The Invisible Man (R)

THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Written (story/screenplay)/directed by Leigh Whannell and starring Elisabeth Moss, The Invisible Man tells a tale of a woman who escapes an abusive relation and after the abusive ex dies and leaves her a small fortune, inexplicable events lead her to conclude he is alive, invisible, continuing to attempt to control her, stalking her, seeking revenge and looking to punish her, because she escaped and won’t come back to his maniacal, invisible ass. Since no one can’t see him, she’s having a helluva time convincing everyone that she is not crazy.

This movie could have been magic. At times, it is pretty smart – not brilliant, but smart – in the way that it sets up the story of what is going on and what has happened in the past. There is much suspense, some humor and not too many “jump scares.”

Then at other times The Invisible Man is totally cliché and predictable. And some of the humor occurs in odd places, as in, you will laugh at how stupid some events are, look, feel (at least I did). It is in this way that The Invisible Man loses focus and becomes inconsistent in quality.

Oh, and are we still going into the basement and/or attic and lingering about  as we do so? And how do you propose one picks up the largest knife in the kitchen to fight someone they cannot even see and expect to be victorious? I’ve got a tip for you all. The largest knife is the one you have least control over unless you are quite skilled in the use of knives as weaponry or have a giant pair of hands. Pick up something smaller and more manageable for precision and efficiency. You’re welcome. And don’t ever ask me how I know that. I just do.

Inconsistencies aside, Elisabeth Moss is the truth. This woman can act. She commits to every single role she takes on, even when she has to wrestle on the floor with an invisible man and look silly as hell doing so.

The Invisible Man is well shot and the set design is lovely.

Concerning the writing and the story, I believe had more of the abusive relationship been shown instead of talked about, the relationship between the audience and the characters would have been much stronger. We would want to cheer for Moss’s character much more strongly and understand the depths of this guy’s obsession/manipulation/sickness much more clearly and hated him all-the-more for it. The audience is led to believe Moss’s account instead of forming their own opinion based on what they themselves witness. This method would have helped pull folks into the story by making a connection with the characters.

Honestly, there were a couple of times I closed my eyes and forced them back open, just short of falling asleep – which is never good. But The Invisible Man kept me entertained and interested, for the most part, throughout, with the pace picking up at the end.

The Invisible Man earned 7 bloops out of 10. It is a good movie worth seeing, despite its uneven pace and tepid impact which could have easily been so much stronger. Moss’s performance alone makes it a good movie that is worth seeing and gives The Invisible Man a bump up from what I would have otherwise given 6 bloops.

Thank you for reading. You can scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page, hit the “follow” button and enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review; or you can follow me on twitter @bloopbymimi1

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

Past Reviews

Harriet
Parasite
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Shaft
Rocketman
Shazam
Dumbo
Us
Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood
The Wife
If Beale Street Could Talk
What Men Want
Eighth Grade                          Vice                                                     Roma
Mary Queen of Scots            Widows                                              The Favourite
Green Book                            Halloween                                         Nobody’s Fool
Bohemian Rhapsody            Beautiful Boy                                    The Hate U Give
First Man                                Assassination Nation                       The Oath
A Star is Born                        The House with a Clock in Its Walls  A Simple Favor

 

The Predator                           BlackkKlansman                              Support the Girls
Peppermint                             Christopher Robin                            Crazy Rich Asians
The Happytime Murders      RBG                                                     Won’t You Be My Neighbor
Sorry to Bother You               
You Were Never Really Here
Rampage                                   A Quiet Place                                   Ready Player One
A Wrinkle in Time                  Lady Bird                                          I, Tonya
The Florida Project                 Black Panther                                  Molly’s Game
The Post                                    Phantom Thread                             Den of Thieves
All the Money in the World  Coco                                                   The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist                 Call Me By Your Name

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

The Shape of Water                Marshall                  The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul                 Thor: Ragnarok                    Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!                                     It                                             Good Time
Atomic Blonde                         Dunkirk                                 Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming   The Big Sick                          Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me                       It Comes at Night                  The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman                    Everything, everything        King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw                                           Kong: Skull Island              Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts    A Cure for Wellness           Get Out
Hidden Figures                      Fences                                   Moonlight
Hell or High Water                Loving                                  La La Land
Lion                                          Manchester by the Sea     Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge                      Nocturnal Animals            Captain Fantastic
Elle                                           Jackie                                    I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster

Harriet (R)

Written by Gregory Allen Howard, (screenplay co-screen written by Howard and Kasi Lemmons, directed by Kasi Lemmons and starring Cynthia Erivo, Harriet tells the story of bad ass, real-life super hero, Harriet Tubman.

There is so much  I love about this movie…

I love that “Harriet” is not “another slave movie.” It is a biographical work which takes poetic license with some fictionalized characters and events to round it out. It shows Harriet Tubman as a fleshed out character in love, in faith, in prayer, in friendship, etc. It is NOT a documentary, so the timeline doesn’t always add up, but whatever!

I am growing to love historical fiction more and more as a genre for reading as well as movies. “Harriet” is written, told, acted and shot, brilliantly.

I love the evolution of Harriet as a character as she goes from a descendant of slaves who knows she deserves to be free with little to no chance of that happening until she takes responsibility for her circumstances, runs, then discovers, embraces and follows her purpose.

I love the way the power of Harriet’s faith is brought to life on screen. Her seizures are visions and trances as she communes with God and does His work. Looking at what this woman did, it’s hard to deny there is something divine about it. All circumstances indicated she would never not be a slave and reach freedom, much less do all the rest of the amazing things she did after she freed herself. (Did you know that in the midst of all of her work she had NINE children! What. A. Woman.)

I love that it was written, screen written and directed by Black people who gave Harriet the care, consideration and respect she so deserves. Kasi Lemmons, I am proud of you Sis, and glad you got your project produced.

I love that even though I know how the story ends and the story was delivered in a rather “boiler-plate” fashion, there were some powerfully suspenseful scenes.

I love that Kasi Lemmons gave her husband a part. (He’s been consistently working, but mostly in television (on shows I haven’t watch), so I haven’t seen him in a really, really long time.)

At 2 hours 5 minutes a lot of information about Harriet’s full life was fit in, and it never felt rushed or careless or overloaded.

I love that “Harriet” makes me want to devour every piece of information I can find on this Phenomenal Woman.

Now on to the unpleasantness. What I didn’t like…

I’m nitpicking here and I know it sounds very “armchair quarterback” (Like, what movie have I made lately? I know…), but I have a pet peeve about this. I disliked when Harriet told the story of how she came to have her seizures. That could have been the first scene, let her take the hit when she was younger, get knocked out, have a vision and wake up right in that field where the movie began. Perfection. I have this thing about narrating what could be scenes inside of movies. I didn’t come to hear about it. I came to see it! I want to see it! I understand how budgets work, but another 5 or 7 minutes just for that scene would have gone a long way in making the story more “solid”.

Despite this small (but important) detail, Harriet is a movie I will undoubtedly watch again and again.

Oh… and I could care less about what Cynthia Erivo did or did not say about African Americans.  I’m not throwing away a whole movie that took Hollywood entirely too long to make because of some foolishness. Harriet deserves and commands my attendance!

Harriet earned 9 out of 10 bloops. It is an excellent, entertaining movie that is inspirational and powerful – just like the figure on whom the film is based.

https://slate.com/culture/2019/10/harriet-movie-historical-accuracy-fact-fiction.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/23/movies/harriet-tubman-facts.html

Thank you for reading. You can scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page, hit the “follow” button and enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review; or you can follow me on twitter @bloopbymimi1

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

Past Reviews

Parasite
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Shaft
Rocketman
Shazam
Dumbo
Us
Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood
The Wife
If Beale Street Could Talk
What Men Want
Eighth Grade                          Vice                                                     Roma
Mary Queen of Scots            Widows                                              The Favourite
Green Book                            Halloween                                         Nobody’s Fool
Bohemian Rhapsody            Beautiful Boy                                    The Hate U Give
First Man                                Assassination Nation                       The Oath
A Star is Born                        The House with a Clock in Its Walls  A Simple Favor

 

The Predator                           BlackkKlansman                              Support the Girls
Peppermint                             Christopher Robin                            Crazy Rich Asians
The Happytime Murders      RBG                                                     Won’t You Be My Neighbor
Sorry to Bother You               
You Were Never Really Here
Rampage                                   A Quiet Place                                   Ready Player One
A Wrinkle in Time                  Lady Bird                                          I, Tonya
The Florida Project                 Black Panther                                  Molly’s Game
The Post                                    Phantom Thread                             Den of Thieves
All the Money in the World  Coco                                                   The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist                 Call Me By Your Name

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

The Shape of Water                Marshall                  The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul                 Thor: Ragnarok                    Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!                                     It                                             Good Time
Atomic Blonde                         Dunkirk                                 Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming   The Big Sick                          Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me                       It Comes at Night                  The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman                    Everything, everything        King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw                                           Kong: Skull Island              Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts    A Cure for Wellness           Get Out
Hidden Figures                      Fences                                   Moonlight
Hell or High Water                Loving                                  La La Land
Lion                                          Manchester by the Sea     Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge                      Nocturnal Animals            Captain Fantastic
Elle                                           Jackie                                    I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster

Thank you for reading. You can scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page, hit the “follow” button and enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review; or you can follow me on twitter @bloopbymimi1

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

 

Jojo Rabbit (R)

Inspired by Christine Leunens’ international bestseller, Caging Skies (screenplay written by Taika Waititi), directed by Taika Waititi and starring Roman Griffin Davis and Taika Waititi, JoJo Rabbit is the 1940’s coming of age story of a little Nazi-in-training in Vienna who discovers his mother is part of the resistance.

Congratulations to Taika for getting this film made. It is a true passion project that reveals every ounce of care put into it. He says Caging Skies is a more serious read, but he was inspired to satirize the story and give it a more comedic spin.

What a splendid film that tells an original, fresh, hopeful, dark, satirical, funny, inspirational and profoundly sad story. The story has layers of elements that beg for further examination. I feel like I need to see it again, and wouldn’t mind doing so immediately. There are Nazi’s, Hitler, war and destruction, along with coming of age, parent-child relationships, friendships, loneliness, brainwashing, discrimination, societal erosion, humanity, mental health, risk-taking, bullying, standing up for others and what is right, the importance of independent thought, etc. There is so much going on, but it never feels like too much. Every element ties into another one and serves a purpose. In this way, JoJo Rabbit is a masterful work. Kudos Mr. Waititi.

The acting is strong. Roman Griffin Davis in his first-ever professional acting job is the cutest little self-proclaimed Nazi you’ll ever see. Waititi as Adolf is every bit the insecure, self-loathing, narcissist you would expect Adolf Hitler to be/have been – but as terrible as Adolf is/was, this portrayal of him is delightfully hilarious. Picture it… Adolph Hitler with jokes. Who knew it was possible?! A kid whose imaginary friend/role model (talk about being on the wrong side of history!) is Adolf. It’s brilliant! Archie Yates earns an honorable mention as the cute, funny and lovable best friend. Scarlett Johansen does a great job as well.

Ah, Rebel Wilson. I need to talk about Rebel Wilson. Rebel Wilson sometimes feels as though she is trying too hard here. I don’t feel her character needed to be used to “punch the comedy up” on an already funny film. It is equal parts the writing for this specific character and the performance feeling forced that was the problem for me. Nearly every time she spoke I felt like I wasn’t watching the same movie. For me, most times when she spoke her character caused these unexpected disjoints in the film; interrupting the flow every now and again with a line or two; then back into the movie I went as soon as she was done.

At any rate, JoJo Rabbit earned 9.5 out of 10 bloops. It may not be for you, but what I saw is funny, original, fresh (God knows Hollywood needs some freshness!!!), intricately complicated, but effortlessly and masterfully executed, well written, well-acted and well shot. The movie inspires me to read the book because I need to see how Waititi translated all of this information and how he changed the original work to get it all into this movie. The machination of this man’s mind intrigues me. But for Wilson’s character this movie would have earned 10 out of 10 bloops. So close… Still, I really enjoyed it.

As with any review, I always advise you take my opinion with a grain of salt. We all know everything isn’t for everyone, and remember, I am the woman who gave The Lobster a 10 and still stands by that 10 – If that helps you make up your mind at all. Happy viewing!

Thank you for reading. You can scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page, hit the “follow” button and enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review; or you can follow me on twitter @bloopbymimi1

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

What I’m seeing next…

I am still way, way behind in my movie viewing/reviewing. Please hang in there with me while I work on posting all the content I have written up while catching up.

What I’m watching next

I’m too far behind to say.

Other Reviews (Please excuse the look of this section. It is STILL a work in progress.)

Parasite
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Shaft
Rocketman
Shazam
Dumbo
Us
Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood
The Wife
If Beale Street Could Talk
What Men Want
Eighth Grade                          Vice                                                     Roma
Mary Queen of Scots            Widows                                              The Favourite
Green Book                            Halloween                                         Nobody’s Fool
Bohemian Rhapsody            Beautiful Boy                                    The Hate U Give
First Man                                Assassination Nation                       The Oath
A Star is Born                        The House with a Clock in Its Walls  A Simple Favor

 

The Predator                           BlackkKlansman                              Support the Girls
Peppermint                             Christopher Robin                            Crazy Rich Asians
The Happytime Murders      RBG                                                     Won’t You Be My Neighbor
Sorry to Bother You               
You Were Never Really Here
Rampage                                   A Quiet Place                                   Ready Player One
A Wrinkle in Time                  Lady Bird                                          I, Tonya
The Florida Project                 Black Panther                                  Molly’s Game
The Post                                    Phantom Thread                             Den of Thieves
All the Money in the World  Coco                                                   The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist                 Call Me By Your Name

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

The Shape of Water                Marshall                  The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul                 Thor: Ragnarok                    Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!                                     It                                             Good Time
Atomic Blonde                         Dunkirk                                 Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming   The Big Sick                          Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me                       It Comes at Night                  The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman                    Everything, everything        King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw                                           Kong: Skull Island              Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts    A Cure for Wellness           Get Out
Hidden Figures                      Fences                                   Moonlight
Hell or High Water                Loving                                  La La Land
Lion                                          Manchester by the Sea     Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge                      Nocturnal Animals            Captain Fantastic
Elle                                           Jackie                                    I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster

 

Parasite (R)

Written an directed by Bong Joon Ho, Parasite tells the story of a struggling family who con their way into the lives and home and onto the payroll of a rich family.

