Today we’ve lost one of the best actors of all time Ed Asner. His most famous role in my opinion was Carl Fredricksen from Pixar’s Up. For those who still don’t know me Pixar’s Up isn’t just my favorite Pixar or animated movie, it’s my favorite movie of all time. It’s a film that means so much to me and my family and friends. Ed gave so much life and heart to this grumpy old man and now Carl can finally reunite with his true love Ellie. Thank You so much Ed for giving us one of the great Disney characters of all time in one of the greatest movies of all time.
The Suicide Squad is the first movie in the DC Extended Universe since Birds of Prey more than a year ago. Although I’m not a huge fan of the series I have seen all of them (except Justice League Synder’s Cut) so I thought I’d share my thoughts on the series with a ranking.
10. Batman vs Superman:
9. Suicide Squad:
8. Justice League:
7. Wonder Woman 1984: I didn’t really feel the 80s in this movie. Felt too long and too silly especially in the mall scene.
6. Man of Steel: I do like Han Zimmer’s score An Ideal of Hope but this way too edgy and violent for a movie about the symbol of hope.
4. Aquaman: This one kind of grew on me. Rupert Gregson-Williams’s score is catchy and the costumes and underwater scenes are vibrantly colorful.
The Suicide Squad is the 10th movie in the DCEU and was directed by James Gunn who also directed the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. This is sort of a sequel to Suicide Squad from 2016 but it’s more stand alone and honestly you don’t have to watch the original film and you would miss nothing. The Suicide Squad is about a team of anti-heroes/villains being sent to stop Project Starfish and things get a lot crazy after that. This review does contain SPOILERS especially about the opening scene so big warning.
The members of Squad Team A you meet at the beginning are immediately killed off gruesomely and humorously. They don’t really have interesting abilities and we don’t get much time to care about them but that’s really my only gripe with the movie. It tunrs out they were decoys for the real stars of the movie, Squad Team B. These guys are the highlight of the movie. They all have unique abilities, great personalities, great dynamics and great performances from their actors. Peacekeeper is like a jerky Captain America, Ratcatcher 2 and King Shark have a sweet bond and Polka-Dot Man is both tragic and hilarious. I also liked Harley Quinn who I think always brings her A game whenever she’s in a rated R property such as the Harley Quinn show, Birds of Prey, and this. I even like Starro who is a much more silly but appropriate villain in a suicide squad movie than that stupid Enchantress.
There’s a reason this movie has a R rating and that because of the action. Every action scene is violent, bloody, hilarious, and fun. My favorite action scene is when Bloodshot and Peacemaker one up each other killing a bunch of soldiers. I like the 2d animated flowers during Harley Quinn’s escape scene and the climax with Starro is both epic and hilarious. It also ends with a great punchline which I won’t give away. What helps is James Gunn’s always amazing directing. It definitely has the same feel of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies while also being colorful and vibrant as his previous work at Marvel. I also like the title cards sprinkled throughout the movie and how there placed in the environments such as blood in the water, fire and even metal scraps.
The Suicide Squad is better than the 2016 version in every possible way and without a doubt the best DCEU movie now. It’s characters while villains are likable enough to make you care for them and even feel sad when they die. Its action scenes are a perfect mix of violent and fun. It’s pretty much what the original should have been and proof that the DCEU can make films just as good as the MCU.
Welcome aboard the world-famous Jungle Cruise I am your skipper Bryce and I’m gonna be your guide on this review of Disney’s the Jungle Cruise. Please remain seated keeping your hands arms feet and legs inside the boat and watch your children.
The Jungle Cruise was one of the opening day attractions at Disneyland back in 1955 and is still one of Disney’s most famous attractions with its corny dad jokes and of course the 8th wonder of the world, the back side of water. Disney movies based one Disney rides range from good (Pirates 1-2) to bad (Haunted Mansion, Country Bears) and now Jungle Cruise has become the fourth movie to be based on a ride. This movie really captures that feeling of adventure that’s very reminisced of swash buckling/adventure films like Pirates of the Caribbean and The Mummy. I think what helps is that this movie is gorgeous to look at. The colors of the jungle are so vibrant and I like that this movie takes place in 1916. Something about a movie taking place in a past time period makes the movie look more visually interesting such as Tim Burton’s Dumbo or Captain America: the first Avenger.
