My Thoughts: Live Action Aladdin

So, listen, I’ve wanted to do a piece on what I thought about Disney’s live action trek through our childhood memories. I did one a couple of years ago when Beauty and the Beast was coming out. You can read Disney Remakes Thoughts and the Beauty and the Beast review.
It’s no secret that I am optimistic for these remakes. I don’t have a problem with it and I will get into all of that when I talk about that. This piece is to specifically talk about the live action Aladdin movie before it comes out and I do my official review. These are my thoughts SO FAR. There isn’t much to really talk about since it’s not out yet but I’m going to touch on the casting and the costumes mostly because that’s what the promo photos have been for.
The Casting
So obviously I thought it was important to have a cast full of people of color for this movie because of where it’s set. Sure, Agrabah is a fake country but it is based on real places. I remember back when they officially announced it, everyone wanted Avan Jogia to play Aladdin.

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Obviously I get it, I mean back in the day, I would have been like yasss, but I like the guy they got to play Aladdin.
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I think he’s super cute and I follow him on Instagram and he seems to have great energy for the role. I just hope the direction and the writing allows him to be great. Sometimes actors can’t shine when the material won’t let them so I’m hoping it does because the animated film is so great. I think Mena Massoud is a fine choice physically, so we’ll see how it is acting wise.
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Now when Naomi Scott was cast as Jasmine, there was a lot of backlash because she’s not brown enough. Listen, I get it because representation is important, and I agree. It would have been nice to have someone who is browner to play such an iconic princess who is the first Disney princess of color. I get it completely. However, my issue came with the fact that people had such a problem with her when she is of Indian descent on her mother’s side, but everyone wanted Avan Jogia to play Aladdin when his father is British-Indian. It was so crazy to me. I often defended her casting whenever it came up in a conversation because it’s not like she not a person of color at all. But that’s over and done, I think she looks great in the role. I’ve only seen her in Power Rangers and a few episodes in shows. I think she’s a fine actress. I just hope they allow Jasmine to have a bit more character growth. She is my third favorite Disney princess, but I never really thought she had the best writing in the animated film. She’s a great character but she’s a flat character, which is why I hoped they took notes from the Broadway show. She has a lot more character in that and I think it’s important that we get to know Jasmine as more than just “I don’t want to marry someone I don’t love” just like we get to know and love Aladdin.
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As for Will Smith, I’m okay with this casting overall. I was a little skeptical when it was first announced, and I am not necessarily skeptical but curious now. I like Will Smith, he’s a likable guy but I can never see him as his character… he’s Will Smith. I think the only time I was like “wow that’s the character and not Will Smith” was probably Hancock just because that guy was a jerk and a bit different from the characters Will Smith plays that I have seen anyway. I know no one can fill Robin Williams’ shoes but I hope they don’t try to copy that iconic character but allow Will Smith to make it his own. Now, in the trailer, the way he started talking sounded like The Fresh Prince and I was like ummm… so I just hope it’s not too jarring outside of his physical appearance. I think he’ll be fine overall, but I’m just like… okaayyyyy.
The Costumes
I think they are beautiful. At least all the Disney remakes have had beautiful costumes, no matter what you think of Cinderella’s huge blue dress or Belle’s yellow dress. I think they’re both fine. I didn’t care for Cinderella’s dress at first, it grew on me but overall, it’s fine. I’m in the minority but I really liked Belle’s dress but ya know, whatevs lol.

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But I think the costumes in Aladdin look so good so far.
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I like Aladdin’s look mostly. Mena Massoud has great hair and it just looks weird, I don’t know if it’s because he’s supposed to be “dirty”, so his hair is greasy, I don’t know but that’s what throws me off the most. I mean, I know in the pictures he looks really “clean” as I have seen people say but I mean promotional pictures aren’t technically stills from the film. I think he looks better in the second photo with the genie. I can’t WAIT to see his Prince Ali look because it’s iconic and I can imagine the detail on it. *heart eyes*

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Jasmine’s costumes are so beautiful! I think her clothes are my favorite of our live action heroines so far. The attention to detail, the colors, how the blue outfit resembles her iconic outfit but puts a new twist on it. I think she looks amazing. The picture with the Sultan is a new one I discovered, and that yellow is everything. LISTEN, I don’t care, I think Naomi Scott looks great. The Sultan also looks good in that picture.
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Jafar’s costume also looks nice. I think his hat is a bit big lol, but perhaps he’s a young guy who moved up quickly in the ranks and obviously wants to be Sultan. I mean, in the animated film it was gross because he was a smarmy old man and he wanted Jasmine to be his queen lol. So, with this younger actor, I hope he acts super smarmy so make up for being a beautiful man lol.
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As for The Genie. I already said what I had to say on the casting, but I think the blue is a bit jarring. Perhaps when I see the movie it won’t be as weird because I’ll already be immersed in the world and when it happens, maybe it’ll look better. Maybe they’re still putting some work on his final look. I think the second photo looks better than the first photo. Maybe him being large helps this look. I don’t know but I prefer the more “human” look like in the picture above with Aladdin. Apparently, the human look is his disguise when he’s out in the world, but I wish he looked like that all the time. I mean, perhaps his hands turned blue, or maybe whenever he used magic it was blue to pay homage, but I’m not really feeling it. This is probably the first time I’m like…
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But I’m still optimistic. Update: I started writing this on 2/12/2019 and I have to say the blue look is growing on me. It’s still jarring but it’s growing on me.
The Music
This is the last thing I want to touch on. We know and love the songs from the animated film and I can’t wait to see how they do them in this version. I’m excited. I am however curious about these new songs. There is a new solo for Jasmine and Aladdin and Jasmine have a new duet, which is called “sweet”. I really wanted the two original songs from the Broadway show in the film, “Proud of Your Boy” which Aladdin sings in his home and “A Million Miles Away” which Aladdin and Jasmine sing together (but not together). I really wanted both of those in the movie, but I guess they’re not, instead there are two new songs. So, I’m curious to hear those and I’ve never really heard either lead actor sing, I know Naomi Scott was in Lemonade Mouth, but I never saw that, so I’ll just be waiting for the film.
Overall, these are my thoughts right now for the upcoming Aladdin movie. I am excited. As I said, I am generally optimistic about these live action remakes, I don’t think they’re useless, I think its kind of cool and I’m interested to see what they continue to do. I hope Aladdin does a great job!
Thanks for reading my quick thoughts on the upcoming Aladdin movie! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Are you not impressed? Why not? Are you excited? Tell me why! I’m interested in hearing from you!

 

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The Heart Speaks in Whispers

Sooooo I hope you have enjoyed the pieces of the soulmate story I have posted. Since I have finished the last part, I decided to post them all together in one post so you can just read straight through without having to click on different posts.
Please leave your thoughts in the comments below. I would love to hear some feedback on this short story. I have worked on this for a long time but I’m sure there will be a few mistakes that slipped through.
Please enjoy!

 