I’d heard nothing but good things about this film and after seeing it, now I know why. It satisfies the viewer in many ways. Visually, it is absolutely lovely, It makes many statements and touches on many themes. The story is far from predictable and has just enough twists so that it holds your interest without becoming (too) ridiculous or overly complicated. It’s got humor, drama, suspense, some gore and horror. It make statements about class, human nature – specifically character, politics, mental health, the takers of the world – people to whom you could never give enough, and much more, without becoming bloated or preachy. The fact that I thought there wasn’t one character to in this entire film to root for taught me a little something about myself after giving it more thought. Oh, and it will make you think. Parasite stays on the brain long after viewing. That is the mark of a masterpiece. Overall, it’s a nearly prefect little gem. Nearly.

The set up of the movie is awesome as you slowly begin to realize what is going on. Then it goes in directions one would never expect. All of this from doing something everyone does – “fudging” on a resume (Although, this “fudging” was much more elaborate than most. Let’s face it, this was an out-and-out lie). This film reminded me of why I never watch trailers! I don’t need any visual spoilers ruining my ride, man. I just sat back and enjoyed as Parasite reveals itself like an expertly, intricately wrapped gift. There really is a beauty to how it develops, builds and plays out. The resentment that existed between the “have-nots” and the “haves” is palpable and wonderfully executed. Each treated the other with little respect and/or harbored pure disdain. Each finds the other loathsome, but each needs the other. Bloody. Brilliant!

The thing is… Is it just me, or did anyone else notice the similarities between Act II and Dr. Seuss‘s The Cat in the Hat. It was raining, so everyone was inside. The parents were out/away. There is a visitor who should not be in the house let into the house. Chaos ensues. The parents are returning earlier than expected. There is a huge clean-up of a massive mess (except the family didn’t have the Cat’s cleaning machine and had to do it themselves). Mom and dad get home and know nothing about the shenanigans. Am I wrong? Do you see it? Okay. I thought it was just me…

That second act also reminded me of a story Louie Anderson told on Oprah after explaining how his siblings shamelessly leached off of him financially. The siblings were in the audience and Oprah asked one of them something like, ‘How much would be enough for him to give you?’ The brother replied with all sincerity, “He could never give me enough. 

These rich people (resentments aside) already had the entire family doing better financially than ever, and still, it wasn’t enough. But that’s the parasitic mentality for ya. If you’ve ever had a parasite in your life, as I unfortunately have, you know exactly what I mean.

Parasite earned 9 out of 10 bloops. I cannot shake that Cat in the Hat resemblance that came to mind immediately after watching so I cannot in good conscience give it all 10 bloops. Can someone please ask Bong has he ever read The Cat in the Hat? I don’t know. Could be a coincidence, could be not. Who’s to say? At any rate, Parasite is an exciting, entertaining and enjoyable film and a breath of fresh air in what was, honestly, a pretty “meh” year for cinema.

***

I have a lot of reviews that haven’t been posted, but I wanted this one (and a few more) up before the awards. I’m not invested in much this year, except I know Joaquin Phoenix better win for Best Actor. Best Picture, I’m pulling for JoJo Rabbit, but that’s a long shot.

Thank you for reading. You can scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page, hit the “follow” button and enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review; or you can follow me on twitter @bloopbymimi1

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

What I’m seeing next…

I am still way, way behind in my movie viewing/reviewing. Please hang in there with me while I work on posting all the content I have written up while catching up.

What I’m watching next

I’m too far behind to say.

Other Reviews (Please excuse the look of this section. It is STILL a work in progress.)

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Shaft
Rocketman
Shazam
Dumbo
Us
Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood
The Wife
If Beale Street Could Talk
What Men Want
Eighth Grade                          Vice                                                     Roma
Mary Queen of Scots            Widows                                              The Favourite
Green Book                            Halloween                                         Nobody’s Fool
Bohemian Rhapsody            Beautiful Boy                                    The Hate U Give
First Man                                Assassination Nation                       The Oath
A Star is Born                        The House with a Clock in Its Walls  A Simple Favor

 

The Predator                           BlackkKlansman                              Support the Girls
Peppermint                             Christopher Robin                            Crazy Rich Asians
The Happytime Murders      RBG                                                     Won’t You Be My Neighbor
Sorry to Bother You               
You Were Never Really Here
Rampage                                   A Quiet Place                                   Ready Player One
A Wrinkle in Time                  Lady Bird                                          I, Tonya
The Florida Project                 Black Panther                                  Molly’s Game
The Post                                    Phantom Thread                             Den of Thieves
All the Money in the World  Coco                                                   The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist                 Call Me By Your Name

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

The Shape of Water                Marshall                  The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul                 Thor: Ragnarok                    Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!                                     It                                             Good Time
Atomic Blonde                         Dunkirk                                 Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming   The Big Sick                          Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me                       It Comes at Night                  The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman                    Everything, everything        King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw                                           Kong: Skull Island              Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts    A Cure for Wellness           Get Out
Hidden Figures                      Fences                                   Moonlight
Hell or High Water                Loving                                  La La Land
Lion                                          Manchester by the Sea     Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge                      Nocturnal Animals            Captain Fantastic
Elle                                           Jackie                                    I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster

 

Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood (R)

Written (using a mix of real-life and fictional characters) and directed by Quentin Tarantino and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood is a fairy tale re-imagining of the night of August 8, 1969 when members of the Manson Family murdered actress Sharon Tate and her unborn child, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, celebrity hair stylist Jay Sebring, aspiring screenwriter Wojciech Frykowski and 18-year-old visitor Steven Parent.

This story and case hold a special place in my heart. Let me explain… When I was 9 years old I read my older sister’s copy of  Vincent Buglosi’s Helter Skelter. Reading that book helped develop my curiosity of the human mind and behavior. That book is the reason I majored in criminology with an emphasis in forensic psychology and pursued an advanced degree in psychology years later. That book blew my nine-year-old mind. I couldn’t put it down as I wondered, what happened to these people to make them think it’s okay to do something this crazy? And to total strangers, nonetheless! That’s a special kind of sickness and all I wanted to do was learn more about it. And those pictures! Whew!

Quentin tells this tale as if things went very differently that night, and it is actually brilliant. At times it is even fun/funny. Unfortunately, at other times it meanders and becomes boring. Most specifically, during all those damn car rides. California provides the perfect backdrop for long car rides with cool music playing, and those rides are a great way to move from scene to scene and showcase some of the cars/music/scenery of the time, but nobody wants to watch a movie with people driving from point A to point B for 15 minutes of the film. (Of course, I’m guessing here. I really don’t know how much time is spent driving with no dialogue, just music. Could somebody please add up how many minutes of the 2:41 are spent with us driving? I’m really interested to know, but I’m not watching it again to find out for myself.)

All that driving is the reason I wouldn’t see this film again any time soon. I felt as if I was taking those car rides myself, but I didn’t need or want to go on an entire road trip. Those rides took me out of the movie and put me back in the theater waiting for the rides to be over after the first two rides. The music was okay, but have mercy on my attention span please Quentin. Geez!

