Tag: Movie

New ‘Dumbo’ movie revives Disney classic

“The amazing Dumbo” are words that echo as the circus conductor introduces the newest act, a baby elephant standing on top of a ladder high above the crowd shaking nervously while looking down.

The crowd will soon discover how talented Dumbo really is.

6864-11704-Dumbo“Dumbo,” a film by Tim Burton, was released on March 29. The live action film, based on the original 1941 “Dumbo” animated movie, opens with the same classic circus train song as the original, which was a lovely touch to introduce the opening scene. As the music is playing while the train whistle is blowing, the audience is reeled into the setting of the movie.

The spin on the film is interesting, as it focuses on the circus business and the hardships that can come with it. The movie introduces a family who is in charge of the elephant pen. The family has been through losses and depends on the circus as a way of living.

The film has an amazing list of actors, such as Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton and Eva Green. Danny DeVito plays the circus conductor, Medici, who manages the circus. He buys an elephant that is pregnant and will deliver him just in time to attract people for his circus. He is depending on it.

The family working with the elephant falls in love with the baby elephant that is born with an interesting feature. The circus conductor stresses how important he needs the baby elephant to be perfect and be out on display as an attraction.

This film brings together a family who has suffered through hardships and are brought together by the amazing Dumbo, who was stripped away from his mother to perform with a special talent that will be discovered.

Dumbo’s innocent character and personality are captured throughout this movie.

He doesn’t speak, but his actions speak for him. He opens up to the children who are partDumbo.jpg of the family working with the elephants. Dumbo earns his keep at the circus when the kids discover exactly how unique the elephant really is.

The family is put in an extremely stressful situation when Dumbo’s act for the circus will determine if the business will survive. The combination of characters and what they believe in is expressed in this film. The ideas expressed in this movie are very heartfelt and relatable.

There are also new and exciting scenes in this live action film that bring importance to topics relevant for this time. The characters bring out the family ideas in this movie, and it shows because this film focuses on embracing your differences and owning who you really are. No matter how different someone might look, people are brought together in this film. It shows all kinds of people being kind and supportive to one another.

“Dumbo” is a great movie to watch with your family, as it is a movie for all ages. I went to see “Dumbo” with my family. I enjoyed the live action remake of the original Disney movie.

This film had emotional scenes and eye-catching special effects. I rate this movie an 8 out of 10. This movie was really interesting to watch, and the story line was great.

Strange case of child abuse leads to murder in ‘The Act’

When a mother’s love becames toxic and suffocating, a daughter makes a desperate decision to commit an “act of kindness” to escape.

“The Act” is the Hulu adaptation of the murder of Dee Dee Blanchard. The series, directed by Nick Antosca and Michelle Dean, is divided in eight intense episodes that are slowly  being released on the platform every Wednesday. It shows how the murder takes place and the  motivation of the two killers.

rs_1024x759-190212145004-1024.the-act-gypsy-rose-blanchard.ct.021219-2The series is based on life of Gypsy Rose Blanchard, played by Joey King, a young girl who supposedly suffers from every possible disorder, such as leukemia, asthma, muscular dystrophy, and several other chronic conditions. It is said that she had the mental capacity of a 7-year-old due to brain damage. Dee Dee Blanchard, played by Patricia Arquette, is the devoted mother who is obsessed with her daughter’s life and chronic conditions.

There are many flashbacks between seven years before the incident and during the investigations on June 14, 2015, when Dee Dee is found dead and her sickly daughter Gypsy is nowhere be found.

From an outside view, the life of Gypsy and Dee Dee was inspirational and hopeful to so many families. They even received a new house as a charitable act in the small town of Greene County in Missouri. But nobody would expect, that in reality, their lives was a gigantic Pandora’s box of secrets.

The first episode begins with Lacey, played by AnnaSophia Robb, and her mom Mel, 03-the-act.w1200.h1200played by Chloë Sevigny, calling 911 to report that something is wrong with her neighbor after she sees a very strange post on Facebook.

Following through the timeline of after the Blanchards move to the new house, the series starts showing how Dee Dee and Gypsy live with doors closed and the process of Gypsy discovering her mother’s lies.

In the second episode, the dead body of Dee Dee is introduced, and the disappearance of Gypsy is alarming. Also in the flashback presented in this episode is when a doctor doubts Gypsy’s sickness, since she appears physically strong, expect for the bad self-maintenance of her teeth.

Dr. Lakshmi Chandra, played by Poorna Jagannathan, notices that something is off. Doing her own investigation, she feels that Gypsy is in danger, but manipulative Dee Dee is convinced that everything is fine.

In later episodes, a friendship with her neighbor Lacey influences and introduces Gypsy to the teenager world. She spends most of her life locked in this little kid fantasy, and this friendship starts to reveal her wish to be the teenager that she is and rebel against her mother.

One changing moment is when Gypsy meets Nick Godejohn, played by Calum Worthy, online, and this relationship takes them to a very dark version of themselves. This later will become a main key in the show.

It does not take long to realize that Dee Dee’s stories do not seem quite accurate. Dee Dee has been abusing her daughter by drugging her, faking illness, and in other ways that are revealed later. All this was to receive sympathy and free money from neighbors and the government. For Gypsy, this process was slow and painful.

The show does a very good job of showing this bipolar side of Dee Dee as she wants to always protect her daughter, along with the fighting and rebellion of Gypsy.

Directors Antosca and Dean really focus on Gypsy’s emotions of being a teenager and a prisoner in a child life. They want viewers to be uncomfortable and feel trapped.

Even though this murder case was very famous in the media and the ending is well known, the series still engages viewers very well to the point that you want to see more. What many may have heard about the case, is seen in a closer visualization and the intensity of the facts involved in the story.

I give “The Act” an 8.5 out of 10.

Doppelgängers torment unsuspecting family in ‘Us’

There are a number of different ways to interpret the new horror movie, “Us.” Every image seems to be a clue for what is about to happen.

At the start of the movie, titles inform the audience that there are thousands of miles of tunnels under the United States, stating that many “have no known purpose at all.”

Screen-Shot-2018-12-26-at-9.30.05-AM-1024x542After the opening titles, “Us” begins with a flash to 1986 with young Adelaide Wilson, played by Madison Curry, and her parents wandering through the Santa Cruz boardwalk at night. She separates from them to walk out on the empty beach, watching thunderclouds roll in. She finds an attraction just off the main pier, and walks into what looks like an abandoned hall of mirrors. While lost in the hall of mirrors, she discovers something terrifying, her doppelgänger.

The movie then shifts to present day, as the Wilson family is heading toward their vacation home. The little girl has now grown up to be a woman. Adelaide, now played by Lupita Nyong’, is nervous about returning to that spot on the Santa Cruz beach.

Her husband, Gabe, played by Winston Duke, thinks she’s overreacting about not wanting to go to the Santa Cruz beach again. He tries to convince her that it’s safe, so they can take their kids, Zora, played by Shahadi Wright Joseph, and Jason, played by Evan Alex, to the beach and meet up with old friends.

While on the beach, Jason runs off and Adelaide freaks out, worried that maybe his downloaddoppelgänger had taken him. Once the family returns home for a quiet night, they are faced with trespassers in their driveway in the darkness, who turn out to be their doppelgänger family.

“Us,” written and directed by Jordan Peele, is filled with hidden messages and foreshadowing of what is going to happen to the Wilson family. These images and messages leave a lot for the audience to try to decipher and interpret. In the movie, the Jeremiah 11:11 Bible verse appears twice before pivotal moments. The verse says, “Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘I will bring on them a disaster they cannot escape. Although they cry out to me, I will not listen to them,’” which alludes to the catastrophe that is to come.

I was slightly disappointed because I expected “Us” to be scarier, rather than a psychological thriller. I was more nervous through the movie than I was scared, with a heart-racing, and adrenaline-pumping feeling.

Peele, who also wrote and directed the critically acclaimed “Get Out,” not only knows how to tell his story, he assembled an incredible cast to play two roles. The Wilsons are a picture of an all-American family, a family of four that looks to be middle class, with college-educated parents. Their doppelgängers may look like them and be tied to them in some way, but their lives are inverses of each other. Their existence has been one of limits and misery. For the actors, it’s a chance to play two extremes, one of intense normality and the other of wretched evil.

Not only was it casted extremely well, visually, the movie was great. “It Follows” cinematographer Mike Gioulakis creates unsettling images in mundane spaces, like how a strange family standing in a driveway isn’t necessarily scary, except when it’s eerily dark outside, and they’re backlit so that their faces go unseen.

A suspenseful story, marvelous cast and a great crew make the movie enjoyable and thought provoking. I give “Us” a nine out of 10.

Original teen romance captivates audience with relatable storyline

Netflix’s new romantic comedy captivates audience with coming of age story.

“To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” has become a fan favorite quickly.

Within days of its release, the Internet swarmed with people talking about it. Within a week of its release, the movie had a huge fan base.

“To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” is a romantic comedy that follows 16-year-old Lara Jean Song Covey, played by Lana Condor, who is half-Korean and half-Caucasian. Directed by Susan Johnson, the movie is based off of the best-selling book written by Jenny Han.tatbilb2

Lara Jean has written love letters to every boy she’s had a crush on, five in total. The letters are only meant for her eyes only, to help her cope and understand her feelings. She keeps her letters hidden in a hat box that her mother gave her so no one else will find them.

Just before her older sister Margot, played by Janel Parrish, leaves for college in Scotland, she breaks up with her boyfriend Josh Sanderson, played by Israel Broussard. Josh lived next-door to the Covey family and had been friends with Lara Jean growing up.

Lara Jean finds her feelings that she once had for her childhood friend coming back after Margot leaves. To cope with her feelings, Lara Jean writes a postscript to a letter she had written when she was 14, after Josh asked Margot out instead of her.

Her letters somehow get out. Peter Kavinsky, played by Noah Centineo, is the first to come talk to Lara Jean about the letters. He is the recently ex-boyfriend of Lara Jean’s former best friend in middle school, Gen, played by Emilija Baranac. Peter tells Lara Jean that he thinks the letter is sweet, but he can’t be with her.

As Lara Jean is talking to Peter, she sees Josh headed her way with the his letter. She panics and kisses Peter, in the hopes that Josh will think that they are together. Peter later confronts Lara Jean again, about the letter and the kiss. Lara Jean tells Peter about the letters and why she kissed him.kissy

They later decide to pretend to be in a relationship so Peter can make Gen jealous and so that Josh won’t suspect that Lara Jean’s feelings are still there. But things don’t go as planned, and they start to fall for each other.

“To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” has a wonderful nostalgic feeling about looking back on past crushes. Everyone can relate to having a crush that you keep to yourself, always wondering about the what if’s. The message is to not hold back your feelings and to tell people how you feel when you feel it.

“To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” is a captivating romantic comedy because of how personal it feels. It’s incredibly funny and heartfelt. The onscreen romance between Lara Jean and Peter feels authentic.

The movie also does a really good job of depicting what it’s like to be in high school in the 21st century, without putting an overwhelming emphasis on cellphones and social media.

“To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” also includes a wonderful soundtrack. The soundtrack offers variety, featuring artists such as Blood Orange and The Velveteins. It’s nice to have a break from movies that only have songs heard on the radio.

Overall, it was an amazing movie, I give “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” 10 out of 10.

‘Blockers’ follows comedic quest of parents on prom night

Three parents go to extreme measures to protect their teenage daughters from making a life-changing decision.

“Blockers” is a comedy about a group of friends who make a sex pact to lose their virginity on the night of their senior prom.

The movie starts with a flash back to when the three girls were first starting school. Julie (Kathryn Newton), Kayla (Geraldine Viswanathan), and Sam (Gideon Aldon) all met in kindergarten and stayed friends all throughout their life. However, they weren’t the only ones who made friends. Their parents, Lisa (Leslie Mann), Hunter (Ike Barinholtz), and Mitchell (John Cena), figured since their children were friends, that made them friends too. 

Every parent-child relationship is different. Lisa, a single mother, and her daughter Julie are best friends. They share a close relationship, so Lisa feels that her daughter shares everything with her. But she soon finds out that Julie has been keeping a few things from her. 

