Disenchanted – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Disenchanted.

Story

This is a fantastic take on an alternate reality/wish style story. While the first one’s emotion was all tied up in the conflict between “jaded” and “fairytale” love, this one is all about not being happy and finding your place.

Each character is treated to their own character arc and it’s solidly built. The story did feel like it had been developed as a TV show and then shrunk down into a movie and I think some of the emotion and story ideas could have been better served with a longer runtime.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The casting for Morgan was scary impressive. I had to double check that it wasn’t the same actress. Amy Adams made me, once again, wonder why we don’t see her in more musical roles. I also now want to see her play more villains.

The rest of the cast did an excellent job.

Score: 1

Dialogue

Extremely believable, I like that they leaned into the dissonance between the fairytale language and modern day.

I also really appreciated Amy Adams arguing with herself and the Gollum-style camera work.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The scenery and camerawork felt smaller than the first one. The dance numbers smaller but more intricate. It’s a beautiful set and great acting, but shows they didn’t have the budget for massive set pieces.

They thankfully gave Idina Menzel something to sing in this one. I loved the music and I’m glad there was more of it.

Score: 1

Fun

There’s a certain melancholy in this one compared to the first, but it’s somehow more optimistic. Love isn’t a magical uncertain thing, it’s a certainty and the characters never seem to doubt it.

The entire family was glued to the screen and enjoyed it.

Score: 1

Overall

There’s a grandness missing compared to the first, but it still has all the heart, warmth, and magic. The music is excellent and Amy Adams is a fantastic villain.

This was a joyful addition to the first movie and was just as enchanting.

Final Score: 4.5 Stars out of 5

Galaxy Quest – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 1999 film Galaxy Quest.

Story

The story is simple, but has wonderful layers. The nods to Star Trek, Star Wars, and Alien are great. I like the nods to Nemoy’s books and the drama behind the scenes while still keeping the spirit of classic science fiction. I”m impressed at how well it holds up after twenty-three years.

That being said, it glosses over or outright ignores the socially progressive nature of it’s influences. I like the diversity of the cast, but it doesn’t reference or push any of the same boundaries that Star Trek did 33 years earlier.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The characters are great amalgams of the Star Trek characters and caricatures of their actors. Each one could have been annoying, but ended up being very endearing.

Score: 1

Dialogue

The dialogue is believable and wonderfully tongue in cheek. I liked the technobabble and the wonderful freak outs by Guy.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The special effects stand up extremely well and have a great mix between cheesy and impressive. I liked the practical effects and wonderful camera work.

The music was spectacular. Absolutely epic and I liked the melding of the score with the music from the show in the show.

Score: 1

Fun

The movie was action packed, fun, and had lots of great visuals. I greatly enjoyed it.

The kids were glued to the tv and everyone loved it.

Score: 1

Overall

One of the greatest parodies and an excellent science fiction in it’s own right. This movie checks almost all the boxes and is an excellent romp.

A classic for all science fiction fans.

Final Score: 4.5 Stars out of 5

Back to the Future – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 1985 film Back to the Future.

Story

I’ve heard that some film schools use this movie as an example of the perfect film script. I’m not sure it’s perfect, but it’s very well done. The setup and the parallels are excellent, the technobabble is limited and laced with important information, and everything is resolved fairly well.

There are some anachronisms and a few things that felt like Marty influenced from the original timeline that felt off. Some of the parallels are a little forced and hard to believe.

Score: 1

Characters

I love Marty, but his parents are very odd people. Despite having seen this movie a dozen times, I’m still weirded out by the dad’s peeping-tom antics and the mom’s forwardness and flightiness, neither of which were really addressed.

Doc Brown is fantastic and I like the secondary charactrers.

The relationship with Biff and Marty’s dad annoys me because it looks like they’re playing the same script over and over again. I get that it’s for the parallel structure, but it’s a little too specific.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The movie has some of the most gloriously cringy dialogue. “You are my density” is sheer genius. The banter and accents are great. I love Doc Brown’s frantic way of talking.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The special effects are at a minimum but used well, the sets are amazing, and the costumes great. The cinematography is beautiful.

The music is one of the most iconic from the time period and both Alan Silvestri and Huey Lewis did amazing in their respective parts.

Score: 1

Fun

The whole family was glued to the screen the whole time. The 5yo almost died from second hand embarrassment several times and was very concerned with the changes in the timeline.

I’ve seen this movie a lot, especially as a kid, and it still holds the same excitement and wonder.

Score: 1

Overall

A classic 80’s movie with a fantastic cast and great story. You’ll be humming the music and loving every moment.

Final Score: 4.5 Stars out of 5

Secret Headquarters – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Secret Headquarters.

Story

A very simple and effecient story that uses everything that it sets up. It’s not groundbreaking writing but it is solid and well thought out.

Score: 1

Characters

An impressive young cast that balances comedy, action, and drama extremely well. I really enjoyed the evolution of the soldier. I liked the pseudo villain being a rich dude with too much greed. Although the Kill a Minion to show I’m a Jerk trope was a little overdone.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The movie leaned heavily into comedy and has a lot of great lines. The comedy was balanced well with beleivability.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The special effects were amazing and the locations suitibly YA. I found the camera work excellent and it emullated other hero movies excellently.

The music was significantly better than I had expected.

Score: 1

Fun

Despite a few awkward moments the movie is fun from start to finish. Everyone in the family loved it and the kids forgot to ask for snacks.

Score: 1

Overall

A light YA movie that meshes the humour of 80’s kids movies with the action and special effects of modern superhero films. A lot of fun with some amazing kid actors.

Final Score: 4.5 Stars out of 5

Fear Street 1978 – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2021 film Fear Street 1978.

Story 

This is my favourite of the three. It feels like a good old-fashioned slasher with an added supernatural twist. The framing narrative of the other movies doesn’t intrude as much.

Score: 1

Characters

The younger versions of the characters from the first movie were perfectly cast. The surreal feeling of the trilogy shines here.

Score: 1

Dialogue

Definitely felt off, but not as bad as 1994. I found despite the supernatural elements, the dialogue was delivered pretty well.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

This felt oddly undersaturated compared to the other two. I liked the predominance of red in the caverns though.

The music was a lot of fun and felt like a nod to Supernatural.

Score: 0.5

Fun

I liked this one a lot. It was exciting and fun. I enjoyed the camp hijinks and the off-kilter world.

Score: 1

Overall

The strongest of the trilogy, it could stand on its own. The characters are fun and I love the mixture of lore, supernatural, and good old-fashioned slasher.

Final Score: 4.5 Stars out of 5

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle  – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2017 Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.

Story

A rare sequel which is more coherent and better all around. Possibly the best video game themed movie of all time, it both relies on and mocks the usual tropes.

Score: 1

Characters

The main five actors do a phenomenal job at being the kids. It’s mostly believable and impressively detailed. Jack Black is amazing.

Score: 1

Dialogue

The problem with trying to capture the dialogue of teens is how quickly it changes. The dialogue already sounds dated after just five years. Although the quips, jokes, and overall tone is well done.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The movie looks great and I greatly appreciate that they didn’t try to animate it like a video game.

The music is haunting and exciting all at once.

Score: 1

Fun

The five year old found it a little scary, but she loved the action and humour. It’s nice to see her starting to appreciate word-based humour more.

The rest of us enjoyed it as much as the first few times. I particularly appreciate that the humour around Jack Black’s character was so wholesome.

Score: 1

Overall

A wonderful adventure that balances action, humour, and character development for a near perfect movie.

Final Score: 4.5 Stars out of 5

The Emperor’s New Groove – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2000 film The Emperor’s New Groove.

Story

Irreverent to the point of absurd, this movie does a great job at setting up all its major plot points with clever jokes and gags. Simple plot that seems like unconnected gags at first, but ties everything together by the end.

Score: 1

Characters

I love these characters. Kuzco is a perfect jerk, Pacha is the sweetest, Yzma is great evil, and Kronk is utterly adorable. Each plays their part perfectly and I couldn’t imagine anyone else playing the roles.

That being said, it’s a bunch of white people playing South Americans (with the exception of the kids and the fantastic Eartha Kitt.) The movie is quite clearly supposed to be set in a fictional version of the Incan Empire, but that’s only set dressing and doesn’t mean anything.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The dialogue in this is burned into my subconscious and speech patterns. The jokes are so expertly crafted that even after having seen this hundreds of times, I still laugh.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The detail in the animation and the background jokes are excellent. It’s pretty and very well animated.

They got Tom Jones and Sting to do songs for this. If I had a complaint, it’s that a few times the music was a little generic turn of the millennium Disney. But that still means it was excellent.

Score: 1

Fun

We waited a little to let my oldest start to understand the wordplay and it was worth it; she giggled throughout. I laughed a lot, as did the rest of the family. This is just a fun movie.

