Reviews: The Films & T.V. Shows of Summer 2019

Courtesy+of+Netflix.
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Reviews: The Films & T.V. Shows of Summer 2019

Courtesy of Netflix.

Courtesy of Netflix.

Courtesy of Netflix.

Courtesy of Netflix.

Cody Downey

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School is back once again concluding another summer movie season. This summer was filled had something for every audience member. Whether you are a child or an adult, there was a movie to watch just for you. However, it is impossible to watch every movie that came out during this summer. To see what is worth watching, check out these short reviews written by The Maroon’s reviewers.

UglyDolls

Written by Cody Downey

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“UglyDolls” follows a group of dolls declared too ugly to become children’s toys that live in a place called UglyVille. After Moxy, played by Kelly Clarkson, discovers the Institute of Perfection through a mysterious tunnel, she and her friends decide to prove themselves as worthy toys. The film does a good job of providing a positive message for its young audience and hosting an all-star cast of actors/singers. However, the film has very little substance with no decent humor and very dull songs. “UglyDolls” may be good for a very small child but, it provides nothing for the older people viewing alongside them.

Rating: 3 out of 10

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

Written by Cody Downey

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Courtesy of Netflix.

“Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” retells the story of Ted Bundy, played by Zac Efron, as he is put on trial for the brutal murders of numerous young girls. While the story goes on, the perspective of Bundy’s then-girlfriend Liz Kendall, played by Lily Collins, shows how the trial affected those closest to Bundy. The performances by Efron and Collins are spectacular and provide most of the film’s enjoyment. However, the film can be dull in terms of the slowness of events and the subplot of Liz Kendall dating a coworker. “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” is a fairly enjoyable drama that, while slow, paints an interesting profile of the notorious murderer.

Rating: 7 out of 10

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

Written by Cody Downey

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“John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” brings back the title character, once again played by Keanu Reeves, as he is hunted down by his fellow assassins. The film provides almost nonstop action with wave after wave of enemies coming after John Wick. However, these fight scenes go on rather long taking up numerous amount of runtime. The violence of the film is also fantastic allowing for a good amount of gore and destruction. “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” is a very fun action movie that is sure to satisfy any action movie fan but may bore the average filmgoer.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Aladdin

Written by Cody Downey

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Courtesy of Disney.

“Aladdin” follows the story of a lowly street rat named Aladdin, played by Mena Massoud, who is forced by Grand Vizier Jafar, played by Marwan Kenzari, to retrieve a magic lamp from the Cave of Wonders. After being left for dead by Jafar, Aladdin rubs the lamp to discover that a genie, played by Will Smith, was trapped inside and now offers him three wishes. Using the help of Genie, Aladdin uses his wishes to attempt to woo the princess of Agrabah, Jasmine, played by Naomi Scott. The film does a good job reimaging the original Disney classic while also bringing a new spin to the tale. The performances by Massoud, Scott and Smith provide enjoyable main character and the film’s soundtrack contains many great renditions of the original songs. However, the film did have some subplots that felt unnecessary and some characters who were underutilized. “Aladdin” may not top the original but it still provides a fun movie with great music to go along with it.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Dark Phoenix

Written by Cristo Dulom

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Courtesy of Marvel.

The basic plot of “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” takes place nine years after “X-Men: Apocalypse” and focuses on Jean Grey’s development after taking in a cosmic force in space. She develops into a villain, which again reignites the X-Men and Magneto’s mutants’ conflict. However, the film awkwardly shifts from this point and reveals a different villain that subverts from the excitement built up through advertisement. Further, character development of Michael Fassbender’s Magneto is thrown out of the window when he again is pitted against the X-Men after being introduced as a benevolent force. Overall, the film was a lack-luster conclusion to the X-Men saga, a series of movies spanning 19 years. The saving graces of this movie are the performances of James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender and the fight scene on the train toward the end of the movie.

Rating: 5 out of 10

Murder Mystery

Written by Cody Downey

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Courtesy of Netflix.

“Murder Mystery” reunites “Just Go With It” costars Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston as longtime married couple Nick and Audrey Spitz. After finally going on a long promised European vacation, the couple are invited to a billionaire’s birthday by kind stranger Charles Cavendish, played by Luke Evans. However, things get complicated when a murder takes place at the party making everyone, including the Spitzs’, suspects. The couple decides to investigate the murder putting themselves in a plot out of a murder novel. The film provides very few laughs but a few chuckles. Many of the characters are one-note and have little depth. However, the murder mystery itself proved more interesting than the supposed comedy. Sadly, this doesn’t completely save the movie. “Murder Mystery” is a very disappointing movie that includes a decent mystery but also contains a bare-bones comedy.

Rating: 3 out of 10

Yesterday

Written by Cody Downey

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Courtesy of Universal.

“Yesterday” follows musician Jack Malik, played by Hamish Patel, who after numerous failures is ready to give up his music career. However, after being struck during a worldwide blackout, Jack awakens to discover that The Beatles don’t exist anymore with no one having knowledge of their music. With this knowledge, he decides to use them to his advantage and become a musical genius. However, it all may come at the cost of his friendship with his childhood friend and former manager Ellie, played by Lily James, and his integrity knowing he didn’t write the music. The film provides a refreshingly original concept in a world of remakes and sequels. Patel gives both a great musical and acting performance along with other standouts including James. However, the logic of the film doesn’t always add up leaving much to be desired. “Yesterday” is a fresh concept that while may not have the cleanest plot makes up for it in its’ charm and performances.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Spider-Man: Far from Home

Written by Sam Lucio

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Courtesy of Marvel Studios.

Fan favorite Tom Holland returns in Marvel’s latest blockbuster and “Avengers: Endgame” spiritual successor, “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” In “Far From Home,” Peter Parker embarks on a summer science trip with his classmates to Europe but his super hero duties keep creeping into his personal life as well as his grief over the death of Tony Stark. Tom Holland does a phenomenal job portraying Peter Parker/Spider-Man and his performance is supported well by other characters, most notably Ned (played by Jacob Batalon), MJ (played by Zendaya) and Mysterio (played by Jake Gyllenhaal). Overall, “Far From Home” is a notch better than 2017’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming” especially when it comes to character development and how characters interact with one another. “Far From Home” also has improved action scenes compared to “Homecoming,” with one scene in particular being one of the more creative fight scenes in any Spider-Man movie.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Stranger Things: Season 3

Written by Sam Lucio

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Courtesy of Netflix.

After season two of “Stranger Things,” the magic of the Netflix series started to wear off for me. Season two didn’t feel as creative as the first one and seemed to lose what made “Stranger Things” such a huge hit in the first place. “Stranger Things: Season 3,” however, more than recaptured its claim as one of Netflix’s premier series. Season three dives head first and is fully entrenched in 80’s nostalgia as the season is centered around the grand opening of the town’s new mall and the secrets it may keep. Season three is incredibly fun yet also has possibly the scariest scenes to date in the series. Each cast member delivers a spectacular performance and gives their characters their best moments to date. The plot is creative, intense and the stakes are set high which made me genuinely care about each character. “Stranger Things: Season 3” had minimal weaknesses and will be very interesting to see how the series moves forward.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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