Lily James

#MissionImpossible, #MammaMia2, and more – Movie Reviews

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Table of Reviews

Mission Impossible: Fallout – Review

Mission Impossible: Fallout – Budget of $178 million – 2 hours and 47 minutes

Mission Impossible: Fallout
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Ethan has a choice, complete the mission or save his friend.  He chooses Luther and loses the plutonium.  Now, the Apostles are going to use the plutonium to make three nuclear weapons.  Ethan feels horrible for losing the plutonium but he knows he did it for the right reason.  Alan sees the good in Ethan and decides to give him another chance.  A broker called the White Widow wants to trade the plutonium with a man name John Lark.  They plan to get Lark, scan his face, and become him to intercept the trade.  But Erica has other plans.  She doesn’t see the need for IMF and wants one of her people to go.  Alan is furious at the news but Erica clearly states, if her guy Walker doesn’t go, then no one goes.  Now, Ethan and his team, while being watched by Walker, have to get the plutonium before it can be weaponized.  But, of course, it won’t be that easy. This is his mission and he chose to accept it.

This movie is pure adrenaline from beginning to end.  Just when you think you have an idea of what is going on, something is flipped.  This movie is a complete fit for the Mission Impossible series (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  Each choreographed fight scene is done with such precision, you feel each punch and kick.  It’s astonishing to see the team stick together even as Erica is doubting Ethan’s loyalty.  As Ethan hangs off a cliff, as Luther explains Ethan’s team devotion, or as Ilsa go toe to toe with the face of evil, you will hang on every second not knowing which way is up or down.  This is the thrill ride only Mission Impossible can pull off.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

IMF is just Halloween. A bunch of grown men in masks playing trick or treat – Erica

Sorry, Luther – Ethan

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Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again – Review

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again – Budget of $75 million – 1 hour and 54 minutes

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
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Sophie has finally finished her mother’s biggest project: to redo and update the hotel.  She decides to name it Hotel Bella Donna.  And she invites everyone to the grand re-opening.  While she is happy that her mom’s best friends, Rosie and Tanya, can come.  She is disappointed that only one of her three dads can come.  Also, her relationship is in a tough place.  Sky has been offered a job at a New York hotel and he wants Sophie to come.  Sophie believes her place is in Greece and she doesn’t want to leave it or the hotel.  Just when Sophie doesn’t think things can get harder, a storm rolls through that stops boats and planes from traveling and leaves a huge mess of her new hotel.  And what keeps her strong is memories of her mother and how she came to Greece.  This is the untold story that will unfold in front of your eyes.

While it’s pretty obvious the path for Sophie’s storyline, it’s Donna’s storyline that is the most interesting.  Seeing Donna’s first encounter with Harry in France the day before she went to Greece.   And how she met Bill because she missed the ferry to Greece.   And the chance meeting she had on a rainy road with Sam to help a horse.  Even though, each time Donna met them she said she wasn’t “that kind of girl”, she left in her inhibitions behind her and made some memories.  This movie has the songs, choreography, and laughs you know from the prequel (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). But it doesn’t spark a moment with you.  If you are a fan of first, see the second matinee.  Otherwise, wait for Redbox.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

Be still my beating vagina – Tanya

He has a boat – Rosie

I disappointed her – Sam

That’s a strange name – Ruby

Focus greatest motivator is the last minute – Sophie

It’s not a punishment – Donna

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Blindspotting – Review

Blindspotting – Budget Unknown – 1 hour and 35 minutes

Blindspotting
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Collin has 3 days left on his year-long parole after serving time in jail and he is doing everything possible to stay out of trouble.  He works as a mover with his best friend Miles in their hometown of Oakland, California.  He keeps is 11 pm curfew at a halfway house.  In addition to staying out of any kind of trouble.  As he is driving home one night after work, he sees a man running.  Moments later, that man is shot 4 times by an officer right in front of Collin.  Collin goes home but can’t shake a sick feeling as the news reports come out.  The next 2 days will leave test him in love, friendship, culture, and perception.

