Zombies 3 – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Zombies 3.

Story

Although following the same themes as the first two, it deviates more in story. The overall plot is utterly ridiculous, but in the best way possible. There are a few inconsistencies with the first one (specifically the ages of the characters) but it’s still a fun story. I particularly like how they used the three groups’ tech together.

Score: 0.5

Characters

I like the third movie in these sorts of series. The characters are developed and sure of themselves. Zed is a proud Zombie trailblazer and even without knowing her origins, Addison is a leader and welcomes everyone. The rest of the cast fit really well together.

Score: 1

Dialogue

There are a lot of nice nods to classic sci-fi and monster movies. The dialogue leans into the cheesy and series nostalgia, which somehow works really well.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

By far the best filmed of the series, but the special effects aren’t as great as they could be. I liked how much they managed in the first two with little to no budget, but with a massive budget it was a little disapointing.

The music was great, but still not extremely distinctive. I doubt I’ll hear the soundtrack and know right away what it’s from.

Score: 0.5

Fun

This is a an angst-free and fun movie. It has all the elements that made the first two fun and everyone in the family enjoyed it.

Score: 1

Overall

My favourite of the three, but mostly for the return to an awesome world. It was fun and had some great songs.

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5

The Parent Trap (1961) – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 1961 film The Parent Trap.

Story

The transitions between parts of the movie were a little choppy and uneven, but the story was solid. It had the right amount of twists and turns. I’m not sure if some of it is cliché or if it’s just had a huge influence on YA films afterwards. It’s definitely a product of it’s time with some casual racism and sexism.

Score: 0.5

Characters

I really enjoyed the side characters, the grandfather was awesome and so was the cook. I thought the mother and father were a little annoying, but hilarious. I was impressed with how Hayley Mills had different body language, mannerisms, and movements for each of her characters. It was always obvious which was which.

Score: 1

Dialogue

A lot of the slang in this is antiquated to the point that it took me some time to understand what it meant. It’s not unintelligible, but it was an adjustment.

The movie is quite witty and has a lot of fun lines.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The movie’s green screen is uncomfortable, but other than that, the movie is extremely well done. The split screen and body double work is impressive.

The music is good, especially the opening theme.

Score: 1

Fun

The 5yo didn’t want to watch it at first, but loved it pretty quickly. I had never seen it and it was a fun movie that made me smile. For my wife and mother-in-law it was a nostalgic return. We all had fun.

Score: 1

Overall

Mildly dated with some pacing issues, but overall a very fun and funny movie. The acting from Mills is excellent and the attention to detail is great. Definitely earns its place as a Disney classic.

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5

Tomb Raider (2018) – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2018 film Tomb Raider.

Story

I haven’t played the games, but I assume there are some common elements from the stills and trailers I’ve seen. The story isn’t what I expected; I expected a puzzle archaeology movie and got an action movie.

All that being said, the story was pretty good. I wish they’d spent less time with the island action scenes and more with the tomb or puzzles.

My major issues is that it started action / intrigue and the tone switched to horror action once it reached the island. That would work for a book or TV show, but for a movie it felt disjointed.

Score: 0.5

Characters

I have to give credit to the actress because we learn almost nothing about Lara the entire movie other than she’s smart, gets back up, and is very curious. Any urge by the audience to care about the character is due to the charisma the actress brings to it.

The bad guy was perfectly cartoonish and the dad was okay. I liked the captain.

The CEO of of Croft Corp reminded me of Nina Sharp in Fringe played by Blair Brown.

Score: 1

Dialogue

Not super quippy, but very well paced. There’s a lot of mythology and they space it out really well. I also liked that the few puzzles that Lara solves are thought out in dialogue.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

Everything in this movie was stunning. Filming was amazing, lighting spectacular, and action just wonderful.

The music was intense and well composed. There were a few times that it was a little early for the scene, which didn’t work for me.

Score: 0.5

Fun

I loved every moment of it, but I regret watching it with the kids. It was a little scarier and more violent than they should be watching. However, that’s on me.

My wife liked it, but found it a little exhausting.

Score: 1

Overall

A roller coaster from start to finish. The tone goes from action to horror, but the cinematography is spectacular. A fun action movie with lots of thrills.

Score: 4 Stars out of 5

Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers  – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers.

Story

The concept is Roger Rabbit, but the story is a traditional buddy cop reunion. It has a good amount of humour and lots of interesting moments.

Score: 0.5

Characters

Despite being the actors behind the characters, they’re still fairly similar, which is great. The writers even comment on it in one of the last scenes. I appreciated that they didn’t try and give them a dark backstory, but overall they were okay.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The dialogue was clever and aimed at kids, regular people, and animation nerds. There was a great balance of quips and references along with exposition.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

I am extremely impressed that they managed to make so many animation styles work together without it being jarring. Very well done. Combined with the camera and composition, this movie was pretty impressive.

The music was good and did its job.

Score: 1

Fun

The whole family loved it. I found it dragged a little in the middle, but overall it was a lot of fun with lots of laughs.

Score: 1

Overall

What the movie lacks in story, it more than makes up in visuals and jokes. This is an homage to the best buddy cop comedies and it does a great job.

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5

Spin – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2021 film Spin.

Story

This is a pretty standard Disney formula teen music/sports movie. What’s different here is the lack of the usual tropes associated with this genre. There’s no mean girl, not much friends angst, no racism, and no parents yelling about what is appropriate.

The girl also doesn’t change herself for the boy, which is great.

There is a little bit more parental angst than I’d like and it was handled awkwardly in the story.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The friends and classmates were fantastic. It’s great to see that dynamic. The grandmother was amazing, she stole the show. The brother felt a little superfluous.

The love interest was perfectly annoying, as he should be.

The only character that bothered me was the dad. He had reasons for what he did but they were terribly shown and you really had to read between the lines. It made him seem like he went from supportive to ass without provocation.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The dialogue was quipy and felt appropriate, if a little extra clean, for the age and characters. I liked the nerdy talk and the pun on tikka masala tacos (tik-taco)

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The scenery and camera work are really well done and perfectly colourful. Perfect for the style of the story.

The music is excellent and had the whole family wanting to dance.

Score: 1

Fun

The entire family was bopping to the music and loving the story. It was really nice to see some of the most frustrating tropes in kids movies were turned upside down or discarded.

Score: 1

Overall

This is the teen movie I wish I’d had as a kid. The supportive friends, family, and teacher are awesome, the music fun, and the grandmother is amazing. If you enjoyed the music based movies from Disney in the early two thousands you’ll love everything about this.

I can’t wait to see it again.

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5

Better Nate Than Ever – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Better Nate Than Ever.

Story

This is a combination of musical, kid running away, and trying to reach your dream. It’s fairly predictable but lots of fun. I liked the friendship and I really liked the casualness of his sexuality.

I do feel there should have at least been a little bit of dialogue about him running away between him and his parents. They should have at least admitted that they pushed him to run away with their disregard for his dreams.

Score: 0.5

Characters

I didn’t like the parents. I found they were, as usual for an American movie, too focused on the sports star and too dismissive of the younger son. I also found the line where the dad is justifying Nate sleeping over at a girls house a little ridiculous. He says that’s it okay because, “Nate is different.” That works if they’ve had a talk about his sexuality, but if the dad is just guessing, that’s a dangerous line of thought. We bisexuals exist and there are a lot of boys who look or sound gay and are somewhere else in the spectrum.

The dynamics between the best friend and Nate are great and I love the aunt. The brother’s growth is well done.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The dialogue was pure Broadway fan with a few explanations for those who didn’t know. It was clever, witty, and quick while still being hopeful and naive. I loved it.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The movie was excellently framed and shot, making perfect use of the camera without being too static. The sets and locations were a great mix.

The music was perfectly picked and the musical numbers were a lot of fun.

Score: 1

Fun

This is a feelgood movie with lots of hope and talent. My 2yo was glued to the screen and my 5yo was writhing on the floor in second-hand embarrassment (she really doesn’t like movies where kids lie to their parents.)

The rest of us had big grins on our faces most of the time.

Score: 1

Overall

A fun, exciting, and musically filled film with lots of heart. I hope that the matter-of-fact treatment of sexuality is something we’ll see more of in the future.

This movie will make you smile and want to get up and dance. It almost made me want to audition for something.

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5

The Court Jester – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 1955 film The Court Jester.

Story

The story is quite clever and a lot of the humour is based on it being an amalgam of all the constant Robin Hood remakes; something that hasn’t changed much since this movie came out.

The romance is acceptable but contrived and the pacing is a little off in many places.

Score: 0.5

Characters

Most of the characters are well done. The stereotype use of Little People with ridiculously high voices is annoying, but very much a product of its time.

Despite having a woman who is supposed to be a fighter, Jean is pretty useless in the final fight.

I would have liked to see more than a few seconds at the end dedicated to the princess and Griswold’s love story.

And I’ll be honest, I’m still bitter about poor Fergus. He deserved more.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

Both the language and the delivery of this movie is amazing. “Get it, Got it, Good” is a staple in our house.

The Jester’s monologue song The Maladjusted Jester, along with all the wordplay, cement this as one of the cleverest movies of it’s type.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The movie is simple and has some nice visuals, but nothing spectacular. It shows that it was a comedy and not given the budget of a bigger movie. That said, they use it quite well and the sets are nice, the fight scenes amazing, and the choreography fantastic.

I truly appreciate the use of colour in the clothing which was probably done more for the fact that it was a comedy, but is more authentic.

The film score is fun and interesting, but the songs are great.

Score: 1

Fun

I saw this movie with my wife on our second or third date. It’s been a staple in our house for nearly two decades. I love watching this and hearing her laugh.

The kids had a little harder a time sitting still, probably because the dialogue was more elevated and quick on top of the pacing issues I mentioned.

Score: 1

Overall

Despite this movie being dated, especially by it’s treatment of woman and Little People, it is extremely clever, witty, and downright hilarious. A classic of musical comedies and parodies.

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5

The Adam Project  – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film The Adam Project.

Story

There’s nothing new here and the plot is pretty bare bones. It’s a little derivative for the time travel aspect, but the writing of the characters’ stories is well nuanced, but none of that will be memorable.

Score: 0

Characters

The actor they got to play a young version of Reynolds is brilliant. He really got the mannerisms and speech patterns.

The rest of the cast is excellent and extremely believable.

Score: 1

Dialogue

This was a quip fest with exactly the kind of jokes and turns of phrase you’d expect from Reynolds. It was awesome seeing his younger self match him and even Jennifer Garner got in on it.

The time travel mechanics and rules were well explained and didn’t go too deep.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The special effects were fantastic and they used the forests and lakes really well as a backdrop. The fight scenes were great with little to no shaky cam and lots of humour integrated.

The score was well used and the songs were great.

Score: 1

Fun

Fun is what this movie was all about. Lots of humour, action, and excitement. I was glued to my seat.

The 5yo loved it and the 2yo loved the kid and the action, but got bored at the kissy or talky scenes.

Score: 1

Overall

A fun, quippy, action movie with lots of great acting. This is the perfect movie to sit back, relax, and enjoy.

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5

One Hundred and One Dalmatians – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 1961 film One Hundred and One Dalmatians.

Story

This isn’t one of those movies I watched as a kid. I think I saw it as a teen and then again in my twenties. I’d forgotten most of the story and was pleasantly surprised. I’m not sure if this is the prototypical, “Pets return home” adventure movie, but it certainly has a lot of the tropes we’d see in later movies of the genre.

Very simple with a heartwarming community feel between the animals.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The puppies all have unique personalities even if I don’t know them. I’m sure with repeated watching, I’d be able to tell them appart.

Cruella seems mean and evil just for the fun of it. She’s beyond cartoony and I both like the simplicity and dislike the “single older woman is crazy/evil” trope.

I love the humans, they’re sweet and adorable pets.

I could have done without the fat jokes. “Fat kid’s always hungry” is a joke that needs to go away along with “fat kid can’t do anything effectively.” Arg.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

Despite not having seen it a lot, I have often quoted the “my toes are froze” line. The midnight bark is iconic enough that I remember friends barking at each other from across fields. The movie is simple but very memorable in it’s dialogue.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

This is one of those iconic animations that are just absolutely beautiful. Everything is clear and the animation is utterly beautiful. The backgrounds and snow especially.

The music is superb. It’s not a musical, but it will leave a song stuck in your head.

Score: 1

Fun

The movie is filled with pretty visuals and lots of cute puppies. The story moves extremely well for it’s time and the kids were glued to the screen. Fantastic to see that a sixty-year old movie can still have the same magic for kids as it did when it first came out.

I enjoyed it and wouldn’t be against watching it again.

2 year old’s review: “Me like it. Puppies in it.”

Score: 1

Overall

There are so many puppies in this movie that it’ll melt even a non-dog person’s heart. It’s exciting, adventurous, and despite some ableist language, it’s aged very well.

Fun, cute, and exciting.

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5

The Knight Before Christmas – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2019 film The Knight Before Christmas.

Story

The story is Christmas-y and happy. They avoid awkward tropes and lean into the cutesy cheese. The least believable part was that a teacher could afford the property taxes on such a massive house.

Score: 1

Characters

The characters are sweet and heartwarming. They are also completely unrealistic. Brooke is a teacher, but throws money around like an heiress. She’s overly trusting and kind of naive.

Sir Cole is anachronistic in every way. His knight’s code is pure Romantic reconstruction, he speaks modern English, his armour is off a little and his sword is styled more like WIlliam the Lionheart than William the Third.

The rest of the cast are adorable and interesting.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

Pure Christmas movie cheese and I loved every part of it. Once you get over the fact that the historical characters are not talking in middle English, it’s freaking adorable.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The cinematography is okay and the setting is picturesque. The leads are pretty to look at and the clothes are fantastic.

The music isn’t amazing, but it’s fun.

Score: 0.5

Fun

It kept the interest of the entire family and was a lot of easy fun.

Score: 1

Overall

This is a cheesy, angst-free, lovely holiday movie with a great cast and a lot of cuteness.

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5