‘Dark Phoenix’ Movie Review


‘Dark Phoenix’ (2019)
20th Century Fox Pictures & Marvel Entertainment

Directed by: Simon Kinberg
Written by: Simon Kinberg
Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Evan Peters, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Jessica Chastain

The newest X-Men film from 20th Century Fox is also the last. ‘Dark Phoenix‘ will hit theaters this weekend and will bring to a close Fox’s run of doing X films with the rights to Marvel’s Merry Mutants now belonging in the Disney stable after the latter’s purchase of the former earlier this year. I was hoping that the franchise would close out with a bang but sadly it ended up going out with a long, tired sigh. The decision to revisit the Dark Phoenix story line after the 2006 attempt in ‘X-Men: The Last Stand‘ originally raised some eyebrows, but many were optimistic that the wrongs of that film would be righted in the 2019 telling. Unfortunately, this version just ends up making a complete batch of all new wrongs.

For those unfamiliar with this classic X-Men tale from either the comics or from the 2006 film mentioned earlier, X-Men team member Jean Grey is imbued with the cosmic entity known as The Phoenix Force. It ends up making her the most powerful being on the planet and also ends up corrupting her mind. Her teammates want to save her, but an alien race known as the D’Bari, whose planet was destroyed by The Phoenix, want to harness that power to make Earth their new home. We end up getting the tired tropes of friends becoming enemies and enemies becoming friends, a few decent fight scenes and, at the end, a film that feels more like a last minute attempt to elevate writer / director Simon Kinberg‘s ego (since the 2006 film that he also wrote is often regarded as one of the weaker entries in the series).


‘Dark Phoenix’ suffers from the previous films’ scrambling of the time lines between the original movies and the new ones. I found myself wondering “How can THAT happen if….?” but then I was forced to dismiss it away as being probably dealt with in one of the other films, but not being memorable enough to cement that detail in my mind. The frequently changing cast within the series also leaves one with a lack of investment in any of their fates no matter how badly the writing insists that we care. Therefore, the circumstances surrounding Jean’s increase in powers, her change to the dark side and her subsequent “redemption” don’t hold nearly as much sway as Kinberg would probably have wanted.

Rather than using the Shi-Ar as the alien race that is after The Phoenix Force, the lesser known D’Bari are introduced. For the casual movie goer, this isn’t necessarily an issue, but the X-Men fans will be left shaking their heads wondering “Why?”. Jessica Chastain, who is normally fantastic, does what she can with the role she was given but seems rather flat as the villain and, instead, feels like she’s only there to give some kind of push back to the heroes. This serves to lessen the feeling of Jean Grey being the villain of the piece (as she should be in a movie titled after her darker alter ego). It also leaves Sophie Turner‘s performance feeling a little wooden, in my opinion. Normally James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender have been the stand outs in this latest crop of X-films and whether it was the knowledge that this was their last outing in the roles of Professor X and Magneto, respectively, or just due to the weak writing, even they seemed tired of it all. For me, the stars who really seemed invested were Tye Sheridan as Cyclops and Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler. Even Jennifer Lawrence seemed like she had mentally checked out in this one.


At the end of the day, the film has one or two decent action sequences but suffers from bad writing, a hurried plot and an ending that lacks any kind of punch at all. If you’re a fan of the X-Men comics, this movie will not be a winner for you. If you’ve enjoyed the previous X-Men films, then you might find a few enjoyable moments, but chances are you’ve already enjoyed those moments when this plot was done better back in 2006 with the 3rd film. On a scale of 1 – 10, Cerebro cannot detect anything above a 3.5. If you’re in the mood for a movie this weekend, may I suggest checking out ‘Rocketman’, ‘Brightburn’ or ‘Godzilla’ and save this one for Redbox or Netflix. For me, it’s very sad to see my favorite Marvel super heroes team go out on such a low note.


‘Pet Sematary’ Movie Review


‘Pet Sematary’ (2019)
Di Bonaventura Pictures

Directed by: Kevin Kolsch & Dennis Wydmyer
Written by: Stephen King (novel), Matt Greenberg & Jeff Buhler (screenplay)
Starring: Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, Jete Laurence, Hugo & Lucas Lavoie, Obssa Ahmed & John Lithgow.

