Jurassic World: Dominion is another weak installment in the Jurassic Park franchise.

Four years after the destruction of Isla Nublar, dinosaurs now live and hunt alongside humans all over the world. This fragile balance will reshape the future and determine, once and for all, whether human beings are to remain the apex predators on a planet they now share with history’s most fearsome creatures.

Jurassic World: Dominion is the final film of the Jurassic World trilogy, while Dominion is definitely better than Fallen Kingdom by a lot that is really not saying much at all. The few positives come from DeWanda Wise and Jeff Goldblum (who’s actually a main character unlike in Fallen Kingdom) who try to give this movie as much life as possible, lastly there’s a few fun chase/action scenes that are serviceable but nothing to write home about. The rest of the movie however is one gigantic mess that is a very weak way to close the trilogy, the performances from everyone other than Wise and Goldblum are either terrible or soulless, it’s nice to see Laura Dern and Sam Neil return but they are restricted to a very weak script that becomes a gigantic mess and strangely don’t feel as important as they did in the first Jurassic Park. The “villain” is played by Campbell Scott who is honestly very forgettable, the villain serves little to no purpose outside of being included for the sake of being included. We know very little about him and the I guess twist of him being the villain is so predictable that the movie doesn’t even try to hide it from the first scene he’s introduced. The performance Scott is terrible and way too over the top, I’m not exactly sure what they were trying to go for here but whatever it was it did not work. Another huge issue with Dominion is that it’s an unfocused mess that can’t decide what it wants to be, does it want to actually be about the dinosaurs or does it want to be about these collection of characters rescuing Maisie? Which leads into my next point the movie is very formulaic as in it basically runs down like this…chase scene, dialogue, chase scene, dialogue until the movie decides to wrap things up and end. The writing combined with it being formulaic is incredibly tiring and becomes way too repetitive for it’s own good, overall Jurassic World: Dominion is a very weak movie to close the trilogy with. Between being way too unfocused and forgettable there’s nothing here that comes together and is just another addition to the terrible sequels of this series.

Jurassic World Dominion is currently in theaters!

3/10 D-

Everything Everywhere All At Once is a masterpiece that will leave you stunned!

When an interdimensional rupture unravels reality, an unlikely hero must channel her newfound powers to fight bizarre and bewildering dangers from the multiverse as the fate of the world hangs in the balance.

Everything Everywhere All At Once is what happens when you are absolutely committed to your craft in this case film. In 2016 Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert shocked tons of people with Swiss Army Man a film with an absolutely bizarre premise with a quite meaningful message as well, Everything Everywhere All At Once manages to be even more bizarre in several different ways. For starters the performances here are phenomenal Michelle Yeoh gives such a strangely raw and fascinating performance that at times really moves you to tears, Ke Huy Quan gives one of my favorite performances of the year. The absolute insanity his performance gives off is mind blowing between the action scenes he’s involved in to the dialogue it’s truly incredible. Stephanie Hsu, Jamie Lee Curtis and James Hong are also really strong as well each of which giving some of the best and most fun performances so far this year. The film itself is a multiverse film but that’s just scratching the surface, the film goes very in depth with the premise and lands into some very emotional moments and themes. Such as moving on, not wanting to let go, wishing you could have made other choices and so on. Each of these themes is handled with absolute care and completely makes this film into something special, the editing combined with the action scenes are truly some of the best I’ve seen in a film. It’s very fast paced and keeps the scenes fresh and interesting, they have their own unique style to them as well that make you want to see even more of these scenes. The direction from the Daniels is just masterful in every sense of the word, this is the very definition of balancing humor, action and emotional moments each of them don’t outweigh the others. They all play a very important part to the story and all compliment each other very well, there’s so many scenes that really capture what it feels like to think about how you wanted something different and also learning to let go and move on. These are real situations people often struggle with and the way the film portrayed them feels incredibly raw despite being a multiverse film. I’m going to end the review here mostly due to the film being hard to talk about with spoiling which I don’t want to do. Overall Everything Everywhere All At Once is truly a masterpiece, everything you have heard about this film is absolutely right! It’s by far not only one of my favorites of the year but one of my favorites of the decade (so far). Be sure to check this one out it’s absolutely worth the experience!

Everything Everywhere All At Once is currently in theaters!

10/10 A+

Moonshot is a decent romantic comedy that is filled with great chemistry!

In a future where Mars is terraformed, two college students sneak onboard a space shuttle from Earth to Mars in order to be united with their significant others.

Something that I quite like so far this year when it comes to film is that the romantic comedy genre is having a sort of comeback in terms of quality, Marry Me, I Want You Back and now Moonshot. Moonshot is a movie that could have easily been a very below average romantic comedy movie but the highs make this one standout. Lana Condor does a really solid job here, and easily the best part of the film. The same can be said with Cole Sprouse and the two together have great chemistry between one another, which really makes the movie work quite well. Despite the sci-fi setting the movie doesn’t break any new ground and the side characters are very standard but that’s not enough to take away the movie’s charm, it’s entertaining and actually builds Sophie’s (Lana Condor) and Walt’s (Cole Sprouse) characters to the point where the viewer actually cares for the chemistry. If you are a fan of romantic comedies this is definitely something worth checking out, it’s a cute little movie that could have went a little more in depth but as it stands is a pretty decent watch!

Moonshot is available on HBO Max!

6/10 C+

SXSW Review: Slash/Back (2022)

When Maika and her ragtag friends discover an alien invasion in their tiny arctic hamlet, it’s up to them to save the day. Utilizing their makeshift weapons and horror movie knowledge, the alien realizes you don’t mess with girls from Pang.

I really don’t have much to say about Slash/Back but the movie itself is a very straightforward Sci-Fi movie, a group of teenage girls fight aliens while protecting their home. The cast look like they had a blast making the movie which is always great to see, plus the performances are all pretty solid as well! The same can be said for the music, it’s genuinely fun and brings the film a lot of entertainment value to it. The film definitely reminds me of Attack The Block so if you liked that movie you are more than likely going to like this one. The biggest flaw is the movie not really doing anything noteworthy, however it really isn’t trying to do that. It’s the very definition of a Indie film where a small group came together and made a film plus worked with what they had. And for that the movie definitely deserves credit, it’s a decent enough time to recommend.

Slash/Back currently has no release date.

6/10 C+

The Adam Project is a bland Sci-Fi movie that doesn’t come together.

After accidentally crash-landing in 2022, time-traveling fighter pilot Adam Reed teams up with his 12-year-old self for a mission to save the future.

The Adam Project did not work for me at all, this is another Shawn Levy and Ryan Reynolds collaboration the previous one being last year’s Free Guy which I did not like. The Adam Project is somehow even weaker, for starters Ryan Reynolds once again plays the exact same character as he does in a lot of his other movies, which is no surprise at this point but it hurts the movie badly. Zoe Saldaña and Mark Ruffalo have some great bits here but what’s holding them back is the writing, it’s very half baked and almost feels incomplete at times. It’s like the writers had a ton of different ideas written down but had no idea which one to go with, there’s also some very decent family drama that have genuinely touching moments that I actually found myself being very interested in. But the action is incredibly forgettable despite having some great music to go along with it. It tries to be this 80s throwback movie but this is an example of a movie simply referencing the 80s over and over again and not doing anything special with it. Overall The Adam Project is something that definitely could have worked had there been much stronger writing, action and better direction.

The Adam Project is available on Netflix!

4/10 D+

Quick Reviews: Against The Ice and After The Pandemic!

Exploring Greenland’s vast landscape for a lost map, two men must fight to survive. Based on the true story of Denmark’s 1909 polar expedition.

Against The Ice is another Netflix Original Movie misfire. The movie is based on a true story that is quite interesting, there’s some decent shots, the acting is fine enough and the first act was overall solid. What hurts the movie is it takes a true story and turns it into a run of the mill survival movie, which leads to a lot of lack of tension and some very baffling editing. With that said there were some comedic moments between the cast who genuinely had some great chemistry between one another, it’s just a huge shame that wasn’t shown in a better movie. There really is not much else to say here, if you like survival movies you might like this one. But you will probably get little to nothing from this one.

Against The Ice is available on Netflix!

5/10 C

A deadly virus sweeps the world, killing 90% of humanity. Five years later, the survivors face an enemy that is more dangerous than the virus.

Honestly After The Pandemic could have easily been a lot worse, there are some genuine moments between the two main leads and there’s a few touching moments. With that said the rest of the movie struggles to keep the viewer’s interest, the acting is very below average, the writing falls flat and the story is well based around the COVID-19 Pandemic. Which at this point is already getting to be a very tired premise, After The Pandemic unfortunately doesn’t do anything new and is just an overall very below average micro budget movie.

After The Pandemic is available on all VOD Platforms.

4/10 D+

Strawberry Mansion is a bizarre sci-fi experience!

In a future where the government records dreams and taxes them, a dream auditor gets caught up in an ageing eccentric’s dreams.

Strawberry Mansion is definitely something…and I mean that in the best possible way. Without giving anything away the film is a very trippy and bizarre film that keeps surprising you with a lot of stunning visuals and it’s own world. It takes the sci-fi genre and completely flips it upside down, the filming has this style to it that creates this atmosphere that adds so much to the film. The style it goes for is dreamlike with surreal visuals which builds the film’s world quite well and makes the film standout, the writing is really well done with some interesting dialogue between the characters and builds up moments that will make you question “what am I watching?” The final act unfortunately does lose a bit of steam and definitely feels weaker than the rest of the film, however the rest of the film is absolutely well done and takes you for a one of a kind experience!

Strawberry Mansion is available on all VOD Platforms.

8/10 B+

The In Between doesn’t execute it’s premise well but still ends up being a sweet film.

After surviving a car accident that took the life of her boyfriend, a teenage girl believes he’s attempting to reconnect with her from the after world.

The In Between is another one of those supernatural romance movies that have a huge young adult type feel to them, it’s definitely not a bad movie as it is well made plus Joey King and Kyle Allen have fantastic chemistry. Both do an incredible job in the leading roles and truly make you care about their characters, there’s a genuine charm to their relationship the movie does a great job of building their relationship as well. By the end of the film you will find yourself caring about the two which is actually refreshing to see from a movie like this. Unfortunately what this movie does lack in is the execution of the supernatural element, while yes it is used it feels very surface level at best. The movie doesn’t use the premise to its full potential which is a huge shame, there was definitely room to go deeper into the idea itself but instead the movie wastes too much time on the events that took place before Skylar (Kyle Allen) was killed. Having that said The In Between is a surprisingly decent movie that could have easily went wrong, but due to some solid writing, the chemistry between King and Allen and the final act The In Between ends up being a flawed but emotional movie!

The In Between is available on Paramount+

6/10 C+

Quick Reviews: Alone With You and Bigbug.

As a young woman painstakingly prepares a romantic homecoming for her girlfriend, their apartment begins to feel more like a tomb when strange voices, shadows and hallucinations reveal a truth she’s been unwilling to face.

Alone With You is an interesting little movie that is very flawed but has a lot to like about it. Emily Bennett gives a decent performance and it’s always nice to see Barbara Crampton as well, the atmosphere combined with the setting definitely adds to the movie giving it a creep feeling at times. I do wish the writing was a bit better and did a little more with it’s premise, especially during the last half of the movie where I do feel like it loses a bit of steam. But the movie does wrap up nice enough to warrant a watch.

Alone With You is available on all VOD Platforms!

6/10 C+

Suburbanites are locked in for their own protection by their household robots while an android revolt rages outside.

I was hoping Bigbug was going to be Netflix’s first good original film of the year, sadly that’s not the case. Bigbug feels like so much yet so little, there’s some nice color palettes used here and some decent humor here and there. But good lord was this tough to sit through, mostly due to the acting and writing not blending well together at all. A lot of it is just not funny at all either, the sci-fi elements work fine enough here but don’t nowhere near as effective as they could have been. There was definitely effort put into it, the film is definitely well made and as I said the color palettes used are very interesting and actually do add to the film. It’s just a huge shame this came from Jean-Pierre Jeunet, overall Bigbug is a very forgettable movie with not much going for it unfortunately.

Bigbug is available on Netflix!

4/10 D+

Sundance Review: After Yang is a meditative Sci-Fi Film that captures family emotions!

In a near future, a family reckons with questions of love, connection, and loss after their A.I. helper unexpectedly breaks down.

After Yang is a film I’ve been wanting to watch for a very long time, for awhile it went without a release date. It premiered at Cannes 2021 and then just kind of disappeared for awhile until it was announced it will be shown at Sundance 2022. The wait did not disappoint because After Yang is truly something special, first off the film itself is both hypnotic and meditative everything from the cinematography, writing, acting and direction it really takes you into it’s own world that you follow really closely. The performances were all incredibly strong here particularly Colin Farrell, Jodie Turner-Smith, Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja and Haley Lu Richardson. They all give a raw performance that really brings you into the film leaving you in a meditative state, plus the characters are given some really strong development that helps build the world of the film. The cinematography does a fantastic job of giving information about the world of the film, it pays attention to every single detail and adds to the story being told. The writing tackles family themes in very unique and interesting ways, it talks about the emotions of a family and goes much more in depth with those themes. After Yang is a much different Sci-Fi film that is bound to make you feel tons of emotions, make you think really hard about what the characters and each of the scenes and what the film means overall. After Yang is a beautifully told story that Kogonada absolutely mastered easily one of the best films so far this year.

After Yang will be released in theaters and on Showtime March 4th!

10/10 A+