Summary: An undercover MI6 agent is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents.
Cast and Characters. There are a lot of characters. The other agents John Goodman, Toby Jones, some of the villains and other characters. They’re all good in their roles but none of them are really standouts at least in the way the three I am going to talk about are. Or at least, not as important.
Charlize Theron as Lorraine Broughton. She is a top level MI6 agent, her story starts as she is being debriefed and is narrating the past events. Lorraine at this time is a weathered agent, someone who has obviously returned after being fed to the lion’s den (something like she says). She can definitely fight her butt off and she loves her clothes. She wears some bomb coats. I think Lorraine is interesting in some of the things she does, it’s hard to know what she’s doing it for exactly. Does she actually care or is it all a farce? I think Charlize Theron is a great actress, she’s beautiful and she is a commanding presence on screen no matter what. I also think her British accent is usually very good, however, I thought it was kind of not as good as it normally is but maybe that was part of the character…. dunno. Anyway, I feel like she such a great job that she almost transcends the writing of her character to be honest.
James McAvoy as David Percival. I definitely think he was the standout in the film. I love him so much, he is such a great actor. His character was also very interesting. You never knew what you were going to get with him. Whose side is he on? Does he fight for himself? David is supposed to be Lorraine’s contact when she gets to Berlin and it’s seen right away that she does not really trust him. I mean who would. But James McCoy is so good at that he makes you love him, but he also makes you hate him.
Sofia Boutella as Delphine Lasalle. I’m glad that she was such a standout in Kingsman that she has gotten bigger roles. I definitely wondered about her a bit in the beginning when we first see her show up. I thought her character was interesting and she was good in the role of being a bit innocent compared to the jaded Lorraine and David. She was good in her part, it was small but she was good for what she had.dd
The Fight Scenes. There are some good action scenes in this film, but there is one that I believe was one take and it was so tense. Lorraine is trying to keep someone safe and it starts off with two goons, she fights them and she is kicking butt and they are kicking her butt. More and more goons come and she just keeps taking names, but they are definitely getting licks in. Oh man, I was alert for that scene, it was so tense that I perked up and was wide awake.
The Soundtrack. This film is set in the late 80s, and all of the music is 80s music, some are covers and I really enjoyed them. I also really liked how they were used in the film. The song paired with the stylized opened credits was great.
The Cinematography. I thought this film look really good, it’s set in Germany in the 80s, so it’s very stylized and it looks like it was lifted right from that time period. It was very cold looking and crisp.
The Direction. I liked a lot of the different shots. There are moments while Lorraine is walking that the camera would spin around her, or it would be flipped upside down, and especially the one take fight. I always think that’s impressive, especially during fights scenes. It helps make it tense and gets me into the fighting.
Really Slow. My goodness this movie starts off really slow. It feels like a glacial pace. We get a flashback, then it cuts to “10 days Later” and the story gets started but I was waiting for it to pick up. There was a lot of exposition in the beginning and I was bored.
The Walking Scenes. There are a lot of scenes of Lorraine walking to places, walking into rooms and I started to get irritated after a while. Obviously, Charlize Theron is very beautiful, she also used to be a model so she knows how to walk, and walk she did… a lot… into a lot of places.
Convoltued. One of the weakest aspects of this film is definitely the story. It wasn’t hard to get or to really follow, it was just a lot. I’m not going to spoil the story or anything, but so many people had their own agendas, their parts in the whole story that I really didn’t care about the story by time the movie was over.
Overall, I wanted to like Atomic Blonde a lot more than I did. I was bored for a majority of the film, it’s not bad but it’s just not really interesting. There’s a lot going on. I thought the acting all around was very good, the cinematography was good, the soundtrack was fun and engaging and I think there was some great direction choices and I think that James McAvoy was a great standout in the film. The action scenes were tense but the one take scene was the best one in the film, Charlize Theron was amazing in them. On the other hand, I think this film is very slow, especially in the beginning, the story is convoluted, there’s a lot going on and it feels like at times the movie forgets what the main point is due to everything going on. There are also some silly extra scenes that pad the film and do nothing other than show off Charlize Theron’s model walk.
Rating: 3.0 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Atomic Blonde?
What is your favorite Charlize Theron film?
What is your favorite film featuring a strong female action lead?
Summary: A privileged rich debutante and a cynical struggling entertainer share a turbulent, but strong childhood friendship over the years.
I said I was gonna review it! lol I had to especially after I decided to watch it once I saw the remake which you can see the review for right here. I love this movie and it will always be one of my favorites!
Cast and Characters.
Bette Midler as C.C. Bloom. CC is a brash, loud, outgoing woman with a big personality and a big voice to match. All she wants to do is be a famous start, a singer. She is consistent with that throughout the film, we see her fight for what she wants, including being very strong when it comes to standing up for herself. I think Bette Midler was really good in this role, it was made for her, to use her beautiful voice throughout the film is a plus, to hear her cover these songs is always iconic. The strength she has for CC’s character is great, she plays the career obsessed and self-centered character very well. She has such great lines and moments, the moment where she slaps John after their marriage and says “this is the most important of my life, I don’t ever want you to forget it” and it’s so perfect the way she says it. She also makes you like and hate her too which I think it would have been easy for another actress to just make you HATE CC considering just how much she is.
Barbara Hershey as Hillary Whitney Essex. Hillary is smart, beautiful and she starts off a bit more open to things around her. She goes to law school for her father, but she ends up doing what she wants in being a lobbyist and working with a union. She wants to be free of all of the pressures put on her by her father, but she ends up going back in order to be with her father and puts herself back into her box. All the freedom she had is now gone and she is jealous of CC because of her ability to always be true to herself. I think Barbara Hershey does such a great job with playing the quietness of Hillary, as well as the moments when she’s sick towards the end, you feel her pain, her frustration and you feel bad for her. I think she’s great in this role, she always makes you see Hillary not only as victim but as someone at fault for her roles in her arguments with CC.
The Supporting Characters. I think all of the supporting characters in this film are all handled very well. John Heard as John Pierce is great in both his relationship with CC and the almost one with Hillary, he is handsome and his presence on screen is always great. Mayim Balik portrays young CC and she sets up that character so well, her brassy personality, her big voice, her want to be a performer and a singer, she was a fantastic choice. Marie Leeds as a young Hillary was also great, she was quiet, but forceful which is a shame to see the sheltered woman she grew up into. Mayim and Marie had great chemistry together, I believed that they were immediate friends. Grace Johnston plays Victoria Essex, Hillary’s daughter and she is very similar to CC in ways, which is kind of funny, she was bossy like CC but smart like Hillary. Lastly, Lainie Kazan as CC’s mother Leona Bloom, she isn’t in the movie a lot but when she is, it’s like she is Bette Midler’s mother, her greatest moments are in the beginning when CC is a child. She is hilarious.
The Childhood. This is the set up to what we see as adults. Hillary is lost and she meets CC who is smoking under a bridge and after a conversation, they become friends. Hillary sees CC perform, she sees her throw a tantrum, she hears her argue with her mom and then they spend the afternoon together. Later, CC gets a peek into Hillary’s world when they go to the fancy hotel’s restaurant, it actually gives a nice set up into both of their lives, and allows them to get a look into each other’s lives. Plus, we see them write letters back and forth as children a few more times.
The Friendship. I think Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey had great chemistry from the beginning. We see them as children and they immediately hit it off, as most children do and then they’re apart for years, it’s set in the 80s so all they can do is write letters with no idea what the other looks like unless they sent pictures throughout the years, and when they get back together as young adults it really feels like they’ve been talking for years but also awkward because they may not know each other the way they think they do. Their friendship goes about 30 years and it’s like a roller coaster, they come together and have a great time for some years, they fight and get jealous over men like women do, then years later we see them drift apart, and have a devastating argument and not talk for years. Then they come together again, it’s amazing actually. We see this friendship grow and crumble and get stronger.