Score: 1

Overall

A classic comedy that relies as much on word play as it does physical gags. It has aged impressively well and is tightly scripted.

I loved this movie when it came out and still do.

Final Score: 4.5 Stars out of 5

Ghostbusters: Afterlife – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2021 film Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

Story

A very clever mix of the Ghostbusters formula and the rural “kids on bikes” genre. The story is extremely predictable, but that’s part of its fun.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The characters on paper are kinda boring and overdone. Weird kid who’s probably autistic, ghost nut, slacker teacher, horny teens, sad single mother. However, the actors make them lovable, quirky, and just fun to watch.

Score: 1

Dialogue

The strength of the first three movies was their dialogue and this doesn’t disappoint. Self referential and nostalgic enough for old fans, but funny and quippy enough for newer fans.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The special effects are great and I loved the location. If felt grand and rural all at the same time. The kind of place locals don’t see the beauty in.

The music was solid. Did what it needed and used themes from the older films.

Score: 1

Fun

I fully expected to not like this one. There were a lot of issues with the originals and I wasn’t in the mood to revisit the same story and cast again. I was pleasantly surprised by the story and cast. Even more by how nostalgic I felt about the whole thing.

The kids loved it to the point where the two year old keeps talking about it.

Score: 1

Overall

A fun nostalgic ride with a talented, entertaining, and fresh cast. It’s shiny and new and will tug on all your heartstrings. If you liked the previous three (does anyone really like the second one?) you’ll love this.

Final Score: 4.5 Stars out of 5

Encanto – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2021 film Encanto.

Story

I was expecting a completely different story structure and was pleasantly surprised not to have another fetch quest Disney movie. Well crafted and put together, everything flowed from one scene to the other. I look forward to rewatching and seeing the foreshadowing.

Score: 1

Characters

At first I was a little annoyed at how stereotypical the characters were, but as the story progressed, I loved that it was explained and used for the story.

Mirabel is an intelligent, flawed, and fantastic character. The rest of the characters were just as good.

Score: 1

Dialogue

The dialogue was spot on for sibling and family dynamics. It was, however, overshadowed and often replaced by the songs.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The level of detailing in in every frame is awe-inspiring. Beyond the animation details, the colours, locations, and variety of character models was truly impressive.

The music was the star of the show. Each song told a story and pushed the main plot ahead. Inspired and captivating.

Score: 1

Fun

The physical humour, action, songs, and beautiful animation kept the kids and adults glued to the screen. My vision got blurry with tears a few times, but it was a the good kind. The kids were singing the songs as they went to bed.

Score: 1

Overall

An amazing animated musical with everything to make it a classic. The animation, locations, characters, songs, and humour were all impressive. Definitely worth a watch or ten.

Final Score: 4.5 stars out of 5

Single All the Way – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2021 film Single All the Way.

Story

The story is a copy paste from so many other Christmas movies. Instead of an ex or childhood friend, it’s a current best friend, but it’s pretty much the same. Even though the story is basic, the final touches are wonderfully queer.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The slightly neurotic big city agent, the small town ski instructor, the overbearing mother trying too hard, the sensitive nice guy, and the overdramatic aunt. All the stereotypes are there and they added a few extra with the meddling teens and the wise dad.

A lot of Christmas movies feel like they forget about the love part of romance and the love in the family around them. This one didn’t and love was very much central and believable.

Score: 1

Dialogue

Oscillating from corny to sweet, the dialogue was perfect for the type of movie. I’m also really impressed at how well the different couples communicated. It would be easy, and typical, to have non-communication caused hijinks. I’m glad they didn’t go that way.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The visuals were pretty but generic. The filming was effective and I really liked how they framed the lovey-dovey moments.

The music was pretty good. Lots of Christmas and a few original songs.

Score: 1

Fun

I took particular joy at the teenagers forcing a “There was only one bed” scenario. Obviously the teens are learning their set-up methods from fanfics. I also really liked seeing all the Canadian actors.

My five year old liked it; she really got into the set up. She kept asking why he was going on date with the other guy. My two year old got a little bored.

I appreciated that they avoided angst and awkwardness. I also liked that it was an unabashedly queer and happy story, which is a combination that we need more of.

Score: 1

Overall

This is the happy, queer, and Christmassy movie you’ve been looking for. It’s fun, cute, and honestly really refreshing.

Final Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars