Safety is another one of those inspirational stories that really don’t have anything new to bring to the table, the true story itself is very inspiring and I definitely recommend looking up the actual story. The movie however at times feels like a huge chore to sit through it’s 122 minutes long which it honestly did not need to be. Jay Reeves and the rest of the cast do a fine enough job given that the script they got was nothing really too special. A lot of the film just felt way too safe (no pun intended) it was your basic inspirational movie cliches that any viewer can easily recognize. There are some genuine heartfelt moments that do work pretty well, but those take a lot of patience to get to, with that said the movie definitely isn’t bad. It’s just a movie that I don’t think I’ll ever watch again, it’s one of those Disney+ movies that could have easily been a Disney channel original but they decided to put it on Disney+. If it sounds like your type of movie check it out, otherwise don’t rush to watch it.
One thing Disney+ really needs to work on is advertising their original films, this is another case like Togo, Clouds and a few others where the advertising was just nonexistent. As for the actual movie it’s actually not too bad, Godmothered is essentially this year’s Noelle only that I would say it’s much better. Godmothered also does feel like a clone of Enchanted as it does borrow a lot from it, but at least the movie is fun and has some very genuine moments. Isla Fisher and Jillian Bell both do a very solid job in their roles, there are some jokes that surprisingly do work sure some of it is very Disney Channel type humor. But then you have some moments where the jokes are actually quite okay, speaking of which Godmothered does fall on the line between Disney Channel Original Movie and Disney+ Original Movie, but that’s not necessarily a bad case here because the movie embraces it. Godmothered knows what it wants to be and is straight to the point about it, it doesn’t try to be more then it really is or any less. Overall I say give Godmothered a go it’s a quick and easy watch!
Black Beauty is one of those stories that has been adapted into film a number of times, luckily this version is actually pretty decent. There is some decent acting with a pretty strong voice from Kate Winslet as Black Beauty that carries the movie pretty well. The writing has some genuine heartfelt moments that do give this movie some strength, it does suffer some pacing issues that ultimately do hold the film back. But it’s still a recognizable story that many people will love especially if you liked the other film adaptions.
Secret Society Of Second Born Royals is basically X-Men for a much younger audience mixed with a ton of Disney Channel original movie elements. There really isn’t a whole lot to comment on, the acting is what you would expect…terrible outside Peyton Elizabeth Lee which is hands down the best part about this movie. The writing plays way too safe to the point where it becomes predictable and really bad. It really doesn’t do anything besides repeating plots that’s been seen in far better movies. The third act feels very rushed, it feels like they had no more ideas so they went with the most predictable third act they possibly could. While the movie is very bad and I highly recommend not watching it…for the most part for a very young audience it’s harmless enough. The biggest problem with it is it really serves no purpose, it’s outclassed by X-Men and Sky High and is overall very forgettable. This could have honestly been so much worse but that doesn’t make it anything worth looking into.
Tate Taylor is a very unbalanced director it’s nice that he tries several different genres but most of the time his attempts turn out terrible. Sure he’s had some success with Get On Up (which is really great) and The Help (although I am not a fan of The Help but it is one of his better movies) but then you have stuff like Girl On The Train where it’s clear that creating a thrilling atmosphere is his struggle (Ma is at least fun and does a bunch of things right) Ava is one of those movies where if you have seen at least one action movie you have already seen this one. Jessica Chastain (for whatever reason is in this) is definitely the best part about it, but honestly she isn’t even that good in it either. Ava tries to copy off of almost every action movie that has been releasing in the last 3 years have a few recognizable stars and have one of them be the badass character. The problem is the action in this movie isn’t good, it does nothing to separate it from the crowd. The score consists of mostly one song just played over and over again in different styles, trust me it gets very annoying quickly. It would be one thing if the song was you know good..but that’s not the case here, it’s a piece of music that really isn’t that exciting or interesting. Ava is also yet another action movie trying to be John Wick but completely fails at it, mostly due to the action scenes which as I said before aren’t exciting at all and have no depth. The character development is barely in there and just filled with cliche characters and the writing just isn’t there to back the movie up. Overall Ava is a terrible action movie, give this one a pass.
Howard Ashman was one of the best lyricists of our time, this documentary about how an incredible of a human being he was really shows that. The documentary goes over quite a bit and really goes into many emotional aspects, plus what inspired him to write certain songs. Take “The Mob Song” from Beauty And The Beast for example, Howard Ashman had AIDS by the time he wrote this song, Ashman viewed the Beast’s curse as an allegory for AIDS. He was inspired to write this song from a public sentiment at the time that was against AIDS and the gay community. Which is honestly something I would never think that would be what the song’s inspiration was but it shows there’s a story even for songs you wouldn’t expect. He also wrote several classics Arabian Nights, Under The Sea, Belle, Prince Ali, Be Our Guest, Beauty and the Beast and several others. The man was a mastermind and really seemed passionate at what he does, then there’s the emotional parts of the documentary that almost made me cry. It’s honestly really sad and shows how much of a good person Howard Ashman was to everyone around him, it’s heartbreaking to watch. Overall what else is there to say really? It’s a very straightforward documentary yet something truly special and one of the best films I’ve seen so far this year, I highly recommend watching it as soon as you can!
The One and Only Ivan is a movie I was not expecting to like as much as I did, based on a true story we have a pretty interesting story. The acting and voice acting were both really solid, Bryan Cranston, Sam Rockwell, Brooklyn Prince, Ariana Greenblatt and Danny DeVito were definitely the standouts. The writing was overall not too bad, it did have it’s hiccups at times (a few fart jokes) but otherwise there was some genuinely meaningful dialogue in the movie that was heartwarming. The movie does start off slow but picks up quickly as it goes on, the score I thought was overall well done and matched the tone of the movie. The original song from this movie “Free” by Charlie Puth and written by Diane Warren was excellent and matches the movie really well. There are some sad moments that add to this movie that are actually well done, The One and Only Ivan is a huge crowd pleaser and is definitely one of the better Disney+ Original movies!