Okja & Moana #review + Curious #Question 2

moviereview

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Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, I didn’t make it out to the theater this month, but that means that I have notes for both movies I’m reviewing. Please consider checking out those notes. This month I reviewed a family/kid film and a modern adult action/adventure.

If anyone is interested in my experience of watching Okja, click here to see my notes.

If anyone is interested in my experience of watching Moana, click here to see my notes.

You can watch this video on YouTube to leave a comment, like it, and or subscribe to my channel.

So, have you seen either of these movies?
What did you think of them?
Any movie review suggestions?
Want to offer your two cents on my curious question?
Go visit that page and join the discussion.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Odd Thomas & Spider-Man: Homecoming #review + Curious #Question 1

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Wikipedia
Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wikipedia
Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Yeah, this is new and not quite what you were expecting, but go ahead and give it a try.

If anyone is interested in my experience of watching Odd Thomas, click here to see my notes.

You can watch this video on YouTube to leave a comment, like it, and or subscribe to my channel. Please visit my new Page: Curious Questions if you’d like see what, if any, results I’ve collected so far. It’s only been up about a day.

So, have you seen either of these movies?
What did you think of them?
Want to offer your two cents on my curious question?
I’d love to see what you think.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Girl Asleep #TheToiBoxOfWords #film #review

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So, I’ve been ill and haven’t really been able to give this review the attention I would like, but since it’s already a day late, here goes nothing.

If Wes Anderson got really high and was held at gunpoint by the Australian mafia to create a film inspired by Pan’s Labyrinth, Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, and Alice in Wonderland, Girl Asleep might be the result. With a 6.5 IMDB rating and 82% fresh rating from Rotten Tomatoes, this is bound to be an odd adventure (53% audience vote).

If anyone is interested in my experience of watching Girl Asleep, click here to see my notes.

This review will consist of me asking myself 10 questions and answering them to the best of my ability.

Wikipedia
Wikipedia

1. What is this film about?

14-year-old Greta is new at school and very shy. She’s also turning 15 in a few days and her oddball family thinks a big party is just what she needs. Too bad she hates the idea.

2. What did I think of the title, poster, and or trailer?

I literally discovered this film surfing through Netflix and knew absolutely nothing about it ahead of time. The poster of the two kids in their school uniforms seemed interesting to me. Plus I wanted to try something different, and this certainly looked different.

3. What did I think of the main character(s) and how the actors performed them?

Everything about this movie was odd. With that being considered, it was difficult deciding whether the actors were performing their roles well or not. I’m only vaguely familiar with the work of Bethany Whitmore, who plays Greta, but as child actresses go, I think she did a fine job with the odd material.

4. What did I think of the direction and cinematography?

I’m not sure how I feel about the direction of this film. As I mentioned before, I got the sense that Wes Anderson might have been an influence but so might have Tim Burton and Jim Henson. I didn’t really get it. Sometimes it seemed like close-ups were the focus, but then a wide-angle scene with one individual in the shot would come up next. I’m not even going to try to understand the use of stop-animation at one point.

5. What did I think of the soundtrack and score?

This movie takes place in the 70s, so of course, the music is fun. Even with tunes I don’t clearly recognize, the music helped ease the oddness. That is until an unnecessary musical number broke out, more than once… Yeah.

6. What did I like about the story as a whole?

Well, I guess the anti-bullying and self-acceptance message is a good point to drive home, so… that was good. I did actually like the end where…SPOILER… Greta puts on her friend’s suit and he puts on her dress to prove a point.

7. What did I not like about the story?

So much. It’s difficult to pinpoint one thing.

8. Would I recommend this movie to others and what would I rate this movie?

Probably not.

The moral of the story seems to be that being a teenager sucks. I’m still not quite sure why the critics liked it so much. I honestly don’t think this is the worst movie I’ve ever seen. It’s not that bad. It’s just really not good, to me.

On a scale of 1 to 5 movie reels, I give this film reels.

P.S. This should really be a 1 reel rating. I discovered a glitch in my rating system for works I “Didn’t Like” or “Didn’t Finish”. I will leave all previous ratings as they are but will apply adjustments for all future book and movie reviews. 

9. Is there anything I would have changed or done differently?

Perhaps it’s simply a cultural difference, but I wouldn’t have made the people seem so sitcom-like. They just didn’t feel the slightest bit real. I also probably wouldn’t have had the kids curse so much. Kids cursing in movies has its place, but hear it just seemed like too much.

10. Was there anything in this movie that could be related to me or anything I have written?

Mini SPOILER
In this movie, Greta takes a trip, I mean that in the “puff, puff, pass” sense (if you don’t get that reference, don’t spend too much time thinking about it). It’s supposed to be a dream, I think, but it quickly becomes a nightmare. It’s like many other films where reality and the dream world collide. I often write stories where that happens, especially in my Eternal Curse Series.

Watch, rent, or buy this movie here.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Max Payne #TheToiBoxOfWords #film #review

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I decided to take on the challenge of a video game movie adaptation. I wanted to review something a little different and think I found something special, but; does that mean I liked it? Let’s find out.

If anyone is interested in my experience of watching Max Payne, click here to see my notes. Oh, and I think I might start using these notes to make a recap video. I’m working hard to improve my You Tube channel and hope you’ll check out some of the new content.

This review will consist of me asking myself 10 questions and answering them to the best of my ability.

Wikipedia
Wikipedia

1. What is this film about?

Loosely, and yet still pretty close, based on the video game of the same name, Max Payne is a NYPD detective out for revenge. (Wait, kinda sounds like the premise for a dozen other movies. Did it really need to be based off this game?) Anyway, Payne turns to cold case work so he can keep looking into and digging up leads for his wife and child’s unsolved murder, earning black sheep status at the precinct and on the streets. Then one fateful night, a series of wing tattoos and a new murder brings him closer to finding answers that he’s not ready to deal with.

2. What did I think of the title, poster, and or trailer?

I remember seeing the trailer of this movie, back in the day, when it was first released and thought it didn’t look too bad for a video game movie. (Let’s be honest, they are 50/50 hit or misses.) In any case, I thought the cast sounded pretty cool at the time. Mark Wahlberg (rapper turned actor) and Christopher Bridges aka Ludacris (another rapper turned actor) appearing on screen with Beau Bridges (no relation) seem like a once in a lifetime event. I’m actually impressed with how both of these men have handled their acting careers, not making it a joke but not taking it so series that they make movies that just don’t fit them.

3. What did I think of the main character(s) and how the actors performed them?

I knew very little about the Max Payne game, but it wasn’t completely foreign to me either. I’d seen other people play the game and so had an idea of what to expect. I don’t think this is one of those films where you can really get the character wrong without doing something completely out of character, like making Max a drag queen or making him walk with a limp and speak with a lisp. I think Wahlberg did fine. All the major actors did fine, though there were a few times I had trouble believing Mila was supposed to be so kick-@ss. Oh, and there were a few priceless performances from the supporting and minor characters, but that just added a bit of humor to the overall presentation.

4. What did I think of the direction and cinematography?

This is where I’m sure gamers will come out of the woodworks to torch my house, but I don’t care. I liked the way this movie was filmed. I don’t know if the director or screenwriter is to credit, but I liked the unofficial supernatural elements they added to the fill, even if it does all boil down to “Kids, drugs are bad.” Seriously, check out my notes on watching the movie.
For the most part, the film is dark, in that classic noir style, but the flashbacks seemed to have an amber tone to them. Not sure what filter they used, but it brightened the movie without adding too much realism. On a scale of one to 10, considering when this movie came out, I’d still give the effects about an 8. They aren’t that bad, and for a story like this, they aren’t really overused.

5. What did I think of the soundtrack and score?

I can’t think of anything that really stood out about the soundtrack, but I do remember liking it. I thought it suited the mood of the film. I think I remember some metal songs and some deep instrumentals.

6. What did I like about the story as a whole?

The plot was okay. It wasn’t some ultra-hard or twisted mystery to figure out and the characters weren’t so complex that you could figure out their motives, but it wasn’t bad either. I guess what I liked most was that the story was simple, but not so much so that I became annoyed. This is brain candy.

7. What did I not like about the story?

I thought the government experiment cover up was a bit cliché, but like I said, “brain candy”. Oh, and, who shoots an automatic weapon around blocks of C4?

8. Would I recommend this movie to others and what would I rate this movie?

Yes and no. I have a bunch of friends who can appreciate a good action flick for being just that. They can appreciate that some stories don’t have a lot of depth and that violence is inevitable. If they haven’t seen this yet, I’ll invite them over to watch it. And as video game movies go, this is one of the better ones. For a video game movie, I’d give this a 5; but that’s not my general rating.

On a scale of 1 to 5 movie reels, I give this film 4 reels. What can I say? I appreciate mindless entertainment.

9. Is there anything I would have changed or done differently?

I think I would have done a better job of addressing the drug issue behind all of this. Even the additional scene after the credits, suggesting that there might be a sequel, focuses on Payne’s desire for revenge. Someone should be doing something about that drug problem.

10. Was there anything in this movie that could be related to me or anything I have written?

I like the Valkyrie/demon imagery in this story, though I don’t know how accurate it is. I always thought Valkyries looked like stereotypical angels. In any case, I like how scary they come off and try to capture that kind of fear in my own stories wherever suitable. I do write about angels and demons in my Eternal Curse Series.

Watch, rent, or buy this movie here.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Zootopia #TheToiBoxOfWords #film #review

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So, in case you don’t know, I’m going it alone with my monthly movie reviews from now on. This is my first solo effort. It’s mostly the same review I’ve been doing with some minor changes. I’d love for you to leave comments or responses to any of the questions I pose. Thanks for sticking with me through this transition.

If anyone is interested in my experience of watching Zootopia, click here to see my notes.

This review will consist of me asking myself 10 questions and answering them to the best of my ability.

Wikipedia
Wikipedia

1. What is this film about?

In an animated world where mammals are the peoples of the world, mammals have evolved. Predators and Prey live together in harmony, mostly. At the center of this utopia is the great metropolis of Zootopia. It’s a city, a jungle, tundra, and more where a bunny has a chance to live out her dream of becoming a police officer. When the country bunny hits the big city, she quickly learns that Zootopia isn’t the Mecca she hoped it would be; plus, there’s a mystery to be solved to which no one believes a bunny can do.

It took me a while to realize that there were no reptile, bird, or other talking animal characters. At least I don’t think so.

2. What did I think of the title, poster, and or trailer?

I’m really disappointed that I missed this in the theater. It just wasn’t in the cards for me. I remember thinking the movie looked cute; plus, I love animals and figured that there was probably some great social lesson to be learned in the end. But if I’m being totally honest, the main reason I wanted to see this was because of the Sloth clip.

3. What did I think of the main character(s) and how the actors performed them?

I thought the voices fit the characters well. I especially thought Bateman, Idris, and Slate fit their characters perfectly. I know there must be a lot that goes into making a voice come alive and match up with an animated image, but for me, it’s hard to judge whether or not they really performed well. I either like the match or I don’t.

4. What did I think of the direction and cinematography?

Again, when it comes to animated movies, I don’t know how much cinematography makes a difference, but in terms of direction, I get it. Someone has to decide if the voices sound right and match up, someone has to make sure what’s going on the background applies but doesn’t detract, etc… I’d say Byron Howard and Rich Moore did a great job conveying so much emotion in such a lighthearted setting.

5. What did I think of the soundtrack and score?

I enjoyed the soundtrack and score. They seem to go together well; songs coming in at the right moments that were built up by the score. I liked the use of popular music and the original song performed by Shakira.

6. What did I like about the story as a whole?

I thought the best part of the story were there not-so-hidden social messages that overflowed in this story. I could see small children missing some of them, but any adult who didn’t pick up on these messages were in denial. Themes of racism, bullying, discrimination, stereotypes, and more filled this story and I truly appreciate that.

7. What did I not like about the story?

Even though I saw it coming, I didn’t like who the villain ended up being. I understand that it was all a part of teaching the lesson that we humans still haven’t learned. Oppression will eventually make some people angry and desperate in dangerous ways. We have to stop keeping people down.

Without giving too much away, I wish the movie had addressed some ways in which the Zootopia community was going to keep other “underdogs” from doing crazy stuff like the  villain did.

8. Would I recommend this movie to others and what would I rate this movie?

Yes, I would totally recommend this film. Even if viewers don’t get the social messages, it’s very entertaining. I did actually LOL a few times.

On a scale of 1 to 5 movie reels, I give this film 5 reels.

MLoveIt

9. Is there anything I would have changed or done differently?

I think I would have tried to include the entire animal kingdom, but who knows; there may be a very good reason Disney didn’t go there with this story.

10. Was there anything in this movie that could be related to me or anything I have written?

I have not yet attempted a tale with talking animals as the main characters, but I’d love to give it a try. In any case, I do often slip in some sort of social message in my writing; sometimes I do it without even realising I’m doing it.

Watch, rent, or buy this movie here.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords