REVIEW: Nein to ‘F9’

Tactical gear? Gadgets and equipment? Nope. All Dominic Toretto needs for a mission is a t-shirt, specifically one that’s skin tight.

The protagonist for all but two of the “Fast and Furious” movies, portrayed by Vin Diesel, is back but not in action at the start of “F9.” Dominic is living in peace now, raising his son and continuing his relationship with Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) in a rural area. However, this peace is broken when he’s approached by his crew of Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges) and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) for a new mission.

The crew’s government covert operations contact Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) was attacked for a high tech military device and it could destabilize the world. On top of the global threat, the stakes are raised more with this mission, as the one who attacked Mr. Nobody was Dominic’s long lost brother Jakob (John Cena).

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REVIEW: Outside of the action, ‘Mortal Kombat’ falls flat

If there’s one thing this movie has in common with other “Mortal Kombat” films, it’s Raiden basically not fighting at all despite being a playable character in the games.

So this is another Hollywood shot at adapting the “Mortal Kombat” game franchise after an alright attempt in the 90s, which was followed by an abysmal sequel. In this latest attempt, the main character is Cole Young (Lewis Tan). Not actually featured in the game, Cole is an original character who gets by as a fighter who’s all about offense with very little defense.

One night after taking another loss, he’s attacked by a warrior well known as Sub Zero (Joe Taslim), who’s hunting him and other great fighters from Earth. Sub Zero is doing this under the orders of the evil Shang Tsung (Chin Han), who wants to eliminate Earth’s best warriors to carve an easy path to a 10th Mortal Kombat Tournament victory, which would allow his realm to conquer the world.

To fight back, Cole is brought into a group with other Earth fighters who are determined to stop Tsung.

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REVIEW: Not much good to report in ‘News of the World’

Before there was Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings and Walter Cronkite, there was Tom Hanks’s character Jefferson Kidd. At least according to “News of the World.”

In the film, directed by Paul Greengrass, Hanks plays Jefferson Kidd, a former Civil War captain who now earns a living by going from town-to-town in Texas to read the top headlines and stories from the nation’s largest newspapers. Set in 1870, reconstruction is still a work in progress, with some parts of Texas remaining dangerous while others are lined with United States soldiers.

The movie picks up with Kidd on his way to a different town for another news delivery. Along the way, he finds a young girl, Johanna (Helena Zengel), who’s near a broken down wagon. From paperwork in the wagon, Kidd learns that Johanna was taken in by a Native American tribe after the deaths of her parents, and that she was supposed to be taken to surviving family members in another part of the state. Kidd is then instructed by officials to take her to reunite with her family members, which is a tough, 400 mile journey.

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REVIEW: ‘Enola Holmes’ fails to entertain

Sherlock seems to always gets the spotlight in the Holmes family. This time, though, it’s shared with his siblings.

The result? It’s mixed.

The titular character in this film, played by Millie Bobby Brown, is the younger sister of the famous detective Sherlock (Henry Cavill). Enola, a teenager, has grown up in the countryside with her mother Eudoria (Helena Bonham Carter). However, one morning Enola wakes up and her mother is missing.

In response, Enola’s brothers Sherlock and Mycroft (Sam Claflin) are called in to investigate the situation and look after her. Deciding she can manage on her own, though, Enola decides to go to London and figure out the situation by herself. During her trip to London, Enola meets Tewkesbury (Louis Partridge), who’s dealing with his own family troubles.

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REVIEW: New Netflix film never reaches full ‘Power’

Super powers can be a fun thing in movies, but they need to have rules and, more importantly, they must make sense.

“Project Power, unfortunately, doesn’t have a good control on this aspect, or other film elements for that matter.

The film is set in New Orleans and takes place as a new drug is spreading through the city. Rather than giving people a high, though, this new drug causes people to have five minute bursts of super powers.

As the film goes on, the drug is shown to give different people unique powers, such as super strength or camouflage. The film follows a trio of characters mixed into the situation, a cop who’s using the drug himself to fight back named Frank (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a former soldier ,Art (Jamie Foxx), who’s trying to limit its spread and a student, Robin (Dominique Fishback), who’s started dealing the substance.

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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: ‘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: Execution issues ground ‘The Aeronauts’

A daring adventure through the skies is on display in “The Aeronauts,” yet the film as a whole never really takes off.

The picture is a rather loose telling of James Glaisher (Eddie Redmayne), a scientist who took to the skies to obtain a better grasp on how the weather works. In the movie, Glaisher is joined by a hot air balloon pilot, Amelia (Felicity Jones), who agreed to help him reach new heights to advance meteorology.

Their work is dangerous, though, as they come in contact with harsh elements with very little protection.

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REVIEW: ‘Call of the Wild’ hampered by split story, CG canine

In the 2019 “Lion King” I thought the computer animated animals didn’t emote enough. In this movie “Call of the Wild,” they might have done it too much.

This is the latest adaptation of a book of the same name about a big dog named Buck. As the films start, the dog is stolen from his home in California and sold to buyers in the Yukon.

From there, Buck goes on a series of adventures, which include becoming a sled dog to help deliver mail and later befriending a man named John (Harrison Ford) who lives in the region.

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Best of the Decade: Action

This is a series called “Best of the Decade.” It’s a list including 10 movies that I found to be the best in a specific genre from 2010-2019.

Whether battles were fought with giant robots or simply with fists, the past decade had some fantastic action films. Here’s my picks for the best.

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