Reviews

‘Ad Astra’ Review

Brad Pitt reminds us once again that he is indeed our greatest movie star. Ad Astra is a thing of beauty that literally shines under every colour of the rainbow.

Space, a vast emptiness that consumes you the further you explore it. The deeper you voyage into space, the darker it becomes. You are diving into darkness, and at some point, there’s no turning back. Space can very much be compared to loneliness and feeling vulnerable. When we are alone darkness can consume us, whether it’s because we are afraid to love or to be loved. For Brad Pitts Roy McBride his darkness stems from becoming his father and the fear and emptiness he feels inside. H. Clifford McBride (Tommy Lee Jones) once heralded has the pioneer in deep space travel is now at the centre of a controversy that could threaten our entire existence. Here’s the kicker, Roy has thought his father has been dead for nearly two decades, so when he’s recruited to go on one of the most dangerous space expeditions ever attempted by man, Roy, who usually is calm as a cucumber, feels for the first time in his life, emotion.

Isolation, it’s at the forefront of this epic science fiction tale. When you spend the majority of your time, miles above the earth surface, you tend to become isolated, just not from others, but from your own self-being. Roy is a man of peace, he enjoys his solitude, he is known for having a historic heart-rate, which basically means that this man doesn’t crack. Enter the opening of the film, as we watch Roy on a space station, high above the earth, doing some low key maintenance, when suddenly all hell breaks loose, and he is free-falling towards the surface, spinning out of control, and still nothing, no beats higher than 88 per minute. One thing director James Gray explores so well, is the meaning of fear. Roy is petrified to open himself to anyone else than fall from his death aboard a space station. Even when staring death in the face, during a sequence that felt much like Mad Max on the Moon, which was one of the highlights of the movie. Who knew that in the near future we would have space pirates on the Moon, chasing down a landrover for spare parts.

Here begins our mesmerizing journey to the far reaches out outer space. It’s a long trip, Earth to the Moon, to Mars and finally to Neptune. I say this because, the thing that stuck out the most from my experience while watching Ad Astra, was the rich colors each unique destination had to offer. Like each stop along this hypnotic trip was a character of their own. The Earth, so full of life, light and rich and chock-full of energy. The Moon dark and gloomy, full of grey and never-ending darkness. Mars, the Red Sun, so much orange and red, a place of pent up anger, mystery, a new beginning. Finally the last stop, Neptune, so much blue, like a vast open ocean, that seems all incasing.

Living in one’s shadow can always be intimidating and sometimes overbearing. Especially when that shadow happens to belong to the greatest living astronaut the world as ever seen. Roy McBride certainly has big shoes to fill, until he realizes that maybe everything he knew about his father wasn’t as clear and cut. Much like his father Roy enjoys solitude, he doesn’t want to show any emotion, he believes that letting people in can only make his job murkier. Ad Astra doesn’t lack emotion, even if there are long stretches of silence or lack of dialogue. For a movie that spans just shy of 2 hours and 20 minutes, the script, on the other hand, is pretty short. One of the main theme’s of this movie is about isolation, and how it can affect those around you. Pitts character might not showcase every single little emotion that runs through his body, but in a scene, that deals with him and a microphone, that’s all the emotion you need to see. Or the subtle facial expression, or single tear shed, speaks a thousand words. Something that no amount of dialogue could produce and that is simply the beauty of this film.

A movie like Ad Astra doesn’t get made unless it has a rockstar like Pitt in the driver’s seat. I feel like this has been a giant year for the actor, and I feel uneasy calling it a “come back.” Because Brad Pitt hasn’t really ever gone anyway, he just has had his focus elsewhere. Being at the forefront of two ginormous movies this year has propelled him back into the limelight and reminded us all why he is our greatest living movie star. The world has been watching Pitt in movies for nearly four decades now, and he is doing things in this movie, that he’s never done before. There in itself is the reason why you go sit in a theatre and watch Ad Astra, he’s been in our lives long enough, that every time you get a chance to see him act, you go. When it’s in a space epic, by a great film-maker, even better.

I really enjoyed this film, because I love watching masters of their craft, perform at the highest level, like LeBron James in a Game 7, or Tiger on the 18th hole at The Masters. These are events that shouldn’t be missed because once they are gone, there’s no replacing such things.

Ad Astra = 90/100

Reviews

‘IT: Chapter 2’ Review

Get in losers, we’re going to kill a psychotic clown

it-chapter-2-bill-hader-jessica-chastain-james-mcavoy-1565943155.jpg

Twenty-seven years after their first encounter with the terrifying Pennywise, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back.


Everyone knows that growing up sucks. You have bills to pay, a job to go to and a shit ton of responsibilities. If being stressed from all of that wasn’t enough, tack on having to deal with all of your worst fears, and reliving your childhood drama all over again, in the form of a creepy clown that just wants to eat you alive. Well, truer words could not be spoken for the Losers Club. IT: Chapter 2 has finally arrived and our fellow losers are all grown up. It’s been 27 years, and Pennywise is back and terrorizing the town of Derry. No one can stop him except our heroes and after moving away and forgetting all about their eventful and traumatizing childhood, it’s not until a phone call from Mike Halon do they realize the oath that they made, and it’s time to finish IT once and for all.

IT: Chapter 1 was a bonafide success, a box-office juggernaut and helped launch the careers of some very talented young child actors. One of my personal favorite movies of 2017, I couldn’t wait for the next chapter. Growing up the TV Mini-Series really shook me to my core, and I became fascinated with the character of Pennywise. He truly is one of horrors best villains and such a unique and creepy character. When they tapped Bill Skarsgard to portray him I was intrigued. After he blew everyone away with his performance I couldn’t wait to see what he had in store next. With a runtime of just shy of 3 hours, we get plenty of Pennywise terrorizing not only the losers but the people of Derry as well. The body count is higher, the bloodshed has increased and the amount of scares goes through the roof, all things one would expect with the sequel. The sequel is bigger, bloodier and gets at times very weird. Remember, the book is insane, and sometimes that can be hard to translate onto the big screen, but what they managed to achieve and accomplish, with adding in their own little wrinkles, I felted that it worked to perfection. Yes, this movie is long, but I found myself invested the entire time, and it’s mainly due to the perfect casting choices used by director Andy Muschietti. It’s like the man built a time machine and went into the future and pluck the best possible candidates for our adult losers. Not just how they look, but how the act and interact with one another. I was blown away with how well the adult losers came across on the screen, and it’s the driving force.

So the losers are back in town, and this time around their goal is to stop IT for good. This is where things get a little complicated and a tad messy. The book is a mixed bag and has a ton of insane and weird elements, one of which involves a giant cosmic turtle. Thankfully, because it just wouldn’t have translated well onto the big screen, they bench the turtle. In order to defeat IT, the losers must perform the “Ritual of Chud” something that is powerful enough to defeat Pennywise. If the audience can get around this part of the movie because it’s never mentioned in Chapter 1, I do believe everyone will love this movie just as much. For me, it’s the only potential stumbling block for the entire movie.

What worked so well the last time? The camaraderie and chemistry between our seven losers. They felt like real-life best friends, it work so well, and the bond they shared on the screen made it truly special. It’s easier for kids to do that rather than a bunch of adults, but the way the adult losers are handled was so well crafted that you just have to respect everyone involved. Not only do these people look like their younger counterparts, but how they managed to learn and reenact their mannerisms was astonishing. What I like about the film is that we don’t need to build the chemistry between them, these people have an unbreakable bond, and when they are reunited, they are all transported spiritually back 27 years. They are all acting and behaving like they did when they were kids, and I think that’s what so endearing about the film. The second they are all in the same room together during the iconic Chinese restaurant scene, everything just clicks and goes from there.

Most notably James Ransone who plays adult Eddie Kaspbrak, who is arguably the least known adult cast member, but might have a done the best overall job at capturing his younger self. Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Isaiah Mustafa, and Jay Ryan are all great. Again the casting is so impeccable, read any review and that’s one thing every single reviewer will agree on. But the king, the man who steals the show, I’m sorry Pennywise, but this movie clearly belongs to Bill Hader. The amount of acting this man is doing is breathtaking. All the different things he’s doing, this is a horror movie, but my god, he’s so damn good. Even just the amount of acting he’s doing with his facial expressions alone. People online are going to start the Oscar push, but honestly, I think this is just another notch on his impressive belt already. Bill Hader blew me the fuck away in this movie. Especially in the third and final act of this movie.

Mike Halon towards the end of the film says that “Nothing lasts forever,” well, for me and I think countless others, these two movies will.

IT: Chapter 2 = 91/100 – even better the second time around

Reviews

‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’ Review

If you feel like hanging out with Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt for 3 hours, then this movie will be for you. This is a classic “hang” movie, with Brad Pitts greatest performance.

A faded television actor and his stunt double strive to achieve fame and success in the film industry during the final years of Hollywood’s Golden Age


1969 Hollywood, a time and place of wonder. The air was cleaner, the sex was dirtier and Charles Manson was on the loose. Just an all-around magical time for Hollywood. At least that’s how Quentin Tarantino feels with his 9th film and an absolute masterpiece, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.

It’s now been almost 30 years with Quentin Tarantino making movies for this world and he’s become one of the most discussed and polarizing directors we have ever seen. Before Tarantino came along, there was a certain mold and certain way that you crafted a film. Well, he literally tossed the rule book out the window and decided he would make his own rules and do things his own way. The rules in film making are what you make it, and that describes Quentin to a tee. That’s one of the best aspects of Tarantino. The fact that this guy loves cinema just as much as we do, in fact, he loves it more. When you have a filmmaker that’s this passionate about making movies, it’s a mixture for a fantastic product, and that’s why I love every single one of his films. They are so personal and so detailed that you can’t help but respect this guy so much. He reinvented how characters act and speak in movies. It’s like we are watching just a group of our friends hang out, and talk about whatever.

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is no different. As we sit and watch Rick Dalton (Leo) a struggling partially over the hill TV actor trying to deal with the fact that he might be washed up. Along side him, his best friend and his stunt man Cliff Booth (Pitt). Now both of these characters are made up, and they are placed in this alternative reality of 1969 Hollywood, where they become intertwined with one of the most notorious and shocking events in American history, the Charles Manson murders. Cliff and Rick do everything together, and we are along for the ride. We even get to watch them watch a television program that Rick is apart of. In a very interesting scene, where for about 3 minutes you’re watching a fake television program and in the background hearing DiCaprio and Pitt colour commentate the whole thing. That’s why, whether or not you’re a fan of his work, this movie won’t be for everyone. It’s slow like I mentioned this is a hangout movie. It’s a day in the life kind of movie with a bunch of different perspectives. You’re watching a behind the scenes look at how television shows were made back in the hey-day. But this is what’s so fascinating about it. Leonardo DiCaprio, one of the greatest actors, is playing this vulnerable and at times kind of pathetic actor, and it’s so weird to see this side of him. But here’s the thing, Leo is so good at what’s he’s being asked to do, a guy who is just trying to stay relevant and a guy who used to be at the top of his game, feels threatened by younger stars and at times reminds the world that he is a brilliant actor. It was quite interesting to watch unfold. As for Brad Pitt, I personally believe this is his greatest role and performance. He’s the definition of cool, and just some of the things he does in this movie will be a talking point for a long time among moviegoers. Both Leo and Brad should be nominated for Oscars and I would love to see one of them bring home the gold.

Going in I thought this would heavily lean on the Mason murders and Sharon Tate, but that’s not what this movie is about, like at all. It’s a sub-plot that comes to a whirlwind of a conclusion in the last 20 minutes, but this is a movie about two friends who happen to fall in the middle of something. Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate was great. She isn’t given a lot to do or say, but it doesn’t mean she’s not a force when she’s on-screen. She’s so full of life and joy and brings such a ray of sunshine in every scene she’s in, that at times you forget about the horrific fate that she received. I can’t say anymore because knowing what I know now, and what I thought this movie was going to be about, were two totally different things, and I’m so glad this movie was marketed the way it was.

You really do feel that you’re being transported back to 1969 because every last detail in this thing is spot on. Another crowning achievement from Quentin. The cinematography, the colours, costumes, even the radio ads that you hear while our characters drive were apparently the exact radio ads being played that day in Los Angeles. Now if that isn’t dedication to your craft I don’t know what is. All of that, plus this insane cast of people, giving classic Tarantino performances, where you have this 8-year-old girl explaining in the movie to Leo, about her craft and why she can’t eat lunch because it messes with the way she acts, is so damn good. Julia Butters, an 8-year-old, blows Leo off the screen for 5 minutes and then you realize it’s because Tarantino is better than anyone at getting the most out of his cast. He writes dialogue almost better than anyone.

This is Quentin’s love letter to Hollywood, a place that he adores and admires, and it shows through his work. This is, without doubt, the most personal and compassionate thing he’s ever made. You never know what you’re getting when you walk into a Tarantino film, and you certainly don’t know how you’ll feel when you walk out. I was stunned and thrilled by what I watched, and this is certainly so far my favourite film of 2019.

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood = 94/100

Reviews

New ‘Ad Astra’ Trailer

Liv Tyler needs to stop being involved with people that go on dangerous space explorations.

It feels so good to have “movie star” Brad Pitt back in our lives doesn’t it? When was the last time he was even involved in a movie with this much magnitude? Everything about James Grays Ad Astra is simply stunning.

Can we all just stop and appreciate some of the visuals we are getting in this trailer. Gun fights in space, you now have our absolute attention. The whole thing feels so large in scale, yet so mysterious. We haven’t even really seen Tommy Lee Jones in the flesh in either trailer just in a video recording and he is the focal point of the mystery. Just two phenomenal actors working as father and son, I know if they get to share the screen together, Pitt and Jones are going to crush it.

Now can we as a population not make this 2019’s First Man. Another great and beautiful space movie that no one decided to see. I guess you can debate who can carry a film better Pitt or Gosling, but the world needs more great space movies and in order for that to happen, they need to succeed at the box-office. So that’s make that happen, because Ad Astra looks special.

Hits theatres September 20th!

Reviews

‘The Kings Man’ Trailer

Matthew Vaughn is bringing this franchise back to its roots. A sleek and stylish trailer, that appears to be a step up from the Kingsman sequel.

Who knew that we needed a Kingsman prequel. I’m sure not many people asked for it. After the success of the first, yes fans wanted more Eggsy and Harry Hart. The Golden Circle was a let down to say the least, I think Vaughn let this franchise get away from itself a little bit. With too much style, not enough substance.

Well now here we are, the first trailer for the prequel, the telling of what seems to be the origin for how the Kingsman came to be. Vaughn has one of the best sense of action, and its on display here in the trailer. Much like the previous two films, it focuses on over the top, slow motion action, but it always works so well. This feels and looks a little more grounded and definitely less colourful, but seeing the time and setting of the film, it makes perfect sense.

The cast is just incredible, a ton of star power and just terrific actors. Ralph Fiennes, who could be playing the founder of Kingsman, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Matthew Goode, Daniel Bruhl and Rhys Ifans, with many more. I’m hoping the really go deep on why the Kingsman came to be and hopefully have some tie ins with our cast in present day.

Overall a solid first glimpse at what appears to be a great rebond from a movie that is all but forgotten.

Hits theatres in 2020!

Reviews

‘The Lion King’ Review

It’s only a matter of time before Disney runs the world. The Lion King is fun for the whole family, but some people might have a hard time moving on from the flawless animated film.

After the murder of his father, a young lion prince flees his kingdom only to learn the true meaning of responsibility and bravery.


It’s official, the cash cow that is Disney has hacked the system. At this point, it’s almost becoming unfair that they have all these properties and for the foreseeable future we will be getting “live action” adaptations of all the animated Disney classics. When Jon Favreau decided he wanted to take a break from directing Iron Man and throw his hat in the ring with The Jungle Book, at that time it was, his words, the most technological advances movie ever made. The visuals were stunning, and on top of that, he managed to capture and bring the jungle to life. Now here we are, he’s tackling yet another classic and to some, the greatest Disney film to date. The Lion King, the movie that made every single human being on earth cry. So pure, so perfect, it’s hard to imagine anything but the original. How can you improve on something that is already perfect?

What an opening, it’s almost frame for frame with the animated classic and you’re instantly shot up with a dose of nostalgia and transported to a time where things were much easier in your life. Right off the bat, you realize how spectacular the visuals are within this film. Sometimes it’s so lifelike you forget that you’re watching a movie and not the discovery channel. The biggest concern I think people have going into the new Lion King is comparing it to the original. Now, it’s extremely difficult to compare something that is animated to something that is supposed to be lifelike. You can’t capture the same emotions and colours and overall essence that can go into animation. The world is essentially your oyster when it comes to creating something that is animated. If you can separate to two, I believe you can totally enjoy this. But if you sit down and dislike this movie because it’s not as bright and as colourful and these characters don’t have as much life in them, you will miss out on a movie that is so incredible and so much fun, it will be something you will regret.

