Movie Review: Gemini Man (2019)

imago93146560h

Summary: An over-the-hill hitman faces off against a younger clone of himself.
Minor spoilers ahead…
Pros:
The cast. Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Benedict Wong are all good for the most part. There are times where it seems like no one cares what’s going on or about the story, but I think because they’re all interesting and good actors, the lame acting is overlooked. Will Smith is always fun to watch, he’s funny when he needs to be, and since he plays two characters, he gets to be a little brash, impulsive as Junior and he gets some emotional moments. As Henry, he’s “over the hill” but still very competent at his job, he’s pretty cool, as Will Smith’s characters generally are, and he gets some humor in there too. I’ve always liked Mary Elizabeth Winstead, she’s fine in her role, I think she might have been a little miscast but she’s fine. Benedict Wong serves his role well, he’s the “wingman” type and he’s funny when we need him to be.
Pretty Good Action. This pertains to the quick fight scene in the boathouse with Mary Elizabeth Winstead and some thug. It was brutal, she got her butt kicked but she also kicked butt too. I wish the action in the rest of the movie was more like that. The action sequence at the end was pretty good too, with Will and Mary having to face down a ton of shooters. They both were badass in that sequence. Not to mention, the fight between Will, young Will and the ninja lol. Those two moments were the only times I felt any stakes.
So Much Potential. This movie has so much potential it physically hurts me. I wasn’t holding out for a good movie when I saw the trailer, but I thought it could be interesting. I investigated it, and this movie has a long history of trying to be made. It was supposed to come out in 1997 with an original script back then with a ton of well-known actors attached to the role: Harrison Ford, Robert de Niro, Al Pacino, Michael Douglas, Chris O’Donnell, Mel Gibson, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner, Pierce Brosnan, Bruce Willis, John Travolta, Jon Voight, Denzel Washington, Johnny Depp, Nicolas Cage, Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves, Tom Cruise, Clint Eastwood, Gerard Butler, Nick Nolte, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jason Statham, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Sean Connery. I wonder what exactly happened and if all these actors were attached or in talks or something. But the idea of this man being the best at his job to the point where he’s unknowingly cloned so his skills never die is cool, but I think if this movie would have explored the interactions with Henry and Junior more, or if they went a different route with the story.
Cons:
Really Bad CGI. Every time after young Will’s first appearance was too much. It was very uncanny valley and it wasn’t good. It’s clear it was motion capture CGI and it wasn’t good CGI. I could not suspend my belief that Will Smith had a 23-year-old clone because it was so bad. Particularly when he talked. It was the mouth area a lot of the time and even with his eyes, it was very robotic. I would have believed it more if it was a cyborg copy instead of an organic clone. There is a scene at the end, when Will Smith, MEW and young Will is walking together and it’s clear, there are two real people and then a photoshopped CGI young Will Smith. It was bad. Really bad. The entire movie, whenever young Will came on screen, I could not take it. When he yelled at Clive Owen, his mouth… you have to see it to believe it. They should have just cast Jaden Smith as Junior or something and have it be like his “son” or something lol.
Also, the chase scene at the beginning with the motorcycles also had bad CGI. There is a shot where Will Smith is riding the motorcycle, and the camera is directly in front of him and its clearly green screen lol. I also don’t know if it was just me or not, but some characters also looked like they put some CGI on them or did some photoshop in trying to smooth out their faces. Mary Elizabeth Winstead looked a little weird sometimes and Clive Owen, though it might just be him not aging well, but he looked like playdough lol.
Lackluster action. In our first chase scene with old Will and young Will, the only thing I could think while watching was that they needed to take lessons from Tom Cruise because the choreography for the fighting wasn’t that great. First, there were times where I thought Will Smith looked funny with that big gun he carried during that scene. I think I laughed a few times. I know he can pull it off because he’s done it in other movies. Then when he was on that motorcycle, whenever it was a frontal shot of him riding, it was clearly CGI. It was just bad. Then later, old and young Will are fighting in a crypt and MEW is watching them, and it was an okay fight. It was hard to see at times, but she had plenty of chances to shoot young Will in the shoulder or in a spot that wouldn’t kill him. I don’t care if old Will is saying don’t shoot him, he’s kicking your butt. I’m shooting him. She waited till the last minute. Lame.
Weak Story/Cheesy Dialogue/Feels Dated. The writing wasn’t good. I think three people worked on the screenplay and I think it shows. I want to know what the original script was like back in 1997 because the story is weak, the dialogue is cheesy, and the movie feels old. It feels like it was made during that time of outrageous 90s action movies and it didn’t age well. There’s a part where Henry is telling Dani about stuff Clay did to him while he was being trained and even Will Smith couldn’t make me believe in that dialogue. Not to mention, the weird banter Henry and Dani had throughout the movie. It was so awkward! I don’t know if they were trying to be clever or funny, I don’t know but I wanted to physically cringe.
Emotional Stakes. I think because the story was weak it prevented us from really being invested in any of these characters. We’re supposed to care and like Henry, Dani and then sympathize with Junior and while it’s not impossible for any of this, it’s just not that interesting. Clearly, Henry ends up caring for Dani, but I never thought she was in any real danger. Then later, that first moment when Henry and Junior have this intense moment in the crypt, it’s supposed to be intense and I was like meh. Plus, the dialogue was so bad! Then later Junior and Clay have this “emotional” conversation but between the bad CGI, the bad dialogue and Clive Owen looking so disinterested, I felt nothing. I think this movie could have had a lot of emotional moments, especially with Henry/Junior and Junior/Clay but it didn’t work for me.
Overall, I really didn’t like this movie. I came to terms with it as I continued writing this review. I don’t think it’s good. Sure, the acting is okay for the most part and there are some minor positives in the action and the potential but the bad outweighs the good so much that I can’t even. The CGI is overall bad, and I’ve seen plenty of actors de-aged in movies, but this was bad. ALADDIN DID A BETTER CGI WILL SMITH. The action was lackluster, the movie feels dated, the dialogue was cheesy, and the story was so weak that when it was over, I completely forgot what I just watched. All I could think about was the bad CGI Will Smith face. The emotional stakes did not land and as a side note, I thought there were a ton of weird “technical” issues like some odd transitional choices, like that scene where Dani and Will are talking, then they both look to the side, music starts to play, and we get a transition to them on an airplane. It was so weird! I’ve seen that kind of transition work before, but it did not work here! Plus, all the random shots of the actors being close to the camera while they’re talking to another person… this movie is ugly. There you go, it’s ugly lol. Gah! That’s all, I’m done lol. If you like Will Smith and you want to see all his movies, then sure, check it out but at least wait till it’s streaming or something. Oh, this movie has a higher frame rate… that’s probably why I didn’t like how it looked lol. Look it up. lol.
Rating: 1.9 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Gemini Man? If so, what are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!
Advertisements

Movie Review: Zombieland 2 Double Tap (2019)

zombieland-double-tap-review

Summary: Columbus, Tallahassee, Wichita, and Little Rock move to the American heartland as they face off against evolved zombies, fellow survivors, and the growing pains of the snarky makeshift family.
There is a mid-credits scene and an end credits scene.
Pros:
Cast and Characters.
  • Woody Harrelson as Tallahassee. He is basically the dad in the group lol, he does his own thing. He loves cars, guns, killing zombies and in this movie ELVIS. His relationship with Columbus is the same, they’re a bit antagonistic, mostly Tall to Columbus they trust each other. They are aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses and work well together. He gets a lot of chances in this movie to be funny, to show how awesome he is, and Woody Harrelson is great! He’s so likable even when he’s being rude.
  • Jesse Eisenberg as Columbus. Of course, you can say that Eisenberg always plays himself and maybe he does but it works for him and I like it. It was great seeing him in a movie where he’s just having fun. Columbus is a bit neurotic, but it works for him. He’s stayed alive all this time! In this, they’re all living in the white house and he and Wichita are still together. He has ideas and plans for the future and is a little upset and sarcastic when things don’t go his way, but he has every right to be how he is lol. I totally get him. I love Columbus because he’s just awkward, sweet and weird but just like everyone else, very capable.
  • Abigail Breslin as Little Rock. Wichita’s rebellious younger sister and she’s the reason why the movie happens pretty much. Her and Wichita run off and then she runs off from her sister and is just stupid lol. She’s a young adult and wants everyone to know she’s not a little kid anymore and wants to find people her own age, she feels trapped in the “kid” role and she doesn’t want that. She also is sick of the Zombieland life. Whenever we see her, she’s with Berkeley and she’s enamored because he’s cute and her age and finally! Other people who aren’t zombies! She was a little annoying and kind of stupid, but she pulls through at the end. I think her relationship with Tallahassee is cute and I totally get her reasonings but come on man, you’re in a Zombieland. Can’t be stupid.
  • Emma Stone as Wichita. Emma Stone is always a win. Wichita is the same as she was in the first one, a bit hardened and sarcastic and she still has an issue with commitment or feeling trapped in a role. She knows how to handle herself but is very protective of her younger sister as well. Her and Columbus have a cute relationship and it’s funny because he’s so weird and she’s so cool. They also have great chemistry. I like her interactions with Madison because they are so different, but I think it’s clear Emma Watson just has fun in this role, she gets to be sassy, as per usual, but she’s more of a rude sassy than her quirky sassy lol.
  • Rosario Dawson as Nevada. She joins the movie a little later, but she runs the Hound Dog Elvis motel and she’s awesome. Rosario is always awesome. She is very similar to Tallahassee in her personality but she’s much cooler than him. She’s badass and comes through in the clutch later in the film.
  • Zoey Deutch as Madison. We meet Madison at a mall and Columbus almost shoots her because she just appeared out of nowhere. But she’s a dumb blonde and that’s her joke throughout the movie and I’m perfectly fine with that. It’s hilarious to me. I’ve never seen Deutch play a role like this before and I quite enjoyed it. It worked for her, she’s funny.
Supporting Characters. We have some supporting characters we meet, some last throughout the movie and others are just cameos. Avan Jogia as Berkeley, Luke Wilson as Albuquerque and Thomas Middleditch as Flagstaff. Avan Jogia was basically a hippie type character. He was pretty annoying lol, but it worked for him. He still cute. Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch are basically the same, of Columbus and Tallahassee in how they look and act. It’s supposed to be a funny interaction and I think it was. It worked for me.
For Fans of the First One. I think it’s a given that if you loved the first one then you’ll probably love this one. This one manages to be a continuation of the cult classic Zombieland but also managing to remain fresh and feel like seeing the first one for the first time again. The characters have returned and are as we left them, just older with different people problems, not to mention, new people and zombie problems.
It’s funny. I laughed throughout the movie. Humor is subjective, as I always say whenever I mention the humor in a movie, but I laughed a lot. I also had a nice crowd in my theater so there was a lot of laughter. I think the line delivery really works for a lot of the sarcasm and these actors have a knack for being funny without trying to come off funny. Zoey Deutch’s Madison really was a scene-stealer whenever she was on screen and I really enjoyed her. It was my first time seeing her like that and she got a lot of laughs from me and the audience. Of course, Harrelson, Eisenberg and Stone work well together. Not to mention, the cameo from Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch was great too. Great funny scene. Also, Tallahassee’s entire Black Foot thing, like bruh what? lol
Awesome action sequences. Just like in the first, this one has great action scenes with the zombies. Of course, we get an opening narration with Columbus narrating and we get a nice introduction to our characters and the zombies at the White House. Great scene. Then later, the scene near the RV was awesome. Shows just how badass Wichita and Tallahassee are. The scene in the Hound Dog Hotel was great! And of course, the battle at the end had some high moments too.
High Stakes. I think this movie really showcases some high stakes in that Little Rock runs off with some Hippie and everyone is worried about her, not to mention, the zombies have evolved and are better hunters and harder to kill. Plus, people are turning around them left and right lol, I was stressed out watching this movie because I was worried about how many people were going to make it to the end. I think the movie does a good job in making those stakes feel important and make you think that they’re going to kill people you care about. The entire last act of the film was one big tense but awesome sequence.
Cons:
A Real Story? Meh. In ways, the first one is kind of like this, but it feels like a series of events more than a singular movie. I know that Zombieland was supposed to be a television series before the movie and after the movie but never seemed to make it there.  I think even here, it seems like it could have been a show with how much it feels like characters go from place to place, meet new people and things happen. I find this to be very noticeable and it breaks up the flow of the film a bit.
Ending Battle. I think overall, it was okay. The entire movie is leading up to this final battle where our main four must show they’re awesome and save a bunch of other people and while the first part of the battle was great, the monster truck stuff was great, it didn’t end with the same tension or awesomeness as the first part.
Overall, I loved the first one, so I had hopes that while this one won’t be as good, I’ll love it too and true words. It’s great! It’s almost just as good as the first one because it has the same energy and feeling as the first one did, we’re just more comfortable in this world since we’ve already been introduced to it. I think it allows for viewers to just dive right back in and you don’t feel like you’ve missed anything. All the characters are still great, the returning ones we know and love, are still hilarious and work so well as a family even with their issues. The actors are having fun and they’re all great. The new characters, no matter how small or large the roles, also are great. There isn’t anyone we meet that I dislike, who are important characters. What we learn about zombie evolution is super cool and the movie is funny and it’s a fun adventure with high stakes. However, there isn’t much of a story, I mean it’s there but it’s not a focal point. Also, the end battle was underwhelming. With everything else we got beforehand, the climax fizzles. But the movie fun and if you like the first one, I’d imagine you’d also like this one.
Rating: 3.7 out of 5 stars. Honestly, I would give this a higher score for pure entertainment value, but I think this is fair.
Have you seen Zombieland 2: Double Tap? What are your thoughts?
What is your favorite zombie movie?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Movie Review: Joker (2019)

joker-movie-750x350

Summary: In Gotham City, mentally-troubled comedian Arthur Fleck is disregarded and mistreated by society. He then embarks on a downward spiral of revolution and bloody crime. This path brings him face-to-face with his alter-ego: “The Joker”.
So y’all, I have had some weird movie theater experiences and I’m starting to wonder if it’s me… lol. My friend and I saw this movie and towards the end, when Arthur is talking to someone, he starts laughing. I heard laughing but it sounded like it was coming from somewhere else, not the screen. But I ignored it, thinking it was the speakers or something. Then, I hear it again and I realize it’s coming from the guy sitting in the row before us. There was only maybe 20 of us in the theater, an entire row towards the front was taken, there this one guy, me and my friend and then two girls behind us. So, I thought maybe there was a special needs person with someone, and their friend was trying to calm them down or something because they were laughing loudly. I realized this person was by themselves. I tentatively lean back but then I saw smoke start rising from that row. I lean forward again and notice this guy has something in his hands that’s burning, not sure but it might have been a blunt or a cigarette, but I don’t know. So, I looked at my friend and said, “We need to leave,” and I hopped up and went for the door. I was already a little nervous because you never know with movies like this, but everything was fine up until this point. She has a delayed reaction but followed me and we finished the last two minutes at the stairs. The guy was by himself though. When the credits started to roll, we left lol and the two girls from behind us had got up as well when we did lol. We all started laughing and they said they heard the weird laughter and then saw us get up, so they got up to leave too lol. I DON’T KNOW MAN! But super weird. I did inform a worker about the guy, don’t know what happened after but man.
Pros:
Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur. Honestly, he is really the shining light of this movie. He is so good and so disturbing that I do understand the “Oscar buzz” around his performance. His character is sad too. So, Arthur Fleck is a mentally ill, impoverished stand-up comedian, disregarded by society with a history of abuse. He works as a clown in a business that loans out clowns, so he can feel “part of society” and of course “bring smiles to people around him” but life just doesn’t want to work out for him. I get it my dude, I do. He must deal with teenage hooligans stealing his twirling signs, getting beat up by them, his unstable mother, teasing coworkers, a super extra boss and with his uncontrollable laughter, which makes people uncomfortable but it’s also clearly a pain for him. It’s just so much he must deal with that you really feel bad for him. Life is just crapping all over him. He begins to spiral into darkness and he unintentionally started a movement and it just happens without him for a while. Joaquin Phoenix is phenomenal. He does a physical transformation and the way he moves in the movie is very deliberate and interesting and weird a lot of times. I like his dance moves lol. I think he portrays each layer of Arthur very well. The fake happiness he tried to have, the moments of sadness or the moments when it seems like he’s with other people, but he’s just imagined it. This movie is such a character study so it’s so interesting to watch him just exist. It’s uncomfortable in a lot of ways but it’s so good.
  • I think if you go into this movie thinking you’re going to see a familiar Joker you’ve seen in other comic book movies or adaptations, I think you’re going to be disappointed and you’re mistaken. Don’t get me wrong, you can see the connection with mentions of Thomas Wayne (Bruce’s father) and of course it’s in Gotham but don’t go into this movie thinking you’re getting a true or definitive backstory.
Supporting Characters. Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz and Francis Conroy play a large part in Arthur’s life in different ways. They’re very much supporting characters so I did not want to go into each of them like I would with other films, but everyone does a great job in their role. They all play parts in Arthur’s downfall but in different ways. Some less than others.
A Character Study. This movie is very much a character study for Arthur Fleck. I don’t think it’s an “origin story” or any kind of grand film. It has a very small and contained feeling to it and it very much focuses on Arthur and what he goes through, the choices he makes and how it affects him and the people around him. I think it works and is interesting that way because I can’t imagine it working any other way, with this version of Joker.
Great Musical Score. The music is so well utilized in the film. I mean wow. Especially towards the end. It worked in indications of moments where he’s imagining things in his head, or when he’s about to do something crazy, or anything along those lines, it really worked. I was pretty caught up in the score quite a few times throughout the film.
Cons:
Rushed Plot Information. So, a big problem I had with the movie was the information dump we got in the last act of the movie. Arthur learns something from letters his mother wrote Thomas Wayne, they talk, he believes her, even though she clearly is unreliable with her own mental illnesses. He makes some questionable choices that continue to push him further down a path. Then, we find out more stuff about his mother that is just given to us in some quick flashbacks, some information read from files and it’s just a whole lot of unconfirmed and horrible stuff. Not to mention, it just feels like the movie gives it to you but does nothing with it. I didn’t like that we get a section of an information dump and then that’s it. It gets glossed over and I think that’s a problem. I feel like this stuff should have been introduced earlier on and been part of his story as well.
Political Aspect. I might be in the minority here among casual movie watchers but there was a lot of this movie that I just found super boring and cliché. The entire subplot that dealt with Thomas Wayne and the train incident and everything that was grouped with that, I found to be silly. Or at least heavy handed. I mean, I get it, and being that our main character turns out to be a villain, it’s not surprising that things go in his favor when it comes to political and world views, but it was happening and because he wasn’t involved or even interested in it, any time it was brought up, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes or wonder why the movie was even spending so much time trying to showcase it. It just felt like a paper-thin reason and I just couldn’t get with it.
A Better Ending. So, there is a part of the film where Arthur has access to a camera after he just did something horrible and said some crazy things on television. He grabs the camera and he start to speak, and the camera cuts out. I thought that was a great ending. I wish it ended right there because it leaves way more mystery and leaves the insanity there but nooo we had to get more political stuff. I don’t care about any of that. I understood the point, I knew what they were trying to do, I respect all of that. I just think, the movie would have benefited from being shorter and ending right when that camera cut out. Man, it would have been beautiful. Then the stuff with the news reporters, put it in the credits so we see the world has unraveled.
Overall, it’s hard to say where I stand with this one. I think Joaquin Phoenix was fantastic and the reason to see the movie. The supporting cast is good, and their characters have a lot of interesting relationships and connections to Arthur. The musical score is great and works alongside the movie well. If anything, this movie is a character study of a man who feels forgotten by society and decides to stop trying to be part of it. Now, I do think the movie has an issue with how it presents information, especially stuff that appears to be important but it’s unreliable and that didn’t work for me. I didn’t care for the political aspect, it felt unimportant and extra stuff I didn’t need. Then, as a personal preference, I wish the ending was at a different spot. It would have been perfect. I think the movie is okay. It’s worth the watch for Phoenix’s performance alone.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars. 
Have you seen Joker yet? What are your thoughts on the film? Let me know in the comments below!
By the way, this is like the 25,000 time I have seen Bruce Wayne lose his parents.

batman-v-superman-dawn-of-justice-martha-header-htxt.africaa

Movie Review: Shaft (2019)

