MOVIE REVIEW | A Quiet Place

Hi everyone!

My husband and I sat down to watch A Quiet Place the other night, after a few people said we should see it.



PG-13 | 90 mins | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
In a post-apocalyptic world, a family is forced to live in silence while hiding from monsters with ultra-sensitive hearing.


Review:

I’m so impressed with A Quiet Place. I must admit that this movie does require you to suspend your disbelief (as most movies do), and ignore the minor inconsistencies (but we will get into that later).

The premise of this movie is that this family has to stay as quiet as possible so the monsters, who have sensitive hearing, can’t find them. There is very little spoken dialogue – the family generally communicates using sign language. The acting is incredibly compelling and you’re instantly attached to these characters. I think my favorite performance was Millicent Simmonds’. She really took over ever scene she was in, which was fantastic. The rest of the cast was awesome too. I loved that the viewer is able to learn so much about this family with very little dialogue.

This film is short, but it is tense from the beginning. You never really have a chance to breathe, and you’re constantly wondering if something bad is going to happen. I loved the ambiguity of the finale, and I think this film is a perfect standalone. I really hope that the success of this doesn’t inspire any kind of sequel because it will just ruin it.

Wrap-Up:

There are a few instances where this film has a bit of inconsistency, but by suspending my disbelief and just accepting what was presented as fact, I could get past it and see the true beauty of this film. The acting is top notch, the cinematography is beautiful – I highly recommend this movie.

Rating:

4.5/5☆


Have you seen A Quiet Place? Let me know what you think in the comments!

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MOVIE REVIEW: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Hi everyone!

Happy Saturday. Hubby and I watched the new Jumanji movie a few days ago and I wanted to review it!

*This will be a spoiler free review*


Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
119 minutes
PG-13
Action/Adventure/Comedy
Director: Jake Kasden
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan
Synopsis:
Four teenagers are sucked into a magical video game, and the only way they can escape is to work together to finish the game.

Review:

Reboots and sequels don’t always turn out quite right. Many times, they just don’t have the magic that the original movie had. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a reboot of the original 1995 Jumanji, and it is surprisingly fun. I still think the first movie had a magic that wasn’t quite captured in the reboot, but it was very close.

Dwayne Johnson plays the video game version of Spencer, a geeky kid who is afraid of his own shadow. When he’s sucked into Jumanji, he ends up in Dwayne Johnson’s body and hillariety ensues as he attempts to get use to being strong and heroic. Dwayne Johnson nailed this part. I was a little worried it would be too cheesy, because I’m so used to seeing him in action movies, but he is really funny in this role.

It’s a lot easier to be brave when you’ve got lives to spare

Kevin Hart plays the video game version of Fridge. In real life, Fridge is the big, muscular football player and he has a very hard time dealing with his small, fragile video game body. Of course, Kevin Hart is used to funny roles, so I had know doubt he would be hilarious in this, but I think he went above and beyond. His overall ability to show his character’s growth was great to watch.

I got a backpack on! You don’t get in water with a backpack, everybody knows that.

I’m not the biggest fan of Jack Black, in general. His movies are not typically high on my “to-watch” list, however he is awesome in this movie. He plays Bethany, and I was in tears from laughter during certain parts that I won’t spoil for you.

NOO! I’m an over-weight middle-aged man!

Karen Jillian plays Martha so well. In real life, Martha is a shy, geeky girl and when she is sucked into Jumanji, she is in the body of Karen Jillian. Watching her transform through out the movie is very funny.

Why am I wearing half a shirt and short shorts in the JUNGLE?

The plot felt very “video game” like, and I really enjoyed the reference of levels and lives to make it really feel like a video game. Some of the special effects were a little silly, but it fit pretty well with the video game theme.

Wrap-Up:

While it isn’t the most jaw-dropping reboot, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is surprisingly good. The cast is perfect in the roles they play, and it makes for a funny, enjoyable film.

Rating:

4/5☆


What did you think of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle? Let me know in the comments.

