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Movie Review: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Mr. Rogers Doc Be My Neighbor Review

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Director: Morgan Neville
Writers: Christopher McQuarrie
Cast: Fred Rogers, Joanne Rogers, Betty Aberlin, Yo-Yo Ma, Joe Negri, David Newell, Junlei Li, François Scarborough Clemmons, Jim Rogers, John Rogers, Betty Seamans, Nick Tallo, Margaret Whitmer
Studio: Focus Features
Rated PG-13 | 94 Minutes
Release Date: June 29, 2018

My family and I went to see “that Mr. Rogers movie.” It’s sad when things like kindness and empathy are considered “weird,” isn’t it? My son incredulously asked, “Was he really that way in real life?” In the documentary, Won’t You be my Neighbor, that question is addressed, and the simple answer is yes. Fred Rogers was that way in real life. He was more as well. In a world of CGI space lords and blockbuster action movies, Fred Rogers is the biggest and best hero of any film in 2018.

More below.

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Movie Review: Mission: Impossible – Fallout
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eelyajekiM   |  @   |  
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Mission: Impossible - Fallout

Mission: Impossible – Fallout
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Writer: Christopher McQuarrie
Cast: Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, Michelle Monaghan, Alec Baldwin, Angela Bassett, Henry Cavill, Vanessa Kirby
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Rated PG-13 | 147 Minutes
Release Date: July 27, 2018

Mission: Impossible – Fallout may be the sixth installment of the film franchise, but for something that has been around for the better part of 20 years, it manages to find new and inventive ways to raise the stakes and stay fresh. Tom Cruise reprises his role as IMF agent Ethan Hunt, the fearless spy who is willing to risk his own life to see that the mission gets done. However, the spy faces his greatest test yet when his loyalty to his country is tested and nuclear bombs are scattered in the winds.

While it may be just another Mission: Impossible film, Fallout is anything but that. Full of pulse-pounding moments, the latest entry proves to be the best one yet, as it will have you on the edge of your seat with dazzling action set pieces, brilliant pacing, and a story with so many twist and turns your head will spin. Check out my full review of Mission: Impossible – Fallout below.

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Movie Review: Skyscraper
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eelyajekiM   |  @   |  
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Skyscraper

Skyscraper
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Writers: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Chin Han, Roland Møller, Noah Taylor, Byron Mann, Pablo Schreiber, Hannah Quinlivan
Studio: Universal Pictures
Rated PG-13 | 102 Minutes
Release Date: July 13, 2018

Science and physics do not apply for a blockbuster film. So don’t expect to see any of that in Skyscraper. The film starring Dwayne Johnson seems to defy all logic and sound science, and somehow still manages to be a modestly entertaining film, even with its thin story and cheesy goodness.

So after facing off against some unlikely antagonists, which have taken many different forms throughout the course of his career – from giant beasts, terrorist organizations, even earthquakes – Johnson is up against one of his tallest adversaries to date, a giant burning building filled with terrorists holding his family hostage. Check out our review of Skyscraper below.

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Book Review: Hope Never Dies: An Obama Biden Mystery
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Olympus Athens   |  @   |  
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Hope Never Dies: An Obama Biden Mystery

Hope Never Dies: An Obama Biden Mystery
Paperback | Kindle
Written by Andrew Schaffer
Publisher: Quirk Books
Release date: July 10, 2018

He doesn’t call. He doesn’t write. Joe Biden is feeling abandoned by his former bestie, Barack Obama, since the end of their administration. When a close friend is found dead on the train tracks, Amtrak Joe is compelled to follow up, especially when his name is among the dead man’s belongings. When his BFF finally shows up with pertinent info, Biden is on the case. He, Obama, and Steve, the Secret Service guy, embark on a super fun adventure. However, can Joe Biden get past his flat-left hurt in order to trust the Former President of the United States once again?

More below on Hope Never Dies: An Obama Biden Mystery by Andrew Schaffer.

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Book Review: Brightly Burning By Alexa Donne
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  
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Brightly Burning book cover banner

Brightly Burning
Hardcover | Kindle
By Alexa Donne
Publisher: HMH Books For Young Readers
Release date: May 1, 2018

In Brightly Burning, debut author Alexa Donne takes the classic Jane Eyre tale and sets it in space aboard a starship in a dystopian future during an Earth ice age.

Orphaned at 7, then discarded by her uncaring aunt, Stella Ainsley lives on the starship Stalwart, where she works in engineering as well as helps educate the children. The Stalwart community is an impoverished one, subjected to water and food rationing and frequent power outages. Since Stella has no real passion for engineering, she decides to apply for governess jobs on other starships in the hopes of making a better life for herself. After several letdowns, the nearly 18-year-old Stella is hired to be both a governess and auxiliary engineer on the Rochester, one of the richer, private ships in the fleet. While she enjoys the comforts provided in her new home, there’s something strange about the Rochester and its 19-year-old captain Hugo Fairfax, a man who exhibits inconsistent behavior and is hard for the young girl to figure out. She hears laughter in the corridor at night and has witnessed several events that appear to be sabotage, yet no one else on board will corroborate her findings. To make matters worse, Hugo holds a secret that could alter Stella’s once-hopeful future, as well as threaten the survival of the entire fleet.

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Movie Review: Sicario: Day Of The Soldado
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Three-D   |  
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Sicario: Day Of The Soldado review

Sicario: Day Of The Soldado
Directed by Stefano Sollima
Written by Tyler Sheridan
Starring: Josh Brolin, Benecio Del Toro, Isabela Moner, Catherine Keener, Matthew Modine, Elijah Rodriguez, Jeffrey Donovan
Theatrical Release Date: June 29, 2018

“Adios,” a hitman ruthlessly tells a helpless man on the ground just before he’s about to unload a ton of shells into him. But before this, the hitman tells the man to put on his glasses so he can see who’s going to kill him. And this is the core of the Sicario films, wanting us to see clearly the violence encompassing us.

The enticing trait that the Sicario films (the first film was in 2015) maintain is their menacing sense of dread and impending doom that looms over them. Steady by steady the films tighten, introducing new dangers that squash previous ones, immediately fascinating its viewers with chaos and acquainting them with a sliver of hell while analyzing the War on Drugs.

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Book Review: City Of Lies: A Poison War Novel By Sam Hawke
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Waerloga69   |  @   |  
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City of Lies book review

City of Lies
A Poison War Novel
Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle Edition
Written by Sam Hawke
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: July 3, 2018

I will give you this, the first line of this book is a wicked great start to City of Lies. The attention to detail is amazing, be it the landscape or the characters. And I will be honest, I am not always a fan of debut novels, as I find that they often lack refinement. This one, however, was leaps and bounds above the norm.

The premise is fairly simple: there is a family who has perfected the art of poison. Their job, for they are known as proofers, is to protect the ruling families from harm. The skills they possess enable them to detect or dispense these deadly chemical compounds with relative ease. But, as always, what you do not know can really hurt you. This is a lesson Jovan, and his sister Kalina, learns quickly as the companion and bodyguard to the heir apparent. But as he falls deeper and deeper into plots of intrigue and betrayal, he finds himself at his limits on who and what to trust. For even his closest confidantes keep secrets from him.

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Movie Review: The First Purge
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eelyajekiM   |  @   |  
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The First Purge

The First Purge
Director: Gerard McMurray
Writers: James DeMonaco
Cast: Y’Lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis, Joivan Wade, Luna Lauren Velez, Marisa Tomei
Studio: Universal Pictures
Rated R | 97 Minutes
Release Date: July 4, 2018

It’s funny how current events can influence a film. Okay, maybe not now. Especially not now considering what is happening to this world. But somehow The Purge film franchise has been able to sustain itself by using socioeconomics as a narrative device. For three films we have seen the dangers of what could happen if, for one night, all crime, including murder, was legal. It’s the kind of satirization that is so shocking it’s on the verge of becoming real. Each film took a different perspective of the privileged and disenfranchised trying to survive a night where no one would be punished for their crimes. Although it was fictional, it was hard to ignore some of the parallels the film had with today’s society. Some might say the film wasn’t too far off foreseeing what will happen.

But now we live in a different time, and The First Purge takes a look at the beginning and how it all started. The funny thing is, this new installment draws so much inspiration from the previous 18 months that it is simultaneously scary and funny, all the while continuing to being one of the most inclusive films to date by giving minorities and people of color some of the most exciting action sequences. Check out my full review of The First Purge here below.

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Movie Review: Ant-Man and The Wasp
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eelyajekiM   |  @   |  
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Evangeline Lilly as The Wasp in Ant-Man And The Wasp

Ant-Man and the Wasp
Director: Peyton Reed
Writers: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari, Paul Rudd
Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Tip “T.I.” Harris, David Dastmalchian, Hannah John-Kamen, Abby Ryder Fortson, Randall Park, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Douglas
Studio: Marvel Studios
Rated PG-13 | 118 Minutes

Release Date: July 7, 2018

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is in a very interesting place right now. There is no doubt the fallout of the Avengers: Infinity War left some very deep emotional scars for fans and non-fans alike. That film took some pretty bold risks. And it paid off. Now the studio who placed their success on B-list heroes and relative unknowns can afford to make a few more gambles. Most of which will pay off anyway given the studio’s history. So it should come as no surprise that Ant-Man and the Wasp is yet another solid Marvel Studios film.

The sequel doubles down on the shrinking and growing abilities and integrates those elements into the innovative action sequences to deliver a visual feast that is big on excitement. Check out my full review below.

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Blu-ray Review: The Curse Of The Cat People
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Adam Frazier   |  @   |  
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Blu-ray Review: The Curse of the Cat People 02

The Curse of the Cat People
Blu-ray
Directors: Gunther von Fritsch, Robert Wise
Screenwriter: DeWitt Bodeen
Cast: Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Jane Randolph, Ann Carter, Eve March, Elizabeth Russell, Julia Dean, Sir Lancelot
Distributor: Scream Factory
Not Rated | 70 Minutes
Release Date: June 26, 2018

Directed by Gunther von Fritsch and Robert Wise, 1944’s The Curse of the Cat People is a sequel to Jacques Tourneu’s 1942 film, The Cat People. The film marks Wise’s directorial debut, who would go on to direct classic films such as The Day the Earth Stood Still, West Side Story, The Haunting, and The Sound of Music. Produced by the legendary Val Lewton (I Walked With a Zombie), the film is now available on Blu-ray for the first time thanks to Scream Factory.

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