Valerian – Movie Review

May be a little late to the party, but I figured I could give my two cents on this movie in case anyone has held out longer than I have from watching it.

The amount of money dumped into this film for its graphics must have been astronomical! Almost every “person” in this film was somehow CGI’ed to an alien species. The worlds they created were so well thought out in depth. The vivid imagery was mesmerizing as was the story once it finally got going. I can’t imagine the man-hours and time it took to produce this film.

51b1d40punl-_sy453_bo1204203200_IMDB: A dark force threatens Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets. Special operatives Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.

I had no idea this movie was based on a French comic. How interesting! Although, that’s about as interesting as it gets. Everything I said above is true, but the WOW factor stopped at the graphics. The actors were not my favorite. The enthusiasm of the movie was a bit flat.

To come up with a universe so vast and tapped into, a universe of over a thousand inhabited worlds, is too big for my brain to comprehend. I think that is ultimately what kept my interest, the idea of the infinite. How anyone can even attempt to grasp the concept is beyond me. I feel as if my brain is leaving gravity’s tug whenever the idea of how truly expansive the universe is floats within my thoughts.

Overall, I would recommend the movie, but with the disclaimer not to go into it expecting anything award winning.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before – Movie Review

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IMDb: Lara Jean Covey writes letters to all of her past loves, the letters are meant for her eyes only. Until one day when all the love letters are sent out to her previous loves. Her life is soon thrown into chaos when her foregoing loves confront her one by one.

This novel by Jenny Han turned Netflix movie is phenomenal. As a romance writer, I love a good love story. I typically go for the steamy stuff, but this young adult high school romance is wonderfully done. A real life scenario between siblings plays out perfectly, and I found myself envying the sisters symbiotic relationship. Even though there is fluff to this movie that fills the romantic in me with the appropriate amount of awe inspiring moments, this book turned movie tackles tough issues most teenagers traverse like cyber bullying, emotional angst, and finding out who you really are.

I love Lana Condor! She’s a beautiful woman and fills this role perfectly. Her facial expressions are so slight throughout the various scenes emotional appeal, but they hold a huge impact. Don’t even get me started on Noah Centineo! That man is gorgeous! My new actor man crush. There’s a scene where he comes off as cocky with this smirk that makes me melt.

An easy watch, suitable for all ages. I have watched it several times over now and even find myself turning it on for the background noise. You won’t be disappointed. (Don’t tell him I told you, but even my husband enjoyed this movie!)

It’s a Wonderful Life – Movie Review

IMDB: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.

Ever since I was a kid this black and white film would play during the holiday season. I would watch the grayscale characters play out the life of George and Mary Bailey as their lives spun in directions they had never planned. They make their way through their lives until George finds himself in a horribly precarious situation where he wishes he was never born. With the help of an angel, he sees what his tiny town of Bedford Falls would look like had he never lived. His love for his family reminds him of why he lives and breathes everyday, and with help from his town, George heads back home to the greatest Christmas surprise he has ever received in his wonderful life.

Now, they have a version in color, and cameos of the movie can be seen in other Christmas specials such as Home Alone, but the story holds a place in my Christmas spirit all the same. The story would tug at my heart and make most in my family cry due to an overactive crying gene I have mentioned before that we call the Bonnie-gene. To this day I have kept the tradition alive and have to watch it at least once during the season.

Here we are, four days away from the big day, and I have yet to watch it! It just won’t be Christmas until I do. If you’ve never seen it, be sure to add it to your Christmas Watchlist this season.

Move Review: The Choice

IMDB: 6.6/10 – In a small coastal town, the veterinarian Travis Shaw works with his father Shep and is very close to his beloved sister Steph. Travis is very successful with the women and dates Monica every now and then. When the resident Gabby Holland moves to the next door house, she initially believes he is a pretentious man. But when her boyfriend Ryan MacCarthy, who is fellow doctor in the same hospital where she works, needs to travel to another city, Gabby and Travis have a relationship and fall in love with each other. Out of the blue, Ryan returns and proposes to marry her. Now Gabby has to make a choice between her two loves.

I really do not like the above “storyline” description for this movie. It misses the entire point and purpose of the film. There isn’t one choice that is the sole focus of the lives of Gabby and Travis such as the above leads you to believe. She doesn’t just have one choice “between her two loves”; she has a lifetime of choices to make.the-choice-mocie-quote-2

“Every path you take leads to another choice.”

Life isn’t about one big decision; the small ones count, too, in this continuous journey of life. No matter the circumstance, each choice pushes us onto another path and into a new decision, and every one of them make us who we are, put us where we choose to be. That is the message I found through this story.

10/10

I am absolutely in love with this movie and book! I purchased the book after watching the movie, and I love them both so completely. I’m sure I will receive a lot of gasps with this statement, but I do not like The Notebook or A Walk to Remember. Pause, please, as I add the disclaimer that they are wonderful movies and books in their own right, but I want a happy ending! Death is not a happy ending to me, so when Nicholas Sparks offs his characters in the midst of these great love stories, he may as well hack a piece of my heart out of my chest!

The Choice absolutely is now my favorite Nicholas Sparks movie and book! It delivered in every way I could have ever asked or wanted. It made me laugh, cry, sad, and happy, but most of it all, it had a happily-ever-after! I love it so much! It was perfectly cast with the most beautiful setting. I couldn’t get enough of Travis’s accent or Gabby’s attitude. The sunsets and marshy backdrops were amazing. I can’t say it enough; it was just perfect!

“Come bother me, baby. Forever.”

Movie Review: Let’s Be Cops

IMDb: It’s the ultimate buddy cop movie except for one thing: they’re not cops. MV5BMjI3MDY2ODQwNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjUzNjE4MTE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,674,1000_AL_When two struggling pals dress as police officers for a costume party, they become neighborhood sensations. But when these newly-minted “heroes” get tangled in a real life web of mobsters and dirty detectives, they must put their fake badges on the line.

I’m really late on this one, but I just had to share a few thoughts.

I believe the main theme of the movie was to say that it is never too late to find yourself and take responsibility for your life. Now, that might be a bit heavier than the actual message, but I just need to get this off of my chest.Read More »

Movie Review: Hacksaw Ridge

125-hacksaw-ridgeI love this movie! Regardless your feelings towards Mel Gibson who directed the film, if you enjoy war movies, movies about historical events, or even just courageous people performing heroic deeds, this movie is a must see! Mind you, there is a lot of death, destruction, and carnage as it is set in World War II – Asian theatre, and our hero is a military medic. If that is not your cup of tea then you may want to just do your research on Hacksaw Ridge and Private Doss rather than watch this film.

***SPOILERS***YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED***Read More »

Movie Review: Alex and Emma

imageWe all find inspiration in the most inconspicuous ways. Actors who portray real life people will follow those characters around until they essentially become the person. Singers use their life experiences as well as writers, at times. Dancers use their emotions. Artists use their surroundings. We all use off the wall examples in order to fill the voids of our inadequacies and meet the needs of our muses.

When the muses find these holes in the creations we set forth to maintain, they demand we fill them, or face sheer and sudden annihilation. Whether that destruction be meaningless movements or portraits, or writers block, as I have come to know all too well. We must find the next foundation of validation for our work, the next fulfilling source of energy, in order to carry on the creation we have taken to task.

My greatest muse smiles irrevocably, whenever she decides to shut me down, on the movie Alex and Emma. I’m not sure if it is the basis of my second woman crush, Kate Hudson, which isn’t even based on looks, really. Don’t get me wrong, she is a beautiful woman and takes after her mother, but it is her personality and acting skills that I absolutely love! Don’t mind me with the personality bit. Typical woman answer, I know, since most men will tell you it is a crock, but I truly mean it. Everything she has performed in, I have absolutely loved!

“I don’t like tomato skins.” Alex and Emma

The above quote alone for me from the character Emma truly portrays her personality, and gives me all the more reason to love her! She perfectly demonstrates the term antagonist by being an un-moving control-freak, and overly anal-retentive. She is determined to make the main character see his own flaws and meet the expectations of their meet-cute. She gives Alex all the more reason to become the man she wants him to be, let alone the man he wants to be. She seriously steals the show in this contemporary romance that delivers every time I venture into the story of the two modern star-crossed lovers.

“Because I know the characters, and they tell me where the story goes.” Alex and Emma

The protagonist character Alex, played by Luke Wilson, nails the role of a reclusive writer with a romantically tragic past. Even with his monotone voice and, at times, maddening dialogue, his character shines through as a formulating author in the midst of his next novel and a love triangle he created for himself both fictional and real. His depiction of a starving artist sets the tone of his misled decisions and hits home within my heart.

“Every writer depends on the muses smiling down on them occasionally.” Alex and Emma

Ain’t it the truth? No matter your creative outlet, we have all faced bipolar muses on occasion. I know mine have hit more negatively recently which is why I turned to my proven source of inspiration, and heck, am even writing about it.

“-I, uh, you know. –I uh you, too.” Alex and Emma

So perfect! A beautifully scripted sentiment given to the audience to burst their hearts at the seams and drive us to root for their enduring love!

Moral of the story, my friends: find your muses vice and exploit it whenever they become moody! It just so happens mine is the movie Alex & Emma, and I’ll be watching until my muse breaks the dam on my creative flow.

Movie Review – “Lone Survivor”

Now, before I get into the actual review, I would just like to put a disclaimer that I typically do not like “war” types of movies, but because this was based on a true story/book, I really wanted to watch it. Plus, I really like Mark Wahlberg as an actor.

OK, review.

Lone Survivor was based on the life of Marcus Lutrell and his fellow service men during the “Enduring Freedom War” in Afghanistan, but specifically one mission “Operation Red Wing”. As the title shows, out of all of his fellow “brother’s in arms”, Marcus was the only one to make it out of the mission alive.

Before I go any further, I would like to thank every man and woman who has served in the military. Your courage, honor, and sacrifice can never be compared or repaid, but you are the people who keep this country “the land of the free”, and without you, we would become just like the countries you are commanded to be in so far from home. Thank you for all you do.

Back to the review.

The movie was about two hours long which I felt to be perfect. There is a lot of comparison to Saving Private Ryan with this film, but I just don’t see the correlation. Saving Private Ryan, albeit a good movie, was very drawn out and a work of fiction; this, my friends, is no fiction. This is the real life account of Mr. Marcus Lutrell, and he left nothing to be desired in his book and in this movie. I do not believe the movie could have been stretched out anymore than its current run time without losing the strongest emotion it brought with it. Watch it to find out which I’m talking about, but based on the title, I’m sure you can guess.

The movie’s cinematography was very well done; there was no guessing as to what was going on, or what anyone was thinking within it. What hurts me is the idea that I had never heard of this operation before, and am sad to say, I don’t remember the names of these gentlemen ever being mentioned. The idea that anyone can go through what Lutrell, all those that made the ultimate sacrifice on that mountain top, and their families back at home, went through, and I’m sure are still going through, breaks my heart.

Mr. Marcus Lutrell, I applaud you for the amazing work you have done with this book and film, and I can’t even imagine what you went through in order to put it all down on paper for the world to see, but thank you. Thank you for sharing not only your story, but the story of all those “frogmen” who gave their lives that day. (Lutrell makes a cameo on the movie, also, which I have no clue how he felt while doing so. I don’t know if I could handle it, but as a Navy Seal, I know this man has a stronger heart and mind than most in this world. Watch the movie, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.)

And to anyone who feels that this movie is just war propaganda, or as a very unintelligent critic said about this movie being “pro-war” and too violent, just what do you think these men and women are required to do over there in the mountains of a foreign country where most everyone hates you in order to get home to their loved one’s? Quoting Lutrell’s response, “No one is pro-war. Nobody wants war. It’s the most horrible thing in the world.”

Thank you, Mr. Marcus Lutrell and all of his fallen comrades, and I hope you know you all have this countries deepest gratitude.