Storks

Aww, this movie is adorable. And I really enjoyed it overall. They take the concept of storks doing deliveries, updates it for modern times and then runs with it. And by update, I don’t mean every stork is now a wisecracking meme machine. I mean like their business model. Babies are too much trouble. Deliver people’s packages instead with ruthless efficiency for maximum profits!

The film is about Junior, the stork most likely to be promoted to the next boss, and Tulip a human. Tulip was never delivered because they lost the address to her home, so she worked at the stork shipping center until she was 18 and could be legally kicked out. They accidentally create a new baby to deliver and need to do so in secret, otherwise Junior would lose out on his chance at being the boss.

What follows is a lot of zany adventures with an adorable baby. Junior and Tulip learn to work together and even like each other. Meanwhile, they are tailed by a pidgeon named Toady. Toady’s great in his own, really strange way. I’m not sure what exactly it is about him, but I really like his character.

And the wolves are also hilarious. They are a great part of the film.

The film hits all of the usual plot beats. The main characters start out not liking each other. They like each other. Something happens and then they don’t like each other again. But the film has a fun world, the characters are really animated and great to watch. The baby they’re delivering is a fun character, too. The emotional parts are just enough. It’s not on the level of animated greats, but it doesn’t fall flat, either.

Overall, this movie is fun, but it doesn’t push any boundaries of children’s film. Everything comes together really well, though. The different pieces of the film just fit together. I laughed several times during Storks.

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Blade Runner 2049

This movie is the sequel to a classic science fiction film. The world is kinda crappy, kinda cool, like most movies about the future. Human’s have built super workers known as replicants. They’re made to be obedient and are much stronger than normal. They do all of the off-world work, where rich people are. The planet itself has mostly turned bad.

The Blade Runners are specialized police that hunt down rogue replicants, especially the older models that are not absolutely obedient. And in this movie, our main blade runner, K, makes a discovery about replicants that change the way people will see them.

I don’t think I’ll talk about the plot that much. It’s interesting, I feel, but less nuanced than the first movie. The plot also takes a long time to go places. This movie is long, and slow. Does it need to be that long? Nope. However, I was also engaged the entire time and always looked forwards to what’s going to happen next.

Also, this movie isn’t a action packed. There are a few scenes, but overall, it’s mostly talking and going places. The characters are all really intereting, but I hope you like Ryan Gosling. He plays K, the main character, and he is pretty much in every scene. Still, he plays his part well, and I really enjoyed watching him do his work.

The other characters are all interesting and great to watch as well. Joi is just to sweet and adorable. Luv has a great presence despite only working for the head of the replicant-making company. The other characters K meets along his investigation are all pretty interesting, despite only appearing for a short while. The movie knows how to make an impact with characters. I won’t talk about all of them as some of them are great to experience, but they are all engaging to watch and well-acted.

The plot is interesting and moves along at a slower pace. Things are tied together with wonderful shots of the world. It’s not always pretty, but it is gorgeous and amazing. This movie felt like it was taking me on a journey, even though the setting takes place around the same area most of the time. Unlike some movies that makes things too busy, loud or confusion, Blade Runner 2049 has clear shots. Most every shot is showing off something cool or amazing, but it doesn’t feel crowded. The shots are focused and crisp.

Blade Runner 2049 is really long and slow, but I enjoyed my time there. If you want an action science fiction movie, this is not it. There is some philosphical stuff, but the first movie had less clear heroes and villains. In this film, it’s pretty clear which side you’re supposed to root for.

The great scenery and characters make this film a joy to watch. The acting is great. The investigation is a good reason for K to go to all of these wonderful places. Still, it’s really long. I don’t know what I would want to cut out or make shorter. If they cut some scenes out without me ever seeing them, I doubt I would notice. But I did see them, and they’re all cool.

Blame!

A wild cyberpunk ride in a worrying future. Blame! is so sci-fi, and I really enjoy it. The world is crap, of course. Actually, the world is gone. The movie takes place on a megastructure city. It expanded wildly when the people that could control the city mysteriously died off. All of the automated parts just kept on going, and that means building and keeping security. Unfortunately, keeping security means killing people.

The structures shown is grand in scale and even then, they don’t fit on the screen. They capture just how large the city is compared to the people living inside. I haven’t read the manga the movie is based on, I do know that it’s quite different. The main characters here are the electro-fishers, a group of people just trying to survive. Zuru is the main electro-fisher we follow. She meets Killy, a super-powerful and quiet man that wants to try and restore control of the city. That’s when things kick off, where the electro-fishers help Killy on his goal.

The movie has fast-paced action scenes, but there is only a few of them. Most of the time, it’s focused on the world. The characters are just there to help explain the world and the city. The characterization is pretty subtle. Killy barely talks and most characters don’t show overt changes. But they do grow over the course of the movie.

The movie has some great mixture of 3D CG and animation. I think. I’m not an expert on the subject. But it does look great and sci-fi. The tone is morose throughout the movie, but the characters don’t feel depressing. It strikes a good balance between slow, quiet scenes and character actions.

Blame! tells a simple part of a much larger and more complex story. For one movie in the world, it works really well and is engaging all the way through. The scenes are well-crafted and the characters are interesting to watch. For those that like science fiction, Blame! is fantastic. For other people, watch it for a slow experience is a strange, terrifying world.

Castlevania

This series is too short. Far too short. It’s more like a prologue to a cool story that’s about to happen. I do hear that Castlevania is getting a longer season 2, so that’s great, but season 1 is really just an introduction to what’s going on.

I have not played the Castlevania games, so I don’t know how accurate this is to that, but the show is fun and well-animated. The main character is Trevor Belmont, and he doesn’t even appear until the end of episode 1. So that tells you how much of an introduction this is.

Castlevania starts off with Dracula and why he’s destroying the world. The most of the show is Trever not wanting to deal with Dracula even though the Belmonts are famed monster hunters. He does go through some nice development from a guy that just wants to drink to someone that really helps out. Along the way, he gains allies as well as fights against a corrupt church.

One of the antagonists for the first season is the church. They don’t show up much, but there’s so much smug to them. So much. It’s presented well here. And there are good church members, too. Just the boss of the region has turned things bad.

I watched this in English, and I thought the voices were alright. At times, they did talk a bit fast and quiet. They need to enunciate more and speak up. But the characters were all done well.

Consider Castlevania season 1 a teaser into what’s coming next. It tells the story of Trever going back to kicking monster ass and gaining allies along the way. It has some great action in the last episode and hopefully more to come in season 2.

Inhumans, Season Premiere

So, the much talked about Inhumans. Most of the talk is bad. But hey, it’s on, so let’s see how it goes! I guess this will be a spoiler-filled review for the first two episodes in that I’ll talk freely about events that happened.

So, the opening. Triton looks like that handsome Squidward image. It just looks so silly. He looks nothing like his comic-book self. Most of the characters look rather like rubber-forhead alien type makeups. And the costuming looks bland to bad as well. The action during that part was alright, I guess. Nothing stands out. Somehow, I actually liked the inhuman Triton was trying to save more than most other major characters in the show.

After that, we jump to Attilan, the hidden Inhuman city on the moon. The view of the city looks pretty cool, actually. Maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention, but I wanted a clearer shot of it. So I can tell where the palace is in relation to the lower caste center and whatever else is in there. But I think the sets were done well and it looks pretty fancy.

The costumes, on the other hand, were not. Most of the main characters have pretty silly-looking clothes, Medusa especially. Her dress is mostly one tone and the fabric looks cheap. Her hair was also not as impressive as it could be due to a TV budget and effects. Probably due to the budget, the bad guy decided to cut off her hair. It was the most ridiculous scene of the two episodes. There was ridiculous sad music and slow motion, and Medusa’s super hair could be removed by a simple electric razor. Maybe I would have taken it more seriously if I hadn’t just met the character and saw the hair in use twice.

Most of the characters have rather bland acting and they don’t interact with each other well. They’re supposed to be the royal family, but they feel more like coworkers, even during private times. Crystal and Medusa are supposed to be sisters, yet I’ve seen no sisterly actions between the two of them before things start going bad.

The fight scenes are pretty bad. Too choppy and hard to follow.

I did like Blackbolt and Maximus. The two of them felt interesting to watch. Maximus is the unpowered brother to the King. So of course he wants power and leads a revolt. Blackbolt is the king and doesn’t talk because his power is his voice, and it’s really strong. I enjoyed all of his scenes and don’t mind his sign language communication. And I like his facial expression only means of communicating with people that don’t understand his sign language. The two of them are pretty fun.

What wasn’t needed were flashbacks. They were fast, but I also felt they added nothing. In the case of seeing Blackbolt’s powers, I think not showing their full effect would have been better. We get a hint that it’s from his voice when Blackbolt confronts Maximus. And then later on, we see a taste when Blackbolt gasps. That’s a great teaser for what he can do.

The rest of the episode separates the royal family with the chief of security, Gorgon, on the beach. Karnak, I don’t know his position, in the woods or something. Medusa with some tour group. Blackbolt in the city. Crystal in captivity back at Attilan. And Maximus trying to be the new king. I did not get enough of them together to care at all when they were separated.

That’s the problem. The characters didn’t endear themselves easily, and half of them are thrown into uninteresting situations. It doesn’t make me want to follow them, like Karnak wandering through the forest or Gorgon sitting on the beach. I think Crystal, Blackbolt and Medusa’s scenes were fine, and I really enjoyed Blackbolt’s. For Crystal, while I’m interested in her situation, the actress is rather bland.

I like Lockjaw a lot, but the lack of budget is apparent by how little they show people directly interacting with it. That kind of detail in CGI takes time to do, so they just offscreened it, and that’s disappointing.

There’s also some plot on Earth about scientists tracking things on the moon. No idea where that’s going, but I think the main female scientist will be the one to teach the royal family about how Earth works. It’s just a guess, so who knows.

Well, it’s eight episodes, I hear, so I’ll watch some more. But they need to get the main characters back together, and make them more likable. Fast.

The Last Witch Hunter

The Last Witch Hunter is a modern day fantasy film starring Vin Diesel as the last witch hunter. I’m not sure why he’s the last. The group that trained him could train some more. But he’s the last. He also happens to he immortal due to the curse of the witch queen.

It’s an alright movie with some nice special effects. But the action scenes are a bit lacking. I think, overall, that the film is just half-baked. There’s not enough development going on to anything other than Kaulder, the witch hunter. Everything else just kind of is and nothing further is given to develop it. And that’s a problem.

There could be a rich, wonderful world behind Kaulder, but we never learn about it. We get some glimpses, such as a witch bar. And we know that most witches prefer to be left alone and won’t cause trouble. But that’s about it. What about the group Kaulder works for? What are they like? They don’t appear much at all.

And why was there an initial fight between people and witches? I mean, there’s the standard answer that people just don’t like them because they do dark magic, but it’s never brought up. The witch queen is just the witch queen and she doesn’t like that people are doing. That’s why they had to kill her.

Without much focus on the world, everything of interest lays on the shoulder of Kaulder. I will say he’s a fine main character. He has that Vin Diesel badass thing while also being kind and a lot more reasonable than most other characters in the film. It’s not enough to carry the entire film, though, but he works.

This is another fantasy film that could be better. I want something great to fulfill my enjoyment of fantasy. And I’m talking full magical fantasy, not some low-magic thing.