The Upside

20190109 poster the upside

SYNOPSIS: An ex-con accidentally becomes a “life auxiliary” for a quadriplegic billionaire and they develop a bond that changes them both.

MY TAKE: I wasn’t sure what to expect because Kevin Hart’s shtick was getting old and his last movie was blah. And the story did start off with a lot of his annoying shtick. But when the story progressed into the relationship between Bryan Cranston’s and Hart’s characters, the combo of these two actually worked! I liked the movie even though many critics did not.

Official Movie Website

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Stan & Ollie

20181204 poster stan and ollie

SYNOPSIS: Towards the latter part of their careers, Laurel and Hardy tour Europe hoping to impress a movie executive to fund their next movie.

MY TAKE: Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly did a great job portraying Laurel and Hardy and recreating some of their sketches. The story itself had heart, showing the off-screen relationship between the two men. My one nit – the actress who played Hardy’s wife was the same actress who played Moaning Myrtle, with that voice!!! Nevertheless, this was a good movie.

Official Movie Website

On The Basis Of Sex

20181210 poster On The Basis Of Sex

SYNOPSIS: Young Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her husband take on one of the early gender discrimination cases.

MY TAKE: The story was very interesting, both the gender discrimination case itself, as well as the prevailing gender views of that time (I am sooo glad I was not around yet during that time). I also liked that the dynamics between Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her husband Marty and her daughter Jane were made an integral part of the movie. Good movie. Go Notorious RBG!!!

Official Movie Website

Second Act

20181113 poster Second Act

SYNOPSIS: A retail store worker scores an executive-level job using a “creative” resume.

MY TAKE: At first, I went “uh-oh” when I saw J.Lo’s retail worker wearing heels at work! But thank goodness her outfits became more appropriate as the story progressed. The supporting cast was good, especially Leah Remini, although the ending was predictably neatly tied with a bow. Light-hearted movie, but not the blockbuster that J.Lo probably was hoping for as a comeback.

Official Movie Website

Aquaman

20181218 poster Aquaman 1

SYNOPSIS: Arthur Curry must claim his birthright – the throne of Atlantis – to prevent a war between Atlanteans and humans.

MY TAKE: I liked the movie, but I expected more. The CGI was good, but it was almost too much. The story was also not tight enough, and the second half looked like a mash-up of Indy Jones’ quest, Jurassic World’s Isla Nublar, King Arthur drawing the sword from the stone, alien monsters, and even a cheesy Power Rangers villain. Nevertheless, this was better than many previous DC movies. And stay for an end credits bonus clip.

Official Movie Website

Mary Poppins Returns

20181217 poster Mary Poppins Returns

SYNOPSIS: Mary Poppins arrives to care for the Banks children as their father tries to stop the bank from repossessing their home.

MY TAKE: This is a sequel, NOT a remake, but this movie paid homage to the original through style and feel, as well as references in story, dialog, and characters. Acting-wise, nobody does Mary Poppins like Julie Andrews, but Emily Blunt came close. However, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Jack was not as strong a partner for Mary Poppins like Dick Van Dyke’s Bert was, but he RAPPED!!! Overall, I liked this movie.

Official Movie Website

 

 

 

Mortal Engines

20181211 poster Mortal Engines

SYNOPSIS:  Hester and Tom try to stop predator-city-on-wheels London from destroying the Shield that protects an eastern nation, Shan Guo.

MY TAKE: The premise of entire cities on wheels battling each other was interesting. Special effects, action sequences, and the tension were good. The setting did make me think of Mad Max though, and two characters reminded me of Terminator and The Matrix, and a scene paralleled the Star Wars Death Star destruction sequence, but these were woven into the story well. I liked the movie though many critics did not.

Official Movie Website

Spider-man: Into The Spider-verse

20181206 poster Spiderman Into The Spiderverse

SYNOPSIS: Miles Morales gets bitten by a radioactive spider, then meets Spiders from parallel universes as they try to return the universes to their parallel paths.

MY TAKE: I enjoyed this movie a lot! The story was a good combo of laughs, heart, and action. The animation was very distinct, with a more comic book style rather than the more recent hyper-realistic animation styles, although I am not sure if this should have been shown in 3D because some scenes looked kinda blurry in 2D. Stay through the end credits to see a bonus clip that will whet your appetite for the future!

Official Movie Website

Mary Queen of Scots

20181205 poster Mary Queen of Scots

SYNOPSIS: This movie depicts the life of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland, from the time she returns to Scotland from France to the time she is beheaded.

MY TAKE: This was the type of movie critics like, and it was good, although a bit too long. I knew nothing of the history of Scotland and England, so, this movie was educational. Saoirse Ronan did a really good job portraying Mary as a smart and strong queen navigating the tensions with England, as well as within Scotland. Worth watching.

Official Movie Website

Ralph Breaks The Internet

20181119 poster Wreck It Ralph 2 Ralph Breaks The Internet

SYNOPSIS: Ralph and Vanellope go online to find a replacement part to save Vanellope’s Sugar Rush arcade game and all the characters who call it home.

MY TAKE: This sequel is worthy of the original, even without an evil mastermind. The internet references were relatable, and there were also a lot of cameos from other Disney properties, including Stan Lee! Plus kick-ass racing scenes and jokes for adults and kids alike to keep the underlying story of growing up and friendship-at-a-crossroads light-hearted. Stay through the end credits for a bonus clip.

Official Movie Website