Tag Archives: Chris Pratt

My Thoughts on: Onward (2020)

Onward is a film that I’ve been pretty excited about ever since it was announced because, let’s face it, in a world dominated by ongoing franchises, sequels, reboots, etc., you don’t see wholly original stories all that often. This is one such example and it lived up to pretty much all of my expectations.

The story is set in a fantasy world turned on its head. Imagine a world filled with unicorns, mermaids, elves, fairies, even manticores…but modernized. Instead of using magic, modern technology took over. Enter Ian and Barley Lightfoot (Tom Holland and Chris Pratt respectively), two brothers who have an amazing opportunity thrust upon them: the chance to be reunited with their late father for one day only. This revelation sends the brothers on an insane quest to achieve the impossible.


I’m not sure where to even start because there is so much to love about Onward. First of all, Tom Holland and Chris Pratt are fantastic together. I’ll bet anything they recorded lines together because the chemistry between the two is off the charts. Also, there’s something just inherently funny about all of these fantasy creatures living in a modern suburban environment. I know this is hardly the first story to put fantasy creatures in a modern setting, but the way Onward does it is just a lot of fun. Outside of the Lightfoot brothers, my favorite character is the Manticore, she is in one of my favorite moments in the entire film.

The setting of New Mushroomton is beautifully rendered and contains a lot of Easter Eggs. I won’t spoil any of them but there’s one pretty early in the film that made everybody in the theater laugh. Also, fans of Dungeons and Dragons will likely love this movie because one of the major plot elements is basically straight out of a D&D book (the film doesn’t call it that but the reference is obvious). And the one spoiler I will mention: the fact that all of the spells in the roleplaying book are real is just funny.


The quest, once it gets started, is mostly hilarious though (this being Disney/Pixar) there are some serious twists and turns before it’s all over. Onward deals several emotional gut punches, none of which I can discuss for spoiler reasons, but believe me when I say that you will need tissues before the end credits roll. It’s very satisfying to watch Ian and Barley grow throughout the story. The ending will probably surprise you, by the way, but I do understand why Disney/Pixar went the route they did. It’s very atypical for this kind of story, and it’s nice that the studio tried something new.

All in all, I highly recommend Onward to anyone wanting to have a good time at the movies. I would be more than willing to go see a sequel, as this is a world I very much want to visit again. Bravo to everyone who helped create such a beautiful story and bravo to Disney/Pixar for creating something original!

Let me know what you think about Onward in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Animated Film Reviews

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook



My Thoughts on: The LEGO Movie 2-The Second Part (2019)

*note: I’m trying to keep spoilers to a minimum but a few are going to leak out. So keep that in mind as you read my review!

One of the fears with sequels is that they won’t live up to the bar set by the first film, particularly when it’s a film as funny as the The LEGO Movie. Happily, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part proves to be a fun and entertaining story, though it is not without its fair share of weak moments.

The sequel picks up immediately where the first film left off, with Bricksburg invaded by “aliens” from the planet Duplo. The story then flashes forward five years and sees Bricksburg transformed into a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Honestly, I was unsure about the post-apocalyptic vibe, but it really does work. My biggest complaint is that we don’t see enough of this new Bricksburg. Most of the story takes place in and around the “Systar System,” where Emmet must go to rescue his kidnapped friends. I will say it is very funny to see Emmet (Chris Pratt) retaining his “Everything is Awesome” personality while everyone else goes hardcore.


There are a number of catchy songs in The LEGO Movie 2, all of which I loved. My favorites that I want to highlight include:

-“Not Evil” -Sung by the ruler of the Systar System, Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi (Tiffany Haddish), it’s a great song where the alien queen sings about all the ways she’s NOT evil (it’s as great as it sounds).

-“Catchy Song”- All I can say is “this song’s gonna get stuck inside your head.” You’ve been warned.

-“Gotham City Guys”-I can’t really give too much context for this song because that would spoiler a lot of the plot but this might be my absolute favorite song in the entire film.

-“Everything’s NOT Awesome”-The title speaks for itself.


Aside from the awesome songs, mostly great plot and what I’m pretty sure is a wicked funny Twilight joke, I do have a problem with the last act of the film. It involves Emmet and his new friend Rex Dangervest (also played by Chris Pratt). Rex’s backstory involves a lot of time spent in live-action and it is by far the weakest part of the film. I’m pretty sure this sequence is meant to be funny in a roundabout sort of way, but to me it came across as awkward and incredibly fake (I couldn’t quite suspend my disbelief watching it). I also feel like the story relies a little too much on Finn (the kid from the first film) and his family for the plot to make sense. It’s not that the segments are bad (they’re not), I just feel like there’s too many of them. The good news is the story comes back together by the end and provides a satisfactory ending.

However, I really do think that this should be the end of the story and there should not be a LEGO Movie 3. I think that because the story, while funny, relied a bit too much on jokes it introduced in the first film. I can only imagine a third film would do that even more and thus lessen the humor.

In conclusion, The LEGO Movie 2 is a lot of fun, and if you liked the first film, you’re going to enjoy this one. It’s not quite as strong as the first film, but its weaknesses aren’t enough to derail the story. Let me know what you think about The LEGO Movie 2 in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Thinking about The LEGO Batman Movie (2017)

Thinking about: The LEGO Movie (2014)

Animated Film Reviews

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

My thoughts on: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

WARNING: Spoilers of varying sizes will be found in this review. DO NOT read until you’ve seen the film (unless you don’t care if some epic plot twists are spoiled, in which case, carry on).

It’s been a long three years since I saw Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) and for a while it felt like the sequel would NEVER get here. But finally the great day arrived and it was totally worth the wait!

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was everything I dreamed it would be, an epic return to the zany world of blue space pirates, trigger-happy raccoons and talking baby trees. And speaking of….HOW ADORABLE IS BABY GROOT???? Seriously, that little guy practically stole the film! He was almost too cute for his own good (even the minor villains were commenting on his cuteness at one point), but it added some levity to some pretty dark moments (like when half of Yondu’s crew was ejected into the vacuum of space, yeah, you read that right). And the post-credits scene featuring Teenage Groot was just hilarious. It literally consists of Groot sitting in his messy room (messy with tree vines) playing video games while Star-Lord admonishes him to clean up his room.

It was great to see Yondu back, even if I was slightly confused about his situation at first. When we first see the space pirate again (after he was tricked out of an Infinity Stone by Quill), he has (apparently) been exiled from the Ravagers for breaking their code, something involving the trafficking of children. I assumed they were referring to Yondu kidnapping Peter all those years ago, but it turns out that was only the tip of the iceberg (more on that later). Yondu has a pretty up and down time in this film: he starts off being an exiled captain, is taken prisoner by mutineers, and then retakes his ship with the help of Baby Groot, Rocket and one loyal crewmember in one of the most epic montage scenes I’ve seen in YEARS (lets just say his telekinetic arrow has a starring role).

Star-Lord’s team is as hilarious as ever (though I do feel like Drax burst into laughter one time too many, but that’s nitpicking). The tension between Gamora and Peter is beginning to grow palpable (she totally digs him even if she won’t quite admit it, but he definitely knows he loves her, or at least has very strong feelings for her). I wouldn’t be surprised if those two are together by the end of Vol. 3.


Now let’s move on to Ego, The Living Planet, aka Star-Lord’s long-lost father. When I first heard that this character would be in the film, I was totally confused (I’ve never read the comics), and could not visualize what a living planet would look like. Actually, at first I thought Peter would just be talking to a giant planet for most of the time. But I have to say, the film did a great job of explaining how Ego is able to appear and travel as he does. And Kurt Russell was totally the best choice to play Star-Lord’s father, they totally act just the same way!! It explains so much about Peter, it really does. And the surface of Ego was so beautiful, perfect and so Eden-like…that I really should have figured out that much sooner that something was terribly wrong (like, before Mantis dropped the hint by nearly spilling the beans to Drax the first time).

There’s an old saying, that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. And while it IS true that Ego is Peter’s father (the opening scene set in 1980 establishes that), he is hardly an ideal parent. The way Ego presents his story, he’s spent the last 30 years or so searching for his son, his ONLY son, so they can finally be together as father and son. It sounds nice, but considering he’s lived for millions of years I should’ve considered there was more to it than that. One of the first things they do together is see if Peter can connect to Ego’s essence, referred to as “The Light”, which resides at the core of the planet. Peter can do it, which makes Ego really happy, but not because it proves beyond a doubt that Peter is his son, but because it now gives him a means to an end.


