Tag: Nick Robinson

Love, Simon

Love, Simon is an upcoming movie based on the book. That book was called Simon vs. The Homo Sapien Agenda.

I don’t know anything about this film going into it, but I wish, wish, wish, it had the same title as the book. That is such an exciting title! And one that would probably turn off a lot of potential viewers. Heck, it makes me think of Scott Pilgrim vs The World. Who doesn’t want to be associated with that masterpiece?

Oh well. Sometimes you have to make the money decision instead of the fun, original, cool decision.

Best friends until the very end, no secrets between them, none whatsoever.

Simon (Nick Robinson) is your typical high school teenage senior. He has regular parents (Jennifer Garner, Josh Duhamel), who might be a bit rich sure, and a younger sister (Talitha Eliana Bateman) who wants to be a chef. He has some BFFs for most of his life in Leah (Katherine Langford) and Nick (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.), including a new girl to their group Abby (Alexandra Shipp).

Oh, an he is gay too. Totally loves the dudes. Just hasn’t told anyone despite knowing it for years.

But then something changes. Their school/community have their own little Post Secret group that still is in use, where people can post rumors, or comments about their lives. And it turns out that someone else in their school is gay. Well, secretly gay.

So Simon decides to email him and set up a correspondence with this Blue fellow to share their feelings. In secret of course. This email turns into a bit of a fascination for Simon. He longs to hear back from his secret friend, and even finds himself falling in love with his words.

Unfortunately, the longer he obsesses over his email, the more likely he is to screw up with these emails and accidentally let his secret out.

Also starring Logan Miller, Keiynan Lonsdale, Miles Heizer, and Tony Hale.

Friends Friends
What a diverse group of totally normal friends!

If I had to describe Love, Simon in the least amount of words, I would just tell you “Never Been Kissed, but gay.” For those of you familiar with that movie it should be pretty obvious. A person in school has a secret, the secret is found out, and it ends with romance! A lot of movies have similar plots, but this one really drives home these aspects.

And after saying all of that, that is not a negative on Love, Simon. I loved Love, Simon. It was cute, it felt real, it was modern and topical. Robinson as a lead had a constant look on his face to show he was hurting on the inside, unsure of how to express his feelings that are giving him so much angst. The pressure builds on him throughout the movie, once his secret starts spreading without his knowledge and consent. And finally, by the end, the acceptance of his fate, his character has different body movements and an aura about him. It is a wonderful change to process.

I hated the people that were dicks, I loved his circle of friends, and the consequences of his lies and actions went completely believable ways. This is just a nice feel good romance teenage coming of age story. I cried several times, from both being upset and sad, to happiness. It was good amount of feels. An appropriate, non groping amount of feels.

And unsurprisingly, this feels like a film I could easily watch again and again for years to come.

4 out of 4.

Everything, Everything

Everything? Like, Everything, Everything? Like the whole world?

This movie seems to cover a pretty large range of subjects. And to think it is mainly supposed to be a teenage drama romance that is based on a book!

We get these yearly by now, or at least a few times a year. Gotta get those teenage kids buying movie tickets, watching teenagers in love die and shit. Inherently, I can really get into these films, and most of them have made me cry. I honestly knew nothing about the film outside the cover, so I assumed this movie would be about racism.

Which is kind of shit on me. A white person and a black person can fall in love and have NOTHING to do with racism. This film doesn’t touch on it being weird at all. YAY PROGRESS!

The glass ceiling…err wall, will be shattered!

Our story is about a girl named Maddy Whittier (Amandla Stenberg), on the cusp of turning 18, like all good romance movies. Because when people turn 18, they can do sexy stuff and not be weird. Okay, it would be weird for Maddy. because she has severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). It is a thing that means she doesn’t really have a strong immune system, like, at all, and most things could kill her. Yes, like Bubble Boy.

But her mom (Anika Noni Rose) is a doctor and is loaded, so instead of a weird plastic bubble, she can live the entirety of her life in her home. They have a lot of space for her to live and learn and be creative, but she just can never leave. She has a nurse (Ana de la Reguera) who keeps track of her during the day, and the nurse has a daughter (Danube Hermosillo), but those are the only people she has any contact with. Her father and brother were killed in a car accident when she was a baby.

Things are about to change for this unreasonably attractive hermit! Because they are getting new neighbors, and one of them is a similarly aged boy, named Olly (Nick Robinson). His family moves around a lot, issues that they will go into eventually.

