Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this movie. I knew it was by the guys from Lonely Island, and I kind of wanted a long movie based on those zany music antics. There was a good amount of antics, but it was different from their music videos. It’s more down to earth and plausible rather than quirky and weird.

Popstar tells the standard story of a guy that gets famous and then crashes. It stars Andy Samberg as Connor, who started with a band but went solo and took off in popularity. His former band members, Lawrence (Akiva Schaffer) and Owen (Jorma Taccone) are upset, of course. Lawrence goes his own way but, and I like this turn, Owen stays with Connor as his DJ. Owen is like the bridge that wants to reunite the band. He’s nice and takes a lot of unappreciation.

The movie isn’t too long, which is good. It told a fine story about the rise, fall and return of Connor. There’s no real surprises here, but the actors are fun to watch. They’re animated and get thrown into wild situations. And there are a lot of appearanced by musicians as themselves. It really makes the movie feel like a documentary on the greatest musician ever.

Popstar has some fun music in a similar style to their Lonely Island stuff. I really wanted more of that, but the end song was fun to watch. I sort of wanted the entire movie to be wackier, like Lonely Island, but it was probably made to be something more serious while still having a lot of humor.

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is a parody of those musical stories told with hints of that Lonely Island flair. The band members aren’t together enough during the movie, but it’s great when they are.

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Trolls

This is the animated childrens film released in 2016. And this movie is a childrens film through and through. Though instead of popular modern songs, they go for remixes of older songs. Yeah, it was the stuff I heard when I was a kid, so I actually really liked the music. And there is a decent amount of lewd humor thrown in.

But the movie is fun, bright, with a strange mixture of being super sweet and kinda dark. In the film, the trolls are magical beings that, when eaten, gives great happiness. Yes, when eating. And there are the bergens, who are incable of experiecing happiness unless they eat trolls.

Now, upon seeing the first few scenes, I had a prediction for how the movie was going to play out, and it did. That isn’t a bad thing, though. I really liked the way the movie goes. And the journey along the way was fun and sparkle-filled. I will say that I did not expect a Cinderella plot, but it weaves in really nicely.

Poppy, our main character, is outgoing in the face of all adversity. Branch, our other main character, is cynical at all times. And they are great together. Poppy is skilled and smart, so she’s not just a naive princess. And Branch shows himself to be caring even in the beginning.

You feel for all of the major characters. They all have their vulnerable scenes, some better than others.

Trolls is a pretty fun film. Its fun, colorful and has lots of interesting characters. While yes, it can be predictable and is solidly a children’s film, it’s a pretty good one.

There are more things to go into in the spoilers section, so here we go.

The bergens. Just from how they’re introduced, I felt they wouldn’t be the bad guys. They’re just misunderstood. And some of my favorite parts involve Poppy getting to know Bridget, the bergen scullery maid.

My second favorite scene is just Poppy and Branche’s travel to Bergen town. It runs on all sorts of cartoon logic, but there’s just so many interesting things to see that I don’t care nothing makes sense.

Hair up!

The SpongeBob Movie, Sponge out of Water

Hmm, this came on one night on TV, and I was curious. I’m not a fan of the cartoon show. I’m not not a fan, either, I just haven’t seen it. So aside from all the memes, this is my first look at the world of Bikini Bottom. I remember seeing the trailers and thinking it would mostly be a CGI movie mixing SpongeBob with real people, but that’s not the case. I really enjoyed getting to see the cartoon world a lot.

The movie is fun, fast-paced and pretty irreverent. It’s just a movie for fun. Characters start and end the same, but I suppose that isn’t a bad thing. If I had seen the cartoon series, I might even describe it as just a huge episode.

The movie set things up well. I had no problem understanding what was going on and who was what. SpongeBob was fun to watch, and really, he’s the only one that gets strong character moments. The others are there for the jokes. Plankton also gets some nice scenes, though.

Hmm, it’s a cartoon with a simple plot that succeeds at what it wants to do, I think. I’ll have some minor spoilers about scenes I liked following. I enjoyed the film despite not watching the SpongeBob cartoon.

Alright, I really like the scene where SpongeBob and Plankton are traveling through time. That entire sequence was awesome for me from the music to the visuals to Bubbles. Wow. That scene is trippy to the max.

Next Gen

What I expected: Wall-e mixed with Flubber

Next Gen is an animated science fiction movie where robots are everywhere. And I mean everywhere. They’re even the dispoable ramen bowls that self make-themselves while advertising. And Mei, the main character, hates all of that. She is a young girl sorely missing human interaction. Her mother is a robot addict, and even school bullies outsource their bullying to the robots.

Then she meets, well, hmm, an experimental robot that’s not given a name. He has a project number, but that’s about it. He kicks off a change in Mei. First, he turns her more violent when she discovers he is full of weapons. Yes, the robot friend is armed to the teeth.

This movie is on Netflix, and I don’t know its official ESRB rating, but I would say it is pushing PG into PG-13. This movie can get quite violent at times, and Mei is a girl full of anger. When your mother spends more time with a robot buddy than you, it tends to cause issues.

The world is quite fun, showing off how everything is a robot. There are lots of jokes about it, and I like the feel. It does paint a picture where somehow, people still have things to do despite robots doing everything. I mean, kids are going to school for some reason. The main reason in film is to give Mei relatable kid problems.

The animation is great. Towards the end of the movie, there are several gorgeous shots. Mei and her robot friend both show a lot of touching moments. They work great together and really make the film fun to watch. Both of them grow throughout the film, though Mei especially. The just-activated robot turns out to be a great teacher and just what she needs. I like the problems Mei deals with is less relating to robots and just what happened to her family. Yet, the futuristic world still comes through at being important.

Next Gen is a fun science fiction movie with a lot of heart between the two main characters. It does get dark and serious, showing the issues a troubled girl gets into. It is on Netflix and is entertaining. The world is fun and the story is good.

Spoiler thoughts.

I did not expect the huge amount of weapons and actions scenes. Whoa. The main antagonist could be better, though. Though they are really creepy, I’ll give them that.

What I got: iRobot mixed with Gundam

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Okay, mild spoilers for something that happens in the first ten or so minutes of the movie. This movie is about time travel, suprisingly enough. Yeah, I didn’t get that from any of the trailers at all. But Jake wants to feel closer to his grandfather, so he goes to his grandfathers old group home. His granfather has been telling stories about the home and about all of the peculiar children that live there and the woman that runs it, Miss Peregrine.

And when I say peculiar, I mean all this children have some kind of ability, like X-men.

Of course it’s all true. And so, Jake gets drawn into a strange new world of time travel. It’s kind of confusing time travel, too. There are some stories that don’t make time travel so confusing. This one just rolls with it and hopes people don’t think about it that much. It just feels like a really convoluted way to hide the peculiar children.

I have not read the books, but I think it was that way in the books, too. Might as well keep it the same for the movie.

The movie is a bit slow paced. It takes a long while before we get to know why the peculiars all need to hide within a time loop. I do not mind that at all. I really liked the parts where Jake is just getting to known the children. There’s a lot of them, and they all get some cool or cute scenes to show off. I hear most of them are pretty different from the book, but I do like the movie versions. The group is a family, and that comes through over the first part of the film where they’re just living and getting along.

Miss Peregrine is a sharp figure that has a tight control on keeping the children safe. It’s also a prison of sorts, but there are dangers out in the world for the peculiar children.

The atmosphere of the movie is pretty nice. Miss Peregrine’s home is locked in a loop back in World War 2, and everything has that old feel charm without the horrors of war. Overall, the feel of the movie is engaging and really adds to it.

Once the action starts, things get weirder than before. The CGI could use some work, but the monsters are still really creepy. And Samuel L. Jackson is great in the film. He’s just so over the top in all instances, and it’s hilarious how he acts like minor things are personal affronts to his very being.

