Movie Review: Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (2018)

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Summary: A human child raised by wolves must face off against a menacing tiger named Shere Khan, as well as his own origins.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. The voice over cast is extremely good. I didn’t know who was in the movie before I watched it so I wasn’t really placing anyone. I then noticed Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett and Benedict Cumberbatch were in the movie and then I figured out who they were lol.
  • Rohan Chand as Mowgli. First of all, this kid is adorable. Extremely. I thought he did very well in the movie. There were a few times where it wasn’t coming through exactly like in the emotional moments but overall, I thought he managed to push through it. I like the moments where he’s quiet and he’s just watching because he has very expressive eyes. Some of my favorite moments was when he just got into the man village and he was learning everything, the camera would just watch him as he watched and learned and it was really beautiful. I also thought he did very well with reacting to the animals around him, showing his fear, his anger and the emotional bits. As I said, it didn’t always hit but I thought he did very well. He was very sympathetic.
  • Christian Bale as Bagheera. He is a black panther who finds Mowgli after his family was killed and takes him to the wolves. He becomes one of Mowgli’s mentors and friends. We also learn from him that he was born in human custody. Bagheera is kind and caring and while he believes in Mowgli, he’s also worried about him when it comes to living in the jungle with Shere Khan on the loose. Bagheera often makes choices that would protect Mowgli even if it seems harsh at the time. I knew I recognized his voice when I first started watching the movie, I think Christian Bale is great at voice overs (Howl’s Moving Castle anyone?) and his voice is so soft with honey like tones in the movie that it really works. There’s a great scene where Mowgli and Bagheera are talking about Bagheera’s history and it was a moving scene.
  • Benedict Cumberbatch as Shere Khan. He is a crippled Bengal tiger and Mowgli’s arch-enemy. He’s ruthless and will do anything to get what he wants. I think with him being crippled (his front right paw is like bent back so he can’t walk on the pad of his paw). Benedict Cumbersnatch is good at voice acting, he’s played many a villain in motion capture. I thought the voice he put on for the character was sinister.
Supporting Characters. There are a lot of side characters, some whose names I didn’t retain but there are a few who might not constantly be in the film but they have important roles.
  • Cate Blanchett as Kaa. She is a python and a seer. She is the main narrator of the film and it seems that she is on Mowgli’s side. We see her mainly twice, once where she saves Mowgli and then another time when he goes to her and she shows him some important information. I guess she could be a “mentor” but she’s not around enough for me to really say that. Cate Blanchett is always a win and her voice is amazing as always.
  • Andy Serkis as Baloo. He’s not the Baloo we know from the Disney movies, but a grisly, drill sergeant teacher. His face has a lot of scars showing his life, which was cool, but he looked a little odd. We did get to see him fight a few times which was cool. I don’t think he and Mowgli had a relationship that rivaled what we’ve seen before but the role he played, where he encouraged Mowgli to be at his best. One of my favorite parts was during the Running and he freaked out on Bagheera because of what he did. Andy Serkis is always great in motion capture and he’s great here too.
Dark and Gritty. I’ve never read the book, it’s on my list and I don’t know the tone of the story but this is very different from the Disney versions which director Andy Serkis made clear. For one thing, Baloo is this grisly mentor instead of a happy-go-lucky friend. Also, with the hunter and how Mowgli ends up deciding between the village and the jungle that was pretty intense. The monkey scene as well, there isn’t a King Louis but the monkeys end up knocking him out while dragging him to their hideout, and Shere Khan leaves this giant scar down Mowgli’s arm… I mean it’s also a little bloody. I quite enjoyed it though. I also think there was a little more at stake here in that Shere Khan was doing things that would break jungle law. The Hunter storyline in general and what we learn about Bagheera.
