Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride


Release year: 1998
Production company: Disneytoon Studios
Voice talents: Matthew Broderick, Neve Campbell, Jason Marsden, Suzanne Pleshette, Andy Dick, Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella

Peace has been restored to the Pridelands and Simba (Broderick) the lion has taken his place as the rightful King of Pride Rock. And now Simba must work to raise his young daughter Kiara (Campbell) the way his father raised him, after all she will be Queen one day! But when Kiara meets and falls in love with Kovu (Marsden), an outcast lion who's outcast mother Zira (Pleshette) wants to avenge Scar and take over rule of Pride Rock. Does Simba turn his back on Kovu and forbid Kiara from seeing him because of this feud from so long ago? Or is the time for acceptance and forgiveness upon the Pridelands?

After watching The Lion King, my immediate first thought was that I HAD to see The Lion King 2! I remembered being obsessed with this movie, I remember getting chills while watching the trailer....and I also vaguely remember - with some embarrassment - that I totally had a crush on Kovu the Lion. But after so many years, and after my slight disappointment with other Disney sequels I haven't seen for years - looking at you Pocahontas II... - could The Lion King 2 hold up? Was there a chance? Absolutely!!

Seriously though, James Marsden is one hot lion. Don't judge. 

I absolutely adored that Simba's Pride kept so many of our favorite characters around for this movie while also introducing a slew of new ones, including a heart-wrenching new romance! I swoon! Move over Simba and Nala, Kiara and Kovu are the new hot couple o the block! With a host of new songs as well, this movie had a very similar feel to the first movie, but with one glaring difference. Simba's Pride is DARK! There's death, corruption, loads of violence, and some moments with seriously sinister undertones! How did I not get nightmares?! And the darkness in this movie isn't even a major issue, it adds to the depth of the story. And while there are many more reasons for children to have nightmares in this movie, I still loved it and would highly recommend it! Simba's Pride was excellent!

Look at how cute the new babies are! Ugh! I love them!

The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride gets a 5 OF 5 must own for fans of The Lion King and those who love animated Disney movies with a bit of a darker twist to them. But just as we've experience with THE LION KING 1 1/2, we get new music and adorable new characters intermingling with our old favorites...this is an excellent franchise and I recommend owning all 3 movies!

Prepare for more musical excellence..also, 
this song makes me want to cry every time...

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Lion King 1 1/2


Release year: 2004
Production company: Disneytoon Studios
Voice talents: Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella, Julie Kavner, Jerry Stiller, Matthew Broderick

Now that we have born witness to the incredible tale of family and fate that is The Lion King, it's time to shift gears and focus on the origins of the lesser sung heroes of the story: Timon the Meerkat and Pumbaa the Warthog! Struggling to conform to the regimented life of the Meerkat colony, Timon (Lane) decides to venture out into the great wide grasslands of Africa to find where he belongs in the world! Along the way Timon joins forces with Pumbaa, who was cast out of his own herd, and the two begin their journey of finding a new home. But along the way, Timon and Pumbaa will learn some tough lessons about friendship, loyalty, and sacrificing what you want in order to help out others.

I seriously wasn't kidding when I said that I had been bitten by the Lion King bug! The minute I watched the first movie, I was instantly wanting to keep plugging along. And even though 1 1/2 could be seen as an afterthought movie, or one that just got forced into creation because Disney wanted to draw out the franchise, I can assure you that this movie is hilarious and totally worth the watch!

For a movie made nearly 10 years, I love that the original voice talents were able to come back together once again - that's literally one of my favorite things that sequels can ever do! This movie also a couple of new characters thrown into the mix who are incredibly adorable and expand on the story as well! I am also a big fun of the fact that we just get more Timon and Pumbaa period - they are hilarious characters who definitely steal the show in the first movie so it seems only natural that they need their own space to shine! Which they do with a series of hilarious new jokes and songs - I apologize in advance if the Dig A Tunnel song gets stuck in your head... Overall, The Lion King 1 1/2 is a hilarious new addition to the Lion King franchise and I deeply enjoyed getting to revisit and laugh along with it!

