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MOVIE REVIEWS- Alita and How to Train Your Dragon 3

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VVNG- Alita: Battle Angel – Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz and Jennifer Connelly

I remember being amazed by the computer animation in Shrek the first time I saw that flick. I kept thinking: “Oh man, I bet this is as good as CGI is ever going to get… Ever!… Also, Donkey is hilarious”. Well, fast forward to today and, even though Donkey is still hilarious, the special effects in Shrek seem like they were done with an Etch a Sketch compared to the incredible and groundbreaking effects found in this film. The way they are able to make Alita look so realistic is baffling. If it wasn’t for her Bratz Doll-eyes you would think that she was a real person just blending seamlessly with every, actual, real person in the movie. Kudos to Rosa Salazar for bringing the cyborg so wonderfully to life and making her so likable. Besides Alita’s look, the rest of the visuals in the film are also spectacular. The action is superb and I appreciate that you can tell exactly what’s going on in every fast-paced fight scene. Oh, and the 3D just adds an extra layer of WOWsomeness (yup, I’m inventing words now) to everything in this fascinating flick.

I usually get really frustrated with movies that (tiny spoiler alert) don’t have an ending, but I didn’t mind so much with this one. The filmmakers definitely left many things unanswered and open for a sequel, and I just hope it gets here quick. I loved almost everything in the film, except that the dialogue was sometimes super corny and/or cheesy. Also, the fresh-faced kids, that are supposed to be an intimidating gang, look like they were freshly picked from the Disney Channel tree and seem like they are too clean-cut to live in a post-apocalyptic world, but even that didn’t bug me that much.

I wholeheartedly recommend you and your inner nerd go watch this movie. Especially if you like epic-sci-fi-fantasy-action films. You will have a great time enjoying the marvelous visuals and an interesting and entertaining story. Plus, I dare you not to fall in love with the 300-year-old teenage cyborg with a heart of gold… Well, actually a heart full of complex and advanced biomechatronic parts, but you know what I mean.

The Rating: “Checky™ Seal of Approval!”

Official Synopsis: Set several centuries in the future, the abandoned Alita is found in the scrapyard of Iron City by Ido, a compassionate cyber-doctor who takes the unconscious cyborg Alita to his clinic. When Alita awakens, she has no memory of who she is, nor does she have any recognition of the world she finds herself in. As Alita learns to navigate her new life and the treacherous streets of Iron City, Ido tries to shield her from her mysterious past.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World – Jay Baruchel and America Ferrera

Prepare to have tears soaring out of your eyes as you watch the end of this wonderful franchise, and say goodbye to the world of Vikings and dragons. Despite the fact that this part of the series is a lot more serious than the previous films, there are still enough eye-popping visuals to keep you and your kiddos entertained. The animation is gorgeous in this movie, and if you splurge and pay the extra moola for the 3D glasses you won’t be disappointed. Although the movie is a lot slower than its predecessors, it is still very enjoyable and has plenty of great things going for it. The bad guy is scary and a very worthy opponent. All of the relationships in the movie seem genuine and make you care about what happens to the characters. The design of the costumes and look of the dragons are very impressive. Toothless is as adorable and as fierce as ever, and the story really wraps up everything beautifully.

I think you should ride your… Car (you thought I was going to say dragon, huh? You’re silly) to the cinema so you can watch this half romantic-comedy, half action-fantasy animated flick, that’s full of drama and heart, with your entire clan. If you’ve seen the first two Dragon movies, you know how good these flicks are so I won’t say more. Just that, this is a great finale to the saga. It is the ending the humans and dragons, we have loved for the past 9 years, deserve.

The Rating: “Checky™ Seal of Approval!”

Official Synopsis: From DreamWorks Animation comes a surprising tale about growing up, finding the courage to face the unknown…and how nothing can ever train you to let go. What began as an unlikely friendship between an adolescent Viking and a fearsome Night Fury dragon has become an epic adventure spanning their lives. Welcome to the most astonishing chapter of one of the most beloved animated franchises in film history: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. Now chief and ruler of Berk alongside Astrid, Hiccup has created a gloriously chaotic dragon utopia. When the sudden appearance of female Light Fury coincides with the darkest threat their village has ever faced, Hiccup and Toothless must leave the only home they’ve known and journey to a hidden world thought only to exist in myth. As their true destines are revealed, dragon and rider will fight together—to the very ends of the Earth—to protect everything they’ve grown to treasure. For How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, series director Dean DeBlois returns alongside the all-star cast. The film is produced by Brad Lewis (Ratatouille, ANTZ) and Bonnie Arnold (Toy Story, How to Train Your Dragon,How to Train Your Dragon 2).

Ezequiel T (a.k.a., El Checky) is a Translator with a lifelong passion for films. He has been reviewing movies for years and has been watching, discussing and sometimes even making them for as long as he can remember. When reviewing them, he has a simple way of recommending a good movie by giving it The “Checky™ Seal Of Approval!” which is due to his childhood nickname. He currently lives in Victorville, CA with his wife of 12 years, Joanna.

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Movie Reviews: Birds of Prey and Sonic the Hedgehog

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Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn – Margot Robbie, Marie Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollet-Bell, Rosie Perez and Ewan McGregor.

Raise your hand if you have a crazy break up story. Ok, now raise your hand if you’ve ever blown up a factory (like Harley does in this movie) as a symbolic gesture of independence from your former partner. WAIT!!! You know what? Nevermind, don’t raise it. I don’t want to testify against you in court. Instead, why don’t you just go watch this flick and enjoy the absolutely bonkers aftermath of The Joker and Harley Quinn’s toxic relationship? Maybe it will help make you realize that your former flame isn’t as bad as you remember him/her when you compare them to the over-the-top events that take place in this uniquely bizarre film. 

As soon as Mr. J (literally) kicks Harley to the curb, everyone in Gotham who has beef with her finds out she’s not protected anymore and starts trying to get payback for whatever ludicrous thing she might have done to them. Good thing is that this vivacious babe is no damsel in distress. She is strong, capable, and as smart as she is adorable. So, whoever is foolish enough to try and cross the incomparable Ms. Quinn, is in for an outrageously topsy turvy world of hurt. 

This movie isn’t JUST about Harley, though, there are also other characters who appear in the movie that make up the titular “Birds”. While there’s nothing wrong with any of them, in fact, they are pretty freaking badass, they don’t really get to shine as much as they undoubtedly could. This is a bummer because they kind of end up feeling like they were an afterthought, and Harley should have just had the whole movie to herself and it would have still been great. Also, I know this movie is Rated – R, but sometimes it was TOO dark like it didn’t know where the line was or didn’t care that it crossed it a few times. I don’t mind violence, but when it’s done for no reason other than to be edgy, it just makes me uncomfortable. Aside from that, this is a very entertaining movie that is as vibrant, lively and chaotic as our favorite spunky, fun-loving and insanely violent bad girl. 

Score: “Checky™ Sticker of Tolerance!”

Official Synopsis: It’s open season on Harley Quinn when her explosive breakup with the Joker puts a big fat target on her back. Unprotected and on the run, Quinn faces the wrath of narcissistic crime boss Black Mask, his right-hand man, Victor Zsasz, and every other thug in the city. But things soon even out for Harley when she becomes unexpected allies with three deadly women — Huntress, Black Canary and Renee Montoya.

Sonic the Hedgehog – Jim Carrey, James Marsden, Ben Schwartz (as Sonic’s Voice)

One of the best memories I have of my childhood is when my parents got my brothers and me a Sega Genesis in the 90s. I still remember the first time we used it. We unboxed and connected everything, popped in the Sonic the Hedgehog video game, turned it on, got goosebumps when we heard the glorious “Segaaaaaa” jingle and were immediately blown away as soon as we started playing with the little blue blur. We spent hours and hours trying to get through all of the levels in the game, yelling when Sonic would lose his rings, stressing out when he would almost drown, and celebrating everytime we defeated Dr. Robotnick. 

I kept playing Sonic the Hedgehog games well into my adult years and have always had a special place in my heart for the charismatic speed demon, and I’m sure this is true for a lot of you as well. My expectations for this movie were super low because I never thought a movie would be good enough for a character that brought me so much joy, but I actually ended up liking it a lot.

Sometimes the jokes in the movie don’t land, there is a henchman that is pretty useless, and Jim Carrey’s performance is at times a BIT too wacky and cringey, but for the most part, this is a very delightful and surprisingly heartwarming flick. 

