Yesterday – Review

I’m sure the thought about what you’d do if you were the only person with knowledge of something has crossed most of our minds before, mostly in the “what if I relived my life but with all my memories” form. It’s a good premise for a movie but the question was if the trailers more or less explored all the fun with it that’s in the movie or not.

It doesn’t, in fact it’s one of those comedies where some of the jokes in the trailer are funnier in the movie (the Googling sequences being a great example, especially when he looks up other bands). The overall story is enjoyable though a very typical rise to fame story, I’ll give the film credit though that when the romance hits its obstacles it doesn’t destroy their friendship and has nothing to do with a misunderstanding. These aren’t criticisms though as it tells this story very well thanks to the concept.

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Outside of the premise the music industry scenes are pretty standard though there are some pretty funny jokes made during them. Ed Sheeran’s extended cameo as himself is decent but after Keanu Reeves’ in Always Be My Maybe this does feel like a bit of a step down as while there are some funny jokes surrounding him most of the time he’s just part of the supporting cast. But again not really a criticism, just unfortunate timing. The cast are all very good and the songs are performed well.

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If you like The Beatles, the premise, Ed Sheeran or any of these actors you’ll probably enjoy this but considering the other movies currently showing and about to come out I wouldn’t consider it a priority for seeing in the cinema. If you are capable of seeing multiple films though I think that it is worth seeing, this review may have seemed more critical of the film but that’s only because its strengths are tied to jokes and performances which are harder to elaborate on without spoilers.

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Toy Story 4 – Review

It appears to be a requirement that every Toy Story 4 review needs to start with how Toy Story 3 was such a great ending and how it led to concern about having another movie. Except I didn’t have that concern, I’d already seen from the shorts that Toy Story stories after Toy Story 3 can work and that the other Pixar sequels while not great are still enjoyable movies. Really another Toy Story movie just means that what used to be called the Toy Story trilogy can instead be called the Andy trilogy.

I thought this movie was pretty good. Several of the new characters are hilarious in very different ways with some new comedic spins on existing characters (such as the Buzz’s inner voice running gag). Also while both of the previous sequels had twist villains this one makes it clear right after introducing her that Gabby Gabby is the antagonist and then proceeds to take her story arc in an interesting direction.

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For those wondering where they could take the story after Toy Story 3 the answer is that it focuses on a different story than the one Toy Story 3 ended, one that was left in a satisfying place but still had potential to move forwards. With that in mind while this movie is also an ending to another story arc I could still see them making Toy Story 5 in a few years, though things would be very different after this one.

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But if this is the last Toy Story I think it’s a nice place to end it. If you have your doubts you should at least give it a chance, at the very least watch to see all the new characters and Bo Peep at the best she’s been in the entire series.

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While I do have a ranking order for these movies now this is another franchise where they’re all great films. I’d do an image for Pixar as a whole but I still haven’t seen any of the Cars movies and would need to rewatch more of the other films I haven’t seen in a while. I’ll make sure to have one ready for when Onward comes out next year.

Men in Black: International – Review

This film’s release was a nice excuse to revisit the Men in Black movies to see how my opinions on each of them have changed since I last saw them. One thing this marathon really highlights is how Men in Black II really is the weakest of the franchise being the only film to actually undo the events of the previous film. I was able to appreciate the first film more than I did as a child and while I still think Men in Black 3 is a good movie I don’t think it was top 10 movies of 2012 good anymore.

I liked it. I don’t think it’s on the same level as the first movie but it is a decent film and a good change of pace for the Men in Black franchise. It can be pretty predictable at times and that can be a bigger issue for some people but wasn’t really one for me. Do I think it had the potential to be better? Of course, but I’m still happy with what we got.

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The main strength of the film is the two leads. As anyone who as seen Thor Ragnarok will know Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth work really well together and it’s fun getting to see them in a different setting. I also like how the dynamic of M and H is very different from J and K’s with a story that leaves things open for a potential sequel without an Men in Black 2 style undo button.

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Considering the negative reviews this has been getting it’s clear this isn’t for everyone. If you liked the look of the film from the trailers you’ll probably like this, if you feel like this is another pointless attempt at reviving a franchise I’m genuinely surprised you’re reading this review.

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I don’t know what’s in store for the Men in Black franchise after this, even if we don’t get a sequel to this film specifically I’d still be happy to see another set of agents. As for me I’ve got another rewatch marathon to start, another former trilogy is about to get a 4th instalment.

The Three Caballeros – Review

While I’m currently in the middle of a rewatch marathon I visited a friend’s house for a Discord gathering/birthday party and one of the many things we watched while we were there was this classic Disney film, along with the recent Ducktales episode featuring the titular trio and a lot of silly YouTube videos. While I’d seen bits of this movie before (including during a trip to Disney World) this was my first time watching the whole thing.

To say this is a very bizarre movie would be an understatement. Like many Disney films at the time it’s mostly a collection of short stories with the common theme being Donald Duck learning about Latin America. As the movie progresses it gets more and more surreal, making it a great film to watch with a group of friends.

