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#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

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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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#AFewGoodMen – Review – #ThrowbackThursday

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A Few Good Men – Budget of $40 million – 2 hours and 18 minutes

Sorry, it’s a day late but better late than never.

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A Few Good Men
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Lt. Commander JoAnne Galloway walks into her boss’s office and asks to head a murder case at a Cuban Marine base.  Lance Corporal Harold Dawson and Private Louden Downe are accused of murdering Marine Private William Santiago after Santigo offered to give information about an illegal shooting committed by Dawson.  Galloway is turned down for the job and is asked to hire Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee of the JAG unit.  Kaffee is known for pleading cases out before they go to trial.  And due to the sensitive nature of the case, they want Kaffee to plead it out before the media gets a hold of the story.  On the other hand, Galloway wants to take the case to court and ensure Dawson and Downe get their day in court.  Her push is based on 2 words: Code Red.  Now Galloway must convince Kaffee to go to court for the first time and make Dawson and Downe tell the truth of what happened and why Santiago was killed.

Based on a play, this movie is a case of bullying and hazing before they became buzzwords for the 10 o’clock news.  While it’s a good movie, you will sit and wait for the most widely known line in all of movie history, “You can’t handle the truth”.  And it will not be delivered until the last 5 minutes of the movie.  The storyline is strong but the potential love story between Kaffee and Galloway felt forced and boring.  While this movie isn’t any of the actors greatest achievement, it is a magnificent stepping stone for all involved.  And it leaves you with the question: What does it take to be “honorable”?

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

You know what a Code Red is? What a pity? – Galloway

My client’s a moron. That’s not against the law – Kaffee

I want to know what we’re gonna do about this – Col. Jessup

It’s the code sir – Dawson

He was dead because he had no code, he was dead because he had no honor. And God was watching – Kendrick

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#AmericanMade, #TilDeathDoUsPart, and more – Movie Reviews

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Table of Reviews

American Made – Review

American Made – Budget of $50 million – 1 hour and 55 minutes

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American Made
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Barry Seal graduated top of his class in flight school; now he is working for TWA. To make extra cash, he smuggles Cuban cigars between flights. After a cigar drop, Barry is approached by CIA agent Monty Schafer with an offer. Monty will give Barry is own plane (the fastest double engine ever made) and a company called IAC. The catch is he has to use the plane to take pictures of the communist groups in South America. But Barry’s risky flights have garnered the attention of the Medellin Cartel. The cartel is poised to become the largest drug rings in the world. However, their cocaine can’t make it to America because of new custom busts and procedures. They want Barry to use is skills to flight the drugs into Miami. However, when Barry examines the Cartel’s plan he sees a few problems. First, Barry warns that that Miami is the worst place to smuggle drugs. He convinces them to drop the drugs in Louisana. In Louisiana, he can trick air traffic control into believing he was an oil rig helicopter and clean the plane before inspection. Second, the Cartel’s runway is too short and surrounded by trees and mountains. However, the Cartel won’t budge. Barry must make this runway work. Finally, is a number of drugs they want to smuggle. The cartel doesn’t understand that the plane can only hold so much weight. Even with the promise of $2,000 per kilo, Barry warns them he can only fly 300 pounds at a time. With a few adjustments, Barry makes the trip and drops of the drugs. In a few years, Barry has ties to the Cartel, CIA, Contras, and the US Government. Soon, Barry can’t launder the money faster than he can make it. Even after Barry funds his town, traffic guns, and become everyone’s enemy.

American Made will leave you entertained and disgusted. While Barry falls into traps, he is never portrayed as a victim. He was already committing illegal acts before the government was involved. The government just gave him a bigger platform for his crimes. It’s hard to believe this is a true story, its the documentary style confessionals help drive that point. Also, the real clips of President’s speeches and congressional meetings remind you that this was all government funded and approved. Costume and set design did a magnificent job of placing the time period and financial changes in each scene. In one scene is set in the late 70s, the Seals have a late 70s modest TV. With a few years, they have an early 80s expensive TV. At some point, the film becomes comical as Barry gets out of criminal situations by committing more crimes for both sides. While this is a good film at full price, once is enough. And you will get a conclusion for each major character. Although some conclusion may not be satisfying, they are honest.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

South of the border, north of the equator. Let’s just say an enemy of the state – Monty Schafer

I do tend to leap before I look. Maybe, I should have asked a few questions – Barry Seal

Well that sound f’ing made up Barry – Lucy

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Til Death Do Us Part – Review

Til Death Do Us Part – Budget Unknown – 1 hour and 41 minutes

Til Death Do Us Part
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Madison and Michael are living a dream life. Madison, at the request of her husband, quits her job and becomes a full-time wife. While she loves her husband and home, she wants a baby. However, no matter how hard she tries she can’t get pregnant. She later discovers that her husband is taking shots. These shots make him impotent which infuriates Madison. When she claims he is just like his father, he hits her. He explains that she needs to be grateful and respect him home. Since he makes the money, he makes the rules. The abuse continues even when she becomes pregnant. But one night, Madison has had enough. As she attempts to leave, they fight and she rushes into her car. She speeds down the street and gets into an accident. Michael and Chelsea, Madison’s best friend since high school, are informed that she and the baby died. Both Michael and Chelsea are heartbroken. Michael even considers suicide. But one phone call will turn Michael from suicidal to murderous.

Give credit where credit is due. The movie is compelling and gives a realistic story. There isn’t any fancy hacking or millionaire family to aid the storyline, just everyday life events, and knowledge. It’s easy to see Michael’s controlling ways in the beginning. The great part of this movie is that it displays how control can be misinterpreted as love and/or concern. Madison hopes for change, but the baby seals her fate. Although this movie explains the gradual decline into abuse, you are not given a reason for Michael’s controlling ways until the end. Knowing this would help the viewer understand why Michael snaps at being compared to his father and partially why he is controlling. Also, things happen in the movie that makes you wonder if it really happens, if it’s a dream, or if it’s paranoia. So, you are often left confused. The realistic events take it from an overpriced Lifetime movie to being worthy of the big screen at matinee price. And don’t be surprised if the song Living for the Love of You feels creepy for a while (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

You are the only good thing that has happened in my entire life. I don’t know how I would live without you – Michael

Always the selfish bastard – Rob

I’m ready to go home now – Madison

Watch out for the good ones – Chelsea

I don’t cook. I throw down – Alex

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Flatliners – Review

Flatliners – Budget of $19 million – 1 hour and 50 minutes

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After speaking with a patient whose heart stopped, Courtney (medical student and sole car crash survivor) becomes obsessed with the afterlife. She decides to create an experiment. But she will need help. First, she asks Sophia. Sophia tells her that she can’t help because she needs to study. Sophia’s mother put all her money into Sophia’s education. So Sophia is determined to focus and become a doctor. Next, Courtney asks Jamie to help. The playboy can’t help but to believe she is asking for sex, so he agrees. All three end up in the basement of the hospital. In the basement is a fully functioning hospital in case of a natural disaster. Courtney finally tells the two what she really wants to do. She wants to die for a minute and map her brain activity like they do during a seizure. Then after the minute is over, Sophia and Jamie will bring her back to life. Sophia quickly says no but Jamie agrees to do it. As Courtney lies dead, Sophia and Jamie have a hard time bringing Courtney back. Sophia panics and calls Ray. Ray has the most experience of any student in the hospital and runs to help. Marlo, who is constantly competing with Ray, sees him running and follows. After a few seconds, Courtney is back. And she has perfect recall of everything she has ever learned and sees life with a new respect. Marlo, Sophia, and Jamie are in awe of Courtney’s new abilities, and Jamie decides to go next. However, he wants to go in for 2 minutes. Soon it will be Marlo and Sophia’s turn but Courtney and Jamie have been keeping a secret. Besides enhanced abilities, they are experiencing a bad side effect. Their guilt is hunting them down one by one. Now, they have to face their past in order to have a future.

A remake of the 1990 film Flatliners, this movie has the same premise but a different ending and different reasons of guilt (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). While they die, the audience is given a different view of the afterlife. Also, as the beautiful imagery turns dark, it gives clues to what each person feels guilty for doing in their past. There are a few moments that will make you jump. However, they are all predictable. While some things have been changed to create a new movie, 1990s fans will be satisfied with the changes. While this is a remake, it’s more engaging than the original. So the overall content makes up for the lack of fear. This should be qualified as a thriller, not a horror. So see it with your friends at the matinee price and determine what is a good day to die.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

I’m gonna be the Anderson Cooper of medicine – Jamie

Was it all fun? – Courtney

Well I don’t care how dangerous it is – Sophia

You were ok – Ray

It won’t bring him back – Marlo

Is there something you aren’t telling me – Dr. Barry

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The Lego Ninjago Movie – Review

