Tag Archives: movie review

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

I am super late to the party but let me just echo all the reviews I’ve seen elsewhere and say…Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was an awesome movie. 

It was interesting. It was funny. It blended humor and action in a way that didn’t feel at odds. It had cool animation. There was a great lesson at the end. It left me wanting more while simultaneously wrapping everything up enough to be satisfying.

I won’t lie, I was skeptical about the hype. But there is a reason for it. 

Totally worth watching. 

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Bride For Rent (2014)

I am on a role with finding good movies on Netflix! 

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Bride For Rent is a Filipino movie about a guy who hires a fake bride in order to inherit his trust fund early. Of course, predictable hijinks and miscommunications occur. What I liked about this movie was that it did not follow all the usual cliches. Oh sure, it followed some, but it broke from the usual tropes in interesting ways and produced a romance that actually came across quite believable. Don’t get me wrong – some terrible acting at times. But fun despite it all. 

Either I’m seeing more Filipino options because I am in Thailand or Netflix just downloaded a bunch of Filipino movies. In either case, I’m looking forward to further exploring! 


Isn’t It Romantic (2019)

As soon as I saw the trailer for the new romantic comedy Isn’t It Romantic, I knew I needed to see it.

AND IT IS NOW ON NETFLIX. 

Even better, it lived up to my high hopes. I mean, it is still Hollywood so it is still occasionally vulgar and certainly does not share my worldview on relationships. But compared to the usual fare, I found it hilarious and I appreciated the message. 

This is exactly what I hoped I Feel Pretty (2018) would be. 

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But where that movie eventually embraced the cliches and fell short, Isn’t It Romantic contains a consistent message that both subverts and adds to the romantic comedy genre. 

The movie totally embraces being both campy and corny, but if you are a sucker for a good rom com, I think you will enjoy this one. Also, Liam Hemsworth CRACKED ME UP.

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The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Short review: I’d much rather watch Barbie in the Nutcracker. 

Longer review: Disney takes one of the most classic ballet storylines, removes dancing and imagination from it, and returns with a generic tale of girl power and Newton’s Third Law of Motion. 

To be fair, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms contains beautiful costumes and lovely, lush scenery. Considering the amount of character depth she has to work with, Mackenzie Foy does a good job with Clara. Several other big names make an appearance, including Matthew Macfadyen, who either plays only one role or decided to approach “grieving Father” the same way he approached Mr. Darcy. Broody. Very broody. 

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Unfortunately, those are the highlights. The plot gave off a Narnia-wannabe vibe, but it reminded me more of Disney’s live action Alice in Wonderland. And that is not a good thing. I did appreciate that costumes stayed fairly period-specific in Nutcracker, though. No trousers. (* cough, Alice, cough *)

The storyline contains several plot holes and inconsistencies that never get resolved — or even addressed. The lack of magic and emphasis on science might fit society’s interest in encouraging girls to go into the STEM fields, but it removes any sense of wonder or imagination from the plot. Finally, the story’s treatment of females and womanhood in general goes overboard trying to correct traditional female movie roles and as a result sidelines some of the most beautiful elements of the ballet and the movie, including the lush costumes.

Overall, I would say a movie that could have reached something great but gets sidelined and loses the point of the Nutcracker. 

 

 

SPOILER

I said the movie falls “trying to correct traditional female movie roles.” That is true…until it doesn’t. The villain in the movie, besides being utterly predictable, behaves like a typical femme fatale. She wants strong men around and vindictively targets the other female guardian. This isn’t a groundbreaking female character. This is an annoying stereotype. And further, she is the only character who appears to relish the fashion and beauty around her. She’s the most traditionally feminine…and so predictably the most evil character. I found the motivation here disappointing.