Tag: Emma Thompson


I often talk about bias and my attempts to avoid it completely, by avoiding the source material, or you know, letting you know if I have a bias. Like my hatred towards Luc Besson.

With Cruella, ever since it was announced it met me with confusion. But why? Why would anyone want to make a story about the origins of Cruella? The dog killer? I understand they did this same bullshit with Maleficent, someone in the original cartoon who was said to be the biggest evil thing ever, but in Sleeping Beauty, she didn’t do that many bad things. She never attempted to kill puppies. (And, author’s opinion of course, Maleficent was a bad movie, and the sequel was worse, so not worth going down that path too many times).

But in 101 Dalmatians, we can see why she is the bad guy. She wanted to kill dalmatians to make fashion. How the fuck are you gonna redeem that? The only way that could be redeemed would be if you decide to just ignore it…or just say it was a misunderstand and a lie. Neither feel like really strong arguments to run with because there wasn’t really any grey area in 101 Dalmatians for us to see a misunderstanding.

Based on this hair in the photo, we could have had 101 Cliffords.

Just as a heads up, this shouldn’t be considered a spoiler, as it happens very early on, but this next paragraph has someone people might want to see happen and not know why.

Because this is an origin story, we are going to start with  Cruella’s birth, except her name is Estella and she has that black/white hair out of the womb for some reason. Growing up, she was interested in fashion, and getting revenge on bullies. She got into trouble, all of that. Her mom (Emily Beecham) tried to help her out and encourage her dreams, but they were poor. Then one day, at a fancy party which they weren’t invited too, Estella snuck in to find her mom and the host. Some dalmations were chasing her, and sure enough, they actually ended up pushing her mom off a cliff and she died. Oh boy. See. There you have it. There is an angle. Instead of becoming Dalmatian Lady, she set off to kill them all right? Wrong.

Now Estella is an orphan, but she meets two other orphan pick pockets and they end up living together to run the streets. Now years later, Estella (Emma Stone), Jasper (Joel Fry), and Horace (Paul Walter Hauser), do a lot of criming. They steal, they plan crime, they dress up in outfits, and they get by. What fun, what fun. But Estella wants something more. Jasper sees that, and lies on a resume for her to get her an in job at a fashion store!

And well, a lot more happens. But Estella is going to have a rise to power eventually, change her name, and have reasons to take down the head fashionista (Emma Thompson) in London, with a few balls, robberies, and shenanigans along the way.

Also starring Mark Strong, Kayvan Novak, and John McCrea.

“There’s no way that could be the same woman with the red hair. There is different hair!”

I really wanted to get it out of my head, but the nagging feeling remained throughout. This lady wants to kill dogs eventually. They didn’t try to paint Cruella as the nicest woman around. She obviously still is a criminal, who steals, vandalizes, and is some punkrock incarnation of fashion in London in the 1970’s. Will they get to the dalmatian part at all? Because Maleficent did deal with Aurora growing up and the curse. The answer is no. This film ends before 101 Dalmatians begins, but it introduces us to those characters, which will at least mean in the future, when they inevitably make a sequel, maybe that one will be the film that will explain why Cruella isn’t all that bad and is misunderstood.

But for this film, it doesn’t get there. There is a reference to killing dogs for their fur, but it doesn’t happen in this movie, and again, it all takes place before the one we know about her. This is a bit of a cop out. I would assume most people are going into this movie to see how they can see how trying to kill puppies is redeemable, but we never get that far into the story, and we just get some strange fashion based Oliver Twist story of revenge.

This tale has twists, music, shenanigans, and more, but I continually wanted it to get to the point, and frankly, I feel like it never reached it. Now, it is not like the movie makers said they would explain why Cruella wants to kill puppies for fashion, just her background, so we got a background, and now I have nothing to do with this information. Again, there will likely be a sequel, and the sequel will be the story I am most curious about given the reference information we were all given over the last 50 years of living in a world with 101 Dalmatians.

The film itself is pretty standard. The look and feel is exactly what I would expect based on recent Disney productions. I put this film down as a drama, but I guess it is labeled as a comedy. Honestly, it is all over the place in terms of tone and plot. It was hard figuring out exactly what I was meant to write about in that section. Cruella I am sure will have an audience somewhere, and although not inherently bad, it is still very messy.

And you know. How they gonna try and redeem a would-be puppy killer?

