Tag Archives: Movie Review

The Angry Birds Movie 2

You may recall my surprise when I loved The Angry Birds Movie, and enjoyed it more than I enjoyed Captain America: Civil War. That’s a pretty high bar to clear, especially for a sequel, but The Angry Birds Movie 2 takes a really good run at it, and, at least in places, out-performs the first film for me.

Here’s a metric. I almost laughed myself unconscious one time (something which I can actually do thanks to asthma). The first film almost did that to me three times. (So, three times it almost did it.)

This doesn’t mean the first film is three times better, or three times funnier—just that it surprised me more. And I suppose that’s more my fault than it is the film’s. I study humor for a living, and went into The Angry Birds Movie 2 expecting some amazing joke-craft, so I was (mostly) ready for it.

YMMV, of course.

The Angry Birds Movie 2 may have an oddly-constructed title (is there an extra word in there?) but it crosses my Threshold of Awesome nonetheless.  I’ll be buying the Blu-Ray, too, because re-watching these films and studying the way the animators, writers, and voice actors work together to craft a joke is, in fact, part of my job, making the disc a business expense.

I’m super fortunate that there are no laws against business expenses being fun, because this film is a lot of fun.

Hobbs & Shaw

The F³ (Fast and Furious Franchise) is now the FFCU (Fast and Furious Cinematic Universe) and I’m just fine with that. Hobbs & Shaw crosses my Threshold of Awesome, and if you can accept that it’s just a sans-a-cape superhero film, I suspect you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.  My Suspenders of Disbelief went TWANG and my Trousers of Sit Here And Have Fun stayed on just fine.

BRAIN: “Cars don’t work that way”
SUSPENDERS: “These are magic cars”
BRAIN: “But… physics?”
SUSPENDERS: “Secondary-world urban fantasy. Different physics here.”
BRAIN: “That guy should be dead. Like, six times over.”
SUSPENDERS: “He’s a magic-super. His powers are ‘punch’ and ‘don’t die.'”
BRAIN: “What about the woman shooting things out of the sky while hanging on to a car as it barrel-rolls through a plate-glass window?”
SUSPENDERS: “I already said ‘magic cars’.”
BRAIN: “She’s not inside this one.”
SUSPENDERS: “Her super-magic is that if her brother asks if she trusts him, and she says yes, she can be super-humanly awesome while touching whatever car he’s driving.”
BRAIN: “That power seems a bit narrow in focus.”
SUSPENDERS: “It’s a good thing the two of them figured it out before he barrel-rolled their car out a fifth-story plate glass window.”
BRAIN: “She let go of the car for a moment there, it looks like. Not touching it.”
SUSPENDERS: “That’s kind of like kryptonite. It adds tension to the scene.”
BRAIN: “Tension. That’s what that was?”
SUSPENDERS: *TWANG* “The trousers are still on, yes.”
BRAIN: “How can you even—”
SUSPENDERS: “MY super-magic is if I trust the movie to be fun, I can suspend all the disbelief.”

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

I’m not sure what I was expecting from Godzilla: King of the Monsters, but it neither surprised me nor disappointed me, and I enjoyed it quite a bit, so I guess what I was expecting was a Godzilla movie with lots of monsters in it.

The show stealers for me were Mothra, Millie Bobbie Brown, and Aisha Hinds. All three were so compelling on-screen it was hard to pay attention to what the other actors were getting up to. You might take issue with Mothra being grouped with “actors,” but the film’s credits very clearly listed Mothra as being played by “herself.”

My only two¹ complaints were that King Ghidorah seemed less realistically-rendered than the other monsters, and the orchestral score fell a bit short of the utter brilliance delivered by Alexandre Desplat in the 2014 Godzilla film. YMMV, of course.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters clears my Threshold of Awesome, and will definitely be going in the Blu-ray collection as soon as it releases.


¹ Okay, I suppose I have a third complaint, which is that the movie didn’t have enough Kong in it, but since we’re getting a Kong vs. Godzilla movie in 2020 that complaint falls into the category of “I am impatient,” and it can’t fairly be levied against this film, which already had plenty of monsters in it.

Pokémon: Detective Pikachu

Take a pokéball and fill it with nostalgia. Then shout “I CHOOSE YOU” and throw it. Depending on whether you’ve given your Nostalgia the right kind of pokéberries, it will have evolved into PURE JOY.  That’s this movie in a nutshell  pokéball.

My eighteen-year-old loved Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, while I merely enjoyed it. My pokéberries aren’t the right kind. Many scenes which I could acknowledge as being impressively immersive were an absolute wish come true for her.

She grew up watching Pokémon, and I did not.

She also solved the mystery while we were in the car on the way to the movie. I rejected her hypothesis on the grounds that it seemed like a real stretch, and would make for a weird story, so chalk another one up for her. She enjoyed the movie more than I did, AND she solved the puzzle correctly.

Pokémon: Detective Pikachu does not clear my Threshold of Awesome, but I concede the point that I am only audience-adjacent for this film. If you like Pokémon, you’re the target audience, and you’ll probably love it. If you’re making it a group activity, though, you might want to check everybody’s pokéberries before heading out.