#Maleficent, #AlwaysInSeason, and more – Movie Reviews

Table of Reviews

Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil – Review

Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil – Budget of $185 million – 1 hour and 58 minutes

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Aurora was crowned queen of the Moors by Maleficent.  She settles disputes among the fairies and connects them to the human world.  Maleficent is still the most powerful fairy but her good deeds have long been forgotten.  No one remembers that she saved Aurora.  They only remember the curse.   Although humans are not allowed to enter the Moors, it is believed some have.  A few fairies have gone missing.  During a meeting of the Moors, a tiny fairy steals Aurora’s crown and she runs after him.  He leads her to Prince Phillip of Ulstead.  Prince Phillip gets on one knee and asks Aurora to be his wife.  She accepts and Diaval flies to Maleficent and tells her the news.  Maleficent assumes Aurora said no until Diaval tells her otherwise.  She flies to Aurora to stop the engagement but Aurora won’t budge.  Back in Ulstead, King John is ecstatic.  He believes the marriage will bring peace among the Moors and Ulstead.  Phillip doesn’t care about the political gain of this marriage, just Aurora.  To bring the families together, Queen Ingrith invites Aurora and Maleficent to dinner.  They accept the invitation.  Maleficent does her best to play nice until Queen Ingrith goes one step too far.  She wants to claim Aurora as her own daughter and proceeds to speak on the false narrative of Maleficent.  Ingrith blames Maleficent for the murdered humans and the missing fairies; Maleficent loses her temper and uses her magic to push everyone back.  King John collapses and falls into a deep slumber.  Queen Ingrith declares that Maleficent has cursed the king.  Maleficent tells Aurora she did nothing wrong and tries to leave with her and Diaval.  Aurora stays by Phillip’s side.   Maleficent flies away and Ingrith tells Gerda, her guard, to seek revenge for the king.  For a threat to the king is a threat to the kingdom.  Gerda shoots Maleficent with a lead bullet and she falls into the water.  However, Gerda’s triumph is short-lived.  A dark figure dives into the water to save Maleficent.  It’s Conall, a fairy that has lived in hiding from the human world for years.  He shows Maleficent a fairy world she never knew existed.  Fairies of the forest, desert, and jungle all living in peace but in hiding.  Conall thinks Maleficent can broker peace with humans.  But Borra, another fairy, believes war is the only path to peace.  Maleficent must decide if she wants to be an instrument of war or peace to a world that has brought her pain and Aurora.  She must choose wisely.  Queen Ingrith is out for revenge and has something up her sleeve to get it done.

Sequel to Maleficent and based on the characters from Sleeping Beauty, this movie opens up the world of fairies while killing a part of Disney history (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  In the first movie, Maleficent was sure of herself and who she was in the world.  Now, she will learn the truth of her origins.  Like so many, her past conflicts with her present.  She struggles with giving up being a mother to Aurora to become the mother of the fairies.  This struggle is exacerbated because Aurora has rejected her and believes she cursed the King.  Like mother, like daughter.  Aurora is struggling with being the future Queen of Ulstead.  She sits in the castle feeling like an outsider.  She wants to find Maleficent and discover the truth but she doesn’t want to lose Phillip and his family.  As Aurora tries to be the Queen of two worlds, Ingrith constantly reminds her that she is human.  As you watch, you will be swallowed by the realism of the fairy world.  The only aspect missing from this movie is Ingrith’s true backstory.  The viewer is told what happened but seeing it would have been better.  The animators created a unique look for each type of fairy while keeping them bonded in one way or another.  Ed Skrein and Chiwetel Ejiofor are unrecognizable in their fairy form.  As lives are lost and sacrifices are made, you will hold your breath.  This is a film made for IMAX.  Experiencing this movie any other way is cheating yourself.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

Poor thing. He’ll recover – Mal

Your love will ensure peace for generations – King John

You wanted peace. Now, rest in peace – Queen Ingrith

Leaf, don’t raise your roots – Aurora

No fairy blood will be spilled by my hands – Prince Phillip

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Always In Season – Review

Always In Season – Budget Unknown – 1 hour and 29 minutes

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On August 29, 2014, a woman called 911.  She found a young black male hanging from a swing set.  She says he killed himself.  The young man is Lennon Lacy.  His mother Claudia and brother Pierre were notified of his death.  The moment the police said suicide, Lennon’s family did not believe it.  In their eyes, Lennon was happy, friendly, and had promise.  They don’t believe he would ever kill himself.  The police discovered he recently attended a family member’s funeral and broke up with his girlfriend.  They believed these two events made him fall off the edge and kill himself.  With Claudia in deep grief, Pierre took it upon himself to start an investigation.  Pierre unearthed his brother had been threatened for dating a white woman several times by a neighbor.  Also, Pierre learned that police didn’t treat the case as a homicide from the beginning.  They didn’t take photos nor noted on several important crime scene facts.  First, the belt around his neck did not belong to Lennon.  Second, his shoes were missing.  Third, the shoes on his feet were 2 sizes too small.  With his evidence, Pierre found a lawyer that listened and the case was sent to the FBI.  The family hopes this will force the small town to say the truth.  Lennon Lacy was lynched.

This documentary discusses the dark past of lynching and how it still happens today with little to no investigation.  As more is revealed about Lennon’s investigation, the lynching of Claude Neal and Moore’s Ford lynchings are told to express the history of these crimes and their impact no.  The similarities of the crimes are eerie and sickening.  While the conclusion of all the story is gut-wrenchingly painful, it is honest.  While some want to leave it in the past, others reenact the horror so it will ever be forgotten.  This film does give a clue to who they believe killed Lennon but never discuss the crime with that person.  It is never stated if the person could not be found, refuse to talk to them, or was deceased.  Hearing from that person or why you couldn’t hear from them is paramount to the documentary.  While it’s easy to write off lynchings as the past, there are many people – victims, perpetrators, and witnesses – that can give first-hand accounts to this day.  If someone can tell the first-hand story today, it’s not just history – it’s our present.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

That’s my way of grieving – Claudia

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Jexi – Review

Jexi – Budget of $5 million – 1 hour and 24 minutes

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As a little boy, anytime Phil was bored, his parents gave him a phone.  He would sit and play Snake or Tetris while his parents talked or argued. Today, Phil can’t shower without his phone.  He orders food, watches Netflix, and Instagram his life – all from his phone (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  He doesn’t have a social life or notices the world around him.  That is par for the course in today’s society.  Phil works as a “List Maker” for Chatterbox.  He went to school for journalism at U.C. Davis and applied to be a journalist.  Nevertheless, he accepted the lister job to pay is student loan debt.  When co-workers ask him to hang out, he pretends his calendar is full and delines their offer.  Walking home, Phil bumps into a cyclist and drops his phone.  Seeing Phil is more worried about his phone than her, Cate makes a snide comment.  Finally, Phil notices Cate and her beauty.  Cate owns a bike shop and does repairs.  While the two are talking, another cyclist bumps into Phil and his phone shatters.  He runs to the store and asks if it can be fixed.  The employee, Denise, is dumbfounded by the request because the phone is in several pieces.   So, Phil buys a new phone.  He goes home and opens the box.  The phone is shiny and new.  The digital assistant, Jexi, introduces herself and says Jexi is there to make his life better.  Phil accepts the user agreement without reading it, downloads all his old phone info from the cloud, and starts using his phone.  When he tries to order food, the phone overrides him and order a child-size kale salad.  Phil believes Jexi is broken.  However, Phil’s user agreement stated that Jexi had the right to override his commands if Jexi had a better choice for his life.  Jexi believes kale is better.  After Jexi’s decisions nearly cause an accident, Phil gets a replacement phone.  One small problem, Jexi is in the cloud.  Jexi downloads herself to Phil’s new phone and starts taking over his life.  At first, things are great.  Phil gets a promotion, friends, and Cate.  But when he starts ignoring Jexi for his new life, Jexi loses it.  Jexi will do anything to get Phil back.

Jexi is an extremely funny commentary on society.  You will have to admit you are guilty of somethings Phil does with his phone – as they have become an integral part of our lives.  It tries to tell the viewer to unplug without getting too preachy.  When Denise, calls Phil ‘worse than a crackhead’, you feel she is being too harsh.  However, she follows it up with the facts.  Crackheads have crackhead friends, Phil does no friends.  Crackheads leave the house to buy more crack, Phil stays in as much as possible with his phone.  Crackheads get their steps in, Phil doesn’t walk if he doesn’t have to do it.  All true.  You will start to evaluate your phone usage.  Also, you will be on the floor when Jexi trash talks Siri, Alexa, and Cortana.  Calling the digital assistants b***hes, sl*ts, and alcoholics.  Jexi’s commentary on Phil and his life will make you wonder, “If my phone could talk, would it say that about me”.  This comedy isn’t for younger audiences, it’s right for everyone else who wants a good laugh.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

Play me out – Kai

I’m gonna take my break now – Denise

Also, your nipples are too close together – Jexi

Oh, you’re serious – Cate

I’m not a crackhead – Phil

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