Movie Reviews

Coco – Movie Review

Coco is about Miguel, a young boy, who loves playing guitar, he wants to be like his idol, the famous Ernesto de la Cruz. The only problem is his family is the only one in Mexico that hates music. They don’t play music, listen to it, or allow it anywhere near them. One day, Miguel decides to steal Ernesto’s guitar, and in doing that he finds himself in the Land of the Dead. There he finds his ancestors to find out why his family hates music.

COCO
Image via MUSE

Pixar is undoubtedly one of the best, if not the best, animation studios working today. Although, their last few movies (The Good Dinosaur, Finding Dory, and Cars 3) have been disappointing. Coco is different than any of the other Pixar movies because of its setting in Mexico. They give a lot of attention to the Mexican culture and their focus on family. You get to see how their family operates and how they celebrate Dia de los Muertos, better known as Day of the Dead. This holiday is the focal point of the movie because Miguel has to learn about the importance of remembering the dead and not letting them be forgotten.

The animation in this movie is by far the best Pixar’s has ever been. They use extensive details to animate the world, if you look closely you’ll even see the individual grains on the wood. It’s getting to the point where some of the sets and people almost look real. There’s a short featurette before the movie that shows how they animated a particular scene, and it’s interesting to see how much work went into it.

The story is extremely entertaining, you’re never bored watching the movie because they keep the story moving and don’t let it drag at any moments. It’s really funny, many comedic moments come from Dante, a dog who goes to the Land of the Dead with Miguel. His family is a lot of fun to watch on screen, both living and dead families, although the specific relationships they have can get confusing. Despite how enjoyable it is though, the story is very predictable. For example, there’s a big reveal that happens in the third act that I saw coming about 30 minutes into the movie.

disney-pixars-coco-ht-mem-171117_4x3_992
Image via ABC News

They manage to make the story appealing to people of all ages while including some mature themes. Some of the themes include death, loss, sacrifice, and even dementia, but the entire story is told through the Pixar charm we’re all used to which makes it accessible to all audiences. Even though the main plot of the movie revolves around the idea of death, they use it to create a message about not forgetting those we’ve lost.

Coco is both visually and emotionally beautiful. Under its harmless, fun exterior, the film handles some dark themes in a way that makes it understandable to kids, yet relatable to people of older demographics. The Mexican culture aspect sets it apart from the rest of Pixar’s films and adds diversity to their lineup. Pixar has made one of their best in this movie, and it’s definitely the best animated movie of the year.

Rating: A-

Have you seen Coco? If so, what did you think about it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

If you enjoyed my article you can follow the site on the right side of the screen to keep updated with Screen Jam!

Advertisements
Rankings

Star Wars Movies Ranked

Now that The Last Jedi is out, I thought it would be a good time to rank all of the Star Wars movies. Please keep in mind, this is my ranking and it may be different than your’sThis list includes all of the live-action Star Wars movies, including Rogue One, but not the animated Clone Wars movie.

#9: Attack of the Clones

star_wars_attack_of_the_clones
Image via THR

This movie’s just bad. It’s the only Star Wars movie that I just don’t enjoy watching, it’s just boring for the majority of the movie. The romance between Anakin and Padmé is really dry, Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman have next to no chemistry, and Lucas’s dialogue doesn’t help at all. The CGI is overtly terrible and incredibly distracting. The story structure is messy, with numerous unimportant sub-plots.

They tried to pull off the aspect of Anakin slowly turning to the dark side, but it comes across as angsty, creepy, and forced. There are a few saving graces to the film, including Ewan McGregor’s and Ian McDiarmid’s performances, some lightsaber fights that are at least cool, and some of the moments between Anakin and Padmé are cute at best.

#8: The Phantom Menace

phantom-menace-rewatch-120715
Image via Nerdist

I don’t think The Phantom Menace is as bad as people say it is, but it isn’t necessarily a good movie. Ewan McGregor and Liam Neeson both to a solid job and their comradery is the best part of the movie. Darth Maul is a great new character and the mysteriousness of his master is intriguing. The pod-racing scene is well done, and the final fight scene is one of my favorite lightsaber battles of the entire saga.