The Drama. This movie has soooo much drama! Between Hillary and CC, Hillary and her family, CC and her family, Hillary and Michael Essex, CC and Victoria, CC and her career, CC and John, Hillary and John. There is so much that it just grows and grows and everything, I think, comes to a close and each storyline is wrapped enough to not leave too many questions. I think it’s handled very well, it makes you laugh, makes you cry and makes you wonder what would have happened if Hillary and John would have stayed together? What if instead of leaving Michael after discovering his infidelity she stayed with him? Plus, the jealousy between both lead characters, it will make you feel.
The Emotion. This movie is so emotional! There are many times throughout where I might tear up but the last third of the film, during Hillary’s health decline is so emotional that I know what’s going to happen but I react to it every time like I didn’t know. What makes matters worse is that Bette Midler singing “Wind Beneath my Wings” during those last scenes always makes me sob. Bring the tissues! It’s a good thing though because it means that you have cared about these characters enough to cry, unless you just cry at everything lol.
The Music. All of the music in this movie is iconic and unforgettable. I don’t think any of it was written specifically for this film other than “Otto Titsling” and “Oh Industry” which are two songs performed in shows CC is in. The movie opens with CC “Under the Boardwalk” rehearsing for her tour, which happens to also allude to her childhood in meeting Hillary, which is super cute. When we hear “Glory of Love” it’s such a great number, although Mayim Balik wasn’t singing it, watching her perform it is such a treat and puts us right into understanding CC’s talent and her passion for singing. The other songs are also covers that Bette Midler sings superbly. “Wind Beneath My Wings” is put during an emotional time and the song coupled with the movie just makes me cry. The music in this movie serves purpose, it is part of the scene, or it tells a story and it’s great!
Annoying Leads/Melodramatic. I can see how viewers can view both CC and Hillary being whiny and annoying characters. They both have this thing where they just seem really catty towards one another and you don’t really know why and that can be really annoying. Even though they have arguments that go into why they feel this way, the fact that they’re even arguing can definitely be like “ahhh okay, get over it”.
Overall, look I love Beaches, I was really thinking of a con to really name and while I think it doesn’t hold that well in terms of how it looks (maybe it should be remastered). But otherwise, I think it’s such a good film depicting friendship between women. I think that while this is a bit overdramatic, friendship is indeed like this. You meet, you fight to stay in contact and when you come back together, sometimes it’s like you never left, sometimes you argue, sometimes you come back together to squash the arguments and this movie really shows how that is. Not to mention, the ups and downs of fighting for your career, trying to get to something you love, not understanding who you are, I think this movie shows and covers all of that.
Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Beaches? What do you think about it?
What is your favorite 80s movie?
Favorite Chick Flick?
Let me know in the comments below! Don’t forget to like and follow this blog!
Summary: The friendship of two women from childhood and onwards.
So, I remember seeing a trailer for this on Facebook, and I was like hmmm okay. I love the original film, I recently discovered it’s a novel, so I will definitely be reading it some time in the future. It’s definitely really hard to look at a remake, or a “years later” sequel without comparing it to the original or feeling defensive for what came before it. I usually try to be optimistic until I watch it because you never know, the remake may improve things that the original glossed over, or answer questions that the first caused. It may not be all the time but it happens. Also, sometimes remakes are really good. I’ll name some after the review where I quite like the remake.
**There will be spoilers ahead for this film AND the original so don’t read further if you don’t want to be spoiled. If you’ve never seen the original with Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey, then GO WATCH IT and then come back here for the review on the remake. I’ll probably review the original soon.
Cast and Characters. So this is kind of hard because there’s only really two people who this film really focuses on, which is kind of a shame. Yes, this story is about CC and Hillary but as we see them together and apart, there are many people in their lives that we don’t spend any time with to really understand why the leads are around them. I just didn’t care.
Idina Menzel as C.C. Bloom. I liked Idina Menzel in this role, but it’s very watered down from the C.C. Bloom that I know. She’s likable and C.C. isn’t really supposed to be, at least not all the time but this version is and I also don’t think she’s that interesting like she’s supposed to be. There are times where something is interesting more than other parts but overall she’s fine. She’s driven, confident and there are times when she seems jealous of Hillary (mostly at the beginning when they meet again as adults). Idina Menzel I think would have been even better in this role if it was a longer movie where she had time to really get into this part because C.C. is similar in ways to Maureen Johnson from Rent which she originated… so it wouldn’t be that new of a character from her but it wasn’t enough for her to really get into otherwise I believe she would have been greater.
Nia Long as Hillary Whitney. Hillary is from a rich family of lawyers, as a child she’s a bit more daring and brave but as she gets older and gets into her family’s life she gets more and more restrained which causes her to blame C.C. later on for things and basically end their friendship. In this film, I think Hillary is the better written character, they give her more because it’s easy to tell that they wanted to hit all of her major points, as the last half of the film focuses on the end of her life. I think Nia Long was also good in her role, I also feel like she could have been better if the movie was longer and she was really given time to sit in the role, sure, they focused a bit more on her characterization but it still wasn’t that much but I saw the potential that Nia Long brought to the part. She was likable as she’s supposed to be and even when she’s being mean, she’s still likable.
The Music/Singing. The music is supposed to be a big part of CC’s character, I hate to pull from the original but I have too… CC wanted to be a star, on stage, on Broadway etc. As it’s updated they obviously have more updated things BUT I still feel like that having someone like Idina Menzel who IS a Broadway star, they should have stuck to the Broadway thing. I mean come on, missed opportunity. Haha, I guess this turned into a con…but what I was trying to say is that I like Idina Menzel’s voice and I think the original songs they put in the film for her, was good for her to sing. The arrangement of “Wind Beneath My Wings” was fine as was the “The Glory of Love” rendition at the end. There’s a song that CC sings at the piano, that was a nice song.
The Friendship. So I felt like I had to put this here for some reasons. I thought that Long and Menzel’s chemistry was fine, I did believe they were friends, that they liked each other and towards the end a bit more that they loved each other.
It’s Emotional. It’s still a sad story, mostly towards the end when Hillary is dying. I teared up a little bit because it was at that point where I truly began to believe the friendship between the two. I never felt that in the beginning but I felt it then and it was sad. I thought Nia Long worked hard to sell her decaying health, her frustration that she was leaving her daughter and her jealousy that she couldn’t do with her daughter what CC was doing. I thought she did well. Idina Menzel was also great in her reactions to Nia Long’s reactions about her feelings towards these things. There’s also a great scene with C.C. and Victoria on the beach, it was nice.
The Childhood. Soooo definitely didn’t like the beginning of the film. I didn’t think either of the young girls they chose were good choices for who they grew up into. Not only did they not look anything like them, but it didn’t feel like an instant connection of friendship. C.C is singing (not very good lol but I guess that was a running joke that I didn’t understand) and Hillary is in the crowd and she’s grinning while C.C. is singing and yeah, Hillary is supposed to be taken by her singing BUT I feel like they should have met before C.C. sang because it came off kind of weird and awkward. But anyway, it lasts for what feels like 5 minutes which in the movie world’s time was probably an hour and we jump right to them in the photo booth which is pretty much the end of their childhood together before they see each other again as adults and it didn’t feel earned. I was like meh.
The Friendship. I think it’s because the childhood start didn’t start off strong, the adult friendship suffered for it. I didn’t believe in this 30 year friendship they were supposed to have. They emailed back and forth for years, I think they texted too, so they at least knew what each other looked like (so the great scene of C.C. not recognizing Hillary after years doesn’t work in modern times) but I didn’t believe they ever really met before Hillary showed up in the bar or hotel where C.C was singing, though if we’re being serious, they technically only met once before that time. As time went on and we got to the points where Hillary was jealous, I wondered why she would be because it didn’t feel like she would be… and C.C. kind of felt like she was just coasting through. It just didn’t feel real. I believed towards the end that they were friends but while in the prime of their lives, no.
The Characterization. There were times where neither Hillary or C.C. were that interesting. This is definitely in the writing, directing and the fact that the movie at least has an hour off compared to the original film. Of course they grow as the film continues but the parts of them that are supposed to make them unique from each other, don’t really stand out. C.C. is supposed to be, brassy career driven, determined, selfish, a bit self-centered and a little mean and I didn’t think she was any of those things. There were times where some of that would come through but it wasn’t consistent and when she tells Victoria (Hillary’s daughter) at the end that she’s selfish, I was like “girl… where?” When she and Hillary have their big argument, I didn’t think C.C. really did or said anything that would cause Hillary to be mad at her, unlike the original version. Bette Midler was really relentless, very in your face and she could definitely hit below the belt if she had too and it never felt that way with Idina Menzel’s C.C. it was disappointing. Hillary, like I said was handled a bit better but only because I felt they wanted to make sure they ticked all the boxes of the issues that happen to her, she’s supposed to be sweet, kind, but also a bit lost in her dreams as she gets caught up in what others want from her, which is what C.C accuses of her later, it kind of is said but not to really any effect personally. Hillary gets jealous of C.C. in part because she seems so free while she isn’t and while that was there, it felt by the book and I didn’t feel bad for her like we’re supposed to. The only time I really felt bad was when she was with her husband and she expressed her want to have a baby and he shoots it down. *sighs* It’s kind of unfortunate that neither of their characters were that strong, the writing and directing just wasn’t where it should have been.
The Music. So this is a lifetime movie so I wasn’t expecting much from the songs, however, it was very forgettable. Outside of the two iconic songs from the original movie “Wind Beneath My Wings” and “Glory of Love” all of the other songs were very forgettable. I like Idina Menzel’s voice and obviously she’s not Bette Midler but I kind of want to her hear sing C.C.’s song from the original movie but I guess “Under the Boardwalk” wouldn’t make sense as they never went under one as kids, nor did they meet that way but “I think It’s Gonna Rain Today” is such a great song, I was expecting it and nope. I figured the songs she sings while on stage wouldn’t be the same but *sighs* I can’t even tell you what kind of song it was, or what it was about. So forgettable.
The Supporting Characters. So, like I was saying before, even though the movie is about C.C. and Hillary, we still are supposed to meet and learn about the people in their lives. Maybe not like them, but care about them because C.C. and Hillary care about them. We never got to spend any time with C.C.’s mom, or really that much time with John Pierce to really like or care about him, he and C.C. never got married so when he left, I didn’t care and I felt like she didn’t either lol. The only person who really was in there was Victoria, Hillary’s daughter, who is a big part of the story at the end, she was cute (not the best child actor but cute) but I wanted to care about them because Hillary and C.C. were supposed to but I never felt like they did care about anyone outside of Victoria.
To Short. This movie is way to too short. They sped through so much. We hardly get to see C.C. and Hillary spend any time together as children. They at least spend the whole day together, yeah it’s a bit more updated so it wouldn’t be the same but they should have let them do more together. I can hardly even remember what they did outside of talking briefly on the beach and the photo booth. They send letters back and forth for a moment as kids but then it’s quick into adult hood and it just felt like a quick roller coaster ride without many hills and drops. I believe if it was longer, it might have been better.
Rushed. I keep saying that they hit all of Hillary’s points, which is true because they did but I remember thinking “Really?” like when Hillary finds out her husband is cheating on her, it happened so fast (though I did like her reaction when she walked into the house lol) and then it quickly went to Hillary meeting with C.C. again, and then it was like:
quick cut to C.C.
jump cut to Hillary
And I was a like lol okay. This scene shouldn’t be like this but sure.
Overall, this movie was very disappointing. I found myself rolling my eyes more than I was drying them or feeling like I was really into it. I really wanted to like it and there were parts of it that I did like, such as Idina Menzel and Nia Long, they were both likable in their roles, they were fine, the music was fine, the two iconic Beaches songs were arranged different but they were nice, the friendship was pretty basic and I thought the two leads had chemistry and it does get a bit emotional towards the end. However, there is a lot of misses in this film. The childhood friendship is supposed to be where it all started and I didn’t feel like it was the beginning of a long standing friendship, it didn’t feel real. The characterizations of the characters was lacking which I feel is a flaw to the writing and direction, the movie is also way to short which felt like they rushed through the story but made sure to hit the big things in Hillary’s life but none of it felt like it had an impact because they just sped through it. Also, the music was very forgettable. I’m going to listen to the original soundtrack lol.
Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars.
Did you see Lifetime’s version of Beaches?
Have you ever seen the original Beaches film? If not, go watch it right now.
My list of Remakes I think are good
**This is list is of remakes that I think are good, that come from an original film I’ve seen. Definitely not saying they’re better than the original so don’t freak out.
The Karate Kid
The Jungle Book
Peter Pan (2003) though I don’t always think of this as a remake
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (I like this movie…fight me lol but since it’s based off a book, I don’t feel like it’s a straight up remake of the original film)
A Little Princess
That’s all I got right now lol.
Let me know in the comments below what film remakes are your favorite!
Summary: A dark force threatens Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets. Special operatives Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.
Cast and Characters.
Dane DeHaan as Major Valerian. He is a space/time traveling agent who works for the Alpha government. He is the “devil-may-care” type, a ladies man, he is very good at everything apparently, as he told us in the beginning but he wants to be better because he wants to be with Laureline as they’ve been partners for a long time. He is quick on his feet and the way he works with Laureline was great. I love Dane DeHaan and I really want him to be in a big movie that does well and is well received because I think he has good acting chops. I thought he was good, he kind of has this way of looking sad, tired, charming and rebellious all the same time, maybe it’s the bags under his eyes lol, I don’t know but I thought he fit well in the role. His delivery of some of his one liners was good, he had good comedic timing and his moments of doing physical action was really cool.
Cara Delevingne as Sergent Laureline. She is Valerian’s partner, and she is a bit more… in your face then he is, she refuses to be left behind and if she is, it irritates her. She has a lot of the humor due to her comments and reactions to things. She has great physical scenes too where she really kicks butt. I liked her and I thought she was a great match for Valerian, I thought it was easy to tell that she did have feelings for him but wanted to not dwell much on them due to his past and she was testing him. lol I think many women can relate. I think this is the best acting I’ve seen from Delevingne, it’s definitely obvious to tell that she’s a model due to her walk, and how she stands, probably can’t help it, but I thought she felt more natural here than she did in Paper Towns and Suicide Squad which is a good thing. I thought she handled her character very well and managed to stand out, I do think she was a bit better than DeHaan but I feel like the movie spent more time with her and expanding a bit more on her than it did with him.
Rihanna as Bubble. She isn’t in the movie long, she is a shape-shifting entertainer who gives Valerian a performance that was really cool, I would like to know how much of it Rihanna did but it was cool. I think she is an okay actress at least from the two movies I’ve seen, BUT I think she is a good voice over actress which is what she mostly does as her character is an alien. She was cute, sassy and her scenes were fun to watch.
Other characters. There are many other characters in this movie, Ethan Hawke, John Goodman, Sam Spruell, Clive Owen and they’re fine for their roles, the actors do what they’re supposed to do, Sam Spruell especially.
Valerian/Laureline. I thought they were great together, I thought they had some chemistry and seemed like they’d been working with each other for a long time. It was nice to see how much they cared for each other, even if Valerian did things that got on Laureline’s nerves. They went after each other any time the other got into some kind of trouble. It was cute.
The Visuals. This is definitely the type of movie that will mostly likely be praised for the visuals. It is very nice to look at, it’s very colorful and grand. I saw the film in 3D and it helped in showing how vast the worlds were. The different planets shown, especially the one at the beginning is very beautiful and definitely a feast for the eyes.
Major Tom. There is a scene at the beginning while “Ground Control to Major Tom” is being played where Alpha is first created and it shows how it grows as more and more alien/human representatives come to join. It was a cute and informative scene without hearing a lot of talking about what’s happening.
The Soundtrack. I really like Alexandre Desplat, I don’t think there has been a soundtrack of his that I don’t like and while it’s not grand or anything, I quite liked it. Especially during quiet moments like in the beginning, and during some of the action pieces it really comes through.
Alien/Planet Designs. The designs of the aliens is definitely unique, I haven’t seen them before. Some were also really gross but that’s a good thing. The main aliens that we see at the very beginning are beautifully designed, they all look-alike but they’re very beautiful. The other aliens, we see a lot of them at the beginning as we see the growth of Alpha, they all have different looks. The planets also had very interesting designs, of course the one at the beginning and there’s a great scene on one planet (name I don’t remember) where you have to wear a helmet with a visor and special gloves just to see the marketplace as it’s in a different dimension. Really cool.
Humorous. It has some laughs in there. It’s not constantly funny, but there are some funny one liners from Valerian and Laureline, she is especially funny, her reactions and comments to certain situations. There are a triplet of aliens that are kind of funny (they tip a bit into annoying too).
Contradictions. It seemed they went through a lot of trouble in the beginning and certain parts to tell us that Valerian is a bit rebellious, he doesn’t mind being late, he has smart aleck comments etc. but then he’ll turn around and argue with Laureline about following rules. I just thought that was very odd with his character in particular.
Supporting Characters. A lot of the characters we meet start off interesting but either not in it very long which doesn’t allow them to have a strong impact or I didn’t really care that much about them because the movie doesn’t care that much about them.
Exposition. There is a LOOOOT of exposition. My lord, this is probably my biggest gripe with the film. When there are flashbacks, instead of just showing us the flashback, someone is talking over the flashback, sometimes that’s needed but sometimes the audience has to be trusted to deduce things on their own, it doesn’t have to be spoon fed which is what I felt this movie did. At the beginning Laureline makes a point to tell us that Valerian was a ladies man, a lady-killer etc. which is fine, but instead of saying it in five different ways, they should have shown us him flirt with other females. Yeah, he was trying to let all of that go to prove he was ready for commitment but instead of just telling us, show us or something. Perhaps what they should have done, was instead of that whole scene of talking about it, she could have said “Well what about that time…” and it shows us that time… it would help. With this film being a sci-fi film, yeah there’s gonna be a lot of mumbo jumbo but lord… so much.
Starts off slow. I understand the need for the opening scene with the aliens on their planet, it was cool but it was also really long and really slow.
Cluttered. There’s a lot going on in this movie, I kind of feel like it would be better off as a show, or they should have found a way to split this into two films. I have a feeling there might be a sequel considering the way it ended and that it’s based off a French comic book. I felt like the main story got caught up in a lot of weird other side things happening. Plus, as things are learned and revealed, it just felt cheap because I also didn’t really care that much because there was just so much going on.
The Dialogue. Sometimes the dialogue is reeeeallly lame and cheesy. There are a lot of one liners where some are funny and some are pretty terrible. I don’t think it was the delivery, I thought the actors were fine it was just the writing wasn’t always good.
Not Enough Action. There was not enough action for a movie of this scale. It comes off as a science fiction adventure type of movie and while there is action, there’s not enough. I was expecting so much more. There was a lot of downtime. I wasn’t expecting tons of non stop action but there needed to be more.
3D. I don’t know if the movie is being promoted in 3D or not but I saw it 3D and it’s definitely not worth it. I don’t know if they did that to show the vastness of the worlds and Alpha especially, if so then that’s probably about it, but the 3D is definitely not worth it, if anything see it in IMAX.
Overall, I liked Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, I think it was a fun, visually beautiful looking film. I liked the designs of the aliens, the planets and I think the two leading actors were good in their roles, I also thought Rihanna did a good job as well in her small role. The soundtrack is good and nice intrusive and fits the feel of the film. I think the potential in this film is there, especially when it comes to story, character and world building but that’s also the negative, there is so much exposition that being told about the world/character building instead of just showing it, is really irritating and the biggest con of the film. There isn’t enough action to balance out the exposition and the dialogue is really silly a lot of times, where the actors manage to say it without it being completely terrible. I also think the story is cluttered to the point where it feels like there’s a lot going on where the main focus gets forgotten at times. Also, don’t see it in 3D, the standard viewing would be fine but IMAX might be a good experience.
Rating: 2.8 out of 5 stars.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets was released today.
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Summary:The film tells the story of four lifelong friends who travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Music Festival, where sisterhoods are rekindled and wild sides are rediscovered.
Cast and Characters. So, I'm only going to mainly talk about the main four women with the inclusion of two male characters because they're the more important male characters. All the leading women have their own issues, sometimes things are obvious and sometimes it's learned as it goes along.
Regina Hall as Ryan. She is an author, she and her husband have a brand together that inspires other people. Ryan is a business woman, she's classy in her attire, in the way she presents herself and it seems like she is the most level-headed out of the group. She keeps her feelings to herself and bottled up, she has a tendency to judge people a bit to hard, and she definitely has her fears, denials and pain. Without spoiling her arc in the film, I really liked her and I identified with her a lot in some of the things she does, mostly with her feelings, and I was like wow, really close to home BUT I thought that Regina Hall did a really good job. I never really considered her that great of an actress but this is definitely some of her better work in that I didn't think she was trying to hard. It felt natural to me. If I had to label her she is the "classy/sensible" one.
Queen Latifah as Sasha. She was a journalism major in school, she started off as a serious journalist but she let that go to become a tabloid writer (with a website online). There is a rift between her and Ryan and she has her own personal struggles that she keeps to herself. She was a bit of a fashionista but you can't help but to wonder just how low she would possibly go to do her job. You're just not too sure with her. I don't think she has much change to go through in the film, I mean she does end a bit differently than she does in the beginning but she also seems consistent in who she is throughout (along with Dina). Queen is always great, her comedy is great as always, the dramatic parts she handles well, I love Queen.
Jada Pinkett Smith as Lisa. Lisa is definitely the "mom" of the group, she dealt with love and divorce and the only one of the four with kids. She is very much involved with her kids and is very… uptight which is apparently not what she used to be. Everyone has hope that this trip will loosen her up while also enjoying time with a man lol. She is very against this but she does begin to loosen up and her storyline is connected a lot with Kofi Siriboe, which there is a great scene with some grapefruits lol. Lisa also tries to be the mediator between the group, especially between Sasha and Ryan. She has a nice little arc as well.
Tiffany Haddish as Dina. Dina is the funniest of the group, she also seems like the youngest one (that might also have to do with the fact that the actress is younger than the rest as well). She is the wildest, she is willing to do things, to try new things and does not care about it in the least. Dina is also the loyal one while also being the freak. A lot of the laughs come from her, a lot of ridiculous things that happen is because of her and her facial expressions. There were a few times where she annoyed me in her jokes, or humor but that's the friend she is and it was endearing a lot of the times. I've never seen Tiffany Haddish in anything, especially seriously, and I thought she was good in her role. Her comedic timing was really good for a lot of her jokes and reactions to things.
Mike Colter as Stuart. LUKE CAGE! He is Ryan's husband, I think he played some sport, but his role of course is with her while also being part of their brand due to her book "You Can Have It All". He is smooth, charismatic and good-looking *swoons*. His purpose is served. Mike Colter does it well.
Lorenz Tate as Julian. He is an immortal because he looks the SAME! If anything, he looks sooo better now but he looks the same. Julian is a musician, he shows up throughout the film and helps the ladies out in a jam, he seemed to have a thing in the past with Ryan. Julian is very likable which I think Lorenz Tate helps the most with that. Julian is likable period but Tate really makes him lovable due to his boyish looks and approach. He's great. *swoons* Love him.
The Humor. The film is hilarious. My audience in the screening was definitely great but it's very funny. There is a lot of different types of humor, a lot can be reactionary for the characters which makes the moment hilarious. Dina is the source for a lot of laughs, and Lisa's situations are funny. There is a great scene with some dangerous alcohol that is one of the best comedic scenes in the film, has a lot of "The Hangover" feels to it. It is very sexual, which you don't always see in films with women, at least not like this, which also makes it great because we have a group of black women doling out this kind of humor.
The Fashion/The Location. The clothes these ladies wear are beautiful! Dina wears some awesome clothes with great colors, kind of eccentric! Ryan of course has the more classy type of clothing which I loooooved, Sasha had this funky style and Lisa has the motherly style that the others change by giving her clothes to wear lol. The film is set in New Orleans during The Essence Festival which allows for great set pieces in the town, on the road, with the music. Colors, music, outrageous stuff in the backgrounds. It was a great place to set the film.
There was a great reference to an older film when they go into this club. I won't spoil it but I loved it.
The Sisterhood. This film banks on these four women having chemistry with each other, while allowing the audience to believe their friendship. If they didn't work, then it would be impossible to believe that they were friends since college, but Hall, Queen, Pinkett-Smith and Haddish makes it believable. The way they talk and treat each other feels like a real friendship, especially a friendship that was long but strained by time and distance. It was realistic. The emotional and dramatic moments between them were fantastic and each woman sold their role in their group of friends. When they fought it didn't feel like acting, it felt like there was actual history there. Plus, there is nothing like seeing black women bask in something that highlights and celebrates them in the Essence Festival, and each other. Their friendship being boosted by the Essence Festival was so beautiful that I think any black woman (especially with her girls) will feel happy to see this.
The Story. So the story is pretty basic in that Ryan is going to the Festival to be a keynote speaker and she uses this experience to bring her friends back together after about five years of being apart. Even though the story is cliché in that a group of friends come together, have fun and stuff is revealed that causes rifts etc. the way it's handled in the film, doesn't feel stale. I think a lot of that has to do with the actresses and not necessarily the script itself.
Cliche. Like I said, the story is pretty basic which prevents the story from being a major highlight of the film. It's important but the characters are what drives it forward instead of the story just happening around them. But the idea of them not seeing each other in years, getting together due to some reason (Ryan's speech), funny things happen that possibly bring them closer only for them to be pushed apart etc. it's all very cliché movie storylines.
Crude/Humor. Humor is very subjective and I think it's important to note that the humor in this film doesn't hold back, and it's very raunchy and crude and that might be too much for some people. It's not really a problem for me but it's something that I recognize for those who weren't expecting it. It can be a little much. There are also times where it doesn't always hit. It's not a lot of times but there are times.
Overall, I really liked Girl's Trip and I had to wonder if I liked it because of the audience I had in my screening or if I actually really liked it (since I liked it) and after deliberation, I decided I did really like. I think the cast was great in their roles, especially the four core ladies, their friendship was believable, they were honest to each other, to the audience and to themselves. They felt like real friends. I think the film would have failed on being another raunchy summer comedy if it wasn't for Queen Latifah, Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Tiffany Haddish's rapport with each other and their likability. Each lady is actual very likable. The sisterhood is the core of this film, it's the humor, the emotion/drama and main reason to see the film. They are great. The drama is also good, and handled very well, it felt real and not like a film in a movie. It's very funny, the comedic timing of the characters, especially Tiffany Haddish (which makes her a standout) is very good and when it hits, it hits very strong. On the other hand, I can imagine some people not being able to handle the humor, I know that it doesn't always hit and sometimes it's more uncomfortable than funny. The story is also cliche which is saved by the actresses and their chemistry together.
Rating: 4.39 out of 5 stars.
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Summary: Several months after the events of Captain America: Civil War, Peter Parker, with the help of his mentor Tony Stark, tries to balance his life as an ordinary high school student in Queens, New York City while fighting crime as his superhero alter ego Spider-Man as a new threat, the Vulture, emerges.
**So I think I’m going to do a spoiler review just because I really want to talk about every thing and can’t in a regular review so look out for that.
Cast and Characters.
Tom Holland as Peter Parker. So I’m going to say it. I’m sure other reviewers have and many people agree but I think he is the best Peter Parker AND Spider-Man. Look, Maguire was a pretty good Peter (too whiny for me at times) and Garfield was a good Spider-Man (though I thought he did well for Peter just a bit more modern). But Tom Holland I think is perfect. He was perfect in Civil War and seeing him in this film solidified that for me. He really manages to find that perfect balance between his predecessors. There was definitely freshness in there but it also felt familiar. Peter is 15 in this film, it follows the events of Civil War and he hopes that Tony will call for his help again. He craves to be part of the action and to figure out who he is in this super hero world. He is also dealing with every day teenage problems: liking girls, his aunt talking about puberty, the homecoming dance and he also wants to save the day. I love Peter, I always have and I don’t think I’ve loved him in film as much as I did here. Tom Holland really brought the character to life and I really appreciate that he looks and sounds young and the character IS young. He’s a sophomore! Room to grow! Definitely a Spider-Man/Peter Parker to remember. I can’t wait to see more.
Michael Keaton as Adrian Tooms. He will always be my Batman, but I thought he was great here. He is definitely a fantastic villain. The beginning shows us him working on cleaning up the mess from the first Avengers film. When his business is shut down, he becomes an arms trafficker where they steal what they can from armored trucks and Avengers’ sites and make new weapons. He is determined to protect his family. Michael Keaton is threatening, intimidating and terrifying as this guy which is a feat as the comic character is so lame looking. Keaton manages to make him cool! Plus, you understand him. He is definitely one of MCU’s best villains as you understand him, you may even feel for him and of course he’s brilliantly acted.
Jacob Batalon as Ned. He is Peter’s best friend, he’s his “guy in the chair”, his “right hand man” among other best friend titles. Ned is great comic relief at times, but he also obviously cares for his friend and wants to help him while also helping himself. It’s not malicious or anything but ya know, their in high school and unpopular. He got a lot of laughs. I thought Tom and Jacob had great chemistry as friends, and that Jacob managed to be not only similar to Tom as Peter but the level head when it was needed.
Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. I mean, what else can be said about RDJ as Tony Stark. He’s not in the movie as much as the trailers let on, those scenes they showed and maybe one more is all. But I thought he was a great addition as Peter is similar to him in ways. He of course comes off as a rude dude due to the fact that he pulled Peter into the fight in Civil War but then just drops him off back at home and expects that kid to not want to be involved more. I was like meh Tony, and I get it but seriously. He has great chemistry with Tom Holland and while he’s still funny Tony Stark, he definitely falls into the role of “mentor” a lot of times. It’s nice to see a bit more of a mature nature from Tony, the events of Civil War definitely took their toll.
Supporting Characters. There are many who show up, Aunt May (who is great), Flash Thompson (Tony Revolori), Bokeem Woodbine, Jon Favreau (Happy).
Zendaya as Michelle. She is a bit weird, she’s intellectual, a bit unkempt and very into her books. She’s a mysterious character in who she is exactly but I’m sure people have their theories. But I love Zendaya, whenever she was on screen, my eyes did move towards her. She has a relationship with Peter but it’s like the beginning stages of one. She’s funny and odd but I loved it. Zendaya is great and I hope they allow her character to grow in future movies and that we get to see a character expansion, but I’m also definitely okay with a slow burn for her too considering the comics.
Laura Harrier as Liz Allen. There’s a definite twist with her that I did not see coming, it was great BUT I thought she was very cute. She’s very smart, the Captain of their academic team and very sweet. We see her reach out to Peter in different ways, especially being that he’s a Sophomore and she’s a Senior. It works and it’s cute. I thought for the first high school crush she was a good character to introduce and that Laura was a great addition to the cast.
