Movie Review: Star Wars – The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

It’s that time of year again… “Star Wars”. The final one… for now. So let’s talk about it.

Ladies and gents… “Star Wars – The Rise of Skywalker”.

The remaining members of the Resistance try to pull off a series of daring plans to try to hopefully finally stop the sinister First Order. It’s the concluding chapter to this new trilogy, that also calls back some (read: a lot) to the older movies. And the story as a whole is a bit of a mixed bag. It’s generally a fun, fast-paced space swashbuckler that does give a satisfying enough ending to the entire Skywalker saga, but looking at the overall thing, it feels ever so slightly paper-thin. And while I don’t need my “Star Wars” to be deep mindfucks in their storytelling, I feel like there could’ve been a bit more put into it, since it’s supposed to, you know, cap off the entire fucking series (AGAIN). But as it stands, while the story disappoints a bit, it’s still entertaining, and I thought the overall ending was pretty good.

The characters in this have earned a shitload of good will over the previous two movies, I’ve fallen in love with them, so that went a long way to me following them here. And while one or two might get some decent-ish enough character conflict, there isn’t too much else to say about that stuff. Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver make for a compelling hero/villain dynamic at the center. John Boyega and Oscar Isaac are as enjoyable in their sidekick roles again. All other supporting actors do well enough in their supporting roles too.

As with every mainline entry in this franchise, the score was composed by the one and only John Williams. And there’s no way one can complain about it. From the classic motifs, to some of the ones from the previous two movies, to some new (if indistinguishable) stuff… come on, it’s another “Star Wars” score from the one and only John Williams, you all know it’s good.

“The Rise of Skywalker” was directed by J.J. Abrams, who did a damn good job. The guy knows how to bring energy to a scene, he knows how to a fun and exciting action scene. There’s tons of good action in this that either made my jaw drop or just had grinning like an overexcited child. Yes, I am easy to please when it comes to that kind of stuff… especially when it’s handled as well as it is here. The effects are of course fucking spectacular, and not just the CG, there’s a ton of awesome practical creature effects and such. It’s just a joy to look at.

This movie just came out, so there’s not much data out there (and as y’all know, I am too lazy to edit after the fact). So here’s where we’re at now. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 58% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 53/100. And on imdb.com it has no score at all… that’s how early I am.

“Star Wars – The Rise of Skywalker” may be slightly disappointing, but I still had a good time with it. It has an okay plot, good characters, great performances, great music, and really good directing/effects. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Star Wars – The Rise of Skywalker” is an 8,45/10. So while very flawed, it’s still worth buying.

My review of “Star Wars – The Rise of Skywalker” is now completed.

Goodbye for now, Star Wars.

“Black Panther” trailer!

Hello there guys, hope you’re doing well. Well, time to talk about a new trailer!

So we have gotten our first trailer for “Black Panther”, the next next next movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And that would make it the MCU’s 18th movie, Jesus fucking Christ, that’s a lot of movies. Anyhow, so what’s this about then? Well, it’s about T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), the new ruler of Wakanda, a fictional African country, defending his homeland as the titular Dark Feline. And that’s about all I can say. You want a full, possibly spoiler-filled disection of the trailer, go somewhere else. I just give you the news of this trailer’s existence. But you already knew about it because every person and their cat has written/vlogged about it. Still, what do I think? I’m excited. This looks badass, and Black Panther’s appearance in “Captain America: Civil War” just made me want more of the character, because Chadwick Boseman was awesome. And the cast here too is just amazing. It’s also nice to see Andy Serkis actually showing his face for once and not doing performance capture. So yeah, I’m pretty fucking excited for this movie. “Black Panther” is set to be released in February of 2018.

What are your thoughts? Are you excited for “Black Panther”? And what did you think of his appearance in “Civil War”? Leave any and all answers in the comments!
Have a good one and enjoy the trailer!

Movie Review: The Jungle Book (2016)

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I apologize for the lack of reviews lately, I’ve had a bad case of the lazies. But enough of that, uhm… oo-bidooo, I wanna reviiieeew.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Jungle Book”.

Welcome to the jungle! In this jungle, among all of the animals and plants we have a young human boy named Mowgli (Neel Sethi), who has lived with a pack of wolves for most of his life. However his life changes quite a bit when a tiger named Shere Khan (Idris Elba) threatens to kill him. So Mowgli together with a panther named Bagheera (Ben Kingsley) and a bear named Baloo (Bill Murray) have to go on the run and kind of discover who he really is. Pretty simple premise for a movie, but it’s effective. I was truly captivated by the plot of this movie. It was interesting, it was engaging, it was entertaining, and it was even a bit emotional at times. A little bit predictable at times, but not in an annoying way. It was a pretty damn solid plot.

