REVIEW: Manic energy in ‘M3gan’ makes it a fun watch

Another addition to my never ending list of reasons why I fear a robot uprising.

The titular doll in “M3gan” is basically an android built by Gemma (Allison Williams), a robotics engineer working at a toy company that releases advanced products. While she’s at work on her latest project, her sister and brother-in-law are killed in a car accident.

Gemma’s niece, Cady (Violet McGraw), survived the crash and is now living with Gemma, but the girl has become depressed and reclusive. In trying to help Cady, Gemma activates M3gan to be a doll and friend to the girl. However, M3gan was still in the testing phase, and the artificial intelligence in the doll has the potential to be dangerous.

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REVIEW: ‘A Man Called Otto’ is moving, but clichéd

This film is an adaptation of a book written by a Swedish author in 2012. I have to imagine he watched 2008’s “Gran Torino” and 2009’s “Up” before putting pen to paper.

Tom Hanks stars as Otto, a man who recently became a widower and lives day-to-day thinking there’s not much left for him in the world. Otto is rather grouchy and quite particular in his old age. For example, he doesn’t want anyone driving on the private road in front of his home.

He begins to loosen up, though, when he’s approached by a young, friendly couple and their two daughters. The matriarch of the family, Marisol (Mariana Treviño), especially forms a bond with Otto, helping him to find more in life again, which leads him to start helping others around the neighborhood.

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REVIEW: Ambitious ‘Babylon’ ends up being an obnoxious dud

Director Damien Chazelle’s last three movies have either ended up on my top 10 of the year lists, or an honorable mention.

His latest film, though, will likely end on 2022’s worst of the year list.

“Babylon” tracks the careers of three characters in Hollywood during the late 1920s and early 30s. Jack (Brad Pitt) is an experienced performer, Nellie (Margot Robbie) is a new actress on the scene and Manny (Diego Calva) is a person doing odd jobs as he works his way up the studio ladder.

The movie shows how their careers are impacted by drugs, the extravagance of the roaring 20s and the shift in Hollywood from silent films to talkies.

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REVIEW: ‘The Whale’ is 2022’s hardest hitting drama

With help from talented director Darren Aronofsky, Brendan Fraser makes a hell of a comeback with a new, major starring role.

Based on a stage play with the same name, “The Whale” tells the story of Charlie (Fraser), an obese, reclusive, disabled man residing in Idaho. He lives in a depressed state, having gained weight after the death of his partner, and has an estranged relationship with his daughter, Ellie (Sadie Sink).

He gets an opportunity to reconnect with Ellie, though, when she visits Charlie, wanting assistance with her homework. A college English instructor, Charlie decides to help her with essays with the hope that he can reconnect with his daughter, especially with his declining health.

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REVIEW: Aside from visuals, pristine looking ‘Pinocchio’ disappoints

I’m starting to think the “Pinocchio” story just isn’t for me.

In director Guillermo del Toro’s adaptation of the tale, we’re introduced to Geppetto (David Bradley), a toymaker who lost his son during World War I and became depressed. One night, in his grief, he gathers some timber and builds a puppet meant to be a replacement for his late son.

While the puppet started as just something Geppetto made during a drunken night, though, the doll ends up coming to life thanks to a mystical spirit. While Gepetto initially views Pinocchio with disdain, he eventually warms up to the wooden boy. However, antagonistic forces look to take Pinocchio for their own nefarious purposes.

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REVIEW: ‘Puss in Boots’ sequel is an enjoyable swashbuckling flick

After more than 20 years, the franchise that put DreamWorks Animation on the map is still kicking, and the latest in the series is fine addition.

As the title implies, the film focuses on the character Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas). After many dangerous adventures before and after meeting the ogre Shrek, Puss in Boots is down to his ninth and final life.

With a desire to continue living life on the edge and knowing the predicament he’s in, the feline decides to go on a quest to find a place that will grant him a wish, which he plans to use for more lives. Along the way, he’s joined by friends new and old, and is introduced to new enemies.

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REVIEW: ‘Glass Onion’ offers plenty of fun, but light on heart

As “Shrek” taught us, onions have layers, and there are definitely layers in the mystery featured during “Glass Onion.”

Similar to its predecessor, “Knives Out,” detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is once again surrounded by wealthy people gathered in one location. This time around, that location is the island of the Glass Onion, which is owned by billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton).

Miles invites many of his rich friends, as well as Blanc, to a weekend at the island for a murder mystery game. Things take a twist, though, when someone actually does die during the getaway, and suspicions mount.

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REVIEW: ‘Western Front’ features a heartbreaking perspective of WWI

“All Quiet on the Western Front” is definitely not the easiest watch of 2022, but it is one of the better movies of the year.

Based on the famous novel, “All Quiet on the Western Front” tells the story of Paul (Felix Kammerer), a young man who enlists in the German Army in 1917, a year before World War I ended. He enters the war filled with enthusiasm, driven by messages of nationalism during his enlistment.

That enthusiasm dissipates quickly, though, as Paul is thrust into trench warfare. As the war drags on, Paul sees his friends regularly killed in action while facing constant danger in the muddy trenches.

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REVIEW: ‘Women Talking’ is a harrowing tale of bravery

“Women Talking” may not seem like a survival movie at first glance, but it definitely is one, and a good one at that.

The film centers on women of a Mennonite community in an isolated, rural area. Early on, the audience learns that several of the women in the community have been drugged and sexually assaulted on multiple occasions.

Set in 2010, the film picks up with the men of the colony having left to handle the legal matters related to those who committed assaults and have been taken into custody. Meanwhile, the women of the community begin a debate on whether to stay and fight against those who committed rape and try to make change, or leave the colony altogether.

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REVIEW: ‘Bones and All’ is a compelling movie about monsters among us

Hannibal Lecter, eat your heart, or I guess someone else’s heart out.

“Bones and All” is a love story, that just happens to include cannibalism. Taylor Russell stars as Maren in the film, a young woman who is an “eater,” a human being who has an insatiable hunger for human flesh. The film picks up with her being left by her father (Andre Holland) who tells her she must live on her own, after he spent years trying to hide what she is.

Maren decides to go on the road and find out about her mother now that her father has left, and along the way meets others like herself, including someone her own age. That person is Lee (Timothee Chalamet), a young man who decides to go along with Maren on her journey, and the two build a connection.

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