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Justice League (Spoiler) Movie #review

It’s time to unite the seven or more accurately the 5 or 6 if we trust one hero won’t be dead the entire movie. At any rate, some of the biggest heroes that DC Comics and Warner Brothers has to offer are coming together on the big screen for the very first time. The production was troubled almost from the beginning as story after story appeared in the news signaling this long awaited film will be a disaster. So does “Justice League” offer up an entertaining story that will make fans of these characters happy or should these super friends have called in sick? Let’s dive in and take a look in this review.

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The story is brief but written in such a way that, surprisingly, it offers the viewers a chance to think for themselves without being spoon fed every single detail. We get backstories on each of the heroes and we understand (at least I was able to) their motivation for joining together to stop the villain. We are shown brief moments of bonding between the heroes as they become familiar with each other. Also, each hero has a moment to showcase their special ability and what they bring to the team. Finally, we get back story on the villain, his henchmen (the Parademons), and his motivation for world conquest. Each of the main characters is given enough screen time separate from the team to show us who they are and the world they come from. It’s quick paced but it was enough to get the point across in my opinion. However, because of these facts, we don’t get much character development which is a mark against the film. It’s the necessary information only and it worked for me, surprisingly, even though I would’ve enjoyed a bit more on Cyborg & Flash.

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The special effects and visual graphics in this movie are not great. They aren’t terrible either. Some moments, like Flash running so fast it looks slow motion, were done well I thought. The way Cyborgs body restructured itself depending on the situation or threat also looked believable. However, the end scene where the villain is defeated and a nuclear wasteland is suddenly transformed into a bizarre garden that looks like it was pulled from Tim Burton’s “Alice and Wonderland” movie was noticeably bad. Also, the big battle scene that takes place to describe who the villain is and why he’s on earth looked awful. However, in that scene we did get to see Amazons, Atlanteans, Humans, Greek Gods & a Green Lantern all fight together which was pretty nice for the comic fans like myself. The Green Lantern appearance was a great surprise and I loved that Easter egg. That alone though is not enough to save the film from the bad visual effects that are prevalent from almost beginning to end.

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In all, this film felt like they envisioned 130% of the story and delivered 75-80% on screen. As I watched the plot unfold I felt like the writers had written back stories on back stories and then edited everything down to just a basic understanding of the overall concepts. I imagine the conversation sounding something along the lines of, “We have 5 hours of incredible story written down… here’s all of that in a tweet.” Ok, maybe that’s a gross exaggeration on my part but I do believe the story had so much more depth than what we get on screen. I’m curious to see the “Extended” edition once it’s available on BLU-Ray.

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Justice League” is in theaters now! I am going to recommend you see this on the big screen. It’s a quick paced, brief story, that delivers on the basic concept of bad guy fights good guys and loses. That is not to suggest the manner in which the villain is defeated is ordinary. One positive, if not my favorite, aspect of the movie was the clever method used by the writers to end this movie. After battling the Justice League (individually and collectively) it’s the bad guys own fear that sends him reeling back to his home planet surrounded by his minions who feed on fear. I loved the fact the good guys didn’t beat the larger and more powerful villain by sheer force & number. Instead, the villain beat himself. It was quite poetic. I definitely give credit for creative story telling and surprising us with an offbeat ending that definitely worked. Also, some of the humor in this movie really lands well. Go see this film and stay for TWO post credit scenes!

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Murder On the Orient Express – Movie #review

The worlds greatest detective is about to enjoy a brief moment of rest aboard a train headed to London, or so he thinks. While on board a murder occurs and everyone is a suspect while Detective Hercule Poirot must solve the crime before it’s too late. Does “Murder on the Orient Express” deliver a thought provoking “whodunnit” mystery or does this story veer off on the wrong track? Let’s dive in and take a look in this SPOILER review.

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This film asks a lot from the audience and gives little back in return. First, we’re asked to believe there’s a French version of Sherlock Holmes with a mustache that would’ve made Lemmy Kilmister jealous. Second, we’re asked to tolerate one bad foreign accent after another for almost 2 hours. Thirdly, we’re asked to give a Johnny Depp performance one more chance. Finally, we’re asked to care about a group of people we get to know almost nothing about until the third act of the film. It’s in the conclusion of the film we learn why everyone is important but by then it’s almost too late.

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The overall story isn’t about a murder. It isn’t even about all the people in the movie. It’s actually about the detective and his method of solving crimes. This is a very important bit of information to have if you decide to watch this either at home or the theater. I will give credit to the fact they made this key element front and center at the very beginning of the film. I realized the story will revolve about Hercule Poirot and his ability to see things as they are and as they will become. This method of story telling was actually one of the highlights for me from beginning to end. It felt similar to the new “Sherlock Holmes” movies with Robert Downey Jr, however, this was more lighthearted.

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Mostly, the talent in this film is all grade A talent, with the exception of Depp who is still struggling to find his voice in a role. Everyone plays their part well for the time they are on screen. As the film progresses we get a little bit more information about each character and their possible motivation for killing a man. However, we get to know so little about the people on the train it was difficult to invest any emotion or thought into them. It felt very surface level and thin and that was not what I was hoping for from this movie.

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Murder on the Orient Express” is in theaters now! There are so many other movies that are in theaters right now it’s difficult to recommend you spend your hard earned dollars or time on this particular story. I thought (at best) it’s an ok movie that doesn’t really go anywhere. However, the big reveal of everyone being guilty of murder was a surprise. Unfortunately, the moral of the movie felt like, if everyones guilty than nobody gets in the trouble. Poirot tells the murders that in order for him to stay silent about the crime they’ll need to kill him. They try but it was all a set up because he only wanted to see if they were capable of killing again, or if the murder they committed on the train was a one time deal. After he realizes they’re willing to try and kill again, he says goodbye and leaves the train at the next stop and let’s the murders get away. If you’re confused right now, I’m relaying the plot points of the movie accurately. Go see “Thor Ragnarok” instead of this movie.

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