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Entertainment Editor (1950 KP) created a video about My Little Pony: The Movie (2017) in Movies

Oct 24, 2017 (Updated Oct 24, 2017)  
Video

My Little Pony: The Movie (2017) Official Trailer

The film has an all-star voice cast including Emily Blunt, Kristin Chenoweth, Liev Schreiber, Michael Peña, Sia, Taye Diggs, Uzo Aduba and Zoe Saldana.

  
The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)
The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)
2011 | Drama, Mystery
9
7.5 (8 Ratings)
Movie Rating
I genuinely think this is one of the best movies I've ever seen. Courtroom dramas of any kind almost always hit a sweet spot for me. I love Matthew McConaughey and he really shines in this movie. I think his charisma comes through but he's got an edge, almost like a chip on his shoulder, but he also knows he's good at what he does. That confidence and then to see him break down a bit, I think it played to the character and the plot really well.

Michael Peña really stood out to me. I know that he only had a small part in the film but the small amount of screen time he did have, he made the most of it and he really took it as far as he could've gone. I think he was the other stand out in this film.

I really enjoyed this film. It keeps you on your toes, you're invested, and you're rooting for Haller. Great watch!
  
Ant-Man (2015)
Ant-Man (2015)
2015 | Action, Comedy, Mystery
8
7.8 (98 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant Man Michael Douglas as Hank Pym The humour Michael Pena as Luis Creative Final battle The fact that scott's ex wife's boyfriend isn't a douche Cassie is so cute (0 more)
Yellow jacket is another underdeveloped villian. Falcon scene while cool felt forced (0 more)
"I Know a Guy"
I've been a comic book junkie all my life. I have, however, never been really interested in Ant-Man. It's not an easy super hero to fall for. It is therefore to me all the more astonishing they managed to pull it off so well in this troubled production.

There are only a handful of ways to treat an origin story an Ant-Man breaks no molds there. It hits every single beat you'd expect it to, builds up the story like you'd expect it to and concludes it like you'd expect it to. So it is left to the moments in between and the schwung with which it delivers them to make the film. And it works like a charm.

Every time I felt myself getting a bit annoyed with yet another piece of expository dialogue or predictable plot development, it sideswiped me with a fantastic action sequence, hilarious fight scene or the utterly brilliant Michael Peña. There is so much clever entertainment chucked into the film that it was very easy for me to just say 'Fuck it' and enjoy the ride.

What I loved about it was the toned down treatment of the bizarreness of the super powers. It would have been very easy to go completely overboard with this, but Reed actually manages to bring a level headedness to the fantastical which I appreciated and which actually strengthened what they were basically trying to instill in Rudd's character, some semblance of identifiable humanity. As much as I love Wright, I'm perhaps one of the few people who don't think he would have been able to restrain himself and gone the route of Scott Pilgrim which is not something that would have worked I feel.

Rudd is excellent and plays it straight, casting off a vibe of 'What the hell am I doing?' very successfully. He is likable and his transformation into this unlikely hero worked mainly because of the way he played it. The rest of the cast is great (CGI-Michael Douglas will haunt me forever) and Michael Peña truly is stellar. Give him his own film. Please.

The main attraction in this type of film is usually the action. And while the action in this is fantastic, there is surprisingly little of it, making the final confrontation actually something to look forward to And boy does it deliver. It uses the potential of the, let's be honest, silliness of the powers to its fullest, making it what it should be. A thrilling ride.

Ant-Man surprised me. Wright's involvement is palpable, which is good. But its main attraction lies in the simple fact that it is effortlessly entertaining. Fun, funny and exciting. Exactly what it should be.
  
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Sarah (6287 KP) rated The Mule (2018) in Movies

Feb 11, 2019  
The Mule (2018)
The Mule (2018)
2018 | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Impressively good
I'm going to admit something now, but I don't think I've ever seen a Clint Eastwood starring film before. Ive seen some of his directing efforts (and really liked them), but this is the first time I've seen him acting - and after seeing this, I know I've been missing out.

