Yesterday

When I first saw the trailer for Yesterday, I will admit it intrigued me. A world where only one person knew about The Beatles? Okay, cool.

A world where something never happened can be a hard subject to take over. Are the writers/director going to really drive hard into all the consequences of the bigger band ever never existing? Will a lot of the world be different? Or will it just be an awkward hole that needs filling.

And honestly, I don´t care about The Beatles at all. So hearing some guy do covers of their music all movie doesn´t appeal to me in the slightest, so I would go in only caring about the story, the why, and the ramifications.

sing
He also seems to be screaming instead of singing most of these shots.
Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) is a British man from an Indian family, trying to make it big in the music business. He can write songs and play guitar, but no one gives a damn about him. His best friend for a long time is his manager and a school teacher, and Ellie (Lily James) has always supported him, even when he wants to give up.

And he wants to give up, a lot. Especially after he is hit by a bus when a global blackout occurs.

After his recovery, he plays a Beatles song for his friends, and none of them recognize it. That is a dumb joke, but whatever. And when he references them to more and more people, no one has a clue what he is talking about. Shit, even the internet is confused by his nonsense.

Time to exploit this knowledge, sing all of their songs, and become world famous! But wait, it is 2019. Will people care about the Beatles songs outside of the context of their role in history? Aren´t they all basic forms of music compared to some of the complex music we have today?

Eh, who cares. Let´s get rich and deal with the how and moral implications later.

Also starring Kate McKinnon, Ed Sheeran, and Joel Fry.

shout
Scream number 2.

If you want a light movie with some Beatles covers and some light romance too, then I got a movie with you. If you care at all about plot or the ramifications, well, do not watch this movie.

This is the type of film where they had the idea and stopped developing it after the idea. There were a few cute moments about OTHER popular things that did not exist because of the Beatles fame. But the only one that made direct sense was Oasis, because of course. The filmmakers just nonchalantly picked other famous things to delete as well.

Were they because of the no Beatles? Were they also wiped during this weird event? Were they the real thing that was disappeared and that caused no Beatles? They do not explain it at all, and do not make an attempt.

And also, as most of us would assume, no one would get super famous from Beatles music in 2019, if it didn´t come out 60-70 years ago. No way at all. So his strange rise to success feels forced and at no point am I given a believable picture of this strange rise to fame.

Just kidding. A scene where his parents gave no fuck that he was unveiling a new song for them to hear, and interrupted him multiple times? That was believable.

A concept that could have been great, but was instead left up to mysteries and lack of thought.

1 out of 4.

Good Boys

Two movies were hailed as being the next Superbad for 2019 (12 years after Superbad came out. I don’t think movies were really compared to it before?). The first was Booksmart, or Superbad for a modern age with ladies! And it was amazing.

The next was Good Boys, or Superbad for middle school (and for a modern age)!

And Booksmart was great, one of my favorites of the year. And I am disappointed with myself in missing Good Boys in theaters, as it would have probably been even better surrounded by other assholes like me laughing my asshole off.

thief
Is this some sort of middle school fantasy film? 
The Bean Bag Boys have been best buds since the early years, and now they are in middle school, ready to kick butt. However, they interests are no longer all lined up the same way, and now it is considered uncool to have passions. Like singing, or niceness, or smarts.

Max (Jacob Tremblay), Lucas (Keith L. Williams), and Thor (Brady Noon) are trying to navigate the new waters, and dealing with bullies, dealing with drugs, alcohol, nicknames, and pursuing their passions.

And like every plot line in middle and high school, a lot of this revolves around a party. Max was invited to a kissing party, with his friends able to come to, but first they need to figure out how to kiss. This leads them on a wild adventure in town, skipping school, getting chased by high schoolers (Molly Gordon, Midori Francis), dealing with perverts, cops, and more.

Also starring a lot of adults, like, Sam Richardson, Enid-Raye Adams, Retta, Lil Rel Howery, Mariessa Portelance, Stephen Merchant, and Will Forte. Also some kids, like Izaac Wang and Millie Davis.

drone
It’s also great to see puberty effect people differently. 

Good Boys was first and foremost hilarious. I was worried going into it that this would be about middle schoolers who curse a lot and that is the amusement factor. But since they were good kids, they weren’t doing bad things, they were trying to do the right thing and getting into bad situations. It provided a much better humor type.

