Movie Review: Shaft (2019)

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Summary: JJ Shaft, a cyber security expert with a degree from MIT, enlists his family’s help to uncover the truth behind his best friend’s untimely death.
Pros:
Samuel L. Jackson. He’s always good. I don’t know if I’ve seen his Shaft movie, I feel like I have, a long time ago, not sure but his character is cool. He’s a badass, as always, he’s flirty, especially whenever he’s interacting with Regina Hall’s Maya and I liked his rapport with Jessie T. Usher because he clearly knows who his character is and how he would react to his son being “raised by his momma” but then turning around and being proud of him when he shows “Shaft tendencies”. He’s a cool dude and boy that red jacket they all wear at the end, dope.
Chemistry between Shaft and JJ. The biggest thing for me in this movie is how these two worked together. When they first meet, it’s a little awkward because Shaft left when JJ was a baby and he doesn’t have a great ideal of the man. We see this for a while but as the movie goes, we begin to see them trust each other and really care about each other. Sure, there are some cliched moments of betrayal that happens but they worked so well together. The seasoned badass with the dorky rookie who needs to learn he too is a badass. Lol it was fun to watch, especially when JJ got to be a badass. That scene in the club was cool and the one in the restaurant for both of them was really good.
It’s pretty funny/A Good Time. I think it’s funny overall. There are problematic jokes and I can imagine people being upset/offended by it but there are some that sneak up on you and I laughed. I didn’t full out laugh but I chuckled in a lot of places. Most of the time, it’s the chemistry between Jackson and Usher and their interactions and then JJ’s reactions to situations being so different from his dad. When Roundtree joins in, there are some good humorous moments. I also think this movie is a good time. If you’re looking for a film where you can see black actors have fun, eff some stuff up and you liked the previous Shaft movies, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy this one.
Cons:
Acting sometimes. We see a lot of Jessie T. Usher and there are times where he’s good but there are other times, other times where I was like oooo boy, you clearly aren’t as good when he’s on screen with Jackson. I think particularly in the beginning. I think he’s very funny but some of his line delivery was too “try hard”. I have a love/hate relationship with Alexandria Shipp, I want to like her because there are times I do (Love, Simon) but she also comes off “try hard” and I can’t quite put my finger on her just yet. Also, minor issue, but why do they keep casting these darker skinned actresses to play the younger version of a much lighter skinned actress? It just made me pause in the beginning. ANYWAY, I just found some of our leads aren’t that strong and it’s noticeable. Oh also, those army dudes lol, man sit down. Also, I love Regina Hall and while I don’t think she was bad, her character was annoying. She was nagging way too much. I get it but sit-down ma’am.
Predictable. Predictable. Predictable and cliché/Meh Story. This can go along with the above it, but I don’t care about this story lol. I guess they needed some reason for JJ to seek out his dad and then for Shaft to seek out Shaft Sr. but I don’t think the story itself was that interesting to make a movie off of it. I wasn’t that invested in it; I was just invested in the relationship between Jackson and Usher. I mean, it’s a kid who’s estranged from his parent, in order to get them back together, the kid needs the parent for something that’s in their expertise and they end up having to figure out the mystery together. We’ve seen it and they didn’t add anything new, not to mention, it hits a lot of the same beats we’ve seen in movies like that. So, I was able to call almost everything that happened.
Dated? I wasn’t sure how to label this but there are times when the jokes, the references just don’t fit. I think when you have a character like Shaft who was big a while ago, with two different actors playing him, putting him into 2019 is a little jarring. He drives this old car, and his ideals on things are clearly out of place and the humor that comes along with it might be a little problematic. I mean, I laughed at some of it but other times, I was like “alright, move on, y’all not that clever” and I feel like if you watch this movie in 5 years, it’ll be like “dang this movie is dated” because it felt that way watching it now.
Overall, I think Shaft is a fun movie with some positives, mostly being in Jackson leading the charge and his interactions with Jessie T. Usher as his son. They worked well together and when Richard Roundtree joined in, all of them looked and worked really well together. They had great chemistry and a great rapport. It felt like they were a family. Oh! I also liked that as JJ became more “Shaft” he started to wear more turtleneck shirts or he would relax in his posture a little. I’m not sure if that was Jessie’s choice or the director but that was a nice little nod I thought. I also think it’s pretty funny and it’ll get some chuckles or even some laughs from you. While some of the humor is good, I think people will be find it problematic and I can imagine they would complain, I don’t think it’s meant in bad taste but who’s to say. The story is mediocre and very cliché and PREDICTABLE. It’s not hard to figure it out pretty early. It also might come off dated, even now when it’s set in this time. But that may be just me. Otherwise, it’s a fun movie and I’d probably watch it again.
Rating: 2.7 out of 5 stars. 
Have you seen Shaft? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!
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Movie Review: Disney’s Descendants

 

