Enola Holmes 2 – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Enola Holmes 2.

Story

With less set up needed then the first one (Enola Homes Movie Review), there’s more room for the story, characters, and world to breathe and grow.

I liked the mystery and all its twists and turns.

Score: 1

Characters

The characters are consistant with the first movie and mostly keep the same cast. There’s no Mycroft, but that’s a good thing, letting Sherlock and Enola grow as siblings. I have to say that I adore this version of Sherlock. He’s warm, kind, but still jaded, manic, and brilliant.

Enola is clever, charismatic, and soooooo young. It’s great to see that the writers didn’t just copy-paste a younger Sherlock.

At first I was a little annoyed at the inclusion of Moriarty, but it was done so well and acted amazingly.

Score: 1

Dialogue

The dialogue is witty, quick, and loaded with multiple meanings and references.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

Everything is bigger in this one, the fights are more dramatic, the dancing more impressive, and the camera work is excellent.

The music was extremely well-placed and beautiful.

Score: 1

Fun

I love both action and mystery when they are well done and this was extremely well done. Lots of twists and turns, lots of great characters, and some great historical elements.

Score: 1

Overall

Surpassing the first by virtue of wasting less time on setup and more on the actual mysteries. Henry Cavill is a splendid broody Holmes and Millie Bobby Brown is both believable and delightful in the role. If you enjoy a good mystery and can enjoy a new Sherlock, this is a great choice.

Final Score: 5 Stars out of 5*


*A 5 star review doesn’t mean the movie was perfect nor that it is perfect for everyone but it is a movie I believe is as close to perfect as possible.

Hocus Pocus 2 – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Hocus Pocus 2.

Story

It felt like the first closed the book on the Sanderson Sisters, but the sequel uses a clever linguistic loophole (the best kind) to bring them back. The structure of the movie is close enough to the original to have callbacks, but different to be unique.

I’m really impressed with the tighness of the story. There are elements that seem like they were meant as one of gags, but then come back later in a great way.

Score: 1

Characters

The sisters, and Billy, are 29 years older and it show in little things like the timbre of their voices and the way they move. That being said, they are completely beleivable.

The new characters are very much like the first set of kids, except instead of the awkward romance, we have the story of friends who’ve drifted apart. Much less secondhand awkward and more fun.

I also enjoyed the clueless boyfriend who didn’t realize he was a bully.

I liked the evolution of Book from a malevolent force to a loving friend.

Score: 1

Dialogue

The dialogue was quipy and a lot of fun. I liked the self awareness of the film.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The visuals were beautiful. They were sparing with the CGI and what little they used was well done. (Looking at you Book)

The music was fantastic. I loved the musical numbers and the other music was great. I’m buying the soundtrack if I can.

Score: 1

Fun

This had all the fun of the first with no angst, awkwardness, or child death.

It was fun and spooky in all the right ways. The entire family loved it.

Score: 1

Overall

A new Halloween tradition is here! With all the charm and fun of the first with more songs, more magic, and less awkwardness. In most ways, it’s just as good if not better than the original.

Final Score: 5*


*A 5 star review doesn’t mean the movie was perfect nor that it is perfect for everyone but it is a movie I believe is as close to perfect as possible.

Lightyear – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Lightyear.

Story

This was a great concept. A movie about the real Buzz Lightyear. The character is the basis for the toy in Toy Story.

Unfortunately, there are some issues with this sort of story. People are expecting a movie about the cartoonish and silly character. This means that people who only care about Toy Story might be turned off by the science-fiction elements, while people who love science-fiction might be turned off by the the association with Toy Story.

That being said, this is an excellent adventure / science-fiction film with influence and nods to so many other great films.

Score: 1

Characters

The character of Buzz is only changed a little from the toy; his silliness is toned down, but he’s still brash, overconfident, and single-minded.

The rest of the cast, although not as fleshed out, are fun and have rewarding story arcs.

Score: 1

Dialogue

There are plenty of references to both Toy Story and classic Sci-Fi. With so much reference material, it could easily have been a quote fest that left people feeling like they missed something. The writers did a great job balancing the quotes and the original story. To a point that they’re great for those that know, but pass over other’s heads.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

I was in awe of the space scenes, and pretty much all the animation. Pixar ups their quality with every movie and I love it. Beyond the animation, the cinematography is fantastic and references so many other great movies. The shot of Zurg’s ship rising from the floor was just like Vader’s in A New Hope, the airlocks look just like those of 2001: A Space Odyssey, there were plenty of others too.

The music was epic and had just the right balance to be remarkable but not overpower the action.

Score: 1

Fun

The fun you get from this is definitely influenced by your expectations. If you’re expecting the tone and feel of Toy Story, you’ll be disappointed. I went in expecting cheesy sci-fi and was surprised by how much fun it was.

My five and three year old both loved it and sat through the whole thing without complaining. The rest of the family seemed to really love it too.

Score: 1

Overall

The movie is a retro sci-fi with all the best parts from the movies of the genre in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. It’s delightfully littered with Pixar and Sci-fi references and has a fun and heartwarming story.

Final Score: 5* Stars out of 5


*A 5 star review doesn’t mean the movie was perfect nor that it is perfect for everyone but it is a movie I believe is as close to perfect as possible.

The Lost City – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film The Lost City.

Story

I love absurdity in my movies, however, it doesn’t often lend itself well to properly exploring human emotions and relationships. I’m in awe at the balance between groundedness and absurdity in this film. As a romantic comedy with an archeological adventure twist, none of the many parts failed to work. If anything, they worked perfectly together in a way that I would love to dissect.

Score: 1

Characters

The characters (except Brad Pitt’s Jack Trainer) start as caricatures, but with every scene, layer on emotion and depth. Although a completely new story, watching this cast in a romantic comedy felt like a new album from your favourite band; comfortable, but still exciting.

Score: 1

Dialogue

I’m not a fan of bodily function humour or crude humour. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the majority of this film’s laughs were dialogue and banter-related. It was both intelligent while still throwing in the occasional dick joke.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

Tropical islands, volcanoes, ancient temples, and archeological digs are hard to screw up as a backdrop. The movie uses its special effects sparingly and the location very well. There were only one or two instances of green screen that didn’t look quite right.

The music wasn’t in your face, but definitely accentuated the action and was instrumental in one of my favourite jokes.

Score: 1

Fun

I’ll be honest, a movie about a writer is an easy sell for me. However, it’s really easy to screw it up and there are very few of them that I consider any good. This managed to have everything in it that I like and none of the whiny writer stuff. I also really appreciated the archeological twist and that it wasn’t reversed.

I do take offence to the villains categorizing romance as porn, but the positive portrayal from other characters more than made up for it.

Score: 1

Overall

This is an action-packed, witty, and extremely fun take on the romantic comedy genre. Despite following the genre’s standard tropes, it felt fresh. If you enjoyed Sandra Bullock in anything from the 90s or aughts, you’ll love this.

Final Score: 5*


*A 5 star review doesn’t mean the movie was perfect nor that it is perfect for everyone but it is a movie I believe is as close to perfect as possible.

Turning Red – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Turning Red.

Story

This was a coming of age movie done extremely well. I loved the supportive friends and the music obsession. The family trauma was well done. I’m also amazed that with no real villain they managed to have a marvel-worthy boss fight at the end.

Score: 1

Characters

The kids in the movie were all stereotypes I remember from my high school. They are, however, well nuanced despite the little amount of screentime.

The overbearing mom with the soft-spoken dad is a dynamic I’ve seen in real life and is nice to see a move away from the idiot/useless father figures.

The aunties gave me flashbacks and made me giggle.

At the heart of it, Mei was both cringingly 13 but extremely relatable.

Score: 1

Dialogue

It was odd watching a Pixar-Disney movie with Canadian accents and expressions; odd but comforting.

A lot of information was given as worldbuilding and came back as important to the plot. The dialogue was fast, frantic and well crafted. I’ll need a rewatch to appreciate the full scope.

Score: 1

Music and Visuals

The songs are perfectly crafted to match the time period and the style of music. It reminded me of sitting in my cousin’s room listening to TLC, Destiny’s Child, Backstreet Boys, N’Sync, and 98 Degrees. Meanwhile the score was absolutely epic.

The animation is spectacular, as expected for Pixar. The backgrounds and details are wonderful and the character design was spot on.

Score: 1

Fun

The movie’s pace and energy is so perfectly reminiscent of being an early teen that it took me a little time to acclimate. It was great to step into that feeling and world again. I also thought it was fun spotting all the Canadianisms and things that are purely Toronto.

My kids liked it, although the 2 year old found the big panda scary and my 5 year old writhed in secondary embarrassment for most of it.

The most unrealistic thing was that they could get their concert tickets that close to the show and be on the floor.

I can’t wait to rewatch it and see all the little details I missed in the animation and storytelling.

Score: 1

Overall

This movie throws you into the life of a teen and drags you at the breakneck speed of youth. It’s exciting, heartwarming, and extremely poignant. It continues the excellent storytelling that Pixar is known for.

See this movie with an open mind and heart and it’ll transport you to the exotic land of Toronto and remind you what it means to be a young teen.

Final Score: 5 Stars out of 5*


*A 5 star review doesn’t mean the movie was perfect nor that it is perfect for everyone but it is a movie I believe is as close to perfect as possible.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2018 film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

This was my favourite film of 2018.

Story

I’m not sure there is a better done origin story for a superhero. The combination of dark themes with the lighter elements are perfectly balanced. The audience always has just enough time to process what’s going on before they’re treated to another action or drama point.

Score: 1

Characters

Miles’s narrative arc is a perfect hero’s call to arms and we get to see him grow so much from the beginning to the end. He’s also both brilliant and artistic which is a nice combination.

The rest of the cast are extremely well developed in a short time.

Fisk’s story is both heartbreaking and terrifying at the same time; making you feel for the villain while hating his methods.

Score: 1

Dialogue

Everything from the internal monologues, to the character’s backstories, to the interactions between people feels real while still being honed to perfect quippiness.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The animation style wasn’t new, but the way they used it was groundbreaking. It’s a way of making 3D animated movies into a more paper/comic look. The ink-dot style that mimics old comics was wonderful.

The music was great. The score was obviously inspired by previous Spider-man movies, but with a fresh spin. The song choices were masterfully done and integrated with the animation.

Score: 1

Fun

The themes were complex, but the plot was fairly easy for my kids to follow. The reveal of who the Prowler is had my five year old gasping in surprise and my two year old just loved seeing all the Spider-people.

Score: 1

Overall

By far my favourite Spider-man movie and possibly my favourite superhero film of all time. The movie weaves a near perfect coming-of-age story and hero’s journey, while being funny and heartwarming at the same time.

If you haven’t seen this, you should.

Final Score: 5* stars out of 5


*A 5 star review doesn’t mean the movie was perfect nor that it is perfect for everyone but it is a movie I believe is as close to perfect as possible.

The Holiday – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2006 film The Holiday.

Story

The movie is easy to brush off as another rom-com holiday movie, but it has some surprising depth to it’s story and insights on love. The parallel structure both between the stories and between each pair of lovers is amazing.

Score: 1

Characters

Despite some exaggerated characteristics, the characters are well grounded and relatable. Each actor is at their best and it shows that the characters and roles were written for these specific actors. I still think it would be nice to see Jack Black in more romance roles.

Score: 1

Dialogue

There’s a wonderful balance between mid-aughts slang, romance tropes, and dialogue inspired by classic films. It gives the film a historic and timeless feel.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

Between this viewing and the last we upgraded from a DVD to a Blu-ray and upgraded our TV to 4K. The jump in colour and depth was amazing. This movie looked foggy and grey before and now looks vibrant and sharp.

With the upgraded tech, I can see the impressive camera work and hear the music better. The music goes the extra mile to give each character a theme and even make it so that they are played at a different tempo and key depending on the situation. Example, when they’re having a hard time, things go minor. Another cool trick is the melding of the romantic lead’s themes when they’re being romantic.

Score: 1

Fun

I always expect to find this movie long or get annoyed with the plot, but I don’t. It’s a story that makes me sad and happy and leaves me feeling satisfied. It’s just enjoyable.

The kids, however, got bored. It’s a little more talky and emotional than they fully grasp right now.

Score: 1

Overall

This movie plays on the actors’ strengths and develops believable and lovable characters. It’s got just enough of a classic movie feel combined with a good romance to make it unique and fun to watch.

Definitely a feel-good movie with lots of depth.

Final Score: 5 Stars out of 5*


*A 5 star review doesn’t mean the movie was perfect nor that it is perfect for everyone but it is a movie I believe is as close to perfect as possible.

Free Guy – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2021 film Free Guy.

Story

The story was deceptively simple but had lots of layers. It had a surprisingly upbeat message considering how the majority of humans are truly awful in the movie. I like the melding of a classic hero’s narrative with shades of fairy tales, otherworld stories, and a shade of 80’s techno thriller.

Score: 1

Characters

It would have been much too simple to make the characters stereotypes. The movie avoids that with everyone except the main villain who is geniusly played.

Score: 1

Dialogue

The dialogue is witty and wonderfully steeped in video game and online culture without being so dense as to be unintelligible to people who don’t play.

It has some ridiculously silly lines that wouldn’t work without the expert delivery of the actors.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The movie has so much going on in the background that it is impossible to catch everything in one viewing. I was impressed how this never distracted from the plot or the character development. It was also stunningly done with a beautiful mix of traditional and modern special effects. Special shoutout to them filming the real world and the game world with different camera lenses. Combined with the extra saturation in the game, it added a nice touch of separation.

If you’re a music nerd and a Disney fan, you’ll maybe have noticed that Guy’s theme is the same as the protagonist’s from the short film Paperman. The short’s music was written by the same composer and the short premiered before Wreck-It Ralph, another videogame movie.

Score: 1

Fun

My two year old sat through most of it, but got bored near the end. He spent the next day saying, “Free Guy Awesome.” My five year old spent the entire movie glued to the screen. My father-in-law was a little confused by some things since he’s never been into video games.

I had a lot of fun with this and found myself completely engrossed. It’s a rare movie that has me so sucked in that I feel disoriented when I get out of it.

Score: 1

Overall

This movie is exciting, heartwarming, and lots of fun. The blending of meta narrative with action adventure, Truman Show, and a little Sleeping Beauty makes for a fascinating story. All of which would be terrible without the amazing performances of the actors.

I highly recommend this one.

Final Score: 5 stars out of 5*


*A 5 star review doesn’t mean the movie was perfect nor that it is perfect for everyone but it is a movie I believe is as close to perfect as possible.

Treasure Planet – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2002 film Treasure Planet.

Story

On the surface, this seems like a straight adaptation of the book, but there are a lot of small subtle changes to adapt it to a 2002 audience. Mostly we see it in the way that the main character views the world. Instead of the naive, wide-eyed boy of the book, we get a sullen bad boy wannabe. Both are rutted in a childhood ignorance that mirrors when they were written.

The rest of the changes are just as clever and make the whole movie work in a way that seems improbable, but is quite lovely.

I find it interesting that in the book, we discover that the dad was killed to hide the treasure and that Silver knew him, but that story line is completely dropped in this version. Again, probably a sign of the times, in that an audience for the book would be shocked at a dad who just left instead of dying at sea, while more modern audiences wouldn’t blink an eye.

Score: 1

Characters

The protagonist is just the right level of innocent, sullen, and clever to make him likeable. The rest of the characters range from cartoony to downright terrifying. It’s impressive that the movie can have such a range without it feeling jarring.

Score: 1

Dialogue

The blend of pirate/sea talk, modern dialogue, and science fiction speak is fantastic. It’s at the perfect level to be understandable to anyone yet still have little nods to the original and science fiction movies.

Score: 1

Visuals and music

The blending of animation techniques works so well that despite the early 3D animation this is still absolutely stunning. From the textures to the starscapes, everything looks amazing. The 3D is used extremely well for shots that just would be impossible in traditional animation.

The music is a nice mix of early 2000’s, epic science fiction, and pirate movie.

Score: 1

Fun

I enjoyed the movie and always love the nuances of the characters. My 2 year repeated the title and ‘cook’ for the first half. Not sure why, but he still watched. My four year old loved it.

Score: 1

Overall

The movie has all the buckle and swash you’d want with just a nice pinch of science fiction cleverness. Definitely one of the most underrated Disney movies.

If you enjoy pirates in space, this is the movie for you.

Final Score: 5 Stars out of 5*


*A 5 star review doesn’t mean the movie was perfect nor that it is perfect for everyone but it is a movie I believe is as close to perfect as possible.

Monsters, Inc. – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2001 Monsters, Inc.

Story

Behind a cutesy story there’s a lot of great messages and social commentary. I’m a huge fan of the moment Sully realizes that what he’s always been told was the right thing to do actually hurt people. That moment was extremely relatable. The subtext of child labour, exploitation of others, and being a good person doesn’t mean you always do good things, are still very powerful.

Score: 1

Characters

A little bit of an odd couple, but with a great friendship, Sully and Mike are the heart of the movie. They are genuinely nice people who’ve been socialized to do bad things. It’s a wonderful dichotomy. The rest of the cast are a little less nuanced, but show different aspects of how this society molds people.

Score: 1

Dialogue

Every time I watch this movie I’m shocked by the amount of things in it that I’ve integrated into my everyday. From “Put that thing back where you found it or so help me” to “Follow the sultry sounds of my voice.”

The wonderful thing about the dialogue is that most of it does double or triple duty; humour, character development, and world building.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

At now 20 years old, the 3D rendering does look dated. Especially compared to newer Disney or Pixar. That being said, the hair particles and snow are stunning. The character design is well balanced between creepy and funny. Even dated, it looks great and the attention to detail is amazing.

Score: 1

Fun

This is the hardest category to judge. I watched this one in theatres and it’s a staple in our house. My daughter was glued to the screen when she was younger and she was still glued this time. My son sat and watched the entire time, although he was pretty freaked out at the beginning. He loved Boo and kept asking for her when she wasn’t on screen.

Score: 1

Overall

A classic film with all the heart and levels that Pixar is so great at. Its warmth and humour make it a joy to watch. Even twenty years after, the hair and snow animations are amazing. I’ll be honest, I’m not objective since this is one of my top ten movies of all time.

Final Score: 5*


*A 5 star review doesn’t mean the movie was perfect nor that it is perfect for everyone but it is a movie I believe is as close to perfect as possible.