This movie proves that everyone has a blind spot.  Miles and Collin see the world around them changing.  With gentrification, Miles and Collin don’t know where they belong.  However, the biggest question is about their friendship.  Miles believe Collin’s parole is changing him into a water down version of himself.  Collin believes that Miles is so busy being a tough guy that he isn’t growing up.  And Val, Collins’s ex, believe Miles will be Collin’s downfall.  This movie gives a spectacular narrative to a white guy growing up in a predominately black neighborhood and a black male growing up trying to not be a stereotype in a black neighborhood.  With each of them growing up together, they still have a blind spot for each other’s pain and pressure.  And during one scene, you will hold your breath and silently hope everything doesn’t fall apart.  See this movie today.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

They have really great produce – Collin

He already biracial, why does he need to be bilingual – Miles

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Eighth Grade – Review

Eighth Grade – Budget Unknown – 1 hour and 34 minutes

Eighth Grade
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With one week left in the 8th-grade, Kayla is still a social media introvert.   She posts vlogs giving advice, like pics on Instagram, and put on makeup to be “flawless, I woke up like this” on Snapchat.  But when she goes out in the world, she can’t talk to people, keeps her head down, and was voted quietest in the class.  Later, she is handed her 6th grade Time Capsule and becomes disappointed.  She realizes that in 2 short years, she has not lived up to any of her hopes and dreams.  So in 7 days, Kayla hopes to turn things around by going to a party, making friends, and trying new things.  She just wants to put herself out there.  And with this choice, she will find her true self and prepare for high school.

With an honest looking at 8th-grade life today, Kayla tells the tale of being a tween in today’s generation.  She doesn’t feel like a child however she is just becoming a teenager.  She has become a slave to her screens and doesn’t know how to interact with the real world around her.  She sees others around her with friends but she never notices that they are always looking at their phones. Each time you see this sincere portrayal, it becomes even sadder.  With every way kids have to connect to the world, Eight Grade shows us that they still don’t know how to communicate.  Watch this movie with your tween and start a conversation today.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

Do I make you sad – Kayla

Eighth grade is the worst. I was a mess then – Olivia

You don’t think I’m funny – Mark

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#BabyDriverMovie – Review Repost – In Stores Now!!!

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Baby Driver – Budget of $34 million – 1 hour and 53 minutes

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Baby Driver
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After surviving an accident that left both his parents dead, Baby still hears a hum in his ear and uses music to drown it out. Ten years ago, he was stealing cars and made a life-altering mistake. He stole a car from Doc with a lot of product and dumped it. Doc saw him and was so impressed by his skill, he hired Baby as a getaway driver to earn back the money he lost in product sales. Doc is the mastermind behind each job and hires a crew of 4 to pull it off. The only entity that doesn’t change about the group is Baby, Doc’s good luck charm. After every job, Doc takes Baby’s cut and leaves him with $100,000. Now Baby is happy because he has one more job and his debt to Doc is paid. He robs a bank with Bats, No Nose, and JD, which leaves several dead. This shakes Baby up, so he is glad to be done. But Doc quickly reminds Baby that his good luck charm is not done, just square. Baby starts to date Debora and gets a normal job when Doc calls. Baby says no, but Doc threatens Debora, so he says yes. This job includes 3 people that Baby has worked with in the past, Bats, Darling, and Buddy. This job will be the catalyst of Baby’s driving career and that’s just the first 30 minutes of the movie.

The soundtrack alone is worth the price of admission (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). It ranges all genres, generations, and geography. The music is used as the punctuation of a scene, not just filler. It’s the period, question mark, and exclamation point. You are so lost in the music, you forget about his permanent tinnitus. Until the music stops and he is stressed, frustrated, or scared. You will hear a high-pitched hum in the movie. You never forget he is still young in the criminal world, as Baby drums to the beat, lip syncs, and plays air guitar.  The continuous shot at the beginning was amazing with a small salute to Saturday Night Fever (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).   The action scenes are fresh and will make you hold your breath especially when the play Three “Car” Monte.  Just when you think, “this can’t get crazier”, it gets absolutely certifiably insane.  But be forewarned, this is not a comedy; it’s a gangster movie.  See it before someone ruins the ending and Baby’s name.  No need to stay after the end credits and see it at full price.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

You can’t be in crime without being a criminal – Griff

You don’t belong in this world – Joseph

Are you recording this? Am I being recorded for quality assurance – Debora

Who doesn’t like hats – J. D.

