Reel Review: FX’s Legion

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Welcome Back To Reel Cinema Review! Today, I’m going to be reviewing FX’s new show Legion!

Now for those of you living under a rock and not watching TV or at least ADs online (Facebook informed me of the show), then you probably missed this premiere. The show is called Legion (no it doesn’t have anything to do with the 2010 movie – which I actually enjoyed). It is basically about Professor X – Ya know, from the X Men- son, David Haller. For me personally, I figured that this had something to do with the X Men from the title logo alone. The x-ed out ‘ O’ kind of gave it away for me. However, my mind didn’t automatically travel to Professor X’s son.  If you aren’t familiar with this character I’m linking his Comicvine information here for you to read about.

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I am personally familiar with this character, or at least I’ve heard of him way before now. However, I don’t believe he’s a very major character like Scott Summers or Laura Kinney ( X-23). I don’t read the comics but I frequently check the universe to see where it’s at and what’s happening. Maybe I’ve missed the huge arcs with Legion included, but to my knowledge I don’t believe he’s a main character in the current arc (S). DON’T ROAST ME OVER AN OPEN FIRE.

With that being said, It kind of baffled me how Legion of all characters would get his own title series. If someone watched this show without any previous knowledge of this character then they would probably think this is just another weird FX show and not link this to X Men or even the idea of any of the characters being mutants. While the comic Character seems cool, the first episode fell just a little bit flat to me and here’s why:

  • It was visually beautiful while at the same time a little overwhelming at times.

I really liked the look of the show. It had an 80’s sort of feel to it. The visuals were just so eye engaging, but I kinda got a sensory overload at times. I’m the type to look all over the screen to try and find easter eggs and references and while this had a few, it just felt like too much to try and take in in general. Like, the studio really wanted this to be a mind cluster but pushed the “mental” feel. As though they really wanted to get in your mind but because it was too much at times, my mind kinda shut down at times.

  • The story was too “broken” at times. A little hard to follow.

It’s a story about a mutant who’s mental, that’s enough. I really don’t need to be flipped back and forth all over a storyline in the FIRST EPISODE. It started off fantastic in the beginning with Happy Jack by The Who trailing his life from infancy to adulthood. I enjoyed those visuals, but SPOILER ALERT – I wanted to understand what caused him to really “snap” as in – what caused his telepathy/pyrokinesis/mutant powers to actually occur. I know they’re going to answer that later in the series and they don’t want to give too much away now, but just a little more backstory would have been great.

  • Are they going to introduce other mutants?

I’ve read beforehand that this story takes place in an alternative world from that of the X Men. Since that’s the case, is anything from the ‘main’ world going to crossover into the Legion world/universe? Some of the ‘mutants’ in the show reminded me of  an ALT UNI versions of Rogue *wink* *wink*.

 

From my notes above, the show fell kinds flat during certain moments. Nonetheless, I did enjoy the show and will stick around for the later episodes. Now, portions I did like:

  • The Music! The music did it for me, each song that play represented each scene very well.
  • Loved the intro, even though it felt rushed. ( Is it just me or did it remind anyone else of Watchmen? It had that kinda vibe to it also)
  • I loved the scene where he’s lying in bed sleep and there’s a book besides him on the nightstand titled “Robots”. Mind you, robots are mindless and emotionless creations not capable of feeling. Basically they have no conscious. David is trapped in a mental hospital. I’m pretty sure he wants to be conscious-less as possible.
  • Sidney (ALT Rogue) is the light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but there’s a group therapy scene and Sidney walks in the light and her appearance is being overshadowed by the sun shining in behind her. Later on in the episode she saves David after he sees the light above him. Hmmm. During this scene “She’s a Rainbow” is playing by The Rolling Stones.
  • That short fat man with the yellow eyes is SCARY AS H-E DOUBLE HOCKEY-STICKS! My internal level of being creeped out was raised to the max when he would appear on camera, especially in the last scene when David saw him before he left the mental hospital. The shot fat dude was in the background subtly watching.

 

If you have seen this show, drop me a comment down below and let me know what YOU think! I would love to know!

 

Reel Review: Inside Out

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Isn’t it funny how “kids” movies sometimes have a much better story than “adult/teen” movies?

Hello, and welcome back to Reel Movie Review. Today on the review board is none other than Inside Out is a 2015 animated movies from Pixar/Disney. Now, I had been meaning to watch this movie for some time but because of other films that had my interest I kept putting this one off. I’m a little sad to say that I wish I’d watched this sooner!

I absolutely love movies that take a difficult concept and put a simple spin on that concept and presents it in a story that seems very light but is honestly more heavy that others realize. Inside Out does just that! Like most Disney/Pixar films that are presented as being family movies or rather kid movies. I’m not sure any adult if you have them the choice between this movie and Kill Bill would opt out of watching Kill Bill in favor of this one just from looking at their DVD covers. However, most animated movie fanatics like myself who just love to find realism within movies can easily watch this and dissect it for what it really is.