And they fall in love. A mysterious love, filled with text messages and typing to each other on the internet. For them to meet, it could mean her death. A love that will truly kill her.

Also featuring Taylor Hickson, as Olly’s sister.

Spoilers: She gets out.

This is a teenage romance film, involving big dreams and the potential of death, that did not make me cry.

But that is not my biggest issue. For the most part I thought the movie was cute, but at most still just okay. One of the main characters, the mom, just felt really bad at the acting thing and was getting on my nerves, but overall, just an okay story.

Unfortunately, the ending really threw me off. Not in a “oh man, plot twist!” sort of way, although that is how a lot of people may take it. It ended in a way that I hoped among hopes it would not end. Little clues started to fill me in that it might head that way, but I was hoping they were tiny false flags and the movie would be somewhat creative.

Alas, it wasn’t. It went for an edgy finish, but it feels like something that has been done before. It just killed the entire film for me and I left disappointed, no longer interested in the cute aspects of the film. And on top of that? I still didn’t even cry.

To end this on a good note, Stenberg was pretty great in this movie. Rue from The Hunger Games is all grown up and melting hearts.

1 out of 4.

The 5th Wave

The 5th Wave, title alone, already pisses me off. I really wish it was spelled out as Fifth, and not the number. That is a minor complaint.

The title itself just comes with so much weight to it though. We are already on the 5th wave? Man, we just started though. That means four other waves happened and we need to catch the fuck up so we can be prepared for the next one.

I have been told it is decent book. It is a planned trilogy with the last one coming out this year. The producers liked it, one of them being Tobey Maguire, and signed it to a trilogy of films!

And you know what else? This is a quote from a critic. This is what the series should do. It “should do for aliens what Twilight did for vampires.” Oh god. Oh god no.

Love at first scope sight.

Let’s get this done with. Aliens appeared. Circled the globe in a big ship. Then after awhile, all electricity stopped. Anything with a motor, all of it. That was wave #1. The 2nd wave was massive flooding caused by earthquakes. Took out most coastal cities and lakes also boiled over. The 3rd wave was a modified avian flu that took out tons of people. Most people who caught it died. The 4th wave involved the aliens taking over human bodies like parasites. Apparently they still look and act human but you don’t know who is out to get you!

Our hero is Casey (Chloe Grace Moretz) who used to be a normal high school girl. She had her crush on Ben (Nick Robinson), a BFF Liz (Gabriela Lopez, who I will say is barely in this movie, but I can’t imagine her not coming back eventually and I want to say I called it by tagging her in this review), loving parents (Ron Livingston, Maggie Siff) and little brother Sam (Zackary Arthur).

Eventually, shit goes bad, and Casey is alone. Her brother Sam was saved by the army, thankfully. That Colonel Vosch (Liev Schreiber) sure is a swell guy. Of course he is taking the kids to train them into soldiers to battle the Others (aliens!), where the 5th Wave is allegedly a full on attack. Oh boy.

Thankfully Casey runs into Evan Walker (Alex Roe) Mr. Farm Boy dream man, who saves her from dying alone on the highway. Turns out she is allergic to bullets. He has a thing for her, so he wants to help her get to the army base and reconvene with her brother. They just have to make it 60 miles on foot with alien snipers everywhere.

Also starring Maria Bello as an army person, and Maika Monroe as a fellow child soldier who would have bad ass tattooed on her actual ass if it wasn’t sexist.

Is it? Can it be? Can it be a…LOVE TRIANGLE!?

The 5th Wave wasn’t very good. It could have been good. It had an interesting premise. I won’t say it was ruined only by teenage angst. No, there were a lot of issues, and teenage angst on its own is not an issue.

Plot wise, so many things occurred in the film due to poor decisions or badly explained reasons. How did Casey get separated from her parent and brother? Because of shit plot. Specifically when she was separated from Sam, it was one of the most badly done things I have ever seen. So much that it didn’t even make sense for her to get left behind. Aliens involved or not, the way they filmed it couldn’t have been more ridiculous.

