Easter Sunday (2022) Thoughts

Synopsis: Struggling actor and comedian Joe Valencia played by Jo Koy returns home for an Easter Sunday celebration with his family. However, his attention gets divided between his family and acting career.

Easter Sunday is a film executive produced by Jo Koy with help from Speilberg, distributed by Universal and Dreamworks, and directed by Jay Chandrasekhar. This film is far from perfect.

Cons

The story lacks cohesion and has underdeveloped characters due to the rushed pacing and too many loose subplots. It looks like a first draft of a screen play script.

Multiple revisions necessary for a polished cohesive script.

  • You could cut out a few of the subplots and nothing of value would be lost.
  • The comedy is hit or miss -some jokes land while others falter.
  • The story should’ve focused more on Jo’s character balancing family life with career.
  • The son character needed more screentime and character development. What’s life like being half-Filipino?
  • The mall interior replacing Serramonte is probably a mall in Vancouver not the actual Serramonte mall.

Pros:

The movie has a good cast: Jo Koy, Tia Carrere, Lydia Gaston, Eva Noblezada, Lou Diamond Philips, Eugene Cordero, etc

The Filipino cultural references and family interactions.

Exterior shots around Daly City and one at South San Francisco

Tagalog dialogue had English subtitle translations on screen for international audiences.

Conclusion:

This film is an imperfect representation of Filipinos living abroad. There are cringe inducing scenes and filler scenes. The script itself could go for several revisons to polish up the screenplay. With that said, I recommend people to check the film out and support it. The film is hilarious and has its heart in the right place though the attempt is misguided. Having a mainstream Filipino film albeit mediocre is an achievement in itself. If Hollywood notices that there’s an audience for Filipino led films, it’s possible that another film down the line could be better. As opposed to Chinese and Japanese films, there are only a few films(The Debut, The Fabulous Filipino Brothers, Lumpia With A Vegenance) documenting the “Filipino experience” shown in America.

Easter Sunday is the first mainstream film marketed toward a wide international audience. I’ll cut the film so slack. Hopefully, this stepping stone will open the doors for better Filipino led films in the future.

Tron Uprising (2012-2013) Thoughts

image credit to imdb.

Synopsis: In the Grid, Tron trains a mechanic named Beck to fight in the revolution to free the Grid and its citizens from the tyranny of Clu and followers.

I didn’t watch this series on its initial run on Disney XD since I was on vacation with family at the time. However, once I returned, I didn’t see it on the tv schedule depsite having theDisney XD channel. Maybe it was scheduling conflicts. Also I don’t remember much advertising for this series. I probably would’ve seen this show in 2012 if I knew about it.

I remember Marvels Ultimate Spider-Man and other series: live action and animated but not this one.

Disney should’ve marketed this animated series toward teenagers and adults with a consistent tv schedule. However, Disney didn’t do either of these things.

Here are my thoughts after watching it for the first time in 2022.

The show isn’t perfect. The series is a slow-burn in the first half with world-building and introducting important character relationships. It doesn’t hit its stride until the middle section leading up to the end. Inspite of that, the series has a ton of potential for further stories and character development down the road after gaining momentum from the season finale.

  • The voice cast is phenomenal along with the guest stars: ElijahWood, Bruce Boxleitner, Mandy Moore, Lance Henriksen, Paul Reubens, Nate Corddry, Reginald Vel Johnson,
  • Guests Stars: John Glover, Olivia Wilde
  • I saw parallels to Batman specifically Batman Beyond on the surface.
  • Simultaneously awestruck yet terified.
  • I like that Tron has a bigger role in this series serving as Beck’s mentor.
  • His uprgraded suit looks more sleek and clean than the “original classic suit”.

Tron’s interactions with his apprentice Beck and other citizens are the highlight of the series along with the battle scenes.

The series musical score is also memorable.

Tron Uprising fits in after Tron (1982) right in the middle but before Tron Legacy (2010).

I would definitely watch a season 2 of Tron Uprising. Hopefully, Disney could greenlight it after making the third Tron film. Also a physical dvd or blu-release would be much appreciated. A nice bundle pack.it would be with the two films. More Tron media would be most welcome especially new merchandise.

Blog Update 8/6

Thank you to all my readers for the feedback on my articles from June to August.

I thought I’d do an experiment and review movies that I haven’t seen before.

School resumes for me in two weeks so the blog will be back on hiatus.

As always! Thanks to my readers for their constant support and encouragement.

I get much enjoyment from reading and responding to your comments.

Welcome new readers and stay tuned to PersonalMusings2017!

Ranking ofChronicles of Pyrdain Books

Now that I’ve completed all 5 books in the Chronicles of Pyrdain series. It’s time to rank them! For my full thoughts on these books, check out my Goodreads book reviews.

5. The Book of Three-The book’s slow pacing and meandering storylines put this title at the bottom.

4. The High King- The book was off to a great start in the beginning however it lost its momentum in the middle and only regained it at the end. The ending could’ve used a short epilogue.

3. The Castle of Lllyr- I’m glad that Eilowny was the main focus of this book. I enjoyed learning more about her backstory. Although the middle section did begin to drag, it was able to quickly regain the story’s momentum.

2. Taran Wanderer- I wasn’t sure if I’d like this story however it surprised me. The story gave me some insight into the different trades of weaving, blacksmithing, and pottery work and farming. I also like learning the different philiosophies on life. They’re helpful for those readers coming of age.

1.The Black Cauldron- This story held my attention with its interesting and engaging characters along with the tight writing. I read the book straight through and finished it in a couple days.

Goodreads Book Review: The Chronicles of Pyrdain #5 -The High King

The High King by Lloyd Alexander

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


It’s up to Taran and his companions to defeat Arawn the Death Lord once and for all.
The conclusion to Lloyd Alexander’s the Chronicles of Prydain is full of action, violence, death, grief, and some happiness. The body count in this book is so immense that I’ve lost count.
The beginning chapters (Ch.1-12) are off to a steady start. However, as with previous books, the middle chapters (Ch.13-17) drag the book to a sluggish pace. It isn’t until the end where the story regains momentum (Ch.18-21).
I understand that Lloyd Alexander wanted the book’s ending to be open-ended. However, I would’ve like to have seen a glimpse of Taran and Eilowny’s life as king and queen of Pyrdain through a short epilogue. I felt the ending was a bit rushed.




View all my reviews

D23 Expo Speculation

These are just my predictions for possible announcements at D23. I’ve never been to this convention so my predictions could be off the mark.

Update: August 4th- These events down below have been confirmed as cited by my sources.

Looks like someone took my advice. The El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood is doing a double feature of both Tron Films: the original 1982 film and Tron Legacy on August 6th at 5 p.m.

https://elcapitantheatre.com/film-info/tron-tronlegacy-double-feature.

The rest of Tron’s 40th anniversary will be held from August 5-7 where guests can have an exclusive look at a few props from both films courtesy of the Walt Disney Archives. https://d23.com/tron-at-el-cap-discount

Anyone can participate in this event, D23 members are just given a special discount.

That’s not all. D23 has chosen Sunday Sept 11 for Tron’s 40th Celebration panel- 12 p.m. https://d23.com/from-tron-to-disney-character-voices-and-more-at-d23-expo/

Plus, A small article in the D23 magazine about Tron’s 40th anniversary. https://d23.com/just-a-little-hocus-pocus-2-on-the-cover-of-the-new-disney-twenty-three/

End of update!

Disney Legend Award Recipients:

Tron: Bruce Boxlitner (Film/Animation), Cindy Morgan (Film), David Warner (R.I.P.) (Film),

Jeff Bridges (Film), Steven Lisberger (Film), Bruce Logan (Film)

Mandy Moore (Film/Animation)

Anne Hathaway (Film)

Raven (Tv)

Annelise Van Der Pol (Tv/Stage)

Brenda Song (Tv/Animation)

Bruce D. Campbell (Animation)

Christy Carlson Romano (Tv/Animation/Stage)

Will Friedle (Tv/Animation)

Disney Live-Action Films

Tron 3 confirmation with official title. release date, cast. teaser hopefully later

Black Cauldron remake

National Treasure 3 title release date

Cruella sequel

The Lion King 2019 sequel

Hercules live-action remake

Atlantis live-action remake

Tinkerbell film with Reese Witherspoon

Peter Pan and Wendy

Disenchanted teaser

Disney+ tv shows

-The Mysterious Benedict Society season 2

Monsters at Work season 2

The Spiderwick Chronicles (tv series)

Zootopia shorts series

Prop Culture season 2

Disney Parks

-Tron Light Cycle roller coaster release date

-Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

-Moana ride “Journey of Water”

Miscellanous thoughts: Lilo & Stitch live-action film info during 20th anniversary celebration

The Santa Clause 2 20th anniversary for The Santa Clause tv series

Kim Possible 20th anniversary

Secretariat (2010) Movie Review

I had no idea there was another famous racing horse besides Seabiscuit until I saw this film.

