“*water splashing sounds*”-me

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I’ll start off with the most offensive line first: I didn’t like Emma Watson as Belle. You look back at the animated version from 1991 and you recall her smiling and being happy, like all the other Disney female leads were drawn to be. In the 2017 remake, shejust seems bored and irritable from her IBS. And while I enjoy Emma Watson in other movies, I would have chosen 18 other actresses over her to portray Belle, including Susan Surandon.

This movie gets some shit from the critics, and with good reason, because this remake takes everything we recall from the original and assumes it for us. It seems to just trudge from scene to scene, taking for granted everything we enjoyed from the animated version. As an example, personally, I was waiting for the big zoom-out moment during the dance scene between Belle and the Beast- nothing happened for me. In the 1991 version, that was such an elaborate and famous scene. In this version, I kept waiting for more.

For every other aspect of the movie, everything was effective. The musical numbers were diligent, well-manicured, and, when needed, over-the-top but seemingly flawless. The castle’s characters were done nicely with some interesting additions to them. The special effects were, as expected, on par with Disney’s impressive top-dollar displays. To play the live-action Disney remake game, The Jungle Book beat the hell out of this movie, for me. Still and all, this movie is worth watching as it is mesmerizing and some kind of spectacle to behold, regardless of my bitchy comments.

B+

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“I didn’t see it, but it’s good.”- movie theater usher

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The soothsayer of a 17 year old ticket-tearing movie theater girl was spot on: it was good! I have not thought the genre of “comedy” was amusing after The Wedding Crashers in 2005. Genuinely: you name it, I probably don’t think it’s funny. For me, comedies have (more often than not) been over-hyped and been left for the apt teenager to gawk and laugh at brainlessly.  I haven’t enjoyed a dumb comedy since The Heat from 2013.  And the strange thing is I don’t care all that much for Amy Schumer. Lean in.

Snacthed was consistent, something most comedies seem to lack. From the very start, it demonstrates what kind of comedy it will be- it plays greatly on Schumer’s character’s crappy life and poor decisions while shedding a comedic light on the age gaps. This is done hilariously as director Jonathan Levine (of The Night Before) allows us to laugh as Schumer is more concerned about selfies and IG likes compared to Goldie Hawn’s maternal concerns of locking all three door locks and fears of being on vacation out of the country. The director’s choice for Hawn to play the mother comes across as random, and so her acting falls mostly flat. The side characters played by Joan Cusack and Ike Barinholtz definitely help fill in the laughs as the mute ex-Special Forces vacationer and the agoraphobic brother, respectively.

Overall, this movie does what a dumb comedy is supposed to do: make you laugh from start to finish and throughout. It was refreshing in that it didn’t center on drugs and sex like most comedies worry about. My age and nipple are showing now.  Anyways, it comes off much like Schumer’s stand-up: it’s inappropriate, picks on her flaws, and has you glad a female can be funny in these hard times. The message, or whatever the movie’s aim, may have gotten lost in the movie’s first half, but I L’ed, O’ed, and L’ed the whole gay time.

C+

 

“No.”- me

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I guess my first question would be “Just…why?” to director F. Javier Gutierrez if I had to interview him, after slapping him in the face with a white linen glove. No one asked for a third installment. Fuck, no one asked for a sequel in 2005 when The Ring Two came out a few years after The Ring, which re-imagined horror and introduced a whole new horror genre to America.  It was directed and acted fantastically by Gore Verbinksi and Naomi Watts, respectively. Rings did nothing of the sort. It was a cheap imitation of the franchise. It did nothing to enhance the franchise or to make people feel like it offered anything except terrible acting. Which leads me to the acting. Fuck them. They were awful and deserve to be on CW or a CBS sitcom (wink wink).

I did everything I was supposed to as a spectator- I went in unbiased (knowing I’d seen the trailer and could already tell how horrible it would be); I went in wanting to be scared or even get some chills. But nooooOOOoooOOOoo, I was rode hard and put away wet. Rings tried to go deeper into the Samara story, and again I ask- why? Some things don’t need to be touched, like Roseanne, or The Godfather, or your grandmother’s fragile doll collection on the mantelpiece. I was physically angry after watching this movie, and I’m becoming physically angry as I write this. I SAID GOOD DAY.

D-

 

“If Pixar’s Cars had a stroke.”- me

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To be fair, I didn’t want to watch this movie. I was dragged in, beaten, and left to watch as a vegetable.  So I legitimately had no choice but to stare at the screen.  (As a brief aside, watching this as an IMAX feature made me question life with the sounds so intense I wanted to tuck my head between my legs, and not for the usual reason).  Mentioned previously, I’ve only seen this movie’s predecessor and not others, nor do I have any intent on watching them. Not critiquing this movie as another tired installment of cars doing things, I will say some of the action scenes left me open-mouthed, though I’m not sure if it was out of shock and aw or to guffaw at Dwayne Johnson’s ridiculousness. I’m getting off-topic when I rant how outlandish is has become to make this actor into some horse-like animal with crazy strength (picking up a man and pinning him horizontally to a wall; running into three men and having them tossed into the air like bowling pins; punching dents into steel walls). It’s almost a practical joke that will have people mocking in 2034.

The science and facts of life behind this movie go out the window. And it makes sense to a degree. For example, with Saw VII or Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, it’s less about reality and more concentration on being more unique than the last 6-7 installments. So I get it. How do you top cars jumping out of a plane? And so, appreciating it for what it is and not what it’s worth, I enjoyed and admired how these action scenes, as expensive as they were (a hearty $250 million budget), were almost entirely real and not CGI, though Director F. Gary Gray (who directed….yes…TLC’s “Waterfalls” video and 1995’s Friday) admits to digitally enhancing some of the scenes. Yet, I found myself oddly impressed with the action sequences through most of the movie (the New York City’s zombie car scene was reinventing) and sadly underwhelmed by the climactic submarine scene after using deductive reasoning.

Little to behold is the cast. Yes, Fate hosts an arsenal of big names, old and new. Charlize Theron finally becomes the series’ first female nemesis, and does a sensational job, all things considered. Ultimately, Fate of the Furious delivers what it promised: fast and shiny cars, fires, bad acting, awkward dialogue, aged actors that need to retire to television rom-coms, and Dwayne Johnson as The Hulk.

C

“Children of the 90th know absolutely still the old series. Though it saw embarrassingly, however, was over funny. Here this is not a primitive bright lustre production more cursorily could be…Let them please go to pension and does not break the brand completely.”- Nobilis1984, some dipshit reviewer on metacritic.com that needs to stay the fuck in his lane (Mar 30, 2017)

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I sat on it a night before reviewing this movie-version of jazz hands and celebratory confetti because I would be biased af, and I watched it while I was hungover like any other 17 year old should have been.  As a “children of the 90th” (deep eye roll), I’ve been so excited for this movie for months and months after I heard a reboot was going to knock my socks off. Newby director Dean Israelite (known really just for Project Almanac, if anything) did a lot of things right with Power Rangers.  The cast of the five teens is made-up of no-name actors and actresses, unless you have comments about singer Becky-G…. didn’t think so. But I appreciated it not being a bunch of B-list names in this case. It made it the movie seem edgy, sexy, and fresh-y. Eilzabeth Banks stole my heart as our villain, Rita, with some cheesy, nostalgic awful humor and one-liners that made me miss the OG series from the 90s.

This movie seemed almost overly concerned with being more mature then necessary. I’m thinking it missed the mark with most audiences due to this movie’s attribute, but I’ll mind my business as it rakes in millions of dollars more than I’ll ever have. But overall, in taking its time building a firm origin piece where we watch as the five teens go from nothings to somethings, Power Rangers allows us, if not forces us, to appreciate it, as much of the movie is made up of slow build-up and characterization.  But once we get the promised actions scenes of the rangers morphing and calling for their zords (and just saying this makes me emotional with tbt vibes and my acne-ridden youth), it serves and slays nicely. The visual effects are just fine, nothing overwhelming. The fight scenes are short-lived- or maybe I just expected more? Regardless, Power Rangers was fresh and fun enough to warrant my excitement, if not leave me -like any good lover- wanting more. But please don’t do yourself a disservice- don’t go into this movie expecting a summertime Marvel blockbuster. This movie is merely a reboot of something to enthrall children who did not get to enjoy our Rangers growing up and allow the late 20s/early 30s folks feel young again, not change action movie history or our take on religion and politics (smirk).

B-

“Remember the Mario world where everything is big? Let’s do that with a gorilla; leave off the red hat and mustache.”- the director

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I guess I’m going to be a diva because this movie is part of the Godzilla-Kong saga and it should be comparable to Godzilla (2014).  I enjoyed a lot of this movie’s features. The casting, while not my ideal cast, we pretty fair, with oldies-but-goodies Samuel L. Jackson and John Goodman, doing their parts. The special effects (connected with Lucasfilm) were on par, surpassing those of some the the bigger blockbusters over the last couple of years. I’ll give credit where it’s due, and much of it goes to King Kong’s features, from his facial symmetry to his hairs; I was very pleased.  The action came in heaves, but in surprising, sudden heaves. As you think you’re getting ready for a boring, sit-down-and-tell-me-about-your-past 3 minute snooze-athon, shit gets hammered!

At the same time, I’m going to compare this to King Kong (2005), because it’s in my top 10 favorite movies and because of the title. The 2005 film, albeit it was 3 hours long, was paced very well for being so long; but at the same time, it built a lot of scenes into the first half to make you empathize with the ape himself. Skull Island tried to force it on you by bringing about the antagonist and making him having a personal vendetta to kill Kong. A lot could have been learned in Godzilla (2014) when director Gareth Edwards had you somehow rooting for a gigantic lizard going against two big-ass creatures with lights for eyes- even as Godzilla was demolishing shit-tons of buildings in the populated city, we still felt empathy for the creature. With the island in Kong (2005), it truly felt like another world; animals and creatures sometimes traveled in packs; we witnessed Darwinism as the weak were killed by the strong. In Skull Island, we mostly watch as the pack of war heroes encounter one big-ass monster at a time.

Much of the acting was so hollow in Skull Island that I found myself laughing at some of the death scenes- not because I’m morbid, but because of how little I cared about the characters (unlike in Godzilla). Brie Larson had me wondering how did she win an Oscar the whoooooole time I watched her perfectly 1970s-depicted feathered hairdo.  The frustration behind most of this movie is its chosen style; it wanted to be funny with war-comedic stances like Predator that didn’t seem to work. It wanted to have the shaky camera effects with action scenes when much of the movie didn’t seem to think about it.  It wanted to go back to Forrest Gump times and coerce us to recall that this movie takes place in the 70s with track after track from that time period.

I’m beating the hell out of this movie only because I wanted to like this movie so much. The first 30 minutes held promise, but after watching the acting and having to compare the action to past films, it made me feel like it wasn’t on the right track the whole way.

B-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

smell ya later, 2016

 

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It’s the most painstaking emotionally-taxing disgusting horrid offensive grueling fattening time of the year.  As we close this shit  show of a chapter that we call 2016, allow me to indulge in things I look forward to in this,our lady, 2017. Please be captivated by the sights and sounds of the year!

sights:

Reason #1,304 Disney uses $100 bills to wipe their tears of joy

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Six of the top ten highest grossing movies last year in the US were Disney-affiliated. Needless to say, 2017’s Beauty and the Beast will surely beat the hell out of the box office, break more records, and hopefully hold a….rose…..to the original (haHA!). And I’m looking forward to see how slutty the feather duster is going to be (gives a lingering glance).

Alien 2: not Aliens though

Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979) was a game changer in horror/sci-fi. The second installment of the prequel trilogy, and following Promethus (2012), Alien: Covenant seems like it can hold some promise and a bit more action, blood, and family fun come May.

All I’ve ever wanted since I was a prepubescent

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My life was the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers pretty much from age 8 to 12 when it started to become, like, totes social suicide, and then secretly from age 13 to current). Sure, we had the movie in 1995. But if you look back on it, it’s dated and the Megazord battle is embarrassing. Let us bow our heads and pray that 2017’s Power Rangers does a lot more than look sexy (we see your tits, Trini) in March.

Kong growed up

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Initially I was offended and against this reboot. King Kong (2005) was nothing short of fantastic. Kong: Skull Island is part of the new Godzilla-Kong series after Godzilla (2014) (also nothing short of fantastic), which will lead up to Godzilla vs. Kong in 2020 if you’re still alive.

Not Avengers

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Marvel has been going to town with hero after hero movies to dominate the box office for the last several years. DC wants in, and I’ll open the door, step to the side, and take his or her coat. 2013’s Man of Steel made it to my top 53 movies. Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad were very entertaining.  So let’s wait and see how nuts the box office goes when this one is released in November.

Slap yo mummy in the face

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In the year of reboots, this version of The Mummy will start a new series with Universal Monsters that will debut the Invisible Man, Dr. Jekyll, and Frankenstein’s monster. It could be really cool. Plus, this mummy is a girl, so women’s rights have come so far after all!

 

sounds:

the fate of Fifth Harmony

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Or is it Fourth Harmony? As no surprise, Camila Cabello peaced out weeks ago. Either way, I’m nervous because it’s equal to Zayn leaving One Direction- both of which were arguably the main focal point of the group with over-rated (Hey, Trump!) vocals. Granted, the rest of these bitches are talented af. They avoided the sophomore slump with the knockout 7/27 album, so I await their return as a whore-some foursome! They’ll be performing without Camila for the first time live on 2017 The People’s Choice Awards this month- bless us.

Nelly Furtado’s alleged return

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A separation that was more difficult that Jack and Kate on Lost– once she started making music without Timbaland after (what Brian declared) the top 10 best pop albums of the 21st century, Loose, it made me wish for them to reconnect annually. While her new album, The Ride, slated for a late March release will be with producers who are not Timbaland, I’ll remain optimistic in that she’s pushing to be different with her new short hairdo and 90s vibe video, “Pipe Dreams.”

Charli XCX wants us to do drugs

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In an effort to get rid of her The Fault in Our Stars “Boom Clap” shit trail, she’s threatening promising her upcoming third album will be filled with nothing but “straight-up pop” and “more club-oriented [music].…  but some of it’s harder and more aggressive, and you’ll want to take more drugs to [one] half than the other.” Hey, if there’s on thing I know about myself, I’ll swallow any version of commercial pop; I just can’t promise how I’ll digest it.