Review for “Ocean’s 8”

Cast:  Sandra Bullock as Debbie Ocean, Cate Blanchett as Lou, Mindy Kaling as Amita, Anne Hathaway as Daphne, Rihanna as Nine Ball, Helena Bonham Carter as Rose

Synopsis:  A crime caper tale about 8 women who rob a museum.

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It seems to be a theme these days–sequels coming out years and years after the originals.  It’s also a theme for movies to be renewed.  It’s like they’re sequels and new original movies at the same time.  I watched the first 2 Ocean’s movies a long time ago.  Both were incredible.  Now there’s a new Ocean’s movie out in theaters now.  It’s gender-flipped.  Will it be as good as the originals?  (Side note:  I recently learned that the real original Oceans 11 movie starred Frank Sinatra in the 1960s.  That makes the George Clooney’s Oceans movies remakes.  Interesting fact.

 

There wasn’t a single bad performance in Ocean’s 8.  Sandra Bullock, who played the leader Debbie Ocean,  was a badass.  She was very believable in this role, and a great bad girl.  Cate Blanchett was also great playing Lou, the right-hand woman.  Even Rihanna was surprisingly decent as the mysterious Nine Ball, hacker genius.   Her role wasn’t very demanding, but still, nice job.  Anne Hathaway turned out to be the biggest surprise here.  Her character/target, Daphne Kruger, was a famous actress who was initially shallow, flaky and stupid. But she turned out to be a lot smarter and less oblivious than we thought.   The 8 women and their different personalities blended very well.  Will we see more of this in the sequel?

 

What about the cinematography, the pretty images?  Well, they were beautiful.  Cinematographer Eigil Byrd did a great job with it.  I loved all the cutaways and two way scenes.  Gary Ross did a good job directing Ocean’s 8.  You can tell that he, the stars and everyone else had a lot of fun making this movie.  That’s what makes it fun to watch.  Did it have problems?  Reasons for me not to like it?  Of course, but not many. *mild spoilers* I was kinda disappointed not to see Danny Ocean pop up at some point in the movie.  I was hoping his death was just another con.  Sadly, that wasn’t the case.  Plus, I never understood Daphne’s motives. *mild spoiler alert over*

If you like fun, fast-paced movies that shouldn’t keep you guessing, but do, then watch Ocean’s 8.  Awesome cast, good directions and great costumes.  What more could you want.  But it also makes me slightly paranoid for some reason too.  Haha.  I’d give Ocean’s 8 an 8.5 out of 10.   It’s in theaters now.  Go see it.

 

 

Review for “The Favorite Sister”

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A while ago, I read Jessica Knoll’s last novel, Luckiest Girl Alive.  I didn’t like the protagonist of the novel, Ani, for most of the book.  But I did sympathize with her.  She’d been through a lot and it made her into a hard shell of a person.  By the end of the book, you kinda realized that maybe she wasn’t a hard shell after all. It was just a facade.  And I kinda liked her after all.  Just kinda.  Can we say the same thing about the main characters in her newest novel, The Favorite Sister?  Let’s found out, shall we?

 

I usually try to refrain from writing bad reviews.  That’s usually very easy for me because I can find the good in almost anything or anyone.  Almost, like 70% of the time.  Maybe 80?  Anyways, the good in this book is that it’s very well-written.  The book was kind of addictive.  The not-so-good things about The Favorite Sister are the characters.  They’re stars of a reality show called Goal Diggers.  I’ve never come across more shallow, superficial, vain and selfish characters in a book.  Maybe they’re supposed to be, I don’t know.  The only likable character in the book was Layla, Kelly’s daughter.  But she wasn’t in the book very much.  None of the characters cared very much about anything other than being famous.  You quickly get the impression that they would–and often did–anything to stay in the spotlight and be the star of Goal Diggers.  Clawing their ways to the top.  I was astounded and disgusted by all the things these characters did, said and thought about each other.  You did get a really good look into Kelly’s, Brett’s and Stephanie’s psyches.  But you also just wanted them to shut the hell up.

 

Call me naive, but for a long time, I actually believed that reality TV was….real.  I thought it was interesting that people can be so open and honest in front of strangers.  Form friendships and even relationships while having a filming crew following you everywhere.  Then much later, I found out that ‘reality TV’ is basically another acting job.  At least some of the time.  Then you find yourself wondering what is real and what is fiction.  Then reality TV just lost its appeal for me.  So reading The Favorite Sister wasn’t a total chore.  It gave a good look into reality shows and what they’re really like.  The book was called a mystery, but there isn’t much mystery in here.  It’s mostly drama.  It leaves you wondering why women are often so vicious towards each other.  It’s unnecessary.

This leaves me with quite a pickle.  The book overall wasn’t that bad.  Jessica Knoll really is a good writer.  But the characters in this book?  Ugh, I hated them all so much except for Layla.  There were good points in the book about feminism and such, but I’m not sure I’ll ever read it again.  Maybe I will, maybe I won’t.  Anyway, I give it 4.5 out of 10.  Don’t let me dissuade you from reading it.  It’s available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other bookstores.