IF – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2024 film IF.

Story

Don’t get me wrong, I love fast-paced action, but sometimes I just want a nice slow-paced movie that takes its time with the characters. This movie did a fantastic job at keeping a steady pace that felt almost like a Miyazaki film.

The story elements are well introduced and very well developed.

Score: 1

Characters

The main character is inquisitive and sad, the actress conveys that even small ways and does a great job.

At first it might seems like Ryan Reynolds is just playing himself, but as you watch his mannerisms and speech patterns, you see that he’s actually playing a mixture of himself, the main girl, and the dad. It’s subtle but impressive.

The rest of the cast has a chaotic-hopefulness that is sorely lacking in the world and films lately.

Score: 1

Dialogue

Most of the movie’s dialogue has two meanings and works as a joke and story. It’s quippy but also sweet.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The camera work is an updated version of the YA movies we grew up with in the 90’s combined with a lot of slow movements, letting the characters be the focus.

The music was fun and matched the emotions well.

Score: 1

Fun

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this movie and didn’t do any research, which was for the best because I wasn’t spoiled. It was a lot of fun and and had a lot of heart. I cried, I laughed, and I felt proud at guessing some of the surprises. The kids loved it and now scream “Keith!” whenever they trip.

Score: 1

Overall

A live action movie that has the heart and emotion of Pixar with the joyful pacing of Studio Ghibli. It’s whimsical and wonderful. I highly recommend 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.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2023 film Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.

Story

Like every other movie in this series, it feels like they come up with set pieces and added story as they went along. “I don’t know, I’m making this up as I go.”

That being said the plot in this one is, despite time travel, way more coherent than some of the others.

Score: 0.5

Characters

Instead of the confident, mellow, Indiana from the last movie, we have the Indiana who’s given up. Apparently, the screen writers liked Mutt less than I did and killed him off between movies to give Indiana more motivation. Once he stopped moping, he went back to his quippy roots.

I was glad the leading lady wasn’t a love interest and that makes this movie unique in the series as he doesn’t have a love interest that follows him through.

As for his niece, she bordered between fun and frustrating. The kid was awesome though, and it was nice to see Salah again.

The biggest frustration was offhanded way they kept killing people. I hate it when a story introduces someone interesting and then kills them off because they’re inconvenient.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

This movie had much improved banter and dialogue. The archeology-babble was about the same but the conversations and jokes were great.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

This was shot differently then the others and it worked really well. The camera work, effects, and colour palette was really good. I did find the “age reduced” Harrison Ford a little weird looking, and it was discordant to have the older voice coming from the younger character. Seeing as those effects look weird now, I can’t imagine they’ll age well.

The music was great as usual.

Score: 0.5

Fun

The movie straddled the line between nostalgia and new content and did a good job. The whole family enjoyed it. I feel like any Indiana film with Salah in it is awesome.

Score: 1

Overall

One of the better Indiana Jones films, and that means you’re in for lots of action, lots of adventure, and more than your fair share of quippy dialogue. It’s slowed down by experimental special effects, a depressing storyline, and more character deaths than were needed.

Final Score: 3.5 Stars out of 5

Geek Charming – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2011 film Geek Charming.

Story

It’s a teen rom-com where the popular kid has to work with the nerd and they fall in love. I did like the gender-swapped makeover scene.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The female lead almost seems like she’s a bad actress to start with but it turns out that it’s the character who’s a bad actress and she’s nowhere near as shallow or vapid as she seems. This is a hard transition to pull off without seeming fake and the movie did a great job.

The male lead became more accepting and confidant but didn’t have much more development than that.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

Sometimes I forget what the 2010’s was like, but this is filled with dated slang and quippy one-liners.

When the movie decides to be serious, it does a great job in those softer moments. Bonus points for explaining relativity in one breath.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The camera work was very early 2000’s Disney channel. The clothes, sets, and everything else were okay but low budget.

The music was acceptable but nothing special.

Score: 0.5

Fun

I get irritated watching the characters flinging their cameras while filming and I found the idea that a film club would be all sci-fi a little unlikely. Film nerds tend to look down on the genre.

That being said, the actors did a great job and it was cute. I really liked that this movie showed the world what made him fall in love with her. It was a nice touch and made everything more believable.

Bonus point for having the poor kid showing the rich man Metropolis, a film about the class divide between workers and wealthy land owners.

Score: 1

Overall

A product of its time, it celebrates nerds and love with lots of innocent heart. The actors do a great job with a predictable script.

Final Score: 3.5 Stars out of 5

The Beekeeper – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2024 film The Beekeeper.

Story

This was a pretty standard action movie but it did have an fun twist. Following the FBI agents that are trying to catch him was an interesting study in morals, justice, and law. The main character is mostly treated like a force of nature, so much of the character growth is put on the two FBI agents.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The Beekeeper is a natural disaster and is established early as nearly unstoppable. He has no character development after the first twenty minutes.

The FBI agents have significantly more and they’re really the audience stand-ins.

The antagonists are pretty one dimensional but extremely hateable.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

Quippy action movie dialogue punctuated with so many F words that the script probably looked like a Jack Torrance manuscript.

The more moralistic dialogue is well done and certainly more than apt with today’s political atmosphere.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

Jason Statham still has an impressive skill set and the choreography in this is amazing.

The music wasn’t bad but wasn’t particularly memorable.

Score: 0.5

Fun

This was a lot of fun. It’s cathartic to watch bad people get what they deserve. I watched this on my own, thankfully, and I enjoyed it a lot.

Score: 1

Overall

There’s a wonderful feeling of joy in watching Jason Statham beat the crap out of fraudsters. The movie is pure action with lots of swearing and a tiny bit of philosophy.

Final Score: 3 Stars out of 5

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 Faculty – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 1998 film The Faculty.

Story

The story of a bunch of outcasts and how they save their school, and the world. It’s not original, not even for its time. The characters make leaps that don’t make sense, there’s a lot of silly science mistakes (No one felt it worth correcting “diuretic” for “desiccant”? Not to mention that the whole “Kill the queen” thing is weird and doesn’t work that way with most insects.

Score: 0

Characters

I liked the range of characters and I’m impressed with the depth of them considering the short amount of screentime they each get.

The movie is a parade of actors that would hit it big or who would go on to do a whole lot of other shows. It’s interesting to see them all together.

Robert Patrick was so good.

Score: 1

Dialogue

All the science was bunk and a lot of it contradictory. The dialogue was hokey most of the time but every once in a while it was really good. The speeches about belonging almost made the bad guys seem reasonable.

I am annoyed at the “sci-fi nerd” getting the end of Invasion of the Body Snatchers wrong. If they were going to use the ending from one of the movies, they shouldn’t have had her talking about the book.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The cinematography was good, a few odd choices and hints at the start of shaky cam but overall okay. The rest of the film is very much recognizable as the late 90’s.

The music was awesome. The score was okay but the songs were great.

Score: 0.5

Fun

The movie had a certain nostalgia, but the piss poor story and the inconsistent science was more frustrating than fun.

I did love seeing all the actors and there were some moments of real quality.

Score: 0.5

Overall

This is a movie that puts all its quality in its actors and characters. The plot is flimsy and mediocre, and the science/resolution is just bad. That being said, the characters, music, and acting are far better than the script deserved. Worth it for the nostalgia but nothing special.

Final Score: 2.5 Stars out of 5

A Haunting in Venice – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2023 film A Haunting in Venice.

Story

I haven’t read Hallowe’en Party and can’t speak to how faithful this is to the original plot.

That being said, this is the most fast paced of the three Branagh Poirot movies and definitely the darkest. The story is a fascinating mystery with a lot of ghostly dressing. The pace is slowed and story hurt by the humdrum attempts at integrating horror clichés into it.

Score: 0.5

Characters

There is a massive disparity in quality in acting. Branagh and Yeoh are absolutely fabulous and the kid is amazing. The rest of the cast is passable.

The characters are believable and act accordingly.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

There’s a near poetry to the banter and dialogue of the characters. Yeoh’s confrontation with Branagh is spectacular.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The movie was filmed on location and it adds a level of authenticity. The sets are great. Despite the jump scares and a few odd angles, the cinematography is a wonderful mix of the mystery and horror styles.

Score: 1

Fun

I’m both proud and a little disappointed that I guessed the killer, method, and blackmailer way before I should have. It was, however, a fun movie to experience.

It being on the scarier side means I watched it on my own.

Score: 1

Overall

An excellent movie with a fun Halloween twist. The acting is a little uneven and the mystery watered down, but a worthy successor to the other two films and a fun watch. Branagh and Yeoh are fabulous as usual.

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5

The Holiday Sitter – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film The Holiday Sitter.

Story

This is the Hallmark Christmas formula at it’s best. I appreciate that they took a little time to show how hard it can be for gay men to date and the trauma involved.

Score: 0.5

Characters

I was worried at the beginning because the main character was a complete ass, but once he calmed down and started to open up about his feelings, he became a lot better. He was actually quite charming and funny when he wasn’t trying too hard to be a jerk.

The handyman next door who just wanted a family was charming and adorable and the two of them had pretty good chemistry.

The kids were cute if forgettable and the rest of the cast was good.

Score: 1

Dialogue

Some of the dialogue was terrible and the only thing that kept them from making the movie unwatchable was the earnestness and quality of the actors.

There are also a few cute quips and lots of family adorableness.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The movie was well filmed and showed that each shot was well thought out from a framing point of view. It bugs me in these movies when people leave on vacation and they still have food out. In this one his popcorn machine was still filled with popcorn.

Early in the movie the little girl wins a massive quantity of stuffed reindeer toys; from that point forward there are stuffed reindeer in almost every scene and it was a lot of fun looking for them.

The music was standard and did it’s job.

Score: 0.5

Fun

This is a Hallmark Christmas movie. You should know in advance if you’re into that sort of thing. I thought the romance was fun and the movie was easy to watch with little to no forced drama.

Score: 1

Overall

A nice gay twist on the Hallmark Holiday movie formula with two actors that had great chemistry. It’s cute, fluffy, and warm; everything a holiday romance should be.

Final Score: 3.5 Stars out of 5

See How They Run 2022 – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film See How They Run.

Story

The story tries really hard to be clever and referential while still respecting the genre. It’s not a spoof or an homage, but some sort of clever combination. The great thing is that it works on all levels. Everything is laid out in the intro narration and I was still pleasantly surprised.

Score: 1

Characters

The main detective characters are clichés brought to life. They’d be almost boring if it wasn’t for the quality and charm of the actors. Unfortunately, that doesn’t apply to the whole cast, which is populated by a checklist of quirky film noir characters.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The dialogue is a combination of period and modern and was a little jarring at times. It was however very clever and well thought out.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The director and cinematographer must have been big fans of Hitchcock and Anderson. It mostly worked as a mashup, but lacked originality and felt a little forced.

The music was strong but unmemorable.

Score: 0.5

Fun

This movie was a mystery lover’s good time. All the adults loved it, but the kids found it slow and talky. I will re-watch this one.

Score: 1

Overall

An excellent homage/comedy to the mystery genre, Christie in particular, and a fun movie. Its odd directorial choices are held together by the impressive acting from the leads.

Final Score: 3.5 Stars out of 5

Monster High 2 – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2023 film Monster High 2.

Story

The tone of this one is much younger then the first. The story is simplistic; the twist is so obvious that I couldn’t believe it was the actual twist.

Score: 0

Characters

The characters were fairly consistent from the first one, but the movie didn’t give their cast much time to develop. The characters were there, but mostly ignored to make more time for forced drama.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The dialogue is delightfully silly. Filled with puns and fun tidbits of monster lore. I wish there were more deep character moments, but overall the dialogue is okay.

There’s a lot of forced borderline toddler-level talk about friendship that got tedious quick.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The visuel style is extra poignant with the contrast to the human world. They did a great job building a colourful, dynamic, and interesting world. Unfortunately a good half of the movie is set in our world and is the weaker for it.

The music is catchy but very similar to the first and again feels better than the plot of the movie.

Score: 0.5

Fun

I’ll be honest, I was bored by the halfway mark. It’s colourful with good music, but not particularly fun to watch. The kids loved it and it wasn’t bad, just meh.

Score: 0.5

Overall

A lackluster sequel which forgets what made the first entertaining and spends way too much time in the human world. The characters and music are great, but don’t make up for the pre-school dialogue and storyline.

Final Score: 2 Stars out of 5