Tag Archives: Movie Review

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Barbie Movie Review

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Barbie suffers a crisis that leads her to question her world and her existence.

Why did I come to this movie again?

I’ve actually wanted to see this film since I first saw the trailer. It looked ridiculous, and that sounded like fun to me. My interest only piqued when people started freaking out about the fact that they thought it was sexist (to put it in general terms).

5 of 5

Characters

Barbie is…perfect. I mean, that’s the way we’ve always seen Barbie, so it wasn’t a surprise. Neither was the ridiculous nature of Barbieland and the Kens. I’d never thought about the fact that Ken was basically an accessory for Barbie, but it makes perfect sense that in their world he’s there for her. Is it a blatant flip of how women feel they have been treated in the past? Yup.

Stereotypical Barbie was exactly as I imagined. At first, I found her interesting because she couldn’t see that her world was both boring and broken (while at the same time looking perfect) and no one noticed. Then, when she started having thoughts of death and despair, she became even more interesting. The fact that she didn’t actually want to go into the real world was perfect.

Ken. Poor Ken. All he wanted was for Barbie to love him, but she didn’t. It seemed like he didn’t have a choice in the matter, which was kind of sad. His discovering the patriarchy in the real world was hilarious. His need for respect after that was totally believable. The fact that his whole plan was to get Barbie to love him was kind of adorable.

The people from the real world were great, including all of the men who were running Mattel. 😊

5 of 5

Did I care what happened?

Strangely, yes. I was excited to watch Barbie learn that there was more to life than being pretty and perfect, and I was excited to see how Ken dealt with the sudden need for respect.

I honestly wasn’t terribly interested in the woman and her daughter that came from the real world. They weren’t a distraction, and I understand the need for them for the plot plus the actors did a good job, but I felt like they were utilized like a hammer to the face. The woman’s rant about the pressures women face everyday was brilliant, but I also think men face plenty of stuff too.

4 of 5

Plot Holes

Meh. This is basically a fantasy film about a child’s toy, so I expected plot holes. There was some stuff with Weird Barbie that could have been explained better. The sense of time in the film was basically nonexistent, which was jarring.

4 of 5

How many times did I yawn?

I remember wanting to reach for my phone once or twice, which is what I do when I get a little bored watching stuff at home, but it only lasted a minute or two. And no, I didn’t touch my phone in the theater! What kind of heathen do you think I am?

4 of 5

Cool Factor

The cool part of this film was Barbieland. The houses, the clothes, the different Barbies, the moment Margot Robbie steps out of the shoes and her feet don’t go flat…all of it! Growing up I mostly ended up with my sister’s Barbie stuff, so I never had the cool houses or anything like that, but I still loved all the references.

The Ken battle at the end has to be one of the best fight scenes I’ve ever seen! I’m still laughing about it.

5 of 5

The End

I wasn’t totally satisfied with the end of the film, but I did like that it gave us hope that Barbieland could change, which in turn gives us hope that our world/lives can change.

4 of 5

Overall Enjoyment

With all of the controversy about this film, I paid attention to the political undertones of the story, and I came to my very on conclusion on the matter…this film can fan the flames of basically any agenda that you tout.

Down with the patriarchy? It’s in there.

Down with feminism? It’s in there.

Up with feminism? It’s in there.

Our world sucks and it’s men’s fault? It’s in there.

Barbieland sucks and it’s woman’s fault? It’s in there.

Here’s what I got out of it:

A lot of people/groups say they want equality. Which I totally support. What I don’t support is when people who want equality get power and then turn into the thing they claimed to fight against. (Animal Farm anyone?) They get the power and instead of keeping everyone on even ground and enjoying a new fellowship with those that they didn’t before, they decide that they want the people who had so long repressed them to feel the pain that they felt, so they push them down.

This is what happened with the Kens, and what could have happened with the Barbies at the end when they put the Kens back in their place. However, the film gave us a hint that things would slowly change until everything balanced out.

All in all, an almost silly film that really makes you think.

5 of 5

Total: 36

That’s a Black Belt!