One and Only (Part I)
It was an interesting concept, one he never really questioned. Not until recently to be honest. The idea of having words tattooed on your body… words he didn’t choose, in a place he didn’t want, and he cannot remove. They’re just words, right? Well, no. They’re words that someone else will say.
“Are you okay?” 
That’s the phrase that wrapped around his forearm, from his wrist to his elbow. How many times has he heard those words? None of them were the right ones. How many times could he bump into someone and they ask him those three words? How many times must he be clumsy and fall over and someone asks those questions… how many times!? It’s so frustrating. Was he going to be one of those people who never ran into their soul mate? To never hear the right person, utter those words?
Besides, what will happen when he does? Is there a feeling? Do the words go away? Do they glow? He doesn’t really know because no one seems to really know how to explain what happens when it happens. He dated this one girl for a long time, she wasn’t the one and he knew it. Those weren’t the first words she said to him and he didn’t say her words.
If he was honest, it hurt when she found her soul mate and left him. Well, it wasn’t as bad as that, but it felt like it. They dated all through college and then she suddenly met the guy, and he supposed it wasn’t their fault that they found each other. It hurt, and he wanted to make it work but why would he deny her her soul mate just because he wanted her? Was it selfish? He wasn’t sure then and he wasn’t sure now.
When would it finally be his time?
He continued to walk through the grocery store, he had his mind-set on buying some junk food, it was going to be a night in with video games, movies and food. His mind was on other things, he thought about his parents and how in love they were, their soul marks matched. His older sister was getting married to the person who matched her soul mark, was he going to be the only one not finding his soul mate? He turned the corner and without realizing it, he knocked right into someone, their shoulders collided so hard that he stumbled back into the shelves behind him.
“Seriously?” He steadied himself, but his side ached. Great. Just great.
“Are you okay?”
There it goes again. Those same three words… wait…his arm tingled. What just happened? His dark brown eyes snapped up to the person he knocked into and he couldn’t help but to stare. She did the same. It was like everything around them came to standstill and it was just the two of them in the room. Her eyes were a light brown, her skin was a beautiful shade of brown, like it was bronzed by the sun. Her hair, curly and large, was styled into a fro-hawk. She wore dark jeans, and a blue tank top. He couldn’t help but catalog everything about her. She was beautiful. She was perfect. He felt it. It had to be her. He also understood why no one could ever tell him what it felt like to find the one. How could he ever explain this?
“Um…” she started awkwardly. He blinked quickly and pulled himself from his stupor. What does he say now? What should he say now? He scratched the back of his head and she moved closer to him, her hand touched his arm. “Hello?”
“Oh yeah! Sorry, yeah I’m good.”
“Are you sure? We hit each other pretty hard, you went back into the shelf.”
“Yeah no, I’m mean, yeah. It hurt. But I’m good. Nothing I can’t handle.”
She smiled. It was perfect. “Okay, well that’s good then.” She gathered the things she dropped and started to walk away.
As she moved, he spotted it on her shoulder. The beginning of the word ‘seriously’. It looked like “Ser” in an interesting script. It was his word. It was her.
“W-wait!” The young woman froze her shoulders hunched. She had to know. Right? It can’t be one-sided can it? He walked over to her and faced her. Her eyes were wide, she HAD to know. He refused to believe that she didn’t. Those brown eyes looked up and the feeling he felt, it intensified. He wanted to reach out and hold her, to kiss her, to know her. Why would she walk away without even trying?
“I can’t do this.” She said. Her eyes shifted away but he wanted to gaze into them forever.
“What are you talking about?”
“You know what I’m talking about.” Her voice was a whisper. He knew exactly what she was talking about.
“Can we at least talk about this?”
She shook her head. “There’s nothing to talk about.” What should he do? Get on his knees and beg? Just when he thought he would never find her, she shows up. In the grocery store. On the yearly anniversary of when his girlfriend told him she found her soul mate and couldn’t continue their relationship. The poetry and irony of the situation was not lost on him.
“That’s not true and you know it.” He gambled and lifted her chin to look at him. He could feel the fear radiating from her. “We’re not required to get married right away. We don’t have to do anything now.” He released her. “I just want to talk.”
She released a heavy breath. Please think about it. He begged silently. He just wanted to talk.
“Fine.”
He almost broke out into a large grin, he wanted to but he didn’t want to freak her out any more than she already was.
“Thank you.”
He waited for her patiently outside once he purchased his items. His insides were buzzing with anticipation. He didn’t quite know what he was feeling, but he was sure it didn’t mean they had to love each other right away, they still had to get to know each other. He felt something though.
“Oh, you waited.”
He pushed off the bike rack and walked towards her. “Yeah, I didn’t want to overwhelm you.”
“Well… can I see it?”
“Huh?” She arched an eyebrow. “Oh! Yeah.” He pulled up his sleeve and showed her the script on his forearm.
“Wow. How many times have you heard that?”
He laughed and pulled down the sleeve. He shook his head trying to think the amount but there was no way. “Too many to even count.”
She nodded.
“I’m Michael by the way.”
“Theo. Well Theodora but Theo.”
Interesting name. Must be a family one. It suited her. He nodded and then the awkward silence set in. He wasn’t much of talker on the best of the days, so this was torture. She seemed to be much more of a social butterfly, but he could see the awkwardness in her as well. He wanted to ask her if she wanted to go someplace where they could talk, but…at the same time, it was so weird. It’s just like meeting her and asking her out. Get it together. Right. He could do that. So, he took a deep breath.
“So, about this whole soul mark thing-“
“I have a boyfriend.”
Oh.
Falling Fast (Part II)
It was always there, as far as she knew. Her memory only put it back to about twelve years old when she first noticed it. As a little girl, she knew about the words on her shoulder-blade, but she didn’t know the meaning until she was older.
“Seriously?”
That was what was written in an interesting scrawl on her shoulder-blade. She didn’t know what it meant, until her mother explained it. Her parents were soul mates. They met in college and have been together ever since. Their words matched. Her mother’s soul mark was on her lower back, a place she hated by the way, you’re pretty when you yell. It was the first thing her soul mate said to her after he accidentally hit the back of her car. She got out and said Are you blind!? and those words were printed on her father’s leg.
Neither one of them could truly tell her how it felt after they said their words to each other. Her parents couldn’t put it into words, so she didn’t know what to expect. All her life she heard people say “Seriously” in various ways, but none of them were the right one. She never had a feeling that she couldn’t explain. She had friends who found theirs, some in high school, which put a whole new meaning to the phrase “high school sweethearts”. She wasn’t jealous, but she couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if she never found her soul mate. What if instead she fell in love with someone else whose words didn’t match hers? Would the words go away?
They didn’t.
When she met Steve, they had a great conversation and hit it off right away. They talked more, spent more time together and she found herself forgetting and ignoring those words on her shoulder because as far as she was concerned, she found her soul mate. She loved Steve. He was a good man. Smart, had a stable job, a car and ambition that he pursued. Two years they dated, they often talked of moving in together and she barely thought of her words.
Every now and then, someone would say Seriously? and she would freeze thinking it was for her, but it never was. She moved on. Fate would not dictate to her who she had to love and who she could be with. No. She made her own future.
At least until she slammed into the body coming around the corner in the grocery store. She was looking for some goodies, she and Steve had a reservation for dinner and then a movie later. It was going to be a good night. But fate apparently had other plans.
“Seriously?”
Crap! She dropped her items. She scrambled to pick them up while glancing up to address the young man.
“Are you okay?”
Her shoulder tingled, like someone just barely caressed it. Her eyes widened as she looked at the guy who stumbled into the shelves behind him, her items forgotten. What…? His dark brown eyes snapped to her face and she couldn’t help but to stare. He was tall, his skin brown like coffee, hair cut short, but she could see the curls. He was well dressed even though he seemed to just be grabbing goodies himself. A nice shirt, with dark wash jeans, a jacket. He was handsome. He was perfect. She could feel it. It was him. It had to be. Now she understood why her parents couldn’t tell her what it felt like because it was like nothing she ever felt. How could she ever explain this?
She yanked herself out of her stupor. She had to. “Um…” he continued to stare. What should she say now? So, she moved closer and touched his arm to get his attention. “Hello?”
“Oh yeah! Sorry, yeah I’m good.”
Those dark brown eyes blinked rapidly as he seemed to get himself together. He wouldn’t stop staring though and she found herself…curious. She wasn’t uncomfortable, but she wasn’t comfortable either.
“Are you sure? We hit each other pretty hard, you went back into the shelf.”
Her eyes flickered to the shelf behind him, though he hit it pretty hard, nothing too bad happened. Nothing that would cause a bad reaction from an employee.
“Yeah no, I mean, yeah. It hurt. But I’m good. Nothing I can’t handle.”
She smiled at his awkwardness. He seemed to be the type to not say much, he seemed to be someone who observed, which was clear due to how much he stared. But she couldn’t fall into this. Steve. If she was honest, she could have stared into those brown eyes all day, but… Steve. He was good. She told herself. He’s a good man. She thought of his face. His darker skin, bald head, which she always teased him about, his strong arms… Steve.
“Okay, well that’s good then.” She quickly grabbed her things and forced herself to walk away. She would run if she could. She couldn’t deal with this. Nope. She wouldn’t. Fate would not force her into anything, no matter how much her stomach may twist into knots, or how her heart feels like it’s aching. Nope.
“W-wait!” She froze. It was her words. He saw them. He had too. She didn’t even think to look for his words, because she knew. She felt him walk closer, he stood before her and she refused to look at him. If she looked at him, she would fall deeper, and she didn’t want too.
“I can’t do this.” She said. She looked away. She couldn’t do this. Steve.
“What are you talking about?”
“You know what I’m talking about.” She could only muster a whisper.
“Can we at least talk about this?”
No. They couldn’t talk about it. What was there to say? Nothing. She made her own fate, she was with someone else. But she couldn’t help but to think of what would happen to him if she refused to accept this. Now that he knows, would he just be… alone? She shook her head.
“There’s nothing to talk about.”
“That’s not true and you know it.” She felt his fingers touch her skin, she tried not to shiver at the electricity that occurred from his touch. He lifted her chin and he made her face him. She could see it in his eyes that he wanted to talk. “We’re not required to get married right away.” MARRIED?? Now she really wanted to know all his thoughts. “We don’t have to do anything now.” He released her. “I just want to talk.”
After a moment of silence. She couldn’t think of anything else to say that would refuse him. Besides, she wanted to talk too.
“Fine.”
“Thank you.”
She went through the store to get the rest of her things. Now her mind wouldn’t stop buzzing. What happens now? Gosh. She was losing her mind. What was she going to do? Part of her hoped he went home. But he didn’t.
“Oh, you waited.”
He leaned against the bike rack near the entrance of the store. When she walked over, he pushed off and came towards her. She felt her entire body stiffen with anticipation.
“Yeah, I didn’t want to overwhelm you.”
Too late.
“Well… can I see it?”
“Huh?” She arched an eyebrow. Come on. He obviously saw hers. “Oh! Yeah.” He pulled up his sleeve, and she could see the script on his forearm. That looked just like her handwriting. Is… do the words match the handwriting of the soul mate? She needed to see his handwriting.
“Wow. How many times have you heard that?”
If he only knew how many times she’s heard “Seriously?”
He laughed and pulled down his sleeve. He shook his head and it seemed like maybe he was trying to remember but it was a loaded question. He couldn’t possibly remember.
“Too many to even count.” Right, that makes sense. “I’m Michael by the way.”
It was perfect. Everything about him was perfect. She wanted to know how his arms could feel around her. No! Steve!
“Theo. Well, Theodora but Theo.”
He nodded, and it got awkward. Theo shuffled her feet, unsure of what to say next. Perhaps it was time to go. She needed to get back home to get ready for tonight. But he had something else to say.
“So, about this whole soul mark thing-“
“I have a boyfriend.”
It came out before she could stop herself. Steve’s name was lodged in her throat and she couldn’t not tell him… Michael, that she was already with someone. She loved him. Her thoughts were like a broken record today, she would not let fate tell her what to do. She felt bad for Michael, but she loved Steve.
His eyes widened in shock but at the same time, she could see the resignation on his face.
They stood in silence, brown eyes staring into brown eyes. A connection between them that neither could truly explain or deny. What were they gonna do?

 

