Tag Archives: Movie Review

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Klaus Movie Review

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A simple act of kindness always sparks another, even in a frozen, faraway place. When Smeerensburg’s new postman, Jesper, befriends toymaker Klaus, their gifts melt an age-old feud and deliver a sleigh full of holiday traditions.

 

Why did I watch this movie again?

Okay, so it’s a movie on Netflix, not in the theater. So sue me. I actually watched it because a couple of friends recommended it. I was expecting a cute holiday movie. Which is what I got. Mostly.

4 of 5

 

Characters

This might be the weak point in the film. While both Jesper and Klaus had character arcs, they were all but hidden away behind the beautiful animation and the clever inclusion of the origins of so many of our modern Santa Claus traditions.

Each of their arcs were by the numbers, but almost painfully so. I would have loved a little more here.

4 of 5

 

Did I care what happened?

Once I figured out this was more like The Nightmare Before Christmas rather than The Santa Clause, then I couldn’t keep my eyes off the screen.

4 of 5

 

Plot Holes

There were a few, but since it’s a kids movie, and they don’t generally care about ticky-tacky things, I didn’t bother to remember any specifically.

4 of 5

 

How many times did I yawn?

Not once.

5 of 5

 

Cool Factor

Old school, hand animation is kind of dying off, but this film brought it back in all its beauty! The main traits of each character were exaggerated through the animation, which was awesome. The style was mesmerizing. I had to pull a blanket on while watching it, because the town was so cold.

Also, the writers obviously had a great time tying in the origins of a bunch of our Santa Claus mythos. I laughed out loud when Jasper, on the fly, told the kids that they had to be nice in order to get presents. It was hilarious.

The humor was great too. Maybe a little dark for younger or more sensitive kids, but if they can handle The Nightmare Before Christmas, then they’ll be fine with this.

5 of 5

 

The End

Well, I cried, so there’s that.

The twist during the last sequence seemed obvious to me, and I was disappointed that Jesper didn’t catch on. This is where I thought they failed with the character arc. Let the guy get a little smarter as well as compassionate.

Overall it worked, and the kids will love it, but I thought it was a bit see-through.

4 of 5

 

Overall Enjoyment

The second it finished I wanted to start it again. I’m trying to figure out how to get the hubby to watch it with me, because I think he’ll actually like it. So I guess you could say I enjoyed it. Then again, I’m a sucker for animation. Toss in humor and some clever writing, and I’m gone.

5 of 5

35

That’s a Brown Belt!

 

 


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Knives Out Movie Review

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A detective investigates the death of a patriarch of an eccentric, combative family.

 

Why did I come to this movie again?

It’s been a while since we’ve seen a new movie in the theater (barring Spirited Away, which we saw last month) and I’ve been waiting for the holiday film season to start. The hubby showed me a trailer for this movie about a week ago, and I instantly wanted to see it. Between an all-star cast and what looked to be a tightly written murder mystery, how could I resist? When I saw advanced tickets online, I bought them!

5 of 5

 

Characters

It’s difficult to use cookie-cutter tropes for characters and make it work, but Knives Out did a good job of it.

You’ve got the eccentric millionaire (now dead) found by his nurse. A family full of selfish pigs that see themselves as saints ready to squabble over the fortune they believe belongs to them. And then you’ve got the bizarre detective, played by Daniel Craig, who is a strange mix of Colombo and Sherlock Holmes. Almost bumbling, but brilliant.

All in all the characters were pretty solid, if not propped up by clichés.

I do have to say that hearing a horrible, American southern accent come out of Daniel Craig was off-putting. Which I think was their point.

4 of 5

 

Did I care what happened?

Yes. Once the ball really started rolling I was totally engrossed.

5 of 5

 

Plot Holes

I didn’t notice any. Mystery isn’t my strongest genre, so I may have missed something, but part of the fun of the movie is watching the characters trying to plug their own plot holes, which totally distracted me.

5 of 5

 

How many times did I yawn?

No yawning here.

5 of 5

 

Cool Factor

While only filmed in a few, mostly mundane, locations, the film itself was stunning. I could tell from the very first scene that each and every shot meant something. Granted, I’m sure I missed most of the deeper meanings, but I didn’t care. The film quickly pulled me in and gave me a place to settle to watch the plot unfold.

One mark down because I actually guessed the plot from the beginning. So the “wow” moment at the end wasn’t a surprise for me. The hubby didn’t catch it, but a few of my friends did.

4 of 5

 

The End

Like I said, I had guessed the end at the beginning, but watching everyone scramble to keep up with the events of the story kept me entertained.

That being said, the very last scene is such a mirror of the very first scene that I have to give huge kudos to the writers. If you see it, note the very first thing you see and then the very last thing you see. It’s amazing!

4 of 5

 

Overall Enjoyment

This show was like a train wreck that I didn’t want to stop watching. The girl sitting next to me, a stranger, and I were cracking up at the same parts. No one else was laughing. Pretty sure that’s because the two of us were paying more attention than the others.

Going through the roller coaster of murder and cover-up was seriously fun.

Being a writer, I usually watch for the beats of a show. Things like the midpoint and where the character decides to step into a new world and try it out. I didn’t do that with this movie. As I thought back afterward I picked them out, but the film pulled me in so hard and fast that I didn’t care about the beats. That’s a combo of acting, writing and directing.

5 of 5

 

Total: 37

That’s a Black Belt!

 

 


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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Review

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Miles Morales becomes the Spider-Man of his reality and crosses paths with his counterparts from other dimensions to stop a threat to all reality.

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

I’ve been a Spider-Man fan since the days of Saturday morning cartoons and Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. I’ve liked some of the live-action films, but not all. This one looked quirky, funny and fresh. I’ve been excited to see it since I saw the first trailer like eight months ago.

5 of 5

 Characters

They kind of cheated, using so many Spider-Man iterations. However, each had their own quirks, and each felt true to themselves. I loved Miles. Good kid—not perfect—just looking to find who he is. His dad was awesome.

Kingpin isn’t always a 3-dimensional character, and he started out a bit flat here. However, I have to tell you, at the very end of the film (on the train if you’ve seen it) I had to feel for the guy. Maybe it hit me so hard because I watched Marvel’s Daredevil, and therefore know who Vanessa is and how much he loves her. Kudos writers, well done.

And Aunt May??? Talk about awesome.

5 of 5

 Did I care what happened?

Yes. From the opening sequence to the end, I cared what happened. I was worried that having so many Spider-Mans in the movie would dilute it, but I didn’t feel that way at all. The story revolved around Miles coming into his powers. The other Spider-Mans were quite funny about this, and also sympathetic. Knowing what kind of character Spider-Man is, I was rooting for Miles the whole time.

5 of 5

 Plot Holes

Nothing stood out to me. I’m sure there were one or two, but frankly, when you can draw on parallel dimensions—as Doctor Who says—there is no such thing as a continuity error. The fact that I don’t remember anything throwing me out of the story is a good sign.

5 of 5

 How many times did I yawn?

No yawning here.

5 of 5

 Cool Factor

Oh my gosh, this movie looked so cool! I read that they computer animated it, then added (by hand) comic book accents and flares. I loved it. For the first thirty seconds I thought the flashing might give me a seizure, but it abated and I was able to settle in.

4 of 5

 The End

The final battle takes place within the time distortion whatever it was machine, which gave the creators liberty to put whatever they wanted in the scene. If they needed a skyscraper, it appeared. Need a rocketing train? You got it.

I do have to say that the parallels between the Kingpin, the original Peter Parker of the universe and then Miles were awesome. My husband didn’t catch all of it (maybe I didn’t either) but once again, kudos to the writers. Nice job.

5 of 5

 Overall Enjoyment

This is where I might get into trouble. About 3/4 of the way through the film, I had a random thought. Unfortunately I don’t remember what provoked it, but my thought was, “This is a much better film than Black Panther.”

If you’ve read my review of Black Panther, you’ll know I wasn’t terribly impressed. It had potential, but fell flat in a few places—mostly the characters. Spider-Man did not have that problem.

I’ve told everyone I know to go see Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. And now I’ve told you.

5 of 5

 ***

39

 

That’s a Black Belt!

 


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Ralph Breaks the Internet Movie Review

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Video game bad guy Ralph and fellow misfit Vanellope von Schweetz must risk it all by traveling to the World Wide Web in search of a replacement part to save Vanellope’s video game, “Sugar Rush.” In way over their heads, Ralph and Vanellope rely on the citizens of the internet — the netizens — to help navigate their way, including an entrepreneur named Yesss, who is the head algorithm and the heart and soul of trend-making site BuzzzTube.

Why did I come to this movie again?

I didn’t expect much from Wreck it Ralph, and like many people, I found myself delighted by the first film. When I heard that Disney was making a sequel I was super excited.

5 of 5

Characters

The vast array of characters they shoved into this movie bloated it. Which is sad, because I think I lot of people, including me, wanted more of the characters from the first movie. Instead, the film left them behind.

Ralph learned a lot in the first movie—one of the reasons it was so enjoyable. It seems the creators took some of Ralph’s progress and left us with the old, selfish, not-so-bright Ralph. He made several decisions during the film that felt forced.

Vanellope almost had a more interesting character arc than Ralph, but the fact that she couldn’t talk to her best friend of six years tells me that any relationship they had was deeply flawed.

There wasn’t really a bad guy until the end. Sometimes that works, but I felt it didn’t help this movie.

3 of 5

Did I care what happened?

I did care what happened—for the first half of the movie. Then everyone got stupid and I didn’t care as much.

3 of 5

Plot Holes

It wasn’t so much plot holes, it was more like there was too much plot. Too many characters with too many things going on. I got lost and wasn’t sure who or what I should be cheering for.

3 of 5

How many times did I yawn?

I rolled my eyes a few times, but didn’t yawn.

4 of 5

Cool Factor

The cool factor is off the charts for this movie. Everything about how the internet appeared to Ralph was brilliant. The computer animation is awesome. I laughed at all of the social media references and in general loved the look and feel of the film.

5 of 5

The End

The end left me feeling…empty. The theme of the film got lost a few times, and the resolution wasn’t my favorite. Watch it for yourself, but I probably won’t watch it again.

However, I do have to say that the very last bit after the credits was hilarious. The kids won’t get it, but my husband and I laughed and laughed.

4 of 5

Overall Enjoyment

I went into this expecting  more video game fun with strong bonds of friendship and an expanding circle of characters. What I got was a flood of new characters, a flat ending and more plot points that went nowhere than any four movies should have.

We were in a huge theater on a Saturday afternoon. The entire row in front of us was 10 year old boys from a birthday party. I didn’t hear them laugh much. Our row was mostly adults. I didn’t hear them laugh much. I feel like the writers of this movie tried to please too many audiences and came away with a meh movie.

Although, the Disney princesses were awesome! See it for that at least. And stay for the after-the-credits bonus.

3 of 5

***

Total: 30

That’s a Green Belt!


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