JUSTICE LEAGUE review

Man, are my nerves on edge today.

The DC Extended Universe has been something of a hit and miss, hasn’t it? People were incredibly split about MAN OF STEEL (2013). Some loving it, some hating it. On a personal level, I loved it. I thought it was a good update to a character that the filmmakers were trying to make a little more realistic. Clark Kent isn’t a complete boy scout, but he constantly tries to do the right thing and restrains himself. I loved the action, I loved Michael Shannon, it was a really good time that I still enjoy to this day.

But then BATMAN V SUPERMAN (2016) happened and it’s pretty widely accepted that the film isn’t good. On a personal level, I agree. It was a colossal disappointment. I thought Superman would have learned his lesson about not killing people, but the filmmakers betrayed both the character that fans of loved for decades, and even betrayed their own established character in MAN OF STEEL. The rivalry between Batman and Superman makes no sense, Lex Luthor makes no sense, coupled with an awkward performance out of Jesse Eisenberg, who is otherwise a terrific actor, it was an all around mess and one of the biggest let-downs to an epic team-up that should have been so much better than it was. But it wasn’t all bad. Wonder Woman’s appearance was awesome, as brief as it was. Batman in action was the coolest we’ve seen him outside of the animated shows. Alfred was awesome, reminding me a ton of Bruce Wayne from the TV series BATMAN BEYOND (1999 – 2001), watching the action from the batcave and feeding tactical information to Batman through an earpiece, and the visuals are pretty good.

Then came SUICIDE SQUAD (2016). Again, pretty divisive. I thought it was… okay. Not the best not the worst. I thought Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn was solid, Will Smith reliably brings his cool with him, I liked Cara Delevingne’s design as Enchantress (first form only), the soundtrack was awesome and it was an overall fun flick. But Joker was botched by Jared Leto, most of the other characters get no screen time and we don’t learn anything about them, the action is sub-par, and the story largely makes no sense. Regardless, you can tell that this is where DC overhauled its inner workings and brought on new talent for its future endeavors, as SUICIDE SQUAD was intended to be a much darker film, but reshot a lot of the film to add in the comedy. Imagine this movie without it. I shudder to think about it.

But then enter WONDER WOMAN (2017). Yes. A thousand kinds of yeses. You can read my reviews of each of these movies, obviously, but this was the game changer. It was dark, it was light, and it brought forth a character we’ve never seen on the big screen and did fantastic justice. One of my favorite films this year and arguably one of my favorite superhero films of all time. I still watch it and can’t get enough.

Having said all that, we now have… this highly anticipated film. Now, when I say that, I don’t necessarily mean that people are claiming it to be amazing. We’re just anxious to know just how “mixed” this bag will be. Will it be more good than bad? Will it be another BATMAN V SUPERMAN? No one knows but the critics know, and they’re unanimously saying that it is indeed mixed, which is a shame. I love these superheroes. I grew up with the animated series JUSTICE LEAGUE (2001 – 2004) and JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED (2004 – 2006) and still occasionally revisit as an adult today. This is a movie I’ve wanted to see for years. But I don’t know why we’re getting it so soon. We’ve not seen The Flash have his own movie, or Aquaman. Neither Superman nor Batman are well-defined characters in this established universe. So what gives with jumping so many guns? Warner Brothers needs to stop trying to play catch-up with Marvel Studios and just focus on creating one good movie like they did with Wonder Woman.

Well, here’s the cast. Starring, we have Gal Gadot (WONDER WOMAN, TRIPLE 9 [2016], FAST & FURIOUS [2009], and upcoming films WONDER WOMAN 2 [2019] and FLASHPOINT [2020]), Ben Affleck (LIVE BY NIGHT [2016], HOLLYWOODLAND [2006], MALLRATS [1995], and upcoming films THE BATMAN and the untitled The Accountant sequel, neither film has a release date announced), Jason Momoa (THE BAD BATCH [2017], BULLET TO THE HEAD [2012], TV show GAME OF THRONES [2011 – ongoing], and the upcoming AQUAMAN [2018]), Ezra Miller (FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM [2016], TRAINWRECK [2015], WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN [2011], and upcoming films FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD [2018] and FLASHPOINT), and Ray Fisher (BATMAN V SUPERMAN, 1 episode of TV show THE ASTRONAUT WIVES CLUB [2015], and upcoming films FLASHPOINT and CYBORG [2020]). In support, we have Ciarán Hinds (HITMAN: AGENT 47 [2015], THERE WILL BE BLOOD [2007], THE SUM OF ALL FEARS [2002], and the upcoming RED SPARROW [2018]), J.K. Simmons (THE SNOWMAN [2017], SPIDER-MAN 3 [2007], THE FIRST WIVES CLUB [1996], and the upcoming FATHER FIGURES [2017]), Amy Adams (NOCTURNAL ANIMALS [2016], CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR [2007], DROP DEAD GORGEOUS [1999], and the upcoming DISENCHANTED [2018]), Amber Heard (I DO… UNTIL I DON’T [2017], ALPHA DOG [2006], NORTH COUNTRY [2005], and upcoming films LONDON FIELDS [2017] and AQUAMAN), and Henry Cavill (BATMAN V SUPERMAN, THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO [2002], TV show THE TUDORS [2007 – 2010], and the upcoming M:I 6 – MISSION IMPOSSIBLE [2018]).

Now for the crew. Directing, we have Zack Snyder (BATMAN V SUPERMAN, LEGEND OF THE GUARDIANS: THE OWLS OF GA’HOOLE [2010], and DAWN OF THE DEAD [2004]) and guest-director Joss Whedon, who also co-wrote the script (AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON [2015], SERENITY [2005], BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER [1992], and the upcoming BATGIRL, no release date announced). Whedon’s partner-in-pen is Chris Terrio, known for BATMAN V SUPERMAN, ARGO (2012), and the upcoming STAR WARS: EPISODE IX (2019). Composing the score is Danny Elfman, known for TULIP FEVER (2017), THE KINGDOM (2007), MEN IN BLACK (1997), and upcoming films FIFTY SHADES FREED (2018) and DUMBO (2019). Finally, the cinematographer is Fabian Wagner, known for VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN (2015) and 6 episodes of TV show GAME OF THRONES (2011 – ongoing).

Overall, I want this to be good, but I doubt it. I think it’s going to have good things in it, but it comes down to the ratio of the good and bad stuff. I think… it’s going to be okay. I’m optimistic that I’ll like it enough, but it won’t be good and for the first ever Justice League film, it deserves better.

This is my honest opinion of: JUSTICE LEAGUE

(SUMMARY)

With Superman gone, Batman (Ben Affleck) is encountering more and more otherworldly creatures that he believes are the first sign of an incoming invasion. Turns out, the invasion has already begun. On Wonder Woman’s (Gal Gadot) island home of Themyscira, the netherworldly blood-thirsty conqueror of worlds known as Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds) has returned and taken their mother box, one of three ancient devices of pure power, and is set on finding the other two. One protected by Atlantis, and the other hidden away where no one could find it. In order to prepare for the invasion, Batman and Wonder Woman set out to find other gifted individuals, the speedster Flash (Ezra Miller), Atlantis’ king, Arthur Curry, aka Aquaman (Jason Momoa), and the formerly deceased young man now reborn as a machine made from the mother box’s technology, Victor Stone, aka Cyborg (Ray Fisher).

(REVIEW)

I got my wish. It is, indeed, better than SUICIDE SQUAD. In fact… I don’t think I have too many problems with the movie in general. Or in all likelihood, I set the bar low enough that as long as it did enough right for me, then it was going to be enjoyable enough.

While the characters aren’t exactly the most complex, there is a wonderful likability to them. Each actor is charismatic enough to hold my interest and I like seeing them work off of each other. And you get to see them do their thing, which is probably the hallmark of any proper superhero film. Batman uses a criminal by dangling him over the ledge of a building to lure out a parademon and uses one of his nets to try and capture it. Wonder Woman bursts through doors and beats the crap out of bad guys, while defending innocent hostages from machinegun fire by deflecting the bullets with her bracers. Clearly she got more powerful since World War I because she definitely didn’t have super speed before. The Flash’s super speed looks different from what we’ve seen in both the CW’s THE FLASH (2014 – ongoing) and from Quicksilver from both AVENGERS: ULTRON (2015) and the more recent X-Men films, which I thought was impressive. Also, it looks like he’s a lot faster than those characters. Aquaman… eh, I think we’re going to need to wait until his solo movie comes out before we see him at his best, but his look is great, and Momoa is very personable. I’m looking forward to that solo film. I think Momoa will carry it well enough. I think the two best-written characters are Flash and Cyborg. Flash’s backstory seems pretty faithful to his source material, at least, from what I know of it. His father, Henry (Billy Crudup), is in prison for murdering his mother when he was a child, even though he didn’t do it. Barry’s emotions really come through. Some great drama, and it’s kind of heartbreaking to see, especially considering how fun and funny he is later on. Cyborg struggling with his new life as a someone who isn’t an organic human anymore. He’s clearly angry and depressed. It’s a shame that the story doesn’t lend to more of him, but that’s why he’s getting a solo movie as well. I guess that rumor of FLASHPOINT co-starring both Flash and Cyborg was just that; a rumor. I think that would have been fun.

