Cinema Dispatch: Trolls World Tour

TROLLS2CD0

Trolls World Tour and all the images you see in this review are owned by DreamWorks and Universal Pictures

Directed by David SF Wilson

I know I’m a week late on this, but even with the convince of being able to watch this one at home (and let’s be frank here, I’m not spending THAT much more money than I would at the theater), I just couldn’t be asked when it actually came out and frankly I had better things to do like play that Final Fantasy VII remake than watch a sequel to an animated film I didn’t like all that much.  But even if we do have the perfect excuse to sit around and do nothing as it is now the socially conscionable thing to do, I still need to maintain SOME sort of routine to not go stir crazy in here, so fine.  Let’s buckle down and watch yet another toy commercial dance around for an hour and a half while playing all the songs your parents used to like!  Does it manage to somehow surpass the low expectations that its predecessor had set, or are we in for a LONG bout of isolation if this is the bets that studios can give us in these tumultuous times?  Let’s find out!!

Following the events of the first film, Queen Poppy (Anna Kendrick) is living out her fantabulous troll life singing songs, performing dance numbers, and being worshiped by her beloved subjects.  Her best friend Branch (Justin Timberlake) seems a bit more uneasy about the idyllic life but he puts up with it in the hope getting out of the friend zone (ugh…) to either spend the rest of his life with the troll he loves or this is some elaborate power play to become KING OF THE TROLLS!  Of course it’s not the latter (that would be far too interesting), but instead the conflict ends up being a group of ROCK TROLLS led by Queen Barb (Rachel Bloom) who is traveling across the land attacking similarly music-themed tribes to steal their magical music strings that the former King Peppy (Walt Dohrn) failed to clue Poppy in about during her Queen initiation.  Apparently each tribe of musical trolls (the trolls we know are known as the Pop trolls) has a magical string that signifies their music, and does… something.  I’m not exactly sure what, but if Barb gets all six of them, puts them on her super awesome guitar, and plays some tasty licks with them, it’ll turn all the trolls into Rock trolls which will unify the troll kingdoms which will accomplish… something.  In any case, Poppy wants to try and negotiate with Barb to see if they can unify peacefully, but it becomes clear that she’s more about taking everything over than working together, and so she and Branch along with Biggie (James Corden) have to travel the land and try to get the other tribes to work together to stop Barb from fulfilling her dastardly destiny.  Will Poppy be able to convince any of the other tribes that working together is better than falling apart?  Is there more to the history of the strings and these tribes than Poppy knows, and will that play a key role in defining the course of this current crisis?  Do you think Justin Timberlake ever wonders why he’s not in better movies or has he just resigned himself to mid-level animated shlock?

TROLLS2CD1
“I was in The Social Network.  WHAT HAPPENED TO ME!?”

Continue reading “Cinema Dispatch: Trolls World Tour”

Cinema Dispatch: Jexi

JEXICD0

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

Directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore

We are still VERY much in catch up mode right now and it’s starting to get a bit distressing as more and more movies I wanted to see close to leaving theaters, but at least I managed to catch THIS one which somehow got to my second run theater a good three to four weeks before I would have expected it to!  You know how I found out that they had it?  I USED MY PHONE!!  It all connects if you look hard enough!  Anyway, does this story about a phone with a heart of gold and the mouth of a sailor manage to be a biting and hilarious critique of how we interact and even bond with our electronic devices, or is it just a silly movie about the kids these days and their addition to screens?  Let’s find out!!

This is the story of a man named Phil (Adam DeVine) who spends all his time on his phone and has no connections with anyone else; especially at his job where he writes top ten lists for a website run by the maniacal Kai (Michael Peña).  I’m not sure why he has to go to an office to do that, especially since he doesn’t seem to get anything out of being around other people like his coworkers Craig and Elaine (Ron Funches and Charlyne Yi), but that’s his life and he seems to be content with it.  Until of course his phone breaks after a run in with a local bike shop owner named Cate (Alexndra Shipp) and he has to go buy a new one which seems simple enough but turns into madcap hilarity when the AI assistant turns out to be a wise cracking, truth telling, emotionally berating, hard ass named Jexi who doesn’t put up with ANY of Phil’s crap and tries to get his life in order if for no other reason than how embarrassing it is to be around him.  At first it seems to work as her tough love advice leads to him making friends at work, expanding his horizons a bit, and even landing a date with Cate, but once the job of fixing him comes closer and closer to being finished what is left for Jexi to do?  Can Phil put his life back on track and learn to be the kind of person those MILLENNIALS ARE RUINING EVERYTHING articles wants us to be?  What will Jexi do once she’s no longer needed and Cate starts to horn in on her territory?  Is this what the AI in HER would have acted like if she was the star of that Joker movie?

JEXICD1
“You wanna know how I got these scars?  YOU DROPPED ME WHILE EATING THAT CANDY BAR!!“     “Oh come on baby!  I got you that protective case, didn’t I?”

Continue reading “Cinema Dispatch: Jexi”