Film Review: Pele, Birth of a Legend

This movie follows the story of Edson “Dico” Nascimento, better known as the football legend Pele. This movie shows Pele’s life before his illustrious soccer career, back during his childhood in Brazil and eventual lead up to the 1958 World Cup. It shows the trials and obstacles Pele had to overcome before even playing for the National team.

Whether it be because of his mother discouraging him from playing soccer to eventually losing interest in playing soccer at all, Pele’s path to football stardom seemed all but lost. However, and as can be seen in various moments throughout the movie, Pele refused to give up. Determination and undying hope would follow him everywhere he went and would be the fuel pushing him to pursue a career in professional football.

This movie was a heartwarmer, showing his family life as a child, and showing who Pele was. Rather than just knowing him as a really good football player, it showed all the struggles he would face and just how difficult his journey truly was. What can be taken away from this movie is that you should always stay true to yourself and never once doubt in yourself and what you are able to do. Never give up in whatever happens, and no challenge is impossible to overcome.

-Kobe L.

Film Review: Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom

This movie is just like all the other sequels to Jurassic Park. After seeing all the other movies in the franchise and seeing the new direction of the movies especially Jurassic World, I did not have very high expectations for this movie. And after watching it, the movie was exactly what I had expected, a bad story line with a bunch of special effects.

Honestly, I had only watched the movie for the actions and the special effects and it didn’t disappoint. The best part of the movie was defiantly just watching dinosaurs destroy things and seeing things burn.

However as the story line goes, it does get annoying seeing the characters make the same mistakes that happened in every other Jurassic movie. The story was just like Jurassic Park 2, people get tricked to go onto the island to bring back dinosaurs and everything goes wrong. And every part of the story that isn’t just a copy of Jurassic Park 2 makes very little sense and is extremely predictable.

Overall the movie was just OK. It is nothing to go out of your way to see. I enjoyed watching it for the special effects but everything else was repetitive and nothing special.  But, if you want to watch a movie to see a lot of action without having to really pay attention to what is going on, it is the perfect movie.

-Ava G.

Film Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story

I have been a fan of  Star Wars ever since I was little and was super excited when Disney picked up Star Wars and started making more movies. But, I was just disappointed in them and I was hoping this movie would be better. It was. It wasn’t great and I’m sure I didn’t completely dislike because it was Disney.

It was really interesting getting to learn Han Solo’s backstory. But there was so much more room for a more creative story. It in some ways filled in the gaps of who Han Solo is in ways that I didn’t really like. I didn’t really like the way they portrayed all the characters it made some of them seem different than who they were in the original movies. Some of Han’s backstory did also seem like it was a bit similar to Darth Vaders because Disney characterized them in similar ways .

Also, even though it is Han Solo, it bugged me that Disney had to put in yet another one of their cliche love stories into the movie. It in a way it reminded me of the Padme and Anakin relationship.

I did like the fighting scenes though. There was some classic Star Wars style fighting scenes and special effects that I really enjoyed watching. It helped the movie seem like a Star Wars movie.

I still enjoyed watching the movie and would totally recommend any Star Wars fan to watch it. But it isn’t really about the storyline, it’s more about the special effects and fighting.

-Ava G.

Voltron: Legendary Defender; Season One Review

Voltron” is a name that may be familiar with people of many different generations. It was most noticeable for its original debut in the 1980s under the show titled Voltron: Defender of the Universe, however it has had many revivals over the years with…generally subpar success to their names.  But its most recent incarnation, Voltron: Legendary Defender, quickly shot up in popularity when Netflix announced it in 2016.  So what was all the hype about?

Voltron: Defender of the Universe brought up dark subjects with children that other, similar cartoons would often avoid. It was still incredibly corny, of course, but it left a lasting impact on its young audience because it didn’t shy away from these topics.  Needless to say, Voltron: Legendary Defender had a lot to live up to.  If it couldn’t impact old fans and new fans in a similar way to the original, it would fade into obscurity like the reboots before it.  So was it impactful?  Did it live up to the legacy of the original show?

Over the next few months, I’ll be taking a look at this reboot season by season to see if it’s worth all the hype it received.

Season one of Voltron: Legendary Defender is very simplistic, but sets up a very interesting world with its eleven episodes. From the first episode – which, to be fair, is an hour long without commercials, so it does have a lot of time to make a first impression – you can immediately tell the tone that this series wants to take.  The opening scene literally depicts the kidnapping and torture of three innocent human astronauts.  Immediately after, though, we cut to the antics of three in-training space cadets: Lance, Hunk, and Pidge.  This may sound contradictory but the show is very good at balancing the serious moments with the more lighthearted moments.

The Galra Empire is an empire that has spread its reach throughout the universe for thousands of years, and they have conquered almost every planet up until the Milky Way. Their leader, Zarkon, grows stronger with every planet they conquer, and the heroes are racing against time to defeat this big baddy.  This is the premise of the show, and the turmoil and politics of the Galra empire are a major plot point within the series.

The story of this season ends with quite a bang as well. The heroes take a rescue mission right into the heart of Galra territory, and face off with Zarkon himself.  Although they’re able to escape, they don’t escape without taking some heavy damage first, and the season ends on a dramatic cliff hanger.  It’s a cheesy way to rack up interest for the next season, but it works.  So does the series fulfill its enticing premise and current potential?  Tune in next time to find out!

-Leanne W.

Film Review: Persepolis

Persepolis film.jpg

This is a movie I watched a long time ago, and loved. It’s based off of the graphic novel

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, and tells the story of her childhood in and out of Iran, before and after the Iranian Revolution that ended 2,500 years of continuous Persian monarchical rule and installed the government of today.

While I didn’t read the graphic novel, I find the movie’s animation style very interesting. It’s unlike anything else. The present-day is animated in color, but the important parts, the story of her childhood, is in grayscale.

Image result for persepolis movieWhat was most memorable, of course, was the fact that this is based off of a true story. Marji goes from an outspoken child to someone who suffers the loss of multiple relatives and friends, and sees her country constantly at war. Despite this, she does her best to stay herself.

As the new government becomes increasingly oppressive and systematically takes away human freedoms, she and her friends find solace in sneaking in Western rock CDs to class, wearing punk pullovers, and doing other things to rebel against the government. After standing up for herself in school, she’s sent to a school in Austria to keep her safe, which she loves but doesn’t quite fit in to. She jumps from house to house, each time meeting someone even more ridiculous, before ending up on the streets. After almost dying, she returns to Iran, where things are just as she remembers, but it’s her that changed. Marji falls into a deep depression, but eventually makes it out and vows to not let the people she love down. Unfortunately, that’s not the end of her troubles. Image result for persepolis movieBefore watching this movie, I knew little about Iran and Iranian people. But seeing the world from another perspective really has taught me a lot. I’ll remember Persepolis for the wonderful jokes, animation, and story (Does contain some adult content). You should definitely watch if you have time over the summer.

-Michael Z.

Persepolis is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

Avengers: Infinity War

I went into the theatre to watch Infinity War super excited because I honestly just wanted to see how Marvel would finally kill some of its superheroes. And well, overall ways the movie kind of disappointed me. I still enjoyed the movie but after all of the hype, I was just expecting something different.

The entire movie was basically just action. It started with minimal setup and the rest of the movie seemed like action and violence with a small amount of storyline woven in. I just thought that with everything that Marvel had to work with, they could have written a better storyline. It wasn’t a bad storyline it just seemed to be very similar to all the other superhero movies that had been made, just blown up to a larger scale and the special effects were great. But, the amount of action was so overkill that after a while it almost got boring.

To really understand this movie, you really had to watch all the other Marvel movies that had recently came out because there was small pieces of the storyline that were explained in the other movies that the movie makers had expected the audience to know. Which, I think was kind of a good and bad thing. I found it cool that they could tie everything together but, the parts explained in the other movie where so minimal that I feel like it was more of a money grab. It was also kind of hard to remember all these parts because I hadn’t watched some of the other movies in a while which, made some of the storyline kind of confusing. So, I would definitely suggest going back and watching the other Marvel movies before seeing Infinity War.

Now I really liked just seeing all the characters together. I liked seeing how Marvel portrayed having all these different characters together and how they interacted with each other. It was nice seeing some of the more minor characters back in a movie again.

The best part of the movie, for me, was the fact that some of the superheroes finally died. I know that they aren’t probably going to stay dead, but it was about time that Marvel killed some of their superheroes. Though, the way they killed them was kind of disappointing.

Marvel did make us wait a long time for the end credit scene though.

I would still totally recommend this movie especially if you’re into superhero movies.  It was still a good movie and I had a lot of fun watching it.

– Ava G.

October Sky

This movie follows Homer Hickam and friends in the town of Coalwood, West Virginia around 1957. His father, John Hickam, wants Homer to join him in the mines. However, after seeing Sputnik 1 shoot across the sky, Homer becomes determined to build a rocket of his own. Homer and his friends Quentin, Roy, and O’Dell set off on building this rocket. Though their first couple of rockets are utter failures, they continue trying to build and test out these rockets with the support of their teacher Miss Riley. However, their rocket building endeavors hit a snag when local authorities blame them for causing a forest fire, leading to the group of boys tearing down their launch site and ending further rocket testing. Undeterred, Homer is able to prove through calculations that he and his friends were not the cause of the forest fire and resume building rockets, eventually getting to the state science fair.

This movie was amazing in that it shows the power of passion for whatever may interest you. By putting in their all and never giving up in the face of failure, Homer and his friends were able to completely change the path of their future that washeld for them. The audience may ask themselves, “How is this even reasonable? There’s no way simple interest in rockets and entering a science fair can alter someone’s future this greatly!” However, this was in fact based off of a real story! This movie teaches a great story of following one’s dreams and the importance of family in one’s success. It is a great movie to watch, with an even greater lesson behind it.

-Kobe L.