Christmas…Again?! – JenEric Movie Review

How This Works – Read Other Reviews

Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2021 film Christmas…Again?!.

Story

It’s arguable that all time loop movies are remakes Groundhog Day, but in this case the similarities are too obvious to ignore. That being said, they did a great job adjusting it for the character, setting, and season.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The main character has the most believable learning arc that I’ve seen in recent memory. It never feels forced or too quick. The actress does a great job of showing the evolution.

I also have to point out the rare divorced family that gets along. The mom and future wife seem to actually be friends and support each other throughout the movie.

The rest of the characters managed to be nuanced and grow from the main characters meddling, all without being in the loop.

Score: 1

Dialogue

There were a few nice turns of phrase and I like how realistically the main character misinterprets the words of the adults in her life.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The cinematography wasn’t ground breaking, but it was clear and consistant, something that I find very important in time loop movies. Nothing breaks my immersion more than changes where there shouldn’t be.

The music was a good mix of Christmas and pop with a competent score.

Score: 1

Fun

I’m biased towards time loops. I love love them and every time I see one I go through the same annoyance and joy cycle.

My 7yo begged to watch it, as if she needed to, and loved every moment. The rest of the family seemed to enjoy it just as much.

Score: 1

Overall

An homage that borders on a remake of Groundhog Day, this movie manages to have heart, surprises, and lot of fun. If you love time loop movies as much as I do, you’ll love this one.

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5

The Final Girls – JenEric Movie Review

How This Works – Read Other Reviews

Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2015 film The Final Girls.

Story

Inventive and heartwrenching while still staying true to what a slasher film is all about. The start is a little slow but necessary and the rest just zooms by delightfully.

Score: 1

Characters

The main character is a little dispondant for most of the movie and that means the rest of the cast have to bring the personality until they die. That dynamic could have made us not care for her but the writers made sure to add enough developement and emotional moments to make her taking control of the narrative to feel deserved and exciting.

The rest of the cast is a wonderful mix of tropes and works really well.

Score: 1

Dialogue

The movie was at it’s best when it leaned into the emotional moments or the slasher tropes. The rest of movie’s dialogue feels like it was trying too hard to be normal.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The slasher moments are extremely well done considering it’s PG and the camera work is amazing. The final confrontation scene is spectacular and wonderfully stylistic.

The diegetic music was used with great effect and emotion while the soundtrack was a little bland but worked really well.

Score: 1

Fun

I object to this being considered a timeloop movie since it’s not really a big part of it but more of a short gag.

That being said, this is an extremely fun movie that did a great job pulling at my heartstrings.

Score: 1

Overall

A true love letter to the spirit of slasher films with a fun twist. The slasher aspects are extremely well done and managed to still have effect despite being PG. The true joy of the movie is the emotional heart and journey of mourning a parent.

Final Score: 4.5 Stars out of 5

Palm Springs – JenEric Movie Review

How This Works – Read Other Reviews

Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2020 Film Palm Springs.

Story

I love time loop movies (writing a time loop book is hard though). This is a passable example. A lot of the awkwardness and swearing felt made just to shock and bring up the rating.

There’s some fascinating concepts on time and they started examining what would happen with the limits of human memory, but then backtracked and just made the character a liar.

It’s a mixed bag with all the awkwardness of an adult comedy and a few cool ideas.

Score: 0.5

Characters

Adult comedies and time loop movies have a commonality of character: likeable but selfish protagonists that make very bad decisions. In a good time loop movie, the character learns and grows through the ordeal. These characters learned very little other than to love each other. They end still selfish and making bad decisions. It’s very frustrating.

That being said, the actors managed to make them likeable and even fun to watch.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

So much swearing with none of the finesse or charisma of Deadpool.

Beyond that there are a few really funny lines and some interesting dialogue, but since more than half of what the the main characters say are lies, it makes it hard to care.

Score: 0

Visuals and Music

It’s a very pretty and stylistic movie that definitely has a surreal quality.

The music is acceptable but nothing special.

Score: 0.5

Fun

So glad I didn’t watch this with the kids. It was pretty awkward to watch at times, other than the “gives up and has fun” phase. It had some cool ideas, but was bogged down by its need to be adult.

Score: 0.5

Overall

Fantastic comedy actors in a mediocre time loop story that is more interested in its adult gags and swearing than finishing any of its substance. Anything new they bring into the genre, they undermine with lies and characters making more bad decisions.

Final Score: 2 Stars out of 5

Happy Death Day – JenEric Movie Review

How This Works – Read Other Reviews

Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2017 movie Happy Death Day.

Story

I’m frankly shocked and surprised that it took this long for someone to combine the slasher and the Groundhog Day concepts. It’s a beautiful mashup that works because these two sub-genres and surprisingly compatible. They both traditionally have horrible stuff happen to the main characters, they both usually involve death, and they usual end happily for at least one character.

This story works, not because of the twist, but because of how heavily it leans into the tropes.

Now that being said the first two loops are set up really slowly, however anyone who’s seen the trailer knows by the second day that the tension isn’t from the slashing but the loop.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The characters are mostly stereotypes with a few little tweaks. This is a weakness of both sub-genres. Because you live the same day over and over again, only one character develops, leaving the entire emotional outcome of the movie on the shoulders of the main character and their massive development.

Tree’s the heart of the film and without her and us feeling for her, this movie would fall flat. Thankfully it didn’t and she is awesome.

A lot of the characters are superfluous and feel like unused threads. The Vietnamese girl who sits outside the sorority house is a good example of an unused character.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The dialogue was quick, quip-y, and felt right for the characters. It’s fun but not poetry or super memorable.

You’ll laugh, but you won’t be quoting this one in twenty years.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The music is very much from a slasher but it’s unobtrusive and works really well. Visually this movie doesn’t need to be anything beyond a B horror style but doesn’t rest on expectations. The compositions, cuts, and references to other movies is fantastic. The transition where Tree gets hit by a baseball bat and falls into the next day is beautiful on it’s own, but the fact that it’s directly referencing a similar transition in Groundhog Day makes it ever so much better.

Score: 1

Fun

I love slashers and I love Groundhog Day style stories. This movie delivers exactly what I wanted from all of it and has a nice little twist. I’m very glad they changed the ending to what we see in the theatrical version.

Once it got going I didn’t even consider looking at my phone. High praise, considering it was my second viewing.

Score: 1

Overall

This is a movie that won’t be everyone’s cup of tea and it certainly isn’t high cinema but it is exciting, smart, fun, and funny. If you like slashers or Groundhog Day stories, you’ll love this movie.

Final Score: 3.5 out of 5


We reviewed the movie on Silver Stag Entertainment‘s Aurora Nominated show Nights at the Round Table.