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Live action versions of classic stories and fairy-tales are quickly becoming one of the most popular genres as of late. With the hype caused by films like last year's Cinderella and next year's Beauty and the Beast, it's easy to see that these are definitely what film audiences are interested in seeing. The latest film to follow this film is a sequel to 2010's Alice in Wonderland.
Alice Through the Looking Glass stars Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, and Sacha Baron Cohen. It tells the story of Alice's return to Wonderland as she goes on a journey through time to save the Mad Hatter and his family. The first film grossed over a billion dollars worldwide and was relatively well received by audiences. Is this one any different?
Alice Through the Looking Glass is not the type of film you'll hate watching, but you won't necessarily enjoy it either. I think the biggest problem with this film is that it answers all the questions that nobody was asking. It feels the need to give backstories to all of the major characters in Wonderland and explain why they are the way they are.
Let's start with the acting. I know that all of the characters in Wonderland are eccentric and full of oddities, but the acting in this film was so over-the-top. It wasn't in a way that it fit the characters, it was over-the-top in a way that just made the film uncomfortable. Out of all of the actors who did this, Johnny Depp stood out the most. It was just another oddball character that you can expect out of just about any of Depp's films nowadays. The rest of the cast was simply ok. Mia Wasikowska was quite bland as Alice, Sacha Baron Cohen had an inconsistent accent and Helena Bonham Carter was just ridiculous. None of the cast in this film worked nearly as well as they could have, and the entire film suffered because of it.
The story to this film was extremely forced. It was so painfully obvious that this was a film they didn't plan on making, but then Alice in Wonderland made a billion dollars, and now here we are. The plot made so little sense that at times that Alice, the protagonist of the film, felt like the villain. In fact, I would go to as far to say that it felt that way for a majority of the film. She was selfishly messing with time and putting everyone at risk simply because of one friend. Obviously, she never watched Star Trek. The needs of the many outway the needs of the few, right?
Where this film worked best was with its visuals. The visual aspect of this film was fantastic. A majority of the film looked beautiful. Everything in Wonderland save for a few shots was absolutely breathtaking to look at. All of the different colors in this film worked so well together, and they made the film at least somewhat interesting to watch.
The worst part is the film isn't even funny. Granted, it's not necessarily a comedy, but generally films like this have a little comedic aspect to them. Alice Through the Looking Glass tried to be funny, but it just didn't work. The humor was so forced, and at times, it made absolutely no sense. I was in a packed theater, and it was relatively silent throughout the entirety of the film. I say relatively because there was one person down the row from me that laughed extremely hard at everything. So, at least somebody found enjoyment in the film.
Overall, I would not recommend Alice Through the Looking Glass. It's very plainly a film made purely for money, none of its performances were worthwhile, and the story made absolutely no sense. The only place this film actually works is with its visuals, and even those are a little iffy throughout. To put it plainly, Alice Through the Looking Glass is a bore. Some people may enjoy it, but a majority of people won't.
So what did you think of Alice Through the Looking Glass? Did you find more enjoyment in it than I did? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don't forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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Hello, fellow moviegoers!
In this world of giant superhero cinematic universes, it is easy to forget that Marvel and DC aren't the only players in the game. Often forgotten and underestimated is the world of X-Men. (Yes, I realize that the X-Men are Marvel characters, but their film rights are owned by Fox which makes them separate from the Marvel Cinematic Universe run by Disney). Some of what are widely considered to be the best superhero films made come from Fox and the X-Men. (e.g. X2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and Deadpool) The latest film in this franchise to be released is X-Men: Apocolypse.
X-Men: Apocalypse is directed by Bryan Singer, and it stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Oscar Isaac, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, and Evan Peters. When the first and most powerful mutant, Apocalypse, reawakens after thousands of years, Charles Xavier and his X-Men in training must band together to stop the end of the world. So does X-Men: Apocalypse reach the same level of prestige that some previous X-Men films have?
X-Men: Apocalypse is a really good film that is brought down by minor flaws. As a whole, this is definitely an enjoyable film. However, there were some very simple mistakes throughout it that, while they weren't necessarily fatal, dragged the film down to a crawl at times.
