Take 3: The Three Musketeers (1948) Review

Last year, I participated in the Classic Literature On Film Blogathon. Since I was reading To Kill a Mockingbird at the time, I chose to review the book’s film adaptation. For this year’s event, I selected the 1948 version of The Three Musketeers! Because I’m using my TBR Tin to choose which book to read next, I wasn’t able to read the source material before I saw the movie, as I’m currently reading The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley. I was recommended this film by Patricia from Caftan Woman. As I try to see as many film suggestions as I can, this became one reason why I selected The Three Musketeers for this blogathon. I have seen the 1993 adaptation of the story. But I can’t give an honest opinion on that film, as I haven’t seen the movie in years. What will my thoughts be on the 1948 adaptation of The Three Musketeers? Keep reading to find out!

The Three Musketeers (1948) poster created by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Loew’s, Inc.

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: Because The Three Musketeers contained an ensemble cast, it’s difficult to choose a favorite performance. However, I will still mention a few of them. For me, Gene Kelly is always going to be known for his performances in musicals. Seeing him work with different acting material was very interesting, as it forced him to utilize his expressions and emotions more. Out of Gene’s films I’ve seen so far, his portrayal of D’Artagnan has become one of my favorites! This performance was so well-rounded, D’Artagnan came across as a mutli-layered character. As Gene had a variety of expressions at his disposal, he was able to adapt to any situation D’Artagnan faced. I am not familiar with Van Heflin as an actor. But I was impressed with his portrayal of fellower Musketeer, Athos! Van’s best scene was when Athos drunkenly tells a story of an aristocrat who was betrayed by a woman from the country he fell in love with. Even though Athos is disoriented by the alcohol, you can tell there is deep emotion in his voice and eyes. Another performance that also became a favorite came from Lana Turner, who portrayed Countess de Winter! Her standout scene was when her character was in prison. The Countess appears disheveled as she begs for her life to end. What made this scene so memorable was the amount of emotion Lana put into her role. She presented a character that was so desperate, she’d be willing to do anything to get out of it.

The costumes: When it comes to scene-stealers, the costumes in The Three Musketeers definitely stole the show! I liked how colorful they were, as bright hues were used on various pieces of apparel. It not only made the characters stand out, but it also helped when telling characters apart from one another. The amount of detail on these costumes was also exquisite! In one scene, the Duke of Buckingham wore a purple shawl. Gold embroidery complimented the shawl’s shade of purple and prevented the piece from becoming plain. At a dinner party, Queen Anne wore a white gown. This gown also contained gold details, which were found on the skirt and bodice. Small jewels near the top of the dress completed Queen Anne’s elegant look!

The set design: If you’re going to create a period film, you have to pay attention to the finer details that go into each set. These details will reflect the effort, research, and care that went into how these sets look. The sets in The Three Musketeers show how much the film’s creative team cared about the presentation of their final product! What I love about the sets in this movie are the fine details that can be found. Carved images are shown in the Duke of Buckingham’s study, covering the fireplace and doorframe in these wooden pictures. They can also be found in other rooms and on other materials, such as on a tin-plated cabinet in a General’s office. My favorite design detail can be found in Queen Anne’s sitting room. As Queen Anne and the Duke of Buckingham are standing near the fireplace, Queen Anne turns a knob found near the top of the fireplace. This action reveals a secret compartment that hides a box of diamonds.

The fight choreography: Any action movie is just as good as its fight choreography. The performative presentation of the fights in The Three Musketeers helped make these fights so memorable! Because of Gene Kelly’s dancing skills, he was able to incorporate leaps into his fight sequences. Watching D’Artagnan leap from place to place gave him a natural superpower that he was able to use to his advantage! Humor can also be found during these fight sequences, which prevented them from being too dark or serious. D’Artagnan’s first duel was against the head of the French police. During this duel, hilarity ensued, from D’Artagnan splashing water in his opponent’s face to pushing his opponent in a pond. This inclusion of humor in the fight choreography allowed the creative team to present these fights in creative and interesting ways!

The 2021 Classic Literature On Film Blogathon banner created by Paul from Silver Screen Classics.

What I didn’t like about the film:

D’Artagnan’s romantic relationships: After rescuing Constance from a home invasion, D’Artagnan falls in love with her. He not only tells Constance he loves her, but they also share a romantic kiss. While I liked Constance and D’Artagnan’s relationship, I felt it was developed too quickly. Later in the film, Constance is kidnapped. In order to save her, D’Artagnan pretends to fall in love with Countess de Winter. However, after his initial meeting with the Countess, D’Artagnan tells Athos how much he loves her. If D’Artagnan was romantically interested in Constance, why would he even bother having feelings for the Countess? That part of the story was confusing.

A weaker villain: There are two villains in The Three Musketeers; Countess de Winter and Richelieu. But one of them definitely outshined the other. Countess de Winter was the stronger villain. She is a criminal by legal context and the audience can witness her committing several crimes. Richelieu, on the other hand, is not presented in the same way. The audience does see him commit a crime of theft, but it is never explained how this was done. Richelieu was also friends with the King of France, a character that was not written or portrayed as a villain. This made me puzzled as to what Richelieu’s true intentions were, whether he was a villain or simply a man who follows his own rules.

The Musketeers spending little time together: When you think of The Three Musketeers, you think of these heroes fighting alongside each other and saving the day together. As I watched this film, I noticed how they spent more time apart. I was disappointed to discover this because that team dynamic the Musketeers are known for had a limited presence. While this separation did allow the audience to get to know these characters individually, we didn’t really get to see this group of friends grow over time. Though there was a lot of content in this movie, I wish more time was given to show the Musketeers together.

Castle photo created by Photoangel at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/old-castle-in-the-mountians_1286237.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/tree”>Tree image created by Photoangel – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

Anchors Aweigh was the best movie I saw in 2020. This was a pleasant surprise, as I never expected one of Gene Kelly’s films to receive this honor. Even though it’s only April, the 1948 adaptation of The Three Musketeers has now become the best movie I’ve seen so far! There is so much effort that was put into this project, which is reflective in many parts. The costumes and set designs were impressive because of the detail that was incorporated into them. Many good acting performances can be found, making it difficult to choose the best one. These actors not only did a good job individually, but they also worked well together as a group! Similar to what I said in my Oliver! review, I might read The Three Musketeers because of how much I enjoyed its film adaptation! For now, my top priority is reading the books that are currently on my TBR shelf.

Overall score: 8 out of 10

Have you read or seen The Three Musketeers? What adaptations of classic literature do you like? Please let me know in the comment section!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

The We Heart Pirates Week Tag 2021

When I found out Hamlette, from Hamlette’s Soliloquy, was hosting another blogathon, I knew there would be a tag. I was curious what questions would be asked when I discovered the blogathon would be pirate themed. However, I was looking forward to creating another tag post! Last year, I participated in The Legends of Western Cinema Week, which was partially hosted by Hamlette. During that event, I was introduced to my first blogathon tag! While I don’t watch a lot of westerns, I still answered the tag questions based on the films and television shows I have seen. Because I’ve seen and read more pirate related content, I found it easier to answer the questions in the We Heart Pirates Week Tag than those from The Legends of Western Cinema Week Tag. So, hop onboard this ship as we set sail through my answers!

We Heart Pirates Week blogathon banner created by Hamlette from Hamlette’s Soliloquy
  1. What are your favorite pirate movies or books?

While I haven’t seen these movies in a while, I have enjoyed the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy! I remember them being a lot of fun and intriguing. Each character is memorable and the stories are well written. When it comes to pirate books, I recall liking To Catch a Pirate by Jade Parker! It was so good, I could honestly see it adapted into a film!

2. Who are your favorite fictional pirates?

My favorite character from the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy is Calypso/Tia Dalma! I know she’s not a pirate, but she does play an integral role within that series. Naomie Harris did such a great job portraying Calypso/Tia Dalma, which is one of the reasons why she’s my favorite character from a pirate movie!

3. What do you like best about pirate stories? (Themes, costumes, aesthetic, etc.)

I’d say the adventure the characters embark on. In any of the pirate movies I’ve seen, there is always a journey that is filled with adventure. It’s interesting to see where the story goes and how the characters deal with their conflicts along the way.

4. If you were going to play a pirate on the stage or screen, what would your costume look like?

I don’t know what it would look like exactly. However, I do know I want it to be elegant. In my review of China Seas, I talk about how beautiful the pirate captain’s costume is. This is because two pieces of his costume were a silk blouse and a detailed jacket. Pieces like those would definitely be in my pirate wardrobe!