Other than that (some of the editing was choppy) the movie was great. DiCaprio does some of the best acting I’ve seen from him in recent years. For me, he is an actor I find unbelievable many times because I find his voice distracting (I can’t be the only person who believes this to be true. Think about it… of all the movies he’s starred in, he finally won an Oscar for a movie where he wasn’t required to talk very much at all.) I have trouble getting into a lot of his characters because he has a distinct voice and all I see is Leonardo playing (fill in the blank). He seems to do something different with his voice here and it made all the difference for me. Brad Pitt does a fine job as well. I very much enjoyed the nod to Floyd from True Romance (1993), where I first fell for him as the unbathed-looking, petty, druggie, snitch.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood earned 7.5 bloops out of 10. It’s an imaginative, original movie that is worth seeing. I stop short of saying it’s great because it needed more editing. And those car rides were eternal. However, I enjoyed this more mature, nearly profanity free side of Quentin.

Thank you for reading. You can scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page, hit the “follow” button and enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review; or you can follow me on twitter @bloopbymimi1

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

What I’m seeing next…

I am still way, way behind in my movie viewing/reviewing. Please hang in there with me while I work on posting all the content I have written up while catching up.

What I’m watching next

8/9     The Kitchen 

Other Reviews (Please excuse the look of this section. It is STILL a work in progress.)

The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Shaft
Rocketman
Shazam
Dumbo
Us
Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood
The Wife
If Beale Street Could Talk
What Men Want
Eighth Grade                          Vice                                                     Roma
Mary Queen of Scots            Widows                                              The Favourite
Green Book                            Halloween                                         Nobody’s Fool
Bohemian Rhapsody            Beautiful Boy                                    The Hate U Give
First Man                                Assassination Nation                       The Oath
A Star is Born                        The House with a Clock in Its Walls  A Simple Favor

 

The Predator                           BlackkKlansman                              Support the Girls
Peppermint                             Christopher Robin                            Crazy Rich Asians
The Happytime Murders      RBG                                                     Won’t You Be My Neighbor
Sorry to Bother You               
You Were Never Really Here
Rampage                                   A Quiet Place                                   Ready Player One
A Wrinkle in Time                  Lady Bird                                          I, Tonya
The Florida Project                 Black Panther                                  Molly’s Game
The Post                                    Phantom Thread                             Den of Thieves
All the Money in the World  Coco                                                   The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist                 Call Me By Your Name

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

The Shape of Water                Marshall                  The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul                 Thor: Ragnarok                    Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!                                     It                                             Good Time
Atomic Blonde                         Dunkirk                                 Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming   The Big Sick                          Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me                       It Comes at Night                  The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman                    Everything, everything        King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw                                           Kong: Skull Island              Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts    A Cure for Wellness           Get Out
Hidden Figures                      Fences                                   Moonlight
Hell or High Water                Loving                                  La La Land
Lion                                          Manchester by the Sea     Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge                      Nocturnal Animals            Captain Fantastic
Elle                                           Jackie                                    I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster

Book Review: Where’d You Go Bernadette (2012)

(PG-13 movie to be released August 16, 2019)

There are over 100 books being adapted to film this year. This gave me the idea to start reading and reviewing some of these books before seeing the adaptations. I’ve done some research and I’m planning out what will be read based on how interesting the story seems, if there is an interesting star attached to the project, when the movie is coming out of course, etc. Don’t know how it will all be executed, but I’m figuring out the logistics of it all now. Maybe I’ll start some sort of a virtual book/movie club! The plans are in the early stages. I’ll keep anyone who gives a care updated. Comment below or e-mail me at bloopbymimi@gmail.com if you are interested in the book club idea.

So, this is the first time I am reviewing a book, but I’m not just reviewing the books. I’m reading in order to try and figure out how the movie might go as well. Is the story strong enough or interesting enough to be made into a film? Etc. I’m making predictions and presumptions and laying out my hopes about how the movie the book is based on should or should not be executed, if that makes any sense. I figured at the very least, this little experiment will cause me to read more. I’ll write up book reviews then attach it to the movie review and see what I got right and what I got wrong. Don’t know if you’ll have fun reading it (I hope you do!), but I think I will have fun doing it! Should I find I’m not having fun (and that’s just may be the case since I despise knowing anything about movies before I see them, but I’m willing to give this a go for a bit at least.), I’ll just stop.

As you know, anything can happen in Hollywood. A movie may get made and set upon the shelf forever, things change, people drop out of projects, projects dissolve… Hopefully the books I pick will actually make it to a screen. This is why I went with “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” first because it already has a release date. Since Cate Blanchett does consistently solid work, I figured, this would be a good book with which to begin my book reviews.

*****

Update: I wrote this is February, 2019 in anticipation of a March release date and the movie was pushed back to August. (I warned you anything can happen in Hollywood…) Where’d You Go Bernadette (comedy/drama/mystery) is due in theaters August 16th.

*****

Written by Maria Semple, co-adapted to screenplay and directed by Richard Linklater (Everybody Wants Some and Boyhood – so the man knows his way around a coming of age movie, which Where’d You Go, Bernadette is, partially), starring Cate Blanchett and Kristen Wiig, Where’d You Go, Bernadette (2012) is told through letters, blog posts, emails, etc., along with Bee, Bernadette’s 15 year old daughter, recounting some of what happens/happened (mostly) to Bernadette that makes her the woman she is today. How did she get here? Where did she go?

Amazon describes it as “A whip-smart, hysterical dramedy about a family in crisis after the disappearance of its brilliant, misanthropic matriarch.”

Barnes & Noble’s synopses reads:

Bernadette Fox has vanished.

When her daughter Bee claims a family trip to Antarctica as a reward for perfect grades, Bernadette, a fiercely intelligent shut-in, throws herself into preparations for the trip. But worn down by years of trying to live the Seattle life she never wanted, Ms. Fox is on the brink of a meltdown. And after a school fundraiser goes disastrously awry at her hands, she disappears, leaving her family to pick up the pieces.

Which is exactly what Bee does, weaving together an elaborate web of emails, invoices, and school memos that reveals a secret past Bernadette has been hiding for decades. “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” is an ingenious and unabashedly entertaining novel about a family coming to terms with who they are, and the power of a daughter’s love for her mother.

*****

My first impression was that the book is bland and pedestrian. That was on page 17. Then I got to page 25 and things became interesting. I lost and gained interest in this way again and again throughout nearly the entire book. The good parts were good and there were a couple of great parts (two where my jaw dropped, one where I laughed out loud and one where I laughed out loud while riding the subway in New York and I didn’t care, so I laughed for a good two minutes straight – blending right in with the crazies. That’s what New York is all about. You gotta love this town.), but the lulls were torture.

I enjoy the structure of the book and how it tells the story through written communications. It’s clever that the scenes and characters change with nearly each entry as I imagined what the voices of each writer might sound like in my head. I have great doubts that this structure will translate well onto film unless someone really thinks outside the box. Similarly to The Girl on the Train (my review in the link) the structure of the book was its greatest feature. On film it could easily turn out to be another choppy, muddled mess.

Having someone well versed in coming of age story-telling will be a plus. I enjoyed Bee discovering all the dirty truths adults keep from children, imagining her innocence wrecked, as she recounts some of what happens/has happened.

