REVIEW: Intense action, good lead characters make ‘First Purge’ a fun B-Movie

It’s funny how “The First Purge” turned out to be better than the first “Purge.”

Way back in 2013, I wasn’t expecting this little, low budget horror franchise to have a fourth installment, but here we are. Unlike the previous two, this entry is a prequel, showcasing how the first Purge event took place. The film picks up in the not so distant future where a new political party has taken power amid high unemployment and a crumbling infrastructure.

As a result, some scientists working for the government decided the best option is for an “experiment” where all crime could be legal and any individuals who are upset about the system or just their daily lives could take out their anger. As a trial run, the experiment only takes place in the area of Staten Island. There, a group of characters we’re introduced to must try to survive this new government operation, which we as the audience know from other “Purge” movies is really to eliminate poor Americans.

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REVIEW: ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ powered by super couple

Superhero couples are relatively rare in Hollywood, with the one featured in “The Incredibles” series being likely the most prominent. Fortunately, Marvel Studios has added to that catalog.

This sequel to the 2015 “Ant-Man” again follows the life of Scott Lang (Paul Rudd). The movie picks up with the character on house arrest, a punishment he received following the fight between members of the Avengers at an airport.

Despite this factor, though, the father-daughter duo of Hank (Michael Douglas) and Hope (Evangeline Lilly) once again recruit Scott for a mission. Despite having reservations about working with Scott again because of his recklessness, Hank explains that he needs Lang’s help to save his long lost wife Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer). The mission doesn’t feature Scott on his own this time, though, as Hope gets her own advanced suit and joins the mission, going by the Wasp alias.

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REVIEW: ‘Sicario’ sequel is a (mostly) satisfying follow-up

I don’t know if anyone was really asking for a “Sicario” sequel, but I sure as hell won’t complain.

Denis Villeneuve, who directed the first picture, didn’t helm “Day of the Soldado.” Instead, Stefano Sollima enters the director role and did solid work in crafting a crime thriller. The movie picks up sometime after the events of the previous one, with tensions along the U.S.-Mexico border reaching a boiling point.

The reason for such intensity is because some cartels have allegedly started smuggling terrorists over the border. Following a terrorist attack in the heartland of America, federal agent Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) is recruited because of his experience on the border and is sent to throw the cartel system into chaos, and subsequently ruin their drug empires. To help, Graver once again teams up with the mercenary Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro).

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REVIEW: It’s more like ‘Jurassic World’ Fallen Franchise

Coming from someone who loved “Jursasic World,” I have to say, this was a real disappointment.

This entry, bringing the series to a total of five films, begins a few years after the incident that destroyed the “Jurassic World” theme park and left the island as a jungle, home only to dinosaurs. The island’s fate comes back into focus, though, as early in the first act, the audience learns that the long dormant volcano on the island is now active, and when it erupts, it will cause the “re-extinction” of the dinosaurs.

With that in mind, a man in charge of a billion-dollar estate named Eli Mills (Rafe Spall) hires raptor handler Owen (Chris Pratt) and the manager of “Jurassic World” Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) to lead a rescue expedition. Upon arriving, though, the protagonists uncover that the mission is more than just providing aid to a species.

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REVIEW: Go ahead and skip this game of ‘Tag’

I was already skeptical walking in the screening room for “Tag.” Unfortunately, it turned out even worse than I anticipated.

The film follows a group of men who’ve not only been friends since childhood, but also reserve the month of May as a time to play the classic game of Tag with each other. The group includes Hogan (Ed Helms), Bob (Jon Hamm), Randy (Jake Johnson), Kevin (Hannibal Buress) and Jerry (Jeremy Renner).

Since they started, Jerry has been the undisputed champion of the game, having never been tagged from day one. However, with Jerry having his wedding during the month of May, the others see an opportunity to catch Jerry off guard and finally tag him. While this is taking place, the group, (more specifically Bob as he’s the head of a major company) are being interviewed by a Wall Street Journal reporter named Rebecca (played by Annabelle Wallis).

