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: ‘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: ‘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: ‘Aquaman’ is flawed, but fun

Despite rocky a rocky reception over several movies, the DC Comics Cinematic Universe still has movies coming out. The latest is this feature following the hero of the deep.

“Aquaman” takes place after the events of last year’s “Justice League” and follows the water-based hero, played by Jason Momoa, whose actual name is Arthur. Embracing the idea of being a hero, Arthur has taken it upon himself to fight crime and rescue people on the high seas.

However, while this is taking place, the politics of his estranged home Atlantis are turning dangerous. Arthur’s half-brother Orm (Patrick Wilson), who’s now a ruler in Atlantis, is fed up with humans negatively impacting the ocean and now wants to launch a war. In order to stop the potential conflict, another Atlantis royal, Mera (Amber Heard), recruits Arthur to take his place as the true king.

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REVIEW: ‘Bumblebee’ is an enjoyable action flick with heart

My goodness, they finally managed to get a “Transformers” movie mostly right.

“Bumblebee” is the fifth movie in the “Transformers” universe. However, it largely stands apart from its Michael Bay-helmed counterparts. The film is actually a prequel and takes place in the 1980s.

Bumblebee is a transformer who, because of a war, is forced to seek refuge on Earth, where he can regroup and form a base for his comrades. Over the course of the film, Bumblebee, who’s damaged from battle, is discovered by Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), a young woman with an interest in mechanics. After meeting, the two start a friendship

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REVIEW: ‘Mortal Engines’ is a poor attempt at building a new fantasy series

A steampunk world with some fantasy and Hugo Weaving to boot? This should have been a fairly entertaining ride. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case with this adaptation.

“Mortal Engines” is set several hundred years in the future where human civilization was devastated following mass explosions. The story picks up with large sections of humanity living in mobile cities that move from place to place, some with more power than others.

The main focus of the story is on Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar), who’s seeking revenge against Thaddeus Valentine (Weaving), the head researcher for the (now) mobile city of London, who’s trying to harness the power of old technology from the pinnacle of human civilization. In her adventure, Hester meets Tom (Robert Sheehan), a young museum worker who ends up tagging along.

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REVIEW: ‘Spider-Verse’ is a fine entry to the webslinging series

Just to recap, in about 16 years, we’ve had a “Spider-Man” trilogy, a two-movie “Spider-Man” reboot, another “Spider-Man” reboot with a sequel on the way, and now an animated feature that is completely separate from everything we’ve seen before. Quite the history.

As previously stated, this latest adaptation of the comic book is completely animated and is set in a world where Spider-Man has been a longtime hero and even became a celebrity. The film’s focus, though, is on the character Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), a teenager who is just starting a private school, but still enjoys getting into mischief.

On one of those occasions, Miles is bitten by a radio-active spider, just like the actual Spider-Man. Later, the two actually meet by chance when Miles comes across some villains who are trying out a device that can open portals to other dimensions. One thing leads to another and a whole group of Spider-Man superheroes from other worlds appear. As one might guess, they all have to work together to foil the villains’ plot.

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REVIEW: Sports and drama collide for a good film in ‘Creed II’

Please let “Creed III” start with Adonis Creed fighting John Cena for charity.

Yes, that’s a joke, but one can’t help but feel the “Creed” saga is on the same trajectory as the original “Rocky” series. In all fairness, though, the latest picture in the Balboa Cinematic Universe is pretty good.

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REVIEW: It’s really ‘Meh’ times at the ‘El Royale’

“Bad Times at the El Royale” is a film that juggles a lot of ideas, and some of them are good. However, director Drew Goddard and company weren’t able to bring everything together, and this feature suffers for it.

The picture takes place at a unique setting. The El Royale is a hotel located with two sections, one half is in California and the other is in Nevada. The film features a group of characters, including a priest named Daniel (Jeff Bridges), a singer named Darlene (Cynthia Erivo), a salesman by the name of Laramie (Jon Hamm) and a young woman who keeps to herself in Emily (Dakota Johnson), who all check into the El Royale on the same afternoon.

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