Black Panther: Wakanda Forever review

This review is dedicated to Chadwick Boseman

Spoiler warning: Wakanda Forever is the final phase 4 film in the MCU Spoilers: Wakanda Forever is about Wakanda trying to defend there country after the death of T’Challa from another country led by Namor. It also focuses on T’Challa’s sister Suri who’s still grieving after not being able to save him. I thought having her be the main protagonist and take up the mantle as the new Black Panther was the right choice. T’Challa’s funeral at the beginning was wonderfully handled and a great sendoff to Chadwick Boseman. The Marvel logo only shows footage of him which I thought was a nice touch. Much like the first movie Ludwig Göransson’s score here is really good. My favorite music in the movie was the introduction to Namor. The music was legit creepy which made the scene even more creepy.

Despite the loss of Chadwick, the first film already had a bunch of other characters that had wonderful performances and the sequel is no exception. The film is full of terrific acting pretty much everyone. Much like her role in Wendell and Wild Angela Bassett managed to nail it out of the park again this year. The newest addition that stood out was the villain Namor. His motivation is understandable and his design is really cool. I don’t think he was as strong as Killmonger but it was still neat that the MCU used one of the very first Marvel characters ever created. There were really only a few problems I had were that the runtime was really long and there are also way too many slow-motion moments that get annoying later in the movie.

While I don’t think this was as good as the first one, I still think this was a nice continuation and up there with Spider Man: No Way Home as one of the stronger film in phase 4. I’d also consider this the best Marvel movie 2022. T’Challa may be gone but his legacy will live on forever.

Verdict:

+Chadwick Boseman tribute

+Ludwig Göransson’s score

+Namor

+Terrific acting

-Runtime

-Slow motion moments

Score: B+

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story review

Some people consider Citizen Kane, Star Wars, and the Emoji Movie as the greatest movies of all time and others say there’s no such thing as the perfect movie. That has all changed when Weird: The Al Yankovic Story released. Weird Al Yankovic is considered the greatest musician of all time and it was about time someone made a film about his amazing life. Everything about this movie is perfection!

Unlike other musician biographies such as Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocketman, and Elvis which added forced story beats just to follow the typical story structure, this movie managed to do it without adding unnecessary cliches. Everything that happens in this movie is completely true from him traveling the Amazon to save Madonna from Pablo Escobar, his first original song “Eat It” being ripped off by Michael Jackson, and his tragic death at the hands of Madonna. The dialogue in this movie felt like it was written by Shakespeare himself.

Unlike those other biographies which miscasts their musicians, the casting in this movie is absolutely spot on. It’s like they actually got the real musicians to play themselves. Daniel Radcliffe infamous for his mediocre role as Harry Potter was destined to be Weird Al. Daniel Radcliffe also shares the spotlight with many amazing actors such as Evan Rachel Wood as the devious and manipulating Madonna and Rainn Wilson as Weird Al’s wise mentor Dr. Dimento.

This film is so great that the film has just won the Oscar for every category this year. The Academy Awards didn’t even bother selecting any other nominees because this film would’ve beaten them anyway. Weird: The Al Yankovic Story isn’t just my favorite movie of all time; it is also my favorite work of art of all time.

Verdict:

+Faithfully depict Al’s life

+Perfect screenplay

+Pitch perfect casting

+Weird Al’s engaging character arc

-NOTHING!

Score: A+++++++++++++++++++++

Wendell & Wild review

Happy Halloween everyone! Henry Selick is known for directing beloved stop motion animated movies like the Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline and his new film Wendell & Wild was the first film he’s directed in 13 years. It is about two demons named Wendell & Wild that come to the world of the living to make a deal with a trouble teenager Kat who has just become a hell maiden. This film is rated pg-13 which is rare for an animated movie but there are a bunch of scenes that earned that rating.  

Spoiler alert: I think my main problem is that there is so much going on in this movie. One subplot involves Wendell & Wild trying to start their own amusement park. There’s a prison company that wants to tear down the town that’s may also be tied to a brewery fire conspiracy. There’s also this demon hunter janitor that Sister Helley helps out that reminds me a lot of Ansem the Wise from KH2. As you can see there is a lot this film juggles. I did like the use of hair cream that brings people back to life. It’s a very unique plot device.