Hello Heartache (Part III)
How did he even get so lucky? He didn’t have an answer and he was sure that no one could answer that question for him either. He had the most beautiful girl in the world by his side, she loved him, even though fate said they were destined to be with another. That didn’t matter. The words printed on the inside of his arm didn’t matter. He found love on his own. She was beautiful.
He remembered the day he met her.
There was a used bookstore he liked to frequent. They often had great stuff in there for a cheap price, and he liked things that were good quality and cheap. He was looking at their book selection when he heard someone humming in the next stack. It was just humming, everyone could hum, at least in tune, but he still chanced a look. He acted like he was moving into the aisle to check out the shelves, but when he saw her, he was immediately taken.
There she was, with headphones in, her hair out in a curly afro, intensely reading a book. He could barely see the cover, but she was into it. Her head bobbing along to her music every now and then. Everything about her drew him in. He moved a little closer, hoping to see what she was reading; his hazel eyes shifted slightly to catch the title of the book. He couldn’t see the cover, but he could just make out the title printed on the top of the page. A throner? Nice.
“Winter is coming.” He said aloud, moving a bit closer to her, enough where he wouldn’t freak her out, but enough for her to know that he spoke. She noticed him, and with an arched eyebrow turned her head towards him.
“I’m sorry, what?”
Um, maybe her headphones were too loud. He nodded towards the book in her hands.
“Winter is coming.”
She glanced at the book and it took her a minute before she laughed. It was a beautiful sound and he was already into her. Her brown eyes looked back to him, a twinkle in them… her smile though, wow.
“Yeah, it sure is. I can’t take it already.”
“You read the books?”
“No, not yet. I’m buying some of them today. I was reading the first chapter. I watch the show though.”
“Me too. This last season, man, it killed me.”
“I know right! I cannot believe they ended it with Jon’s death. I’m so upset right now.”
He watched her as she spoke about the show in an animated fashion. She was obviously very passionate about it and it showed, in her facial expression, in the movements of her hands and the speed of her words. He was locked into watching her talk. He could do that all day to be honest.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to talk your head off like that.” She said with an awkward chuckle. She closed the book and moved to lift a stack off the shelf. It was the second and third book of the series. He hadn’t read them before either, but he did have the first book on his desk. He’d been meaning to read it since the second season of the show. He was slacking. She was already ahead of him.
“No, it’s not that. I just never met anyone who loved the show like that.”
“Oh yeah. It’s great. I can’t wait to see how different it is from the book.”
They stood there and talked for a few minutes. He honestly lost track of time. It was interesting to say the least and he enjoyed talking with her. She was animated, opinionated and passionate. It was kind of funny at how easily they fell into this kind of easy conversation. He never really talked with a woman this way. He found himself wanting to keep in touch with her. He never wanted to leave her presence. She was mesmerizing.
Later, he asked if she wouldn’t mind joining him for a sno-cone. It would be his treat. He was ecstatic when she accepted. As they talked, he couldn’t help but notice the scrawl on her shoulder. Oh yeah. He always forgot about these damn things. He saw the beginning of the word or phrase. “Ser”. What was the first thing he said to her?
Winter is coming. 
Damn. He wasn’t her soul mate. But they were perfect for each other. He could feel it. At least he felt something special. He had no idea how it would really feel when he finally met her, but this had to be close.
Yeah, he thought about that constantly. The day he met her. It was supposed to be a special night tonight. They were going to go to dinner and then a movie and just spend time together. They’d been talking of moving in together, well, he talked about it more than she did, he was ready for it, but she always had a reason as to why they should wait.
He checked his watch. It’s been a while since she went out to get groceries. It’s almost been an hour. He hadn’t heard from her, and even when he called, she didn’t answer. Was everything okay?
Seriously? 
Those words popped into his head. No. Surely, she would have said something if someone said those words to her, at least to the point where it wasn’t just a regular question. But if he was honest, he already knew who his soul mate was. He met her. He was jogging, and she was walking her dog. He watched as her dog spotted a squirrel and took off after it. The leash was yanked from her fingers. She called after her dog, but he was quicker and went after it.
He managed to grab the leash and calm the dog down. He always loved dogs and this stranger’s dog took to him immediately. She jogged up to them, her face scrunched in irritation.
“Cute dog.” He said with a grin, as the dog continued to lick his face and enjoy his rubs.
“That damn dog.” She said with a light laugh, kneeling next to him to scratch behind her dog’s ears. That damn dog. It was his words, the ones on the inside of his arm. Shit. He looked at her and she stared back at him, the dog between them panting, probably with a pleased expression on his furry face.
No. No. No. NO! His insides twisted, it almost felt a little painful considering what he knew. There was a sharp intake of breath, but whose it was, he didn’t know. They just stared.
“It’s you.” She finally breathed out.
No, it’s not me. He wanted to say to her, but something inside stopped him. What was going on? After all this time, NOW? He’s with Theo. He loves Theo. They play video games together; most times she hogs the controller and he swear she cheats when they play Mario Kart. They watch Game of Thrones and Supernatural together. They go to the movies together. It’s Theo, even without their matching soul marks.
Her expression killed him because he knew, he knew he was going to shatter whatever fantasy her brain and heart cooked up.
“I’m sorry.” He said.
“What do you mean? It’s you.” He watched as she removed her shoe. Her sock followed, and he recognized his own slanted handwriting on her foot. Cute dog. It was right there on her foot. He stood up. She followed. “Wait, please.”
“I can’t. Look, I know what this means but I have a girlfriend.” Her eyes widened, and he turned away.
Electricity surged through his body when he felt her hand on his shoulder.
“I- I’ve been waiting for this my whole life. To find you. For you to find me and you’re telling me you’re going to ignore this?”
“Didn’t you hear me? I have a girlfriend and I love her.” He said firmly. As far as he knew, Theo hadn’t found her soul mate, nor did she ever mention the word on her shoulder. Theo was always determined to make her own way. She marched to the beat of her own drum and he admired that in her. He wanted to be like that. He needed to be like that.
“But-“
“I can’t.”
He shrugged her hand from his shoulder and he started to walk away. He didn’t understand it. His parents warned him when he met Theo that this might not turn out very well. Soul mates were hard to ignore once found and though it’s happened before, though people never find their soul mates, it’s not impossible to be happy with someone else. They were still human after all.
“Please…at least take my number.” He could feel the worry in her voice. What would happen to her if he refuses to even acknowledge their connection? Would she give up? Especially since she’s been waiting for this forever. He hated to be a disappointment.
He found himself looking at her contact information in his phone.
Ebony James (704) 931- 8979
He never reached out to her; it was the only viable solution to keep himself from falling in love with her. He even refused to give her his number but for some reason, his mind wouldn’t let him stop thinking about Ebony. Why today of all days?
“Steve?”
Steve jumped up from the couch hearing her voice come through the front door. He calmed himself down before casually walking into the kitchen where she was busy putting things away. He leaned on the bar counter watching her. Something was wrong. Something was off. She wasn’t buzzing with energy like usual. Instead she was reserved, something Theo never is.
“Hey, what took you so long. You were gone for nearly two hours.”
“Yeah. I got caught up.”
“Is everything okay?”
She stilled, her back to him, the door to the freezer open. Something was wrong. The nagging feeling in his gut continued to build and he felt like it wasn’t going to be good, whatever it was that she wanted to tell him.
“Theo.” Nothing. He could see the words on her shoulder. “Theodora.”
She reacted to hearing her full name. He heard a heavy sigh be released before she turned around. Her eyes held a weight in them, her energy was off, everything was wrong. But he knew… he knew what happened because he felt the same way when it happened to him. She was about to tell him, but he didn’t want her too. He didn’t tell her when he met Ebony. He couldn’t.
But Theo, she would tell him. She told him everything.
“I met my soul mate today.”
When It’s All Over (Part IV)
“I met my soul mate today.”
Those were not the words he was expecting her to say. He didn’t know why but he couldn’t react. Not at first. He just stood there. Silent. Say something. But he couldn’t, he didn’t know what to say. What should he even say? He knew this day would come, he didn’t know when and he didn’t know what it would do to her and just by looking, he could tell it was killing her inside.
What should he do?
“Steve?”
Hearing his name snapped him out of whatever he just disappeared in. He cleared his throat and took a step back trying to regain his balance. Theo moved forward but stopped herself, her eyes darting away from him. He could see on her face that she was confused. He could see on her face that she was in pain.
This is why. This is why he never put stock in the whole “soul mark” thing because of reasons like this. She’s hurting, and he knows he can’t do anything to help her, not really. This is why he admired his parents for making it through this society full of matching soul marks because they are still in love. He never knew if they met their soul mates or not, but regardless they’re together. They’re in love. He wanted that regardless of matching soul marks. He knew Theo didn’t care either, she always wanted to make her own way. So why was this so hard? Especially for her?
“Steve…”
“Just…” He waved his hand asking her to stop. Just don’t. He wasn’t angry, not really. Steve didn’t really know what he felt. It was confusing. He turned his back on her and gripped the back of her navy-blue couch trying to stable himself. What does this mean for them? He wanted to move in together. He loves Theo. He doesn’t want to lose her to… “What is his name?”
“What?” Her voice was shaky, almost a whisper. He didn’t want to see the look on her face because who knows what he’d see.
“What is his name?”
Silence. Steve turned to look at his girlfriend. She stood there, her head lowered, her arms crossed, like she was trying to close herself in. Theo had walls up before, he worked hard to get through them, but it was like she was trying to pull them back up.
“Theodora… what is his name?”
“Michael.”
Michael. He wanted to know what he was like. She was gone for a long time, perhaps they got better acquainted. That burned him up inside, it felt like something red-hot was trying to claw its way out of his chest. Jealousy maybe? He never thought he would feel this way. Theo looked at him, her brown eyes wet. Was she crying? Oh god, he can’t handle a crying Theo. She is always so strong, so tears were a rarity.
“Tell me about him.”
“There’s nothing to tell Steve. He doesn’t… I mean, we didn’t… it wasn’t like a full conversation. We just talked.”
She stepped towards him again and he would have moved away but he forced himself to stay. He could smell her perfume as she moved closer. The honey lavender scent wafted into his nose and it centered him. He always loved the way she smelt. The smoothness of her hands touched his arms that tightly gripped the back of the couch behind him. He watched as her hands moved up his arms, rising to his shoulders…his heart beat so painfully in his chest but he couldn’t help himself. He wanted to kiss her. Her hands moved to his neck, they rested on his face and she stood on her toes. Her full lips touched his and he didn’t know if the sharp intake of breath was his or hers.
Steve released the couch and pulled her closer to him. Her body touching his…but something was wrong. Something was off. There was an alarm going off somewhere in his mind. When they pulled away, his breath was heavy, her eyes stared into his eyes and he knew something was wrong.
“Theo I-”
“Something’s wrong Steve.” She pulled away completely, her movements frantic as she began to pace back and forth. She touched her fingers to her lips, her brow furrowed as it did when she was in thought.
“It’s the soul mark.” His voice was quiet. It was the only explanation. But why would they feel different just because Theo met her soul mate. Nothing changed when he met Ebony. Why has it changed now?
“No. Why would it be different for the both of us and not just me? I don’t understand any of this. It’s so annoying and I hate it. I love you Steve. I know I do but I just feel… so confused that I don’t know what to do.” He watched as her pacing picked up speed. Her face was full of agony and she occasionally stopped to look at him her brown eyes wide.
“No one truly understands how soul marks work Theo.”
“Maybe not but I don’t… I hate this. I hate it. When I heard my words…” No. I don’t want to hear this. “…I, I wanted to fight it. I did fight it, but it wasn’t good enough. I’m so sorry Steve. I never want to hurt you.”
“I know.”
“You know I never wanted to meet my soul mate. I just… I want to be with you. I just can’t decide what’s going on inside of me. If you meet your soul mate you’ll know exactly…”
“I’ve already met her.”
Theo stopped moving, her body rigid. She turned to look at Steve even more confused than she already was. Steve looked away. Today has been ruined. He shouldn’t have said anything, he should have kept everything to himself. He shouldn’t have asked in the first place.
“What? You have? When?”
“About six months ago.”
Theo’s eyes grew large. Steve wasn’t sure what that expression was, but he knew her mind was going through all kinds of scenarios. She stood still. She was so silent. He felt like he should have moved forward, maybe he should reach for her, maybe he should reassure her that it meant nothing. Yeah, he thought about Ebony, but not like constantly. It just happens every now and then.
“That’s why.”
What? It was so quiet that he almost didn’t hear what she said. He asked her to repeat what she said, but she finally looked at him. Her brown eyes watery once more but soft.
“Is she pretty?”
What? 
“Tha- that doesn’t… that doesn’t matter Theo.”
“Is she pretty Steve?”
He sighed. This is so painful, and he didn’t want to make it worse. Why should it matter if his “soulmate” was pretty? It didn’t matter.
The woman of his dreams stood there in front of him. Her eyes a beautiful light brown, seeming brighter because of her tears. Her beautiful brown skin always glowed from the light she carried inside her body. Her large curly hair styled in one of her favorites “go-to” styles of a fro-hawk. Her dark jeans and blue tank top. Everything about her was what he wanted. She was perfect.
But… there were times when he thought of Ebony James. It happened randomly. Not often but randomly. He remembered how she looked when he stopped her dog from running too far.
Ebony had her hair pulled back into a ponytail, it was black and straight with wisps escaping and curling around her forehead. Her skin was dark, he imagined it was beautiful in the moonlight. She had almond eyes, dark as well and a beautiful smile with full lips. She was beautiful and sometimes her face appeared, and he always pushed it away.
Sometimes it lingered for too long though.
Ebony doesn’t look a thing like Theo. But he couldn’t deny his own confusion, but he could push it away a lot easier than Theo apparently could. He didn’t know Ebony. She seemed nice, but he didn’t know her.
Shit. He’s been quiet for too long.
“Yeah, she was pretty.”
There was a sharp intake of breath, but he didn’t see anything accusing or hurt in her eyes. There was understanding, and he hated that. She was perfect and he’s sitting here upset that she met her soulmate, like she planned it.
He sighed and moved towards her.
She wrapped her arms around him and they just stood there entwined. He could feel her heartbeat against his chest, and he really wished everything before this moment could be erased but he knew it was going to be different.
At the end of the day, it’s Theo’s choice.
Isn’t it?
Thinking Out Loud (Part V)
It’d been days since he first met her.
She was on his mind every day regardless of how many times he tried to push her out.
She has a boyfriend.
Every time she invaded his thoughts he had to remind himself that she has a boyfriend.
Torture. That’s what it is. Every day he thinks about her, her eyes, her beautiful smile, the brown of her skin, the way she smelt, the curl of her hair and he knew he was losing his mind. He always saw her brown eyes, they were a rusted amber color that had to be created only for her. He remembered the way she looked at him when she realized just who he was and what they were supposed to be. Forever. Soulmates. She went through so many emotions in such a short period of time. He committed to memory every expression. He felt it as soon as she said her words and he knew she felt it too, she had to, but she fought against it. After she ran off… it kind of hurt. He didn’t want to admit it, but it hurt like hell.
His mind constantly drifted back to the conversation they had after their first meeting; it was extremely awkward. However, the longer they sat in each other’s presence, it felt natural, like they were falling into an easy rhythm. He liked that. He hadn’t had that in a while. Not even with Natalie. With Natalie, there was excitement, but she was analytical where he was creative. They worked but there were many times when they didn’t. He could see it now.
