Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021) Review

So I got back from seeing Ghostbusters: Afterlife today and it was pretty good. I gonna try to keep this short as I don’t have too much to say but we’ll see how it goes. Ghostbusters: Afterlife is about a dysfunctional family that inherits a run down farm from their grandfather that passed away, and gets more than they bargained for when they discover the reason he came to Summervile. The film stars Mckenna Grace as Phoebe, Finn Wolfhard as Trevor, Carrie Coon as Callie, Paul Rudd as Mr Grooberson, Logan Kim as Podcast, and Celeste O’Conner as Lucky. 

The story and plot of the film is effective for me. It’s a reintroduction into this world that we haven’t been to in a while. The movie does pull something like the second movie in that people have kinda forgotten the ghostbusters and what they did, but I like the way the film went about explaining why. Back to the over-all story, this movie is about family, and the things people do for the love of their family. The movie is also a coming of age as it’s about Phoebe learning about her family and coming out of her shell. I do like how they don’t try to change too much about her character, just that she learns has friends and does things she never did before. 

I like the characters in the movie. Everyone is fun and interesting and brings a lot to the movie. The cast does very well, McKenna Grace is a stand out in the movie as well. She gets the most to work with as the movie focuses on her and gives her the biggest arc. Everyone else does well but doesn’t change that much throughout the film. Finn Wolfhard continues to play a great prick at the start, and kind of mellows out throughout the movie. Everyone else does well and has fun. Logan Kim as Podcast was fun as the more knowledgeable character, kind of like the Ray of this group. Celeste O’Conner was good as Lucky, she kinda has a bit of that no-nonsense attitude, but doesn’t do that much outside of being Trevor’s love interest. The adults do pretty good as well and have their moments throughout. I would say Callie is the other character with focus in the movie as she has an arc of learning about why her father did what he did and has a moment of letting go all the years of suffering she went through due to his actions. 

This is very much a fan service movie, as there’s a lot of elements that the movie uses from the originals. Character types, music, plot elements etc. As a fan of the franchise I can say they all work for me. It helps give it that familiarity and tugs on our nostalgia, while adding in new things to keep it fresh. I don’t want to say to much about the threat of the film…..even though it’s probably well known at this point due to the toyline showing stuff off. I will say one thing though, it was cool to see them back and done in a modern way and they all look so good. 

The production design of this movie is phenomenal, really shown off in the costuming and design of the scenes in the mountain. The cinematography is well done. The effects are all great and are great modern versions of the classic affects. The CG is well done and nothing was too noticeable or took me out of the movie. The movie goes back to the creative ghost designs of the first two, although I wish we got to see more of them. I loved the music, it’s the perfect blend of classic nostalgia with a lot of the motifs of the original, as well as making it it’s own thing. I’ll mention it here as it does have to do with the effects a bit, but some people might be upset or mad at something that happens at the end. I saw it talked about weeks ago but I don’t want to spoil it here, but I feel like out of context it could be seen as tacky and bad, but to me in context I think it works as is done respectfully as in a way they’re apart of the movie the whole time. 

Jason Reitman did an amazing job with this movie. It’s a fun ride and might make you emotional. I give this movie two-thumbs up, see it if you can.

The Eternals (2021) Review

So I recently saw Eternals (2021) and I had a good time with it. Eternals is a film about a group of ancient immortal super-powered beings created by ancient space gods (the celestials) to fight a continuous war against monsters called the deviants. That is all I will say as I don’t want to reveal too much about the story or plot of the film. I gotta say i think this is a really good film. It’s pretty interesting in how different it feels to the rest of the marvel cinematic universe movies. It’s pretty different, and I can see how some people might not like it as much as the others. I can see why it’s so divisive critically as it does some things that people aren’t going to like. 

The film tells a lot of its story through different time settings. It makes use of a lot of flashbacks to reveal information to the audience when it wants to tell us something. To me this is a strength and also a drawback to the film as it does allow us to see their pasts and show us their relationships development to get to the point of where they are in the present day, but it’s also a drawback as they’ll tell us something about a character, and then immediately show a flash back of what happened. This is also where a lot of the action comes from, showing them as a team in the past and how well they worked together. Other than that I enjoyed the story and plot of the film. It goes in some directions that I wasn’t expecting, especially with what it does with the characters, but I believe that it works in the film’s favour as they can almost do whatever they want with the characters due to their origins. It’ll be interesting to see where they go in the future. This is a film about love, relationships, and what it means to be human. These are some interesting things for this film to focus on as everyone has something going on, especially when we meet them in the present, that helps give to their characters. How the eternals that spend the most time with humans are the ones who relate and want to save humanity the most. The relationships between the characters drives a lot of their motivations throughout the film. 

I think the film did very well with the characters, everyone is interesting and has good motivations and arcs. Their performances are all great as well. I’ll get into the ones that I want to focus a bit more on. 

To me the main focuses of the film in terms of characterization, story focus importance, and arcs, are: Sersi, Ikaris, Sprite, and Thena. By story focus importance, I mean the characters in the group that get the most focus in the story and get more to do. Gemma Chan as Sersi is pretty good in this film. She’s the character we focus on and follow the most throughout, she’s the character that introduces us to the modern version of the characters and is the major arc focus of the film. She also has the main relationship focus of the film, with her kind of love triangle between her former love Ikaris and her modern love Dane Whitman (played by Kit Harington). I say kind of love triangle as Dane is really only seen in the beginning and in the end, but what we get with him is good and does set up a bit for his eventual return. I think it’s interesting how they make the focus character of the film Sersi, she becomes the leader and is the one who does the thing in the finale, as it feels like the comics focus more on Ikaris. Ikaris is probably the most well known earth based Eternal, so it does surprise me in what they do with his character in the film. 

Richard Madden as Ikaris is also really good in this film. They do some interesting things with his character that I wasn’t expecting them to do, given the way they set him up throughout the first couple acts of the film. One of his major character things is his relationship with Sersi. To me it both works and doesn’t work. They kinda have some chemistry together, but we don’t see much of their relationship outside of the flashbacks. The most we see his love for Sersi is in the finale after some big stuff is revealed and done. One thing I feel like they do in this film is that I think they are kinda trying to do a bit of a superman thing with him. They outright make references, but they also kinda reference imagery from the recent Superman movie appearances. Now it can be said that Ikaris in the comics is one of many Marvel Superman Knock-offs in terms of abilities, but they do go a way in making him different in the film. 

Lia McHugh as Sprite is also pretty good in this film. She’s an interesting character in this film as she’s where a lot of the questions of the film come in. She’s a child who can never age and so she is where a lot of the questions about what it means to be human come from. Her main thing in the film is her friendship with Sersi and the jealousy that comes from her situation. 

Angelina Jolie as Thena is pretty good in this film. She has an interesting arc and probably one of the more believable relationships with Gilgamesh (played by Don Lee, and a stand out character). Through Thena is where the film also asks what it means to be immortal as they introduce something in the film that is a result of their immortality and the nature of their being. They try to do something with her during the finale with Kro, but I don’t feel that it works as we don’t get a lot of Kro in this film. 

Everyone else in the film is pretty good. We don’t get a lot with Makkari, but she’s a fun character. Phastos and Druig have some interesting backstories and motivation, but by the time we get to them in the present we kind of skip past their character development. With their abilities Druig and Phastos bring up questions of do you intervene, when or how, and in should you intervene. Phastos shows this as he has a powerful flashback scene before we’re introduced to present-day Phastos, but to me it’s undercut showing that he’s moved past it. Kingo is another fun character in this film, a stand-out for sure. He brings a lot of the humour and comic relief with his director friend throughout the film. I think the “character” that could be the least interesting is Kro as we don’t get a lot with them. They don’t do much and don’t really amount too much in the end.

The film is visually incredible. The cinematography is amazing, very well done. A strong suit of the film are the effects, although they also do drag it down a bit. I enjoy the way they went to show their abilities, and how they are different than other heroes in the universe. I also like how they show the celestials in the film, they are immense and look great. It really shows the true scale of size and power that the celestials have. There’s a scene at the end that is insane and surprising and truly shows how big they are. I also enjoy the way the films show the deviants as these abominations that aren’t fully made, and I wish we got more of them. The battle costumes for the eternals are both cool and kinda boring. They are each unique to the eternal, but they are also similar to show their kind of unity as a team. Although I do wish that the costumes had more distinguishing features between them. I think my biggest issue visually is that the film can at times become noticeable when it’s a CG version of a character. It can be especially noticeable during fight scenes. Which I think can be better as some are good, but some could be a bit more interesting to me. I do enjoy the soundtrack and score, though I feel like the score could use a bit more bombast or something to differentiate it more.

As for the credits scenes, they’re interesting and I’m excited to see where the ending and these scenes take us into the future.

Over-all i enjoyed the film, even with its flaws. I think it’s a good ride and an interesting film that both breaks the marvel mould, while still following it when necessary. I give it two-thumbs up, see it in the theatre if you want.