Fantasia (1940) – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 1940 film Fantasia.

Story

This isn’t a regular movie and feels more like an anthology with various forms of storytelling. It’s creative and absolutely engrossing.

Score: 1

Characters

There are a lot of characters and none of them speak, but they are animated to the music spectacularly.

Score: 1

Dialogue

This one is not applicable for most of it but there is the narrator who introduces the parts. He has some cute dialogue.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The animation is creative, innovative, and very pretty.

The music is iconic and sparked my love of classical music.

Score: 1

Fun

When I was young, my mom bought this on VHS and it had me mesmerized. It was my favourite movie for a long time. (Something my classmates did not understand.)

Other than the science in the dinosaur part, which was dated when I watched it, the movie holds up really well.

The kids say they didn’t like it but were glued to the screen the whole time and completely invested.

Score: 1

Overall

A classic that holds up well because of the timelessness of imagination and music. If you’ve ever loved it in the past you’ll still love it now, and if you didn’t like it before, it might surprise you.

Final Score: 5 Stars out of 5

Nimona – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2023 film Nimona.

Story

The movie took a lot of traditional fantasy story elements and moved them around or flipped them upside down. It meant that everything felt familiar but was still suprising.

The not-so-subtle message of inclusiveness and not treating others like monsters is painfully current and needed.

Score: 1

Characters

I was so happy to see the queer relationships in this. It was a relief not to just have it hinted at. The characters were all very well fleshed out and distinct. Despite being in a massive city, the cast is actually quite small which gives us that personal time with the characters while keeping the feel of a rich world.

I liked Nimona’s chaos gremlin energy and was a huge fan of Ballister’s unyielding goodness.

Score: 1

Dialogue

There were a lot of quippy lines, lots of good jokes, but also lots of well used emotional words. The characters don’t outright answer every question, but they also don’t completely dodge every question and that leads to some excellent character moments and developement.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

I found some of the animation almost underdone and other parts absolutely gorgeous. It was probably the style of animation that threw me. Beyond the animation was the astounding use of colour, lighting, camera angles, and world design.

Score: 1

Fun

As a creator, you want to make your audience feel something and this movie delivers an emotional rollercoaster that felt personal while still being fun.

The entire family was glued to the screen.

Score: 1

Overall

This was a fantastic movie with great diversity and impressive writting. If you enjoy animation, science fiction, fantasy, or good stories; please watch it.

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.

Prey – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Prey.

Story

The story is fairly simple and predictable but extremely satisfying. Everything is set up and everything pays off perfectly.

There are some excellent emotional moments and I am impressed with how tight the script was.

Score: 1

Characters

The main character is awesome. She is the perfect underdog in this sort of story and she kicks a lot of ass. I loved her brother. Their individual arcs and their sibling arc were wonderful.

I was impressed with how accurate the French was for the time period.

I’m a little sad I didn’t know there was a full Comanchi version before I watched.

Score: 1

Dialogue

The dialogue was well done. In the version I watched, they transitioned from Comanchi to English and it worked well. I liked the nods to previous Predator movies.

The main character’s body language helped with the intensity of the movie. She reacts realistically and viscerally to the horror.

Score:

Visuals and Music

The great plains are a great backdrop for something so epic. The wild is just so big and the predator is so much more terrifying in comparison to the bears and mountain lions. They are also beautiful.

The camera work is clean and lets us see the impressive fighting.

The music was understated but effective.

Score: 1

Fun

The movie didn’t grab my attention right away and could have used a little more action right at the beginning but I think that’s because I was expecting an action movie not a horror.

Overall it was a lot of fun though.

Score: 1

Overall

An intense action horror with enough references to make Predator fans happy but not so much as to make it unwatchable on it’s own.

The action is amazing, the acting is fantastic, and I want a whole series of kick ass woman throughout history fighting off predators.

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 Mummy (1999) – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 1999 film The Mummy.

Story

A very loose remake of the 1932 movie with Boris Karloff. Its story, although very similar in spirit, is very different.

I liked the symmetry and the balance of horror and humour.

Score: 1

Characters

It’s rare to have two “scaredy” characters in the same movie but they did a great job in deferentiating them. I like the Indiana Jones-style character and the love story was fun. I like the confidence and strength that Evelyn gains through the movie.

Score: 1

Dialogue

The dialogue is impressively funny for such a serious movie. I like the banter between the main characters and between the siblings.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

What a beautiful movie. The cinematagraphy was stunning while still obviously influenced by classic horror and adventure movies. The CGI looked a little dated, but there wasn’t that much.

The music was beautiful and fit perfectly. I want the soundtrack for my D&D games.

Score: 1

Fun

Seeing the influence of older movies on this one and then the influence this had on future films is so cool. I saw it in theatres when it first came out and loved it, but I appreciated its details more now.

My six year old was nervous throughout, but the three year old loved it. Jen found it scary, but fun (it was her first time watching it).

Fun and exciting for the whole family.

Score: 1

Overall

A classic action adventure with a touch of horror and romance. The characters are great and the movie is absolutely beautiful. A must-watch for anyone who loves archeology or action adventure movies.

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.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.

Story

It follows the same structure as Knives Out, in which the first half of the movie plays out like a traditional mystery and then it rewinds and shows us more from another point of view. The layers are excellent and even though I guessed the murderer before we saw a murder, I still very much enjoyed it.

Score: 1

Characters

The vapid archetypes of the main characters makes me sad at how many real life examples of them there are. They are played perfectly. Janelle Monáe is fabulous.

Score: 1

Dialogue

Daniel Craig’s accent is much more consistent in this movie and his aphorisms are subdued. My biggest complaint about the dialogue would have been how utterly filled with bullshit all the speeches by the main “disruptors” are. But that is a feature showing their characters and works despite grating on me.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The locations, costumes, camerawork, and editing are superb and visually stunning. This is the first non animated or superhero movie I wish could have seen on the big screen.

The music, both score and diegetic music, is picked perfectly to accentuate the story.

Score: 1

Fun

I love mysteries. My favourite being And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, which this movie borrows a lot from. It didn’t feel derivative, but more like an homage.

The 6 and 3 year olds didn’t like it, but the rest of the family did.

Score: 1

Overall

The movie’s plot is just like it’s namesake, lots of layers, pretty, and fairly clear what’s inside. A brilliant take on both modern life and the mystery genre.

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.

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.