An evil “Superman”, talking pets, and a guy who finds a genie that looks like Will Smith.
What’s going on movie lovers! I hope everyone had a good weekend and was able to enjoy some time off. I saw a few flicks, so let’s dive right in!
Brightburn: Okay so I didn’t see this on the weekend, but it was Thursday night, so close enough. I was in Alabama watching in an almost empty theater. SCORE!! I was very much interested in the movie when I saw the trailer a while back. EVIL SUPERMAN….WHAT AN IDEA!!!! Now this premise has been touched on before. Superman: Red Son is a revision where Superman lands in the Soviet Union and not in Kansas. He wasn’t exactly evil (depending on your point of view) in that story, but he definitely wasn’t good ole boy Supes! In the DC animated feature Doom, we see that Batman has a contingency in place if Superman (and the other members of the Justice League) goes crazy or comes under mind control and is forced to do horrible things. As a human, can you really trust an alien? If Lex Luthor watched Brightburn, he would say “See…this is what I’m talking about!” I liked that the writers didn’t hide that this was a rip on Superman’s origin story. They made “Brightburn” a small town in Kansas, and Brandon’s (the main character, portrayed by Jackson Dunn) powers included flight, super strength and invulnerability, and heat vision. There is something about a kid doing terrible things that makes it creepier than an adult doing the same things. I also liked that the story and cast was kept low key. The run time was only an hour and a half, which turned out to be a good and bad thing in my opinion. The story is focused on Brandon turning into a monster, which is shown well, but the story could have used some more narrative. In retrospect, I can say that they really showed too much footage in the trailers for this movie. I have no clue why trailers are made like that these days. A 20 second teaser with Brandon floating while wearing that scary mask would have been PERFECT!!!!! If you are into the superhero genre with a twist of terror, then check this out. The implications of an evil, super powered alien is terrifying to think about, so seeing it play out on screen was cool. Please don’t spend more than 8 bucks watching this. Discount day for the win!
Secret Life Of Pets 2: Fandango hosted an early access screening of Pets 2, so of course I booked tickets to that when I got the email. I really enjoyed the first one. It had been a while since I watched it, so I popped in my copy before going to the theater to watch part 2. The original can still make me crack up. I actually forgot about some of the scenes, so it was quite a refreshing revisit. Good animation, and the voice cast was spot on. I was glad to see the same actors and actresses return for the sequel. It was a good time in the theater. The story is enjoyable, with a lot of hilarious antics spread throughout. A few years have passed, and some big changes have taken place with Max and Duke’s owner. You can probably guess if you’ve seen the first. So that’s part of the narrative. We also see Gidget and Chloe team up, while Snowball meets new dog Daisy (voiced by Tiffany Haddish). Now that sounds like a lot, but the stories play out nicely and are a lot of fun. The adults in attendance were laughing more than the kids. I really enjoy how the writers show the perspective of the pets. There is a scene about airplanes that had me geeking. The animation is nice and bold. Illumination definitely stepped it up from the original. I think Pets 2 is a great film for the entire family, and the run time isn’t lengthy, so smaller children should be fine (but you know your children). If you liked the first, most likely you will enjoy this one. I don’t know if Pets will be showing in premium format when it comes out in June, but you don’t need to spend that extra money on it. Regular format is fine.
Aladdin: This movie in IMAX……WOW!!! All the colorful costumes and set pieces looked amazing! The production was extravagant, to say the least. I was in the theater singing along!! Not loudly, but I really couldn’t help myself. If you are over 25 and reading this, I would hope you can relate! This live action update has the Guy Ritchie flare (he is the director), so if you’ve seen any of his other movies, then you know Ritchie is about the stylized action adventure. His style meshes well with a the story that was already established. Seeing Aladdin chased through the market with that up close camera work made me feel all nostalgic. I think Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott did a decent job playing Aladdin and Princess Jasmine, respectively. Massoud and Scott both had charisma that brought their roles to life. I wasn’t really feeling Massoud when I saw the trailer, but I will give him props for his performance. So the question that is on the minds of many….How was Will Smith as Genie? In my opinion, I think Smith does a great job making the role his own, while still paying tribute to the late Robin Williams. He looks like he had a good time, especially with the dance scenes. The choreography and the music had me head nodding and tapping my foot. Jafar is one of my favorite Disney villains, and I liked his live action depiction, although I’m not familiar with Marwan Kenzari, who portrays Jafar. The cgi was pretty decent for Iago and Carpet, although I thought it could have been better looking for Genie when he was in genie form. Minor gripe though. I got over it. The character’s stories aren’t exactly the same from the cartoon, so expect some changes here and there. I was on board with most of the changes and new narratives, however, there was something that was different that I didn’t like. I actually said “booooooo”. I’m not going to say what it is, but I will say it involves the big blue guy. I had to get over that also. Aladdin is bold, bright, and fun, so I recommend taking the kiddies. Hopefully they don’t get restless because the movie runs 2 hours. I think that should have been chopped by at least 20 minutes, but that’s just me. If you don’t have kids, it’s okay. Check it out. I feel like if you grew up with the cartoon, you have to see this. You just have to. I am recommending a premium format viewing, if you haven’t done so. Watching in IMAX presentation was awesome, and I have tickets booked for Dolby. Looking forward to singing along again!