Charlie’s Angels (2000) – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2000 film Charlie’s Angels.

Story

The story relies on the speed of changing scenes and action to distract the viewer from the absurdity. I love silly movies and I remember loving this one and thinking it was super clever. It’s not. It’s obvious and derivative with no idea how technology, romance, or combat works.

Score: 0

Characters

The characters are sacrificed to the alter of plot convenience and need for action. The love stories are shallow and uncompleted. Then then there’s the rampant racism (seen through black/brown face, yellow face) transphobic dialogue, and for a movie that is supposed to be about female empowerment, it doesn’t hesitate to slutshame and use it’s main characters.

Score: 0

Dialogue

This movie revels in it’s own cheese and then doubles down. It also take it to a level that makes no sense. The dialogue is terrible and only the caliber of the actors manages to make it palatable.

Score: 0

Visuals and Music

The action is passable and the special effects are good if convoluted. The scenery is lovely and the women have lovely if completely impractical clothing.

The music is a lot of fun, if a little heavy on the angel references.

Score: 1

Fun

There are some really fun action scenes, but overall the movie made me very upset. Did they really not know how a server works? The music was good.

Score: 0.5

Overall

This is a movie aimed at men, with the man’s gaze, that pretends to be about “strong women”. It is awkwardly racist, transphobic, and sexist. The action and awesome actors doesn’t make up for the lack of depth or plot.

Final Score: 1.5 stars out of 5

Barbie in Princess Power – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2015 film Barbie in Princess Power.

Story

They tried really hard to mush together a superhero plot and a fantasy plot. Both are derivative with little of interest beyond a forced moral of cooperation. There were some pretty major plot holes that made the whole movie not make sense.

Score: 0

Character

A princess, her cousin, and her personal inventors? an evil adviser to the king, overbearing parents, and adorable kids. Every character in this movie is a cliché. I’d also say that the Rube-Goldberg physics of the world are practically a character.

Mostly it’s a bunch of really whiny privileged people whining.

Score: 0

Dialogue

The best part of the movie was dialogue borrowed from superhero movies. There were some nice nods to Christopher Reeves and other movies.

Other than that, it was pretty clipped and shallow.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

I’ve watched about six of the Barbie movies at this point and I understand they are supposed to be dolls and that the animation isn’t fantastic. I’m willing to forgive that mostly, but the physics in this are pretty bad, clothing doesn’t move, hair does odd things, and jewellery looks painted on. Worst was their faces, every female character looked like they’re faces were collapsing in on themselves. It was disconcertingly like the late stages of an eating disorder.

The music was a nice surprise; the pop track was catchy and not too bad. I also liked the score, it had a lot of influences from superhero movies and made the scenes significantly better than they should have.

Score: 0.5

Fun

The movie wasn’t a lot of fun. It was frustrating and made me want to scream at the characters.

That being said, the silly physics and pratfalls were entertaining. Especially to my youngest, who just loved Bruce the Frog.

Score: 0.5

Overall

One of the weaker Barbie movies. It tries too hard to be cute and not hard enough to fun. The character development is as hollow and vapid as the characters themselves. The music was good and there were some ridiculous moments that weren’t bad.

Final Score: 1.5 Stars out of 5

Coin Heist – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2017 film Coin Heist.

Story

The build-up and teen angst were forefront on this movie. Despite the name, there was very little heist. The film was disjointed with too many undeveloped threads. The heist was jumbled and not explained. Meaning we weren’t sure where the mistakes in the heist happened. It felt like it wanted to be a heist movie, a teen drama, and an independent art film all at once.

The ending set up a perfect revenge scenario that would have been a great pay off, but didn’t use it and that pisses me off.

Score: 0

Characters

The characters were boring, stereotypical, and angsty-er than a WB show from the early 2000’s. The acting was passable but it felt like they were as confused about what was going on as the audience.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The only thing more grating than the bad heist dialogue or the teen angst was the annoying trope that was the teacher.

Score: 0

Visuals and Music

The visuals were close in and pretty basic. There wasn’t anything that was particularly pretty or impressive but nothing terrible.

The music was okay, lots of angst-ridden heist-like music and a good song.

Score: 0.5

Fun

When they were in heist mode (maybe 20 minutes of the movie) it was fun and exciting. Beyond that it was a little boring.

Score: 0.5

Overall

I’m really angry at the ending. If they’d used the extra coins to flood the market and basically devalue them, they could have gotten back at the jackass that caused the entire thing. Instead they melt them down and add them to a statue… sigh.

Score: 1.5 stars out of 5

The Healer – JenEric Movie Review

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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 – JenEric Movie Review

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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 – JenEric Movie Review

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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