The main trio of the movie have great a fun dynamic and work great off each other. Captain Frank Wolf played by Dwayne Johnson is sort of the Han Solo of the group with also the con artistry and tragic secrets of Grunkle Stan from Gravity Falls. He’s a lot of fun. While I do like Emily Blunt as Lily, I’ll admit I’m not a fan of this running gag where throughout the movie Frank keeps calling Lily “Pants”. I know it’s odd to see woman where pants in that time period but it really overstays it’s welcome. I also like Jack Whitehall as Lily’s brother MacGregor who brings a lot comic relief to the movie. I really like the designs of the conquistadors. snakes, branches, mud, and even bees. However, the camera work during their action scenes makes it hard to tells who’s fighting.
Jungle Cruise is absolute popcorn fun. People who enjoyed movies in the adventure genre or the original Disney attraction will be in for a fun river tour. Now we have come the most dangerous part of the review, the return to civilization. Be sure the gather up all your personal belongings and exit to your right.
Does it seem too coincidental that every female superhero movie (Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel and this) are prequels? Black Widow is the first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to release since Spider Man Far from Home two years ago. Its former release date would’ve been in time for the 10th anniversary of Iron Man 2 and Natasha’s debut if it wasn’t for Covid. Unlike the others this isn’t an origin story (except the beginning). With the exception of the post credit scene, this movie feels like it should’ve released between Civil War and Infinity War. You can technically watch this between the two and nothing would really change.
The character of Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow honestly feels more like a superspy than a superhero but that said her solo outing managed to capture the tone of a spy thriller perfectly. This really feels like something you’d see in James Bond or Mission Impossible or even Kingsman. The opening dinner scene, the plane chase and the opening credits perfectly establishes the tone this movie has. Though with the exception of the plane chase, I will admit the action here seems a bit familiar and standard compared to other actions scenes in the MCU and they don’t really stand out.
Scarlett Johansson always brings her A-game as Natasha and I really enjoyed the “dysfunctional family” type of dynamic between the cast. I especially really liked the Red Guardian who brings a lot of comedy and heart to the film. The villains are sort of a mixed bag. Dreykovmight be the most unlikable (not bland) villain in the MCU yet he one of those villains you enjoy to hate and look forward to seeing him get comeuppance thanks to Ray Winstone’s performance. While I like the idea that Taskmaster uses weapons similar to the Avengers “she” just feels like another version of the Winter Soldier or Ghost from Ant Man and the Wasp.
Is Black Widow one of the strongest entries in the MCU? No. Was is worth the one-year delay? Sure. People waited so long for a movie about Black Widow and this movie gave us exactly what we wanted and it didn’t disappoint. It was a good start to phase four of the MCU and a well-done send off to our favorite female superspy/superhero.
Fun little trivia: this year my cousins adopted a dog and named him Luca which seems very coincidental to Pixar’s newest film. In 2012 Enrico Casarosa directed the Pixar short La Luna, nine years later he’s made his feature length direction debut with Luca. Pixar’s Luca was not only my most anticipated movie of 2021 but also my most anticipated Pixar movie since Incredibles 2. This movie is about a sea monster named Luca who meets another sea monster named Alberto who’s been to the surface. They both start a friendship having adventures on the surface while trying not to be ousted as monsters in a town that hunts sea monsters.
This story could’ve so easily had another liar revealed moment but thankfully the conflict isn’t about the lie at all. We still however do have that whole man vs monster story that we’ve seen a lot especially in Disney. Fortunately for a movie about sea monsters this is one of Pixar’s most grounded films. There could’ve been a giant war between man and sea monsters but there isn’t and I’m glad that we went with a more laid-back tone. What helps is the that the movie takes place in summer. Summer is usually the season where most coming-of-age stories take place in and Luca really captured the that feeling perfectly. I can see myself watching this along with A Goofy Movie every summer now and having a great time.
The heart of the movie is the friendship between Luca and Alberto. My favorite character however has to be Giulia. She’s very likable and I like how there’s no love triangle and are just platonic. All there of these kids bring a lot of great interactions. Ercole is kind of a younger Gaston. While I am glad this isn’t a twist or force of nature villain, he’s still kind of annoying and unpleasant to watch. Speaking of characters, I know I praise Pixar’s animation in every review but this one was really special. I really like the characters designs in this film. All the characters have different shapes and have great facial expressions. It kind of reminds me of Aardman studios. I also like the idea that whenever a sea monster gets wet, they turn into there sea form. It makes for a lot of creative animation tricks. Though it would’ve been clever if at the end when the boys cry you see the sea monster skin a little. There’s also some really cute illustrations in the end credits.
Also John Ratzenberger is absent again! Why is he missing in every Pixar movie released exclusively on Disney+? That’s….not a good sign. Luca feels like a story that was very personal to the director. Luca may have been one of the smallest Pixar movies in terms of scale it’s one of the most enjoyable ones you can just sit down and relax while watching. It’s one of the best movies to come out on Disney+ and one of the movies to come out this year. You definitely don’t have to be stupido to enjoy Luca.
Disney’s 17th animated movie 101 Dalmatians is one of Disney’s cutest animated movies from the canon. It’s also home to one of the most popular Disney villains Cruella de Vil who now has her own movie which funny enough coincides with the 60th anniversary of the original film. Cruella is sort of a mix between the films Maleficent and Joker, but unlike Maleficent where Disney made her more heroic, Cruella here is more of an anti-hero. Emma Stone is very enjoyable as both Estrella and alter ego Cruella. I kind of like the whole alter ego thing with Cruella representing the side of Estrella that wanted. and her spial into turning into the Cruella we love to hate is great. Her lackeys Jasper and Horace are also very likable and unlike the previous adaptions they have a genuinely nice friendship with Estrella…at least until she starts acting like Cruella.
I want to bring up Joker again because the way this movie is shot reminds me a lot of Joker. The way this movie is shot fits the tone perfectly and gives the world life. The songs Disney used for the soundtrack fit the mood in each scene there in wonderfully and I actually recognized most of the songs such as Feeling Good, These Boots Are Made for Walkin’, and Car Wash. This movie however does suffer from the really long runtime especially during the revenge part of the movie. Cruella does a bunch of revenge schemes towards the baroness and honestly, I think they should’ve just done one revenge scheme and not drag the movie on.
I want to give props to Disney on giving a PG-13 rating to a prequel of a family friendly film. I’m not sure whether to put this in the Disney remake category but I will say that unlike the other remakes this felt like it had a vision and story is wanted to tell and didn’t feel like it was made to be a cash grab. Cruella is Maleficent done right and the closet we will ever get to a Disney movie was dark as Joker and a proper Disney villain movie.
Before I start the review, I want to give my thoughts on season 2 as a whole. The whole road trip part helps build the world and adds a great change of pace. I really liked that Marcy played wonderfully by Kelly Hu isn’t just another Sasha. She’s very likable and I kind of relate to her. The idea of the three temples was really clever. Season 2 also made me realized how much I really like Anne. Brenda Song brings so much life into this role and her facial expressions are some of the bests in animation.
Warning: this review contains huge SPOILERS. After being unexpectedly delayed and leaked the season 2 finale of Amphibia True Colors was finally premiered. Fun fact: this episode shares the same episode title from one of my favorite childhood shows Cyberchase. Just something funny to think about. I will be honest I kind of predicted what would happen. I knew Sasha and Grime would be defeated in the first half, King Andrias being the villain and Anne and her friends ending up on another world. While my predictions were on point that still didn’t stop this finale from being spectacular.
Marcy’s reason for stranding all three girls in Amphibia is understandable. King Andrias’s reveal may have been obvious but the crew really managed to make you hate this prick especially at the end. There are a lot of great moments such as the duel between Anne and Sasha, Polly getting her legs, Anne’s super saiyan form, but the scene that stood out to me and probably why this got delayed was Marcy getting stabbed. It’s not bloody but’s really gruesome and on camera, and we don’t even know if she’s going to be ok. It all ends with Anne and the Plantars stranded on earth. Such a great cliffhanger.
True Colors is the Disney equivalent of the season 2 finale of Nickelodeon’s Avatar the Last Airbender: The Crossroads of Destiny. This in my opinion is the best episode of Amphibia so far and I can’t wait to see what Matt Braly and the crew have in store for us in season 3. We may have returned to the real world but now it’s almost time leave again and return to the Boiling Isles.