My take on three movies I saw in theaters last month.
The MCU’s (Marvel Cinematic Universe) first female-driven movie packs a punch. Captain Marvel is nostalgic, fun, and full of wit. It’s also fiercely led by Brie Larson, who helms the title role. First, let’s scale the story back to the 1990s as we follow Carol Danvers (an unstoppable Larson), one of the universe's most powerful heroes. Earth becomes entangled in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races (Kree and Skrulls). I won’t spoil how Danvers receives her powers, I’ll leave that for the viewers to enjoy. I will say that Danvers is an ex-U.S. Air Force fighter pilot and member of an elite Kree military unit called Starforce. Captain Marvel’s action is solid, while the dialogue is crisp. It was also a lot of fun seeing actor Samuel L. Jackson’s character digitally de-aged on the big screen. Retro and slick, MCU’s 21st feature is a must-see solo adventure. Online trolls were no match to Captain Marvel conquering the Box Office ($1.1 billion worldwide) and the world. Goose is also the coolest movie cat you’ll ever see. Captain Marvel is full of strength, values, and Marvel fireworks. Larson is a beacon of light shining throughout the entire picture.
Captain Marvel is rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned) For sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief suggestive language.
Directed by Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
Starring Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Annette Bening, Clark Gregg, and Jude Law
Jordan Peele’s Us is ambitious, nerve-wrenching, and completely original. Peele didn’t miss a beat from his follow up to 2017’s smash hit, Get Out. While actress Lupita Nyong’o’s jaw-dropping performance made the film all the more terrifying. It’s a modern horror classic that’s one for the ages and is a real triumph for 2019. This film receives a five-star review from me. Us is a terrifying second chapter by writer-director, Jordan Peele. Us follows the story of a family’s serene beach vacation that turns into turmoil and chaos when their doppelgängers appear and begin to terrorize them. These doubles are called the Tethered. We soon find out that the Tethered share a soul with their counterparts, and that they have come to "untether" themselves. Peele’s psychological horror film is a feast for your eyes picture. Peele’s film also digs deeper than your usual horror feature. Us examines the effects of classism and marginalization. There’s also references to ‘urban legends’ throughout the film, while we examine the harmful effects of xenophobic paranoia about ‘others’ around us. There’s a lot of unpacking from this movie and it deserves multiple viewings. While actress Lupita Nyong’o is a knockout scene after scene. Her groundbreaking performance demands your attention and will capture your soul. I’ll be rooting for her to pick up an Oscar nomination next year. In the end, Us is a home run and fiercely captures some hidden horrors we as a society don’t want to bring up. Us is deeply rooted in our pop culture, while Peele lays out other hard-hitting material for the audience to unpack… if they dare.
Us is rated R (Restricted) For violence/terror, and language.
Directed by Jordan Peele
Starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Tom Heidecker, Shahadi Wright-Joseph, and Evan Alex
Tim Burton’s reimagining of the classic Disney tale is a feast for your eyes. Wondrous and at times gloomy, Dumbo is a visual spectacle for the whole family. The reimagining from the 1941 classic leaves an enchanting trance on its viewer's hearts and minds. Dumbo is a magical tale full of tears, heart, and family. While the newest version doesn't hit the epic standards of the original, nevertheless; Burton's latest picture is a magical enchantment. The melancholy lies deeply rooted in this tale about a baby elephant (Jumbo Jr.) with oversized ears who learns to fly at a struggling circus. Burton's film also grapples with animal cruelty and anti-corporation. There's some irony to Burton critiquing big business, given the fact that Disney has just engulfed 20th Century Fox. Overall, Dumbo is an adequate family film; full of dark visuals and sweet circus imagery. In the end, it's a spectacle you don't want your kids to miss. Fly Dumbo, fly.
Dumbo is rated PG (Parental Guidance) For peril/action, some thematic elements, and brief mild language.
Directed by Tim Burrton
Starring Colin Farrell, Danny DeVito, Eva Green, Michael Keaton, Nico Parker, and Finley Hobbins
For Your Consideration:
In Their Own League
Mashley at the Movies
Mike, Mike, and Oscar
Next Best Picture
The Movie Oracle
Untitled Cinema Gals Project