Bagheera and Mowgli. I didn’t want to compare this to Disney’s The Jungle Book (2015) but in this case I kind of have too. In both Disney versions, one of the biggest praises is the friendship that Mowgli has with both Bagheera and Baloo. Obviously, they are on two different levels with Baloo being the fun-loving friend and Bagheera being the protective one, but this movie does it a little differently. Baloo and Mowgli aren’t really friends at all, but he and Bagheera are and I thought the relationship they had was beautiful. Bagheera truly cared about him and did everything he could to protect him even if it came off in the wrong way. The scene by the cage, that is one of my favorite scenes.
The Man-Village. This might be a little spoilery, but meh lol. I really enjoyed the scenes in the man village. Mowgli wakes up in a cage and just watches everything around him and we see how some of the people react to him as he is a little jungle baby. Then when we finally see him out and about in the village, there’s a great scene between him and Frida Pinto as she washes him and teaches him the ways of the village. There’s not a lot of dialogue that goes on while he’s there, mostly because he doesn’t understand their language (though I wonder since he understands the animals, can other humans understand them or how that works. I mean, it’s fine but I’m curious). Then they have a Festival of Colors and I want to go so bad lol, but it was great and to see him fall into it and enjoy himself. It was great. I really liked all of that stuff.
Cons:
Shere Khan’s Motives. I guess he doesn’t really need any but I’ve always thought the idea of him killing humans just to kill them was lame. I mean, sure, it’s a villain move, but he’s so hellbent on getting Mowgli because he missed him the first time without an actual cause? It doesn’t make for a very interesting villain personally. He keeps doing things that breaks the law of the jungle… but why? He didn’t necessarily need to say why, but it would have been nice to discover that.
A Little Too Dark. There were a lot of times in the movie where I couldn’t see what was going on. I shouldn’t have to adjust my TV’s brightness for the movie to be seen. It was really annoying a few times so I just had to shrug it off.
Weird CGI. I don’t think all of the animals looked that great. It was cool that they had scars and battle wounds ya know, they’ve lived in the jungle but some of them looked scary and not in a good way. I think particularly the wolves and Baloo didn’t look great.
Rushed In the Last Act. I prefer the first half definitely because I thought it was pretty well paced but the last half flew through the story. I liked the stuff in the village, especially when he was in the cage, but once he finds that stuff with Lockwood, it just goes so fast that it feels so different from the first half. His standoff with Shere Khan was so quick I was like… meh.
Overall, I quite enjoyed Mowgli: Legend of the Jungleand I tried not to compare it to Disney’s version in 2015 and yes, it’s very different. I thought most of the characters were interesting, particularly Mowgli, Shere Khan and Bagheera. All of the motion capture and voice over acting was handled really well and I thought Christian Bale really portrayed the character of Bagheera in an interesting, compelling and sympathetic way. I will also give Rohan Chand his props for playing Mowgli. This is his first leading role and I thought he handled himself really well, he’s really great to watch. I enjoyed the dark and gritty tone in that it felt like there were actual things at stake, the hunter storyline, the kind of frightening images and of course the monkey stuff lol. I also really loved the storyline between Bagheera and Mowgli, they seemed a lot closer in this version and it allowed them to have a different kind of relationship that was really emotional. The man village scene was beautiful, without the dialogue it really helps just watch Mowgli grow immersed. Now, I did have a problem with how dark the movie looked in that I couldn’t tell what was going on. The CGI wasn’t always the best. The last act was extremely rushed  after what I thought was nice pacing in the first two acts. Also, Shere Khan’s motives were kind of meh. I get it but meh. But it’s worth the watch if you love The Jungle Book.
Rating: 3.59 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Netflix’s Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle? If not, you should check it out, it’s worth the watch especially if you love The Jungle Book. If you have seen it, let me know your thoughts down below and let’s discuss!
Thanks for reading and be sure to like and follow this blog for more movie reviews!
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Movie Review: The Darkest Minds (2018)