Remakes are a staple of Hollywood. What we hope for is that the remake brings something new or gives us a fresh take on a classic film. While we certainly get some changes in this latest version of Stephen King’s ‘Pet Sematary‘, it’s hard to say that they are better than the original film from 1989 (yeah… it’s been that long ago). In the film, Dr. Louis Creed (Jason Clarke) moves his family to rural Maine in order to slow down and spend more time with his two children, 8yr old Ellie and 2yr old Gage. When the family cat ends up being found dead on the side of the road, long time Ludlow resident Jud (John Lithgow) suggests that Louis bury the cat in a secret, ancient burial ground on the family’s new property so that Ellie won’t have to be heartbroken about the loss of her pet. And while Church the cat does indeed come back, it’s not the same at all. Louis is perplexed by the cat’s return but when Ellie is accidentally killed by a truck after being lured to the road by Church, Louis is grief-stricken and exhumes his daughter’s body in order to also bring her back. This, of course, all ties into the movie’s tag line that “Sometimes dead is better.”


The acting is very good and there are plenty of jump scares, but I didn’t find myself ever feeling truly terrified. Overall, the film does a great job of building tension and keeping a solid feeling of pure dread throughout its 1hr and 41 minute run time and the acting from Jason Clarke & Amy Seimetz as the bereaved parents is both wonderful and heartbreaking all at the same time. While I’m normally a huge fan of John Lithgow, his portrayal of lifelong Ludlow resident Jud didn’t feel quite as perfect as Fred Gwynne‘s did in the original. Jete Laurence was quite convincingly disturbing as recently returned-from-the-dead Ellie and the switch up of having the older child die as opposed to little 2yr old Gage as shown in the original movie made for some interesting dynamics in the film.

At the end of the day, it is a remake and it’s not quite as horrifying as King’s actual novels (scant few of the movies have been) but it definitely delivers a strong sense of foreboding from the moment the credits begin to roll to the eerie image at the end. Based on all of these elements, I would rate the newest ‘Pet Sematary’ a 6.5 out of 10. Tickets are available online.pet_06

‘Us’ Movie Review


‘Us’ (2019)
Blumhouse Productions / Monkeypaw Productions

Directed by: Jordan Peele
Written by: Jordan Peele
Starring: Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elizabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Shahadi Wright Joseph & Evan Alex.

Following the huge success of his last film ‘Get Out‘, Jordan Peele comes at us again with a new horror film which delivers the same gut-wrenching suspense as his last. ‘Us‘, which is both written and directed by Peele, is a story of a Adelaide Wilson (played by Lupita Nyong’o) and her family who, while on vacation in the area where she suffered a traumatic event as a child, experience a new terror when a family who looks identical to them arrives to claim what is theirs. Now Adelaide, her husband Gabe (portrayed by Winston Duke) and their two children Zora & Jason (Shahadi Wright Joseph & Evan Alex, respectively) must battle to stay alive as they are stalked and tormented by their evil doppelgangers (referred to as “The Tethered”). To say much more would spoil some key moments and plot points and this is one movie where the less you know about it, the more impactful it is. Needless to say that Peele proves once again that he is a modern day Hitchcock when it comes to spinning imaginative and inventive suspense and horror.


The story is helped along by a frenzied and forceful score from Michael Abels that accentuates the movie in all of the right spots. Lupita Nyong’o has repeatedly demonstrated her acting chops and they are on full display here as a mother desperate to survive and keep her entire family alive. Kudos also belong to Shahadi Wirhgt Joseph as her daughter, Zora, who is deliciously disturbing to view as Zora’s “tethered” self and as manages to demonstrate a fantastic and innate acting skill set that almost seems like it should belong to someone twice or even three times her age. The only complaint I had was that a few of the “dad jokes” from the Gabe character (well-played by Winston Duke) kind of took me out of the scene on occasion. Yes, I’m sure they were intentional and, yes, I understand the need for some people / characters to cut the tension, but the humor somehow felt out of place in an otherwise masterful film from Peele. The camera work and cinematography also lent to the dizzying and disconcerting feelings that are, no doubt, experienced by the main ensemble cast. There was very little about this film that was predictable and the ending is a twist that I truly didn’t see coming. Suffice it to say that ‘Us’ gets a solid 9 out of 10 from me and is a movie that deserves to be seen in theaters as soon as you can do so!!


‘Captain Marvel’ Movie Review


‘Captain Marvel’ (2019)
Marvel Studios / Walt Disney

Directed by: Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck
Written by: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, Nicole Perlman, Geneva Robertson-Dworet, Meg LeFauve, Liz Flahive & Carly Mensch
Starring: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Jude Law, Ben Mendelsohn, Gemma Chan, Lashana Lynch, Annette Bening, Clark Gregg, Djimon Hounsou & Lee Pace

The latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe blasts into theaters this weekend! ‘Captain Marvel‘ hits the ground running as we are treated to the MCU’s first female-led movie to date starring Brie Larson in the titular role. Beginning the film as a Kree soldier, Vers (Larson) fights alongside her elite team working to stop the spread of the shape-shifting Skrull alien race. But when a mission goes wrong and she ends up being captured by the enemy, she begins to learn that her memories may have been tampered with and she soon begins to question everything that she’s come to know.

Anyone familiar with the comics will recognize the convoluted and complicated history that Carol Danvers (AKA: Ms. Marvel, AKA: Binary, AKA: Warbird, AKA: Captain Marvel) has had since she first debuted in Marvel Super-Heroes #13 back in 1968. So while her origin story isn’t as clear cut as, say, Captain America’s or Iron Man’s, the writing and directing team of Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck do a truly superb job of giving us a succinct and solid genesis for this dynamic character. The story is set in the mid-1990’s which provides a lot of fun moments complete with Blockbuster Video stores, NIN shirts and AltaVista search engines. We also get to see a young Agent Nick Fury and rookie Agent Phil Coulson (although much more of the former than we see of the latter). The film has all of the action, fun and heart that we’ve grown accustomed to see in the Marvel movies and, being set in the 90’s, also boasts the best soundtrack since the original ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy‘.

The entire cast is exceptional and it’s always great to get more of Samuel L. Jackson‘s Nick Fury. I was also very pleased at the inclusion of young Monica Rambeau (who is the Captain Marvel that I remember when I started reading Marvel Comics) but her mother Maria Rambeau has a larger role as Carol Danver’s former USAF partner (played by Lashana Lynch). Jude Law plays Carol’s / Vers’ commander Yon-Rogg and Gemma Chan is plays Kree soldier / sniper Minn-Erva. Other noteworthy names such as Annette Bening, Djimon Hounsou, Ben Mendelsohn and Lee Pace round out this awesome ensemble who come together to deliver one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s strongest entries to date. It provides a serviceable origin to a character who has a rather complex back story and it perfectly sets the stage for the upcoming ‘Avengers: Endgame’ due out in May. Tickets are on sale now AND make sure you stick around for both of the post credit scenes!! On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d say that ‘Captain Marvel’ rates an out of this world 8.5! Take it from Kree… I mean… take it from me, this will be one movie that you’ll need to get out and see in theaters right away!


‘LEGO Movie 2’ Movie Review


The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
Warner Bros

Directed by: Mike MItchell
Written by: Chris Miller, Phil Lord & Matthew Fogel
Starring: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Tiffany Haddish, Stephanie Beatriz, Allison Brie, Nick Offerman, Charlie Day, Maya Rudolph, Will Ferrell, Jadon Sand & Brooklynn Prince

The newest LEGO movie comes out this weekend – ‘The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part‘! Picking up right where the original left off, we see Emmet (Chris Pratt), Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), Batman (Will Arnett) and Company adjusting to life after the fall of Lord Business but then… invaders from DUPLO (a younger child’s LEGO toy) appear and begin to wreak havoc. A time jump 5 years into the future finds that the town of Bricksburg has become a hostile dystopia after constant attacks from the DUPLO universe. Wyldstyle’s insistence that Emmet toughen up makes him take on a dangerous mission leading him to meet adventurer Rex Dangervest who has a plan for how to destroy their mutual enemies once and for all.

As with most sequels, this film falls a little short of the rather high benchmark set by the original. It’s still fun and still an enjoyable movie with several “LOL” moments, but the charm and panache of its predecessor have vanished. The film’s score and musical numbers are dynamic and catchy and there’s enough humor to keep you from getting bored however the whole product feels rather lackluster despite this. Obviously the whole plot of the movie is an imaginary scenario revolving around the desire of real life little sister Bianca (played by Brooklynn Prince) to play with her real life older brother Finn (a role reprised by Jadon Sand from the original) but, the whimsy of the LEGO action that the first film had didn’t quite translate over into the sequel. No doubt this movie will still perform well at the box office, but I wouldn’t expect it to rake in quite as much of a box office haul as others in the series have garnered. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d have to say that this film only builds its way up to a 6.5. Sadly, everything is not as awesome as it originally was, but it’s still a good film to catch if you’re looking for some silly fun as an alternative to some of the other films currently in theaters.


‘Alita: Battle Angel’ Movie Review


A new movie hits theaters on February 14th which somehow may escape the notice of the casual moviegoer but should definitely be on everyone’s radar. ‘Alita: Battle Angel‘ is based on the manga of Yukito Kishiro and brought to life on the screen by producers James Cameron & Jon Landau and director Robert Rodriguez. That pedigree alone should make people stand up and take notice, but actually seeing the film is something else altogether. The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic future where cybernetic genius Dr. Ido finds the discarded core of a cyborg in the trash heaps of Iron City. He places the core in the cyborg body he had built for his daughter before she was tragically killed. Upon awakening, Alita (named by Dr. Ido) has no memory of her past but soon begins to discover her extraordinary skills as she learns more about herself and the world around her. The film is grounded, yet visually stunning thanks to seamlessly combined elements of motion capture, CGI and real sets. The incredible cast which consists of such heavy-hitters as Mahershala Ali, Jennifer Connelly & Christoph Waltz as well as solid players like Ed Skrein, Michelle Rodriguez and also Rosa Salazar in the title role, give top notch performances thus helping to keep the viewer immersed in and committed to the story.


There was one little, tiny complaint I had with the film which, for the sake of not spoiling anything, I cannot mention. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. It combined small elements from some of my other favorite films which added to my enchantment. I saw aspects of ‘Blade Runner‘, ‘Hunger Games‘, ‘Dark City‘, etc in both the fantastical story as well as in the characterization by some of the actors (maybe I like post-apocalyptic films too much, now that I think about it…). The screening I attended was in IMAX and, given the vibrant richness of the effects and the breathtaking visuals, is definitely the way to see this movie! For me, this is a film that fired on all cylinders 98% of the time and I can’t see any other way to describe ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ other than “a collaborative masterpiece by Cameron & Rodriguez.” Both of these craftsmen left their indelible mark on the movie and it will, no doubt, come to be included among the top films of their career. It also rates very high on the rewatchability scale which is always something I take into consideration when rating a film. Personally, I’d rate this movie a solid 9.5 out of 10. Get your tickets now as this is a movie that deserves to be seen in theaters and especially in IMAX or 3-D if you can!!


‘Glass’ Movie Review


‘Glass’ (2019)
Blumhouse Productions & Blinding Edge Pictures

Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
Written by: M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: Anna Taylor-Joy, James McAvoy, Sarah Paulson, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson & Spencer Treat Clark
Glass‘ is a movie I’ve been hyped about ever since the post credits scene of ‘Split‘ which hit theaters almost 3 years ago to the day. A fantastic movie with so many memorable performances was now tied into the same world as ‘Unbreakable‘ which was released back in 2000 when writer / director M. Night Shyamalan was at the top of his game. Suddenly, we realized we were getting an origin story with ‘Split’ and that we would be getting a trilogy out of all of this. It was brilliant in its design, simple in its execution, and we eagerly awaited the payoff. Whether through expectations being too high or due to Shyamalan being unable to stick the landing, ‘Glass’ was not quite the exciting third act climax that we’d hoped to see. Picking up several months after the events of ‘Split’, David Dunn (a role being reprised by Bruce Willis) owns an electronics store with his son Joseph (Spencer Treat Clark also reprising his role) but he also patrols the city as the mysterious vigilante “Overseer” on the search for Kevin Wendall Crumb (played by James McAvoy) who suffers from dissociative identity disorder. One of Crumb’s personalities is a super human figure known as The Beast who plans to kill 4 cheerleaders who were kidnapped by a few of his other personalities. An initial confrontation between Dunn & The Beast comes to an abrupt end when a squad of police intervene along with psychiatrist Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson) who has both men subdued and taken to a mental hospital for treatment to cure them of their delusions that they are super heroes. Also at this clinic is a catatonic Elijah Price (played again by Samuel L. Jackson) AKA: Mr. Glass. Soon it becomes apparent that Mr. Glass has been playing the long game and intends to seize this opportunity to pit David against The Beast in front of the entire world to prove his theory that comic book heroes actually exist among us.


While the ride itself is decently satisfying, the payoff feels less so. There are some fun moments seeing these characters together on the screen and the performances are solid from the cast with McAvoy stealing the show by once again portraying 20+ personalities. Samuel L. Jackson is also fantastic (but c’mon… when is he not?) as this film’s title character but Bruce Willis seems just kind of… there. Not that there was anything wrong with his performance, but I feel that his character was not done much service in this film and he’s not used to the levels I was expecting to see. Sarah Paulson is wonderful and Anya Taylor-Joy (back from ‘Split‘) also delivers a terrific performance. This is definitely a film where one needs to see the first two installments to fully understand and appreciate what the movie does have to offer. The twist ending (an M. Night Shyamalan staple) is fine, but it’s only ‘The Village‘ fine and not ‘Unbreakable‘ fine. Due to the rather unsatisfactory conclusion and a lack of feeling any of that real gut-twisting suspense that was quite present in the first two installments, I’d have to give ‘Glass’ a very fragile 5 out of 10.  See this film for closure and not for any new ground to be broken. Maybe if you go in with lower expectations, you’ll end up enjoying it more than I did. (It’s also worth noting that there are no post credit scenes in this one, so feel free to take off as soon as the movie concludes.) ‘Glass’ opens in theaters across the U.S. on Friday 1/18/2019.


‘Aquaman’ Movie Review


The next entry in the DC Cinematic Universe hits theaters this weekend and “hit” is exactly the word I’d use to describe ‘Aquaman‘. We’ve already seen Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry in 2017’s ‘Justice League‘ but now he is on his own in an epic film that serves as both a solo adventure and an origin story. For a character that has always been treated as sort of a throwaway member of the DC stable, this movie does an excellent job of painting Aquaman as a major player in the the DCEU pantheon while detailing the incredible history of this superhero who first appeared in comics nearly 60 years ago! Caught between the human world in which he was raised but also feeling the call of his Atlantean heritage, Aquaman is sought out by Princess Mera (Amber Heard) to help stop a war led by Aquaman’s half-brother, King Orm (played by Patrick Wilson) who plans to unite the remaining kingdoms of Atlantis, wipe out the surface world and declare himself Ocean Master. In order to stop him, Arthur must embrace his heritage and seek out the lost Trident of Atlan in order defeat Orm and prove himself worthy of leading his people.


The story itself is fairly predictable, but the stylized journey on which we are taken is worth every second. While Ocean Master is the main adversary, a better known DC Comics baddie also appears – Black Manta (superbly played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and I wish we could have gotten to see even more of him!! However, the entire cast is brilliant and director James Wan ensures that the pacing of the movie stays consistently strong, which it needed to considering the lengthy 2hr, 22min run time. The visuals are stunning and seeing it in 3D only enhanced the experience. In fact, I’d say that it is easily the most visually captivating and beautiful of any of the DC films to date! With ‘Wonder Woman‘ having done so well for Warner Bros and now with ‘Aquaman’ already making such a splash at the world wide box office, I’m sure that the tsunami of hits will just keep coming for the DCEU at this point! On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d say that ‘Aquaman’ crests at an 8.5. Make sure to get out and see it in 3D or IMAX where available as this is one movie that you deserve to have flood your senses at maximum levels!!blackmanta_01

‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ Movie Review


The Harry Potter film series is truly a world unto itself. Between being both a box office sensation and a franchise that has spawned toys, books and even a theme park. After the release of ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them‘ in 2016 and that film’s commercial and critical success, a new series of movies was a given. ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald‘ picks up where the first film left off with Gellert Grindelwald being transferred from New York to London. Obviously he escapes and from there… the plot gets complicated, to say the least. All of the familiar faces from the original are back: Eddie Redmayne reprises the role of lovable Hufflepuff alum and Magizoologist Newt Scamander. Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller & Johnny Depp also return for the sequel along with newcomers Jude Law as a young Albus Dumbledore, Callum Turner as Newt’s brother Theseus and Claudia Kim as Nagini. Sadly, despite the best efforts of a talented and illustrious cast, this is one sequel that falls woefully short of the mark.


The problems mainly lay in a convoluted plot that seems to be scattershot at best and downright jumbled at worst. It is devoid of the nostalgic charm & whimsy of the original film and it’s only in the passing references and nods made toward the Harry Potter world we all have come to love that make it sufficiently interesting for the viewer to slog through to the rather lackluster climax. As stated earlier, the actors are first rate and seem to not only embrace their respective roles, but also relish in them as the movie advances. In the end, I feel like I am getting a product that only serves as a step towards the next film, which in my opinion, is a waste of a film. Subplots are waved away with ham-handed carelessness and Harry Potter canon is changed in an eyebrow raising manner. Were I not such a fan of this universe in which I have been immersed now for nearly 20 years, this movie might have caused me to write it off and be done. My only hope is that the next film in the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ series provides some degree of payoff from this shambles. For the sake of the actors involved and for the fans who are invested in the happenings of the greater Potter world, the 3rd entry needs to do some major damage control right off the bat. Due to the reasons listed above, I am only able to “Accio” my way to give ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald’ a muggling score of 4 out of 10. There isn’t enough magic out there to get me to wade through a 2nd viewing of this one, Friends.


‘Overlord’ Movie Review


‘Overlord’ (2018)
Bad Robot & Paramount Pictures

Directed by: Julius Avery
Written by: Billy Ray & Mark L. Smith
Starring: Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, Mathilde Ollivier, Pilou Asbaek, John Magaro, Iain De Caestecker & Bokeem Woodbine

Some movies are exactly what you expect based on the previews you see. ‘American Pie‘ always springs to mind for me because if you saw the previews, then you basically saw the movie. Then there are some movies that give you an idea of what you might be getting and then completely take you by surprise when you see the actual film. For me, ‘Overlord‘ definitely falls into this second category. Based upon the previews I kept seeing, I thought I’d be getting a “Wolfenstein” style, World War II era zombie flick. This movie had all that and then some. The story follows a group of American soldiers who drop behind enemy lines in Nazi occupied France in order to knock out a radio tower to give the D-Day forces a better chance of victory the next morning when they attack. Their mission is further complicated when they find that the Nazis are using the townspeople in some ghastly genetic experiments. Now they must not only complete their primary objective, but also save their new friends from becoming horrifyingly mutated agents of the Third Reich.


The only actors who I immediately recognized from the cast were Bokeem Woodbine & John Magaro & Iain De Caestecker but everyone in the film gave an outstanding performance. The setting and atmosphere of the film permeated the theater and I found myself on the edge of my seat throughout. There is violence aplenty (it’s a WWII film so hopefully that comes as no surprise), a healthy dose of sci-fi gore and some heart-pounding scares all given in equal parts. Unfortunately, there were a few times early on when it tried to become too drama oriented and took me slightly out of the moment as a result. It was almost as if some scenes had been extended to lengthen the run time of the film which, at 1hr and 49min, I think could have been trimmed to make for a sleeker final product. The ending was satisfying with the door left just slightly cracked open for a sequel should the need arise. The plot is very simple and straightforward making this a great popcorn flick for those who are looking for an adrenaline-filled alternative to the normal “holiday movie” fare currently in theaters. Perhaps due to my low expectations going in but mainly due to the outstanding cast who all brought their A-game to their performances, I’m forced to bestow upon ‘Overlord’ a rank of 7.5 out of 10. If a theater near you is offering it in 3-D or IMAX, I can only imagine it would enhance the enjoyment of this movie. Drag a friend out to see it this weekend!!!