Of course, she had something to do with her boyfriend, so she left, and it was like… something inside of him left with her. He missed her, and he didn’t even really know her.
It was because of his alleged constant “moping”, that he was dragged out for a night downtown at the new Jazz club The Broken Spoke. Blake and Eric insisted that he tag along with them, it was Open Mic Night and they wanted to be there because women turn up for Open Mic Nights. He was an artist, but creative writing was not a strength besides he was more of an illustrator, a painter, a sketch artist…
“Hello! Earth to Mike!”
He blinked in surprise as Eric waved his hand frantically in his face. Blake watched him with a cool expression while Eric tried to stifle a loud laugh. Their eyes focused on what Michael doodled on the pad he always carried around. He’d been absentmindedly doodling, and he finally glanced down at his pad and immediately felt embarrassed.
“You’ve been doodling her name for weeks.” Blake murmured as he slipped his hands in his pockets.
“This is sad.” Eric said as he slid into the booth and draped his arm around his best friend. “You have to get over this.”
Blake was mysterious and “dreamy” as Natalie used to say and Eric was so cool and open. It annoyed the hell out of him. He could never be like either of them. Michael was always the reserved one, always had been. Reserved. Not mysterious.
“Look, could you at least go and get a drink? Act like you’re going to have fun? Cool?” No answer. “Cool.” Eric pushed himself out of the booth and walked off, not missing a beat in his mingling.
Sometimes he hated Eric. They’d been friends since freshman year in college and it was because of him that he got out of his comfort zone. Blake came along some time around senior year and he just mixed right in. He was quiet but apparently there was something alluring about him. Eric was the shortest of the three, but he stood tall. Michael watched as he moved over to a booth full of beautiful ladies. They flirted. Eric was brown skinned with light eyes and girls seemed to just swoon. Always the lady killer.
His eyes fell on the girl at the far right in the group. He jumped to his feet thinking he saw… but in the end, it turned out not to be her. He stood there awkwardly for a moment before taking a wary glance at Blake who regarded him with dark green eyes.
“You should go and get a drink.”
Michael plopped back down with a loud sigh. “I don’t want to get a drink.”
Blake ran a hand through his dark hair and leaned forward, resting his elbows on the table. “Listen Michael. I know you can’t stop thinking about this girl, but, there’s nothing you can do. She has a boyfriend, and, in the end, the choice is hers. Right?”
Michael wouldn’t look at his friend. Eric was charismatic while Blake was observant and seemed to just understand everything. They both knew what happened and they had different takes on what Michael should do.
“Alright.” Blake stood. Michael didn’t even remember seeing him sit down. “We’re here to have a good time. There’s good music, a cool atmosphere. Do something other than draw.” He walked away, and Michael wilted. He shouldn’t have left the apartment. He looked down at his pad, looked into the eyes he couldn’t forget and closed the book.
He forced himself to walk to the bar. It was long with three bartenders. There wasn’t a ton of people in The Broken Spoke, but it seemed to be popular as all the bartenders were busy, so he slid into a seat at the end. After a few moments of waiting, the tall bald bartender stopped in front of him.
“Sorry about that. There’s always a rush around this time. What can I get you?”
“I don’t know.”
“You don’t know in as you’re not much of a drinker or you don’t have a preference?”
“Both.” Michael wasn’t much of a drinker. He’d go out with his friends and have a few, or Eric would throw a party and he might drink but that was never a vice for him. He never knew what to order. The bartender nodded and seemed to think for a moment.
“Okay. I’ll give you something simple.” He turned around and did his bartending magic and slid a tall glass of dark liquid to him. “This is a rum and coke.”
That was one of his dad’s drinks. He tried it and it was… okay.
“Good?” The bartender asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Yeah.”
“Cool.”
The guy moved away to help someone else. Michael sipped at his drink and watched the people in the building. Someone was singing on stage, people were chatting in booths, chatting at tables and some were dancing to the girl’s song. It was nice.
He could see Eric swaying with a leggy girl on the dance floor. He glanced around till he found Blake leaning against a wall talking with a redhead girl. Some people just had it.
“You good over here?”
“Yeah. Thanks.”
“Are you here alone?”
Silence. Awkward shuffle.
“I might as well be.” He nodded to where his two friends were. “They’re doing their thing.”
Blake was tall and long, with his dark curls and green eyes. Girls just loved him. He and Eric were opposites, but they had the same effect on people and neither one of them cared about soulmates.
“Not much of a ladies man?”
Michael turned away from his friends and leaned his elbows atop the bar. The bartender watched him with dark eyes. It was intense.
“What, you going to be my therapist now?” Michael chuckled.
“Well you know, we do do that sometimes.”
Silence.
Crap.
The intensity cracked when he chuckled and swiped a few glasses left on the counter. Michael always wondered if that was a real thing and apparently it is.
“Everyone doesn’t do it, but I enjoy it. I went to school for psychology. People are interesting.”
“Is that why you became a bartender? To practice?”
Another chuckle.
“Nah., I like bartending and it just so happens I can talk to people. I wear a suit and tie during the day. Not much interaction with different people.”
Michael didn’t have to worry about not having people to talk to. He worked in a museum as a tour guide on the brink of becoming an educator. He saw hundreds of people a day. He loved art and wanted to be as close to it as possible. One day, he wanted to see his paintings, old sketchbooks, original comic drawings put into a museum to be seen by people forever. He always loved the idea of “forever”.
The bartender was called away, so Michael sipped more at his drink and turned back to the crowd. Eric was now sitting at a table with three different girls. One of them seemed intrigued by him and the other two were watching and talking amongst themselves. He searched the room for a tall figure and found him talking to the same redhead he was talking to before and even from far away, Michael saw something different in Blake’s body language. Michael watched for a moment and like he could feel the stare, Blake’s green eyes cut in his direction and they were wide. He’s never seen that look before, not on Blake but in the reflection of Theo’s eyes.
Did Blake meet his soulmate tonight??
Jealousy crept through his body at the thought. At the sight. It clawed its way from his stomach through his chest and he tore his eyes away from them and he tried to push it away.
“Ready for another one?”
He jerked hearing the voice of the bartender walk up to him.
“What?” The words caught up with him and he noticed his empty glass. “No.”
Silence.
“I think you do.” The Bartender mixed another drink. It seemed stronger this time.
“It’s so easy for some people.”
“What is?”
“Everything.”
He had no clue if that was Blake’s soulmate, or if she was single, or if she was even interested in falling into that black hole that was fate. But it was the fact that someone who is indifferent to soulmates, someone who is so casual and so unbothered looked so…
“Hey.” His eyes snapped up to face the tall man before him. The Bartender’s expression seemed a bit worried. He wasn’t angry, at least he didn’t think he was. “I don’t what happened in the two minutes I was gone but get it together.”
“You don’t know me.”
“No. But you’re different now. Why?”
Michael clenched his jaw. This man was not his therapist and he didn’t have to tell him anything. Plus, it wasn’t like he was that much older than him, it wasn’t like he was this adult who had all the answers. The bartender’s eyes flickered away from him for a few moments before settling back on him.
“So, you buy into this whole soulmate thing?” Silence. “Look. We’re human and we have free will. It’s not true love.”
“Yes, it is.”
“No, it’s not.”
“How do you explain the feeling then? You must not have met your soulmate.” Forget the sip. He drank.
“I have actually.”
Michael arched an eyebrow at the bartender’s words. It was impossible for him to have met his soulmate if he was so nonchalant about it. His parents are soulmates and they were in love. They argued because they’re human, but they loved each other like they need each other to live.
“Then how can you say that? If you’ve met your soulmate then you know how it feels to hear your words and feel like every breath in your body–.”
“Because I make my own way. Just because I met my soulmate does not mean that I’m going to fall for her. She’s a stranger to me.” The Bartender rested his hands on the bar and spoke with a calm demeanor which irritated Michael. “I work in an office because it’s what I have to do but this is what I prefer to be doing.”
“So, what?” Michael’s eyes narrowed. “Are you saying that fate pushed you into your office job, but you go against it by being a bartender?”
“We choose our own path. Just because the universe says you’re supposed to do this with your life, or be with that person, doesn’t mean you have to listen.”
Ever since he was a little kid, Michael knew what he wanted to do with his life. He loved art. He did different kinds and wanted to be around it as often as possible. That’s never changed. Michael liked signs. Whenever he felt there was a sign, he’d follow it. It led him to greatness in many ways. Maybe not right away but life isn’t perfect. He ended up in the museum because he met someone randomly one day who worked there. He took it as a sign and applied. Look at him now, he’s moving up and he loves the museum.
“Maybe, but that doesn’t mean that you have to ignore it when a sign does come. People ask for signs all the time.”
“If you can’t find direction on your own–.”
“So, you’re one of those then? One of those people who just ignore it when something is put right in front of you for a reason?” Michael ran a hand through his hair at the thought. The Bartender watched him. It made him uncomfortable. Michael wrapped his fingers around his sketchbook tightly, trying to maintain the stare.
The moment broke. The Bartender pushed off the counter and turned away from Michael. He spoke to the brunette bartender who nodded and smiled. He turned back to the young artist and rolled his shoulders.
“Taking a break.” Silence. Stare. Moves around the bar to take a seat next to Michael. “So, it’s obvious you’ve met your soulmate. I can only assume that it wasn’t happily ever after for you?”
“She has a boyfriend.”
Now that he was sitting next to him, he couldn’t see his expression. Not that he really wanted to anyway. He heard the man make an understanding noise. It was quiet again. The only thing making a sound was the band playing in the background. He was sure Blake was still enthralled with the redhead and Eric was still making his way through the lounge. Here he was, sitting next to a bartender who clearly doesn’t agree with him and he hasn’t moved yet. Maybe he just needed someone who wasn’t close to him to talk with. They always say it’s easier to talk to a stranger about personal problems.
“There’s nothing you can do about that.”
“I know.” Two drinks appeared in front of them and he took one like a thirsty man in the desert. Drink. “But what happens to me if she doesn’t choose me?”
He didn’t want to end up like his aunt. She found her soulmate, according to her, the woman was beautiful and everything she wanted in a partner, but she was engaged to another woman. The woman chose to be with her fiancé instead of his aunt. Aunt Sharon was still single. He loved his aunt, but she always seems sad… would that happen to him if Theo chose her boyfriend and not him? Would he be sad for the rest of his life?  How could anyone ever measure up?
“I wish that it wasn’t like this. I’m an artist, I agonize in general,” Soft chuckle. “But I don’t want to be in pain for the rest of my life.”
“You have to make waves for your own life. I mean, what if you have to wait five years or ten years before you see her again? You make your own choices. Life doesn’t happen to you. You happen to life.”
Ugh. He didn’t even come here for this. He came here to have a good time. Well try to have a good time. He’ll probably be up late tonight sketching again. He might have to break out the big guns and cover up that hole in his wall with a new mural or something.
“This whole soulmate thing has people doing things they probably wouldn’t if they didn’t think their life was mapped out for them just because of some magic little words on their body. If we didn’t have them then none of this would be a problem.” Pause. “I think you have to just live your life man. My parents aren’t soulmates and they’re happy.”
“My parents are soulmates.”
“Good for them. That doesn’t have to be you though. Artists always make their own way. I don’t think it should be any different for you.”
Michael also couldn’t help but to think about her boyfriend. If Theo did choose him, then what will happen to that guy? He’s been in that position before where he wasn’t the soulmate and he wasn’t chosen. It hurt like hell. Michael didn’t think he was a bad guy and of course he wanted Theo to choose him but… god this is so hard.
Silence loomed over them again. How could he love someone he didn’t even know? That’s what this guy was saying. That’s what kept him from making the choice of going after his soulmate. Michael wasn’t sure if he could do that though. Even without the matching soul marks, he felt a connection to Theo, he knew he could love her no matter what.
“Hey man.” Eric sat on the barstool on his left and released a huge yawn. “I’m beat. You wanna go?”
“Where’s Blake?”
Eric waved his arm somewhere behind him without turning around to see. “He’s talking to that redhead over there. I think she’s his soulmate. I’ve never seen him look like that before.”
“That’s what I thought.” Well good for Blake. He took a deep breath and allowed himself to come down from being wrung so tight due to the extreme jealousy he couldn’t help but to feel. Once those feelings drained away, he felt exhausted.
Eric looked past him at the man on his right. The Bartender nodded at him and downed the rest of his drink.
“Steve!” One of the girls shouted from behind the counter. He made an annoyed noise and jumped to his feet rolling his neck.
“Guess I have to get back to work. It was cool talking to you man. You finished?” Michael pushed the empty glass to his outstretched hands and watched as he walked back around the counter. “Good luck in everything.”
Michael stood to his feet and stretched his limbs, he noticed that Eric was trading eyes with the brunette behind the bar. Michael shook his head and patted his shoulder.
“Come on man.”
He grabbed the back of Eric’s shirt and he stumbled back off the stool. He made a “call me” sign at the girl who winked at him. Michael shook his head.
“You okay?” Eric asked once he got himself together to catch up with his taller friend. Michael shrugged and stuffed his hands in his pockets as they moved towards the door. Blake was waiting for them with a mystified look on his face. “You get that girl’s number Blake?”
He nodded, his green eyes looking through his friends. “Yeah. Her name is Delia.”
Yep, soulmate. Michael knew because he acted the same way when he told them about Theo. Eric laughed and nodded turning Blake away towards the door. After he had a chance to get his life together, Michael smiled. He was happy for Blake. All the ladies could eat their hearts out.
Just as they got out the door, he realized he’d forgotten something.
“Oh, hold up, I left my book. I’ll be back.”
He turned back made his way back towards the bar. He narrowed his eyes seeing The Bartender standing there flipping through his book. Michael didn’t mind people looking at his work but he’d rather if he was showing it instead of them stealing looks. As he got closer, he noticed The Bartender’s eyes were intensely focused on the pages.
“Hey.”
The Bartender had a tight hold on his sketchpad. After what seemed like forever, he looked up at the young man before him, his eyes a mixture between confusion and anger. He slammed the book down on the counter and slid it towards him. With a downward glance, Michael saw just what he saw.
Her eyes.
“Are you Michael?”
Only Forever (Part VI)
“He’s been drawing you.”
What? She frowned as she pulled herself into a sitting position. It was still dark in the apartment, with only the light from the television illuminating the tall man standing by the dining room table. He looked so rigid. She would never particularly say that he was easy-going, but he wasn’t uptight either. This posture was out of character and it worried her.
“What are you talking about?”
“He’s been drawing you.” It was a little louder this time, but the words still made no sense. “He’s been drawing your eyes and your face. The likeness-“
“Steve what are you talking about?”
He turned sharply in her direction like he finally realized she was there. He may have been talking aloud before but not directly to her. She couldn’t really see his face, but she was sure there was a crease between his eyes that appeared whenever he was distressed. He was silent again and Theo couldn’t help but to want to fill the silence, but she needed to know what he was talking about, so she didn’t.
After a few slow moments ticked by, she moved. She climbed off the couch, her feet moved across her wood floors to her boyfriend as he stood there, his body tightly coiled. Something happened tonight. She’s seen him like this before, holding tight to the anger restrained in his body. However, unlike last time, she had no idea how to soothe him because she didn’t know the problem.
She stood in front of him, careful not to get to close, even though she knew he would never do anything to hurt her. Her curls fell into her eyes as she looked up at him, his eyes staring at the ground.
“Steve.” He made an unintelligible noise in his throat and she wrapped her arms around his and pulled his body into hers. “Steve.” She felt his body shudder as she continued to whisper his name with the hope of pulling him back from whatever place he was pushed too. She didn’t stop even when she felt his arms circle her back and hold her to him. But something was still wrong because he held her like she might float away.
