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Review: Dr. Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness (2022)

If you asked me to describe Sam Raimi, the director of Dr. Strange in one word, that word would be “Bonkers”. From his early days as the director and creator of the Evil Dead Franchise, his movies have always had a feeling of being off the wall. This movie was no exception.

The movie picks up after the events of WandaVision, which is now currently playing on Disney Plus. If you have not seen the show, I would highly recommend watching it before you see the movie. Things will make much more sense if you do. Without giving too much away about the story, Dr. Strange recruits Wanda in helping him understand the Multiverse. This is where things go sideways.

Besides Wanda, we have our usual cast of characters, Wong, Mordo and Dr. Christine Palmer. A new character we meet is America Chavez, a girl who has the power to travel through multiverses. I do wish they spent a bit more time on her backstory, but maybe that will come in future projects. Wanda’s importance in the movie, I will not reveal, but safe to say she plays an essential role in the movie.

The movie which I enjoyed, felt messy and a bit all over the place with a script that felt as if it was being held together by a band-aid. There was not enough backstory to many elements of the movie, elements that I believe were more important to the overall movie. The stunning visuals of the different set pieces, however, which makes the viewing experience a blast as we watch Dr. Strange and his companions travel throughout the multiverse. (There are some exciting surprises in this movie as well).

The performances were fine, nothing special except for Elizabeth Olsen, who as Wanda, shows her full range of acting ability. Picking up where she left off in WandaVision, Olsen shows off her acting range as she seamlessly moves through a vast array of emotions throughout the movie and in my opinion, is this movie’s true star.

Is this movie the best of the MCU? No. I don’t feel as if I know any more about Phase Four now than I did before watching the movie. There are still so many questions I have.

Where this movie ranks is somewhere in the middle tier and make sure you stick around to the end as there are 2 credit scenes.

Rating – 3 out of 4 stars (writer: Marc Moses)

Review: Moonfall, IMAX (in theaters FRI 02.04.22)

Moonfall, Don’t look up…oh wait, that’s another movie

First things first.  I don’t see Roland Emmerich movies because it’s Shakespeare (he’s done ID4, 2012, Day After Tomorrow, Godzilla).  I see them because he’s got a great visual eye for giving us world destruction playing out on the big screen (and in IMAX no less).  How he was snubbed in 2009 for even an Oscar nomination for Special Effects for ‘2012’ is beyond me…especially considering the Academy can nominate up to 5 films in each category, and that year (2009), they only slid the nom to 3 total films, and ‘2012’ – which had some of the most amazing detail in death and destruction I’ve seen on the screen, was snubbed for even a nod.  That aside, he’s charging back with Moonfall, a far-reaching story about an intrepid team of astronauts and star gazers who are convinced that the moon is in fact, not the shiny glowing white ball we’ve thought it was all these years.  Not just that, but’s its orbit around the earth is way off, and in just mere weeks, it’ll crash into the planet.  Yikes!  Awesome setup for sure, and as you can expect worldwide mayhem ensues with an eye-pleasing display of destruction peppered throughout, but sadly, the film misses.  Not because it rehashes some very similar elements from the film ‘2012.’ Including the family dynamic and sacrifice – but really because its just too unbelievable.  Even if we could hatch the on-screen plan to save us, this is America – we would botch the execution and then the laughable response to the crisis by the military in the film wouldn’t be so bad.  Did I mention that our 3 heroes have hatched their plan to ‘grab a space shuttle’ and go up to the moon…all by themselves? Yikes, again.  See this for the effects on the big screen.  See it because Halle looks super-cute in her wig and easily slides through this subject matter.  Heck, even see it because the comic relief character (aka Samwell from Game of Thrones, John Bradley), is a delight as a fervent, if not neurotic astronomy lover.   The film does touch on overall creationism with an intriguing theory that had me thinking (no spoilers), for that, I give the film a plus.  But even that can’t save this one.  Fearless forecast: 18M weekend box office (IMAX prices!) C+

Movie Screening: Black As Night (THU 09.30.21 @ 9PM)

HOME MOVIE SCREENING: Black As Night (THU 09.30.21 @ 9PM @ Your House!)  The horror macabre lovers at Blumhouse TV & Amazon Studios are back at it.  This time with an eerie new tale of a resourceful black teenage girl who takes on a group of deadly vampires down in the creole of New Orleans.  This is no standard vampire tale as our 15yo heroine frantically fights the masses while trying to turn her friends back into human beings.  What’s a young girl to do?  Why not find out with us!  This is a special contest that not only gets you streaming access for 2 to the film, but you also get an exclusive invite to the online after-party with the stars of the film, filmmakers, producers, acting talent and a LIVE DJ!  This is the Halloween jam you and your friends have been looking for, so why not post a pic on our Facebook page, win some tix and catch the horror!  Look for us on Facebook @geekfore and start posting! #staygeeky #Blumhouse #Black As Night

