Maines Movie Mash

BY: COLTON MAINES

I love movies. I will chew your ear off with a fork talking about them. So I decided to compile a small list complete with punny titles of movies released within the last month or so and tell you what I think about them.

What’s that? You don’t want to read a grown man’s complaints about movies? You like your ear? Well too bad! Let’s get started!

eStorks

The talk? Who’s heard of that?

In the days where parents didn’t have to educate their kids about babies, but instead told them a giant bird delivered them.

Storks and babies have been associated for centuries through several cultures, and many stories about them have been made as a result.

In this version, storks realize baby delivering is too dangerous and unprofitable, so they decide to go into the package-delivery business instead. The movie focuses on a stork named Junior and an 18-year old woman named “Orphan” Tulip; but don’t call her that, it hurts her heart.

Junior is up for a promotion to become the Boss, but to do that he has to fire Tulip and send her to live in the human world. Junior doesn’t have the heart to fire her, however, and he decides to send her to the mailroom.

In [insert random suburbia here], a little boy is feeling lonely and decides he wants a younger brother. He writes a letter to the storks detailing exactly what kind of sibling he wants. SPOILER ALERT: Ninja skills required.

Tulip gets the letter but accidently puts it into the baby making machine, and now it’s up to her and Junior to deliver the baby before anyone finds out.

This movie is hilarious and has the fast-paced jokes and animations of a Daffy Duck cartoon. One of my favorite jokes has to be when the baby is in danger and Tulip’s maternal instinct kicks in with a flashback of mothers protecting their babies from swords, flaming arrows, and a sabretooth tiger.

Some of the downsides are that a few of the jokes can be hit or miss and also one of the characters, Pidgeon Toady, is one of single most annoying characters ever animated. I’m talking worse than Scrappy Doo bad.  They tried to make him like a frat-guy-meets-Jersey-Shore, and it’s just painful to watch any scene he is in.

Overall, it’s a fun flick with some great humor that’s worth a look.

3.5/5 Shovels

Miss Peregrine’s Neverland!

This is a complicated movie.

It is so deep into its own mythology that if you didn’t read the book or pay attention for a minute, you’re going to barely follow along. With that being said, it was actually pretty entertaining.

To sum it up, the movie is about a teenage boy named Jake Portman who goes through a family tragedy in which his grandfather dies at the hands of a monster called a Hollow. His grandfather, Abe, told Jake bedtime stories about how he would fight these monsters during World War II as well as how he grew up in a home for “peculiar children.”

These children are quasi X-Men kind of people who each have their own peculiarities like being able to set things on fire by touching them, having super strength, and even bringing the dead back to life as puppets.

Jake meets these children and their governess, Miss Peregrine, and finds that they live in a time loop in the 1940’s in order to stay safe from the Hollows.

This is where we find the majority of the problems with this  movie.

How these loops work is not clearly explained and it doesn’t mention what happens when modern “peculiar” children are found. Obviously they exist because  Jake is one,  do they want to go live in the 1940’s? Do they have a choice? Granted this would be awesome if the movie ended with Hitler’s assassination and the cure for polio.

And now I just realized how horrible it would be if the teenage girls were going through their menstrual cycles and had to go through them again and again for seventy years. At that point, I saw the blood gates from The Shining open up, chuckled a little bit, and understood I’m going to hell. But I digress.

The real heart of the movie is in the characters and the cinematography. Jake, while kind of bland next to all these fantastic people, is likeable. Miss Peregrine is a Tim-Burton Mary Poppins with a crossbow, which is as amazing as it sounds. And Samuel L. Jackson plays an over-the-top villain and is as fun as always. The costumes and shots look amazing, and I was surprised at how well they blended practical effects and computer imaging.

If you have read the book or are willing to just admire the scenery, I’d say check it out.

4/5 Shovels

Re-Birth of a Nation

Nat Turner sticks it to the white man by sticking an axe in the white man. Let’s proceed.

The film is very entertaining, well-acted and beautifully shot. The dynamics between the characters were great and the drama was emotionally compelling.

The story follows Nat Turner and his journey from childhood to growing up as a slave preacher and eventually leading a slave rebellion in 1831.

Turner is shown as a patient and morally-sound character, and he has various interesting interactions with other characters. One of the most powerful interactions being when Nat tries to return a doll to a little white girl and the father starts to beat him.

The film draws from all American history, but was not very historically accurate. It was trying to encompass all the rage and atrocities of slavery as opposed to just conveying what happened to Turner and his rebellion. It emphasized that white men raped enslaved black women, while in reality members of Turner’s movement did the same thing when they rebelled.

It also blends the lines between how white people treated slaves. In the beginning of the film, Turner’s owner, Samuel, was his childhood friend and they grew up studying and going to church together. Even as an adult, Samuel defended Nat from white people attacking him. Then, all of a sudden, Samuel becomes absolutely evil simply to justify the rebellion’s creation. It doesn’t make sense from a narrative perspective other than that the plot required him to be evil.

Overall, it was a good and dramatic film that is worth seeing.

4/5 Shovel