It is funny to be in these extreme circumstances, since they don’t know what is going on and aren’t familiar with all the words/terminology that are being used. The banter between the kids feels realistic and they feel like real best buds, even if it is trying times between them.

The real stand out to me was Williams, who much best embraced the ideals of being a good kid. He was given the best lines and situations, and I hope to see him in a lot of things in the future.

I laughed like a kid and I watched it on my own, and that is a weird thing for a person to do. It was a good simple comedy, and a nice bright surprise in this year of film.

3 out of 4.

Scary Stories to Tell In The Dark

There was quite a lot of nostalgic hype for Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark when it was coming out. Well put together trailers, books come to life, all of that.

Now, unfortunately for me I never read the stories so I didn’t ride the hype train. Fortunately for me, I am a critic and shouldn’t read the source material first. I definitely read some other non-Goosebump series of stories in 3rd or 4th grade, that had sequels, but I couldn’t recall those titles.

Despite that, it looked really good from the trailers from what I saw. A horror movie aimed at families and kids, without relying on slapstick jokes every other sentence. Kids should have entryways into horror, and this looked like something I would show my own family and creep them the heck out.

house
Ah, a haunted house, how original.
Got a small town? Then you probably got a haunted house.

This small town is like many others. Notably white, jocks can do whatever they want, rampant racism, and more.

So our main group of friends (Zoe Margaret Colletti, Austin Zajur, Gabriel Rush) run into this Hispanic dude from outside of the town (Michael Garza), and because he helped them, they are now best buds.

And so of course they take him to the local haunted house, what else are they supposed to do so close to Halloween? And sure enough, they find a secret passage, maybe a torture room, one with a nice book. So our lead takes the book to read later!

And weirdly enough, the book begins to write stories so she can read a long. This seems to match up with some kids disappearing. Very scary. Oh no, are they all going to die now?

Also starring Kathleen Pollard, Lorraine Toussaint, Natalie Ganzhorn, Austin Abrams, Gil Bellows, and Dean Norris.

hallways
I couldn’t tell you why this was scary, but it did look fun. 
Ahh, stories!

I will give this movie props for one thing. It killed off kids and/or made them disappear forever, and we do not get a resolution out of that. Oh they tease a sequel on trying to fix it, sure, but no in movie resolution. Those. Kids. Are. Dead.

And most of the kids in the movie, outside of the bully, are main characters! They didn’t just kill off a lot of side kids and leave our fab four, no, they were gutted as well. And movies for this age group rarely do that. Since this movie is based on an anthology of short horror stories, they could have done whatever they wanted, and they went the darkest timeline.

And yet, for me, it did bore me a lot at times. The stories were okay. I’m sure they were ones in the book. But they didn’t do a lot in order to make them super relevant to each other or the plot, but instead random happenings and creeps. Some of them were based on their real life town, some based on stories they heard as a kid, and some based on absolutely nothing. They could have done a lot better job at meshing them together.

Overall, this film had a singular goal as far as I can tell, besides nostalgia money. They wanted to scare my kids, and yes, they did succeed at that.

2 out of 4.

A Hidden Life

Why am I doing this to myself? Why am I going to a theater to see A Hidden Life? It should offer me nothing. It is a Terrence Malick movie, and I swore I wouldn’t watch his stuff anymore! They just kept making my worst of the year list, and I never got an ounce of pleasure out of them, just pain.

I think I have missed one or two of his films since my declaration and my life has been notably happier.

So why did I decide to see* a three hour movie of his, in theaters, with subtitles? Because it had to go and get nominated for a Spirit Award for Best Feature. Damn it, I usually like those best features. Maybe this one is different? Maybe he is trying something new?

Maybe I won’t feel like quitting my job as a reviewer over it?

grass
The waves of grass and aloof voice over is already calling me to the void.

Franz Jägerstätter (August Diehl) is just an Austrian dude, living in a super small community in the mountains, trying to live his best life. He meets a cutie with a booty, Fani (Valerie Pachner), they hit it off, and then start doing the house thing together. They do their farming, their animal raising and shit, have a few kids along the way. They have help when they need it, but they try to do their own thing.

Well, this takes place during WWII. That’s not good. Franz is sent to boot camp for a bit, when Austria is still sort of independent, but gets sent back when they realize they won’t need people because France surrendered and war should be done soon.

But it ain’t. And that German influence sweeps over Austria, even in their small community. Everyone starts Heiling Hitler, wearing swastikas, signing pledges, but Franz doesn’t. That doesn’t make sense based on his values, he wants to just continue to stay out of it.

Then they draft him, but he refuses. So he is imprisoned by the war machine and has to write letters to his wife and kids and just wait out the war. And waiting he and us viewers sure do a lot of.

Also featuring Matthias Schoenaerts and Michael Nyqvist.

farm
Mowing takes a goddamn century if you have more than a small amount of land.
Sooooo. This movie. Basically it is like Hacksaw Ridge with out the entertainment value.

Knowing what I was going to get into and the length, I figured there was a good chance this movie makes me sleep. I told the rep, just let it be (and they always do), maybe record how much I sleep for this review. It turned out that only two critics came to this screening, including me, because others had it on DVD by then I guess and didn’t care for the big screen.

And you know what happened? The security guard woke me up. It was hard to pay attention early on, but I passed out, and I was shook awake with very little actually sleep. The nerve of that man. I didn’t want to be touched in the dark in my sleep, so then I had to battle and just force myself to stay awake which became a very unpleasant game.

At some point I needed to know how much time was left, feeling it was forever, so I went to the restroom, and found it at only half of the run time gone. Oh no. No no no no.

I got my stuff, wrote my note, and left. Yes, I walked out of the movie, halfway through, because of annoyance at security and getting very little out of the plot or story. It was more of the same from Malick. Maybe he dialed back a little bit of the whimsy for this one, but more of the goddamn same.

I read the plot outline on Wikipedia, and when I left he was already in prison and jailed in Berlin with his wife wondering where he was at. It seems very little happened after that, so I don’t know how it lasted another 90 minutes.

Oh wait, yes I do. Malick.

0 out of 4.

The Last Black Man In San Francisco

Title alone, The Last Black Man in San Francisco is a winner. I comment, quite a lot, about a title can make or break a movie. Stuber, on one hand, helped break that movie. This title? I am intrigued, tell me more, what are you about?

Is this a fantasy film? A political one? A drama, a musical, or an action film?

I don’t know, I just know I am ready to be wow’d with whatever direction it chooses and hope the story can live up to the name.

hugs
The hugs look very cozy, I want one. 
Jimmie Fails (Jimmie Fails, no he is not a celebrity) is a relatively young adult living in Sand Francisco. And no, he isn’t the only black person in the city.

He lives with his friend Mont (Jonathan Majors ) and his friend’s grandfather (Danny Glover) . They travel the city often and comment on its changes, but a lot of Jimmie’s time is spent going to a special Victorian house that he USED to live in when he was younger. Due to many factors, they had to move, but he loves this house because his grandfather built it after World War II. It is in his families history and the old couple who live there now aren’t taking good care of it.

A lot of his free time is spent fixing the exterior without permission, much to their annoyance.
But lo and behold, one day, there is crying and packages moving away. Apparently the new owner had died, and now the sisters are battling with who gets to have it, and until that is settled, the house is going to be empty.

Jimmy and Mont should just, you know, live there, with the old furniture, and fix it, and maybe he can claim it back for his family again!

Also starring Mike Epps, Tichina Arnold, Rob Morgan, and Finn Wittrock.

street
The movie shines of San Franciscian.

TLBMiSF is a hard film to describe and recommend on why it is good and worth your time watching. The plot is simple, and yet still far more than that. A guy wants his family home back, that his grandfather built, and he is just really kind and nice about it.

This film goes through racial stereotypes in a lot more of a subtle way than other films on this topic. What does it mean to be a black man? And does the city matter when it comes to your race? Is there a wrong way and a right way to live?

The play scene near the end is very powerful, and yet, so is the regular sites and sounds of the city. It is a really great film from first time actors, directors, and writers, and hopefully wont be forgotten by the years end completely.

3 out of 4.

Best Films of 2019

HONORABLE MENTIONS:
My honorable mentions this year are a bit weirder. These are 100% just movies I didn’t get to see, and wanted to, and maybe would have made my list if I saw them. None of these have reviews at the time of posting!

Honey Boy, Richard Jewell, Ford v Ferrari, Weathering With You, Judy, Hustlers, Clemency, and Just Mercy.

Okay fine, one review almost made the list and didn’t. Sorry, Where’d You Go, Bernadette? but you were number 16!

For the rest of the reviews below, just click on the title to get the original review of the movie!

15) Long Shot
Why is it on the list? Good question! Usually my 15th movie is questionable. This one was just the feel good rom com I need at the time after a long string of bad movies. But the leads just really make it work.
Favorite moment? Basically every time O’Shea Jackson is talking.
Any Best Awards? Best RomCom of 2019!

15
14) Booksmart
Why is it on the list?  In a year where two films were hailed as spiritual successors to Superbad, this is the one that reigned supreme to me and made me giggle the most. I liked Good Boys too, just these gals sealed the deal for me.
Favorite moment? The graduation speech.
Any Best Awards? Best comedy of 2019! (Yes the next films are all bleak).

14
13) Joker
Why is it on the list? Great performance from Phoenix, unexpected plot line, and a pretty fun ending. Plus, it helps prove the only thing that DC films know how to right are related to Batman.
Favorite moment? The subway revenge scene.
Any Best Awards? Best origin story of 2019!

13
12) Ad Astra
Why is it on the list? Visually a winner of a film, that takes its time to tell a personal story despite the great lengths and really respects the setting of outer space. Also, Pitt carries the universe of troubles on his face, and I love that misery.
Favorite moment? The baboons.
Any Best Awards? Best purely Sci-Fi film of 2019!

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11) The Farewell
Why is it on the list? Awkwafina showcasing she can do anything she wants in the media world, and we just have to take it. Beautiful story, learning a lot about another culture, and telling us there are many ways to say goodbye.
Favorite moment? The Wedding
Any Best Awards? Best excuse for a wedding in 2019!

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10) Bombshell
Why is it on the list? Three women give wonderful performances with two of them delving so deep into their real life counterparts, I forget who was acting. It is an important
Favorite moment? Robbie‘s restaurant breakdown, and the beginning debate.
Any Best Awards? Best real story of 2019!

10
9) At the Heart of Gold / Leaving Neverland
Why is it on the list? First of all, I am allowed to have two things in the same spot if I want. It’s my list. Secondly, both of these documentaries came out around a similar time on HBO about similar subjects, sexual assault and unfortunately with different outcomes.
Favorite moment? The reading of accounts from the gymnasts in At The Heart of Gold, and the men describing when they finally realized what occurred in Leaving Neverland. Both very powerful moments.
Any Best Awards? Best documentaries of 2019!

9
8) Paddleton
Why is it on the list? This film flew completely under the radar, appeared on Netflix early in the year, and captivated me with its simple story. If you aren’t crying by the end, you weren’t paying attention. Romano continues to rock it in these more dramatic roles.
Favorite moment? The ending.
Any Best Awards? Best heterosexual life mates of 2019!

8
7) Avengers: Endgame
Why is it on the list? I feel like this one is rather straightforward. Much like the first Avengers, it feels like all of the build up, which was fun along the way, was brought together for these moments. And you know what? They were very creative with this film. No one expected how a lot of it would have gone down. The wait was worth it.
Favorite moment? Avengers Assembling.
Any Best Awards? Best superhero film of 2019!

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6) Midsommar
Why is it on the list? Although not as good as Hereditary, Midsommar gives me a horror film unlike any other in an unexpected setting and all in daylight! The director’s cut isn’t worth seeing just for the differences, the original stands on its own. Pugh has a great year for an actress, and this was her crowning achievement.
Favorite moment? The fertility blessing.
Any Best Awards? Best horror film of 2019!

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5) 1917
Why is it on the list? Incredible cinematographic films will always catch my eye, including ones with a bold premise like this one. Mostly real time, seemingly one shot, huge sets? Oh my goodness, all of my pants come pre-wet for this premise. I was going to dismiss it as just another war film, but the technical style and skill behind it are a sight to behold.
Favorite moment? The night time village.
Any Best Awards? Best war film of 2019! Best action film of 2019!

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4) Marriage Story
Why is it on the list? Rarely are actors so realistic with their emotions and passions as our two leads here. Couple that with fantastic dialogue and a story that should be told, that never gets told, leads to an unforgettably unpleasant and sad, yet beautiful story.
Favorite moment? Most of them? The intro, Laura Dern‘s first scene, the courtroom scene, the argument, the inspector.
Any Best Awards? Best divorce of 2019!

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3) Uncut Gems
Why is it on the list? Sandler can bring it when he needs to, and he brought it and more with this Safdie brothers flick. An intense thrill ride of uncomfortable scene after uncomfortable scene.
Favorite moment? The final bet.
Any Best Awards? Best Dark Comedy of 2019!

3
2) Parasite
Why is it on the list? A lot of reason Parasite is on here is due to how shockingly original it is. A tale of class warfare that is specific to South Korea but able to resonate with everyone. And it tells a story that is impossible to figure out ahead of time.
Favorite moment? The basement reveal.
Any Best Awards? Best foreign film of 2019! Best thriller of 2019!

2
1) Waves
Why is it on the list? The film changes so much throughout. From calm to extreme and back. It gives us time to grieve and to heal. The cinematography is inspired, the acting is great, and the heart break is real. Also, the soundtrack is so immersive, it is a full cinematic experience given.
Favorite moment? The party scene and the last wrestling scene.
Any Best Awards? Best drama of 2019! Best film relying heavily on music of 2019! And of course best movie of 2019!

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Thanks for reading! If you disagree with part of this list, let me know. If there is something I missed, let me know (but I probably saw it and reviewed it on this very site!

And as always, I accept hate mail via the post office, email, or tweets.

Joker

Todd Phillips has directed a handful of movies in the past, including every Hangover movie, Old School, Road Trip, and Due Date. All comedies, not all of them necessarily good, but all comedies nonetheless.

So it makes sense on that level for him to direct a movie called Joker. After all, that title sounds like a comedy.

Oh wait, this is a serious drama piece, about the origins and rise of a super villain? A big acting movie that is probably going to be offered awards? Oh uhh…Todd? Are you sure you are ready for this?

steps
Nothing screams out humor like a clown smoking on some stairs. 
Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) is an adult, but why? Being an adult sucks. He has a disorder that causes him to laugh out spontaneously, and annoyingly, at weird times, so much that he has a card to warn people. He used to be in an asylum, but he is doing much better now. He works as a party clown, for kids, or whatever the occasion, even if it means standing on a corner with a sign.

More importantly he cares for his sick mother (Frances Conroy), who used to work for the Wayne family a long time ago. She still hopes they will respond to her letters, because they are good people. She is bed ridden now, and Arthur´s income isn´t a whole lot of money. But Arthur is kind to her and watches their favorite shows together and makes sure she is comfortable, even if he is having a bad time.

Like when he gets beaten up by some kids who steal his sign. Or his job threatens to fire him, or when they do actually fire him. A lot of bad is adding up, and he can´t take it. So when he kills some young rich adults in self defense, it starts a movement in the city. A city who is tired of the wealthy getting away with everything but murder, while the poor suffer.

This whole thing is a big misunderstanding, and a joke. But maybe it is just what Arthur needs to find his purpose in life.

Also starring Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Brett Cullen, Shea Whigham, and Bill Camp.

stare
Phoenix playing someone with mental illnesses? You don´t say! 

Now that it has been out for over a month, most have you had already heard the praises of this movie and its record breaking $1 billion in the box office. It is by far the highest grossing R-rated movie of all time. All these records needed was just to put a superhero tag on the film and they were good to go.

Phoenix does an incredible job, but this type of role is something he has shown again and again in previous movies. It is very much in his wheelhouse, they are just usually more independent films that no one feels like watching (and honestly, a lot of them I have disliked). No other actor is really a standout here, although De Niro is at least interesting in his role.

This film offers a very unique look into the start of a movement, and the start of a supervillain. It does not say the Joker is right in his regards, but pointing out societal problems is good in the long run so that we can collectively all work on making the world a better place. There will always be problems between the classes, when one side suffers over the other. And a movie like Joker takes that to the logical conclusion. Eventually people get tired of being pushed around.

And yet, all of this is still an over simplification of what Joker is all about. The only really way to know, is to experience it and see where it takes us.

4 out of 4.

Marriage Story

Marriage Story is somehow both a film I wanted to see for so long, and also never. I knew the plot, I knew it was sad, and I didn’t want to feel sad in that way.

I love it when a film can make me cry. It usually means it had me invested in their story to care about these usually fictional characters. But to cry about a divorce and losing love? That seems like something I can totally go out of my way to avoid if at all possible.

And I waited what felt like forever for when some of my critic friends saw in theaters, and when I finally had time to see it on its Netflix release AND when I had a good span of two or so hours to try and watch it.

Not only was the wait a pain, but so were parts of the watch.

argument
And now the powerful moments are meme’d.
Love is a fickle thing. We have seen it in plenty of movies. Different ways that people fall in love, how they plan their wedding, how they spend their post marriage life rekindling that lost spark. But what about for those who do not ever rekindle that spark? For those lost souls who actually can no longer make it work with their soul mate, and need to move on with their lives with very difficult decisions to make?

Marriage Story is about the end of a marriage, and how hard it can be to let go and change. When both sides want drastically different things, there can only be one solution that works, through the courts, but it opens up a dark and dirty underside to marriage.

Nicole (Scarlett Johansson) wants to move back to LA, to work on a TV show, and live closer to her family again. Charlie (Adam Driver) wants to keep his life in NYC, where his theater company is flourishing and culture is a walk away. Their son (Azhy Robertson) is not a strong source for his feelings one way or another, because he’d rather his parents stay together.

Marriage Story is about tearing apart people, past their breaking point, and finding out truths about themselves that they kept hidden for so long.

Also starring Laura Dern, Alan Alda, Ray Liotta, Kyle Bornheimer, Julie Hagerty, and Wallace Shawn.

breakdown
Meme’d and parodied into submission. 
Director Noah Baumbach has done an incredible job of giving me movies that I liked a whole lot, and some I did not, and rarely any in between. And this film goes on his excellent pile, like most of his work with Wes Anderson and his movies about relationships.

Without getting too hard into the details, because you should just go and watch it yourself, it thrives in its realism. Both people feel strongly in their decisions and both feel they are right, even if we can see the flaws in their ideas and plans. Longer scenes are there to make us experience the awkwardness of all levels of the divorce, and you just will feel bad/sad/angry about the whole thing.

As soon as the movie finished, I knew I had to see a few of the scenes again, and I was surprised at how many of them flowed from one into another. It basically turned into a most of the movie re-watch.

Driver and Johansson are incredible at these leads. I am so angry at them for their fictional divorce, and I will always associate them with their non-real break up. Well, Driver with Outer Space, but Johansson is stuck with this one despite so many films under her belt.

Outside of the fictional money spent in this movie, it really feels like the best ending they should have had after I could reflect and revisit aspects of the film. Rarely does a film strike so hard at the realities of two people whose paths no longer coincide. And I am just so happy it is on a wide enough format for a lot of people to grieve over as well.

4 out of 4.

Spies in Disguise

Ah yes, the last major animated film to be released in America in 2019.

Ah no, I am not including Playmobil: The Movie, because I said major release, major damn it. I am talking about things that probably felt they were good enough to come out and get awards or nominations or sweet Holiday money.

And it looks like Spies in Disguise is trying to get that sweet, sweet, Holiday money. Hard to make any money these days against a Star Wars release, but there is some to go around and not a lot of kid friendly movies coming out this Christmas day.

And hey, this one has Will Smith, and some people still think he is the best thing since 1999.

pigeon
But have you seen him as a bird???????????????
It turns out our main character isn’t going to be the cool spy, but the weirdo inventor! We know that Walter Beckett (Tom Holland) is the main character, because he gets a backstory at the beginning of the film, with his mom clearly going to die soon, who encourages him to keep up his science stuff and save the world with hugs.

Years later, Walter is working for the spy agency, but his gadgets are rarely picked. One of his is finally used when Lance Sterling (Will Smith), famous amazing spy that everyone loves, emits his gadget because Walter switched out Lance’s bag. Whoops.

This gets Walter fired, but because Lance is getting framed at the same exact time, Lance finds himself at Walter’s house needing help to disappear. And sure enough, Walter can do that. He doesn’t really warn him, but really he just wants to turn him into a pigeon for some sick fetish game.

Hah! Pigeons.

Anyways, now they have to save the world, when their very capable spy is a pigeon. Role credits!