The movie is about a young girl named Riley and her parents who move from Minnesota to San Francisco and her psychological changes that occur because of the move and other things. It starts out by painting Riley as a newborn baby who’s first mental emotion is Joy. Joy is personified as very hyper, optimistic, and is the leader of the other Emotions. As Riley grows older other Emotions (and really the only ones we see) – Disgust, Sadness, Fear, and Anger – are introduced. All of the Emotions work together to navigate Riley since they are in her mind and are her literal moral compasses.

One thing I like to point out is the apparent ages of the Emotions. All of them seem to be of adult age but varying. Joy seems to be mid to late 20’s, Disgust is a typical 20 something with a Posh/Valley attitude and accent, Anger and Fear are around mid to late 30’s, and Sadness seems to be the youngest, maybe in 19 or 20.  I think this is important to note in terms of how they act versus Riley’s actual age and how it relates to humanity.

Anger and Fear is an emotion many face in life, but these two emotions have fueled so many debates, wars, propaganda, and so forth in reality. Because of fear this group of people begin to hate this group of people because of that fear which produces anger. This pattern is evident throughout history and even now in current times. Disgust is personified as having an uppity personality is seems to be generally unimpressed. I think she represents the current age we live in where people are unimpressed and disgusted by things that they don’t perceive as impressive. Sadness is honestly my favorite because she’s so mellow and quiet. She doesn’t seem to be sad, but just not as happy as Joy. This caveat represents the duality of Joy/Sadness.One cannot truly exist without the other being present.

That point is highlighted at the key pivotal scene that sets the movie off. As Riley starts her first day at school in San Francisco she is asked by a teacher to introduce herself and to tell the class something interesting. Fear freaks out and gets nervous which causes Riley to act nervous, Joy swoops in and plays something called a Core Memory – It’s basically a childhood memory – that is Joyous and Riley begins to talk about “the good ol’ days” in Minnesota with glee. During this, Sadness touches the Core Memory which turns the memory into a sad one as Riley becomes sad since she misses her life in Minnesota. The other Emotions start to panic.

It is very interesting to see how the Emotions and their responses actually affect Riley’s behavior in the real world. The memory becomes completely sad and Joy scrambles to fix everything only to make a bigger mess, resulting in her and Sadness being thrown out into the rest of Riley’s mind. (The key Emotions stay in what appears to be a tower which i assume could be dubbed as Riley’s Moral Compass. From here on out the rest of the movie takes place which is basically an adventure filled with twists, turns, and interesting takes on Psychological Developments that can occur when problems occur in our lives.

Here are some key points/questions that I want to point out:

  1. I’m not an expert or anything, but was Riley experiencing early stages of Depression? Important centers of her personality were beginning to mentally crumble and her attitude changed with each one.
  2. Random – But why did Riley’s parents have brown hair and eyes but she had blue eyes and blonde hair? Are those genetic traits that skipped her parents? If so, could that trait also hold genetic depression? Or was she just experiencing the difficulties of going through extreme changes?
  3. Were her parents almost on their way to a divorce? Watch the movie and tell me what you think.

Overall, I was very pleased and impressed by this movie. I thought it was cleaver and sent strong messages about Mental Illness and how to care for someone who’s going through mental changes.

Tell me what you think below in the comments!

 

 

Quick Review: Trolls

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Colors, Glitter, Gleeful Singing, and oh yeah – A Fire!

 

Okay, this is gonna be a quick and fast review! Trolls is an animated musical by Dreamworks. Its based upon the creepy little dolls of the same name (thats my mother NEVER let me buy for that very reason). This movie is definitely a family friendly movie that you watch when you want simple worry free entertainment. The comedy is mild and the songs are cute. The main characters are very predictable and so is the story line, which is why I wont discuss the story line here. You can gather what’s going to happen in the movie for yourself since it is so predictable. I did enjoy the qualities of the characters such as their features like extendable hair, glitter skin, and the detail work on the Bergens.

Overall, this is a good movie for everyone…except the ending where the chef is sat on fire along with another troll… but yeah, its a great movie still! Check it out!

Reel Review : The Autopsy of Jane Doe

To begin this review, let’s take it from the top down. Top meaning Pluses and Down meaning DISAPPOINTMENTS that I had with this movie.

1. Wise father is guiding his son in the Ancient Art of Coroner-ism. 

Okay, so I had no initial clue where this movie would would fall in the Supernatural/Horror genre. The movie itself only really sports two characters played by Emile Hirsch and Brian Cox. They play father and son who are coroners and help the local authorities determine causes of death of the deceased.  Oh yeah, their names are Austin, The Son(Emile Hirsch) and Tommy, The Father (Brian Cox). But because this movie ended up disappointing me in the end I’m going to refer to them as Father and Son.

the-autopsy-of-jane-doe-2-620x411   The movie starts off with the son trying to figure out why some old dude kicked the bucket. The son basically plays the “I’m trying to figure things out but I’m always 2 steps behind” type of character. His father who is the more older and skilled of the two explains how the old dude died and basically encourages his son to keep trying and working hard.

Off the bat, both characters are your basic father and son, young and old, wise and learning type of characters. Their dialog and chemistry makes these rehashed tropes bearable and quite likable. There is no arrogance within the father when it comes to his wisdom which can happen quite often with characters like him and there is no eye rolling stupidity from the son. It seems as though he is generally trying to learn the Ancient Art of being a coroner from his father.

2. Ice Challenge Champion! No seriously, dead body time.

Mmmk, so fast forwarding to the main portion. Basically, the Sherrif- Irrelevant Character- Police Guy brings the Coroner Family the body of the mysterious title character named Jane Doe. shes a brown haired, foggy eyed young woman who was found dead of an unknown cause.

screenshot-2016-12-21-00The Super Coroner Duo take on the case of solving Jane Doe’s death and they get straight to work. Now, here I think it’s important to note the family dynamic which really shifts the movie into motion.

After the father and son solve the cause of death of the old guy – I think he hit his head and basically burned to death – the son gets a text from his girlfriend. And let me just say her character was ANNOYING for the  .0050 seconds was had screentime. She was basically the “I wanna take a risk even though I know I can’t handle the consequences of my risk” type of character. Seriously, she wanted to take a look at the body of a guy who was murdered and get this… whoever murdered his shot him in the face with a shotgun resulting him pretty much NOT having a face.

Yeah, girls these days are weird…

Anyways, basically the son gets a text from his try hard girlfriend but since Jane Doe’s body got dumped on our Fantastic Duo at the last minute the son felt bad and couldn’t leave his dad behind to do all of the work. So, he ditches try hard…

This dynamic is what set the movie into motion. It’s JUST the father and son. the father is a widower and his son helps him out. I believe through examining dead bodies their father and son bond is strengthened. Especially after the mother’s death. Thus, it’s not just a plot mechanic to keep the story going but an absolute must based on their dynamic.

 3. Let’s play Operation!

So, as the story moves on the due starts trying to solve the cause of death. They basically lay out what their going to do. Start their examination externally, internally, and lastly the brain examination. It’s here where the movie starts really rolling out bland tropes.

In the beginning of their external examination, they have the radio playing. Due to the fact that a storm is brewing outside, the radio cuts back and forth between stations “on its own”. In reality anyone who has seen a horror would recognize the switching of stations isn’t just a coincidence. It’s being done intentionally by supernatural forces and are basically warning the characters NOT to tamper with Jane Doe’s body. the only character between the father and son who realizes whats happening IS THE SON. The father is absolutely taken back by the corpse’s condition.

Also, let me say that the father gives off vibes that he doesn’t believe in the supernatural. This explains why he doesn’t recognize the eeriness of the radio and things ( Lights flickering and so forth).

Now, I don’t want to go into too much detail about the examination because I want YOU – the reader- to watch this movie for yourself. However, just know they find some flat out cray cray stuff hidden in Jane Doe’s body…Kinda like playing Operation.

The WEIRDEST and last thing they find on their Corpse Scavenger Hunt is that the flesh under the skin of her torso reveals some weird roman numeral, Tic Tac Toe, wordsearch kinda message. Then, the lights go off and all the supernatural stuff starts happening…Really.

4. Jumpscare, Jumpscare, Don’t go in there, run for your life.

In the midst of all the crazy supernatural stiff happening, it turns out to be kinda predictable. Something is haunting them, they wanna escape, they don’t escape, they get the courage to face Jane Doe, annnddd….screenshot-2016-12-21-01

Its towards the later half where I started to get disappointed. Firstly, the monsters or whatever that’s terrorizing was actually scary until the end. It’s like the monsters are all over but not really. They scare then go away. Blah.

At the last minute the son finally remembers that they have an elevator. It’s like listen, I know that you are kinda stupid but you maybe should have thought of using the elevator to escape way back…Just sayin’. Somehow they cant escape but the girlfriend can find her way in, HOW? Why did she come back? Did the ghosts or whatever call her up and said her boyfriend is in trouble? WEIRD.

Lastly, we get to Jane Doe… MAJOR SPOILER ALERT.

They find out shes a witch from 17th century Salem who was tortured by the folks who hunted witches and she’s still alive. She is basically being kept alive by an energy and she’s acting out her torture on the father and son making them feel her pain. The dad eventually asks her to spare his sons life in exchange for his. This is the part that made me dislike the rest of the movie. Here you have a father who clearly loves his son and they get along by having a coronary business and they get dumped with the dead chick at the last minute by the police dude. What do they have to do with her death and torture?

I understand that she may have wrongly died at the hands of twisted religious fanatics, but jeeze, are you gonna curse everyone you come in contact with? Give me a break and just cross over already. You’ve killed enough people. The movie seemingly ends with the son being spared only to be fooled by the ghost and killed off. WHOOP DE DOO.

Overall Review:

It was an OK movie until the end which let me totally down. I don’t understand why the dead girl gotta kill everyone. None of the people who kills have anything to do with her and her initial death in the 17th century. Just give me a break…

Score: 7 out of 10

It was OK until the end. The dead chick kinda aggravated me… what can I say?

Watch the Trailer Below:

Tell me what YOU think below in the comment section!

All opinions are solely mines. Some pictures are taken from Google images and others from the trailer. I own nothing but my opinion.