Us review

My Dad was in Palm Springs, leaving me and my Mom alone and after dealing with the death of Nermal we decided to go see a movie. The movie we saw was Jordan Peele’s 2nd movie Us, hey it’s a more appropriate movie to see after a pet’s death than Pet’s Cemetery. You’d think a Comedian like Jordan Peele directing horrors movie would not mix well at all. Well no, Jordan Peele has managed to make not one but two really great horror movies. His first movie Get Out was really impressive and it surprised me when it was nominated for Best Picture.

Us is genuinely scary. The jump scares are properly used and don’t feel like a gimmick. Jordan Peele’s directing is very well done. I think one of Jordan’s best skills is storytelling because like Get Out (considering he won an academy award for best original screenplay), this movie has a wonderfully flowing story. Things are setup and payoff later and they together perfectly. Nothing feels unnecessary every scene has a purpose to either establish something or payoff. Though I’ll admit that the first half of the movie kind of drags. It’s mostly just conversations. Things do pick up once the tethered show up.

Speaking of tethered, the film’s cast particularly Lupita Nyong’o does a good job balancing both humor, and genuine fear into their characters. But I think they really shine as the character’s duplicates or tethered. Their performances are legitimately creepy. Each one of the tethered feels unique and each have their own moments of to be scary. Spoiler: There’s an interesting plot twist where it turns out that as a kid Adelaide’s tethered Red switched places with her. It’s an interesting twist but it kind of bothers me that the “our” Adelaide pretty much ruined the real Adelaide’s life and instead of feeling bad for her just kills in the end without no consequences (unless you count the trauma she went through that night).

For the record I’m not a fan of the horror movie genre but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the effort that Mr. Peele has put into this movie. Us is a wonderfully performed, directed and written horror movie and a great follow up to Get Out.

+ Cast especially the Tethered
+ Genuinely Scary
+ Jordan Peele’s direction and writing
+/- Plot twist
– First half drags

Score: A-

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.

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

Score: B

2019 recap part 1

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-

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.

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

Score: A-