Robin Hood 2018

Robin Hood is another telling of a classic story. This time, with a bunch of anachronistic elements. This movie has a lot of action scenes, but I wasn’t invested in the characters. Nottingham is some kind of huge city with armored guards carrying taxes around. The sheriff is still wicked and greedy. There is an entire mining city somewhere nearby which wouldn’t look out of place in some after civilization setting. It’s a strange mishmash of stuff.

The characters of Robin and Marian aren’t that interesting. They’re alright, and they work well together, but they still aren’t compelling. When they try to make jokes, it comes off as out of place. There just isn’t much there to the characters. The most interesting person is John. He has a great reason for being against the Sheriff of Nottingham and has good scenes and acting all around. The Sheriff of Nottingham is an alright villain.

I liked Friar Tuck in this film. He can be considered the comedy relief, though it’s more low-key.

Overall, the movie feels like a standard vaguely old-time setting with bow and arrow action. They have chase scenes that wouldn’t look out of place with motorcycles and cars. Random explosions are happening in the background for some reason. A horse flips over when hit by something. It’s dumb fun. But the movie never gets beyond that point.

Robin Hood doesn’t much to the original story. It just adds a bunch of stuff that makes it flashier, but not any more interesting. Visually, it’s not set in any time, just a time before guns and electricity. I don’t mind that so much, but it does look indistinct. It could be any swords and bows movie.

Mune: Guardian of the Moon

A fantastic world with a normal story. But the world. It is amazing.

Mune: Guardian of the Moon takes place on a world all its own with its own set of rules. It feels much like a time before people when myths rule the land. But people are never going to come. The land is inhabited by various races with special abilities. The Sun and the Moon are both objects floating in the sky and they must be dragged around by giant animals known as the Sun Temple and the Moon Temple. There is a guardian for each one that drives the temples and makes sure things go smoothly.

There is a lot of the world, most of which is unexplored. There’s apparently day races and night races. Most of the races have some sort of magical abilities. There are twilight races that like the time in between day and night. There is just so much more to explore the world. I really want a series based on this movie that can really go into the world.

For the movie, we focus on the Gaurdians of the Sun and Moon. The old guardians are retiring. New people are coming in and that leaves lot of room for dark forces to work. The characters and story are more standard. Mune, the new guardian of the moon, hasn’t been trained. He was chosen over the guy that was supposed to become the guardian.

With jealousy running amok, the bad gut living in the underworld sets out to steal the sun, and without the sun, the moon also fades. He wants to plunge the world into darkness.

To stop him, Mune joins forces with the guardian of the sun, Sohone, and Glim. I would need an entire paragraph to explain Glim, but I like her a lot. All three of the main characters are okay. You can see Mune and Sohone’s flaws and how they grow over the movie. Glim is more of the reasonable one that tries to keep things on track. Together they have some nice interactions.

The world made by the movie is the real star. It is just fantastical in every way possible. Seeing the giant moving temples pull the sun and moon, getting a sense of how different races fit in. This world is just begging for more exploration. I would watch the movie just for the imaginative visuals and world.

April and the Extraordinary World

This is a science fiction adventure in an old style, like 20th century style. Imagine an alternate 1940’s history where coal still reigns supreme. The air is so thick with smog that rich people all wear gas masks. Trains between cities are actually giant cable cars with massive gears moving it along. And there is a quest for an immortality serum. That’s not even mentioning something else mysterious happening. Scientists are disappearing all over the world, leaving technology stagnant.

April is a daughter of a scientist family. Her grandpa has gone into hiding, and her father and mother both disappeared in a strange accident. This leaves her living with only her cat as a companion. Oh, the cat talks due to previous failed supreme serum experiments. Her adventure kicks up when she discovers that the location of her parent’s supreme serum and leads her on a wild run through alternate Paris.

The world they built is fantastic, or dare I say, extraordinary. Smog is everywhere, as are grand mechanical creations. It is a great alternate version of the world where the new course leads to a lot of unclean but impressive looking contraptions. There is an entire restaurant on board a zepplin.

Joining April in her adventure is her cat, Darwin, and perhaps her first human friend, Julius. She starts of surly and beat down, mainly caring about Darwin. Because life has been really poor to her. Interacting with Julius gets her to open up more. It also kicks off her great adventure to find the rest of her family.

The style and tone of the world is fantastic. The movie really builds up a great visual and setting for the world. The story is really interesting. At the core, it’s about finding family and a place to belong. Secondly, it’s about trying to do things for the betterment of the world. It just goes through a imaginative world.

And just in case it’s not old style sci-fi enough for you, there are some suprises in store for the movie. It captures an old feeling perfectly, like some John Connor of Mars stuff, but in an alternate history Earth instead.

The ending scene is pretty awesome and is a great finishing to the adventure. April and the Extraordinary World is a science fiction through alternate history. And the resulting world is something to behold.

Spider-Man: Far From Home

Ah, the last of the Phase 4 Marvel Cinematic Universe. What comes next? Who knows. Oh, there will be spoilers for Avengers Endgame. This movie is all about Peter Parker dealing with the loss of Tony Stark and trying to live a normal moment in his summer vacation. He goes to Europe with his friends, but then bad things start to happen.

To help him out, there’s Nick Fury and Maria Hill. There’s also a new here from another dimension, Quentin Beck! Beck has come to Earth to fight elemental monsters that threaten to destroy the land. He has a personal grudge because they did the same thing to his Earth. Since he’s so mysterious, people have taken to calling him Mysterio.

Peter Parker is really having a rough time of things as his normal High School trip has been hijacked and he has to fight giant monsters. He gets knocked down, both physically and emotionally in this film, and it really shows. The acting is great as we get to see Peter’s struggles through the film. He’s still an awkward kid at heart, but he learns to be more confident in himself and solve the problem, since no one else is able to.

There are some side plots that aren’t really necessary in the film, though. The biggest one is probably Brad, some side character that also likes MJ. Out of all the student side plots, his feels the most unnecessary. The rest are okay, though I really wanted Ned to do more on the Spider-Man side of things. Sure, he’s not Nick Fury, but he could still help out. In the movie, he’s mainly there to give Spider-Man a familiar face he needs to save through the adventures. Perhaps there’s a bit too much awkward teen stuff in the movie, but it is a movie about a high school trip. It takes a bit to move onto the hero stuff, though.

The main villain of the film is pretty good, though I do have some complaints which I’ll say in the spoiler section. His relation with Peter is interesting, though, and they have great scenes together. The main villain doesn’t want to hurt Peter, but he will since Peter has information that will get in his way. Of course, once he starts to get rid of people that know his secret, including Peter’s classmates, he’s a bit too all in on the job. He’s also really threatening despite not being a physical powerhouse.

Nick Fury and Maria Hill are around, though they feel a bit off. Nick Fury, especially, doesn’t feel like the cool super spy that always has everything under control. Oh well. Getting wiped out of existence for five years is bound to leave a guy catching up.

Far From Home is a solid movie with some slick action scenes. Both Spider-Man and the main villain are great. Leaving Brad out would give more time for Peter and MJ to interact, which might work better. It’s a good, fun Spider-Man movie.

Now, onto the spoiler section. And oh geeze, there’s so much that I can’t talk about without spoilering things. I won’t say much. The main thing I wanted to talk about is how many bad guys Tony has created. Not directly, but a lot of bad guys sure are motivated by things Tony did, and the main villain of this movie is no exception. Geeze. Find another motivation. Also, the two post credit scenes were real doozies. Wow. They were fantastic and you should catch both of them. It puts certain scenes into a different context.

Mary and the Witch’s Flower

The art style of this movie looks really familiar. Really familiar. But no, it is not from Studio Ghibli! This movie animated film comes from Studio Ponoc, a studio made by former members of Studio Ghibli. That explains the great amount of similarity in their styles. Mary and the Witch’s Flower is their first film. So how did they do?

Artistically, this film is fantastic. It matches well with the Studio Ghibli style, so if you saw their movies, you can expect the same great things visually. The characters are great. They aren’t overly stylish, yet they have a lot of charm and life to them. The backgrounds are great. They are lush and full of vibrancy and mystique. The world is great.

The story is about Mary, a red-headed girl that finds a mysterious flower out in the woods. It turns out, they give her magic! And she goes on a magical adventure to a school. But trouble soon stirs up. I’ll go into it a bit more in the spoiler section.

This is a more action-packed film, especially in the later parts. The story is simple, but it doesn’t have as much heart and charm as it could have. The characters are good, however things don’t come together as they should have. The end result is nice, but nothing that is a must see.

I can’t pinpoint exactly what’s missing. It’s a tough something something that is missing. I think the themes and conflict of the movie just doesn’t resonate. It’s not something people can relate to.

So, Mary and the Witch’s Flower is a solid first film from Studio Ponoc. It has great animation and visuals. The story is alright, but that’s it. Now, on to the spoiler parts of the film.

Who is that foxy stablehand? He’s just in the movie with so little about him. It’s almost like he was supposed to be important, but then, nothing. I did enjoy the main villain of the movie. They have an effective mix between pleasant and ambitious. They aren’t evil, but they do want to complete their dream no matter what.

That’s it for my thoughts.