Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: FERDINAND

FARTINAND….oh, excuse me…FERDINAND is one of the most blandest, boring, not funny, and at times too dark for a childrens movie I have seen in the past decade. You may think I’m throwing shade at a film that came out the same weekend as The Last Jedi and I’m still pissed at “modern audiences” for not liking it, but let me tell you one thing: my wife LOVES children’s films and even at the most mediocre of ones she can find a way to like and enjoy them. Even SHE THOUGHT THE MOVIE WAS BORING AND BLAND AND AT POINTS TOO DARK FOR CHILDREN. So yeah, what we are dealing with here is a failure to communicate a good holiday children (Just go see Coco) film that is fun for the whole family and doesn’t treat the audience as if they were idiots.

Blue Sky Studios, which are owned by 20th Century Fox and made the mediocre Ice Age films (this is pre Disney), aren’t even trying. There has to be a good Ferdinand movie out there somewhere where these screenplay writers and directors aren’t lazy as a stoner and don’t care what kind of product they put out as long as it is by a certain deadline. This movie has absolutely no wit, no uniqueness, no charm, no clever humor, nothing. I even went to the bathroom during the middle of the film just to find an excuse to get out of this glob of manure for a minute and a half (yes, I washed my hands). At one point during the middle of the film, I looked around the theater because there were a lot of kids at the movie, and half of them were asleep, and the other half were bugging the shit out of their parents, not looking at the screen.

And this movie is dark as all get out. I am going to get into spoilers here because I need to prove how dark this film is. So you’ve been warned, skip to the next paragraph if you are actually dumb enough to want to see this movie. Ok, first off, it’s about Ferdinand not wanting to be a bull during a matador fight. You all know that every single bull never wins a matador fight right? And that they are usually stuck between the eyes in the end with a sword to kill them? Well, the movie shows a bunch of bulls pictures with their cut off horns attached to them, and Ferdinand at that point realizes that no bull’s ever win the matador fight. At the end of the film, come on, you know that Ferdinand survives, right before the matador decides not to kill him (Ferdinand actually makes him look like an idiot in the fight), he points the sword right between Ferdinand’s eyes. Yeah, if my kid was a couple of years older I wouldn’t want him seeing that shit. Also, when a couple of the bulls are deemed not worthy of bullfighting, they are sent to the chop house, and they even call it the chop house and realizes they are being sent there to be turned into food. When the bulls are put on the trailer to the chop house, when the gate is lifted it shows the bulls face only and the rest of the picture shows what chops of meat they are going to get out of the bull. They do this to try and make a joke out of one of the bulls thinking he is going to fight the matador for glory. And needless to say the joke did not work with me or our audience.

I wouldn’t rather seen a movie with the girl that gets Ferdinand at the beginning on some weird adventure than this weirder freaking matador “will he or won’t he fight” type of plot that was dark and didn’t make much sense at all. I mean the film introduces three horses that have a German accident for absolutely no reason whatsoever. The movie is completely predictable in every plot thread and every line of dialogue. The little three hedgehog’s are annoying and not funny at all and the other bulls have cliched stupid personalities with weird accents.

The only two good parts of the film are John Cena voicing Ferdinand and Kate McKinnon voicing his goat friend. You can tell that Cena and McKinnon are professionals and were really trying to give their characters some depth and personality. The rest of the movie is utter garbage and one of the worst films of the year. The film is definitely not appropriate for kids under 10 I think, with all the death themes wise, so the real question is: who is this film meant for? The answer: it shouldn’t have been made. I came to watch a film about a bull voiced by John Cena in a cute little adventure filled with wonder and laughs. What I got was bullshit.

 

 

Zach’s Zany SPOILER FILLED HALF REVIEW OF STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI.

WARNING!!!! DO NOT READ THIS UNLESS YOU HAVE SEEN STAR WARS EPISODE VIII THE LAST JEDI. I WILL BASICALLY RUIN EVERY PLOT POINT, TWIST, TURN, SURPRISE, YOU NAME IT. I’M DISCUSSING WHAT I THOUGHT OF ALL THESE, AND IN PARTICULAR, WHY THEY ALL MAKE SENSE IN CONTEXT WITH THE STAR WARS UNIVERSE.

