Pinocchio (2022)..completely misses the point of the original

A puppet is brought to life by a fairy, who assigns him to lead a virtuous life in order to become a real boy.

Pinocchio is the newest of the Disney Live Action Remakes and is by far one of the absolute worst ones, it’s truly baffling to me how badly they messed this up. The original Pinocchio is one of Disney’s absolute best films they have ever done, it’s a story that was both dark but also very charming as well. This remake however takes everything the original did perfectly and completely misses on what made it so well done, the only positive I can give here is Cynthia Ervio as The Blue Fairy and her performance of “When You Wish Upon A Star” she did a beautiful job and has a tremendous singing voice that captures the magic of the song. The rest of the movie is missing a key element that the original had a lot of…heart and magic, the original movie despite the dark nature of some of the story was also filled with so much heart in it that made the characters so lovable. In this movie Geppetto (Tom Hanks) and Pinocchio (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) have absolutely no connection between one another, which was a key part of the original movie. So that really defeats the purpose of the story the movie is trying to tell, the CGI is bafflingly cheap some of the movements from the characters are either delayed or just don’t match. Monstro was done horribly with this movie, which again brings this back to Geppetto and Pinocchio. Monstro was an important part of the original Pinocchio serving as bridge to Geppetto’s and Pinocchio’s chemistry, in this movie it is so poorly done and has no passion put into it at all. Which is the main issue here this movie has the biggest “we don’t care” attitude to it, nothing here other than Cynthia Ervio has no energy, heart or passion put into it. Which is exactly the problem with a lot of these remakes (outside of a few) they heavily rely on cheap nostalgia and don’t even do justice to the original movies, what’s unfortunate is this could have been decent, Robert Zemeckis who despite his last couple movies not exactly being that great. Is still a very talented filmmaker who’s given us tons of classics (Back To The Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Forrest Gump) I only have to assume that he wasn’t given the creative freedom because this a lifeless movie that is so horribly written is not the thing you think of when you think Robert Zemeckis.

Pinocchio is available on Disney+

1/10 F

Encanto is a magical ride for all the right reasons!

The Madrigals are an extraordinary family who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia in a charmed place called the Encanto. The magic of the Encanto has blessed every child in the family with a unique gift — every child except Mirabel. However, she soon may be the Madrigals last hope when she discovers that the magic surrounding the Encanto is now in danger.

The last half of 2021 has really delivered a ton of surprises when it comes to film and Encanto is absolutely no exception. Before going into the film I was prepared for another nothing special about it Disney film that wouldn’t do anything interesting. Encanto is quite different, first off the characters are all actually really well done. The writing for this film feels much more grounded and feels like the writers wanted to give the characters their own personality and dive more into said personalities rather than just list them and that’s it. It really dives deep into family themes such as relationships and how families can be flawed, when you compare Encanto to a lot of other Disney films that have released over the last few years you can tell it’s very different. The world building is also quite incredible, it shows both the light and the dark side of the world and establishes early on how much the world means to the characters. The music is some of the best from a Disney film in quite awhile, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s choice of music is absolutely spot on and matches the tone, energy and style the film is going for. Which leads to the cast who have beautiful singing voices and completely hit it out of the park when it comes to emotions, each song really hits the viewer with a different emotion. As well as each song having it’s own identity with a lot of energy and strength put into them, overall Encanto is truly a charming film that surprised me. It’s one of the best films of the year make sure to watch this one.

Encanto is available on Disney+

10/10 A+

Jungle Cruise (2021) Movie Review!

Based on Disneyland’s theme park ride where a small riverboat takes a group of travelers through a jungle filled with dangerous animals and reptiles but with a supernatural element.

Jungle Cruise is the type of movie where I was expecting to absolutely hate it, while the movie is heavily flawed I couldn’t help but have a lot of fun with it. I’ll start with what I really liked, what made this movie worth watching through the end for me was Emily Blunt. I might be biased because she’s my favorite actress but she really did a solid job in her role, she looked like she had a lot of fun in the role and was very entertaining throughout the movie. The Rock also does a really solid job as well, if there’s one thing that can be said about The Rock it’s that he knows how to sell a movie to the audience. He’s pretty great in front of the camera and always looks like he’s having the time of his life, which fit this movie quite well. The jokes had their moments of genuinely being funny which was mostly the puns (again I might be biased since I love puns) finally I liked that the movie kind of just goes nuts towards the end like yes there are some stylistic choices that were terrible (I’ll get to that) but there are the moments are genuinely enjoyable that make for a really fun movie. As I said before Jungle Cruise is heavily flawed and some of the stylistic choices are some of the major problems, at times the movie tries to be way too serious Jessie Plemons plays one of the villains and I feel like his character feels completely out of place. It also doesn’t help that he wasn’t very good either, other weird choices include going back and forth between being comedic and being serious. Which I’m not saying a movie can’t do that, the editing just sort of made it very awkward in this case. Everything else in the movie such as the writing weren’t bad by any means just nothing really noteworthy, it did the job and that was about it. Overall Jungle Cruise could have been a lot worse, it’s a fun movie to put on during a lazy afternoon. It got the job done and sometimes that’s all a movie needs to do.

Jungle Cruise is now available in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access!

6/10 C+

Luca (2021) Movie Review!

On the Italian Riviera, an unlikely but strong friendship grows between a human being and a sea monster disguised as a human.

Being who you are can be hard, coming out (in any given sense) and expressing who you are as a person is not easy. Luca is a film that does quite a fantastic job of showing just that, the animation is stunning and gives the characters, the environment and the interaction between the characters so much life. It gives off this raw feel to it which is actually not very common in a lot of animated films, the story is absolutely beautifully told. It’s told in this dreamlike feel to it that feels very real but also like a dream at the same time, it’s a very interesting approach and one that I definitely appreciated. As I said before Luca uses the theme of hiding who you really are and does it in such a clever way, as the movie goes on it uses the theme in a lot of interesting and clever ways. It is a common theme to use in a tv show or a movie but I would argue that Luca uses it in the most unique and far more interesting way. The character development is also spot on, instead of quickly rushing to meet several different characters the movie takes it’s time for the audience and the movie itself to get to know the characters. Luca gets more and more meaningful as it goes on which is truly something special, the writing has tons of powerful moments that did make me cry at times. Pixar really hit this one out of the park, Luca is one of my favorite films of the year! Definitely check this one out!!

Luca is now available on Disney+

10/10 A+

Cruella (2021) Movie Review!

Estella is a young and clever grifter who’s determined to make a name for herself in the fashion world. She soon meets a pair of thieves who appreciate her appetite for mischief, and together they build a life for themselves on the streets of London. However, when Estella befriends fashion legend Baroness von Hellman, she embraces her wicked side to become the raucous and revenge-bent Cruella.

Those of you who know me or have followed me for awhile now know I am not a fan of what Disney has been doing with these live action remakes/other movies like Maleficent. The last live action remake I remember actually really liking was The Jungle Book, everything else has really ranged from terrible to just passable (I really don’t count Christopher Robin I feel like that is entirely different movie on it’s own it’s a fantastic movie by the way) and seeing how not so good Maleficent was I had very little faith in Cruella….that was until more and more came out about it. Such as the director of I, Tonya and the writer of The Favourite being involved it then started to become very promising and I really have to say they pulled it off. First off let’s start with the cast because that’s one of Cruella’s strongest areas. Emma Stone does a fantastic job as Cruella when it was first announced she would be taking the role it sounded like a very odd choice but she really made it work. She does a fantastic job of bringing the character to life it’s quite fascinating, Emma Thompson does a really good job as The Baroness sure it might be sort of a generic role but she really makes it work, Joel Fry and Paul Walter Hauser I have to say were both fantastic they were genuinely funny and were really into their roles they played a very different take on Horace and Jasper which keeps things interesting and fresh! The costumes, production design and cinematography are all absolutely beautiful and definitely some of the strongest parts of the movie, it shows unlike a lot of the other live action disney movies Cruella actually has style to it and it’s own personality where as the other movies have a lot of the exact same style and have nothing to differentiate from one another. The writing does have it’s flaws such as having some incredibly stupid moments, however there are the campy moments that the movie fully embraces that I can’t help but love. It’s a ton of fun to see a movie embracing the campy feel in certain scenes combine that with Emma Stone’s energetic performance as Cruella and you have yourself a truly fun movie that is surprisingly really great! Cruella is something I highly recommend watching, I truly hope Disney keeps this up and from this point forward tries to give the future live action remakes or villain origin stories their own identity.

Cruella is now in Theaters and on Disney+ (premier access)

8/10 B+

Top 100 Best Films Of 2020

I apologize this is pretty late between festivals and other stuff I’ve been delaying this for a bit. But here it is better late then never, I do want to clear up that I’ll be going back to a Top 60 Best and Worst when it comes time to do the 2021 lists. The only reason why I decided on doing a top 100 for 2020 was to give other films a chance to shine due to COVID-19. For 100-26 I won’t be talking about them at all except for maybe a few movies that just missed the top 25. For the Top 25 I’ll say a few things about them but nothing too crazy. With that said I hope you enjoy and hope this helps you find movies you want to watch.


So a few here that just barely missed the top 25.

Wolfwalkers is a fantastic animated film that really tells a beautiful story in great detail and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom gives arguably Chadwick Boseman’s best performance of his career!


The Lodge is definitely a strange but fantastic horror film, it released in early February of 2020 and I definitely feel a lot of people missed it. It’s a pretty interesting horror movie that keeps you guessing on what’s going to happen next definitely recommended. And Happiest Season I wanted to put in the Top 25 really badly but the competition in 2020 was really tough. It’s a fantastic film and as I said in my review I can definitely see it becoming a classic to watch during the holidays.

Now for the Top 25!

25. Miss Americana – This film was an early favorite of 2020 coming out in January and on Netflix. This is one of the few documentaries where you actually get to see a human side to an artist in this case Taylor Swift. Which she share’s pretty much everything with the audience, I absolutely admire the energy of this documentary Taylor is telling everyone who attacked or made stuff up about her that she’s not going to be pushed around anymore. You also actually start to feel for her as well seeing the media pretty much slander her, create false narratives that doesn’t exist and much more. Truly a fantastic documentary that I haven’t forgotten about

24. Time – This is a personal about Fox Rich fighting for the release of her husband, the documentary is power that’s honestly the best way to sum it up. It shows how much Fox loves her husband to the point where you feel the pain and sadness she’s going through, this is seriously a beautifully made documentary that will most definitely make you cry.

23. Hamilton – Not much to say here to be quite honest, before I saw the performance on Disney+ I actually had never seen Hamilton before but I always wanted to. So it was great opportunity when Disney+ had recording Hamilton, what’s even better is it makes you feel like you are right there in the theater.

22. Dick Johnson Is Dead – A fantastic idea that is executed perfectly, the documentary is effect due to Kristen and her father’s relationship it’s both hilarious and meaningful.

21. Relic – A very horrifying take on Dementia, Natalie Erika James absolutely knocks it out of the park in the director’s chair, she knows how to make interesting character development and how to make a film as haunting as possible. When you combine that with the atmosphere it’s truly horrifying!

20. Euphoria: Trouble Don’t Last Always – Again another one with not much to say, it’s a fantastic look at Rue and Ali’s characters. Both are going through several problems and they talk out, it’s a very realistic and emotional look at a conversation about drug addiction. Levinson does a fantastic job with the directing and the character development as I said before is fantastic.

19. Host – Host just sort of came out of nowhere and ended up being on a lot of people’s favorite films of 2020 lists and mine is no exception. I’m a huge fan of the social media horror/thriller movies, like Searching, Cam, Unfriended, The Den and a few others! Host ends up being one of the absolute best, it’s entirely on a Zoom call which ends up giving the film a much more realistic approach as well, the film itself is very atmospheric, haunting and just an overall a incredible ride that may only be 56 minutes long but it’s much more effective than a lot of Hollywood horror movies.

18. Shirley – 2020 was definitely Elisabeth Moss’s year when it came to film, She absolutely knocked it out of the park with her role in Shirley. It feels like a dreamlike horror of a fairytale, Josephine Decker’s direction feels like a fantasy come to life combined with beautiful cinematography and a hypnotic feel to the film. It’s truly a beautiful display of storytelling!

17. Bad Education – Cory Finley did a fantastic job with his previous film Thoroughbreds and he did a fantastic job here! Hugh Jackman and Alison Janney both do an incredible job, the film does a fantastic job of telling the story of the largest public school embezzlement in American history, the writing is flawless and leads to incredibly raw moments. Make sure to watch this one if you haven’t already!

16. The King Of Staten Island – Pete Davidson also had a strong year when it came to movies, first with Big Time Adolescent and then with King Of Staten Island. The best way to sum up King Of Staten Island is that everything about it is raw, the acting is raw, the writing is raw, the film is shot in this very raw style. The story is simple yet very interesting as well, it has that “showing the daily lives or life of a certain person or group of people” type feel. Truly a remarkable film!

15. One Night In Miami – The idea of having four different black icons (Malcolm X, Cassius Clay, Jim Brown and Sam Cooke) telling their thoughts on topics such as civil rights movement, the black community and much more makes a very interesting concept that results in a flawless execution. One Night In Miami gets even stronger when all four have a discussion with each other. Sharing their agreements, disagreements and topics they feel neutral on, it really explores who they are and what they ultimately think about the topic. The four sharing very different viewpoints and ideas is truly fascinating. Regina King knocks it out of the park with her direction as well!

14. Soul – One of Pixar’s strongest films, it hits you with all sorts of questions that you start to think about in a very deep way, Soul is definitely a very human movie about our choices, what we want to do in the future and so on. The storytelling is just that strong and magical truly masterful!

13. The Devil All The Time – “Some people are born just made to be buried” “It is our delusions that lead us to sin” those quotes really sum up how dark this film is, it’s truly an incredible film that looks at a small town and just how messed up pretty much everyone in the town is Robert Pattinson and Tom Holland are both fantastic as well as Sebastian Stan and Bill Skarsgard!! Truly a messed up film that I recommend!

12. Lovers Rock – 70 Minutes of some of the most beautiful scenes I’ve seen in a film of 2020, from the acting, to the writing to the absolute beautiful “Silly Games” scene it made me cry at least 3 different times Steve McQueen really did a fantastic job!

11. The Invisible Man – Leigh Whannell has proven he’s an Incredibly talented director after his previous film Upgrade there came Invisible Man which is truly an incredible horror film. Elisabeth Moss slays it in her role and truly gives a raw performance that is quite powerful! The film tackles PTSD In a very respectful manner as well which is again because Whannell set out to make this movie as good as possible. It’s haunting, surprising and truly one dark horror film that doesn’t hold back at all.

10. Possessor – kicking off the top 10 we have Possessor a disturbing horror film that Brandon Cronenberg did a wonderful job with. Between the brutal kills, the haunting atmosphere, the writing and acting being as realistic as possible and so much more Possessor really hits it out of the park when it comes to horror films that will definitely go on to be modern classics

9. Promising Young Woman – Carey Mulligan is fantastic in the leading role, Emerald Fennell’s realistic direction makes this film all the more powerful, the aesthetic of the film is just wonderful and the thrilling atmosphere really gives this film so much strength, the paths this film took were smart. It’s definitely not for everyone but for me it’s quite great!

8. I’m Thinking Of Ending Things – Definitely 2020’s “what the hell did I just watch?” Movie in the best way possible, it’s a very well acted film that really keeps you guessing of what’s real and what’s not. Jessie Buckley, Jesse Plemons and Toni Collette all do a fantastic job in their roles, Kaufman’s direction is masterful and the film itself is a one of a kind experience!

7. The Assistant – One of the most powerful films of 2020, it depicts sexual abuse In the work place in the most realistic way possible, Julia Garner does a fantastic job, the film also never ends up showing the boss which I still think is really clever of the film. Kitty Green does a great job of creating the mannerisms of the co-workers in the type of environment and so much more. It’s an incredible disturbing watch that I still think about.

6. The Father – I recently did a review for this one so I’ll just post a link to my review right here

5. First Cow – it’s a film that says a lot while doing the smallest things. John Magaro and Orion Lee both hit it out of the park, both of them give raw performances combined with incredible writing truly makes them some of the best performances of the year. Just the discussions the both of them have with each other is fascinating to watch, it feels very grounded and it sticks with you as well. The friendship element I absolutely loved, the direction from Kelly Reichardt is very special she shows how realistic she wants this movie to be. She shows that showing the simplest things such as two characters having a simple discussion can be one of the strongest elements In a film, the music and the filming both are incredible. They both match the setting extremely well and give the viewer a feel of where it’s taking place.

4. Never Rarely Sometimes Always – This the type of film that just sticks with you, I’ve thought about this film constantly. The best word to describe the film is powerful, Sidney Flanigan gives one of the best performances of 2020 and truly does a perfect job, there are tons of scenes that ripped me to shreds truly an incredible film.

3. Minari – it’s the American Dream in a film, it’s everything that the dream stands for and Lee Isaac Chung showed just that on every single level.

2. Sound Of Metal – A film that makes you thankful for what you have, asks you what would happen if you woke up one day and lost something that is your happiness and it can slip away just like that. In this case it’s hearing which is important to a drummer, Riz Ahmed gives one of the most emotional and truly impactful roles.

1. Nomadland – Chloe Zhao really went and directed one of the most beautiful films out there, Nomadland takes the spot of number one because of how meaningful, beautiful, emotional and raw it really is. From the music, to the acting, writing, direction and so much more. It really does feel like you are on a trip with Fern. Nomadland is simply a masterpiece that is on a whole other level, it’s truly something you don’t see often at all in film. Chloe Zhao is truly Incredible and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

“One of the things I love most about this life is that there’s no final goodbye. You know, I’ve met hundreds of people out here and I don’t ever say a final goodbye. I always just say, “I’ll see you down the road.”

Thank you for your patience with this list! I hope you enjoyed!!

Raya And The Last Dragon (2021) Movie Review!

In a realm known as Kumandra, a re-imagined Earth inhabited by an ancient civilization, a warrior named Raya is determined to find the last dragon.

Raya And The Last Dragon is a brilliant film, that showcases so many strong elements in one film. For starters Kelly Marie Tran and Awkwafina are both incredible especially their chemistry. The both of them work so well together and go all out with their talent, the animation is absolutely stunning. Combine the animation with the world building and you get something truly beautiful, speaking of which the world building is brilliant it really displays the culture and is very respectful of it as well. The score is flawless it combines so many different types of incredible sounds and instruments together such as exotic strings, and hand drums with synths and a booming bass. Truly some beautiful music that completely fits this movie, the story is emotional, powerful and just overall a joy to listen to. The directors Carlos López Estrada (Blindspotting) and Don Hall (Big Hero 6) both did an incredible, they truly brought so much to the film. Seeing Disney tackle a different culture and doing it respectfully is a breath of fresh air that I most certainly would not mind seeing them do it again. The writing is also top notch, it’s quite honestly some of the most beautiful writing I’ve seen in a Disney animated movie in awhile (not counting Pixar). Finally there’s the characters which are fantastic, they are given so much character development and are given so much care to the point where you fall for the characters. Overall Raya And The Last Dragon is one of the strongest films so far this year, truly a beautiful film that I highly recommend.

9/10 A

Flora & Ulysses (2021) Movie Review!

The adventures of a young girl and a squirrel with superpowers.

Flora & Ulysses is definitely a bit better than expected, what’s weird about this movie is how good the cast actually is, like Ben Schwartz, Matilda Lawler and everyone else does a very decent job for a very silly movie about a flying squirrel. This is the type of movie where I can’t see myself ever watching it again, but I would most definitely recommend it to parents who have kids, it’s a very harmless movie that has a few some decent jokes (don’t expect anything laugh out loud funny) and the story simple yet decent enough. For what the movie is it gets the job the done it knows what it’s going for. Not much else to say about this one although the Marvel references start to get really old after awhile.

6/10 C+

Soul (2020)

A musician who has lost his passion for music is transported out of his body and must find his way back with the help of an infant soul learning about herself.

Soul is once again another beautiful film by Pixar, there is so much here to talk about it’s overwhelming so let’s just work our way down! First we have the characters which are pretty great, we explore a lot about our main character Joe who is a man that is obsessed about Jazz music, Soul takes a very simple premise and manages to do something extremely beautiful with it. You also have some simple but gorgeous writing, there’s some genuine great humor in there that really works. Then you have a ton of moments where the movie hits you with a ton of bricks that are full of emotions, the film itself makes you ask a lot of questions about yourself such as “what is my passion?” “What do I see myself doing 10 years” this is some of the most real questions Pixar has asked in quite awhile, which says something considering a lot of their other films. The animation is stunning there is no other way to put it, it has this photorealistic look to it and the characters look incredible as well, the storytelling is magical it really hits you with question after question while throwing in some genuine comedic moments as well. Which leads me to my next point the film balances comedic moments with the serious moments, it’s the type of balance where you really appreciate it to the point where it feels like a very real film. I think that’s part of the reason why Pete Doctor’s previous film “Inside Out” didn’t work as well as it did for many others, it was a great film but a lot of the comedic moments really took away a from the film. In Soul that doesn’t happen anywhere in the film, it truly delivers on every single level. The barbershop scene is a huge highlight of the movie showing genuine conversations in the film, something you don’t see very often in a lot of animated movies. With a lot of animated films it’s always about being over the top and making 20 different variations of the same joke. But luckily Pixar (they have messed up in the past) strives to create some of the most beautiful and meaningful films out there and Soul just might be one of their crowning achievements. The film feels like a very human movie like it was made for the audience, which is a very beautiful film and quite special as well. Overall Soul is one of the most beautiful films of the year and truly a fantastic way to finish 2020! I highly recommend giving this one a watch! Just be prepared to cry your eyes out because it is a very emotional film!

10/10 A+

Safety (2020)

The story of Ray-Ray McElrathbey, a freshman football player for Clemson University, who secretly raised his younger brother on campus after his home life became too unsteady.

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.

6/10 C+