Movie Review: Mortal Engines

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Summary

In a post-apocalyptic world, cities like London became mobile machines, while larger communities would take over smaller communities. These were Traction Cities. A group who opposed this idea were the Anti-Traction League that built a wall to protect against these Traction Cities.

The leader of London lead everyone to believe that they could take down the wall by building a weapon that used 21st century technology. This type of technology, along with computers and cellphones were considered valuable artifacts. Tom was a historian who collected these artifacts and worked under, Thaddeus Valentine, the head of the Guild of Historians. One day, a young woman named Hester Shaw attempted to kill Valentine and told Tom about Valentine’s evil deeds. This led Valentine to push him down the exit chute of the city….. into an unknown and treacherous land and Hester…..Who was she? And what was Valentine hiding?

Conclusion

The storyline wasn’t extremely exciting, but I did enjoy the steampunk style of the machines. The idea that they couldn’t use technology to rebuild the world, instead lived in a land that resembled a dismal desert, was odd. They used all the technology to build a mobile city to “eat” smaller towns, sounded more like a video game idea.

I discovered afterwards that the movie took its ideas from a YA book series of the same name.

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Movie Review: Crooked House

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Summary

In the late 1950s, an elderly billionaire died after his regular insulin shot from his young wife. His daughter hired an investigator to find out the truth. He discovered that the gentleman was actually poisoned…..

Everyone had a reason and motive to kill him off as everyone from the 12 year old to the aunt disliked him greatly.

Conclusion

This was a movie adaptation of the Agatha Christie murder mystery. Some of the details in the book was changed to “have more impact” on the audience. Overall, it was a decent movie to watch while relaxing in the evening. There wasn’t too much of a surprise or twists in the story.

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Movie Review: Greenland

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Summary

A comet named Clark was coming towards Earth, fireballs began to rain down, destroying and killing cities. In the midst of this, the rocky relationship between John and Allison didn’t matter anymore. Their son was their priority. Luckily, John was chosen, along with his family, to be allowed into a special government evacuation program because he was a structural engineer.

Unfortunately, his son had diabetes and was rejected at the door when he tried to board the plane with Allison….. How was John going to save himself and his family?

Conclusion

This was a typical catastrophic movie that I expected it to be. Lots of cars exploding and fireballs destroying cities using CGI was normal. Gerard Butler was just a regular dad, trying to protect his family. There were scenes that displayed how some people would go to great lengths to help themselves, even to hurting others. That was humanity….

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Movie Review: Midnight In Paris

Summary

Gil was engaged to Inez and they travelled to Paris with her parents because her father’s business. Coincidentally, Gil loved Paris and had constantly envisioned himself moving to Paris to continue to write his book. Inez wanted him to move to Malibu and write for Hollywood.

One night, after dinner, Gil walked off by himself to calm himself down from the constant criticisms of Inez and her parents. Suddenly, at the stroke of midnight, a 1920s vehicle pulled up and the people inside waved him to join them.

As the night progressed, Gil discovered that he had stepped back in time to the era of the greatest writers and artists, like Hemingway and Picasso. He had always believed that the 1920s was the best era to live in…. the present was so boring…

Each night, Gil was able to not join Inez for the evenbig parties that she enjoyed with her friend’s husband. Instead, he would meet an assortment of very prominent figures in literature. He even got Gertrude Stein, the infamous art and literature collector, to read and critique his book!

Eventually, Gil became enamoured with Pablo’s lover, who despite having feelings for him, would eventually choose to stay in her own ideal of life. For Gil, he knew it wouldn’t work out as his ideal was the 1920s….Each time he faced his life in 2010, he continued to find that the future with Inez did not look bright at all…..

Conclusion

How many times have we wished that we lived in another time and place? To hide from our reality to calm our fears sometimes helped us to adjust…. I am glad to see that Gil eventually see how toxic Inez was and moved on….

I really enjoyed seeing how the story weaved in so many amazing historical figures and still flowed logically. Watching Gil walking around Paris also made me thinking about my quick trip to Paris too!

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Netflix Movie: Yes Day

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Summary

Before they were parents, they did things on a whim, whenever and whatever they wanted to do. However, as parents, they fell into the “no” trap. Everything the children wanted, they usually said no. This caused a lot of conflict and rebellious behaviour in the family as the children grew older.

One day, they decided to follow the advise of having a “Yes Day”, which was having 24 hours of all rules by the children. Naturally, there were a few ground rules. Hence, after trying their hardest to follow the rules at school and home for a certain time, the children had their “Yes Day”!

Let the party begin! Imagine all the interesting things the children wanted… for example, opening the windows while driving through the car wash. Oh dear….

That night, their teenage daughter decided to sneak out to a music festival, leaving her brother alone with his friends instead of watching him. When she got into trouble and regretted going to the festival, she only wanted to go home…

Conclusion

This movie was based on a book of the same name. For adults watching this, it could appear to be a complete waste of time. The fact that all that chaos to happen in one day with the parents’ approval could sound ridiculous to adults. However, watching with my school-age children brought a lot of laughter to watch the outrageous events unfold. These were often ones that they might think about themselves.

The ending was very touching as despite their differences and problems, the family came together to solve their problems.

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Movie Review: Alita (Battle Angel)

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Summary

Set in a future where cyborgs and robots were part of reality, Dr. Ido revived a damaged battle cyborg, whom he called, Alita. His dead daughter’s named was Alita. The brain wasn’t damaged, but only needed a new body. So he found her a unique cyborg body that was compatible to her brain.

When she woke up, she wanted to find out who she was as she had lost her memory. She became interested in the game, Motorball. This game was the source of gambling and entertainment for everyone. The owner of the game, Vector, actually paid people called Hunter-Warriors that hunted cyborgs for their body parts in exchange for wealth. He would use these parts to upgrade his Motorball team players to win.

One day, Alita ended up becoming enemies to one of toughest Hunter-Warriors, who was sent to destroy her. Despite winning the fight, her body was badly damaged. Dr. Ido was forced to install the deadly battle cyborg body that Alita found previously. He didn’t want to install it for her originally because he feared the killing power of the technology. However, he no longer had the choice….Remembering that there was someone out there trying to kill Alita, he made sure her suit was perfect for combat during her Motorball game. She needed to win this no matter what….

Conclusion

The blend of anime and real people was very convincing. I enjoyed the story of how Alita got stronger and became her true self. The combat scenes were exciting.

Definitely entertaining for fans of anime, robots and futuristic fantasy storylines.

Note: Christopher Waltz was often a villain in movies, like Inglorious Basterds, was Dr. Ido!

Lana Condor, from To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, was Koyomi!

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Movie Review: The Secret Garden

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Summary

After her parents died in the British-ruled India, orphaned Mary was sent to live with her uncle, Lord Craven in England. Her mother was one of his sisters. Entitled little Mary was not the sweet little girl that they had expected. Instead, she didn’t follow rules and refused to go to a boarding school. Mary only wanted to run free around the estate grounds.

Lord Craven, himself, kept away from Mary as much as possible until Mary discovers his supposedly crippled son, Colin. After his wife passed, he had convinced his son that he had to stay in bed permanently as he could die anytime of anything.

One day, Mary followed a friendly stray dog into a hidden hedge at the far end of the estate. It was here that she discovered a magical Secret Garden……

Conclusion

The transformation of all the main characters was very emotional. It was a good idea to also tell the past stories about the relationship of Mary and Colin’s mothers before they past away. It was able to tie them to their mothers’ memories of the garden.

My favourite part to was to watch the relationship between Lord Craven and Colin change for the better.

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Movie Review: Green Book

Summary

In 1962, Tony “Lip” Vallelonga was an Italian bouncer who desperately needed a job when the club he was working at was under renovations. One day, he was told to go to a job interview to be a driver for Dr. Shirley. However, this was no ordinary doctor. Dr. Don Shirley was actually a black pianist. Tony did not think highly of “coloured folks” and he wasn’t interested in being a butler either. Despite a rough start at the interview, Dr. Shirley, still called Tony’s wife for her approval to have Tony drive him on his eight weeks tour to the Mid-West and Deep South in the States.

Before they left, Dr. Shirley’s team gave Tony the “Green Book” which was the “African-American travelers to find motels, restaurants, and filling stations that would serve them”. Racism and prejudice was openly accepted as “tradition” as most of the “coloured folks” worked on plantations and were extremely poor. In order to keep Dr. Shirley safe, Tony was recommended to Dr. Shirley’s record label as he worked very well as a bouncer. He solved problems for his clients and was able to talk his way out of situations.

Things got uglier and uglier as they drove south. Attacks, racist remarks and rejection was thrown at Dr. Shirley even at the events that he was invited to play at! How infuriating!

Conclusion

This movie was based on the interviews of Tony and Dr. Shirley, plus all the letters that Tony wrote to his wife. Naturally, they became life-long friends.

Dr. Don Shirley was classical trained pianist who studied in Soviet Union because he was so talented. But, because of his skin colour, Dr. Shirley was accepted in the classical music world. So, he went to study Psychology and got two doctorates. He was told by his record label that he had to play jazz and modern music to match his colour. He despised the idea as he wanted to play classical music.

I enjoyed this movie as watching Tony, played by Viggo Mortensen, change his behaviour and views towards Dr. Shirley gave me a wonderful feeling. To be reminded of how cruel the past was a tough reminder. In contrast, to see that people could change, gave us hope in humanity.

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Movie Review: The War With Grandpa

Summary

After his wife’s passing, Ed’s daughter decided that it was time for him to leave his home and move in with her. He was caught accidentally stealing with a store when he didn’t know how to use the self check-out…. oops! However, her house didn’t have an extra room, so she made her son, Peter, move to attic and to give his room to Ed. Peter was not pleased at all. Why couldn’t Grandpa go to the attic instead? Peter decided to declare war!

Conclusion

There were many laughs in this movie. The fact that Ed actually took Peter seriously by making him sign the Rules Of Engagement gave Peter the acknowledgment that lacking from the start. Peter was never close to Grandpa and he was forced out of his room without any family discussion. Even though it was his parent’s house, I believed that both the husband and the son would have appreciated a family discussion.

Movie Review: The Giver

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Summary

In the dystopian future, the human race was split up by jobs given to them by society once they were of age. No one had the choice to choose their careers. However, there was only one Giver assigned to one person at a time. The Giver was the only one who knew the truth behind the lies, dangers and inequalities. What was supposed to be an honour became, the main character, Jonas’ goal to leave this world…. But he mustn’t get caught…..

Conclusion

This movie was adapted from the book by Lois Lowry. Although this book was meant for teens, the ideas and concepts worked quite well in the movie. I actually was able to relate to the assignment of career scene with the traditional quizzes that I took as teen about my future career. However, most of the people I knew didn’t follow the path that those quizzes recommended to us. Our future was for us to discover and to change!

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