Movie Reviews

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)


Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

Director:

J.A. Bayona

Starring:

Bryce Dallas Howard

Chris Pratt

Danielle Pineda

Rafe Spall

Plot:

When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen and Claire mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event.

Review:

Fallen Kingdom started off strong. Immediate dinosaur action, then some story explaining that Bryce Dallas Howard had changed from a corporate exec to a bleeding heart, dinosaur loving, activist. Meanwhile, Chris Pratt is building a cabin in the middle of nowhere.

Then back to the dinosaur action. Throw in some exploding volcano and the first half of this movie is just perfect. It hits all the notes you want from a Jurassic Park movie, though, my husband was a bit peeved that the T-Rex was once again a hero.

Things started to slow down for the last third. Well, not really slow down, but I just didn’t care much about it. I didn’t like the introduction of the clone child. It could have been fine, but she was just sort of there in the background and then BOOM saving them. It was eh.

That last third just felt weaker and I can’t really put my finger on why. I didn’t like the kid, but I thought the cloning side of things was interesting, but it kind of expands past what I want from a Jurassic Park movie. Money as a motive was normal, but I didn’t like how easily Bryce was drawn in by the bad guy. She was so smart and capable in the previous movie and she was conned so easily. She didn’t question at all. She was still a badass, though, so I liked that. Chris Pratt helped the IT dude because he knew she could take care of herself.

I love Blue, but the whole Chris Pratt blue backstory was kind of eh. I like seeing a softer side, but it just seemed kind of odd. I feel like they tried to change the characters or make them deeper and not everything worked for me because it went against what I’d already built in my head. Bryce Dallas Howard is a badass corporate chick, while Chris Pratt is an animal trainer that can run.

Great movie. Beautifully shot, felt very much like a Stephen Spielberg movie, so kudos to J.A. Bayona. Music was spot on too. Looking forward to the next.

4/5

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Oceans 8 (2018)


Oceans 8 (2018)

Director:

Gary Ross

Starring:

Sandra Bullock

Cate Blanchett

Anne Hathaway

Helena Bonham Carter

Mindy Kaling

Rihanna

Awkwafina

Sarah Paulson

Plot:

Debbie Ocean gathers an all-female crew to attempt an impossible heist at New York City’s yearly Met Gala.

Review:

I’m a fan of the Ocean’s movies, and all the women in this movie, so I was really excited when it came out. After finally getting to see it I’m very happy with how it turned out.

Sandra Bullock is finally out of prison and she has learned all the wrong lessons. Or maybe the right ones, depending on who you are. She knows exactly what she needs to do to pull off the perfect jewel heist and maybe get some revenge in the process.

In true Ocean’s movie style, everyone is beautiful, the setting it ostentatious, and there’s a twist at the end. I loved it, more please.

I would have loved a bit more background on the characters. They were all so interesting. Sadly, I’m not sure if we’re going to get a sequel, which is a huge bummer. Seriously, Hollywood why would you not want to put all these women in another movie together?

4/5

Tag (2018)

Tag (2018)

Director:

Jeff Tomsic

Starring:

Jeremy Renner

Ed Helms

Jake Johnson

Jon Hamm

Hannibal Buress

Isla Fisher

Plot:

A small group of former classmates organize an elaborate, annual game of tag that requires some to travel all over the country.

Review:

This movie would have been better if it hadn’t been based on a true story. It was wild and crazy until the end where I assume it took a real world turn and then it became depressing and negated all of the fun from the first two thirds.

So five friends have held on to their childhood by setting aside the entire month of May to keep playing a game of tag. They live in separate parts of the country and are adults so they never know when someone is going to show up and tag them. This is definitely something that only works unless you all live in the same town or are wealthy enough to do a lot of traveling. If you were poor you would basically always be excluded or always be it. Which is why it would have been more fun if this wasn’t real world.

Anyway, one of their friends has never been it. I kept waiting for it to be revealed that he was a secret agent, but apparently he’s just that good. You actually never learn what he is so maybe he is a spy.

Hijinks ensue as the friends fight to finally catch him until we discover that one of the friends has cancer and is probably going to die. The movie ends without letting you know if he lives which probably means that he’s dead, which is the worst note to end what was otherwise an entertaining comedy. A comedy that involved lots of outlandish disguises, a fake pregnancy, and a ruined wedding. Seriously, why did they have to include the cancer? Why couldn’t they have kept it all up with the outlandishness?

2/5

Book Club (2018)


Book Club (2018)

Director:

Bill Holderman

Starring:

Diane Keaton

Jane Fonda

Candice Bergman

Mary Steenburgen

Plot:

Four lifelong friends have their lives forever changed after reading 50 Shades of Grey in their monthly book club.

Review:

I find it incredible that four friends have managed to hold a book club for so long. I think they said forty years but I could be off. That’s amazing.

Each of the women were unique in their current relationship status, all believable though somewhat out there, and all at a crossroads. Really, the fact that they were reading the 50 Shades trilogy had very little to do with the story and seems like someone just thought it would be funny for older women to be reading it.

The movie was sweet and I really enjoyed it, but it wasn’t one that stuck with me afterwards. I really appreciated watching a romance that wasn’t staring the typical young white woman, though, the only real change was the age of the women. However, there aren’t many romance movies with women of a certain age so that was a welcome change. Maybe as I get older it will resonate with me more. As is it’s definitely something I would recommend, but not a movie I would re-watch frequently.

4/5

Victoria and Abdul (2017)


Victoria and Abdul (2017)

Director:

Stephen Frears

Starring:

Judi Dench

Ali Fazal

Plot:

Queen Victoria strikes up an unlikely friendship with a young Indian clerk named Abdul Karim.

Review:

I was unaware of Queen Victoria’s relationship and fascination with India before this movie. It was quiet eye opening, though, it’s very obvious that the movie paints things in a very positive light for the queen, though, not actually the country.

Queen Victoria, Judi Dench, is bored with life and basically waiting to die. She hates her children and honestly seems to hate everything about her life but food. Until, one day, Abdul, Ali Fazal, shows up to present a mujer (?) to her. It’s a gold coin.

Fascinated by him, she ends up seemingly becoming obsessed with India. She hires him to teach her everything and finds a new purpose in life. The people around her, especially her son and the heir, are not very thrilled about that, but she’s the queen so they have to get over it.

Judi Dench was amazing, of course, and the story was interesting, but the pacing was kind of off. At first it seemed like this was all happening within a matter of months, but it actually happened over a period of years, but I only know that because of Wikipedia. I feel like they could have done a better job of showing the passage of time instead of trying to make Queen Victoria look like a fat, doddering old person.

Victoria and Abdul was mildly entertaining and presented a new story about an interesting monarch, but it went out of its way to show the titular people in a flattering light.

3/5