Tag Archives: grace

THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY (2019 – 2020) – My rating: 9/10

The Umbrella Academy (“TUA”) is an American superhero web television series based on the comic book series of the same name written by Gerard Way. Created for Netflix by Steve Blackman and developed by Jeremy Slater. The series is produced by Borderline Entertainment, Dark Horse Entertainment, and Universal Cable Productions. I’m glad I stuck with this series long enough to find out that this Academy is well worth seeing.

**** SOME SPOILERS BELOW ****

The Umbrella Academy revolves around a dysfunctional family of adopted sibling superheroes who reunite to solve the mystery of their father’s death and the threat of an impending apocalypse. On October 1, 1989, 43 women around the world gave birth simultaneously, despite none of them showing any signs of pregnancy until the day when labor began, then birth. Seven of the children are then adopted by eccentric billionaire Sir Reginald Hargreeves / The Monocle (Colm Feore), and turned into a superhero team that he calls “The Umbrella Academy.” Hargreeves names the children numbers rather than names however, they all carry the last name of Hargreeves. The children are eventually named by Grace (Jordan-Claire Robbins), their robot-mother as follows: Luther (Tom Hopper) / young Luther (Cameron Brodeur), Diego (David Castañeda) / young Diego (Blake Talabis), Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman) / teenage Allison (Eden Cupid) / 4-year-old Allison (Jordana Blake), Klaus (Robert Sheehan) / young Klaus (Dante Albidone), Number Five (Aidan Gallagher) / Adult Number Five (Jim Watson) / Elderly Number Five (Sean Sullivan), who is never assigned a real name, Ben (Justin H. Min) / young Ben (Ethan Hwang), and Vanya (Ellen Page), Young teenage Vanya (T. J. McGibbon), 4-Year-old Vanya (Alyssa Gervasi). While putting six of his children to work fighting crime, Sir Reginald keeps Vanya apart from her siblings because she supposedly demonstrates no powers of her own.

In the present day, Luther (aka “Spaceboy” was formally Number One) — he is an astronaut with super strength who has lived on the moon for four years and is also part ape.  Diego (aka “The Kraken” was formally Number Two) — he has become a vigilante with a knack for getting into trouble and can curve the trajectory of anything he throws.  Allison (aka “The Rumor” was formally Number Three) — she is a famous actress with the ability to control minds and bend reality by saying “I heard a rumor…”.  Klaus (aka “The Séance” was formally Number Four) — he has a drug and alcohol addiction and is able to communicate with the dead.  Number Five (aka “The Boy” continues to be called Number Five) — he has the ability to time travel.  Ben (aka “The Horror” was formally Number Six) — he is deceased and a ghost who can only converse with KlausVanya (aka “The White Violin” was formally Number Seven) — she is a classic violinist with an ability TBA. 

The estranged siblings learned that their father, Sir Reginald has died, so they gathered for his funeral. Number Five returns from the future, chased by time-traveling operatives and reveals that a global apocalypse is imminent. Meanwhile, the reunited siblings try to uncover the secret of their dysfunctional family as they experience disconnect and chaos due to their divergent personalities and abilities. 

I really loved this unusual Marvel series.  It showed diversity, excitement, humor, action, and mystery.  Kudos to the writer and director for this entertaining story of mayhem and pandemonium. The Umbrella Academy has turned out to be one of the best series I’ve seen in months.  The reason I really enjoy Marvel, DC, and other superhero movies is acceptance, as they allow me and people like me to enjoy the fruits of our imaginations without any judgment.  These types of movies/series are “oh so entertaining” and add to the number of good endorphins in one’s body.  TUA is different because the focus is on the characters who all have powers, but they’re not overdone.  There are so many surprising twists and turns and BTW, I dare you to predict where this plot is going.  TUA is funny, I mean hilariously funny and suspenseful.  Each character has his or her own story and each story shares its personal version of funny and mystery.  It may take you a couple of episodes to really delve into the characters, but once you do, TOTAL ADDICTION!  Intriguing is 43 babies born to 43 women on the same day, all over the world.  What makes this different is the women were NEVER PREGNANT until the time of birth.  No nine months, no prenatal care, no sex, just a sudden baby-filled-womb on the day of birth — ready, set, baby.  This should be enough to lure you in, it certainly got me.  The series was filmed in Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario.  The first season was released on Netflix on February 15, 2019. In April 2019, Netflix reported that 45 million households had watched season one during its first month of release. That same month, the series was renewed for a second season, which was released on July 31, 2020. Watch both seasons of TUA, which received positive reviews from critics on Netflix — Check It Out!

TERMINATOR: DARK FATE (2019) – My rating: 8/10

Terminator: Dark Fate is a science fiction action film directed by Tim Miller. The screenplay is by David Goyer, Justin Rhodes, and Billy Ray from a story by James Cameron, Charles H. Eglee, Josh Friedman, Goyer and Rhodes. Cameron also produced the film, alongside David Ellison. It is the sixth installment in the Terminator franchise, and acts as a direct sequel to The Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), while retconning other related works such as Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), Terminator Salvation (2009), Terminator Genisys (2015), and the television series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008–2009) from the franchise’s canon following the return of creative control to Cameron. It’s sad when we go to a movie starring old stars to see how well they perform and what they look like now.  Terminator is such a movie but I must say, Arnold and Linda were great.

It is now 1998, Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and her son, John Connor (Edward Furlong) are enjoying life without the threat of being hunted by a Skynet Terminator from the future.  For three years, John and his mother were free.  However, while on a beach in Livingston, Guatemala, John is attacked and killed by a T-800 Terminator / Carl (Arnold Schwarzenegger), sent by Skynet prior to its demise. Twenty-two years later, an advanced Rev-9 Terminator is sent back in time to Mexico City, to kill Daniella “Dani” Ramos (Natalia Reyes), at the same time a cybernetically enhanced soldier named Grace (Mackenzie Davis) is sent to protect Dani. So we end up with good (Grace) vs. evil (REV-9) + Sarah who Grace has never heard of because Sarah nor John existed in Grace’s timeline.  Humanity is now threatened by an AI called Legion, which was developed by SAC-NORAD for use in cyberwarfare.

You can expect the usual special effects, which are fantastic, an older Arnold and an older Linda.  Both are brilliant actors and their age is just a number. It also helps to have Mackenzie Davis, who is energetic and just the right cup of tea for this role.  Being human and unknown, Sarah had to gain Grace’s respect. You will learn the plight of mankind, Dani, Grace, Carl and Sarah in Dark Fate in what promises to be the last Terminator in this series.  Following the film’s underwhelming opening at the box-office, sources close to Skydance told “The Hollywood Reporter” that there are no plans for further films. Dark Fate was very entertaining and has an excellent plot.  It received mixed reviews from critics, who believed it to be an improvement over previous installments and praised the performances and action sequences but criticized the recycled plot points and narrative choices. The film also became a box-office bomb, having grossed $249 million against an estimated production budget of $185–196 million. With a break-even point of $450–480 million, projected losses for the studios involved are estimated to reach $130 million. Despite the earnings, I recommend Terminator: Dark Fate to all.  Check It Out!

 

DO YOU BELIEVE? (2015) – My rating: 9.5/10

DoYouBelieveOne of the best spiritual movies I’ve seen.  Do You Believe? is well acted with an unforgettable story.  12 lives eventually intersect with each other by the end of a fantastic journey.  Some learn, some remain the same, some die and some don’t have a clue.  Do You Believe? is suspenseful, thrilling, exciting, emotionally draining and even funny.  Kudos to Jon Gunn for directing a marvelous movie.  Mira Sorvino, who plays Samantha, gives a riveting performance and her daughter, in the movie, Lily (Makenzie Moss) steals the show. Others of the 12 include 2 brothers, Kriminal (Senyo Amoaku) and Pretty Boy (Shwayze) who are part of a gang, Joe (Brian Bosworth) a dying inmate, Pastor Matthew (Ted McGinley), his wife Grace (Tracy Melchior), an EMT, Bobby (Liam Matthews),  his wife, Elena (Valerie Dominguez), Elena’s brother Carlos (Joseph Julian Soria) who is also a Marine suffering from Post Traumatic Disorder, a young woman named Lacey (Alexa PenaVega) who cuts on herself and is in despair, an older couple, JD and Ten (Lee Majors and Cybill Shepherd, respectively, who lost a child many years ago, Dr. Farell (Sean Astin) who wants to take all the credit for saving patients, Andrea (Andrea Logan White) an Atheist lawyer, and Maggie (Madison Pettis) a pregnant teenager.  The movie opens with a verse from James 2:17 –  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (NIV)   Also, Malachi (Delroy Lindo) carries a large cross and ask the question: Do You Believe?  I love this movie — it’s very well done and gives a powerful message.  It’s worth every dime spent on the big screen.

ANNIE (2014) – My rating: 9.5/10

AnnieI expected a good remake of Annie and I got one.  Jamie Foxx delivered a fantastic performance of Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks, renamed Will Stacks.  The real draw was Quvenzhané Wallis  who is absolutely adorable.  She plays Annie Bennett and is currently the youngest nominated Oscar candidate in the history of the Academy of Arts and Science.  She was nominated 2 years ago for “Beast of the Southern Wild”.  She was mesmerizing then and mesmerizing now.  She is talented and charismatic.  In Annie, Quvenzhané  sang and danced her way through scene after scene in search of her real parents, a slight twist from the original Annie.  Cameron Diaz also delivered a brilliant performance as the always drunken Miss Colleen Hannigan who is the foster parent responsible for a house filled with orphan children.  Foxx is a billionaire who is running for mayor of New York City.  Bobby Cannavale plays Guy, Stacks campaign adviser and Rose Byrne plays Grace, Stack’s love interest and personal assistant.  Original favorites like “It’s a Hard Knock Life” were performed to a tee.  I don’t think Quvenzhané Wallis is the best singer in the pack but I do believe she is the total package and will charm her way right into your hearts.  Nice job!