Well aren’t ya’ll cute – Bats

Yeah, watch your mouth – Darling

This is your fault – Buddy

What’s it gonna be? Behind the wheel or in a wheelchair – Doc

I’m sorry – Baby

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#DespicableMe3, #BabyDriverMovie, and more – Movie Reviews

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Table of Reviews

Despicable Me 3 – Review

Despicable Me 3 – Budget of $80 million – 1 hour and 30 minutes

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Despicable Me 3
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In the 80s, Balthazar Bratt played a villain on a hit TV show.  As the star, he was beloved by all who watch.  But then he hit puberty and Hollywood turned on him.  So Bratt became the TV villain and bent on destroying the town that threw him away.  The final step in his plan requires the largest diamond in the world.  When he attempts to steal it, he is thwarted by Gru and Lucy; but Bratt gets away.  Gru hates that Bratt got away but Lucy cheers him up for their next battle.   Later, the two are called to an emergency meeting at the Anti-Villain League (AVL).  Their director, Silas Ramsbottom, informs the AVL that he is retiring and Valerie Da Vinci will be taking his place.  Her first order of business: Fire Gru for letting Bratt get away.  Lucy says if they fire Gru, they have to fire her too.  And they do.  The two go home to tell the girls, Margot, Edith, and Agnes.  Lucy doesn’t want to tell them because she still feels like she hasn’t made the “mother-daughter” connection with the girls.  Gru tells them they both lost their jobs.  The girls are sad but supportive.  However, the minions are not.  Since Gru is out of the AVL, the minions, lead by Mel, want to go back to villainy.  Gru says no, so all but 2 minions leave.  The next morning, Gru meets a man that tells him his twin Dru is looking for him.  Since their father recently died, Dru wants to connect to his long-lost brother.  Gru, shocked and confused, agrees to meet with Dru at his home in Freedonia.  Gru learns that being bad runs in their blood and Dru wants Gru to be bad again.  How can Gru resist? And Gru has the perfect plan: Steal the largest diamond in the world.

Eighties babies rejoice!!!! This is a movie that will take you down memory lane with Rubix Cubes, leg warmer, bright colors, and pop music (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  There is just so much nostalgia to see and take it.  Can you catch it all? But with everything going on with Gru and his twin Dru, don’t forget the secondary and tertiary plot lines.  The 2nd is Lucy trying to build the relationship with her girls.  She loves Gru’s daughters as her own but knows it will take time.  Today, with so many blended families, this story will resonate with many in the audience.  The 3rd is Agnes learning the truth about unicorns.  At some point, children will learn the truth about the world and parents will try to protect them as long as possible.  But Gru and Lucy will have to be honest with their little girl.  This third installment in the franchise is a fun movie for the whole family with just enough adult jokes sprinkled in (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  While 3D and IMAX can be fun, it’s not necessary to enjoy this movie.  And don’t stay past the end credits, there is nothing to see.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

I’ve been a bad boy – Bratt

Whew, I broke a little sweat there – Valerie

Yeah, I’m gonna let someone else burst that bubble – Edith

It ok to tell them no. Mothers have to go to be tough – Margot

Oh, that’s hilarious. You should be on TV. Oh you were, then you were canceled – Gru

It’s so good, I don’t want to swallow it – Lucy

You lied to me – Dru

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Baby Driver – Review

Baby Driver – Budget of $34 million – 1 hour and 53 minutes

Click on a vendor to purchase: Amazon, Best Buy (Exclusive Set), iTunes, Target, Vudu (Digital Exclusive), and Walmart (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer)
Baby Driver
Click on a vendor to purchase: Amazon, Best Buy (Exclusive Set), iTunes, Target, Vudu (Digital Exclusive), and Walmart (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer)

After surviving an accident that left both his parents dead, Baby still hears a hum in his ear and uses music to drown it out. Ten years ago, he was stealing cars and made a life-altering mistake. He stole a car from Doc with a lot of product and dumped it. Doc saw him and was so impressed by his skill, he hired Baby as a getaway driver to earn back the money he lost in product sales. Doc is the mastermind behind each job and hires a crew of 4 to pull it off. The only entity that doesn’t change about the group is Baby, Doc’s good luck charm. After every job, Doc takes Baby’s cut and leaves him with $100,000. Now Baby is happy because he has one more job and his debt to Doc is paid. He robs a bank with Bats, No Nose, and JD, which leaves several dead. This shakes Baby up, so he is glad to be done. But Doc quickly reminds Baby that his good luck charm is not done, just square. Baby starts to date Debora and gets a normal job when Doc calls. Baby says no, but Doc threatens Debora, so he says yes. This job includes 3 people that Baby has worked with in the past, Bats, Darling, and Buddy. This job will be the catalyst of Baby’s driving career and that’s just the first 30 minutes of the movie.

The soundtrack alone is worth the price of admission (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). It ranges all genres, generations, and geography. The music is used as the punctuation of a scene, not just filler. It’s the period, question mark, and exclamation point. You are so lost in the music, you forget about his permanent tinnitus. Until the music stops and he is stressed, frustrated, or scared. You will hear a high-pitched hum in the movie. You never forget he is still young in the criminal world, as Baby drums to the beat, lip syncs, and plays air guitar.  The continuous shot at the beginning was amazing with a small salute to Saturday Night Fever (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).   The action scenes are fresh and will make you hold your breath especially when the play Three “Car” Monte.  Just when you think, “this can’t get crazier”, it gets absolutely certifiably insane.  But be forewarned, this is not a comedy; it’s a gangster movie.  See it before someone ruins the ending and Baby’s name.  No need to stay after the end credits and see it at full price.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

You can’t be in crime without being a criminal – Griff

You don’t belong in this world – Joseph

Are you recording this? Am I being recorded for quality assurance – Debora

Who doesn’t like hats – J. D.

Well aren’t ya’ll cute – Bats

Yeah, watch your mouth – Darling

This is your fault – Buddy

What’s it gonna be? Behind the wheel or in a wheelchair – Doc

I’m sorry – Baby

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The House – Review

The House – Budget of $40 million – 1 hour and 28 minutes

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The House
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Scott and Kate received the best news of their life, their daughter, Alex, was accepted to Bucknell College. They feel great about spending the summer with their daughter for one last time as she prepares for college. That is until they go to the Fox Meadow town hall. Bob, the town mayor, tells them that the full-ride scholarship program has been canceled to pay for a community pool. Scott and Kate are in shock but vow to find a way to make the money. They talk to their financial advisor, request a raise, and look for a job but to no avail. They decided to cancel their trip to LasVegas to save money. But when their friend Frank (soon to be divorced and losing home to foreclosure) begs, they can’t say no. While in Las Vegas, Frank convinces them to gamble. At first, they are on a hot streak, but with one bad roll, they lose everything. But with that 1 loss, they gain a great idea.  Since the house never loses, they should become the house. Frank realizes they need $250,000 each to save his home and send Alex to college for 4 years. They open a casino in Frank’s home that grows fast but it can be shut down at any moment with the mob, the town cop, and the mayor on their scent.

The House is a good-natured, raunchy comedy. It’s the story of when good people do something bad to do something good. While the character portrayals are nothing new for Poehler, Ferrell, or Kroll, they work well together and feed off each other’s chemistry. It’s easy to see how the director allowed them to just ab lib and let the comedy fall where it may. While this comedy includes several axes, a blowtorch, and a few oxygen tanks, it’s the love for their child to which most people will connect.  Another great punch line in this movie is the score.  As the chase scene starts, the Terminator theme plays, adding a much-needed laugh to the scene (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  Don’t go into this movie thinking you will learn anything or have a profound moment. The House is all about fun. You will quote some of the movie’s one-liners and be shocked by some of the content. So go matinee and have a good time.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