On the other hand, Jake Lloyd wasn’t great as Anakin, and his dialogue didn’t help. Jar Jar Binks is a dumb character who just annoys the audience whenever he’s on screen. The worst part of the movie, other than Jar Jar, is the politics. This movie is full of Jedi council and Senate meetings, and they are some of the worst scenes in the movie. The dialogue is bland, and the subjects are always boring. The opening crawl itself is even boring, talking about tax and trade routes. This movie solidifies the fact that George Lucas isn’t a very good writer.

#7: Revenge of the Sith

revengeofthesith
Image via SyFy

I’d say this movie is the most watchable of the prequels. My favorite part of the movie has to be Anakin’s turn to the dark side. Hayden Christensen does a surprisingly decent job, he’s less whiny and does a better job with the darkness of his character. Ian McDiarmid does a great job again as he is slowly turning Anakin to become a Sith Lord. The final lightsaber battle with Anakin and Obi-Wan is well done with the setting on Mustafar. Overall, the movie just works better, it has a more coherent plot and Hayden Christensen improves his acting skills.

#6: Rogue One

rogue-one-rebel-dossier-cover-featured0-1222017
Image via Nerdist

Gareth Edwards tried something different with this spin-off, and it works really well for the most part. We got to see a closer look at the Rebel Alliance, and why they might not be the glamorous heroes we’ve thought they are. They will do anything to get their job done, no matter how dirty it is. The movie also has a grittier feel to it, and I think that’s what the Star Wars universe needed. It could even be described as a war movie with the battle sequences and the strategizing.

The reason it’s down at number 6 is that most of the characters are paper-thin. Felicity Jones is great as Jyn Erso, and her character is given the most background. The rest of the characters are good characters, but I wasn’t given a reason to care about them. Diego Luna does a good job, but his character is literally given one line of background. Donne Yen’s character adds the most to the universe as a whole, introducing the concept of non-Jedi who are still in tune with the Force, but he still has a lack of development. This movie a great fresh addition to the franchise, but the characters bring it down a little.

#5: Return of the Jedi

jedi-quiz-header-2400x1200-625609177164
Image via StarWars.com

Return of the Jedi was a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. Luke has become a Jedi Knight, and he shows off some new skills he’s learned throughout the movie. The opening scene in Jabba the Hutt’s palace is great. Jabba is one of my favorite Star Wars characters, the reuniting of Leia and Han was earned, and Luke was awesome as a Jedi Knight. All of the characters have great chemistry, and it was great seeing them on screen again.

The best part of the movie is definitely Luke and Darth Vader’s scenes. Vader is trying to bring Luke over to the dark side, and it all leads to the throne room battle. This is the first movie with Emperor Palpatine, seeing someone who Vader was subservient to was pretty menacing. The final fight between Luke and Darth Vader is my favorite lightsaber battle of all time. The entire trilogy has led to this moment, father and son facing off. I get chills every time Vader mentions turning Leia to the dark side, Luke goes crazy and cuts Vader’s hand off.

#4: The Force Awakens

landscape-1449076028-han-solo-2015
Image via Digital Spy

The Force Awakens had a tough job. J.J. Abrams had to make people excited about Star Wars again, while also making them forget about the prequels. He did both of those things, on top of making one of the most financially successful movies of all time. The movie feels new, but still like a Star Wars movie. The new characters are all great with Rey, Finn, and Poe. This was Daisy Ridley’s first movie, and she made Rey one of my favorite Star Wars character through her performance. It’s also just a lot of fun, there’s a really adventurous feel, the movie is funny, and it all creates a very enjoyable movie.

Harrison Ford did a great job of inhabiting the role of Han Solo again, and his character serves as a bridge between the original and sequel trilogies. I liked how he was the one that led Rey and Finn on their mission to get to the Resistance. Kylo Ren is a fantastic villain, he might be my favorite new character in the trilogy. Instead of recreating Darth Vader, he’s given conflict with the light and dark sides, which makes his character much more interesting. However, despite everything he did before, him killing Han Solo still makes me hate him. Spoiler alert I guess…

#3: The Last Jedi

 

last-jedi-poster-tall
Image via StarWars.com

I’ve already written my review for The Last Jedi, and my full thoughts on the movie are there, but what I liked about it was that it took a lot of chances. It’s fair to say that The Force Awakens played it safe, so it was refreshing to see some things I didn’t expect. All of the characters are expanded on and get more development, especially Poe. Mark Hamill gives his best performance as Luke Skywalker in this movie, and his character makes some unexpected decisions. Carrie Fisher was great as Leia as always with some great scenes.

Again, Kylo Ren is a riveting character. They go deeper into his struggle with being pulled to the light side, which was a great storyline. The action is some of the best of the franchise, and so were the space battles. The Last Jedi goes in some surprising directions, but they make the movie different and new.

#2: A New Hope

a-new-hope-1536x864-486280492553
Image via StarWars.com

The first Star Wars movie introduced us to the “big three”, Luke, Leia, and Han, some of the most iconic characters of all time. The reason the movie is so entertaining is the characters. Luke has a great arc from being a farm boy to wanting to learn the ways of the Jedi and destroying the Death Star. Han is just a smuggler who just cares about the money, and he became one of my favorite Star Wars characters. The interesting things about Leia was that she was a damsel in distress that could handle herself. She was a female character that didn’t need to be saved constantly but stayed feminine.

The visual effects hold up after 40 years. The spaceships, blasters, and lightsabers still look good. They also used some practical effects that make the world feel more real and believable. Even though he doesn’t get much screen time, Darth Vader became possibly the most iconic villain of all time in this movie. James Earl Jones’s voice work made him a menacing force. John William’s score is amazing, the Star Wars theme is probably my favorite movie theme of all time. This movie is full of distinct characters, groundbreaking visual effects, and original ideas.

#1: The Empire Strikes Back

empire_strikes_back
Image via Empire

I truly believe that Empire Strikes Back is a perfect movie. They built on everything that was set up in A New Hope while introducing new planets and characters we hadn’t seen before. Leia plays a major role in the Rebellion as we see on the opening scene on Hoth. There, we also see the AT-ATs for the first time and the method of taking them down that has been referenced. Later in the movie, Han and Leia develop a relationship which feels natural and isn’t a hindrance to the film. There’s a storyline on the new planet, Dagobah, where Yoda trains Luke to be a Jedi. Frank Oz created a unique voice and speech pattern for him that allowed him to still be remembered today.

Lando Calrissian is introduced as an old friend of Han’s, and Bily Dee Williams makes his character smooth and different from any other character in the franchise so far. Darth Vader gets much more attention in this movie than in A New Hope and with that, the Imperial March by John Williams is written. Vader gets to show off how powerful he actually is in this movie through Imperial power and in the Force. He especially shows off some skills in the lightsaber battle between him and Luke. At the end of that battle, Vader reveals to Luke that he is his father, one of the best twists in movie history.

How would you rank the Star Wars movies? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

If you enjoyed this article, you can follow Screen Jam on the right side of the screen to keep updated with my site!

Movie News

Disney Starting Their Own Streaming Service;Ending Deal With Neflix

Since 2012, Disney has been putting their movies on Netflix once they release on Blu Ray with a deal they’ve had. This will change based on what Disney CEO, Bob Iger, stated.

mv5bmjqyntk1otmzmv5bml5banbnxkftztgwmjexmtc1ode-_v1_sx1777_cr001777744_al_
Image via Lucasfilm

In an earnings call, Bob Iger announced that in 2019, Disney plans on starting their own streaming service which will have many Disney movies and television shows. This means that instead of like it is now, when we get movies like Doctor Strange, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,  and Zootopia, we won’t get any new movies on the service. Netflix replied to a concerned fan on Twitter and confirmed that this deal will not affect the Marvel Netflix TV shows like Daredevil and Luke Cage.

movie_poster_zootopia_866a1bf2
Image via Disney

This could change the way we view Disney owned movies from now on. We don’t know many details about the service, but there is plenty of room to speculate. If they want to make a profit, they would have to charge a certain amount. With that, they would have to host a worth while amount of movies and TV shows. This will most likely include many older Disney movies, maybe some MCU movies, Pixar, and Disney original animated movies.  If they choose to also add their newer movies, which in 2019 will include Star Wars: Episode IX, Captain Marvel, and Frozen 2, people might not buy them on Blu Ray and digitally.

There are many factors that could affect this like how long the movies will stay, the price of the service, or there could even be ads on the service. Another possibility is that Disney could make exclusive content. They could make a Marvel show on it, a live action Star Wars TV show, or anything they want. Whatever happens, this could go very well for Disney if people are really into this idea. However, people already pay for streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, so they might be too late to the game with this one.

What do you think about Disney’s new streaming service? Would you buy it? Leave your comments below.

If you enjoyed this article, you can follow the site on the right side of the screen to be notified of when I make new posts!