That’s The Spirit

Teen Spirit Poster

 

With all the big events coming up, it’s sometimes not surprising to have some other films sneak beneath the radar.  Without advertising, these films go unnoticed, a weird title standing out in a smaller theater, dwarfed by the juggernauts of the cinema world.  Today, I ended my review run with a look at one of these movies, hoping to get some fun and surprises in store.  Checking out a movie with little knowledge, this is another Robbie K’s movie reviews as we check out:

 

Teen Spirit (2019)

 

Director:

Max Minghella

Writer:

Max Minghella

Stars:

Elle FanningAgnieszka GrochowskaArchie Madekwe

 

 

LIKES:

  • The Pace
  • The Character Portrayal
  • The Journey
  • The Chemistry
  • The Story Structure
  • The Performances, Especially the end one
  • The Music

 

SUMMARY:  Coming out of the gate, movies that are a little more than independent often come out a bit slower for my taste, but in this movie the spirit keeps things going.  Not too fast, but not too slow, Teen spirit finds a nice balance to cram enough stuff in and keep the entertainment factor going.  It works well with keeping things moving and getting to the climactic moments without skipping too much stuff.  What helps keep this pace going starts with the character portrayal, a teenage like Cinderella story that shows the hardships and begins to expand up on the complex character that Violet is.  The journey to which tests her is familiar, but holds the components necessary to grow and lash on to the relevant character that she is.  Elle Fanning’s acting, I thought, was well selected, utilizing her demeanor from several other movies and molding it into a familiar character with a slight twist.  The director I believed utilized the modern Cinderella portrayal and integrated it well with actors/actresses who meshed well to again fashion a believable relationship.  It’s this chemistry and inclusion of so many characters that I believe grounds some of the extreme moments of the character.

Yet the character/acting is only one part of the mix, and the story structure itself helps to revive the excitement of performing. In a presentation that feels part Black Swan (without the sexual aggressiveness) meeting a teenage singing spectacle, Teen Spirit takes a familiar tale and keeps it focused on its goal of blending the two worlds. Many elements are touched upon Violet’s life and many secondary characters help her explore those different aspects and integrated this into the tale.  Being a movie about performing, you are hoping for a little pep in the step right? Well, Spirit has you covered as there are some emotionally rich performances that should speak to a number of members.  Emotional ballads, saucy diva songs, and a few covers should help get some toes tapping, while also emphasizing the mind of the lead character.  Again, the use of music and performance to add to the struggle and impasses of the film, helps grant some originality to this familiar plot. Finally, the music is the key to my enjoyment in this film.  A fantastic selection of songs, Teen spirit has found a nice blend of original songs, fun covers, and use of some energetic tracks that are not only fun, but again fit well to the scenes.  I believe this may have been the component to turn me into the movie more, and hope you like it too.

 

DISLIKES:

 

  • Mostly predictable
  • Touch and Go on some story elements
  • More Performances, especially with the other guys
  • The Credit scenes

 

SUMMARY: As much fun as I had with the movie, there were still some things that needed some rehearsal to help get it perfect.  First, the tale was predictable, only a few moments hanging in the balance to whether or not they would surprise me. Yet, working with the timing, and seeing the clues, it was not hard to decipher the grand finale.  Fortunately, the other aspects of the film were enough to distract from this, but they also open up the door to another limitation.  Violet’s life has some rather shocking trials and some openings to further expand her character.  The problem is, with all the components they wanted to place in this film it resulted in these problems being touch and go.  Secondary arcs and potential for character growth were dropped very quickly, sometimes solved in the blink of an eye and other times left to fade into bare memories.  Others are open ended leading to a possible sequel, but I would have loved some extra time into the movie to further explore these components or perhaps drop a few impasses to allow for others to get development. This was especially true for the coach she meets early on in the film, the most engaging relationship of the bunch and the one that had much pushed to the side.

