Movie Review: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019)

Film Title: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
Summary: When Hiccup discovers Toothless isn’t the only Night Fury, he must seek “The Hidden World”, a secret Dragon Utopia before a hired tyrant named Grimmel finds it first.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. There are a lot of characters in this movie who we know and love from the previous two movies. I’m not going to particularly talk about them all because while they’re cool, they’re not as important to me as the ones I will talk about.
  • Jay Baruchel as Hiccup. I’ve always thought his voice was a little weird, but it works for this character. Hiccup is the new chief of Berk and the initial trainer of dragons. He has big dreams for his people, he wants them to save all the dragons, but he also knows that their home has become a bigger target, so he intends to find this Hidden World, his father spoke of, and move them all there to live in harmony away from other humans who want to hunt dragons. In this movie, he has a lot of growing up to do, but not in the “be a man” type of growing he’s had to do in the past, but more along the lines of “there are hard choices to make that will be painful but they have to be in the best interest of those you love” kind of choices. I think his arc has come full circle beautifully in this film. I love Hiccup. He is such a likable character and you want him to succeed but you also know he’s going to have a hard time of it.
  • Toothless. He is not voiced by a person but Toothless is just as important as Hiccup. Toothless is like a brother to Hiccup more so than a pet or anything like that. In the first movie he’s the last of his kind and no one knows anything about them or what they really look like. When Hiccup brings him down, he loses a tail wing, so he can’t fly but Hiccup helps him and Toothless does his own thing. Eventually though they become friends and Toothless is a ride or die. In this movie, he is still the Alpha from the last movie and it’s clear that he and Hiccup are mostly on the same page but when he sees the Light Fury (that’s what Astrid called her), he’s into her because Night Furies mate for life and its super cute. Toothless is adorable and hilarious to watch and his emotions are so clear on his face that it’s like dialogue, but we just don’t need it for him. I love Toothless.
  • America Ferrera as Astrid. She is badass okay. She is an excellent fighter and in this one, Hiccup’s fiancée. She is a strong woman on her own but also in support of Hiccup who probably leans on her more than he does anyone else (other than Toothless). She is also willing to follow him and support him and speak up and question him when she’s not sure of his plans. She clearly loves his ingenuity and passion for his people and the dragons and it’s great to see how she looks at him (kudos to the animators who worked on her). America Ferrera’s voice works well in this character, it’s light and welcoming but when she’s being fierce you know she’ll kick butt, not to mention, the way she says certain dialogue pieces work so well.
  • F. Murray Abraham as Grimmel the Grisly. He is a dragon hunter and he’s after Toothless. I mean… who isn’t lol? But this was a good villain. All the villains in these movies, the main ones, have been really good and his intention is not to necessarily rid the world of dragons but to finish what he started all those years ago with the Night Furies. I liked that he didn’t have such big ambitions, he knew his advantages and he used them. The voice work was also great for his character.
Supporting Characters.
Cate Blanchett as Valka. Craig Ferguson as Gobber the Belch. Jonah Hill as Snotlout Jorgenson. Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Fishlegs Ingerman. Kristen Wiig and Justin Rupple as Ruffnut and Tuffnut Thorston. Kit Harington as Eret. Gerard Butler as Stoick the Vast. They all reprise their roles from the first two films and their characters are still hilarious, the voice acting is good and the moments with Gerard Butler and a young Hiccup played by A.J Kane are sweet moments.
Beautiful Animation. I think DreamWorks has beautiful animation in general for their movies, minus Shark Tale (shudders), but this movie is so beautiful because the Hidden World in general is such a feast for the eyes. I really wish I saw this in IMAX or something because I feel like it would have done it justice. But the characters look even better than before, the animation for Toothless and the Light Fury is clearly handled with care, even if Toothless looks like Stitch lol. Even the villain had such an interesting look and the animation on his facial expressions were great.
Emotional Story. Listen, I pretty much had tears in my eyes the entire time but the last act of the film I cried. This is such a good trilogy with such a strong story arc and an emotional crux in Hiccup and Toothless’ relationship that you are so invested in their bond.
Friendship between Hiccup and Toothless. Going off the last point, one of the strongest things about the movie, about all the movies, is the friendship between Hiccup and Toothless. We are invested the moment Hiccup puts his hand out and turns away to allow Toothless to make the final move. You know that iconic moment…
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But once that moment happens, you are invested in their bond. They both have gone through hell to save and love the other, it’s such a great brotherhood, friendship shown on screen. Probably one of the best in a long time. So, to see that continue and grow even more, with lessons being learned by both characters in different ways is such a treat.
Hiccup and Astrid. Another strong relationship in the movie is the one between Hiccup and Astrid. In the first movie, we see their friendship bloom and grown and the second one it’s a romantic relationship. In this one, it’s been a year since the last film, and their relationship is even stronger. She trusts him and believes in him wholeheartedly, but she also is willing to be the one to help him to talk things out and to make Hiccup think through his problems and give him a firm hand. I love the fact that Hiccup’s mother gives Astrid advice on how to work on being there for Hiccup and while it’s a “supporting” role, she’s still very much in the forefront because she’s the one he leans on. I loved that about them.
Cons:
I don’t particularly have specific cons and I was trying to figure out if anything really stood out to me that wasn’t as good as everything else and I settled on the fact that the movie is great overall and a great ending, but it was predictable. I knew what was going to happen and I was prepared for it because it’s emotional, but I totally called it from the beginning. I think it’s hard to close out such an interesting story with interesting leads in Hiccup and Toothless and it not feel weaker than some of the other elements. Not to mention, the stakes didn’t seem nearly as high or the tension wasn’t fully realized as it wanted it too. In the first movie, being that the villain was Hiccup’s dad, kind of and the other adults made it much more personal for Hiccup. While this villain’s intention was to get Toothless, it’s been that way for each movie so it’s a little old.
Overall, I love this entire trilogy and I think Hidden World was a fantastic ending to a basically perfect trilogy. The characters are still great, mostly the main three in Hiccup, Toothless and Astrid (the others are fine but mostly comic relief). I think the growth in both Hiccup and Toothless has been a joy to watch and the animation remains beautiful. Oh, and the music is glorious. It’s such an experience to see on the big screen. The Hidden World alone is such a treat for the eyes. I love the emotional story because this is the end of the trilogy and they must go out on a bang. I cried y’all. A LOT. I love the friendship between Hiccup and Toothless because the movie, all of them, have banked on that relationship and it’s so strong that it’s more than just a friendship, it’s a brotherhood. I also really enjoyed the strong relationship between Hiccup and Astrid… relationship goals! My minor issue if that I think the plot lacks tension and stakes like it wanted to build. The villain was a good one and I liked that he didn’t have these huge motives, but I never really felt that he was going to be this huge threat. You know? I mean it’s been the same motive for each movie. In the end, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is a great ending to a great story!
Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy? Have you seen The Hidden World yet? Check it out and tell me if it’s worthy to be considered one of the best trilogies of all time? I would think so.
Thanks for reading!
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Movie Review: Greta (2019)

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Summary: A young woman befriends a lonely widow who’s harboring a dark and deadly agenda towards her.
This will be a short review.
Pros:
Acting talent. Isabelle Huppert is fantastic in this. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her in anything even though I really wanted to see Elle. But she was sooo good. There was a scene in the restaurant that was my favorite scene and she does it so well. I also really like Chloe Grace Moretz and I think she does a good job in the film as well. She has good chemistry with Isabelle Huppert and that’s the crux of the film and when things get crazy, she really acts the way I would think someone in shoes would act.
Interesting Story. I think the idea is interesting of this woman who is lonely and preys on young girls who might also be lonely. It’s a different take on the stalker story (with the usual beats) and I liked how they set up the story. I liked that we got to see Francis and Greta have this relationship before things got crazy.
Scary moments. This movie isn’t scary, it’s a thriller but it’s not scary. There is a lot of tension in scenes which works because of the nature of the story. Whenever someone goes into Greta’s house once the other shoe drops it’s scary because you don’t know what’s going to happen to the person. The entire second half was scary because of what’s going on not because it’s scary.
The Restaurant Scene. I think that was the best part of the movie. Francis works in a restaurant and Greta shows up and Francis ends up having to wait on her. Greta is being all extra about her wine and then she freaks out at Francis. Now, I had NO idea what she was saying for the most part lol, but I loved the tension in that scene and I think it’s probably one of the best scenes in the movie.
Cons:
Extremely Cheesy. Soooooo cheesy and in ways over the top that might take a viewer out of the film. I think the first half is much stronger than the second half because the first half is setting things up, getting the tone of the movie down and when the second half happens once Greta gets what she wants, it just feels absurd. The dialogue also might make you want to chuckle a bit because I know I did lol.
