The Super Mario Bros. Movie | C+
This is an excellent example of a “meh” movie. It’s just okay. It’s not going to wow anyone, but it’s not going to piss anyone off either. The film is pretty basic and entirely predictable from start to finish. All that stands out is the gorgeous animation and Jack Black’s hilarious performance as Bowser. That “Peach” song is unironically catchy and it’s impossible not to love the characterization/personality Black brings to Bowser. He easily does the best job out of all the voice actors, as he still sounds like the character from the games while adding his own flare. The rest of the cast (except for Seth Rogen who’s abysmal as Donkey Kong) are satisfactory, I guess. Unfortunately “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” is largely forgettable and, if it wasn’t an adaptation of the Super Mario games, would be a lot less enjoyable.
Ghosted | D
To nobody’s surprise, “Ghosted” sucks. It’s 100 times more forgettable than “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” and feels 100 times longer too. It’s a generic, formulaic, and soulless slog of a film completely devoid of artistic merit and I wouldn’t be surprised if the screenplay was written by A.I. The action sequences are clunky and the film is barely directed at all. Ana de Armas has proven herself to be one of the most talented rising stars of the past few years, but she’s shockingly bad here. It’s as if she doesn’t quite know how to interact with humans. She’s a walking piece of plywood. In all fairness, her performance could be the result of the nauseating and parasitic dialogue. The only redeeming qualities “Ghosted” has are Adrien Brody and Chris Evans. Brody hams it up as the underwritten villain and Evans plays against type as the weakling sidekick without becoming annoying. I commend them for attempting to build upon what little they were given.
Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie | B+
“Still” is a touching documentary about the life of superstar Michael J. Fox, who’s an incredible narrator. Fox has such an infectious and lovable nature, with a killer sense of self-deprecating humor. The film is intercut with clips from old interviews, cleverly placed excerpts from Fox’s films/shows, and scenes recreating moments in his life, all of which make for a cohesive and exciting watch. Although “Still” succeeds in many aspects, I don’t think the film went deep enough into Fox’s struggles with Parkinson’s Disease. It definitely details the development of it over time and how it impacted Fox’s mental health, but it doesn’t quite commit to the gut punches. The film could’ve gone for harder hits, with more detailed and unflinching descriptions of his struggles. It never quite reaches the devastating emotions the viewer should feel. That complaint aside, I still strongly recommend this documentary, as it’s one of the best films of 2023 so far.