Alyx’s Worst Movies of 2019

giphy

You’ve seen Alyx’s Best of the Year list so now it’s time for Alyx’s Worst of the Year list. This year has been pretty good with the good movies outweighing the bad ones, at least that I saw but I still wanted to share the movies I saw that I either didn’t like, or I liked/enjoyed but recognized it wasn’t good.
In my opinion these are “Alyx’s Worst” Films of 2019.
Dishonorable Mentions: Anna, Don’t Let Go, Captive State, Ma, The Upside, Godzilla: King of Monsters, Shaft, Five Feet Apart, Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase, Tolkien
10. The Sun Is Also a Star

190515093143-the-sun-is-also-a-star-super-tease

This movie is very disappointing to me to the point it hurts. I was really looking forward to it even when I was skeptical about the casting. But I loved this book, I even reviewed it because I loved it so much. The movie was boring, while I thought the two leads were okay, I still feel like they were miscast. It felt too long, and it felt like nothing was happening. The characters would go place to place and then talk. Rinse repeat.
9. The Lion King

Lion_King__Large

I wasn’t going to have this on my list at first but then I thought about it and I remembered that while there was stuff, I enjoyed, there was a lot that was wrong. It’s a beautiful movie, don’t get me wrong but this is basically a shot for shot remake of the animated film which is already a great film. The cast had a lot of promise and for the most part, they delivered but there were some moments where the delivery was terrible. Sometimes the music also didn’t always make sense, like why is “Spirit” in the middle of the movie instead of in the credits? Why are they singing a love song about “love tonight” but it’s during the day? Why make Nala say a line like “lionesses attack!” when the delivery is laughable? I just can’t lol.
8. Dumbo

maxresdefault

I love Disney and most times they can do no wrong, but this was wrong. I love the animated film and I am always optimistic about the remakes because I’m interested in seeing what they do. But outside of Dumbo being super cute, I really disliked that they focused on the humans. I DON’T CARE ABOUT THE HUMANS. Some movies just don’t work in live action because y’all want to make the people important and I didn’t come for them! I came for the cute elephant.
7. Brightburn

bb1

This is a movie where I was really interested in the premise because that’s an interesting premise. The idea of someone with great abilities turn evil instead of good? That’s awesome. But the acting was over the top, the story was rushed, and it just seemed like they wanted to get as many “scary/horror” moments as possible instead of giving me a well written story. There was a lot of potential here as well but alas, it was squandered.
6. Glass

Glass

So, I loved Split and I loved James McAvoy’s character and I was into seeing what they would do with it going forward, especially once it was revealed it was part of the Unbreakable universe. This movie was going to bring together three interesting characters annnnddd… nothing. The best part of this movie was any scene with James McAvoy. Don’t get me wrong, Samuel L. Jackson and Sarah Paulson are both great but SLJ sits quietly the entire film. It was so underwhelming, and I cannot imagine what it was like for people who have been fans of Unbreakable since it came out. I mean, I cannot believe that ending and it was so lackluster. Ugh. However, that gif of The Beast running was fantastic.
5. Escape Room

escape-room-2019

These people make stupid decisions. Again, interesting premise, especially considering escape rooms are popular. Most of the characters are extremely unlikable and the acting is also not good. It’s just bad. Some of them manage to do well but overall, it’s bad. It’s cliché. Then you have the last act of this film… WOW! This movie is not good. If you want a horror movie based on a phenomenon… don’t choose this one lol.
4. Dark Phoenix

une-nouvelle-bande-annonce-pour-x-men-dark-phoenix

I normally like the X-men films. I mean, some are way better than others but for some reason, they keep attempting this story without giving it the proper attention it deserves. It felt like nothing was happening except Jean running from place to place crying. What was the point of having that alien race? That felt like it was thrown in at the last minute. Why couldn’t Chastain’s character be like a human embodiment of the phoenix force? I don’t like how they villainized Charles! What was the point of even having Erik in this movie if he effed off to some peaceful colony? People still feel useless, but they keep putting them in these films! I just! I don’t get it! This movie was soulless! The potential is there and that’s why it’s so high! Because it makes me mad!
3. The Intruder

The-Intruder-600x337

This is a movie we’ve seen 50 million times and it’s just not good! I hated these characters, especially Megan Goode’s character, she is the reason a lot of the stupid stuff happens in this movie. Girl, your husband said he didn’t like or trust this man, stop letting him come in your house! I wanted to smack the taste out of her mouth. Ugh! Then the music would assault to let me know something was about to happen instead of just letting it happen. If you’re a thriller, THRILL me, don’t ASSAULT me. Man, I want to fight this movie lol. I’m getting mad just thinking about it.
2. Gemini Man

gemini-man-2019-1200-1200-675-675-crop-000000

I did not like this movie and I think it sucks because there’s a ton of potential in it. The acting is fine and most times the CGI is good for young Will but the CGI on other stuff doesn’t work for me. The story also isn’t that interesting, and the movie feels like it was made in the wrong time. It feels dated. I didn’t like it lol.
1. Men in Black: International

a9e5b-Men-in-Black-International-5-e1560780825800

I didn’t really expect much from this movie to be honest but literally no one cared about this movie. Hemsworth and Thompson were great because they are and they have great chemistry but the story, was so bad. I can’t even tell you what happened in it because I literally did not care. This is the worst movie of the year to me because it just felt like them trying to “reboot” this franchise, but they had no idea how to accomplish that.
That’s it! That’s my list! I hope you all have enjoyed spending the movies of 2019 with me! Please in the comments share your WORST movies of 2019. 
Happy New Year!

Alyx’s Best Movies of 2019

tenor

Of course, everyone usually puts these kinds of lists out before the year is out BUT I wanted to give myself a chance to watch a few more movies I had in my queue, but I probably won’t be able to watch them and get this list out before its been too long. So, without further ado…
In my opinion these are “Alyx’s Best” or better yet “My favorite” Films of 2019. I saw a lot of movies, some I never managed to get to, but I saw most of the ones I was looking forward to.
Honorable Mentions: Frozen II, Abominable, John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum, Good Boys, Captain Marvel, It Chapter Two, Avengers: Endgame, Lego Movie 2: The Second PartJoker, Fighting with My Family, Toy Story 4, The Kid Who Would Be King, Us
Alyx’s Top Movies of 2019
12. Spider-Man: Far from Home
BWDSDBCY3BFW7KXAAIGTGKLZKM
I loved this movie. As I said in my review, it’s probably now my favorite live action Spider-Man film. It’s my opinion of course and that could change when I finally do my “Spider-Man” marathon but I loved what it did. It connected to the previous stories in the MCU, but I liked what they did on their own. Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man is so relatable. Zendaya’s MJ was given more life and we got to know and like her more. Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio was a great villain and the story is emotional but contained. I really loved it.
11. Aladdin
aladdin-2019-1566986378
This movie is here because I loved it. It’s also second to last because I don’t think it’s the best movie out of my choices, but I loved it so much. So much. The music was great, the costumes were amazing. I loved the chemistry between Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott, plus the friendship between Aladdin and Genie (Will Smith) was fantastic. I loved the new life they breathed into the story. It didn’t replace the animated classic, but it just added to my love for Aladdin in general.
10. How to Train Your Dragon: Hidden World
HOW-TO-TRAIN-YOUR-DRAGON-THE-HIDDEN-WORLD--1095x520
I went over the animated films I’d seen this year and I think this is the best one. I’m sure it will once again not get the Oscar is deserves, but this is a great finale to an equally great trilogy. The animation is amazing and clearly has gotten better since the first film. The emotional weight in this story between Hiccup and Toothless is handled well. I’m pretty sure I cried. If you want a wonderfully animated and written story, this trilogy is where to go, and this final film wraps it up beautifully.
9. Booksmart
booksmart-i
My friend and I saw this movie and we had a great time. The friendship between the two leads worked well, their chemistry was amazing. It’s a funny adventure of two high school graduates trying to rectify their high school career of not having fun. They want all the fun now and it leads to a ton of shenanigans. For Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut, it was a great and hilarious film!
8. Fast Color
fastcolor
I was going to put this in my honorable mentions but considering how different and fresh this film felt, I had to put it here. I spent most of this movie in awe because of how beautiful it is. There is a sadness to it because of the estranged relationship between mother and daughter on both ends. But a movie about generations of black women having powers? Not to mention, how the film portrays those powers using color, this film is so beautiful and subtle that I really want a sequel.
7. Shazam!
5ca757698629130bfd79913f
This is the only DCEU film so far, that I really liked all the way through. It’s funny! It’s fun and I loved the chemistry between Billy (both versions) and Freddy. The superhero stuff is great too. While the villain was one dimensional, I liked Mark Strong in the role. I also liked the mythology behind the shazam powers. I like the idea of them being passed on to others who are worthy and that they look for kids because there is a chance they haven’t been “corrupted” by the world yet. That’s a very nice idea. This is a movie I would come back to often.
6. Ready or Not
ScaryMovies_ReadyOrNot_01-3-1600x900-c-default
A movie I watched recently, I had no idea what I would expect but I really liked it! The characters are fun, and the actors clearly had a great time in the film. The story is unique in that the characters aren’t quite into doing what they’re doing but they do it because of… weird reasons lol. It gives a new meaning to the phrase “final girl” lol.
5. Rocketman
Rocketman_Paramount
I LOVED this movie. I mean I really did. I was surprised at how much I loved it. I am by no means an “Elton John fan” pass me knowing some of his music and I like it. The music is amazing, and Taron Egerton was so good as Elton! It’s emotional and being based on a true story, I like how they incorporated reality with music to allow us to understand the times in Elton’s life. I love musicals and this is very much one, but the music helps tell the story instead of just happening.
4.Luce
LUCE
I recently watched this movie and it’s amazing. The story leaves a lot of room for viewers to interpret differently. I think that’s important for a film like this. The acting is fantastic, led by Kelvin Harrison Jr. as Luce. His character is enigmatic and you’re probably going to go back and forth between what you believe in this. It’s a quiet film in a lot of ways and worth watching for different understandings each time you watch.
3. Knives Out
MORNING BELL
I really liked this! The cast in this movie is AMAZING. Everyone really does a great job. The mystery is intriguing and mysterious and very well written. Plus, the cinematography and costuming give it this old-fashioned look and feel which works for the world these people are living in. I find that mysteries like this aren’t always handled well when it comes to films, they try too hard to make it “mysterious” or they don’t allow the audience to figure it out as well but this film doesn’t try too hard but allows the story to unfold and allows the audience to figure it out as well.
2. Queen & Slim
8V40_CA_D005_0497_R
It took me a moment to decide where this movie would fall in my lineup. I was a little unsure of how I feel about it when I finally saw it but the black romance that develops in this film is written really well. I found the two main characters well written and well acted, particularly Daniel Kaluuya who I love. The story is important, relevant and emotional. It think everyone will get a little something different out of it and perhaps discover something new each time they watch it. I hope for more well written black stories in the future.
 1. Little Women
Little-Women-Official-Poster-600x889-600x381
I LOVED THIS MOVIE. I’ve always loved Little Women and it truly is a timeless story because watching it in a different storyteller’s hands as an adult, gives me the chance to completely connect way more than I ever did. It feels new. The acting is amazing, especially Florence Pugh, who plays a character I never quite liked, but she made me like her. She made me be okay with the romantic choices that I was never okay with. Saoirse Ronan was also amazing as Jo March and I connected so much with her. It’s an emotional story that I loved and I will watch again and again.
That’s it! That’s my list! I hope you all have enjoyed spending the movies of 2019 with me! Please in the comments share your favorite movies of 2019. 
Happy New Year!

Movie Review: Little Women (2019)

ent12.18.littlewomen

Summary: Four sisters come of age in America in the aftermath of the Civil War.
Um… this is a well-known story so there will be spoilers… but if you’ve never read the book or seen any of the previous movies, then I guess… I don’t know, it’s hard because this another adaptation…lol it’s up to you.
Pros:
Cast and Characters.
  • Saoirse Ronan as Josephine “Jo” March. Jo is the main heroine of our story. She is headstrong, passionate, stubborn and a writer. She is responsible for the plays the sisters put on for themselves and for the kids in their small town. She marches to the beat of her own drum. She loves her family fiercely and feels jealous and/or scared whenever she feels like something or someone is coming between her and her sisters. Like when Meg starts going off to parties or meeting men. She becomes fast friends with Laurie. She does at times laments being born a girl due to the restrictions placed on her, but she rages against the system anyway lol. We see her as a young woman and a teenager and her dreams are the same but she seems to struggle a bit more as an adult with her dreams because of the situation she finds herself in of trying to get her work bought to support her family but also trying to maintain her integrity of the kind of writer she wants to be. I feel that. The thing I always loved and identified with about Jo was she was a writer and was passionate about it. The only way someone could hurt her would be to destroy her work so when it happened, her anger and sadness, I got that. She wants to be in a world where her value as a woman, as a writer, a creator, is more important than being a wife or a mother. Saoirse Ronan was a great choice for Jo because she has the energy needed for someone so passionate and strong-willed. She had great chemistry with her sisters, and when she was angry at any of them for whatever reason, the looks she would give, as a sister, I was like “yep”, been there. Her friendship with Laurie was great and that is due to the chemistry she has with Chalamet and I believed in their friendship. I believed in her ambitions and her need to write, and I understood her slumps and Saoirse does such a great job in embodying her, that she might be my favorite portrayal of Jo thus far.
  • Emma Watson as Margaret “Meg” March. Meg is the oldest of the sisters and usually considered the “prettiest” and I think Emma Watson really does look beautiful in this film. The darker hair really suits her. Being that she’s the oldest, a lot of times the “motherly” duties fall to her, but she struggles a little because she wants to be had nice things, she doesn’t want to be poor for all her life, she wants to be a wife and a mother. She wants a family of her own. She has a great line to Jo “Just because my dreams are different than yours doesn’t make them any less important” and I thought that was a great line for her. It showed that while she may not be as independent as Jo, she knows what she wants in her life and that’s just as important as Jo’s independence. It was always an interesting addition to her that she wishes for the finer things in life but then falls in love with a poor man. It really goes to show you how love could be. I’ve always loved Emma Watson and I thought she was a great choice for Meg, because she has a youthful energy about her but also very poised which is what Meg is, which is why she can turn heads of young men. She and Saoirse have great chemistry since they seem close and I felt like she was the oldest sister in this unique group of sisters. There were a few times where her British accent came through, but she does a really good job at her American accent. It gets better every time I hear her do one. I love her, she’s great lol.
  • Florence Pugh as Amy March. So, at first, I was a little surprised that she played Amy as both an adult and a child. Usually, Amy is played by two actresses and maybe that’s the problem. I’ve seen reviews complain about her coming off awkward as young Amy, but I thought she embodied the bratty, spoiled and energetic personality that Amy has as a child really well. The only time I didn’t believe her was when she was crying after getting in trouble at school. That looked silly lol but otherwise, I believed her at both stages in Amy’s life. Honestly, she was the standout as well, which is a lot coming from me because Amy was always the sister, I liked the least. As an adult, which we get to see a lot of this version of Amy as well, she really is a proper lady, but she is outspoken and has a maturity and strength to her that she’s always had, but now that she’s older and has a bit more life experience, it’s clearer now. One of my favorite scenes is when she’s speaking to Laurie about him throwing away his life, and she talks about women’s role. It was a fantastic scene and she did it in such a subtle but clearly passionate way. She was great. I really like Florence Pugh, I like her a lot.
  • Eliza Scanlen as Elizabeth “Beth” March. I haven’t seen her in anything, but she was a great Beth. She was shy, compassionate and loving. I loved how much she loved others. She was sweet and had a great bond with her sisters and they were fiercely protective of her because of her shy nature, but she also didn’t take their strong personalities laying down. I really liked the relationship that she had with Mr. Laurence, even if all of it was not always them talking to each other. There was a mutual understanding between them, and I liked it. She was great.
  • Timothée Chalamet as Theodore “Laurie” Laurence. Laurie has always been one of my favorite male literary characters. I don’t know why lol, I think Christian Bale helped my love for him growing up and I think Timothée Chalamet was a great choice to play him. I really like Timothée Chalamet, there’s something delightfully tragic and romantic about him, I think it’s the eyes. But I like how quickly him, and Jo fall into a friendship and it’s clear he’s falling in love with her. I disagree that people who start out as best friends can’t at some point fall in love, in fact, I think that’s what usually happens at some point. It may not last forever, but someone has considered if their feelings were more romantic than platonic at some point. Anyway, he becomes so ingrained in the family and I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that he doesn’t have his parents, and the delightful chaos of the March women pulls him in. There’s a scene, after he helps Jo bring Meg (when she hurt her ankle) that he just stands off to the side and watches them fuss over each other and the look on his face shows it all. Later, when he’s an adult, he’s lost, clearly and just fumbles through life and I think Timothée Chalamet does a great job at the fun loving Laurie who falls in love with the March family, who falls in love with Jo, the Laurie who is fumbling through life and then the one who is getting his revelation later. I do think, for the older versions, his young face might throw you off lol, but I think he was a great choice.
Supporting Characters.
  • Laura Dern as Marmee March. I think she just the right amount of loving and selfless. She and Jo have a nice moment where she confesses seeing a lot of herself in Jo, which shocks her, but she says that she had a revelation which helped her in life. I think she works well as their mother, she may not always say what she’s feeling or thinking but you see it on her face. Laura Dern has a very expressive face. She’s great.
  • Meryl Streep as Aunt March. I mean, she’s Meryl Streep, you can’t go wrong with that lol. She’s a great Aunt March, perfectly funny, sassy and crotchety as Aunt March always is. While she doesn’t always come off as the most loving person, I think it’s clear she loves the girls, particularly Jo who might be the thorn in her side. She has some nuggets of wisdom as well. What can I say? Always great.
  • James Norton as John Brooke. His role is small but he’s likable as he always is, at least to me. He’s Laurie’s tutor and he becomes taken with Meg. I like how we get a few moments of them running into each other or interacting before they move forward with anything. I also like we get to see him and his family with their issues later. He’s just not forgotten about. I don’t think I’ve seen this actor in anything, but he has a recognizable face. He’s fine though, he’s sweet and that’s what matters for Mr. Brooke.
  • Louis Garrel as Friedrich Bhaer. We get introduced to him earlier on since the movie starts out with them as adults and Jo is in New York. He’s French and a Professor living in the boarding house with Jo. They kind of are friends but it’s a little awkward lol. He’s nice though. I don’t think he’s as old as he was supposed to be, but it works because while he physically might not be 40, he has an older/wiser soul and you can feel that.
  • Chris Cooper as Mr. Laurence. I almost didn’t recognize him until they showed a painting of younger Mr. Laurence lol, but he looks great with that beard. He’s Laurie’s grandfather and he also takes a liking to the March family, particularly Beth and I like the moments we get with the two of them, even if they’re not directly interacting with each other. I thought he was great. I wish we got to see him interact with Laurie more though.
Family Dynamic. I’ve always loved the March family because they’re different in their interests but they’re sisters and they love each other. The chaos in this movie of their everyday lives is amazing. I really enjoyed watching them bicker back and forth, talk over each other and just be. Whenever all four sisters were on screen together, it was great. They had chemistry and when Marmee was involved, it was nice as well. I think it really worked and it always matters how the March family works with each other and I really believed these ladies were a family. It reminded me of my family in how there’s energy and chaos, but they love each other, and it works.
Character Chemistry. Going along with the point above, the character chemistry in this movie is amazing. The March family’s chemistry is great, the sisters are great. Even when they’re angry with each other, it’s great. This is particularly noticeable in how Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet work with each other and the friendship that Jo and Laurie have. Ever since I was a little girl and I read the book, though I’m not sure if I ever read the whole book, I know I read the condensed version lol, I always was mad that Jo and Laurie didn’t end up together. I get Jo’s reasoning, always have, doesn’t mean I have to agree!! Anyway, they have great chemistry so their friendship is great, and you can clearly see the love that Laurie has for her during their younger years. Timothée Chalamet’s love eyes are noticeable lol. THEN what also works, which super annoys me, is the chemistry between Amy and Laurie. I never liked that they ended up together. Yes, Laurie says he always knew he would be part of the March family, but the fact it was Amy, always bugged me. She was my least favorite of the sisters and it seemed like he downgraded HOWEVER because they allowed more maturity from Amy, and we got to see more with her and Florence Pugh was so charismatic and likable as Amy, I found that I was annoyingly okay with their marriage. Meg and John Brooks work as well, even Beth and Mr. Lawrence have nice moments together. The script is great, but the acting really works.
Cinematography. I think this movie is beautiful! Because this movie isn’t told linearly, the way the film tells you as it moves forward, when scenes are. It’s because of the color palette. When it’s the past, the colors are brighter and when it’s the present, then it’s a bit softer in color. It’s noticeable I think, and it helped me from getting confused of the timeline. Plus, I know the story so that helped too lol. But the movie is beautiful.
Emotionally Beautiful. I think I cried like 5 times in the film. I don’t know if it’s because I’m just emotional right now, but I cried. I don’t think I’ve ever cried past Beth death. I think I even cried during Laurie and Jo’s argument scene when she rejects him. I think I also cried when she finds out later that Laurie married Amy. I cried during Jo’s scene with her mother.

Women have minds and souls as well as just hearts, and they’ve got ambition and talent as well as just beauty. And I’m sick of people saying that love is all a woman is fit for. I’m so sick of it! But… I’m so lonely!

-Jo March (Little Women 2019)

It’s such a beautiful monologue and Saoirse Ronan performs it perfectly. I felt that because even though it’s 2019 almost 2020 this is still something that people think of women. I’m sick of it! She’s talking about being independent but there’s so much pressure on women in being mothers and wives and she hates it but she’s lonely. I felt that entire scene. I was in tears. I’ve always identified with Jo and I think I really identified with her the most in this film. I’m not sure why, perhaps it’s because she’s more outspoken about romance and how she feels about women and their place in the world and I’m an adult now, so her personality and roles hit me more. But she gives this speech to Marmee and I felt all of that and I identified with that that it made me cry.
Storytelling. This movie is not told in order. I was a little unsure about this at first but as the movie went on, I became increasingly okay with it. When we first start, it’s in the present with Jo in New York, we’ll see her life there, trying to get her work published in newspapers and we even meet the Professor. I was shocked because all of this happens later in the story.
Costumes! I do really love period pieces because I love the clothes. Jacqueline Durran (Atonement, Beauty and the Beast, Anna Karenina, Pride & Prejudice) does the costume design in this film and I love all the clothes. I particularly love the blue dress we first see Amy in as an adult and the pink dress Meg wears (pictured below). Timothée Chalamet has some nice pieces as Laurie too, I’ve never realized how tall and lanky he is until watching him in these clothes lol, but he wears them well. I also really loved Amy’s white and black ensemble when she and Laurie have their “fight” outside. They’re just beautiful and the lighting really compliments the clothing.

little-women-545421l-480x480-b-923a3b41

Cons:
It’s not Linear. This didn’t particularly bother me as the film went on, I was a little shocked it was going to do this at first. I can imagine people not liking that though. I can imagine the shifts being a bit too subtle and viewers complaining about it. I’ve already seen someone complain about it online, so I wanted to put it here, to show that I noticed and at first, I was unsure about that choice.
Overall, I looooved this movie. I really did. I love Little Women in general but I really loved this adaptation. There was something refreshing about it and I thought Greta Gerwig did a great job in adapting it for a new audience. The casting was spot on with Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh being standouts respectively. Everyone had wonderful chemistry while working together, I believed in their familial ties, friendships and romances respectively. It’s emotionally beautiful, so don’t be surprised if you cry. A lot. It has amazing cinematography; the colors help emphasize the time period and it helps bring out the colors in the amazing costumes. I also like how the story is told, it’s not linear which works just fine for me. My only problem was with the fact it wasn’t linear but it’s not a personal problem, just something I’m acknowledging for those who might dislike that. But in the end, I really loved this movie.
Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Little Women? What are your thoughts on this timeless classic? Which adaptation is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading and be sure to keep an eye out for more Movie Reviews and other content!

Movie Review: Ready or Not (2019)

ready-or-not-e1566425246443

Summary: A bride’s wedding night takes a sinister turn when her eccentric new in-laws force her to take part in a terrifying game.

Pros:

Cast and Characters. 

  • Samara Weaving as Grace Le Domas. She is an orphan and yearns for a family so she’s eager to please Alex’s family and to become a part. When she finds out that this “game night” is a serious affair, she begins to quickly adapt to what she needs to do in order to survive. She’s not like super competent at everything because she gets hurt, she falls (not while running), she scrambles to live and you really root for her to win. I don’t believe I’ve seen this actress in anything, I actually thought she was someone else, but she’s really likable and a trooper. I think she probably did a lot while filming this and it really comes through on the screen. She’s having fun but she’s completely badass.
  • Adam Brody as Daniel Le Domas. I think he’s the oldest son but he’s an alcoholic and probably the one in the family I found the most interesting and layered, followed by Becky. He might come off at the beginning as being just sleazy but that’s just the alcohol talking lol. Throughout the film, we see him go through things that will keep the audience guessing what he’ll do by the end. I like Adam Brody. I’m not super familiar with everything he does but everything I’ve seen him in, I’ve liked him. I think he’s charming and really likable and I’m not sure if his character was meant to come off that way but he does and I really wish that Grace met him first lol, they had really good chemistry lol.
  • Mark O’Brien as Alex Le Domas. He is Grace’s husband and completely against the games his family plays. He spends a lot of the movie trying to help Grace, to save her and as it goes on, you learn about his relationship to his other family members. He’s close with his mom and his brother so he goes through a lot of struggle. I find him interesting. The actor does a great job in handling Alex’s trepidation of their tradition while also handling any emotional shifts we see as the film goes on.

The Rest of the Family. 

  • Henry Czerny as Tony Le Domas. He really steals a lot of his scenes; his delivery is very much “petulant child” and it works for his character! He’s so deep in this family history that if things aren’t going according to plan, he freaks out. He’s hilarious and also really likable.
  • Andie MacDowell as Becky Le Domas. She is Daniel, Emilie and Alex’s mother. She  and Grace connect early on and she talks a lot about not having Alex around anymore and it clearly affects her. But she’s so… nice that’s it’s very weird lol.
  • Nicky Guadagni as Helene Le Domas. She is Tony’s sister and she is a trip. In the beginning, we get to see her going through this but it’s interesting to see what she ended up as. She is crazy and I thoroughly loved her. Even her hair was crazy. The actress clearly had fun.
  • Melanie Scrofano as Emilie Le Domas-Bradley.  She was hilarious! I think she’s the youngest of the siblings and she’s on drugs lol and the actress CLEARLY is having fun playing the part. She is responsible for some crazy stuff the that happens because she’s just too all over the place. I’ve never seen this actress in anything, but she’s very likable and I really enjoyed her energy.
  • Kristian Bruun as Fitch Bradley. He is Emilie’s husband and his game was “Old Maid” and he has a lot of funny bits. Also, quite likable. But he’s really there to not believe in the whole background side of what they’re doing. He’s the naysayer.
  • Elyse Levesque as Charity Le Domas. She is Daniel’s wife and the “ice queen”. She has some interesting things that are brought about her background and of course the movie doesn’t go into detail about this because it’s not about her but I found it very interesting that she married into this family and had to play “Chess” but she’s really into this game. She wants to be part of this family more than anything. That’s clear. I’ve seen Elyse in televisions and I’ve never liked any of her characters but I quite enjoyed her here. I think between good character writing and her playing an interesting character, that works in her favor.

Black Comedy/Quite Hilarious. This movie is actually pretty funny but it’s very much a black comedy. People are trying to kill this girl; there’s blood and other people die and it’s not like super gratuitous but you still see stuff. The dialogue is really funny and I think the actors really did well in elevating the script because while the dialogue is funny, their delivery of those moments always helps. Emilie was hilarious because she is the cause for some stuff that happens and it’s so shocking and hilarious. It happens like twice. I cackled. Then the ending was also pretty hilarious.

Refreshing Premise. I liked the idea behind the movie a lot, the idea of marrying into this family where they play a game that could possible kill you. That’s insane! There’s other stuff that happens too that I was like “meh okay” but I think it works in this movie’s world and half the time you’re not even sure if these people are just crazy or if they’re serious. That’s the fun of it to be honest.  Plus, Grace is super competent as well so you’re not annoyed with her the entire movie.

Super Fun! This movie is so fun to watch! I had a good time. Even if you didn’t care for the storyline, I think it’s fun to just sit back and watch. The family dynamic is hilarious, the dialogue is great and the acting is fantastic and if you like violence, it’s here but it’s not “too much”. It fits in the frame of what the film sets up. Plus, I like the feel of the movie, you’re not really sure when it’s set but it feels “old” where Grace feels “other”. I like that aesthetic.

Cons: 

The Story Behind the Story. Obviously, you have the movie with the main stuff going on and there’s this other thing that the family talks about a lot. I think it’s a little ridiculous and at times, it feels out of place with the rest of the movie… at times. When the ending comes around, I cackled. It’s still ridiculous and I do think that part does make the movie feel… I mean it’s already crazy but less in reality? I guess is the best way to say it. You’ll know what I mean when you watch it lol.

Overall, Ready or Not is a really fun adventure to watch! It’s interesting and I really enjoyed myself. The cast is fantastic with Samara Weaving really doing a good job at being emotional, funny and badass all at the same time. You root for her. Adam Brody is also really good and his character is really interesting to watch throughout the film. Everyone else is great too. I think it’s really funny, I laughed a lot or I sat with a smile on my face. I think the premise is pretty different than what we’ve seen from other “horror” movies in the past. I know, I don’t watch a ton of horror but I know about them lol, I can make that assumption! My only problem, that I can at least think of and that I thought while watching the movie, is the whole… other part of the story. It’s funny but I wonder if you took that out, could the movie be the same? I think it could be but it just wouldn’t have that other thing as a reason why the family does this… anyways, check out Ready or Not. I recommend it!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

Have you seen Ready or Not? If so, what are your thoughts? What is your favorite black comedy horror film? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

Happy Holidays!

Movie Review: Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker

15new-starwars-1-articlelarge

Summary: The surviving Resistance faces the First Order once more as Rey, Finn and Poe Dameron’s journey continues. With the power and knowledge of generations behind them, the final battle commences.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. Obviously, we have a ton of returning characters but I’m not going to hit them all. I’m really only going to focus on the ones we spend the movie with because they’re who we’ve become acquainted with. Carrie Fisher passed before the filming of this movie so while Leia is still here, it’s through repurposed unreleased footage from TFA. But she’s great.
  • Daisy Ridley as Rey. She is a scavenger from Jakku. Where we find her in this movie, she is training, to become better etc. Once they get a lead on how they could defeat The First Order, she goes on a series of quests with Finn and Poe. Throughout the film, we see Rey continue to struggle with her who she is, where she comes from. This film ultimately deals with her identity. We get to see this struggle throughout the film and Daisy Ridley does a great job at portraying the various states of emotions Rey finds herself going through. I think she really shines in the third act of the film because she’s emotional and it almost seems uncontrollable at times. I like Rey, I think she’s interesting and finding out her lineage was interesting and I like how they first showed us confirmation on that. This whole “Mary Sue” thing I see online about her, I think is stupid. For one, if Rey is a Mary Sue then so was Luke Skywalker. Sure, she’s good at a lot of things but considering how she had to survive on her own for her entire life, it makes sense she makes sure she’s great at things. Anyway, I just wanted to say that lol.
  • John Boyega as Finn. He is a former stormtrooper who defected to the Resistance. This is probably the most I’ve liked him in the trilogy which is a shame because I find John Boyega very charismatic and likable. In this one, he’s come into his own as being part of the Resistance, he’s brave and willing to do what he needs to do in order to protect his friends and the world. It’s no longer a “every man for himself” kind of thing. Throughout the film, there’s something he’s been trying to tell Rey and spoiler alert, he never gets to tell her and I think he wanted to tell her he’s Force Sensitive which is something we as the audience already knows from the first film. I would assume that Rey would know considering she’s a Jedi.
  • Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron. He’s my favorite lol and it’s not just because I adore Oscar Isaac, which is a major part of it but I liked him since his first sequence in the first film lol. He is a high-ranking X-wing fighter pilot and commander of the Resistance. Poe went through a lot last movie and I think he really comes full circle in this one, because he’s not as arrogant as he was about knowing what’s best for everyone (like in TLJ), I mean he’s still a little arrogant lol, but not in the same way. His lesson is leadership and feeling like he’s earned the roles given to him by Leia. I think is probably my favorite version of Poe as well, just because he gets to be lighthearted and sassy which works for his character. I love Oscar Isaac. That’s it lol.
  • Adam Driver as Ben Solo / Kylo Ren. He is the Supreme Leader of the First Order. Born as Ben Solo, he is the son of Leia Organa and Han Solo, the nephew of Luke Skywalker and grandson of Anakin Skywalker / Darth Vader. His role in this one is very different than we’ve seen in the past. I feel like he wasn’t as prominent in this one but perhaps that was the point. Just like Rey, he’s going through a lot emotionally as well, identity and all that. But that’s all because I can’t get into it without spoiling things. But Adam Driver is great in this role, this is probably the most I’ve liked him as well. I thought he was interesting but I can’t say I liked him or anything before. But I liked what we see out of him here.
Character Chemistry. This is always important when you have characters who spend a lot of time together. It’s important they work well together, if the chemistry is off, you can tell. Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac and John Boyega work really well together and I’ll get into this in the cons as well, but the moments we get to see them working together, or when they have a moment to go back and forth, are moments I really enjoyed. I wish we got more of that to really establish their friendship.
Some Interesting Character Arcs. This is particularly for Rey, Poe and Kylo. Being that the trilogy has been about Rey and Kylo, it makes sense that their arcs parallel each other. I think they’re done well. As I said, Rey has identity issues she has to work through and I think that’s handled pretty well. Same with Kylo, they’ve built up his issues since the first film and he really gets his chance for that to come full circle. As for Poe, he’s dealing with the whole being a leader thing, leading people and all that. I think though, that mostly because a struggle towards the end. But I like those arcs though. As for Finn, I  think his arc was handled before this movie because he seems really competent and confident here. So that’s a win.
Visual Effects Are Amazing. Y’all this movie is amazing in how a lot of the effects are handled. There is this great shot of them standing over rushing dark waters and that was some beautiful technology right there. Not to mention, the fight between Rey and Kylo while on that water, also pretty dope. Then, at the end, there is a shot of Rey walking between these two giant black walls and you see this blue light flashing. It was amazing. Technically, this movie has a lot going for it. The opening sequence with Poe, Finn and Chewie on The Falcon was awesome! I mean, I was really into it from the beginning.
Cons: 
Weak Storytelling. Listen, I feel like nothing happened in this movie lol until we got to the last act. I just remember thinking “what is the point of this and this and this?” because when we got to the end, some of it didn’t seem as important or that we didn’t need it. Maybe it’s because I didn’t feel any tension? *thinking face* They just jumped from place to place with mini quests and don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but the real meat comes at the end. Everything else felt frivolous. I wonder if that’s because Rain Johnson deviated a lot from what JJ Abrams wanted to do? I mean, I don’t know what the full plan was but The Last Jedi feels out of place with The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker. So maybe that’s part of the problem, JJ was trying to correct some wrongs.
Main Three Friendship. Don’t get me wrong, I really like the chemistry between the main three, just like I said in the “pros”. But my big problem is that I feel shafted in their time together. When Poe and Finn get back to wherever the Resistance is and the three have this moment where they go back and forth, particularly Poe and Rey arguing about The Falcon and BB-8. It was cute and I laughed but then we don’t really get to see Rey and Poe connect again. I really like their dynamic, even if viewers wanted romance between all three or two of the three, which is fine, but I feel like the movies never quite established how close they are to even earn their big hug. I get more out of their friendship in fanfiction then I have in the films.
Plot Twist Reveals/No Tension. This is big big spoilers so I can’t go into it though I’m sure people have already figured it out, but while the reveal is cool, the way it’s gone about is really lame. Again, I’m sure part of it has to do with the fact that the second movie feels out of place because I feel like the reveal happens so fast, that it fizzles when it should ignite. I mean, it’s cool to watch everything come to a head at the end, but again there’s no tension! I don’t feel any tension! Plus the stuff with Kylo at the end, it’s just… I mean, again, I don’t know everything about SW but some stuff feels like it was either added/changed at the last minute or it was just… bleh. It’s really frustrating now that I think about it.
Overall, I enjoyed myself and I think I enjoyed this one out of the sequel trilogy the most. I don’t know why but I did lol. I continue to like Rey, Finn and Poe but I like them the most here. It seems like there was a bit more fun to be had and whenever they got to work off each other, they did it really well. The use of sound in this movie is great, between the score and how they combine the score with sound effects to add tension in later scenes. This movie has fantastic visual effects, I particularly like the shots with the moving water. There are some interesting character arcs going on in the movie, particularly for Kylo, Rey and Poe. I feel like Finn completed his arc before this movie but after TLJ lol. I’m a casual Star Wars fan, so I feel like this movie does a pretty good job at closing the Skywalker story. I mean, I sure there’s a ton left to do but I don’t think I’d be disappointed if they didn’t include anyone else related to the Skywalkers. Unless it’s Poe. I want more Poe content. He has a comic series, let’s do a spin off series lol. Now, I do think the storytelling element is pretty weak in the film, it just feels monotonous until the end and I feel shafted out of seeing a true and fleshed out friendship between Rey, Poe and Finn. I also think there isn’t much tension when there should be. There’s some big important stuff that is revealed and I think if it was handled better and not just thrown away, it would have landed harder in this film. I think that’s the issue you face when you have a trilogy done by two different directors. Everyone doesn’t have the same vision. Anyways, I don’t think The Rise of Skywalker is horrible, I quite liked it. It’s a good adventure to spend your time watching.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars. 
Have you seen Star Wars: The Rise of the Skywalker? If so, what are your thoughts? If you have a dissertation to write, please, feel free. I’d love to hear thoughts, especially from viewers who are more than casual Star Wars fans. Let me know in the comments.
Thanks for reading and be sure to like and follow this blog for more Movie Reviews and other content.
Thank you so much to everyone who has been following Speak Now Storyteller, and those who have joined recently. I would love to connect with all of you more, so please if you have comments, leave them. I’d like to chat with you if you have feedback on the creative writing pieces, or opinions on the reviews.

happyholidays-1-1000x395-1

TV Review: Reprisal (2019)

post_production_hulu_reprisal_sign

Please be sure to read the piece at the end of the review. It’s really quick I promise.
Summary: This revenge tale follows a relentless femme fatale who — after being left for dead — leads a vengeful campaign against a bombastic gang of gearheads.
Pros:
Cast and Characters.
  • Abigail Spencer as Katherine Harlow / Doris Quinn. So, she’s amazing. She looks so familiar to me, but I think she just has one of those faces. But Doris lives in Detroit and is a housewife, but once things pop off with deaths in her new married life, she and Molly go on the run. She basically spends a little while in the first few episodes trying to get some people to join her team to help in her mission. It takes some convincing but she’s able to convince two guys to go with her. She comes off so unassuming and people always underestimate her because of that. She keeps trying to figure out how to make her goals come to reality because she knows what happened to her, she’s angry, she’s hurt and hell hath no fury like a woman scorned ya know? And hell has cometh lol. It’s so hard to really talk about her without spoiling stuff because her story continues to unfold, the magnitude of her revenge is also large, and I think it’s cool to watch it happen. But Abigail Spencer is amazing, absolutely amazing. The looks she would give to people, little eyebrow twitches to show that she’s about to do something or she’s clearly thinking something, or she’s trying to not to react to. I think she really shines in the latter half of the show but she’s amazing throughout. She is the most interesting character in the show, and I wonder where she’ll end up considering the end of the season. I love how she interacted with Molly, at first treating her like a child and then later when surprisingly Molly proves herself, she’s like “Wow, okay lol”. And how she would talk to Earl and they’d talk like equals and whenever she’d interact with Ethan because it’s clear she cares about him and wants to protect him but at the same time, she needs him for her goals so it’s a duality there. I swear, that kid gets called so many names in this show and she calls him ‘Pumpkin’, ‘Sweat Pea’, ‘Honey’ lol it’s hilarious. But I would like to see them interact more as well since their relationship was interesting. I wouldn’t have minded more flashbacks of her as Katherine Harlow either because I don’t think they quite explained everything as to why the gang tried to kill her. At least stuff that doesn’t seem like it’s the truth. So, I’m hoping we get to learn more about her, and Abigail Spencer can be amazing… but I wonder if she’ll be more Doris or more Katherine or if they’re now the same person.
  • Rodrigo Santoro as Joel Kelly. I really like Joel, he’s clearly haunted by the things he’s done in his past. This is clear in the moments when he’s talking to others, or when he’s with his daughter and he just looks haggard and haunted. He even tries to warn Matty later but he’s drunk so it’s like “are you being truthful” because ya know that saying. He’s in charge of the 707 faction of the Brawlers while Burt is off somewhere and he’s doing everything he can to keep from going to a war with the Ghouls because don’t nobody got time for that. He has a daughter who he loves, and this man will do anything for her. He tries to keep the peace but he’s also very much intimidating because when Ethan first meets him, he’s like “new kid huh and y’all did something Ya’ll wasn’t supposed to?” eh lol. But his growth is amazing in the show because you see him kind of fall back into what he was like as a young man but it’s not really by choice ya know? But Rodrigo Santoro is amazing! He looks great in the role, I love his look and he’s so good. I love listening to him speak and I think he’s so dynamic to watch that whenever we cut to him, I was excited to see what was going to be happening.
  • Mena Massoud as Ethan Hart. He’s the reason I wanted to watch this show, because I really liked him in Aladdin and I like to show my support for actors, especially young and brown actors lol. But Ethan Hart is a kid from Detroit, who worked for Doris in her restaurant. Something unfortunate happens that causes him to get into some trouble. Doris uses it as an opportunity to get her in to her brother’s gang. So, Ethan is sent to the Brawlers and he gets inducted to their “3 River Phoenix” faction where they do a lot of the money delivering and picking up taxes and what not. Ethan spends a lot of time with Matty and Johnson in the car. They have talks and they clearly have grown into a “family”. Ethan has never felt like he’s belonged anywhere and he’s starting to feel that with them. There’s also Meredith who they have some flirty interactions. Throughout the show, Ethan knows his overall reason to be there, doing Doris a favor while she’s supposed to be helping him as well. BUT things start to blur for him. In the latter half of the show, it’s him dealing with being found out, that fear of what they’d to do him, while also losing his trust for Doris. He was a naive kid, but he was not incompetent, and I liked that. He wasn’t just thrown to the dogs and sucked at it. He already had a trying life. I also think it’s funny the references to his looks. Mena is very handsome, beautiful smile lol, so he gets called “Dollface” by Meredith, “China Doll” by Avron and Joel calls him “Fragile One” a few times lol. I would love for that to continue because it made me laugh. I don’t think he gets as much to do as I would have liked, I mean I just wish there was more than him standing in the background. But if they get a season two, I expect to see a lot more of Ethan. There’s a lot potential with his character and not just romantically with Meredith. I think Mena does really well. Whenever Ethan has emotional moments, he really puts that into his eyes, they’re very expressive and I was impressed with him. Plus, he has his violent moments and I was like yasss Mena! I want more emotional and violent moments!
  • David Dastmalchian as Johnson. There’s not much to say about Johnson. He’s been around a long time and he works with Matty and Ethan. He’s quiet but he sees and understands everything. What he revealed he knew later, I knew he knew lol. I’ve seen this actor a few times and he’s always playing a character kind of like this which is fine because he does it so well.
  • Rhys Wakefield as Matty. I suppose he’s the “leader” of the 3 River Phoenixes (I don’t quite like that name still lol) but he’s a little erratic. He’s been in the Brawlers for a while and he wants to move up but hasn’t had the chance, so he’s a little upset about that. But he, Johnson and Ethan really have a good thing going on. I liked him, he seems to be a little loose cannon but he’s loyal. I’ve never seen The Purge, no interest, but I know about him being in it and every time I see him, I think about him in that peephole. While I think this actor has a weird look, he’s very likable and endearing as Matty. I expected to dislike him, but you really get to understand him and why he’s frustrated. Rhys Wakefield has a very expressive face, because the last two or three episodes he really got to do more in his role and I’m very curious to see what happens with him later.
  • Madison Davenport as Meredith Harlow. So, Meredith is Burt’s daughter and Doris’ niece. She is the main pinup girl in the Bang-a-Rang which is weird lol but whatever the time period is, I guess that’s fine lol. Being that she’s the daughter of the leader of the Brawlers, she has this “princess” role where everyone knows not to mess with her, but she does a lot of messy things, like selling drugs in the business. Almost immediately, she and Ethan have a connection but for a while, he tries to stay away but they have a few times where they talk and he’s helpful. She also wants to leave, she’s grown up in this life and wonders if that’s all there is, and she hopes it’s not. She is another soft-spoken girl who people might underestimate, which is a running thing for the women in the show. She’s quite capable though. I liked her, I’m interested to see what becomes of her in the second season and if she finds out the truth truth since Burt told her some lies lol. I recognized her from Black Mirror, and she does really well. There were a few times when she reminded me of another actress lol (this show is a show of familiar faces). But I liked her and her story and while I can’t say I’m officially on the Meredith/Ethan train, but I did like their moments and I believe she cares about him since she does some things to protect him. I just hope if they go that route that it doesn’t feel forced.
  • Craig Tate as Earl. He comes in episode two, I think, Doris meets him and Cordell after she sees them do a job. She ends up trying to appeal to them to help her, but Earl is smart and is like nahhh. But she does something to surprise them and they end up working with her. Earl is almost like her right-hand man, because he knows what to do, he knows how to handle this kind of “job” and he’s smart. He will call her out on things if it doesn’t make sense or if it’s not working out. I liked him, I’m interested to see what he’s going to do in season two considering how this season ended with him. This actor is so familiar to me, but he hasn’t really been in anything, like Abigail Spencer he might just have one of those faces but his voice is great. I liked listening to him talk. I thought he did well, he was intimidating but it was easy to tell he cared about the people in his life.
  • Wavyy Jonez as Cordell. He is Earl’s right hand man and his cousin. I liked him, he’s easier to like than Earl but that’s because he’s clearly younger and a bit more open to things lol. When Doris asks their name, he says his name quickly whereas we don’t learn Earl’s name until episodes later. He’s likable and I thought he and Molly had great rapport with each other.
  • Bethany Ann Lind as Molly Quinn. She’s great lol. At first, I was a little unsure about her character, but she really surprises you later and I thoroughly enjoyed her. She’s very soft spoken and her voice was monotone at times, so it was very funny hearing her talk about serious thing. She really surprised me in that scene in the motel, I want to know what she did. We just saw the aftermath, I want to see the scene lol. But I liked her though, the actress is likable, and I thought she had great rapport with Wavyy Jonez and Craig Tate as she ended up being with them a lot.
Very Interesting Story. We’ve seen these kinds of stories before. Someone was wronged and now they’re back for revenge. It’s nothing quite new but I found myself falling into it as the series went on. Doris Quinn, previously Katherine Harlow was left for dead after her brother Burt tried to kill her. She didn’t die obviously so now she’s back to destroy him and the other Banished Brawlers who had a hand in it. She says she’s going to help Ethan with a problem he had and by doing so, he needed to go to the Brawlers and be the mole for her. But then we also have this story with the Brawlers and Joel trying to keep the peace with the Ghouls and everyone has their own little story. I thought it all fit together well. It does start off slow, which I’ll talk about in the cons, but once it got going, I was up until 3:07 am finishing the show. Plus, there is set up for the second season, so I hope it gets another season.
Amazing Aesthetic. This show is absolutely beautiful to behold. It’s very stylized. The show is shot in Wilmington and it looked like it was super-hot considering all the sweating going on lol. I don’t remember where most of the show is set, but it starts out in Detroit and then you can tell the clear difference. It has this 50’s look to it with the girls like pinups and some of the guys looking like they came out of The Outsiders or something lol. It seems like it’s a different time period but there are cell phones (flip phones) and of course the diversity aspect, in that no one bats an eye at the people of color around lol. I really like the costumes and it’s very pleasing to look at.
Music Soundtrack. I think the show has fantastic music choices. As I’m not sure of the time period, or if that’s even that serious. But the music ranged all sorts of genres and time periods. There’s a scene where someone is being stabbed to a song from The Rocky Horror Picture Show lol. I mean, it’s stuff like that really helps elevate the show and my enjoyment. I love when films and show couple their intense/emotional/action scenes with great music. It really adds to the scene, especially when you have good acting in a well written moment. I also just checked out the soundtrack on Spotify, it only has 19 songs which I’m sure isn’t all the ones we encounter, but it’s so diverse.
The Direction Choices. When I was watching last night, I kept commenting on a lot of amazing shots. I mean, this show has some great directional choices. In one of the later episodes, they do that split screen thing, where one character is looking at something, and there’s a thick line separating what they’re doing from what the other characters, who are just sitting there all intense are doing and then it would flash through the characters that are together. You’re probably like “what??” lol but you’ll know what I mean if you check out the show. Not to mention, a lot of shots in Burt’s Bang-a-Rang are handled amazingly and later when Doris goes into this house to meet with a guy, the way she walks into the door.
Diversity of Characters. I mean it’s not like super super diverse in terms of ethnicity/race but we do have four POC leads with Massoud, Santoro, Jonez, Tate and Gilbert Owuor (Bash) and I was a little surprised because of the weird time period it’s in (there isn’t a specification on that) but it was nice to see black and brown faces heavily involved in the plot and I liked all these characters as well. Well written and well-acted. I also like how each of them are a little different. Some of them may be part of the same gang but their reasons for what they do, or how they are make sense and no one ever makes mention of them being black or brown. Whenever someone describes Earl, they always said “The guy with the scars on his neck” when they could have easily said “the black guy with scars on his neck” lol. I just liked that that wasn’t such a big deal.
Cons: 
Starts Out Slow. It starts out very slow. I think I watched two episodes then stopped and got distracted playing a video game lol. I started again and stopped a bit further in and then played a video game again but the last 5 or 4 episodes I finished in one night because it really picked up. I don’t think it’s always a bad thing that it has a slow start but it’s still good, but I can imagine it not grabbing everyone right off the bat because I was into it but then the pacing just got slow. I hope in the second season, with the episodes being so long, they handle the time better.
Confusing Timelines…sometimes. Since the time period is never said, it’s very confusing to figure out when things are happening, especially with the flashbacks that usually happen before the title card. At first, you’re not sure if it’s a flashback until you see a familiar character looking different than we’ve seen them. Plus, you’re not sure how long things have been. Like, how long has Ethan been with the Brawlers? Time doesn’t seem to be a factor, but I think it would help give a bit of grounding in when things are happening and how long it’s been.
More Character Moments/Stories. This refers to some of the side characters having interesting stories going on, but we didn’t get the chance to see more of them, or at least as much as we could have. The episodes are long and I was curious to see a bit more moments with the 3 River Phoenix guys because their dynamic was interesting, not to mention, I would have liked to see Ethan interact with Matty and Johnson more, including the other Brawlers and Meredith so his words to her in a later episode, there’s more weight behind it. Then there’s this other guy, Avron I think, and no one seems to like him, I would have liked to see that more. He was antagonistic to Ethan and Matty, I would have liked to see that relationship more. Then Bash and Percy, I would have liked more of that too since what happens with Percy plays a big part between Bash and Doris and I was like “meh okay” lol. I just think there was time to really play up some more of these characters and their interactions more for a bit more meat.
Overall, I liked this show a lot more than I thought I would. I didn’t know what to expect but I quite enjoyed myself. I think all the characters we meet are very interesting and well written and the acting is good as well. I didn’t find anyone to be bad or annoying or anything. The story is interesting, and I was invested, especially as it continued to unfold. I liked the aesthetic and that we didn’t really know when it was set. I loved the music and how it was incorporated and the fact that it was a diverse show. I do think it suffered in the beginning by having a very slow build up which I can imagine might turn some people off. The timeline can get confusing with the flashbacks or not knowing how much times has passed between moments. Lastly, I wish we had chances to sit with other characters more, just so comments and reasons could have more weight, I think that would have been beneficial. I really liked Reprisal and the fact that Hulu dropped all 10 episodes at once was very smart because I think it would suffer more if it was a week by week release. Check out the show.
Rating: 4.5 out 5 stars. 
So, I have to just say this. Mena Massoud recently said in an interview that he’s had a hard time getting auditions after Aladdin (2019). Of course, when the trailer for Reprisal came about, people were like, “But you just complained about not getting auditions” and I need people to realize that Aladdin started filming in 2017 and wrapped in 2018 and then he was cast in Reprisal in 2018. Aladdin premiered in 2019. See? That’s how it usually goes. Movies can take some months, or depending on the film, it can take a year. Soooo ever since Aladdin came out in May 2019, he hasn’t had anything other than Reprisal, which he was already cast in. That has to suck. Just because they’re actors doesn’t mean they can’t be disappointed that they’re not getting the chance to audition. He’s not complaining, in the interview, he was very humble just disappointed. He just wants a chance. I get that. Everyone wants a chance. There’s nothing wrong with that. I like him a lot and I want him to be in more content so I can support it.
THEN the kicker, Disney announces they’re going to do a spin-off film on Disney+ with Prince Anders from Aladdin played by Billy Magnussen. Sure, he was funny in his 10 minutes in the film and I like the actor but REALLY Disney? Ya’ll own my soul and I’m okay with that but REALLY. The one actor who wasn’t a POC in that film and y’all give HIM the spin-off film but there’s no real talk about a sequel for the actual movie, when it LENDS itself so well to a sequel?? I just cannot. They also announced this around the same time Mena’s interview came out. Poor taste.
With that said, I want Mena Massoud and Rami Malek to play brothers. I want four different movies with them playing brothers in different genres: A road trip comedy (I’m not chained to the “road trip”), a dramatic film, a romantic comedy (Naomi Scott can play Mena’s strong and independent love interest again since they had great chemistry in Aladdin) and some kind of action film lol. I’ll also ask for Riz Ahmed to play Rami Malek’s best friend in the films lol.
Thanks for reading! Be sure to like, comment and follow this blog for more television reviews and other content! Thank you to everyone who reads and is following Speak Now Storyteller. Please leave comments and feedback! I’d love to chat with you guys. 

Movie Review: Queen & Slim (2019)

queen-and-slim-e1566926026236

Summary: A couple’s first date takes an unexpected turn when a police officer pulls them over.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. So, we never actually learn the two leads names until the end of the film. They’re never actually called “Queen” and “Slim” either. So, head’s up lol. There are other characters and actors in this film but I’m just going to highlight the two leads because we spend the movie with them.
  • Daniel Kaluuya as “Slim”. He’s a cool guy, he took her on a date to this little diner he loves. He clearly loves his family and he’s laid back compared to her. He also seems to have a different outlook on things compared other guys we might see on television. Throughout the film, we get to see him grow in taking control of a situation and not just nodding his head in agreement. He was always strong but we really see him grow into his strength by the end. I really like Daniel Kaluuya, he’s such a likable guy, he’s so handsome and charming that he charmed me in this movie. I like his emotional moments because he’s just so damn good at it.
  • Jodie Turner-Smith as “Queen”. I think this is her first major film and I wasn’t sure for a while if I liked her acting but she grew on me as the movie went on. At first, she’s really cold, she’s a lawyer and experienced a hard court case so she just wanted company and reached out to Slim on Tinder lol. She’s very straight forward, says what she thinks, no holds barred. But it’s because of this that gets them into a little trouble. There’s nothing wrong with that kind of personality but I feel like she could have read the situation better lol. But for her first major role, I thought she did well. I liked her chemistry with Daniel Kaluuya and I would be interested in seeing her act in future films. She’s also beautiful, her skin… flawless lol.
Black Love Story. Take it as you will when you watch the film but over the course of this movie, these two characters grow closer and a love does form between them. I can’t get into it too much otherwise it’s spoiler territory, but Kaluuya and Turner-Smith had great chemistry, even when they weren’t getting along earlier in the film. What happened between them felt like a natural progression. Sure, it was like a few days or a week, but I think it’s possible to build a relationship with someone you’ve experienced danger and trauma with. While the situation is dark and dire, I liked their quiet moments. Like her hanging out of the window, or the scene with the horses. They had great conversations, deep ones and they expressed real feelings to each other that they called back to at the end. I just… man it was beautiful. I thought it was really well depicted. They didn’t try to fix each other. I’ll leave the rest of it up to your interpretation.
Emotional. Due to the nature of the film, I think this film is very emotional in different ways. I can imagine you going through different feels while watching. When you first meet these people, you’ll probably like Slim and dislike Queen and you’ll probably dislike her for a majority of the movie. Then you’ll feel worry when they get pulled over by a cop. You’ll feel anger, you might understand where different people with different views on the situation is coming from. You’ll experience so many emotions that it’s not even funny, unless you’re made from stone. Also, the ending had me in tears.
Interesting Story/Unique Script. The script is very well written, I was so interested to see where they would end up. If they would win in the end or if they would lose. I like how real they both felt and how they didn’t start off the best but had to learn to trust each other and grow to feel what they feel towards each other. Not to mention, just how relevant their interaction with the police officer was. Sure, say what you want about them becoming fugitives but I understand that they felt it was the only way. Not to mention, they encountered people who agreed with them and those who felt what they did was wrong. I liked that you got both perspectives.
The Ending. I have a lot of feelings about this. I like it and I hate it lol. I knew it was going to happen but I feel like it was overly dramatic and I can’t go into it without spoiling it so. Just know I liked it but I hate it.
Cons:
Queen’s Character… sometimes. I think her character is very unlikable in a lot of ways. I found myself disliking her but as the movie went on, I grew to like her. I think the way she starts out, being kind of dismissive of Slim and then how she just does or says things that’s like “girl, shut up”. I get it, you’re trying to speak up for his rights and what not but it ends up feeling like it’s her fault. I didn’t like that it comes off that way.  I just felt a little weird about it.
Protest Sequence. After Queen and Slim meet this father and his son at the repair shop, they talk to the son who felt moved by the video of their interaction with the cop. He tells them about a protest their small town was going to have. So, we get to see this protest and sure, protest away, but I felt like that scene coupled with the other scene that’s shown with that scene was weird. Without spoiling, I don’t like when movies couple scenes like the one in the car with active scenes… if that makes sense. The first season of HTGAWM did that and I hated it. Plus, the way the protest scene ended I felt was just… too much. It was shock value and I get the reasoning but I feel like if that protest scene was cut, nothing would have changed.
The Ending. I have a lot of feelings about this. I like it and I hate it lol. That’s all I can say without spoiling it.
Overall, I really liked Queen & Slim. I think it was a fantastic film, with well written characters, particularly in our two leads and the acting was great. You really get to sit with two characters, you understand them more and more as the movie continues. The script is really interesting and pretty unique for it be with black leads. I love the chemistry between Daniel and Jodie. You might find yourself rooting for them. and I think you’ll experience a ton of emotions throughout the film. On the other hand, I found it hard to like Queen consistently and there’s nothing wrong with disliking a character but it just felt like something we’ve seen so many times. I also did not like the protest sequence, I get why it was there but if you remove it, it’s not a big deal. I also have a love/hate relationship with the ending. BUT this movie is beautifully shot and it feels like it could be real life, and it some ways it is real life.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars. 
Have you seen Queen & Slim? What are your thoughts? If you’d like to talk about the ending and my thoughts on the protest scene please feel free to comment! Please do!
Thanks for reading and be sure to like and follow this blog for more Movie Reviews and content!