Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle—Fun Fluff With Heart

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle movie poster
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a stand-alone sequel to the original Jumanji movie. It follows five kids after they get sucked into a video game that that used to be a board game. Once there, they must conquer obstacles and survive to return home.

1—The Beginning

In the beginning—1996—the board game Jumanji was found on the beach and taken home to a kid who says “who plays board games anymore?” and goes back to his video game. So in the middle of the night the game changes itself into a game cartridge. The hapless kid puts it in his console and is never seen again. Continue reading “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle—Fun Fluff With Heart”

Get Smart (2008 movie)—Many Kinds of Humor

Get Smart
Get Smart

Get Smart is a movie based on the ‘60s parody sitcom tv series of the same name. The movie follows Maxwell Smart, the best analyst in the US government secret agency CONTROL. When the identities of CONTROL’s secret agents are leaked by a mole, Max finally gets his dreamed for promotion to agent.

1—The Humor

As stated above, there are many kinds of humor in Get Smart. Slapstick, situational, puns and wordplay, etc. But it’s all character driven. I liked most of it, but as with all humor, your mileage may vary. Max—played adeptly by Steve Carell—is at the heart of much of the humor, as befits the main character, and some of my favorite moments come from his outspoken candor and self-honesty. But everyone else gets their moments too. Continue reading “Get Smart (2008 movie)—Many Kinds of Humor”

The Hitman’s Bodyguard—Unexpectedly Romantic

The Hitman's Bodyguard
The Hitman’s Bodyguard

The Hitman’s Bodyguard, directed by Patrick Hughes, stars Samuel L. Jackson as the hitman and Ryan Reynolds as the bodyguard. Michael Bryce (Reynold’s character) is contacted by his ex-girlfriend, Interpol Agent Amelia Roussel, after a mission to transport a witness goes horribly wrong. She asks Michael to protect hitman Kincaid and take him to The Hague so he can testify against a genocidal dictator. It’s more fun that it sounds.

1—Great Chemistry

The chemistry between Jackson and Reynolds is great. Kincaid has tried to kill Reynolds in the past but that’s quickly set aside for the mission. Rather, uptight, has-a-plan-for-everything Bryce and…I wouldn’t call Kincaid laid-back, precisely. More that he just goes with the flow of life while ending the lives of others. Anyway, they spark off each other and bicker throughout the whole movie. It’s great. Continue reading “The Hitman’s Bodyguard—Unexpectedly Romantic”

The Phantom of the Opera (2004)—Spectacular

The Phantom of the Opera 2004 movie poster
The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera is about just what the title says it is, the man haunting the Opera Populaire  in Paris, in 1870. Erik, the titular Phantom, lives beneath the Opera House and grooms the young Christine Daae to be a diva soprano—and does a few acts of sabotage to further her career. Enter Christine’s childhood friend, Raoul, the Viscount de Chagny, and you’ve also got a love triangle. But really, it’s all about the music.

1—The Music of the Night

I adore the music of The Phantom of the Opera, and the actors and singers in the movie do the pieces justice. You really must hear the music to get a proper scope of it. It’s all emotion, from quiet moments to ebulliently large. I like that kind of over the top drama in my music. Continue reading “The Phantom of the Opera (2004)—Spectacular”

The Lost Boys—My Favorite Vampire Movie

The Lost Boys movie poster
The Lost Boys

The Lost Boys is about Michael, Sam, and their mother Lucy as they move in with their grandfather in Santa Carla, the “murder capital of world” as is says in spray paint on the back of the town’s entry billboard, and finds themselves the target of a nest of vampires.

1—Horror and Humor

The Lost Boys has the perfect balance of horror and humor so that neither overwhelms the other. The pacing is good, a slow build interspersed with people being pulled up screaming into the night sky. The showdown between the pairs of brothers (Sam and Michael joined by the vampire hunting Frog brothers) and the vampires is satisfying, while the very end of the movie is both unexpected and and the perfect ending note. Continue reading “The Lost Boys—My Favorite Vampire Movie”

Kung Fu Panda—Legendary Legends of Legendariness

Kung Fu Panda movie poster

Kung Fu Panda is the computer animated story of Po, a panda in an ancient China peopled by talking anthropomorphic animals, after he accidentally gets chosen to be the legendary Dragon Warrior, destined to stop the infamous Tai Lung.

1—Animation

Kung Fu Panda utilizes two styles of animation, a hand-drawn sequence for Po’s dream in the beginning, and a computer animated style for the rest of the movie. The textures in the movie are great, especially since most of the characters are covered in fur. The landscape is lush and beautiful, and the buildings feel real. Even the water and mist feel real. And the movement of the characters feels real and yet fantastic, which suits a movie that homages the wuxia genre. Continue reading “Kung Fu Panda—Legendary Legends of Legendariness”

Coraline (the movie)—Spellbinding

Coraline movie poster

Coraline (yes, that’s spelled correctly) is the stop motion animated tale of a young girl who moves into the Pink Palace Apartments and finds a door to a magical world that’s more sinister than it first appears. Based on a book of the same name, by Neil Gaiman, it is one seriously creepy movie.

1—Wondrous

The “wonders” the Other Mother creates for Coraline are suitably spectacular, seeing as in-story there were created to be spectacles. Spink and Forcible’s musical and high-diving act with its scottie dog audience; Mr. Bobinsky’s Jumping Mouse Circus in the attic; and of course, the garden. Oh my, the garden. And of course all these wonders turn to horror in their time. Continue reading “Coraline (the movie)—Spellbinding”

A Wrinkle In Time (the 2018 Movie)—A Fun Kids’ Film

A Wrinkle In Time movie poster
A Wrinkle In Time

A Wrinkle In Time, based on a book by the same name by Madeleine L’Engle, follows Meg and her little brother Charles Wallace as they search the universe for their missing father. Their adventure begins when one of the mysterious Mrs.’s visits their house in the dead of night.

1—The Power of Love

It’s an old theme but it never goes out of style. Meg’s love for her father pulls her and her companions across the universe. And later saves her brother from being consumed by The IT. And it’s in learning to love herself that Meg does this. Continue reading “A Wrinkle In Time (the 2018 Movie)—A Fun Kids’ Film”

Inside Out—Growing in Emotional Complexity

Inside Out movie poster
Inside Out

Inside out is a computer animated kid’s movie about the lives of the primary emotions living inside the mind of an eleven-year-old girl named Riley as she moves from Minnesota to San Francisco.

1—Things Go Wrong

Things start going wrong when Sadness starts inadvertently effecting emotions, causing them to turn from happy to sad. This culminates in a sad core memory forming and Joy freaking out and taking it out of the system. The fight over this in turn causes all the core memories to get lost into longterm memory, along with Joy and Sadness. Continue reading “Inside Out—Growing in Emotional Complexity”

Black Panther—Powerhouse Movie

Black Panther movie poster

Black Panther is a super hero film that follows T’Challa as he becomes king of Wakanda, a technologically advanced but severely secretive nation, and fights for his throne and with himself over what it means to be king.

1—Beautiful

Every frame of Black Panther is gorgeous, from the set designs to the costumes, to the special effects. And the fight scenes, can’t forget the fight scenes. The architecture of Wakanda in particular is stunning—you don’t see Afrofuturism much in Hollywood films. The underground scenes are nice too. But I think my favorite thing is all the shades of red of the Dora Milaje. The music is just perfect too. Continue reading “Black Panther—Powerhouse Movie”