2018 Year in Reviews (Part 2)

Mary and the Witch’s Flower

When animation master Hayao Miyasaki “””””””officially”””””” (enough air quotes?) retired after The Wind Rises (Air quotes because he’s developing another movie right now), the future of Studio Ghibli dramatically shifted. I’m unsure about Miyasaki’s next movie, but the decision was made to stop animating original movies in house. Instead Ghibli would be a producer and distributor of other animated films like last years excellent The Red Turtle. So now you have a bunch of the best animators in Japan without a studio. So they created their own, Studio Ponoc, and this is their first feature film. As you can imagine, the animation on this movie is spectacular. It definitely is imaginative but I don’t think the story is as strong as Mayazaki’s works. Still that’s a fairly high benchmark to make, and it’s a charming and beautiful movie nonetheless. If you need a Ghibli fix, Studio Ponoc’s movie is the best thing you can find right now.

Death of Stalin

This movie isn’t for everyone. It is really dark, violent, and yet was one of the funniest movies I’ve ever watched. The movie takes place at the end of Stalin’s reign in Soviet Russia and the succession crisis that preceded his death. Something like this would normally be done in a serious oscar-bait drama. But instead, they turned the death of one of the most ruthless and evil dictators of the 20th century into a comedic farce. This adds a sweetness to the otherwise acerbic subject matter. I cannot recommend it to everyone, but anyone who enjoys dark humor, witty dialogue and irony should really check it out.

Deadpool 2

I didn’t catch the PG-13 re-release so this is based off of the R version. The production value went way up for this one and played out more like a typical superhero movie. For better or for worse, this one feels much more mainstream and dare I say less raunchy than the last one. But there are plenty of gorey bits and F-bombs to maintain an adult rating. I didn’t have any many issues with this one but I didn’t laugh as much with this movie than the last one. It has a much better story than the first one but the first one felt more rebellious and underground. Deadpool was a major risk and that’s what I respected about it, this one felt more safe. Again not a bad movie, but may not have the lasting impact that the first one does.


2018 Year in Reviews (Part 1)

So I’m going to post up a couple of mini reviews in chunks. That way I don’t have you reading a novel all in one day but enjoy a small bite size review every couple of days. I’ll start with early 2018 movies first, I don’t promise that they are in chronological order though (or for the rest of the reviews for that matter). Also, I will probably have to wait until the beginning of next year to do a top ten list since there are 3 big movies coming out all on Friday. And I am still very much behind on everything.

Black Panther

Adam already did a review on this movie, but here’s my thoughts on the movie. I liked it, and set the precedent for great Marvel movie villains. In fact, it’s one of two Marvel movies that has a great antagonist (usually a weaker point for Marvel). The thing that I think will bog down this movie is the politics that people have tried to push on it. Take that away, this movie is one of the best that Marvel has put out.

Pacific Rim: Uprising

The first movie was what a dumb giant robot/monster movie would be like if made by a good director. It doesn’t take itself seriously but it has more depth than your average popcorn movie. But overall it was just a lot of fun, the main characters were fairly bland but more than makes up for it for excellent giant robot fights. This movie is what it would have been if Del Toro didn’t make it. This time though it’s the reverse with John Boyega being the more charismatic with the support characters being completely boring and forgettable. The fight scenes are alright I guess, I just don’t remember too much from this movie.

Isle of Dogs

Finally a movie that I don’t feel “meh” about. I’m not a huge Wes Anderson fan, I know him more for the stop motion he made like Fantastic Mr Fox and Isle of Dogs. This movie is his love letter to Japanese cinema, and added to the fact that I love Japanese cinema, I was completely on board with this. The movie is charming, inventive and has a stellar voice cast of top Hollywood actors as the dogs and Japanese actors by the humans. One of the best films of the year!


The Silence Breaks

Hi everyone! I know there has been radio silence for the past 5 or so months. We’ve been taking a much-needed hiatus from podcasts and movie reviews. I’ve just submitted my application to Graduate School and Adam has a new baby around. So we’ve been super busy taking care of personal things during our time off. I am not at liberty to talk about when Season 2 of the podcast will drop but we’ll be making plans for that soon. But it was time for the silence to break.

The main reason for posting this is to announce since I’ve been slacking on movie reviews this year, I’m going to be doing them all at the end of the year. This will be mini reviews so not super structured or anything and because they decided to dump a bunch of movies at the very end of the year, I won’t be able to do a top 10 list like I normally do. That will probably have to wait until next year. Also the reviews will be exclusive for this website. I’ve been cutting out Facebook so I’m not going to be posting on there anymore. So return here during the next couple weeks and we’ll probably have some new stuff for you!

I also wanted to take some time and talk about what I plan on doing next year. I’m not going back for another semester next year as I only went back to help with my application and want to save money. So I’ll have a lot more free time to write articles and reviews. But I want to do more than just reviews. Going back to school has reminded me how much I enjoy learning and writing. So even though I’m not in school, I want to use to this space to explore the research and other learning I plan on doing next year to prepare for Graduate School (acceptance pending). So I’m going to be posting on psychology, pop culture, film and video games. Figure this isn’t a stretch for a website whose logo is literally a brain with nerd goggles. 

Happy Holidays everyone, and stay tuned for movie reviews!

Batman Begins Minutes 138-140: So long for now (With our guests Creator Kids)

Not Ra'sist

Day 3 of Credits Week. Adam the Creator and his kids talk some Batman, some thank you, and goodbye for now.

 

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Batman Begins Minutes 135-137: Pop Culture Polytheism (With our guest Aaron)

Geek Mind Fusion

Day 2 of Credits Week. Has pop culture become the center of who we are. Do our preferences define who we are? Take a deep dive with Darth Laric and Aaron.

 

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Ant-Man and the Wasp Review

Ant-Man and the Wasp

In 2015 we were introduced to one of Marvel’s lesser-known superheroes, Ant-Man. It was a lighter film with a very good mix of humor and action. Ant-Man also made an appearance in Captian America: Civil War, where he played a fairly important role. In Ant-Man and the Wasp, we’ll see the consequences of Scott Lang’s (Ant-Man’s) decisions and the introduction of the Wasp. Will this sequel suffer from some of the overdone humor that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 and Thor Ragnorok do? Or will we get that perfect mix of humor, action, and drama?

Likes

Adam

  1. I like the conflict of Scott Lang. He is paying the price of his decision to help Captain America in Civil War. He has 2 different groups that need his help and he doesn’t feel he can help one without hurting the other. Does he have to pick one and let go of the other? I felt that this was an interesting struggle, and I liked the decision he made in the end.
  2. The fight and action sequences were fantastic. With the ability to grow and shrink it added different dimensions to each sequence. They were all visually stunning and very interesting to watch.
  3. The humor. They did bring the humor level up a little bit from Ant-Man but due to Marvel setting our expectations in Ant-Man I expected this level of humor. So instead of going over the top like a couple of the previous Marvel films, Ant-Man and the Wasp was right at the level that I was ready for.
  4. Casting. They did a great job casting Ant-Man and all of the returning characters are great but the new characters were also very good.

Luke

  1. The comedy in this movie was pretty good, I was laughing for a good portion of it. It was a fun movie to boot. Everything you would want from a Marvel movie.
  2. I agree with the casting, everyone played their part very well.

Dislikes

Adam

  1. The mid-credit and post-credit scenes. All I can say is I called that something like this would happen and I am not happy that I was right.
  2. Bobby Cannavale’s Character. The change in his and Scott’s relationship from the last movie to this one was somewhat drastic. It was jarring for me and took me out of the moment every time.

Luke

  1. The villain was a sizable let down. I was hoping that Marvel was finally figuring out how to make interesting antagonists, this one was very forgettable in comparison to Killmonger and Thanos.
  2. These might be the least heroic superhero film that I’ve ever watched. The whole premise is all about serving the self-interests of the Pym family. Ant-man was kind of pulled in for the ride is by no means the protagonist in the film. While this isn’t a deal breaker on its own, the problem was that the story was trying to be about Scott Lang but he was only reacting to the events around him. He did not really drive the plot at all. The Wasp is more of a protagonist than Antman was. (Again, not a bad thing if the focus was on her.)

Awkward Walk-in Meter: 2/5

Adam

The action was normal for a Marvel movie. A little kissing but nothing crazy. Ghost and the Quantum Realm was a little psychedelic but not to bad. I didn’t have any issues bringing my kids to this film.

Overall

Adam

I really enjoyed this film. I went expecting to have fun and laugh and it totally delivered. It didn’t feel like the humor was too overboard because that is what I expect from Ant-Man. I felt like Ant-Man’s character developed and grew and progressed. Ant-Man and the Wasp is definitely worth seeing in the theater and a worthy addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Luke

This was a fun movie, but most of the MCU is and doesn’t mean they will have longevity. This is one that I think may be forgotten in the long run, especially since it’s in the shadow of two of Marvel’s most successful films to date. But if you want the action comedy of Deadpool without the crudeness, this would be the best thing to watch this summer.

Check out our other movie reviews here

Batman Begins Minutes 132-134: Batman in Pop Culture (With our guest Aaron)

Batman Begins Minutes 132-134

Darth Laric and our guest Aaron get into Batman in pop culture and how that relates to us during our first episode of credits week. We will be covering all 9 minutes of the credits in one week.

 

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Batman Begins Minute 131: Hurray for being single! (With our guests Brent and Andrew)

Batman Begins Minute 131

Gordon explains what the bad guys will do as the police start to increase their efforts. He then mentions that there is some escalation due to Batman. We see a joker calling card and Batman then glides off into the night and we fade to the title. Check out Brent and Andrew at digitaldads.fm

 

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Batman Begins Minute 130: He became Taserface? (With our guests Brent and Andrew)

Batman Begins Minute 130

Bruce and Alfred discuss improving the foundations. Then Batman answers the bat signal for the first time. He and Gordon discuss Gotham’s renewed hope, the loss of the Narrows and Gordon asks about escalation. Check out Brent and Andrew at digitaldads.fm

 

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Batman Begins Minute 129: Those who inspired (With our guests Brent and Andrew)

Batman Begins Minute 129

As the disappointment crushes Bruce, He and Rachel walk into the remains of Wayne Manor. Rachel tries to make up for her cruelty with some kind words. Then Bruce remembers his father and declares he will rebuild the manor just as it was. Check out Brent and Andrew at digitaldads.fm

 

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