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
So as usual, after my first thoughts video (see that here), I like to let the movie set in awhile before I go over my full thoughts. This time we're talking about Disney's newest live-action adaptation of an animated classic, Dumbo. First off, I really enjoyed this film. Is it perfect? No. It has it's problems. Which I'm gonna go over first to get out of the way. The biggest problem stems from the human element. I'll get more into that as I break down the performances. Next, early on there's some shaky CGI. The crazy part about that statement is to me it had nothing to do with the flying elephant scenes. Those to me were probably some of the most amazing parts of the film. Finally, it felt a little slow to start. Mainly, due to the first 30 minutes or so containing a large & depressing amount of loss. This is also where you hit 95% of all the beats of the original animated classic. Starting from the beginning credits you see the Medici Bros. Circus start up on there tour, & by the end of the credits it's a dilapidated shell of its former self. Followed by the first scene of the kids greeting their father fresh off the train from WW1 to the knowledge he's lost his arm. On top of that we revisit all of the sad notes of the original Dumbo. Which, like I said earlier, pretty much gets summed up in the first 30 minutes of runtime. To me the rest of the story is where this film really shines. As I've been saying leading up to this, out of all the classics, Dumbo really was the shortest on substance. So, from it's announcement, I knew this would be the one to be built on with new content. That's my favorite part about these live-action adaptations, when they're done right. Not changing any of the core storyline, but building onto it, an enriching it that much more. This aspect was my favorite part of this film. This is where you meet my favorite human performance of this film in the form of Michael Keaton's Vandemere. A very realistic wolf in sheep's clothing villain. Kind of an anti-Walt Disney, creator of a steampunk version of Disneyland in the form of Dreamland. He's the epitome of greed, but a realistic version as well. Coming off as a philanthropist out to help everyone succeed their dreams, only to show his true colors once he gets to what he wants. A master manipulater, I loved to hate this character. This performance alongside the poor man's version of pretty much the same character in Danny DeVito's, Medici, were hands down best human presences this film had. They found a way to separate the two. Where while Medici was also fueled by getting a buck any way he could, he still had a since of family when it came to his troupe. His decisions seemed more fueled by his allegiance them, then the pursuit of wealth. I also found Colin Farrell handled his role well. He was surrounded by so much loss & confusion throughout. I felt like he did well portraying a lost soul, just going through the motions of life. Where this film fell short in the human aspect for me was in Eva Green, & the two kids. I never really cared about Eva Green's character throughout. Much less her "evolution" from beginning to end. More so, in the kids. They just didn't seem to drive the emotion they should have through the course of this film. That said, part of me thinks they deliberately tried to keep the human aspect of this film toned down to make Dumbo the true star. And if that was the case, they did a great job in my eyes keeping him the frontrunner for this film. From the time that elephant take his first flight this film takes off. As Keaton's character said, it made me feel like a kid again. I compared it to the first time we saw Reeve's Superman fly. My favorite part of this film however, was how it was handled by director, Tim Burton. Tim Burton usually has a style all over his films, that you can distinctly notice is his. That said, my favorite Burton films don't have this thumbprint. This falls in that category. If no one would have told me going in this was a Tim Burton film, I probably wouldn't have known until the credits rolled. He really did deliver an aesthetically beautiful film here though. Where I siad the CGI was shaky in the beginning, was immediately made up for. Not only when Dumbo took flight, but also in the amazing steampunk homage to Disneyland in the form of Dreamland. Totally amazing, & the set pieces that made it up were absolutely beautiful. I also loved the way he subtly hit all the points you remember from the original, without beating you over the head with them. His handling of the pink elephant scene is reason alone to see this in the biggest theater you can see it in. So all in all, though not perfect, I highly enjoyed myself through the course of this very good family film. I will definitely add it to my collection, to enjoy with the family many more times. Curious what everyone else thought though? Let me know in the comments, like, & share.Read More
So, as usual after my first thoughts video, I like to take a little time & let everything set in before I write a more full review. If you haven't seen that video you can check it out here. I feel like Captain Marvel is fighting an uphill battle, even with people I personally know, before they even see it. For some it's the press it's getting, for others it's unfortunately the fact that it's a girl superhero. Both as unfortunate as the other because this was a really good film. I highly enjoyed myself through every minute of this latest Marvel installment. While it's not on the level of an epic Infinty War, Civil War, or any Avengers film, I feel like it easily takes its place by the side of Doctor Strange, Ant-Man, Spider-Man, or any of the introductory MCU films. Those being some of my favorites due to their ease of rewatchabilty. Much like this, those seem to have a fun factor that sets them apart from their longer more epic films. While those are the better films, they do take a certain mind frame to really get in the mood to rewatch. This one itself really shines in the way it deals with its story. It hasn't been a secret that Captain Marvel would be the most powerful hero we've seen so far in the MCU, & she definitely is. She's basically the equivalent of Superman when it comes to power levels in comparison to the rest. That's what's made it so hard to tell compelling Superman stories over the many years of his existence. When you're dealing with an overpowered superhero just their entrance into the game ends all threats. This film found a way to deal with that level of overpowerness perfectly, & that was the amnesia aspect. When this film opens Captain Marvel, the Kree warrior hero is already a thing. However, she has no idea she has a whole human life before all of this. This not only made for a very interesting sci-fi story, it was a great way to keep her overpowering in check until the grand finale. Powers which were so great, without spoiling anything, I questioned the grandness of the finale until they really upped the ante in the final moments. As I said in the first thoughts video, I can't wait to see this character find a matchup on her own level. It'll be an amazing sight. Now, a lot of the actors parts will be hard to really get into without spoilers. So, forgive me if I'm to vague in some character descriptions, as the misdirection in this film's advertising was real. Brie Larson was amazing as the title character. Once she finds out things aren't as she believes her character development is so on point, & she is pure greatness in this role. Samuel L Jackson's Nick Fury stole every scene he was in however. The de-aging process is now perfect, as he just looked like they picked him right out of A Long Kiss Goodnight. His back & forth with Carol Danvers was by far one of my favorite parts of this film. We had a very unique villain with a lot of depth in the form of Ben Mendelsohn's shapeshifting Skrull Talos. I was not expecting his performance at all. I was thinking we'd see some shades of Rogue One, but this character is 100% original in comparison. Jude Law also wasn't at all what I was expecting, & I really hope we get to see more of Yon-Rogg in the future. Annette Bening was one of the biggest surprises to me. Yet, she's also the hardest one to talk about without delivering spoilers. Layers of performance from her though, with bold decisions to the lore that actually work quite well. Can't go through the characters without mentioning Goose the cat, with a top notch acting performance in his debut role. Seriously though, I highly enjoyed, & recommend this film. Even with the comic knowledge filled head I have this kept me on my toes with all the surprises. They took liberties here & there, but all the decisions to stay worked. The 90s aspect brought me right back to my high school days. The moments of comic nostalgia were so naturally added. All in all this film is perfect for fans of the MCU as well as fans of great sci-fi. The Star Trek to Guardians of the Galaxy's Star Wars feel. A must see in the theater as well. The 3D was amazing as well. So, if you're a 3D fan, this is definitely worth the upgrade. Before signing off fully I must address the awesome tribute to Stan Lee. Not only his appearance, but the Marvel title screen. Applause rang out through the theater & almost brought tears to my eyes. Thanks again Stan. Also, make sure to catch both the after credit scenes.
