Summary: Set to the backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ continues the team’s adventures as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage.
*Mild spoilers ahead but the movie has been out for like two weeks. I’m late but ya know.
Cast and Characters.
Chris Pratt as Peter “Star Lord” Quill. In this film, he’s still leading the group and actually seems to have grown up a bit. This is evident in the beginning of the film where Rocket is trying to put on music for the fight and he agrees with Drax that this isn’t a good idea right now. However, he’s not really succeeding. In all of the arguments, he meets a man who claims to be his father and at first he’s not really buying it but thanks to Gamora’s encouragement he listens to this mysterious man’s claims. It’s interesting watching him, because in the first film he was a bit cocky and a bit more sure of himself, in this one, he’s not as cocky nor as sure. He’s the leader of the group but he doesn’t seem to believe in himself like before. Once he meets Ego, who claims to be his father, he’s not sure but it’s something he’s always wanted so he’s willing to listen and it’s easy to tell that he wants it so badly. I like Chris Pratt, he’s very likable and he’s likable in this role and once again his Star Lord is a very fun and grounded character. He manages to put a bit more of a chilled performance compared to the first film. Peter wants this so badly to be true and when he starts to believe it, it’s almost kind of heartbreaking and definitely towards the end, Pratt’s performance is really emotional towards the end.
Zoe Saldana as Gamora. She’s always good in these particular roles, Gamora is more of an active role but this film allows her to do a bit more emotional things. She is the voice of reason and the only woman, so she has to really assert herself, not that she really has too, but she does. Not to mention, it’s adorable how she handles Baby Groot. She’s very detailed, and definitely the second in command because whenever Quill is on the receiving end of her rants, she is in charge. She also wants to believe for him that Ego is his father, she encourages him. But Gamora is also perceptive unless it comes to her own feelings towards Quill. Her relationship with Nebula is also interesting, it’s volatile but there might be some hope.
Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon. He was my favorite from the first film and that is the same here though I will admit there are some annoying things about him which I hope with how the film ended, they allow that to change in Vol 3. I think out of everyone from the first film, he had the least change as this film allows him to really think about his place in the group and whether or not he fits. In the first film, it was fun and easy because they had a common goal for the most part, and now it’s like he’s stuck with them. His relationship with Groot has also changed, Rocket has taken over being the protector, and while he still kind of talks to Groot the same, he’s a bit nicer about it as he’s a Baby lol. But you can also tell that the friendship is different as Groot is different, so he has to struggle with that. Bradley Cooper once again does a great voice over job for this character, I can’t think of a better actor. He really delivers when it comes to Rocket’s one liners, to his moments of humor and towards the end his moments of emotion, handled so very well. Also to his team of animators and the actor doing his motion capture, all great jobs.
Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer. He has definitely changed a lot from the first film, he has much more fun and more driven by being with his new family than by revenge. He had to accept that in the first film and we see that come to a head in this film. Drax loves to fight, he’s a bit over the top in how loud his laughs are, or how certain lines are delivered but I think that’s just the charm of the character so I don’t count that against Dave Bautista who I think is even better here than he was in the first film. His scene in Ego’s ship was hilarious. He also gets a couple of emotional moments, which were also handled very well.
Vin Diesel as Baby Groot. So I didn’t really want to put Vin Diesel here but I kind of had to…but I loved Baby Groot, if he wasn’t the cutest thing. I read that he doesn’t have any previous memories, so he learns as he goes along, which that’s kind of easy to tell with how he approaches things. For the character, he’s smaller, so he can’t really do the things he did as Big Groot but it’s cute to watch him get upset and try. I had wanted to hold him when he and Rocket got caught by some Ravagers and they were being mean to him. Also towards the end there’s a little scene where it looked like he was crying and I was like “my baby!” I want one. Once again Vin Diesel did the voice over work, he did a higher register and then they of course knocked it even higher. I read that James Gunn had all of his lines “I am Groot” in English so Diesel knew how to speak the line and I think that helps because even though he’s saying the same words repeatedly it does sound like he’s saying something different each time. Also, stick around for the credits because there’s another scene with him.
Michael Rooker as Yondu. He is the leader of the Ravagers and he also raised Quill pretty much. In this film, he’s much more serious compared to the first film where he was just trying to get Quill back. He deals with his own demons, faces his own problems and I think not only was it handled well, it didn’t feel like it was just shoehorned in there, it was needed, especially to mirror other plot lines going on. It’s easy to tell that while he and Quill don’t always get along, he actually does care about him and the way the film ends, I thought was perfect. Michael Rooker still has that real country voice for the character, which fits, his look is great, his fin is a lot bigger and his arrow is still super cool… but I liked him a lot more here. He’s still intimidating but because of the extra bit of character development we get, Michael Rooker was able to find the balance between being big and large and being subdued. Also, those teeth lol.
Karen Gillan as Nebula. I liked her in the first film, she was interesting and a lot of her moments and lines were hilarious. We see her again from the beginning, the Guardians acquire her to turn her in for a bounty, but things happen and she has her own plans, mostly revenge against Gamora and Thanos. She is angry but there are cracks, there is pain and she reveals some of the things that were done to her, and how she felt about it. She has a couple of monologues that no one wants to listen to because she’s intimidating (which are funny) but the words are intense. Her runs in with Gamora lead to some great action scenes but their interactions are more than that and I think we’ll see their relationship begin to mend… maybe. Karen Gillan is fun, she gets to mean mug a lot and do a lot of angered whispering which works for the character and it makes me laugh. A bit exaggerated but it works for the character for the most part.
Kurt Russell as Ego. It’s told pretty early that he’s Quill’s dad which is really cool that the viewers learn more of his heritage. BUT outside of the last 30 minutes or so he mainly just talks a lot and gives a lot of exposition. However, when the climax happens, it’s pretty cool and scary in places. I like Kurt Russell, I think he’s a good actor and I thought his chemistry with Chris Pratt was good, but I think it’s kind of unfortunate that he spent a lot of time just talking.