The characters in this movie were all interesting and entertaining. I have been pretty verbal about my skepticism about having kids act in movies, but even I have to admit that Neel Sethi who played Mowgli was really good here. Especially considering that this was his first movie and that he acted against… nothing. There were no humans to act against in scenes, only tennis balls on sticks (or whatever they did here), and given those two factors… he was really good, he carried the movie very well. Bill Murray did the voice of Baloo and I think he did a great job with it. Baloo was funny, charming, and just overall awesome. Ben Kingsley was great as Bagheera, nothing much to say there. Idris Elba as Shere Khan was intimidating and badass and almost a bit scary. Yeah, he was fantastic. Lupita Nyong’o played Mowgli’s adoptive mother, Raksha, and she was great. But by far, my favorite, one that I advocated for so long that it was perfect casting… Christopher Walken as King Louie. Yeah, he was so much fun and just… god, I loved it! The rest of the cast, including people like Giancarlo Esposito, Scarlett Johansson, and Garry Shandling (R.I.P) all did a great job. It was a really solid cast.

The score for the movie was composed by John Debney and it was pretty damn good. It was fun and really big and epic. There are also some newer versions of the songs from the classic Disney animation spread throughout, and they all sound really good. Not all the classic songs, but several of them are here. And they are implemented pretty well into the movie.

This movie was directed by Jon Favreau and I honestly think he did a pretty great job. The way he directed it is fun and exciting and makes for a very good pace throughout. The scenes flow very well and some of them are even really tense. Which brings me to the CGI, and Jesus fucking Christ the CGI in this movie is absolutely astonishing. I looked at it all and my mind was kind of blown. What’s also interesting is that nothing was shot on location in an actual jungle, this was all a green screen set… and I could never really tell. What they did with the visual effects here was nothing short of fan-fucking-tastic. And based on certain things you see in this movie I find it hard to believe that this movie is rated PG. I’m not kidding, I expected at least a PG-13 rating, but no… this shit was PG. Disney sure gets away with some harrowing stuff.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 94% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 77/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/10.

“The Jungle Book” is one of the few reamkes/reboots that actually turned out to be great. Not saying that it surpasses the 1967 original, that is still my favorite Disney movie… but I am still saying that this is a great movie in it’s own right. It has a really good plot, really good characters, great performances, great music, great directing, and fantastic visual effects. Time for my final score. *Roar!*. My final score for “The Jungle Book” is a 9,83/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “The Jungle Book” is now completed.

Welcome to the jungle, We’ve got fun ‘n’ games…

 

Movie Review: Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens

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I really have no clever or witty introduction for this review. I really just want to get into the review so I can tell you about my thoughts on the movie. I guess I could give you my backstory on how I got into “Star Wars” in the first case, but I feel like that’s a thing for a separate post. So let’s just get on with the real deal here.

My dearest ladies and gentlemen, I present to you… “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens”!

This movie is set about 30 years after “Return of the Jedi” and follows a young scavenger named Rey (Daisy Ridley) who meets up with a man named Finn (John Boyega) who used to be a stormtrooper before he left for not liking what this “First Order” does. So it follows them meeting up with Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and the gang to try to stop the “First Order” and it’s leader, the nefarious Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Guys… it happened, it finally fucking happened… a great plot in a “Star Wars” movie. That’s something we haven’t seen since “Return of the Jedi”, and that was 32 years ago. I felt like they actually put some effort into the plot of this one. You care about the good guys trying to save the day, you care about what happens in general. They actually did a great job… YES!!!

The characters in this movie are all great. Just like in the original trilogy, they were all instantly likable and they played their part in the story well. Let’s start with the old blood which we used to love and see if we still like them… was there ever any doubt? Harrison Ford is great as Han Solo, being just as fun and badass as he was back in the day even though he is a lot older now. Carrie Fisher as Leia… terrific. Peter Mayhew is still as awesome in the role of Chewbacca as he was back in the day. And I will not lie, some people will be disappointed if not mad about how they used Luke Skywalker in the movie. Me personally? I thought it worked, it was good. Anthony Daniels as C-3PO was also really good even though there was limited screen time for him. Now let’s talk some of the new blood they put in the movie. John Boyega as Finn was just great. His performance has a lot of energy, a lot of humanity and a lot of likability. Daisy Ridley was absolutely terrific as Rey. Her performance felt so real and so fine-tuned that she was just great. Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron… god damn badass! Seriously, Isaac was great in the role and his character was definitely one of my favorites in the movie. Finally we have Adan Driver as main bad guy Kylo Ren… yeah he was pretty damn fantastic. And he plays my favorite type of villain: the villain whom you can understand the motivations for. you can kind of get behind his thoughts in the movie. Sure, I didn’t condone what he did because he did some terrible shit, but I can still understand his thinking, and that’s the type of villain I love! And look, there are too many actors in this movie to tlak about them all, but let’s just say that they all did a pretty great job in the movie.

This is a part where I had absolutely no doubts at all: the score. Why was I so confident in it? Because a great while ago it was announced that the score would be provided by none other than John Williams, the man who has done the music for all previous movies in the series. And once again, the man fucking nails it perfectly. Both the classic themes that we’ve heard a million (billion) times and the new songs work perfectly in the movie. I mean, it’s John freakin’ Williams!

