Movies in Review: “Aquaman”

Aquaman_posterAm I the only one who wasn’t feeling that optimistic about this latest DC Comic superhero film. I mean, DC Comics isn’t known for dropping the best films lately…~coughs~ Justice League…Batman v Superman. It got lucky with Wonderwoman, which I thought was a fairly decent movie considering which comic universe it originated from ~shrugs. Now we have Aquaman taking on his own stand-alone movie. I really wanted to be excited for this movie, but far too often DC has only left me with disappointment to even think this wouldn’t be more of the same. The only thing I did know is that I was sure to get an eye full seeing Jason Momoa flash across the screen for 2hrs, which would make any disappointment I felt about the movie, worth it…lol.

I am shocked, and even more surprised that I’m even saying this about this movie, but it is EVERYTHING! This movie blew my mind. It is definitely the best DC Comic film by far and I would even say has a chance competing with the worse of any Marvel film. The opening scene wasn’t the best introduction for me because all I kept thing was damn, they CGI’d the shit out of Nicole Kidman’s face! Lol…The first submarine scene was a little wonky too with what felt like over the top acting coming from Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, the actor playing Black Manta. Performances and story for all got better quickly though.

I’d like to pause for a moment to tell you how much life Jason Momoa will give you (talking to my females) when you see this movie. He comes into that first scene, when he turns around, those eyes look like he is staring directly at you and into your soul. I felt myself swooning more than one. Those eyes are piercing, and that body will have you on drool. I’m just giving fair warning, and letting you know you want to get to the theater to get you some…ijs…

Besides what Momoa has to offer physically, his performance as Aquaman was on a 10. I definitely enjoyed his character having a chance to shine in this film. It shows that he is one of the stronger performers/characters from this DC Universe. I loved his comedic delivery, and the fun chemistry he had on-screen with Mera, played by Amber Heard. Admittedly, I wasn’t the biggest fan of that plastic wig, but the movie was so entertaining it seemed small. There are far too many visually entertaining and grand scenes to squawk at something so small. The underwater scenes are spectacular, and although I watched this movie on a regular screen, it felt like I was underwater. I could only imagine what the experience is like on a premium screen like IMAX or RPX, which I would recommend seeing this movie on.

All in all, this movie was a happy surprise. It has a great story that has great build-up, elements of surprise and is an entertainment gem all the way through. This is a movie you definitely want to see, you won’t be disappointed you did…A-

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Movies in Review: “Mary Poppins Returns”

Mary_Poppins_Returns_(2018_film_poster)Watching the trailer for Mary Poppins Returns was like seeing a friend you love, but haven’t seen in a while, return without aging a bit and their presence immediately brewing up nostalgic childhood memories…lol. It has been more than 40yrs since the original Mary Poppins hit took big screen by storm…and now a sequel, not a reboot? Hmmmmmmm….I didn’t really see how I would feel about a sequel made half a decade after its original could give me the feel of the first especially with the lead being cast by Emily Blunt, instead of continuing the sequel with Julie Andrews of the original Mary Poppin’s. However, I must admit when I watch Blunt in the trailer she made me smile and it felt like Mary Poppin’s. I was soon ok with the idea that Poppins hasn’t aged. I mean it is Poppins of course. I enjoyed the original as anyone else did and was more than looking forward to this long overdue sequel. My expectations were about average, unfortunately this sequel had a great deal to live up to from its predecessor.

Mary Poppins Returns is EVERYTHING! I’m at a loss for words at the beautiful work that was put into this film. The music/songs were wonderful and went perfect with the story. Every song was thought provoking and inspiring. The story was as wonderful and charming as you would expect from this film. I was smiling from ear to ear from what I watched on screen, as the live-action scenes and dance sequences were performed flawlessly. One of my favorite dance sequences was with the oil lamps…wow. My favorite musical performance would probably have to go to the scene with Meryl Streep. The costumes and make-up I swooned over, especially the scenes with the characters on the tea pot. I know I’ve mentioned everything so far except Blunt, but that’s because I wanted to save the best for last. Blunt is the glue that holds this show together. Blunt stepped into Julie Andrews shoes flawlessly, while still adding her own charismatic flair. She gave me life!

Needless to say, I was more than pleased with this film. Unlike most sequels, this one does not fail its predecessor. It is a film the whole family will love and enjoy. I walked out of the theater smiling from ear to ear, feeling good about life and inspired. A movie that can do that is a movie I can support and recommend…A!

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Movies in Review: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

Spider-Man_Into_the_Spider-Verse_posterFinally! A Spiderman film that isn’t just a reboot of the original film, something I actually want to see. I’ve been anticipating this film for months now. Although my interest in the film didn’t peak until the trailer revealed Spiderman being played by someone of a different ethnic background…YES! When that was revealed in the trailer my reaction was “Oh Wow!”. Way to go Sony/Marvel for making this Marvel hero inclusive concerning race and gender. It goes without saying that I’m usually down for any Marvel film, but this movie felt exceptionally special. I couldn’t wait for its release. My expectations for this film fell right in line with every other Marvel film…pretty high, and I was sure it would be met.

This movie right here…smh. I seriously thought I loved the new Wreck-it-Ralph movie and it was my #1 animated film for the year, but Spiderman swung in and took that place in one fell swoop. Can we talk about how beautifully animated this film is? Looks like a comic book turned to life. I loved the look of Miles, from his hair (especially his hair) to his features and clothes. Very well done, as with the looks of all the characters. I loved the look of Spiderwoman too, she was fly. The opening scene to this film warmed my heart and had me smiling and laughing from the start. The opening scene does a great job of character introduction and setting the tone of the film. As with all Marvel films, this one isn’t short on humor, a great story, and (in this case) incredible animation sequences. I loved all the characters and think they were all voiced perfectly. Kudos to this movie’s soundtrack, it really set fire to a movie that is already hot.

Unlike all the other Spiderman films, this one is straight out of the box and stands alone. It is an amazing film for all Marvel enthusiast. This is a great family film, and also something great to see alone. My theater definitely had more adults in it than kids when I went. This is not only the best animated film, but honestly it sits as one of the best films of the year for me…A+

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Movies in Review: “The Mule”

mule_posterI love me an Eastwood movie. Movies he has directed have yet to fail me, and I had the same expectations from this new movie. Interesting enough he teamed up with Nick Schenk, the writer for this film, who is also the same man who wrote Gran Torino, another film Eastwood directed, and I loved. From what I watched in the trailer the story looked a bit slow, but still interesting. I always seem to get this film from his films, however I usually get a great story and far more than I expected when I watch the film. I find his trailers intriguing that way. I walked into the theater with confidence that I would walk out satisfied.

Don’t let that trailer fool you, this movie is good…very good. Eastwood still has it. He still has the acting chops to play characters flawlessly. I loved him as the 90yr old drug mule Earl Stone. His character will have you loving him and angry with him all at the same time. This movie had me smiling, laughing and at times sad. The writing was excellent and luckily this movie didn’t move at the pace of a 90yr old man…lol. I can’t imagine this film being based off of a real story, but it is…wow.

This is a movie for people who like good movies. There is no over the top production or well-choreographed action sequences, just well-developed characters played by great actors delivering a story and delivering it well. I enjoyed this movie as much as I love all of the other films directed by Eastwood…A-

 

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Movies in Review: “Mortal Engines”

Mortal_Engines_teaser_posterI seriously had no interest in seeing this film. There was nothing about the trailer that I found particularly appealing. From the trailer it just looked like a film filled with a bunch of special effects, with nothing else more to offer. However, I had the time, and it’s start time worked to give the option of a double feature, and I’m am always down to get more for my money. So, I went to see this film by default. It didn’t look like it would be a catastrophe. It just looked like something I could take or leave. I stepped into the theater with mediocre expectations and tried not to cry about the 2+hrs I set out for this film.

As expected, this movie was just ok, and didn’t have much to offer except the huge special effects, which I admit were creative and interesting, and I also enjoyed the costumes and production. However, the film was lacking when it came to strong characters. The lead in this film and her co-star were forgettable. It was honestly characters with smaller roles that did much more for the film, especially the character Anna Fang played by Jihae. She stepped onto the scene and all eyes were on her. She was stunning, and her costumes had me in awe. She stole every scene. Without the presence of her and her sidekicks, I think this movie would have just remained blah. I seriously found myself dosing a few times before she entered the movie.

Unfortunately, I think this film relied too heavily on its special effects and big production to bring this movie to this finish line, but unfortunately it fell short. There wasn’t much happening in the story. A weak, shaky and predictable plot will never win the race. I wish the lead roles were cast with stronger actors, that also might have helped. But if you are into over the top action then you will be comfortable seeing this film. Anyone else looking for more, I’d wait for this to hit Redbox…C+

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Movies in Review: “Bumblebee”

BbeefilmpsoterBUMBLEBEE!!!!! Come on…who doesn’t love them some Bumblebee? I think he’s like the most loved autobot in the Transformer universe. I was uber excited when there were talks of giving Bee his own movie. It was about time! However, my excitement faded a little when I saw the trailer. Am I the only one who was a little skeptical about how good this film would be after seeing this trailer. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but the trailer really didn’t do too much for me, but that still wasn’t going to keep me from seeing this film. Needless to say, my expectations were slightly lowered, having me walk into the theater crossing my fingers that this film did Bumblebee justice.

I walked out of this film with the biggest smile on my face. This film easily exceeded all of my expectations. Thanks to this film the Transformer franchise has been resuscitated, after dying 2 films ago…lol. This movie has a fairly decent story, but most importantly, humor. In the last few Transformer films the films were too focused on over the top explosions and action sequences and missed what made these films great, and that’s great characters, decent storyline and humor. I smiled so hard in this film, and I loved that the fight sequences weren’t over the top, but instead well done. Which made them more powerful. There are plenty of applause and oohhhhh aahhhhhhh moments to keep you satisfied. I do have one complaint, but I’m going to keep it to myself as expressing it would give too much of the movie away.

Bumblebee is life, and you won’t want to miss this movie. This is a fun family movie that everyone will love. The movie starts out a bit wonky, but it doesn’t take long for things to get on track. You will find yourself smiling and applauding to the end…A-

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Movies in Review: “Mary Queen of Scots”

Mary_Queen_of_ScotsPeriod pieces are a hit or miss for me. I’m not particularly drawn to this movie genre; however, it was definitely the two female leads that had my interest in this film. I love Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan’s work, and I’m drawn to films with strong female leads. The historically story looked interesting enough for me to give this film a go. With a cast this strong, I did not feel I would leave the theater disappointed, although the 2hr running time did have me a little apprehensive…lol.

The movie did run a bit longer than it actually needed too, causing the story to drag a bit. The thing about period pieces is that there are always so many characters involved in the story I often find myself confused or lost…or bored…lol. I can’t say I was bored with this film as the performances from both Robbie and Ronan kept me drawn to the story. Not to mention the make-up, hair and costumes which were phenomenal. Can we give a serious round of applause for the hair in this film? Each style had me in awe, and I loved the red color for both Ronan and Robbie’s characters. The story was decent, it was interesting to see what the position of these 2 powerful women did to the men around them. The narrative of men trying to take down powerful women is still relevant today. It was jarring to see them plotting behind the scenes to pull 2 women they knew were stronger together trying to keep them apart. Ronan and Robbie felt like the only women in the movie surrounded by a bunch of self-indulgent men…Ugh!

I enjoyed this movie. The costumes, hair and make-up were more exciting for me than anything else. I did enjoy the performances of Robbie and Ronan who make this film well worth seeing. This is a period piece whose story did grab my interest and had me researching it after leaving the theater. That says a lot…B+

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