REVIEW: ‘Eighth Grade’ is a top tier coming-of-age film

Even though the only social media platforms I had in grade school was MSN Messenger and MySpace, I was still able to relate to much of what was going on in this feature. I think that will be the same for many people who watch this picture.

As one might guess, the movie is about the eighth grade. More specifically, it’s about Kayla (Elsie Fisher), a young girl going through the final days of her eighth grade year. She has her own Youtube channel where she gives out advice and often acts confident in front of the camera. However, in reality Kayla is much more of a shy and awkward person who appears to be an introvert.

As the days go by, Kayla experiences what most middle-schoolers go through, from school drills to dealing with other students. Through those experiences, the audience gets to know quite a bit about what the character is living through, both emotionally and mentally.

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REVIEW: Latest ‘Mission Impossible’ delivers where it counts: the action

I’m very happy to report that there’s some Grade A Tom Cruise running in this movie.

Cruise is once again running through city streets because his character Ethan Hunt must once again save the world. In his latest (impossible) mission, Hunt and his crew are tasked with recovering three containers with nuclear materials that, in the right hands, can create weapons of mass destruction.

This time, though, Hunt has some baggage. Because the CIA has issues with his methods, they send one of their own agents, August Walker (Henry Cavill). Hunt begrudgingly begins working with Walker, but the mission becomes more complicated when aspects of his past start showing up, too.

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REVIEW: ‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ has its moments, but lags behind rest of series

The third “Hotel Transylvania” film, like the second in the franchise, provides some fun moments and creates laughs. Yet, it still doesn’t reach the level of the first.

The third movie in the series picks up with Dracula (Adam Sandler) not only being overworked, but also finding himself quite lonely lately. Despite feeling that he wants to remain loyal to his late wife, Drac decides that it might be time to look for another person to start a relationship.

Just as he’s having this thought process, Drac’s daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) decides to take her dad on a summer vacation to get away from the stress of running the hotel. So, Dracula and his friends, as well as Mavis and her husband Johnny (Andy Samberg) all go on a mega cruise made specifically for monsters. The only problem is cruise is actually managed by the great granddaughter of Van Helsing, who continues to have a grudge against Dracula.

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REVIEW: ‘Skyscraper’ is a generic action picture with little to offer

A man with law enforcement experience has to save his family member(s) in a skyscraper from a group of highly trained individuals looking to steal something from the building.

Yep, you’re thinking of the right movie, “Skyscraper” from 2018.

OK, yes, this film is quite similar to the classic action film “Die Hard.” Unfortunately, though, this film lacks quite a bit of the charm as that 1988 picture.

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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: 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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