Movie Review: Knives Out (2019)

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Summary: A detective investigates the death of a patriarch of an eccentric, combative family.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. There are a lot of people in this movie. I’m not going to go into all of them as I would some but I’m still going to include them all because what’s in this picture is really what we see.
  • Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc. He has great eyes lol, but he is a private detective called upon to investigate Harlan’s murder. He mysteriously received money and a tip that Harlan’s murder was not a suicide so now he’s upended this family, but he’s determined to figure it out. His southern drawl killed me the entire film it’s so funny and I think he had fun doing this role. He always looks so disinterested when I see him, but I think he had fun here. He’s smart but there are times where you think he’s going to be outsmarted by whoever did the murder, but we then learn that he’s been on top of it the entire time even if he didn’t know all the details lol.
  • Chris Evans as Hugh Ransom Drysdale. He is Harlan’s grandson, Linda and Richard’s son, and a spoiled playboy. I love how people were shocked in the trailer to see him play this kind of role “it’s against type” and I know people are used to him playing Captain America but if anything, Cap is against type. He’s played this kind of role far more than the “straight man”. Anyway, he’s a jerk lol and we meet him officially about 20-30 minutes into the movie. He ends up partnering up with Marta to do some digging. We learn that he’s really smart, like really and I would have loved to know more about his character. I love Chris Evans, I always have (Cap has made me love him more though and he made me love Cap). But he’s so good in this movie and he gets to do a couple of different things and he is clearly having fun in this role as well. It was so weird to see his hair so dark though. I was like “wow, he looks so different” when his hair is not even as blond as it is when he’s Steve lol.
  • Ana de Armas as Marta Cabrera. She is Harlan’s nurse and caretaker who had a close relationship with him. I kept thinking she was Linda Cardellini because she looks a lot like her. Anyway, I would argue she’s the lead of the film. She knows this family well and most of them know her, even though they are very ignorant as it’s a running joke that no one except for Meg, really knows where she’s from. She’s a good person and it sucks what she must go through in the film. But Ana de Armas is very likable, you’re on her side really in the movie and it’s fun to watch her interact with Daniel Craig, especially with her quirk of literally not being able to get away with lying.
  • Jamie Lee Curtis as Linda Drysdale. She LOOKS so good! As soon as she came on screen, I was like ugh beautiful! She’s Harlan’s eldest daughter, Ransom’s mom and Richard’s wife. She is a real estate mogul who runs her own company with her husband’s support. Being the oldest, she has a lot to say about the others and what’s best for the family. JLC is great, I thoroughly enjoyed her character and I thought her, and Don Johnson worked really well together. She also had great style.
  • Michael Shannon as Walter “Walt” Thrombey. He is Harlan’s youngest son, Donna’s husband, and the CEO of his father’s publishing company. He has a lot of motive in the film and he comes off weird and creepy at times too but that’s also just Michael Shannon because I find him scary in general lol. But he’s a great actor.
  • Don Johnson as Richard Drysdale. Harlan’s son-in-law and Linda’s husband, who helps run his wife’s company. He is a nut. Don Johnson is still handsome lol and he was hilarious.
  • Lakeith Stanfield as Detective Lieutenant Elliot. He is a local detective involved in the investigation. I LOVE HIM. He’s such a good actor. His role isn’t big or anything, but he works with Daniel Craig on solving the mystery. It’s clear he thinks the family is crazy lol, but he just wants to move on and close this case.
  • Toni Collette as Joni Thrombey. She is widow of Harlan’s deceased son Neil, and Meg’s mother who is a lifestyle guru and influencer. She’s funny with the voice she was putting on, not to mention, her entire character was like… Paris Hilton in how she talked lol. I loved her style though.
  • Katherine Langford as Megan “Meg” Thrombey. She is Harlan’s granddaughter, Joni and Neil’s daughter, who studies at prestigious liberal arts college. She’s cool, very outspoken and has a friendship with Marta. I like Katherine Langford, even if her characters are unlikable, she’s likable to me.
  • Jaeden Martell as Jacob Thrombey. He’s Harlan’s grandson, Walt and Donna’s son, who holds alt-right views and is always on his phone. He doesn’t get many lines, he’s always in the background looking at his phone, which is a running joke, not to mention his views. I swear they call him “little Hitler” or something along those lines and I laughed each time lol. I like this kid though, everything I’ve seen him in, I’ve thought he’s good at his job. I hope to see more of him.
  • Christopher Plummer as Harlan Thrombey. He is a wealthy mystery novelist who invites his family to his 85th birthday party and is found dead. He has three children — Linda, Walt, deceased Neil, and three grandchildren. He is a legend to me, Sound of Music will always be the movie I know him for, even if he hates it lol. But we only see him in flashbacks, and I love how he interacts with his family and Marta. He cares about them all, but he has his reasons for the things he does. Christopher Plummer is always good.
Intriguing Mystery. I love mysteries, I love puzzles, this is the kind of stuff that I thoroughly enjoy because you can make your own theories, think you know who did it and then the movie could shock you with its twists and turns. Harlan Thrombey’s death was ruled a suicide but it’s revealed that it might not be and now everyone is on edge trying to figure out what it could be. Everyone has their secrets, as usual, everyone has motive, so you’re not sure who to trust and I think this mystery is so straight forward but so smart that as it unfolds and then revealed later, you’re like WHAT even if you figured out who did it lol.
Great/Entertaining Writing. The writing is super smart and entertaining. The dialogue is great and the way the story unfolds doesn’t feel childish or convoluted in how it’s presented. There are flashbacks as characters think of moments that’s happened previously and what not, but it’s not annoying or out of place. It makes sense. The characters all have great chemistry with each other, their lines are smart and quippy. I liked it. I think it’s very well written and as it unfolds, it makes sense. I was never once confused. This is what Murder on the Orient Express (2017) tried to be.
