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Playmobil: The Movie

Not so epic!
My expectations for Playmobil: The Movie were very low, and I still thought this was a very weak movie. The best thing going for this movie is the Animation style. There is at least a good amount of effort put into it and it's not an ugly movie from that point of view. I thought the scenes outside the Playmobil universe were really awful like that kid who was bad at acting. The Playmobil universe stuff fairs a tiny bit better, but it was still very predictable and basically felt like a very watered down Lego Movie, with almost all of the jokes falling flat. The movie being a Musical did catch me off guard and I respect them trying, but honestly all the songs are forgettable. There's not really any memorable characters or locations either, which doesn't help alleviate the blandness at all.

Is Playmobil: The Movie the worst thing you could watch? Certainly not. However, the kids in my cinema were not laughing all that much in this movie, and the adults just didn't seem to be all that engaged watching this movie at all. This is a very straightforward story and at least the plot doesn't have too much pointless filler like some other Animated movies I've seen this year like The Queen's Corgi and The Secret Life of Pets 2. However, with The Angry Birds Movie 2 out at the same time, I'd feel that one is the better watch out of the two as the kids were having a great time watching that movie compared to Playmobil. In all honestly, I was kind of hoping Playmobil: The Movie might have been a decent Animated movie to watch, but sadly it's just a bit of a bore.


The Angry Birds Movie 2

Not too bad by Video Game Movie standards
Although Video Game Movies tend to not do that well with me, I felt The Angry Birds Movie was sort of an exception to the rule. I enjoyed it for being faithful to the games, as well as delivering a simple story with colourful visuals and some humour that catered to both kids and adults. Granted, not all of the jokes land but a good chunk of them did and I appreciate the movie not taking itself too seriously which is one of my biggest issues I have with Video Game Movies in this day and age.

The Angry Birds Movie 2 is more of the same, but not quite as good as the first one. I can't explain why but I think maybe they upped the slapstick stuff or it seemed more "kiddy" to me this time around. To be fair, the kids themselves were having a real blast with this and I did get a few laughs out of it myself, so it has its moments. The things I appreciate most about this movie is it being wacky, colourful, and not taking itself seriously at all. There was a subplot that basically contributed to nothing which slightly annoyed me, but overall The Angry Birds Movie 2 wasn't too bad for what it was. By Video Game Movie standards, this one fairs better than most.


The Lion King

The King of Soulless Lazy Cashgrabs
Disney has managed to hit rock bottom by turning arguably their best Disney movie of all-time into one of the biggest pile of garbage I have ever witnessed on the big screen. Imagine all the colour, emotion, life, magic, joy, and personality sucked out all in an instant from one of your all-time favourite movies. That's this 2019 Lion King remake in a nutshell. As the end credits were rolling, I felt nothing. I didn't care about anything. I never felt sad, happy, overjoyed, or any emotion the entire time. I was soulless, just like this entire movie was. It was Disney at their absolute worst. They took the weakest and blandest possible way out of making this movie. If you've watched the 1994 original, you've seen this movie, and anything they added or changed was pointless filler or bad changes that made the movie much, much worse than you could have ever imagined.

Why would I want to see lifeless versions of my favourite songs with the dullest visuals and animals doing nothing interesting just so this movie can stay "Realistic"? I have no idea but someone thought it was a good idea! Was it worth it Jon Favreau? Improving your visuals so much that the goddamn animals can only open their mouths and do nothing else with their movement? Oh right, animals can't emote properly because they can't emote much in real life! Geez, I wonder why in the original Animated version these Animated characters had over-exaggerated features to be like Human beings? Oh right, so we can emotionally connect with them! It doesn't translate very well in "Live Action"!

You can imagine alot of these shot-for-shot sequences being much worse in this "Live-Action" CGI remake. Scenes were dumbed down or replaced with crappy alternatives because the CGI animals couldn't do them in the movie or had no emotion to pull it off. In one of the most iconic scenes of the original movie, the audience were laughing at a very serious scene that is played to extreme dramatic effect because of how dumb it looked in "Live-Action". There is nothing funny going on in this scene at all. They turned one of the most emotionally devastating sequences of the original movie into a huge embarrassment. How could you do that? Why do we feel nothing for Simba and these other characters? Why do almost all the voice performances feel like they only used the first take out of so many of these talented actors? Very dull and uninspiring.

They butchered the villain Scar big time as well! In the original he was a sly, snarky, sarcastic, and quotable evil Lion with so much personality and wit behind him. In the new one he just sounds like a generic bad guy Lion who is always angry. In fact, I didn't even notice it was Scar at first! They made all the animals look so realistic you can't tell some of them apart until a character mentions them or you connect the dots with their lines taken from the original, which I have to say was very lazy as it was basically like 90% of the same dialogue. Thanks for also butchering one of my favourite characters Rafiki by the way. Even though you guys were basically doing a shot-for-shot remake, you got rid of his best moments for no reason! Timon and Pumbaa now have unfunny jokes constantly and just feel like pale imitations of their originals who were so beloved back then.

