Movie Review: Good Boys

This film is directed by Gene Stupnitsky and it stars Jacob Tremblay, Brady Noon, Keith L Williams, Molly Gordon, and Midori Francis.

This film takes a look at three friends Max (Jacob Tremblay), Thor (Brady Noon) and Lucas (Keith L Williams) and their journey through middle school. Max is then invited to a kissing party and does whatever it takes to learn how to kiss. The trio then gets into  trouble and must find a way to get out.

Good Boys is a hilarious film!! I was laughing from beginning to end. Granted this film isn’t perfect and some jokes don’t land, but for the most part I was entertained. If you’ve seen the trailer you know this film is loaded with profanity and the entire film is exactly that! So, if you weren’t a fan of the trailer don’t go watch this film. There’s drugs, alcohol, sex toys, sex talk, and I’m well aware that these topics aren’t always well received particularly when it has children involved. Just as seen on the trailer, these kids aren’t fully aware of the purpose of the toys and how they approach this is brilliant and entertaining!  The chemistry between the boys is the heartbeat of this movie. Their acting was great to the extent that I currently can’t pick a favorite character because I enjoyed all three of them. Supporting cast was good too (with what they were given). The story was tolerable and the script good. At one point this film became a coming of age story and I easily bought into it due to its believability. I was pleasantly surprised on how this film was touching and moving towards the end. The individual stories these main characters go through is relatable, which made me care for them. The message behind this film is cute. Many have described this film as the live action South Park and I completely agree. I know this movie won’t be for everyone, but it worked for me. Definitely keep an eye out for this film when it comes out (Aug 16).
I give this film a 8 out of 10

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Movie Review: Maiden

This film is directed by Alex Holmes, and it stars Tracy Edwards and her entire sailor crew of the Maiden.

This documentary takes a look at the first ever all women sailing team that will enter the competition to sail around the world.

An empowering documentary about women proving they are as capable as men when it comes to sailing around the world. This film is told via original footage and with interviews from the women who sailed the Maiden. The events happened at the end of the 1980s and with the collection of original footage, I was immediately transmitted into the era. I went into this film only have seen one trailer and nothing more. I wasn’t aware the events that had occured and didn’t know anyone in this documentary. Oh man did I love this movie. It was moving, inspiring and most importantly empowering. What Tracy Edwards went through from her childhood to her becoming the skipper of the crew was inspirational and impactful. One thing I will say that I was thrilled about this film was that Tracy was a school dropout and she accidently happened to discover sailing. Yes we are constantly told that an education is important and an absolute must, but sometimes school isn’t for everyone and Tracy was one of those individuals. The rest of the crew was also interviewed and I enjoyed their stories. I loved that even though Tracy was a difficult person to interact with, the crew still got along and supported each other. I cried in a few scenes as it’s powerful and riveting. Because I didn’t know of the events and the outcome of them, I was seriously emotional throughout their journey and of course that ending just got to me. I walked out of this screening ready to work towards my dreams and towards those things people claim I can’t accomplish. Go see this film with your daughters, sisters, mother’s, aunts, grandma any female relative you can think of. I believe it’s in wide release on 7/26 so please keep an eye for this movie.

Give this film a 10 out of 10

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Movie Review: Midsommar

This film is directed by Ari Aster and it stars Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, Will Poulter, William Jackson Harper, and Vilhelm Blomgren.

Dani (Florence Pugh) loses her family tragically, which gets her closer to her boyfriend, Cristian (Jack Reynor). Cristian is planning a trip to Sweden, with his friends, as a form of inspiration to write his thesis. Dani invites herself to the trip. They arrive right before the festivities just in time to witness the disturbing rituals.

I went into this film open minded and with slight anticipation since it was one of those films I’d been looking forward to since the trailer dropped. Oh my!!! I loved this film!! I don’t know where to start. I loved everything about this movie from the cinematography, design production, score, acting, plot, story, custom design and the directing. I’m going to borrow the words from a fellow critic and describe this film as a daymare. It isn’t common to think of a nightmare occuring during the bright daylight, but this film does that exactly. It’s beautifully shot and the single shot scenes are stunning. I’m not exaggerating when I state that I may have fallen in love with every single shot in this film. I can sit in the theater and watch one scene for hrs just admiring and trying to analyze the background, the pictures, paintings, the symbols etc. Just like Hereditary, this film is full with small details that you can catch in multiple viewings. The acting is superb with Florence Pugh giving one of my personal favorite performances of this year. The supporting cast did an amazing job too. It’s surprisingly funny at times with Will Poulter being the comedic relief. Yes it’s gruesome and it does have some shocking, disturbing and graphic scenes, but I loved it! Also it is long and slow but worth it (IMO). The film being slow paced worked for me as I was able to relate to the Dani’s character and at one point I was experiencing everything she was going through. For a moment I was watching this film high without having to take any drugs. There is a particular scene where the scripture is being explained (some symbols being translated) and after I learned a few things I would see certain symbols on the customs of the characters. Pay very close attention to the customs of every single character in this film particularly to the symbols in the chest. Every character has their own unique custom and it’s evident that I find this fascinating. I will have to see it once more to catch certain details (and hope there isn’t another earthquake). I’d be lying if I did not admit that having an earthquake hit right in the middle of this film didn’t amp up my excitement for this movie. As good Californians though we sat through it and continued watching. I definitely recommend seeing this film.

I give this film a 9.8 out of 10

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Movie Review: Spiderman: Far From Home

This film is directed by Jon Watts and it stars Tom Holland, Jake Gyllenhaal, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Samuel L Jackson, Marisa Tomei, Cobie Smulders, and Jon Favreau.

This film takes a look at the events after Avengers: Endgame as Spiderman copes with the aftermath. Spiderman goes to a school field trip, but soon trouble follows him and his friends. Peter must find a way to protect his friends from danger.

This is a fun film!!! The action was great and engaging. What I love about this film was the visuals as they are stunning and quite badass. If you’re a fan of CGI then this film is a must watch. There has been many comic book films I’ve seen that I’m consciously aware are comic book adaptations, but this film pops out to me the most. Good acting all around as Tom Holland is the perfect Spiderman.  Supporting cast is great too; I personally enjoyed the weirdness of MJ and the comedic relief of Ned. Jake Gyllenhaal was amazing in his role. During the beginning of this movie I was wondering why cast Jake Gyllenhaal in this role until I saw the second half of the film then it made more sense. I enjoyed the MJ and Peter Parker relationship as they are cute and awkward around each other. Nick Fury seeking the aid of Peter Parker was entertaining as we saw both of them interact for the first time. I was a fan of the plot as I never would have guessed this was the route they were going (no I have not read the comics). Seeing Peter Parker cope with the loss of Tony Stark was touching. I did have one issue with this film and it was the overwhelming theme of Tony Stark/Iron man.  Iron man drawings everywhere, and murals of Iron man everywhere too. I guess I was expecting some Iron Man/Tony Stark reference in this film but for my taste it was too much. Overall I had tons of fun with this film. The hype about the post credits are all true! Don’t leave until the very end. I definitely recommend seeing this film. Initially I thought I preferred Homecoming, but now that I’ve had time to think I’m leaning towards this film being superior.

I give this film an 8.5 out of 10

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Movie Review: Yesterday

This film is directed by Danny Boyle and it stars Himesh Patel, Lily James, Ed Sheeran, Kate McKinnon, Joel Fry, and James Corden.

This film is about a unsuccessful musician Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) that is about to stop chasing his dream of becoming a well known musician, but a miracle happens. His long time friend and manager Ellie (Lily James) is constantly supporting him and refuses to accept his idea of leaving everything behind. One night Jack gets hit by a bus and wakes up in the hospital injured and later finds out he is the only person to remember who The Beatles and their music.

I wanted to love it but it’s not that great, I’d say it’s just ok. It’s definitely funny and sweet. The story was an interesting one that had potential but this film didn’t fully dive into it. It’s a light film that may appeal to The Beatles fandom, but might be just another simple film to anyone else. Decent acting all around and I’m officially a fan of Lily James. I’ve been a fan of Lily James for sometime and my love for her just grows as she continues to give great performances. Ed Sheeran in this film felt a bit too much for me. I don’t think he brought anything to this film besides his celebrity status. Kate McKinnon was ok with what she was given. Lastly Himesh Patel gave my least favorite acting in this film. The supporting cast was great overall. I do question some shots that were diagonally as I don’t thoroughly understand the reason behind it. I did enjoy the aspect of The Beatles not being the only items or people who no longer existed in that universe. It was  fun to watch Jack trying to remember the lyrics to the songs all while it played out on screen. I guess it wasn’t the film I wanted and I’m aware that’s unfair to the film. So these are my thoughts based on the film we were given. Halfway through the movie I was predicting an ending that I was hoping it didn’t occur and I’m glad it didn’t!! I think I will recommend the film if you’re fan of The Beatles.

I give this film a 7.5 out of 10

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My Top 15 films of 2019, so far….

Honorable Mentions = These are the next five films that would have made the list if I was making a top 20. In other words these are number 16-20.

  • Late Night
  • US
  • Alita Battle Angel
  • Long Shot
  • John Wick 3

Soooooo here we go!! These are my top 15 films of this year, for now. There are a few small films I haven’t had a chance to watch that I’ve heard great reviews about. I will clarify that this is my personal list and that I’m not paid by anyone or any studio. I post some quick thoughts on the film followed by my score on it. With that said here is my list!!! Enjoy.

 

 

 

15. Toy Story 4 – Wait what? number 15?  yeah sorry guys. Just saw this film this weekend and I loved it!! I was one of those who wasn’t sure if this film would work  since nobody was asking for it. This film proved me absolutely wrong and I love when movies do that. My original score in this film is a

9.0 out of 10

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14. Ask Dr Ruth – I wanted to watch this documentary when it was on limited release but I didn’t find the time. I finally caught it on Hulu and man did I find it amazing! This film is inspirational, motivational and most importantly empowering. Dr Ruth was a woman ahead of her time, who has certainly thought me some things here and there (not necessarily sexual). Please go see it and learn about her life and her career. Her story deserves to be known. My score for this film is

9.0 out of 10

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13. How to Train Your Dragon 3 = I’m well aware that I’ll be in the minority when I say that I like this trilogy more than the Toy Story one. This film is the perfect ending to this trilogy. I loved seeing Hiccup grow and become a man in this franchise alongside his friend Toothless. I just love these films!! This particular film had amazing visuals and a great story. My original score of this film is

9.0 out of 10

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12. Penguins = This Disney nature film was adorable! The visuals in this film were stunning and this film made me feel as if I were in Antartica. This movie is narrated by Ed Helms who does a good job. I was more intrigued after seeing the behind the scenes of making of this movie and oh boy was this crew challenged with the weather and filming the animals. My original score for this film is

9.5 out of 10

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11. Fighting with My Family = I was the biggest wrestling fan when I was younger in my early teen years. I got teased for it but I didn’t care because I loved wrestling and I loved Chyna for being the only female wrestler to go one on one with the male wrestlers. It wasn’t until recently when the women in wrestling started to get more attention and more time on tv. Paige was one of the trailblazers to make that happen and when I heard a film about her life was in the works I couldn’t be happier. I loved this film and now I’m hoping to see the stories of different wrestlers and their journey to the WWE. My original score for this film is

9.5 out of 10

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10. Booksmart = What a fantastic, smart and funny film!! I left this film with a stomach ache due to the constant laughter. I appreciated the diversity in this film. I loved that the main characters were women who were directed by a woman and the screenplay done by women. My original score for this film is

9.5 out of 10

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9. Apollo 11 = This is definitely a must watch documentary. This is one of those films that you already know the outcome of the event yet you’re still in suspense and at the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens next. Amazing cinematography and the sound in this film is out of this world (no pun intended, perhaps it was). My score to this film is

9.5 out 10

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8. Tolkien = I absolutely loved this film. I loved how this film was a love letter to every form of art; visual, language, writing, storytelling, etc. I was mesmerized by the visuals with the production design and costumes design. I loved the story and the acting. Drama period pieces are my weakness. My original score for this film is a

9.6 out of 10

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7. Avengers Endgame = What? What in the world is she thinking??!!! Yeah guys I’m sorry but I didn’t love this film as much as everyone else did. I prefer Infinity War over this one. But I do admit I did enjoy this film and yes I did cry at the end. I think this film is a great way to end this saga. That fight in the end was quite awesome but I admit I was more entertained by the Iron Man, Cap and Thor fight against Thanos. Great film overall. My original score on this film was a 9.0 out of 10, but after a second watch I increased it to a

9.8 out of 10.

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6. Hotel Mumbai = Oh my was this film an experience I did not expect to happen. I wasn’t aware of the events prior to this film and boy was I shocked by everything that occured. This film was done so well that I felt as if I was in the film and was in suspense and at the edge of my seat for the entire film. I will warn you that this isn’t an easy watch some of the scenes are gruesome and shocking. I knew this film was one of my favorites when I was still thinking about it days after seeing it. My score for this film is

9.8 out of 10

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5. Shazam = I loved this film!!! I had fun and laughed plenty while watching it. Levi was amazing in this role. I admit that its diverse cast and theme of family made me love this film even more. Mark Strong was a great villain. I enjoyed everything about this film!! My original score is a

9.8 out of 10

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4. All is True = This film fascinated me with the wide shots of breathtaking scenery. The visuals were gorgeous and I clearly recall sitting in the theater and just thinking about sitting there for as long as I was allowed to. The acting was superb from everyone. I enjoyed the story of Shakespeare’s retirement years, although I’m not sure how historically accurate it was. Again, period pieces are my weakness and this was my favorite (for now). My score for this film is

10 out of 10

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3. The Mustang = I believe this was the first film I gave a perfect score. I loved this film. The acting was exceptional and the story was what intrigued me the most. A prisoner tries a rehabilitation program where he must train a wild horse. It appears that this happens in some facilities in different states in the United States. I was moved by this film which is why it’s on my top 3 of this year (for now). My score for this film is a

10 out of 10

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2. Echo in the Canyon = I’m sure you’ve noticed a trend by now, that my top two films are music related. I’m a sucker for films about music whether they are biopics, musicals, or a musical documentary. This film takes a look into 4 groups that were born in Laurel Canyon (a canyon in Hollywood Hills). These groups are The Byrds, The Mama’s and The Papa’s, The Beach Boys and Buffalo Springfield. This film takes a look into their beginnings, their hits and in some cases their break ups. My mother was a big fan of these bands and hence my introduction to them. I came out of this film being a bigger fan of these bands and knowing a little history about them. Many of the band members are interviewed including Ringo Starr (you can’t talk about bands of the 60’s without including The Beatles). I had goosebumps watching this documentary and I only hoped my mother was still alive to have watched this film with me. My score on this film is

10 out of 10

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1. Rocketman = No surprise here!! Last year BoRhap was my favorite film of the year and Rocketman is my favorite film of this year (for now). Yes, this film is superior to BoRhap. Taron Egerton is my favorite acting performance of this year for now and I do hope he gets considered for awards. I knew this guy was a great actor but after seeing this film I have no doubt of the amount of talent he has. Richard Madden was phenomenal too! It’s not easy to make a film with songs that carry to story forward and this film does it quite well. I loved that this film portrayed Elton John without shying away from his addictions and sexual orientation (something BoRhap didn’t do too well). The magical and fantasy element was perfectly sprinkled in this film and I can’t think of any other way to tell the story of the great Sir Elton John. My score for this film is

10 out of 10

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Movie Review: Toy Story 4

This film is directed by Josh Cooley and it stars the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Joan Cusack, Keanu Reeves, Tony Hale, Jordan Peele and Keegan Michael Key.

This is the last film in the Toy Story franchise and it follows Bonnie and her journey with the toys that were given to her. The toys go on their first ever road trip and have their own journey.

Oh wow!!! I didn’t think this franchise had anything more to say and guess what? I was completely wrong!! This is definitely a must watch film. Toy Story 4 is a film that fits perfectly into the franchise. I’m not sure where I rank it within the franchise. I’ll need to sit on it to make that decision. Only negative comment I have to say is not about the film, but the people in the screening were disrespectful and I didn’t get to completely enjoy the film. May I make a simple suggestion to movie going audience please don’t be disrespectful to the rest of the movie goers trying to enjoy the movie. I loved the story and loved the new characters/toys. Forky is fun and very interesting because it’s the first self made toy. I was entertained and engaged in the journey with Woody and Forky. I enjoyed the Keanu Reeves character. I found it intriguing that the suppose villian in this movie has its own backstory. The story definitely had to be told and I think it was the appropriate ending to a beloved character like Woody. I found myself laughing quite often in this movie and the animation in this movie is quite stunning. I was going through my twitter and someone posted two pictures they both have the characters of Woody and Bo but one is from the first Toy Story and the second picture is from this film and the difference is notable. These films are brilliant as they are targeted for both children and adults. The message in this movie is beautiful as is something we all must always remember regardless of our age.  And yes! It’s Pixar so I did cry. Please go see it! Highly recommend it.
I give this film a 9 out of 10

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Movie Review: Anna

This film is directed by Luc Besson and it stars Sasha Luss, Helen Mirren, Luke Evans, Cillian Murphy, and Eric Godon.

This film is about Anna (Sasha Luss), who is a Russian undercover assassin. She finds herself in a difficult situation when she is forced to make a decision of helping her country or betray it.

Don’t do it. Unless you’d like to punish someone. I’m not a flashback storytelling person and this film did it too much to the point that I was confused and I decided to not care. The flashback is done constantly and randomly. What I mean with randomly I mean it starts in a particular year then it goes back 5 years then it goes forward 3 years and then back 6 months and so on and so forth. Not only did it annoy me but I no longer cared. The fight scenes were quite good but I already knew what the outcome would be because I had seen what happened 5 years later from the previous scene. This jumping in and out of current timeline not only frustrated me but it loss any possible tension these scenes could have had. I’m currently working in obtaining my Film degree and I’m trying to understand some particular shots but this film had so many random close ups and I didn’t feel the need for them. There are a lot of sex scenes that didn’t work for me. I wasn’t fan of the story although I did like the ending. There are a lot of twists and turns and some I did not see coming. The time jumps take away from the suspense and possibly any reaction to the twists. The acting was decent but nothing more. The actress (Sasha Luss) who plays Anna is distractingly beautiful but her character isn’t more than the beautiful model turned assassin. My favorite acting came from Dame Helen Mirren as she had the best lines and perhaps the most interesting character. The dialogue in this film is hideous. Overall not my cup of tea. Don’t see it. Unless you like a spy action film please feel free to watch it and let me know your thoughts.

I give this a 3 out of 10

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Movie Review: Shaft (2019)

This film is directed by Tim Story and it stars Jessie Usher, Samuel L Jackson, Regina Hall, Alexandra Shipp, Lauren Velez, Avan Jogia and Richard Roundtree.

This film follows John Shaft Jr (Jessie Usher), who works in the FBI as a data analyst. His friend suddenly dies and John suspects he was murdered so he must find a way to get the truth. With his skills with data analysis he needs to ask for help from someone (his father) who knows certain people from the streets. They must work together to resolve their respective cases all while bonding as father and son.

Let me start with saying that I do hope nobody criticizes me for what I’m about to write. All movies are subjective and everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Although I understand the criticism on this film, I must say I agree with the audience (93%) and cinemascore (A). I had a lot of fun with this movie! It was hilarious!! I thought Samuel L Jackson was the best part of this film. The supporting cast was great too. Jessie Usher was a stand out performance too he did very well in this movie and his chemistry with Samuel L Jackson is spot on. I did believe they were father and son. Regina Hall is quickly becoming one of my favorite actresses currently working she is amazing in this movie there is one particular scene where she is in a restroom talking to herself in the mirror that just had me laughing non stop. The action in this film is quite good and I was invested in the father/son relationship. If you’re a sensitive person then don’t go watch this film. I think this film wouldn’t be receiving the criticism it is now if it were released back in the 90s or 80s or even early 2000s. I was entertained by the action and throughout the film. I was never bored. If you want to be entertained definitely go see this film.

Let me finish by saying that this week is perhaps my most controversial one. I gave negative reviews to critically acclaimed films (The Last Black Man in San Francisco) and gave some slightly positive ones to films that are getting buried by critics and/or movie going audience (The Dead Don’t Die and Shaft). Let me clarify that I’m not doing this to get attention or to start any debates or such. I’m sincerely giving my genuine thoughts on these films. I apologize if I don’t share the same thoughts as you do but just read my thoughts and I do certainly hope you can understand my perspective. I’m in no way trying to change anyone’s perspective I’m just sharing mine. With that said may everyone have a phenomenal week!!
I give this film an 8 out of 10

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