökce (Aylin Tezel).

Tobias is a little stressed, as he and Gökce are house-hunting, but otherwise it seems like a routine flight. That is until the airplane is subject to a hijacking attempt. Tobias manages to keep the hijackers out of the cockpit and announce Code 7500 to air traffic controllers to let them know of the situation, but the terrorists begin taking hostages, making the situation tense.

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REVIEW: ‘Da 5 Bloods’ falters due to storytelling

Maybe Spike Lee should have used a five-part mini-series to tell the story of “Da 5 Bloods.”

This film, released recently on Netflix, is about four veterans who return to Vietnam decades after they fought in the war. The men who go to the country include Paul (Delroy Lindo), Otis (Clarke Peters), Eddie (Norm Lewis) and Melvin (Isiah Whitlock Jr.).

They journeyed to the country for two primary reasons. One is to return to the place where their friend and fellow soldier Norman (Chadwick Boseman) died to collect his remains and bring them back to the States. The other reason is to collect gold they found and buried there when they were soldiers. Joining them on this journey is Paul’s estranged son David (Jonathan Majors).

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REVIEW: ‘Artemis Fowl’ is atrocious

I’ve been doing this for nearly 12 years, and every so often there’s a movie so bad it tempts me to walk out of the theater or hit the stop button. “Artemis Fowl” has joined that club.

Ferdia Shaw plays the titular character Artemis Fowl (Jr.). He’s a certified child genius who still has to go to school for some reason, and lives at a mansion with his father, Artemis Fowl Sr., and his butler, Domovoi (Nonso Anozie).

One day, his father goes missing, and is blamed for stealing several priceless artifacts. Artemis soon learns that his father has also been kidnapped by a mysterious figure. The antagonist tells Fowl he has to get an artifact to get his dad back. As it turns out, a civilization of fantasy creatures including fairies also want the same artifact. As a result, Artemis needs to deal with both entities to save his father.

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REVIEW: Few things work in ‘The Hunt’

You better like buzzwords and dog whistles if you’re seeing this movie, because there sure are a lot of them.

“The Hunt” follows a group of characters who wake up one day in a clear field, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. When they eventually come together around a large crate, they find the box is full of firearms. Moments after finding the guns, the group is fired upon and several of them are killed.

The survivors, all seeming to have similar political leanings, learn that they are being hunted and must try to survive. The one with the most success in surviving the situation is Crystal (Betty Gilpin), who seems to have some combat experience.

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REVIEW: ‘The Rhythm Section’ is far offbeat

Revenge movies don’t need to be this complicated.

The “Rhythm Section” is about a woman named Stephanie (Blake Lively), who lost her entire family in a plane crash. Since the tragedy, she fell into a world of drugs and prostitution. However, she learns from an investigative journalist that the plane crash was actually orchestrated.

With that knowledge, Stephanie seeks help from a former MI6 agent named B. After some pleading, B agrees to train her and prepare her for revenge on those who planted the bomb on the plane.

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REVIEW: Underneath the glitz and glamour, ‘The Gentlemen’ is empty

Few movies get as smug and full of itself as director Guy Ritchie’s new feature “The Gentlemen.”

The movie stars Matthew McConaughey as Mickey Pearson. Mickey is the kingpin of a crime organization that grows marijuana in the United Kingdom on land owned by wealthy British citizens. After building his empire up, though, Mickey is looking to get out of the “business” and settle down.

To do so, Mickey is holding meetings with Matthew (Jeremy Strong), a wealthy interested party. However, one night, a tabloid journalist named Fletcher (Hugh Grant) introduces information to Mickey’s right hand man Ray (Charlie Hunnam) that could throw a wrench in the situation.

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REVIEW: ‘Bad Boys For Life’ is a forgettable sequel

For more than a decade, “Bad Boys For Life” was more like “Bad Boys in Development Hell.” While the third movie in the series has finally arrived, though, it isn’t exactly worth the wait.

“Bad Boys 3,” as it should’ve been called, picks up with Marcus (Martin Lawrence) and Mike (Will Smith) still working in the Miami Police Department. However, Marcus is preparing for a well-deserved retirement. Mike isn’t all too happy with the news, but before either of them can hash the subject out further, a new threat enters the picture.

A Mexican family is looking to take revenge on a group of individuals in Miami responsible for taking down a crime empire. One of those individuals just happens to be Mike. As a result, Mike and Marcus once again have to team up against dangerous criminals.

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REVIEW: Final ‘Star Wars’ falls, rather than rises

A person can say a lot about the “Star Wars” prequels. They certainly had their fair share of flaws. However, at the very least, it was a trilogy that had a clear blueprint for where it was supposed to go.

That, unfortunately, didn’t seem to be the case with this sequel trilogy.

“Rise of Skywalker” is the ninth film in the main “Star Wars” story, and 11th overall when including the spin-off features. Right from the opening crawl, viewers learn that Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) survived the second Death Star’s destruction, has actually been pulling all the strings with the First Order and has (somehow) built like 90 new Star Destroyers that have planet killing cannons.

In response, a rather depleted resistance force explore their options to fight back. They determine the best course of action is to find out where Palpatine’s fleet is and launch an attack with help from across the galaxy. To find out the location, the new Jedi Rey (Daisy Ridley), former storm trooper-turned resistance warrior Finn (John Boyega) and ace pilot Poe (Oscar Isaac) begin a search for a dark side Sith artifact.

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