Four teens with attitude are brought into the magical world of Jumanji to save the land from a curse.
When Spencer the nerd (Alex Wolff), Fridge the jock (Ser’Darius Blain), Bethany the self-centered (Madison Iseman), and Martha the aloof (Morgan Turner) are sent to the school’s basement for detention, they unwittingly open a portal into another world through a video game console.
Transported to the world of Jumanji, the four teens inhabit avatars in direct contrast to the real-world selves. Spencer, sickly and scared, becomes the muscle-bound explorer Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson). Fridge enters the game as the zoologist Franklin “Mouse” Finbar (Kevin Hart), a diminutive researcher who acts as Bravestone’s sidekick and weapon holder. Bethany and Martha become Professor Sheldon Oberon (Jack Black) and Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan), respectively. Where the former is now a portly man whose role is the group’s cartographer, the latter becomes the team’s hand-to-hand specialist and bombshell.
The first Pitch Perfect was lightning in a bottle — it was a sleeper hit that worked the trending a aapella genre for full effect and spawned a radio hit with Anna Kendrick singing the cover for Cups, aka When I’m Gone.
Pitch Perfect 3 brings the Barden Bellas back together for one last go, this time as an overseas touring group for the USO. Hoping to relive their glory days, the Bellas — who have seen their lives outside of the group diminish — compete on an uneven playing field against music groups and DJs vying for a spot as DJ Khaled’s opening act.
Meanwhile, Fat Amy’s (Rebel Wilson) father Fergus (John Lithgow) hopes to build a relationship with his estranged daughter, and Beca (Anna Kendrick) shows off her producing chops when she sits in for an impromptu session at Khaled’s traveling mixing board.
Thor Odinson (Chris Hemsworth) tries to stop the end of the world in Thor: Ragnarok, a conflicted mess of a film that showcases some of the best that Marvel Studios has to offer along with some of their cringiest.
If you’ve seen the trailers, you have the main gist of it all — Hela (Cate Blanchett), the goddess of death, has come to take her place on the throne of Asgard after Odin’s death releases her from the prison his life-force created.
As Odin’s firstborn, she is the strongest of his children, and she makes her mark within moments by destroying Mjolnir and sending Thor and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) into retreat. As the brothers attempt to teleport back to their homeworld with the help of the Bifröst Bridge, Hela follows them and send them off course.
Hela appears in Asgard, where her claim to the throne hits deaf ears — that’s what happens when an entire era’s history is wiped away or covered up. Viewed as an invading force, Asgard’s army tries to hold her at bay but fails miserably.
Batman’s foes have an existential crisis in his latest outing, The LEGO Batman Movie.
Kicking off with an amazing 10-minute song-and-punch introduction, the LEGO Batman Movie not only features a bevy of villains, known and obscure — Crazy Quilt and Killer Moth! — the movie also treads into interesting meta territory.
After Batman saves another day in Gotham City, he drops a bombshell on the Joker — the Dark Knight doesn’t think the Clown Prince of Crime is his greatest foe.
Teary-eyed, the devastated supervillain escapes and begins work on a new plan to get Batman’s attention.
Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne finds himself torn against a potential love interest and a new commissioner who sees Batman as a problem. Between bouts of love and anger at Commissioner Barbara Gordon’s new plans for the city, Bruce agrees to adopt the orphan Dick Grayson.
About 10 minutes into La La Land, I started to worry.
Despite a charming opening scene filled with singing and dancing Los Angeles commuters stuck in traffic, I was still waiting for it to become my favorite movie of last year. After winning a ton of Golden Globes, it’s being touted as a frontrunner to win more than just an armful of Academy Awards, and critics — and all my friends — love it.
A few scenes in, I was starting to feel like I was going to be disappointed — that the hype was just too much. Or maybe it’s the whole musical thing — it’s no secret I’m not the biggest fan of the genre.
And then, Ryan Gosling’s Sebastian came home to find his sister had snuck into his apartment. They discussed, they argued — he’s a jazz musician who hasn’t settled into his new home, and he’s got a pile of unpaid bills. He’s got a chip on his shoulder, and he’s obsessed. He hasn’t gotten over being screwed by a former partner who took their jazz bar and turned it into a samba and tapas restaurant.
Samba and tapas.
I was longer just watching La La Land — Sebastian was a mirror or an alternate dimension of myself.
Not that I’ve ever wanted to own a jazz bar, per se, but I have dreams. Had dreams. Dreams that seemed pure and selfless but were essentially a bit selfish as well.
I want to create real music for people who need to hear it.