REVIEW: Onward

While I hadn’t heard much buzz about this movie, I’d say it was pretty good! Disney/Pixar does a good job when they’re not making the 10,000 sequel to something. It was a classic, heartfelt story of how an adventure could bring two opposite people together.

The first thing that I loved about this were the voices. These included Chris Pratt and Tom Holland as the main characters, as well as Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Octavia Spencer. Chris Pratt is one of my favorite actors, and both he and Tom Holland definitely made their characters interesting and unique, which can be hard when you are just a voice. The familiar voices also helped me enjoy more of the movie as well as feel comfortable right away.

One of my favorite things was the relationship between the two brothers. One was incredibly shy, and the other was as outgoing as can be, and they generally clashed. But as they continued on their adventure, their relationship slowly evolved into mutual respect and friendship. And this was not totally in a blatant way either, which made it all the more astonishing when the younger brother realized that his sibling had been taking care of him the way his dad would have all along. I loved this “twist”, if you will, because it really supports the idea of an unconventional but still complete family, and was certainly a tear-jerking moment.

The only things that I have to say I did not like were the lack of humor and the role of the manticore. Chris Pratt is a very humorous actor, and Tom Holland can be pretty funny as well. I feel that they did not use this to its full potential, and that the movie could have been a lot funnier overall, all though it did have its moments. I also thought that the manticore was a bit overplayed and cheesy, and seemed like an easy insert for the boys to magically have what was needed, and to be in the right place at the right time. I thought that the whole journey with her and the mother was a little pointless, and only served the purpose of taking up time. I think this movie unfortunately missed out on having a great soundtrack, because Disney/Pixar often does a great job of that. I saw a lot of moments that could really have amped up the song quality to make the movie even better.

The last thing I wanted to touch on was the character of the older brother. He was obsessed with a particular game (Dungeons and Dragons style), and was originally portrayed as annoying and a nerd. However, he is accepted and even a hero at the end, which I think was an important message to send to kids who are perhaps teased for their more nerdy tastes in school. I loved how he was passionately, unapologetically, happy and proud which made him a great role model.

Overall, I thought the movie was well made and unique, mostly because of the different characters and the final twist of the younger brother’s discovery and the final scene with the dad. While it wasn’t a standout for me in terms of great Disney/Pixar movies, it certainly was enjoyable. And it was definitely better than a 4th sequel to the Troll’s movie.

PREVIEW: Onward

This Disney-Pixar movie premiered in theaters on March 6th. Now available on Disney Plus, the movie features teenage elf brothers, voiced by Chris Pratt and Tom Holland. The brothers go on a journey filled with magic and fun to spend one last day with their father. However when their mother realizes her sons are missing, she embarks on a journey as well, to find them and bring them home.

I find that most Disney-Pixar crossover movies turn out to be some of my favorites (examples: Cars, Wall-E, Up, Coco, and many others), so I am optimistic about this one as well. And it got fairly good reviews on IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, Facebook, and Google. I will let you guys know how it is as soon as I can convince one of my family members to watch it with me!

Reminder- the movie is available on Disney Plus: https://www.disneyplus.com

Enjoy!

REVIEW: Dave

Although it certainly had its flaws, Dave was one of the funniest shows I have have seen in quite a while. I don’t think I have laughed out loud this much at a show since watching The Office!

One of my favorite things about the show was the acting (or real personality) of Dave, the main character. As the show is meant to be based on his real life, I think he was mostly just acting as himself, which was a hilarious, obnoxious narcissist with big ambitions. While the supporting characters were also very well rounded and funny, he definitely stole the show. My favorite part was the episode where he met all of the different producers, and presented his future plans and view of his own brand. While he was totally confident, the presentations were absolutely ludicrous and hilarious, which follows with most of his other shenanigans during the show. However silly and inappropriate he was, when he actually freestyle rapped during the show I was very impressed. I (and I think others) tend to forget that although his main genre is satire and dumb songs, he is actually quite a good rapper and can show up when challenged.

I also was impressed by the relationships between different characters, as they were well developed even between side characters. I really felt invested in almost every character we met on the show. The lewdness and ridiculousness of the acting or writing style made it easy for the characters to seem incredibly real. It also felt more relatable than most shows I watch about teens, which feature actors way over the age of the people they are supposed to be playing, as well as ridiculously high stakes and serious drama. This show just felt more casual and realistic.

Dave also did a great job of addressing several societal and personal issues throughout the different episodes. The show dealt with the struggles of someone with bipolar disorder, relationship problems, issues in the music industry, and even lightly brushed on racial issues towards the end of the season. But they weren’t in a fake or overdone way, they were more gently dealt with in the way that they really should be in real life.

The one thing that did bother me about this show is the way they ended the season. It seemed as if the writers did not know what to do with a lot of the loose ends, and when the show ended I sort of sat there like “What? That’s the end? That doesn’t make any sense.” In fact, I assumed there would be something after the credits because it just seemed like the show cut off. It ended before resolving the many problems Dave was having in his personal life, and it did not even resolve what was going on in that particular episode. I also wish they hadn’t tried to make Dave look like a decent guy after what he had done to his girlfriend, as well as the racial issues he had stirred up and not really absolved for. Hopefully he will get his punishment or backlash in the next season.

Overall, I would definitely recommend Dave to anyone who enjoys modern rap, lewd comedy, and interesting, real characters. I really liked this show, and I can’t wait for the next season to be released!

PREVIEW: Dave

This Hulu show is based on the life of 20-something-year-old Dave Burd, a semi-famous youtube rapper (aka Lil Dicky). Dave is constantly trying to get big in the rap world, but finds a lot of derailments and problems in his personal life. The show is inappropriate and pretty embarrassing, but absolutely hilarious, with lots of famous guest stars including Justin Bieber and Macklemore. The show began on March 4th, and the season finale is April 29th. Recommended for fans of Big Mouth, Sex Education, and, of course, Lil Dicky himself.  Watch here:

https://www.hulu.com/series/dave-ac3a96f0-9614-46af-b524-f59c7d281946

 

REVIEW: Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness

If you are looking to watch something equal parts entertaining, crazy, and just plain ridiculous, well Tiger King is absolutely for you. This show had me saying “What the…” probably every 5 minutes, and it kept me absolutely hooked until the very end. I could not believe these were real people, and that these were real problems that they had while running some of the most exotic and crazy private zoos in the US.

As I am sure you must have watched this show already, (and if you haven’t, what are you waiting for?? Seriously!), you know that the story has a totally unexpected ending, which you may or may not agree with. But here are some fun facts that I learned as a result of this show going viral. First, they are re-opening the case of the disappearance of Carol Baskin’s first husband. Second, the creators of this show actually meant to trace the underground world of the snake trade, but just stumbled upon the man in the first scene who had a tiger in a cage in the back of his truck and decided to change their show’s trajectory. And third, which I think is the most crazy, is that the filmmakers were actually filming as the whole story unfolded, and were following the trials and sueings in live time, so they could not have predicted how the show was going to end either!

My favorite part about this mini-series was definitely all of the crazy characters. I could not believe how ridiculous some of them were, from the girl who continued to work at the zoo after her arm was bitten off by a tiger (and went back after only 5 days in the hospital!) to the man who willingly admitted, on camera, that he had been asked and had agreed to assassinate one of the zoo owners’ rivals. I could not believe some of the side stories and anecdotes they were telling with an absolutely straight face, and I was aghast at some of the goings-on at these zoos that was not good for the animals or the people working there. However it is amazing the kind of power that several of the zoo owners seemed to hold over their employees that just kept them working there even though it sounded like an absolute madhouse or sounded like there was no way it could be enjoyable.

Despite all of the human drama, the tigers were absolutely beautiful and majestic. I especially loved the shots of the little ones, who were so cute just scampering around and being played with by the people on screen. I was amazed at how calm some of the zoo workers were around these giant beasts which sometimes were much larger than their handlers. I also loved all of the other animals featured, including lions, elephants, apes, and monkeys.

While I would not recommend this show to anyone who is an absolute animal lover, because there is some very sad animal abuse, I would say this was one of the most intriguing shows I have watched in a while. And now that the show has been released, even more fantastic and wild information is being uncovered about the people who star in it and their lives now. So its like the tv show never ends, which is both a little scary and very exciting to follow!

PREVIEW: Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness

If you haven’t heard of this show, or mentions of Carol Baskin and her dead husband, you must be sleeping under a rock! The mini-series on Netflix was released on March 20th, and is only 7 episodes long, which are each about 45 minutes. It follows several very eccentric exotic animal owners, especially big cat owners, and their interactions with each other and with other people in their communities. Every person filmed is a real person, and they all contribute to the wacky story that unfolds.

Watch now on Netflix!