Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017) Review

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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.
Pros:
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).
Cons:
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.
Do you plan on seeing the film?
What is your favorite sci-fi film?
What/Who is your favorite movie alien?
Let me know in the comments! Please like and follow this blog!
Thanks!

Girl’s Trip (2017) Review

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Girl’s Trip premieres July 21, 2017.
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.
Pros:
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.
Cons:
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: 3 out of 5 stars.
I hope you enjoyed this review! Don’t forget to like and comment!
Will you see Girl’s Trip? 
What is your favorite “girlfriends/sisterhood” type of film?
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Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) Review

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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.
Pros:
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.
Cons:
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?
Let me know in the comments below!

The Future of Once Upon a Time

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Welcome back! This is the second part of my Once Upon a Time conversation.
You can read part I here.
The Future.
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.
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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.
Villains
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.
The Story.
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.
Overall,
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!

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Wonder Woman (2017) Review

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Summary: Before she was Wonder Woman she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained warrior. When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, she leaves home to fight a war to end all wars, discovering her full powers and true destiny.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. There are a lot of characters in this film, a lot of secondary ones, and ones who Diana interacts with but I think there are only a few that really stand out.
  • Gal Gadot as Diana/Wonder Woman. Diana is an immortal Amazon princess. The film starts off with her in the present, after the events of Batman v Superman, and then we are moved back in the past with basically a long flashback. We see her as a child, someone who wants to be a warrior, especially after hearing the tales her mother told about the Gods. She eventually is taught by her aunt Antiope how to become a great warrior. She is much more bright eyed, naive and idealistic. Diana is very determined to fulfill what she has been taught about her people, she goes against her mother’s wishes with Steve to fight in the war, believing that her participating will fix things. As the film goes on, she clings to that idea, while also being a fish out of water in London, which is a source of a lot of humor. She’s very intelligent, she’s read thousands of books, she can speak many languages and its obvious that she is very caring, due to her reactions to a lot of tragedies she witnesses from the war. Her idealism causes her to get very disappointed in the end to the point where it’s kind of sad. I think Gal Gadot was a great casting choice, when she was first selected, I only knew her from the Fast and the Furious movies so I thought she was just too skinny, but after seeing her in BvS, I was excited to see more of her and I think this film lives and dies with her. The way she plays Diana’s hopefulness, her awe as she figures out some of the things she’s able to do, her determination at saving everyone, her interactions with Steve… now I do think when it came to the more dramatic parts, it wasn’t as strong of a performance but I still think she was great and easily one of the best thing in the film.
  • Chris Pine as Steve Trevor. He is a Captain from US Air Service, he is also a British spy. He is a bit of a rogue in the beginning, he comes off in the beginning as someone who can hardly believe what he’s seeing when he is on Themyscira, as well as how Diana is. It’s like “girl what?” lol, and Pine does that well. He is a charming guy and he tries to help Diana navigate the “real” world, by answering questions, by trying to get her to understand how things are, especially as he’s seen them. Compared to her, he is cynical and there are times where he looks so irritated or stressed out due to her idealistic views of things. He tries but it’s hard. I liked him, I think Chris Pine was really likable in this role, I thought he had great chemistry with Gal Gadot and even though it did dip into romance, I thought it was well earned as it’s not rushed, or forced in there. There is a great scene near the end before the final fight where I think it’s his best scene in the film where he’s talking to her, trying to get her to understand why things didn’t happen the way she thought once she felt she completed her task. When there are dramatic moments, especially between him and Gadot, he performs it better than she does, which I think helps… he was probably the other one of the best things in the film.
  • Robin Wright as Antiope. Being with the Amazons was great in itself but Robin Wright was fantastic. She is Diana’s aunt and is the General of their army and it shows as her physical prowess is amazing. She trains Diana against her sister’s (the Queen) wishes due to what she believes in, she’s ultimately right, but she is such a great character who serves her purpose in the beginning of Diana’s life.
Action Scenes. There are three major fight scenes. There are smaller moments here and there but there are three BIG ones.
  • Themyscira beach scene. We get to see the Amazons fight against German invaders on their beach, as they are accidentally discovered thanks to Steve crashing in their water. That scene was so great because seeing those women kick butt like that, with their awesome fighting skills, their weapons, a lot of their stunts was so intense that my eyes were huge.
  • WWI Scene. We see this scene the most in the trailers, it starts with Diana determined to cross No Man’s Land, and it continues into a tiny village on the other side of the German trench and that entire scene is absolutely amazing. Gal Gadot has physical experience, I’m not sure how many of her own stunts she did, especially since she was pregnant during action reshoots, but everything she does in that scene is amazing. We really get to see Diana’s fighting skills.
  • Final Fight. This is her fight against the main villain of the film and it’s big, it grand and it’s fun. I almost felt a bit overwhelmed because it was so much, but it was a great overwhelmed feeling. It also had some great emotional moments due to her fighting him parallels other things happening during that scene.
The Effects. As a superhero film, obviously there has to be a lot of effects and there are. There are times where it gets a bit video gamey but it’s not an eyesore, unless you just don’t like that at all. The final fight is very heavy on the effects and almost overwhelming because it’s so grand and quick. There is also a really beautifully animated scene where Diana’s mother tells child Diana a bedtime story, that was really cool.
Chemistry/Small Moments. There are some great small moments between Diana and Steve that are really sweet. After a big battle, they have a small moment where they just talk, understand each other better, and he teaches her how to dance, which does come in handy in a later scene so it’s not random. It builds their relationship more, it helps them understand each other more while also allowing the viewers to understand more as well.  While the film has big moments, there are a lot of slower moments that don’t feel slow, it feels relevant. There’s a great scene between Steve and Diana on a boat. I thought all of that was handled well.
The Humor. This movie is actually really funny, being that there are “fish out of water” parts in the film, mostly with Steve in the beginning and then with Diana later, it calls for a lot of humor. Diana also being naive in the world of man is also funny and endearing most of the time. The surrounding people reacting to her is great as well.
The Music. It’s big and grand, when it kicks in, especially during fight scenes, it just adds to the WOW factor of the film. Not to mention, that Wonder Woman theme is awesome, she was the best part of BvS, that theme kicking in when she showed up, so when they played it in this film, I couldn’t help the smile on my face.
COLORFUL. Oh my gosh!! I love that this film has colors! Well mostly in the Themyscira, it’s so bright and colorful, it’s definitely where most of the color comes from in this film. When she’s in London, it’s obviously kind of dark and gloomy and really grey, but there are definitely pockets of color in the fighting scenes, Diana’s costume is colorful unlike how it looked in Batman v Superman. The blue dress she wears (in the trailer where you see the sword down her back), is really beautiful on her and when she runs outside in it, that blue on the gloomy blue of the environment, it was beautiful.
