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.
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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?

Code Lyoko (2003-2007) TV Review

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Summary: When a group of four boarding school students discover a supercomputer housed inside an abandoned factory, they find a virtual world called Lyoko and awaken a sentient multi-agent system virus that tries to take over the real world.
As this is a TV show, I haven’t really reviewed one (I’ve done thoughts and stuff) before but since I just watched this show in its entirety for like the fourth time, I decided I had to talk about it. So, this review will be similar to how I do my movie reviews but a little different. As this is a finished show, I won’t really do “thoughts” as it’s not ongoing but a complete review. I will also do a review of “Code Lyoko: Evolution” which came after this version. I will go into more detail about that in that particular review.
I came across this show randomly maybe in high school, I’m not sure exactly. I’m always online and maybe I saw a picture and I thought the characters looked cool. I don’t know, but I did my thing, I found it online and watched it. Obsessed lol. I’ve watched it quite a bit. I learned it came on Cartoon Network but I only caught it on there one time. But I love this show and it’s uniqueness. This is also strictly for the English version of the show. Oh and there are gonna be a few spoilers ahead, mostly in Aelita’s part.
Pros:
Characters.
  • Aelita Schaeffer (voiced by Sharon Mann).
    • History: Known as Aelita Stones. She is the second smartest of the group, right behind Jeremie. The others nickname her “Miss Einstein” and “Princess”. She first meets Jeremie when he turns on the supercomputer in the factory. He wakes her up as she is living on Lyoko. Of course, they all think she is just a computer program that they want to eventually virtualize in the real world. But as the show goes on, more and more is learned of her story, she is actually human. She is the daughter of Franz and Anthea Hopper, Franz being the creator of Lyoko and X.A.N.A. Aelita’s mother disappeared and she and her father escaped to Lyoko after a group of suited men came to their home. X.A.N.A also stole a part of her memory that kept her from being fully human. Once they rescued that missing part, she became fully human and no longer linked to X.A.N.A and the supercomputer. But it is revealed that Aelita has premonitions and nightmares of the future and her past.
    • Personality: Aelita is very smart beyond her years, also very wise. I guess in reality she is technically 20 something. She shows a lot of generosity and compassion for people, especially her friends .She is very quick-witted (Aelita throws some heavy burns at Sissi, it’s great!), and can outsmart monsters on Lyoko (she mostly had to do that when she didn’t have an active abilities to fight back. She is the most naive out of the group (the second youngest physically) and in the beginning of her time on earth, her feelings were hurt easily and she was easily pressured. However she does mature, to the point where she can be a little mean lol. Aelita loves music and has become a great D.J.
    • Appearance/Abilities: She has pink hair and green eyes. On earth she wears a lot of pink in general. On Lyoko she looks like an elf, probably inspired by her toy elf Mr. Puck. In season 1 and 2 she can attack, but she deactivates the towers. In season 2 she gains the ability to use “energy fields” which are pink spheres made from energy/plasma. She can use “creativity” to create platforms (handy for when characters are falling towards the digital sea), and holes in the ground. In season 4, Jeremie created a new outfit (which I really liked, pictured with the wings) and the ability to fly.
  • Jeremie Belpois (voiced by Sharon Mann).
    • History: He is the smartest of the group and nicknamed Einstein. His name is also spelled “Jeremy” sometimes. He is the best student in the school and he finds and starts the factory’s supercomputer while searching for parts to build a robot. As he is not a physical Lyoko warrior, his job is to lead the group through technology, figure out ways to defeat XANA and monitors the group while on Lyoko. He is not athletic and has only been to Lyoko a few times and never actually shows up virtualized as a warrior and he never wants to do it again. Jeremy has a great family, especially his father, who is very supportive. He also has a crush on Aelita, that everyone knows about, he has harbored it since he first turned on the computer. He also seems to be the one that XANA tries to get rid of the most being that he’s the smartest.
    • Personality:  The stereotypical nerd, with his book smarts but often lacks common sense and knowledge. Sometimes he can come off a bit elitist in that he forgets that others aren’t as smart as him, like when he tries to teach Ulrich,  Yumi and Odd how to use the supercomputer in case both he and Aelita are out of commission. Often times he needs Aelita to simply translate to the others because he doesn’t say the easiest thing. He also has a bit of a time being hot-headed and a workaholic, he has snapped at the others and jumped to conclusions quite quickly. However, while he is the youngest, he appears to be the most mature most of the time.
    • Appearance/Abilities: As Jeremie never goes to Lyoko, he doesn’t have a warrior outfit. His ability is his super brain. He’s blond, has glasses and wears a blue turtleneck and tan pants in the first few seasons, then he wears a brown turtleneck and tan pants.
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  • Odd Della Robbia (voiced by Matthew Geczy).
    • History: Odd shares a dorm room with Ulrich, also his best friend, and has a dog named Kiwi which he has to hide as pets aren’t allowed at Kadic. He comes from a large family, he is the only boy. His parents are cool and sometimes he feels awkward about it because they’re so cool and he’s never had to fight with them, though he often gets into it with his sisters. Odd has great potential in school, Ulrich even says how Odd understands physics but as he is a slacker and doesn’t study, he doesn’t get good grades. He is very interested in the arts, being that both of his parents are artists, he loves to make films and music. Very much a ladies man but has some bad habits that causes it to not work out. He is also the least computer literate of the group.
    • Personality: The comic relief of the group but he is also very nonchalant and casual which is shown in his dress appearance. He is the loudest of the group, the most outgoing and probably the most crazy. Odd is always in good humor and usually keeps a rather cheery disposition. While he is the smallest and most light-hearted of the group, he can also be very mean and cold. There really is no middle ground for Odd. Though it does unnerve his friends when he’s sensitive.
    • Appearance/Abilities: On earth, at the beginning Odd wore his blond hair down, he has a purple spot in the middle but after going to Lyoko for the first time, he styled his hair upright like his Lyoko look. He wears purple. On Lyoko, he looks like a giant purple cat. He can shoot “laser arrows” to attack his enemies. Sometimes he uses “shield” to block attacks. Due to him being a cat, he has great agility and can climb on walls. He rides the Overboard on Lyoko.
  • Ulrich Stern (voiced by Barbara Weber-Scaff). He’s my favorite. 
    • History: A laid back student whose parents expect a lot from him. He’s German. One of his main hobbies is that he practices Pencak silat, often times with Yumi. Often he’s the one who stays behind on earth to handle whatever problem is happening while the others go to Lyoko to deactivate the tower. He often has to deal with Sissi Delmas (the principal’s daughter) who harbors a massive crush on him, but he can handle it in different ways. Whenever she’s involved, he really does try to help and save her. He got involved in Lyoko when he went with Jeremy to the factory and he’s the second one to get virtualized on Lyoko.
    • Personality: Ulrich is laid back, the son of wealthy German parents but he rejects their ideals of wealth and the pressure they put on him. He is also the introvert of the group, he’s very secretive about his personal life and has a hard time opening up to people about his feelings and whatever’s going on with him (I can relate) which sometimes allows him to channel his feelings when he’s fighting. He can be very self-deprecating, whenever something happens to someone and he feels it’s his fault, he can blame himself harshly. He sometimes seems to be emotionally strong but that’s a facade. He also can get jealous very easily and quickly when it comes to Yumi, and sometimes he tries to be the median between his friends when arguments happen, or he’s willing to take the fall for Odd due to their friendship. He’s quite loyal.
