What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

What We Do in the Shadows Movie Review

…………………………………………………

What We Do in the Shadows Movie Review

What We Do in the Shadows is a 2014 New Zealand mockumentary horror comedy film directed by Taika Waititi. It is an original, but admittedly not great film.

………………………………………………….

He was an 18th century dandy, so he can be very fussy

………………………………………………….

What We Do in the Shadows Movie Review

………………………………………………….

This film is a very interesting mix of genres. It is above all a vampire comedy, but with some horror elements and filmed in a mockumentary style. The mockumentary worked to its full advantage as it added a modern, fun touch to it and I really enjoyed it. The horror elements are rare, but solid and as for comedy, the movie can be really funny at times, but not often enough.

The plot with these three centuries old vampires sharing a flat together in today’s world is comedy gold in itself and such an original, creative premise with a particularly authentic approach. But the execution is not as great owing to its uneven quality.

The film takes its time to get there as the first act is not as engaging and it take time to adapt to its offbeat weirdness, at least that was the case with me. The second act is then phenomenal and so energetic, fun and frequently hilarious. That’s certainly the highlight of the film. But then the third act is definitely not as fun and the movie loses its steam there.

What We Do in the Shadows is weirdly paced and for such a short runtime, the filmmakers still did not know how to fulfill that time and thus I agree with some that this was an ingenious idea for a short film and never a feature.

………………………………………………….

What We Do in the Shadows Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Taika Waititi is excellent here, not so much in the acting role (and no actor is really particularly great here), but as a director, he shines here as this is his vision and his direction and style are phenomenal. The score is actually very good and effective in creating its vampire atmosphere. The same can be said for special effects and sets, both excellent for such a small budget. The film is technically pretty terrific.

What We Do in the Shadows is a highly original, but uneven experiment. Its mix of genres and approaches is very intriguing as it is a mockumentary vampire horror comedy with a pretty good premise. Taika Waititi’s direction and style are great. But only the second act is very strong and quite funny as it takes time to get used to its weirdness in the first act and the film loses its steam in the third act. It would have been much more effective as a short than it is as a feature film.

My Rating – 3.5

Share

Girls Trip (2017)

Girls Trip Movie Review

…………………………………………………

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip is a 2017 comedy film starring Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish and Jada Pinkett Smith. It is a solid film, but not as great as everybody says it is.

………………………………………………….

That’s some white boy shit right there

………………………………………………….

Girls Trip Movie Review

………………………………………………….

The major problem with this film is the plot. I like my comedies to either have no plot at all or to have a meaningful, good plot and this one has such an archaic, cliched storyline with Regina Hall’s character where she stays married to a cheater just because they are a famous couple and eventually backs away from it. A very cliched story that ties all of the movie together but is so dull that it hurt it tremendously.

Girls Trip is funny, quite funny at times. I liked the movie the most when the girls were just having fun and being crazy. Those were the best parts and I wish the whole film was like that. They did not need all of that relationship drama in there. And this crew of women is so strong and they are such wonderful friends mostly because of the cast which has an infectious dynamic between each other and great charisma and likability factor.

Let’s talk about all of the four girls. There are some fine supporting players in here such as Kate Walsh who is funny, but this is mostly about just these four women which is great. I had not recognized Jada Pinkett Smith as Lisa is not like her usual sexy character, but still she remains an annoying actress, at least to me. And she is the most boring part of this whole film.

………………………………………………….

Girls Trip Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Queen Latifah is excellent in the role as Sasha is quite likable and I loved her relationship with Regina Hall’s Ryan. As I said above, I really did not care for Ryan’s story whatsoever. But I could not deny that she gave a terrific, very strong performance in a not so great role.

I do agree with most critics and fans that Tiffany Haddish did absolutely steal the show here. She truly is a breakout star of 2017 as the actress who was basically unknown before but is now suddenly in the comedy spotlight. Dina is a typically over-the-top and sexually charged comic relief, but she is so great that she elevated the material. And her many funny lines were the highlights in terms of the humor here.

Girls Trip is a movie that is two hours a long and I just had a big problem with that. Comedies aren’t supposed to be longer than an hour and a half and this one is certainly overlong and the entire third act was just so sappy and unfortunately very archaic, it felt too much like a 2000s romantic comedy and it was overly triumphant. It should have ended before and much stronger.

………………………………………………….

Girls Trip Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Another problem here is that the humor is not as great as I thought it would be. Its R-rated style sometimes felt unnecessary as those scenes with the most profanity were usually too forced in their execution (the pee scene is absolutely ridiculous). But the grapefruit scene is pretty funny and some facial expressions and lines of dialogue definitely were excellent, mostly coming from Haddish’s character. But still this isn’t all that better than ‘Rough Night’ which remains a very underrated comedy flick which I honestly may even prefer over this one.

Girls Trip can be really funny, I loved the dynamic between its talented cast and Tiffany Haddish definitely is the highlight here in a true breakout role for her. Whenever the film relied on the girls’ friendship and their various shenanigans, it was very good. However, it also included that very unfortunate celebrity cheating storyline and no matter how strong Regina Hall’s performance is, she just couldn’t save this story from being so dated and cliched. And the third act is just too sappy. All in all, it is a solid flick, but not all that better than very underrated ‘Rough Night’.

My Rating – 3.5

Share

Harvey (1950)

Harvey Movie Review

…………………………………………………

Harvey Movie Review

Harvey is a 1950 comedy film starring James Stewart and Josephine Hull. It is a very strong, but ultimately flawed comedy flick.

………………………………………………….

Well, I’ve wrestled with reality for 35 years, Doctor,

and I’m happy to state I finally won out over it

………………………………………………….

Harvey Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Harvey is about Elwood, a man who goes everywhere with his imaginary friend who is a giant white rabbit. Upon many embarrassments that he has brought to the family, his sister finally decides to put him in a sanatorium. But hilarity ensues when the doctors assume she is the crazy one and she ends up in the hospital herself…

This is for better and for worse a situational comedy. And although the situations are highly improbable, this is still one of the better examples of this type of comedy with a particularly strong use of its various hijinks and crazy scenarios. The film is definitely very funny and the sister is easily the most hilarious character here. They managed to treat such a serious issue very comically and whether it is Elwood talking to his “friend” or Veta being paranoid and losing it, you are bound to get a great laugh with these funny, crazy people.

………………………………………………….

Harvey Movie Review

………………………………………………….

There is only one problem, a major problem, I have with Harvey and that is its second half or mostly just the third act. It is so problematic and inferior to the rest of the picture that it brings the whole movie down to a four-star film for me. The once immensely funny affair turns dead serious which I did not like. I liked how it has a heartwarming ending and how respectfully it treats its subject and characters, but it just lost its steam almost entirely, it felt long and slow and there was too much drama and just not enough humor.

This is one of James Stewart’s most different and unique roles and he did such a good job as usual with him having been such a greatly talented guy. I liked his character and he was great, but I thought it was a missed opportunity that we didn’t see his projection of the rabbit at least in its very end. I liked the doctors and that relationship between one doctor and a nurse was very well established. Myrtle Mae is also pretty good.

But this is almost entirely Josephine Hull’s show. The character is amazing and so complex as she believes and does not believe in the rabbit at the same time. But Hull gave a purely brilliant comedic performance and the film and this character wouldn’t work without her phenomenal performance. She managed to give a terrific performance against all odds (an extremely difficult role) and thus her Oscar win is highly deserved. For once, the Academy managed to honor a comedic performance. Thank God.

………………………………………………….

Harvey Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Harvey is not all that well directed and shot as it is based on a play and it shows. But the technical aspects weren’t needed for this story and are competent enough. The characters are so vivid, the humor is exceptional and the dialogue is witty that the film successfully transcended its one big flaw.

Harvey is a very strong comedy, but not as great as it could have been. That third act is so serious, overly dramatic and slow that the once hilarious film suddenly stopped and lost all of its steam. Yes, the humor is terrific as the film is very funny in its great use of situational comedy and witty dialogue. The characters are memorable and very likable. James Stewart is reliably great here but this is actually Josephine Hull’s show and she absolutely killed it in a very demanding, complex role and indisputably deserved her Oscar in the process.

My Rating – 4

Share

My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)

My Neighbors the Yamadas Movie Review

…………………………………………………

My Neighbors the Yamadas Movie Review

My Neighbors the Yamadas is a 1999 anime comedy film directed by Isao Takahata. It is Studio Ghibli’s most underappreciated film.

………………………………………………….

My father and mother and grandma and brother all got lost

………………………………………………….

My Neighbors the Yamadas Movie Review

………………………………………………….

This film is for better and for worse a series of vignettes. That means that it has no story, but just various unconnected segments that tell the tales of the Yamada family through hardships and foolishness. It may seem at first that it is too disconnected, but I honestly found it thematically connected as the film shows the power of family and that the family union can help you stay afloat in this dark and cold world.

Let’s first talk about the characters and then I will touch upon its segments. There are basically only five characters in this movie and those are all the Yamada family members. I love movies with less characters so naturally I really enjoyed this one as well.

Nonoko is their five-year old daughter and although she was less prominent in the second half of the movie, she was wonderful in the first half and so incredibly funny at times. I really liked her and she is such a wonderful kid. Noboru isn’t as likable and is more typical, but still really well developed and his romantic as well as school problems were really well portrayed.

………………………………………………….

My Neighbors the Yamadas Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Takashi works too much to support his family whereas Matsuko is very much just a housewife so in that regard the film is overly archaic in gender roles and family structure. However, they are still both amazing characters. He is relatable for all great workers whereas she is pretty funny as this clumsy and forgetful housewife. The relationship between the two is great as it is such a realistic marriage filled with love and respect but also childish arguing and bickering.

Of course Shige is the highlight. She is the grandmother in the family and, ironically for the oldest member of the family, she is the most energetic and the most lively of the bunch. And needless to say, the funniest. She made me laugh the most with her many funny lines and actions. And the fact that she is the most adult and responsible and that she basically brings the whole family together was a strong statement on how important the elderly can be. Loved it.

As for its segments, the beginning was too silly and not my favorite. The family losing Nonoko in the shopping mall is easily one of the strongest segments here as it shows how irresponsible parents can be but in a very lightweight manner. Their scenes in the car are great, but Nonoko’s scene with that little, also lost, boy takes the cake as the funniest and most wonderful for sure. She thinks the family is lost and not her and thus they so amusingly and realistically show us the childlike innocence and cluelessness.

………………………………………………….

My Neighbors the Yamadas Movie Review

………………………………………………….

The next scene shows how the entire family is unorganized and how everybody wants to do their own thing and nobody wants to do the cleaning. Again another truthful segment. The next segment is all about the Yamada marriage and how chaotic it is. The standout scene is the remote sequence as it was hilarious seeing the two fight over TV. A typically silly anime humor is used here to elevate the material superbly.

The male bonding is also pretty solid as a story about the age gap and the distant relationship between fathers and sons. The next two segments focus on Takashi being a great father model but nobody notices that. The next two segments (umbrella and sushi) aren’t as essential but the breakfast scene is hilarious as always having the same meal is unfortunately very relatable to me personally.

Ginger Morning is so funny! It basically showcases the forgetful nature of all five of the Yamadas to a hilarious effect. A great use of situational comedy. The next two segments are about Noboru (school and romance) and although quite well executed, they are not my favorites as he is my least favorite character in the film.

………………………………………………….

My Neighbors the Yamadas Movie Review

………………………………………………….

The next couple of vignettes center around wonderful Shige and the highlight is the scene in which she takes back the ball that went over the fence to some kids and rewards them with another ball but the two boys eventually come asking for that ball. I laughed out loud here. Such a funny scene. And of course the grandma taking the action against bikers into her own hand was a great subversive scene where the woman takes action instead of the father figure.

The business speech of Takashi’s was very good and of course the ending is so great as it utilizes the power of Que Sera, Sera. I love how Ghibli once again used one of my favorite songs in their movie after Take Me Home, Country Roads in ‘Whisper of the Heart’.

My Neighbors the Yamadas features a very different animation from the regular highly stylized anime style of their other efforts and thus this makes it unique and singular. It employs computer animation in the creation of watercolor, comic-strip style in its animation and the results are wonderful despite the excessive use of the color white. I loved its fluid and simplistic look and the character design is excellent.

………………………………………………….

My Neighbors the Yamadas Movie Review

………………………………………………….

So My Neighbors the Yamadas is a very uneven film with uneven pacing and quality of the segments which is to be expected from its vignette format. But it is still such a good film that is probably the studio’s most underrated and it was much better to me upon second viewing. It employs a very good score and superb dialogue with many memorable lines. It has no story, but it is observational in message and themes and everyday life thanks to its wonderful slice-of-life storytelling. And the humor is just magnificent and I laughed more than a couple of times. It is another strong work from great Isao Takahata.

My Neighbors the Yamadas is probably the most underappreciated of all Studio Ghibli’s films. Its approach as a series of vignettes instead of a full story definitely led to its uneven quality and pacing, but the film features such a unique watercolor, comic-strip style to it and a superb dialogue and excellent humor with many hilarious lines and situations. The Yamadas are such a wonderful, relatable and endearing family and I’ve spent such a wonderful 100 minutes with them.

My Rating – 4

Share

Winnie the Pooh (2011)

Winnie the Pooh Movie Review

…………………………………………………

Winnie the Pooh Movie Review

Winnie the Pooh is a 2011 animated family comedy film which is the 51st Disney animated feature film. It is such a pleasant, childlike, wonderful flick.

………………………………………………….

Oh thank you, Christopher Robin.

And now I don’t think I shall be

hungry again for a good long while.

Oh bother.

Silly old Bear

………………………………………………….

Winnie the Pooh Movie Review

………………………………………………….

The plot is very simple. The Hundred Acre Wood residents embark on a quest to save their friend Christopher Robin from an imaginary friend. He left a note that he would come back soon as he went to school and our heroes misinterpreted back soon as Backson the monster. Meanwhile, Pooh deals with his hunger issues and Eeyore has lost his tail.

Needless to say, this is a highly simple plot, too simple and lacking in any real conflict whatsoever. It is predictable naturally how it will end and it doesn’t have any real stakes. However, that is mostly a positive thing as thus it led to a much more charming, simple and childlike adventure which should prove awesome for both children and Pooh fans.

I liked the entire first act and of course the ending is simply beautiful in its imagery and sweetness with a phenomenal final dialogue. I really enjoyed the Eeyore/Tigger subplot as their pairing proved to be excellent, funny and sweet. A clever clash of personalities. Pooh’s quest for Honey provided us some excellent and amusing scenes. But what is easily the finest scene in the entire film is the sequence in which everybody is in a pit and it is up to Piglet to save them. The combined stupidity of Piglet and Pooh with Rabbit’s frustration made my day as it was hilarious.

………………………………………………….

Winnie the Pooh Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Let’s talk about Winnie the Pooh’s characters. The greatest thing about this film is how all of its characters are basically intact and they felt like their classic counterparts from the sixties and seventies. That was amazing to witness in 2011. It does have too small set of characters and maybe one new character was needed, but its small set led to better development for everyone so I am not complaining all too much about it.

Pooh bear is as cuddly and as lovable as usual. He is still not my favorite character in this franchise, but here he was better than usual actually as many of his lines were immensely funny and he made me laugh how silly and stupid he is. And I loved his quest for honey and how it led to him becoming a better person and realizing that Eeyore’s tail is more important than his meal and he eventually did get a reward for his good heart. This is a great message for kids.

………………………………………………….

Winnie the Pooh Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Tigger is as awesome as he always is. He continues to be my favorite character and here he got a pretty good ark for himself. I would have liked to have heard the entire The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers song but the bit that I got was still nice. As I said above, his pairing with Eeyore proved to be a winning streak in terms of the humor and heart as they were wonderful together.

Speaking of Eeyore, he is strong here and his depression is high per usual. That one line in which we learn that he is still not happy after getting his tail back, but he says that the tail is fine was very funny and quite in-character. Piglet is funny and likable and as for Christopher Robin, he is fine, but not present all too much this time around.

Kanga and Roo are as forgettable and as underutilized as usual, I liked the narrator as his narration was mostly excellent and sweet and the post-credits scene where we get to see the real Backson was such a fun, inventive and memorable scene. Owl is even more insufferable than before in this movie as he deliberately stole Eeyore’s tail and that felt excessive, even for him. And of course Rabbit is quite good and very funny when dealing with the never-ending stupidities of Pooh and Piglet.

………………………………………………….

Winnie the Pooh Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Winnie the Pooh features beautiful animation. Yes, most people think that ‘The Princess and the Frog’ is the last traditionally animated Disney film, but that title belongs to this 2011 charmer. I absolutely adored this animation. It may prove too old-fashioned and simplistic to some, but to me that choice was fitting as anything else would be bad for this property. The character design is strong, the use of color (especially yellow) is accomplished and the film has such a fine classical feel to it not just in designs, but also in backgrounds, colors and the movements. The use of the book and its letters was also superb.

The soundtrack is unfortunately the film’s weakest aspect, I have to admit. The Tummy Song is fine, but short and a too typical Pooh song. A Very Important Thing to Do definitely gave me a strong 60s and 70s vibe, but it is again too short and forgettable. However, I did like that all these songs employed the old-fashioned tone to them.

………………………………………………….

Winnie the Pooh Movie Review

………………………………………………….

The Backson Song is pretty solid, but definitely lacking in comparison to Heffalumps and Woozles from the previous Pooh movie in the canon. It’s Gonna Be Great is okay and particularly strong as an emphasis on Tigger’s character, but it felt very repetitive to me.

The Winner Song is very annoying and I really disliked it and how it was repeated for so many times. And I have to say that the only pretty good song in the movie and the only standout one is Everything is Honey. This is a very fun, catchy tune which is accompanied by gorgeous honey and pots imagery and it is the kind of detour that is very successful, entertaining and a superb character moment. And the titular song sung by Zooey Deschanel is solid, but the original was much better.

………………………………………………….

Winnie the Pooh Movie Review

………………………………………………….

This movie is very short, clocking in at just an hour with the credits included. But even though it was very short, it was sweet and very engaging. The humor is actually stupendous as it made me chuckle quite a number of times and the dialogue is pretty strong. The voice acting is very good across the board with only Christopher Robin’s and in some way Tigger’s voice being not that great, but Jim Cummings is amazing as Pooh. Overall, it is such a wonderfully traditional, very good film which is a great return to an old-fashioned Disney film even if it falls short in comparison to ‘The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh’.

Winnie the Pooh is a very short, but sweet flick. This 2011 Disney outing is wonderfully and competently traditional in every sense as both its characters (Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore are the highlights) and animation were pleasantly old-fashioned. This is regrettably the last hand-drawn Disney film and it looks simply beautiful with a wonderful use of color and a great simplistic approach to it. The soundtrack is weak and the plot is overly simple and lacking in any real stakes and conflict, but the film is pleasantly childlike, sweet and charming with a surprisingly strong humor with many funny lines. It is an often overlooked, but very strong Disney entry indeed.

My Rating – 4

Share

Despicable Me 3 (2017)

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

…………………………………………………

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Despicable Me 3 is a 2017 animated comedy film directed by Pierre Coffin and with the voices of Steve Carell and Kristen Wig. It is a pretty solid, enjoyable sequel.

………………………………………………….

Dance fight!

………………………………………………….

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

………………………………………………….

This is on par with ‘Despicable Me 2’ and of course much weaker than the first film. But there is no denying that it is an improvement over 2015’s ‘Minions’ as thankfully this entry was restrained with those guys. The plot itself is your typical zany and cartoony Illumination story but mostly done well.

This is a cartoon movie and not an animated movie meaning that it is loud, action-oriented and very comedic. It is best suited for kids but some jokes definitely favor adults and once again Gru’s mother killed it as she was hilarious in the one scene she got. The various 80s pop songs were also funny as was the villain. And some of the childish humor was also quite good and it made me chuckle, but most of it was typical and forced.

The major problem this movie has is the lack of coherence to it. The film tries too hard to be too many things and the filmmakers should have focused on just one or two things and it would have been a much smoother and well crafted movie. So it has the plot where Gru has to capture Bratt, but also the plot where he and Lucy lost their job. He has to deal with his newly found brother whereas she has to learn how to become a mother. Throw in there the unicorn subplot with Agnes and Edith and the Margo boyfriend subplot and you’ve got a really convoluted, super busy film which should have been expected given that it has such a huge, ever-expanding cast of characters.

………………………………………………….

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Let’s talk about those characters. First off, our main hero Gru. I found him not as likable or as interesting here as he was in the previous installments to be honest as his role was not the greatest here. But Dru is pretty memorable as his more handsome brother and the relationship between the two is mostly finely done and with some emotional moments. The film is not too emotional which some critics faulted, but I found appropriate this time around.

Lucy got such a typical and cliched storyline for a female character as she needs to become a better mother which was somewhat annoying as she was always better suited as an action heroine. But her scenes with Margo were sweet. Agnes and her pursuit of unicorns was a charming, sweet subplot, but the kids’ roles here were unfortunately shortchanged. Of course the Minions are there, but not too much and they can be quite funny and enjoyable when used sparingly which is exactly what we got here.

………………………………………………….

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Balthazar Bratt is a surprisingly solid villain. He is a cartoony villain but that fits with the cartoon style of the entire film. Trey Parker did a really good job in this role per usual and I am so glad to hear him in a feature project. Bratt’s obsession with 80s was a cliched choice for today’s adult audiences, but definitely done really well as he was quite funny at times with his dance movements and singing. I also really liked his TV show backstory.

Despicable Me 3 is expectedly really well animated. It looks polished and stylistically speaking it looks great with the interiors and buildings being very detailed. The character design is as strong as usual with the more cartoony, grotesque look being applied to the villain as well and his overall design is top-notch. It isn’t high art, but it succeeds as a really well animated cartoon.

………………………………………………….

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Despicable Me 3 has some good action scenes, but most of it was overwhelming. The highlight for me was easily that tower scene which was so well executed and hugely entertaining. The beginning of the movie is not the greatest and the ending is typical so the middle parts were the most entertaining ones this time around.

