Rinzy Reviews ‘Runaways’ Season 2 (2018)

Release Date: December 21

Network: Hulu

Starring: Gregg Sulkin, Ariela Barer, Annie Wersching, James Marsters, et al.

***

There’s something about TV shows and their decline in quality as they progress. Well, I want to tell you this isn’t one of those cases. Marvel’s Runaways, at least this second season, is a vast improvement from its predecessor.

The sophomore outing of Marvel’s Runaways is a high octane adventure story that arrives just in time to keep you occupied and entertained this Christmas season. Whosever had the idea to release all episodes at once to binge-watch, unlike the first one, deserves high accolades.

The season picks up moments after the last one and starts off strong. The kids are on the run, and have finally earned the title of runaways. Remember they were framed for the murder of Destiny Gonzalez at the end of last season? So, they’ve got so many things working against them riding in. But together, they rise above all these many limitations and gain grounds towards stopping their parents and the many evils they perpetrate in the names of their children.

We see a lot of great character arcs between the children and their parents, a dynamic that works considerably well bearing in mind the commendable acting talents tasked with making it happen. Alex and Nico find time amidst the dramas in their personal loves to step in as team leader; Gert battles with her live without her antidepressants and balancing her love life with Chase; Molly is tasked with growing up too fast; and Karolina has to face the fact that Jonah is her father and that there are infact other people like her in the world. This particular arc makes up a bulk of the season’s story, which gave us one of the most intense scenes of the season when Jonah’s seemingly defeated.

The show tries very hard to make filler episodes not seem like fillers at all, which is very commendable. The whole plot between Pride and the corrupt police team was just them bidding time enough till the plot twist between the magistrate and his family gets revealed. I thought it was impressive though.

As I’ve said before, the second season of Runaways is a remarkable improvement over the first one. So, if like me, that one left a bitter taste in your mouth, be sure this one will wipe it off.

Rinzy’s Rating: 3.5/5

Advertisements

RR’s Top Ten Movies Of 2018

2018 has been a very interesting year at the box-office; several old records broken and new ones made. In this year, we saw movies that sprung up important, long side-lined conversations with rich cultural importance, like the groundbreaking ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ where both movies had majority of their casts from their eponymous races, finally addressed. In this same year, we had several low budget movies, like ‘A Quiet Place’ and ‘Blindspotting’ and indie movies like ‘Upgrade’ give us something new in terms of how movies should be made. All these for the betterment of the movie industry.

Below is my list of movies that struck, irrespective of genre or professional critics’ opinions.

PS: 2018 has a lot of great movies, it was tough limiting them to ten that really got to me. I apologize in advance if your favorite(s) don’t make the list. Do air your grievance in the comment box.

10. Love, Simon

What’s not to love about this coming of age movie that talks about forbidden love? The writing, pacing and acting makes this a beautiful watch. You can’t help but get immersed in the protagonist quest to find Blue, who could be the love of his life.



9. Upgrade

I loved everything about STEM; the badass artificial intelligence chip with a mind of its own. I’m still sad it went rogue; but if there’s ever a sequel, you can count I’ll be there on opening night.

Read my review here

Rinzy’s Rating: 4/5



8. Searching

I can only imagine the technicality that was required to visually tell this story. I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that I watched a movie that was told through a display screen, from start-to-finish. And you’re wondering why it made my list.

Read my review here

Rinzy’s Rating: 4.5/5



7. The Hate U Give

Amandla Sternberg is a star, the world had better watch out for her ‘cos she hasn’t come to play.

Read my review here

Rinzy’s Rating: 4.5/5



6. A Quiet Place

This year’s a good one for power couple John Krasinski and Emily Blunt. Together, they use their off-screen chemistry and brawn to bring us something new and beautiful, for which we’re eternally grateful.

