The second weekend in July brought an interesting, animated film and the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I caught them both, and I give my thoughts below! If you’d like to see more of my scores for films and thoughts, feel free to follow me on Letterboxd here.
Hello, Goodbye and Everything In Between (Netflix)
Starring: Jordan Fisher, Talia Ryder, and Ayo Edebiri
Synopsis: It’s the classic tale of boy meets girl, sparks fly, a relationship blooms and then they need to break up since college is around the corner. Wait, what? I know what you’re thinking, yikes. This Claire (Ryder) and Aidan (Fisher) meet at a party and sparks fly. But they know there’s a ticking clock on any potential relationship, so they make a pact to break up at the end of summer. We see the relationship play out over months until we arrive at the eve of their heading out to college. They have a big breakup date, during which they consider their entire relationship. Fisher and Ryder are cute in the lead roles and it’s a somewhat clever idea. It’s also a shorter narrative and I didn’t think it played out as endearing as the potential of the premise. In the end it’s just an OK romantic comedy.
The Sea Beast (Netflix)
Starring: Karl Urban, Jared Harris, Zaris-Angel Hator, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, and Dan Stevens
Synopsis: This latest animated tale is a swashbuckling adventure from director Chris Williams, who co-wrote the screenplay and delivered the film Big Hero 6. I enjoyed his work on Big Hero 6 and was excited to see this latest offering. This one is set in a time when beasts roam the seas and big hunting ships work to keep the public safe. Jacob (Urban) was an orphan plucked by Captain Crow (Harris) and trained to some day take over the best monster hunting ship around. When Jacob comes across his own orphan, Maisie (Hastor), he forms a bond that makes him look at the world, and beasts of the sea, in a different fashion. This is a colorful ride that’s fun at times. I liked the voice cast and the work here. It was another solid animated adventure from Netflix, which has become home to some varied and interesting films. I enjoyed the ride for what it is and think this is a film that will appeal to the whole family.
Rating: Rated PG for action, violence and some language.
Thor: Love and Thunder (Theaters)
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Tessa Thompson, Taika Waititi, and Russell Crowe
Synopsis: The God of Thunder is back for his fourth stand-alone adventure, this is once again written and directed by Waititi, who gave us Thor: Ragnarok. He also voices Korg, one of the more delightful characters in the MCU. In this adventure, we pick up with Thor (Hemsworth) back in fighting shape running missions with the Guardians of the Galaxy, whom he joined at the end of the last Avengers film. Soon, however, he is pulled in a different direction as New Asgaard is threatened by Gorr (Bale), dubbed The God Killer. Thor reunites with Valkyrie (Thompson) and a new-look Jane Foster (Portman), who is now The Mighty Thor, to protect the realm and defeat Gorr. If you enjoyed the last Thor, the style of this one will be right up your alley. Some have quibbled that some serious stories didn’t get a serious treatment. That’s fair, but I enjoyed the way this was written and produced. The performances are solid, too. It’s great to have Portman and Jane back in the world, and I liked the arc in this film. It doesn’t reach the heights of the last film, to me, but it’s still a fun romp and one of the better films released this summer. In enjoyed the cameo from Russell Crowe, too, and I loved where Thor is left in the end. I hope his story does, indeed, continue!
Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, language, some suggestive material and partial nudity.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.