Oh, did I also forget to mention that this movie totally

The Lion King 1 1/2 gets a 5 OF 5 must own for fans of Disney movies more on the comedy side, and for those who also love The Lion King, this movie just expands on a story and series of characters we already know and love! You literally have nothing to lose from seeing this movie!

I'm sorry but not sorry - this song is stuck in my head so
I must share!!

Monday, May 21, 2018

The Lion King

Release year: 1994
Production company: Walt Disney Pictures
Voice talents: James Earl Jones, Jeremy Irons, Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Rowan Atkinson, Whoopi Goldberg, Jonathan Taylor Thomas

Upset rocks the Pride Lands of Africa when the leader of the lion pride Mufasa (Jones) is killed in a wildebeest stampede and his son Simba, and heir to his legacy, goes missing. With no one to act as king, evil Scar (Irons) takes the throne and slowly destroys the Pride Lands by letting his hyena henchmen run rampant! Meanwhile, young Simba ran far away to a jungle paradise where he made friends with Timon the Meerkat (Lane) and Pumbaa the Warthog (Ernie Sabella)...but just because Simba (Broderick) ran away doesn't mean that he's escaped his past or his destiny. Will Simba realize that he must go home to save his family and challenge Scar for the throne?

Feel free to cast judgement all your want, but for the past week my go-to shower singing song of choice has been The Circle of Life. Complete with all the African words where I insert my own words because I don't know what they're really saying. Judge away, but I totally rock that song! And because I've been singing this song like crazy, all I've been thinking about is watching The Lion King - it's easily been years since I watched it. WHICH IS A CRIME!! I forgot how truly epic and amazing this movie is!! Have you watched it recently?! If not, please change that.

Are you as excited about The Lion King as I am?! 

Aside from a small handful of earlier Disney movies like 101 Dalmatians and The Jungle Book, I feel like The Lion King is the first Disney movie to center around an all-animal story - revolutionary from the beginning! And the cast of characters... oh man. Beautiful animation coupled with the voice talents of real heavy hitter actors - sorry James Early Jones, but the minute I hear your voice I will always see you as Mufasa the lion! - and on top of it all, these characters are iconic! Timon and Pumbaa, everyone knows them! Simba and Nala, one of the greatest love stories of all time. Even without seeing the movie, people know the characters!

Look at how cute and adorable and beautiful they all are!!

Now, I know lots of people love to rip on The Lion King because it's basically Shakespeare's Hamlet but with lions.... and to them I say, "Sooooo, what's the issue?" I love that Disney can transform a piece of classic literature into a child-friendly movie so all audiences can enjoy! The plot of the movie is painfully tragic but with a little Disney magic and glorious music courtesy of Tim Rice and Elton John - AAAAHHHHH!!!! - the movie is also delightfully lighthearted and fun! And it's beautiful to boot! Oh! Man! The scenery, the animation of the characters...it's just all so beautiful! Disney seriously got it right with The Lion King, nothing can top it's glory!

Also, Mufasa is definitely my favorite character. Can I keep him? 

The Lion King gets a 5 OF 5 must own for Disney fans and basically all humans. For those who haven't seen The Lion King, I highly advise that you change that immediately. I have my own personal Disney movies that I believe are essential, but I feel like The Lion King is a movie that everyone needs to see and everyone will love. See it if you haven't! And rewatch it if you haven't seen it for a while! Also, I will be doing posts on both The Lion King 1 1/2 and The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride...because now I officially cannot get enough Lion King in my life..... NAAAAAAA SE QWEN YAAAAAA SAY FELIZ NAVIDAD......

Just because I don't know the words doesn't mean I'm not going to sing!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt


Release year: 2017
Production company: 3 Arts Entertainment
Starring: Ellie Kemper, Tituss Burgess, Carol Kane, Jane Krakowski

After being held captive by a crazy doomsday reverend in an underground bunker for the past 15 years, Kimmy Schmidt (Kemper) and her fellow "mole women" are rescued from the bunker and are given the chance to lead normal lives and get reintroduced to the world. So with 15 years worth of technological advances, cultural shifts, and new sets of responsibilities and fashion faux pas, Kimmy decides to start her new life over in New York City! And with the help of her deranged landlord Lillian (Kane) and her gay actor roommate Titus (Burgess), Kimmy is going to start functioning like a real adult and do things real adults do like go to college and get a job! Go Kimmy go!

