The Greatest Beer Run Ever (2022) was the war movie I needed.

War movies are not my favorite. They are usually full of shocking violence and they make me emotional in ways that I do not like. But this movie is different than every war movie I have ever seen. It has a deeper message, unlike many of the war films that just focus on all of the violence, and less on what it is actually like for the soldiers in a war zone.

Chickie (Zac Efron) was not required to travel to a war zone, but he chose to because he wanted to deliver beers to his friends that were fighting for his country. Yes, you read that right. Everything was a bit confusing in Chickie’s life at the time, he wanted to help his country but wasn’t sure how to best do that. However, everything got even more confusing for him when he arrived on ground in Vietnam. His opinions on the war gradually changed as he saw the landscape for himself. His perspectives were challenged as he learns of the lies the public was being fed. And to make this film even more impactful, it is based on a true story.

Overall…

I do not want to give away the full movie, but watching it felt like more of an experience than a 2D screen. I think most people can relate to having an opinion and then encountering something that completely changes that strong, long-held opinion. This movie is perfect for today’s life when people read things online and believe them without looking for evidence, or maybe even look too hard for evidence rather than believing what is right in front of them.

The film has a great soundtrack, exhibits great storytelling, great acting, has a great pace, and an impeccable tone. It’s a fun war movie, or at least a more upbeat one. There is violence but the film is also comedic. I think this duality tells the story well because it shows the camaraderie of the soldiers, but also the brutal reality they are facing. The juxtaposition is powerfully emotional.

Should you watch it?

Yes. It is definitely worth the watch. Zac Efron brings his acting chops and showcases his comedic timing. (Now, I want to see him in Righteous Gemstones beside his buddy, Adam DeVine.) It was nice seeing Efron play a humble, goofy guy, which is not typically the role he is cast in. He isn’t the hero in this film, more of a side kick trying to help those he sees as heroes a.k.a. his friends.

8/10

This kind of movie will not be for everyone, but I especially recommend it to people who do not typically like war movies. Give this movie a try. There are times I teared up and times I laughed. It takes you on a journey that is worth going on.

For some, this could be a buddy war movie, a beer comedy, or a based-on-a-true-story movie with a deep philosophical meaning. To each their own–

Sentence Summary

When Chickie feels guilty for not doing enough for his country, he decides to find a way to bring beer to his friends that are fighting in Vietnam.

Where can you watch it?

AppleTV+

Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) was bananas!

I have heard mixed reviews on this movie. Some people label it as the best Marvel film to date, while others could go on for hours and hours on how terribly bad it is. Knowing this, I waited for it to be available on Disney+ instead of paying to go see it in theaters and being so utterly disappointed just to walk out mid-movie. Now, after watching this film I am so glad that I waited this long to watch it.

Straight to the point–

This movie was horrendous. It did not make sense, the tone was everywhere, and it felt like a SNL skit that went terribly wrong and long. If this movie was a train, it would have no tracks, no structure, and no destination in mind.

I am a fan of Taika, so I was hoping that the bad reviews of this film were just from head-over-heels comic fans that were mad about the movie being different than the comics. But after seeing the movie for myself, I understand the core of where those reviews are coming from. In contrast, I do not understand how someone could enjoy this film unless they went into it looking to watch a spoof of a Marvel movie, then (and only then) does it make sense to me.

Should you watch it?

If you have not seen this movie, I would recommend watching something else instead. With all of the content Marvel has been putting out lately, it is clear that their quality is becoming diluted. Instead of going to the movies and watching a Marvel film and knowing that it will be great, powerful and memorable, their films have become just a dime in a dozen.

Sentence Summary

Honestly, I have no idea what this movie was about and I did watch the whole thing.

Rating: 0.5 out of 10.

0.5/10

Brutally honest.

Lightyear (2022) to the ground and no where else…

What’s this all about?

I was very young when the first Toy Story movie debued and took the world by storm. I remember watching kids bring the figurines to school and then fight over them at lunch and playtime. I, myself, was never really into the movies. I guess I just didn’t understand the hype until I got older and the films took on a whole new meaning.

The talk around the new Lightyear movie is mixed, but overall it’s pointing in a negative direction. I have to admit that I was wary when I heard that Chris Evans would be voicing Buzz. Don’t get me wrong, I love him as Captain America, but I was not sure that he was suited for a voiceover role. Plus, what about Tim Allen? He is the Buzz everyone knows and loves. Choosing Evans feels like a marketing ploy, less than a creative decision, and I still feel like this even after watching the film. It was distracting having Evans’ voice present throughout so much of this story. I think it would have been better to have a relatively unknown actor, without having previous characters they played being synonymous with their name, to play Buzz than a Marvel hero.

While I do not reveal major plot points in my reviews, I think it is only necessary to mention a “twist” that happens in the middle of the movie. While watching the film, I did not understand how this twist made any sense. It was jarring in the moment, but after thinking about it, I understand where the writers were coming from. Overall, this mediocre and confusing plot twist was one of the better plot points, and that should say a lot. That being said, the plot points in this movie need a lot of work.

Starkly, this movie could have been much better than it was. The first 20 minutes could have been summed up in 5 minutes or less, and could have been more powerful and meaning. It felt like the writers were trying to do “this and that,” and check off everything on their list, that they forgot to actually spend time making everything fit together so it would produce a moving, Pixar movie.

Is it worth watching?

No. Honestly, it’s not. It is going to let you down and leave you wanting more. It made me sad to think about how good this movie could have been if more time was taken into working on the script.

The writing is not there. In the beginning of the film, there is text on the screen that reads something like, “Toy Story came out in 1995 and told the story of a boy named Andy. This is Andy’s favorite movie.” You cannot help but compare the original Toy Story to this film and wonder who let this get made? Couldn’t have someone stepped in, gave some notes, and pointed the creatives in the right direction? How could this be Andy’s favorite movie? This movie did not make me love Buzz, it made me love Sox.

Warning: slight spoiler ahead… Plus, I could not help but wonder: Taika Waititi voices a humorous character that boasts his signature accent. If people had spent generations on the new planet, wouldn’t everyone have the same accent by now? There wouldn’t be one person with a strong New Zealand accent since all of the accents would have morphed into one shared accent, right? I don’t know, I am not a linguist but there are multiple details like this that keep me going, huh? And, how can they walk around on the planet without their helmets on? Huh?

Sentence Summary

When Buzz Lightyear is consumed by his own pride, he lets it control and take over his life until a robotic cat eases him into changing his mindset.

5/10

Rating: 5 out of 10.

Needs improvement. The five stars are for Sox for holding the whole movie together, creating some dimension, and a reason to keep watching. The animation was beautiful, but the story was lacking so much that I am not sure there was even a story there.

Princess Diaries (2001) deserves an Oscar.

I have watched this movie more than thirty times. When asked what my favorite movie is I usually say Good Will Hunting, but in all honesty, it’s probably Princess Diaries. It brings me back to my childhood and is centered around a goofy girl that I can relate to deeply. I have always liked how Mia (Anne Hathaway) evolves throughout the story and goes from being shy and quiet, to being brave and using her voice for good.

from Movieclips Classic Trailers on YouTube

As I have grown older, I do have some issues with the movie. I do not like how Mia goes from having poofy, voluminous hair, to having straight hair. And how she goes from having glasses, to wearing contacts. While I like the internal transformation she goes through in the movie, the physical one is something I have a slight issue with.

Someone with glasses can still be a princess. Someone with voluminous hair that is not stick straight can still be a princess. I do not like the precedent that is being set with these transformations, as if the Mia ‘before’ was not good enough for the crown.

However, in a way I do understand the physical transformations. As a writer, I can understand that they help convey the changes Mia is going through internally. They also help show the rigorous standards there are for people in the spotlight, especially royalty. I especially like how her best friend, Lilly (Heather Matarazzo), points out these changes and voices her disproval. If Lilly did not voice her thoughts, I imagine this movie would have been very different. It’s always great to have a best friend that keeps you on track.

Overall, I love this movie for all it’s funny moments and the life Anne Hathaway brings to Mia. She has these mannerisms that add to the character and truly make the character come to life. Hathaway was only eighteen when this movie was filmed and her acting talent is already very tangible.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

9/10

*Disclaimer: Making a movie is hard. Sometimes you have an idea and it is not interpreted how you intended it to be. All directors, producers, writers, and everyone on set should be proud at what they created and I do not want to diminish that. I just want to share my opinions so we can learn from movies and see what works and what didn’t.

Ford v Ferrari (2019) raced into my heart!

I have to admit that some of the car talk in Ford v Ferrari went right over my head. I do not know the names of old style cars, the owners of the main car companies, or famous race car drivers. But nonetheless, the film was more than enjoyable and I felt like it was a great use of my time, even though it is nearly three hours long.

The film is directed by James Mangold and stars Matt Damon (Carroll Shelby), Christian Bale (Ken Miles), Jon Bernthal (Lee Iacocca), and Noah Jupe (Peter Miles), among others. The accents stole my attention right away. I thought that Ken Miles was supposed to be Australian, but it turns out that he is actually British. It was also interesting to hear Damon speak with a country accent when I am used to his normal Boston vernacular. A country, race car driving Will Hunting? Yes please.

from 20th Century Studios on YouTube

I watched this film with my mother who usually falls asleep during every movie, even Harry Potter. However, I am proud to report that she did not fall asleep during this movie. She watched the entire thing in one go. That says something in itself.

Jupe steals the show! He competes head on with Damon and Bale to make this film a sort of masterclass in acting. I am not surprised because Jupe dominates films like Honey Boy (2019), A Quiet Place (2018 & 2020), and Suburbicon (2017). All of the scenes he is in are powerful and the relationships between the characters feel tangible. He had great comedic and dramatic timing.

Overall, the dialogue is so well written that it feels conversational. There is a sort of tune to the conversations that make them feel like music. The words sound like art. The words showcase banter, humility, arrogance, and the stark differences between each of the characters. To keep it short, I recommend watching this movie. It’s full of life lessons, encouragement, friendly jokes, and the most important part of life: our relationships with the people around us.

I think it only makes sense to acknowledge the writers of the film for their fantastic work in storytelling: Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth, and Jason Keller.

Favorite Quote

“There’s a point – 7000 RPM – where everything fades. When your seeing becomes weightless, just disappears. And all that’s left is a body moving through space and time. 7000 RPM that’s where you meet it. Can I ask you a question? The only question that matters. Who are you?

Rating: 9 out of 10.

9/10

Fresh (2022) and spicy and gruesome.

Shocking, full of plot twists, and deeper meanings, Fresh (2022), starring Daisy Edgar-Jones (Noa) and the Winter Soldier himself, Sebastian Stan (Steve), has a unique story line that I have not seen before. This film is so original and I think that is what makes me love it so much, even when some parts are hard to watch. (I have to admit that I did have to pause sometimes and fast forward a second or two.) When you watch this film, you might realize how weird it might be to say that I love this movie, but I do. I truly do.

First, the soundtrack is impeccable. It does a beautiful job of setting the tone. If you pay close attention, you can see that although the characters may seem comfortable in the beginning, the close up shots of food and the directing err in the direction of something being off. Soon, it is clear that something very much so is off. Incredibly off.

from Hulu on YouTube

I love the ending of this film and the moments of girl power throughout. Without ruining the ending, because it is one to remember (hint: epic fight scene), it shows how powerful friendship is. I also enjoyed how the movie touched on the various kinds of female relationships and confrontation methods: the telepathic girl, the jealous girl, and the mean girl.

Mimi Cave is a fabulous director and this film made me want to venture out and see more of her work. I wonder whose idea it was for the very specific soundtrack of the film: was it written into the script or was it a directing choice? I also cannot forget to talk about Lauryn Kahn, who is the writer behind the script. While this could have easily been just another bad guy, good girl, typical horror-violence movie, this film is so much more. It makes statements that are long overdue and maybe will give men a glimpse at the worries that regularly go through a woman’s mind.

After watching this movie, I am going to watch Edgar-Jones in Normal People because she was so convincing in this movie! Her character has nuance and did not feel flat. I believed her from the start! I felt like I knew Noa, which makes the plot even more scary. Also, I cannot not mention how Stan’s character’s name is Steve. What a coincidence, or was it? I hope it was because that could make the story even more scary.

9/10

Rating: 9 out of 10.

P.S. I also want to mention the incredible actor, Jojo T. Gibbs (Mollie) who played Noa’s friend in the movie. What a legend!

*Disclaimer: Making a movie is hard. Sometimes you have an idea and it is not interpreted how you intended it to be. All directors, producers, writers, and everyone on set should be proud at what they created and I do not want to diminish that. I just want to share my opinions so we can learn from movies and see what works and what didn’t.

It’s my last semester at college!

I am graduating college in May (hopefully)! As long as I pass all of my classes this semester, I will be graduating before the summertime. To celebrate, and to help get myself through the heavy school work, I decided to turn to gifs to create memes that help communicate how I am feeling.

1. When the professor changes the due date last minute.

2. Watching a movie to distract myself from the stress.

3. When I forget to eat.

5. When I remember I have a whole lab to do before bed.

Can you relate? After I graduate, I will be free! Free from the school system! Free! Please wish me luck.

Crimson Peak (2015) is interesting.

Staring Tom Hiddleston (Thomas Sharpe), Mia Wasikowska (Edith), Jessica Chastain (Lucille Sharpe), and Charlie Hunnam (Dr. Alan), this film tells a story that is brilliantly directed by Guillermo del Toro. It’s also perfect for the week of Valentine’s Day because of its twisted love story that lies at the center of the plot.

Crimson Peak (2015) has been on my radar since I watched clips of a few scenes during my phase of being mesmerized by Tom Hiddleston. I think it was around the time I was taking a Shakespeare class in college. I watched one of his performances and that led me to diving deeper into his acting history. That deep dive led me to watching some interesting clips of this film. It seemed weird to me so I did not decide to watch it then. But I was feeling adventurous this week and decided it was time to sit down and watch this film.

from Universal Pictures UK on YouTube

Crimson Peak is a horror and historical piece. The clothing and sets are incredible and help tell the story in itself. This dramatic, horrific mystery is captivating and pulls you in with the characters right away. The ghosts are some of the scariest I have seen, the death scenes are bloody, and the characters’ relationships with one another evolve and become more apparent as the audience is let in closer to the depths of their hearts.

Jessica Chastain (Lucille) does a great job at stealing every scene. She tells the complex past of her character with the emotion in her eyes and her careful body movements. Tom Hiddleston and Mia Wasikowska are no different. The casting is impeccable and this film would certainly not be the same with different actors that did not have the ability to encapsulate del Toro’s script.

Overall, I did not expect to like this film enough to watch it for entirety because after all, it is two hours long. Because of the abundance of films available to watch online, I have become more specific with the ones I choose to watch. I have been getting in the habit of putting on films, getting disappointed, and turning them for something else. I usually give a movie fifteen minutes, or thirty if I am feeling patient, before I decide that it is not something I want to dedicate my time to. But with Crimson Peak, I was hooked all the way through. From the beginning scene to the very end. I even wanted it to continue on longer than it did, but I have to admit that the ending was the perfect seal to end the story.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.

7.5/10

*Disclaimer: Making a movie is hard. Sometimes you have an idea and it is not interpreted how you intended it to be. All directors, producers, writers, and everyone on set should be proud at what they created and I do not want to diminish that. I just want to share my opinions so we can learn from movies and see what works and what didn’t.

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