Take 3: Captain Sabertooth and the Treasure of Lama Rama Review

After a brief break, I have, once again, decided to participate in MovieRob’s Genre Grandeur! For the month of May, the theme is “Reluctant Hero Movies”. I’m not going to lie, my choice of this review required some thought. After spending some time on the internet, searching through lists about “Reluctant Hero Movies”, I finally selected the 2014 picture, Captain Sabertooth and the Treasure of Lama Rama! I had never heard of this film prior to watching it. But I was interested in seeing what other studios had to offer when it comes to pirate movies. I enjoy Disney’s Pirates and the Caribbean trilogy, as the high-quality production value is one of the strongest elements. I have seen the fourth film in this series, but I was not a fan of it. I was also curious to discover who the “reluctant hero” of this story would be. This kind of hero can be reluctant for a variety of reasons, so I wanted to see how this theme would be applied to the story of Captain Sabertooth and the Treasure of Lama Rama!

Captain Sabertooth and the Treasure of Lama Rama poster created by Dune Films, Norwegian Pirates, Storm Films, Storm Productions, and Ketchup Entertainment. Image found at https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/captain_sabertooth_and_the_treasure_of_lama_rama.

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: The acting performances in this movie ranged from fine to good. But, while watching Captain Sabertooth and the Treasure of Lama Rama, I noticed a few stand-out performances! Vinjar Pettersen does a good job presenting Pinky as a “reluctant hero”. In this film, Pinky is a “reluctant hero” because he only aspired to be a cabin boy, not because he didn’t want to be a hero. Despite having this simple desire, Pinky always finds a way to put the ship’s crew before himself. Through a variety of emotions, Vinjar effectively showcases how a pirate’s life can affect someone so young. In one scene, Pinky is excited about having his heroic efforts recognized by Captain Sabertooth. When the praise is given to another crew member instead, Pinky’s face immediately falls and he becomes disappointed. Speaking of Captain Sabertooth, Kyrre Haugen Sydness brought this character to life with the use of exaggerated expressions and sophisticated mannerisms. I’m not familiar with Captain Sabertooth outside of this film. But what I liked about Kyrre’s portrayal is how it presented a different kind of pirate captain than what I’m used to. Sofie Bjerke’s portrayal of Pinky’s friend, Raven, was very endearing! The emotions and behaviors she gave her character realistically showed how a child in Raven’s situation might react in that particular circumstance. A great example is when she locked herself and another character, Rosa, in a storage room on Captain Sabertooth’s ship in order to help Pinky.

The scenery: Pirate movies are usually known for showing picturesque landscapes. The reason for this creative choice is to show the various travels a pirate may take. This film is no exception, as there were some beautiful locations featured! According to IMDB, one of the countries where this movie was filmed was Thailand. From the film’s first scene, where Captain Sabertooth’s crew is walking through a dense jungle, to the moments where the ship is at sea, the natural surroundings of this country are wonderfully highlighted! Aspects of these areas include deep green foliage and clear blue water. Another country where this movie was filmed is Morocco. This location also boasted photogenic scenery, such as a nearby beach. With a sandy shore and bright blue water, this beach appears inviting!

The set design: I was really impressed by the set design that was found in this movie! It appeared to belong in the world this creative team crafted and the style choices made helped the space look visually appealing. One example was the guest room in King Rufus’ palace. An interesting design piece that caught my eye was the two blue marble pillars. They stood out in that room because it was the only pop of color among the palette of white and beige. Captain Sabertooth’s quarters was another interesting space. The dark wood throughout this room was consistent with the wood on the ship. While this would seem like an obvious choice, I noticed how it was coordinated with the color palette of Captain Sabertooth’s wardrobe. In a film like Captain Sabertooth and the Treasure of Lama Rama, I’ve never seen a character’s clothing choices complement a room’s interior design. This creative choice brought a newer element to a film of this nature.

Tropical island image created by Brgfx at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/island-background-design_1020626.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by Brgfx – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What I didn’t like about the film:

Lower stakes: In the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, there was always imminent danger present, causing the stakes to be higher. Beloved characters, like Captain Jack Sparrow, faced harsh weather elements, injury, and even death. The characters in Captain Sabertooth and the Treasure of Lama Rama, on the other hand, never appeared to be in any sort of danger. I understand this film was meant to be a more family-friendly version of a typical pirate’s tale. However, that knowledge is what prevented me from fearing for the characters’ well-being. This lack of danger also caused the stakes to be lower than they should have been. There was very little risk involved and not enough adrenaline.

Poor ADR: An element that can help the audience get invested in an actor’s performance is the quality of the ADR, or automated dialog replacement. If done well, the actor’s dialog can look and sound like their character is effortlessly speaking. But, if the ADR is bad, it can be very distracting. The latter is, sadly, the case for Captain Sabertooth and the Treasure of Lama Rama. Most of the time, the actors’ dialog did not match up with their mouth movements. The characters’ speech was at a faster speed than the actors’ mouths could move. This error, at times, took me out of the film.

Pinky’s subplot: Throughout the film, Pinky was curious about his biological father’s identity and whereabouts. He is even warned about discovering this information, as he is told that hope can be a dangerous thing. While this is a good message, the story itself could have been given more attention. Within this movie, Pinky’s subplot is treated as an afterthought and doesn’t seem to lead anywhere. Sure, Pinky is given some vague details about where his father could be. But this part of the story never reached a resolution, preventing the audience from learning anything new about Pinky’s past. If anything, the vague details that Pinky receives serve as “sequel bait” for another installment that may or may not exist.

Ship steering wheel pattern image created by Jemastock at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by jemastock – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

I said in the introduction that the high-quality production value is one of the reasons why I enjoy the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy. Even though Disney has capitalized on the pirate movies, that shouldn’t discourage others studios from creating their own pirate stories. However, if any studio is planning on making a pirate film, they either have to go big or don’t even bother showing up. There were some aspects of Captain Sabertooth and the Treasure of Lama Rama that seemed to contain a good amount of effort. Stand-out performances and eye-catching set design were just two of the film’s highlights. But, at the same time, the execution of other aspects was poor. Most of the humor felt forced and there were even some jokes that lasted for a little too long. When thinking about this film, it seems like the creative team put a greater emphasis on the style than the substance. It also feels like Captain Sabertooth and the Treasure of Lama Rama tried to copy Pirates of the Caribbean’s math homework without having a strong understanding of how the trilogy solved those problems. Personally, I’d stick with first three Pirates of the Caribbean films for now.

Overall score: 5 out of 10

Have you heard of Captain Sabertooth? Which pirate film do you enjoy watching? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Dora and the Lost City of Gold Review

Originally, I was going to post my review for December’s Genre Grandeur. But, yesterday, I ended up watching Dora and the Lost City of Gold. So, I decided to review this movie instead. I’ll still publish my Genre Grander review, but it will appear on 18 Cinema Lane sometime this week. As I’ve said in two Word on the Street stories, Dora and the Lost City of Gold made Paramount, the film’s respective studio, lose money. One possible explanation lies in the movie’s less-than-stellar marketing campaign. Like a lot of people, I was not a fan of the film’s official trailer. To me, it felt like the studio didn’t understand the source material they were working with, similar to projects like Jem and the Holograms. This caused me not to see the movie in theaters. When I chose to rent it yesterday, I realized that the only theatrically released film from 2019 I reviewed was Avengers: Endgame. It became one of the reasons why I wanted to review Dora and the Lost City of Gold. Prior to watching this film, I have seen a few episodes of Dora the Explorer. But I don’t have fond memories of it like other people do. Let’s wrap this introduction up so we can go on a movie review adventure!

Dora and the Lost City of Gold poster
Dora and the Lost City of Gold poster created by Paramount Pictures, Paramount Players, Nickelodeon Movies, Walden Media, Media Rights Capital, and Burr! Productions. Image found at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dora_and_the_Lost_City_of_Gold_poster.jpg

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: I was pleasantly surprised by the acting performances in this film! I was familiar with who Isabela Moner was, as an actress, prior to watching Dora and the Lost City of Gold. This is because I have heard she starred in the 2017 film, Transformers: The Last Knight. She did a fantastic job at bringing the iconic Nickelodeon character to life! With a cheerful personality and a sunny disposition, Isabela helped carry this film with a well-rounded performance. Another memorable performance came from Madeleine Madden! In this film, she portrayed Sammy, a fellow classmate of Dora’s. Madeleine brought versatility to her role, allowing her character’s transformation to feel believable. Madeleine’s on-screen interactions with her co-stars also helped this transformation, showing that those with leadership qualities can also be contributing team members. Speaking of team members, Eugenio Derbez gave a stand-out performance as Alejandro. While portraying this character, he provided a balance of comedic and dramatic acting. Incorporating these two different types of acting is not an easy thing to do. However, Eugenio flawlessly pulled this off in his performance!

 

The scenery: For most of the film, the jungle provided scenery for this project. It helped make scenes involving this location visually appealing. The natural beauty of the jungle is captured well on film, allowing for the foliage to stand out and even compliment the movie. Within the jungle, there were structures that represented long abandoned places. It’s likely that these were constructed sets for the movie, but they looked very authentic. One great example is when Dora and her group encounter an ancient aqueduct. Because this location was shown above water and was also immersed in it, it shows the audience the original purpose of this structure and its place in history. This shows that the film’s creative team tried to make their film showcase this location as more than just a pretty place.

 

The messages and themes: At the beginning of the film, Dora’s father tells her that she should strive to be an explorer, not a treasure hunter. This piece of advice is a new take on the saying, “It’s the journey, not the destination”. But it also opens the door to several important themes. The ideas of sharing a unique experience, friendship, and teamwork come directly from the aforementioned advice. These themes are shown through actions instead of just said through words. They also have a shareability among audience members of all ages. The film’s messages and themes were one of the strongest parts of the movie, as it was executed well throughout the script.

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Pink travel backpack image created by Pikisuperstar at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/watercolor”>Watercolor vector created by Pikisuperstar – Freepik.com</a>. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/travel-lettering-with-watercolor-pink-backpack_2686676.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What I didn’t like about the film:

Some of the CGI: For the most part, the CGI in Dora and the Lost City of Gold looked really good. However, there were some instances when the CGI looked poor. One example is when Dora is petting a baby alligator. If you look closely, you can tell where the animation was inserted into the scene. To me, this appeared off-putting, like the image of the alligator didn’t blend with the rest of the shot. While the encounters with poor CGI were few, I still was not a fan of that.

 

The jokes dragging on for a little too long: I found some of the jokes in this movie to be genuinely funny. But other jokes went on for a little too long. Just one example is when Dora’s father is imitating the sounds of techno music. This joke had the potential to be hilarious, but the length of the joke’s time ruined it for me. Had a few seconds of this joke been cut, it would have helped it reach the punch-line a lot sooner.

 

A somewhat confusing climax: I won’t spoil Dora and the Lost City of Gold if you haven’t seen it. But I will say that I found the climax to be somewhat confusing. This is because of two reasons. The first one is how some things are shown and talked about without being given an explanation. The second is how other things aren’t referenced before and/or after the climax. This made it difficult for me to remain fully invested in what was happening on screen.

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Image of jungle/rainforest created by freepik at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/tree”>Tree photo created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

In the introduction of this review, I speculated that Dora and the Lost City of Gold became a box office failure due to a less-than-stellar marketing campaign. I find this to be a shame because the movie is better than I expected. Unlike what the trailer made me believe, the studio not only cared about the source material, but it seems like they tried their best to elevate it as well. The movie also has more heart than any of the marketing let on, providing messages and themes that can be revisited long after the movie is over. Dora and the Lost City of Gold is not one of my favorite movies of the year, but it definitely is a memorable one. I kind of feel bad that I didn’t give this film a chance sooner. However, I’m glad that I gave it a chance at all.

 

Overall score: 7.6 out of 10

 

Have you seen any theatrically released films from 2019? Has there ever a movie that you regretted not seeing in theaters? Please tell me in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Jurassic World Review + 105 Follower Thank You

Last month, I received 105 followers on 18 Cinema Lane! Because I took two out-of-town trips and had several blog related projects on my plate, I wasn’t able to create this post as soon as I had hoped to. Since I wanted to publish this review before the end of the month, I put aside some time to finally share this post with all of my followers. Before I received 100 followers, I had a system for choosing which movies I would review. Now that I have more than 100 followers, I found a new way of picking out movies to write about, especially since it’s difficult to find movies that are older than 100 years old. Whenever I reach a milestone number of followers, I will pick a movie that was released in the same month as when I received this milestone. To determine which year this movie will be from, I will flip a two-sided coin. If the coin lands on the heads side, the movie will be from a year that starts with the number “1”. If the coin lands on the tail side, the movie will be from a year that starts with the number “2”. When this happens, I will flip the coin again. If it lands on the heads side, the year’s last two digits will start with the number “0”. If it lands on the tail side, the year’s last two digits will start with the number “1”. After this step, I will roll a piece of dice. For a year starting with a “1”, I will roll the dice twice, in order to determine the year’s last two digits. For a year starting with a “2”, I will only roll the dice once. I apologize if this process sounds more confusing than it actually is. I tried to explain it the best that I could. Anyways, after I completed this new process for the first time, the movie that I was to review for this post ended up being from May of 2015. Since I saw Jurassic Park last year, I decided to watch its continuation, Jurassic World. How did this four-year-old film compare to a twenty-six year old classic? The only way to find out to by reading my review!

Jurassic World poster
Jurassic World poster created by Universal Pictures, Legendary Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, and The Kennedy/Marshall Company. Image found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jurassic_World_poster.jpg.

Things I liked about the film:

  • The acting: For the most part, the acting in Jurassic World was good! Prior to watching this film, I had seen Chris Pratt’s acting performance in Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. While there are dramatic moments within these films, Chris has partaken in comedic acting more than dramatic acting. In Jurassic World, Chris’ performance was more dramatic, with only a few comedic moments. It was great to see a different side of Chris’ acting talents, especially when he was able to pull off a really good performance! Another performance that I was impressed with came from Ty Simpkins. Before seeing Jurassic World, I had remembered his performance in Iron Man 3. What I liked about this performance was that Ty was given more acting material to work with than in the aforementioned Marvel film. This allowed him to explore more emotions as well as the character’s backstory. What Ty brought to the role, acting wise, was interesting and entertaining!

 

  • The special effects: While watching Jurassic World, I found myself being impressed with the special effects! One of the most memorable parts of Jurassic Park was the quality of the CGI. This was also a highlight of the 2015 continuation. The dinosaurs and other creatures looked very life-like, even when they were next to the human characters. The level of detail in the designs were beautiful, especially when it came to the eyes of these creatures! What was interesting about the dinosaurs in this movie was how they seemed to have their own personalities. This was a unique difference from Jurassic Park.

 

  • The scenery: I loved the scenery in this movie! The island landscape was not only great to look at, but it also fit the type of setting that the creative team behind this film was going for. The natural beauty of the foliage was a consistent aspect of the backdrop, just like in Jurassic Park. Jurassic World‘s theme park looked really cool! With all of the different attractions, this place appeared to be a lot of fun (when you take away the imminent danger, of course). Every aspect of the island was captured well on film!

Various animal toy figures in a colorful background
Colorful dinosaur image created by Rawpixel.com at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/various-animal-toy-figures-in-a-colorful-background_3011200.htm’>Designed by Rawpixel.com</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background image created by Rawpixel.com – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What I didn’t like about the film:

  • Thrills that weren’t consistent: In Jurassic Park, the story is thrilling from beginning to end. Almost immediately, the audience goes on an emotional roller-coaster ride. This is one of the factors that made this movie as enjoyable as it was. With Jurassic World, however, I never got that same feeling of a continuous thrill ride. Sure, there were several thrilling moments within the movie. But the build-up to the first, big, thrilling moment lasted for about 40 minutes. Because of this, it took me a while to get fully invested in the film.

