Ron Perlman Weekend – The Book of Life (2014)

Director: Jorge R Gutierrez

Writer: Jorge R Gutierrez, Doug Landgale (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum, Ron Perlman, Christina Applegate, Ice Cube

 

Plot: Manolo, a young man who is torn between fulfilling the expectations of his family and following his heart, embarks on an adventure that spans three fantastic worlds where he must face his greatest fears.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Magical

 

Story: The Book of Life starts with a school trip being told the story of two Gods Xibalba and La Muerta making a wager to see who gets to rule the land of the living and the land of the dead, their bet follows two young Mexican boys Manolo and Joaquin betting on who will marry Maria.

Manolo is from a bullfighting family and wants to be a musician, while Joaquin becomes General known for fighting off bandits. When everything gets out of hand in the battle between Manolo and Joaquin, Manolo ends up in the land of the dead to save Maria.

 

Thoughts on The Book of Life

 

Characters – Manolo is from a family of bullfighters, he is expected to follow in his ancestor’s footsteps even though he dreams of being a musician. He is part of the bet, he has the better heart trying to win her heart through music, he travels through three worlds to win her heart. Joaquin is the brave fighter, he has been selected by the evil to win Maria’s heart given the medal of everlasting life meaning he can’t die, this adds to his confidence he possesses. Maria is the woman the two are fighting over, she is independent as they come willing to lead her people without needing a husband by her side.

StoryThe story does seem to follow what we saw in Coco in places, this one did come first. We have the central character of Manolo that is expected to follow on path not allowing him to follow his own dream of music. We have the travel through the land of the living, the dead and the forgotten. Where we go to be different is by including Gods that can make a bet to keep them entertained. This story does feel magical from start to finish.

Adventure/Comedy/Fantasy/MusicalThe adventure that Manolo goes on is wonderful to see through the different lands of Mexican culture, this does have good comedy going on through the whole film mostly from the side characters. The fantasy world of the land of the dead and forgotten look beautiful to be travelling through. The songs are delightful to listen to even if some are remixes of famous songs.

SettingsThe settings takes us to Mexico, as we follow the culture of the land, both past and present.

AnimationThe animation looks fantastic, different and what we are used to seeing too, the colours stand out and the different lands have a unique look.


Scene of the Movie –
Forgive song.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I had just watched Coco a few weeks again and knowing that movie just stole most of the ideas annoys me.

Final ThoughtsThis is a magical animation that leaves you with a happy thought about what you have just seen.

 

Overall: Magical and beautiful.

Rating

 

 

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Meet the Deedles (1998)

Director: Steve Boyum

Writer: Jim Herzfeld (Screenplay)

Starring: Steve Van Wormer, Paul Walker, A.J. Langer, John Ashton, Dennis Hopper, Eric Braeden, Robert Englund

 

Plot: Two surfers end up as Yellowstone park rangers and have to stop a former ranger who is out for revenge.


Tagline – To protect and surf.

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tasteless Comedy

 

Story: Meet the Deedles starts as we meet the two surfer school slackers Stew (Van Wormer) and Phil (Walker) Deedle whose father has given them everything in life which leads them to expelled from school, as punishment the boys are set to camp to learn responsibility and end up being recruited as rangers in Yellowstone after a misunderstanding.

While learning the ropes from LT Jesse Ryan (Langer) the boys must try to eliminate the prairie dog problem, which does have a connection to disgraced park ranger Frank Slater (Hopper) who is out for revenge.

 

Thoughts on Meet the Deedles

 

Characters – Stew is the brains of the two brothers, he always comes up with the plans to keep their cover while in rangers in Yellowstone. He is the one that is doing the work the pair should be doing. Phil is the dumb brother who does feel like he is a surfer who does take a shine toward the Lt Ryan, he does get the funniest lines and is easily the one that is too honest to lie. LT Jesse Ryan is the rescue chopper pilot, she has been raised to be part of the park and following in her step-father’s footsteps. Frank Slater is the villainous former ranger that plans to ruin the big celebration with his goons doing his dirty work.

PerformancesPaul Walker is the only reason I even considered watching this movie, he does show us that he has the most talent in this role because the playing dumb needs commitment and he hit them on every turn. Steve Van Wormer is solid enough as the other brother either though while watching he isn’t the one we came to see. AJ Langer is good enough as the love interest without getting much to do other than being that. Dennis Hopper was doing a strange number of villainous roles which he always liked to milk.

StoryThe story follows two slacker surfers that end up going into the park ranger training program to help ride Yellowstone to prairie dogs being controlled by a vengeful former ranger hell bent on revenge. This is designed for a younger audience with how most of the jokes unfold and to say this is a 90s movie is the perfect example to describe the story. we get the message of trying to seek parental approval after a string of failures, which mixes nicely with the endless plans to get away with their own mistakes to be a success, we get a villain that gets his goons to do most of his plans which all play into the comedy of the film, overall this is easily one of those films that uses the story to tell the story that everyone will have their day just let them show their potential.

ComedyThe comedy in the film is a mix of slapstick which usually sees someone flying through the air or jokes between the two brothers that only they will understand.

SettingsThe film is set in Yellowstone national park, we know this has place of beauty, legacy for its tourist attraction which all play into the reasons for the villain to have his own plan.


Scene of the Movie –
Mountain climbing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The jokes miss too often.

Final ThoughtsThis is a 90s comedy that showed us the potential of Paul Walker, it does use basic comedy and by the end of the film you will feel like it has dated.

 

Overall: Simple family comedy.

Rating

 

 

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

Director: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman

Writer: Phil Lord, Rodney Rothman (Screenplay) Phil Lord (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Lily Tomlin, Luna Lauren Velez, Zoe Kravitz

 

Plot: Teen Miles Morales becomes Spider-Man of his reality, crossing his path with five counterparts from other dimensions to stop a threat for all realities.


Tagline – What makes you different is what makes you Spider-Man.

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The New Best Spider-Man Film

 

Story: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse starts as we meet Peter Parker who has been fighting crime for 10-years-now, we jump to Miles Morales a kid from Brooklyn who ends up at private boarding High School a place he doesn’t fit in, with fellow new girl Gwen Stacy.

When Miles is bitten by a spider, he starts to see changes in his body, which seems him come face to face with Spider-Man who is trying to stop an inter-dimensional device from being activated by Kingpin. When Peter Parker is killed, Miles starts to learn his own power which will see him meet Spider-Man from different dimensions including Spider-Ham, Peni Parker, Spider-Man Noir and Peter B Parker, each has their own enemies, but this latest one has put all their homes at risk.

 

Thoughts on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

 

Characters – Miles Morales is a kid from Brooklyn his dad is a cop and he is being pushed into a boarding school, he still has a streetwise side to him which sees him bitten by a spider that will change him into the next spider-man. He must learn to control his abilities if he ever wants to be the hero, and now he has five other versions of Spider-Man who can teach him his place in this world. this is his origin story, similar to many we have seen, only he has come from a different background. Peter B Parker is the oldest Spider-Man, he has lived a life fighting crime, seen his personal life go sour and now he gets t be one of the Spider-Men that helps Miles learn his powers. Gwen Stacy is the new kid in school who just so happens to be from another dimension where she is Spider-Gwen, she is the newest of the visiting Spider people who tries to help Miles too. We have three other versions of Spider-Men, with the Noir one which is a private investigator from the 1930s, Spider-Ham a pig version and Peni Parker from the future, each has their own kill which will help in the fight. We do get villains with Doc Ock working for Wilson Fisk, known as Kingpin who is using the collider to create the fracture in the universes.

StoryThe story here shows the origin of Miles Morales, the new Spider-Man as h must learn to control his powers, but he must learn quickly with the help of Spider-Men from other dimension as they go into battle against a villain in Kingpin that is putting everybody’s home in danger. This is an origin story, only it bypasses the simple first battle which we often see, even though it does build the character of Miles the same as other superheroes. This is easily the most ambitious superhero story you will ever see, which we can get away with in the animation side of the film. the story also gets to poke fun at other origin stories as well as previous films in the universe which give the story the heart required to make you care about the characters and just what they are going through.

Action/Adventure/Family/Sci-FiThe action in this film is massive with giant battles which put our characters through their best abilities, which is the adventure side of the film as they go in search for the answers on how to get home. The sci-fi side to the film takes us through the idea of multiple dimensions that heroes could exist in.

SettingsThe film does give us different looks at New York as we see the different dimensions the characters have come from, this gives us different comic book concepts of the city too.

AnimationThe animation is interesting, to start with it looks weird, but it grows on you making you feel like you are watching a rolling comic book strip, each version of spider-man does have a unique look too.


Scene of the Movie –
The final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Its hard to catch all the jokes.

Final ThoughtsThis is an ambitious animated superhero movie that takes everything to a new level with different Spider-Men, it has laughs and hearts throughout.

 

Overall: Massively Ambitious that delivers.

Rating

 

 

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)

Director: Richard Fleischer

Writer: Earl Felton (Screenplay)

Starring: Kirk Douglas, James Mason, Paul Lukas, Peter Lorre, Robert J Wilke, Ted de Corsia

 

Plot: A ship sent to investigate a wave of mysterious sinkings encounters the advanced submarine, the Nautilus, commanded by Captain Nemo.


Tagline – Walt Disney’s Mighty, Magnificent, Memorable 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea!

Runtime: 2 Hours 7 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Classic

 

Story: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea starts when scientist professor Pierre Aronnax (Lukas) gets assigned to investigate a large number of sinkings in the open ocean, joined by his trusted sidekick Conseil (Lorre). When the ship they are travelling on gets sunk by the creature, Peirre, Conseil and sailor Ned Land (Douglas) go in search of rescue finding the Nautilus seemingly abandoned on the ocean.

The Nautilus captained by Nemo (Mason) tests the men before letting them stay aboard learning the wonders from beneath the ocean and taking on the creatures that have been lurking in the deep.

 

Thoughts on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

 

Characters – Captain Nemo is the mysterious captain of the Nautilus, he doesn’t follow any over the rules of the ocean as he plans his own way to clean it up with his loyal men, he reluctantly lets the three survivors onboard knowing Professor Aronnax could help his work. He does get frustratingly tired of Ned’s behaviour which puts his crew in danger at times. Ned Land is a sailor that is one of the few survivors from the shipwreck, he doesn’t like Nemo and wants to focus on collecting treasure over learning from the ocean. Professor Pierre Aronnax is one of the most famous scientist in the world, he is welcomed on board the ship because of his reputation which impress Nemo, he jumps at the chance to make huge waves in science onboard the ship. Conseil is the assistant to the professor who quickly starts to side with ned when it comes to the methods being shown onboard the vessel.

PerformancesThis is a strange way to bill the cast, because James Mason is the main character and he is great to watch when it comes to his speeches and ideas for what his character wants. Kirk Douglas is mostly the comic relief which is fun to see for the most part. Paul Lukas fits the posh scientist role in the film which is the one that can simplify things for the audience. Peter Lorre makes for a good sidekick figure for whoever his character helps.

StoryThe story here follows the character of Captain Nemo that must educate three new crew members of the wonders of the ocean, showing them the answers are here instead of in how the world is acting. This is one that shows us science need exploring rather than questioning which takes out characters across the world to see things never imagined for the 1800s. While the story does give us entertainment, it would have been nice to see them ship take on a real creature for more than five minutes instead of going into the science versus sailing talk we most explore.

Adventure/Fantasy/Sci-Fi The adventure side of this film takes our crew around the world to places they would have never seen to see places only few would have, make new discoveries. The fantasy mixes into the sci-fi because of the films setting in the 1800s where the technology isn’t like anything imaginable.

SettingsThe film keep sus out at sea for most of the film, it is the interior of the Nautilus which is fantastic creation here show us just what was in the minds of the people.

Special EffectsThe effects for the time were great, they show us what could have been achieved with practical effects and clever camera work.


Scene of the Movie –
Squid battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not much creature action.

Final ThoughtsThis is a must watch classic of cinema, it reaches levels you might not have expected for the time only to become something you need to admire.

 

Overall: Must watch classic.

Rating

 

 

Cecil (2019)

Director: Spenser Fritz

Writer: Spenser Fritz (Screenplay)

Starring: Sark Asadourian, Jason London, Jenna von Oy, Valeria Jane Parker, Christa Beth Campbell, Aaron Munoz, Avary Anderson

 

Plot: It’s 1996 and 4th grader, Cecil Stevens, is reminded of his terrible lisp every time he says his name. To avoid social travesty, Cecil decides to change his hard to pronounce name to the one and only, Michael Jordan.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Will Make the Kids Laugh

 

Story: Cecil starts when Cecil Stevens (Asadourian) starts a new school, joined by Abby (Campbell) who fills him in with the dos and don’ts of school to make it through the day, which includes trying to help Cecil with his lisp which makes his name impossible to say without showing his lisp. Abby suggests using a different name, the one he picks is Michael Jordan.

Michael soon rising in popularity in the school, which starts a trend for the kids to change their names, while working with Abby to learn a deeper problem within the school hierarchy.

 

Thoughts on Cecil

 

Characters – Cecil is the new kid in school, he has a terrible lisp which sees him becoming an easy target for bullies, he does discover he can change his name, which helps him fit in more. Cecil must learn to accept his difference and being friends with everyone in the school isn’t going to be easy. Abby writes the school newspaper and helps Cecil learn the lay of the land of the school, while she investigates why the school is going through the number of cuts it is. Tim and Lorrie are the parents that are going through their own problems which has led to Cecil needing to change school.

PerformancesSark Asadourian and Christa Beth Campbell as our leading children performers are both strong in their roles because we can see they are enjoying themselves while being these characters. the adult actors know when to be over the top which will help the target audience enjoy the film.

StoryThe story here focuses on the school life of young Cecil Stevens as he must adapt to a new school with a lisp which the bullies are taking as an easy target. We deal with issues such as popularity in school, accepting your own imperfections and the friends who are true to you in life. Sure, the story is targeted towards the young audience, which explains certain storytelling decisions going on through the film. We get to learn about the struggles of personal lives of children who are in the middle of their own parent’s relationship problems too. It would be easy to argue that one of the teachers, Ms Baker is way too much to take for any student.

Comedy/FamilyThe comedy in the film comes from the mishaps from the school, it might not be for the older audience, but the kids will enjoy the laughs coming from the film.

SettingsThe film is set in and around the school setting which shows how big and complicated life can become for any of the kids growing up at the time.


Scene of the Movie –
The name montage.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The principal is completely unrealistic.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the films that hits the perfect target audience, the kids will get the laughs required and learn the life lessons about treating people equally.

 

Overall: The kids will enjoy this one.

Rating