Movie Review: Teen Titans GO! To the Movies

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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:

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Avengers: Infinty War: Review

MV5BMjMxNjY2MDU1OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzY1MTUwNTM@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,674,1000_AL_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.

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Movie Review: Rampage

rampage

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.

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Black Panther – Review

large_bLBUCtMQGJclH36clliPLmljMysMy 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.”

Thoughts on The Last Jedi – Spoilers

star-wars-the-last-jedi-dolby-cinemas-poster-1058861Over 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.

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Spoiler Free Review: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

sw-the-last-jedi-tall-BSo 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.

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Thor: Rag-na-rocks it

thorragnarokSo 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.

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Review: Kingsman: The Golden Circle

goldencircleOver the top. If I had to describe Kingsman: The Golden Circle, it would be as over the top. If I were to describe Kingsman: The Secret Service (The first one, for anyone keeping track) it would be as, Over the top. This is not a bad thing.

Some movies might take a villain or a hero and make them over the top. It can be done as an exercise in exaggeration, or comedic effect. But Kingsman takes it all over the top. The fight scenes, the psycopathy (I’m coining this word right now), the heroism and villains. Even a secret agent having sex is taken over the top…kinda. Actually, no this is the one spot its muted. I’m actually happy about that.

Alright, first off. If you haven’t seen the first one, go watch it I’ll wait. No seriously, go watch it. Alright, done? Good. The second one is more of the same.

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The Defenders: Review – no spoilers

defenders

Alright, first things first here. FINALLY! IT’S HERE! WOO HOO! BEEN WAITING FOR LIKE EVER! AND NETFLIX AND MARVEL FINALLY HAVE THE DEFENDERS HERE AND I’M SO EXCITED I’M WRITING IN ALL CAPS!!!!!

Ok, now that that’s out of my system. On to actual “unbiased” review.

If you don’t know what the defenders are, that’s ok. I didn’t really know either before Netflix started with DareDevil and The Defenders was announced. DareDevil was the only one of the characters I’d really knew anything about, and no not just because of that Ben Afleck movie that we will never mention again.

If you haven’t watched any of the previous shows, DareDevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, or Iron Fist, and don’t want to take the time to binge all 65 hours or so of those check out this youtube video to get caught up. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

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