The feeling. There is just something amazing about seeing Wonder Woman on the screen fighting. No one actually ever calls her that in the film, but she definitely is in the film. Just the idea of this powerhouse woman being on the big screen, that she is not sidelined in her own film, that her entire presence is being led by a female director also helps as well. She looks great on film, her outfit is great and practical, her views of the world, she is likable and someone you’d want to follow. The fact that she tried on many clothes in London to find a skirt she could fight in is just a great addition to her character that it adds to the care she’s given. I’m sure many women felt a swell of pride at seeing her, I don’t think it’s overly feminist nor do I think it’s “under” feminist as there’s a nice balance between both Diana and Steve pulling their weight but ya know, she owns every other man though.
Cons:
Supporting Characters. To be quite honest, outside of Diana none of the supporting characters feel that important or that interesting. The group of guys she ends up spending her time with are fine, they have funny moments but I don’t think I would have been upset if they died minus Chris Pine who we get to spend more time with. The Amazons are an interesting group of women but they serve their purpose outside of Robin Wright’s character.
The Villains. So, it’s kind of weird but we know about the Poison lady Dr. Maru from the trailers but she’s not that interesting, there are a few other people we come into contact with, that I don’t want to spoil and there’s another person working with Dr. Maru who has a lot of interesting potential as well, and I had some questions about him but meh. There’s a third villain that I won’t spoil here, that one was probably the best one, especially in the last act but I can’t help but think with how the movie was, that maybe it was too soon to handle them they way it was handled.
The Final Fight. So, Diana faces off with the big baddie, the effects are great (a bit cgi-ish but it’s not that bad), and it’s pretty great watching her fight this person BUT once it was over, considering what we’ve been told, what Diana learned all those years ago, and how things are presented, the end of the fight feels like a contradiction to what the villain was saying before they started fighting and throughout the entire fight. It’s a bit too long and over the top at times.
The Story/The ending. So I think it’s safe to that the story isn’t anything new really, idealistic person grows up separate from the world, goes out to save it thinking they know what to do, may have some awesome wins in there but the real battle comes at the end where they are shown that their views were naive and most likely wrong, they’re now disappointed then something happens where they have to believe in it again and overcomes. Yeah, I mean it’s textbook and while its in this film, it still doesn’t feel new or fresh. With that said, the ending is interesting because after the big battle, it’s almost kind of hard to talk about this without spoiling, the entire time Diana believes that mankind is involved in this war because of an entity she grew up hearing about, she ends up learning the hard way that that’s not completely true…but once the final battle is over, the soldiers who happened to survive react in a way that makes it seem like she was right… which then begs the question, well what about the other wars? What about WWII? I mean, I get what the idea is but the execution was a bit weak in the end.
Overall, I really liked Wonder Woman and it definitely is the best DCEU film so far, but the bar isn’t that high so everything after this has to live up to, or surpass this one. I think both Gal Gadot and Chris Pine were standouts, Robin Wright was great in her supporting role and the entire time spent on Themyscira is fun, colorful and awesome as we see these Amazonian women kick butt and take names. All of the action scenes are fun and great, the last one is a bit overblown and long but it’s still fun. Wonder Woman herself is a great character, the film lives and breathes with her as well as Chris Pine, their chemistry was great and their small moments helped build their characters to each other and for us. The effects were handled very well, the film was colorful which was needed for this character. The music is great, WW’s theme always gets people hype when it kicks in and that feeling of finally seeing her on the big screen, not playing second fiddle in a boring story is just great. However, the villains aren’t that interesting and the last act has a bit of some weird story elements in it that I find contradictory. I didn’t want to put this as a con per say, but it did kind of effect certain areas of the film, it reminded me a of lot of Captain America, perhaps that can’t be helped as they were both created during times of War and do have similar attributes but the film itself reminded me a lot of The First Avenger to the point where in my head I would go “that reminded me of Cap”. But overall, I really liked Wonder Woman, it’s definitely a game changer for DCEU, we will see if they take notes from the care in this film and put that in the others.
Rating: 4.29 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Wonder Woman? What did you think about it? Did it live up to your expectations? Are you excited to see more?

 

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Once Upon a Time Thoughts

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So OUAT (Once Upon a Time) has been a favorite show of mine for years. It premiered in 2011. I remember seeing the previews for it and being super excited. I love fairy tales, I love Disney and I wasn’t sure what to expect. But the first episode hit and I loved it. It was a little rocky in the beginning but it found it’s footing and it led us into season two and so on. Sunday May 14, 2017 was the season six finale and it was a two parter. I always feel like this show should be two hours considering how much goes on and how much I feel is glossed over or left out.
So this is going to be a two parter to prevent it from being uber long. This post will be my thoughts on the show and the following part will be where I think the show will go in the next season as it’s been renewed by ABC. There will be spoilers ahead, of the season 6 finale as well as the entire show SOOOO if you don’t want to be spoiled be aware. If you have not caught up with the show, don’t read this because I will be spoiling all throughout INCLUDING the finale.
This is also JUST for Once Upon a Time NOT Wonderland. I might mention it but this is not about it.
Warning: This will probably also be long. Sorry Not Sorry.
The story
A young woman with a troubled past is drawn to a small town in Maine where fairy tales are to be believed.
Season 1– The Evil Queen interrupts Snow White and Prince Charming’s wedding to gloat about the Dark Curse she’s planning to unleash on everyone, to ruin their happy endings. A majority of the characters are transported to the town of Storybrooke, Maine where they no longer remember their original lives. Emma Swan is brought to Storybrooke on her 28th birthday by her biological son Henry Mills. He hopes she would break the curse cast by The Evil Queen Regina his adoptive mother.
  • This was my favorite season. I think the first two or three episodes are kind of hard because they’re a bit slow but things start to pick up. It was fun meeting new characters in Storybrooke and working alongside Emma and Henry to figure out who they are and how their stories fit in with the others. It was the most fun and most fresh. It was also kind of a bit dark with the whole storyline of Mary Margareta and David having an affair even though he was engaged. Plus, I think it’s when Rumple/Gold is at his best and when the story was pretty straight forward and didn’t have so many holes that required even more ridiculous answers to fill the ridiculous holes.
Season 2- Emma has broken the curse but the characters did not return to the fairy tale world and now must deal with their dual identities. Mr. Gold/Rumpelstiltskin brings magic into Storybrooke and new threats are introduced in Captain Hook and Cora, Regina’s mother (The Queen of Hearts).
It was after season 2 that they started doing the split the season into two separate arcs (which I don’t think always worked).
  • In this season everyone is dealing with the fact that they have woken up, they are finding each other, their family members and loved ones. It’s beautiful, and Emma gets to officially meet her parents. This is also when Cora, Regina’s mother comes with Hook and she is a fantastic villain. Hook was on his revenge kick, which was interesting for a while, it got a bit old but in this season it was fine as it was his introduction.
Season 3- In the first half, the main characters travel to Neverland to rescue Henry who was kidnapped by Peter Pan to obtain the “Heart of the Truest Believer”. This struggle continues in Storbrooke which sends the characters to their original worlds causing Emma and Henry to escape to New York City. In the second half, the characters are somehow brought back to a brand new Storybrooke with the last year of memories removed. Zelena, the Wicked Witch of the West appears with a plan to change the past and Emma must save her family.
