“The last time I got these kinds of chills was when I first saw Avatar.” -me

Official Dolby Cinema poster for Marvel's "Avengers: Endgame"

NO spoilers here, ladies and lads.

This movie has been in the making for over a decade after Marvel (MCU) first released Iron Man in 2008. Since then, we’ve seen three phases of the MCU. 18 character movies and three Avengers movies later, we get to witness one of the biggest cinematic moments in recent history. Directed by the Russo brothers (who were behind Avengers Infinity War), Endgame picks up after Infinity War smoothly. This is one of the few (and maybe only) MCU movies that is successful is tying in humor and action without seeming uncomfortable or forced, as well as connecting emotion successfully to truly make some grown men cry. Not me, because I’m not a grown man.

This movie could have obviously been reduced by at least 30 minutes, but I understand why they wanted to make this movie 3 hours long with credits. And I know I usually complain with most action movies in discussing pace. But Endgame makes up for its gradual buildup to a third and final act that made my nipples oh-so-very erect. This movie is worth the build up and decade-long wait. Impressive, too, is Endgame‘s cast and cameo list. Every familiar face has a cameo, at the very least. And while I wish more character deaths would have taken place because I’m hateful, I’ll still sleep at night. Ultimately, Endgame is not the best Marvel movie, but it certainly aims close in being a masterpiece in at least some sense. With this being the beginning of the end, one can only wonder if down is the only way for Marvel to go from here, though. (he says in a foreboding manner)

A

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You can BBM my A

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If you were dismissed from soccer practice early on Wednesday, or perhaps got to Cindy’s just after dinner for a sleepover, you were able to watch the three-hour Drake Show Billboard Music Awards, which, personally, for the first time in a long time, had an impressive list of performers. Hosted by America’s new sweetheart, Kelly Clarkson (who will have her own Ellen-esque talk show come September and oh boy does that just seem right), the awards show had some highs and lows. Observe as I rate the fuck out of every performance that graced the stage with absolute reckless abandon.

Taylor Swift feat. Brendon Urie “ME!”

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Opening the show, while being incredibly unoriginal in any way, shape, or form, Tay Tay sang a song all about herself with Panic! at the Disco’s lead singer, Brendon. It was mostly a visual display of her music video, aside from the wannabe opening that was borrowed from Beyonce’s2018 Coachella performance (fight me). She sang live -a rare plus these days-while doing some childlike choreography with pastels everywhere. Recap: TaYLoR iS uNiQuE aNd zAnY aNd tHat iS oKaY.

B-

Halsey “Without Me”

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Delivering one of the best performances of the night, Halsey delivered her tired-ass single (I love it, but ENOUGH) with a female lyrical dancer. Opening the song with the camera person literally on top of her (I was about to blow my rape whistle), she eventually starts to give us P!nk vibes with her short hair and love for physical movement. In no time and to no one’s surprise, she does some dancing with the female that leads to [what I imagine] lesbian foreplay. Overall, wonderful vocals with some dramatic flare that no one asked for but will certainly suffice.

A

Ciara “Thinkin Bout You”

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Janet Jackson Ciara reminded us that she is still around, releasing album #7 somehow, and wants us to know that having abs in your 30s is still possible. The song was fine, her dancing was always crazy good per usual, it just seemed to be lacking originality or stand-out points.

C

Dan + Shay & Tori Kelly “Speechless”

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Unfortunately for them, the title of the song is opposite how I feel. This performance made me feel like I was watching two guys singing for money in the streets because their Youtube videos, selling CD’s at gas stations, and having their family brag on Facebook wasn’t enough to get them famous. (I’m not done yet) And then a Youtube artist from years ago encounters this duo on the street and decides to have a playful (at first) sing-off that gets aggressive towards the end. I saw no chemistry other than the “I’m going to hit the next note better than you” look in their all-to-knowing eyes. They can all sing, that’s the concerning part! It was just missing a connection.

C-

The Jonas Brothers “Jealous” / “Cake by the Ocean” / “Sucker”

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The [what was] teen heartthrob-turned every-crush-of-every-white-person-under-40, Nick, cleverly hides his package adorned in leather pants with an long coat to start off on his own. Defying the aging white people law (a white person’s attractiveness peaks in early 20s and only goes, downhill from there), Nick is then joined by Joe for their second song. Forgetting about the other one, we are suddenly forced to watch a stand-out (for all the wrong reasons) quick guitar solo with Kevin surrounded by fire, akin to if Guy Fieri was allowed to perform after eating a tub of chili. It was a cute “throwback” moment, but are we forgetting the Jonas’ have only been spray for 6 years? Is pop that bad right now that we’re wet for the reconnecting of the Jonas’ brothers?

C+

Khalid “Talk” / “Better”

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I think his music is legitimately great. His songs are smooth, rich, and nearly perfection. His voice on the tracks is so fluid and sultry; it always makes me moist. So hearing him sing live and sounding rough (nervous? gassy?) let me down. He seemed too small for that stage, and I’m not talking physically. He seemed so tiny and uneasy. He got more comfortable at the end, but by then it was too late. This was no sex.

C

Ariana Grande “7 rings”

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She performed this not at the actual awards show. But what else is there to say, it’s the same thing she’s been doing since she put this single out. The phrase “if it in’t broke, don’t fix it” seems to be her current motto. But aslo: cool, hip, forgettable in 5 years. Her amazing vocals keep getting lost in the music she continues to put out because, I’ll say it, she’s not a rapper. Bring back the ‘Piano” song days of her using her voice. Now, we’re supposed to freak when she hold a note for 3 seconds. Also, she needs to stop holding the mic out for the audience to sing. We know that she knows that we know every fucking word. We’re either female, gay, or both.

B-

Madonna feat. Maluma “Medellin”

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While it’s good to see her back after several years, there was too much going on here. Yes, she’s 60 and on album # 14, so I’ll give her some slack. But with the weird holograms of her actually dancing while she just kind of waltzed around the stage, it was hard to appreciate the song itself. I’m still not sure if she sang or lip-synced. Maluma, attractive 25 year old Colombian, did well. Minus the flirting-with-Madonna bits. I could not un-see 35 year old difference.

B-

lAUREN dAIGLE “yOU sAY”

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Bitch. Can. Sing. No denying that. The Louisiana local looked like she was more ready for an outdoor festival, but when she opened her mouth, you were able to put that aside. She definitely holds a light to Adele, although I’m not sure if was due to the song or her vocals. Still, refreshing to be able to hear a good sound at a music award show.

B+

Mariah Carey – Medley

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Redeeming herself for the New Year’s Eve Incident from years back, Mariah sang live and didn’t need to lip-sync. As she barely moved from out of her little standing circle, she was focused on controlling her vocals (bless her heart) and moving her left hand around to save her own life from anyone hating on her. She did well. Some rough and missed notes- sure. But she was able to get those little high notes at the end. After accepting the icon award and throwing her balled up tissue on stage, she delivered a surprisingly genuine (and not diva-esque) thank you speech.

B

Panic! at the Disco “Hey Look Ma, I Made It”

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Brendon was just cute to watch. He was like a Cub Scout on a sugar high, running around all over the place. Great vocals to a fun song. For once, I have nothing negative to say. I appreciate how far they have come from quirky rock to more mainstream without being overbearing (looking at you, Imagine Dragons).

A-

Kelly Clarkson “Broken & Beautiful”

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In what felt like a 4-minute musical trailer for the upcoming Uglydolls movie, Kelly sand the track beautifully. This is obvious, you can’t deny her voice. Does this whole thing remind us of P!nk- yes. Am I uncomfortable now? Yes. I appreciated the displays of visuals, although the pink thing got tired after Taylor and then Ariana, but I’ll let that go. What I won’t let go is how Kelly had children signing and playing the drums around her at the end. I thought I had to make sure I wasn’t watching the Kids’ Choice Awards on.

C+

bts FEAT. HALSEY “boy with luv”

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Biased? I SURE AM! These boys got the Social Artist award for the third consecutive year, as well as Best Group award. And then they demolished the stage with their choreography and [what sounded like] live vocals while doing their Korean choreo. Akin to their music video, BTS carried their energy through out the whole performance. The unwanted stepsister, Halsey, was there to deliver her 14 second part. Adorned in a top that kept falling off her shoulder and piss wig, she went and did a wardrobe change that no one wanted. She did her whitest best to keep up with BTS’s dancing. The fact that this performance was saved for towards the end of the awards, not to mention that the cameras cut to some many girls crying afterwards, makes me feel like we’re in a time warp with The Beatles. But I’ll just leave that there.

A

Paula Abdul – Medley

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I’m just thankful we can appreciate female artists tearing up the stage despite their age. We’re force fed the 18-22 year old girls that are sexy, sure. But to see a 56 year old woman doing nonstop dancing for several minutes only 2 weeks after her father passed away just makes me exhausted! Paula started off with some foot-syncing to a tap dance beat, and then moves on to throw her hat at Julianne Hough (which I was hoping for all night…well actually, I’d have preferred a cymbal, but that worked for me, too).

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Paula did some crazy shit on that stage. Stuff that should have technically seriously injured her. She jumped off a platform multiple yards high into her dancers’ arms, got pulled around on the floor, and even got on top a human pyramid and intentionally collapsed with it. Meanwhile, my knees and toes sound like crinkled paper when I get out of bed.

A-

“Lady Pennywise?”- me

The Curse of La Llorona Movie Poster

With a new-to-horror director (who’s going to be in charge of The Conjuring 3) and some paint-by-the-numbers scares, this movie didn’t really offer anything new. The Curse of La Llorona is based on Hispanic folklore of a scary ass woman who wants to kill your children in order to replace hers whom she drowned in the past. The premise seems scary enough, but the end-product is mostly a sad bookend to The Nun- just a woman draped in white and constantly screeching. We see her so often in this movie that, per usual, leaves less and less to the imagination. She starts to look more and more like a clown. Minus the juggling act.

Scooby Doo‘s Velma (Linda Cardellini) does okay as a mother (albeit kind of dumb for being in social services but not recognizing signs of danger well enough) running around while screaming to save her children from turmoil. The kid actors in this movie are just okay, too. But we don’t usually watch horror movies for the award-winning acting, I suppose. Needless to say, the trouble with this movie was that the characters were always in danger but never any real danger. It turns into a “how are they doing to get out of this zany adventure?” moment after moment.

The scares, too, are relatively weak. Are they “fun”? Sure. So is T.G.I.F., that does not mean I want to actually go there. I appreciate that a couple of scares are brave enough to take place during the day in broad daylight (usually it’s night time and probably raining with thunder). In sum, this movie is not able to muster enough strength to spook you, and is just below par with the horrors that The Nun tried to offer, which isn’t saying much.

C+

K-POP KWEEN

It was a genuine accident. I never wanted to be in this place in my life where I’m calling myself “The K-Pop Kween,” doing choreography in my kitchen and watching K-Pop music videos over and over on YouTube like a 4 year old. But that’s show biz. wha ha happened was… BLACKPINK dropped an EP at the start of April. I didn’t know who or what they were; I briefly listened to a couple of their tracks, but when I didn’t understand the language (like a closed-minded goon), I quickly dismissed it. Days later, some online article had a list of the “top songs” to check out for the week; BLACKPINK’s “Kill This Love” was on the list.  I listened to it and was immediately moist. By pure happenstance, their music video debuted soon after. I’m not sure I can put into words how I felt; an interpretive dance would be more effective. brb

k back.  I fell into a K-Pop tunnel after that. I started to watch more of their videos. I was hearing other group names. BTS. KARD. (G)I-DLE. No, I did not have an active seizure and just hit random keys. These are some bop suppliers fresh from Korea, and I’m here for it. America’s current pop artists need to take some notes from Korea. I AM REBORN.

 

BLACKPINK

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Listen up, morons. Jisoo, Jennie, Rose, and Lisa are going to fuck you up in the worst way! These 4 skinny ass, sexy-ass, early ass 20s Korean ass angels have the key to my heart.  They’ve been putting out music since 2016, but America is mentally delayed. They were just part of the Coachella lineup.  Their “Kill This Love” music video is the second most viewed YouTube video within the first 24 hours debuting (second to the other K-POP delight, BTS). They do choreography for the entire length of their songs. Just continue sitting on the toilet while you think about how impressive that is. The stamina, the endurance, and awe of it all! Britney Spears (I love the bitch, but all she does it gyrate and do jazz hands for three 20-second intervals) wasn’t even doing that in her Slave 4 U days. Just saying. BLACKPINK’s movements are pretty tight and in sync, too. Is this love?

Other recommendations:

 

BTS

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This is no SClub7. But if you say they all look alike, you’re accurate but offensive and a racist.  Welcome: Jungkook, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, Jin, V, and RM. Or maybe I just listed some foreign car companies; that’s one secret I’ll never tell. While, I’ll admit, they don’t have the star power of BLACKPINK (BTS’s SNL performances wasa little shaky, albeit, action-packed), BTS is an absolute delight to watch when performing.  As with BLACKPINK, BTS has high energy that makes you wonder what you’re doing with you life after sitting on the sofa for 5 hours straight, surrounded by 2 bags of empty chips, and empty package of Chips Ahoy!, and a 2-liter of Diet Dr. Pepper. Their newest video, Boy With Luv , is not only lovely to watch, but also breaking records. It’s the most watched YouTube video in the first 24 hours (over 74 millions views). Their latest album has more elevator songs ballads than I’d like, but it’s overall lovely.

Other recommendations:

 

Worth mentioning:

In my eyes, BLAKCPINK and BTS are the big ticket K-Pop groups as of date. But please continue to feast your eyes on some other noteworthy afternoon delights:

K.A.R.D. : Bomb Bomb

(G)I-DLE: Senorita

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Like a beating that lasts almost too long, leaving you aroused, sure, but more than anything else- exhausted.”- me

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The ever-talented James Wan (The Conjuring; Insidious; Saw) tries his hand again at action after directing Furious 7 a few years ago, and he does everything well with what he was given. He gives us bold (if not peculiar) actor and actress choices and some very impressive action and special effect sequences. But, as I will for the rest of my life, I blame much of my issues with Aquaman on 2017’s bag of shit, Justice League. We are already familiar with Aquaman’s character after the studio insisted on pushing out Justice League so that it would come out before Avengers: Infinity War. Moving forward, Aquaman, Cyborg, and The Flash are kind of fucked because it’s like we’ve already seen them before, so their origin stories aren’t as significant to us.

Getting back to Aquaman, in getting to know more about the Water Thor™ himself, we’re introduced to an entire universe that is just begging for spin-offs. The world that Wan creates in this movie is impressive, albeit overcooked. But it is admittedly lovely to look at. I got Avatar vibes, but now isn’t the time. The entire plot of the movie is formulaic and reminds me of the 1-2-3 patterns of The Mummy movies from the late 90s. This is a bittersweet process, as it takes us on a zany adventure while learning of the different worlds and characters Wan creates, but it also plays out like a children’s book.  wE mUsT gO tO tHiS LaNd tO gEt tHiS iTem tO dEstRoy tHis eNeMy tO sAvE tHiS wOrLd.

I am more confused than elated about the actors chosen for Aquaman overall. Jason Mamoa has a likability about him, and I assure you it’s not because he’s a zaddy.  Patrick Wilson, per usual, does great. And I love myself some Nicole Kidman, but it is weird seeing her kick ass. It’s like indigestion after a hearty pasta dish- it just didn’t sit well despite how much I was supposed to enjoy it. William Defoe is…William Defoe (lolz). Least impressive is Amber Heard; she just seems extraordinarily basic. Most of the Atlanteans have a strong presence voice. She just reminds me of a salesgirl in an old Poison Ivy costume from 1998.

Ending on a positive note, because the “live, laugh, love” and “radiate positive vibes” signs above my TV remind me to do so daily, I will give credit where it’s due. Aside from the lighting in this movie that reminds me of late-90s action movies using green screens and lighting that screams “Actors in front of a green screen!,” the special effects themselves are respectable.  The chase and fight sequences in Sicily are just superb and well choreographed.  The Trench battle is dark and showcases what James Wan is truly known for- horror. And even the little things people wouldn’t normally pay attention to- like the characters hair flowing while underwater, or the transition of the characters turning away and swimming off quickly – delightful!

Aquaman could have afforded to calm it down, but in following the brilliantly well done Wonder Woman and then the failed Justice League, Aquaman (and all other DC Universe origin stories) has a lot to prove. Asking for a medium steak  and getting a well-done steak brought to the table is similar to Aquaman. Sure, I’ll enjoy it because I just paid $25 for it, but it was fucking overdone, Natalie. It won’t reflect in your tip because it’s not your fault, but fuck.

C+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choice Movies of 2019 (or: Disney Will Make Another $7 Billion in a Year)

2019 is going to be an absolute pleasure for me to spend tens of dollars per movie to spend my time in theaters this year. Sitting in a big ass faux-leather sticky chair that a 200+ pound man sat in and left a damp residue? Feeling like a human vibrator in my seat because the theaters speakers are so unnecessarily fucking loud? And all just by breaking the bank and spending a quarter of my pay check each time? Yes, please!

Most of the top grossing movies in 2018 were Disney since it’s slowly taking over the entertainment industry and world. Disney made over $7 billion last year just in theaters. SICKENING. This was the second time Disney crossed over $7 billion (doing it initially in 2016). Thanks in major part to Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Incredibles 2, Disney definitely raped and pillaged the town that is the movie industry. Regardless, I’ll join them in pillaging, as 2019 is looking bright with choice movies being released.

 

January

Glass Movie Poster

1/18/19

Sure, this month is halfway over already. Things that are completely over already: your New Year’s resolution to better yourself as a human being. Things that are not over; M. Night Shyamalan’s career! One of my favorite director’s endured a literal decade of “awful” movie releases, from The Village, to The Happening, to The Last Airbender, to After Earth. He got back on the map with The Visit and then surprised a lot of people with Split. Glass serves as a follow up to Split (a surprise liaison to 2000’s Unbreakable) and will have been a 20 year experience in the making.  I’m not expecting too much action since two of the 3 main focal points are older actors- Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson- but it should prove to be unique to watch.


February

2/8/19

The greatly awaited sequel to the smart The Lego Movie (2014) should be equally delightful. Wrapped in wit and great visuals, the first movie had a good voice cast with Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, and Will Arnett. I definitely have my concerns with The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part having the “sequel curse.”  Since it’s directed by the man behind Trolls, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, and Shrek Forever After, it may have potential to just be cute and silly and not smart like the first Lego movie.  Additionally, the voices added to the sequel will include Tiffany Haddish, Nick Offerman, and Arturo Castro, all of whom are fine, just not sensational to me. I’ll remain optimistic for now.

 

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2/14/19

Taking in $120 million from its meager $5 million budget, the predecessor, Happy Death Day, did a lot of the right things in allowing it to be a successful horror slasher. The last couple of years have been great for horror movies, so Happy Death Day 2 U (I’ll give it to them, that’s pretty clever) has a good chance of being a solid sequel. With the same director as the first one, this sequel looks like it will be equally smart with plot devices and well-timed humor. I wish the killer’s mask was creepy, but hey- coming out on Valentine’s Day gets me aroused as it is.


March

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3/8/19

Wonder Woman 2 Captain Marvel plans to make some money moves. Taking notes (for once) from DCCEU world with the successes of Aquaman and Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel looks to be following the path of Wonder Woman; both are directed by women and focus on female leads. I’m not knocking this, I love a good female-driven movie. HELLLOoOooOoo?! But we all know my thoughts on Brie Larson

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(and if you don’t recall, help yourself to my old post on Kong: Skull Island )- I like the cheese, but not her talent-less ass. Also, I feel Captain Marvel‘s pace is going to draw at a glacial pace with lots of build up and dramatic flare leading to a fantastic second half. The directors, Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, aren’t known for much in the directing department other than a couple of unheard of movies and some TV show episodes. Captain Marvel will be a “prequel” to Avenger: Infinity War, but also help explain just how in God’s name is this character going to save humanity after the chaos that ensued at the end of Avengers. This, if nothing else, will bring in a big audience.  I, alone, am excited about the movie taking place in 1995 (*bows in front of a Blockbuster).

 

Us Movie Poster

3/22/19

Jordan Peele is treating us once again as Get Out made such a remarkable statement and marking in 2017. The premise of Us is simple in that a family encounter some “visitors” when they go to their beach house. The trailer serves its purpose without being too lengthy or showing too much- it leaves you wondering what the hell is going on? If it’s anything like Get Out, I’m pumped.

 

Dumbo Movie Poster

3/29/19

OH SHIT! Disney continues their live-action remakes of its earlier animated films. Tim Burton is going to deliver, and you fucking know it. We’ll see Michael Keaton and Danny DeVito (who haven’t been in a movie together since Burton’s Batman Returns from 1992!). Tim Burton always leaves an impression on you with each movie he directs. The animated Dumbo from 1941 was fucking depressing, and I have no doubt this movie will make me so sad and ultimately become an elephant activist by the end of the year.


 April

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4/19/19

Based on Latin American folklore, this James Wan production could be another good horror movie. It follows a a widow who is haunted by “the Weeping Woman.” I’m appreciating how we have a horror movie that’s not based on an American haunt and also has a sizable cast of Latin American actors.  The trailer shows very little of the movie, which you know I always respect. The one major jump scare in it is a classic misdirection!

 

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4/26/19

Just two months after Captain Marvel and one year after the previous Avengers movie, Endgame has been as secretive as a sophomore schoolgirl about Billy Lee asking Susie to the prom with his pin. The trailer (I imagine we’ll get a bigger one during the Super Bowl) doesn’t show much save for a few things of note: the Hulk is ready to fuck shit up, Hawkeye is done dicking around, Captain America is probably gonna dieeeee, and Ant-Man shall return with his zany shenanigans.


May

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5/10/19

It holds promise because (A) it’s been nearly 20 years since America got a wide-released Pokemon movie and (B) fucking Ryan Reynolds voices Pikachu! Genuine concern ensues in seeing that Rob Letterman directing this movie. He’s remembered for 2015’s Goosebumps, but also Shark Tales and Gulliver’s Travels. Still, is seems to be the Pokemon movie we’ve all been waiting for for some time, as a live-action/animated movie hybrid.

 

The star plays the magical Genie.

5/24/19

Guy Ritchie (director of Snatch and the Sherlock Holmes movies) is going to tear us a new asshole with this redo. If you ask me, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, and Pocahontas made up the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirits of Disney’s animated movies in the 90s. This movie will surely have me doing the sign of the cross, as I’m already psyched without even seeing an actual trailer.  Casting was smart in keeping it ethnically appropriate with some sexy-ass faces: Naomi Scott (Jasmine), Mena Massoud (that damn street rat), and Marwan Kenzari (Jafar). I’m still not sure about how I’m physically feeling about Will Smith as the Genie, but I imagine his performance will supersede his creepy appearance.

 

5/31/19

The wondrous director that is Michael Dougherty (Krampus; Trick ‘r Treat) will doubtfully let us down. It will serve as the sequel to the flawless Godzilla (2014), which already had amazing special effects and two monsters fucking shit up against Godzilla. Now you’re telling me there will be three monsters in the sequel?! A big ass lamp-loving moth, a big ass pterodactyl, and Godzilla’s sworn three-headed enemy. WHERE DO I SIGN UP? Stunning Vera Farmiga and America’s sweetheart, Millie Bobby Brown, are added to the cast.


June

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6/21/19

Although a remake we didn’t necessarily ask for, Child’s Play is aiming high for a horror movie with a summer release. No trailer as of yet, but it’s set to have Parks and Recreation‘s Aubrey Plaza and Gabriel Bateman, the little kid who does pretty well with scary shit in Lights Out. Could be a hit that’ll surely miss, as it comes out the same day as Toy Story 4, but I’m a sucker for a good horror movie.

 

Toy Story 4

Although, admittedly, another sequel we didn’t quite ask for, this addition to the Toy Stories is a guarantee to please.  It seems like it’s going to be a carnival setting, which could be refreshing. New voices of Keanu Reeves and the Key & Peele couple are probably going to be treats. A trailer is allegedly coming soon.


July

Untitled Annabelle Film (2019)

7/3/19

Production is being tight-lipped about, what is likely to be, a Fourth of July sparkle to my eye. Debut directorial of Gary Dauberman (although he’s written for the Anabelle movies and the It movies), the untitled third Annabelle will take place around the same time as The Conjuring; so, we’ll get to see Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga come back at the Warrens. Annabelle was good, and Annabelle: Creation was fucking spectacular. Hopefully, we can only continue to go up from there.

 

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7/1919

I already went on my Disney soap box. You know I ain’t mad. Jon Favreau directed The Jungle Book (2016) brilliantly, so I expect nothing less with this redo.  James Earl Jones is returning, thank Jesus. And with Beyonce voicing Nala, you know 72% of the world that sees her as God are surely going to lose their shit and flock to the theaters.


(August doesn’t exist in the realm of great movies)


September

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9/6/19

It (2017) made so many buckets of cash and broke so many records, and I could not be prouder. Keeping the same director and same Bill as Pennywise (nods to the Gods), this sequel did nicely with casting the adult versions of the children from It, as this will take place 27 years later. I’m looking forward to seeing James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, and Bill Hader. I read that the Pennywise’s final form won’t be that ridiculous spider thing like it was in the 1990 version, so let’s hope it’s cooler.


October

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10/18/19

The directors of Sausage Party will direct this unrated animated revision of the timeless dysfunctional family. It’s distributed by MGM, which isn’t really known for animated released (besides Igor. lol. stahp). Still, the cast is looking very promising: Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace Moretz, Finn Wolfhard, Nick Kroll, Bette Midler, and Allison Janney.


November

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11/27/19

With the same cast and directors and the first Frozen, this sequel was pretty much a guarantee after the first movie made over $1 billion worldwide, remains the biggest opening during a Thanksgiving weekend in the U.S., and became Disney’s most successful non-Pixar animated release. I’m sure it’ll make tanks of money, I just wonder if it can have the charm of the first one and hold a flame to the catchy “Let It Go” song that you still hear five years later.

December

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12/20/19

Directed again by J.J. Abrams (now that Rian Johnson wasted out time with Episode VIII), the untitled third part of the trilogy (and 9th installment of the Star Wars saga) has given us little information other than it takes places one year later from Episode VIII and is going to make you moist.

“… it seems like a movie hatched because someone had access to an amusement park and knew a lot of people in the makeup and lighting department.” -the Austin Chronicle

Image result for hell fest poster

Movies that come to theaters in September typically don’t stand a chance. Such is the case with Hell Fest, directed by Gregory Plotkin (the man behind the sixth Paranormal Activity). Hell Fest is a slasher horror movie through and through with bad acting that never gets better. Akin to the premise of the fantastic Funhouse (1981), Hell Fest feels more like a Halloween-special version of Pretty Little Liars. Each character fulfills the stereotype of the slasher horror to a T. There is the protagonist who knows something is up and has “the most sense”. The side characters include: the handsome male love interest; the comic relief;and  the girl who doesn’t take shit from no one. Genuinely, I couldn’t wait for each and every character to get killed off. The slower, the better.

The masked killer, without giving anything away with the “twist” at the end that was as much of a twist as me coming out, does not any elicit fear whatsoever. We are immediately introduced to the back of his head without a mask- a young dude that likes to hum “Pop Goes the Weasel,” wears a hoodie, and chunky boots that cause him to walk like he weighs 300 pounds. Michael Myers makes him look like a puppy named Sprinkles. And the killer’s mask in Hell Fest is dull, lacking in any horror creativity, and looks like a quick purchase from Party City (hence the PLL reference). Moving forward, the scares were dull and numbing. We already expect pop up scares as the characters are in a haunted amusement park. After the fourth or fifth scare while the they walk in the maze, for example, it gets a bit desensitizing.

There are some positives, however. I realize this movie was filmed in a Six Flags theme park, so the setting was an easy given. But the lighting in this movie actually impressed me. Allowing the audience to see in the haunted theme park mazes and walk through is never an easy task without ruining all of the hidden parts of the mazes. The uses of black lights and various colored lights for the atmospheric park lighting were on point. No one appreciates this -_-  Additionally, I thoroughly enjoyed how gruesome the deaths were. I went into this wreck of a movie thinking it was PG-13. So imagine my pleasant surprise in seeing some classic 80s-looking deaths with an R-rating! Sure, they were economical in using fake blood in certain scenes, but showing a head get smashed in made up for it 🙂

C-