Despicable Me 3 is a solid sequel which succeeds as a pretty enjoyable, fun cartoon. Most of the plot points were cliched, some characters were shortchanged here and the film is filled with way too many subplots and thus it felt very uneven and convoluted. But the humor is solid, the animation is excellent, the score is good and Balthazar Bratt is such a good, highly amusing villain. It is on par with the previous installment and an improvement over ‘Minions’.

My Rating – 3.5

Share

Amarcord (1973)

Amarcord Movie Review

…………………………………………………

Amarcord Movie Review

Amarcord is a 1973 Italian comedy film directed by Federico Fellini. It is another one of his overrated movies.

………………………………………………….

I want a woman!

………………………………………………….

Amarcord Movie Review

………………………………………………….

The plot here is non-existent. It is supposed to tell the tale of 1930s Fascist Italy and suppressed sexuality, but it just never is that smart or with any kind of message to it. ‘Splendor in the Grass’ does suppressed sexuality wonderfully, but this one doesn’t even try.

It is again just an excuse to show the director’s obsession with sex. Most of the film features very annoying sexual excursions and the worst offender is the scene where an older woman forces her breasts on a younger guy. That was just horrible to witness and pure pornography in my opinion.

It doesn’t even help that the characters in Amarcord are awful. Yes, this is the kind of film that tries to sell its “weirdness”, but these people aren’t weird or colorful, they are just very annoying and disgusting. None of them is remotely memorable and all of them really got on my nerves.

So the film definitely looks good, I will give it that as the cinematography is frequently excellent, but it sounds horrible with all of that frustrating yelling. Everyone here yells or screams and you do not get a single calmer moment, let alone an emotional one. The structure is typical and to call it a comedy is ludicrous as nothing here ever is funny.

………………………………………………….

Amarcord Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Federico Fellini truly is one of the most overrated directors who ever existed. His films were basically an excuse to transport his sexual fantasies on screen and when you really think about him, he is just an annoying, sexually charged teenager.

Amarcord is another one of the director’s overrated films. It isn’t funny, it isn’t smart and its characters aren’t colorful or interesting. They are just super annoying and unlikable with all the yelling. The film was just an excuse for the director to put his sexual fantasies and experiences on screen and when you really think about it, Fellini was just a very immature, horny teenager who never grew up.

My Rating – 2

Share

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017)

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

…………………………………………………

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is a 2017 animated superhero comedy film from DreamWorks Animation. It is a solid, but still inherently flawed movie.

………………………………………………….

Wow! That is an expensive door.

I had to cancel the arts and music program.

I think I made the right choice

………………………………………………….

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

………………………………………………….

The plot follows two imaginary friends who are pranksters in school and they hypnotize their mean principal into thinking he is their imaginary superhero and of course mayhem and hilarity ensues. This plot obviously caters to a younger audience and although not many adults can really enjoy this movie, I enjoyed it to a degree and I think it surely must be great for children and especially young boys. It is interesting that both DreamWorks releases of 2017 – Captain Underpants and ‘The Boss Baby’ cater to young boys. I find that interesting and a positive development as we haven’t really had animated films just for boys in a while now.

The problem in this film is sorely its second act which is so troublesome that it hurt the movie tremendously. Suddenly the movie ventured into full superhero action mode with extensive action after action and that honestly bored me a lot. It was overly frenetic and just dull and too bombastic.

But the ending is quite sweet and the first act is easily the standout one as it has a lot of the comedy and not too much action plus the characters are at their best there and the pacing is slower and the movie is much more enjoyable to watch and even a lot of fun.

………………………………………………….

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

………………………………………………….

So Captain Underpants has in my opinion pretty solid characters. Their development is not the greatest, but they are fun and likable. So George and Harold truly share a wonderful friendship. This is where that catering to young boys kicks into full gear – they are real boys, pranksters, always looking to have fun and to laugh and that was very realistic to witness. Sure, I would have loved to have seen some distinction between the two, but as a couple, they are superb and the highlight of this movie. Even their more cheesy moments are not pathetic as they are presented in a comedic manner.

They are so well done that unfortunately others could not compete. I surely really liked Principal Krupp and he was a wonderful cartoon villain for these two, but I honestly found Captain Underpants himself very annoying and overly childish to the point that I as an adult could not find him amusing. Melvin is typical and Professor Poopypants is a ridiculous villain, but he works in the context of this movie.

………………………………………………….

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

………………………………………………….

However, all of these characters are ruined by their voice actors. Along with the second act, the voice acting just ruined this movie for me. The casting in particular. The adults are fine, but the kids are voiced by Kevin Hart and Thomas Middleditch and they are just not a good fit for these two boys at all. They are grown men in their late thirties and why do they continue to cast older men in children’s roles in animation I do not understand. It would have been fine if they knew how to improvise a kids’ voice, but these two are so bad at that.

What Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie nails entirely right has to be its animation. This is such a wonderful example that I hoped others in the animation industry will follow. Its budget was just 38 million and still it looks splendid, especially awesome given that small budget so you see that enormous budgets are not really necessary all the time.

The film has such a wonderful style to it that I really loved watching every second of it. It is based on a children’s novel series and the animation is fittingly very much like a book and a comic strip with very interesting, old-fashioned and unique for CGI character designs and excellent backgrounds and a great use of color. Some scenes even employed a very interesting book style and a great narration choice. Polished and simplistic, it felt like a pleasant, old-fashioned cartoon for kids which is exactly what it is. A great choice.

………………………………………………….

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

………………………………………………….

It is badly paced as I said above, but David Soren actually directed the movie quite well, certainly better than what he did with ‘Madagascar’ or ‘Turbo’. The movie has an immature toilet humor, but it actually works well for this type of film that is catered for a very young audience. It is a cartoon in every sense of that word and sometimes having a cartoon movie is just what you need.

Tremendously hurt by its overly bombastic and frenetic second act and terrible voice casting as the kids are voiced by older men and they sound like adults, Captain Underpants is still a pretty solid film which caters to young boys and should prove amazing for them as the central duo is excellent, the film is mostly a lot of fun and its animation is so good, particularly strong for its very small budget, with a wonderfully simplistic and unique style to it.

My Rating – 3.5

Share

Rough Night (2017)

Rough Night Movie Review

…………………………………………………

Rough Night Movie Review

Rough Night is a 2017 comedy film with the ensemble cast consisting of Scarlett Johansson, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer among others. It is a very underrated movie.

………………………………………………….

He’s fine.

Yeah, he’s really fine.

Jesus. Oh my God.

You need to masturbate more,

you’re like, severely horny

………………………………………………….

Rough Night Movie Review

………………………………………………….

It follows a bachelorette party which suddenly goes horribly wrong when one of the girls accidentally kills a male stripper. Now the film started off with a typical girl night, girls going crazy storyline and only after the murder it got a lot more entertaining and interesting. I really liked its dark humor and the interactions between the characters.

They are all so memorable and stupendously well developed for a comedy. The actresses here did a very good job and I found each one of them very likable. Scarlett Johansson was quite good and actually highly likable here. I was at first skeptical at her being in a comedy movie, but she plays a straight character here, the most serious one, and it suited her really well.

Zoe Kravitz is also quite good. At first she was boring, but once she got in that three-way, she became much more interesting. Her sexual awakening was actually really well done as it did not come out of nowhere and was well hinted at previously. I loved that her and Ilana Glazer’s character ended up together in the end. But Ilana was unfortunately underutilized here. I loved her in ‘Broad City’ and she was very good and funny here, but she deserved a more prominent, if not a starring role.

………………………………………………….

Rough Night Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Kate McKinnon portrays one of the funniest characters here and here she was much better utilized than she was in ‘Ghostbusters’. Her Australian accent is great and her character is just quirky and energetic enough to not become overbearing.

Of course Jillian Bell stole the show here almost completely. I loved her in this movie! Her Alice is such a funny character, but also really well developed too. All of these characters felt like real people and both their interactions and relationships were sincere and so well realized. Bell killed it here with such an immensely charismatic, hilarious performance.

The men were a mixed bag to me personally. They felt unrealistic and too boring and even though Peter was very well played by Paul W. Downs and his adventures on the road were mostly fun (the highlight is the blowjob part which was so freaking funny), he was still used a bit too much and the movie cut to his scenes too much almost to the point of becoming detours. The editing should have been better.

But the biggest problem in Rough Night is that crime storyline. Seriously, was it overly convenient that the stripper that they killed turned out to have been a dangerous criminal all along. That was just too implausible and convenient so that they would not end up in jail that I really disliked that development.

………………………………………………….

Rough Night Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Also those two other criminals did lead to some pretty fun action scenes, but still the movie became a mess by that point with an overly convoluted, implausible and just unbelievable storyline that it really hurt the entire movie in the long run.

But the humor in Rough Night is strong. Sometimes it relied too much on vulgarity and profanity, but still Jillian Bell cracked me up more than a couple of times, I loved the jokes with the stripper and especially with Ty Burrell and Demi Moore who are so memorable and crazy here. The film is so energetic and so positively crazy but still likable and well realized in characters that I deem it very underrated as the critics were just wrong with this one in my opinion.

Rough Night definitely has an overly implausible and extremely convenient conclusion to its overbearing crime story and some scenes worked less than the others, but still this is one incredibly underrated comedy flick which made me laugh quite a lot as its humor is pretty strong and the acting is fabulous from its great cast. Jillian Bell absolutely stole the show here and she was simply hilarious, but the fact that these characters were actually well developed and their interactions were so good led to a much better than average and again very underrated comedy.

My Rating – 3.5

Share

Bolt (2008)

Bolt Movie Review

…………………………………………………

Bolt Movie Review

Bolt is a 2008 computer animated comedy film which is Disney’s 48th animated feature. It is one of their weaker efforts.

………………………………………………….

They always pick the cute ones, the ones that look

like you, Bolt, but the rest of us never come back out

………………………………………………….

Bolt Movie Review

………………………………………………….

So we follow a white shepherd dog named Bolt who is a dog actor in a superhero show and once he gets separated from his human person, he sets out to find her along with his new friends, a cat and a hamster, and along the way he has to learn to cope with the fact that he doesn’t really have superpowers.

Now, a disillusioned protagonist is a familiar concept and a dog setting out to find his master is also a very tired story been told countless times by now. The movie is interesting as it deals with both of those things, but it is still a very unoriginal film and that is probably why it is ultimately forgettable and one of Disney’s weaker flicks.

Now in terms of storytelling, the film doesn’t really flow all that well. The pacing is off and although the film is very entertaining and sometimes even sweet, the beginning does drag and the film definitely started in a very unappealing manner. The ending is sweet, but typical. And the film shines in the middle parts where you get most of the adventure and fun humor.

………………………………………………….

Bolt Movie Review

………………………………………………….

So let’s talk about each of the film’s characters which are surprisingly solid in development. Bolt himself is honestly a bit boring as he is portrayed as too good-natured and heroic. He is fine, but a typical protagonist nonetheless. Penny is also a forgettable Disney kid, but the relationship between the two is heartwarming of course.

Bolt shines in its supporting characters as both Mittens and Rhino are such good sidekicks. Rhino the hamster is a lot of fun with his many nerdy lines and the concept of a hamster in a bowl is interesting and different. Mittens is the film’s finest character. I understood from the beginning that her backstory involves a human, but it was still a well done backstory. And I really liked how she was at first an unlikable cat, but Bolt grew on her eventually and the two became friends.

………………………………………………….

Bolt Movie Review

………………………………………………….

This is basically a dog film made for dog persons. I honestly think that a dog person is bound to like this movie much more than non-dog people and the film is definitely fun and charming, but so cliched and forgettable. I myself am in the middle section. I am a dog person so the film was suited for me, but I still could not deny its unoriginality and the overall forgettable nature to it. I don’t know what it is about it, but it is one of those movies that are at first quite enjoyable and you do love it in the moment, but quickly forget it afterwards much in the vein of ‘The Rescuers Down Under’ and ‘Meet the Robinsons’.

But dogs are well portrayed and cats as well. Stereotyped, but those stereotypes are mostly realistic so I did not mind it. The designs of the animals are actually different than usual and the film is memorable in its characters’ looks for sure. The humor is quite stupendous. I really laughed out loud a couple of times and the scene that shows how dogs make cute faces to get food and how cats cannot quite do that was hilarious.

Bolt is not a musical, but it does have two songs nonetheless. I Thought I Lost You is a very forgettable, typical number, but Barking at the Moon is honestly a lot of fun. The song is accompanied by such a cute sequence and I loved how catchy it was and how well it utilized on the barking sound in its lyrics. Jenny Lewis was much better here than Miley Cyrus.

………………………………………………….

Bolt Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Speaking of Miley, she did a good job as Penny. Her voice is too recognizable, but she did okay. Susie Essman is excellent as Mittens and Mark Walton is very funny. John Travolta does not have that recognizable a voice so he was pretty good as Bolt.

The animation here is very good. The film looks and sounds too much like a Pixar movie, but still the visuals are mostly quite good for 2008 and it looked quite polished and especially accomplished in the character design department. The score is solid, the pacing is bad and overall the film is emotional, but sometimes a bit too emotionally manipulative. It is one of the weaker Disney films, but for Second Dark Age, it is quite solid.

Bolt is one of the weaker Disney films as it is very forgettable, the storyline is mostly pretty generic and some parts were not as fun as the others were, but it is well animated with especially good character design, the voice acting is solid, the humor is actually quite good and the film is moving at times and mostly just a lot of fun, especially if you’re a dog person.

My Rating – 3.5

Share