Bumblebee PG-13 Science Fiction/Action – 1h 54m Movie Review

by Douglas Montgomery II

One shall stand, one shall fall – Optimus Prime

     Optimus Prime’s famous line aptly applies to Bumblebee, the robotic, transforming hero and titular star of Bumblebee the movie.  Bumblebee stands very tall in fact and easily tower’s over the last few entries in the Transformers franchise.  In terms of story and characters you actually care about, Bumblebee shines in ways the other Transformer movies never did, and still delivers the robot on robot action that’s expected.

     For those of you (myself included), who are tired and burnt out of the Michael Bay/explosions every five minutes/lame humor infused movies we’ve previously gotten with this franchise, or if you’re just suffering from “Transformers fatigue”, ignore the temptation to skip seeing this movie.  Director Travis Knight and Writer Christina Hodson have delivered a truly solid Transformers movie, skillfully combining plot and intense FX action. 

     Starring Hailee Steinfeld as Charlie, John Cena as Agent Burns, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Evil Decepticon Transformer Shatter voiced by Angela Bassett, and of course Bumblebee voiced by Dylan O’Brien, I really enjoyed this movie!  Set in 1987, featuring original Transformers such as, Optimus Prime, Soundwave, Cliffjumper, Ratchet, and Shockwave, and a slew of 80’s music and references, as a Transformer fan and product of the 80’s myself this movie hit me hard.  I found myself singing along to several popular tunes from the 1980’s, and noticed several people in the theater doing the same.

      Hailee Steinfeld is the true standout and her interactions with Bumblebee, as well as, her teenage emotional baggage sit at the very center of this movie, and brought to mind both E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Flight of the Navigator, both 80’s movies.  And Bumblebee is not short on action or humor.  The Transformer action sequences are intense and specifically placed exactly where they need to be, and Bumblebee shows he’s both a hero and a comedian.  I was laughing at and rooting for Bumblebee!

     Bumblebee is definitely a family affair, and a movie that both boys and girls in particular, will enjoy.  And for those looking for a Transformer battle fix you’ll enjoy this movie too!  Autobot leader Optimus Prime once said “There’s a thin line between being a hero and being a memory”.  Bumblebee is a true hero and all those other Transformer movies are now just a memory!

Go checkout Bumblebee!  Transformers!  Roll out!

Spider-Man: Into the the Spider-Verse Rated PG Fantasy/Science Fiction 1h 56m Movie Review

by Douglas Montgomery II

What’s up movie watchers!

     I had the pleasure of seeing Spider-Man:  Into the Spider-Verse over the past weekend and it was absolutely fantastic!  Or as Spider-Man is called, Amazing!

     The voice cast included among others, Liev Schreiber, Mahershala Ali, Nicolas Cage, Lily Tomlin, Chris Pine, and Shameik Moore as main character and hero, Miles Morales.  The movie sports a fresh and new animation style thanks to the animators at Sony Pictures Animation and with a reported budget of 90 million USD, the result is …..Amazing.

     As a longtime marvel comic reader and fan I must admit that I was partial to original Spider-Man’s alter ego Peter Parker, and while I had heard of Miles Morales, I’d never really embraced Morales.  Into the Spider-Verse changed that view, and Shameik Moore’s voice performance combined with a superbly written story/plot, delivers a Miles Morales with a charm that’s difficult not to embrace.  Mile Morales features all the things I’ve come to love and enjoy about Peter Parker/Spider-Man and then some!

     Spider-Verse features all things Spider-Man that I and fans of the hero have enjoyed for many, many years.  Humor, vulnerability, action, bad-ass villains, and high stakes, all set against a colorful animated canvas that’s displayed like it’s never been before.  This movie has everything for adults and children to enjoy, and included a soundtrack of hot music that drove a story that seemed to continually get better and better all the way to it’s heart-stopping, climactic, final action sequence.  And just before the unexpectedly entertaining end credits roll, you’re treated to a heart felt scene that we’ve come to expect from Spider-Man.

   Folks, I cannot say enough good things about this movie! So go out to your local theater and dive deep into the Spider-Verse!  You’ll have an amazing cinematic experience!