 

  • Young characters who don’t have a strong significance: Similar to Jurassic Park, two young family members of one of the protagonists visit the island in Jurassic World. Unlike Jurassic Park, these family members didn’t have anywhere near as big of a significance as the children did in the predecessor. Tim and Lex, from Jurassic Park, were not just featured in the story for the sake of bringing more characters on the adventure. At one point in the film, Lex uses her computer skills in order to save the day. Zach and Gray, Claire’s nephews in Jurassic World, don’t really do anything to solve the film’s conflict. In fact, it felt like Zach and Gray were included in this story just because there were young characters in the first movie.

 

  • Moments of randomness: There were a few moments in Jurassic World that didn’t really make sense within the overall context of the story. For example, one of Claire’s nephews brings up the possibility of his parents getting a divorce. This leads the brothers to have a conversation about what would happen if their parents got a divorce. I found the inclusion of this conversation to be very random. This is because there were no explicit references to the idea prior to this moment. Had moments like these been eliminated from the film, I think the script would’ve been tighter.

OJB2CA0
Tropical island image created by Brgfx at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/island-background-design_1020626.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by Brgfx – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

Before I share my thoughts on this movie, I wanted to say thank you to all of my followers! Without you, 18 Cinema Lane would have never come as far as it has! Now, on to my overall impression of  Jurassic World. Personally, I thought it was decent, at best. Even though it stood solidly on its own merits, I still think that Jurassic Park was the more superior film among the two movies. Throughout Jurassic World, there were references to the first movie that I thought were well done. They didn’t distract the audience’s focus on the story, but complimented the plot instead. I also thought this was a nice touch to the film, as a way of commemorating what came before it, while also adding something new to the narrative. It just goes to show that, when it’s done with the best quality possible, new chapters to a franchise can work.

 

Overall score: 7.3 out of 10

 

What are your thoughts on my new system of choosing movies for these reviews? Are you looking forward to my next review? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Avengers: Endgame (SPOILER-ZONE) Review

One opening weekend and three hours later, Avengers: Endgame has officially owned the box office! With both the domestic and foreign box office records being broken, Avengers: Endgame will certainly be a movie for the history books. Because I posted my spoiler-free review on April 27th, within the film’s opening weekend, I chose to publish my spoiler-zone review this weekend. This way, any of my readers or followers who wanted to see Avengers: Endgame could do so without being spoiled. In this review, I will expand upon the things that I didn’t like about this film, since I talked about them only vaguely. However, I will also discuss spoiler related things from the movie that I liked. Similar to my spoiler-zone review of Avengers: Infinity War, this post will be long. So, with that out of the way, let the spoiler review for Avengers: Endgame begin!

Be aware that there are spoilers ahead!

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Yes, I know this is the same picture I used for my spoiler-free review of Avengers: Endgame. But, I didn’t have time to take a separate picture for this spoiler-zone review. Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.

  • A slower first half: As I said in my spoiler-free review, I thought that the first half of Avengers: Endgame had a slower pace than the second half. Now that I’m publishing my spoiler-zone review, I can give an explanation to what I said. The first half of the movie was not only meant to build-up to the time-traveling portion of the story, but it was also reserved for the exploration of loss that I talked about in my spoiler-free review. The majority of Avengers: Endgame takes place five years after the events of Avengers: Infinity War, so it makes sense for this exploration of loss to be incorporated into the first half. The various superheroes that had survived the events of the previous film had gone on their separate ways. This first half also showed how these heroes came back together in order to accomplish their mission. When the time-traveling portion of Avengers: Endgame began, that’s when the pace picked up.

 

  • Plot Points that Complicate Future MCU Projects: In my spoiler-free review, I mentioned that there were a few plot points that confused me in the context of future MCU projects. Because this is my spoiler-zone review, now I can explain what these plot points are and why they confused me. The first was when Black Widow died as she was sacrificing her life to acquire the Soul Stone. Even though this was a shocking moment that I did not see coming, it brought up questions about the upcoming Black Widow movie that was announced to premiere after Avengers: Endgame. Will this movie be a prequel or will Marvel find a way to bring Black Widow back and tell her story in the present? These next two plot points bring up confusion for the upcoming shows on the Disney streaming service, Disney+. One of these shows is WandaVision and from what I’m heard, the show will be about both Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff and Vision. However, Vision never made an appearance in Avengers: Endgame. So, does this mean that the show will be about Wanda trying to find Vision? Was Vision in another area of the world/universe completing his own mission? Another show that was announced is Falcon & Winter Soldier, which will feature both Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes. But, toward the end of Avengers: Endgame, Sam receives the title of Captain America. Since Sam is an Avenger (again) and Bucky is not an Avenger (again), will Sam end up being the star of the show, with Bucky being a supporting character? Will the title change to Captain America & White Wolf (since Bucky hasn’t been the Winter Soldier since 2014 and he was called “White Wolf” in the end-credit scene of Black Panther)? With these creative decisions being made, it seems like the creative team behind Avengers: Endgame wasn’t willing to address this confusion because they were probably not prepared to do that. Their job was not to promote the MCU’s future projects, but to tell the story at hand. If Avengers: Endgame’s creative team knew that these creative choices were going to affect upcoming projects, they should have at least used dialogue or interesting story-telling to answer some of these questions.