  • At first I was a little upset that they made Peter Pan a bad guy, but Robbie Kay was soo good that I enjoyed it. I didn’t mind this being a half a season because Neverland (while I think there was a lot to be done there), got a little old after a while. It was an emotional season as Emma and Snow, came to grips that she was alone as a kid. It also had Neal return (Henry’s father) and Emma dealing with her feelings for him, as well as the new interest Hook was giving her. I still liked Hook at this point. The only thing I didn’t really like was that Peter Pan ended up being Rumple’s father who gave up being a father by wishing to give it up and he was made a kid again leaving a child Rumple on his own. It worked out well but I still didn’t like that twist.
  • Zelena is introduced and I loved her, truly WICKED. Her storyline is also kind of sad  in her childhood, it was also interesting seeing Oz. I think it was a bad idea though to have the Scarecrow be a CGI character, they should have casted someone and made him a bigger role as he’s the Scarecrow, I mean COME ON! We do see the Tin Man in season 6 though.
Season 4- The first half included time travel events from the previous season in which Elsa (Frozen) is accidentally brought from the Enchanted Forest of the past to Present day Storybrooke. While she searches for her sister Anna with the help of the main characters, they meet The Snow Queen. Meanwhile, Regina searches for the Author of Henry’s storybook so she can have her happy ending. After being banished from the town, Mr. Gold enlists the help of Cruella De Vil, Maleficent and Ursula to change the rules of heroes and villains. Henry and Emma have to restore reality and the truth before the switch becomes permanent.
  • A lot of people don’t like the Frozen movie, nor did they like the addition of it in the show, but neither bothers me. I like the movie, it’s not my favorite but I like it and I liked it in the show, mostly because I liked the actresses they chose for Anna and Elsa and I loved the connection the Snow Queen story.
  • In terms of the second half, the Queens of Darkness was a rushed storyline and there are still lines that haven’t been completed. I didn’t think we really got to know any of them that well, they all had their flashbacks but they weren’t fleshed out enough and Maleficent’s story just ended and hasn’t been resolved yet. So that’s still hanging around.
Season 5- The characters embark on a quest to Camelot to find Merlin (who was the best ever!) to free Emma from the Dark One’s powers, while King Arthur is determined to alter the balance between light and darkness using Excalibur. Things happen and the characters must go to the Underworld where they meet souls with unfinished business and face Hades. They must attempt to restore order to the chaos that was created and a war between light and darkness begins with the separation of Regina and her Evil Queen persona. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde also join the story while bringing characters from the Land of Untold Stories.
  • So this was probably a season that had some interesting potential. We meet the people of Camelot, we met Lancelot before in an earlier season flashback. This is also where we meet one of the best “guest starring” characters: Merlin. Elliot Knight really was a gem. King Arthur is a villain, a desperate man and Emma struggles with the darkness inside as the newest Dark One. There was also some great interesting moments of Merlin’s history we didn’t learn, even with Nimue, who was also really interesting. They had great chemistry. Hook is swayed by the darkness and makes a stupid decision which solidified my already growing dislike for him.
  • The Underworld was also interesting, Hades was cool but I wasn’t into the whole “we all must go save Hook” thing. I also didn’t like how Mila (Rumple and Hook’s ex) died, it was just plain wrong. We got to see Cruella again and in the end, it was cool.
Season 6- The characters must defend Storybrooke from the combined threat of Mr. Hyde and the Evil Queen while Emma finds out about Aladdin (who was also great!) who was a Savior and must learn the fates of saviors. The battle of light and dark continue with an ultimate prophesied battle between Emma and a mysterious figure.
  • Had some interesting build up, but I honestly just wanted an entire season with Aladdin, Jasmine and Jafar as they were super interesting.
Regular Characters:
Emma Swan– In the beginning, she is a bondswoman, she does not believe in magic until she is brought to Storybrooke by Henry, her son. It takes a while to believe in his tales, but when she does, she learns that she’s powerful. She is The Savior as she is the product of true love. She has faced off against many villains. She is strong, blonde, wears an awesome red leather jacket, drives a yellow bug and is a great mom to Henry. She does have light magic, which allows for many things. She even experienced time as “The Dark One” for a bit. In each season, she has her struggles, sometimes they’re recycled (which I talk about later) but she always manages to pull through them, to find another way.
Snow White- Snow White is very different than how we know her. When we first meet her, it’s the usual storyline where she is sleep and is kissed by her Prince. When the first curse hits, she is ripped away from her happy ending with David and put into the real world as a school teacher “Mary Margaret Blanchard”. She has no memory of her past life even though she and David manage to find each other (due to intense drama) her personality is completely different from the awesome, feisty, archer that Snow White is. However, once the curse is broken, she is reunited with David, their love is beautiful, they reunite with Emma (Mary Margaret and Emma are friends and roommates) who is a bit weirded out by the idea that her parents are the same age as her. Snow White is so unyielding in her believe in hope, in her family, in that she and David will always find each other. She has so much love in her heart for everyone, even Regina who has ruined her life on many occasion. However, Snow is not perfect, she has made many mistakes, some really terrible ones but I think she is great.
Prince “David” Charming- David is Prince Charming, he is noble, brave, chivalrous and daring. He also loves his wife. When the first curse hits, he’s in a coma, “Mary Margaret” visits him as part of community service. When he wakes, he has a fiancee or wife (don’t remember) but he definitely knows she’s not the one. He and MM start an affair and it’s dramatic. When the curse breaks, he and Snow find each other. Throughout the series, his roles kind of go back and forth. Sometimes he’s just Snow’s husband, Prince Charming. Sometimes he takes the lead in storylines, sometimes he’s a bit judgmental but he’s definitely unflinching in his love for both Snow and Emma. His entire family in general, since that includes Henry Mills. I do kind of wish he had a friend though, he never really had a best guy friend, he and Hook did have rapport in later seasons which is nice, but I never got the sense that David really likes Hook even if he did marry his daughter. But the biggest thing about him is his willingness to sacrifice himself for his family.
Regina Mills- I LOVE Regina. Don’t get me wrong, she has done terrible things but she has had a great redemption arc. Regina is the Evil Queen, when she was a younger woman (I would say about 16-18) she fell in love with her stable boy, against her mother’s wishes who wanted her to become official royalty. She saves a 10 year old Snow White from getting hurt on a runaway horse, Snow catches Regina and Daniel together after Regina was supposed to be preparing to marry her father the King. Regina tells Snow to keep it a secret, but she finds out later that Snow told her mother because she thought she was helping which makes Regina upset. She marries the king, because Daniel is killed before her eyes but vowed revenge on Snow. Her flashbacks as the Evil Queen shows her hunting Snow White and before her revenge plot, she learns magic from Rumpelstiltskin. As Mayor Regina Mills, she runs Storybrooke, she started the first curse, she had her way in the town but when Emma comes in, she knocks it down and goes head to head with everyone for the longest time. She eventually starts become a hero, it takes a while but in the end, she is part of the hero squad. There’s a lot with her but she manages to find her true love in Robin Hood (which I will talk about later *mad face*), she gains a sister in Zelena (The Wicked Witch) and is happy at least.
Henry Mills- He is the one who started it all. He starts off as a 10 year old boy, he finds Emma, brings her to Storybrooke and works to get her to believe that she is The Savior in order to break the curse. Which she does. He puts a lot of things in motion. For a little while, he takes a back burner, but he becomes really important in the Neverland arc because he has the heart of the true believer even though he got on Regina a lot about using her magic to get her way. Regina and Emma will do anything for him (until… I will talk about later), he meets a girl in the Camelot arc and becomes the author later on. He believes in Emma unflinchingly and loves both his mothers, biological and adopted. We also see him grow up on the show.
Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold- He is my favorite character. He is involved in almost every storyline in pulling the strings. He was the “fairy godmother” to Cinderella, he was the Beast to Belle, he taught both Regina and her mother Cora, how to use magic,  he spends most of the first season trying to find his long lost son Baelfire. His father became Peter Pan, his mother is The Black Fairy. He is the Dark One, he is extremely powerful, he makes deals with people to give them what they want but he will come to collect at some point for what he wants. He’s very intelligent, he’s insane but he’s so great, especially with the many things he’s collected over the years that hold power. He falls in love with Belle (their first episode is one of my favorites), Emma tries to help him become a hero but he always reverts to wanting power over everything, which is why he always ends up alone. He does find his son who is living in the real world as Neal (who happened to meet Emma and fathered Henry). Rumple deals a lot with trying to figure out what he actually wants, he says he wants power but he also wants family and it goes back and forth and he makes the wrong choices, even though he has a woman who loves him. I love Rumple though. Still my favorite. Robert Carlyle is fantastic.
**Side Note: I know he cut his hair for the T2: Trainspotting  film but I don’t like it for the character lol.
Belle French- She starts off as a guest character, then a reoccurring to become a regular. Rumple shows up to help her kingdom but his price is that Belle goes with him as his maid. She chooses to do so for her kingdom as she wants to be a hero, from all of the books she’s read. Belle goes to his huge castle and in the beginning she’s afraid of him but eventually that becomes less and less afraid and wants to know him. They fall in love with each other, she happens to meet Regina who plants the idea of True Love’s Kiss in her head and she kisses Rumple and it starts to break the Dark One hold on him, but he chooses the power over her love. He lets her go and she goes. In the real world, Rumple thinks she’s dead but she’s been held in the mental hospital. When the curse is broken, they are reunited and it’s been a battle for the longest time. They do get officially married and Belle takes a backseat in a lot of storylines (to my chagrin). She works in the library which is fitting, the others come to her for research purposes, in flashbacks she has some adventures, but she spends a lot of time trying to believe in Rumple to be a good man until she eventually gives up on him because he’s stubborn. She tries to have her own life but ya know they never really let her do that. She and Rumple have a child, she names Gideon from a hero from one of her favorite books. Belle really tries to keep her baby from being corrupted by Rumple’s back and forth.
Captain “Hook” Killian Jones- He starts off as a villain, working with Cora, he’s a swashbuckling, witty, guy-liner wearing pirate. He just wants revenge against Rumple for killing his girlfriend (who was Rumple’s wife) but on the way, he ends up falling for Emma and vice versa, after he tells Neal (who decides he also wants to get Emma back) that he will fight for her. It takes everyone a long time to trust him, considering the things he’s done in the past, he even tricks Charming with a life or death situation. However, he does build a relationship and a life for himself in this new world. I don’t really find him that interesting, especially once he and Emma become a thing, (though I did like his episode where he and Emma go back in time in FTL and see how Snow and Charming met). He is harmed and dies, Emma tries to save him but in order to do so she ends up making him a Dark One, which he shows that he is easily corrupted by dark magic and gives in to Nimue (the first Dark One) and then does sacrifice himself to save everyone and he dies. In the Underworld arc, everyone spends all of their time trying to save him, he does manage to hold out against Hades, but he is given a loophole and comes back to life. In season 7, he proposes to Emma and they get married, but in there, it’s revealed that he killed David’s father in the past, he and Emma have a moment where they’re separated because he freaks out and runs when Emma tells him not to hide things and lie to her. But in the end, married.
Zelena “The Wicked Witch”-  She is introduced as Regina’s long lost older sister, she was given away by Cora because she was a baby out of wedlock whose father wasn’t royal. She wanted to be royal and she knew that having Zelena would not bring that. So Zelena grows up in a damaged household, but she shows magic experience early. It is revealed that she and Regina did meet as children but Cora uses magic to make them forget each other due to Zelena being a peasant. But Zelena knows that she was given up and that all of the good attention was given to Regina and she is extremely jealous which makes her turn green from the inside out. She becomes the Wicked Witch of the West, which has ties in with the other witches, with Dorothy (though water does not melt her). She has an infatuation with Rumple, especially when she learns that he’s teaching Regina magic, she wants him to choose her to cast his dark curse. Her main goal is just make Regina pay for being the one Cora chose. She is defeated, Rumple kills her but she manages to come back and replaces Maid Marian, kills her and tricks Robin Hood in having a baby with her. With that, she manages to come back and work with Regina and the Charming team. She struggles for a little while, especially when she meets Hades and he turns out to be her true love, she chooses Regina over her true love and destroys Hades. When Regina splits herself, she bonds with the Evil Queen, and in season 7 she gives a huge sacrifice and gives up her magic to save everyone. I love her too.
Villains:
There have been a lot of villains on the show, some have been more important than others or they’ve been on the show way more than others. I’m not going to talk about them really but I will mention them. At least the ones I remember and that stood out.
  • Regina Mills “Evil Queen”
    • Lana Parilla owns this role, I love Regina. She’s great.
  • Rumpelstiltskin/ Mr. Gold/ The Dark One
    • Robert Carlyle is iconic in this role, I love him. I definitely prefer him in his makeup because I think he’s able to have way more fun in that role. Plus, the voice, the walk, the ticks for the Rumpelstiltskin is great. I do like how he changes the cadence and tone of his voice for Mr. Gold. He’s the string in a lot of storylines, he is the catalyst for a lot of things and he always has a stake in a fight. It may not be in the forefront or obvious but it’s there. He always figures out a way and sometimes it’s so underhanded and backhanded that it’s amazing how he somehow always wins even when he loses.
  • Cora Mills/ Queen of Hearts
    • Barbara Hershey was AHMAZING in this role. Cora was so ruthless. She wanted Regina to be Queen and does whatever it takes for her to be Queen. She orchestrates the situation of Regina saving Snow on her horse, she kills Daniel (Regina’s first love) in front of Regina, even though Regina sends her to Wonderland, she still keeps her hands in the pot from away. She comes back and tries to get Regina on her side, she is very good with her words. She also had a thing for Rumple lol. She seemed like she was gonna turn it around but Snow pulls a bad decision and Cora dies. She shows back up in the Underworld and mends the bridges between herself and Regina and Zelena, it was a touching moment. Rose McGowan was also good as a young Cora.
  • Zelena/ The Wicked Witch.
    • Rebecca Mader was great, I love her delivery, I loved her expressions and monologues.
  • Malcolm/ Peter Pan
    • Robbie Kay was great as Peter Pan. I love that character and it was interesting seeing him as a villain and I loved it. I didn’t like the twist of him being Rumple’s father. A man child, who chooses to be young again instead of caring for his son. It runs in the family apparently.
  • Ingrid/The Snow Queen
    • Elizabeth Mitchell was great, she was the Snow Queen, which is what Frozen was based on, but actually having her be this broken woman who felt alone after losing both her sisters (one of them being Anna and Elsa’s mother) and she tries to find them again in Elsa and Emma who both have magic, she wants them both to embrace the extent of their powers (they’re also blondes lol). She can also be argued to more of the tragic villain who later becomes a hero as she willingly sacrifices herself to save Anna and Elsa.
  • Maleficent
    • I honestly liked her look in the beginning because it was different, they changed her appearence after the film came out, but that’s fine. She was also interesting, also a bit of a tragic villain but she’s disappeared along with her long lost daughter.
  • Ursula
    • She was a villain for a moment. Part of the Queens of Darkness arc, she is the first one to let it go, she was a mermaid who cursed herself to get back at her father but when they reconcile she goes away. It was unfortunate with her costume and that in the earlier episodes with Ariel that we never really got see Merrin Dungey play off of JoAnna Garcia-Swisher.
  • Cruella De Vil
    • She was great, definitely a favorite of mine. Not a redeemable villain, Victoria Smurfit played her to a T. She cannot kill due to The Author getting back at her for tricking him, she has the power to influence animals, and she does die and shows up in the Underworld. So great.
  • Nimue/ Original Dark One
    • Carolina Ford plays her as both Nimue pre Dark One and as The Dark One.  She loves Merlin (they’re sooo cute) but she tries to manipulate Emma into killing Merlin but is unsuccessful but is with Hook. She is able to manipulate others into doing what she wants, she is ultimate darkness and I wish we saw more of her.
  • Captain Hook/ Dark One
    • Didn’t like this, I already didn’t really care for him, this storyline made me dislike him even more.
  • Hades
    • He was great, Greg Germann was able to be menacing but also pull the humor they had in the animated film. I think it was a missed opportunity to not have any true scenes between Hades and Hercules.
  • Fiona/ The Black Fairy
    • She was a villain of season 6, I thought Jaime Murray was really good. She has this smile on her face while spewing the most ridiculous nonsense, it was so great. She also pulled a lot of strings behind the scenes, similar to her son Rumple. Fiona became the Black Fairy by choice, she had Rumple, freaked out because his Fairy Godmother Tiger Lily foresaw him being a Savior (yes Rumple was supposed to be a Savior) and she tried to learn spells and magic to protect him from that, ends up becoming the very person he was meant to defeat (which he does in the finale). She really gets her plan in motion in the finale but she stays in the shadows mostly before now.
  • Gideon
    • Mostly a pawn by the Black Fairy. He is Rumple and Belle’s son, he was kidnapped after BF attacked the Blue Fairy. His main job is to fight The Savior and kill her. He shows up in Belle’s dreams as Morpheus telling her to let go of Rumple due to him not choosing her etc. etc. same old stuff…but turns out he’s the one Emma’s been seeing in her visions. The Black Fairy has his heart, he’s good but she’s corrupting him and makes him go after Emma in the finale, he kills her, but due to her willingly dying, his life resets and he’s reverted back into a baby, since he was raise away from Bella and Rumple in a different dimension where time is faster.
  • The Author/ Isaac Heller
    • This dude is just a slime ball. I don’t even care lol, Henry took over for him. The only thing I remember him actually doing is getting his feelings hurt with Cruella and writing that she can’t kill anyone.
  • Jafar
    • There are technically two versions of him, the version in OUAT in Wonderland and the one in season 6. I don’t think they’re meant to be the same person, which is unfortunate. But he was wasted. I thought Oded Fehr was a great choice to pick up this character after Naveen Andrews who was also great. I will talk more about him later.
  • Emma Swan/The Dark One
    • Her outfit was amazing but I would argue that while she was The (A) Dark One, she wasn’t evil but it was cool to see her lurking around.
Reoccurring Characters
This means they showed up more than once. It could have been twice but it’s more than once but they’re also the ones who are most involved.
  • The Seven Dwarves– We spend most of the time with Grumpy/Leroy who is great “The CURSE! IT’S HERE!” but they’re cool.
  • Robin Hood- I loved him. I’m still upset at what happened to him and I will never forgive it. He and Regina were meant to be together, he had two kids, albeit he was tricked for the second one but still. They killed him, it wasn’t even a death, he was erased before Regina’s eyes. Then they bring him back but as a alternate version and they put Regina’s evil half “The Evil Queen” with that version of Robin. Fine but NO!
  • Widow Lucas/Granny- She owns a diner which is the center of the town basically. She has a crossbow, so when she’s involved, she’s cool.
  • Blue Fairy– She is still a mysterious figure to me.
  • Mulan- She is a warrior who starts off assisting Prince Phillip on his quest of finding Princess Aurora. Mulan has been in and out of storylines and I wish they would have done way more with her.
  • Tinker Bell- She started off as a fairy in training “Green Fairy”, she goes to help Regina find her true love, she guides her but Regina ultimately shies away from it and it causes Tinker Bell to lose her wings as she broke fairy rules. She goes to Neverland. She later comes back to help Regina even though she’s hurt and angry. She forgives Regina and manages to help more later.
  • Merida- Following her movie (which I liked her in the show way more than I did in the film), she witnesses her father’s death and becomes the Queen of her kingdom. She has to prove herself to the United Clans and does so. She ends up getting swept up in Hook’s Dark Curse and goes to Storybrooke where Emma keeps her prisoner and uses her to train Mr. Gold in being heroic to free excalibur. She also later meets Mulan and I think they had a mutual attraction but nothing ever happened.
  • Ruby/Red Riding Hood- She was a main character in season two, she is Snow’s best friend in the Enchanted Forest. Her cloak is magical, it helps keep her wolf side under control as before she would turn into a wolf at night, unknowingly, and attack so the cloak is magical. She is loyal, she is awesome and I love Ruby. She ended up disappearing after a while, but comes back in season 5 I think because she went to FTL to try and find more wolves, but ends up going with Mulan to Oz, where they meet Dorothy, who gets put under a sleeping curse and Ruby kisses her waking her with True Love’s First Kiss. I wouldn’t have minded that if it wasn’t so rushed, it was handled so sloppily.
  • Ariel- She’s a mermaid who first saves Snow White, they become friends, and go to a ball that Prince Eric is having, as Ariel is infatuated with him. She comes in and out a lot, she ends up being at the mercy of Regina, who steals her voice and it’s only granted to her with a magical bracelet that also gives her legs. Ariel finds Eric again later, she accidentally get put into a bottle with the Jolly Roger but is freed and is living with Eric on an island. I loved her involvement but I wish they handled her better, same with Eric, I didn’t like the actor they chose for Eric and I don’t like how they just kept throwing out information with them without really earning it.
  • Cinderella/ Ashley-  I guess she was more of a “guest star” than a reoccurring but whatever, I liked her. She was cute, before the curse, she’s a teenager who’s pregnant and creates a bond with Emma (who could relate). In FTL, Rumple was her Fairy Godmother lol and she’s been in and out a few times. The last time we saw her, was a dramatic turn with her stepmother and stepsisters, where one of them was nice.
  • Merlin- I will talk about him sooo much more later but I AM STILL UPSET AT WHAT THEY DID TO HIM! I loved Merlin, he was my favorite new character they brought into the show and he should have been made a regular. He should be part of this new season. He is the originator of LIGHT magic, we first meet him appearing to a young Emma, we then see some flashbacks of him fighting a Dark One and he’s turned into a tree because he wouldn’t attack. Then, Emma frees him from the tree using a mixture of light and dark magic. Then he’s sassy lol which I loved and Elliot Knight was fantastic.
  • King Arthur- He was a villain but I didn’t put him in the villains list because I thought he was more of a misguided, desperate man than a villain. He made bad choices because he felt that he was told something. He was pretty terrible but he redeemed himself in the Underworld arc.
  • Aladdin- *sighs* A lot of people had issues with the accents, it didn’t bother me as no one really has accents based on their characters. But I liked him and I wanted more of him. We first see him in a sort of flashback where he’s lived a bit of time as a Savior and now he was a shell of a man, he was hiding in a shack. Jafar comes and taunts him. Then in the past, we see him in Agrabah as a  thief, then he meets Jasmine and she talks him into going with her to the Cave of Wonders where it’s revealed that he is a Savior. Jafar shows up, taunts him and then we meet him again later. I think Aladdin had a lot of potential. It turns out that he got swept up in the Dark Curse and had been living in Storybrooke for a time, Emma manages to find him using their connection to Savior magic and it turned out that he cut away his Savior magic with shears from The Fates. He and Jasmine reunite, he then willingly becomes a Genie so he could help. The Evil Queen steals the lamp, she and David had a fight and David steals back the lamp. THEN Jasmine makes a wish and they both disappear to find Agrabah, then the happen to meet up with Hook later, they find Ariel who happened to have a bottle that holds Jafar who is a genie (which I’m assuming is after his time in Wonderland from OUAT in Wonderland), they finally kiss and they break the spell on Agrabah and Aladdin is free from the Genie life. We see him in the finale but hardly though it was great seeing him in that Prince Ali getup. So many missed opportunities.
  • Jasmine- So I did appreciate how they had her have to square off with Jafar in the end. In the flashbacks, she’s feisty and almost a little manipulative but she gets the job done. She manages to help Aladdin figure out he’s The Savior, she wants him to accept his destiny. When he leaves, she stays to be a proper leader after Aladdin makes a comment about her not knowing her own kingdom. She fails, runs off to the Land of Untold Stories and is brought to Storybrooke with the others, where she pretends to be someone else as Snow’s teacher’s assistant. When Aladdin comes back, they have their moments but never kiss, then she makes a wish when he’s a Genie to find Agrabah and they go off on their own adventure where she faces Jafar. She’s afraid of him but manages to pull through and win. I think it was great they had her face her fears but she was kind of useless for a long time, even in the Flashbacks, we don’t really see her and Jafar have many interactions for her to be so afraid of him, he also never really did anything to warrant fear personally.
  • Tiger Lily- So far it looks like we’ll be seeing more of her, but she started out as a Fairy. She was Rumple’s Fairy Godmother and we’re still learning more about her. But I’m interested and I love that her Fairy outfit has a lot of Native tribe hints to it and I love that. She also helped Hook on Neverland in the present as she’s no longer a Fairy I don’t think, similar to Tinker Bell. I don’t know why yet though.
  • Princess Aurora– Yeah, she was annoying, they probably could have used her better but meh.
  • Elsa– I know a lot of people don’t like Frozen and did not like the addition of the characters on the show but I like the movie and I didn’t mind their additions. I actually think I liked them in the show more than I liked them in the movie. Georgina Haig was really good casting for Elsa and I liked her friendship with Emma and I liked how they incorporated her character into the Snow Queen thing especially since Elsa was based off the Snow Queen story.
  • Anna– Elizabeth Lail was great as Anna, she was less annoying but she kept the fun and quirky personality of the character. The need to help her sister was great and I enjoyed it.
The Musical Episode.
They finally did a musical episode that held Emma and Hook’s wedding. Snow and Charming made a wish (in the past) to defeat The Evil Queen which the wish turned out to be making everyone sing (though it wasn’t constant singing like in Les Mis). It was pretty great to be honest, a lot of plot holes was introduced in this episode but they did the whole “you won’t remember this later” thing so those holes were filled. For example, Snow and David met Hook in the past, but when they met him in season two, they never met him before, NOT TO MENTION Snow meets him again later before she marries David when she tries to run away and buy passage on a ship. But I loved the episode, I thought it was sweet and cute. Zelena’s song was my favorite but it ends with The Black Fairy casting a Dark Curse.
Season 6 Finale.
So in the two hour finale, The Black Fairy Fiona cast her curse, everyone is more or less transported back to the Enchanted Forest, Emma is in a mental hospital due to her buying into Henry’s “delusions” about the Once Upon a Time storybook. The Final Battle that had been hyped up all season is over Emma’s belief, basically if she stopped believing in magic then Fiona would gain godlike powers and break all Laws of Magic. Meanwhile in the Enchanted Forest, the others have gathered at Regina’s castle, the other worlds are disappearing due to Emma’s belief fading and other people have escaped to Regina’s castle, including Aladdin and Jasmine. David and Hook deal with a giant dragon and a beanstalk to get a magic bean, the Evil Queen sacrifices herself to hold off the Darkness to delay everyone else being wiped away. Emma destroys the Storybook at Fiona’s prompting and when she returns to her home away from Storybrooke, she finds a hand drawn Storybook from Henry and it restores her belief just in time. Gold faces off with Fiona when he finds out she lied (She’s his mother by the way) and he kills her fulfilling the prophecy put on him as a child. The curse breaks and everyone returns to the town. However, Gideon is still under Fiona’s spell and fights Emma, but she pulls a Harry Potter move and is killed, however, this releases Emma’s light magic and the battle is won. Both Gold and Emma chose good so Gideon is changed back into a baby to give Belle and Rumple a chance to raise him this time and all of the realms are restored including anyone who might have “died”. So happy endings all around, they have a nice little dinner. Some years later, we see a little girl from the beginning of the finale, go to Seattle where she finds adult Henry who doesn’t know her and tells him she’s his daughter.
I liked the finale, I thought it was handled very well and they really tried to wrap a lot of storylines they pulled in this season. I think there’s a lot of potential still in the show, especially with most of the cast gone after this season. But if it would have ended right here, that would have been okay too, the idea of the main people we’ve journeyed with since 2011 is bittersweet and I cried. I CRIED!
I knew Emma was going to die, but I hoped it wouldn’t be a final death, especially after she’d just got married, but like I said, a Harry Potter in which she knows she would die and willingly allows it to happen, but that allows her light magic to take over. It was a beautiful scene to be honest.
I love this show so very much. I think they have dropped the ball a couple of times but I stuck with it because I couldn’t wait to see what they did next. There are so many fairy tales, so many pieces of literature they could dive into… which makes this a great transition into my next piece.
Part II: The Future of Once Upon A Time.

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017) Review

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Summary: Captain Jack Sparrow searches for the trident of Poseidon.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. As always in these movies, there are a LOT of characters BUT some of them are just there to be some type of opposition, or they may serve some purpose but they aren’t that important for me to talk about.
  • Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. I’m going to say this now, I think Jack Sparrow is better as a supporting character, or at least NOT the main character, this is why Dead Man’s Chest, At World’s End, and On Stranger Tides didn’t work as much. So I think this is a return to form of his character in Curse of the Black Pearl, where he may be part of the plot, may help it go forward but he just crashes into things every now and then. I think that works best for him. Jack in this film seems to be lesser, he’s lost his way, he’s not as awesome as he was before, he can’t even plan a bank robbery correctly however, he’s being pursued due to his past and at first he doesn’t seem to be much bothered by it, he doesn’t seem to scheme as much as he has in the past, but instead stuff just happens, showing that he’s lost it a lot. I think Jack Sparrow is one of Johnny Depp’s most iconic roles (I’m partial to Edward Scissorhands) and I think after the first film, he became a caricature of a great and fresh character. He’s much more subdued here, he’s not as “over the top” in some of his expressions or mannerisms, he’s dialed it back a lot, and I think it works here for the most part.  I love Johnny Depp and I really want him to get some wins.
  • Javier Bardem as Captain Salazar. He is a maniacal undead pirate hunter of the Spanish Navy. He was trying to rid the seas of all pirates, he’s tricked into sailing his ship into the Devil’s Triangle causing him and his crew to be cursed. He seeks the Trident of Poseidon to extinguish piracy and get revenge on Jack. He’s a very interesting character, as he starts off as a powerful man and “falls from grace”. He spends the movie wanting his revenge on Jack but he will cut down anyone in his way, he takes no prisoners and everyone is terrified of him. Javier Bardem is a great actor and he’s so terrifying, he’s the best performance in the film, the way he walked for the character, how he utiltized his appearence, and his surroundings. I think he was one of the scariest villains in the POTC universe next to Barbossa in the first film.
  • Brenton Thwaites as Henry Turner. He is the son of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann. The film opens up with a 7-10 year old Henry trying to find his father who is still the “Davy Jones” of the sea after At World’s End. He is desperate to reconnect with his father, to find him and free him of his curse. Throughout the film, he kind of fills Will’s role in being the young guy, but his motives are more emotional as it’s his father, a man he probably doesn’t know as much due to the rule “only can come on land once every 10 years”. He ends up meeting Salazar in the beginning, and delivers a message to Jack but he wants Jack to help him instead. I liked him, I thought he was a sweet kid, headstrong, brave and impulsive however I do think there were times where he was taken over by some of the other characters but I think that has to do with Brenton not really being as charismatic as the others. Even though Orlando Bloom isn’t the best actor around, he’s charismatic and kind of magnetic in a way where your eye is drawn to him. Brenton didn’t have that as much but I did like that his arc was provided and solved in the film, at least for this movie’s purpose.
    • Lewis McGowan was young Henry and I thought he was very good. It was easy to tell that he missed his father and that he was a pretty good balance between both Will and Elizabeth in being headstrong.
  • Kaya Scodelario as Carina Smyth. An astronomer, she’s feisty, headstrong and very smart. She kind of reminded me of Hermione Granger in that she is led by her logic, and her will to learn even though she’s very brave as well. Of course, women weren’t allowed to study in universities so people call her “witch”. But she’s also looking for the Trident and has her diary of clues that she holds on too, as it holds the secrets AND it was from her unknown father. She’s very different from Elizabeth, she’s less annoying for one thing, she feels modern and definitely not a Mary Sue. She definitely has a hard time believing in anything that can’t be proven by science and maybe a bit bullheaded. I’ve never Kaya Scodelario in anything but I  think she’s very charismatic and she does steal my eye away from others sometimes.
  • Geoffrey Rush as Captain Hector Barbossa. The former captain of the Black Pearl and Jack’s rival, though they can be friendly sometimes. He still has his one leg but he has become extremely wealthy. He’s has a fleet of ships, loads of treasure and he’s like a poser, he has fancy clothes, a fancy wig and jewels in his peg-leg. Barbossa is still the same man to be honest, he’s polite but he will try to save his own skin and maybe the lives of his crew so he has to do what he has to do. Geoffrey Rush is still good in this role, he’s not as scary as he was the first time, but a bit more tragic. We learn some things about his history that once they lead up to it, it wasn’t that big of a surprise honestly.
Supporting Roles.
  • Orlando Bloom as Captain William “Will” Turner.” We know the story of Will, he was a blacksmith turned pirate who ends up transformed into the Captain of the Flying Dutchman in the third film. I love Will and I think this was some his best stuff, it was sad and tragic. He’s cursed to this life and while I’m sure he’s happy because he’s not dead, but it’s easy to tell that he hates it. He wants to be with his family as he doesn’t see them often and he fought for Elizabeth for so long. I actually want to know WHY his face looked all gross and why the ship looked all like it did when Davy Jones was Captain because when he started off as Captain, everything was fine. So something must happened in the last 19 or so years that caused this. I think Orlando Bloom did really well in his two scenes he has, he’s not a leading role but more of a “cameo” but he looks so sad that I needed to know what happened to him.
  • Other Pirates. Of course Gibbs is back with Kevin McNally in the role, this is the first time we really see him give up on Jack, which was interesting, there are few more returning faces, like the two soldiers turned pirates who seemed to take the place of Pintel and Ragetti from the others. A lot of them are funny and seeing their shenanigans are great.
  • Paul McCartney as Uncle Jack. He has a nice little cameo, he was actually pretty good and the joke he tells was pretty funny, but it was more funny because of the reaction.