What about the filler and new stuff? Well, you get one forgettable song sung by Beyoncé in it. It doesn't fit the tone of the movie at all and just felt like Disney had to add some random song in there so they could get the Best Original Song Oscar nomination. Shenzi the Hyena is now the leader of all the Hyenas but it doesn't really go anywhere or develop her character at all. There's a new scene which shows Nala escaping the Pride Lands ruled by Scar that is just padding and adds nothing to the table at all. The Lion Sleeps Tonight gets a bit more screentime but it's just showing off bugs and animals and nothing more. There's probably more but I've already forgotten alot about this movie. They changed some of the dialogue here and there, and most of the time it's worse jokes or lines that don't feel natural at all. Even stuff like cinematography, music, and line delivery all felt off and unprofessional in large parts of the movie.

You know? The more I think about this remake, the more I get angry about it and I wish someone would just snap this piece of trash out of existence. The original was close to perfection already, so why bother remaking this movie? This is the laziest Disney cashgrab I have seen so far, and I'm getting sick of them releasing these "Live Action" movies being made over and over again now, but it doesn't matter because Disney is going to make loads of money anyway. This Lion King remake in particular was easily the worst one so far, because all it needed to do was rely on the brand and make the exact same movie again bring absolutely nothing new to win people over. What happened to artistic integrity, originality, or effort? I hate having to think this stupid movie exists with the original now.


The Queen's Corgi

God Save The Queen
The Queen's Corgi is bloody awful. Even as an Animated movie set in Britain, it falls completely flat in bringing anything entertaining or unique to the table. There are adult implications in this that are very disturbing and all of the human characters seem to not care, and Donald Trump is portrayed as an unfunny caricature constantly taking selfies and being self-indulgent with himself and The Queen. The lead character Rex is mostly a one-dimensional dog who only cares about being Top Dog with The Queen and even though the movie tries to do more than that with him, you just end up thinking who cares?

Speaking of the story, there's barely one and the main plot is so short that about half of the film has to rely on stupid and predictable subplots to fill the running time. I don't know if the writers or directors favourite movie is Fight Club, but Jesus Christ they kept mentioning it over and over again and it got annoying fast! There's no funny jokes in this at all and so many things that make no sense you wonder if there was any effort put into the writing at all. The other dog characters are so forgettable I honestly couldn't remember a single name for any of them. It plays out pretty much exactly as you would have guessed, and the whole thing by the end of it feels like a waste of time.

Is there anything positive to say for The Queen's Corgi? Well, the Animation could look worse I guess. The voice acting is passable, but none of them are really trying all that hard outside of their standard British accents and stereotypes. Is it entertaining for kids at the very least? Honestly, all of the kids seems bored in my cinema and any of the adult jokes and references that were in this flew over their heads, but the problem was the adults weren't amused by them either. I just don't know who this is supposed to be for and why anybody would care to watch this outside of seeing some British stuff in it.



Not sure how I feel about this
Can't decide what to think of Midsommar. I definitely didn't like it as much as Hereditary, but there were things to appreciate in it that made it stand out for your usual Horror movie. It relies on building a slow creepy, unsettling atmosphere with these new group of people living with cultists on a day to day basis doing bizarre and unusual things in broad daylight. There's not really any scares per se and the gore/violence is there but sporadically placed. People went in my cinema expecting big things to happen constantly and ended up disappointed with it. I kind of liked the slow pacing of this movie, but I guess my biggest issue with it is not really caring much about the main characters. They didn't have much of a personality to me and I wished there was more to them. There were also weird elements of Comedy in there and it wasn't always obvious if it was funny or not, outside of one guy being Comic Relief.

Probably no surprises coming from the director's previous movie Hereditary that Midsommar is beautifully shot with alot of artistic merit and themes scattered throughout the film's running time. I also noticed many similarities with The Wicker Man while I was watching, but at times this movie felt a bit aimless and meandering in places. It did feel quite bit predictable in where it goes with the plot, and the ending I saw coming a mile away and was hoping for something better than what we got. Despite that, the acting is solid and the music is good, as well as the production side of things. Overall, this is most likely going to be a very polarizing movie. Some will love the artsy side of the Horror, where as others will find it boring and self-indulgent. I can definitely see Midsommar being an improvement on a second watch too, as there's detail to catch in the background that could be missed on first watch.


Spider-Man: Far from Home

Post-Endgame Spidey swings on a good note
After Avengers: Endgame ended things pretty conclusively, there was uncertainty to how the Marvel Cinematic Universe would continue from Spider-Man: Far from Home onwards. Starting right after the events of Endgame, Far From Home explains exactly what happens when things went back to normal and focusing on Peter Parker getting back into his high school life again. Similar to Homecoming, Far From Home focuses a great deal on character development and scenes with Peter Parker and his friends more than the actual Superhero action stuff. I liked how the movie deals with the absence of a specific character and everyone trying to move on and get on with their lives. In a way, it acts more like an Epilogue to Endgame in that regard, but make no mistake this is a Spider-Man movie with some good humour and emotion that connects everything nicely.

Far From Home is essentially a road trip movie mixed with Superhero stuff. Peter Parker and his friends go on a school trip to various locations with some personal shenanigans and issues happening as subplots. Peter bumps into a new Superhero named Mysterio, which Jake Gyllenhaal performs a rather hammy and charismatic role in it. He's definitely one of the best things going for Far From Home. I do have some issues with how his "Powers" exactly work and nobody else seems to find any flaws with him or his technology, but he does give us some interesting fights and visuals for a Marvel movie. There were definitely parts that looked cool from him and without spoiling it his motivations are a bit of a twist and spin on the usual Marvel Superheroes stuff we've seen so far.

As for the other characters, Peter's best friend Ned is being his usual jokey self now tied to a new Romance subplot making things awkward for Peter, who is trying to win over MJ throughout the school trip. You really feel for Peter and him trying to connect with his other friends awkwardly while also having to juggle with his Spider-Man self. Peter continues to make sure he is never revealed to be Spider-Man, although it takes quite alot of suspension of disbelief that he takes off his mask in European towns and cities with not a single person noticing his real identity. Nick Fury and Happy Hogan get a good amount of screentime here too, and they both have nice little interactions with Peter Parker and his friends.

Some problems I have with Far from Home is that it does feel a bit on the long side. Alot of the road trips changing locations that so happen to conveniently work out for Peter and his buddies feel a little far-fetched in places, and some of the logic and possible plot holes that are present are hard to ignore and you start thinking "Why didn't that character just do that?" or "How did they not notice that at all?" which can be a little distracting and making you question if it made any sense. Some of the jokes don't land too well and there's definitely a sense of retreading old ground a bit here and there. The visuals are mostly great, but there's a few that look a bit iffy. The music is fine, most of the acting is solid, and yeah it's good Post-Endgame start for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Overall, Spider-Man: Far from Home was decent, but nothing amazing for Marvel.



Yesterday was Danny Boyle on an average day
Yesterday certainly has that Danny Boyle style to it, but is the actual movie any good? Well, it's a mixed bag I'd say. The concept of being the only guy who remembers The Beatles and using that information to gain fame and success is great, but the movie just runs dry of what to do with its feature length running time and falls into predictable cliches and character moments that you see coming a mile away. It didn't feel like they knew exactly what to do with the concept and just went with a safe predictable path on how to conclude it all.

There's quite a bit of funny humour here and there and good use of music and shots thanks to Danny Boyle. I found some characters mildly irritating in places and there were also alot of scenes in this movie that seemed like filler. It felt pretty long and probably could have been 30 minutes shorter easily. On a more positive note, the acting is very solid and there's definitely a unique British charm to the whole thing that makes it stand out from other mainstream movies. It's just a shame the story gets progressively worse as it goes along. Overall, I'd say Yesterday is still worth a watch, even if it might only seem average at best.


Child's Play

Child's Bore
What the hell have they done with Child's Play? This reboot was so lame! Chucky is now a really boring doll with no wit or personality to him. He's just a basic robot who follows orders or tries to pretend to be good, but falls flat on its face. Why did they change the look of Chucky too? Only thing going for him is Mark Hamill's voice performance, but that's it. As for the other characters, does anybody really care? The Andy "kid" here has nothing going for him and he's way too old to care about wanting a doll. I thought the mother character was awful in this one and just plain annoying, as well as her boyfriend. The other friends joining in also dragged things down even further with bad performances.

The writing was just all over the place. Nothing made any sense and it really felt like different scripts stitched together to make a feature length movie. Nobody seems to work out the obvious that Chucky is evil and things just happen because they need to happen for no reason I guess? What about the kills? There's a few gory deaths but nothing really stood out as all that memorable honestly. The one-liners and dialogue was weak and stupid, the finale was also ridiculous and felt like they ran out of money trying to build up to something bigger than what it actually was. It's a shame because the concept of technology for the reboot had potential, but the execution was so piss-poor and lackluster it wasn't really all that entertaining to watch in the long run at all.

Another problem I had with this new Child's Play was its tone. Was it supposed to be serious or a Comedy? I don't know, but if it was supposed to be funny I wasn't really laughing all that much. With Chucky being the weakest character here and usually the highlight of all the Child's Play movies, this is a serious problem. Why would we root for anybody else if nobody has any character development or any good motives for us to care? I honestly was bored throughout good chunks of this movie. Stick with the originals!



Great concepts that burned into Cliched Horror
A concept of a kid with Superman-like powers turning into a big bad villain sounded intriguing to me. Unfortunately, Brightburn just didn't live up to its potential. It was mostly a Jump-Scare Horror cliched ride that was very by the numbers and not doing anything all that interesting with the actual characters. The kid is never really explained why he is evil-per-se from the very beginning and he just scares people for no good reason at all. A lack of character development and reason to care about anything just made the whole thing feel shallow and hollow. You can guess how most of the movie will play out correctly and it's not unpredictable at all.

It's a shame because there are a small handful of bright spots in Brightburn. Some of the shots are nicely done and the acting for the most part is pretty good especially from the kid himself. The action itself isn't too bad in the small amounts of screen time it gets, but again it gets bogged down because it tries to be a Cliched Horror movie at the same time instead of being something fresh and intriguing. There's gore for sure, but who cares if the actual execution is not all that good? It doesn't go anywhere exciting with its concept and you just end up saying "That's it?" after watching it. Maybe the movie wasn't finished? Just wasted potential.


Toy Story 4

Good, but underwhelming compared to the other Toy Story movies
The Toy Story movies have always had a special place in my heart. I grew up with them from the very beginning as a kid and they've always been movies I re-watched plenty of times. Being very satisfied with how Toy Story 3 concluded everything, I was a little reluctant on wondering how they could pull off another Toy Story movie without it feeling pointless. Needless to say, Toy Story 4 sort of works I guess? It's not boring and still entertaining, but I don't know by the end of it I just sort of felt a little underwhelmed I guess? It's nice for Toy Story 4 to bring back old characters like Bo Peep and change things up a little following the new toy owner Bonnie instead of Andy, but I don't know I just didn't find the final result as satisfying to watch as the first three movies for some reason.

That's not to say Toy Story 4 is a complete waste of time or is bad. Definitely not at all. It focuses almost entirely on Woody and the other characters, including Buzz Lightyear himself, are mostly placed in the back-burner in favour of Bo Peep and the other new characters such as Forky, Ducky, Gabby Gabby, Bunny, and Duke Caboom. One thing that I seemed to notice in Toy Story 4 was that it definitely wasn't nearly as funny as the first three movies. Forky gets a few good moments, as well as Ducky and Bunny mostly being there for Comic Relief more than anything else, but surprisingly from Woody and the main gang? It definitely felt more lacking to me personally. The theme of toys deciding what to do with their own lives and not sticking to normality is certainly one of the more interesting elements of the movie, but the execution of how these events play out to me felt a bit messy in places and there were some contrivances and out of character moments throughout the movie that bugged me.

Nevertheless, whether the movie decides to focus on Forky or Bo Peep, things start to get a bit chaotic with how the plot is structured and there didn't feel like there was really any stakes to the story at all. The "Toy Rules" are really loose here and it takes alot of suspension of disbelief to see toys running around a carnival with no people caring about it at all. The antagonists themselves have good character moments and Duke Kaboom is probably the best new character in Toy Story 4. Bonnie herself is a bit of a bland toy owner compared to Andy, but thankfully she doesn't get too much time just spent on her alone. There are decent emotional parts throughout the movie that worked and I mostly like how it all concludes, but it makes me question if Pixar are going to be milking more Toy Story movies by this point. The animation is top notch as usual, as well as the voice acting from the main cast and all the new characters too.

Overall, Toy Story 4 is fine and not the worst outcome by a long shot, but it's also nothing amazing either. Honestly, I don't think there's anywhere else for these movies to go by this point. Just leave the series on a good note and in case you were disappointed or underwhelmed by Toy Story 4, you could always pretend Toy Story 3 is the real conclusion to the series and consider this an epilogue.


Men in Black: International

Please erase my memory of seeing this movie
My initial expectations for Men in Black: International were positive, thinking that the Men in Black franchise could work without Will Smith or Tommy Lee Jones being in the spotlight. Unfortunately, this did not prove to work with this movie. Chris Hemsworth can be a funny actor, but his schtick of acting like his Thor self here as a Men in Black agent falls flat and just feels awkward and misplaced. His partner character played by Tessa Thompson doesn't gel well here and she's fairly bland as a character, which is a problem since the original Men in Black movies relies on the chemistry of both agents. Because of this there are long awkward moments of silence and nothingness between both of them, and you're left waiting for when the next laugh will happen which is bad for Men in Black.

The plot itself is not all that interesting and plays by the numbers for the most part. The alien gags are much weaker and the witty dialogue is almost non-existent. The supporting characters and the villain are very bland and uninteresting. All the Men in Black charm seems to have gone and now relies very heavily on CGI. Sure, the original Men in Black movies still had CGI, but there was a good chunk of practical effects in there too, which still look pretty good considering how old the other movies are. The musical score is decent, but that's because it's pretty much most of the old Men in Black music. There's some nice callbacks and references to the other movies here and there, but it's mostly filler and can end up reminding you of things done better in the previous movies.

Perhaps my biggest issue with Men in Black: International is simply that it's not all that funny. Say what you want about the previous Men in Black sequels, but they do have moments that make you laugh and can be remembered. This Men in Black movie honestly I'm struggling to already remember parts of it. It's a mediocre/watchable movie at best, but not really one you would want to revisit. Maybe it's more of the script that's the issue rather than the actors/characters themselves, but Men in Black: International has not given me any hopes for the future of this franchise. Perhaps I'd be better off pretending I never saw it.


Dark Phoenix

X-Men: Meh Phoenix
Dark Phoenix ends the Prequel X-Men movies on an underwhelming conclusion. I don't think it's anywhere close to being the absolute worst thing in the world. However, it's neither good or bad really, just a watchable/mediocre to passable movie. There's a few okay parts to it here and there, and the acting for the most part is still pretty solid from the main cast. Some of the action sequences are just as good as previous X-Men movies, although I don't know how I feel about the Terminator-like bad guys in this one. Jessica Chastain plays mostly a one-dimensional and predictable villain who is a bit wasted and should have been better. Jean Grey herself has never really been the most engaging X-Men character and when she gets scenes that focus entirely on her and nobody else, they are a bit bland and unengaging to watch.

On a more positive note, I do think the other X-Men characters have their moments to shine, especially Xavier and Magneto. There are some scenes that did get to me a bit on an emotional level, and Hans Zimmer's score in it is fairly decent for what it is. It's pretty much a serious movie from start to finish, so I'm kind of refreshed that it doesn't have jokes constantly like the MCU movies. The CGI and Make-Up is all over the place in terms of quality, and there were some kind of unintentionally funny parts in it, but as a solid conclusion to the X-Men franchise? Well, you'll probably be disappointed with the final outcome. You could easily find problems with this movie, like the timelines don't make any sense and how nobody has aged at all, so I just tried to watch this movie for pure entertainment. It kind of works on that level I guess, but anything else you'll probably think Dark Phoenix sucked big time.



The horrors of Chernobyl need to be told
Chernobyl is a fantastic TV miniseries that studies the Chernobyl disaster and its aftermath in a gritty, realistic approach that elevates the feel and emotion of the people who would be affected by the disaster in real-life. The atmosphere of the show is top notch thanks to the way it is shot with awesome cinematography and the haunting musical score that perfectly illustrates what it was like to be living in a post-disaster environment. There's top notch acting from everyone, as well as gripping storylines following people and tasks to solve that can be quite nerve-wracking. Knowing almost all of it actually happened makes it so poignant.

I cannot praise this show enough already. It's only 5 episodes long but every episode brings something different to the table. I've heard people complain about all of the actors speaking in British accents. I admit it's a bit weird at first, but you get used to it and can look past it as the rest of the show is so great that it's just being nitpicky. Overall, Chernobyl gives you an excellent view of what happened during the disaster and by the end of the journey, you'll be emotionally gripped and upset that the ride is over. I'd suggest you spend an entire day to binge-watch the experience. It's definitely one you won't forget and will not regret watching!



A weak Horror movie elevated by the Ma
Amazing how one excellent performance can make a weak Horror movie like Ma more fun. Despite this, it still wasn't a good movie and nothing really made any sense. However, I kind of had a good time with it due to how over the top Octavia Spencer was in this. She elevated it significantly and overshadowed pretty much everyone else here. Any time she was on screen I was engaged into it. Everybody else pretty much sucks though, so any time she isn't in the spotlight the movie becomes generic and cliched. Characters make dumb decisions and stuff so that the plot can keep going and more issues arise, so that's pretty typical. There's alot of issues with the dialogue and writing, and how the story is structured too.

As for the other actors, they range from bad to functional at best and most of them are Teen stereotypes or one dimensional. There's a few forced Jumpscares in there just because the movie has to have Jumpscares I guess? Nothing too special about the music and surprisingly not much violence at all. To sum this movie up best, it's basically a sub-standard Horror movie that's elevated by one really good performance, and everyone else is lurking in the shadows. I did get a few laughs out of it though, both intentionally and unintentionally, so it's not the worst thing you could watch. However, if I tried to be objective about it rather than seeing it as a Guilty Pleasure, Ma would probably be somewhere around a 3 or 4/10 rating.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Got everything I ever wanted from a modern Godzilla movie
After coming out of seeing Godzilla: King of the Monsters, I was very happy with the final outcome. Not sure what people were expecting outside of big Kaiju monster action sequences. The Godzilla movies have never been the highlight in terms of the story side of things. I didn't think the Human characters were as godawful as everyone was making them out to be. They had motivations and character arcs. Sure, some of them went into cliche and predictable paths, but I don't think it's weak enough to really hurt the film that much to me. Some characters from the previous 2014 Godzilla movie reappear in this movie, and I feel they do a better job here and are used more effectively. The pacing is also better in this movie and nothing feels too dragged out as far as I'm concerned.

All I wanted most were big monster smash action sequences and this Godzilla delivers that for about 2/3rds of the movie's running time. They are really well shot and the CGI to me was fantastic, especially in IMAX 3D. The sound was booming and loud, and there's not really much I could fault on the technical side of this movie. It's a popcorn blockbuster action movie, and I think it's a pretty damn good one for what it is. No idea why the critics disliked this one so much compared to that snoozefest Godzilla 2014. My god that movie was so boring and Godzilla was only in it for like what 5 minutes? You get all the missing action everybody wanted here, and these iconic monsters battling such as King Ghidorah, Mothra, Rodan, and Godzilla himself. If you judge it for what it is, a huge modern Godzilla movie, it does a pretty good job at achieving that goal.



Obnoxious and unfunny
I seem to be in the extreme minority for disliking Booksmart, but I really hated it personally. I found the lead female characters so annoying in it. Why make them so goddamn obnoxious and so in-your-face? Humour is subjective for sure, but I found barely anything that funny in it at all. All the other characters are mostly weak and don't offer anything memorable. Nothing to me made it stand out from your average teen girl Comedy movie. It's predictable, cliche, vulgar, and just plain dumb.

The acting is fine, the production values are decent for what it is, but my god the use of music got irritating in places. It follows the typical Coming-Of-Age teenage girl friendship stuff and I just didn't care by the end of it because I did not like these characters at all. Maybe I'm just not the right type of person for this movie, but my god was it a huge disappointment after all the critical acclaim it had been receiving. Overall, a Comedy that did not click for me and I just could not get into it at all.


The Secret Life of Pets 2

The Filler Life of Pets
A very large chunk of The Secret Life of Pets 2 is pointless and dumb. The movie focuses on three different sets of characters in three different plots, and two of them are entirely filler. It reaches the credits at around the 80 minute mark and I'd say about 20 minutes of the runtime is the actual plot (Snowball and the Circus Tiger). Worst of all, the main character Max gets the least amount of screentime and his subplot contributes almost nothing aside from hearing Harrison Ford voice an animal. The Cat subplot is just there for stupid gags and contributes nothing as well.

It really felt like three different episodes or short films stitched together to make it feature length and you know what it wouldn't be so bad if it was at least entertaining to watch. Sadly, the jokes are not funny at all and the whole thing is bland and uninspiring. Honestly, for me it made the first Secret Life of Pets seem not too bad in comparison. At least that one had structure and felt like an actual movie even if it wasn't original. The Secret Life of Pets 2 didn't even entertain the kids in my cinema so I consider it a waste of time and easily one of Illumination's worst movies.



Reach for the Stars in this Musical Fantasy!
Rocketman is a fun biopic Musical/Fantasy movie that follows Elton John throughout his early years learning the ropes and gaining fame to become one of the biggest pop stars of all-time. It's not quite your average "Biopic" movie though. Rocketman features many of Elton's songs that are played relevant to the movie scenes and filled with stylish visuals and sounds that brings the legend to life. It feels like you are watching a theatre show live in places and gives the film an extra oomph to the whole picture. Played brilliantly by Taron Egerton, the movie delivers an emotional ride through the ups and downs of Elton's life and how you see him connect and develop with other people, as well as his own personal problems.

Unlike last year's Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocketman thankfully does not sanitize Elton's issues and you see him get into drugs, alcohol, and homosexuality factors that give the character a real sense of depth and dimension to him. The movie is nicely shot and acted, as well as having very high production values in pretty much every category. All the singing feels natural and nothing feels too out of place. There is clearly alot of effort put into this film and if your a fan of Elton John's music, then you'll definitely get a bigger kick out of this than someone who wouldn't. However, I think on the story side of things this movie still works and doesn't need nostalgia or fan-service to coast on its success. Rocketman is worth the stars of admission!



A-Lame-In nostalgic cashgrab
The original Aladdin is still one of my all-time favourite Disney movies. Everything about it is so much fun to watch. The animation, the music, the comedy, the story, the atmosphere. After seeing the Live-Action Disney remake, I have to say it was mostly lame in comparison. The atmosphere in this one felt like a TV movie for large chunks of it and despite the colours, everything still looked bland and cheap. Aladdin and Jasmine have no chemistry together in this and their acting is pretty bad, and Jafar is now very bland and just a stock villain badguy with very little personality or wit to him. The only character that is passable surprisingly is the Genie, where Will Smith faired better than I initially expected. The closest I got to laughing or finding myself entertained in the movie was whenever he was on screen. I can definitely confidently say Will Smith was the best thing going for the Aladdin remake.

For the most part, Aladdin is basically the same as the original. There are a few little changes here and there and some plot filler stuff that doesn't really go anywhere. If you've seen Beauty and the Beast it's similar to that. The classic songs are not performed nearly as well, and the new ones are pretty forgettable. The CGI can range from fine to laughable, and it's not really done in any memorable way. The score is decent but that's because it relies mostly on the original. The movie is not really shot in any special way, it just feels conventional and nothing about it screams like it's a Guy Ritchie film at all. Just another passable/mediocre Live Action Disney remake movie at best. Why did it need to be 2 hours long I have no idea, but the movie was weak and Will Smith is really the only thing going for it, despite Robin Williams still being far superior in the original. Overall, another "Bleh" Live-Action Disney remake we didn't need at all. Stick with the original Aladdin that has superior effects, acting, jokes, atmosphere, characters, and depth over this nostalgic cashgrab.


John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

Not liking where the John Wick movies are heading
I saw the original John Wick and John Wick 2 for the very first time a few days ago in preparation for John Wick 3. The original John Wick I liked being a straightforward revenge assassin Action movie that had a perfect balance of story and action sequences without feeling too overwhelming or bloated. The pacing was really good and I was satisfied with how it ended. The same could not be said for John Wick: Chapter Two sadly. The action sequences were still there and well shot, but everything else for me took a back step. The plot got more confusing and bloated, the action sequences were starting to overstay their welcome and get too long, and the pacing was all over the place instead of flowing smoothly like the first one did. I thought it was a big step down overall.

So what about John Wick Chapter 3 - Parabellum? Is it an improvement over John Wick 2? Sort of, I guess? I preferred the action in this one to Chapter Two. However, the same issues with Chapter Two remained in John Wick 3. The first 20 minutes I was really hooked into the movie. Some of the very best Action sequences are in there and it made sense with the story and didn't feel like filler. Unfortunately, after that things really slow down and we get loads of lame plot stuff that drags and the introduction of new characters which sucked. The acting was pretty shaky and I found the movie unintentionally funny in places. Well if the Action is amazing then that's all that matters right? John Wick 3 does deliver in that category. The shots and sequences are done really nicely, the music is good, but it started getting too repetitive again with the action like Chapter Two. It really felt like a Video Game in parts, and there was no threat to deal with and it just didn't get me engaged as much as I hope it would.

Overall, John Wick 3 to me felt for the most part "All Style No Substance". It was too long, they made the action sequences too lengthy once again like Chapter Two, and there was boring plot stuff in-between that was just lame and new characters that sucked for the most part. If you are literally a guy that only wants to see really well shot Action sequences, John Wick 3 will deliver. However, if you want a nicely packaged Action and story movie like the first one though, then you're probably end up not liking it nearly as much similar to me.


Over the Garden Wall

Over the Mediocre Wall
I don't get the praise for this? I mean, the animation and music was probably the best thing going for it, but the story and characters were pretty bland to me and nothing seemed that special about it. Many episodes felt like filler with little progress to the main story and that was kind of frustrating. I couldn't get engaged for most of it and just felt like the show was just being weird for no good reason. The humour wasn't that great and felt kiddy to me personally.

To be fair, there's nothing really bad per se about Over the Garden Wall and it's a very easy watch to binge through all 10 episodes in 2 hours, but I was left disappointed. The final two episodes were the overall best as I could actually remember significant stuff happening in them, but the rest was just a mediocre cartoon series for me and I guess this falls in the style over substance TV series category? Either way, I didn't click with it that much and maybe it just wasn't my cup of tea.


Pokémon Detective Pikachu

Sadly this did not break the Video Game Movie curse
Pokemon Detective Pikachu had potential as a concept, but sadly it was poorly executed in my opinion. There's alot of Pokemon nostalgia and fan-service franchise references in there for sure, but the story itself is very weak. You can see where things are heading straight away and it felt very dumbed down for kids rather than aiming for both kids and adults. I was really shocked at how bad the acting was in this movie. It really distracted me from taking the Human characters seriously, and they were easily the worst part of the movie. There are scenes in the movie which try to pull off emotion but it falls flat. There is a very small part of the Pokemon game stuff in there like catching Pokemon and battling them, but it's mostly filler rather than being relevant to the plot.

Detective Pikachu himself fairs a little better, but his quips and little jokey comments get a bit tiring after a while. I wasn't even the biggest fan of the CGI Pokemon honestly, as they just look weird and kind of creepy rather than cute. They should have just gone for the Who Framed Roger Rabbit approach and made them Cartoon animated instead of realistic. Plot contrivances and weird things happening for no logical reason, as well as scenes which were surprisingly boring. I kind of liked the idea of Pokemon and Humans living together, and the small snippets we see of them do jobs for people and other tasks in the background is a nice touch, but that only really appears in the first half of the movie and then it just becomes bland and generic. The showdown near the end has some okay action to it, but to me it just felt like this should have been much, much better than what we ended up with in terms of twists and turns.

As a big Pokemon fan, I was disappointed with this movie. I felt it should have been structured better in the story and making it more interesting rather than focusing on showing off the Pokemon stuff and references. They needed to make the Human characters more entertaining rather than just the Pokemon themselves. Seeing my favourite Pokemon in CGI Live Action and noticing a reference to the games isn't enough for me. This is a sloppy, executed movie that could have been so much more and seems to coast on nostalgia and callbacks. I have no idea how someone who never cared for Pokemon could get into this, but if you're a Pokemon fan I'd say it's probably worth at least one watch. As for me, I'm still hoping for a genuinely good Video Game movie that will break the curse, but Detective Pikachu isn't the answer to that sadly.