The Opening Scene. In the opening scene, the Guardians are preparing to battle a monster while Rocket is trying to hook up speakers. The monster shows up and the battle has started and Baby Groot has managed to connect the speakers and the music starts. The first 30 seconds or so, have Baby Groot in focus while in the background you see the other Guardians fighting, then as it continues, BG is dancing to the music while the battle rages on. It’s the cutest thing and it made me smile like an idiot because I thought that was a very unique way to shoot the fight. The Guardians only come into focus if one of them is shouting at BG to get out of the way, or it they’re thrown in his direction. It’s a super fun opening.
The First Space Ship Scene. After the great opener, the Guardians are pursued by a fleet of ships and that scene was so much fun. Their pursuers aren’t even really flying their ships, it’s remote piloting, but they’re flying like their at an arcade. It was a great reveal and great to see them crowd around one pod cheering them on like a game. The chase itself was also great, watching Quill and Rocket maneuver the Milano through the ships and through the meteor field.
Rocket’s Forest Scene. AH MAN! He has this great scene where a group of people are approaching the area, Rocket is up in a tree and he’s set traps, he’s basically putting those people through the ringer and it was one of the best scenes. It was great seeing Rocket do something on his own, to really see him show his physical ability, we didn’t really get to see that in the first film and we really got see that in this film. He was so fast. I loved it. He’s my favorite, so the scene really allowed for him to do a lot.
The Music. The Awesome Mixtape #2 is awesome. The collection of songs they chose were selected very carefully, they really fit in the film. It also helps that a lot of times, someone is actively listening to the music so it doesn’t feel random and out of place, not that it would because the music always goes so well in the Guardians films.
The Humor. It’s really funny. The chemistry between the characters and the cast is so great that their humor and banter just seems so natural. It’s really funny. Especially when they’re not beating the dead joke horse. Drax’s laugh in itself is funny. Baby Groot got a lot of laughs from me, his reaction to people looking down on him because he’s so small. It was hilarious.
The Action/Fight Scenes. This is a superhero film, it definitely requires action and fight scenes. It delivers on that. From the first scene to the very last scene, there is always something happening, it’s pretty fast paced and even though there isn’t a fight scene in every moment, the pace doesn’t lag. It may slow down a bit to let you catch your breath but then something else is happening.
The Effects. Wow, it’s so beautiful. Ego’s planet alone was so beautiful, the attention to detail, especially in the little moving pictures he showed them of his history. It was so cool. Of course Baby Groot and Rocket’s animation was fantastic in how realistic they look in this world.
The Message. It actually is a pretty simple one, and the way it’s approached is the usual one, but the package is so big and grand that if you’re not paying attention, it might just pass you right on by. It’s definitely a message to live by. Don’t ignore what’s right in front of you because sometimes what you’ve been looking for has been there all this time.
The Emotion. I was actually a little surprised at how emotional it gets towards the end. I actually cried. I don’t want to spoil it, but definitely got emotional. The Message is a good one, and the relationships that some of the characters didn’t consider beforehand really get put in their faces in this film and makes them face it. It got way more emotional than I expected.
Doesn’t feel as fresh. I think the first one was so surprising, it was so different and it was fun. This one is the same but it just doesn’t feel the same as the first one, it doesn’t feel as fresh but in some areas a little stale. I know Drax has his things he says but sometimes it’s just *sighs* please. Even sometimes the characters can get a little grating, every family has it’s issues but sometimes it just got a little overdramatic.
A little disjointed. So there are times where this movie kind of has random things happen, or things happen right after other things and it’s kind of weird because it doesn’t feel like it fits. Mostly with the gold people, it gets some laughs, especially in the first scene where it makes sense that they show up but afterwards it kind of just feels out of place.
The Effects. They’re here because there are some times where it looks super fake. In the beginning we see a young Kurt Russell and my lord it was terrible. I don’t know if it was supposed to be due to what Ego was doing but still, it kind of freaked me out.
Mantis’ Importance. Pom Klementieff as Mantis was really cool. I liked her look and I thought she was cute and funny, but outside of being a plot device, and serving as exposition a couple of times, she really didn’t add anything to the film. It has nothing to do with her acting but the character’s importance.
Repeated Jokes. Sometimes, the jokes just feel like they’re hitting you over the head with them. There’s a joke with Rocket and a dude over his name and they just keep going on it for at least a whole minute and I was over it after the first time. Sometimes the jokes, or the ‘isms’ just aren’t as funny if they keep hitting on it multiple times.
Overall, I really enjoyed myself in this film. It’s really fun and while I pulled out some of the memorable action scenes, this film focuses mostly on the characters and their backstories, to give them a bit more character and to ground them in the world. It’s amazing. It’s definitely Star Lord’s story though. All of the characters, well most of them, Quill, Gamora and Rocket definitely have moments where they need to address their feelings, their pain and Yondu’s story was a very surprising addition. Baby Groot was adorable and it was fun. However, the humor definitely did not always hit and it got a little annoying, it felt choppy and disjointed and it doesn’t feel as fresh as the first one. It deals with new things. The ride is great, I think the characters are good and those are the standouts for the film were the characters and the performances.
Rating: 4.50 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2? Was it better than the first?
Summary: A teenager who’s lived a sheltered life because she’s allergic to everything, falls for the boy who moves in next door.
Cast and Characters. I think everyone is really good in their roles. Being that these are characters from a young adult novel, with the exception of Maddy’s mother, I think everyone fills those roles really well, they look like their characters and feel like their characters in the book. Maddy’s mother is Japanese American in the book and her father was black, it looked like they switched it in the film.
Amandla Stenberg as Madeline “Maddy” Whittier. Maddy is an 18 year old girl who is living with a disease that prevents her from going outside called “SCID”. It pretty much means that she could die if she goes outside. She’s lived her entire life in her house. However, she manages to have a pretty positive outlook on life, she knows what her limitations are but that doesn’t stop her from longing, especially for the ocean. When she sees Olly’s family moving in she’s immediately drawn to him and she watches him to know more. When they start talking, it’s a bit easy to see that she’s nervous but she wants to know more about him. As time goes on, she wants more and more, and she even risks her life to run outside to see if Olly is okay when he gets into it with his father. Maddy puts her passion into everything. I like Amandla, and I thought she was well cast here. She was soft spoken most times, but she was able to maintain a kind of fierceness about her. She ended up being a little forward which for her, was good and it made sense instead of her just being pulled along by Olly. I had massive hair envy of her as well. The film really rests on her shoulders and I think she led it well.
Nick Robinson as Oliver “Olly” Bright. Olly is introduced when Maddy looks out her window and sees his family moving into the house next door. After he and his sister bring over a bundt cake, he shows his interest. As the story continues, he continues to try to reach out to her in different ways, he uses a bundt cake to make her laugh, he gives her his number, he asks her questions and he seems open but I think he also showed that he had his own secrets which we learned. I liked Nick Robinson, I’ve only ever seen him in Jurassic World and his character was meh, but here, he was able to have a bit more fun. He was able to really fall in love, to worry about her, to worry about his family, to have fun and show her fun things. It was cute seeing him care so much and the way he looked at her, I thought he did very well. I was a little sad that they didn’t keep physical stuff he liked to do. In the book, Olly, liked to climb on stuff, he would climb up on his roof a lot. However, I do like they had him have longer hair whereas in the book he had a shaved head.
Anika Noni Rose as Pauline. She’s a doctor, she works in a hospital but she also makes sure that Maddy is well cared for. She’s not always around but when she is, she and Maddy have fun. They play Phonetic Scrabble, they watch movies together and it’s clear that Pauline loves Maddy. She might be a little bit of a curious person though. I think Anika Noni Rose does a good job, she has great chemistry with Amandla, I believed that she was her mother, I thought her performance was also very understated. When she finds out that Maddy had been talking with Olly, she doesn’t freak out, she sits and talks with her in that knowing motherly tone. I was actually surprised because I think she freaked out a bit more in the book. I appreciated that it wasn’t overly dramatic. There’s also a scene towards the end, an emotional scene between mother and daughter, and again, I thought Anika Noni Rose was really subdued but emotional in how she performed that scene.
Ana de la Reguera as Carla. She has a larger part in the book, but Carla is Maddy’s nurse, had been for years and a friend to Maddy. She, in the beginning knows that something is different once Maddy starts talking with Olly. She spends her days with Maddy and knows her so well, that she walks into a room and knows something is different. She even allows for them to meet in person because she wants Maddy to have something to experience. She’s very supportive, she loves Maddy and she’s also funny. Once she learns that Maddy wants to keep Olly from coming over from her mother, she wonders about her own daughter keeping secrets.
The Story. I think it’s sweet. It’s not an extremely deep story but it has a lot of layers. There’s a girl who wishes she could go outside, knows she can’t and is okay with that, for the most part. She has her wishes, her illness prevents that and she’s okay with it, but when she meets Olly, she starts to get a lot of new thoughts and wants. Just like any young woman, she begins to want more than she has and Olly is a nice catalyst to that. I think it’s more than just love that causes her to want to go outside, mostly visit the ocean, it’s something she’s always wanted, and she does it. Don’t let fear hold you back, if you want everything, then go for everything. It’s definitely sweet to me. There’s definitely more to it but I don’t want to spoil anything either lol. But there are some interesting additions between Maddy and her mom.
The Romance/Chemistry. This film banks on the relationship and chemistry of Maddy and Olly. If Amandla and Nick didn’t work out together, then this movie would be terrible. They have great chemistry. When Maddy first sees him, it’s already shown in her eyes that she’s intrigued, same with him, when he sees her, it’s flirty. But then it turns into something more and they are able to really connect.
The Texting/Getting To Know Each Other Scenes. So in the book, Maddy doesn’t have a phone, she only emails and IMs Olly and we have to read their interactions, which is fine. But for a movie, I’m glad the audience wasn’t stuck just reading their emails, and text messages. They spend time actually talking on the phone before they meet in person, whenever they start texting each other, the viewers go into Maddy’s imagination and we get to see Olly and Maddy actually physically talk in her imagination, we get to see the actors talk but in real time they’re texting. It’s really cool to see that. When they actually get into a room together, we see awkward silences and their conversation but at the same time, we see sentences of their inner thoughts. I thought that was handled really well. When things got emotional and taxing between them, texting and IMing is so impersonal but seeing them actually interacting helped.
The Music. This will be in both parts, but there are parts where the music really worked, especially in the scene where they are driving together to their hotel. I also love that song. There are also some more mood like music in the film that is sweet and uplifting. It helps fit the movie, it’s even better when the characters are playing the music or listening to it themselves because it fits even more and not just blasting in our ears as the audience.
Looks Good/The Colors. This film looks really good, the colors are bright and warm. Whenever Maddy wears colors, it always looks like the colors were turned up to make it pop more. When she’s outside, this filter seems to slide over the camera, which makes sense as this all new to her. When she’s at the ocean, the shots are so beautiful, the water looks beautiful and makes me want to go there. Maddy wears a lot of white and it looks clinical and off putting but at the same time ethereal which makes sense for her character.
The Credits. This isn’t a point to the movie at all, because it’s the credits lol but I appreciated how they added all of the drawings and pictures from the book into the credits. It was cute.
It’s Cutesy. If you don’t like romance movies, especially ones with young people, then this movie won’t be for you. It’s really cute and in places it’s a bit too cute where part of you may feel like ugh.
