Power Rangers (2017) – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2017 film Power Rangers.

Story

This is a very derivative story. It’s a chosen-one, superhero, Breakfast Club with lots of old Power Ranger cheese. It’s exactly what I wanted from this movie even if it wasn’t original.

Score: 0.5

Characters

I liked the diversity. They each had their individual arcs, and despite the multiple set pieces eating the time, they all felt well set up and complete.

The acting was extremely well done considering the cheesiness of the script.

Score: 1

Dialogue

Some of the dialogue is terrible but delivered really well, almost making it seem natural.

The heart to heart moments between characters are pretty staged but again well-acted.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The visuals used the style of the old comics with the unmistakable 2010’s main colour palette. At least they kept the rangers brightly coloured.

The music is epic and the score utterly fantastic.

Score: 1

Fun

I wanted something that had the essence of the Power Rangers I grew up with. I didn’t want the exact same story or the same characters (I don’t remember them that well, it’s been 30 years since I watched it). This delivered and was just plain fun. Lost of cheese, lots of great acting, and some awesome battles.

Score: 1

Overall

A fun take on the concept of Power Rangers that will enrage the diehard fans but on its own it’s a fun and exciting movie.

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5

A Haunting in Venice – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2023 film A Haunting in Venice.

Story

I haven’t read Hallowe’en Party and can’t speak to how faithful this is to the original plot.

That being said, this is the most fast paced of the three Branagh Poirot movies and definitely the darkest. The story is a fascinating mystery with a lot of ghostly dressing. The pace is slowed and story hurt by the humdrum attempts at integrating horror clichés into it.

Score: 0.5

Characters

There is a massive disparity in quality in acting. Branagh and Yeoh are absolutely fabulous and the kid is amazing. The rest of the cast is passable.

The characters are believable and act accordingly.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

There’s a near poetry to the banter and dialogue of the characters. Yeoh’s confrontation with Branagh is spectacular.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The movie was filmed on location and it adds a level of authenticity. The sets are great. Despite the jump scares and a few odd angles, the cinematography is a wonderful mix of the mystery and horror styles.

Score: 1

Fun

I’m both proud and a little disappointed that I guessed the killer, method, and blackmailer way before I should have. It was, however, a fun movie to experience.

It being on the scarier side means I watched it on my own.

Score: 1

Overall

An excellent movie with a fun Halloween twist. The acting is a little uneven and the mystery watered down, but a worthy successor to the other two films and a fun watch. Branagh and Yeoh are fabulous as usual.

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5

Christmas…Again?! – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2021 film Christmas…Again?!.

Story

It’s arguable that all time loop movies are remakes Groundhog Day, but in this case the similarities are too obvious to ignore. That being said, they did a great job adjusting it for the character, setting, and season.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The main character has the most believable learning arc that I’ve seen in recent memory. It never feels forced or too quick. The actress does a great job of showing the evolution.

I also have to point out the rare divorced family that gets along. The mom and future wife seem to actually be friends and support each other throughout the movie.

The rest of the characters managed to be nuanced and grow from the main characters meddling, all without being in the loop.

Score: 1

Dialogue

There were a few nice turns of phrase and I like how realistically the main character misinterprets the words of the adults in her life.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The cinematography wasn’t ground breaking, but it was clear and consistant, something that I find very important in time loop movies. Nothing breaks my immersion more than changes where there shouldn’t be.

The music was a good mix of Christmas and pop with a competent score.

Score: 1

Fun

I’m biased towards time loops. I love love them and every time I see one I go through the same annoyance and joy cycle.

My 7yo begged to watch it, as if she needed to, and loved every moment. The rest of the family seemed to enjoy it just as much.

Score: 1

Overall

An homage that borders on a remake of Groundhog Day, this movie manages to have heart, surprises, and lot of fun. If you love time loop movies as much as I do, you’ll love this one.

Final Score: 4 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.

Story

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

Characters

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

Dialogue

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

Fun

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

Overall

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

The Rescuers – JenEric Movie Review

Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 1977 film The Rescuers.

Story

It followed the basic recipe of old noire detective stories even, ending on a boat. The story is well contained and cute, but not super original and wastes a lot of time on antics instead of story or characters.

Score: 0.5

Characters

I really like the interplay between the two mains, there was a nice romance arc to them. I also like the competent but humble male lead. It’s a nice switch.

The little girl was cute and the albatross hilarious, but the others were a little boring. The villain felt like a bad copy of Cruella.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The dialogue was efficient and had some nice quippy lines. Again, most of the best dialogue was between the two main characters.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

Watching it on Blu-ray meant being able to see the brush strokes on the stunning backgrounds. This movie was beautiful. I can see where this still influenced other film makers.

The music was good, especially the songs.

Score: 1

Fun

It’s a fun, easy to watch adventure movie with two likeable main characters. What’s not to like? The 6yo and the 4yo were glued to their seats (a refreshing change).

Score: 1

Overall

A classic adventure movie that is absolutely beautiful to watch and has two of the most likeable main characters in animated history.

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5

Red, White & Royal Blue  – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2023 film Red, White & Royal Blue.

Story

I haven’t read the book that this is based off of, but unlike a lot of literary adaptations, I didn’t feel like I was missing too much. There were a few aspects that felt rushed, the trip to Texas and the initial series of incidents that transition from enemies to lovers.

That being said, the important parts, the romance, longing looks, and establishing camerawork were all done at a pace that made you feel for the characters.

Although I appreciated the low homophobia content, it was a little jarring with the level of angst from the characters.

The main love story is done well, but nothing in it is particularly original.

Score: 0.5

Characters

There is so much charisma in this movie that it practically floods out of the screen. The mains are not only attractive, but clever and have an endearing charm. Most of the secondary characters are equally as charming and those that aren’t, are still interesting.

Score: 1

Dialogue

The line, “He grabbed my hair in a way that made me understand the difference between rugby and football,” will live rent free in my head for a long time. It’s the perfect summation of the style of dialogue which favours heart and quip above sap or forced misunderstandings. Something a lot of romantic comedies could learn from.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The cinematography and camera work was artistically above almost every movie I’ve seen in recent memory. The visuals managed to convey location, emotion, and movement all while painting the main characters as likable.

The music was good and did its job setting the mood and the feel of each location.

Score: 1

Fun

This movie was extremely enjoyable. I watched it with my wife, after the kids were in bed. That was a good plan since there’s way too much swearing, smoking, and alcohol for my liking. It’s the only thing that dampened my enjoyment of the film.

We both had a lot of fun and she spent a good amount of time afterward looking at gif sets on tumblr.

Score: 0.5

Overall

One of the most beautiful and stylistic movies I’ve seen, and one of the most entertaining romantic comedies in a long time. This will make you smile and make you happy. It is not for kids however, due to the large quantity of alcohol consumption, smoking, and swearing.

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5

Kim Possible – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2019 film Kim Possible.

Story

Kim Possible isn’t and hasn’t ever been a spy but the stories follow all the spy tropes with a few superhero ones thrown in. The movie does a great job of being faithful to the spirit of the original while updating it to modern audiences. (It’s shocking how much changed between 2007 and 2019.)

The story is mostly nostalgic for older audiences and the story is quite simple. Perfect spy/superhero intro for kids. There is some cartoony ridiculousness that is a little annoying but overall good.

Score: 0.5

Characters

Kim is great and it was nice to see her going through the awkwardness of change.

Ron was portrayed perfectly, one of those super awkward kids with a giant heart. I always cringe at Ron to start and then he quickly becomes my favourite character.

The villains are wonderfully portrayed with the perfect level of overacting.

Score: 1

Dialogue

The dialogue is cheesy and irreverent. Lots of good lines but I found the mixture of mid 2000’s slang and late 2010’s a little weird. Hearing Lit and Fam followed by Booya, felt wrong.

The scene between Kim and her Grandmother was one of the best training dialogues I’ve heard.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The action sequences are very Disney Channel but overall they did a great job with the visuals and the music was acceptable.

Score: 0.5

Fun

The kids loved it. The adults, who watched the original in university also loved it.

It was fun and struck a great balance.

As an adult it was nice to see the kids and family talking instead of hiding things.

Score: 1

Overall

Cheesy, fun, and angst free. The story might be a little young and cartoony but they commit and there are some genius scenes.

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5

Peter Pan & Wendy – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2023 film Peter Pan & Wendy.

Story

I’ll be honest, I’ve never liked the Peter Pan movies. They always feel like growing up propaganda. I get that growing up is important, but this story is one of the biggest reasons that our society equates growing up with giving up childhood things. I think that’s a sad outcome.

All that being said, I liked the changes to the story from the traditional stage play and Disney movie. It’s exciting and fun. Lots of set up and some long monologues slow it down though.

Score: 0.5

Characters

It’s nice to see a Tinkerbell that is not jealous of Wendy and a Wendy that is a capable fighter. Tiger Lily was amazing and wise without being a stereotype. Great to see and hear the Cree language. (Although subtitles sometimes calling it a foreign language was silly.)

Hook and Pan have some great character moments and although there were a few monologues that went a little long, they both had a depth of character that is refreshing. Pan being a normal kid whose emotional maturity stalled was an interesting take.

Score: 1

Dialogue

As I mentioned, some monologues went a little too long. Some of the dialogue came off a little hammy like the actors were reading lines.

Overall it was a nice mixture of time appropriate dialogue and updated text.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The scenery was beautiful. The action well choreographed. It was easy to believe that Pan was an extremely good fighter. The camera work and framing were superb. At times I found it a little dark and maybe a little desaturated.

The music was epic and perfectly timed. I liked the mixture of the Disney animated movie soundtrack with the new orchestration.

Score: 1

Fun

I enjoyed the film, but the longer monologues seemed to bore the 3yo. The 6yo loved it, but seemed confused at the Hook and Pan friendship.

The rest of the family seemed to love it and that’s saying something since my MIL and SIL are both big fans of the book.

Score: 1

Overall

A film that both respects it’s source material and updates it in interesting ways. Fun action with fun characters. If you like any Peter Pan stories, you’ll love this one. A Disney update that is definitely worth the watch.

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5

Blue’s Big City Adventure – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Blue’s Big City Adventure.

Story

This was definitely made with love of the original shows. As someone who only has a passing knowledge of them, I never felt lost or like I was missing something.

They did a great job balancing a simple story, music, and cameos. It reminded me of my childhood with the Muppets and Loonie Toons.

Score: 0.5

Characters

There is an honesty and earnestness in the characters that really comes through. Often kids show hosts feel like they’re faking it, but with these it felt like they were being an ideal version of themselves.

The cameos were great and a lot of fun for the adults.

The representation in the movie of disabled singers, dancers, and kids was excellent to see.

Score: 1

Dialogue

There were a lot of quotes and little references to other films. There was a lot of uplifting dialogue and great messages for kids.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The movie was colourful and well composed. The dancing was great, the costumes were really well thought out, and the special effects used to great… well, effect.

If I had one complaint it would be the cameraman’s love of tilt.

The music was catchy, uplifting, and pleasant.

Score: 1

Fun

I didn’t have the nostalgia for the film but I still felt it in the loving way it was made. I enjoyed it, but the basic story seemed to stress out the other adults. The 6 year old loved it and even interacted even though she’d never watched the show. The 3 year old was glued to the screen, although he insisted he didn’t like it. (He wanted to watch Selena+Chef)

Score: 1

Overall

This is a warm hug in the form of a movie. Whether you grew up on Blue’s Clues or just want a feel good musical, this is a great choice. The dance, music, costumes, are all excellent, but it’s the joy and earnestness of the actors that truly elevates the film

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5

Slumberland  – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Slumberland.

Story

A fantastic concept played surprisingly straight. I’m really glad they avoided the “you must be crazy” talk about her dreams. The pacing and story structure was great, albeit a little slow in the beginning.

The movie’s twist was important, but supported the emotions and didn’t feel cheap.

Score: 1

Characters

The characters felt well-developed and surprisingly deep considering the sparse details on backstory.

I didn’t like the pickpocket scene at the end. It felt out of character for both versions of that character. It was played for laughs and meant to seem flirty, but came off disrespectful and creepy.

There’s a lot that the characters don’t share and that either didn’t make sense or was played fast and loose. If it wasn’t for how well the actors emoted, the dialogue and story would have seemed flippant and undercooked.

The pig was awesome.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

Lots of great dialogue and lots of awkward moments and phrasing. The strange pattern and beats of the dialogue enhanced the surreal quality of the film. It’s one of those movies who’s dialogue is just a little off and almost feels poetic but is just simplistic.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

Utterly beautiful and wonderful. The film is a spectacle that does a great job at showing the variety and breadth of dreams while still having a unique style.

The music was good and worked perfectly. I liked the repeated motif of the piano song she played with her father.

Score: 1

Fun

Other than the slow parts at the start, the movie is exciting and fascinating. The entire family was enthralled. The raw emotions hit the adults more though. I can see this becoming a comfort crying movie.

Score: 1

Overall

A fantastic trip into dreams. What it lacks in coherence and dialogue, it makes up in emotion, visuals, and spectacular acting.

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5