Wonder Park or Blunder Park?

Wonder Park Poster

 

Fan of Roller coaster Tycoon, or Simulation coasters?  Were you one of those people who had an imagination that could take you to anywhere you wanted to think of?  Have you wanted to go to a place of wonder where girls didn’t blow up to blueberries?  Well tonight’s movie attempts to bring all of this to you in a package that looks to people overwhelmingly cute.  Robbie K back with his thought on yet another movie to hit the silver screen in hopes of not getting lost to the reruns of the theater.  Let’s get started!

 

Movie: Wonder Park (2019)

 

Writers:

Josh Appelbaum (screenplay by), André Nemec(screenplay by)

Stars:

Sofia MaliJennifer GarnerKen Hudson Campbell

 

 

LIKES:

 

Cute

  • Voice Work
  • Special Effects
  • Animation
  • Energy
  • Jokes
  • Imagination
  • Message

 

Summary: Disney movies make it difficult to try to bring animated features out because of the not so big budget or army of animators/ideas.  Nickelodeon is able to still work some charming magic into this piece though, managing once more to bring the cute factor into their film and get the feelings going.  It’s got some surprising emotional work, with voice acting and story coming together to sell the feelings lying deep in the fun, cute charm that the trailers show. Much like the opening scene of Up, Wonder Park has some surprisingly deep messages that will hopefully motivate the young and refresh the older generations on the importance of imagination and wonder.

Sap fest aside though, the movie accomplishes the goal of still being fun, managing to inject the wonder of imagination in terms of visuals and adventures.  Nickelodeon’s team injects a lot of kid friendly energy into the mix, making an infectious, thrill seeking ride that is perfect for the intended audience.  The smooth animation, with high paced speed keeps in time with the nature of the animals and imaginative girl, while the design manages to bring in the magic that theme parks and kids movies have.  All the unlimited potential of a child’s imagination is unleashed in this film and it is certain to bring you back into the world of pure imagination.

 

DISLIKES:

 

  • Predictable
  • Too Simple
  • Lacking Intense Suspense
  • Short

 

Summary: As we have talked about, animation movies require a story to be very dynamic, fun, and have a sense of adventure that takes us out of our world.  While Wonder Park does semi-accomplish this, it doesn’t quite do it as well as some of the other bigger studios have done.  For one thing the movie is predictable, all the symbolism, mystery, and potential twists are easily discernible and lacking the finesse and mind-blowing moments that the sister studio is famous for. In addition, despite all the fun that Wonder Park did in helping you relive your childhood, it was a little too simplistic in the adventure department, not quite having the drive or dive that Pixar and DreamWorks is able to concoct.  This means for me that there was not too many suspenseful parts in the mix, most of the chases reduced to quick bouts of falling, or lost in another joke.  All the dark challenges and impasses are very diluted avenues, that act as symbolic psyche components of humans rather than true antagonists.  Yet the main thing that is semi disappointing, is how short the movie is. Clocking in at just around 80 minutes, this film certainly moves fast, but not so much in the good way as the content feels a little lacking to be honest.  Oh well, it got me out a little early, but the length may not be the most bang for your buck in terms of the expensive movie ticket price.

 

The VERDICT:

 

            Wonder park is certainly an important illustration about the important components of life, including the importance of maintaining your imagination and wonder.  It makes great use of the kid friendly energy, yet has a few things for adults to latch onto, especially those touching, pull at your heart string moments. Yet despite all the fun I had in this movie, the film still feels like a Nickelodeon tv special that could have been left to the network.  It needed some more adventure, it needed more suspense for me, and more importantly it needed more of that magic they talked about.  Wonder Park certainly has the makings for a fun merchandising series, it just needs a little more finesse to finish the deal.  Worth a trip to the theater?  Hmmm kind of, but this one is probably waiting for streaming for most.

 

My scores are:

 

Animation/Adventure/Comedy: 7.5

Movie Overall: 6.5

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Is The Theater A Pit Where Cleaning Occurs, Or Soars High In The Sky?

The Spy Who Dumped Me Poster

 

Comedies continue to flood the theaters, and as such waiver in their quality of laughs, story, and whatever other gimmick they are going for.  Despite big names trying to lead the fun, the increasing demand and limited supply doesn’t always work out, lead to the generic tide we are seeing.  Still, it’s up to reviewers like me to shed some light on the topic and help inform you of the movies you are thinking of seeing.  Tonight, we dive right into the action-comedy thriller, that hopes to get the month of August in a comedic light.  Robbie K here reviewing:

 

Movie: The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018)

 

Director:

Susanna Fogel

Writers:

Susanna Fogel,  David Iserson

Stars:

Justin Theroux,  Blanka Györfi-Tóth,  Vilma Szécsi

 

 

LIKES:

 

Good Pace:  A comedy that doesn’t take long to dive into all the fun, and keeps that fun going.  The Spy Who Dumped Me has very few scenes that involve our characters doing nothing, leading to a well-paced movie that keeps you immersed in all the shenanigans at hand.

 

Surprisingly Action Packed: The movie may just seem like a giant farce of spy thrillers.  While this is true, the movie still managed to have some impressively choreographed battles, loaded with special effects, movie magic, and that rage bending destruction that we action junkies love. Kudos to the team responsible for thinking up the stunts, for they kept it diverse and relevant to the story and not just some ploy to rope in more bucks.

 

The Chemistry:  Mila Kunisand Kate McKinnonhave a fantastic chemistry together, able to form a friendship and really play off the obsession each has for the other.  Their energy is infective, bouncing off of each other’s quirks to continue stoking the comedic flames higher with each passing second.  Yet, below the funny surface is a deeper relationship that helps fuel the adventure and intensity even more.  In regards to all the secondary players in this interesting game of chess, each having an outstanding integration with our lovely ladies.

 

Funny:  The movie absolutely had me busting a gut a few times, the writers playing to my strengths of good timing and the actors bring fantastic delivery to the lines.  The Spy Who Dumped Me has much diversity in their comedic presentation, ranging from witty remarks and humorous responses to the crudest jokes that are about your favorite body part on both sexes.  Nevertheless, this diverse presentation and lovely ladies leading the ridiculous run, really accomplished the funny aspect of the movie.

 

DISLIKES:

 

The Predictability: The movie really needed to try and surprise me a little better when it came to twists and tricks.  While the linearity is appreciated from the comedic stand point, it did take away from the story when you could predict so much from a mile away.  Too much foreshadowing and not enough planning leads to some jokes getting ruined due to how obvious the next step was.

 

Some Plot Elements/Character Integration:  Many of the characters got their just time on the silver screen, proving their purpose for being including in the adventure at hand.  Yet, there are a few plot points that were boring, or full of holes that didn’t quite impress me.  Much of this has to do with the random characters introduced haphazardly about midway through the movie, not really needed and not as fleshed out as they had probably planned. I know it’s not supposed to make sense, I get it, it’s a comedy. Yet the story element is still important and in need of tweaking for the next installment should they continue on with the series.

 

The Crude vs Ridiculousness: The movie’s comedic ploys were very reliant on the two starlets, hoping that nothing would go stale in their delivery. Some of the crude moments are not tasteful, a little insulative that crosses some lines in my book (including seeing a male genetalia). Other times the running jokes were only okay, but grew stale at times when you figured they would learn once the information was fed to them.  In regards to how ridiculous this can be?  It gets about a 500 on my meter, with McKinnon being the source of whimsical, serious, Mad Hatter attitude, the level of weird and over the top is raised in this film.  Get ready for a lot of random lines and pick them up with caution depending on the jokes that come your way.

 

Violence too Much?: Spy who dumped me is not anyone’s friend, and the spies playing in the game sometimes go insane with gore laden moves that are slightly sickening to watch. Be prepared for very graphic kills and sickening sounds to come your way, and exercise caution prior to taking younger audience members to see it with you.

 

THE VERDICT:

 

The Spy who dumped me surprised me to be quite honest. My friend Rashad was right that the film is incredibly entertaining, and the leading ladies bring much of that success alongside talented dialogue writers. Even more so, the genius move of bringing action scenes to the movie was also a giant plus for me, as it kept me engaged in all the madness coming.  Still, the movie has some balancing to do, primarily in trying to make an engaging storyline even though they have been shared with the rest of the group.  Yet, really make sure to exercise caution with your friends/families with younger kids, for their impressionable minds may pick up a habit/nightmare you don’t want.

 

My scores are:

 

Action/Comedy:  8.5

Movie Overall:  7.5

Mom’s the Word and The Target Audience

bad moms.jpg

 

Moms, everyone at some point has had one in some shape or form. Our world today focuses on portraying these lovely women (and sometimes men) as either saints or monsters depending on the acts. Over the years the image of a mom has changed, often gearing towards being a perfect role model who does no wrong and should she make a mistake is cast as a cretin. However, tonight’s film decides to explore a different venue, one that is certain to be entertaining to some audiences. Yes, I’m talking about Bad Moms, a comedy that is certain to start up online riots. Hi Robbie K here and I’m back with another review, let’s get started.

 

The GOOD

  • Delivers what’s promised in the trailers
  • Short run time
  • Decent story with good morals
  • Good acting

 

This review is difficult to write, because I have to keep in mind the target audience the developers had in mind. If you haven’t seen the trailers, then you might not know that Bad Moms is an over-the-top, ridiculous comedy geared towards moms, and guess what… that is exactly what you get. If you were expecting something different, then you will be disappointed, but this movie certainly delivers the silliness promised. It’s comedy is geared towards what many of my female friends joke about including sexual innuendos, superficial lust jokes, and more meme worthy quotes than you can count. Especially in the beginning, the movie is a one-stop joke box that draws as much stupidity as possible, which kept much of the audience laughing.

While the comedy may not have been up my alley, to my surprise Bad Moms had a decent story. Again one shouldn’t be surprised that the movie has a plot geared towards mothers and the issues they face. I myself began to roll my eyes at the cheesy drama of the plot and the emphasis on superficial things like sex, alcohol, and a bit of drugs. However, the second act packed that sentimental punch that really hooked me into the movie. The morals embedded in the over dramatic speeches and symphony laden sequences are very powerful and may teach significant others and kids an important lesson. I applaud the directors for being able to drive such a message in a comedy like this, but that certainly gained bonus points in my book. Again, mothers will feel this point the most, but those who have an open mind might feel it in your heart as well

Another saving grace is the acting in this movie. I went in expecting really bad work to mold out of the word work and shallow talent. And in truth I kind of got what I expected, but also got some surprises. Mila Kunis did a nice job in this simplistic role, and was able to inject some depth into it. Kathryn Hahn is your number one comedy guru, doing nothing but acting like an ass and having a mouth to go with it. Kristen Bell is…cute, but her character’s awkwardness has a limited role of providing a few good lines and very empowering moment. As for the bad girls, well nothing really magical about this performance, other than yeah they are good at being a five-letter word for a dog.

The BAD

  • Very lazy writing
  • Stupid
  • Not really unique

 

This is tough to write and not upset people, but I’ll do my best. Yes, the movie does deliver what the trailer promised, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best quality when compared to other films. Bad Moms writing is essentially how many rants, shouts, and one-liner quotes can be fit in a ninety-minute run time. It’s fun and enjoyable, but it certainly is lazy writing, especially once the F bombs and penis grenades are dropped. Sometimes these jokes are timed very well, or delivered in a manner that capitalizes the fun (thank you Kathryn Hahn). However, the sheen does dull after the tenth iteration and had me bored until the story picked up.

The lack of cleverness also shows just how stupid the movie is as well. Something else that may cross the line is some of the more intense party moments our directors filmed (alcohol anyone). As such, the unique quality of this film is very lacking and quickly falls into the mediocre milieu that plagues the theaters these days. In addition, some of the comedy could be “insulting” to the more traditional member. Therefore exercise caution, pay attention to the rating, and avoid the movie if you are easily offended.

 

The Verdict

 

Bad Moms is certainly not the best film to arrive at the silver screen, but it is also exactly what you expected from the trailers. The team certainly created a movie geared toward the mom audience and I have no doubt most in this category, and a few significant others, will laugh their heads off. Therefore I have to give points to the directors for delivering the promised laughs and story. However, it still is a very simplistic movie that does not contain anything really unique, nor the best comedy I have seen. It’s just fun. Other than for a girl’s night out, I cannot recommend this one for the theater, but certainly take a look at it on RedBox.

 

My scores are:

 

Comedy: 7.5-8.0 (because it delivers to its category)

Movie Overall: 5.5-6.0