Review for”Wonder Woman”

Review for”Wonder Woman”

Cast:  Gal Gadot as Diana/Wonder Woman, Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta, Robin Wright as Antiope

Synopsis: A story about an Amazonian war princess who becomes the superhero Wonder Woman.

What’s one thing that superhero movies have in common?  It’s all of the remakes.  The vast majority of these movies have numerous remakes, rewrites and sequels.   The same can be said about most of today’s movies.  But anyways.  They’ve never done a Wonder Woman remake.  Not that I could find, at least. I was excited to learn that they’d be making one for Wonder Woman.  Plus I’m crazy about superhero movies.  So let’s begin our review.

 

For a while, the Interweb seriously doubted that Gal Gadot was right for the role of Wonder Woman.  Those reasons really didn’t make sense.  After seeing this movie, they made even less sense.  In fact, I thought she was absolutely perfect for the role.  She was able to play a woman who was incredibly strong, smart, vulnerable and very naive.  Often at the same time.  She was a lot of fun to watch.  I liked seeing her relationships in the movie, particularly with Steve.   Their love story was cute and unique.  Connie Nielsen was good as Hippolyta, Diana’s mother.  Robin Wright also shined big time as Antiope, Dana’s aunt/commander.  That first battle scene was amazing!  I wish there were more scenes with her.

I’ll admit that I don’t know much about the Marvel vs DC battle.  In fact, I’ve only watched one DC movie–Batman vs Superman.  It was good, but not memorable.  Director Patty Jenkins did a marvelous job with this movie.  I liked how she devoted a decent amount of time on Diana’s childhood.  Not the typical skimming of the childhood flashbacks we normally see in films like this.  Seeing Diana explore a different new world was also fun to watch.  Everything so new and exciting.  Speaking of exciting, let’s talk about those fight scenes!  Especially the first big one on the beach.  It was one of the best ones I’ve ever seen.  But why was the whole movie so (literally) dark?  That and the occasional slow pacing were the only problems with the movie.  They certainly didn’t keep me from enjoying out.

 

Overall, Wonder Woman was a brilliant, well-acted movie.  The best part is that we only have to wait until November to see Diana/Wonder Woman in another DC Comics film, Justice League.  Until then, I highly recommend Wonder Woman.  I give it a 9 out of 10.  It’s playing in theaters now.

Review for “Get Out”

Review for “Get Out”

Cast:  Daniel Kaluuya as Chris, Alison Williams as Rose, Lil Rel Howery as Rod, Catherine Keener as Missy Armitage, Bradley Whitford as Dean Armitage

 

Synopsis:  A young African-American man goes to meet his Caucasian girlfriend’s family–and it’s quite a bizarre trip.

There are some spoilers below…..

Every couple has their ‘meet the parents’ phase at some point.  Chris and Rose have been together for about 5 months, and they’re headed to Rose’s parents house.  Obviously, Chris is nervous and wants to make a good impression.  But it turns out he has no idea what he’s in for.  Twists and turns all around.  Let’s get into our little review….

 

The performances in Get Out are incredible.  The best performance belongs to Alison Williams, who played Chris’ girlfriend Rose.  It was weird because it felt like she was at least 3 different people.  I guess she kinda was.  Her final phone call to Rod was chilling.  It’s-freezing-in-here-even-though-it’s-not chilling.  Wow.  Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) also did a great job in this movie.  He was smart and quick.  And also scary when he needed to be.   That scene at the lake with Rose?  I will be looking for more of his work in the future.  Rod (Lil Rel Howery) was hilarious.  He was also very intelligent and brave.  He wasn’t your typical comic relief character.  He added new layers to Rod.  All the other performances were really good as well, but those are the stand outs for me.

 

I’ll admit that I was very hesitant to watch Get Out.  Reason #1:  It was probably overrated.  It’s rare for a movie to get a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.  So it might be overrated.  Reason #2: It was widely known that this movie is about racism.  It is a topic I’m very uncomfortable with.  I just hate seeing people be treated unfairly.  But my curiosity won, and I finally saw it this week.  I think Jordan Peele did an excellent job writing and directing this.  He took a very uncomfortable subject and gave us a different perspective on it.  Racism can be a lot harder to spot than most people think.  It was a sickening, but necessary lesson to learn.  Plus, the whole movie felt completely original.  Something, the movie industry is lacking a little.  There was some gore in the movie, but Peele proved that you don’t need to rely on it in order to make a horror movie scary.  There were tons of edge-of-your-seat moments in the film.  There was never really a chance to get bored.  It was actually kinda fun to watch.

There were a couple of issues, however.  The cult-like body snatchers apparently did this to live longer, healthier lives.  But they rarely left their small towns and never really did anything with their new bodies.  Why?  Plus, the deer situation at the beginning of the movie.  I wonder if that was part of the plan as well. It looked like it had been dead for a while.  Oh well….

