Under Wraps (2021) – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2021 film Under Wraps.

Story

This is a cute Halloween story. There are a lot of errors in Egyptian history and I’m not sure what the point of the 3-day pass for the movie was. It seemed odd and without any reason. That being said, I liked the jab at grave robbing.

Score: 0.5

Characters

Although the characters were awesome and I really appreciated the diversity, I found there was a lack of depth. They just felt very YA written by someone who’s only seen kids in movies.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

There were a lot of great wisecracks and gags. I really liked the play on words with the word Mummy.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

Excellent makeup and good acting combined with some genre savvy camera angles make this a fun movie to watch. It uses the practical effects well and limits the cheesy digital effects.

The music was okay, but I would have liked to hear more of Thriii’s “Calling all Monsters”.

Score: 0.5

Fun

This was a nice throwback to the kids monster movies of my youth. I liked the nod to Zombies (the Disney channel movie series) with the costumes in the background, and the awesome dancing. The whole family liked it and now the kids are pretending to be mummies and zombies, so yay?

If I have one gripe… Honey doesn’t work that way. Also it felt a little disjointed at times and I had a hard time not checking my phone,, which isn’t a good thing.

Score: 0.5

Overall

A fun if shallow Halloween movie. It has some great scenes and fun moments.

Final Score: 3 stars out of 5

Clueless – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 1995 film Clueless.

Story

The story is pretty faithful to what I vaguely remember of its inspiration (Emma by Jane Austen) with more slang and 90’s aesthetic than a you can shake a brick-sized cell phone at. It’s cringe and nostalgia all in one, but at its core, it’s sort of sweet.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The characters are mostly nice to each other, which surprised me. I expected mean girls level fighting. So they’re not mean, but they really are clueless. Completely privileged and so very young.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

There’s a lot of iconic slang in this and lots that I think they invented, but there’s a lot of what was terrible about the 90’s. Diet culture and disordered eating is laced throughout, homophobia, classism, and more than a little racism. Some of which is shown to be bad, but a lot of it is shown as normal.

I did really enjoy how the characters said dumb things smartly and smart things in a valley accent.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

There’s a little weird shaky cam at the start and some strange angles, but overall it’s pretty well shot and each frame has a lot of information it in.

The music is pure nostalgia and I loved it.

Score: 1

Fun

I both enjoyed and cringed at this movie. I think I would have loved it when I was a young teen, but now I see all the problems and roll my eyes at the drama of youth. (Whippersnappers!)

I did like the overall story though, and despite my angst, it was fun.

Score: 0.5

Overall

This is a dated classic that encapsulates everything that was wrong with the 90’s and captures its innocence.

Final Score: 3 Stars out of 5

Thor: Love and Thunder – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Thor: Love and Thunder.

Story

The actual story was fairly simple and straightforward. There was a lot of humour and a lot of emotion. Sometimes it felt like the flow between scenes was missing something and there were more than a few parts that could have been extended. It felt like they had 6 hours of story and only 2 hours made it to the final cut.

Score: 0

Characters

Somewhere along the way in the MCU, Thor went from slightly oblivious jock / rich kid to a dim-witted fool. Every movie, it feels like he has to relearn how to be worthy and honestly, it’s getting old.

The addition of the Mighty Thor made things more interesting, but I have to say the whole romance was a little meh for me.

I liked the relationship between Jane and Valkyrie and loved the cameos by Sif and Heimdall.

The villain stole the show, however. He was both relatable and if it wouldn’t have killed Thor, I would have been okay with his plan. His redemption at the end through the power of love felt earned and not like a cheap plot trick.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The quips and dialogue were excellent, but the imbalance in tone made some scenes comical or just weird.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

Visually this movie was a feast for the eyes. Absolutely gorgeous in every way.

The music was clever and well placed.

Score: 1

Fun

Once I got used to the fact that the movie would be all over the place in tone, I started to enjoy each piece like short films. The last scene with the kids was just so empowering. I loved it.

Score: 1

Overall

The tone is all over the place, the story feels disjointed, the love story was meh, but damn this movie was still a lot of fun. The dialogue and action are spectacular and Christian Bale makes a relatable and fantastic villain.

Final Score: 3 Stars out of 5

Zombies 2 – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2020 film Zombies 2

Story

I hate stories where the character tries too hard to be something they’re not. That being said, it’s a fantastic commentary about trying to pass and mask in society.