My name is Gepetto because I make all the ladies my puppets – Scott

Does your mom ever talk to you Rachel – Alex

No need to apologize to us. Apologize to yourself for making bad decision – Bob

He’s your problem now – Raina

No one’s talking because there’s nothing to talk about – Kate

I am not gambling – Frank

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The Beguiled – Review

The Beguiled – Budget of $10 million – 1 hour and 34 minutes

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The Beguiled
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In 1862, Virginia, Amelia found a Union soldier, Corporal John McBurney, badly wounded in the forest while picking mushrooms.  He was seeking shelter to heal a gunshot wound to the leg.  The only place she knew close enough was her school, Farnsworth Seminary for Young Girls.  It’s there, girls can learn how to speak French, play an instrument, and sew while listening to the Civil War raged in the background. Amelia offers to take the John to the school but she knows he will not be welcome by the southern women in the house. In the school, there is 1 headmistress, 1 teacher, and 5 students. The headmistress is Martha. Always vigilant with some medical knowledge. The teacher is Edwina. Independent but wants to be free from this school. Jane, Marie, Alicia, and Amelie are students. Jane is musically talented, while Alicia was bored out of her mind. Marie is a little girl looking for a new friend. Martha wants to turn John over to the Confederate, but with his wound, she believes it is unchristian of her to turn an injured man in for a death sentence. So she will help him heal, but when he does, she will turn him over. While Martha tended to John’s wounds, each woman goes to check on him. None of them fully trust him because he is on the other side of the war. While younger girls see him as a sweet and friendly, Martha, Alicia, and Edwina all find him attractive. John is quick to indulge in the women’s attention, but he will pay as cost and a limb for his actions.

Based on the book and original film of the same name, this movie has a long build up to a boring and quick resolution. While the polite insults are thrown by each woman, you will laugh. But none of them will be memorable because they are outdated. Every actor in this movie has played their character (by a different name) in another film, so you do not see any growth in these roles. The question remains, who is being beguiled. Is John slowly charming each of these women? Or are the women charming him into staying? The costumes are great with the time period and the scenery was used to make you feel like you were in the deep south. But those good points are not enough to save this film because the ending is abrupt and boring. This one can be seen on RedBox.

I give it 1.5 out of 5 stars

You’re a lot heavier than my brother – Amelia

Maybe later when my leg stops bleeding – John

Well he is not going to be here long enough for it to make a difference – Martha

How am I suppose to practice my violin with a dangerous enemy in the room – Jane

I didn’t do anything wrong – Alicia

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Beatriz at Dinner – Review

Beatriz at Dinner – Budget Unknown – 1 hour and 23 minutes

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Beatriz at Dinner
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Beatriz is a holistic healer and massage therapist at the Arendale Cancer Center.  After work, Kathy calls Beatriz for a private, in-home session.  Kathy is stressed because her husband Grant is having a dinner party for his boss Doug and their business associate Alex, along with their wives (Jeana and Shannon respectively).  Kathy feels close to Beatriz because Beatriz helped their daughter Tara after she was diagnosed with cancer.  Tara is well and off to college, but Kathy still calls her when she needs help.  During the session, Beatriz reveals that her neighbor killed her goat because it was a nuisance.  Kathy is saddened by Beatriz pain and offer assistance, but Beatriz says she is fine.  Once Beatriz attempts to leave, her car breaks down and her friend won’t be able to help her until later.  Kathy invites her to eat with their friends.  Within moments, Beatriz feels out of place but tries to connect with everyone and offer advice.  But when she is face to face with Doug, she feels she knows him as a source of pain for many, including herself.

Get ready to feel uncomfortable.  This movie is a talking piece with an independent movie conclusion.  While classism is definitely a dividing point for Beatriz and the rest of the dinner party, it’s rarely mention.  However, it is their actions that are called into question; such as big game hunting, preservation, and nationality.  There is a moment that will make your stomach drop as the healer becomes a hunter with a few choice words for her prey.  While this film does have its talking points, it will not change anyone’s mind.  Some would call Doug a monster, Beatriz overly sensitive, or everyone else complicit.  But there is never a point where the viewer will see the other’s point of view.  This movie is the tense holiday dinner you have to sit through every year.  Worth a watch in the theater.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

Oh, dandelion root babe. Your favorite – Shannon

Yeah they were traumatized – Alex

Well her career’s over. You wanna see the pictures – Jeana

This can’t possibly end well – Doug

I don’t see you handing over the reigns anytime soon – Grant

I thought I knew you – Kathy

All tears flow from the same source – Beatriz

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