Mr. Peabody & Sherman

I know that this is based on a cartoon. I just have not seen it before. So I’ll be taking on the movie as a new viewer.

I like the premise of a dog adopting a boy. And what’s even more fun is how no one cares that this one dog called Mr Peabody can talk and is pretty much the smartest being on the planet. And it can’t even be excused to people just getting used to him as even when he time travels backwards, no one cares.

That’s right, Mr. Peabody has invented a time machine. And he uses it to teach his adoptive son, Sherman, about history. They have fun, wacky adventures with Mr. Peabody being awesome at getting out of any scrapes they get themselves into. But then comes a new adventure. Sherman has to go to school. And Sherman pretty much gets into trouble that results in a whole new set of time travel shenanigans.

Sherman gets into a fight with his classmate, Penny, and as a result, Mr. Peabody invites Penny and her parents over to try and smooth things over. Penny then gets into the time machine. The movie follows their series of events, perhaps even unfortunate events, as they try to get back home with a lot of things going wrong.

It’s fun and they don’t really gloss over the violent parts of history. Instead, they present it in a kid-friendly way that’s done really well. They go to several time periods, my favorite of which is the renaissance. That place is colorful and fun. In fact, all of the historical figures they meet are great.

And the relationship between Mr. Peabody and Sherman is really strong. They build it up over the course of the film where Mr. Peabody slowly stops being an intellectual all the time and becomes more caring.

I enjoyed Penny’s character. She starts out antagonistic to Sherman but after the time traveling starts, they become friends. It just happens really quick, too quick really. And out of the three main characters, she’s the one that’s the most useless. The movie is only called Mr. Peabody and Sherman, but Penny feels pretty much just there to fill a female character slot.

But the movie is fun with a lot of historical jokes and a great relationship between the two main characters. The ending is quite a blast, too.

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Ant-Man and the Wasp

After the whammy of Infinite Wars, Marvel is coming back for a bit of fun and relaxation. Like the first movie, there’s no world-ending threat here, because that’s somewhere else. This movie is about more personal problems and smaller situations. There is a greedy businessman, finding a lost parent, strange other dimensions and a ghost. Well, it’s still a Marvel movie, after all.

I enjoyed the movie for it’s fun. Scott is great and goofy. Luis and the rest of the crew are back in the best way. The shady businessman isn’t as unhinged as the first movie’s villain, so even he’s more fun, though in the serious sort of way. The heart of the movie revolves around the Pym family. Hank is trying to save his wife, Janet, from the Quantum Realm.

There’s a lot of family stuff going on in the movie, actually, and it’s all done well. Scott has a great relationship with his daughter, Cassie. And Cassie is really adorable in this film. She brings up all the scenes she is in. Scott’s ex is a lesser part of the movie, but I enjoyed how much she was on Scott’s side throughout. They already did the plot where she feels Scott is not a good parent in the first movie. Now, the ex and her new boyfriend are both fully team Scott.

The other family here is more of an adoptive family. Ghost is the main villain of the movie, but I really liked the character. For once, I’ll say I actually read the comics featuring the character of Ghost, and the two characters are nothing alike. Suffice it to say, movie ghost is a totally different character with a similar costume and power set.

Movie ghost is a great character, though. I really enjoyed her motivation for doing what she is. And her adoptive father is trying to help while keeping her from going full-overboard. I liked this different version of Ghost and would like to see her again.

The movie has great actions scenes that makes creative use of everyone’s power. The effects look slick, especially Ghost’s. The quantum realm is wildly strange. And it has a good humor. Ant-Man and the Wasp is like a palate cleanser after the harsh events of Infinite War. It brings things back to small scale stuff around the characters rather than the world, and it works out great.

The Expanse

Thank you Amazon for giving this show another season! This is the best science fiction show on TV. It started off a bit confusing, but now, everything is settling into place and the bigger picture is being revealed. Season 3 finishes up the 2nd book and actually finishes the entirety of the 3rd book. That means the 3rd book is done in about half the season, making it feel a bit more rushed than the other parts. I’m still not sure why they didn’t do 1 season a book.

Anyway, this show is just getting better all the time. From the effects to the characters and the story, things are getting intense. And have I mentioned how awesome Amos is? Because he is.

The 2nd book ended a bit abruptly and the start of the 3rd book can seem kind of jarring. Since it happens in the middle of the season, people might feel that there’s just an unexplained timejump. Why is Prax just suddenly gone and all the other fallout of what happened skipped over? Because new book, that’s why!

Still, the second half of the season is fantastic. It gets so much more majestic now that the mysteries behind the protomolecule are unravelling. The pacing is faster, but it still manages to build up the new characters great. Ashford, in particular, is done really well. He’s a great foil to Drummer, who is now in command of the Belter expedition to the Ring.

What I wanted is a bit of a slowdown on two parts. One, I want to feel the full foreboding and strangeness of the space inside the ring. I feel everything happens too fast to give it the awe and anxiousness it deserves. They show people worrying a bit, but I really wanted more large shots of all the ships inside the space, trapped and unable to get out.

The second thing I needed slowed down was Melba. Well, this is going into spoilers, so I’m not going to say much. I’ll say that what the show gave us towards the end was enough, but more wouldn’t hurt.

The Expanse is fantastic, and I am so looking forward to what’s coming next. I haven’t read the books, so I have no idea! Let’s do this.

Fate of the Furious

This will be a bit shorter of a review. Not because I didn’t enjoy the movie. I liked it, about as much as I like the Fast and Furious stuff after they became superheroes in cars. But it’s also about on par with what they’ve been putting out. So, if you enjoyed Fast Five, Furious Six, Something Seven, then Fate of the Furious will be great for you. And me.

This is trailer information, but it is spoilers for the movie. This time around, the team is fighting Dominic! For reasons that will be revealed during the movie, Dom is now working for the bad guy. And boy, do they make for some great action and character scenes. The movies always talk a lot about family, and this one is no different. So why is Dom going against his family?

The movie is full of all new over-the-top car sequences. And I’m sure they still have much more crazy ideas for the next one. Ramsey is still here, and I think she’s a fun addition to the crew. She is a non-combatant, non-driver, but still gets a lot of great scenes. The other characters are all still doing their thing, getting a few scenes now and again.

The villain is decently threatening while not being a direct physical threat. This time, it’s Cipher, the best hacker in the world. Like some of the previous movies, Cipher is the boss without being the strongest around. She’s the boss by being smarter and planning better, and I find her quite effective.

Maybe moving into some spoiler territory here. But joining the team this time is Deckard! The villain of the previous film. He’s more fun being sort of a grumpy ally. This movie knows it’s goofy and plays it up, especially with the scenes between Deckard and Hobbs.

Fate of the Furious is a cool ride on crazy cars. You already know the characters. Now they’re trying to ramp up the villains and give more wild stunts. Still not boring, yet. Waiting for The Fast and the Furious Nine, or their own version of that name.

Legion, Season 2

This season is even crazier than the last, and it leaves a lot of stuff in mystery. This is one of those shows I try not to think to heavily on and just go along for the ride. Okay, I’ll admit I don’t tend to analyze any show too deeply, but I think this one gets especially strange if you do. There’s just so much going on and so much weird imagery. It gets totally strange.

This time, David and his friends are working with Division 3 against the Shadow King. Their goal is to find the Shadow King’s body and destroy it before the Shadow King can get back to it. To start of with, we get a dance battle. They upped the style this time around.

I liked the little lectures on human psychology they put in the episodes. I’m sure they have something to do with what’s going on in the season.

The show is strange in more than one. A lot of the episodes don’t really feel like they have a lot happening. It’s more style than things. But each episode still feels engaging. When taken together, though, I think a whole bunch of things could be cut out without changing anything. And the side characters feel really underutilized this time around. Melanie is barely there for the first 3/4s of the season. Ptonomy drops off later. I’m glad Cary and Kerry have a bit more staying power.

Lenny, though. She’s around and she plays a larger part. That’s great since she was engaging before and she’s probably more engaging now. I’m liking what they did with her, and I’m enjoying her interactions with both David and David’s sister.

I am enjoying Clark, and I really want more of him around. He acts as the normal man of Division 3, because the rest of Division 3 is wacky. They have androids running around all controlled by a mysterious man with a basket on his head. The entire place feels surreal. Really, the entire season feels surreal, more than season 1.

I think season 2 has some pacing problems with a lot of stylish episodes. When things happen, it’s great. When things aren’t happening, it’s entertaining, but afterwards I’m sort of questioning why it happened. Still, it was quite a great end to the season, so I’m interesting in what’s going to happen next.

Ocean’s 8

I really enjoyed the Ocean’s 11 trilogy. Yes, that includes 12. No, I did not watch the original one all the way back when. I’m talking about Georgy Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and the rest of them. So when I heard about a female heist team with the same style and pizazz, I wanted in.

This movie stars Sandra Bullock as Debbie Ocean, Danny’s (younger?) sister. Apparently, the whole family comes from slick heist crime. For the most part, this movie is great fun. It works well with a similar style, but there are enough differences to give it a new identity.

As for the new heist group, all of them are fun to watch in their own way. Perhaps my favorite of the group is Helena Bonham Carter as Rose Weil, a fashion designer. The one that I felt was the most wasted was Cate Blanchett as Lou. I’ll go into my thoughts on the new cast later on. But they come together well when they have interaction scenes. There just weren’t enough of them. I wanted more random interaction woven in through the plot parts. Just slide it in there somewhere.

There are a lot of glamorous shots in the movie. And, for some reason, a glamour shot of all of the heist team at the end. It’s like their victory walk. I’m not sure what it has to do with the plan, but it was slick and gorgeous to watch. There were a lot of cool musical pieces throughout, too.

There are some problems with the movie, though. Hmm, it might be considered spoilery, so from now on, the spoiler section is a go. But first, let me say that I enjoyed the film and felt it follows the spirit of the previous Ocean films. And I want the crew back for a new heist!

Anyway, onto the spoiler section and some problems with the movie.

Everything goes off too smoothly. In Ocean’s 11, there were a few points where it seems like the plan is going to fail before showing it did work. Here, they try to do that, but don’t really capture that feeling. The plan pretty much goes off without an issue. The second issue is that the main bad guy, the one Debbie is trying to take down, feels kind of like a wimp. He’s not talked up as threatening or dangerous like Terry Benedict. This guy, upon seeing Debbie Ocean fresh out of jail, whimpers about calling the police. A dangerous villain, he is not. And thus, it’s not that satisfying to see him get taken down in the end.

Now, on to the new cast. Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway) is a movie star and more of a mark in the movie. The crew is using her to get what they need. She’s a fun character, especially the times when she turns into a ball of stress. She mentioned that she is lonely, but they really don’t show that much through the movie. Maybe put a few scenes to show she is lonely earlier on.

Debbi Ocean (Sandra Bullock) is the sister of Daniel Ocean. She’s a cool main character. From the start, we get several shots of how she operates. She’s different from Danny but from the same cloth.

Lou (Cate Blanchett). I feel like she’s supposed to be the second-in-command, but overall, she feels underutilized. She’s the one Debbie goes to for help and the one that finds most of the crew. However, after that, the team works well enough that she become sort of an extra body doing whatever needs to be done. She’s the one that was supposed to rein in Debbie from going too far into the revenge part of the plan, but Debbie doesn’t go off the rail that much, so that part didn’t amount to much. Lou needs to be more invovled with things.

Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter), my favorite of the group. I think there must be a scene missing or something, because out of the group, she is not a criminal. She’s a fashion designer that has fallen on hard times and sort of a nervous wreck. I really wanted a scene that showed her reaction to finding out her new friends were actually planning a heist. That could have been spun into her growth, such as later on when she was thinking on her feet in getting a shot of the necklace’s special unlocking mechanism. But I found her really fun.

Amita (Mindy Kaling). I liked the introduction scene with her. I think a running plot about her trying to find a date through the film would have been fun to see.

Nine Ball (Rihanna). She’s the hacker of the group and she’s fine. I wanted a bit more to her. Out of the group, she’s the only one that wasn’t shown being recruited, just already recruited.

Constance (Awkwafina) is a somewhat awkward street hustler. She has some fun interactions all around.

Tawny (Sarah Paulson) has a fun introduction. I liked that she has settled down and has a family. She does a lot of work through the heist.

Ocean’s 8 is a fun heist film that needed more things to go wrong. I wanted to see the crew scramble a bit. As it is, the plan went off too well. Make it a bit more challenging for them!

Once Upon a Time, Series Finale

A magical and charming show closes it’s pages and perhaps lives happily ever after. Once Upon a Time is what happens when fairy tales are mixed together. It’s not necessarily more dark, since plenty of fairy tales were dark. But it is fun and adds several twists along the way. The fun was watching the magic, the hope and the fairy tale characters interact, though it recently moved more to the Disney version of characters. I’m fine with that.

For the final season, it acted as a next chapter, so to speak. Henry is now grown up with his adventures in a new city, new curse, mostly new characters. Regina and Gold are still around. And Hook is there, too. But Emma, Snow and Charming have all retired peacefully.

I actually enjoyed this season. I don’t put too much thought into things, just go along and enjoy the magical ride. If you seriously examine things, there will be a lot of stuff that doesn’t add up, and not even magic can explain it away. As long as it works in the moment, I’m fine with it as I’ve already expected it with this show.

So if you want to see all of your favorite characters, half of them will be gone. But I enjoyed most of the new cast. I’ll go into each character individually later on in the spoiler section.

For the final two episodes, as a series finale, they brought things back a bit to what the original show was like, and it was great. I think it did cut into their original plans, so the new stuff kind of get brushed aside easily, but seeing all of the old group is like revisiting a magical cottage after some time away. It’s a place to kick up ones feet and enjoy.

I think the story ended in a good way. There’s always going to be more adventures, but we know the characters can get through them.

I enjoyed this final season about the same as I did the rest. It has the same problems and the same charm. But with a new location and a lot of new characters, it might not have the pull for long time fans. The plotlines are just as messy and intersects in strange ways, but I enjoyed the individual threads. Even with most of the season spent under a new curse, they still keep things interesting by having certain characters regain their memory.

Time for some spoilers! This will be about the new and different characters added to the cast for this season. The format will be curse name/real name assuming they have two names. Otherwise it’s just their name.

Henry, now all grown up. I think he’s a fine main character. I enjoyed his character, though there’s not that much to say about him.

Jacinda/Cinderella. She’s Henry’s wife, but the two of them don’t really gel together. The actress playing her seems forced in her interactions with everyone, actually. She doesn’t have that spark of magic, unfortunately.

Lucy. Henry’s daughter. Cute and determined. Somewhat annoying, but I didn’t mind that.

Sabine/Tiana. I felt she was underused most of the time, but a good character when she’s around.

Victoria/Lady Tremaine. I enjoyed her a lot. She was the villain for the first half of the season, and she does it well.

Ivy/Drizella. I liked her characer, too. She has some great scenes with Henry and has more chemistry with him than his wife. Unfortunately, her plotline ends rather weakly. It might have to do with this being the last season, though.

Eloise/Goethel. An alright villain. Unfortunately, her plan and backstory gets revealed late and feels even more like something out of nothing than usual. Not helped is that they definitely cut the plans for her short due to needing to make a proper series finale.

Tilly/Alice. One of my two favorite new characters. She’s just great all around. I felt bad when she’s in her bad states and how everyone ignores her. She has fun interactions and is a lot more connected to the story than I first thought.

Samdi/Facillier. He was the most shafted by having to turn the last two episodes into something else. All season long, they’ve been showing him up to something, but he wouldn’t make an interesing final foe, so he had to go. It’s unfortunate as he was pretty interesting.

Margot/Robin. This is Zelena’s daughter, not Robin Hood. And I remembered it’s Margot-with-a-T. The other of my favorite “new” characters this season. I wanted her to be around more and interact with more people. But all of her scenes with Tilly are just darling.

There are some other minor characters around, and a semi-important one too. But I’ll leave those as surprises for the viewer.

For me, the final season of Once Upon a Time is still magical fairy tale convoluted stuff. Most of the characters are good, though, and I’ll be sad not to see more of them.