Tag Archives: Belt Review System

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I Can Only Imagine Review

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The inspiring and unknown true story behind MercyMe’s beloved, chart topping song that brings ultimate hope to so many is a gripping reminder of the power of true forgiveness.

 Why did I come to this movie again?

The synopsis above was exactly what I knew about this movie going into it. I jumped on Rotten Tomatoes and looked at a couple of reviews. I was surprised that most of the one and two star reviews indicated that if you weren’t Christian that you’d hate this movie because it’s sappy and about God and forgiveness.

Well, I happen to be a Christian who believes in forgiveness. And that is the entirety of the expectations I had for this movie.

4 of 5

Characters

I thought the actors did a great job with the characters. I’ve never been abused, physically or otherwise (yes, I count myself very, very lucky) but I still felt for Bart. I understood enough of his anger, his helplessness and all of the emotions that he held inside for all those years to be drawn into his plight. Plus, he was super adorable.

Dennis Quaid was AMAZING as Bart’s dad. A horrible person who decides to change. And while I didn’t want to feel for him—because I wanted to punch him in the face for the first half of the movie—by the end I did.

5 of 5

Did I care what happened?

Yes. There was plenty of conflict and questions. Characters made stupid decisions but I still liked them/believed in them enough to hope that they would fix it.

5 of 5

Plot Holes

Nothing huge. A few parts of the story are a bit clunky, but if you’re not a writer you might not notice.

4 of 5

How many times did I yawn?

Like I said, the story slowed down in a couple of places, but all in all, no big yawns.

4 of 5

Cool Factor

While this movie wasn’t in a fantastical world filled with people who have superhuman powers, the cool factor in this film was still pretty great.

The glimpse it gave me into the music world was interesting. I’m an author, and there are a lot of parallels between the music and the publishing world, so I understand how difficult it can be to break into an industry.

Also, as I said above, I am Christian, and to have a story focused on forgiveness was amazing. Not only forgiving one another, but believing that God can forgive you of what you’ve done wrong no matter how bad it is. I mean, these are the things I believe, so seeing them played out so well on the big screen was awesome.

Now, if you’re not into these sorts of beliefs,  you may hate the movie. And that’s totally okay. To each their own, right?

5 of 5

The End

While the end is bitter sweet, and then completely awesome, nothing came as a big surprise. And I was okay with that.

And yes, I cried when he sang at the end. I’m a big baby.

5 of 5

Overall Enjoyment

As you can probably tell, I really enjoyed this film.

I remember as a young teenager, my group of friends consisted of religious and non-religious people. All shapes, colors and belief systems. We rarely all loved the same movie. When Field of Dreams came out (yes, I’m getting old), one of the girls I knew who usually raved about the dark, gritty films, could not stop talking about how good Field of Dreams was. And she couldn’t figure out why.

That’s how I hope people will feel about this film. I loved it. It’s not in my top ten or anything, but it was certainly nice to come out of a movie with that uplifted feeling that stayed with me for a few days.

4 of 5

Score = 36

That’s a Black Belt!


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A Quiet Place Review

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A family is forced to live in silence while hiding from creatures that hunt by sound.

Why did I come to this movie again?

The above sentence is all I knew about this movie going in. Several friends, of varying movie tastes, had raved about it. So I expected it to be scary and quiet and interesting and good. Which is exactly what I got.

5 out of 5

Characters

I really liked the characters. The plight of trying to keep your children safe from monsters is an age-old fear. The adults do a great job trying to be strong while at the same time knowing that they are basically in an impossible situation. The kids showed fear but also basic kid behavior. And 90% of this was done in silence. Which is pretty amazing.

5 out of 5

Did I care what happened?

Yes. As the story progressed all I could think was that these people were going to die no matter what. How could they live? But I kept watching and cheering for them.

5 out of 5

Plot Holes

There were a few plot holes. Every end of the world movie has them. This film didn’t go into much, except that there are now some crazy ugly monsters that will come running if they hear anything out of the ordinary. Even a poor raccoon gets it at one point, and he’s just chittering as he walks.

Anyway, I don’t want to give anything away, but there are a few moments where my suspended disbelief got pushed a little too far.

4 out of 5

How many times did I yawn?

Not once.

5 out of 5

Cool Factor

Again, this film is silent like 90% of the time. Which was very interesting and very cool. The actors had to rely on acting without dialogue, which was probably pretty challenging. I really liked that.

And the monsters were proper creepy.

And the family had really thought through their situation. Smart people in the apocalypse?? What?

5 out of 5

The End

The end of this movie, while it is satisfying and cool, was rushed. A little too rushed for my taste.

4 out of 5

Overall Enjoyment

I really enjoyed this film. It took something as big and scary as the apocalypse and paired it down into one family and their struggle to survive in a broken world. A blend of horror and suspense that had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Not too gory, which was nice.

5 out of 5

Score=38 out of 40

That’s a Black Belt!

Funny story: People warned us not to get treats, because the theater is so quiet that people can hear you eat. Well, the hubby got a box of Buncha Crunch. He decided it would be fun to start eating it about twenty minutes into the movie. One at a time. As he fished them out of the box.

So. Loud.

So I took them away until there was a not as quiet moment. I think he still might be upset.


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Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Review

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In a brand new Jumanji adventure, four high school kids discover an old video game console and are drawn into the game’s jungle setting, literally becoming the adult avatars they chose. What they discover is that you don’t just play Jumanji – you must survive it. To beat the game and return to the real world, they’ll have to go on the most dangerous adventure of their lives, discover what Alan Parrish left 20 years ago, and change the way they think about themselves – or they’ll be stuck in the game forever, to be played by others without break.

 

Why did I come to this movie/read this book again?

Let’s start with the fact that I love all of the adult actors featured in this film. It looked hilarious and completely ridiculous. I’m not a big video game girl, but I’ve played a few, and know enough about them to appreciate most of the little jokes in the trailer. I was so excited to see this movie!

5 out of 5

Characters

I have to say that I loved all of the characters. Jack Black stole the show with is performance, but the others were all great. I’ll never say no to a good Dwayne Johnson movie, and I adore Karen Gillan. Kevin Hart is somewhat new to me, but he cracked me up. They all did a great job being teenagers trapped in different bodies with strange abilities. I totally relate to having cake be a weakness, and I’m seriously thinking about taking up dance fighting.

5 out of 5

Did I care what happened?

Yes! Totally. Even though most of it was predictable—even that very last moment when Karen Gillan saves the day—I cared.

5 out of 5

Plot Holes

The great thing about a movie based on a video game, is that the plot only has to hold the silliness together. Why do the bad guys run around on motorcycles? Who knows. Doesn’t matter. They just do. Why is the clue in the bottom of a snake basket? Because that’s where the programmers put it. Every time I started to think “Wait, that’s dumb” I reminded myself that it’s dumb on purpose, and then I was laughing at something else and forgot.

4 out of 5

How many times did I yawn?

No yawning. Much laughing.

5 out of 5

Cool Factor

I was impressed. Again, it’s a living video game. The effects are great, if not cheesy.

4 out of 5

The End

This movie almost has two endings. The first when the beat Jumanji. (Spoilers. Don’t complain, we all know it will happen) But then again after they get back to the real world. I liked both.

5 out of 5

Overall Enjoyment

You guys, I loved this movie. I went in expecting a silly, romp with lots of humor and maybe some cool effects. And guess what, that’s exactly what I got. No pretense of being the greatest film ever made. No artsy style to interrupt the humor. I laughed and laughed. I’ve actually seen it twice and it will be one of my go-to movies for a long time.

I expected to enjoy Dwayne Johnson’s performance the most, but seriously, Jack Black…well, just go see it. Go see it with the expectation that it’s a video game movie that might be funny.

5 out of 5

 

Score=38 out of 40

That’s a Black Belt!


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Jo’s Belt System for Movie and Book Reviews

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For the two of you that have been with me since the beginning, I’m resurrecting my old belt-review system for books and movies.

I never know what to say in a review. As an author, I do appreciate the “Great book. Loved it!” reviews, but I really like the ones that say why someone liked or disliked a book. Great characters, horrible dialogue. Awesome fight scenes. Whatever.

So I’ve given myself a system for ranking movies and books.

I’ll introduce a movie with the blurb from IMDB and a book with the blurb from the back cover.

I will then give from 1 to 5 points in the following categories:

Why did I come to this movie/read this book again?

The hook and why I was excited to partake of this particular title. Unless I’m forced against my will, the hook will usually score high.

Characters

Are they awesome? Did I want to kill them? Did I cheer when the good guy got injured, or did I cry when the love of her life drove off into the distance with the bimbo next door? Where would I take them to dinner if I had the chance? My thoughts and harsh judgments of the characters.

Did I care what happened?

Or was I, once again, kind of hoping the bad guy would actually win? Oops, did that sparkly vampire just get staked in the heart? (Sorry, had to be done.)

Plot Holes

Are they mouse-sized or freight train sized?

How many times did I yawn?

Or did I come out of it with finger nail marks in the palms of my hands?

Cool Factor

Impress me. Please.

The End

If the character I liked the most died, you will hear about it (no spoilers, just rage). If the end made no sense, I will let you know. Or if the end left me teary eyed and/or wishing for more, I’ll express that as well.

Overall Enjoyment

I know I liked a movie if I cheer in the theater, have to keep from clapping or wish I had another package of tissues in my purse. The same goes for books. I enjoy books and movies, and usually find some part of the experience to love. You’ll hear about that here.

The scores will then be added up. The amount of points the movie/book scores will determine the belt ranking it gets.

White Belt: 1-10

Yellow Belt: 11-19

Purple Belt: 20-25

Green Belt: 26-30

Brown Belt: 31-35

Black Belt: 36-40

 


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