Perhaps the most interesting thing going into the film was the newcomers to the franchise. X-Men: Apocalypse brings many new faces to the cast playing both younger versions of characters we've seen and classic X-Men on the big screen for the first time. As a whole, the new cast did great jobs. While most of them were good, there were several that stood above them. Tye Sheridan (Cyclops), Sophie Turner (Jean Grey), Kodi Smit-McPhee (Nightcrawler), and Alexandra Shipp (Storm) were each fantastic in their individual roles. In addition to that, the return of James McAvoy (Professor X), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), and Evan Peters (Quicksilver) made the film such a pleasure to watch. Aside from Jennifer Lawrence's lack of effort and enthusiasm for the character of Mystique, the cast as a whole did a really good job.
Where the film suffers, however, is primarily with the length. This film feels half-an-hour longer than it needs to be; that's because it is. This is a film that was needlessly two-and-a-half hours long when it could easily have been under the two-hour mark. X-Men: Apocalypse spends so much time setting up its villain that the audience gets bored in the process. They spend so much time with him being reawakened and gathering his horsemen that it causes the film to drag. You can spend as much time with a character as you like as long as it's an interesting character. Apocalypse, however, doesn't fit that description. It's never fully explained why he's doing what he is, or how he became what he is. For a character whose name literally is the end of the world, he felt like the flavor of the week. You've seen this villain before; there's nothing new here.
By far, the best part about this movie was Michael Fassbender's Magneto. Through a combination of fantastic writing, great direction, and a brilliant performance, Magneto in this film was a force to be reckoned with. Every time he was on screen the audience was fixed in a sort of trance because of what was unfolding in front of them. Fox Executives, if you're reading this, a film based entirely around this version of Magneto could potentially be one of the best products you ever produce.
The best decision made when making this film was to expand the role of Quicksilver from X-Men: Days of Future Past. Evan Peters as Peter Maximoff was brilliantly used in this film. While it is obvious that he's the comedic relief, you don't care because it is such a fun character.
X-Men: Apocalypse may not be the breathtakingly amazing film that many people hoped it would be, but it is still an extremely entertaining film that many can enjoy. That being said, it is about a half-an-hour too long, and the villain is a little meh. Michael Fassbender's Magneto and Evan Peters' Quicksilver may steal the show, but the new cast is a fantastic addition to this franchise. If you're a fan of the X-Men films, you'll absolutely love this movie. If you're not a big fan, you'll enjoy it.
So what did you think of X-Men: Apocalypse? Did you enjoy the villain or not? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don't forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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Hello, fellow moviegoers!
Making a good sequel to a successful comedy seems to be one of the hardest things to do in Hollywood. Truly good comedy sequels are few and far between, and they always have been. A great example of this is a film that came out earlier this year, Zoolander 2. It didn’t nearly meet the expectations set by the original, and it was not a pleasant film to watch. Making an enjoyable comedy is hard enough as it is, but making a sequel that can live up to the expectations set by the original is a daunting task that not many can accomplish.
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising stars Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, and Chloe Grace Moretz. When a sorority moves in next door right as Mac and Kelly (Rogen and Byrne) are about to sell their house, they’ll need to do whatever it takes to shut it down, even if that means teaming up with former neighbor and frat-boy Teddy (Efron). So does Neighbors 2 fall victim to the same results that many comedy sequels do?
Sorority Rising is not as good as the original Neighbors of 2014. However, it is far from being a bad film.
This movie succeeds in many of the same categories as its predecessor, primarily with the characters. Each character in this film is their own three-dimensional person. Except for a few small cases, they aren’t the cookie-cutter people that many comedies provide us with nowadays. Each character has their flaws. The best part about that is, throughout this film all of the main characters go on their own emotional journeys. The people we see at the end of the film are not the same ones we see at the beginning. They’ve evolved and learned lessons. That’s a quality that a film like this could easily have gone without, but they didn’t and the film is better because of it.
The only real downside to this film, in my opinion, is that some of the jokes and gags throughout it are recycled from the original film. There were several moments in Neighbors 2 that were pulled directly from the original and they didn’t seem as funny the second time around. The audience didn’t laugh very hard in those moments because they’d already seen it before.
Also, building off of that, some of the humor in the film doesn’t hit as much as it could’ve. There were one or two moments in this film that caused for gut-busting laughter. While those moments are hilarious, there aren’t as many of them as the first Neighbors film.
Where Neighbors 2 shines equally as much, if not better, than the original is with the performances of its leads. Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, and Zac Efron are all so good as their individual characters! Each one of them knew how to portray what the character was feeling so well that we as the audience truly got an idea of what was going on in this character’s head. In a film like this, that’s a rare quality. Their performances turned good characters, into great ones. That being said, personally, I wasn’t a big fan of Chloe Grace Moretz in this film. She didn’t seem to fit the role she was in very well. She wasn’t necessarily bad in the role; she just wasn’t as good as she had the potential to be. I won’t go as far to say she was miscast, but maybe there was somebody better out there.
Overall, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising was a really funny film. Not all of the jokes are as hilarious as they could’ve been, but the performances that were given by Rogen, Byrnes, and Efron make up for that. The characters were extremely well developed and you legitimately cared about what was going to happen to them. It may not be as good as the original, but it is still a fun movie and I’d definitely recommend it.
So what’d you think of Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising? Did you like it more or less than the original? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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Hello, fellow moviegoers!
Hollywood is turning almost any property they can get their hands on into a film nowadays. There are so many films in development out there that are beyond ridiculous that it’d take an entirely separate article to cover them (*hint *hint). The latest of such properties is the popular mobile game Angry Birds.
The Angry Birds Movie is directed by Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reily. It features the voices of Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader, Peter Dinklage, Sean Penn, and Keegan-Michael Key. When the birds of an island paradise are surprised by a visiting ship full of pigs, they are very quick to trust them. That is, except for one bird with anger management issues named Red. When the pigs steal all of the birds’ eggs, these angry birds must make the journey to the pigs’ island to steal them back. Many people were hesitant when this movie was announced, but then the first trailer looked surprisingly good. So, how is the actual movie?
The Angry Birds Movie is exactly what you’d expect it to be, a film that is half-heartedly put together in an attempt to capitalize on the popularity of everyone’s favorite mobile game of yesteryear.
Yes, even with loads of talent attached to it, The Angry Birds Movie fails to fly. While it does have small glimmers of a good film hidden throughout it, they aren’t enough to make for an overall enjoyable experience. The attempts at humor in the film are either too adult for children to understand or the obligatory toilet-humor that seems to come with every kids’ film nowadays. Adult humor in kids’ movies only works if it’s done subtly, a word in which I’m not sure the writers grasp the concept of. It’s so on-the-nose that it causes awkwardness for the parents and confusion for the children.
Where this film excels, for the most part, is with its three main characters, the birds Red, Chuck, and Bomb. Those three characters were very well realized, and they each brought their own specialty to the table. When Angry Birds focuses on these characters it is actually a good movie. However, these characters are only given about twenty minutes to make their mark until the film introduces the pigs. Oh, the pigs. The pigs serve as the antagonistic force in The Angry Birds Movie. These pigs are so incredibly annoying and over-the-top that every minute they are on screen is cringe worthy. They’re not just bad, they’re terrible.
The voice actors in this film did good jobs overall, specifically Sudeikis, Gad, McBride, and Key. They were all noticeably having fun with this film. It felt as if they actually wanted to be there doing their jobs, which is encouraging. That being said, the film’s script isn’t nearly strong enough to make their efforts worthwhile. I’m sure that the voice-actors that took part in this movie are just as disappointed with the final product.
The story in this film is very linear. Pigs show up. Pigs take eggs. Birds get angry. Birds take eggs back. Those four sentences just completely summarized a film that is over an hour-and-a-half long. The film never truly dives into what motivates any of the characters. One could say a film like this doesn’t need to, but once filmmakers are given a pass for something like that, it’s a slippery slope.
At the end of the day, The Angry Birds Movie is not very good. It features an interesting trio of leads, but once the pigs show up, all of the films’ potential gets thrown out the window. It ditches plot for toilet humor and adult jokes that don’t even cause a giggle. It may be an enjoyable film for children, but if you’re the parent taking them, prepare to be bored.
So what did you think of The Angry Birds Movie? Did you think it was any good? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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