Pokemon: Detective Pikachu

I have been so excited for this film since I saw the first trailers. It actually looked really fun, and the design of the pokemon were fantastic. This is a live-action Pokemon movie, where pokemon and live actors live in a world. Rather than trying to be like the real world, this is the pokemon world. There is the Sinnoh Region and the Kanton Region. There are lots of references to the games and anime. Lots about this movie is pure joy for those that are a fan of Pokemon.

What if you’re not? How does this movie hold up? I think it’s still pretty good. It is a kids movie, so don’t expect anything too deep or new, but the main characters are great together. It has nice pacing and constant exciting visuals. The jokes are pretty funny. There are some nice emotional bonding moments. It’s a good movie that follows a well-tread path.

So what is Detective Pikachu about? Tim a human that doesn’t care for pokemon suddenly finds himself thrust into a city where pokemon and people live side by side. There, he must team up with Detective Pikachu to solve the mystery of what happened to Tim’s father. Along the way, they are in for a great pokemon adventure.

The visuals of the movie are fantastic. All, wait, most of the pokemon look amazing in the real world. They are so fluffy and cute. Even the non-fluffy ones are cute, like Charizard. There are a few scenes where the interaction between people and pokemon doesn’t look quite real, but it works really well for the most part. Pikachu is fantastic. And Ryan Reynolds voice does fit. Pikachu has some sass but also heart.

The visuals of the movie are just great. The film had a lot of fun showing off the world with large, sweeping shots and times where nothing is happening other than looking at what’s  going on. Those scenes are great. The world they present looks so fun that I just want to see more of it.

Detective Pikachu is a great movie based on Pokemon. For the fans, there is lots of stuff that you should recognize. For those that are not fans, this won’t totally explain the world of Pokemon, but it does do a starting job. The film won’t break new ground, but it is solidly fun and filled with action.

Advertisements

Into the Badlands, Finale

The third, and sadly final, season of Into the Badlands. With old enemies gone, it’s time for a new shift in how the Badlands works. Most of the barons are gone, leaving only the Widow and Chau vying for everything. A huge ware is taking place all over the area. Then there’s Pilgrim, a devout from the city of Azra, only he’s trying to build a new Azra inside the badlands. Everything will collide in blood and steel.

This is the second half of the third season. I will have spoilers from the first half. Go watch it if you haven’t. I like the show. It’s a fun, and I think non-adapted show full of martial arts action. The world of the Badlands is imaginative and brutal.

When we left in the first half, Pilgrim just got the power of the gift as well as the ability to grant it to everyone. Now he is in full takeover mode. It’s his way or death.

Together, the other main characters must band together to save the Badlands from Pilgrim’s rule. It’s great to see the characters grow closer together as allies starting with Bajie and the Widow. It does help they have a few other problems to take care of that helps them bond. Sunny and the Widow also has some good scenes.

The rest of the season wraps up most of what’s going on with the plot. This season wasn’t meant to be the last one, so unfortunately, that means a final episode that sets up new stuff. I would really like more episodes.

The second half of season three is more violent with some great actions scenes. Pilgrim and Cressida goes into full conflict with the rest of the Badlands, and both of them are creepy and unsettling.

Season three has a different feel compared to the first two. This time, there’s all out war everywhere, and a threat big enough that the main characters must put aside past grievances to deal with it. Just having them interact with each other more is great. It’s unfortunate that this original show has ended. I would be up for more.

The Orville, Season Finale

A great science fiction show. The Orville actually isn’t leaning much on the humor anymore. It’s more serious now, but still with a comedy slant. The characters are more like regular coworkers rather than an elite space exploration force, but that’s fine. It’s the charming part of the show.

I think the ratio of character-based episodes to exploration-based episodes is off, though. There are a lot of character-based episodes in season two, and usually without a science B-Plot. While I do think the more low-key stories allowed the show to save budget for some great space battles later on, I did want more adventures.

I think that was what was missing in the second season, a sense of new things. Most of the stories are about things we partially knew about from season one. There is a plot on Xelayans. A lot of Moclan stuff. Some about Kaylons. Of course the Krill, too. I think there’s only one or two episodes about things not introduced in the first season. While it is cool making the universe a more continuous place, I did want to see more new stuff.

The show is still really fun, and the characters are great. So when I say there are a lot of character-based episodes, they are still fun to watch. The humor is much more like banter between friends now rather. It’s not as prominent, but still funny when it happens. A turn to more serious stories works out really well for The Orville.

Season two feels different from the first season, but the characters are still fun to be with. It’s a place you want to go hang out and be a part of. Except for all the times where they go into really dangerous situation.

Also, there’s a new character in season two, a new xelayan. Talla Keyali replaces Alara as the chief security officer, and I think she does a really good job. She is older and more certain, so she gives off a different feel. Also, her family is considered strange by other Xelayans since they are career military. That leaves her open to other plots rather than how strange it is for one of them to be in the military.

Really hoping for more The Orville!

Gotham, Series Finale

The final season of Gotham, a most fun and ridiculous show. It started off trying to be a more realistic version of what Gotham was like before Batman. It was all crime lords and police. Then season two came along and they decided not to try to be a prequel that much. The writers changed things up and made their own version of Batman instead. That’s when things got fun. Each season after that, they just ramped things up more with Gordon dealing with a bunch of weirdos he has no patience for. The acting became hammier.

I really liked the shows take on the characters. I wasn’t sure how it would work making Penguin and Riddler main characters as it meant they couldn’t truly be stopped, but they kept up being entertaining all the way, even becoming more entertaining as they got more ridiculous. Barbara became a really fun character, too. Bullock was always fun. I think Lee was a bit strange in the last season as it seemed most of what happened to her in season 4 was forgotten, but I do like her character. Bruce and Selina are great to see. And Alfred is pretty cool. Lucius is alright, too.

Season five is the final season, and it tells the story of a Gotham up off from the mainland. They have to fight to survive as gangs rule the streets and super villains are running amok. This time, all of the main characters get to work together as there is someone else messing with Gotham, and everyone cares about the city. The dynamics are great between the main characters.

A lot of old characters come back for a bit of fun, too. Hugo Strange is back. Poison Ivy pops up. Tetch comes back. With the city gone to crap, everyone is trying to get a piece of it, and Jim has his work cut out to restore order and convince the federal government to help.

The atmosphere of the show is great as ever, and the presentation of the city is a gloomy grand feel. The season is shorter than the rest, but it was enough to tell a good story about trying to restore order. Though I think it was rushed towards the end. I think they added two episodes to the show after finishing primary filming, so the two extra episodes couldn’t be used to flesh out the story arc. I did enjoy the two, though, since they slowed down the plot a bit and gave time to the side characters to shine.

The final episode was a fun sendoff for the show. It takes place ten years later when Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham after a long trip. Things start getting crazy again. I think it is sad that the actor for Selina didn’t get to be in it as she was replaced by an older actor, but the older Selina did a fine job. It was a decent ending for the show, and we know what happens next with the era of Batman. Also, Penguin and Riddler were delightful in the last episode.

Farewell to Gotham. A great, moody show full of ridiculousness.

Avengers: Endgame

The last movie of the Infinity Stones story. Thanos has won in the previous film. Now, our heroes need to pick up half of the pieces and try to fit it back together into a whole world. Whatever it takes!

I will have a spoiler section, which might be longer than the non-spoiler section since there’s a lot going on in the film that can be considered spoiler-y. So look for that later. As for my non-spoiler thoughts, this movie is fantastic. It is a worthy culmination of everything started in the first Iron Man. The characters are all great. The interactions are fun as always. The action scenes are packed with flashiness. This movie has all the best parts of the Marvel Cinematic Universe style and more.

There is so many amazing scenes in this film. It is indulging in a lot of memories from what happens previously, but it has earned them, and the scenes fit in really well with what was going on. Thanos just as great here. Our heroes are even better since they’ve lost previously. Now they’re all galvanized to do even better.

Endgame is a great finish to what the Marvel Cinematic Universe has built. Go see it!

Now for some spoiler thoughts. There won’t be too heavy spoilers, but that might also be subjective.

I said it earlier, but the character dynamics are great. They brought back things that happened before. Natasha and Clint have some great scenes together. I also liked how even after the end of half the world, Tony and Steve still had to work at being companions again. Tony and Pepper also have some good scenes together. The movie knows how to pair or group of characters for great moments.

One character I really liked was Thor. He’s just so sad here. Having him gain back confidence was great, and I actually really like his new look once armored up.

Captain Marvel actually wasn’t in the movie much. She mostly shows up for the big action scenes while leaving all of the setup work to other characters. I would have liked to see her integrated more, actually, since as is, she’s just there to punch stuff. Though I can understand why she’s not as included since she’s still really powerful compared to most other characters.

What I did like was while the original six avengers took center stage, side characters like Scott and Nebula are still pretty important. Rocket and Rhode less so, but they still have their moments.

This movie is fun with lots of spectacle and characters. It ends the Infinite Stones story grandly.

Spider-Man, Into the Spider-Verse

It’s not just Spider-Man, but also Spider-Man, and Spider-Woman, and Spider-Man Noir, and robotic mecha spider, and Spider-Ham! Into the Spider-Verse is a dimension collapsing fun time where various versions of Spider-Man must save the world before everything disappears. Yet, the movie isn’t about something as grand as world conquest or destruction. The movie is more grounded than that.

Into the Spider-Verse is a strange concept movie that works out wonderfully. It’s fun, bright, full of action. The movie also brings out great emotional and quiet scenes. It does the serious parts well, and the two tones meshes together well.

Also, this movie looks amazing. It has an old style comic-book look to certain scenes, and the animation is a bit stilted making it look like a series of quick frames. The style works really well for the movie and they aren’t afraid of being an animated comic-book, such as putting in word boxes and writing out sound effects. It is bright and colorful, and the dimensional parts of the movie look extra trippy.

The main Spider-Man for this film is Miles Morales. It is his story and how he becomes a hero. To help him, there’s an alternate dimension Peter B. Parker. Peter, here, is old and cynical while Miles and young and scared. Both of them are fantastic in the movie. The other Spider-Heroes don’t have as much of a focus, but they get enough time to develop a little and gets a small arc.

The villain is Kingpin, and he’s great. He’s the one building a machine to tear through dimensions, but his motivation is different than power. The guy is still a villain through and through. The reasons he has for this particular act adds some humanity to him. Really, he doesn’t even care about Spider-Man here but has to because Spider-Man is opposing his machine.

The secondary villains are good. I think Prowler could have used a bit of backstory. We don’t know why any of them are working for Kingpin, but Prowler should have something more given on him.

I like the little twists to Mile’s dimension to make it different from others, such as instead of having the NYPD, they have the PDNY. It’s small, but it makes the world feel like its own.

Spider-Man, Into the Spider-Verse is colorful and stylish with great characters. The action is fun, and the heart of the movie is touching. And there are lots of jokes and references to other Spider-Man media, too.

Shazam!

Shazam! is a fun superhero movie. It captures the feeling of a kid gaining superpowers great. Not just superpowers, but also have a super form of a buff adult male. Billy Batson has the powers to turn into Shazam, but he keeps his young outlook on things. It gives Shazam a different feel to other superheroes. He has powers, has no idea how to fully use them, but wants to show off. Then he has to deal with his first super villain.

The characters in Shazam are all great. Billy is a foster kid that is always running away and trying to find his birth mother. He gets placed into a foster home, and they’re all really nice people. Of course, Billy doesn’t want that family, he wants his other. It leads to friction at the beginning, but the growth over the movie is done well. The children are all great at their parts. The youngest is adorable.

As the hero Shazam, Billy does feel like a different character. He’s much more outgoing and happy as Shazam. I can see how being a buff super human will brighten up anybodies day.

Then there’s the villain of the film, Thaddeus. He is dark, scary and a legitimate threat. He doesn’t play around. His scenes always has an anxious undertone to them. Once Shazam and Thaddeus meet, the movie shifts into darker tones. But it still manages to keep some fun parts, never getting too grim.

The parts I really enjoyed were just Shazam and his foster brother, Freddie, learning about powers and goofing off. Seeing a superhero do that kind of thing is really funny. The casual usage of super powers, the showing off, the ridiculous costume, it makes for great scenes of joy.

Perhaps the ending sequence drags on a bit too long. But there were lots of interesting things to see, such as the wizard’s home. The effects were good in the movie. They didn’t need too much of that. There is no giant, world-ending portals, but there are lots of monsters around.

Shazam is a fun movie in the DC Cinematic Universe. It brings the joy of being a superhero to a fourteen year old child. He must learn that with great power, comes other jerks wanting that power, and there are things worth fighting fore. Watching Billy grow, not just as a hero, but growing closer to his family is a joy. The villain is truly menacing, as well. It all comes together into a solid and fun superhero film.