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.

Monster High – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Monster High.

Story

The story started really cliché but had some great moments. It’s not ridiculously great for the story, but it was competent.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The characters are completely different from the source material. That being said, the characters are both entertaining and diverse in a way that I wasn’t expecting.

I like the overall feel of the characters trying to find themselves and the drama of high school. I also appreciate the ND representation along with the gender-neutral character Frankie.

I have to say, I did not guess the villain and I was happy to be surprised. It all fit with hindsight and that’s the best sort of reveal.

Score: 1

Dialogue

I’m going to be honest, I have no idea how teens talk anymore. This felt stilted at times but still fun. The vocabulary and innuendo level definitely geared for younger kids.

There’s a lot of borderline cheesy but empowering dialogue.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The visuals were colourful and well filmed. The camera work showed a cinematographer who understood monster movies. The sets, costumes, makeup, and special effects were acceptable.

I was impressed by the music. Some of the same people who worked on this also worked of Descendants and/or Julie and the Phantoms. They brought that quality to this.

Score: 0.5

Fun

The movie was a little slow to start but once we got the first song, it picked up. The entire family loved it. The 6yo more than the 3yo, but not by much.

It was a fun boarding school mystery adventure; my wife and I loved it.

Score: 1

Overall

Those that loved the TV show will be incensed at the changes. It uses the look and feel and spins its own story.

Taken on its own, it’s a great monster twist on the boarding school adventure genre. The characters, music, and story are fun with a hopeful message.

Final Score: 3.5 Stars out of 5

One Hundred and One Dalmatians – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 1961 film One Hundred and One Dalmatians.

Story

This isn’t one of those movies I watched as a kid. I think I saw it as a teen and then again in my twenties. I’d forgotten most of the story and was pleasantly surprised. I’m not sure if this is the prototypical, “Pets return home” adventure movie, but it certainly has a lot of the tropes we’d see in later movies of the genre.

Very simple with a heartwarming community feel between the animals.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The puppies all have unique personalities even if I don’t know them. I’m sure with repeated watching, I’d be able to tell them appart.

Cruella seems mean and evil just for the fun of it. She’s beyond cartoony and I both like the simplicity and dislike the “single older woman is crazy/evil” trope.

I love the humans, they’re sweet and adorable pets.

I could have done without the fat jokes. “Fat kid’s always hungry” is a joke that needs to go away along with “fat kid can’t do anything effectively.” Arg.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

Despite not having seen it a lot, I have often quoted the “my toes are froze” line. The midnight bark is iconic enough that I remember friends barking at each other from across fields. The movie is simple but very memorable in it’s dialogue.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

This is one of those iconic animations that are just absolutely beautiful. Everything is clear and the animation is utterly beautiful. The backgrounds and snow especially.

The music is superb. It’s not a musical, but it will leave a song stuck in your head.

Score: 1

Fun

The movie is filled with pretty visuals and lots of cute puppies. The story moves extremely well for it’s time and the kids were glued to the screen. Fantastic to see that a sixty-year old movie can still have the same magic for kids as it did when it first came out.

I enjoyed it and wouldn’t be against watching it again.

2 year old’s review: “Me like it. Puppies in it.”

Score: 1

Overall

There are so many puppies in this movie that it’ll melt even a non-dog person’s heart. It’s exciting, adventurous, and despite some ableist language, it’s aged very well.

Fun, cute, and exciting.

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5

2021 JenEric Movie Reviews

Hello Movie Lovers,

This year I seem to have watched, and reviewed, 53 films. Not bad. Below is a list of them in decending star order. Within each catergory they are in alphabetical order.

5 Stars out of 5

4.5 Stars out of 5

4 Stars out of 5

3.5 Stars out of 5

3 Stars out of 5

2.5 Stars out of 5

2 Stars out of 5

1.5 Stars out of 5

1 Star out of 5

Single All the Way – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2021 film Single All the Way.

Story

The story is a copy paste from so many other Christmas movies. Instead of an ex or childhood friend, it’s a current best friend, but it’s pretty much the same. Even though the story is basic, the final touches are wonderfully queer.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The slightly neurotic big city agent, the small town ski instructor, the overbearing mother trying too hard, the sensitive nice guy, and the overdramatic aunt. All the stereotypes are there and they added a few extra with the meddling teens and the wise dad.

A lot of Christmas movies feel like they forget about the love part of romance and the love in the family around them. This one didn’t and love was very much central and believable.

Score: 1

Dialogue

Oscillating from corny to sweet, the dialogue was perfect for the type of movie. I’m also really impressed at how well the different couples communicated. It would be easy, and typical, to have non-communication caused hijinks. I’m glad they didn’t go that way.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The visuals were pretty but generic. The filming was effective and I really liked how they framed the lovey-dovey moments.