    • Appearance/Abilities: On earth, Ulrich is the tallest boy but shorter than Yumi (though he does get taller in the last season), he has scruffy brown hair and dark eyes. I definitely prefer his clothes in the last season, with the dark green army jacket, he just looked much more mature. He also can physically hold his own on earth whenever XANA attacks. On Lyoko. he wears a yellow and black samurai suit with a single katana. Later, his suit becomes a yellow and brown body suit with twin blades (I love both of his clothes for different reasons). He seems to have the most use for his abilities such as “Triplicate” to create two clones of himself, and a related technique “Triangulate” which he uses to confuse enemies. He has “super sprint” which allows him to dash at high-speed. He is the best fighter, the most skilled, usually lasts longer than the others before being devirtulized and has had some great fights, like with Xana’s Ulrich clone, a possessed Aelita and when he took down the Kolossus. He uses the Overbike on Lyoko.
  • Yumi Ishiyama (voiced by Mirabelle Kirkland)
    • History: Yumi’s family is from Japan, she isn’t a border but she attends Kadic. She is the oldest of the group and has a younger brother, Hiroki. Due to her parents and culture, she must maintain good grades and observe family values. While at home, she has to deal with her parents’ marital issues. She practices pencak silat with Ulrich and due to the on and off tension she concludes that she and Ulrich “must be friends and that’s it.” Yumi is the most knowledgable using the supercomputer besides Jeremie and Aelita. She often has to take over whenever something happens to Jeremy and Aelita has to go to Lyoko to deactivate a tower.
    • Personality: Fairly reserved, she is very mature being the oldest of the group. She is a good observer and generally understands what’s going on around her, even the people, sometimes not trusting others quickly like the others sometimes can. She is athletic, smart and seems to expect a lot from people, sometimes to an access… but she is a teenage girl. She can come off cold and distance at first but she gets a bit better when she becomes friends with someone. She has a sarcastic humor and can be very ironic.
    • Appearance/Abilities: On earth, Yumi wears all black, in the later seasons, she still wears black but her outfit changes a bit. Her hair is black and her eyes are dark. On Lyoko, she wears a geisha-inspired outfit with a large bow. Her main weapon is a pair of fans. In later seasons, her clothes are changed to a purple body suit. She also has the ability of telekinesis which comes in handy a lot. She rides the Overwing on Lyoko.
  • William Dunbar (voiced by David Gasman).
    • History: He’s a transfer student, known to be troubled at his previous schools. He appears tone a loner at first, but quickly develops a friendship and feelings for Yumi. He showed himself to be adept at helping the Lyoko warriors in times of need on earth, but he often forgets it due to the “Return to the past” program. He also shows that he’s stubborn and a bit overbearing, which is evident when he tries to protect everyone from the zombies and he wouldn’t let Aelita and Jeremy escape. Later, the group wants to invite him into the group due to how much he’s helped, especially when he was willing to sacrifice himself to defuse a bomb XANA planted. Everyone but Yumi voted for him but later it becomes necessary to have him. On his first mission, due to him not listening to Aelita and being overzealous, he is captured and possessed by XANA. He becomes XANA’s general against the warriors. The team works to free him so Jeremy makes a clone to pose as him in the real world, but the clone is either really stupid or really unpredictable and dangerous… though I liked him way more than the real William and he was very helpful. The clone started to develop human like traits which helps the warriors at times. Eventually, they were able to free William before shutting down the supercomputer.
    • Personality: Overconfident, often going toe to toe with Ulrich for Yumi’s attention. He appears to be a loner at first. He has a very strong personality, often ready for a fight, though he does have some moments of wisdom, like in the episode where he speaks to Ulrich about telling Yumi about his feelings because she won’t wait forever and William won’t wait forever either. He can be a bit childish and overbearing which is why Yumi didn’t trust him to join their group, she noticed that he often did things for attention… but they ended up trusting him because he’s ultimately brave. He is also preserving which kept him wanting to come back to help the others even when they rejected him after they freed him.
    • Appearance/Abilities: William has black hair and dark eyes, he’s tall, and on earth he wears a red long sleeved shirt under a black t-shit and blue jeans. On Lyoko he carries a giant sword that can release shock waves and a white outfit. When he’s possessed by XANA his outfit becomes black. He also gains the ability “super smoke” which allows him to travel at high speed in the form of black smoke.
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XANA: The villain of the show, he is without physical form. A sentient and dangerous computer program that is wanting to take over the world after destroying Lyoko. The only visible knowledge of his presence is when there is pulsing energy in the wires of Lyoko, not to mention his awesome theme. He was one an obedient computer program created by Franz Hopper but it became chaotic and malevolent. The attacks are pretty random at first, but as the warriors grow better and smarter, so does XANA and his attacks increase in strength, intelligence and personality. It becomes more accurate in calculations, goes after large goals and gets a better understanding of human behavior (but it’s not human so he makes major mistakes)
Its attacks are random and not very well thought out in the first season, but it gradually evolves in strength, intelligence, and personality in season two with the constant time reversions. It will grow to be more accurate in its calculations, pursue larger goals, and gain a better understanding of human behavior, allowing it to predict their actions, use their feelings to its advantage, and manipulate others. XANA also never retries the same plan if it failed the first time. It can’t show any emotions inside the computer but it has been known to get upset and frustrated. The only time he’s ever really been in physical form was during Ghost Channel when he took on the appearance of Jeremie and once Jeremie thwarted him, he spazzed out. He definitely sees all of the warriors as obstacles but he goes after Jeremie and Aelita the most. Jeremie because of his intelligence and his control over the computer, I think XANA also respects Jeremie’s intelligence. For Aelita, she’s mostly a valuable tool, though she can thwart him by deactivating the towers, which he uses to his advantage later by using her to erase the sectors. He goes after Yumi a lot on earth, I guess XANA recognizes that she is the most mature and that she’s important to the group but I think it’s overkill sometimes lol. Odd of course is annoying to him and but it’s interesting to see the level of respect XANA has for the warriors because in Marabounta he allows his monsters to take orders from Odd. I definitely think that XANA knows Ulrich is the best fighter, it comes at him pretty hard sometimes, and usually tries to outnumber him to defeat him. As for William, I guess XANA thought he had potential to be the strongest out of the group but I don’t see it, I just saw it as William being the easiest to manipulate and the most overconfident which made it easy for XANA to get him. XANA was a worthy opponent.
Theme song/Music.
The theme song is catchy that it didn’t take me long to learn the words just from watching the show. Not to mention, watching it again recently, I surprised myself at how I remembered it. The music is great in this show. They have this fake band called “The Subdigitals” and they are the source for a lot of music in episodes and every time the music is so great that they should release “the music of Code Lyoko”, outside of nostalgia reasons and it being a show, the music is legit good. Characters have themes that come on when they’re on Lyoko: Xana has a great theme, I believe William has a theme in season four when he’s possessed by Xana. It’s all very fun and entertaining to hear.
Action scenes. The action scenes are awesome. One of the things I thought this show handled well was dealing with these kids being literal warriors on this virtual world. They each have their own style of fighting, weapons, abilities etc. but the way the show allows them to use them I thought was really cool. Even watching it again as an adult, I quite enjoyed watching them fight the Xana army.
Favorite Fight Scenes
  • So there is a scene in Revelation (season 2) where XANA makes a polymorphic clone of Odd, and he goes up against Ulrich to fight. Ulrich taunts XANA saying that “Odd has never beaten me yet”, so XANA shifts into a clone of Ulrich “Oh well yeah, that changes things” and they square off and have this awesome fight. That is still probably the best fight of the entire show. It’s so well paced, the choreography is intricate and amazing and even the juxtaposition of Ulrich’s yellow gi compared to XANA’s black gi, oh man. Also, when XANA gets the upper hand, Ulrich does a little homage to Bruce Lee. It was so great.
Link for your viewing pleasure:
  • There is another fight in episode Lyoko: Minus One Xana possess Aelita, and she and Ulrich have an awesome fight too. It was like payback from Xana’s first fight with Ulrich. There are videos of this fight but it’s not the English version, or it’s all to music people added and that’s annoying.
Note: Ulrich has a lot of good fight scenes. 
Mature/Dark/Tense. Watching this show again, I realized some of the mature themes and storylines in this show. Not to mention dark moments. I love when animated shows don’t try to cater to little kids or to their parents and just lets the story unfold. I mean sure, be aware of the age group (but parents should also not get upset at a show if their kid is watching it, just don’t let them watch it). But the relationship stuff between Ulrich and Yumi was pretty mature, while also childish in how it was handled at times. Some of the choices and the reasons behind those choices were very mature. It also had some dark moments, there were many times where characters almost died, especially our heroes. In episode End of Take Yumi and Ulrich are almost choked to death, in The Trap Ulrich breaks his arm, he gets stuck in an elevator with Sissi and they almost drown, Ghost Channel (one of my favorite episodes) XANA traps Odd, Yumi and Ulrich in a virtual world that they think is the real world, Jeremie virtualizes himself into that virtual world to save his friends and this is the first and kind of only time they come into a human version of XANA (he took the guise of Jeremie in the virtual world) and he tries to kill them… it was so intense. I enjoy how dark the show could get because these kids were really doing things that could potentially kill them and others. It was risk they often took and the show pulled no punches. Even when XANA would send specters after them in their world, the specters were strong, fast and powerful, it was a challenge trying to fight them even Ulrich and Yumi’s real world experience in Pencak Silat.
The Relationships. One of the best things about this show is the friendships between the main characters, and even their relationships with side characters. The relationship between Ulrich and Yumi being one of the most prominent ones in the show, they have a “will they won’t they” kind of thing going on. I have a love/hate thing with their relationship. I want them to get together, I think they’re cute and that they are meant to be together even if it’s later down the line.  Jeremie and Aelita are probably the show’s second relationship thing, Jeremie immediately falls for her when he sees her after turning on the supercomputer, they have their arguments but in the end, they often work together and have their flirtatious moments as well. Yumi and William is a relationship that I don’t really buy or like, it is a friendship but also a one-sided romance. William is just a bit too much for Yumi and she says it at some point to him but he still has his thing for her. I think on Yumi’s side it’s definitely interesting. Odd and Ulrich have a great friendship too, being that they are roommates and best friends, we see them together a lot. Ulrich has done a lot for Odd, like taking the fall for a bad picture of Yumi being given to the school paper. The entire friendship of the group is great.
The animation. I quite like the animation in the show. Each of the main characters, or the ones we see the most, have distinct looks to them, easily identified. The 3D animation on Lyoko is beautiful in which each character gets their own style of costume and how their fights scenes are animated, how they use their abilities, it’s very cool and it feels like a different world.
The Story. The story grows as the seasons continue. It starts out pretty basic, this group of kids go to this virtual world to stop an evil entity who wants to take over the world, while also trying to find a way to bring Aelita, the mysterious computer program who lives on Lyoko into the real world. It becomes much more sophisticated as the seasons continues. Aelita begins to learn more about her past and that she’s actually human, not to mention watching the other characters grow and mature throughout the show.
The mystery. One of the greatest things about this show is that you never really know what Xana wants. Sure, it wants to control the global network and be free of Lyoko but outside of that, we never really know why it wants those things,  It’s quite amazing just how intimidating Xana is and no one truly knows what it’s after. Not to mention, the mystery behind Aelita’s family, we learn more about her father but we hardly know anything about her mother. Not to mention, some of the stories of the other characters and their families.
Cons:
The animation. Also here because it is a bit jarring at first considering how the characters all have extremely large heads, well the kids do anyway. It is weird, I thought so when I first saw it, but it grew on me. However, I can see how people can be turned off when watching the show due to how they look. Plus, one thing I can say is I also really disliked Ulrich’s eyebrows for the longest, I don’t know if they did the little triangles because he’s German (lol) or because he’s the stoic, quiet one… but I never liked it. I mean, I didn’t mind as much this time around but I did go when I started to watch it again “there are those friggin triangle eyebrows again” lol.
Dumb Moments. This show also has a lot of dumb moments, sure they’re kids but sometimes it’s moments that JUST happened a certain way and they still question how to do something. It’s dumb. Or they forget they have something that can help. There are many times when characters are falling and Aelita can use “Creation” to save them, she does it sometimes but there are other times where she just watches and THEN maybe uses it. Yumi has telekinesis, sometime she uses it but there are also a lot of times where she doesn’t, especially for herself. Later, when Aelita gets wings, sometimes she’s falling, or hanging off a cliff or something and someone has to pull her up, I’m like “girl you got wings!” Also, they’re friends and pretty loyal to each other but there are times where they’ll just turn on each other, or snap at each other and it’s so stupid. Yes, they’re preteens but still it’s so dramatic. When Ulrich initiated a return to the past to help Yumi’s family stay in France, they all freak out at him, yeah I know that it makes XANA stronger but no one freaked out at Jeremie when he did constantly for some project he was doing. Or when I think it was Aelita and Ulrich who were around when the Kolossus first showed up, it stepped on them. I’m trying to figure out why Aelita didn’t fly away or why Ulrich didn’t super sprint… OR when Ulrich defeated the Kolossus, I think it’s corpse fell on him… again, why didn’t he super sprint?? There are also times when Sissi’s character gets involved when there is no reason for her to be, there is an episode when Ulrich is trying to escape or something and Sissi’s like “don’t leave me…” but the specter wasn’t after her and she just put herself and Ulrich in danger because now he’s worried about protecting her. JUST GAH!
The relationship drama. I also totally get why the relationship drama is annoying between Ulrich and Yumi. It’s the “will they won’t they thing” and most times when they do, people get bored and sometimes the “won’t they” part is annoying because you KNOW they like each other. They even almost kissed once and they never really said aloud how they felt about each other but the audience knows and so does everyone else. But Ulrich can get really jealous and he can jump to conclusions about stuff, same goes for Yumi. She gets snappy and Ulrich is mean. It’s definitely annoying but because I like them I noticed the bad stuff but I like when it’s good between them.
Overall, I looove this show. I think it’s fantastic, the animation, the action, the characters, the relationships between them, the villain, the tension, how mature it is. It’s such a great show and so underrated. I think the way it was handled was not childish and the nature of the show proved that. My favorite character is Ulrich and I wish the show did do a bit more episodes that focused on him but I liked his characterization along with the others in Yumi, Odd, Aelita and Jeremie. Even the side characters are pretty good, annoying but good. The mystery in the story is also handled very well. While there are many positives, the animation can definitely still be looked at as a negative, for some reason the children all have huge heads lol, the romance between Ulrich and Yumi can definitely be annoying to watch and see play out and there are a lot of dumb moments and choices the characters make. But of course, that’s part of the charm lol.
