Z: The Beginning of Everything

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4/5 Stars

Summary: “Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, a brilliant, beautiful and talented Southern belle and the original flapper and an icon of the Jazz Age in the flamboyant 1920s. Zelda is a free spirit, who longs for a bigger and better life. When Zelda meets an unpublished writer named F. Scott Fitzgerald, a passionate, turbulent and notorious love affair emerges. This fictionalized biography pulls back the curtain on the wild parties and the music, as well the struggles, adultery, dark secrets and dashed dreams.”

Major binge watch alert!  I planned on watching the first two, maybe three episodes of this show and ended up watching the entire season in a day…oops.  To be fair, the episodes are only a half hour long.

Seriously though, why is a drama only 30 minutes?!  Somehow, they manage to make the episodes feel satisfying in the shorter amount of time and I actually didn’t realize they weren’t hour longs until I looked at the clock a few episodes in.

Before this I’ve only heard of Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, so I had no idea what to expect with the show.  It starts before the couple has met and goes through their early relationship through the beginning of their marriage.  In what seems like a short amount of time, they really go through a lot.  Zelda seems like a great character and I am so interested to see where she is going to go next.

If you love the 20’s, you’re going to love the feel of the show along with its beautiful sets and costumes!

Available on Amazon Prime.

 

Jackie

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4.5/5 Stars

Summary: “Following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy fights through grief and trauma to regain her faith, console her children, and define her husband’s historic legacy.”

Yay, finally one of the Oscar nominated movies that I really liked!  There have been too many meh ones that I watched lately.

I thought this movie was incredibly well made from the acting to the overall look of the scenes and the writing.  Seriously, it deserves more attention than it has gotten.  I knew very little about Jackie Kennedy before watching this movie, but I felt like Natalie Portman fully lost herself in the character and became Jackie.

The movie shows Jackie as she tries to hold it all together after the murder of her husband in front of the entire country.  With looks and small moments you can see everything going through this woman’s mind at the time, knowing that her entire life is changed, but she still has to go on for the sake of her husband’s memory and her kids.

If you like history, watch it.  If you like great female characters, watch it.

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.

 

Hidden Figures

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4/5 Stars

Summary: “Three brilliant African-American women at NASA — Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson — serve as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race and galvanized the world.”

If you’ve been following the types of movies I watch for a while now, you know how much I love movies based on real people.

I was excited for this one because it’s a story I’ve never heard of before.  I feel like I’ve never even learned about the race to the moon (I guess I must have though?) let alone the women who had a huge part it getting us there.

The movie is interesting and entertaining.  There are moments that will make you laugh and also make you feel angry for the things that actually happened to people back then.  It’ll be enjoyable to a wide variety of people/ages so you should definitely head to the theatre to see this one.

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.

Race

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3.5/5 Stars

Summary: “Jesse Owens’ quest to become the greatest track and field athlete in history thrusts him onto the world stage of the 1936 Olympics, where he faces off against Adolf Hitler’s vision of Aryan supremacy.”

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, it should be obvious that I like watching movies based on true stories—except for horror; that I will avoid like the plague.

Race is the story of Jesse Owens, who I had never heard of before the movie.  It’s really an incredible story considering everything that was going on in the world at the time of these Olympic games.  The movie was entertaining to watch and moving at times.

However, I wouldn’t say it is the best movie of this kind to be made.  The movie shifts between Jesse’s personal life, his racing life, and the politics of the 1936 Olympic games.  I felt like the only part to get a satisfying amount of time was the racing.  Which, I get is the point of the movie, but I would have liked either more of the political aspect or for the personal side to Jesse to have had more meaning.

Overall, good movie but not something that special.

Available on HBO Go.

Hacksaw Ridge

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4/5 Stars

Summary: “The extraordinary true story of conscientious objector Desmond T. Doss who saved 75 men in Okinawa, during the bloodiest battle of WWII, without firing a single shot. Believing that the war was just but killing was nevertheless wrong, he was the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon. As an army medic Doss single-handedly evacuated the wounded near enemy lines – braving enemy fire and putting his own life on the line. He was the first conscientious objector to ever win the Congressional Medal of Honor.”

This is the kind of war movie I want to be watching!  Based on a true story that should have been told a long time ago, Hacksaw Ridge is a movie about the people in a war and not the war itself.  Too many times I sit down to watch some of these movies and it’s all about killing this guy and blowing that up and the plot gets left behind 5 minutes in.

The life of Desmond T Doss is an incredible story and made a great movie.

You will laugh, you will probably cry, and feel a bunch of different emotions in between.  I thought it was weird when I saw Vince Vaughn show up on screen…what is he doing in a serious movie?  But his character was perfect and I loved it.

If you don’t like graphic violence, stay away from this one because I felt like it was one of the more graphic war movies I have seen in a while.  Not in a bad way, but the person I sat next to in the theatre kept covering their eyes, so apparently it’s a little much for some.

Love it?  Hate it?  Adding it to your watch list?  Let me know.

Snowden

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4.5/5 Stars

Summary: “Disillusioned with the intelligence community, top contractor Edward Snowden leaves his job at the National Security Agency. He now knows that a virtual mountain of data is being assembled to track all forms of digital communication — not just from foreign governments and terrorist groups, but from ordinary Americans. When Snowden decides to leak this classified information, he becomes a traitor to some, a hero to others and a fugitive from the law.”

Before seeing this movie, I had heard of Edward Snowden and had kind of a general idea of who he was, but not really.  I don’t know how much of the movie was 100% truth, but I can tell you it was great to watch.

For the whole 2+ hours, it had me hooked, wanting to see what was going to happen next.  Even though most people watching probably already know how it is going to end, seeing all the behind the scenes info will still be interesting.  True story aside, it’s a well made movie with great acting and an awesome storyline.

It’s the type of movie that is going to make you think about the government and how we handle different things as a country. If you’re someone who is totally against what Snowden did, chances are you’re not going to like this movie because it shows him as a person trying to do the right thing.  Because he isn’t depicted as this big bad villain, its crazy when you think about everything that happens at the end of the movie.

Make sure you watch this movie if you’re into political thrillers and if you’re okay with forever looking at the camera on your laptop differently…I may or may not be thinking about covering it with a piece of tape.

Let me know what you thought if you’ve been to see it yet!

 

Regression

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3/5 Stars

Summary: “Minnesota, 1990. Detective Bruce Kenner (Ethan Hawke) investigates the case of young Angela (Emma Watson), who accuses her father, John Gray (David Dencik), of an unspeakable crime. When John unexpectedly and without recollection admits guilt, renowned psychologist Dr. Raines (David Thewlis) is brought in to help him relive his memories and what they discover unmasks a horrifying nationwide mystery.”

First let me say this movie had so many familiar faces, it was ridiculous.  Every five seconds I’d be like, “oh look, there’s that guy,” which usually means it’s going to be a good movie. I mean, with names like Emma Watson, Ethan Hawke, and David Thewlis (saying lines straight from Harry Potter more than a couple times), I just assumed it would be something I’d enjoy since I usually love their movies.  But they weren’t really used to their full potential.  I don’t know, I just didn’t really like it.

I wouldn’t tell people to specifically not watch it, which is why I’m still giving it 3 stars, but I wouldn’t tell them to run out and grab it either.  For me, the movie started off in the wrong place.  I kind of felt like we had missed the whole beginning. Very little backstory, we were just thrown into something but it took a little too long to get a full idea on what was going on for that to actually work.

I love the idea of Regression, and know that it was a big thing, along with the satanic paranoia in the 80’s and 90’s. But I feel like the way it was handled didn’t make much sense.  Shouldn’t it have taken a lot more for regression like this to happen?

And was it just me, or was the ending not surprising at all?  I didn’t know the details, but I guessed the deal from the title of the movie.

I don’t know, maybe I just didn’t get it. Let me know if you’ve seen the movie and what you thought.

Available on Amazon Prime.

Colonia

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4/5 Stars

Summary: “Lena and Daniel, a young couple become entangled in the Chilean military coup of 1973. Daniel is abducted by Pinochet’s secret police and Lena tracks him to a sealed off area in the South of the country, called Colonia Dignidad. The Colonia presents itself as a charitable mission run by lay preacher Paul Schäfer but, in fact, is a place nobody ever escaped from. Lena decides to join the cult in order to find Daniel. Based on true events.”

I don’t know how I missed this movie being released, but I found it on Red Box (which I’m now obsessed with) and thought I’d give it a try.  First off, I couldn’t believe it was based on a true story.  I had no idea all this was going down in Chili, and not that long ago.  I love movies with history stories like that.

Colonia was well acted (yay Emma Watson!) and didn’t feel too much like a story we see all the time.  It was creepy, especially when you thought about how this was a real place.  The one problem I have with this movie was that I feel like it would make a better TV show.  I’m sure there was so much more to the story that could have been told.  At one point it went from day 32 to one hundred something.  I would’ve loved to see everything that happened during that time.

Also, I know NOTHING about Chili and I feel like the beginning didn’t explain everything that was going on in the country at the time well enough.  More backstory would’ve enhanced it.

I wasn’t able to see if the story of these specific people was true or just the cult, but either way I could imagine it as a great mini series.

What do you think?