I didn’t care for the references to Seattle/Starbucks/Microsoft. Writing in this way can sometimes alienate those who aren’t from that city, may have never been to that city, don’t have any loyalty to that city, have no idea what you the author is talking about or may not love the city as much as the author. It makes the story too specific to a certain way of life, particularly for a film. Now if anyone wants to talk about “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” as a sit-com or family dramedy, I could see that being more successful. Anyone who didn’t grow up in Seattle or whose parents didn’t work for Microsoft or in tech, or have children, or plenty of money, or a spouse to support them while they withdraw from life, or all these things Bernadette has, is involved with or exposed to, etc., might (probably will) make her character unrelatable on screen to viewers.

From a film-making standpoint this specificity of location and lifestyle reminded me of two movies I didn’t like very much for this very reason; Lady Bird (Sacramento) (my review in the link. It earned 5 out of 10 bloops); and the other was 20th Century Women (southern California) (which I really hated. It earned 3.5 out of 10 bloops). Each featured the city/cities they were filmed in as characters upon which much affection was bestowed. I can see the exact same thing happening with Where’d You Go, Bernadette. Hopefully, I’m wrong.

Similarly to “Lady Bird” and “20th Century Women,” “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” is another story about a dysfunctional, middle-aged, mother with narcissistic tendencies and a quirky/smart/independent/free spirited/talented/struggling for autonomy/insecure (you fill in the adjectives or the combination of adjectives), coming of age child, their somewhat dysfunctional relationship and their first-world problems. Who has money to buy an entire piece of property without their spouse knowing about it? Or spend $60,000 on family travel on a whim. I’m sure rich people have stories to tell, but they have to work a bit harder to interest the rest of us. Bernadette ventures a bit further into the discussion regarding poor mental health than the other two movies mentioned above, but that doesn’t take away from the similarities from story to story. What I appreciate about this recycled story line is that it keeps veteran actresses like Cate Blanchett, Laurie Metcalf and Susan Sarandon in circulation. You know you’ll get some solid performances, but you might let out a few yawns while you’re watching because the story is just, meh.

At times “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” wanders into and gets bogged down in these areas of information. Pardon me, but I just don’t care about the history of architecture in the 80s, how small the offices are at Microsoft. I had to skip over the discussions about Seattle’s traffic patterns. I understand it shows how fixated and irrationally vexed Bernadette can be with things she has no control over, but Dear Lord was it boring!

The story meanders and presents as a series of stories, some of which need to be fleshed out, others eliminated and some magnified. The book’s ending attempts to take you on some sort of distracting ride which results in a simple ending all tied up in a neat little bow. I dislike pat endings, particularly for a movie and I’m hoping something about how the book ended changes on film.

“Where’d You Go, Bernadette” earned 5 out of 10 bloops in book form and can go either way when it is adapted to film. It’s and easy read that is okay if you rent it from the library for free or borrow it from a fellow reader. I would not recommend as a purchase for your home library. It will not be easy to boil down this hodgepodge of a story into a succinctly written script. The material is definitely there, but much poetic license needs to be taken with this book. Otherwise I fear it will be a formulaic fail. It needs to be dissected so that the most interesting parts of it remain while letting go of all the “extra.” I don’t believe it can be told straight on well.

The character, Audrey (Kirsten Wiig’s character) has great comic potential. I’d like the story to be more about Bernadette and her husband, and less about Bee, but considering who wrote it and directed, I believe we’ll get another coming of age something-or-another.

We will find out how much of this I got right after the movie is released. I will most likely see it opening weekend so I can report back. I have to clear my mind of everything I read in this book and see how the adaptation is handled. At the very least, this may encourage me to get my reviews up in a more timely manner. (I’ve been slacking lately, I know.) Even if I got everything wrong I won’t be too embarrassed to come back and admit it. It’s only a movie, right?

Thank you for reading. You can scroll down, enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review or follow me on twitter @bloopbymimi1 

 Bloops:

1   =   worst book ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor book, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good book, worth reading
8   =   great book, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent book, a must read!
10 =   a masterpiece, read it now!

Other Book Reviews

None Yet.

What I’m Reading Next

Harlan Coban’s Six Years sounds too intriguing for it not to be next up. Hugh Jackman is attached to the project which makes it extra special to me. I love Hugh. He is one of the very, very few actors whose work I will go out of my way to see.

Here’s the synopsis:

Six years have passed since Jake Fisher watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years of hiding a broken heart by throwing himself into his career as a college professor. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd.

But six years haven’t come close to extinguishing his feelings, and when Jake comes across Todd’s obituary, he can’t keep himself away from the funeral. There he gets the glimpse of Todd’s wife he’s hoping for…but she is not Natalie. Whoever the mourning widow is, she’s been married to Todd for almost two decades, and with that fact everything Jake thought he knew about the best time of his life—a time he has never gotten over—is turned completely inside out.

As Jake searches for the truth, his picture-perfect memories of Natalie begin to unravel. Mutual friends of the couple either can’t be found, or don’t remember Jake. No one has seen Natalie in years. Jake’s search for the woman who broke his heart, who lied to him, soon puts his very life at risk as it dawns on him that the man he has become may be based on a carefully constructed fiction.

Movie reviews

The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Shaft
Rocketman
Shazam
Dumbo
Us
Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood
The Wife
If Beale Street Could Talk
What Men Want
Eighth Grade                          Vice                                                     Roma
Mary Queen of Scots            Widows                                              The Favourite
Green Book                            Halloween                                         Nobody’s Fool
Bohemian Rhapsody            Beautiful Boy                                    The Hate U Give
First Man                                Assassination Nation                       The Oath
A Star is Born                        The House with a Clock in Its Walls  A Simple Favor

The Predator                           BlackkKlansman                              Support the Girls
Peppermint                             Christopher Robin                            Crazy Rich Asians
The Happytime Murders      RBG                                                     Won’t You Be My Neighbor
Sorry to Bother You               
You Were Never Really Here
Rampage                                   A Quiet Place                                   Ready Player One
A Wrinkle in Time                  Lady Bird                                          I, Tonya
The Florida Project                 Black Panther                                  Molly’s Game
The Post                                    Phantom Thread                             Den of Thieves
All the Money in the World  Coco                                                   The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist                 Call Me By Your Name

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

The Shape of Water                Marshall                  The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul                 Thor: Ragnarok                    Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!                                     It                                             Good Time
Atomic Blonde                         Dunkirk                                 Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming   The Big Sick                          Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me                       It Comes at Night                  The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman                    Everything, everything        King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw                                           Kong: Skull Island              Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts    A Cure for Wellness           Get Out
Hidden Figures                      Fences                                   Moonlight
Hell or High Water                Loving                                  La La Land
Lion                                          Manchester by the Sea     Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge                      Nocturnal Animals            Captain Fantastic
Elle                                           Jackie                                    I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster

The Last Black Man in San Francisco (R)

Co-written by Jimmy Fails and Joe Talbot, directed by Joe Talbot and starring Jimmy Fails and Jonathan Majors, The Last Black Man in San Francisco is one part coming of age story, one part love letter to San Francisco and one part love story between a young man and a piece of real estate that represents home for him.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco is well written and has a great deal of content that is packed with themes. The main character is written with great specificity, but his story is still relatable to many. The plot deals with homelessness, transiency, peer pressure, family dynamics, gentrification, etc. Most importantly, it deals with all the different relationships the main character has with those around him, and how those closest to us (either emotionally or in spatial proximity) can hinder or assist in our development.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco specifically examines what it means to be a black man within in the “black community,” in this particular instance, meaning “the hood”. How does one establish autonomy and develop artistic expression among a community of men who bully, belittle and minimize what they do not understand? How does one thrive without “dumbing down” in order to fit in and be accepted by others. How does one remain true to one’s self and exist as a leader in an environment where the norm is to follow along, go along to get along, etc., in order to be accepted and survive. One of the most interesting things about this movie is the symbolism of stagnation; how the main character goes through all these changes in many aspects of his life, looks outside of the “hood” for peace and satisfaction, etc., while the same group of guys never moved, never grew, never developed, standing in the exact same spot throughout – and then looked down on the guys who were different and wanted to do something different. This is a great movie to watch with young adults as it offers lessons in individuality, friendship and how being in “the in crowd” isn’t always beneficial.

The acting is strong with not one weak link in the bunch. The cast is a mix of fresh newcomers and seasoned veterans. Rob Morgan gives an outstanding performance, as usual.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco pays homage to the streets of San Francisco in a fresh and realistic way, showing the contrasting “beauty” and “grit” of it all and the parallel between the two as they relate to the “haves” and the “have-nots” and the fantasy world vs. the reality of the world the main character lives in daily. The writers use settings to express pain/repression/the past vs. hope/dreams/the potential future in many instances. San Francisco is used as this complex character that helps to make the movie all the more interesting.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco earned 8 out of 10 bloops. It’s a great, well acted, well written, thoughtful, original film that is definitely worth seeing. It’s still in select theaters (in New York City at BAM and the Angelika Film Center until Thursday and at Village East Cinema until Monday). If you’re over all the Hollywood remakes, sequels and super hero movies, go out and support this film, but if you miss it be sure to catch it streaming. The Last Black Man in San Francisco DVD and Blu-ray release date is set for August 27, 2019 and available on Digital HD from Amazon Video and iTunes on August 13, 2019.

Thank you for reading. You can scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page, hit the “follow” button and enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review; or you can follow me on twitter (which I must get more savvy with and active on!) @bloopbymimi1

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

What I’m seeing next…

I am still way, way behind in my movie viewing/reviewing. Please hang in there with me while I work on posting all the content I have written up while catching up.

What I’m watching next

8/9     The Kitchen 

Other Reviews (Please excuse the look of this section. It is STILL a work in progress.)

Shaft
Rocketman
Shazam
Dumbo
Us
Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood
The Wife
If Beale Street Could Talk
What Men Want
Eighth Grade                          Vice                                                     Roma
Mary Queen of Scots            Widows                                              The Favourite
Green Book                            Halloween                                         Nobody’s Fool
Bohemian Rhapsody            Beautiful Boy                                    The Hate U Give
First Man                                Assassination Nation                       The Oath
A Star is Born                        The House with a Clock in Its Walls  A Simple Favor

The Predator                           BlackkKlansman                              Support the Girls
Peppermint                             Christopher Robin                            Crazy Rich Asians
The Happytime Murders      RBG                                                     Won’t You Be My Neighbor
Sorry to Bother You               
You Were Never Really Here
Rampage                                   A Quiet Place                                   Ready Player One
A Wrinkle in Time                  Lady Bird                                          I, Tonya
The Florida Project                 Black Panther                                  Molly’s Game
The Post                                    Phantom Thread                             Den of Thieves
All the Money in the World  Coco                                                   The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist                 Call Me By Your Name

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

The Shape of Water                Marshall                  The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul                 Thor: Ragnarok                    Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!                                     It                                             Good Time
Atomic Blonde                         Dunkirk                                 Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming   The Big Sick                          Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me                       It Comes at Night                  The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman                    Everything, everything        King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw                                           Kong: Skull Island              Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts    A Cure for Wellness           Get Out
Hidden Figures                      Fences                                   Moonlight
Hell or High Water                Loving                                  La La Land
Lion                                          Manchester by the Sea     Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge                      Nocturnal Animals            Captain Fantastic
Elle                                           Jackie                                    I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster

 

Shaft (R)

Written by Kenya Barris  (Blackish/Grownish/Mixed-ish)/Alex Barnow, directed by Tim Story, and starring Samuel Jackson and Jessie T. Usher, Shaft (2019), (a follow up to Jackson’s 2000 installment of Shaft) focuses on John Shaft, Jr., (Usher) enlisting the help of his father (Jackson) to solve the mystery surrounding the death of a close, childhood friend.

Shaft (2019), while billed as action/comedy/crime, maintains elements from the much less funny original Shaft (1971) with drug families/kingpins, heroin deals, a crumbling/crime-riddled/dope infested, Harlem, lots of profanity (some of it is pretty funny, depending on your sense of humor and tolerance for foul language), and the N word is still acceptable to use. This could have been a difficult movie to execute given today’s politically correct climate, but it is thoughtfully balanced using a “millennial vs. older generation” approach to examine what once was acceptable and what isn’t so cool to do or say today, as each generation learns something from the other. Toxic masculinity is touched on in a smart, subtle way that doesn’t feel preachy at all.

Regina Hall is just nuts with her loud, hilarious, hysterical, rantings. By the end of the movie I was sick of her mouth in a hilarious sort of way. Usher can be a pretty funny guy. He reminds me of Nick Cannon at times. Jackson does what Jackson does and he does it well, as usual. And it is always a treat to see Richard Roundtree.

The humor is enjoyable as the jokes land well and without feeling forced most times. I must say, the cussing gets to be a bit much after a while, when the cuss is used as the joke over and over again. This repetitive mechanism diminished the quality of the film as the words started to strike my ear as annoying and overdone. I’m not easily offended by cuss words and use them with vigor in my private life and even once in a while on this here blog when I feel no other word will do, so I’m not easily offended by cursing. It’s just that sometimes, less is more and in this case, a little editing would have gone a very long way.

The story, while formulaic and mostly predictable, is mostly well written and very well paced. The addition of the issue of health care for veterans and how war is sometimes used to cover up other activities is interesting (even though we’ve seen this device/situation before as a means of moving drugs). Some of the key elements of the plot are “talked through” rather than put into scenes in the actual movie, which weakens the story, but I’ll allow it because the movie is just about the perfect length at an hour and 51 minutes. (Although it was somewhat enjoyable, the musical montage in the beginning could have been cut to make way for more present day story telling. We get it. Shaft was an absent father. No need to belabor the point. His Christmas presents are hilarious though.) The music/soundtrack is energetic. The action is adequate with gun-to-gun, hand-to-hand, knife-to-gun battles.

Shaft earned 7 bloops out of 10. I would have rated it 6.0, but whatever problems the movie may have had, I was invested in it and enjoyed it from beginning to end, so I gave it an entire extra bloop. Shaft is light, enjoyable, time-killing, summer fare that doesn’t pretend or attempt to be anything other than what it is, plot holes and all. And I would watch it again someday. Not now of course. I have too many more movies to see… but someday.

***

Thank you for reading. You can scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page, hit the “follow” button and enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review; or you can follow me on twitter (which I must get more savvy with and active on!) @bloopbymimi1

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

What I’m seeing next…

I am still way behind in my movie viewing/reviewing.

Next up is Men In Black: Internataional (I saw it yesterday) Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Aladdin. Here are a few films I’m looking forward to seeing/reviewing and their release dates:

6/21   Child’s Play
6/28   Yesterday
7/5     Spiderman: Far from Home
7/5     Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am
7/12   Stuber
7/12   21 Bridges
7/19   The Lion King
7/26   Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
8/2     The New Mutants
8/9     The Kitchen
Then there is a load of questionable movies between 8/9 and 9/6 that don’t look very interesting at all, until we arrive at –
9/6     It: Chapter Two
9/13   The Goldfinch
9/12   Spies in Disguise
9/20   Rambo: Last Blood
9/20   Downton Abbey

 

Other Reviews (Please excuse the look of this section. It is STILL a work in progress.)

Rocketman
Shazam
Dumbo
Us
Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood
The Wife
If Beale Street Could Talk
What Men Want
Eighth Grade                          Vice                                                     Roma
Mary Queen of Scots            Widows                                              The Favourite
Green Book                            Halloween                                         Nobody’s Fool
Bohemian Rhapsody            Beautiful Boy                                    The Hate U Give
First Man                                Assassination Nation                       The Oath
A Star is Born                        The House with a Clock in Its Walls  A Simple Favor

The Predator                           BlackkKlansman                              Support the Girls
Peppermint                             Christopher Robin                            Crazy Rich Asians
The Happytime Murders      RBG                                                     Won’t You Be My Neighbor
Sorry to Bother You               
You Were Never Really Here
Rampage                                   A Quiet Place                                   Ready Player One
A Wrinkle in Time                  Lady Bird                                          I, Tonya
The Florida Project                 Black Panther                                  Molly’s Game
The Post                                    Phantom Thread                             Den of Thieves
All the Money in the World  Coco                                                   The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist                 Call Me By Your Name

https://s.pubmine.com/sandbox.html

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

The Shape of Water                Marshall                  The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul                 Thor: Ragnarok                    Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!                                     It                                             Good Time
Atomic Blonde                         Dunkirk                                 Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming   The Big Sick                          Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me                       It Comes at Night                  The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman                    Everything, everything        King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw                                           Kong: Skull Island              Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts    A Cure for Wellness           Get Out
Hidden Figures                      Fences                                   Moonlight
Hell or High Water                Loving                                  La La Land
Lion                                          Manchester by the Sea     Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge                      Nocturnal Animals            Captain Fantastic
Elle                                           Jackie                                    I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster

 

Ma (R)

*Although I try my hardest not to do it, this review may contain spoilers

***

Written by Scotty Landis (his first feature film!),  directed by actor/director/writer/produce Tate Taylor (he also directed Get on Up, The Girl on the Train (my review in the link) and The Help, to name a few) , and starring Octavia Spencer, Ma features Spencer as a lonely woman who befriends a bunch of partying teens she entertains in her basement. It’s all love, booze and good times, until Ma loses her shit.

Ma is billed as a horror/thriller movie. It’s absolutely a thriller and a mystery of sorts. It gets a little bit gory at times and there are some frightening moments that raise it to the level of a horror flick. Ma is what I call “smart” horror because the story doesn’t involve supernatural forces. Just a regular, functioning, mentally/emotionally damaged person who is a ticking time bomb, waiting to be set off.

My problem with Ma is I would have never gone back to Ma’s to “party” after the first night. Hell, I would have never gone to Ma’s in the first place. Not even at 17. But that’s the native New Yawka in me, I suppose. So, for me the credibility of the entire premise falls apart very early on. I had to transfer myself to a small town where there is no place for kids to hang out, get drunk and make out and/or fornicate, to get to a place where I could continue. And I don’t regret staying with it. I’m just saying, the signs of the crazy were there early on and these teens, being self absorbed and oblivious, as some teens sometimes are, see none of it until it is too late.

Once I was finally able to put myself aside and get into the shoes of these teens, I kept getting knocked out of those shoes by a chain of events that relied upon people doing stupid things that no reasonable, thinking person would do. So, things would be going along well with the story, I’m all invested, and then, Boom! Somebody does something stupid again and I’m in the theater cussing under my breath at the screen!!!

The mystery of Ma is pretty entertaining as you’ll sit and wait to find out exactly why Ma is so crazy.  You get hints and glimmers of what happened and the reveal is pretty horrific if you (again) put yourself in Ma’s shoes. The reveal brings about a certain amount of empathy for Ma, and thinking about it in modern day bullying terms, you really kind of understand her humiliation and rage toward these people in this small town where she grew up and still sees and interacts with these imbeciles regularly.

What makes Ma interesting is how the plot is structured so that we get to see the history of the people who grew up in this small town and where all the players ended up, how their lives turned out, how their children are a reflection of them in one way or another, how little a-holes often grow up to become big a-holes and how traumatic events can cause long term damage on a bullied person.

The acting is solid. Octavia Spencer never disappoints. She just keeps getting better with her subtleties. She can raise an eyebrow, or open her mouth wide, or wink or squint, or change the angle of her smile and change the entire mood of a scene. And to see her dancing is hilarious and joyful. I love Allison Janney and the chemistry between her and Spencer (I’m sure I’ve advised this before, but if you have not watched them together on Mom, do so immediately!) is always delightful.  Diana Silvers does a good job as Maggie. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her because she looks somewhat like a Julia Roberts/Anne Hathaway hybrid.

Ma earned 7 bloops out of 10. Although far from perfect, it’s a good movie that’s worth seeing. It is (mostly) well written, true to life, horror that doesn’t rely on jump scares. Pretty good for a horror movie with absolutely no supernatural element involved. Humans are the monsters. Go figure…

***

Thank you for reading. You can scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page, hit the “follow” button and enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review; or you can follow me on twitter (which I must get more savvy with and active on!) @bloopbymimi1

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

What I’m seeing next…

I am waaaay behind in my movie viewing. I’ve been laid up the last few weeks after surviving my first (and hopefully my last) cardiac event. I had to brought back with the paddles and everything on Easter Sunday you all! It was a trip, to say the least. Physically, I’m fine. Emotionally, I’m just starting to feel like myself again, so let’s get this blog back up and running!

Next up is Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Aladdin. (I have some older reviews to throw up “Throwback Thursday” style and a couple of book reviews of books being made into movies coming as well.) Summer movie season is upon us, and here are a few films I’m looking forward to seeing/reviewing and their release dates:

6/14   MIB International
6/14   Shaft
6/21   Child’s Play
6/28   Yesterday
7/5     Spiderman: Far from Home
7/5     Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am
7/12   Stuber
7/12   21 Bridges
7/19   The Lion King
7/26   Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
8/2     The New Mutants
8/9     The Kitchen
Then there is a load of questionable movies between 8/9 and 9/6 that don’t look very interesting at all, until we arrive at –
9/6     It: Chapter Two
9/13   The Goldfinch
9/12   Spies in Disguise
9/20   Rambo: Last Blood
9/20   Downton Abbey

Other Reviews (Please excuse the look of this section. It is STILL a work in progress.)
Rocketman
Shazam
Dumbo
Us
Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood
The Wife
If Beale Street Could Talk
What Men Want
Eighth Grade                          Vice                                                     Roma
Mary Queen of Scots            Widows                                              The Favourite
Green Book                            Halloween                                         Nobody’s Fool
Bohemian Rhapsody            Beautiful Boy                                    The Hate U Give
First Man                                Assassination Nation                       The Oath
A Star is Born                        The House with a Clock in Its Walls  A Simple Favor