Cinematography. This movie looks really stylized. It’s set in current times, but it has this 70’s look to it with the clothing choices and the glossy look of the film. I think it’s beautiful.
Cons:
Feels Too Long. I do remember feeling like the movie felt really long when we were watching it. It’s like two hours but at some point, it felt like they were dragging it out and I wanted them to go ahead and tell me I was right without dragging it out more.
Overall, I really liked this movie a lot. It’s one of the best of the year and it’s going on my list. I liked the characters; the cast was great and clearly had a ton of fun playing these roles. The story is written really well written, with smart and funny dialogue. The film also has a great look to it. My only problem, that I could think of was that it feels too long, it’s probably not too long but it felt like it. But in the end, Knives Out is a fun and smart murder mystery that allows the viewer to be interested in the characters while also working with the detective to figure out just who murdered Harlan Thrombey. Worth the watch.
Rating: 4.89 out of 5 stars. 
Have you seen Knives Out? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below!
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Movie Review: Luce (2019)

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Summary: A married couple is forced to reckon with their idealized image of their son, adopted from war-torn Eritrea, after an alarming discovery by a devoted high school teacher threatens his status as an all-star student.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. We have a few people we get to meet throughout the film, some who are around more than others but I’m only going to talk about those who this movie is really focused on.
  • Kelvin Harrison Jr. as Luce Edgar. He is our lead character, he was adopted by Watts and Roth after being rescued from a foreign country. He is the shining star of his high school, he plays sports, he gives the speeches, the other students look up to him… all around perfect kid. However, we see around this perfect persona as suspicious things happen that he seems to be involved with, but it seems like he’s not. Luce’s character has a lot of things he goes through and you’re never sure if what he’s saying or doing is true. It’s up for your interpretation. But this is the second time I’ve seen this young actor and I’m really intrigued by him, I thought he was fantastic, and I’m very much interested in his future.
  • Octavia Spencer as Harriet Wilson. I think she is always good no matter what she does, but she is the History teacher and it seems that she puts students into a box that suits her narrative. But she also seems to be someone who has her students interests at heart. She is very ambiguous just like Luce is, so it really depends on how you feel and what you think. I found myself on her side a lot of the movie but at the same time you doubt her too. But Octavia Spencer is amazing and when she has the scene with Luce, his parents and the principal she does so well! OMG! It’s so amazing. Not to mention the scene with Luce in her house. She’s fantastic.
  • Naomi Watts as Amy Edgar. I mean, she’s Luce’s mother so she’s automatically on Luce’s side even though there are plenty of times where she doubts him, but she goes through this movie going back and forth between being loyal to her child and being a good person lol. She really goes back and forth, and you can’t help but wonder just what you would do in her place. Naomi Watts is very sympathetic though and I understand her struggle but of course being on the outside, I was very frustrated with her lol.
  • Tim Roth as Peter Edgar. So, he’s not as prominent as Watts’ character but he’s just as important. Being that he’s the father, there is a slightly difference approach he has to Luce compared to Amy. He’s a bit more straight forward and less worried to make Luce feel any kind of way. He even flats out just as Luce questions whenever there’s a question he has. I held out for him to be the voice of reason throughout the movie but it’s up to the viewer to decide where he might stand in his last scene. Tim Roth is great, but I can’t say I’m aware of his acting talent from other movies outside of The Incredible Hulk lol, but I liked him a lot and I was expecting him to be the opposite of the mother by being less “sympathetic” to Luce’s nonsense.
Intense Scenes. Ya’ll this movie is intense, the tension in the room between the characters and the dialogue creates such intense moments that I rewound a few scenes just to hear the dialogue again or to see the acting again. There are two that really stood out to me. The scene in the school with Luce, his parents, the principal and Ms. Wilson where she’s basically trying to get everyone to understand what Luce has said and done to her, while he’s feigning innocence is such a great scene. Everyone did such a great job and according to the director commentary that was the first scene they filmed. Excellent. Later, there is a scene with Luce and Ms. Wilson in her house and that was THE BEST SCENE in the movie. I rewound that part because I just could not lol. It was so good. There is also a scene with Ms. Wilson and her sister Rose in the school, my eyes were wide the entire time. There are a few more of these in the film, very hard hitting with great dialogue and fantastic acting.
Ambiguous Narrative. Sometimes it’s super annoying when movies aren’t clear in anything that’s going on, but I think this movie does it so well that I was so into it. You’re not sure what to really believe and I think even if you do decide whose side you want to be on, if you watch it again, you might find yourself thinking about the other person’s ideals even more. I didn’t watch it twice, but I went back and forth a lot. So, while I agree with Ms. Wilson for the most part, I also found myself understanding the hill Luce was climbing about her.
Interesting Story. So, this feeds right into the one above it, but the story is straight forward. It’s basically Luce vs. Ms. Wilson but there are things that happen that are questionable on both characters’ parts. Is Luce hiding terrible information and tormenting this teacher? Is this teacher trying to use her power to tear some students down while lifting others up? Even though she says something about that, it doesn’t seem like her intention is to ruin anyone’s life… I don’t know it’s just so interesting and I think left to the interpretation of the viewer, at least to understand what her actual intentions are. Plus, you have Amy and Peter as Luce’s parents who want the best for him, they think he’s perfect and they go back and forth on believing their son and by the end, their choices are understandable but a little shocking.
Cons:
Frustrating/ Ending. For the movie to build up how it did, with all the details we were given and then for it to just end. I get the point as it mirrors the opening but it’s different this time, the meaning behind it is different, that point in his life is different and the emotion is different, but you now must take the point and what might have happened for yourself. It’s a little annoying because I was going back and forth throughout the film and things are confirmed for Ms. Wilson, but Luce’s parents are just… ugh I don’t know. I’m not even sure if that makes sense lol.
