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movie viewing opinions by ken@imovies.com
these are not necessarily new movies just movies and trailers I have watched
ratings are 1-10 on various elements of production, storyline, acting, music, etc.


new in theaters > Escape Room, Great Great Great, Mojin: The Worm Valley, The Nun, Spider Man: Into The Spiderverse, The Mule, The Grinch, Ralph Breaks The Internet, Mortal Engines, Creed 2, Bohemian Rhapsody, Instant Family, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Green Book


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Escape Room  Escape Room
(2019) on IMDb

shake 6, storyline 7, cinematica 3, emotionality 5, heartstrings 2, music 5, fear 9, proper use of computer graphic 9

Six people are lured into a "game" where 1 million dollars is the prize if they can escape from a room. One of the six is told by their professor to do something she's afraid of by the next class so this eggs her on. We see others receive small packages that intrigue offering them ambiguous invitations. This review is based only on the trailer. One thing I noticed is the use of blue filters too much like when they are all in the waiting room, and find out it "is the escape room" as is stated in excitement. It's so not necessary to use these filters and I think it takes away from rather enhance. What they try to do with filters is create more fear, intrigue, drama but often it just makes the scene or entire film look bad, like a child said "Daddy make it more blue". This film does look fun though. It has some unique features of the plot I don't recall in any other film being done. They have clues to deal with, CGI in their faces they have to figure out like what's real and what's not although snow in the room seems kinda obvious. The use of CGI in this is just how it should be, used where it helps add to the experience of viewing it, adds to the excitement and fear, does not leave you looking at it like it's an old Chinese monster film from 1950. What I really like about this film is that it's captures some of the very best concepts of creative writing made into motion imagery with a fantastic blend of what we are not even sure is fantasy and reality but done is such a way that is so incredibly balanced for creating and maintaining intrigue. I stopped watching the trailer at 2:00 as it felt like already I have seen too much. DO NOT watch the trailer, I say just GO SEE IT.

 

Puppies Crash Christmas
now playing on HULU - I am not sure the date this was made - this appears to be a HULU exclusive for this season filmed in "puppyvision" - there is no IMDB rating - shake 10, storyline 9, cinematica 6, emotionality 5, heartstrings 9, music 7

A fun film which starts off with a lovely home decorated with Christmas decorations, the tree, the presents under it, a bag of something under the tree, the refreshments and table settings, and a fireplace.

SPOILER: Out of the bag comes puppies.

FULL SPOILER: Try to watch first without reading further.

Other puppies show up. They look around they start eating the presents, there is chaos. More dogs join in, it reaches a crescendo! The next act a dog is lapping up milk in the punch bowl. They tug at ribbons, more presents are destroyed, they are wearing  ugly sweaters, THEY DISCOVER CHRISTMAS COOKIES!!! More milk! Lap lap lap. I guess they are lap dogs. Grr, ruff ruff! Now they found the gingerbread house! OMG. Delish.

Crash goes the punch bowl with milk. All over the nice couch and floor. No plastic on the sofa. Mess but OMG/LOL. Now the gingerbread crashes down, dogs on milky sofa pouring all over the place.

There are some times the music is monotonous. There is NO CAMERA SHAKE. All movies should be made like that.

As you can guess it just keeps getting worse I mean better. They found books and the stockings hung with care! Seat cushions, pillows, and tables. Table cloth edges. Pull pull pull. Something's in that sofa cushion, scratch scratch. Table cloth we see the place settings in the distance, with it moving ever so slightly. Ohoh. As you can guess, crash go the place settings. Something's in that stocking. Grrrr. Hmm, that big stuffed elf. There goes the entire table and settings, crash!

The holiday ham and turkey are on the floor. Gobble gobble.

Puppy in a box so cute. He's tired.

Coffee table is knocked over. Fighting over presents. There go the drapes. Somehow they put the garland on the mantle back up though (goof) as the one dog was pulling it down. Oh no, dogs behind the tree.....CRASH!

Ornaments are BALLS! Fetch buddy. My string my string.

Dogs are gone all we see is the mess left behind. ROFL.

Fantastic production!

  

A Bad Moms Christmas
2017
playing on SHOWTIME
shake 7, storyline 9, cinematica 6, emotionality 8, music 5

 A Bad Moms Christmas
(2017) on IMDb

The "bad mom" played by the voice of Family Guy's character Meg (Mila Kunis) has her problems at Christmas time with her mom every year who is dominating and insistent on making the holiday spectacular, pulling out all the moves, so that the children feel good about it and have their memories. Younger mom though wants this year to be quiet just with family no big parties nothing elaborate. We see a battle between the two develop that starts of casual and small where young mom caves but then finally loses it and in a rage destroys older mom's elaborate set up where she takes over young mom's home. This film is fun with added fun and more fun added to fun that is adding more fun to itself.

SPOILER: The problem though with this film though is that near the end after the young mom gets back and banishes her mom and then apologizes, the plot becomes so thick with love and what Christmas is all about and so predictable and so incredibly boring, I just shut off the last chunk, maybe 10 minutes or so as it was annoying.

The Tribes of Palos Verdes
2017
playing on
SHOWTIME
shake 4, storyline 5, cinematica 7, emotionality 8, music 9

 The Tribes of Palos Verdes
(2017) on IMDb  

Based in Palos Verdes California this film revolves around a family that moved to this prime location steps away from the surf, in the hills, and how they deal with the shifts in the climate, both of the beautiful weather and the beautiful people in it's high society lifestyle that's like a merge of Beverly Hills & Malibu. One of the aspects is where the twin brother and sister encounter "bay boys" who are tribal in their "ownership" of the beach. It's a real premise as local reports and lawsuits have evolved regarding individuals not allowing others on "their beach". If you want to sit back, relax, and enjoy going to a wonderful place for a while this movie is for you. There are some fantastic images of the surf, sand, hills, bodies, waves, palm trees blowing in the breeze, and more.

Spoilers: As the film evolves we see the mom becoming frustrated with the perfect people there and we see evidence of her possibly becoming addicted to prescription drugs. She wants to move. The beach tribe gets the sister and brother into doing some drugs and drinking on the beach by the rocks as the sun sets. It's typical of many a beach scene.

The film did not really provide a great story detail of how that exactly started to happen. The son argues with dad, gets slapped, hits him back, and says "Why don't you go f888 another nurse". Was this a disasterous slip where the mom finds this out suddenly or not, we don't get a clue. It fails in that respect. One scene starts looking down to sis and some other guy I guess the dad saying that mom would be better with someone else. The view is so far away looks like they are ants, it's too far away. The dad talking to her the camera should be perfectly still but is not, like too much film making today and for years now, they just refuse to use tripods. Dad's explanation and her response are not believable, too forced, bad acting. Next the family is together, camera is all over the place, like does the director think that because mom is freaking out of the news that it makes it better to throw the camera up in the air and spin it in circles to show the chaos? I'm exaggerating but the shake actually takes away from the drama, not enhance it.

The editing of sis and scene of her working with her photo board on the wall between the scene where mom is crying with dad standing his ground on ending it shows sis putting tape which subliminally references the possibility of marriage mending, and the music and surf scenes that it progresses to are great.

Next mom drives in a frenzy to the country club, we see her running down a hallway, OMG the camera is all over the place. She's at the tennis court making a scene. It's written well and played out very well but oh if they only used tripods, it would be SO MUCH MORE SOLID. Shake takes away. It's so odd as some of the surfing scenes are more stable!

Suddenly the son is the man of the house, we have to assume dad moved out.

Sis is in her room looking at old photos and things reflecting on better days. Then at the beach parking lot, she gets into the camper with some guy, starts making out, stops before it goes too far, next she's in the shower obviously felt dirty.

And why are so many films filled with a vomit scene. In this one the guy eats it in the bathroom. Does not fit this film really as it's going over the edge but maybe that's what they wanted to do with this story.

There are some nice reflection scenes where the son misses his dad and thinks he should not have hit him and talks about how he fells like when ever he talks it's not really sounding right like he does not fit in, something a lot of teens struggle with.

Sis and her friend are at the water's edge and see a seal pup being released back into the water, it's a touching scene but again a tripod should have been used.

Son ends up in hospital having used drugs. Shake shake shake, makes it feel like a internet home movie ready to click off. Dad shows up. Not that interesting of a scene but it does continue the plot.

Bedroom scene in dad's new house. Sis and her new boyfriend.

Argument with mom on the hill over looking the vast expanse of ocean she's frustrated runs down and goes swimming. Starting to get boring. The film doesn't really present exactly what is wrong with where they are living.

Sis and brother decide to get out of there. Where? It's not clear. Goes to her dad's house, gets money from a cantaloupe.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Something happened, emotional scene becomes moving. I won't say what, it's just done fantastically well. Nearing the end. It's a nice film.

 



 

 

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