“I don’t know what to do.” She hummed giving him a moment to decide if he’ll continue on his own. He did. “I didn’t know who he was. He was just some kid, some artist who needed advice and we talked, and I liked him.”
“What did he do to make you so upset?” Her voice was gentle as she questioned the broken story, her hands smoothing up and down his back. He breathed into her hair and he held on tighter.
“He’s been drawing you.”
“The kid you talked to tonight?”
“Yeah.”
“Who is he?”
He was silent for a little while. The lights from the TV flickered across his face as she waited for him to continue. She had no idea who this person was. Maybe some weirdo saw her on the train and was inspired. Or perhaps it was someone she massaged before at work. Customer service allowed for her to see many people a day. She couldn’t possibly keep track of every client.
“Michael.”
Her movements froze hearing the familiar name. It couldn’t possibly be him. She hadn’t talked to or even seen him in so long. He was an artist? Did he mention that when they spoke the first time? She couldn’t remember. Even still, the fact that Steve and Michael happened to meet? No. There’s no way the universe would do that to her. To them.
Silence. Ugh, she had to stop letting the silence overtake the moment because now it was uncomfortable. She carefully moved so she was looking up at him again.
“So?” The word hung in the air and again she waited. He huffed and pulled away from her. Cold air rushed into the space where he just stood. She wrapped her arms around herself to fight against it.
“So? He’s been drawing you Theo. That means he’s been thinking about you. The likeness was amazing.” He folded his arms across his chest. “I can’t even take his talent away because they were so good. You have to see where I’m coming from.”
“No, I don’t see. Just because some guy I met months ago, has been drawing my face and my eyes, which is a little weird if you ask me, doesn’t mean anything.”
“He’s your soul mate.”
Theo couldn’t help the twist in her stomach when he said it. When she met Michael, she was so confused, and it bothered her for days. It bothered Steve for days and she wished it never happened. They had a little bump in their relationship where it seemed like things were different between them and while they both acknowledged something was… off, it didn’t change how they felt. She loved Steve. He loved her. That wouldn’t change just because they both met the person the universe said they were supposed to be with.
“That doesn’t mean anything Steve. I’m with you. I haven’t even seen or talked to him in months. There’s no way for us to communicate.”
He started to pace, his shoes sounding heavy against the hardwood and all she could do was watch. If she was honest with herself, she understood his frustration, if she met that Ebony girl and found out she’d been drawing pictures of her man, especially after having a pleasant conversation, she would probably be in the same place as Steve. She understood. She did. But, at the end of the day, she’s with Steve. She loves Steve. Michael may be her soul mate, but she didn’t choose him.
He stopped pacing so abruptly she saw his body lurch from the impact. He turned to her, the muscles in his arms flex and his voice sounded strained.
“I know that! But the fact that he’s thinking about you! Of your face and your eyes–it’s–it’s killing me.”
“Steve, listen to me please.” The light from the television flickered across his dark skin, she needed him to stop thinking about this before it ruined everything. She ran her fingers through her curls, pushing them from her face and she gave him a gentle smile. “I love you. We know we make our own way, and we have no idea what the future holds, but in this moment… it’s me and you.” Her smooth hands held his face and she brought his lips to hers.
That moment sat in the forefront of her mind as she walked towards the cafe where they agreed to meet. She checked her watch and quickened her pace. She didn’t want to be late.
He sat at one of the outside tables, a book flipped open on the table, but it didn’t look like he was reading it. His eyes stared at the pages, but they didn’t move. She couldn’t help the smile that crept onto her face seeing him there.
“Interesting read?”
He looked up startled at the familiar voice.
“Um… it was when I was actually reading it.” He held up the book for her to see the cover. She smiled seeing it was the book she was excited about a while ago, Children of Blood and Bone. She saw it on Instagram before its release and he probably heard her mention it many times. She bought the book, hadn’t read it yet as she didn’t have the time, but it was on her list. “It’s good but I haven’t really focused on it much today.”
She sat across from him and quickly put in an order as he talked about his day. Getting his call surprised her. She hadn’t heard from him in a while but according to her best friend, he’d been doing well for himself. She was truly happy for him. Marcy was into the soulmate thing, but it never stopped her from being a social butterfly. She says she’s not actively looking for someone but if a man manages to catch her eye, she wasn’t going to ignore him. However, Marcy is ready for her destiny. Theo couldn’t help but to roll her eyes as her mind wandered through topics.
According to Marcy, Steve was busy and making moves. He’s always had big ambitions and often talked about his plans. He worked in finance but wasn’t happy in that role. It paid the bills and gave him something to do during the day, but he always liked the night life, not necessarily living in it but being the reason why people went out. The Broken Spoke was nice, but he always wanted to have his own, to be in charge and create his own way. It was one of the things she loved about him.
“What?” He said with an awkward chuckle. Theo found herself looking him over amid their silence. He looked the same, same chocolate brown skin, same bald head that she still remembers massaging whenever he had a hard day. He was strong physically and those eyes still showed so much emotion. She remembered how they always held the answers, so much passion and they meant safety for her. It surprised her that they still meant that for her.
“Oh nothing. Still bald I see.” Laughter filled the silence slicing through the fog that was settled between them.
“So, I saw that you’re in grad school.”
She inhaled deeply, sipping the water the waiter placed before her. She wondered just how often Marcy still talks to Steve. She said once before that until she met Michael, if she ever met him, she was #TeamSteve. It made sense that she might share updates. Marcy-always trying to pull people together.
“Yeah, I decided to stop thinking of getting my MFA and actually do it.” She picked at the fruit brought to her as she talked. It felt nice catching up with him. “I thought about doing it online since you know, I have a major fear of rejection and I don’t want to see people’s faces while criticizing my work but-“
“But you decided you should actually meet with people because it would get you out of your comfort zone. But then you decided to do it online anyway because it fits better in your schedule and baby steps.”
She wondered if it was Marcy who shared that information, or did he figure it out on his own?
“The fact that you even got that right is amazing.”
“Well, I know you pretty well Theo.”
Silence.
“Congratulations on your bar by the way.” Marcy showed her the photos on Instagram. It looked like Steve found someone to go into business with him if the guy whose hand he was shaking in the picture made any indication. Marcy said that it was turning out nice for him.
“I’m sure Marcy probably saw,” she smiled at his knowing smirk. “But I think it’s going to be really great. It’s in a part of town where they’ve been trying to bring some creativity back and I think The Doors will help that.”
The Doors? He’s played around with the name for a while but to hear that he settled on that one left her flabbergasted.
“That’s… really good Steve. I’m happy for you. I’m glad your dreams are being realized.”
She was happy. A year and a half did him a lot of good. They walked away from each other for a reason and though it was hard to be back in his presence, she found that she was okay with how she felt in that moment.
She was forced to walk away from him once more. The conversation turned from them catching up, to him talking about them being together. He wanted to give it another try. Theo could only listen and watch him as he spoke. She could hear the sincerity in his voice, the love in his eyes and her heart lurched in her chest. It was like a caged bird wanting to break free, but she couldn’t. At least not freedom with him.
She spent a long time thinking about them after their break up. It was painful but mutual. It was his idea, but she’d been thinking about it. She’d ran into Michael a few months after the conversation she had with Steve about him and it wrecked her life more than their first meeting. The universe was cruel, and she hated it. She tried to fight it for as long as she could but as fate would have it, she started to dream about Michael. Almost every night, she’d wake up with his face at the forefront of her mind. There were even times she’d wake up in Steve’s arms with Michael’s face there. It was too much. She couldn’t take it.
The day Steve said he wanted to take a break, it was on the tip of her tongue as well. She knew it wasn’t her fault, but it felt like it. They talked for a long time that night and in the morning, through teary eyes and a growing migraine, she watched Steve close the door behind him. She missed him so much that her heart felt empty but as she got ingrained in her writing and in her master’s program, her life became full again.
She moved on.
She scrolled through Instagram as she walked down the road towards Marcy’s place. Her headphones were secure in her ear and she bopped along to the Michael Jackson. She did a little dance step to shake off any negative or fleeting feelings that tried to invade her heart and mind. Theo liked different kinds of music but there was always something about Michael.
Michael…
She shook it off and matched her footsteps with the music. She saw the body moving towards her but for some reason, she couldn’t make her body move out of the way fast enough. Their shoulders collided, she grunted in discomfort at the hard contact and she stumbled backwards. She planted her right foot to catch herself before she tumbled to the ground. That would be horrifying.
“Sorry!” She said as she straightened herself.
“My bad.”
She froze. That warm voice invaded her senses. Her eyes zeroed in on the tall frame standing across from her. He stood there in his light wash jeans and dark shirt. Her eyes trailed over him as she cataloged everything about him, reminding herself just how good he looked. He was tall, his skin brown like coffee, full lips, his hair was a little longer now and the curl was more pronounced. His eyes, that deep mahogany that stared at her with what looked like disbelief.
Whatever he was wearing closed the distance between them, she could only pinpoint the faint scents of rosemary and jasmine but this… whatever he was wearing, it enticed her. It assaulted her, and she kept her feet planted to keep from moving towards him.
“Theo?”
It was then she realized he’d been talking while she was being pulled in just from him standing there. It was so strong, and she didn’t want to fight it. The feeling was different now. Was it because she was no longer in love with someone else that this was no longer clouded? Was it because she fought against it so strongly that now it came at her full force? There’s so much she didn’t understand but she knew she didn’t care that much. She just stared.
“Sorry. I-I must have zoned out or something.” She pulled one of her headphones from her ear. “What did you say… before?”
“I said, I haven’t seen you in a long time. You… look great.”
She noticed he watched her too. Those brown eyes tracked over her body and normally she might have been offended at the brazen look, but she found she didn’t care. She wanted his hands to mimic his eyes.
“Thanks, so do you”
Theo felt in her bones that she was meant to be with him. She wasn’t against it anymore. She wanted to tell him that she dreamed of him almost every night. She saw his face at random times. They’d only seen each other three times, including this encounter, but she knew she could never forget him.
“I draw you all the time.” It was quiet, but she heard it, however, his tone did not match the intensity in his eyes. The awkwardness she felt from him in their first two meetings was long gone. She remembered Steve coming back to her apartment distraught at Michael’s apparent drawings. She thought about it constantly. She wanted to see what caused Steve’s fear and how Michael saw her.
“Can… I see them?”
Without hesitation, Michael showed her the worn, leather book she just noticed was in his hands. She took it and flipped through the first pages that held sketches of random people he may have seen on the street, people with eyes and facial features that resembled his own. There were landscapes and birds. Then… she paused, the gasp caught in her throat.
Wow. I’ve never seen myself like this before.
The sketches going forward were of her, with a few ones of nature, but they were all her.
“You’re beautiful.” He muttered moving closer to her, they were on the sidewalk after all.
“I dream of you every night.” It came out before she could censor herself. She’s had dreams where she’s walking through a large crowd, something she hates, but all the colors were drained from the people’s faces, their clothes, everything. It always made her  uneasy however, in the distance, there was a flash of color. He was always drawing, painting…something and the colors were so vibrant. It would vary but it was constant.
“I’ve never stopped thinking about you. I tried to stop because I know you were with someone else.” He took a step forward, “I met him a long time ago.” She remembered. “I’m trying to care about the fact that you’re with him-“
As he spoke, the impulse rose up from her stomach, it spread to every nerve. Her skin tingled, and she closed the distance.
“I’m not.” Before she could stop herself, her hands came to rest on his arms. Theo felt the strength in them, she slid them up to his shoulders, feeling the muscle and ridges his arms. She grazed the skin of his neck, his pulse jumped beneath her fingers. She needed him, and she hated the fact that she was falling into the black hole that was fate, but she didn’t care anymore. She didn’t. Without saying a word, Theo used her grip on his shoulders to pull him forward, her lips brushed against his.
It was electric.
Lighting reverberated through her body. His arms wrapped around her waist and he pulled her flush against his body.
Fire! There was fire everywhere. She was lost in the flames, but she was okay. This felt so right, and she wanted to be lost in him, his taste, his smell and his arms. She understood now. She loved this feeling and she wanted to continue feeling it.
Forever.
She wanted to know him. She wanted to be lost in him. Michael. Theo couldn’t believe she was missing this for so long. The young woman inhaled deeply, pulling him in as much as she could. He seemed to do the same.
WAIT!
Theo pulled back breathless. Her mind warred against her actions. She couldn’t believe she just kissed him like that! That she was doing this! She didn’t even know him! His forehead rested against hers. His breath came out heavy across her face. Peppermint.
She shook her head, their skin hot as they rubbed against each other. “I- I don’t just kiss…”
“I don’t either but…” It was amazing. How could just one kiss feel like this? A kiss with a stranger? What did fate want her to do? Just run into the sunset with him and they’d live happily ever after? They were still human after all. Her mind tried to make sense of it all, but even the most dedicated scientist didn’t seem to understand how the universe worked. Not in this way. “Theo, I want to get to know you.”
And she wanted to get to know him.
“Me too.” His lips brushed against hers, “But-“
“No. No.” He lifted her chin, his eyes focused on hers and she found herself getting lost in those eyes. She had nothing to fear. “I know you feel like you’re being forced into something and I would never do that to you Theo.” He ran a hand through his hair, but he didn’t let go of her waist. “I want to be with you. I want to know you the way no one else has never known you. I want to know what your voice sounds like in the morning.” He caressed the side of her face, her skin tingled in the wake of his touch. “I want to be able to look at you every day and discover new planes of your face. I want you to be my muse.”
She felt her face warm at the words, however, she couldn’t help the smile that crossed her face. Theo tried to suppress the giggle, but it bubbled from her lips. It turned into a full-blown laugh. Michael’s expression turned indignant.
“I-I’m sorry. That’s hilarious.” She noticed the expression but still laughed, “I don’t mean it in a bad way Michael. It’s so just so cheesy.” The indignation smoothed into fondness.
He cracked a smile.
“Yeah,” Michael moved his arms from around her waist, “But it’s what I want.”
She could tell. No matter how lame it came off, she wanted all of that and more. Michael held his hand out to her. Theo looked at the outstretched hand, her eyes then traveled to his face and he was waiting.
Her mind ran through so many thoughts. She knew she was ready for whatever happened between them. She knew she wanted to know him, to see his face every morning, to look at him and be inspired to write. Theo knew fate, the universe, God… she didn’t know what it was, created them for each other and pushed them together when it got the chance.
Before, she wanted to make her own path in every part of her life. Theo always knew or had some idea of what she wanted and that would never change. She will still march to the beat of her own drum, but this was a part of her life that was always full of uncertainty. It always landed back on those word on her shoulder. It pulled her away from Steve, but it led her to Michael. She never realized that no matter what kind of free will she had, certain things were always meant to be. She couldn’t dwell on the how or the why but the hand waiting for her.
So, she took his hand.

Movie Review: Acrimony (2018)

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Summary: A faithful wife, tired of standing by her devious husband, is enraged when it becomes clear she has been betrayed.
There will be spoilers because I don’t care.
Pros:
Leading Characters. I don’t think any of these characters are that interesting apart from the two leads, nor do I think the acting is that great throughout the movie. I will give a shout out to Ajiona Alexus as Young Melinda, she is great with her facial expressions and you do sympathize with her.
  • Taraji is always a Win. Taraji P. Henson is a very good actress and I generally think she does a great job in her roles. I think with the writing she was given, she managed to elevate in certain places throughout the movie. The narration (while I didn’t like it) was humorous in some areas and you can tell that she was truly affected by what was going on with her. I think Taraji is very engaging to watch even when she’s playing crazy.
  • Lyriq Bent as Robert. It’s kind of weird but while the character was mostly crap, Lyriq is really good at this role. He’s this man who is down on his luck and he just keeps trying to make this battery thing work and you can tell he really wants it too, but he’s so narrow focused on his own problems that he doesn’t see what he’s doing to his wife.
The Idea of the Story. The whole woman scorned thing is okay, I mean we’ve seen it many times before and this isn’t anything different but the idea of watching this woman stand by her man for a long time and then finally let it go and the things he promised are given to someone else, all that’s fine. I wouldn’t mind it so much if the execution was good… I guess I’m getting ahead of myself.
Cons:
The Narration.I won’t say I hate narration but I HATE unnecessary narration. We first see them in court and then we see Melinda in therapy and she’s talking about her feelings. We then get to see her entire backstory with Robert and Taraji is narrating it while she’s telling her therapist. I usually dislike this setup because NOW we get to hear her tell us her feelings and thoughts instead of allowing us to live in the moment! THERE WAS TOO MUCH NARRATION! Gah it was so annoying. You want me to feel bad for her but you are literally telling me in the narration that she KNEW something was up! She kept saying “Con man!” because YES I know she’s telling it from her point of view, but dang Tyler Perry, trust your audience to get that from Ajiona Alexus’ acting. There’s a part where young Melinda sees Robert’s home and they have an intimate moment and we can CLEARLY SEE that he’s affecting her with his Nina Simone and his charisma, WE DIDN’T NEED THE NARRATION TO TELL US THAT! It was super annoying.
Over the top. Sometimes things being over the top is fine but it does not work in this movie. It’s ridiculous to be honest. They wanted me to feel bad for Melinda, which I did for a little while. It wasn’t until the crazy stuff later on that I was like “nope”. I mean, in the beginning when she was younger, she found out Robert was cheating and she literally ran her jeep into his mobile home until it tipped over. She busted her face, got internal bleeding and had to get her uterus removed. I mean… why? Why couldn’t it just have been her breaking an arm or leg, or hurt her neck? I mean jeez. Then later, after she gets the divorce, she decides she wants to sue him for half of everything once he gets his battery off the ground. Look, I get it, you were there the entire time he’s been failing and you feel like you should get something, I get it, but listen, you divorced him and he gave all the money you spent on him and more. I know it’s not necessarily all that you probably deserve but it wasn’t like he divorced you after he made it big ya know? Plus, I’m sure seeing him give everything he said he was going to give you to someone else had to be upsetting, I get it. Completely. But you stalk his fiancée on Facebook and leave threatening messages and then try and sue him. I mean what? lol it doesn’t make sense and I feel no sympathy anymore. If anything, I just feel bad for you and not in a good way. If the movie wanted that then great job but if they wanted me to feel for Melinda lol psht. Just ridiculous.
The Last Two Acts. I think the first act with the young versions and up until the divorce was fine. Painful but fine. When they get a divorce and she sees that he is now living the life he always said he wanted to live she loses it. Now, I don’t mind her being upset and the whole “woman scorned” thing but wow, the movie begins to take this break neck pace where it starts to get embarrassing and my friend kept rolling over because it was so painful to watch. It was like a car wreck. It went from this woman feeling betrayed to this “misery” thing and it was just… ugh ridiculous.
The Women. I don’t know what Tyler Perry’s issue is with black women, but literally all of the women in this movie are just out of their minds. Melinda of course has her issues that come full force later in the movie and I think it’s ridiculous that no one in her life addressed it beforehand. I know the black community has a hard time with mental health but still, considering the fact that Melinda knew her father had the same issue as her, it must have been mentioned. Why not more often by other people? They all seemed to know that she had this anger issue, so why hasn’t it ever been helped before? It’s a movie, she can go to therapy. Then her sisters were just stereotypes. Brenda was the one who just knew all the answers and was constantly putting Robert down and always always in Melinda’s business. I know she’s the oldest sister and she was protective but there are boundaries ma’am and you keep crossing them. The second sister, she was so timid… I guess? She was the other extreme to the oldest sister where she was always so mellow and tried to be the peace keeper but she always sided with Brenda. Then you have the lady that Robert ends up with and at first I was like okay, because she was like “I didn’t know about Melinda” when they were younger but she for some reason, started watching all of the videos he’d sent over the years (even though he was JUST issued a restraining order from the company) and you can clearly see her falling in love with him again and I’m like… girl lol, just because he’s brilliant doesn’t mean he’s not crazy. I just can’t. The only sane one was the friend.
Bad Acting. Outside of our leads the acting was horrible. I thought the friend was fine but the sisters, the other woman and the husbands were all just bad.
Overall, this movie is so bad I could barely finish it. I wanted to give up. I knew it was going to be bad but I hoped that it wouldn’t be so terrible since the two lead actors are good at their jobs, which they are. There’s nothing wrong with telling the story of a woman who wasted her life with someone who didn’t give her everything and more that she gave. I get it. I really do. Anyone who can relate, sure, but there’s a line between you feeling like you are owed and then just going crazy. It’s just so over the top that it’s not even good or interesting storytelling. It makes the main character who we’re supposed to sympathize with look bad and as the audience, I no longer care. The acting is bad minus, the women in this movie are stereotypes and terrible. The last two acts of the film are rushed and full of bad writing. I just can’t. I’m done with this movie lol.
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Acrimony? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts on the movie down in the comments below. If you liked it, tell me, I’m curious.
Thanks for reading and please like and follow this blog for more movie reviews!

Anticipated Movies of 2019

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2019 is going to be an amazing year, that’s what they all say. I’m interested in seeing the number of movies that come out this year. 2018 was a great year for movies but it was a weird year for ME seeing them lol. I hope I can do even better this year and see the ones that I really want to see.
I’m sure there is also going to be a lot of movies that pop up during the year that won’t be on this list but that’s fine because this list contains the movies that I know about.
So, just like last year, I’m going to do my most anticipated movies by month.
January
Glass- January 18: Security guard David Dunn uses his supernatural abilities to track Kevin Wendell Crumb, a disturbed man who has twenty-four personalities. I still have to watch Unbreakable, but Split was legit so I’m down for this movie.
February
What Men Want- Feb 8: A woman is boxed out by the male sports agents in her profession but gains an unexpected edge over them when she develops the ability to hear their thoughts. This has Taraji P. Henson in it, and it’s like What Women Want, which I really enjoy lol. I hope it’s good since 2018 wasn’t very nice to Taraji with those other two movies.
Happy Death Day 2U- Feb 14: Tree Gelbman discovers that dying over and over was surprisingly easier than the dangers that lie ahead. I thoroughly enjoyed the first one so I’m down for this one.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World- Feb 22: When Hiccup discovers Toothless isn’t the only Night Fury, he must seek “The Hidden World”, a secret Dragon Utopia before a hired tyrant named Grimmel finds it first. The first two are fantastic movies, so I would imagine that this would be the same. The animation looks better than ever and I’m excited!
March
Chaos Walking- March 1: A dystopian world where there are no women and all living creatures can hear each other’s thoughts in a stream of images, words, and sounds called Noise. Apparently, it’s based on a YA novel, these don’t usually do well when they’re “dystopian” at least not consistently, but Tom Holland is in it sooo I’m there.
Greta- March 1: A young woman befriends a lonely widow. I saw this trailer on YouTube and it looks bonkers! I’m down.
Captain Marvel- March 8: Carol Danvers becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races. Need I say anything more? I’m excited. I just hope Brie Larson kicks butt in the role because I love her, and I think she’s a great actress, but the trailers don’t do anything for her acting ability.
Us- March 15: A mother and father take their kids to their beach house, expecting to enjoy time with friends, but their serenity turns to tension and chaos when some visitors arrive uninvited. But Alyx, I thought you didn’t like scary movies… I don’t know. However, I want to support the culture lol and it looks interesting. Sooooo I’ll be there… scared, watching through my fingers.
Dumbo- March 29: A young elephant, whose oversized ears enable him to fly, helps save a struggling circus, but when the circus plans a new venture, Dumbo and his friends discover dark secrets beneath its shiny veneer. I know people don’t like these “live action” Disney remakes but I’m optimistic and open to them. I have always loved Dumbo the animation movie so I’m excited about this one! Dumbo is so precious!
April
Avengers: Endgame-April 26: The Plot is unknown. Listen, Infinity War kicked me in the stomach so I’m ready. I don’t even care if they have the Care Bears come down and do a Care Bear stare, I’m there.
May
John Wick: Chapter 3- May 17: Plot Unknown but it’s the third installment in the series. John Wick kicks ass and I’m there.
The Sun is Also a Star- May 17: A teenager finds love at a difficult time in her family’s life. I really loved the book so I’m looking forward to the film. I wasn’t too impressed with the casting (I like Yara Shahidi but Natasha is Jamaican and described as having darker skin). Plus, Everything, Everything the film was okay so I’m like hmmm but I am optimistic.
Aladdin- May 24, 2019: A live-action retelling of the 1992 Disney film of the same name. I AM SO OPTIMISTIC! I’m curious because Guy Ritchie has a certain style and I wonder if it’ll fit this kind of movie. I really hope it’s good and I’m there.
June
Dark Phoenix-  June 7: Jean Grey begins to develop incredible powers that corrupt and turn her into a Dark Phoenix. Now the X-Men will have to decide if the life of a team member is worth more than all the people living in the world. I’m optimistic lol, I don’t think X-men Apocalypse was that great but there were parts of it I liked. The last time dark phoenix was done it wasn’t very good, so we’ll see how this turns out. I mean, the promo photos were pretty great so… optimistic.
Toy Story 4-June 21, 2019. When a new toy called “Forky” joins Woody and the gang, a road trip alongside old and new friends reveals how big the world can be for a toy. Do we really need another Toy Story film? Not really… but will I be watching it? Most definitely.
July
Spider-Man: Far from Home-July 5, 2019: Peter Parker and his friends go on summer vacation to Europe, where Peter finds himself trying to save his friends against a villain known as Mysterio. I AM SO EXCITED! I really enjoyed Tom Holland in Civil War and I thought Homecoming was great, so I hope they keep that vibe they had in the first movie and make the sequel even better.
The Lion King- July 19, 2019: CGI re-imagining of the 1994 Disney classic. I wouldn’t call it “live action” it’s a CGI remake and I’m there. I thought the teaser was lovely, Simba was so precious and I’m curious to see how they’ve updated it. I’m into it.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood-July 26, 2019: A faded TV actor and his stunt double embark on an odyssey to make a name for themselves in the film industry during the Helter Skelter reign of terror in 1969 Los Angeles. This has a great cast.
August
The New Mutants-August 2, 2019: Five young mutants, just discovering their abilities while held in a secret facility against their will, fight to escape their past sins and save themselves. Another year and no movie, so I’m still waiting to see it!
September
It: Chapter Two-September 6, 2019: Twenty-seven years later, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back. I loved the first one…. another horror lol I know, I might even go past my “3 a year” quota if there are some I want to see, and I want to see this one. Great cast (though I still don’t like Chastain as older Beverly) and I’m interested to see how our adult Losers Club takes down Pennywise.
October
Zombieland 2- October 2019: Columbus, Tallahassee, Wichita, and Little Rock move to the American heartland as they face off against evolved zombies, fellow survivors, and the growing pains of the snarky makeshift family. I LOOVE the first one and it seems like the original actors are back so I’m there!
November
Kingsman 3-November 8. Plot unknown. I loved the first one, the second one was just okay, so I hope this one brings the trilogy back to being solid.
Frozen 2-November 27. Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Olaf are going far in the forest to know the truth about an ancient mystery of their kingdom. I don’t even care, I love the first one. It doesn’t bother me at all nor is it annoying so I’m ready to see what happens next. The only thing that annoyed me was them playing that super long Olaf Christmas short in front of Coco. That was uncalled for.
December
Jumanji 2- December 13. Plot unknown. I really liked the first one to my surprise so I’m curious to see what they do for the sequel.
Little Women-December 25: Four sisters come of age in America in the aftermath of the Civil War. I LOVE Little Women and I’m excited for this adaptation. I love Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan and the other great acting talents in this film. It’s also being directed by Greta Gerwig who did Lady Bird which I loved so yeah, exciting.
Star Wars: Episode IX-December 20. Plot unknown. I have come to terms that I am not a big Star Wars fan. I enjoy the movies and I have enjoyed the new trilogy, so I’m interested in seeing the last one.
Not really Anticipating but want to see: 
January
The Kid Who Would Be King- Jan 25: Looks like it’s about King Arthur. I mean, it might be terrible, but the trailers seem fun.
Serenity- Jan 25: I have no idea what this movie is about, but I like Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey.
February
Miss. Bala- Feb 1: Gloria finds a power she never knew she had when she is drawn into a dangerous world of cross-border crime. Surviving will require all of her cunning, inventiveness, and strength. Based on the Spanish-language film. It reminds me of all the other films that are similar to this but it looks nice and I enjoy Gina Rodriguez.
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part- Feb 8: No idea what this movie is about but the first one is cute so why not.
Alita: Battle Angel- Feb 14: The trailer seems interesting, it reminds me of Astroboy… I mean if anything the graphics look good.
March
Five Feet Apart-Mar 22: A pair of teenagers with life-threatening illnesses meet in a hospital and fall in love. I’m not to sure if I think it’ll be any good, but I want to see Cole Sprouse not in Riverdale and I wonder if it’ll make me cry.
April
Shazam! – April 5: We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s case, by shouting out one word – SHAZAM! – this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult superhero Shazam. I’m not really anticipating this one, I’m just interested in seeing it because it looks fun.
The Best of Enemies- April 5: Civil rights activist Ann Atwater faces off against C.P. Ellis, Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan, in 1971 Durham, North Carolina over the issue of school integration. I saw this trailer when I saw The Hate U Give and it looks good and Taraji P. Henson is in it so even more reason to see it.
Little- April 12: A woman is transformed into her younger self at a point in her life when the pressures of adulthood become too much to bear. I’m definitely going to see it to support! Plus it looks like it’ll be a good time.
May
Pokémon Detective Pikachu- May 10: In a world where people collect Pokémon to do battle, a boy comes across an intelligent talking Pikachu who seeks to be a detective. I just want to see what happens, plus I think the Pokémon designs are pretty dope.
Rocketman- May 17: The story of Elton John’s life, from his years as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music through his influential and enduring musical partnership with Bernie Taupin. Taron Egerton is playing Elton John… sure lol. I like Taron, so why not.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters-May 31: The crypto-zoological agency Monarch faces off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. I enjoyed the first one minus the boring human stuff but this one seems interesting.
June
The Secret Life of Pets 2-June 7: Plot unknown. The first one is cute so I’m into seeing the second one.
July
August
Hobbs And Shaw- August 2, 2019: A spinoff of The Fate of the Furious, focusing on Johnson’s US Diplomatic Security Agent Luke Hobbs forming an unlikely alliance with Statham’s Deckard Shaw. I like both characters in the franchise, they were both fun in The Fate of the Furious, so this should be fun to watch.
Artemis Fowl- August 9, 2019: Artemis Fowl II, a young Irish criminal mastermind, kidnaps the fairy LEPrecon officer Holly Short for ransom to fund the search for his missing father to restore the family fortune. I read the book in middle school and I remember liking it, so I’m curious to see how the movie holds up. I will read the book again to truly compare but I can’t help but think this will be another A Wrinkle in Time mess.
September
Spies in Disguise- Sept 13: When the world’s best spy is turned into a pigeon, he must rely on his nerdy tech officer to save the world. Voice talents of Will Smith and Tom Holland, and the trailer was charming so sure, I’ll watch it.
October
Gemini Man- Oct 4: An over-the-hill hitman faces off against a younger clone of himself. It’s basically like Looper with Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon Levitt it seems like, but I’m interested in seeing it.
Joker- October 4. A failed stand-up comedian is driven insane and becomes a psychopathic murderer. lol sure, why not.
The Addams Family-October 11. An animated version of Charles Addams’ series of cartoons about a peculiar, ghoulish family. It has a great cast being led by Oscar Isaac who is always a win in my book… but I’m not like off my seat for it even though I really enjoy The Addams Family. I’ve always thought that if they ever did anymore live action films Oscar Isaac should play Gomez Addams.
November
Charlie’s Angels- November 1. Plot Unknown. LOL sure. I’m curious.
Sonic the Hedgehog-November 15. A cop in rural town of Green Hills will help Sonic escape from the government who is looking to capture him. lol I’ve always liked Sonic… I think he looks a little weird on the poster, but I will wait to pass judgement when it’s released.
December
I’m sure there are movies that will pop up throughout the year that won’t be on this list but I’ll probably add more as I discover more.
What movies are you anticipating this year? Let me know in the comments below!
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Best Movies of 2018

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Another list that I am SUPER late with but here it is! I didn’t see a ton of movies this year as I wanted to but listed here are the ones I thought stood out the most that I saw.
Honorable Mentions: Ready Player One, Crazy Rich Asians, Annihilation, Ant-Man and the Wasp
10. Bumblebee
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I haven’t reviewed this yet and I don’t know if I will, but I thought this was very good. I was surprised. I don’t care for any of the Transformers movies. I think I’ve only see the first two, but I really enjoyed the adventure, but I was also really into the friendship (also seemed a little romantic lol) that bloomed between Charlie and Bumblebee which was shocking to me. I also very much enjoyed the action. Yes, be shocked people lol.
9. Love, Simon
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I very much enjoyed this movie. I even teared up at the end. Nick Robinson did a very good job in this role. Simon is so likable, and you root for him throughout the movie. Unlike the book where I hated some characters, I generally liked everyone (all the main characters) in the movie. It’s a nice teen, coming of age movie for those who may be in the same struggle as Simon.
8. Sorry to Bother You
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I haven’t reviewed this yet and I do plan on it, but this movie is bonkers. I mean, I really liked it. I think it’s one of those you either “love it” or you “hate it” because it’s weird. I get the message, I like the quirkiness of it and I thought it was handled in a very original way. Great movie experience.
7. The Incredibles 2
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Something we’ve been waiting for for years! I don’t think it’s better than the first one but it’s a nice follow up. I loved seeing the Parr family again and I loved seeing Elastigirl really use her powers because she’s awesome. The story is interesting, the characters are STILL likable, and the action and adventure aspect is so much fun!
6. Avengers: Infinity War
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I haven’t seen it again in a while, but this movie really kicked me in the stomach. It was great seeing 10 years of MCU movies come to a head in this film. I think the direction was handled well since there were so many characters in this film to juggle. I thought it could have been a mess, but it wasn’t. I do think there was some issues which doesn’t put it in the Top 5 of my MCU movies (at least right now it doesn’t) but it’s Sooooo worth it.
5. Mission Impossible: Fallout
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This movie is dope! I love the Mission Impossible movies and Ethan Hunt is awesome! Shoot, the Avengers need to let him help them take down Thanos lol. It’s because of these movies that I know spy movies don’t necessarily HAVE to be convoluted. Fallout is so much fun, you get to see Tom Cruise RUN LIKE A CHAMP! Plus, Henry Cavill was also great in it and we got to see the best moment ever.source
4. A Quiet Place
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Anyone who knows me knows I don’t like horror films. I know that “horror” is a wide genre so there are smaller umbrellas of horror I would enjoy (like I want to see Happy Death Day 2 U) and this was one of those I really wanted to see. I would consider it more of a thriller than anything but it’s one of those movies where you MUST watch since it’s so quiet. It forces you to be quiet and pay attention. I think all the acting is very good and the use of sound and music in the film is top notch. Great directorial debut by John Kransinski and of course Emily Blunt is always a win.
3. The Hate U Give
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Based on the bestselling novel of the same name. It is a great book adaptation and I think the movie was well done. The acting, the story and the passion behind it was all handled very well and it shows. Sure, it’s a little different from the book but it’s still very good. Amandla Stenberg was great and powerful as Starr Carter and the story hits so close to what has been happening with black people and police. Very relevant.
2. Black Panther
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I mean what can I say? It’s Black Panther. I argued for a while if this will be my number one movie and I settled with it here. It is such a win for black superheroes, for black nerds, for black people and for people in general. The story may be familiar, but I think you can tell there was love behind it. I mean, the costumes, the musical score, it’s funny and it has a lot of emotional moments that are totally earned. Plus, my husband is in it and he killed that villain role! Everyone in this movie DID that.
1.  Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
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Listen, if you have not seen this movie and you’re a Spider-man fan then what is wrong with you? This is THE BEST Spider-Man movie (fight me) and I’m so glad that Miles Morales is at the helm in this. I love Peter Parker, I have and always will love Peter Parker but this movie having Miles as the lead was a smart move because it follows the message of the movie… anyone can be behind the mask if you let go. The animation is beautiful, the music is used well in the film, the action is so good, the characters are ALL interesting, I mean there are a lot of characters and they all get their time to shine. Miles is a fully realized character and if you don’t know much about him going into the movie, then I reckon you’ll love him by the end. This was such a great movie experience and I recommend for any Spider-Man fan to go out and watch this one.
So what are your thoughts on my list? Remember, this is my opinion so if you disagree, please tell me what your list is in the comments below!
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Worst Movies of 2018

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Soooo I am super late than usual with this list but I wanted to make sure I shared what I thought were some of the worst movies of 2018. Unlike 2017, I did not see a ton of movies this year. It’s been an interesting year as I have been working on graduating from my master’s program (Which I did whoooo!) but I realized I saw enough movies to make this list. I saw a few more that I wanted to add even after the year ended.
There are plenty of movies I didn’t see that I heard weren’t very good but I can’t pass judgment because I didn’t see them.
Dishonorable Mentions:The Commuter, Teen Titans Go To the Movies, Father Figures, A Wrinkle in Time, I Feel Pretty, Solo: A Star Wars Story
10. The Darkest Minds
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Another unfortunate mistake of a movie that should have been a television show. This movie is so dull and uninteresting and I think such a missed opportunity. I already have ranted enough about it so you can just read the review to see why. I don’t think it’s the worst on the list, it’s just boring.
9. Red Sparrow
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This movie was a slog. I don’t think it’s the worst thing ever but it’s a slog. It’s so long and for no reason. I don’ know why spy movies feel the need to be so convoluted. I have no idea what the book is like but the movie felt like it was just something to see Jennifer Lawrence try her hand at. I’m not an accent expert but her Russian accent wasn’t that great, I wasn’t that invested in her character and the movie is overall cringy. I understood what was going on, I even completely guessed the ending because it is what I would have done but boy it took a long time getting there. *sighs*
8. Pacific Rim: Uprising
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I thoroughly enjoyed the first one. It’s not a masterpiece but it was fun to watch and enjoyable. So, my question is, why do they keep making sequels to these blockbusters where the main character (or one of them) is the kid of the hero of the first film and they’re this huge tool? I mean, John Boyega is likable but his character is kind of lame in this film. He’s not that funny or charismatic (which is sad because I think John Boyega is both of those things naturally). The story… lol what story? Doesn’t really kick in until the end otherwise it’s a bunch of people talking. It’s also pretty boring until the end and that’s a shame.
7. Proud Mary
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I had to see this twice and I was bored out of my mind both times. I was actually on my phone most of the second time I saw it and kind of fell asleep. I like Taraji, I think she’s a good actress and it was cool seeing her kick butt and she’s great with emotional acting and I loved the stuff with Mary and Danny. BUUUT the movie is boring and all over the place, it’s underwhelming, the side characters are stupid, the action was lame outside of a few pieces and I wanted to like it but I can’t, Taraji can’t even make me like the movie.
6. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
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Another boring, dull mess. It wanted to be tension filled and interesting but it focuses on stuff that I cannot imagine anyone caring about when the movie should have stuck with the idea of wanting to either save or kill the dinosaurs. The entire second act of the film is just so out of place and all of the characters are stupid. ALL OF THEM. I mean, the ending alone is just ridiculous.
5. Fifty Shades Freed
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I actually forgot this came out this year lol, but it’s bad. It’s better than Darker whichis just the worst, but it’s still so bad. Again, all of these characters are just so stupid and nothing makes sense. I still need to know why Ana was promoted to that job when she was just an assistant and barely had qualifications. I wish it worked that way. The whole thing with Jack Hyde was lame, you’re mad over something Christian had no control over? Also, you didn’t know he didn’t want to have kids until AFTER you married him? Aren’t all three of the movies taking place within like a year? Pfft. So dumb. Her wedding dress was beautiful though.
4. Acrimony
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I haven’t reviewed it yet and I definitely will but anyone who really knows me knows I do not know like Tyler Perry and do not care for his movies. There are a few here and there I like but most of the time, meh. So, I only wanted to see this because of Taraji P. Henson and even she could not save this movie from terrible writing, terrible pacing and  what is clearly a rush job. That’s all I got for this bit, you’ll see what I completely think in the review.
3. Show Dogs
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Still can’t believe I watched this. I thought it was something else but alas. Y’all it’s stupid. It’s a kids movie but I can’t imagine a kid actually sitting through this unless they like to see talking dogs. So so bad.
2. Samson
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Oh boy. I like this bible story and I love the adaptation with Hedy Lamarr. The acting is poor, the wigs and beards given in the third act of the film are terrible, the entire Samson and Delilah storyline was glazed over. I guess in the end it was about Samson but he wasn’t interesting, he’s a jerk but wasn’t an interesting jerk. Taylor James didn’t have any of the charisma that Samson seemed to have considering how he got away with a LOT. The stuff with the Prince and the King was just so hammy. I laughed a lot when I wasn’t supposed to.
1.  The 15: 17 to Paris
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WHAT EVEN IS THIS MOVIE??? Y’all this movie is so bad it’s laughable. The first mistake was taking this 5-minute incident and turning it into a feature length. Second mistake, casting the real guys to play themselves, they are not actors and it shows. The dialogue is bad, the acting is bad and I just cannot. It’s a nice idea to honor the guys who did a great thing but not this movie. Not at all.
What movies from 2018 were on YOUR list for being the worst? Let me know in the comments below!
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Movie Review: Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (2018)

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Summary: A human child raised by wolves must face off against a menacing tiger named Shere Khan, as well as his own origins.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. The voice over cast is extremely good. I didn’t know who was in the movie before I watched it so I wasn’t really placing anyone. I then noticed Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett and Benedict Cumberbatch were in the movie and then I figured out who they were lol.
  • Rohan Chand as Mowgli. First of all, this kid is adorable. Extremely. I thought he did very well in the movie. There were a few times where it wasn’t coming through exactly like in the emotional moments but overall, I thought he managed to push through it. I like the moments where he’s quiet and he’s just watching because he has very expressive eyes. Some of my favorite moments was when he just got into the man village and he was learning everything, the camera would just watch him as he watched and learned and it was really beautiful. I also thought he did very well with reacting to the animals around him, showing his fear, his anger and the emotional bits. As I said, it didn’t always hit but I thought he did very well. He was very sympathetic.
  • Christian Bale as Bagheera. He is a black panther who finds Mowgli after his family was killed and takes him to the wolves. He becomes one of Mowgli’s mentors and friends. We also learn from him that he was born in human custody. Bagheera is kind and caring and while he believes in Mowgli, he’s also worried about him when it comes to living in the jungle with Shere Khan on the loose. Bagheera often makes choices that would protect Mowgli even if it seems harsh at the time. I knew I recognized his voice when I first started watching the movie, I think Christian Bale is great at voice overs (Howl’s Moving Castle anyone?) and his voice is so soft with honey like tones in the movie that it really works. There’s a great scene where Mowgli and Bagheera are talking about Bagheera’s history and it was a moving scene.
  • Benedict Cumberbatch as Shere Khan. He is a crippled Bengal tiger and Mowgli’s arch-enemy. He’s ruthless and will do anything to get what he wants. I think with him being crippled (his front right paw is like bent back so he can’t walk on the pad of his paw). Benedict Cumbersnatch is good at voice acting, he’s played many a villain in motion capture. I thought the voice he put on for the character was sinister.
Supporting Characters. There are a lot of side characters, some whose names I didn’t retain but there are a few who might not constantly be in the film but they have important roles.
  • Cate Blanchett as Kaa. She is a python and a seer. She is the main narrator of the film and it seems that she is on Mowgli’s side. We see her mainly twice, once where she saves Mowgli and then another time when he goes to her and she shows him some important information. I guess she could be a “mentor” but she’s not around enough for me to really say that. Cate Blanchett is always a win and her voice is amazing as always.
  • Andy Serkis as Baloo. He’s not the Baloo we know from the Disney movies, but a grisly, drill sergeant teacher. His face has a lot of scars showing his life, which was cool, but he looked a little odd. We did get to see him fight a few times which was cool. I don’t think he and Mowgli had a relationship that rivaled what we’ve seen before but the role he played, where he encouraged Mowgli to be at his best. One of my favorite parts was during the Running and he freaked out on Bagheera because of what he did. Andy Serkis is always great in motion capture and he’s great here too.
Dark and Gritty. I’ve never read the book, it’s on my list and I don’t know the tone of the story but this is very different from the Disney versions which director Andy Serkis made clear. For one thing, Baloo is this grisly mentor instead of a happy-go-lucky friend. Also, with the hunter and how Mowgli ends up deciding between the village and the jungle that was pretty intense. The monkey scene as well, there isn’t a King Louis but the monkeys end up knocking him out while dragging him to their hideout, and Shere Khan leaves this giant scar down Mowgli’s arm… I mean it’s also a little bloody. I quite enjoyed it though. I also think there was a little more at stake here in that Shere Khan was doing things that would break jungle law. The Hunter storyline in general and what we learn about Bagheera.
Bagheera and Mowgli. I didn’t want to compare this to Disney’s The Jungle Book (2015) but in this case I kind of have too. In both Disney versions, one of the biggest praises is the friendship that Mowgli has with both Bagheera and Baloo. Obviously, they are on two different levels with Baloo being the fun-loving friend and Bagheera being the protective one, but this movie does it a little differently. Baloo and Mowgli aren’t really friends at all, but he and Bagheera are and I thought the relationship they had was beautiful. Bagheera truly cared about him and did everything he could to protect him even if it came off in the wrong way. The scene by the cage, that is one of my favorite scenes.
The Man-Village. This might be a little spoilery, but meh lol. I really enjoyed the scenes in the man village. Mowgli wakes up in a cage and just watches everything around him and we see how some of the people react to him as he is a little jungle baby. Then when we finally see him out and about in the village, there’s a great scene between him and Frida Pinto as she washes him and teaches him the ways of the village. There’s not a lot of dialogue that goes on while he’s there, mostly because he doesn’t understand their language (though I wonder since he understands the animals, can other humans understand them or how that works. I mean, it’s fine but I’m curious). Then they have a Festival of Colors and I want to go so bad lol, but it was great and to see him fall into it and enjoy himself. It was great. I really liked all of that stuff.
Cons:
Shere Khan’s Motives. I guess he doesn’t really need any but I’ve always thought the idea of him killing humans just to kill them was lame. I mean, sure, it’s a villain move, but he’s so hellbent on getting Mowgli because he missed him the first time without an actual cause? It doesn’t make for a very interesting villain personally. He keeps doing things that breaks the law of the jungle… but why? He didn’t necessarily need to say why, but it would have been nice to discover that.
A Little Too Dark. There were a lot of times in the movie where I couldn’t see what was going on. I shouldn’t have to adjust my TV’s brightness for the movie to be seen. It was really annoying a few times so I just had to shrug it off.
Weird CGI. I don’t think all of the animals looked that great. It was cool that they had scars and battle wounds ya know, they’ve lived in the jungle but some of them looked scary and not in a good way. I think particularly the wolves and Baloo didn’t look great.
Rushed In the Last Act. I prefer the first half definitely because I thought it was pretty well paced but the last half flew through the story. I liked the stuff in the village, especially when he was in the cage, but once he finds that stuff with Lockwood, it just goes so fast that it feels so different from the first half. His standoff with Shere Khan was so quick I was like… meh.
Overall, I quite enjoyed Mowgli: Legend of the Jungleand I tried not to compare it to Disney’s version in 2015 and yes, it’s very different. I thought most of the characters were interesting, particularly Mowgli, Shere Khan and Bagheera. All of the motion capture and voice over acting was handled really well and I thought Christian Bale really portrayed the character of Bagheera in an interesting, compelling and sympathetic way. I will also give Rohan Chand his props for playing Mowgli. This is his first leading role and I thought he handled himself really well, he’s really great to watch. I enjoyed the dark and gritty tone in that it felt like there were actual things at stake, the hunter storyline, the kind of frightening images and of course the monkey stuff lol. I also really loved the storyline between Bagheera and Mowgli, they seemed a lot closer in this version and it allowed them to have a different kind of relationship that was really emotional. The man village scene was beautiful, without the dialogue it really helps just watch Mowgli grow immersed. Now, I did have a problem with how dark the movie looked in that I couldn’t tell what was going on. The CGI wasn’t always the best. The last act was extremely rushed  after what I thought was nice pacing in the first two acts. Also, Shere Khan’s motives were kind of meh. I get it but meh. But it’s worth the watch if you love The Jungle Book.
Rating: 3.59 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Netflix’s Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle? If not, you should check it out, it’s worth the watch especially if you love The Jungle Book. If you have seen it, let me know your thoughts down below and let’s discuss!
Thanks for reading and be sure to like and follow this blog for more movie reviews!