Starring Karen Gillan, Rashida Jones, Reba McEntire, Ben Mendelsohn, Masi Oka, and DJ Khaled.

penis
Pigeon penis. 
Walter wants to change the world, but no one wants to listen to him. He has to put a spy’s life in danger in order to get it done and is shocked to be fired.

Better question, why does he even have a job at this place if they don’t want to use his stuff? Like, who are the hire ups to kept him working, with zero guidance or feedback? If he didn’t produce, you’d think they’d tell him to stop it and design specific stuff or get walking. But nothing? And why does a spy in the agency have the ability to even fire him at all? They clearly have oversight, and I don’t think agent would be a boss level about the scientists to fire them. That is just silly.

Oh, that’s all stuff I shouldn’t care about? Okay.

They made Will Smith into a pigeon and then didn’t do enough fun stuff with the pigeon. His character is way too antagonistic after the point when he should have stopped being so mad and learned to try to make the best of his body. The science is too dumb that is being showcased to make him a pigeon, along with the other gadgets used. And the pigeon transformation seems to work differently at the beginning and end of the movie. Because.

This could have been an okay movie.

But you know what? They even had a character named Ears act so stupid, just because DJ Khaled was his voice, and it never seemed to match the actual character. Did they let Khaled just improvise? Stop that, his ego doesn’t need that.

1 out of 4.

Little Women

I first read Little Women probably when I was ten years old. I remember it fondly. It was over Winter Break. I was in fifth grade. And it was worth more AR points than anything else in our system at the time. It was worth like, 35 points maybe, and most books were only worth 3-5 at the most! What a mammoth!

Later I also read Treasure Island for a similar reason, but never got enough incentive to try Crime and Punishment.

Either way, I didn’t remember a lot about Little Women earlier in the year. I knew it existed and I read it and four sisters and maybe 2 or 3 plot points, but most of my recollection has been replaced with facts about Jane Austin books.

So I was a bit excited about visiting a relic from my past, and see what memories can be returned to me.

beach
Get those women a beach. Women love beaches.
Four sisters, four girls with passions and dreams! We have Beth (Eliza Scanlen), who is good at piano, being quaint, and being sick. We got Amy (Florence Pugh), who wants to be like her older two sisters but gets pushed back against, likes to paint, and hates being in second place. We also have a Jo (Saoirse Ronan), who likes to write and not fill in typical gender roles for the time, while also being our main character. And of course have Meg (Emma Watson), the oldest, the actress, the dream child, and the one who has a pure heart.

These women live in Connecticut, with their dad off helping with the Civil War for the North. They have reasonable wealth to get by and have rich relatives and lessons in the arts. Times are tough, but they aren’t starving.

And hey, their neighbor is this boy right around Jo’s age, Laurie (Timothée Chalamet), who is like the manic pixie dream boy of his time. Rich, not a care, and a lot of a weird. He is going to marry one of the March sisters, damn it! 

And uh yeah, this is their life growing up, the trials and tribulations, and everything in between.

Also starring Jayne Houdyshell, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper, Louis Garrel, James Norton, Bob Odenkirk, Tracy Letts, and Laura Dern.

wedding
What a beautiful wedding! What a beautiful wedding says the Little Woman to her sister. 
As a reviewer, I try to remain unbiased by never reading the book before the film, but 5th grade me didn’t know there’d ever be a future in my writing or movie watching skills.

But I will say that some of the joy from this movie came from these memories flowing back into me, remember plot points I must have haphazardly rushed through as a kid, knowing that I never had a book as big as that one before. And it feels so familiar like we were distant friends in the past, and not distant cousins. It was a good feeling throughout.

It did take me awhile to get into the movie, but I loved the changes Greta Gerwig made with the film. It is told in a non-linear manner, combing elements from the first parts of the book with the end to maximize emotional response, especially when it came to marriage arcs and Beth. I wouldn’t know if they make the story hard to follow, because unfortunately, I remembered the story.

Ronan continues to be great at her very spunky time period self. She loves films that are not set in the present, and Gerwig clearly loves working with her. Pugh showed good range here, especially when compared to the other major films she had come out this year. Watson was okay, but it isn’t her fault that Meg is the boring one. And of course, Scalen brought a lot of heart for someone unknown to the saddest role.

Little Women is charming and done in a way to increase its already heavy feminist angle. It brings fresh light into an old story, and is worth being seen.

3 out of 4.