Have a great weekend.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Pacific Rim Uprising

Hi everyone!

Hubby and I went to the movies again last night to see Pacific Rim: Uprising. I plan to review the first movie, but I’d like to re-watch it first. This one is still fresh in my mind, so I am getting right into it.

*This will be a spoiler free review, however, if you haven’t seen the first movie, this might have minor spoils for that.*


Pacific Rim: Uprising
PG-13
111 minutes
Action/Adventure/ScFi
Director: Steven S. Deknight
Writers: Steven S. Deknight, Emily Carmichael, Kira Snyder
Starring: John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny
Synopsis (Taken from IMDB):
Jake Pentecost, son of Stacker Pentecost, reunites with Mako Mori to lead a new generation of Jaeger pilots, including rival Lambert and 15-year-old hacker Amara, against a new Kaiju threat.

Review:

I’m glad I don’t try to review films the minute I finish watching them, because, it seems like the more I think about them, the more my opinion changes, sometimes. That is the case with this movie.

When I first left the theater, I thought the movie was really fun. It didn’t feel like the exact same movie, and the characters were funny. Now that I’ve had some time to think, I do have a few issues with the film, so let’s dive right in.

The plot was interesting, and unique enough to give reason for a second film. It wasn’t just a carbon copy of the first movie, and it made a lot of sense. There were some surprise twists and turns I didn’t see coming, which is always great in a movie, however, there were some plot points that were thoroughly disappointing, that I can’t get into without spoiling.

The special effects were fun, a bit unrealistic, but that happened in the first movie too. You couldn’t really do this movie without them, and I think, for the most part, the Kaiju and Jaegers were believable and the fight scenes were really great to watch.

The characters were very witty. Jake was nothing short of sarcastic, even when in crisis, and the other characters followed suite a lot of the time. I really thought the actors were great, and the dialogue kept this a light hearted film. The issue I had with the cast, was that it felt like every character was really young. Jake and Nate are supposed to be older and wiser than the cadets they are to train, but it really seems like they aren’t that far apart in age. It just bothered me. Adults can be featured in films – it doesn’t have to be all up and coming youngsters, because that isn’t realistic.

Wrap-Up:

Overall, the movie was decent. It had a lot of high points that made it a worthy movie, but it also had a lot of low points. In the words of my husband, this movie lacked the magic the first Pacific Rim had. It’s still an action packed film that’s worth seeing once, but it won’t go down as the best sequel ever.

Rating: 3.5/5☆


What did you think of Pacific Rim Uprising? Let me know in the comments.

I hope you have a great weekend!

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MOVIE REVIEW: Tomb Raider

Hi everyone!

Happy Saturday, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Hubby and I saw the new Tomb Raider movie last night and I wanted to get my review up as soon as possible.

*This will be a spoiler free review*


Tomb Raider
Release Date: 3/16/2018
Run Time: 118 mins
Genre: Action/Adventure
Director: Roar Uthaug
Writers: Geneva Robertson-Dworet, Alastair Siddons
Cast: Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu, Kristin Scott Thomas

Synopsis (taken from IMDB):
Lara Croft, the fiercely independent daughter of a missing adventurer, must push herself beyond her limits when she finds herself on the island where her father disappeared.

Review:

Side note: I’m not a huge video game player, but I do play a few on occasion (Skyrim and Dragon Age are the top 2). When I was young, my Dad would play the original Tomb Raider games on the play station and I would watch. We printed out all the walk throughs for the games and put them in a binder. When we would get stuck on a puzzle, we would eventually give in and I would look up how to get through. I never really played the older games on my own, but when the two new games came, I had to. And I loved them. The story is great, and I was excited to see the movie.

The movie definitely borrows from the game. Actually, one of the coolest aspects of the movie is how much it felt like a Tomb Raider game. Quick, action-packed sequences with seconds to make life or death decisions. However, the story is pretty different from the game, which threw me off. Many of the characters make appearances but their motives (and even names) have been changed. I needed to remind myself throughout the movie that I needed to treat this as a separate entity from the game (as I would when comparing a book-to-movie adapataion to the original source). Once I did that, I was able to enjoy the movie much more.

I think Alicia Vikander plays a perfect Lara Croft. She has the look and the charm that makes Lara, Lara and I don’t have anything negative to say. Vikander delivers a solid performance, and is able to keep you on the edge of your seat and then make you laugh to break tension.

I also really enjoyed Walton Goggins as Mathias. While a different character in the movie versus the book, he really delivers a tense performance. From the minute you meet him, you know he isn’t a good guy, and Goggins was able to really bring that almost invincible, bad guy feeling to the character. He was not going to be an easy villainto defeat.

The special effects are really awesome in this movie. They leave your adrenaline racing as Lara Croft runs, jumps and ducks her way through countless dangers. The action sequences never feel boring or cookie cutter, and I was on the edge of my seat more than once.

I think the first half of the film dragged a bit. I know this was an origin story, and we needed time to understand and get to know Lara Croft, but it felt like there was a little too much time spent on her ‘normal’ life. Once the action started, it was a lot more fun.

Wrap-Up:

This was a pretty good movie. It was entertaining, tense, and action-packed. The first half of the movie being a bit slow, lowered the rating for me. But once the movie picked up, I had a great time watching. If you’ve played the game, you definitely need to leave your expectations at the door. It’s a great movie Lara Croft origin story, and you need to look at it completely separate from the story of the game.

Rating:

3.8/5 ☆


Have you played the games? Have you seen the movie? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

If you’re celebrating today, please have a wonderful and safe time! ☘

We will be headed to my in-laws for some cornbeef and cabbage. Enjoy your day! 😊

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Hunger Games

Hi everyone!

Happy Thursday. I’m so ready for it to be Friday, haha. I watched The Hunger Games for the 17373730 time (haha) on Tuesday and wanted to review it. I also plan to re-read the books, but I have other reading to catch up on first.

*This will be a spoiler free review*


Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
Director: Gary Ross
Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Drama, Thriller
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 142 min
Movie

adaptation of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Synopsis:
Katniss Everdeen voluntarily takes her younger sister’s place in the Hunger Games: a televised competition in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of Panem are chosen at random to fight to the death.

Review:

I always try to go into book to movie adaptations with an open mind. I try to remind myself that a book has a lot more time and space for detail, and a movie will inevitably cut things or change things to make it work. It’s hard to go in with a super open mind when a movie is made from one of your favorite books. Luckily, I wasn’t disappointed.

I LOVED The Hunger Games trilogy. I flew through the books faster than any other book I’ve ever read. I might even be as bold to say it’s my favorite trilogy. So, naturally, when I heard it was being made into a movie, I was nervous and excited.

Jennifer Lawrence made a perfect Katniss, from looks to mannerisms, she nailed this part. Josh Hutcherson is fantastic as Peeta too. He brings that innocence that book Peeta has to life, and the chemistry between him and Jennifer Lawrence is on point. I’m thoroughly impressed with the entire cast, and believed each person played their role perfectly.

The writers did a great job translating this story to the screen. I think they did a great job getting the needed information in while keeping the pace of the movie going well. There were points that dragged a bit, but overall, the movie kept me drawn in and interested the entire time.

One critique I had the first time I watched this movie, was the “blood bath” scene at the cornucopia in the beginning of the games. I’m aware this is a violent story, and this scene in particular was very intense in the book. I don’t think it needed to be super bloody, but the way it was shot felt a little underwhelming. I’m not even sure how to describe why this scene didn’t really work for me, but every time I’ve watched the movie, I’ve felt the same.

Wrap-Up:

I can honestly say, this is one of the best book to movie adaptations I have ever seen. It is so close to the book, only making minor changes to make sure the movie is well paced.

Rating:

4/5☆


What did you think of The Hunger Games movie? Let me know in the comments.

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The Cloverfield Paradox – Review

Hi everyone!

Happy Sunday! My parents and I saw comedian, Paul Rodriguez, last night. I definitely recommend him if you have a chance to see him. He is hysterical.

Alright, on with today’s blog topic. You may or may not know, I am a huge Cloverfield fan. I absolutely loved the first movie, and then 10 Cloverfield Lane blew me away. I’ve been very accepting of the franchise, and all of its questions, and assumed the third movie would answer them and bring the entire franchise together.

I was wrong.

This will probably contain spoilers, I suggest watching it before reading.


Summary:
Orbiting a planet on the brink of war, scientists test a device to solve an energy crisis, and end up face-to-face with a dark alternate reality. (Taken from IMDB)

Review:

The Cloverfield Paradox was released directly after the Superbowl on to Netflix, without any marketing or warning. I was initially concerned about the “straight to streaming” jump, but Netflix has had some good shows and movies, so I was excited. After watching the movie, I have a feeling this quick drop into Netflix was a frantic attempt to gain a following before the negative reviews started rolling in.

Cloverfield on it’s own, was a fantastic monster movie, that really didn’t need continuation, however, money calls, and 10 Cloverfield Lane was created. This movie does not have a ton of connection to the original except the end, but it is still brilliant in its own right. The Cloverfield Paradox attempted to bring the two movies together, but in doing so, managed to look and feel like a rip off of the original Alien movie, and create more questions than answers.

The crew is sent to space to test some sort of particle accelerator that is supposed to create energy that is needed on Earth. In true movie fashion, the test eventually causes a rip in time, and the ship and crew suddenly exist in two parallel dimensions.

Strange things begin to happen on the ship, many of which are a bit silly. Laughable, really. We learn very little about the characters, except the lead, and even she is pretty thin. I had few emotional responses to any deaths or near deaths. The character development was so paper thin, it was almost painful to watch. Which is sad, because the acting was actually decent. The movie looked good. The outside of the ship was unique and some of the special effects were fun.

I’m currently struggling to say anything positive about this film, so I’m just going to wrap up…

Wrap-Up:

I am really disappointed with this movie. The timelines of the three do not match, and it’s maddening. With the introduction of parallel universes, and rips in time, the franchise has infinite possibilities, which, in this case, is a bad thing. There were SO many missed opportunities to make this movie connect the first two and blow the audience away. Instead, we are left with a mess. I’m concerned for the future of the franchise, and I honestly am not sure I want them to make another movie. I’m sure they will, and if they do, I hope they spend a little more time making sense of this muddled timeline they’ve created. And you know, make a movie that’s worth a theater run instead of a “straight to DVD” quality release.


What did you think of The Cloverfield Paradox? Did you enjoy the first two movies? Let me know in the comments.

I hope you enjoy what is left of the weekend. 😊

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Before I Wake – Movie Review

Hi everyone!

Happy Tuesday. I hope you all had a great weekend. Today, I’m reviewing Before I Wake, which I watched on Netflix, Sunday.

As always, I will avoid spoilers. Enjoy 😊


Before I Wake
Drama, Fantasy, Horror
Director: Mike Flanagan
Writers: Mike Flanagan, Jeff Howard
Starring: Kate Bosworth, Thomas Jane, Jacob Tremblay

Synopsis:

Foster parents Mark and Jessie welcome 8-year-old Cody into their home. The boy tells Jessie that he’s terrified to fall asleep, but she assumes it’s just a natural fear for any young child. The couple become startled when their dead biological son suddenly appears in their living room. To their surprise, Cody’s dreams can magically become real but so can his nightmares. Mark and Jessie must now uncover the truth behind Cody’s mysterious ability before his imagination harms them all.

Review:

Before I Wake is an interesting blend of horror and fantasy in a way that I never expected. At its core, it is about a broken family who is striving to heal from an unthinkable accident, and a orphaned child striving to survive his nightmares.

Before I Wake is just as interested in making the viewer curious and invested in the characters as it is about the scares, which I think is refreshing. In the beginning, Jessie, is a grieving mother who can’t help but manipulate Cody. Cody is pretty well adjusted for the craziness he is experiencing.

Jacob Tremblay was perfect in the role of Cody, with his sophisticated and innocent demeanor. He was convincing and real. Such talent at such a young age.

Kate Bosworth’s portrayl of Jessie was also a stand out performance in Before I Wake. Jessie is a complex. She is genuine but she is also a grieving mother searching for peace and Bosworth plays this role amazingly.

The pacing in this film is, I think, what makes it so compelling. The writers wasted no time showing the beauty of Cody’s powers in the form of brightly colored butterflies filling Jessie and Mark’s home. It gives you, the viewer, this sense of hope and happiness. Shortly after, the mood changes for you, as the viewer, when you get your first glimpse of the Canker Man, the terror that also shows up when Cody dreams. It’s this back and forth of hope and dread that makes this a smart horror film. It doesn’t rely on lame jump scares.

Wrap-Up:

Before I Wake is an incredibly beautiful story and a very rewarding horror movie. What a lot of horror movies lack, this movie does exceedingling well. I definitely recommend this one!

Rating:

4/5☆


What did you think of Before I Wake?

I hope your week is short and happy! 😊

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Bright – Movie Review

Hi everyone!

Happy Sunday. It is still stupid cold here, and I’m not too happy about it. On the plus side, the Buffalo Bills made it to the playoffs. While I’m not the biggest football fan on the planet, I do enjoy watching occasionally, and I wouldn’t miss this game. My Dad and I will be watching!

I watched Bright on Netflix last night. I haven’t reviewed a movie in a while, so here we go. As always, I will avoid spoilers.


Bright
Released: December 22, 2017
Director: David Ayer
Writer: Max Landis
Starring: Will Smith, Joel Edgerton

Synopis (taken from rotten tomatoes):
In an alternate present day, humans, orcs, elves and fairies have been coexisting since the beginning of time. Two police officers, one a human, the other an orc, embark on a routine night patrol that will alter the future of their world as they know it. Battling both their own personal differences as well as an onslaught of enemies, they must work together to protect a young female elf and a thought-to-be-forgotten relic, which, in the wrong hands, could destroy everything.

Review:

I didn’t read the reviews on this or watch the trailer going in. I heard someone mention the movie in passing, saw Will Smith as one of the leads and thought ‘why not?’

Ugh.

The more I think about this movie’s wasted potential, the more it irritates me. The plot feels rushed. Like they kept adding things to make it more ‘action packed’ and forgot about a couple of super important story telling devices – character development and world building.

I found myself confused for most of the movie. I guess, maybe the writer wanted the audience to focus on the racial tension and connect/compare it to our world but even that was lame. The back story of why orcs, humans and elves hate each other so much really wasn’t fleshed out. The synopsis mentions fairies, but I think I saw those twice. The magic system isn’t explained much, except that not everyone can use it and most of the people that do are bad.

The action is kind of fun, I guess, except, I think they were trying too hard to be funny, so I never really felt like our main characters were in trouble. That was probably the worst part. I didn’t care about the main characters. I guess I cared a bit more about Jakoby (Edgerton) than I did about Ward (Smith) but not by much. Will Smith’s character feels like all of his other characters, just much less likeable. Joel Edgerton’s character is weak, not fleshed out enough, and just more wasted potential.

Some of the dialogue was funny. But only some. The rest was predictable and annoying.

I think this movie might have performed better as a TV series. The plot was so rushed, I think, with the ability to stretch the story out, it might have been more fleshed out and could have been quite good. Alas, this didn’t happen. Apparently, there will be a sequel. I’m not sure I’ll put myself through it. We will see.

Wrap-up:

Wasted potential, unlikable characters, and lame world building made for a pretty bad movie. I don’t really recommend this one. There isn’t much that saves it.

Rating:

2/5 ☆


What did you think of Bright?

I hope you have a great Sunday! Go Bills!

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The Lion King – Movie Review

Hi everyone!

Happy Thursday! My husband bought me The Lion King for Christmas. It was such a surprise, I had no idea it was coming. It is my all-time favorite Disney movie. I haven’t seen it in years, so we had a movie night on Tuesday. I thought it would be fun to “review” it on the blog (although we all know it gets a 5/5 from me 😁).

(By the way, this will contain spoilers.)


The Lion King

Release: 1994

Synopsis:

A lion cub is fooled by his ambitious uncle, who is next in line to the throne, that he has killed the Lion King, his father and flees their land in shame. As an adult he is persuaded to return to try and claim the throne that is rightfully his.

Review:

As I’ve said, this is my all-time favorite Disney movie. It’s actually pretty close to my favorite movie ever (The Wizard of Oz will forever hold that title though). The Lion King is one of those “kids” movies that adults can love too. I hadn’t seen the movie in quite some time and it had me laughing over some of the great lines.

Woah! Jeez, why do I always have to save your a-aaaaahhhhh! – Timon

The story itself is surprisingly dark for a Disney movie, with some rather intense scenes. Scenes with Scar and the hyenas were fiery and almost hell-like – with skeletons and eruptions of fire during the songs. Scar’s final moments were pretty intense for a children’s movie. The camera cuts away, but it seems like he’s being eaten alive by his former friends. While we are on the topic of Scar, he is probably my favorite villain of all Disney villains. He’s smart, resourceful, and motivated, which makes him truly feel dangerous. He could have won if Simba hadn’t figured his life out.

Now this looks familiar. Where have I seen this before? Hm, let me think. Oh, yes, I remember! This is just the way your father looked before he died. – Scar

The movie does a great job of throwing in some humor during intense scenes to give the viewer a bit of a break. I really appreciated that. Timon and Pumba are of course the main comedic relief, along with Zazu, but the rest of the cast have their moments to shine as well.

Creepy little monkey. Would you stop following me! Who are you? – Simba

The movie runs you through every emotion – one minute your laughing and the next minute you’re crying. It’s a heart warming and heart wrenching story, that I could watch again and again.

Oh yes, the past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either run from it, or… learn from it. – Rafiki

Rating:

5/5☆


What did you think of The Lion King?

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Beauty and the Beast – Movie Review

Hi everyone! Happy Sunday.

Today, I thought I would share my thoughts on the 2017, live action remake of Beauty and the Beast.


Review:

Honestly, it took me this long to see it because I wasn’t all that interested in it. Beauty and the Beast was not my favorite Disney film (The Lion King will always be superior to all Disney films, in my opinion! And yes, I know the Lion King is not a princess movie.), and generally, I’m just not a huge fan of live action remakes.

I’ve read quite a mix of reviews. Most people either absolutely love the film or absolutely despise it. I’m going to say, I am somewhere in the middle of this opinion.

It is almost identical to the original, only adding a couple new scenes. Which is a pro, in my opinion. I mean, if they had deviated too far from the original script, it wouldn’t have been a Beauty and the Beast remake. The additional scenes/songs add to the film, and help break up what would otherwise be super predictable. The additions give us some extra background info that the original that actually helped make sense of some if the plot.

The film is very pretty. Yes, it’s mostly CGI, but it is still a nice looking film. I don’t fault the CGI in this, because most of it was necessary and even though you could tell, it helped keep the story feeling “magical”.

Emma Watson is hit and miss with me in this. I think she embodies Belle’s persona well, and I think she nails the part…but the singing isn’t the best. She’s not the worst singer, but I just wasn’t in love with her voice.

The rest of the actors fit their parts. I particularly liked Belle’s father. There weren’t any Oscar worthy, stand out performances, but everyone fit well.

With all this positive feedback on the film, I still think it just fell flat for me. That’s why I’m in the middle of the ranging opinions on this film. Enjoyable but not something I’ll watch over and over again.

Rating:

3.5/5 ☆


What did you think of the movie? Let me know in the comments. 😊

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