Avengers Endgame Bucky poster
Avengers: Endgame Bucky Barnes poster created by The Walt Disney Company and Marvel Studios. © Disney•Pixar. All rights reserved. Marvel and Avengers Characters: ©2017 Marvel. Image found at https://www.marvel.com/articles/movies/mcu-heroes-unveil-avengers-endgame-character-posters

  • A Personal Disappointment: This paragraph is about something that personally disappointed me in Avengers: Endgame. What ended up making me feel this way is connected to one of the things that I didn’t like about this movie. In my post called “A Movie Blogger’s Christmas Wish-List”, two of the things that I wanted was for Bucky’s cure to be confirmed in Avengers: Endgame and for Bucky to become the next Captain America. Unfortunately, none of those things happened. I get it, some wishes weren’t meant to come true. And I’m fine with Sam receiving the title of Captain America. However, if the creative team behind Avengers: Endgame were going to add something new to Sam’s story in preparation for the show, Falcon & Winter Soldier, they should have also added something new to Bucky’s story to get the Bucky fans excited for the show. In the scene where Steve gives Sam the shield, it almost seemed like Bucky was an afterthought, as he was standing in the distance and watching everything going on in front of him. Since the creative team knew that Bucky wasn’t going to become the next Captain America, they should have, at least, given him another superhero title to make up for it. Had they made Bucky an Avenger by expanding upon the White Wolf “title” he was given in the end-credit scene from Black Panther, I would’ve been totally content with that. It would have given me, as a Bucky fan, an incentive to want to watch the show. Could Bucky’s cure be confirmed in Falcon & Winter Soldier? Possibly. Could Bucky finally receive a superhero title on that show? Again, it’s possible. But, because the creative team behind Avengers: Endgame weren’t prepared to acknowledge Falcon & Winter Soldier, their creative choices brought up more confusion and complications for the show than they were willing to address. Because of this, I’m finding it very difficult to get excited about Falcon & Winter Soldier. I want this show to be good and I want it to be something enjoyable for both the Sam and Bucky fans. But I’ll wait to hear what other people have to say about the show first, in order to determine if it’s worth the price of admission.

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Yes, I know I used this picture in my spoiler-free review of Avengers: Endgame. But, I thought this picture was relevant for this specific review. Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.

  • Genuine surprises: Black Widow’s death was definitely one of the most shocking moments within this movie. But it wasn’t the only shocking death in Avengers: Endgame. Toward the end of the film, Tony Stark/Iron Man dies in order to use his own Infinity Gauntlet to snap Thanos and his army out of existent. This was shocking for me because I did not think Iron Man would pass away, considering how popular both the character and Robert Downey Jr. are. The character that I did think would pass away, Steve Rogers/Captain America, did not lose his life. Instead, he manipulated time in order to live out his life with Peggy Carter. Not all of the surprises had to do with a character’s fate. One example is Joe Russo’s cameo toward the beginning of the film. Pleasant surprises like this kept Avengers: Endgame

 

  • Clarifications on things from Avengers: Infinity War: In my spoiler-zone review of Avengers: Infinity War, I mentioned how some of the creative choices that were made in that movie ended up confusing me. One of them was how Rocket was one of heroes that survived Thanos’ plan. In Avengers: Endgame, when Rocket teamed up with Thor to retrieve two of the Infinity Stones, Rocket’s explanation for why he was with Thor helped his survival make more sense. Another interesting choice that, at the time, confused me was why Rhodey/War Machine was one of the remaining heroes at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. However, when Rhodey and Nebula were paired together, in Avengers: Endgame, to collect one of the Infinity Stones, the reason for this creative decision was well-explained. It was because both Rhodey and Nebula have been mechanically “repaired” over the course of their cinematic journeys. It definitely helped that Avengers: Endgame was released exactly a year after Avengers: Infinity War, as it seemed to give this film’s creative team a sense of urgency to make some of these clarifications.

Avengers Endgame poster
Avengers: Endgame poster created by The Walt Disney Company and Marvel Studios. © Disney•Pixar. All rights reserved. Marvel and Avengers Characters: ©2017 Marvel. Image found at https://www.marvel.com/articles/movies/marvel-studios-reveals-avengers-endgame-poster.

There’s definitely going to be some comparisons and contrasts to the spoiler-zone review for both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. But after the dust has settled (no pun intended), I ended up liking this movie a little bit more than Avengers: Infinity War. As I’ve explained, this was not a perfect or near perfect film. But I thought Avengers: Endgame was enjoyable for what it was. There were some creative choices that confused me as to how they will affect some of the future MCU projects. Hopefully, this confusion will be cleared up as the months go on. I’ve seen other responses for the film and it has been a variety of reactions. Some of these opinions are similar to mine, while others are the complete opposite. To this I say that it’s ok. Everyone is going to see this movie through their own unique lens. In fact, if any of my readers or followers have a different opinion than me about Avengers: Endgame, that’s fine. As long as we can have a conversation that is respectful to all parties. Now that we’ve reached the end of this post, I’d just like to wish everyone a happy Summer movie season! Since Avengers: Endgame has premiered in what is now considered the start of the Summer box office season, the battle to become the number one movie of the Summer has officially begun!

