Rise of Gru Movie

Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2, and Despicable Me 3 all follow similar storylines where the main character Gru and his minions fight other super-villains, whether it’s for the safety of the world or for selfish reasons. However, in the newly released movie Minions: The Rise of Gru, there’s a different plot where 11-year-old Gru is trying to prove that he can be a successful supervillain. After being rejected by the Vicious Six villain group, Gru steals their most valuable treasure and becomes their target. When an independent supervillain, Wild Knuckles, finds out about Gru and his robbery, he kidnaps him with the hope that Gru’s minions will pay him the ransom of the special jewel, which is also the treasure Gru stole. 

This movie was, and probably will be for a very long time, the funniest movie I have ever seen. Having the minions in the movie already guarantees some high-level comedy, but the way the movie was planned to include silliness every few minutes constantly kept me laughing! 

Not only was this movie hilarious, but it was also a great movie in general. There were numerous plot twists, but also some sad moments, which were followed by humorous ones. In this movie, Gru, despite being a youngster, showed his potential to be an incredible super-villain (which he eventually achieved in Despicable Me). Also, after partnering with Wild Knuckles, Gru learns how to be a true villain and discovers his aspirations for his career. 

I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone who enjoyed the Despicable Me series. However, you don’t need to have watched the previous Minions movies to enjoy this movie. If you like to laugh, I suggest you give this movie a try! You won’t be disappointed!

Marvel Marvel Marvel, Is it as Good as they say?

Spiderman! Spiderman! Spiderman! Ever since the release of Spiderman: No Way Home, the Marvel fan base has been reignited. The Covid-19 pandemic has put a hold on most production of movies for the last year and a half, nevertheless, this new marvel movie has earned over $1 billion of profit since its release on December 17, 2021. In honor of the new interest in the Marvel Universe, here are my absolute favorites movies.

Along with most of the fanbase, one of my personal top movies is Avengers: Endgame. This movie brought together almost every Marvel character to fight a common enemy. Additionally, the sound and visual effects are immaculate. The images of space are breathtaking and make you feel as if you are alongside the Avengers. Most importantly, it finally tied up a respectable ending to some of the original Marvel Characters including Iron Man and Captain America. Both beloved characters that have been portrayed on screen for over a decade received proper endings.

Another personal favorite is the 2017 film Thor: Ragnarok. If you are a lover of both comedy and action, this is the perfect movie for you. This movie has many lines that will guarantee a laugh from you. Additionally, the movie showcases both strong female and male leads that fight alongside one another. The story follows Thor attempting to prevent the Goddess of Death, Hela, who happens to be his sister, from taking over Asgard. Along the way he gathers the Hulk, Loki and a Valkyrie to aid him. For any Loki fans out there, his more caring side is broadcasted during this movie.

Now back to the big movie going around, Spiderman. Spiderman No Way Home was an amazing movie to experience. For any people who have not seen it, there may be tiny spoilers ahead, read with caution. The new Spiderman movie and end of the trilogy was a masterpiece. It follows up on the revealing of Peter Parker’s identity and the audience witnesses the effects on Peter’s life. Doctor Strange aids Peter during this difficult time along with his best friend Ned, and girlfriend MJ. Just like any other teenager, the stress of college admission is showcased which causes Peter to make many rash decisions that cause major consequences. For any fans of the original Spiderman trilogy or The Amazing Spider Man movies, this movie is a must see. 

If any of you reading are now convinced to watch some Marvel Movies, I advise you to be ready for an addiction that may come!

-Lilly G.

Film Review: Venom: Let There Be Carnage

First of all, let me just say that Venom, the 2018 prequel to this movie, was pretty good considering it was the first real Venom movie marvel fans have ever gotten. It had a strong antagonist, protagonist, and had a central problem of the movie. But Venom Let There Be Carnage blew me away.

The movie was really well directed and I couldn’t wait to see it. Featuring Tom Hardy, Woody Harrelson, and Naomie Harris, the movie follows Eddie Brock and his symbiotic parasite Venom as they uncover the story of local serial killer Cletus Kasady.

Along the way, Cletus picks up a symbiote of his own and becomes Carnage, the main antagonist of the movie. I feel that Carnage had a strong reason to do what he did and was overall a really good villain in the movie compared to the original villain of the Venom movie, Riot.

I liked the fact that Venom and Eddie kept arguing throughout the movie and even splitting up for part of it, because it shows just how much they need each other for survival, and really brings forth a comedic aspect to their relationship.

The villain and hero in this movie are based on the original Marvel comic books and having read some of those I can say that these characters fit their original molds pretty well. However, in the comics Carnage is more evil and crazy, and I think that they could have incorporated his nature from the comics better into the movie, even though this would have required a more serious viewer rating.

The fight scenes in this movie were way better than the original Venom movie, and I just think that this movie was a really great addition to Eddie Brock’s storyline and I think that Andy Serkis did a really great job of directing this movie. It had funny moments, serious moments, and was just really good in general.

So, overall, this movie is really great, and I definitely recommend that you check it out. Hope you enjoy it!

-Brandt D.

Streaming versus Theaters

Before COVID and quarantine, movie theaters were always the place to see the best new movies when they came out. Though streaming services were great for watching older movies or TV shows as nostalgia, they weren’t really used as a way to release new content. Now with new restrictions and most movie theaters being closed, streaming services are beginning to release brand new movies and TV shows on their own. 

This completely changes the experience of how a movie is watched. Usually when watching in theater, you get there early to grab drinks and snacks before making your way into the movie to watch previews for movies you might want to see later that year. With streaming services, such as Disney+ releasing their own movies or TV shows, people can watch movies in more relaxed settings. The downside is it seems like a much smaller deal. Plus, there are little to no previews so it becomes harder to find what to watch next.

I’ve also found with streaming services putting out their own content, I’m actually less likely to watch it than I was if it were to come out in theaters. Usually when I go onto a streaming app with the intention to watch something new, I end up clicking on something I’ve either already seen or am in the middle of rather than something entirely new. 

Now of course, streaming platforms releasing new shows and movies and documentaries has been very helpful when I find myself bored with what I’m currently watching but I don’t find the experience matches at all to that of going to a movie theater. Hopefully sometime soon, the two can merge and be released both in movies safely while also being available on multiple streaming services right away rather than limited to just one.

-Danielle B.

Movies to Watch

Lots of us enjoy watching movies, but sometimes we can’t find any movies that we are interested in. If you feel like that, don’t worry because these are some great movies that you can watch! These are all movies that I really enjoyed. I really loved watching these because they were entertaining, made me laugh or they taught me something. I hope that you will be able to find something new to watch off of this list. 

These movies are not ranked or in order. 

The Hobbit: This movie is proof of heart over height. Even though it is just a movie, it really shows that willpower is more important than being tall or big. Bilbo Baggins, a tiny hobbit, who is only a couple feet tall and way shorter than a dwarf or a man, is the main character in the movie series. Bilbo and his dwarf friends work to take back their mountain and kingdom that Smaug the Dragon took from them. There are 3 movies about this adventure. They are called “An Unexpected Journey”, “The Desolation of Smaug”, and “The Battle of the Five Armies”. 

Lord of the Rings Series: As a sequel to the Hobbit, this movie series is about destroying the one ring that controls them all. Bilbo leaves the ring for Frodo, and Frodo leaves on a mission with his friends and fellow hobbits to get to Mount Doom and destroy the evil behind the ring. This is a great movie series that combines fantasy and adventure, and it also sneaks in lessons about friendship and loyalty. The 3 parts to this movie are “The Fellowship of the Ring” , “The Two Towers”, and “The Return of the King”. 

The War With Grandpa: When a widowed grandpa unwillingly moves into his daughter’s home to live with them, they give him  his grandson Peter’s room. Peter, who wants his room back, plans revenge. Peter and his grandpa agree on a prank war. This movie is super hilarious. 

Instant Family: When a couple decides to adopt children, they probably don’t expect it to be as hard as it is in this movie. Ellie and Pete Wagner decide to adopt a teen named Lizzy, but her 2 siblings come as a package with her. Elizabeth, Juan, and Lita are the 3 foster children. First, there needs to be a trial period to see if the children and the foster parents are a good fit for each other. The kids don’t approve of the parent candidates much. Are they going to like each other and form a family unit or keep annoying each other until this trial period ends? 

The Pink Panther (2006): You might know the Pink Panther short episodes, but this is a long movie filled with hilarious scenes from the one and only Detective Clouseau. When the soccer coach is shot dead at the match with a poisonous dart , Detective Clouseau and Ponton work to discover the answer to the question: Who killed him? Clouseau’s clumsy and silly actions cause bad relations with the other detectives, but they keep searching for the murderer and the thief who stole the Pink Panther ring. I loved this movie because of the humor and comedy that takes place, especially with Detective Clouseau. 

The Last Dance ( Michael Jordan Documentary): This documentary series has 10 one-hour episodes with Michael Jordan reliving his basketball achievements and explaining them. These moments that Michael Jordan talks about include the Playoffs against the Bad Boy Detroit Pistons who were known for their rough and physical play style and it also includes his best plays and moments in the NBA Finals against Karl Malone and the Utah Jazz. If you are a basketball or a sports fan, you will love this documentary. This documentary came out on April 19, 2020. 

Tom and Jerry (The Movie):  The perfect comedy for a family! If you have watched the adventures of Tom and Jerry cartoon episodes, you’re gonna love this movie! A combination of real people and cartoon animals, this movie does a great job of blending different worlds. 

-Mert A.

These titles (and more!) are available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

Film Review: The War With Grandpa

Do you need a movie for Family Movie Night? Do you want a funny movie to bring you into the weekend, or do you want a movie that has valuable lessons in it? Well, you’re lucky because this movie will bring you all of those experiences. The War With Grandpa is a super entertaining and exciting movie. When Peter’s grandpa, who’s wife has died,  is experiencing some difficult times, Peter’s mom invites him in. Unfortunately, they don’t have an extra room in their house, and they have to give him Peter’s room. Peter moves to the attic. Both Peter and his grandpa are not happy about that. Peter wants his room back, and his grandpa doesn’t want to be living in his daughter’s home. To get his room back, Peter decides to declare war on his grandpa. Don’t worry! It is not an actual war, just a fun prank war! Peter and the grandpa each keep quiet about the war, but the pranks are brutal! It’s like a boxing match where each side is struggling, but they don’t throw the towel. The pranks go on and on and get worse and worse, but no one surrenders. Towards the end of the movie, Peter’s pranks end up ruining his little sister’s birthday party and injuring his grandpa. In the end, the grandpa shares the main lesson of the war with Peter. He tells Peter that even though one side comes up victorious, none of the sides actually win because they lose soldiers, citizens, cities, and they are emotionally bruised. 

I love this movie because of how funny and entertaining it is. The pranks are hilarious, and the events in the story are fun to watch. With an amazing plot, this movie is easily one of the best movies that I have ever seen. This movie was actually written as a book first. 

I give this movie a 10 out of 10 stars because it is hilarious. I love comedy movies, so I especially enjoyed this movie. The lessons that the grandpa teaches to Peter are very valuable and deep. I would definitely recommend this movie to a friend. 

-Mert A.

Film Review: A Star is Born (2018)

So, I know I’m late to the A Star is Born party, but I do see what all the buzz was about. Before I get into the thick of this review, there are a couple warnings I need to distribute. First, this movie is R-Rated, and if you’re uncomfortable with that, then you should stop reading now. Additionally, if you are triggered by mentions as well as depictions of suicide, this review is not for you; people who are triggered or uncomfortable with detailed depictions of alcohol/drug abuse should also stop reading here.

A Star is Born (2018) is the third remake of a film released in 1937. The other remakes were released in 1954 and 1976. While they all have pretty similar storylines, there are slight differences and variances between all of them. The story itself is seemingly cliche: seasoned and successful musician/actor accidentally meets struggling young musician/actor, the seasoned artist helps young artist gain fame and success. The seasoned artist’s career dwindles due to drugs and alcohol, which he abused due to deeply rooted issues stemming from an alcoholic absentee father; meanwhile, the young artist’s career skyrockets, and she is ecstatic, until tragedy strikes.

The decline of his career becomes too much for the seasoned musician/actor, and he falls deeper and deeper into the pit of drug abuse. His young lover does her best to dig him out and help him, but it becomes a bigger and bigger problem, until he can’t take it anymore, and ends his own life. This begins a new chapter for the young star, who now has to navigate the cruel world of the elite on her own, all while heartless things are being said about her late lover.

Overall, this movie was an emotional roller-coaster, and I strongly recommend it if you want to vent some of your own emotions by crying and blame it on a movie. However, if you don’t really feel like being emotionally wrecked over a movie, I would not suggest watching A Star is Born (2018). But nonetheless, I loved it. Also, I love Lady Gaga. Her performance was absolutely stunning.

-Arushi S. 

A Star Is Born, starring Bradly Cooper and Lady Gaga, is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

Film Review: Aquaman

I recently went and saw Aquaman, and walked into the theater with the mindset that it would be just like all the other Marvel movies, super dark, a lot of action, a little storyline and some comic relief. And, this movie finally broke that formula though, it wasn’t necessarily anything that seemed that original. But, it was more of a fluff movie than some of the other recent and extremely dark Marvel movies that had been coming out like Avengers. So, it was nice to have something different that was slightly less dark with a little more storyline.

In essence, the movie seemed pretty typical. A forbidden love between two worlds with a child that has to bring the two together. And, of course, the child at first does not want to but, in the end, decides to try to save the day. So, the storyline is pretty much predictable. Though, the actions scenes where cool and the special effects throughout the entire movie were extremely well done.

This movie is the perfect movie to go and watch and turn your brain off. It is entertaining without much substance. But it provides a nice break to just stop thinking. I would suggest as a movie to go out and see with your friends and family to just have some fun. Since it is more of a light fluffy movie than a typical dark Marvel movie, you can finish the movie and not have that air of darkness and instead, it leaves you with a happy humorous mood. So it is great to just have some fun.

-Ava G.

Film Review: Mary Poppins Returns

I was utterly ecstatic when I heard in 2017 that there was going to be a Mary Poppins sequel. My excitement tripled when I heard that it would star not only Emily Blunt, but also Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of Hamilton, In the Heights, and 21 Chump Street, three of my all-time favorite musicals. So one could say that I had a lot of anticipation for this movie.

However, I was not without my doubts. I was afraid that this new sequel might not fully capture the magic that was definitely present in the first film. Perhaps, I thought, they might use modern special effects to create real-looking penguins for Mary Poppins to dance with. Now, while some would not mind this type of movie, it would ruin the film for me, as the animations in the original Mary Poppins are part of what makes it so special to me.

Yet the movie was perfect. The producers kept the animations of old, and, while there were a brand new cast and an entirely new collection of voices, the spirit of the soundtrack remained the same. They even managed to get a hold of Dick Van Dyke and Meryl Streep for a special appearance. I cried, I laughed, and I related to many of the characters. The plot was fantastic, and while I will try not to spoil, the resolution that Mary Poppins and Jack came up with was the cherry-on-top of the film for me.

Overall, this movie couldn’t have been better, and I strongly encourage anyone who hasn’t already seen it to go do so right now. The beautiful London scenery, the enticing plot, and the cheerful characters are guaranteed to give Mary Poppins Returns a special place in your heart.

-Arushi S. 

Film Review: Avengers Infinity War

Avengers Infinity War was a marvelous work of action, suspense, and many plot twists along the way. The movie would most likely to get an award in at least not just one category. It is about the critically acclaimed Avengers that was first introduced by Marvel Studios in 2012 and was a very good movie fueled by Disney’s purchase of Marvel in 2009, making the Marvel Cinematic Universe an even bigger money maker.

They started with the Iron Man trilogy which was at the time the best Marvel movie until a year later, with Captain America: Civil War. Like Civil War, Infinity War movie was not a happy family gathering. It speaks what the all the trailers where speaking. Something very bad is going to happen in this movie.

As the movie started there was silence when we saw the well done Marvel Studios sign. Usually there is music that introduces us to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. You could already tell from there that it wasn’t going to be pleasant. It also introduced us to the title of Avenger Infinity War first instead of at the end of the movie. Which is not something Marvel does often. That also right there is a key that this movie is going to be something very different about this film.

Now on the bright side, we finally see the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Avengers fighting Thanos’ army which was something that most fans including me have waited for a long time. We have waited for Thanos’s big reveal ever since the end credits of the original Avengers movie. Then again we saw him in Guardians of the Galaxy sitting high and mighty on his chair. Then again we saw him at the end credit scene in Avengers Age of Ultron. As much Marvel teased Thanos I was not disappointing about him. He had a clear motive about what he was doing and I thought to myself maybe is he right.

-Max U.