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Flash Movie Review: Violent Night

LATELY, I HAVE BEEN GOING THROUGH several resumes, looking to fill a position at the office. The first thing that will make me discard a candidate is when there are words misspelled. I figure if they cannot take the time to proofread their work, what quality of work will they provide for the department, in turn the company. There was one resume where according to the candidate, they started at their first job before they started high school; they did not catch the error in the start dates they listed. For those that pass the first step in the interview process, I look for stability; would the candidate be a good fit into the department and would they enjoy the position/work. I firmly believe if a person doesn’t like what they are doing at work, then they need to look for a new position either at the company or at a different one. I cannot tell you how many times I am at a store and see at least one employee who looks disengaged or bored. Worse is when you have to deal with an employee who is not happy a/k/a rude. Asking a worker where an item is in the store and they just motion with a head nod and say, “over there,” is rude and shows poor customer service. They obviously do not care about the company that employs them.      I DO REALIZE THE PERSON WHO is employed could actually be a great worker; but they were not the right person for the right job. When I do a face to face interview, I want to learn if the candidate is a visual or audio learner, is a self-starter or prefers being told what to do, along with their ideal work environment. If a person is not capable of multitasking and the job requires it, they would not be a good fit. In turn, they could become frustrated or annoyed and that is not a path to becoming successful. The employees I hire I want to be the best they can be and to be happy. For many of us who work in an office or plant, we sometimes spend more time with our co-workers than with our own families. And speaking of families, I have worked at a couple of family owned businesses and in my experiences they have their own set of unique challenges. Sometimes you get next generation personnel who love their family business and want it to be the best. Other times you get individuals who feel entitled and rest on their family’s name. I think the main character in this film, Santa Claus, is at a crossroads regarding his position in this comedic, action crime movie.      A GROUP OF HIGHLY SKILLED ROBBERS descend on the estate of a wealthy family just when Santa is there to leave presents. With the thieves on Santa’s naughty list, this Santa is going to leave them something more than just a lump of coal. With David Harbour (Black Widow, No Sudden Move) as Santa, John Leguizamo (Summer of Sam, Moulin Rouge!) as Scrooge, Beverly D’Angelo (National Lampoon’s Vacation franchise, American History X) as Gertrude, Alex Hassell (Suburbicon, The Tragedy of Macbeth) as Jason and Alexis Louder (Copshop, The Tomorrow War) as Linda; this was a fun, twisted spin on the Santa Claus character. David was the standout of the cast, with John Leguizamo close behind him. The story is a mix of Bad Santa, Home Alone, and Krampus in a way, but had some differences too. Several characters were close to cartoonish, with some delivering cheesy lines. I liked the sweetness factor in the script and appreciated how the writers mixed those scenes into the violent ones. Make no mistake, there is a lot of blood and violence on display in this picture; however, the craziness factor acts like a salve to smooth out the contrasts. And to tell you the truth, I think this Santa would be fun to host someday.                                                   

3 stars  

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Flash Movie Review: Ambulance

I KNEW AS I WAS SWALOWING the ibuprofen that I had just taken my last ride on a roller coaster. It was a wild ride, I have to admit; there were loop and corkscrew turns, besides a death drop into a short tunnel that looked like it was too small for us to enter. The funny thing is out of the entire ride the worst part for me was the initial climb up. There is something about the roller coaster cars chugging up the incline while my back is pinned to the back of the seat that makes me uncomfortable. I think part of the reason is due to the height of the climb. At some point there is no visible structure around the cars, so it looks like we are balancing on a single set of tracks or a single track that makes me uncomfortable. I do not know if I am afraid of a strong wind pushing us over or that the passengers’ weight distribution is lopsided in one of the cars that makes it topple over, taking the rest of the cars with it. I just know I have never liked that part of the ride since I was a little kid. As we climbed out of the car, I had to hold onto the banister to steady myself as I noticed I had just gotten a headache. Also, my stomach was queasy. Hence, the drug and the realization my days of riding were over.      I THOUGHT I WOULD MISS THE excitement and thrill of riding a roller coaster; but to tell you the truth, I actually do not feel any sense of loss or feelings of being left out while hanging out at the base of the attraction while my friends and family are enjoying the ride. I still marvel at the engineering technology of a roller coaster and enjoy hearing the screams from passengers who whiz by me as I am safe and comfortable on a nearby bench. I have a relative who is a senior citizen who still rides roller coasters. In fact, they have performed a couple of wedding ceremonies while on a roller coaster; it is true! They made arrangements with the park to have the entire wedding party ride the attraction. When they reached the pinnacle after the beginning climb, the park stopped the ride and my relative performed the service. Right after they pronounced them man and wife, the park started the ride back up and the wedding party completed the course. I appreciated the party’s excitement at the unusual venue; I find my thrills and excitement in different ways as well and one of them is watching a film like this action, crime drama.      IN DESPARATE NEED OF MONEY, A husband turns to his adoptive brother for help. To get the funds, he would only have to be a participant in a bank robbery. With Jake Gyllenhaal (The Guilty, Stronger) as Danny Sharp, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Candyman, The Trial of the Chicago 7) as Will Sharp, Eiza Gonzalez (Baby Driver, Godzilla vs. Kong) as Cam Thompson, Garret Dillahunt (12 Years a Slave, No Country for Old Men) as Captain Monroe and Keir O’Donnell (Wedding Crashers, American Sniper) as FBI Agent; this film directed by Michael Bay (Armageddon, Transformers franchise) was small on talk and character development but big on thrills and crazy excitement. I was in the right mood to see this film because I only wanted to experience it, not think about it. The acting was terrific from the three main characters and though there was a repetitive quality to the script, the stunt driving and fights were wild. Essentially, the story was a series of intense events that followed one after another. As long as one is looking for a visceral experience, then this movie will provide the correct nutrients for excitement. And you might not have to take Ibuprofen, but I cannot guarantee one might need motion sickness medication. 

3 stars

Flash Movie Review: Avatar: The Way of Water

THERE IS PLENTY OF TRUTH AND plenty of examples that show beauty is only skin deep. I realized this at a young age because of a friend’s grandmother. My friend lived in the same apartment building, so I had met his grandmother numerous times. She was always well dressed, with hair that was never out of place, thanks to her weekly beauty shop visits. I remember how she constantly avoided being out in the sunlight for too long. Being at such a young age, I translated her prettiness for niceness; in other words, if a person was good looking, then there should be no reason why they were not kind. I do not know how I came up with that reasoning, but I was completely wrong. My friend’s grandmother appeared pleasant upon first meeting, but it never lasted long. My friend and I would be playing a board game at his house, and she would walk into the room, eating a bag of candy. She would offer her grandson a piece, but she never offered me one. From other times I was over there, I could hear the way she talked to her daughter and son-in-law; it was demanding, where she constantly had them bring things to her instead of her getting up to go get them for herself.      I DISCOVERED THE IDIOM ABOUT BEAUTY being skin deep was not exclusive to people. It could be used as well for buildings. In college, I had a class in a futuristic looking building. From the street it looked amazing, with an outer surface that looked like a checkerboard, with some of the squares raised up. There was a rooftop garden which was more of a novelty back then. When I discovered one of my classes was in this building, I was excited I would finally be able to get inside of it. Upon first entering, there were these cool orbital globes hanging from the ceiling that lit the hallway. My class was held on the third floor; during the warmer months, the room never got cooled off from the air conditioning. The professor told us when they built the building, they installed a HVAC system that was too small for the building. So, the rooms were cold in winter and hot in summer. I later discovered some of the windows leaked which led to a constant cleaning regiment to get rid of the mold. From such a dramatic façade, being inside the building was rarely pleasant. Not that it is as dramatic as that college building, but this action-adventure fantasy is in a similar predicament.      HAVING SETTLED INTO DOMESTIC LIFE WITH a family, life takes an ugly turn for Jake, played by Sam Worthington (Hacksaw Ridge, The Shack), when an old foe returns to the planet. With Zoe Saldana (Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, Amsterdam) as Neytiri, Sigourney Weaver (The Good House, Call Jane) as Kiri, Stephen Lang (Don’t Breathe franchise, The Lost City) as Quaritch and Kate Winslet (Sense and Sensibility, The Mountain Between Us) as Ronal; this three hour and twelve-minute-long movie was a visual spectacular. There were times where I sat and wondered if things, I was seeing, were real or not. The use of color and detail in creating visual stimulating palettes was a joy to behold and the special effects were magical. It is a good thing because I thought the script was weak. The story is predictable and a bit repetitive at times. I was feeling the length of the film at some point which told me the writers could have cut the length down some. Spending a little more time on character development would have been beneficial in my opinion, though I appreciated the moral messages. And I did not care for the obvious ploys used in the script to prepare the viewers for the 3rd installment of this franchise. How long will that one be?

3 stars 

Flash Movie Review: Devotion

WHEN IT COMES TO BEING JUDGED based on a person’s looks, actions speak louder than words. I learned this early on in my teaching career. Because I did not look like the typical fitness instructor, I was not always taken seriously. I did not have a rock hard, or at least, a solid physique that was muscled or chiseled. The way I would describe myself back then was soft and fluid. Prior to my first teaching position, I had not done any weight bearing exercises; so, I was essentially working out with my classes. I was not the type of person who would spend most of the class time walking around checking on members. My style of teaching was different than the other instructors; it incorporated dance moves where every step was choreographed. It was easier and quicker for me to spot a member who needed assistance when everyone was supposed to be doing the same movement. Trust me, I had new members enter class who left after 5-10 minutes, thinking they would not sweat. I could not say anything to them; however, the people in my class were my best advertisers. Though I did not incorporate moves that looked big and powerful, I had members moving non-stop for one hour. By the end of class, you could look around and see a glow coming off people from their sweat, besides feeling that tingling sensation from muscles that had been working hard. It was may way of showing non-believers I belonged there.      THE DISCRIMINATION I EXPERIENCED IN THAT industry, I am aware, is mild compared to the kind I saw at various companies and heard from my friends/relatives. I had a friend who worked at a job he loved; but he could never get a promotion. He knew he worked as hard as everyone else in the department; but whenever there was an opening in the department, he was always overlooked. If he had not accidentally overheard his boss’ comments one day that were derogatory towards a religion, his religion, he would never have found out his boss was prejudiced. It explained all the times my friend was never picked for a higher position. He immediately began searching for another job and I am happy to report he is working at a different company, getting promotions and raises in recognition of all the good work he is doing. Discrimination is ugly and I am always stunned when a person in a high position displays such ugliness. I wonder how the company could allow such behavior and how they can be successful. How many good employees does a company lose in such an environment? In this dramatic film, imagine what opportunities would have been missed if the main character had decided to give up.      BEING A US NAVY FIGHTER PILOT was already a tough job. It was even harder when all eyes were watching you. With Jonathan Majors (The Harder They Fall, Lovecraft Country-TV) as Jesse Brown, Glen Powell (Hidden Figures, Everybody Wants Some!!) as Tom Hudner, Christina Jackson (The Night House, Boardwalk Empire-TV) as Daisy Brown, Thomas Sadoski (Wild, Killing Eleanor) as Dick Cevoli and Daren Kagosoff (Ouija, The Secret Life of the American Teenager-TV) as Bill Koenig; this action war drama was based on a true story and what a story. Jonathan was the standout for me; he came across as totally believable with his character. I would have liked to have gotten more back story to his character as well as the others; however, this was a minor complaint compared to watching this well-balanced movie. The directing was straight forward as well as the script. Everything had its place and intension; there was nothing frivolous in the film. Set during the start of the Korean War, this movie shows what can happen when friendships are formed.             