Random Moments. I say this because there are some moments that are just random and made me go “why is that in the film?” For example, someone that Francis works with makes a comment about her stalker situation and it was extremely insensitive. It wasn’t like the girl didn’t know the situation and said something because she knew and I’m like… what was the point of you saying that? She already feels like crap and I wonder why that was included. Then there was this whole thing with a detective and I’m sorry, that was just plain stupid. People are kind of stupid in this movie too lol. THEN Francis and her best friend Erica, have this argument earlier on and it comes out of nowhere. I was confused, and I think I laughed a little.
Weak Second Half. As I mentioned before, I think the first part of the movie was good and strong, but the second half is where things not only go full speed but go a little crazy. Once Greta gets what she wants, she really starts to put on the ham and cheese and Isabelle Huppert was clearly having fun doing it. But people are extra stupid in the second half and even when they think they’re gaining the upper hand they’re stupid and I rolled my eyes on several occasions.
Overall, I very much enjoyed Greta. I think it’s a fun movie. I think the acting from the main two actresses is very good, especially Isabelle Huppert who is clearly having fun in her role. I think the first half is very strong and the relationship created between Greta and Francis was handled well just for it to PULLED OUT FROM UNDER US lol. I liked the story and I think while it has the same beats as other stalker stories, it takes it in a little different direction. The restaurant scene is also a great scene because it’s full of tension and the acting there is great. Now, on the other hand, it is very cheesy, and the dialogue is silly at times where you might laugh. There are some random moments that don’t add anything or don’t add much to the film and the second half is weak compared to the first. It falls into silliness instead of maintaining that thriller vibe it was aiming for in the first half. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Greta.
Rating: 3.79 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Greta? It’s worth the watch and you should give it a shot, especially if you enjoy thrillers. Let me know your thoughts down below if you have seen it.

Movie Review: Acrimony (2018)

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Summary: A faithful wife, tired of standing by her devious husband, is enraged when it becomes clear she has been betrayed.
There will be spoilers because I don’t care.
Pros:
Leading Characters. I don’t think any of these characters are that interesting apart from the two leads, nor do I think the acting is that great throughout the movie. I will give a shout out to Ajiona Alexus as Young Melinda, she is great with her facial expressions and you do sympathize with her.
  • Taraji is always a Win. Taraji P. Henson is a very good actress and I generally think she does a great job in her roles. I think with the writing she was given, she managed to elevate in certain places throughout the movie. The narration (while I didn’t like it) was humorous in some areas and you can tell that she was truly affected by what was going on with her. I think Taraji is very engaging to watch even when she’s playing crazy.
  • Lyriq Bent as Robert. It’s kind of weird but while the character was mostly crap, Lyriq is really good at this role. He’s this man who is down on his luck and he just keeps trying to make this battery thing work and you can tell he really wants it too, but he’s so narrow focused on his own problems that he doesn’t see what he’s doing to his wife.
The Idea of the Story. The whole woman scorned thing is okay, I mean we’ve seen it many times before and this isn’t anything different but the idea of watching this woman stand by her man for a long time and then finally let it go and the things he promised are given to someone else, all that’s fine. I wouldn’t mind it so much if the execution was good… I guess I’m getting ahead of myself.
Cons:
The Narration.I won’t say I hate narration but I HATE unnecessary narration. We first see them in court and then we see Melinda in therapy and she’s talking about her feelings. We then get to see her entire backstory with Robert and Taraji is narrating it while she’s telling her therapist. I usually dislike this setup because NOW we get to hear her tell us her feelings and thoughts instead of allowing us to live in the moment! THERE WAS TOO MUCH NARRATION! Gah it was so annoying. You want me to feel bad for her but you are literally telling me in the narration that she KNEW something was up! She kept saying “Con man!” because YES I know she’s telling it from her point of view, but dang Tyler Perry, trust your audience to get that from Ajiona Alexus’ acting. There’s a part where young Melinda sees Robert’s home and they have an intimate moment and we can CLEARLY SEE that he’s affecting her with his Nina Simone and his charisma, WE DIDN’T NEED THE NARRATION TO TELL US THAT! It was super annoying.