Ambiguous Narrative. Now, I’m praising this aspect, but I can also imagine it being super frustrating for others because you’re not quite clear on who to believe or what’s really going on. It’s all very stylized and it may feel like the narrative is lost in the music and the shots and what not, which at times I did feel that, being that it’s based on a play, that might be part of the problem so I can imagine it being a tad frustrating.
Overall, I think this movie damn near perfect for me. I mean, the acting is phenomenal from everyone, the characters are well written with smart and interesting dialogue. They have great moments where you wonder their intentions or if they’re being honest and truthful. The movie tackles some hard-hitting topics and I think it handles those topics in a way that feels so real and raw and I understand the characters points of views from that. I didn’t give this its own point but the music in this film is good. The director talked about it on the commentary and how they incorporated it into the film. There are a lot of intense scenes where the actors really kick that dialogue in the teeth and delivers great stuff! Just wow! The narrative is ambiguous and usually that bothers me, but it didn’t here, but I can imagine it bothering someone else, not to mention the ending is frustrating. But wonderful movie, worth all the watches.
Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars. 
Have you seen Luce? If so, what did you think about it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Movie Review: Gemini Man (2019)

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Summary: An over-the-hill hitman faces off against a younger clone of himself.
Minor spoilers ahead…
Pros:
The cast. Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Benedict Wong are all good for the most part. There are times where it seems like no one cares what’s going on or about the story, but I think because they’re all interesting and good actors, the lame acting is overlooked. Will Smith is always fun to watch, he’s funny when he needs to be, and since he plays two characters, he gets to be a little brash, impulsive as Junior and he gets some emotional moments. As Henry, he’s “over the hill” but still very competent at his job, he’s pretty cool, as Will Smith’s characters generally are, and he gets some humor in there too. I’ve always liked Mary Elizabeth Winstead, she’s fine in her role, I think she might have been a little miscast but she’s fine. Benedict Wong serves his role well, he’s the “wingman” type and he’s funny when we need him to be.
Pretty Good Action. This pertains to the quick fight scene in the boathouse with Mary Elizabeth Winstead and some thug. It was brutal, she got her butt kicked but she also kicked butt too. I wish the action in the rest of the movie was more like that. The action sequence at the end was pretty good too, with Will and Mary having to face down a ton of shooters. They both were badass in that sequence. Not to mention, the fight between Will, young Will and the ninja lol. Those two moments were the only times I felt any stakes.
So Much Potential. This movie has so much potential it physically hurts me. I wasn’t holding out for a good movie when I saw the trailer, but I thought it could be interesting. I investigated it, and this movie has a long history of trying to be made. It was supposed to come out in 1997 with an original script back then with a ton of well-known actors attached to the role: Harrison Ford, Robert de Niro, Al Pacino, Michael Douglas, Chris O’Donnell, Mel Gibson, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner, Pierce Brosnan, Bruce Willis, John Travolta, Jon Voight, Denzel Washington, Johnny Depp, Nicolas Cage, Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves, Tom Cruise, Clint Eastwood, Gerard Butler, Nick Nolte, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jason Statham, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Sean Connery. I wonder what exactly happened and if all these actors were attached or in talks or something. But the idea of this man being the best at his job to the point where he’s unknowingly cloned so his skills never die is cool, but I think if this movie would have explored the interactions with Henry and Junior more, or if they went a different route with the story.
Cons:
Really Bad CGI. Every time after young Will’s first appearance was too much. It was very uncanny valley and it wasn’t good. It’s clear it was motion capture CGI and it wasn’t good CGI. I could not suspend my belief that Will Smith had a 23-year-old clone because it was so bad. Particularly when he talked. It was the mouth area a lot of the time and even with his eyes, it was very robotic. I would have believed it more if it was a cyborg copy instead of an organic clone. There is a scene at the end, when Will Smith, MEW and young Will is walking together and it’s clear, there are two real people and then a photoshopped CGI young Will Smith. It was bad. Really bad. The entire movie, whenever young Will came on screen, I could not take it. When he yelled at Clive Owen, his mouth… you have to see it to believe it. They should have just cast Jaden Smith as Junior or something and have it be like his “son” or something lol.
Also, the chase scene at the beginning with the motorcycles also had bad CGI. There is a shot where Will Smith is riding the motorcycle, and the camera is directly in front of him and its clearly green screen lol. I also don’t know if it was just me or not, but some characters also looked like they put some CGI on them or did some photoshop in trying to smooth out their faces. Mary Elizabeth Winstead looked a little weird sometimes and Clive Owen, though it might just be him not aging well, but he looked like playdough lol.
Lackluster action. In our first chase scene with old Will and young Will, the only thing I could think while watching was that they needed to take lessons from Tom Cruise because the choreography for the fighting wasn’t that great. First, there were times where I thought Will Smith looked funny with that big gun he carried during that scene. I think I laughed a few times. I know he can pull it off because he’s done it in other movies. Then when he was on that motorcycle, whenever it was a frontal shot of him riding, it was clearly CGI. It was just bad. Then later, old and young Will are fighting in a crypt and MEW is watching them, and it was an okay fight. It was hard to see at times, but she had plenty of chances to shoot young Will in the shoulder or in a spot that wouldn’t kill him. I don’t care if old Will is saying don’t shoot him, he’s kicking your butt. I’m shooting him. She waited till the last minute. Lame.
Weak Story/Cheesy Dialogue/Feels Dated. The writing wasn’t good. I think three people worked on the screenplay and I think it shows. I want to know what the original script was like back in 1997 because the story is weak, the dialogue is cheesy, and the movie feels old. It feels like it was made during that time of outrageous 90s action movies and it didn’t age well. There’s a part where Henry is telling Dani about stuff Clay did to him while he was being trained and even Will Smith couldn’t make me believe in that dialogue. Not to mention, the weird banter Henry and Dani had throughout the movie. It was so awkward! I don’t know if they were trying to be clever or funny, I don’t know but I wanted to physically cringe.
Emotional Stakes. I think because the story was weak it prevented us from really being invested in any of these characters. We’re supposed to care and like Henry, Dani and then sympathize with Junior and while it’s not impossible for any of this, it’s just not that interesting. Clearly, Henry ends up caring for Dani, but I never thought she was in any real danger. Then later, that first moment when Henry and Junior have this intense moment in the crypt, it’s supposed to be intense and I was like meh. Plus, the dialogue was so bad! Then later Junior and Clay have this “emotional” conversation but between the bad CGI, the bad dialogue and Clive Owen looking so disinterested, I felt nothing. I think this movie could have had a lot of emotional moments, especially with Henry/Junior and Junior/Clay but it didn’t work for me.
Overall, I really didn’t like this movie. I came to terms with it as I continued writing this review. I don’t think it’s good. Sure, the acting is okay for the most part and there are some minor positives in the action and the potential but the bad outweighs the good so much that I can’t even. The CGI is overall bad, and I’ve seen plenty of actors de-aged in movies, but this was bad. ALADDIN DID A BETTER CGI WILL SMITH. The action was lackluster, the movie feels dated, the dialogue was cheesy, and the story was so weak that when it was over, I completely forgot what I just watched. All I could think about was the bad CGI Will Smith face. The emotional stakes did not land and as a side note, I thought there were a ton of weird “technical” issues like some odd transitional choices, like that scene where Dani and Will are talking, then they both look to the side, music starts to play, and we get a transition to them on an airplane. It was so weird! I’ve seen that kind of transition work before, but it did not work here! Plus, all the random shots of the actors being close to the camera while they’re talking to another person… this movie is ugly. There you go, it’s ugly lol. Gah! That’s all, I’m done lol. If you like Will Smith and you want to see all his movies, then sure, check it out but at least wait till it’s streaming or something. Oh, this movie has a higher frame rate… that’s probably why I didn’t like how it looked lol. Look it up. lol.
Rating: 1.9 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Gemini Man? If so, what are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!

Movie Review: Joker (2019)

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Summary: In Gotham City, mentally-troubled comedian Arthur Fleck is disregarded and mistreated by society. He then embarks on a downward spiral of revolution and bloody crime. This path brings him face-to-face with his alter-ego: “The Joker”.
So y’all, I have had some weird movie theater experiences and I’m starting to wonder if it’s me… lol. My friend and I saw this movie and towards the end, when Arthur is talking to someone, he starts laughing. I heard laughing but it sounded like it was coming from somewhere else, not the screen. But I ignored it, thinking it was the speakers or something. Then, I hear it again and I realize it’s coming from the guy sitting in the row before us. There was only maybe 20 of us in the theater, an entire row towards the front was taken, there this one guy, me and my friend and then two girls behind us. So, I thought maybe there was a special needs person with someone, and their friend was trying to calm them down or something because they were laughing loudly. I realized this person was by themselves. I tentatively lean back but then I saw smoke start rising from that row. I lean forward again and notice this guy has something in his hands that’s burning, not sure but it might have been a blunt or a cigarette, but I don’t know. So, I looked at my friend and said, “We need to leave,” and I hopped up and went for the door. I was already a little nervous because you never know with movies like this, but everything was fine up until this point. She has a delayed reaction but followed me and we finished the last two minutes at the stairs. The guy was by himself though. When the credits started to roll, we left lol and the two girls from behind us had got up as well when we did lol. We all started laughing and they said they heard the weird laughter and then saw us get up, so they got up to leave too lol. I DON’T KNOW MAN! But super weird. I did inform a worker about the guy, don’t know what happened after but man.
Pros:
Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur. Honestly, he is really the shining light of this movie. He is so good and so disturbing that I do understand the “Oscar buzz” around his performance. His character is sad too. So, Arthur Fleck is a mentally ill, impoverished stand-up comedian, disregarded by society with a history of abuse. He works as a clown in a business that loans out clowns, so he can feel “part of society” and of course “bring smiles to people around him” but life just doesn’t want to work out for him. I get it my dude, I do. He must deal with teenage hooligans stealing his twirling signs, getting beat up by them, his unstable mother, teasing coworkers, a super extra boss and with his uncontrollable laughter, which makes people uncomfortable but it’s also clearly a pain for him. It’s just so much he must deal with that you really feel bad for him. Life is just crapping all over him. He begins to spiral into darkness and he unintentionally started a movement and it just happens without him for a while. Joaquin Phoenix is phenomenal. He does a physical transformation and the way he moves in the movie is very deliberate and interesting and weird a lot of times. I like his dance moves lol. I think he portrays each layer of Arthur very well. The fake happiness he tried to have, the moments of sadness or the moments when it seems like he’s with other people, but he’s just imagined it. This movie is such a character study so it’s so interesting to watch him just exist. It’s uncomfortable in a lot of ways but it’s so good.
  • I think if you go into this movie thinking you’re going to see a familiar Joker you’ve seen in other comic book movies or adaptations, I think you’re going to be disappointed and you’re mistaken. Don’t get me wrong, you can see the connection with mentions of Thomas Wayne (Bruce’s father) and of course it’s in Gotham but don’t go into this movie thinking you’re getting a true or definitive backstory.
Supporting Characters. Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz and Francis Conroy play a large part in Arthur’s life in different ways. They’re very much supporting characters so I did not want to go into each of them like I would with other films, but everyone does a great job in their role. They all play parts in Arthur’s downfall but in different ways. Some less than others.
A Character Study. This movie is very much a character study for Arthur Fleck. I don’t think it’s an “origin story” or any kind of grand film. It has a very small and contained feeling to it and it very much focuses on Arthur and what he goes through, the choices he makes and how it affects him and the people around him. I think it works and is interesting that way because I can’t imagine it working any other way, with this version of Joker.
Great Musical Score. The music is so well utilized in the film. I mean wow. Especially towards the end. It worked in indications of moments where he’s imagining things in his head, or when he’s about to do something crazy, or anything along those lines, it really worked. I was pretty caught up in the score quite a few times throughout the film.
Cons:
Rushed Plot Information. So, a big problem I had with the movie was the information dump we got in the last act of the movie. Arthur learns something from letters his mother wrote Thomas Wayne, they talk, he believes her, even though she clearly is unreliable with her own mental illnesses. He makes some questionable choices that continue to push him further down a path. Then, we find out more stuff about his mother that is just given to us in some quick flashbacks, some information read from files and it’s just a whole lot of unconfirmed and horrible stuff. Not to mention, it just feels like the movie gives it to you but does nothing with it. I didn’t like that we get a section of an information dump and then that’s it. It gets glossed over and I think that’s a problem. I feel like this stuff should have been introduced earlier on and been part of his story as well.
Political Aspect. I might be in the minority here among casual movie watchers but there was a lot of this movie that I just found super boring and cliché. The entire subplot that dealt with Thomas Wayne and the train incident and everything that was grouped with that, I found to be silly. Or at least heavy handed. I mean, I get it, and being that our main character turns out to be a villain, it’s not surprising that things go in his favor when it comes to political and world views, but it was happening and because he wasn’t involved or even interested in it, any time it was brought up, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes or wonder why the movie was even spending so much time trying to showcase it. It just felt like a paper-thin reason and I just couldn’t get with it.
A Better Ending. So, there is a part of the film where Arthur has access to a camera after he just did something horrible and said some crazy things on television. He grabs the camera and he start to speak, and the camera cuts out. I thought that was a great ending. I wish it ended right there because it leaves way more mystery and leaves the insanity there but nooo we had to get more political stuff. I don’t care about any of that. I understood the point, I knew what they were trying to do, I respect all of that. I just think, the movie would have benefited from being shorter and ending right when that camera cut out. Man, it would have been beautiful. Then the stuff with the news reporters, put it in the credits so we see the world has unraveled.
Overall, it’s hard to say where I stand with this one. I think Joaquin Phoenix was fantastic and the reason to see the movie. The supporting cast is good, and their characters have a lot of interesting relationships and connections to Arthur. The musical score is great and works alongside the movie well. If anything, this movie is a character study of a man who feels forgotten by society and decides to stop trying to be part of it. Now, I do think the movie has an issue with how it presents information, especially stuff that appears to be important but it’s unreliable and that didn’t work for me. I didn’t care for the political aspect, it felt unimportant and extra stuff I didn’t need. Then, as a personal preference, I wish the ending was at a different spot. It would have been perfect. I think the movie is okay. It’s worth the watch for Phoenix’s performance alone.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars. 
Have you seen Joker yet? What are your thoughts on the film? Let me know in the comments below!
By the way, this is like the 25,000 time I have seen Bruce Wayne lose his parents.

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Movie Review: Anna (2019)

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Summary: Beneath Anna Poliatova’s striking beauty lies a secret that will unleash her indelible strength and skill to become one of the world’s most feared government assassins.
This will be a short review.
Pros:
Action Sequences. If there is anything this movie has going for it, it’s the action sequences. They are handled and choreographed well. The scene in the restaurant was great. She walked in confident like and then goes to crap and she must fight for her life against her mark’s henchmen and she only has five minutes to prove herself. I thought it was great because she kicked butt. I mean, she got her butt handed to her a few times, but she held her own and it was cool! She killed someone with a pole from the bar or something like that, it was crazy. My friend and I were like “Oooo, wow!” the entire time. She also has this big fight at the end, after she completes a major assignment, she must escape the building and pretty much encounters a ton of guards and she fights each one she meets. She has great prowess with a gun.
Entertaining/Fun. I don’t think this movie has great writing or anything but it’s fun. It reminds of Red Sparrow, but I enjoyed this movie way more because it’s just fun to watch. The story isn’t anything special but watching Anna’s montage of her missions, how she kicks butt and some of the story elements are entertaining, so it makes at least enjoyable. Keeps your attention.
Helen Mirren. She is a national treasure and is literally amazing in everything she’s in, even if the movie isn’t that great. Her character Olga is complicated. She’s part of the KGB and very much a Miranda Priestley type. She’s intimidating and observant and you wonder just how much she knows and what she’s keeping from Anna and by extension the audience. There are some character surprises from her later but if you’re paying attention, they may not be surprises at all.
Luke Evans & Cillian Murphy. We see them both a bit at the very beginning. We’re later introduced to Luke Evans when he tries to recruit Anna for the KGB. We see Cillian Murphy a few more times but he meets Anna much later. They both end up creating interesting relationships with her and maybe it’s because I like both actors, I was interested in seeing what happens with them. Particularly Luke Evans because we didn’t get to learn a ton about him, and I just wanted to follow him more. They’re both good in their roles, almost the same person just on opposite ends with kind of different personalities but ultimately the same kind of person.
Great Cinematography. Beautiful looking film. The colors are very vibrant when they’re there and you can pretty much see everything. All the fight scenes are well lit and shot so you can see what’s going on.
Cons:
Sophia Luss as Anna. I don’t quite think the character was bad, but the actress was just okay. Yes, she’s pretty, but I didn’t quite believe her as this character. She’s inconsistent. In the scenes when she’s in her apartment when she first meets Luke Evans, I quite liked her then. I don’t know if it was because she wasn’t that into her whole “spy” thing yet or what but I all the emotional stuff she had to do just didn’t do it for me. Plus, she cried too much at certain points, or she was whining too much.
The Story. Majority of the story was Anna doing things to get out of her situation. She was found and offered a solution to her bad life, but she was entering a questionable life. Then it was her always talking about being free and constantly asking people how she could do it and what she could do in order to be free. I mean, honestly, she wasn’t that interesting to me to be invested in her story and there wasn’t an interesting or strong enough story to really help elevate the action we got to see. I mean, the beginning was interesting by showing us all these undercover agents being rounded up, but we don’t hear anything about them until about halfway through the movie. I mean what?? Lol, the movie should have followed one of the agents that got rounded up, or maybe an agent that managed to not get rounded up, or they should have just followed Cillian Murphy’s character.
Overall, Anna is mindless fun. There isn’t much of a story to really catch your attention or keep it. You’ll probably come for the actors and for the action and I think both of those things are positives for the most part. There are two distinct action sequences that are fun to watch, very well shot and choreographed and Sophia Luss does a good job in selling the action… probably because she doesn’t have to do much acting if the camera isn’t focused on her face. Helen Mirren is always great, and her character is probably the most interesting in the film. Luke Evans and Cillian Murphy are also good in their smaller roles. Sophia Luss is okay, she doesn’t do it for me when it comes to acting, she was too inconsistent for me to be that invested in her character. But if you’re looking for a spy thriller that will at least be entertaining, then you can check out Anna.
Rating: 2.30 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Anna? What are your thoughts on this film? Let me know in the comments below!
What is your favorite spy movie?
Thanks for reading and be sure to like and follow this blog for more movie reviews.

Movie Review: Glass (2019)

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Summary: Security guard David Dunn uses his supernatural abilities to track Kevin Wendell Crumb, a disturbed man who has twenty-four personalities.
You can read my Split Review and my Spoiler Talk. I did watch Unbreakable finally and I don’t think I’ll review it, at least not right now.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. 
  • Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price / Mr. Glass. He is an intelligent comic book theorist with Type I osteogenesis imperfecta, who was institutionalized after David Dunn discovered his crimes. He spends a lot of this movie silent, in a state where he doesn’t seem to be able to do anything other than stare into the distance. He appears very unassuming and around the end, his intentions and plans start to come to fruition, and he proves he’s still the smartest one. SLJ is great, I like how Mr. Glass is basically a fanboy who really lost his mind. It’s something we’ve seen before but he takes it to the extreme, especially once we find out just how far he’s gone. SLJ plays intimidating and crazy well.
  • James McAvoy as Kevin Wendell Crumb / The Horde. My favorite character in this movie. He is twenty-seven years old and a former Philadelphia Zoo employee with 23 different personalities whose body chemistry changes with each personality, culminating in a 24th personality known as “The Beast”, a savage superhuman cannibal whose abilities include wall-crawling, enhanced strength, speed, durability, and agility. I love the fact that we got to see many more personalities in this compared to Split but he plays them all so well and the fluidity of how he goes into each one. Of course, we see Hedwig, Dennis, Patricia and Barry again and they’re all still great. I mean, Hedwig is a character lol. I love James McAvoy. He’s great. I LOVE HIM and I’m glad he’s had like three movies this year, two of them were not that great but he’s always great in them. The way he can just go through different alters and it’s clear that they are different people, not to mention him as The Beast, it’s just so impressive and I honestly want to see an origin story of him. Not “The Beast” as that is what Split is but of his life with the others and McAvoy can play those too since he’s supposed to be 27 and McAvoy is not lol. But I want more of him. He’s the only reason why I teared up a little at the end.
  • Bruce Willis as David Dunn / The Overseer. He is a superhuman vigilante with enhanced strength and durability, as well as the ability to see the crimes people have committed by touching them. Dunn lives a quiet life, but he still goes out to play hero with his son as his “man in the chair” and it’s clear they’ve been doing this for years. Dunn is the strong silent type and it’s because of him that he and The Horde get caught. Dunn tries to save some kidnapped girls and he and The Beast end up having a nice fight. Throughout the movie, he’s almost a nonfactor until the end and he gets to let go since he has an opponent that he doesn’t have to hold back from. I’ve always enjoyed Bruce Willis and he’s fine, the movie doesn’t focus a lot on him but when it does, he’s good.
  • Sarah Paulson as Dr. Ellie Staple. She is a psychiatrist who specializes in delusions of grandeur and it’s her mission to prove Dunn, Price and Kevin aren’t superhumans and she basically uses words to mess with them. I mean, she’s good at her job because they do start to doubt who they are and what they can do. I quite liked how she was able to really confuse Patricia who holds The Horde down lol. I mean, she’s a psychiatrist so whenever we see her, she’s talking lol. Sarah Paulson is a good actress, I haven’t seen her in a ton of things but everything I have seen with her, I think she’s dynamic and here her character isn’t this big personality and you never know what she might say to really get into their heads. I really like the ending for her character, it allows the audience to understand her more.
  • Anya Taylor-Joy as Casey Cooke. She is a 17-year-old girl with a history of abuse who was kidnapped by one of Kevin’s identities as a potential sacrifice to “The Beast” but managed to survive. After Kevin gets taken to the hospital, she comes to see him and I find her role interesting in this because she cares for Kevin, even though he was part of a traumatic experience for her. I mean, I know at the end of the day, it wasn’t Kevin, but it was still his body… I don’t know, I liked that she was able to pull Kevin to the light and all that, but I found it an interesting connection. ATJ is great, very compelling to watch.
  • Spencer Treat Clark as Joseph Dunn. David’s son who has believed in his father’s abilities since he was a child and sees him as a real-life superhero. I think it’s great they got the same actor to play his son and I loved his unshakable belief in his dad even when his dad started to doubt it himself.
Story Connections. When I saw Split, I loved it even before I learned of the connection to Unbreakable which I hadn’t seen at that point. I was aware of that movie and what it was essentially about, but I didn’t know the details so the stinger at the end was cool. I like how Mr. Glass is still proving he’s the smartest in the room and that he literally thinks of everything even when others think they bested him. Nice try lol. I like the fact that you have “The Beast” and the only person who can really handle him is Dunn because of his ability and The Horde feels threatened, it’s an interesting dynamic. Shyamalan has said he’s not interested in making more movies after this one but the shared universe he created is interesting and I would be interested in case he did.
The Ideas. I like what the movie was trying to do in terms of the questions being asked. What if everything you believe about yourself being “super” is in your head. I think that’s a great question and a good way to take a deeper look at people who superhuman.
The Climax. The movie is basically building to this moment, as it should, and while I’ll talk about it a little in my cons, I think it was overall enjoyable to watch. Mr. Glass set things in motion and now he, along with the audience gets to sit back and enjoy The Beast and Dunn’s collision. It was fun to watch, and I was really into seeing everyone get to use their powers, or fully embrace them and just clash. Plus, it’s around this time that we just get so much information and revelations and it’s really cool. James McAvoy running across that grass like an animal is literally my favorite thing.
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I was waiting for that the entire movie lol.
Cons:
Underwhelming. Boy this movie ends in such a lackluster way. I mean, I get it, the entire movie was building up to a moment and I know what it means, what it was supposed to be like, at least in my mind and I don’t think it provides the conclusion these movies deserve. It’s very underwhelming and I was actually upset. Not like upset like “dang man that’s sad” it was sad, and I did tear up a little bit but mostly because REALLY???? These characters are interesting and don’t get me wrong, it’s been 19 years since we’ve seen Dunn and Glass, but you then bring in such an interesting character in Kevin and then you do this? Meh. I was not happy with this ending. All that build up for that. It’s like waiting for a rocket to launch and then the fuse goes out right before takeoff. Lame. These characters deserved much better.
More Interactions. We needed more interactions between the main three characters. In the beginning, we have an interaction with The Beast and Dunn and then that’s really it. They never really interact again, even when all three of them are in the same room. Dunn and Glass never talk until the last 30 minutes… I mean, come on. Most people are banking on something going on with these three and Dunn spends most of the movie isolated and while Kevin is interesting because of his many alters, it would have been nice to see Patricia or even Hedwig interact with Dunn. They talked about him enough. Missed opportunities! I don’t want to see them interact with the orderlies in the hospital, I want to see them talk and interact with each other!
Nothing is Happening. This movie feels like a series of things just happening, but nothing is actually happening. There are moments where our main three are speaking with Dr. Staples and that’s where most of the things seem to happen. She’s trying to get them to think about themselves in a different way and it’s clever. Then it’s just a lot of watching people and talking. Don’t get me wrong, I particularly was interested in the moments with Kevin and his alters but it was like the moving was just very slowly moving towards something and it picked up only to be shot down so fast.
Overall, I enjoyed Glass for the most part. I thought the acting was great with James McAvoy as the standout because his role is so complicated, dynamic and interesting that he really steals the show when he’s on screen, which is great because I love him. Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis are also great to see on screen. I really like the idea of the film and what it was trying to accomplish because it’s a different look at the superhero genre and the climax was entertaining. I think this movie has a problem with keeping the momentum going because it feels like nothing is happening and when the big climax happens, you get into it but then the payoff is really underwhelming, and it feels like a very lackluster ending to an interesting trilogy. Besides, there should have been way more interactions between our main three actors, and it was such a missed opportunity to not have them be more involved with each other. That’s where the interesting stuff happens. I feel like there was a lot of things cut out that would have helped but I also watched the deleted scenes in the DVD and those deleted scenes added nothing lol. So, I’m like well dang lol. Watch this one for the familiar characters and the great performances.
Rating: 2.9 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Glass? What are your thoughts on the film? Let me know in the comments below!
Which out of the Unbreakable trilogy is your favorite? Unbreakable, Split, or Glass?
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Movie Review: Detective Pikachu (2019)

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Summary: In a world where people collect Pokémon to do battle, a boy comes across an intelligent talking Pikachu who seeks to be a detective.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. There are plenty of characters we meet in the film but I’m going to focus on only the lead characters because they’re the ones we see the most and get to know the most.
  • Ryan Reynolds as Detective Pikachu. He is a world-class detective and exceptionally smart talking Pikachu whom only Tim can understand. Reynolds performed both the voice and facial motion capture for the character. At first, when I saw the trailers for this movie, I thought it was weird they chose Reynolds, I mean don’t get me wrong, he’s funny and it’s kind of funny coming out of a cute Pikachu but at the same time, I wasn’t sure if it would take me out of the movie. To be honest, it does take me out of the movie. I watched it twice and it was better the second time around but he’s very distracting because you just think “Deadpool”, while he’s talking. With that said, I thought he did very well in his chemistry with the other actors, sure he’s not on screen with them, at least probably not doing all the movements but the facial stuff and you can tell, he’s expressive. The relationship he builds with Tim throughout the movie is also acted well on his part, you believe they’re slowly becoming friends just like you believe this little Pikachu might be a little neurotic when it comes to certain things. I think Ryan Reynolds plays this like himself, like Deadpool, and it works for the most part.
  • Justice Smith as Tim Goodman. He is a former Pokémon trainer who is looking for his missing father. He ends working with Pikachu and the only person who can hear him speak. Tim is a little jaded when it comes to working with Pokémon after some sadness in his life. He goes to the city to gather up his father’s assets, but he ends up finding this mysterious gas that causes the Aipoms outside his window to freak out, Pikachu shows up and the adventure begins. Throughout the first half of the movie, Tim isn’t interested in Pokémon, he isn’t interested in following in his father’s footsteps, he just wants to move on with his life so he’s that character that needs to be changed by the events he gets involved in. I think he’s a likable character, he’s a little awkward but brave and shows that in many ways. I think Justice Smith is very likable and I think he was a good choice for the role because he has great chemistry with Ryan Reynolds, even though it’s just his voice lol. I think he also handles being in the world of Pokémon, especially to the big city that is full of Pokémon like any newbie would.
  • Kathryn Newton as Lucy Stevens. She is a junior reporter who is accompanied by a Psyduck. She’s plucky and wants to get to the bottom of the mystery she started to unravel herself before Tim shows up. They end up teaming up because he’s the only one who can save his dad and she’s smart and figured most of it out on her own. I mostly know her from Supernatural and she manages to find this fine line of being annoying and kind of endearing at the same time. It works for her. I liked Lucy, she’s very go-get-em and I loved how she would handle her Psyduck as they are easily stressed and can cause problems.
Pokémon/World Design. This movie is so nice to look at it for the most part. The designs of the Pokémon are done so well with how they’re integrated into the real world, there are plenty of times where I’m like “OMG they’re so cute!” like Pikachu clearly got the most budget because he is the cutest thing and I want one lol. Bulbasaur, Psyduck and the Greninjas are also designed nicely. We see these Pokémon the most so I would think they would get a bit more love than the Pokémon that are in the background. They still have that CGI look to them, but you can allow it because they are so “other” that it’s not too jarring when you see them, or when you see new Pokémon up close or anything like that. Not to mention, Rhyme City is clearly based on London, and they’ve elevated it into a futuristic city.
It’s Funny. Of course, humor is subjective, but I laughed quite a bit during this film. I don’t think it’s splitting your sides funny, but it has a lot of well-handled and well-written humor. I think my favorite scene is probably the one with Mr. Mime because I find Mime humor stupid and hilarious and I cracked up. Ryan Reynolds of course has some great lines and with his delivery in that face it works. Justice Smith and Kathryn Newton also have great funny moments, she really reminds me of like those intense reporters, a Lois Lane type and she just will go off doing her own thing and Tim is just like “Wait… what are you doing?” Then of course interactions with other Pokémon as well. It’s funny lol.
Fun Mystery/Interesting Story. I do think the mystery in the film is handled well. I did find myself figuring things out earlier than the reveals, but also being kind of surprised at certain events. I think the writing is handled well enough that you’re if you’re into the story and you like to discover mysteries, this movie might just keep you on your toes. When I watched it the second time, I was able to pick up on more things I might have missed the first, or things that helped me to connect the dots more since I already knew the ending, so it definitely has rewatch value and the story keeps you entertained and engaged. I mean, there are like three different mysteries going on here. I’ll get into this a bit more later.
Cons:
Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu. This is a personal thing and I don’t think he was bad, quite the contrary, but I could not stand his voice in the character to be honest. Like I said, when I saw the trailers, I was like “ehhh I don’t know” and thought it was weird they chose Reynolds. I probably would have thought it was weird if they chose anyone with a crazy deep voice and I know that’s the point, but I think the difference in having Danny DeVito vs. Reynolds is that DeVito’s voice might have been funnier coming out of the character and most of the younger crowd might not know who he is, and it might not be as distracting. I can’t say I’d want DeVito either but just comparing. Reynolds’ voice takes me out of the movie on several occasions. I watched it twice and it was better the second time around but he’s very distracting because you just think “Deadpool”, while he’s talking. He clearly has fun but whenever he’s being emotional, I just don’t believe him lol. It always sounds like he’s joking. During an emotional scene, I kind of laughed…
Villain Motives/Plans. So, without spoiling anything, though I am a few months late, lol I though the villain’s motives were lame and while I get how he set up his plan, I thought it was stupid because how would you keep anyone from taking that little piece off your head? It’s not like you have top security… not to mention, his big plan with the humans and Pokémon, while it’s interesting, how would that work in the long run? So many questions and too many holes.
Too Many Plotlines. While I thought the story was interesting and the mystery was fun to figure out, I also just like to solve things, I do think the movie has an issue trying to juggle everything. I mean, there is so much going on. It’s hard to want to cut out any of the storylines because they weaved them together. I mean, Mewtwo is in this and does he have to be? I mean really? The power they rely on that he has, he doesn’t even really have. The reason I thought Tim could hear Pikachu was different than what happened, and I think this goes in with the villain’s main plot. I hope I’m not confusing you lol, I’m trying not to spoil but… I just think there could have been some things cut out from the story.
Overall, I quite enjoyed this movie, more than I thought I would. I think the character designs for the Pokémon is handled so well that whenever Pikachu was on screen, I found myself looking at how his fur moved and other things. I like the characters, particularly the ones we get to spend the most time with and I think the acting is good too. It’s a fun movie with some nice humorous moments thrown in there and I think the movie does a good job at focusing on the relationship between Tim and Pikachu because it’s the most important and most interesting. I do still think it’s hard to not be distracted by Ryan Reynold’s voice, but he’s not terrible at least. The villain motive is stupid and dumb and I’m thinking it could have been taking out of the movie, which would have helped the movie have a more focused storyline without so much going on at once. Oh! Missed opportunity for not having the theme song in the closing credits. MISSED OPPORTUNITY.
Rating: 3.6 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Detective Pikachu? What are your thoughts on the film? What is your favorite Pokemon? Let me know in the comments below!