3 ¼ stars 

Flash Movie Review: Blade of the 47 Ronin

I COULD NOT BELIEVE AFTER ALL these years; the city changed the street I grew up on to one way. All those years watching two cars trying to navigate between themselves and the parked cars that lined the street, then out of the blue the city now decided the street was not wide enough to accommodate more than one car at a time driving on it. I could have told them that decades ago. The apartment building, we lived in, looked the same except the back porches were now enclosed with a translucent type of plastic or PVC material to protect, I was guessing, the wood from the elements. From the houses down the block, there was nothing different that stuck out; they all looked the same, except for a fresh coat of paint or different floral landscaping. As I drove around the old neighborhood, I saw the elevated railroad tracks for the commuter train had extra support beams. They should have been added when I was living there because the cement back then was breaking off in pieces and the metal beams were rusting. Anytime I had to drive underneath the train bridge, the image of falling cement pieces always flashed through my mind.      IN MY OLD NEIGHBORHOOD THERE WERE two business districts; one was a couple of blocks away from where we lived and the other was near the lake. I decided to drive down them to see what they looked like these days. The closer of the two, where we mostly did our shopping, had changed drastically. The grocery store where I used to return soda pop bottles for the deposit money was no longer there. A flea market type of business moved into the building. There used to be four restaurants on the main street; today only one remains under a different name. I remember almost every establishment had an electric sign or at least lights that highlighted the signage of the business. Now, there were several businesses that I could not tell if they just opened because they had those vinyl banner signs hung up. Not that this is a negative, but none of the establishments sounded familiar to me. I did notice there seemed to be more litter strewn across the sidewalks and street. My memory was of a pretty (for commercial buildings) avenue with an ice cream parlor, independent drug store, clothing stores, among other retail businesses. What I was seeing was an unattractive strip of a bunch of hodgepodge stores, some with their signs hanging down off center and others with hand drawing on their windows. It really made me sad for the memory of a place that gave me joy as I was growing up. Oddly, though I have a vague memory of the original film, this sequel made me feel the same sad way.      DESPITE THE PASSING CENTURIES, LIVING AMONGST us today are the ancient Ronin warriors. They are not the only ones hiding from us. With Anna Akana (A Million Little Things-TV, Amphibia-TV) as Luna, Mark Dacascos (One Night in Bangkok, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum) as Shinshiro, Teresa Ting (She Has a Name, Don Peyote) as Onami, Mike Moh (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Empire-TV) as Reo and Dustin Nguyen (Zero Tolerance, Warrior-TV) as Nikko; this action, fantasy drama was confusing to me. I simply did not understand why the movie studio felt it needed to make a sequel. My memory is sketchy, but I remember the original movie had some beautiful cinematography and interesting fight scenes. At least there were decent fight scenes in this film; but the script was all over the place. I never felt connected to any of the characters, and I thought the special effects were dull. Nearly ten years after the first film, I just do not understand why the movie studio felt the need to do this film and then not do it well. Sometimes, it is better to leave the viewer with a memory of a decent film instead of trying to update it for profit. There were multiple scenes of blood and violence.                  

1 ½ stars  

Flash Movie Review: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

WE WERE A TIGHT GROUP OF four friends. Our friendship started decades ago, kindled by our mutual love for music and dance. Throughout the years, we shared in each other’s joys and tragedies. As the years passed by, we pretty much knew how each of us would react to a situation; whether it was at a party or a restaurant, we had each other’s back, as they say. I remember we had gone out to dinner and wound up at a bookstore afterwards. While walking around I got a call that a relative had died. My friends were there to console and comfort me before I had to go and pay my respects. The same could be said for any of us when one was experiencing a hard time. I cannot tell you how many times over the years we would congregate at someone’s house after hearing about their breakup with a significant other. With being so close through the years, there was nothing we could not talk about with each other. We knew about each one’s ailments, fears, concerns and when needed would housesit for one another. Throughout the years, like most people, there never was a time where one of us would entertain the thought of one of us not being there.      SADLY, THAT TIME EVENTUALLY COMES WHEN one is no longer with us. Suddenly, our foursome was turned into a trio. Gratefully, we had each other to help with the burden of sadness. Intellectually, I could process our friend’s death; death is an inevitable that each of us will experience. The only difference is whether it is at an early or old age, though early and old are more blurred these days. The hardest part for me is the routine that comes along with a long-term relationship. Being able to pick up the phone and talk to my friend was part of my life and incorporated into the things I would do on a consistent basis. It is the same with a broken relationship; I find the routines are the hardest part to overcome. And it could be the simplest of things like going grocery shopping together, that suddenly feels painful the first time after the breakup, when I must go by myself. One of the most important things I have learned is everybody mourns and handles grief in their own way; no one has the right to tell someone they are wrong for the way they handle their sadness. To see what I am talking about, this picture shows several different ways individuals mourn their loss.      WITH SOME OF THE WORLD’S NATIONS testing Wakanda’s strengths since the loss of their king/Black Panther, there was a bigger threat brewing near their shores. With Letitia Wright (Guava Island, The Silent Twins) as Shuri, Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave, Us) as Nakia, Danai Gurira (The Visitor, The Walking Dead-TV) as Okoye, Tenoch Huerta (The Forever Purge, Dark Forces) as Namor and Angela Bassett (Gunpowder Milkshake, Contact) as Ramonda; this sequel did an admirable job of honoring the late Chadwick Bosman who was the Black Panther. The film is beautiful to watch, and I appreciated the way the script wove in the emotional loss and its effect on people. On the other hand, I felt the writers went on too long with the mourning because it cast a maudlin pallor over the story. For a Marvel film, there was not the usual amount of well-choreographed action. My favorite characters were the ones that Angela Bassett, Danai Gurira and Tenoch Huerta portrayed; Angela had some wonderful intense scenes that broke up the monotony of the sadness. This movie did not have the thrilling wonderment of the first one; however, it was a good solid sequel to move the franchise forward. There was only one extra scene in the middle of the credits.

3 stars 

Flash Movie Review: Enola Holmes 2

THOUGH MY FRIENDS WERE NOT THRILLED having their older sibling attending the same school, I did not mind it at all. When the sibling was a brother, it usually worked out even better for me. I had one friend whose brother was two grades above us. If they saw each other in the school hallway, they rarely acknowledged each other. However, if I was by myself the older brother would nod his head in acknowledgement whenever he saw me. For me, at least in my mind, he was a pseudo-bodyguard. There were times when I would purposely walk alongside of him anytime, I saw a bully nearby. Just for the fact he was older, the bullies would not take a chance on starting something with me as long as he was near me. Not like he was some type of tough guy himself; he just was older and bigger and that was enough to curtail someone from picking on me. This is the reason I said it was a better situation when the older sibling was male instead of female. Some bullies did not hesitate to harass the older sister besides me if we happen to be walking alongside of each other.      WHEN I ENTERED COLLEGE, I LIVED on a floor where everyone else was either in a higher grade or a grad student. At first, I was intimidated; however, it turned into a fortuitous arrangement. The older students treated me more like a mascot than a freshman. What I mean by that is they rather enjoyed by naivety. For some, I think they enjoyed hearing about my trials and tribulations of freshman life; for others, they found comfort in being a mentor for me. Either way it was an added benefit for me. I was able to navigate freshman orientation faster and easier due to the helpful hints I received from the students on my floor. I was especially grateful to find out that the physical ed requirement could be bypassed if I told the university personnel I could not swim. This way, I would be placed in a remedial swimming class and not have to participate in a variety of sports activities I could not do. My floor turned into a highlight for me; I was hanging out with graduate students who were becoming nuclear engineers, accountants and pharmacists. I do not know what they thought about me, but I considered a couple of them like an older sibling who was watching out for me. It was a peaceful year compared to what I endured through my high school years. It is one of the reasons I was intrigued to watch this action, crime adventure film.      CONFIDENT ENOUGH TO SET UP HER own detective agency, the only customer who asked Enola Holmes, played by Millie Bobby Brown (Godzilla franchise, Stranger Things-TV), for her help was a young girl. The case would turn into something that was bigger than the two of them. With Henry Cavill (Man of Steel, Night Hunter) as Sherlock Holmes, David Thewlis (Harry Potter franchise, Wonder Woman) as Grail, Louis Partridge (The Lost Girls, Paddington 2) as Tewkesbury and Susan Wokoma (The Loneliest Boy in the World, Cheaters-TV) as Edith; this sequel proved movie studios can match or exceed the original movie if they set their minds to it. This picture was a fun film watching experience. Though I am not a fan of breaking character to talk to the audience; the plot twists, humor, and pacing were a perfect blend of excitement. Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill and Helena Bonham Carter (reprising her role) made for a strong troika in acting. The only downside I found in this mystery was the ending part. It was a bit confusing for me; but at that point I did not let it bother me. Based on this film, there is no reason why this story line cannot become a long-lasting movie franchise. There was an extra scene early in the ending credits.                                                       

3 ½ stars 

Flash Movie Review: DC League of Super-Pets

I THINK ABOUT HIS WORDS EVERYTIME I see a dog. We were talking about the pets we had in our lives, when his wife was talking about their current dog. He commented that the dog was his wife’s, which confused me since I knew they both picked out their dog when she was a puppy. I asked him to explain and what he said struck a chord in me. He said he is reminded every day what true devotion looks like when he sees their dog. There was no hint of jealousy or feelings of hurt when he said this; he was more matter of fact as he described the love the dog had for his wife. His wife was a warm and inviting individual, so I could see where the dog would gravitate towards her. She said the dog follows her everywhere in the house and when she is out in the backyard tending her garden, the dog loves to lay in the grass and just watch her as she is pulling weeds or watering. After letting his initial words about the dog’s devotion mull about in my head, I was inclined to agree with him. A dog’s devotion was as pure of a devotion as any because it was totally unconditional. There is nothing but pure love.      IT OCCURRED TO ME ANOTHER FRIEND of mine has a dog who I felt was mean, might simply be acting out of pure devotion. Whenever me or anyone goes over to his house, he must put this dog in its cage, which is kept in a walk-in closet. I thought the dog did not like strangers but having been at the house many times, you would have thought the dog would have known my scent by now. However, my friend told me the dog is extremely protective of him. When no one is around the dog is the most lovable out of all the dogs he has owned. I did not say anything but based on the growling and snapping I have witnessed from this demon dog; I was not completely convinced. My friend told me about the time he was in the hospital for a few days. A relative would bring the dog to the hospital for a visit. When the dog saw its owner in the hospital bed, it jumped up onto it and immediately snuggled into the side of his body. The dog did not move from there; they just remained as if telling my friend everything would be okay. I could not believe it. In fact, I would first believe the dog in this animated film before I trusted my friend’s dog.      WHEN HIS OWNER, WHO WAS SUPERMAN, went missing, it was up to his dog Krypto, voiced by Dwayne Johnson (Black Adam, San Andreas), to round up help and use every power he had to find his owner. With Kevin Hart (Me Time, Central Intelligence) voicing Ace, Kate McKinnon (Rough Night, Bombshell) voicing Lulu, John Krasinski (A Quiet Place franchise, 13 Hours) voicing Superman and Vanessa Bayer (Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, Trainwreck) voicing PB; this action, adventure comedy had a great old school look to it. I thought the cast did a wonderful job voicing the characters. Dwayne and Kevin, who have worked together in the past, had a real chemistry going between them that came across the screen. There was an abundance of humor that was filled with slick comments that the smallest child might not appreciate as much; however, I found them to be fun. The story was good, filled with excitement and thrills, as was the directing. I thought the idea of a superhero having a super pet was a brilliant idea. Watching this movie was an enjoyable experience. I just wish my friend’s dog would take some lessons from the dog in this picture. There was an extra scene at the end of the credits.

3 stars 

Flash Movie Review: Black Adam

I WAS APPREHENSIVE GOING TO THE wedding, but I knew it was the right thing to do. My friend was getting married, and I wanted to be there to share in the festivities. It was not like he asked me to participate in the ceremony or keep an eye on and help an elderly relative; I was one of the wedding guests. The thing that I was concerned about was the fact that except for my friend and his fiancé, I did not know another soul who would be in attendance. I have gone to movies, plays, restaurants and even traveled by myself with no problems. The difference is I am not required to carry on a conversation except for asking someone for directions or a cursory comment or two with the theater patron sitting next to me before the curtain goes up. At a wedding reception, it is a different setting and environment. If it is a sit down, plated event then the guests would be seated at tables. I realize I cannot be the only stranger at the affair, but it is not easy for me to continue a conversation with a table full of strangers. Part of the reason is because there is a hint of high school dynamics involved that reminds me of finding a seat in the school’s cafeteria for lunch. You never know who you might be stuck sitting next to at the table.      THE VENUE WHERE THE RECEPTION WAS being held was beautifully decorated. Place cards were set up on a table close to the entryway. With the table number listed on my card, I walked into the ballroom to find where I was going to sit. Table 11 was situated by the windows; I at least would be able to look out them during the meal for something to do if there was no conversation taking place. Sitting down, I made myself as comfortable as possible while wearing a suit and waited for other guests to join me. It was not too long before a married couple came and sat down across from me. We nodded to each other and said a few pleasantries before a couple of single people walked up to our table. As each person arrived and introduced themselves, I made a mental note to help me try and remember their name easier. Once all the guests had been seated at the table and after we exchanged stories of how each of us knew the wedding couple, I was the only one who did not know any of the invited guests. During the meal I did more observing than talking and I was fine with it. I felt the same way while watching this movie; I did not know any of the characters.      HAVING BEEN ENTOMBED FOR NEARLY 5,000 years, a desperate mother releases him into a world that is no longer familiar to him. It would not take long for him to attract interest from various groups due to his unique abilities. With Dwayne Johnson (Jungle Cruise, Red Notice) as Black Adam, Aldis Hodge (One Night in Miani, Hidden Figures) as Hawkman, Pierce Brosnan (False Positive, The King’s Daughter) as Dr. Fate, Noah Centineo (The Perfect Date, Charlie’s Angels) as Atom Smasher and Sarah Shahi (Bed Therapy, Bullet to the Head) as Adrianna Tomaz; this action, adventure fantasy started out slow for me. Once Dwayne’s character appeared then things picked up for me. My issue with this film is because I have zero knowledge about these superheroes, I felt the writers did not provide enough back story and emotion for each character, so I could find a way to connect with them. They were lifeless except for the occasional joke or gag. The thing I found most annoying was the use of slow motion during the fight scenes. For me, it disrupts the scene and looks cheesy. For the most part, this film felt like an assortment of scenarios just to introduce each superhero. And because there is an important extra scene during the ending credits, the movie studio is hoping they can turn Black Adam into a film franchise.                                       

2 ½ stars  

Flash Movie Review: The School for Good and Evil

UNLESS I HAVE BEEN A WITNESS, I take the comment, “they are a good person,” with a grain of salt. You see, I believe everyone comes into this world with the capacity for being both good and evil. It all depends on what the individual choses to act upon. This is why, one of my favorite sayings is, “Actions have consequences.” I know for myself I am a combination of the two; when I was younger, I relied more on evil than good. For example, when at a party and I felt someone had slighted me, I would make them uncomfortable by my actions until they would leave. Nothing I am proud of I have to say; but I was an angry individual then. These days, I feel I am more of a good person and am always amazed how much easier it is to act that way. Being bad took a lot of energy. I know this one person who makes a point of always telling people about the good things they do for others. I am not denying they do it, but I always find it weird when a person must announce it instead of just letting it be. It comes off as bragging to me. And though this person claims to be good, they are the first to talk and say negative things about someone behind their back. They make fun of a person’s looks and/or clothing; I do not find that being a good individual.      IN PAST REVIEWS, I HAVE TALKED about those individuals who have done evil things; so, today I want to focus on a person I know who, for the circumstances they found themselves in, still chose to act in a decent, good way instead of being a mean vindictive being. When you meet this person the first thing you would notice is the lightness in their eyes and their smile. There is a warm inviting energy they exude that lets a person know they are in a safe environment. It is rare one must ask them for help because they are perceptive enough to understand and offer their help freely. Having been in this person’s presence, I can solidly state they are a good individual. There is zero trace of them acting in a competitive or sneaky way. To be honest with you, whenever I have been around them, I leave with the thought I wish there were more people like them in the world. I am so sure of it that I believe they could easily fill in for the head of the school for good in this fantasy comedic drama.      TWO BEST FRIENDS, WHO HAVE DONE everything together, suddenly find themselves at opposite ends when one is accidently picked for a different school. The separation will have a lasting effect on them as well as the schools. With Kit Young (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Origin) as Rafal, Sophie Anne Caruso (37, Crash & Burn-TV movie) as Sophie, Sofia Wylie (Back of the Net, High School Musical: The Musical-TV) as Agatha, Rob Delaney (Deadpool 2, Catastrophe-TV) as Stefan and Charlize Theron (Monster, Mad Max: Fury Road) as Lady Lesso; there were several aspects of this movie that I enjoyed. The visuals and special effects were stunning and fun. I always enjoy watching Charlize in character and I thought she was a great counterbalance to Kerry Washington’s character. The message regarding good and evil was something I especially enjoyed and thought the writers did a decent job conveying it. However, there were other storylines that cluttered the message and made this film longer than it needed to be. The other issue for me was what I perceived to be the similarity to the Harry Potter and Percy Jackson stories. With some editing and a little more character development, I think this could have been a better picture. It was obvious the studio is hoping for a sequel, but I am not sure that would be a good idea if they are going to stick with the same writing team.                                                    

2 ½ stars 

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