Tag Archives: Naomi Scott

Cinema Dispatch: Charlie’s Angels

CHARLIESANGELSCD0

Charlie’s Angels and all the images you see in this review are owned by Sony Pictures Releasing

Directed by Elizabeth Banks

I’ve never seen the Charlie’s Angels movies from the early 2000s, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen the original TV series either.  Heck, I’m pretty sure the closest thing I’ve seen to it was Totally Spies, and while that has its fans, it’s pretty much been dropped into the memory hole with dozens of other 2000s shows that you don’t remember.  So if nothing else, I can at least come into this series with a relatively fresh perspective, and I’ve got to say that I’ve been pretty interested in what we’ve been shown so far; particularly the cast which looks to be amazing and the fact that it’s being directed by Elizabeth Banks who has been gaining some momentum as a voice behind the camera as well as in front of it.  Does this reboot of the seventies classic bring the franchise into the twenty first century; at least for the second time?  Let’s find out!!

Elena (Naomi Scott) is a scientist working at some business company on some new technology that will revolutionize the power industry through… I guess computer coding?  The invention in this case is called Calisto which is a little box the size of an Echo Dot or a Google Home that can somehow power entire rooms and even buildings.  However, there is ONE itty-bitty flaw with it in that it can cause people to have brain aneurisms through some sort of bug that Elena is SURE she can fix, but her misogynistic boss (Nat Faxon) won’t let her because they have to get it to market and he wants to take all the credit for it.  If only there was an agency that understood her plight as a woman in tech and could help her stop a supervillain plot at the same time.  Oh wait!  There is!  The Townsend Agency consists primarily of Bosleys and Angels; the latter being the agents who go on missions and the former being the ones to coordinate the Angels.  The two angles who got assigned to Elena’s case are Sabina and Jane (Kristen Stewart and Ella Balinska) and it should be a straightforward Exposé of company documents, but when an assassin (Jonathan Tucker) shows up and takes out one of the Bosleys (Djimon Hounsou), things have clearly escalated to a point far more seirous than Elena had ever imagined.  With the help of a new Bosley (Elizabeth Banks), the three women team up to try and take () back from the evil company and find out just what it is they plan on doing with it in its current deadly state.  Will Elena prove herself to be a true Angel in the making despite a lifetime of being under the thumb of patriarchal and woman unfriendly industry?  What are Sabina and Jane’s story, and will they find excuses to clash with one another when they really should be working together to save the world?  Most importantly of all, does this succeed in empowering women to be in silly spy movies just like men can!?

CHARLIESANGELSCD1

“Why does SHE get the gun?”     “Do you know how to use a gun?”     “I mean… it’s the principal of the matter.”     “WHAT principal!?”     “Uh… feminism?”     “Yeah… no.”     “You’re right.  My bad.”

Continue reading

Cinema Dispatch: Aladdin

ALADDINCD0

Aladdin and all the images you see in this review are owned by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Directed by Guy Ritchie

The Disney money train just keeps on rolling, doesn’t it!?  With nowhere else to go but back to the well, they’ve been pumping out remakes, reboots, and even sequels for some time now with… let’s say MIXED results.  In fact, Dumbo might have been the last straw to finally knocking these into MOSTLY BAD territory; and I’m not liking the way that Lion King movie is shaping up despite its solid casting!  Still, Aladdin is probably the film BEST suited for the big budgeted live action retelling considering how cinematic and adventurous it is, and the fact that the story’s already been done in live action in the past!  Can Disney pull off another remake of a beloved nineties property, or are we gonna have to wait for Maleficent 2 for things to get back on track?  Let’s find out!!

In the wondrous city of Agrabah, there once lived a thief known as Aladdin (Mena Massoud) who spent most of his days stealing apples and talking to his monkey Abu; presumably because he gave up on forming attachments to other humans and find that monkeys are less likely to stab you in the back.  I mean they COULD what with apposable thumbs, but that’s beside the point!  What’s important is that one day he meets a woman in the local bazar who doesn’t seem to understand how money works which you’d think she WOULD considering she’s Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott), the one and only daughter to the Sultan (Navid Negahban), but I guess when you’re THAT rich possessions and currency don’t hold much value.  Thankfully Aladdin is there to smooth things over, and by smooth things over I mean help her run away, and the two hit it off almost immediately which would normally be good news if it weren’t for the fact that she can only marry a prince.  That’s where the Sultan’s Grand Vizier Jafar (Marwan Kenzari) comes in who sees something in this street rat and wants to use him to get his hands on the Magic Lamp for clearly nefarious purposes, and so spins him a tall tale of how doing this one job for him will get him all the riches he could dream of and become a prince in his own right!  Well Aladdin at least holds his end of the bargain up, but things inevitably go wrong and he’s stuck there with nothing but his monkey, a magic carpet and oh yeah THE MAGIC LAMP which houses a TERRIFYING Genie (Will Smith) that promises him three wishes for finding his lamp!  What will Aladdin wish for, and will it be enough to win the heart of the Princess?  How long can he keep up the ruse he concocts, and will he be able to fool the sharp witted Vizier; even WITH the Genie’s magic?  More importantly, who needs a Genie when you can capitalize on people’s nostalgia?  That ALREADY gets you all the riches in the world!!

ALADDINCD1

“Do you trust me?  To tastefully pay homage to an animated classic?”     “Well…”

Continue reading

Cinema Dispatch: Power Rangers

POWERRANGERSCD0

Power Rangers and all the images you see in this review are owned by Lionsgate

Directed by Dean Israelite

Look, I’ve been dreading this one since they released the first image of them in their power suits, and everything since then just seemed to confirm my suspicions about what this movie was going to be.  On top of that, while I do have a soft spot for some Power Rangers/Super Sentai stuff (I have the movie with Ivan Ooze on VHS and I’m a pretty big fan of Tensou Sentai Goseiger), my knowledge of the Mighty Morphin iteration of this franchise is pretty limited.  It’s an odd place to be in when going into this movie as I’m someone who still needs to be taught pretty much everything about the movie, but I’m also gonna be more aware than most when it comes to how much this diverts from what the core of Power Rangers is supposed to be.  Now I don’t often go into movies READY to hate them, but there have been occasions where I went in knowing that there’s a pretty good chance I’ll end up hating it, and this is one of those times.  Now that’s not to say I wasn’t going to give this movie credit if it DID end up being great… it was just that my expectations were very low from the outset.  Did this movie ultimately prove me wrong and ended up being a worthwhile reinterpretation of the original series as well as a great continuation of the Power Rangers brand, or was this movie everything I dreaded it to be and so much worse?  Let’s find out!!

As I’m sure we all know, the story of Power Rangers is about five teenagers with attitude who are chosen by the Great and Powerful Zordon (Bryan Cranston) to fight alien monsters who threaten their small town of Angel Grove and by extension planet Earth.  This sticks pretty close to that, though replace teenagers with attitudes to teenagers with angst, tragedies, mean streaks, and felonies, and replace chosen with begrudgingly accept because unlike the previous version, the teens find Zordon rather than the other way around.  COINCIDENTALLY ON THE SAME DAY THAT THE TEENS FIND ZORDON, Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks) is fished out the ocean instead of being uncorked from some canister on the moon, and proceeds to run amuck in Angel Grove while slowly gaining her powers back.  Now the new Power Rangers which are comprised of Jason, Kimberly, Billy, Trini, and Zack (Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Becky G, and Ludi Lin) must come together as a team and fend off the bad guy before she finds the McGuffin of Ultimate Destiny (I think they called it a Zeo Crystal) and… blows up the Earth I guess?  Can these teens who aren’t even friends to begin with find a way to overcome their differences and beat the crap out of the space witch?  Will they learn to control their individual animal robot vehicles in time to fend off Rita’s gold monster thingy and eventually come together to form one giant robot?  WHY IS EVERYTHING I JUST DESCRIBED SO DISAPPOINTINGLY REALIZED IN THIS MOVIE!?

POWERRANGERSCD1

Hey, I’m pretty sure drugs are the only thing to make this even REMOTELY resemble Power Rangers.

Continue reading