Movie Review: Lady and the Tramp (2019)

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Summary: Two dogs fall in love lol.
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the original, I’ll watch it again at some point, so this is not a comparison.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. So, this movie has the voice actors for the animals and of course the humans as well.
  • Tessa Thompson as Lady. She is an American Cocker Spaniel who is used to be the light of her human’s lives. She has it good and when they get pregnant, she’s told that the baby will replace her. I think because of Tessa Thompson’s great voice and sassy energy and I liked what she did with Lady. She’s naive still but she’s very much excited to try things, or she at least stands her ground. When she first meets Tramp, she’s like “what are you doing here? I’m going to bark” and he’s like “No please don’t” and she’s like “Mmm yeah I’m going to bark.” I liked that about her. She grows throughout the movie of learning how to live for adventure, and yes with her being a dog, certain human things she doesn’t understand so as she learns, she learns how to make it work for her and her family.
  • Justin Theroux as Tramp. He has a great voice and I liked him a lot. His character is that rugged “bad boy” type lol which is funny to say for a dog, but they have personality too. He’s a man of the streets and is street smart and he comes across Lady after he escapes the Dog Catcher in her doghouse. Their first meeting isn’t the best, but they meet again when she runs from the pet shop and they have their adventure that blossoms into romance. Tramp doesn’t have a name throughout the movie, he’s called many things and it shows in that he has no idea what he really wants or who he might really be. I think Justin Theroux had the right kind of charm and ruggedness for this character while also being endearing
Supporting Characters. There are a lot of supporting characters in this movie and I’m not going to go through each of them, but I wanted to at least highlight them for their work on the film. Sam Elliott as Trusty was inspired as he’s a bloodhound and he just exude that “old timey” guy who thinks he’s still in his prime and likes to tell stories of the good old days. Ashley Jensen as Jock (Scottish Terrier) was cute and erratic and it worked. Janelle Monáe as Peg was amazing as she has that sultry voice. Benedict Wong as Bull had nice comedic timing and worked well with Janelle Monáe. Thomas Mann and Kiersey Clemons portrayed Jim Dear and Darling Dear and I saw people complained about the interracial marriage, but I thought they were cute, I believed in their romance and relationship.
Cute CGI Animation. At some points, I wasn’t sure how much was trained animals or CGI animals, but I thought it looked good with the animals talking and their mouths moving to reflect their conversation. They did do a little something something to their eyes.
Really Sweet. I thought the moments between Lady and Tramp were really sweet. I mean sure, the dogs can’t emote quite as well as their animated counterparts, but I think it was handled well enough, better than The Lion King. I don’t think it was as “realistic” as those were… I don’t know lol. I thought they had “chemistry” as dogs can. Not to mention, Lady interacting with Jim and Darling was super adorable and it made me want a dog (as always). I liked the moments with Lady and Tramp quite a bit and I was into their dialogue and Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux worked off each other really well. The Bella Notte scene was cute. When they save Tramp at the end and he’s invited into the family, I was like AWWWWW! This movie is really sweet and cute. I mean really.
Cons:
The Dog Catcher Stuff. I don’t even really remember it being a thing in the animated film, I know it was because I remember the pound and stuff but every time, he came on screen I was like, dude get a life. He’s a stray god. He’s treating Tramp like he’s a human being who just goes around stealing stuff from people’s homes. Tramp sleeps in the train yard, okay and then he just trots around the street. He’s not that much of a menace. It was just overkill and towards the end when he came to the Jim Dear and Darling’s house, I was like “bruh…”. I hated it.
Minor Pacing Issues. I do think the movie has an issue with keeping the momentum at times, but I think a lot of this has to do with the Dog Catcher being thrown into scenes. He shows up at the Dear’s house a couple of times, we cut to him trying to find Tramp so many times and I was like ughhhh, stop lol. I mean yes, he causes conflict, but it was annoying so because of that, it causes the movie to slow down.
Overall, I thought it was a very charming and I liked it a lot. I thought the casting was handled really well and the actors really captured their characters. Of course, the dogs were adorable and the training for them to hit their marks without CGI was handled really well. I thought the human characters were interesting and the acting was good. I liked the few that were incorporated, I appreciated the new “Siamese Cats” song because while I get it, it’s a classic, some might find it offensive and Disney deserves credit for that. Besides, I thought the new song was fun. The story is still really cute, and I was into it. My only big problem was I did not like anything dealing with the Dog Catcher. It was too long, the actor was good, but his character was ridiculous and annoying. I can imagine people complaining about “the magic” missing from the movie and I do agree there were times where, the movie reached a slow point after keeping me invested but I think that’s a minor pacing issue. A lot of that was broken because of all the Dog Catcher scenes, personally. But in the end, I thought the movie was cute, with major rewatchability and it’s truly a harmless, sweet adventure.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. 
Have you seen Lady and the Tramp (2019) yet? What are your thoughts on it? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!

Movie Review: Gemini Man (2019)

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