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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Princess Mononoke Review

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On a journey to find the cure for a Tatarigami’s curse, Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a war between the forest gods and Tatara, a mining colony. In this quest he also meets San, the Mononoke Hime.

Why did I come to this movie again?

The hubby and I are fans of Mayazaki’s work, and decided to see this again in the theater! It had been a long time since I’d seen it.

5 of 5

Characters

Eastern films are very different than the ones we’re used to. This one is 25 years old, and it has better characters than a lot of the movies that are produced today.

For instance, the bad guy (gal, in this case) is very nuanced. Yes, she’s ruining the environment, but she’s also freed a bunch of prostitutes and given them a place they can work and call home without having to sell their bodies. She also employs lepers. Is she using them? Yes. Is she also helping them? Yes.

The hero was courageous and kind, as I like them.

Princess Mononoke was less interesting than I remembered, but still cool.

5 of 5

Did I care what happened?

Yes. There were multiple plot threads being pulled at the same time throughout the whole movie. I did get confused about who was working for who and why a few times. That threw me out of the story.

4 of 5

Plot Holes

It’s anime. There were plot holes.

4 of 5

How many times did I yawn?

The film felt 20-30 minutes too long. And that’s from a girl who doesn’t mind spending that much time in a theater.

I figure it’s the differences between eastern and western storytelling that’s the issue. I’m used to a certain pacing and this story didn’t always follow it.

The film is still super watchable, but long.

4 of 5

Cool Factor

The animation was excellent.

The story ideas were interesting.

The blind boar at the end. Ugh. So amazing…also gross.

5 of 5

The End

The end was both hopeful and not.

The lady ruining the environment is going to rebuild (did she learn nothing??), bringing hope to the people she leads.

Princess Mononoke still hates the humans and is going to go back into the forest.

All I could think was that this was going to happen again. That was probably the point, but I didn’t love, love it.

4 of 5

Overall Enjoyment

This was really fun to see again after so many years. The theater was filled with fellow geeks, and we had a great evening.

It’s almost always worth the time to watch one of Mayazaki’s films!

5 of 5

Total: 36

That’s a Black Belt!

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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The Miracle Club Review

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There’s just one dream for the women of Ballygar to taste freedom: to win a pilgrimage to the sacred French town of Lourdes.

Why did I come to this movie again?

Some friends and I wanted to see a movie, and since The Sound of Freedom was sold out and I’d already seen Indiana Jones twice, we decided to take a chance on this one. We knew nothing going in. I watched the preview and still wasn’t entirely sure what it was about, but it looked cute. (Warning, while there are a few cute moments, this is not a light-hearted film.)

4 of 5

Characters

This film revolves around four women who live or have lived in a small Irish town. One in her 80s, two in their late 50s or early 60s, and one who is probably still in her 20s.

By the end of the movie I understood and mostly liked each character, but it took a while to get there. It’s hard for me to see people who have been close in the past fight, and this film is full of that.

Each of the four characters has a good arc and finds the healing they need instead of the healing they want. The acting was phenomenal.

I didn’t love the husbands in the story. They were all very shallow, two of them so much so that they were unbelievable to me.

4 of 5

Did I care what happened?

Yes, but part of that was because the writers withheld a lot of information from the audience. I mean, it’s a tactic we use to string the audience along with small and enticing hooks. Most of these were about what had happened in the past. The present was pretty self-explanatory, but the past between the women was complicated. Almost overly so.

3 of 5

Plot Holes

This plot felt pretty solid. I don’t remember anything throwing me out of the movie.

What I do remember is being frustrated about the slow leak of information that occurred. I was annoyed about it and so were the people I was with.

4 of 5

How many times did I yawn?

This is not a fast-paced movie. I figured that out in the first few minutes, and so I wasn’t expecting to be on the edge of my seat. A few parts were quite slow.

4 of 5

Cool Factor

This made me want to go to France, so that’s a thing.

I mentioned before, and I’ll say it again, that the acting was excellent.

