Tag Archives: movies

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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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Top Ten Guilty Movie Pleasures

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For the very last installment of my Top Ten movies, I thought I would come clean with the movies I love that I consider my guilty pleasures.

These are films that are generally horrible, but for some reason have piqued my interest and I go back to them again and again.

See if you agree with my choices!

Guilty Pleasures!

10) The Three Amigos

Should I feel shame that I love the My Little Buttercup song? This show is full of stupid jokes, funny lines and a plot that shouldn’t work, but does. I mean, they killed the invisible swordsman. How can a movie recover from that?

9) Napoleon Dynamite

Yes, it’s a dumb show. Yes, I own a copy. Yes, I think about tater tots every time I see someone wearing cargo pants. Don’t you? Also, we quote it a lot in my Kempo class.

8) The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

If you’ve seen this show, then you understand. If not, you won’t get it. This is one of the most random shows I have ever seen and enjoyed. “Who’s crying?” I have to admit, the fact that when my future hubby recognized the movie in my collection and had seen it was a bonus point for him.

7) Sahara

I’ve only ever read a couple of Cliver Cussler’s books about these characters, and I admit that the movie doesn’t stand up to the books. However, on it’s own, this is a great adventure, and a little bit of history. Also, Matthew Mcconaughey. And many silly one liners.

6) The Rundown

When I think of this movie the first term that comes to mind is “Dumb.” Because it’s a seriously stupid show, but it cracks me up. Thunder and lightning. Bad monkey. The crazy Scotsman. The Rock. A very dirty (as in dirt-covered to the point it made me cringe) Christopher Walken. Dumb, but so much fun.

5) Condorman

Who else reads the title of the movie in the theme song? This is one of the campiest movies I’ve ever seen. It’s a good parody that never takes itself too seriously, but the characters have no idea that they’re in a comedy. It’s good enough that you enjoy it, but you don’t expect perfection.

4) The Fifth Element

Confession time: I forgot this movie on Sci-Fi week. It’s cheesy. It’s ridiculous. I quote it at least once a day. At first I hated Ruby Rhod, but now he’s my favorite part! I love it when he shoots that bad guy and asks Corbin if the guy is going to be okay.

3) Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Pride and Prejudice is my favorite love story of all time. Add zombies to it and I’m hooked! The pop-up book prologue is amazing, as is the bad a** Lady Catherine. The books is better, but this movie is a favorite.

2) Big Trouble in Little China

I spent a whole summer watching this movie again and again. At one point there were like five girls with green eyes watching it with me. We thought we were so cool…Each time I watch it I break out into peals of laughter over some part of it that I’ve forgotten about.

1) Mortal Kombat

This movie is based on a video game. How good can it be? I’ll let you in on a little secret, it’s not good. So why do I love it? Because it’s funny! The characters take their ridiculous situation seriously and it kills me. My favorite moment (I have like fifty second-favorite moments) is when Johnny Cage is leading them through a tunnel full of spider webs. He’s actually having to tear through them to move and he says, “Katana went this way. I can smell her perfume.”

As a matter of fact, here’s link to a video of all of Johnny Cage’s dialogue in the movie. You’re Welcome.

Honorable Mentions:

Groundhog Day

This one comes out every February the 2nd.

Kindergarten Cop

Mr. Schwarzenegger at his best!

What are some of your movie guilty pleasures?


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Top Ten Movie Musicals

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Movie Musicals have been around for a long time.

I’ve seen many, many musicals on stage, but if I haven’t seen (and liked) the movie version, you won’t find it on this list.

Also, there are no animated musicals on this list. Most of those ended up on the Top Ten Animated films.

There are a few where I like the movie version better than the stage version.

Movie Musicals!

10) My Fair Lady

The ending of this one has always rubbed me a little the wrong way, especially on stage where they have interpreted it many different ways, but there’s no getting around the stellar acting and stick-in-your-head songs!

9) Into the Woods

Not going to lie, the first time I saw this on stage I was mortified! What had they done to my beloved classics? Then I got a little older, learned more about life, and thoroughly enjoyed the movie version. The agony song is probably my favorite, although The Last Midnight is awesome.

8) White Christmas

This one is a classic for me. The hubby actually hates it, but I watched it growing up, and pull it out about once a year. Great songs, wonderful dancing and the sisters song is classic.

7) Enchanted

Just thinking about this one makes me smile. The rats cleaning her apartment. The huge dance number in the park. And the awesome twists and turns it takes to subvert the usual tropes. Love this one.

