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No Question Mark Box Here; Super Mario Delivers a 1-Up in Theaters

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If you were born in the ’80s, ’90s, or literally ANY decade after those, you know about Super Mario. A cultural phenomenon was brought to life on the big screen this last weekend. One that has not only stood the test of time but reinvented itself time and time again. This wasn’t even the first time it’s been made into a movie but, well, let’s be honest.. some of us choose not to acknowledge the LIVE action adaptation of the beloved game from 30 years ago. 

It was pretty bad… But this was animation. ILLUMINATION animation at that. The Universal company that brought us Gru and his Minions, showed us the Secret Life of Pets, and gave us a reason to SING! Still, I had my reservations and even some concerns, especially when the casting was announced. 

 Eyebrows were raised. As big of stars as they were on paper, could they really deliver on voicing characters from a staple of our childhood? They did.

Chris Pratt and Charlie Day may not be Italian, and Jack Black may not be a King or Turtle creature from the Mushroom Kingdom, but they make the characters their own all while paying homage to the lore of a video game. 

From the jump, the story reintroduces us to the brothers that just want to save Brooklyn one clogged sink at a time. We feel an instant connection and relate to these “underdogs of the plumbing world”. The movie is riddled with easter eggs, each of which tugs on the heartstrings of every generation of Mario fandom. And the soundtrack was beautifully put together to not only make us feel like we’re taking a walkthrough of the game but like an experience all its own with some familiar favorites thrown in.

Every word in the movie is pure eye candy for both those that are casual fans, and those analyzing every frame to see what they’ll catch next. Bowser’s ship, the Mushroom Kingdom, Kong’s arena, and the Rainbow Road.. They’re all meant to give us just enough of a “new” look at these amazing worlds, but stay true to how we remember them.

The movie itself moves along at the perfect pace. Although, if you don’t really know ANYTHING about the Super Mario Bros, you may have gotten a little lost and felt left behind in the green tunnel. But that’s ok! It’s an adventure of the imagination and a classic story of a boy that meets a girl and tries to save the world from a monster that wants to destroy it.

What’s funny is that you could easily say this is a story about two characters who couldn’t be more opposite if they tried, battling to win the heart of a princess. Who would’ve thought that the King of the Koopas was just trying to impress his crush?

And that song? Ohhh THAT song! It’s my new ringtone and deserves the Oscar for Best Original Song.

Back to the movie. 

Universal and Illumination clearly understood the assignment. Is it missing some things or could things have been done differently or even better? Absolutely! We’re the worst critics of the things we hold nearest and dearest to our hearts. But if you’re up for going on a 90-minute adventure through amazing worlds, with awesome music, and characters that’ll make you smile and laugh, then this is the perfect movie to spring you into that warm summer feeling.

Plus there’s the whole part with karts and shells, and banana peels and oh my goodness how amazing was that?? It’s enough to make you want to stand up and cheer, then go home and destroy your friends and family on your favorite track haha.

The bottom line, it pays homage in all the right ways to the little guy with the mustache, while giving us something new and exciting. Take the kids and go see Super Mario Bros. You’ll be glad you did!

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Caesar’s Reign Comes To The Big Screen With New Trailer For Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes

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Director Wes Ball breathes new life into the global, epic franchise set several generations in the future following Caesar’s reign, in which apes are the dominant species living harmoniously and humans have been reduced to living in the shadows. As a new tyrannical ape leader builds his empire, one young ape undertakes a harrowing journey that will cause him to question all that he has known about the past and to make choices that will define a future for apes and humans alike. “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” is directed by Wes Ball (the “Maze Runner” trilogy) and stars Owen Teague (“IT”), Freya Allan (“The Witcher”), Kevin Durand (“Locke & Key”), Peter Macon (“Shameless”), and William H. Macy (“Fargo”). The screenplay is by Josh Friedman (“War of the Worlds”) and Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (“Avatar: The Way of Water”) and Patrick Aison (“Prey”), based on characters created by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver, and the producers are Wes Ball, Joe Hartwick, Jr., p.g.a. (“The Maze Runner”), Rick Jaffa, p.g.a., Amanda Silver, p.g.a., Jason Reed, p.g.a. (“Mulan”), with Peter Chernin (the “Planet of the Apes” trilogy) and Jenno Topping (“Ford v. Ferrari”) serving as executive producers.

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Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

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Aquaman’s nemesis Manta returns possessed by an ancient evil, with plans to take down both the human world and the Kingdom of Atlantis! 

We launch right into a game of catch-up just as soon as the film begins, taking off at breathless speeds as Arthur Curry aka Aquaman, balances being married to Atlantean royalty Mera (Amber Heard) with their new baby inevitably Arthur Jr. and all that entails a life lived on the land, plus oh yeah, being the reluctant King of Atlantis and all the political stonewalling from the Royal Council, responsibility for the lives and safety of the aquatic denizens of Atlantis, and all the problems and headaches there. This is a hard act to juggle, and Arthur is eternally grateful to his adoptive father Tom (Temuera Morrison) for always being willing to help out watching his grandson, giving Aquaman sage advice when he’s struggling, forever quietly proud of his Polynesian ancestry and the family he made for himself here, where the land meets the sea under his lighthouse. 

The flip side of this idyllic if tiring life is Aquaman’s old nemesis David Kane aka Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), armed with the genius of the entirely naïve Dr. Stephen Shin (Randall Park), a determined lieutenant called Stingray (Jani Zhao) and whatever old Atlantean tech he can get his hands on, is on the hunt for more Atlantean tech to fix his busted Manta suit. Because we’re still, on about getting revenge for Aquaman killing Kane’s father, in the previous movie. Kane does hunt down a lost artifact far more powerful than his blasted suit, the legendary but lost for good reason Black Trident. 

See the thing about artifacts in superhero movies especially, is that the things used to belong to someone, and most likely that someone was powerful, likely magical, and inclined to either great good or horrific evil. Guess which one the Black Trident is? 

Time passes and the whole planet is starting to be affected by the bad things – greenhouse gases, extreme weather, oceanic modifications, the culmination of all of that – and Arthur thinks his best option is to go break his brother Orm (Patrick Wilson) out of aquatic prison to help him fight off Kane and his plans for worldwide destruction! Everyone has to give their opinion on this rather crazed plan of action, especially Arthur’s mother Atlanna (Nicole Kidman), and Orm’s dad King Nereus (Dolph Lungren), though they do come willingly to aid when Arthur gets inevitably in the clutch. 

Things are all coming to a head for a showdown between Kane and the forces of evil behind the real owner of the Black Trident, and Aquaman and all the forces of good, both land and sea, he can muster to fight with him! 

It’s a good movie, fun and light-hearted and full of jokes at the leads’ expense, never taking things too terribly seriously despite the purported world-ending scenario. The CGI for the floating hair of the denizens of Atlantis is better done than in the previous film, though it still strikes me as highly improbable for aquatic humanoids to have long hair in anything other than braids. The version of the film I saw was in IMAX 3D and that was entirely unnecessary, the transition of 3D between scene shifts needed a bit of work. Jason Momoa steers the film with the cheerful recklessness and obstinacy of a surfer against a taller-than-you breaker, always on the verge of a smirk turned into a charming smile, breathlessly whisking the audience along on the adventures of Aquaman and pals. Rumor says this second installment of Aquaman will be the last film in what is known as the DCEU, the slate of DC superhero movies before James Gunn and Peter Safran reboot the whole thing in 2025, and if that’s the case, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is a perfectly fun movie to go out on. 

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What If Everything You Believed As A Kid Was Real?

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What if everything you believed as a kid was real? From the imagination of John Krasinski, enter a world you have to believe to see. Watch the new teaser trailer for #IFMovie – Only in theatres May 2024.
Starring Ryan Reynolds, John Krasinski, Cailey Fleming, Fiona Shaw, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Louis Gossett Jr., Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Maya Rudolph, Jon Stewart, Bobby Moynihan, Sam Rockwell, Sebastian Maniscalco, Christopher Meloni, Richard Jenkins, Awkwafina, and Steve Carell. From writer and director John Krasinski, IF is about a girl who discovers that she can see everyone’s imaginary friends — and what she does with that superpower — as she embarks on a magical adventure to reconnect forgotten IFs with their kids. IF stars Ryan Reynolds, John Krasinski, Cailey Fleming, Fiona Shaw, and the voices of Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Louis Gossett Jr. and Steve Carell alongside many more as the wonderfully unique characters that reflect the incredible power of a child’s imagination.

Connect with #IFMovie Official Site: if.movie Instagram:   / ifmovie   TikTok:   / ifmovie   Facebook:   / ifmovie   Twitter/X:   / ifmovie  

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