Avatar Way of the Water is the sequel to the first movie. Avatar. The background of this is sequel begins with a man named Jake sully. The time period is in the future and Jake Sully is in the military. He is on a mission going to another planet called Pandora. The goal of the military is to mine precious items on the planet, but the native species there, called Na’vi, doesn’t like this because the people are destroying their land. In an attempt to make spies inside the natives tribe, the humans create a vial that makes a person, have their consciousness transported to the body of a replicated body of a Na’vi native. These people inside these bodies are called Avatars. Jake is chosen to be a spy, and as he learns more about the natives, he realizes what the humans are doing to them is wrong and joins the Na’vi. He falls in love and mates with a female Na’vi. At the end of the first movie, he permanently becomes a Na’vi creature and assumes the position of tribe leader. The second movie has a run time of 3 hours, but it really doesn’t feel that long. In the sequel, Jake Sully, now called tsuyek Suli, has two sons, a daughter, and an adopted daughter. A human named Spyder who took the side of the Na’vi is like a part of the family too. Suli’s old enemy, a human general who fought with him in the first movie, returns as an Avatar. His threat gets closer and closer, until he reaches the tribe and harms his children. Suli gets his children back, but decides that they have to leave the tribe because he is the reason for the attack and wants to keep the tribe safe. He leaves with his family and they are reluctantly accepted into a water tribe far away from their land. They slowly adapt to “the way of the water”, but the kids are having trouble fitting in. The general eventually finds them and brings his team of humans and war machines to fight Jake. This movie was an amazing thing to watch on screen. There were many different creatures, stunning graphics, and characters that feel so real. The ending was great and had an interesting post credits scene. I think that movie was really good and I would recommend anyone to watch this movie. Again, it is three hours, but is worth it and the time flies by. In conclusion, Avatar: Way of the Water is a movie I highly recommend.
Avatar: The Way of Water
Disclaimer: I tried my best not to spoil anything, but there may still be some accidental spoilers.
Avatar: The Way of Water is the second movie in the Avatar series. It is a science fiction/action movie directed by James Cameron. It was released recently, on December 16th, 2022.
Jake Sully and Ney’tiri, with their new family, must flee the Omitikaya clan due to an old threat returning even stronger than last time. They live with one of the Metikayan clan and have to adapt to their new oceanic environment. When Spider, a human friend of the family who also has a complicated family history, is kidnapped by the enemy, the threat to the family is at its greatest.
After getting off to a bumpy start, and finding it difficult to adapt to the ocean environment, the old threats progress, and with new determination to get revenge, they start to move in on Jake Sully and his family. Jake Sully, Ney’tiri, and their four children make new friends and must face the old threat together.
They discover new creatures in their new environment, and the new characters are all just as interesting, mesmerizing, and complicated as the old ones. Then, with an amazing and feirce, back and forth battle at the end, you feel sympathy for all sides of the battle.
I really loved this movie, and it’s really difficult not to spoil anything, but the special effects are absolutely amazing, and every minute of this movie is engrossing.
Also, the character dynamics and interactions with one another are amazing, and you love all of the characters, especially the relationships between the siblings (Jake Sully’s and Neytiri’s children), who all have different, interesting backgrounds.
The Right Order to Watch the DCEU
What is the right order to watch the DCEU? Although unique to the DCEU, this type of question is not a foreign one. There are many movie franchises that are released in a non-chronological way. Take Star Wars or the Planet of the Apes franchises. First, I’ll present you with the order they were all released.
ORDER OF RELEASE:
Man of Steel (2013)
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
Suicide Squad (2016)
Wonder Woman (2017)
Justice League (2017)
Birds of Prey: and the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn (2020)
Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)
Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)
Black Adam (2022)
But that is not the true chronological order of events that played out in the DCEU. So, allow me, an avid DC fan since I was in 4th grade, guide you through the true chronology and why.
Wonder Woman (2017)
The bulk of Wonder Woman takes place during World War 2, but it actually starts in ancient times in the Amazonian Island, Themyscira during Princess Diana’s childhood. We see her as a child trying to be a part of the other adult warriors but is unable to keep up without cheating which is not the Amazonian way. We are also told that Amazons are immortal which explains why after adulthood, she doesn’t really age from Wonder Woman and Wonder Woman 1984.
Soon after the movie starts, we meet Steve Trevor, a pilot for the US Military. We follow the two unlikely allies as they try to save the world from Nazi Germany and Diana’ absentee father, Aries, while finding love in each other.
Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)
As revealed by the title, this movie takes place in 1984. We see an unaged, but more reserved, Diana navigate her current job working in the Smithsonian Museum as well as secretly being Wonder Woman. The plot really picks up as we see Maxwell Lord promising everyone in the world a wish. All is well for Diana who wishes for Steve Trevor to be reunited with her. We see her teach him 80s fashion as well as help him adapt to life in the 80s rather than the 40s.
Everything takes a nosedive when her timid coworker Barbara wished to be as strong and confident as Diana and turns into the villainous Cheetah all while Maxwell Lord is turning crazy as the world falls into chaos with everyone granting wishes. The only way to save the day requires everyone to renounce their wish. And by everyone, we mean everyone. That means that Diana will have to renounce her own wish which will cause Steve Trevor to vanish for good.
Man of Steel (2013)
This follows Clark Kent in his present day 2013 as his life is disrupted by General Zod who has come to destroy Earth and any and all of its protectors, even if that includes Superman, his own nephew.
This is a new-imagined origin story of how Kal-El became Clark Kent and subsequently, Superman. Forget what you thought you knew about the Kryptonian and buckle up for a more noir-side of how he became the Man of Steel.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
Following the catastrophic events of Man of Steel, we see that Batman is skeptical of Superman. He suspects that the ultimate boy scout is just a facade for something more sinister lying underneath. No one person should have that much power, therefore he feels it’s up to him to stop Superman.
It seems like a pretty done deal, right? Batman is Batman, but he is still a human with no superpowers of his own. Without all the tech, he is no match for Superman. But Batman has a few tricks up his sleeve that surprisingly makes this a somewhat evenly matched fight.
Batman isn’t the only antagonist of this movie though; another adversary is lurking in the shadows and doesn’t make an appearance until it is too late. The lives of the citizens of Metropolis are forever changed by the tragedy that follows.
Suicide Squad (2016)
The start of the movie jumps around through several different times as we see the origins of the characters. Some of them are well known such as how prison psychiatrist Harleen Quinzel became the iconic Harley Quinn to the more unknown such as Katana or El Diablo. This volatile, rag-tag group of criminals are unwillingly bound together in one common goal: saving the world from destruction.
They are brought together by Amanda Waller who calls them the Suicide Squad because no one would care if a bunch of criminals end up dying if they end up saving the world. In fact, it would be a huge win-win for the government.
Justice League (2017)
This movie journeys through the origins of the most famous group in DC Comics history, the Justice League. It comprises of Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman. We see an insight into the Flash as well as the complete origin of Cyborg. (Sidenote: the practically complete fleshing out of Cyborg’s origin, while that of the Flash and Aquaman were kept vague was a major indicator that although we already knew of upcoming the Flash and Aquaman movies, there is no intention to make one for Cyborg.)
Not everyone jumps at the idea of teaming up with each other, especially the jaded Cyborg, but none of them want to see their world destroyed by ancient forces, so they band together. But it is only with the help of an ally everyone had long thought gone forever that they were able to save the day.
Zack Synder’s Justice League (2021)
It is no secret that despite the high hopes everyone had for Justice League it drastically underperformed. Many believed that this was because the original director, Zack Snyder, had left the project mid-production because of creative differences. These rumours were proven true when in 2021, 4 years after its original release, Zack Synder’s Justice League was released to much more praise.
This movie is longer and is able to fully flesh out the characters, their dynamic, and the forces working against them which in turn gave the film more depth, impact, and meaning.
Justice League shows Arthur Curry already established as Aquaman, but it doesn’t show the full picture. In Aquaman we see insight on Curry’s background. We see that his father had fell in love with Queen Atlanna when she washed up on shore and the rest was history. Except history, as we all know, doesn’t always end with a happy ending. Queen Atlanna is forced to come back home to Atlantis, leaving behind Curry and his father.
In this movie we see Curry venturing into Atlantis to try to foil his half-brother’s plot while also toeing the line between being-half human and half-Atlantean.
Shazam! redefines who can be a superhero and what they should look like. At first glance, this superhero looks pretty cookie cutter: an attractive and built white male. But this superhero is really a 14-year-old who turns into this superhuman adult with the word “Shazam” due to foster kid, Billy Batson’s, unforeseen magical encounter.
Throughout this movie Billy has to struggle with being only 14 while also holding the weight of the world on his shoulders. Through effortless humor, Shazam! truly gave life to a more unknown character in a movie that many viewers said revitalized the DCEU after its previous box-office flops.
Birds of Prey: and the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn (2020)
This movie shows the fallout of what happened in Suicide Squad. At the end of the movie, we see Joker breaking Harley out of Arkham Asylum in what we believe is the true act of love. But as most people see, Joker and Harley Quinn is the epitome of a toxic relationship. I mean, it was doomed from the start. He manipulated her into helping him break out of prison. He only kept her around for entertainment.
Birds of Prey shows how Joker had left her for the last time (whether he meant it to be the last or not). She is now moving on and becoming the author of her own story as a new team is formed and they work to save the world yet again. It seems cliche, but this is at its core a movie about a woman taking back her power after being in a toxic relationship for way too long.
The Suicide Squad (2021)
In the third installment of this series, we see that The Suicide Squad shows a quite different rag-tag team than that shown in the original Suicide Squad movie. This time, the team is shipped off to an exotic island with only Rick Flag there to try to wrangle them into obedience. But as previously seen, this group of criminals don’t like being told what to do. They do what they want and if some rules are broken? Well, at least they still saved the world, right?
Black Adam (2022)
This story first starts in an ancient Kahndaq where we see Teth Adam among the enslaved people forced to work for the king. A rebellion among the slaves calls for the brave spearheader to be granted powers by the 6 magi: Shu, Hershef, Amon, Zehuti, Anpu and Zenthu. Because of this, his powers are controlled by the phrase “Shazam!” This is why his costume is the black equivalent of Shazam’s. Similarly, to how Marvel has Venom and Spider-Man, DC has Shazam! and Black Adam: two very different halves of the same coin.
But because of his nefarious intentions, Teth Adam is placed into a prison with the intention of being held there for the rest of eternity. But thousands of years later he is awakened, but by people who want to enslave Kahndaq again. This time around, the brooding antihero must use his powers for good because the last time he went out of control, he nearly destroyed Kahndaq.
As I alluded to earlier this post, I am an avid DC fan. And if you have seen any of my other content on this blog, I am a huge superhero enthusiast in general. I don’t discriminate whether it comes from Marvel or DC. And honestly, despite the DCEU having more box-office flops than wins, I have never watched a DC film and felt unsatisfied with it. Thereofore, I am starting yet another superhero series where I take you through all of the DCEU films. In the future, I am planning on reviewing all non-DCEU DC films as well as continuing my MCU and non-MCU Marvel films as well so stay tuned.
Review: Where the Crawdads Sing (Movie)
In 2022, director Olivia Newman turned Delia Owens 2018 murder-mystery novel, Where the Crawdads Sing, into a thrilling coming-of-age movie. The movie is set in Barkley Cove, North Carolina, in the 1950s and 60s and follows the life of Kya Clark, or as the townsfolk know her as, the Marsh Girl. In the marshes of the deep south, abandoned by her family, Kya Clark becomes the suspect in the murder of the towns infamous Chase Andrews.
Where the Crawdads Sing is a well-made movie with a story and characters that will keep you heavily invested. The acting in this movie is sensational; the cast did a remarkable job in showing their characters depth and emotion. Daisy Edgar-Jones is brilliant and gives an amazing performance as Kya. To me, the story had an unpredictable plot twist with several red herrings thrown in. The movie leaves you at the edge of your seat and unsure of what is going to happen next. A warning though, this movie is not a “feel-good” type film; there are some triggering scenes and viewers might be advised to watch with caution. By far, the best part about the movie is the cinematography and soundtrack. Enhancing the film is the excellent cinematography of North Carolina swamplands which accurately depicts the life the mid 20th century south.
The critics have been slamming this movie because of how the film condensed certain chapters from the book and they felt the scenes were rushed. I haven’t read the book, but it is now on my list. Personally, I love watching the movie before reading the book because I don’t have high expectations of what I anticipate to see.
If you enjoy murder-mystery plotlines and appreciate beautiful cinematography, I recommend seeing Where the Crawdads Sing. I would rate this movie an 8/10.
Dune – Book vs. Movie (2021)
Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides, who travels to the desert planet Arrakis with his family, as his father, the Duke, was assigned it as a fief for the Emperor. However, violence and betrayal soon follow the Atreides’ arrival due to disputes over the planet’s most valuable resource – spice. In his struggle for survival, Paul discovers his true destiny, one that the people – his and Arrakis’s – have been awaiting for generations.
Because the Dune movie was released way back in October, I decided to bite the bullet and read the classic – albeit very lengthy – book. I then watched the movie afterward (Also very lengthy!). Here are my thoughts on the two.
The world of Dune is very complex, and I have to commend the intricacies of the worldbuilding. The government, the landscape, the technology, and the supernatural element are all new and very creatively invented. However, it made the plot all the more confusing. The odd terms that were dropped without explanation made me feel as if I was reading the second book in a series; like I was missing something. Everything got mixed up in my head and I found myself wishing for some sort of description for these terms in the book, and not just in the appendix.
The book also frequently jumped to the side characters’ perspectives (that is – not Paul). The side characters were another thing that frequently got confounded in my head. There were lots of old men that didn’t contribute much to the story and weren’t fully fleshed out, yet there were plenty of chapters written from their point of view. It is one of my pet peeves when a story is told by an omniscient narrator as opposed to a limited narrator; knowing everything that is going on with everybody instead of just the main character. A good rule of thumb: if the story is too boring to be just from the main character’s point of view, then you’ve got too boring of a main character. I also hated that there were chapters discussing everything that the main villain, Baron Harkonnen, was plotting, because the book was much more dull knowing who the betrayers were and what he was going to do.
That brings me to my next topic: Paul did not have enough flaws. The character is an amazing fighter, astoundingly intelligent, all-knowing, and also the Chosen One. He is written as invincible, as incapable of making mistakes. He is also a spoiled brat, treating all others, especially women, with disrespect. He is uninteresting and irritating overall.
I also felt that this book was just not written compellingly. The way the words fit together was bland and made the book much more of a chore to read. It was very reminiscent of the way Lord of the Rings and other older epics were composed, seeing as it was published in 1965. I think this is just personal preference – I generally prefer modern books.
The thing that irked me the most about this book though, is the way that women are thought of, treated, and portrayed. The Kwisatz Haderach, or the “Chosen One” in Paul’s world, can only be a man because women are “limited.” The Bene Gesserits, who are a society of powerful women, exist to “breed with men” despite their abilities. The women in this world only exist to aid men, marry men, seduce men, and bear children. After having barely met Paul, his love interest throws herself into her arms and declares she wants to have his child. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. Much of the story revolves around the treating of women as property and the keeping of them as concubines. Just . . . gross. I understand that this book is old, but that doesn’t make this content any less disturbing.
Overall, I feel that I wasted my time on this supposed “classic.” At its bones, the story had potential, but the execution truly was not there.
Rating ➳ ★☆☆☆☆
The complexities of the book were very well-handled in the movie. The graphics were incredibly done and rendered the various technologies, locations, and cultures expertly into a visual format. There was a lot less dropping of random names and words that didn’t add anything to the story, for which I was grateful. The casting was also great, and the acting made the storyline all the more convincing.
The jumping to side characters’ points of view actually lent better to the movie. It felt as if I was being subjected more to the full scope of the plot, rather than looking in on useless events. The side characters also were better-developed in the movie – the audience has a clear idea of who they are and what their motives are.
Paul is also more flawed. His emotions of sadness and confusion seemed very distinct to me as opposed to the book. He seems a lot more realistic and has a far better character arc.
The portrayal of women was, needless to say, corrected in this modern movie update. One of the main male characters in the book, Dr. Kynes, is female in the movie, which I loved to see. The Kwisatz Haderach happens to be a man, but no one mentions that women are limited. In fact, the movie hints at the Bene Gesserits having control of the politics of the Imperium. There is also more racial diversity in the movie as well. Overall, a far more tactful interpretation of these subjects.
The movie is watchable by a newcomer audience, although with some confusion. What frustrated me was that reading the book was the only way to have a full background on the events occurring in the movie. If I could have watched the movie without reading the book, I would have. I really enjoyed the movie and would definitely recommend it.
Rating ➳ ★★★★☆
This is one of those rare instances that I can say, “The movie was better.” The book really just rubbed me the wrong way, but the movie was very well done.
All 8 Harry Potter Movies Ranked From Worst to Best
The beloved Harry Potter film series consists of eight movies that each superbly illustrate a book from the series. The outstanding directing and the stunning costumes and sets are just a few aspects of what makes these films stand out amongst other movie adaptations and series. Here is my personal ranking of the eight Harry Potter films:
8. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (second in series)
The movie is highly entertaining and contains a lot of action from start to finish (most notably the flying car scene at the beginning). It also introduces us to one of the silliest and most universally loved characters of the series, Dobby the House Elf. On the other hand, I felt that the tone throughout the movie was quite awkward and uncertain at times. Since the tone was predominantly humorous and silly, the audience was unsure whether to feel amused or scared when apparent serious moments arose. Perhaps the director did this intentionally in order to emphasize the awkwardness that comes with growing from adolescence to young adulthood. In any case, I think the overall tone of the movie could have been more consistent.
7. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (fifth in series)
Unlike in the preceding movies, Voldemort and the Death Eaters make frequent appearances throughout the film, so the audience gets to watch epic duels between them and the other characters. The directing in these scenes is notably well-done; as a viewer, I felt as though I was there with them. One of the downsides of this movie is the blue-gray filter used in post production. Although it contributes to the foreboding mood, it is quite distracting and considering the quality of the film otherwise, I think the same effect could have been achieved over the audience without it. Another downside is that it felt very rushed; there was constant action from start to finish, and the plot rapidly unfolded from the very beginning. Ironically, it is the second shortest Harry Potter movie, yet the longest book in the series. Lastly, the romance in the film is very awkward and seems unrealistic and unnatural. I understand that the makers of the movie wanted to emphasize the awkwardness and hesitation associated with teenage romance, but it makes those scenes in particular difficult and uncomfortable to watch as an audience member.
6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (seventh in series)
This movie is the first of two parts of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The movie follows Harry, Ron, and Hermione as they undertake the quest to defeat Voldemort. The tension and suspense leading up to the final battle between good and evil builds immensely over the course of the movie. The quality of the directing, picture, and camerawork in this movie is better than ever! Notably, there are numerous scenes in which the camera angles show us things from one of the protagonists’ perspectives, which engrosses us during these particular scenes. Although the content of its plot are relevant to the development of the series’ overall storyline, I believe it could have been condensed with Part 2 to create one movie; the revelations and discoveries they make do not required an entire film of their own. The significant length of the film can be attributed to its slow-pace; several scenes are too long and dragged out. In addition to being slow-paced, a considerable portion of the movie takes place in a dreary forest where the three friends camp while in hiding. They seemed to be at the camp for the majority of the movie, and the tent is one of the few settings that I can vividly recall. All in all, these aspects of the film make viewers frequently lose interest throughout.
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (fourth in series)
Unlike the preceding films, this movie is quite mature and the tone of it is relatively consistent. The director successfully creates a dark, suspenseful, and foreboding mood due to the constant action, dark lighting and costuming, and skilled camerawork. There is rarely a dull moment in this film so it keeps your attention the whole way through. The only thing I really disliked about it was how especially violent and depressing it was, even more so than the book. Personally, I felt there could have been more lighthearted moments to balance this out and make it more enjoyable to watch.
4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (first in series)
As the first film in the series, it sweeps you off your feet and captivatingly introduces you to the wizarding world. The magical, lively score by John Williams complements the film and contributes to the silly yet mysterious mood. The excellent lighting adds to the specific mood the director is trying to create in each scene. Notably, in the scene where the new students arrive at Hogwarts, the lighting inside of the school is warm and soft, which emanates a welcoming and friendly tone. The childish humor, lively and dynamic characters, and entertaining action make it a great movie for people of all ages to enjoy. Although it is an excellent movie in its own right, it does not match up to the advanced quality of other movies in the series.
3. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (sixth in series)
This movie has the perfect balance between drama and action. We witness Harry and his friends reach a greater level of maturity and delve into learning about Voldemort and the horcruxes. It also spotlights the special bond between Harry and Dumbledore who embark on a treacherous quest later in the movie. Shocking revelations and discoveries, and momentous duels hook the viewers and have them on the edge of their seats. The cons of this movie were relatively minor. One of which was was the awkward romance, specifically between Harry and Ginny. There did not seem to be any chemistry between them, and the awkward interactions were difficult to watch as a viewer. Another negative aspect of the film was Professor Slughorn. His silly demeanor negatively stood out against the film’s serious mood. It seemed as though he did not belong in the film. Lastly, the dull filter used over this movie made it very displeasing to the eye. The dreary coloring was especially ugly and unappealing, which made it a bit distracting.
2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (eighth in series)
The tension built up over the course of the series explodes in this mature, epic finale! The intense emotion, dire steaks, and momentous battles tug on the viewer’s heart strings! The special effects create a breathtaking spectacle which captivates the audience and leaves them in awe. The quality and features of the camerawork make you feel as though you are in the midst of the chaos at the castle. My only complaint about this movie was how underwhelming the final stand off between Harry and Voldemort was. It seemed too easy of a victory on Harry’s part; as if it were attributed to just sheer luck rather than skill and courage he had obtained from seven years worth of dedication to training and preparing for that moment.
1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (third in series)
In my opinion, this is by far the best film in the series! The tone is consistent throughout, foreboding and serious but with humorous moments appropriately placed here and there. In addition to the series’ main plot line concerning Voldemort, the protagonists become intertwined in a separate mystery regarding Sirius Black, an Azkaban escapee rumored to be on the hunt for Harry. The audience anxiously anticipates a confrontation between Harry and Sirius Black, keeping them actively engaged in the film. We also meet the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, Professor Lupin. Lupin acts as a mentor to Harry and teaches him how to defend himself against the ominous Dementors. These dark creatures significantly contribute to the foreboding and dark mood of the film. With shocking twists and enthralling action, this movie takes the top spot as the best Harry Potter film in the series!
Be sure to comment YOUR ranking of the 8 Harry Potter movies!
A few days ago, I rewatched Halloweentown. This movie takes place on Halloween night, when 13-year-old Marnie and her younger siblings are told they can’t go trick-or-treating. When their mysterious, Halloween-obsessed grandmother decides to pay them a visit, the three siblings follow her home, much to their mother’s dismay. They find out that their grandmother, Aggie, is a witch from Halloweentown, as are they and their mother! Aggie is worried that her neighbors in Halloweentown are disappearing and she wants to train her oldest grandchild, because if she doesn’t, Marnie will lose her powers. When their mother, Gwen, goes to Halloweentown in search of her children who snuck out, she finds that the mayor is her ex-boyfriend and that he’s responsible for the residents of Halloweentown disappearing and his goal is to take over the mortal world. The family defeats him and then goes back to the mortal world and starts their training. Kimberly J. Brown played Marnie and honestly, she wasn’t good in this role. She was annoying and whiny. Aggie was played by Debbie Reynolds, who was perfect for this role! Joey Zimmerman played Dylan, Marnie’s skeptical younger brother. Though his character could be frustrating, he was casted perfectly. Marnie and Dylan’s younger sister, Sophie, was played by Emily Roeske, who was good in this role. Her character was immediately a better witch than Marnie and didn’t get nearly enough credit. Gwen was played by Judith Hoag and she was great! Robin Thomas played Kalabar and he was a good villain, though it was obvious something was off about him from the beginning. This movie is super cheesy but very nostalgic so I really enjoyed it, though it’s not the best in the franchise. I also learned that this movie came out in 1998, and it is the fourth Disney Channel Original Movie.
This review contains mentions of suicide. A few days ago I watched The Shining. This classic psychological horror film by Stanley Kubrick is about Jack and his family, who move into the Overlook Hotel during the off-season when Jack accepts a position as a caretaker. This seems like the perfect opportunity for him – he believes this to be ideal so he can focus on his writing. After moving in, Jack’s son, Danny starts having horrible visions of the hotels past using his telepathic ability called the “shining.” The dark past involved the previous caretaker murdering his family and killing himself and Danny is advised not to go into room 237. Meanwhile, Jack’s mental health immensely deteriorates to the point where he attacks his wife Wendy, and Danny. The two narrowly escape, leaving Jack freezing in a snowy hedge maze. Jack Nicholson plays Jack Torrance and he’s the best part of the film! He was a great villain and it was interesting to see him go from being a normal guy to the isolation impacting his well-being. I really can’t see anyone else in this iconic role. Shelley Duvall played Wendy Torrance, Jack’s wife. She was okay but got really annoying very quickly. Also, whoever dressed her did a terrible job. Danny Lloyd played Danny Torrance and he was a great choice for this part as well. This was my first time watching this classic movie and I was expecting it to be way scarier – I don’t think it’s scary even by 1980 standards of the horror genre. One thing I did enjoy about this movie was that the villain wasn’t a paranormal being or a serial killer – it was Wendy’s husband and Danny’s father, someone they probably trusted at one point. I also have to mention that the scene with Jack kissing the woman that turns out to be dead, bloated, and moldy is extremely disturbing and I wish I could erase it from my mind. I’m still confused by the ending, but I do appreciate that this movie is a classic.
Tonight I watched Scream. In the film, a masked killer, nicknamed Ghostface, starts killing teenagers in a small town and specifically targets Sidney and her friends. There are multiple suspects throughout the movie, including Sidney’s boyfriend, Billy, and her father. Meanwhile, a local news reporter, whom Sidney doesn’t care for, tries to investigate the murders. The two end up working together to reveal that Ghostface is Billy and their mutual friend, Stu. Billy’s motive? His parents separated because his father was sleeping with Sidney’s mother, who was murdered by him exactly one year ago. Sidney and Gale end up killing Billy and Stu! This movie stars many memorable names and faces, including Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Matthew Lillard, Rose McGowan, Skeet Ulrich, Jamie Kennedy, and Drew Barrymore. They were all great in their roles, but I especially enjoyed Courteney Cox’s performance (possibly because I like Friends). Although they were the villains of the movie, I felt that Skeet Ulrich and Matthew Lillard as Billy and Stu, respectively, were a fantastic and hilarious duo! I really liked that they were working together because it’s different than other scary movies. It was interesting that they killed off Drew Barrymore’s character really quickly, especially as an up-and-coming actress at the time. The movie also paid homage to A Nightmare on Elm Street by starring Wes Craven as a janitor named Fred, who was dressed similarly to Freddy Krueger, so that was cool! One thing I found weird is that there seemed to be a lot of standing around between both of them when Sidney would have interactions with Ghostface – she should have been running or fighting, while he could have taken the opportunity to kill her. The movie was not as scary as I remember it being, though I forgot whether I’ve watched this movie before or not and it was mostly predictable – though my suspicions were on Dewey, the deputy sheriff, for most of the movie.
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
Earlier today, I watched It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. This is a 25-minute television special that follows Charlie Brown and his gang on Halloween. He and his friends go trick-or-treating, where they get an assortment of candy – aside from Charlie Brown, who gets all rocks. They then attend a Halloween party hosted by their friend, Violet. Meanwhile, Linus and Sally wait in the pumpkin patch all night for The Great Pumpkin – a mythical figure similar to Santa Claus, but for Halloween festivities – that Linus is adamant exists and will bring him presents. At one point, he thinks he sees the Great Pumpkin, but it is just Snoopy. He falls asleep at the pumpkin patch until Lucy brings him home. The voice actors include Peter Robbins, Christopher Shea, Kathy Steinberg, Bill Melendez, Sally Dryer, Gai DeFaria, Glenn Mendelson, Ann Altieri, and Lisa DeFaria. They were all good choices. This holiday special had less of a storyline than A Charlie Brown Christmas, so that was disappointing. There were very few funny parts, but some of them include when Lucy signed a document saying she wouldn’t pull the football away but does anyway because the document was never notarized, or when Charlie Brown kept getting rocks from all the houses where the kids trick-or-treated. I know it’s an animated special from 1966, but the Halloween costumes are unoriginal and boring. Almost all the kids cut two holes in a sheet and went as ghosts – and Charlie Brown couldn’t even do that right! Lucy was a witch because, according to her, it’s the opposite of her personality. Surprisingly, it seemed like Charlie Brown’s friends were all nicer to him in this special rather than the Christmas one. Either way though, he needs new friends. While it has some good moments, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown was a little too boring and I had trouble paying attention to it.