Movie Review: Toy Story 4 (2019)

toy story

Toy Story 4, the fourth installment in Toy Story series and sequel to Toy Story 3 (2010). Directed by Josh Cooley, was a writer for Inside Out (2015) and this film would make his film directorial debut. Produced by Mark Nielsen and Jonas Rivera, who has produced Up (2009) and Inside Out. Written by John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton. They were also writers for Toy Story (1995), A Bug’s Life (1998), Toy Story 2 (1999) and Toy Story 3. Among other writers who were involved in writing for the film was Rashida Jones, Will McCormack, director Josh Cooley, Valerie LaPointe, Martin Hynes and Stephany Folsom. Stars include the original voice actors, Tom Hanks as Woody, Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear, Joan Cusack as Jessie, Annie Potts as Bo Peep and too many to name which I will add other voice actors and their characters down below.

Story open up with a snippet from each previous film that includes Andy when he was a kid playing with his toys, eventually grew up and passed the toys to Bonnie. The opening scene alone had made me emotional, I mean you have no idea how hard I was trying not to cry during the intro. But then, I’m a sucker for Disney Pixar movies. Any movie of Disney Pixar could make me cry. (Back to reviewing this movie). So in this movie, Bonnie created a new toy during orientation day at her school, named Forky (Tony Hale) and he was made from trash. Forky kept trying to run away and he repeatedly throws himself in a trash because he believed that he himself is trash as he was made of trash. You can really see the effort Woody made for Bonnie and the toys and it reminded me in Toy Story 3 when Andy was passing down his toys to Bonnie, he said this of Woody “He’ll be there for you, no matter what” and that goes to show how Woody is. As the story goes on, Forky became part of Woody’s gang, went on a road trip with Bonnie and her family, met new toys and the OG (meant original gang, not gangster, this is a child’s movie) was reunited with a previous toy from one of the previous film, and that’s Bo Peep and her little lambs.

During the road trip, Bonnie and her family went to a carnival, there we meet new toys named Ducky and Bunny voiced by Michael-Key and Jordan Peele. Buzz met them at one of the carnival games where they were hang as prizes. Bo Peep introduced us to Duke Caboom (Keanu Reeves), a motorcycle rider toy thingy (I don’t really know the exact word for the toy). Christina Hendricks as Gabby Gabby, a talking doll (like Baby Alive) with a broken voice box, who lives in an antique store near the carnival and always hoping to be chosen from a child. It was during this scene is where I found out that I have a fear of ventriloquist dummies.

To easily put what the film was trying to say would be “Woody’s retiring” (My heart hurts just by writing this). Retiring from what you might ask? I’ll leave it up to you because I don’t want to blurt out any spoilers. The film was filled with metaphors and it was on everything, the plot, the toys, their dialogue, the storyline and Pixar have always successfully insert metaphors in their movies and I’d take my hat off to that. Toy Story 4 managed to made me feel every emotion that I felt from their storyline, from the start of the movie to the end, whether it’s humorous, sadness, happiness etc. What really made it hard for me was during Woody and Buzz friendship moment. During the ending, a little girl beside me was asking her mother why I was crying and I could hear the mother’s answer and I knew she understood how emotional this movie was. She said to her daughter “You wouldn’t understand” and I saw the girl’s face and she was so confused.

The animation editing in this film was absolutely amazing. They put in every fine little tiny details like multiple little scratch on the toys, the fluffiness on the cotton wool of the toys etc. It was better than previous films, though I’m not saying the editing in the previous films were bad. They even managed to make a dedication to Don Rickles, the voice of Mr. Potato Head and their animator, Adam Burke after the credit scene. That’s all I could say about the film, I would totally recommend you to watch this movie. To close my review on Toy Story 4, so long, partner.

*Tears were shed during the making of this review post*

RATING: 10/10

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Review MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL (2019)

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Men in Black: International is a spin-off of the Men in Black film series. Directed by F. Gary Gray, produced by Walter F. Parkes and his wife, Laurie MacDonald, basically, they’re the producers of Men in Black movies. Story written by the writers of Iron Man, Art Marcum and Matt Holloway. Stars are Chris Hemsworth as Agent H, Tessa Thompson as Agent M, Kumail Nanjiani as Pawny (voiced) and many others which I will break it down for you later on. So, to summarize what the movie is about, it’s about two MIB agents are on a mission to save the world from aliens (normal stuff) because the world is not gonna save itself and *PLOT TWIST*…..there is a mole (metaphorically) in the MIB organization.

Let me start with the chemistry that Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson had in the film, they’re connection is the only glue to this whole movie. If some of you didn’t know, Hemsworth and Thompson has acted in a movie together, Thor: Ragnarok, they were playing superheroes character and whatnot, *back to the point* that’s just it. They play their characters in this movie spontaneously, which is good, because the last thing you wanna see are actors who doesn’t have any chemistry and hard to act together that you can even feel just by watching it.

I’m a little disappointed that Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are not reprising their role as Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) and Agent J (Will Smith) in the movie, but I get it, it’s a spin-off movie anyway. I just wish they gave a little credit to the two legendary actors of Men in Black in the film, or a reference would be good enough. There were many times where I was just waiting for a scene of them to say something about *those* two agents. Emma Thompson did reprise her role as Agent O, which is the head of MIB US branch. Even though Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson has a great chemistry in the film, I hoped they could be a little bit funnier or could be a little bit charismatic as *those* two agents. Kumail Nanjiani’s voice as Pawny was mehh, I couldn’t blame him, I think it was the sucky CGI effect that totally gave it away. He was funny, just not THAT funny, you know what I mean? Like he didn’t make me laugh or anything, he made me chuckled, that’s it.

Lastly, there were some plot holes I did not understand and made me confused that I think they could have define the “situation” earlier, because I think they rushed a few scenes. The script was boring, actors were too into their script and lines, they could have improvised a few lines spontaneously. I also noticed they added a little feminist line in there, like “Women in Black”. Here’s the thing, if you want to add a feminist line, throw in a few more, don’t just put one or two, or better yet, let a few woman add the feminist line to the script. I also don’t know what is it with the CGI effect in this film, because the effect was a little too obvious. Overall, the first three Men in Black film did way better than this one.

Review THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2 (2019)

the secret life of pets 2

The Secret Life of Pets 2 is a sequel to The Secret Life of Pets (2016) and it’s the second film in the franchise. Directed by Chris Renaud, who is also the director of Despicable Me franchise and with Jonathan Del Val as co-director. Story written by Brian Lynch, also the writer for the first film. Produced by Chris Meledandri, founder of Illumination, and also Janet Healy, who is also the producer of Despicable Me franchise. Stars are Patton Oswalt as Max, a jittery and nervous dog, Kevin Hart as Snowball, a rabbit with a bundle of energy, and Harrison Ford as Rooster, a sheepdog who lives in a farm.

The film starts with Max telling us that his owner, Katie, met a guy, got married and has a baby, named Liam. As Liam grows, the dogs (Max and Duke) became close to him and Max has gotten overprotective of the baby, trying to protect him from the world. So, the movie was cut into 3 animated shorts, put together into a movie. One plot is about Max, Duke and their family stayed in a farm for a few days and Max met a dog, Rooster, a tough sheepdog. Second plot is about Snowball and Daisy on a rescue mission and encounters a villain, the leader of a circus, which includes a train chase with the whole pets. Third plot is Gidget pretending to be a cat (that’s just it).

Now, remember how Duke was part of the main character in the first movie? Well, it seems like he’s not in this one because they didn’t really show much about him, except for a few scenes of him, just interacting. But other than that, I rarely see him in the film. Gidget is still daydreaming about Max, nothing changed. I particularly like Lake Bell’s character, Chloe, the cat. I felt like Chloe doesn’t get much sequence in the movie, they could add more sequence with her in it. The best part of the entire subplot is probably Rooster, and Harrison Ford was impressive, but he plays a really small role, so he wasn’t shown much.

I remember watching the trailer that has Baby Liam in it and I thought they’re gonna be showing him a lot in the movie, which would be a great idea, but not even close to thirty minutes, they started showing him less like he’s not important in the movie. To put it all together, everything about the movie is cute. The pets were cute, the kids, but cuteness is not gonna make me take this film seriously. But to be fair, there were a few moments where I at least enjoyed watching base on their cuteness and there were a few moments where I found myself laughing, particularly during pre-credit scene (don’t miss it!). The Secret Life of Pets 2 gave me a mixed reaction, some of them was a little boring, some of them was enjoyable and laughable, so if you want to watch this movie for a little laugh and have a good time, then go ahead, I would recommend it.

Review ALADDIN (2019)

Aladdin

Aladdin is a live-action musical remake of Disney’s 1992 animated classic and tells the same story about a poor boy named Aladdin, meets a Genie, falls in love with a princess and fights the wicked Jafar. Directed by Guy Ritchie, also written by him and John August. Produced by Dan Lin, who also produced The LEGO Movie. Stars are Will Smith as Genie, Mena Massoud as Aladdin and Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine.

When the movie starts, Will Smith started sings Arabian Nights, and he has a great singing voice, so was his acting, no problem with that. To compare his act with the legendary Robin Williams’ Genie, he did just as good as Robin Williams. In fact, I think every scene of Genie was the most entertaining part of the film, just like how I enjoyed watching Robin Williams’ animated version.

Mena Massoud’s acting as Aladdin was okay. I think his acting was kinda stiff, and…you know that one kid in a drama club back in high school, where he always wants to be the best, smile brightly and too happy? Yeah, I was referring to that. His acting performance were more of a “theater Aladdin” version. Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine was incredible, especially her singing for Speechless, even though the song was not in the animated version, I thought I wouldn’t like it because it’s not the same as the animated version, but I actually liked it. Marwan Kenzari as Jafar was fine, seems everyone has been calling him “Hot Jafar”. I’d still prefer if he was much older and creepy with maniacal (or is it maniac or manic) laughter like in the animated version.

On to the next part, I agree with a movie critic from YouTube (Chris Stuckmann) about the costumes in this movie. Their costumes look like it’s straight up from the backstage of a theater. The costumes looked too perfect and clean, they could have made their clothing to be at least covered with dirt and dust from the sand, torn and ripped with holes on it. I don’t really enjoy watching ‘A Whole New World’ scene, it made me cringe. Made me felt like I’m watching the live-action theater performance of Aladdin at a Disneyland show or something. Other than that, other parts of the movie were entertaining, I enjoyed most of the song and dance performance. My favorite was Prince Ali song, with the parade and everything, I caught myself smiling while watching it because that song has been my favorite since the animated version.

Review JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 – PARABELLUM

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John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum or John Wick 3 for short, is an action thriller film starring Keanu Reeves as John Wick, Halle Berry as Sofia and Ian McShane as Winston. The film would make it the third installment in the John Wick franchise. The movie is directed by Chad Stahelski, who also directed the first two films of John Wick, written by Derek Kolstad, Shay Hatten, Chris Collins, and Marc Abrams. In John Wick 3, assassin John Wick is on the run after killing a member of the assassin’s organization and now the whole clan of assassin in New York City is after him for a huge sum of money.

From John Wick (2014) to John Wick 2 (2017) now to the third film, I’d have to say that the film franchise has given me satisfaction. The third movie has the most intense fighting sequence compared to the first two. It also provides different, better and more powerful weapons. The main attraction here is their stunt choreography and I know it receives many positive reviews. There are some stunts where I think the actor and the stuntman could have gone for the hit, because I could see a slight gap in their stunts, like a pause. Nevertheless, their action sequence amazes me so much. Every fight scene had me on the verge of my seat, gasping and go “Oh My God!”.

But what also surprised me was Halle Berry in her fighting sequence. She was just as good as Keanu Reeves, a total badass chick. I’ll admit, her fight scenes was so much better in this movie than in 2004 movie Catwoman (at least that’s what I thought). Even the dogs in the movie did their stunt amazingly. This film has such an awesome action fights, their stunt team, and Keanu Reeves and Halle Berry gave their all, their energy into these fights and they have my respect for that, you can definitely see the determination that they give while filming these.

All in all, it’s an awesome action movie, totally worth watching and I’m excited about what they plan to do with the next John Wick film in the future.

Review: Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Avengers Endgame

‘Avengers: Endgame’ is a sequel to ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and this movie makes it Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) 22nd film. Directed by The Russo Brothers, Anthony and Joe Russo, produced by Kevin Fiege, written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely and stars are Robert Downey Jr (Tony Stark/Iron Man), Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/Hulk) and many other actors and actresses. After the vanishing events of ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, the remaining Avengers are trying to find ways to bring back everyone who vanished and take down Thanos. The movie basically shows us that their just helping each other out and whatnot, not to mention, that it’s 3 hours long so it’s not just about taking down Thanos and bringing back those who disappeared, there’s a lot going on.

I’m just gonna say, that ‘Avengers: Endgame’ is THE BEST superhero movie I have ever seen in my entire life. I absolutely loved every part of it and probably cried like 5 times. Though I have to say that it has some slow parts, but everything after that was great. The storyline was great, the action was great, the fights, visual effects, etc. Pretty sure fans (including me) got what we wanted and knew it was coming, I’m also pretty sure fans didn’t expect that some parts of the movie was gonna happen too. The Russo Brothers did an epic and an outstanding job for this film and I can’t wait on what they have planned for us in the future.

I also didn’t sit very calm through the whole movie, not in a laid-back and relax kinda way, I was literally just sitting upright like I didn’t want to miss a single scene. Everything about this film is epic, they gave the ‘Avengers’ an epic ending. The only part of watching ‘Avengers: Endgame’ that I did not enjoy was me crying and sniffing but the person beside me, both on the left and right side, did not cry. How can you NOT cry? Other than an emotional moment, there are some laughable moments either.

Besides the point that it has slow parts, there’s nothing that I could find anything wrong about the whole movie. But then again, those slow parts are mostly just the characters building themselves up and getting back on track. Let me remind you that this film is 3 hours long, so I usually get really bored when a movie is more than 3 hours because it’s always dragging, but I was never bored of sitting there and just watching it for 3 hour straight and never once did I yawn so that’s actually impressive.

Moving on, let’s talk about the characters. I’m really impressed with Hawkeye’s (played by Jeremy Renner) appearance in this film. I mean, let’s be honest, he never really got much credit from the previous Avengers movie other than the fact that he shoots arrows. The film payed more attention to Captain America and I love it because in the previous Avengers movie, he’s always this same man with moral values, being the father of the team, calling out everyone’s curse words, but in ‘Avengers: Endgame’, they showed something different. Remember when I made a review of ‘Captain Marvel’ film and how I didn’t really enjoy watching it? Well, ‘Avengers: Endgame’ made me love Captain Marvel than ‘Captain Marvel’ ever did. It finally shows that Captain Marvel is powerful in a way and her fight scenes are much better here than in ‘Captain Marvel’.

Basically, I enjoyed watching it. I enjoyed watching the hell out of this movie and I know I’m late on reviewing ‘Avengers: Endgame’ but it’s actually really hard to make a film review without leaving any spoiler in it so I’ve just been thinking about what to say in this post without fucking it up and picking the right words. I literally stayed away from going through my timeline on Twitter and my explore page on Instagram so I won’t bump into something spoiler-ish. I hope you enjoyed my review on ‘Avengers: Endgame’ and if you’d like to leave a like, leave a comment or share it, then do it.

Review: The Curse of La Llorona (2019)

The Curse of La Llorona

Directed by Michael Chaves and this film is his directorial debut, ‘The Curse of La Llorona’ also known as ‘The Curse of the Weeping Woman’. Produced by James Wan through his production company, Atomic Monster Productions and Gary Dauberman who was also the writer for ‘It’ and ‘Annabelle’. Casts are Linda Cardellini (Anna), Raymond Cruz (Rafael) and Patricia Velasquez (Patricia) with Tony Amendola returns as Father Perez as he was last seen in ‘Annabelle’. Story was written by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis. The film is the sixth installment from The Conjuring Universe. It is based on a Mexican folklore called La Llorona (pronounced as la yo-ro-na) or to make the name sound easy for some of you, it means “The Weeping Woman”. The folklore was about the ghost of a woman who drowned her two children and still cries and mourn while looking for them in the river. It says that it’s a bad omen if you’re ever near her or hear her crying.

‘The Curse of La Llorona’ was set in Los Angeles, in 1973. A mother of two, Anna, who works for Child Protective Services, must save her children from a vengeful ghost who is trying to steal and kill them. The mother finds help from a former priest, Rafael, and are depending on him to save the family and banish the ghost. As a matter of fact, the movie was originally titled ‘The Children’ but was renamed to ‘The Curse of La Llorona’. If you have watched the movie and stayed after the credit scene, I’m guessing the film would be related to The Conjuring (well, duh, it’s in The Conjuring Universe) and I’m pretty sure there will be a sequel.

Personally, and probably most of us preferred if the story was set in Mexico, since the folklore is based from Mexico, with Mexican or Mexican-American casts. The storyline was nothing new from other horror movies, really, if you read again from the second paragraph, it’s almost the same as every other horror movie. On top of that, the film relied too much on jump scares that I got tired of the jump scares towards the end. It was fine for the first thirty minutes, I get to know about the family, the story, but after that, everything became predictable for me. Cinematography was fine, nothing new, just the same like every horror movie, like how the camera focuses on a direction, pan towards other direction, came back to the first direction and BAMMM *jump scare* – there’s the ghost. Again, predictable, and also to every other scene. Like how the mother finds help from a priest and cleanse their house, get rid of the entity, save the family.

I do have to give credit towards the cast for their acting performance, Linda Cardellini and Raymond Cruz did great with their character, especially the children who played their role, they did amazing, since the movie’s main focus was on the kids, they did a great job. The ambiance of the movie for the spookiness was great, the ghost of La Llorona definitely scared me, minus the jump scare. Even I got kinda scared to buy the movie ticket and watch it at the theater since watching the trailer.

Overall, the movie was okay. I do wish they would stick to the true origin of the folklore, you know, like I said, based on Mexico, cast some Mexican or Mexican-American actors and actresses. The storyline was fine, could’ve been better, could’ve bring something new to the horror genre and not relying so much on jump scare.