 

 

Overall, I was surprised to find that I enjoyed Get Out.  It was a fresh take on the horror genre.  It could also be pretty funny.  I look forward to seeing more work from Peele, Kaluuya and Williams in the future.  I give it a 8.5 out of 10.  Get Out is now on DVD and on Google Play.

13 Reasons Why: Season 2 possibilities 

Hannah’s story is finished, but there are plenty more to tell.  There were so many loose ends in the season finale.  I hate when movies and TV shows end that way.  It looks like we’ll be getting a 2nd season anyway.  Here are some storylines I’d like to see.

  1.  Alex.  The last time we saw Alex, he was in critical condition after a suicide attempt.  We know that he did some terrible things on the show.  He made that stupid hot-or-not list.  Because of it, his friendship with Hannah was ruined.  Not only that, he ruined Hannah’s friendship with Jessica too.  He wasn’t exactly a good boyfriend to Jessica.  He dumped her for not wanting to have sex with him.  But unlike a lot of the others, he actually felt guilt and remorse for what he did.   We were so consumed by Hannah’s story that we overlooked Alex’s issues.  Reckless behavior.  His mood swings.  Dealing with depression and anxiety.  Sadness.  Emptiness.  A major life crisis, which was Hannah’s death.  Making preparations, etc.  Whether he’ll survive or not is undetermined, but I would like to hear his 13 reasons why.
  2.   Jessica.  She was raped by her friend, Bryce.  Two people she cared about knew about it and did nothing about it.  Justin is one of those people, and he lied to her about it for months.  Really deep down, I think Jessica knew something bad had happened to her.  She just couldn’t piece it together until Justin finally confessed.  And he gave the stupidest, yet understandable reasons why he didn’t report it.  She was betrayed by a lot of people in her life too.  We could see things from her point of view.  It doesn’t have to follow the exact same formula as Hannah’s.
  3. Tyler.  I know you’re wondering why I put Tyler on this list.  He’s done a lot of messed-up things on the show too.  He stalked Hannah, which is why he was one of the 13 reasons she killed herself.  He leaked that picture of her and Courtney after Hannah rejected him.  He’s a bit of a creep.  But you don’t necessarily have to like someone in order to feel sorry for them.   I mean, look at Hannah.   From what little information we have, Tyler is an outcast.  Tyler was bullied for all of his life, it seems.  He tried desperately to fit in, but he was constantly rejected.  He didn’t seem to know how he came across.  The only way he could connect with people is through his photography.  I think he’s likely dealing with depression too.  Constant rejection will do that to you.  Trust me, I can relate.   If he doesn’t get the help he needs, he could get into some real trouble.  The last time we saw him, it looked like he was planning a school shooting.  And he had pictures of the people he apparently wanted to kill.  He took down Alex’s picture, possibly meaning that he change his mind about killing him.  We see a flashback of Alex defending Tyler against Montgomery, one of Tyler’s bullies.  We don’t know for sure if they’ll use the school shooting story.  But it would certainly be interesting to see Tyler’s point of view.

 

These are just some random theories I have.  13 Reasons Why is streaming on Netflix.

Review for “The Couple Next Door”

Review for “The Couple Next Door”

Synopsis: A mystery story about a couple whose child was stolen.

Anne and Marco Conti are just exhausted.  They recently became parents to little baby Cora, and they have no real time to themselves.  For just one night, they attend the party of their glamorous next-door neighbor.  They wanna  let loose and have fun.  Fun without their little daughter, whom they leave home alone.  So they get the shock of their lives when they return home to find Cora missing from her crib.  This is just the beginning of the many problems the Contis will face.  Get ready for a rough ride.

It’s quite a task to write about such unlikeable people.  You have to find a way to make them sympathetic as well.  But I think that Shari Lapena did an excellent job of that.  All of the characters have done terrible things, but somehow, you find yourself feeling sorry for them…a little.  I felt the most sympathy for Cora, the couple’s six-month old daughter.  But out of the adult characters, I felt the most sympathy for Anne.  She has never quite had an easy life growing up.  And she has to deal with a lot of really intense things.  What are those?  You’ll have to read the book in order to find out.  There was some sympathy for Marco.  I could somewhat relate to a few of his struggles in the book.  But for a lot of the story, I didn’t like him very much.  I couldn’t stand Anne’s step-father.  What a twisted man! You just wanted to punch him in the face.

With this book, Lapena used a slightly more traditional format.  From the very first page, you just have to know what happens next.  It felt like I was going through a variety of different feelings–shock, surprise, disgust, sympathy, anger and relief etc.  I wanted to shake Marco violently for even suggesting that they leave their baby daughter at home alone.  That was incredibly dangerous and stupid.  Later on, you’ll see why he did that.  You’ll probably won’t believe it.  It was fun to see things partly from Detective Rasbach’s perspective.  There was tons of secrets that the characters kept form each other.  I liked how they were unveiled one piece at a time.  It never felt overwhelming.  He was an interesting character.   I wish we knew more about him, though.

My biggest issue with the book was the ending.  At first, I liked it.  That ending was certainly a shock. Upon rereading, however, I liked it a lot less.   I know a lot of people hate ‘happily ever after endings’.  But I think it would’ve made more sense this time.  Anne and Marco had gone through enough.

 

Besides the above complaint, I really enjoyed reading The Couple Next Door.  It was a fun, fast-paced read.  In fact, it was probably one of the best mystery books I’ve ever read. Highly recommended,  I’d give it a 9 out of 10.  You can find it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online bookstores.

 

Random Theories for Big Little Lies

Random Theories for Big Little Lies

“Big Little Lies” is highly addictive.  The book is probably one of the best I’ve ever read, and the show is amazing.  Great cast, great characters, good mystery etc.  That being said, I have some random theories about BLL.

 

  1. I don’t think that Ziggy hurt Amabella.  He seems to be a very kind, loving and friendly little boy.  None of the evidence so far suggests that Ziggy would even consider doing anything like this.  Plus, Ziggy is the only one being accused.  Usually, in that case, it means that the person is innocent.  Even though there is a slim possibility, I doubt Ziggy hurt anyone.  I think the opposite is true–he’s being bullied too.

2.  Celeste.  In the novel, I thought Celeste was the best character.  She was a little more multidimensional than the others.  She’s great here too.  I feel so scared for her in every scene she has with Perry.  That man makes my skin crawl. The therapy sessions are also creepy, but well-acted.  Especially the first and last ones.  I really hope she leaves him before the series is over.  As far as the mystery goes, she could be on either side of it.  But I doubt it.

3.  Jane.  On the show, Jane is probably the character I sympathize with the most. Seeing her struggle with PTSD?  Those scenes are certainly relatable because I’ve dealt with that too.  For different reasons.  The way it’s portrayed in the show is very realistic.  I really hope that Ziggy is innocent because I don’t think Jane could deal with it.  I’m rooting for her.  It’s possible that she killed the victim in self-defense and she could be the victim.

4.  Madeline.  I actually like Madeline a lot.  She’s the type of person who fights for what and who she believes in.  She’s cute and funny.  She is a really good friend to Jane and Celeste.  A great mother.  She has so many likable qualities to her.  You’re almost willing to overlook the fact that she’s having an affair.  Or that she’s in a petty war with Renata.  Ed is an entertaining guy.  In the book, he and Madeline were happily married.  Why does there always have to be cheating?  Happy relationships can be fun too.  I don’t believe she is the victim or the killer.

5.  Speaking of Ed, something is a little off.  The comments he makes about other women.  Taking pictures of them without their knowledge.  People have always commented on the looks that he gave Abigail.  Was it desire? Attraction?  Or did the look mean nothing?  Body language is weird and diffucult to interpret.  Maybe the writers just want Ed to be a viable suspect in the upcoming murder.  Or victim?  Honestly, I don’t know how to feel about Ed.  Is he just a nice guy who is just really weird?  Or is a huge pervert? Kiler? No.  Victim? Possibly.

5.  Renata & Gordon.  Their relationship seems to be the healthiest on the show.  They’re both very angry and frustrated over Amabella being bullied.  While I understand how Renata feels, I think she’s taking it too far.  With each episode, the chances of Ziggy being the bully grow smaller and smaller.  Amabella is terrified of her tormentor.  This is about Amabella, not Madeline.  And I think the feud between them is ridiculous.  Entertaining but ridiculous.  I think Gordon’s approach is better and more rational.

6. If I’m dealing with a jerk, I’d rather deal with one like Nathan.  He knows he’s being an ass and isn’t hiding it.  I hate how he isn’t taking Madeline’s concerns about Abigail seriously.  I kinda that’s why Abigail moved in with him and Bonnie.  He lets her do whatever she wants, probably out of guilt for abandoning her and Maddie. Both father and daughter are annoying.

7.  Perry is a jerk times 100.  I cringe every time he’s on the screen.  He’s a monster and he’s never going to change.  Celeste has a strong case of Stockholm Syndrome.  People say that Perry hates himself for hurting his wife, that he feels guilty.  I honestly don’t care if he does.  He’s a horrible person.  I think the whole point of that first therapy session was to trick Celeste into staying with him and he succeeded.  He blames her for her own abuse.  He knows what he’s doing and he doesn’t care.  Plus, he turns their own kids against Celeste.  I think if Celeste stays any longer, Perry is going to kill her.

8. Chloe.  In a lot of ways, she’s a pint-sized version of her mom.  I like how the writers fleshed out the child characters as well.  (Most of them.  We still don’t know much about the twins.).  She seems so smart and intuitive and funny.  I like her.  I hope she isn’t the bully.

 

Now I have to reread the book for potential clues.  This mystery just gets better and better.