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I apologize for using some of the same pictures I used in my Avengers: Endgame spoiler-free review. It’s not that I’m lazy, these pictures are just that relevant. Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.

What are your thoughts on this review? Are there any other spoilers that you would like to discuss? Tell me in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

 

If you want to learn more about some of the future MCU projects I referenced in this review, check out Grace Randolph’s videos called “Disney Plus BREAKDOWN – Marvel Shows, Release Date, News” and “Black Widow Movie Cast – Florence Pugh” on her Youtube channel, Beyond The Trailer.

Take 3: Avengers: Endgame (SPOILER-FREE) Review

After billions of dollars, millions of fans, thousands of talent, hundreds of source material, eleven years, and one dream, Avengers: Endgame has finally made its grand entrance. This seems like a movie for the history books, even before its release. Websites offering tickets crashed multiple times, yet the film still owned records in the process. Trailers and tv spots appeared wherever they could, announcing their message like the sound of a trumpet. The official premiere had their carpet decked out in purple, representing the villain’s signature color. With the opening weekend upon us, the time has come for me to review the film! I’ll be honest, I had lower expectations for this movie than I did for Avengers: Infinity War. This was due to the ending and end credits scene of the aforementioned predecessor. However, because Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame are a two-part story, I wanted to find out what happens next. With positive word-of-mouth and skyrocketing levels of anticipation, it seems like other people had the same idea I did. Speaking of ideas, I requested six films for a potential Breening review at Pure Entertainment Preservation Society. One of these films, The Moon-Spinners, was just given a Breening Thursday article on the blog! This was such an insightful review about how the Breen Code could be applied to this film. Make sure you check out that review as well as this review of Avengers: Endgame!

https://pureentertainmentpreservationsociety.wordpress.com/2019/04/25/breening-thursday-24-the-moon-spinners-from-1964/

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When I saw this at my local cinema, I knew I just had to take a picture of it for this post! Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.
Things I liked about the film:

  • The acting: Like in Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame had a great cast! Everyone did a really good job at portraying their characters, no matter what the size of their role was. All of the reactions, expressions, and behaviors appeared as realistic as possible, helping me, as a movie-goer, stay invested in the film. Also, like in Avengers: Infinity War, the comedic and dramatic timing was perfectly executed. This helped both types of moments stick the landing.

 

  • The different ways of dealing with loss: Within Avengers: Endgame, one of the narratives was how the heroes dealt with loss. This aspect of the film reminded me of Flicka: Country Pride, where grief affected almost all of the characters. Each of the heroes faced the subject of loss in a very different way, highlighting how everyone has their own way of dealing with this topic. This aspect of the story really added some depth to the overall project. It was an interesting addition to each of the characters’ stories, as this narrative helped incorporate a distinct stepping stone in these individuals’ character development. Understanding the different ways that the characters react to loss helped to show how they move forward from it.

 

  • The special effects: All of the special effects in Avengers: Endgame looked really good! They were not only photogenic, they also had very unique color palettes. The different colors that were used for these special effects were complimentary, working in their favor to be appealing to the eye. The various locations in this film appeared so realistic, I wondered if one scene in particular was filmed on location or created with CGI. This reminded me of the scenery in Avengers: Infinity War. Also, just like in Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos’ overall design looked and felt very real. This helped continue the believability of the character as well as my investment in his story.

 

  • Balance between comedy and drama: As I already mentioned, the comedic and dramatic timing was perfectly executed. This was not only because of the acting performances, but also because of the writing. Both the comedic and dramatic moments were spaced out really nicely, with the narrative maintaining a good amount of intrigue. What also helps is that these moments felt genuine. It makes their emotional weight effective, whether it is light-hearted or serious.

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Like last year, Bucky, Bucky, and Thor joined me on this cinematic adventure! Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.
What I didn’t like about the film:

  • A slower first half: Because this a spoiler-free review, I will be very mindful of what I say in this post. To me, the first half of the film had a slower pace than the second half. I understand that this part of the film was meant to be build-up for upcoming events. However, that build-up seemed to be a little bit longer than I expected. This pace does eventually pick up at the start of a particular event.

 

  • Confusing plot points: In this film, there were a few plot points that confused me. They didn’t confuse me in the context of the film, but they did confuse me in the context of future MCU projects. These plot points seemed to bring up more questions than I was expecting. Since this is a spoiler-free review, I’ll explain more about what confused me in my spoiler-zone review.

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It looks like I’m not the only one who was impressed with this display. Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.

My overall impression:

History is a very interesting thing. It makes us who we are and helps us shape the world around us. What do you we want to be remembered for? What legacy do we want to leave behind? When we look back on Avengers: Endgame, what will this film be known for? Even though it’s way too early to determine this film’s place in history, we can definitely talk about its immediate impact. Starting with my own thoughts, Avengers: Endgame is a great film! While it’s not perfect, it does do a good job at being an entertaining and enjoyable movie. Something I noticed while watching this film was how much heart, soul, love, passion, and care seemed to be put into this project. It felt like the creative team behind this movie tried their best to make something that a large amount of people would enjoy. It’s unclear what the future holds for the MCU, but we at least have an idea of the kind of legacy it will leave behind.