The Predator                           BlackkKlansman                              Support the Girls
Peppermint                             Christopher Robin                            Crazy Rich Asians
The Happytime Murders      RBG                                                     Won’t You Be My Neighbor
Sorry to Bother You               
You Were Never Really Here
Rampage                                   A Quiet Place                                   Ready Player One
A Wrinkle in Time                  Lady Bird                                          I, Tonya
The Florida Project                 Black Panther                                  Molly’s Game
The Post                                    Phantom Thread                             Den of Thieves
All the Money in the World  Coco                                                   The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist                 Call Me By Your Name

https://s.pubmine.com/sandbox.html

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

The Shape of Water                Marshall                  The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul                 Thor: Ragnarok                    Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!                                     It                                             Good Time
Atomic Blonde                         Dunkirk                                 Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming   The Big Sick                          Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me                       It Comes at Night                  The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman                    Everything, everything        King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw                                           Kong: Skull Island              Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts    A Cure for Wellness           Get Out
Hidden Figures                      Fences                                   Moonlight
Hell or High Water                Loving                                  La La Land
Lion                                          Manchester by the Sea     Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge                      Nocturnal Animals            Captain Fantastic
Elle                                           Jackie                                    I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster

 

Rocketman (R)

*This review may contain spoilers

***

As  a matter of full disclosure,  I admit I am a huge Elton John fan. Love the man and his music; so much that I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite Elton song. I state this so you know to consider the source of the following review. Let’s get into it.

***

Written (screenplay) by writer/composer Lee Hall, directed by actor/director/writer Dexter Fletcher, and starring actor (and now singer, apparently (although he’s sung before)) Taron Egerton, Rocketman tells the story of the early life, rise to fame, fall and resurrection of beloved musical icon,  Sir Elton John.

Rocketman is not your average biopic. it is more. It is a fantasy/imagining of a musical based on the life of Elton John, set to his music. It’s as if a biographical Broadway musical were made into a film first. In this sense (and others) Rocketman is a uniquely well done. I say that even though I was very directly reminded of the stories behind Billy Elliot and Kinky Boots (that resemblance is more plot-related rather than production-related, which I’ll get to shortly).

If you think you’re going in to see yet another actor lip sync your favorite tunes, I can’t say whether you’ll be pleasantly surprised or disappointed, but Egerton sings the songs here. This move is refreshing in a sea of lip syncing biopics, but at the same time a bit of a let-down. On the heels of Bohemian Rhapsody (my review in the link), which was a lip syncing, concert-driven film, I was looking forward to singing along to Elton. While Egerton did a good job and his renditions of the songs kept me engaged, he didn’t draw me in and make me want to sing along. I was too busy listening to him – judging. I didn’t know he would be singing going in, so it surprised me. (Not in a good way or a bad way. I just wasn’t expecting it.) Not to mention, there are few songs sung in their entirety, which (purposefully or not) reduces the “feelgoodism” of the movie – and not necessarily in a good way. Certain scenes feel stifled, like they’re just cut short as we hear a few lines from a song or its familiar melody, the song stops, and we cut to the next scene.

This chop of the songs not being fully realized is brilliant, as we look at John work on his music in its infancy, as works in progress, rather than the final product – just as we view John himself throughout this film, never arriving at the final product, which is John as he lives life today.

Rocketman is a mostly well done, raw representation of one man’s struggles within himself. This is the “humanization” of an idol. Like most everyone else, despite his fame and fortune, Elton John had to learn to love himself, accept himself, process past hurts, come to terms with people and circumstances he couldn’t change, etc., in order to survive as a functioning adult with adult, non self-destructive, coping mechanisms in order to help heal past hurts and fill empty voids in his life.

There’s are layers upon layers of psychology involving the sources of John’s insecurities/shyness in his early years which lend more to the story than the typical rock n’ roll issues of addiction, depression, egoism, narcissism, etc.

The plot, however, does follow the formula of shy, lonely, talented kid makes good and is consumed by fame, but the triumph here is John is a survivor in the end, outlasting many of his peers who literally died, some might say, before their time. Unlike those peers, at some point John sought the help he needed and did the necessary work to outlive his rock and roll greatness. This is an important message. Of course, like most biopics, much of the plot is out of sequence and “Hollywood slick” (a/k/a made up) to make a pat, marketable, 2 hour 1 minute story.

The acting is strong. Ron Howard‘s daughter, Bryce Dallas Howard does an outstanding job as John’s mother. The costumes are divine (of course). The music is fine (of course). The dance numbers draw you in. The energy of Rocketman, during John’s performances and the choreographed numbers, is palpable.

Rocketman earned 8 bloops out of 10. It’s a great movie that’s worth seeing – don’t miss it if you’re a fan of the man and/or his music. It is realistically uplifting and not saturated in gooey, feel good vibes. It is imaginative in its production. The costumes are stylishly used to draw a vivid parallel to Elton’s egoism as they become more and more outrageous (by the end his costumes were like a cry for help!). The musical works in progress draw a parallel to life itself – specifically Elton’s life. Given John’s love of music and musical theater, Rocketman is exactly what one would expect of a movie about Elton John in an Elton John approved movie.

***

Thank you for reading. You can scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page, hit the “follow” button and enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review; or you can follow me on twitter (which I must get more savvy with and active on!) @bloopbymimi1

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

What I’ll review next…

Ma – I saw it last night before Rocketman. The review will be up tomorrow.

Other Reviews (Please excuse the look of this section. It is a work in progress.)
Shazam
Dumbo
Us
Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood
The Wife
If Beale Street Could Talk
What Men Want
Eighth Grade                          Vice                                                     Roma
Mary Queen of Scots            Widows                                              The Favourite
Green Book                            Halloween                                         Nobody’s Fool
Bohemian Rhapsody            Beautiful Boy                                    The Hate U Give
First Man                                Assassination Nation                       The Oath
A Star is Born                        The House with a Clock in Its Walls  A Simple Favor

The Predator                           BlackkKlansman                              Support the Girls
Peppermint                             Christopher Robin                            Crazy Rich Asians
The Happytime Murders      RBG                                                     Won’t You Be My Neighbor
Sorry to Bother You               
You Were Never Really Here
Rampage                                   A Quiet Place                                   Ready Player One
A Wrinkle in Time                  Lady Bird                                          I, Tonya
The Florida Project                 Black Panther                                  Molly’s Game
The Post                                    Phantom Thread                             Den of Thieves
All the Money in the World  Coco                                                   The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist                 Call Me By Your Name

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

The Shape of Water                Marshall                  The Man Who Invented Christmas

Victoria and Abdul                 Thor: Ragnarok                    Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!                                     It                                             Good Time
Atomic Blonde                         Dunkirk                                 Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming   The Big Sick                          Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me                       It Comes at Night                  The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman                    Everything, everything        King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw                                           Kong: Skull Island              Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts    A Cure for Wellness           Get Out
Hidden Figures                      Fences                                   Moonlight
Hell or High Water                Loving                                  La La Land
Lion                                          Manchester by the Sea     Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge                      Nocturnal Animals            Captain Fantastic
Elle                                           Jackie                                    I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster