Movie Review: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

What really is there to say about Spider-Man at this point? He’s one of the most well known, beloved, and profitable superheroes of all time. You all know who he is, so nothing really has to be said, I am excited to talk about this different take on the franchise.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”.

Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) is just your average guy, except for the fact that he’s been bitten by a strange spider and has received Spider-Man-ish powers. And at the same time as he’s trying to get the hang of these new abilities, he discovers that Spider-people from other dimensions have shown up. So now Miles has to team up with his inter-dimensional namesakes to save the multiverse. And I absolutely loved the story here. It’s a fast-paced and fun comic book adventure that flies by fast than you can say “thwip”. It manages to be a good origin for this character that a lot of mainstream audience members might not know anything about, while also presenting a big multiverse adventure that should please a lot of comic book fans. But even amidst the fast-paced insanity, it knows when to slow down a bit and let the dramatic moments simmer a bit, making this whole ordeal a bit more engaging. So yeah, this is a great plot.

The characters in this are colorful, unique, fun, and just really interesting. Shameik Moore plays Miles Morales, this average guy who has a bit of trouble fitting into his current life. And when the Spider stuff comes into his life it forces him to evolve a bit as a person, and the development Miles gets is quite interesting. And Moore does a really good job voicing him. Jake Johnson plays Peter Parker, a cynical slob who’s also god damn Spider-Man. Not gonna say how he got there, but it’s funny and interesting, and he too gets some good development here. And Johnson does a really good job in the role. Next we have Hailee Steinfeld as Gwen Stacy, another interesting character who gets some decent development. And Steinfeld does a great job voicing the character. We also get supporting performances from people like Brian Tyree Henry, Mahershala Ali, Nicolas Cage, John Mulaney, LIev Schreiber, Lily Tomlin, Luna Lauren Velez, Kimiko Glenn, Kathryn Hahn, Chris Pine, and MANY more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score was composed by Daniel Pemberton, and I think he did a great job. While there of course is a lot of the heroic orchestral stuff throughout, Pemberton also mixed in stuff from hiphop, electronica, jazz, and even rock to create a sound that is both familiar and unique, which gives the movie its own sound. There’s also a fair bit of licensed tracks used throughout, and while I personally wouldn’t find myself listening to them on my own time, I thought they worked very well within the movie.

So this is an animated movie, and I seriously loved the animation here. At first some of it might look like it’s missing frames, but it didn’t take too long for me to get over that. And from that point on I got to experience one of the most visually stunning things ever. I don’t even know how to fully explain it, it’s just like someone put a fucking comic into a machine that would make the panels fully animated. It’s colorful, it’s fluid, it’s stylish, it’s unique, and it’s just some of the coolest stuff I’ve ever had the pleasure of looking at. Which also makes for some truly amazing action scenes. The movie also has a lot of comedy throughout, and all of it made me laugh, this is absolutely hilarious. Some of it subtle dialog, some of it broad slapstick, and some in-between stuff.

This movie just came out, but it has already been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 97% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 87/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8.8/10 and is ranked #30 on the “Top 250” list.

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is an absolutely magical movie, filled with great stuff for both comic book fans and casual movie goers. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, really good music, amazing animation/action, and hilarious comedy. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is a 9,90/10. Which means it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is now completed.

2018 is a great year to be a Spidey-fan.

Movie Review: Wonder Woman (2017)

With the impending release of “Justice League”, I thought that it was time to finally get around to watching/reviewing this movie. So here we go.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Wonder Woman”.

After an American soldier named Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crashes on the mysterious island of Themyscira, he finds himself at the mercy of the Amazons, the group of warrior women inhabiting the island. And he soon brings Diana (Gal Gadot), the princess of the island, to Europe to help in the fight against the Germans during World War 1. So now we have our origin story. And I honestly thought this was a solid plot. There is a bit of a fish out of water element to it, with Diana coming to our world and experiencing World War 1, as well as things people at the time took for granted. But it’s not just a fun little “Oh, she’s not from here” type of story, as it is also an interesting look into her origin and how she has to learn to be Wonder Woman, and there’s a surprising amount of emotion in that journey. The final act is the weakest, as it becomes kind of like the other DCEU movies, but I also feel like this movie earns it by having a great story for the rest of the runtime. Really, this is a good, emotional, not messy, and fun plot.

The characters here are fun and interesting and for the most part quite layered. Gal Gadot reprises her role as Wonder Woman (after 2016’s “Batman v Superman”), and I have to say that I really liked the character here. In “BvS” she was just a fun little addition that didn’t add anything of value, but here she becomes a real character. You see Diana grow as a character here, from a somewhat naive person who wants to see the world and doesn’t know shit about it, to something more. And unlike the DCEU other “heroes”, she’s not broody. She’s fun and optimistic and just incredibly likable. She gets a lot of great character development here and I think Gadot was great in the role. Chris Pine plays Steve Trevor, the soldier who crashes on Themyscira and acts as a sort of guide/love interest for Diana. And what I liked is that he’s not just some one-note person that is either total badass or a helpless idiot, he feels like a legit person here who helps a lot in the development of Diana’s character. And Pine is great in the role. Danny Huston plays one of the movie’s villains, and he’s a bit cartoony. He seems like he’s just evil for the sake of evil (muahaha). He gives a good performance, but the character isn’t very well developed… but I will not dock any points from the movie because I did kind of enjoy him here. Then I’m not gonna go in-depth with more characters, but I can say that the rest of them are pretty interesting. I’ll at least give you the list of actors instead. Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, David Thewlis, Ewen Bremner, Eugene Brave Rock, Saïd Taghmaoui, Lucy Davis, Elena Anaya… and they’re all great. This is seriously a talented cast.

The score for the movie was composed by Rupert Gregson-Williams and I thought it was great. It’s big, epic, dramatic, fun, triumphant, awe-inspiring, and just overall worked very well for the movie, often elevating scenes throughout the movie. It is probably my favorite of the DCEU scores so far.

This movie was directed by Patty Jenkins and I thought she did a great job with it. Her direction has a lot of energy to it, keeping it from getting boring. And that is important, because this is an almost 2,5 hour long movie, but I never felt that it dragged, often due to Jenkins’ energy-filled direction. And holy shit, colors! There are actual colors in this DC movie! Let’s talk about the action. While there’s a ton of slow-motion in this (which I hoped they’d use less of in future movies), it didn’t bother me too much and I enjoyed the action scenes. And by enjoyed I mean that there are some fucking awesome action scenes in this. There’s one scene especially that is in a battlefield (people who’ve seen this know which scene I mean) that is one of the best action set pieces of the year. AS for visual effects in this movie, they range from terrific to meh. There were a couple moments where stuff looked less than stellar, but I’m not gonna take points away because they weren’t really that big a distraction, but I thought it could be worth mentioning.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 92% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 76/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/100.

“Wonder Woman” is a great movie. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Wonder Woman” is a 9,76/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Wonder Woman” is now completed.

Dear “Justice League”. Please be good.

Movie Review: Stretch (2014)

Based on everything that happens in movies and TV, I get the feeling that I shouldn’t ever go to Los Angeles. Seems a bit dangerous and unpredictable.

Ladies and gents… “Stretch”.

We follow a guy known as “Stretch” (Patrick Wilson), a down-on-his-luck limo driver in Los Angeles. In the past he had a problem with gambling addiction and currently struggles to pay off his bookie. So to get money to pay it off he takes on a new client, an extremely eccentric man (Chris Pine), which leads to the craziest night of his entire life. So now we have our plot. And I’d say it’s good. Sure, it isn’t exactly what I’d call award worthy or groundbreaking, but it doesn’t need to be. It’s a relatively straight-forward crime plot filled with all kinds of craziness. And it was really fun seeing where this job would take Stretch next. It’s weird, it’s kind of silly, but it’s a lot of fun.

The characters in this are fun, interesting, and incredibly colorful. Stretch is a failed actor currently working as a limo driver, and he has a slightly cynical outlook on life. And you see him go through a bit of an arc in this movie and it’s actually kind of fun witnessing. And Patrick Wilson is great in the role. Jessica Alba plays Charlie, Stretch’s dispatcher/colleague, and she’s good in the role. Chris Pine plays Roger Karos, the extremely eccentric person that Stretch gets tasked with driving around. He’s weird, he’s off-kilter, and he’s the least Chris Pine that Chris Pine has ever been in a movie. And Pine is great in the role. Then we have Ed Helms in a role that I will not explain because it’s best experienced on your own, because it’s weird and quite funny. But Helms does a really good job. And then there are a whole bunch of solid supporting performances from people like James Badge Dale, Jason Mantzoukas, and Brooklyn Decker. There are also some fun cameos in this movie that I will not spoil.

The score for this movie was composed by Ludwig Göransson and it was good. It’s stylish and lean a lot into techno/electronica. It kind of reminds me of the score to “Drive” at times, but with a less retro feel to it, having a much more modern sound. And while I generally don’t like listening to that kind of music, I feel like it worked quite well for the movie. There were some licensed tracks used throughout as well that worked well in their scenes.

This movie was directed by Joe Carnahan and I think he did a good job. The movie looks good and his direction gives the movie a lot of energy which keeps it at a brisk pace, keeping it from getting boring or slow. And since this is a comedy we should talk about the humor in this movie. And while I think it can divide people, I found it quite funny. It’s weird, dark, and kind of fucked up, which made me laugh quite a bit throughout. Combine that with Carnahan’s energetic direction and you get a lot of fun. Trust me, I did the math.

This movie wasn’t really a big release, so it barely exists on the sites I usually use here. But on Rotten Tomatoes it has an 86% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a page, but no score. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,5/10.

“Stretch” won’t win any awards, but it is quite a fun movie. It has a really good plot, great characters, great performances, really good music, really directing, and really funny humor. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Stretch” is a 9,55/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Stretch” is now completed.

I need more Patrick Wilson in my life.

Movie Review: Star Trek Beyond (2016)

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Star Trek Beyond”!

As the Enterprise goes out to explore an uncharted part of space it gets attacked by the villainous Krall (Idris Elba) and his followers, which makes the Enterprise crash on some unknown planet. So now Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), and the other people of the Enterprise have to team up with an alien woman named Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) to try to stop Krall and also find a way off the fucking planet. All of this makes for one hell of an entertaining plot. It’s a fun and fast-paced adventure that gives us an entertaining popcorn plot while also honoring the original series in a good way. Sure, this plot doesn’t exactly break any new ground, but it’s still pretty damn good.

The characters in this are al layered, interesting, and incredibly entertaining. Chris Pine is once again terrific as Kirk. Zachary Quinto once again knocks it out of the park as Spock. Karl Urban was once again fantastic as Bones, AKA my favorite character in this reboot series. Anton Yelchin (may he rest in peace) was once again great as Chekov. Zoe Zaldana was once again great as Uhura. John Cho was once again great as Sulu. Simon Pegg was great as Scotty. Okay, let’s just put it like this: Returning cast was great. I especially liked how they teamed up various characters in the movie that didn’t get too much time together in the previous two movies. My favorite of those was Spock and Bones, their back and forth was fantastic! Now, let’s talk about the newcomers. Idris Elba was great as Krall. At first he just felt like your typical scary alien villain, but during the third act (no spoilers) you learn moe about him and I thought he got a lot more interesting and compelling as the villain. Sofia Boutella was great as Jaylah, this alien woman that our heroes meets in the movie. Her character was interesting, funny, and badass… I really liked her. So in conclusion: It ‘s a great cast and they’re all giving great performances.

The score for the movie was (like in the previous two movies) composed by Michael Giacchino and once again it is great. Big, epic, and overall very well composed… it’s a great original score that perfectly fits the movie, not much else I can say about it. I’ll also say this, there’s a certain licensed track used in the movie in a really fun way, not gonna say what it is or how it was used, but let it be known that I thought it was quite awesome.

This movie was directed by Justin Lin (the man behind 4 of the 8 “Fast & Furious” movies) and I think he did a great job. The shots look great, and the action scenes are very well handled. The action scenes flow very well and they are just awesome! The visual effects once again look absolutely fantastic, and the the makeup/prosthetics are absolutely amazing! How “Suicide Squad” took the Oscar over this movie is just baffling.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 84% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 68/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,1/10. The movie was also nominated for 1 Oscar in the category of Best makeup/hairstyling.

“Star Trek Beyond” is an incredibly fun summer blockbuster filled with good character moments while also honoring the original series. It features a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, great directing, and great visual effects (CGI and practical). Time for my final score. *Gets beamed up to ship*. My final score for “Star Trek Beyond” is a 9,87/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Star Trek Beyond” is now completed.

“In loving memory of Leonard Nimoy”.
“For Anton”.
Tears, man… tears.

Movie Review: Hell or High Water (2016)

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Neo-western, a genre that has me quite fascinated. For those that don’t know, a neo-western is a movie (or show, or book) that has the feel of a western, but is set in more modern times. A great example of a neo-western is my favorite tv show “Justified”, an action-drama about a modern day cowboy. And I’ve made it very clear time and time again on this blog that I’m a huge fan of westerns, which makes the neo-western genre even more interesting to me.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Hell or High Water”.

Toby (Chris Pine) and Tanner (Ben Foster) are brothers. And together they are robbing a bunch of small banks in the state of Texas because they need money for reasons that I won’t get into, in case you don’t already know. But while the brothers are out and robbing these banks, a Texas ranger (Jeff Bridges) is trying to catch them, as one last big victory before his retirement. And from that we get a slowly burning heist thriller that grabbed me from the first first scene and held onto me for the entirety of the runtime. It’s a very plot that kept me invested in every scene. It’s a tense and dramatically investing plot that I absolutely loved.

What I appreciate about the characters in this movie is that they were given a lot of time. Like I said, it’s a slowly burning heist thriller, so we spend a lot of time getting to know these very interesting characters. Chris Pine really surprised me in this movie. I mean, I already liked him as an actor (“Star Trek”, yo!), but this is so different from the stuff I’ve seen him previously do. His performance is so subdued in comparison to what I’ve seen him in before, and I think he was fantastic here. Ben Foster, holy fuck, that guy was absolutely terrific in this movie, he really disappeared into his character, I didn’t recognize Foster, all I saw was his very unhinged character. Jeff Bridges was really good in the movie… there’s not much else to say here. We also had Gil Birmingham as Jeff Bridges’ partner in this movie, and he was really good too. Really, there were no bad performances in the movie at all.

The score for the movie was composed by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis, and the stuff they composed for this movie was pretty damn great. I thought the music they composed for “The Assassination of Jesse James”  was some of the best I ever heard, so when their names popped up in the openign credits of this movie I got excited… and that excitement was totally justified by the excellent music they had composed for this movie. There’s also a decent amount of country music in this movie, and I think it all fits the movie very well.

This movie was directed by David Mackenzie and wow, this was a very well directed movie. You can tell that the scenes here are deliberately slow paced, and it was pretty refreshing seeing that. So when violence/action finally happened it had more of an impact than if this would have been a straight-up action movie. not saying that a straight-up action movie would have been bad, I’m just praising this movie for being different. The cinematography is also gorgeous, and Taylor Sheridan’s writing is really solid. It’s a tightly made movie.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 98% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 88/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,8/10.

“Hell or High Water” is an absolutely excellent heist-thriller. It features a great plot, great characters, fantastic performances, great music, great directing, and great cinematography. Time for my final score. *GET ON THE GROUND!*. My final score for “Hell or High Water” is a 9,90/10. So it of course gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “Hell or High Water” is now completed.

Jeff Bridges with a mustache is one of the greatest things ever.

“Wonder Woman” Comic Con Trailer

Comic Con, you lovely bastard!

So Comic Con keeps giving us awesome stuff. And this time we are talking about the trailer for “Wonder Woman”! So we get to see Diana (Gal Gadot) discover a man washed up on the shores of her home. This man turns out to be Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), who is a soldier and becomes Wonder Woman’s love interest. And then we get to see battles and badassery and we will finally get a really awesome female-led superhero movie! Okay, I can’t say that the movie will be awesome, it might actually turn out to be shit… but the trailer makes it look awesome! Wonder Woman doesn’t need a man. She only needs her sword, shield, lasso of truth, and overall badassery. I am so pumped for this movie, it looks so cool! “Wonder Woman” is set to come out in June of 2017.

So what are your thoughts? Are you looking forward to “Wonder Woman”? As always, leave any and all thoughts in the comments!
Have a good one and enjoy the trailer!