The Mitchells vs the Machines – JenEric Movie Review

How This Works – Read Other Reviews

Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2021 film The Mitchells vs the Machines.


Most road trip movies rely on the ignorance or poor decision making of the characters. That lends to a sort of cringe comedy that I loved as a kid but can’t stand anymore. This movie turned that trope on its head. Instead the characters are lost in their own worldview and have trouble seeing each other.

The entire movie hinges on the family being a little strange, very lucky, and learning to work together. The plot is mildly predictable, surreal, and so much fun anyway.

Score: 1


For a movie that gives up grounded mid-way, its characters are infinitely relatable. I felt for each of the Mitchells.

The secondary characters are mild caricatures, but serve a good purpose.

I liked that they adopted the two robots into their family. It’s a nice message that genetics don’t make a family and found family is just as powerful.

The subtle inclusion of a gay main character was refreshing, as was the lack of forced romance.

Score: 1


This movie has so many references to memes and internet culture that it’s impressive. I think that the references will age quickly and probably not well.

The humour is surprisingly clever and the dialogue sometimes much deeper than expected.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The animation was done in a style similar to Into the Spiderverse, but with more colourful “internet” things. There were a few times I wanted to pause and just look at all the details and backgrounds. It was stunningly beautiful.

The music was nice and the songs were perfectly chosen. I got a little frustrated with the electronic riff that felt plucked from the Stranger Things intro, but that’s minor.

Score: 1


The type of movie made it clear that the awkward family drama would have an awesome payoff and it did. This meant that I didn’t spend much time cringing and really enjoyed the ride. The kids were glued to the screen and we all laughed a lot. The giant Furby terrified my 22 month old.

Score: 1


A good old fashioned road trip and apocalypse movie that ditches the frustrating parts of both. The animation is spectacular and characters relatable. Proper Queer representation and a nod to found family add extra depth to an action-packed and laugh out loud film.

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.

“Political Correctness has Gone MAD!”

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

“Political Correctness has Gone MAD!” is a phrase I’ve heard in various ways a lot in the past ten years. I might have heard it before, but I hadn’t noticed. It’s a nice easy way to identify someone who feels slighted by diversity and angry about not being able to mock certain groups of people.

I’m bisexual, I’m attracted to people no matter what their gender. I don’t talk a lot about this question because I’m married to a woman and that means I have a certain level of privilege.

However, you’ll notice that a large portion of my protagonists are bisexual. I also try to include other sexualities, genders, races, etc. It’s harder to get it right when writing something that isn’t me. I’ve gotten some criticism for one of my protagonists who was trans, while getting praise from others about the same character.

So I sat down to write this post and wracked my brain for bisexual representation in movies, TV, and books from when I was young. The bisexuals I remember are in 2 categories, villains/monsters and exceptions.

I grew up with Sarah Michelle Gellar in Cruel Intentions, the alien from Species, Frankenfurter from Rocky Horror, and countless “alternate universe” evil doppelgangers in Star Trek DS9, Buffy, Stargate etc. I’m sure there were more, but it was mostly the trope of the Sexy Seductress evil girl that was bi. Men were gay or straight.

Then there were the confused women like Willow, who wasn’t bi according to the show but always a lesbian, or Dax from Star Trek DS9 that had a lesbian kiss, but only because the woman was the lover of a previous host. She breaks Dax’s heart and we never see anything outside the mirror universe to show that she’s bi.

The first positive character I remember seeing or reading about that was openly bi was Angela Montenegro from Bones. It wasn’t a big thing, except to have her love interest be a little awkward about it. She was shown as flaky, but that was pretty normal for all the characters in Bones.

The next character was Jack Harkness from Doctor Who. I’m not happy with the fact that they made him into a joke in the early seasons with Tennant and I’m still pissed with the way he interacts with Donna, but overall he was pretty awesome. It was the first time I saw a male character who wasn’t mocked, killed, or turned out to be a closeted gay. (Yeah, like it’s any easier to be bi)

Now we have a lot more representation and I think it still doesn’t come close to reflecting real life. Statscan says 1.7% of people say they’re Gay or Lesbian and 1.3% say they are Bi. Considering this doesn’t take into account the rest of the rainbow, that means that 3% will admit on a census that they are LGB. I’m sure it’s higher considering there are still quite a few negative reactions to being out and if you add it the rest of the Queer rainbow you’ll find, I’m sure, that we represent a quarter or more of the population.

If you think that representation has gone mad and there are too many Queer people on television and in books keep this in mind; In 2020-21 scripted TV had 9.1% openly Queer people. That means that despite being nearly a quarter of the population there are only a tenth that are shown on TV.

Some genres are better both in film/TV and books, but it’s still not a big difference from when I was a confused kid who thought his attraction was unnatural and monstrous.

Be kind and be safe,


Blush: Non-binary Representation in Media

Anyone who knows me personally knows that I am completely obsessed with Amazon Prime’s miniseries Good Omens. The book it is based on is written by Neil Gaiman and Sir Terry Pratchett.

And it is incredible.

The miniseries, I mean.

The book is pretty good, but the miniseries is something special.

And part of why it is special makes it worthy of being a Blush post: the non-binary representation of the angels and demons. (No, I’m not referencing the Dan Brown book.)

Good Omens angels l-r Uriel, Sandalphon, Michael, Gabriel, and Aziraphale. Image from (some interesting stuff about the set production through that link).

The Geekiary writes about it here, and it is definitely worth being a Recommendation Wednesday.

If you’re enjoying the Blush blogs, consider learning more with Blush: The Card Game from Renaissance Press.