5. What pirate ship would you like to serve on?

The Black Pearl from the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, of course! It’s too iconic of a ship not to catch a ride.

For this tag post, I thought this picture was appropriate. Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.

6. Any favorite sea shanties or pirate songs?

I don’t listen to sea shanties or pirate songs. However, I do like the Nightcore version of Lady in Black by Blackmore’s Night, which sounds like it could fit in a pirate movie.

7. Have you ever participated in International Talk Like a Pirate Day?

No, I haven’t.

8. Would you like to go sailing on a real tall ship?

I don’t sail, but the idea of boarding on a real tall ship sounds fun!

9. Have you ever learned anything about real pirates, or do you tend to stick to the fictional kind?

I’ve learned there were several female pirates who roamed the Seven Seas. However, I don’t spend a lot of time learning about real pirates because I’ve been focusing on the fictional ones and their stories, such as Calypso/Tia Dalma and Davy Jones’ relationship.

10.  Why is the rum gone?

Simple, Captain Jack Sparrow drank it all.

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.

What are your thoughts on this tag? Do you enjoy watching pirate films? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: China Seas Review

Last month, I had planned on participating in the Star/Genre Of The Month Blogathon, with January’s star being Doris Day. However, multiple projects throughout the month had filled up my schedule, preventing me from joining the event. To make up for it, I decided to participate in the blogathon this month, where the featured star is Clark Gable! As the only film of Clark’s I’ve seen up until this point has been Gone with the Wind, I was excited to explore his filmography! When I was choosing which film to write about, I also signed up for the We Heart Pirates Week Blogathon. To meet the requirements for both events, I have selected the 1935 film China Seas! Since Gone with the Wind is considered a romantic drama, it will be interesting to see Clark in a movie from a different genre!

China Seas poster created by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: Like I said in the introduction, the only film of Clark Gable’s I’ve seen is Gone with the Wind. Therefore, I didn’t know what to expect from his performance in China Seas. Even though this film was released four years before Gone with the Wind, Clark’s portrayal of Captain Alan Gaskell didn’t feel like a copy of Rhett Butler. For this particular role, Clark adopted the qualities of a natural born leader. Two of them were the strength and perseverance during times of conflict. When Alan is being tortured by the pirates, he never succumbed to the pain or surrendered to the enemy. He stood his ground instead, protecting his ship, as well as the guests and crew aboard it. I was pleasantly surprised to see Jean Harlow and Rosalind Russell in this film! Since I’ve seen very few projects from both of their filmographies, I was excited to see what they had to offer, talent-wise, in China Seas. What I liked about Jean’s performance was how versatile it was. Throughout the film, she used many different expressions as her character, Dolly, is boarding Alan’s ship. A fancy dinner in the ship’s dining room is a good example. At the beginning of that dinner, Dolly is in a pleasant mood, smiling and laughing at a friend’s joke. As the event goes on, she becomes bitter by Sybil’s presence. Speaking of Sybil, Rosalind’s performance was much different from her portrayal of Mother Superior from The Trouble with Angels and Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows. In China Seas, Sybil was more reserved than the other female characters. However, she had a gentler persona, which also helped her stand out. It was nice to see one of Rosalind’s earlier films, as this movie was released three decades before The Trouble with Angels.

The costume design: Some of the costumes in this movie were simply gorgeous! The dresses from the female characters definitely stole the show! At the dinner I mentioned earlier in my review, Jean wore a simple white dress that was slightly off the shoulder. The only applique was a metal paisley brooch, which added an element of pop to the dress. Later in the movie, Jean wears a satin gown. Similar to the aforementioned white dress, the satin gown was also given an element of pop. This time, the straps on the dress were covered with jewels. My favorite costume in China Seas was the pirate captain’s, as his was one of the most beautiful costumes I’ve ever seen in a pirate film! While it is simple, like Jean’s fancy dresses, it is the fine details that help it stand out! Paired with a silk blouse, the jacket is coated with an intricate design. The sleeves and boarders of the jacket are covered in fancy ribbon.

The pirate subplot: When I found out there would be pirates in China Seas, I was excited to see Clark Gable fight against them. The subplot involving the pirates was the best part of the overall story! It contained a mystery that unfolded as the movie progressed, featuring surprises and twists I didn’t see coming. There was also exciting action, which keep me invested. I was actually surprised by the amount of violence in China Seas because it was released in the Breen Code Era, where violence in films were kept at a minimum. However, it wasn’t graphic and over the top. This particular subplot also brought out each character’s true colors. I won’t reveal the movie for anyone, but I will say it was an interesting approach to providing character development!

Star of the Month (Clark Gable) blogathon banner created by Neil from Thoughts From The Music(al) Man

What I didn’t like about the film:

A limited presence of the pirates: While I did like the conflict involving the pirates, they weren’t in the story for a long period of time. This part of the film was introduced fifty-eight minutes into this hour and twenty-seven-minute movie, with it lasting for about thirty minutes. I was honestly disappointed by this because I expected the pirates’ conflict to be the main story of China Seas. The captain of the pirate crew was one of the more interesting characters the movie had to offer, as he chose to become a pirate despite coming from a wealthy, noble family. However, the limited presence of the pirates prevented this character from receiving a lot of character development or screen time. Everything I said makes China Seas light on “action” and “adventure”.

A dull first half: As I just mentioned, China Seas is light on “action” and “adventure”. Even though those two things can be found in this movie, the story as a whole leans more into the drama genre. In the first half of the film, the script focuses on Dolly’s jealously toward Sybil. While this encouraged Jean to use a variety of emotions in her performance, I wasn’t interested in this part of the story. Other conflicts taking place in the movie’s first half includes whether Sybil’s pearls are real and Dolly trying to win back Alan’s love. These kinds of conflicts made China Seas feel like it was “Rich People Problems: The Movie”, revolving around problems that seemed stereotypical of wealthier individuals. Throughout the film’s first half, I kept asking myself, “When are the pirates going to get here”?

Confusing areas of the story: There were some areas of China Seas’ story that I found confusing. I’ll provide two examples for this part of the review. When Sybil is outside on the ship’s deck one evening, she is joined by one of Alan’s colleagues. Shortly after, the two can be seen kissing one another. Several scenes later, Sybil is spending time with Alan and expressing romantic interest in him. If she was romantically interested in Alan, why was she kissing another man? My second example is about the ending. While I won’t spoil it for any of my readers, I felt it didn’t fit within the overall story. The ending tried to wrap everything up in a nice little package. But with the events that led up to that ending, that part of the story became more confusing than it should have been. I know this film was released during the Breen Code Era, where happy endings were usually favored. However, the ending of China Seas was, in my opinion, not earned.

We Heart Pirates Week blogathon banner created by Hamlette from Hamlette’s Soliloquy

My overall impression:

While it was interesting to see Clark Gable in a different role and genre from what I’ve seen before, I found China Seas to be just ok. Were there aspects of the film I liked? Sure. The pirate captain’s costume was beautiful and I did like the acting performances. But I was disappointed by the limited amount of screen-time the pirates received. Before watching China Seas, I had expected the main plot to revolve around Clark Gable’s character dealing with the pirates. However, the most exciting parts of the story took place toward the end of the film, making the movie’s second half stronger than the first. Having a major part of the story focus on Dolly’s jealousy toward Sybil and obsession with Alan didn’t work for me. It came across as petty and immature. I do plan on seeing more of Rosalind’s, Clark’s, and Jean’s films in the future. But I hope the next movie is stronger than this one.

Overall score: 6 out of 10

Have you seen any of Clark Gable’s films? What is your favorite pirate movie? Please tell me in the comment section!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Nature of Love Review

I know it has been awhile since I reviewed a Hallmark Channel movie. The last one I wrote about was the 2011 picture, Honeymoon for One, which was my submission for the Out to Sea Blogathon back in March. Since I just watched Nature of Love, I decided to discuss one of Hallmark’s more recent releases. A reason why I’ve watched less new Hallmark Channel movies this year is how most of them reuse the same plot ideas. What set Nature of Love apart is the inclusion of glamping, or “glamourous camping”. This is Hallmark history in the making, as this specific concept has never been featured in a Hallmark film until now. Anytime the network introduces a new idea like this into one of their stories, I’m always curious to see how it will be executed within the movie. As someone who supports Hallmark taking creative risks, I appreciate when they choose to leave their comfort zone.

Nature of Love poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel. Image found at https://www.crownmediapress.com/Shows/PRShowDetail?SiteID=142&FeedBoxID=845&NodeID=302&ShowType=&ShowTitle=Nature+of+Love.

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: Emilie Ullerup is an actress with strong acting abilities! I’ve seen her performances on Chesapeake Shores and in most of her Hallmark movies. What I liked about Emilie’s portrayal of Katie is how expressive it was. One of her best scenes in Nature of Love was when she went on the rope course/zip-lane. The emotions Emilie adopted for her character made the performance appear believable. One of my favorite Hallmark films is Midnight Masquerade. Christopher Russell’s endearing performance is one of the reasons why I love that film. Christopher’s portrayal of Will in Nature of Love was not only endearing, but also charming! I liked how the character of Will was used to instill wisdom to Katie and the audience. It brought a “wise beyond their years” element to Christopher’s character that is not often incorporated in Hallmark productions. A stand-out performance in Nature of Love came from Donna Benedicto! I enjoyed watching her portrayal of Penny, Katie’s new friend from camp. She was expressive and, at times, hilarious. One example is when Penny is telling Katie to reveal the real reason why she’s at the camp.

The scenery: Whenever Hallmark creates a film that revolves around travel, the creative team behind that project usually does a good job at capturing the natural beauty of that location. For Nature of Love, the landscape consisted of forestry, mountains, and lakes. Filmed in British Columbia, these locations were photogenic and appealing to the eye! In two scenes, Will and Katie watch the sun rising over a mountain. The bright colors of orange, purple, and yellow complimented the mountain’s light gray. Two other scenes boasted a field of lavender. The flowers’ shade of purple dominated the screen, with the appearance and abundance of the plants highlighting those scenes. While watching this film, I could tell this film’s creative team loved this location, as they provided multiple opportunities to show this location off! I enjoyed seeing these spaces as much as the creative team liked sharing them!

The glamping experience: As I said in the introduction, I was excited to see glamping featured in a Hallmark movie! Even though the idea of camping has appeared in Hallmark projects before, this is the first time this particular form of camping has been incorporated in Hallmark’s films. Nature of Love successfully promotes the idea of glamping by providing a balance between the “glamour” and “rustic”. The activities shown in this film included canoeing, horse riding, and making s’mores, things that would typically be associated with the camping experience. Representing the glamourous side were gourmet meals, up-scale tents, and resort style amenities. If the purpose of this movie was to entice viewers to desire a glamping vacation, I think it accomplished that mission.

Glamping tent image created by Freepik at freepik.com. Business vector created by freepik – www.freepik.com. Image found at freepik.com.

What I didn’t like about the film:

The CGI animals: Hallmark is not known for incorporating CGI into their films. But there have been rare occasions where CGI was found. In Nature of Love, a few CGI animals are included in the movie. While the CGI itself looked fine, it was obvious the animals were added to the scenes in post-production. Fortunately, there was more stock footage of real animals than animals created with CGI.

Weak conflicts: Nature of Love had three conflicts within the script. One of them revolved around the expansion of the glamping resort. This conflict turned into a “save the establishment” story. The other two conflicts were interconnected. They were about Katie going out of her comfort zone and dealing with an ethical dilemma related to journalism. I found all three conflicts to be on the weaker side because they’ve been seen before in other Hallmark films. The creative team behind this movie played it safe with their story.

Things that didn’t make sense: At several moments, there was dialogue spoken by the characters that didn’t make sense within the story. When Katie is talking with her boss, Sabrina, about her article, Sabrina tells her she should write about Will. Katie’s boss acts as if she has no idea who he is. This doesn’t make sense because Sabrina gave Katie the assignment to go to the glamping resort. Because of this, you’d think she would have done research about the resort and the people who work there.

Travel suitcase image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/water-color-travel-bag-background_1177013.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

When Hallmark incorporates a new idea into one of their movies, it shows how the network can expand their creative horizons. If the new idea involves travel, it can inspire viewers to take a similar trip like the characters in the story. In the case of Nature of Love, this movie effectively promoted the idea of glamping. With the help of beautiful scenery and a balance between “glamour” and camping, this concept was positively presented to the viewers. But movies are not just meant to promote ideas, they are also created to tell stories. The story of Nature of Love could have stronger. The conflicts were rehashed from previous Hallmark entries and some of the dialogue didn’t make sense in the story. This movie is a fine, harmless production from the network. But when you look beyond the glamping promotion, you will see that Nature of Love is more typical than it appears.

Overall score: 7 out of 10

Have you seen Nature of Love? Which vacation destination would you like to see in a Hallmark movie? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

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 the 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.

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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.

20190427_121759
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