FanCasting: Treasure Planet (2002)

treasure_planet_main_image

Summary: A Disney animated version of “Treasure Island”. The only difference is that the film is set in outer space with alien worlds and other galactic wonders.

I distinctly remember when this movie came out in 2002. I remember the trailers and I remember the McDonald’s commercials for it. However, it was almost like it came and went. I’ve seen it many times and cut to some years later, I own it now and this movie is beautiful and amazing.

I have done a lot of research and watched videos on this movie. It took 10 years to make, which was much longer than the other movies at the time. It was also stuck in production hell for a long time. It seems like the men who ran Disney at the time, were wholly against this movie and did nothing to help it become a thing.

This film was pitched to Disney by John Musker and Ron Clements several times in their Disney career. During production of The Black Cauldron (1985), they asked but got assigned to direct The Great Mouse Detective (1986). They asked again but got assigned to do The Little Mermaid (1989) and THEN Aladdin (1992). They asked again after Aladdin, but the studio wanted them to do Hercules(1997) and they only agreed to work on that film if they could do Treasure Planet right after. Finally got smart. But they had some good movies in their career before they got to do their passion project. I don’t particularly care for Herculeslike that but the other ones in their repertoire are some of my favorites (TLM and Aladdin particularly)

Animated Voice Cast

This movie has a great voice cast.

  • Joseph Gordon Levitt as Jim Hawkins.This is JGL’s debut as a voice actor and he does a really good job in the role. He is youthful, he has a unique voice at this point in his life and whenever Jim goes through his anger spouts or even the emotional stuff, he handles it well. I’ve always wanted JGL to be the live action version of Jim but he’s too old now, but I’ve found someone who can bounce his amazing voice work.
  • David Hyde Pierce as Dr. Delbert Doppler. I’ve never really seen him in anything, other than Frasier, and didn’t watch it like that. It was just on and I’d kind of watch it lol. But he has a great kind of awkward and annoying combination of a voice. Delbert was endearing but he was also that Doctor character who thought they knew everything but never really experienced it themselves.
  • Emma Thompson as Captain Amelia. She is one of my favorite characters in the movie lol, she’s great and Emma Thompson is great at voicing her.
  • Martin Short as B.E.N. He’s a robot and Martin Short is a little annoying in the role but I guess that’s the point of him lol. Very distinct voice as well.
  • Brian Murray as John Silver. He is a cyborg and the pseudo-villain of the film. He has a great voice and he changes it up depending on his mood, I like that.

Live Action Cast

Jim Hawkins

Jim Hawkins is said to be 15 in the film, in a deleted scene. He can stay 15 especially with a few of my choices or we could age him up a little bit, maybe 17 so he’s not quite at 18 just yet. But he’s a bad boy who yearns for adventure. He just can’t seem to get his life together but he manages to figure out the puzzle he gets from Billy Bones and embarks on a quest to help his mom. He feels like it’s his fault. Jim goes through a lot in this film. He’s angry and acting out because his father left when he was a kid and he’s resentful for that. I think a role like this, is one we’ve seen many times and there’s nothing wrong with seeing it again in a different package. We see Jim grow throughout the film and I think with great writing coupled with his great acting, it would be awesome.

Top Choice: Timothee Chalamet

treasureplanet08-740x44424th Annual Critics' Choice Awards - Arrivals, Santa Monica, USA - 13 Jan 2019

 

 

 

 

I think Chalamet would be great at this role. Most of his roles are dramas and he’s so good at that but I would like to see him do something that’s a bit more fun and adventurous. That may not be his thing but I’d think he’d be great at that. With all the emotional stuff Jim experiences, especially the betrayal he feels when Silver does his thing, I think Timothee could really handle all of this. Plus, he still looks young, he’s 23 but he has a young face. I don’t know if that hairstyle would quite work on a real person and it doesn’t look stupid but I like Chalamet’s hair in the picture on the right, so I think that would work out fine, or have him grow it out a tad bit longer and definitely let him keep his curls because while I love Mena Massoud’s hair in Aladdin, I wish he got to keep his curls too.

Honorable Mentions: Booboo Stewart, Levi Miller, Ross Lynch, Nick Robinson. These three actors I feel like would also do a really good job at this role. I put them in the order of who I think would be the best for the role.

Captain Long John Silver

He’s never quite called “Long John” but that’s his name from the novel soo but anyway, Silver is ambitious, greedy, cunning and spent most of his life searching for Captain Flint’s treasure. Whenever he’s working with his crew in secret, he’s clearly their menacing Captain. However, you come to like and care about him because of his interactions with Jim. He doesn’t like unnecessary acts of violence and cruelty. He even plans to mutiny after they collected the treasure so no one would get hurt. He puts on airs of cruelty to keep his crew in line. I think as the film goes on that’s clear.

Silver is rather greedy and cunning, having spent most of his life searching for the treasure of Captain Flint, but he has a caring side, too, and understands that friendship can be more important than treasure. He dislikes unnecessary acts of violence and cruelty, originally intending to mutiny only after the treasure was in hand, and thus, avoiding bloodshed as much as possible, and is generally honest and honorable in his piratical dealings. Nonetheless, he maintains a constant air of harsh brutality and deception around his crewmates, understandably necessary to maintain his position as their leader.

Top Choice: Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Image result for treasure planet silver

Image result for jeffrey dean morgan

Sooooo, I think JDM and Javier Bardem are basically twins so physically they both could do it but I think JDM has a charisma about him that would work for John Silver. The man is a cyborg so I would think a mixture of CGI and prosthetic or motion capture or something would work for this character. He always seemed to also be an alien who also was a cyborg. But I think JDM would be able to pull off all the character changes that Silver does in the film. The unassuming Chef, a strong father figure/mentor to Jim and of course the hard pirate that he really is, even though he really becomes that mentor to Jim lol. Plus, while he can’t seem to charm Captain Amelia, I’d imagine he’d be able to charm and intimidate others. JDM would be great at that.

Honorable Mentions: Javier Bardem, Manu Bennett

 

Captain Amelia

Amelia is quick-witted, fast-talking, and a force of will. She is proud, strong-minded, business-like, and scornful of flattery. Her speech is educated, courteous and to-the-point, oftentimes sarcastic but always with undeniable authority that quickly dominates the conversation with others. She’s a hardass and I love her for it lol. She is enthusiastic about adventure, has great agility, sleight of hand and of course she’s British lol. She’s very demanding of her crew and will appreciate talent but maybe not quick on the draw about treason. She’s smart and very brave when she needs to be. She’s awesome!

Younger

Top Choice: Hayley Atwell

347e069648cef337274a24bfc119efff438321d3_hq

PeggyCarter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Captain Amelia is very similar to Peggy Carter in ways and it think Hayley Atwell would play all of her personality really well. She has that feisty personality; she has a classic look and I think she’d have a commanding presence to keep all of those men on her ship in line. Just like Silver, she could be prosthetic and CGI or motion capture as well, but I think with her being a cat/woman hybrid, there are ways to make it look real and not follow in the footsteps of this new Cats movie and whatever that is lol.

Older

Cate Blanchett-skews a bit older but I think if Captain Amelia is aged up a bit that would be okay. Besides, Cate looks amazing and after seeing her as Hela, she’d be great lol. Plus, I can imagine her giving the same energy with her own flair that Emma Thompson gave as her voice actress. Plus, she’d fit well with my older choice for the Dr.

Honorable Mention: Naomie Harris

Dr. Delbert Doppler

He is the classic astronomer who is clumsy in both body and words but he’s intelligent. He is a pacifist except when it counts lol. He’s very kind and he clearly cares a lot for both Jim and Sarah and he’s always willing to help them whenever he can. Being that he is a scientist, he gets excited about discovering Flint’s Treasure and funds the exploration. He gets to go through a lot of emotions in this film, as he starts off very optimistic, but unsure of what to do and how to handle being in space, and then not feeling useful because he doesn’t know how to handle Amelia’s wounds later on. Delbert might be a little annoying but he’s loyal and you can know he’s on your side.

Younger

Top Choice: Brandon Routh

Image result for dr. delbert doppler

lgn317c-0278b-1-1096631-1280x0

He would be perfect! Delbert is similar to Ray in ways from Legends of Tomorrow. Brandon Routh is so likable; he’s a dork and it works for Delbert! I think he’d be perfect! He can be clumsy, not coming off very brave until he needs to be and I think he’d have great chemistry with Hayley Atwell and she’d definitely come off much cooler than him. Routh would be able to handle this character and keep him just as lovable as he was in the animated film.

Honorable Mentions: Andrew Garfield, Matthew Gray Gubler

Older

Gary Oldman-skewing older for this character as well but I think he’d be good with Cate Blanchett as Captain Amelia. He is a great character actor and he’d be so good at this role. It’s an unassuming role and he’d get to have fun. I think he and Cate Blanchett would play off each other very well. I’d love to see it.

Honorable Mentions: David Tennant, Jeff Goldblum, 

B.E.N.

58475d484070c08137d0b4418f0682a5B.E.N is funny, forgetful (formerly), temperamental, rambunctious, hyperactive, neurotic, insane, friendly, optimistic, overemotional, melodramatic, sensitive, loyal, clumsy, obsessive, cheerful, talkative, somewhat irritating. He’s a robot who worked for Captain Flint and knows the location to the treasure but had his memory literally removed lol. BEN is annoying but he and Jim do create a friendship.

 

Choices: Martin Short, Alan Tudyk, Calum Worthy. I don’t have just one choice for this role because it’d could be played by anyone with nice comedic timing and I can’t help but to hear Martin Short’s voice each time I think about him. SO, I chose people in my top choices who I think would do well in general.

Mr. Scroop

Related image

This dude is scary… that’s all that matters here lol. The choices I have below are all the people I think could do this role. I mean, they’re all great at having various voices going on here and I would in particular like to see Jared Leto or Lee Pace do the role since Serkis and Cumbersnatch often play rolls like this.

Choices: Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumbersnatch, Gary Oldman, Jared Leto, Lee Pace

Sarah Hawkins

Image result for sarah hawkins

I chose actresses who I thought could emulate her optimism, hardworking, and frustrated attitude she has at the beginning. I also wanted to choose actress who I thought looked like Timothee Chalamet. It’s a smaller role but she has a big impact on Jim’s life and some of the choices he makes, so I think it’s important to have someone who can be that. Of course, the actress shouldn’t look too young but I think Sarah and her husband were young parents, so anyone in their mind 30s-late 40s would work well.

Choices: Bridget Regan, Olivia Wilde, Amy Adams, Sienna Miller 

Mr. Arrow

He’s a rock man lol. He dies in the film but he’s the Captain’s right-hand man, her first mate. He’s imposing and loyal.

tumblr_p3sq01xwm51t0xyebo2_250Top Choice: Laurence Fishburne
Image result for laurence fishburne

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boom done!

These are my choices for a Live Action version of Disney’s Treasure Planet. It’s such a great film and so underrated. I’ve liked most of the live action remakes so far, some way more than others obviously, but I think this movie would benefit for a remake and besides, it really lends itself well to live action.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below about my choices. Tell me your choices for your cast and let’s discuss!

Thanks for reading!

Advertisements

Movie Review: The Missing Link (2019)

missing-link-rev-1

Summary: Mr. Link recruits explorer Sir Lionel Frost to help find his long-lost relatives in the fabled valley of Shangri-La. Along with adventurer Adelina Fortnight, this trio of explorers travel the world to help their new friend.
Pros:
Cast and Characters.
  • Zach Galifianakis as Mr. Link. He is the last Bigfoot in his respective area, and he’s reached out to Lionel to help him search for relatives. Mr. Link is very gentle and innocent and of course doesn’t understand certain human-isms even though he is very intelligent due to all the books he’s collected and read. His character is very sweet, and you root for him throughout the film. I mean, he’s harmless, which shows when he ends up having to fight right after his meeting with Lionel and his expression the entire time is like “umm, I’m a lover not a fighter” lol. I think Zach G. is funny most of the time and his unassuming voice fits this character and his comedic timing is good. I laughed quite a bit at him.
  • Hugh Jackman as Sir Lionel Frost. He’s a mixture of Sherlock Holmes and Indiana Jones. He’s a bit self-involved as he searches for myths and monsters to prove his worth to a Monster Hunter Society, or something like that. He’s English so we get some nice British humor in there and he does say some narcissistic things that don’t always come off as obvious narcissism which made me laugh. I think Hugh Jackman was a great choice for this role, I could see him playing this role in live action… it was so weird lol.
  • Zoe Saldana as Adelina Fortnight. She has an old connection with Lionel, which is why he seeks her out, hoping their connection would work in his favor. But she is fierce and free-spirited and goes on the adventure with Mr. Link and Lionel. She often acts as Lionel’s conscience throughout the film. She never backs down from anything which makes her a good partner for Lionel and she really grows to care about Mr. Link that she often must put Lionel in his place. I also love her no-nonsense attitude. Zoe Saldana has great energy for the part, I was a little distracted by the fact that I could see her also playing this part in live-action and not the fact that her character was animated lol.
Supporting Characters. There are a lot of supporting characters we encounter in this little adventure. Honestly, all the voice acting is good. Stephen Fry as Lord Piggot-Dunceby. Timothy Olyphant as Willard Stenk (honestly, he was great, he got a lot of chuckles out of me). Emma Thompson as the Yeti Elder (She has great lines!)
It’s Funny. I laughed quite a bit through this movie. I was a little surprised honestly at how much I cackled. I think all three of our leads get great, humorous lines. I love a lot of Adelina’s lines and Zoe Saldana’s delivery. Jackson and Zach G. were also great. I think Timothy Oliphant’s character though made me laugh a lot because the voice, his look and the things he does, that always got me lol.
The Animation. I love Laika and their animation is always beautiful and unique to me. Each one of their movies: Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls, Kubo and the Two Strings) all have such great animation! It might be a little weird but it’s their style and I love it. That’s why I wanted to see this one because all their movies have been great and I think this one, while not their best, it’s still good and right in their realm. The stop motion puppetry is always handled with such care. First, the way Mr. Link looks, and moves is quite cool, not to mention, their action sequence at the end was animated in a great and fun fashion as well.
Has a Lot of Heart. This is a cute and fun adventure film but there is a lot of heart under all the shenanigans. All our main characters learn something over the course of the film. Some of the lessons learned are lessons that anyone can learn, and I think it’s handled in a simple way where it’s not so easy to learn but where it’s not beat in over the head throughout the film. That can get annoying. But I think it earns it in a sweet way in this film. It’s cute.
Cons:
Might Be Boring. I don’t think younger kids would be interested in watching this. A lot of the humor might go over their heads. I mean, there’s physical humor so that might be okay, but the lines may not land for them. Plus, there’s a lot of traveling places and talking so I can imagine it not holding everyone’s attention. I do acknowledge that it did lose some of my attention a few times.
Overall, I liked this movie. It’s cute, it’s fun, the characters are funny. The voice acting is good, especially from our lead actors. I really thought that Jackman and Saldana particularly embodied their characters that the entire movie I was like “okay, this isn’t animated, this is real life lol”. Zach G. is also sweet and innocent in this film. The adventure is fun, and I like the lessons learned by each character by the end of the adventure. It has a lot of heart. Not to mention, the animation is so great! Laika has another beautifully animated film on their hands! My only big issue with this movie is that it might not keep your attention all the way through. I feel like kids may not quite enjoy it the way older kids or even adults would. A lot of the jokes might not quite land and while it’s fun it’s like a roller coaster, where it goes up and down with stuff happening and then characters talking. Otherwise, I think it’s a good addition to the Laika films.
Rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars. I know I only have one con for it but my score is because I liked it but it wasn’t one of the better Laika films so I can’t quite give it a 4.
Have you seen The Missing Link? What did you think about it?
Which Laika film is your favorite? For me, it’s Kubo and the Two Strings.
Thanks for reading!

Movie Review: Fast Color (2018)

jverqkuv0mcqbbq3j2kj

Summary: A woman is forced to go on the run when her superhuman abilities are discovered. Years after having abandoned her family, the only place she has left to hide is home.
This is a short review.
Pros:
Cast and Characters.
  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Ruth. I’ve always liked her and I think she’s a very good actress and she’s generally always likable in whatever role she plays. I least I think so. Her character gets to go through a lot of emotional turmoil and she’s SO GOOD AT IT. You really feel for her but you’re not quite sure why you feel for her. Ruth’s powers aren’t really explained or even talked about early on, we just see her having seizures and causing things to happen. It’s really cool but it’s like wait what?? As the film goes on, we see her try to fall back into an easy rhythm and it’s nice. I think the last 20 minutes though were her best moments! She is the highlight of the film.
  • Lorraine Toussaint as Bo. She is Ruth’s mother and the guardian of Lila and she’s been doing her thing with Lila and they’ve managed for 8 years. When Ruth comes home, she’s a bit wary because of whatever issues they had when Ruth left. However, she’s willing to help Ruth, she is her daughter after all, but she wants to protect Lila at all costs. We learn little things about Bo as the film goes on and she really gets to shine towards the end. Lorraine Toussaint first of all, has a great voice, such texture! I could listen to her read a book! But she is really great here and I really like the protectiveness and strength she has throughout the film. The ending with her was super great.
  • Saniyya Sidney as Lila. She’s really cute and I really liked her. I’ve seen her in Fences and something else I think, but I think she’s good. She’s super sassy when she needs to be but she also comes off very mature. I think she’s about 8 or 9 in the film but she feels older and maybe it’s because of the world she grew up in, I don’t know but she does a really good job. Her character is likable, she’s not annoying and I thought she had really good chemistry with both Gugu and Lorraine. I’m interested in seeing a sequel with her and Gugu mixing it up in a new location.
The Powers. We haven’t quite seen powers like this before. I don’t want to give away what they can do but they all seem to have the same abilities, maybe some are stronger than others, perhaps that’s only when they get older, but still. I think how its handled is really cool, the effects are simple but effective. Not to mention, the inclusion of the color aspect of what they seen when they use their powers… once we see them as a viewer, it’s really beautiful.
Interesting Story. I think there is a lot of interest here and I actually wish this was a television series or something to have more explored. Maybe they’ll do a sequel because it ended like there could be one and I think there is ton of potential for a sequel. Anyway, you have Ruth who is on the run from these mysterious men, it’s always people who want to dissect the things they don’t understand but then you have her reconnecting with her mom and daughter who also have abilities. It’s really something we’ve seen before but we’ve never seen a family of black women with special abilities and having to deal with the struggles of that along with other human issues such as abandonment, addiction and what not. Plus, the whole idea of it hasn’t rained for 8 years and water is on short supply and the world seems to be a bit broken is always interesting if handled correctly.
Slow Burn. This is very much a slow burn kind of film. Honestly you have no idea what’s going on when the movie is happening. I mean, you get little nuggets as it goes on and you can put the story together on your own and I like that most times. Especially if it feels like it’s going to lead to something in the end. I thought it was nice to see how the issues between the women unfold.
Beautiful Score. Rob Simonsen does the score in this film and I think it’s subtle but beautiful. I think it’s at its best in the last 20 minutes, because it’s so soft but triumphant that I just can’t. It’s a really nice musical score. I checked his credits and he’s done some really good film scores for some good movies in the past.
Cons:
Doesn’t Quite Tackle the Issues. There’s a lot of issues that come up in this film and I don’t quite think the film tackles all of them to the point where it feels resolved. It doesn’t feel resolved in a way that allows us to think they accomplished anything between them. They have really nice moments but it doesn’t feel like the issues created were fixed. I don’t know if that makes sense but if you watch this, you’ll know what I mean.
Uneven Storytelling. I think this movie unfortunately suffers from “okay storytelling”, I think I get the style of the film but I’m not sure if it works the way they wanted it to. There’s a lot of going to places in the beginning, silence, talking to strangers and then we’re moving again. Then we get stuck at the mom’s house, which is cool, and we get some random scenes in there with this sheriff and the guys who are following Ruth. I mean, in the greater scheme of the story I get it, but it feels out of place and not as interesting as what’s going on with Ruth, Bo and Lila. Let’s get back to that!
Overall, I really liked Fast Color. I think the acting is really good from all three of our lead actresses, particularly with Gugu Mbatha-Raw leading the charge, she’s really strong. I think the powers are handled really well in what we see of them and how they’re used. It’s really unique from the normal superpowers we see in film and TV these days. I would really like to see more of them. There is a really interesting story in here and it’s a slow burn which works mostly for this film. Plus, the music is really good! I do think the story suffers from uneven storytelling and that the film doesn’t quite tackle and resolve all the issues it presents. Listen, if you want to see a movie about black women and how they make it through their situations, and they happen to have abilities that are a big part of who they are, especially as this isn’t a story we’ve seen before, you should watch this. I think it’s highly worth it. It’s not very long being 100 minutes and it’s really beautiful. It has it issues but I think the pros outweigh the cons with also attributes to the amount of potential I see here. Plus, Gugu Mbatha-Raw is really good!
Rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars. 
I really feel like this film should have been a television series or a mini-series or something because there’s so much potential story here and while I really liked the film, it’s just not enough and not as clear and I would have liked it to be.
Have you seen Fast Color? Have you heard about it? If not, check it out and let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
If you could have superpowers, what would you choose to have? For me, it’s always telekinesis because there’s SO MUCH to be done with that lol.

Movie Review: Monsters and Men (2019)

null

Summary: The aftermath of a police officer killing of a black man, told through the eyes of the bystander who filmed the act, an African-American police officer and a high-school baseball phenom inspired to take a stand.
This will be a short review.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. We meet a few characters in this film but we follow three leads so I’m mostly going to talk about them.
  • John David Washington as Dennis Williams. He is a police officer who at the start of the film, gets pulled over by one of his own. It sets the precedent for the film and you can expect for it to be like this for the rest of it and it is. When we get to his section, we see that he cares about his community because he plays basketball with some of the teenage boys but he’s also at odds with his personal beliefs and his duty as a cop. I get it and I liked that we get to see that side because it’s hard to consider the cop, especially a black cop’s role and mindset when it comes to police brutality against people of color, especially black men. It’s clear to see that it affects him in ways, but he can’t help but to think with his cop mind… that probably sounds weird, but you know what I mean. I haven’t seen JD Washington in anything yet (yes, I have not seen BlackKKlansman yet) but I know that I like him. He’s very dynamic to watch and his role in this is very subtle and I honestly wish we got to see more of him.
  • Anthony Ramos as Manny Ortega. I love him. Once I found he was in this, I knew I had to watch it and bump it up on my list. He’s from Hamilton in case you don’t know lol and he’s on Netflix’s She’s Gotta Have It and he was in A Star Is Born lol. But Manny is a young man who at the start of his part, is filling out an application for a job. He has a girlfriend… wife? (played by his real life wife Jasmine Cephas-Jones, who was also in Hamilton) and a daughter and he makes choices with the hopes of doing better for his family, but he does still hang out with his friends and do certain things that could get him into trouble, like buying “illegal” cigarettes and playing dice. He ends up filming the murder of Darius Larsen by the cops and he’s now faced with the choice of sharing what he witnessed once the stories circulate that Darius attacked the cop. I found it interesting that he had this choice, especially once he has a one-sided conversation with a pair of cops. This story line is probably the most interesting in the film. I liked seeing Anthony at the forefront in a dramatic role. I think he does very well, it honestly doesn’t even feel like he’s playing a role but more of an extension of himself which I think is impressive most of the time.
  • Kelvin Harrison Jr. as Zyrick. We see him first in Manny’s part, he gets referred to as “Jeter” due to his baseball playing. We see him again with Dennis while they play basketball, but then he gets his own part and this part must have been inspired by the short film “Stop” on the DVD. He’s a teenager who is working to get into college or whatever due to his baseball skills. He’s very good and he and his dad have a plan. He finds himself stopped by a pair of cops and randomly searched one evening and now his days have been messed up and now he’s wondering what he can do to help in the movement and protest. This part is very realistic because I’m sure a lot of young people started to wonder just what they can do to help take a stand against this issue, especially in the last two years with the rise police brutality seemed to take. I get that. This is the first film I’ve seen with him and I think he’s pretty good. His character is also subtle and in ways emotional, so he gets a lot of silent moments.
Powerful Story. I get what they were trying to do in this film. It starts out with Dennis Williams (Washington) driving along, listening to music and then he gets pulled over and pretty much his day is ruined. If you’ve been pulled over by a cop after you were doing your thing, jamming to music or whatever, I’m sure you can relate. But this moment sets the tone for the rest of the film. We then get to Manny (Ramos) and he’s doing his thing and then he witnesses the murder by cops of a friend. We also get a glimpse of Zyric (Harrison Jr.) through him and then we get a bit more of Dennis’s story and then we get Zyric’s story. I get how this was done and ideally, it would have been a strong choice, but I’ll get into this a bit more later. So, we see how each of these men deal with the whole issue of police brutality and how some officers take advantage of their power and how it affects each of their lives. That’s interesting stuff.
Interesting Storytelling. This goes hand in hand with the part before this. I get the idea of what they were doing with exploring three different sides of the same issue that happened with the death of Darius Larson. You get the side of the black policeman, the side of the young man who filmed it and then a young man who was a bit removed from the situation but affected by it afterwards. I totally get the reason and for the most part, it’s a smart choice.
Cons:
Storytelling Choices. Okay, so I had to mention this here as well because while I get how the broke up the storytelling and exploring each person’s storyline, it feels more like a series of short films more than it feels like a coherent film. This is also evident once you watch the short film “STOP” on the DVD. It’s broken up into three parts and they have their connections, but they also feel disjointed which is the big problem I found. Plus, it leaves a very unsatisfying ending. Perhaps this would have fared better if it was a mini-series because it feels very episodic.
The Ending. WHAT IS UP WITH THIS ENDING! Literally, my friend and I looked at each other like WTF?? I get it! I mean, I really do, it’s not that I don’t get what the movie wanted to do but that doesn’t mean I have to like every choice it makes. I know what the implications of the ending means but it’s so abrupt that I was not expecting it to end, it seemed like there was so much more to be done. I did not like that at all.
Needed 20 More Minutes. This movie needed about 20 extra minutes and it’s only 95 minutes long! I mean what! That’s a mini-series! lol This could be fit into a good 7-episode mini-series on HBO or Netflix or something. I feel like it could have used the extra story to just give us a bit more with each character we’ve followed because once we move on from their part, we hardly ever see them again. Besides, I really think they should have done chapter titles or something to let us know we’re switching gears to a new perspective, similar to what Moonlight did which is a fantastic film.
Overall, Monsters and Men is a good movie with a very powerful story it wants to tackle, and I think it does do a good job in tackling different sides of similar and connected stories. The acting is very good from our three leads and the supporting characters as well. I get what they’re trying to do with how they story, and it works overall but I do think their choice of storytelling also prevents each story from getting the resolution it should get. Not to mention, the most interesting of the three just seems to be forgotten and I’m like “umm, well what happened with that character?” and it just moves on and it’s like… at least throw a line in there or something. I also did not like how abrupt the ending was. But considering how this movie is based on reality it’s worth the watch because it has a lot of strength and power behind it.
Rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars. 
Have you seen Monsters and Men? What did you think about it?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!

TV Review: Defiance (2013-2015)

defiance_s2

Summary: Life in the city of Defiance, in a near future after the arrival of different alien lifeforms to Earth.

Not gonna lie, I only came across this show and watched it because of Jesse Rath who is AMAZING in Supergirl as Querl Dox or Brainiac 5. He quickly became my favorite character in the entire Arrowverse, and I need him to be on the show forever lol.

Spoilers ahead. 

Cast and Characters. I didn’t particularly have a favorite character in the show. I think everyone is likable in ways but also very annoying a lot of the times too. I think a lot of it mostly has to do with the actors.

  • Grant Bowler as Joshua Nolan. Nolan is known for his role in some previous wars. He even has this name, I think “the butcher” or something like that. Nolan is that devil may care kind of guy, who is very rough around the edges and doesn’t like to follow rules. He’s obviously the hero because his world is very much a grey area, more than it it black or white. He saved Irisa when she was a child and basically raised her. His relationship with her is nice but also very complicated and at other times really annoying. Throughout the show, Nolan does grow a lot in how he treats people and especially Irisa. Most of the choices he makes he does with good intentions for him and Irisa but as the show goes on, he begins to make choices that would benefit Defiance as he comes to care for the town and most of the people in it. He’s still a bit of a wildcard but he does try to do what’s right most times. I’ve never seen Grant Bowler in anything and he can be very endearing sometimes, particularly in the emotional moments with Irisa and Amanda. There are also times when he’s really annoying instead of “cool” the way he’s supposed to be. I think there is a fine line for characters who are “cool” and kind of a “bad boy type” and then being a smug jerk. He doesn’t quite find that balance for me consistently. 
  • Julie Benz as Amanda Rosewater. Amanda starts out as the new mayor of Defiance after her mentor and boss steps down and retires. She is becomes the interim Mayor and Amanda handles herself and the things that happen in this town pretty well. She’s very strong-willed and she can stand up to many people, even those she might be a bit afraid of. In the second season, we probably see her at her lowest because so much has happened, and she’s fallen off a bit in terms of how she handles herself. She manages to get herself together more in the third season, so it was a journey to see how well Amanda handles being a leader and how she shows how she cares and loves the people of Defiance. I’ve seen Julie Benz in a few things but her character was pretty passive in both, she was a bit sassy but nowhere near as sassy as she is in this show. I quite enjoyed how she never backed down from anything as Nolan was so straight-forward, it was nice that she was as well. 
  • Stephanie Leonidas as Irisa Nyira. Irisa is a young Irathient who Nolan saved as a child and has been raised as his daughter. They have a nice relationship as father/daughter but it’s also antagonistic in ways because she has a bit of an identity crisis because he’s human and she’s an alien and she says he raised her as a human which she isn’t. We see her struggles with her identity and then later with who she was raised as and who she is, especially with all that happened in season 2. She had a lot to do in season 2 but I think I liked her the most in season 3 just because she wasn’t so angry and she seemed to be coming into herself more. Stephanie Leonidas was really good as Irisa, she was relatable in a lot of ways. I’m not quite sure how old she was but I would assume, late teenager, young adult type and her battles with herself made sense and she acted it all very well. I think her emotional moments are quite powerful. 
  • Tony Curran as Datak Tarr. He’s like a mafia type of guy. His family is probably one of the most feared in Defiance, mostly because of Datak. He collects his debts from people who owe him and he does whatever he wants for the most part. He’s an intimidating guy, even how he talks to his wife and son even though he clearly loves them. In season one, he’s really trying to not only take down Rafe but he has it out for Amanda and then Nolan because Nolan seems to have it out for him. Datak takes no prisoners and he’s smart, in a ruthless way. In season 2, he’s in prison for what he did at the end of season and he spends most of that season trying to get back home, especially once he finds out his wife has taken over his role in the family business and in their Casti ways, that’s not appropriate. I think I liked him best in season 3 because, I really liked when he and Stahma worked together and they were doing it for their son. He still remains ruthless but he does have his great moments of sympathy and I love the moments when he thinks his family is in danger or when they are in danger and he becomes a different animal. I saw Tony Curran in The League of Extraordinary Gentleman and he was one of my favorites in that film and he’s great in this too, like he’s really good. He’s intimidating, and even when he’s being nice, I never quite know if I should trust him or not. That’s great stuff. 
  • Jaime Murray as Stahma Tarr. I’m not sure if I think she’s my favorite overall or not but I really enjoyed her because in the first season, she plays this timid and conservative wife role and she’s really good at it. She threatens people by whispering in their ear with a smile on her face and it’s so great. She makes me laugh so much because of how she handles situations and people. Stahma loves her son and will do anything for him and it’s clear she loves Datak but she wants to be treated as an equal as they are now living on earth and humans have their ways of men and women. She really gets to shine in season 2 and 3 because she has come into her own of being more independent and more in the forefront. I like how she talks and how she’s always smiling a little whenever she’s speaking and then when she doesn’t get her way, her smile slightly falters. I think a lot of this though, has to do with Jamie Murray who is fantastic as Stahma and how she plays the character. She has a lot more at stake in season 3 which I enjoy because it allows us to see her come undone and be less put together as she usually seems. 
  • Graham Greene as Rafe McCawley. Rafe is the richest man in Defiance. He’s very much a pro-human type person and he also owns the mines. He’s usually always on Amanda’s side and ready to back her and Nolan if he needs to. However, he gets angry really fast, especially if his family is involved. He’s very against his daughter Christy being with Alak Tarr but he really learns to be accepting and even though he threatens Alak on the regular. Rafe is a strong father figure and though he’s really like… harsh at times, like really harsh, I think he’s easy to understand. He isn’t complicated like like Datak is. Graham Greene plays Rafe like a stoic father and man which is what he is so it works. He’s also a likable yet unlikable guy lol but I also think that’s the point.
  • Jesse Rath as Alak Tarr. Alak is a young man, I would assume he’s like 18 in the first season because he comes off very teenager like. He’s into music, especially old-world music. He seems to want to be a Deejay in particular. He’s in love with a human girl which goes against his culture as he is an alien, but he was born on Earth, so he has a bit of an identity crisis in ways. He clearly loves his parents, but I think he also fears them and the things they can do to him and others. In season two, he takes on the role left by his father as the “mob boss” but it turns out his mother pretty much takes over and he is a bit relieved by this. But he gets into some trouble and has some marriage spats with Christie but a lot of it helps with his character growth. In season 3, we really get to see him come into his own. He starts off the season a prisoner but he manages to get back home and then he really takes a stand against his parents. I like Jesse Rath a lot and I think he does a really good job of being an earnest and likable character because I think that’s what Alak is even though he can come off as a dick at times. He’s a young man, it’s inevitable lol. But I like Alak because he’s not corrupted the way all the adults in this show is but he gets involved or chooses to get involved because he feels its what he needs to do BUT he also has traits of his parents which they underestimate quite a bit. I just think they should have allowed him to fight or something more because he got his ass kicked a lot lol and it seemed like he should have some kind of fighting spirit like his father and even his mother. He gets to fight sometimes but it seems like he’s not the best at it lol which I guess comes from him not having to ever with because his parents work for a better life but in the first episode it really seemed like he was going to kick some butt. But anyways, I really like Jesse Rath and I’m so into watching him play all the sci-fi characters lol. 

Supporting Characters. 

  • Trenna Keating as Doc Yewll. She has some of the best lines in the show. She is an Indogene which I gather is a race that was created to be in subservient roles, sure. It seems that in the war, she did things that really were bad, she’s a scientist so she’s done a lot of weird stuff. However, she’s come to care about the people in Defiance and so she often ends up making decisions that would put her at risk but save others. She was probably one of the most interesting characters. I don’t particularly like the design of these aliens but the actress did her thing with working around those prosthetics and her line delivery was great. 
  • Dewshane Williams as Tommy LaSalle. I liked Tommy, he was like an earnest kid who looked up to Nolan in the first season, because Nolan’s ways got results. He also really liked Irisa and I thought it was cute. In the second season, he was angry at both Nolan and Irisa because they left. He was now the lawkeeper and then suddenly they both returned and Nolan took over and Tommy was like “bruh, I’ve been handling stuff because you left, don’t come back here and take over” and I understood him for that. It was annoying after a while but I understood it. He ended up dating Berlin but I didn’t really like them together. He had way more chemistry with Irisa. I thought the actor was okay for the most part, he didn’t do a lot with his facial expressions but he’s cute and likable. 
  • Nicole Muñoz as Christie McCawley Tarr. I thought this actress was super miscast, she looked nothing like her family and thought her acting was really weak and it made me dislike her often. Whenever she talks I’m like mehhhh. I ended up liking her a bit more in season two and way more in season three buttt… I mean yeah lol. She did have nice chemistry with Jesse Rath and their storyline was interesting, we just didn’t see enough of it honestly. 

Interesting Overall Story. So, season 1 is probably the weakest of the three seasons but it does start us off. We have Nolan and Irisa who come to Defiance and they get involved in all the shenanigans of this town. We spend the first season really establishing the town and the characters. To be honest, I don’t really remember the plot of the first season, but I remember character moments more than an overarching plot. The biggest things I remember was the whole thing with Alak and Christie since their dads hate each other and he’s an alien and she’s human. Oh! I remember now lol, the previous Mayor and some other people from the town were trying to find something in the mines and they let the Volge in with the hopes they were gonna destroy the town so they could get into the mines. lol Season 2 is absolutely fantastic the Earth Republic has taken over Defiance after Datak kills a Colonel

Really Nice Makeup. One of the best things about the show is how the aliens look. They’re so different from what I’ve seen in the past, but they are very different from other alien families in the show itself. The aliens are called “Votans”. But we have about seven races we see in the show in general.

  • Castithans. They are one of the main aliens we see in the show. The Tarr family being a prominent family are part of this race. On the left is Datak and Stahma and Alak is on the right. I don’t like the family picture where Alak has the blue hair, I think his facial expression is weird, so I chose this one which I prefer lol. But they are these beautiful creatures, with pale white skin, white or silver hair, either straight or curly. They have either pale blue, orange or sometimes lavender eyes. They are like aristocrats and other races see them as arrogant because of their views.
Related image
Image result for defiance tarr family
Image result for defiance indogene

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indogenes. They have bright white skin covered in scales and no hair. They are probably the smartest race and have many numerous genetic and technological implants. Their brains can be downloaded by copying their genetic code and their store memories can be replicated.

Image result for defiance irisa

 

 

 

 

Irathients. They have broad and flat nasal bridges, reddish skin and usually have red hair, they can be perceived as attractive. They are naturally athletic and have intense combat skills. They are a proud, tribal people with a deep love of the natural world and aggressive demeanor. They are often perceived as feral by others.

Image result for defiance kindzi

 

 

Omec. They have purple skin, white or grey hair and long eyebrow hairs. They have a second skin, or zekbatsin, which is a vestige from their past where they open their mouths wide and produce a second set of teeth in order to feed. They are very strong and resilient, capable of receiving injuries that would be fatal to other races such as damage to their brains. Omec are immune to most poisons and with age they develop a greater immunity to lethal substances. 

 

 

  • Liberata. They’re the shortest alien race and everyone, including females, can grow tons of hair.
  • Gulanee. We don’t really see them, I think we saw one of them one time but sure.
  • Sensoth. They’re basically like wookies and we see maybe two that are actual characters and not extras.
  • Volge. They look like robots, but I guess that’s part of the alien skin.

Sci-Fi Things. I am not a huge sci-fi person, there are some shows I can get into, but I’m more into the fantasy part when the two genres are combined. But I do know a lot of the “isms” of the genre and this show has a lot of classic sci-fi ‘isms. You have aliens, updated but also outdated technology, space lol but it is grounded in humanity. I liked that.

Season 2 and 3. These two are the best of the show, particularly season 2 though I did really like 3 as well. Two just had a lot of emotional and human aspects of it and I was so into it compared to show it was a bit fleeting in season one. Season two hits you hard with the punches, especially with what was happening with Irisa and Nolan and particularly the Tarrs with Datak being in jail and Alak having to deal with what’s happening, what’s expected of him, with Stahma trying to have a more forward role and then of course the stuff with Alak and Christie. Oh also, Amanda’s entire plot with that weird dude who was the mayor, I never trusted that guy lol. Season 2 is so good. I won’t get into season 3 again but also great, especially with the high stakes and tension they maintained from season 2. I prefer the first half more than the second half of season 3 and I wish they kept that as a through line but sure.

Character Complexity. One of the best aspects of this show is how complex these characters are because through each season, each one has grown in ways that gives them a nice ending in season three. Irisa, Amanda and Nolan have this most notably. We get it with Datak, Stahma and Alak respectively and it’s handled well for them as well. I think that helps with finding these characters interesting and likable. It would be annoying if no one changed in this show

Character Chemistry/Relationships. I really love how the relationships is handled in the show. I was going to pull out some of the most notable ones but I changed my mind lol. But Nolan & Irisa is one of the main relationship in the show and they have a lot of ups and downs, a lot to the point where it’s annoying but it’s relatable and understandable. It’s like Irisa loves and hates Nolan and he’s always so shocked whenever she disagrees with him but I think she’s very clear about her feelings. The Tarr family is a very interesting, probably the most interesting relationship in the show because they’re just too interesting! Datak and Stahma are married and they clearly follow the traditions of their people, but as the show goes on, Stahma starts to go against that and Datak is against it at first, he even tries to kill her, but he eventually gets on board with it and she’s able to do her thing. Then both of them with their son, Alak gets way more interesting as it goes on because at first, he’s just their young son who they both love but also kind of dismiss, to where it becomes, they’ll do anything for him but he has his own family he’s creating and that’s more important to him then whatever they’re trying to do. He still loves them but still. Nolan and Amanda started out with a little romantic energy but he ends up having a thing with her sister Kenya, which I didn’t like lol, but they get a lot of interactions. She believes and trusts him and vice versa and in season 3 they really get to lean on each other. 

Later in season 3, there are very few moments, but they were there that I noticed some chemistry between Irisa and Alak. I don’t know if there was ever going to be a friendship that bloomed between them in the show or not, but I was like “oooo what’s this?” and I was really hoping for something.

Cons: 

Annoying Characters Sometimes. Jeez these people can be stupid sometimes. I was super mad at how flaky Kenya was in how she reacted to people. I’m sure a lot of people in this show were fluid in who they were attracted to and in love with, which I guess makes sense since there are aliens, but Kenya thinking she was going to OUTSMART Stahma… girl lol sit down. Or Amanda falling into whatever thing she fell into with the Mayor. I mean what? GIRL! He is clearly weird, and HE IS CLEARLY the guy who attacked you those years ago! The man was WILLINGLY giving you DRUGS! GIRL! Then literally EVERY TIME Nolan and Irisa got into an argument. Listen, Irisa is legit in how she feels about things, but I want to slap both her and Nolan many many times. STOP ARGUING! SHUT UP! Why can’t y’all just talk and understand each other? I know y’all love each other BUT DAMN! Man, I want to punch them lol. Christie also had plenty of times where I wanted to punch her in the face, a lot that might have been because the actress was just okay. Oh, and QUENTIN! Disliked him so much! Stupid head.

Not Enough Plot for Characters. This is an ensemble show, so everyone should generally have some time to shine but I think the show doesn’t quite manage to make that happen for everyone. Nolan, Irisa and Amanda are clearly the leads of the show so we spend a TON of time with them and that’s fine, but I wanted to go back to things that were happening with the Tarrs or even at times the McCawleys and I think Alak and Christie should have gotten more time to have their relationship develop. It almost reminds me of a soap opera where you have your leads stories but the storyline you might be more interested in, is very not in the forefront lol. I was really into the beginning storyline with the Tarrs, in how Favi Tank kidnapped Alak to make Datak and Stahma do what he wants, I loved that Alak escaped on his own, but I wish we got to see him more in the camp with Favi Tak because that guy was funny and I liked the banter between them. Also, the opening storyline for Alak and Christie where Pilar (Christie’s mother) KIDNAPPED a pregnant Christie and Alak because she wanted to be with them… I mean WHAT!? Then six months later and Christie had her baby and Pilar keeps Christie and Alak CHAINED TO THE TABLE! I MEAN WHAT!? I don’t care about this other stuff! I want to see the craziness with PILAR, ALAK AND CHRISTIE! I mean, what happened when she had the baby!? I NEED TO KNOW! GAH!

The Omec Storyline. They are clearly the “black people” of the Votans lol but Kindzi and T’evgin show up early and they have some importance throughout the season, but their real story doesn’t really start until later. It could have been waaaaay interesting overall and it wasn’t horrible, but it was rushed. I know the show got cancelled after season 3 and I don’t know if they knew that beforehand and wanted to throw everything they could in before it ended, but I really think having the Omec storyline brought the quality of season 3 down compared to how it was in the beginning. Kindzi and T’evgin were interesting but I didn’t find myself interested in watching anything with them because it was just thrown in there.

Super Cheesy and Cringe. This show is super cheesy and really cringe at times. Some of the dialogue and delivery is just bad. Sometimes the interactions or even the stories don’t always hit the way they should. The first season and part of the third season has this issue. Season one is super boring. It gets interesting towards the end but super boring. Then in season 3, the entire Omec plot was just blah and I didn’t particularly like Kindzi and T’evgin enough to care for that at all. It felt tacked on and they were made out to be this terrifying presence but the effects for when they eat was bad and I just was like meh whatever. 

Overall, I started watching this show for an actor and I ended up really enjoying the show overall. I think all the acting is good for the most part, some are better than others. Same with the characters. There’s no one I out right dislike, but there also isn’t anyone I outright really like either, maybe Stahma lol. Seasons 2 and 3 were good and I think they’re the most interesting overall. The look of the aliens is so cool and unique that I was really into being introduced to each species. The character complexity is handled well, and I really enjoyed the character relationships explored in the show. Now, I think the show is really cringe and cheesy at times, most of that is dialogue and acting but still, this is also playing into the characters being annoying a lot of the time. Very frustrating when you want to smack everyone in the face. I think there was a disservice to some characters by not giving them proper or enough plot to take on, especially when they had the potential to be interesting. Also, I did not quite care for the Omec story line. It had potential and it was a tad interesting but I’d rather an entire season dedicated to the rogue group of the Votanis Collective and then if we got a season four, do the Omec thing. But ya know whatever, the show got cancelled which is sad lol but also good for me because I prefer Jesse Rath as Brainiac 5 on Supergirl

Rating: 4 out 5 stars. I’m basing this rating on my enjoyment of the last two seasons and the stories that were going on, otherwise it might have been a tad lower.

Have you seen Defiance? Who is your favorite character? What do you think of the show? Best season?

What is your favorite sci-fi television show? I also really enjoyed Stargate: Universe. 

Movie Review: The Professor (2018)

rsg_00171-h_2019

Summary: A college professor lives his life with reckless abandon after being diagnosed with a terminal illness.
Pros:
Johnny Depp as Richard Brown. Normally, I would include a “cast and characters” section but there were really only two people I thought stood out the most. I have always loved Johnny Depp and I will continue to love him. Yes, he has had many movie missteps but I will always think he’s talented because he is. He gets to chill in this role, be a bit more reserved but also quirky in the way Johnny Depp is. Richard is an English professor and I think it’s clear to tell that he’s a quirky dude overall, but now he’s not bound by social norms to keep his thoughts to himself, or to “follow the rules”. He’ll now do and say whatever he wants and he often expresses that’s his goal for the rest of his life, however long it will be. I quite enjoyed the first 15 or so minutes when he found out and now, he’s just soaking it in throughout the day. I thought it was some subtle acting in the beginning and then he got to freak out a bit in the pond. Some of his best moments was when he talked to his daughter at the end and the dinner sequence. I also thought Johnny Depp looked really good in this film.
Danny Huston as Peter Matthew. He’s Richard’s best friend and colleague at the college.   He seems to be the more emotional one out of the two and more touchy-feely because as soon as Richard tells him, he slides closer to him in the booth and grabs his hands and Richard is like “not atop the table Peter” lol. But Peter just loves his best friend and he often makes that clear at how much he loves him and admires him. I thought it was sweet. I also quite enjoyed the little glimpse we got into Peter’s life. His wife is a nightmare. Not as bad as Richard’s though, I hated Veronica Brown but they both were unhappy in their marriages, maybe not at first but it ended up that way. But anyway, Peter does everything he can to help and support Richard and he wins the Best Friend Award. When he breaks down in the church, I almost teared up because his reaction and him praying, and then Richard trying to console him as he cried. It was sweet really lol and I thought Danny Huston was great. I’ve seen him mostly in villain roles so it was nice to see him in a mild-mannered character.
Pretty Funny. I laughed quite a bit at this film. Mostly, it’s the stuff that Richard says because now he doesn’t have to have a filter so he says and does whatever he wants. One of my favorite scenes, I rewound it twice, was when he’s in the classroom and he tries a cigarette for the first time and can’t hold it and he coughs in the student’s face who gave it to him. That was hilarious to me and I don’t even know why. Also, most of the interactions with Richard and Peter was funny and I loved his scene in the classroom when he tells pretty much everyone to get out lol. I thought it was smart humor for the most part.
Peter and Richard’s Friendship. They were super sweet. At first, I thought it might have been a little romantic and you can read it like that if you want, but I don’t think that was the intention overall. It was just a really close and personal friendship between these two men and I liked that that was all it was. They weren’t awkward about it. I mean, sure Richard seems to be the less “intimate” of the two, and he would tease Peter about it but it was just clear they’d been friends for years. I liked how worried Peter was for Richard and how he was literally by his side. I mean, he was the first-person Richard told. He didn’t even tell his wife and daughter until the end of the movie. If anything, this relationship was the most important one.
Richard and his daughter. I found that a lot of scenes that involved Richard and his daughter were really sweet. Odessa Young plays Olivia and we don’t get a lot of time with her outside of interactions with her parents. I mean we see her with a friend, but it’s not enough to really like care about her. You care about her because Richard does and it’s clear they have a special relationship. I thought Johnny Depp and Odessa Young really played off each other well and had a really nice father/daughter chemistry. He was really supportive and tender and they have this really good emotional that made me tear up a little.
The Classroom Scenes. I wish there was way more of these scenes because they were my favorite in the film. In one of the first scenes, he embarrasses Zoey Deutch’s character because her phone rings in class. He tells her to stand up and answer it lol that was brutal and I very much enjoyed Depp’s little smile during that scene. Also, when he goes on his rant and tells students to just leave, that was also great. Anytime we went back to the school, or we went back to him interacting with the students, I was like yasss, this is what I came for and I wanted more of that.
Cons:
Richard’s Wife-Veronica. I did not like her. Literally, in her first scene at the dinner table, I was like “ugh, what a jerk”. First their daughter tells them some important information and she laughs it off. Then she tells her husband some horrible stuff, and when he doesn’t react the way she wants him too, she calls him an asshole. I’m like bruh, you’re the one who’s the asshole. Gosh, I hate her. I hated her throughout the entire movie. Then at the dinner, I WANTED TO PUNCH HER IN THE FACE. The actress was good but I hate her. Horrible character. I did not feel bad for her at all.
A Tad Pretentious. I think movies that handle death have a bit of pretension about them anyway. He talks about life a lot and what they need to be doing and we get beaten over the head with it a lot. I mean, I totally get that it’s something he’s really trying to convince himself of and of course impart this information on these young people since he feels like he’s kind of wasted his life in ways, but jeez, how many times do I have to hear the exact same lesson? I got the first-time thanks.
CLASSROOM SCENES!The movie is called “The Professor” for Pete’s sake! I wanted more stuff with him interacting with the students. I’m pretty sure when I saw the trailer, it indicated that we’d get a lot more interactions with his students. I’m not expecting it to be like Dead Poet’s Society or anything like that but I don’t care about the stuff with his wife. I wanted more at the school because that stuff was the most interesting and the funniest to me.
Abrupt Ending. I don’t care for how it ended. I wasn’t particularly sure if we were going to see Richard die and I was okay with that but I didn’t expect for it to just end. Like I totally get it. He was at a crossroads and he chose not to decide. I get that and I like that BUT it just felt lame after the enjoyable experience of the rest of the movie.
Overall, I enjoyed The Professor. It’s a harmless movie. It’s short and I think it’s a nice experience, especially if you are a fan of Johnny Depp. It’s just a movie that explores a man’s life as he comes to terms that it’s going to end sooner than he thought and now he must decide what he’s going to do with that time, not to mention, he doesn’t want to be a burden to his wife and daughter AND he wants to impart some wisdom on his students. I think that’s straight-forward and I liked going on the journey with him. Johnny Depp and Danny Huston were great. The other actors in the film all do a great job as well. I think it’s pretty funny, and I loved the classroom scenes, I wish there were more. I thought the relationships between Richard and Peter, and then Richard and Olivia were some of the most interesting in the film and I wish we got to see him interact with his daughter more. Now, I did not like Richard’s wife, I hated her entirely. I mean, in ways I understand but she was a horrible person. The movie is pretentious and it does beat you over the head with literally the same lesson, just said in different ways. Also, I don’t quite like the ending. I get it, but I don’t like it. But in the end, The Professor is a fun and quirky film that I think any Johnny Depp fan would want to check out.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen The Professor? If so, what are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!
What is your favorite Johnny Depp film? Or, what do you think is his best acting role?
Edward Scissorhands is hands down my favorite Depp film and Edward is my favorite Depp character. BUT I think What’s Eating Gilbert Grape is one of his best acting roles. If you haven’t seen either of those movies, check them out.
Thanks for reading!

Movie Review: The Lion King (2019)

screen-shot-2019-04-03-at-9.13.54-pm

Summary: After the murder of his father, a young lion prince flees his kingdom only to learn the true meaning of responsibility and bravery.
I will tell you where this film falls into my lineup of the live action remakes. So far, I have enjoyed them all, some more than others obviously but I for the most part like them all. However, I’m going to be as honest about this as I can be and I’m not comparing it to the animated film.
Oh, and there will be spoilers… I mean, you’ve seen the animated film, right? lol
Pros:
Cast and Characters.
  • Donald Glover as Simba. He is a lion who is the prince of the Pride Lands. Simba is a young adult, is happy with his new life. He gets to do whatever he wants and he’s let go of his past. However, it’s clear it still haunts him, especially shown when they talk about the stars in the sky. Simba has to come into his own, retake his past and then take his place as king. Donald Glover had enough youthful energy to him that I believed Simba was probably an early 20 something who wasn’t sure of who he was. I think all of the scenes in the cove with the other animals was handled well too because Simba didn’t quite understand why the other animals were so afraid of him. I liked that addition because then he did grow up into an innocent young lion because he believed the motto, he was taught by Timon and Pumbaa. Glover was good though and I really think it was a missed opportunity to not have him have a solo song. The movie isn’t two hours but maybe it should have been to give us more time with Simba in the end so Glover could have really got his hooks into really good moments and dialogue.
    • JD McCrary as young Simba. Overall, he was good. I thought his voice was cute but perhaps too cute? I think he did what he was supposed to do in the end. His singing was a highlight.
  • Seth Rogen as Pumbaa. A slow-witted common warthog who befriends and adopts a young Simba after he runs away from home. Pumbaa is probably the more honest one out of the pair. You know what you’re going to get with him because he doesn’t think in complicated ways. He’s smart in his own way and I think Seth Rogen plays the part really well, one of the best in his role. He doesn’t always stick the dialogue but for the most part he works. For some reason, he’s less annoying and more honest in his characterization and portrayal.
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar. The treacherous brother of Mufasa and the uncle of Simba who seeks to take the mantle of king of the Pride Lands. Scar was given his scar in a battle with Mufasa when he challenged him for King. I liked that added line or word to imply that. I wonder what his name was before. Scar is similar but a little different in ways too. Ejiofor plays him differently. He’s less “flamboyant” and came across more like concealed anger and aggression. He has an ego and a strong desire for what he wants and I think Ejiofor manages his tone with his line delivery that isn’t mocking but honest and threatening. It’s very Shakespearean.
  • Alfre Woodard as Sarabi. She gets a bit more to do but she’s regal, confident in herself and refuses to break down. I’ve always loved her strength and Alfre Woodard is always great at being strong-willed and sassy in her way.
  • Billy Eichner as Timon. A wise-cracking meerkat who befriends and adopts a young Simba after he runs away from home. First of all, I love the fact that he has so many meerkat movements, like the way he pops up when he stands or how he sits. I think Billy Eichner was great! Definitely one of the best and my favorite of the film. His line delivery fit the character so well! Timon is smart and clearly the leader of his friend group but he doesn’t always get it on the first try. It works for him and while he’s smug, it’s not obvious. He has most of the best lines! I like his philosophies and what he believes in. Also, the distraction scene was probably better than the actual scene in the live action scene and he doesn’t even do the entire song.
  • John Kani as Rafiki.A wise mandrill who serves as the shaman of the Pride Lands, and a close friend of Mufasa’s. Rafiki doesn’t get a lot of lines, whenever they show him, he’s speaking in an African language and doing whatever he’s doing. Not to mention, the first time he actually talks, I believe, is when he talks to Simba and I thought he was great! He’s a bit eccentric but he knows what’s going on and he’s quick on the uptake. John Kani was great in the role. He just got to be a bit weird and it works for the character.
  • John Oliver as Zazu. A yellow-billed hornbill who is the majordomo to the King of the Pride Lands. Zazu likes structure, he does things the way they’re supposed to be done. He’s serious about his role in the circle of life and John Oliver is quite perfect for it. He also gets a lot of laughs and I wonder just how much Oliver got to make up. Zazu is a brownnoser but he’s not annoying, at least not to me. I also like how he always takes his duty serious because when Nala was trying to sneak away, he not only spoke to her, he came to her rescue. He’s a bird but he’s put himself into danger for his family.
  • Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala.Simba’s childhood best friend and future love interest. Apparently, she’s supposed to have a bigger role but I thought it was about the same. She could have/should have had a bigger role (definitely recast though). She gets a few extra lines and has two and a half new scenes. The scene before she runs away, the sneaking out scene, which was very good, but of course she’s not talking lol, and then when Simba catches up to her on her way back home. Nala is the youngest lioness in the pride and she has her independent thoughts and is strongly against Scar and his regime. She gets to be a little sassy but she’s not as sassy as she should be. Anyways, Beyoncé is fine.I thought she was going to be bad and she does have some really bad line deliveries but she’s fine in the end. I’m still very aware it’s Beyoncé talking and not Nala. I knew the director wanted her from the beginning and good on him for getting what he wanted, but I think Nala should have been someone with voice acting experience or GOOD acting experience. She’s fine though guys. SHE’S FINE!
    • Shahadi Wright Joseph as young Nala.She’s played this role before on Broadway and she was good. Young Nala doesn’t get a ton of lines but for what we saw, she felt like a little cub who had her own thoughts but who was Simba’s ride or die. Her singing was good and I wished we got to see more of young Nala just for her to have more lines.
  • James Earl Jones as Mufasa. The King of the Pride Lands and the father of Simba. Jones reprises his role from the original 1994 animated film. Mufasa is generally the same. He clearly sounds different due to James Earl Jones’ age but it works. He sounds way wiser and more seasoned and I think you believe everything Mufasa says. He’s kind, loving of his family and the kingdom. Yes, the lions hunt other animals but he still wants to protect everyone. He makes that clear. Plus, he’s a strong dad, he makes sacrifices for his child and he does whatever it takes. Whatever it is! James Earl Jones is always a gem and he’s just as good as he was as when he was younger.
  • Florence Kasumba, Keegan-Michael Key, and Eric Andre voice Shenzi, Kamari, and Azizi. Three spotted hyenas who are Scar’s henchmen. Overall, I think they’re all different from what they were. They all get a bit more character. Shenzi is clearly the leader of the hyenas as they all defer to her and Scar approaches her first in ways. She’s still pretty ruthless and Florence Kasumba was great, her voice is so amazing. I could really listen to her talk for hours. Kamari and Azizi replaced Bansai and Ed and don’t expect to get those same characters. Kamari and Azizi worked off each other because Key and Eric Andre had nice chemistry. Azizi didn’t quite understand personal space and Kamari hated how close he’d get. They got a lot of laughs from me as well.
Musical Score. Hans Zimmer is a mastermind when he does musical scores and I think in ways; he improves on the original just a tad. It does sound the same but I can tell the differences and it works. One of my favorite scores is during the scene when Simba is walking through the desert after he ran away from pride rock. That piece of music is so beautiful that I do believe I raised my eyebrows. I think it’s beautiful and definitely a highlight.
STUNNING animation. When the film started, it didn’t start right at the “NAAAAA” but it gave us maybe 20 seconds of scenery and it looked like real Africa. I’m not sure if it was or not, but wow. Then the “Circle of Life” sequence is shot for shot the same as the original which doesn’t bother me, but I was super impressed at how beautiful everything was. When we got to see the vastness of the Savanah and Timon and Pumbaa’s home, it’s just beautiful and you can tell there was a lot of care that went into all of it. Whatever you think of these remakes, whether they are cash grabs or not, I don’t think it’s fair to say they don’t put care into them because for everything to look as real as it does and to be so beautiful, they care. I can’t wait to see this movie in Dolby IMAX. The animals are also stunningly beautiful. I think you can tell the difference between Simba and Nala when they are kids, you can tell the difference between Nala and Sarabi when she’s an adult and so on. This is a highlight of the film of the beauty. JUST ARGH! It’s so beautiful! Even if you HATE the movie, marvel at the animation!
Classic Story. This is a classic story of a kid running away from home, running away from their past, to find solace in a new family they created and then return home to face their past. The prodigal son returns! It’s a kind of story we know and probably understand in ways even if you haven’t lived it yourself. Simba goes through a lot of soul searching. We can all experience that.
Timon and Pumbaa. To be clear, they were never my favorite characters. I’ve always found them annoying. I think I grew to like them later in their television series but in all the movies (including Simba’s Pride and 1 1/2 they were annoying to me) but Billy Eichner has the best lines in the entire film at least in terms of humor. Most of the dialogue laughs came from him. Seth Rogen was also good as Pumbaa, I thought he was a good choice from the get-go but I think he maintains that lovable personality Pumbaa has. Also “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” is probably the best song in the movie lol. Plus, the two play-offs of each other really well. I believed their relationship and I liked their relationship to each other, to Simba and to the other animals in their little cove.
Soundtrack. There’s been a lot of talk about the soundtrack and that it’s not good. This is why I don’t listen to movie soundtracks without seeing the movie. I think overall, it’s good. All of the main songs are handled well. “Circle of Life” is good, I’m sure the singer is different. “Just Can’t Wait to be King” was cute, JD McCrary was good, as was Shahadi Wright Joseph, I liked her delivery of Nala in general and her singing was nice. I wish there was more of it. “Hakuna Matata” was fine and I liked Donald Glover riffing on it because they made a joke about it, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have liked it. “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” was the best in the film. Now, about “Be Prepared” since everyone’s been hating on it. I thought it was fine. I read they were going to change some of the words and how it was animated since it had very clear Nazi undertones and they didn’t want that again as to not offend. Sure. I liked how it started out as spoken word, then it slowly built into a song but it was still more spoken than sung and that didn’t bother me. FUN FACT: Jeremy Irons who voiced Scar, sang most of the song but then Jim Cummings (who does a ton of voice over acting) sang the rest of the song because Irons couldn’t hit some of the notes. “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” was okay, I’ll talk about it more later, but I thought Donald Glover did well on it. His singing voice to me, is more of a crooning sound and I think this song is a crooning song and he does that.
Good Tense Moments. I will get into this a bit in the cons, but some of the scenes that stood out to me were Nala’s escape and Simba vs. Scar. I always wondered how Nala escaped without Scar knowing or without being caught by the hyenas, or at least what did she have to do? They played a little bit of “Shadowland” and I was like ARGH! That’s all I wanted was that song! But anyway, she’s sneaking away and Scar wakes up and she’s hiding, ducking so he won’t catch her and though we know she makes it away, it’s actually tense because I was like dang, he’s around the corner, how is she gonna get out of this one? Hyenas were also patrolling. I thought that sequence was good. Then later, with Simba and Scar. When Simba shows up “get away from my mother!” that line delivery was pretty bad lol but Scar then turns it all on Simba about killing his father and I liked the stuttering from Glover at Simba’s guilt and insecurities and how Scar preyed on that. I do think the blocking could have been a little better but the acting between the two was good. Then of course later, when they have their actual fight and I thought that was animated really well and the blocking and direction was great! For one, they of course did move like lions which in ways made that a tad more brutal. I always have to laugh though because Simba is definitely malnourished from living off of bugs… just saying lol.
Cons:
Some of the voice acting. I don’t think this is a problem all around, just in some areas. I know everyone is expecting Beyoncé to be the worst, but she’s not. I mean, Nala has like 8-10 lines overall and Beyoncé isn’t bad at all of them. Maybe half lol. I laughed a bit when she first started talking but it was this loud whisper and then her “I laugh in the face of danger” line was terrible AND her “I’m not a cub anymore” during the battle at the end was also bad lol. Her accent isn’t as prominent as it usually is, so I think it’s clear she did a lot of work for this which I appreciate it, but she doesn’t quite nail it the way she could have. It was inconsistent, is the best way to put it. Not terrible but inconsistent. I also felt that JD McCrary as young Simba was just okay as well. I knew the singing was going to be okay because he has a really nice voice. The dialogue and the acting didn’t quite match up to me. Simba is supposed to be this over-confident, a little arrogant little princely brat, with a bit of earnestness but they were heavy on the earnestness more than the other adjectives. Maybe it’s just that JD McCrary is just too innocent for his own good or that he just doesn’t have the experience to match what the character is supposed to be. He’s cute, don’t get me wrong but I was like “I don’t believe your sassy behavior”. There are minor missteps for Donald Glover as adult Simba (there were times when he sounded really lazy or weak in his delivery) and Seth Rogen as Pumbaa but they’re not glaring to me. If I had to choose over which Simba I’d rather spend a whole movie with though, I’d pick little Simba because while I didn’t always believe the personality we’re told about Simba and the voice acting, he was more likable then. Which is funny because I don’t quite think you’re supposed to like Simba that much anyway? Is that just me? lol
Photorealistic Animation. Yes, it is STUNNING. But it kind of sucks because the characters don’t get to connect the way they probably should. For example, there are plenty of times were the lions do little things they do in real life, like the flick of the ears, and the shake of the head. Other animals do it too, like how Timon moves, I think it’s great. These animals move the way they do in real life and that’s super cool. But I think the problem comes with the fact that they don’t react much at all. I don’t think it has to be “human reactions” like in the cartoon film because of course there is so much that can be done with hand drawn animation but animalistic reactions. For example, during the stampede, when Simba was running from the wildebeest and then hanging on for dear life to the tree, he doesn’t look afraid, he looks indifferent. There are times when they do little things with the eyes, but it’s very few times when that happens. It just sucks.
Soundtrack. Soooo this refers to really only TWO songs. One being “Can You Feel The Love Tonight”, first of all, it’s mostly during the day but the song says “tonight?” I mean, it’s a small thing but still a glaring continuity issue. Secondly, I rolled my eyes hard when I saw the teaser that included this song and I heard Beyoncé’s super extra runs. Listen, I don’t like all the extraneous riffs and stuff in these songs because it doesn’t sound good and with the arrangement of the music is irritating. This is like showtunes, the sound should have the feeling and sometimes the riffing just bothers me. Plus it wasn’t as romantic and it should have been. That’s the other problem. Even when JD McCrary did it in “Just Can’t Wait to Be King”, I didn’t like it and his voice is just so pure. The only time I was okay with it was when Donald Glover did it during “Hakuna Matata” because Timon joked about it. “Oh, he’s riffing again” and it was cute but when it happens the other times. Ugh. Also, the new song, “Spirit” or whatever, it’s a nice song but grossly out of the place in the film. It’s playing during Simba and Nala’s run back to the pride lands and it just does not work there. It should have just been instrumental music. That song should have been exclusively for the soundtrack or in the credits. I also wanted “Endless Night” and/or “Shadowland” because they’re both my favorite songs from the Broadway show and I think Donald Glover could have really showed his singing chops in that song. They even played the opening from the song and didn’t play it! Same for “Shadowland” THEY PLAYED THE OPENING! I WANT THE SONG! This is why I didn’t want Beyoncé for the part because I also don’t think she could have sang the song the way it needed to be sung.
Tension. This probably leads right into the next point, but most of the tension you’re supposed to feel, that’s built up doesn’t land that well. The elephant graveyard is supposed to be a tense scene, almost scary because these hyenas take no prisoners and you know it’s coming. Plus, as Simba and Nala walk through the graveyard, it’s a very well animated and put together location and Nala following Simba, clearly unsettled and all that but I was like ‘I’m not quite feeling it’. Same with Simba and Nala’s argument. It was too subdued for what they were talking about it. I don’t even think the dialogue was strong enough either. I’m not saying they had to be yelling at each other, but Simba was dismissive, which was fine, but Nala wasn’t trying hard enough to convince him and her “meh” energy ended up transferring to Simba and their conversation ended up on a “meh” and then it led into a good scene with him meeting Rafiki but it should have been strong the entire way through. It should have ended on a super high note where Simba is frustrated, even more confused because his entire world just got messed up again. When he was a kid, it got messed up and then Timon and Pumbaa put a bandaid on his wound only for Nala to open it again with reality… which is why Rafiki’s timing always work. But here, she didn’t nearly mess up his world enough for the “He Lives In You” scene to really land. They didn’t have to yell at each other but the dialogue definitely should have been stronger.
Emotional Stakes. It’s really hard to go into this but we all know this story and there are a ton of emotional hits in the story. Mufasa’s death, Simba running away and feeling guilty for what he think he did, Simba going home, having that whole conversation where he reveals he’s responsible for Mufasa’s death and all that. That stuff is intense and it hits really strongly, especially whenever I think about it. BUT it doesn’t hit the way it should in this film. Mufasa’s death is sad and I always cry but I didn’t in this at least not from what I saw but more for what it means and what it meant to me. Mufasa’s death is sad, yes but the emotions come from when SIMBA sees him and his reactions. He tries to wake his dad, he’s not quite understanding what’s going on, and this goes on for a while. THAT is why people get effected because of Simba’s reaction. It just came and went here. I need the dialogue, I need to sit in the moment, let me feel his pain. Scar came up too quickly. If anything, let Scar stand in the background like a shadow while Simba is breaking down. There are a lot of moments that are supposed to have a strong effect but they fall short. They don’t hit the way they should. Even if I’d never seen the animated film, I got the point and what it meant for Simba but as an audience member, I was like “meh okay.”
Overall, if you’ve never seen the original film then I’m sure you’ll really like this film. There’s a lot to like in it and if you’re not nostalgic then it should be fine. I even think if you love/like the original then you could like this fine. I like it fine. Don’t go into it expecting to hate it, just go into it to have a new experience and to marvel at the animation. The voice acting was good overall for the most part, and the characters are good and likable. The musical score is probably a highlight considering how GOOD it is. This film is also stunning to behold. I mean STUNNING. The soundtrack is good overall, and Timon and Pumbaa are standouts due to great dialogue and really good voice acting. The story is also recognizable and relatable. On the other hand, I think some of the voice acting is consistent, the realistic look of the animals prevent real emotions to pass through so the voice acting and the characters on the screen don’t quite match up. Also, the emotional stakes don’t quite hit. The movie tries to hit them and make them important but it’s not as important as it should be. The Lion Kingis fine. It doesn’t ruin the original film and if you don’t want to see it because it’ll “Ruin your childhood” then don’t see it, but don’t ruin it for those who want to see it and don’t shame the people who really like it. It’s good.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen The Lion King? What did you think about it? Be Honest. What do you love about the original? What is your favorite Live Action remake so far?
Let me know in the comment section below!
Thanks for reading and be sure to keep an eye out for more review like this!
My Disney Remake Lineup so far. It could change as we get more of these and when I rewatch.
  1. Aladdin
  2. The Jungle Book
  3. Beauty andthe Beast
  4. The Lion King
  5. Cinderella
  6. Pete’s Dragon
  7. Maleficent
  8. Dumbo