Disney’s Descendents 2

The next part of the musical dancing Disney’s Descendents story! Not counting the shorts (which were cool). The movie is about the kids of Disney villains, who have all been trapped on the Isle of the Lost. Four of them got chosen to go to Auradon, though, and three of them are living it up! The last one, Mal, daughter of Maleficient, is feeling like she can’t handle all the pressure put on her, though.

The second movie kicks in with a catchy song and dance number. Compared to the first one, the music and choreography is about the same. Some are grand flashy spectacles, while others are more intimate. There’s a good balance between the two, but I tend to remember the fancier ones. They still make for a fun watch and the new setting really work.

Well, I say new setting, but it’s really back to the Isle of the Lost, and that’s great because that place looks interesting and fantastic. The costume for the people on the isle are just great.  Really, the costume design is just great all.

The main antagonist this time is Uma, daughter of Ursula. She works at a fish and chips shop but wants so much more. And her underlings are Harry, Son of Captain Hook, and Gil, son of Gaston. They follow the trend of the leader, the competent one and the goofy one, in that order. The characters are more than that, though, and all three are really interesting to watch.

I do want to mention that I really enjoyed Harry’s portrayal. He has that dangerous drawling swagger. And I’ve seen a few behind the scenes stuff and interviews. Either the actor playing Harry stays in that style all while filming, or he really does talk like that a bit.

Uma is great with both a song introduction and a duel song with our protagonists. She’s dangerous throughout but you do get glimpses of vulnerability under there. She, and her crew, makes an effective counterpoint to Mal and her friends. And movie two goes more into the implications of trapping all villains on an island, including their families.

Also, King Ben, son of the Beast, is hilarious when he tries to go beast mode. He should just not. Intimidating is not something I would associate with Ben. He makes a great and caring king, though, so I’ll give him that.

Mal and Evie get some great scenes, both with each other and with other people. Jay and Carlos, while feeling not as important, still gets some fun interactions.

I really liked the finale dance number. It’s really cool and takes full advantage of their location. So I’m looking forward to more song and dance numbers from the Disney’s Descendents.

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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Valerian is a space romp through exotic locations and strange creatures and dangerous situations. The titular City of a Thousand Planets is a space station that has been slowly built up over a long time by many different races. It started out as a human space station, which explains why humans run the place. This movie is full of fantastic visuals and settings. Unfortunately, the feel of the place is rarely there.

So, I have not read the original comics, so there’s that. But Valerian is a movie that doesn’t work on a few levels. What I did like included the story, though. I’ll talk about it more in the spoiler section, but that was good. The visuals are pretty great. The thing is, the movie is too fast-paced and manic to really give me a reason to appreciate or care.

The opening scene is great, though. It’s just at the right pace to show the growth of the City of a Thousand Planets. The next scene after that, on Mul, is also fantastic. That’s the kind of thing I wanted more of. We get a good look at Mul and how life works on there. And everything there is gorgeous. I will say that the significance of the scene isn’t apparent for a while, making it seem like it’s just there.

Once the main characters, Valerian and Laureline come into the picture, though, things start getting hectic, and not in a good way. The visuals start just getting thrown out there without a reason. It wasn’t as bad in the marketplace, but in the actual City of a Thousand Planets, it just seems so hodge-podge and put together. I mean, it probably is, but still, I got no sense of scale to the city.

We get introduced to both of the main characters well into their relationship and stuff and we never get to know them at all. Valerian is a quip machine, but he doesn’t have the charm to endearing quality to pull it off. I didn’t feel a reason as to why he was the main character. Laureline is better, but we also know even less about her, leaving her just as Valerian’s partner. The two of them feel underdeveloped.

I think part of the problem comes from them spending large parts of the movie away from each other. We see a lot of what they would do for each other, but we don’t see what they would do with each other. That leaves out of why we should care about their relationship.

So, while the visuals are great, a high pace and main characters without much depth weaken the movie. I do have a lot to say in the spoiler section, so read on if you want some of that. I do go into more things I like about the movie there.

Here we go!

My favorite character of the movie has to be Bubble. She feels more real than the other characters. She was interesting to watch and is a fun alien character. I wanted more of that. The other military characters are also solid.

Onto the plot, the movie feels like there are two segments that are uneeded, which is unfortunate because both of them are pretty cool in both characters and visually. But they just stop the main plot in an unnecessary way.

The people of Mul, they were great. They are sort of like the perfect idealized race kind of people, but they’re still really interesting to see. And I liked how grounded the actual story turned out to be. It wasn’t like some giant space monster was attacking or anything, and at no point in the movie was the City of a Thousand Planets in danger of being destroyed, so yay on that.

They do telegraph who the actual bad guy is so heavily that I wonder why they tried to hide it at all.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets has great visuals and a nice story, but it’s hampered by underdeveloped main characters. I pretty much care about all other characters more than them. Oh well.

Peanuts Movie

Hahaha, I have to admit that I have not seen much of Charlie Brown or the Peanuts gang before. I’ve seen that awesome dance scene, though. But I don’t really know the characters or the plot. So this movie is a first for me.

And I really enjoyed it. To describe this movie in two words, charming and nice. It’s probably the nicest movie I’ve seen in a while. And I mean nice in the sense that no ones really mean. There are no antagonists. Its just a nice story about kids. Everyone likes Charlie Brown even if Charlie Brown doesn’t like Charlie Brown. There are cute Snoopy and Woodstock antics. The movie is nice.

The art style for the movie is great. It really stands out as trying to look like old-style 2D animations. Sometimes, te animations are jerky. They have constant effects that are done in 2d. The characters are constantly moving and have their own little flourishes. All over, the movie has a lot of charm and style.

The film is a slice-of-life style plot, so I really like it. I’m not going to say too much more, but it’s a nice kids story. There is a second plot running through that involves Snoopy and Woodstock. While the two plots only intersect rarely, Snoopy is constantly around the other characters. And the movie still felt decently short even with two separate plotlines running through it. The movie is a good length, though. There’s no unncessary stuff. The scenes just roll right along while leaving behind little sparkles of delight.

The only thing I found weird with this movie was who it was for. I think it’s for people who have enjoyed Peanuts for a long time. They use technology from the 80’s, and not just in a stylistic way. It does affect the plot at one point. And kids are going to need an explanation of why their phones have wires.

Still, the overall movie is good. It’s not as flashy as some other CGI films. Peanuts is homely and a good watch.

Gods of Egypt

This should have been a video game. That’s my main point. This movie would have, well, I don’t want to say would have, but could have been really fun to play. As a movie, it’s pretty ridiculous and runs entirely on rule of cool.

Gods of Egypt is a fantasy/magical story based on Egyptian mythology. I don’t know that much about it, but nothing really seems unintentionally inaccurate. To not have a double negative, everything that’s not accurate to the myths seems to serve their story. The story is pretty simple one of the unfavored brother taking what the favored brother has all while being evil about it. The son of the dead brother then has to take back what was lost and save the day.

Everything is super dressed up with special effects and CGI. Some is more noticeable than others, but the size difference between the Gods and mortals is done pretty well, actually. The acting, though, is kind of stiff at times. It’s like some characters want to be quippy but fail at giving it any sort of impact or punch.

A lot of things happen in this movie just for the sake of being cool. The two characters I enjoyed watching were Thoth and Anubis, though. Anubis is a cool guy and just wants to do his job. I like all of Thoth’s little ticks. It makes him fun and interesting to watch compared to everyone else.

This movie really is a CGI fest and special effects fest. The action scenes weren’t overly memorable or noticeable, though, which could have brought some excitement to this movie. As is, this movie will be pretty forgettable.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

This is the third different Spider-Man universe, but this time, its in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe)! That means so many more possibilities! I enjoyed most of the previous Spider-Man films, but having oen as part of a larger superhero world is really cool. Peter Parker, Spider-Man’s real identity, being younger than the previous versions adds a lot of fun to the story. This time around, Peter Parker is only fifteen and still in high school.

I really like their immediate connection to the rest of the MCU world. It works great and doesn’t feel too much at all. It also gives the main villain an understandable motive for doing what he does. Vulture is the villain this time around, and he’s a good one. Unlike some other villains, he has a completely reasonable goal, provide for his family, only he does bad things while doing so. But he’s not out to ruin anything or take over anything. And it makes him pretty compelling. Michael Keaton is also great at portraying him.

Unlike most other Spider-Man movies, this one is not too busy. Vulture is the main villain, and there’s not a lot to distract from that.

While this movie is not an origin film, it is still pretty much the first time Spider-Man has faced any serious threats. It shows really shows him growing into it, all while still being an awkward kid. He’s funny, he tries to be manacing to the criminals, he tries to act cool and how he thinks a superhero should act. It’s adorable. And like any kid, he messes up and gets in over his head.

My main issue with the movie, I suppose, is how much they rely on the adults don’t listen to kids storyline. It’s overdone, really, and Peter’s suit is even recording all of his interactions with the bad guys! Why, with what Peter has seen, would that not warrant a more forceful response from the adults? Okay, specifically a certain adult, and I’ll consider it a spoiler even though he was in the trailers. So I’ll talk about it more in the spoiler section.

Other than that, Spider-Man: Homecoming is a great movie where Peter tries to get used to his new superhero status while still being in high school. It doesn’t do anything new, but it does most things great. Though I suppose it does say something about the side-characters seeing that I have no real comments about them. Aunt May really wasn’t in the movie enough, and she should be in it more. I also really liked Donald Glover’s character. He’s not in it much, but he’s great when he shows up.

Alright, now for some spoilers!

The adult I referenced previously is, of course, Tony Start, the Iron Man. He gave Peter a Spider-Man suit with all sorts of features. And he’s also keeping an eye on Spider-Man. I think with all that has happened, he could do more than try some normal FBI agents. Because while a big disaster might not have happened without Spider-Man, no way the FBI agents were stopping the Vulture.

Still, Tony Stark works as a great mentor to Peter. Peter believes he needs the suit to be something, and Tony has definitely gone through that before. It works well. Tony also doesn’t take over the movie, so the hero of the day is all Spider-Man. Yet, this movie really couldn’t happen without taking place in the MCU. It just weaves in really well.

Though seriously, how many villains is Tony going to influence into badness? Aldrich Killian, Ultron, Pietro and Wanda, and now Adrian Toomes. For real, Tony should have the guilt.

This is a fun movie with a great villain and even greater possibilities for the future.

Super end of movie spoilers ahead!

I am so glad to see Pepper Potts again! It’s just good to know things are going well between her and Tony again, or just to see what she’s up to since we last saw her quite a while ago.

Central Intelligence

It seems like Kevin Hart is the new team-up guy of movies. Will Ferrel, Ice Cube, now Dwayne Johnson. In Central Intelligence, Kevin Hart plays Calvin Joyner, former high school superstar and current average guy. He’s unhappy with the trajectory of his life until an old high school classmate returns into his life making it crazy.

While I wouldn’t say this film is hilarious, I was entertained. The earlier part I felt was a bit slow, but I think it was worth it just to set up a friendship between Calvin and Bob (Dwayne Johnson’s character). Still, it could have happened a bit faster.

Then things get crazy. It’s in the title of the movie, so I’ll just say that Bob is a member of the CIA. Or is he? That’s what the movie is primarily about, whether Bob is delusional or not and what Calvin should do about it.

Overall, since it’s a comedy, and not the tragic kind, you sort of expect it to end happily. the antics along the way are pretty good. And because you have Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the action scenes are actually really good. Bob Stone has that kind of crazy awesome schtick, emphasis on both crazy and awesome.

The movie doesn’t last too long, so the question of is or isn’t Bob crazy doesn’t get tiring. I would consider the movie as alright. If you want more Kevin Hart fast talking, this will give it to you. It’s a fine movie that’s enjoyable for an afternoon of fun. Nothing too serious in there.

iZombie, Season 3

My favorite zombie forensic specialist and her detective partner is back! But this season is so short. I wanted more, and this show deserves more. Due to the shortness of the season, there are some plot points that don’t get resolved, though I think they’ll be doing them a bit next season. Still, this season tells one fun story with some great sad moments, funny moments and everything in between.

The biggest change up (and this will be spoilers from the past season), this season Clive Babineaux knows that Liv is a zombie! And he just gets so much better for it. Clive has the best reaction to things, and now that he knows about zombies, he gets even more as he gets pulled deeper into their world.

Blaine’s been kind of up and down this season. There really wasn’t one big awesome Blaine moment, but he and Liv does get some really cool scenes together. With Fillmore Graves around, Blaine’s zombie empire isn’t as big as before, so I hope that gets changed in the future. I do like the kind of frenemy thing he has going on with Liv and gang, though. And Don-E, that guy’s great!

In this season, the threat of zombies being revealed to the world are becoming more and more likely. There’s no single bad guy, just a lot of people trying to figure out what to do. I really like the different persepectives, from the zombie hunters to the zombie militia. Liv is just trying to do her medical crime-solving thing, but she gets dragged along.

The cases of the week, while fun, feel less important than before. The brains she eats are more to help the overall plot with the case of the week taking a backseat, but the show still works really well. And now that Clive knows about zombies, he can get in on the overall plot.

Peyton, too, seems to be getting more important, and that’s great.

iZombie is great fun. It’s concept still works, and the show is not afraid to push the world forward. It’s going to be a wild 4th season.