This is very much a slow burner. It's not so slow that nothing happens but moves at its own steady pace that just about keeps your attention and hooks you in. This is helped mostly by a stellar performance from Clint Eastwood and a great script, which inserts some fairly humorous lines into what would otherwise be a very serious subject. The plot itself is a simple and enjoyable story that kept me enthralled for the entire 2 hours. The only downside is that most of the fantastic cast apart from Eastwood himself - Bradley Cooper, Michael Peña and Laurence Fishburne especially - are sadly underused. It's great to see them, it's just a shame that we don't see them enough.

Aside from this though, it's a very good enjoyable film that's absolutely worth a watch.
  
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Sarah (6287 KP) Feb 11, 2019

I do indeed!

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Donna Jackson (0 KP) Feb 11, 2019

I love Clint Eastwood

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
2018 | Action, Sci-Fi
Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-man Evangeline lily's wasp steals the show Michael Douglas as Hank Pym Cassie is cuter than ever Michael Pena as luis The Mid-credits sequence (0 more)
Not enough Michelle Pfeiffer Ghost is a so so Villian (0 more)
'Hold on, you gave her wings?!'
A much welcome breather after the heavyweight that was Avengers: Infinity War, the 20th instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is another lighthearted ride unfolding on the same minuscule scale as Ant-Man, and though not as impressive as Marvel's best works, it still delivers a fine dose of fun, amusing & action-packed entertainment.

Set in the aftermath of Captain America: Civil War, the story of Ant-Man and the Wasp finds Scott Lang under house arrest and Dr. Hank Pym & Hope van Dyne in hiding until an urgent mission brings them together once again as the trio attempt to unlock the secrets of quantum realm before it's too late, while being pursued by both cops & new enemies.

Directed by Peyton Reed, the sequel offers him more freedom & bigger canvas to showcase his vision & creativity yet he fails to makes the most of the opportunity and delivers a story that's pretty much on same level as its predecessor. Its action scenes do get an upgrade but the plot is quite simple and is missing the character complexity that drives most sequels.

On the plus side, the film retains the humour of the original while the continuous banter & brisk pacing make sure that its 118 mins runtime never becomes a chore. The swift, kinetic operation of camera infuses an energy to its moments of action on both macro & micro levels while the bright colour tones add a rich texture that makes the images pop out. And Christophe Beck's splendid score adds energy of its own into the mix.

Coming to the performances, Ant-Man and the Wasp benefits from Paul Rudd's natural charisma but it's Evangeline Lilly who steals the show this time in the role of Hope/Wasp. The chemistry between the two still carries a spark but purely on individual inputs, Lilly outshines Rudd by a significant margin. Both Michael Peña & Michael Douglas are more fun in their respective roles this time around but the new characters are no good.

On an overall scale, Ant-Man and the Wasp makes for a sufficiently entertaining action-adventure and is at its best when it isn't trying too hard. A standalone entry for the most part that eventually connects with the heavy conclusion of Infinity War in a shocking mid-credits sequence, Ant-Man and the Wasp does enough to allow the viewers to settle down before things got hot & heavy once again in Avengers Endgame
  
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JT (254 KP) rated The Mule (2018) in Movies

Mar 10, 2020  
The Mule (2018)
The Mule (2018)
2018 | Crime, Drama, Mystery
With the internet flower business putting him into foreclosure, Earl Stone (Eastwood) must find alternative ways to make money. A man who was more dedicated to things growing in the ground than the family he neglected until it was too late he turns up at his granddaughter’s birthday party and doesn’t get a warm welcome.

Leaving with a business card and the offer to drive and deliver goods – no questions asked. Initially reluctant, Earl accepts the offer unbeknown to him the type of cargo he would be carrying.

Grizzled and back to doing what he does best, Clint Eastwood commands a screen presence like no other.

Eastwood’s grizzled charisma is not lost and he strikes up a friendly bond with some members of the cartel as his popularity rises. This puts him on the radar of DEA agents Bates (Bradley Cooper) and Treviño (Michael Peña) who piece together clues as to the identity of the mysterious driver known to the cartel as ‘El Tata’.

While there is a sufficient amount of tension, the film focuses on Earl desperately trying to reconnect with his family and make amends for all the times he wasn’t there – including his daughter’s wedding.

When we’re not in the passenger seat we’re following the DEA as they close in on ‘El Tata’. Changes in hierarchy within the cartel threaten to turn everything on its head and Earl is forced to make a number of decisions that will ultimately save him and his family.

The Mule has some heart-warming moments and is blessed with a strong cast. It’s not as gritty as Gran Torino but it worked for me.
  
Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019)
Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019)
2019 | Adventure, Family
The trailer for Dora looked like fun but I went in cautious, luckily I came out having really enjoyed myself. Dora is the step before the new Jumanji films, it's packed with fun daft stuff and it's difficult to hold anything against it.

Dora and her parents live in the jungle where they can explore and learn about everything around them. When her best friend Diego leaves for the city she's left with only Boots, a cheeky monkey, to go on a daily adventure with.

Years later after a breakthrough with their research Dora's parents send her to stay with Diego and his family in the city as they go off looking for their lost Inca civilisation. High school is a bit like a jungle, but not like the one Dora is used to, she muddles through the best she can trying to stay positive.

When the school goes on a field trip to the museum Dora and her friends get cornered by a strange group of people and trapped in a packing crate headed back to the jungle. Dora isn't the only one wanting to know where her parents are, this group of mercenaries are after them too, and the treasure.

Something great about Dora And The Lost City Of Gold is that it doesn't take itself too seriously. The TV series was after my time but it's one of those things you still know about. I was pre-worried about the terrible animation on Boots, it didn't exactly look ground-breaking in the trailer, but once the cute little thing got going I didn't really care. Obviously there are lots of things that happen in the cartoon that don't really lend themselves to the big screen. Possibly the most amusing one is Dora breaking the fourth wall to ask if we can say "delicioso", the reaction from everyone in the scene is hilarious and I'm impressed they decided to do it that way.

Isabela Moner made an excellent impression earlier this year in Instant Family and seeing her name on this was brilliant. The age difference to the show makes sense and I love the way they handled it. There's infectious enthusiasm that it was difficult not to succumb to. Having to act with things that aren't there is incredibly difficult to do realistically but you wouldn't know it to watch her in this.

Dora's parents are played by Michael Peña and Eva Longoria, it seems like an odd pairing but they were really fun together. You know I love Michael Peña, and he's so goofy and fun in this that it made me very happy. His extended rave music piece was thankfully better than the short clip in the trailer. Eva Longoria was much more down to earth and sensible and the dynamic between them worked really well.

The film managed to incorporate the cartoon in quite a fun way. I'm not sure how they expect parents to explain what happened but that's not my problem so I'm purely entertained by it all. I briefly mentioned the animation of Boots, it's not good but the character is amusing, Swiper the fox has a similar animation issue. He's more annoying to watch and see other characters interact with him, but a fox that talks and walks on his hind legs isn't going to be great in this style of film whatever way you try.

Dora And The Lost City Of Gold really feels like it brings together all the values that the show tries to put across, friendship, learning and good behaviour. It has captured it all in a bright and engaging format while keeping the content amusing and suitable for everyone. I'm very pleased I got to see this it's one of the more amusing releases this year.

Originally posted on: https://emmaatthemovies.blogspot.com/2019/08/dora-and-lost-city-of-gold-movie-review.html
  
Fantasy Island (2020)
Fantasy Island (2020)
2020 | Comedy, Horror, Mystery
Michael Peña and Maggie Q in a film... I'm in. This was high up my watchlist even though Blumhouse and I don't always see eye to eye.

A group of strangers arrive on an island, this experience will give them their deepest desires. Wish for it and you can live it, all you have to do is see it through to the end on Fantasy Island.

Evidently, Nic Cage turned down the role of Mr Roarke... I didn't know that he turned down any roles so that (if true) should have been a massive warning sign.

I do have to wonder how some of these stories come about. This is based on the 70's TV show of the same name which was entirely not scary as far as I know. Is there a giant bingo cage full of ping pong balls inscribed with names of old shows and films? Do they just let studios try their luck to spin whatever they get to their niche?

Twisting this tale is a pretty good idea, though I'm not really sure why an island would want to do that to people, but what do I know about malevolent black goop spirits? I was generally on board with the storyline and I thought it wove them together quite well but that ending... are you kidding me? There was some speculation thrown out about what was going on and that thread was believable. The one they gave us was laughable, the absolute worst choice. Had they done a small reshuffle they could have given a much less ridiculous conclusion.

There are a lot of different threads and each one has its moments, as daft as they might be they come together quite well even when the filler is poor.

Maggie Q's performance as Gwen felt like the most believable out of the whole ensemble, but that's not really a surprise from her. Gwen is basically the only decent person in the group and throughout her stay she is the one that's grounded and tries to deal with her situation. That should give us something good to work off... but she's kind of bland on screen compared to everything else.

Michael Peña is always a pull to a movie for me, but Roarke's story wasn't all the effective. Had he been a construct of the island then there might have been something in it, but as it was you didn't get any real struggle with his actions, I couldn't see how a character that wasn't portrayed as actively evil could go along with any of it even given his background.

While the rest of the cast is filled with faces you'd know there isn't really a great performance to be seen. From unlikeable characters to a script that's not amusing when it tries to be, what's left of the film is plain in a glossy kind of way, and by that I mean it's got the makings of something good but misses anything that could have made an impact. The effects are fine for the most part and the sets are fine when you take into consideration they're supposed to be a fantasy and don't need to fit together perfectly. The exception is Roarke's door that Maggie Q interacts with, I liked that move and I don't know whether the rest of the film might have benefitted from something similar.

Bits of the film are quite good and could have made for an exciting watch, but that ending was so frustrating that any enjoyment went straight out the window and any thrill from what I'd already seen was gone. Also, considering it is classified as horror there wasn't really enough, or anything of quality, too make that a reality. Untapped potential in abundance here.

Originally posted on: https://emmaatthemovies.blogspot.com/2020/05/fantasy-island-movie-review.html
  
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Lee (2100 KP) rated The Mule (2018) in Movies

Jan 29, 2019 (Updated Jan 29, 2019)  
The Mule (2018)
The Mule (2018)
2018 | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Clint Eastwood, still going strong! (0 more)
Some seriously underused talent in the form of Bradley Cooper, Michael Peña and Taissa Farmiga (0 more)
A simple, enjoyable story
It appears there's just no stopping Clint Eastwood. Not only does he star in The Mule, a movie 'inspired by a true story', but he's also on producing and directing duties too. Just when you think you've seen him in his last ever role, he's back, 88 years old and still going strong!

Eastwood is Earl Stone, a highly successful horticulturist and Korean war veteran who we first meet in 2005. He arrives at a horticulture convention where he charms the ladies, engages in friendly competitive banter with other exhibitors and sneers at the guy promoting a new way of ordering flowers over the internet, before going on to win first prize for best bloom. But over the years all of this success has been at the expense of his family and while he's buying everyone in the bar a drink to celebrate his win, his daughter is getting married, wondering where her father is while her mother consoles her. A life on the road devoted to work has lost Earl the most important thing in life.

Shifting forward 12 years to 2017 and Earl has been forced to close up the flower business, blaming the damn internet for it all. He pays off his farm workers as best he can before heading off to his granddaughters house where she is holding a garden party. His presence only causes tension though - his daughter can't bear to be anywhere near him, while his ex wife takes the opportunity to once again give him a piece of her mind, disappointed that despite a lifelong devotion to work, he now can't even afford to help pay for his granddaughters upcoming wedding.

So when an offer comes his way, working as a mule for the cartel in return for good money, Earl accepts. An old man traveling, with no previous speeding tickets, is less likely to be stopped than the traditional Latinos they usually use, and Earl benefits by continuing his love of traveling the country in his trusty old truck. He tries the charming old man routine with the cartel members he comes into contact with on both sides of his deliveries, with varying degrees of success, but in-between he manages to just enjoy life - driving on the open road, singing along to the radio for hours on end. And the money certainly is good - Earl is able to buy a brand new truck, help pay for his granddaughters wedding and even help prevent a bar he's been going to for the last 50 or so years from closing. He gradually becomes more trusted within the cartel, becoming responsible for transporting increasingly larger quantities of drugs and drawing the attention of the more powerful cartel members. Attending big parties at their lavish houses, dancing with bikini clad girls and engaging in threesomes, this ninety something certainly is making the most of his twilight years! As power shifts within the cartel and Earl gets drawn deeper in, he finds himself having to decide between the cartel and his family. A decision with very different but serious consequences depending on which path he chooses.

All the while Earl is having his fun, the net is closing in on him in the form of a couple of DEA agents played by Bradley Cooper and Michael Peña. Under pressure to secure a bust from boss Lawrence Fishburne, they're getting closer and closer to capturing the cartels top mule. All three of these actors are seriously underused though in what are essentially pretty standard cop roles.

The Mule is a fairly simple movie with no big sense of drama, and certainly no Breaking Bad levels of cartel tension. However, I was never bored at any point and just found myself completely engrossed in it all, swept along by the genial nature of Earl and what was an enjoyable, sentimental story.
  
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Erika (10538 KP) Jan 29, 2019

I was surprised that I actually really liked this film... and apparently I never wrote a review of it.

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Lee (2100 KP) Jan 29, 2019

I've seen a lot of negativity out there for this. I was surprised I liked it too.

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JT (254 KP) rated End of Watch (2012) in Movies

Mar 10, 2020  
End of Watch (2012)
End of Watch (2012)
2012 | Drama
10
8.7 (13 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Officer Brian Taylor’s (Jake Gyllenhaal) opening monologue in which we see a car chase and shoot out from the front dashboard camera of a Los Angeles black and white, sets the tone for what will be a gripping action flick.

It’s an indication that this cop film is not going to be as clear cut as any before it, and its no frills policy will surely shock most viewers as officers Taylor and Zavala (Michael Peña) tackle everything from the mundane to the murderous on their watch. We follow the pair during their daily routines which includes in the locker room, the briefing room as well as unique camera set ups from inside the patrol car and a hand held that Taylor carries along with him.

It’s incredibly well shot, and takes the conventional cop film and gives it a big slice of realism. It would give you the impression of what a real ride along might include, and the kinds of situations they find themselves in.

“I am the police, and I’m here to arrest you. You’ve broken the law.”

These situations might affect you in different ways, like the one involving two young children, which is particularly hard to watch. Director David Ayer has not shied away from the brutality of the surroundings the officers find themselves in, and uncomfortable scenarios are all part and parcel of this job. It’s not long before they start to ruffle a few feathers not just on the streets but within their own department. When they uncover a drug cartel which is a small piece of a very large jigsaw they are marked for death.

The film is also looked at from the view point of LA’s criminal underworld, where it seems everyone has a hand held camera and likes to film themselves. It seems a bit stupid really and maybe Ayer should have kept that side of the story to the conventional camera, it doesn’t work all that well if I’m honest. The relationship between Taylor and Zavala is probably the most believable of any on screen buddy cop partnerships, not since Lethal Weapon (the first film at least) has a pairing conveyed such emotion and chemistry. You’d almost believe that these two had been together for years.

Ayer has had plenty of experience in this field already, having written the scripts for S.W.A.T, Training Day and The Fast and the Furious, but those films only looked at cops from the outside. End of Watch goes in just that little bit further which helps to make it unique from all the rest.