Summary: A young elephant, whose oversized ears enable him to fly, helps save a struggling circus, but when the circus plans a new venture, Dumbo and his friends discover dark secrets beneath its shiny veneer.
This will be a short review.
Dumbo. Dumbo is a newborn elephant who has oversized ears and HE’S SO CUTE! He is the newest addition to the Medici’s circus. At first, some of the people at the circus think he’s a freak and he is used to attract huge audiences. Once he learns how to fly, after prompting from the kids, Medici uses Dumbo as a flying attraction. However, his mother is taken away because she gets uber protective of her baby (which is understandable!). Dumbo then begins to feel lost because she’s gone and the kids become close to him to help him regain his confidence. Once he gets put into Dreamland, he’s really out of his element. Dumbo doesn’t talk at all, but his facials are super expressive. I think that and his endearing personality is what makes him an interesting hero albeit an unconventional one.
Dumbo and Mrs. Jumbo’s Relationship. We don’t get to see a ton of them together as they get separated pretty early on but a lot of what drives Dumbo is the fact of getting back to his mother. He even seems to go along with the plans delivered at the end because he was promised to get back to his mom. I thought that was sweet and the part of the movie I wanted to see the most.
The Idea of Family. A big part of this film is the idea of family. The whole thing with Dumbo and his mother, and then Colin Farrell’s family and then the circus as a whole being a family. I did like how there were three different layers of family going on and that it was such an important part of the film that each plot point was directly related to “family” in some form or fashion.
Animal CGI. I think this movie has really nice CGI. I think Dumbo is precious and I want a baby elephant. I think all of the animals we get to see look really good to be fully computer generated. There is also a bit of the pink elephants part and it’s different from what we remember but it works for the tone of the movie but it’s also quite cool. I think the way they handle all the effects, there aren’t a ton, but the ones there are, it’s really good. Dumbo’s face, all of his expressions, especially in his eyes are so sweet.
Really Cute… Most Times. I feel like I’m mostly praising Dumbo but he is the most charming thing about this movie. There’s a part where Eva Green’s character goes into a room and she says “Bonsoir!” and Dumbo comes in behind her and repeats her in his way lol. It was super cute and got a lot of laughs in my theater. This happened a lot but mostly because of Dumbo!
The Acting. I don’t really care about any of the characters but I think all of the acting from the adults is good. They’re all well-known actors and I think they all do well with what they are working with and their fine in their roles.
The Entire Human Aspect. I didn’t want to compare it to the animated film because I am able to look at the two separately but the thing that makes the animated film charming is the fact that it focuses mostly on Dumbo and the mouse, THE ANIMALS! The humans are inconsequential and this movie shows WHY!! I did not care a bit about any of these humans in this movie. They force Colin Farrell’s family on us and I definitely did not care. I guess I could care about the circus people but the made Dumbo be a clown and made fun of his ears! I don’t care! Then there was this whole thing with Michael Keaton… jeez, literally cared about none of these people!
No Emotional Weight. I cry every time I watch the animated movie… and while this movie tries to hit the emotional parts that we know from the animated film, it doesn’t hit quite the same. The Baby Mine in the trailer made me tear up when I first saw, but I just went “aww” and then kept it moving. There’s a lot of aww’s but mostly because it’s cute not emotional the way I think the movie wants it to be. The whole thing with the dad and his kids, all of that stuff, it just doesn’t hit.
Unbalanced Story. This story is all over the place! We have this whole thing about Dumbo being weird because that’s the whole point of the movie. Then there’s thing with Colin Farrell where he’s come back from the war and lost his arm, which means he’s lost his act in the circus and his wife died… I mean there’s a lot going on that the movie wants us to care about. Farrell’s daughter is a boring scientist, the son has no personality other than to look wide-eyed at everything and then even more. I literally only care about Dumbo. There’s so much going on in this movie that I think it loses what is supposed to make it charming and that’s focusing on Dumbo and what he’s going through and what he feels.
The Little Girl. I don’t know the actress’s name and while she’s a kid, I want to give her a pass, but wow she was really bad. She was the one we spent a lot of time with because she is the one who figures a lot of things out because she’s super smart. I’m glad that she was smart and into science. However, she had one facial expression the entire time. Her tone was monotone and every time she spoke, I was like wow. It was really bad. Even when she was trying to be emotional it didn’t work. I don’t know if it was a choice or if Tim Burton told her to do that. Either way, it was really bad. Her little brother was better than her and he didn’t get much to do.
Overall, I wanted to like Dumbo more than I did. I thought it was cute overall and I wanted to love it about as much as I loved the animated film because I have been optimistic about these live action remakes, and I don’t mind them but this one left a lot left to be desired. IT was kind of a shame really because it could have been handled better. I don’t know if they thought we would relate more because of the humans but they don’t help the story at all. Dumbo is the selling point and he is the best part of the movie. Don’t get me wrong, the acting is good through all of the adult actors but you don’t care about any of them because it’s just added storylines we don’t need. The CGI is good and while I didn’t mention this separately, the soundtrack is lovely. Now, there isn’t any emotional weight, at least not to the point where the movie wanted it to land and the little girl’s acting was not good and she’s almost a main lead because of how much she’s featured. Also, the story is all over the place. *sighs* I think it could have been better otherwise, this one could have been left to its original place as an animated film.
Rating: 2.7 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Dumbo? What did you think about it? Let me know your thoughts down below!
Summary: A woman is transformed into her younger self at a point in her life when the pressures of adulthood become too much to bear.
This will be a short review.
Cast and Characters. There are a lot of characters in this movie, all of the supporting characters do their jobs, they’re funny, cute (for the kids) and do what they’re supposed to do. The bigger standouts are of course our main characters.
Regina Hall as Jordan Sanders. Jordan is indeed a ruthless tech mogul. She almost reminded me of Miranda from Devil Wears Prada just a bit louder in how she talks to people lol. She’s incredibly smart and has big goals for her future but she has to learn how to take the ideas and suggestions from others in order to be successful. She is mean, like for real, rude and she feels that because of what happened to her as a kid, that she is owed to do this to other people. I like Regina Hall and I think it’s clear she’s having fun in this role. She doesn’t appear in most of the movie but in the beginning and the end, we get to see her transform (not that much) but still. Good casting.
Marsai Martin as 13-year-old Jordan Sanders. We get a grasp of her as an actual pre-teen early on which shows that Jordan is super smart. When we see her as an adult in her pre-teen body, she’s acting the way she acted as an adult. Entitled, rude and thinking the crowds will part for her. She of course learns quickly that she doesn’t hold the same weight as she did before considering she’s now a child. Throughout the film, we get to see Jordan struggle with who she has become and who she used to be and I think Marsai does a good job with portraying both sides to Jordan. She is afraid of becoming that girl she used to be because of the pain she went through in school. I totally get that. I also loved how she reacted to Trevor as both an adult and in her younger body because she gets to see herself through the eyes of someone who actually cares about her. Marsai is very expressive with her face which I think is a strong point for her. I was impressed with her (as I don’t actively watch Black-ish yet).
Issa Rae as April Williams. She is Jordan’s overworked assistant. She basically is always on her toes when it comes to doing whatever Jordan needs from her. It’s clear that she’s good at her job as an assistant but she’s determined to be more than that. I love Issa Rae, she’s so energetic and captivating whenever she’s on screen that I enjoy her no matter what. Her character is relatable as we all have worked with people or bosses who just burn our grits and she gets to react and say things that we have either said or wish we said. April wants to be a creative designer in the company and is worried she’ll never get there because Jordan won’t let her. It’s also nice to see her have her moments to grow as a person and become stronger. Issa is great in this human, relatable role, it’s where she shines, I think.
Charming and Hilarious. There’s a lot of charm in this movie, it’s done with pure intentions and I think it shows. It’s definitely from the mind of a child and while it’s not obvious (like with The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl) it’s done with love and respect for Marsai’s vision. It’s also extremely funny. I was surprised at how much I laughed but I think I laughed mostly as Issa Rae who is hilarious on her own. Marsai Martin also does really well whenever she is bouncing off other adults, particularly the scene with her teacher. How it’s shown in the trailer is pretty much what happens in the movie but it’s still funny. However, there is great comedic chemistry with Issa Rae and Regina Hall and Marsai Martin. They all really bounce off each other well.
Overall Story. So yes, you can compare this to BIG if you want, Marsai even said she was inspired by that movie, which is an honor. I think the overall point of the movie, is made strongly. Don’t forget who you were, be yourself and go after what you want. Jordan reverted back to her 13-year-old self because she had to remember what she felt in those years that made her into the person she was. She had to grow from that in a different way. April had to learn to go after what she wanted by being herself and not do things that would compromise who she was as a person. I think that’s a nice message to give to anyone who watches the film.
Formulaic/Predictable. I mean this is in the vein of all the comedies that came before it with similar stories so it’s hard to be original (other than the fact the leads are black women and she’s a TECH MOGUL!) but it’s really hard to take the story seriously when I can predict exactly what’s going to happen. Jordan goes back to middle school and think she’s going to be the Alpha female but is quickly put on her ass by the head cheerleader. Not to mention, she ends up being ridiculed by the other students and has to hang out with the other outcasts who she takes under her wing and all that kind of stuff. I mean it’s textbook. So mostly I enjoyed the movie for the humor and the performances.
Unbalanced. A big problem is the narrative in that we seem to want to focus mostly on Jordan and her journey but we also have a lot of focus on April and her journey and I think the movie gets bogged down by trying to juggle both parts. It manages to do it but it doesn’t make for smooth storytelling. At times the movie even seems to focus on April more than it does Jordan which is a bit of a problem as that’s not what the movie starts off with or even really ends with.
Unearned Realizations. In movies like this there’s also a big moment of realization after our heroines go through something that makes them really rethink their life choices. I felt the conversation between April and Jordan where they have this moment where they talk about this… I was like meh because while we did see them both experience things that put them out of their depth, it didn’t feel earned, particularly for Jordan because outside of that one talk with Trevor, what exactly did she learn? The whole point of being reverted to a child is to see the world as a child and to embrace the part of her that she let go. It happened for movie sake not because she really earned that realization. At least to me.
Overall, I think Littleis a really cute and charming movie. It’s extremely hilarious, I laughed quite a bit and the performances are really the stand out in the film. I do think the intended messages manages to make its way across even though the story narrative is unbalanced and it’s very predictable and I do think Jordan’s 180 at the end comes a bit out of nowhere especially as Jordan never really seems to embrace the whole feeling of being a child again which is usually the point of these kinds of movies. It ends up coming off shallow and that’s not what I would want for a movie that’s told from the mind of a smart and charming child. Otherwise, I think it’s worth the watch, especially as a girl’s night out.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Little? If so, what’s your thoughts on it? Let me know in the comments below!
Summary: Grindelwald escaped custody and has set about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda. To thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore enlists his former student Newt Scamander, who agrees to help, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world.
Cast Mostly and some Characters. I don’t find everyone that interesting, or at least not enough for me to be like OH YES, I NEED MORE! But I thought everyone did great jobs in their role. The acting is really good in this movie. Top Marks!
Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander. This movie didn’t even really need to follow him but sure. Newt is as he was in the first. Awkward, sweet and loves his animals. In this one, he wants to travel again after getting in trouble from the events in the first film, but the Ministry wants him to be an Auror. That’s not his thing. So, he ends up being called upon by Albus Dumbledore to help him with something because Dumbledore cannot do it himself. Newt agrees and probably didn’t realize that he just might be the first person (but not the last) who Dumbledore uses to do the work to accomplish a goal. Aaaaanyways, most of the movie is Newt running around trying to find Credence while also trying to find Tina because he’s in lub and he misses her. I like Eddie Redmayne and he’s very good as Newt, very likable most of the time.
Katherine Waterston as Tina Goldstein. Tina isn’t seen for most of the first half of the movie. I didn’t like her that much in the first one and that hasn’t really changed. She’s also looking for Credence because she wants to save him from whatever Grindelwald might want of him, plus she’s trying to clear her name after the last incident that happened at the end of the first movie. She does a stupid thing and she and Newt are finally reunited. Then they’re pretty much together the rest of the movie, where he tries to explain what she saw wasn’t true and what not. Tina is still headstrong but as the movie isn’t about her, that’s all we really get. Katherine Waterston is again fine in her role.
Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski. Still a favorite character. So, at the end of the first movie, he loses his memory of what happened thanks to the rain from the Thunderbird. But basically, Queenie finds him and restores his memory but ya know, it’s frowned upon for witches and muggles (I DO NOT LIKE “NO-MAJ”) to be together so that whole thing is pretty much his introduction in the movie. He and Queenie arrive and he’s being all weird. Jacob is as fun supporting character. He’s the audience in how he reacts to the world and I love it. He’s good-natured and pretty much down for the ride. He does have a lot of emotional things happening in this movie, so I’m very interested to see what happens with him in the next one… *rolls eyes* Dan Fogler is funny, and he has some great emotional moments and you really feel for him.
Alison Sudol as Queenie Goldstein. Tina’s younger sister who is a powerful natural Legilimens. She fell in love with Jacob even though the wizarding laws forbid relationships with MUGGLES. So, in this movie, she’s really broken up about her feelings for him and what society doesn’t allow. That’s pretty much the bulk of her character in this movie. Her agonizing over this. *sighs* I don’t mind it being something she’s dealing with, but it didn’t have to be her entire storyline because she’s so interesting that it sucks that she’s regulated to that. BUT BUT Alison Sudol is really good as this character and she has some great emotional moments. The scene I dislike the most with her towards the end, is really good acting wise.
