So, I have to admit something. I went into this movie with very low expectations. The film currently has only a 64% rating on RottenTomatoes critic score, but I saw it had a 94% audience rating. I don't put too much stock in the audience score, just because of the way people can just trash (or love) movies with or without cause. And so 64% was relatively low. I had my four-year-old daughter with me over President's Day weekend and we decided to go see this movie together. I was wondering how she'd respond to the movie, being someone who played the video game as a kid I know the material well, but she's going in cold turkey. And now I'll admit something else, the movie whole heartedly deserves that audience score as well as the "A" rating on CinemaScore.
This movie wasn't as nostalgic to the games as I had thought, but that's not bad. There was enough little nods and winks, especially at the beginning and end, to keep me happy. But for the most part it was a fresh take on this character and those around him. I was very pleasantly surprised by this movie in almost every way. I also want to especially thank this movie for giving us the Jim Carrey that we all knew and loved from his earlier career. His performance was the typical zany, over-the-top and wild character we come to love. I'm thinking like Ace Ventura, The Mask, or even Liar, Liar. Here he's the super-villain and plays to that perfectly and it's be-a-utiful to watch again. James Marsden also has a history of doing films that don't take themselves too seriously, but he does each of those roles with heart and charm and it works incredibly well in this movie. I loved his work in the X-Men series, but here it's more like Hop, 27 Dresses or Enchanted kind of charm.
Sonic himself is fine too. He doesn't have too much character arc, and it's really about the characters he's interacting with. The cast of characters that are supporting this movie are top notch. Even Neal McDonough from Desperate Housewives and Captain America had a small, throw away part in this movie. But everything is done with heart, even in the over the top zany elements. As long as the audience can suspend their disbelief, they're going to enjoy. And judging from audience reactions, they're able to do that with ease and really enjoy this movie!
The movie isn't without it's faults, and is of course a kids movie. But it's engaging, not overly on-the-nose and has great moments. Parents will enjoy this movie too as the humor is primarily in good taste, but there's plenty of laugh out loud moments. This is something that the whole family will enjoy, even if you don't like the video game, it's a fun film. Far more entertaining than I thought it would be.
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Last night was Hollywood history! Many stars gathered for the annual Academy Awards. Parasite, made major history with four wins, including Best Picture and Best International Feature, and took home the big wins of the night. Other films that did well were 1917 getting three awards, Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood, Ford v Ferrari and Joker got two a piece. All other winners were the only one for their movie. Netflix's The Irishman was the only Best Picture nominated movie that was shut out with no wins in any category. But Netflix won't complain too much as Laura Dern secured the company it's first acting Oscar for Marriage Story.
What do you think of the Academy's decision last night? Agree? Disagree? Let us know!
Kwak Sin Ae and Bong Joon Ho, Producers
ACTOR, LEADING ROLE
ACTRESS, LEADING ROLE
Once upon a Time... in Hollywood
ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Toy Story 4
Josh Cooley, Mark Nielsen and Jonas Rivera
Bong Joon Ho
Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone
Ford v Ferrari
Michael McCusker and Andrew Buckland
MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan and Vivian Baker
MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman
Music by Elton John, Lyric by Bernie Taupin
Once upon a Time...in Hollywood
Production Design: Barbara Ling; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)
Matthew A. Cherry and Karen Rupert Toliver
SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)
The Neighbors' Window
Ford v Ferrari
Mark Taylor and Stuart Wilson
Guillaume Rocheron, Greg Butler and Dominic Tuohy
Screenplay by Taika Waititi
Screenplay by Bong Joon Ho, Han Jin Won
Story by Bong Joon Ho
As a followup to Warner Brother's attempted expansion of their DC Universe, Birds of Prey follows up directly after the events from 2016's Suicide Squad. Which almost is as insane as Arkham's inmates, if you look at the Rotten Tomatoes score of Suicide Squad sitting at a 27% fresh critic rating and a 59% audience rating. But I suppose if you see the film made over $700 million at the box office Suicide Squad brought in, I suppose you can see a sequel coming. And actually, Birds of Prey is more of a spin-off than a real sequel and to put it bluntly... it's a mess.
It is without a doubt that Harley Quinn is one of the most popular villains of the DC Universe, and if you've ever been to any Con (convention), you will see hoards of Harley Quinn cosplays. So banking on the love of the character is exactly what Warner Brothers is doing here. They do finally seem to be taking a cue from Marvel, in that they can't be so damn serious all the time and they need to diversify their portfolio. I look to Wonder Woman 1984 as a hopeful sign this is continuing, but this movie can't seem to take anything seriously. Grant it, the movie is really called Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) and so the entire movie is made with her as the narrator. This does work to benefit the movie and has some nice comedic timing to it, but most of everything else is lost.
Each of the characters in the movie feel as well rounded as a square peg. To his credit, Ewan McGregor does stand out in a predominantly female cast as the super villain, Black Mask. I always enjoy watching actors we don't normally see as bag guys really get down and dirty. And in Birds of Prey's hard R rating, you see plenty of that. Not that it's a bad thing, but many times I was just thinking, "this was inspired by Deadpool." Similar to The Gentlemen, there are no real good guys here, except for the one cop who gets fired, probably because of the obscene shirt she is forced to wear.
There are times when I found myself enjoying bits and pieces of the movie, just because I was going on this ride. Which most of the times was literally dumb luck, or as I see it, just lazy writing. These Birds of Prey seem to just have laid a rotten egg.
Rating: 2/5 Stars
Kirk Douglas passed away today, according to his son, Michael Douglas' social media, Variety reports. Michael says his father, "leaves a legacy in film that will endure for generations to come, and a history as a renowned philanthropist who worked to aid the public and bring peace to the planet."
He is best known for his role in Spartacus, which included scenes shot here on the Central Coast at the famous destination of Hearst Castle. He has also won an honorary academy award. Douglas was also a WWII veteran and former Broadway star. But beyond this career, Douglas did lots of philanthropic work.
Variety reports that "Douglas and his wife Anne donated millions for the construction of the Kirk Douglas Care Pavilion at the Motion Picture & Television Fund for residents with Alzheimer’s. Funds were also donated to the Anne Douglas Center for Women at the Los Angeles Mission; the Center Theater Group’s Kirk Douglas Theater in Culver City; Sinai Temple in Westwood; and the Kirk Douglas Scholarship fund at Douglas alma mater St. Lawrence U.
Survivors include his wife Anne; three sons: actor-producer Michael and producers Joel and Peter; and at least seven grandchildren. His youngest son, Eric, died in July 2004."
With The Original Broadway Cast.
Filmed onstage at The Richard Rodgers Theatre.
In A Theater Near You.
October 15, 2021
That's what the tweets said coming from the official Hamilton and Lin-Manuel Miranda pages. It looks like Disney is taking on the screen adaptation with the original cast. Disney and Miranda are no strangers to working together, including working closely on the lukewarm Marry Poppins Returns film, but also having him help with a song featured in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
According to Variety, Miranda said: “I fell in love with musical storytelling growing up with the legendary Howard Ashman-Alan Menken Disney collaborations — ‘The Little Mermaid,’ ‘Beauty and The Beast,’ ‘Aladdin,'” Miranda said. “I’m so proud of what Tommy Kail has been able to capture in this filmed version of ‘Hamilton’ — a live theatrical experience that feels just as immediate in your local movie theater. We’re excited to partner with Disney to bring the original Broadway company of ‘Hamilton’ to the largest audience possible.”
Hamilton debuted on Broadway in 2015 and won numerous accolades, including 11 Tonys and the Pulitzer Prize for drama.