In memory of Cameron Boyce.
Disney’s Descendants premiered way back in 2015 lol. I remember seeing the poster and hearing about it, but I wasn’t really watching anything from the Disney Channel because those shows, and movies don’t really interest me. BUT I love the Disney movies, like the villains and the princesses and what not so the idea of the movie following the kids of famous villains was an interesting idea. I don’t believe I caught it on television, but I ended up checking it out from the library (where I work) and watched it. This won’t be a formal movie review as there are three but more of a complete overview. All the pros and cons will be from all three movies.
Let me just say now, I love all three of the movies. As of right now, while I’m watching, the second one is my favorite one, but once I do a rewatch, I’ll see if that’s the same.
New Information: Now that I have rewatched the first two, the second one is still my favorite lol.
There are spoilers ahead so if you haven’t seen the third one yet, or any of them and want to, I wouldn’t read this review just yet. Watch the movies and then come back to me. 😀
Pros:
The Main Four. So, we have our main four villain kids or “VKs” as they’re called in the third one and these are the characters, we spend the most time with and who we grow to know and love.
  • Dove Cameron as Mal. She is the daughter of Maleficent and Hades. In the first movie, she’s probably the one with the most to prove since her mother is the “most evil” villain and she gets to interact with the daughter of the princess her mother cursed. She’s also the last one to change in the first movie of allowing their new life to have a positive effect. She still does some sneaky things to please her mother in the first one, but she manages to prove herself at the end. In the second one, she’s trying hard to please the people of Auradon now and is having a hard time figuring out who she wants to be. She runs back to the Isle because of that and is determined to remain a villain kid but her friends and her boo thang, bring her back home. She ends up pulling through at the end. The third one, she has a harder choice in that she’s about to be Queen and the people of Auradon are afraid because Uma is lurking around still, and Hades almost got through the barrier. She makes the choice to end the program that would bring over kids from the Isle. It’s a big secret she keeps throughout the film and I really liked the moment when everyone finds out and they all get emotional and stuff. She has a nice song during this moment. I like Mal, I mean, she’s cool and she’s relatable in a lot of ways. Dove Cameron does a good job at portraying all the sides of Mal we get to experience.
  • Cameron Boyce as Carlos. He is the son of Cruella de Vil and the youngest of the group in the movie and in real life. At least he comes off that way to me in the movie. When he first encounters chocolate, I’m still upset at how long they let him have melted chocolate on his face. But he matures as the movies go on, he stands up for himself a lot more and grows more confident and I love seeing him mature. It’s great. Cameron Boyce was a bright spot in the movies, and he will be missed. He was great. He was cute and sweet, and I really wish we got to see him interact with other animals to justify his comment about wanting to be a vet. That would have been a great subplot for him. *sighs* Rest in Peace Cameron.
  • Booboo Stewart as Jay. He is the son of Jafar and a little pickpocket. I wish we got to see Jay do a lot more than what we saw. He was also a very loyal friend and he showed that through his teasing of Carlos, through his looks and touches with Evie and just being there with Mal. They would exchange looks sometimes. I liked that he was the strong silent type of the group while also being a bit goofy and the jock. It worked for him. I just wish we got to see him do other things besides playing sports. I feel like there was some great subplot for his character that was missed. I’ve always liked Booboo Stewart though (I want him to play Tommy Oliver so bad) and I think he does a great job of the cool, handsome, sporty, thief and goofy personality Jay has. I just wanted more!
  • Sofia Carson as Evie. She is the daughter of Evil Queen and my favorite character. I like her personality. In the first one, she’s probably the one who acclimates to Auradon the quickest and one of my favorite lines, is in the second one, when she goes with Ben back to the Isle to find Mal and she says “don’t let me get stuck there again” and it says so much about her character. She loves her mom, but she doesn’t want to ever have to live that life again. It did seem like she was the most out of place there even though she knew how to operate on the Isle. I like her sense of style, I loved her loyalty and I think Sofia Carson has a great voice! I like how protective she is of her friends and that she’s always ready to go to bat for any of them. Plus, her chemistry with Zachary Gibson as Doug was cute and I really shipped them. I just wish we got to see her do more.
Other Characters. There are a ton of supporting characters, we get introduced to some in each movie but I’m only going to talk about the ones I really liked. But special shout out to Zachary Gibson as Doug, Jadah Marie as Celia, Anna Cathart as Dizzy Tremaine, Dianna Doan as Lonnie, Brenna D’Amico as Jane and Jedidiah Goodacre as Chad.
  • Mitchell Hope as Ben. He is the son of Queen Belle and Beast and on his way to becoming King in the first movie. It’s his idea to bring the villain kids to Auradon and it’s his personal project. He’s the boy next door type, kind and welcoming to everyone and he really tries to make the villain kids feel at home, even if he might be a little scared of them in the beginning. However, it was clear that he and Mal would have a thing because he was immediately taken with her. I liked that even though her love spell washed away when they went on their date, he didn’t treat her like a villain when he knew she spelled him. I liked that. I think he’s a good kid, and he really tries to do things that would help everyone. The only thing I don’t like is his stupid little roar to indicate he’s the Beast’s son. I think it’s stupid when nothing ever happens with it, he just does it and I’m like… boy sit down. Mitchell Hope is adorable and he’s very likable, he could tread the annoying line, but I think he does a good job at not doing that.
  • China Ann McClain as Uma. I looooved her. She was my favorite character that was introduced in the second one. She’s Ursula’s daughter and a villain who is upset with Mal for a rivalry they’ve had since they were kids. She has a plan and she manage to really succeed for the most part, until the end of course. I like her energy and sassiness and I loved her look in the second one. She’s a pirate queen and it just really works for her. China Ann McClain is great! Her giggles and smirks she gives throughout the second and third films are a mood. I like her friendship and chemistry with both Thomas Doherty (Harry) and Dylan Playfair (Gil), not to mention the rivalry she has with Dove Cameron. She really came and took over as a standout. Plus, whenever she’s on screen, I’m paying more attention and every song she’s involved in, I’m into. She’s great! I would love to have just an Uma movie, that way I can see more of her, Ursula and Harry and Gil.
  • Sarah Jeffrey as Audrey. She’s not in the second one but she is introduced as Aurora’s daughter and she and Mal have an instant dislike. Which was cool, I liked that. Throughout that first movie, she was Ben’s girlfriend and a little snooty and “perfect”. When Ben chooses Mal, when he’s under the spell, she starts dating Chad who becomes infatuated, even in the second one when she’s gone. But I liked her a lot more in the third one. She’s back from her trip and she’s upset and hurt about Ben and Mal, especially with Mal becoming Queen, that she allows her anger, loneliness and jealousy take over and she is enticed by Maleficent’ s scepter and is a villain throughout the film. Sarah Jeffrey clearly had fun playing Audrey like that.
  • Thomas Doherty as Harry Hook. He is a secondary character that is introduced in the second one and I like him too. First, he reminds me of Sebastian Stan and it’s uncanny. I need them to play brothers in a film, Seb can put on the accent. But he’s very…sensual. It’s a little weird because he’s a teenager, I guess flirty is the better, but Thomas Doherty plays Harry a little sensual, or at least that’s just his nature. I don’t know lol, but I liked him because his little laugh was great, the way he teased Mal and Jay was great with some history there that I wish we got to see and hear more about. He’s great to watch on screen and it seemed like he and Audrey might have hit it off at the end of the third one. I’m cool with that lol.
  • Dylan Playfair as Gil. His role is a lot smaller than Harry’s but he’s just as likable. He’s like an innocent puppy. He’s Gaston’s son and seems to be a little dim but with a heart of gold. He’s not that mean compared to Uma or Harry. I feel like he would thrive in Auradon, the way Evie did from the beginning. He and Jay really hit it off in the third one with their bromance, which was a nice addition since Carlos spent most of the movie worrying about Jane, so it was nice to see Jay make another friend. Gil is a puppy lol, best way to explain it and Dylan Playfair is really endearing as Gil. I would have love to see him interact with his dad.
Catchy Songs. Y’all the songs in these movies are super catchy. When I first started watching this, the only song I really remembered was “Rotten to the Core”, which is the opening song our main four VKs sing and it’s catchy. They often play parts of it throughout the movie, mostly Jay’s “rotten to core” part. It also becomes a little mantra for them through each movie which is kind of funny. Then the “Set it Off” song at the end was also catchy. Those are the only two I remember that I liked. I also remember the “Be Our Guest” rendition because it was terrible lol.
  • Descendants 2 has more songs that I can hear what they sound like and they’re great. My favorite is “Chillin Like a Villain” because I like the sequence, the lyrics, Evie’s voice is great on it and the dancing was great too. Uma’s song “What’s My Name” is also a BOP and I often find myself randomly humming it. She also does a rendition of “Poor Unfortunate Souls” which was good. “It’s Goin Down” is a fight song and it’s also catchy, it’s almost like they wanted to do a little rap, it’s kind of funny because it’s a little cheesy but it’s a nice song.
  • Descendants 3 has a song that I think I loved the most because I literally cannot get it out of my head, and I liked the sequence in the movie. “Queen of Mean” is sooo great and Sarah Jeffrey clearly had fun performing it. The rap or “Spoken Word” part is nice but I like the singing part. “Good to be Bad” is the first song in the movie and it’s nice. “Do What You Gotta Do” is the song that Mal and Hades sing, and I enjoyed that song and the “Night Fall” which I didn’t realize was the name lol, is a great and fun sequence.
Then of course each movie has their big song at the end where everyone dances but I think I like the one in the third movie the best “Break This Down” because I really liked the choreography and it has the most meaning behind it.
Awesome Dance Choreography. I think this is coupled with the music, but I really like a lot of the choreography in all three films. They really get to shine in “Rotten to the Core” in the first one and then of course the big number at the end. Same thing goes for the second film but “Chillin Like a Villain” has some great moves, particularly the little step in the gif below. Ben (Mitchell Hope) is really trying back there lol.
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I love that lol. In the third one, “Good to be Bad”, “Night Falls”, and “Break This Down” is dance heavy and I really like “Break This Down” dancing because they throw in some stepping and it’s so good. I mean, everyone gives it their best effort, but China Anne McClain, Cameron Boyce and Sarah Jeffrey really kill the step moves with Booboo Stewart having an honorable mention.
Interesting Stories. I think overall, the movies had interesting stories going on. I liked the first one in that they had to not only fit in with the kids at Auradon, but please their parents. I wanted to see more of that in later films, since Jafar, Cruella and EQ were still around. I feel like at least Jafar would try to get in touch with his kid because he’s crafty. In the second one, Mal had her personal issues but I enjoyed her rivalry with Uma, it was childish but a fair rivalry. I wanted them to take some of it even father further considering how it was clear there was a big issue between Uma’s group and Mal’s group. Then later, Audrey returned from her hiatus in the second one and she’s angry at everyone basically. She’s mad at Ben and Mal because Mal stole her boyfriend (which legit, she did) and Ben chose Mal in the end. So, she decides to steal the Queen of Auradon’s crown from the museum and then is enticed by Maleficent’ s scepter, not by much though, and wreaks havoc. I quite like that she was a bad guy, it made sense and it was fun to see a hero be a bad guy for a while. Plus, she has a great villain song.
Character Chemistry. One of the highest praises is the chemistry between our main four together and separately. Right away it’s clear that Mal and Evie are best friends and Jay and Carlos might be closer, but they all depend on each other. I like as the series goes on, we see these relationships get stronger and then we see some other moments like with Jay and Mal being rather close in the second one. He stays behind a little longer after the four of them have a moment and I wish we got to see more of that. I like the idea from the books that Jay and Mal were “friends” first and might have a stronger friendship because of that. Sure, Evie and Mal are best friends but I feel like Jay could have been able to reach a different side of Mal. When they did those things, I liked it a lot I just wanted them to do more of it. As for the romance relationships, I thought everyone had great chemistry where it counted. Ben and Mal are cute together, they really have nice chemistry. Evie and Doug were also super cute, and I wish we got to spend more time with their relationship. Carlos and Jane were cute, especially when Jane grows on you in the second one because she was a little meh in the first one. As for Jay, I liked the chemistry he had with Lonnie, I’m not sure what happened there but they would have been cute.
Interesting/Nice Costumes. The costumes for the characters on the Isle all have that skater/leather/put everything on look to it. Each movie costumes have evolved, and I wanted to try and share some evolutions, but it didn’t quite work out that way. But I think the outfits in the second one is my favorites. I like Mal’s lighter purple bangs and Evie’s dress she wears during ‘Chillin Like a Villain‘, it’s nice. I also really love Uma’s look, her braids, hat and everything. In the third one, I liked their “motocross” outfits, the leather jumpsuits. I liked Evie’s hair in each movie, but I think I liked it the best in the first and third one, when it’s down. I hate Carlos’ hair in the second one, the wig is bad! lol, I like his curls! I also think it was cool to see the modern takes on some of the classic Disney princess/villain attire, like Audrey’s Sleeping Beauty inspired outfit in the third one. I prefer Uma’s long braids compared to her hairstyle in the third one. I also like how each character had their color schemes. Mal=purple and green, Evie=blues and reds, Jay=yellows and browns, Carlos=whites, blacks, reds. It’s cute.
Cons:
More Carlos and Jay. I would even include Evie in some instances, Mal is clearly the lead, which is fine, but I think with her being the focus, we don’t get the chance to really spend time with the other three, especially Jay and Carlos. We do see character development but it’s so small as we didn’t know a ton about them to begin with, it’s almost like meh. At the end of the first one, Audrey runs over to dance with Jay and they kind of flirt so I thought we had that but then she was gone in the second one. But then, we got an interesting plot with Jay and Lonnie in the sequel, which I thought was going to be a thing since they have similar interests and personality, but I guess we just forgot about it in the third one. I would have liked that. Jay is a strong and silent type in many ways but he’s also a jock, he seemed “dumb” at times, but I don’t think he was stupid, just maybe not as book smart as Carlos… I don’t know, I feel like with his dad being Jafar, he’d be quite intelligent and witty, but he was just a physical dude. As for Carlos, he’s clearly the youngest and they all protect him, and it was nice seeing him grow up to be more confident, but it was almost like the extent of his growth at first was not being afraid of dogs. I mean, we do see him stand up to his mother over the video call and he chooses good along with the others at the end, but he didn’t have a clear arc other than the dog thing. At least that’s how I saw it. I guess in the end, he was quietly growing in confidence.
Emotional Support. We get this throughout the film, but I think the biggest thing is that I wish we got more of it from other people. Mal, Evie, Jay and Carlos are supposed to be like the squad, best friends and sometimes, it doesn’t always come off that way because they don’t get to have a ton of moments where they can be emotional support to each other besides Mal. In the second one, Carlos points out that Evie and Mal often go off to talk and leave him and Jay out of it even though they’re a family. That was really the only time an effort was made for them all to have a moment and just talk. It still ended up being about Mal and I wish we had more chances to just catch up with the main four and have them catch up with each other. They all had their own lives, but they were still a family.
More Villain/Hero Parents. I wanted to see more parents. In the first one, we see each of our main four’s parents, which is cool because we can see what they diminished to being on the Island, but I wish we saw more of them. Of all the parents. I wanted to see more villain parents. In the third one, we get to see Dr. Facilier (he looked super cool btw), Lady Tremaine and Smee (but he has no lines), and in the second one, we saw Ursula’s tentacles and that was it. I wanted to see more of them. Gaston and Hook’s sons are there, why can’t we see them too? Or what about the parents in Auradon? We see Belle and Beast and Fairy Godmother but that’s it. I think we briefly see Snow White because she’s a news reporter and we see Sleeping Beauty’s mother but no one else. We’ve met, Chad, Cinderella’s son, Audrey, Aurora’s son, Lonnie, Mulan’s daughter. Doug, Dopey’s son and tons of other kids but no other parents. It would have been interesting to see the VKs interact with the actual victims of their parents and not just their kids. Plus, none of them besides Mal, got to interact with the kids of the parent’s victims. It would have been nice to see Jay meet and possibly befriend Aladdin and Jasmine’s kid. Evie never got to meet Snow White’s kid, but I guess she fell in love with Dopey’s kid so that’s enough… meh lol, they’re cute but I wish there was more. As for Carlos, well, hard to say how that would be handled lol but still, Anita and Roger’s kid? Missed opportunity really. We got to meet Hades who was dope, but it would have been nice to have him more involved instead of being the original keeper of the McGuffin.
The Parents. They’re not all bad but I don’t think they’re that great either. In the first movie, we see Cruella, Jafar, Maleficent and Evil Queen and honestly, it’s funny to see what happened to them, especially since the ends of their movies, three of them die and one of them ends up as a genie lol but they’re all mere shadows of themselves and it’s okay but I think it might have been better to show them a bit closer to their animated counterparts. Maleficent is played by Kristen Chenoweth and I can’t really take her seriously as the character. It’s supposed to be funny but meh. Maleficent is intimidating and she’s just not. She worked sometimes. I liked that Cruella was a little crazy lol and I really wanted to see sooo much more of her. Evil Queen is there too and she’s charming and I liked her and Maleficent had a working relationship but you’re not quite sure if they’re friends lol. Jafar owns a junk shop but I feel he was also too silly too. I get it, it’s a DCOM but I think you can still be a little silly but maintain their villainy. I also think it was a missed opportunity to not have them at least shown in the second and third movies. It didn’t have to be large parts but at least at the end, so we know they’re still around at least. Maleficent not so much since she got turned into a lizard but still. Also, the parents in Auradon aren’t that great either lol. Fairy Godmother hardly interacts with Jane, Belle is okay, but King Beast is kind of meh, he tells Ben in one of the movies “this is all your fault” like dude, that’s your teenage son, I mean jeez lol. Why didn’t Evie meet Doug’s parents? I wanted to see if Dopey was still Dopey lol. COME ON!
More Complex Adventures/Stories. So, there is a book series that coincide with the films, written by Melissa De La Cruz and I listened to the first two books (read by Sofia Carson, Evie herself) and I must read the next ones, but I quite enjoyed the adventure they go on in both of those books. They can’t do this now due to Cameron Boyce’s passing (Rest in Peace Cameron) but I think it was a missed opportunity to not have these characters have experiences that were a bit more complicated. Yes, each one dealt with Mal having to make some tough choices, but I hated that the other three didn’t really have to be involved. I mean, you take them out of the adventures and what do you lose? Nothing. They’d just be Mal’s friends like how Doug and Jane are treated at times.
  • Jay- I think if they had things like Jay having to continuously deal with violent impulses or his thievery. Chad even calls him out on being violent in the first one and we know that he’s good at stealing and we get callbacks sometimes, but I feel like it wouldn’t be that easy. He plays sports but was he just accepted because he did well? Chad was a jerk most of the time but was he the only one? It was too easy with Jay. Not to mention, he and Harry Hook clearly did not like each other but it was just some teasing, you never quite learn why they don’t like each other. Was it just because Mal and Uma didn’t like each other? Missed opportunities. What was he even doing in the third one outside of the main plot, like his side job? No idea.
  • Evie- Had her designing business and her relationship with Doug but I don’t think she ever had anything really happen. No one threatened her business, she didn’t have to deal with anyone thinking she’ll do to them what her mother did. I think it would have been nice to have issues with her business or something else that would make her frustrated with Auradon or something.
  • Carlos- Boooyyy, I wish he had more to do too. First, I was so annoyed to see how often he was holding that damn dog. I get it, but I was like ughhhh put him down! But outside of learning to love dogs, he also only is there to build his confidence with Jane as his girlfriend. He does nothing else. I don’t even know what he was doing in the third one because they all clearly graduated from high school by that time.
Overall, I really like these movies. I knew I probably would when I first heard about them. I think they’re fun, creative and unique in what they do in this world. I mean, the kids of Disney villains? That’s awesome. I like all the main characters, particularly the main four, the acting is good and clearly the actors have lots of fun. The costumes are cool, creative and I like the nods to other characters and stories. I looove the music, some of these songs really get stuck in your head and plus the dancing for most of the dance heavy songs are well choreographed. “Chillin like a Villain”, “What’s My Name” and “Queen of Mean” are my jams. I like the stories we’re shown in these films and I think it’s been great to see them unfold and grow. Now, I do think these movies don’t focus enough on some of the other main characters, particularly in Jay and Carlos who are interesting. Not to mention, it was a missed opportunity not to introduce other villain and hero parents, or even show the kids of some of our favorite heroes. I mean, not having Jay meet Aladdin and Jasmine’s kid is sad. While I like the stories, I wish they would have either gone in a different direction with some of them or considered having more mature side plots so we’re not just following Mal everywhere with all her problems. It’s just not as interesting as what some of the possibilities could have been. But otherwise fun and great trilogy!
Rating: Collectively 3.79 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Disney’s Descendants? Which is your favorite movie in the franchise?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Don’t forget to like and follow this blog for more reviews.

