Disenchanted – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Disenchanted.

Story

This is a fantastic take on an alternate reality/wish style story. While the first one’s emotion was all tied up in the conflict between “jaded” and “fairytale” love, this one is all about not being happy and finding your place.

Each character is treated to their own character arc and it’s solidly built. The story did feel like it had been developed as a TV show and then shrunk down into a movie and I think some of the emotion and story ideas could have been better served with a longer runtime.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The casting for Morgan was scary impressive. I had to double check that it wasn’t the same actress. Amy Adams made me, once again, wonder why we don’t see her in more musical roles. I also now want to see her play more villains.

The rest of the cast did an excellent job.

Score: 1

Dialogue

Extremely believable, I like that they leaned into the dissonance between the fairytale language and modern day.

I also really appreciated Amy Adams arguing with herself and the Gollum-style camera work.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The scenery and camerawork felt smaller than the first one. The dance numbers smaller but more intricate. It’s a beautiful set and great acting, but shows they didn’t have the budget for massive set pieces.

They thankfully gave Idina Menzel something to sing in this one. I loved the music and I’m glad there was more of it.

Score: 1

Fun

There’s a certain melancholy in this one compared to the first, but it’s somehow more optimistic. Love isn’t a magical uncertain thing, it’s a certainty and the characters never seem to doubt it.

The entire family was glued to the screen and enjoyed it.

Score: 1

Overall

There’s a grandness missing compared to the first, but it still has all the heart, warmth, and magic. The music is excellent and Amy Adams is a fantastic villain.

This was a joyful addition to the first movie and was just as enchanting.

Final Score: 4.5 Stars out of 5

Galaxy Quest – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 1999 film Galaxy Quest.

Story

The story is simple, but has wonderful layers. The nods to Star Trek, Star Wars, and Alien are great. I like the nods to Nemoy’s books and the drama behind the scenes while still keeping the spirit of classic science fiction. I”m impressed at how well it holds up after twenty-three years.

That being said, it glosses over or outright ignores the socially progressive nature of it’s influences. I like the diversity of the cast, but it doesn’t reference or push any of the same boundaries that Star Trek did 33 years earlier.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The characters are great amalgams of the Star Trek characters and caricatures of their actors. Each one could have been annoying, but ended up being very endearing.

Score: 1

Dialogue

The dialogue is believable and wonderfully tongue in cheek. I liked the technobabble and the wonderful freak outs by Guy.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The special effects stand up extremely well and have a great mix between cheesy and impressive. I liked the practical effects and wonderful camera work.

The music was spectacular. Absolutely epic and I liked the melding of the score with the music from the show in the show.

Score: 1

Fun

The movie was action packed, fun, and had lots of great visuals. I greatly enjoyed it.

The kids were glued to the tv and everyone loved it.

Score: 1

Overall

One of the greatest parodies and an excellent science fiction in it’s own right. This movie checks almost all the boxes and is an excellent romp.

A classic for all science fiction fans.

Final Score: 4.5 Stars out of 5

Back to the Future – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 1985 film Back to the Future.

Story

I’ve heard that some film schools use this movie as an example of the perfect film script. I’m not sure it’s perfect, but it’s very well done. The setup and the parallels are excellent, the technobabble is limited and laced with important information, and everything is resolved fairly well.

There are some anachronisms and a few things that felt like Marty influenced from the original timeline that felt off. Some of the parallels are a little forced and hard to believe.

Score: 1

Characters

I love Marty, but his parents are very odd people. Despite having seen this movie a dozen times, I’m still weirded out by the dad’s peeping-tom antics and the mom’s forwardness and flightiness, neither of which were really addressed.

Doc Brown is fantastic and I like the secondary charactrers.

The relationship with Biff and Marty’s dad annoys me because it looks like they’re playing the same script over and over again. I get that it’s for the parallel structure, but it’s a little too specific.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The movie has some of the most gloriously cringy dialogue. “You are my density” is sheer genius. The banter and accents are great. I love Doc Brown’s frantic way of talking.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The special effects are at a minimum but used well, the sets are amazing, and the costumes great. The cinematography is beautiful.

The music is one of the most iconic from the time period and both Alan Silvestri and Huey Lewis did amazing in their respective parts.

Score: 1

Fun

The whole family was glued to the screen the whole time. The 5yo almost died from second hand embarrassment several times and was very concerned with the changes in the timeline.

I’ve seen this movie a lot, especially as a kid, and it still holds the same excitement and wonder.

Score: 1

Overall

A classic 80’s movie with a fantastic cast and great story. You’ll be humming the music and loving every moment.

Final Score: 4.5 Stars out of 5

Clueless – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 1995 film Clueless.

Story

The story is pretty faithful to what I vaguely remember of its inspiration (Emma by Jane Austen) with more slang and 90’s aesthetic than a you can shake a brick-sized cell phone at. It’s cringe and nostalgia all in one, but at its core, it’s sort of sweet.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The characters are mostly nice to each other, which surprised me. I expected mean girls level fighting. So they’re not mean, but they really are clueless. Completely privileged and so very young.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

There’s a lot of iconic slang in this and lots that I think they invented, but there’s a lot of what was terrible about the 90’s. Diet culture and disordered eating is laced throughout, homophobia, classism, and more than a little racism. Some of which is shown to be bad, but a lot of it is shown as normal.

I did really enjoy how the characters said dumb things smartly and smart things in a valley accent.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

There’s a little weird shaky cam at the start and some strange angles, but overall it’s pretty well shot and each frame has a lot of information it in.

The music is pure nostalgia and I loved it.

Score: 1

Fun

I both enjoyed and cringed at this movie. I think I would have loved it when I was a young teen, but now I see all the problems and roll my eyes at the drama of youth. (Whippersnappers!)

I did like the overall story though, and despite my angst, it was fun.

Score: 0.5

Overall

This is a dated classic that encapsulates everything that was wrong with the 90’s and captures its innocence.

Final Score: 3 Stars out of 5

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle  – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2017 Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.

Story

A rare sequel which is more coherent and better all around. Possibly the best video game themed movie of all time, it both relies on and mocks the usual tropes.

Score: 1

Characters

The main five actors do a phenomenal job at being the kids. It’s mostly believable and impressively detailed. Jack Black is amazing.

Score: 1

Dialogue

The problem with trying to capture the dialogue of teens is how quickly it changes. The dialogue already sounds dated after just five years. Although the quips, jokes, and overall tone is well done.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The movie looks great and I greatly appreciate that they didn’t try to animate it like a video game.

The music is haunting and exciting all at once.

Score: 1

Fun

The five year old found it a little scary, but she loved the action and humour. It’s nice to see her starting to appreciate word-based humour more.

The rest of us enjoyed it as much as the first few times. I particularly appreciate that the humour around Jack Black’s character was so wholesome.

Score: 1

Overall

A wonderful adventure that balances action, humour, and character development for a near perfect movie.

Final Score: 4.5 Stars out of 5

Tomb Raider (2018) – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2018 film Tomb Raider.

Story

I haven’t played the games, but I assume there are some common elements from the stills and trailers I’ve seen. The story isn’t what I expected; I expected a puzzle archaeology movie and got an action movie.

All that being said, the story was pretty good. I wish they’d spent less time with the island action scenes and more with the tomb or puzzles.

My major issues is that it started action / intrigue and the tone switched to horror action once it reached the island. That would work for a book or TV show, but for a movie it felt disjointed.

Score: 0.5

Characters

I have to give credit to the actress because we learn almost nothing about Lara the entire movie other than she’s smart, gets back up, and is very curious. Any urge by the audience to care about the character is due to the charisma the actress brings to it.

The bad guy was perfectly cartoonish and the dad was okay. I liked the captain.

The CEO of of Croft Corp reminded me of Nina Sharp in Fringe played by Blair Brown.

Score: 1

Dialogue

Not super quippy, but very well paced. There’s a lot of mythology and they space it out really well. I also liked that the few puzzles that Lara solves are thought out in dialogue.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

Everything in this movie was stunning. Filming was amazing, lighting spectacular, and action just wonderful.

The music was intense and well composed. There were a few times that it was a little early for the scene, which didn’t work for me.

Score: 0.5

Fun

I loved every moment of it, but I regret watching it with the kids. It was a little scarier and more violent than they should be watching. However, that’s on me.

My wife liked it, but found it a little exhausting.

Score: 1

Overall

A roller coaster from start to finish. The tone goes from action to horror, but the cinematography is spectacular. A fun action movie with lots of thrills.

Score: 4 Stars out of 5

Stardust – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2007 film Stardust.

Story

This is a wonderful mish-mash of fairytale stories. I like the concept and the idea. The plot and adventure are great. The romance, however, is bland and uninteresting.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The supporting cast are facinating and all the actors are great. I find the character of Tristan goes from annoying to mildly likeable. Yvaine is basically the same, except that she doesn’t get much development. Again, the romance is the least interesting part.

Captain Shakespeare makes the movie though.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The dialogue is quick and quippy, but not particularly iconic.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The sets, fight scenes, special effects, and scenery are amazing. Combined with some clever cinematography, it makes the movie worth a watch.

The music is epic and genius. Each character got a theme that is both recognizable without pulling you out of the film.

Score: 1

Fun

This movie is fun. It has adventure, comedy, and action.

The kids were glued to it and the adults loved it.

Score: 1

Overall

A bland romance and mediocre main characters make what should be an epic fairytale adventure mostly forgetful. Thankfully, the cinematography, music, and secondary characters make the movie more memorable.

Final Score: 3.5 Stars out of 5

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 Court Jester – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 1955 film The Court Jester.

Story

The story is quite clever and a lot of the humour is based on it being an amalgam of all the constant Robin Hood remakes; something that hasn’t changed much since this movie came out.

The romance is acceptable but contrived and the pacing is a little off in many places.

Score: 0.5

Characters

Most of the characters are well done. The stereotype use of Little People with ridiculously high voices is annoying, but very much a product of its time.

Despite having a woman who is supposed to be a fighter, Jean is pretty useless in the final fight.

I would have liked to see more than a few seconds at the end dedicated to the princess and Griswold’s love story.

And I’ll be honest, I’m still bitter about poor Fergus. He deserved more.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

Both the language and the delivery of this movie is amazing. “Get it, Got it, Good” is a staple in our house.

The Jester’s monologue song The Maladjusted Jester, along with all the wordplay, cement this as one of the cleverest movies of it’s type.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The movie is simple and has some nice visuals, but nothing spectacular. It shows that it was a comedy and not given the budget of a bigger movie. That said, they use it quite well and the sets are nice, the fight scenes amazing, and the choreography fantastic.

I truly appreciate the use of colour in the clothing which was probably done more for the fact that it was a comedy, but is more authentic.

The film score is fun and interesting, but the songs are great.

Score: 1

Fun

I saw this movie with my wife on our second or third date. It’s been a staple in our house for nearly two decades. I love watching this and hearing her laugh.

The kids had a little harder a time sitting still, probably because the dialogue was more elevated and quick on top of the pacing issues I mentioned.

Score: 1

Overall

Despite this movie being dated, especially by it’s treatment of woman and Little People, it is extremely clever, witty, and downright hilarious. A classic of musical comedies and parodies.

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5