Thursday, December 6, 2018

Mini Movie Reviews--Comedies, Horror, Satire, and Christmas Romance!

It's been a tough couple of months physically on my end. I've been dealing with some health problems and have not done my movie reviews for awhile. So without further adieu...

Movies Watched in November:

Starring: Amy Shumer, Michelle Williams
3/5 stars

It wasn't nearly as funny as Trainwreck but I was pleasantly surprised at how much I still enjoyed it.

Halloween (1978)
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis
Directed by: John Carpenter
4.5/5 stars

Halloween is a classic. It's the first horror movie to bring the serial killer stuff home to a neighborhood where anybody could get die. That's why it was so revolutionary for its time. It's a bit cheesy for our modern-day but it's well-written and acted and that's something the knock-offs didn't get quite right.

If you want to know more about Halloween and all that it entails listen to the podcast Halloween Unmasked. They interview the major players who made the movie and talk about its cultural influence over the horror genre and where it is today with the new Halloween movie that came out last October.

Upgrade (2018)
Starring: Logan-Marshall Green
Directed by: Leigh Whannell
3/5 stars

It's an interesting thriller about a man who receives illegal and experimental tech in exchange for the ability to walk again. It has themes about AI and how it can evolve and is it compatible with us as humans. It follows the stereotypical trope of man's wife/girlfriend/loved one is killed as the catalyst to kicking ass and watching the damage in his wake in the name of vengeance. But it's also one of the more interesting storylines for AI and humanity coexisting.

Starring:  Rachel Weisz, Sam Claflin
Directed by: Roger Michell
Gothic historical mystery
4/5 stars

I loved this adaptation. Rachel Weisz was flawless as the eponymous character. I've not read the book yet but I intend to after watching this adaptation. She was charming and yet mysterious. Did she really kill her husbands, was she really a gold digger? Is she a woman who did what needed to be done when women in her time weren't allowed a lot of options? Even after watching, I have no idea. She's still mysterious. Beautiful film.

 I'd have to say it could have been better if they'd cast a different bloke as her male lead. Caflin just didn't quite have the screen presence with Ms. Weizs. I felt his scenes were a bit awkward.

Starring: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman
Directed by: Phil Johnston and Rich Moore
animated children
3.5/5 stars

While not as engaging and adorable as the first movie, I did enjoy the meta ideas on the internet and pop culture. The scene with the Disney princesses is priceless and worth the money.

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway
Directed by: Gary Ross
3/5 stars

I was hoping for better. But it was still entertaining. Why did they need to have a certain character from the originals die off?

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander
Directed by: Derek Cianfrance
2.75/5 stars

It's a pretty film with pretty actors and locales. But I didn't enjoy it. There are themes in the movie and also the book that explore what it means to be human. Love, loss, and the awful choices we make in the name of all of these. But I thought the story overall was too contrived and manipulative to gain my sympathies for anyone, really. I read the book a few years ago and felt the same way. I suppose I was hoping the movie could bring it all together for me.

Starring: Kate Winslet, Idris Elba
Directed by: Hany Abu-Assad
Romantic drama
1.75/5 stars

I'm giving stars here at all because I got to see Idris Elba and Kate Winslet whom I adore. But that's it. It's Hallmark drivel and I'm shocked these two astounding actors agreed to be in this. But hey it's money and when you can phone it in....the, I don't even know how to interpret such bad editing and emotion. Also, the dog is the true star.

Starring: Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thomspon
Directed by: Boots Riley
Satire/absurdist comedy
4/5 stars

It's a brilliant movie. I know I didn't even get half of what it was trying to say or reference. But it's themes on the horrors of runaway capitalism and racism is spot on.

Starring: Kat Graham, Quincy Brown
Directed by: Bradley Walsh
holiday romance
3/5 stars

I was delighted by this movie. It was adorable without being too cheesy. The cheese was still thick, of course! But not so bad I wanted to turn it off or skip to the end where everyone finally learns their lesson and finds true love! If you love Hallmark-esque holiday movies this one is one of the better ones out there. Find it on Netflix!

Starring: Rose McIver, Ben Lamb, Alice Krige
Directed by: John Schultz
holiday romance
2/5 stars

A Christmas Prince was better. I don't think we needed a sequel. The plot was so ludicrous I had a hard time watching. And I knew they'd get married so there wasn't the fun blossoming romance to even enjoy. I was very disappointed.

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