Over the top. Sometimes things being over the top is fine but it does not work in this movie. It’s ridiculous to be honest. They wanted me to feel bad for Melinda, which I did for a little while. It wasn’t until the crazy stuff later on that I was like “nope”. I mean, in the beginning when she was younger, she found out Robert was cheating and she literally ran her jeep into his mobile home until it tipped over. She busted her face, got internal bleeding and had to get her uterus removed. I mean… why? Why couldn’t it just have been her breaking an arm or leg, or hurt her neck? I mean jeez. Then later, after she gets the divorce, she decides she wants to sue him for half of everything once he gets his battery off the ground. Look, I get it, you were there the entire time he’s been failing and you feel like you should get something, I get it, but listen, you divorced him and he gave all the money you spent on him and more. I know it’s not necessarily all that you probably deserve but it wasn’t like he divorced you after he made it big ya know? Plus, I’m sure seeing him give everything he said he was going to give you to someone else had to be upsetting, I get it. Completely. But you stalk his fiancée on Facebook and leave threatening messages and then try and sue him. I mean what? lol it doesn’t make sense and I feel no sympathy anymore. If anything, I just feel bad for you and not in a good way. If the movie wanted that then great job but if they wanted me to feel for Melinda lol psht. Just ridiculous.
The Last Two Acts. I think the first act with the young versions and up until the divorce was fine. Painful but fine. When they get a divorce and she sees that he is now living the life he always said he wanted to live she loses it. Now, I don’t mind her being upset and the whole “woman scorned” thing but wow, the movie begins to take this break neck pace where it starts to get embarrassing and my friend kept rolling over because it was so painful to watch. It was like a car wreck. It went from this woman feeling betrayed to this “misery” thing and it was just… ugh ridiculous.
The Women. I don’t know what Tyler Perry’s issue is with black women, but literally all of the women in this movie are just out of their minds. Melinda of course has her issues that come full force later in the movie and I think it’s ridiculous that no one in her life addressed it beforehand. I know the black community has a hard time with mental health but still, considering the fact that Melinda knew her father had the same issue as her, it must have been mentioned. Why not more often by other people? They all seemed to know that she had this anger issue, so why hasn’t it ever been helped before? It’s a movie, she can go to therapy. Then her sisters were just stereotypes. Brenda was the one who just knew all the answers and was constantly putting Robert down and always always in Melinda’s business. I know she’s the oldest sister and she was protective but there are boundaries ma’am and you keep crossing them. The second sister, she was so timid… I guess? She was the other extreme to the oldest sister where she was always so mellow and tried to be the peace keeper but she always sided with Brenda. Then you have the lady that Robert ends up with and at first I was like okay, because she was like “I didn’t know about Melinda” when they were younger but she for some reason, started watching all of the videos he’d sent over the years (even though he was JUST issued a restraining order from the company) and you can clearly see her falling in love with him again and I’m like… girl lol, just because he’s brilliant doesn’t mean he’s not crazy. I just can’t. The only sane one was the friend.
Bad Acting. Outside of our leads the acting was horrible. I thought the friend was fine but the sisters, the other woman and the husbands were all just bad.
Overall, this movie is so bad I could barely finish it. I wanted to give up. I knew it was going to be bad but I hoped that it wouldn’t be so terrible since the two lead actors are good at their jobs, which they are. There’s nothing wrong with telling the story of a woman who wasted her life with someone who didn’t give her everything and more that she gave. I get it. I really do. Anyone who can relate, sure, but there’s a line between you feeling like you are owed and then just going crazy. It’s just so over the top that it’s not even good or interesting storytelling. It makes the main character who we’re supposed to sympathize with look bad and as the audience, I no longer care. The acting is bad minus, the women in this movie are stereotypes and terrible. The last two acts of the film are rushed and full of bad writing. I just can’t. I’m done with this movie lol.
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Acrimony? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts on the movie down in the comments below. If you liked it, tell me, I’m curious.
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Movie Review: Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (2018)

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

Movie Review: The Darkest Minds (2018)

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Summary: Imprisoned by an adult world that now fears everyone under 18, a group of teens form a resistance group to fight back and reclaim control of their future.
Pros:
Pretty Good Acting. I like Amandla Stenberg. I don’t think there has ever been a movie that I didn’t like her in. The movie might not have been great, but I usually always enjoy her. I think she had an interesting character in this movie in that Ruby has some baggage and trauma that she deals with, not to mention being afraid of her abilities. It’s something we’ve seen before but it’s still interesting because we don’t know the extent her powers and nor does she. Amandla manages to show all of that. I do acknowledge that she makes some funny faces but that’s just her face lol and it doesn’t bother me, nor do I count it against her. Harris Dickinson as Liam was also pretty good, he’s a leader in their runaway group and it’s clear he really cares about those in his group. He’s very passionate and it shows. I also enjoyed Skylan Brooks as Chubs, and while she didn’t have any dialogue Miya Cech as Zu was also cute.
