Reviews: THE INTERN, THE PRINCE OF EGYPT, and BRIGHT

Woah, hey guys. The Midwest had something that resembled freezing rain, so my wife and I stayed home all day and saw three movies. The first one I want to talk about is

 

 

The Intern

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A Summary in Twenty words or less: An old widower/retiree decides to try interning for a fast-growing online clothing business.

 

This movie was really good. The idea of an older man interning for a 21st century business is an extremely quaint concept, and I definitely enjoyed it. Robert De Niro was great in it and so was Anne Hathaway who plays the business owner. Their characters have a surprising amount of chemistry, and the script has a surprising amount of heart to it.

Aside from that, the only other great thing is how the movie contrasts the values and ethics of De Niro’s generation and that of my generation. They never really get too deep into the nuances of this topic, but the very little digging they do attempt provides a good amount of entertainment.

The absolute worst part of the movie was the soundtrack. The soundtrack was boring, uncreative, and extremely repetitive. There was nothing about the music that challenged or altered the scene, and it gave the movie a very generic feeling to it. I don’t know if I would call the music bad, but there’s not much more to be said about it than saying that it was a run-of-the-mill feel-good movie soundtrack.

 

The only other real complaint I have is not something that detracts from the film, but it is one of the things that I think is the reason people have already forgotten about The Intern:

The film never really gives De Niro’s or Hathaway’s characters any real flaws. The film definitely gives Hathaway a lot of challenges, but the script undoubtedly goes out of its way to make sure the audience knows that none of it was from her doing. De Niro’s and Hathaway’s characters are named Ben and Jules, but there were a few times where I figured the movie would’ve been more honest if they just called them Larry and Mary Sue.

Some of the plot and dialogue was a bit cliché too.

 

There isn’t very much the movie does wrong, but there’s also not a whole lot the film does phenomenally either. It is feel-good, un-challenging entertainment. There’s nothing particularly wrong with that, and I certainly enjoyed watching De Niro play a role, within the last decade, that wasn’t absolute shit, but I would not be surprised if I forgot about this film after a month.

6 out of 10.

 

 

 

Next, I saw

 

The Prince of Egypt

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SITWOL: It’s the Biblical book of Exodus but with amazing musical numbers and awe-inspiring animation.

 

If I were ever given a massive budget and my pick of any actors and crew I wanted, I would recreate a story from Scripture. It has always been on my mind.

But if I were to ever make a movie off of a story from the Bible, it wouldn’t be Exodus, because it would just be a worse version of The Prince of Egypt (or The Ten Commandments).

This film is a masterpiece.

 

It is so rare to see a children’s animation withstand the test of time to such a degree as The Prince of Egypt. The animation is absolutely incredible. It may not be as realistic as the computer-rendered graphics of today, but the effort and care that is put into bringing this movie to life shines brighter than nearly every animation to this day.

On top of this, every single music number is beautifully sung, and it effortlessly flows the narrative through.

Almost every single movie I’ve seen that has musical numbers in it has rendered at least one song that I did not care for or hated. As for The Prince of Egypt, it would be hard to find a song I don’t love. None of the songs waste any time, and all of them fill the movie with story progression and character development.

 

Finally, the voice acting is outstanding. To think, if this movie was made today, people would likely be boycotting it because none of the voice actors are Egyptian or Hebrew. Well, I say screw the boycotters. All of the voice acting, but especially the voices of Ralph Fiennes, Danny Glover, and Patrick Stewart are flawless. If these voices were changed to other people who were “ethnically correct”, then the film would have been missing something. I promise you that.

 

If there was one complaint I had about this movie, it’s that the film is not without it’s ridiculous moments and cheesy scenes. Some of these scenes are forgivable because the film has a reason for them, but some of them are simply too corny for my taste.

This film may very well be the best Exodus movie in existence. The Ten Commandments is phenomenal and full of accomplishments, but The Prince of Egypt is significantly superior with its pacing. On top of that, the accomplishments of The Prince of Egypt are undeniably greater.

This film obviously doesn’t need my recommendation, but for what it’s worth, it has it.

9 out of 10

 

 

and finally, I saw…

 

 

Bright

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SITWOL: In a world where fantasy beings exist, Officers Will Smith and Orc Edgerton are paired together to make racism metaphors.

 

I was originally not going to see this movie, because I hated Suicide Squad(directed by David Ayer, the guy who directed Bright). However, when people started hating on the film to such a massive extent, I decided that it would be worthwhile to see this film.
For the most part, this film met my expectations.

I guessed that the schematics of how this elf-human-orc world worked would only be developed on a surface-level basis. And that was true for the most part.

I guessed that the racism analogies would be clunky, unsubtle, obvious, and poorly-written. Man, was I spot on.

I guessed that the dialogue would be horrendous. Yes.

 

But I still sort-of liked this movie.

The idea of a modern world where there were cultural inequalities between orcs, humans, and elves sounds like a great idea with amazing potential. And sometimes, the film does scratch the surface of this potential, but ultimately, most of its usage was to make extremely obvious and clumsy social metaphors.

The orcs might as well have been black people, and the elves might as well have been rich white people.

 

There’s also quite a few plot holes and unexplained story elements.

 

That said, despite having awful dialogue, and despite Will Smith’s character being relatively flat and boring… and despite Joel Edgerton rarely ever being able to emote with his orc face, the two both do have moments of good chemistry together. In fact, I don’t really think it’s Will Smith’s or Joel Edgerton’s fault this movie doesn’t work very well.

I think the fault mainly lies on the backs of writer Max Landis and director David Ayer. Given to a better writer and director, I could see Bright having a great chance to be a great film. As it stands, it’s a good idea with some good moments, but ultimately is a dud of a movie.

I had some mindless fun watching it. I didn’t hate it. However, there’s no way that I could possibly recommend it. There are simply too many flaws in this movie to give it a stamp of approval. If Bright seems to interest you on an entertainment level, then I’d suggest giving it a shot. Otherwise, if your interest in Bright is as surface level as its terrible dialogue, I’d probably recommend skipping it.

3 out of 10

 

stevejdonahue.com

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