See How They Run 2022 – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film See How They Run.


The story tries really hard to be clever and referential while still respecting the genre. It’s not a spoof or an homage, but some sort of clever combination. The great thing is that it works on all levels. Everything is laid out in the intro narration and I was still pleasantly surprised.

Score: 1


The main detective characters are clichés brought to life. They’d be almost boring if it wasn’t for the quality and charm of the actors. Unfortunately, that doesn’t apply to the whole cast, which is populated by a checklist of quirky film noir characters.

Score: 0.5


The dialogue is a combination of period and modern and was a little jarring at times. It was however very clever and well thought out.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The director and cinematographer must have been big fans of Hitchcock and Anderson. It mostly worked as a mashup, but lacked originality and felt a little forced.

The music was strong but unmemorable.

Score: 0.5


This movie was a mystery lover’s good time. All the adults loved it, but the kids found it slow and talky. I will re-watch this one.

Score: 1


An excellent homage/comedy to the mystery genre, Christie in particular, and a fun movie. Its odd directorial choices are held together by the impressive acting from the leads.

Final Score: 3.5 Stars out of 5

I’m old fashioned and I miss the cinema

Hello my friends, family, and fans;

I’m getting to the age where technology and habits I adopted as a kid are now considered old fashioned. I still like physical media (CDs, Blu-ray, etc), I like having a watch, and I miss going to the cinema.

The older I get, the worse my vision gets, the more I prefer to avoid fancy wrap around screens, or 3D, or that kind of thing. We went to see Taylor Swift’s concert movie (fantastic btw) and it remined me of how much I miss.

Things I miss about going to the Cinema

1. No interruptions

I have trouble sitting and doing nothing for 2 hours. It makes me feel like I should be multitasking and getting some work done. So I constantly stop myself from being able to fully enjoy the movie.

There’s also the fact that I have two kids and they tend to either be completely absorbed or making a racket during a movie.

2. Popcorn

I like cinema popcorn. Its tasty, comes in large sizes, and gives me something to do with myself so that I can relax and enjoy the movie. Even if I do go now, it’ll be a little while before I’m comfortable eating in a crowd again.

Arguably I make better popcorn, but on a regular day with the kids bed times if we have time for a movie we don’t have the 10-15 minutes it takes to make.

3. The feeling of an event

It’s an event to go to the movies. When I was a kid it involved researching in a newspaper, driving over an hour each direction, and waiting in line for a ticket. Now it’s much easier but I still get that joyful excitement and anticipation when I walk into the building.

Things I don’t miss

1. People

I never liked crowds and people are the worst. At the Taylor Swift movie there were several people in front of me that decided to check their phones every ten minutes. They also seemed to have their phones set to the highest brightness level.

2. Travelling

It’s only 15-20 minutes away but it feels like forever and I hate the anxiety of feeling like I’m going to be late for the movie. It’s a small thing, I know.

3. Closed Captions

I wish they put CC’s on all movies. There was a time where radio and cinema was highly influenced by theatre and public speaking. This meant the actors were encouraged to speak loudly and clearly. Now there are directors who prefer mumbling and who don’t care about dialogue, not to mention incorrect sound mixing.

I feel like I miss 10%-15% of the movie because I don’t have subtitles.

I look forward to returning to the cinema, but I’m still not comfortable going as often or in the same way. That being said, I hope to see The Marvels sometime soon.

Later days,


Dear Dragon and Pegasus – Sickness

Dear Dragon and Pegasus,

The past few weeks you’ve both been disturbinglydown with the sickness“. Dragon brought home a cold and it wasn’t long before Pegasus caught it; he always wants to do what his big sister is doing.

Just when we thought the cold was under control, Dragon went to school… for a couple days before calling home with a sore tummy. She vomited twice on the way home.

So we went to CHEO (which Dragon kept calling CHEREO for some reason.) Mum was with her for the first part of the ten hour wait and I was for the rest. It was exhausting and because of her non-standard symptoms, they missed that she had an ear infection. Dragon, sadly, missed Halloween because of it.

Two days later, her ear hurt and we went to the after-hours clinic. (Mum adds: MUCH faster than the hospital, but we had thought she had broken a rib or something and would need x-rays!) They figured out the ear infection and sent her home. The antibiotics seem to be helping, but it’s slow and the upset stomach, dizziness, and nausea are still there.