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REVIEW: ‘Incredibles 2’ retreads some old ground, but is still a great time

“Incredibles 2” lives up to its name. It might not be as incredible as its predecessor, but it still does the trick.

So, this movie doesn’t just start directly after the first film, it begins during the end of the original. The film opens with the Parr family trying to take down the latest villain threat who goes by “the Underminer.” The Incredibles are eventually able to take down the villain’s giant drill machine, but not before it wrecks on much of the city where they live.

As a result of the destruction caused, superheroes are even more looked down upon than before and the family are forced even deeper into hiding. That is until they are approached by a sibling pair, Winston and Evelyn. The brother and sister duo run a mega corporation and decide that it’s time for supers to make a comeback. They opt to make a public campaign with Helen Parr (Holly Hunter) going back into crime fighting and putting on a good public face for supers while Bob (Craig Nelson) stays home and looks after the kids, Dash (Huck Milner), Violet (Sarah Vowell) and Jack-Jack.

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REVIEW: ‘Ocean’s 8’ powered by cast, weakened by script

Now we just need an “Ocean’s 9” and “10” to bring it full circle.

All jokes aside, “Ocean’s 8” continues the saga with a new cast of characters, but maintains its connection to the original series. This time the movie focuses on Debbie Ocean, the younger sister of Danny Ocean, who was played by George Clooney in the original trilogy.

In the film, Debbie has her sights set on pulling off a heist at the Met Gala. The target is a diamond necklace to be worn by an actress named Daphne (Anne Hathaway). To pull off the heist, Debbie recruits her partner in crime Lou (Cate Blanchett), the jeweler Amita (Mindy Kaling), a profiteer Tammy (Sarah Paulson), pickpocketer Constance (Awkwafina), a hacker who goes by Nine Ball (Rihanna), and a fashion designer Rose (Helena Bonham Carter).

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REVIEW: ‘Hotel Artemis’ has its moments, but is weighed down by the story

Normally, I love staying at hotels. However, I’m not sure I’d like staying in the “hotel” featured in this picture.

“Hotel Artemis” takes place in the not-too-distant future and is set in Los Angeles. We pick up in a riot-torn city, with residents upset over rising water prices. In the middle of all the chaos, a criminal named Waikiki (Sterling Brown) and his brother go to the Hotel Artemis after a job goes bad.

The audience soon learns that the Hotel Artemis is sort of combo, with overnight rooms as well as a medical staff, making it somewhat of a hospital. The facility is run by a character who just goes by Nurse (Jodie Foster) and the building is rather secure, with no weapons or violence allowed. However, with rioting in the streets and one of LA’s top gangsters headed to the Artemis, tensions rise.

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REVIEW: ‘Hereditary’ is top notch horror

Even if you walk into “Hereditary” thinking you’re prepared for what you see, chances are, you aren’t.

The film, a first-time feature length picture from Director Ari Aster, tells the story of the Graham family, particularly the mother, Annie (Toni Collette). The movie opens on the day of the funeral for Annie’s mother. From the start, it’s not only evident that Annie had an estranged relationship with her mother, but that there are also some dysfunctions with the rest of her family as well.

As the film moves on, the family is met with a traumatic event that triggers terrifying situations.

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REVIEW: Learning everything about ‘Solo’ didn’t make for compelling cinema

Audiences get to see the backstory of the legendary space cowboy in “Solo,” but that wasn’t necessarily a good thing with this feature.

As the title implies, “Solo” is about the outlaw, this time played by Alden Ehrenreich. The film details how Han went from an orphan on a dilapidated planet to a pilot academy dropout and then to a man surviving in the criminal underworld.

The latter comes about when Han begins working with a man named Beckett (Woody Harrelson), who needs a crew for a heist mission. Through a series of events, the crew becomes rounded out with Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo), his childhood friend Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) and Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover).

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