(WARNING, I’m about to spoil the big plot twist of the film): See, Ego isn’t this benevolent immortal looking to play catch-up with his son. He’s actually a little (lot) crazy and has come to the belief that his purpose in life is to fill the universe (or at least the galaxy) with replicas of himself. To this end, he’s spent the last million years or so planting essences of himself on every planet he’s ever come across (we see Earth’s at the beginning of the film, though we don’t know exactly what it is then). And on each of those planets, he made sure to sire a child, because, though he has the ability to plant these essences, he can’t activate them without the help of a second Celestial. But until Peter, none of this children, none of his MILLIONS of children, have possessed the right genes. So what did Ego do? He KILLED them!! Gamora and Nebula discover a series of caves below the surface that are filled to the brim with bones, millions of bones. And every last one belongs to Ego’s children, many of whom were brought to the planet by Yondu and his pirates (this is why the Ravagers exiled him). Yondu was paid handsomely to turn a blind eye to what was happening, but when he was sent to fetch Peter, he couldn’t bring himself to take the boy, because he figured he would die like the others. Now, all of this is bad enough, but then Ego admits one of the most shocking statements I’ve ever heard. In describing the glories of being a Celestial, Ego tells him (Peter) that they are “above mortals.” But then, what about Peter’s mother? “You said you loved my mother” Peter reminds him, and Ego admits that he really did love Meredith Quill, so much so that had he visited her on Earth a 4th time, he would have stayed on the planet and never left.

“It really broke my heart…” he says “When I had to put that tumor in her head.”

WHAT?? (I swear you could’ve heard the gasp all throughout the theater). Crazy Ego god-planet guy say WHAT???

As the opening of the first film established, Peter’s mother died of brain cancer, a long and tortuous way to die. NOW we learn that Ego PUT the cancer there in the first place!!!!! This knowledge pushes Peter over the edge (he loved his mother more than anyone) and leads into the climactic battle between father and son.


Of course the big lesson of this film is that family isn’t defined just by blood, it’s also who raised you, who forms actual bonds with you. The Guardians are more Peter’s family than Ego ever could have been. And as for Peter’s father…well, it was Yondu who really raised him, a fact that neither really admits to themselves until nearly the end of the film when….*gulps* when Yondu sacrifices his life to save Peter’s. Oh, that moment about broke my heart. Yondu tells Peter that “He (Ego) may have been your father, but he wasn’t your daddy!” And then he put the last spacesuit capsule-thing on Peter so he would be safe when they entered the vacuum on space, and all Peter can do is cry and scream in denial as Yondu dies right in front of him (that has to be one of the saddest moments ever in the MCU).

I’m so excited to see where the Guardians go from here, as we’ll next see them in Avengers: Infinity War (I sincerely hope Peter and Iron Man bump heads figuratively, I just know those two won’t get along at first). I also hope that Nebula gets the chance to exact vengeance on Thanos for everything he did to her as a child. I knew Thanos was cruel, but to do all of THAT to his own child…

I could probably keep going for another 1000 words, but these are the bulk of my thoughts on Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2. Final verdict: it is definitely a film worth seeing and it totally lives up to the hype.

What did YOU think of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2? Did you like it, not like it, prefer the original instead? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear about it 🙂

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

See also: Film/TV Reviews

My thoughts on: Black Panther (2018)

Avengers: Infinity War-Review (no spoilers)

My (spoiler-free) Thoughts on: Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

Thinking about: The LEGO Movie (2014)


Okay, so here’s the thing about me and movies: I’m extremely picky about what I will and will not watch. This is especially true with comedy films (I’m especially wary of encountering what I like to call “stupid comedy”, those films that are full of really bad/raunchy jokes and minimal plot).

And, to be perfectly honest, when I saw the first trailer for The LEGO Movie, I thought it was the dumbest thing I’d ever seen. I loved LEGOs when I was a kid, but I didn’t think a concept involving building blocks could carry a whole film. It also didn’t help that a lot of the best parts didn’t show up in any of the previews. So, needless to say, when the movie came out, I ignored it (despite the stellar reviews that immediately followed).


This went on for several months until the university happened to be showing the film for free one night (they have a Late Night Film Series every semester where we can watch recent films for free, which is pretty cool) and I decided to go ahead and give it a shot (since it was free after all). I went in telling myself that if it was really bad, I could always duck out and leave early.

But once the movie started, the craziest thing happened…I couldn’t stop laughing!! Far from hating it, The LEGO Movie turned out to be one of the funniest movies I’d ever seen! I loved all the pop culture references (the Star Wars cameo still makes me laugh), the LEGO sets are out of this world and, it turns out the film has a surprisingly deep message attached to it (something I would have NEVER guessed in a million years).


In brief: The LEGO Movie is set in the city of Bricksburg where Emmet (Chris Pratt) lives while he goes about his heavily regulated life as a construction worker. There are rules for everything: you do this at a certain time, you go here at a certain time, life is pretty much a Big Brother-like dystopia except all of the inhabitants seem to be oblivious. But one day…Emmet spots a strange girl digging around the construction site after hours and while trying to follow her, stumbles across the legendary “Piece of Resistance” that will supposedly neutralize Lord Business’s greatest weapon…the Kraggle (i.e. Krazy Glue). From there, Emmet is whisked off on a mindbending adventure (he even meets Batman!!) and ultimately grows into a real hero. And did I mention it has a mind-blowing twist in the third act?

I still watch The LEGO Movie whenever I need cheering up, and I’m impatiently waiting for the sequel to come out.

What did you guys think of The LEGO Movie? Let me know in the comments below!

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

See also:

Animated Film Reviews

Thinking about The LEGO Batman Movie (2017)

My Thoughts on: The LEGO Movie 2-The Second Part (2019)

Michael Giacchino talks Jurassic World (2015)

I’m probably stretching things just a bit because this is from a red carpet interview, but he does speak about how he got the job of scoring Jurassic World, which is exciting.

Jurassic World was the long awaited sequel to Jurassic Park (it ignores the events of The Lost World and Jurassic Park 3, essentially erasing them from continuity), set over twenty years after the original story. Isla Nublar is now home to a massively successful dinosaur theme park, based on the original dream envisioned by John Hammond, who has sadly passed on and left the park in the charge of Simon Masrani.


Business couldn’t be better, but the corporations that ultimately control the park want to see even bigger profits. To that end, they commission a new dinosaur to be created using various strains of dino DNA. All of this is overseen by Claire Dearing, operations manager for the park. As the new dinosaur, dubbed “Indominus Rex” becomes prepped for its debut to the public, concerns are raised by Owen Grady, an ex-Navy SEAL and expert on Velociraptors (his job is to train the raptors to obey human commands).

As Owen sees it, breeding regular dinosaurs is dangerous enough, but creating a NEW one from scratch is opening up a whole new world of problems. To complicate matters, Dr. Wu refuses to disclose which strands of DNA were used to create Indominus Rex, meaning Owen initially has no idea what sort of abilities the dinosaur will have. During an inspection of the enclosure, Indominus Rex manages to escape, and Claire is suddenly faced with a rampaging dinosaur loose on an island full of thousands of unsuspecting guests…


According to Michael Giacchino, he was offered the job of scoring Jurassic World after he created some music for The Lost World video game and Steven Spielberg contacted him (after hearing the music) and said “This is great, when can you score this?” Spielberg was in fact so impressed with what Giacchino created that when the time came to pick a composer, he was the first person considered.

That being said, since John Williams score for the original film is so iconic, there are a number of references to the main theme of Jurassic Park throughout the film (this serves to tie the two films together musically). I think it’s really cool that Giacchino got the opportunity to score the film because he worked on the music for a video game first.

This little interview is pretty short, if I find a longer one I’ll be sure to add it, but for now, enjoy!

See also:

Michael Giacchino talks The Incredibles (2004)

Michael Giacchino talks Mission: Impossible 3 (2006)

Michael Giacchino talks Ratatouille (2007)

Michael Giacchino talks Up (2009)

Michael Giacchino talks Star Trek (2009)

Michael Giacchino talks Super 8 (2011)

Michael Giacchino talks John Carter (2012)

Michael Giacchino talks Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)

Michael Giacchino talks Jupiter Ascending (2015)

Michael Giacchino scoring Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

Michael Giacchino talks Zootopia (2016)

Michael Giacchino talks Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

And don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook