movie review

The Holiday (2006)

The Holiday (2006)

Director:

Nancy Myers

Writer:

Nancy Meyers

Starring:

Cameron Diaz

Jude Law

Kate Winslet

Jack Black

Eli Wallach

Blurb:

Two women troubled with guy-problems swap homes in each other’s countries, where they each meet a local guy and fall in love.

Review:

I’m ashamed to say that this movie was recommended on my blog several years ago and I’m only now getting around to it. If I’ve got any defense it’s that anytime I saw it available to stream it was not during Christmas and I have a strict rule about watching Christmas movies before Thanksgiving(US). Finally, I’ve gotten around to it, though.

One of my favorite Christmas movies is a Debbie Macomber one called Trading Christmas. So I’m a fan of this trope. What I loved about The Holiday and this trope is that finding love isn’t necessarily the goal. Kate Winslet’s entire story arc was about finding herself and her romance with Jack Black was just a footnote. I love romance, but I enjoyed this story the most.

Cameron Diaz and Jude Law’s story was mainly about sex and attraction until Diaz discovered that Law had children. All of a sudden she saw him in a new light and while a long-term relationship was always there hovering I think the addition of seeing him care for his children pushed him farther into that category.

Ending wise, I again preferred Kate Winslet’s ending. There was so much possibility and promise there, while Cameron Diaz and Jude Law there was still the question of how they could manage a long-distance relationship. There really wasn’t a satisfying ending that could come from that so I can understand why it wasn’t expounded on. Diaz would either have to leave her company or he would need to uproot his children taking them away from everyone they know and love. I guess the kids are getting uprooted. It could be worse.

I’m not sure if I’ll add The Holiday into my yearly Christmas movie rotation, but it’s definitely a movie I would watch again and again.

4/5

The Harder They Fall (2021)

The Harder They Fall (2021)

Netflix Original

Director:

Jeymes Samuel

Writers:

Jeymes Samuel

Boaz Yakin

Starring:

Jonathan Majors

Idris Elba

Zazie Beetz

RJ Cyler

Edi Gathegi

Danielle Deadwyler

Regina King

LaKeith Stanfield

Delroy Lindo

Blurb:

When an outlaw discovers his enemy is being released from prison, he reunites his gang to seek revenge in this Western.

Review:

I’ve been looking forward to The Harder They Fall since I saw the trailer. It mostly delivered on my expectations, however, it dragged in some bits and slowed the pacing down. I would have liked it if the romance had been more hinted at instead of explored. I don’t particularly care about romance in a western because the genre is already filled with so much. The romance of the lone gunslinger coming in and saving the town. In this case, though, the gunslinger had a small group of friends, which still worked in my opinion. However, they didn’t save the town. I was surprised at that route and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Was the town too corrupt? It didn’t seem that way, so I’m not sure why that decision was made.

There were several tropes that were inverted and I liked that a lot. I also LOVED how they depicted the white town. It was hilarious. I was kind of bummed that the second friend ended up dying. You already knew the young one was going to, he was too cocky to live in that kind of world. I also did not like the reveal at the end, which was not needed at all. Bad guys in westerns don’t need motivation other than being bad.

I liked the ending (I love Regina King’s character) and I’m hoping that there’s a sequel that works on fixing the things I disliked. This is the kind of western I enjoy, one that’s not super artsy, though, The Harder They Fall did have its moments.

3.5/5

Boss Level (2021)

Boss Level (2021)

Director:

Joe Carnahan

Writers:

Chris Borey

Eddie Borey

Joe Carnahan

Starring:

Frank Grillo

Naomi Watts

Michelle Yeoh

Will Sassa

Mel Gibson

Blurb:

A retired Special Forces officer is trapped in a never-ending time loop on the day of his death.

Review:

Boss Level snuck in under my radar and I didn’t know it was even a thing until I was mindlessly scrolling through Hulu. It was a victim of COVID and despite costing $45 million ended up on Hulu and not in theaters. It was an entertaining action movie with the added bonus of the repeating day trope. Someone at Hulu seriously loves that trope and I am all about it. More, please!

Anyway, an incredibly dehydrated Frank Grillo does a great job portraying an ex-military man stuck in a loop where he dies every day. He has no idea what’s going on at first and spends the first 80 or so loops just fighting to survive before he tries to figure out what’s going on.

Surprisingly, Naomi Watts is also in this film. I was not expecting that, though, she isn’t in the movie a huge amount. She’s Grillo’s ex and the mother of his child. She also doesn’t seem to understand PTSD and just wants him to go back to being the man she loved before all the military killing and whatnot. It doesn’t go into his military background, much, so that’s just an assumption on my part.

Mel Gibson was a good bad guy, which makes sense considering who he is in real life.

The biggest surprise, for me, was Will Sasso being the heavy henchman. I’ve only ever seen him in comedic roles and while this wasn’t a super serious role it was definitely not a comic relief character.

Michelle Yeoh was in Boss Level as well. I’m so happy with her current popularity. She’s popping up in so many movies that I watch and enjoy. I will always love seeing her.

Boss Level was a nice break from my movie re-watch and I’m glad I checked it out.

3.5/5

Tremors 5: Bloodlines (2015)

Tremors 5: Bloodlines (2015)

Director:

Don Michael Paul

Writers:

William Truesmith

M.A. Deuce

John Whelpley

Starring:

Michael Gross

Jamie Kennedy

Natalie Becker

Blurb:

Burt and Travis battle ass-blasters and graboids in South Africa.

Review:

Tremors 5: Bloodlines started with negative points because of Jamie Kennedy. I do not know why but I can’t stand that man. His face pisses me off. So I found this movie difficult to watch.

Five movies in, and I’m starting to understand why I like this franchise despite it being in a genre I usually dislike. It’s the romance. Each movie has a little bit of romance that is enough to lighten things for me. There’s also the depiction of women, with almost all of them being badasses in their own right.

I was looking forward to watching Bloodlines despite Kennedy because fans seemed to like this one better than the last two. Sadly, I’ve got to disagree. I wasn’t a fan of the inclusion of bad guys, other than the graboids. I thought Michael Gross having a love child was stupid. The whole way things were handled with capturing the creatures just felt off to me. I did like that Kennedy wasn’t the love interest, but I wasn’t invested in the romance at all because those characters seemed to be just off on their own. They had to do with the main plot, but they weren’t connected to Gross until the end. I wasn’t a fan.

2/5

School of Rock (2003)

School of Rock (2003)

Director:

Richard Linklater

Writer:

Mike White

Starring:

Jack Black

Mike White

Joan Cusack

Sarah Silverman

Miranda Cosgrove

Blurb:

After being kicked out of his rock band, Dewey Finn becomes a substitute teacher of an uptight elementary private school, only to try and turn his class into a rock band.

Review:

I watched School of Rock way back when it came out, but I have never had a desire to watch it since. However, scrolling through Instagram, as you do, I came across some people talking about it, and I decided to re-watch with new eyes. Thankfully, it was streaming on HBO, so I was able to.

My feelings on School of Rock remain the same. The movie is fine, I don’t find it funny, but it’s kind of cute. Jack Black’s character is mainly a positive influence on the kids, and the ending is the best outcome, but I’m not sure if his actions outweigh the lies he told. I guess I’m not rock n’ roll enough.

It’s a sweet film, and I enjoy Jack Black and the kids, but sadly it’s not a movie for me.

3/5