May 28, 2019

Unicorn Store (2019)

Brie Larson


Indie movies are always a bit quirky. I get that. I expect it. But to say this was "quirky" would be a huge understatement. For one thing, I didn't expect it to revolve around actual unicorns.

I mean yes, it's not actual unicorns. Except it is. But not. It's all very complicated. Except it's not really that either.

The problem with this movie is that is doesn't quite know what it is. Quirky commentary on growing into adulthood? Magical fantasy for adults? Searing look into life from the eyes of a child? Cynical take on sexual harassment or other trauma? Oh wait, how about all of those things? Or none of them? While never, ever deviating from the literal unicorn narrative?

I just---

This movie is charming. It's just funny enough to keep you watching, and just strange enough to keep you wondering what the hell is going to happen next.

But at the end of the day, it's SO literal. While somehow also being completely figurative. If it had added a twist--a glimpse into the real ending, for example--it might have driven its point home in a way that would have had lasting impact. Instead, we're left with a muddled and strange film that never quite achieves what it could have been. In fact, the most exciting part was in the middle, when I started to brainstorm all the metaphors the movie could be, instead of what it was actually delivering.

Final word: Much like adults who are fiercely attached to glitter and rainbows and sparkly things, this movie takes itself far more seriously than it should.

May 26, 2019

Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Everyone


I've been hiatus for nearly two months now, which means that a fair number of movies have come and gone without my commenting on them. (I did a lot of screaming in my head and on Twitter, rest assured. I still have opinions.) But it's time to get off my lazy butt and start blogging again because frankly, Twitter threads just aren't as satisfying.

So. The Avengers.

I didn't see every movie in the universe, but I did see nearly all of them. At least, enough to appreciate the thought that was put into this [allegedly final] movie.

For one, this movie does a good job of referencing all the major movies that came before it. They brought back absolutely everyone to recreate certain moments in the cannon and make the whole time travel thing feel refreshing and immersive. And honestly, my favorite thing in the whole movie might be when they took the time to sit down and explain the effects of changing events in the past. This may be an action movie, but it's still an action movie for nerds and I respect their decision to honor that.

In terms of the individual storylines, I thought they did an equally honorable job of respecting each character and making decisions that seemed in line with what those characters would do. Reasonable people can disagree with the outcomes of particular people, but I'm sure we can all agree that certain things needed to happen in order to make this feel like a satisfying conclusion.

Pretty much the only controversy with this movie was about Thor's massive weight gain, which I have to say I am on the side of the critics. It's surprising (or perhaps not surprising) to see easy fat jokes being made in 2019. It's uncreative, it's not very funny, and frankly, disappointing to see so much thought be put into all the other details of this movie, only to have Thor's trauma reduced to gross fat jokes. It's a shame. (Not as important, but worth noting that Chris Hemsworth is obviously the hottest superhero so can they not have him walking around with food crumbs in a ratty beard? Thanks.)

There's not much else I can say about the movie, seeing as it's the end cap to a franchise and I don't post spoilers. So uh, if you like the Marvel movies, this one is worth your time. But only if you've seen a decent amount of the ones that come before it. (You can still skip Ant Man though. They basically say so in the movie itself.)

Final word: A satisfying ending. Now stop remaking the movies that came before it.