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Of course the main selling point of this movie is the beginning of Donald Duck’s own trio of friends with The Three Caballeros themselves. Most of the stuff I’d seen from this movie before was connected to these three and their interactions with the live action cast. While Panchito and José aren’t exactly regulars of the Mickey Mouse cast they’ve still made a fair amount of appearances since this movie came out and have a fanbase of their own, including of course our gathering’s host.

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If you’re a Disney fan, especially a fan of the Disney ducks, this is worth checking out. It’s worth noting that like a lot of Disney movies from this time there are elements of it that haven’t exactly aged well, though if you’re watching it with a group of friends like I did those moments are actually part of the fun. My next review will make it clear what movies I’m in the middle of rewatching.

Booksmart – Review

I missed seeing this as a Screen Unseen movie last month and since then I’ve heard good things about it from a fair amount of people including one of my cousins in a conversation yesterday which is why I went to see it today.

It’s really funny and without a doubt the best comedy movie of the year so far. A few people have compared it to Superbad which it does have some plot similarities too but while I liked Superbad I think this is a much better movie. It also has a lot of heart and knows when to pause the comedy so a serious scene can have the impact it needs.

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There’s a lot of great performances but of course the stand outs are Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever as Molly and Amy. The two of them spent several weeks as roomates developing a real friendship for the movie and it really shows in their performances. It’s also nice to have a high school storyline for a gay main character that isn’t a coming out story.

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This movie was a lot of fun and I do recommend seeing it if it’s showing in your local cinema. Also while comedy is of course very subjective the various movie critics I follow that have reviewed it all have positive opinions on the movie too and a 97% Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes so this is a recommendation I can feel comfortable making without an “it’s not for everyone” disclaimer.

The Perfect Date – Review

So far all the Netflix Original films I’ve seen have been romantic comedies which wasn’t exactly on purpose but with more of them to compare to each other rather than ones with theatrical releases the harder it is to look past the weaknesses in areas that are much better in other Netflix rom coms.

While there are things I liked about this film it’s probably the weakest of the Netflix movies I’ve seen so far and it’s mainly because it doesn’t spend nearly enough time focusing on its more interesting elements. It barely explores the stand in date concept despite being the whole selling point of the movie, most of what we get to see happens in a montage.

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The scenes of Noah Centineo and Laura Marano’s characters just interacting with each other are sweet but the story for their relationship is just a less interesting version of the fake couple concept that was done better in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (which also stars Noah Centineo). Since this movie is based on a book it’s possible that at least these weaknesses are from the book though I expect the book also explored the different stand in dates in more detail.

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I really don’t see a reason to recommend this unless like me you’re trying to see a decent amount of movies from this year. If you want to watch a Netflix romantic comedy just watch To All the Boys I’ve Love Before instead. I’ll try and find another genre for my next Netflix Original.

Dark Phoenix – Review

And so we come to the end of the Fox X-Men movies (unless we eventually get New Mutants). They’ve been a mixed bag and as far as the sequels to First Class go I felt they should have ended with Days of Future Past, at the very least the focus should have shifted away from Xavier and Magneto and back to the X-Men. This is also Fox’s second attempt at an adaptation of The Dark Phoenix Saga.

This movie is alright. There are elements that work including highlighting Xavier’s darker side (which may have originally been done to set up Onslaught as their next movie) and the fact they stopped having Magneto come out of retirement to redo his decent into being a villain again, instead settling on a neutral anti-hero role with a personal stake in the story. While the X-Men themselves still aren’t the main characters they at least get to stick around more than they did in Apocalypse and take part in a lot of the action scenes. I also think that the final scene was a fitting note to end on for Xavier and Magneto, even though they shouldn’t have been the main characters in this.

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A lot of the weaknesses as you might expect are carried over from the previous movies. There’s a scene where Mystique turns into a normal human to talk to Xavier for no reason other than the fact Jennifer Lawrence really doesn’t like wearing the Mystique makeup, this scene also includes a line that comes out of nowhere that is trying to sound progressive but had nothing to do with what they were talking about. The fact Apocalypse wasn’t focused on the X-Men means when Jean does start becoming Dark Phoenix we don’t have the attachment to these characters that we should because we spent such a small amount of time with them and their best scene was cut from the movie (on that note, where’s Jubilee?)

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What makes these weaknesses so disappointing is that I think Queen of the North Sophie Turner gives a great performance here as Jean and I think a movie that focused on her connections with the rest of the X-Men would have made for a much better movie than one with lead characters whose story really should be over already who have more emotional attachment to a character killed by Jean than Jean herself. There’s plenty to enjoy about this movie but when writing a review the flaws are what stand out to me.

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Looking at it compared with the other X-Men movies while it’s not exactly high on the list it’s closer to The Wolverine in terms of quality than Apocalypse. While I’m looking forward to seeing what the MCU has in store for the X-Men I am disappointed that this X-Men team never had a movie with them in the spotlight.