Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Review

Four teens with attitude are brought into the magical world of Jumanji to save the land from a curse. 

When Spencer  the nerd (Alex Wolff), Fridge the jock (Ser’Darius Blain), Bethany the self-centered (Madison Iseman), and Martha the aloof (Morgan Turner) are sent to the school’s basement for detention, they unwittingly open a portal into another world through a video game console. 

Transported to the world of Jumanji, the four teens inhabit avatars in direct contrast to the real-world selves. Spencer, sickly and scared, becomes the muscle-bound explorer Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson). Fridge enters the game as the zoologist Franklin “Mouse” Finbar (Kevin Hart), a diminutive researcher who acts as Bravestone’s sidekick and weapon holder. Bethany and Martha become Professor Sheldon Oberon (Jack Black) and Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan), respectively. Where the former is now a portly man whose role is the group’s cartographer, the latter becomes the team’s hand-to-hand specialist and bombshell. 

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Pitch Perfect 3 Review

The first Pitch Perfect was lightning in a bottle — it was a sleeper hit that worked the trending a aapella genre for full effect and spawned a radio hit with Anna Kendrick singing the cover for Cups, aka When I’m Gone.

Pitch Perfect 3 brings the Barden Bellas back together for one last go, this time as an overseas touring group for the USO. Hoping to relive their glory days, the Bellas — who have seen their lives outside of the group diminish — compete on an uneven playing field against music groups and DJs vying for a spot as DJ Khaled’s opening act.

Meanwhile, Fat Amy’s (Rebel Wilson) father Fergus (John Lithgow) hopes to build a relationship with his estranged daughter, and Beca (Anna Kendrick) shows off her producing chops when she sits in for an impromptu session at Khaled’s traveling mixing board. 

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi Review

Making a Star Wars film must be one of the most daunting things in Hollywood, even while fans cry, “More, more, more!” with their wallets held wide open.

Disney paid George Lucas billions for the chance, and they’ve gone ham mining the Star Wars legacy for more cartoons, comic books, merchandise, anthology movies, and core trilogy films.

And in the thick of things, the company tries to corral a wary fanbase worried about the House of Mouse damaging a beloved legacy filled with lore and characters that are to American culture what air is to breathing.

It’s my opinion that no one, at this point, can create a movie in the series without inviting the wrath of fans. Not even the legendary Steven Spielberg himself could create a continuation film that would satisfy the masses and keep the vitriol from spreading to his Twitter feed.

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Murder on the Orient Express Review

Agatha Christie, 20th-century’s master crime novelist, is the highest-selling novelist of all time.

All. Time.

With 2-billion books sold, she’s behind only the Bible and Shakespeare.

But a quick survey of my inner and outer circles would either show that people in general just don’t read anymore or that pop-culture — in America — has room for Sherlock Holmes but not for Hercule Poirot, Christie’s master sleuth who’s appeared in 33 of her novels and a set of films, cinema and television, the last being 2013’s Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case with David Suchet ending a 24-year turn as the detective for the United Kingdom’s ITV.

Kenneth Branagh directs and stars in Murder on the Orient Express, a movie with a stacked ensemble cast featuring the likes of Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Willem Defoe, Judi Dench, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Daisy Ridley. It could have done no less — watch any crime procedural on television, and you can spot the master criminal just by the guest appearance.

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Justice League Review

Marvel has Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in the Avengers, but DC has the Trinity — arguably, the three most important and popular comic book heroes in comic book history.

Superman (Henry Cavill), Batman (Ben Affleck), and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) — who made an appearance in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice join forces with Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) to fight cosmic invaders in an action-packed but fluffy movie that tries to shoulder the momentum of this year’s breakout Wonder Woman film.

With Superman dead and the world in turmoil over losing its brightest beacon of hope, fear has risen to new heights. With no protector to keep alien forces at bay, the powerful Mother Boxes awaken and call outside forces to come and claim them.

Hoping to unite the boxes into one construct that will redesign Earth into a fiery landscape more fitting for his kind, the alien Steppenwolf assaults Themyscira and Atlantis and takes the boxes.

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