Contest Details:

You know we like you to show your love of the studio and this one is no different.  Post up any image, any meme for any past Blumhouse movie (don’t know any?  IMDB is your friend!).  Add the hashtag #blumhouse and you’re all set.  If we LIKE your post, please send us both names and email addresses for you and your online guest.  We’ll send that to the studio who will send you the unique access codes for the online movie screening and party!    In a rare twist, we’re also allowing you to win more than once (we may LIKE many of your posts!).  If you are LIKE’d more than once, you must provide unique names/email addresses for the studio to send the access codes to!

TwiView: Candyman (2021)

Candyman (2021) He’s still got it!  Although this time out he’s much more stylized and just as deadly.  Don’t say his name 5 times, it’ll only draw him out.  I’d call this a continuation of the original, yet still a sequel, but this time it’s a struggling artist named Anthony who happens upon the lore of Candyman and the derelict public housing of Cabrini Green which is now a fully gentrified bustling area.   It’s still a horror film, but done slicker, almost like the film is a work of art on the screen, an ode to the character Candyman.  As Anthony descends into the madness, he discovers there was always something more to the legend, and that the plight of today’s world brings a necessity for Candyman.  But, for all it’s vision (and it does look good sans the blood splattering), and it’s storied reach (thanks to Oscar winner Jordan Peele), there’s an element missing.  The original left you scared in real life to utter his name in your own mirror.  After watching this version, it almost felt like a harmless dare to speak it.  You’ll like the urban style, you’ll love the on screen delight for the eyes of a bustling Chicago art scene – you’ll be ho-hum about those who ‘get it’ from Candyman but you’ll revel in the fact that Candyman still lives.  And what is up with #VanessaLWilliams from the original? It’s been 30yrs since the original film and she still looks 25?! You go girl 🙂 B-

TwiView: M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘Old’


TwiView (Movie reviews in 140 words or less, cause ain’t nobody got time for that!)
M. Night still has it!  Don’t try and scour the edges of this slick noir for the clues, you will not guess this twist, just sit back and enjoy it.  That said, you will get a classic suspenseful treat that will have you guessing, figuring, pointing, laughing, and maybe even shedding a tear or two.  Simple premise, a family is on a tropical vacation at the beach and begin aging rapidly with no explanation as to why or what’s to become of them.  This is not a perfect M. Night rollout, but he has mastered the art of subterfuge by showing you everything and telling you nothing (till the end).  Did I love the twist?  Let’s just say it makes sense at the end, but I never saw it coming, maybe you will – get to the megaplex asap and post up your plot questions on our Facebook page…we have a few ourselves, but we’ll wait until the film opens (FRI 07.23.21 at theaters everywhere!)!  A-

MOVIE SCREENING/Premiere: Without Remorse (THU 04.29.21)

Film deets:

Starring Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, Jodie Turner-Smith, Lauren London, Brett Gelman, Jacob Scipio, Jack Kesy, Colman Domingo, Todd Lassance, Cam Gigandet, Luke Mitchell and Guy Pearce

Without Remorse

An elite Navy SEAL uncovers an international conspiracy while seeking justice for the murder of his pregnant wife in Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, the explosive origin story of action hero John Clark – one of the most popular characters in author Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan universe. When a squad of Russian soldiers kills his family in retaliation for his role in a top-secret op, Sr. Chief John Kelly (Michael B. Jordan) pursues the assassins at all costs. Joining forces with a fellow SEAL (Jodie Turner-Smith) and a shadowy CIA agent (Jamie Bell), Kelly’s mission unwittingly exposes a covert plot that threatens to engulf the U.S. and Russia in an all-out war. Torn between personal honor and loyalty to his country, Kelly must fight his enemies without remorse if he hopes to avert disaster and reveal the powerful figures behind the conspiracy.  The film is rated R with a running time of 110 minutes.

CONTEST DETAILS:

We want your Michael B image/meme posts – in all his glory (keep it PG-13 though).  Go back to the Facebook post that brought you here and start posting images of Michael B Jordan with the hashtag #WithoutRemorse. 

If GeekForE ‘LIKE’s’ your Facebook post, you are a winner and we’ll Inbox you your unique redemption code to stream the movie the day before it opens (THU 04.29.21 @ 7PM).  If GeekForE ‘LOVE’s’ your post, then you’re one of our two World Premiere/VIP prize winners and we’ll send you details on how to attend the VIP screening on THU 04.29.21 @ 8PM.  Now go get posting and don’t forget the hashtag!