2 out of 4.

Last Christmas

After the (lame) success of Bohemian Rhapsody, and then Rocketman, I figured that we might get a George Michael movie also at some point. I mean, he is also British and famous from the 80’s and 90’s.

I just didn’t think it would be like…this.

Last Christmas is a RomCom that is inspired by a George Michael song and also other George Michael things? So it is not a story about George Michael. But I do find it sad that a gay man’s song has been turned into a heterosexual romance movie. But that is what happens when you die. People do whatever they want with your legacy.

Ew, kissing. 
Life is not going well for Kate (Emilia Clarke). She is technically homeless, in that she crashes on the couches of her friends until they get sick of her. Which is often, as she is klutzy, she likes getting drunk, and she brings strange men to their apartments without permission.

She could live with her mother (Emma Thompson) and father (Boris Isakovic), but since they moved to London from Yugoslavia during the war, they have been too extra. Distant and worrisome. Overbearing. And her sister (Lydia Leonard) hates her as well.

So Kate lives her life couch to couch, working full time at a Christmas store for Santa (Michelle Yeoh), and badly auditioning for musicals with her heart not being fully into it. She loves singing, she wants it as a career, but she can’t get her life together.

And then she meets a man, a Tom man (Henry Golding) who is incredibly weird. He wants her to see the world around her and take things…slow? What the hell is this?

Santa’s made up, so Santa can be an Asian old lady too.

Last Christmas has some positives! Like Thompson, who is incredibly delightful as an older Eastern European worrisome mother. She is fantastic and completely wasted in this role for the movie. She is one of the main saviors from making this a 0.

I also enjoyed Golding, another one of the leads. I have seen him in a few roles, but in this one he really struck for me. He was a really good ideal dream hunk.

Unfortunately, the rest of the movie exists, and what we got on the screen is not worth watching unless you are on the Hallmark channel working on a Christmas movie marathon. We all know that is where this one is destined to be.

Clarke is playing the lead in an anime with her level of klutz, and her transformation doesn’t stick in my eyes. As I thought the movie was building up to be something more endearing, the ending happened and it totally ruined my evening. I won’t go into more details there, but it literally went too dumb.

Also, it clearly didn’t go enough into George Michael. Kate is obsessed with him, and sings like, one of his songs? They went out of their way to say this took place in London, 2017, so we had a setting. You’d think they’d also go out of their way to talk about his death in that same location the year prior. Just seems weird.

1 out of 4.

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)

The Meyerowitz Stories (New And Selected) is not a movie I was jumping in my car to see. I mean, just look at the title. You don’t have to know anything about it to realize how much of an indie movie it must be, and how many hipsters must have died to make the production.

But it is a new one coming to Netflix, so those are usually surprising to me in quality. I have seen a lot of stuff on there that I have hated and quickly loved while watching.

The other factor is the director, Noah Baumbach, king of the Hipsters himself. He has about a 50% success rate from my point of view, so I was ready to be wow’d or annoyed.

The way they sit reminds me of an Olympic medal podium.

Harold Meyerowitz (Dustin Hoffman) is a slightly eccentric retired sculptor. He never really got famous from his work, but he feels famous in his heart. He worked as a professor at a college in NYC to pay the bills and get a decent living that way. He has had several wives and spawned three kids, but he does not love them equally, especially due to the fact that they never really seemed to inherit his artistic talent.

Or at least that is what Danny (Adam Sandler) thinks, his eldest. He has a daughter of his own (Grace Van Patten), about to go to college, and he is recently divorced and about to be homeless. He was a stay at home dad, he played the piano, but he again was never really famous. There is a sister too, Jean (Elizabeth Marvel) who is sarcastic and tries to not hang out with her parents too much.

And their youngest brother is Matthew (Ben Stiller), born of a different mother, and clearly the favorite kid. He was encouraged the most and constantly looked after unlike his older siblings, but he still didn’t become an artist. He went and got a real job, making real money, but a job that doesn’t really have much a soul behind it. He also moved far away to California.

Basically, this film is about the children dealing with their lives from their emotionally abusive father, always feeling like let downs in their eye, as he himself is getting older and thus about to leave this world.

Also starring Emma Thompson, Judd Hirsch, Rebecca Miller, and Adam Driver.

The movie increases the facial hair game of several of the actors.

Like a lot of Baumbach films, the acting is definitely top notch. I have rarely seen Sandler better. Marvel carried her own wait with a very unlikely character for her, and Hoffman is kicking a lot of ass in his old age. Stiller is one of the few roles that doesn’t feel like a lot of acting, and mostly just Stiller feeling like Stiller. If anything, this film is worth the watch for the acting.

The plot isn’t as good as the characters in the story. We have some nice dialogue, and a lot of backstory, but we don’t get to see a whole lot happen on the screen.

But really the reason it is just left in okayland is due to the ending. It just began to drag, going further and further into the aftermath portions of the film and it took awhile to just stop. That is how I will describe the end. It just stopped. It was not worth the wait of what felt like multiple good stopping points to get to the actual ending.

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) has an elitist title about a few people who most would consider to be in the elite class. It just fails to live up to the characters it created.

2 out of 4.

Beauty and the Beast

Wow, how do you introduce a tale as old as time? Something as true as it can be? You just gotta speak from the heart.

I do love the animated Beauty and the Beast film. It celebrates intelligence! It has one of my favorite introduction songs. Gaston is fascinating, with his own great song. But I have always had issues for it. So I better get it off my chest now:

The main takeaway from Beauty and the Beast is bullshit. The prince was punished for not seeing someone’s true beauty, so he was turned into an ugly creature. To learn his lesson, he needs to fall in love and be loved in return, with a nice kiss too, before he turns 21. (Which of course means he was punished as a kid, joy). So how does it eventually happen? By getting the perfect person in his life. She is smart, kind, but also the hottest chick in the village. To really drive the point home, she should have been not matched the perfect standard of beauty. It is kind of crap. Shrek and Shallow Hal end up driving the point home better.

Okay, no more of that. I also appreciate that Gaston is set up as a typical old school Disney Prince, who just wants love because they are beautiful, so it sort of shows Disney going away from their older film tropes.

What I am really getting at is that I am excited for the live action version of Beauty and the Beast. I was not excited for the live action Cinderella, because the plot of Cinderella is shit and celebrates obedience to mean people and doing chores until a prince can take you away. Fuck that.

Give that bitch a book. Bitches love books.

In some nondescript village in old timey France, there was a castle. None of this is Paris, we know that for certain. There was a prince (Dan Stevens), who lived in the castle, and he was mean. He was so mean to some haggy bitch, that the haggy bitch turned him into a really hairy dude and all of his servants into utensils and shit. What in the fuck!

Now years later, they have almost given up hope at becoming human again. The Beast has to not just fall in love, but have someone love him back. They are depressed, cold, and a spell was put on the area for people to forget about their existence. So that doesn’t help either.

Thankfully, there is a really freaky girl in that poor provincial nearby town. Belle (Emma Watson), a girl who was trained to use that brain of hers, an inventor, a girl who likes books and is somehow still decent looking. Some shit goes down with her dad (Kevin Kline). He finds himself locked up in this castle forever. Thankfully, their horse was also trained to use its brain and he is able to take her to the castle and HOLY FUCK, A BEAST!

Using that goddamn brain of hers, she is able to trick her dad into taking his place, planning to escape in the future. You know, because she is so youthful. But then she falls in love. Oh, way too early. A lot of strife happens. But after a good old fashioned food orgy, she starts to love the place, and thinks about calling it home. Plus, it can clean itself, with the magical slave item army and all.

Also starring Ewan McGregor as a candelabra, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as a duster, Ian McKellen as a clock, Emma Thompson as a teapot, Stanley Tucci as a piano, Audra McDonald as a dresser, Luke Evans as a tall, dark, strong, handsome brute, Josh Gad as his miniature life mate, and also Hattie Morahan as a begger.

Gaston’s face cannot be shown because Gorgon Reviews is not a big enough website.

Remember Cinderella? That film I already mentioned? Again, it was okay. It was colorful. Shit story. Good dresses. A terrible idea for a first run. It was like the Universal Monsters series trying to give us Dracula Untold as the start of their shared Universe. But now they gotta get The Mummy to save their asses. Yes, I recognize we have had a few other live action films since Cinderella, but this is the first one since then to be about a Disney Princess!

Beauty and the Beast delivers, and it delivers hard.

Of course, we get the best parts from the original. Bonjour is fascinating, with a village of real people, and we still get the “Please Let Me Through!” line. Be Our Guest is an explosion of extravagance. The Gaston song starts off awkward for me, but grows into its own, feels like a giant party, and has a few surprises. (Although, the chorus of that song is also almost impossible to understand)

But we also get a whole lot new! An expanded introduction, more backstory on the Beast and Belle’s lives before the film and their parents, bigger connections to the castle and the village and why it is a big surprise, Belle being a stronger female character, and more. AND! Alan Goddamn Menken, the Disney musical genius, came back to rewrite some of his songs from two decades ago, plus a few new ones. Three at that. Day in the Sun and Evermore are great additions to the film and Evermore had me crying. And don’t worry, the Human Again song added to the animated film does not take place in this movie.

I am annoyed that at the timing of this review, I have to wait a week to hear some of the newer songs again, just to see if I like them as much as I am writing.

Beauty and the Beast is not just a remake. It is also a re imagining. With more backstories, more lines for side yet important characters, everyone feels more fleshed out. Even Gaston and especially LeFou. We get some good call backs, and good changes to match the times. It was an incredible job done by the team, who treated their source material with respect, and really matched what made the first film great 26 years ago.

4 out of 4.


Thank goodness this film is called Burnt. Based on the title and poster, of Bradley Cooper in a chef’s outfit, I can make inferences though. It is about a angry chef, that was wronged and he wants revenge. Maybe. He could be a Gordon Ramsay like character and his life could come crashing down.

I am happy it is called Burnt, because it used to be called Adam Jones. Movie titles where it is just a fictional characters name are already bad ideas, because they don’t mean anything. And if you character is Adam Jones? One of the plainest damn names of all time. It didn’t feature a cool name like Enrique, Pierre, or Sadrik. Just Adam. Jones.

Naming aside, it turns out Adam Jones wasn’t the original name either. The original name was Chef, and we all know why that title was eventually changed. Hell, the plot of Chef was the first thing I thought of when I heard the word Burnt. As long as it is as good as Chef, we should have nothing to worry about.

Hey, it has food in it! Another similarity!

If you didn’t already guess it, this film is about Adam Jones (Cooper)! Turns out Jones used to be a big deal. He lived in Paris and worked for one of the finest restaurants and eventually its head chef. While he was in Paris hear earned himself TWO Michelin Stars. Which is a pretty big fucking deal. But he did some bad things. He was on almost every narcotic, and it messed with his brain. He burned bridges and disappeared from his friends, his coworkers and lovers.

He actually put himself into exile. He shucked oysters for two or three years in New Orleans, getting clean, sober, and his focus back. And now he is ready to take the cooking world by storm again. This time: London. He wants the third Michelin Star. He wants to be one of the all time greatest chefs. He just has to try and reconcile a lot of relationships and find good talent to help him get there.

Obviously it won’t be easy to fix all the issues. He left Tony (Daniel Brühl), a Maître D’ and close friend, in a shambled restaurant. He ruined his good friend and former sous chef, Michel’s (Omar Sy) new restaurant. There is the daughter of his former mentor, Anne Marie (Alicia Vikander), who he was dating at the time. He has a now rival chef, Reece (Matthew Rhys), who used to be a coworker and is now a Three Star chef. And there is Helene (Sienna Miller), a great young chef who he wants to take under his wing, but refuses to work with the guy based on his reputation. She also has a daughter, Lily (Lexi Benbow-Hart).

Here are some more important-ish people. Some of his new chefs are played by Riccardo Scamarcio and Sam Keeley. Emma Thompson is a psychiatrist who has to monitor his blood for any narcotics. Uma Thurman plays a big deal food critic in London. And Sarah Greene is the Hostess for their new restaurant, basically a little Tony.

If I get a plate that has fingerprints on it, I send the whole thing back, personally.

It turns out that my guess on him just being Gordon Ramsey was pretty accurate. Not British Gordon Ramsay, but American shitty TV Gordon Ramsay. He owns like 3/4 of Fox reality shows at this point, and Fox has the worst reality shows. They commercial break at tense moments or cliff hangers, they encourage language just so it can be bleeped out, and half of the episode is a recap, or the intro/outros that transition with the commercial breaks, which tell you what you will see and what you just saw. Except this is a movie where adults can see adults do adult things, so we get to hear the glorious Fucks and so on. One long scene early on during a particularly upsetting service, it is like just a big Hell’s Kitchen break down.

But thankfully after that moment, it gets better. He becomes less Ramsay and more actual character. He has growth in this film, he does’t yell 100% of the time, but he maintains the same passion and drive throughout. It was nice to see his highs and his lows. It was not as nice to see his stunt double clearly in one scene, and in another scene, have his face bloody with a piece of skin falling off and in the next scene a minute or two later, magically only a small cut. Those were dumb moments.

I think Cooper did a good job leading a film that wasn’t a straight up comedy. His French was also surprisingly good, that is, to a lame American’s ears at least. Thankfully, the rest of the cast was really great as well. Let’s give them their own sentence, shall we?

Miller was good as the main female lead, and she wasn’t a typical romance pretty face – she rocked it. I usually see Brühl in more interesting roles, but he helped carry the film and the restaurant with his simplestic and seemingly perfect performance as the best Maitre D’. Sy I don’t see in a lot of films, but this is the second French-ish role. His character had nice surprise and intense moments. And Rhys was a limited role, but brought his own unique intensity to it all.

Yay acting! Are there cliches? Sure. But it is a well done cooking movie that doesn’t make one feel stupid for not knowing how the fancy foods work. It tells a fun story and doesn’t turn into a sappy romcom ever. Yay food!

3 out of 4.

Saving Mr. Banks

Before this week, I had never seen Mary Poppins. Classic movie sure, and I of course knew songs and scenes from it, but I never watched it in its entirety. Blame the parents. While watching the movie as an adult, I did find it very odd. The message was clear: money is evil, family is great, but why they chose to enforce that message in the 1960s was beyond me.

That was my main goal for watching Saving Mr. Banks: to figure out what the money and banks ever did to the Mary Poppins author. Oh, and to figure out why she was behaving like a huge bitch.

Dat Face Doe
I didn’t think anyone could be mean to a face like that.

Saving Mr. Banks is supposed to tell the true-ish story of Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) acquiring the rights to a film version of Mary Poppins, from the author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson). Of course because it is a Disney movie about the creator of Disney, don’t expect that much actual truth in the movie.

The one thing that does appear to be truthful is that Travers was very very hard to work with. She was granted script rights, and she used the heck out of them. She didn’t want animation, didn’t want music, didn’t want Dick Van Dyke, didn’t want a lot of things. She was very peculiar over her character, and didn’t want Disney to mess it up.

Everything else that occurred in the film is whatever they wanted to say, presumably to rewrite history. For instance, Disney was a chronic smoker and he never hated it, despite it leading to his death. They made a few tiny references in the movie (a cough every once in awhile) but made sure they never showed him doing the deed. In fact, he had a line calling it a disgusting habit and one he was trying to quit. Riiiiight…

The movie is spliced with the tale of Travers’ early life, when she moved to the middle of no where with her family. She lived in a small house, but had a loving (yet alcoholic) father (Colin Farrell), and a quite annoyed mother (Ruth Wilson). Her stories were based on an actual nanny sent to clean up their home, after a few unfortunate events leaving it in disarray.

It should be obvious that most of her complaints with the original script, end up getting included in the final project. So something has to change by the end of the movie, but is it change that all parties actually agree on?

Also featuring Paul Giamatti as an optimistic driver (strange role for him), Bradley Whitford as the writer, and B.J. Novak and Jason Schwartzman as the song writers.

The Past
What? You didn’t want a farm story during a Mary Poppins movie movie? Too bad!

After watching the movie, I am unsure how much of it is true, and how much of it is just revisionist history. I mentioned a few discrepancies above, but I also don’t know if the back story on Travers’ early life is accurate. I loved the back story, loved it far more than the other part of the film. It was sweet and it was tragic. It made Mary Poppins make a heck of a lot more sense and give it a more powerful meaning. But given all the other changes, I can only doubt that the past problems are somewhat fabricated as well.

This film is also meant to be a pseudo-biopic for Walt Disney, but since it is such a small part of his wildly successful life, and full of inaccuracies, I wouldn’t be willing to label it as such.

My favorite actor from the movie is surprisingly Colin Farrell, playing the “real” Mr. Banks who needs saving. His performance was incredible, despite being a minor role. But hey, he has impressed me a lot over the last few years with a few of his role choices.

What this film taught me is that the real Travers was indeed really hard to work with, for potentially tragic yet inexcusable reasons. If our current pop culture network existed back then, there would have been tons of negative press thrown her way, with hardly any sympathizers.

Saving Mr. Banks itself will probably mostly just apeal to those who grew up with Mary Poppins in their lives and want to relive the magic in a completely different way.

Part of me was hoping at the end of the movie, when they did the premier of Mary Poppins, that they would show the entire film. You know, secretly turn it into a Double Feature. That would have been truly surprising. But Saving Mr. Banks on its own plays a relatively safe story: one that is very powerful, but also full of deceit.

2 out of 4.

Beautiful Creatures

Supernatural Teen Romance is a genre now, in case you missed it. Yes, it existed before Twilight, but Twilight really made it take off in a big way. I think it even has its own sections in book stores now. Unfortunately, that means everything will then be compared to Twilight if it has supernatural romance in it, which is of course silly. Twilight is a straight up Drama Romance, while something like Warm Bodies is a Comedy Romance (but not a RomCom).

Beautiful Creatures seems to fall somewhere in between the two.

Mmm food
Don’t be so scared guy, it is just a witch dinner.

This film takes place in Gatlin, South Carolina, which means two things – Southern Accents, and the Bible Belt. This town is the location of a small civil war battle, but that is the only thing it has to its name, so the town celebrates the reenactment every year. Ethan Wate (Alden Ehrenreich) loves to read and learn, separating him from most of the locals. Of course when a girl from a recluse family moves back to town, they all assume she is a devil worshiper and bad news.

Ethan doesn’t care, she reads books too, so she is perfect. Who cares if Lena (Alice Englert) actually ends up being a witch? A witch who doesn’t know if she will be good or evil until her 16th birthday, you know, when all female witches have it chosen for them, based on their “True self”. Why just the women and not men? Not sure, sexism probably. Can he handle a woman with powers, and her family (Uncle = Jeremy Irons, Cousin = Emmy Rossum, and mother) forcing her in different directions?

Also featuring Thomas Mann as normal best friend, Emma Thompson as his super religious mother, and Viola Davis as his guardian/librarian friend. After all, a story needs normal people in as well, or else we have nothing to make fun of!

I think he looks like an older Eddie Munster. Does that add to the supernatural feel?

Beautiful Creatures is of course based on the novel, and from what I can tell, if you like the novel, you might hate this movie! Like all great book to film transitions, things change, and frankly I don’t care how different it is from the book, because I like what I saw.

The main two leads are relatively new to the movie scene and I haven’t seen them in anything personally, but I loved them both. Alden made me laugh almost every time he talked, and not just because of his strong accent combined with “smart people” words. Alice and Alden had great chemistry together, and despite being a quick teen romance, I found it believable.

The movie had its issues of course, sometimes it felt like it had B-movie special effects, and it definitely was predictable at parts. I am confused at why they cast Kyle Gallner as the brother, who looks far too much like Robert Pattinson. That is just asking for more Twilight comparisons.

More impressively, the “dinner scene” was done almost entirely without CGI, a rarity in movies these days, and pretty dang impressive in general. I say give it a chance, and try not to get lost in the paper thin religious towns people.

3 out of 4.

Men In Black 3

Here’s something I have learned today. Men In Black 3 is the first movie Will Smith has done in four years. FOUR YEARS.

Isn’t that weird? Someone who used to do action movies every other year on average since ID4, with a drama or two thrown in? I only looked this up because Will Smith was not tagged on my website yet. Just found that shocking.

But now on his IMDB, he has like, 6 things in production or rumored. So I guess he just took a little break. Work on his daughter’s singing career. Stuff like that.

Smithy Willy
Maybe instead of a movie review, we can just talk about all of the achievements of Will Smith.

Needless to say, I would suggest you have seen MIB and MIB2 before this movie, even though MIB2 is dumb and isn’t necessary for this movie.

But in MIB3, we have a new head of the department, Agent O (Emma Thompson). Don’t remember her? Well she has totally been there forever, shh. Long story short, Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) has escape from the moon prison, and is coming back to earth. He is the last of his kind, and missing his arm, thanks to Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) from 40 years earlier in the past.

And he does! Agent K is wiped out of existence, and the only one who can remember him is Agent J (Smith). Why? Because Spoilers. Either way, Agent J gets the idea to go back in the past as well, a day prior, kill the original Boris, so the future can be even better than it was before. Just needs help from a pot head time jumper (Michael Chernus).

Needless to say, going back in time doesn’t work out as planned, and despite being told not to, he teams up with the past version of Agent K (Josh Brolin) to save the future, and the world. Also Bill Hader has a small role as Andy Warhol. a

For the first time, their main villain actually looks and is pretty bad ass.

First things first: entertaining? Yes. Dealing with time travel tricky, pretty sure they dealt with it badly, but hey, I’m fine with that right now. Was a fun story, good action, good humor.

And Josh Brolin. Josh Brolin as young Tommy Lee Jones as Agent K was astounding. That dude had TLJ from these movies down to a T, and it was just crazy to watch. He really felt like a younger version of himself, which was pretty great.

This movie also lacks a forced love component for Will Smith’s character like the other two. Is there some love? Sure. But not really. Instead a good movie with some pretty awesome acting

3 out of 4.


When I saw the (countless) previews for Brave I was never wildly impressed with them, and didn’t really care if I saw it or not. Well, I knew I would see it but when is the better question.

I also learned recently that there is a rather large subset of people who believe that Pixar can do no wrong, all of their movies are amazing, and judge new movies based off everything they’ve ever done. That sucks for Pixar. Good for money, but still, kind of a weird position to be in.

Either way, what bugged me about the previews is they were all super vague. For some reason a girl wants to change her fate and has to go at great lengths to do it. But from the previews it makes it seem like the fate she wants to avoid is just a marriage? Hmm, weird.

Brave bitches love bows
Oh and she likes to shoot things, of course.

Merida (Kelly Macdonald) is a Scottish “princesS”. Her father Fergus (Billy Connolly) lost his leg in a fight with the deadliest bear ever, of all time, and helped lead the other three tribes to fight off invaders. So they made him king. However, they agreed that to strengthen the tribes, the daughter (once she gets a certain age) must marry the first born son of one of the other chieftains. Ugh, marriage!

Her mom Elinor (Emma Thompson) is the voice of reason in the house, and has been grooming her daughter to be a proper lady and suitable Queen should the time come. Her dad gave her a bow and arrow, and taught her to ride and be adventurous and hunt! Doesn’t help when the the tribes come to town, the three suitors are all “undesirable” (seemingly based on outward appearance only, for shame Merida). Lord Dingwall (Robbie Coltrane), Lord MacGuffin (Kevin McKidd) and Lord Macintosh (Craig Ferguson) are all willing to fight over it, so she has an archery competition to decide!

Which she enters herself, pissing off her mom, embarrassing the tribes, and then she runs away. Hey whats that? A witch (Julie Walters)? A potion to change her fate by changing her mom? That is a vague as crap potion wish, I am sure it won’t come back to haunt her or do anything too drastic. AND THEN I REALIZED WHY THE PLOT WAS SO SECRETIVE.

It just feels ludicrous to even explain what happens in the second half, and spoils a lot of things. So uhh, rather you find out on your own.

Unkempt hair
Her unkempt hair shows her free spirit.

Alright, first off I don’t care that the main character is a woman and that she can shoot a bow. Movies that go against stereotypes just to do that shouldn’t matter, cause I don’t care if a lead is male or female, animated or actually existing. Turns out the fact that she can shoot a bow really good adds…very little to the story. Its whole purpose to give her a “non girly” thing to do and surprise people with.

But outside of that, I think the the writers walked a pretty nice line in terms of avoiding women stereotypes, if that was their goal. Don’t be fooled though, this movie is mostly stereotypes. I mean, kilts, Scottish people, just asking for it. Most of the humor is slapstick in nature as well. But the mom? Not mean, just caring. Merida? Not really brave, but kind of reckless and childish. The witch? Not at all mean, just kind of a plot point to teach people lesson/morals.

The actual “bad guy” in the movie also turns out to not even be that bad. A film with everyone being a decent person (eventually).

You might be confused. “Wait? Merida not that Brave?” Sure, she does some stuff, takes some courage. But the bravest character in the movie is in fact the mom character. I think it should have been more from her point of view, but that is harder to sell. So when I looked back on the film, I imagined it as her story and liked it a lot better. Because like I said, Merida is just way more typical child, leaping before looking, overreacting, refusing to talk things out, reckless, than brave. But hey, whatever.

I also felt that some instances could have been vastly improved, story telling wise. But then it would have probably made it a PG-13 movie instead. Oh well.

3 out of 4.