After the introduction, we have two main plots. Casey on her own, and the training facility for kids. That is where we get to see high school crush Ben and her brother. Almost everything involved with the army base is cringe worthy. I think part of it is supposed to be, because they aren’t real soldiers, just kids. But it comes off as just awkward and stays that way. Only half the scenes with Casey are cringey, and unfortunately it is all of romantic interactions between her and Evan. Now, as a straight adult male, I can definitely see why Alex Roe was picked for Evan. He is dreamy and has facial hair and a somewhat slightly athletic build. But the chemistry between them is just awful.

A lot of the plot happens off screen it feels like. Like the 60 miles of traveling that the two apparently hiked through the woods relatively quickly. Or even worse, one aspect of the finale involving bombs. One of our characters apparently puts on a God Mode cheat and they become an invincible plot changing character, doing all these amazing things with ease, just to end the current conflict. The bad guys don’t even act bad in this film. Everyone is all talk and nothing terrible seems to happen, outside of the one “shocking” moment early on. All the twists are obvious and the film ends at an okay point, but not with a whole lot resolved.

They did have tsunamis in this film though. You remember the 2nd wave. They looked pretty realistic though, it was appropriately scary and cool, so I liked that. Bello’s random character had a lot of intensity to it, so she also surprised me. But everything else about this new teenager sci-fi/fantasy romance film series is forgettable. We all make mistakes sometimes, Moretz.

1 out of 4.

Jurassic World

In honor of Jurassic World, I too am going to open my own theme park. I won’t fill it with dinosaurs though, I will fill it with greek legendary monsters. It makes sense, if you remember you are reading this review on Gorgon Reviews.

I don’t have the funds yet for it. I don’t have the feasibility either. I thought about CGI, but that doesn’t make sense in real life. Although if the entire park was an entire green screen overlaying the sidewalks and buildings and grass, I could buy the material in bulk.

After all, if they can successfully make a park with monsters despite a whole bunch of deaths right off the back twenty years ago, more power to them (and me). Afterall, Jurassic World is going to be a strict economic drama about the costs that go into large island parks, right? And about how everything is awesome?

About how everything is cool, when you’re part of a team?

Set 22 years after the first Jurassic Park or so, this movie takes place on the exact same island. Now the island is a bustling theme park! The idea was a success! Everyone gets dinosaurs and no one dies!

This version of the park still took some time to happen and it has only existed for 10 years or so. They occasionally release a new exhibit, which spikes up business and gets everyone about dinosaurs again. But kids today, with their Pac-man video games and MTV and hula hoops have attention spans that can be measured only in nanoseconds. And they aren’t afraid of dinosaurs anymore. They are basically like slightly more exotic elephants at this point.

So they went bigger. Better. They made up a dinosaur. Taking DNA from several big dinosaurs and filling in the gaps with some crazy shit, they made a big, intelligent dinosaur that is going to make everyone shit their pants and the investors dive in piles of gold coins. They just have to pass a few safety tests before the big day in a few weeks. And sure, wouldn’t you know it? We got ourselves a highly intelligent killing machine that is not just a mere animal, but almost a dino-god. And he is now loose on a regular park day with 20,000 guests.

Guests like, Gray (Ty Simpkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson), who are there for the weekend with their Aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), a big wig who helps run the park. We have Henry Wu (BD Wong) as our head scientist who made the creature, the only returning member from the first film. Our rich park owner who doesn’t care about profits (Irrfan Khan), some people who work in the control room (Jake Johnson, Lauren Lapkus), a bad baby sitter (Katie McGrath), the emotional mom of the kids (Judy Greer), a guy with nefarious intentions (Vincent D’Onofrio), and a raptor handler (Omar Sy), are also involved in some way or another!

Hmm. Am I missing anyone? Oh, I guess there is Owen (Chris Pratt), an ex military man who thinks dinosaurs are thinking, intelligent creatures who just want the respect they deserve.

Yum Yum
The orca’s at Sea World, however, don’t deserve respect and don’t deserve great white shark food like this big guy.

Welcome to 2015, where everything is CGI and the point doesn’t matter. I am one who would say that Jurassic Park still holds up to this day, animatronics and all. CGI has the ability to get dated pretty quickly because it is constantly evolving and getting better, while animatronics have staying power. From a basic movie watching point of view, I think every single dinosaur was done with CGI. And it shows! The Pterodactyls were horrible. They were at least diverse looking, but every time they flew onto the screen, I cringed a bit. Sure the raptors and the T-Rexes and the bigger guy are much better CGI, I feel like something amazing was lost in the process.

Jurassic World is definitely scarier than the first film, as the threats are bigger and badder with a potential much higher body count. Given that Spielberg is directing it, somehow the kids are able to run through everything with more or less invisible shields protecting them, which is kind of annoying, because any tension in their scenes is a bit diluted. Speaking of tension, despite it being a rich and well funded island park, cell service goes out quite frequently, enough to make it quite annoying at times at how frequently they use it as a crutch. Cell service AND walkie talkies, for double trouble.

One annoying aspect to make it scarier is at one point, it was a bright and sunny early afternoon setting, but the very next scene suddenly made it middle of night. It didn’t need to skip ahead several hours, and made very little sense because most of that time must have been them waiting for it to get dark. But being dark served no purpose outside of making it scarier for the viewer, despite risking time continuity to do so.

I am a bit surprised, however, at some of the characters who did die. One character I noted from above actually died after several bites, flying through the air, drowning, in such a grotesque fashion, you would have thought they were the most evil character ever. But of course, nothing was inherently bad with them.

Despite all of this, there were still quite a few entertaining scenes. I was delighted that Pratt’s character didn’t just feel like Star Lord or Indiana Jones, but a new and unique entity. There were also good moments for our people in the control panel.

Overall, this is probably the best movie in this franchise not called Jurassic Park, but given the quality of the other two films, it doesn’t actually say much.

2 out of 4.

The Kings Of Summer

I’d argue that there are two really “big” coming of age indie movies competing for top dog status this summer. The bigger of the two is The Way, Way Back, as it was written by the same guys who brought us The Descendants a couple years ago. The lesser known movie is The Kings of Summer, written by Chris Galletta, who is writing his first movie.

If you are surprised that we have a first time movie writer, stop it. They are called indie films for a reason.

Indie films tend to include forest dance scenes and drum solos, right?
Being in high school can suck. Why? Well, your life is changing, you feel like an adult, but you still live with your parents. You just might lash out against your parents. Like Joe (Nick Robinson). His mom died a long time ago, and his dad (Nick Offerman) is now dating. He is also a bastard and has become very strict in his single parent raising. His sister (Alison Brie) has already moved on, but he is stuck with him for at least three years more.

Patrick (Gabriel Brasso, from The Big C) has a different problem. His parents (Marc Evan JacksonMegan Mullally) are over bearing. Not in any mean way, just nice. Way too nice. Really fucking nice. Also they are ridiculous, it is just hard to feel alive under their care.

Eventually, Joe has the idea to build a house in the woods. Not just some lame tree house either. A real house, with two stories, multiple rooms, and they can live there, by their own rules, live like MEN. You know, hunt their own food, boil their own water, the whole nine yards. Biaggio (Moises Arias) is there too, neither of them really know him, but they are afraid to tell him to leave.

We have a few kids, building a house in the woods, and attempting to live on their own. They of course will also discover a bit about themselves, their family, and maybe what it means to be a man. Potentially with the help of Kelly (Erin Moriarty), a fellow high school buddy. We also have Mary Lynn Rajskub (most well known as Heartfire from season 4 of Arrested Development) and Thomas Middleditch as the head cops on the missing kids case.

The race to grow the best pedo-stashe is on.
Coming of age films tend to be hit or miss with me. They are popular for both indie and mainstream movies, so to have a great one nowadays, you really have to offer up something new. Not just another misunderstood kid with big dreams.

The Kings of Summer takes the running away story, and well, runs away with it. For the first time movie writer, his dialogue was pretty top notch. Full of memorable quotes, I found myself looking for a piece of paper in the theater just to write some of the absurdly funny things I heard.

Witty comedy doesn’t make a complete film however, so the plot has to also stand on its own. I was afraid I would be dealing with a lot of teens who thought they were god’s gift to suburbia, the standard definition of first world problems. Thankfully, I found myself agreeing with Patrick and Joe, at least a little bit, and thought leaving home made sense for both characters.

It wasn’t perfect though. No, I would have changed the ending a lot. It was a bit too cliche at that point, which made it feel off from the rest of the movie. I am also pissed off by the romance element in the film, although it is more at the naivety of youth, and not for being actually bad. In other words, it hurt me square in the feels.

But despite that, The Kings Of Summer is wickedly funny and unique. For sure, it is worthy of at least one viewing, if not two in your summer line up.

3 out of 4.