SHAFT_5350.dng

Summary: JJ Shaft, a cyber security expert with a degree from MIT, enlists his family’s help to uncover the truth behind his best friend’s untimely death.
Pros:
Samuel L. Jackson. He’s always good. I don’t know if I’ve seen his Shaft movie, I feel like I have, a long time ago, not sure but his character is cool. He’s a badass, as always, he’s flirty, especially whenever he’s interacting with Regina Hall’s Maya and I liked his rapport with Jessie T. Usher because he clearly knows who his character is and how he would react to his son being “raised by his momma” but then turning around and being proud of him when he shows “Shaft tendencies”. He’s a cool dude and boy that red jacket they all wear at the end, dope.
Chemistry between Shaft and JJ. The biggest thing for me in this movie is how these two worked together. When they first meet, it’s a little awkward because Shaft left when JJ was a baby and he doesn’t have a great ideal of the man. We see this for a while but as the movie goes, we begin to see them trust each other and really care about each other. Sure, there are some cliched moments of betrayal that happens but they worked so well together. The seasoned badass with the dorky rookie who needs to learn he too is a badass. Lol it was fun to watch, especially when JJ got to be a badass. That scene in the club was cool and the one in the restaurant for both of them was really good.
It’s pretty funny/A Good Time. I think it’s funny overall. There are problematic jokes and I can imagine people being upset/offended by it but there are some that sneak up on you and I laughed. I didn’t full out laugh but I chuckled in a lot of places. Most of the time, it’s the chemistry between Jackson and Usher and their interactions and then JJ’s reactions to situations being so different from his dad. When Roundtree joins in, there are some good humorous moments. I also think this movie is a good time. If you’re looking for a film where you can see black actors have fun, eff some stuff up and you liked the previous Shaft movies, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy this one.
Cons:
Acting sometimes. We see a lot of Jessie T. Usher and there are times where he’s good but there are other times, other times where I was like oooo boy, you clearly aren’t as good when he’s on screen with Jackson. I think particularly in the beginning. I think he’s very funny but some of his line delivery was too “try hard”. I have a love/hate relationship with Alexandria Shipp, I want to like her because there are times I do (Love, Simon) but she also comes off “try hard” and I can’t quite put my finger on her just yet. Also, minor issue, but why do they keep casting these darker skinned actresses to play the younger version of a much lighter skinned actress? It just made me pause in the beginning. ANYWAY, I just found some of our leads aren’t that strong and it’s noticeable. Oh also, those army dudes lol, man sit down. Also, I love Regina Hall and while I don’t think she was bad, her character was annoying. She was nagging way too much. I get it but sit-down ma’am.
Predictable. Predictable. Predictable and cliché/Meh Story. This can go along with the above it, but I don’t care about this story lol. I guess they needed some reason for JJ to seek out his dad and then for Shaft to seek out Shaft Sr. but I don’t think the story itself was that interesting to make a movie off of it. I wasn’t that invested in it; I was just invested in the relationship between Jackson and Usher. I mean, it’s a kid who’s estranged from his parent, in order to get them back together, the kid needs the parent for something that’s in their expertise and they end up having to figure out the mystery together. We’ve seen it and they didn’t add anything new, not to mention, it hits a lot of the same beats we’ve seen in movies like that. So, I was able to call almost everything that happened.
Dated? I wasn’t sure how to label this but there are times when the jokes, the references just don’t fit. I think when you have a character like Shaft who was big a while ago, with two different actors playing him, putting him into 2019 is a little jarring. He drives this old car, and his ideals on things are clearly out of place and the humor that comes along with it might be a little problematic. I mean, I laughed at some of it but other times, I was like “alright, move on, y’all not that clever” and I feel like if you watch this movie in 5 years, it’ll be like “dang this movie is dated” because it felt that way watching it now.
Overall, I think Shaft is a fun movie with some positives, mostly being in Jackson leading the charge and his interactions with Jessie T. Usher as his son. They worked well together and when Richard Roundtree joined in, all of them looked and worked really well together. They had great chemistry and a great rapport. It felt like they were a family. Oh! I also liked that as JJ became more “Shaft” he started to wear more turtleneck shirts or he would relax in his posture a little. I’m not sure if that was Jessie’s choice or the director but that was a nice little nod I thought. I also think it’s pretty funny and it’ll get some chuckles or even some laughs from you. While some of the humor is good, I think people will be find it problematic and I can imagine they would complain, I don’t think it’s meant in bad taste but who’s to say. The story is mediocre and very cliché and PREDICTABLE. It’s not hard to figure it out pretty early. It also might come off dated, even now when it’s set in this time. But that may be just me. Otherwise, it’s a fun movie and I’d probably watch it again.
Rating: 2.7 out of 5 stars. 
Have you seen Shaft? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading and be sure to like and follow this blog for more movie reviews!

Movie Review: Rocketman (2019)

rctg91-920x594

Summary: A musical fantasy about the fantastical human story of Elton John’s breakthrough years.
Pros:
Cast and Characters.
  • Taron Egerton as Elton John. Taron is BRILLIANT. I don’t know a ton about Elton John. I’m a fan of some of his songs but I’ve never been like an “Elton John” fan but from what I am aware of, he does a great job. He doesn’t look like him that much he manages to portray a great interpretation of the legend. He was mesmerizing anytime he was on screen. Whenever he portrayed him on stage with the songs, just wow. The energy is captivating AND he does all his own singing which there are times where he does sound like Elton John but if you are a fan of Elton John then you’ll know it’s not him singing but Taron but he pays a nice homage of sounding like him while also doing his own interpretation of his songs. Gosh, he’s sooo good. The emotional points of Elton’s life, the sad points, the performances, all of it… he’s so good. I’m so proud of him and I’m such a fan and a supporter. I hope this opens a ton of doors for him and he better get an Oscar nomination.
  • Jamie Bell as Bernie Taupin. I’ve always loved Jamie Bell; I think he’s a very good actor and he doesn’t get enough recognition. Bernie is the songwriter for a lot of Elton’s earlier songs, if not all of them. They are best friends and he’s always in Elton’s corner, even if they argue. Bernie is the low-key one compared to Elton’s flamboyant personality or “persona” and it works for him. He’s supportive but he also knows when to step back. He never gets mad, at least to the point where he corrupts himself or Elton. I liked him a lot. He was a strong force in the film and I think he should also get an Oscar nomination. He does his own singing as well.
  • Richard Madden as John Reid. Robb Stark lives! lol but Elton meets John at a party, they share a moment and become close. Throughout the early times in the film, we see them connect, share moments and Taron and Richard have really good chemistry. After a while, John becomes his manager and things start to turn a little sour. I haven’t seen everything he’s been in but it was interesting to see him become such a “jerk”. He’s really good at it though. He’s very intimidating and he’s great. He also sings in the movie, alongside Taron.
Supporting Characters. There are a lot of other people we meet in the film. Charlie Rowe, Tate Donovan, Bryce Dallas Howard, Gemma Jones and everyone serves their purpose and are great. I think the other person who really stands out here is Bryce Dallas Howard, I’m not sure about her accent but at playing Elton’s mother, she was beautiful detached lol. One of her best scenes is when Elton calls her over the phone to come clean. Also, the scene at the end when he’s faced with all the people in his life who really meant something to him. Everyone else is great too.
It’s a Musical. Being that it’s a biopic of Elton John’s life, a singer, you can expect music in the film but it’s definitely a musical. Yes, you have the songs that are performed on stage or while Elton is recording but there are also instances in the film where they just burst into song. The cast sings all the songs. Taron Egerton doesn’t “cover” Elton’s songs but he sings them with his own style and interoperation but it still sounds like the actual song. It’s just not him tending sound like Elton John. He does sometimes but I think if you are a huge fan of Elton John then you’ll be aware he’s not lip synching to recordings. I think they do a great job at making sure it sounds like the real songs but allowing Taron to do his thing. I even saw a behind the scenes about the recording and Elton John said he didn’t want them to copy him but to just let Taron sing. I think that was important and it worked for me.
Emotional. There’s a lot that Elton goes through in the film. I don’t know how true it all is but it’s a movie, that’s doesn’t quite matter. No one said it was a play by play of his life. But as a child, he already felt alienated from his dad who wouldn’t hug him, his mother was detached (while weirdly supportive), and as he got older, he had different problems. Dealing with his sexuality, the hardships from being in the music industry and then his issues with John Reid. A lot of it is really sad because he just buried it with drugs, sex and alcohol and you see how it affects him. I love all the group session scenes because he got to talk about it in real time.
Direction/Energy. There are a TON of great directing choices in this movie. First of all, with it being a musical, we get to see a lot of of special filming choices. Like at the beginning when Elton joins the AAA group, he starts talking about his life, he breaks out into song, and we go to his childhood home with his kid self and the transition is seamless! Then when we finally catch up to his teenage self during a song where everyone is outside dancing, another seamless transition. One of my favorite instances though, is after he tries to commit suicide in the pool, he falls down and sees himself as a child singing, they sing together and then this entire sequence is them trying to save him from his overdose but also preparing him for his Rocketman performance while he’s in the baseball outfit. It’s so good. There’s so many moments of this throughout the movie, that I was like “Wow! that’s amazing!”. Plus, it’s a very bright and colorful film. I’m glad they went in that direction, to make it almost look surreal and imaginative instead of gritty and dramatic. It still is that but they don’t for that on the viewer.
Cons:
Lack of Connection. While I love this movie, I think it’s hard to gauge whether or not you feel connected to these characters to really care about them other than the fact that the acting is great and that the scenes are beautiful. It’s hard to say if the characters are interesting other than the fact that they’re based on real people, or that you really come to care about them. Because of the musical pace, we race through a lot of development or moments that might have been great dramatically but because of the nature of the film, we don’t get to sit in those moments.
Overall, I think this movie is fantastic. Rocketman is a must-see movie for anyone who loves Elton John’s music, anyone who loves musicals and anyone who appreciates colorful direction. I think it would also be a must see for anyone in the LGBT community. It doesn’t make a joke out of Elton’s sexuality nor does it feel forced even though it’s part of who he is. The acting is fantastic out of everyone in this film, particularly Taron Egerton leading the helm. Jamie Bell and Richard Madden are also fantastic. All the acting is great in the film. The music is great with a lot of recognizable songs with Taron doing his thing. He can sing y’all. It’s an emotional film and hits a lot of highs and lows. Also, the direction and aesthetic of the movie is also a standout in itself. The choices for sequences are great! Gosh, this movie is so good. My only negative is that it might be hard to see the character development or even really connect to them because we’re kind of kept at arm’s length throughout the film. We’re like on the outside looking in and while you may relate, you may not be able to connect due to the nature of the film. But otherwise, it’s a great movie! Check it out!
Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Rocketman? What did you think of it? What is your favorite film about a singer?
Let me know in the comments below! Thanks for reading and be sure to like, comment and follow this blog for more movie reviews.

