Joel has written 5 reviews for films during 2019.

  • Strange But True

    Strange But True

    ★★

    Strange But True is an odd movie because it feels like two different movies poorly pieced together with good actors giving some bland performances.
    The story follows  Philip ( Nick Robinson) who receives a visit from his deceased brother’s former girlfriend that leads the family on a journey of self discovery and the past. Amy Ryan and Greg Kinnear play Philip’s parents but really aren’t given much to work with and a result they both come off as mundane in…

  • Ne Zha

    Ne Zha

    ★★

    Ne Zha is a Chinese animated fantasy film filled with myth and lore and history that can be confusing at times. The action looks sleek and the animation style is quite beautiful to look at. The story has a lot of twists and turns for different characters that it becomes hard to follow what character’s goals  are impacting the overall dilemma the film raises. 
    There is some compelling drama which keeps the story engaging with themes of belonging and family…

  • Alita: Battle Angel

    Alita: Battle Angel

    ★★★½

    Alita is quite the spectacle, integrating revolutionary CGI technology into real world feel, of visual storytelling to bring the manga to life in a way that feels believable and immersive(thanks to the 3D technology utilized that was used quite effectively) to tell a story of a young girl(played very well by Rosa Salazar) trying to figure out where she fits into the world she lives in. The chemistry she shares with Christoph Waltz as a father figure, Dr Ido, and…

  • Replicas

    Replicas

    Replicas is a by the number science fiction film that never really delves into any of the interesting ideas, never seems to care about giving the audience a reason to care for the characters( Alice Eve is severely misused and any interesting story arch the movie builds is instantly forgotten about) and instead relies on generic action fare( chase scenes that are shot so flat that it looks terrible) that make Replicas seem like any other sci-fi film. 
    The movie…

  • Escape Room

    Escape Room

    Escape Room is a PG13 version of Saw mixed with these puzzles that are popular in these escape rooms all across the country. While the designs of some of the rooms are intriguing and elements of the story can be thrilling at times, Escape Room comes off as disposable action fare thanks to many average performances from the cast with Deborah Ann Woll and Logan Miller being standout exceptions but most characters coming off as one dimensional and while the story raises interesting questions, it fails to deliver any satisfying answers and generally falls flat as a whole.
    2/10
    Consensus: Standard January fare: underwhelming thriller.