Synopsis: Despite her inexperience with horse-racing, Penny Chenery Tweedy with trainer Lucien Larin take care of “Secretariat” a thorroughbred race horse who goes onto to win the Triple Crown.

Pros

I enjoy the cameo from the real life “Penny Chenery Tweedy” at the end.

It was cool to see the photos and short bios from the real life team behind Secretariat.

Secretariat’s birth-He was adorable as a baby foal.

Secretariat’s racing scenes.

Cons

I understand the movie was cut to fit into two hours however, I would’ve like to have seen more background on Penny’s life before having her family. Her backstory wasn’t fleshed out. I needed a couple scenes of her life before becoming a house wife.

The side characters were underdeveloped.

Conclusion:

You’re better off checking out the book; Secretariat: The Making of A Champion by Bill Nack and watching the documentary for full story context. In addition to researching Penny Chenery Tweedy’s biography.

Seabiscuit (2003) Movie Review

Seabiscuit Statue, Tanforan Mall, San Bruno California

This statue has stood in front of Tanforan Mall for over 10 years. I didn’t give it much attention until now. I had no idea Tanforan was previously a racetrack in the early 1900’s.

Synopsis: Set admidst the Great Depression, Charles Howard, a businessman, Red Pollard, a jockey, and horse trainer Tom Smith team up to train Seabiscuit-“A small horse capable of big feats.”

Pros: The film cast is phenomenal: Tobey McGuire, Jeff Bridges, Elizabeth Banks,

“Popcorn Deelites” (R.I.P), Chris Cooper, Gary Stevens, William H. Macy,

David McCullough (narrator)

The film wasn’t afraid to have moments of silence when necessary.

The use of real world history clips helped ground the story in the time period (Great Depression era) and transition from one scene to the next.

Besides the horse races, my favorite part is that each character was given a moment to shine in the film. No character was underutilized in the film. Everyone worked together like a real team.

The horse races were fun and exciting to watch. I liked watching the training montages.

Con

-Red Pollard agrees to “break-in” somebody else’s horse without back up or permission from his adoptive family. Someone else could’ve done it instead of him.

-I dislike that Red’s original family disappeared, abandoned him, and never made contact with him.

Seabiscuit is a must-watch film along with the real life documentary. Lauren Hillenbrand’s Seabiscuit:An American Legend is also a recommendation since the book serves as the film’s inspiration.

The statue and plaque are worth visiting in person.

Dick Tracy (1990) Movie Review

I haven’t read the comic strip by Chester Gould so my thoughts are based on the movie.

Synopsis: Famous police detective Dick Tracy is on the hunt for gangster mob boss Big Boy Caprice and his gang of mobsters. He finds a potential witness in club singer “Breathless Mahoney” however she’s more interested in driving Tracy away from his girlfriend than helping him out on the case.

I like the opening scene with the radio broadcast and the news paper reports.

The beautiful background paintings were done by Syd Mead who did matte paintings for Tron (1982).

The late great Stephen Sondheim wrote the film’s soundtrack: “More”, “What Can You Lose”, “Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man), “Live Alone and Like It”, and “Back In Business”. (IMDB)

The practical makeup and special effects on the villians hold up 30 years later.

Memorable characters were Mumbles, “Big Boy Caprice”, and Spaldino.

I found myself invested in the relationship between Dick Tracy and Tess Trueheart.

They have good chemistry together.

The film has a good cast: Warren Beatty, Glenne Headley (RIP), Charlie Korsmo, Dustin Hoffman, Mandy Patankin, Al Pacino, and Madonna.

I have a soft spot for adoption/found family stories. I liked the character of the Kid.

The reveal scene for his name on the “deputy certificate” (Dick Tracy Jr.) was heartwarming to me.

Cons

Madonna’s character “Breathless Mahoney” is undefined. “Breathless” claims that she’s looking out for herself however she saves the life of Dick Tracy through the alias “The Blank”. I have no clue if she’s a villian or an anti-hero. Plus, It’s easy to decipher “the Blanks” Identity if you’re paying close attention so the end reveal isn’t a twist. She portrays the character well but she’s not given much to do besides singing and looking pretty.

Tracy opening his front door without checking is a dumb mistake.

It was necessary for him to keep his guard up since Caprice and his gang are on his tail. He should’ve seen through their deception pretending to be from the Welfare Center.

He walked right into their trap with such ease and foolishness.

There needed to be at least a couple more scenes with the Kid in the orphanage before the big reunion between him and Tracy for more of an emotional impact. A couple scenes of day to day life in the orphanage would’ve been sufficient to build up tension for the Kid storyline.

Dick Tracy has a unique style and a good soundtrack. If you’re interested in learning more background about “Dick Tracy”. I suggest reading the original comic strip by Chester Gould and possibly tracking down the comic-strip tie-in for this film.

Link for Dick Tracy comic strip: https://www.gocomics.com/dicktracy/2001/04/08

Top 9 Barbie films

Growing up, I was a huge Barbie fan in the early 2000’s. I watched most of the direct to video films until 2010 when Barbie went from fairytale fantasy to a modern setting. The dressup games on the Barbie website were also fun to play.

I’m counting down my top 9 Barbie films with a couple honorable mentions.

9. Barbie and the Diamond Castle

8. Barbie and the Three Musketeers (2009)

7. Barbie in a Fashion Fairytale

6. Barbie and the 12 Dancing Princesses

5. Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus (2005)

4. Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper (2004)

3. Barbie as Swan Lake (2003)

2. Barbie as Rapunzel (2002)

1.Barbie as the Nutcracker (2001)

Honorable Mentions: Barbie in A Christmas Carol (2008),

Barbie as the Island Princess (2007)

Thoughts on Somewhere in Time (1980)

I watched this film before watching Superman. Also Haven’t read the book yet but that will be a separate review.

Synopsis: A young playwright, Richard Collier takes a vacation to break out of his creative block. During his stay at a hotel, he discovers a photograph of a beautiful young woman (Elise Mckenna). Entranced by her beauty, Richard attempts to meet Elise Mckenna through time travel and get her to fall in love with him.

The film has a good cast: Christopher Reeve (R.I.P), Jane Seymour,

Christopher Plummer(R.I.P)

Jane Seymour and Christopher Plummer give wonderful performances as Elise McKenna and William Fawcett Robinson (her manager)

Elise Mckenna’s Monologue is full of raw vulnerability and earnestness.

Credit to Ryan G CM.

The relationship between Richard and Elise is both heart-warming and heart-breaking.

The movie’s setting Makinac Island is a real place in Michigan. A real time capsule of the late 1800’s. No cars are allowed on the island only horse drawn carriages and bikes.

https://www.mackinacisland.org/

https://www.grandhotel.com/

https://www.somewhereintime.tv/insite.htm : Somewhere In Time Fanclub

Elsie McKenna should’ve been the main lead and have the story center around her.

I found the dramatic twist to be more humorous than tragic due to the absurdity of the action.

Richard Collier was a bland character that lacked personality.

The time travel scenes took to long making the first portion slow-paced.

This film is worth checking out. It’s available for free on Tubi Tv with ads.

There’s also a book about Elise Mckenna called Memoirs of Elsie. According to Amazon, the book has mixed reviews.

Tomorrowland (2015) Moview Review

This film isn’t that bad. It has good ideas however it lacks focus. The frame story could’ve worked if the point of view didn’t switch so quickly from Frank’s past to the present with audience character Casey Newton.

Synopsis: I’m unsure how to describe this movie.

Pros:

I liked the first 15 minutes of the film since it showed the world of Tomorrowland.

Athena and Frank Walker’s relationship is the heart of the film.

The standout performances from this film were Raffey Cassidy as “Athena”, Thomas Robinson as “Young Frank”, George Clooney as “Adult Frank”, and Hugh Laurie as “David Nix”.

Hugh Laurie’s monologue about “Dystopia”

Credit to Captain Montgomery Bagger

I first watched this speech out of context while scrolling through Youtube one time; I had no idea that it was from “Tomorrowland”. This speech was so powerful and moving that it stuck out in my memory. Seeing the speech in context within the film, it’s still engaging and not preachy. Hugh Laurie’s character David Nix has a point. People should do something in the present to prevent the world from meeting an early demise in the near future.

Cons

The movie needs a major rewrite transferring the focus from the audience insert character “Casey Newton” back to Athena and Frank Walker because their story was more interesting. Casey should’ve been the side character.

After the pov shift from Frank (George Clooney’s character) to Casey(Britt Robertson), the movie’s pacing became slow. The pacing didn’t pick back up until Athena’s meeting with Casey and later Frank.

The idea behind secret society “Plus Ultra” was only briefly mentioned but not expanded upon in the film but only through a book tie-in called “Before Tomorrowland.” I haven’t read this book so I can’t say if it’s connected to the film or a proper backstory for this “secret society”.

The mission goal of “Tomorrowland recruiters” is quite vague: “Recruit dreamers to do what? Save the world by preventing an apocolyptic dystopic future through hope and optimism?

I wanted to see the flashbacks between Athena and Frank in earlier in the film instead near the end.

As I’ve said, this film needed a second rewrite and polishing up on the screenplay.

A rewrite could’ve improved this film.

Thoughts on the Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

This film is such a fun adventure to go on. The comedy is solid.

Synopsis: Jack of all trades Buckaroo Banzai and his team the Hong Kong Cavaliers must stop alien invaders from conquering the Earth.

Fun imaginative hilarious movie.

Special effects and make up hold up (Lectoids )

Team Banzai supporting cast just as memorable as main lead.

“san” honorific used in addressing Prof. Hirotaka played by Robert Ito.

Good cast: Christopher Lloyd, Peter Weller, Clancy Brown, John Litgow, Robert Ito

“Curtin call” ending

The character name Rawhide might have been based from the “Rawhide” tv series.

I wouldn’t mind a sequel however the film is good as it is: a standalone.

Credit to Jeff Hemlick

Thoughts on The Rocketeer (1991)

This film is pretty good. If you’re interested in learning more about “the Rocketeer”, you should checkout the comics by Dave Stevens (1955-2008).

Synopsis: Cliff Secord, a cocky young pilot, discovers a prototype jetpack and becomes a masked hero called “the Rocketeer.”

Pros

Music score by James Horner (R.I.P.)

Great cast from lead and side characters

Standout performances from Billy Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Alan Arkin, Margo Matindale, Max Grodenchik

Timothy Dalton plays a suave charming villian. I can see why he was cast as Bond previously in his film career.

The flight scenes with the airplanes and the Rocketeer are among the film’s highlights.

Also the Rocketeer’s helmet has such a distinct and unique design.

Nitpick

  • Cliff intrudes on his girlfriends’ audition (Jenny) and drops by unannounced on the closed set. I understand that he’s trying to make amends with her but, He should’ve arranged the meeting first instead of bursting in.

Conclusion: I highly recommend checking out this film and reading the comics.

Favorite Little House episodes by season

I recommend watching the pilot movie for Little House before watching the show. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mI1Tnxcz8Q Credit to Waen-TV Atlanta.

I haven’t watched Little House in over a decade. So this episode list will be based off of memory and episode list from Wikipedia. If you want to watch Little House on the Prairie, it’s available for streaming on IMDB TV now called “Amazon Freeve” along with the first season available on Amazon Prime for free. Also you can buy the tv box sets either from Barnes and Noble or Amazon Prime website.

Little House season 1

“A Harvest of Friends”

“Country Girls”

“The Love of Johnny Johnson”

“If I Should Wake Before I Die”

“Town Party, Country Party”

“Ma’s Holiday”

“The Voice of Tinker Jones”

“The Award”

“The Lord is My Shepherd”

“Christmas at Plum Creek”

“Doctor’s Lady”

“To See The World”

“Founder’s Day”

Season 2

“Four Eyes”

“Ebenezer Sprague”

“Haunted House”

“The Spring Dance”

“Remember Me: Parts 1 &2”

“At the End of the Rainbow”

“The Gift”

“The Talking Machine”

“A Matter of Faith”

“Troublemaker”

“Soldier’s Return”

Season 3

“Bunny”

“The Race”

“Journey in the Spring” parts 1 &2

“I’ll Ride the Wind”

“Little Women”

“To Live with Fear” Parts 1&2

“The Music Box”

“Gold Country” Parts 1&2

Season 4

“Time of Change”

“My Ellen”

“Meet Me At the Fair”

“Here Comes the Brides”

“The Rivals”

“Whisper Country”

“I Remember, I Remember”

“The Stranger”

“I’ll Be Waving as You Drive Away” Parts 1&2

Season 5

“As Long We’re Together ”

“Fagin”

“Harriet’s Happenings”

“The Wedding”

“Men Will Be Boys”

“The Cheaters”

“The Blind Journey” parts 1&2

“The Sound of Children”

Season 6

“Back to School” parts 1&2

“The Family Tree”

“The Third Miracle”

“Annabelle”

“The Return of Mr. Edwards”

“Whatever Happened to the Class of ’56?”

“Silent Promises”

“Wilder and Wilder”

“Second Spring”

“Sweet Sixteen”

“He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not” Parts1&2

Season 7

“Laura Ingalls Wilder”Parts1&2

“The Silent Cry”

“Portrait of Love”

“Dearest Albert, I’ll Miss You”

“Come Let Us Reason Together”

“Make A Joyful Noise”

“Sylvia” parts 1&2
“I Do Again”

“The Lost Ones” Parts 1&2

Season 8

“The Reincarnation of Nellie” parts 1&2

“A Wiser Heart”

“The Legend of Black Jake”

“No Beast So Fierce”

“Stone Soup”

“A Promise to Keep”

“He Was Only Twelve” Parts 1&2

Season 9

“Times Are Changing” parts 1&2

“The Wild Boy” parts 1&2

“The Return of Nellie”

“Love”

“Once Upon A Time”

“Home Again” parts 1&2

“May I Have This Dance”

“Hello and Goodbye”

Top 10 2000’s Disney Live-Action Films

I already made a general list describing my favorite Disney Live-Action films.

This list is more specific to the 2000’s (2000-2010).

10. Tron Legacy (2010)

9. Prince of Persia: Sands of Time (2010)

8. Freaky Friday (2003)

7. Holes (2003)

6.Bridge to Terabithia (2007)

5. Chronicles of Narnia (2005-2010)

4. Sky High (2005)

3. Pirates of the Carribean (2002-2007)

2. National Treasure (2004-2007)

1.Enchanted(2007)

Honorable Mentions: Snow Dogs, Tuck Evrlasting, Princess Diaries,

Alice in Wonderland (2010), Secretariat, Max Keeble’s Big Move,

The Haunted Mansion (2003), The Shaggy Dog (2006), Ice Princess(2005),

The Country Bears (2002)

Nostalgic Childhood Live-Action Films (Non-Disney)

This is a top-ten list that I’ve had in my mind for a while. There were too many options that narrowing the list down to ten was difficult so the honorable mentions list is long.

10. Journey to the Center of the Earth(2005)

9. Nanny McPhee movies (2005-2010)

8. Babe (1996)

7. Zathura (2005)

6. Spy Kids movies 1-3 (2001-2003)

5. Eloise movies (2003)

4. Ever After (1998)

3. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)

2. The Secret Garden (1993)

1.Madeline (1998)

Honorable Mentions: Stuart Little movies, School of Rock, Inkheart (2008),

Akeela and the Bee (2003), Peter Pan(2003), The Little Vampire,

The Spiderwick Chronicles, Because of Winn-Dixie, Nancy Drew (2007),

Sharkboy and Lavagirl, Fantastic Four (2005-2007), The Mummy movies (2000-2008), Charlotte’s Web (2006), Neverending Story (1984), Matilda (1996),

Night at the Museum movies

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time (2010) movie review

My first introduction to Prince of Persia was through the “classic”mobile game on a Nokia phone. Good times! Then I watched this film and later read the graphic novel which is a separate continuity from the games. I have such nostalgia for this movie even after rewatching it.

Synopsis: A fugitive prince and a neighboring princess must band together to “safe guard” a magical dagger with the power to reverse time(IMDB).