A Bit Slow/Pacing. There are moments, which for a book works, but for a film, those moments of staring out a window, or staring at each other longing for long periods of time doesn’t always work. It gets a little awkward after the third time. It slows the film down and makes it feel slower than it probably needs to be. Instead of all those moments, they should have filled those spaces with learning more about Olly’s character outside of his interactions with Maddy. In the book, there were a lot of times where Maddy watches from her window, and sees things at Olly’s house, I think if the movie would have shown his side a bit too, albeit from her POV, it would help give him a bit more character.
The Music. It’s not always bad but sometimes it’s just too much pop music. I always think that music is a big part of the film but I think this film uses way to many pop songs. There’s one song by Alessia Cara and Zedd I think that I really like, but then there were like two songs immediately afterwards. I started to get a little fatigued.
The Disease is Forgotten. Maybe that’s the point considering that Maddy wants to live her life, what may be left outside BUT it feels like if the disease didn’t exist, it wouldn’t really change anything. She’d just be a sheltered girl who went outside for the first time and then the disease comes back and makes an appearence for drama. You could really take it out and it wouldn’t really matter for the most part.
The Last Act. So Maddy and Olly run off to Hawaii to “escape” and it’s cute but then drama happens. The last 30 minutes or so, feel kind of random, I think the book handled it better, it flowed better than in the film. It just felt like things took a weird left turn and if I didn’t know what was going to happen, I would wonder why there wasn’t a buildup to this. Maybe Carla should have said something, I think she did in the book, but here there’s nothing. There should have been something. It gets a little emotional in the movie but I don’t think that translate to the audience, at least not to feel the same emotion the characters are feeling, or at least to cry at what’s being shown. It feels a little unearned.
Overall, I really liked this movie, I thought it was cute. It’s a nice date movie. If you go into this film expecting a huge romantic love story, you won’t really get that. It’s a young adult story (one of the better ones I think though) so don’t expect a big epic love story, but to these two characters and probably some teenagers they may feel that way. I think the characters are good for the film and the cast do well in their jobs, they are well casted from their book counterparts. Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson really hold well together with their chemistry and interactions. I love the little tidbits of watching them get to know each other even though it’s through texting form. I think the movie looks really good as well, the colors are bright and welcoming, the whites that Maddy wear are pristine and clinical which fits into her world, the shots at the beach were beautiful. It’s fun. On the other hand, it does feel a bit shallow in the emotional tidbits at the end, it doesn’t feel earned like it should be. The last act of the film feels a little random where it seems like some scenes are missing or that they don’t flow well together.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Everything, Everything? Have you read the book? How does it compare?
What is your favorite romantic movie?
What romantic book do you want to be turned into the film?
Let me know in the comments below!
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Summary: A young street magician is left to care for his little sister after their parents’ passing and turns to illegal activities to keep a roof over their heads. When he gets in too deep, his sister is kidnapped and he is forced to use his magic and brilliant mind to save her.
There might be mild spoilers ahead.
Cast and Characters. There’s really only one character that this film truly follows. However, there are some supporting characters who are involved with the hero’s story and for the most part everyone is interesting enough for this film.
Jacob Latimore as Bo. I’m interested to see what else Jacob Latimore does, because so far I’m pretty impressed with him. His character Bashir “Bo” has taken up the mantle of being the parent in his household as his mother died a year before and there’s really no mention of their father. He has given up his future of an Engineering scholarship in order to support his sister. He performs magic tricks on the street and he also drug deals. He’s an interesting character because throughout this movie, he’s just trying to make things better for his sister but he’s not making good decisions in order to do that. Bo is a subdued character, he’s very mild mannered actually, he doesn’t raise his voice ever actually. He carries himself like he’s putting on a front, there’s a scene towards the end where he just breaks down and that was a beautiful moment. He’s trying so hard in the best ways he thinks he knows how. Jacob Latimore does a good job carrying this movie. He did a very good job with playing the various amounts of emotions this character goes through. The love of performing magic and pride he feels when he sees spectators enjoying his tricks. The emotions of feeling like he’s against the wall when he knows he wants to get out of the drug dealer but that life isn’t an easy one to leave. He definitely carries this film.
Seychelle Gabriel as Holly. She starts out as the love interest, as soon as he meets her, it’s easy to tell that he is attracted to her. As they get to know each other, they spend a lot of time together and we get to see their relationship grow on screen. I didn’t think it was forced or rushed. She was a good supporting person for Bo, she learned about his life, she cared for his sister whenever Bo had to go off with Angelo, she got invested. She was very loyal. It’s also learned that she has her own battles to face and when Bo discovers them, he tries to be there for her as well. In terms of them being there for each other it’s pretty even, as he offers support for her as well. It’s actually really cute. I thinks she’s fine, she could be replaced with any young actress to be honest, so I don’t think she stood out in terms of her acting but her character was a nice addition.
Dule Hill as Angelo. I’ve never seen him in anything but Holes. So anytime I see him I think “I can fix that” lol but this character was intimidating, he was charismatic in a scary way and and Dule Hill did a great job portraying that. He had this little “devil may care” smile going on that he flashed but that did not mean there was a good attitude on the other side of that smile. He was the supplier for Bo’s drugs and at first, he seems like a cool dude until he finds out about another dealer then it just takes a dark turn. He goes to threaten the dude, when the dude doesn’t agree to his conditions, he gets even more extreme, even forcing Bo to do the dirty work. He’s just a terrible scary person. I don’t want to spoil anything but the last 2/3s of the film he turns against Bo (for a reason) and he definitely puts the fear into Bo. Dule Hill was really good in his role, he was able to be larger than life and he was good every time he was on screen.
Supporting Characters.Storm Reid plays Tina Wolfe, Bo’s little sister and Sasheer Zamata plays Georgie, a neighbor and they’re both good in their roles as well. Storm Reid is adorable, she loves her older brother (she looks so unlike him that it is a bit jarring lol) but she does her job in loving him, worrying about him and idolizing him. Georgie is fine in that she’s an adult that they need in their lives, she helps out when he needs her, she is an adult voice in this world where Bo is out there on his own, she doesn’t want him to be a drug dealer, she even says that it’s not her place but she doesn’t want him to do this. It’s good for him to have an adult in his life who had a positive hand on his shoulder. Frank Clem as Dr. Granger shows up in the last act of the film as a last resort, Bo goes to him for help and he does his job.