For Mitchell, he is the overprotective, emotional, sports-loving father to Kayla, who is sort of a tomboy. Sam and her father are not as close as the others. Hunter became distant with his daughter after splitting with Sam’s mother. But he still pursues a close relationship with his daughter. Each relationship is relatable to how some teens and parents feel toward each other. 

At school one day, Julie lets her friends know that she plans on having sex for the first time with her boyfriend on prom night. Kayla gets so excited for that she decides to join in and decides to have sex too. However, Sam is shy about the idea at first because she is battling with herself about her sexuality.

downloadAfter school, the girls and their dates get ready for the night of their lives. But before going to prom, they all gather at Julie’s house, where her mom put together a pre-prom party. While the party is happening, Sam’s dad shows up with a limo. Everyone is thrilled to see the limo, except for Sam, who is still upset with her father’s disappearance in her life. 

Eventually, the girls leave for prom. While they are on their way, Lisa finds that her daughter’s computer is open to where she can read and receive all her texts. The three parents try to figure out what their daughters are talking about. Since the girls are using emojis, they have to decode everything they are saying.

Soon they figure out that their daughters have made a sex pact. But nothing like that is going to happen on their watch. They join forces to track down their daughters and block them from doing anything with anyone. 

While doing so, they find themselves in unthinkable situations, such as being stranded after crashing, being in competition with other teens, and being locked in the same hotel room as their kids.

At the end, the parents have a heart-to-heart with their children that help calm the nerves of each parent. 

Every part of “Blockers” is relatable for both parents and teens. There was never a dull moment. It kept you laughing. All the stars did great in their roles. 

I give “Blockers” a nine out of 10.

‘Ready Player One’ deviates from original story

Movies always seem to fall short of the books they are based on, disappointing the book fans.

The popular book, “Ready Player One,” by Ernest Cline was recently turned into a major motion picture. I have long awaited the arrival of the big-screen version of one of my favorite books.

The movie adaptation of “Ready Player One,” is directed by Steven Spielberg, is set in the year 2045, where the real world is very different. The only time Wade Watts, played by Tye Sheridan, feels himself is when he escapes to the OASIS, an immersive virtual universe where most of humanity spends their days. In the OASIS, you can go anywhere, do anything, be anyone; the only limits are your own imagination. 

The OASIS was created by James Halliday, played by Mark Rylance. When Halliday died, he left the ownership of the OASIS, and his fortune, to whoever won a three-part contest made up of hunting for Easter eggs in the game. A company named Innovative Online Industries (IOI) is trying to find all of the keys before anyone else to take control of the OASIS. IOI is lead by a man named Sorrento, played by Ben Mendelsohn. 

book coverAfter years of no one being able to complete the first Easter egg task, Watts, known as Parzival in the OASIS, finally is able to complete the first task and receives the first key, putting him at the top of the leaderboard and shaking the world of the OASIS. 

The rest of the movie shows the adventures of Watts and his friends trying to find all of the keys before the IOI finds them. The only way to pull it off is to know more about Halliday than anyone else.

While I did enjoy the action-packed world of the OASIS, I was disappointed by the many creative liberties the movie took. The book and the movie shared a few similarities, which are characters and the same basic plot. But not much else is the same. 

The OASIS in the movie is portrayed as just an escape. But in the book, it is so much more than that. The OASIS is where people live their lives. They go to work in this world. Children have school in the OASIS. This is where everyone has their money, and where they shop. It’s like the first eight chapters of the book never happened.

Wade had a hard life and never really had money. So, in the book, it was a huge deal to his character when he was put on the leaderboard because he received a bunch of coins. He finally was able to buy stuff and better his life. But in the movie, he doesn’t seem to care. He just goes out and spends it on random stuff.

One thing that not necessarily changed anything but just kind of annoyed me was how the characters look. In the book, Wade Watts is unattractive, out of shape and has acne; he uses his OASIS avatar to look like a better him. The movie portrayed everyone as more game-like. It makes sense for a movie, but is just another thing they didn’t stay true to from the book.

In the book, IOI is the world’s largest Internet service provider. But in the movie, they are shown as a virtual reality equipment manufacturing corporation.

I-r0k, played by TJ Miller, is a peer of Parvizal and Aech’s, who is Parzivals best friend in the game, played by Lena Waithe in the movie. They often call I-r0k  a “poser.” After Parzival and Aech find the first key, he tries to bribe them for the answer and tries to reveal their identities to IOI in a forum post that tips off Sorrento. In the movie, he’s just a random mercenary hired by Sorrento.

Some of the major changes were to a large part of the story, the keys (Easter eggs). In the book, the Copper Key challenge is based off Tomb of Horrors from Dungeons and Dragons. After evading all types of monsters and traps, Wade has to defeat an undead lich king in an arcade game of Joust.

 In the movie, there’s an unbeatable racing game. The answer to how to win is found in Halliday’s museum in a random memory where he hints that he’d like to “put the pedal to the metal” and go backward. Parzival decides to go backward at the start of the race, which reveals a trap door that leads to the finish line. 

The next key is no different when it comes to changes. Ache tells Parvizal that the challenge for the Jade Key is Zork. Parvizal travels to planet Frobozz, where there are 512 recreations of the game, and plays it and beats it. He finds a whistle inside a box of Cap’n Crunch that he blows and he finds the Jade Key. 

SixersIn the movie, the High Five, the five players on the leaderboard, travel to a recreation of Stanley Kubrick’s seminal film “The Shining,” where they have to dance with some zombies to get the Jade Key. 

In the book, for the final key, the Crystal Key, Parvizal is given a clue and guesses that the key must be hidden in the Rush album “2112” in the song “The Temples of Syrinx.” After a long string of events, Parvizal finds a 1974 Gibson Les Paul guitar wedged in a rock, sword-in-the-stone style, and walks it to a waterfall to place it on an altar. He is then granted the final key.

In the movie, the challenge involves an Atari 2600 game system and its entire library of games. Parzival is the only player who realizes that Halliday would have hidden his Easter Egg inside the original Easter Egg, in Warren Robinett’s game, “Adventure.”

Additionally, in the book, the gates for the keys need to be found as well. That involves additional challenges. In the movie, there are no gates or mentions of them.

I understand that some people think that the original version of the finding of the keys is action-packed enough for a movie. It’s disappointing that such a large portion of the story is completely changed. 

Parzival receives an extra life in the story, which saves him from losing everything. But the way he gets it is completely different. In the movie, Parvizal places a bet with the Halliday museum curator that there is only one available source of the name of Halliday’s long lost love. He’s right, and the curator hands him a quarter which he doesn’t think much of but keeps. But in the book, Parzival is inside Happytime Pizza, Halliday’s childhood hangout.The Pac Man machine has an almost perfect high score. Wade plays a perfect score and the machine gives him a quarter, which he keeps because he thinks it might be important.Wade-cut out

There is a lot more that the movie left out, and a lot more that the movie changed. Honestly, two hours or so wasn’t enough to tell the whole story. 

These changes made the whole story different. There are some books that get changed minorly so that they fit the big screen better. But “Ready Player One” was altered beyond making it fit on the big screen. It was made into a different story. There was so much left out from the movie. “Ready Player One,” as a book, was incredible in so many ways, and the movie does not stack up.

Although I enjoyed watching “Ready Player One” play on the big screen, the reader in me was highly disappointed. I give “Ready Player One” a four out of 10.

‘Black Panther’ surpasses standards for action movies

The Marvel cinematic universe has once again spotlighted an underrated comic book superhero.

“Black Panther” is the next film that continues the Marvel universe story arc and introduces new characters that will soon play a huge role leading up to “Avengers: Infinity War.”

The movie, which takes place after events in “Captain America: Civil War,” focuses on T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) as he claims the throne of Wakanda after the death of his father, the previous king. T’Challa continues his duties as the Black Panther, while a new foe, Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), tries to seize the throne.

Black Panther, with the help of his ex-girlfriend Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), his sister Shuri (Letitia Wright), and his general Okoye (Danai Gurira), fights to stop Killmonger’s plan to take over Wakanda and distribute its advanced technology.

The movie is very entertaining, and it leaves me excited for future Black Panther appearances in the Marvel cinematic universe. I really enjoyed how the film showed off Black Panther and his world, which did not gain a lot of recognition in the past.

