Review: THE MEG

Jason Statham Stars in the Shark Thriller “The Meg”

 

By Liz Lopez

Rating: B-/C+

Directed by Jon Turteltaub (“National Treasure,” “Phenomenon”), “The Meg” appears to be a ’70s disaster movie that no doubt will have many viewers finding themselves reminded of “Jaws” that was released during the summer of 1975. “The Meg,” an action sci-fi horror adventure film features a prehistoric shark thought to be extinct. The screenplay by Dean Georgaris, Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber may have been written with the intent to be the deep sea horror film of the year, but unfortunately it is predictable in many ways. Starting with the similarities to “Jaws” that it is tagged with, several scenes reminded me of other more recent water related disaster films that I won’t spend time listing names. Read more »

Review: BLACKKKLANSMAN

By Liz Lopez

Rating: A

Director Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman” premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. It is the almost unbelievable true story of a Colorado Springs black police detective, Ron Stallworth (John David Washington, “Ballers” TV series, “Malcolm X”) who conducted a risky undercover investigation that led to him ultimately being granted Ku Klux Klan membership in the 1970s. The screenplay, based on the book by Ron Stallworth, is written by the director, Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott. The biography, drama and crime film is also noted as a comedy – there is nothing comedic about the corruption and racism, but many of the members of “the Organization” (as the Colorado Springs KKK branch referred to itself), are either not very literate or organized, leading to outright comedy. From the opening scenes featuring Scarlett O’Hara and leading toward an ending with recent events captured on video about marches and plowing into people, this is a film not to be missed.   Read more »

Review: NEVER GOIN’ BACK

By Mark Saldana 

Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

The stoner buddy comedy is a movie subgenre that has nearly been done to death. However, how many of these flicks have females as their lead protagonists? Well, as far as I know, there haven’t been any.  That is until now.  With Never Goin’ Back, writer/director/editor Augustine Frizzell gives movie audiences a take on the stoner comedy that has been long overdue.  The film is an uproarious tale of girls behaving badly and stupidly, but make no mistake.  The sometimes raunchy and wild humor is intelligently written and executed by the cast and crew.  Though the movie hasn’t exactly reinvented the genre, it sure has breathed some much needed fresh air and vitality into it. Read more »

Review: DOG DAYS

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 2.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

From director Ken Marino (How to Be a Latin Lover) comes a comedy that has its share of charming and amusing moments, but suffers from the cliche tropes it inexplicably embraces.  Dog Days comes across as a strange hybrid of a movie which combines a sincere, loving tribute to canines with the overplayed beats of an ensemble comedy.  Because its tropes are so easily recognizable, the plot and its character development become crystal clear with no surprises whatsoever.  I suppose some audience members will devour this entire saccharine “effort,” but I found myself often bored and annoyed. Read more »

Review: CHRISTOPHER ROBIN

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3 (Out of 4 Stars)

Unlike last year’s Goodbye Christopher Robin, which serves as a biopic for Winnie-the-Pooh creator A.A. Milne, this live-action/CGI Disney production is pure fantasy.  Acting as a sequel to all of the fictionalized Christopher Robin/Winnie-the-Pooh stories, this film examines what could happen when the title character is forced to grow up and give up his wildly imaginative adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood. The result is a charming, humorous, but overly saccharine film that is held back by cliche writing and predictability.  It is a movie which tries to appeal to both children and adults, but fails to completely satisfy either. Read more »