‘Rampage’ Film Review

Grade: C+

Dwayne Johnson in Rampage (2018)

‘Rampage’ may be a couple of weeks old, but that does not mean I do not have things to say about this video game adaptation. First of all, it had potential to be amazing and fun; secondly, it is an excuse for Dwayne Johnson to make another possible action blockbuster. Who am I to ponder the existence of the ‘Rampage’ movie? All I cared about when seeing this was seeing monsters destroy buildings in awesome, epic fashion! For those expecting more of the same, you have to get through an hour of movie just to see some destruction. At least, in a way, there are moments of self-awareness, and once we see the action unfold, we are treated to excitement!

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‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ Film Review

Grade: B

It is hard to believe that after twenty-two years, a sequel to ‘Jumanji’ exists (especially since star Robin Williams passed away three years ago). At one time, this was supposed to be a straight “re-imagining”, until fan backlash over the announcement coming after Williams’ passing caused Sony Pictures to hire Scott Rosenberg to re-write the script as both a reboot and a sequel (Think that is impossible? Look at ‘Vacation’ (2015)). For those still skeptical about whether this should exist, you have nothing to fear; ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ is not another ‘Ghostbusters’ (2016), nor is it another ‘Emoji Movie’. This movie is as fun and thrilling as expected from the trailer. The only worry is that ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ could have been annoying. Yes, at times, it can feel tiresome, but with its never-ending energy and fast performances, the journey is worth the hour and fifty-nine minute run time. 

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‘Baywatch’ Film Review

Grade: D-

While Jeff Gordon’s ‘Baywatch’ tries to be a more ridiculous film adaptation of the popular TV guilty pleasure of the same name – which starred David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson (who each make brief- respective -cameos) – it barely feels like a comedy. One rule about turning a popular TV drama into a feature-length comedy reboot is to not take the material too seriously (Given that the show is famous for its use of slow-motion with Pamela Anderson jiggling her way through the beach with her bosoms, why would anyone?) and just have fun; It is the same rule which made the ‘Jump Street’ movies and ‘Starsky & Hutch’ work while leaving not only references to their respective source material, but saving the special surprise – which is the original actor cameo – for us to enjoy. ‘Baywatch’ does have the ingredients necessary for a good film adaptation of a successful TV show, but it feels like there is not much to work with, and we feel spoiled; Also, there is too much of a tonal inconsistency floating above the surface of ‘Baywatch’.

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‘Moana’ Film Review

Grade: A

Moana Movie Poster

Although not the first ethnic Disney leading lady, (and certainly not the first female to take charge and become independent) there is something about Moana (Voice of newcomer Aul’i Cravalho) that makes her an inspiration to young girls like the few who have come before her. Much like Merida from ‘Brave’, she is a free spirit who longs for adventure and can be a bit stubborn. Comparing her to Mulan from the movie of the same name, and Princess Anna from ‘Frozen’, she is determined to reach her goal and do what’s right even if the impossible tries stopping her. She is the leading lady that all the girls in the audience should look up to. (Disney is full of these women, trust me.) I say leading lady, because she does not like to be acknowledged as a princess. (Which, in turn, leads to a very clever satirical joke by Dwayne Johnson’s demigod Maui regarding the stereotype.)

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