The Lego Ninjago Movie – Budget of $70 million – 1 hour and 41 minutes

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The Lego Ninjago Movie
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Lloyd is living a double life as an enemy and a hero. Lloyd is the son of Garmadon. The most dangerous villain of Ninjago City. Often, he attempts to take over the city and destroys everything in his path.  Since this villain is his father, the town turn on Lloyd. They write songs about him, tweets about him, and avoids him at every chance they get. But what the town doesn’t know is that Lloyd is the leader of the Secret Ninja Force. The Secret Ninja Force is made of the following:

  • Lloyd – Green Ninja – Leader of the force
  • Kai – Red Ninja of Fire – Brother of Nya
  • Jay – Blue Ninja of Lightning – Has a crush on Nya
  • Nya – Sliver Ninja of Water – Strong
  • Zane – White Ninja of Ice – Robot that pretends to be real
  • Cole – Black Ninja of Earth – Relaxed
  • Master Wu – Master of the Group, Lloyd’s uncle, Garmadon’s brother

As a team, they defeat Garmadon’s plans but continue to let him walk away. Ninjago citizens are confused but the team knows that Lloyd just can’t destroy his father. He is constantly hoping his father will love him and acknowledge all his wrongdoing. But after one intense battle, Lloyd has had enough and decides to use the Ultimate Weapon to destroy Garmadon. With one mistake, a monster is released on the town and Garmadon gets the weapon. Soon, Garmadon has taken over and everything is lost. But Master Wu tells Lloyd they still have a chance to save Ninjago. All they need to do is get the Ultimate, Ultimate Weapon. So the team follows Wu to crossing the Forest of Dangers, into the Canyon of Death, and up the Temple of Fragile Foundations to find the weapon. With Garmadon on their heels, the team will fight and find inner peace to save Ninjago.

Well, it’s cute. This movie has a strong start, weak middle, and sweet ending. With the third installment, the graphics are not enough to excite the viewer. A viewer knows they have the technology to make legos come to life, so more focus needs to go to the story. When children and adults fall asleep, more needs to be done. While the movie does get slow, it drives a great story of family and forgiveness. It has plenty of laughs for adults and children, Master Wu is the gem of the story. His knowledgeable antidotes and near death experience could only be accomplished by a true master. But, 3D is not necessary and see it at the matinee price if you have children. Otherwise, wait for Redbox.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

Have you been to high school? It’s judgy extremely judge – Lloyd

If you can see me, why don’t you shoot me – Garmadon

Don’t judge me – Master Wu

No, he didn’t join forces with his father. Like your husband’s a saint – Koko

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#TheMummy, #MeganLeavey, and more – Movie Review

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Table of Reviews

The Mummy – Review

The Mummy – Budget of $125 million – 1 hour and 47 minutes

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The Mummy
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Nick Morton and Chris Vail considers themselves “liberators of antiques” for profit.  In lamens terms, they rob ancient burial sites for money.  Nick uses a one-night stand to steal a map from Jenny.  This map contains the location of Princess Ahmanet.

Princess Ahmanet was the heir to the throne until her father had a son.  The princess knew the throne meant power and she wanted all for herself.  So Ahmanet made a deal with the God Set, the god of death.  She would sell her soul for power and bring God Set into the mortal world.  She kills her father and brother; then prepares to kill a mortal for Set to inhabit.  But she is stopped and mummified alive.

Nick and Chris unearth the burial site.  Jenny is pissed but looks around.  She notices the differences in this burial site.  The statues are facing the wrong direction and its covered in mercury.  Jenny realizes this site isn’t a tomb, it’s a prison.  But with one shot, Nick unearths the sarcophagus and starts to see visions.  Ahmanet thanks Nick for freeing her and calls him “My Chosen”.  Nick shakes off these visions and proceeds to put the sarcophagus on a military plane with Chris and Jenny.  Once in the air, the plane starts to go down.  Nick saves Jenny but dies in the crash, well, for a moment.  In the morgue, Nick jumps off the table and shocks everyone.  He only has one thought in mind: find Ahmanet.  But finding her will only reveal that Nick is in a fight for his life and soul with Dr. Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde at the helm.

Sometimes a good idea doesn’t need to be remade.  This mash-up of The Mummy (1999) and The Mummy (1959), just a lot worse.  The graphics are basic for this series, the action is overdone, and the overall acting is a bore.  The zombies are half mummy and half Gollum, which doesn’t make them scary.  Just comical.  The ending is predictable and disappointing.  The only saving grace is Crowe as Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde.  His scenes saved this downfall of a movie.  Also, Johnson was a magnificent, albeit normal, comic relief.  Although this script didn’t need it because there was no tension or anything frightening. This movie should be skipped at all cost.  Wait for basic cable to see this one.  By the way, there is nothing after the credits, thankfully.

I give it 1.5 out of 5 stars

You have freed me. My Chosen – Princess Ahmanet

I didn’t know it was the last parachute – Nick

I’m still alive – Chris

You saved me – Jenny

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Megan Leavey – Review

Megan Leavey – Budget Unknown – 1 hour and 56 minutes

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Megan Leavey
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Megan is in a state of depression after losing her friend and her job. She decides to leave her past behind and join the Marines. While she is advancing in the Corp, she hasn’t left her partying past behind. She is caught peeing next to the barracks of an officer after getting drunk. She is put on “crap” patrol literally by cleaning dog cages. Then she is asked to be the decoy while training the dogs to attack. When cleaning the cages, she meets Rex. And Rex snaps at her. Rex is the most untrainable dog in the unit and bites his handler, breaking 6 of the bones in his hand. With the handler out, Rex is assigned to Megan. With patience, Rex warms up to Megan and starts to follow orders and find explosives. With a few months of training, Megan and Rex are deployed. Rex and Megan are making great progress in the ranks but with 1 more month left in her tour, both are injured when an IED explodes. Megan is sent home but Rex stays behind. While in rehab, Megan worries about Rex until he comes home and they are reunited. Megan decides she wants out of the Marines but she learns she can’t adopt Rex because he is too fragile for civilian life. And if he can’t be adopted after his military life is over, he will be put down. But once a Marine, always a Marine. So, Megan will fight to not leave Rex behind and adopt him.

Based on a true story, this is not a tale about a woman and her dog. This is a tale about two soldiers that fight the after effects of war. This movie sends a quarter of the time endearing you to Megan, half the time ensuring you understand the connection between Megan and Rex, and the last part showing Megan fighting to get Rex back. You will get to see other dogs and their handlers but the tough seen is when a soldier doesn’t return. But his dog does. Seeing the dog still look for its handler is rough. It proves they aren’t just Marines, they are truly family. This is a good uplifting movie for the matinee price. And for dog lovers, be prepared to get misty eyed.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

In the end, you don’t leave because you have somewhere to go. You leave because there is nothing keeping you there – Corporal Megan Leavey

Sometimes we are in front of the front lines – Walters

If you’re not confident, he’s not confident – Andrew Dean

So fail again and keep failing until they throw dirt on your corpse – Bob

It brings out my Irish – Master Sargent

You got this? Think faster – Gunnery Sergeant Massey

I trained him to lick the enemy to death – Corporal Morales

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My Cousin Rachel – Review

My Cousin Rachel – Budget Unknown – 1 hour and 56 minutes

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My Cousin Rachel
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Phillip was orphaned at a young age but raised by his cousin Ambrose. Years later, Phillip comes back from school but he only learned to dislike books, the city, and smart alecs. He decides to stay with Ambrose and help him run the town. However, Ambrose is sick and the doctor tells him to go to Italy to get better. As time moves on, Phillips gets several letters from Ambrose. The letters state he feels great has met a woman named Rachel and got married. Although later, his letter stated that he fears Rachel and believes she will kill him. Phillip goes to find Ambrose, only to find he has died and Rachel left. Heartbroken, Phillip returns but he is on a mission to find Rachel and confront her. He puts the word out that he is inviting Rachel to return to stay with him. He would because they are family. Soon Rachel comes to Phillips home and stays, but Phillip is enticed by the bewitching woman and wants to give her the world. And he does. But with everything he gives, she takes and he gets sick. Will Rachel be his demise?

Based on the book, My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier, as well as the 1952 remake, this movie is better suited for Lifetime (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). While the cinematography and costume are deserving of an award, the story is slightly compelling but not original. Also, it ends with a question that will plague the watcher.  Wait for Redbox or read the book, unless you like period movies. Otherwise, this movie has nothing new to offer.

I give it 2 out of 5 stars

He had me – Phillip

Oh no. That’s for Phillip – Rachel

And as for the doctors, I don’t trust them – Ambrose

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