The Healer – WMR

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2017 movie The Healer.

Story

The story is a nice slow pace but shifts gears from small town mystic, to wise cancer kid, to love story. What could have been an interesting exploration of God and what it means to be good is bogged down by a man-baby main character, fake lesbian, and generic sassy cancer kid.

Score: 0

Characters

The movie is set in Nova Scotia and yet there’s barely any proper Canadian accents and only background Maritime accents. The main cast is two Ontarians, three Brits (two of which are supposed to be), and an American. The majority of extras are from Nova Scotia and seem much more interesting then the main characters.

The main character was unlikable and didn’t really do all that well at a redemption arc. The love interest is unlikeable and lies throughout. If it wasn’t for the quirky extras and small town feel I might have given up.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

A cross between mystical mumbo jumbo and pseudo religious exploration is the most interesting of the dialogue not given by the extras. They make awkward dialogue into something generally entertaining.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The film makers missed a huge opportunity to showcase the beauty of the town and the landscape. Instead, they used it sparingly and awkwardly.

The music alternated between awkward and inappropriate. Having a young actress be the focus of a montage to George Michael’s Faith… is creepy, to say the least.

Score: 0

Fun

The movie was watchable, if filled with uncomfortable moments and unlikable characters. I did finish it but I’d rather not watch it again.

Score: 0.5

Overall

The movie relies on tired tropes and unlikable characters when it should have leaned more into the small town supernatural quirk and beautiful scenery. A missed opportunity all around.

Final Score: 1.5 Stars

Camp Rock and Camp Rock 2 – WMR

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2008 and 2010 Movies Camp Rock and Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam.

Story

Camp Rock 1

The story in this couldn’t be more cliché if they tried. I’ve been over the “lying to be popular” since I did it in first grade. It always blows up and it rarely ends as happily as it does in this movie.

Score: 0

Camp Rock 2

Just as cliché a the first but much less angst.

Score: 0

Characters

Camp Rock 1

The characters are so cookie cutter as to be boring. However the young actors manage to bring something watchable to their characters.

Score: 0.5

Camp Rock 2

The characters have changed, if not evolved, to suit the story. Once again the actors are much too good for the script.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

Camp Rock 1

The majority of the movie made me cringe, however the Mom and the two romantic leads manage to make the dialogue acceptable.

Score: 0.5

Camp Rock 2

I can’t tell if the dialogue got better because of the writing or because the actors grew. It wasn’t enough to make this movie memorable though.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

Camp Rock 1

There’s a camp and it’s filmed in standard Disney Channel style for the late 2000’s. It’s not as colourful as it could be and most of the shots are either frantic or boring.

The music is barely okay. It’s not bad but it shows that other then the main cast, these are not singers.

Score: 0

Camp Rock 2

This is where the sequel starts to get better. It’s better shot and has more coherent musical numbers, actually using the dancers in the cast.

The music for the main cast is catchy and likeable while the rest is still hum-drum.

Score: 0.5

Fun

Camp Rock 1

I spent the majority of the movie groaning or sighing. It’s not much fun.

Score: 0.5

Camp Rock 2

The story was predictable but in a fun way and despite a few lulls, I enjoyed this one.

Score: 1

Overall

Camp Rock 1

This movie is angsty and cliché. I really hope my daughter doesn’t want to watch it too often. The only thing that makes it anything beyond truly boring are the main actors.

Final Score: 1.5 Stars

Camp Rock 2

It’s not great but it’s fun and if I want a camp movie that has music I might consider it.

Final Score: 2.5 Stars

National Treasure – WMR

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2004 movie National Treasure.

Story

Take the feel of Indiana Jones, the brilliant yet socially awkward Sherlock, twist it with a dash of Ocean’s 11, and spray it down with American history. That’s what this movie tries to do.

The clues are interesting but impossible for the audience to guess in advance, the history is flimsy at best and the plot is only a reason to go from one set piece to another. They should have made the entire movie about the heist, that part was fun and interesting.

Score: 0

Characters

Nicolas Cage is doing a bad impression of a jerk intellectual. The girl occasionally remembers that she’s supposed to be intelligent even if she forgets to have any agency. Their romance is awkward and kinda uncomfortable to watch between the rudeness and the complete lack of consent.

The quippy sidekick is enjoyable and Sean Bean does a great job playing an intelligent villain.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The dialogue is forgettable and heavy with history lessons that aren’t believable even if they are real. It doesn’t make me want to go find out more like the Doctor Who historical episodes always do.

Score: 0

Visuals and Music

There are some beautiful scenes and the music is just memorable enough to remember. Both could have been much better but were acceptable. The framing was a little obvious and the music was a little too much on the nose for my taste.

Score: 0.5

Fun

I loved this movie when it came out. It has not aged well for me. It’s okay if you turn off your brain but there are some things in it that make my mystery/puzzle solving mind very angry. Masons specialized in stone… why did they build their treasure trove entrance in wood? Time of day for a shadow is meaningless without time of the year.

The heist was fun and there were a few moments I enjoyed but mostly I wished I was watching a better movie or one that didn’t take itself so seriously.

Score: 0.5

Overall

This movies isn’t terrible but it’s not good. I’m going to happily not watch it again unless I have to. If you want to watch something in the genre watch an Ocean’s movie, Indiana Jones, The Librarian, or maybe a Bond film.

Final Score: 1.5 Stars