Werewolf By Night is a fun Universal Monster movie throwback and breath of fresh air for the MCU.

On a dark and sombre night, a secret cabal of monster hunters emerge from the shadows and gather at the Bloodstone Temple following the death of their leader; the attendees are thrust into a mysterious and deadly competition for a powerful relic.

Werewolf By Night is hands down one of the best installments to come out of Phase Four in the MCU, for starters everything from the tone, style, characters heck even writing is a night and day difference from the rest of the MCU and I mean that in a good way. The special itself is only 52 minutes long yet still manages to flesh out it’s characters pretty well, Laura Donnelly and Gael García Bernal are both highlights who give really strong performances that completely make the special shine, the use of black and white combined with the throwback elements of the Universal Monster movies is truly fantastic. There’s some quite clever style and writing tricks that the writers and Michael Giacchino use. The film is very well crafted with so much attention to detail included, it helps that the special actually feels like one of the Universal monster films. It shows that everyone involved did their homework rather than create a cheap copy of the films.

Werewolf By Night is available on Disney+

8/10 B+

Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind brings new ideas to the series.

When Kano and Black Dragon mercenaries become determined to take over Earthrealm, undisciplined Kenshi seeks tutelage from retired Kuai Liang to stop Kano from decimating all of Earthrealm.

Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind is the third of the new animated Mortal Kombat movies (technically there is one that came out in 1995 but that is an entirely different movie). The previous two movies Scorpion’s Revenge and Battle Of The Realms were both very solid and accomplished what they were sent out to do, Snow Blind however takes it up a notch and actually does something quite different this time around….it’s not based around the tournament itself, instead it takes this Mad Max apocalyptic type atmosphere approach while also having a lot of the elements that make the series so great. The characters are actually pretty well written particularly Kenshi, Kuai and Kano (who is a fantastic villain) the action scenes are very entertaining and the writing is surprisingly very well written, it’s by far the most in depth it’s ever been in these movies thus far. There are a few hiccups such as some of villains who kind of just serve to hype up Kano and really get the Dragonball Z movie henchmen treatment, however Kabel and Tremor are a lot of fun and actually steal a few of the scenes they are in. The highlight of the film however is Kenshi and Kuai, the student and mentor chemistry is truly strong here and the two have some really strong character moments. Overall if you liked the last two movies you are going to really like this one, especially since it steers away from the Mortal Kombat formula and does a pretty solid job of bringing something new to the series. A fourth movie is set to release next year!

Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind is available on all VOD platforms.

8/10 B+

Quick Review: Burial (2022)

During the last days of World War II, Nazi werewolves attack Allied soldiers who are trafficking Hitler’s remains out of Germany.

Burial is yet another forgettable World War II horror movie that really could have been something interesting, the idea of Nazi Werewolves is interesting but it’s not touched upon in the movie. Outside of some decent shots, being competently made and the atmosphere actually being effective at times. The horror element is barely present here, a lot of it is just very drawn out and needed a lot more time in the oven to find a focus.

Burial is available on all VOD platforms.

4/10 D+

The Woman King is a breath of fresh air for blockbusters.

In the 1800s, a group of all-female warriors protects the African kingdom of Dahomey with skills and fierceness unlike anything the world has ever seen. Faced with a new threat, Gen. Nanisca trains the next generation of recruits to fight against a foreign enemy that’s determined to destroy their way of life.

The Woman King is a breath of fresh air when it comes to blockbusters, the film is a lot like Gladiator and Braveheart mainly from it’s cinematography and how the film itself is presented. One of the main parts that completely sell this movie is the cast and their tremendous performances mainly Viola Davis, Lashana Lynch, John Boyega and Thuso Mbedu all of which deliver powerful and truly fantastic performances which each of them add to the film. Viola Davis is already a powerhouse actress but here she ups it notch and delivers one of the best of her career, theres a great nuance to her performance of playing a warrior as well as someone who has a ton of past trauma. The cinematography combined with the action scenes are masterfully crafted, there’s a lot of attention to detail when it comes to the action scenes. Adding depth to the battles as well as making the different settings compliment each battle, there’s also a strong atmosphere that once again compliments and blends itself into the film beautifully. You also have Gina Prince-Bythewood’s direction which like the rest of the film compliments it really well, between the characters and the very well written script there’s so much to Bythewood’s direction that completely makes the film. Overall The Woman King is quite fantastic, it’s a huge film that is masterfully made and has some of this year’s best performances.

The Woman King is available in theaters.

10/10 A+

Lou is another forgettable Netflix action thriller.

A young girl is kidnapped during a powerful storm. Her mother joins forces with her mysterious neighbour to set off in pursuit of the kidnapper. Their journey will test their limits and expose the dark secrets of their past.

What a surprise another Netflix action thriller that’s very forgettable, it’s a shame because there is at least some decent parts about this one. Allison Janney is actually pretty great as one of the main leads, her character is quite interesting it’s just a shame there isn’t a whole lot of development until the last half. Jurnee Smollett and Logan Marshall-Green are also pretty solid here as well plus there’s some actually decent action scenes that are quite entertaining. Outside of all of that there really isn’t much else here, a lot of it is beat by beat action thriller plot lines and is way too predictable for it’s own good. The writing offers interesting ideas during the first half of the movie but never expands on them as the movie goes on, I guess Lou is a fine enough time waster but at that point why even bother when there’s better films in the genre?

Lou is available on Netflix.

4/10 D+

Samaritan is a generic superhero story.

A young boy learns that a superhero who was thought to have gone missing after an epic battle twenty years ago may in fact still be around.

I was actually pretty excited for Samaritan despite the plot reading exactly like a generic superhero story, I wanted to see how Julius Avery (director of Overlord and Son Of A Gun) would tackle the superhero genre. Unfortunately the movie itself is a very generic one, the story of a kid unexpectedly meeting a superhero has been done numerous times before and it’s not any different here. Javon Walton at least gives a fun performance that gives the movie spirit and Sylvester Stallone is really solid here as he usually is, the few action scenes that there are not bad but not anything to write home about. Had this movie come out several years ago like in the 90s there would be a lot more leeway, the main issues here are mostly the villains who are very one note and for half the movie barely do anything. Then you have the writing which I’ve said before is written in the most generic way possible, the movie hits a lot of the typical superhero movie beats that have been done far better elsewhere. There’s some decent moments with Stallone and Walton who bond over the course of the movie which leads to some great moments, but a lot Samaritan is very forgettable and sort of sits among such a crowded genre. Overall Samaritan isn’t bad, there’s definitely some heart and the acting is at least solid. But it’s not enough to really standout.

Samaritan is available on Amazon Prime Video.

5/10 C

Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero is a nostalgic entertaining ride!

The Red Ribbon Army was once destroyed by Son Goku. Individuals, who carry on its spirit, have created the ultimate Androids, Gamma 1 and Gamma 2. These two Androids call themselves “Super Heroes”. They start attacking Piccolo and Gohan… What is the New Red Ribbon Army’s objective? In the face of approaching danger, it is time to awaken, Super Hero!

If there’s a best time to be a Dragon Ball fan it’s right now because they truly knocked it out of the park once again. I’ve said before how Dragon Ball is one of the main franchises I grew up and still love it to this day and the franchise has continued to grow over the years. Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero focuses on Gohan and Piccolo two characters that definitely needed a lot more spotlight after Dragon Ball Super and this movie just reminds me of why they are such great characters, they get a ton more development as well and with Piccolo’s development there’s some very interesting callbacks to the series that the franchise itself hasn’t really touched. Those said callbacks work truly well here and are put into the story in very creative ways, in fact there’s a whole lot here that is reintroduced to new audiences that works well, Goku and Vegeta take the backseat for this movie which is perfectly fine and for the scenes they are given they are quite great. Of course Beerus and Whis offer some great comedy as usual even if they aren’t in the film for very long, they are still some of the best characters in the franchise. The villains and new characters are pretty actually pretty solid, yes the whole Red Ribbon Army plot is used again the movie manages to make it fresh and quite interesting. Magenta is pretty fun although he might just be Commander Red with a different name he’s definitely not a bad villain at all, Dr. Hedo, Gamma #1 and Gamma #2 are some of the best parts of the film, they are truly entertaining characters with a solid backstory and have a couple genuinely powerful scenes. The animation does take a bit of time to get used to as it is a completely different style from the last movie, the animation is at it’s best during the fight scenes where there are some truly excellent moments (won’t spoil any), the main criticism mostly comes from Cell Max while I understand what they were trying to go for Cell Max just doesn’t have any character to him at all, it’s mostly a giant beast who roars and that’s about it. However that does not take away from the beautiful fight scenes and fantastic moments during the battle (again won’t spoil those here) lastly there’s the overall entertainment factor combined with the nostalgia feel to the film. The Dragon Ball Franchise has come a very long way and it truly shows here, it really reminds you of what makes this franchise so incredible in the first place. It captures everything the action, the humor, the flashbacks, the range of characters. Absolutely everything and it’s all worth it!!

Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero is playing in theaters.

9/10 A

DC League Of Super-Pets is a fun kids superhero movie.

Krypto the Super-Dog and Superman are inseparable best friends, sharing the same superpowers and fighting crime in Metropolis side by side. When Superman and the rest of the Justice League are kidnapped, Krypto must convince a rag-tag shelter pack–Ace the hound, PB the potbellied pig, Merton the turtle and Chip the squirrel–to master their own newfound powers and help him rescue the superheroes.

DC League Of Super Pets definitely surprised me in a few ways, this could have easily been a very unfunny and forgettable kids movie but there’s actually a decent amount to enjoy here. The voice cast is overall great Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Kate McKinnon, John Krasinski, Keanu Reeves and a few others do a fantastic job here. There’s a few jokes here that land pretty well and there are some that fall flat but they aren’t terrible or anything to complain over, the animation is fun and colorful plus it gives some of the characters a decent amount of detail. What’s the most surprising about the movie is there’s some genuine heart in it, there’s a few heartfelt moments that actually give the movie some strength when it comes to storytelling during those scenes. The movie mainly suffers from a lot of beat by beat plot points that really don’t add anything new and the animal characters outside of Krypto, Lulu and Ace just sort of exist, the three I mentioned get character development at least and are fun characters but the same can’t be said for the others. The others mainly serve to be this movie’s “silly sidekicks” but for a movie called League Of Super-Pets you would think they would get a tad more development right? Overall DC League Of Super-Pets is a serviceable kids movie that definitely had a surprising amount of effort put into it, what could have been a forgettable cashgrab ends up being a decent enough kids movie.

DC League Of Super-Pets is available on all VOD platforms.

6/10 C+

Day Shift is a genuinely fun B horror action film.

A hardworking dad out to provide for his daughter uses a boring pool-cleaning job as a front for his real gig: hunting and killing vampires.

It’s honestly amazing to me how Day Shift a silly action horror B movie which has a scene where Snoop Dogg carries a machine gun and blasts a handful of vampires, ends up being far more better visually and far more fun than The Gray Man and Red Notice which are overly expensive and terrible. Day Shift definitely has this rental store type feel too it which is part of the charm, you don’t know what to expect and most of the results are a lot of fun. There’s some really solid action scenes combined with some gore that is solid as well, Jamie Foxx is really solid here as the leading role. The guy has so much charm and definitely knows how to put on entertaining ride from beginning to end and that’s definitely shown here, Snoop Dogg is also pretty great as well and fits quite well in the movie. Day Shift does have it’s writing flaws such as the villain in particular not being very memorable, however that doesn’t stop the movie from being genuinely fun. It’s not anything ground breaking and it’s most definitely not going to add anything new to the genre. But if you are missing the types of films Netflix use to put out back when they first started I recommend checking this one out.

Day Shift is available on Netflix.

7/10 B

Secret Headquarters is a harmless kids movie but not much else.

A kid discovers the secret headquarters of a powerful superhero hidden beneath his home and must defend it with his group of friends when villains attack.

Secret Headquarters is basically if you took Spy Kids and Sky High then made it forgettable. I can easily see why this movie didn’t end up releasing in theaters like it was originally going to, there are some good bits here such as Walker Scobell, Owen Wilson (even though he wasn’t in it all that much), Keith L. Williams and Abby James Witherspoon were great and they all genuinely seemed like they were having a blast with this movie. So at least the passion was there it’s mostly the writing that hurts this movie, I will say that it is a completely harmless movie for kids there’s some jokes in here that actually worked quite well and reminded me of the type of humor that Spy Kids had. However the plot is a bit too predictable and the villains are very one note characters that feel like they teleported from a very early 2000s family movie, Secret Headquarters is at least not as bad as it could have been. I’m sure there will be an audience for this movie I’m just not one of them.

Secret Headquarters is available on Paramount+

4/10 D+