Character Skeletons. I didn’t want to go through each character and actor like I normally do because I don’t think the characters are that interesting overall, but we got some interesting character skeletons. Even with Ruby being the main character, she wasn’t fleshed out enough for me to care about her, BUT I thought there was enough setup for interesting characters. I liked that each one of our runaways had a different ability and that they viewed themselves like a family. The villain was also interesting, but he was so random that it didn’t work overall.
The Story. I haven’t read the book, so I am not going to be comparing this at all. I did read the first two or three chapters and it was interesting. The idea is that 98% of the children die in the US leaving the survivors with abilities. The government wants to cure them, so they put them into these camps. Their abilities are rated on a color scale from harmless to lethal.
Green- High Intelligence
Blue- Telekinesis
Yellow- Electrokinesis
Red- Unknown (I mean I know but it’s kind of cool to find out)
Orange- Mind Control etc.
That’s all cool and stuff and I would like to know just how they planned on curing these kids or if they would rather use them as weapons. Plus, there are three books so I’m sure they planned on making two more movies, which I would have been interested in watching but ya know it did terribly, so I doubt it. Anyways, the fact that Ruby managed to survive in the camps pretending to be a green was interesting and I would have liked to know just how she managed to survive for so long. Not to mention, when she met up with Liam, Chubs and Zu, they escaped from the camp they were in and were on the run, but what next at the end ya know? I thought there was the makings of a cool and immersive story.
Cons:
Dull and Boring. Ya’ll this movie is so dull. Nothing happens. I mean, stuff happens but nothing happens, and it was very anticlimactic. I really wanted the end to be more interesting than it was because you have all these kids with powers in one place and none of them thought to use their powers to help?? I mean, listen, if I had telekinesis (which is the power I always choose) then I would be fighting. Besides, I can’t imagine anyone not catching on to that “twist” at the end. Also the little dust thing where Ruby is like disappearing or whatever you always see… so disappointed in that lol. I get it but BOO. Disappointed.
Use of Abilities. A big missed opportunity was how the powers were used. I think it makes sense that Ruby’s powers were a bit of mystery because she didn’t really know how to use them herself so that’s fine. However, the others should have had some better use of their powers. For one, I feel like the Greens having high intelligence is just so passive in the world where the others aren’t. I felt like they should be able to control or connect with technology, be technopaths or something like that. We see Zu use her powers maybe three times and each time she had to touch wires or something, which is cool to give it limitations but is that it? Is that why she always had to wear the rubber gloves? As for the telekinesis which can also be called “Psychokinesis” is a powerful power which is why I was so shocked it was considered “less dangerous” considering how they can not only move things with their mind, they can move people, create force fields, I guess depending on the limitations of that power. Missed opportunity because Liam was already considered a powerful “blue”, but that power is powerful in general. I just wish we got to see more of the powers used overall in more than just the usual ways.
Unfocused. It was allllll over the place. Sure, it had a through line, the kids had somewhere they wanted to go and Ruby ultimately wanted to go home but being that it’s a dystopian ya film, it kind of has the same tropes that all the others have (The Hunger Games, Divergent, The 5th Wave), and they wanted us to be interested in so much that they didn’t flesh out the stuff that really mattered. Why didn’t we get the chance to really know just how close Liam, Chubs and Zu were? They told us they were, they said it, but other than the fact that they seemed stuck with each other, we didn’t really get to know them as a unit. Then there’s the stuff with Mandy Moore’s character and that was just here and there. THEN the stuff with Gwendolyn Christie who seemed like an interesting character but that was just brushed aside. It was all over the place ya’ll.
Romance Aspect. Listen, I don’t have a problem with romance in movies, but sometimes it’s hard to accept that people are falling in love while the world is ending, or their lives are in danger. I can’t say it’s unrealistic because ya know teenagers, but it’s so ridiculous sometimes. There’s a part where Zu insists Ruby put on this red dress, and she does, and she walks around in this fancy red dress… why? So random. She and Liam also clearly are going to be interested in each other, sure, but how long were they together? They don’t really know each other and they’re just like making decisions about each other and I’m like ‘but Ya’ll don’t know each other’ not to mention, something happens with another person at the end, and while I get it to an extent, YOU ALSO DON’T KNOW THIS GIRL!
So Many Questions. I was interested, and I think I’ll read the books now because I feel like the movie didn’t do the justice it probably deserved. We’ll see. But I had a lot of questions. For example, where did the disease come from? Why is it only kids that are affected? What happens to the survivors with the abilities once they are no longer kids? Will they maintain these powers or lose them? If that’s the case, why not allow them to live their lives (maybe keep a close eye on those Reds and Oranges) until they’re 18 or whatever? How did Ruby managed to stay hidden for so long? Did she just mind control people who got suspicious of her? Why didn’t the government conduct the “white noise” procedure often? They seemed to only do it a few times but if it was me, I would do it at the end of the year or every six months or so just in case someone slipped through defenses. Is the eletrokinesis only if they touched things that held a current, or could it be from the body directly? What about the telekinesis… since that’s kinetic energy, they should be able to do a lot more than what was continuously showcased. What about the Greens? They only have high intelligence? Why not use them instead of making them do stupid grunt work? ALSO, what happened to Lady Jane??? lol so many questions and the movie wasn’t doing a good job at answering any of them.
Overall, The Darkest Minds was a mess and I feel bad for it to be honest. I feel like there was some good stuff there but being in a movie format didn’t help the movie at all. Adding this one to the YA books that should have been a TV show. The acting overall is good, I don’t think anyone was bad and Amandla I think is always likable no matter what she does. The characters had an interesting base and I think the story is good but needed some flesh and extra life but unfortunately it was dull and boring. It was unfocused, focused way too much on the romance aspect when it should have focused more on the Runaways family aspect, their powers and Ruby’s internal struggles. There was also a ton of missed opportunities with their powers. Lastly, so many questions that weren’t the good kind. Listen, if it comes on TV check it out, but otherwise, I wouldn’t worry about it.
SIDE NOTE: That little girl they chose to play a young Ruby, not only looked NOTHING like Amandla, she was a completely different complexion. Sure, kids grow up and get a little darker or a little lighter, but I think that was a missed opportunity to cast a dark-skinned actress as Ruby. That was annoying.
Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen The Darkest Minds? If so, what were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below! I would love to hear from those who have seen the movie and perhaps also read the book! No spoilers though!
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Movie Review: Samson (2018)

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This will be a short review.
Summary: After losing the love of his life to a cruel Philistine prince, a young Hebrew with Supernatural strength defends his people, sacrificing everything to avenge his love, his people, and his God.
Pros:
The Story. This is based on the Bible story of Samson, the man with all the strength. You have this man who is destined for greatness but he’s not very good at destiny nor does he want to do what is expected of him. That’s interesting and regardless of if you believe the story is true or not, it’s still interesting. Plus, everyone comes for the Delilah part and that was interesting but I think they could have done more with that.
Gaining Strength. I liked that any time Samson had to use his strength, he would kneel and touch the ground and the ground would shake and you could see the rocks move. I thought that was really cool.
Cons:
Samson and Delilah. The biggest thing people come for is the relationship between these two. I always think of the old version with Hedy Lamarr and how they really played up the relationship but, in this film, they tried but it wasn’t interesting and I don’t believe that she cared for him at all. I didn’t think it was any kind of confusion for her like they tried to make it seem.
Annoying Characters. They’re all annoying and stupid. Samson has a brother who is super annoying, I get him and his reasons but he’s annoying. Samson is annoying, his people are annoying. The king and the prince are both annoying. The only person who isn’t really annoying was Delilah but she wasn’t in it enough for me to care about her. Also, Billy Zane and Jackson Rathbone were just hamming it up and seemed to have such fun but wow, so bad. lol
The Costumes. Listen, I try not to compare adaptations because they’re adaptations but it’s hard to ignore the fact that the version with Hedy Lamarr had such GREAT COSTUMES. I mean look at her peacock outfit! All of the clothes in this movie were bland and not to mention, the wigs were horrible and the beards they added to Samson and his brother were even worse in the end.
Overall, listen lol, this movie isn’t good. There were parts of it I enjoyed because it’s a story I enjoy but the movie isn’t good. The story is interesting and I liked the indication of how Samson’s strength would come about but that’s about it. I don’t think the film looked that great, it was very stylized when it should have looked authentic or at least provide an ambiance that would make me believe I am actually watching a movie from the Bible. Ya know? All of the characters are annoying, they have stupid arguments, and stupid reasonings and it was just stupid. I also don’t think the whole Samson and Delilah part was handled well because I did not believe they cared about each other, nor did I believe she felt any kind of remorse even though they tried to make it seem like she did. I laughed a few times through the movie because it was ridiculous.
Rating: 1.9 out of 5 stars.
Did you see this movie? Did you even know it existed? No? Lol don’t feel bad. I mean, if you see let me know your thoughts. I would be very interested to hear them.
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Movie Review: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

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Summary: When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen and Claire mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event.
Pros:
The Acting. I don’t particularly care about these characters, at least not in the way I cared about Dr. Grant, Ian Malcolm, Ellie and the kids but I think the acting in the movie is good. Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt (who I think is just okay mostly) work just fine in the film and as they are the only characters who were in the first movie, it’s easy to try and latch on to them for the sake of the movie. Isabella Sermon was also pretty good.
Dinosaur CGI. From what I know the dinosaurs are a combination of animatronics and CGI and that’s cool. I thought they looked really cool and anytime they were moving, it was quite the sight. I don’t think it holds the same weight as it did with the original movie, but I think it looks good.
The Idea. Listen, I think the idea of “should we let the dinosaurs we created die by this natural cause or should we save them?” is pretty interesting and I can imagine a moral dilemma. But let’s be honest, most of them are murderous and if allowed anywhere near people would kill them all and ruin the economy. Okay, so while I am an animal lover, I want to save the Long Necks because ya know, Little Foot’s mom but the rest of them can go. I think that was an interesting premise which the movie touches on in the beginning and then a bit towards the end. The middle is something completely different which was annoying. I wish the movie just focused on that but whatever.
Cons:
Characters are DUMB. Sorry not sorry, but all of these characters are dumb. First of all, why did Franklin (Justice Smith) go with them if he’s terrified of dinosaurs? Why couldn’t they just find someone who wouldn’t be afraid who could also do his job? When the volcano erupts, I find it hilarious that Owen and Claire thought hiding behind that little glass hamster ball would keep them safe… it shouldn’t have. I mean… so dinosaurs have a sense that there are people hiding behind it so they avoid it while they are running for their lives? Yeah okay lol. Also, Maisie hiding in her bed while there is a GIANT MURDERING ANIMAL trying to eat your flesh… yeah hide in the bed under the magical Vibranium covers. She also climbed out of the window later, why didn’t she just do that instead of trying to pick her bedroom lock??? I mean… plus! The decision she makes later on, I mean… no matter what you feel, what YOU DID WAS DUMB! I cannot believe that Claire and Owen just turned their back which allowed her to think she could make a decision like that. NOPE. They’re all dumb. Don’t even get me started on Benjamin Lockwood.
No Danger.So, when I was a kid I was terrified of Jurassic Park and I didn’t really see it all the way through until I was an adult. When I did, I realized just how great it was but also how tension filled it is. This movie tries to have those moments, in fact, all of the Jurassic movies try to have a moment that is filled with tension. This one kind of have two that stand out in particular but they’re both dumb and cringey so I didn’t feel any of the tension they tried to put into those scenes.
The Middle. I guess more importantly the “second act” of the film with what happens back with the humans. I won’t get into it but it’s all stupid and completely unnecessary and I wish writers would come up with something different than “oh, these animals are going extinct and now we’re going to sell them to the highest bidders”, I mean do y’all really think y’all can handle these creatures? I mean for real? It may be interesting in other storylines but in this movie, it doesn’t work. I think it should have remained with the emotional and moral dilemma.
Overall, this movie is fine, I guess. The CGI is good on the dinosaurs and the acting is good for the most part, I think all of the main actors do their jobs and the idea behind the movie is fine. I don’t think it’s a very cohesive movie. It doesn’t have any charm that it tries to have, it doesn’t convey any tension nor do I feel like anyone is in any actual danger. The moments where it tries to be funny is not funny, like the part where Pratt is trying to will his body to move away from the lava… I mean, bruh you just got hit with a tranq that took down a velociraptor, there is no way you’re able to move. I just… no. The entire second half of the film was unnecessary; ALL of the characters are dumb and I think it’s unfortunate that a movie about dinosaurs is not interesting.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom? What are your thoughts on it? Do you think it’s better than the first one? Let me know your thoughts!
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