High Strung

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3/5 Stars

Summary: “When a hip hop violinist busking in the New York subway encounters a classical dancer on scholarship at the Manhattan Conservatory of the Arts, sparks fly. With the help of a hip hop dance crew they must find a common ground while preparing for a competition that could change their lives forever.”

So I chose this movie on Netflix  because it had 5 stars so it has to be great, right?  Nope.

If I’d realized the movie was rated PG before watching it, I probably would have moved onto something else, because it was just your typical PG movie about a girl who can dance. The story is extremely predictable and the acting of some of the background characters is horrible.

On the plus side, the dancing is nice to watch.  I’m always amazed watching ballet (if you want to watch an awesome show about ballet, check out Flesh and Bone).

The movie isn’t terrible, I still enjoyed it to an extent, but it’s probably better left to maybe a more preteen/teen audience.

Available on Netflix.

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Sausage Party

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3/5 Stars

Summary: “A sausage strives to discover the truth about his existence.”

I really wanted to love this movie, but it was just middle of the line.  Throughout it, there were a few moments where I thought the storyline was pretty good, but then others where it was just a movie relying on the fact that it was an adult animation to get by.  Which, if that’s what you want, that’s fine—you’re going to love the movie.

The villain in the movie didn’t work too well for me, because none of his scenes seemed to matter.  I almost feel like the movie would have been 100 times better if the main characters had made it out of the food store and had to battle against the humans the entire time.

To be fair, there were great jokes all over the place as you would expect from Seth Rogen and co.  Some of it was actually pretty smart humor, not just all easy sex jokes.  It was just that when there wasn’t a joke I was kind of bored.

Also, I really could have done without that orgy scene at the end.  That was weird.

Available on Netflix.

The Truman Show

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3/5 Stars

Summary: “An insurance salesman/adjuster discovers his entire life is actually a television show.”

Look at me watching another one of those “classic” movies that I’ve never seen and people always talk about!

Unfortunately, like with The Usual Suspects, I didn’t really get the big deal.  It was an okay movie with an interesting idea, but not something I would choose to watch a second time or really even talk about afterwards.  This could be because of the time I’m watching it though.  Back in 1998, when it came out, I can see the appeal of how strange a story it is.  But now we have people who are sharing many aspects of their life with us on YouTube and all the other social media sites, it’s not that big of a deal.

There are a few funny moments, but it’s definitely not a Jim Carrey comedy.

I love that when The Truman Show first came out, the movie got categorized as fantasy/sci-fi, but now it’s kind of just life.  As I was watching the movie, I did start to think about what a remake/sequel would be like.  It’s like the perfect time for something like that to be made.  There’d be people wanting to put themselves in the same situation as Truman instead of (or probably along with) people trying to break him out and tell him the truth.  Plus it would feel a lot less cheesy like I thought some of the moments in the original were.

Overall, kind of a take it or leave it movie for me.  But if they sometime decide to pick up this world again, I will definitely be interested.

Available on Amazon Prime.

Nocturnal Animals

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3/5 Stars

Summary: “A wealthy art gallery owner is haunted by her ex-husband’s novel, a violent thriller she interprets as a symbolic revenge tale.”

Okay so maybe I just didn’t get it?

Nocturnal Animals juggles the stories of present day Susan, flashbacks of her life with her ex-husband, and the events of the book that he wrote which was apparently inspired by her.  That’s a lot to cover for any movie.  I feel like a plot like this where there is an entire story within the story can be dangerous because you run the risk of one being wayyy more interesting than the other.

That is exactly what happened here.  Throw out the present day, throw out Susan all together and expand a bit upon the “book” and it could have been a really good movie.  The three pieces never really came together for me.  I’m thinking the final scene is supposed to be some kind of aha moment maybe (?) but it wasn’t.  It was a let down.

There was no closure to two of the storylines and really no point to the movie itself other than style and shock value.

If you’re going to watch this one, enjoy the book plot line and ignore the rest of it.  Definitely more enjoyable that way.  And if you got something that I apparently missed, let me know in the comments!

Loving

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3/5 Stars

Summary: “The story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple, whose challenge of their anti-miscegenation arrest for their marriage in Virginia led to a legal battle that would end at the US Supreme Court.”

I really wanted to love this movie (no pun intended), but to be honest it was a bit of a let down.  I only learned about the couple recently and thought that a story like theirs would have made a great, interesting movie.  But I’m not really sure what aspect of their lives the movie was trying to focus on.

It would have been great if it was trying to be a romance story.  To show how the two met and to get us invested in their relationship instead of just dropping us in it just before they get married.  I never really felt that their relationship was that strong, which I’m sure in real life it was.

Focusing more on the case and the legality of their whole situation would have also made the movie better.  The couple had to deal with the police in the beginning, but for the most part the movie didn’t show them struggling with the racism and segregation.  And then when the Lovings are finally doing something about the laws keeping them apart, we don’t get to see what happens!  There’s very little in the court rooms, nothing about other interracial couples looking to them and hoping that they win, and they didn’t really seem to be fighting against that much.

Because I know so much more must have gone on in real life, I just wish it had been shown in the movie because it is a big deal.

I’d kind of say this is a take it or leave it movie.  Maybe if you’re in an interracial relationship, it might mean a little more to you than me, but it’s still kind of middle of the road.

 

Being Charlie

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3/5 Stars

Summary: “Charlie is a troublesome 18-year-old who breaks out of a youth drug treatment clinic, but when he returns home to Los Angeles, he’s given an intervention by his parents and forced to go to an adult rehab. There, he meets a beautiful but troubled girl, Eva, and is forced to battle with drugs, elusive love and divided parents.”

Being Charlie is kind of like your typical blah movie that isn’t bad, but still isn’t making it onto any best movie lists.  It’s about a kid with a drug problem and rich parents who don’t really want to deal with what their son is going through so they send him away.  You can pretty much guess what happens in the movie without even watching it.

It has a few funny and deep moments throughout, but not enough to carry the basic story.  I enjoyed it as a movie that kind of just passes the time.

If you’ve got nothing to do and are looking for a show to have on in the background, this one might be a good choice, other than that, don’t sit down expecting to watch your next favorite movie.

Available on Netflix.

The Walk

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3/5 Stars

Summary: “As a boy, Philippe Petit dreams of performing daring feats for dazzled crowds. As an adult, his life’s ambition comes true when he becomes a high-wire artist who stares death in the face with every step. Under the guidance of mentor Papa Rudy, the French daredevil devises a plan to walk on a tightrope attached to the north and south towers of the World Trade Center. With help from his team and against all odds, Petit attempts the seemingly impossible stunt on Aug. 7, 1974.”

I honestly don’t have that much to say about this movie.  The Walk was kind of straight down the middle of the road; not bad, but not that good.

The story the movie is based off is incredible and I can’t believe someone actually walked between the two towers, but it wasn’t really enough to make a movie off of.  There were interesting bits with bleh moments scattered in between.

And the weird voice over/narrator thing was too weird for me.  The movie starts off with Philippe standing on the Statue of Liberty (which isn’t something that ever happens in the movie) explaining his whole story.  Every once and a while, the movie would go back to him standing there and talking.  It wasn’t needed and didn’t really fit.