Oh man...this show. I have heard nothing but excellent things about Kimmy Schmidt but since I've been too busy rewatching Parks and Rec and Top Chef for the thousandth time I just couldn't find the time to dedicate to a brand new show. But finally, the time came! I watched a single episode during my lunch break at work a few weeks ago and have been HOOKED ever since! No amount of reviews and hearsay had done this show any justice!! Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is simply fantastic!!

I cannot decide where to even start. The cast, the plot, the comedy, the ambiance...it's all wonderful!! The choice of Ellie Kemper for Kimmy was simply perfect - youthful but with the potential for maturity, fantastic physical enthusiasm, the ability to act as someone in perpetual motion who loves breaking out into song...perfection! Ellie Kemper is endearing! And then there's Tituss Burgess - OH MY GOD DO I LOVE TITUSS!!! Playing a character who is stereotypical-fabulously gay while still remaining respectful is no easy task and he pulls it off brilliantly! But he has so much depth as a character too - balancing upbeat optimism, crushing depression, and intense delusions of grandeur... Tituss accidentally steals the show from time to time from Ellie but I don't mind, they're excellent characters! I knew from the first episode when the two were holding hands in Times Square while passionately singing The Circle of Life from The Lion King while Tituss is dressed in a robot costume that these two would become my favorite people. And they are. Kimmy and Titus are ultimate friendship goals.

Literally the best scene of the whole show and this was the
first episode! It just gets better from here!

As for the plot of the show, it's seriously too funny at times! Tons of metaphorical humor that can lean toward delusional at times. All of the characters have very skewed views of reality - overly dramatic views, painfully sheltered-from-being-trapped-in-a-bunker-for-15-years views, too-rich-to-understand-real-life views - which leads for hilarious miscommunication and sassy word play! And there are also a couple of mini subplots that give us a taste of all the different characters in the show so not only do we end up liking and rooting for everyone but the show literally never has a dull moment! I'm in the middle of season 3 and I'm still not bored! But better still than the comedy and the plot and the characters is the overall vibe of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. This is the most uplifting, positive, happy show I've ever watched! To some degree, all shows have their lulls or moments of sadness or upset. But nothing ever gets Kimmy down! This show gives you much needed pep and a reason to smile. This show is happiness! In a world filled with whodunit murder documentaries and sex dramas, Kimmy is bright shining beacon of positivity and sunshine - this is the greatest show and I want everyone to watch it!

I cannot say enough nice things about Kimmy Schmidt!
This girl and this show are both perfection!

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt gets a 5 OF 5 must own for those who love upbeat sitcoms and shows filled with uplifting humor. I walk away from every episode with a smile and the desire to watch 8 more episodes... I seriously cannot get enough! Which is kind of heartbreaking because the fourth season - dropping on Netflix on May 30th - will be the final season... I'm not ready for it to be over but I'm so in love with the show that I almost can't be mad. Almost.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Thor: Ragnarok


Release year: 2017
Production company: Marvel Studios
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Cate Blanchett, Mark Ruffalo, Jeff Goldblum, Idris Elba, Karl Urban, Benedict Cumberbatch

Thor (Hemsworth) and his brother Loki (Hiddleston) learn at the time of their father's death that they have an estranged sister whom their father has been holding captive because she is capable of destruction beyond comprehension. But when their father (Hopkins) dies, Hela the Goddess of Death (Blanchett) is released and returns to Asgard to reclaim the throne as her own. Thor and Loki attempt to overthrow Hela and instead wind up being thrown into an alternate world where Loki is treated as a friend, and Thor is locked away and forced to fight for his freedom like a gladiator! But with the help of new and old friends, Thor and Loki will return to Asgard to overthrow Hela and save the universe from her darkness.

Feeling like Thor meets Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, I have heard nothing but amazing things about this movie since BEFORE it hit theaters last year! Aside from Captain America, Thor seems to have quickly become everyone's favorite Avenger and rightfully so! A smugly pompous personality that is also insanely lovable but naive at the same time - he's a hunk with a heart, and you just can't not like that dashing bright smile! And while Ragnarok has some truly excellent moments.. I'm nervous that Marvel could be treading dangerous waters by making it's films too similar to each other. Let me explain.

Honestly, who couldn't love that face?! 

I absolutely adore that Thor and his brother Loki - enemies - are brought together and forced to try to save the universe together. Brotherly love, no one hates that! And Hela, our all powerful villainess, is deliciously wicked and a true terror - definitely the most formidable foe Thor has had to face so far! The additional characters tossed into the movie - Jeff Goldblum as a delusional megalomaniac, Karl Urban as the baddie who switches to the good side at the last minute, as well as appearances by The Incredible Hulk and Doctor Strange really padded out the casting well! The plot was also AMAZING!! Insurmountable odds, feats of strength and magic and science - all of which was balanced out perfectly with mild comedy and exceptional dramatics. Marvel just cannot do any wrong in my mind - Thor: Ragnorak killed it! So, what are my concerns about Marvel movies becoming too similar to each other? Let's chat.

Chill, dude! I'm not mad, I just have some quips!

Some things we didn't really have in Marvel movies pre-Guardians of the Galaxy, were humor and classic rock soundtracks. Yes, there was some comedy present but not nearly to the continuous degree that Marvel movies are starting to have now. It's almost like the creators were so excited about how well Guardians did that they're nervous to let go of that formula - "People flocked to this thing, so let's do it again!". I guess I'm just a fuddy duddy who's scared of change but while watching Ragnarok... I wanted to see Thor that was just Thor, not Thor with a Guardians vibe. I know I'm weird and I'm totally alone in this feeling but I still have it!

Also, I am SO OVER movies using Led Zepplin's Immigrant Song in their movies! After Shrek 3 abused that song, every time I hear it all I can picture is stupid Snow White flying around with her birds while that stupid song plays! I think Ragnarok played Immigrant Song 3 different times throughout the movie - typically during a really intense battle or action scene - and it was such a killjoy for me because I kept waiting to see stupid Snow White come gliding in with her birds! Ugh! Get a new song Hollywood! But aside from these two miffs of mine, I was really pleased with Thor: Ragnarok and feel like it completely redeemed the Thor franchise - no thanks to The Dark World...

I'm not pleased that this image has to come to mind 
every time I hear that song. Is this what PTSD is like?!

Thor: Ragnarok gets a 5 OF 5 must own for Marvel movie lovers and for those who are also big fans of Thor in particular. As much as he lost us with The Dark World, redemption has been found with this sequel. And better still, now I am officially all caught up on the Marvel movies and ready to see The Avengers: Infinity War!! From what I've been told, seeing Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther are crucial before checking out the newest Avengers movie so now there's no stopping me! Keep an eye on this space in the near future, I will be posting about Infinity War as soon as I make it back from the theater!

Hoping to check it out this weekend...

Friday, May 18, 2018

Action Jackson


Release year: 1988
Production company: Silver Pictures
Starring: Carl Weathers, Craig T. Nelson, Vanity, Sharon Stone, Bill Duke

Jericho Jackson (Weathers) used to be a rough and tumble cop who wasn't scared to land a few punches in order to get the job done - but he's left those days behind him in favor of job security. But when Peter Dellaplane (Nelson) - an auto manufacturer with a sketchy past - enters into a political campaign where all of the competition are slowly turning up dead, Jackson teams up with Sydney (Vanity), Dellaplane's mistress, to expose Dellaplane for the crook and murderer that he is!

Feeling like Shakedown meets Lethal Weapon, Action Jackson was exactly the movie that I wanted it to be - action-packed, filled with necessary puns and one-liners required of 80's and 90's action movies, and having Carl Weathers in it. Score, I got all three things! I loved that this movie was filled with shoot outs, car chases, overly intense murder scenes, a sinister villain and a dynamic hero... it was everything an action movie should be! And because this movie was birthed in the 80's, it had it's fair amount of cheesiness - Carl Weathers being randomly greased up and shirtless ( to be fair, if you had those abs you would do the same thing), Vanity performing scintillating ballads in a dark night club, and as I mentioned before our victims aren't just murdered in this movie...they are MURDERED. It's almost like the henchmen were thinking "Okay, we already slit this throat and shot him. Let's blow up his house too! For good measure!" Calm down guys, I think you made your point! There were a couple of moments in the movie where the plot lagged a tiny bit but then Carl Weathers started chasing a car through the streets of Detroit wearing loafers with no socks so I'm not mad at all! I had a great time!

Oh, and did I also mention that the guns in this movie are
just as beefy as the men holding them? Love it!!

Action Jackson gets a 5 OF 5 must own for fans of 80's era action movies, those who love Carl Weathers and his many abs, and for those who want to see good old fashioned explosions, car chases, and fight scenes with no CGI - this is the golden age of action right here! Highly recommend!

Also, just wanted to make sure that you saw this sparkling
lovey - this is the Bollywood version of Action Jackson that came
out in 2014 - had anyone seen this??? 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Silver Bullet


Release year: 1985
Production company: Dino De Laurentiis Company
Starring: Gary Busey, Everett McGill, Corey Haim

Wheelchair-bound Marty (Haim) is about to enter the most terrifying summer of his young life - a slew of grisly, horrific murders suddenly rock his small country town and no one knows what the cause could be! Taking to the woods for a man hunt only results in more killings...no one knows how to stop this thing! But when Marty's drunkard Uncle Red (Busey) makes a joke that werewolves must surely be the culprit... Marty can't help but think that maybe he's right. But now comes the real issue - how to find the werewolf, expose him, and stop him from killing more people?

Feeling like a Stephen King-infused Bad Moon, I was nothing short of elated over how much fun Silver Bullet is!! Lucky for me, my boyfriend knows how much I love werewolf movies and anything Stephen King creates so naturally it only seemed fitting that he would surprise me with a blu ray copy of Silver Bullet!! Eeeeee!! And better still than the fact that he surprised me with this amazing gift, we watched the movie together and it was riotous fun from beginning to end!!

From the very beginning I was in love with the story - any Stephen King horror story that takes place during the summertime and from the point of view of children is simply perfection in my mind. These stories perfectly incorporate the irrational and wild imaginations of children, how they can run wild, and what happens when those imaginative fears become horrific reality. The whole movie has that off-putting Stephen King atmosphere where everything is just a little too perfect but deeply, disturbingly off-putting - the same kind of vibe that was in Graveyard Shift! The characters were also fantastic - a cute, plucky young hero paired with his annoyed but loving older sister. And I feel like the casting of this movie uncovered something astounding - Gary Busey is a perfect drunk uncle! He's already a crazy loon, just let him be himself while holding a bottle of whiskey and you've got a star on your hands! But none of these are as important as the actual werewolves themselves. So let's talk about that now, shall we?

What's that line from The Dark Knight? He's not
the hero we deserve? 

I love me some werewolves, the bigger and hairier and toothier the better in my mind! And lucky for me, the Silver Bullet werewolves were gloriously hairy and toothy and huge!! I heard some people joke that they look more like were-bears than werewolves and I roll my eyes at these people - I deeply enjoyed these werewolves! And the transition scenes were fantastic as well! They weren't nearly as detailed and effect heavy as other movies - it seems like An American Werewolf in London holds the crown for best transition scenes - but we still get to see hair growing and snouts forming and teeth bulging their way through gum tissue so I am not complaining in the least! Silver Bullet was scary-good fun and cannot wait to watch it again!

Isn't he just the cuddliest?! 

Silver Bullet gets a 5 OF 5 must own for fans of Stephen King horror movies, and for those who love a good werewolf movie - Silver Bullet is definitely top notch! And now I've got a serious hankering for werewolf movies...any good recommendations out there??? Leave them in the comments section below!

THURSDAY NIGHT IS THE BEST NIGHT TO TUNE IN TO REAL PUNK RADIO!! Home to the Thursday Night Wrecking Pit, Real Punk Radio is your Thursday night destination for the best in Psychobilly radio programming. Starting tonight at 6pm PT Gone Mental will be kicking off the evening, and then at 7pm PT Zorch Radio takes over the reigns and rides out the evening til 9pm with the best in Psychotronic rock n' roll. So make sure to tune in to Real Punk Radio tonight!


Thursday Night Plans:
TNWP and chill? Too much?