Rating: 4 out of stars.
Have you ever seen Cody Lyoko? If not, check it out! It’s all on YouTube. Literally. The first episode is called “Teddyzilla”
What is your favorite animated show from your childhood? OR even currently? Let me know in the comments below!
Also, stay tuned, I will be doing a review on Code Lyoko: Evolution.

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Don’t Breathe (2016) Review

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Summary: Hoping to walk away with a massive fortune, a trio of thieves break into the house of a blind man who isn’t as helpless as he seems.
**As this movie came out last year, I’m probably going to spoil it. Maybe not throughout but in the cons, I will be spoiling the twist and ending. So be aware if you haven’t seen this movie and don’t want to be spoiled. I will put another warning when it comes up so you can skip it if you like.
Pros:
Cast and Characters.
  • Stephen Lang as The Blind Man. So this man is a blind war vet. He has a large sum of money in his house after his daughter was killed in a car accident. He seems very melancholy and sad about her death, which is understandable. However, when he realizes that people are in his house, he defends his house like a predator. He is scary regardless of the fact that he’s blind. He’s so scary but he is also brutal. He knows his house and he hunts down these kids. I’ve only seen Stephen Lang in Avatar and of course being the villain in that film he is very scary and he can totally see in that. I think he played this part very well, in being sad, a hunter, a victim and being very scary.
  • Jane Levy as Rocky. She is really the lead of the film, Rocky lives with her younger sister, mom and her mom’s alcoholic boyfriend and she’s using the items they steal to try and get money to go out to California. She seems to be a survivor and a fighter but that’s all that’s really distinguishing about her. She cares about her sister and she has a thing for ladybugs. This is the first time I’ve seen Jane Levy in a role, I thought she was good for her part, the moments when she’s scared, I believed she was, the great scene in the basement where it’s completely dark, I believed her fear and desperate need to get out. The times where she had to fight, same thing. She was good.
  • Dylan Minnette as Alex. He seemed like he was a lot younger than the other two, and he seemed like a good kid. I definitely wanted to know how he got mixed up in robbing houses with them, if it was only because he had a thing for Rocky, but he may not have had a good relationship with his dad (but we don’t really know that) but he was also smart. He was against robbing the blind man when he learned that he was a war vet and I was like “YES, my name sake, you better be the smart one. We don’t rob blind war veterans” but of course he caves. Alex was a smart kid, but obviously someone who likes to be a hero as he had a few chances to go but he stuck around for the girl. I really like Dylan Minnette, he is always likable even when he’s being stupid or kind of mean, I wanted to see this movie because he was in it anyway.
  • Daniel Zovatto as Money. He is kind of stereotypical in how he acts. He has his little braids, his tattoos and his attitude. He seems like he’s the leader of their trio, he’s crass, in your face and impulsive. I mean, Daniel Zovatto was fine in his part, I didn’t get attached to him because he’s that character that I went “oh he’s gonna be the first to go”. He’s just… that guy that got them to the house and was stupid.
The Direction. With suspense and thriller movies, it definitely helps when the direction is used in a way that makes the viewer fill like their involved in the movie. When the three characters first break into the blind man’s house, the camera follows each of them as they search the house, it follows from Money, out of the room, to Rocky, out of the room to Alex and around and back where you don’t know if there is someone there or not. When Money gets into the blind man’s bedroom, the camera goes under the bed (to show the gun) and comes out the other side… it’s so intense.
The Tension/Music. If there is something this movie does extremely well, it’s building the tension and using the music to do so. This movie is best when all of the lights are off, I don’t consider it scary (especially since I don’t like scary movies anyway) but it definitely can make the viewer be tense the entire time. There are points in this film where it’s silent and all you can hear are the characters breathing in fear, or trying not to breathe and it’s completely dark (at least to them) and we can only see them grappling around in the dark. It was so much that I felt my heart pounding as I wanted them to find ways to get out. This movie builds the tension so well. The music alongside it helps set the mood.
The Story. So the first half to the story is very simple. These kids want to leave Detroit to a better life, so they break and enter into people’s houses, so when they find out about a house that holds a lot of money, that is owned by a blind man, it seems like an easy hit. Turns out they were wrong as they quickly become the hunted. That’s fine and simple because the movie didn’t really need more than that. The movie is a survival movie without the usual gore and blood that these types of movies may have. I think that’s important to note.
Cons:
Character Motivations. Outside of Rocky, I don’t think any of the main three really had clear motivations as to why they were doing what they were doing. Money might have just wanted to get money for it, but he never really said, same can be said for Alex. Yeah, Money made the dig that Alex was doing it because he was “in love” with Rocky, but sure, that’s motivation enough to go and rob houses… to please the girl you love but aren’t sure they feel the same about you. The Blind Man has a secret that while I get it, I mean… it’s like but why? That’s so weird and just ridiculous.
The Story/Twist. There will be spoilers in this part, so skip over this if you don’t want to be spoiled. So, like I said in the “pros” the simple part of the story with the kids is fine and it helps that it’s not over the top and that it’s straight forward. Now, there is an extra story that is revealed in the film about halfway through. Alex and Rocky discover a girl tied up in the basement of the man’s house, she’s harnessed to a padded area and her mouth covered with like a leather thing. It turns out she is the girl who allegedly killed the blind man’s daughter. So, Rocky and Alex try to bring her with them to escape, she can barely walk (I mean, I would have left her because obviously he wants her for some reason and set off the alarm or left an anonymous tip or something) and the blind man shows up and shoots her, killing her. When he finds out she’s dead, he cries out “my baby” and when he thinks he killed Alex after beating him bloody, he captured Rocky and tied her in the padded room. He tells her that since they robbed him of the girl, and his baby, that now Rocky would give him his baby. He is going to artificially inseminate her with a turkey baster and of course she fights. While I got it, it’s also just weird and I felt that the movie didn’t need that part. In terms of how it ended, with Rocky getting away with the money and the blind man surviving after having killed both Alex and Money, he bought her silence about the truth and she gets the money and California with her sister. I get it, I just thought it was weird. Plus, he says “I never forced myself on her” but it’s still rape and it just felt weird.
Spoiler over.
Character Choices. So in any movie characters make dumb decisions, but these characters really make some dumb decisions to the point where I was like “really?” I mean I get that you want to be a hero and what not, but sometimes you gotta make the smart choice in order to make the best choice. If you don’t already have an escape route, don’t go back in the house! I mean really??? There were sooo many times where I just wanted to smack Alex and Rocky. Of course in movies like this, they fundamentally have to make stupid decisions because if they didn’t then there wouldn’t be a movie, but sometimes it’s so stupid that I can’t even imagine thinking that way.
Overall, I really liked Don’t Breathe, I quite enjoyed myself and I definitely think the movie is something to experience. Make sure it’s loud and dark. I thought all the actors did well in their respective roles and I didn’t dislike any of the characters. I thought the direction was really cool and helped feed into the tension and anticipation the movie creates in the beginning. The music really helps build the atmosphere and the tension is built up very well. The first half of the story is also very interesting as it’s a simple story. However, there are negatives. The character motivations aren’t very clear, at least not all around, the characters make really dumb decisions that are so dumb, they’re dumb by scary movie dumb standards and this movie is handled a bit better than a typical scary story. The other half the story and the twist I thought was really odd and almost a bit out of place in the film. I just didn’t like it. I got it, but I didn’t like it. But I liked the movie as a whole.
Rating: 4.15 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Don’t Breathe? What did you think about it? Do you like suspense and thriller movies?
What is your favorite??
Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to like and follow this blog for more reviews!
Thanks for reading!

Thoughts on Riverdale (2017)

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So when this show started being cast, or advertised or whatever, I wasn’t interested because 1) I had no idea what the show was about, 2) it was just another one of those CW shows that will probably come and go and 3) I was like meh, I already watch a lot of shows and I didn’t want to bother in adding another one.
Riverdale wasn’t on my radar at all. I started seeing a bit more promos for it but I never really looked into it seriously, and then I think it was Buzzfeed that shared official cast photos of the characters and I of course looked through them. Scrolling, I remember going “Oh this is from Archie Comics, that’s interesting”. I saw that Josie was being played by a black actress and I was like “Josie?” I noticed the ears and went “Oh snap! Josie and the Pussycats? I didn’t realize that Josie and Pussycats were part of the Archie universe (I found out recently that Sabrina Spellman (Sabrina and the Teenage Witch) is also part of the universe). I never knew a lot about Archie comics, I’ve read little blurbs in the newspapers as a kid before, I work in a public library and we have a couple of comics that I flipped through but never actually read (I probably will now).
Then I saw this picture.
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I think this is the one I saw in the article and I thought he looked interesting. Jughead Jones, I don’t think I saw who played him, or at least I didn’t look and I thought “he looks interesting, he’s cute and he looks familiar… who is that??”
But I forgot about it for a moment, I saw a few other pictures of Jughead and it suddenly clicked.
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IT’S COLE SPROUSE! I can definitely tell him and Dylan apart but I was like OH MY GOSH! I grew up watching The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, I didn’t watch it religiously but I think I saw just about every episode through reruns and I kind of watched On Deck, of course there was Big Daddy and F.R.I.E.N.D.S.  I knew he and his brother went to NYU for college and had stopped acting so I was pleasantly surprised to see him on a new show.
I went off on a tangent lol sorry, not really, but ya know I had to get all that out because that was literally what happened when it clicked in my brain who he was, now I was even more interested in watching the show but I never really got around to it.
Riverdale actually started to get on my nerves before it even came on though because they would show promos after Supernatural and they would show a promo INSTEAD of showing the preview for next week and it irritated me so bad especially since those Riverdale promos were so stylized and just UGH! I WANTED MY SUPERNATURAL PREVIEW! STOP SHOWING ME THESE RIVERDALE KIDS BROODILY LOOKING INTO THE DISTANCE!! ARE THEY IN WATER NOW? WHAT? STOP!
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I would get mad every time it happened but I would leave it on, I never changed the channel but I didn’t really watch the show either. I think it was 1×07 when I actually watched an episode. It focused heavily on Jughead which is why I wanted to watch the show anyway. I sort of watched it off and on but not enough to truly follow what was going on but I did find out who killed Jason Blossom but I didn’t see the finale or anything.
So, I decided, last week that since it was on Netflix, I might as well watch from the beginning. So… here is my review of Riverdale… so far.
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*I love this promo though lol. Dare to Defy hahaha.
Oh there are SPOILERS ahead. You have been warned.
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Summary: A subversive take on Archie and his friends, exploring small town life, the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome facade.
Cast and Characters.
Obviously with this being a show, we meet a lot of people, some stick around, some come and go, and some get recast lol.
Main Characters
  • K.J Apa as Archibald “Archie” Andrews. He is a high school sophomore, he is kind of like that typical boy next door kind of guy, he’s cute, he plays music, he plays football and apparently had a physical transformation over the summer from working with his father in construction (hello abs). He is apparently a ladies man and he comes off a bit oblivious to everything really. I think Archie is kind of interesting in that his character at least for right now, is the least interesting person on the show. He’s just Archie. He wants to be a musician but he also wants to play football… that’s really what he worries about. But what I will say, is that Archie does try to come through for his friends, I think the last few episodes he really stepped it up more. The way he saved Cheryl was amazing.
    • I think KJ Apa is fine in the role, it’s obvious to tell that he is not a natural redhead but it doesn’t really bother me much other than the fact that sometimes it doesn’t match his skin coloring that well. Sometimes he looks grey. BUT anyway, I like him, I think he has a certain charm to him that keeps him likable but at the same time, make you want to punch him for being so oblivious. I think season 2 will allow for a more mature and “dark” Archie Andrews.
  • Cole Sprouse as Forsythe “Jughead” Jones III. Jughead is the narrator of the series, he is a social outcast, mostly by choice but also because of where he’s from and how he is. Usually, he and Archie are best friends but there’s obvious rift between them and I think Jughead is the most affected by it. He is a literary person, he can come off a bit pretentious due to the way he talks “Sardonic humor is my way of relating to the world” but it doesn’t bother me much because that’s his character and he’s not that quirky John Green type of pretentious teen which is probably why it doesn’t bother me. He wants to be a writer and him narrating the series is basically him writing in his book about the summer and Jason Blossom’s death. I think Jughead is the most interesting character so far, there is so much about him and his family that we don’t know yet and I think the show allowed for a bit more details mostly with him and his father to be explored (I really would watch a Jughead Jones show). He’s an angry kid, he’s angry at Archie for abandoning him over the summer, he’s angry with his father for many reasons, he’s angry with Fred Andrews for firing his dad, he’s angry that he’s seen a certain way even though he doesn’t want to conform to make that go away. We watch him spend time with Betty and when he’s with her, he’s the same and doesn’t try to be someone he’s not around her even though they’re super different. I also find him very loyal to his friends. Even though he and Archie were on the outs, he still tried to keep his fling with a teacher a secret for him, he worked with Betty on everything, even if it could get him in trouble… that’s deep right there. I love Jughead.
    • I think Cole Sprouse is one of the best actors of the young people on the show. It’s definitely great seeing him play a role like this, something that’s dark compared to his well-known role as Cody Martin. The black hair looks great on him, I love the little crown beanie, I like the attention he gives to Jughead’s expressions, his body language (he’s always kind of slouching). The emotional moments, especially in 1×07, the scene with his dad, or even the scene at the end when he’s on the phone with his mom and he just breaks down, or the scene in the police station when he’s talking to his dad… I think he handles those so well, it’s kind of mesmerizing actually. I want to see more of Jughead and I think with how the season ended, with him putting on that Serpents’ Jacket, we could be seeing him differently… I’m ready.
  • Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge. She is like the Blair Waldorf of Riverdale BUT Blair who is trying to be a good person lol. She is beautiful, sophisticated, confident and fiery. Also a sophomore and a former socialite. She is the “new girl” in town and wants a fresh start. Veronica really wants to use this move to Riverdale from New York as a chance to redeem herself from the spoiled rich girl she used to be. Veronica is humbled due to her father Hiram Lodge being in jail for embezzlement. She and her mother lost most of their status and wealth. Veronica gravitated to Betty and Archie that first night in town, in the diner. Archie sees her and they really have a moment but she really tries her hardest to be a best friend to Betty. Betty may have her moments but I think a lot of people can tell that there is something good in her and I think Veronica was drawn to that. She latches on her to quickly.
    • I like Camila Mendes, I think she’s very likable just as she has the opportunity for Veronica to be really unlikable but she manages to not only teeter than line but to not cross it a lot of the times. Veronica has good intentions when she does and says things but she also has a lot of good heart in there. There are times though, when I think her makeup, hair and clothing seem a bit too old-fashioned or too old for her, she’s supposed to be 15 and sometimes I feel her and her mom should switch attire lol BUT then I remember Gossip Girl and I look past it.
  • Lili Reinhart as Elizabeth “Betty” Cooper. Sweet, smart, the perfect “girl next door”, and eager to please others. She has had a longtime crush on her best friend Archie, which is where we find her in the beginning of the show. While she is perfect, she is tired of being that. She hates being called perfect, she hates that her mother is so on her back about being the best and brightest and it’s easy to tell that it’s affecting her. Betty is very quick on her feet, sharp and it’s amazing watching her deduce information that a lot of these adults can’t seem to put together. But ya know, teen shows and what not. But I really like Betty, she can be a bit over the top sometimes but I believe that she as well, tries to do the best for others, especially those she cares about. She manages to put her feelings for Archie aside to take care of business even though it hurts her in the beginning. Pretty mature for a 15-year-old, even if it doesn’t always last long. It’s also easy to see that Betty has a dark nature, I think we’re going to see more of it in season 2 but she has a problem where she gets so angry that she clenches her fists so tight that her nails bite into her palms. Plus, how angry she can get sometimes. It’s always interesting to watch. She’s interesting and I can’t wait to see more of her.
    • I really like Lili Reinhart, she reminds me a lot of Brittany Murphy, it’s kind of creepy sometimes. She has some of the best facial expressions, they can come off crazy and creepy and I’m like “Yass girl” lol. She has fantastic chemistry with Cole Sprouse and Camila Mendes and I don’t think it’s there that much between her and KJ Apa, at least not in the way it should for when they might do the whole love triangle thing where she actually dates Archie for at time. *rolls eyes* I think she handles the inner struggles of Betty quite well.
  • Madelaine Petsch as Cheryl Blossom. In a way, you could say that Cheryl is the Blair Waldorf of Riverdale but I don’t see her as Blair, maybe Serena lol. But she is from a wealthy family and she is manipulative and entitled. The show starts off with her claiming her brother drowned in an accident but when his body is found with a bullet hole in his forehead, it changes what she knew about her brother. He was supposed to be okay. I think Cheryl is interesting, also annoying but I enjoy her so much. Some of her lines are hilarious and the way she delivers them, I swear I’m watching Gossip Girl again, I am so entertained. Throughout the show she is like a thorn in everyone’s side even though she has some good qualities, she comes through for the others sometimes even when you think she won’t.
    • I like Madelaine Petsch, she’s likable I think. I can imagine many people hating Cheryl and it’s not like she’s a favorite of mine or anything, she is downright annoying and I can definitely see why people would be “ugh” anytime she’s on-screen, plus she’s a bit extra in her delivery but it works for the character. xoxo Gossip Girl.
  • Ashleigh Murray as Josephine “Josie” McCoy. She is striving, competitive, fierce, snooty and ambitious. She is the lead singer of her popular band, Josie and the Pussycats. We don’t see a ton of her yet outside of her preparing to sing, or singing. I like Josie, she’s a bit uptight and definitely comes off rude, but I get where she’s coming from. Plus, she always has pressure on her, her mom’s the mayor, her father is a Jazz Musician and a bit of a music snob, so it’s understandable to some degree.
    • Ashleigh Murray’s voice is beautiful. I like her covers of the songs they sing. I think we’ll see more of her in season two, which I hope considering I feel like we don’t get much of the Pussycats in general. What I really need is for Ashleigh Murray, Asha Bromfield and Hayley Law to give me hair tutorials because all the Pussycats natural hair is beautiful.
  • Luke Perry as Fred Andrews. Archie’s father, who owns a construction firm that he hopes his son will take over one day. Fred is protective over his son, in the beginning he and Archie butted heads because Archie was keeping secrets and he didn’t know what do about it, how to handle it, but as the show progressed, he had his own issues that he had to worry about that but he was still supportive of Archie. Honestly, he’s the best parent on the show, he’s the only non-crazy one. I mean, he has his issues, he’s not perfect but he tries. He wants whats best for his son, not to mention Jughead when he takes him in. Fred was shot in the finale, all I know is they better not kill him.
    • Luke Perry is great in this role. He’s reserved, fatherly, a good friend, protective… everything he needs to be in this role, he is. So likable and handsome.
  • Mädchen Amick as Alice Cooper. Polly and Betty’s mother, who is the editor of the local paper. She is a controlling and demanding perfectionist who places exceedingly high expectations on her daughters. She is a TRIP! I love it. She is so extra and nosy that I can’t wait for her scenes because she is out of her mind. I think crazy runs in their family. There’s a lot about her past we don’t know, outside of that fact that she is from the Southside, might have been a Southside Serpent and may have had a thing with Jughead’s father… dunno, but it seems likely. I’m definitely interested to learn more about her, not to mention, this mysterious son. Anytime she has a confrontation with someone, I live for it. Her drama is so great even though she’s absolutely ridiculous!
    • Mädchen Amick looks so familiar to me but I guess I’ve never seen her in anything. But she is great in this role, the times when I like her, she does it so well, the times where I hate her, she does it so well and everything in between she does so well!
  • Marisol Nichols as Hermione Lodge. She is Veronica’s mother, she has returned to Riverdale with her daughter to continue a deal that her husband Hiram started. She also has a short affair with Fred Andrews. Hermione is interesting, she’s one of the parents on the show that I actively liked in the beginning, a bit mysterious due to we didn’t know what her secrets were exactly, but I liked how she interacted with Veronica. They seemed to have a close relationship. However, towards the end of the season, with the chance of Hiram getting out of jail (and after Fred broke things off with her) she kind of changed, she’s definitely falling into that “shady parent” category and I’m worried actually.
    • I’ve seen Marisol Nichols in other things, she’s likable as Hermione but I do kind of want hair/makeup to do something different with her appearance. Sometimes, she looks like a high school student instead of a mother and it throws me off sometimes. She’s already so tiny, her big hair makes her head look weird. It should either be straight, or maybe a little curl. I love her clothes though.
Reoccurring Characters.
I’m not going to talk about all of them, just the ones that I noticed or ones that I thought had an impact on storylines in the show etc.
  • Casey Cott as Kevin Keller: He is an openly gay student, his best friend is Betty Cooper, but I do think he got really close to Veronica in the season. He is the sheriff’s son. I like Kevin, sometimes he comes off as the “gay best friend”, which the show tried to take a shot at in the beginning, but they still ended up doing it. I hope we see more of him in the second season. Sometimes he annoyed me, sometimes it felt like he was just there to be there but I hope in the second season he really resonates as a character.
  • Skeet Ulrich as Forsythe “F.P”. Jones II: He is the leader of the Southside Serpents and Jughead’s father. We don’t see much of him in the first few episodes, and when we do see him, he’s just a shady dude until we see him speaking with Jughead about the drive in theater. Since I didn’t watch the episodes in order at first, I already knew who he was and what their issues were before I decided to watch from the beginning. But I like F.P., I mean, I really wanted him to get himself together because Jughead really wanted that, to be a family again. He’s protective of his son but he also has issues that he has to fight against, he’s a drunk. However, he’s very observant, he knows what’s going on and he did have a hand in the Jason Blossom mystery, just not the murder part of it. He ended up becoming a suspect at the end because Clifford Blossom threatened Jughead if F.P didn’t take the fall, that’s a loyal dad right there. Yeah, the whole situation is jacked but still. I think Skeet Ulrich managed to keep F.P. from being that typical drunk dad, I mean he is, but he was endearing, I cared about him, I wanted him to get it together for Jughead and himself. I really like him. We’ll see what season 2 holds with him being in jail.
  • Robin Givens as Sierra McCoy: She’s the mayor and Josie’s mother. She has some shady dealings and maybe we’ll see more of her as the show goes on.
  • Nathalie Boltt as Penelope Blossom: Cheryl and Jason’s mother, she’s pretty much lost everything in the finale, her home, her husband, her son, and she seems to not like Cheryl that much so I’m sure she’s losing her mind. I don’t really like her, which means that Nathalie Boltt does her job well.
  • Tiera Skovbye as Polly Cooper: The casting is so well in this show, because everyone looks like they could part of the family they’re in. But Polly has gone through a lot in the short amount of time the show takes place in, she’s about to have Jason’s twins, he’s dead, she just found out that she and Jason are at least third cousins (lol) but we’ll see what happens. Her best scene was when Betty and Jughead went to see her, and Alice shows up to take Betty home and Polly seems them and is upset because no one told her Jason was dead. Great scene and great acting.
  • Barclay Hope as Clifford Blossom: Cheryl and Jason’s father. This dude pretty much played the proper role of being a grieved father but he’s the one who killed Jason because Jason found out that he was using his Maple Syrup business to move heroin out of Riverdale. Creepy man.
The Story
So ultimately this show is centered around a mystery, which I think is a good way to start off a teen show. I think instead of just throwing us in there with all the drama, I would have been less inclined to watch it, but since the stuff with the mystery was interesting and I wanted to know who killed Jason Blossom, I was intrigued. Basically, the show starts out learning that Jason Blossom drowned and his twin sister Cheryl was a witness, as she was found huddled on the bank of the Sweetwater river lol. At the same time, we get to learn a bit about each character who is introduced. At first, his death is ruled as a drowning BUT then his body shows up washed up on the banks found by Kevin and Moose, with a bullet hole in his head so now it’s a murder. DUN DUN dun. So now everyone wants to know who killed Jason Blossom and why, everyone is a suspect and Betty and Jughead make it their business to try to find out why. Honestly, those two manage to do way more than the actual Sheriff’s department does. With that overlying mystery, we also learn about each person, Archie Andrews had a summer fling with his music teacher (creepy, I hate teacher/student relationships) and he wants to be a musician. Betty Cooper at first grapples with wanting to be with Archie, while dealing with her overbearing mother, wondering what happened to her sister Polly, and also trying to deal with the whole “Perfect” and “Girl Next Door” labels. Jughead Jones and being a weird outsider, feeling betrayed by Archie over the summer, their friendship being a bit strained, Jughead’s relationship with Betty, with his father, with the others. Veronica Lodge and her issues with her father and mother, trying to find her place in the town. I enjoyed learning more about each person, especially their parents, sometimes the parents were more interesting than the kids were, especially Alice Cooper and F.P. Jones, I need to more about them and their back story. Oh and Molly Ringwald showed up for two episodes as Mary Andrews, Archie’s mom, it was great seeing her.
The story was held together well, it didn’t feel like they were trying to add mystery upon mystery and made the show feel bloated. It actually felt like the story was moving and that it was to be wrapped up by the end, with side stories having the chance of being explored later on.
The Dialogue
The dialogue in this show can be a bit pretentious at times. It’s actually self-aware in a lot of areas but it sometimes comes off where Jughead (especially since he’s the narrator and the one with some of the best vocabulary) says something really smart but then he’ll make a comment that doesn’t sound like how a teenager would sound. But ya know, a lot of shows are like that IE: Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars where they’re supposed to be teenagers but they sound like adults and it’s just ugh. Shut up. Not to mention, they’ll make references to stuff and I’m sure the teenagers who watch the show have no idea what they’re talking about.
However, sometimes it’s very smart and clever. Cheryl definitely has some memorable lines, like when she gets mad at her minions for not voting for her against Veronica being head cheerleader, she gives them a tongue lashing and says “Shoo bitches” *Cracks up* It was so funny.
Veronica has some good ones.
Jughead has a lot of memorable lines, and since his character is the narrator, he speaks a lot and a lot of his comments are kind of novel like and it’s probably because he’s a writer.
The Relationships
Each character has relationships with other characters. Sometimes its just a friendship, a romance or a rivalry. I think the way the show handles it’s relationships between characters is standard in a lot of areas, it’s a teen drama so of course there is over dramatic moments and what not.
Archie & Jughead– So I think it’s important to note that while they’re best friends, it’s clear that they haven’t really healed from the betrayal Jughead felt of Archie leaving him high and dry over the summer. Sure, it was just a road trip but they were like 15 so I makes sense that Jughead would be upset. However, they are best friends, they are brothers and I think Cole Sprouse and KJ Apa have great chemistry together that it allows for their relationship to feel like they actually knew each other for years. Jughead will do anything for Archie, he keeps his secret about his relationship with Ms. Grundy, he even tries to stop others from finding out about it. Archie finds out about Jughead being homeless and really tries to get him to live with him and his dad. He also tries to help Jughead have a legal guardian when his father is arrested. Their friendship definitely needs to be more explored in the next season especially since Jughead is being transferred to the Southside of Riverdale.
Archie & Veronica– So when Veronica walked into Pop’s, Archie was immediately taken with her which is understandable, he’s a girl crazy dude and Veronica is beautiful and new so he was always taken with her. But once he knew of Betty’s feelings and after she and Veronica became friends, it was like he kept his distance from her (even dated Valerie) but there was always something there. They have their moments together but it’s not really until the last three or four episodes that they really start to get closer to each other. They’re dating now and in the interviews, Camila Mendes said that Veronica has to step up to be a girlfriend since Fred was shot… it will be interesting to see what happens with her and Archie in the second season. I like them together, I think the actors have good chemistry, they’re cute together and since they obviously had eyes for each other in the beginning, it’d be nice to see it last, even without the idea of the iconic love triangle from the comics.
Archie & Betty– I understand that in the comics that there is a Betty/Archie/Veronica thing and it’s long-lasting thing and I’m over it. I’m not nostalgic for the comics while I understand those who are. They’re childhood best friends, Betty’s always had feelings for him and starts off the show with a one-sided crush, she finally confronts him about it and he tells her that he will always love her but not in the way she wants him too. It takes her a moment to get over it. I feel like they’re going to have them be together at some point in the show, and I’m like ugh, no. Yeah, I can see it at some point I guess but he doesn’t deserve her, she’s too good for him (Sorry Veronica, you’re too good too but y’all are cute). I like their friendship, I like that she loves him but has moved on.
Jughead & Betty– I LOVE THEM TOGETHER! Look, in the beginning, it shows that Archie, Betty and Jughead grew up together, they were comfortable around each other but they were both closer to Archie than to each other. It wasn’t until they started working together on the Blue and Gold that I could tell they were getting closer. Jughead would smile in her direction or was very attuned to her, they finished each other’s sentences, they worked well together, he helped her figure out so many answers, it was just a great growing friendship. I think she saw him in a new light when he showed up at her house in a suit for Jason Blossom’s memorial. Not to mention, he climbed up to her window quoting something from literature, she invited him for dinner… it was a great buildup. When Jughead finally kissed her, he let out this breath, like he’d been holding it for so long and she definitely had a clear mind to remember something BUT it didn’t ruin the moment exactly, it actually added to their unique relationship. I think they’re very cute, plus Cole and Lili have great chemistry with each other. Every time something happened with him, she was right there, and yes they had that big argument on his birthday but I believe it helped strengthen their relationship. She was honest with him and the things she struggles with (she showed him the self harm she does when she clenches her fists so hard), she believed in him enough that she trusted his judgement of his father. I could go on but it’ll be long. It’s cute and I want them to last. I’m sure Jughead accepting his place in the Southside Serpents will cause problems, it was obvious when they ruined Betty and Jughead’s sexy time and he put on that leather jacket and her reaction to it… I feel like they’re going to ruin them and I don’t want them to.
Betty & Veronica– I like the fact that Betty and Veronica don’t have this cattiness to them.   It was hard in the beginning due to Betty’s interest in Archie and his obvious interest in Veronica NOT to mention the seven minutes in heaven thing but their friendship is great. I like the fact that they stick with each other, even though they’re not always together (Betty was off a lot with Jughead solving mysteries) they still stick together. I hope to see more of their friendship in the second season.
Jughead & FP Jones– So I don’t want to include all of the kids and their parents but I think this one is the most important one. It was definitely intriguing to learn that the mysterious man Hermione Lodge kept meeting up with was Jughead’s dad, not to mention he’s the leader of the Southside Serpents. Their relationship is so interesting that I really really want more, it’s gonna be odd as FP is in jail now but their strained relationship needs to be fixed. Jughead was homeless (yes by choice to an extent) because his father was a drunk and couldn’t keep himself together and Jughead didn’t want to be involved with that. After Sheriff Keller tried to work Jughead into Jason Blossom’s murder, FP attempted to start a drunken trouble but Jughead stopped him and they had a great and emotional moment where FP swore to get better… Jughead knew that he wasn’t going to be true to that and it came and went. It got a little better towards the end but not really between them. I don’t know, it was just so interesting. I need more of this family.
The Kids and their Parents– So obviously there are a lot of characters and a lot of relationships and while I think the relationships with their parents are important, I really wanted to just touch on them. It should be interesting to see what happens when Hiram Lodge gets into town with Hermione (who also seems to be gearing up for an intense character shift) and Veronica (who doesn’t trust daddy anymore). What will happen between Cheryl Blossom and her mother now that Cheryl burned down Thornhill.  I wonder if the Coopers will find their long-lost son and if Polly and Betty will be able to adjust to the new babies etc. and lastly, I hope Fred pulls through because I doubt Archie will be able to remain the “good” kid he is if something happens not to mention, they better not kill Fred.
Favorite Episodes
I really only have maybe two or three favorite episodes.
Chapter 7: In a Lonely Place focused heavily on Jughead which I liked as I thought there was a bit of shortage of storylines focused solely on him. We also learned about F.P. and more of his past and issues. It was sad and interesting. Jughead was taken in for questioning by the sheriff, especially after he and the Principal saw he and Betty’s murder wall in the school. It was actually kind of crazy when he was being questioned how the sheriff pulled up his past issues in the attempt to make it seem like he had something to do with Jason Blossom’s death. Jughead’s face was so upset, and hurt, and frustrated and it got worse when F.P didn’t even show up until after Fred got him out and even covered for him. The scene between Jughead and F.P. was a beautiful scene. The face Jughead made when his father declared that he would get better, it was one of “yeah, I believe it but at the same time I really don’t believe it”.
Chapter 10: The Lost Weekend was one of those episodes I saw before I actually watched the show. But anyway, this episode focused on the kids, it’s Jughead’s birthday, he hates his birthday but Betty (after learning about it from Archie) is determined to give him a happy birthday. So she throws him a surprise party, a small one, she sings this haunting birthday song (Jughead even says it’s haunting) but then Cheryl and Chuck Clayton (so fine) drop in with the entire school. They play this game where people have divulge a secret and it was so great, it was such a tense scene, Veronica laid down the law with her comments to Cheryl, it was so great. Then Jughead tried to defend Betty’s honor (a bit) when Chuck brought up what she did earlier on. The whole episode was a trip and I loved it.
Chapter Twelve: Anatomy of a Murder is when he find out who killed Jason. It was an episode full of answers and tension and that’s what I loved. I like when shows that have a mystery actually gives me answers and not try to make more and more questions to the point where the answers don’t matter anymore. F.P. has been arrested for allegedly killing Jason Blossom after the police found the gun in his trailer. Jughead learning all of this tries to go live with his mother but she turns him down and he’s upset, but Archie, Veronica and Betty find him to tell him that F.P. had to be innocent due to the fact that Veronica and Archie searched the trailer and there was no gun. So now they’re trying to prove that he didn’t do it but F.P. apparently confessed due to Clifford Blossom threatening Jughead’s life. Not to mention, they learn that Clifford Blossom killed Jason and F.P. didn’t kill him, but he did try to kidnap him for ransom and that he found the body after he was shot and he and Joaquin cleaned the mess and later dumped the body after the police dragged the river. It was a lot of information and I loved it.
The finale was a good episode too, mostly because there was still a lot of drama. The best scene was when Archie saved Cheryl from the frozen river, that was a great scene to watch Archie actually do something without just standing there watching it happen. Plus,  I love how they included “Believer” by Imagine Dragons at the end, and how opposite the intimate scenes were. Archie and Veronica had this cutesy and romantic like interaction in her fancy bedroom while Jughead and Betty were in Jughead’s trailer (he cleaned it up after it was ransacked) and they were really enthused lol and passionate but it was interrupted when the Serpents showed up with a jacket for him and the song paused for a moment, and then Jughead put that jacket on
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and that song popped back on “PAIN!…” I was like
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Cole Sprouse made that leather jacket look good and the song coming back on right when he put that jacket on.. killed me AND he didn’t have his beanie on, that made it even better.
But then it quickly turned to me being like
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Because who knows what’s going to happen in the second season. Will he and Betty last because of this? I want them too. He’s going to different school…and Betty’s face when he put it on to and the way he looked at her when he realized she was standing there… so dramatic.
Overall
Listen, I get why people don’t like the show and I can say there are parts of it I don’t like, but I’m not hate watching it, at least not yet. I started off loving The Vampire Dairies, Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl and they all turned into hate watches by the end (though GG was less of a hate watch, just me being upset at the lazy writing). But I quite enjoy this show and all it’s ridiculous and drama fashion. It’s so over the top and such a CW show but I enjoy it. The other drama shows I watched have ended so I needed something to fill the void. I like the characters for the most part, I mean I enjoy some more than others, I enjoy the music in the show, I like the story and the mystery, I was really into finding out who killed him and why. I mean, I figured it was his father but I wanted to know why. It’s fun. I don’t normally rate shows or anything but as a whole…
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Have you seen Riverdale? Are you ready for season 2? Who is your favorite character from the show?
What is your favorite “teen drama” show?
Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to like and follow this blog!