It is a peculiar movie that builds up a great atmosphere throughout. The pacing in the beginning is really slow. I enjoy it, but I can see it as being a bit too much consecutive moments of just building characters. Then the second part happens with all the danger and action. It still retains the feeling of the first half, which is good, but I felt it was weaker than the first part.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is enjoyable, especially for someone like me that enjoys a glance at people just living their strange life.

The Accountant

It’s like John Wick, but with an accountant! Alright, perhaps not as badass as John Wick. No one is. Still The Accountant strikes up a good tone and an interesting main character.

Christian Wolff, a total fake name, is an accountant. He has some sort of autism, which makes him socially awkward but also really great at certain things. His father, wanting to toughen him up, gives him all sorts of harsh training ever since he was a kid. It leaves him really skilled not but social at all.

As an adult, he works as an accountant since he’s great at numbers. He gets hired to check over the numbers of a company and he finds something weird. That’s when people start to die and everything goes wrong. Someone is trying to cover things up, and Christian Wolff can’t have that. He needs to finish things, and he also needs to protect his new friend, Dana.

Aside from the main character, the other characters all just come and go. They still feel important to the story, but it’s just not clear how until the end.┬áThe story bounces around a bit here and there. At first, I didn’t think the out of order sequence was necessary. A lot of things just seem to happen. Once everything is explained, though, it all makes sense and really adds to the movie. For the most part, the out of order parts were alright, but perhaps one scene too many.

I think having a more stable base would help the movie.

Once the action starts, however, I think the movie doesn’t live up to what it built. The fighting isn’t bad by any means, but I guess I had some ideas of how awesome it could be. As it is in the film, Christian Wolff is merely alright within the movie realm of legends.

The Accountant is a cool film that slowly builds up an atmosphere around our mysterious accountant. I think maybe not setting up how much of a badass the main character is would make parts of the film better. And then they could go into just what the accountant did to earn his reputation. Or maybe that’s what they did in the movie, but I already knew about things from the trailer, and thus, it colored my perception of the film. Oh well.

Mr. Peabody & Sherman

I know that this is based on a cartoon. I just have not seen it before. So I’ll be taking on the movie as a new viewer.

I like the premise of a dog adopting a boy. And what’s even more fun is how no one cares that this one dog called Mr Peabody can talk and is pretty much the smartest being on the planet. And it can’t even be excused to people just getting used to him as even when he time travels backwards, no one cares.

That’s right, Mr. Peabody has invented a time machine. And he uses it to teach his adoptive son, Sherman, about history. They have fun, wacky adventures with Mr. Peabody being awesome at getting out of any scrapes they get themselves into. But then comes a new adventure. Sherman has to go to school. And Sherman pretty much gets into trouble that results in a whole new set of time travel shenanigans.

Sherman gets into a fight with his classmate, Penny, and as a result, Mr. Peabody invites Penny and her parents over to try and smooth things over. Penny then gets into the time machine. The movie follows their series of events, perhaps even unfortunate events, as they try to get back home with a lot of things going wrong.

It’s fun and they don’t really gloss over the violent parts of history. Instead, they present it in a kid-friendly way that’s done really well. They go to several time periods, my favorite of which is the renaissance. That place is colorful and fun. In fact, all of the historical figures they meet are great.

And the relationship between Mr. Peabody and Sherman is really strong. They build it up over the course of the film where Mr. Peabody slowly stops being an intellectual all the time and becomes more caring.

I enjoyed Penny’s character. She starts out antagonistic to Sherman but after the time traveling starts, they become friends. It just happens really quick, too quick really. And out of the three main characters, she’s the one that’s the most useless. The movie is only called Mr. Peabody and Sherman, but Penny feels pretty much just there to fill a female character slot.

But the movie is fun with a lot of historical jokes and a great relationship between the two main characters. The ending is quite a blast, too.