Raiders of the Lost Ark – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Story

It’s fascinating watching a story that is completely unaffected by the protagonist. Other than a lot of killing Nazis, he doesn’t do much to alter the end result.

It’s exciting and flows from one set piece to the next really well.

Score: 0.5

Characters

Indiana is tough, charismatic, wise cracking, and fluctuates between genius and fool. As an adventurer, he attracts disaster and does everything with wry wit. As an archeologist, he doesn’t do much but consult experts. I wonder what his specialty is?

Marion is the tough girl who can drink anyone under the table, shoot a gun, and runs her own bar in the tough part of Nepal. She’s also completely defenseless and screams more then my children watching this movie.

Salah is still one of my favourite characters.

The villains are evil Nazis and its nice to remember a time when we as a society were against Nazis.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The dialogue in this is iconic and quotable in a way only Harrison Ford and Spielberg can be.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The visuals are good for the time but are showing their age. The cinematography does a great job in its use of shadows.

The music is excellent and definitely big and adventurous. Perfect for the movie.

Score: 1

Fun

There isn’t a lot of cringe (outside the weird classroom scene) and I really enjoy the nostalgia, but after so many other movies, like the Librarian or Stargate, having the protagonists be hyper-competent and smart, it makes Indiana Jones feel a little less special.

The kids liked it and were a little freaked out by the faces melting until we explained how the fx were done.

Score: 0.5

Overall

One of the first archeology adventures and still a fun ride. It’s aged fairly well but the character of Indiana is often more frustrating than not. That’s in part because he’s not too bright and the uncomfortable history of archeology.

Final Score: 3.5 Stars out of 5

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.

The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2008 film The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice.

Story

The story has nice pacing and makes sure to use everything that it mentions, even if it’s really quickly said. The double twist is perfectly set up and will surprise at least a few people. Mildly predictable at times and I do wish they’d had more time for the history that Flynn spouts.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The love interest in this one is the most interesting of the three and Stana Katic plays the role exceptionally well.

The two villains are okay, but the henchmen are funny and quite impressive. I loved the taxi driver who was “cousins” with everyone.

The only character who annoys me is Flynn. He’s whinny and the whole schtick of being afraid of the the love interest was completely ridiculous. We see here the tendencies that start to get on my nerves in the TV show. He’s selfish and doesn’t seem to really care about people.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The quick babble of the Librarian is wonderful, the infodump in the barbershop was very well done.

The jokes and quips were fantastic.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The visuals are significantly better used in this one. The locations are beautiful, but with the subject matter, there’s less massive sfx needed and what they did was prettier and more subtle. New Orleans really adds to the quality and atmosphere of the film.

The music got a little more layered and rich without losing the adventure theme.

Score: 1

Fun

The love story was more believable, the action better paced, the character interactions more fun, and the history and adventure were fascinating. Both kids were glued to the screen and so was I. It’s definitely my favourite of the Librarian movies.

Score: 1

Overall

The strongest of the Librarian movies with plenty of great lines and wonderful sets. New Orleans is beautiful and Stana Katic does an amazing job. A great way to end the trilogy.

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5

The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2006 film The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines.

Story

This felt a lot more forced than the first one. Instead of well placed foreshadowing, it was extremely trope-ridden. The archeology parts were fun, the love story worse than the first, and the twists were so predictable it hurt.

Score: 0

Characters

Generic Middle Eastern general, silly twist character, dead dad, and almost better than the Librarian archeologist. Again, the only characters I liked were Flynn, Judson, and Charlene. Although Flynn was a little annoying.

Wait, actually, despite the “Noble Savage” trope, I enjoyed Hakeem Kae-Kazim’s Jomo. Especially his wry delivery.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The fighting banter between the love interests was cute but got old fast. The actual archaeology-babble was fun though. The near Spider-man repetitiveness of the “sometimes you need to give up what you want for the greater good” was overdone.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The location shoots were absolutely beautiful when in the wild. Those in the cities had that ridiculous colour filter that American movies love for the Middle-East and Africa. It’s not an alien planet… sigh.

The special effects were better, and less used, but still terrible. The camera work wasn’t as good as the first one and tended to be a little indulgent of the landscape.

The music was fun and I enjoyed the magical pan-flute playing the Librarian theme.

Score: 0.5

Fun

The entire love story really sapped some of the fun for me. I did enjoy it mostly and both kids were enthralled again.

Score: 0.5

Overall

A weak sequel that spends too much time trying to make us fall in love with the love story and not enough with the actual characters making us care about them. It’s predictable and awkward, but has some sights of what this franchise could become.

Final Score: 2 Stars out of 5

The Librarian: Quest for the Spear – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2004 film The Librarian: Quest for the Spear.

Story

This isn’t a new story and the love interest feels forced. The development and details, however, are excellent. Nothing in his quick patter is ever just to make him seem smart; it also adds details and sometimes foreshadowing.

Score: 0.5

Characters

I like Flynn; he’s fun, smart and witty. I absolutely loved Judson and Charlene. The rest of the characters were bland and almost cardboard.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

This is my favourite type of cheesy dialogue. It’s smart but never takes itself seriously. The love story dialogue is a little less fun.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The special effects are absolutely terrible. I was working in low quality video production at the time and I recognised the effects.

That being said, the camera angles were great and the non-special effect scenes were beautiful.

The music has a special place in my heart after having watched all three movies and seen the series several times.

Score: 0.5

Fun

The good guys win with style and smarts. What more could you want? Both kids were riveted and the 2yo actually asked questions that were relevant to what was happening.

Score: 1

Overall

This is a low budget archeology / magic movie that remembers to bring the fun and wit. It’s not perfect, but is a lot of fun.

Final Score: 3 Stars out of 5