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

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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.
Pros:
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.
Cons:
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.

Movie Review: Show Dogs (2018)

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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.
Pros:
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 SprinklesShaquille O’Neal as KarmaStanley 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.
Cons:
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 in Miss 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 seen Show Dogs? If you have, let me know your thoughts down below and if not, don’t worry about it hahaha.
Thanks for reading and please like and follow this blog for more movie reviews!

Movie Review: A Quiet Place (2018)

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Summary: In a post-apocalyptic world, a family is forced to live in silence while hiding from monsters with ultra-sensitive hearing.
Pros:
Cast and Characters.
  • Emily Blunt as Evelyn Abbott. She is the wife of Lee and the mother of three children, later adding a fourth. In the wiki it says she was a doctor, which in ways makes sense. Of course, being the mother, she wants her family to be safe, for her husband to keep her children safe when they go out and about, especially now that she’s pregnant and can’t accompany them. She’s smart as well. She knows how to think on her feet. Emily Blunt is great, as I always think, just that scene in the house when she’s in labor is just so great. Her fear for her family, her fear for her life and her baby, and the guilt she feels for what happened to Beau still haunts her. Emily does all of this so well.
  • John Krasinski, as Lee Abbott. An engineer, husband of Evelyn, and the father of Regan, Marcus, and Beau. He is a survivalist who focuses on getting his family through each day. His job is to protect his family and teach his kids how to be survivors as well. He takes Marcus out to learn some things and it’s easy to tell that he wants his son to still enjoy the little things that are awarded to them. He also feels this huge guilt about Beau and it does seem like he’s a little hard on his daughter, but he just feels like he let her down. He’s working on creating a working hearing aid for her and he feels like a failure. It’s interesting really. I’ve never really seen John Krasinski in anything, but he’s great in the role, you really feel and see his fear as well. Plus, he did a great job directing.
  • Millicent Simmonds as Regan Abbott. Lee and Evelyn’s deaf daughter, and Marcus and Beau’s sister. She is close with her young siblings and feels protective over them, but after what happened to Beau, she feels the most guilt about it as she was the one who gave him the rocket. She also feels like her father blames her and they haven’t been on good terms. She’s also a preteen so she’s a bit moody. Mili Simmonds does such a great job, her emotions of feeling like a failure, of being angry, it all makes sense why she feels that way.
  • Noah Jupe as Marcus Abbott. The oldest son of Lee and Evelyn, and Regan and Beau’s brother. I saw this kid in Wonder and I really liked him then, so once I realized who he was, I got excited lol. His facial expressions are some of the highlights of the film. He does so much with just his expressions. When he’s with his father out and about, for what seems like the first time, he is terrified of what might happened, but he’s also very wise because he understands his sister and his father, and he knows there’s a rift. He wants them to fix it. He also does whatever he can to reach out and protect his family, he even gets in trouble for trying to help. I liked him a lot, I mean I liked everyone, but he was a wise kid. Noah Jupe does a great job in the film.
The Premise. Legit, this movie gives away nothing and you learn nothing about the world their in. The movie is about the family having to survive whatever is going on and not about what happened to the world. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to know what the creatures were and why they were there. What happened before the movie? Sometimes movies like this has little nuggets where they’ll share things, newspaper articles and what not, that kind of give you a hint of what happened but this movie doesn’t do that. It has those things but because the family doesn’t really know much, we as the audience don’t get to know much. The movie isn’t that long but that’s okay because it packs such a punch.
Family Dynamic. The film has hardly any dialogue, so we have to see how this family interacts without that. The very beginning, we see them scavenging a grocery store and we see how they work together. Something happens at the beginning and the family feels a crushing guilt, everyone pretty much, which causes a rift, especially between Regan and Lee which you can see throughout. But there is also a close bond between Marcus and Regan which is sweet. They way the parents love each other and their children, how Lee wants to do anything he can to protect his family, or how Evelyn does whatever she can to protect her unborn and then later newborn baby. They felt like a real family and you want to see them succeed.
Horror Aspects. I don’t normally enjoy horror films, too scared, but I wanted to see this movie since I knew about it. It’s very quiet and as a watcher, make sure you watch the film on a large screen (if you can), make sure it’s dark and silent to get the full ambiance of the film. It’s quiet, it only gets silent whenever the movie “goes into” Regan’s POV since she’s deaf but other than that, you might hear natural sounds, but the characters aren’t making noise, or at least very minimal noise. Due to the silence, it allows for a lot of scares to really get you and while they are jump scares, they’re done in a smart way.
Evelyn, Baby and Monster. Definitely the best scene in the film because it plays up on so much fear, tension and stress. I was stressed out watching it. The scene is set up earlier when she is doing laundry and when she realizes her water broke, she goes to fix their yard lights to Lee and the others would know, and something happen that causes her to drop something with a clatter which causes the monsters to come to the house. So much stress because she has to have her baby and of course the baby might cry, and the thing is in the house. The whole scene with her in the bath tub, ugh. So good. Emily Blunt did the damn thing!
Use of Sound. The movie is smart in how it uses sound. Because the creatures are attracted by sound and attack anything making it, it’s interesting how they even hear just the tiniest sound. The ticking of a timer, the static of a broken TV, all of these things are used in such a smart way. Also, there is a great scene with Regan in the cornfield and the creature that comes through the cornstalks. How they worked that in through the film was so cool!
Creature Design. Ugh those things are ugly. I want to know what they are, but since they’re movie monsters, it’s easy to say “Oh I’ve seen that before” but I can honestly say I have never seen monsters with faces like those. How they could open the flaps on their heads to listen for the tiny sounds, or the fact that they kind of look like extreme mutated humans, but they were kind of cool but also very gross lol. Very original design.
Cons:
Character Stupidity. There are a few instances where I think things could be avoided if characters didn’t make stupid choices. For one thing, we know it’s been 89 days since whatever happened, happened, so all of their kids know by now the severity of what they’re experiencing. Even the youngest boy. But for the newborn, why didn’t the parents think to use condoms or maybe other means of abstinence considering how babies and children are loud? Things will happen that causes them to be loud. It seems like unnecessary stress. What about taking the batteries with them instead of leaving them on the counter? Why not have the little one in the front of the group so he could be seen at all times? What about that nail? It was already sticking up? Why didn’t Lee or even Evelyn notice it before and pull it out? What about Regan being a moody teenager and going off on her own because she’s upset? I know they can’t physically talk but they communicate in sign language and I’m sure she wouldn’t have left if she and Lee actually had a talk BEFORE the events of the film. It makes for wonderful storytelling but still can’t help but to notice.
Overall, I really liked the film. All of the characters are such interesting and well-written characters. The actors do a great job living into his world they unfortunately have to live in and they all have a great family dynamic and chemistry that they feel like a family. All the while a family that has tragedy and it feels a little strained. The premise of the family trying to survive and being a unit is what the film is about, they just happen to be in a post-apocalyptic society. It is a horror film, and I did jump, but it creates a feeling of stress and tension more than fear, personally. The best scene in the film was with Evelyn in the house when she’s in labor, the tension, the stress I felt was so intense, it was so good, and Emily Blunt did a great job. I also think the use of sound in the film is very unique as is the design of the creature. My only problem at the moment is how characters make really dumb choices that could easily be avoided or how there are things that happen that could be controlled but are treated like they couldn’t. Otherwise, this is a great film!
Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars.

Movie Review: Every Day (2018)

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Summary: A shy teenager falls for someone who transforms into another person every day.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. So the weird thing is that we really only spend time with two characters, it’s just that one of them wakes up in a different body everyday. So I’m going to handle this one a bit differently then I normally would.
  • Angourie Rice as Rhiannon. The summary calls her “shy” but I wouldn’t really call her shy but she’s not like a popular kid or anything. She’s the girl next door. She’s a nice girl and she definitely tries to understand whatever A is, which was nice about her. I liked Angourie Rice, she was pretty, likable in the role and I believed that she was into A, because she seemed to have fun with whoever he was, once she got used to the idea.
So below is the entire list of actors who play the character “A”. 
  • Justice Smith as Justin. He is Rhiannon’s boyfriend so we get to see him the most. The movie starts off with A in Justin, and apparently Justin isn’t the best boyfriend but A gives Rhiannon a great time, so when Justin returns, she’s confused and he’s confused because she keeps referencing something he doesn’t remember. I’ve only seen Justice Smith once before this movie, and he’s likable, even though Justin is a jerk, he was still kind of likable lol.
  • Jeni Ross as Amy. The second one A is in, and who might confuse the audience if they don’t know what’s going on.
  • Lucas Jade Zumann as Nathan. The third one, he shows up at a party, and connects with Rhiannon, pretending to be the cousin of the guy who is throwing the party. A doesn’t make it back to Nathan’s house so he thinks he was possessed by a demon lol.
  • Rory McDonald as David. I think he was blind so nothing really happened here.
  • Katie Douglas as Megan. This is when Rhiannon started to get weirded out because A told her, what was going on.
  • Jacob Batalon as James. More exposition. They sit in a diner.
  • Ian Alexander as Vic. He goes to Rhiannon’s school just to see her, and they talk more.
  • Sean Jones as George. More talking but this is finally where Rhiannon starts to get a little more comfortable but they stay in the library.
  • Colin Ford as Xavier. They go away for the weekend, we don’t learn much about him but it seems that Rhiannon liked him physically.
  • Jake Sim as Michael. His family was going on vacation and according the rules, if A left the area in another person’s body then wherever that person stayed, is where A will stay. So he ran back to Rhiannon.
  • Nicole Law as Kelsea. She was dealing with a lot, and this is where it’s discovered that A could stay in a person’s body for a time, so they did and got Kelsea help.
  • Karena Evans as Hannah. The first time where A was in a body that they couldn’t hang out together as Hannah had a boyfriend, but I think this was their first kiss.
  • Owen Teague as Alexander. So Rhiannon knows Alexander, they’re in the same class, he’s a good kid and A stays in him for a while, and then A makes a decision for Rhiannon while inside of Alexander. He did seem like a good kid. It’s just so weird to see Owen Teague being crazy Patrick Hockstetter and then being this kid lol.
  • Hannah Richardson as Katie. The last person we see A in for the film.
Chemistry between A & Rhiannon. I think this movie banks on these two feeling like two people who are connecting past physicality. It’s kind of weird since A is a different person every time we see them, but it always manages to work out where Angourie Rice connects with whoever A is inhabiting.
The Story/Message. At its heart, the movie wants to say that love can go past the physical connection. Love is really what’s on the inside which is a sweet message. I don’t think it’s trying to push any kind of agenda or anything like that (the book I felt kind of did that in one particular part) but it’s managing to do it in the guise of a teen romance movie, which works in its own way.
Cons:
A as a Character. They’re not a bad character, it’s just that we never get to know them. We know Rhiannon way more which allows us to like and connect with her, but we never really get to know A. In the book, it’s told through their point of view so we get to see how their mind works and how they handle their life, but because the movie kind of follows Rhiannon (there’s a companion book Another Day which is told in her point of view) which keeps us from really knowing A. It really bothered me to be honest. All we get is all of the exposition that A gives every time they’re with Rhiannon. It was kind of annoying because A was just this mysterious being and while I like Rhiannon, I’d rather know what A is dealing with as the person they’re living as, but I guess the movie needed a constant which would be Rhiannon. *sighs*
Unanswered Plot threads. The book handles it a bit better I think, but we never really get to know what happened with that kid who claimed that he was possessed by the devil. Rhiannon goes to visit him but that’s the last time we see of him, in the book, we get a bit more of a plot with that character and I think it would have added a bit of edge to the movie so it wouldn’t just be this cheesy teen romance. I also would have liked for the movie to explore the idea that A wonders if there is anyone else out there like them. Yeah, they mention to Rhiannon that they’ve thought about it, but that’s it.
Weak storytelling. Sooooo I did not like the way the movie told the story. There was so much exposition that I would roll my eyes every time Rhiannon spoke with A. Yeah, I get that she needs to understand what’s going on, but that slows the movie down and it feels longer than it is, or even should be. This is literally how it would go “Rhiannon sees kid who might be A, talks to them for a while, and then maybe they have a moment” rinse and repeat. It’s not until we get into Colin Ford’s A (Xavier) that something really and actually happens. I think they could have either got Rhiannon to get on board a lot earlier and just let them be together or just limited the amount of exposition.
Overall, I thought it was a good movie. I had some issues, but I was also thinking of the book and how the book handled certain things in the story, which I thought the movie changed for no particular reason. Angourie Rice is good in her role, she’s likable, and sweet and she manages to handle the movie on her own, and she has good chemistry with all of the people who “A” inhabits, which is pretty cool. I also thought the message, “love transcends physical” is pretty cute and the movie managed to make that happen within these YA movie, without it coming off as cheesy. My problem with the movie comes from the audience not really getting the chance to know who A is, yeah we see them but we know get to really know them. I also didn’t really care for how the story was told, there was a looooot of talking and when they’re finally together, it’s pretty quick. But it’s a sweet movie, pretty harmless.
Rating: 3.3 out of 5 stars. 
Have you seen Every Day? Did you read the book? What did you think of the film and let me know in the comments below, the answer to my big question.
Big Question: Would you be able to be with someone who changed bodies every day?
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Thanks for reading!

Movie Review: Kidnap (2017)

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Summary: A mother stops at nothing to recover her kidnapped son.
Another short review! yay!
Pros:
Halle Berry. Normally, I don’t really find Halle Berry to be that good of an actress. I think she has hits and misses, and while I don’t think this movie is good, I thought she was very committed to her role and she did her thing.
The First 30 Minutes. I was into the first 30 minutes with the adorable video of Frankie growing up, and then all the way to him being abducted, and Karla seeing him being put into a car. She chases them in that tank of a minivan, and she was intent on following them. All of that was very entertaining to watch and I was really into it for a little while.
The Van. It’s not a character but that minivan was EVERYTHING! That red van lasted through everything. It was amazing. It got hit by cars, she was swerving that thing though traffic. SO MUCH! It didn’t even run out of gas until we had maybe 20 minutes of film left lol, that thing was the MVP of the movie, the REAL star.
Entertaining. The movie was very entertaining, for the most part. I did enjoy it for a little while, or I enjoyed it during certain intervals. Whenever Karla was actually having physical interactions with the kidnappers, that was fun to see.
Cons:
Not Original. Obviously, this premise isn’t anything original, but this movie is literally like The Call, another Halle Berry movie, especially the end. While watching it, I kept going “this movie is just like that other Halle Berry” movie lol.
The Chase. I was really into it in the beginning, but it really just remains the same thing for such a long time, that I lost a bit of interest. I wanted her to find her kid, but she spent most of the movie in her car, talking to herself. It got old really quickly.
The Ending. So, I don’t want to spoil too much, I kind of don’t care, but I don’t want to spoil too much, but there’s a line that a reporter says and I’m still trying to understand how they figured that out. So, there was a child abduction ring, but how exactly did they find the other people in such a short amount of time to even arrest anyone in other states?? How??
Overall, don’t expect much from this movie. The title is super lazy “Kidnap”, NO really? Lol but I did enjoy most of it. I thought Halle Berry was good as a mother who never stops going after her son. The movie is definitely an advertisement for a minivan, and the chase at first was really entertaining and fun to watch. The plot is straightforward but nothing else happens, after a while the chase gets old. Basically, it’s like “chase, chase chase, she stops because they threaten the child” then “chase some more, she tries to get people’s attention” and rinse and repeat. The ending also has some really stupid comments going on there, MAKES NO SENSE!! If you want a mindless adventure, then sure watch Kidnap.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Kidnap? Let me know your thoughts on this movie down below in the comments!
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