This story might make you look at your life and the people you’re still angry with about things that happened in the past in a new light.

5 of 5

The End

The end was…I’m not sure. So many hard things came to light during this story that I didn’t go away from the film uplifted. I also wasn’t depressed. Maybe I missed some of the emotions.

The men were predictably thrilled to have their women back but I didn’t believe that they’d actually come to appreciate them, which kind of irked me.

4 of 5

Overall Enjoyment

While I’m glad I saw this film, I won’t see it again. It’s well-written with a spot-on theme of getting what you need instead of what you want that runs through every scene of the movie. A few of the actors deserve awards for their performances.

I still can’t get over the lack of details that this film gave us about some of the characters, especially what they’re doing in the present. Did it matter to the story? Not really, but maybe. That’s what I came away thinking about, and it shouldn’t have been. (This could totally be a me problem.)

If you’re into literary fiction then you’ll probably gobble this one up. Loads of layers and meaning.

4 of 5

Total: 32

That’s a Brown Belt!

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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Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny Review

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Archaeologist Indiana Jones races against time to retrieve a legendary artifact that can change the course of history.

Why did I come to this movie again?

I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t super excited to see this film. I love the first and the third movies in the series. The second one is okay. I’ve only seen the fourth one once, and that’s because I thought it was awful. A friend of mine invited me to see this one for free, so I figured, why not?

4 of 5

Characters

The movie starts out as a downer. Indiana is not only old, but somehow empty. His journey is subtle, but good. And it’s something the other characters notice more than I did. The more I think about it, the more I liked it.

Helena, Indiana’s goddaughter, is pretty transparent. She thinks she’s all about the money, but it was easy to see that there was more to it than that. While I liked her, I found her character just a bit flat.

The bad guy was interesting. His final plan wasn’t as cliché as I’d expected, so kudos there.

4 of 5

Did I care what happened?

Yes, but to be honest I got confused as to where we were going and why a few times.

4 of 5

Plot Holes

The actual plot was fine. This is an Indiana Jones movie, after all.

I think my biggest complaint was that they had Indiana’s character doing physical stuff that should have been hard for a 60-ish year-old man. If he had grumbled about the running or the jumping or something it would have been fine, but as far as I remember, it wasn’t mentioned. He didn’t even shake his fist after punching one of the myriad of bad guys he knocked out.

A bunch of little things pulled me out of the story, like how could they sink so fast in the ocean and then be weightless to swim around so easily? Also, that scene took more than 3 minutes. Just how big (or small) is the Mediterranean Sea and now much fuel does a boat that size hold? Stuff like that kept distracting me. Maybe I’m stuck in editing mode for writing, or maybe their writers needed to be a bit more diligent.

3 of 5

How many times did I yawn?

Twice.

Okay, maybe I didn’t yawn, but I got bored during not one but two chase scenes. I realize that these are iconic to the Indiana Jones brand, but I actually rolled my eyes once.

4 of 5

Cool Factor

Having a younger Indiana on screen, courtesy of CGI I assume, was fun. I could barely tell it wasn’t actually a young Harrison Ford, and mostly it was the eyes that gave it away. If they’d kept him farther from the camera, it would have been practically seamless.

I enjoyed the archaeological information, and I thought they did a good job putting this film into 1969.

I thought they went a little overboard with the nostalgia baited snakes and bugs.

3 of 5

The End

I actually loved that Helena, the goddaughter, thwarted Indie’s wishes. She’s smart.

I also liked the very end when Marion asked if he was back.

4 of 5

Overall Enjoyment

My friend told me that a website called this the most okay of the Indiana Jones films. I’d have to agree. There wasn’t as much humor as I expected. The script wasn’t anything special. I felt they sacrificed character development for action.

If I had to rank the entire franchise this would be my order:

Last Crusade

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Dial of Destiny

Temple of Doom

Crystal Skull

So, yeah, this movie was okay. Fun to see in the theaters and a great excuse for popcorn!

4 of 5

Total: 30

That’s a Green Belt!
(Almost a Brown Belt)

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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