Ezra Miller as Credence Barebone. Following the events of the first movie, we see that he did not die the way they thought he did. He ran off to the circus. He now seems to have control over his Obscurus which makes him extremely powerful. We don’t get a ton of him in this movie and anytime we do, it’s mostly because he’s trying to figure out who he is and where he comes from. He is close with Nagini and they escaped the circus together. I think Credence is an interesting character, but we don’t see enough of him just yet, so I’m hoping that he gets more development in the third film. I also LOVE Ezra Miller and he’s great at playing the kind of character Credence is, kind of broken down but filled with rage over what he endured, not to mention, someone who is growing into their own man. He’s so good at that lol.
Zoë Kravitz as Leta Lestrange. Leta is an interesting character, she went to school with Newt, and he was in love with her. She did something terrible that Newt took the blame for, which is why he’s an outcast in some circles. She comes from a well-known pureblood family who is known for the Dark Arts. She is engaged to Newt’s older brother Theseus and works in the Ministry as an assistant. Outside of what we learn about her from the flashback, we don’t get the chance to really know her to get any emotional attachment to her. But Zoe Kravitz is great as she always is.
Callum Turner as Theseus Scamander. He is Newt’s older brother and an Auror. He fought in World War I and is seen as a “War hero”, though he seems too young to be Newt’s older brother, because the actor is in fact younger than Redmayne and it shows physically. He and Newt seem to have an okay relationship, they’re just different personalities, like Theseus is a hugger lol. He spent previous years looking for Grindelwald and he’s engaged to Leta. Theseus was cool, and he seemed to not only care about duty but care about his brother because he must make some decisions that would affect both relationships. I like Callum Turner’s voice lol, but I think he makes Theseus likable because I feel like he would be one of those characters who would toe that line of likability.
Claudia Kim as Nagini. She is the main attraction a wizarding circus and freak show called Circus Arcanus. She is a Maledictus, who carries a blood curse that will eventually transform her into a snake permanently. She befriends Credence and becomes a confidant for him. They run away from the circus together in search of his heritage. She seems to be very wary of things in general but that’s about it. I don’t like the fact that she’s Nagini who later becomes Voldy’s snake, I mean whatever, but because of that connection, I just want to know how she met him and what made her want to follow him but not trust Grindelwald. I mean, they’re different but similar. Claudia Kim doesn’t get to do much other than look cautious and worried throughout the film.
Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore. Well hey there Dumbledore. He is an extremely powerful and influential wizard in the British Wizarding Community, known in the British Ministry of Magic and throughout the wider wizarding world for his academic brilliance, currently a professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He and Grindelwald grew up together and he had some kind of relationship with him over the summer and it ended badly. It’s already been told to us that Grindelwald and Dumbledore were romantic, or at least it was leading that way but ya know, it fell apart. Dumbledore is the one who brings Newt into the situation because He “cannot move against Grindelwald” for reasons we learn later. Also, the Ministry, as always, is frustrated with him because while he’s on their side, he won’t/can’t do what they want and so he ends up being forced on the sidelines even more. Jude Law was a great choice for Dumbledore. I was kind of shocked at how much I liked him in this role. He manages to have the same presence as those before him while also having swag lol.
Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald. He is a powerful dark wizard who caused mass violence, terror and chaos. He wants to create a new Wizarding World Order about wizarding superiority. He doesn’t want to exterminate muggles (like Voldemort) but he wants to subjugate everyone who isn’t a pure wizard. They all have their place he says. He was captured by MACUSA in New York after wreaking havoc, and of course the whole thing when he pretended to be Colin Farrell’s character in the first one. By the way, he’s more powerful than Voldemort lol. Anyways, I think he kills a few people, the wizards who were transporting him and a muggle family but then he just spends the movie talking to people. He wants to “free” their minds to see things his way and he just talks a lot. While I have problems with the scene overall, my favorite scene of his is when they’re in the graveyard with the blue flames. I thought he did great there and seemed crazy while also powerful and intriguing. I can see the pull but not enough to sway me personally. I have always loved Johnny Depp and despite the mess that’s been around about him for some years, I’m glad he got to be in a mainstream movie where he does well with an interesting character. I don’t particularly like how stark his two eye colors were, maybe if the blue wasn’t so vibrant, but perhaps that was the point. But he manages to command the screen whenever he’s on it.
The Costumes. As always Colleen Atwood is great at her job. I recognize her talents lol. I miss Newt’s old blue coat but the coat he wore in this was great too! Albus also had a great look! I mean wow! Leta’s clothes… *Swoons* the costumes are great okay.
Musical Soundtrack. I can’t remember if I liked the soundtrack in the first one, but I think the soundtrack in this one was good, particularly in the emotional scenes like the entire graveyard sequence. I think this soundtrack is superior to the first one. I’ll have to listen again to verify this, but I thought it stood out quite a bit.
Use of Magic. With it being part of a magical world, the use of magic is very important, and I think it’s used in ways that keep the film moving forward. I like the creatures we saw, old and new ones, the designs on them are still great. With the blue flames in the graveyard sequence and how that was used was cool as well. Not to mention, Nagini’s whole transformation thing and how Credence used his powers. If anything, this movie does well, it’s the magic.
The Title. WHY IS THIS STILL CALLED “FANTASTIC BEASTS”! It has nothing to do with that. Just because you sprinkle in other magical creatures and the fact that Credence is an Obscurus does not mean that this movie needs to be part of that series. Why couldn’t Fantastic Beasts just exist on its own as well as this movie? It feels so much like a forced effort.
The story is all over the place. It is. End of story.
Nothing Happens in This Movie. All the reveals come at the end of the movie. So, any questions we had from the first movie, get answered at the end. It’s not like we got them throughout the film, or at the beginning and then we now have new questions that are because of good writing, not questions like “What even is this movie?” It just feels like a movie with nothing going on until the last 20 minutes or so. That’s a problem because this movie is 2 hours and some change. I watched people talk and people go places. That’s about it. It’s so much building that it never actually gets to where the building is going towards at least not in this movie. It should be able to stand on its own even if it’s a sequel.
Queenie’s Development. Not happy with what happened with her as I loved her character in the first one but there must have been a ton cut out with her character because she just does so much that seems out of character for her. I don’t understand the choices. By time we get to the end with her big decision, I was like “huh?” Like, I get it on the surface because sure, but how did she exactly reach that decision as if it was the only way? It was a 180 and I did not expect that from her because there was NO REASON AS TO WHY!
Leta Lestrange. Her character was interesting from what we saw in this movie and I thought Zoe Kravitz was great in her minor role. I also do not like how the movie handled her overall because we do not have the chance to get invested in her emotionally. Why should we care about her? They made such a big deal and it didn’t matter. We know the name Lestrange because of Bellatrix, which is fine, but Leta was someone I wanted to know because if you’re going to introduce a new character with connection to someone we’ve known before… then explore it! Especially when we get her backstory. But… I don’t know if they decided she wasn’t important moving forward, or if they wanted something like what we’ve seen in previous HP movies or what, but she was wasted. Not over it.
Credence’s Background. I knew what it was going to be, and I was not thrilled. As a Harry Potter fan, not thrilled at all and completely unnecessary. But that’s not the problem, my problem is that they spend way too much time trying to fake Credence and the audience out by jerking us around with his heritage. It’s not that serious. There was no reason to wait till the end of the movie for us to find out who he is. If Grindelwald wants him on his side so badly, he should have just told him as soon as he got out and got some of his followers back, what’s what. It felt like a waste of my time and I wasn’t happy about the journey nor the ending. Which is shame because I find Credence a very interesting and compelling character but pfft, ruined with that reveal.
Overall, I wanted to like this movie because I love Harry Potter and the Wizarding World. But I think this one is such a disappointment that I was upset when it was over. The first one I enjoyed enough but this one I barely enjoyed. Ugh. The characters are still interesting, and the acting is good across the board. The costumes are beautiful as always and the soundtrack is beautiful. Also, of course, the magic is used very well in the film. Now, there are a lot of issues. The story is all over the place, which means nothing happens in this film because there hardly is a story! The development of certain characters is so bad that I was like UGH! WHY did they do that!? And the title is still stupid… drop the Fantastic Beasts. Jeez. Anyway, it might be worth the watch if you’ve seen the first one but if you don’t really care for them, then I wouldn’t bother.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars.
Did you see Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald? What did you think about it? Where do you think these movies can continue to go in terms of direction? Are you a Harry Potter fan and do you think these movies are necessary or just fanfiction? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!
Summary: A human child raised by wolves must face off against a menacing tiger named Shere Khan, as well as his own origins.
Cast and Characters. The voice over cast is extremely good. I didn’t know who was in the movie before I watched it so I wasn’t really placing anyone. I then noticed Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett and Benedict Cumberbatch were in the movie and then I figured out who they were lol.
Rohan Chand as Mowgli. First of all, this kid is adorable. Extremely. I thought he did very well in the movie. There were a few times where it wasn’t coming through exactly like in the emotional moments but overall, I thought he managed to push through it. I like the moments where he’s quiet and he’s just watching because he has very expressive eyes. Some of my favorite moments was when he just got into the man village and he was learning everything, the camera would just watch him as he watched and learned and it was really beautiful. I also thought he did very well with reacting to the animals around him, showing his fear, his anger and the emotional bits. As I said, it didn’t always hit but I thought he did very well. He was very sympathetic.
Christian Bale as Bagheera. He is a black panther who finds Mowgli after his family was killed and takes him to the wolves. He becomes one of Mowgli’s mentors and friends. We also learn from him that he was born in human custody. Bagheera is kind and caring and while he believes in Mowgli, he’s also worried about him when it comes to living in the jungle with Shere Khan on the loose. Bagheera often makes choices that would protect Mowgli even if it seems harsh at the time. I knew I recognized his voice when I first started watching the movie, I think Christian Bale is great at voice overs (Howl’s Moving Castle anyone?) and his voice is so soft with honey like tones in the movie that it really works. There’s a great scene where Mowgli and Bagheera are talking about Bagheera’s history and it was a moving scene.
Benedict Cumberbatch as Shere Khan. He is a crippled Bengal tiger and Mowgli’s arch-enemy. He’s ruthless and will do anything to get what he wants. I think with him being crippled (his front right paw is like bent back so he can’t walk on the pad of his paw). Benedict Cumbersnatch is good at voice acting, he’s played many a villain in motion capture. I thought the voice he put on for the character was sinister.
Supporting Characters. There are a lot of side characters, some whose names I didn’t retain but there are a few who might not constantly be in the film but they have important roles.
Cate Blanchett as Kaa. She is a python and a seer. She is the main narrator of the film and it seems that she is on Mowgli’s side. We see her mainly twice, once where she saves Mowgli and then another time when he goes to her and she shows him some important information. I guess she could be a “mentor” but she’s not around enough for me to really say that. Cate Blanchett is always a win and her voice is amazing as always.
Andy Serkis as Baloo. He’s not the Baloo we know from the Disney movies, but a grisly, drill sergeant teacher. His face has a lot of scars showing his life, which was cool, but he looked a little odd. We did get to see him fight a few times which was cool. I don’t think he and Mowgli had a relationship that rivaled what we’ve seen before but the role he played, where he encouraged Mowgli to be at his best. One of my favorite parts was during the Running and he freaked out on Bagheera because of what he did. Andy Serkis is always great in motion capture and he’s great here too.
Dark and Gritty. I’ve never read the book, it’s on my list and I don’t know the tone of the story but this is very different from the Disney versions which director Andy Serkis made clear. For one thing, Baloo is this grisly mentor instead of a happy-go-lucky friend. Also, with the hunter and how Mowgli ends up deciding between the village and the jungle that was pretty intense. The monkey scene as well, there isn’t a King Louis but the monkeys end up knocking him out while dragging him to their hideout, and Shere Khan leaves this giant scar down Mowgli’s arm… I mean it’s also a little bloody. I quite enjoyed it though. I also think there was a little more at stake here in that Shere Khan was doing things that would break jungle law. The Hunter storyline in general and what we learn about Bagheera.
Bagheera and Mowgli. I didn’t want to compare this to Disney’s The Jungle Book (2015) but in this case I kind of have too. In both Disney versions, one of the biggest praises is the friendship that Mowgli has with both Bagheera and Baloo. Obviously, they are on two different levels with Baloo being the fun-loving friend and Bagheera being the protective one, but this movie does it a little differently. Baloo and Mowgli aren’t really friends at all, but he and Bagheera are and I thought the relationship they had was beautiful. Bagheera truly cared about him and did everything he could to protect him even if it came off in the wrong way. The scene by the cage, that is one of my favorite scenes.
The Man-Village. This might be a little spoilery, but meh lol. I really enjoyed the scenes in the man village. Mowgli wakes up in a cage and just watches everything around him and we see how some of the people react to him as he is a little jungle baby. Then when we finally see him out and about in the village, there’s a great scene between him and Frida Pinto as she washes him and teaches him the ways of the village. There’s not a lot of dialogue that goes on while he’s there, mostly because he doesn’t understand their language (though I wonder since he understands the animals, can other humans understand them or how that works. I mean, it’s fine but I’m curious). Then they have a Festival of Colors and I want to go so bad lol, but it was great and to see him fall into it and enjoy himself. It was great. I really liked all of that stuff.
Shere Khan’s Motives. I guess he doesn’t really need any but I’ve always thought the idea of him killing humans just to kill them was lame. I mean, sure, it’s a villain move, but he’s so hellbent on getting Mowgli because he missed him the first time without an actual cause? It doesn’t make for a very interesting villain personally. He keeps doing things that breaks the law of the jungle… but why? He didn’t necessarily need to say why, but it would have been nice to discover that.
A Little Too Dark. There were a lot of times in the movie where I couldn’t see what was going on. I shouldn’t have to adjust my TV’s brightness for the movie to be seen. It was really annoying a few times so I just had to shrug it off.
Weird CGI. I don’t think all of the animals looked that great. It was cool that they had scars and battle wounds ya know, they’ve lived in the jungle but some of them looked scary and not in a good way. I think particularly the wolves and Baloo didn’t look great.
Rushed In the Last Act. I prefer the first half definitely because I thought it was pretty well paced but the last half flew through the story. I liked the stuff in the village, especially when he was in the cage, but once he finds that stuff with Lockwood, it just goes so fast that it feels so different from the first half. His standoff with Shere Khan was so quick I was like… meh.
Overall, I quite enjoyed Mowgli: Legend of the Jungleand I tried not to compare it to Disney’s version in 2015 and yes, it’s very different. I thought most of the characters were interesting, particularly Mowgli, Shere Khan and Bagheera. All of the motion capture and voice over acting was handled really well and I thought Christian Bale really portrayed the character of Bagheera in an interesting, compelling and sympathetic way. I will also give Rohan Chand his props for playing Mowgli. This is his first leading role and I thought he handled himself really well, he’s really great to watch. I enjoyed the dark and gritty tone in that it felt like there were actual things at stake, the hunter storyline, the kind of frightening images and of course the monkey stuff lol. I also really loved the storyline between Bagheera and Mowgli, they seemed a lot closer in this version and it allowed them to have a different kind of relationship that was really emotional. The man village scene was beautiful, without the dialogue it really helps just watch Mowgli grow immersed. Now, I did have a problem with how dark the movie looked in that I couldn’t tell what was going on. The CGI wasn’t always the best. The last act was extremely rushed after what I thought was nice pacing in the first two acts. Also, Shere Khan’s motives were kind of meh. I get it but meh. But it’s worth the watch if you love The Jungle Book.
Rating: 3.59 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Netflix’s Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle? If not, you should check it out, it’s worth the watch especially if you love The Jungle Book. If you have seen it, let me know your thoughts down below and let’s discuss!
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Summary: Imprisoned by an adult world that now fears everyone under 18, a group of teens form a resistance group to fight back and reclaim control of their future.
Pretty Good Acting. I like Amandla Stenberg. I don’t think there has ever been a movie that I didn’t like her in. The movie might not have been great, but I usually always enjoy her. I think she had an interesting character in this movie in that Ruby has some baggage and trauma that she deals with, not to mention being afraid of her abilities. It’s something we’ve seen before but it’s still interesting because we don’t know the extent her powers and nor does she. Amandla manages to show all of that. I do acknowledge that she makes some funny faces but that’s just her face lol and it doesn’t bother me, nor do I count it against her. Harris Dickinson as Liam was also pretty good, he’s a leader in their runaway group and it’s clear he really cares about those in his group. He’s very passionate and it shows. I also enjoyed Skylan Brooks as Chubs, and while she didn’t have any dialogue Miya Cech as Zu was also cute.
Character Skeletons. I didn’t want to go through each character and actor like I normally do because I don’t think the characters are that interesting overall, but we got some interesting character skeletons. Even with Ruby being the main character, she wasn’t fleshed out enough for me to care about her, BUT I thought there was enough setup for interesting characters. I liked that each one of our runaways had a different ability and that they viewed themselves like a family. The villain was also interesting, but he was so random that it didn’t work overall.
The Story. I haven’t read the book, so I am not going to be comparing this at all. I did read the first two or three chapters and it was interesting. The idea is that 98% of the children die in the US leaving the survivors with abilities. The government wants to cure them, so they put them into these camps. Their abilities are rated on a color scale from harmless to lethal.
Green- High Intelligence
Red- Unknown (I mean I know but it’s kind of cool to find out)
Orange- Mind Control etc.
That’s all cool and stuff and I would like to know just how they planned on curing these kids or if they would rather use them as weapons. Plus, there are three books so I’m sure they planned on making two more movies, which I would have been interested in watching but ya know it did terribly, so I doubt it. Anyways, the fact that Ruby managed to survive in the camps pretending to be a green was interesting and I would have liked to know just how she managed to survive for so long. Not to mention, when she met up with Liam, Chubs and Zu, they escaped from the camp they were in and were on the run, but what next at the end ya know? I thought there was the makings of a cool and immersive story.
Dull and Boring. Ya’ll this movie is so dull. Nothing happens. I mean, stuff happens but nothing happens, and it was very anticlimactic. I really wanted the end to be more interesting than it was because you have all these kids with powers in one place and none of them thought to use their powers to help?? I mean, listen, if I had telekinesis (which is the power I always choose) then I would be fighting. Besides, I can’t imagine anyone not catching on to that “twist” at the end. Also the little dust thing where Ruby is like disappearing or whatever you always see… so disappointed in that lol. I get it but BOO. Disappointed.
Use of Abilities. A big missed opportunity was how the powers were used. I think it makes sense that Ruby’s powers were a bit of mystery because she didn’t really know how to use them herself so that’s fine. However, the others should have had some better use of their powers. For one, I feel like the Greens having high intelligence is just so passive in the world where the others aren’t. I felt like they should be able to control or connect with technology, be technopaths or something like that. We see Zu use her powers maybe three times and each time she had to touch wires or something, which is cool to give it limitations but is that it? Is that why she always had to wear the rubber gloves? As for the telekinesis which can also be called “Psychokinesis” is a powerful power which is why I was so shocked it was considered “less dangerous” considering how they can not only move things with their mind, they can move people, create force fields, I guess depending on the limitations of that power. Missed opportunity because Liam was already considered a powerful “blue”, but that power is powerful in general. I just wish we got to see more of the powers used overall in more than just the usual ways.
Unfocused. It was allllll over the place. Sure, it had a through line, the kids had somewhere they wanted to go and Ruby ultimately wanted to go home but being that it’s a dystopian ya film, it kind of has the same tropes that all the others have (The Hunger Games, Divergent, The 5th Wave), and they wanted us to be interested in so much that they didn’t flesh out the stuff that really mattered. Why didn’t we get the chance to really know just how close Liam, Chubs and Zu were? They told us they were, they said it, but other than the fact that they seemed stuck with each other, we didn’t really get to know them as a unit. Then there’s the stuff with Mandy Moore’s character and that was just here and there. THEN the stuff with Gwendolyn Christie who seemed like an interesting character but that was just brushed aside. It was all over the place ya’ll.
Romance Aspect. Listen, I don’t have a problem with romance in movies, but sometimes it’s hard to accept that people are falling in love while the world is ending, or their lives are in danger. I can’t say it’s unrealistic because ya know teenagers, but it’s so ridiculous sometimes. There’s a part where Zu insists Ruby put on this red dress, and she does, and she walks around in this fancy red dress… why? So random. She and Liam also clearly are going to be interested in each other, sure, but how long were they together? They don’t really know each other and they’re just like making decisions about each other and I’m like ‘but Ya’ll don’t know each other’ not to mention, something happens with another person at the end, and while I get it to an extent, YOU ALSO DON’T KNOW THIS GIRL!
So Many Questions. I was interested, and I think I’ll read the books now because I feel like the movie didn’t do the justice it probably deserved. We’ll see. But I had a lot of questions. For example, where did the disease come from? Why is it only kids that are affected? What happens to the survivors with the abilities once they are no longer kids? Will they maintain these powers or lose them? If that’s the case, why not allow them to live their lives (maybe keep a close eye on those Reds and Oranges) until they’re 18 or whatever? How did Ruby managed to stay hidden for so long? Did she just mind control people who got suspicious of her? Why didn’t the government conduct the “white noise” procedure often? They seemed to only do it a few times but if it was me, I would do it at the end of the year or every six months or so just in case someone slipped through defenses. Is the eletrokinesis only if they touched things that held a current, or could it be from the body directly? What about the telekinesis… since that’s kinetic energy, they should be able to do a lot more than what was continuously showcased. What about the Greens? They only have high intelligence? Why not use them instead of making them do stupid grunt work? ALSO, what happened to Lady Jane??? lol so many questions and the movie wasn’t doing a good job at answering any of them.
Overall, The Darkest Minds was a mess and I feel bad for it to be honest. I feel like there was some good stuff there but being in a movie format didn’t help the movie at all. Adding this one to the YA books that should have been a TV show. The acting overall is good, I don’t think anyone was bad and Amandla I think is always likable no matter what she does. The characters had an interesting base and I think the story is good but needed some flesh and extra life but unfortunately it was dull and boring. It was unfocused, focused way too much on the romance aspect when it should have focused more on the Runaways family aspect, their powers and Ruby’s internal struggles. There was also a ton of missed opportunities with their powers. Lastly, so many questions that weren’t the good kind. Listen, if it comes on TV check it out, but otherwise, I wouldn’t worry about it.
SIDE NOTE: That little girl they chose to play a young Ruby, not only looked NOTHING like Amandla, she was a completely different complexion. Sure, kids grow up and get a little darker or a little lighter, but I think that was a missed opportunity to cast a dark-skinned actress as Ruby. That was annoying.
Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen The Darkest Minds? If so, what were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below! I would love to hear from those who have seen the movie and perhaps also read the book! No spoilers though!
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Summary: Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressure from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what’s right.
Cast and Characters.
Amandla Stenberg as Starr Carter. 16-year-old Starr is stuck between two worlds. The world of her neighborhood, Garden Heights and Williamson, her prep school. She understands what it means to code switch depending on the people she’s around. One night she attends a party with her best friend, and she meets up with Khalil, a boy she knew from her childhood. They reconnect and when the party turns sour, she and Khalil escape and have moments in the car. Unfortunately, she watches as Khalil is murdered before her very eyes by a cop. She is stricken by this and has to continue through her life with something so horrific in her memory, in her bones and she struggles with the pain that she knows what happened. However, she’s afraid to say anything because she’s worried what that might do to her family. Also, King of the King Lords pretty much threatens her about dry snitching and what not. But Starr must find her voice in order for Khalil to find justice and to find peace for herself. It’s a powerful story to see told by a friend and a witness. I was a little worried about Amandla at first, I think she’s a good actress but I haven’t seen her play a part like this but she pleasantly surprised me. She does make these weird faces lol, which throughout the movie I was like “lol girl stop” but I know she can’t help it because it’s just her face lol. I thought she did very well with all the emotional bits. Definitely a movie to make her mark as more than just a YA adaptation actress.
Supporting Characters.I mean, everyone on this list are people we see quite often in the movie but I had to give Amandla her due above and then hit everyone else after. Everyone does very well in the film.
Regina Hall as Lisa Carter.A friend of mine was curious to see how she would do playing a role like this. I understand her concern but I had a little more faith in Regina Hall and I thought for what the role asked of her, she did very well. She was firm when she needed to be and she has some of the best facial expressions, very funny. I also thought she had great chemistry with Russell Hornsby. I do think her role got a little downplayed in the movie compared to the book but from what she was given, I thought she did well and was memorable as the mom. Some of the best moments was the moment at the diner and at the end when they’re all at Carter’s groceries.
Russell Hornsby as Maverick Carter. Outside of Starr, he really shines. I think I’ve only seen him in Fences, but I loved him here. He’s not exactly what I thought Big Mav would look like but he really played him the way I would want him to be played. The movie starts out with him telling his kids how to conduct themselves when faced with police and you can tell that he might have just gotten out of prison and he’s trying to make sure his kids understand. He did this face where he could kind of snarl whenever he talked and I liked that because it’s something I would imagine a man whose been through what he’s been through would do. I loved the way he talked to his kids, he may come off a little hard but it’s clear he loves them. He’s always on their side. He was also really funny, especially the prom scene. Again, with the diner scene where everyone did such a great job, but he did really good here as well since it was directly happening to him.
KJ Apa as Chris. First things first, when he first showed up, that dark hair was not doing him any favors. I can’t remember if Chris had dark hair in the books or not but KJ Apa was way to pale that it was kind of shocking. It grew on me as the movie progressed. Anyways, I liked Chris a lot. I thought he was cute and sweet and I understood his confusion throughout the movie. It’s hard to be in an interracial relationship when things are going on because it’s hard to know who to trust with your feelings and whether or not they’ll understand. That’s where Chris stood with Starr after the event. He was in the dog house in the beginning because of what he did before the movie, but throughout the movie he was in a state of confusion because he didn’t know what was going on. I think Chris is a good kid, I do wish we got to see a little more of him and that he was included in more things mostly at the end, I think it would have been nice to have that but I also get why he wasn’t there. I like KJ Apa, he’s likable (though not as Archie Andrews lol) and I liked the chemistry he had with Amandla and his introduction is like the best because he’s so cute! KJ just has this All-American-Boy thing about him where he’s just so earnest, he plays that really well.
Algee Smith as Khalil Harris. Ahhh Kahlil. I think Algee Smith is so cute. I haven’t seen him in anything else (No I have not seen that New Edition movie though I might watch it now because of him), but he has this light about him. I don’t know if it’s because of who he was playing but as soon as he walked into the room and Starr looked at him, I was like “he’s my favorite” and he’s just so sweet and likable that it sucks that he was murdered. When he and Starr meet up, they catch up and what I love about him is that when the fight breaks out, he didn’t leave her, he made sure she was with him so he could make sure she got home safely. While they were in the car, they reminisced and he thought of what could be and he says this line that made me go “Dang, where’s mine!?” *sighs* He’s super likable and I wish Justice for Khalil. Algee Harris is great, he’s charismatic, and I hope to see more of him. I did fan cast as one of my characters from one of my books lol, I see big things!
Lamar Johnson as Seven Carter. Sadly, I don’t think we got to see as much of Seven as I would have liked. However, I really liked him. He’s the product of a night between Maverick and Iesha (King’s wife? Girlfriend?). He clearly spends a lot of time with the Carters as he goes to school with both Starr and Sekani. He is very protective of both of them and he loves the Carters so much that when Iesha and King came to the funeral, he didn’t want to be with them but stay with the Carters. I mean, it makes sense as King definitely doesn’t seem to like him, though we never really got to see an interaction between King and Seven. There is a story line that gets passed to him where in the book it happens to a character they removed from the movie (I talk more about this at the end of this review), which was fine with me. It allowed the moment to be way more personal for everyone involved and I think it flowed seamlessly with the events before and after. It just made more sense that way. I also will keep an eye out for Lamar Johnson though because whenever he was one screen, my eye did go to him.
Issa Rae as April Ofrah. What can I say about Issa Rae, hahaha that rhymes. But she doesn’t have a HUGE role but the role she plays is perfect for her. Issa Rae is likable no matter what she does. She plays this woman who stands up for justice and she encourages Starr to find her voice for Khalil. She’s great. Boom.
Sabrina Carpenter as Hailey.There are two of Starr’s best friends from Williamson but Hailey gets a little more screen time in that she is the person closest to Starr at Williamson who doesn’t understand. It’s hard when you’re trying to be two people and suddenly your worlds collide and people don’t get it. Hailey doesn’t get it. Sabrina Carpenter is really likable, I mean I still wanted to kind of hit her but her character isn’t supposed to be likable and I just felt like she was really ignorant.
Common as Uncle Carlos. So, I think this was perfect casting once I found out about it and I think Uncle Carlos is a good and interesting character. He’s a cop which makes him on both sides of the situation and puts him in an interesting situation. He’s there when Starr calls him and I’ll talk about him more. I think Common is fine in the role, mostly with what they gave him.
Anthony Mackie as King. I think Anthony Mackie is a fantastic actor and I’ve seen him play villain roles before. I was a little worried though because physically he doesn’t look like how I would picture King who was described as a big man and Mackie looks younger than Maverick especially with them seemingly growing up together and Big Mav being his right-hand man. We don’t see him a ton but when we do, he’s in the background mean mugging, or threatening people. Anthony Mackie is good in roles like this though so I think he’s great and he’s quite intimidating lol.
TJ Wright as Sekani Carter. I don’t have much to say about him but he’s really cute and they did a little something different with him at the end that I didn’t expect. It was actually a great moment and it really worked for what the message of the movie was. This kid was great. Kind of reminded me of the little boy fromBlackish, he really embodied the meaning of his name.
The Family. It’s very important that the Carter family feel like a real family and be strong. There is a lot of history with what happened with Maverick and even the stuff between him and Uncle Carlos. I loved that the movie started out with Maverick talking with a young Seven and Starr about how to conduct themselves in case they’re pulled over by the police. It’s a very important conversation that all black families should have and it set the tone from the beginning. It set the tone of the movie and the tone of the family. Throughout the movie, we see a beautiful love with Lisa and Maverick. A cute sibling relationship between Seven, Starr and Sekani and a great relationship with the parents and their kids. It’s important to note that Lisa is not Seven’s mother but she treated him like her own son. I loved that the movie made sure we saw they were a family.
Relevant Story. No matter what you think of the movie overall, the story is relevant to what is going on today. Khalil was unarmed. Yes, he reached into the car and grabbed his hairbrush but why does no one ever shoot to disarm or shoot a taser? Why is it always shoot to kill? Sure, you’re in fear of your life but both of them were harmless, they didn’t even look like they were trouble other than the fact they’re black. We see Starr struggle throughout the movie with speaking up, we even learned that what happened with her other best friend as a kid, and how she didn’t speak up then. A lot of people go through that, no knowing whether or not they should “snitch” or speak up when they witness something because they’re afraid. Starr deals with grief and then she sees what happens with her family and Khalil’s family and she has to make the choices whether or not to live for Khalil.
Khalil’s Death. Not a spoiler since you know it from the trailer and what not, but it doesn’t lessen the blow when it happens. Starr and Khalil are having a great moment in the car, they talk about THUG LIFE, music and childhood and it’s so cute. Algee and Amandla have great chemistry and it’s so cute to think of the future. Anyway, they drive off and get pulled over and Starr thinks of what she learned as a kid. Khalil is a bit more frustrated because he’s not sure what he did. Watching the scene unfold knowing what it leads up to is very tense and then when he gets shot, it felt like I got shot three times because at this point, you like Khalil. We don’t get to know him that much since it’s basically 30 minutes into the movie but he’s likable and you like him. Starr is hysterical and the cop puts her in handcuffs and she’s trying to comfort him… it’s just so much. First scene of the tears and I still can’t forget it. I couldn’t forget it in the book either.
All the Feels. I think I cried like five times in the movie. I don’t expect everyone to cry while watching it but if you don’t feel anything, or don’t care about anything you see then, one, you’re made of stone and two why are you even watching this movie? lol being that this kind of thing happens in real life, it’s hard to not picture the people you know and love in these positions. When all of the death was happening a couple of years ago, it seemed like it happened every day, I had a moment where I just hugged my youngest brother because he’s tall, he’s black and I couldn’t bear the idea of losing him like that. So, I get it. It doesn’t happen constantly, there’s a lot of laughs in the movie too, but it’s very realistic.
Would you Shoot? Starr and Uncle Carlos have a moment in his kitchen after the family gets shot at in their house. She’s talking to him about it and he tells her what it’s like to be a cop on the force and it’s intense. I totally get it. It was a great scene and you can tell that he really wanted her to understand just what all of that meant, but at the same time, you can tell from her that she expected something different from her uncle being a black man on the police force. What he was saying is probably true for most cops, I don’t know, I’m not a cop, but he’s right, it is the world we live in and it sucks. Great moment from both Amandla and Common.
Get out the car! There’s an entire scene that happens from this diner all the way to the Carter’s house. Big Mav and King have a moment and the police show up and well you can guess what happened. So, everyone has high emotions because of what happened and Starr says something that triggers Maverick and he makes all of the kids stand out on the lawn and recite a part from the Black Panther’s Seven Point program. He then tells them what their names mean and it was such a powerful scene. It quickly became a favorite in the movie.
Starr and Hailey. There’s a scene particularly towards the end where Starr and Hailey get into it. I won’t spoil it but Hailey basically makes a comment about the hairbrush and Starr snatches the one that’s in Hailey’s book bag pocket and makes a point. It was a great scene. In the book they have a physical fight but I actually think I liked this better just because it makes an important point. Amandla did great in that scene.
Uncle Carlos. He’s not a bad character nor is Common a bad actor (he’s inconsistent but he’s fine), I just think they didn’t end his character on a good note. He’s supposed to represent the other half. He’s a cop which could make it hard for Starr to completely want to give up on all cops because of her uncle. They had a great relationship in the book and I think in the movie it was kind of implied that he was a large part of her life while Maverick was in jail, but I don’t think they played it up enough. I mean he was really important and he should have been way more in the movie. While I liked the conversation, they in his kitchen, it showed what cops might go through when out in the field, I don’t think they ever gave him the chance to really show that he was on Starr’s side. I think that was an issue because he needed to be and should have been. I don’t want to compare to the book too much but in the book, he gets into a fight and put on paid leave… that should have happened because it shows both Starr and the audience that he was still on her side. Common was perfect casting for him, but they really missed the mark on what to do with his character. Plus, he and Maverick have beef… it would be well founded but they don’t give it time to marinate before it’s finished. Meh.
Seven and King. In the movie we learn that Seven is the product of Iesha and Maverick having a night together. Something happens towards the end of the movie with Seven and it kind of came out of nowhere. Outside of King making a comment to Kenya and Starr about Seven’s name (though you can’t really talk King…) they never have a moment to really show that King doesn’t like Seven or anything of that nature. I think there should have been a moment or a few where King may look at him funny, or they have an argument, or something that would have made the part at the end make sense and not just some extra drama.
Overall, I loved The Hate U Give.For one, I think it’s a great adaptation of a fantastic book and I was thrilled that it for the most part kept the essence of the book. As a film, I think it was handled really well. All of the characters serve their purpose and I think audiences can identify with Starr with what she went through. I can’t imagine everyone going through what she went through but Amandla Stenberg does a great job playing the part. There are times where her facial expressions look really funny but she manages to push through the funny faces and really deliver a performance I think is her best. She had me by the heart strings. I loved the family dynamic and that they felt like a real family and how they reacted to each other like a family would. The story is extremely relevant in the situation and I think it’ll hit close to him for a lot of people. There are a lot of GREAT scenes as well that I think are extremely memorable. On the flip side, I think Uncle Carlos received the short end of the deal in that his character should have been used more and been more of a lifeline for Starr in that he was a cop but someone she looked up too. I also think the relationship between Seven and King should have been used more because it comes to a head at the end and it’s random. BUT I loved the movie and I think it’s a must see!
Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars.
P.S. There’s a couple of spoilers down here.
Khalil’s hairbrush: In the book when Starr and Khalil get pulled over, he is told to get out of the car. In the book, he opens the door to check on Starr and then gets shot, he doesn’t even get the chance to ask Starr if she’s okay, or at least to finish the question. In the movie, I was worried because the trailers showed that he actually reached for his hairbrush when it was actually in the side of his door that the officer thought was a hairbrush. Khalil never reached into the car, he never pulled anything out the car. I was worried that would change the situation and the narrative. Either way, Khalil should not have been killed but I think with it obviously being a hairbrush, it actually takes away the element of confusion because the cop clearly saw the brush. I don’t know, it’s kind of…hard but either way I wanted to mention it.
DeVante:So, I mentioned in the book review that I thought the DeVante storyline I could take or leave. I liked it but it could have been cut out and I wouldn’t have missed it. I knew they would probably cut it out of the movie and they did. I totally get why too. All the stuff that happened to him was outlier and was there so Maverick could have a way to save someone since he couldn’t save Khalil but I think he had enough to do with his family. In the book, DeVante gets beat up by King. Seven (who is driving) takes Starr and Chris with him to go and get him. In the movie, Chris is driving and it’s Seven who gets beat up. I like that because it keeps the story personal. Sure, Chris doesn’t have the chance to get close to DeVante like in the book, but for the movie sake he didn’t need to. I liked that it was Seven because it was more personal for Starr and for Iesha who uses that moment to save her children. That’s way more powerful I think than her trying to save DeVante. That’s just me though.
Summary: Max, a macho, solitary Rottweiler police dog is ordered to go undercover as a primped show dog in a prestigious Dog Show, along with his human partner, to avert a disaster from happening.
Voice Acting. I didn’t care about any of the characters but I think the voice actors had a great time in this movie.Ludacris plays Max, Jordan Sparks plays Daisy, RuPaul (who I instantly recognized and even said “Now sashay away! lol), Gabriel Iglesias as Sprinkles, Shaquille O’Neal as Karma, Stanley Tucci as Philippe and Alan Cumming as Dante. It was clear they all had a good time and the voice acting was just fine.
Animation. It’s a talking dog movie, there are a lot of those and while the animation for it wasn’t always good, there were times when it looked legit.
One Joke.I don’t even remember what it was and I’ve been sitting here trying to remember which part made me laugh out loud but maybe it wasn’t that funny since I don’t remember what it was. I have to give the movie props though since it was the only thing, I found funny. If I ever watch it again maybe I’ll find out the joke.
The Characters. I didn’t care about anyone nor did I really like anyone. I mean, they’re all pretty harmless but they’re just cutouts of cliché people. The hardened cop (Max), the clumsy cop (Frank) and they don’t get along and of course have to get it together by the end and the love interests on both ends. Of course, all of the side characters that we normally see, like Phillipe who reminded me of Michael Caine’s character inMiss Congeniality.
Not Funny. It’s not funny. I think I chuckled maybe once or twice and only actually laughed once. Otherwise, all the other jokes didn’t land. Obviously, it’s a talking dog movie so a lot of the humor revolves around dog stuff, drinking out of toilets, garbage, that kind of stuff which isn’t very funny. Maybe if you’re a kid it’s funny but otherwise it’s not.
Animal Animation. Mostly all of it looks pretty bad, it’s not so much the mouth moving parts but the other stuff. Max does a “and scene” and he did the hand movements too and wow, looked so bad. Also, the little panda in the movie, while cute also looked terrible when it was doing facial expressions. Also, the pigeons… ugh.
Overall,Show Dogs is definitely for kids or at least kids who like talking animals because I’m sure they would enjoy it way more. I don’t think it was funny at all. The voice acting for the animals is good, the actors are all having a good time, some of the animation in the animals was handled really well and there was one joke that I actually laughed out loud on that I don’t remember. However, the animal animation when it comes to physical movements that are things dogs don’t do looked super weird and of course it’s not funny and the characters are meh. But if your child needs something to watch while you clean up or cook dinner then pop this one in. It’s really harmless.
Rating: 1 out 5 stars.
Have you seenShow Dogs? If you have, let me know your thoughts down below and if not, don’t worry about it hahaha.
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