Tag: Djimon Hounsou


Wham, bam, thank you maam, Shazam is crammed with ham, rams, and not giving a damn.

Since the DCEU has begun, it has looked very bleak. They have had great people to pick their movies apart to make fantastic trailers, and almost never lived up to them. The closest up to this point [coming from someone who will get around to seeing Aquaman…eventually] was Wonder Woman, which had an actual good story and visuals and felt great. Until the end where it decided it needed to go full DCEU with its final reveal/battle scene to end it pretty shitty.

But Shazam! No, they brought in Zachary Levi, and everyone knows that Levi is not serious. His face is too goofy for serious. He would need a beard for that. They are now going for a Superhero comedy. Marvel has those, and people like Marvel.

DC wants that Marvel money, damn it, so they are going to start with their former Captain Marvel himself.

And this time he´s also part Storm!

Billy Baston (Asher Angel) is your typical foster kid. He is mad at the world, he wants to find his real mom, and thinks it is easy to not care about the regular stuff in life, like school, homework, or bath time.

Long story short, Billy is found to be pure of heart by some ancient Wizard (Djimon Hounsou) and given some ancient Greek magical powers once he says the words Shazam! And he also becomes an adult (Zachary Levi), strong, and all of the basic super hero stuff.

His foster brother (Jack Dylan Grazer) also knows the truth about his new powers, and given his comic book knowledge, is there to help him through this change. Can they use these powers for good? Where are the villains?

It turns out the villain is Dr. Sivana (Mark Strong), who has a kid was given the power but failed the test. This made him lose his family and since then he has spent his life looking for them, gaining wealth and power in the real world. He wants the power for himself, at whatever cost.

And you know, Billy just wants to find his mom, and be liked, and not care about any of this responsibility. Oh golly.

Also starring Faithe Herman, Ian Chen, Marta Milans, Cooper Andrews, Grace Fulton, and Jovan Armand.

Got an adult body? Time to drink a lot of soda!

Shazam has a lot of heart and humor, things that seem to have been missing from the DCEU. And that extended universe has slowed, slowed down. I haven´t even seen Aquaman from last year, and Shazam is the only entry for 2019. The whole group of movies needs to rethink its existence and how to put out films that do not feel like crap on arrival (COA).

Levi is probably the perfect choice of kid in adult body and walks that line perfectly. It always brought a smile to my face and felt incredibly accurate.

The foster home was wonderful, and the sad scenes were the right level of sad. A lot of emotions in this movie.

And it still had some awkward scenes. I thought the entire intro with the kid future villain was awkward. The other dimension or whatever with the powers? It looked cheap and fake. The ending had some cool fan service and implications for the future, but also didn´t have a lot of high stakes.

Strong made an okay bad guy in this one, with the board room scene in particular being a great insight to evil.

DCEU needs to realize this was a good start in fixing its image. Not every film should be like Shazam, that would not make sense. But to balance the humor with the dark, to not just be a gross CGI fest, and all of that? Here is hoping 2020 and onward is better.

3 out of 4.

Captain Marvel

Here we are, the first “marvel” film of 2019, and maybe the last of them to be reviewed. Whoops.

Now technically, Spider-Man: Far From Home is a Sony movie. And maybe this will come out before Avengers: Endgame. It depends on if it finally breaks that damn record. I’m trying to hold out.

But let it be known, that damn it, I saw Captain Marvel opening weekend! I just didn’t write a lot in the spring and I am catching up. It’s not out of hate, or sexism, or anything like that. It is just I don’t want Disney to profit off of my reviews if I don’t get invited to see them early anymore.

Yes, this website is why Disney makes so much money. 
Kree good. Skrulls bad. That’s what Vers (Brie Larson) was taught. She is a warrior in the Kree kingdom, following the Supreme Intelligence (Annette Bening), trying to protect the galaxy and the universe. Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) is her mentor, and commander of their group of super soldiers. He looks out for her, but she is having problems unlocking her potential.

