The Marvels – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2023 film The Marvels.

Story

The structure was very similar to other Marvel films, but managed to make it feel fresh. There was an almost origin story feel to it. I liked how it managed to include some heavy topics like colonialism, racism, and death, while still including the light humorous moments.

There were a few things that felt rushed or out of place. The second bangle’s fate was glossed over and a few other things that I think could have been clearer. It leaves the audience with a feeling like they missed something, even if they’ve watched all the tv shows and movies.

Score: 0.5

Characters

I think Miss Marvel is my favourite MCU character and she’s amazing in this. It was great to see the contrast between the stoic soldier of Captain Marvel and the fangirling Miss Marvel.

The only thing that really bothered me was how Miss Marvel couldn’t follow the technobabble. She’s genre savvy enough that she should have gotten it and if felt like a cheap gag and reason to explain it to the audience.

Score: 1

Dialogue

I’d love to know how much of Miss Marvel’s fan-babble was scripted and how much was just the actress. Either way, the dialogue was clear, punchy, and handled emotion well.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The special effects and space backgrounds were beautiful and the costumes were great. The real star was the choreography, which was spectacular.

The music was strong and entangled the three characters well.

Score: 1

Fun

I’ve been looking forward to this movie since they announced it and was sad I missed it in theatres (Colds and RSV stopped us). I was not disappointed; it had everything I wanted in a movie and a little extra.

The three characters are great and I look forward to seeing more of them. The rest of the family loved it too.

Score: 1

Overall

This is what a Marvel movie should be and with a lot of their recent releases, it felt like they had forgotten how to have fun. Humour, emotion, and heavy topics are handled perfectly and transitioned naturally, making for a satisfying film. If that’s not enough, the fight choreography is utterly breathtaking.

Final Score: 4.5 Stars out of 5

I had a near death experience and it changed…

Hello Friends, Family, and Fans;

I’m feeling much better and all my doctor’s appointments have gone well. I still have heart, brain, eye, and various other tests to go through, but besides that I’m good.

I was told on December 8th that if I had waited before going to the hospital, I would have either had a stroke or a heart attack. Effectively, I was one bad decision away from death.

In case you weren’t following, I was hospitalized on December 8th with an extremely high heart rate and irregular heartbeat due to a really bad case of RSV. I had been sick for five days and was dehydrated, malnourished, and had developed mild pneumonia. I had trouble breathing and was coughing up quarter-sized chunks of cranberry-red gunk.

As I lay there waiting for the medication to control my heart or for death to take me, I thought to myself that this was a pivotal moment, I would never be the same. Because, that’s what happens… right?

I wish I could say I had some great epiphany about life, the universe, and everything, but I didn’t. Sure I longed to hug my wife and children, I wanted to write more, and I was sad at all the things I might miss in my family (blood and found), but none of that is new or revelatory.

I knew I had a good life and wonderful people in it before I got sick and I still know it after. Despite some physical and mental health issues, I’m a lucky man.

One big thing I need to say is how touched I am by all my friends and family who reached out to Jen and offered to help. I knew I had awesome people in my life, but I was still surprised by how awesome (and that was just a few that knew what was happening).

I guess in the end, I had a near death experience and it changed very little, but helped me appreciate the life, family, and friends that I have.

Thank you!

Be kind and stay safe,

Éric

New year, Still Recovering

Hello family, friends, and fans;

It’s been a month, give or take, since I was hospitalized with RSV. Read more about it in a previous post.

Bad news is that I’m still coughing and still have a leaky nose. My voice is still off and I can barely hit medium notes. On top of that I’m still not at full energy, I’m having trouble standing/walking for more then a half hour without feeling faint. I’m still very dizzy but that is a side effect of the pills they gave me for my heart.

Good news is that I’ve got more energy then I did, I don’t need naps anymore. I am able and okay with writing. I can think clearly most of the time and I should be fine to work from home next week.

Unrelated to the RSV, I still have numbness in my face and pressure in my left temple. My wrists and arms are not bad, which is nice.

I have an appointment with the MS clinic next week, an internal specialist in 2 weeks, and the heart institute in March. Hopefully one of them will help with the long term stuff and hopefully the RSV leftover symtoms will go away.

Thanks for following and hope you have a healthy new year.

Éric

Vivo – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2021 film Vivo.

Story

The beginning was a little predictable in its “Pixar” style twist. The rest was a usual road trip buddy story. It was a fun story.

Score: 0.5

Characters

We don’t see a lot of Cuban or Cuban-American culture in animation. It was nice to see the art, music, and accents take centre stage. The characters were all motivated by relatable emotions.

The character of Vivo is sassy, funny, and filled with heart.

Score: 1

Dialogue

The running commentary by Vivo is both adorable and refreshingly funny. I appreciated the music, situational, word, and absurd humour.

I liked that they treated parts of the dialogue like motifs in music. They repeated or altered certain phrases to create more of an emotional impact and to pull the various parts of the movie together.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The movie was absolutely beautiful. It might not have been up to Pixar or Disney quality but they captured the Cuban art and colour style fantastically. There are a few times that the face and perspective in that art style didn’t translate well to a 3D animation, but over all, it was great.

The music was Broadway with the Lin-Manuel Miranda twist and a large dollop of Cuban influence. It’s a little reminiscent of his other work, but that doesn’t detract from how good it was.

Score: 1

Fun

The movie was colourful, never wallowed too much, and had multiple levels of humour. It was poignant and had a pretty good message, plus both kids loved it.

Score: 1

Overall

It takes a lot of elements that we’re familiar with in animated and musical movies and mixes them together with a Cuban-American influence making it feel fresh and vibrant. The visuals, music, comedy, and heart warming story make for a wonderful film.

Final Score: 4.5 stars out of 5

Mortality and Immortality

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

As you age, you start to notice patterns around what happens to your friends who are around the same age. You’ll notice everyone getting married, or having kids, etc.

Unfortunately, I’ve reached the age where people are dying or having close calls. Earlier this year a friend died of a heart attack and it was sad. He was a good man with an amazing mind and even though I didn’t see him much the world feels lessened by his loss.

I’ve had friends die before, but now we’ve transitioned from the deaths being horrifying and unthinkable to sad and unexpected.

Since his death, I’ve had several friends hospitalized for heart or other life threatening conditions and it scares me. I don’t want to lose my friends and I really don’t want to die.

In an early episode of the new Doctor Who, Charles Dickens asks, “But you have such knowledge of future times. I don’t wish to impose on you, but I must ask you… My books, Doctor. Do they last?”

I like to joke that I plan to live forever; it’s only partially a joke. I know I will live through my daughter and I hope I will live through my work. I have two novels published now, three others written, and two others in the works; I have almost ten years of blogs written and almost enough short stories to fill a book. (If you’d like to help me create more, please buy, borrow, or request my books and review them on amazon and goodreads.)

I have a lot more work left to do and SO MANY more stories to tell. (No, seriously, I have a list of 20+ novels I want to write.) I hope to be around for a long time.

 

Take care of yourselves,

Éric