Robin Hood is directed by Otto Bathurst and stars Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Ben Mendelsohn, Eve Hewson, Tim Minchin, and Jamie Dornan. The plot of the movie is a war-hardened crusader and his Moorish commander mount an audacious revolt against the corrupt English crown. This movie was fucking horrible. I wasn’t that excited going into it since there are so many version of the Robin Hood story. I have not been this bothered by complete incompetence since last year’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Every person in this movie is not even trying. Ben Mendelsohn plays the Sheriff of Nottingham and he just yells a lot about how Robin Hood is going to take all of his money. Jamie Foxx is really over-the-top and he provides a lot of unintentional comedy. There is one scene where he is talking to somebody he wants to kill and he takes his hand and grabs the guys chest really hard and it looked so stupid. The parts in this movie that are supposed to be funny are not. Friar Tuck pops a lot of jokes in the movie and they are all bad. Taron Egerton plays the lead I have liked him in Kingsman I know he is a talented actor, but he was miscast here he seems very wooden. I have seen most of these actors give good performances before which begs the question who told these people to give the most lifeless performance they could. I was bored about 30 minutes into the movie I wanted to stop watching it, but I continued all the way to the end which of course sets up a sequel which hopefully will never happen and if it does I’d be shocked. For some strange reason, the movie opens with narration and Friar Tuck is talking to us telling us how this isn’t the story we thought we knew I thought they would have that make sense at the end they don’t. This movie didn’t even have exciting action sequences. This version of Robin Hood is embarrassing. The costumes look like really crappy Halloween costumes, the performances are horrible and the special effects are some of the worst I have seen in my life. I don’t understand how so much money can be thrown at a project and everything ends up being horrible. 0 out of 5 stars for Robin Hood. I hope you enjoyed my review and I hope you don’t wast your time with this trash.
Instant Family is directed by Sean Andres and stars Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Isabela Moner, Margo Martindale, Julie Hagerty, Tig Notaro, and Octavia Spencer. The plot of the movie is a couple finds themselves in over their heads when they foster three children. This was a movie that I knew nothing about going into it and I ended up loving it. Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne both do a very convincing and endearing job. You get to see the run of emotions that they have as potential parents all of the ups and the downs. It’s not always great and it’s not always bad and it changes from moment to moment. Tig Notaro and Octavia Spencer play the two foster agents. They lead the class and the support group and they work through all of the issues with these potential parents. I loved them together they do such a great job and they play off each other with such perfect timing. They both bring comedy and truth to what they’re talking about. The teenager in this story that is one of the three adopted kids is Lizzy and she is played by Isabela Moner and she does a really great job of playing a teenager who has been bounced around from foster home to foster home. You get to see the heartbreak and the hope that she has. I love that the story is sincere and convincing without being sugar-coated. It just presents some facts, but it also does it in such an approachable way that everybody can get something out of it and everyone can feel a connection to what the story is saying and how the characters are bringing these to life. We are taken on a journey through this and we see the good and the bad. Instant Family is way more emotional than I thought it was going to be. It is not just some light comedy. 5 out of 5 stars for Instant Family. I hope you enjoyed my review and I hope it helped you decide whether to see the movie or not.
The Grinch is directed by Scott Mosier and Yarrow Cheney and stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Rashida Jones, Kenan Thompson, and Angela Lansbury. The plot of the movie is a grumpy Grinch plots to ruin Christmas for the village of Whoville. This version of the Grinch is brought to us by Illumination Entertainment they made the Despicable Me movies and Secret Life of Pets. That is really what you compare this movie too. When I watched the trailer I thought they basically took the Grinch and they turned him into Despicable Me. The only movie from Illumination that I have liked was the first Despicable Me movie, so I was not looking forward to this. This Grinch movie I wasn’t a fan of it which is baffling to me because it’s the story of The Grinch it’s a classic Christmas story how do you mess that up? One of the most common complaints I’ve heard and I actually agree with is that the Grinch in this movie he’s not really grumpy enough he’s actually kind of soft which is not the Grinch at all. There are a couple subplots in this film and it is clear the only reason they are there is so the film can be an appropriate length. Cindy-Lou Who in this film she’s a mandatory Grinch character, but her story in this film I felt did not need to be in the movie. There’s another subplot with the fat reindeer who just annoyed me. I didn’t like the narration either in this movie it is done by Pharrell Williams he even botched some of the original classic lines. The humor in this movie felt forced. I did like somethings about the film the animation was beautiful you’re coming from the world of Dr. Seuss it’s gonna look weird and contorted give that to Illumination Entertainment it looks great. The music in the film was really well done except for the weird rap version of “You’re a mean one Mr. Grinch”. 1 out of 5 stars for The Grinch. I hope you enjoyed my review and I hope it helped you decide whether to see the movie or not.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is directed by David Yates and stars Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Zoe Kravitz, Callum Turner, Carmen Ejogo, Claudia Kim, Kevin Guthrie, Jude Law, and Johnny Depp. This is the second installment of the Fantastic Beasts series set in J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World featuring the adventures of magizoologist Newt Scamander. I was not a fan of the first Fantastic Beasts movie, but this trailer gave me hope. The only scene in this movie I truly enjoyed was the opening where Grindelwald who is being held prisoner in New York is being transferred back to London. It was intense and exciting. The rest of the film I found relentlessly boring. This movie takes so many characters and so many different subplots and overstuffs the movie with so much happening that it can be difficult to follow. The characters are again not that interesting in my opinion. People seem like they are not even trying. The one actor who was good was Jude Law as Dumbledore the movie really did need a lot more of him. He is not in it too much. Johnny Depp as Grindelwald is fine he’s not as over-the-top as he usually is, but it felt like he didn’t bring that much to his character. The material he was given there wasn’t much to work with. He has none of that snaky slimy evil that Ralph Fiennes had as Voldemort. The real crime of this film is that it will put people to sleep I have no idea how I managed to stay awake. The ending I guess is supposed to be shocking that is what I’ve hard anyway, but I was just glad the movie was finally over. I am dreading having to sit through three more of these movies. 1 out of 5 stars for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. I hope you enjoyed my review and I hope it helped you decide whether to see the movie or not.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is directed by David Yates and stars Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Samantha Morton, Jon Voight, Carmen Ejogo and Colin Farrell. The movie is about the adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school. When I first saw the trailers for this movie I was conflicted. Harry Potter is my favorite movie series of all time, so the idea of going back into the world I knew and loved so much was exciting. At the same time something about this just reeked of the studio’s greed for more money. The film was generally well received by both critics and fans, however I was not a fan. During the films opening hour I almost fell asleep multiple times. It just wasn’t captivating. There were a few things I did like about the film the set design and costumes are tremendous, the CGI on the creatures is outstanding and Eddie Redmayne does give a good performance. I think this film suffers from having a weak protagonist. To be clear Eddie Redmayne does his beast, but it is not good enough to save this character. Newt Scamander isn’t a strong engaging protagonist. As the audience we need information on the protagonist for us to empathize with them. Meaning, we should care about them and understand why they’re doing what they’re doing in the story. We need to be invested in them and the journey they’re about to embark on. What do we know about Newt Scamander? well, not much. For about the first hour all we know is that he’s carrying magical creatures in a suitcase in New York City. We only get slight glimpses into his personality and troubled past through conversation. Like his expulsion from Hogwarts and a strained relationship with Lestrange. Since we are kept at a distance from Newt he’s not engaging. It’s harder for us as an audience to care or invest in him. The protagonist desire or goal should be the driving force of the entire movie pushing everything until the end. Since Newt’s character is shrouded in so much secrecy, we don’t even know what he wants until about 40 minutes into the movie. It’s not a very effective desire either, for the story because Newt never actually pursues his desire and we find out at the end that he could have released it as soon as he landed in New York City. Then, his goal shifts to finding his suitcase and then to catching the loose animals which shifts again to catching the Obscurial. It’s unclear and so it is too difficult for the audience to attach their expectations. The villain is the antagonistic force keeping the protagonist from his goal, but without a clearly defined goal we’re not even sure who the villain is. Is it the animals or Graves or The Ministry? I don’t know, but that rising tension is missing throughout the film. After watching our protagonist struggle throughout the story we expect them to change or grow in some way. If they are at the same point emotionally at the end of the film, where they were at the beginning than what was the point of going on the journey? We just walked in a circle or even worse we didn’t move at all. This film has a very unbalanced tone. The Harry Potter films did an excellent job, of balancing childlike whimsy with darker elements, in each individual movie. As the series went on the balance shifted, with the growing ages of the children and the growing drama surrounding them. Each moment artfully walked the line befitting the film’s tone never straying too far and never seeming out of place. The darker moments were built up to, earned over time. In Fantastic Beasts, I was shocked by the mishandled tone. In one scene, there are goofy creatures getting into silly situations and in the next there are children being savagely beaten. This happens time and time again silly animals and then murder. Silly animals and then executions. As opposed to carefully walking the line tonally the creators went for simple shock and awe moments, jumping from one extreme to the next without ever finding a balance. Overall, the film just wasn’t as fun and exciting as the Harry Potter series. The last big issue I have is slow pacing. There is a common error among writers, of mistaking stuff for story. Characters, plot setting, goals and antagonist all serve a larger story that we’re watching. When all the elements are working together they are constantly pushing the story forward building towards the climax. Stuff is the tiny minutia writers can get lost in. The result is cool explosive shiny colorful stuff that doesn’t ultimately matter and ends up grinding the story’s momentum to a halt. This is the first screenplay J.K. Rowling has ever written and unfortunately it shows. The same intricate details that made her Harry Potter novels come to life ended up drowning her screenplay for Fantastic Beasts. This mistake is most noticeable in the scene where Newt and Jacob first arrive at the Goldstein sister’s apartment. On a side note Katherine Waterston who plays Tina is as dull as a rock and Alison Sudol who plays Queenie is an over-the-top cartoon. The scene where Newt and Jacob both enter Newt’s suitcase. The entire scene is 10 minutes long and completely stops what little momentum the story had barely built up to at that point. It’s just a scene where J. K. Rowling could set stuff up for later payoffs which results in a 10 minute long scene of stuff not story. Warner Brothers has announced 4 more Fantastic Beasts movies. I want to like the rest of them, but since this film gave me so little to care about it might be too late. 2 out of 5 stars for Fantastic Beasts and Where to find them. I hope you enjoyed my review and I hope it helped you decide whether to see the movie or not.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is again directed by David Yates. Something about this film that contrasts very much so with the others is how fast-paced this movie is. Right from the start, you feel like you’re just in it. It’s instantly going and you better get on this ride or it’s gonna leave you behind. It is one of the shorter movies so that definitely has something to do with it as well, but it also doesn’t have to set up anything else. Everything comes to a halt in this movie. Everything ends in this film so there’s no need to build up various arcs this movie is where everything explodes. From beginning to end this movie is a non-stop ride of intense drama and action, really heartfelt character moments and all of these things you’ve been waiting to see finally happen. We pick up with our three heroes still looking for the remaining Horcruxes, so they can hopefully kill Voldemort. They have to infiltrate the caves and a goblin named Griphook helps them, until he gets what he wants and then betrays them. Here we get a really fun underground cave sequence where we meet the dragon and this thing is so beautiful it’s one of my favorite creatures in Harry Potter. They ride this dragon to safety. Then they meet up with Neville who leads them underground to Hogwarts. It’s so nice to be back here. This school wasn’t in Part 1 and it feels like you’re returning to this place of comfort despite how dark it is and how everyone has lost hope. Everyone realizes that Harry was right all along and they all get behind him. The faculty and students are all together on this and it feels like you are about to witness something amazing. Later when Snape is interrogating students trying to figure out where Harry Potter is Harry steps out he’s done hiding this is the movie where he truly steps into the role of leader. I love the short battle that McGonagall and Snape have, but what is even better is when she banishing Slytherin to the dungeon. What is really special about this film compared to the others is how urgent everything feels. There is a level of stakes here that makes everything feel very in the moment. This is when the big attack begins Voldemort and his forces against Hogwarts. This is where everything comes to a head and this is where the film gets even better. Ron and Hermione are able to destroy one of the Horcruxes with the Basilisk’s fang. Voldemort and his forces eventually take down the shield surrounding Hogwarts. Draco and his dumb friends burn down the Room of Requirement. Snape’s death is handled really well. There is a bit of an info dump with this scene where you learn about Snape’s past and how he loved Lilly Potter. This is needed though it really tells you a lot about his character and when you go back and watch the movies with this in mind everything feels so much more in focus now. Harry goes off into the forest to challenge Voldemort alone. We get a beautiful scene involving his parents and Voldemort kills Harry. I love the following scene with Dumbledore and Harry in limbo where Harry learns that he had to die for this to happen. Harry Potter’s body is brought back Hogwarts and Neville makes the most inspiring speech you could possibly imagine. Harry wakes up and this is where Harry and Voldemort finally have their epic showdown and Voldemort dies he just melts away and turns to ash. As Harry is walking through Hogwarts and he sees everyone picking themselves up he looks at all these people that he has known for so long you get this amazing sense of euphoria it just feels so right. The ending of this film showing Harry, Ron, and Hermione grown up with kids of their own sending them off to Hogwarts it could not have ended better. The Harry Potter movie series started when I was 13 years old and ended when I was 22. I have loved all eight film and it is something I will always look back on fondly. 5 out of 5 stars for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. I hope you enjoyed my review and I hope it helped you decide whether to see the movie or not.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1 is again directed by David Yates. Ever since this book was split into two movies studios just saw a financial strategy. They didn’t understand that artistically this was a good choice because this book deserves to be two movies. This movie opens very fast-paced there’s a very creepy introduction to Voldemort and his Death Eaters. There is a very cool motorcycle scene where everyone disguises themselves as Harry Potter and that whole chase scene is exciting it is also sad because Harry’s owl Hedwig is killed. I also really love the sequence where they disguise themselves as people who work for the Ministry of Magic and they infiltrate that place and Ron gets a little too into his disguise. The three of them are looking for Horcruxes in order to defeat Voldemort. This film is more solemn than the others because our three main heroes go on a very private journey alone to find these things. As they are in the woods and one of these Horcruxes does take a toll on them emotionally Ron gets very jealous He has a big argument with Harry and this leads to a separating of our three friends that we are so used to seeing together which makes it even more sad and lonely. This does lead through to one of my favorite scenes which wasn’t in the book and that’s Harry and Hermione dancing. There’s something really sweet about it. It’s almost like their last fleeting moment of happiness. When Harry returns to where he was born and visits the gravestone that scene really got me. That was a really touching moment and the way it is filmed the cinematography the dark lighting it’s all really beautiful. That is something that I am still blown away by when it comes to these Harry Potter movies because usually in a series at this point when you get to this many installments you have fatigue, but not with these movies they are all great. They all build upon each other in very interesting and fun ways. They keep the characters fresh and interesting and the filmmakers never seem to sleep through anything everyone is always on their A-game. Later on in the movie when Harry’s in trouble Ron shows up and saves him. He has the sword and they destroy one of the Horcruxes. Then we get an exposition scene where we learn about three brothers and the Deathly Hallows. This leads to a magnificent chase scene through the woods I loved the way David Yates shoot this sequence it’s so breathtaking. Once they are captured we get some suspense about what is going to happen to them until they are saved by Dobby, but as they are disappearing Bellatrix throws a knife killing Dobby for me this is the saddest death in the entire series. Then we get our big cliffhanger with Voldemort taking the elder wand out of Dumbledore’s tomb and holding it up to the sky. Despite taking a book and splitting it in two and what that can sometimes do cinematically for your experience Deathly Hallows Part 1 is a very fun movie a very enjoyable film one that is shot beautifully very well acted with a lot of good emotion and a lot of really fun scenes. It’s not as action packed as the other Harry Potter movies, but these characters and the care that is still being given makes this a very good film. 5 out of 5 stars for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. I hope you enjoyed my review and I hope it helped you decide whether to see the movie or not.