I really liked the characters in this movie. All of them have great personalities, character designs, and great voices to go with them such as Ving Rhames, James Hong and of course Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele. The duo Wendell & Wild were big stand outs of course but the character I personally think stood out the most was Angela Bassett as Sister Helley. She acts as a very wise and caring mother figure towards Kat and the relationship between them is great. I did notice on my 2nd viewing that the character animation looked very similar to stop motion legend Will Vinton. Speaking of animation, the stop motion animation like most stop motion movies is also great with a lot of great visuals. One of my favorite visuals was the amusement park that’s located on top of a giant demon’s belly. Another favorite visual was the giant shadow version of Kat that’s made out of all her memories. It’s an awesome design that needs to be seen to believe.

Wendell & Wild has great animation, great characters, and great scary but fun moments. Pretty much everything that makes a great stop motion horror film. It there’s any scary good fun movie to watch tonight on Halloween Wendell & Wild is the perfect one for you.

Verdict:

+Great characters

+Great animation

+Hair cream

-Complicated story

Score: A-

My Top 5 Favorite Monkey Island Games

I love the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland, I love the Humongous Entertainment point and click adventure games. Put them both together and you get one of my favorite video game series of all time, Monkey Island. Now that I’ve played Return of Monkey Island, I’ve decided to list my top 5 favorite games in the series. I have not played Tales of Monkey Island but even if I did it probably be last place since I’m not a huge Telltale fan.

5. Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge: I know some people love this one but I honestly didn’t. Traveling between three different islands while neat, suffers from tedious backtracking especially if you forgot something you need. The puzzles also felt a bit too difficult (especially the finger puzzle). It also felt a bit too cynical and mean spirited.  

4. Escape from Monkey Island: This was the first game in the series I played so ranking is sort of higher is mostly based on nostalgia. I also played the ps2 version of the game so it was easier to navigate. The CGI is very dated and the monkey combat stuff at the end was bad but still has the witty charm of the other games.

3. The Secret of Monkey Island: Like most first games in a game series, Secret is the simplest of the series but it wonderfully established the world, the characters, the comedy, and the story. The puzzles were well done and the music is also really good especially Ghost Ship Shuffle. The creator Ron Gilbert (who also worked at Humongous Entertainment) said this game is like if you got of the Disney ride and he was right.

2. The Curse of Monkey Island: This was the game that grabbed my interest and I was so lucky to buy it on steam a few years ago. I love the 2d art style that anyone could mistake it for an animated movie and every background is a work of art. This is also probably the funniest of the games (the punchline with Skull Island is hilarious). This is the pinnacle Monkey Island experience with the best puzzles, music, and humor. A pitch perfect adventure game.

1. Return to Monkey Island: I’ll be honest, both Curse and Return are neck to neck and could switch at any time but since this is the most recent one, I’ve decided to place it at number 1. The storybook art style is really nice to look at and the animation is really great. The game is also easy to control, Guybrush is a lot faster, and the puzzles were not frustrating. This game really felt like a love letter to not just the Monkey Island series but also to the point and click genre.

What’s your favorite Monkey Island game?

The Owl House season 2 review

The first episode of The Owl House season 3 has premiered so I’ve decided to give you my late thoughts on season 2. This review does contain spoilers so check out the 2nd season first. Season 2 begins right after the season finale of season 1. Because the portal was destroyed Luz needs to finds a way to get home. I honestly can’t think of a single bad episode from this season heck most of them would will up my top 10 favorite episodes list. What I also love is that each episode either progresses the story or shows the outcome of the previous episode. I don’t think there’s a single episode I would consider filler. Favorite episodes include Knock Knock Knocking on Hooty’s Door, Eclipse Lake, Follies at the Coven Day Parade, and the finale King’s Tide.

All the main and supporting characters get a lot of great character development and everyone gets at least one or two episodes to shine. I was surprised at King’s development especially in the finale. Season 2 really managed to make me despise Emperor Belos and Odalia Blight. I also liked the new characters introduced. Hunter is a nice addition; sure, his redemption did feel obvious but I think his arc was very well done. Eda’s childhood friend Raine Whispers was really likable who’s also the very first Disney non-binary character. The new villain the Collector was both adorable, hilarious and creepy and I’m really looking forward to see that they do with this character. Now I want to talk about Lumity who have pretty much become one of my favorite romantic relationships in fiction. My god these two are so adorable together.

Not only was season 2 of The Owl House just as good as the first season, it was even better. It is a shame that season 3 will just be only three-hour long episodes but I still can’t wait to see what happens next.

My Top 10 Favorite Cartoon Network Shows

Today marks the 30th anniversary of Cartoon Network, a channel that I grew up watching. To celebrate I’ve decided to share my top 10 favorite Cartoon Network shows. This has been a list that I never got around to making or had a reason to until now. I am not counting shows from Kids WB, Teletoon, or Adult Swim. This is also my personal opinion.

Honorable Mentions: Codename Kids Next Door, Mad, Ok Ko Let’s Be Heroes, Apple and Onion

10. Chowder: This show is ridiculously bonkers and has some of the greatest fourth wall jokes ever. The car wash gag is something to be seen to believe. The food is both creative and kind of delicious. I also really like the pattern animation technique used on the character’s clothing. It’s a simple but very unique detail.

9. The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy: There are lot of scenes that flew over my mind as a kid. For example, one scene involves Grim holding an acorn for an old squirrel, I used to think he was just being a softy when really, he was trying to take his soul. This show is both creepy, funny and I’m surprised Tim Burton never did an adaption.

8. Craig of the Creek: There’s a great sense of childhood innocence here. All of the kids in the creek are all very likable, and have unique personalities. This show also handles diversity wonderfully and respecifully.

7. Genndy Tartakovsky’s Star Wars: Clone Wars: Not the CGI one fyi. This is Genndy Tartakovsky’s best work next to Primal. The action is great and the animation. The best part was General Grevious’s amazing introduction who was a legit threatening villain unlike in the movie. 

6. Regular Show: This show is like Seinfeld if taken to the extreme. The characters are fun and the situations they get into are crazy. It’s only low because of that damn love triangle (who dumps their girlfriend during their friend’s wedding?!).

5. We Bare Bears: The best way to describe this show is if you combined Paddington and Seinfeld. All three bears are very likable, funny, and have unique personalities thanks to their wonderfully casted voice actors. Ice Bear has always been my favorite since episode 1.

4. Infinity Train: I love how each season has a different protagonist each one has a well written character arc. The carts the characters travel though are all unique. It honestly feels like a video game. My favorite season is still season 1.

3. Over the Garden Wall: There is such a great sense of the Autumn season present throughout the show. The world Wirt and Greg explore is dripping with atmosphere with beautiful backgrounds and eerie music. Fitting that I’m sharing this list in October because this is the perfect month to watch this miniseries.

2. Steven Universe: Unless you’ve been living under a rock (pun intended) you probably know how much I love this show so I won’t repeat myself too much. Great characters, beautiful animation, catchy songs, and amazing LGBT representation.

1. Ed Edd n Eddy: This is also my favorite cartoon of all time. The three Ed’s are great, the animation is wacky, and the comedy is hilarious. Is it perfect? No, there are some bad episodes, but it was the show that introduce me to CN and the one my brother and I were obsessed with as kids.

What are your favorite Cartoon Network shows?

In Memory of Garfield

Today we lost our last cat and a valued member of our family, Garfield. He was a very old cat but lately, he’d hadn’t been acting like himself. He started not walking and eating much. Today he started twitching and we knew it was time bring him in to put him to sleep. Death of a pet is not something anyone enjoys going through but it is something that will happen.

Garfield was responsible for many wacky moments in our lives. One involved getting trapped under the bathroom and another hiding in one of the drawers in our camping trailer. One time he went missing for two days until one night Brady spotted him in the backyard. Whenever we got a new Christmas tree, he’d rub his body on the floor and acted like a cat on catnip, it was so cute and hilarious. In an ironic way, Garfield from the comics was almost exactly like our Garfield. Both are huge compared to an average cat. Both wake up there owners up for breakfast. Both liked to eat a lot, chicken for our cat was basically like lasagna for Jon’s cat, he just couldn’t get enough of it. Both cats also like to sleep a lot. our Garfield would sleep on our parent’s bed with all the pillows fenced around him and he also had a stuffed moose that kept him company.

We were lucky to Garfield for as long as we have. While me and family are sad that he’s gone now, we are happy that he has finally reunited with his sister Nermal in Heaven. Garfield and Nermal brought so much joy to our lives. Me and my family will never stop missing both of them and will always keep them in our hearts forever. Thank you, Garfield, and Nermal for all the memories, warmth and comfort you gave our lives. You two will always be a part of our family. We will miss both of you.

In loving memory of Garfield

2004-2022

Happy 20th Birthday Sly Cooper

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the Sly Cooper series. I’ve said a few months ago that Kingdom Hearts was me and my brother’s favorite video game series but Sly is a close second place. Sly Cooper is one of the most unique game series (especially the later entries) because it perfectly recreates the heist genre. Every mission you complete in an episode plays a huge part in the operation at the end of the episode. I love the characters, the comic book art style, the music, and the missions. It all started when Dad bought the 2nd game after a trip he took and we were hooked immediately. The franchise brought a lot of happiness to different parts of our lives, like how we got the 3rd game as a reward for a stay in the hospital. Sly 4 was practically our most anticipated game next to Kingdom Hearts 3. My brother and I would constantly think up new ideas for villains and levels for future entries. Hopefully one day we’ll see a return to this wonderful series.

To conclude this anniversary, I have decided to rank the games from worst to best and say what my favorite episode from each game is. My brother’s order is pretty much the same as mine.

4. Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus

Favorite Episode: Sunset Snake Eyes

3. Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time

Favorite Episode: Go West Young Raccoon

2. Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves

Favorite Episode: Flight of Fancy

1. Sly 2: Band of Thieves

Favorite Episode: He Who Tames the Iron Horse

What’s your favorite Sly Cooper game/episode? Feel free to comment your thoughts and be on the look out for new two lists, one celebrating Cartoon Network’s 30th anniversary and one one another game series I love coming soon.

Happy 20th birthday to our favorite ringtale thief.

Nope review

Jordan Peale of Key and Peale is not someone you would expect to direct and write horror movies. Nope is Jordan Peale’s third film he’s directed and wrote. Unlike his previous films that are more psychologically scary, Nope I think I can best compare with is Jaws in terms of horror. I really liked the dynamic between the siblings OJ Haywood played by Daniel Kaluuya and Em Haywood played Keke Palmer. Both characters are great foils to each other and both actors do a terrific job.  

Spoilers: The central themes of Nope are about spectacle, animal cruelty and trying to train the untrainable. The flying saucer named Jean Jacket wonderfully embodies these themes. This is such a great unique take on UFOs where unlike something like Close Encounters, there’s no aliens in the UFO, the alien is literally the UFO. I also love how it sometimes changes shape; one point it looks metal but the next it looks soft like one of those parachutes’ kids play with at school. I think my main gripe involves the chimp Gordy. Actually, I think Gordy brilliantly ties well into the theme of trying to control animals. The problem is mostly that the incident doesn’t factor into the story and it’s just dropped after Jupe dies.

All of these films manage to balance being both really scary and really funny. Nope is no exception. Jordan Peele is one of those directors that so far has not wrote and directed a bad movie yet. The title may be Nope but this film is ironically gets a giant YES from me. Also who ever thought up the “Jupiter’s Claim” website to promote the movie should get a promotion.

Verdict:

+ Funny

+ Jean Jacket

+ OJ and Em Haywood

+ Scary

+/- Gordy

Score: A

2022 recap part 2

Movies:

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness: This movie is half Marvel, half Sam Raimi movie with great visual effects. A-

Chip and Dale: Rescue Rangers: Weird movie that I didn’t think Disney would make. B

Top Gun: Maverick: Similar plot beats from the first but the flying scenes are an improvement. B+

The Bob’s Burgers Movie: A love letter to the show. A

Jurassic World: Dominion: The Rise of Skywalker of the series. Why did they introduce goddamn giant locus?! D

Lightyear: Bland planet but Chris Evans makes Buzz very likable. A-

Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe:  80 minutes of these two causing mayhems while finally scoring in the end. C

Elvis: Visually amazing and amazing acting. A

Thor: Love and Thunder: While not as good as Ragnarok, it still has Watiti’s charm. A-

Nope: Scary good fun, my type of horror movie. A

Luck: An absolute generic animated movie that lucky enough to be free. D

Bullet Train: Enjoyable characters and fun action. B

Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie: Nice animation but not a fan of asshole Leonardo. C+

TV:

Moon Knight: While Steven Grant is likable, I was not a fan of this show. Marc’s mother pissed me off so much.

Kenobi: Not bad but it felt like just another Star Wars show.

Dead End: Paranormal Park: This surprised me. I like the amusement park setting and the characters were very likable.

Solar Opposites season 3: Probably the best season of the show so far. One of the best episodes involves them waiting in a line.

Primal season 2: This really is Genndy Tartakovsky’s best work. My favorite episode is episode 5 which I won’t spoil.

The Harley Quinn show Season 3: The idea of Joker having a normal healthy family is funny alone but having him run for mayor and actually being a good candidate is hilarious.

The Cuphead Show season 2: Fun, but some episodes like Say Cheese weren’t that great.