|Table of Reviews|
KIN – Review
KIN – Budget of $30 million – 1 hour and 42 minutes
Elijah goes around town finding scraps from abandoned buildings to sell. He is saving for a new pair of shoes. On one of his explorations, Elijah finds dead bodies and a high tech weapon. He gets spooked and runs home. He comes home to his disappointed father Harold. Elijah was suspended for fighting a kid who spoke badly about his deceased mother. Harold tells him if he is not in school he will be doing chores all day. In addition, his brother Jimmy will be coming home after a 6-year bid in jail. Elijah goes back to the abandoned building to clear his head. The bodies are gone but the weapon is still there. He grabs the weapon and it lights up. So he puts the weapon in his bag, sneaks into the house, and hides it under his bed. The next day Harold finds Elijah’s scraps and tells Elijah taking those things is stealing. He wants Elijah to call all the Section 8 housing directors and apologize. When they get Harold’s business to make the phone calls, Harold notices the chain is broken. He tells Elijah to stay in the car until he comes out. Elijah puts on his headphones and waits. A few minutes later Jimmy comes out and tells Elijah their dad is staying because someone broke in and poured concrete everywhere. Harold told Jimmy the two should immediately go on a trip to Lake Tahoe (their mother’s favorite place) and he will meet the two later. Elijah is happy to get away from the chores. In a hurry, Elijah grabs some food, clothes, and his new secret weapon. But Jimmy is hiding a huge secret too. Before he ran to the car, he helped two men (Tyler and Dutch) break into is Harold’s business to steal money he owed them. When Harold tried to stop them, Tyler killed Harold and Jimmy killed Dutch (Tyler’s brother). Jimmy knows Tyler and his crew will come after him and kill him and Elijah. Unknowingly, Elijah is on the run from the police, Tyler, and his crew. Oh and let’s not forget, someone is looking for that weapon.
This movie, produced by Michael B. Jordan, mixes a complex storyline with a sci-fi flair. Elijah is learning what it really means to be a man and the true definition of a family each mile of the road trip. As Jimmy takes him to motels, a strip club, and a poker game, he does it with the intention of keeping Elijah happy. But Jimmy hates himself for keeping their dad’s death a secret. Jimmy is not represented as cold and evil, just irresponsible and lost. While this movie starts with a weapon as the answer to some of his problems, it’s really the key to unlocking the truth. Parents, be forewarned, that this movie does involve strippers. They are clothed but it’s equal to a bikini. While this movie has a strong message about manhood, the strip club scene is 10 minutes long and up to your discretion. But this is a strong movie that deserves a second look and possibly a part 2.
I give it 4 out of 5 stars
I don’t even know why I listen to you – Elijah
I got a lot of money. I am looking to get drunk. He is looking to get caffeinated. You want to join us – Jimmy
Don’t hide it. It proves you’re a survivor – Milly
You are not a replacement – Harold
Be careful, it’s slippery there – Tyler
A-X-L – Review
A-X-L – Budget of $10 million – 1 hour and 40 minutes
Miles is a motocross racer who feels like he has nothing going for himself. He did poorly in school, has no money, and no sponsors. He feels that racing is all he has. Sam, the competition has money and sponsor. Miles believes if he had those things, he could have made it to nationals by now. So when Sam asks Miles to attends one of his parties, his dad tells him it may be the connection he needs to move up in the racing world. He has fun and gets to meet Sara again. He saw her after a race and kept a picture she drew and threw away. Sara is the daughter of Sam’s housekeeper. While Sara sees Sam is an arrogant, playboy, Sam sees Sara is one of his girls. After losing Sara and a race to Miles, Sam sees him as a threat. So he causes Miles to wipe out on his bike and leaves him in the middle of nowhere with gas. When he tries to start up his bike, he hears banging in a container. Inside the container, he finds a robot dog. The dog chase Miles on his bike until the dog gets impelled by a large pipe. When Miles removes the pipe, the dog sees Miles as a friend and delivers maintenance instructions to his phone. Miles learns the dog’s name is A-X-L (Attack, Exploration, Logistics). Axl was created to replace K9s. It biometrically links with its owner, can carry a slew of payloads, and kills. When the dog is activated, it alerts its owner Craine Systems. When the owner discovers the dog is advancing like never before, he decides Miles will be the first human subject and he will study Axl’s progress. Axl, however, is very volatile and extremely dangerous. Axl snapped once to escape Craine Systems, he will snap again. His new owner Miles may be in danger but will he be able to give Axl up?
This movie is a mix of Transformers, Alpha, and Frankenstein (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). It uses Axl’s POV to help the viewer understands how he makes connections between friend and foe using body scans, commands, and hacking. If you blink, you will miss this critical information. Also, in the first 2 minutes, the movie gives a brief explanation of the start of the Axl program. But don’t worry if you miss it, there is a longer recap later. While the tech and human/robot dog relationship is fun to watch, this movie is better suited for adolescents and pre-teens. It’s a good matinee movie for the entire family. Otherwise, wait for Redbox.
I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars
Axl, remember this – Sara
We’re friends, right? Friends don’t bite friends – Miles
Yo, send it – Axl