Movie Review: Kong: Skull Island is Bigger, Not Necessarily Better

Twelve years after his last film appearance, King Kong stomps back onto the big screen this weekend looking bulkier than ever before. With a 79% on Rotten Tomatoes, the giant ape now stands at 100ft tall, compared to the 25ft monster we saw in Peter Jackson’s 2005 movie. No, the Empire State Building is nowhere to be found in this movie, but does Kong still manage to climb to new heights? Here is my take on this re-make. 

Let me set the stage for you: The film begins with a group of soldiers and scientists, plus a photojournalist (Brie Larson), exploring an unchartered island in the Pacific. Director Jordan Vogt-Robertse delivers the first action scene fast: as soon as the crew’s helicopters hover over Skull Island, they start dropping bombs on the island, and Kong swats them down like flies. With several crew members dead, US army colonel Preston (Samuel L Jackson) refuses to leave the island until he finds a missing soldier, but former SAS captain James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) wants to lead the team to their designated rescue point. The group also disagree over their true enemy’s identity: is it Kong, or the island’s lizard-like predators, the Skullcrawlers?

My point of view: The big ape is simply a wonder to see on the big screen and the cinematography is amazing to see. “Kong” Skull Island gets its creatures right, but the rest is a bit choppy. After a few short minutes in my seat, I began to pick up on the fact the lack of character motivations, and the story-line has been tossed aside like the helicopters in Kong’s hands. Make no mistake about it — most of the characters here are not needed (sorry). A weak script finds A-list actors with not really a good reason to be in the film, while Kong does all of the heavy lifting. But really, who’s complaining? The truth is that no one is actually going to Kong: Skull Island for them. What the people really want is Kong — and the Kong rises to the occasion. I loved everything about the memorable creature battle scenes which was epic, jumpy, and quite a thrilling experience to witness. The whole time you are routing for Kong to rip and tear them to pieces ... as he is the “King” Kong.  

I would give it 3 out of 5 stars. Kong: Skull Island is a great movie — as long as you ignore everyone on screen who isn’t Kong. If you’ve got nothing to do this weekend, and you want to watch the world’s greatest monster brawl it out on the big screen this is definitely the movie for you. And isn’t that worth the price of admission alone? It definitely was for me. On the bright side we’re getting the Godzilla vs King Kong movie in 2020, and Kong is going to be much bigger and better. Bring it on.

Movie Review: ‘Logan’ The Best Wolverine Movie. Ever. Seriously.

Ever since the comic book movie genre really kicked off in the early 2000s, we have had three different actors play Spider-Man, two different guys playing Batman and a few who have played Superman. But for the better part of two decades, there has been one and only one Wolverine. Now, after all of that time, Hugh Jackman is saying goodbye to his iconic role with Logan, his final role as the beloved mutant. As sad as it may be to see him go, Logan is truly a perfect way to say goodbye. Seriously it couldn't have been any better. At 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I am sure it will be number one at the box office this weekend and as always no spoilers below – I promise. 

Let me set the stage for you: Logan takes place in the near future of 2029 and sees an old, retired Wolverine simply trying to make his way in the world and take care of his beloved mentor -Charles Xavier, who is also suffering and isn't what he once was. It is a dark time for mutants as their kind seems to be going extinct. But all of that changes when a young, new mutant named Laura comes into Logan and Charles' life. Now, they must go on the run and try to protect from some very bad villians.

Director James Mangold and the entire creative team behind Logan did a superb job ending the story of Wolverine. From the beginning all the way to the end, it was an amazing ride to see Logan (Hugh Jackman) fight one last time for something that he was missing all his life. We finally are treated to the Wolverine movie that we been waiting for. For his last Wolverine film this (sorry kids, you would need parental guidance) is rated-R. Lots of cursing. Lots of blood. 

The rest of the cast also deserves a lot of praise as the movie really turns out to be a great ensemble piece. Stephen Merchant is great as Caliban, Boyd Holbrook and Richard E. Grant both do a great job as the villains in Logan, and suited this movie perfectly. The real standout, though, is the young girl Dafne Keen, who plays Laura, aka the mutant X-23, who is basically a female version of Wolverine. She is absolutely outstanding and got me hype during her fight scenes and if what she does in Logan is any indication, she will have a very long and promising career ahead of her.

My point of view: If this is to be the franchise’s farewell to the character, there couldn’t be a better finale. This isn’t just the best Wolverine movie to date, it might be the best story about Wolverine ever produced. It is a definite must see movie even if you aren't a huge comic fan.

I give it a 5 out of 5 stars. I will definitely be watching it again!  -xo Mel 

Disney's 'Beauty & The Beast' Rose Bag

Happy 1st of March everyone! I hope you all are having a wonderful week. My week is actually going great since today is the official countdown to one of my favorite Disney movies – “Beauty and the Beast” which is in theaters on March 17th. From the enchanting characters to the memorizing music, 'Beauty and the Beast' has always been one of my favorite love stories. 

I am totally obsessed with this Stained Glass Enchanted Rose Crossbody Bag recent find from Hot Topic. I always had a thing for roses (yes, I know it is one of the most cliché flower that exists). Not only that it is my daughter’s and my middle names, but the rose symbolizes a small connection that I have to my father who passed away when I was younger. I always remember he used to leave me a single red rose from time to time on my dresser and they were always unexpected. He wasn’t in my life very much, but there was always something about the rose that made me feel special and at peace with my dad. This purse is a great statement piece, especially when paired with minimal colors. I wore this cute white lace peek-a-boo shoulder blouse that I found at Express and high waisted black jeans from GAP and finished off the look with open toe heel boots. Clearly black and white is my favorite go-to color combination in my closet. 

Who else is excited to finally see how they turned Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” into a live-action re-telling of the studio’s 1991 animated classic which refashions the classic characters from the tale as old as time for a contemporary audience? -xo Mel 

Photo Credit: My daughter Mariah

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