When I was growing up, a lot of kids I went to school with got involved with the big Pokémon craze. I admit I never really got into it, but I enjoyed hearing stories on the playground and seeing other kids have fun with it all.
So several months ago, when I heard there was going to be a new “Pokémon: Detective Pikachu” movie, my first thought was “Okay, it’s official: Hollywood’s out of ideas.” So I didn’t go and see it in theaters, but this past weekend I was able to find the movie online and I ended up being pleasantly surprised with the movie, which has been a bit of a theme with me and entertainment this year so far.
The movie follows young Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) as he works to solve his dad’s disappearance with dad’s Pokémon partner Pikachu (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) helping on the case.
The first thing I have to give praise to with this movie is the Pokémon design. The people involved with the design of these creatures had to have been fans of the franchise because the final result of each Pokémon is great. It’s still obvious they’re cartoons, but the overall design of them was very well done and I could tell there was a lot of work involved to ensure everything turned out right for the fans. My favorite designs were for Pikachu himself (whose overall design is basically an electricity-filled puppy) and the Charizard dragon Pokémon seen later in the movie.
Last week was the 4th of July, which meant barbecues, fireworks and baseball – and for many rabid fans, the release of season three of Netflix’s hit “Stranger Things.” The series follows a group of friends in the small, possibly not-so-sleepy town of Hawkins, Ind. as they battle supernatural forces.
I’ve been working to re-watch the series these past couple weeks so I wouldn’t forget everything that happened and then this past weekend, I took myself and my laptop to my sofa to watch the most recent season of the show. I’d been waiting for quite a while for the third season to be released and I was so excited – and as it turned out, I had every reason to be.
Season one followed the investigation into the disappearance of young Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) amid supernatural events occurring around Hawkins, including the appearance of a girl with psychokinetic abilities who helps Will's friends in their search. Season two is set one year later in October 1984 and deals with everyone’s attempts to return to normality after the events from the year prior. Season three is set in the summer of 1985 and follows the group of friends as relationships blossom and as they deal with yet more otherworldly forces.
One of the first things I noticed for season three is how utterly 1980s it is, from the stores in Hawkins’ new Starcourt Mall (which include The Gap and other favorites) down to the fashion choices of the characters. The overall vibe is really cool and should invoke a lot of nostalgia for the show’s viewers who grew up in the 1980s. I also love how the show overall is accurate of the time period as far as the movies that get referenced, and it shows the producers actually took the time to research what movies and other pop culture were prevalent back then – it’s those extra details that make the show so great, and season three did a great job as well.
It’s very rare when I get to see a movie on opening night and Tuesday night, I got to do just that. I took advantage of my free night and decided to see Marvel’s newest, “Spider-Man: Far From Home.”
The movie takes place shortly after the events of the overall heart-wrenching “Avengers: Endgame” and follows Peter Parker a.k.a. Spider-Man (played by Tom Holland) as he goes on vacation to Europe with his class and tries to take a break from everything that has happened in his life. But when a seemingly otherworldly threat hits close and S.H.I.E.L.D needs his help, his plans drastically change.
Like usual, one of the first things I have to give praise to for the movie is the acting. Holland, who has played the titular webslinger since his short debut in “Captain America: Civil War,” continues to grow his acting chops in the role and turns in another great performance as Peter Parker. Holland has really come into his own in the role and I believe he’ll come have a bright future in the acting world. One of the main points of the movie is how Parker is dealing with Tony Stark’s death at the end of “Endgame” and Holland nails all of the necessary emotions. The best scene concerning this happens in the third act of the movie when he finally breaks down and admits how much he misses Stark and how much it’s affected him. The scene has just enough emotion to make viewers feel it right along with Peter, but it’s also just subtle enough that it’s not a totally melodramatic scene. Overall, Holland has found that perfect balance of not only channeling his youth in order to effectively play a high school student, but he’s also just old enough to let some wisdom also shine through.