It’s Diverse! I mean sure, the two leads are white males, but I was quite pleased to see that most of the surrounding supporting cast were people of color. Tony Revolori was Flash Thompson, Michelle, Liz Allen, Ned, even one of Adrian’s main henchmen was Bokeem Woodbine. I’m interested to see how they handle everyone else who plays a major role in Peter’s life.
The Humor. Spider-Man is known for being witty, for talking a lot during a fight and I love it. I thought the humor for the most part was great and it landed. Tom Holland has a natural knack for humor and I think he handled Peter’s awkwardness and Spider-Man’s wit very well.
The Action. Spider-Man is interesting in his fighting style. He of course has his powers, not to mention his web shooters but he can actually fight pretty well. I wonder who taught him. Did he teach himself? Those are questions in these movies that no one ever answered that I think would be nice to just throw in there. I know that he has taught himself but it would be a good line in there or something. But anyway, Spider-Man has always had a unique fighting style where he uses everything he has in tandem and overwhelmed his opponents (which is why I love him so much) and I thought they were able to capture that well. He’s still a bit new at this so he’s clumsy and makes a mess of things, but it’s so interesting watching him work. The fights between him and Vulture were great, especially in the air. I love the scene at the end, it was handled so well.
The emotional parts. There’s not a lot of them or anything but the ones that they have are some really good ones. There’s a scene between Peter and Aunt May that was subtle but emotional and then one later on with Peter having to save himself. That was a really good moment as well.
Nods to the comics/Easter Eggs. I mean every comic book movie does this, but I thought this was handled so well, especially since this version is put out by both Disney/Marvel and Sony (I wish Sony would just give it up though). I just loved the nuggets, like even though they didn’t talk about Uncle Ben or show anything about him, you knew that it was recent and that May was still affected by it. We even saw Betty Brant, she was a school reporter which is a nod to her future at the Daily Bugle. I will discuss this more in the Spoiler Review.
The Opening Scene. We definitely get to see Peter’s point of view of his involvement in Civil War and it was so cute and something a 15 year old would do. It puts right into Peter’s personality and I loved it. I grinned like an idiot.
Slow in the beginning. I think it has a nice buildup, we really get to sit and be with Peter while he tries to be a neighborhood Spider-Man but it does take a moment to get it’s momentum. It didn’t bother me much as I like slow burns, but I can definitely imagine that some people would squirm because they’re ready for the action.
Too heavy handed with the humor. I really liked the humor but sometimes I don’t think the jokes hit every time. I know that Spider-Man is iconic for his quips, especially when fighting etc. but it doesn’t always translate well each time. Sometimes it was joke, joke, joke and I was like blah blah. Of course humor is subjective
The Tech in the suit. So, obviously since Tony Stark made Spider-Man’s suit, there’s a lot of tech in there and it was helpful but there were a lot of times when I rolled my eyes at it because it was too much like Iron Spider and we’re not there yet.
Overall, I really loved this film. I definitely think that Tom Holland managed to make Peter Parker and Spider-Man his own while being the best at balancing the two. He led the film very well, especially as we spent so much time with him. Michael Keaton is a great and intimidating villain and I think he was a worthy opponent for Peter. The action is great and fun to watch, especially watching the cool things Peter can do in that suit (even though I thought it was too much at times). The other characters are great and feel important to the story and aren’t just there to just be easter eggs for the comics. I loved the introduction to Peter in the film with his little mini movie detailing his Civil War perspective. The emotional bits make you miss things that they miss even if the viewers weren’t forced to watch things we’ve seen many times before. I appreciate that it’s not an origin story but puts us right in the thick of it. It’s diverse, it’s funny, the easter eggs are great and it feels fresh. On the other hand, the humor can be a bit childish and the jokes don’t always land, sometimes the action can get a little hard to see especially when it’s close fighting, I don’t care for the tech in Peter’s suit much but it served it’s purpose.
Rating: 4.80 out of 5 stars
Have you seen Spider-Man: Homecoming? Where do you think it ranks in the MCU? Which Peter Parker/Spider-Man is the best?
So I talked about how the end of the finale showed a little girl going to a door, she knocks and claims that she is the man’s daughter, and the man is Henry Mills. So, first, it’s super cute that it’s a little girl and that she is going to be biracial, OUAT definitely needs more diversity in it’s leading group of characters. However, the set up seems to be exactly the same of as the very first episode where Henry finds Emma who is his long lost mother. Lucy, the little girl was apparently in Fairy Tale Land, as Tiger Lily showed up to her, and she is the keeper of the storybook. So it’ll be interesting.
I can’t speculate on what’s going to happen in the future, but I have some ideas that I think would be great additions, that wouldn’t be rehashing what we’ve already seen. If the show wasn’t going to end on that really perfect series finale ending, then it should get a complete reboot.
Jennifer Morrison (Emma Swan), Gennifer Goodwin (Snow White), Josh Dallas (Prince Charming), Jared Gilmore (Henry Mills), Rebecca Mader (Zelena) and Emilie De Ravin (Belle) are leaving the show for good. While I love Regina and Rumple, part of me feels that Regina should no longer be on the show either, her story I think has ended many times over. Lana Parilla is fantastic but I’m curious to see what happens to her character since she’s staying.
There’s a bit more to be done with Rumple considering how his FTL version is involved in so many stories and Robert Carlyle is fantastic but I also wonder that since his WIFE is leaving, was he raising baby Gideon on his own?? Or since it’s in the future where Henry is an adult, is Gideon a teenager now?
What about Hook? What happened to Emma? I feel like since she’s leaving that her husband should be going with her, I am not a fan of Hook, I never really was, he was sassier in the beginning and I kind of liked him before he and Emma started dating. It went downhill for me AND I blame him for Merlin’s death so he hasn’t come back from that, same as him getting the loophole from Zeus to come back to life for being a hero and that was some BS. But anyway…
According to the writers, the beginning will parallel Emma’s story in terms of Henry losing his belief along the way, especially since he has the heart of the Truest Believer and his daughter has to help him along. There’s also going to be a reveal of his one true love, in the same vein as Snow and Charming’s love, which might mean that Lucy is a product of True Love but I’m interested to see who this woman of color is lol. Also, the fairy tale characters will be in the real world trying to find their happy endings… I also hope they move away from Storybrooke since Lucy finds Henry in Seattle. I’m okay with this to see where they go with it, if it ended I would have been fine but since it’s not, I’m curious.
My Ideas/Missed Opportunties
So I can’t help but wonder what type of fairy tales or stories they will bring into the story. We branched out into literature with having Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in the story, they should keep doing that.
Aladdin– I really liked Deniz Akdeniz’s version of Aladdin, when we first meet him it’s in kind of flashback but in the future of the Aladdin story. Jafar has the magic carpet and finds him, he’s weak, in pain, he’s shaking and Jafar has a monologue about the consequences of being The Savior. We never got to see more of that, we never got to see Aladdin BE the Savior. In his actual introduction episode, we see him in Agrabah, he’s a thief, a pretty good one at that, Jasmine finds him and convinces him to go with her to the Cave of Wonders to find a Macguffin that has great power. It turns out that it was a test to see if Aladdin was the great power, he was, he saves her with light magic but he’s not for having this magic, not for being used and he meets Jafar who uses Iago an oracle, to show Aladdin his future which seemed like it was dire, he puts the idea of the Three Fate’s Shears being used to cut one away from their destiny. Aladdin does manage to save the day when Jafar threatens Jasmine and he goes off on his adventures, leaving Jasmine behind and Jafar magically sends the shears to Aladdin who keeps them and we learn later that he used them. Which I thought was such a missed opportunity. He does take up the mantle of being a genie to help our heroes in winning which was cool but that also was a missed opportunity.
What they should have done, Aladdin should have had residual Savior magic, especially since Emma did a locator spell to find him by using their connection to the Savior magic. She still finds him. Soooo, that means to me that he should have had some magic still. But apparently that story ends in the finale, but I still think there should be a spinoff OUAT in Agrabah because I want to see how witty, and smiling Aladdin got to that broken man. We never got to see him face off with one of the greatest villains in Jafar. I didn’t mind that Jasmine became a focus because she needed that but I don’t think it should have made Aladdin take a backseat. I want to see the moment he chose to cut away his magic and what happened afterwards. I want to see his moments with the Genie, I appreciate that line they gave in reverence to Robin Williams in the show but I think they glossed over so much with his character. There should either be a spin off for him and Jasmine since she had her own adventures OR bring them back into the show. I don’t think that story is over, he never got to truly face off with a villain. If they bring him back current time, then there should definitely be some flashbacks, MORE flashbacks.
Jasmine– Karen David’s accent didn’t bother me, it wasn’t that serious as NO ONE has an accent for the origins of their character. Accents hardly matter. ANYWAY, I appreciated that they gave her a bit more to do, she’s one of the Disney princesses who is not the lead and doesn’t have a lot to do. She is the one who ultimately faces off against Jafar but for political and fear reasons which is cool. She uses a potion and turns him into a staff and I was like what? I think she should be physical fighter with daggers or something, it would allow her to have the full package of being smart, brave AND adept physically. After all, in the sequels, Jasmine kicked butt. What was she doing in the Land of Untold Stories exactly? Who else did she meet? They pretty much wrapped up the arc they gave her in the beginning but there was more there.
Merlin– Such a BIGGGG missed opportunity. Also should be a regular, would definitely bring more people of color into the show. We get a glimpse of his past, he was running away from capture with someone else, what happened before he got his magic? How was he captured? EXPLAIN! He knew the prophecy about King Arthur who shirked his duties, he faces off against Nimue who became The Dark One after choosing revenge over the love for him, but he can’t fight her and she uses his tear to turn him into a tree. Emma and the others free him after going to Camelot and he goes with Emma on a quest to find a way to restore Excalibur. He was bound to Excalibur by Arthur who tries to get him to kill the heroes but he manages to break free. When Hook is turned into the Dark One, Merlin knows what’s to happen and he killed by Hook at the prodding of Nimue in order to cast a Dark Curse.
So my problem with this is that Merlin is the originator of light magic, at least he’s the first person to have it. He was given this power by the Gods, which in this world I’m assuming the Gods of Mount Olympus. So it doesn’t make sense for him to actually be dead but perhaps that body of his gone, not like what Voldemort did with the Horcruxes but as he’s pure light magic, he found a way, to put his essence into something good. Perhaps something that Gold has in his shop. Once it’s found and someone with light magic (Aladdin maybe) gets a hold of it, it brings Merlin back in human form. He shouldn’t have died. Rumple is the Dark One, there should be a Savior= Aladdin (doesn’t have to be the lead) and there should be someone who is on the same level of the Dark One but good=Merlin who doesn’t have to be there ALL the time… just saying. Bring Elliot Knight back.
Bearskin– So this is a tale I read from the Grimm fairytale. In the story, a soldier returns from War, his parents are dead and his brother can’t house him so he is a wandering traveler. So a man with a hoof appears and makes a deal with him, he cannot bathe, clean himself or anything for 7 years. If he wins then he would be rich and free. If he died during the period then the Devil would have him. So he agrees, the hoofed man puts a green coat on him, as well as a Bearskin and tells him that his pockets will always refill with money but he cannot take it off. About four years into it, he meets a poor man who is facing prison for debts, Bearskin offers to help him so the man offers one of his three daughters’ hands. The oldest and middle daughters are repulsed by him, but the youngest actually talks with him and agrees to her father’s promise. Bearskin gives her half a ring and tells her he will return in 3 years. After time passes, he finds the hoofed man again and tells him to fulfill his end of the bargain. The man makes him good as new and sends him off with his money. He returns to the man, dressed nicely, and says he would marry one of his daughters. The older two run off to be cute for him but he dropped the other half of the ring in the glass of the younger daughter. They get married. The oldest sister hangs herself and the middle drowns herself and the Devil gets two souls for the price of one.
Dark, I know, but I think it would be a great addition to the show. I think the soldier could be Tiana’s long lost brother, perhaps he was taken, disappeared or something and he doesn’t have to be a soldier since Tiana and Naveen are set in New Orleans and there aren’t really any real wars going on around that time.
Instead of the “devil” the mysterious man could be the Voodoo Man Dr. Facilier especially since he was trying to collect souls for the Voodoo spirits. As Bearskin is a wandering man alone, he would be an easy target but he loses him but manages to win still by getting the two sisters, but that doesn’t mean they actually are just gone, he could reanimate them for his bidding. At least until all of his debts are repaid.
Or maybe he didn’t win the bet and his soul is owned by the voodoo man. I feel like I want to write this so I don’t want to go into anymore detail lol.
Tiana and Naveen- So we have not seen them at all on the show, there’s been no indication of them at all. I think if Aladdin and Jasmine don’t come back, at least as regulars, that we would need another couple in the same vein of what Snow and Charming were. I’m not sure if Henry and his mysterious lover stayed together or what, but it would be nice to have a strong couple like Snowing. It would be after the events of their movie, we could see flashbacks of that too if necessary, but they’re not older versions, but they would have been sent to the future by Mama Odie. So there could be flashbacks of their movie story if needed OR there could be moments where we see their life after the film and in their time period and what is going on in the present.
Tiana– It would be cool actually if the soldier from Bearskin is her brother who went missing years before and older brother, maybe her parents thought he died. My head canon is that Tiana is 19 and Naveen is 21 in the movie, so their age could vary depending on how far in the future the show would have them.
She is my choice for Tiana. Annie Illonzeh, she’s currently 33 but I think she has a youthful look about her. Or Nicole Beharie.
Naveen– We don’t really learn much about his past, so him being on the show would give us that chance. Plus, considering how irresponsible he started as off, it would be good to see that progression from him before the movie (in flashbacks) to how he was throughout the film. His casting is a bit harder due to the many things surrounding him. Bruno Campos his voice actor is Brazilian and exaggeration accent, his name is Indian and I’ve always considered his fictional country of Maldonia to be in South America, perhaps his mother is of Indian descent, but I came across Caua Reymond and I can’t find anyone better right now.
He has that smile, and the hair, he’s tall. But I think it would be interesting to go a bit more into detail for him.
Mulan- So I don’t think we ever really got closure with her, Ruby and Dorothy got together and had their closure to an extent (which I thought was super random), but the last time we see her is when she and Ruby go to Oz and it definitely seemed like they were hinting at a Mulan and Merida thing at one point, which I’m okay with since they’re very similar. But they have to come back. I really want to know about Mulan’s past, what about her in the Chinese army? I want to know that whole story, we never go to see it and I would love to see it, what about her relationship with her parents? Was there a Li Shang? It might not have been a romantic thing but it would have been cool for her to have a friend… I think there’s a lot we haven’t explored with her. She just shows up and disappears.
Merida- I guess her story was over, as she ended up back home, but I thought she got a bit short changed, she was thrown in there and wasn’t really utilized much. She ended up being used by Dark Emma but meh… I think she could come back.
Kida and Milo– Remember Atlantis: The Lost Empire, why don’t we ever see her anywhere? Not only do I think Disney needs to a Live Action film but it would be cool to bring her into the show as well. She ends up being a Queen (I don’t even remember the sequel so ignoring that) and she doesn’t have to be in present time, they always have someone go to a different world somewhere where they need help, or they go to Atlantis for some reason and both her and Milo could be there.
Jim Hawkins- As an older man! In the film he’s like 16 and he gets his life together at the end, it would be so cool to involve him! If we insist on having Hook around, perhaps they could meet and be friends, since Hook doesn’t really have any guy friends. OR if Hook leaves, it would be cool to have Jim replace him.
Jefferson/Mad Hatter– This is wishful thinking as Sebastian Stan is in the MCU, but I would love for him to return for a few episodes. When he was reunited with Grace, he kind of just disappeared. I would love to know what really happened with him.
Quasimodo- I think this has been a fan favorite request as well. But again, his story is actually set in a real location of France, perhaps as in the first movie, he doesn’t get the girl, he could be one of those people in search of their happy ending as this new season is dealing with that type of thing. I knew there was a sequel but I don’t remember that or the blonde girl so it could be someone new. Plus, seeing flashbacks with Count Frollo would be everything.
Esmerelda- She is very memorable. What if Pheobus died and now she has to find a new happy ending. I think they had a kid in the sequel, sure that’s fine, but if Regina is still around, perhaps they could become friends (as both Snow AND Emma are gone, so her friends have left the building) and they could go off to find their true loves together. I think it would be interesting that if Pheobus dies, that Esmerelda’s new man be Jim Hawkins or maybe even the Bearskin soldier… or maybe have her “help” a villain get their life together.
Hercules/Meg- I’ve never been a huge fan of the animated film, but I watch it when it comes on TV most times, but I liked the actor they had for Hercules and towards the end, I liked Meg BUT they were so wasted. I understand that Herc served his purpose in Snow’s past (they were super cute though) but why didn’t we ever see him come into real contact with his uncle Hades? Even if it wasn’t that serious in the Underworld, why didn’t we see any flashbacks of them interacting? It was like they weren’t even related. I thought that was a very sad missed opportunity, plus I liked him and wanted more. His only finished business was to defeat Cerberus? I mean come on, that’s lame. He could totally be a series regular. Also could be friends with Jim lol.
There are many villains in Fairy Tales, I think there are many they could pull from that aren’t just Disney. I kind of want them to go a bit dark, not necessarily scary, but pull characters that are actually scary. As Rumple fulfilled his Savior prophecy and Regina hasn’t really done a “bad” thing in a while, who would be our new villain? I don’t see the point of having Rumple relapse again and is he still The Dark One all these years later? I would rather Rumple to no longer be the Dark One in the current time, but to maybe have a bit of magic since he was supposed to be a Savior but it not be very strong. It’s kind of hard to say since I love Dark One Rumple lol.
Jafar– Oded Fehr was great. His story is the only one that really connects to the OUAT in Wonderland, but he leaves Agrabah has his adventure in Wonderland, gets turned into a genie then faces off with Jasmine who uses a potion to turn into a staff. Um, he was a sorcerer and a genie, SO that staff shouldn’t be a long term transformation. Too much power would overload a janky transformation spell. He reverts back to his human form, still a genie unfortunately and plots revenge on both Aladdin and Jasmine. Jasmine for turning him into the staff and rebuffing him and Aladdin defeating him (breaking his snake staff) and for literally being the same person just whose destiny led him to a better life, he even says something to that effect to Aladdin when he saves Jasmine from him in “Street Rats”.
Headless Horseman– Maybe they could include this story as well, he’s a spirit, maybe a villain is controlling him.
Dr. Facilier aka “The Voodoo Man“- So what I’m thinking is that, yeah, he “died” in the film but he was more or less dragged away, it’s assumed he’s dead. I think the best way to handle this, without having too many loopholes from what we already know or seen, Bearskin’s soul could be owned by the Facilier, as he lost the bet. So, even though Facilier is gone, Bearskin is collecting souls for him. In the film, he barters with the spirits to give him what he needs and he promised them all of the souls in New Orleans, that’s the only reason why they agreed to help him, so sure he got dragged away but they wanted all of those souls, why? So, let’s find out why. Bearskin could be making deals (I’m sure Rumple might be aware of this even if it’s in the real world. Bearskin could have limited magic to allow him to travel in between realms, how? Meh, I don’t know, maybe they had a stash of magic beans, and he is able to converse with Facilier, or maybe his shadow is still around and in order for him to be free, they have to give a certain amount of souls in place of his. This is how Tiana and Naveen could find him. I think Facilier should definitely come back, maybe during the midseason finale, he does and then if there is a season 8 he should last into the next season. His magic is different from most of the magic we’ve seen, I think it would be interesting.
Horned King- The scary Skeleton dude from The Black Cauldron. That film is very underrated and that dude is scary, practical effects, no need for tons of CGI but this would allow for Taran and Eilonwy to be in the film (everyone else can stay in the animated film). He wanted to raise a dead army using the Cauldron, another dude who may or may not be dead depending on how it’s handled. I just think he’s a different villain than what we’ve seen before.
Count Frollo- Mostly Flashbacks, there’s really not a reason for him to be alive considering his terrible and well deserved death in the film, but if we bring Quasimodo into it, then I think there should be at least some reason to see him. If you remember the Aladdin/Hercules TV show crossover, Jafar managed to “come back alive” by making a deal with Hades, perhaps Frollo does the same? But he’s not fully alive? He and Facilier could have some type of understanding since they’re both in the real world.
So the way I see it, I think that season 7 should push past the stories we’ve already seen and learned about. There is really no reason to keep Regina, Hook and Rumple around, if anyone should be around it would be Rumple considering his stake in almost every story but I don’t think it’s necessary going forward as the others have moved on. I love Lana Parilla and Robert Carlyle but just as there isn’t’ really a need for Zelena, there isn’t really a need for them. I think the idea of an adult Henry embarking on whatever he’s embarking on is cool as there is a familiar character, but I can’t help but wonder at how much that story will mirror Emma’s. He may not be a Savior as he’s the Truest Believer but still, his daughter has to make him believe like he made Emma believe? Eh, I’m not really into a rehash, even if the direction may change later.
I think by introducing completely new characters (Tiana, Naveen etc.) with a new story, perhaps the message is “freedom” and “connecting with your lost past” it would be a nice throwback to what OUAT has been about but by doing it in a new way with new people we’ve never seen before. It would also give the show the chance to go a bit darker like Disney itself has in the past, I don’t think anyone should be upset about it as a lot of the classic films are kind of scary. OUAT has an opportunity to revitalize their show, I think there is a lot of potential going forward and I would hate see the show get cancelled after this season without ever reaching it’s full potential.
These are just some ideas I have for their directions. I would like to see new things, new characters, especially diverse ones. I think Tiana and Naveen would be a great regular addition to the show filling that Snow and Charming void. I think bringing back certain characters like Aladdin would put someone back into that “savior” role, someone we never really saw embrace that part of him, he cut it away before we really got the chance to see it. If Jafar never returns, I guess that’s fine as he was in Wonderland BUT we didn’t get to see Oded Fehr as much and I think it was a missed opportunity. Henry can remain to fill the “Emma Swan” role if they want someone who doesn’t believe in the beginning BUT I don’t think that’s necessary for this show anymore. Otherwise, bring a new person in who hasn’t experience magic but not be related to Emma or anyone like that. I mean, bring that kid (as an adult) from Rescuer’s Down Under and have him get thrust into the magical world lol.
I just feel like there are so many things to do and I feel like this season is going to be the last. I love how the show brought so many new ways to these well known (and lesser) stories and that’s awesome, but it’s gotten stale, sometimes they manage to reinvigorate the story but this is a chance to really put Once Upon a Time in a new line and bring it back and breathe into it fresh air. I think that’s so important. I really want them to make it feel new again.
I think these are ways that it can.
Let me know your thought below. What characters do you think they should add?
Do you think that Regina, Rumple, Hook and Henry should even still be around?
Please let me know your thoughts! I’d love to have conversations with OUAT fans about the future of the show!