Our third movie review volume includes Adam DeVine’s new Netflix movie “When We First Met”, to the life of P.T. Barnum in “The Greatest Showman”, to the story of Miguel in “Coco”, to the superhero of Wakanda in “Black Panther.” As always, we’re rating them based on our system from Aelous worthy (1 star) to Sky god worthy (5 stars).
When We First Met: Fate is a tricky lady
Geek god rate: thief worthy (2 out of 5 stars)
The old concept of the time machine was back in this new Netflix movie featuring Adam DeVine. Our story revolves around November 1 in the year 2017 in the engagement party of Avery Martin (played by Alexandra Daddario), a girl DeVine’s character Noah Ashby is in love with, and back to 2014, the day Noah met Avery in a party. The movie will go back and forth on those dates via, of course, the time machine, in a form of a photo booth, the same place where Noah fell in love with Avery, after which he was delegated to that sad place called friend zone. The movie was not so much as a time travel but a never-ending story of a man trying to escape the friend zone. This is some sort of a movie you would expect from Netflix, after scrolling their list for an hour. This is a romantic comedy that should pass as a time killer, something you’ll watch when you’re bored. But DeVine brought out the goods, making us laugh all the way through the end of the story while hating him at the same time for being such an a*hole.
The Greatest Showman: A million dreams are keeping me awake
Geek god rate: mortal worthy (3 out of 5 stars)
There’s a feel-good factor about this movie, and therein lies the “miracle” success of this movie at the box office. The Greatest Showman is loosely based on the life of P. T. Barnum, the American showman, politician, and businessman remembered for promoting celebrated hoaxes and for founding the Barnum & Bailey Circus. There was something mesmerizing watching this movie in the big screen, and while you may not want to sing along with the characters, you will go out in the movie feeling satisfied that you haven’t passed on the chance to see it on the big screen. The story is nowhere near the true life of Barnum, and the storyline’s depth is almost non-existent (though they have propped up issues regarding dreams and equality, those sort of things), but it is entertaining nonetheless, after all, as the closing credits rolled out, it received an applause from the audience, something that I was surprised to witness. And, honestly, I clapped alongside them too. It was easy, as the songs came to a close, with a rousing rendition of the title song “The Greatest Showman” still ringing in our ears. Screw the critics.
Coco: Remember me each time you hear a sad guitar
Geek god rate: sky god worthy (5 out of 5 stars)
Pixar strikes again. In Coco we found ourselves reminiscing the days of Toy Story, back on our childhood days. But this is different. This is like watching our own story, not some story of a white kid in a far away country with his talking toys. This is our story, Miguel is us! From the brown face which looked like a glazed donut when wet, to the celebration of the Day of the Dead, it’s like watching ourselves and our family on the big screen. Despite his family’s generations-old ban on music, young Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead. After meeting a charming trickster named Héctor, the two new friends embark on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history. Both entertaining and heartwarming, this is a movie that will not allow you to hit pause because its storyline is mesmerizing and its songs are addictive. This is an empowering film that will make you cheer for Miguel as he navigates the land of the dead, as Orpheus did, with the help of his guitar. The characters feel like home, the setting is home, and heartbreak and nostalgia you will feel are real. Of course, throw in Gael García Bernal as Héctor and this movie just reached the beyond perfect level.
Black Panther: A superhero who looked like us “both outside of and underneath the mask”
Geek god rate: sky god worthy (5 out of 5 stars)
To start with, we like to share here some of the words of Tre Johnson‘s article in the Rolling Stone
“As a child in school, I rarely reached for the black or brown Crayola crayons in my superhero coloring books; I have a lifetime’s worth of Halloweens where I weighed how often I could or should dress as the white superheroes. I couldn’t find ones that looked like me both outside of and underneath the mask. An entire generation of children will now know that a black superhero, society, imagination, and power can exist right alongside Peter Parker, Steve Rogers, and Bruce Wayne. An entire generation of children will not know what it feels like to not see themselves reflected back on costume racks, coloring books or movie screens. We’re at a pivotal time where these characters and stories are coming not out of permission or obligation, but a necessity.
It has been someone’s time before again and again and again. But 2018’s late winter will belong to Wakanda much like 2017’s early summer belonged to Wonder Woman. We’ve been waiting to see ourselves onscreen, flying through the air and running across buildings and dodging laser blasts from bearded colonialists our entire lives.”
Another consequential movie, something Marvel Studios hasn’t done for a long time. The acceptance of diversity and representation (finally!) makes this movie remarkable, sure, but the dynamics of a superhero film is here, with a storyline that is more than just a passing installment, but a story that is never before seen in any superhero movie. It is refreshing as it is new, a welcome respite from the endless march of superhero stories from Spiderman to Superman, all of which have the same, tiring narrative. After the death of his father, T’Challa returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place as king. When a powerful enemy suddenly reappears, T’Challa’s mettle asking — and as Black Panther — gets tested when he’s drawn into a conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people. The performance of the cast is strong, feeding to a story with so much depth on it, set in a world that almost feels real, we want to visit Wakanda right now. For reminding us who we collectively are, for letting us see ourselves as superheroes, flying on screen, for celebrating a culture long ignored by the mainstream movie industry, we gave this movie the Wakanda salute it deserves.
PS: Shout out to Daniel Kaluuya as W’Kabi, for some reason, he’s our favorite character.