It’s a Kimono! Such is the setup for the comedic vibes of The House with a Clock in its Walls starring Jack Black. But is it just a comedic romp through a Halloween home filled with exploding malicious pumpkins or is there more to this movie? The short answer is yes. But let me back up and give you some more of the story. Continue reading “The House with a Clock in its Walls: Review”
Part of being a parent means I get to watch kids movies. Sometimes this is great when it’s something like The Incredibles II. It’s a great excuse and keeps you from looking weird at the theater buying tickets to a kids movie without a kid with you.
Other times though it means I end up watching movies like The Emoji Movie and The Nut Job 2. This time I got to watch Teen Titans GO! to the Movies. Let me preface this right away that I was not looking forward to this. I had watched the excellent Teen Titans series that had been on Cartoon Network and really enjoyed it, even if the anime-inspired art style was annoying (this is a personal peeve of mine, I know I’m likely in a minority on this). I’ve also watched the terrible Teen Titans GO! cartoon also on Cartoon Network. About the best thing I could ever say about it is at least the people making it still have jobs.
Spoilers contained below:
It’s been a little while since I’ve written a review, and it’s been a while since Pixar released The Incredibles. So it’s only fitting that now that Pixar has finally (14 years later!) given us a sequel, that I get back to writing reviews, but I’m not waiting 14 years to do it. Pixar fully recognizes the time between movies, there is a short bit with all of the actors and Brad Bird himself letting us know they know its been like, forever, but that it’s all worth it.
There will be spoilers. You have been warned. But they’ll hide after the jump.
The Incredibles 2 picks up exactly where the first movie drops off. The Under Miner (mole man) has risen to let everyone know that he is here, and stuff is going to happen. Roll Credits. The Incredibles 2 starts right here. (minor spoilers for like, first 10 minutes of the movie) There’s a thrilling and pretty funny fight scene that has them all passing the baby Jack-Jack off to each other. The Under Miner who popped up to tell everyone that there is no one below him (Which seriously makes no sense) then proceeds to rob a bank. I’m not really sure why he’s robbing a bank. Do they use money below us with the mole people? Are there mole people? Don’t know, the Under Miner gets away and is never mentioned nor heard from again.
Friday afternoon we sat down to watch Avengers: Infinity War. A movie essentially ten years in the making. My daughter was born the same year Iron Man came out, and I have watched all of the Marvel Movies as she has grown up, and she has (finally) come around to wanting to see them as well. So it was a great experience to watch this movie, that has been the culmination of her entire life time in the making.
Thats a lot for a movie to live up to, even if Kevin Feige didn’t have that in mind.
Fortunatly he, and Marvel Studios did not disapoint.
Beyond this point, there are no spoilers. I will not discuss the plot of the movie or the ending, because you need to see it first.
Back in the 80’s a little game called Rampage came out. Its premise was really simple, you play as a giant ape, a giant lizard, or a giant wolf-man. You take your giant monster animal thing and destroy all of the buildings and eat people all while the military tries to stop you. That’s the entire thing, not much story or anything else to it. Really it didn’t need one, you’re playing as King Kong, and as we all know that’s what King Kong does.
Fast forward to 2018, there have been some more games with essentially the same premise and someone at New Line thought “hey this is missing something.” That something apparently being Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and a story.
I’ll try to avoid “spoilers” though seriously there aren’t really any. I might have some, in case you’re concerned I’ll somehow ruin this movie for you.
My family and I made it to see Black Panther. This was the first time it was actually hard to get in to a movie for us. The first theater we made it to sold out just after we got there, and had to hit up another theater in the next city over.
This was my first clue to what we were about to see.
I knew Black Panther was going to be a great movie. Every review has pretty much been positive, the trailers looked amazing, and it’s a Marvel movie. Marvel movies are awesome. It’s apparently a law. (Alright, some aren’t awesome, but they’re almost universally good, generally)
Black Panther continues that tradition. Great action scenes, awesome special effects, and really a good fun time. Marvels humor is on full display throughout the movie. Not as much as with Thor: Ragnarok maybe more like with SpiderMan: HomeComing. Sprinkled throughout the movie, but not trying to be an action-comedy but simply working to lighten the mood.
Basically if you’re looking for classic Marvel style movie, you should go and see Black Panther. But frankly that’s not all there is to it.
There’s more to Black Panther, and I”d be remiss to not address it. And that’s race.
As a straight, white male it’s not hard to find representation in a movie. Essentially I can go to a movie section, point randomly, and more than likely I’ll pick out a movie with a straight white male lead. So I recognize the importance of a movie with a (nearly) all-black cast. (There are 2 named white characters, and they are pretty much side characters). Black Panther address race issues throughout, sometimes subtly, sometimes not so much. A Wakandan spy points out that the very technologically advanced Wakandans could be doing more to help repressed black people the world over. Interestingly the main villain of the movie, Killmonger (I love Marvel, but seriously Killmonger? Someone wasn’t trying very hard on name day. Also Killgrave is another Marvel villain. Also not trying hard that day) has the same motivation.
Black Panther celebrates and revels in African Culture, characters are in African dress, drum beats punctuate their rituals, dances, and chants which are on full display. I’m hard-pressed to think of any other movie that celebrates African culture in the same way. And certainly no major blockbusters would.
I loved this movie. It’s a great action comic movie with good comedic timing. It brings more depth to King T’Challa, the Black Panther, gives us more to see of Wakanda, and helps to hold us over until Avengers: Infinity War comes out.
But more then that it gives more representation for people who don’t normally get it. I love seeing more of this in movies. Be it Finn in Star Wars, Captain Gergiou and Specialst Burnham in Star Trek: Discovery and now T’Challa and the entire cast of Black Panther. It can only help for people to see people of color in postivie rolls. I don’t need more representation in media, but my friends who are POC, my wife who is a POC, and my children who are bi-racial all deserve that same experience I’ve grown up with. Everyone deserves that same experience.
Great awesome movies like Black Panther are great ways to begin that. I for one, am hoping for more. Not just for my friends and family, but for everyone and even for me. I can only benefit from learning more about the cultures in our world, and in my own backyard.
Bottom line, go see Black Panther. We plan to go again.
A few notable lines from the movie, I wish I could better incorporate them into the review, but I’m trying to stay away from spoilers, and nothing comes to mind. But they help to encapsulate some of the issues and themes of the movie.
“The sun will never set on the Wakandan Empire.”
“We can take them over and rule them the right way.” “Don’t sneak up on me like that white colonizer.” “Oh good, another broken white boy for me to fix.” “In times of troubles, the wise build bridges and the foolish build walls.”
Alright, about 3 weeks ago I said I would have a review of Jumanji and Downsizing. I’m finally getting around to those. It’s been a while since I’ve seen either so I’ll probably be keeping these fairly short, there may be spoilers on the off change you haven’t seen Jumanji yet. You probably haven’t seen Downsizing and frankly that’s ok.
First up, Jumanji. Go see it.
Alright, if you haven’t seen the first Jumanji (I haven’t seen it in it’s entirety, but enough to get the general gist) this one kind of follows the same format. Guy finds the game on a beach and brings it home for his son, who wonders who plays board games anymore. Jumanji apparently takes some offense to this and turns itself into a video game, which wakes up the teenage son who then has to play it because who doesn’t play a strange video game that suddenly shows up and wakes you up in the middle of the night?
Cut to 20+ years later and we start to meet the main characters, the dorky nerdy kid playing Street Fighter V (I’m on it, play me Rubix510!) then we see him doing someone elses homework, for his buddy the jock (Cause stereotypes). They go to school, get caught, a couple of girls get in trouble and all end up in detention a la Power Rangers, or breakfast club or whatever.
Anyways, you already know this from the previews, probably. The end up in the game of Jumanji and now stereotypes are gone, jock has become tiny Kevin Heart, nerd is now giant Dwayne Johnson, the hot girl is now Jack Black (Who is awesome by the way, he kills this roll) and shy girl becomes hot Amy, the girl who waited.
The go through various hijinks, explore some gaming tropes such as the NPCs who say the same things over and over, die a few times (Video games, 3 lives) meet the aforementioned kid and you can probably figure out the rest.
The movie is a lot of fun, its funny, with Dwayne selling the role of playing the young nerdy kid (hasn’t he done this already with Kevin Heart?) Jack Black totally nailing the young hot vacant girl using her looks for everything, and Karen Gillian somehow manages to be both hot and not know how to be hot and its hilarious.
Over all, its a fun movie worth seeing. It’s not breaking any ground, its pretty by the numbers and there’s no surprise twist to find. But you should go see it if you haven’t before and could use a good action/comedy.
This isn’t a bad movie, it’s just not a good movie. It doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be. The marketing makes it seem like its going to be about a guy starting over and filled with sight gags about being small. There are maybe 4 sight gags total in it, they aren’t really a part of the movie. Downsizing seems to suffer from the same issues as Suicide Squad, there’s the actual movie, and then there’s the marketing and they don’t match up.
There’s a very important character who doesn’t even show up in any of the previews, but really much of it revolves around her once she’s introduced. Most of the comedy comes from her as well, but there isn’t much. Matt Damon is there to move it along, but never really seems to have any idea what he’s doing, which I suppose is kind of central to the character. As one guy in it says “That guy can’t do anything right, he can’t even screw up without screwing up.” I think, its been a while since I saw it, but that pretty much sums up his life.
Important life lesson that is learned from this movie though, there are 8 kinds of fucks:
sex only fuck
break up fuck
There’s a PSA for you.
The movie is I think trying for social commentary on the nature of our affect on our planet, and on each other. How new technologies meant for good can be used for evil, the economics of change and the winners and losers in it.
But whatever message they’re trying to make, gets lost in a movie that just doesn’t seem to know what it wants. So Redbox or HBO maybe, but I wouldn’t bother with the theater, unless its like one of those cheap theaters and you’ve got nothing better to do.
And want to listen to a Vietnamese lady constantly call Matt Damon stupid and list off the different types of fucks.
Over here I wrote a quick Spoiler Free Review: Star Wars: The Last Jedi. I was going to write up another review, but don’t really see the point. The points I made in that admittedly short review pretty much stay the same even after I wrote all of this up. And there is a fairly large amount of words after the jump. I’ll run through the movie, and yes, there will be spoilers. Lots and lots of spoilers. You’ve been warned.
So I just finished watching The Last Jedi a couple hours ago.
Its filled with characters that do things. A couple of them have lightsabers, some even use blasters. There are some good fights. Also Porgs, lots of Porgs. I’m not really sure why though. Aside from some comic relief they really don’t add anything to the movie.
So as I write this, I just got home from watching Thor: Ragnarok. I suppose the question here is does it live up to the hype. I’ve seen more ads and hyping up for this Thor movie than either of the others. And let’s be honest, the first two Thor movies, not necessarily letdowns, but not exactly anything you’re probably itching to watch again. I mean Thor: The Dark World was pretty forgettable. Something about an ether and elves and Natalie Portman infected by an infinity stone. Why exactly was she able to contain the Aether (Reality Stone) when Peter Quill who’s half-celestial could barely hold on to the Orb (Power Stone) and then needed his friends to help share the power before they re-contained it. I move that Natalie Portman is, in fact, a higher power. Possibly a Jedi. That’s right, you heard it here first.