Due to a birthday weekend with my daughter this one’s a couple days late. In all honesty there's not really much left to say though after my first thoughts video. Which if you haven't seen you can watch here. Anyway, I still think the best way to sum up this movie is, in a world without the original animated film, I’d be coming to you saying this was a really good movie. However, that said in that world it wouldn't have reached the prestige & greatness of its predecessor. Story wise this thing is pretty much a carbon copy of the classic. Just devoid of anything you wouldn't see out of actual animals. Think the hula scene with Timon. Leading me to the craziest part about this film for me. Dealing with the realistic aspect of the whole thing. Its biggest achievement seemed to also he its biggest flaw. The amazing CGI that led to everything looking so real, that the animals couldn't really seem to keep up emotionally with the material to do it justice. I’m still not sure if that had anything to do with the voice work not really standing out. Mediocre all around with the exception of Oliver, Rogen, & Eichner. Those three were the only ones that kept me entertained throughout all of this, & if no one is getting them together for a film, a big mistake is being made. Wasn’t really impressed with Ejiofor's Scar, & same goes for the whole depiction of the hyenas. This Scar is a pale comparison to the original. While the hyenas, while very frightening, lost their entertainment value it seemed. The main three were my favorite characters from the original. They seemed to adept here. Almost as if they wouldn’t even need Scar in the first place. Cast aside, even the songs fell just short. My favorite going to “The Lion Sleeps Tonight". That whole scene was great. The rest was an alright remake of “Hakuna Matata” & “Just Can’t Wait To Be King”, an absolutely horrible “Be Prepared”, & a “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” duet where one party over powered the other completely. The bad thing is a lot of this could be derived from the fact that I do have a greater version to compare to that's almost a facsimile of. I did enjoy myself still. All in all you have a technological wonder of beautiful CGI on display with a great story. That while it dosen't knock it out of the park, does mange to round at least base. This will be on the list of these remakes that unlike Aladdin & Beauty & the Beast, I’ll most likely grab the animated classic the next time I want to watch Lion King. Curious what others think though. So as you see it please let me know on the comments what you think.
Alright. Honesty time. With everything going on this week, after my first thoughts video (see here), I completely forgot about this. I usually like to take some time afterwards to write out a more detailed, still non-spoiler review. As much as I’ve been talking about the Marvel Studios/Sony Spider-Man: Far From Home this weekend, you’d figure it’d be impossible, but I forgot nonetheless. Anyway, here we go. My thoughts haven't swayed at all. This film plays the role of epilogue & sequel delightfully. Coming in as a more than solid sequel to Homecoming, while also putting a nice little bow on the 10 years we've decided to call The Infinity Saga. We get plenty of growth from every member of the Homecoming class. Tom Holland is great as Spider-Man, & watching how he develops as Peter Parker has been delightful. He's the perfect amount of awkward to personify the role. Even in his awkward relationship with MJ. It’s not just Holland that displays growth too. The layering to these characters epitomize teenage life. Adding to the cast this time around besides the always perfect Sam Jackson as Nick Fury is Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio. Hero from another dimension. Who also adds layers to this character in a role we’ve never seen the character step into. I love what they do with him. Gyllenhaal is amazing. Even more so, I like how they bring a really good explanation to Mysterio's power set. As with the original incarnation it's based in special FX. Which I always found weird in the books. As much as I love effects, they’re still not real. The way this film gets around this is one of my favorite things about it. Don’t want to get to into it as Marvel is making it harder & harder to review these without accidentally dropping major spoilers. Besides being an almost on par, if not on par sequel to the original, another place this film shines is in its epilogue quality. Capping off 10 years of anything is a chore. They do it perfectly, it feels like the issue that caps off a major comic book event. Basking us in the fallout, while giving us hints as where we could next. I love at one point the villain basically gives a social commentary on how we are in real life with these comic films while talking about people in their world. The two post credit scenes are awesome. The first gives us a look towards the future of Spider-Man, while the second gives us the same for the whole of the MCU. Loved this film though. Can’t wait to see it again. Everything I could've asked for to back up Homecoming while helping come back down to earth after the insaneness that was Endgame. Curious y’all's thoughts? As you see it let me know in the comments, like, & share.
Avengers: Endgame. Probably the most anticipation I've ever felt for a movie. If you've seen my first thoughts video (here), you know I not only was pretty excited leaving this film, I highly enjoyed it as well. In fact, I didn't think they could top Infinity War, but this one does 10 fold. If you've been keeping up I like to let these set in a little before coming here & writing out a more full, still spoiler free, review. Spoiler free is going to be hard with this one as every scene could potentially be a spoiler. The Russo brothers were not lying when they said the trailers were pretty much in the first 30 minutes, if real footage at all. I'm gonna handle this one a little different than usual & talk about my only negative first.Read More
If you've already seen my first thoughts video (here), then you know I rather enjoyed Disney's A Wrinkle In Time for what it was. If you haven't, there's that really big, "for what it was" attached. That's because this movie was definitely for a younger audience, & therefore needed to be watched through younger eyes. That in mind, I thought this was a good family fantasy film. Not great, yet not horrible, it falls into the good category. Which in some people's minds is ceasing to exist. Speaking of that younger audience though, I felt like this film was really targeting the early teen age group of it's main star, & it should be a must see if you have early to mid teens. That being said, this is way to whimsicle & cute in the trailers to ever be on their radar. Sad thing, because this film contains an amazing message on growing up & loving yourself. The film is a beautiful spectacle when it's really on, but that goes against itself when it gives you some uninspired backdrops in key places. Most noticeably in the scenes with the Happy Medium & the film's climax. However, I will say those scenes were highly helped while viewing in 3D. It added depth to what would've looked flat & basic. In fact, if this is released in 3D will probably be the deciding factor on whether I buy this or not. Now, actor for actor, Storm Reid's Meg steals the whole show. This little girl is amazing, putting up experienced, adult level acting. Levi Miller was good as her friend Calvin, but really could've used some more development to his character. As well as Reid, keep an eye on Deric McCabe who played Meg's little brother Charles Wallace. He also delivered on an amazing level considering his age. Chris Pine played the lost father that inspires the journey. He was great as usual, but he wasn't really in too much of the film. This was really the kid's movie. They were the driving force. Even the "otherworldly beings", for lack of words, we're supporting characters. Reese Witherspoon's Mrs. Whatsit totally steals the show from the 3 beings that help Meg on her journey. She's great in this role, closely followed by Mindy Kaling's Mrs. Who. Who speaks in famous quotes, & it's really fun when you know one, but takes a lot a work to decipher meaning into so me the first time around. Oprah was regal as Mrs. Which, but shows one of the dangers of getting someone that big to play a part. Every time it was her time to speak, & especially when they are giving Meg gifts, I was waiting on her to start giving out cars to everyone. Took me out of the film, & made me chuckle many times. Other notable performances go to a toned down Zach Galifianakis, which I noticed I like when he's not over the top, as the Happy Medium & Michael Pena as Red. And Michael Pena? I love Michael Pena in whatever you put him in. I could've used more of his character, but he does remind me. If you're taking smaller children to this film there are some spots that are pretty scary. A little too intense for some kids, I'm thinking. Overall, like I've said, I enjoyed this movie for what it was. Far from perfect, but also far from horrible, I wouldn't pass on this one. Especially as a film for the whole fam. I don't know if I'd say rush out to the theater to see it, unless you're seeing it in 3D, but I would definitely say take a chance & watch it. It's not great, but I thought it was a very enjoyable, family film.
A little later on this one than usual. Got a lot of exciting developments going on right now. Made sure to get out my first thoughts video for Black Panther over here, but I like to give it some time to settle before I write about it. Usually that time helps me get a better handle on what I liked versus what I didn't. This time however, I'm still coming up short on the latter. I can't find anything I didn't like about this movie. I'm a sucker for origin stories, & in all honesty this really might have been Marvel's best yet. It takes up directly after Captain America: Civil War with T'Challa returning to Wakanda to take his place on the throne after his father's death, as well as the mantle of Black Panther. The beauty of this is even though this picks up right after those events, the film really stands on it's own. You need no knowledge of the Marvel Universe prior to fully enjoy this movie. In fact I'd almost say this movie would've worked without being a super hero film. The story feels like an amazing fantasy-adventure film that takes place in Africa. Chadwick Boseman is amazing in his title role, even more so than Civil War. Almost too cool for the screen, he was the epitome of royalty. He's such the perfect pick for this role, it reminds me of Downey Jr. as Iron-Man/Tony Stark. Coming in right under him would be did antagonist in the form of Michael B Jordan's Killmonger. I will admit I was a little thrown off by Jordan in the previews, as he felt like he didn't belong. Proving everything is a slave to context though, I found I was right, but at the same time, that's also what his character was supposed to be. Unfortunately, I feel as if I would have to label him as the most "American" character in the film. Which in all honesty, is what contributes to him being such a relatable villain. You totally understand where he's coming from. This is the point I stop selling Jordan short as Killmonger immediately jumped to the top of memorable villains on Marvel's list. He was amazing, & the dilemma involved gives two sides to a controversial topic, but also showing the real high ground in the long run. Anyway, your leads really shined, but the supporting cast did more than play their part. The women of Wakanda were amazing. Lupita Nyong'o is growing into a better actress every time she's on screen. Her Nakia is probably the most interesting female interest in Marvel Studios to date. The only person giving her any challenge for that would be Pepper Potts. Danai Gurira's Okoye commanded T'Challa's bodyguards with authority, serving up some of the best action of the fim. Two others that really stood out to me were CIA agent Everett K Ross (Martkn Freeman) & Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis). Ross wound up having a way bigger part & impact than I thought his character would. While Serkis was amazing as Klaue. Not did he play this part to a tee, the realistic world sonic arm from original comic character looked great. All in all though, the real star was the land of Wakanda. Showing a mix of traditional Africa with a futuristic sci-fi like environment, Wakanda looked amazing. The tribes of Wakanda's costumes better get some award love next year they were so amazing. I thoroughly loved every second of this film. Even the soundtrack & score couldn't go without being noticed. They commanded attention, & neither remotely disappointed. The craziest part to me though, is how as much as this movie stands alone, when all is said & done the outcome will have more ramifications on the Marvel Universe than a majority of the solo outings. Even crazier than that, we're only months away from seeing the Panther again in Avengers: Infinity War. This was as epic film though. See it as big as possible, & don't worry if you don't know Marvel or aren't a fan, this almost doesn't even feel like a super hero film. Just a great Fantasy/Action/Adventure flick. Make sure to check out our Black Panther T-Shirt Contest going on for a month. Just click here, read, comment, like, & share for your chance to win a one of a kind shirt.