This movie was directed by J.J. Abrams who now have his hands in both “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” which means he might finally brings the fanbases together. Anyhow, he did a great job with the directing. Everything looks smooth, it’s all very swift, there are a lot of long, beautiful takes and it all just looks really nice. And oh my god… are those practical effects? Yes they are, holy shit. That’s right, movie has practical effects, which is something the crew wanted in the movie and they somehow made it the majority in the movie. Sure, there is CGI in the movie, but really only when they needed it. For the most part they stuck to the practical stuff (which is amazing to see). And I have to say that all of the effects in the movie look absolutely fantastic. The movie also moves at a great pace, never feeling slow or bogged down by exposition or overall boring stuff. And the action scenes are pretty great as well, all feeling very grounded and almost even real. I especially love the dog fights, those are so satisfying to watch. I also feel like I have to mention that there is actual humor in the movie and it is really funny… something that they failed at with the prequel trilogy. But here, they gloriously succeeded.

Sure, this movie just came out, but I will still say that it has been received well. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 97% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 81/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 9,1/10 which most likely will change by a good amount when more people have gotten the chance to see it, but that is what it stands at right at the time of this review.

“Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” is what I would really call a true “Star Wars” movie. It has a great plot, great characters & acting, fantastic music, great directing, great action, great visual effects, great writing and just an overall sense of fun. Time for my final score. My final score for “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” is a 9,89/10. It definitely gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

“Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” is at last reviewed.

You have no idea how long I have waited for this…

Movie Review: Non-Stop (2014)

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Liam Neeson, one of the greatest actors we got (at least I think so). He truly gained fame back in 1993 with his movie “Schindler’s List” (which I have not seen yet). But a few years back he made a small turn in his career with the movie “Taken” which puts him (for the most part) these days in action movies. And now in 2014, he made another one…set on a plane.

Men and women, boys and girls…”Non-Stop”.

Bill Marks (Liam Neeson) is a drunken(ish) air marshal who’s going on a transatlantic flight. On that he meets a woman named Jen Summers (Julianne Moore) whom he befriends. But while on the flight, something weird happens. He starts receiving these mysterious text messages from an unknown (Liam Neeson pun, haha) person. This person says he/she will kill one passenger on the plane every 20 minutes if Bill fails to transfer 150 million dollars to a certain bank account. So it’s a race against the time to find this mysterious person until every passenger on the plane is dead. But there seems to be more going on than that. And now we have our movie. And I have to say that I really enjoyed the story aspect of this movie. Not only was it well-written, but it was also very suspenseful. And to be honest, this movie is not straight-out action, but it is a bit like “Jack Reacher” in the sense of it being a suspenseful mystery with action parts every now and then. And in that sense…I really liked the story.

The characters…not the best in the universe. Not calling them bad/horribly written…just not too interesting. But it is also difficult to give different characters interesting personalities when they are so many. Sure, a few get a little development, but not enough to keep them that interesting. But we are not here to see people, we’er here to see Liam Neeson…and he delivers. Sure, he stays very similar throughout the movie with little to no change…but I don’t mind. Neeson gives a good enough performance to stay interesting.

The soundtrack by John Ottman is honestly pretty great. It is one of those soundtracks that fit it’s movie so well that it doesn’t matter what I say. It really helps build the suspense of the scenes in the movie. It is also not a too bombastic soundtrack like most modern action movies want to make their soundtracks, but it is a lot mroe subtle than a big ol’ “BWAAAAAAAAAH”. So yeah…I really liked it.

The camera work in this movie is honestly some of the best I’ve seen in a modern movie. Sure, a few parts are hurt by shaky-cam, but it doesn’t ruin the entire movie. Sure, the camera work is not really on par with any David Fincher movies, but it manages to hold it’s own against most other movies. Also, this movie kept me on edge. The claustrophobic feeling it gave really helped build the suspense and really did keep it fresh and interesting. Seriously… try to find a modern action movie that can keep me on edge… that is difficult. Also, this movie was produced by Joel Silver who also helped produce the “Matrix” films and “Die Hard”.

Reception for “Non-Stop” was mixed but for the most part pretty good. It has a 60% score on Rotten Tomatoes at the moment. On Metacritic it has the lovely score of 56/100 (Did you see the sarcasm, or did it just fly by). And on imdb.com it has a 7,1/10. So like I said…mixed, but overall good.

“Non-Stop” is a movie with good action scenes, good acting, great camera work and a good soundtrack but is dragged down a bit by lack of characterization and a little bit of unnecessary shaky-cam. So now it is time for my final score. The final score for “Non-Stop” is an 8,92/10 and a recommendation to buy it. It is not worthy the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!” but it is somethign that is good enough to pick up.

“Non-Stop” is now reviewed.

Where’s Leslie Nielsen when you need him? (Bonus points if you get the reference).