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#SpyWhoDumpedMe and #TheDarkestMinds – Movie Reviews

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Table of Reviews

The Spy Who Dumped Me – Review

The Spy Who Dumped Me – Budget of $40 million – 1 hour and 57 minutes

The Spy Who Dumped Me

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Audrey has 2 highlights in her life.  Her best friend Morgan and her favorite arcade game.  She looks to both of them because her boyfriend Drew broke up with her in a text message.  And to make matters worse, he won’t text back to get his stuff.  So, Morgan grabs her phone and text Drew.  She texts him that she will be setting is stuff ablaze.  Drew calls Audrey back and begs her to stop burning his things.  While at work, Audrey is approached by Sebastian, who asks her to walk him to his car.  She agrees to be nice but he pushes her into a van.  They explain that Drew is CIA and they need her help to find him.  She promises to keep in touch and gets out of the van.   The next day, Morgan is having fun with her latest conquest and Audrey is getting ready for work when Drew comes through their window.  He tells Audrey to hold on to his trophy.  And if he doesn’t make it, she must meet Verne in Cafe S in Vienna at 11 am tomorrow and give Verne is 2nd place fantasy football trophy.  If she doesn’t do it, a lot of people will die.  Seconds later, Drew is killed.  With a slight nudge, Morgan convinces Audrey to keep her promise and finish Drew’s mission.

With an out-of-the-world plot, this movie is funnier and more action pack than the trailer would allow you to believe.  And no, you haven’t seen the best parts in the trailers.  This will make you laugh out loud and cringe.  Also, you will do both at the same time.  It provides a lot of intricate twist in the plot but it isn’t anything new.  You can see the big reveal coming.  The biggest joy of this movie is seeing the two main characters ab-lib the funniest dialogue.  They constantly feeding off each other, upping the ante each time.  While it does have a love story, the sisterhood story between Audrey and Morgan is much stronger.  See this one matinee and bring your best friend.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

I’m normal – Audrey

I have so much respect for you that it full circled to objectifying – Morgan

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The Darkest Minds – Review

The Darkest Minds – Budget of $34 million – 1 hour and 45 minutes

THE DARKEST MINDS

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On a typical school day, Ruby sat with her friends at lunch, laughed, and talked.  Then, her friend dropped dead in front of her.  By the end of the month, half of her class was dead.  Soon, 98% of the children in the US would die of IAAN (Idiopathic Adolescent Acute Neurodegeneration).  The remaining children would be left with powers.  The government has asked all the parents to turn their children over to be cured.  President Gray was able to cure his son, so he believes all the children can be cured.  Ruby knows her parents are worried about her being taken away.  So, on her birthday night, she tiptoes into their bedroom and promises she won’t let anyone else take her away from them.  When she touches her mother’s arm, she gets the first sense of her powers by erasing her parent’s memory of her.  The next morning Ruby’s mother doesn’t recognize her and calls the government to take her.  The government takes her to a concentration camp where the kids are separated by their “Danger Level” color.  Greens are the smartest.  Blues can move objects with their minds.  Golds can control electricity.  These are the safest colors.  Oranges and Reds are the most dangerous and should be killed on sight.  Ruby takes the test and she is an orange.  But before she can be killed, she touches the doctor and changes his mind.  The doctor makes her diagnosis a Green.  This camp will be her home for the next 6 years.  Until Ruby is discovered as an Orange and must escape.  With the help of Dr. Cate Connor, Ruby gets out of the camp.  However, when Cate makes a stop to meet up with her partner Rob with the Children’s League, Ruby gets a bad vibe from touching him and runs off.  She hides in Liam (Blue) and Chubs (Green) van with the help of Zu (Gold).  They are looking for a rumored oasis for kids like them.  They believe they will finally be safe there.

Based on The Darkest Minds series by Alexandra Bracken, this movie is The Fifth Wave meets X-Men (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  With bounty hunters, doctors, and even their parents turning on them, it’s hard to understand who to trust.  Now fans of the book series, understand this movie won’t fall in line perfectly but it’s still a good movie.  This movie ends on a cliffhanger because it’s the set up for the next movie.   So don’t be surprised if you feel like the movie didn’t have a true ending.  While the major plotline and the subplot aren’t original, it provides some laughs and heartfelt moments.  This is a great matinee for teens over the summer.  However, everyone else can wait for Redbox.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

I kinda like myself the way I am – Ruby

What did I tell you about picking up strays – Liam

It’s Charles to you – Chubs

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#AmericanMade, #TilDeathDoUsPart, and more – Movie Reviews

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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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Flatliners
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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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#TheGirlOnTheTrain – Review

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The Girl On The Train – Budget of $45 million – 1 hour and 52 minutes

Note: This is a review of the movie only. Not a comparison of the book to the movie.
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The Girl on the Train
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Rachel

Two years after her divorce, Rachel is still falling apart. She drinks to blackout and fantasies about what could have been by watching others through the train window. Rachel is often depressed, calling her ex, and even grabbed her ex’s infant. Just when Rachel doesn’t think she can sink any lower, the wife she obsessively watches from the train window cheats on her husband. Rachel’s fantasy is dead. Someone must pay for all her pain.

Anna

Anna is a new stay-at-home mom with the help of a nanny she focus on household tasks. She thinks all is well until her nanny gives her 1 day notice that she found a new job. She doesn’t know what she will do without the nanny. Her husband, Tom, is always gone and she is afraid of her husband’s ex. She will do anything to protect her family, especially since Megan is missing.

Megan

Megan is constantly reinventing who she is. She has a husband, but is getting bored with married life. Her husband, Scott, wants to have a child, but he doesn’t know about her past. She recently quit her job for a position at an art gallery and loves her new job. She is seeing and propositioning her therapist while keeping secrets from him. Megan doesn’t know that her life will end at the hands of someone she knows.

What these women don’t know is that all their lives and secrets will collide after Megan dies. Who killed Megan? Why was she murdered? Only time will tell.

Based on the book, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, this movie takes you on a jerky ride because it doesn’t have a linear timeline (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). The flashes of Rachel’s memory keep you on your toes by making you wonder if her memory can be trusted. As she look for clues in her own mind, you don’t know if she is crazy or faking. With a strong cast and a good plot, this movie is enjoyable. However, most ID Sleuths or Lifetime watchers will be able to figure out the killer, before the cops. This is a great matinee/first date movie.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

There is no job more important than being a mom – Ann

I’m not the girl I use to be – Rachel

I’m not gonna protect you any more – Tom

Facebook and drunk ex-wives are not good friends – Cathy

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