 

Overall score: 9 out of 10

 

Have you seen Avengers: Endgame? Are you looking forward to my spoiler-zone review? Tell me what you think in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Kim Possible (2019) Review

The time has finally come for me to review a film that has gotten a lot of attention on 18 Cinema Lane, the new live-action Kim Possible film! If you’ve been following my blog since last year, you would know that I’ve been talking about this movie since the very beginning. In fact, the first announcement about this Kim Possible movie was the first Word on the Street story I ever wrote. As the months went by, I’ve discussed other news relating to this film, such as casting announcements and production updates. When the trailer for Kim Possible was released last December, I definitely took the time to talk about how I felt about it. To me, the trailer was fine, at best. I’ve also shared that I was very skeptical about the project. As I mentioned in my very first Word on the Street story about Kim Possible, I have enjoyed watching the original show. However, I was concerned about a newer audience receiving more attention from this film’s creative team to the point of alienating the audience of the original show. Even though I had very low expectations for this film, I still watched it with an open mind, with the hope that it could be good. After one whole year of introducing this movie news story to my readers, it’s time to talk about 2019’s Kim Possible!

Kim Possible 2019 poster
Kim Possible (2019) poster the Walt Disney Company and Disney Channel. © Disney•Pixar. All rights reserved. Disney XD© Disney Enterprises, Inc. Image found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kim_Possible_(2019_film)_poster.jpg

Things I liked about the film:

  • The acting: While watching this movie, I was really impressed with the acting! Every actor in this cast seemed to disappear into their roles, effectively bringing characters that I have come to know and recognize to life. Sadie Stanley shined in her performance as the beloved secret agent, Kim Possible. Whether it was an intense action sequence or an emotionally heart-felt moment, Sadie successfully brought the versatility that helped her embody this character on-screen. As I’ve mentioned before, Shego is my favorite Disney villain of all time. Seeing Taylor Ortega’s portrayal of this memorable character made me so happy! She captured Shego’s snarky attitude and strength that I best remember from my days of watching Kim Possible on television. The acting in this film was definitely a highlight!

 

  • Looking and feeling like the show: Throughout this film, I noticed how close almost everything looked to the show. From the Possible family home to the high school’s official sign, there were a number of things in this movie that looked like they were copied directly from the series. Because of this level of detail, it made the movie feel like the show. Since I am fond of the original series, I liked this aspect of the film. It made it seem like the creative team behind this movie truly cared about the project they were creating. Things like this made me enjoy the film that much more!

 

  • The humor: The Kim Possible television show was known for having humor woven into each episode. In this movie, there was humor that was effectively incorporated into the story. One example of this is the high school’s official sign. In the show, this sign would display funny sayings and puns. The sign in this movie not only had those funny sayings and puns like in the show, but the words on that sign correlated with the events in the story. The overall humor in this movie matched the tone of the show. Not only that, but I thought this film’s humor was genuinely funny.

 

  • The messages and themes: Another thing that the Kim Possible show was known for was including messages and themes into the story of each episode. This movie also had messages and themes that were related to the overall narrative. Friendship, jealousy, and not being afraid to ask for help when it’s necessary are some themes that stood out to me in this story. The messages of the importance of being a good friend and the difference between who you are and the things you do are messages that felt relatable. These messages and themes made me feel good about what I was watching.

Shego and Drakken pin
When talking about this Kim Possible movie, of course I was going to put a picture of this pin within this review! Apparently, this was the only Shego related Disney pin that was ever created. Screenshot created by me, Sally Silverscreen.

What I didn’t like about the film:

  • The inconsistency of the special effects: When I first talked about the Kim Possible trailer, one of the things that stood out to me was how the special effects looked. At worst, the special effects in the trailer were distracting. Throughout the film, the special effects were 50/50. There were some times when the special effects looked good, such as when Shego uses her green blasting powers from her hands. But there were other times when the special effects looked less-than-stellar. This mostly happened whenever an explosion happened during an action scene. When this occurred, it appeared like the actors were moving in front of a screen. Fortunately, these less-than-stellar moments with the special effects were not as distracting as it looked in the trailer.

 

  • Kim Possible as a celebrity: In the show, the only people who seemed to know about Kim Possible being a secret agent were Ron and Wade. Because this part of Kim’s life was secret, it gave audience members the impression that Kim could still be a relatable character no matter how extraordinary her life seemed. In this movie, everyone knew that Kim was a secret agent, even having other characters treat her as if she were a celebrity. This new aspect of the character took away some of her relatability. But the creative team behind this movie still gave Kim enough relatability to her character to keep her as close to the original version as possible.

Vector cartoon illustration of college classroom
Picture of a high school classroom image created by Vectorpocket at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by vectorpocket – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

Kim Possible was a better movie than I expected it to be! Despite its flaws, I thought this movie was good! Before this film’s release, my biggest concern was the movie possibly catering to a younger audience to the point of alienating the audience of the original show. However, the creative team behind this film did a good job at introducing new fans to the source material while, at the same time, respecting the fans of the original show. In fact, it felt like the creative team brought back the magic of the original series! As someone who not only watched the show in its original run, but also was very skeptical of the project, I ended up enjoying this movie more than I thought I would! I’m so glad I gave this film a chance!

 

Overall score: 8 out of 10

 

What are your thoughts on this review? Would you like to see your favorite animated show adapted into a live action film? Let me know in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: The Moon-Spinners Review + 55 Follower Thank You

Last weekend, I achieved 55 followers on 18 Cinema Lane! What a great way to start the new year! As I did last year, I will continue to review films that were released in the same amount of years as the number of followers I received. Because 55 is the number of followers I now have, this review will be about a film that was released 55 years ago (in 1964). I ended up choosing The Moon-Spinners because a) It happened to be on my DVR and b) it was a movie that I was meaning to watch last year, but never got around to it. Before last year, I had never heard of this movie or the Island of Crete. Because of this location and the story itself, I was really excited to see this film! I also have seen some of Hayley Mills’ other films, which were The Parent Trip, That Darn Cat, and pieces of Pollyanna. Because I have enjoyed those films, I had a feeling that I would probably enjoy The Moon-Spinners. Was I right in my prediction? Join me on my 11th review in my blog follower dedication series!

the moon-spinners poster
The Moon-Spinners poster created by Walt Disney Productions and Buena Vista Distribution. ©Disney•Pixar. All rights reserved. Image found at https://movies.disney.com/the-moon-spinners.

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: I really liked the cast of The Moon-Spinners! Everyone was so talented in this film, bringing the best of their acting abilities to their specific role. Hayley’s portrayal of Nikky was such a highlight in this film, making her performance as believable as possible. In the scene where Nikky has to escape from a windmill, the emotion of fear appeared so convincingly, that it truly made me believe that Hayley’s character was actually afraid of heights. I also liked Peter McEnery’s portrayal of Mark. Peter brought just as much believability to his role as Hayley did, helping me to stay invested in Mark’s involvement in the overall story. Whenever Mark was in pain, Peter affectively conveyed that emotion of pain on-screen.

 

The mystery story: In some mystery stories, the event that caused the mystery is usually shown within the first few minutes of the movie. This leads the rest of the movie to show how the characters solve the mystery. In The Moon-Spinners, the mystery unfolded as the story went along, allowing the audience to experience the surprises and react alongside the characters. I feel this was an engaging experience because it made me feel like I was on this journey alongside the protagonist, not just sitting in my seat and watching things happen on my screen.

 

The setting/scenery: The Moon-Spinners not only took place in Crete, but the movie itself was also filmed in Crete. The scenery that is found on this island was showcased very well in this film. What I liked about the scenery was how the different parts of Crete were incorporated into the story. While one part of the story took place at the beach, another part took place within ancient ruins. This showed the variety of locations that Crete had to offer, giving viewers a well-rounded depiction of this beautiful Greek location.

Beautiful clean sea and waves. Summer background for travel and holidays. Greece Crete.. Amazing scenery on the beach.
Beach in Crete, Greece image created by Montypeter at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/beautiful-clean-sea-and-waves-summer-background-for-travel-and-holidays-greece-crete-amazing-sce_2924526.htm’>Designed by Montypeter</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background image created by Montypeter – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What I didn’t like about the film:

A small presence of musicology: In The Moon-Spinners, Nikky’s aunt, Frances, is a musicologist. This aspect of Frances’ character really fascinated me because I had never heard of this particular occupation before. I became more interested in musicology and how it could play a role in this film’s mystery story. However, there was only one scene that actually featured musicology in action. Also, musicology did not play a role within the mystery narrative. This was really disappointing because what I thought was such an interesting concept ended up becoming under-utilized.

 

Some of the night-time scenes: While watching this film, I noticed that some of the night-time scenes looked like were filmed in the day-time, but with a dark lens placed over the camera. I understand that film technology from the early to mid-60s is very different from the film technologies of the 2010s. However, this is just something that I noticed, with this knowledge staying in the back of my mind as these scenes played out on my television screen.

 

A limited presence of Greek culture: As I mentioned in my introduction, I had never heard of Crete prior to watching The Moon-Spinners. So, I was interested in seeing how the important parts that make up Crete (the people, customs, traditions, etc.) would be incorporated into this story. While this movie touched upon a wedding, a parade, and how The Moon-Spinners Inn acquired its name, the customs and traditions of Crete did not play as large of a role in the film as I had hoped. Plus, these things were not incorporated into the film’s mystery narrative at all.

Greece Symbols Touristic Set Flat Composition
Essential items from Greece image created by Macrovector at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/greece-symbols-touristic-set-flat-composition_2869836.htm’>Designed by Macrovector</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/poster”>Poster vector created by Macrovector – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

I really enjoyed The Moon-Spinners! Even though there were things about the film that could have better, I still thought the movie was good. The Moon-Spinners was an engaging and suspenseful mystery, with really good pieces incorporated into the film. Out of the two and a half films of Hayley Mills’ that I’ve seen, this movie is very different from those aforementioned movies. But, if you are a fan of Hayley Mills, I think you will enjoy The Moon-Spinners. I’m really glad I was finally able to see this film! It’s always great to discover new films, possibly find a hidden gem, and share them with others. Thank you to all of my 55 followers, as this review would not have been possible without you.

 

Overall score: 7.8 out of 10

 

What are your thoughts on my review? Which Hayley Mills film is your favorite? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen