High School Musical – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2006 film High School Musical.

Story

This movie simplifies everything about high school and condenses it into a plot that is much less stressful then the real thing. The loves story, which could have been super annoying, is played low key and the focus is really on expressing yourself through multiple likes and dislikes.

It’s simple and works well to get the message and the music through.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The characters are desperately trying to not be two dimensional in a one dimensional world. There’s growth and even the main characters that could have been bland were endearing.

They are cleverly built and work perfectly for the movie.

Score: 1

Dialogue

There’s nothing fantastic about the dialogue, but there are a few moments of tenderness between the love interests that is both sweet and genuine.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

This is one of the most lavish high schools I’ve ever seen; it’s beautiful in it’s own right. Add in the singing and dancing and it works really well. I’ve always wondered why they have a camel for this musical. The music is poppy and very mid-2000’s but it has heart and is used to push the story forward.

The character framing for the love interests is always perfect, both reflecting their feelings and in showing them vs the world.

Score: 1

Fun

Despite never wanting to be in the same situation, I love the meet-cute at the beginning and the overall feel of the romance.

I despise the teachers and the complete lack of understanding of theatre and science. I also really dislike the “character says something to shut up friends that is mean and gets them in trouble with the love interest” trope.

I’m also extremely amused that this has one of the most realistic portrayals of computer hacking. (The science girl uses a preset macro program to shut the gym down.)

Score: 0.5

Overall

This is a fun movie that reminds me of high school while not looking anything like my high school. The music and story are fun and overall it’s pretty good.

I do wish that the character of Kelsi was more used, or that she got a spinoff.

Final Score: 3.5 Stars

Scoob! – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2020 film Scoob!

Story

The movie was a fun adventure with a lot of the fun of traditional Scooby-Doo stories but completely lacks in the mystery department. There’s not question as to who the villain is after the first ten minutes.

Score: 0.5

Characters

This had a lot of the 70’s Hanna-Barbera characters. Some felt like great additions to the story like Dee-Dee Skyes as the Blue Falcon’s pilot (she was awesome), others felt a little forced like Captain-Caveman.

The main five characters were all there and shown in much better light than previous movies. They were extremely well cast and well acted. The major problem was that by splitting the group up immediately there was less character interactions between them. It also meant that Fred, Velma, and Daphne all have less screen time and almost no arc.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

Scooby-Doo usually contains puns, self-referential humour, and breaking of the 4th wall. This movie didn’t disappoint in that. It was great hearing all the little jokes and will take multiple viewings to catch them all.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The animation was colourful and flashy. It lacked the depth of the older animations or of the big 3D animation studios. I was never caught up in the beauty or in the little background details. The background details being something that I’ve always loved about Scooby-Doo.

The music was good but not memorable. It did its job but didn’t go beyond that.

Score: 0.5

Fun

There were very few dull moments and the movie was entertaining. I enjoyed what was there but missed what wasn’t. It kept my interest and my daughter’s the whole time and even my 1 year old watched it for a while.

Score: 1

Overall

This had all the elements of Scooby-Doo but lacked the mystery and the background details to make it truly authentic. It was a fun movie but lacked depth.

I hope they can make a second movie with the same cast and truly dive into a good mystery.

Alternately I’d love to see a young Mystery Inc. movie.

Final Score: 3.5 Stars

Happy Death Day – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2017 movie Happy Death Day.

Story

I’m frankly shocked and surprised that it took this long for someone to combine the slasher and the Groundhog Day concepts. It’s a beautiful mashup that works because these two sub-genres and surprisingly compatible. They both traditionally have horrible stuff happen to the main characters, they both usually involve death, and they usual end happily for at least one character.

This story works, not because of the twist, but because of how heavily it leans into the tropes.

Now that being said the first two loops are set up really slowly, however anyone who’s seen the trailer knows by the second day that the tension isn’t from the slashing but the loop.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The characters are mostly stereotypes with a few little tweaks. This is a weakness of both sub-genres. Because you live the same day over and over again, only one character develops, leaving the entire emotional outcome of the movie on the shoulders of the main character and their massive development.

Tree’s the heart of the film and without her and us feeling for her, this movie would fall flat. Thankfully it didn’t and she is awesome.

A lot of the characters are superfluous and feel like unused threads. The Vietnamese girl who sits outside the sorority house is a good example of an unused character.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The dialogue was quick, quip-y, and felt right for the characters. It’s fun but not poetry or super memorable.

You’ll laugh, but you won’t be quoting this one in twenty years.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The music is very much from a slasher but it’s unobtrusive and works really well. Visually this movie doesn’t need to be anything beyond a B horror style but doesn’t rest on expectations. The compositions, cuts, and references to other movies is fantastic. The transition where Tree gets hit by a baseball bat and falls into the next day is beautiful on it’s own, but the fact that it’s directly referencing a similar transition in Groundhog Day makes it ever so much better.

Score: 1

Fun

I love slashers and I love Groundhog Day style stories. This movie delivers exactly what I wanted from all of it and has a nice little twist. I’m very glad they changed the ending to what we see in the theatrical version.

Once it got going I didn’t even consider looking at my phone. High praise, considering it was my second viewing.

Score: 1

Overall

This is a movie that won’t be everyone’s cup of tea and it certainly isn’t high cinema but it is exciting, smart, fun, and funny. If you like slashers or Groundhog Day stories, you’ll love this movie.

Final Score: 3.5 out of 5


We reviewed the movie on Silver Stag Entertainment‘s Aurora Nominated show Nights at the Round Table.

Teen Beach Movie – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2013 Disney Channel movie Teen Beach Movie.

There are a few movies about people getting sucked into their favourite movie, book, or game. I’m not sure what this niche genre is called but I obviously love it since I wrote a book in the same genre. Go check out Everdome.

Story

The movie’s plot is simple and too the point. It’s almost completely unimportant and used as a vehicle for the music, whimsy, and references.

Score: 0

Characters

The main characters in this movie are basically Disney Channel cutouts that develop as time goes by.

Oddly enough the “real” world characters have less depths then the stereotypes in the movie world.

They are however very sweet and extremely fun to watch.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

This movie is pure and utter cheese and ham. The movie revels in some of the best cheese lines.

The dialogue is delightful.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The movie is surprisingly pretty. They really worked towards making it over saturated and beach movie like.

The music is a love letter to teen love stories and classic movie musicals.

Score: 1

Fun

Fun music, cool concept, and extremely entertaining dialogue. This movie has a very low cringe factor and a lot of fun.

Score: 1

Overall

If you’re a fan of musicals and classic beach movies you’ll love this one. I’ve seen it twice and it’s the kind of movie I’d watch without being annoyed. I will also absolutely sing along.

Final Score: 3.5