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A Penrod Review Bonanza

Five Reviews in One Post

I am catching up on reviews. Here are the good, the meh, and the kill me now!

13 Lives A++ Amazon Prime

Ron Howard is Trying to Kill Me!


Oye, Ron Howard! When I saw the billboards for 13 LIVES, my first reaction was, “Not for me!” I don’t want to relive that! Then I saw it was a Ron Howard film and I knew I couldn’t miss it. Ron is a great storyteller, albeit obsessed with Homer. He loves to retell The Odyssey, a harrowing journey of heroes who go somewhere filled with bravado and then their desperate need to return home. Kill me now. He does it so well I have to put in a call to my cardiologist! In 13 LIVES Ron has outdone himself. It was so good I was having to do squats in my living room to deal with the anxiety – and folks, I KNEW THE ENDING! OYE! I can only tell you I was glad I watched it at home, because I don’t think I could have handled it in the movie theatre. I’m sweating thinking about it.

The cast was sublime. It was the hit parade of REALLY great male actors who NEVER get enough attention! Colin Farrell, Viggo Mortensen, and Joel Edgerton rock the $#!+ out of this movie. The supporting cast, who are largely Thai actors, are supremely spectacular. You feel like you are there. You experience everything. The entire film is the very definition of compelling. AND even though there are LONG underwater, in a dark cave scenes, you can SEE everything. If only Ron and his lighting designer could explain that to modern filmmakers!!! Hello! This is a great, epic film on all levels – but seriously take your heart meds before watching it. It is that good.
The Gray Man A- Netflix

I truly expected to hate this movie. Buzz on the street said it was a “Mission Impossible wanna be”. Meh. But I begrudgingly really liked it, what can I tell you? It was a great mix of action with just enough humor to actually be funny and not ridiculous. Ryan Gosling is actually good at playing the stoic man-of-steel leading man and Chris Evans as a psychotic killer is truly brilliant. I laughed, I bit my nails, I rooted for the good guys – it checked all the boxes. There was a lot of violence, like most movies these days, sigh – but I appreciated how often they took the violence down to hand to hand combat! I loved this. I loved the reprieve from the shoot-em-up overkill, and I loved the brilliance of the stage combat. Bravo, well done! All in all, this was a surprisingly fun watch.
Marcel The Shell with Shoes On B Movie Theaters

I couldn’t wait to see this film. Then I saw it. Sigh. It is so cute. Seriously, check yourself for diabetes, sweet. The content is perfect for the short genre, which is where this franchise has lived for years. But they put on their big shell shoes and made a feature. They shouldn’t have. It’s just not enough to make a feature. Who is the audience? The themes are too much for kids and there isn’t enough action to sustain a child’s attention. It’s a film for adults and I don’t know about everyone else…I like cute, but I have other things to do. Cute I can handle in small doses. This, although well done, exceeded my cute quotient. Catch it when it streams.
The Sea Beast A+ Netflix

This is the animated film to watch with your children this summer. It’s beautiful, it’s compelling, it’s good storytelling and I love, love, love, love, love the role of women in this movie. Yes, Yes, Yes. And the message of the movie is so needed right now. This one is a no brainer. Pop the popcorn, everyone will enjoy it.
Mr. Malcom’s List B On Demand and in Movie Theaters

This is supposed to be my kind of movie. I watched it. I didn’t hate it. It was okay. It wasn’t great. Here’s the thing about period pieces: it isn’t just about the costumes and the scenery. It isn’t. Sure, those things are fun. But the real reason we all love Jane Austen and things from that period is the longing. Society is set up in a way that our love interests can’t get together quickly so we are treated to an extended courtship and lots and lots of LONGING. Longing is good. Watch K-Drama. They understand longing. They are making millions off of longing. Mr. Malcom’s List has some longing but it's not at the forefront of the story. At the critical moment in the story where we are supposed to feel maximum longing there is a serious misstep in the story telling and it falls horribly flat. Does our heroine truly even like the guy, or does she just want to be liked by him? I shouldn’t be asking that question an hour and ten into a regency romance. The heroine may not yet realize she is head over heels in love, but if I, the audience, don’t know, someone hasn’t done their job. There are rules. I’m just saying. So you know…meh.
Before anyone asks, Yes! I am watching Extraordinary Attorney Woo and you should be too…review coming soon.
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