6) Newsies

The movie. Not the stage production. I like both, but I still like the movie better. I was pretty much in love with the entire cast of boys when I was in high school. Even now the Santa Fe song can get stuck in my head at random moments. Like now, for instance…

5) Phantom of the Opera

Yes, the stage production is generally better than the movie, but this movie really impressed me. First off, Minnie Driver’s diva scene is hilarious, and this show used the medium of film to improve on the original.  Unlike the Les Mis film that came out a few years ago. Plus, there’s not much that can beat the music.

4) The Greatest Showman

I still cry when I listen to most of the songs on this soundtrack. Awesome music. Great dancing. A modern masterpiece! Also, Hugh Jackman…

3) Mamma Mia

This one is just silly fun. Half of the men can’t even sing, but I don’t care because the show is so dang fun to watch and, I must admit, sing along to. I can’t pick a favorite song, because there are at least four.

2) Mary Poppins

Come on, what could beat the cartoon bits of this thirty years ago? Hmm? Nothing, that’s what. Plus, I love Julie Andrews. That woman can pretty much do anything.

1) The Sound of Music

See, Julie Andrews again! As a kid I remember watching this over two nights on television. If you’re old enough, you’ll remember they would cut it right after they got married, and then you had to wait a whole day to see the rest! I love the music and the story and the cast and everything. I’ve heard Christopher Plummer hated filming this movie, but he’s delightful.

Honorable Mentions:

The King and I

Love the music, the story is heart wrenching

Pitch Perfect

Not really a musical, but it’s close enough. This one can brighten my darkest days.

What did I miss?

What are your favorite movie musicals?


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Top Ten Action-Adventure Movies

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This category may or may not be a catch-all for movies that didn’t quite fit into the other categories.

If I’m being honest, action and adventure is a staple of most of the movies that I love. And humor. Most of these have a hefty amount of humor in them.

 

Action-Adventure!

10) The Hunt for Red October

First off, pretty much anything Sean Connery touches is good. Tim Curry is in here too. Add a young Alec Baldwin, and you have a stellar cast! Great tension. I still say that I don’t react well to bullets!

9) World War Z

This is the first movie my hubby and I saw after we got married. We were still on our honeymoon, and decided to get out for a bit. This show was in the dollar theaters in the not-so-great part of town. So they’re a bit run-down.

The movie was in the theater around the corner, down the hall, around another corner and almost hidden. The film itself is pretty tense, and there were’t many people at the 3pm showing on a weekday.

When we came out the place felt deserted. Quiet. Scary…just like the end of the stupid movie! I had to use the bathroom, and I swear the place was freezing. I was all alone, and suddenly a rumble comes from behind one wall. Like someone running down stairs. I can’t tell you how fast I peed and bolted.

Then, on our way home, we went to the grocery store and someone had hit a power box so they were having a brown out. Lights flickering…probably zombies around the next aisle…My imagination got the best of me that day!

8) National Treasure

While completely ridiculous, I love this movie. It’s…fun. The good guys are good and do nice things and are trying to do something amazing. Plus, watching Nicolas Cage try to run is kind of funny.

7) The Three Musketeers

I know, I know, it’s not a great movie, but it entertains me. The queen of America? Smelly cheese? Badly wooing wenches? Sword fights? Bring it.

6) The Goonies

This one goes way back to my tween years. I got caught up in what kids could do, and I’m sure I fantasized about finding treasure for months.

5) Red

While based on comics, it’s not a superhero movie, because the characters don’t have ‘super powers.’ Because they don’t need them! There’s something endearing about the moment when Bruce Willis has come to the girl’s apartment-she obviously freaks out-and then she asks if he vacuumed. He did. Because it was messy. Awkward spies? Yes please!

4) The Mummy

I could probably come up with a hundred little moments in this movie that make it amazing. Funny lines. Crazy Americans. Camels. Librarians. Bugs. Sand. Oh, and the mummy.

3) The Fifth Element

I have a confession…I forgot to put this one on my Sci-Fi list. No idea how I missed it, but i did. So here it is! Everything about this movie is over the top, and that’s what makes it so enjoyable. I quote Ruby Rod all the time.

2) Jumanji-Welcome to the Jungle

This one made me laugh. A lot. Like every minute of the movie I was laughing about something. I was surprised at how good it is, and bought a copy as soon as it came out! The cast is awesome and I’ll never get over Jack Black’s portrayal of a teenage girl. Or the dance fighting. Or the backpack guy. And who doesn’t love Dwayne Johnson?

1) Ghostbusters (The 1984 Version)

How could you not love a movie in which someone says, “Ray, when someone asks you if you’re a god, you say yes!” Plus many other funny lines, cruel irony and an all-star cast. Forget the new one, watch this one again!

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No runners up this time, but I’m sure I’ll think of one later…


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