Lady Bird (2017)

IMDB: [R]Β In 2002, an artistically inclined seventeen-year-old girl comes of age in Sacramento, California.
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Rating: [7] πŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€

A true coming of age story, Lady Bird shows things in a more raw and realistic way. The styling and acting lifts it above other similar stories. However it has some of the same pitfalls as any story that has been told so many times. …

Bad Times at the El Royale (2018)

IMDB: [R]Β Circa 1969, several strangers, most with a secret to bury, meet by chance at Lake Tahoe’s El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past. Over the course of one night, everyone will show their true colors – before everything goes to hell.
***
Rating: [9] πŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ–€

Now, I HIGHLY recommend that you just…watch the movie. It’s one that I wish I hadn’t seen a trailer for because I think the overall story would have been more impactful. This one gave me just about everything for a top review. It was beautiful, acting was great, and it surprised me. The cinematography and writing are fantastic.Β  …

The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018)

IMDB: [PG]Β A young orphan named Lewis Barnavelt aids his magical uncle in locating a clock with the power to bring about the end of the world.
***
Rating: [9] πŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ–€

Set in 1955 comes a story about a boy, his uncle, and their neighbor. We’ve got hilarious banter, great acting, and an absolutely awe inspiring set design to place it all onto. Overall it’s a fun, creepy, and magical story that makes me want more!

What I Loved:
First of all, if I were just rating it on set design, world creation, and wardrobe it would get a 20. It’s absolutely stunning. Damian and I both were gasping at how gorgeous the Victorian house (set in the 50’s) is. Sets and rooms are also based on themes and the personalities of the owners. The visuals surrounding the story feel rich, luxe, and unique.

Nextly, Jack Black is fantastic in kid’s movies. Sure, he’s being Jack Black, but he’s such a JOY in roles like this. (See also the recent Goosebumps movie.) There’s some fantastically funny back-and-forth humor backed with some perfect acting. It got some good chuckles out of us both over here!

The setup of the interactions of the kids in school and with the adults felt extremely relatable. There’s bullies and awkwardness and just wishing that you fit in.

Lastly, THE MAGIC! Now… I hope I don’t get sent any hate mail – but it felt more magical than a lot of the Harry Potter movies. I felt pure elation in the way magic was shown. Plus, they also used practical magic gags such as a never-ending-scarf and I will always laugh at that. They throw in a lot of retro-magician vibes as characters used that as a career. As a bonus, there’s some creepy imagery and themes as well so it’s great for young adult and families with slightly older kids!

On that final topic, they animated a chair with magic and made it feel like an adorable dog that we all cared about. I cared about a CHAIR, you guys. There are so many simple and extremely effective magical touches that make it feel very tangible.

Bonus: Some retro style opening credit graphics to set the stage.

What I Didn’t Love:
There are a few scenes as the action gets going where things come to a bit of a lull. During those moments we really miss some of that banter and light heartedness to break some of the monotony.

Now, iTunes rates this one at ages 11+, therefore the number of poop/pee jokes (over 5Β  I think) is pretty low brow. There was one that got a giggle but the rest seemed out of place with the level of the humor.

Quote:
“Sorry about the stain on the letter. That’s chocolate.”

Trope:
Dead. Parents.

Spoilers: Click to Reveal

Not much to spoil in terms of what’s relevant to my review. There’s some fun twists and great action! So go watch it!

Venom (2018)

IMDB: [R]Β When Eddie Brock acquires the powers of a symbiote, he will have to release his alter-ego “Venom” to save his life.
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Rating: [7] πŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€

At first I was really on the fence about this. I wanted a fun, silly romp with some jokes and fun fight sets. It starts extremely slowly with some tropes built on top of tropes that had my patience running thin. But then, it gave me what I wanted! Some fantastic CGI, fights, and banter! If you can stick it out through the unnecessary setup then you’re in for a joyful time.Β  …

Searching (2018)

IMDB: [PG-13]Β After his 16-year-old daughter goes missing, a desperate father breaks into her laptop to look for clues to find her.
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Rating: [10] πŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šUpdate

You’ll be spinning as you click and search along side David as he desperately tries to find his missing daughter Margot. There have been more than a handful of screen-view style films but this one is seamless and stunning. The atmosphere is calm, tense, frustrating, emotional, and dizzying all displayed in pixels. It’s one that will leave you second-guessing everything.Β  …