Review Rewinds 5/1/2017

Hello friends! I have a new monthly series I am finally going to announce to you.  This is something I have been wanting to do for a long time. Today I bring to you Review Rewinds. This is where I take a look at previous reviews and how my opinions have changed on the rewatch both for good or bad.

What? I can hear you say.  How can we trust you if your reviews change? Well, I’m a human being and my experience at a film can be impacted by a variety of factors. I could be tired, annoyed, sick of a particular actor or director. There could be a number of similar films coming out at the same time which might make me more critical and on the rewatch when I’m separated from that experience I appreciate it more.

The other factor is I often struggle to come up with a grade that adequately expresses my feelings. This is why I am very happy about my new smile and frown worthy approach. I don’t think very many movies go from being smile to frown worthy on the rewatch. They just might drop from an A to a B or a B to a C+.

Anyway, I thought this would be fun and show my history with a film not just an initial viewing.

Avengers: Age of Ultron- Original score A-. Rewind score- B-

From my original review “Got to see Avengers Age of Ultron and loved it!!  It’s a great movie and right up there with the original”. That was how I felt at the time so it was an honest response. I still love the first Avengers movie and I admire the sequel but the two movies aren’t close on the rewatch. The original film has Loki as the ideal villain and the death of Agent Coulson to gather the gang together. In Avengers: Age of Ultron you have Ultron who is fine but fairly basic. I still like James Spader as the voice of Ultron, but there’s not much to him.

But the biggest difference is they try to create emotion with Hawkeye and his family and it doesn’t work nearly as well as Coulson who we’d gotten to know in all of these other Marvel movies. I love the party scene in Ultron and the banter between the characters. That still holds up but certain scenes are bit boring like the Hulkbuster scene. Speaking of the Hulk, Bruce should put way more of a fight up against Tony’s insane ideas but he doesn’t. Especially with all Bruce has been through with the gamma radiation he should be very hesitant to do all these experiments.

Oh well. I still enjoy Age of Ultron but not as much as I did when I first saw it. Review Rewind!

Rio- Original Score C+. Rewind score- B

From my original review “They are entertaining to watch, pleasant to look at, but in the end kind of forgettable.” To my surprise I gave Rio 2 a C despite admitting it is “weaker than the original”, so that must have been some kind of mistake. I watched Rio for family movie night last summer and I found it quite charming. It’s not the greatest movie I’ve seen in my life but I enjoyed it and felt I was too hard in my original review.

One of my main problems with the film was the voice acting. I said “Of all the voices the only one I liked was Jermaine Clement as the bad Cockatoo named Nigel.” On the rewatch I didn’t have a problem with the voice acting. Sure Anne Hathaway doesn’t sound like someone from Brazil but I guess I’ve been worn down so I didn’t care. You don’t need the celebrity voices but they do fine. None of them are annoying like Kevin Heart in Secret Life of Pets.

I say the “extended musical numbers that don’t do anything for the story and are just kind of average.” Again on rewatch I like musical sequences. I think they have color and life and are a lot of fun to watch. It’s so weird because I’m usually won over by musical sequences!

I certainly think Rio is much better than Rio 2, which has a main appeal of the insane frog in love with the bird. I think if Rio came out now I would probably treat it a lot like Smurfs: the Lost Village and be dazzled by the pretty animation. I’m such a softee…

Edge of 17– Original Score B+, Rewind Score- C-

This was a mini review and I admitted ” it is expertly crafted but I found it kind of unpleasant to watch”. Sometimes this happens with a film. I will walk away saying ‘boy they did a good job…and I never want to see that film again”. I can honestly say the makers of Edge of 17 did a great job doing what they were trying to do. However, I can also say it left me depressed for the rest of the day and I never want to see it again.

It goes back to the lead character Nadine who is the quintessential surly teenager. It’s very well done. The problem is I have no desire to spend 2 hours with a surly miserable 17 year old. It reminded me of my surly days and honestly I called my Mother and apologized after, so I guess it was positive on that level. The performances are all good but it left me feeling cold and sour.

In the review I said “Everyone is comparing this to John Hughes and I guess it is like 16 Candles the most but I prefer this”. I’m not sure what I was thinking there because at least 16 Candles has some joy and goofiness in it. This is just so caustic and I found it even more so on the rewatch.

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Current Mini Reviews

Before I review Moana I thought I would give you guys a few thoughts on current films I have seen that I have not reviewed on this blog.

Almost Christmas

A Meyers ChristmasA movie not trying to be anything other than what it is- a cheesy Christmas movie but done well. If you like these types of films you will like it. The cast has chemistry. A lot of the jokes land and it’s overall a cheerful fun movie for the holidays.

Overall Grade- B

Moonlight

moonlightI love movies where I get to live a person’s life and Moonlight is a great example of that. It is about a gay black man in poor inner-city Florida. Understated in its sensuality and very human throughout. Not going to be for everyone but I appreciated it especially the first 2 acts. The final felt a little cloying to me and some of the choices I didn’t completely buy but still good film. Great acting by all involved. The Mother you just want to slap some sense into her!

Overall Grade- A-

Allied

allied-movieWell made movie that I was moderately entertained by. It earns it’s R rating and feels like an odd fit for Zemeckis. The tone doesn’t quite work and it is definitely boring in spots but good chemistry and a pretty good story make it a decent watch. I’d say watch at home as a rental.  It was a lot better than The Walk. You also kind of wonder who it was made for?

Overall Grade- C

Edge of Seventeen

edge-of-17A weird movie to review because it is expertly crafted but I found it kind of unpleasant to watch but I think that was deliberate from the filmmakers. It is about a surly, unpleasant teenage girl who is extremely negative. But let’s be honest most of us have been there as teens at least I know I was. The script and performances definitely mine that time of life for emotional truth with no attempt to be glib like Juno or Mean Girls. Everyone is comparing this to John Hughes and I guess it is like 16 Candles the most but I prefer this. As much as I admire it, I don’t think I’d ever want to watch it again.

Overall Grade- B+

The Space Between Us-

space-between-usKind of a terrible movie that I just can’t quite hate on. It’s heart is in the right place and I can tell they were really trying to make a good movie but it comes across as another bland YA type film. The premise of a boy born on mars is decent and I like the overall hopeful tone- something missing from most YA adaptations like the 5th Wave. But it feels cheap, the acting is kind of awful (one of worst performances I’ve seen from Gary Oldman) and the romance doesn’t work. It becomes a road trip movie that is very bland and feels more like an episode of a show on CW rather than a movie. But if you like YA movies, you might like it. At least it is positive- a rarity in that genre.

Overall Grade- C-

Arrival-

I don’t know I loved it quite as much as many other bloggers and youtubers who are declaring it a masterpiece but it’s good. I like that it really goes for it and has bold ideas. It’s kind of film I want to see several times to really absorb it’s ideas and messages. It looks beautiful and I liked that the story centers on communication and language and how that makes us human. The design of the aliens and alien language were very creative and Amy Adams is great in the lead role. The twist at the end mostly worked but still not sure I understand it completely. Some readers will find the pacing too slow but I enjoy a slow burn scifi film.

Overall Grade- A-

Maggie’s Plan

maggies-plan-movie-postersThe story is admittedly very contrived and stupid but I liked the dialogue a lot. It totally captures the pedantic liberal intellectual crowd perfectly. I found it light and breezy with charismatic performances. I enjoyed it very much.

Overall Grade- B+

Hacksaw Ridge-

hacksaw-ridge-poster-partGoing to be too violent for some of my readers and I totally respect that but if you can stomach the violence it is an amazing film. I LOVED it! At its heart its actually a faith based film about a man who stands up for what he believes in and miracles result. I was very inspired by it and loved pretty much everything about it. I loved all the performances, story and pacing and everything else. If you can take the violence- SEE IT!

Overall Grade- A+

Huntsman Winters War-

huntsman-winters-warA sequel and prequel in one and all bad. Terrible acting. Terrible chemistry. Wasted cast. Muddled story. It’s really as bad as you’ve heard if not worse. If I had seen it in theater I might hate it worse than Alice Through Looking Glass. The dialogue and story was almost so bad it’s good but not quite.

Overall Grade- F

So there you have it! My thoughts on 2016 releases I’ve seen in last few weeks. Sorry I didn’t get a chance to do a proper review on all of them but many like Hacksaw Ridge I did review on my youtube channel so make sure you are subscribed to that http://youtube.com/user/smilingldsgirl.

Also please follow me on letterboxd http://letterboxd.com/smilingldsgirl/

What about you? What did you think about these films? What would your grades be?