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Reviews for movies I've seen from the year 2019. This will only apply to movies I've seen and will be highly opinionated. Also, please refer to my scaling system and how the system works.

           NerdWithAKeyboard's Rating System
WARNING: SPOILERS FOLLOW

Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias: One Show Fits All

OSFA
Right off the bat, you might think it's weird that I'm including a stand-up comedy show in a series of movie reviews. But I consider it a movie, even if it is a taping of a live performance. I say it still counts. And they're my reviews, so there. With that being said, I will review it a little differently than I do the other movies.

Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias is one of my favorite standups, with his hilarious stories and even funnier deliveries. Some of his stories like the "Volkswagen Bug", "Racist Gift Basket", etc. are so funny and creative. For this show, he talks about the issues of parenting, hanging with Snoop Dogg, the perks of being a gay lover, sneaking backstage at t Chris Rock concert, and Red Lobster. The stories are, as usual really funny. However, this show is more about heart than humor, as Iglesias reflects back on his origins, his life as a parent, the passing of his mother, and even ends the how with his first routine, which is so well-known that the audience says the punchlines with him. So while this show isn't one of his funniest, it does have a lot of heart and emotion as well as some great laughs. If I did have to complain, I would say that Iglesias does rag a little bit on a certain political group, but that's in most stand-up comedy. That and the audience in this special gets a little unruly, though that's not Iglesias' fault.

So yeah, this is another funny special from Fluffy. Not his best, but a good one. Lots of heart and lots of laughs, a solid stand-up special.

7/10

Captain Marvel

Cpmarvel
Back in the 90s, the MCU's most powerful superhero was created. With all the hype that this character is getting for her appearance in Endgame. So will it soar to new heights, or does it feel like a personal attack or something?

Vers is a woman belonging to the Kree Empire, tasked with fighting the invading Skrulls. However, she is stranded on Earth and meets a young Nick Fury. As she plans to go home, she realizes that Earth might have the answers to her past, where she came from, her lack of memories, and who the woman in her dreams is. She teams up with Fury to figure her life out, all while her relationship with her mentor Yon-Rogg grows increasingly rough and she realizes that maybe her life has not been what she thought it was.

So this movie has all the things you'd want to see in an MCU movie: amazing and creative action scenes, some great comedy, vast environments, and likable characters. All my opinions on Brie Larson aside, Captain Marvel herself is a charming and entertaining character. The villains are all cool and interesting, with some of them revealed to have bigger motivations than one could think. There are a lot of welcome surprises, as well as great colors and effects.

The only real problems come from a possible continuity issue involving an Infinity Stone (you question how and when it got to where it is found) and a completely unnecessary gender swap clearly just for political correctness' sake. That, and the movie is a bit slow and standard in the beginning.

So, yeah. I think this is an enjoyable, solid movie that I liked a lot more than I expected. There are some weird choices and shifts, but it is otherwise very cool and fun to watch. I reccomend it, especially if you're a Marvel fan.

7/10

Avengers: Endgame

Avengers-endgame
This is it, the climactic finale to the Infinity Saga of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I'll be honest, I saw this movie about a week ago, but didn't review it yet because I had to let it sink in. There is just so much to unpack with this movie, so here we go. And of course, spoilers follow.

After the events of Infinity War, the remaining populations of the universe are dealing with the loss of half of all life. While the Avengers were able to hunt down and kill Thanos, he made it impossible to reverse what he had done, and five years pass as the universe rebuilds. However, Ant Man arrives and explains that time works differently in the Quantum Realm, and that the Avengers may be able to use it to their advantage to travel back in time, collect the Infinity Stones before Thanos does, and use them to bring everyone back. However, threats from the past follow them, and sacrifices must be made in order to bring everyone back and stop Thanos once and for all.

This is probably the most epic and risk-taking of the MCU moves thus far; there are so many badass action scenes, fights, effects, concepts, and inventions that allow for the Avengers and their allies to really shine. Every character (with the exception of those who died in Infinity War) get the amount of screentime you'd want them to have. Thanos turns into an even bigger threat when his outlook on life is changed, making him even better. The time travel thing is also done well and calls back to several other MCU movies and even pokes fun at them. There are also a ton of references to comic events and characters, such as Professor Hulk and Captain Hydra. And, of course, there is the last third, which is not only the best part of the movie, but may be the best part of the entire MCU.

Any problems I have are that some parts are a little cringy; for example, fat Thor, Fortnite, and dabbing Hulk. I mean... why? I get that they were supposed to be humorous, but they just kind of came off as awkward. They also try to explain their time travel as being different from how other movies do it, but it doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

So, what are my thoughts on hands-down one of the biggest films of all time? I think it's not only great, but it's probably in the top five MCU movies. While some parts are a little cringy, that doesn't really detract from the fact that this is the biggest and mot epic of the MCU films. Still deciding if I like it or Infinity War better, but let me say that it's going to be close. Very close.

9/10

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part

Lego2
If I said I loved LEGOS as a kid, I'd technically be lying. Not only did I ADORE LEGOs as a kid, but I still do now (I still have all of my sets. And when I say all, I mean ALL). When the first Lego Movie came out, I thought it was amazing and clever. So now that we have the second part of this series, will it stack up, or should it be demolished?

After the Duplo Aliens attack, Bricksburg is transformed into the dystopian Apolcolipsberg. Everyon has been forced to harden and mature except Emmet, who can't seem to change and retains his childlike innocence. One day, Emmet's friends are captured and taken to the Systar System, where the Queen Watevra Wa'Nabi wants to marry Batman to merge their two worlds. On his way to save his friends, Emmet meets Rex Dangervest, who helps him mature and go to stop the Queen. However, as things begin to unfold, allegiances are formed and we find out what the whole ordeal really means.

Most of what is good about this movie is what was good about the first one: great characters, INCREDIBLE animation, funny and self-aware jokes, and good morals. Characters lie Queen Watevra Wa'Nabi, Sweet Mayhem,and Rex Dangervest are good additions to the cast, and the callbacks to the first movie are great as well. This movie is also (weirdly enough) a musical, and while that can be distracting at first, the songs are good enough to forgive the out of nowhere genre change. Also, the end credits are HILARIOUS.

The problems come from some of the writing. Not with the jokes or dialogue, but the story. It is obvious from the first moments what the moral and "deeper" meaning are, but they still try and keep it a surprise like in the first movie. They also bring extremely complicated time travel into it, though that's played more as a joke. But the biggest problem is actually several merged into one: first off, they get TOO self-aware, to the point where one of them even says "this isn't real, it's just the representation of the loss of innocence in an adolescent mind". But, in a bizarre twist, they completely contradict this by revealing that the LEGOs ARE alive! Yeah, they get up and move on their own in the real world and even get one of the humans to hear them sing. So... which is it? Are they imaginary or real? Not only does it give us two conflicting answers, but both of them TOTALLY break the immersion and ruin the mystery of whether the LEGOs are actually alive!

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is a valiant effort for a LEGO sequel. Though it is nowhere near as good as the first film with confusing and contradicting information, a hammered in moral that tries to be a surprise, and an out-of-nowhere-genre shift, it still has the great jokes, characters, animation, and creativity of the first film and even The LEGO Batman Movie. I'm a little torn, as I love a lot of things about it but really dislike a lot of other things. I WANT to like this movie more than I think I do. Maybe it's just because I hold the first one to such a high standard, but that in no way means that this movie is bad. It's a good movie, just with flaws.

7/10

The Curse of La Llorona

Lalarona
Time for the next entry in The Conjuring Universe! Will it be as scary as the rest, or is it all washed up?

The story follows a woman named Anna, who works as a CPS agent and supports her two children after the passing of her husband. One day, she is called to the home of Patricia Alvarez, who is suspected of abusing her two sons, and finds them locked in a closet, though Patricia claims it was for their protection. The two boys are mysteriously kidnapped and drowned in a river, with Patricia blaming Anna. After that, Anna and her children begin to experience strange paranormal occurrences that become increasingly deadly... soon finding that they are the work of a vengeful Mexican ghost named La Llorona that kills children to replace the ones she lost.

There are a lot of good things in this movie. The acting and writing are all good and feel like a part of The Conjuring Universe. La Llorona herself is a unique design and memorable monster to add to the franchise's ever-expanding list of vile villains. I also like that it treats itself like a side story, and doesn't try to force itself into the main storyline, which is a trap other horror franchises like Saw and Insidious fell into. There are good scares and good effects, and it flows smoothly.

The problem is that the story and pacing is very, very formulaic. This is a very typical horror movie, with every action and event taking place exactly when and how you think they will. While most of The Conjuring movies take a few risks (even if they don't work), this movie plays it very safe and delivers a by-the-numbers horror film that comes and goes. Some things are creative, but even most of the scares aren't very effective, as they've been done before in other horror movies and even in other Conjuring movies.

The Curse of La Llorona is... a movie. It does have good acting, a good villain, and fits well in the universe, but plays it very safe and delivers a very familiar experience. If you like horror movies and The Conjuring franchise, this will probably decently entertain you for an hour and a half then disappear. Not the best film in the franchise, but not necessarily bad.

6/10

Escape Room

Escaperoom
Escape Room is a Saw-style trap film where six contestants are put into... what else? Escape rooms. However, the reward is... their lives. Does it deliver, or is it a prize not worth looking for?

Zoey, Ben, Jason, Mike, Amanda, and Danny are all seemingly normal people who get invited to an escape room. When all of them attend, they are thrust into it without warning, and quickly realize that each room contains unique and deadly traps and methods of killing, usually timed. The six strangers must put their differences aside to crack the puzzles and codes of each room, all while discovering what their connections are, who is doing this to them, and what deadly traps each room has in store. Alliances and enemies are made, truths are revealed, and each try to see if they can make it out of this game with their lives.

So the best part of this movie is the concept. It's creative, interesting, and leads to a lot of great possibilities, most of which are taken advantage of. The designs of the various rooms and especially the traps and dealers of death are really cool and creative. While none of the characters are outstanding, none are bad and you want to see all of them make it out. And it is fun for the audience as we try to figure out the puzzles at the same time as the characters.

The only real problems are the ending, which doesn't resolve much and is just a sequel hook, and the fact that it doesn't take full advantage of the creativity of its traps like Saw does. Because it's PG-13, the violence is very minimal and it doesn't allow for a lot of creative gore or deaths associated with the creative traps. Most of the deaths are just standard falls or poisons, which aren't nearly as fun in a concept like this as gore would be.

So despite not taking advantage of the violence and having a sequel hook ending, Escape Room is... fun. It provides a great concept with some creative designs and ideas, as well as problem-solving and mystery. If you like escape rooms you'll probably like this movie more than I did, but I still think it's decent.

6/10