Much like the original, the voice acting is perfect. The voices match their counterparts so well, and at times it’s mind-blogging how well they cast this movie. John Oliver in particular as Zazu was so fantastic, that every time that bird opens his mouth you can’t help but giggle. There is so much star power sprinkled throughout the film, which helps carry it. Seth Rogan and Bill Eichner as everyone’s favourites Timon and Pumbaa. Who have a lot more to say in this, which only makes sense? They add to the script quite a bit, because whenever you adapt something that is animated the run time will always increase. With everything that is added feels necessary and doesn’t over bloat the film at all, and it all just comes off as very natural.

As for the musical numbers, they’re great. When you have talents like Donald Glover and Beyoncé singing songs in your movie, it’s going to work out. They seemed like they had a ton of fun voicing these characters. The best musical number was “I Can’t Wait To Be King” where that felt like the most cartoonish sequence in the film. It was by far the most colourful and fun moment of the movie because people tend to forget that the second half of The Lion King is pretty dark and bleak. A lot of criticism will be placed on how much joy and fun are packed into the original and this doesn’t capture that. In fact, there is hardly any colour throughout the film, but it’s supposed to be lifelike. Animals don’t interact and look the way they do in animation and I think it’s so unfair to Favreau and everyone involved. Instead, the focus should once again be on the level of achievement on bringing something like this to life and making you feel like you’re watching real-life animals talk to one another.

The biggest flaw within the movie is the level of emotional attachment to the characters you feel. Since they themselves can express all of the emotions an animator can draw, it’s hard to feel the same level of weight during those scenes that pull at your heartstrings. For instance the stampede sequence. It just doesn’t come across the same in a heart-crushing manner.

This is going to divide fans alike and be so decisive. It’s an enjoyable time at the movies. It’s chalk full of great laughs, no thanks to Seth Rogan and John Oliver, the visuals are some of the best I’ve ever seen and the voice acting is spot on. Just like our little friends Timon and Pumbaa tell us. “You gotta put the past behind ya.” So if you can’t move on from what is one of the best and most precious animated Disney films of all time, then this movie will have a hard time sitting well with you. But if you can move on and take this for what it is, there’s no way you don’t walk out of that theatre satisfied.

The Lion King 75/100

Reviews

‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Review

Once again Tom Holland shines as the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man, in an overall enjoyable MCU experience

It’s been quite the year for Marvel and all of their fans. People are still recovering from the events that unfolded in Avengers: Endgame, much like the very heroes that star in the movie. One of those heroes is Tom Holland and his excellent portrayal of Peter Parker aka Spider-Man. Losing someone close to you is never easy, and losing someone who gifted you the responsibility to be the next lead Avenger, even worse. So you can only imagine how Peter is feeling after the death of his friend and his mentor Tony Stark at the end of Endgame. It’s hit him pretty hard, and Peter is looking forward to being a regular teenager this summer and chasing girls and touring Europe with his best friend. You know that’s never the case when you’re a superhero and before Peter knows it, his summer vacation is being hijacked by Nick Fury himself as he is on deck once again to save the world from total annihilation.

Much like Spider-Man Homecoming, this feels very much like a high school teen comedy mixed with ith a superhero movie. I’ll start off by saying I do enjoy this incarnation of the character, but at times I wish it felt a little more mature like the Sam Raimi version because I do believe at times that’s what’s missing from these films. That being said, I love Tom Holland in this role and think he’s doing such a fantastic job, but at times, I wish they would pull back on the immature material. I hope the next solo Spider-Man movie can make a little bit of a time jump so we can see him in a mature relationship with MJ and deal with being a superhero as well as tackling the complications of being an adult.

Jon Watts who directed Homecoming once again does a fantastic job at capturing the essence of this character all while showing us stuff we’ve never encountered in the 6 other solo Spider-Man movies. This time around Peter is battling wits with Quintin Beck aka Mysterio. Most known for having a giant fishbowl on his head. A goofy villain, to say the least, the master of illusion, but when he’s being played by Jake Gyllenhaal, well it’s a home-run, to say the least. Michael Keaton’s Vulture was an adult and I think it’s awesome to see the difference in age with these villains. They could easily make them closer to Peters’s age, but I rather enjoy seeing him do battle with grown men. I won’t really go into much of Mysterio because that will be spoiling the movie, but he’s awesome and is involved in the best Spider-Man sequence we have ever gotten in a movie. He was a really fun villain to see come to life and I hope we get to see more of him in the future. Peter turns immediately to Quintin to replace the mentor role in his life when he believes he is a hero and sees what he saw in Tony. Tom and Jake had terrific chemistry together and I honestly wish somehow Mysterio didn’t end up being a bad guy because Jake is such a great actor and it would have been a cool spin on the character if he was good and became part of the larger MCU picture. Sharing a similar backstory as the Vulture, a disgruntled former employee of Stark Industries, I feel like people will either hate this or love it. Tying in Tony, to Peter villains is a nice new spin on them, and it makes Tony still relèvent in his life. You have to remember that this Spider-Man joined a large universe where Tony Stark was the centerpiece of that universe. It only makes sense to combine his world and Peters.

Zendaya and her portrayal of MJ is top-notch. She matches Peters’s awkwardness to perfection, I just want to see this at a little more mature nature, but overall Tom and Zendaya are right alongside Tobey and Kristin and Andrew and Emma for the Spider-Man power couple. This whole Spider-Man universe is so far removed from anything we’ve really seen before it, I can understand why some fans might be upset. But when you’ve gotten two iterations of Spider-Man before this version, I think it’s not only necessary to switch things up, but it’s very refreshing. At the end of this movie, something happens that you’ll either love or actually despise because just the way the character is built and has been put in front of us since 2000 might make you scratch your head.

Overall, this is just another solid outing from Tom and the entire cast, with some stellar visuals, a really great villain, played by one of the best actors in Hollywood and we got to witness the best Spider-Man sequence in a movie. They build on Peters’s story really well, with what was built in Homecoming and everything that occurred in the last two Avengers movies. There’s so much that’s going to be explored with this character and Tom Holland is going to be Spider-Man for the next 10 years. I’m throwing it out there right now. I want Rob McElhenney as Venom or Dacre Montgomery both would be perfect. Hopefully, McElhenney, let’s make that happen Marvel.

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Spider-Man: Far From Home = 83/100

Reviews

‘Knives Out’ Trailer

Well isn’t this just refreshing after a terrible summer blockbuster season.

Finally! The wait is finally over. The trailer for the highly anticipated Knives Out, directed by Rian Johnson is here. Name a famous person, go ahead, name any famous person and I bet they are in this movie. What a cast! This is one of the best all around casts I’ve ever seen. So much talent across the board, all bringing their own sense of style and personality to the table.

After their father mysteriously dies on his 85th birthday played by the legend Christopher Plummer, it’s up to a few detectives to solve the case. We have a whodunit on our hands! I can’t believe Rian Johnson stoke this idea from Adam Sandler, kidding, but kind of a cooky coincidence that we are getting two murder mysteries in a 5th month span. Obviously this one will be much better. Rian Johnson the man behind The Last Jedi and one of the most underrated movies of this decade, Looper.

The cast alone, which is way to many people to name should bring audiences to the theatres, and Johnson’s great track record should help as well. I feel like trailers for these sorts of movies are hard to pull off because you can’t show too much and don’t want to spoil anything. For being a nurse mystery, there was an awful lot of humour within the trailer and it all landed pretty well. Everyone involved is just so talented I can’t see this being a complete mess or a misstep on Johnson’s part.

See for yourself. Hits theatres November 27th.

Reviews

‘Toy Story 4’ Review

Toy Story has a legit chance at holding the franchise championship belt after this latest outing.

When a new toy called “Forky” joins Woody and the gang, a road trip alongside old and new friends reveals how big the world can be for a toy


You’ve got a friend in me. Those lyrics immediately hit you right in the feels. Much like this entire film franchise. Pixar and this misfit gang of toys have always packed an emotional punch. Everyone’s favourite collection of toys is back, it’s been 9 years since Toy Story 3, which I can’t believe. It kind of feels like yesterday that we all watched those toys almost become nothing but melted plastic. Remember how crippling that scene was? Seriously, 9 whole years, it’s shocking really, that Pixar can create 4 movies over the span of almost 30 years and still have the attention of essentially the entire world.

We all know that Pixar tends to deal with adult themes in their movies. They are meant and made for children, but they can touch on some serious deep-rooted themes and emotions. Toy Story 4 is no different. In fact, it could very well be the most adult film they have ever made. The soul of the movie is Bonnie creates a new toy in class and names it Forky, voiced by the talented Tony Hale. Once Woody meets Forky, he immediately does not understand why he was created and feels like he had no decision in this matter and he feels like trash. Forky doesn’t know his purpose in life and feels that Bonnie created him without his consent. That’s some serious and heavy stuff right there folks. So Woody is trying to teach Forky the meaning of being a toy and how important it is that he is there for Bonnie because he’s the most important thing in her life right now. You see, Woody has been sidelined with Bonnie, being left in the closet during playtime, so even Woody himself doesn’t know what his purpose in life is anymore. If he can’t be there for his kid, what is his purpose? When he meets Forky and discovers just how much Bonnie needs him to get through a difficult time in her life, he ultimately makes it his mission to protect and care for Forky at all costs.

When Bonnie and her family hit the road for a family road trip, Forky and Woody end up getting separated from Buzz and the rest of the gang. Let me be clear, this is Woody’s swan song, this is his movie. Yes, the Toy Story films have always been centered around Woody, but this installment, I felt even Buzz was being sidelined a bit. When Woody and Forky stumble upon Bo Peep who was sent away 9 years prior, some new feelings start to arise in Woody. For the first time in his life, he is contemplating what being a toy is truly about. Bo Peep lets him know just how wonderful being a lost toy can be, and you don’t need to be attached to a child to have a purpose in your life.

Buzz meets a few new toys himself, while he is trying to find his “inner voice” he meets Ducky (Keegan Michael-Key) and Bunny (Jordan Peele) without doubt the standouts of the film. From the very first trailer, you knew these two guys were going to be coming in hot, and they didn’t disappoint! I’m sure we will get a future spin-off because their voice work was so well done, and their friendship and chemistry in the movie made every scene they were in hilarious. One in particular, where they are giving ideas on how to retrieve a key from an old lady. Also, everyone’s favourite Canadian Keanu Reeves voices stuntman Duke Kaboom, who is also a highlight in the film.

This film seems smaller from previous incarnations, the hour and 40 minutes really flies by. It’s simple, the toys are trying to reunite Bonnie and Forky while all learning lessons along the way. Some of the minor characters barely have lines in the film. More like they are just in the background, because like I mentioned this is Woody’s film. It’s dealing with serious subjects and that’s why it felt more mature and at times there is hardly any humor. But when the humour arrives, it really knocks you on your butt.

It’s hard to say if this will finally be the final outing for these toys, but they introduced so many fantastic new ones, including the film’s villain/ sympathetic figure Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks). That seems almost impossible we won’t be seeing some sort of spin-off or in another decade a Toy Story 5. But even the last line of the movie makes you believe that this was it for Tim Allen and Tom Hanks. If it is, it’s been one incredible journey and if not, well I can’t wait to see where they go next.

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Toy Story 4 = 89/100

Reviews

‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ Trailer

We’ve got Dwayne Johnson pretending and acting like Danny DeVito. Just take all of our money now.

Remember when this came out a few years back and was actually really fun and entertaining. Mostly due to the stellar cast and hilarious new concept of the film? Well, they are running it back, but this time, everything isn’t as what it appears.

Continuing on from our last adventure, we have Spencer feeling a little bit lonely, and missing his friends. So when he stumbles upon the broken Jumanji game, he is sucked back into the world of Jumanji, where everything is essentially trying to kill you. Here’s the thing though, this time around, some true legends and veterans in Danny Glover and Danny DeVito are joining in on the fun. DeVito is placed inside Dwayne’s body and Glover is being placed in Kevin Hart’s body.

The big reason why this works so well is the cast. Jack Black and Karen Gillan shined in the first, and they really carried much of the comedic load. No surprise here, everyone is back and they look like they all have the most amount of fun making these movies. That can go along way in helping your movie seem more authentic and overall just more entertaining. Martha is the only one who goes back into their previous body from the first where everyone else is trapped inside a new body. We don’t even get to see where Spencer and Bethany end up. So expect so awesome twists and turns and maybe even a few surprise cameos that we aren’t aware of yet.

This was a fantastic first look at the new Jumanji, they seem like they haven’t skipped a beat. Hits theatres December 13th!