Movie Review: Lego Movie 2 The Second Part (2019)

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Summary: It’s been five years since everything was awesome and the citizens are facing a huge new threat: Lego Duplo invaders from outer space, wrecking everything faster than they can rebuild.
Pros:
Cast and Characters.
  • Chris Pratt as Emmet Brickowski. He is an everyman, construction worker and inexperienced Master Builder from Bricksburg. He’s just an awkward kind of guy but he has a heart of gold and he’s a likable guy. I don’t always find Chris Pratt that great but I think his voice over work is great. His Emmet is innocent and earnest and it really works. He also plays another character in the movie, who I figured out what his role would be early on but I liked that character as well. I also love the little nods to some of his other characters.
  • Elizabeth Banks as Lucy / Wyldstyle. She is a Master Builder and very broody and intense. I like her a lot, she’s funny and I think the movie also is a lot about her and her ideas of what is important. She’s really trying hard to not be optimistic about things but you learn a lot about her as the film goes on and I like her little arc in the film. Characters like her, are always so badass but have to remember where they came from. Elizabeth Banks is great in this role, her delivery of coming off too dramatic but a little deadpan at the same time really works.
  • Will Arnett as Bruce Wayne / Batman. He was great! He is a DC Comics superhero who is a Master Builder and he has some great one-liners! I love the scenes he has with Queen Watevra and some of the stuff he says is just so ridiculous that it really works. His role isn’t that huge in this one but his scenes are funny.
  • Tiffany Haddish as Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi. She was probably my favorite in this film compared to her being Secret Life of Pets 2, which she annoyed me, but I liked her in this. She is the shape-shifting alien queen of the Systar System. Our first meeting with her makes you wonder if she’s good or not and throughout the film you wonder if she’s a villain or not. I like that it keeps you guessing because the movie doesn’t make it obvious. She has the best songs in the movie and I love her delivery because it comes off like “Supervillain!” but in the next scene you’re like “Sooo are you a bad guy or not?” lol it’s great and it really keeps you on your toes. Great job Tiffany Haddish, I think she was great in this voice over role, the animation really worked for her voice and she was really great in this role. I didn’t think “Tiffany Haddish” while watching, I started to forget it was her and then I’d go “Wow, that’s awesome”.
The Animation. The lego animation is great. It’s really cool to see how they do certain things with legos! Like how the explosions are little legos! Or anything that’s water is lego! It’s super cool. I never was into legos like that as a kid so it’s really cool to see how all of this stuff was put together by kids and then you have this big imaginary world based on what they created. Plus, Queen Watevra being a shape shifter, her shifting is really seamless and pretty dope. It’s really cool and unique, very impressive.
Fun Story. I like that this story picks up from the last one, five years later, but right after really. I don’t want to spoil anything but I like the lego stories coincide with what’s going on in the human world and how certain things have a connection like the “Systar System” talks about the little boy from the first movie’s little sister. That’s so cute. Everything that happens has a double meaning, it has its meaning for Emmet and Lucy and the other characters but it’s also for Finn and Bianca. I really loved it. Plus, I can relate to it.
So Funny. I don’t think I laughed as much when I watched the first one, in fact, I think the first one kind of annoyed me. It was good and cute but I liked this one way better. I laughed a lot more, and I thought the humor was handled better too. I liked a lot of the side characters humor. The banana was hilarious and I really liked Queen Watevra, she had some great moments and lines.
Great Message. At the end of the day, the message is about family, particularly between a brother and sister and how important it is to maintain that relationship between siblings. I love that. I have 5 siblings and while we may not always get along, I love them more than anything. I would kick ass for my brothers and sisters. So, I think this movie does a great job at talking about that and how siblings play with toys. Not to mention, the things that Emmet and even Lucy have to learn. I love it.
The Songs. This movie has some great songs, I particularly like Queen Watevra’s songs and I thought Tiffany Haddish did a great job performing them. “Not Evil” and “Gotham City Boys” was great! I was like yasss! That “Everything is Awesome” song is such an ear worm and I have a love/hate relationship with it. But the songs in this one I didn’t dislike from the beginning lol.
Cons:
Doesn’t explain. Some things they don’t explain and I needed an explanation. I don’t want to spoil anything but I wish they would have explained how the legos are able to move on their own. You’ll know what I mean when you see it. Rex, I get but I just wish they would have gone into that more.
The Real World. I also don’t think they should have cut to the real world as much as they did. It was a great surprise in the first one to see what the legos were actually being controlled by people and we know that going in, unless you haven’t seen it, but I think they showed it to us way too much. Just a few times before the big climax at the end where we get to see way more. Leave a little more to the imagination in terms of that.
Overall, I really liked this movie way more than I thought I would. I liked this one way more than the first one. It’s just so good. The characters are still great and I liked them a bit more in this one, the voice acting is great and I really have to give to Tiffany Haddish. I love the animation because it’s soo cool, I love the lego stuff and it’s so impressive. I also think the movie is really funny, I laughed and I thought it was charming and I liked how it connected to the real world. Also, the songs are awesome! I really liked the two songs Queen Watevra got to sing, plus her name is awesome. My only issues is that I wish the movie explained more about the legos in the real-world thing when it came to them talking or being sentient. Not to mention, the amount of times they showed the human stuff, it could have been cut down a bit more. But I think this movie is great! I really liked it and it’s a great fun movie.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen The Lego Movie 2: The Second Act? What are your thoughts? Is it better than the first?
Tell me your thoughts in the comments below!
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Movie Review: Men in Black International

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Summary: The Men in Black have always protected the Earth from the scum of the universe. In this new adventure, they tackle their biggest threat to date: a mole in the Men in Black organization.
This will be a very short review.
Pros:
Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson. I don’t really care about their characters because whatever, but these two have such great chemistry that it seems like they just wanted to have them be in another action/comedy/adventure type movie to bank on their great chemistry shown in the MCU films. It works because whenever they’re on screen together, I was into their adventure. They work well together, they’re funny, if there’s a romantic subplot it works… they just work well. I would like to see them in more movies together, but hopefully with better plots.
Humorous. In certain areas the movie is funny but it’s funny because Chris Hemsworth is funny, or Tessa Thompson is funny not because the movie has funny moments. I guess I would still chock this up to the two of them being great together and elevating the movie far more than it deserves.
Creature Effects. Of course, we get to see aliens and I think they’re cool. The little pawn alien comes from a race that look like chess pieces and I guess are referred to as such. That reveal was cool. We see the worms from the other movies, we see the talking dog, we get a few new creatures as well. I particularly like the cat looking alien Molly “M” sees as a little girl. Super cute! The movie looks great and so do the creatures. It’s always cool to see how far special effects have come from new addition to an old franchise.
Cons:
Nothing New. There is no reason for this movie to exist, I can’t even begin to tell you what was really going on this movie. It’s been a few days since I’ve seen it, but I can usually remember major plot points and what not, but I have no idea other than there was betrayal in the organization and Emma Thompson looked great. That’s what I got out of it lol.
Boring. For a movie that deals with aliens and stuff, this movie is boring. I was watching it, but I can’t say that I was invested or even really watching it.
Overall, I don’t even remember this movie to even dig into it. I think it’s forgettable and if you’re looking for a big and fun summer movie, then this would fit that role just fine. Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson are the best thing about the film because they are just so good together. I probably wouldn’t have given it a second thought if they weren’t in it. They’re funny, their chemistry is off the charts and I like them in general. The movie also looks very good, the creature designs a new, cute and deadly. While the creatures are new, the story is not, and I’m don’t even see the need to have this entry in this franchise if it’s just going to be boring.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Men in Black: International? What did you think about it? Let me know in the comments below!
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Movie Review: Anna (2019)

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Summary: Beneath Anna Poliatova’s striking beauty lies a secret that will unleash her indelible strength and skill to become one of the world’s most feared government assassins.
This will be a short review.
Pros:
Action Sequences. If there is anything this movie has going for it, it’s the action sequences. They are handled and choreographed well. The scene in the restaurant was great. She walked in confident like and then goes to crap and she must fight for her life against her mark’s henchmen and she only has five minutes to prove herself. I thought it was great because she kicked butt. I mean, she got her butt handed to her a few times, but she held her own and it was cool! She killed someone with a pole from the bar or something like that, it was crazy. My friend and I were like “Oooo, wow!” the entire time. She also has this big fight at the end, after she completes a major assignment, she must escape the building and pretty much encounters a ton of guards and she fights each one she meets. She has great prowess with a gun.
Entertaining/Fun. I don’t think this movie has great writing or anything but it’s fun. It reminds of Red Sparrow, but I enjoyed this movie way more because it’s just fun to watch. The story isn’t anything special but watching Anna’s montage of her missions, how she kicks butt and some of the story elements are entertaining, so it makes at least enjoyable. Keeps your attention.
Helen Mirren. She is a national treasure and is literally amazing in everything she’s in, even if the movie isn’t that great. Her character Olga is complicated. She’s part of the KGB and very much a Miranda Priestley type. She’s intimidating and observant and you wonder just how much she knows and what she’s keeping from Anna and by extension the audience. There are some character surprises from her later but if you’re paying attention, they may not be surprises at all.
Luke Evans & Cillian Murphy. We see them both a bit at the very beginning. We’re later introduced to Luke Evans when he tries to recruit Anna for the KGB. We see Cillian Murphy a few more times but he meets Anna much later. They both end up creating interesting relationships with her and maybe it’s because I like both actors, I was interested in seeing what happens with them. Particularly Luke Evans because we didn’t get to learn a ton about him, and I just wanted to follow him more. They’re both good in their roles, almost the same person just on opposite ends with kind of different personalities but ultimately the same kind of person.
Great Cinematography. Beautiful looking film. The colors are very vibrant when they’re there and you can pretty much see everything. All the fight scenes are well lit and shot so you can see what’s going on.
Cons:
Sophia Luss as Anna. I don’t quite think the character was bad, but the actress was just okay. Yes, she’s pretty, but I didn’t quite believe her as this character. She’s inconsistent. In the scenes when she’s in her apartment when she first meets Luke Evans, I quite liked her then. I don’t know if it was because she wasn’t that into her whole “spy” thing yet or what but I all the emotional stuff she had to do just didn’t do it for me. Plus, she cried too much at certain points, or she was whining too much.
The Story. Majority of the story was Anna doing things to get out of her situation. She was found and offered a solution to her bad life, but she was entering a questionable life. Then it was her always talking about being free and constantly asking people how she could do it and what she could do in order to be free. I mean, honestly, she wasn’t that interesting to me to be invested in her story and there wasn’t an interesting or strong enough story to really help elevate the action we got to see. I mean, the beginning was interesting by showing us all these undercover agents being rounded up, but we don’t hear anything about them until about halfway through the movie. I mean what?? Lol, the movie should have followed one of the agents that got rounded up, or maybe an agent that managed to not get rounded up, or they should have just followed Cillian Murphy’s character.
Overall, Anna is mindless fun. There isn’t much of a story to really catch your attention or keep it. You’ll probably come for the actors and for the action and I think both of those things are positives for the most part. There are two distinct action sequences that are fun to watch, very well shot and choreographed and Sophia Luss does a good job in selling the action… probably because she doesn’t have to do much acting if the camera isn’t focused on her face. Helen Mirren is always great, and her character is probably the most interesting in the film. Luke Evans and Cillian Murphy are also good in their smaller roles. Sophia Luss is okay, she doesn’t do it for me when it comes to acting, she was too inconsistent for me to be that invested in her character. But if you’re looking for a spy thriller that will at least be entertaining, then you can check out Anna.
Rating: 2.30 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Anna? What are your thoughts on this film? Let me know in the comments below!
What is your favorite spy movie?
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Spoiler Talk: IT Chapter Two (2019)

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Just as I did for the first IT movie, I wanted to do a spoiler talk for this one as it usually helps me move on from the movie, so I can stop being paranoid lol but also because I just want to dig into it without worrying about ruining it for other people. I haven’t done a spoiler talk in a long time, they’re hard to do when writing, but I had to do one for this. I already did a spoiler free review which you can read in the link below.

Movie Review: IT (2017)

Spoiler Talk: IT Chapter One

Movie Review: It Chapter Two (2019)

This will probably be long by the way. Just saying.

The Story 

It’s been 27 years since the events of the first film. Our Losers have all moved out of Derry, except for Mike and all lead successful lives. I think it makes sense that they’re all successful because they were all smart and resourceful kids and it fits right in with forgetting how weird, bad or traumatic their experiences might have been. I would like an IT 1.5 movie so I can see their actual teenage years lol, all the kids are old enough to do it, or do it in another few years and do it then lol. Anyway, here is where all the Losers start out in the film.

  • Bill is a successful horror writer who can’t seem to write good endings for his books. It’s a running joke that everyone hates them lol. He’s married to an actress who is a redhead btw.
  • Beverly runs a fashion empire with her abusive husband.
  • Richie is a successful stand-up comic, which I saw a reviewer say was “on the nose” because Bill Hader, but Richie was the funny one, so it makes sense.
  • Eddie is a risk analyst which is hilarious but also makes sense lol and he’s married to a woman like his mother (WHO IS PLAYED BY THE SAME ACTRESS AS HIS MOTHER lol)
  • Ben has a successful architecture business. I wish we saw more of this instead of him being “the historian” in the first one. He could have still had that scene in the library and looked at that book in order to see the headless kid. He could have been looking at the History of Derry because he wanted to see what the architecture used to be like or something. I still think that was a weird choice.
  • Stanley, well, I don’t know what Stan does, the movie doesn’t tell you but according to the Wiki, he’s a firm accountant and he’s married.
  • Mike is the Derry Librarian which considering his personality from the first one, I wouldn’t think that’s what he’d do. I just wish they didn’t take away his Historian plot in the first one and give it to Ben because it just seems like a weird transition for him.

So, Mike, hears about body parts being found by the river and bridge, so he goes to investigate, and he spots a piece of a red balloon and sees “Come Home” written in blood on the bridge. So, it’s confirmed that Pennywise is back and doing his thing, so he calls up all the losers. Everyone has a bad reaction to the news, but they all come back except for Stanley. I’ll get into that a little later.

Everyone returns, they have a reunion but Pennywise scares all of them and they don’t want to stay but Mike is determined. He manages to get Bill to listen to him, he thinks that if Bill’s on board then the others will fall in line… which is true lol. He shows Bill, by drugging him, about the Ritual of Chud to defeat Pennywise. Everyone then goes on “spirit quests” to find tokens to sacrifice.

  • Bill gets Georgie’s boat
  • Beverly gets her “January Embers poem”
  • Ben has the yearbook page Beverly signed
  • Mike has the rock that Beverly threw at Henry Bowers to save him (it’s what brought the Losers to Mike lol)
  • Eddie’s inhaler
  • Richie gets a token from the arcade
  • And Bill finds the shower caps Stanley put in their clubhouse to keep spiders away.

They all end up meeting at the Niebolt house to stop Bill from going in himself after Pennywise killed a kid in front of him. They have a moment and then go inside where shenanigans ensue in the house. Good stuff happens here. Then, they all go down in the sewers and the last… 45 minutes maybe is in the sewers. They do the ritual, it doesn’t work because Mike lied about the ritual. I guess they would have to die for it to officially work. He says that the Natives only died because they didn’t believe it would work but if the Losers believed then no one would have to die. Still didn’t work. Pennywise is now a giant Clown-Spider creature and he’s going after everyone. They all run off, some of them go through more horrors, particularly Bill, Ben and Beverly. This is also when Beverly discovers Ben is the one who wrote the poem and that he loves her. Bill faces his brother and his younger self; a great scene and he faces his guilt in the face and overcomes it.

Eddie and Richie have some funny moments together. Everyone overcomes their scares and Richie saves Mike from being killed by Pennywise by “rock war”!

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“Wanna play truth or dare? Here’s a truth, you’re a sloppy bitch! Yipikaye mother f…” and BOOM DEADLIGHTS! Richie is in his trance but it’s different for when he did it to Beverly, Richie starts bleeding and it seems like the intent is to kill this time. Eddie comes out, sees Richie and uses the iron gate… piece? lol to throw into giant Pennywise’s mouth, because he believed the iron could kill monsters, just like Beverly told him to believe it could. Just when everyone starts to rejoice, Pennywise stabs Eddie.

They say the best way to kill him now is to make him smaller so they could effectively fight him. Bill, Ben, Mike and Bev try to get him to go through one of the small tunnels, but he cuts them off so then they basically roast him to size lol. Mike says to Bev “there’s more than one way to make someone small” “make him think that he does” or something like that. Pennywise laughs “Me? Small!? I’m the eater of worlds!” Mike says, “Not to us, you’re just a clown” and he like freaks out for a moment. So, they basically just call him all the things he’s turned into to scare them “An old lady”, “an impostor”, repeating “clown”. It’s like he can’t think straight so he keeps turning into the things they’re calling him. We even hear Eddie shout “LEPER!”, Richie joins in the fight, as Pennywise gets smaller, Richie rips off the claw that stabbed Eddie and Bev’s face in that scene makes me laugh. Pennywise is now super small, scared and weak. Mike reaches in and pulls out his heart, they all crush it together. They go back to Eddie, he’s gone so now they must make it out of the house before everything crumbles. There is no actual way they make it out though… I mean it was falling around them fast, but they make it out (ya know movies) and the Niebolt house is sucked into the void and is gone. Poor Richie is still shouting Eddie’s name. They end up at the Quarry and once again Beverly jumps into the water first. They clean off, Richie cries so they have a sweet moment where they just hold each other. Richie makes a joke about his glasses, everyone dives to find them, and Ben and Bev have a moment where they kiss. Bill sees, he smiles and looks away. They walk back through town, look at their reflection in store glass and it’s their younger selves and then it cuts back to the younger versions after they defeated Pennywise the first time.

Everyone goes back to their lives, Mike calls Bill to check on him and to tell him about Stanley’s letter.

  • Bill seems happier and more confident in himself and he’s gotten past his writer’s block. I do wish they showed if he was still with his wife or not. It didn’t seem like they have a bad relationship, but I do think part of him married her because she reminded him of Beverly, even though he probably didn’t know why. I mean, she has red hair, a fiery spirit and he even says at the beginning “Why can’t you be the woman I want you to be” and he tries to fix it and I was like “oooo, he wishes she was Beverly but doesn’t know he wants that since he probably doesn’t remember her”. But we don’t know if things are better with them, if they’re still together. I’m not sure his ending in the book but I am aware in the miniseries, he does like ride off with her on his bike or something lol. Maybe it’s a deleted scene. I just wanted to see her in the background or something lol.
  • Beverly and Ben are together with his dog and his fancy boat. I think he asks her if she’s okay or happy or something and she’s like “Yes, very” and it’s all cute and what not.
  • Richie ends by re-carving the R+E initials on the kissing bridge, symbolizing that he’s at least come to terms with his sexuality and that he did love Eddie.
  • Mike calls Bill to check on him and tell him about the letter from Stanley. He tells Bill he’s leaving Derry to find his own way, now that everything is over. Not sure what he’s going to do but Mike Hanlon deserves happiness.

They’re victorious but this time they remember everything, and Mike has a great line, “maybe we remember because there’s more good things to remember instead of the bad things” or something like that and that really sums things up. It’s bittersweet though, because Stanley and Eddie both died, but it does a nice job at rounding out what each character had to struggle with and where they are now. Everyone has at least a more secure form of peace and happiness.

Characters

I think this time around the film is more of an ensemble than it was in the first one. Bill and Beverly were the leads in the group but here, I don’t think there is a clear lead. They all kind of get the same amount of love. I’m not going to go into everyone though, just some things I might have noticed that I didn’t include in my regular review.

  • James McAvoy as Bill Denbrough. I have seen people say that when he stutters, it seems like he’s channeling Hedwig (Split & Glass). I don’t see it and I loved him in both those movies (even though Glass is meh). I think he does the stutter well. I think while Bill isn’t the “lead” as he was in the first one, he has a lot of solo moments where he shines, and his character arc gets a lot of development. He has three distinct scenes where we see this. Again, James is masterful as always and I did always manage to find him in the group even if he wasn’t in the forefront. Also, it seemed like Pennywise really had it out for him and I wish we got to see them interact more. Yes, we have the sewer drain and the fun house but Pennywise torments him in that moment and that’s it, I feel like, when Bill says “I hate you” after the sewer drain that Pennywise would have laughed or said “I hate you too” mockingly or something. Or the Fun house would have been a great moment to see Pennywise really dig it in, but I guess by eating the kid in front of Bill and Bill seeing that he couldn’t do anything to stop him or save the kid was enough…
  • Bill Hader as Richie Tozier. Finn Wolfhard suggested Bill Hader when they were asked in interviews who they’d like to play them as adults, and it happened. That’s dope lol. So, his arc deals with accepting who he is and allowing himself to feel comfortable that way. Richie has been confirmed gay in this film and that he liked Eddie. Being that I am on Tumblr and other social media things, I have seen people say that about him in the first one. I never quite got that impression. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t there, I just didn’t pick up on it. They were just two fast talking kids who roasted each other, that’s what kids do, so I didn’t even think about it. I haven’t read the book either to see if that story element was there. Thinking about it, if they decided to confirm Richie’s sexuality, then I can see where in the first they could pull from just as if they didn’t reveal it at all, I wouldn’t have noticed. But I think it was a nice addition to his character and it’s not done in a way that would make you roll your eyes. At least I didn’t. On my second viewing, I did notice how he was extra attentive to Eddie, like in the restaurant, he calls his name. Bill Hader is great though, truly great.
  • Isaiah Mustafa as Mike Hanlon. He stayed in Derry and became the librarian. I really want to know how that happened considering his role in the first one. He was part of the group, but he was a last addition and had such a minor role. It was really sad. His role is much larger here, which I appreciated, and I liked his “frantic/madman” nature. He was trying to get this done, he needed his friends to believe. He almost had a childish quality to him. I really liked the moments with him, and Bill and I would have been interested in seeing them team up more. He and James had great chemistry. They need to be in another movie together.
  • Andy Bean as Stanley Uris. Sooo you can’t really talk about Stanley without spoiling him but he’s the last one to get the call from Mike and he commits suicide. His face when he answers shows he’s terrified. He sits in the tub and he slits his wrists. I feel bad for him because the look on his face is very… sad. We learn that Beverly has seen each of their deaths in her dreams every night, so she knew about Stanley’s death just not when it would happen exactly. I wish, we got to know what everyone else’s death would have been because I’m curious… anyway, I feel bad for Andy Bean lol because he’s in all the press stuff, but he can’t really answer any questions about his character because it would spoil it. He just always looks like he’s chillin in the back during interviews. BUT the ending is where he really gets his moment. Bill gets a letter from Stanley, as does the others, and Stanley narrates his letter. He talks about why he did what he did, he was afraid, and he knew he wouldn’t be much help and they couldn’t defeat IT if they weren’t unified, so he removed himself from that equation to ensure their victory. It was a lovely letter, very sad and I get it.
  • Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise the Dancing Clown / “It”. I do agree with other reviews that it seems like Pennywise, as the clown, as Bill Skarsgård, isn’t prevalent as much as he could have been, but I think that’s okay. He’s supposed to be scary and if you see too much of him then it’s no longer scary… for those who get scared. I also love the fact that he’s pissed… clearly. Whenever he’s Pennywise and he encounters a Loser, he’s angry. With Beverly he has this whole set up in her house which was intricate. When he first encounters Richie, he really teases him with his inner struggles. As I said, I think he had it out for Bill the most, because he torments him. He put Georgie out there to lure Bill to the drain, he threatened Bill with that kid’s skateboard, and he killed that kid in front of Bill. I mean, torment. I really wish that after Pennywise ate that kid in front of Bill and the lights came up that it was still glass instead of a mirror and Pennywise could be standing there, with a smile or something. I feel like there should have been another exchange between them. I guess Bill overcoming his guilt was enough. I just think that Pennywise’s scares for the Losers could have been more… with the intent on really getting them. In the sewer he does more to try and kill them, but I feel like he should have been doing that from the beginning. That’s just my thoughts.

The Scares.

I love how they said this movie has way more scares and is scarier than the first one, but I don’t agree. The first one is much scarier, at least I wasn’t as bothered during the sequel as I was during the first one even though I love the first one. Each Loser has their solo scares but then they also have scares together. So, everyone has their group scares which is in the Chinese restaurant and then when they’re in the sewers and it’s just scary all around lol.

  • Bill: So, Bill has the Sewer Scene, the Fun House (I’ll go into details about those later) and the moment in his basement where he watches Georgie talk to young Bill about the night he died. It was shared that Bill pretended he was sick because he didn’t want to play, and he felt guilty and Georgie just shouts, “You lied, and I died!” Bill tries to talk to his younger self but sees he’s controlling Georgie like Pennywise did in the first one, like a puppet. Then of course, Georgie spins around and his face is gross. Bill then drowns him. He and his younger self have a talk, his younger self tries to kill him, but it doesn’t work so then Bill shoots his younger self in the head, his way of letting go of his guilt and then younger Bill turns into a creepy Pennywise face. Bill goes back into the water and comes back to Pennywise’s lair. Here, I think it’s important to note that I don’t fault Bill for what happened to Georgie and I don’t think he should be condemned for it. Sure, he’s going to feel bad because he didn’t want to play and he couldn’t protect his brother, but that doesn’t make him a bad person. He was a kid. When you don’t want to do something with someone, people often make up excuses that aren’t the truth. Let’s not act like Bill is this horrible person and should feel bad because it was revealed he pretended to be sick. Now, the only problem I have with this reveal is that there wasn’t any indication that he was faking in the first one, which I guess is the point but I wouldn’t have questioned it as much if it seemed like he was faking it then. It might have been an afterthought which is the problem, but not the reveal itself.
  • Beverly: She goes to her old house to find her poem. An old lady is living there. She lets Bev in, and while Bev is in the house, you see shots of the old lady watching her from down the hall and then she would walk away doing some weird disjointed movements. The lead up is all good stuff. They have a talk; the woman flashes her chest and you see she has some weird skin issues going on. Bev sees pictures of the woman as a little girl with her father who looks an awful lot like Pennywise and then the woman is in her dark kitchen and says “I’ve always been daddy’s little girl. ARE YOU DADDY’S LITTLE GIRL BEVERLY?” and you just hear heavy footsteps and she comes out the kitchen and I think I laughed a little. She looked ridiculous. The CGI really didn’t do any favors here, I was expecting it to be scarier than it was. She chases Beverly around the house. Oh, the giant lady is naked too. Bev tries to escape but the door is locked. Down the hall, another door opens, and a man is in there, he talks to her and he starts putting on white makeup and rips his face open to mimic Pennywise’s red lines and he says some words and Bev escapes. She also has the scene in the bathroom with the blood and while she’s locked in there, the door keeps being pushed open by people who have scared her or affected her in the past. It’s a pretty good scene.
  • Richie: In a flashback, we see Richie get scared by the Paul Bunyon statue in the park after he was chased out of the arcade by Bowers. He also is the only one in the solo scares who Pennywise graces with his presence as an adult.
  • Eddie: He goes to the pharmacy, he goes into the basement and we get a flashback of him as a kid. He hears his mother calling for him. The basement is all weird, dark and creepy. It has blood drips and needles. His mother is trapped to a standing gurney and the leper is chained behind a curtain. It keeps getting closer though. It eventually affects the mom with… grossness by sticking its tongue down her throat. Gross. Little Eddie runs off lol. Adult Eddie faces the leper, but he almost gets the best of him, but the leper cheats by throwing up on him and disappears lol.
  • Ben: He doesn’t get an adult solo scare until the end when the clubhouse tried to swallow him up. He gets a flashback in the school, where Bev shows up, they talk, he tries to kiss her, she calls him a “fatty” or something and she sets herself on fire and chases him down the hallway. He hides in his locker, he pulls out the yearbook page and Pennywise is in the locker with him. He escapes though.
  • Mike: We don’t see any scares for him. We see a flashback when he was a kid and his parents died in the fire but that’s about it. He does face off with Henry in the library but nothing that is scary because he’s no longer scared as he tells Pennywise at the end.

The Fight

At the end, we get of course, their final battle with Pennywise and it’s much longer than it was in the first one. The others find Bill as he’s ready to kill Pennywise and he has a speech and he’s stuttering a lot, which juxtaposes his speech in front of the house in the first one where he doesn’t stutter at all. I think it shows just how upset and scared he was as an adult compared to when he was ready as a kid. They go inside the house and end up getting split up. Richie, Bill and Eddie and Mike, Beverly and Ben. Pennywise starts carving “Home at last” on Ben’s stomach, bringing that H for Henry Bowers back and young Stan’s head turned into a spider creature trying to attack the other three lol. Eddie is so scared that he just stands in the corner while Spider-Stan attacks Richie, Bill is trying to pull him off, Ben comes in the clutch and kills Spider-Stan or stuns him at least. Bill then goes to shout at Eddie, about people dying and him not helping. I saw someone say that Bill wouldn’t have done that, and I disagree. He had every right to do that. He remembered his brother died, Dean was killed in front of him and he’s trying to save his friend and his other friend is cowering. Don’t get me wrong, Eddie had a right to be scared too and when Eddie said, “I was so scared, please don’t be mad Bill,” Bill’s face was like… okay, we gotta stick together and he says, “Don’t let him have that, that’s what he wants.”

So, I told y’all how the way they beat Pennywise is that they roasted him to size… lol yes, they did. I think they do other stuff in the book, I’m pretty sure they do something in the miniseries, but I get why they did this. I mean, sometimes you must face your fear in order to make it no longer scary. I mean, yes, they kicked the crap out of him in the first one, but they only wounded him so perhaps it wouldn’t work that way this time? I mean, who’s to say? I might feel like it’s an underwhelming ending to this crazy killer clown, but I like the fact that they beat him by making him afraid of them. They beat him at his own game.

The Love Triangle.

