Director: Robert Rodriguez
Starring: Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Mahershala Ali, Jennifer Connelly, Keean Johnson, Ed Skrein, Idara Victor
Alita: Battle Angel is not great. It's not good. It's barely passable as OK. It does this because of two factors. The first, is Rosa Salazar, as the titular character. She is so good, so likable, and so charismatic as Alita, the film is salvaged; strike that, watchable because of it. The second, is the mind-boggling special effects. Alita, and her world, are so believable and brought to life stunningly. However, everything else here borders on an epic fail. The script is excruciatingly bad. Dialogue is beyond cringe worthy at times. Moments meant to be played out as serious, are laughable. Christoph Waltz, is the only other thing worth mentioning as a positive. He is solid, and plays off of Salazar, nicely. Mahershala Ali, on the eve of probably winning another Oscar, is so, so, so, bad in this. Jennifer Connelly, is beyond wasted here as well. I hope Cameron, used this as practice for writing a screenplay, as he needs to shake off all that rust before his bazillion Avatar sequels. This thing makes me nervous for those (and yes, I'm still a fan of the first). While Rodriguez, doesn't do him any favors (aside from getting the effects right), the biggest problems with Alita start and end with this dreadful screenplay. Salazar, is letdown by all of this. It's a damn shame.
Title: Happy Death Day 2U
Director: Christopher Landon
Starring: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Phi Vu, Suraj Sharma, Sarah Yarkin, Rachel Matthews, Ruby Modine, Steve Zissis
The first Happy Death Day, played like a new take on the slasher genre. Happy Death Day 2U, feels like a crazy 80's Sci-Fi comedy adventure. There's less horror this time around, which might throw some people off the Happy Death Day train, which is just barreling along a different track at full speed in this movie. I found this highly entertaining. It's funny, bat-shit insane at times, and surprisingly sweet at parts. Jessica Rothe, is the glue here. The first time her character realizes that she's back in the death-loop, is some of the most entertaining moments I've seen on film this year. It's hard to tell how some people will react to the drastic shift in tone here. If you go into Happy Death Day 2U expecting the first film, you might find yourself surprised at what you get. And I think, in a good way. It reminded me a bit of The Purge franchise, in that the sequels don't resemble the first film at all. Happy Death Day 2U, is a good time.
Title: The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
Director: Mike Mitchell
Starring: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Tiffany Haddish, Alison Brie, Stephanie Beatriz
The Lego Movie 2 might lack some of the pizzazz the first film had, but it still packs an entertaining punch. The voice cast assembled here, is fantastic. Pratt and Banks, anchor again, however, Tiffany Haddish brings a fresh charm to her, Queen Whatevra Wa'Nabi. Will Arnett's Batman, returns in a solid extra outing. Like the first film, Lego Movie 2, has an emotional core message. The first, was about a father and son. This time around, the message is just as special and works nicely. The creative angle is still here, and the animation style is still something unique. In fact, it feels like there have been some improvements. While I don't think it's as solid a movie, it's still extremely entertaining.