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CTD MOVIE REVIEWS

Official Pokémon Detective Pikachu poster. Owned by Legendary.
Official Pokémon Detective Pikachu poster. Owned by Legendary.

Pokémon 

Detective Pikachu


Rating: PG

Length: 1 hr and 44 min

Review

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Today I went to see an unlikely movie, at least for me- Pokémon Detective Pikachu. Surprisingly, this movie did not disappoint. Overall it was a typical cartoon-type flick perfect for Pokémon lovers both young and old. However, I do not recommend it for young tykes (5 and under) as the movie was heavy on psychological factors.

Our movie starts with one of our main protagonists known as Tim (played by Justice Smith) and his buddy Jack. Tim is an interesting character- a young adult with a job and a past that is full of pain and disappointment.

When Tim finds out some not-so-good news he ends up leaving home (the last thing he wants to do) and ends up getting into an entanglement with a Pokemon bent on solving a mystery that hits home.

This movie is a typical Who-Done-It mystery, heavy on the java, and contains some surprising twists and turns that will spark some laughter and keep you in your seat as you all the while try to solve the mystery which involves figuring out who the true antagonist of the film is.

Nudity- Tim and Detective Pikachu encounter a man with tats and no shirt at one point.

Violence- There’s plenty of action for sure. Plus, this is a mystery. So there is some violence.

Spiritual Content and more- There’s some serious messing-with-the-mind moments in this movie. So, as stated before, know your kid before take them to see this one. There’s also similar moments in this film compared to another movie in the DC universe. DC fans would catch on. I sure did.

In Christ we are under Grace; we are free. Christ is our High Priest and is our Peace. But sometimes we get discouraged, second guess God’s Love for us, and have moments of regret, shame, and feeling condemned. Suffice it to say, our heroes have their own battles within themselves they have to face.

But just like how the Holy Spirit reminds us that God’s love never fails, all sins are blotted out, and that the ruler of this world is already judged, so too do they snap out of their inner struggles and help another find the right path to freedom. And that’s who we are as Christians. We are free and are called to walk in that freedom while sharing with others the saving Grace that comes from having faith in Lord Jesus, God our Savior.


So, if you like Pokémon, coffee, and a good mystery,

this just might be the movie for you!

SCORE: 8/10

-Review Written by Melissa Conkey, Cross Town Disciple


Official Avengers: Endgame poster. Design and Characters owned by Disney/Marvel
Official Avengers: Endgame poster. Design and Characters owned by Disney/Marvel

AVENGERS:ENDGAME

Rating: PG-13

Length: 3 hr and 2 min

Review

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If I could sum up Avengers: Endgame with two words, they would be: ‘satisfying’ and ‘epic’.

Some conclusions to series can be quite disappointing like Spiderman 3 and Glass for example. Thankfully, Avengers: Endgame is not one of them. In this writer’s opinion, Avengers: Endgame might very well be the best conclusion to a saga in cinema history. That is saying a lot considering that there are some great conclusions out there.

All 20+ movies were building up to this finale and Disney/Marvel made a surprising decision by not revealing a lot of the movie in their marketing. This actually turned out to be a smart move by them because it only built up the hype for the release of the film and really made it a complete surprise for moviegoers. When I went to see it, I literally had no idea what to expect. At 3 hours and 2 minutes long, the film could’ve easily been a complete bore-fest that would make you take a peek at your phone’s clock. Or it could’ve been one of those long films that has a great beginning, tiresome middle act, and an amazing final act. Endgame does something completely different: it features a very surprising first act, an engaging middle act, and an mind-blowing final act.

One of the biggest positives of Avengers: Endgame is that the entire film builds towards closure. This is a different formula than the previous Marvel films that always built towards a future installment. Every scene in Endgame flows with a sense of “This is it. This really is the end of the Avengers saga.” The plot is engaging and you will find yourself getting drawn into the entertaining banter between the characters especially in the film’s middle act.

There’s a good amount of humor in the film with plenty of ‘LOL’ moments. If you enjoy humor in your epic action movies, Endgame definitely delivers and in a way where it doesn’t feel forced or out of place. Let’s just say a certain axe/hammer wielding Asgardian will have you cracking up in your seat on multiple occasions.

The action in Endgame is raw, brutal, and at times grounded. In Infinity War, the action scenes were quite flashy and bombastic with heroes and villains showing off their arsenal of super powered skills on each other. Here in Endgame, however, the powers are on display but more direct and vicious. In every action scene, you really get the sense that everyone involved is doing whatever it takes to win. If Infinity War was the battle royal, Endgame is certainly the extreme rules, no holds, barred match.

Just to warn you, Endgame does have a few emotional moments that could bring some fans to tears. I won’t comment on those moments but let’s just say that not every scene in Endgame is light-hearted.

While Endgame is a great conclusion to the saga, I did have an issue with the film: Captain Marvel. After all the build up, all the hype, I truly was expecting a bigger role for this fantastic heroine…but sadly her role is quite minor. I won’t reveal what she does in the film but it’s quite underwhelming. There are many scenes in the film that just scream for her to be involved in, including one sequence where I’m still puzzled as to how they couldn’t effectively include her. I won’t say what sequence it is, but it does involve Thor and Rocket. I will leave it at that. She is a character with much potential as we saw in her amazingly entertaining solo film. So to see her character so underused in this finale is disappointing.

Also while I do find the new Professor Hulk to be entertaining, his role in Endgame like Captain Marvel is…disappointing. We see a lot of Banner in Professor Hulk but very little Incredible Hulk. After Hulk chickened out in Infinity War throughout the film, I was expecting the reason to be fleshed out more in Endgame. But upon viewing the film, it really comes off as the writers just didn’t know how to write the Hulk character but knew how to write Bruce Banner. So instead of Professor Hulk being Hulk plus Banner…he is just a big green Bruce Banner. No fighting skills or anything, just Banner. I love Bruce; Mark Ruffalo does a great job playing the character. But boy, such a missed opportunity here with Professor Hulk.

Overall, despite the handling of Hulk and Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame is a solid movie and a film that you can definitely watch over and over again. Truly a grand finale to a grand series.

SCORE: 10/10

Review Written by Justin Conkey, Cross Town Disciple

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Official Captain Marvel Poster. Design and Characters owned by Marvel/Disney
Official Captain Marvel Poster. Design and Characters owned by Marvel/Disney

CAPTAIN MARVEL

Rating: PG-13

Length: 2 hr and 5 min

Review

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Over the years, Marvel Studios have made a lot of hits. They've had a few misses but overall the studio has been consistent in delivering good film after good film per year. And I;m pleased to say that their latest movie, Captain Marvel, is another hit.

The movie tells the story of a female warrior named Carol Danvers who is sent on a mission with a Kree task Force to rescue a Kree operative from a shape-shifting race of aliens known very well throughout the Marvel Universe as The Skrulls. The mission goes disastrous and sends Carol on a very personal journey involving her hazy past.

Captain Marvel is set during the 1990's and even feels exactly like a 90's Sci Fi action popcorn flick, like Star Trek or Stargate. The actress playing Carol, Brie Larson, even carries herself as one of those 90's action heroines. Brie does a great job bringing the character of Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers to life by beautifully melding a tough/no nonsense personality with a hint of upbeat/playful persona. This mix makes Carol a very likable character and a heroine that you can root for.

Also in the film is Samuel L. Jackson reprising his role as Nick Fury. Because the movie is pre Iron Man, Nick is not yet Director of Shield but is just a regular agent. I honestly felt this was Samuel's best outing as the character because instead of being the mysterious one eyed director making questionable decisions, we see a more human/laid back Nick Fury that has a "buddy cop" type of personality. It is a welcoming change of pace and makes the character more likable and interesting. Not that he wasn't interesting before Captain Marvel, but there's something entertaining about seeing good ole' Samuel tagging along with Brie cracking jokes, being all loving to a cat, while still fighting some bad guys. You can really tell he had fun filming this movie.

The visual effects in the film are pretty stellar. The good thing is they don't dominate the film. They are primarily used when necessary (like during outer space sequences); on some things practical effects are utilized. For example, instead of being all CGI, the filmmakers took a more "Star Trek" approach with the Skrulls and used makeup and molding on the actors to bring the alien race to life.

While Captain Marvel is a good entertaining film, it still has some flaws. I won't spoil anything but let's just say the main villain of the film's role works well with the plot, but isn't anything to write home about. There is also a secondary villain in the film, whose quite intriguing, but unfortunately doesn't get fleshed out in the film and remains a complete question mark. One can only hope that they are saving the villain entirely for a sequel or for Endgame but we will see.

Captain Marvel is definitely a film made for Marvel fans and Sci Fi nerds. There are a lot of terms and references that are directed to those fan-bases. If you are not a fan of either, Captain Marvel may not be the best choice of film for you. However, if you are a fan of both, get ready for nerdy goodness that will put a smile on your face.

SCORE: 9/10

-Review written by Justin Conkey, Cross Town Disciple

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Official Avengers Infinity War poster. Design and characters owned by Marvel/Disney.
Official Avengers Infinity War poster. Design and characters owned by Marvel/Disney.

AVENGERS INFINITY WAR

Rating: PG-13

Length: 2 hr and 40 min

Review

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So you know how there are some action movies that take awhile before they get going? With Avengers: Infinity War, that is certainly not the case. From the moment those Marvel pages at the beginning of the film stop flipping to the end credits, Infinity War is just one non stop action thrill ride. It was the film we have been waiting years for and despite some flaws, it doesn't disappoint.

The plot is pretty simple: the intergalactic warlord Thanos, his army, and his elite group known as The Black Order have finally launched a full scale campaign to recover the Infinity Stones in order to wipeout half the universe. And let's just say that the majority of our heroes are not exactly prepared for an opponent like this. The Avengers are still split; the Guardians of the Galaxy haven't been keeping track of what Thanos has been doing; Dr. Strange and his group of wizards are also out of the loop;Spidey is just going with the flow; Black Panther and Wakanda are still trying to get settled in after being fully revealed to the world; and Thor and Hulk are coming off of an insane brawl with Hela and her army. So, suffice it to say, Thanos, wielding his massive golden Infinity Gauntlet and ferociously barging onto the scene sure catches them all off guard.

One of the cool things about Infinity War is how it boasts such a giant cast of characters and utilizes them all in a way that doesn't overwhelm you. Most of the cast are grouped together in separate teams making it easy to follow and giving each fan favorite character, including the main villain himself, Thanos, a chance to shine. Marvel/Disney also made the smart move of making the film over 2 and half hours long, which gives the plot plenty of breathing room and still enough time for amazing action.

Speaking of the action, Infinity War offers some of the best fight sequences in the MCU. Almost every battle in Infinity War is so grand and epic in scale it can feel like they could be the final battles in stand alone super hero movies. If you are hungry for superhero/super villain action, Infinity War will most definitely satisfy your appetite since the majority of the film is one giant action piece right after another.

Like most Marvel movies, the movie does have a good amount of humor in it and some great one liners from the characters. The film is also one of the more darker Marvel movies; there are some scenes that might be a little much for younger viewers.

Infinity War is not a perfect film and does have its share of flaws. The number one flaw is the Black Order. I won't spoil too much but let's just say these characters, especially Corvis Glave could've used a few more minutes of screen time for character development.

Overall, Avengers Infinity War is an amazing battle royal of a superhero movie and is one of Marvel's best films to date, in my opinion. The wait was worth it! Bring on the finale!

SCORE: 9/10

-Review Written by Justin Conkey, Cross Town Disciple

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