Captain Marvel review

Before I start I should talk about the Stan Lee tribute at the beginning. Even his cameo where Carol smiles at him on the train was really nice (him reading the script for Mallrats was a fun 1995 detail). Captain Marvel is the very first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to have a main female protagonist.

Brie Larson is a good choice as Carol but don’t think she’s the strongest main protagonist in the MCU though her arc about her powers being restrained is nicely done. While Carol Danvers was sort of of a mixed bag the supporting cast was really entertaining. Samuel L. Jackson returns as Nick Fury and he’s really fun in this movie. It’s kind of refreshing seeing him before he gains the whole serious look. The “villain” Talos is also really entertaining. Ben Mendelsohn is usually known for playing villain roles (ex: Rogue One and Ready Player One) so when it turns out he’s just trying to save his race and family it feels refreshing. Then there’s Goose, I love Goose! Not because I love cats, although it’s one of the reasons I enjoy him (Trivia about me: I own two cats named Garfield and Nermal) but also because he’s adorable and awesome.

The film does suffer some not only retreads I’ve seen in previous Marvel movies and even the action which is usually one of Marvel’s strong points seemed weak here, except for the scene where Carol tries to escape the Skrulls while her hands are handcuffed. This movie also has a twist where it turns out that the Skrulls were good and the Kree were evil. I’ve already seen this plot twist done in The Nutcracker and the Four Realms and The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (done better in the latter) and the villains we do have are not interesting. Come to think of it, this twist reminds me of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power but without the complex She Ra and Cathra relationship.

This wasn’t really the most necessary movie to be made and was just to introduce Carol. I felt like they made this just so she wouldn’t come out of nowhere in Avengers: Endgame. Captain Marvel while enjoyable is one of the most ok-ish movies I’ve seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Verdict:
+ Goose
+ Nick Fury
+ Talos
+ Stan Lee tribute
+/- Captain Marvel
– Obvious twist
– Same old action

Score: B

Advertisements

2019 recap part 1

Movies:
Bumblebee: Definitely the best Transformers movie even though it’s kind of your cliche kid and robot story. The relationship between the girl and Bumblebee is nice. B-

Mortal Engines: Really cool special effects but really complicated story. It might have the best appearance of the minions. C+

The Kid Who Would Be King: Watching the trailer I thought this would be stupid, but while its not as bad, it’s still your run of the mill fantasy movie. C-

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part: Obvious boys vs girls theme but still a fun continuation of the first movie. B+

Alita:Battle Angel: Good visual effects aside this movie suffers from a weird third half and build up for sequels. C

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World: Great conclusion to How To Train Your Dragon. A-

TV:
Steven Universe Battle of Heart and Mind: If Change Your Mind is the series finale, than I’m set. Best episode of the show!

The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants season 2: Still as funny and entertaining as the books and movie.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World review

The How to Train Your Dragon movies are up there with Shrek (1 and 2) and the Kung Fu Panda movies as some of the best animated movies from DreamWorks. What made this series interesting were the risks it took and never retconning or using some miracle bullshit, like giving Hiccup a prosthetic leg or killing off his father and doesn’t retcon them. Now the series has just concluded with How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.

The heart of the movie and the trilogy as a whole is the relationship between Hiccup and Toothless. I like how throughout the trilogy Hiccup develops from a wimpy Viking into a leader. The Light Fury is also a very likable addition. I love how she and Toothless’s design and behaviors were inspired by cats (mostly because I have two of them). Grimmel while good feels sort of a Drago repeat. Why didn’t Drago returned as the villain since his army is also in it? It also would’ve book ended his story. Still I like how Grimmel always has a backup plan and how he’s a mirror version of Hiccup. My brother even told me that Grimmel is what would have happened if Hiccup killed Toothless. The supporting cast is good but not really developed, (that was mostly an issue with the other movies) especially Valka who’s just there just because she was from the sequel. Still the movie keep focus on what it should, on Hiccup and Toothless’s relationship.

Remember watching the Hidden World in the trailers, turns out it’s only in one scene and near the end of the movie. You could argue that it’s more about the journey than the destination. Spoiler: The movie ends with the Berkians setting their dragons free to live in the Hidden world in order to protect them from other hunters. It does kind of have that Toy Story 3 bittersweet ending vibe to it. While it is predictable (to me that is) it’s still a nice one and serves as a bittersweet goodbye to the characters and world we’ve known through three movies.

Usually the third film in a trilogy is the weakest but this was one of those exceptions. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is a satisfying and emotional conclusion to one of Dreamworks animation’s best movie series, so Dreamworks do us a favor and please don’t go Toy Story 4 on us.

Verdict:
+ Bittersweet ending
+ Hiccup and Toothless
+ Grimmel
+ Light Fury
– Hidden world
– Undeveloped supporting cast

Score: A-

 

 

 

91st Academy Awards Predictions

The 91st Academy Awards are tomorrow, my choices are bold, you get the idea.

Best Picture:
“Black Panther”
“BlacKkKlansman”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“The Favourite”
Green Book
“Roma”
“A Star Is Born”
“Vice”

Lead Actor:
Christian Bale, “Vice”
Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”
Willem Dafoe, “At Eternity’s Gate”
Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Viggo Mortensen, “Green Book”

Lead Actress:
Yalitza Aparicio, “Roma”
Glenn Close, “The Wife”
Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born”
Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Supporting Actor:
Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”
Adam Driver, “BlacKkKlansman”
Sam Elliott, “A Star Is Born”
Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Sam Rockwell, “Vice”

Supporting Actress:
Amy Adams, “Vice”
Marina de Tavira, “Roma”
Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Emma Stone, “The Favourite”
Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”

Director:
Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”
Pawel Pawlikowski, “Cold War”
Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite”
Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Adam McKay, “Vice”

Animated Feature:
Incredibles 2
Isle of Dogs
Mirai
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Animated Short:
Animal Behaviour
Bao
Late Afternoon
One Small Step
Weekends

Adapted Screenplay:
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
BlacKkKlansman
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
If Beale Street Could Talk
A Star Is Born

Original Screenplay:
The Favourite
First Reformed
Green Book
Roma
Vice

Cinematography:
Cold War
The Favourite
Never Look Away
Roma
A Star Is Born

Film Editing:
BlacKkKlansman
Bohemian Rhapsody
Green Book
The Favourite
Vice

Sound Editing:
Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
First Man
A Quiet Place
Roma

Sound Mixing:
Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
First Man
Roma
A Star Is Born

Production Design:
Black Panther
First Man
The Favourite
Mary Poppins Returns
Roma

Original Score:
BlacKkKlansman
Black Panther
If Beale Street Could Talk
Isle of Dogs
Mary Poppins Returns

Original Song:
“All The Stars” from “Black Panther”
“I’ll Fight” from “RBG”
“The Place Where Lost Things Go” from “Mary Poppins Returns”
“Shallow” from “A Star Is Born”
“When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings”

Makeup and Hair:
Border
Mary Queen of Scots
Vice

Costume Design:
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Black Panther
The Favourite
Mary Poppins Returns
Mary Queen of Scots

Visual Effects:
“Avengers: Infinity War”
“Christopher Robin”
“First Man”
“Ready Player One”
“Solo: A Star Wars Story”

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part review

Everything is still Awesome!

The Lego Movie was thought to be your standard cash grab animated movie just to sell toys and with a chosen one story we’ve heard a bunch of times before didn’t help. It turned out that we are wrong. The Lego Movie turned out to be not to be a funny and heartwarming movie about creativity. This one is directed by Mike Mitchell may not be the best director ever (though I’d recommend Sky High) he’s had experience with CGI animated movies and live action movies (considering that this is both).

The first movie ended on a cliffhanger involving Finn’s sister and her Duplos and the sequel starts off with the aftermath where everything is now apocalyptic except Emmett. Spoiler: Honestly just be watching the ending of the first one you can tell that this is a gender war between Finn and his sister Bianca and how they don’t get along. The real world twist doesn’t have the same wow impact as in the first one. The twist with the sister’s toys being good was nice though.

Now with the not so awesome stuff out of the way let’s talk about the awesome stuff. Chris Pratt is still as innocent as Emmett. There’s such a heart and likability to this character and I don’t think I can see anyone else as Emmett. Chris Pratt also plays Rex Dangervest a badass version of Emmett and a great foil (and main villain) to him. The animation is still as wonderful as it was in 2014. It’s amazing how animators can make CGI look like stop motion with a little bit of 2d animation on the faces. Queen Watevra Wa-Nabi’s ability to shapeshift gives some really great animation.

The Lego Movies are known for having really good comedy and that’s still the case here. There are references and little details that you could miss on your first watch. However some jokes fall flat like one involving Rex stealing Wonder Woman’s invisible jet and says her lasso is still in there. No payoff and no reason for the joke.

The Lego Movie 2 still has the creativitiy and the heart of the first movie and even the Batman spinoff while also showing new themes about family. It may not be as impactful as the first one but is still a nice follow up to the first one.

Verdict:
+ Animation
+ Chris Pratt as Emmett and Rex
+/- Comedy
-Predictable

Score: B+

 

Steven Universe Battle of Heart and Mind review

I would have gotten this review early but I was busy with another franchises that I love (KH3), and my job. Anyway, this Christmas Steven Universe returns with a huge arc about the gems going to Homeworld. It goes just as well as you think. Steven Universe Diamond Days has just concluded with the hour long episode Change Your Mind and what did I think of it? Remember how I thought Reunited was the high point of Steven Universe? I was wrong not only was Change Your Mind just as good as Reunited it was better. It’s amazing how this managed to top Reunited.

After watching Reunited I thought the diamonds except White were redeemed but it turned out they still had a long way to go. I like that each Diamond gets a scene where Steven talks to them about their treatment of Pink. Not only does Bismuth show up but also Peridot and Lapis with new awesome designs. Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl also have new wonderful designs. Steven evens fuses with all three. I really liked Steven and Pearl’s fusion because I once imagined their fusion weapon to be an umbrella.

White Diamond, I was really close to hating this prick because 1. She’s creepy, 2. She won’t listen, 3. She turns everyone white. After seeing Together Alone I actually predicted that’s what White did to Pink Pearl. It’s like the show read my thoughts. The scene where Steven and Pink Steven reunite, oh my God the animation is unbelievable. It’s so fluid, beautiful, and emotional. It really feels like something from an animated movie. Turns out Disney animator James Baxter animated this scene so give him a round of applause. Who knows maybe he’ll work on the supposed Steven Universe movie this fall.

My main problem with this episode is a lot of things are wrapped up too quickly. So much stuff happens like seeing Steven’s fusions with Pearl, Garnet and all three together, redeeming White Diamond, healing the corrupted gems and Lars returning to Earth. It felt like all these ideas were planned but since this might have been the series finale they wanted to get these ideas out right away. Still the ideas they did were really great especially that reuniting scene.

Change You Mind feels a lot like a series finale and honestly it this really was (though we’re technically getting a movie this fall) the end, I’d be satisfied. If that is the case than Change Your Mind definitely ranks up there with Sozin’s Comet and Take Back the Falls as one of the best animated series finales I’ve seen. Besides how would season 6 top this? Change Your Mind was an epic conclusion to season 5 and in my opinion the best episode of Steven Universe.

 

My History with Kingdom Hearts

Today marks a very important event to me and my brother’s lives, that game is Kingdom Hearts 3. I love Disney and my brother loves video games. So a video game series about exploring worlds based on Disney movies with Donald Duck and Goofy sounds like a Disney fan/gamer’s dream come true. To celebrate this occasion I will be talking my history and thoughts on the two main games those being KH 1 and 2.

I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a House of Mouse or technically speaking a House of Villains. On the VHS of Mickey’s House of Villains the last preview was a trailer for a mysterious video game series that I never heard of. Later that year, we got Spyro: Year of the Dragon and Kingdom Hearts for Christmas. That intro was so great I think we kept starting a new game just to watch it. It took a while for my brother to get the hang of it. The world roster is great (it surprised me that The Nightmare Before Christmas is in this considering it’s Touchstone). The music thanks to the wonderful composer Yoko Shimomura  fits the worlds perfectly and help give them life. Traverse Town’s music is so nostalgic. I also like the relationship between Sora and Kairi. The bosses were also cool especially the Riku boss. My brother cried after defeating Riku when Sora stabbed himself. He never actually finished the game for a while because he was stuck on that 2nd Ansem boss. Still Kingdom Hearts 1 is such a nostalgic part of our childhood.

A few years later later I heard from school about a sequel coming soon. I remember watching a bunch of clips of the game including one with the Chicken Little summon. I also remember the Target where we bought both the game and strategy guide. It did start off slow when playing Roxas first but it catches on afterwards. I really like some of the new worlds like Pirates of the Caribbean, The Lion King and Tron (fun fact: this game introduced me to Tron). I actually do like the reaction commands because it gives the boss battles more personality and even the boss music is some of the best of the series. The final boss is one of my favorites and the ending was perfect. What I find fascinating about KH2 is that whenever there’s a movie or video game trilogy or even a three season show, the middle story always ends on a cliffhanger like Empire Strikes Back or Avatar Book 2. KH2 however subverts with because it ends with Sora finally returning home and every ends happily. Honestly you could have just ended the series here and I would’ve been satisfied but then again we wouldn’t have KH3 then.

I love both games equally, choosing one of the other is like choosing a favorite child (who does that?). I will admit my biggest problem with the series is the story. It can be really hard to follow especially later in the series. I remember reading the strategy guides so much that they ended up worn and falling apart. Sometimes my brother and I would think up new worlds for Kingdom Hearts 3. One of my favorite world ideas was Sky High and some from Pixar like The Incredibles and Up. My brother and I have waited so long for the third game and it’s hard to believe that it’s finally here and I know for a fact that my brother is going to play this once he’s done with his classes.Thank you so much Tetsuya Nomura for creating this wonderful series and for the memories my brother and I have treasured in our hearts, pun intended.

My Top 10 Anticipated Movies of 2019

Here are my top 10 most anticipated movies of 2019.

10. Five way tie between Dumbo, Aladdin, Toy Story 4, The Lion King and Frozen 2

9. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

8. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

7. Shazam

6. Captain Marvel

5. Spider-Man: Far From Home

4. The Addams Family

3. Missing Link

2. Avengers: Endgame

1. Star Wars: Episode 9

Despite being excited for all these movies, none of them are my most anticipated thing of 2019. That honor goes to…………….. Kingdom Hears 3!

I may have said before that I don’t play video games but I’ve watched my brother play them. The Kingdom Hearts series is our most favorite video game series of all time. We’ve played and loved the first two and we’ve been waiting for Kingdom Hearts 3 for years now. Because of this I’ll be doing a retrospective post on the 2 main Kingdom Hearts games.

My Top 10 Favorite Movies of 2018

Another year has come and gone my Top 10 Favorite Movies of 2018.  You know the drill, these choices are based on my opinion and what I think are the best movies of 2018.

10. Ready Player One:

I really liked the three challenges (especially The Shining) not only because there creative and fun but also because the characters and even the audience had to figure out how to solve them. The Oasis was also a creative version of the internet and the cameos like the Iron Giant and the DeLorean were cool too.

9. Mary Poppins Returns:

You could argue that this is this generation’s Mary Poppins and watching this was like seeing the original back in 1964. Emily Blunt was “practically perfect” as Mary Poppins and Lin-Manuel Miranda was just as charming as Dick Van Dyke. The animated bowl scene was awesome and the songs would make the Sherman Brothers so proud.

8. Deadpool 2:

2018 surprisingly was a great year for superhero movies (we’ll get to more of them later). Ryan Reynolds is still wonderful as God’s perfect idiot and the comedy is still funny but what made Deadpool 2 great was that there’s no real villain just people with harsh but understandable motives. This is a movie about antiheroes after all.

7. Mary and the Witch’s FlowerIsle of Dogs:

These two films are tied because they both have similar positive things (great main character and animation). Mary is clumsy but very likable and Chief while tough and cold has a good heart. The animation of Mary and the Witch’s Flower is wonderful and would make Ghibli proud and the stop motion of Isle of Dogs is great because of Wes Anderson’s directing.

6. Ralph Breaks the Internet:

Closes thing to a Disney crossover movie. The heart of the movie is the friendship between Ralph and Vanellope and the theme of friends growing apart but not completely is bittersweet and done well. It’s also refreshing to not have a twist villain but more of an internal conflict. The internet setting and the websites used in the story are great too.

5. Game Night:

Game Night is a comedy with twist after twist after twist. The unpredictability of the story makes you wonder what’s going to happen next. This movie also has an enjoyable cast of characters that are all funny and enjoyable to watch banter. This was probably the biggest surprise of the year in my opinion and is the perfect movie for any game night.

4. Black Panther:

In my opinion this is Marvel’s The Lion King in terms of story and themes. Killmonger is one the best MCU villains because his motives are understandable and how he slowly becomes the main villain throughout the movie. Wakanda is a great location not because it looks cool but because its history and how the city works is well thought out. Also All the Stars is a perfect end credits song.

3. Avengers:Infinity War:

I feel bad putting this at only number 3 (ironically the third Avengers movie). Thanos was built up wonderfully as not only a threatening villain but also very complex. Each Marvel hero has their fair share of screen time and it was fun to see new interactions between them. The snap at the end was a very ballsy thing to do but it payed off making us wonder what’s going to happen next.

2. Incredibles 2:

This was a close second (ironically both the 2nd Incredibles movie and also 2nd place). My most anticipated movie of the year and for a while my favorite movie of the year. In my opinion I think this is better than the first one (except for the villain). Everything else about this movie from the characters, the action, the music (Here comes Elastic Girl is my jam), and the visuals are all incredible pun taken.

1. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse:

I feel like this is Sony Animation Studio’s apology for The Emoji Movie and they pretty much earned my forgiveness. The Spider Men in general are all great characters (ones I want to see more of later) and the animation is amazing. I also like how the theme of loss plays into the character’s motivations and the story. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is not just my favorite Spider Man movie but also my favorite movie of 2018.

What are your favorite movies of 2018? Like and Comment below and I’ll see you in 2019 for more movie reviews.

Happy Birthday Eds!

Today marks the 20th anniversary of a big part of my childhood. I know I’ve talked a lot about Steven Universe but my favorite Cartoon Network show has always been and still is Ed Edd n Eddy. My brother and I love this show. Ed Edd n Eddy was different from the other Cartoon Network shows but that’s what made so special. The Eds are one of the best trios of all time and I love each one of them (especially Ed). I always looked forward to a new episode whether it was bad or not. Their unexpected appearance in the Grim Adventures of the KND is one of the greatest cameos ever. It felt so satisfying to see the Eds finally accepted by everyone in the finale. Thank You so much Danny Antonucci for making one of the greatest cartoons of all time.