The music was pretty good. Lots of Christmas and a few original songs.

Score: 1

Fun

I took particular joy at the teenagers forcing a “There was only one bed” scenario. Obviously the teens are learning their set-up methods from fanfics. I also really liked seeing all the Canadian actors.

My five year old liked it; she really got into the set up. She kept asking why he was going on date with the other guy. My two year old got a little bored.

I appreciated that they avoided angst and awkwardness. I also liked that it was an unabashedly queer and happy story, which is a combination that we need more of.

Score: 1

Overall

This is the happy, queer, and Christmassy movie you’ve been looking for. It’s fun, cute, and honestly really refreshing.

Final Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

A Castle for Christmas – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2021 film A Castle for Christmas.

Story

Part Christmas movie, part enemies to lovers, and part rich author can’t write. (I’ve released 6 books in six years. When are the talk show interviews, international renown, and castle buying money supposed to kick in?)

The story is simple and not very original, but that’s part of it’s charm. If follows through with all its promises and it’s certainly a feel good movie.

Score: 0.5

Characters

It’s nice to see a love story without mocking about two 50+ characters / actors. They are roughly the same age (thank you for not making her 21) and other than her having an adult daughter, age isn’t mentioned.

The main cast play their roles perfectly. The reticent author, the grumpy Scot, and the new best friends are all fantastic. I like the relationships made throughout the movie. Also nice to see a guy friendship with no toxicity in it.

There were a few times it felt forced or scripted and it threw me out of the movie.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

One of my English teachers told me that every type of love story is based off one of Shakespeare’s plays. This one has all the sass and quipping of Much Ado About Nothing. I love the interactions between characters and the quick, simple wordplay.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

It’s hard to beat the setting of a Scottish castle. They filmed it perfectly to bring out the beauty of Scotland, and the set dressing for the Christmas scenes was over the top in the best way.

The music was lovely, especially the choice of songs.

Score: 1

Fun

Both kids sat for the whole thing, although I bribed them with chips (don’t judge me, please). It was exactly what I wanted to watch and exactly what it said on the tin. I laughed, cried, and smiled a lot.

Score: 1

Overall

With two veteran actors hamming it up, this movie couldn’t be anything but entertaining. If you like romances and Christmas movies, you’ll like this one. It’s a lot fun.

Final Score: 4 stars out of 5

Halloweentown – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 1998 film Halloweentown.

Story

This is a timeless Halloween fable about a kid who loves spooky things and turns out it was because they were spooky too. Every kid who loves Halloween and all the stuff around it wishes they were Marnie.

The villain reveal surprised me the first time I saw it as an innocent twenty something and overall the movie flows really well. There is a little awkwardness in the love interest, but overall it’s a solid offering.

Score: 1

Characters

I love all the kids. They each work so well in their roles as underappreciated kid, sceptic, and spooky girl.

The grandmother is fantastic and pulls the film together extremely well.

The villain is hammy and over the top in the best way.

The mother, however, is quite possibly the most frustrating character possible. I can’t stand her.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

“Someone’s coming.” is up there with “They’re here.” for creepy lines and I love it. Overall, the dialogue is solid, if a little young. Not quite as memorable as other Disney TV movies.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The special effects are cheap but endearing; the camera work is excellent though.

The music is okay, but could be better.

Score: 0.5

Fun

This movie is a family favourite. My son and daughter love it.

I didn’t see it until almost a decade after it came out and I’m sad I didn’t have the chance to experience it as a young teen. It’s an easy movie to watch and inspires wonder.

Score: 1

Overall

This is a fabulous movie for all those spooky kids that wish they were magical. The acting is solid and the story surprising. Definitely worthy of it’s place as a yearly family tradition. Kids will love it and parents will too, if they have any love of magic.

Final Score: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Atlantis: The Lost Empire – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2001 film Atlantis: The Lost Empire.

Story

A wonderful mix of steampunk, action adventure, and archaeology. It avoids a lot of racist tropes and narrowly avoids the white Saviour narrative. It’s fun and funny and quite deep for a kids movie.

There’s a plot point that really bothers me. The fact that they lost the ability to read. There are fan theories that the mother mindwiped the survivors or that the king banned reading.

At first I thought it might be a situation where only royalty could read, but if they had basic instructions on the flying fish then they were there for anyone who who owned a crystal.

Score: 0.5

Characters

I’m not a fan of the sexy native who wears less than everyone else for no reason trope. Kida is a fun character however and she manages to surpass the tropes.

Milo is a typical early 2000’s geek with no real life skills other than that one boiler trick. He makes me think of Flynn Carson in the early Librarian movies or Daniel Jackson from SG1.

The rest of the crew is interesting and well fleshed out for such a large cast in a short movie.

Score: 1

Dialogue

Some of the dialogue is utter genius and others are so bad. I loath the line where Milo asks Kida her name and she says, “Kidagakash” and the linguist who just deciphered a dead language which he managed to speak to natives so that they understood him looks flustered and asks her for a nickname. ARG! He should have been dissecting the meaning, not acting like an idiot.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The animation in this film hold up ridiculously well. The 3D is so well used that I barely noticed and the way they integrated the colours and lighting make it feel seamless. There’s a grandiose feel to the world.

The music is epic and fantastic.

Score: 1

Fun

Despite it’s flaws, it’s a lot of fun to watch. The kids loved it and there was a lot of gasping.

Score: 1

Overall

Fun action adventure with shades of Jules Verne, Indiana Jones, and Stargate. It’s fun, exciting, and has some interesting commentary on the morality of archaeology. It has a few annoying flaws, but it’s a joy to watch.

Final Score: 4 stars out of 5

Jungle Cruise – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2021 film Jungle Cruise.

Story

The story is an interesting combination of jungle adventure and period piece. Overall, it was well done. I like that they’re looking for a plant and not an ancient artifact to plunder. It’s Indiana Jones with a twist and a little more modern (despite being set before).

Score: 1

Characters

It’s about time that Disney started adding more LGBTQ+ characters into its films. It was doubly nice that he wasn’t killed and that it was stated in the movie, not by the director or actor.

The two main cast members have almost no romantic chemistry, but make up for it in ridiculous amounts of charisma.

The supernatural villains are relatable but boring and tragic, while the German prince was funny but a little too moustache twirly for my taste.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

I would have been saddened if they hadn’t included the ride’s puns. The puns, the jokes, the banter, and even the dramatic tension, were all fantastic and make me want to re-watch it.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

Overall the film was beautiful, but there are some parts of it that looked wrong or overly CGI. The jaguar and the flowers, along with some of the wildlife, felt like it was over-saturated and not properly lit. Made them, and even the villains, feel like they weren’t really part of the movie’s world.

The music was spectacular. I look forward to listening to it again.

Score: 0.5

Fun

I did a few summers in University as a tour guide / captain for the Ottawa Canal. I helped develop a much more pun intensive tour. That’s always made me have a soft spot for the Jungle Cruise ride and has certainly translated to the movie. It was a lot of pun and lots of laughs.

The entire family liked it. The two year old watched most of it and the four year old was enthralled.

Score: 1

Overall

For those who love the ride, the movie will be extra sweet, but it has a lot of goofy (pun induced) fun for those who haven’t been on the ride. It’s exciting, funny, and it’s weaknesses are minor compared to the charisma and banter of it’s three leads.

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5

The House with a Clock in Its Walls – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2018 film The House with a Clock in Its Walls.

Story

I was very impressed. The movie had the right level of intrigue and excitement and the pace was a great balance between Gothic horror and kids horror. The plot was relatively simple and gave space for the characters’ backstories and the world building.

Score: 1

Characters

A lot of times, stories like this will neglect character development for the adults or the kids, but this one did a great job balancing it. The villain was surprisingly sympathetic for a corpse.

Cate Blanchett was amazing in her role and really made me feel for the character.

Jack Black managed to do what he does best and make a loud, arrogant, character who is both sympathetic and likeable.

Owen Vaccaro was wonderful as the quirky kid. I am a little sad they cut the fat-phobia story, but it’s probably for the best.

Score: 1

Dialogue

Quirky, weird, and definitely memorable. The skills of the writer (who wrote for the first five seasons of Supernatural) were definitely well used.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The visuals were beautiful and creepy. I wasn’t a fan of the abundant poop jokes however.

The music was atmospheric and fun.

Score: 0.5

Fun

I watched this with my 2 year old and he loved it. Kept saying “scary… fun!” In the actually scary parts he hugged me. I think my 4 year old would have yelled at the screen when the cabinet was opened and flailed like an angry octopus.

Its exactly the kind of kid’s horror that I grew up with and it felt like something I would have watched in the 90’s, but better in almost every way.

Score: 1

Overall

Fun, exciting, and scary with more heart and better acting then expected. This is a movie made by horror fans for future fans. It’s a great introduction for those kids that can handle and enjoy the scary moments. It’s also a great nostalgic feel for those of us that grew up with this style of storytelling.

Final Score: 4.5 Stars out of 5