Tag Archives: Movie Review

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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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Little Women Review

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A modern retelling of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel, we follow the lives of four sisters – Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March – detailing their passage from childhood to womanhood. Despite harsh times, they cling to optimism, and as they mature, they face blossoming ambitions and relationships, as well as tragedy, while maintaining their unbreakable bond as sisters.

 

Why did I come to this movie again?

I’m always looking for a good, clean movie. I saw the theatrical production of this story last year, and read the book when I was a little girl, so I was interested to see what this modern retelling did with the tale.

4 of 5

Characters

I thought the supporting characters were brilliant.

I didn’t like Jo. And I feel bad about saying that, because she is the reason I call myself Jo instead of Jo Ann, but they portrayed her as a super selfish shrew.

I haven’t read the book in a while, but I didn’t remember disliking the character of Jo nearly as much in the play I saw last year as I did in this movie. Perhaps the writer or the director was planning to use people’s love of the character to get them through this, but it didn’t work for me. Neither of the women I saw it with liked her much either.

3 of 5

Did I care what happened?

Yes, I did care what happened. Meg’s struggle and love held the story together (something I do remember from other versions) and since I liked Meg, I wanted everything to work out. I felt for the other characters as well, and wanted to beat Jo about half of the time for how she treated them.

4 of 5

Plot Holes

Considering it’s based on a book, there will always be things that are left out. Again, I admit to not having a firm grasp on the original story, so I didn’t find any large plot holes.

4 of 5

How many times did I yawn?

I yawned a couple of times when Jo was super mean. By this point in the movie her character felt like a six year old who never quite learned what it meant to be a grown up.

3 of 5

Cool Factor

I suppose the cool factor to this film was the change to a modern setting, which I actually liked. Sure, it felt a little unrealistic considering the way most families don’t bond quite like this anymore, but I found it fun and refreshing.

4 of 5

The End

Even though I knew the ending and all of the tragic things that happened, I found myself excited when Jo finally pulled her head out of her butt and figured out what it meant to be a human being and not a spoiled child.

4 of 5

Overall Enjoyment

I went into this expecting a quaint drama with cute parts, and that’s what I got. I know I’ve harped on it already, but if they could have tempered Jo’s character a bit—or even tried to make her more subtle and less in-your-face—I would have thoroughly enjoyed the show.

4 of 5

***

Total: 30

That’s a Green Belt!

(Almost a Brown Belt, but not quite)


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