Bill & Beverly: Okay, so if you remember from the first film, Bill and Beverly like each other. It’s clear right from the start when he sees her again, and she’s walking towards them in slow motion and Bill’s all dopey eyes and what not. I thought it was cute and Jaeden Martell and Sophia Lillis had great chemistry. A lot of the time, they were together, or they stood near each other, or they had each other’s backs. She was willing to fight Pennywise with Bill and was on his side. He also liked her. They shared little looks and what not. SO, now in this one, 27 years later, they’re both married. Bill is married to a redheaded actress and Beverly is in an abusive relationship. When they all return, they share a few looks, they have a private conversation at the restaurant, they share a very nice kiss, like their last kiss we see in the first movie. They also show us flashbacks of them riding a bike together, it’s cute. So, we see that they have feelings beyond the first movie. During their kiss, Bill does pull away which could mean- “We’re both married, we can’t do this” OR “why are you kissing me when they’re kids dying and a killer clown out there” lol. James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain do have chemistry. I feel like I wanted them to be together in the end, but I understand why they’re not, at least on Bill’s end.

Ben & Beverly: In the first one, we are aware that Ben has a crush on Bev from the moment she signs his year book. He often looks at her, especially if she and Bill share a moment. He writes her the cute poem and everything. Beverly thinks Bill wrote it because she likes him and he likes her, I don’t think she even thinks that Ben wrote the poem. So, in this one, the Losers must go and grab tokens that meant something to them as children to sacrifice to take down Pennywise and Ben’s is the yearbook page that Beverly signed. It was the only thing he didn’t forget because he took it with him when he left Derry. Throughout the movie, he would give her looks, whenever she and Bill were off together or talking, he would look all jealous and stuff. Well, lol more like longing. When Bev tells him, she thought Bill wrote the poem, he was all like “Bev nooo, I wrote it” lol but he doesn’t say anything. Later, when they’re throwing their stuff into the fire, Bev tosses in the poem (it meant a lot) and then Ben tosses in the yearbook page and she realizes it was the one she signed and she’s all like

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lol. Then later, everyone gets forcibly split up. Bev gets thrown back into the bathroom stall from when she was a kid and the stall starts filling up with blood. Ben gets thrown into the clubhouse he built, and it starts filling up with dirt. I guess he could hear her screaming and while he’s sinking, he’s calling out to her as she’s terrified. He then starts reciting the poem which gives her life and they save each other. They share a moment and at the end, they end up together.

So, I have a problem with how this was handled. I don’t mind that Ben and Beverly got together in the end, but my problem is that we never got to see Beverly really reciprocate those feelings. I never like when two people (A&B) like the same person (C) and C thinks A wrote them a love letter or a poem when really B wrote the poem but C clearly likes A anyway and A likes them back, the poem just helped to further those feelings, but then somewhere down the line C finds out B wrote the poem and now C is in love with B… I hate that because most of the time, B & C don’t really share that kind of relationship, at least not that the audience sees. It’d be different if Beverly and Ben flirted more or had more than a friendly connection because while Ben clearly likes her, I never thought that Beverly clearly liked him or even felt the same. For Bill, yes but not for Ben. I just don’t like how that was handled. I rolled my eyes hard when we see Ben and Ben on a boat together at the end. I joked “Oh you like him now because he’s hot lol”.

Favorite Scenes

I particularly love the Chinese Restaurant scene because this is the first time everyone is back together and they’re remembering each other and their history and just having a good time. It’s the first scene where you really see the adult actors sitting in these characters we’ve come to love thanks to the young actors. Then things get serious when they talk about why Stanley isn’t there, and Mike starts talking about why he brought them back. Everyone acts all funny when he starts talking about Pennywise, like they forgot why Mike called them back though he literally told them over the phone. Anyway lol, they start talking about fear and how they didn’t remember things until they came back. They open their fortune cookies and get a message “Guess Stanley couldn’t cut it” which prompts the cookies to start cracking open revealing little gross creatures. It’s so great because everyone is freaking out and I love the part where Ben is kind of hiding behind Eddie (mind you, he’s much taller and muscular lol) and he’s swatting at the flying creature lol. In the fish tank are floating heads and Bill and Mike both freak out. Then Mike starts hitting the table with a chair “IT’S NOT REAL!” Man, that’s a great scene. It’s weird but not scary.

There’s also this kid “Dean” who says, “Hey Richie, the fun’s just beginning” and he gives a creepy smile which causes Richie to shout at him thinking it’s a Pennywise thing and it’s just a kid who’s a fan of his stand up. This kid is important for later.

The Sewer Drain is during the series of moments where each Loser goes their own way to find their tokens to sacrifice for the ritual. Bill finds his bike in an antique shop (Stephen King cameo), he goes off riding and comes across his old house, where he sees Dean on the law. He also rides past the drain where Georgie was taken. We get a flashback with young Bill demanding to know from Pennywise WHY he took Georgie, he’s screaming and crying, and he does a great job. “WHY HIM!”. He starts to walk away and Pennywise says “Why? Because you weren’t there.” Gosh it’s so good. Then we cut back to adult Bill and he starts to walk away but then he hears Georgie’s voice “Billy, I’m still here, help me” and he’s like “Omg, Georgie??” and he moves closer to the drain, and he sees Georgie’s hands reaching for him, with the boat,

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the music here is beautiful by the way. Of course, Bill reaches for him while Georgie is saying “Help me! He’s coming!” and Bill is reaching into the sewer, trying to grab his hands, and he’s like pretty far in that thing. It’s shocking really. Then of course, a crazy hand grabs his arm and tries to pull him into the sewer and a bunch of kid hands start grabbing him too. Almost his entire upper body was pulled into that thing lol, I was bruh, you are a whole adult, how can you even fit? It’d be different if Pennywise made it bigger to be able to pull Bill in. If he did do that, then I needed to see that lol. But Bill manages to escape and now he has the boat in hand too. “I hate you!” he’s crying. Man, James McAvoy is great. I love him. Also, the kid who lives in his house, Dean, talks to him and Bill shouts at him to not go near the sewer and to tell his parents to leave town. That kid was having a bad two days lol. He got yelled at by two adults lol.

Now, the Fun House is also a great sequence. They show a bit of it in the trailer. Bill goes back to the Inn after his sewer sequence. He and Beverly kiss. He pulls back, I’m not sure if it’s because their kiss isn’t the same as when they were kids, or if he remembered they’re both married. I’m not sure but his expression was interesting. Let me know what you think his expression meant in that scene. The moment is cut short when a skateboard comes down the staircase. Bill recognizes it as the one Dean rode on his way to the carnival, there’s blood on the bottom and it says, “Won’t be there for him either?”. It prompts Bill to run off. So, he takes off to go find Dean and he sees him go into the fun house at the Carnival Canal Days. Bill goes after him, he almost gets taken out by those swinging clowns lol.

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He then gets to the hall of mirrors and he sees the kid and tries to run to him but of course runs into glass. He squeezes through a narrow passage, claustrophobia anyone? And he gets to the kid, runs into the glass again and it’s clear the kid is boxed in. During Bill’s search, you can see Pennywise also going through the area. The music they play for when he walks by is great lol. Dean is like “What are you doing here? Why are you following me?” and Bill stutters he’s trying to help. Then you hear a squeaking noise and we all turn to see Pennywise at the other side. It’s literally the worst noise ever.

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So, Bill pleads with him, while Pennywise starts bashing his head against the glass. Asking him to take him instead. “I’m here now take me” but Pennywise is a little jerk and he gives his little smile, this kid is screaming by the way, and then he breaks through the glass and eats the kid right in front of Bill, who was trying to break the glass on his side. It’s a horrible moment and you really want Bill to succeed save the kid even though we all know he isn’t going to be able to. Now he’s even more invigorated to stop Pennywise since there’s another kid he lost, and he feels even more guilty.

These scenes are so great. The first really establishes our group and their friendship while also kick starting what we all came here for. A rematch of the Losers Club vs Pennywise. The other two are my favorites because I really like what they did with Bill. I keep seeing that people think he isn’t the focus as much as he was in the first one and while I agree with that in ways, I don’t think that means he didn’t have anything to do. The sequel was way more of an ensemble minus Stanley compared to the first one where Bill and Beverly were the leads. I just think Bill is stuck in the same place he was in the first one in his crushing guilt. His arc throughout the film is coming to terms with what happened and finally realizing it wasn’t his fault and it never was. No matter how many times Pennywise tries to make it seem so. Plus, I love James McAvoy so I might be a little biased, but he did so well in both those scenes, I really felt for him both times.

The Opening Scene

So, I feel like maybe I should mention this since it’s such a big deal. When the movie starts, we get a flash of young Beverly floating in the deadlights and a wonderful transition into the Canal Days Carnival. There are two guys on a date at this carnival. This group of weird looking kids/young adults who start to bother them. Adrian says something smart then he’s pulled away by his boyfriend. While they’re on the bridge, the hooligans come back and basically beat them up, especially Adrian and they dump him into the river. The boyfriend goes to the riverbank to save him, but we get this great shot of Adrian looking at someone on the edge.

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It’s Pennywise, and he helps Adrian out of the water. The boyfriend sees that Adrian’s been helped, and then Pennywise takes a chunk out of Adrian’s side. He’s dead dead.

Soooooo, I don’t know if this happens in the book. I heard it does, but I think it’s important to note that this kind of thing happens in Derry. This scene is show Number ONE: The evil and hatred in Derry is amplified due to Pennywise’s presence. This is talked about in the first one and shown considering how people seem so “over it” or they just don’t care. I mean, kids keep disappearing and no one is looking for them, outside of Betty Ripsom’s mother. NUMBER TWO: Pennywise was in hibernation for 27 years and was probably slowly healing and weak due to his last battle with the Losers, so he was probably super hungry. He isn’t limited to just kids, he can scare them and play with his food to make them taste better. Adrian was already hurt, thanks to those hooligans so he was easy prey. I mean… I don’t think it meant to offend anyone, that’s just how it is in this town. That’s just my two cents on that.

The Runtime. 

This movie is 169 minutes or about 2 hours and 50 minutes long. I mean, it’s long but that didn’t bother me at all because I can handle long movies (except Endgame apparently because I went to the bathroom during the movie BOTH TIMES I SAW IT lol) but I read there is an even longer cut and I want to see the entire movie, especially the stuff that was cut. I feel like there is a ton of things that were left out. It might feel long to others but that didn’t bother me. I want to see the first one and second one in one big 6-hour long film lol.

Overall

The first one is still better but this is a nice follow up and a nice conclusion. There could have been better elements, particularly the CGI and maybe some storytelling elements, like how for a good chunk of the middle, the formula repeats itself, but I think it’s still a good film.

Okay so that’s my Spoiler Talk on It Chapter Two.

Let me know your thoughts below! Was there something I missed you wanted to talk about? Say it in the comments!

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Movie Review: Glass (2019)

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Summary: Security guard David Dunn uses his supernatural abilities to track Kevin Wendell Crumb, a disturbed man who has twenty-four personalities.
You can read my Split Review and my Spoiler Talk. I did watch Unbreakable finally and I don’t think I’ll review it, at least not right now.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. 
  • Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price / Mr. Glass. He is an intelligent comic book theorist with Type I osteogenesis imperfecta, who was institutionalized after David Dunn discovered his crimes. He spends a lot of this movie silent, in a state where he doesn’t seem to be able to do anything other than stare into the distance. He appears very unassuming and around the end, his intentions and plans start to come to fruition, and he proves he’s still the smartest one. SLJ is great, I like how Mr. Glass is basically a fanboy who really lost his mind. It’s something we’ve seen before but he takes it to the extreme, especially once we find out just how far he’s gone. SLJ plays intimidating and crazy well.
  • James McAvoy as Kevin Wendell Crumb / The Horde. My favorite character in this movie. He is twenty-seven years old and a former Philadelphia Zoo employee with 23 different personalities whose body chemistry changes with each personality, culminating in a 24th personality known as “The Beast”, a savage superhuman cannibal whose abilities include wall-crawling, enhanced strength, speed, durability, and agility. I love the fact that we got to see many more personalities in this compared to Split but he plays them all so well and the fluidity of how he goes into each one. Of course, we see Hedwig, Dennis, Patricia and Barry again and they’re all still great. I mean, Hedwig is a character lol. I love James McAvoy. He’s great. I LOVE HIM and I’m glad he’s had like three movies this year, two of them were not that great but he’s always great in them. The way he can just go through different alters and it’s clear that they are different people, not to mention him as The Beast, it’s just so impressive and I honestly want to see an origin story of him. Not “The Beast” as that is what Split is but of his life with the others and McAvoy can play those too since he’s supposed to be 27 and McAvoy is not lol. But I want more of him. He’s the only reason why I teared up a little at the end.
  • Bruce Willis as David Dunn / The Overseer. He is a superhuman vigilante with enhanced strength and durability, as well as the ability to see the crimes people have committed by touching them. Dunn lives a quiet life, but he still goes out to play hero with his son as his “man in the chair” and it’s clear they’ve been doing this for years. Dunn is the strong silent type and it’s because of him that he and The Horde get caught. Dunn tries to save some kidnapped girls and he and The Beast end up having a nice fight. Throughout the movie, he’s almost a nonfactor until the end and he gets to let go since he has an opponent that he doesn’t have to hold back from. I’ve always enjoyed Bruce Willis and he’s fine, the movie doesn’t focus a lot on him but when it does, he’s good.
  • Sarah Paulson as Dr. Ellie Staple. She is a psychiatrist who specializes in delusions of grandeur and it’s her mission to prove Dunn, Price and Kevin aren’t superhumans and she basically uses words to mess with them. I mean, she’s good at her job because they do start to doubt who they are and what they can do. I quite liked how she was able to really confuse Patricia who holds The Horde down lol. I mean, she’s a psychiatrist so whenever we see her, she’s talking lol. Sarah Paulson is a good actress, I haven’t seen her in a ton of things but everything I have seen with her, I think she’s dynamic and here her character isn’t this big personality and you never know what she might say to really get into their heads. I really like the ending for her character, it allows the audience to understand her more.
  • Anya Taylor-Joy as Casey Cooke. She is a 17-year-old girl with a history of abuse who was kidnapped by one of Kevin’s identities as a potential sacrifice to “The Beast” but managed to survive. After Kevin gets taken to the hospital, she comes to see him and I find her role interesting in this because she cares for Kevin, even though he was part of a traumatic experience for her. I mean, I know at the end of the day, it wasn’t Kevin, but it was still his body… I don’t know, I liked that she was able to pull Kevin to the light and all that, but I found it an interesting connection. ATJ is great, very compelling to watch.
  • Spencer Treat Clark as Joseph Dunn. David’s son who has believed in his father’s abilities since he was a child and sees him as a real-life superhero. I think it’s great they got the same actor to play his son and I loved his unshakable belief in his dad even when his dad started to doubt it himself.
Story Connections. When I saw Split, I loved it even before I learned of the connection to Unbreakable which I hadn’t seen at that point. I was aware of that movie and what it was essentially about, but I didn’t know the details so the stinger at the end was cool. I like how Mr. Glass is still proving he’s the smartest in the room and that he literally thinks of everything even when others think they bested him. Nice try lol. I like the fact that you have “The Beast” and the only person who can really handle him is Dunn because of his ability and The Horde feels threatened, it’s an interesting dynamic. Shyamalan has said he’s not interested in making more movies after this one but the shared universe he created is interesting and I would be interested in case he did.
The Ideas. I like what the movie was trying to do in terms of the questions being asked. What if everything you believe about yourself being “super” is in your head. I think that’s a great question and a good way to take a deeper look at people who superhuman.
The Climax. The movie is basically building to this moment, as it should, and while I’ll talk about it a little in my cons, I think it was overall enjoyable to watch. Mr. Glass set things in motion and now he, along with the audience gets to sit back and enjoy The Beast and Dunn’s collision. It was fun to watch, and I was really into seeing everyone get to use their powers, or fully embrace them and just clash. Plus, it’s around this time that we just get so much information and revelations and it’s really cool. James McAvoy running across that grass like an animal is literally my favorite thing.
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I was waiting for that the entire movie lol.
Cons:
Underwhelming. Boy this movie ends in such a lackluster way. I mean, I get it, the entire movie was building up to a moment and I know what it means, what it was supposed to be like, at least in my mind and I don’t think it provides the conclusion these movies deserve. It’s very underwhelming and I was actually upset. Not like upset like “dang man that’s sad” it was sad, and I did tear up a little bit but mostly because REALLY???? These characters are interesting and don’t get me wrong, it’s been 19 years since we’ve seen Dunn and Glass, but you then bring in such an interesting character in Kevin and then you do this? Meh. I was not happy with this ending. All that build up for that. It’s like waiting for a rocket to launch and then the fuse goes out right before takeoff. Lame. These characters deserved much better.
More Interactions. We needed more interactions between the main three characters. In the beginning, we have an interaction with The Beast and Dunn and then that’s really it. They never really interact again, even when all three of them are in the same room. Dunn and Glass never talk until the last 30 minutes… I mean, come on. Most people are banking on something going on with these three and Dunn spends most of the movie isolated and while Kevin is interesting because of his many alters, it would have been nice to see Patricia or even Hedwig interact with Dunn. They talked about him enough. Missed opportunities! I don’t want to see them interact with the orderlies in the hospital, I want to see them talk and interact with each other!
Nothing is Happening. This movie feels like a series of things just happening, but nothing is actually happening. There are moments where our main three are speaking with Dr. Staples and that’s where most of the things seem to happen. She’s trying to get them to think about themselves in a different way and it’s clever. Then it’s just a lot of watching people and talking. Don’t get me wrong, I particularly was interested in the moments with Kevin and his alters but it was like the moving was just very slowly moving towards something and it picked up only to be shot down so fast.
Overall, I enjoyed Glass for the most part. I thought the acting was great with James McAvoy as the standout because his role is so complicated, dynamic and interesting that he really steals the show when he’s on screen, which is great because I love him. Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis are also great to see on screen. I really like the idea of the film and what it was trying to accomplish because it’s a different look at the superhero genre and the climax was entertaining. I think this movie has a problem with keeping the momentum going because it feels like nothing is happening and when the big climax happens, you get into it but then the payoff is really underwhelming, and it feels like a very lackluster ending to an interesting trilogy. Besides, there should have been way more interactions between our main three actors, and it was such a missed opportunity to not have them be more involved with each other. That’s where the interesting stuff happens. I feel like there was a lot of things cut out that would have helped but I also watched the deleted scenes in the DVD and those deleted scenes added nothing lol. So, I’m like well dang lol. Watch this one for the familiar characters and the great performances.
Rating: 2.9 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Glass? What are your thoughts on the film? Let me know in the comments below!
Which out of the Unbreakable trilogy is your favorite? Unbreakable, Split, or Glass?
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