Movies I’ve Watched Recently

Since I must have sickened myself on Hallmark, I haven’t watched many since Christmas (thankfully). The last year or two had an embarrassingly large percentage of these movies. I have too big a TBW list to waste time like that. On to the new-to-me movies of recent months:

Star Wars. On a whim Dad took Flowerchild and I to see this the day after our last family Christmas celebration. I’m still not a Star Wars fan-girl (I’m not sure I really am a fan-girl on much period, I usually get sick of things that I over-watch/over-read and hear too much about) although I left rather infatuated with Kylo Ren for a time (and no, it wasn’t solely on account of the shirtless scene; he was the only whole MAN in the film: complex, confident, intriguing). The Kylo-Rey parts were the only good parts to the movie. The rest was decidedly dull, manufactured, and absurd. Mom asked Dad and I if we liked it and when we said we thought it was “okay,” she asked why we went, and we decided we’d fallen for the Star Wars hype (Dad was a Star Wars nerd in his day, and I think he’s embarrassed about that, lol).

Penelope. This is quite funny. And baby James McAvoy is SO cute. However, part of the end freaks me out (kind of like when I look too closely at the Beauty and Beast story). Comparing perhaps ugly (unusual I think, unless a person makes themselves ugly, most people are plain, rather than ugly) people to animals with this inside/outside beauty plot, um, NO. A PIG okay!!!!!

I am Dragon. This blogger reviewed this movie and mentioned that it was on Amazon Prime (I also had a free Prime trial recently). Because I was having trouble finding much on Prime to watch and because I thought the movie sounded intriguing, I watched it. It started out scarier (I’m a baby) than I anticipated but then didn’t end up being as scary as the beginning led me to expect. The plot and feel is like an old folktale or fairytale which is really fascinating. All the elements are so foreign (it’s a Russian film) and it all works together to evoke that aforementioned feel (except for some jarringly modern music in one part, and I thought that some of the scenery looked tropical, which didn’t fit at all although it was beautiful), to a Westerner anyway. These elements include: the archaic, guttural sounding Russian language; the old, un-Western clothing, fabric, and music; the look of the landscape and colors; the look of the people, especially Arman. The film is hauntingly lovely and mysteriously foreign (also, Russia is just so . . . strange . . . and rather disturbing, even the very few less disturbing periods; I’m reading Brothers Karamazov as of this typing, btw).

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. I keep forgetting that I watched this . . . and I think the film deserves that. Whoever has written and directed these latter two of the PotC series has been severely lacking in the genius of the writer/directors of the first three films. The fourth I thought far too dark and not as interesting as the former three, and Jack is not himself, he isn’t in this one either. I anticipated this one being terribly frightening, but it was ludicrously not so. The bad guy was played and talked about as being terrifying, but he clearly wasn’t. And the British were knocked off like a joke. The girl seemed more of a main character and Will’s son (WILL’S son) nothing, and she was stereotyped, one-dimensional, and obnoxious. Actually, so many characters were trivial, as were the various plot threads, and yet the first three movies had multiple characters and plots lines and all of them were well-developed and none developed at the expense of others. A disappointing film.

This Beautiful Fantastic. I’d read about this on two blogs which got me interested. I found this movie on Hulu during my trial, so I watched it then. Both reviewers mentioned shipping Vernon and Bella (so I was prepared to do this as well especially since I didn’t care for the looks of the actor who played Billy), so I expected a love triangle. The movie didn’t have one (which is good, these are almost never done well); Bella and Vernon (who was almost old enough to be Bella’s father) didn’t flirt, had no chemistry, and no displayed no interest (expect I thought I saw a flicker of what I thought was hurt, possibly only because I was looking for it, on Vernon’s face after he learns of Billy, and this look could be interpreted many ways), and Vernon was fatherly, older brotherly in manner. I didn’t ship them, you can’t when there is nothing to ship. However, I didn’t care for the love story. The way the filmmakers handled it, I felt took away from the movie, from Bella’s journey. And it didn’t fit. The relationship between the main three characters, the setting, Bella, etc. were all complex and intertwined and quirky. The library life didn’t seem as “real” or as solid a part of Bella’s life. Billy didn’t fit in the inner circle, didn’t come into it; that would’ve needed a sequel to feel finished and right. He was not a full participant, so that either should have been developed in another movie or the filmmakers should have lengthened this movie to include it. That was my loquacious explanation of issue #1 with the love story. #2 is the absolutely absurd stock drama of seeing Billy with another woman. Come on, come up with something that that is 1) Fitting to Bella personally (the rest of the story is unique, Bella is different, why such a stock storyline that would be terrible for a movie with a more average character?), 2) More fitting to the timeline and situation (she barely knows him), and 3) More believable and believably forgivable (“I’m a triplet” Are you serious? Don’t be absurd, don’t come up with ludicrous, cheap, tricky twists). This is terrible, cheap plot manipulation. I just felt that this was so out of sync with the rest of the movie. I’m not even sure that romance fit at all with the time frame of the film. I loved the development, plot, resolution, and depth of the rest of the film and characters. I definitely think it is worth watching.

Spider Man: Homecoming. When I first heard that The Amazing Spider Man series was ending, I was disappointed because I enjoyed those movies, and I wasn’t happy with the new actor or his portrayal in Civil War. Eventually, I got over my pique, but I didn’t know what to expect/didn’t have expectations except that it was good because it had been so long since most bloggers mentioned it (and I don’t like reading reviews of movies I intend to watch until after watching them). Musicalmiss, Flowerchild, and I watched it one day in February. I LOVED it. Later that week Flowerchild, Babysister, and I watched it again. I want to own it, and I can’t wait for the next one to come out. Whispers, I think I might like it better than The Amazing Spider ManThis movie is SO well-written and well acted. So much cuteness and hilarity. I can like both this story line and The Amazing Spider Man; actually, I think that the Spider Man/Peter Parker story line is simply my favorite superhero story line. I loved that Peter always did the right thing despite all his temptation to cheaply try to win attention; I hope that never changes. Peter is so precious and adorkable, and his friend is hilarious, and I love the hints of M.J.’s interest (won’t they make an awesome couple?!). I didn’t like Peter with Liz, and I didn’t know the other girl WAS M.J. until the very end, and I couldn’t really tell that she liked him the first viewing, but I definitely saw it the second time around; I like that she isn’t puppy-dog pining for him, and that he isn’t being an insensitive jerk, he just doesn’t really know her plus he is such a baby, plus his little fan-boy crush on Liz. Oh, and that prom pick-up scene, what ACTING!!!! Oh, I could watch that movie again.

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