Score: 0.5

Characters

I hate how far Zed goes into trying to not be a Zombie, but I also understand it. I like that Addison’s optimism and willingness to trust is treated as a good thing and not a flaw. The werewolves were fun and overall I’m impressed with how distinct and memorable they are.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

A lot of the same is covered in this one as the first, but overall the dialogue is solid and well done.

Score: 1

Music and Visuals

The musical aspects are great and really showcase the actor’s voices, but I still feel that it’s missing something. It’s not a distinct sound.

The visuals are good and choreography great. I like the understated use of special effects.

Score: 0.5

Fun

I understand why it was important to the plot to have the two main characters explore their personalities and backgrounds while questioning what they want to be, but it was frustrating to watch. Especially the Zed story.

Score: 0.5

Overall

You’ll be singing, “Like the zombies do” for a long while. It’s a worthy successor to the first and does a great job at integrating a werewolves, but overall it’s not as much fun as the first.

Final Score: 3 Stars out of 5

Fear Street 1994 – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2021 film Fear Street 1994.

Story 

This feels like a Fear Street book but with a little more gore. The end sequence of the movie in the grocery store felt like a way of killing off some characters, since they had an ambulance and could have driven around. It’s also not a complete movie.

Score: 0.5

Characters

I really liked the main three characters and even some of the secondary ones. They were all a little nylistic but that made sense with the setting. The actors were great.

Score: 1

Dialogue

Everything sounded a little too modern for my liking. It didn’t sound like the right time period. Beyond that the dialogue was a little awkward and tried to hard.

Score: 0

Visuals and Music

Dark and aesthetically perfect for Fear Street and 1994. I like the background details that were nods to the books and other horror movies.

The music did its job well.

Score:

Fun

This was a lot of fun to start with, but I got frustrated at the characters quite often. The fact that they didn’t use the ambulance instead of the store annoyed me.

Score: 0.5

Overall

A fun throwback to the books, but the characters do some really dumb things. I enjoyed it, but it feels unfinished without the rest of the series.

Final Score: 3 Stars out of 5

Gargoyles the Movie: The Heroes Awaken – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 1994 film Gargoyles the Movie: The Heroes Awaken.

Story

For a Disney animated show in the 90’s, it was groundbreaking. Looking at it through a modern lens, it’s predictable and slow paced.

As much as it was packaged as a movie, it’s not really a movie. It’s obviously a first episode to a television show.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The characters are iconic, not just because of the fantastic voice actors but because of the story arcs throughout the run of the show.

That being said, there are fat jokes that make me roll my eyes and very little development of anyone but Goliath.

I do have to give it it’s due in that it’s one of the most diverse casts of the 90’s.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The odd plethora of accents in the Gargoyles is weird. I wish they’d made a quick mention of why they weren’t speaking Gaelic or Middle English.

The introduction of slang was funny and well played.

Some of the lines were great, but there was a lot of dialogue that felt overly verbose for no reason.

I did appreciate how everything Xanatos said could be taken in multiple ways.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The animation was standard Disney television from the 80’s and 90’s. It was uneven with spots of brilliance.

The music was impressive for what it was. I’m very impressed with it.

Score: 0.5

Fun

This was a lot of fun. Both kids loved it (despite the 5yo not wanting to watch it to start with). I enjoyed it and the rest of the adults were long time fans.

Score: 1

Overall

Despite some uneven pacing and animation, the movie delivers an excellent introduction for the classic television show that follows, but it doesn’t stand on its own.

Final Score: 3 Stars out of 5

The Librarian: Quest for the Spear – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2004 film The Librarian: Quest for the Spear.

Story

This isn’t a new story and the love interest feels forced. The development and details, however, are excellent. Nothing in his quick patter is ever just to make him seem smart; it also adds details and sometimes foreshadowing.

Score: 0.5

Characters

I like Flynn; he’s fun, smart and witty. I absolutely loved Judson and Charlene. The rest of the characters were bland and almost cardboard.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

This is my favourite type of cheesy dialogue. It’s smart but never takes itself seriously. The love story dialogue is a little less fun.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The special effects are absolutely terrible. I was working in low quality video production at the time and I recognised the effects.

That being said, the camera angles were great and the non-special effect scenes were beautiful.

The music has a special place in my heart after having watched all three movies and seen the series several times.

Score: 0.5

Fun

The good guys win with style and smarts. What more could you want? Both kids were riveted and the 2yo actually asked questions that were relevant to what was happening.

Score: 1

Overall

This is a low budget archeology / magic movie that remembers to bring the fun and wit. It’s not perfect, but is a lot of fun.

Final Score: 3 Stars out of 5

A Knight’s Tale – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2001 film A Knight’s Tale.

Story

Someone thought that a sports/underdog movie should be done with jousting. It works, but it’s a paint by the numbers of all other sports movies.

The love story is trite and despite vaguely hinting at feminism, doesn’t feel authentic.

Score: 0

Characters

With a combination of fantastic actors and well written dialogue, the film is filled with likable characters. From the trustworthy Roland to the hothead Wat. The addition of Chaucer was a wonderful nod.

The only disappointing thing was how utterly white the movie was. All the main characters and all the crowds.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

Anachronistic, like the rest of the film, but filled with great little gems that I still quote today.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

Again, I’ll complain about the lack of colour. Not just race but lack of bright vibrant colours. Other than Jocelyn there’s no vibrant colours. It would have made the joust easier to follow and been more historically accurate.

However the cinematography and sets are fantastic.

The music was a great combination of rock and sports score.

Score: 1

Fun

This is an exciting movie, but it’s a little long and my kids got bored. The jousting could have been done better with more colours and less early 2000’s shaky-cam.

It was, however, a lot of fun.

Score: 0.5

Overall

Oddly dated to the 2000’s aesthetic of jock and sports culture, lacking any sort of diversity. The movie has a boring love story with an exciting sports story arc. In the end, it’s the quality of the actors, the emotion, and the dialogue that stand out.

Final Score: 3 Stars out of 5

Hotel Transylvania 4: Transformania – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Hotel Transylvania: Transformania.

Story

The story follows traditional comedy pratfalls. It’s all about ego and misunderstanding. As usual, Dracula means well, but screws everything up. The second half is better, but still dependant on the characters reverting to their pre-development stages.

Score: 0

Characters

Dracula is a controlling, narcissistic, and childish character. I did feel bad for him in the jungle though. He learns his lesson, but its a similar one to the last three movies.

As usual, Mavis needs to save the day. The characters were consistent with the previous movies and did grow, but weren’t that interesting this go-around.

I will say that I didn’t really miss Adam Sandler and thought the new guy was fantastic.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

Where this movie shines is in the one liners and quips. They’re often silly, but there are a few laugh out loud ones.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The visuals are good. They didn’t try to change or improve the style, but they did some interesting thing with the crystal cave.

I barely remember the music which means it did what was needed and that’s okay.

Score: 0.5

Fun

Once you get over the stupidity of the main character and that he literally causes all the problems, it’s a fun fluffy movie. Not much here other than the moral of speaking to your spouse before doing something stupid.

The kids loved it and the rest of us had a relaxing movie.

Score: 1

Overall

A possibly superfluous sequel with a lot of the same feel and jokes of the others. It’s fun, but doesn’t break new ground.

Final Score: 3 stars out of 5

Young Frankenstein – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 1974 film Young Frankenstein.

Story

Shockingly close to the actual novel, possibly with more quotes from it than most movie adaptations. The story was pretty much a remake of the novel with a lot of Mel Brooks spin. It toes the line from serious to absurd and I personally wish it went further into the absurd.

Story: 0.5

Characters

Then entire cast was having a lot of fun and you can tell. They often over do it in the most delightful way, but at times the jokes fall flatter than I’d like.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

Oscillating between dick jokes and monologues about beauty that could be pulled from the novel, the dialogue was all over the place and I mean that in the best way. The contrast is what adds an extra level to the humour.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The filming style is a perfect match for the old monster movies, which was a little discordant when I saw the background actors with seventies hair styles.

The music was like the dialogue, all over the place. Not sure it worked as well though.

Score: 0.5

Fun

I have a feeling that I could watch this movie yearly and enjoy it on my own. However, it is a very slow-paced and very talky movie sometimes to a self-indulgent level. The kids were bored, but I expected that.

Score: 0.5

Overall

There are glimmers of genius in the comedy of the movie, but it tries too hard to be too many things. Personally, I prefer Brooks when his movies are more absurd and frantic.

Final Score: 3 out of 5 Stars