So, if you haven't seen my first thoughts video on Disney's follow-up fifty plus years in the making you can see it here. As always though I like to let these sink in a little more, & write out a more full review. Mary Poppins Returns will be no exception to that, even though I might have took an extra day or two this time around. As I said in my first thoughts many times, this film had an uphill battle from its inception. To try to follow up a classic, 50 plus years old no less, that has stood that test of time in almost every way, is no easy feat. And even though this one doesn't quite measure up to match its predecessor being practically perfect in every way, it does manage to hold it's own as a more than solid, highly enjoyable sequel. I'm gonna break this down into sections starting first with the overall story. This is where this movie really shines. It picks up with a grown up, widowed Michael Banks just finding out he's losing his childhood home to the bank, while at the same time raising his own three, highly grown up for their ages, kids of his own. Of course his sister Jane is by his side to help out, but the Banks kids are once again in need of Mary Poppins. Oh, and Michael's kids are too. What sounds like a simple story on paper, as they try to find lost bank shares to help pay for the house, turns into a at times heartbreaking tale, filled with magic & lessons abound. The real beauty to it being how well it not only picks up in a perfect place, but totally parallels the original's theme, without taking the easy way out of just copying its successes verbatim. On top of this, the film is absolutely beautiful. From the animated scene, to the dance choreography, to even just the overall use of color, saying this film's beautiful is an understatement. Now when it comes to the acting Emily Blunt owned this movie in the title role. She made this movie Mary Poppins' movie. Which I always thought of the original as Mary & Bert's film. With Dick van Dyke stealing the scene just as much as Julie Andrews. Not the case in this film. There will be no argument, this was Emily Blunt's film. And she was perfect, fully resisting the urge to just copy what Andrews had already done, she made this character her own. There were times it was so her own, I felt she was almost even out if character, but then I would tell myself that Mary is here for different reasons this time around. So as much as she comes when she's needed, she comes in the form she's needed as well. The more I think about it, the more I really like this extra layer to the character. Another shining piece of performance goes to the three kids, who were absolutely amazing. They struck acting gold with those three. Lin-Manuel Miranda was good, but as the main side character to Mary I feel he just fell a little short. His singing & dancing was great. It's just his acting fell a little short when you compare him to his predecessor Bert. He held his own, but he couldn't quite get on that level to rival Blunt. Which would have made him that equal part like Van Dyke did in the original. A major example of that was Dick van Dyke's cameo in this film, where he steals the scene from everyone. Two major differences in this film were an actual villain, who demands your hate, & the fact that this one was a little more Broadway than the original. I mention this Broadway feel now because there was one spot that I feel this negatively affected the film. And that's in Meryl Streep's character. She was the one dance scene to many in my eyes, & I would have loved to see her character used much like Ed Wynn's in the first. I think using her in a strictly comedic role, light on the music, would have added much to her role, & to the film as a whole. The tea party on the ceiling was actually one of my favorite parts of the original, & this would have been a perfect place to pay homage to that scene. Now this is a musical, so we have to mention that. I walked out of this with the original music still stuck in my head. Now, that said, I enjoyed all but one song in this film. However, none of the music was quite up to the original's. An impossible feat by the way, as the original had some of the best music to ever be put on film. One of the songs is just guaranteed to bring tears to your eyes, but a lot of this music had more of a Broadway feel in my opinion. Not a bad thing, just something I noticed. Out of all of them i absolutely loved "Trip the Light Fantastic", & the choreography that went with it. An amazing scene. Overall, I highly enjoyed this film, & would recommend it to anyone. You'll just feel better about life as a whole after watching it. It didn't hit the impossible goal set before it 50 plus years ago, but that by no means is a failure. This is a great film, & as sequels usually go, it's even better than that. I'd love to know & discuss your thoughts as you see the film. Put them in comments, like, & share.
Alright, after getting my first thoughts out (see here), I've took a couple days to really let the Incredibles 2 DOUBLE FEATURE sink in. Since we're dealing with 2 films & a short I'm gonna break this into 3 sections.
Incredibles: This was my first experience with the classic Pixar film on the big screen, & it was impressive on a while new level. The story, action, & comedy stand up to time so well. In fact, the only sign that this was a classic, was the dated Pixar animation. Which even 14 years ago would stand up against any other animation studio today. The movie blends classic golden-age superheroes, James Bond like locales, & a strong family dynamic seamlessly. I still say to this date, this is actually the best Fantastic Four film we have recieved. Set in that golden age of heroes like the old Superman cartoons from the 50s, superheroes have been made illegal due to ever growing lawsuits against them. Honestly, the most realistic reason ever, & then the "Supers" are out on a form of Witness Protection. Part of the catch is they can't use their super powers any more. Mr. Incredible can't stop dabbling in heroics though, & eventually requires help form the whole fam. That's the ultra simple version of an animated film that holds it's own with major live action comic book films of today. Ultimate storytelling in what is one of Pixar's best. The cast of characters are intriguing, with so much depth for animated characters, that only Pixar can add. Seeing this on the big screen gave me a even bigger love for this movie. Depending on what day I wake up, this goes back & forth with Toy Story & Coco as my favorite Pixar film. If you haven't seen this film, where have you been for 14 years? Anyone with a love for superheroes, golden age heros, Pixar, James Bond, or just all around great feels all around films this one is definitely for you, & leaves you begging for more.
Bao: For me this short film was an intermission film. For anyone seeing a non-DOUBLE FEATURE, this will be what opens Incredibles 2. In a nutshell, without spoiling it, this short is about a lady who makes a dumpling that comes to life. She raises this adorable dumpling as her own child. From there the clip uses this as a metaphor for growing up & letting go. I never knew so much emotion could be contained within about 5 minutes. You could feel the emotion radiating throughout the audience when this was over. It's a very powerful short, quickly becoming one of my all time favorites.
Incredibles 2: Here it was. We had all waited 14 years for this. 14 years, & they definitely made it worth it. Picking up exactly where the first left off to the second, there was one notable difference. Pixar has come a long way in 14 years, & it shows in the best ways. This was probably easier to see due to the DOUBLE FEATURE aspect, but the difference was like HD versus classic film. Everything immediately looked so much more alive. Other than that though, if you wouldn't have told me this was part 2, I'd have thought I was watching an Incredibles extended edition. Not only does this pick up right after, it just take the ball & keeps running. The story progression feels more natural than almost any sequel I've seen. The story takes those moments at the end of the first to segway right into fixing the illegal superhero problem. With a brother/sister pair enlisting Elastigirl to put Supers back in the limelight. This has Mr. Incredible playing Mr. Mom while wifey does all the hero stuff. Opening up the reveal of baby Jack Jack's powers by the way. Had me laughing in tears for what felt like a solid 5 minutes. All the main characters return, not skipping a beat. Meanwhile, favorites Frozone & Edna Mode get some more screen time this time around, sprinkled along with some new Supers. There was an awesome villain that felt straight out of Batman, even if the reveal was a little telegraphed. All in all, this movie was as good, if not better than its predecessor. I've got my fingers crossed we don't have to wait another 14 years to cap this as a Trilogy. I do suggest to anyone that does see this film, it benefits highly from coming directly after the first. Revisit Incredibles as soon as you can prior to seeing the sequel. I'll probably never watch these films another way. That's my full thoughts though. Love to know yours. Put em in the comments, like, & share.
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.
I've took a little more time than usual to do the written review on this one. My first thoughts video is here, but I wanted to really let all of this sink in before I addressed it again. Star Wars: The Last Jedi has now become the second most successful opening weekend ever, & fans seem to be a little mixed on how they feel. I don't blame them at all either, this movie is not only a lot to take in, as it turns everything upside down on it's head. Really big decisions were made in this film, so many it makes it hard to review without spoiling the whole thing. Mainly because, it's especially built on a lot of surprises, delivering a spoiler worthy moment a least every 20 minutes. You will get answers to almost all the questions you wanted, you just won't get the answers you wanted. Honestly, that said though, you will get the answers you needed. Rian Johnson proves not only he understands the Star Wars galaxy, he probably even understands it more so that George Lucas understands it now. In my opinion he has breathed a new life into Star Wars, passing the torch more beautifully & perfectly than I've ever seen a franchise pass the torch. Most all of the characters really shine with emphasis on the main three. Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker gives the hands down best performance he has ever given as the farmboy turned Jedi, Adam Driver is absolutely amazing as Kylo Ren/Ben Kenobi delivering on every level of intensity, & Daisy Ridley, much like Luke in the original, seems as if she was born for this part. Other characters really played their parts, Leia's first appearance almost brought tears to my eyes, Poe proved he was the best pilot in the Resistance, & Benicio Del Toro's character grew on me enough for me to want more. I didn't care for Finn & the new girl's storyline, I just didn't really find interest in them as characters. They weren't bad, they were just forgettable in the whole mix of everything else going on. Phasma was once again wasted with hardly any screen time, I guess she's at least there though, more so than last time around. Even with those two missteps though they weren't at all enough to be called bad. Phasma still was cool, like last time around, & this time she at least gets some action. The Finn thing, like I said character wise I just didn't really care, but their mission on Canto Bight was awesome. The last character to mention would have to be Snoke, as I think they're going to treat him as the original Emperor, giving us no information at all. He does display power on a level that is beyond the Emperor though, intriguing me more than ever with his character. His throne room bothered me a lot for some reason, & I so need a reason for his face, but other than that Snoke was impressive for a fully digital character. So were creatures of this film. Namely everyone's new favorite porgs & the vulptices. The porgs were adorable, with the little space penguins reminding me Star Trek's tribbles. The vulptices I wish were used more as they were beautiful creatures on the salt planet of Crait. Bringing me to the planets landscapes. With this one you get three, Crait, Canto Bight, & Ahch To. Ahch To, you've seen before, as the planet Rey found Luke on in The Force Awakens. It is a spectacularly beautiful place that shines on film. Then there's Crait, you've seen Crait, in the previews with the red dust flying everywhere. At first, it's pretty underwhelming like Hoth, but once the salt starts flying with the red dust it really helps the battle's effects. Last but certainly not least, there's Canto Bight. This is the casino planet that is the polar opposite of Mos Eisley, a casino planet where all the high rollers go to kick back, drink, & gamble. I love any time we get to see regular life around the galaxy. It adds more reality to everything going on in Star Wars. Overall, I really enjoyed this movie. More so, I enjoy where this is all going. I read many hypothesizes on what was going to happen, & they were not only wrong, they were entirely in the wrong direction. I like that, I would rather no one be able to figure out where these are going next. It's fun to guess, but it's even better to be completely blindsided in the theater. That unknown is what makes it so entertaining. I know I liked this more than the prequels & Rogue One. However, that said I'm going to have to see it again before I can figure it's place with the original trilogy or The Force Awakens. As of now it's a great movie in my opinion, but I want to know what y'all think? Put it in the comments, like, & share.
Went to an AMC Fan Showing where they gave us packs of these cards, & then of course I had to purchase all three popcorn tins
If you haven't seen my first thoughts video on this amazing animated film from Pixar, you can do so here. This is where I like to give a more detailed look after I really get to sit & think about it. First, we'll start with the opening, not so short, short film that opened the film, Olaf's Frozen Adventure. There's been a lot of controversy, & hate thrown at this short. Most of it seems to fall under a little cynicism it seems though. Mostly complaints about the length, or not knowing it would be there in the first place. I thoroughly enjoyed it though. Olaf is quickly becoming one of my favorite Disney characters. The way he sees things wrong, yet at the same time sees things more right in the process is just great. He goes to find holiday traditions for Elsa & Anna, & some of his descriptions of them are hilariously on point. The music was alright, really good for a holiday special. I found myself really liking the song sang while building the ice-tree. All in all I really liked this long short. It will definitely be on my Christmas list of must watches every year. I love the fact that Disney & Pixar have restarted the use of opening shorts, I hope the reaction to this one's presence doesn't hurt the chances of future ones. I don't even care if they're this long. If you want to give me a free movie in front of my movie, then thank you. Especially if it's as laugh out loud enjoyable as this was.
Now, with that aside, we can get into the main feature. Coco is quickly going to jump to the top of many people's Pixar lists for so many reasons. This movie has filled itself with so much Mexican culture, I'm going to have to see it again just to attempt to catch all the many references. The first real standout is the music. That & family is what this film's all about, & it shows. I purchased the soundtrack early, something I usually don't do, & never regretted it. I not only can't find a favorite, I can't find a song I don't like. My only drawback to the soundtrack is there's not more of it. The amazing music just highlights the beautiful animation. In which, Pixar really out did itself. The Land of the Dead is one of the most amazing things I've seen that studio do. Speaking of the studio, this is really what I want to see out of Pixar. Though animated, this movie plays like a live action feature film, pulling no punches. In fact, at one point when I was figuring what's the big deal, this film blindsided me with some very well done twists & turns. I want to say, that's probably do to the amazing voice performances all around. You're so tuned into them, you don't even see the curveball coming. And that's just on top of trying to soak in all the many details placed literally everywhere. I'm sure there will be some that frown on some of the "novella" aspects of this movie, that at times seemed a little mature (especially after Cars 3). At it's heart though it is all about family & understanding, containing very strong messages for both children & adults. Strong messages, that I hope aren't wasted. Like I said in the video, I dare the strongest person to not shed a tear throughout this film. You are devoid of all feeling if you can attempt this feat. I want to go into more, but I'm too scared I'll get into spoiler territory. And I would hate to spoil anything about this masterpiece. Enjoyable for all, I would suggest this film to anyone. I can't wait to own this one, so I can check it out again & again. I saw this in 3D, & if that's not your thing, I still suggest going to see this in a theater, & bring your family.. That way you can see all the beauty of this amazing film as it was meant to be seen.
Before I start I want to take a couple moments to mention a couple things. First, we've been trying to attend the AMC Fan Events for every opening as of late. I haven't been mentioning it as of late, but they're awesome. You usually get a small gift & a "backstage" looking lanyard. This time around we got a Thor: Ragnarok coin & they through in a large popcorn for every ticket purchased. The real treat to these however, is the fact that these are the people you want to watch these movies with. It's so much fun being surrounded by the biggest of fans. Costumes, interactions, & just the overall excitement in the room throughout is worth the extra price. The second thing I want to mention was basically what I wanted to start off with. There was one thing I left out of my first thoughts review video (see here) that I wanted to make sure I mentioned in this. So we will start the review with the music of Thor: Ragnarok. The music selection was awesome. Not something I'm going to rush out & buy, like the soundtrack to Guardians of the Galaxy. It's not my thing, but for the film? It was amazing. Like Guardians, the use of the music was so on point to the tone, & used at the perfect moments. Speaking of the tone of this movie, it was surprisingly hilarious. I wasn't expecting to use that word describing a Thor film, but this one is definitely a comedy above all. The crazy thing is in the moments that you're not laughing, this thing gets at sometimes jaw droppingly intense. It was almost like it kept you laughing just to take away how dark this film actually was underneath the surface. Dealing with not only some serious revelations, but having an aftermath that will be felt throughout the whole Marvel Universe. The characters were amazing. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) felt like the Thor we see in the comics who is so cocky that no matter how bad it gets, he's still having fun. Loki (Tom Hilddleston) was as Loki as Loki could be. I think I loved, hating, loving, Loki in this film more so any other time he's appeared in the Marvel universe. Grandmaster (Jeff Golblum) was great running the planet Sikar. I can't wait to see him come into contact with his brother The Collector (Benicio Del Toro). The best way to describe Sikar is bringing up them up again, it's a very Guardians-film looking planet. It's the setting for most of this film, & where we first run into a Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson). I make sure to say a Valkyrie because this is not the Valkyrie you're used to. It actually took me awhile to really accept this iteration, but by the end of the film I'm all in, she's great. Sikar is where we also see the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) join the fray, the highlight of the previews. Hulk was the second best part of this movie. This was comic book or cartoon Hulk. This is the Hulk as we've been waiting to see the Hulk. They've teased a three-part Hulk story that started here & runs though the Avengers: Infinity War & Avengers 4. I now can't wait for this to occur. This will be one of the highlights of these next films for me. Now we get to the best part of this movie, Hela (Cate Blanchett). First & foremost Cate Blanchett looked amazing, I don't think I've ever seen her look that good. And Hela? You've been wanting a villain? This villain was worthy of the attention of the whole Avengers team & more. Just in her introduction to Asgard there's more destruction involved than we've seen out of one person in the Marvel Universe so far. I absolutely hope we see more of her. How does one kill the Goddess of Death anyway? I know it feels like I'm leaving out Odin (Anthony Hopkins), but it's Anthony Hopkins you already know he's going to deliver. Overall, I loved this movie. I would go as far as to say it's the best Thor movie, but that's where I have to stop, because I just can't. For the same reason I couldn't call Civil War the best Captain America film. You have to see so many films other that Thor to make this movie work the original Thor wins best Thor film by default. That saddens me because I loved the first Thor, I think it's the first Marvel film designed for a movie audience. It really drew in some fans that otherwise would avoid comic movies. Even though I enjoyed myself more watching Ragnarok, it's because of a lot more than the Thor films. Kinda makes this more of a Marvel Universe film than a Thor film to me. That takes nothing away from this amazing film. It didn't steal a spot in my top five Marvel films, but if you change those ratings to rely only on pure enjoyment while watching, it would easily be in the top three. I had so much fun watching this, but I'd really like to know what y'all think too when you see it. Put it in the comments, like, & share.
I have to start this by agreeing with many others on the fact that this is probably the best depiction of Spider-Man we've seen on film. Most comparable to the Ultimate Spider-Man comics line, this movie really understands the character like no one else has. While Spider-Man has been tried twice before, they seemed to have a very troubled Batman-like vibe to them. This one takes an all together different approach to the character. The best way to describe it in comparison is, this time around it's fun. Most comparable to a John Hughes film like Sixteen Candles or Breakfast Club, this movie is a perfect blend of teen-angst, coming of age comedy & how to be a superhero crash course. That's one of the real great things, among many, to me about this movie. The other movies all had the guy gets bit by spider, becomes super-hero, & is all the sudden master of his powers. Not here. The title of the second volume of the Ultimate Spider-Man comics is Learning Curve, & that's basically what this is. This is a normal person, a 15 yr. old kid at that, getting super-powers, wanting to be a hero, & trying to figure out how on the fly. Rather hysterically I might add. Tom Holland owned the part of Spider-Man. He delivered perfectly with all the constant nervous jokes that have become a staple of Spider-Man throughout the comics. Parker was portrayed as the nerdy kid, as it should be. Next up, I don't care if they say he's Ned, Jacob Batalon was playing Ganke. Ganke is a different Spider-Man's best friend in the comics, & if you want to know what his character is like, watch this movie. It's Ned, & he steals the show from the other students that attend Peter's high school. Robert Downey's Jr. popped in as Iron Man & I say popped in because as many trailers as they've had for this thing, you've probably seen 85% of his part in this. As usual though RBJ dazzles while he's on screen. He's born to play Tony Stark. Marisa Tomei was great as hot Aunt May. Michael Keaton however, was amazing as the main villain Vulture. He had a real different approach to playing a villain than we're used to seeing in comic book films. It had a realism behind it that really let you understand his character & motives. As you probably noticed I said main villain. There are multiple big Spidey villains in this Spider-Man. Showing mainly that if you do it right, & there is a reason for these villains to be together in the same film, it can work. As opposed to the only thing in common being having powers, & the same hero as an enemy. All in all, if you haven't realized already, I loved this movie. I wouldn't just suggest it to fans of comic book movies, but also to fans of movies all together. If you want to go to a theater & have a lot of fun this movie is for you. Sony needs to take this as a realization they really need Marvel on this one. I really hope more studios take a page out of this book & see what could happen if they take some time to join forces on some things. The results could be phenomenal. Anyway, let us know what you think of this first outing of the friendly neighborhood wall crawler in the MCU down in the comments, like, & share. Check out the video review here.
Everything starts off with LOU, the opening cartoon. I'm really liking Disney & Pixar's efforts to bring back the opening short. I didn't really know what to expect from this, even with the clip that was released earlier in the week. About a Lost & Found "monster" helping out some children from the school bully, I was blown away by this short. It did what Pixar does best, but in about 5 minutes. It had me laughing throughout, & then out of nowhere, BAM, the feels. It goes from hysterical to make you cry before you even realize it's happened. Great short. Then we get to the main event, Cars 3. This movie takes the focus all back where it should be, racing. The third entry in the Cars franchise features an aging Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) dealing with the younger, faster, up & coming racers led by Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer). Then after a crippling injury, has to mount a comeback with some help along the way from another newcomer in the form of Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo). All the old pals from Radiator Springs pop in too, but definitely as supporting cast. I thought this was a really good sequel. I loved the original Cars. It's one of my favorite Pixar films. On the flipside, Cars 2 totally missed the mark for me. So it was refreshing to be able to say with this one they definitely redeemed themselves. Mainly because, as I said earlier, this one brings the focus back to racing & away from the "look at these cars doing people stuff". Though it's not as good as the first, I would definitely recommend this to anyone who loved the first outing. I enjoyed it all the way through. There's a twist at the end that almost didn't really do it for me, but I felt they smoothed it out pretty well all in all by the end. It had some genuinely funny moments scattered throughout. Especially the whole demolition derby scene shown in the trailer. It also has some emotion. A lot of which, much like the first, comes from a sense of nostalgia. The rest from the various relationships developed throughout the course. They also went ahead & realized Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) might be best in small doses. It's funny I went in expecting a version of Days of Thunder, & instead I got a version of a Rocky movie. That's what this really felt like if I had to compare it to anything. I even got that vibe from some of the training montage. I can't end this without mentioning the actual animation. Pixar has come so far, this movie looks amazing. It has a blend of realism with cartoon elements on a level I've never seen. Some of the backgrounds in this film are absolutely beautiful. Overall, as a sequel, I liked this, I will be adding it next to my copy of the original Cars. Seen the movie? We want to know what you think as well. Let us know in the comments, like, & share.
I have to start this off by saying this was the part 4 we deserved. It builds on the events of the first three parts & perfectly executes spinning them in a new direction with the two new stars. Not only that, it perfectly blends the feel of all three films. Coming off superbly balanced between the seriousness of a pirate film, the comedy of a Disney film, & the supernatural elements these films are known for, this installment seems much more like the first & second films. Breaking it down you've got three major stories going, all revolving around recovering the Trident of Poseidon. (Obviously needing Jack's magical compass, form previous films as always.) First, you get introduced to Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites), who must find the Trident to save his father Will, whom we previously left to eternally captain "The Flying Dutchmen". Along the way he runs into Carina Smyth (Kaya Scoderlario), an educated woman, key to obtaining his goal. These two might even eventually grow to rival Turner & Elizabeth Swan as they have great chemistry. Then, you've got Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), former pirate killer, hunting down the always entertaining, Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), not to mention continuing his pirate killing mission, for leaving him & his crew trapped in ghostly form in his early years. Finally, you've got Captain Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), in his original best form, masterfully played, trying to cling onto his fleet & his life of piracy & that wouldn't be complete without Scarfield (David Wenham) trying to end piracy & take the seas for the Royal Navy in the name of "Crown & Country". I really enjoyed this movie. I would suggest it to any fans of the first three films. This puts it everything back on track, & I can't wait for the next one. I really want to know though, what everyone else thinks? Let us know in the comments after you check out Dead Men Tell No Tales. I really want to know if you want more of these or this was the nail in the coffin for you? Don't forget to also like, share, & if you want to see my immediate thoughts on this movie, dressed as a pirate click here.