Cruella review

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.

Verdict:

+ Emma Stone as Cruella

+ Jasper and Horace

+ Soundtrack

+ Well shot

-Revenge part drags on

-Runtime

Score: B+

Amphibia True Colors review

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.

My Top 15 Favorite Disney Rides

Happy Birthday to me! Four years ago I did a favorite Disneyland rides list and two years I ago I went back to Disneyland. With the reopening of Disneyland and the 50th anniversary of Disney World I think this is a perfect time to combine both my Disneyland and Disney World lists to see which is the best Disney ride ever. Since some rides are different in both resorts, I will be picking the superior version of that ride to represent and this is also based on my opinion.

Honorable Mentions: Mad Tea Party DL, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Incredicoaster, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, Spaceship Earth, Tower of Terror WDW

Favorite ride I haven’t rode: Rise of the Resistance

Favorite closed ride I’ve rode: The Great Movie Ride

Favorite closed ride I wish I rode: Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride WDW

15. Flight of Passage:

I’ve only rode this once due to the lines being about 2 hours long, but it might rank higher if I ever went back. You feel like you’re in the world of Pandora.

14. Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout!:

Overlaying Tower of Terror was a weird choice but they replaced the inferior version anyway. They managed to used whatever they could with the original building and made this ride really fun.

13. Indiana Jones Adventure:

This is a love letter to the Indiana Jones series and Disney and Lucasfilm’s 2nd team up. The small temple outside is a clever contrast to the epic and grand scale ride inside.

12. Splash Mountain WDW:

I will miss this ride once it’s overlayed by Princess and the Frog, but it’s still open so it counts. The Florida version is better because its slower paced, more comfortable logs, and I like the country music more.

11. Big Thunder Mountain WDW:

Both versions of Big Thunder are similar but I think Florida’s is a little better because it’s wider. This wooden roller coaster is simple in premise but still effective and fun. Though why are the lifts still loud?

10. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster:

This feels like a ride that was made for teenagers considering I turned 13 when I first rode this. This ride is thrilling and the songs from Aerosmith you hear during the ride are fun to listen to.

9. Toy Story Mania:

Probably the best interactive shooting ride ever. Each game feels unique, fun to play, and best of all fair unlike real carnival games. I also love the music that captures the charm of the Toy Story movies.

8. Test Track:

I liked the original test dummy version better but just because it has a new coat of paint doesn’t mean it like it less. It’s still one of the fastest and most fun rides in Disney World.

7. Soarin’ Around the World:

Soarin over California would’ve been in my top 5 and I still miss it but like Test Track it’s still the same experience. It still has the great scenery, music, atmosphere, and of course Patrick Warburton.

6. Star Tours:

This was basically Star Wars and Disney’s first date before their “wedding” later. This is a love letter to Star Wars and the multiple locations make this ride one of the most re-rideable rides in the resort.

5. The Haunted Mansion WDW:

Florida’s version felt like the full package. The Haunted Mansion is a perfect balance between scary and fun which is my favorite type of horror. The special effects which were revolutionary back then still look amazing now.

4. Radiator Springs Racers:

By far the best thing the Cars series ever did. It took the same technology used for Test Track and made it even better with spectacular animatronics, and some of the best theming of any Disney ride ever.

3. Expedition Everest:

This is sort of like a badass version of the Matterhorn (not on this list, too rough). By far the most thrilling ride in Disney World and there’s great buildup to the yeti even if he is in disco mode.

2. Pirates of the Caribbean DL:

The yin to Haunted Mansion’s yang and Walt Disney’s swan song. Both the atmosphere and George Brun’s score make every scene so immersive, and the animatronics still hold up. I even have a poster of this ride in my room.

1.Space Mountain DL:

This isn’t just my favorite Disney ride, it’s my favorite ride ever! I used to be afraid of some rides but for some reason Space Mountain never scared me the first time I rode it. The theming is great, the music is great, the thrills are great, pretty much everything about this ride is great.

The Mitchells vs the Machines review

The Mitchells vs the Machines directed by Mike Rianda best known for working on Gravity Falls is about a dysfunctional family traveling to California to drop off their eldest daughter Katie for college. After a technology rebellion they become humanity’s last hope. My only main gripe is the evil tech cliché but everything else is amazing! Everything Phil Lord and Christopher Miller touch becomes gold. Even Alex Hirsh the creator of Gravity Falls worked on this.

Each member of the Mitchell family has their own unique personalities and work off each other wonderfully thanks to performances of Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph and Mike Rianda and they all feel like real people. I honestly relate to Katie because I also have a passion for movies and I actually took a class in college where I filmed a few short films. The relationships between each member has a lot of heart. Speaking of wich this film is surprisingly heartwarming.

I think Sony Animation really took the backlash of the Emoji Movie to heart because much like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse this movie is visually amazing to look at. This is one of the most cartoonish looking CGI movies I’ve seen and I mean that in the best way. The character designs make the characters memorable and Katie’s doodles that you see throughout the movie are a great little touch to this film. The animation is also a contribution to this movie’s comedy along with the writing, performances, and timing. There are a lot of great jokes that you could miss on your first watch.  

Honestly, I have no problems with this movie at all. The Mitchells vs. the Machines is the best Sony animated movie since Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verseand the best animated movie on Netflix since Klaus. Heck not only is it the best movie 2021 so far but it might just be the best movie of the new decade. It’s the perfect film to watch as a family.

Verdict:

+ Heartwarming

+ Hilarious

+ The animation

+ The Mitchells

-Evil technology cliche

Score: A+

2021 recap part 1

Movies:

Promising Young Woman: She doesn’t try to get revenge until near the end when that should’ve been the whole plot. C+

Tom and Jerry 2021: The animation is fine but the story is not great. At least they don’t talk like that other movie. D+

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run: An obvious commercial for Kamp Koral but the animation is really good. B

Raya and the Last Dragon: Great worldbuilding and action. A-

Nobody: A fun action movie with a great performance from Bob Odenkirk. A-

Godzilla vs Kong: Uninteresting characters but fun fight scenes from both monsters. B

Arlo the Alligator Boy: Cute animation but it just felt like a pilot to a show. B

Mortal Kombat: Familiar but faithful. B-

Shows:

The Great North: A decent so far show from the crew that made Bob’s Burgers.

Kid Cosmic: Probably my favorite show from Craig McCracken.

Close Enough and Solar Opposites season 2: Both have the fun charm they had from season 1.

WandaVision: Great performances from the two leads and great pokes at the sitcom cliches.

Amphibia season 2: I’m looking forward to the finale.

Final Space season 3: Darker than the previous seasons. Will discuss my thoughts when season is over.

Falcon and the Winter Soldier: A darker and more mature MCU story with great character interactions. I do think John Walker’s arc was rushed at the end.

Infinity Train Book 4: Not the most epic final seasons but still has the charm of the other seasons.

Ranking the Infinity Train Seasons

Infinity Train might be over but the ride isn’t done yet. I am ranking each season of the show in four categories. 1st place gets four points, 2nd place gets 3 points etc etc. I will then tally up all the points to see which season is the best. Keep in mind these are my personal opinion and there some spoilers so if you haven’t seen this show go watch it.

Protagonists:

4. Min-Gi and Ryan-Book 4: Although they remind me of me and my brother their arcs are just fine.

3. MT-Book 2: Her arc about individuality is really well done. She kind of reminds me of Roxas from Kingdom Hearts. You kind of forget she’s Tulip’s reflection.

2. Grace-Book 3: A well written redemption arc. It’s amazing that Cartoon Network made a toxic protagonist.

1.Tulip-Book 1: Her struggles with her parents’ divorce feel very realistic and Ashley Johnson really names it as her.

Antagonists:

The denizens mob-Book 4: These are the closest we have to an antagonist force and honestly they aren’t really much of a threat.

Reflection Police-Book 2: These guys feel more like secondary antagonists.

The Conductor/Amelia-Book 1: I really love the mystery centering around Amelia and how she’s a dark version of Tulip.

1.Simon-Book 3: I’m surprised Cartoon Network made a villain like this. Throughout the whole season you see his descent from a jerk to an irredeemable villain. He also works well as a foil for Grace.

Cars:

4. Book 3: At the cost of focusing on the story the cars here are just generic forest, jungle, and desert settings.

3. Book 4: A bunch of creative cars such as the bug western town and J.K. Simmons Pig car.

2. Book 1: Since this was a miniseries I assume the crew really wanted to show as many cars as they wanted.  

1.Book 2: The map and carnival cars are really creative and fun but what makes this the winner is the worldbuilding such as the mall car and number car.

Story:

4. Book 2: While this season’s story was good it was home the Parasite Car which is consider the only filler episode.

3. Book 4: The story was kind of predictable and the stakes felt very low.

2. Book 3: By far the darkest and most unpredictable season of the show. Every episode progresses the characters and the story.

1.Book 1: Mostly because of the mystery of the train. You not sure what it’s purpose is until the very end. It also works as a great coming of age story.

Final Score:

4. Book Four: Duet: 6 points
3. Book Two: Cracked Reflection: 9 points
2. Book Three: Cult of the Conductor: 11 points
1. Book One: The Perennial Child: 14 points

Do you agree with these rankings? Like and comment on what your favorite season is.

Infinity Train Book 4 review

Good news is we got a 4th season of Infinity Train, the bad news is that it’s our last train ride. The review contains spoilers. Book 4 – Duet is about two best friends Min-Gi and Ryan. Ryan wants both of them to becomes musicians while Min-Gi wants to respect his parents’ wishes. This conflict gets them both on the Infinity Train. I always thought there should be a season where two people that know each other such as a kid and their parent, siblings, or a couple or in this case best friends both get on the train.

Min-Gi Park played by Johnny Young and Ryan Akagi both have a believable friendship. I like how their conflict isn’t just one sided both of them have moments where one of them is right but another time is wrong. The first episode cleverly uses split screen to show their lives. There dynamic (kind of) reminds me of my relationship with my brother (he’s more like Min-Gi and I’m more like Ryan). The character that I think stole the show was a floating service bell named Kez played by Minty Lewis who acts as Min-Gi and Ryan’s companion. She brings a lot of humor to the season but also a lot of threats due to her hurting a lot of the denizens.

The cars while I don’t think there were many as the previous seasons are still very creative such as a car that can change different eras, an old western town populated by bugs, and a giant kitchen home to a giant baby pig played by JK Simmons. This is probably the most standalone of the seasons and even the reveal of this season taking place before the first season doesn’t affect the story. I also kind of thought the ending was predictable but still a very heartwarming one to end on.

Book 4 Duet may not have had the most epic series finale to this epic show a good ending to a good final season to one of the best Cartoon Network shows ever. This may be my last review of Infinity Train but the ride isn’t over yet. My next post will be a ranking of the Infinity Train seasons in categories. Which was your favorite season of the show. Like and comment below.

Nobody review

A nobody is a creature from Kingdom Hearts controlled by Xemnas is also the nobody of Master Xehanort who was voiced by Christopher Lloyd who also played the father of Hutch Mansell aka a “nobody”. It all makes sense! Nobody is a action movie about a mild mannered family man who chickened out when his family was robbed. He becomes more tough and out for justice but ends up getting involved with the mob. The story about a mild father becoming a badass isn’t that new but that’s really the only problem I have.

Bob Odenkirk who is best known as Saul Goodman in Breaking Bad and the spinoff Better Call Saul is perfect as Hutch Mansell. He managed to play both a mild-mannered father and also a complete badass all in the same movie. While it’s a small role I also really enjoyed his father, David Mansell played by Christopher Lloyd. Honestly one of the reasons I saw this was because Christopher Lloyd who is best known for Doc Brown from Back to the Future and The Hacker from Cyberchase (best PBS show) is one of my favorite actors.

The action is both fun and suspenseful. The action scene on the bus is a great starter fight that ignites Hutch’s badassery, and the fight at Hutch’s home is thrilling. The climax is kind of like a bloodier and more extremely violent version of Home Alone because of all the creative traps Hutch makes. What also helps the action scenes is the editing. The movie’s editing is fast paced and well timed. There’s a great montage at the beginning that shows Hutch’s weekly schedule and it helps establish the struggling and boring life he has very well.

Fun trivia: my family including me work at a metal stop similar to the one Hutch works at so it’s kind of neat to see this location used for the final battle. Nobody is a small but fun and thrilling action movie that’s up there with John Wick. The movie may be called Nobody but Bob Odenkirk’s Hutch was certainly not your average nobody.  

Verdict:

+ Action

+ Bob Odenkirk

+ Christopher Lloyd

+Editing

-Familiar premise

Score: A-

Raya and the Last Dragon review

A dragon! A dragon! I swear I saw a dragon 

Big spoilers so go see this in theaters or on Disney+. Raya and the Last Dragon is about a princess searching for the shattered pieces of the dragon orb and the last dragon Sisu in order to return peace to Kumandra which has been in conflict with each tribe. This is the first non-sequel movie in the Disney canon since Moana four years ago. This is also James Newton Howard’s fourth Disney movie he scored. He creates such great music in the movies he scored such as Atlantis the Lost Empire and Treasure Planet.

I really liked the worldbuilding of Kumandra. Each tribe is named after a part of a dragon and each land looks very unique from each other. It kind of reminds me a lot of Avatar the Last Airbender because of its Asian influence. The tribes also tie into the movie’s biggest theme of trust. Both Raya and Sisu learn a lot about when to and not when to trust someone. I really like in the climax that one member from each tribe helps put the pieces of the orb back together with the main villain Namaari being the one who saves everyone.

Speaking of villains, the villains were kind of a mix bag. For one thing I like that the main villain Namaari does have some development and even gets some redemption in the climax. On the other hand, the druun is just another Disney force of nature antagonist with not much to them. Another problem was that the modern humor can get annoying especially when it’s set in a fictional fantasy world. Most of modern humor comes from Sisu played by Awkwafina who feels like another famous celebrity doing a Disney character like Robin Williams or Eddie Murphy or Dwayne the Rock Johnson.

By the way the short that came with this Us Again was fantastic with great animation, great music and great emotional moments. For a Disney princess movie there are some tropes for those movies that are absent such as a romance, and songs which is kind of refreshing. Raya and the Last Dragon was a nice break from the Disney sequels full of action and great worldbuilding. Fun fact: my movie theater ticket for this cost $11 which is far les than $30 on Disney+. I am most certain this will be a world in a later Kingdom Hearts game.   

Verdict:

+James Newton Howard’s score

+Theme of trust

+Worldbuilding

+/-Villains

-Modern humor

Score: A

WandaVision review

Oh, a newlywed couple just moved to town. A regular husband and wife. Who left the big city to find a quiet life. WandaVision! She’s a magical gal in a small-town locale He’s a hubby who’s part machine. How will this duo fit in and fulfill all? By sharing a love like you’ve never seen. WandaVision!

Me reviewing a live action show? That’s new. Warning there are spoilers. WandaVision is the first miniseries from the MCU. The premise is about Wanda and Vision living a sitcom-like life after Avengers: Endgame. Each episode takes place in a different decade and the cliches and sitcoms referenced reflect the decade the episode takes place in. There are many references to sitcoms such as I Love Lucy, Full House, Malcom in the Middle, and Modern Family.

There’s a great sense of mystery in the first few episodes that makes you ask a lot of questions and gets you excited for the next episode. It’s kind of like watching Gravity Falls. It turns out to be an illusion created by Wanda as a way of coping with her grief and death of Vision. The reason for the sitcom is because Wanda used to watch these sitcoms with her family and it gave her happiness and comfort, at least until her parents died. It’s legit sad.  You know what Wanda doing isn’t right and it hurt everyone around but you understand where she’s coming from.

Both Wanda played by Elizabeth Olsen and Vision played by Paul Bettany are at their best here. Both work wonderfully off each other and the chemistry is really sweet. It makes it a lot sadder in the end when she has to let go of him. It was also nice to see characters from other Marvel movies such as Darcy (Thor 1-2), Jimmy Woo (Ant Man and the Wasp), and even Maria’s daughter (Captain Marvel). Kathryn Hahn was terrific as the main villain Agatha Hawkness, both being menacing and hilarious, sort of like a Disney villain.

It’s really great that the MCU is giving the spotlight to the minor heroes in the MCU. This show was just to start for many MCU shows to come such as The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki. WandaVision showed that the MCU doesn’t only work in movie form and can shine on tv. WandaVision is a perfect swan song for the character of Vision while also being both mysterious, emotional and hilarious.