Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald review

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Wizarding World is the next installment of Fantastic Beasts series. One think the Harry Potter series does wonderfully is it’s world building. I like how each movie takes place in a new country outside of England and and the wizarding world in Paris has really creative ideas and looks nice. I hear the next movie takes place in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro so that sounds promising. It’s also cool to see old locations from the Harry Potter series like Hogwarts and the Ministry of Magic.

The cast is pretty much the same as the first one and they do their job just fine. Jude Law while not on screen that much is wonderfully casted as Albus Dumbledore. I think the best comparison to him is Ewan McGregor as Obi Wan Kenobi. Both play younger version of old mentors to the main character and you feel like this is what they’d be like if you saw a younger Obi Wan and Dumbledore. Johnny Depp as Grindelwald is sort of a mixed bag for me. He does a have a creepy vibe to his performance especially in the opening scene (which is really cool).

One of the problems with the Fantastic Beasts movies is the pacing which tends to drag make the scenes not interesting. I also think story is also messy. There’s this complicated red herring where Credence was thought to be related to this wizard that cursed the mother of  this one character but then it turns out that baby was dead. This also leads to this really weird plot twist in the end SPOILERS: Credence turns out to Aurelius Dumbledore. Last time I remember Dumbledore only had a brother (Aberforth) and a sister. Maybe Grindelwald tricked Credence or maybe we’ll find out more in a later sequel. I don’t know, I just felt it came out of nowhere.

I find Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald to be similar to Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Both are underwhelming sequels to perfectly fine spinoffs from classic movies that try to setup more sequels. Heck both got higher scores on IGN than their previous movies.

+ Wizarding world
+ Jude Law
+/- Johnny Depp as Grindelwald
– Pacing
– Weak story
– Weird plot twist

Score: C+

The Grinch review

You probably know by now that I love the original How the Grinch stole Christmas special from 1966 although my family also enjoys the Jim Carrey version from 2000 but I won’t deny that the Dr. Seuss movies are not very good and considering Illuminations also did The Lorax I wasn’t that excited. I’ll just get this out of the way, Tyler the Creator’s cover of the classic Grinch song sucks. It sounds too much like Despicable Me by Pharrell Williams (weird choice for a narrator). Jordin Smith’s cover was a way better cover.

Benedict Cumberbatch is decent as the Grinch but I feel like they wasted an opportunity on using his deep voice. He also comes off as little too nice especially towards Max. His backstory is simpler and less mean spirited than the 2000 version. There’s also a b plot focusing on Cindy Lou Who trying to capture Santa so she can ask him to help her mother. She sort of feels like a combination of Gru’s daughters. Her arc isn’t that necessary to the movie but the character is still really likable. Speaking of which the whos this time are much more friendly than in 2000 especially Bricklebaum who’s sort of a foil to the Grinch.

Illumination films usually have nice animation but standard humor and the Grinch also falls into that. I like the design of Whoville which looks like a mix between gingerbread houses and no straight lines which looks very similar to the book. The character designs while your standard Illumination character designs still look nice compared to 2000 (the only reason they won the Oscar for makeup was because of Jim Carrey). The comedy again is pretty much like Illumination’s other movies which are filled with pop culture references and slapstick. The screaming goat gag got old even before it screamed.

The Grinch feels more like a Christmas version of Despicable Me. Out of all the Dr. Seuss movies this is probably the least disrespectful of the Dr. Seuss adaptations. I would say this is better than the 2000 version because it’s less mean spirited but I feel like this movies too new to compare it. It’s still a nice Christmas movie for your kids.

+ More friendly Whos
+ Nice animation
+/- Grinch
+/- Cindy Lou Who
– Standard kid jokes
– Tyler the Creator’s Grinch cover

Score: C

Stan Lee


Today we lost one of the most famous and beloved person in the comic book industry Stan Lee 😥 He’s created some of the most famous comic book characters of all time. Without him we never would have had Spider Man, the Hulk, or Iron Man. His cameos brought so much joy and laughter to all of us. He was an inspiration not just to me but to so many people and we will miss him very much.

Rest in Peace Stan Lee
December 28, 1922 – November 12, 2018

Bohemian Rhapsody review

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a landslide, No escape from reality.
Open your eyes, Look up to the skies and see, I’m just a poor boy, I need no sympathy, Because I’m easy come, easy go, Little high, little low, Any way the wind blows doesn’t really matter to me, to me.

Bohemian Rhapsody is the biographical movie about how the famous band Queen got started. Queen is one of my favorite musical artists up there with Michael Jackson. My brother and I really enjoy their songs. Don’t Stop me Now is me and my brother’s personal favorite song and I would have given this movie and F is it was absent but thank god they saved it for the end.

Rami Malek is a perfect choice as Freddie Mercury not just because he’s a splitting image of Freddie but also because he gives a wonderful performance. I remember watching Rami Malek play the odd creator of Philbert on Bojack Horseman season 5. He was terrific there and he was terrific here. The rest of the band members are really good too though I could never remember their names without looking them up. The idea of the movie is that were supposed to see the members of Queen as equals like a family but honestly I still only remember Freddie’s name.

The story has a lot of those cliché beats like the disapproving father, the bandleader acting like a jerk, his girlfriend leaving, and the band breaking up. I’m not sure whether some of them really happened or not but they feel distracting anyway. I like how we see them making some of the songs and how experimental the band was. For example the song We will Rock You was made because Queen wanted to make a song that the whole audience can be involved in and with Bohemian Rhapsody they were inspired by opera. While I do think ending the movie at the Live Aid concert is a good choice I must quote Ray Foster “It goes on forever, six bloody minutes!” They play like 3 or 4 songs and it feels like it drags on.

Bohemian Rhapsody is full of great performances and the great classic songs that we still keep banging their heads in the car to. It has faults in the story and scenes that drag but still has the charm Freddie Mercury and his band had years ago.

+ Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury
+ Song origins
+/- The other band members
+/- The Live Aid concert
– Familiar cliche beats

Score: B-