Either way, they know they need to stop the Skrulls. They can change shape and pretend to be other people! Anyone might be a Skrull, and it is important to have secret phrases to deal with the threat. Threats like Talos (Ben Mendelsohn), leader of the group of Skrulls and a threat to the Kree way of life, and other planets! They go to a planet, pretend to be the citizens, slowly take over, and boom, their planet.

This battle takes them all to planet Earth. It is important to note this is 12-13 years before the events of Iron Man, before Y2K wrecked house. And Vers, when she gets to Earth, is going to have even more memory problems than before, and has to work with local human security, like Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) pre-eye patch, in order to stop the Skrull threat and unlock her true potential.

Also starring Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Clark Gregg, Gemma Chan, Lashana Lynch, Algenis Perez Soto, and Rune Temte.

I don’t know why they’d want to shapeshift. They don’t like green? Elphaba-syndrome much? 
Captain Marvel is fun and entertaining while also introducing a lot of backstory into the MCU. I bet you never knew you wanted to know how Nick Fury lost his eye, but once that question is answered, you’ll never be the same.

Danvers is a great and strong as fuck character. It has been awhile since we got a character that seemed like they could destroy the world if they wanted to. She has powers comparable and potentially surpassing Thor, Hulk, and Dr. Strange, who I’d put as the biggest three in the MCU. Scarlet Witch should be higher, but they have more downplayed her actual abilities while talking them up, and odd choice. But Captain Marvel has the power and the talk. She will fuck up all the shit.

Like a lot of other recent solo movies, this one failed to feel like it did a lot different than the other previous 20 movies to warrant a higher grade. 3s are great, and better than the occasional 2 these MCU movies can make.

Again, more importantly, this adds the Skrulls to the MCU, which are going to allow some bigger huge storylines in the future, especially if they want to kill more superheroes and it be okay.

3 out of 4.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

No one knows how to Guy Ritchie like Guy Ritchie. He likes to go to the extremes, have some fast talkers, and go super British. But he has apparently mostly left his original line of work and decided to focus on remakes and cultural icons.

Sherlock Holmes, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and now his take on King Arthur.

Sure, I am excited, the knights of the round table are interesting, tons of lore, and tons of cool sorcery could be afoot. But I really just want some more of his original stories, more than anything. Hopefully this doesn’t use up more of his time with another franchise.

Honestly, this looks like he just swung his sword at a rock instead.

Uther Pendragon (Eric Bana) is more than a man with a badass name, he is the ruler of Camelot! And he is being attacked and raided by warlocks and mages. Uther is able to take out the threat, but his brother, Vortigern (Jude Law) betrays him and his family, summoning a demon to take the throne. But Pendragon’s baby son escapes, classic Moses manuver.

This son is found by prostitutes in another land and named Arthur (Charlie Hunnam). This is where he was born and raised, not knowing of his noble heritage. That’s right, he is from the STREETS. Now we have Guy Ritchie movie, loving those streets, even if they are over a thousand years ago.

Oh and uhh, then a lot of stuff happened with a sword, magic, wars, tons of fighting, and big group of friends.

Also starring Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Djimon Hounsou, Craig McGinlay, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Neil Maskell, Tom Wu, Annabelle Wallis, Freddie Fox, and Aidan Gillen.

Fight me
Arthur walking around, fists out, with that “fight me” look on his face. Classic Guy Ritchie.

Another fun confession time: My movie synopsis was quite short, yeah? It is like I have no fucking clue what happened during the movie, which is true. I don’t. First of all, the theater I was in had two issues: One, the bulb was almost dead, and two, something with the polarizer was wrong too, so the 3D screening I went to was incredibly dark. SUPER DARK. I watched a trailer after the film surprised at the darkness, wondering where the hell the white sky had gone in my viewing.

The darkness, and the overuse of CGI, seemingly terrible 3D, and ugly color scheme, put me straight to sleep. I didn’t sleep throughout the whole film, I woke up quite a lot. But every time I woke up, it still seemed uninteresting and I could not keep my eyes open. And that is terrible. I do know that a huge reason I passed out was thanks to the bad cameras, but I wonder how much of the story actually put me to sleep as well.

And I am never going probably go out of my way to see this movie again. Seeing it in theaters, I sat through trailers spent hours of my life on it. As a reviewer I have to watch a lot, so giving something a second or third viewing is usually restored to things that I actually like. Sure, when it is out on DVD, there is a chance. Maybe someone else will make me watch it with them.

But the experience did not work for me, and normally “slept through the whole thing” would be a 0, but I have to give it some benefit of doubt.

1 out of 4.

The Legend of Tarzan

The Legend of Tarzan came out in the coveted July 4th weekend, because…well, I don’t know why.

I guess generic action movies might make bank then. Well, it hit better than expected levels, given that it opened against The Purge: Election Year and The BFG, so there wasn’t a lot of real competition. It still failed to reach a positive number to break even given its extremely large budget and shit reviews.

And I avoided it because it just seemed extremely unappealing. It had that mostly-CGI lens behind it all, attempting to give a new retelling of an old story. It just made a lot of people shrug at its existence and ignoring it, not giving any fucks.

It is the sort of film that gives the bad name to summer blockbuster.

If we make it modern, we have to make it darker and edgier.

This takes place in Africa, during British colonial rule, specifically the Congo. Apparently the Belgians are close to bankruptcy, trying to bring roads and trains to the Congo, to get that sweet natural resource money. He sends down Léon Rom (Christoph Waltz) to secure the diamonds down there, but they are ambushed by a tribe, and the chieftain (Djimon Hounsou) will let him have the diamonds if they can bring him one man. You know. Tarzan

Turns out this story takes place after the normal Tarzan stories. Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgård) is now living in London with his wife, Jane (Margot Robbie). He finds out they want to send him down to the Congo to check on how things are going, as a sort of diplomatic trip, but Tarzan doesn’t want to go. Too dangerous. He is convinced by an American, George Washington Williams (Samuel L. Jackson), to go because he believes that the Belgians are abusing the Congo people as slaves in order to build developments, and Williams wants to find out.

Then of course eventually a raid happens, a trap! Jane is captured! Tarzan escapes with Williams! And they have to get her back, put a stop to the bad guys, and have some good old fashioned monkey fights.

Also featuring Jim Broadbent as the Prime Minister.

If I asked who represents Africa and who represents America here, would you know without context?

Reimagining a beloved character isn’t the worst thing ever. It can require creativity, but it always feels like a cheap story nonetheless. They are requiring the public to have certain thoughts and opinions on a subject so that they can be blown away. Reimagining so that a villain is a hero is usually shit. Reimagining in a modern context is usually lazy. But what about telling the story after the story? That can provide some interesting stories to discuss how things have changed and how the character continues their life in the world.

And theoretically, that is what this story is about. It could have led to amazing things! But you know what it led to? Tarzan, going back to the jungle, swinging on vines, fighting people, teaming up with apes, and standing shirtless rain or sun. What we got is a very standard Tarzan story, despit the premise of a different sort of Tarzan story.

And don’t worry. For those saying “Hey! It is different because we don’t see him growing up as a kid with the apes, learning to swing, meeting Jane for the first time!” Nope, we still get that. Because just in case you are unaware of Tarzan, they have flashbacks for us. Baby and young Tarzan. And meeting Jane. That makes this a regular Tarzan movie, plus some extra. You should definitely feel ripped off.

In addition to all of that, it looks terrible when they have to go full on CGI. The big fights with the apes. Swinging on the vines. Just background jungle scenes in general. It has a darker tone too.

I don’t want to compare this to The Legend of Hercules, because that film is definitely a far worse overall movie (and this one is at least coherent). But they are clearly going for the exact same market here, and that is probably the reason it has been so dumbed down and made so pointless.

The Legend of Tarzan is a waste of time, but not the worst thing in the world.

1 out of 4.

Seventh Son

The release of Seventh Son was overshadowed because it came out the same day as Jupiter Ascending, which is interesting. The later is a sci-fi/fantasy epic that was faced with delays and the release was moved back. The former? A fantasy epic that was faced with even more delays and production issues.

Production on this movie began in early 2012. The visual effects of the film was being done with Rhythm and Hues Studio, famous for getting best Visual Effects in the Oscars for Life Of Pi, while also filing for bankruptcy. Not a good time for that studio, tons of layoffs despite their impressive work.

So in 2013, Seventh Son was still in production and the company got a loan to help finish the movie. It was pushed back to October 2013 release. Then it was pushed back to January 2014 thanks to Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. breaking apart.

However, once Universal got the distribution rights end of 2013, they said nah, let’s wait til February 6, 2015. They didn’t give any fucks about the movie and figured they’d have no competition. Which again, is amusing that Jupiter Ascending came in and fucked up any chance of them actually making money.

Well, costume wise it looks like a nerds wet dream!

Seventh Son is a story about a witch and a witch hunter. Clearly star crossed lovers. The witch, Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore), is being all evil, and Master Gregory (Jeff Bridges), the Spook, wants to stop her. During a routine snatch and grab, they almost succeed too! But no, she escapes, and she kills his apprentice (Kit Harington).

So instead we get Tom Ward (Ben Barnes), who is the seventh son of a seventh son. That means something. It means a lot of fucking and babies. When the Spook showed up, he knew already he was leaving thanks to dreams, so he kissed his mom, Mam (Olivia Williams) good bye and went on his merry way.

Things get a bit more hairy when Tom also sees a girl about to be mobbed for being a witch. He had visions of her and him, so he saves her too. Her name is Alice (Alicia Vikander). That is nice.

What is not nice when she goes back home to her witch mom (Antje Traue) who is involved with Mother Malkin. Ah interesting.

Then some witch magic stuff happens and people get hurt, lies get said, and of course, even more magic stuff. Also with a John DeSantis and a Djimon Hounsou!

On the other hand, this image looks so uncool, Outkast wouldn’t even touch it.

First of all, I apologize for that last caption joke, it is terrible.

Second of all, I feel really really bad for Rhythm and Hues studio. They did amazing work with Life Of Pi, then they got shit on, then they had to make this piece of crap. I want to assume that the reason this movie is not visually pleasing to look at is because the studio had to lay off all of their workers and work on a very small budget. I hope so. Because the CGI and effects were anything but quality.

You know what it reminded me of? Dungeons and Dragons, the movie. That is a really mean comparison, technically. That movie was terribad. But they are both pricey fantasy films that wanted to reach for something greater, but instead fell down into Mediocre Valley, looking ugly to boot.

But good looks aren’t the only important thing to a film. Acting and plot! So dang important! This one has two people who have won Best Actor and Best Actress at the Oscars! Hot damn! They can’t save this story though. They don’t even attempt to save it.

Jeff Bridges is basically transforming into Nick Nolte. The last few movies with Bridges have been hard to understand. This movie was the worst, with the movie almost demanding you watch it in subtitles to understand a damn thing he says. Moore plays a caricature and a non-interesting villain, and so she too is completely forgettable.

The plot itself would be easier to follow if there was anything remotely exciting about this movie. A yawn fest, beginning to end. It is a shame Sci-Fi is getting such a revitalization in the film industry and fantasy films seem left to die in its wake. We had a good thing going on with the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but the disappointing Hobbit films and absolutely nothing else going on seems to mean it has to wait for the eventual Harry Potter reboot to be good again.

0 out of 4.

Furious 7


Nope. Too slow. Now you are just Furious 7. Look down. Look up again. You are Vin Diesel upset that Chuck Norris stole all of your internet jokes. Look at my hand. It is full of movies. THINK AGAIN. Just odd numbered Fast and Furious movies!

Blah blah blah. I have said before. I think the even numbered movies are either shit (2 and 4) or just okay (Fast and Furious 6). Some are well known to be bad, I went against the grain for the last one. Tokyo Drift has a good story though, which is why I like it and the first and fifth are entertaining. I was super stoked to watch Furious 7, before the death of Paul Walker, because I wanted the continuation from Tokyo Drift! I was ready for it all. And you know, 7 is an odd number.

And hey, Vin said this movie was amazing. Tears would flow and it should win Best picture awards. In that case I expect also hard hitting dialogue, some true events maybe, a new look at a modern topic, and maybe some death.

I don’t expect too much butt though.

JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT ALL OF OUR FRIENDS COULD RETIRE AND JUST ENJOY LIFE. Just right then. Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) shows up and starts killin’ people. He is the brother of the Shaw dude from the last movie and he wants revenge. Deadly revenge.

Well that is great, they have to deal with this asshole who has money, power, and explosives, and he will follow them around the world just to get his sweet deadly revenge.

Thankfully (?), a covert ops team lead by Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) wants to use Dom’s (Diesel) team to track down a computer program(er) (Nathalie Emmanuel) and a terrorist (Djimon Hounsou). If he stops the terrorist, they can use the special facilities to take out Deckard as well. Deckard of course will continually interfere with each step of that operation before he can be fully dealt with. Dom wants his crew though for the job. So he gets the leftover parts of the crew (Walker, Tyrese Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez, Ludacris).

Action, cars, people being mad. Dwayne Johnson is back in his role, Jordana Brewster is still Walker’s wife, Lucas Black reprises his role kind of, and Ronda Rousey is in this movie because modern action films secretly hate us.

Group Shot

Furious 7 is making shit tons of money. It is also is breaking records while doing it. Why? Is it because of its extremely diverse cast? (which is by the way, ridiculously diverse. Look at that group shot and tons more not featured). No, probably not.

The thing is, this franchise always made a lot of money. Six made almost 800 million, so the fact that this one already hit a billion isn’t a surprise. Because let’s face it, regardless of how good or bad it is, people wanted to go see it because of Paul Walker’s death. Just like The Dark Knight.

Now, sure, I might have had a tear near the end. My emotions are easy to manipulate in a movie. But I am still disappointed with their choice. I think a much stronger movie could have been made if they went real crazy and intense with it. I even knew I wouldn’t get the more intense and tear inducing finale to Walker’s character, because they announced what would happen to his character months ago. A literal ride into the sunset. Kind of disappointing, but I get it. I do.

Either way, some of the stunts in this film were insane. Most of them just involve literally the cars flying through the air and surviving big crashes. They are thankfully in vehicles a lot, so it keeps up with the theme, despite only one (and a half maybe) street races. And it didn’t feature an incredibly stupid ending like the last film. And the characters, all of which were still decently over the top, didn’t feel like superheroes which was another complaint I had.

But also, this one featured The Rock in a great scene involving a cast. That scene made the movie for me. I just really hope they don’t make another one. End up on top. Please no more. Don’t piss off Paul Walker’s ghost.

3 out of 4.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Good news! The Marvel Cinematic Universe is finally taking bigger risks with its movies! No longer now is each film headlined by a big and famous cartoon character.

Sure, I thought their first risk would actually be Ant-Man, but who knows if that will ever happen now.

With Guardians of the Galaxy, we are given a franchise that will make a lot of casual comic fans go “Huh?” They are definitely not the biggest or baddest property Marvel still has, which is why it is surprising they are making this movie.

Unfortunately, that risk has come at a terrible price. Backed by Disney, they had a lot of money to throw around. All of this money went into advertisements. Since before Captain America: The Winter Soldier came out (of which I only saw two trailers for), I think I have seen a GotG trailer at least once a week for new releases. They advertised the fuck out of this movie. I kind of got sick of it.

It wasn’t just trailers though. TV spots, giveaways, extended looks. They even had one of the biggest bullshit things I had ever heard, showing 17 minutes of the movie, and advertising it like a special pre-screening. Who the fuck wants to watch 17 minutes of a movie?

They are over saturating the market to help ensure their risky gamble doesn’t fail. Which just pisses me off more. I am still excited for the movie, but honestly I also feel like I am more excited to stop seeing advertisements for it soon.

Group Shot
Except for the poster of this scene. It is hanging above my toilet.

Space. Like, Seriously deep space. Like far from Earth so don’t even pretend that we are dealing with any space shit you are aware of.

Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), aka Starlord, aka an Earthling thought is totally far away from Earth. He was picked up from the planet when he was just a boy, just randomly. And now he is a space pirate! Well, just a junk yard ravager more like it, but also pseudo outlaw-ish. But after going after a mysterious space ball, Peter has found himself in quite a stick situation. A lot of people want this ball and he is hiding it hard to sell.

For instance, Ronan (Lee Pace), the Kree warrior madman wants the ball for some reason, probably to destroy a planet he has some serious ancient beefs with. Gamora (Zoe Saldana), adopted daughter of Thanos is sent to retrieve the ball. Because Peter decided to abandon his ravager crew, the leader Yondu (Michael Rooker) puts a 40,000 bounty on his head. This causes Rocket (Bradley Cooper), totally not a raccoon but a raccoon, and his tree companion Groot (Vin Diesel) to seek him down for that sweet money.

Well, these four get caught up in shenanigans, and they are eventually introduced to Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), who would like to kill Ronan for killing his wife and daughter.

Oh swell! A group of rag tag anti-heroes who, through eventually working together, might have to do the right things.

Also featuring Karen Gillan as Nebula, another Thanos daughter, Djimon Hounsou, a high ranking general for Ronan, Benicio Del Toro as The Collector, Glenn Close as the head of NovaCorp and John C. Reilly as a Nova captain.

Groot Fuckers
I’m a Groot, he’s a Groot, she’s a Groot, we’re all Groots, hey!

Ahhhh, excitement!

There is a lot that really works in this movie and combined, all of the elements make this one of the funniest Marvel movies yet. Let’s talk about individual characters. Starlord? Pratt knocked it out of the house. Felt like a real pseudo-leader and had some emotional moments as well. Gamora? Probably my favorite role that Zoe Saldana has done, felt a lot more believable than most of her characters. Rocket? Hell yes Rocket. Who wouldn’t like Rocket? I couldn’t even recognize Cooper’s voice. Groot? Everyone will also love Groot. He is powerful, sweet, and awesome. And Drax? I knew the least about Drax going in, as each regular trailer didn’t really do much for him outside of showing him as a big strong guy who likes to kill. But his character has a lot of depth and a lot of funnier moments, so he was the biggest surprise for me. Really loved Drax.

So all the characters are good? Great! Nice supporting people too. Unfortunately, my biggest issue with the film is the main man, Ronan, Lee Pace. He had…just no personality. He felt extremely one dimensional, and until over halfway through the movie, he was just all talk. They talked a lot about how evil and the bad stuff he had done, but they didn’t do a good way of showcasing it until closer til the end. The big baddie was a disappointment.

The Collector was also a bit wasted in this film to me.

But the graphics? The laughs? The plot? The soundtrack? The synergy? All of it worked so well together. The scenes with the main guardians just talking were some of the better conversational pieces I have heard all year.

Guardians of the Galaxy is a great movie, just not the best Marvel movie that has come out of their studios. I have a hard time believing anyone could leave the theater feeling disappointed.

3 out of 4.

How To Train Your Dragon 2

For those with a lot of courage, you may have seen my review for How To Train Your Dragon. Why courage? because that review is old and weak and it certainly shows. It is weak because it was one of my first 100, which I made in like a month by adding words from my facebook status reviews that they came from. And because I tried really hard to avoid spoilers that basically didn’t exist.

Basically, parts near the end bugged me so much it lowered an overall fantastic movie to a meh movie. I still haven’t rewatched it for that reason.

But now we have the sequel, How To Train Your Dragon 2. This one perfectly allows for the crap that happened in the first to not happen again, because now we are based with the assumption that dragons are awesome, and we should train them.

Yeah. So you can stoically sit on top of them doing zero tricks. Good job, guy.

Set five years after the events of the first film, Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is still a god amongst mortals in his small Viking town. Although technically not immortal, he does have cyborg parts now and a flame sword. So I mean, basically. He has his dragon, and now he is exploring more and more areas outside of the small town. After all, with dragons they now have the ability to explore, because Vikings rarely explored on their own.

While exploring he finds…dragon nappers! And giant sheets of unnatural ice through a fort. The nappers are lead by Erit (Kit Harington), who is collecting dragons with his crew for the great and powerful Drago Bludvist (Djimon Hounsou). A mad man who claims to be able to control all of the dragons and wants to use them to take over the world. Your typical desires from an awkwardly darker skin character than everyone else in an animated movie.

Oh no!

It becomes up to Hiccup to use his excellent cyborg dragon abilities, and excellent sized human heart, to save the day. Especially if he can use the help of the mysterious dragon lady (Cate Blanchett), who you already know everything about if you watched the trailers. But in case you didn’t, you are welcome.

A lot of returning characters, such as his dad (Gerard Butler), the smithy (Craig Ferguson), his lady friend (America Ferrera) and his other friends (Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller). And of course, dragons.

And that is how I met and trained your dragon master’s mother.

First off, after the success of the first movie, DreamWorks starting thinking long term about this as a new franchise. So they put into development this sequel and a third film, at the same time. Which is why there was a four year delay between 1 and 2 (heavy CGI movies take a long time if done right (meaning not Planes)), but only two years before the third movie comes out.

Speaking of DreamWorks, I have hated or thought meh towards their last six movies. That is insane. Literally haven’t had a winner since Kung Fu Panda 2. Thankfully, How To Train Your Dragon 2 turned that downward spiral around. And I don’t just mean clockwise to counterclockwise, I mean up. Like a daring dragon flying maneuver.

This sequel has a lot going on for it. The CGI is extraordinary, which is probably too fancy of a word to describe it, but it really is gorgeous. They spent a lot of time and detail on every character, every scene, every dragon. Speaking of detail, the backgrounds of scenes are rarely pointless. They either showcase great scenes, or have hidden jokes and tomfoolery going on in the background as other characters are talking. It was awesome.

To avoid this wall of text, here is a bonus picture. Just. No. Bonus. Joke.

There is a lot of humor, there is a lot of character growth, there are more than one touching moments, and there is a lot of daring fight scenes. In fact, there were some terrifying scenes, and some darker moments, including some potentially heavy material for a PG movie. One drowning scene in particular still makes me shudder.

I will say there are some issues I found in terms of messages they are trying to convey. I think some parts of the ending directly contradict information said earlier in the film, a similar message given to us by Pokemon: The First Movie – Mewtwo Strikes Back.

But overall? Shit, this thing is enjoyable. Minor moral issues aren’t a big problem. The 3D only seemed blurry in the first scene of the film, so that is good.

For those who have saw it, I made a theory halfway through the movie on how the third one might go, and the ending seemed to solidify it. I’d love to talk to anyone in private about my theory, but if it goes the way I hope, then yeah, it will be epic. But this is all jibberjabber at this point. Awesome flick, and probably going to be one of the top 3 animated movies this year (to go with The LEGO Movie, and The BoxTrolls, based on its fantastic trailers alone).

4 out of 4.

Baggage Claim

I can’t remember when Baggage Claim came out in theaters, probably October or November. I can remember that because I live in one of the whitest states ever, it didn’t come anywhere close to my theater. Pfft. Bunch of lame white people up here, can’t handle a movie of color.

But hey, a movie about finding the one you love and planes. That is. Well. Originalish. I guess.

Yeah, I will allow it. Bring on the movie.

It was actually super hard to find her in flight attendant gear. Weird right?

Montana (Paula Patton) is a flight attendant and her mother Catherine (Jenifer Lewis) really loves weddings. She loves weddings so much, she got married herself around five times! Catherine has two daughters, but none of them are married yet and that is sad.

Montana has a man though, Graham (Boris Kodjoe), and thought he was about to propose. Turns out, Graham be cheating, and Montana is the mistress in question. Shit. Sadness. Then Montana finds out her sister is getting married, and she makes the grand claim that she too is getting married, and will let them meet her fiance in 30 days.

What? Bitch be crazy. Well, her friends (Jil Scott, Adam Brody), fellow flight attendants develop a plan. They will use all of the resources TSA/airline workers and everyone in between have available to constantly screen for one of her exes that fell apart in good terms to make a flight. They will then do whatever they can to get her flight attending on said flight, to maybe win back an old love and find happiness!

Err. Yeah. Her neighbor and BFF from high school William (Derek Luke) thinks she is crazy, but whatever.

And boy does she have exes and suitors to choose from, including Trey Songz, Taye Diggs, and Djimon Hounsou, who are now rappers, congressmen, and rich motherfuckers, respectfully. But we know they won’t work out for her for a variety of reasons, that’s why their actor names get listed in a single sentence, right?

Love? Nah

I am pretty sure I gave this film a fair shot. I mean, it is a RomCom and I enjoy those a lot. It tackles a unique-ish subject, and it has a bunch of actors I enjoy.

But even for me, the lover of love, it all falls a bit short.

Halfway through the film, I could see myself giving it a 2 out of 4, for at least being a bit interesting, but over time I realized I didn’t really get a lot out of it. From the beginning, you know who her true love will be. That isn’t normally an issue in RomComs, it is just an issue in this one where the point is her trying to find her true love amongst a bunch of men she knows.

It had its amusing moments, where Affion Crockett as a TSA agent was clearly the best. But he wasn’t utilized that much, maybe having only two real scenes.

The humor was low and a bunch of guys are assholes. Basically the theme of the movie.

1 out of 4.

Elephant White

I actually saw a preview for Elephant White, which finally made me want to watch it. I mean, the action and scenery looked good. The acting might have been poor, but the plot I thought would work. Or what was conveyed.

Also honestly, I missed the fact that it included Kevin Bacon. Who doesn’t love Kevin Bacon?

Bacon shirtless tied up
Oh. These guys I guess. Or they love him too much.

Kevin Bacon is not the main character, but I decided to introduce people by least complex to most complex name, so he is first. It is about to get REAL in here.

The actual main character, Curtie Church, is played by Djimon Hounsou.

He is an assassin/mercenary guy, and he is finishing a job in Thailand. Yep, that place. But when he kills the target, and sets it up to look like a rival gang has done it, his crime is witnessed by Mae, a 14 year old prostitute, played by Jirantanin Pitakporntrakul. Ahhh!

He can’t get her though and has to run. This also breaks a truce between the gangs, despite how suspicious the bomb used was. Eventually he finds Bacon, who is a weapons dealer, and gets a sniper rifle. He shows up from time to time. But eventually Mae shows up and he captures her. And uhh, gang war. Trying to protect her and himself, yet not let her escape also, to let people know he is at fault. They find out anyways. He has a lot of explaining to do.

And then eventually the movie ends, but in a dumb way.

Other two
There they are. Her name has porn in the title.

Why does it end dumb? I am going to spoil it for you. Don’t read if you don’t want it to be spoiled. OKAY HERE I GO. She may just be a ghost the whole time, and thus causing all these problems for the mercenary to fix (and overall help the area and under age prostitution)…but for someone that isn’t there. What? Throwing some spirituality into an already bad action movie?

The title is there because there is also a ‘white’ elephant is involved. Or at least light grey.

But yeah. A lot of subtitles. A lot of confusing plot involving the gang (and being unsure of why the guy keeps hanging around these people risking his life after his initial job is done) and for little reward. An thus, it made me mad.

0 out of 4.