REVIEW: ‘Shortcut’ isn’t a satisfying horror genre entry

There’s no need to take a shortcut to the theater for “Shortcut,” because it’s not worth seeing at a cinema.

This thriller follows a group of teenage students riding on a bus in a rural area of the United Kingdom. Unfortunately the audience doesn’t get much background on the group, there are only five students which is odd for a field trip. Regardless, this is our crew of protagonists.

Things take a turn for the worse when the bus has to take a back road and, while stopping to move an obstacle out of the way, a criminal with a revolver comes aboard and holds the driver at gunpoint. That’s not the end of the main characters’ problems, though, as the eerie area they’re driving through also seems to be home to an evil creature.

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REVIEW: ‘New Mutants’ misses the mark

After nearly two years of delays “The New Mutants” has finally arrived. Unfortunately, it’s hard to say that it’s worth the wait.

The movie begins with a teenager, Danielle (Blu Hunt),  waking up in a hospital-like facility after what seemed to be a monstrous tornado destroyed her town. Danielle soon learns from the single physician at the facility, Dr. Reyes (Alice Braga), that she is a mutant and she’s at an establishment meant to keep other young mutants from the general public and teach them to control their power.

The other mutants include Rahne (Maisie Williams), Illyana (Anya Taylor-Joy), Sam (Charlie Heaton) and Roberto (Henry Zaga). As Danielle starts to settle in, the other mutants began having hallucinations while also getting closer to the truth of what the facility actually is.

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REVIEW: ‘Chemical Hearts’ hindered by screenplay

OK, I can handle the teenage angst, but when pseudo-intellectual babble is poured on top, it becomes too much.

“Chemical Hearts” centers on the character Henry (Austin Abrams), a senior who becomes the editor of the school newspaper in his final year. As the fall semester gets started, he meets a new student, Grace (Lili Reinhart), who joins the newspaper team.

Grace walks with a cane, as she has an apparent leg injury and keeps to herself for the most part. Henry, though, wants to get to know her and as time goes on, begins to form a relationship with Grace. However, she’s still dealing with trauma from an event in her past.

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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: ‘The Sun is also a Star’ is only a two star movie

“The Sun is Also a Star.” The North Star is also a star. And now I just miss the North Stars.

Anyway, there’s a movie to review. “The Sun is Also a Star” is the latest romance film based on a young adult novel. Of course, the movie follows two young adults, Natasha (Yara Shahidi) and Daniel (Charles Melton). Natasha is a Jamaican whose family is about to be deported back to Jamaica by the U.S. Government, while Daniel, whose family immigrated from Korea, is preparing to apply for college.

One day, through a chance encounter, the two meet and after talking, find out that they have differing opinions. Daniel believes in fate, destiny, and thinks that the universe brought them together. Natasha is much more of a skeptic, to the point where she doesn’t believe in fate or love. To convince her, Daniel suggests they spend the day together to prove who’s right and see if they fall in love.

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REVIEW: ‘Five Feet Apart’ has just enough to engage an audience

Over the last few years, going back to at least 2014 with “The Fault in Our Stars,” there’s been quite a few films focused on older teens with terminal conditions. Fortunately for audiences, “Five Feet Apart” is one of the better ones.

“Five Feet Apart” focuses on three young characters living at a hospital as part of a clinical drug trial. The trio includes Stella (Haley Lu Richardson), Will (Cole Sprouse) and Poe (Moises Arias). Of the three, Stella is the main character and is the most positive about fighting her cystic fibrosis.

Will, meanwhile, is not as optimistic, and it annoys Stella at first. However, the two come to understand each other and eventually fall in love. However, they can never get too close with the threat of getting infected.

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REVIEW: ‘Hate U Give,’ while not perfect, still has impact

A novel with subject matter quite relevant to what’s happened in the United States over the past several years was adapted to the big screen in fairly convincing fashion.

The Hate U Give,” originally a book, is a film telling the story of Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg), who lives in a mostly African American neighborhood, but attends a predominantly white private institution. The film picks up with Starr heading into a weekend, where she eventually attends a house party. There, she meets a childhood friend named Khalil (Algee Smith), who offers to drive her home.

Along the drive back home, Khalil is pulled over by a white police officer and, while leaning in the car to check on Starr, is shot and killed. What follows is a situation where Starr has to deal with speaking about the incident with law enforcement, the press, and her friends and relatives. As a result, the situation creates a lot of stress for the high schooler.

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REVIEW: ‘Lady Bird’ Is A Great Coming Of Age Story And One Of 2017’s Best

Greta Gerwig made her solo directing debut with “Lady Bird,” and what a debut it is.

Christine McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) is the main character in the film. However, she refers to herself as Lady Bird and requests that everyone she knows call her by that name, too. The picture’s story follows Lady Bird through her senior year at a private Catholic high school and largely centers on the relationship between her and her mother Marion (Laurie Metcalf).

As her last year in high school unfolds, Lady Bird and Marion clash numerous times, both over their family’s finances and Lady Bird’s plans for college.

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 review

Director:
Francis Lawrence
Cast:
Jennifer Lawrence
Josh Hutcherson
Liam Hemsworth
Woody Harrelson
Donald Sutherland
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Julianne Moore
Elizabeth Banks
Mahershala Ali
Jeffrey Wright
Rated: PG-13

“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” wastes no time getting started. There’s no flashback or ‘last time.’ The film opens up with Katniss Everdeen’s throat still injured after being attacked by a brainwashed Peeta Mellark (Hutcherson). Despite the injury giving her a raspy voice, though, it doesn’t hold her back from still being involved in the rebellion.

After some preliminary work, Everdeen joins a unit that includes Gale (Hemsworth) as well as Boggs (Ali) and is set to storm the Capitol and put an end to President Snow (Sutherland). The invasion process is met with a heavy challenge, though, when the Capitol inserts traps from the Hunger Games.

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Paper Towns review

Director:
Jake Schreier
Cast:
Nat Wolff
Cara Delevingne
Austin Abrams
Justice Smith
Halston Sage
Rated: PG-13

In “Paper Towns,” Nat Wolff plays Quentin, a high school student who is nearing the end of his senior year. As he goes through with his day-to-day routine of going to school, he still hopes to reconnect with his childhood friend Margo (Delevigne), a girl next door who has become one of the popular kids.

Quentin eventually gets his chance to spend time with Margo, who invites him out for a night of mischief. To his surprise, though, the next day Quentin finds out that Margo has gone off the grid and has seemingly disappeared. The vanishing sets Quentin, with the help of his friends, off on a road trip/adventure to find clues as to where Margo is.

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