Category Archives: Movies

The Old Guard Movie Review

Comic books/graphic novels are not just juvenile forms of literature. They have a way of introducing audiences to new concepts and new characters that might not exist in traditional literature.

The Old Guard premiered last night on Netflix. Based on the comic book by Greg Rucka, the movie tells the story of a group of immortal warriors. Led by Andromeda/Andy (Charlize Theron), they have remained in the shadows for thousands of years. Their cover is nearly blown by the newest member of the group, Nile (Kiki Layne). While they are dealing with the newbie, Copley (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is eager to learn how these warriors have maintained their immortality.

Before I saw the movie, I had not heard of The Old Guard. My review is solely based on the movie.

As a female viewer, this is my ideal narrative. Andy is not the traditional female character, especially for this genre. She is clearly in charge, but is also empathetic. She is additionally, also not straddled with the standard romantic/damsel in distress narrative that are forced upon female characters.

That being said, the movie was merely ok. It was somewhere in between underwhelming and not a bad way to spend two hours of my movie watching time.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

The Old Guard is available for streaming on Netflix.

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Filed under Feminism, History, Movie Review, Movies, Netflix

Throwback Thursday-Red Tails (2012)

There are two ways to tell a story. The first is in a dry academic style that informs, but does not teach in a way that is memorable. The second is in a vibrant manner in which the audience learns something long the way.

Back in 2012, Red Tails hit theaters. Starring Terrence Howard and David Oyelowo, the film told the story about the Tuskegee Airmen that fought in World War II.

I have to agree with the critics about this movie. Though the film does an admirable job of introducing or re-introducing audiences to the true story of unsung American heroes, it is not as good as it could be.

Do I recommend it? I’m leaning toward no.

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#AnneFrank-Parallel Stories Review

To some, the Holocaust is ancient history. In 2020, we have more pressing problems to occupy our time with. But the Holocaust was only 80 years ago, and the issues from that era are as prevalent now as they were then.

#AnneFrank-Parallel Stories is one of the newest releases on Netflix. With a voice-over by Helen Mirren, this documentary tells the story of Anne Frank while telling the stories of other women who are among the few to have survived. While Mirren reads from Anne’s diary, the audience follows a young woman as she travels across Europe, asking questions that frankly, need to be asked.

I’ve seen many Holocaust films over the years. What makes it different is that it hard-hitting, emotional, and squarely aimed at the younger viewers. If I have walked away from this movie with one message, it is that we have a chance to ensure that the Holocaust in any variation never happens again. That requires asking difficult questions and learning from the mistakes of our predecessors.

I recommend it.

#AnneFrank-Parallel Lives is available for streaming on Netflix.

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Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga Review

The story of the underdog is as old as humanity.

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga premiered on Netflix on Wednesday. Lars (Will Ferrell) and Sigrit (Rachel McAdams) have been best friends since childhood. Coming from a small town in Iceland, their dream is to win the Eurovision Song Contest.

It appears that their dream will be just that. Then an opportunity reveals itself. But like any dream, there are roadblocks. Lar’s father, Erick (Pierce Brosnan) is a cold fish when it comes to his son.

Alexander (Dan Stevens) is a Russian competitor who appears to be romantically interested in Sigrit. He also might be using Sigrit to break up the duo. But Sigrit and Lars have been doing the will they/wont they dance for years. Can they win the contest and finally admit of their feelings for one another?

I have mixed feelings about this movie. It is supposed to be part absurdist comedy and part inspirational film. The inspirational half of the film works just fine. But the absurdist comedy falls flat on it’s face. I should have been laughing out loud, but I wasn’t.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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Throwback Thursday-Honest Trailers (2012-Present)

Sometimes, the entertainment industry takes itself a little too seriously.

In 2012, Screen Junkies premiered a new web series. Entitled Honest Trailers, each episode contains a series of parody movie trailers.

I love this series. Each trailer is gut bustingly funny, calling out the obvious flaws in their subjects in a manner than only parody allows. It is no wonder than in eight years, millions of viewers have watched these videos.

I absolutely recommend it.

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Flashback Friday: Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg (2009)

Sometimes, history is made when we least expect it.

For audiences of a certain generation, The Goldbergs (not to be confused with the present sitcom of the same name), was worth the wait every week for a new episode. But for younger generations, the ground breaking series and it’s creator/star, Gertrude Berg is an unknown.

That is where Aviva Kempner‘s 2009 documentary comes into play. Entitled Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg, the film tells the story of the series and it’s iconic namesake.

As a younger viewer who was decades away from being born when the series was originally on the air, I appreciate this documentary. Gertrude Berg was a woman ahead of her time. Without her, we would not have the modern sitcom as we know it to be today. She was also upfront about the antisemitism that existed back then, which is a topic that 70 years later, is still sadly relevant.

I recommend it.

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Filed under Feminism, Flashback Friday, History, Movie Review, Movies, Television

Throwback Thursday-Harry Potter Film Series (2001-2011)

There is something about the magic of a favorite childhood book. No matter how old one gets or how complicated adulting becomes, these books will always stay with us.

The Harry Potter film series (2001-2011) is one of the few book to movie transitions that is both true to the source material and has the ability to stay with the audience.

The films follow the title character, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), an orphaned boy who discovers that he is a wizard. Over the course of ten years and eight films, Harry and his friends, Hermoine Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), grow up, fall in love and fight against the dark forces of their world.

If there is one thing that stands out to me, it is that the narrative and characters feel human and normal against an extraordinary backdrop. Harry is an everyman type of character, giving readers and viewers an emotional hook to grab onto and stay with until the very end.

Do I recommend them? Yes.

P.S. I would love to just talk about the films, but I must address J.K. Rowling‘s morally disgusting remarks about Trans men and women. They are a stain on the legacy of the books/movies that inspired a generation of readers.

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Throwback Thursday-Date Night (2010)

I would wager that if one were to ask any married couple with kids about their daily lives, they would tell you that they have little time to spare for themselves. That is where date night usually comes in.

In 2010, the movie Date Night premiered. Tina Fey and Steve Carell play Claire and Phil Foster, an average suburban couple from the New York City area with a full plate of responsibilities. Like many couples, they look forward to date nights to relax and enjoy each other’s company. The evening they choose to go out on will not just be any evening.

Date Night is one of those movies that would be forgettable if it was not for the comedic geniuses that are Tina Fey and Steve Carell. The movie is not horrible, but it is not exactly what it promises to be.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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The Rock Speaks the Truth

These days, one’s head would have to be in the sand to not recognize the multiple crisis’s we are living through.

Unfortunately, the man we elected to the highest political office in the United States has pushed his head so deep in the sand that it has yet to fully emerge.

Yesterday, YouTube released a video in which actor/WWE superstar The Rock pleads with you know who to do the job American voters hired him to do.

Now if only you know who would listen.

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Throwback Thursday: Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)

Mistakes are part of life. When they happen, we may wish for a time machine so we can go back in time and prevent such mistakes. But what would happen if a time machine really existed?

In the 2010 movie, Hot Tub Time Machine, Adam (John Cusack) is throwing himself a pity party. As are two of his friends. In an effort to revive their spirits, Adam, his friends, and his nephew go on a trip to a dilapidated ski resort that was a party spot in the ’80s. After drinking one too many alcoholic beverages, and sitting in the hot tub, all four men are transported back to 1986. Their goal is to undo their mistakes and ensure that Adam’s nephew comes into existence. But that is obviously easier said than done.

It’s one of those movies that could easily turn into a raunchy boys road trip comedy. But there is something to be said about an opportunity to change one’s future and preventing mistakes that could forever change the course of your life.

Do I recommend it? I am leaning toward yes.

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