Well, I got kind of peeved at a lot of people (aka Modern Audiences) this weekend when I found out that the Rotten Tomatoes Audience Scores on The Last Jedi weren’t very good at all, in fact, the worst of the entire saga, which is bullshit because Attack of the Clones sucks, and no piece of dialogue can be worse than the sand between Anakin and Padme. So when I started writing this, I got pissed and stopped because I didn’t think I could explain my love for this movie spoiler wise and I just didn’t want to share because I got mad at whoever wasn’t liking this film for stupid fan boy reasons, thinking they didn’t deserve my review because they would just bitch at my reasons anyway. So, I am posting what I wrote, and then after I stopped I am going to give a link to an article where this one reviewer that used to be on Aint It Cool News (who left because of Harry Knowles sexual harassment scandal) wrote a very short piece why all the things that happen in the Last Jed are perfect. He basically wrote what I was going to once I stopped writing. So I’m just going to link to that and that is basically what I thought of the entire movie spoiler wise. I am over my madness, realize that modern audience are sort of dumb and will always be that way, and I still love The Last Jedi, and the only one that can take away my love for it…is me. Which I won’t, so here you go!

So now that we got that out of the way, let’s dive right in. You are at your own risk at this point. I’m not necessarily going to review the film again. I am going to go step by step through the film, beginning to end, what I thought was amazing, and the little tiny bits that I could’ve done without. If you go to my Facebook page, you’ll see its #1 on my top ten of 2017, so if you want to read what I really thought of the film technically and non spoiler-y achievement wise, read my original review:

Opening Crawl: Was glad that Rian Johnson actually gave a pretty decent realistic opening crawl considering that the film opens up several minutes before the Force Awakens Actually Ends

First scene: Resistance Escape From Q’Dar

Loved that Rian Johnson decided to give us a pretty awesome opening space battle right after the crawl instead of going to Luke and Rey like many thought he was going to. Already subverting our expectations. The battle above Q’Dar (the resistance base in Force Awakens) is spectacular. The effects are top notch and the drama is intensified ten-fold, especially that last undestroyed bomber that hold’s Rose’s sister (it is revealed it is her sister shortly after meeting Rose later). Poe’s desperate move to kill a First Order Dreadnaught was slick and yet you didn’t know whether you agreed with his decision or not. You could tell that Leia couldn’t really decide either.

Only thing I didn’t like about this scene was the overextended humor bit between Poe and General Hux. There is basically a ‘your mother’ joke in there that could’ve been left out. I understand he was trying to stall for time to get ready to attack the dreadnaught but the joke of faking not able to hear Hux went a little bit to long. I did chuckle at first, but then was like, “ok, enough, let’s go” Fortunately it did.

After the battle goes not in the First Order’s Favor seeing Holographic Snoke come on the screen and reveal very early that he has Force powers and uses them on us was nice and unexpected. Those going, how can you use the force through a hologram, remember that Vader did it via viewscreen in Empire.

Second Scene: Rey’s First Meeting With Luke

Again, this subverts our expectations. Did not expect Luke, after being handed the lightsaber by Rey, to just chuck it across his shoulder like he doesn’t give a damn. The only thing that I didn’t like about this scene was I couldn’t tell if throwing the lightsaber away was supposed to be meant for laughs. I took it seriously but a lot of the audience members didn’t and snickered. Should’ve been more dramatic. Maybe by being really angry and instead of tossing it over his shoulder trying to throw it as far as he could.

You can tell that Luke is deeply disturbed and that he came to the island to die (which he specifically tells us later). Him seeing Chewie, boarding the Falcon again, and then reunited with R2-D2 were nice touches, especially when R2 tries to get him to join by showing Princess Leia’s original message from A New Hope. I love the way he is still kind of a tormented soul, by still not joining, and teaching lessons to Rey about why the Jedi need to end, his failure as a Jedi, and what the Force all truly means, and that the Jedi got it wrong. Love, love, LOVE, this. Playing with our expectations, didn’t see any of this coming. Mark Hamill’s acting in this entire film is top notch, and he could’ve had a hell of a career is he had just been this kind of intense and dramatic.

Intermission – PORGS: I think audiences are dividing by these things. Some found them cute and adorable, others thought they brought too much humor into the film. While I agree there is a little too much humor outright and not subtle in this film, the worst of it didn’t come from the Porgs. They are in very few scenes and weren’t jarring at all. I liked how some were real and mechanical. I ultimately thought they were cute but really unnecessary, a marketing ploy to sell a shit ton of Porg toys.

Resistance Vs. The First Order: The Main Plot

The main plot of the Resistance Vs. The First Order is that even though the resistance initially got away from them in lightspeed, the The First Order found a way to track them while they are in lightspeed (a very interesting dynamic and totally embraced by me). Once the are found, they only have enough fuel for one more jump into hyperspace, but now knowing that The First Order can track them, instead just try to stay barely ahead of them where there blasts don’t effect the shields on their ships until they can figure out a plan.

This is where Finn, Rose, and Poe’s main mission comes in. I won’t get all into how they figure out a solution that leads them to Canto Bight and find a codebreaker played by Benicio Del Toro, but needless to say, I loved every minute of it. Some people thought the entire Canto Bight scene could’ve been scrapped, but then just finding a codebreaker would’ve been too easy, and I understand that Rian Johnson was just showing us another cool and deceitful part of the galaxy. I have read the new canon novel called Canto Bight, and it was interesting for me to actually see the big bright city on the greenscreen, so that is probably why I liked seeing that, and that racing Fathiers on the big screen.

Ugh, this is all taking too long right? Let me get down to some basics.

Yes, I agree with all of you that the Leia Marry Poppins Space Force thing was a little too over dramatic. They should’ve just had her escape the room in time, the ceiling about to fall on her outside the room or something, and at the last minute uses what she has of the Force in her to keep it from crushing her. She moves it out of the way, only for a small chunk to fall off and hit her over the head. That’s the only part of this film I disagree with. While it did’t jar me, it could’ve been handled better. I don’t disagree with Leia having force powers, I disagree with the way it was shown.

Captain Phasma is again wasted here. She has even less screen time here than she did the Force Awakens. She just shows up at the end to battle Finn, and Finn kills her. This is one of my few complaints about the film in that it is the waste of such a cool looking character, an actress playing that character, an I final confrontation that could’ve lasted longer. Especially if you read that Canon novel about her and the comic on how she got out of the trash compactor on Starkiller Base. She seemed way too bad ass to be defeated that easily. Oh well.

Grey Jedi: Hey I barely need to talk about this because they didn’t bring it into the movie! Thank God, instead they do something with a familiar face saying how failure is the greatest teacher and that Luke’s failure of creating a new Jedi order can teach Rey a lesson now to save Luke’s soul. Speaking of that familiar face….

Yoda: Yep, Yoda shows up as a Force Ghost. And while I liked what he did and talked about with Luke, his actual physical appearance is somewhat jarring. Yeah, the puppet is back, but the fucking puppet looks nothing like it did in the first cut of The Phantom Menace, The Empire, or even Return of the Jedi. Looks brand new and a little awkward. Other than that, I liked that they brought the Force Ghost back. And to people whining about it. The Force Ghost wasn’t really created until Qui Gon Jinn died, so only him, Anakin, Yoda, Obi-Wan, and another character at the end of this movie, are able to do that. So those of you saying why aren’t there a bunch of them, well there you go. Pay attention to the fucking movies.

SNOKE DIES!!!! LOVED LOVED LOVED LOVED LOVED LOVED this twist and how it plays out. Loved his death by Kylo Ren being cut in half. Completely blew away expectations. Did you think you were going to learn more about him? Nope, fuck you, probably will have to read a book or maybe something will be revealed in the next movie. We didn’t know much about the origin of the Emperor until the prequels were made, so do we really need to know everything about Snoke. Ever since the television show LOST promised us answers but didn’t ultimately give us that much, people have been expecting for everything to be explained. And it doesn’t have to be. I’m sure we’ll learn more about Snoke eventually. He was a cool villain. All of his scenes are menacing and he seemed very smart, and the fact that he was killed made everything that much sweeter.

Kylo Ren becoming the new Supereme Leader: you thought he was going to turn good when he killed Snoke and was fighting alongside Rey against the Paetorian Guards, but when they are alone, he reveals he just wants more power and to rule the galaxy. Loved that triple cross.

Balance of the Force: Loved the reveal of Rey’s parents being nobodies. That she is her own entity. And that she suddenly got so damn stronger in the Force in Force Awakens because Luke had completely shut himself off from it, so with Kylo and Snoke being so strong, there had to be a balance, and she was it. They could’ve brought in Grey Jedi who know both the light and the dark side to bring balance, but I liked this balance of power explanation much, much better.

THIS IS WHEN I SAW THE AUDIENCE SCORE ON ROTTEN TOMATOES AND STOPPED. SO WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, LET ME LET ERIC VESPE explain in a short article, why everything else I didn’t explain, made complete sense in this saga:

http://www.roosterteeth.com/post/51552869

 

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: STAR WARS EPISODE VIII THE LAST JEDI (COMPLETELY 200% SPOILER FREE!)

“This isn’t going to go the way you think.” Wow. You can definitely say that again Luke Skywalker. STAR WARS EPISODE VIII THE LAST JEDI absolutely did not go the way I thought it was going to, and thwarting my expectations might be the greatest thing to happen to me at the movies all year. The Last Jedi is a masterpiece, plain and simple. Yes, it is better than Rogue One. Way better. And yes, it is better than The Force Awakens, which was number one on my top 15 list two years ago. And I’m going to try to sneak this one past you but I can’t because I am going to list it at the bottom, it is better than A New Hope. The Empire Strikes Back is still my #1 Star Wars film, and probably always will be. But The Last Jedi will be the closest ever to try and almost topple its lead. The Last Jedi is the best film of 2017 for me, but that probably doesn’t surprise you.

But I 150% guarantee this movie will. Especially if you are smart enough to avoid spoilers. There WILL BE ABSOLUTELY NO SPOILERS AT ALL in this review. In fact, I am going to write a separate no holds barred in depth review sometime Sunday, describing to you what I thought of certain events, plot threads, character choices, battles, twists, turns, etc. But for right here and right now, this review is just going to hark on the fact that you need to see this in a theater as soon as you can. With the best picture quality and the best sound you can possibly find. The film has the best space battles/action of the entire saga, and seeing all those ships, stars, proton torpedoes, bombs, lasers…you need to see the entire shot and hear the enormous sounds with crystal clear quality.

Have you seen the trailers to The Last Jedi and have a certain movie playing itself out in your head? Of course you do. Now I suggest you get rid of it. Because that movie is not going to happen. The trailers, tv spots, minor clips you have seen do not even begin to describe how the marketing of the film has misled you. It’s like if they made a trailer to James Cameron’s Titanic and got you to think it would be a horror movie. Within the first 20 minutes the film slaps you on your ass and tells you to get into your corner, and to only come out when all of your expectations are put aside.

But I can tell you one thing that will make you breathe a sigh of relief. Remember when anyone can argue that The Force Awakens is a soft reboot/remake of A New Hope? This is NOT a soft reboot/remake of The Empire Strikes Back. Not even the battle on the white/red planet Crait that you’ve seen in the trailers made me think of Hoth, at all. Because even that battle does not go the way you think it will. Sure, the movie has a couple of callbacks to the original trilogy, mainly Empire and Return of the Jedi, but this film is its own. It is a true, true, sequel. Rian Johnson knew that he couldn’t just bring us more of the same. So he successfully did what George Lucas failed miserably at in the prequels. Bringing us something completely different while still feeling like a Star Wars movie. The problem with the prequels wasn’t that George Lucas wasn’t trying to give us something different, he was, it was just bogged down with lazy politics, bad acting, too many pointless over long choreographed lightsaber battles, and fucking Jar Jar Binks.

Just like in the Force Awakens and the original trilogy, the lightsaber battles here are not over long, feel real, and are extremely dangerous and deadly. The acting here is still top notch as well, with Mark Hamill giving his best performance not only as Luke Skywalker, but his best performance ever. Carrie Fisher also gives a commanding powerful performance. And all the new comers from the last movie, like Poe, Finn, and Rey, all still continue to give powerful performances, especially Oscar Isaac who got something to do in this movie and really upped his game here. But the new comers are where it is at. I really loved Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose, she was one of the best parts of the movie. I really liked Benicio Del Toro’s mystery character named DJ. And Laura Dern kind of floored me as Vice Admiral Amelia Holdo. Her arc here was powerful and Dern did a mesmerizing job, especially in the latter half of the film. Oh, and Gleeson as General Hux is still viciously grand.

And you’ve seen this in the preview, but yes, you get to see Andy Serkis’ Supreme Leader Snoke in the flesh, and the CGI on him is amazing, and probably one of the best fully CGI characters I have seen in the past decade, along with Caesar, which coincidentally Serkis also plays. The special effects all around here are top notch, especially the grand use of practical effects as well. BB-8 proves that as much as he is a cool practical effect, he has now become my favorite droid. The Porgs, thankfully, weren’t that annoying and actually kind of cute during some parts. Chewbacca, C-3P0, and R2-D2 weren’t overused and I appreciated that. You could tell that writer/director Rian Johnson took his time with the screenplay, it really shows.

If I had to complain about one thing, just one major thing about the film is that there is a little too much humor. Not to say that I wanted a completely dark and non humorous film like Empire Strikes Back, but Star Wars humor has usually always been pretty subtle. The humor here kind of winks at the camera a couple of two many times. Wasn’t enough to be completely jarring, but it might’ve taken me out of the movie for a second or two. And surprisingly, that humor doesn’t involve the Porgs. I also need to say that the last 45 minutes of this movie are near perfect. The editing, pacing, action, everything was just top notch and didn’t skip a beat. It’s the best uninterrupted 45 minutes in a Star Wars movie. While the middle slogs just a tiny, tiny bit, especially on Canto Bight, the last 45 minutes is just so good to overlook the tiny stretch of what came before.

Well, that is about all I can say before I start getting into spoilers, and I promise a 200% spoiler free review. I didn’t even get into plot mechanics here. Even describing some of the plot ruins the surprises and I cannot and will not do that to you. Like I said, a no holds barred review will come Sunday, but I will post spoiler warnings all over that motherfucker, don’t you worry. In conclusion, The Last Jedi is a masterpiece. At 2 hours and 30 minutes, the time just flew by, it didn’t even feel like it was close to that long. If you are a Star Wars fan at all, or even kind of remotely like the movies, you need to see this in a grand theater. Immediately. This weekend. Don’t wait too long or spoilers will eventually find their way to you. This is a movie where every surprise with make you gasp, scream, or squeal with delight. The Force was definitely with this movie. And may the Force be with you as well.

Rank of Star Wars Films For Me:

  1. The Empire Strikes Back
  2. The Last Jedi
  3.  A New Hope
  4. The Force Awakens
  5. Return of the Jedi
  6. Revenge of the Sith
  7. Rogue One
  8. The Phantom Menace
  9. Attack of the Clones

And if you count this I would put that shitty animated Clone Wars movie #10.

 

 

Zach’s Zany Star Wars: The Last Jedi Theories!!! 20 Predictions!!!

Hello there! Oh yes, that’s right, Star Wars Episode VIII The Last Jedi comes out tomorrow. And while I wasn’t a writer for movies on this site two years ago, on my Facebook page I did have several theories for The Force Awakens, a lot of which happened to come true. Now, I am going to do it again for The Last Jedi. Now the different of my knowledge from The Force Awakens to The Last Jedi is this: while I read a lot of rumors about story ideas, behind the scenes, and news regarding The Force Awakens, I have been virtually in the dark for The Last Jedi, other than seeing the two trailers and reading and watching every single canon Star Wars book,keeping up with Rebels, etc. So without further ado, I am going to make 20 predictions for The Last Jedi, which I am seeing tomorrow, which you will get a giant non-spoiler review for Friday, and then a spoiler filled one Monday. Now, these 20 predictions I have no inkling or clue if they are going to happen or not, so don’t be mad at me if they end up coming true. I am merely taking context clues from what I’ve seen of the trailers to what I have read in the canon novels.

  1. Rey is probably going to abandon Luke on Ach-To (that’s the island they ended on The Force Awakens), a la Luke abandoning Yoda on Degobah to go rescue his friend on cloud city, but instead of rescuing friends, she is going to try and bring Ben (Kylo Ren) to the light side of the force. (God knows why)
  2. I think almost nothing will be revealed on Snoke’s origins at all, and in a cool 2nd film twist, Snoke will be killed (instead of being killed a la Emperor in the third movie), probably by Luke, and we will have to learn Snoke’s origins a la the next movie, or through Star Wars canonical novels. After Snoke is killed, I think Ben will  completely ditch coming to the light side and go full dark, becoming the new leader of The First Order.
  3. I think there will be a Luke and Leia 3rd act reunion, and I think both with survive this movie, while Leia will probably get killed off screen between the movies, with a heart attack like she did in real life.
  4. Rey, Finn, and Poe will obviously survive this movie.
  5. Finn will be victorious in his battle with Phasma and Phasma will be killed in this film in a awesome death rather than being a Boba Fett bitch and dying stupidly in the third film.
  6. I do think that the new character Rose and Benecio Del Toro’s DJ character will die, based solely on the fact that you only see Finn fighting Phasma at the end. I bet Phasma kills Rose and makes Finn go fucking ballistic.
  7. We will probably see a famous force ghost! Doubt it will be Obi-Wan because we’ve already seen Alec Guinness as a old Obi-Wan Force Ghost so seeing Ewan McGregor would make no fucking sense unless they tried to do shitty make up on him. It will probably be either Hayden Christensen as Anakin (since they use him as a Force Ghost in an altered Return of the Jedi cut) or Yoda. Maybe even both. My money is on Yoda because Frank Oz is still alive and we want to see the realistic puppet again.
  8. The battle on Crait will be cool but will probably remind people too much of the Battle of Hoth.
  9. I think much more will be revealed about the Force. I don’t know if we are going to get Grey Jedi, or something of more of a balance to it, but we will learn more, although I doubt the word midichlorians will be mentioned. I am basing this on the fact that Luke said the Jedi must end and that it hints to an ultimate balance in the Star Wars Canonical novels.
  10. General Hux will probably die too. Don’t know how or why.
  11. The Porgs will be cute and everybody will want a fluffy one once they leave the theater. Chewy will probably eat at least one of them.
  12. Chewbacca, C-3P0, and R2-D2 will all survive.
  13. Here’s a wild ass theory. Laura Dern’s character is a new character named Amelia Holdo. She is briefly in the Leia, Princess of Alderaan book that came out a couple of months ago. She seems weird but friendly then. But I ultimately think that she will be the First Order traitor in the Resistance’s mist.
  14. We will probably not see Jakku or Takodana again. All new planets except for maybe Q-Dar, the resistance base in the last movie
  15. Maz Kanata will have one scene, and still won’t reveal how she got Luke Skywalker’s old saber.
  16. There will probably be less of a cliffhanger in this movie, and you’ll probably know more where they are going to take it in the 9th and final movie of the skywalker trilogy, than you did from Force Awakens to Last Jedi
  17. Leia will somehow use a bit of Force power other than feeling what is happening to a character in this one, revealing that Luke might have taught her a thing or two before he left.
  18. I don’t think the Knights of Ren will be explained in this one. Either Episode 9 or canonical novels. I don’t think they are as important as they seemed in Rey’s flashbacks.
  19. I don’t think Rey’s lineage will be revealed either, I think Rian Johnson is letting Abrams decide what he wants to do with it.
  20. I will probably like this film either right under The Empire Strikes Back, or it will be my favorite Star Wars movie ever.

Just escape the cubicle already

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