***SPOILERS***

 

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Is is really worth going through the trouble of saying that it’s a spoiler that Superman is back? I mean… it’s the Justice League! Of course Superman’s going to be in it. Oh yeah, like DC is going to let their most iconic character stay dead.

In any case, there are some fun, albeit pointless, scenes with him. When he’s resurrected and briefly evil. Specifically, he’s beating the crap out of the team right away and when Flash tries to step in to help by running behind Supes, you see the most subtle of eye movement, clearly keeping up with the fastest man alive. The look on Flash’s face is utterly priceless; the most epic look of “@#$% my life” I’ve ever seen on an actor.

Also… while I am more than giddy that Cyborg says his signature line, “booyah,”  – I’m a big fan of the cartoon TEEN TITANS (2003 – 2007) – it could have been utilized much better. How about when the team is wailing on Steppenwolf, someone knocks him in the air, and Cyborg turns his arm into a cannon, and screams the line, and fires an epic blast at the bastard?! Why save it for a borderline whisper after the fight is over? This isn’t a legit complaint, obviously, but it’s not as fun as it should have been.

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***END SPOILERS***

Well, I can’t avoid the negatives forever. It’s time to address them.

First and foremost, Steppenwolf is about as generic a bad guy as you can get. There’s no real character to him. Recently, someone tweeted that Steppenwolf is the worst character ever and Joss Whedon liked the tweet, putting him under fire from other fans. I’ll post a link below in a minute for more details, but if this movie is any indication… yeah, he kind of is. Sure, it’s probably not the most professional thing in the world to be agreeing that the villain of your movie is the worst, but… I don’t know, I think it’s just honesty. In any case, I think someone woke up with a sandy vagina if they’re going to be spouting, “You are a repulsive person,” or whatever the hell that person said. A bit of an overreaction there. I think our President is a slightly more repulsive person. Just saying. Whedon liked a comment – not made a comment, liked a comment – that a COMIC BOOK VILLAIN was not very good. Trump just lifted a ban from hunting elephants. Clearly these men are on the same repulsive playing field. In any case, I agree. Steppenwolf was not a good villain. As copy-paste as you can get.

http://www.digitalspy.com/movies/justice-league/news/a843204/joss-whedon-steppenwolf-justice-league-twitter-mistake-criticism/

***SPOILERS***

 

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Also, some of the re-writes, or original darker moments are a little too obvious sometimes. I hate to swing back around to this same topic, but Superman is supposed to be a twist, so… when he’s resurrected, he is insanely brutal, grabbing Batman by his jaw. Not even his neck, his @#$%ing jaw! And he spouts the same line Batman said to him in BATMAN V SUPERMAN, “Do you bleed.” Compared to how light he is in the rest of the film, this is ridiculously unfitting.

Oh, and we really are stuck with Eisenberg’s performance as Lex Luthor. A part of me was hoping that he went a little cartoony insane because of Steppenwolf’s coming, but now that he’s dead, Lex would have some clarity  and act less… loony. NOPE!!! WE’RE @#$%ING STUCK WITH IT!!! Ugh… as interesting as it would be to see an Injustice League fight the Justice League… not with our current line-up. It’s just not compelling enough right now.

Also, I really think it was a bonehead move of the League to completely forget about the Motherbox. What I’m referring to is when Superman is brought back to life. By this point in the story, Steppenwolf has already managed to get two of the three Motherboxes and seeks the third one. They use it to bring Superman to life, they fight him, Lois Lane (Amy Adams) shows up to calm him down, the team all goes, “That sucked,” but then… Steppenwolf literally pops out of nowhere to nab that third and final Motherbox out of the Kryptonian ship. Um… hello?! Look, a resurrected Superman is all well and good, but Steppenwolf’s final piece of his puzzle for ultimate world destruction is literally just sitting by itself in the open where any satellite, or dumb teenager with a toy drone with a camera attached to it, can see from up above. Even if not, don’t you think that’s kind of an important whats-it to NOT be leaving around unattended?! Pretty damn stupid how that turned out.

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***END SPOILERS***

Before I wrap up, here’s what I want to see in future films. Some of it repeated, hopefully the rest will be new. From Aquaman, I want to see a better explanation of how Atlantis works. Here’s what I mean, are these aquatic people incapable of speaking under water? Do they seriously have to open a bubble of air in order to speak to one another? Because that under water fight scene, as great as it looked, no one’s even so much as grunting. So… are they just holding their breath for an insanely long amount of time, or… how does this work?! Thank Christ this movie is coming out next year, so I hope to see this place get explained better. And dude, more of Mera (Amber Heard). She looked awesome and bad-ass. I want to see an army of deepsea creatures laying waste to his enemies. I want to see a Megalodon named fluffy. I want to see a ten story tall squid. NO! OH MY GOD, A REAL LOCH NESS MONSTER!!! Or surprise me with a creature that doesn’t exist at all. Get creative, DC! From Wonder Woman, I think it’s best we don’t venture into the past. It’s already been somewhat explained that she sort of shut down for a century after losing Steve Trevor, so let’s not try and make a movie to justify it. World War II, Auschwitz, Vietnam, Korea, there’s too many conflicts to try and explain away. Keep it in the here and now. Eh, I’m pretty sure Patty Jenkins will be back to helm the project, so I have faith that I won’t be disappointed no matter what the creative direction goes. FLASHPOINT, man, don’t make it hard to watch. I’ve seen FLASHPOINT PARADOX (2013) and I’m still disturbed by that. Wonder Woman straight up murders children! Just… no! I’ll take the ending though, taking a note written by his father to his son in Flash’s time, causing Bruce Wayne to cry. That’d be awesome. Cyborg… maybe a nod to the Teen Titans? Or… I guess, considering Parker’s age, maybe just the “Titans?” I know there’s already a TV show in the pipe, TITANS (2018), but hey, they’re separate universes. Who cares about confusing anyone at this point? And Batman… man, I hope Affleck doesn’t retire from the character. He’s solid and you really buy it. I’d like to see Batfleck versus Deathstroke. That would be awesome!

Overall, I think it’s worth checking out. I don’t think I cared too much about the problems, maybe a couple, but if you’re going in specifically to look for some, I wager you’ll find them. It’s a pretty basic comic book movie and I can see that statement alone pissing fans off. The Justice League shouldn’t be a “basic” story, especially for a first outing. It should have been bigger and better. Since DC has been trying to copy Marvel and their crossover universes, how about learning from them first. Don’t play catch-up, go at your own pace. But if you’re going in to have a good time and just see these characters work together and off each other, then I think it’ll do it for ya. Don’t expect anything huge or amazing, because it really isn’t, but it’s still a good enough time in my book. Uniting the League was underwhelming, but not too disappointing.

My honest rating for JUSTICE LEAGUE: 4/5

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TOMORROWLAND (transfer) review

These “transfer” reviews are from when I only did reviews on my Facebook page back in 2015. Bare in mind when reading these, I didn’t have the same formula in my review writing that I do now, and my usual “who starred and who directed” information is completely absent, so everything “italicized” is new. With that said, enjoy this review from 2015.

Won’t lie, I didn’t exactly have the highest of expectations when I heard that this movie, based on A SECTION OF DISNEYLAND, was getting made. Of course, then I heard Damon Lindelof (wrote LOST – TV series) was working on the story and screenplay with Brad Bird (directed and wrote THE INCREDIBLES and RATATOUILLE, and directed MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL) and then those low expectations skyrocketed. The first trailer really gripped my attention and the second sealed the deal. Then I learned that Hugh Laurie (HOUSE M.D. – TV show) was in the movie, this was shaping up to be a real hit. Saw an employee screening at work and I was pretty excited.

Starring: Britt Robertson (THE SPACE BETWEEN US [2017], SCREAM 4 [2011], and DAN IN REAL LIFE [2007]), George Clooney (MONEY MONSTER [2016], MICHAEL CLAYTON [2007], and BATMAN & ROBIN [1997]), and Raffey Cassidy (THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER [2017], ALLIED [2016], and DARK SHADOWS [2012])

Support: Hugh Laurie (ARTHUR CHRISTMAS [2011], FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX [2004], SPICE WORLD [1997], and the upcoming HOLMES AND WATSON [2018]), Tim McGraw (THE SHACK [2017], COUNTRY STRONG [2010], and THE KINGDOM [2007]), Kathryn Hahn (CAPTAIN FANTASTIC [2016], WANDERLUST [2012], THE LAST MIMZY [2007], and the upcoming A BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS [2017]), Keegan-Michael Key (WHY HIM? [2016], WANDERLUST [2012], ROLE MODELS [2008], and upcoming films THE STAR [2017] and THE PREDATOR [2018]), and Judy Greer (WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES [2017], MARMADUKE [2010], WHAT WOMEN WANT [2000], and upcoming films ANT-MAN AND THE WASP [2018] and HALLOWEEN [2018])

Director: Brad Bird (MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL [2011], RATATOUILLE [2007], THE IRON GIANT [1999], and upcoming films INCREDIBLES 2 [2018] and 1906, no release date announced). Writers: Damon Lindelof (WORLD WAR Z [2013], PROMETHEUS [2012], COWBOYS & ALIENS [2011], and the upcoming TV show WATCHMEN [2018]) and Brad Bird (RATATOUILLE, THE INCREDIBLES [2004], THE IRON GIANT, and upcoming films INCREDIBLES 2 and 1906). Composer: Michael Giacchino (WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES, INSIDE OUT [2015], SUPER 8 [2011], and upcoming films COCO [2017] and JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM [2018]). Cinematographer: Claudio Miranda (OBLIVION [2013], TRON: LEGACY [2010], FAILURE TO LAUNCH [2006], and upcoming films ONLY THE BRAVE [2017] and 100 YEARS [2115])

(STORY) – SPOILERS AHEAD

The story follows Casey Newton (Britt Robertson). She’s a brilliant teen girl with an incredible penchant for not giving up. Her dad, Eddie Newton (Tim McGraw), is a NASA engineer, but the platform he works at is being dismantled and Casey is trying really hard to disrupt its deconstruction, though her dad isn’t aware of that. For good reason, as it’s VERY illegal. Unfortunately, she gets caught and goes to jail. She quickly gets bailed out by her father, but something weird happens when her things are returned to her. A strange looking pin that upon, touching it, she is instantaneously teleported to a whole new dimension. And upon immediately letting go of the pin, she’s just as instantaneously teleported back to her own world, though it appears to the outside world that she hadn’t gone anywhere and that she’s just acting crazy. Not to mention this pin’s feature only seems to work for her, as when her father touches it, there’s nothing. Incapable of getting this beautiful world out of her mind, she touches the pin again and explores the world in more detail; a world of futuristic technology and a peaceful and prosperous city. Everything is wonderous and amazing. However, the pin is on a timer and runs out before she can get to the truly amazing stuff. Investigating the pin’s origins, she discovers that someone is looking for it. She sneaks off to discover what this buyer knows about it. Turns out, this buyer isn’t the only person looking for the pin. A little girl named Athena (Raffey Cassidy) seeks both the pin and very specifically Casey. Casey arrives to find out that the buyers are evil robots intent on killing Casey for the pin and information regarding Athena, whom Casey hasn’t met yet and don’t believe her when she mentions that tid bit of information. Luckily, Athena rushes in and saves Casey’s life and destroys the robots, soon revealing that Athena herself is a robot and wants nothing more than Casey to continue pursuing the world she saw. But time is of the essence as more robots are revealed to be around and still seek the pin and Athena. Obviously, something’s not right, seeing as both the homicidal robots and Athena are from that world, and Athena hints that something bad happened there and if Casey is to reach Tomorrowland, then she’s going to need help. That help comes in the form of Frank Walker (George Clooney). Frank was once a child genius who had invented a jetpack, albiet a flawed one that didn’t quite work. Athena invited Frank to Tomorrowland and stayed for a good long time, losing himself to invention and wonder, until one day he was kicked out. There’s even a hint of young Frank falling in love with Athena, but he ends up outraged when he finds out that she was a robot; information that he wasn’t privvy to before. Over the course of the last few decades, Frank’s been in isolation, continuing to tinker with inventions, even creating a machine that predicts the exact time and day that the world will end and doesn’t believe it can be avoided. Frank is now a bitter, even hostile man. Enter Casey. Athena has ditched the girl on the side of the road right next to Frank’s house and Casey is left to basically deal with him. Frank is incredibly reluctant at first, but the reinforcements of murderous robots appear and Frank is forced to protect Casey. Reunited with Athena, they must now hitch a ride to Tomorrowland, believing that Casey can save both Tomorrowland and Earth. Upon arrival, via a rocket ship, Tomorrowland isn’t what Casey was led to believe. It’s empty, lifeless, practically a desolate wasteland. Sure, the skyscrapping buildings are standing and looks fantastical enough, but there’s nothing there. No one there. But things take a turn when the mayor of Tomorrowland, Nix (Hugh Laurie), whom was established as a particular dick toward Frank when he first arrived in Tomorrowland, is also revealed to be the reason why Earth is about to end, and now the three companions must stop him. Chaos and fighting ensues, Athena sacrifices herself to stop the countdown that will destroy Earth, Nix dies, and Tomorrowland rebuilds its former glory with the need for new creative thinkers and dreamers alike.

(REVIEW)

I am incredibly divided on this movie. On the one hand, it does SO much right, but on the other, so much goes wrong as well.

Let’s start with the pros. This movie is beyond visually captivating when it comes to Tomorrowland itself. The pin is an invitation to those who are chosen to come to Tomorrowland and gives them a promise to be a part of something great and will fuel their imagination and curiosity. When Casey is exploring her invitation, we are given a front row seat to a vast, immersive world where technology is everywhere. It’s whimsical and just plain fun. As Casey explores everything and shows her excitement and wonder, we can’t help but get caught up in this as well. It is so incredibly well-shot, this is just pure Disney magic at its best. We even feel just as frustrated as Casey when her pin’s timer goes 0 and she’s booted out of the fake Tomorrowland. No, bitch, I wanna go on the rocket that will take me to my destiny!!! That moment is quite hilarious, and says something about a movie that can make an audience feel that way. You can just tell the art and prop department went wild and crazy with their designs and it shines like a beacon of fun and excitement. Can I also give a shout out to the performances in this movie as well? Robertson as Casey is pure energy and is a terrific presence on screen. This might also be my favorite role by Clooney. He basically plays every over-the-top role he’s ever done, but like Brad Pitt who always plays Brad Pitt in his movies, but makes it work for him in FIGHT CLUB, Clooney does the same here in TOMORROWLAND. He’s big, he’s funny, he’s just so much fun to watch and really makes you wonder about why he is the way he is. Also, a big shout out to the talented young Raffey Cassidy. While her intro to her powers and abilities is at first off-putting and a little too bizarre, once you find out the how and why, you quickly accept her role as a sort of protector and guide for Casey. Cassidy’s portrayal is oozing with layers and subtlty that I am very eager to see what her career will be like in the future and hope she continues to take solid work that showcases her talent like this.

And now the cons. While the movie is brilliant in teasing us about Tomorrowland as a whole, the story goes a little too fast-paced to clearly get a grasp of what is really going on. When the movie should have taken a moment to catch its breath and help the audience understand why these robots and why this and that guy are doing this and that, the explanations that are given are driven right on through and I couldn’t quite catch up. At its most crucial points where the audience needs to understand what is happening, the movie doesn’t take its time to easily explain, possibly requiring a second viewing to fully comprehend the rhymes and reasons. Also, the film is titled “TOMORROWLAND,” yet we only get glimpses of the actual world of Tomorrowland itself. Granted, they are spectacular glimpses, but dear god the movie is anchored to the real world. We only get glimpses of technology, which isn’t always bad, don’t get me wrong, but we came here to see a futuristic world to get lost in. Not the garden-less front yard of an unknown Texas house, though the hologram dog was pretty f**kin’ amazing. But where the movie loses me is how this technology manages to get here to Earth at all. I might be more inclined to let that go, but, get a load of this:

***SPOILERS***

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Remember how Casey, Frank, and Athena reach Tomorrowland by hitching a ride via a rocket ship? Wanna know where that rocket ship came from? Underneath the Eiffel Tower… which neatly splits apart like a STAR WARS landing platform and a rocket comes out from the ground. How does that fucking work?! Even that’s explained in a half-assed way. Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and two other scientists of that era, built this rocket. Let me say that again. EDISON AND TESLA INVENTED A SPACE ROCKET!!! …. Movie, dear sweet movie, at that time in history, we hadn’t even invented the first airplane. About ten years away from it in fact. But you expect me to believe that Edison and Tesla invented a ROCKET THAT GOES INTO SPACE, SUCCESSFULLY, AND CAN PERFORM TRANS-DIMENSIONAL TRAVEL, AGAIN, SUCCESSFULLY?????? Uh… nope.

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***END SPOILERS***

Overall, characters are well-conceived, it’s masterfully shot, and captivates your imagination. Tomorrowland, via the pin’s invitation, is an incredible world radiating with glee and majesty, begging to be expanded. But we don’t get that for a majority of the movie despite how great the in-world technology and action scenes look. The actors’ performances hold up the movie for the most part, but the story is not kind to the audience when crucial information is glazed over, treating it like unimportant exposition. Don’t get me wrong, I want to see it a second time, it’s worth seeing even once. It might be easy enough to lose yourself in this potentially wonderful world that Lindelof and Bird have created, but one cannot deny the problems that bog this movie down from being truly great.

My honest rating for TOMORROWLAND: a strong 3/5

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KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE quick review

For those not in the know, “Kingsman” is based on a comic book series of the same name. Actually, I think the original title for the comic was “The Secret Service” but changed the name to tie in better with the 2015 film. Fun fact of the day, this comic series actually takes place in the same universe as the “Kick-Ass” comic books, as they’re written by the same writer, Mark Millar. Something about Kick-Ass referencing something that took place in the Kingsman series.

But we’re not here to talk about comics. We’re here to talk about movies. The first film, KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE (2015) was wildly popular with audiences upon its release. It shot Taron Egerton to the stars, gave us one of my personal favorite newcomers, Sofia Boutella, was over-the-top violent, had a fun cameo by Mark Hamill, and was an all around fun time for all. What did I think of it? I thought it was… mostly good. While all of what I said is true, there was one detail about the film that I absolutely hated. The Kingsman training program is, obviously, very hardcore. Few people get through it. But then the final test is to get close to a cute little dog and then shoot it. Do that, and you’re a Kingsman. This pissed me off. The Kingsman prided themselves on being spies, of course, but also being gentlemen. This implies a level of grace, coolness, confidence, class. What’s graceful, cool, confident, and classy about murdering an innocent animal? Eggsy refuses to murder his dog and he’s thrown out of the Kingsman. What sense does that make?! If the dog was trained to fight back without prejudice, then fine, you gotta defend yourself and might teach you a thing or two about trust and betrayal and learning to overcome that kind of grief of killing your friend who tried to kill you. But no, Eggsy’s dog was a cute, innocent pug. Or maybe the exercise could be this: there is no failure in this test. It’s more of a placement thing. Like, okay, you murder the dog, that means you can follow orders to the tee. Field agents need to be able to do that, making you a desirable field agent. If you don’t kill the dog, you’re still a Kingsman, but because you didn’t follow your superior’s direct order, you’re assigned to intelligence work, like Mark Strong’s character, feeding tactical information, but never on the front lines himself. You know, something like that. But no, because you didn’t murder a defenseless animal, you can’t be a gentleman spy. Fuck the Kingsman, man. I never got past this element of the movie, so I personally give it a strong 3/5. As I said, the rest of the film is a load of fun.

But now we have a sequel that I know will be better than the first one. Why? Because comic book sequels have a tendency to be better than their predecessors. Plus, I’m sure there’s not going to be any more “dog murdering” bullshit to piss me off. This movie looks like it’s about the Kingsman getting wiped out by a terrorist organization and it’s up to Eggsy and Merlin, the two surviving Kingsman to work with their American cousins, the Statesman, to bring down this terrorist. As per usual, it looks fun, inventive, and bad-ass. So sign me up, bitches!

Here’s the onscreen talent. Starring, we have Taron Egerton (SING [2016], EDDIE THE EAGLE [2016], LEGEND [2015], and the upcoming ROBIN HOOD [2018]), Julianne Moore (THE HUNGER GAMES: THE MOCKINGJAY – PART 2 [2015], STILL ALICE [2014], BENNY & JOON [1993], and upcoming films WONDERSTRUCK [2017] and SUBURBICON [2017]), Mark Strong (MISS SLOANE [2016], JOHN CARTER [2012], and STARDUST [2007]), and Channing Tatum (LOGAN LUCKY [2017], THE EAGLE [2011], COACH CARTER [2005], and upcoming films with no release dates announced, GAMBIT and VAN HELSING). In support, we have Halle Berry (KIDNAP [2017], PERFECT STRANGER [2007], EXECUTIVE DECISION [1996]), Jeff Bridges (THE ONLY LIVING BOY IN NEW YORK [2017], SURF’S UP [2007], TRON [1982], and the upcoming ONLY THE BRAVE [2017]), Elton John (THE ROAD TO EL DORADO [2000], SPICE WORLD [1997], and 1 episode of TV show NASHVILLE [2012 – 2018]), Michael Gambon (HAIL, CAESAR! [2016], THE KING’S SPEECH [2010], HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN [2004], and the upcoming VICTORIA & ABDUL [2017]), and Colin Firth (BRIDGET JONES’S BABY [2016], NANNY MCPHEE [2005], SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE [1998], and upcoming films MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN [2018] and MARY POPPINS RETURNS [2018]).

Now for behind the scenes. Directing and co-writing is Matthew Vaughn, known for KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE (2015), X-MEN: FIRST CLASS (2011), STARDUST (2007), and the upcoming KINGSMAN 3, no release date announced. Co-writing the screenplay is Jane Goldman, known for MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN (2016), X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, STARDUST, and the upcoming KINGSMAN 3. Co-composing the score are Henry Jackman (KONG: SKULL ISLAND [2017], CAPTAIN PHILLIPS [2013], MONSTERS VS. ALIENS [2009], and upcoming films JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE [2017] and RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET: WRECK-IT RALPH 2 [2018]) and Matthew Margeson (RINGS [2017], KICK-ASS 2 [2013], and SKYLINE [2010]). Finally, the cinematographer is George Richmond, known for EDDIE THE EAGLE, KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE, and the upcoming TOMB RAIDER (2018).

Overall, I’m excited for this. Not out of my mind, but I’m pretty hyped.

This is my honest opinion of: KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE

(SUMMARY)

The Golden Circle is the largest drug cartel in the world and no one knows that it’s ran by the nefarious Poppy (Julianne Moore). She, of course, wants to hold America hostage to legalize all drugs or she won’t give up the antidote to her latest drug, which has been secretly inserted in nearly every single drug that the common person can get, which is millions. But before all that, she gets rid of the only people that she knows can get in her way: the Kingsman. Effectively wiping out all of the Kingsman, with the notable exceptions of Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and Merlin (Mark Strong). Desperate to find help, they seek it in the form of their organization’s American cousins, the Statesmen.

(QUICK REVIEW)

Meh, it’s not bad. Not as good as the first one, but not bad.

What I liked: Moore is usually a welcomed sight in anything that she’s in, so to see her as the villain in a movie like this was a kind of shock. But as far as that’s concerned, she was a lot of fun. Hell, her intro scene is having a dude send another dude through a meat grinder and makes a burger out of him and then makes the dude try a bite. It’s pretty fucked up, but I enjoyed how deliciously sinister she was (no pun, intended, but I’m taking credit for it anyway, so…. pun intended). And I think it’s hilarious that she kidnapped Elton John for her personal amusement, who is also really funny in the film. Kind of wished we saw more of her robotic creations doing shit, but the dogs were enough, I guess.

The comedy is still there, Egerton is charming as always, as are Firth and Strong. There is a sense of fun about the film, so it’s not boring, thank God. The action is awesome and delightfully violent, and pretty creative for the most part. I’ll never get tired of seeing Whiskey’s (Pedro Pascal) laser whip. Now Star Wars can’t put a monopoly on that idea.

But now for the negatives. Despite some solid talent, like Berry, Bridges, Tatum, they’re barely in the film, or barely contribute to the story, making you wonder why they were even in it at all. Which is pretty manipulative because a lot of the marketing surrounds these characters. I didn’t like how the movie kills off the entire Kingsman organization in its second movie. I mean, wouldn’t it be better to see Eggsy and his team take down a rival organization at their peak power to really showcase their tech, their intel, and their bad-assness? Why kill them off in the second film? I don’t get it. The subplot of Eggsy and his girlfriend Tilde (Hanna Alström) is a little annoying. He’s a spy, of course he’s going to be faced with situations of seduction. How would she not know that?

And fine, let’s talk about that controversial sex scene. Honestly, I thought because Poppy (Moore) created a female robot that does the Golden Circle tattoo thing, I figured that the sex scene would be about the robot fucking a dude or something weird like that. But nope, it’s about Eggsy fingering some blond girl who is the girlfriend to Poppy’s main henchman with a tracking device shaped like a condom that he’s supposed to shove up her vagina. Honestly, maybe I’m just a guy about it, but it took me a good minute to figure out at the end of the movie that this was the big ole controversy. I mean, it’s not overly graphic in the fingering, and technically does serve the plot of the story and carries dramatic weight, albeit in the subplot that I barely cared about. But the more I thought about it, yeah, this was unnecessary. A tiny tracking device can be placed anywhere and didn’t need to be implemented like this.

Overall, yeah, not quite as good as the first film, but it’s alright. If you’re a fan of the first one, I can’t imagine you feeling betrayed or not having fun with it. But I do recommend toning down your high expectations if you have them.

My honest rating for KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE: 3/5

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BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1991) review

Well I guess this was somewhat inevitable. What with the mixed bag that was the live-action remake, I guess someone wanted to save a little face. Can’t blame ’em, really.

In any case, wow, considering how many times I go to the cinemas, I don’t know if I ever expected this to ever make a reappearance. Am I utterly shocked? No, but I am pleasantly surprised. Is it some kind of anniversary? I don’t know. All I know is, I was two years old when this was released in theaters, hence, I never got the chance to see it on the big screen. Now I get that opportunity and I intend to take full advantage.

I wager most people know the back story behind this film, but for those few that don’t, I’ll do it for their knowledge. The story of Beauty and the Beast was originally a French fairy tale novel way back since 1740. Version after version exists, even today, but many consider the 1991 Disney classic to be the most popular version and for good reason. In fact, it was so good for it’s time, it was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. Not “Best Animated Film,” no, Best… Picture. Wrap your mind around that, y’all. Best Animation didn’t even exist yet. That’s a serious testament to Disney and it’s criminal that animated films don’t get that kind of recognition from award ceremonies of that caliber anymore. Criminal, if you ask me. While I can’t say where this movie falls in my list of “favorite Disney films.” Before seeing the live-action remake this year, I can’t say that I remembered much about the original. But I do remember this being significantly more impressive than the remake.

Here’s the voice talent. Starring, we have Paige O’Hara (ENCHANTED [2007], BELLE’S MAGICAL WORLD [1998], BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: THE ENCHANTED CHRISTMAS [1997], and the upcoming RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET: WRECK-IT RALPH 2 [2018]) and Robby Benson (TV show AMERICAN DREAMS [2002 – 2005], and video games KINGDOM HEARTS II [2005] and KINGDOM HEARTS [2002]). In support, we have Richard White (TV show HOUSE OF MOUSE [2001 – 2002] and video game KING’S QUEST [2015]), Jesse Corti (ZOOTOPIA [2016], FROZEN [2013], and TV show THE BATMAN [2004 – 2008]), Rex Everhart (FRIDAY THE 13TH [1980] and SUPERMAN [1978]), Bradley Pierce (PETER PAN II: RETURN TO NEVERLAND [2002], THE BORROWERS [1997], JUMANJI [1995]), and Angela Lansbury (MR. POPPER’S PENGUINS [2011], THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE [1962], TV show MURDER, SHE WROTE [1984 – 1996], and the upcoming MARY POPPINS RETURNS [2018]).

Now for the crew. Co-directing, we have Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, both known for ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE (2001) and THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (1996). Penning the screenplay is Linda Woolverton, known for ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS (2016), THE LION KING (1994), and TV show DENNIS THE MENACE (1986 – 1988). Finally, the composer is Alan Menken, known for BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (2017), SAUSAGE PARTY (2016), THE LITTLE MERMAID (1989), and upcoming films ALADDIN (2019) and THE LITTLE MERMAID, no release date announced.

Overall, I’m pretty excited for this. It’s been years since I’ve seen it, or… just a few months, depending on how much of this the remake copied and pasted.

This is my honest opinion of the tale as old as time: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1991)

(SUMMARY)

Long ago, the cruel prince of a castle was turned into a beast (voiced by Robby Benson) for his actions. The only way to break his curse is if he falls in love and that love is returned before his enchanted rose’s petals all break off. But he became reclusive and has since faded from memory. Today, Belle (voiced by Paige O’Hara) lives in a small village as an outcast who loves to read. One day, her inventor father Maurice (voiced by Rex Everhart) ventures off into the woods, but gets horribly lost. Evading a pack of rabid wolves, he seeks shelter in the very castle the beast resides in, resulting in angering the beast and locking him away. Belle learns of this and sets out to find her father, agreeing to take his place as the beast’s prisoner and the two grow to realize that there’s more to each other than their initial impressions.

(REVIEW)

While some aspects of the story and characters don’t quite hold up for me as an adult, this is still one of the most beautifully animated Disney films of its era and arguably of all time.

Let’s start with what doesn’t work for me, since I’m sure people are hanging on that statement more than anything, and I admit thoroughly that I shouldn’t be so critical of a kids fairy tale movie, but this was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, so… I’ma be critical. I feel like Beast is a bit bipolar, or he’s built up inconsistently. The whole point of his backstory is that he was a jerk. He was above everyone, hence turning away the old woman slash beautiful enchantress. When he’s finally revealed, he’s a jerk to Maurice, who only wanted shelter from the storm and wolves. He couldn’t be more sensible and just send him on his way? Locking him in the dungeon was the only logical conclusion? Maybe if Maurice did something a little more insulting or careless, like broke an old vase of sentimental value, then his reaction would be understandable. As is, it’s just really forcing that he’s a grade-A jerkwad.

But this could be a small problem if the rest of his intro to everyone was consistent. When Belle shows up, he’s a jerk to her too. But once the prisoner exchange is completed, the pacing of his hospitality is rushed like a mofo. As soon as Maurice is gone, Lumiere manages to convince Beast rather easily and no effort to give her a nice room. How? She’s a prisoner? Prisoners aren’t treated with this much… respect. And after putting her in the room, he not only admits that she’s beautiful, which fine, comments on a person’s looks can be pointed out rather cheaply, but trying to make a good first impression at dinner? At the dinner table? Someone explain why this is. I doubt Maurice was going to get the full buffet option. I feel like more time should have been spent developing his softness toward Belle and letting her eat like a civilized person. Granted, this could have extended the movie’s runtime an extra ten minutes, but it would have felt more realistic. Weird how I’m saying that about a fantasy story involving a person with a bison’s head, but I stand by it.

Also, the west wing fiasco. First off, instead of simply telling Belle that “it’s forbidden,” how about lying. Say something like… it’s his deceased family’s private quarters. Rare treasures, priceless stuff, which kind of happens to be the case anyway, so she has more incentive to respect his wishes to stay out of there. By that point, if Belle went in that wing with that foreknowledge, then she’d be an inconsiderate jerk as well and just poking around taking advantage of her jailer’s hospitality. This could also apply to Lumiere and Cogsworth when giving her the tour of the castle, giving a proper excuse of what’s up there. Of course when you say that there’s nothing up there, the curiosity will set in and she’ll sneak up there.

And why isn’t the room with the enchanted rose locked? You’d think with strangers in the castle who is free to mosey about as she pleases would take a little extra precautions. Of course, you could always argue that it wasn’t locked because he was technically already in the room. So… fair enough.

Oh, and Chip’s kind of annoying.

Summed up, I think the pacing from Belle’s arrival to the castle and the wolf attack after she runs away is all pretty rushed and not handled very well. Some more time with the characters and their motivations and emotions, and smarter writing would have been appreciated.

But enough of the bashing. Time to gush.

This is arguably one of Disney’s most gorgeous films. I don’t think it was their first foray into this, but the incorporation of both hand-drawn animation and computer effects was in perfect taste. It was a beautiful prelude to where Disney would eventually go, arguably making this more impressive than their current products. Not that I’m ragging on the 3D animated style of TANGLED (2010) and everything after, I like the current films just fine, but there’s something special about hand-drawn animation and such a shame that the market for it is considered irrelevant. I wish Disney would still make one once in awhile for old times sake. But this is the direction they’ve gone in and it’s not at all bad, so I’m not complaining too much. It’s still Disney.

By the way, “Be Our Guest” is still breathtaking to look at and certainly leaves a bigger impression than the remake. Same goes for the climactic fight scene on the castle rooftops, and between the villagers and the servants. I will never stop cringing at the ax dude getting bashed in the face by the drawers. Ouch…

What else is there? I think Beast is much more impressive here than the remake. Perhaps it’s a testament to Benson’s voice, but I felt like Beasts voice has such range from being goofy, threatening, and compassionate. I look back on the remake, and while I maintain that Beast is still impressive to look at in live-action, he’s far more expressive in this and leaves a bigger impact.

Overall, this movie really takes me back and I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to watch this in theaters. I don’t pretend to know why Disney is re-releasing their classics on the big screen, and I don’t much care. Reliving them is a wonderful experience and I encourage everyone to do the same. This film may not be my favorite Disney outing, but it’s undeniably one of their best.

My honest rating for BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1991): 4/5

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INHUMANS (1st Chapter) review

Before seeing this… first chapter, I guess I should call it, I only knew a handful of things regarding the Inhumans. Specifically, I knew a movie was in the works before the TV show become the new reality. Beyond that, nothing. I assumed they were alien mutants or something and the redhead seriously reminds me of DC’s Starfire. Long red hair, purple get-up, the aesthetic was pretty hard not to draw a comparison. In any case, like I said, didn’t know much. But I’m a fan of anything superhero. The TV shows, like AGENTS OF SHIELD (2013 – ongoing) I’ve drifted away from in favor of the Netflix ports. Though to be honest, if these first two or three episodes didn’t get released in theaters, I probably wouldn’t have checked out this show. Too many movies to watch. It’s hard for me to get into TV anymore.

With that said, this was an opportunity to see if I wanted to see what this had in store for me. The show sounded like it was about this group of superhuman called the “family” and get torn apart and must reunite. I hadn’t seen any trailers or, obviously since I don’t watch much TV anymore, any TV spots, so I can’t say that I had any expectations going in, other than witnessing what a TV show looks like without the obvious cuts to a commercial.

Here’s the cast. Starring, we have Anson Mount (MR. RIGHT [2015], NON-STOP [2014], and CROSSROADS [2002]), Iwan Rheon (TV show GAME OF THRONES [2011 – ongoing]), Serinda Swan (PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTNING THIEF [2010]), Eme Ikwuakor (a ton of TV shows), and Ken Leung (STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS [2015], X-MEN: THE LAST STAND [2006], and TV show LOST [2004 – 2010]).

Now for the crew. The series composer is Sean Callery, known for TV shows JESSICA JONES (2015 – ongoing), BONES (2005 – 2017), and LA FEMME NIKITA (1997 – 2001). Finally, the series cinematographer is Jeff Jur, known for MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING (2002), JOY RIDE (2001), and DIRTY DANCING (1987).

Overall, interested, but not stoked.

This is my honest opinion of: INHUMANS

(SUMMARY)

The Inhumans are a group of super-powered people who have managed to construct themselves a home on Earth’s moon, called Attilan, hidden away from humans who have only acted violently to their kind. The Inhumans are ruled benevolently by their King Blackbolt (Anson Mount) and his beloved Queen Medusa (Serinda Swan). They rule alongside their Royal Family in relative peace. Most recently, however, one of their family, Triton (Mike Moh), is attacked by humans and thought to be killed. Blackbolts younger human brother Maximus (Iwan Rheon) wants to take Attilan’s armies and invade Earth, what he believes is their rightful home. But Blackbolt doesn’t want to go to war with Earth and instead doesn’t believe Triton isn’t dead, sending the sarcastic but lovable Gorgon (Eme Ikwuakor) to Earth to find him. But Maximus’ patience is at its breaking point and organizes a coup. Medusa’s sister Crystal (Isabelle Cornish) manages to think fast enough to use her giant mutant dog Lockjaw to teleport her family to Earth to save them, while she is held captive. The Family is unfortunately separated and now must reunite while also dealing with the inhabitants and evading Maximus’ wrath.

(REVIEW)

It’s… *sigh* it’s not very good. Which is a shame because I really could have used an excuse to get back into Marvel TV. Instead, I’m only given more reasons to stick to the films.

The issue: the villain, and by extension, its heroes. Let’s start with the villain first. Maximus is not intimidating in the slightest. From the moment he’s introduced, he’s obviously that guy who is going to disagree constantly with the characters in charge and take matters into his own hands. You know what a character like that is? A whiny brat. I look at Maximus and I would rather put him over my knee and spank him. I know he’s supposed to be this sort of leader for the lower class of Attilan, and his purpose is to take Earth so they can forge a less subservient future, but because all of his complaining toward the Family, it never truly feels like he’s ever doing anything other than seizing power for himself. Furthermore, since he’s completely powerless, Maximus has to use clever a subtle tactics to be able to sway so many of the Royal Guards to his ideals, but we never get that out of him either. If the audience can’t see how manipulative, or clever he can be, there’s no reason to see him as a legitimate threat. And what’s with his creepy fetish for Medusa? Like, is this dude certifiably insane? He makes comments when he’s taking power like, “I wouldn’t treat you the way Blackbolt does.” Um… he treats her very lovingly and they have trust and are respectful of each other and their decisions. What a… monster? I never saw Blackbolt treat Medusa like an inferior ever. So here’s all I know about Maximus: he’s a whiny dip-shit and he’s a creeper. This is not how you write a compelling villain!

***SPOILERS***

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You know what? Now that I’m thinking about it, Maximus is basically just a discount Loki. Really think about it, he lives on another planet, in a Royal family who is not destined for the throne, hates his older brother and jealous of his power, works with the enemies in secret, and attempts to usurp power, and serves as a defacto leader while the real leader is out of commission.

You see the problem here?! It’s basically “Thor: the television series.” On top of its infuriatingly incompetent characters, the movie doesn’t have an original bone in its body, and it’s ripping from a movie that I think is legitimately good.

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***END SPOILERS***

By extension, the Family is beaten by this guy?! This weasel of a person managed to outsmart a king and queen, the captain of the Royal Guard, and a dude who can predict outcomes of his choices, and they all managed to get their asses handed to them? In positions of power, sniveling assholes will who disagree with their benevolent leaders will always take it away. Maybe the Family was so close that no one truly thought this would happen, but once again, we’re not shown any legit connection between the characters. Our introduction to them is how they disagree with one another and bicker. How did this Family seriously not have their suspicions that this would happen? If they can be outsmarted like this, how am I supposed to care about their moon kingdom? I have zero investment in any character.

There’s also a bunch of other things that feel like they’re unnecessary. Like, I guess when you’re an inhuman, you aren’t born one until you’re both “of age” and you go into this gas chamber-looking thing… they insert a crystal which turns into a gas, and then you get your powers that way…? Why does that have to be so complicated? Why can’t an inhuman just be an inhuman and they get their powers naturally? Why does it have to be so… technical? And why does Medusa take getting her hair cut off so personally? I mean, okay, I get it. It’s her power: deadly hair. Therefore, makes sense, cutting it off makes her somewhat defenseless. But she’s acting like her hair is her murdered baby. She’s absolutely traumatized. But we later learn that she’s not completely defenseless and knows how to fight back with her bare hands. Plus… hair grows back. Maybe it’d take a long time, fine, but how much longer? Even at normal length, it looks like she can extend her locks, so I doubt she needs a shit ton of hair to get her back into fighting form. And even the action scenes are stale. We finally get situations where Blackbolt can use his powers, but he doesn’t use them. Even when an actual fight breaks out, there is way too much slow-mo and feels like it’s an episode of Power Rangers. There’s no real bite to the hits.

Is there anything that I did like? Well… I suppose for the most part, the acting is pretty good, specifically with Mount. Since his character can’t speak without vaporizing his loved ones and everything around him, he has to rely purely on his expressions and hand gestures (is that actual sign language?). His expressions read pretty clear and there’s even some solid humorous reaction shots of him. I also enjoyed Leung as Karnak, who is this overly smart guy and is so brutally honest that he’s kind of amazing. His loss of powers on Earth, while senseless, feels much more urgent to his character because he relies on his ability to see into the near future to survive deadly encounters, making his situation much easier to empathize with.

With all that said, none of what I saw in these first couple episodes are enough for me to take time out of my day to watch the rest of the show in length. I’m predicting a crap ton of fish-out-of-water stuff that’s tedious and annoying, more boring fight sequences, and a never ending scream at my TV any time Maximus shows up. There’s better shows to watch and even better superhero shows. For me, this is a hard pass, I do not recommend this to anyone, and I don’t see this show being successful. My guess, it’ll last one season, but that’s it.

My honest rating for INHUMANS: a weak 3/5

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Netflix review: SyFy’s VAN HELSING (season 1)

Starring: Kelly Overton (video game adaptation TEKKEN [2010], and TV shows TRUE BLOOD and ALL MY CHILDREN)

(SUMMARY)

Set three years later during a post-apocalyptic future. Vampires have taken over Seattle, Washington. In an abandoned hospital, the last Marine of his squad, Axel (Jonathan Scarfe), has been holding his position since the uprising of the vampires. His mission, to ensure the survival of a three year comatose patient, Vanessa (Kelly Overton), who has an immunity to the virus that turns humans into vampires and may hold the key to salvation.

(REVIEW)

Grr. It’s not as good as the posters make it out to be. I’ve got a lot more problems with this show than compliments, but all in all, it’s… okay.

What shall I start with?

The opening has some grim promise. You see our lone and faithful Marine Axel (Jonathan Scarfe) talking to a locked up vampire while he’s feeding her his own blood. It’s a little fucked up, but that’s what I usually come to expect from vampire stories. You’re not entirely sure if Axel’s all there mentally, but then the action starts. A group of human survivors about to be killed by a group of vampires are trying to get into the hospital that’s on lockdown thanks to some makeshift traps and barricades. He lets them in, of course, and then the first problems with the show rear their ugly heads: most of the characters are annoying as hell.

Almost immediately, the survivors are questioning Axel’s situation, exclaiming how the locked up vampire needs to be killed as well as the unconscious woman that “might” be a vampire herself, even though they haven’t an inkling of prove to back that up. For the rest of the show, that’s all these characters do. They bicker, yell, and constantly disagree. Which would be fine if it did feel like a bad sitcom the whole time. In an apocalypse, there will be disagreements on how to survive. Thing is, these people start this crap not even half way through the first episode. They barely ever show appreciation toward Axel for sheltering these people and this goes on throughout the season.

Thankfully, there’s a few characters that I liked. The three that immediately come to mind are Susan (Hilary Jardine), Mohamad (Trezzo Mahoro), and Sam (Christopher Heyerdahl). Susan, prior to the apocalypse, was Vanessa’s neighbor and friend whom has been the victim of physical abuse from asshole boyfriends that Vanessa beats the crap out of. While Vanessa’s been in her coma, she got turned into a vampire and eventually meet up after Vanessa attempts to leave the hospital to look for her missing daughter Dylan (Hannah Cheramy), but got captured by vampires. Vanessa turns her back to human, and the two rekindle their relationship, which I really enjoyed. Mohamad and Sam are the “two peas in a pod” characters that have a nice connection as well, as a pair that always looked out for each other. Mohamad’s a young man who was separated from his sister Sheema (Naika Toussaint), still locked away in a human camp overlooked by vampires and wants to find her. He’s a loyal friend to those he respects and who show him respect. He’s brave, smart, an all around breath of fresh air from all the married couple bickering. And Sam is the deaf gentle giant. Again, he’s a kind guy and his silence is, like Mohamad, a welcomed detour from the arguing.

Now for our titular character. Vanessa, for all intents and purposes, isn’t poorly written. As a character, Vanessa is tough, no nonsense, capable in a fight, but a loving mother and friend, she’s perfectly serviceable, and Overton’s performance is strong enough to carry the show, for my tastes anyway. Here’s my issue: Vanessa as “Van Helsing.” When we’re first introduced to her, she’s about to be chewed alive by vampire-Flesh (Vincent Gale), but she immediately snaps out of her coma and defends herself quite proficiently. However, she’s never quite this deadly in any other scene. She’s just a run of the mill survivor that isn’t stupid. Aside from her inability to be turned after getting bit by a vampire, and her stupid-ass ability to change vampires back to human after them biting her or her biting them (yes, that’s a thing that she does too), there’s never a moment in this show where I’m like, “Yes! That’s our new Van Helsing!” At least, not until the final episode of the season, which lasts probably a grand total of ten minutes.

I can probably guess what the structure was supposed to be and why that moment was dragged out ’till the end. It’s the “superhero” idea. Like in the TV show DAREDEVIL, the first season featured Matt Murdock/Daredevil in a borderline amateur black garb and a black mask throughout the entire first season, only giving him the iconic red suit in the final episode or couple episodes. The purpose of this, I imagine, was to create the character and build him up, getting the audience a near perfect understanding of him before going full comic book on us. But what makes Vanessa as “Van Helsing” so frustrating in this regard is that the character of “Van Helsing,” while well-known in supernatural literature, isn’t exactly a modern pop culture icon like superheroes are. Seriously, can you name a movie that came out that was about Van Helsing? I can. Hugh Jackman’s ill-fated VAN HELSING (2004), which is not considered to be a good movie. I know there’s a ton more than that, but are any of them considered landmarks of cinema or classics? Is Van Helsing truly in the echelons with Dracula, Frankenstein and his monster, and the Wolf Man? No. The character truly isn’t. Not like that. So Vanessa’s development, not just as a character, but as this generation’s “Van Helsing” was crucial to make her really compelling. Instead, she’s lukewarm. Not bad, not great.

If I were to have changed anything, I would have made Vanessa a bit more of a one-woman army. Like, everything about her personality is fine. Her backstory, all that, that’s all good. But in a fight, I would have made it like a Jason Bourne type thing. Like in IDENTITY (2002), when Jason is sleeping on that park bench and the cops try to get him to show them his papers, but when they take out their batons, he instinctively goes into combat mode and efficiently takes them out, and promptly, but subtly, freaks out after with a look that says, “How the hell did I just do that?!” You never get any real sense of bad-assery in the vampire killing department. She’s obviously not useless in a fight, but nothing on the scale of “Van Helsing.” She trips and stumbles a little too much for me to take her seriously like that.

On top of my problems with the characters, the show as a whole isn’t very well-written. One set of dialog sticks out for me.

VANESSA
No offense, but go fuck yourself.

AXEL
Understood.

VANESSA
Good, then go do it!

Ugh, this script gave me an aneurysm. Thankfully, the cringeworthy dialog sort of dissipates as the season progresses, but the way it’s structured and how every event is handled is completely inconsistent and character choices are utterly stupid. Why doesn’t Axel throw the survivors out that give him a hard time? Or kill them? Why do the survivors stay with him if they don’t agree with any of his decisions? There’s this subplot that starts in episode four “Coming Back” that focuses on a murder within the group. You wanna know what’s freakin’ frustrating? This plot thread isn’t resolved until episode eleven “Last Time.” There are thirteen episodes in this season. What the actual fuck? We’re introduced to characters that have a big role early on, leave the show, and then return only to be killed off later as soon as they reappear. Incredibly forced romance subplots that go nowhere, a questionable accent by Tom Cavanagh who is only in one episode and still whispers his lines half the time, infighting with the vampires that no one gives a shit about, the vampires in this show present themselves to be more like zombies than vampires and I don’t recall a single vampire having fangs, all these problems are littered everywhere.

That’s not to say some things are done right. There are some cool visuals, like there’s this one bit where a dude is being hung in a cold room, is missing one arm and a leg I think, and his intestines are hanging out, and he’s totally alive. That was delightfully sick. And there’s another little scene where you have vampire leader Dmitri (Paul Johanssen), his… lover? Rebecca (Laura Mennell), and Dmitri’s sister Anastasia (Gia Crovatin), and they’re sitting at a dinner table, drinking blood soup. I won’t lie, I sadistically giggled when Anastasia got up to get more blood and it’s from a corpse with her throat slit and pours blood with a ladle.

***SPOILERS***

 

 

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Here’s one plot point that went nowhere that I really wanted to see developed. So the group is hiding out in an underground bunker and Vanessa and Susan find themselves in bed, just being friends. But before long, they share a kiss. This was quite possibly one of my favorite relationships in the show and felt really organic to the story. Never mind that I’m a guy and watching two hot chicks making out isn’t the hottest thing ever, but that their relationship went in that direction felt right for the characters. Vanessa is very butch and independent, and Susan is a little more vulnerable. She looks up to Vanessa for her strength, but managed to come into her own when the apocalypse showed up. Both women have had lousy luck with men in their lives and Susan did seem to harbor some feelings for her, as demonstrated in the beginning of episode six, “Nothing Matters.” I liked seeing the two of them interact with each other and being friends. To see them possibly testing waters for a romantic fling, I was looking forward to that blossoming in future episodes.

But in probably the ultimate middle finger to my expectations, not only is their shared kiss never acknowledged again, either by the two characters, even to the point where Vanessa has about the most contrived romance that can possibly exist with a male character that she’s only known for less than a day, whose name I couldn’t remember for the life of me, but it’s revealed that Sam was the group murderer and he kills Susan. She was just starting to become a great character and then they kill her off. Fine, make Sam the killer, but it should have been any other character. Like Doc (Rukiya Bernard). She just sort of gets written out of the show randomly. Why not actually write her off more sensibly?

 

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***END SPOILERS***

Overall, this show isn’t the worst I’ve ever seen and would certainly prefer to watch it over many other shows that have been considered great, simply because it’s action, post-apocalypse, and vampires, so I’m pretty bias. I sure won’t go out of my way to keep up with the show as the episodes air on TV. I understand season two is underway. But yeah, I can’t claim this to be a good show. There’s some good things to keep myself interested, but if season two isn’t better by the time it comes out on Netflix again, I won’t care to sit around for a third season.

My honest rating for Syfy’s TV series VAN HELSING: 3/5

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JURASSIC WORLD (transfer) review

These “transfer” reviews are from when I only did reviews on my Facebook page back in 2015. Bare in mind when reading these, I didn’t have the same formula in my review writing that I do now, and my usual “who starred and who directed” information is completely absent, so everything “italicized” is new. With that said, enjoy this review from 2015.

Let’s face it, this movie has been in the making for a long time (since 2007, I think) and we were/are hoping that it’s been worth the wait. I won’t waste any time, I’m going to try to keep this spoiler-free, so let’s get right into it.

Starring: Bryce Dallas Howard (GOLD [2017], PETE’S DRAGON [2016], 50/50 [2011], and the upcoming JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM [2018]), Chris Pratt (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 [2017], THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN [2016], THE LEGO MOVIE [2014], and upcoming films Marvel’s AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR [2018] and JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM), Nick Robinson (EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING [2017], THE 5TH WAVE [2016], THE KINGS OF SUMMER [2013]), and Ty Simpkins (THE NICE GUYS [2016], IRON MAN 3 [2013], and INSIDIOUS [2010]). In support: Vincent D’Onofrio (CHIPS [2017], THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, MEN IN BLACK [1997], and the upcoming remake DEATH WISH [2018]), Jake Johnson (THE MUMMY [2017], MIKE AND DAVE NEED WEDDING DATES [2016], TV show NEW GIRL, and the upcoming TAG [2018]), Judy Greer (WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES [2017], ANT-MAN [2015], CARRIE [2013], and the upcoming Marvel’s ANT-MAN AND THE WASP [2018]), Irrfan Khan (The Da Vinci Code’s INFERNO [2016] and LIFE OF PI [2012]), and BD Wong (THE SPACE BETWEEN US [2017], MULAN [1998], TV show GOTHAM, and the upcoming JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM).

Directing and co-writing: Colin Trevorrow (THE BOOK OF HENRY [2017], the upcoming STAR WARS EPISODE IX [2019], and writing the upcoming JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM). Co-writing: Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES, RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES [2011], THE RELIC [1997], and upcoming films Disney’s live-action MULAN [2018] and AVATAR 3 [2021]), and Derek Connolly (KONG: SKULL ISLAND [2017], MONSTER TRUCKS [2017], and upcoming films JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM and STAR WARS EPISODE IX). Composer: Michael Giacchino (WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES, ZOOTOPIA [2016], TOMORROWLAND [2015], and upcoming films Pixar’s COCO [2017] and JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM). Cinematographer: John Schwartzman (THE BOOK OF HENRY, SAVING MR. BANKS [2013], THE BUCKET LIST [2007], and upcoming films FIFTY SHADES FREED [2018] and STAR WAR EPISODE IX)

Story on top, review on the bottom.

(SUMMARY)

We open to Zach (Nick Robinson) and his younger brother Gray (Ty Simpkins) who are about to embark on a family trip to the now-opened dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, which is headed by their semi-estranged aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard). Gray is more than excited to be in this place, but Zach seems rather detached at first, but eventually warms up. Claire is an incredibly work-driven woman who sadly doesn’t spend time with her nephews to show them the park and leaves them with their personal guide, Zara (Katie McGrath), and even reveals that her scientists have spliced together a completely new dinosaur called the Indominus Rex, revealed by Doctor Henry Wu (BD Wong) to be bigger than a T-Rex. We are also introduced to Owen (Chris Pratt), the park’s very own raptor whisperer and his rocky business relationship with Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio), who admires the way Owen handles the raptors and sees these intelligent animals as weapons to use for the military against their opponents, to which Owen knows is a colossal mistake, knowing that these raptors only listen to him because they’ve built a relationship since they were hatched, and it’s not a relationship with them thinking that he’s their mother, but uneasy respect. Of course, everything starts going to hell when the Indominus Rex finds a way to escape its paddock and turns the entire park into a warzone. Now, with Owen’s help, Claire must reunite with Zach and Gray and get everyone off the island.

