Black Panther review

Wakanda Forever!

The theater I saw this was so crowded that the showing I was supposed to see was sold out so me and my friend had to buy a ticket for an IMAX 3D showing an hour later. It was crazy, but I see why because this was great! One reason for this is because it has a lot of mature and adult themes than the other Marvel movie didn’t deal with. It deals with themes such as race since the villain wants to use vibranium to help black people all over the world. It also deals with responsibility and how being a good person is different from being a good king.

Spoiler paragraph: Chadwick Boseman is still great as Black Panther and his arc about finding out his father killed his brother reminds me a lot of Steven Universe dealing with his mother (maybe) shattering Pink Diamond. His sister Shuri is also very enjoyable and fun. Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger is one of the best and most tragic villains in the MCU. What’s really clever about him is that he starts off as just some random henchman working for Ulysses Klaue but throughout the movie his role gets bigger, more is revealed about his past, he kills Klaue and becomes the main villain. Another clever thing that makes the re-watch value great is that in the beginning of the movie we see some kids playing basketball, when it’s revealed that he’s T’Challa’s cousin it turns out Eric was one of the kids. I think the best kind of villains are ones that see themselves as a hero even though his actions harm others and he’s one of those.

The main setting Wakanda is a very impressive setting and has great world building. I like how the country works and the backstory explains a lot. Wakanda also looks beautiful and even the mountains where M’Baku lives is cool. The action was also good as usual for Marvel though I will admit some of the CGI was a little too obvious especially in a clip of the climax that was uploaded on YouTube. Still there are good actions scenes such as the Korea car chase the waterfall duel.

Black Panther is definitely in my top 3 favorite MCU movies up there with The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy. All I have to say left is that to Avengers Infinity War or any movie of 2018, Good Luck.

Verdict:
+ Action
+ Cast especially the villain
+ Themes
+ Wakanda
– Obvious cgi

Score: A+

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Mary and the Witch’s Flower review

The only anime movies I ever saw in the theater were Spirited Away and Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light. I remember seeing the teaser for this thought it was awesome but I knew that it would probably only have a limited release is specific theaters. Fortunately one day my Mom, Grandma, and I saw Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri at the nearest mall and I saw a poster saying it Mary would be showing there so I bought my ticket early and now I’m here to review it.

Mary and the Witch’s Flower is about a girl named Mary who finds a magic flower in the forest. It gives her and a broom she finds the ability of magic which ends up dragging her to a witch school in the sky named Endor College. While there she finds out that the headmaster wants to use the flower to transform witches into more powerful beings. In terms of story Mary is kind of predictable because when have we not seen anime movie about young witch or villain chasing the hero for a magical object? I also think the setting of Endor College while interesting is not given that much development. Mary doesn’t take any classes or meets any of the students.

On to the good stuff. The main character Mary is clumsy, feisty but also very likable. I like her design and her actress Ruby Barnhill plays the role perfectly. Actually all the voice actors are great in their roles too. I also like Mary’s sidekicks. One of them being a cat (which doesn’t talk). I remember the audience I was with burst out laughing at some of his scenes. The other is the broomstick which acts like the magic carpet from Aladdin and the fact that it has to be placed in a “broom stable” is hilarious.

The highlight of the movie to me is the animation. Let’s face it, any animation from Ghibli or anyone who worked on Hayao Miyazaki’s movies are beautiful. The character designs are great, the colors pop out and the movements of the characters are smooth and wonderful. I wouldn’t have been excited for this movie if it wasn’t for the animation!

Mary and the Witch’s Flower is not one of the strongest anime movies out there but for me it was still a great treat to see this.

Verdict:
+ Beautiful animation
+ Mary
+ Mary’s sidekicks
+ Voice acting
– Predictable story
– Undeveloped Endor College

Score: B+

My Top 10 Favorite Movies of 2017

Here are my top 10 favorite movies of 2017. These are based on my opinions and what I think are the best movies of 2017. Feel free to say what your favorite movies of 2017 below in the comments.

Honorable Mention:
Hey Arnold the Jungle Movie:

Only because if this was a theatrical released movie than it would have been between 6 and 5 on my list. It was great to see this cartoon return with great animation that looks just like the show.

10. The Fate of the Furious:

Honestly this was here just to fill 10 movies but there’s stuff that I really enjoy. Cipher is one of those great villains you love to hate. Don’s reason for betraying his family is very understandable and his plan to defeat Cipher in the climax feels so satisfying and awesome.

9. Baby Driver:

I wasn’t planning on reviewing this after seeing it but after looking back it has stuff I really wanted to talk about like Buddy’s decent into madness which was great. It also has the best story of any movie I’ve seen this year because it has an interesting premise, gray characters, and unpredictable twists.

8. Kingsman: The Golden Circle:

It wasn’t as good as the first one but it was still fun. I liked that there was a gray morality in it. Poppy wants to legalize drugs while the President and Whiskey wants drug users to die. The actions scenes are fast, violent, and enjoyable and Harry and Eggsy are still great characters.

These next two movies are a tie because I couldn’t decide which was better and there both similar in genre and humor.

6/7. Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie:

This felt more like a combination of the books than an adaptation of one of the books but in a good way. There’s not much drama but that’s not the focus anyway. The comedy is great and it stays faithful to the book series that I loved from my childhood.

6/7. The Lego Batman Movie:

A spinoff of The Lego Movie and Batman that surprisingly has a lot of heart. It’s full of many kinds of gags like references and ones in the background. Will Arnett is still funny as Batman though is it me or does this version of Batman seem similar to Bojack Horseman?

5. Spider-Man: Homecoming:

Tom Holland is still great as Spider Man and Michael Keaton is a great update of the vulture (Michael plays a lot of winged characters). While this is my least favorite MCU movie this year it was still a great Spider Man movie. Heck I might even say this is my favorite Spiderman movie.

4. Coco:

The land of the dead is well thought out, looks great, and reminds me a lot of Mexico without being too forced (FYI: I have vacationed there once). The songs are also good especially Remember Me which is cleverly important in the plot. The definite best animated movie of 2017 hands down.

3. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2:

There is a lot of character development between every character and each get their fair share of great moments especially Rocket and Yondu. It also has a very emotional climax and bittersweet goodbye to Yondu. A fun sequel to the best movie of 2014. Also this movie made me a fan of Mr. Blue Sky.

2. Thor: Ragnarok:

One of the funniest movies of the year, I might even say it’s the funniest MCU movie even though I would have expected a little more drama. It still drops some heavy stuff that changes the series forever like killing off Odin, destroying Asgard and Thor’s hammer. Also Sakaar and anything from that planet is awesome.

1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi:

Ironic since Force Awakens was my favorite movie of 2015 and now the sequel is my favorite movie of 2017. This managed to be sequel that was very different from Force Awakens and even Empire Strikes Back. The action and acting are what really stood out to me especially Mark Hamill, Adam Driver and Daisy Ripley. I don’t know what will happen in Episode XI but Episode VIII has made me excited to see where this wonderful series will take us. The movie that makes you excited for the next one has to take the place as the best movie of 2017.

My Top 10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018

Happy New Year!  Now that 2018 has begun here are my top 10 most anticipated movies of 2018 and my reasons why I’m excited for them.

10. Solo: A Star Wars Story– Why: It’s Star Wars so I’m game though it’s weird that there hasn’t been a trailer yet.

9. Mortal Engines– Why: Just found out about this recently. It looks like a steampunk version of Mad Max Fury Road which seems promising.

8. The Happytime Murders– Why: Another movie I found out about recently. Jim Henson’s company is involved and the premise feel like Who Framed Roger Rabbit (one of my favorite movies) with puppets.

7. Black Panther– Why: Black Panther was cool in Civil War and I think he’ll be cool in his own movie too.

Ant-Man and the Wasp– Why: I placed this over Black Panther because I know less about Ant Man 2. I think the less we know so far the more excited we are.

Deadpool 2– Why: It’s Deadpool, enough said.

4. Ready Player One– Why: It’s directed by my favorite director Steven Spielberg, has so many references like the Iron Giant in it, and it’s cool to see Steven direct fictional stories again.

3. Avengers: Infinity War– Why: I was worried due to there being so many superheroes in one movie. But after watching the trailer (which was awesome!) I got incredibly excited.

2. Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2– Why: We have not seen a Disney animated sequel since The Rescuers Down Under (unless Winnie the Pooh counts) and the fact there every Disney princess (and their original voices) are going to be in it.

1. Incredibles 2– Why: I don’t think I’ve ever been excited for the Pixar movie since Toy Story 3. I think I’m mostly excited because I want to know what the plot, new characters, and new villains are. The Incredibles feels like the Pixar movie that deserves a sequel the most.

Holiday recap

Movies:
Thor Ragnarok: Incredibly funny and entertaining conclusion to the Thor trilogy. A

Murder on the Orient Express:Wonderful performance by Kenneth Branagh. B

Justice League: Great heroes but weak villain. B-

Coco: Best animated movie of 2017 with a great world and great songs. A

Star Wars the Last Jedi: A great continuation to Star Wars. A+

Ferdinand: Your basic animated movie for kids, and also the goat is really annoying. C-

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle: A fun time waster with fun video game references. B

The Greatest Showman: Hugh Jackman’s character arc is nice but the pop songs in the time period seems distracting. B-

TV:
Star vs the Forces of Evil: I love how it reverses the status quo. First season had Star on Earth and now Marco is on Mewni. Also Monster Bash has an awesome reveal to one of the characters.

Steven Universe: Good to see Steven again though these episodes were kind of depressing.

Hey Arnold The Jungle Movie: Great conclusion to my favorite Nickelodeon show. A

A Christmas Story Live: I though it was a fun retelling of the classic movie.

Be sure to check my blog soon for my top 10 most anticipated movies of 2018 and my top 10 favorite movies of 2017 lists.

Thank you to everyone who’s followed my blog and have a Happy New Year.

 

Star Wars the Last Jedi review

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….

FYI, this is a Spoiler filled review. Also Merry Christmas, and what better way to celebrate this holiday than to talk about the most anticipated movie of the year, Star Wars the Last Jedi. It has a very dark tone compared to the rest of the movies since a lot of characters die and has some deep themes. There are still some fun moments like on Canto Bright which is think is a really cool location. The two things that stood out to me were the acting and actions.

The three actors that really stood out to me were Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, and Daisy Ripley. Rey and Kylo have great moments together but what stood out to me in there acting was when they both talk to each other using the force. The angles and editing in those scenes make it look like there talking to each other in the same room. I also like that both struggle from falling to their opposite sides. Rey gets too close to the dark side while Ben gets too close to the light side. Mark Hamill is at his most tragic and emotional as Luke Skywalker. His final scene is a great conclusion to his arc and a beautiful call back to the first Star Wars movie. Carrie Fisher was also great as Princess Leia even though this was her last movie and Yoda was a great surprise.

The actions scenes are incredible. Holdo ramming Snoke’s starship at lightspeed with her ship was probably the most badass sacrifice in any Star Wars movie! I love how the Battle of Crait has the colors white and red to represent blood. I did however feel that it looked more like a middle of a movie battle rather than the climax but Luke’s duel with Kylo was a great climax to the climax. I think me and my brother’s favorite fight was with Rey and Kylo Ren vs Snoke’s guards because the choreography is great and it’s awesome seeing two opposite sides working together.

Big Spoilers: My main problem with this movie were some of the reveals and twists though it’s mostly out of anticipation rather than presentation. Rey’s parents turn out to be nobodies who sold her for alcohol, Kylo Ren kills Snoke and becomes the main villain. At first they seemed odd but thinking over them they kind of work. We don’t learn anything about Snoke but to be fair we didn’t know much about the emperor before the prequels. I was expecting Kylo Ren to have a redemption arc but it’s like what Garnet said in Message Received “Not everyone deserves that patience”. Rey’s parents being nobody’s shows that the main character doesn’t have to have a tragic backstory to be a good protagonist.

There are elements from The Empire Strikes Back but it still feels like a new movie than a repeat like Force Awakens. The Last Jedi is just as great as The Force Awakens maybe even better and it made me excited for Episode IX. Hope you have a Merry Christmas and happy New Year!

Verdict:
+ Action scenes
+ Canto Bright
+ Dark tone
+ Great acting
+/- Plot twists

Score: A+

May the Force be with you
Carrie Fisher

Ranking the Star Wars movies

The Last Jedi has just released in theaters and I’m planning on seeing it tomorrow. For the last few months I have watched every movie in the series to get a fresh eye on them. I will also not be ranking the Clones Wars movie (which I did see in theaters) and even if I did it would’ve ranked last place anyway.

  1. Episode II – Attack of the Clones

Looking at the other Star Wars movie there was at least something special about each of them except for episode II. The characters are dull, the story is dull, and the action scenes are dull. Count Dooku is kind of cool but that’s mostly because Christopher Lee is a great actor. Was it ever George Lucas’s idea to have Boba Fett and the Stormtroopers have a connection? Episode II just felt like a generic Star Wars movie.

  1. Episode I – The Phantom Menace

The movie that made people realize that Star Wars can suck. It’s impossible to see Jack Lloyd playing who will become Darth Vader and he’s too young to be with Natalie Portman (I think Dipper and Wendy have a better chance than these guys). I guess I do like the climax of the movie because it combines all types of Star Wars battles like a space battle, an army battle, and a lightsaber battle. Also Jar Jar sucks.

  1. Episode III – Revenge of the Sith

Best prequel film though that doesn’t say much. Grievous felt unnecessary (Genndy Tartakovsky did him justice), too much politics and I don’t get Anakin’s reason for turning bad. There are still good stuff though. The movie feels much bigger and darker (though mostly in visuals than themes) than the other movies and I also like how everything reached its lowest point with the Jedi dying, the republic turning into the empire, and Anakin turning into Darth Vader.

  1. Episode VI – Return of the Jedi

I think my main problem was moving from the stuff with Jabba’s palace to Endor felt like two separate stories felt odd.  Another problem is the 2nd Death Star because it’s just another Death Star. The first thing you literally see is the 2nd Death Star and there was no build up to it. The best part about the movie is the stuff with Luke, Darth Vader and the Emperor. Return of the Jedi was a great conclusion to a great trilogy and for a while to a great series.

  1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Ever heard of the movie that fixed an old plot hole? Rogue One is that movie. This was a very different Star Wars movie but it still has the feel as one. The movie took a lot of risks like killing off all the main characters. There’s so much stuff that’s awesome about Rogue One. K-2SO is awesome, Darth Vader is awesome, and the climax is one of the best in the series. For a stand-alone Star Wars movie, they still put there all into it.

  1. Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back

I know this is considered the best, I just like my top 2 more. The narrative is incredibly different and darker from the first one which makes it more like a continuation rather than a repeat. It wasn’t about destroying an evil weapon it felt more trying to escape from the villain and learning about the force. I like that the planets are different in terms of color and environment. The Father twist is great, Darth Vader is a great villain and everything else is great at progressing the characters, galaxy, and story.

  1. Episode VII – The Force Awakens

One of my favorite movie experiences was seeing The Force Awakens at Las Vegas with my Dad on opening day. Seeing The Force Awakens was like seeing the original back in 1977. It introduces new characters that are not killed off therefore we can see them develop later and I think it has the best use of balancing CGI with practical effects. Sure Episode VII did do the same story from A New Hope but I think the ideas was to remind us of how grand Star Wars was and that it can be grand again.

  1. Episode IV – A New Hope

The one that started it all. Why is it my favorite? Because Episode IV is one of the best examples of the Hero’s Journey. I think I also like this movie because it feels the most complete and most standalone from the others because there’s no cliffhangers and everything wraps up nicely. Though if that happened we wouldn’t have had such a wonderful movie series. Episode IV established great characters, a great setting (or galaxy), great music and great moments that we knew and loved for 40 years and more years to come which is why it’s my favorite Star Wars movie.

Where will The Last Jedi rank? I’ll just have to trust the force and see what happens.

Hey Arnold the Jungle Movie review

I bet an executive at Nickelodeon heard that Cartoon Network was bringing back Samurai Jack and he was wondering how they can top that, Hey Arnold the Jungle Movie was their answer.  In case you didn’t read my top 10 favorite Nicktoons list click here.

If you did you’ll know that Hey Arnold is my favorite Nicktoon show. I’ve been looking forward to this all year, heck anticipating this (and The Last Jedi) got me through Steven Universe’s longest hiatus. The movie is very faithful to the show because of its callbacks, the music, and animation.  The animation is wonderful and I’m glad Nickelodeon put effort into updating but not too much the animation and style. The character designs have updated but they still look like the characters we knew and love and the backgrounds still look like the same neighborhood that we love too.

Big Spoilers: The movie answers all the questions fans have wondered like what Arnold’s last name is, who the green eyes people are, or where his parents are. It turns out that Arnold’s last name is Shortman. His Grampa has called him Shortman a few times but we assumed it was just a nickname. This is smart and clever because it would have been cheap just to think of some random last name. Back then I always assumed Arnold’s parents were dead, but I was young and I didn’t know that the show would be back. It’s revealed that his parents fell under the sleeping sickness and have been asleep for years. The scene at the end where Arnold is running passing by awaking green eyed people is great due to its build up and when he finally reunites with this parents, it’s emotionally brilliant.

La Sombra is kind of the weak villain because he has no motive to what he’s doing unlike Scheck (though it was a stupid motive) but he’s still intimidating for this kind of the cartoon and is played very well by Alfred Molina. I was almost fooled to think that Eduardo was secretly La Sombra the whole time and was responsible for Arnold’s parents’ disappearance, but I’m glad they didn’t go in that direction. It’s also kind of cool that the villain gets killed off in the end (you know for kids).

Problems I have are mostly minor. One was when after Arnold’s grandparents and Helga’s parents come and save the students. After that they Arnold’s classmates except Gerald and Helga just disappear from the rest of the movie until the very end. Helga’s family gets it worst because they disappear completely and never show up again. Another problem is when Arnold wakes up at the end of the movie making it feel like the whole movie was just a dream. That’s would have been a complete dick move from Nickelodeon if they went in that direction.

Do I think there should be a season 6? Honestly no, I think it ended on a good note. Hey Arnold the Jungle Movie brought back the nostalgia and conclusion to a wonderful Nickel

Verdict:
+ Animation
+ Faithfulness
+ Questions answered
+/- La Sombra
– Dream fake-out
– Supporting cast dropped

Score: A

Coco review

Here’s what The Book of Life and Coco have in common. They both take place in the land of the dead and that’s about it. Seriously it’s like saying The Little Mermaid and Finding Nemo are the same just because they have fish in it. I’ll be frank with you, I knew this would be better than Cars 3 even before watching it, and after watching it, I was not surprised that it was better.

The Land of the Dead is a great setting. The buildings look cool and the colors really pop out. The world building is also great because the movie does explain how this world works and it’s easy to understand quickly. Details like having your photo on your family’s ofrenda lets you visit the living, alebrijes acting as spirit animals, and the final death help build this world Pixar has created.

Miguel is a likable main character and you do support his dream of playing music. Hector is also a likeable character who has a great design and the animation on his body makes for really fun moments. To me Miguel and Hector are the real standouts in the cast and there’s a surprising connections between them. I think my main problem with the movie is the villain, Ernesto de la Cruz. First off, he’s another surprise villain (as if we didn’t have enough from Disney), and two it’s just a retread of the villain from Up (both protagonists idolize the antagonist).  I think Charles Muntz was better because he didn’t start off as evil but years of obsession have turned him evil, Ernesto was just greedy and was willing to murder Hector to get famous.

The songs are great but I think Remember Me is definitely the standout song and will get nominated or even win the Oscar for best song. There’s two reasons why Remember Me stands out to me. Not only because every version of the song is great but also because the song actually has importance in the plot. Spoilers from here: What was the most popular song Ernesto sung was originally a lullaby for Hector’s daughter Coco. At the end of the movie, Hector starts to disappear due to Coco starting to forget him so Miguel races back home and tries to play Remember Me to her great grandmother in order for Hector to not disappear. I think it’s very clever and leads to an emotional moment at the end.

Coco is definitely the best animated movie 2017 and a shoe-in at winning the Oscar for Best Animated Film this year.

Verdict:
+ Miguel and Hector
+ The land of the dead
+ The songs
– The villain

Score: A

Before I finish here’s my thoughts on Olaf’s Frozen Adventure. It’s cute but did it have to be 20 minutes long?! Either shorten the short or show it on TV. Though it was cool to hear John De Lancie aka Discord in it.

Justice League review

Let’s face it, considering the success of Marvel, the anticipation for the movie was low for me. But I saw it anyway because it’s cool to see Aquaman, Flash and Cyborg on the screen for the first time. Thank god, it also had a shorter running time.

I want to talk about the opening scene first since hey it is the opening of the movie of course. It starts off with Superman talking to some kids about is the S on his suit which stands for hope. It then cuts to after Superman’s death showing landmarks with his logo while “Everybody Knows” plays.  It’s a nice and tragic way to show how people reacted to his death. Is it just me or are the best parts of Zack Synder’s movies the opening credits?

Speaking of the best parts of movies. The best thing about Justice League is well the Justice League themselves. For a superhero movie like this I think the most important thing to get right is the heroes themselves. They all have variety in terms of powers and abilities, the actors were nicely picked and even the costumes look great too. Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot are still great as Batman and Wonder Woman. Aquaman was badass and funny and Cyborg was cool too though I see Cyborg more like a Teen Titan rather than a Justice League member. I think my favorite was the Flash. He’s awkward, funny, and the visual effects on his running are different from Quicksilver from Marvel. Even Superman was good in this even though he’s not in it that much. While the heroes do keep the film nicely together the villain however does not. Steppenwolf is just your generic destroy or concur the world or something like that I don’t care villain, he’s boring, he’s bland and who even knows who this guy is in the comic?

The story was clunky which honestly does not surprise me. Something about a cgi villain who was defeated by Amazons, Atlantians, humans and Green Lanturns (which was a nice touch) looking for three boxes that contain power or something. I also think the story was predictable because I knew that a villain would show up, Batman forms a team, Superman comes back to life, they fight and defeat the villain, The End. So yeah the story isn’t anything new. Fortunately the movie is a lot more lighthearted than the other DCEU movies. Sure it does look dark grey, but it has more light humor and is fun at times. I watched this with a full audience and a lot people were laughing at the jokes. It wasn’t Thor Ragnarok funny but it was a nice change of pace for DC. I remember people cheering when Superman showed up in his brightly colored suit at the end.

I am not sure whether this or Wonder Woman is better but there pretty neck to neck together. Justice League is proably the most fun of the DCEU movies and gives hope to the series.

Verdict:
+Lighthearted
+Opening
+The heroes themselves
-Clunky and predictable
-Steppenwolf

Score: B-