Thursday, November 24, 2016

Moana: An Adventure From Start to Finish

The Hit:

Moana is not your average Disney princess flick. Just like the movie "Brave," this film was about adventure and how the main character has to help her village. Moana (voiced by Auli'l Cravalho) didn't rely on anyone with the task of saving her village except for a demi-god named Maui (Dwayne Johnson). 

You can tell Disney went to great lengths to make this movie and did a lot of background work before starting it. Moana dives into the Polynesian culture and we see the rich history of the people living out on the islands and how they navigated the oceans from land to land. Although I personally don't know a lot about that culture, I'm sure Disney did the best they could to get that part accurate.  

We are introduced to Moana, the daughter of a chief, at a young age. She is special and is chosen by the "ocean" for a task only she can do. She has always had the desire to see what is out beyond the reef of her island and see the world outside of it. Without spoiling it too much, the film proceeds and her island undergoes a negative change, so her time to save her island and people has come. She sets sail and has to convince the demi-god Maui to help her in getting where she needs to go to save her island and other islands from the evil change that is spreading. It takes a while to get his approval because he is a stubborn demi-god and really full of himself. He only agrees to help if she will do him some favors as well. 

Moana was an adventure from start to finish and what I really loved were the animation and the story from Disney. I liked how the ocean was made to be alive how Moana interacted with it and got help from it in good and bad times. Maui, besides being strong, can shape shift into any animal. I loved how we see someone as stubborn as Maui finally become the hero Moana needs him to be in the end. The musical score, like other Disney movies, hits the right spot and gives this film life. 

If you want to see a film where the "girl" saves the day and that has a magical ocean, rich Polynesian culture, and laughs and adventure all the way to the end, then you will walk out loving this one. Also stick around for the very last end of the credits because there's a minor scene which pokes fun at an old Disney classic character name. 

The Verdict:

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Bleed for this Review: A rousing performance

The Hit:

Yet another boxing movie for the ages and one that is a true story as well. We follow Vinny Pazienza (Miles Teller), a world champion boxer go at it in the ring and we see him in his ups and downs. Bleed for This follows a tragic accident that leaves him wondering if he will ever box again.

After a championship win, Vinny gets hit by another car, and this is when his story to recovery takes place. Vinny is a fighter through and through and even though he is asked by family and doctors that entering the ring is not a smart move or else his neck will completely fracture, he makes the complete effort to prove them all wrong. It is not a fast recovery and the hardships he goes through are tough. His trainer, Kevin Rooney (Aaron Eckhart), at first is one of the many who tells him to stop and think of something else to do in life. It is only when he sees Vinny struggling on his own and sees the fire in his heart that he goes a long and trains him.

Bleed for This is a real story and one of sport's most incredible comebacks. Miles Teller did an amazing job as vinny and really brought the character to life. The story is heartfelt and just like other sport movies, this flick shows the hardships that one goes through for one to come out on top again. So if you like sports and inspirational movies go check this out, you won't be disappointed. 

The Verdict:

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them Review: The classic magic returns

The Hit:

All you Harry Potter fans have probably been waiting for some magical movie to come out and finally it is here. Although Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is in the Harry Potter universe, it is all based in the past over 70 years ago. Sadly, you will not see the likes of Harry Potter and friends this time. You will get to hear of one person through this film who is in the Harry Ptter franchise and a couple of mentions of Hogwarts, but that's about it. Even so, this flick is so worth your time. 

I will not say Fantastic Beasts out does Harry Potter, but it was great seeing the magic unfold on the big screen again. In this story, we are in 1920's New York. We follow Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), a wizard who collects magical beasts and is planning on writing a book about them, so the world of magic can know about the beasts and treat each one with respect, rather than fearing and killing the innocent creatures. He encounters Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) a "No-Maj" or America's version of "Muggle" -- a human with no magical abilities. Jacob somehow swaps briefcases with Newt and some beasts escape out in New York and that's when the adventure begins. Unlike some muggles in Harry Potter, Jacob was funny and mesmerized with this new world and enjoys being a part of it. Along the way, we meet up with a detective in the magical world by the name of Tina (Katherine Waterston) and her sister Queenie (Alison Sudol). Together, they go out in New York and try to round up the escaped beasts.. 

You will also get to meet a new villain by the name of Graves (Colin Farrell) and a new evil being, but what I liked most of all is that the magical beasts introduced were really awesome. There were creatures in Harry Potter but this movie brought out a lot more and ones that you wish were real. Some were huge and some were small and most of all they each had something special about them and that's why Newt wants to protect them and write his book.

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them was an adventure from start to finish and I'm sure you don't want to miss out on the magic, so check it out. 

The Verdict:

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Arrival Review: A sci-fi mind-bender

The Hit:

Arrival was a movie I was hyped on seeing because of Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner and of course because it is sci-fi and those flicks interest me. Both are great actors and both have superhero backgrounds in flicks we all know and love. 

In Arrival, Earth gets a visit from aliens and the whole world is confused on how to interact with or understand why they are here. Hence two great minds in science and communications (Renner and Adams) are called to help the U.S. government. Together, they interact with the visiting creatures and try to understand their language. Not only are they trying to communicate, there are eleven other space crafts around the world and other countries and their respective scientists are doing the same thing. Amy Adams' character is the first one to make a breakthrough by using drawings and words and the creatures respond with their own language and it is Amy's and Jeremy's job to figure out why they are here before the world beings to attack the aliens.

Forest Whitaker's character is the colonel in charge at the landing site. He has understanding and patience despite the urgent situation the scientists are faced with. Rather than destroy the object and move on, he gives the two time to figure it out, and keeps the big wigs off their backs. 

I gave Arrival a yellow light because, although it is a sci-fi film, there's not much action but a lot of dialogue. It isn't bad by all means, but it is more of an adult movie, so kids or teens planning on watching this might leave really confused or if you are really into traditional sci-fi, you will fall in love with how different it was. I personally left confused but maybe I am over thinking it. If you check it out, really pay attention to every detail.

The Verdict:
YELLOW LIGHT (Proceed with Caution)

Monday, November 7, 2016

Doctor Strange Review: A visual Marvel masterpiece

The Hit:

Doctor Strange (starring Benedict Cumberbatch) is yet another Marvel movie that adds to the many heroes in their universe. After seeing this on Imax 3D, I'm glad he's made his debut. I do not know very much about Dr. Strange and his origin story -- the only other times I've seen him in action were the old Spiderman cartoons when I was a kid and knew his power involved magic. Other than that, I was never invested that much into him. 

In this adaptation, we start with Dr. Stephen Strange and his colleague, Dr. Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams), as they undertake a miraculous brain surgery. This new hero is a superb neurosurgeon and no one in the world comes close to his skills. Well, fast forward and he gets into an accident and loses the full function of both his hands. His hands are what got him where he is in his career and Strange stops at nothing to get them fixed. Things don't go well with modern science so he then turns for help and healing through the power of the mind and spirit. The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) comes into the picture and Strange discovers there is a lot more that she can help him learn.

We get to see a whole new world within the Marvel Universe. While the Avengers handle physical dangers, the Ancient One and her followers defend the world in the spiritual realm, or in cases a different type of dimension. She can alter reality, time and space. With that in mind, this Doctor Strange, in my perspective, was the best Marvel film to date as far as visual performance. It was mind blowing watching it all unfold and I was totally mesmerized. 

The villain, Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen) is a student gone rogue who tries to destroy the world for personal reasons. In my opinion, Marvel villains have never really scared me, but it's fun seeing the good guys have a foe they need to face and overcome. 

Doctor Strange had a great origin storyline, action, acting, a little comedy, and the best visuals I've seen in any Marvel movie. There were many other actors who had great roles but I'll mention two that stood out; Chewetel Ejiofor, and Benedict Wong. They both helped Dr. Strange become a hero and possibly a new Avenger in the near future.

Make sure to stay during the mid and after credits, for extra scenes. An Avenger makes an appearance that you won't want to miss.

The Verdict: