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Movie Reviews

The Bad News Bears meets Long Beach California in MGM’s ‘The Underdoggs’



A formula that has worked many times in the past, but this film doesn’t shy away from it, it embraces it. The Underdoggs features Snoop Dogg and comedian Mike Epps in a “laugh-out-loud-near-parody of other youth sports team with a less than ideal role model” movie. You won’t be surprised to learn that this film is also Rated R and deservingly so. In the first frame of the film, you are welcomed with a sort of welcome ad that sets the tone right away that you wouldn’t bring your 8-year-old to see this.

Snoop as Jaycen “Two Js” Jennings is intriguing. The legendary rapper is mostly mild tempered or laid back when he appears in interviews or other movies. In The Underdoggs he spends most of his time cursing out children which sounds less appealing than it actually is. Most of the humor from his character comes from berating other characters, whether it be the kids on the team or veteran comedian Mike Epps.

Mike falls directly into the role he’s been playing since Friday After Next as Day-Day. I half expected Ice Cube to make some kind of appearance in this film, but it doesn’t happen. The story is quite familiar, but you are never too comfortable with the on-goings on screen. The shenanigans of the kids, the banter between Snoop and Epps, or Andrew Schultz as the insufferable Chip Collins is enough to keep you on your heels or the floor laughing. The Underdoggs is now streaming on Prime Video and if you sit down to watch it, don’t bring your 8-year-old or your momma.

Synopsis: Jaycen “Two Js” Jennings (Snoop Dogg) is a washed-up ex-professional football star who has hit rock bottom. When Jaycen is sentenced to community service coaching the Underdoggs, an unruly pee-wee football team in his hometown of Long Beach, California, he sees it as an opportunity to rebuild his public image and turn his life around. As Jaycen works to transform the foul-mouthed Underdoggs into top-notch champions, he reconnects with his past, including an old flame and few of his ex-teammates and rediscovers his love of the game.

Ted aka Steady is the Editor in Chief of the Countdown City Geeks. He has covered some of the largest pop culture events in the world including San Diego Comic-Con and hosted a variety of events from eSports Tourneys, film festivals, to moderating panels at conventions.

Movie Reviews

Kumail and cast bring the laughs in the hilarious ‘Migration’



Ted aka Steady is back with a new review and this time its Illumination Entertainment’s Migration.

This holiday season, Illumination, creators of the blockbuster Minions, Despicable Me, Sing and The Secret Life of Pets comedies, invites you to take flight into the thrill of the unknown with a funny, feathered family vacation like no other in the action-packed new original comedy, Migration.

The Mallard family is in a bit of rut. While dad Mack is content to keep his family safe paddling around their New England Pond forever, mom Pam is eager to shake things up and show their kids—teen son Dax and duckling daughter Gwen—the whole wide world. After a migrating duck family alights on their pond with thrilling tales of far-flung places, Pam persuades Mack to embark on a family trip, via New York City, to tropical Jamaica.

As the Mallards make their way South for the winter, their well-laid plans quickly go awry. The experience will inspire them to expand their horizons, open themselves up to new friends and accomplish more than they ever thought possible, while teaching them more about each other—and themselves—than they ever imagined.

Cast: Kumail Nanjiani, Elizabeth Banks, Awkwafina, Keegan-Michael Key, David Mitchell, Carol Kane, Caspar Jennings, Tresi Gazal and Danny DeVito.

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Movie Reviews

‘Trolls Band Together’ Rocks the Stage This Weekend – Movie Review



Steady and JC caught an early screening for Trolls Band Together and were taken back to the boy band craze of the 90s and 2000s. Hear their take on the new film and let us know what you think about the movie in the comments below.

This holiday season, get ready for an action-packed, all-star, rainbow-colored family reunion like no other as Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake return for the new chapter in DreamWorks Animation’s blockbuster musical franchise: Trolls Band Together

After two films of true friendship and relentless flirting, Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and Branch (Justin Timberlake) are now officially, finally, a couple (#broppy)! As they grow closer, Poppy discovers that Branch has a secret past. He was once part of her favorite boyband phenomenon, BroZone, with his four brothers: Floyd (Golden Globe nominated electropop sensation Troye Sivan), John Dory (Eric André; Sing 2), Spruce (Grammy winner Daveed Diggs; Hamilton) and Clay (Grammy winner Kid Cudi; Don’t Look Up). BroZone disbanded when Branch was still a baby, as did the family, and Branch hasn’t seen his brothers since.  

But when Branch’s bro Floyd is kidnapped for his musical talents by a pair of nefarious pop-star villains—Velvet (Emmy winner Amy Schumer; Trainwreck) and Veneer (Grammy winner and Tony nominee Andrew Rannells; The Book of Mormon)—Branch and Poppy embark on a harrowing and emotional journey to reunite the other brothers and rescue Floyd from a fate even worse than pop-culture obscurity. 

Featuring Trolls’ signature psychedelic joy-bomb of new and classic pop hits, Trolls Band Together stars a dazzling cast of musical superstars and comedic powerhouses as new franchise characters, including four-time Grammy nominee and Latin Grammy winner Camila Cabello (Cinderella) as Viva; Zosia Mamet (The Flight Attendant) as Crimp; and 12-time Emmy winning drag icon RuPaul Charles as Miss Maxine. 

The returning cast includes Grammy, Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Zooey Deschanel as Bridget; Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Gristle, the Icona Pop duo Aino Jawo and Caroline Hjelt as Satin and Chenille, Grammy winner Anderson .Paak as Prince D, comedian Ron Funches as Cooper, SAG nominee Kunal Nayyar as Guy Diamond and Emmy winning Saturday Night Live legend Kenan Thompson as Tiny Diamond. 

Trolls Band Together is steered by returning director Walt Dohrn and producer Gina Shay, and is co-directed by Tim Heitz (head of story, Trolls World Tour). DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls films—2016’s Trolls and 2020’s Trolls World Tour—have sung and danced their way to record-breaking success, earning an Oscar® nomination for Best Original Song and fuelingone of the largest and most beloved entertainment brands in the world.

Genre: Animated Action-Comedy

Cast: Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Camila Cabello, Eric André, Amy Schumer, Andrew Rannells, Troye Sivan, Daveed Diggs, Kid Cudi, Zosia Mamet, Zooey Deschanel, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, RuPaul Charles, Aino Jawo, Caroline Hjelt, Kenan Thompson, Anderson .Paak, Kunal Nayyar, Ron Funches

Director: Walt Dohrn

Co-Director: Tim Heitz

Producer: Gina Shay

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Movie Reviews

The Exorcist Believer, is the Legacy Sequel a Worthy Successor?



Fifty years has passed since the original film had audiences walking out of their showings and had them reinforcing their faith. Director David Gordon Green and co-writer Danny McBride are fresh off their Halloween trilogy which has some mixed reviews but concluding the Jamie Lee Curtis timeline was rewarding for fans of the original film. Now the duo goes from the most success horror franchise ever to the scariest.

The Exorcist Believer revolves around the disappearance of two young girls. Mystery surrounds their return while supernatural events begin occurring in the days after. What David Gordon Green does best is build the tension in his films which most horror films tend to skip over and replace with your usual jump scares. Something he also succeeded at with his Halloween trilogy. In this regard, his film feels like a horror film from the good old days.

The first half of the film is near perfect. With performances from stars such as Leslie Odom Jr. and the rest of the supporting cast setting up the eerie plot while the musical score elevates every scene beautifully. Ellen Burstyn is a welcoming addition to the story. Her presence feels genuine. Had she been shoehorned in, this half would fall apart completely. Where the film struggles is where even the original had some issues, the exorcism itself.

I say the original struggled due to the fact that there is no blueprint to how this should go. How long it should last, how to depict when we’ve accomplished what needs to be done, or how to keep audiences engaged while reciting Bible verses for what seems like an eternity. The latest film has some interesting elements such as bringing together people from different faiths and backgrounds that all have ideas on how to confront this evil. It’s quite an intriguing premise which makes sense as you begin to understand every culture has written stories about similar situations.

In some cultures it is said that pregnant women are asked for a blessing from Pazuzu for protection. No doubt a nod that was made in the opening scene of the film. While the community battling the demon is an intriguing idea, it never fulfills its potential. The visuals are done well enough but the film needed more action but again, how does one achieve this within an exorcism? That is the challenge. The second half mildly works but the momentum from the first half definitely had subsided.

Many attempts at a worthy sequel have been made but two things are for sure…what scared audiences in 1973 isn’t the same today and to reach that level of horror isn’t possible with modern audiences. The Exorcist Believer can still be considered a success regardless.

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