Long Shot

I gave this movie a shot and enjoyed it
Long Shot had been getting pretty good reviews for a Comedy and I liked some of Seth Rogen's previous stuff, so I decided to give this one a shot. I got what I was kind of expecting. Some raunchy jokes and pop-culture references, but there's also some nice topical and political humour in there too. If a good portion of the jokes are funny that's what counts most, right? It basically plays out like most Rom-Coms with a guy having a chance encounter with a crush he had in the past and winning her over throughout the rest of the movie.

To give credit where credit is due though, I do think Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron work very well together in this movie. I never felt that it was unbelievable that these two could develop fondness and feelings for each other. I also think that alot of the comedic timing and the personalities of them both help keep the movie engaging. As for the jokes, they don't all land but the decent ones did give me quite a good laugh. It's a fairly lengthy movie for a Comedy, but I didn't feel the pacing was too bad and yeah it's predictable but in terms of gags and being entertained this one delivered for me. The movie is also fairly nicely shot in parts and has good use of music, and the acting is fine.

Overall I came out enjoying Long Shot for what it was. It's a Rom-Com sure, but I feel it's one of the few that has more effort put into it than the usual ones. It's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but if you're looking for a movie with a decent amount of laughs in it and some entertaining character stuff, it's at least a good try. If Seth Rogen gets on your nerves though or you don't like crude humour, then it probably won't be your cup of tea.



Not very engaging to watch
I'm still trying to work out why Tolkien was not better than it should have been. It didn't really do anything wrong per se. The production values and the acting were decent, but it was just a slog to watch and not all that engaging. It was like watching your average by-the-numbers biographic movie. Maybe you have to be a hardcore The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings/Tolkien fan to like it more, perhaps?

There were some okay parts like Tolkien bantering with his younger friends here and there, but most of the movie was just not that interesting. It seemed they added parts that felt like filler and tangents that didn't really go anywhere to fill the runtime. You know where it will be heading and the many inspirations being spelt right in front of you. The visuals during the battle sequences were probably the highlight. The musical score is appropriate and used effectively, but I don't know I just found it mostly forgettable. Honestly, for a large part of it, it probably could have been a made-for-TV movie.

So yeah, Tolkien was just an average at best biographic movie that most likely wasn't really my cup of tea. I really wanted to like it and get the gist of how Tolkien got inspired to write The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings, but it was so average and forgettable to me that I struggled to stay engaged the whole time. It's nicely shot and has good things going for it on the technical side, but overall it just wasn't all that memorable to watch really.


A Dog's Journey

If you wanted more from A Dog's Purpose, this movie delivers!
A Dog's Purpose was originally a movie I decided to randomly see at the cinema a few years ago and I had no idea what to expect. The movie managed to surprise me by hitting me on an emotional level and for a family movie it had elements of darkness to it which I didn't expect, despite being a bit cheesy in places. The movie's main gimmick was a dog constantly reincarnating with a Dog POV commentary voiced by Josh Gad. The sequel to the movie A Dog's Journey continues on from where A Dog's Purpose left off with Bailey living with owner Ethan and being set on a new goal to follow their granddaughter "CJ" through many different dog reincarnations after making a promise to Ethan to protect her.

If you've seen A Dog's Purpose, you know what to expect. Little quips/observations of what's on the dog's mind and of course the dog dying a few times. It can be a hard watch in parts, and as a dog person I had to hold off a bit in places. I've always liked Josh Gad's commentary (Much prefer him over Bryce Dallas Howard in A Dog's Way Home) and seeing the dog think differently to a human and making little jokes here and there. The movie has a bit of cheesiness to it and tonally it can be uplifting or a sudden downer out of nowhere. I like that though as life never plans out the way you expect and bad things can happen when you least expect it. The acting is a bit shaky in places, but for the most part the themes of growing up, trying different things, and seeing the observation and memories of the dog over the years keeps things engaging. It's a pretty straightforward movie, although I question whether it is a good watch for children or not understanding it all and seeing a dog die a few times.

So yeah, A Dog's Journey is basically A Dog's Purpose: Part 2. You know what you are getting yourself into. A movie that will try to emotionally get to you and not be afraid to show the darker side of owning a pet. It has lighter moments in-between though thanks to the Dog commentary. I probably still prefer the first one because I liked the pairing between the dog and Ethan from A Dog's Purpose. If anything, I'd say this one is an easier watch compared to A Dog's Purpose as there is less filler to it and the bleakness is slightly toned down in my opinion. The movie works better with people who like dogs or are dog owners, but if you're looking for a family movie, this is an okay choice in my book.


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