My Little Pony: The Movie

Over four years ago, I reviewed a film on a whim. I had to drive almost an hour to get to the theater (which meant something pre-Houston days), for the only screen time it was showing. Something like 12:30 pm on a Saturday. A very limited release, I guess you could say.

That movie was My Little Pony: Equestria Girls. It was my first foray into the subject. Oh, I heard about it before on the internet, and heard about bronies, but I never thought about watching the show before. I just went to see the movie because, damn it, I watch everything, so why not that as well? I went in blind. I didn’t have any background on the show.

Now sure, after it I watched a few episodes and thought it was okay. Nothing I would binge watch, but something I could watch occasionally. And now, years later, I have seen tons of episodes over seasons. I understand the characters now. I have made art with the characters. But I am still not up to some obsessed level with the show, because I haven’t seen most of it. Just parts of episodes here and there. The kids have seen a lot more than me.

But I feel qualified (As fuck!) to review My Little Pony: The Movie. New art style, same ponies, music, and fun. I was excited for this. I took my whole family to this. My youngest daughter, who is two? This is now her first movie ever seen in a movie theater.

I was excited and ready to go.

Friendship
I just really wanted to find out if Friendship was still magic.

The story starts us off with Twilight Sparkle (Tara Strong) and Spike (Cathy Weseluck), properly freaking out because there is about to be a Friendship Festival, with all the kingdoms and princess and even goddamn derpy all excited. They need to highlight friendship, so that everyone can be so fucking magical. For whatever reason, the highlight of the festival is a pony, Songbird Serenade (Sia) singing. She feels stressed, but it is okay, because she has her FRIENDS to help her. They got this. Rarity (Tabitha St. German), Applejack, Rainbow Dash (Ashleigh Ball), Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie (Andrea Libman).

Well, turns out friendship can’t do everything, all the time, right away. Because a few storm clouds start to gather, even though Twilight asked for good weather. Maybe she didn’t friend enough of the people?! Inside the storm clouds are some sweet airships, apparently led by Commander Tempest Shadow (Emily Blunt)! With a name like that, of course she is fucking evil. She is a unicorn, with a broken horn. The saddest. With a head minion Grubber (Michael Pena), they work for The Storm King (Liev Shreiber), and Tempest goes and freezes 3 of the princesses! I don’t even have to tell you which one is able to escape.

The last words they heard were to find the Queen of the Hippos. Huh. Okay. Well, if that is the way to save everyone, then that is what they will do. And on the way, they will find a singing cat (Taye Diggs), some bird sky pirates led (Zoe Saldana), some water horse thing (Kristin Chenoweth) and her mom (Uzo Aduba).

Friends
Guys. I think friendship is back on the table.

Like the subtitle suggests, this certainly is a whole movie. 100 minutes long, big adventure, tons of fun, a beautiful heart, that is faithful and strong with…um, kindness. That last bit will only make sense to some of you.

They have about five or six songs, the best one from Rainbow dash about being awesome. A couple of decent ones, and a few forgettable, including Sia’s songs. Which on that note, Sia is my first real dislike of the film. Oh cool, they made a pony that looks like…Sia as a horse. Why couldn’t they have just made a singing pony by Sia be a pony? Kind of just feels shoe horned.

The story and plot is actually pretty good while also still being easy to follow. It isn’t entirely original, but it does some good things. The biggest problem with the story comes from Twilight Sparkle, our main character. The writers just totally seem to disregard her. She acts totally out of character from my point of view. Why? to advance the plot. And that sort of thing can really anger someone.

In a movie one can easily argue about how a character would act. But with 7 seasons behind us, it is easy to figure out what Twilight would do. They could have set it up better to better explain her actions, but she comes across as stupid, shallow, and certainly not the PRINCESS. OF. FRIENDSHIP.

My other biggest gripe? A totally huge disparity when it comes to pony importance. Of course Twilight is the most important, sure. But not too far after her is Pinkie Pie in terms of lines, jokes, and plot advancement. Then not far after, Rainbow Dash. But after that? Much further down, very far down, come our other three ponies. They basically exist as extremely minor characters with an occasional joke or reference. It was odd. Balance the main characters before you add an equal number of characters for celebrity sake.

Fans of the show should still enjoy it, minus the straight up murder of Twlight’s actions. I’m sure I will end up watching it again.

2 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.

Group
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.

The Best Man Holiday

I’d imagine it is really hard to make a sequel for a film fifteen years later. Especially a movie that wasn’t a big commercial success, but that is just what The Best Man Holiday decided to do. If Before Midnight can complete an eighteen year trilogy, set that many years apart, why can’t this film do the same?

For those of you looking to watch this film without the first film, The Best Man, I would advise against it. Holiday does its best to catch you up through an opening credit montage, but without the first film, you will probably be lost for at least a good half hour into the film.

Boy Band
But you don’t have to know the first film to know that this scene gunna be gud.

After all, its been 15 years since our gang of friends last hung out, since the wedding of star New York Giants running back, Lance (Morris Chestnut) to his lovely lady Mia (Monica Calhoun). But Mia has been persistent, and really wants all Lance’s old friends back into his life. After all, he is set to retire from the NFL after the last game this season, in which he might break the all time rushing yard record. So eventually the gang agrees to spend their holidays in New York, despite the turmoil in their own lives.

Like Harper (Taye Diggs), who hasn’t had a best selling book in awhile and was recently laid off from NYU thanks to budget cuts. The good news is, his wife (Sanaa Lathan) is finally pregnant and almost due (despite years of bad luck on that front). The bad news is they are broke. His agent suggests he gains the rights to do the biography on Lance, his old friend, as a sure way of getting him back into fray.

Julian (Harold Perrineau) has gotten his life together and started up a school that runs solely off of donations, with his wife (Regina Hall) with an administration position. But when her past profession as a stripper comes up through a YouTube video, losing Julian $2 million in funds, will he be able to still accept the past that he knew he was getting in to? His ex, Shelby (Melissa De Sousa) went from controlling to drama queen, and is a star of one of those “Real Housewife” shows now. She is a friend of Mia, so of course she gets invited too, just to make Julian miserable.

Quentin (Terrence Howard) is loving the single life, a general foul-mouthed comic relief, and a music producer or something. Let’s just say he too is pretty rich.

Jordin (Nia Long), the woman Harper used to like before his wife, is now a head executive at MSNBC and dating Brad (Eddie Cibrian), a white man.

All of these issues and a lot more come up during the week, as disease has also taken hold of one of our members, turning this comedy-drama into a drama-comedy for the second half.

Dressed
Best dressed goes to Michael with the bow tie, I think.

I never thought I would have a lot to say about The Best Man Holiday, but here I am. I should note I never saw the original movie when it came out, seeing it for the first time earlier this week. It was okay and was interesting to see a lot of now bigger stars in some of their first big roles. I was pleased that it was a movie with an all black cast, their color had almost nothing to do with their characters/identity and everyone was just a person. Holiday continues that theme, and more.

Morris mother fucking Chestnut.

The biggest surprise of the movie to me was that man. All the other actors are well known for for their movie or TV roles in the last fifteen years, but not so much Morris. He is only well known for playing a detective/officer in films (Examples OneTwoThreeFour).

Needless to say, these roles never really give him a lot of time to really develop a character or have an amazing personality, but this film allows that to happen. His character is a god and family loving, moral, athletic superstar. It is really hard to not like him, but more importantly, Morris knocks it out of the park. I have never seen him so good, so in character. I want him in more movies, and darn it, I want him to be a lead role.

The movie itself is definitely a tearjerker. There were not many people during my showtime but throughout it I could see and hear sniffling from the fellow movie goers. It wasn’t just sad moments, thankfully, but a back and forth between sad and uplifting.

Overall, I would say I enjoyed watching The Best Man Holiday and think it is way better than the first film. Unfortunately, it is also entirely filled with cliches and moments you can see coming from miles away. Nothing is really surprising in the film and it doesn’t really offer anything new. Of what the film does offer, it offers a lot of it, and you may get lost in some of the plot lines, but eventually everything will feel in place. If you enjoyed the first film, you will love the sequel.

2 out of 4.

Dylan Dog: Dead Of Night

Speaking of movies based on comics…

Hey look, Dylan Dog: Dead Of Night!

Something I have never heard of before this movie. So must be a lower title, maybe an indie thing. Eh.

Wolf what
The scene after this was pretty hot.

Dylan Dog (Brandon Routh, or that guy who helped ruin the Superman franchise (Go Marvel!)) is a detective who helps work with the supernatural creatures. Werewolves, vampires, ghosts, zombies, whatever. Or at least he used to be.

Now with his assistant Marcus (Sam Huntington), he is a normal detective. That is until a girl (Anita Briem) brings him a case pulling him back in. He stopped doing it because vampires were mad, he killed a bunch of elders (accidentally?). This leads him to werewolves, vampires, ghosts, zombies. Kind of everything I mentioned earlier I guess.

Also, early on his partner dies, and becomes a zombie. Yay zombie! One of the main vampires (and thus bad people) is played by Taye Diggs. Eventually Dylan Dog will figure it all out, and save the day. Also, his partner is a zombie.

Zombie
Zombies can come out of morgues all like, “What? What happened? I’m not dead, asshole.”

So uhh, as a comedy horror action thing, I found it to be lacking hard in at least two of the categories. Apparently these comics are big in Italy, and pretty much everyone has read at least one. I heard they also hate this movie, because it is nothing like the comic which also serves as a form of social commentary. That sounds pretty cool actually, because I didn’t see any social comentary in this movie.

I only found the friends realization that he is a Zombie funny, and coming to terms with that. Nothing was really scary. So mostly it was an action / detective field, where even the main character wasn’t the real hero by the end. Let all the other people do the “morally questionable” parts, and leave himself free of morals. How boring.

So yeah, what a yawner.

1 out of 4.