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.

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Bright

Netflix’s most advertised movie, as of the writing of this post. Bright is part fantasy, part modern. There used to be a dark lord, but he’s been defeated. Now, humans, elves, orcs and other fantasy people all live in the modern world, as it is in the real world. That means the movie takes place in Los Angeles. Their history is some strange blend of what happened with the magical races and what happened in the real world. For instance, the Alamo still occured and the Illuminati was wiped out.

I found the movie a lot of fun with cool characters, nice designs, and some interesting blend of settings. Some things are super obvious in the movie, such as the messages on social issues, but there’s still a lot of subtler parts to the film, too.

Bright, as in the title of the movie, refers to anyone that can use magic wands. Normal people that touch wands with their bare hands will just explode into dust, but Brights can use their full power and survive. Two cops, a human, Ward, and the Orc diversity hire, Jakoby, stumble across a wand and must keep it from falling into the wrong hands.

The plot is standard fantasy stuff, but putting it in a modern world with guns and stuff just makes it fun again. The two cops have a really rough night as they try to keep the wand away from everyone, including the really dangerous original owners. They butt heads a lot along the way, however it’s always great to see them come together. Ward and Jakoby play off each other great, and I always enjoyed the two of them together.

There is a third main character, Tikkah. She’s an elf on the run, but I feel overall, she’s less important than the two cops. Yeah, she has her moments, but for the most part, it’s all them. Later on in the movie, she gets some better scenes.

I feel the plot can be a bit too busy, even with just three main characters. They do a lot of stuff for just one night and go through a lot of people trying to get the wand. I think cutting down on things by one would make a smoother movie.

The movie doesn’t go into the world history much, but I had a lot of fun with what was presented. I am always up for world-building, but I didn’t find myself questioning why things were the same except for the parts that were different. I think it works and adds to the feel and tone of the movie. It allowed for a more compact experience rather than having to explain everything. And they are getting a sequel, so maybe more world-building stuff can go in there.

I had a lot of fun going through the movie with some interesting to watch characters. The side characters are all pretty cool, too. I want to know more about the races and the world, but I didn’t exactly miss it while watching the movie. It works as a fun modern fantasy film.

Seventh Son

Hmm, this movie. When I first saw the trailers for it, I was not that enthused. Now that I’ve seen it, I am still that way. I don’t think I have a lot to say about this movie, so this post will be a bit shorter.

Seventh Son is about an order of people known as Spooks. They handle the creatures of the dark that plague humanity. But of course nowadays, the order is down to one old master and his apprentice. The old master is a crochety guy while the apprentice is a more idealistic sort. They must fight an evil witch that wants to destroy the land.

I hear this is based on a book series. I have not read it. The movie, though, feels really paint by the numbers. Of course there’s a good witch thrown in there and some monsters that really have nothing to do with the story.

It sounds pretty generic, right? The characters aren’t particularly interesting either. I’m only vested in the story as much as I don’t want to see towns destroyed. But I don’t really care about the heroes beyond that. It’s not that they’re unlikeable. They’re just kinda around.

There are a few bright moments of interaction such as between the main witch and her sister, or some combination of Master Gregory, Tom and Tusk, but they’re not frequent enough to really make them enjoyable.

I don’t know. As far as fantasy movies go, the Seventh Son is not magical enough in terms of its characters. Oh well.

Pan

Pan, the story before he became Peter Pan in Neverland. He’s even friends with James Hook! Best friends, even. Sorry, other boy that I forgot the name of. Nivy? Something like that.

This movie focuses a lot on visuals, even to the point where some things just don’t feel like Neverland. What’s with the floating spheres of water with fish and alligators swimming in them? They look rad, but it’s just there to try and add to the magic of the place. Then there’s Blackbeard’s mining operation. It also looks amazing.

The movie looks pretty good with wild and varied scenes. The plot is just kinda there. Blackbeard wants fairy powder to stay young, so he wants to find the hidden Fairy Kingdom. Peter has an arc about believing in himself and flying. Then there are some scenes with the tribal people that look like it comes straight outta Hook.

The movie mainly presents a fantastical island with a simple story throughout. Hook is a lovable Han Solo type of character. Tigerlily is the serious tribal girl that’s always focused. And Peter is the uncertain hero of the story.

It really comes off as kind of a generic fantasy story about taking down the big bad plundering pirate. Still, I like Blackbeard. He was just hamming it up all movie long. Straight from the introduction, the man was a huge presence.

And the twist of the movie is that Hook and Peter remain friends! No clash of ideas, no whatever it was to turn them into enemies.

Hmm, I don’t have a lot more to say about the movie, actually. I enjoyed watching it. The visuals excited me, but the story prospects didn’t.

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Wow, it’s been six years since Alice in Wonderland. I am pretty suprised they decided to make a sequel after all that time. I am thinking perhaps too much time as passed for just a straight sequel. It’s also pretty great that all the major characters from the first movie show up in the second movie, even the people in the regular world. Note that I might be wrong. I don’t remember the first movie since I saw it SIX years ago.

I will say this straight out, I enjoyed this movie more than the first one. And I enjoyed the movie overall. The first movie, character’s don’t feel fully realized. They spent much more time exploring the world, but none really digging into characters. And since they gave names to people like the Hatter, White Queen and Red Queen, they obviously wanted them to be treated as more than set pieces.

This movie, thanks to time travel, Alice gets to see a lot of major events that happene in those character’s lives. For a dream world, it’s not too important. When the movie portrays the Underland as a real place with real problems, I appreciate having a deeper look into the past of the characters.

The world is still colorful and vibrant. It’s suitably wacky while still being more toned down from a full dreamscape. Time, as in a person that is the personification of Time, is a new original addition to the movie. He’s played by Sacha Baron Cohen, and he’s fantastic. His castle is awesome. His clockwork minions are alright. And Time himself is really great and fits into the movie world.

I enjoyed this film more due to a greater focus on the characters. The time traveling works well. No headscratching paradoxes around, really. It’s about as solid time traveling can be.

Time for more spoilery stuff.

Time, while he’s played up to be the bad guy, is actually the good guy. He’s the one trying to stop people from meddling around in the past and causing the collapse of time as Underland knows it. I mean, a lot of people are really horrible to him for their own selfish reasons. Time also has some great effects going through him all throughout. I like the way irises blink at times.

My favorite parts of the movie has got to be the White Queen and Red Queen’s childhood. It really has some nice development for both of them. You get to see how their feud first began, and why the Red Queen has a giant head.

The regular world stuff, I could leave it, really. I mean, I know it’s important to show how Alice has grown, and it doesn’t drag on for too long, so that’s fine.

I liked the movie. It’s whismsical with a nice clockwork antagonist that’s just doing his job. You get to know the other characters more, too, and that rounds out the world more.

Garm Wars: The Last Druid

I caught this movie when it showed up on the Television. I had no idea what it was. Just decided to go in and watch it. Really. I had zero idea what it was about other than the title.

This movie. It’s strange, to say the least, and not in a quirky way. Really, it feels like an anime or video game brought to live action, but as far as I know, it’s an original story. The movie is directed by Mamoru Oshii, who also did Ghost in the Shell.

There are eight tribes of Garms in the world that are unable to create new life. That’s why they use cloning technology to perpetuate their wars for Garm tribe supremacy. This only occurs after their creator leaves and all of the Druids die off. From the title, you already know there’s going to be another druid, though the druid character oddly sits on the sidelines for pretty much the whole movie.

The visuals are pretty good, though also really CGI. The colors for the film are just so muted. It was actually straining for me to watch it at times because things wash together so much. The plot pretty much drops you into the last days of the war. They catch you up to speed by name dropping all eight tribes. It’s like the movie knew viewers would be confused, so the first time important characters come up, they get nameplate introductions. Only the beginning still a bit confusing on the first viewing, and I didn’t really feel like watching it a second time.

The movie is really stylish, but that’s about it. The world never really finds its footing in the rather short film. I never cared why they were fighting. And real people don’t do stylish action scenes as well, so they didn’t have that either. There seems to be no normal people in the world. Just a bunch of Garms fighting and the main characters wondering why things are the way they are.

With only a hurried introduction, the movie more quieter times that gives some more character motivations.

Some spoilers for the movie follow. Just vague things, no specifics.

Then comes the last act, which I think is act 4? Yes, the movie divides itself into acts. Stuff gets super crazy and it all ends on massive cliffhanger. Pun intended for those that have seen the movie. It really makes the entire journey just feel not worth it.

This movie is just strange. It plays out like it expects you to know a lot of backstory material, only I don’t think there actually is any backstory material around. It’s trying to be stylish but real people can’t do that as well as animated people, not in the physics defying anime way. The the cliffhanger makes the journey feel not worth. It’s a pretty weird piece of film that would have benefitted greatly by giving viewers a reason to care about anything that’s going on.

Once Upon A Time, Season Finale

Another magical season of Once Upon a Time has come and gone. Magical being there is a lot of magic in this show, a lot of it comes out to have a convenient out for the characters and then is never used again. Now I don’t mind that as much, since I view this show more as about characters rather than focusing on them trying to face unreasonable evils. I really like how the main heroes can have conversations with the arc villains.

So magic really is just a tool that the writers use when they need something to happen. It could be woven in better, but that’s not the main reason why I watch this show. I watch for Regina. And now, add in some Zelena.

I find this season about the same as the previous one, so take that how you will. There will be spoilers in here for most of the season. Go catch up on demand if you haven’t.

The plot starts with Camelot and more curses! Now the character’s can’t remember and there’s a ┬ánew curse over the Town. To free Emma from the Dark One, the main characters must travel to Camelot and find Merlin, the only one that can cleave Emma from the curse of the Dark One.

While I enjoyed most of it, the plot sort of just fizzles away towards the end. Merlin, who was built up to be a super big deal the previous season, doesn’t feel more impressive than any other magic user. It never feels like it has the proper conclusion before everyone got whisked away to the next adventure.

That’s kind of a problem that continues on from last season. We didn’t get proper closure to the Lily storyline either. I think it’s due to real life commitments with the actress, but it’s still disappointing. The Camelot ending feels much the same way. They lock up Arthur, bugger off to the underworld and that was it. I would have been so happy if when they returned, Arthur had turned Storybrooke into New Camelot. I did enjoy their take on Arthur, though.

The second half of the season brings back all of the old characters that died. It’s actually really fun. Though in a weird way, some people’s final goodbyes felt a bit weak when you see them in flashbacks later. It’s like even if a character dies in the present, they’ll still be around for flashbacks later on.

Hades, while taking visual cues from the Disney version, is more of a businessman-like guy. He hides his true motivations well while being a smooth salesman. He was alright, though I don’t think I found him as interesting.

Now then, onto the finale. There will be spoilers for the finale here, so go watch it.

Again with the super convenient magic! And this time, it’s magic to destroy magic! And then magic to bring back magic! Like, whoa. The plot with Snow, Charming, Hook and Zelena was the more interesting part of the finale for me. It brought about a sense of wonder in the form of a new world and strange new characters.

I would be up for more episodes about their adventures in the strange new world. But budgets. So they took the characters in the new world and plonked them down on Storybrooke. Still, that sets up a lot of potential fun for the next season. I’m down for that.

And it seems that Regina will be getting a potentially interesting storyline. Sounds good.