(First Look) Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald

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So this is the first time, I’m really doing a “First Look” type of thing with a movie coming out. I kind of did it with Beauty and the Beast with the trailer but this time I’m doing with the first picture they released.
But I think it’s important to note first, that I thought Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was fine. Check out my review here. But I had my issues with it, mainly with it being unfocused and boring. They tried to do too many things in one film and I didn’t really like that. Now, I’ve seen comments about how they felt that these movies were “shoe-horning” the Harry Potter-isms in the movie and this one is going to be even more of that, mostly with Dumbledore being involved, but I think that’s silly because it’s a prequel universe to the Harry Potter timeline… so why wouldn’t they put things we’re already used to seeing in this movie? I mean…?
The Title
Regardless though, I think it’s the whole “fantastic beasts” thing that is being “shoe-horned”. The beasts felt like a subplot in the first one and that bothered me with a film called “Fantastic Beasts and WHERE to Find Them”, I mean I get it. But it felt unimportant compared to everything else going on. I thought the film was going to focus on Newt trying to capture these beasts and what not but it didn’t really focus on that. It was part, but it felt sporadic. Why is this one called Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald? Why can’t it just be called “The Crimes of Grindelwald“? That makes much more sense to me than putting the Fantastic Beasts in front of the title. If it’s going to be about them catching Grindelwald, then let’s leave it at that. It can be argued that “fantastic beasts” refers to Credence (Ezra Miller) and the unnamed girl in the picture next to him (Claudia Kim) being that he’s a Obscurus and has somehow survived from being attacked in the last movie. Not that I thought he actually died. He seemed to powerful for that. Claudia Kim is supposed to be a Maledictus, a person who turns into an animal, so maybe that works but it just seems odd and doesn’t fit together “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald“. It doesn’t roll of the tongue lol.
The Picture Itself
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So I like it. I don’t think it looks weird or anything. I like the feel of it and it definitely fits into that 20s theme. I like how in the stagnant picture how everyone kind of have their own thing going on.
  • Albus looks great in his long coat, I wonder though he long it takes him to become the eccentric Dumbledore we know as an older adult.
  • Grindelwald also looks great, I don’t care what anyone says, but I think Johnny Depp looks great in this picture and I’m excited for him.
  • Tina and Newt are close together and she is leaning towards him but Newt is just looking awkward as always.
  • It’s cute that Jacob has his hand on Queenie’s arm and she’s leaning into him. Theseus almost looks a bit… scary in the center but I also think it’s interesting how Newt is behind him instead of being center himself.
  • Anyway, Theseus and Leta look like a pure blood couple lol.
  • Credence and Maledictus (I’m sure that’s not her actual name, it’s unknown right now) look interesting in the corner. I mean, honestly, my eyes go to them first. But Credence is hunched over but not in the way he hunched in the first movie, in the first movie, he hunched because he was always scared or sad but here he’s hunched (it really seems like a natural state for him really) and has this look like “mess with me but I’m also trying to control myself” lol, plus with Maledictus hanging on him and she has a sad look on her face too and I love her outfit.
Now if you look at the picture with the YouTube video and how it moves. I can’t find a gif so just look at the video lol.
  • Albus immediately turns his head and look at Grindelwald, which I think is so interesting. Obviously they have a history and it looks like Albus can’t help himself… plus he’s chasing him. So double entendre lol. Make note that Albus does NOT have the Elder Wand yet.
  • Grindelwald doesn’t really move, the only thing I thought moved was his expression. If you look closely, he looks like he’s smirking but the smirk goes away. Not sure what that’s about. Does he feel bad about what happened between him and Albus? Meh, I doubt it. Maybe he feels bad about what happened with Credence since he worked so hard to make him trust him. Dunno but it’s interesting. Also make note that Grindelwald has the Elder Wand (one of the Deathly Hallows).
  • Jacob and Queenie don’t move position, but they both sort of look at Grindelwald. Queenie’s smile goes away when she looks at him and Jacob’s eyes look at Grindelwald.
  • Theseus and Leta look at each other. That’s about it.
  • Credence doesn’t move but Maledictus’s expression saddens and she leans on Credence more. I can’t help but wonder Credence does for her what Tina did for him previously, and in a way what Graves did for him.
  • Tina immediately turns and looks at Newt. However, before he awkwardly looks at her, she turns away. I don’t know how long it’ll be before they *spoiler alert* get together and married but maybe that’s foreshadowing that they keep dancing around each other.
  • Lastly, Newt shifts awkwardly before turning to look at Tina (who just looks away), he does an awkward double take before slightly glancing at Leta and Theseus.
The Characters Involved.
So we have returning characters but also a good group of new characters. I wanted to go a bit more into them from what we know and to what we might find out.
Returning Characters.
  • Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander: He is a self-proclaimed Magizoologist. He has finished his book about magical beasts. He works in the Ministry of Magic in the Beasts Division of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures (whew a mouthful). In this film, he is supposed to be working alongside Albus Dumbledore in apprehending Grindelwald who has escaped from MACUSA, because he has thwarted Grindelwald before. I liked Newt fine, he’s definitely odd but I also don’t think I got attached to him at all because he just felt like he was there. I hate to compare but Harry Potter is so loved because he felt like a real person, regardless of him being new to magic the first time we meet him, he still felt real. Newt doesn’t feel that way yet.
  • Katherine Waterston as Porpentina “Tina” Goldstein: I’m trying to figure out why she went back to MACUSA after they tried to execute her without any real evidence or trial. That’s weird. But anyway, she’s a MACUSA Auror who works mostly with the Major Investigations Department. Spoiler alert again… she’s Newt’s love interest because they get married down the line. Tina was kind of meh in the first movie, so hopefully they’ll allow her character to be more likable here.
  • Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski: I really liked him in the first movie, he was a great addition. But… why is he here? To be Queenie’s love interest? I like them but I hope he has more to do than that otherwise he’ll feel useless.
  • Alison Sudol as Queenie Goldstein: I really liked Queenie, she reminded me of Luna Lovegood. I know that she and Jacob will be reunited even though his memory was wiped at the end of the first movie. I also hope she has more to do because I did really like her. She’s also a Legilimens.
  • Ezra Miller as Credence Barebone: I love Ezra Miller. LOVE HIM. I knew his character wasn’t dead even though the attack on him at the end of the first film, seemed pretty final but he seemed way too powerful to be destroyed like that. So, somehow he’s returned and I wonder what his role will be like. In the first one, he was so abused that he violently repressed a lot, including his magic, which made him powerful. But, I want to know what happened to him, how he came back etc. Apparently his role will continue to expand in the series which I’m down for because his character was interesting.
New Characters.
  • Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald: He is a Dark wizard who commits violent attacks throughout Europe and causes mass chaos in US. He wants to build up his forces and create a New Wizarding Order (similar to Voldemort). Apparently he escapes from MACUSA. He shares a long, deep and mysterious relationship with Albus Dumbledore until they got into a big fight. I think Johnny Depp looks very good in this photo. A lot of people have talked about him, and while I agree he looked weird at the end of the first one, he looks much better here. He looks healthy and in his right mind. He looks mysterious and kind of sexy, it’s kind of weird lol. Grindelwald is supposed to be sleazy and that’s what he looks like, he’s the opposite of Dumbledore. I’m very interested in seeing what happens with him. I really want Johnny Depp to get a win, I’ve always loved him and I want him to do well in this movie. I wonder if Grindelwald will get back in contact with Credence as himself this time since he’s been outed and no longer Colin Farrell.
  • Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore: He is an extremely and powerful wizard in the British Wizarding Community. He is known for his academic excellence and is currently the Transfiguration professor at Hogwarts. He believed in Newt when he was expelled from school which makes sense why he goes to him for help in catching Grindelwald. I think Jude Law also looks FANTASTIC as a young Albus. I’m really interested in seeing how he plays him considering we’ve had two older Dumbledores both being very good at different parts of the character in the Harry Potter films. I can’t wait to see how things turn out when he comes face to face with Grindelwald.
  • Zoë Kravitz as Leta Lestrange: She’s shown very briefly in a photograph in Newt’s possession. It seemed like they had a thing in school, mostly where Newt liked her. I don’t know much about her but according to the wiki “she is a damaged and confused young woman who still exerts a large amount of control over Newt, who might still be in love with her”. She risked the life of a student at school, responsible for Newt being cast out of a lot of British wizarding society circles, all because he took the blame for some of her crap. She of course is related by marriage to Bellatrix Lestrange. In this film, she is engaged to Newt’s brother Theseus Scamander. As I said, I don’t know much about her but I really like Zoe Kravitz and I know she’ll do a good job, but I’m curious as to what her character will be like in the film. I’m also interested because it’s Zoe Kravitz! So are the Lestranges black or what? That’s so exciting lol.
  • Callum Turner as Theseus Scamander: The older brother of Newt. They have an interesting relationship in which they don’t really understand each other but they’re nice to each other. He is described as a “war hero” in that he fought in WWI (so did Newt) and works in the Auror Office. He has spent the year hunting Grindelwald and is engaged to Leta Lestrange. I don’t know much about him either. I don’t know if Pottermore goes into detail about him but for one I’m curious to see how he and Newt interact (especially since Eddie Redmayne is older than Callum Turner) and if their relationship is actually a strained one that they pretend isn’t, not to mention, with Newt probably still having a thing for Leta. If you look at the moving picture, Newt does kind of look at her before looking back at Tina (who looks away before he looks at her), so maybe Newt and Theseus don’t really get along. I mean Theseus looks like a douche.
  • Claudia Kim as a Maledictus: Nothing is really known about her, I’m sure her name isn’t Maledictus but she has a blood curse that causes her to transform into a beast. In this film, she is the main attraction of the wizarding circus and freak show. That’s definitely interesting to see, we already know that the wizarding world can be cruel, especially when it comes to “blood impurities” so I’m curious to see how she and Credence meet since in the picture, she is draped over him. I’m interested in her period. I want to know how she got caught, how long she’s been in the circus and I’m assuming she escapes, so I want to know how.
The Costumes/The Look
So one of the strong points of the first film was definitely the costume and the design. I really liked how the film looked a lot. I think this photo embraces that as well. Yes, I can get this all from a photo. Now to go down the line.
  • Albus is wearing an AWESOME coat. I want it. I love long coats. I do wonder when he stopped wearing those awesome coats and started wearing those long robes. Don’t go to the dark side Albus! Keep the swanky coat! Plus that beard! He also looks a far cry from the man we end up knowing. Dumbledore has had a lot of sadness in his life so I’m not surprised. Again, he’s not holding the Elder Wand.
  • Credence really looks different. First of all, you can cut glass on Ezra Miller’s face but this is a big difference to the black coats in the first movie. I can’t help but wonder if he works in the circus and that’s how he meets Maledictus. He looks like he’s wearing worker clothes but the expression on his face is also an extremely new one. It’s angry.
  • Maledictus looks beautiful. I love her outfit. I wonder what she turns into, maybe some kind of bird due to the detail on her leggings. Or what if she turns into a Occamy!? The design on her leggings kind of look like the scales of an Occamy and her hair style looks like the feathers on its head. Oh man, what if I call that? That would be so awesome!
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  • Leta Lestrange as I said looks nice, I really like the color on her and while I’m sure Leta and Newt are about 29 (Zoe Kravitz is 28) it just makes her look too old. Maybe it’s the type of dress and the hairstyle. She looks beautiful as always but there’s something I don’t like lol.
  • Theseus Scamander first of all, looks like a douche but he’s wearing a standard three-piece suit. It looks nice but it looks sharp and severe.
  • Tina looks soooo good here. Her hair really annoyed me in the first film, even if that was the style, but I think this looks much better. I guess going back to work for MACUSA did her good. Her coat is amazing, it looks like silk but hard to say.
  • Newt looks just like he did in the first film, with that yellow vest and that long green jacket. I like his look. It’s frumpy lol but it works for him. I really like his coat.
  • Jacob looks the same and he looks nice. I really like his suit too, I think it’s blue and the little detail of his tie is really nice.
  • I LOOOOVE Queenie’s dress! Oh my goodness that thing is amazing! Her shoes! Wow! It’s quirky and sexy just like her.
  • Grindelwald is wearing a GREAT coat. It’s kind of like Albus’s but he’s too cool that his  is open. I like the pockets of his pants and his vest. He looks like a gentleman but at the same time, he doesn’t because he’s wearing a lot of layers and it seems a bit overkill but it works for him. Plus, the hair, lol this look kind of fits Johnny Depp.
My Hopes for the Film
As I said before, the first one is fine, I didn’t dislike it but I didn’t really like it either. I really want this film to be:
  • Focused. That was my biggest problem with the first film is that it was unfocused. There was a lot of storylines going on that the movie didn’t seem to know which one it wanted to follow and by time it figured it out, the movie was already ending. There already seem to be a lot going on with Albus and Newt going after Grindelwald who has escaped. I’m sure Tina will be helping in some way as well. Theseus will probably show up as he’s been chasing Grindelwald for a year. What will Queenie and Jacob be doing? Just connecting? Will Leta actually be around or is it really in flashbacks? What about Credence and then Maledictus? There already seems like a lot going on, I just hope that they can handle the multiple storylines and make it come together for the film. I love that J.K. Rowling is writing the screenplay but I think you can tell she’s a novelist.
  • A Strong Story. This goes hand in hand with it being focused, but I don’t doubt it will be an interesting idea, but I want it to be STRONG. I want to care about what’s going on, not to be bored. It will never replace the Harry Potter stories, but I want these movies to build on the huge and ever-expanding Wizarding World and make me love it even more. The first one didn’t do that, it just felt unnecessary. I want this film (and the ones coming after) to feel necessary. I want the story to be intriguing that I can’t wait for the next one.
  • Interesting Characters. I don’t doubt that the acting will be good as I thought the acting was fine in the first film, I didn’t dislike any character, I just didn’t really much about a lot of them because they didn’t have a lot to do, or they were just there because the script said they had to be. But I really want everyone, including the new characters to be interesting. I’m not asking for the script to go into so much detail about everyone, I mean that’s almost impossible for a movie like this (if it was 3 hours long then I’m sure it could), but at least give us enough that it feels satisfying. I also hope that the returning characters are built upon and not just continuing the story without any real reason of being there.
  • Good Music. I know another complaint I had about the first movie, was that the music sounded like a knock off of the Harry Potter soundtracks which are always beautiful in their ways. It sounds shallow but that’s what I want lol.
So that’s all I got for now. There’s a lot to be said from this one picture and that little video. I think there’s a lot of potential but I also think it could be along the same vein of the first one where it’s just… okay. I don’t want a movie that belongs to the Harry Potter Wizarding World to just be okay. I didn’t get around to reading The Cursed Child but I didn’t hear many good things about it and I don’t want this set of prequels to be thought of collectively like that book(play) is. There’s so much in the Harry Potter world that there is room to be explored and be built upon without having to worry about a set of books to go by, there’s room for new stuff but I hope that doesn’t ruin things.
I’m not really excited from the one picture (trust me, first look photos for other movies have gotten me freaked before) but I’m hopeful.
  • What do you think of the photo?
  • The video?
  • Do you think this cast looks good?
  • What do YOU want to see be explored in this movie?
  • What is your favorite Harry Potter book/movie?
Let me know in the comments! Please don’t forget to like this post and follow this blog!
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Murder on the Orient Express (2017) Review

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Summary: A lavish train ride unfolds into a stylish & suspenseful mystery. From the novel by Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express tells of thirteen stranded strangers & one man’s race to solve the puzzle before the murderer strikes again.
**I have to say that I don’t think this is a remake considering it’s based on a book, it’s just another adaptation.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. Normally, I would do a little breakdown of all the characters, or at least the ones that stood out the most, but I found that I couldn’t really do that here. I can’t do that without giving away important bits of the story. But I think every actor did very well in their roles. Kenneth Branagh plays the detective Hercule Poirot who is trying to solve the murder. Everyone else come and go throughout the film, we learn just a bit about each character to begin to form our own ideas of why they could have comitted a murder. However, I will say that I thought Johnny Depp did a very good job in the movie, he’s not in it for very long but his character was probably the most interesting and I did want to know more about him. I’ve always loved Johnny Depp and I still do, so he was a standout here.
Very Stylized. I think the film looks very great. I know I say it all the time when I talk about the look of the film, that it looks crisp. But it does! It’s so beautiful! Any time the camera would travel over to the train from an aerial view, the landscape looked so beautiful. Just seeing how the snow looked, or how it looked at night, even the costumes all looked so beautiful!
The Music. Patrick Doyle does the music here and I thought it fit the film very well. I liked the score at the end of the film very much but it helps create this element of mystery and intrigue throughout the film. Any time it was needed, it would crescendo. It’s lovely.
The Mystery. I thought the mystery was very interesting. I love solving puzzles and mysteries and I really was trying to figure it out as the film went along. That’s the part I loved the most about the film was trying to figure it out. Trying to discover the little hints of answers, trying to catch little things that would help, I really loved all that.
Cons:
Kind of boring. I liked the movie, don’t get me wrong. But I thought it was a bit too long, drawn outa nd boring. I love mysteries, I love solving puzzles and looking at all the clues. My favorite boardgame is in fact Clue but being that this is a movie, I felt like they were trying to drag it out for this big finish at the end and I think it fell flat. There’s nothing really going on other than the Detective trying to solve it and bits of informationg being given. Other than that, there really isn’t anything else going on and it’s gets a bit boring and tedious because of it.
No Character Stands Out. I thought all the actors were great but I didn’t think any of the characters were interesting outside finding out who the killer was. I wasn’t able to really get into any of the characters to really feel anything for them. I don’t think it had anything to do with how many there were because there are movies were there are ensembles and at least some of the characters are interesting, or all them (Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter etc). A lot of time is spent with Hercule Poirot and it felt like Kenneth Branagh really put himself in the forefront (he directed as well)  and that affects the rest of the characters. When the stinger comes at the end, I wanted to really care but I couldn’t.
Overall, I liked the movie, I thought it was fun for the most part. I looks great, the acting is all very well done, the music really helps the movie and I think that it’s pretty standard in terms of being a “whodunnit” type of film. With that said, I do think the movie is a bit boring overall, and it feels too long because there’s not a lot going on and it can lag a bit during scenes. I’ve never read the book or seen the old adaptation but it just feels like it was missing something. Perhaps it needed to be more fast paced and that would have helped. It’s not this sophisticated film and it didn’t need to try so hard. I also didn’t think any of the characters really stood out, it felt like Kenneth Branagh was front and center and while that wasn’t always a bad thing, it did prevent the other characters from being interesting. It doesn’t add anything new to the genre but the mystery is fun to figure out.
Rating: 2.8 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Murder on the Orient Express? Did you see the original adaptation? Read the book? How did it hold up?
Let me know in the comments below! Also, don’t forget to follow this blog for more reviews!
Thanks for reading!

Thor: Ragnarok (2017) Review

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Summary: Imprisoned, the almighty Thor finds himself in a lethal gladiatorial contest against the Hulk, his former ally. Thor must fight for survival and race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home and the Asgardian civilization.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. Most of these characters are new in this film, outside of the three we have been used to seeing. Highlighted here are definitely the lead standouts and a few of the supporting cast.
  • Chris Hemsworth as Thor. Chris Hemsworth returns as Thor Odinson, and he is great. He definitely made this character into something special. In Thor, I liked him enough but he was probably one of the characters I cared about the least in The Avengers. However, I think I liked him the most in this movie because he felt like a real person. Yes, Thor is a bit untouchable considering he is a god and what not, but he still has to feel personal and this time I felt that he did. He’s still the mature Thor he became at the end of the first movie, but he obviously hasn’t given up his more light-hearted nature. I like that about him. I like that he can toe the line between being funny and being serious. It’s like he’s a good medium between Steve and Tony. In this movie, he doesn’t really have any lessons to learn but something to save instead and he really fights for it. I like it. Plus, I really like how sincere Thor always seems. Chris Hemsworth really knows this character and it’s easy to tell that he loves Thor and has fun portraying him.
  • Tom Hiddleston as Loki. As always, Loki is fantastic and fun to watch. Tom Hiddleston owns this character. Loki isn’t in the film as much but whenever he is, he’s a presence that draws my eyes to him. Tom Hiddleston just lights up the screen as Loki. In this film, *minor spoilers if you haven’t seen The Dark World* he starts off as Odin considering how he faked his death in the last film and is living the life as “King” of Asgard. Thor ruins that plan and they go off to find Odin. Loki’s role in this movie is interesting. Thor usually reacts to him but he doesn’t do that a lot in this one and it seems to bother Loki in ways, being that has been their relationship for a long time. I find that aspect quite interesting and I would have liked to see more of it. Loki remains mischievous and rude lol but I still love him. Tom Hiddleston is still great in this role, so likable even though he’s still a douche.
  • Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie. She starts the film as a tough, hard-drinking bounty hunter who works for the Grandmaster and goes by “Scrapper 142”. She used to be part of the Valkyrie army but has run from her past due to what happened when they went against Hela. She is gruff, a drunk and it’s quite funny to see her just down a huge bottle of alcohol and she’s so tiny compared to Chris Hemsworth (even Tom H. towers over her). I quite liked her. I think she is underused and underwritten in the film but Tessa Thompson did her thing with the role and I thought she managed to stand out quite a bit even though her role wasn’t that strong personally. I thought her accent was pretty good, she looked great in the world, I thought she had great comedic timing and great chemistry with both Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo.
  • Mark Ruffalo as Hulk/Bruce Banner. When we first see Bruce, he is The Hulk and the champion of Sakaar. It’s “Perma-Hulk mode” (I totally looked that up) but he does talk a bit and it’s fragmented, like a child. It picks up from Avengers: Age of Ultron and I think this film allows for him to be seen as more than a mindless rage monster. Though I never really thought he came off as a rage monster in the Avengers films as he was able to understand what was going on. Mark Ruffalo is always great, I like the fact that we can see his face and mannerisms within The Hulk’s face and I think his Bruce Banner is a cute, neurotic nerd. He has great chemistry with Chris Hemsworth and his comedic timing is also great. To be honest, he’s not in it that much but whenever he is, I think he’s fun to see as The Hulk. Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce is always endearing as well.
  • Cate Blanchett as Hela. Hela is released from her prison and wants to take over Asgard. Basically, she feels scorned and that it’s her right to be Queen. Cate Blanchett OWNS in this role, she is absolutely fantastic and she steals the scene every time she’s on-screen. Her outfit was amazing, her headdress is amazing and Cate Blanchett does such great body movements and eye-acting that I just could watch her all day. Hela has the ability to summon an infinite number of weapons which is cool in itself. I hope she is a Marvel villain who is around later on. I mean she is a Goddess.
Supporting Characters:
  • Anthony Hopkins as Odin. He’s not in the film very long. He has a great scene with both Thor and Loki in which he talks about their mother and life and it was an emotional, quiet moment between the three of them. We don’t get to see that much of the three of them together but when we do, it’s great. Odin is also shown sporadically throughout the film. Anthony Hopkins is always great and he plays Odin well, I thought he was great in the first film especially, but even here, he’s just so regal and quiet in this one.
  • Idris Elba as Heimdall. He is the all-seeing, all-hearing Asgardian sentry of the Bifrost. He doesn’t start off as the sentry in this film, which I assumed had something to do with the fact that Loki is posing as Odin (and Loki doesn’t like Heimdall and vice versa lol). In this film, he has a bit of his own arc, still a small role, but he has become more hands-on with what’s going on and when Hela invades, he takes it upon himself to try to save the people. I like Heimdall and I think Idris Elba is great in the role and I actually wish he had a larger role.
  • Karl Urban as Skurge. Definitely a small character, but he’s an Asgardian warrior who has taken on the role of guarding the Bifrost Bridge in Heimdall’s absence. I won’t spoil what happens with him in this film but I thought he had the chance to be really cool and I like Karl Urban but I feel like he was underused and underwritten.
The Action. Of course being a Marvel Studios film, there have to be great action set pieces and this movie is no exception. There are some really great ones. At the beginning when Thor is in Muspelheim, he has a great fight scene with the minions there. Of course, his fight scene with Hulk at the stadium is big, fun and fantastic. Hela’s first scene in Asgard is shot so beautifully, that my jaw was dropped the entire time. Of course, the fights at the end are also great. I think everything is shot so the viewer can actually see what’s going on. There isn’t any shaky cam, no weird (Dutch) angles, nothing going on that prevents you from seeing the action.
The Chemistry of Characters. Since this movie requires certain characters to team up, including new ones, the chemistry is always important. All of the actors worked very well together, but I’m going to only highlight the ones that are the most noticeable.
  • Thor & Loki. Of course, they are always great. Their antagonistic relationship as brothers is always so interesting. Honestly, I’d really just watch an entire movie that talked about the Odinson family because they’re so interesting. I love how they tease each other, how they argue with each other (and totally mean what they say) and when they come together and work together. It’s always so sweet.
  • Thor & Bruce/The Hulk. This, of course, is a big part of the film as well. We see Thor interact a lot with The Hulk, which in itself is interesting considering how they fought in the first Avengers film. Then when he has to interact with Bruce, we never really see the two of them talk so to see that happen was also great. Two characters who weren’t involved in Civil War, get to have their own “buddy cop” film. I thought they had really good chemistry with each other and they’re both really funny.
  • Thor & Valkyrie. So I thought what was building here was interesting. She’s the one who delivers him to the Gamemaster so in the beginning, their interactions were antagonistic and they were often arguing. However, I thought they had really good chemistry, it would develop into a nice friendship. I really liked how he was encouraging for her and while she was encouraging for him, she wasn’t necessarily nice. It was cool lol.
The Humor. It’s important to note that this movie is funny, I’ll talk about this more in the cons as well. I laughed and I enjoyed myself. Chris Hemsworth has fantastic comedic timing and I think it’s great that Marvel Studios allowed him to utilize that in Thor’s character, who can be very funny. It feels like a buddy cop movie in a lot of ways. The last few movies we saw with him, he was a bit more stoic and mature but this film allows him to be both that and lighthearted which I think is a good balance for his character. There needs to be someone in the Avengers group who is like that (outside of Spider-Man who technically isn’t an Avenger yet) and I think Thor is the best choice to be a balance of being mature but also being childish when he’s allowed. It fits him a bit more than just that stoic persona.
The Look of the Film/Cinematography. Oh man, this film looks so beautiful. Props definitely go to the director Taika Waititi and the cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobe. This film has a significantly different look from Thor and Thor: The Dark World in that the colors definitely pop. I mean, have you seen that awesome poster?
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I first of all, really want this poster lol. But look at the colors in this thing. These colors are utilized in the film as well, especially when they are on Sakaar. The way Hela’s abilities are used on-screen and just her look is fantastic. I love how this film looks. It feels alive and vibrant compared to the sophistication of the first film and the dark, gritty look of the second film. Not to mention, we get to see a flashback of someone’s past and it’s like a painting, oh my goodness it’s so beautiful.
The costumes. I think all of the Thor films do well with the costumes, mostly when they’re on Asgard and since we hardly spend any time on Midgard (earth), most of the clothes aren’t “earthen”. Though I will mention that snazzy black suit that Loki wears in the first half (you’ll know what I speak of) when they’re on Earth and we do go to New York to see a previous MCU character. Anyway, I loved Thor’s look when he got his makeover on Sakaar, I think the short hair looks better on Hemsworth anyway. I don’t mind the longer wig compared to the short one from the first film. But I liked the look, the war paint, the torn cape, the short hair. It worked for him and it was a new direction for his character. I loved Hela’s entire look. I loved how she could turn her hair into her headdress, oh man, it was so awesome. I mean LOOK AT IT!
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Gosh, she looks amazing! Her oufit as well. It was skin tight (Cate Blanchett looked amazing in it too) and she moved like it was a second skin. Plus her CAPE! *dies* I thought Valkyrie also looked great. I wasn’t too thrilled about her second outfit but seeing it in action, it looks much better in the film then it did in pictures or the trailer. I think the attention to detail in her outfit really show that she used to live on Asgard but has taken a “darker” turn. I loved how she looked “darker” in her first outfit (right) but when she dons her Valkyrie uniform (left) she looks open but fierce.
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Also, I really liked Loki’s new look too. His helmet received an upgrade and I liked the outfit he wears for most of the film, especially that cape he wears. All of the costumes are always so beautiful! Grandmaster’s outfit! *Dies* Just so amazing!
The Music. Mark Mothersbaugh did the music for this film and I thought it was awesome!! Definitely a soundtrack I would have in my iTunes. The fact that “Immigrant Song” (Led Zeppelin) is actually used in the film and wasn’t just regulated to the trailers was awesome, I think it was used twice actually. Also “Pure Imagination” is during this great kind of “indoctrination” scene when Thor is taken to The Grandmaster and I cracked up hearing it during that scene. It reminded me of the tunnel scene from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The film is bold, colorful, fun and quirky, so the music fits it to a T.
Cons:
Weak Payoff. So, I haven’t decided if I’m going to do a spoiler review yet but the ending just felt weak to me. There was this big journey and there is a big fight, which I enjoyed, don’t get me wrong, but then it seemed like it didn’t go anywhere. We went on a road trip almost but the destination had a few really cool bumps but then it just ended. I felt dissatisfied with the ending.
The Villain. There might be minor spoilers here. While I thought Cate Blanchett was awesome in her role, I mean awesome, I didn’t think the villain was really anything special. At least like I wanted her to be. She came and she conquered but after that, it just fell flat. I don’t know what her ending technically was in this film, but it felt like maybe a setup for her to return later. So after the light show in the first half of the movie, she had some cool moments during the climax but then that was it. I get what she wanted, what she tried to do, her motives aren’t confusing, it just felt like she was a side note. We would see what she was doing, she would give a lot of exposition and then we’d jump right back to Thor and Bruce.
The Humor. So I always think humor is subjective so it’s hard to judge but while I thought this film was funny, I can imagine some people not liking that it’s funny or as funny as it is. Thor, especially in The Dark World, was a bit more somber and stoic. Even in both Avengers movies he wasn’t really there for laughs, I mean he had his one liners and moments (I love the scene where the Avengers are trying to pick up his hammer and Cap slightly moves it and Thor’s face hahaha) but nothing where he’s like funny. I can see where a lot of people would want to compare it to Guardians of the Galaxy and while I can see that, I didn’t really think about those movies while watching. I think they have two different kinds of humor. I would probably prefer to watch this over Guardians vol 2. But anyway, I got sidetracked, I do think some jokes were oddly placed, like they were in the wrong spot. I didn’t mind it, but it didn’t allow me to really catch my breath before something else funny happened. Sometimes, moments have to linger before a joke it put in there.
Overall, I really liked Thor: Ragnarök. I thought it was really fun, exciting and something different when it comes to the character of Thor who in the past, hasn’t really been shown this way. I think it’s great that we got to see Chris Hemsworth show his comedy chops in this movie. It shows that he loves this character, has made him his own, which I think makes Thor feel more human instead of “other”. I thought all of the actors worked well together, no one really out shined the others but whenever they were on screen, they stole the moment. The music was absolutely fantastic, it fit so well with the movie. I actually think it’s one of the best musical scores from a Marvel Studios movie, I enjoyed it so much. The film looked beautiful, just the attention to details, the colors, how characters looked on screen, including their costumes (shout out to Mayes C. Rubeo). The movie is very funny, lighthearted and makes Thor feel more accessible. However, it does have some flaws mostly in the villain in that she doesn’t have much of a presence. The threat doesn’t feel like it’s looming unless she’s on screen and even then, I really just want to look at her lol. The ending also felt a little weak to me, like the film had more to do, or maybe it’s Thor: Ragnarok part I and there is a part II coming… but it doesn’t. Overall, I really really liked this movie.
Rating: 4. 32 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Thor: Ragnarök? If so, what did you think of it? Where does it rank on your list if best Marvel Studios films (The MCU)?
Let me know in the comments below!
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Kinsman: The Golden Circle (2017) Movie Review

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Summary: When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, the Kingsman’s journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the US. These two elite secret organizations must band together to defeat a common enemy.
*There may be spoilers below if you haven’t seen any of the trailers or heard anything about this film.
Pros:
Cast and Characters.
  • Taron Egerton as Eggsy Unwin. Eggsy has come a long way from the young man we got to know in the first film. He is the current Galahad due to the tragedy of the first film, he’s acclimated to his new life as a Kingsman (as well as other things). He’s a gentlemen and he’s having to deal with other grownup choices and situations. It’s not like Eggsy wasn’t mature before he just had a lot more baggage then and now it’s like, he carries himself differently. It’s cool to see the change. But I thought he was a strong standout in the first film and I think he is again here, I actually think without him and without him knowing his character so well, it might not have been as good or fun. Taron Egerton is able to in this film to maintain Eggsy’s “gentlemen” side, his more “Eliza Doolittle” side and trying to live a new life. It’s all pretty interesting. I love him.
  • Julianne Moore as Poppy Adams. She is the leader of “The Golden Circle”, a secret organization and the head of a pharmaceutical company. She’s like a Susie Homemaker gone crazy in this film. Poppy has a plan to become a respected business woman in the eyes of the world, she’s been hiding out for so long that she misses being apart of the population. Julianne Moore is good, her delivery is very upbeat even when crazy things are happening and I thought Moore transcended her character because she was way better than what the material for her character was. I wish she had the chance to be more scary or more intimidating or something because I know she totally can be those things even with the type of character Poppy Adams is.
  • Pedro Pascal as Agent Whiskey. A Statesman secret agent. He is pretty cool, he is known for his lasso and electric lasso weapons as well as the cool gun twirling trick. He has a lot of great action scenes and he spends a lot of time working with Eggsy on this mission. He’s older so he kind of has a “wiser agent” mentality and that whole “I have more experience” etc. kind of thing but he trusts Eggsy which is also interesting. I’ve only seen Pedro Pascal in Game of Thrones so I wasn’t sure what to expect with him here but I liked him. I thought he was really cool and I couldn’t wait to see his stunts considering what I saw in the trailers.
  • Mark Strong as Merlin. He is tech support, also Eggsy’s trainer and sometimes he may be a field agent for Kingsman. Merlin is awesome. He always has something insightful to say, sometimes it’s funny and useful and other times it’s useful. He’s super smart and has taken on the role of “mentor” to Eggsy in Harry’s stead. Merlin is the one who goes with Eggsy to America to meet the Statesmen and he seems to create a bonding friendship with Ginger Ale over being the tech support. I was so sure that Mark Strong was going to be a bad guy in the first film as he’s usually always playing the bad guy in movies (or just in Matthew Vaughn’s movies) but I was quite relieved that Merlin wasn’t a bad guy. He remains loyal here and he and Taron Egerton have really good chemistry with each other. He actually works well with everyone. He has a great scene in the third act.
  • Halle Berry as Ginger Ale. She is the Statesman’s tech support and she wants to be a field agent. She is loyal to her team ,though she’s frustrated about not being able to make it onto the field, instead of just being behind the computer screen. She and Merlin manage to bond a bit over their tech support roles. I normally don’t care for Halle Berry but she was fine here, her character is likable and I think she manages to hold her own in this role.
  • Colin Firth as Harry Hart. He returns in this film after being shot in the head in the first film. He’s the former “Galahad” and Eggsy’s mentor. In this film, he starts off a bit different from the Harry we know. Colin Firth is always good though and he’s great in all that he does for this character in this film. He has a great action scene in the third act of the film.
Supporting Characters. Though everyone outside of Eggsy is technically a supporting character here, there are some who are in the movie that don’t have large roles. I also don’t want to talk about people without giving away any surprises in the film or what relevance they might have.
  • Jeff Bridges as Champagne “Champ”. He is the head of Statesman. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Jeff Bridges with a shaved face before and it was so weird lol and he’s  cool. Very stereotypical cowboy though.
  • Channing Tatum as Tequila. He’s a Statesmen secret agent and I am not a fan of Tatum but he’s not in the movie enough for me to dislike his character. He’s fine. He has a cool action scene when we first meet him and a funny scene in the second act.
  • Surprise Celebrity. A prisoner of Poppy Adams, he’s like an extreme version of himself. But I quite enjoyed him. Especially his little action scene in the third act. He is actually the source for a lot of the humorous moments.
The Action. I definitely think the action in this movie is fast paced, it’s fun and there is a lot of it. There are some amazing action scenes. The very first scene jumps right into the action and every time there is a large action set piece, it’s very easy to get sucked right into it. The very first scene, has that awesome stunt in it with the car, as the fight is mostly in the car. Very cool. There is also a great scene when Eggsy and Merlin first get to America, where they have a quick encounter with Agent Tequila. It was fast but it was fun. The biggest action set is in Poppyland towards the end. There is a lot of action set pieces in this film, so if you’re expecting action like the first, you get it and a bit more. Eggsy has a one on one fight with one of Poppy’s main henchmen and it’s a good fight, a lot of it is like “DIANA” but it’s still fun. I like the choreography. Eggsy already had experience from his experience in his Army training so seeing him do that coupled with what he’s learned from being in the Kingsman, it’s so graceful most times. IT’S SO COOL!!! I will talk about this in the cons too though.
The Music. The music is done by Henry Jackman and Matthew Margeson and it’s fun. During a lot of the fight scenes after getting to America and teaming up with the Statesman the music is Country and its so funny hearing it coupled with the fight scenes. It’s so fun to enjoy the fight with the music, especially during Whiskey’s fight scene in the snow.
Cinematography. I have to say that outside of the returning characters and the actors doing well in their roles, this is probably the biggest praise. This film looks so beautiful. George Richmond is the cinematographer and the way he shoots the locations, especially when they have traveled to other places such as the Swiss Alps, so beautiful. The festival Eggsy and Whiskey attends looked beautiful. This film just looks very good.
Emotional. The movie is actually kind of emotional. It may not be like crying emotional but it has a lot of moments where you’re upset about what happened.
Cons:
The Story. I think one of the biggest problems with the movie is the story. Not that it doesn’t make sense but it’s all over the place. There’s so much going on in this movie. There’s the main plot with Poppy, there is Harry’s storyline, there is a storyline with Eggsy, almost each agent from Statesman have little subplots and the heart of the movie just gets lost in the shuffle. Subplots aren’t always bad but they’re crowding when you have a film like this. In the first one, you cared about Eggsy’s family because he cared for them and we got to see a lot of what was going on with his family and you wanted them to be safe considering their circumstances. Here, he has someone else to care about and while I was like “aww” when they were affected by the drugs, I was more invested in Eggsy’s reaction instead of what was actually happening to that person. They weren’t developed enough for me by themselves to care. It was more like “aww, Eggsy is gonna be sad”.
The Villain. A film sometimes is only as good as its antagonist but here… eh. She’s so away from everyone else that she doesn’t feel like much of a threat. Valentine was around, he was doing press and what not, using his platform in plain sight whereas she couldn’t do that and his threats were felt because he was there. But she’s just holed up in her little 1950’s Poppyland. The only people I felt she really posed a threat too is her subordinates and her celebrity hostage. The only time her threat is felt is when someone was exposed to her virus in some drug they took or smoked and someone else is worried about them. It just felt superficial and I feel like she could have been just as upfront and personal as Valentine was. I kind of wanted the hamburger thing to be a thing I feel like that would have been more menacing and it would have been a thing about fast food or meat or something lol.
The Action. A lot of this is for the action, there’s a lot going on in the action. While it’s fun and entertaining to watch there are times where it feels jumpy. In the first film it was over the top but it worked, for this one, they really went for it and it didn’t always work. The whole style of filming where the camera is spinning around the action (most evident in the Church scene from the first one) is used a lot here and while the action itself is fun and I’m like aye it’s still kind of annoying.
Slow Moments. While this film also has some good moments, there are a few times where it feels like it just halted. The first one is fast paced and even in the non action moments or the non spy moments, it was still interesting to watch and this one has a few moments where I’m like “okay, that’s cool”.
Sequelitis. This film suffers what a lot of sequels do, where they try to be bigger and better than the first one, they try to take what made the first one fresh and original and expand on that but go to far where it just feels overdone and cheap *looking at you Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2* and that’s what this film suffers from. It’s trying to hard to be better than the first one that it’s not. For example, there is already some crazy stuff that happens but there’s this one scene at the festival and I just wondered why they couldn’t just make the girl ingest the tracker. You’ll know what I’m talking about. It was so uncomfortable that Taron didn’t even want to do it lol. Sometimes it’s hard to pick up a sequel where the character has already adapted to their new lifestyle, or are in their new job venture. It’s always fun learning about it or watching the character become whatever it is, but once they’re there it has to remain interesting and sometimes it’s not. But anyways, this film could have kept what made the first one so original, surprising and fresh and just pumped more heart into it instead of pumping steroids.
Overall, I did like this film, it was fun to watch and I enjoyed it because I love Eggsy, Harry and Merlin. I liked the characters enough, I thought the actors did well in their roles. Taron Egerton was definitely a standout as he understands his character so well that he just holds the film together. He’s funny, he’s handsome, he can play all sides of his character well and I’m interested to see where he goes next. I think the action is fun to watch, it’s over the top but it’s still fun, plus coupled with the music choices it makes me feel energized watching it. The look of this film is absolutely gorgeous, all the locations look crisp like I was right there with the characters. I like the celebrity guest, they were fantastic and funny. However, this film does suffer from the “sequelitis” in which it tries to be better than the first one, by being bigger, better and more outrageous and it doesn’t succeed, it just feels like it’s trying too hard. The villain character wasn’t very interesting, menacing or fearsome even though Julianne Moore was really great at playing the character. The story is also very crowded. But I overall enjoyed the movie.
Rating: 3.0 out of 5 stars.
Are you going to see Kingsman: The Golden Circle?
What is your favorite SPY movie?
Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to keep an eye out for future reviews and other writings on my blog.

It (2017) Spoiler Talk

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So I wanted to do a spoiler talk for the film as I wanted to talk about it more in-depth. I haven’t done a spoiler review in a while, but I figured this one definitely deserved a spoiler review. Now, I haven’t read the book (I’m not going to) and I have not seen the mini series (might some day) so this is about this movie. I’m not rating it or doing a pros and cons list. I’m just going to talk… write.
You can read the NON SPOILER review here.
Characters
I’m not going to go on each of them again but just a few more things that I didn’t want to spoil in my Non Spoiler Review.
For the other characters, we spend a lot of time with Bill and Beverly in their homes, so its easier to understand them I think, their fears, why they latch on to their friends, especially during this time, why they latch onto each other and are the only ones ready to fight Pennywise after their first actual encounter with him. Ben, Eddie and Stan are all pretty okay too, I would have liked to seen more of Ben and Stan’s parents, especially Stan’s relationship with his dad, I do want to know how often Stan got sent alone to his father’s office to make him afraid of that picture, or what I want to know why Ben is so into history… and for Eddie, I do want to know about his relationship with his mom. But those characters are the ones I think that I get the most or at least I get their fears the most and their presence the most. So Richie and Mike are the ones I had a lot of questions for.
  • Finn Wolfhard as Richard “Richie” Tozier. So like I said, he was my favorite, I might be a bit biased as I like the young actor but I did find myself enjoying him the most. He’s just the one who is always talking, cracking jokes and he seems to be the one always ready to go even though they always make him the “look out”. In the film, not much is said or shown about his home life but from what I read in interviews, the director believes he might have an abusive home (don’t know if its physical or not) I can see that though as everyone seems to deals with something at home that  pushes them closer to their friends. He is the last one to be scared separately from the others and his fear is of clowns, don’t know why but I would like to know. Is the talking a defense mechanism? Is it to make up for being invisible at home? I really want to know lol. I’ll go into more detail about them later but I also want to know why the “Missing” poster was such a thing for him… sure the kids are disappearing but he really freaked out about it, not to mention, how Pennywise showed him a coffin with a doll version of him in it. I’m curious.
  • Chosen Jacobs as Mike Hanlon. So he was probably my biggest issue with the kids and it wasn’t because he was a bad actor, or character or anything like that, I just didn’t like how he was handled. I think Chosen Jacobs was a fine actor and ultimately Mike was cool but my question is, why was he there exactly? I know in the book that he’s the one who knows the history of Derry, he’s the one who brings up the different tragedies and what not of the town, its all Mike who does that… not Ben. That actually ruins the idea of how they come back in the adult version. From what I know, Mike becomes a librarian in Derry and he notices what’s happening and he calls the others and they return at his prompting (except for Stan) BUT my thing is, now that he’s not doing that, what is he going to be doing? Did he stay in Derry and take over the farm? Is he going to still be in contact with Ben because I’m assuming Ben is going to stay in town to notice, or are they going to try to make it seem like Ben left too (even though he said he wanted to leave) and Mike notices what’s happening? I want to know. I just think it’s odd to take away such an important part of his original character in this movie and not replace with something that’s just as important. Instead, he’s given a gun. I recognize that he’s the biggest kid of them all and he seemed like the oldest, the protector but still, why couldn’t he be that AND be the historian? Even though that’s not something I’m connected to through nostalgia, I felt that something was off with him because he just felt there… the token black kid for real. Plus, he was separate from the others for so long, he was cheated. I was cheated.
The Story 
Like I said, the story is interesting and I wish there was a bit more information about it. I don’t want to read the book, I’m not going too, sometimes scary books stick with me longer than the movies because it’s my imagination creating nonsense instead of me actually looking at it. But I want to know more, how long has Pennywise been in Derry and that book that had his picture in it, what was that about? Or what about the mural on the wall near the butchers? I definitely saw him in the mural. Was that real or was he just messing around? I want some more answers for this version of the movie in particular as I know things are different. I want to know how Pennywise came to be, what exactly is IT and where is it from? Why did IT torment these particular kids for so long? What was it about them? Why did IT wait so long to scare Richie? Why does like the form of the clown so much? These might be answered in part two but I want to know now! lol Not to mention, I want to know more about the kids and their lives considering their fears. What’s up with Eddie’s mom, why was she making him believe he’s a sickly child and he’s not? Where did Beverly’s rumors start? Richie and Bill seem like they’re the closest, how did they each become friends? I guess in a way none of that matters but those are just things I want to know.
It’s a very interesting story but I just want my questions answered lol.
The Kids Fears
I think each kid’s fear was handled very well. We get to see each of them be confronted with a physical manifestation that scares them. For one thing, the town itself is just scary, the adults in particular. I wonder if the adults will still look like that when our kids are adults, is it something that’s always gonna scare them or as they get older, they understand adulthood a bit more now. So I’m going to go in order of when we see their fears, at least I hope I got it all in order lol.
Mike Hanlon- So Mike is riding his bike down to the butcher’s to see meat from his farm. He looks like he was going to go through the front door but after seeing the Bowers’ gang he runs to the alleyway where the backdoor is. He starts to go through the meat and he hears something coming from the door. So, when he turns to see, the door (which has a lock on it) starts to shake, it slowly cracks open just a bit, enough that lock stops it and these many hands come from behind the door. Burned hands. There is screaming and he actually walks towards them, like he’s reaching out to them. Then, the door bursts open and far back in the room, where the meat is hanging you can see a figure in there, kind of swinging, then he just stands there and his eyes are the only thing that you can really see. So creepy. He later talks about this fear and how it’s related to how his parents died in a fire that he also was in and that it’s something he thinks about. Which is why it’s his fear. I actually think his fear is definitely mostly based on memory instead of something he sees and fears. We also see it again later when he’s fighting Pennywise, Mike hits him and Pennywise opens his mouth and you see a bunch of burned hands reaching for him. I actually thought his fear was interesting, it’s not going to be something he’s ever really going to forget. So it’ll be interesting to see how he will be as an adult.
Stan Uris- Stan is in his father’s church practicing for his Bar Mitzvah, so because he keeps messing up, his father tells him to put the book back in his office. When he goes into the office, he immediately has his hand blocking something on the wall from his sight, but he ends up looking at it anyway (which I’m like boy why…?) and it’s this creepy picture of this woman holding a flute. I would be terrified of that thing too. I hate creepy paintings, pictures, statues… anything that looks human but is creepy just freaks me out. But he looks at it and then fixes it as it was lopsided. So he goes to put the book back and then hears a clatter. The picture fell. I was like “nope, get out of there. Leave now” but of course he goes to put it back on the wall and the woman is gone from the picture. He just stands there, I would have been OUT. There is flute music and another door opens (maybe the bathroom door?) and he looks as it but then he slowly turns around and in the shadow you can see a tall figure, and the flute falls to the ground, then the woman comes into view and she’s ugly. I think she smiled at him and then he ran. It would have never gotten that far for me, the picture fell? I’m out. I put it back and she’s gone? I’m out. We see this woman later, when everyone is in the sewer to save Beverly, Stan somehow gets separated from the group and he ends up going into this room. He’s spinning around using his flashlight to see and suddenly there is a sound like someone is running towards him but it sounds like shuffling feet and the woman comes into view of his light. This was the only time I covered my face because that woman is creepy and her suddenly running into my view like that with that smile on her face…giphy2
When the others find Stan, they flash the light and the woman’s mouth is covering his face, but then she pulls away, slinks off behind a wall and she disappears then Pennywise comes into view, so obviously he turned back into his clown form. Poor child is screaming and scared “you left me!” But I’m like, you definitely walked away or something… I don’t know, but he was gone and the others were together. It was terrifying I’m sure, but you left Stan. His fear is pretty practical, creepy painting, definitely get that.
Ben Hanscome- Now, Ben’s I wasn’t sure I completely understood at least not at first. Ben is in the library and he’s looking at this book of the history of Derry and he sees information about this terrible accident that killed a lot of children. I think there was something to do with Easter eggs, not sure. But he’s looking at these pictures (again more human stuff) and then he starts flipping really fast as each picture is zoomed in more until finally we see a boy’s head in a tree. At first I was like what am I looking at? But it obviously freaked him out, then he sees a red balloon in the background and he follows it and sees an Easter egg on the ground (it was smoking), he notices there’s a trail and he follows them. Again, I’m like why? The egg trail stops and then he hears a noise, and he can see the legs of someone coming down the stairs, it comes into view more and it’s a badly burned body staggering down, with an armful of eggs, no head. So this must be a manifestation of that boy. So of course Ben tries to hide, and the body drops the eggs and it does some creepy “look around” before catching wind of Ben and it starts to chase him. He keeps looking back as the body chases after him then you hear “Egg Boy!” and it’s now Pennywise chasing him. Ben thankfully runs faster, then he runs into the librarian and he leaves. Again, why follow the egg trail? Not me. I’m not that curious. I mean I am as I obviously watched this movie but I’m not going off by myself, especially not in a huge library and the eggs are leading me downstairs into the stacks. I hate going into library stacks. I love the library but the archives rooms, the stacks that are usually downstairs… nope. The reason why I didn’t really get his fear at first, or at least his the least clear is because he’s reading this information, it doesn’t really affect him at least not enough to continue scaring him, is it dead things? Because later, when they’re fighting Pennywise, he tries to use a mummy’s wraps to pull him into him… so it’s kind of strange really. What is he actually scared of? He never mentions it again when they’re talking about what they’ve seen. So, did Pennywise use it because it was something he was just looking at and it was fresh? Curious.
Eddie Kaspbrak- Eddie’s fear is the most understandable as he’s a hypochondriac, he’s afraid of being sick, of health issues, I mean the kid carries around two fanny packs lol. He’s walking, and he’s passing this creepy house, he keeps looking at it and I’m like “ooo something about to happen, run Eddie. Run!” and he slows down and looks at it more, then his watch beeps “medicine time” and he pulls out his medicine box but drops it causing his pills to fall on the ground. So he quickly starts trying to pick them up and when he gets to the last one, another hand picks it up and says “do you think this will make me better Eddie?” and the camera pans up and it’s a zombified looking person. Eddie later says it was a leper, a walking infection, I figured it had something to do with the guy being gross, but I didn’t realize it was a leper until he said it later. The leper chases him on the grounds of the house, Eddie runs around the back (he falls lol) and then he sees Pennywise standing behind his little pyramid of red balloons. He doesn’t try to chase after him, he just threatens him before Eddie escapes through a little hole in the fence. The leper shows up twice, when they go into the house, Eddie is separated from Richie and Ben and the leper makes Eddie fall through the hole in the floor, and later when they’re fighting Pennywise, he turns into him really quickly and releases some disgusting bile at him. His fear has more to do with the infection thing, since his mother made him believe he’s always sickly, it makes sense for him to be afraid of something that is dangerous health wise.
Beverly Marsh- Bev’s fear is also interesting, I thought about hers the way I thought about Ben’s. I’m not sure what to really make of it. But she’s in the bathroom reading Ben’s secret admirer letter when she hears voices calling to her from the sink. She listens, then uses a tape measure to see just how far down it goes. It goes all the way down, at least the length of the entire tape. She starts to retract it but as it gets closer, it has blood on it and I think hair (her hair) and it starts to wrap around her and pulls her close to the sink before a geyser of blood shoots into her face covering the ENTIRE bathroom. Then later, when they’re fighting Pennywise, he turns into her father but she stabs him in the mouth (badass lol) and Bill makes the revelation that Pennywise didn’t kill Beverly because she wasn’t scared of him, he just put her in a trance and made her float, which makes sense after she fought her father who is her biggest fear. But I wonder if he just did it to get the boys as they were still afraid because he didn’t even try to eat her after she said she wasn’t afraid and I think he only tries to scare them because it makes them taste better. But in terms of the bathroom scene, Bev cut her hair after her father caressed it and stuff after he stopped her and saw she bought tampons. So I think the hair and the blood is kind of representation of that, which I thought it was interesting and deep. Her fear is like Mike’s in that it holds a personal emotional connection.
Bill Denbrough- While sleeping, Bill is woken up by his dripping ceiling. He ends up going into Georgie’s room and has a moment, then he sees a shadow and goes to see what it was, he sees Georgie run quickly across a room and he goes after him. He sees Georgie run into the basement (nope) and he’s in the corner with his little raincoat on. They have a conversation and then Georgie starts to say “you’ll float too” and he repeats it many times, his face distorting and then Pennywise comes out of the water (I think their basement flooded) and he tries to catch Bill but I mean you do this whole creepy show, of course he has a chance to run first lol, I think that was the scariest Pennywise was to me in that moment (oh and the garage scene lol). Bill sees Georgie later in the sewer, he’s holding his boat, his arm is gone (Pennywise bit it off in the beginning) and they have a conversation, it’s really sad. Bill is so torn up about his little brother, he swore he was just missing and not dead and in this moment, he knows that Georgie is dead and that it’s Pennywise in disguise (Side Note: Georgie’s biggest fear it seemed like was disappointing Bill). So not only is his fear something that is real, a memory and something that happened and existed but it also gave Bill strength.
Richie Tozier- Richie is the only one we don’t see before they know that something is going on. He even makes a joke “are only virgins seeing this thing? is that why I haven’t seen it?” lol, but when they’re all talking at the park, it’s mentioned that they all are afraid of something and Richie says “You got that right” and Eddie, I think, asks him what he’s afraid of and Richie looks back at the stage, there’s a creepy clown on it, and he says “clowns”. Now, we don’t know much about him to really know why he would be afraid of clowns, outside of them being creepy. Anyway, during that scene, Richie did look back at that clown a couple of times before saying that’s what he was afraid of. Later, when they go into the house, Richie’s first actual scare is when he finds a missing poster with his picture on it. He freaks out “Am I going to go missing!?” So, I wonder why that scares him, I mean, yeah a bunch of kids have gone missing but does that scare him or is it more along the lines of something to do with his parents? I want to know. Then, they go upstairs after hearing Betty Ripsom’s voice, Eddie gets separated from Richie and Bill, the door closes on them and Richie goes into another room after hearing someone yell his name. He chases after them (really Richie?) as it looked like it was Eddie hiding in the room. He goes to see but nothing is there. Bill sees that Richie went into a room, calls for him but the door is slammed shut. Richie goes to open it but it won’t, then he turns around and he sees that the room changed to a room full of clown statues/dolls. His reaction is hilarious but I feel you Richie (oh note in the picture, there’s a nod to Tim Curry’s Pennywise next to Richie).
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He turns back to the door and sees a little doll and it scares him. Then, he goes up to one of them and taps its face and says “plastic” then a coffin pops open and it has his missing poster with FOUND written on the lid. He sees a doll in that looks like him, it’s mouth is sewn shut (which I thought was interesting considering how he’s the talker) and the face was decaying so he slams the lid shut and backs away. Pennywise pops out of the coffin and lands on top “beep beep Richie” and he of course chases him back to the door and Bill managed to get it open. I really want to know why is he afraid of clowns (did he see the Poltergeist movie that came out in the 80s and that scarred him?), what did it stem from and he actually handled himself pretty well, even when they fighting Pennywise who is a clown.
Looking at all the kids’ fears, it was the audience learning more about them but some of them were more visual than others, like Stan’s painting, or Ben’s pictures, there were the emotional ones like Beverly, Mike and Bill and the abstract one with Eddie’s leper and then I would say Richie’s clowns are physical but it’s the Missing poster I don’t understand.
The Scares
The scares kind of tie in with the fears, but I’m not going to really mention the kids again,  but the scares are scary, at least to me. I think the main thing about this film is that while it’s scary, it’s not really gory or bloody. At the beginning, when Georgie first sees Pennywise, he’s of course in the sewer with his boat, he attacks him and bites off his arm, Georgie screams and tries to crawl away and then an arm snakes out and drags him into the sewer. That’s a terrifying moment, a lot of it has to do with the fact that Georgie is a child and the way he tries to crawl away… man. The only other “bloody” part is when Richie and Bill open the door that says “Not Scary AT ALL” and Betty Ripsom’s body is only the upper half and she’s hanging from the ceiling. Those are really the only two bloody parts. We see Stan bleeding when Pennywise feeds from him but I don’t remember blood any other time that was in direct relation to Pennywise.
The scares with the kids, especially the ones when they’re alone are all pretty terrifying and I think it’s mostly because they are alone and there’s no one there to help alleviate the fear. I do think though that Leper looked a bit comical, for me it was more like “eww” then being actually scared of him, which may have been the point. I think at least from what we see of their separate fears, Stan and Ben’s were the scariest.
The garage scene is one of the most terrifying scenes, I couldn’t look away but I was so scared haha. They’re looking at a map of Derry over a map that Bill created. Eddie tells them that it’s too crazy for them to go looking for anything, then the slides start to go by themselves, showing pictures of Bill’s family, as each slides goes, the pictures zoom in on Georgie until they do the creepy slide show thing where the mom looks like wind is blowing in her hair until it turns into Pennywise. So creepy.
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He shows his face, they’re all freaking out and Bev tells them to shut it off so Mike kicks it over and the slides stop. Then Pennywise shows back up before disappearing THEN he suddenly pops out of the screen, he’s gigantic and I think he barked lol. They’re all freaking out and he starts to close in on Beverly before Ben opens the garage door. Oh man, my heart was beating so fast.
Then of course the Haunted House of Horrors was also a fantastic scene, the horrors were… scary but the scene itself was a good one. Richie’s clown scenes and the missing poster, Eddie and his leper, Bill and Richie both saw this kid’s head come out of the mattress, I feel like it was supposed to be Eddie and he said something about loogies and he spits acid from his mouth that started to eat the floor towards Bill and Richie. When Eddie fell through the floor (his arm is broken), Pennywise came out of the fridge (contortionist over here) and he attacks Eddie (the story behind this scene is hilarious, watch Bill Skarsgard’s interview with Conan or Jimmy Kimmel not sure which one) but Bill and Richie come and Pennywise says…
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“It was real enough for Georgie!” and I was like DAAANG that’s rude. He tries to attack them but Bev comes in like a boss and stabs him through the face with a spike from outside. Pennywise slashes Ben across the stomach (He always getting cut) before he slinks away, while everyone is worried about Eddie, (him shouting at Richie to not touch him while Richie is trying to snap his arm back in place) Bill chases after Pennywise to see him slink into the well that’s in the basement.
Lastly, the scenes in the sewer but I think that whole scene is probably the least scary out of everything I saw minus the creepy woman as this scene is whee the kids overcome their fears. So, after Bill finds that Pennywise took Beverly, they all come back together to rescue her. They go back to the haunted house and into the well, Mike and Henry Bowers have a fight (Henry is crazy) and Mike knocks him down the well and he falls. I don’t know if that means he’s dead as I know he’s supposed to come back as an adult but we’ll see. Mike also drops the rest of his ammo from the little gun he uses on his farm. But they get down there Stan gets separated and has his run in with the creepy woman, the others find him with the huge woman with her mouth over his face, she slinks away and transforms back into Pennywise. Stan has his freak out and the others try to calm him down but Bill sees Georgie run so he goes to follow him. He sees Beverly floating, tells her he will come back for her but he goes to talk to Georgie. Definitely an emotional moment, I think both young boys did a great job in this scene.
The Fight
So the previous section goes right into this one. So after Bill talks to Not Georgie, he pulls out Mike’s gun and shoots Georgie in the head, the body turns into Pennywise, and the others shout at him to shoot it but Mike knows it’s not loaded. So they start to fight, as they fight him, Pennywise turns into their fears but no one backs away, not even Eddie when he turns into the leper and releases disgusting bile.
Bill gets the drop on him, he’s on his back, Richie jumps up there with him but Pennywise throws Richie off and grabs ahold of Bill and he starts to bargain with the others. He tells them that he will take Bill, he will take all of them OR they can leave Bill with him, he will feed and then he’ll go back to sleep for 27 years and they’ll all be left alone and be able to live long happy lives. Richie has a fantastic monologue (Finn Wolfhard is great in it too) in which he starts talking about how it’s all Bill’s fault, that they’re all down there and that he even said they were all going to die, but now “I’m gonna have to kill this f******* clown”. They all charge and manage to really harm Pennywise, causing him to slink back into another sewer opening and Bill lets him know “they’re not afraid of him anymore”. Pennywise is mumbling something, it sounded like the same thing Bill says when he’s trying not to stutter but I’m not sure and he drops down the hole.
This whole fight was fun, and while I was “scared” as I watched it more, I felt a bit less scared as time went on. I felt like I was part of the Losers’ Club watching them take him on, it was such a banding together moment. They knew that they had to fight together in order to win and watching them do that was fun, even Stan who seems to be the most skittish out of them all. I loved how Beverly was the one to deal the last blow. Pennywise turned into her father but that didn’t work as she already conquered that fear. I was like YASSS girl.
The Promise
So at the end, they’re in a field and Beverly is talking about what she remembers when she was in the trance Pennywise put her in. Bill, then says that if IT’s not dead then they’ll come back to Derry and finish it off, and to promise. So he cuts each of their hands and they have a moment in the circle holding hands. Stan then says “I hate you” to Bill and he laughs and I’m like “Nah, he means that” lol and he leaves, then Eddie leaves, then Mike, Richie and we’re left with Ben, Beverly and Bill and it seems like Ben and Bill are trying to see who can out wait the other but eventually Ben leaves and Bill and Beverly have a moment. It was cute. I don’t know if Bev gets with Bill or Ben when their adults, but at least right now, it seems like she would have a thing with Bill even though she and Ben did connect and she obviously appreciated his poem BUT he did break her out of the trance with a kiss so who knows lol.
The Tonal Issues
So I saw a few comments about the tone of the movie and how it doesn’t know what kind of movie it is. Is it a “coming of age”, a “horror”, a “comedy” and I’m just like why can’t it be all three? If I had to pick though, it’s mostly a “coming of age” story because it’s ultimately about these kids, their fears and facing life ahead. I think that’s truly what the film is about, it just happens to also be funny and also happens to be scary. I don’t think any tonal shifts is really a sin against the movie because it kind of reminds me of real life. For example, one of the things I’ve seen is that there will be a scary moment then all of a sudden it’ll jump to a happier scene and I’m like yeah, it does do that but it didn’t annoy me as much as it might have in another movie. I say this because, when something scary happens, most times people keep it to themselves, especially if they’re alone. If I was by myself and I saw a creepy clown in the distance, I’m probably gonna be like “nope, I didn’t see that” and not say anything to anyone and that’s what happened with all of the kids. Beverly was the first person to say something and that’s because her bathroom was covered in blood and she was shocked that her father couldn’t see it otherwise she might not have said anything. I will say though, it would have been nice if certain scenes were just a bit longer before transitioning just to give a bit more marination, or that if we were spending time with the kids and their relationship with each other, it would have been nice to SEE MORE OF THAT because that’s what really makes this movie. It is truly a “coming of age” story… but other than that, the shifts didn’t bother to me, in fact I was kind of happy because let’s move on please… I’m scared lol.
The Fake Out
I actually forgot to put this in my regular review, but I’m not going to add it or change the rating or anything. But it would have been a “con”, so after the Haunted House, Eddie’s mom takes Eddie home after seeing that he broke his arm. The Losers have an argument, Richie and Bill fight (Finn always fighting a friend lol) before everyone walks away leaving Bill and Beverly understanding each other and what has to be done but they can’t fight IT alone, they have to do it together. So, then there’s a song playing and we see each Loser doing their own thing. Stan does his Bar Mitzvah, Ben’s in the library (I think), Mike is actually killing the sheep (He was afraid to do that before), Richie is in the arcade doing what he said he wanted to do, train with Street Fighter lol. I don’t remember what everyone else was doing but basically I said aloud to myself though “Is the movie over?” because it felt like an ending of a chapter or an episode or something and I was upset because I knew they had to fight Pennywise as children before they come back as adults. I know enough of the story to know that so since it didn’t happen in the sewers I felt cheated. It wasn’t the end of course but the way it was set felt like it. If it was intentional I think it was kind of weird. In a way, it’s the end of them being “afraid” but it felt like the end of the movie lol.
Overall
I think that’s all I wanted to say and talk about. I had some questions (I’m sure someone would say just READ the book but again, I don’t want to lol), honestly questions just might be answered in the second part, or in deleted scenes which I’m very interested to see. I will be buying this movie (which is surprising every time I say to myself I would see it again) and maybe more will be shown. I liked this movie more than I thought I would. I liked the kids, I liked their friendships, I enjoyed experiencing things with them, I was scared but the more I think about it, the less I am scared (minus Judith, the creepy painting woman, she still scares me). If you’re curious definitely watch it.
Okay so that’s my Spoiler Talk on the 2017 IT film.
Let me know your thoughts below! I hope you enjoyed this!

 

Code Lyoko: Evolution (2013) TV Review

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Summary: A sequel to the original 2003 series when the famous bandit of secret heroes we know are back and fighting the evil computer virus XANA in the live action sequel.
If you want to read the review for the original Code Lyoko animated show, then click this link here.
I think I’d watched Code Lyoko for like the third time when I did my thing on my google and I found out they were reviving the show. I got so excited but then I found out it wasn’t technically the same thing. Instead it was going to be a live action/animated hybrid of a show. I wasn’t upset with that really because I wanted to see how they were going to do it. Then they started to reveal the casting and I didn’t have a problem with anyone, at least not that really bothered me. I did think that the actor for Odd looked to young but he technically was the right age so I got over it, I thought the actors for Ulrich and Yumi were spot on and then of course I was curious about Aelita and her hair lol but this show was going to be in French as the animated show is originally a French cartoon. I didn’t mind as it would probably be the only way to really enjoy it. I don’t really like dubbed voices over live action because the lips don’t match up and it bothers me. But anyway, I finally watched this entire thing, I don’t think I ever did when it came out but after watching the animated show, I went right into watching this one, most of it is also on YouTube but there is some weird audio issues, so I had to have two videos up, the French version and video in another language with subtitles and I would play them at the same time but mute the other language so I could have the subtitles.
Now, ONWARDS!
Pros:
Cast and Characters. I’m just going to talk about the Lyoko Warriors as they’re the ones that really matter here. Also, I’m not going to go into detail about the characters since I did that in the first one, I’m just going to talk about the actors and their role in this show.
  • Quentin Merabet as Ulrich Stern. I think he is the best casted live action actor because not only does he look like his animated counter part but he just felt more like Ulrich then the others felt like their characters. He’s still kind of awkward, in love with Yumi, still not knowing how to tell her, still brave and the introverted one. He does say some insults to Odd but he doesn’t talk a whole lot which fits in with his character. I liked Quentin Merabet, he is first male to play Ulrich since he was always voiced by women. He was stoic, quiet, awkward just like he had to be and I enjoyed how he felt a little more “free” voicing his character on Lyoko. He just sounded more happy.
    • Now, on Lyoko, I kept wondering why he looked different. I finally noticed it like four episodes in… they got rid of the triangle eyebrows, made his eyes yellow instead of black and they widened his eyes too, they darkened his hair, made him look older, reshaped his head and they widened his mouth, not to mention the slight color and design upgrades to his suit. I like it. It’s been a year and while no one comments about it, Ulrich has become taller than even Yumi (who was the tallest, not counting William) and obviously older so they made his Lyoko form older.
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  • Leonie Bertonnaud as Aelita Stones (Schaeffer). She is the one I think seems the most different while also being the same in ways. Aelita seems just a bit more somber here, I don’t know if it’s because of the actress and she doesn’t give this naivety that Aelita is supposed to have but she seems like she’s lived in this world. She still can be very stubborn and still deliver some harsh burns (mostly to Laura as Sissi is not a factor here). Her chemistry with Jeremie though is still really good. She wants to know more about her mother, after they find her on the screen in the lab where the other supercomputer is. She can be a bit too stubborn about certain things, like dang girl, you want to stay in there forever?? Sometimes I’m like, girl calm yourself.
    • On Lyoko, I noticed that she also looked different from her animated show counterpart. She keeps her pink hair, elf like appearance from before, but her eyes have been widened, her eyebrows are longer and of course there are color and minor design upgrades to her suit. It’s more a mixture of pink and purple and her little skirt isn’t sheer anymore. They also got rid of her face paint. She looks more human on Lyoko.
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  • Marin Lafitte as Jeremie Belpois. Jeremie is ultimately the same here, he looks like the animated version but there were some things that was very different about him. I’ll talk about it more below, but he’s still the smart one “Einstein” and he runs things in the lab while the warriors are on Lyoko. Sometimes he does snap at people, or get irritated when everyone isn’t following orders, like when William tries to get himself devirtualized to save Yumi, Jeremie was so irritated, I thought Marin Lafitte did a good job handling and balancing out everyone. The times when Laura showed him up or she did something to betray him, I thought his emotion was handled well because Jeremie seemed a bit less emotional in the show but here, maybe it’s because of all that’s happened but he also felt more human.
    • As Jeremie does not go to Lyoko, again no warrior form, but whoever dressed him did very well because he always looked nice. This picture below with this shirt, amazing.
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  • Gulliver Bevernaege as Odd Della Robbia. My first thought about him is that he looks too young but I think he was the right age for the character technically. He was still kind of loud, funny and always running his mouth. He still managed to feel like Odd, though he focuses most of his romantic intentions on Sam in this version. He was energetic and still quite loyal to his friends and to the things he wanted to do. It was always funny though whenever Ulrich was hurt and had to lean on him because Quentin was so much taller than him that it looked like he almost doubled over just to lean on a short Gulliver. The only purple he really wears though is his hoodie and his hair isn’t that blonde or upright like it is in the show. I didn’t mind his more realistic looking hair but I do think he should have been a bit more blond or his purple streak should have been way more pronounced.
    • On Lyoko Odd’s face looks a bit younger than he does in the animated show. They got rid of his cat ears that he gained in the last two seasons, not to mention his face paint over his eyes. They also widened his eyes and colored his eyes as well. There is also some minor design and color upgrades to his suit. They also changed how his laser arrows appear, instead of just coming from somewhere on his paws, he has little gauntlets that appear when he’s loaded and disappear when he runs out of ammo.
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  • Melanie Tran as Yumi Ishiyama. I think she is a bit interesting, I think she also looks the most like her animated counter part and I think she had the potential to be really good but it seemed like she was holding back a lot in the beginning. When she was with Ulrich, she felt like Yumi because they had really good chemistry. But there are other times when she’s more…indifferent. I think she’s much better when she does the voice on Lyoko. I think she got better by the end of the show, like maybe she wasn’t holding back so much or maybe they told her to relax a bit, I don’t know, but I definitely noticed a change in her acting towards the end of the show. I did like how she was always the first to react whenever something happened to Ulrich, or the first really react anytime.
    • On Lyoko her style is also the same with a few design upgrades. They changed the shape of her eyes and eyebrows. Her hair has a bit more length and movement and it doesn’t have the “tucked behind the ear” look anymore. I think they took away her “geisha bow” and sometimes she got a bo staff alongside her fans.
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  • Diego Mestanza as William Dunbar. I have to say that I liked William here way more than I did on the animated show. I never really liked him all that much but I actually liked him here, he had his moments that I’m like “yep there’s the annoying William that I know” but other times he was really cool. I think a lot of it has to do with Diego Mestanza (he looks nothing like William though), but just oozed coolness. The faces he would make though were the best, he would always make this lopsided smirk, it was great.
    • On Lyoko his outfit annoys me the most. I can’t help but wonder, did Jeremie program him a new look like he did the others? I mean, obviously it’s very different from his original (white) uniform but when he was possessed by XANA his uniform turned black, so I thought it was strange that he maintained the black uniform, not to mention, he just looked really pale sometimes and it looked like he’s wearing black eyeliner, sometimes. It just really annoyed me because it’s just so different without explanation. At least the others at least still look like their previous uniforms with upgrades. William’s is so different (I like it though). Also, I didn’t get why he maintained his “super smoke” either. Why would he? It wasn’t something Jeremie programed for him, or something he just gained on Lyoko, it was from XANA so why can he still do it? Annoying.
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The 3D animation. As always the 3D animation was beautiful, it looked even a bit better than the original show, but it was easy to tell that they put the money waaaay into the warriors being on Lyoko. But I liked the new looks of the characters, and their costumes, I liked how bright and clear Lyoko looked. I liked the designs of the new towers. I kind of liked how the monsters got destroyed, how they exploded and then like sucked back into each other like a contained blast. The money definitely went here.
The story. I think the story is good, it’s a direct continuation of the animated show. It’s set one year later, but XANA reappears even stronger and dangerous than before, which prompts our warriors to turn the supercomputer back on. Basically, they try to find out why and how XANA was brought back, of course to stop him. They also begin to discover more about Aelita’s past and her mother, and there is a new villain as well which was interesting. The story had a lot of potential at least for what they building up.
The Chemistry. I think it’s always a good thing when a group of friends actually feel like a group of friends and I think these actors did. Quentin and Gulliver actually seemed like they were friends, I don’t know about best friends like they are in the animated show but they were friends. Same could be said for Melanie and Leonie whenever they had their “Girl time” it was cute. I think the only one who felt like an outsider was Diego but that’s probably because William doesn’t really “fit in” with the others, they all might still be a bit wary of him because of what XANA did but they’re a lot better about it now then they were. But they all feel like friends.
Jeremie and Aelita were always super cute, but here Marin and Leonie had really great chemistry. They had little moments together where they would share looks, and I just thought it was so cute. We never saw them kiss or anything like that but if they did it would be so adorable.
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Whenever Laura would get in there and be around Jeremie, Aelita’s face would be like “girl if you don’t back away”, it was hilarious actually. I think Laura had a crush on Jeremie, or at least she just wanted to be around him because he was smart. Aelita would refuse to stay away or leave if he was alone with her. I think in this scene with this picture, Jeremie reassured her of something and it was just a cute tender moment and there wasn’t enough of them.
Now, in terms of Yumi and Ulrich, I know there’s a lot of negatives going on in their relationship but I think they could work especially as they get older. They both seemed a bit more mature, not as jealous, at least not as often as they were in the animated show. There is a moment in the first episode where Ulrich is trying to tell Yumi how he feels about her and she’s looking up at him like “is he finally gonna say it?” since neither of them ever truly said it aloud. I was like wow. In the same episode, Ulrich gets hurt and Yumi is leading him to the sewer, and there’s this really cute moment and I was like O.O wow, are you two dating in real life? Sure seemed like it.
Then were just some other little moments like the one where she puts her head on his back. Or in the second picture, she gets scared about something but she immediately grabs his hand. I don’t care what anyone says, I like Ulrich and Yumi lol.
Cons:
Characters. Outside of Jim, I wonder why they changed how the supporting characters looked. I would have no idea who any of them were supposed to be if they never said their names. Sissi has dark hair, when they showed her, I was like “who is this blonde girl?” I mean, I get it if it was in reference to Odd telling Sissi she would be great as a blonde but I can’t imagine her actually doing it. Or Mrs. Hertz looked so different, I thought she was their math teacher instead of their science teacher. Principal Delmas was way younger then he was in the animated show, and Aelita’s mother looks like Aelita, she should also have pink hair. What’s the point of having Aelita keep her pink hair if they weren’t going actually give her a reason to be so different? They could have made a comment about it being because she lived in Lyoko for so long but her mom was a blonde… so weird. Oh and they changed Sam from being a black girl to a blonde white girl, I don’t understand that. Odd liked Sam and she liked him, she was a cool black girl (albeit she did try to steal from the school in her first episode) but still, why change that? Lame.
The look of the real world. Like I said before, obviously all of the money into the design of Lyoko because the real world was lacking. Obviously they don’t have to go anywhere but Kadic, we don’t even need to go to Yumi’s house, though it would have been nice, but obviously they only shot on location in a few areas, or it was a sound stage. The factory’s supercomputer design changed, instead of being massive the way it was, it was changed to some little thing where they needed to input a key or something, I don’t get why they had to change it. Just build a huge styrofoam computer and spray that thing (I like I did in 5th grade).
The animated version is on the left and the Evolution version on the right. I mean, the pillar is the same but it was so weird to see only have the supercomputer come out of the ground then they had this little control panel kiosk thing… it was just weird. Also, their gym, it was so tiny, how could they do anything in there? We never saw the cafeteria, they didn’t really explore the school like they could have. Bleh. Also, the look of the sewer entrance, that opening looked dangerous. It worked for when they would meet there and sit and talk but I feel like it would be super hard to get in there, it looked like if they slipped, the opening would kill them.
Laura Gauthier. Oh my gosh.. this girl is so annoying. The actress is fine but I disliked her so much. She is very smart, tech savvy and curious, she follows the warriors to the factory (it was terrible that they never even made sure no one was following them) but she was a busy body and she did stuff behind their backs, I mean Jeremie how did you not notice that she altered the back to the past program…I mean come on. I was so irritated every time she was on screen. Not to mention, her little smug look, that’s why I liked when Aelita served up so hard burns to her. Pauline Serieys was good, I didn’t think she was bad at all, but I hated her character and outside of becoming a future villain (I think that’s how she would have become in the next season) she added nothing. NOTHING.
No Stakes/Tension. This show was lacking serious stakes and tension. Anytime XANA attacked, it would just send specters to try and steal the codes it implanted in the Warriors in order to become stronger once it was resurrected. It never possessed anything, it didn’t make any lasting damage or damage that could be. It never almost killed anyone. It just would send specters and they weren’t dangerous, sure if they touched one of the warriors and started to steal codes, it would make them sick or give them some sort of side effect but nothing really happened. In the animated show, the specters would run super fast, were really strong, they would growl, they could shoot lightening out of their hands, I mean they were dangerous… in this show, I’m like, you guys can just run. I only saw the specters run in one episode but outside of that… it was so lame. I never felt that there was any danger, I always knew the characters were going to be okay because the show never created any reason for me to be worried.
Nerfed Characters. Another big problem I had with this show is that the characters were super nerfed in their abilities. Jeremie is a genius, I did not like how often they had him messing up, or how he needed Laura to look over his coding/programs, or how he needed her to do it instead of him. It was so stupid. I get people freeze up every now and then, like the moment in the classroom when he forgot how to do a problem, but the many times he needed help, Secondly, on Lyoko the warriors got defeated way to easily. It seemed like one or two hits from certain monsters would defeat them when that should not be the case. There was an episode where Ulrich gets hit by one monster and he is devirtualized. I was so upset because he’s usually the last one to go but they often had it where they could barely hold their own. It got a little better towards the end of the show but it was a bit late. Also, barely saw Aelita use “creation”, or Ulrich use any of his abilities, he only used Triplicate once and I think I saw him use super sprint once… ugh it was so annoying. But they let William keep his super sprint and as we never really got to see him fight before he was possessed he just seemed so overpowered compared to everyone else. I don’t buy that he had the most potential out of the group because there’s no reason for it, so it was just weird to me.
Overall, I liked this show, I mean don’t get me wrong it had a lot of issues and stuff wrong that didn’t feel like Code Lyoko but it was an interesting idea, it just wasn’t executed well. The mature feeling that the animated show had was gone here, yeah the characters were older and obviously not all of the actors were probably the ages of their characters but it felt juvenile. The actors were okay, they got better as the show went on, the animation on Lyoko was fantastic and beautiful as it always is. The story was interesting, it did continue from the animated show and it did feel like there could have been more to explore but unfortunately it did go past this one season. Now, the supporting characters looked like new people minus Jim. Laura was a terrible character, probably set up to be a villain but she was terrible. XANA hardly felt like the villain it once was even if it was stronger. It could have been handled way better. But I still enjoyed myself. I did laugh and I did enjoy certain episodes. It’s okay.
Rating: 2.95 out of 5 stars. 
Have you heard of Code Lyoko: Evolution? Did you watch it?
It’s also on YouTube but be aware there are audio issues. You might have to watch two versions, have the French version (with no subtitles) and another version that’s in another language that has the subtitles. I think it happens about episode 18, not sure but really weird. It may not be worth it but I was able to do it without problem.
Hope you enjoyed this review!

IT (2017) Movie Review

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Summary: A group of bullied kids band together when a shapeshifting demon, taking the appearance of clown, begins hunting children.
I’m actually surprised at myself that I saw this, by myself, I don’t like scary movies and I don’t like clowns BUT I was curious because 1. I like Finn Wolfhard (I love Stranger Things), 2. I liked what I saw in the trailers dealing with the kids and their stories. I’m always interested in human stories, friendships and of course I always want to see kid actors since they’re not always good lol. Plus, I was curious. But I saw it. I never read the book nor have I seen the Tim Curry version but I know bits and pieces of the story, this review is for this movie, not in relation to the book or the mini series.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. So I’m going to go through the kids first, by putting them in order of my favorites then I’ll talk about Pennywise.
  • Finn Wolfhard as Richard “Richie” Tozier. Richie is Bill’s best friend, he is a loud mouth and foul mouthed. He wears these big glasses (I don’t know if it’s because Finn’s eyes are just big but these glasses made his eyes look HUGE, I kind of cracked up the first time he showed up but he’s so cute lol) and he’s always talking. He’s that kid that always has something to say, always a joke which aren’t always funny, or at least his friends don’t always laugh, or it’s an insult which they still don’t find funny. I found him funny. He is usually the one who is always ready, or up for the adventure even if he says he’s not, his actions speak otherwise at least. We don’t actually see much of his home life compared to the others but I can’t help but wonder if he has issues at home too which causes him to be so foul mouthed. I really like Finn Wolfhard, he’s a very good young actor. He handled himself so well in this role, with how he speaks and even with what’s going on (even though it is similar to Stranger Things) and he just was very likable. I cracked a smile or laughed every time he said something, he had very good comedic timing. He was my favorite. Two of his best scenes were towards the end, he has this great speech during the big fight and then the scene where he finds the “missing” poster of himself in the creepy house. Great acting moments from Finn.
  • Jack Dylan Grazer as Eddie Kaspbrak. Definitely the hypochondriac of the group, he is always talking about germs, and how they could get sick. Always gagging at stuff, it’s kind of funny actually. He definitely believes he’s sick and feeds into it but it’s easy to tell that he feels his best when he’s with the group. He also seems like he’s a momma’s boy but not necessarily by choice. I really liked Eddie and Jack Grazer had fantastic comedic timing, I think he was the smallest of the group but he had some really BIG moments. “THESE ARE GAZEBOS!”
  • Sophia Lillis as Beverly Marsh. She’s the only girl in the group but she forms a strong friendship with Ben in the beginning. At least from what we know, Bev’s home life is the worst, she has to deal with a father who wants her to always be “his little girl”, and she is also bullied by some of the local girls. Her first scene is pretty great. She is brave, strong and kind of reserved but knows how to do her thing when it calls for it. She also knows how to use her young beauty to her advantage. I liked Bev a lot, her connection with the boys, outside of the whole crush that Bill and Ben have on her, I think she stood her own and managed to stand out. Sophia Lillis was great, she’s beautiful, the scene where she cuts her hair is a great emotional scene and I love how even though she was invited, she does just insert herself into the group so well. Sophia does despair and strength so well.
  • Jaeden Lieberher as William “Bill” Denbrough. He is the leader of the Loser’s Club, which I can’t help but wonder if he started it, if he and Richie started it or how that all came about. I want to know. But anyway, he refuses to believe that Georgie is dead, but missing. He wants to find him and is determined to find out what happened truly. However, as things are revealed, his strength just grows and he truly becomes a leader. It’s easy to see that he doesn’t feel great in his home anymore, his parents have “moved on” though not in the healthy way. Bill just wants the truth. Jaeden is also very good. The way his stutter was just part of his character and not something he was putting on, or the way he handled his fear, his want to find his little brother, the way he wanted to lean on his friends to stand by him, but how he also leaded the group. Two stand out moments was when he gave his speech before going into the house and at the end, it’s a kind of tender but terrifying moment.
  • Wyatt Oleff as Stanley “Stan” Uris. So I read the little description about him in the wiki and maybe in the book or miniseries that made sense, but here, not really. I never really thought of Stan being a germaphobe (Eddie more likely) and a bird person. Would never know that. But anyway, he definitely seem though to be the quiet one AND the voice of reason at times. He seemed like he was older than the others but he also had his issues. He was working on his bar mitzvah so I guess he was technically younger than the others, but anyway, his father seemed a bit hard on him, especially about learning the song he’s supposed to know and he’s a bit uptight himself. To be honest, I am curious about Stan. There wasn’t much to learn about him but I was curious. I thought Wyatt Oleff was good, there were times when it seemed like he was trying too hard but he was the strong silent type unless he was scared or telling Richie to hush lol.
  • Jeremy Ray Taylor as Benjamin “Ben” Hanscom. He is the chubby on out of the group. He starts off not having any friends, he meets Bev on the last day of school but he ultimately is a loner. He spends all of his time in the library and reading history about the town. Ben definitely seems like he likes history and reading. He’s also a bit on the quiet side but he usually always speaks up. He is bullied and the way he’s treated it pretty terrible. Ben is also really sweet and thoughtful, his crush on Bev is really cute and I think he probably is closest to her out the others. Jeremy Taylor is fine, he’s not bad, his character is likable and he keeps him that way.
  • Chosen Jacobs as Mike Hanlon. The only black kid in the group, he is homeschooled and lives on a farm outside of the town. He is terrorized by the bullies due to him being black. He doesn’t necessarily want to be on the farm or do what they want him to do, but it seems it might be something he’ll easily fall into. He’s the biggest one and seems to be the strongest physically, his fear compared to everyone else is based off of something he actually witnessed. He comes into the group late but he fits in as being an outsider too. I like Chosen Jacobs name first of all, and I think he’s good, he definitely is the strong one and he a few moments where he shows that.
  • Bill Skarsgard as It/ Pennywise the Dancing Clown. Some type of evil that awakens every 27 years. He’s not human, the clown is just a form he takes on, we don’t even know what his true form is. He is a shapeshifter as he is able to change into a child’s fear to make them afraid and the clown thing is because for one (and to some) clowns are happy and inviting beings (psht) so he’s able to bring them in that way too BUT I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that he enjoys being the clown, it’s just fun and funny to him. There is a childish nature to him (which is even more creepy) and that shows in some of the things he does, or the way he talks to them… sometimes. Bill Skarsgard is amazing here. Not only is the makeup creepy but it’s what he does with his face and his body. The weird thing he does with his eyes, the way they look off kilter, Bill Skarsgard actually does that. Creepy. It’s also interesting how they portray his change of nature. When he’s being inviting his eyes are blue and his voice is all kind of high and squeaky like but when he’s being evil and what not, they turn red/orange. Pennywise is also in your face, he doesn’t skulk, I mean he will, but he will also just show up and be like “Yo…” which makes him even scarier to me.
Supporting Characters. There are a lot of supporting characters in this film, and people like Eddie’s mom, or Bev’s father have their roles, they are the disturbing adults in this town. I don’t know if it’s because it’s how the kids view them (well Bev’s father is terrible regardless) but I mean in how they look, they all look kind of off. The kids seems like the only decent people in this town. But there is of course two that have to be mentioned.
  • Nicholas Hamilton as Henry Bowers. The leader of the Bowers gang, they terrorize the Losers Club. He is seriously disturbed. Kid got issues which we learn more about towards the end of the film, before the climax, which explains a lot actually. He does really terrible and creepy stuff, in a way, he’s definitely a very big villain of this film. His gang pick on the Losers for various things but there really isn’t a reason. I’ve seen Nicholas Hamilton in Captain Fantastic and he was very good in that, and I thought he was very good here, way scary though.
  • Jackson Robert Scott as George “Georgie” Denbrough. Such a cute kid, he actually reminded me a bit of Eric Lloyd, but he’s an innocent little 7-year-old boy, brother to Bill and unfortunately he meets Pennywise while playing outside (by himself I might add) in a rain storm with a paper boat. It’s what happens to him that puts everything into perspective for Bill and what starts the story. Jackson Scott was adorable, the moments where he had to be a little specter or whatever to Bill, was kind of unsettling because he was so good at it. Man.
The Friendship. This is what I really wanted to see the movie for anyway is the friendship between the kids. I love seeing a good film about kid friendships and seeing how that grows and how they bond. It can be so pure, plus not to mention seeing their chemistry. I thought they had a lot of chemistry with each other, the entire group, which I’m sure has to do with the fact that they’re friends outside of the film. I think it was very interesting how they played off each other, also their roles in their group. It felt real. I liked how each of them fit into the group and while they annoyed each other, fought with each other, in the end, they knew they needed each other.
The Tension/Buildup. This movie does the buildup and tension so well. Outside of Ritchie until later on, each person gets their scare early on in the film and we get to spend a moment with them in that fear and the buildup to seeing Pennywise, or seeing whatever entity he’s turned into was done really well. There aren’t any Jump Scares really, you see when something is coming, it’s in the shadow, or Pennywise literally shows up and you know he’s there and then he’ll do something scary. I think there are only really two jump scares, maybe three. I get scared easily (though I took everything in this film!!) but I appreciated that nothing was really like “BOO!” popped out of the corner, you see it happening which I guess in a way is a lot scarier lol.
It’s Terrifying. I do think this movie is terrifying. If you don’t scare easily then it probably won’t bother you but I was scared lol and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. The way the adults are portrayed as these “other” people, how they watch things, or how they react to the kids, definitely is scary in it’s own right. Pennywise of course is scary, the fears he shows to the kids is scary and I think that’s a good thing. You’re like part of the Losers Club experiencing fear as well. Plus, the imagery is there.
The Story. I think the story is very interesting, most the reason why I wanted to see the film because the story intrigues me. The fact that this thing feeds on children (because they’re easy) by portraying their fears is interesting, it’s like the Boggart and in a way the Dementors in Harry Potter. The fact that these kids take it upon themselves to figure out this mystery to learn it, it’s amazing and they’re actually competent! I really can’t wait to see what they do in Chapter two with them being adults, I also hope that they keep the kids and do flashbacks because they were fantastic!
The Kids’ Stories. We got to know these kids and their lives, for the most part, which makes it easy to get attached to them and you don’t want any of them to die as a movie goer. We get a nice look into Beverly’s life, we probably see her life the most, then Bill and Eddie’s and a little bit of Stan’s lives. We see why the may fear the things they fear, or why they act they way they do, or how they act a certain way to keep their home life from affecting their lives with their friends. I actually want to know more… but I’m definitely not reading the book lol.
The Humor. This film is really funny which helped me take it a bit more. It’s not like scary scene then funny moment, at least not all the time. I don’t think that makes the movie have a identity crisis but it helps and it’s realistic because that is how it is in real life. You see something scary or something scary happens and if it didn’t hurt you, you more or less try to forget about it because you don’t want to keep thinking about it. But anyway, I got sidetracked, I think the kids are really funny, the things they say, the faces they make, it really helped kind of balance out the terror.
The Look of the Film. The film looks beautiful. I don’t want scary movies so I can’t compare how this looks to how other scary movies look but I thought it looked really good. The scene at the end where the Losers Club is in the circle, that entire scene was absolutely beautifully lit. Whenever they are outside it always looks beautiful.
Cons: 
Mike’s Involvement. So I will talk more about this in my spoiler review, but honestly, while I liked Mike and thought Chosen Jacobs was fine, Mike could honestly be plucked right out of the group and it wouldn’t change anything. He’s really just a token here. I know about his original story in the book and mini series, and the fact that they took away what really made him important to their story and gave it to Ben without giving him something else to have or do to make him not be just the token was foul. Even without my knowledge of his role, I still think he was just there. He was the only one I guess who could handle himself in that scene at the well in the house but still… foul.
CGI Issues. Not all of the CGI in the film looked good, it wasn’t often bad or anything but there were a few times where I would go ‘Oh that wasn’t good’.
The Kid’s Stories. While I think this is a pro in a way, it’s also a con in how other stories were hardly explored or even talked about. I guess in some ways it doesn’t matter but it did to me. We spent a lot of time at Beverly house (not that I really minded) but I wanted to know about how things were at Richie’s house, or Ben’s house with his parents. Did everyone’s parents look like they were hiding something, or looked like they were off… I want to know! Plus, I want to know why Richie feels the need to talk so much and why his fear is what it is. The others we got to know at least some way, why they had their fears. It just felt uneven in learning certain reasons why. But again, I’m not reading the book lol maybe we’ll learn more in Chapter two.
Overall, my curiosity got the best of me and I saw the film. I really liked it and I would watch it again (must be a glutton for punishment). I thought the kids were fantastic and really held the film together, their chemistry with each other, how real it felt, their humor. Bill Skarsgard was good and creepy as Pennywise, dude might just haunt my nightmares (I’m hoping he won’t though). The buildup and tension in this film is handled really well and it is terrifying but I mean if you’re not easily scared it might not bother you, but if you are then I’m sure it’ll be scary to you. Learning about the kids as the film continued was interesting as well. However, there are some minor issues, I think Mike’s involvement was just there and I think taking away what made his character important without really giving him something else to do was foul. I didn’t like how we didn’t learn about other characters in the Losers Club, mostly Richie I guess thinking about it and maybe Ben because I thought his fear was a bit random. Lastly, some of the CGI was a lot a bit weird. But again, I liked the movie.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen IT yet? Have you read the book? How different is the film to the book?
What are you afraid of?