(REVIEW)

To be honest, I never truly believed I’d go into this movie thinking it would be JURASSIC PARK’s equal. It’s a movie that changed cinema with ground-breaking CGI, and perfectly blended horror, action, and wonder. To boot, it was a smart movie. It wasn’t just about a group of people on an island of dinosaurs that run amok. It was about how the advancement of science shouldn’t be wielded like a children’s toy and must be considered if the risks truly outweigh the reward, and shows what happens when there is no contingency plan for when shit hits the fan. Granted, it was far from a perfect movie, but mix all those fantastic elements with a hint of badassery, it’s hard to not like the film as a whole. I knew JURASSIC WORLD wouldn’t be that well-written or impactful, but I was holding out for it to be at least better than LOST WORLD. Boy howdy was I pleased.

Let’s start with what didn’t work, in my opinion. First, D’Onofrio is usually an incredible actor, and coming off his success as Kingpin from Netflix’s DAREDEVIL, I was really curious to see what he was going to bring to this film, and he brings… nothing. His character is there to provide one of the stupidest sub-plots that you can squeeze into a sci-fi like this: turn the subject matter into military weapons. Seriously, writers? It’d be better if Hoskins was like the park’s captain of the soldiers-who-hunt-dinosaurs-if-they-escape and Owen was his most trusted lieutenant who had duel jobs as the park’s raptor trainer. Instead, he’s one of those character who you can write off and the movie would progress just fine. Or worse yet, I won’t spoil anything for anyone, but he does blatantly set up the notion of a sequel. Literally, that’s his only purpose. Not someone we give a shit about. He’s just there to let us know that a sequel could happen.

While I’m on the subject of characters, I really didn’t like Zach. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Nick Robinson. I’m a huge fan of the TV show MELISSA AND JOEY, and Nick is such a presence on screen, but he had to pick the most two-dimensional character that could possibly exist: I’m a moody teenager and I hate everything and I’m just going to ignore everything and listen to my music because I’m just a bad ass. You know what you little dip shit, you’re about to go to a theme park WITH F*****G DINOSAURS, AND YOU’RE MISERABLE???? HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN??? Are you all mopey because you’re leaving your girlfriend? Dinosaurs or pussy, dude? Let’s face it, dinosaurs win EVERY TIME!!! THEY’RE DINOSAURS!!! And never mind his moodiness, he has like no character arch. He comes to this island with an attitude that makes me want to throw a great big pile of shit at him *REFERENCE* and seems rather distant of his brother, or worse, is incredibly cruel to Gray for no rhyme or reason, and even once he starts to care about him… well, that seemed to just come out of his ass. Why do you suddenly care if Gray is getting the full Jurassic World experience? You don’t even want to be here, you hairy scrotum! Nick Robinson played the role well, I just didn’t like the role he was given.

Also, there’s a lot of sub-plots… and they don’t go anywhere. Owen and Claire went on one date. Okay… why was THAT relevant to the story? I think if you watched the movie and fast-forward to ANY point in the story, you wouldn’t really guess that these two had a history together. They’re not divorced, they’re co-workers who went on one date. Oh the drama…

***SPOILERS***

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Also, what’s with the sub-plot of Gray finding out his parents are getting divorced? That was clearly just added to see Gray deliver is a crying performance. As well as Simpkins delivering on that performance, that sub-plot goes absolutely nowhere. Sure both the mom and dad come to Isla Nublar together to find their kids, but… okay, are we going to elaborate on this subject at all now that everyone’s together? Nope? We’re just going to cut to Owen and Claire have a chat and cut to the credits? Cool. Thanks for telling us about a plot that won’t be developed. Awesome sauce *sarcasm*.

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On a slightly lesser note, why was Judy Greer in this movie? This woman’s got acting talent that can wipe the floor of most actors in Hollywood, so why is she playing a nothing character? Literally, ANYONE could have played Zach and Gray’s mom, and it would have been fine. But no, Greer plays their mom that does NOTHING in the movie other than foreshadow, which is pointless because this is JURASSIC PARK (kinda); dinosaurs running around eating people is kind of a given in this franchise. Also, why was there literally just ONE little pterodactyl with an Indominous Rex head? Anyone else think that was just random for the sake of random? But fine, whatever.

But for as much as I hate some of the characters… and seemingly much of this movie now that I’ve read through some of it, I don’t want anyone to think that I don’t like this movie. For as many problems as it has, it does a great deal more good than bad.

The moment you step out into Jurassic World itself and the immortal Jurassic Park theme starts playing, I couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear. I remember reading the review on Collider.com about how the reviewer would have been perfectly content just exploring the theme park itself and just do away with the chaos and death, and I have to say, I’m in complete agreement. The park itself is absolutely gorgeous to look at. Bright colors, large crowds, it makes the 8-year-old Peruvian boy in me giddy with delight. The fact that the movie takes a beat to actually let us in on some of the attractions, such as feeding the mosasaurus and, how awesome is this shit, lowering the bleachers below the tank water to see the reptilian fish underwater. SO F*****G AWESOME, I’M JEALOUS!!! And a petting zoo, a f*****g petting zoo. Never in my life have I ever been so jealous of an 8-year-old kid getting to hug a baby brachiosaurus, or riding a baby triceratops. Makes me wanna punch those f*****s off and have my turn. F*** YOU KIDS, I LOVED DINOSAURS FIRST!!!

Another unique thing that you might notice in this movie is that the raptors are somewhat given personalities. You can tell there’s a complicated relationship between Owen and the raptors. These are clearly wild animals that want to maim everything in front of them, but there’s clearly some kind of connection they have with Owen that makes them understand that THIS human isn’t meant for eating, but for respecting. This relationship really shines through later on in the story, both for the best and the worst, but always makes sense and even provides a couple of the tensest and somewhat heart-warming scenes. Plus, totally awesome when Owen and the humans team up with the raptors to hunt down the Indominus Rex.

The Indominus Rex is pretty fearsome for a newbie and is a rather well-written monster whose motives and actions make sense. It’s been in captivity all its life, has had no other interaction with anyone or anything other than a crane that lets it know that it’s feeding time. So when it does escape, its rampage makes sense. It’s smart, it’s vicious, it’s something I don’t want to run into on a Saturday night drive home. Nah, bro. Just nah. So no one needs to worry if whether or not the new Rex is a lame new element. It really isn’t.

***SPOILERS***

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The only real problem with the Indominus Rex is this: Owen comments after seeing all the dead brachiosauruses that it’s killing for sport. If any of you have been following the movie as it was being developed, there were some fan theories going around that maybe Indominus had some human spliced into it because the only creature on Earth that hunts for sport is a human. I guess I can chalk this one up to another plot point that doesn’t go anywhere.

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As much as I bash the characters, Pratt and Dallas Howard have great chemistry. Maybe Pratt makes it easy because he’s such a charismatic actor. But hey, what do I know? In fact, both Pratt and Dallas Howard are great. They’re plots go nowhere and are pretty pointless, but they play their characters very well. Especially Dallas Howard. It’s so strange, though. Her resume consists of some pretty awful movies. TWILIGHT: ECLIPSE (2010), TERMINATOR: SALVATION (2009), M. Night Shyamalan’s LADY IN THE WATER (2006), and SPIDER-MAN 3 (2007). It’s curious how this wonderful actress even has a career after being in some of the most hated movies in their respective franchises, but here she is in JURASSIC WORLD, practically headlining it and she’s great. I knew she had talent, but there was never a movie that really showcased it. This may be her best performance yet, but here’s hoping that she will get better roles because I know she can act the f*** out of a movie if she was given better material.

And there’s a nice throwback to JURASSIC PARK’s character Tim, who was a dino nerd; now it’s Ty Simpkins playing Gray. While certainly Tim was clearly more knowledgeable about dinosaurs, he was a far more annoying character than Gray. Gray is probably younger, but there’s a certain gravity that he has about him; a youthful strength that he plays so well that doesn’t feel like he’s needy or frustratingly helpless.

And yes, Jake Johnson and Lauren Lapkus are incredible comic relief.

***SPOILERS***

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For anyone who wants me to dish out my thoughts on the Indominus Rex duking it out with the T-Rex, don’t kid yourself. It’s beyond f*****g awesome. Oh my god, to see these titans chomping down on each other and f*****g each other up, oh my god oh my god oh my god, so much SQUEE, and then the velociraptor enters the fight, overload of badassery, my brain can’t take much more of this, f***, three-way fight! T-Rex and velociraptor versus Indominus Rex, holy mother of shit! And then the Indominus Rex gets it by getting eaten by the mosasaurus. In case you can’t tell, it was f*****g awesome. I mean, clearly it’s fan service since the T-Rex is clearly the fan favorite of the franchise and needed a win after getting straight murdered in the third movie by the less popular Spinosaurus. Still, the only real downside to the fight is that the Indominus Rex is killed rather anticlimactically; not by the T-Rex, but rather randomly by the mosasaurus.

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While this movie has glaring, even frustrating problems, there is more than enough awe-inspiring visuals, badassery, and fan service to more than make up for it. It may not have the brain of JURASSIC PARK, but it plants its feet as the second best Jurassic Park movie, which I think is something any fan of the franchise can walk away happy with.

4/5

PS: If you recall the scene where the pterodactyls are attacking the tourists, you probably remember seeing a guy fleeing from the dinosaurs with a pair of margaritas. You wanna know who that is? Famed singer Jimmy Buffett! No joke, look it up online! It’s really, hilariously, him!

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