It’s a bit frustrating for me, but again the entertainment factor helps hide it, though again this brings up another limitation.  For a movie about competition, Teen Spirit does a poor job of engaging in the rivalry aspect and actually showing that competition.  After a semi-flash introduction, and the potential to bring about more acts, this film surprisingly left little in the development of their rivals.  Many of these acts are looks alone, a mere placeholder to remind you this is a competition.  Sadly, outside of one act and a few montage shots, these groups are forgotten characters that serve little purpose other than stir the drama plot ever so slightly.  I would have liked a little more expansion to these moments and some better competition build up to add to the suspense of the moment, despite the cost of character development.  It would have added a little more flash, offered some openings for story told through song, the aspect I really liked.  Finally, the end credit scenes were a nice tie up to the ambiguous ending, but it also paved the way for some unnecessary shots and the potential for a sequel I don’t think I would fit in this world.  Still, only time will tell the relevance of this scene, for alone it is merely extra fluff to offset some of the work this film did.

 

The VERDICT:

 

Teen Spirit has a lot packed in its run time, and the entertainment factor is the key to why this film works as well as it does.  Storytelling, acting, and character development are all functional and simplistic enough they making a guiding framework, though their predictability is a little lackluster.  No, for me the entertaining relationships, the engaging pace, and the fun of the numbers and music will be the aspect that remains strong in my mind, especially in its use of storytelling and the energy it puts out.  It’s true that Teen Spirit is not the original story, but it’s reality based and movie magic will be a combination I feel will hit many.  Still, it needs to work on balancing plot and more importantly choosing which components to focus on to help provide sustenance and suspense.

 

 

My scores are:

Drama/Music:  8.0

Movie Overall: 7.0

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Cursed To Mediocrity

The Curse of La Llorona Poster

 

Horror movies, they seem to come a dime a dozen these days, following a carbon copy formula that does not shy away from trying to appease the die-hard fans.  With the establishment of universe trends, various film franchises continue to work their hardest to match the success Marvel’s comic universe is currently pulling. And tonight’s review is a movie that barely finds a way into one of these universes, but still tries to make a claim on its own.  Yes, tonight yours truly takes a look at the haunted cries of:

 

The Curse of La Llorona (2019)

 

Director:

Michael Chaves

Writers:

Mikki DaughtryTobias Iaconis

Stars:

Linda CardelliniRaymond CruzPatricia Velasquez

 

LIKES:

  • Jumps into scares
  • Good Run Time
  • Good Use of Shadows
  • Decent Acting
  • Comedic Relief
  • Good Make Up

Summary:  A horror movie has to keep the speed going and get to the darker thrills that this genre brings.  The weeping woman’s journey does not hesitate to give its audience the chills it wants, hopping into the jumps and creepy tone within minutes of it starting. As such, the pace of the movie is very brisk, keeping in time to present as much of the scare fest as they could in the 90-minute run time. For yours truly, the jump scares don’t quite get me, but instead the creepy atmosphere is there to settle into the crevices of your mind La Llorona is all about utilizing the shadows to stoke the embers of your imagination to craft unspeakable horrors.  It’s those slight sounds and eerie music that were the scariest components for me and it worked well.  I’ll hand it to the cast in this film, for they sold the terror of the movie, as if they were being haunted.  From the kids to the adults, each one did a wonderful job with the limited roles they had in this film.  My favorite was Raymond Cruz, not because he was the star of the film but more so the comedic relief used in his role. Despite all the bone chilling screams, and various telekinetic pulls, the rogue priest makes for some laughs without it being too forced.  Finally, in regards to haunted make ups, La Llorona does a nice job of the pale pallor, dark lipstick, and gory liquids to satisfy most make up fans.  Nice execution, with some haunting special effects makes for an interesting antagonist.

