Dope (2015) Shameil Moore Zoe Kravitz – Movie Review

Shameik Moore stars as Malcolm, a geeky high school senior with Harvard aspirations living in “The Bottoms”, one of the toughest neighborhoods in Inglewood, California. When he’s not trying to avoid crossing the paths of troublemakers, he’s spending time with his best friends Diggy and Jib playing in their pop-punk band, or diving head first into 1990s hip-hop, including sporting the high-top fade hair style and colorful fashion of the “Yo! MTV Raps” era.
One day, Malcolm runs into one of those troublemakers he typically avoids, a drug dealer named Dom, and ends up trying to play matchmaker between him and a local beauty that Malcolm himself has a thing for, Nakia. Nakia’s one condition for seeing Dom results in Malcolm and friends being invited to Dom’s birthday bash at a local club. A botched drug deal leads Dom to stash his supply of MDMA (aka, molly, aka, ecstasy) in Malcolm’s backpack, which some murderous gangsters want back. Malcolm is told by an incarcerated Dom that he can, under no circumstances, give it to them, leaving his life in jeopardy until he can find a safe way to appease all of the interested parties involved.

Inside Out (Pixar, Disney, Amy Poehler) Movie Review

The basic premise of this film is that we’re given the emotional inner workings of a young girl in Minnesota named Riley (Dias, The Shifting), through the personification of her feelings — Joy (Poehler, They Came Together), Sadness, Fear, Disgust, Anger — and how they try to coordinate to navigate her way through life in as safe and secure a way possible, looking out as if from the control tower of her mind’s eye, through the many stages in life. Now eleven years old, this is a particularly tricky stage in her development, just on the cusp of maturing into a teenager, when the simplicity and imagination of her young childhood no longer interest her, and she begins to deal with new emotions, hopes, fears, and struggles with identity. The confusion is further exacerbated by career opportunity for her father that results in the family uprooting from the only place Riley has ever known, and moving to San Francisco, where she has no friends, no creature comforts, none of her favorite activities, and especially no ice hockey.
As much as Joy tries to keep Riley content, her disappointing new home, the awkwardness of being a stranger in school, and the unfamiliar city around her leads the maturing girl to feel very out of sorts emotionally, giving way to many of her cherished memories turning from ones of happiness into ones of a cherished life sorely missed, as that part of her childhood seems to have been left behind forever. Those feelings cause Sadness to begin to take control of the machine that controls Riley and her orb-like embodiment of memories, which leads Joy to try to take drastic action to curb the tendency of Sadness to affect the balance of things. However, in her desperation, both Joy and Sadness get inadvertently ousted from the command center into the crazy and mysterious nether regions of Riley’s mind. They encounter a series of obstacles in their long and arduous trek back, leaving Fear, Disgust, and Anger are the only emotions Riley can feel in this very delicate and confusing time in her life, while the happy memories of her youth begin to fade into oblivion.

Jurassic World (Chris Pratt) 2015 – Movie Review

Siblings Gray and Zach are sent on vacation to visit their Aunt Claire, who is the manager of operations at the Costa Rica island resort known as Jurassic World, a tourist attraction funded by mega-billionaire named Simon Masrani that takes its basic idea from the original Jurassic Park but seeks to do the formula right (i.e., more profitably). In addition to the assortment of dinosaurs, the corporation is looking into creating their own hybrid dinos through experiments in genetic engineering that are sure to draw in even more interested visitors year after year. Their biggest creation is the Indominus Rex, a creation that splices the T. Rex DNA with a hodge-podge of other predators of various strengths, that just might be the most deadly creature that has ever roamed the Earth. Navy vet Owen Grady is a behavioral research consultant and talent trainer at the facility, looking into the ability for these dinosaurs to learn from human instruction, and he’s especially made progress at whispering to velociraptors, which may prove to be a much needed thing now that Indominus Rex has gotten out of its cage and is prepared to hunt and kill whatever it can on the island, which ultimately could mean the slaughter of 20,000 visitors trapped in the theme park.

Love & Mercy (John Cusack, Paul Dano) Movie Review

Love and Mercy, which takes its name from the first track on Brian Wilson’s first solo album in 1988, is a biopic on Brian Wilson, the musical genius behind many of the Beach Boys greatest and most critically acclaimed hits. It’s a tale told in two parts, one being the days of the late 1960s in which Wilson, here played by Paul Dano, would quite live touring to spend his days in the studio to make the ambitious albums Pet Sounds and the defunct Smile almost single-handedly, and the other taking place in the 1980s, when Wilson, played in these scenes by John Cusack, would be kept under the tight scrutiny of Dr. Eugene Landy, who had been treating the reclusive and troubled artist for paranoid schizophrenia. Wilson’s most creative period was also his most troubled, as his mental illness allowed him to draw out styles and sounds unheard of in any recording to date, but also affected his personal life to the point of disaster. His later years were characterized by his subservience to his doctor, who controlled every aspect of his life, and Wilson’s budding romance with a Los Angeles car salesperson named Melinda Ledbetter, who thinks he is being manipulated and overmedicated.

Spy (Melissa McCarthy, Paul Feig) Movie Review

McCarthy plays a CIA computer specialist names Susan Cooper, whose job it is to monitor a dreamboat of a field agent named Bradley Fine and try to give him suggestions (via an earpiece) to keep him safe, based on what she sees and hears from the hidden surveillance equipment he carries within a contact lens.  That comes to an end when Fine is taken down by a Bulgarian arms dealer named Rayna Boyanov, who lets it be known that she knows who all of their top spooks are and to stay away, lest they befall the same fate.  With a deal about to go down involving a stolen nuke between Rayna and an Italian terrorist, time is of the essence, so Susan volunteers to fly to Paris surveil the situation as an operative herself in order to get the intel needed before bringing in the big guns.  However, her gung-ho attitude, along with a buttinski disgruntled rogue agent named Rick Ford, makes her ability to stay inconspicuous quite the chore.

San Andreas (The Rock, Dwayne Johnson) – Movie Review

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson plays Los Angeles Fire Department fireman and helicopter rescue pilot Ray Gaines, who ends up commandeering an LAFD chopper in order to try to rescue his soon-to-be ex-wife and daughter before they’re crushed in the rubble following a series of mammoth earthquakes the likes of which California has never seen before.