Read my review here

Rinzy’s Rating:



5. Crazy Rich Asians

Few years back, no one would’ve believed a movie with an entirely Asian cast would appeal to the whole world. But that’s what happened here with Crazy Rich Asian. Do you remember that wedding scene? We still grateful, Elvis Presley.

Read my review here

Rinzy’s Rating: 4/5



4. Bad Times at the El Royale

Chris Hemsworth continues to impress me with his acting. After seeing him in this movie as Billy Lee, I’m less worried about what his post-Thor career would look like.

Read my review here

Rinzy’s Rating: 3.5/5



Just before I unveil my top three, I’d list to list some honorable mentions. Please note that they’re in no particular order.

  • Acrimony

This movie sprung up conversations at every corner of this part of the world. I’m sure we’ll still be asked ‘who was right, Mel or Robert?’ in the new year. Asides the publicity it garnered, nothing about this movie is supposed to be heard as the years go by.

  • Mission: Impossible – Fallout

Tom Cruise’s stunts continue to rise in the ranks of death-defying.

  • Sorry To Bother You

Did you catch that horse c*ck sock?

  • Aquaman

I wish I lived in Atlantis. It’s so beautiful.

  • Ready Player One

Spielberg is still the greatest of all times.

  • Spider-Man: Into The Spider-verse

Who would’ve thought an animated movie could be so interesting?



3. Black Panther

Wakanda forever!!!

Read my review here

Rinzy’s Rating: 4/5



2. Blindspotting

Let me tell you a secret. Before Blindspotting, I’d never heard of Daveed Diggs. But after watching this masterpiece, I’ll be following his career nonstop.

Read my review here

Rinzy’s Rating: 4.5/5



1. Avengers: Infinity War

Around this time last year, my most prominent mantra was “Thanos is coming”. Thanos did come, and made sure he turned half the population into dust before he left. It’s a good thing our remaining heroes still won’t go down without a fight. The Endgame is here.

Read my review here

Rinzy’s Rating: 4.5/5




I saw a lot of movies this year and it’s only fitting I liked some more than others, doesn’t mean those not mentioned are bad movies. As I said earlier, I’d like to know your thoughts in the comment box.

RR’s Top Ten TV Shows Of 2018

The amount of contents yearly produced for the small screen makes it almost impossible to keep up, even for people whose full time job is watching and talking film. Notwithstanding, I did my best. It’s been a terrific year for the small screen, many classic works of art aired to millions around the globe. And, as usual, I’ve put together a list to appreciate all the shows that made me feel good.

Below is my list of TV shows that struck something in me, irrespective of genre or professional critics’ opinion.

PS: 2018 has a lot of great TV shows; and it was tough limiting them to ten. I apologize in advance if your favorite(s) don’t make the list. Do air your grievance in the comment box.

10. Marvel’s Runaways s2

Even though its a late year release, Runaways sees a vast improvement in its writing, acting and story in its sophomore year. It’s a better outing than its first.



9. The Hunting of Hill House s1

Netflix continues to be the gift that keeps on giving. I really enjoyed this horror show about a small family terrorized by their past. Even though it got neatly tied out, a part of me still wishes it’ll have a second season focusing on the same family. You can read my review here.



8. American Crime Story s2: The Assassination of Gianni Versace

Even though though it’s got a misleading title, fans can’t stop raving over the beauty that’s this year’s entry into the American Crime Story anthology, and that’s largely due to Darren Criss’ performance. We sure owe him a lot.



7. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina s1

Another Netflix offering that helped make the year better.



6. The Handmaid’s Tale s2

In Gilead, things bad things happen. And it’s up to Offred (or June, whatever she goes by these days) to change the narrative back to the saner days.



5. Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD s5

Everyone who knows me knows Agents of SHIELD has been one of my favorite shows for some years now. The shows never disappoints. It’s sad I have to wait longer for another season to arrive.



4. Marvel’s Daredevil s3

Daredevil was arguably at its best this season. A nice retrace back to its root. Which makes its sudden cancellation all the more painful.



Just before I unveil my top three, I’d list to list some honorable mentions. Please note that they’re in no particular order.

  • Titans s1
  • AHS s8
  • The Deuce s2
  • Jack Ryan s1
  • Luke Cage s2
  • Krypton s1
  • Barry s1
  • Dirty John s1


3. Westworld s2

After a wonderful first outing in 2016, Westworld tries its best to live up to the hype that its the goto show for unexpected twists and turns in timelines.



2. HTGAWM s4&5

Previously on How to get away with murder….

That’s all I need to hear to make my Thursdays. Viola Davis and the rest of the remarkable cast continue to do impressive works. Coupled with the fact that Wes is still dead, this show is definitely one of my favorites.



1. DC’s Legends of Tomorrow s3&4

Never in the history of TV has a show as silly and self-aware as Legends of Tomorrow ever existed. Whoever birthed the idea to make it this way sure has my respect. The sillier the show gets, the happier I become.




I followed a lot of TV shows this year, and it’s only fitting I liked some more than others, doesn’t mean those not mentioned are bad. As I said earlier, I’d like to know your thoughts in the comment box..

Rinzy Reviews ‘Bad Times At The El Royale’ (2018)

Release Date: October 12

Budget/Box-Office: $32M/ $31.5M

Starring: Jon Hamm, Dakota Johnson, Jeff Bridges, Chris Hemsworth, et al.

***

What do you get when you bring together an undercover cop, a lady hoping for a breakthrough in her musical career, a thief suffering from dementia posing as a priest, and a big sister trying to save her little sister from harm’s way, and put all of then in a hotel infamous for bad behaviors under the supervision of a young man struggling with his faith?

The answer’s chaos. Beautifully crafted chaos.

Going through the cast, one would be inspired to give this movie a shot, but never did I expect it to be as good as it turned out to be. Every single member of the cast was good, including Dakota Johnson (for those wondering).

Chris Hemsworth continues to impress me with his continuous swing onscreen comedy. His role here as Billy Lee, though minor, got to evoke laughter from me more than ones because of the character’s many idiosyncrasies.

The music’s good, lighting and cinematography also. Practically every technical aspects of the film checks out. ‘Bad times at the El Royale’ even has an impressive Deus ex machina, something that’s surprisingly rare in movie these days. It’s a shame the movie’s so underrated.

Directed by: Drew Goddard

Rinzy’s Rating: 3.5/5

Rinzy Reviews ‘Blindspotting’ (2018)

Release Date: July 27

Box-Office: $4.8M

Starring: Daveed Diggs, Rafael Casal, Janina Gavankar, Utkarsh Ambudkar, et al.

***
Collin (Daveed Diggs) must make it through his final three days of probation for a chance at a new beginning in his Oakland, Calif., neighborhood. His bond with his volatile best friend Miles (Rafael Casal) soon gets tested when Collin sees a police officer shoot a suspect in the back during a chase through the streets. Things soon come to a head when the buddies attend a party at the upscale home of a young and wealthy tech entrepreneur.

With a script penned by the two main characters, who also happen to be real-life, childhood friends, Blindspotting tries its best to address the prevalent topics of prejudice and racism by the American police force against the black community. 2018 can be seen as the year the latter fight this oppression better than before, at least through movies, as can be seen in ‘Blindspotting’ and ‘The Hate U Give’.

Blindspotting is a beautiful, thoughtful piece of work. The chemistry between the two leads is off the charts, and that’s as much because they’re terrific actors as they’re real life friends. Together, on their adventures, they shed lighting on some of the social ills plaguing the street and proffer solutions they believe will make things better. This is why I love the movie so much.

And that ending, that powerful ending is all you need to know that injustice in the world can only be defeated if people refuse to cower in fear.

Side notes:

1 The scene where Collin confronts Miles about his reckless behavior and him trying hard to act street black to both their detriment, and citing the fact that the police would always attack the black man first ignoring the fact that the white man could just be the nigga they’re searching for is a very powerful one.

Directed by: Carlos Lopez Estrada

Rinzy’s Rating: 4.5/5

Rinzy Reviews ‘Aquaman’ (2018)

Release Date: December 21

Budget/ Box-Office: $200M/ $488.2M

Starring: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Nicole Kidman, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, et al.

***

It’s no secret the DC cinematic universe (popularly known as the DCEU) has been off to a rocky start since it kick-started with 2013’s Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. It wasn’t until 2017’s Patty Jensen’s Wonder Woman that it found its first critical win to go with the box office wins it’d grown accustomed to, and found its footing. The road to Aquaman was filled with uncertainties with many dubbing it a crucial point in determining whether the DCEU had a future like Marvel’s to look forward to, or a done affair. I’m happy to tell you this movie might just be the best in the DCEU, critically and commercially.

The movie, Aquaman, is a rollercoaster ride, one filled with unending entertainment. The main character, Arthur aka Aquaman is a delight to watch, and at a point I felt he was Khal Drogo on steroids, which, to me, is a good thing.

Director James Wan, best known for the Conjuring movies, does a terrific job especially with the underwater scenes, they’re so beautiful that even the little time spent outside of it caused me to sulk. In these preferred scenes, there are more fantastic creatures than in the entirety of the movie Fantastic Beasts the Crimes of Grindelwald. I know it might sound harsh to those who haven’t seen both movies, but in die time you’ll understand why I had to say so.

Patrick Wilson’s Orm is cool. His acting is solid, and I think he did justice to the character except in two scenes where he needed to scream like a gladiator (Spartacus style)… He just didn’t have it in him. It’s a trespass easily overlooked though, might not mean a thing to most people, so I guess I’m just overreacting. The main issue I have is with his character Orm and how he lacks any real motivation for his wanting to attack the surface world. I believe a better screenplay would’ve helped make the movie better generally.

Side notes:

1 There’s a giant crab-like creature that looks like one of the Kaijus from Pacific Rim.

2 Arthur’s surname, Curry, isn’t mentioned, not once. Neither are his initials, A.C. Correct me if I’m wrong.

3 Black Manta was decent.

4 With that ending, a sequel is definitely coming.

Directed by: James Wan

Rinzy’s Rating: 3.5/5

Rinzy Reviews ‘A Simple Favor’ (2018)

Release Date: September 14

Budget/ Box-office: $20M/ $93.4M

Starring: Blake Lively, Anna Kendrick, Henry Golding, Andrew Rannells, et al.

***

A Simple Favor tells the story of how the worst things could come out from the best of intentions. You can ask Anna Kendrick’s character how she got sucked into an elaborate plot to fraud the system just because she was extended a hand of friendship you fellow woman.

Let me just get it out here now… This movie will certainly remind you of Gone Girl (2014) especially when the story starts to wind off. You might find yourself hoping we get the kind of drop-dead-gorgeous ending we did four years ago. But that doesn’t really happen. I think Gone Girl is one of the greatest things to have graced the cinema in the last decade, while A Simple Favor is really just an OK movie.

Blake Lively’s character easily shines as the best thing about this movie, and it’s just as much for her acting prowess just as it is about how her character’s written. Anna Kendrick’s character is the next best thing.

The plot twists upon twists does more to hurt the movie than help it because it brings about so many inconsistencies in its tone and characters, with both fluctuating so easily it’s sure to get eagle eyed viewers confused. But if you’re able to let yourself off being a perfectionist, you’re certainly to find this movie extremely entertaining.

Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick have such great chemistry I’d like to see them in more movies moving forward.

Side Note:

– The brother-fucker joke was funny.

– Is Anna single? I think she and Blake should kiss all the time, I’m sure Ryan won’t mind. 😋

Directed by: Paul Frig

Rinzy’s Rating: 3/5