Movie Review: Puss in Boots (2011)

With the recent success of this film’s sequel, I thought it was time for me to finally check this out… and then I neglected to actually watch it for several weeks, but now I finally did it and I want to talk about it.

Ladies, gents, and non-binaries… “Puss in Boots”.

Swashbuckling advenpurrer Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) finds himself teaming up with a feline fatale (Salama Hayek) and an old eggquaintance (Zach Galifianakis) in order to find the fabled golden goose so he can hopefully restore his honor and find redemption in his hometown. I very much enjoyed the story in this movie. Sure, it doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel in any manner, and it doesn’t have anything profound or powerful to say, but it has enough charm, heart, and good humor to please from start to end. It’s a heavily Spanish-flavored swashbuckling take on fairytails that ultimately succeeds in providing a suitably entertaining narrative. And I found it fun and decently engaging.

The characters in this are just a ton of fun, giving us cartoony, exaggerated characteristics on the furface, only to then be given a decent amount of depth. Not super deep, mind you, but there’s definitely a bit more to them than meets the eye. First is the titular hero, Puss in Boots. A charismatic, highly skilled, sometimes overconfident rogue. From the word go, he’s a very enjoyable presence, and over the course of the movie he’s given many moments to shine, along with getting some surprisingly decent development. And Antonio Banderas shines with his voice work, his performance is positively pawless. Rest of the voice cast is great too, featuring talent such as Salma Hayek, Zack Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton, Amy Sedaris, Guillermo del Toro, and more, with everyone killing it.

The score for the movie was compawsed by Henry Jackman, and I found it to be absolutely wonderful. There are tracks emulating a very familiar Spielberg/Williams whimsy, but there are also a lot of tracks here that rely on a lot of tango and flamenco-inspired tones, making for a score that captures the sizzling suaveness of its lead while also giving a really fun energy to the adventure. It’s just a damn good score from a damn good composer.

Based on the catracter in “Shrek 2” that was based on the 16th century fairytale, “Puss in Botts” was directed by one Chris Miller (not the “Lego Movie” one). And I think Miller, along with the many talented artists at Dreamworks, did a stellar job with bringing the world and characters to life. Every shot flows nicely, action is nicely choreographed, some of the editing feels really inspired, and there are a lot of really nice colors and shot compositions throughout. It’s just a really nice looking and delightfully directed feature, clearly crafted with a ton of love and care.

This movie’s been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 86% pawsitive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Meowtacritic it has a score of 65/100. And on it has a score of 6.6/10. It was also nominated for 1 Oscar in the cat-egory of Best Animated Feature.

So yeah, “Puss in Boots” is a very charming and funny little animated swashbuckler. It has a good story, good characters, great performances, really good music, and great directing/animation. Time for my final score. *Hairball noises*. My final score for “Puss in Boots” is an 8.67/10. So I’d say it’s worth buying.

My reveow of “Puss in Boots” is now completed.

Is it unpurfessional to have this many puns?

Series Review: Tulsa King – Season 1 (2022 – 2023)

We live in such a fascinating era in terms of entertainment. From the rollercoaster ride of streaming services, to the dominance of interconnected franchises, to movie stars doing TV, it’s all very interesting to me. And it’s that last one I mentioned that we’re covering today. So let’s go.

Ladies, gents, and non-binaries… “Tulsa King” season 1.

Following a 25-year stint in prison, mafioso Dwight Manfredi (Sylvester Stallone) is sent to Tulsa, Oklahoma by his family as a form of exile. While there he almost immediately starts building up his own empire, consisting of a ragtag group of people and enterprises. And so we follow him as he expands this new empire of his, all while both local and federal forces start causing trouble for the old capo. I enjoyed the story here. Sure, it never really goes above and beyond in terms of a crime-drama narrative, remaining a fairly standard, very familiar in its themes and plot threads gangster series. That’s not to say that it’s bad in any way, au contraire. It’s competently written, has some good dramatic escalation, and has some decently riveting, climactic moments. What helps carry it most though is the fact that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. While not an outright comedy, the show generally carries itself in a fairly relaxed, somewhat lighthearted way that makes it fairly breezy to watch. Speaking of which, I love that the episodes almost never go above 40 minutes in length, which is something I miss in today’s environment where so many dramas lean towards 60+ minutes. But overall, I enjoyed the story. Fairly unremarkable, but overall pretty solid.

The characters in this are all very colorful, and are all pretty charming and interesting. Sylvester Stallone plays Dwight “The General” Manfredi, a pretty old school mafia capo who still has an open mind, willing to learn about the present, which is a fun diversion from the usual “Man out of time learns about the present” trope that they could’ve easily fallen into. And Stallone is great in the role, bringing a really fun charm we haven’t seen from him in quite a while. Rest of the cast is really solid too, featuring people like Andrea Savage, Jay Will, Martin Starr, Domenick Lombardozzi, Max Casella, Dana Delany, Ritchie Coster (who does a ropey accent, but otherwise acts well), Garrett Hedlund, A.C. Peterson, and more, all delivering really good performances.

The score for the show was composed by Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans, and I think they did a good job with it, mixing elements from modern thriller scores, a little bit of traditional piano, and even some western inspirations. And this combination makes for a pretty fun score that works well in setting the mood for the show. There are also a good amount of licensed songs used throughout, and I think they work pretty well for their respective scenes.

“Tulsa King” was created by Taylor Sheridan, making this one of five shows he’s created for Paramount in the last five years… talk about being a busy bee. Anyhow, he created it, with writing and directing being done by a bunch of talented people. And generally I think this show’s well crafted, having some slick direction, punchy editing, and some nice looking cinematography. I also like the usage of varying aspect ratios to emphasize the difference between New York and Tulsa, I think that’s a pretty enjoyable part of the show and its craft.

The show/season has been decently well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 79% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 65/100. And on it has a score of 8.2/10.

While it doesn’t necessarily do anything to stand out amongst the vast ocean of crime-dramas out there, season 1 of “Tulsa King” is an enjoyable, if somewhat unremarkable show. It has a pretty good story, good characters, great performances, really good music, and really good directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for season 1 of “Tulsa King” is a 7.66/10. So I’d say it’s worth watching.

My review of “Tulsa King” season 1 is now completed.

Taylor Sheridan: Writer, director, man behind half of Paramount’s programming.