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.

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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.

Captain Marvel

The penultimate film before Avengers: Endgame. This film introduces the most powerful hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, yet, Captain Marvel. She is high-flying, photon-blasting badass. That is part of the problem I have with the film. Overall, this movie is fun with great characters all around. We get to see a young Nick Fury. And a young Coulson! Coulson is around! Oh yeah, the movie takes place around 1995.

Overall, this film feels like the other Marvel Films. A solid plot, fun characters and quips. The enemy this time are the skrulls, a race of shapeshifters. They don’t play that for a lot of drama, though. The shapeshifting is mostly used for infiltration rather than messing with people. They were fun to see on screen and have fun scenes with the main heroes.

The film starts a bit rough, but once Captain Marvel arrives on Earth, things get smoother and better. She starts opening up rather than being annoyingly rebellious all the time and it helps out a lot, though I still have the problem with her character. My issue is that she really doesn’t need help at all throughout the film.

She is completely self-made. It makes for superficial scenes between her and other characters. She has the best connection with her former best friend, Maria, but even Maria doesn’t have much influence. For comparison, Wonder Woman really changes her outlook based on what she’s learned and experienced, thanks in no small part to Steve Trevor. Captain Marvel does not change from any external forces. It leads to her feeling a like a static character. I think she doesn’t even change over the film. She just returns back to who she was before losing her memory.

A second, smaller problem is that Captain Marvel feels really overpowered. Now, I think the writers of the Marvel Cinematic Universe can easily deal with that. They are great at taking people of different power levels and still making everyone contribute. I just wonder where she will go in the future?

As for the other characters, Nick Fury is great in this. He hasn’t become a super spy, yet, but he still knows what to do most of the time. And it’s great seeing him as a main character in the field rather than the commander type. Disney’s de-aging technology is turning out great.

Maria is a great character. She really gets Captain Marvel to open up, and she’s a great pilot as well.

Yon Rogg, the guy that taught Captain Marvel how to fight, feels more like a functional character. He’s in the film to serve a purpose, but he doesn’t get to do that much. I don’t think he has enough scenes with Captain Marvel. They get split up pretty early on. You do get a good sense of how they view each, but he comes off as a bit of a boring character. Though that might change in future movies.

The other members of the Star Force seem to mainly just be there. They have around Howling Commandos level of characterization.

Captain Marvel is a fun film that mostly sticks to what Marvel knows best. The character of Captain Marvel could use some more external pushes, though. The skrulls are also really fun characters. I really enjoyed their presence in the film, and I’m glad they didn’t do that shapeshifter thing where the guy is fighting their clone, and a third guy needs to figure out which one is real.

The Good Dinosaur

Hmm, The Good Dinosaur is a movie about what might happen if the dinosuars never went extinct. They go on to become the dominant species! There’s a lot I enjoy about the film, but there’s also not a lot that I can say makes it great. It’s simply good, like the title states.

The plot is a simple one about growing up, but with dinosaurs. Now I am a fan of taking cliched plots and redoing them in a fun setting. And this one works. This is about a farming child (dinosaur) learning to find his own way since he’s scrawnier than the other members of his family. Of course he has to do it without guidance, so he gets lost down the river leading to a huge adventure.

Oh, this is also an animal bonding movie, but in this case, the animal is a cavechild. It works. The movie works. So it’s about a lost dinosaur named Arlo, and his pet cavechild, Spot, trying to find their way home. Both grow and change over the course of the film, but in predictable ways. It’s a simple, tried and true story with a new coat.

There are a few scenes that I really like in the film. The rancher dinosaur family is great. One scene in the end where it was like, reverse sky sharks really made me feel anxious. I’m talking like a sea of clouds up above and fins sticking downwards out of them. That shot is fantastic.

So, while I enjoyed The Good Dinosaur, it’s only something I would watch if it came on. I wouldn’t go seek it out. The world looks nice and there are interesting situations in there. We don’t get to see much of it, though. But I’m guessing there’s no dinosaur city or anything like that. Seems they are still at the nomadic/small settlement stage. It’s a good movie, but doesn’t stand out next to Pixar’s other offerings.

Inside Out

I have wanted to see this movie for so long. And finally, I have! This is Pixar’s Inside Out, a film about the emotions inside of you and how they help your life. I managed to avoid most information about this film, so I went in there with only the trailers to guide me. Oh, I did know about Bing Bong, but not his role or anything more than just he’s a character.

Inside Out is about Riley a young girl having to deal with a big move across the country, and the emotions that are trying to help her out. The five emotions are Joy, the leader of the group. Sadness, the one without a clear purpose. Anger, the one that helps Riley stick up for herself. Fear, the one that keeps Riley from hurting herself. And Disgust, the one that keeps Riley from making a fool of herself.

Oh, my console is probably ran by the Fear guy most of the time with Sadness as the second in command.

But onto the movie. It is quite a mind trip. The world inside Riley’s mind is colorful and wild while still maintaining structure. The real world has a more muted tone, but it fits well. The five emotions are all fun characters to watch. Joy and Sadness are the main ones and get the most development, but the other three are still important.

The movie is really well done with a plot that is serious and humorous. I teared up and cried at times. It got my sadness going.

The movie shows what happens when a young girl goes through a life-changing move to some other state. Things go wrong when Joy and Sadness gets taken out of the main control room. That leaves only three emotions to try and work Riley until Joy and Sadness can return. It’s not a wacky hijinks kind of control. Having only three emotions really hurts, not just Riley but the people trying to help her, too.

Meanwhile, Joy has to deal with Sadness, the emotion she likes the least. Joy feels Sadness doesn’t do anything for Riley while the others at least have a use. Of course the movie is partially about her learning that’s wrong.

What I like is that there’s no antagonist, not even the well-meaning kind. Everyone here is on the same side and just want’s what best for Riley.

Some spoiler thoughts for those that have yet to see this film. Though you should.

Oh man, Bing Bong. He is fantastic and a great addition to the movie. He represents something else in regards to a person’s mind and is an important part of it.

Inside Out is a really enjoyable film that I’m glad to have finally watched.

This movie makes me want a deeper look into the emotion command centers of other characters. It’s a fantastic place.