MOVIE REVIEW: The Father (opening 03.12.21 in theaters, 03.26.21 SVOD)

Film Synopsis: Anthony is 80, mischievous, living defiantly alone and rejecting the caretakers that his daughter, Anne, encouragingly introduces. Yet help is also becoming a necessity for Anne; she can’t make daily visits anymore and Anthony’s grip on reality is unravelling. As we experience the ebb and flow of his memory, how much of his own identity and past can Anthony cling to? How does Anne cope as she grieves the loss of her father, while he still lives and breathes before her? THE FATHER warmly embraces real life, through loving reflection upon the vibrant human condition; heart-breaking and uncompromisingly poignant – a movie that nestles in the truth of our own lives.

Geek For E Review (Matthew Snider)

This movie is not for the faint of heart nor the weak-minded. What unfolds is a “memento-esque” deep dive into dementia and how it impacts not only the person diagnosed with it but everyone around them as well.

Sir Anthony Hopkins puts in a spectacular performance as Anthony, an aging dad who seems to be quickly on the decline with his understanding of reality in his truly hard-to-watch battle with dementia.

The film takes place mostly in Anthony’s flat of over 30 years, or so it seems. As his mind unravels we are invited into what he sees. Some of which makes sense, yet a lot of which doesn’t. We meet Anne, his daughter and caretaker, and a few other outside characters but it mainly focuses on Anthony and Anne and their ups and downs in navigating this tumultuous relationship and disease impacting The Father.

Not only do the performances pull on your heartstrings, but it also brings you along for a ride on a roller coaster of emotions which is hard to swallow. You see so many sides of this disease ravage both Anthony and Anne that you are left exhausted and confused by the end of the film.

Directed by Florian Zeller, and lead by Sir Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Colman, Mark Gatiss, and many more familiar faces you can’t help but feel for these people, their story, their pains, and figuring out what the next right thing is for each of them.

What plagues this film is the direction giving by Florian. It follows the mind (or lack thereof) of Anthony which takes away from a fluid and linear timeline/story. Due to this “memento-esque” storytelling sometimes you lose the characters and their storyline amongst trying to figure out what the hell is going on.

While this technique is used to show the sheer confusion of dementia itself, it takes away from the storyline and the pain suffered by all a little too much.

The Father is a behind-the-scenes look into this degrading, frustrating, and life-altering disease that impacts more than 6 million Americans, and more than 50 million worldwide. 

It is a film that brings to the light family, and the senior years, and all that can come with it. The Father brings to the screen a story that is almost always behind closed doors, a story that asks you to suffer alongside its characters, to feel for them, to want to help, and to just sit and hold them. 

The Father is a film I recommend you to see, albeit with a box of tissues nearby.

MOVIE REVIEW: Judas and the Black Messiah (everywhere FRI 02.12.21)

Judas and the Black Messiah tells the true story of the rise of Fred Hampton (Kaluuya) as the revolutionary leader of the Black Panther Party and how the organization is infiltrated, and he is ultimately assassinated with the help of a fledgling crook named Bill O’Neal (Stanfield) supported by an unscrupulous FBI system led by J Edgar Hoover (Martin Sheen).   

First and foremost, major props to Director Shaka Smith.  He is young, but learned, as this is his first true feature film and he succeeds admirably with his tone and angle usage.  The tension the audience feels with the inevitable betrayal and death of its lead character was palpable from the opening scene (and the lead wasn’t even in it).  It’s not surprising he was given the helm of this subject matter (he co-wrote the screenplay) and we even chimed in to ask why he wanted to make a film focused on the Black Panthers?  “The Panthers led with love,” he said.  It’s that type of passion that led him to make what he calls “a vast film, a dense film.”  He succeeded, watch the film.  You’ll see it’s range, its power to incite, Hampton’s propensity to love through a sea of racial hatred and most importantly ‘feel’ what it’s like to be a ‘Judas.’

Lead performances here are no surprise from Daniel Kaluuya (Fred Hampton) and Lakeith Stanfield (Bill O’Neal).  Kaluuya is a past Oscar nominee, I knew he could handle the subject matter but asked all the same what drove you to portray Hampton in the film?  Said Kaluuya, “his love for his people and I’m humbled and honored.”  What I wanted to see  (and have not from his past work) is his ability to feel.  To show a loving touch and nature.  His relationship with Deborah Johnson (mother to his unborn child, played masterfully by Dominique Fishback…more on her later) is where I hoped he could prove it.  And he did.  His ability to be softer and accessible and still be convincing as a revolutionary leader is what I needed to see, and I did (all without dropping his accent).  He’ll get an awards nod for this, but regrettably, he won’t win it.  Not because he isn’t that good with the character, but I’ve seen the Best Actor winner already (no spoilers from a Geek!)

Lakeith Stanfield who portrays the ‘Judas’ that is Bill O’Neal gets a nod and hats off from me.   It’ll be sensitive to read, but I’ll write it all the same – he brings (to me) a bit of Richard Pryor ‘scared n*gga’ to his roles which seems to fit this film perfectly, after all he’s portraying a Judas – he should be afraid.  Not in his dialogue, but in his eyes when it’s needed.  From the opening scene which showcases his characters range as a thief, you can see an underlying fear which stays with him as he confidently infiltrates the Panthers, rises through its ranks, deals with the FBI and even becoming Head of Black Panther security.  All the while with a confident but doomed look for the fraud he knows he is.   There’s a moral burden even portraying such a character, and he spoke about it at great length.

The unsung hero here is relative newcomer but soon to be household name, Dominique Fishback who portrays the lead character Hampton’s empowering, viscerally literal, and fierce girlfriend and fiancé.   I had to look up the actress, could there be anything in her past work that showed an inkling of what she poured out here?  From her introduction, playing a waifish adorizing young girl – her delivery was perfect.  Deifying Hampton but still with a mind of her own – hats off to Director/writer Shaka King for writing her well and major ups to the make-up/production crew for her onscreen appearance.  I thought she was 16 when her character meets Hampton for the first time at a rally, I had to Google to find out, the actress is nearing 30yo.  You go girl, reached right back into that younger time and brought her through with shining colors, I hope the awards machine sees you this season.

See this film people, if not for its social relevancy – than just to get a bit of education in Black History month.  Do you really know what the Black Panthers were all about?  A- #JudasandtheBlackMessiah

Judas and the Black Messiah (in theaters and streaming exclusively on HBO Max, FRI 02.12.21) – Win Tickets Now!

Judas and the Black Messiah tells the true-life story of Fred Hampton who was the Chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party that was fatefully betrayed by an FBI placed informant into the organization.  Academy Award nominee Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out) stars as Hampton, with thriller alum LaKeith Stanfield (Sorry To Bother You) starring as William O’Neal the fateful betrayer. 

CONTEST:

Find the Facebook post from us that brought you here and post up your best homages to actor Daniel Kaluuya, LaKeith Stanfield or meme a message on the Black Panther Party.  You can get creative with your posts, just stay PG-13.  To be eligible, YOU MUST add the hashtag #JudasAndTheBlackMessiah to your post. If GeekForE ‘LIKE’s’ your post, you are a winner and we’ll Inbox you your unique redemption code.  The code can be used at participating movie theaters or through Fandango online (we’ll send you the additional details!)  Facebook voting begins right now, and all LIKE’s will be issued by THU 02.11.21 (just in time for the show!)

PVOD & Twitter Watch Party: The Croods: A New Age (FRI 12.18.20 @ 7PM)

The future ain’t what it used to be.

DreamWorks Animation’s THE CROODS: A NEW AGE is on PVOD this Friday, December 18th

Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | #CroodsNewAge

The Croods have survived their fair share of dangers and disasters, from fanged prehistoric beasts to surviving the end of the world, but now they will face their biggest challenge of all: another family

The Croods need a new place to live. So, the first prehistoric family sets off into the world in search of a safer place to call home. When they discover an idyllic walled-in paradise that meets all their needs, they think their problems are solved … except for one thing. Another family already lives there: the Bettermans. 

The Bettermans (emphasis on the “better”)—with their elaborate tree house, amazing inventions and irrigated acres of fresh produce—are a couple of steps above the Croods on the evolutionary ladder. When they take the Croods in as the world’s first houseguests, it isn’t long before tensions escalate between the cave family and the modern family. 

Just when all seems lost, a new threat will propel both families on an epic adventure outside the safety of the wall, one that will force them to embrace their differences, draw strength from each other and forge a future together. 

The Croods: A New Age features the voice talent of returning stars Nicolas Cage as Grug Crood, Catherine Keener as Ugga Crood, Emma Stone as their daughter, Eep; Ryan Reynolds as Eep’s boyfriend, Guy; Clark Duke (Hot Tub Time Machine) as Thunk and Cloris Leachman as Gran. They’re joined by new stars Peter Dinklage (HBO’s Game of Thrones) as Phil Betterman, Leslie Mann (Blockers) as Hope Betterman, and Kelly Marie Tran (Star Wars: Episode VIII-The Last Jedi) as their daughter, Dawn. 

The film is directed by Joel Crawford, who has worked on multiple DreamWorks Animation films, including Trolls and the Kung Fu Panda franchise, and is produced by Mark Swift (Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted).

Genre: Animated Comedy

Cast: Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman, Clark Duke, Leslie Mann, Peter Dinklage, Kelly Marie Tran

Directed by: Joel Crawford

Produced by: Mark Swift