Category Archives: Adventure

LUCA (2021): New Trailer From Disney Pixar, Starring Jacob Tremblay, Maya Rudolph, Jim Gaffigan…

Luca (2021), Pixar
Luca (2021), Disney Pixar

Luca, Disney Pixar’s latest animated adventure is set on the Italian Riviera. A place where an unlikely but strong friendship grows between a human being and a sea monster disguised as a human.

Directed by Enrico Casarosa; Luca stars Jacob Tremblay, Maya Rudolph and Jim Gaffigan.

I’m curious about this ‘fish boy’ story and how much it will have in common with The Little Mermaid (1989). There’s also the intrigue that stems from the gorgeous Italian Riviera setting, of course.

Jack Dylan Grazer, Emma Berman and Marco Barricelli also star

Luca Release Dates: June 18th, 2021 (US & UK)…

Happy Film Loving

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MORTAL KOMBAT (2021): New Trailer Starring Josh Lawson, Jessica McNamee, Hiroyuki Sanada, Joe Taslim…

Mortal Kombat (2021), Joe Taslim, Warner Bros. Pictures
Mortal Kombat (2021), Joe Taslim, Warner Bros. Pictures

The search of Earth’s greatest champions, all so they can stand against the enemies of Outworld in a high stakes battle for the universe is what’s happening in new action/adventure/fantasy, Mortal Kombat.

Based on the popular video game of the same name, Mortal Kombat is directed by Simon McQuoid; and stars Josh Lawson, Jessica McNamee, Joe Taslim, plus Hiroyuki Sanada.

I definitely like this trailer more than expected. Especially when that perfectly epic music starts at 01:22.

There’s also the matter of the visuals. Particularly the scenes when Bi-Han/Sub-Zero is on screen. I’m sure that he’s the villain but the special effects with the ice, that’s my favourite.

Fingers crossed the story and everything else comes together beautifully. I mean, historically, making a great video game movie is no easy task. Remember Michael Fassbender’s Assassin’s Creed (2016)? I don’t because I was scared off after hearing terrible things.

Tadanobu Asano, Mehcad Brooks, Ludi Lin, Lewis Tan, Chin Han, Sisi Stringer, Mel Jarnson, Max Huang and Daniel Nelson also star.

Mortal Kombat Release Dates: April 16th, 2021 (US & UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

MISSING LINK (2019): The Things I Liked…

Missing Link (2019), Hugh Jackman
Missing Link (2019), Hugh Jackman

Missing Link, the story of Mr Link (a Big-Foot-like character) and his adventures with explorer Sir Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman), plus adventurer Adelina Fortnight is an animated movie I found to be fun in parts and watchable.

The reason I’m not more enthused by writer/director Chris Butler’s film is that story-wise, it felt oddly superficial and more basic than I expected.

What I did enjoy are the interactions between Lionel and Link, plus the moments of heart, most of which happen in the more engaging last quarter. Emma Thompson’s character is another welcome highlight, and it proved quite satisfying to see Lionel’s growth/evolution as the story continued.

I watched Missing Link because the cast which also includes Zoe Saldana and Zack Galifianakis intrigued me. Yet, overall, I wish I could include Butler’s film on my list of favourite animated movies I’ve seen in recent years, but I cannot. Nevertheless, I say give Missing Link a chance if you’re particularly curious. It may just be what you need when you’re after an easy-viewing animated film experience.

Happy Film Loving 

G

THE LION KING (2019): The Thing I Liked…

The Lion King (2019), Walt Disney Studios
The Lion King (2019), Walt Disney Studios

It has taken much longer than planned for me to finally watch the recent live-action remake of The Lion King (2019). Like many fans, I loved the 1994 original. I enjoyed it for reasons including the brilliant soundtrack, the story and beautiful animation style.

The main reason I couldn’t get beyond the first 15 minutes of director Jon Favreau’s live-action version has something to do with the animation.

There’s no denying that the film is quite the achievement in terms of computer-generated imagery (CGI). Nevertheless, I prefer the 2D animated film; firstly because of the cuteness of the characters. CGI Simba is cute too but different. Also, I prefer the voice work in the first movie. Second, and this one took me by surprise; but, I’d much rather watch the real creatures of the jungle/the African savanna in a well written David Attenborough documentary; than sit through ‘very close but not quite there’ computer-generated images.

Unsurprisingly, for me, The Lion King remake has proven to be largely unnecessary. Mainly because it’s essentially the very same story and seemingly shot for shot. This sameness and the weird space the movie occupies between real and not real is what led me to abort my viewing session. And instead, think about rewatching The Lion King (1994) instead.

Furthermore, I have an irrational fear of rodents. As such, I should have known that all wasn’t going to be well when, at the start, the camera spent what felt like an eternity, following a rodent-like creature around. 

Considering this review is very late, you’ve probably already watched or at least tried to watch The Lion King; in which case I sure hope you had a much better time than I did.

Happy Film Loving

G

WONDER WOMAN 1984 (2020): The Things I Liked…

Wonder Woman 1984 (2020), Kristen Wiig, Warner Bros. Pictures
Wonder Woman 1984 (2020), Kristen Wiig, Warner Bros. Pictures

The trailer for Wonder Woman 1984 didn’t fill me with as much confidence about the movie as the trailer for the first Wonder Woman film in 2017. Having now seen both films, unsurprisingly, the first one is better.

Key highlights of director Pattie Jenkins’s sequel include most of the time Gal Gadot is on screen, simply because the lady is quite magnetic. Secondly, there’s the final fight sequence between Wonder Woman and Kristen Wiig’s Cheetah. There’s also the cleverly executed moment towards the end when Wonder Woman addresses the people.

If you haven’t watched the movie yet but plan to, be sure to wait for what happens after the end credits start to roll; something tells me it may just lift your spirits. Last but in no way least, we have the musical score by Hans Zimmer. The only unfortunate thing about it is that the worst scenes had me thinking of Zimmer’s talents as wasted on this project.

I had hopes of loving Wonder Woman 1984. The problem is I kept noticing more and more things that increased my level of disappointment. Additional examples include the dreamstone element of the story which came across as silly and somewhat nonsensical. I’m also not a fan of a fair amount of the aerial work, including when Wonder Woman is ‘flying’.

Furthermore, why, oh, why wasn’t the father/son reunion dialogue more tightly edited? It was so unnecessarily long-winded. There’s also the fact that I still remain unsure about how Kristoffer Polaha’s character came to be Steve (Chris Pine). And I’m mad that this movie/story did not make Pedro Pascal look great in the villain role. As for Wiig, I liked her best once she went to the dark side. I still think that the Cheetah look is too much like Cats (2019). I haven’t seen Cats but I hear that such a comparison is not a compliment.

What good or bad things stood out most for you in Wonder Woman 1984? I really could go on about the things wrong with this movie but I have other tasks to complete today. Watch Wonder Woman 1984 if you’re curious enough.

Happy Film Loving 

G

WANDAVISION (2021): Episodes 3 & 4 – The Things I Liked…

WandaVision (2020), Paul Bettany, Marvel Studios
WandaVision (2020), Paul Bettany, Marvel Studios

Following my disappointment with episodes one and two of Marvel’s WandaVision, I decided to wait for the release of episode four before diving back in to see how much more engaging it gets.

Even though episode three was not great, for me, until the last few minutes, I’m glad to report that the fourth episode is much better and more reflective of what I’d hoped for with one and two.

The cast is fantastic; from Teyonah Parris, to Paul Bettany, Katheryn Hahn, Kat Dennings and of course, Elizabeth Olsen; who emits pain through her eyes so very well.

Am I still mad that the first two episodes and most of the third felt like a waste of my time? Only a little; especially since, unlike myself, many readers of the comic books like them.

My hope now is that with the episodes yet to come, things can only get better.

Happy Film Loving

G

WANDAVISION (2021): EPISODES 1 AND 2 – The Thing I Liked…

WandaVision (2021), Paul Bettany, Marvel Studios
WandaVision (2021), Paul Bettany, Marvel Studios

I can’t say that I’ve enjoyed the first two episodes of WandaVision; the new TV series spinoff focused on the Avengers movie characters, Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff and The Vision

Starring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany; WandaVision got on my wrong side very soon after it began. And part of the reason is the application of a generally overused comedy bit. The one where two people think they’re talking about the same topic when they’re speaking of two completely different things. This particular comedy writing trope has failed to be funny, for me, ever since I binge-watched Arrested Developed (2003-2019) and realised how heavily the writers relied on it.

As annoying as I quickly found WandaVision to be, I was determined to get over it, as long as what was happening soon proved interesting enough to hold my full attention. Sadly, I hoped in vain because both episodes one and two, which are 99.9% in black and white, hinted at potentially sinister and entertaining things to come. But no matter how much I wanted the show to get to the point faster, it didn’t.

Matters were made worse by the completely unfunny sitcom scenario, in which Wanda and Vision appear to be trapped. Even if this predicament is the perfect set up for everything else fun that will follow, sitting through comedy I consider terrible isn’t how I generally like to spend my time.

Having never read the comic books that inspired these stories is something that has probably contributed, in part, to my level of dissatisfaction. Either way, what I know for sure is this, I’m going to be beyond disappointed if the following episodes of this, so far, hardly engaging Marvel Studios production continues the same way. Just get to the fun parts already! The parts when both Wanda and Vision get to use their powers, frequently and in ways that matter.

I need to know what’s going on with them and soon because this colourless town with the random, mysterious event and even stranger neighbours is causing me to reach for my phone out of boredom. And far more frequently than I want to.

Happy Film Loving

G

THE CROODS – A NEW AGE (2020): The Thing I Liked…

The Croods – A New Age (2020), Universal Pictures
The Croods – A New Age (2020), Universal Pictures

I remember having a lot of fun watching the first The Croods (2013) movie. An animated action/comedy/adventure about a caveman family trying to survive while on a long, dangerous trek.

In the 2020 sequel, The Croods – A New Age, the same prehistoric family find themselves caught in a rivalry with another family. A group who claim to be better evolved. And best I can say about it is this: ‘The animation is pleasing and, there are some rather funny moments‘.

Starring, Emma Stone, Nicolas Cage and Ryan Reynolds, I was surprised to find that overall, the story felt forced and I, unfortunately, cannot deny drifting off a few times.

Now, I promise I was not in a bad mood before I started watching The Croods – A New Age. However, unlike in the first film, this time it was easy to identify almost all the actors behind the voices. And for some reason, that annoyed me. I still stand by me not being cranky when I started to watch the film. If anything, my disappointment with the story execution is the reason for any alteration in my mood.

The good news about directors Chris Sanders and Kirk DeMicco’s film is that at the very least, it’s ‘quite watchable. As such, if you liked the first The Croods movie, then give this one a chance. After all, it looks as though most people had a good time with it.

Happy Film Loving

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