The “Magic”. Okay, so the trailers says this is a mix between Iron Man and Chronicle and that’s not completely wrong. But if you go into this thinking there’s “magic” then that’s the wrong idea. Bo can do amazing things that he puts off as magic which is fine because a magician never reveals their secrets and he only does it twice, to Holly and Dr. Granger (and the audience). It’s pretty cool though. There’s a particular sound that is matched to his movements and abilities. There’s many things we see him do that are really cool, parlor tricks but once you learn how he has these powers it makes you look at it differently.
It’s Low Key/Quiet. This film is a bit chill, the tone is a relaxed one. It’s not over the top, the little bits of violence may be (but the only part that is they don’t show). This film lives and breathes by Jacob Latimore and the film takes it’s direction from him.
An Origin Story. I know these days people are like ugh origin stories but this one is so very different. It focuses solely on Bo and his story, and with the way it ended, it definitely leaves it open for a sequel. It would be interesting to see where Bo’s story goes from here, he created his abilities, what else could he do? I want to know.
Emotional Scene. There’s a scene at the end, it’s after the climax and the film is almost over, Bo handles some business and then gets into a car with Holly and Tina and he just breaks down crying. The girls look at him and they both hug him. I’m a contagious crier and I teared up, but I also felt that. He’s been playing parent for about a year and I assume he’s 19 years old. That’s a lot, to give up everything he had going for him to take care of his sister and in this moment, all of that, plus what he did that night all hit him. It was a great scene.
Anti-climatic. It feels like this movie isn’t really building up to anything. It’s just an experience that we’re going on which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but once the second half happens, it kind of amps up and there’s more happening and then the climax happens and while I was wondering if Bo was going to make a bad choice, the whole moment wasn’t necessarily filled with tension. At least not for me. I was expecting a bit more.
The “magic” Details. So it’s shown that Bo is very smart, probably borderline genius when it comes to Engineering. There are pictures of him getting an award, there are trophies, etc. There might be spoilers here, warning. There is something he did to give himself these powers and while he talks about it to Holly, kind of explains why he got into magic, he never actually states how he did this. It’s so interesting to me and while Dr. Granger kind of exposits a few big words of what he needs to do for more power, and they kind of talk about some of the details of what’s there, it’s explained or shown at HOW he did it and that bugged the crap out of me. I wanted to know. Especially with all of the things that start happening at the end, I felt like it needed to be explained.
No Consequences. So Bo does a lot of desperate things, or things out of fear but NOTHING happens to him. Well, maybe one thing that deals with the drug dealer but the other things he does, nothing really happens to him.
Overall, I really liked this film. I wasn’t sure what to expect. The first trailer made me go “meh” and then I kept seeing trailers and I got more and more interested. I liked Jacob Latimore in Collateral Beauty, one of the few things I liked about that movie and he really stood on his own here. He led this movie in such a quiet and understated way. His character is very likable, he makes some terrible mistakes but you want to see him win. The power aspects of this film are really cool, I wish I could have learned how he did it, it’s definitely something I was curious about that I don’t think the movie delivered on explaining. It is a bit anti-climatic at the end, it didn’t need to be grand and it does fit the tone of the film but it feels like a slow burn that didn’t lead up to where it could have. The end did seem to hint at a possible sequel which I am interested in seeing. I can’t wait to see what might happen next.
Rating: 3.80 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Sleight? If so, what did you think about it? If not, are you interested? Let me know in the comments below!
P.S. While I watching this film, I couldn’t help but to think about Jacob Latimore pulling off a pretty good Virgil Hawkins AKA Static Shock. I think it’s important that Virgil is brown skinned, this character reminded me of him, just add a bit more goofiness to him and he was Virgil. I would support that.
Summary: Set during the last days of the Ottoman Empire, The Promise follows a love triangle between Michael, a brilliant medical student, the beautiful and sophisticated Ana, and Chris – a renowned American journalist based in Paris.
**This film is kind of hard to talk about but I will do my best.
The Cast and characters. We meet quite a few people but I’m going to stick to mentioning the three leads.
Oscar Isaac as Mikael Boghosian. He is the stand out, hands down. I love Oscar Isaac and I wonder if this was a pet project because I think he’s way to good for it. Mikael is an apothecary in his hometown, he goes to a city to be a medical student and he meets a few friends. He’s staying with his uncle and he meets Ana and immediately he’s smitten with her. WWI begins and he tries to avoid being drafted by getting a “medical student” exemption with the help of his friend. But that doesn’t last and he is sent to a prison labor camp. He manages to escape and finds his way back home. It seems like life has gotten together but the war has found him. So without going into more detail about the story, I think the amount of emotions Oscar Isaac puts into this character is fantastic. He starts off as this hopeful young man, who falls in love and we see him fall and it’s all downhill from there. Oscar Isaac has this magnetism that makes him stand out in anything he’s in. He’s charismatic and sympathetic and when he in emotional moments, man. He’s just so good. Again, I think he’s too good for the film.
Charlotte Le Bon as Ana Khesarian. She’s an Armenian woman who was raised in Paris. We first meet her at Mikael’s uncle’s house, she’s teaching his cousins how to dance. She is pretty, exotic in that she’s traveled outside of their home, she’s strong and is happy to claim her Armenian roots. She is strong and tries very hard to help those in need. However, it does feel at times that she is just there to be part of the triangle, or to be the object of Mikael’s eye. I think the actress is great but the character doesn’t remain that interesting. It comes and goes.
Christian Bale as Chris Myers. Christian Bale is always good I think, he’s an American reporter who is in Turkey writing articles about what’s happening. When the war kicks off, he gets involved and he tries chronicle the events, he even gets involved with trying to help orphans escape. He’s dating Ana. He also seems to have a few issues of his own in the beginning. He’s an interesting character, at first they make him come off as a “villain” but that goes away. I think Bale is good here, he’s kind of a low key character, they all are actually. Chris comes off as a brash, drunk American but as the film progresses, we see a smart man who tries to help those fleeing while trying to tell their story and stay alive himself. I almost thought he would be a bad guy in the love triangle but I didn’t think that happened.
Supporting Characters. There are a lot of supporting characters but we only get to see his parents, another woman, his uncle and family and his friend Emre who is also a medical student. They are all good, his mother though, Shohreh Aghdashloo is really good. She isn’t huge in the film but the parts she’s in, she’s fantastic.
The Look of the Film. This film looks really good. The costumes are nice, and while it’s in positive mode it feels happy. But when the tone shift and goes dark, the look of the film starts to shift with the tone which I think is cool. The story gets really heavy and it does not shy away from that, everything is crisp, it’s seen and I think that’s a plus for the type of film it is.
The Story. This is based on the true story of Turkey’s attempt to wipe out Armenians. Now, there’s been controversy surrounding it because that time period has been ignored and Turkey doesn’t claim their involvement but it’s so sad. It starts off by going in a different direction, we follow Mikael who wants to be a medical student, he falls in love with a woman who is with another man, then a war begins and he is thrust into it. It just takes off from there, and it’s emotional. I don’t want to spoil anything, but we see death, we see people who are fleeing for their lives, we see children be casualties of war and genocide and we see people try to fight back. It’s intense.
The Music. Gabriel Yared manages to make a score that is so sad. Due to the nature of the film, the music has to match that, especially as the tone completely changes after the first part of the film and I think he manages to add to the story. There are emotional scenes, that while sad, the music helps put it over the top. I didn’t cry, but I did do that thing where I covered my mouth because it was shocking and the music helped my senses.
The Romance. This will show up again later, but on one end, it’s kind of cute and you totally see it coming. The end has an emotional moment that ties in with the romance that’s a plus.
Wasted Potential. There is a lot of wasted potential in this film. I know it’s based on true events, whether or not the people are real, I’m not sure, but I think there are parts that are way more interesting than others. The movie feels overblown because it wants to tackle everything that happens, when there are smaller storylines that were way more interesting. I think the film should have been told completely through Mikael’s eyes, it should have never strayed from him, that way it would feel more focused and we would be able to understand what’s happening through his eyes. It would be more contained and probably not be as “boring”.
The Love Triangle. So there is a love triangle in this film and it’s a focal point for the characters and I didn’t really care about it. For one thing, I don’t really like love triangles anyway, they’re so annoying. But I mean it understood it but I don’t think it added anything. It’s like those epic movies Titanic, Pearl Harbor where it’s based on true events but the characters have some type of love triangle thing going on and I don’t think it really adds anything to the story, especially from 1/3 of the triangle.
Boring. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the movie overall, but it’s boring. There are moments when it just lags, the pacing is out of whack a lot here. There are parts where there’s a lot going on, it’s so fast paced then it slows sooo down and I’m like “and now it’s gotten boring”.
Too Long. 2 hours and 13 minutes long, probably 20 minutes too long, I think 20 minutes can do a lot. It just feels like it keeps going and going and going. A lot of that has to do with the fact that the pacing is weird, if they would have filled those moments in with something else, then maybe I wouldn’t have felt the length of the film.
Overall, I like this movie. I think it has a good cast, Oscar Isaac especially is a standout, he’s almost too good for the film. The film has a lovely look, the music adds ambience to the film while also being a support in the emotional moments. The story is very real and raw even with possible inadequacies. However, this film has a lot of wasted potential, while it is an “epic” it tries to hard to tell a story that might have been too big for this film, at least in the way it’s told. It’s very advantageous to tell a horrifying story like the genocide of the Armenians in Turkey but it just falls on it’s side in the story telling.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen The Promise? Are you interested? Let me know in the comments below.
What’s your favorite Oscar Isaac film? What movie were you surprised that he was in
Favorite Christian Bale film? Let me know in the comments below!
Summary: Robbed of his birthright, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy – whether he likes it or not.
This film premieres May 12, 2017. There might be minor spoilers… considering what you consider a spoiler.
Cast and Characters. There are a lot of them actually, but I’m only going to mention a few.
Charlie Hunnam as Arthur. He grows up in a small village, his parents are killed before his eyes and he ends up growing up in a brothel. He ends up “running” the Brothel, not like a pimp but he seems like he’s the head of the house or something. He’s brash, he’s funny, he’s violent and seems to be someone who really gets into trouble. He does not scream “hero” and when he accidentally gets caught and gets sent to pull the sword from the stone, he does. His reaction to it was pretty great. He ends up meeting his uncle and it goes from there. Arthur doesn’t start off as an inspiring person but he has to grow into that and it takes a while, at least to get the “king” idea. But even then, Hunnam’s approach is different. I think Charlie is good in his role here, he’s likable, he’s funny and I have to say that he manages to stand out to the point where he doesn’t fade into the background and no one pushes him in the background.
Jude Law as Vortigern. He’s basically the Scar of the film, he’s jealous of his brother who is King, who has Excalibur. He makes choices in order to put himself in the role of king. He’s not really in the movie so much in that we get to send a lot of him to really get to know him. He’s a jealous dude, he’s power hungry and he’s desperate. I think Jude Law did so well with what he was given as this villain. When he’s on screen, you can’t help but to look at him, to see what expressions he would make. There are two emotional moments with him, they mirror each other but his reactions to them were fantastic.
Secondary Characters. There are a lot of secondary characters. No one really on Jude Law’s side really pulls focus outside of one henchmen but only because I recognized him from Kingsman. The actors mentioned below were great in their roles, they were funny, they had great chemistry with each other, there was some emotional moments.
Aidan Gillen as Bill. I love archers and he’s awesome.
Djimon Hounsou. He’s very magnetic, funny and I like his friendship with Bill.
Kingsley Ben-Adair as Wet-Stick. He’s one of Arthur’s friends, great chemistry in their trio, he’s funny, charismatic and I like his involvement.
Neil Maskell as Back Lack. He’s really funny, but it’s not over the top. He reminds me of Ricky Gervais physically. His relationship with Wet-Stick, Arthur was hilarious, he was loyal. He also has a great relationship with his son… it’s intense.
The Music. Daniel Pemberton does the music here and I think it’s great. It’s engaging, it fits the film, especially with how the film is handled. There’s some songs that are during fight scenes that has this breathy “he he” thing, oh man it was so cool. I think it was towards the end of the film. I enjoyed some of the overblown fight scenes because of the music. But the swells they had during scenes with no dialogue also helped.
The Humor. Surprisingly it’s funny. Charlie Hunnam should do movies like this movie often where he keeps his accent (I don’t watch Sons of Anarchy but I don’t think his American accent is very good), does action movies, where his character is surly and humorous. Arthur is funny and his interactions with other characters, especially his two friends was great. The other characters also have some great comedic moments.
The Action. So I don’t think there’s a LOT of action but the action we have is fun, it’s big, it’s fun and the way it’s shot, makes it look like a video game (this will also be in the cons). There’s a great scene in the last act of the film, where Arthur squares off with a villain (no spoilers) and it’s awesome. I quite enjoyed myself. There’s also some great chase scenes, some smaller contained fight scenes in alleyways of the village. It’s big and fun.
The Cinematography. I think it looked very nice. The film has this… kind of grey look to it. Like a gloss but it looks crisp and like everything is permanently being filmed near the sea. It’s pretty beautiful.
The Direction. I think Guy Ritchie definitely has a style, mostly when it comes to filming action (He’s directing the live action Aladdin film). If you watch his Sherlock Holmes films with RDJ, the way he shoots certain things, he has his niche. But anyway, he kind of has this thing where he slows things down, and does a camera spin around the action. There’s not really shaky cam but he does a slow motion spinning camera, especially in the last big fight. It’s pretty cool. There’s also a scene in the middle, where they’re running, being chased and it’s like the characters are holding the camera, it’s hilarious. I can see where it would be annoying for some viewers but I got a kick out of it.
The Possibilities. I actually think there were many other ways to go with this story and this film. King Arthur is a myth and it’s some great stories, BUT I think this film had many ways it could have gone. I will talk about this more, but I feel like it needed to be a pro because of the potential.
The mage. So there’s this girl, played by Astrid Berges- Frisbey and I think she was miscast. I was so annoyed by her. She kept this same look on her face, she talked through her teeth, her lips stayed pursed like she was sucking on a lemon. Her involvement felt forced. Arthur and Merlin are normally a packaged deal so there needs to be some magical elemental person there… but she just wasn’t it. If it’s this character, then different actress. She should have been cool but she just wasn’t. I would have preferred Merlin (I want Elliot Knight to play Merlin since OUAT dropped the ball with killing him on that show).
The Villain. I think it’s important to note that Jude Law was great in his role and he did what he could, BUT I don’t think he was that interesting a villain. He should have been though. His motivations are clear but getting to know him as a man, especially considering how long the movie is, we’re not supposed to root for him but I can’t say he was memorable. I literally only remember two scenes he was in and it’s because they were emotional and Law ate those up. But outside of that, so forgettable.
Bit Convoluted. There’s a lot going on here. It almost could set up a franchise in that they could continue the story considering how many parts of King Arthur there are. However, there’s a lot being set up, you have the legend of the sword, you have the background with the mages and magic, there is setting up Arthur’s awesomeness, of the knights, I even feel like there was a little bit of Robin Hood-esque stuff in there… there’s just so much that I think it gets unfocused.
The Possibilities. Like I said before, there were so many ways to go with this story and I think it was a nice way to go about it, with the origin story. I can’t think of a King Arthur story that is an origin story outside of Disney’s Sword in the Stone, especially where he’s kind of a jerk… HOWEVER, I think there were a lot of missed opportunities. I think going the origin story, reminded me of Simba’s story in The Lion King among many others and I think they could have shaken it up.
Too Long. It’s 2 hours and 6 minutes and it’s just too long. A lot of those minutes feels like lagging space, blank space and it just dragged on. It could have been a good 20 minutes shorter especially without those moments being filled with good stuff.
The Magic Stuff. So like with the mage, there needs to be some type of magical element considering how he’s chosen to be King. But I don’t know if Guy Ritchie knows how to handle it without it being underwhelming. This film requires a lot of mythos and mysticalness but I don’t think it was handled well. It should be interesting and it wasn’t. It wasn’t explained or shown the way it should have been.
The Direction. This is here because I think a lot of people may not like how the action is shot. I mentioned the camera shots of them running with the camera in their faces, that may be annoying. It may come off as shaky cam which is annoying so that would be a hit. I also think with how the fight scenes are shot, mostly the bigger ones, it looks like obvious CGI. I even went “Well hello there CGI” because it’s so obvious. Remember the million Smiths vs Neo scene in Matrix Reloaded? Yep, a little better but yep.
Overall, I liked this movie, I was actually surprised at how fun it is. There are some good characters and I think the actors are fine, I mean no one really “owns” their role, except Jude Law, but they do their thing. I think the action is cool, the way it’s shot and the cinematography is really cool. The music is energetic and helps the action. On the other hand, I think it’s 20 minutes too long, there are some empty spaces that lag, it’s a bit convoluted and the directional choices may annoy some of the viewers. But overall, it’s really fun.
Rating: 3.36 out of 5 stars.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword premieres May 12, 2017.
Let me know when you see it, tell me your thoughts below. Do you agree? Disagree?
I hope you liked this review, like, comment and follow for more!
Summary: When a mysterious woman seduces Dom into the world of terrorism and a betrayal of those closest to him, the crew face trials that will test them as never before.
This is late but enjoy the review!
Cast and Characters. These characters are beloved and have been for years. I’m not going to talk about all of them because they are mostly the same as they always are, but I’m going to talk about the ones who stood out the most to me.
Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto. Of course we know and love Dom, he is a former criminal and professional street racer who has retired and settled down with his wife. He even starts the film off helping a family member, you know family, but he is quickly introduced to Cipher and forced to work against his team. Throughout the film, we see him play a villain and it’s just so confusing in the beginning because you demand to know why when Dom is obviously a family man. But as the film continues, we learn why he’s doing this. Vin Diesel isn’t the best of actors but he’s great in this role, if he’s not Riddick, he IS Dominic Toretto. He is silent, intimidating when he has to be but also a giant cuddly giant when he’s with Letty. He is under control (or at least tries to be) and always doing something ridiculous with his car and Diesel is great at it.
Dwayne Johnson as Hobbs. Thank goodness for him in this film because he’s been great since he joined the franchise. He actually has a Maui like scene and it was so cute but also only in there because he was in Moana. He is a DSS agent who has been allied with Dom and the team. He ends up in jail after a job goes south where he has great lines, great action scenes and great interactions with Shaw. He almost takes over Dom’s place with him being gone, in being the leader, I mean, he’s different from the character of Dom but he serves as the surrogate leader while Dom is on the bad side.
Michelle Rodriguez as Letty. Dom’s wife and a former professional street racer. I love her. She is a ride or die chick and I think she is a great partner for Dom, she deals with a lot here due to his betrayal. She doesn’t want to believe that he’s against them, with a ll his talk of family, she doesn’t want to believe that he’ll turn his back on them and she keeps fighting for that. She’s strong and Michelle Rodriguez plays that so well.
Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw. He’s a rogue special forces assassin imprisoned by Hobbs and the DSS after his defeat in Los Angeles, who serves as an ally to help Dom’s team take down Cipher. He is hilarious. I never really seen much of his films but he’s a great addition to these, his banter with Hobbs alone made a lot of the quiet moments for me. His physical abilities are also quite impressive. He has a great scene on an airplane… You’re welcome.
The Villain. Charlize Theron plays Cipher, she is a Hacker who has managed to get something on Dom in order for him to work for her. I love Charlize Theron, she is a great actress and boy can she play a villain so well. Her look was great and I wanted to punch her in the face, so mission accomplished. I will talk a bit more about her later but overall, as a character, she was so… mean and ruthless and sometimes the faces she would make. It actually felt like she was way to good for this film lol.
The Action/Car Awesomeness. These movies are never short on action and the things they do. I don’t think they topped the whole airplane thing and the tower jump in Furious 7. There are some great scenes though, where the others confront Dom, when they’re driving on the ice later in the film. It’s still great watching the things they are able to make cars do.
The Humor. Like always most of the humor comes down to Roman and Tej, which it’s still there and I love the relationship and banter they have. Tyrese and Ludacris have really good chemistry. But Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham have some good lines in the film as well. I thought the humor was well done for the most part, there were a few times when it got a little annoying, or Tyrese was being a bit dramatic but since that’s his character it didn’t bother me too much.
The Reason. Of course the trailers make you go “TELL ME NOW!” and when you finally find out what it is, at first it’s lame but then it’s like ohhhh wow. Okay, that’s legit and it ends up being something cute later on.
The Reason. I think it’s kind of interesting because the timing doesn’t really add up to me in my mind. I mean, not for how “the reason” looks in this film. But ya know I don’t think continuity is that important to these films but that’s a big glaring one to me.
It’s Ridiculous. As they always are, sometimes it gets a bit too ridiculous that it makes a viewer roll their eyes. Also where you go ‘that doesn’t make sense’, sometimes the stuff that Dom and Hobbs do is so impossible for a human person to do… I mean, I think there’s an underlying answer… they’re mutants.
The Villain’s Reasons. So I like Cipher, she was cool but I don’t think I have any idea what she was trying to do. I mean, I get it, she’s upset etc. etc. but when she monologues, I was really trying to understand but I don’t think it really made complete sense. Reasons why she was using Dom made more sense than what she actually wanted to do.
Overall, I love these movies, they’re fun and ridiculous and you can really just get into it for the action and characters alone. I think that’s what makes these so great is the characters and the action. I still think it’s funny how the tone of the films changed, but I think they changed for the better. There is still some outrageous things that happen in the films, that hardly make sense and Cipher’s overall reasons were sketchy at best. But as always Fate of the Furious was super fun.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen The Fate of the Furious? If so, let me know your thoughts down below. Do you like these films? Which one is your favorite? Which one is the best?
It’s been a little while since I’ve consistently posted anything. The last thing I think was my Lunar Chronicles Fan Casting.
I have been making it through the last few months of my first year of graduate school. I have completed one of my classes, and I have one more class next Tuesday but I’ve been sooo busy and soo tired that all of my brain power has gone to reading, writing for classes and doing projects.
Ya’ll probably haven’t noticed lol, but I appreciate the amount of views I still receive everyday. I have a few movie reviews coming up, Fate of the Furious, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, 13 Reasons Why (the show).
I have two spoiler talks in my drafts: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Power Rangers. I mean, it’s super late than what I planned, but I might still do them just because I can lol. If anything, I’ll do the Power Rangers one and scrap Rogue One.
I have a few book reviews, Everything, Everything, Zora and Nicky: A Novel in Black and White, Romiette and Julio, Darkness Before Dawn.
I also planned on doing a comparison piece between Thirteen Reasons Why and 13 Reason Why. So, all of this is coming up soon.
I also want to start back up sharing some creative writings so keep an eye for that as well.
Pass along some encouragement! I’d really appreciate it!