Flash Movie Review: Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves
THE TICKETS WERE MORE THAN I like to spend for live theater, but the recommendation I got was glowing for this production. A friend raved about this pre-Broadway production that was stopping here for a trial run before heading to New York; they said I had to see it. I get a kick out of seeing a play or musical before its Broadway run because the tickets are a whole lot cheaper, and I enjoy being first to discover something that becomes a major sensation afterwards. The night of the performance, a small group of us got dressed up and went out to dinner before curtain time. When we finally arrived at the theater, it looked like a mob scene. There were people everywhere, taking selfies in front of the theater posters and marquee. We bypassed all of it to make our way inside the theater lobby. By the time we settled into our seats, the theater lights flashed on and off to signal to all those standing it was time to get seated. And right on time the lights went off and the production began. It was staged beautifully, with elaborate sets and dramatic lighting. There were parts that were amusing, but to be honest, I was bored through parts of it. For everything my friend praised about this play; I had a different reaction. I did not get it at all, and I already was regretting the amount of money I spent to come see it. Just one big disappointment. IT IS BECAUSE OF THINGS LIKE that, I am hesitant to recommend anything. I am sure you have experienced going to a restaurant where someone told you to try and discover you did not care for the meal. Or try a new food item from the grocery store and your reaction differs from the person who told you about the product. Taste is such a personal thing; we all have different combinations of taste buds, where some people think an item is too salty and others feel it is too sweet. When I suggest a restaurant place to someone, I always preface it with my food issues, such as not liking spicy, or heat infused food. I also do not like gooey types of food. My pizza must be well done; if it comes to the table looking wet with oil and the cheese ready to slide off the crust, I will not eat it. So, you can see, this is why I tell people my taste preferences, to lessen the chance of disappointment. On a similar note, I found myself in this situation. Having heard so much about the Dungeons & Dragons game, I was all prepared to have a great time watching this action, adventure comedy. DESPARATE TO REVIVE HIS DECEASED WIFE, a thief plots to steal a lost relic to help in his quest. He soon discovers he cannot accomplish it on his own. With Chris Pine (Star Trek franchise, Don’t Worry Darling) as Edgin, Michelle Rodriguez (The Fast and the Furious franchise, Widows) as Holga, Rege-Jean Page (The Gray Man, Bridgerton-TV) as Xenk, Justice Smith (Paper Towns, Pokemon: Detective Pikachu) as Simon and Sophie Lillie (It franchise, Gretel & Hansel) as Doric; this fantasy film confused me. Keeping in mind I was not familiar with the game this film is based on, I felt lost many a time. For the first half, I was bored multiple times. On the plus side, the movie was visually stimulating as well as creative. I enjoyed the cast, especially the chemistry between Chris and Michelle. There were parts of the story I did not understand; maybe because I never played the game. Not until the last half of the story, did things pick up for me. The fight scenes were fun and well-choreographed. And the special effects were well done. I wished I would not have been as disappointed as I was with this picture. For me, it has potential for creating a better sequel. There was one brief extra scene during the ending credits.
2 ½ stars
Flash Movie Review: Pokemon Detective Pikachu
THE SILENCE WAS PROMINENT ENOUGH FOR me to notice as soon as I walked into the secured area. Why it was a surprise for me was because the area was an airline’s reward members club at the airport. I had a guest pass; so, I was curious to finally see what was so special about these clubs I have seen at many airports. After my pass was scanned by an airline employee, I took the escalator up to the lounge. With barely an audible sound, I felt I was transported to a futuristic world when I entered the place. There were passengers everywhere, sitting in comfy chairs separated periodically by end tables with small lamps. As far as I could see, everyone was plugged into their electronic devices. Some people were attached to theirs with earbuds or headphones, while others had no connection except their locked eyes on the screen. It was a weird sight for me; I could not tell if I was in a futuristic call center or a laboratory. No one was conversing with anyone else. Each person was a singular entity, focused only on their small space, oblivious to anything around them. IT WAS OBVIOUS TO ME WHICH individuals were playing games, for they were the ones with the most physical movement. Out of this group I assumed the ones that were agitated were probably playing some type of battle game or obstacle course. It was funny to me because at the other end of the spectrum there were those who were quietly typing away on their screens, with the slightest of motion. There was no interaction taking place in the real world. Now I hope I am not being judgmental; but as I looked around, I imagined what the room would look like if each passenger’s electronic game or app came to life. How many people would be embarrassed; or on the other hand, how many would be fascinated with someone else’s game? Before electronic devices, there were arcade games. Placed in bars, restaurants and a variety of public places; these devices tended to attract people to come gather by them. I remember when a player was on a hot streak, he/she would draw a crowd to cheer them on. Honestly, it was a time where people engaged more with each other. There was audible communication; now there is this virtual world that individuals can customize and delve into without any outside human interaction. Think about what if those two worlds of reality and fantasy came together. If you want to see one possibility then this action, adventure comedy can show you. TRAVELING TO THE OFFICE OF HIS deceased father to gather any personal belongings Tim Goodman, played by Justice Smith (Paper Towns, Every Day), found one item that was alive; his Dad’s personal Pokemon. What was more of a shock was the fact he could understand this Pokemon named Detective Pikachu, voiced by Ryan Reynolds (The Hitman’s Bodyguard, Deadpool franchise). With Bill Nighy (The Bookshop, About Time) as Howard Clifford, Ken Watanabe (Inception, Godzilla) as Lieutenant Hide Yoshida and Chris Geere (After Earth, You’re the Worse-TV); I must tell you I have had no dealings with the Pokemon game or its characters. Despite that I was pleasantly surprised with my level of enjoyment for this picture. Ryan seems to be the go-to person when it comes to quick sarcastic remarks and he does a wonderful job here. The creativity of fantasy CGI characters mixing with humans is nothing new; however, the script was compelling enough to draw the viewer in for the ride. Since I do not know if the Pokemon world has some dark places, this story was kept on a consistent goofy, fun level with a few thrills. Of course, fans will enjoy this film more than other viewers; but as a person unfamiliar with the game, I can see why this game has attracted such a large fan base.
2 ½ stars
Flash Movie Review: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
THE BOAT SLID DOWN THE ramp and floated into the dark tunnel. Voices were echoing off the walls but I did recognize or actually remember what was being said. When we came out of the tunnel I saw a town being pillaged as flames were licking the air from various structures and objects. A couple of the citizens were being chased around in a circle while there were men strewn on the ground in obvious states of intoxication. My memories were being rekindled; I had been to this town before, many years ago. I was prepared for the cannon going off as my boat came upon a battle scene. There were people in other boats who yelled in surprise at the bomb’s explosion. We did not stay long as our boat had us moving away from the scene. Funny after all these years I still knew the last thing I was going to see was a man sitting on top of a bridge raising a bottle up in the air to give us a cheer. DURING THE ENTIRE DAY I came across so many other incidents where I was recalling how I felt the first time when I was on the same amusement park ride years ago. There is something about going back to an amusement park after being away from it for so many years. Many of the rides I rode that day were the same ones I did before except for a little updating and tweaking by the park’s owner. I still enjoyed myself though I discovered something new on the faster rides; I was now getting dizzy and queasy from them. What was up with that? Something else I noticed; this time around I was missing the element of surprise and wonder that I had the first time I rode the rides. Not that this ruined my time; I still enjoyed myself. Also, I was able this time to skip some rides because I remembered I did not care for them when I rode them last. What sustained my interest and sense of fun was my memories and the feelings of nostalgia. As I was riding an attraction I was reminiscing about my previous time. Thinking about the shock and surprise allowed me to see the rides through gentler eyes. I was less critical about how tight fitting some of the rides were and a bit corny at times. It is fun to revisit things from one’s past; but when doing so, it helps if you keep your expectations low. The same could be applied to this action, adventure science fiction film. WHEN THE ISLAND CONTAINING the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park was being destroyed by active volcanoes, there was little time for Claire Dearing and Owen Grady, played by Bryce Dallas Howard (Gold, Pete’s Dragon) and Chris Pratt (Passengers, Guardians of the Galaxy) to waste if they wanted to save the dinosaurs from extinction again. With Rafe Spall (The Big Short, Hot Fuzz) as Eli Mills, newcomer Isabella Sermon as Maisie Lockwood and Justice Smith (Paper Towns, Every Day) as Franklin Webb; the dinosaurs were the main attraction in this picture. I did think Bryce and Chris worked together wonderfully; they certainly have chemistry. I found the special effects and the soundtrack made this picture more exciting than what the script was attempting to do. The story was a bit odd to me and the script had some holes in it. An example would be the disappearance of one of the characters and we never found out what happened. For a good popcorn movie that has some exciting action in it, this would be the film to see. If you have not seen any of the previous installments you might enjoy this more than someone who has seen the other ones.
2 1/2 star
Flash Movie Review: Every Day
THE LONGER I SAT THERE hearing the comments they were making, the more I was getting angry. Due to my hectic schedule I found myself sitting in one of those food courts where a multitude of fast food restaurants sit side by side, all sharing a common seating area. There was a group of teens or young adults sitting at the next table to me and I could not help hearing their snide remarks about some of the other patrons. Evidently they were trying to figure out what the reasons were for a couple to be together. I know it seemed so weird to me besides being totally superficial and none of their business; but who was I to set them straight? Listening to some of their comments confirmed my initial thoughts about them; they really had no idea what was true love. I say this because they only talked about the physical features of each person and not in the kindest of ways. It was catty with some comments based on stereotypical beliefs; in other words it was plain annoying and disrespectful. I sat there and just like them imagined what type of significant other they would wind up with in life. I STILL FIND IT PERPLEXING how some people focus more on a person’s features instead of their heart and soul. Both in the news and movies there have been stories about couples that had their relationship fall apart when one of them had to battle a disease or debilitating accident. I honestly cannot imagine something like that happening; whether it is the loss of a limb or a fatal disease nothing should have an effect on the heart, mind or soul. Think about it; what would you think about a husband who fell out of love with his wife or worse yet left her because she lost all of her hair, due to the chemotherapy she was receiving for cancer? Granted I am not walking in that person’s shoes and I hope I am not coming across as judgmental; but love is something that nestles deep inside of a person, sending out roots that intertwine with the other person’s love, to form a solid bond that sets the foundation for their life together. It is this belief that made me curious about this dramatic, romantic fantasy. EVERY DAY FALLING MORE IN love with a mysterious soul Rhiannon, played by Angourie Rice (The Nice Guys, Spider-Man: Homecoming), would wake up each day to find what she felt was her soul mate. The challenge was finding the body the soul was inside of that day. Based on the popular novel this film’s cast also included Justice Smith (Paper Towns, The Get Down-TV) as Justin, Jeni Ross (Stage Fright, Taken-TV) as Amy, Maria Bello (The Cooler, A History of Violence) as Lindsey and Michael Cram (Flashpoint-TV, Miss Sloane) as Nick. I thought the idea behind this story was a wonderful one. In fact I would be curious to know how the script compared to the novel. The cast was fine but I found the script and the directing lacked in their ability to tell a story. As the multiple scenes of different high school students passed it seemed repetitious to me. It was not until later in the film where I felt interested in finding out what was going to happen. I am afraid everything was there to make this an interesting and engaging picture; unfortunately it stayed safe close to the surface.