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+

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

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-

Thor Ragnarok review

I’m Thor, you’re Thor? Well it hurt
Once again, this whole broadcast has been brought to you by sand! It’s everywhere!

Thor Ragnarok is the third and final Thor movie and Marvel Cinematic Universe movie of 2017. Thor 3 is the very first MCU movie to have a main female antagonist Hela, so I’ll talk about her first. It is refreshing to see a main female antagonist in the Marvel movie and Cate Blanchett put a lot of effort and ham to make this character enjoyable. Doug Walker said in his review of this movie that every green MCU villain (Loki, Vulture, and Hela) are the good ones and he’s kind of right.

Sakaar is a really cool location. I like the design, the use of colors, the music, the costumes, The Grandmaster and Valkyrior are good additions and Korg steals the show whenever he’s on screen. The Incredible Hulk also steals the show and I like that he actually speaks clearly when he’s green. Pretty much anything on Sakaar is great. It’s a way better setting than the desert or Svartalfheim.

The comedy in the movie is really funny.  I think the first joke that really made me laugh my ass off was when Thor returns to Asgard and finds Loki “disguised as Odin” watching a play on Loki’s death (I won’t give away who plays Loki). Thor greets “Odin” and Odin replies “Oh Shit”. The way Anthony Hopkins delivers that line is hilarious. I don’t want to mention any more jokes because 1. I don’t want to spoil them, 2. If I were to talk about these jokes this would take too much time. Also Doctor Strange’s scene was great, just check it out.

While the movie is funny it does lead to my main problem with the movie. When I first heard about Thor Ragnarok it said that it was going to be darker and edgier. I was thinking it would be kind of like the Gravity Falls episode Dipper and Mabel vs. the Future, mostly void of humor and setting up the finale. This problem mostly out of expectation than what we got. Thor 3 at least take risks in changing the status quo. Spoiler Warning from here on: Odin dies, Thor’s hammer is destroyed, Thor loses his eye, Asgard is destroyed, and worse of all Thor’s hair gets cut. Curse you Stan Lee cameo! There no oh his hammer is fixed or Odin comes back to life scenarios that fix the status quo, everything is changed and I really like the risks it took in the end.

This is definitely my favorite Thor movie and maybe my favorite Marvel movie of 2017. It’s one of the most fun and hilarious Marvel movies and a great conclusion to the Thor trilogy.

Verdict:
+Hela
+Sakaar
+Status quo change
+The humor
-Lack of dark tone

Score: A

My Little Pony The Movie review

I’m back from Orlando! Had a great time and now I getting ready to write my top 20 favorite Orlando rides. It will take me some time to think it out but it’ll be worth it. For now I want to review a movie that I’ve waited to see since I left home.

I was excited for this not just because MLP FIM is one of my favorite cartoons, but also because it’s a 2d animated movie. The last fully 2d animated movie I remember seeing was Winnie the Pooh which was in 2011 (Sponge Out of Water had live action). Watching a 2d movie in the theater now is like watching one of those once every 100 years comets. I’ve always been excited when movies based on cartoons like the Nickelodeon movies came to theaters. If it was all computer animated then I wouldn’t have been excited.

The animation is really good. Though Canterlot does look a bit odd compared to the one in the TV show. At first I thought the character designs of the Mane 6 looked a bit too cutesy but they still had good expressions and smooth animation. Though is it me or does the animation style seem similar to Penn Zero Part Time Hero? Still, I wasn’t really bothered by the animation because it was just nice to see 2d on the big screen again.

The new characters do have good designs and actors that put their best into their roles. Voice and design aside however they are kind of weak. The Storm King only shows up for a stupid skype joke and the 3rd half of the movie. The new characters the Mane 6 come across in one scene and then come together in the climax, it doesn’t give us enough time to get to know them, and Songbird was just Sia as a pony. I think Tempest was the strongest new character.

The songs were also kind of weak. I went to the bathroom during a few of the songs because they weren’t that catchy or memorable. The only song I think was good was Open your eyes mostly because it did tell Tempest backstory and had an epic feel to it. Come to think of it, Tempest Shadow is one of the strongest things about this movie. I like that she has a broken horn (it must be really painful to break one).

A problem I do have which is also a problem I have with the two-parters in the show is that the supporting characters such as the Cutie Mark crusaders, Starlight Glimmer and others are only background characters. The Two-parters only focus on the Mane 6, Spike, the princesses, and the villain. This is a movie based on a cartoon with many characters, they could have had some of them play a role in the story but to be fair a lot of supporting characters do get cameos. Still did they really have to exclude Discord?!

If you’re wondering yes I do think this is better than all of the Equestria Girls movies. I do think the film is just ok but too be fair most movies based on cartoons are just ok too.  I would recommend this obviously for bronies and fans of the show.

Verdict:
+Animation
+Tempest Shadow
+/- New characters
-Weak Songs
-Show characters

Score: B-

 

Kingsman the Golden Circle review

Manners Make it Man

Kingsman the Secret Service was one of my favorite movies of 2015. It has action, humor, swearing, and exploding heads. Kingsman the Golden Circle is the sequel. I do admit the film is a lot more silly and over the top which can be distracting. Considering the first one was a lot more grounded. This movie has robot dogs, a meat grinder, the ability to heal someone from a bullet shot, and Elton John!

Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, and Mark Strong are still fantastic as Eggsy, Harry, and Merlin and still have a lot of heart to there roles. The main villain Poppy does feel like a retread of Valentine and her death felt anti-climatic, but I will admit Poppyland was a really awesome villain lair. While the Statesman are interesting there not really in the movie that much except for Whiskey who was a badass. Ginger was fine, Champagne was just Jeff Bridges in a cowboy hat and Tequila felt like he was just here to build him up for the third one. Elton John was also entertaining and funny. So yeah the new characters were kind of a mix bag.

The action scenes are very fun. Though my main gripes with the action is that there are not a lot of them (I think there are only five of them) and that there similar to the ones in the first one like the bar scene. Still, there very entertaining and violent. There’s also a great variety in the locations where these action scenes take place. The car chase at the beginning helps set up the movie. The climax is also entertaining though I think it goes through different stages. First it’s fighting the henchmen, then Charlie and the dogs, and when Whiskey.

This is where I get into Spoilers. Poppy’s evil plan is that she contaminated the drugs she sells. He holds America hostage saying that she has an antidote and that if the President legalizes drugs and end the drug war she will give the antidote. However the President decides to not go with it so that the drug users would die. There’s a scene where all of the frozen drug users are stored in a stadium and it is chilling.  Agent Whiskey also turns out to be working for the president though he has his own reasons. His wife and unborn child were killed by drug users so he also wants drug users to die. I’m kind of a sucker for gray morality in media.

I don’t think Kingsman the Golden Circle is as good the first one but it is still a fun continuation to a fun movie and I look forward to seeing where the series goes from here.

Verdict:
+Eggsy, Harry, and Merlin
+Gray morality
+/-New characters
+/-Action scenes
-Too silly

Score: A-

Baby Driver review

I wasn’t planning on reviewing this movie. But I heard that people have considered this to be one of the best movies of the year, so I thought about it and realized that I had a lot to say about it. Edgar Wright is considered to be a director that has not directed a bad film yet. Baby Driver is about a getaway driver named Baby who drives robbers from to heists, to pay off a debt from Doc.

Ansel Elgort as Baby is great. He has tinnitus due to a car accident that killed his parents and now he listens to music to block it out. Reminds me a lot of Peter Quill from Guardians of Galaxy. He also reminds me of Eggsy from Kingsman, I even thought it was the same actor. He’s a character that is doing a bad thing but is in it for the money to help his adoptive father. He has characters such as Debora and Joseph to keep him from going bad.

I think the story and narrative stand out to me. It starts out with already a great concept with a boy who is a getaway driver for robbers. Each heist shows a new character. I do think Doc asking Baby to come back for one more heist even though he let him go was a bit sudden and out of nowhere. On the final heist Baby decides he had enough of this and tries to escape. Bats and Buddy’s death are killed and Buddy vows revenge. After that it becomes more of a fugitive movie with Baby and Debora trying to escape the police and Buddy. Doc helps them escape though gets killed by Buddy in the process. They kill Buddy but Baby turns himself in. The story has a lot twist and turns and I had no idea what direction it was going.

One of the things that stood out to me was Buddy played by Jon Hamm. He doesn’t start off as the main villain or biggest threat (Doc or Bats seemed like they’d be the main threat) but when his wife is killed due to Baby he descends into vengeance and rage. The scene at the diner where Baby and Debora confront Buddy drinking coffee with the song “Never, Never Gonna Give Ya Up” by Barry White is chilling and probably my favorite scene in the movie.

If I had a problem with the movie is Griff played by Jon Bernthal. He’s not bad but he only appears in the begining and never shows up again. He has his own poster for god’s sake. Other then that Baby Driver is a creative and original film that is fun to watch.

Verdict:
+Ansel Elgort
+Buddy’s decent
+The story
-Doc’s sudden heist
-Griff

Score: B+

War for the Planet of the Apes review

Apes Together Strong

Sorry for not being active on this blog for a while. I’ve been busy hanging out with relatives, and painting at where my parents work. The reboot Planet of the Apes trilogy is one of the trilogies that is consistently good. Rise of the Planet of the Apes was your typical apes rising up against humans story while staying fresh. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes blurred the line between good and evil. showing that not all men are evil and not all apes are good. Now War for the Planet of the Apes concludes Caesar’s story.

Andy Serkis is great as Caesar. He comes off as a great leader who want’s to do what’s best for his people. He’s a very complex character that goes through lost and vengnece. His death while bittersweet shows peace and freedom to the people he cares about. Steve Zhan is also great as a new character in the trilogy named Bad Ape. He brings a lot of comedy and light to this dark and edgier movie. While on the subject of apes I have to say that the special effects on the apes gets better with each movie. Usually seeing only cgi characters for most of the movie could get tiresome but these characters look great. I could see this movie getting nominated at the Oscars for best visual effects.

The Colonel played by Woody Harrelson while acted well and intimidating, isn’t in the film as much as he should have. He’s not given much depth or reason to really feel bad for him.There’s also one scene in the movie that kind of pulls me out of it and that’s when one of the apes throws poo at one of the guards. Not a long scene but for a dark and edgier movie it doesn’t really fit.

The third movie in a trilogy is usually weaker then the previous two. War for the Planet of the Apes however is a rare example of the third movie be not only a strong conclusion but also the best movie in the trilogy.

Verdict:
+Caesar
+Visual Effects
+Bad ape
-Throwing poo scene
+/- The Colonel

Score: B

At one point I thought this was called War of the Planet of the Apes instead of War for the Planet of the Apes since the others were called Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes….You know it kind of becomes a hassle your movie has “of the” in the title twice. At least this one replaced one of the “of the’s” with “for the”.