Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Film Review: "Pokémon: Detective Pikachu" (2019).

Warner Bros. Pictures, Legendary Pictures and The Pokémon Company presents Pokémon: Detective Pikachu. This urban fantasy mystery film directed by Rob Letterman, written by Letterman, Dan Hernandez, Benji Samit and Derek Connolly, based on the Pokémon franchise created by Satoshi Tajiri and the 2016 video game Detective Pikachu. It is the first live-action adaptation in the franchise. Ace private eye Harry Goodman goes mysteriously missing, prompting his 21-year-old son Tim to find out what happened. Aiding in the investigation is Harry’s former Pokémon partner, Detective Pikachu. Finding that they are uniquely equipped to communicate with one another, Tim and Pikachu join forces on a thrilling adventure to unravel the tangled mystery. Chasing clues together through the neon-lit streets of Ryme City – they encounter a diverse cast of Pokémon characters and uncover a shocking plot that could destroy this peaceful co-existence and threaten the whole Pokémon universe.

In April 2016, after the success of the Detective Pikachu video game, released on the Nintendo eShop for the Nintendo 3DS in early February, it was announced that a bid for the live action movie rights to Pokémon commenced. Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., and Legendary were the frontrunners in the bidding war. In mid July, it was announced that Legendary won and the film was officially announced to be fast-tracked to start production in 2017. Legendary and The Pokémon Company wanted to adapt the Detective Pikachu game instead of the 1990s animated series. In mid August, Nicole Perlman and Alex Hirsch were hired to pen the script. Eric Pearson, Thomas McCarthy, Connolly, Hernandez, Samit and Letterman provided revisions. In late November, Letterman was hired to direct after Dean Israelite, Andrew Adamson, Robert Rodriguez, Tim Miller, Mark A.Z. Dippé, Jon Favreau, Shane Acker, and Chris Wedge were considered. By mid January 2018, Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Suki Waterhouse, Omar Chaparro, Chris Geere, Ken Watanabe and Bill Nighy rounded out the cast. At the same time, principal photography commenced, wrapped in early May. Filming took place in London, England; Denver, Colorado; and Scotland. During production, it was revealed that the film would feature a little over sixty Pokémon, which would be designed by artist RJ Palmer. Moving Picture Company (MPC), Framestore, Image Engine, Rodeo FX, and Instinctual VFX provided the visual effects. In early November, the first trailer was released and, within twenty-four hours, received a hundred million views and a million likes.

The film stars Reynolds, Smith, Newton, Waterhouse, Chaparro, Geere, Watanabe, and Nighy. The cast gave entertaining performances, especially that of Mr Reynolds himself, who also gave a surprising effective performance as everybody's most beloved Pokémon. Although, one can't help feel that the performances stumbled from one cinematic cliche into another.

Despite effective world-building and amazing live-action renditions of the beloved creatures, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, unfortunately, suffers from its poorly constructed and cliched plot. However, the film is still an entertaining film that features a groundbreaking mix of humans and Pokémon, with entertaining performances to boot.

Simon says Pokémon: Detective Pikachu receives:

Also, see my review for Goosebumps.

Sunday, 12 May 2019

'Once Upon a Time in Canada' Chapter 85.

I finally made it! I’m here at High Park! Well, right this second; I have just made to High Park for another photography meetup. I just had to make it a little further to Grenadier Café, where some members of the group, including the Kurt and Jime, were gathering and waiting.

The meetup was for the annual blooming of the cherry blossoms that starts on May 10th to May 20th, and I finally got the opportunity to see them before I would return home. This was all part of the list of things I wanted and needed to do before I would leave Toronto. It wasn’t something I wasn’t going to miss. Why? That’s because this would be one of the last times I would get to hang out with my photography friends, and cherry blossoms are my absolute favourite flower.

I was enjoying myself seeing these flowers in full bloom on a nice sunny day, and I was taking as many shots as I could, despite the place being flooded with people. I went around the entire area three times, taking as many photos as I could, as this was my only opportunity. In between, I would take breaks sitting down on the park benches comfortably.

And then we headed up to the café to have brunch after we were all done for the day. Well, the journey and time of day may not have been the best, but the content was interesting and worth it.