James Marsden is wonderful, charming and likeable. Jim Carrey is at his most Jim Carreyest ever, and the majority of his performance is hilarious and brilliant. The action sequences are top notch when they are (super) fast-paced, and dazzlingly impressive when Sonic is going so fast that everything around him slows down. Also, there’s a ton of moments that are incredibly sweet and help make this movie stand out from other video game adaptations.

You should definitely go watch this movie if you want to relive your childhood, hear your kiddos laugh, and/or just enjoy an amusing and splendid family flick. Just make sure you aren’t too hyped up after it’s over that you get a speeding ticket on the way home.

Score: “Checky™ Sticker of Tolerance!”

Official Synopsis: Sonic tries to navigate the complexities of life on Earth with his newfound best friend — a human named Tom Wachowski. They must soon join forces to prevent the evil Dr. Robotnik from capturing Sonic and using his powers for world domination.

What did you think of Harley and/or Sonic? Do you agree or disagree with me? Which flick are you checking out this week? Let me know in the comments below. Have a great day at the movies, and don’t forget to save me some popcorn.

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Swedish artist Tove Lo films latest video “Bikini Porn” in Victorville and Hesperia

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tove lo instagram victorville

VICTORVILLE, Calif. (VVNG.com) — Swedish singer-songwriter Tove Lo, premiered her latest music video today titled “Bikini Porn” and if you recognize some of the scenes, that’s because it was filmed in the cities of Victorville and Hesperia.

Ebba Tove Elsa Nilsson or better known by her fans as Tove Lo was born on October 29, 1987, and is referred to as “Sweden’s darkest pop export” by Rolling Stone. She is known for her raw, grunge-influenced take on pop music.

The singer who has 1.8 million followers on Instagram shared her latest video with the world on Friday, January 17, 2020, and said, “anyone shocked it’s basically me running around in a bikini? Didn’t think so.”

The nearly 3-minute long video shows the dancer dressed in various different colored bikinis as she dances around the desert, a bar, elevator, hotel pool, gym, and even on the back of a flat-bed trailer.

In one scene, the barefooted singer is dressed in a leopard print one-piece bikini as she’s dancing around the inside of a CD shop before she’s removed and taken to the parking lot.

During a recent interview with Rolling Stone, the singer told the magazine this video was very fun and very bizarre to shoot. “There were only seven of us in a van as the crew driving around Victorville. Been a while since I did a run and gun shoot; I loved it!”

Tove Lo ended her Instagram post by thanking the good people of Victorville and Hesperia. “Thank you for being so nice and for not calling the cops on me. Time to drink champagne all day xx.”

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Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ibl/Shutterstock (9369274c) Tove Lo Grammis Awards, Grand Hotel, Stockholm, Sweden – 08 Feb 2018
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Santa Fe Trading Co. hosting holiday fair in Old Town Victorville

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VICTORVILLE, Calif. (VVNG.com) — With the holidays quickly approaching and the malls busier than ever, Santa Fe Trading Co is hosting a holiday art and craft fair and a chance at more unique gifts.

The fair is boasting over 80+ vendors offering hand-crafted items, gifts, and novelties. The hours for the event are 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 21. 

Some of the items that will be offered include crochet items, metal work, paintings, jewelry, clothing, homemade dog treats, shabby chic furniture and more. 

In addition to vendors, there will also be Christmas carolers,  performances by “Harmonology,” and the Country Crossroads band throughout the event. Artist Sydney Encarnacion will also be singing from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Coleen Quinn from Y102 will also be in attendance doing a live remote show from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

The event is for all ages and Santa Claus will also be in attendance and available for visits and pictures during the event. 

Refreshments will be provided by D’vine wine bar and include wine and beer for $5.00 and hot chocolate for $2.00. Food will also be offered and choices include tacos, burgers, bbq, and hot dogs. 

Santa Fe Trading Co. is located at 15464 7th St in “Old Town,” Victorville. Parking is limited on-site but street parking is available as well. 

Though this is not classified as a cash-only event it is recommended to bring cash as some vendors do not accept cards.

To follow updates to this article and more, Join our newsgroup on Facebook with over 140,000 members, Like our Facebook page, and Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

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