The Opening Scene. The film opens with young Henry who gets out onto the ocean, he makes himself sink and he lands on the Dutchman underwater. Will pulls him back to the top on the ship and they share an emotional moment. I quite liked it. I thought it put into place what to expect for Henry’s character and setting up his motivations in the film so it’s never rocky. It gave me hope for the rest of the movie… but honestly this was probably the best scene in the movie.
The Music. Geoff Zanelli does the music here and it has some hints of Hans Zimmer’s score (which makes sense as Zanelli was a student of Zimmer) as well as the iconic Pirates theme that makes me smile whenever I hear it. In some of the quieter moments it’s nice to hear the soft music playing in the background. Sometimes it sounds eerie and scary and other times when its put on next to fighting scenes it gets me pumped.
The Special Effects. There are a couple of things I’m going to talk about, but this movie has so many great effects that if you saw it in IMAX 3D, I’m sure it would be great to see in the theaters that way.
  • Salazar, his crew’s look and his ship. So Salazar and his crew are cursed, like with fire. Some of the crew are completely burned away but are only a hand, some have their heads half gone. Salazar himself of course looks the most normal, but parts of his face is like ashes and his hair moves like it’s underwater the entire time. He also has this ooze running out of his mouth the entire time. His ship is also cool as it lifts itself up like a caterpillar.
  • The Running on the Water. Seeing Salazar’s crew running on the water from underwater was so cool. It reminded me of watching Barbossa’s crew walk underwater in the first film.
  • The Sharks/Birds. I’m not sure why there are always birds around the ship, but the birds are also cursed and they are burned ashes as well.
  • Trident’s Island. When we finally get to the island where the Trident is hidden, it’s so beautiful, all the colors.
  • The Divide/Poseidon’s Tomb. We see a shot in the trailer of the Black Pearl sailing on the edge of a crevice, it’s The Divide and it’s really cool how it looks. The entire tomb has a really interesting look, my only problem is that it takes so long to get there and then we don’t spend enough time there.
The Dialogue/Moments. Not all of it’s funny, but there are some good dialogue bits in there. Jack has some good lines. Some of it’s very witty and while I didn’t think the movie itself wasn’t that funny, a lot of the dialogue was. There were also a few moments that were funny, the movie itself isn’t but there are some great moments, like the guillotine scene.
The Flashback Scene. So of course we get a bit of exposition from Salazar as to why he’s hunting Jack, but we get a flashback to accompany his tale. This is where we see a de-aged Johnny Depp as young Jack Sparrow and I think this was some of the better de-aging lately. There were a few times where it was creepy, mostly when he was talking a lot, but other times it was like looking at Johnny Depp from his 21 Jump Street days. It showed how he became Captain Jack Sparrow while also explaining Salazar’s unfortunate fate. It also has a few throwbacks to the first film in how Jack was a bit more feisty and less of a coward, how he was brash and energetic AND it throws back to when Elizabeth suggests they throw the anchor on the starboard side when they were running from Barbossa. It was pretty cool.
The “romance”. So to be honest, I didn’t really have a problem with it but I can imagine people having some issues with it, but I don’t think it’s warranted. When Henry and Carina first meet, they don’t really get along, we actually see them interact a lot and them get to know each other and learning that they have a lot in common BUT once you see that they were getting interested in each other, it was like ehhh, you need a bit more tim. I didn’t dislike it but I think they needed another movie at least. I didn’t want to make it a con because I don’t think it is but I recognize that it probably wasn’t earned in this film. I liked their interactions but I don’t know if the actors had much chemistry like Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley did.
The Action. There always has to be action, always has to be fights and there are some, and the ones we have are great and fun. They’re not as big and grand as the previous films have been which is fine, but we do get to see a bit more of what’s going on and they’re not overly long and drawn out.
Ending Scene. So after the adventure is over, Henry’s arc/goal is addressed and without spoiling it, it’s a very beautiful scene that made me smile like an idiot.
End Credit Scene. There is an end credit scene at the very end, maybe there will be another one which if it goes the way I’m thinking, maybe there’s hope?
Cons:
The Bank Robbery Scene. So there is this scene in the beginning once we get to the present. We see a man introducing their new bank and how no one can break into their vault, etc. etc. but Jack and his crew were trying to steal it and it’s really just ridiculous. I know POTC has their over the top moments but I thought that was just silly, I get why it was there because it shows that Jack has lost his “mojo” but the entire time I was like ‘ugh really?’.
The British Navy. Of course the soldiers have to have a role as they constantly pursue pirates and make things hard for everyone. We don’t really spend any time with them like we have with Norrington or Beckett. There’s one guy who is played by David Wenham but he’s really just there as a nuisance and to give Carina, Jack and Henry trouble while in town. It’s annoying actually.
Some stupid details. There are some things that happen that are really stupid. I don’t want to spoil them but there are so many things that I questioned like “why would they do that?” or the idea of everyone always double crossing someone, it’s so tired that I expect it. Also everyone always wants the same thing so they eventually all have to meet each other at some point and fight or something. Also, why does Jack have a thing for Elizabeth? I didn’t like that in the other films (love triangles) and I didn’t want him referencing it in this one because it’s dumb. I also hate that stupid X scar on Jack’s face and that stupid sore… I know why the sore was included but I hate it.
The Humor. I don’t think it’s very funny in terms of the shenanigans. Some of the dialogue is good but I don’t think it’s funny, at least not to me. The father and daughter in my row cracked up a lot but ya know humor is subjective.
Lacking Climax. So the climax comes up and it was a bit boring. A lot of this film reminded me of the first POTC film but the climax made me think of the boring climax of On Stranger Tides and it wasn’t interesting and it also felt rushed.
Too Long/Feels Long. In actuality, this is the shortest of the four films but it feels really long because there isn’t a lot going on there. There are some moments where there are slow moments and it’s dragging. Either they should have filled those moments with something, or cut them out to make it a bit shorter.
Overall, I enjoyed myself in this film. I think it’s better than On Stranger Tides and it harkens back to what made the original trilogy so fun. Trust me, I recognize that Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End are not very good BUT this film tries to go back to what made people love these movies in the first place. Jack Sparrow is much more subdued here, he’s not the lead which I think works well for his character and I think Johnny Depp always does well with this character when he’s not being over the top. Javier Bardem was a great addition, he was eerie and scary and his story was interesting. The additions of Henry and Carina were good additions to the world and it would be interesting to see them in later films, but they definitely need to spend more time together. The effects are great, the music adds layers to the film and there are certain scenes and moments that I really liked. On the other hand, I do think it feels a bit too long, it’s trying to be epic but it doesn’t quite get there, the climax is pretty lame and while the action scenes are fun, there aren’t many of them. The film spends a lot of time on information. There are some stupid details that made it into the script that made me go ‘why did that happen? that’s dumb’. BUT while it won’t be the best film of the summer, it’s still a fun and entertaining ride.
Rating: 2.89 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales? What do you think?
What is your favorite Pirates of the Caribbean movie? Mine is Curse of the Black Pearl.
Let me know in the comment below! Don’t forget to like, comment and follow this blog!