The world has breathtaking scenery, and the action is very exciting to watch in the film’s different environments. With every change in setting, the action scenes remain exhilarating. Each one offers a unique experience, such as the quick-paced car scene and the slow, intense brawl between Black Panther and Killmonger.

Black PantherDue to the combination of the action and the visuals, it is very difficult to be bored while watching this movie.

The story is also very engaging, as it introduces a lot of new, interesting characters. It was fun learning more about Black Panther and how he is impactful within the comics. Simply watching Boseman perform with the other actors got me excited for future movies with these characters.

The acting in the movie is very natural, and the actors work well with each other. Whether it be a dramatic moment, a tense battle, or an occasional joke, the film does not seem to be too blunt or lighthearted, due to the perfect balance of different scenes. Because of this, the actors are able to show off their many talents, which makes the movie more entertaining.

It was great seeing Boseman play Black Panther throughout an entire film. After watching his performance in “Captain America: Civil War,” I could not wait for a full-length movie with Boseman as the star hero. Boseman performs well, especially when acting with Jordan, who also provides a great performance.

Killmonger is a great villain who has aspirations other than simply taking over the world. Jordan’s performance was unique, and it makes me excited for other “Black Panther” villains in future films.

The one thing that I did not like about the characters is that a few of them are not used efficiently in the film.

Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) is a government agent who helps Black Panther fight against Killmonger. Freeman’s character could have been replaced by someone else, and nothing would really change.

Klaw (Andy Serkis) is another villain who is barely used throughout the film. This was disappointing because I like seeing Serkis perform, and Klaw is an interesting villain in the “Black Panther” comics.

I hope that there are plans for characters such as Ross and Klaw in future Marvel movies. I wished they could have been utilized in more impactful roles.

Regardless of the acting or the stunning visuals, the main feature of the film is its story.

Black Panther is not the most popular superhero, compared to Spider-man or Batman. But that did not stop this movie from providing an intriguing storyline with a great protagonist.

It was interesting to see Black Panther on screen in his own movie, and I really liked seeing the many things that make him a great superhero. Even the supporting characters, such as Black Panther’s allies and villains, are a huge part of this movie. I want to see how the supporting characters further impact the cinematic universe in more movies.

“Black Panther” is a great action, comic book film that everyone should go see. It has plenty of action and an interesting plot that a comic fan, or people new to comic book movies, will surely enjoy.

I give “Black Panther” a nine out of 10.

‘The 15:17 to Paris’ disappoints with flawed , dull plot

True heroes honored, depicted in ‘The 15:17 to Paris’

Nothing is more inspirational than seeing people overcome a moment of terror, especially when that moment is portrayed by the people who lived it.

“The 15:17 to Paris” is a movie about a terrorist attack that took place on a Thalys train to Paris in 2015. It focuses on the three men who subdued the gunman and their backstories leading up to the event.

The interesting thing about this film is that the three men, Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler, and Alek Skarlatos, are all played by themselves. No other biopic has casted actors to this extent before.

Directed by Clint Eastwood, this movie does a lot of things differently than most films, which is why it stands out when attempting different scenes.

“The 15:17 to Paris” follows the three men along their journey through childhood to the day of the train attack. It was interesting seeing how these young men grew up as friends and later worked to prevent a tragedy.

However, it is this format that causes the most problems during the movie, as there are a lot of issues with focus and pacing.

After the childhood segment of the plot, the film begins to focus primarily on Stone and his endeavors to be in the military. Sadler and Skarlatos have little or no screen time or character development.

The_15.17_to_ParisI would have liked to have seen more of Sadler and Skarlatos, and how their aspirations led them to become so brave and determined.

Despite the focus on Stone and his time in the military, the movie later brings together the three characters and follows their travels across Europe days before the attack. This is where the problems with pacing start to occur.

When the characters start backpacking around Europe, the pacing slows down, and the film becomes monotonous until the climactic terrorist scene.

At this point in the plot, nothing happens, and the character interactions are more bland and forced. Following the characters is a struggle, as the audience must sit through them just sightseeing in different countries.

It was not until the climax of the train scene that the tension rises, and the characters display their true selves.

This was my favorite part of the movie. The train scene was thrilling compared to the boring Europe scenes, and there was more shown than what was presented in the trailers. It was scenes such as this that I enjoyed due to the quality character interactions.

Throughout the rest of the movie, the dialogue between the characters is not delivered naturally. Even though this is the first time that these three men have acted, I still wanted to see more from their personalities.

Their brotherly interactions are natural and fun while their scenes with other characters, such as Skarlatos’ mother (Jenna Fischer) and Stone’s mother (Judy Greer), are lackluster. The main characters, especially Sadler and Skarlatos, should have been more developed.

“The 15:17 to Paris” is a unique biopic, as it allows the real people to tell their stories. Despite the run time being an hour and a half, parts of the movie could have been cut to prevent some of the unnecessary Europe scenes.

The movie has many flaws and lacks certain elements. But it is still an inspiring movie that has some deep and engaging moments.

I give “The 15:17 to Paris” a 5.5 out of 10.

‘Jumanji’ remake incorporates comedy, action with modern transformation

“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” is a hysterical, heart warming, action movie!

This movie was based on the original “Jumanji” made in 1995. It stars Dwayne Johnson as Dr. Smolder Bravestone, Kevin Hart as Moose Finbar, Karen Gillian as Ruby Roundhouse, Nick Jonas as Alex, and Jack Black as Professor Shelly Oberon. This version is much newer, and its setting is transformed more into the current time.

The remake starts off with four high school kids who are extremely different in personalities being drawn to an old video game console.  They all pick their desired characters and begin to pixelate into the video game realm. This differs from the original movie, because it was a board game that was found instead. Also, the original characters were brother and sister, as compared to four random students. These differences really begin to show the time gap between the two films.

As the characters appear into the game realm, they slowly begin to realize they are not in their original bodies. This is hilarious, because the jock is inside a geek, the geek is inside the bodybuilder, the nerdy female is inside the hot, fearless woman, and a girly girl is inside a socially awkward gamer boy. This allows each character to see what it’s like in other people’s shoes.

The group of students slowly begins to adjust to what has happened to them, and they realize the only way out is to win the video game. They begin to freak themselves out because of the idea of how time passes by, and how the days are equivalent to those on Earth.

“How long could we be stuck here?” they thought. Journeying through the jungle is very dangerous and life-threatening events occur. One of the characters loses his life, because he is stomped upon by wild animals.

The characters begin to mourn, but then they realize their friend is falling from the sky and plops onto the ground. He returns with one less tally mark on his wrist from before. This brings viewers to the conclusion that each tally is a life, but what will happen once each tally disappears? If they completely die in the game, will they completely die in the real world as well? That was a question they had to live with in order to complete the game.shareImage

They come across a character in the game named Nigel, who has a repetitive nature and could not answer questions. This helped the students label him as a NPC (non-playing character). Listening to the script from Nigel, they figure out that in order to win, they must discover a legendary gem known as the “Jaguar’s Eye,” and place it back onto the jaguar statue.

On a quest to find the gem, they discover a home in the jungle where another character introduces himself as Alex. Alex helps the characters out by throwing smoke grenades to distract the enemy from the high school students. The characters realize he is a good guy. But when they reveal what year it is to Alex, they discover he has been stuck in the game for more than 20 years. They make a connection that Alex was the young boy who went missing years ago in their hometown, and that no one knew what happened to him.

Alex only had one life left, but he knew exactly how to win the game. He was timid because he failed many times and was afraid of losing his last life. The characters motivated him that he was the missing puzzle piece they needed to win, and insured him that they would help get him out of there.

With the stone rescued from a pit of snakes, they begin the journey to find the statue.  Many risks were taken, and many lives were at stake. Lives were even swapped from one character to another, in order to keep each other alive.

Finally, reaching the statue and miraculously returning the stone, they return to the school in their original form. This adventure taught them many lessons, and now they have a new bond formed among them.

The movie ends with the four friends walking to Alex’s house and seeing him get out of the car with his two children and wife. Alex notices his acquaintances and relieves them with the news that he returned to his year when the game was over. This was a very heart warming ending and a very great movie overall. I rate this movie a 9/10.