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Entries in film (7)

Tuesday
Feb202018

EARLY MAN (2018) Movie Review

BEFORE I BEGIN:

 

The reason I went to see “EARLY MAN” was two fold.  1. If I don’t then who else will?  I mean look at the box office it’s predictably bombing big time.  2.  After reviewing the dumpster fire that is “GOBOTS: BATTLE OF THE ROCK LORDS” I needed to see something good.  Even if this was the worst Ardaman film that would still be 10 times better than the GOBOTS!

 

One last thing when I came into the theater no-one was there.  Heck about 5mins before the film begin no-one was there.  Eventually people did come in(and a family left before the climax)but there was about the same amount of people here that were at my screening of “KUBO OF THE TWO STRINGS” but less than “THE EMOJI MOVIE”.

 

STORY

 

After the opening where we see a group of cave people create Futbol we then skip to see perhaps the last survivors of the stone age get run out of their home by the bronze age or rather the local governor searching for more bronze.  In order to get their land back the young stone boy(?) Dug challenges the Governor’s top team to a futbol match.  If the lose they have work in the mines.  Oh there’s also a 50ft. duck with sharp teeth running around for some reason!

 

THE GOOD 

 

Good integration of 2D, Stop motion and CGI.  During the credits there was one for pyrotechnics.  That surprised me because I thought the explosions were all cgi.  Now knowing that they all weren’t impresses me even more.   I enjoyed the characters.  While they didn’t have deep characterizations they were all fun.  None of their quirks were overdone. I really liked the main character Dug.  He was smart but not overbearing.  Relatable and had a good spirit to him.  Here’s something I didn’t think I’d compliment, the voice acting.  Yes this has a few celeb voice but I didn’t realize that it was them.  That’s awesome because I’ve always felt that in voice acting you should be playing a character and not yourself. After all once a film comes out who remembers the celeb that voiced what role?  There are also some great visual gags.  Some are even funnier if your a fan of futbol(soccer).  I also liked how well constructed the world was.  There were some funny visual gags that came from how the world was built.

 

THE BAD

 

It was predictable in parts.  In some ways it was WAY to obvious.  I understand that this is for kids but kids, even young ones are more sophisticated than adults give them credit for.  While I really enjoyed the film I think it will leave a lot of American movie goers cold because it has soccer in it and Americans don’t love the sport(even though kids play it when their younger).  There are a bunch of quick jokes about the sport both verbal and visual that if you don’t know anything soccer it you’ll just be scratching your head.

 

RECOMMEND:  YES a little.

 

While I didn’t laugh at loud any point I did smile a lot and chuckle a good number of times.  It’s not Aardman’s best film.  I would put “Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit” and the “Shaun the Sheep Movie” ahead of it.  I would put this on the same level of “Pirates: Band of Misfits”.  That said I still found it enjoyable but I get the feeling that this film won’t find it’s audience.  Not in America at least.  There are critics saying that after “Paddington 2” and “Peter Rabbit” there aren’t any other family films.  Uh, actually their are.  Yeesh, if even critics don’t know that this film is out then what chance those it have?  “EARLY MAN” won’t do well at the box office.  One reason is it came out too late or too early(too early? early man? was that an unintentional joke?)If this came out in January or August or September it might’ve had a better shot.  this came out the week of the “Black Panther” premiere and Peter Rabbit is in it’s 2nd week with very little box office drop off. When you also factor in “50 Shades Freed”, “The Greatest Showman” and “Paddington 2” there isn’t enough money to go around.

 

However this film has a bigger problem which isn’t it’s fault.  It’s stop-motion.  The American movie going audience doesn’t like stop motion animated film.  At first I thought it was just because of the creepy aesthetic of the films of Studio Laika.  Except Aarman has a different feel and also looks more claymation than puppet.  It doesn’t matter.  While occasionally there have been a few hits(“Corpse Bride”(well it made it’s money back),”Chicken Run”, “Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit” and “A Nightmare Before Christmas”)in the domestic box office, Americans just don’t like the style and prefer the comfort of CGI now(which odd since CGI ages way faster and stop motion tends to be ageless).  

 

Even though the film is bombing I hope it’ll find an audience overseas.  As for people thinking “Oh your wrong the American audience doesn’t just go for CGI films!  Their more diverse than that!” Well we’ll find out this year won’t we?  During the previews they showed trailers for “Isle of Dogs” and the next “Shaun the Sheep” movie.  If either or both are a success here then I will be incredibly happy that I’m wrong but I’m betting that I’m not.

Sunday
Feb182018

Black Panther 2018 Movie Review (Script)

 

Before I begin I saw the 3D version of the film and right before the movie started the lady in the movie screen said after the film to return all the 3D glasses.  The entire audience bust out laughing.  Maybe this is why this theater only has 3 stars.  Or maybe it’s because people dumped their popcorn bags into the eyeglass drop off.

 

The film takes place I believe 3 days after the conclusion Captain America Civil War and T’challa has to still deal with the death of his father, becoming king and and threat to him and is country due to the sins of his father. 

 

Positives 

 

The World building.  about the first 10 -15 minutes focus just on Wakanda.  Through out the film see the different technology, fashion and landscapes of the country.  Also I believe they created a language just for the film.  

 

The acting.  Normally I can point to at least one weak performance in a film(ex. the boy in “PROUD MARY”) I can’t here.  Every one was good.  I was a bit worried if what happened in comics would happen in the film to Nakia fortunately no and there isn’t any hint of that happening either.  Martin Freeman as Everett Ross was good.  He had the unintentional comedy, misplaced bravado that he has in the comics.  However the film version is more competent.    

 

Humor.  The humor came from the characters personalities and their interactions with one another.  It didn’t feel force or improved.  Humor can be used to release just enough tension in the scene but you still feel the impact from that scene.  I think this film did that better than “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” & “Thor Ragnarok”

 

T’challa’s character arc.  In C.A. Civil War he had to work thru his hate and revenge.  In this film he had to continue to work thru the loss of his father and decide on his and his countries legacy.  Everyone around him including “Kill-Monger” have differing ideas on what Wakanda should be and stand for.  Many of them are valid but T’challa had to figure that what worked in the past most likely won’t work in the future.  They all have to adapt to how the world is but not lose their past as well.   

 

Wakanda’s character arc.  Spoiler a bit of a one anyway(or not) but the country goes from being secretive to coming out and reveal itself and stop being selfish with it’s riches and help the world at large non-violently.

 

The Villains.  I’d rank Kill-monger just below Zemo.  They have similarities.  Both did what they did for personal reasons.  I go with Zemo more because he wanted a more intimate revenge.  He wanted to hurt the few he saw responsible and that’s it.  Kill-monger wanted to make everyone in the world (especially Wakanda) to feel is pain.  Even those that didn’t have anything to do with it.

 

The opening narration animation and end credits.  This isn’t going to sound like much but at the start of the film how they used the constant moving cgi images to give the the audience a brief rundown about Wakanda and The Black Panther.  This reminded me of Wonder Women with Queen Hippolyta narrated to Diana and storybook style images were used.  This is a great way of doing exposition in a quick and efficient way that will keep the audience engrossed. 

 

The end credits looked good.  I’m glad on at least some films that images are incorporated into the credits.  Just bland white on black is boring.  Wait, that didn’t sound right!

 

The Music.  Well this is both a pro and a con.  The African score is amazing and fits the film.  The problem is that it has another score in it that sounded very generic.  Why didn’t the filmmakers do what “COCO” did last year and just have the entire film be one (the African) score.  Now it did seem during the 3rd act that the generic score fused with the African one and sounded great.  The film needed more of that. 

 

Negatives

 

3D.  The 3D was mostly pointless.  Occasionally it added some depth but nah.  There were also times that the images looked a bit foggy.  I thought maybe it was because of the type glasses I have but I didn’t have this issue when I went to see Valerian last year.  So yeah, you can skip the 3D showing.

 

CGI in parts looked fake.  When KillMonger in the Jaguar suit fought T’challa it felt too cgi-ey.  There were times that the characters seemed to lack weight and were floating in instances.  Also a particular animal is armored for battle and in an action scene and the armor looked “unfinished”.  Up close the animal did look real though.

Personal one.  Once again a villain is related to the hero in some way.  It made sense in this movie than in others but I still wish it didn’t happen.  Okay Another con or pet peeve.  Once again at least one major villain in the film is killed.  It’s tough to build a rouges gallery if you keep killing them off.  I suppose this puts the kibosh on any future film with “THE MASTERS OF EVIL” led by Zemo I guess.

 

 

Where can they go next?

 

With the world built what or where can they go.  I suppose one of the tribes could try to invade and the movie could be about that.  However I have an idea for a antagonist that would be interesting and be on the same level of Black Panther/Wakanda.  Also this would be a good way to introduce this anti-hero.  Who is it?  MARVEL’s 1st mutant.  

 

Namor.

 

Namor and Atlantis have had a very contentious relationship with Black Panther and Wakanda over the years.   Based on what Joe Q said a couple of years ago Marvel now has the rights back for Namor so it could happen.  I do wonder if this did happen, would it happen after the DISNEY/FOX deal?  Since you would want to have the Fantastic Four in existence in the same world if Namor exists their as well.

 

Another logical villain would be “Kraven the Hunter” but getting him from Sony would be too much effort(unless rumors about them about to sell off their movie division is true…hmmm…).  Maybe a version of the “American Panther” could work.  Hunter the White Wolf could work too but in the comics the character is T’challa’s adoptive brother.  Oh boy now I’m starting to get really obscure.  Let me just end it there.

 

RECOMMEND:  YES

 

This was a really good film.  Is it being overhyped?  Yes, of course but then every major film is over hyped these days.  Still I think this will be a good film to see multiple times but not because of the action but because of the character and world building.  I love the look of this world and how it works.  I want see more of it.  I want a video game of it.  Geez this is how “GHOST IN THE SHELL” & “VALERIAN” should’ve been like last year.

 

I’ve waited 25 years for this film(1992 or 1993 Wesley Snipes was discussing on making it).  I just so glad that the film came out.  Is as well crafted, fun and as fully realized as it is.  

 

Music Used:

“Shetland”

“Sanskrit” 

“Daydream”

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