As previously mentioned, Pegasus insists on doing everything his older sister does and got himself an ear infection too. So off to the clinic on Sunday for him. Antibiotics are started and hopefully he’ll feel better soon.

The two of you spent a long time not getting sick because of COVID isolation and I forgot how hard it is watching you be sick. I feel completely helpless and I hate it. I’m the parent, I should have all the answers right?

I hope you feel better soon.

So far, Mum and I are still okay. Tired and ragged, but okay.

I love you my little Dragon and Pegasus,


Totally Killer – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2023 film Totally Killer.


A fascinating homage to both time travel and slasher movies. The story is well thought-out and avoids a lot of over explanation of time travel.

Score: 1


The characters are an interesting mish-mash of tropes. The 1987 group seem cartoony at first, but then remind me heavily of the way people behaved in my high school years (ten years later but still similar).

They managed to have a nice balance between the façade of the character and who they really are, using the quiet moments after the murders for character depth.

Score: 1


The dialogue is peppered with science fiction references and digs at the innocence of the eighties. The complete insensitivity of 1980s vs the much more progressive ideas of the 2020’s.

There’s also a few really funny lines.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The visuals were not as stylised as I feel they should have been, but the sets, costumes, and makeup were perfect.

I would have liked more music from the time period and the score was little bland.

Score: 0.5


The movie is a lot of fun and fits great with both time travel and slasher films. It’s not scary but I still wouldn’t watch it with the kids. It’s first and foremost a dark comedy and works great in that sense.

Score: 1


A dark comedy with time travel, generational humour, and lots of 80’s nostalgia. It’s fun, funny, and a great mash up of the two genres.

Final Score: 4.5 Stars out of 5

Health Update November 2023


It’s been a year now since I returned to work and a year and a half since I hurt my arms.

Good News

My arms are staying steady. They almost always hurt, but not enough to affect my quality of life much. I’m mostly doing my exercises and massages and it’s helping. Some days are worse than others, but overall significantly better than I was this time last year. Maybe it was muscle strain and stress.

My doctor sent me to get an MRI. The MRI showed no signs of brain cancer or Multiple Sclerosis. Which is a good thing.

Bad News

The MRI did show something on my left ocular nerve. Combined with the numbness in my face, loss of vision in my left eye, left temple migraine, and vertigo; the doctor made a referral to a neuro-opthamologist with the eye institute.

I had my first set of tests today and will have more in the coming months. They also want to do a targeted MRI for the ocular nerve.

At least they believe me and are trying to figure out what’s wrong.

That’s about all I have, I hope your health improves or stays awesome!


The Suns of War – Chapter 10 (Serial Story)

Prologue | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12

Chapter 10: A lot of Ships, a Fake, and a Decision

They all forgot to breathe as they dropped out of FTL. None of them were sure what they’d find. The Blue-Sun armada was powerful enough to destroy every planet in a solar system but the Myrddin were also powerhouses.

“Is it too much to ask that they destroy each other?” had asked Bart.

The sight when they arrived was as terrifying as it was awe-inspiring. Nessa fought down nausea and feelings of insignificance as she looked at all the ships.

The million-strong fleet of pitch black monstrosities that was Blue-Sun was faced by an equal number of round red Myrddin ships. Over both fleets was the self proclaimed Three-System Fleet, a group made of the survivors of the Martian, Tyrite, and Aresian empires interspersed by Old Earth ships. Apparently, Proserpina wasn’t the only Old Earth colony that had been hiding. 

“I don’t get it. No one is saying anything,” Em said.

“They’re deciding what to do,” Nessa responded.

The quiet was interrupted by the mechanical voice of the Myrddin ships, “Show us Arthur and we shall join your quest.”

Bart let loose a chain of swears in every possible language and a few that Nessa didn’t recognize.

Blue-Sun broadcasted a videofeed of a man. He was tall, athletic, with a chiselled jaw and chin. His wavy brown hair and piercing blue eyes. His voice was resonant and commanding as he said, “I am Arthur, bow before me or face destruction.”

“A kingly character,” Peri said, not sounding convinced.

“He looks like the show fighters, all definition and no real strength.” Tanya sounded disgusted.

Nessa chuckled, “He doesn’t seem like a prisoner. I think he’d give us a fight if we tried to rescue him.” Addressing Arzure, she asked, “How’s the cloak holding up?”

“It’s solid and even their Sun Speakers won’t see us,” the girl said. 

Nessa noticed that Zuri had the same brown wavy hair and piercing blue eyes as the fake Arthur. They had the same strong chin, although he was pale white and she had dark amber skin.

“We should still try to take him or take him out,” Alexandre said. His scales shone in the lights of the bridge.

“No,” Nessa said. “If they take him and leave, we’re rid of the lot.”

The Myrddin finally replied, “Send us his DNA and we shall decide.”

The Blue-Sun fleet sent the information and Doctor Peri looked it over at the same time. 

“What do you have, doc?” asked Bart.

“It’s human DNA from a man, about forty. He’s in good health, needs more iron in his diet. Without something to compare it to, I can’t really tell anything.

“Compare it to this.” Zuri sent information to the doctor’s terminal. “The DNA of Arthur was in the database we took from them.”

After a few moments, the doctor said, “It’s so close a match it could be a sibling, but it’s not Arthur.”

“How long before they figure it out?” Nessa asked.

The Doctor didn’t get a chance to answer as the Myrddin fleet started firing on the Blue-Sun. They moved in unison, like birds flocking on a loaf of bread. It was efficient on a horrifying level.

Despite their impressive powers, the Blue-Sun ships crumbled into random debris. When the other fleet finally retaliated, it was like watching fireworks.

The Three-System fleet made the wise choice and retreated. Nessa was about to order that they do the same when another fleet appeared above the combatants. They looked a lot like the Blue-Sun ships, but their ships were a little smaller and the logo was a dark violet.

Pincered, the Myrddin didn’t stand a chance.

“Prisoners!” Nessa cried. That’s why the Three-System fleet had been there, they’d been hoping to save some of their people. “The Blue-Sun still has a lot of our people. Let’s save some.”

“That is reckless, dangerous, and will most likely kill us,” growled Bart. “I love it!”

“Zuri. Find out how to get us past their shields. Tanya, Alexandre, and Peri, get to the armoury. We’re boarding one of those ships.” Nessa felt a thrill of excitement at the idea that she might be able to save a few more people.

“I’m scanning the fleet for our people,” Em said. “There’s a ship near the rear that has over a thousand captives.”

“We’ll never be able to get that many on the ship,” the Doctor said.

Em smiled and replied, “You’re right, but there’s a Tyrite troop ship in their hold.” The Tyrite troop ships were some of the fastest in the galaxy. It would be a tight fit with that many people, but it would give them a chance to rejoin the new Three-System fleet.

With their orders, everyone got ready to head out. As she was heading to the armoury, Nessa was stopped by Peri. “Captain. I’ve analysed Arthur’s DNA from the Myrddin. It’s missing pieces. It’s more of a unique template that’s missing markers for gender, skin colour, and even race.”

“What are you saying, Doctor?” she asked, buckling a protective vest on herself.

“We’re looking for a human-white-male, but I think that’s too narrow.”

With a chuckle, Nessa said, “So is Bart the mythic Arthur?”

With no sign of humour, the doctor replied with, “He could be.” He helped her get into a double harness for handguns.

She swore. “So he, I mean they, could be Sapian, Feline, Serpent, or even Canine?”  

“Yes. I’m sorry but that makes our job a lot harder.”

Taking a moment to process the information, Nessa finally said, “Bring a portable medical scanner and scan everyone. Maybe we’ll get lucky. Until then, let’s go save some people.” She patted him on the back.

Nessa expected to be frustrated by the news, but she wasn’t. Something was niggling at the back of her mind and she was starting to suspect that Arthur was closer than any of them knew.

Read Chapter 11

While you wait for the next chapter, check out the previous serial stories:

Monster High 2 – JenEric Movie Review

How This Works – Read Other Reviews

Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2023 film Monster High 2.


The tone of this one is much younger then the first. The story is simplistic; the twist is so obvious that I couldn’t believe it was the actual twist.

Score: 0


The characters were fairly consistent from the first one, but the movie didn’t give their cast much time to develop. The characters were there, but mostly ignored to make more time for forced drama.

Score: 0.5


The dialogue is delightfully silly. Filled with puns and fun tidbits of monster lore. I wish there were more deep character moments, but overall the dialogue is okay.

There’s a lot of forced borderline toddler-level talk about friendship that got tedious quick.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The visuel style is extra poignant with the contrast to the human world. They did a great job building a colourful, dynamic, and interesting world. Unfortunately a good half of the movie is set in our world and is the weaker for it.

The music is catchy but very similar to the first and again feels better than the plot of the movie.

Score: 0.5


I’ll be honest, I was bored by the halfway mark. It’s colourful with good music, but not particularly fun to watch. The kids loved it and it wasn’t bad, just meh.

Score: 0.5


A lackluster sequel which forgets what made the first entertaining and spends way too much time in the human world. The characters and music are great, but don’t make up for the pre-school dialogue and storyline.

Final Score: 2 Stars out of 5

The Babysitter: Killer Queen – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2020 film The Babysitter: Killer Queen.


I’m impressed with the continuity of feel from the first one. The story is fairly linear and is more of a chase situation, but everything is well set up and a little surreal like the first.

Score: 1


I love that my complaints from the first one were dealt with in this one. If it was set up the whole time I’m impressed and if not, I’m more impressed because they must have taken audience feedback.

I found the main guy a little whiny and annoying until he took things into his own hands. The new girl felt very much like a tough on the outside girl with a hard past. She played it well and was surprisingly charismatic.

I’m so glad they brought back the old group of killers. They were so entertaining and Robbie Amell was wonderful again. The younger killers were pretty forgettable and didn’t have the charisma or interest of the others.

The dads were just annoying and I could have done without them.

Score: 0.5


Lots of surreal cheesyness but nothing particularly great. Again Amell had the best lines.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The location shooting was great. The desert is always a great place to highten the weird. As a person who’s grown up around lakes and rivers, seeing a river in a desert was unerving.

I liked that continuity of using Queen for the babysitter and the music was well done overall.

Score: 1


The movie was fun. Once they got to the first twist it was a lot of fun. I think I like it better than the first. The sex scene was weird. I’m glad I wasn’t watching it with anyone who I’d have to explain that it was a metaphor for sex.

Score: 1


This was an excellent slasher but an even better sequel. The gore is higher, the twists more twisted, and the surreal action more entertaining. If you liked the first one, this is great.

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5

Which Charater Are You? Elizabeth Book 4 edition

The Mystery of the Dancing Lights by Éric Desmarais is available now!
Physical from Canadian indie bookstores, physical from Indigo, electronic version

Haunted Mansion (2023) – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2023 film Haunted Mansion.


The story leans heavily into the feel of the ride and it’s expansive lore, but grounds it in a powerful story about grief and loss. It’s well constructed and everything is wrapped up nicely. There are no unwanted surprises, but lots of good ones.

Score: 1


It’s hard to give a large cast proper character development, but the movie makes sure to give each of them those little moments of depth. The cast is superb and has amazing comedic timing that balances the scary bits really well.

I really like the parallels between the characters growth and how it revolves around grief. It’s easy to forget what makes the idea of real ghosts sad and scary is dealing with our own loss.

Score: 1


They only used the word “Quantum” once in the movie and I’m glad for that.

Beyond that, the dialogue is a wonderful mix of silly, weird, and deeply moving. Each of the characters have their own style and tone, so much so that they could be from different times or movies, but somehow it works.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The movie is completely saturated with references to the ride and expanded lore. It’s both glorious and at times makes you spend more effort looking at the backgrounds in fear of missing something. Which might not be an issue for casual viewers. That being said, it’s a beautifully shot movie with great visuals.

The music is a great mixture of New Orleans jazz, creepy music, remixes from the ride, and originals that fall into all three.

Score: 1


The movie is fun, but we’re all big Haunted Mansion fans in our house. Everyone loved it, despite a few screams. I’m going to want this movie and its soundtrack.

Score: 1


A must watch for anyone who loves the Haunted Mansion ride or creepy family friendly scares. The movie has heart and depth that is surprising and touching.

Final Score: 5 Stars out of 5*

*A 5 star review doesn’t mean the movie was perfect nor that it is perfect for everyone but it is a movie I believe is as close to perfect as possible.