 

 

DISLIKES:

  • Simplistic
  • Story Is Okay
  • Jump Scares not So much
  • Flat Characters
  • Trailers Revealed Much
  • Unoriginal Makeup
  • Not The Best Connection To The Universe

 

SUMMARY:  While scaring is the name of the game in these types of movies, the fact they are pumped out rapidly leads to some quality drops for this reviewer.  The simplistic nature of this film is a limitation for me, the potential decreased by just the simple presentation that they pulled out.  No twists, no original edge, and a story that held a lot of promise were all just mediocre for me and led to a story that was hard to grip onto for me.  Even the characters were only semi-there, flat one-dimensional people that weren’t the most engaging for me to hook onto.  Perhaps the scares would get you, but seasoned horror people like me won’t find much in originality from scares, nor the most suspenseful climax. 

Now part of this was due to me finding tricks of avoiding jumping, and others due to the trailers showing much of these scenes in their brief life on the television.  Yes, La Llorona falls victim to the trailer revealing too much, giving you much of the premise in the short two-minute commercials. And while I said the makeup was executed well, this universe is having trouble coming up with unique make ups that don’t follow the same template.  Because of this, the weeping woman may look good, but she’s another pale figure with black lines to emphasize death.  And finally, the connection to the Conjuring Universe is like a derivative line touching the main curve.  A brief exchange from a shared character it the only opening to the universe and without a teaser or much else to connect, the story telling continues to be lackluster at best. 

 

The VERDICT:

In truth, the movie about the legendary figure is okay for me.  It fills the void of a scary movie for the month, and has some of the traditional means to generate a few jumps.  Your best source of entertainment will be to bring those who scare easily to the film and watching them react.  Yet in terms of the movie, it’s just not the same dark magic that the Conjuring wielded a long time ago.  It’s got the superficial “charm” to it, and uses shadows well to terrorize the actors they have casted/  Fortunately, despite the limitations, the movie has a low run time, meaning you won’t be in the theater that long in case it’s not your particular cup of tea. Worth a trip to the theater?  Kind of, but I’d say this one leans more towards the home viewing in this reviewer’s opinion.  My scores are:

 

Horror/Mystery/Thriller: 6.5

Movie Overall 6.0

Waddling In To New Documentary Fun

Penguins Poster

            Nature documentaries have been made famous on the likes of public television, but Disney was ready to one-up the game by bringing their magic to the big screen.  With stunning effects and a budget to uncover the secrets of the natural world, Disney Nature was born. Ten years later, the subsection of the empire is back with another film, ready to bring the chills and thrills of the frozen wasteland few choose to trek.  Robbie K is back with yet another review as he takes a look at:

 

Penguins (2019)

 

Directors:

Alastair FothergillJeff Wilson

Writer:

David Fowler

Star:

Ed Helms

 

LIKES:

  • Beautiful Cinematography
  • Adorable Star
  • Joyful Energy
  • Good Censorship
  • Voice over adding a punch
  • Musical overture

 

SUMMARY:  In a documentary, it’s all about finding a way to capture the natural energy in the best perspective.  Penguins has a dynamic camera work going for it, utilizing some fantastic technology to capture the feelings and magic involved with the penguin ritual of mating. The adorable star of Steve has pizazz and character, which helps bring the fun to this documentary.  You grow attached to the little guy, feeling a sense of happiness radiate out of his squat body, that not only is thanks to the charm of the penguins, but also the wonderful editing of the footage the team obtained.  While much of the movie holds that fun atmosphere, the dangers of the artic wilderness are still displayed as both natural phenomena and predators debut on film.  Those darker, sadder moments are fortunately censored, so you won’t have to avert your eyes too much for this film.  Yet, if a documentary doesn’t quite stand out to you, Penguins gets a nice touch from others by utilizing its voice actor Ed Helms to give a little pizazz to the artic explorer of Steve.  His voice over montage acting as Steve’s thoughts are entertaining at times, sort of filling in the silence with an approach that further added to fun of the movie.  And yes, utilization of a fun music set brought more fun in the form of well-timed mood music to help add to the adventure.

 

 

 

DISLIKES:

  • Short
  • Not Quite As Detailed as Others
  • Occasional annoying Commentary

 

SUMMARY:

 

Not much can be said in terms of dislikes of this movie, but there are a few limitations for this reviewer. For one thing it is short!  While this can be a good thing, I think I wanted to see more of the ritual and lifestyle unfolding given the price of admission. Penguins fast pace will be great for modern attention spans, but for those that become engrossed into the movie, the abrupt stop will leave you wanting a little more bang for your buck. Much of this I think has to do with how they limited the world they were focusing on with this film.  Other films in the Disney nature arsenal expanded to three families, colorful worlds, and more detailed behaviors that spanned a greater time period.  In this case, the shorter focus may have been the reason for the fast pace given the limited content they wanted to focus on.  Had they perhaps studied the patterns of some other artic creatures, this film could have been a little more of the adventure fans are used to.  Finally, while I did enjoy the comedy provided by Helms commentary, there are times where they got a little overdone, but these are few and far between.

 

THE VERDICT:

 

            Penguins is a fun adventure that serves as a good educational launch pad for those curious about the world around them.  The adventure of Steve is a short trip into the artic, but it’s a surprisingly fun one where joy, happiness, and a few other quirks exist to thaw the frozen atmosphere.  Utilizing some solid comedic tricks, a captivating voice work and beautiful footage, the movie does a great job of keeping it appropriate for it’s intended audience.  However, this movie does still suffer from a few details that are missing and not expanding its horizons into the tundra like some of their other films have done and that may be the biggest limitation.  This documentary is magical, but the fact that it’s not quite the big budget blockbuster that we get shoved into our faces may also limits it’s theater worthiness in the modern age.  Still, yours truly would encourage catching it sometime, particularly with the little ones in tow. 

 

My scores are:

 

Documentary: 7.0

Movie Overall: 6.0

 

Will This Break Through The Ice Of Your Faith?

Breakthrough Poster

 

Movies about faith are tricky to make for a general population. In today’s world where such a topic is torn into, with the endless debate often leading to different outlooks on such a historical and personal topic.  And yet, sometimes that type of movie becomes the big hit such as last year’s I can Only Imagine did.  Nevertheless, the religious drama movies are ready to hit big this Easter weekend as tonight looks at another real, miracle event for inspiration.  Tonight, I get the chance to check out:

 

Movie: Breakthrough (2019)

Director:

Roxann Dawson

Writer:

Grant Nieporte

Stars:

Chrissy MetzTopher GraceJosh Lucas

 

 

LIKES:

The Message

The Emotion

The Sound and Video editing

The Music

 

SUMMARY:  In a movie like this, the message is perhaps the central core of the movie, and Breakthrough is not afraid to show you the beliefs of the cast involved.  Unlike the ice to which the character falls into, the belief in prayer and the power of God is the beautifully emphasized in the various scenes and sequences.  The case of faith comes with plenty of emotional moments, monologues and discussions about the various questions that come with the Lord’s work and the explanation of miracles.  As the audience members in my theater showed, those deep in faith became engrossed into the film, allowing the feelings to wash over them and manifest in shouting at the screen in their praise.  The scenes that I think did the most for me, being the robot I am, involved those where sound and editing were blended in the Hollywood magic way.  Using those subtle sound effects that soon radiate throughout the theater with close ups of the patient, brought the power of the prayer to life.  However, the component I think is the biggest supporting power is the music.  Much like the trailer, Breakthrough contains the songs worship that hold an ability of their own to incite the true magic that faith has.  Those moments struck a chord in their beauty, and is the selling point of the movie for me.

 

DISLIKES:

 

  • Preachy
  • Cheesy at times
  • A bit Too Forced
  • Selective Audience
  • The Extra Fluff
  • Secondary Character Syndrome

 

SUMMARY: The challenge of these movies is trying to take a tale and expand it into the populace that make up today’s audience. Breakthrough didn’t quite meet that challenge when talking with my friend who accompanied me.  For one thing, the movie takes a little too much turn down the preachy side, utilizing monologues, very staged/forced dialogue, and Hallmark channel like writing that is all geared towards the message.  The various church like sermons hold good meaning, but it’s not the most entertaining movie writing that writers have cooked up.  As such, this forced sermon will sort of force this movie into a narrow alley for audiences leaving general audience members disappointed. Thus, it’s that selective audience that sort of limits the theater visiting component of the film.  Now in terms of the other two dislikes for me it starts again with going a little too far with the story.  Near the ending 25 minutes extra fluff was added that once more held good ideas, but they were in a manner that felt out of place. Breakthrough’s ending just seemed to come a little too late in the movie, potentially suggesting another story arc that could have added more time had they pursued it.  They made the right choice of cutting most of it, they just needed to cut the last remnants to keep the consistency.  And of course the character utilization is key to making the most of your cast.  Breakthrough did a decent job with its primary and secondary characters, at least in terms of big names, but the movie failed to really maximize the other characters that were introduced in the beginning.  I understand this isn’t the theme of the movie, but then don’t waste time doing elaborate introductions to only fizzle out.

 

The VERDICT:

            Breakthrough is timed perfectly for release for Easter and will speak to the intended audience of those with powerful faith. The Lord’s words speak true and the miracles this movie represents are indeed an inspiration to see, especially when the powerful editing and music blend together.  Yet, unlike some of the other faith-based movies, Breakthrough still finds odds with getting the entertainment value in, the preachiness and forced dialogue being the lighthouse for a narrow set of audience members, thus limiting the theater visit.  Throw in some editing and character use choices that aren’t quite all the way there and you again get the limitations of this movie.  Still, a film worth watching at home or in youth group, Breakthrough’s quality is best left at the comfort of your own home rather than the theater.

 

My scores are:

 

Biography/Drama:  6.5

Movie Overall: 4.5-5.0

 

There Is Hellboy To Pay

Hellboy Poster

 

Comic book movies remain the big fashion of the era, utilizing big budgets to bring the world of literature to life in ways the fanbase never imagined.  With DC and Marvel combatting for supremacy, the independent studios are still trying to work their way in and get some publicity themselves.  The first two installments of this movie held their own charms, but are a little outdated and thus comes this weekend’s flick in the form of a modern update of the dark, mercenary comic.  Robbie K back with another review as we look at:

 

Movie: Hellboy (2019)

 

Director:

Neil Marshall

Writers:

Andrew Cosby (screenplay by), Mike Mignola (based on the Dark Horse Comic Book “Hellboy” created by)

Stars:

David HarbourMilla JovovichIan McShane

 

 

LIKES:

Most of the Acting

Comedy

Action

Pace

Costumes

Music

 

SUMMARY:

 

Hellboy requires some people ready to go in the darker parts of the superhero world, and the cast did a good job for the most part.  David Harbour brings some new life to the role, bringing the sarcasm of Hellboy with some broader emotion than Perlman did a while back. Ian McShane does his work in the executive director role, playing that tough father figure that is always the guiding light to the demon’s moral compass quite well.  My favorite though was Sasha Lane, who took the complex role of Alice and unleashed it to its full potential of the awkward time in awkward circumstances.  The chemistry between Harbour and the group is astounding, fun and much of the light in this wave of darkness.

Other factors that I enjoyed include comedy that is fun, well delivered lines and some semi-slapstick that left me impressed with the wit that was behind it.  The laughs were used well, balanced in the grand scheme of the story without becoming the central focus, which I applaud.  The action components also use the comedy to make for some more engaging fights, and Hellboy makes the effort to help keep action scenes dynamic and different.  My favorite fight was the end battle, which held more of the adrenaline-fueled insanity that makes me fist pump in excitement. This action leads to a pace that works well in comic book movies, and Hellboy does not drag too long like some of the other super flicks have hit sometimes.  In addition, the musical score manages to support and life to the mix as well, with both orchestral and regular songs to spice things up in their high energy fashion.

Yet, the biggest positive for me is the costumes and settings of the world.  The makeup artists and CGI guys accomplished the goals of bringing 2-D images to life, crafting devilish monsters, nightmare inducing creatures, and savage creations that fit quite well in the hellion universe.  Hellboy’s cast of interesting characters are equipped to look the part, and while not consistent, they for the most part hold the attributes needed to make the world of Hellboy come to life.  The various organizations and fortresses are crafted to represent the world as well, props, uniforms, and various other components that mirror the worlds crafted by the Dark Horse Comics authors and illustrators.

 

DISLIKES:

Mila Jovovich’s character

Overdramatic Flair

The Story

The Lack of Focus

The Loudness

The Aggressive Graphicness

 

Summary:

The acting was fine for the most part and Jovovich does a fine job acting as she always does.  However, this character they crafted was not quite the same denizen of darkness I love in this series.  This blood queen had some scarring moments, but she was not quite the threatening image I wanted to see unleashed in the film.  Her direction was more overdramatic delivery and singular speeches rather than a well-built character for us to either love or hate.  The result was a weaker antagonist to stand against for the nearly 2 hour run time.  It’s that overdramatic flair at other components that takes precipice, which takes away from the overall movie rather than add, the grandiose nature a little annoying at times.

In regards to the story, Hellboy is trying to cram a lot of arcs into a small run time, trying to take the mini-series approach without the mini-series time table.  This rendition holds a lot of introductions into the world of the big armed demon, including father introduction, friend introductions, prophecies, rivalry establishment, and more.  All these factors are rapidly developed, giving little time, obstacles, or suspense that these stories requires, leading to flat storytelling that held such promise. It’s the lack of focus in these things that makes the movie okay, but not truly great.

  Finally, the aggressive visuals and sounds may also be quite overwhelming given the preference of the audience.  In regards to sounds, this movie is very loud, and those with sensitive ears will need to brings some barriers to reduce the impact of the cacophony of sounds that rush in to avoid ears ringing.  Visual wise, again the movie’s CGI group has applied their skills in the way fitting of a dark comic book series like this.  However, they may have done too good of a job as the blood, gore, and sinew dribbles like rain in this movie.  Hellboy’s focus is very much geared towards filling the silver screen with as much maiming as possible, bringing some disturbing imagery to embed itself into your memory.  Sometimes, this worked for me very well, but other times it was unnecessary, merely blatant attempts to raise the shock factor another few notches.  If that’s the kind of visuals you want in this kind of film, then you will want to flock to the theaters and catch it in high definition goodness. 

 

The VERDICT:

            Overall, Hellboy is not a bad movie as many have said, but it didn’t deliver on the potential crafted in the trailers.  Some good visuals, comedy, and fast paced action were good starts in terms of getting the comic vibe up, but the movie itself just doesn’t have all the finesse it needed like the bigger studios have done in the past.  We needed some focus on the story, some bigger suspense added to the mix, and more importantly finding that balance to extend the movie into a series rather than in one movie.  Perhaps a series would be the next step to better presentations, but for now, this movie has a lot of special effects to make a theater visit worthy, but with other super hero films coming or still in theaters, you are best left to waiting or attending these. 

 

My scores are:

Action/Adventure/Fantasy: 6.5

Movie Overall:: 5.5

Lots Of Fun In Little Time

Little Poster

 

Remixes and twists on classics, Hollywood’s bread and butter to drop lots of movies with each weekend that passes. This weekend that trend continues, as Tom Hanks beloved Big gets reversed to a smaller proportion.  With lots of advertising and the hopes that it will do extremely well this weekend, this comedy looks to be cute and fun for a movie adventure.  So what is in store?  Well Robbie K is back again with yet another review and it is time to see if the latest comedy will keep you laughing or leave you scoffing.  Let’s get started as we review;

 

Movie:  Little (2019)

 

Director:

Tina Gordon (as Tina Gordon Chism)

Writers:

Tracy Oliver (story by), Tina Gordon (as Tina Gordon Chism)

Stars:

Regina HallIssa RaeMarsai Martin

 

 

LIKES:

 

Fun

Cute

Acting

Soundtrack

Morals

 

SUMMARY: The name of the game is fun in this installment.  Little finds a way to relive the magic of Big and help gain a second childhood in the modern-day world.  My friend and I had a blast with the little adventure at hand as both characters tackle the new challenges put before them in the worlds they are forced to face.  The jokes were on point and well timed, keeping in theme with the energy of the movie. Part of this comes from the cute atmosphere established with the writing of this movie, mature enough to hit the older audience, yet still young enough to hit the teenagers and young adult crowd.

 

The acting helps to make this movie pop, Issa Rae works the assistant scene quite well, sass and innocence building together quite well to make a likeable character.  She helps balance out the silliness, yet still add to it in her own manner that breaks up some of the monotony this film chooses to approach.  As for young actress Marsai Martin, she’s got quite a start to the acting career and I look forward to seeing the young girl in future installments.  She’s got the attitude of an adult down pat, sass blending with some comedic relief and childish moments that are quite balanced for a movie like this.  Nevertheless, the chemistry between all cast both primary and secondary groups work well and I quite enjoyed seeing the teamwork bring the characters to life.

 

Yet, part of the fun comes from a killer soundtrack, new and old tracks coming together to capture the feelings of the scenes.  The cultural representation the sound editor picked was extremely awesome, and had me dancing in my seat while also wanting to break out my phone to look up the songs. Even smarter, is that much of the movie’s song sort of emphasize the other part I like of this movie, the morals that are embedded in this film.  Yes, like many movies the morals are preachy and baked right in, but Little finds a way to mesh those lessons into some fun moments that help you enjoy what you are learning. Finding some lessons that are relevant, Little gets props for helping the audience dig deep and look into themselves to find their own abilities.

 

Dislikes:

 

Predictable

Fast

Missed opportunities

Some pointless character introductions

Story points that are limited

Trailers give away much

 

SUMMARY:  Predictable thy name is comedy and Little tries hard to defy the expected jokes and plot lines this movie sets up a mile away. Little’s focus on having fun means using the same tricks to get a laugh and the same means to get to the end of the story.  Rather than leading to a build up, with areas that require intense focus, discovery, and a major push to get better, Little takes the fast approach to getting through the film.  It’s okay, but the movie had a lot of hinted opportunities that showed promise, but then dropped the ball leading to some disappointing moments.  This was especially true with the teacher scenes that the trailers loved to highlight, characters that held potential with their introduction, but reduced to comedic props that didn’t quite pack the kick I think they wanted. Some of the story points as well had the same issues going the same way, hints of fun adventures and the growth of characters that quickly fizzled out.  Finally, the trailers are good at revealing much of the movie and there isn’t too much one needs to see past the highlights they showed.  Little falls victim to showing off too much, leaving little to the imagination outside of some of more engaging dialogue and a few romance scenes.

 

The VERDICT:

 

Little is fun, simple as that, but the movie needs some refining to be the classic that Big was presenting long ago.  This new spin is cute, hits the target audience members well, and does the job of teaching you the important lessons with baked in, heartwarming goodness.  While the movie is funny to so many levels, it is still very predictable and had so many avenues to go down for comedy that they left unfulfilled.  Thus, the potential for going to see in the theaters is lessened by the trailers and lack of finesse that they were going for, and I recommend waiting on this one for home viewing.  Still, check this one out eventually if you are looking for the means to have a good laugh fest for simplistic fun.

 

My scores are:

 

Comedy/Fantasy/Romance: 6.5

Movie Overall: 5.0