Movie Review: Disney’s Descendants

 

In memory of Cameron Boyce.
Disney’s Descendants premiered way back in 2015 lol. I remember seeing the poster and hearing about it, but I wasn’t really watching anything from the Disney Channel because those shows, and movies don’t really interest me. BUT I love the Disney movies, like the villains and the princesses and what not so the idea of the movie following the kids of famous villains was an interesting idea. I don’t believe I caught it on television, but I ended up checking it out from the library (where I work) and watched it. This won’t be a formal movie review as there are three but more of a complete overview. All the pros and cons will be from all three movies.
Let me just say now, I love all three of the movies. As of right now, while I’m watching, the second one is my favorite one, but once I do a rewatch, I’ll see if that’s the same.
New Information: Now that I have rewatched the first two, the second one is still my favorite lol.
There are spoilers ahead so if you haven’t seen the third one yet, or any of them and want to, I wouldn’t read this review just yet. Watch the movies and then come back to me. 😀
Pros:
The Main Four. So, we have our main four villain kids or “VKs” as they’re called in the third one and these are the characters, we spend the most time with and who we grow to know and love.
  • Dove Cameron as Mal. She is the daughter of Maleficent and Hades. In the first movie, she’s probably the one with the most to prove since her mother is the “most evil” villain and she gets to interact with the daughter of the princess her mother cursed. She’s also the last one to change in the first movie of allowing their new life to have a positive effect. She still does some sneaky things to please her mother in the first one, but she manages to prove herself at the end. In the second one, she’s trying hard to please the people of Auradon now and is having a hard time figuring out who she wants to be. She runs back to the Isle because of that and is determined to remain a villain kid but her friends and her boo thang, bring her back home. She ends up pulling through at the end. The third one, she has a harder choice in that she’s about to be Queen and the people of Auradon are afraid because Uma is lurking around still, and Hades almost got through the barrier. She makes the choice to end the program that would bring over kids from the Isle. It’s a big secret she keeps throughout the film and I really liked the moment when everyone finds out and they all get emotional and stuff. She has a nice song during this moment. I like Mal, I mean, she’s cool and she’s relatable in a lot of ways. Dove Cameron does a good job at portraying all the sides of Mal we get to experience.
  • Cameron Boyce as Carlos. He is the son of Cruella de Vil and the youngest of the group in the movie and in real life. At least he comes off that way to me in the movie. When he first encounters chocolate, I’m still upset at how long they let him have melted chocolate on his face. But he matures as the movies go on, he stands up for himself a lot more and grows more confident and I love seeing him mature. It’s great. Cameron Boyce was a bright spot in the movies, and he will be missed. He was great. He was cute and sweet, and I really wish we got to see him interact with other animals to justify his comment about wanting to be a vet. That would have been a great subplot for him. *sighs* Rest in Peace Cameron.
  • Booboo Stewart as Jay. He is the son of Jafar and a little pickpocket. I wish we got to see Jay do a lot more than what we saw. He was also a very loyal friend and he showed that through his teasing of Carlos, through his looks and touches with Evie and just being there with Mal. They would exchange looks sometimes. I liked that he was the strong silent type of the group while also being a bit goofy and the jock. It worked for him. I just wish we got to see him do other things besides playing sports. I feel like there was some great subplot for his character that was missed. I’ve always liked Booboo Stewart though (I want him to play Tommy Oliver so bad) and I think he does a great job of the cool, handsome, sporty, thief and goofy personality Jay has. I just wanted more!
  • Sofia Carson as Evie. She is the daughter of Evil Queen and my favorite character. I like her personality. In the first one, she’s probably the one who acclimates to Auradon the quickest and one of my favorite lines, is in the second one, when she goes with Ben back to the Isle to find Mal and she says “don’t let me get stuck there again” and it says so much about her character. She loves her mom, but she doesn’t want to ever have to live that life again. It did seem like she was the most out of place there even though she knew how to operate on the Isle. I like her sense of style, I loved her loyalty and I think Sofia Carson has a great voice! I like how protective she is of her friends and that she’s always ready to go to bat for any of them. Plus, her chemistry with Zachary Gibson as Doug was cute and I really shipped them. I just wish we got to see her do more.
Other Characters. There are a ton of supporting characters, we get introduced to some in each movie but I’m only going to talk about the ones I really liked. But special shout out to Zachary Gibson as Doug, Jadah Marie as Celia, Anna Cathart as Dizzy Tremaine, Dianna Doan as Lonnie, Brenna D’Amico as Jane and Jedidiah Goodacre as Chad.
  • Mitchell Hope as Ben. He is the son of Queen Belle and Beast and on his way to becoming King in the first movie. It’s his idea to bring the villain kids to Auradon and it’s his personal project. He’s the boy next door type, kind and welcoming to everyone and he really tries to make the villain kids feel at home, even if he might be a little scared of them in the beginning. However, it was clear that he and Mal would have a thing because he was immediately taken with her. I liked that even though her love spell washed away when they went on their date, he didn’t treat her like a villain when he knew she spelled him. I liked that. I think he’s a good kid, and he really tries to do things that would help everyone. The only thing I don’t like is his stupid little roar to indicate he’s the Beast’s son. I think it’s stupid when nothing ever happens with it, he just does it and I’m like… boy sit down. Mitchell Hope is adorable and he’s very likable, he could tread the annoying line, but I think he does a good job at not doing that.
  • China Ann McClain as Uma. I looooved her. She was my favorite character that was introduced in the second one. She’s Ursula’s daughter and a villain who is upset with Mal for a rivalry they’ve had since they were kids. She has a plan and she manage to really succeed for the most part, until the end of course. I like her energy and sassiness and I loved her look in the second one. She’s a pirate queen and it just really works for her. China Ann McClain is great! Her giggles and smirks she gives throughout the second and third films are a mood. I like her friendship and chemistry with both Thomas Doherty (Harry) and Dylan Playfair (Gil), not to mention the rivalry she has with Dove Cameron. She really came and took over as a standout. Plus, whenever she’s on screen, I’m paying more attention and every song she’s involved in, I’m into. She’s great! I would love to have just an Uma movie, that way I can see more of her, Ursula and Harry and Gil.
  • Sarah Jeffrey as Audrey. She’s not in the second one but she is introduced as Aurora’s daughter and she and Mal have an instant dislike. Which was cool, I liked that. Throughout that first movie, she was Ben’s girlfriend and a little snooty and “perfect”. When Ben chooses Mal, when he’s under the spell, she starts dating Chad who becomes infatuated, even in the second one when she’s gone. But I liked her a lot more in the third one. She’s back from her trip and she’s upset and hurt about Ben and Mal, especially with Mal becoming Queen, that she allows her anger, loneliness and jealousy take over and she is enticed by Maleficent’ s scepter and is a villain throughout the film. Sarah Jeffrey clearly had fun playing Audrey like that.
  • Thomas Doherty as Harry Hook. He is a secondary character that is introduced in the second one and I like him too. First, he reminds me of Sebastian Stan and it’s uncanny. I need them to play brothers in a film, Seb can put on the accent. But he’s very…sensual. It’s a little weird because he’s a teenager, I guess flirty is the better, but Thomas Doherty plays Harry a little sensual, or at least that’s just his nature. I don’t know lol, but I liked him because his little laugh was great, the way he teased Mal and Jay was great with some history there that I wish we got to see and hear more about. He’s great to watch on screen and it seemed like he and Audrey might have hit it off at the end of the third one. I’m cool with that lol.
  • Dylan Playfair as Gil. His role is a lot smaller than Harry’s but he’s just as likable. He’s like an innocent puppy. He’s Gaston’s son and seems to be a little dim but with a heart of gold. He’s not that mean compared to Uma or Harry. I feel like he would thrive in Auradon, the way Evie did from the beginning. He and Jay really hit it off in the third one with their bromance, which was a nice addition since Carlos spent most of the movie worrying about Jane, so it was nice to see Jay make another friend. Gil is a puppy lol, best way to explain it and Dylan Playfair is really endearing as Gil. I would have love to see him interact with his dad.
Catchy Songs. Y’all the songs in these movies are super catchy. When I first started watching this, the only song I really remembered was “Rotten to the Core”, which is the opening song our main four VKs sing and it’s catchy. They often play parts of it throughout the movie, mostly Jay’s “rotten to core” part. It also becomes a little mantra for them through each movie which is kind of funny. Then the “Set it Off” song at the end was also catchy. Those are the only two I remember that I liked. I also remember the “Be Our Guest” rendition because it was terrible lol.
  • Descendants 2 has more songs that I can hear what they sound like and they’re great. My favorite is “Chillin Like a Villain” because I like the sequence, the lyrics, Evie’s voice is great on it and the dancing was great too. Uma’s song “What’s My Name” is also a BOP and I often find myself randomly humming it. She also does a rendition of “Poor Unfortunate Souls” which was good. “It’s Goin Down” is a fight song and it’s also catchy, it’s almost like they wanted to do a little rap, it’s kind of funny because it’s a little cheesy but it’s a nice song.
  • Descendants 3 has a song that I think I loved the most because I literally cannot get it out of my head, and I liked the sequence in the movie. “Queen of Mean” is sooo great and Sarah Jeffrey clearly had fun performing it. The rap or “Spoken Word” part is nice but I like the singing part. “Good to be Bad” is the first song in the movie and it’s nice. “Do What You Gotta Do” is the song that Mal and Hades sing, and I enjoyed that song and the “Night Fall” which I didn’t realize was the name lol, is a great and fun sequence.
Then of course each movie has their big song at the end where everyone dances but I think I like the one in the third movie the best “Break This Down” because I really liked the choreography and it has the most meaning behind it.
Awesome Dance Choreography. I think this is coupled with the music, but I really like a lot of the choreography in all three films. They really get to shine in “Rotten to the Core” in the first one and then of course the big number at the end. Same thing goes for the second film but “Chillin Like a Villain” has some great moves, particularly the little step in the gif below. Ben (Mitchell Hope) is really trying back there lol.
original
I love that lol. In the third one, “Good to be Bad”, “Night Falls”, and “Break This Down” is dance heavy and I really like “Break This Down” dancing because they throw in some stepping and it’s so good. I mean, everyone gives it their best effort, but China Anne McClain, Cameron Boyce and Sarah Jeffrey really kill the step moves with Booboo Stewart having an honorable mention.
Interesting Stories. I think overall, the movies had interesting stories going on. I liked the first one in that they had to not only fit in with the kids at Auradon, but please their parents. I wanted to see more of that in later films, since Jafar, Cruella and EQ were still around. I feel like at least Jafar would try to get in touch with his kid because he’s crafty. In the second one, Mal had her personal issues but I enjoyed her rivalry with Uma, it was childish but a fair rivalry. I wanted them to take some of it even father further considering how it was clear there was a big issue between Uma’s group and Mal’s group. Then later, Audrey returned from her hiatus in the second one and she’s angry at everyone basically. She’s mad at Ben and Mal because Mal stole her boyfriend (which legit, she did) and Ben chose Mal in the end. So, she decides to steal the Queen of Auradon’s crown from the museum and then is enticed by Maleficent’ s scepter, not by much though, and wreaks havoc. I quite like that she was a bad guy, it made sense and it was fun to see a hero be a bad guy for a while. Plus, she has a great villain song.
Character Chemistry. One of the highest praises is the chemistry between our main four together and separately. Right away it’s clear that Mal and Evie are best friends and Jay and Carlos might be closer, but they all depend on each other. I like as the series goes on, we see these relationships get stronger and then we see some other moments like with Jay and Mal being rather close in the second one. He stays behind a little longer after the four of them have a moment and I wish we got to see more of that. I like the idea from the books that Jay and Mal were “friends” first and might have a stronger friendship because of that. Sure, Evie and Mal are best friends but I feel like Jay could have been able to reach a different side of Mal. When they did those things, I liked it a lot I just wanted them to do more of it. As for the romance relationships, I thought everyone had great chemistry where it counted. Ben and Mal are cute together, they really have nice chemistry. Evie and Doug were also super cute, and I wish we got to spend more time with their relationship. Carlos and Jane were cute, especially when Jane grows on you in the second one because she was a little meh in the first one. As for Jay, I liked the chemistry he had with Lonnie, I’m not sure what happened there but they would have been cute.
Interesting/Nice Costumes. The costumes for the characters on the Isle all have that skater/leather/put everything on look to it. Each movie costumes have evolved, and I wanted to try and share some evolutions, but it didn’t quite work out that way. But I think the outfits in the second one is my favorites. I like Mal’s lighter purple bangs and Evie’s dress she wears during ‘Chillin Like a Villain‘, it’s nice. I also really love Uma’s look, her braids, hat and everything. In the third one, I liked their “motocross” outfits, the leather jumpsuits. I liked Evie’s hair in each movie, but I think I liked it the best in the first and third one, when it’s down. I hate Carlos’ hair in the second one, the wig is bad! lol, I like his curls! I also think it was cool to see the modern takes on some of the classic Disney princess/villain attire, like Audrey’s Sleeping Beauty inspired outfit in the third one. I prefer Uma’s long braids compared to her hairstyle in the third one. I also like how each character had their color schemes. Mal=purple and green, Evie=blues and reds, Jay=yellows and browns, Carlos=whites, blacks, reds. It’s cute.
Cons:
More Carlos and Jay. I would even include Evie in some instances, Mal is clearly the lead, which is fine, but I think with her being the focus, we don’t get the chance to really spend time with the other three, especially Jay and Carlos. We do see character development but it’s so small as we didn’t know a ton about them to begin with, it’s almost like meh. At the end of the first one, Audrey runs over to dance with Jay and they kind of flirt so I thought we had that but then she was gone in the second one. But then, we got an interesting plot with Jay and Lonnie in the sequel, which I thought was going to be a thing since they have similar interests and personality, but I guess we just forgot about it in the third one. I would have liked that. Jay is a strong and silent type in many ways but he’s also a jock, he seemed “dumb” at times, but I don’t think he was stupid, just maybe not as book smart as Carlos… I don’t know, I feel like with his dad being Jafar, he’d be quite intelligent and witty, but he was just a physical dude. As for Carlos, he’s clearly the youngest and they all protect him, and it was nice seeing him grow up to be more confident, but it was almost like the extent of his growth at first was not being afraid of dogs. I mean, we do see him stand up to his mother over the video call and he chooses good along with the others at the end, but he didn’t have a clear arc other than the dog thing. At least that’s how I saw it. I guess in the end, he was quietly growing in confidence.
Emotional Support. We get this throughout the film, but I think the biggest thing is that I wish we got more of it from other people. Mal, Evie, Jay and Carlos are supposed to be like the squad, best friends and sometimes, it doesn’t always come off that way because they don’t get to have a ton of moments where they can be emotional support to each other besides Mal. In the second one, Carlos points out that Evie and Mal often go off to talk and leave him and Jay out of it even though they’re a family. That was really the only time an effort was made for them all to have a moment and just talk. It still ended up being about Mal and I wish we had more chances to just catch up with the main four and have them catch up with each other. They all had their own lives, but they were still a family.
More Villain/Hero Parents. I wanted to see more parents. In the first one, we see each of our main four’s parents, which is cool because we can see what they diminished to being on the Island, but I wish we saw more of them. Of all the parents. I wanted to see more villain parents. In the third one, we get to see Dr. Facilier (he looked super cool btw), Lady Tremaine and Smee (but he has no lines), and in the second one, we saw Ursula’s tentacles and that was it. I wanted to see more of them. Gaston and Hook’s sons are there, why can’t we see them too? Or what about the parents in Auradon? We see Belle and Beast and Fairy Godmother but that’s it. I think we briefly see Snow White because she’s a news reporter and we see Sleeping Beauty’s mother but no one else. We’ve met, Chad, Cinderella’s son, Audrey, Aurora’s son, Lonnie, Mulan’s daughter. Doug, Dopey’s son and tons of other kids but no other parents. It would have been interesting to see the VKs interact with the actual victims of their parents and not just their kids. Plus, none of them besides Mal, got to interact with the kids of the parent’s victims. It would have been nice to see Jay meet and possibly befriend Aladdin and Jasmine’s kid. Evie never got to meet Snow White’s kid, but I guess she fell in love with Dopey’s kid so that’s enough… meh lol, they’re cute but I wish there was more. As for Carlos, well, hard to say how that would be handled lol but still, Anita and Roger’s kid? Missed opportunity really. We got to meet Hades who was dope, but it would have been nice to have him more involved instead of being the original keeper of the McGuffin.
The Parents. They’re not all bad but I don’t think they’re that great either. In the first movie, we see Cruella, Jafar, Maleficent and Evil Queen and honestly, it’s funny to see what happened to them, especially since the ends of their movies, three of them die and one of them ends up as a genie lol but they’re all mere shadows of themselves and it’s okay but I think it might have been better to show them a bit closer to their animated counterparts. Maleficent is played by Kristen Chenoweth and I can’t really take her seriously as the character. It’s supposed to be funny but meh. Maleficent is intimidating and she’s just not. She worked sometimes. I liked that Cruella was a little crazy lol and I really wanted to see sooo much more of her. Evil Queen is there too and she’s charming and I liked her and Maleficent had a working relationship but you’re not quite sure if they’re friends lol. Jafar owns a junk shop but I feel he was also too silly too. I get it, it’s a DCOM but I think you can still be a little silly but maintain their villainy. I also think it was a missed opportunity to not have them at least shown in the second and third movies. It didn’t have to be large parts but at least at the end, so we know they’re still around at least. Maleficent not so much since she got turned into a lizard but still. Also, the parents in Auradon aren’t that great either lol. Fairy Godmother hardly interacts with Jane, Belle is okay, but King Beast is kind of meh, he tells Ben in one of the movies “this is all your fault” like dude, that’s your teenage son, I mean jeez lol. Why didn’t Evie meet Doug’s parents? I wanted to see if Dopey was still Dopey lol. COME ON!
More Complex Adventures/Stories. So, there is a book series that coincide with the films, written by Melissa De La Cruz and I listened to the first two books (read by Sofia Carson, Evie herself) and I must read the next ones, but I quite enjoyed the adventure they go on in both of those books. They can’t do this now due to Cameron Boyce’s passing (Rest in Peace Cameron) but I think it was a missed opportunity to not have these characters have experiences that were a bit more complicated. Yes, each one dealt with Mal having to make some tough choices, but I hated that the other three didn’t really have to be involved. I mean, you take them out of the adventures and what do you lose? Nothing. They’d just be Mal’s friends like how Doug and Jane are treated at times.
  • Jay- I think if they had things like Jay having to continuously deal with violent impulses or his thievery. Chad even calls him out on being violent in the first one and we know that he’s good at stealing and we get callbacks sometimes, but I feel like it wouldn’t be that easy. He plays sports but was he just accepted because he did well? Chad was a jerk most of the time but was he the only one? It was too easy with Jay. Not to mention, he and Harry Hook clearly did not like each other but it was just some teasing, you never quite learn why they don’t like each other. Was it just because Mal and Uma didn’t like each other? Missed opportunities. What was he even doing in the third one outside of the main plot, like his side job? No idea.
  • Evie- Had her designing business and her relationship with Doug but I don’t think she ever had anything really happen. No one threatened her business, she didn’t have to deal with anyone thinking she’ll do to them what her mother did. I think it would have been nice to have issues with her business or something else that would make her frustrated with Auradon or something.
  • Carlos- Boooyyy, I wish he had more to do too. First, I was so annoyed to see how often he was holding that damn dog. I get it, but I was like ughhhh put him down! But outside of learning to love dogs, he also only is there to build his confidence with Jane as his girlfriend. He does nothing else. I don’t even know what he was doing in the third one because they all clearly graduated from high school by that time.
Overall, I really like these movies. I knew I probably would when I first heard about them. I think they’re fun, creative and unique in what they do in this world. I mean, the kids of Disney villains? That’s awesome. I like all the main characters, particularly the main four, the acting is good and clearly the actors have lots of fun. The costumes are cool, creative and I like the nods to other characters and stories. I looove the music, some of these songs really get stuck in your head and plus the dancing for most of the dance heavy songs are well choreographed. “Chillin like a Villain”, “What’s My Name” and “Queen of Mean” are my jams. I like the stories we’re shown in these films and I think it’s been great to see them unfold and grow. Now, I do think these movies don’t focus enough on some of the other main characters, particularly in Jay and Carlos who are interesting. Not to mention, it was a missed opportunity not to introduce other villain and hero parents, or even show the kids of some of our favorite heroes. I mean, not having Jay meet Aladdin and Jasmine’s kid is sad. While I like the stories, I wish they would have either gone in a different direction with some of them or considered having more mature side plots so we’re not just following Mal everywhere with all her problems. It’s just not as interesting as what some of the possibilities could have been. But otherwise fun and great trilogy!
Rating: Collectively 3.79 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Disney’s Descendants? Which is your favorite movie in the franchise?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Don’t forget to like and follow this blog for more reviews.

Movie Review: Lego Movie 2 The Second Part (2019)

113310_1335664.jpeg.1500x628_q95_crop-smart_upscale

Summary: It’s been five years since everything was awesome and the citizens are facing a huge new threat: Lego Duplo invaders from outer space, wrecking everything faster than they can rebuild.
Pros:
Cast and Characters.
  • Chris Pratt as Emmet Brickowski. He is an everyman, construction worker and inexperienced Master Builder from Bricksburg. He’s just an awkward kind of guy but he has a heart of gold and he’s a likable guy. I don’t always find Chris Pratt that great but I think his voice over work is great. His Emmet is innocent and earnest and it really works. He also plays another character in the movie, who I figured out what his role would be early on but I liked that character as well. I also love the little nods to some of his other characters.
  • Elizabeth Banks as Lucy / Wyldstyle. She is a Master Builder and very broody and intense. I like her a lot, she’s funny and I think the movie also is a lot about her and her ideas of what is important. She’s really trying hard to not be optimistic about things but you learn a lot about her as the film goes on and I like her little arc in the film. Characters like her, are always so badass but have to remember where they came from. Elizabeth Banks is great in this role, her delivery of coming off too dramatic but a little deadpan at the same time really works.
  • Will Arnett as Bruce Wayne / Batman. He was great! He is a DC Comics superhero who is a Master Builder and he has some great one-liners! I love the scenes he has with Queen Watevra and some of the stuff he says is just so ridiculous that it really works. His role isn’t that huge in this one but his scenes are funny.
  • Tiffany Haddish as Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi. She was probably my favorite in this film compared to her being Secret Life of Pets 2, which she annoyed me, but I liked her in this. She is the shape-shifting alien queen of the Systar System. Our first meeting with her makes you wonder if she’s good or not and throughout the film you wonder if she’s a villain or not. I like that it keeps you guessing because the movie doesn’t make it obvious. She has the best songs in the movie and I love her delivery because it comes off like “Supervillain!” but in the next scene you’re like “Sooo are you a bad guy or not?” lol it’s great and it really keeps you on your toes. Great job Tiffany Haddish, I think she was great in this voice over role, the animation really worked for her voice and she was really great in this role. I didn’t think “Tiffany Haddish” while watching, I started to forget it was her and then I’d go “Wow, that’s awesome”.
The Animation. The lego animation is great. It’s really cool to see how they do certain things with legos! Like how the explosions are little legos! Or anything that’s water is lego! It’s super cool. I never was into legos like that as a kid so it’s really cool to see how all of this stuff was put together by kids and then you have this big imaginary world based on what they created. Plus, Queen Watevra being a shape shifter, her shifting is really seamless and pretty dope. It’s really cool and unique, very impressive.
Fun Story. I like that this story picks up from the last one, five years later, but right after really. I don’t want to spoil anything but I like the lego stories coincide with what’s going on in the human world and how certain things have a connection like the “Systar System” talks about the little boy from the first movie’s little sister. That’s so cute. Everything that happens has a double meaning, it has its meaning for Emmet and Lucy and the other characters but it’s also for Finn and Bianca. I really loved it. Plus, I can relate to it.
So Funny. I don’t think I laughed as much when I watched the first one, in fact, I think the first one kind of annoyed me. It was good and cute but I liked this one way better. I laughed a lot more, and I thought the humor was handled better too. I liked a lot of the side characters humor. The banana was hilarious and I really liked Queen Watevra, she had some great moments and lines.
Great Message. At the end of the day, the message is about family, particularly between a brother and sister and how important it is to maintain that relationship between siblings. I love that. I have 5 siblings and while we may not always get along, I love them more than anything. I would kick ass for my brothers and sisters. So, I think this movie does a great job at talking about that and how siblings play with toys. Not to mention, the things that Emmet and even Lucy have to learn. I love it.
The Songs. This movie has some great songs, I particularly like Queen Watevra’s songs and I thought Tiffany Haddish did a great job performing them. “Not Evil” and “Gotham City Boys” was great! I was like yasss! That “Everything is Awesome” song is such an ear worm and I have a love/hate relationship with it. But the songs in this one I didn’t dislike from the beginning lol.
Cons:
Doesn’t explain. Some things they don’t explain and I needed an explanation. I don’t want to spoil anything but I wish they would have explained how the legos are able to move on their own. You’ll know what I mean when you see it. Rex, I get but I just wish they would have gone into that more.
The Real World. I also don’t think they should have cut to the real world as much as they did. It was a great surprise in the first one to see what the legos were actually being controlled by people and we know that going in, unless you haven’t seen it, but I think they showed it to us way too much. Just a few times before the big climax at the end where we get to see way more. Leave a little more to the imagination in terms of that.
Overall, I really liked this movie way more than I thought I would. I liked this one way more than the first one. It’s just so good. The characters are still great and I liked them a bit more in this one, the voice acting is great and I really have to give to Tiffany Haddish. I love the animation because it’s soo cool, I love the lego stuff and it’s so impressive. I also think the movie is really funny, I laughed and I thought it was charming and I liked how it connected to the real world. Also, the songs are awesome! I really liked the two songs Queen Watevra got to sing, plus her name is awesome. My only issues is that I wish the movie explained more about the legos in the real-world thing when it came to them talking or being sentient. Not to mention, the amount of times they showed the human stuff, it could have been cut down a bit more. But I think this movie is great! I really liked it and it’s a great fun movie.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen The Lego Movie 2: The Second Act? What are your thoughts? Is it better than the first?
Tell me your thoughts in the comments below!
Don’t forget to like and follow this blog for more movie reviews.