Series Review: Brotherhood – Season 1 (2002)

What, you thought Summer of the Swedes was only about movies? Ahahaha, well to be honest, so did I at first. But hey, shit changes sometimes, you know. So anyhow, shall we get into the review?

Ladies and gentlemen… “Brotherhood” (original title: Tusenbröder) season 1.

Jan “Hoffa” Lenhoff (Ola Rapace) is a young family man who decides to open up a painting business with his friends (Shanti Roney, Danilo Bejarano). However, when things start going less than stellar for the business, the gang will have to resort to less legal methods to make ends meet. Generally speaking, this is a drama about family and the bond between the main trio (hence the show’s title), that just happens to feature some crime elements to help push the drama along. And I must say, I found myself quite compelled by the narrative here. I’m not saying that it’s one of the best stories out there, but I was definitely surprised at all the little nuances that the show presented. It’s not just “Oh, some good dudes falling on hard times, everything that happens can be somewhat justified”. The story here makes you question everything going on, makes you think about events from multiple angles, creating some really engaging tension and conflict throughout the five episodes.

Like the story before them, the characters of this show come with a surprising amount of nuance. Ola Rapace (credited in the show as Ola Norell) plays Hoffa, a man who loves his family, his friends, and wants to make sure his life goes smoothly. And over the course of the season we get to see his various conflicts, from his tense relationship with his dad, to the bond he has with his friends getting tested, to his inner turmoil around the illegal stuff he has to take part in. It’s all good stuff, and Rapace is really good in the role. Next we have Shanti Roney as Niklas, one of Hoffa’s best friends. At the start he just seems like the generally meek one of the group, and over the show we get to see him evolve in some really intriguing ways that make him a really fascinating character. And Roney is great in the role. Next we have Danilo Bejarano as Hamid, the third member of the main trio. He’s probably the one in the group with the least bit of development, while still being an interesting an vital part of the group when it comes to the drama. And Bejarano is good in the role. We also get supporting work from people like Anja Lundqvist, Sofia Helin, Lisa Lindgren, Tomas Pontén, Krister Henriksson, and more, all doing well in their respective roles.

The score for the show was composed by Martin Hansen and Mikael Nord Andersson. And I thought it was great. It’s generally speaking based around a blues-inspired acoustic guitar, which I think works in elevating the already solid drama on display here. As far as the licensed music goes, some of it works fine, and some songs don’t. There’s one or two tracks that actually took me out of the scene because of how it didn’t completely fit with the intended tone. So yeah, score’s great, licensed music can be hit or miss.

The show was created by Lars Lundström, with Erik Leijonborg directing all five episodes this season. And I must say that while the show looks like it was shot on a Sony Potato™, I can’t fault the overall direction. Leijonborg’s direction may not be flashy or even necessarily visually appealing, but I do think that works to the show’s advantage, seeing that it kinda fits the blue collar perspective the characters come from. With this said, some of the editing in a few scenes felt a little… janky. For the most part it’s fine, fairly standard stuff, but there’s a few scenes where it could be a little bit off. It’s nothing totally game breaking, but I felt that it’s worth pointing out.

On imdb.com, the show has a score of 8.2/10.

While it does have a few flaws in the technical department, season 1 of “Brotherhood” is a surprisingly great little drama series. It has a really good story, good characters, great performances, really good music, and good directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for season 1 of “Brotherhood” is an 8,82/10. So while slightly flawed, it’s still definitely worth watching.

My review of “Brotherhood” season 1 is now completed.

Most good Swedish shows I’ve watched have been comedies, so it’s nice finding a quality drama.

Series Review: Transformers Prime – Season 2 (2012)

There are probably those in the world who would say “You’re 23, stop watching cartoons!”. And to that I say “Be quiet, fool, I’m trying to watch a cartoon”. Oh, and there will be spoilers for the end of season 1, just so you don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Ladies and gents… “Transformers Prime” season 2.

At the end of the previous season, we saw Optimus (Peter Cullen) defeat the mighty Unicron. But that doesn’t mean him and his fellow Autobots get any time to rest, since they find themselves in a race against Megatron (Frank Welker) and his Decepticons to find and gather up mighty Cybertronian artifacts, all scattered across Earth. Yes, most of this season is a MacGuffin hunt, but so are all the “Indiana Jones” movies, and those are great. And “Transformers Prime” does it really well too by throwing in a lot of enjoyable character development, some clever twists, and genuinely fun sci-fi concepts. It also continues the show’s exploration of “Transformers” lore in really nuanced ways. The narrative manages to be a lot more compelling than a lot of contemporary cartoons… and a lot more compelling than the live action movies… what I’m saying is that the story here is great.

The characters here are flawed, layered, colorful, and just in general great. In season 1, they kinda started out one way, kind of being a cliche. But by the end of it, they had developed further. And they kept that going here in season 2. A lot of cartoons return to the status quo every now and then, just to make syndication easier. But none of that’s here. Character development sticks, and even gets furthered throughout the season. And the voice cast is great too. Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, Kevin Michael Richardson, Jeffrey Combs, Sumalee Montano, Josh Keaton, Tania Gunadi, Steve Blum, Ernie Hudson, and a few more all return from the previous season, all delivering damn good voice performances. And some of the newer additions, including the likes of Tony Todd, David Kaye, and Nolan North, are also great great.

As with the previous outing, the music for season 2 was composed by Brian Tyler, and he once again did a good job with it. It’s a big, bold, badass, brass-based score that fits the tone of the show really well while adding an extra layer of emotion to certain scenes throughout.

In my review of season 1, I praised the show’s animation for being fluid and dynamic without sacrificing much in terms of detail. Well, I can happily say that it’s still the case here. The animation is beautiful. Sure, the human characters look a bit like putty, but that’s an acceptable compromise for the titular robots. My god, they look amazing. The amount of detail on them, from parts, to shine, to wear and tear in their paint… you can tell that the crew really cared to make them look amazing. And the good animation carries over to the action too, which has plenty of exciting fights, shootouts, and chases. It’s all fluid and super fun, without compromising on any of the detail.

On imdb.com the show has a score of 7,8/10.

The crazy bastards did it. They somehow managed to give “Transformers Prime” another terrific season. It has a great plot, really good characters, great performances, really good music, and excellent animation/direction. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Transformers Prime” season 2 is a 9,82/10. Which does mean that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Transformers Prime” season 2 is now completed.

Roll out…

Series Review: Young Justice (2010 – 2013)

I wanna preface this review by saying, I’ve watched this show before. It’s just that after it was announced that it would finally get a third season, I really wanted to talk about this show before the third season was released. So now that I’ve gone through it again (slightly biased), I am ready to talk about it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Young Justice”!

The story of the show follows the sidekicks of famous DC superheroes as they form their own team (creatively known as “The Team”), and have to learn to come into their own as they face major threats while also learning to work as a team. So now we have our superhero story. And as you probably sort of gathered from some mild clues in the intro, I think the plot here is fantastic. Yes, at first it’s more of a “villain of the week” type format, but there is also an overarching plot involving some shadowy organization that lurks in the background of it all. The story is compelling, because they take their time in setting things up, rather than rushing through them like some would. It’s a layered and nuanced story filled with twists and turns, as well as compelling drama, all without sacrificing the fun superhero part of the plot. It’s a highly creative and engaging plot that I loved following

Like the plot, the characters here have a surprising amount of depth to them. Across the show’s two seasons we see the characters go through some major development that gives them so many layers. In the cast we see characters like Robin (Jesse McCartney) , Kid Flash (Jason Spisak), Aqualad (Khary Payton), Superboy (Nolan North), Artemis (Stephanie Lemelin), and Miss Martian (Danica McKellar) go through a lot of things together, developing their relationships with each other while also growing as individuals. It also helps that the actors for each of the characters do very well in their respective roles, no one felt out of place). And yes, there are more characters in the show than those mentioned, but those are the central ones for the first season, and I don’t wanna say too much since a lot of characters are best left experienced. But I can say that there’s a lot of good main characters in this show, and a lot of great supporting characters and cameos. Great characters, great actors.

The score for the show was composed by DC regulars Kristopher Carter, Lolita Ritmanis, and Michael McCuistion. And I think it’s fantastic. Of course it contains a lot of big and epic tunes for the cool superhero fight scenes as expected, but it does also have some tunes for the quieter moments or when they need something a bit more emotional. All the tracks in this show are well composed, and they fit their respective scenes perfectly.

Based on a shit-ton of characters from DC comics history, this show was created by Greg Weisman & Brandon Vietti (and written by those two and a bunch of other talented people). And what they’ve done is take a lot of well known DC characters and tropes, and created their own, fully realized world, featuring some familiar characters. And the animation here is fantastic, with fluid movements, and plenty of detail throughout. This helps in getting the viewer invested… and also makes action scenes a lot more awesome. Seriously, they’re fantastic.

This show has been well received (though barely exists on my usual sites). On Rotten Tomatoes it exists, but has no rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t exist. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,7/10 and is ranked #103 on the “Top 250 TV” list.

Did I make this review just so I could talk about “Young Justice”? Yes. But I feel like it’s also worth talking about since it’s such a great show. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and great directing/writing/animation. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Young Justice” is a 9,94/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of the first two seasons of “Young Justice” is completed.

I am really excited for season 3, which should be released later this year.

Movie Review: Soldier (1998)

Space… The final frontier. And that’s it, no more “Star Trek” for you. You’re instead getting a different type of space thing!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Soldier”.

In the not too distant a future, an aging soldier (Kurt Russell) finds himself abandoned by his superiors, now having to live in a colony on a distant planet. And soon he finds himself having to defend his new home when genetically engineered super soldiers attack. So yeah, this plot isn’t original or very engaging. It has a lot of familiar elements. Bit of “Shane”, bit of “Universal Soldier”, bit of other things I can’t think of right now. So yeah, not very original, but it’s executed decently enough to be considered passable.

The characters in the movie, while not the most layered, are entertaining and interesting enough to watch. Kurt Russell plays the character of Todd 3465 very stoically, but not 100% uninterested/dead, For pretty much the entire movie he has a blank facial expression, but if you look into his eyes you can see that there’s rage and fear in there. And by fear I mean fear of failing his superiors. Blank expression but his eyes say everything… that’s some great fuckin’ acting! Jason Scott Lee played one of the next-gen super soldiers and he was really badass. Sean Pertwee played one of the men that Todd gets to know on this strange planet, and he is really good in the role. Connie Nielsen plays Pertwee’s wife in the movie and she’s really good. Jason Isaacs plays the obvious dickbag in the movie and he’s great… he’s just great at playing villainous characters. We also got Gary Busey as one of the superior officers in the movie and unlike most of his other performances, he is not playing a crazy and over-the-top character… he’s playing it very straight and he does a really good job. Yeah, this movie has some really solid performances.

The score for the movie was composed by Joel McNeely and it was really good. His score was fun, exciting, and just fun. I really can’t say much else. It doesn’t do any unique things and it doesn’t make me feel various emotions… it’s just a simple action movie score that sounds good and works for the movie.

This movie was directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and I think he actually did a solid job here. The shots look really good and the action scenes are very well handled. My biggest gripe with his directing comes with something that occurs in pretty much all of his films… slow motion. I do think it has a place in movies, but the use of it here is not really that good. For one, it is used at some really baffling moments, and it also looks kind of bad. And like I kind of said, the action here is really good. It’s badass. Speaking of visual things, the effects (for the most part) look great! The sets that they built look awesome and the mix of practical/CGI looks good for the most part. A few of the effects in the movie look a little wonky, but overall the effects in this look really good. There are also quite a lot of references to “Blade Runner” in this movie… just thought I’d mention it.

 

This movie has not been too well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 10% (ouch) positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t exist. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,0/10.

“Soldier” is a surprisingly solid action movie. It features an okay plot, pretty good characters, really good performances, really good music, and really good directing. However it loses a few points with the plot being quite bland and the slow motion in this movie being pretty bad. Time for my final score. *Clears throat*. My final score for “Soldier” is an 8,65/10. So while it is flawed, I’d say it’s worth buying!

My review of “Soldier” is now completed.

*Looks at box officer numbers* OUCH! That is kind of sad.

Movie Review: Money Monster (2016)

Money. An essential part of modern society. Without money we could never really do… anything.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Money Monster”.

Lee Gates (George Clooney) is the energetic host of a finance show called “Money Monster” (roll credits). One day in the middle of his show a young man (Jack O’Connell) comes in and starts waving a gun around and then forces Gates to put on a bomb vest. So now we have a hostage thriller which is linked in some ways to financial issues. And overall I thought the plot was great. The hostage stuff was tense and it made everything a lot of interesting. And while the financial aspects of the movie could get a little preachy at times, I thought it was for the most part fairly well handled. So overall the plot is good. The hostage drama is great and the commentary on finances and the stock market is pretty good.

The characters in this movie are actually pretty interesting and surprisingly fleshed out… or at least the central three are. George Clooney is great as Lee Gates, playing  him with a good amount of energy while still keeping him serious and grounded. Julia Roberts plays Patty, the director of Gates’ show and she’s basically the one who’s trying to make sure everything going as smoothly as possible. And Roberts is great in the role. Then we have Jack O’Connell as Kyle, the young man who crashes the show and demands airtime and tries to get his will through. Not only is he the most compelling character in the movie (for reasons I will not get into because spoilers), but I would say that this is the best performance in the movie. O’Connell is fantastic as this troubled young man who isn’t just doing this to be an asshole, he has reasons that you find out throughout the movie, and I honestly understood where he was coming from with it all. We also get Giancarlo Esposito as a police captain who’s trying to stop this hostage bullshit and he’s really good in the movie. Caitriona Balfe is also really good in the movie. And Dominic West also does a really solid job in the movie. So even though the central three characters are the only ones who are interesting, the entire cast gives some really solid performances.

The score for the movie was composed by Dominic Lewis and I think it’s really good. It’s overall a tense and audibly interesting score that worked very well within the movie. While it leans very heavily on electronic stuff, it still sounds really good.

This movie was directed by Jodie Foster (Yes, THAT Jodie Foster) and I have to say that she did a pretty damn good job. She has a lot of flair in her directing and she makes scenes flow very well thanks to that. And the shots overall look pretty great.

This movie hasn’t been the most well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 57% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 55/100 And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,5/10.

“Money Monster” is a surprisingly solid thriller. It has a good plot, really good characters, great performances, really good music, and great directing. The only real problem is that the financial aspects of the plot aren’t always the most well handled, but it doesn’t detract from the movie too much. Time for my final score. *Some jingle plays*. My final score for “Money Monster” is a 9,23/10. So even though it is flawed, I’d still say that it’s definitely worth buying!

My review of “Money Monster” is now completed.

If you’re interested in watching this, try to avoid watching the trailer.

Movie Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015)

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Fuck cancer. That’s really all I can say… fuck the fucking cancer and all it fucking stands for. As much as I’d like to come up with a more clever intro, I honestly can’t. So… fuck cancer.

Ladies and gents, let me introduce you to… “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl”.

Greg (Thomas Mann) is a young man who likes to make parodies of old movies together with his “friend” Earl (RJ Cyler). However, Greg’s life changes a bit when he starts befriending his classmate Rachel (Olivia Cooke) who has cancer. And from this we get a coming-of-age story that is clever, entertaining, and surprisingly nuanced. I mean, sure one of the main characters has cancer, but they don’t use that to make a sappy teen drama. What we have here is a movie that feels real in the sense that it explores both the humor and the drama of life. That said, it did tug at my heartstrings a bit and even made me cry. What, I’m mature enough to admit that I cried… I’m not made of fucking stone. But yeah, I really liked the plot of this movie. Interesting, entertaining, emotional, and charming.

The characters in this movie are all very entertaining and feel pretty real. Thomas Mann is really good as Greg, this young man who has very low self-esteem. Olivia Cooke is great as this girl Rachel who befriends Greg while also dealing with having luekemia. RJ Cyler is really good as Earl, the “friend” of Greg. What I also like about this central trio is that they have great chemistry with each other which makes for some really good scenes. We also get some really good supporting performances from people like Nick Offerman, Molly Shannon, Connie Britton, and Jon Bernthal. Yeah, it’s a very well acted movie with good characters.

The score for the movie was composed by Nico Muhly and Brian Eno and whle it was used pretty sparingly, it was still really good. Whenever it was used it fit the scene very well, whether it’s in a more humorous scene or a more dramatic one. Then there are also a whole bunch of licensed tracks used throughout, both “normal” songs and tracks from various movies, the latter of which makes a lot of sense with the story and such. But yeah, all the music works very well within the movie.

This movie was directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and I think he did a really good job. Scenes flow very well and the cmaera work for the most part looks really good. I say “for the most part” because there were a few points where the handheld style made it a little too shaky at times. It doesn’t detract too much from the movie, but I still feel like it was worth mentioning. Also, here’s a fun fact: This movie was written by the same guy that wrote the book that this is based on. And his writing is great. It made me laugh quite a bit.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 82% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 74/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,8/10.

“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” is a funny and very well made coming-of-age story with a lot of heart. It has a really good plot, really good characters, great performances, great music, really good directing, and great writing. Time for my final score. *Cough*. My final score for “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” is a 9,80/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” is now completed.

I’m actually surprised that I liked it as much as I did… Well done, cast and crew of this movie!

Movie Review: Late Phases (2014)

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We have covered a few different horror topics here with the Month of Spooks. We have covered zombies, spooky animation, murders on an island, slashers(Thank Zoë!), and haunted houses. So I guess it’s time to move on to something different… like werewolves.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Late Phases”.

Ambrose McKinley (Nick Damici) is an old, blind, war veteran who just moved into a retirement community. But the peace is very suddenly broken when his neighbor gets killed by a werewolf. So now Ambrose has one month to prepare for the next attack from the beast. I know… this sounds really dumb. But trust me, the plot here is surprisingly well handled. What we have here is a very unusual horror movie. It’s a slow-burning drama about this lonely man, who happens to inhabit the same world as a werewolf. I was genuinely surprised at how invested I was in the plot, I really wanted to see what happened next and how this bitter, blind, man was handling everything in his life. It really is a compelling plot.

The characters in the movie are all pretty interesting. Sure, some get less time than others when it comes to screen time, but they all have some kind of purpose in the grand scheme of things. Nick Damici is pretty damn great as Ambrose, playing him as this bitter, broken, man who has a bit of a rough relationship with his son. Speaking of which, his son is played by Ethan Embry who does a really good job in the movie too. You can tell that the relationship between Damici’s and Embry’s characters isn’t the best, which adds a lot to the drama. Really helps make these characters more compelling and interesting. Then we also get some really good supporting performances from people like Lance Guest, Tom Noonan, and Tina Louise (to only mention a few).

The original score was composed by Wojciech Golczewski and I think that it was really good. It really worked in the movie, somehow enhancing a lot of the scenes it was used in. Either helping to add emotion or tension to the scene. The score is haunting and definitely helped increase the quality of the movie.

This movie was directed by Spanish director Adrián García Bogliano, and I think he did a great job directing this, making a very tightly directed movie that both builds tension and drama throughout it’s 95 minute runtime. And when shit goes down it’s fucking glorious. Brutal, tense, and badass without being overly cheesy. And the visual effects in this are really good. Sure, there are parts where the werewolf looks pretty bad. As in, distractingly bad. But then there are also bits where the werewolf looks pretty damn great. I’m at least glad that they decided to do this with mostly practical stuff. Not sure if there is any CGI in the movie, but if there is then I couldn’t really notice it. But yeah, tight direction, good effects, some shitty werewolf stuff.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 69% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 51/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 5,9/10.

“Late Phases” is one of the most unexpectedly good movies that I’ve ever seen. A character-driven horror-drama with a good plot, good characters, great acting, great music, great directing, mostly good effects, and a badass final act. Though as I said, there are some times where the werewolves look like shit to a distracting degree. Time for my final score. *HOWLING NOISE!*. My final score for “Late Phases” is a 9,01/10. While not perfect, it’s most definitely worth buying!
Worth buying

My review of “Late Phases” is now completed.

Big thanks to youtube channel GoodBadFlicks for introducing this movie to me. If you’re not subscribed to him already, I suggest you go do it.

Movie Review: Zootopipolis (2016)

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You might be slightly confused when you see the title of this post. You’re probably saying to yourself “It’s called Zootopia, ya dingus!”. Or if you’re in Europe you would say “It’s called Zootropolis, you wanker!”. Well since the internet can’t agree on which of those two titles it is, I decided that I would combine the two. We good? Good? Good.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Zootopipolis”.

Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) is a young, ambitious bunny who have just become the first ever bunny to get to be a police officer in the city of Zootopipolis. And on one of her first days she runs into a fox/con artist named Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman). And to cut a long story short, these two polar opposite characters have to work together to find a missing otter and uncover some kind of conspiracy that seems to be going on. First off, that’s a pretty damn interesting plot for a Disney movie in general. Secondly, I was genuinely surprised at the multiple layers the plot has. Not only is it a Disney mystery with fuzzy animals, but it’s also a movie about racism and prejudice and how that is a part of our society. So not only is this a fun adventure, but it also teaches good morals to kids and their parents alike. Good job, Disney… I didn’t expect that.

The characters in this movie are so interesting and so fun that it’s ridiculous. I mean, they’re not just there to say some fun stuff and deliver morals to kids, but they are overall very well rounded and well realized and they have lots of personality to them. Ginnifer Goodwin is really good as Judy Hopps, perfectly portraying this hopeful and really likable bunny. Jason Bateman as Nick Wilde is just buckets of fun. I’ve always kind of had a thing for con-man characters overall, but his voice work on the character is just perfect for him. And before we move on, the chemistry between Hopps and Wilde is actually pretty damn great. They have a lot of great banter between them and I totally believe the chemistry they have. But they’re not the only great ones in the movie. You have an angry police chief buffalo played by Idris Elba, a sly weasel played by Alan Tudyk, a lion-mayor played by J.K. Simmons, and even a hippie/yak played by Tommy Chong. Every character in this movie is great and every voice performance is also great.

The score for the movie was composed by Michael Giacchino and it’s pretty great. Every track that was composed for the movie perfectly works within the movie and sounds overall pretty great. We also got an original song by Shakira for the movie. And how is it? Eh. It’s fine, nothing really wrong with it. But I’m not gonna one day go “Oh man, I really wanna listen to that Zootopipolis song that Shakira did right now”. It’s fine. If you love it, awesome! But I’m not going crazy for it.

The animation in this movie is absolutely terrific, the movie realy is visually appealing. I would say that it especially shines in the action scenes we get throughout the movie. They are fast, fun, and just really well animated. And I also feel like I have to talk about the writing a little here too. Yes, I talked about how this movie has a layered plot with some good morals to teach… but it’s not some animal-based drama all the time. The movie has plenty of jokes throughout and I did laugh… a lot. There were plenty of funny lines said throughout the movie, a lot coming from the character of Nick Wilde. And I’m not gonna lie, there were a lot of jokes here that I honestly didn’t expect this type of movie to have. There were two especially that made me crack up quite a bit. I’m not gonna say what they were in case you have not seen the movie yet, but let me just say that as a movie/TV nerd… I loved them. Those who have seen it might’ve figured which I am talking about. So if you wanna talk about those, hit me up on twitter.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 98% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 78/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,1/10 and is ranked #191 on the “Top 250” list.

Guys, to tell you the truth… I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked “Zootopipolis”. It has a surprisingly great plot, great characters, great voice acting, great music, great animation, and some really funny humor. Time for my final score. *WOOF!* My final score for “Zootopipolis” is a 9,85/10. So that means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Zootopipolis” is now completed.

flash sloth

Movie Review: The Way Way Back (2013)

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I am gonna be completely honest with you, summer is not really my favorite time of year. It is too warm, there are mosquitos everywhere and people expect you to throw off all your clothes for like swimming trunks or bikinis or whatever you are expected to wear. I am a guy who prefer to sit inside all day and watch movies rather than walk around outside without a shirt. Plus, it is not the best time for me since I got pollen allergy. I am more of a spring/autumn guy. But alas, I have to endure the summer every fucking year. Is there anything about the usmmer that I like? Yes… movies set during the summer. And today we are taking a look at such a movie.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Way Way Back”!

This movie is about the story of shy 14-year old Duncan (Liam James). He and his mother Pam (Toni Collette) are going with Pam’s boyfriend Trent (Steve Carell) and his daughter Steph (Zoe Levin) to their summer house near a beach. Of course Duncan isn’t too happy about it considering he is shy and a little antisocial. But one day when he goes to the water park “Water Wizz” he meets a man named Owen (Sam Rockwell) who he quickly befriends and starts haning with every day. Hell, Owen even gives him a job at the park where he gets to meet the employees there and just have something to do all day… but neither his mom nor Trent knows about this little new occupation of this. And this is kind of what we get. We get to see Duncan interact with the people who work at the park and also see how his friendship with Owen evolves. We also get to see how Duncan’s relationship with his mom and “family” kind of bounces around. And I have to say I really liked the story of “The Way Way Back”. Sure, some things in it are very familiar and not original but that is not the idea of a thing like this. The idea of a thing like this is to take those familiar things but keep them entertaining in it’s own way. And this movie does this perfectly. The story was fun.

The characters in this movie are perfectly portrayed. Not jsut in the acting department, but also because they are very well-written. The characters are very realistic and have some really good dialogue. I also feel like all the characters are very unique and feel different from each other (in a good way). For example, Liam James plays the shy yet likeable main character in this movie, he is just a guy who you know you will like. Then we got Steve Carell who surprisingly plays a pretty convincing dick in this movie. Not saying he is completely unlikeable, he just happens to be a bit of a dick. And I can’t hold it anymore… Sam Rockwell in this movie is honestly fantastic! He was really made to play this character, just like him this character is wise-cracking and full of energy and he did it perfectly. I also think his and Liam James’ chemistry was fantastic. It is rare for me to see that kind of chemistry these days. So as you may have guessed, I liked the characters in the movie.

The music is kind of interesting because the majority of tracks you here are licensed tracks. Sure, there are a bunch of original tracks as well done by Rob Simonsen that all work, but you don’t notice them as much. And I have to admit that the licensed tracks didn’t really bother me. I actually think they worked to really sell the summer-feel of this movie. And I have to say that the tracks were pretty enjoyable. And the original score was good as well.

The camera work, while not groundbreaking, was still really good. The camera guy for this movie really knew how to frame a scene and just make the entire thing look good. I also feel like I have to touch on how this movie isn’t a straight up comedy but rather a comedy with a fair amount of dramatic bits. Sure, none of the dramatic parts made me cry, but they did actually get to me. And I have to say that at first I thought “Okay this movie is pretty okay”. But as I got further into it I really started liking it more and more.

This movie was pretty well-received by both critics and audience members alike. On Rotten Tomatoes this movie has an 85% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 68/100. And finally on imdb.com it has a 7,4/10.

“The Way Way Back” is a movie filled with a ton of funny moments, some good drama, a ton of good performances and a lot of heart. It also has one really catchy soundtrack. So maybe it is time to hand out my final score. My Final score for “The Way Way Back” is surprisingly a 9,55/10 which grants it the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”. I was really surprised how much I liked this.
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“The Way Way Back” is now reviewed.

A summer movie in october… weird.