When it comes to the world of video games perhaps no series has broken more ground than that of Pokemon. What started off as games for the gameboy became a worldwide phenomenon as Pokemon has played in a pivotal role in pop culture such as trading cards games and television. Pokemon is no stranger to the silver screen as the series has had a several movies to its name. Now the franchise seeks to break new ground yet again with its first live action film Pokemon: Detective Pikachu. Directed by Rob Letterman Detective Pikachu is based off the 2016 adventure game where players solved mysteries with a sleuth Pikachu. With its intriguing concept, as well as its energetic title character, Detective Pikachu looked to be a delight for the summer season. The film has now made its way theaters and while it may not be the most flashy of blockbusters, Detective Pikachu was still an entertaining adaptation.
When Disney is not releasing a new animated feature or the next installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the studio is recreating classic their films. For sometime now Disney has taken some of their most cherished animated films and brought into the realm of live action with films such as Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast becoming anticipated blockbusters yet again. 2019 sees the biggest haul of live action adaptations as five films are set to be released this year, and it all begins with none other than Dumbo. One of Disney’s first animated feature gets a new spin to it with Tim Burton, who also directed Alice in Wonderland, takes the helm on this adaptation. Judging from the trailer it look as though this new film would go into a different direction from its 1941 counterpart but that hardly swayed me from not giving this film a chance. After seeing this movie for myself I can say this new take is not the most magical from either Disney or Tim Burton, but that was not to say that Dumbo was not a joyous flight.
When it comes to superhero movies, origin stories are the bread and butter for the genre. While the concept of seeing heroes get their start has been done excessively it has proven to be effective as the likes of Superman, Batman, Spider-Man and Iron Man have paved the way for many movies to follow this trope. Regardless, the origin concept remains alive and well as evident in the new superhero blockbuster: Shazam. Directed by David F.Sandberg Shazam is the next movie in the DC Films lineup and brings the iconic Captain Marvel (well DC’s Captain Marvel) to the silver screen. Despite the character’s longevity bringing this DC hero to the big screen would be no easy feat as the character is rather unbeknownst to most general audiences. In any case the movie has made its way to theaters and despite the array of superhero origin movies out there, Shazam proves that the concept has not lost its muster.
If there is one anime/manga that has transcended into pop culture it is none other than Dragon Ball. The work of Akira Toriyama has enthralled fans for years and its popularity continues to escalate even to this day. The series has seen a resurgence of sorts with Dragon Ball Super, but this renaissance may not have been possible if not for the series’ success on the big screen. In 2013 the franchise made a return with the film, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, which was followed up by the 2015 sequel Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F and both were successful in their own right. Now with its momentum in full force the series comes back to the silver screen with perhaps its biggest movie to date-Dragon Ball Super: Broly. Directed by Tatsuya Nagamine the new movie not only continues the story of Goku and company, but it also brings back the fan favorite Broly to series now reimagined by Toriyama himself. Despite its limited release Dragon Ball Super: Broly was an anticipated film to see this year for the likes of Dragon Ball fans, myself included, but could the new film power up to expectations? While the movie did not go as I anticipated this anime film managed live up to the exciting nature of Dragon Ball.
Since 2013 Warner Bros has taken DC Comics in a new direction with their movies as they seek create a cinematic universe of their very own. So far the DC Films (or the DC Extended Universe) has had five films to its name but the new franchise has been, more or less, met with criticism-both sensical and a bit ridiculous. Personally I have enjoyed the DC Films as, despite some issues, the films have ranged from enjoyable, different, solid and down right underrated. I realize this not a popular statement to make but that is the curse of having my own opinion. Be that as it may, despite the setbacks this cinematic universe presses on with its next film in the series: Aquaman. Directed by James Wan Aquaman centers on the iconic hero known for talking to fish. The character made his official debut in last year’s Justice League but now the hero sets out on his own; but the question is does Aquaman sink or swim? Seeing the film for myself I can safely say that Aquaman does not just swim but rides the cinematic ocean with the greatest of ease.
When it comes to superhero movies the likes of Spider-Man remains a prevalent name in the genre. Whether he is swinging in solo adventures or teaming up Earth Mightiest Heroes, the Wall Crawler continues to grace the silver screen and play an important role in both and pop culture. This year has been a unique one for Spider-Man as the series saw its first spin-off with Venom; which managed to find success in the fall season. Now the franchise swings into new territory with the animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Directed by the team of Bob Perisichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman Into the Spider-Verse was developed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who are known for their work in films such as The Lego Movie. Since the first trailer I have been enthralled by this movie as the animation alone was enough for me to check this movie out; plus I am a Spider-Man fan. After seeing the movie for myself all my senses tingled as Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is not just a great animated film but perhaps the most dynamic superhero film to swing into theaters this year.
Since Disney has entered a new renaissance in their animation studio there have been several films to leave their mark in the cinematic world. Among these decorated movie is the film about a video game villain of all things. In 2012 Wreck-It Ralph crashed onto the silver screen and what a treat it ended up being. Along with its references to all things gaming Wreck-It Ralph featured a fantastic adventure with colorful characters. With the film’s success it did not surprise me that a sequel to Wreck-It Ralph would find its way to theaters. It took longer than expected but at long last the Ralph(John C.Reilly) and Venelope(Sarah Silverman) return in Ralph Breaks the Internet; or other wise known as Ralph Breaks The Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2. Directed by Rich Moore and Phil Johnson, Ralph Breaks the Internet takes the Disney Videogame characters to a whole new world leading to a much bigger concept. Initially I was excited for the movie but after seeing trailers for the film my anticipation for Ralph Breaks The Internet wavered a bit. However that did not stop me from seeing the new Disney film, and after seeing if for myself I can say that Ralph Breaks the Internet is a sequel that while entertaining was rather lukewarm.