Sidenote: Disney really enjoys type-casting Ben Kingsley in the “villian” role. (Tuck Everlasting, Prince of Persia,

Pros

  1. The action scenes are fun, well-paced, and engaging to watch. Quite suspenseful.
  2. This was the first movie I watched with Jake Gyllenhall in it. He gave an awesome performance as “Dastan.”
  3. Gemma Atherton as “Princess Tamina” had just as much screen time as Gyllenhall’s character. I like this since it helps build up the relationship between their characters.
  4. The back and forth banter between Atherton and Gyllenhall is fun and amusing to watch. Their chemistry together is genuine.
  5. The time travel scenes are my favorite part. The special effects with the hourglass sand in the dagger hold up well after a decade.
  6. I’m glad that the original creator Jordan Mechner was part of the film production.

Con

Steve Toussaint as Seso should’ve survived in the film. He and Alfred Molina’s character Sheik Amar were memorable side characters.

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time is still a favorite of mine. Rewatching it for the first time in a decade, the movie is still as good as when I first saw it. I recommend watching it if you’re in the mood for an action adventure film.

Goodreads Book Review: The Chronicles of Pyrdain #4: Taran Wanderer

Taran Wanderer by Lloyd Alexander

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Taran Wanderer focuses on Taran’s quest for identity. This story in the book is more laid back and slice-of-life since it focuses more on the journey not the destination. It shines a spotlight on various trades such as farming, blacksmithing, weaving, and pottery. Along his journey, Taran comes into contact with varying life philiosophies. These philiosophies push Taran to investigate his own perspective on life.
The only criticism I have for this book is the pacing. The first few chapters (2-5) lag with side quests.
However once the story regains focus and momentum the rest of the chapters (6-21) are engaging and pleasurable to read.



View all my reviews

John Carter of Mars (2012) film review

Poster credit to artist cure4

From the creative mind behind Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, comes John Carter of Mars

The forefather of sci-fi. I haven’t read the book series so I’m judging this film as a standalone.

Synopsis: John Carter is a Civil War veteran who gets transported to Mars after stealing a magical medallion. While on Mars, Carter discovers he can jump high distances like “Super Mario”. Later on, he discovers this group of aliens called the Tharks. Their princess, Dejah Thoris needs a warrior to defend the city of Helium from an enemy force.

Pros

The jumping scenes on Mars were memorable.

Special effects on creatures: Tharks and Therns

-Matai Shang played Mark Strong-He was a good villian. I liked the shape-shifting effect.

Woola the dog like creature was adorable.

The gladiator battle was fun.

The aliens calling John Carter “Virginia” is hilarious.

Cons

The framing device could’ve worked if Daryl Sabbara’s character was reading John Carter’s diary to the audience like a narration. There would be some backstory and flashbacks to Carter’s time in the Civil War and afterwards with his wife and kid. After that, the story continues with Carter’s life and ending up on Barsoom (Mars).

However, the framing device wasn’t properly utilized. The relationship between Edgar Rice Burroughs and John Carter was mentioned but shown briefly at the end.

DIsney should’ve kept the original opening instead of the framing device. This opening does a better job of delivering exposition and world-building.

Credit to Doug Kenne

John Carter and Dejah Thoris are underdeveloped characters that blend into the movie too much. They’re forgettable instead of memorable.

The other action scene on Mars had the fight spliced together with flashbacks of John Carter’s backstory instead of separated. The audience doesn’t have a point of focus.

Ending: It was a foolish mistake for John Carter to throw out the time travel medallion and loosen his guard against Matai Shang. Also, it was properly explained how faking his death on Earth allows him to return to Mars.

John Carter Deleted Scenes: Credit to The Random User

Also Disney’s marketing team failed to properly advertise this movie. Fan art for the movie is more enticing than the official promotional posters.

Conclusion: This film barely left an impression on me. After I watched it once, all I remembered in detail was the ending. John Carter of Mars has good ideas however, the execution of them falls flat. The movie doesn’t do much to differentiate itself from its contemporary peers (e.g. Star Wars, Avatar, and Dune). The world-building feels incomplete and the main leads lack personality and depth.

The movie is only somewhat rewatchable.

I think John Carter of Mars could have a better adaptation through a mini series or an animated series.

Definitely check out the book series for more background on John Carter of Mars.

News andThoughts on Tron 3

Notice: No official announcment about Tron 3 has come from Disney. I’ll update this post with official news as it comes around.

Reportedly, a possible Tron 3 film titled has been in development with a predicted release date of December 19, 2025.

The cast list is unknown aside from Jared Leto potentially playing a villian role called Ares.

According to a 2017 interview from comic bookresources, Garret Hedlund is open to reprising his role making his return possible. (Comic book resources)

The film’s director is confirmed to be Garth Davis with Justin Springer and Emma Ludbook as producers along with Leto.

The latest new is from moviebuff1219: “Filming for Tron Ascension will start in Vancouver during March 2023 to July 14.”

Information sources:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6604188/fullcredits/?ref_=tt_cl_sm  Tron 3 information

https://disney.fandom.com/wiki/Tron:_Ascension

https://chng.it/Lxqt9G664n  Revive Tron 3 petition by Lucas Lowman

https://comicbook.com/popculturenow/news/tron-3-not-totally-dead-says-garrett-hedlund/ – 2017 interview

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt12115970/?ref_=nm_flmg_slf_1  Prop Culture: Tron episode

https://www.slashfilm.com/539109/bruce-boxleitner-on-tron-3/

Twitter post from Moviebuff1219 6/4/22 about Tron 3 filming schedule

Thoughts:

I have cautious optimism toward this film. I want to it to be well-made.

Maybe some more news could either come from Comic-Con in July or during Disney Plus day in September.

The film should be released in theaters with heavy marketing.

Then re-release it on Disney Plus for more exposure.

Final thought: Bruce Boxletiner has said that he’s moved on from Tron. Apparently this news was a misquote. According to a panel at the El Capitan Theatre for Tron’s 35th anniversary, Bruce Boxletiner says that he isn’t done with Tron. In fact, he’s a featured guest at Montreal Comiccon in Canada where people will ask him about Tron, Babylon 5, and his other film roles during autograph sessions.

From what I saw in the Prop Culture episode for Tron, Boxletiner still has fond memories of Tron. He’ll want to reprise his role.

Thoughts on Tron:Legacy

I remember seeing a promo for this film on Disney Channel during a commercial break in 2010. All I could remember was the character of Quorra. After that, I forgot about the film. I had no idea this film was even connected to Tron. 12 years later I rediscover the film on Disney Plus and watch it.

Synopsis: Sam Flynn is the son of famous video-game designer Kevin Flynn. After Flynn goes missing for 20 years, Sam investigates his father’s disappearance and travels into the digital world of Tron to find him.

Pros

Sam’s consistant “pranking” of the Encom board is a “weird way of showing disinterest” as Alan said. I don’t think its disinterest at all. If it were, he’d just leave the Board alone. It’s possible he’s taking out his anger toward his father to Encom since it was his father’s company.

The technology in this film is a huge improvement over the original film. Everything is updated from the suits to the light cycle races and the gladitorial games going from lacrossse to frisbee.

The soundtrack from Daft Punk is another highlight. I miss them.

Daft Punk “Derezzed”

The plot is easier to follow and the film doesn’t lag keeping its steady momentum.

Garret Hedlund and Olivia Wilde are welcome additons to the cast.

Quorra is my favorite character from the movie.

Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner reprise their roles as “Kevin Flynn”/Clu and “Alan Bradley/”Tron”.

Father-son relationship between Kevin and Sam.

Friendship between Sam and Quorra.

The sacrifice at the film’s end was heartfelt and bittersweet.

The bonus feature short film; Tron: The Next Day is a fun epilogue that adds to the lore of Tron.

Credit to Special Features

Cons

I wish there was more background on the ISO’s.

If there was more backstory between Flynn’s short lived time as CEO of Encom and his dispearance.

Nitpick:

Tron (1982) should’ve been rereleased in theaters before Tron Legacy’s release in 2010 to emphasize the connection between them.

Conclusion: Tron Legacy is an improvement on Tron (1982) with its dazzling technology which still holds up over a decade later. The story albeit rushed and underdeveloped doesn’t lag retaining its momentum. It’s an underrated film that deserves more recognition. Also it’s an unfair to compare the Tron series to Star Wars.

Lego Idea: DisneyTron Legacy Lego Set designed by Junya Suzuki adapted from “Brick Bros UK members” project.
Amazon listing for Lego Tron Legacy set #21314 230 pieces released in 2018

Thoughts on Tron (1982)

I had no idea that this film existed until I watched it on Disney Plus.

Synopsis: Kevin Flynn is a computer programmer who tries to retrieve his work stolen by his enemy, Dillinger. While trying to hack into the system, Flynn gets captured and sent into the digital world by the evil software program called Master Command Program.

Pros

The premise is intriguing and does make computer programming seem exciting.

The digital world of Tron has much world-building.

The higlights are the lacrosse game, light cycle race, and the final confrontation between Tron and Sark.

The film had a good cast with Jeff Bridges Bruce Boxleitner, and David Warner.

The outdated tech gives the film a certain charm since it serves as a timecapsule of how far technology has advanced.

I’d consider this film to be “cult classic” material due to the premise and the world of Tron.

Cons

The plot is difficult to follow and the movie goes at a sluggish pace due to the amount of exposition and setup. The exposition needded to be more evenly spaced out which would’ve helped out the pacing. Due to the slow start, I began to lose interest in the movie and took breaks from watching it. Once it hit the mid-way point to the end, the movie regained my attention.

The real world bits are boring until the plot kicks in with Flynn going inside the digital world.

Conclusion: Tron (1982) is a good film with an intriguing premise and fun characters.

I appreciate and respect the technological achievement of this film; It paved the way for Pixar.

I’m glad that Disney hasn’t forgotten this film. Happy 40th anniversary, Tron!

There’s also a Classic Tron (1982) lego set somewhere however it’s difficult to find.

My fancast for Live Action Black Cauldron film

The Black Cauldron is a story that would benefit from a live-action remake since the animated film lacks substance and is a poor representation of the original book. Even as a stand alone film, its rather forgettable. Remaking a more faithful adaptation in live-action could encourage people to check out the Black Cauldron book and rest of the Chronicles of Pyrdain series. Plus, Lloyd Alexander and the Chronicles of Pyrdain deserve more recognition.

Note: I’m basing this cast list off of the original books not the animated film.

Dreamcast List -The Black Cauldron

Noah Schnapp or Jack Dylan Grazer as “Taran”

Mckenna Grace as “Eilowny”

Domnall Gleeson as “Flewdurr Flam”

Andy Serkis as “Gurgi”

Jeremy Irons as “Dalben”

Anthony Hopkins as “The Horned King”

Phil Fondacaro as “Doli”

Martin Klebba as “King Edileg”

Jennifer Hale as “Orddu”

Cate Blanchett as “Orwen”

Susanne Blaskeslee as “Orgoch”

I imagine that the three witches (Orddu, Orwen, & Orgoch) would be done in practical make-up and costume.

Top 10 Notable Documentaries

From time to time, I can enjoy a good documentary however it depends on subject matter. I usually lean toward documentaries based around animation, and history of toys (e.g. Monopoly and Beanie Babies) but am open to other types of documentaries.

10. Under the Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story (2010)

Directed by Kevin Tostado Narrated by: Zachary Levi

9. Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary (2019)

Directed by Jack Bennett

8. Uncensored Comedy: That’s Not Funny (2003)

Directed by Robert Small

7. Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy (2004)

Directed by Ken Burns Narrated by Robert Clotworthy

6. Who Killed Vincent Chin? (1987)

Directed by: Christine Choy, Renee Tajima-Pena

5. Waking Sleeping Beauty (2009)

Directed & Narrated by Don Hahn (Disney film producer)

4. Kingdom of Dreams and Madness (2013)

Subject: peek into Studio Ghibli day-to day operations

Directed by Mami Sunada

3. McMillions (2020)

Subject: McDonald’s Monoply Game Promotion Scam 1989-2001

Directed by James Lee Hernandez and Brian Lazarte

2. I Know That Voice (2013)

Directed by Lawrence Shapiro

1.Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (2018)

Directed by Morgan Neville

Honorable Mentions: Persistence of Vision-Thief and the Cobbler (2012),

Beanie Mania(2021), Pixar Story (2007),

Never-Ending Man Hayao Miyazaki (2016), Frank & Ollie (1995),

Miss Americana (2020), Audrey (2020)

Top 10 Non-Disney Princesses

A few years ago, I did a ranking list for the Disney Princesses. Now it’s time to shine a light on those animated princesses outside of Disney. Sidenote: I still consider Anastasia and Thumbelina to be Fox properties and not “Disney princesses”. Their movies were released long before Disney bought Fox.

With that out of the way, On with the list!

10. Princess Pea from the Tale of Desperaux (2008)

9. Thumbelina from(Thumbelina 1994)

8. Selenia (Arthur and the Invisibles 2006)

7. Marina ( Han Christen Anderson’s The Little Mermaid 1975)

6. Mila (The Stolen Princess 2018)

5. Odette (The Swan Princess 1994)

4. Anastasia (Anastasia 1997)

3. Red Shoes (Red Shoes and the seven dwarves 2019)

2. Princess Kaguya (The Tale of Princess Kaguya 2013

1.Fiona (Shrek franchise 2001-2010)

Goodreads Book Review: Tolkien’s The Hobbit Illustrated by David Wenzel and Adapted by Charles Dixon with Sean Deming

The Hobbit: An Illustrated Edition of the Fantasy Classic by Chuck Dixon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This graphic novel adaptation is a good jumping off point for those interested in reading the Hobbit but are intimidated by the book’s length. The story is a slow-burn for sure but well-worth the effort. It might even encourage people to pick up the original book and read it.
Highlights: David Wenzel’s illustrations help bring the story to life. A few of my favorite illustrations were: the map, Bilbo’s being invisible, and Samugs’s close up shot(pg. 101&105),
The inclusion of Tolkien’s songs into the story such as the Misty Mountain Song and The King Beneath the mountain were a nice addition.
intentional or not: I like that Gollum’s design in the book took inspiration from his portrayal in the Peter Jackson films.
Tolkien must have had a fun time composing all those riddles even though that entire scene dragged on for a while.



View all my reviews

Top 5 ABC Family Shows

In the early 2000’s, ABC Family was at its peak with a wide variety of tv shows and movies to watch. It was my fourth favorite block after Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, and Nickelodeon. I remember the block logo: “ABC Family, A whole new kind of family.” There was even a “Word of God announcer”- George Del Hoyo for both the tv show promos and movie promos. These can seen on Youtube.

Take a stroll with me down Memory as I reminisce over ABC Family TV shows. If you’re looking for their tv movies, I already made a post about them called “Top 5 ABC Family movies.” Feel free to check out both lists.

5. Wildfire (2005-2007) Credit to AmyJoJohnsonMusic for the series trailer.

4. Kyle Xy (2006-2009)

Credit to KlassicKyleXY

3. Ruby and the Rockits (2009) R.I.P. David Cassidy (1950-2017)

Credit to TV Jots

2. 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter R.I.P John Ritter (1948-2003)

This show had the potential to last up to 6 seasons however with John Ritter’s death, it was necessary for 8 Simple Rules to restructure itsself. Unfortunately, the show was canceled soon after. The show is available to stream on Freeform with a cable subscription and on Disney +.

Credit to Tv show starts

  1. Switched at Birth (2011-2017)

This was my favorite show on the block. I watched it all the way from high school to the second year of college. Never missed a single episode. I’m glad that it’s available on Netflix and Freeform for streaming. A notable feature of the show was the integration and further exposure of sign-language to a wide audience.

Credit to Chip and Company

Honorable Mentions: Jane by Design, Shadowhunters, Samurai Girl, Make it or Break it, Bunheads, Nine lives of Chloe King, Pretty Little Liars, The Fosters,

Secret Life of an American Teenager, Whose Line is It Anyway, Melissa& Joey, Greek, Fallen, Young & Hungry

Top 5 ABC Family Movies

Before it became Freeform, It was ABC Family. Similar to the Disney Channel, they produced made tv movies for the whole family to enjoy. Few of them are still accessible through the Freeform website or app. Trailers of these films could be found on Youtube.

“Now it’s time for an abc family movie presentation!”

5. “Princess” (2008)

4. “Cutting Edge: Going for the Gold” (2006)

3. My Fake Fiance (2009)

2. My Future Boyfriend (2011)

1. Au Pair Trilogy (1999-2009)

Honorable Mentions: Searching for David’s Heart (2004), Lovestruck: The Musical(2013), Celeste in the City (2004), The Circuit (2008), Crimes of Fashion (2004), Beauty and the Briefcase (2010), Mean Girls 2 (2011), Picture this (2008)

Thoughts on Everything Everywhere All At Once (2022)

Synopsis: A Chinese lady tries to get her taxes done but gets pulled into a multiverse adventure where she alone can save the world.

Things I liked:

Good cast: James Hong, Michelle Yeoh, Jaime Lee Curtis, Harry Shum Jr, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan

Evelyn’s backstory in flashbacks

The various multiverse worlds

The relationship between Evelyn and Waymond

The antagonist “JobuTopaki”

“Raccoonie” joke

Special effects& fight choreography

Costume design

Things I had issues with:

Pacing issue=> too much exposition not evenly spaced out between acts

Many flashing lights=> Not good for those with epilepsy. No warning given beforehand

The story’s plot was confusing and difficult to follow: Major whiplash

The daughter and her girlfriend were underdeveloped characters.

There wasn’t a steady balance between comedy and drama. More drama then comedy however sense of humor will vary from person to person.

Nitpicks: these points don’t influence the story.

  1. A guniea pig should’ve been used instead of a raccoon for the joke.
  2. The hot dog hand world could’ve been removed. No revelance to the main story only a side plot. There was no build up progression for he couple in that side plot either.
  3. Glasses are an ineffective disguise.

Belle (2020) Anime Film review

Synopsis: Suzu is a 17 year old high school student living in a rural village. For years, she’s become a shadow of herself due to grief and loss. However when Suzu enters “U” a virtual social media platform, she becomes the talented and beloved singer”Belle”. One day during her concert, a monster chased by vigilantes disrupts her perfomance.

Pros:

  1. Music: The soundtrack has good songs.
  2. Metaphor of singing relating to voice : After losing a family member in a horrific accident, Suzu becomes “voiceless” and lacks confidence in herself. Once in the “U” universe, Suzu regains her voice through singing which rebuilds her self-confidence.
  3. Suzu’s flashbacks with her mom. I enjoyed the slow pace and silence of these flashbacks of Suzu with her mom.
  4. Hiro & Shinobau were good friends to Suzu. I wish Shinobau had more screentime.
  5. U concept with avatars- The concept of U is a body sharing app that scans a person’s “biometric information” and highlights their natural characteristics thus turning them into their avatar. It’s a cool idea that could become feasible in the future.
  6. loose homage to Beauty and the Beast- I enjoyed the homage to Beauty and the Beast taking inspiration from the original fairytale (rose garden) and the Disney version (sidekicks).
  7. Animatin highlights: Ball scene & Concert
  8. Both the Japanese (Kaho Nakamura) and English voice actress (Kylie Mcneil) for Belle do a phenomenal job with Belle’s singing voice.

Cons:

  1. The “Beast” character is underdeveloped. I didn’t get much of his backstory. He’s called a fighter however his fightining is only discussed but not shown. He should’ve gotten more screentime.
  2. Although I do enjoy the Beauty and the Beast homage, this homage doesn’t fit within the film’s story, it should’ve been in a separate movie.
  3. Why does the one of the officers have a gun that erases a user’s “U” alter ego and reveals real life ID? Wouldn’t that been seen a liability since people would been in fear of getting their ID exposed? It was a good point of tension until Belle chose to reveal herself.
  4. I understand that Suzu and her father have been distant since the loss of her mother. I would’ve like to have seen- her father’s perspective on her mother’s death. What was his reaction to her passing? How has he been coping with the loss?
  5. With the fate of the boys left in the air, people will have different interpretations of their ending. Will they be under child protection services or sent to another relative who will be their legal guardian? Will the dad be arrested and sent to jai?
  6. Suzu should’ve brought an adult with her to save the boys instead of going alone.

Conclusion: Belle is a visually stunning film with a cool concept and a memorable soundtrack however, the film needed to give more character development to the main cast of characters. Also the film’s open ending might disappointment people.

TV Cartoon Songs

Here is a list of cartoon songs that would be good “singles”.

In no particular order. Only cartoon shows not movies.

Phineas and Ferb: Love Handel “You Snuck your way right into my heart”

Kim Possible: Will Friedle (Ron) & Nancy Cartwright (Rufus) “Naked Mole Rap”

Spongebob: Stephen Hillenburg “Sweet Victory”

Doug: The Beets-“Killer Tofu”

Powerpuff Girls (1998): “Love Makes the World Go Round”

Fairy Odd Parents: Chris Kirpatrick (Chip Skylark)-“My Shiny Teeth and Me”

Danny Phantom: Robbyn Mckirmsse (Ember Mclain)- “Remember”

Avatar the Last Airbender: Mako- “Leaves from the Vine “(Little Soldier Boy)

Grim Adv. of Billy and Mandy: Voltaire – “Brains”

MLP: FIM: Britt Mckillip -“This Day Aria”

Proud Family: Cedric the Entertainer (Bobby Proud)-“So Dysfunctional”

Adventure Time: Olivia Olson (Marceline) & Tom Kenny (Ice King)- “I Remember You”

Wander Over Yonder: Noel Wells- “I’m the Bad Guy”

Tangled the Series: “Ready As I’ll Ever Be”

Star vs the Forces of Evil: Love Sentence-Just Friends

Teen Titans: Mumbo-“Master of Your Fate”

Milo Murphy’s Law: Weird Al -“Rooting for the Enemy”

Rugrats: All Growed Up Special-Emica- “You’re Friend to Me”

Class of 3000: “We Want Your Soul”

Mystery Inc : Grey De Lisle Griffin (Daphne)- “Trap of Love”

Ranking of Kim Possible Villians

“A hero is only as a good as their villians”. Kim Possible has a handful of memorable villians. This list will rank all of them with honorable mentions.

Image credit goes to Playbuzz.

13. Duff Kiligan

12. Yono

11. Aviarius

10. Motor Ed

9. Mather

8. DN Amy

7. Senior Sr & Junior

6. Gill

5. Evil Ron

4. Professor Dementor

3. Monkey Fist

2. Drakken

1. Shego

Honorable Mentions: Electronique, Bebes, Warmonga & Warhok, Frugal Lucre,

Falsetto Jones

Top 20 episodes of Kim Possible (2002-2007) 20th anniversary

Today is the 20th anniversary of Kim Possible. The show made its stride during the second season and kept improving from there. I usually make top 10 lists to celebrate a specific however in honor of Kim Possible huge milestone anniversary, I thought I’d try a top 20 list. There were countless good memorable episodes especially in season 2 so there will be many honorable mentions.

Side note: Check out the “I hear voices podcast” run by Kim (Christy Carlson Romano) & Ron (Will Friedle) themselves for an unforgetable Kim Possible Reunion. Also relive the show either through Disney + or buy it on DVD.

Let’s get started with the coundown!

20. “Low Budget” (S1)

19. “Sink or Swim” (S1)

18. “Bueno Nacho” (S1)

17. “Mind Games” (S1)

16. “Attack of the Killer Bebes” (S1)

15. “Monkey Fist Strikes” (S1)

14. “Oct. 31st” (S1)

13. “All the News” (S1)

12. “Kimitation Nation” (S1)

11. “Animal Attraction” (S1)

10. “Ron the Man” (S1)

9. “Rufus in the Show” (S2)

8. “Adv in Rufus Sitting” (S2)

7. “The Golden Years” (S2)

6. “VirtuRon” (S2)

5. “Fearless Ferret” (S2)

4. “Emotion Sickness” (S3)

3. “Bad Boy” (S3)

2. “Rappin Drakken” (S3)

1.”Stop Team Go” (S4)

Honorable Mentions: “Grudge Match”, “Hidden Talent”, “Two to Tutor”, “Rufus vs Commodore Puddles, “Dimension Twist”, “Steel Wheels”/”Motor Ed”, “Team Impossible”, ” And the mole rat will be CGI”, “Return to CampWannaweep”, “Go Team Go”, “Blush”, “Oh Boys”, “Cupid Effect”, “Rewriting History”, “Grande Size Me”, “Clothes Minded”, “Clean Slate”

Top 10 Disney Live-Action shows

Growing up, I was a big fan of Disney Channel from elementary school up to high school especially their sitcoms. The time period from the early to mid 2000’s had the best shows. It’s enjoyable to watch retrospectives and lists talking about this period of shows since it gives me nostalgia.

In my honorable mentions, I’ll add a couple shows that were broadcast on the channel but not made for Disney(Naturally Sadie& Life with Derek)

10. Cory in the House (2007-2008)

9. Even Stevens (2000-2003)

8. Good Luck Charlie (2010-2014)

7. Phil of the Future (2004-2006)

6. Sonny with a Chance (2009-2011)

5. Hannah Montana (2006-2010)

4. That’s So Raven (2003-2007)

3. Suite Life of Zack & Cody/Suite Life on Deck (2005-2008, 2008-2011)

2. Wizards of Waverly Place (2007-2012)

  1. Lizzie Mcguire (2001-2004)

Honorable mentions: Naturally Sadie (2005-2007), Life with Derek(2005-2009),

Andi Mack (2017-2019), Sydney to the Max(2019-2021)

Girl Meets World (2014-2017)

Favorite Disney Live-Action Films

Disney live-action films don’t get as much recognition and appreciation as the animated films do. Some of their best live action films came out in the 2000’s and much earlier.

It was a struggle to compile this top 10 list since there are many good films to choose from. The honorable mention section will be quite long. Note: the oldest film on the list from 1960 and the most current film is from 2012.

Top 10 Favorite Disney Live-Action Films

10. Pollyana (1960)

9. Swiss Family Robinson (1960)

8. Parent Trap (1999)

7. Amy (1981)

6. Holes (2003)

5. Bridge to Terabithia (2006)

4. Sky High (2005)

3. Pirates of the Carribean films 1-3

2. National Treasure 1&2

  1. Enchanted (2007)

Honorable Mentions: Parent Trap (1961) Homeward Bound 1&2, Tuck Everlasting (2002), Honey I Shrunk the Kids (1989), Honey we shrunk ourselves (1997), Angels in the outfield (1994), The Santa Clause movies, George of the Jungle (1997), 101Dalmatians (1996), 102 Dalmatians (2002), Snow Dogs (2002), Princess Diaries 1&2, Chronicles of Narnia: Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time (2010), John Carter (2012)

Blog Update 5/23

Greetings fellow readers! With school finished for the semester, The blog is off hiatus until classes resume mid- August. Stay tuned for new blog posts and keep following PersonalMusings2017.

5 year-Blog Anniversary

Greetings, my fellow readers! Tomorrow marks the 5 year anniversary of PersonalMusings2017. I created this blog as a place to share and express my thoughts through reviews and relflections on movies, tv, books, animation, and life. I’d like to thank my readers for their patience and enthusiasm while waiting for blog posts. Life gets in the way sometimes. I’m also grateful for those new readers who stumble upon my blog and appreciate my writing.

At times, I have thought of “quiting writing” however, after composing a blog post, I remember how much I enjoy writing. Thanks again for sticking with me and the blog these past few years! I couldn’t have imagined getting this far back in 2017 while starting out. Feel free to share your favorite blog post or a blog post that left an impression on you!

Top 10 Favorite Arthur episodes

Arthur is the title of the best selling children’s book series by Marc Brown. Starting in 1996, Arthur became an animated cartoon which spans over 20 seasons. The 25th season is confirmed to be the last season for the long-running series. In celebration of Arthur’s legacy and final farewell later this month, I’m sharing a list of my favorite episodes from the series. Keep in mind, This list only covers seasons 1-14 since that’s when I still watched the show. Anything else beyond that, I lost track of because that’s when I grew out of the show. Also there will be a bunch of honorable mentions since Arthur has an innumerable amount of good episodes.

Picture credit from Arthur 25 Facebook page.

10. “The Making of Arthur” (Season 11 ep. 6)

9. “Is that Kosher” (Season 12 ep. 1)

8. “The Last of Mary Moo Cow” (Season 5 ep. 8)

7. “Bleep” (Season 8 ep. 10)

6. “Postcards from Buster” (Season 8 ep. 6)

5. “Arthur Meets Mr. Rogers” (Season 2 ep. 1)

4. “Arthur’s Big Hit” (Season 4 ep. 1)

3. “Brain’s Shocking Secret (Season 11 ep. 4)

2. “Falafelosophy” (Season 14 ep. 4)

  1. “The Great MacGrady” (Season 13 ep. 5)

Honorable Mentions: “D.W. The Picky Eater”, “Arthur Writes A Story”, “So Long Spanky”,

“D.W & The Snowball Mystery”, “Buster’s Back”, “The Ballad of Buster Baxter”,

“The Shore Thing”, “Prunella’s Special Edition”, “April 9th”, “The Squirrels”,

“Don’t Ask Muffy”, “Desert Island Dish”, “World Girls”, “

Prunella and the Disappointing Ending” , “That’s a Baby Show”,

Blog Update 1/20

Happy New Year to my readers old and new.

The school semester resumes for me next week so the blog will be on hiatus as usual until summer break.

Recently, I have posted my spoiler-free thoughts for the films: the Last Duel (2020) and Josee, the Tiger, and the Fish. Feel free to check out those blog posts!

My last announcement is the 5th anniversary celebration of PersonalMusings2017blog on April 7th.

Thanks to all my readers old and new for all their feedback and continuous support!

I couldn’t have grown this blog without you.

Thoughts on josee, the Tiger and the Fish (2020)

Synopsis: Tsuneo is a university student who dreams of diving abroad. Josee is a handicap wheel chair user who spends her time painting and reading books. Their lives begin to change after Tsuneo becomes Josee’s caretaker. Through their time together, Tsuneo introduces Josee to the wider world beyond her home.

*Compelling beginning up until the midpoint

*Rushed pacing towards the end-Movie should have been a full two horurs long to flesh out the story more.

*Cliched ending

*Don’t skip short post-credits scene

*Tsuneo didn’t need to end up in a relationship.

Love interests:

Mai Ninomiya is an underdeveloped character. I wish there were more scenes that displayed her personality and character.

Josee is a well-developed character however I don’t buy the romance between her and Tusneo. Her personality is rude and belitting at times. She rarely calls Tusneo by his name only calling him “My Servant”.

The film’s animation was beautiful.

My favorite scene was Josee reading her book aloud-The Mermaid and the Silver Wings.

My favorite characters were Tusneo, Kanna, and Josee’s Grandma.

I’m not surprised that little kids would have no interest listening to the original Little Mermaid story. It’s different in tone and message from the Disney version.

Thoughts on the Last Duel (2020) directed by Ridley Scott

Synopsis: Jean de Carrouges and Jacques de Gris start out as comrades but become enemies over time. After Jean returns from battle, his wife Marguerite informs him that Jacques took her against her will. Jean calls for a duel between him and de Gris to prove Marguerite’s innocence and save his reputation. Who will be the victor?

Available to stream on HBO Max.

Trigger Warning: Graphic violence and explicit scene of “sexual assult” shown twice.

The Last Duel is based on a nonfiction book by Eric Jager called The Last Duel: A True Story of Trial by Combat in Medieval France.

Adam Driver, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Jodie Comer deliver good performances throughout the movie.

The movie is structured similar to a book: The Truth According to Jean de Carrouges, Jacques de Gris, and Marguerite.

The movie’s pacing drags at times since the events of the story are told from three different perspectives.

I did enjoy the frequent use of Latin chants and a reference to the art of love by Ovid.

It would’ve been nice for Marguerite to be the main focus and see more of her character development.

The combat scene took a while to end probably to build up suspense for the final blow.

This ambitious historical epic drama won’t be a film for everyone; it may gain cult classic status in the distant future after a few years.

It doesn’t romanticise chivalry as previous films set in the medieval period have.

Preschool shows by Network that I watched and grew up with

Join me on this walk down memory lane as I reminsce about the preschool shows of my youth along with some new ones.

PBS

  • Sesame Street
  • Mister Rogers Neighborhood
  • Between the Lions
  • Reading Rainbow
  • Zoboomafoo
  • Big Comfy Couch
  • Curious George
  • Super Why?
  • WordGirl
  • Martha Speaks
  • Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman
  • Dragon Tales
  • The Magic School Bus
  • Arthur
  • Clifford the Big Red Dog (2000-2003)
  • Clifford’s Puppy Days
  • Adventures from the Book of Virtues
  • Anne of Green Gables: The Animated Series
  • Barney& Friends
  • Angelina Ballerina
  • George Shrinks
  • Wunderkind Little Amadeus
  • Maya and Miguel
  • Teletubbies
  • Sagawa, the Chinese Siamese Cat
  • Berenstain Bears
  • Postcards from Buster
  • Wishbone

Nick Jr

  • Dora the Explorer
  • Yo Gabba Gabba
  • Wonder Pets
  • The Backyardigans
  • Lazytown
  • Olivia
  • Blues Clues
  • Max& Ruby
  • Wow! Wow! Wubzy!
  • Oswald
  • Ni Hao Kai-Lan
  • Franklin
  • Little Bear
  • Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Friends
  • Maggie and the Ferocious Beast
  • Kipper
  • Maisy

Cartoon Network

Harry and his bucket full of dinosaurs

Peppa Pig

Gerald Mc Boing-Boing

Baby Looney Tunes

Playhouse Disney

Out of the Box

Book of Pooh

My Friends Tigger & Pooh

Johnny and the Sprites

The Wiggles

Higglytown Heroes

Handy Manny

Little Einsteins

Imagination Movers

Doodlebops

Madeline

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

Special Agent Oso

Charlie & Lola

Bear in the Big Blue House

PB& J Otter

Stanley

Jo Jo’s Circus

Rolie Polie Ollie

The Koala Brothers

Ranking of Spiderman Films

In celebration of the latest Spider-Man: No Way Home, Here’s my ranking of all the Spiderman films.

9. The Amazing Spider-Man 2

8. Spider-Man:Homecoming

7. The Amazing Spider-Man

6. Spider-Man 3

5. Spider-Man: Far From Home

4. Spider-Man: No Way Home

3. Spider-Man

2. Spider-Man 2

1.Into the Spiderverse

Top 5 Least Favorite Christmas Songs

Not all Christmas are songs are meant to be classics. Here are my least favorite Christmas songs.

5. “Do you hear what I hear”

4. “Santa Baby”

3. “Christmas Shoes”

2. tie between” I want a hippo for Christmas” and “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth”

1. “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”

Top 10 Favorite Christmas Songs

Holiday greetings, everyone! Here’s a list of my favorite Christmas Songs with honorable mentions at the end.

10. “Grandma Got Run Over by A Reindeer”

9. “Christmas Don’t be Late” by Alvin and the Chipmunks

8. “Santa Claus Lane”

7. “Wonderful Christmas Time”

6. “Snow Miser/ Heat Miser Song”

5. “Greatest Time of Year”

4. “Where Are You Christmas”

3. “Believe”

2.” Last Christmas”

1. Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy (Instrumental)

Honorable Mentions: “Feliz Navidad”, “Let it Snow”, “Rockin’Around the Christmas Tree”, “The First Noel”, “Christmas time is here”, “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch”,

“Blue Christmas”, “Joy to the World”, “Silent Night”, “Winter Wonderland”,

“As Long as there’s Christmas”, “Carol of the Bells”

Blog Update 12/20

My apologoies for the late blog update. I’m on holiday break now however, I’ll be busy celebrating with the holidays with my family. After New Years, I plan to do some personal writing unrelated to this blog until the school semester returns mid January. This blog will remain on hiatus for a while. If I have time next semester, I may write some short posts in between. Thanks to my readers old and new!

My last post of 2021 will be a List of my favorite and least favorite Christmas songs.

I hope you enjoy them!

International Myths found in Movies and Tv shows.

  • *Not a comprehensive list of every country and their myths-just the ones I am familiar with and found through research.

Chinese myths

Princess Iron Fan (1941)

White Snake Enchantress (1958)

The Monkey King

Mulan (1998)

Mulan (2009)

Big FIsh & Begonia (2016)

White Snake (2019)

White Snake II: The Trials and Tribulations of Green Snake (2021)

Ne Zha (2019)

New Gods: Ne Zha Reborn (2021)

Jiang Ziya (2020)

Over the Moon (2020)

Japanese myths

Pom Poko (1994)

Princess Mononoke (1997)

Spirited Away (2001)

The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013)

Filipino myths

Ibong Adarna (1941)

Adarna: The Mythical Bird (1997)

Urduja (2008)

Dayo: Wanderer in the Land of Elementales (2008)

Trese (2020)

Marina (2004)

Darna (2009-2010)

Encantadia (2005, 2016-2017)

Mesoamerican myths

Book of Life (2014)

Maya and the Three (2021)

Coco (2017)

Pacha Mama (2018)

La Llorona (1935)

The Curse of La Llorona (2019)

Onynx Equinox (2020)

Greek/Roman Myths

Jason & the Argonauts (1963)

Cleopatra (1963)

Medea (1969)

Clash of the Titans (1981)

Hercules (1997)

Blood of Zeus (2020)

The Odyssey (1997)

Mourning Becomes Electra (1947)

Troy (2004)

Spartacus (2004)

Alexander (2004)

300 (2006)

Immortals (2011)

Goddess of Spring short (1934)

Jim HensonThe Storyteller: Greek Myths (1990-1991)

English myths

Gunievere & Lancelot (1963)

Camelot (1967)

Sword in the Stone (1963)

Quest for Camelot (1998)

Robin Hood: Men In Tights (1993)

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)

Avalon High (2010)

Merlin miniseries (2008)

Beowulf

Irish myths

The Secret of Kells (2009)

Song of the Sea (2014)

Wolfwalkers (2020)

Thoughts on Maya and the Three

Synopsis: Maya is a 15-year old girl who would rather be a warrior than a diplomat like her mother. On the day of her quincequera, an emissary from the Underworld arrives and informs the kingdom that Maya must be sacrificed to Lord Mictlan (god of war) in exchange for power. If she refuses, Lord Mictlan will attack and destroy her kingdom (Polygon). To protect her family and the kingdom, Maya attempts to fulfill an ancient prophecy by gathering a band of warriors from the allied kingdoms outside of Teca. During her journey, she runs into various deities whose aim is to capture her for the god of war.

  • The plot is similar to Raya and the Dragon but done better with tight writing, solid execution, and organic character development.
  • Both the main cast and side characters are memorable.
  • The whole series is fleshed out with amazing worldbuilding and well-paced for the most part.
  • The eastereggs are fun to look out for.
  • The introduction of the characters’ tragic backstories is heartwrenching to watch because you feel such empathy for them.
  • The various character designs for the mythical deities are creative and distinct.
  • The friendship between the main cast is precious.
  • The miniseries has a good balance of fun goofy moments with serious moments.
  • It makes the viewer want to research and read about the various myths used in this series.
  • As far as I know, this is the only series that was able to wrap up their story in 9 episodes.
  • The combat scenes are a delight to watch.
  • It would be a missed opportunity if there wasn’t a licensed videogame for Maya and the Three. The game would have two modes: story mode which allows players to play through the story from the miniseries and a combat mode where players can battle all the characters from the miniseries one on one or a group battle against a final boss. I could see this game selling out immediately and becoming a success.
  • I can’t wait to purchase the art book and look through all the character sketches.
  • The romance subplot between Maya and Zatz is weaved well into the story. None of it ever feels forced. The overall feeling is genuine since the two have wonderful chemistry with each other.
  • I appreciate that the miniseries doesn’t shy away from tough topics such as death, grief, and infidelity.
  • The ending is bittersweet yet hopeful.
  • I wish Jorge Gutierrez much success and can’t wait for his future projects.

The Castle of LLYR Book Review

The Castle of Llyr by Lloyd Alexander

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Castle of Llyr is the third book in the Chronicles of Pyrdain.
Synopsis: Princess Eilowny must leave her friends in Caer Dalben to visit the Isle of Mona for “princess training”. However, danger awaits her in Mona as Achren desires to control Eilowny for her magical powers. When Eilowny goes missing, It’s up to Taran and company to find and rescue her from Achren’s clutches.
This book has Eilowny as the focus character as readers learn more about her backstory. The story itself has a strong beginning characters such as Queen Teleria, Prince Rhun, and King Rhudlum however, it begins to drag near the middle from chapters 10-13. From Chapter 14 onwards, the story regains its momentum and steady pace making for a climatic final confrontation with the sorceress Achren. Despite the middle portion being slow and dragging down the plot, the Castle of LLYR is a fun engaging story that continues building up the vast world of Pyrdain.

Highlights:
The reappearance of Gydion, Son of Don.
Taran acknowledging his growing love for Eilowny
More information on Eilowny’s backstory
Prince Rhun’s character development from bumbling fool to brave and heroic prince- worthy of being Dynas Rhydant’s future king.



View all my reviews

Tron: Uprising: Bright Lights and Big Battles

Mr. Rhapsodist

When I first saw Tron, I thought, “It looks cool, but this is kinda dumb.” And when I saw Tron: Legacy, I thought, “This looks really cool, but is still dumb.”

Then, after a few more viewings, Tron: Legacy began to grow on me. It became my guilty pleasure and is now something I can enjoy for what it is. And because I was able to get to that point, I was in the right frame of mind to watch and enjoy the Disney animated series Tron: Uprising, which only got one season before being canceled.

Set before the start of Legacy, Uprising takes place inside Argon, a city in the Grid where Programs live and work. When Clu’s forces occupy the city under the rule of General Tesler, a lone mechanic named Beck (voiced by Elijah Wood) takes up arms. In doing so, he draws the attention of Tron…

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