This is Where I Leave You Movie Review

We all have a family that we think is dysfunctional. 

Meet the Altman Family. 

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The movie starts with Jason Bateman’s character Judd getting a phone call from his sister Wendy (Tina Fey) that their father has passed away. The news is another issue to deal with for Judd because he had just found out that his wife was having an affair with his boss. Traveling to their childhood home to bury their father, Judd reunites with his two brothers Paul (Corey Stoll) and Philip (Adam Driver) who is the youngest and is known as the family screw up.

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Their father’s last request was to have his kids spend a week together as a Jewish custom. And just like any family, shit hits the fan fast. Each of them are dealing with some pretty heavy stuff. Judd is dealing with his cheating wife. Wendy struggles with her neglecting and work-aholic husband. Paul and his wife are unable to conceive. Philip is now dating his therapist twice his age. You know the usual.

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The movie had a lot of humor which works well for this family drama. Dealing with very serious topics, most of the time is a very overwhelming 2 and a half hours. With a movie dealing with serious issues with humor involved makes for a pretty enjoyable time. Going into it I knew the acting would be great so I wasn’t really worried about that. What I want surprise me what the chemistry between them all.

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These actors didn’t just have to give a good performance but make you believe that they were in fact siblings. That in itself isn’t an easy task. As the baby of the family with two older siblings, sister and brother, we have fought, laughed, bonded, fought again and made up. These actors killed it! They fought and cussed at each other, them were able to have heart to heart conversations really made the movie for me.

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One that surprised me was Jane Fonda. She played her character so beautifully and I truly believe she loved her children, though still trying to be the sexy, young at heart woman, when it was time to set her foot down, or a grieving widow, she did and it worked really well. This was one movie that I knew was going to be good, but surprised it was that good. This is Where I Leave You is about family, loss, grieving, journey and makes you laugh as well as make you feel emotions. I highly recommend it and still can’t believe it took me this long to watch it.

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1917 Movie Review

The film is a continuous shot…which makes you feel like you, yourself are right along side these two characters on this impossible mission.

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1917 has a simple premise. Two British soldiers in WWI are given an impossible mission, deliver a message deep in enemy territory that will stop 1,600 men from walking into a trap.

I have never watch a movie that was a continuous shot, and it worked beautifully and worked so well in this WWI epic. Because it was definitely epic!

What Sam Mendes was able to do was make you the third person on this journey, which I have never really experienced, in movies or tv. Now the movie isn’t action packed because it’s not really the bases of the story. The story is about two soldiers getting from point A to point B. The main goal is to not die, not be seen and deliver the letter. The movie isn’t filled with action and tons of guns blasting as you would expect in a WWI film but again that the point of the movie and I really enjoyed that.

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The acting is fantastic as I knew they were going to be but what I loved was the difference better the two soldiers played by Dean- Charles Chapman and George MacKay. One is much more optimistic and the other is more reserved and you can see the effects of war on him. There was a scene that really proved how war affected them, where MacKay’s character told Chapman’s character that he gave up his medal of honor for wine. Chapman thought that was a waste and couldn’t imagine giving up a medal given to him. But MacKay explains that a medal is nothing more than “a tin with a ribbon.” To see two soldiers, both fighting for the same thing, on the same mission, but both having a different experience fighting in the war.

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There wasn’t a moment where it felt dragged or fast paced or basically anything negative. The movie was beautifully done and deserves Best Cinematography as well as Best Picture. Sorry Joker, though another fantastic film, 1917 was able to make you feel like you are right there with them trying to deliver that message, it’s intense, outstanding performances and by far one of the greatest war film I have ever seen. A must watch! Best Picture in my book!

2020 Top Anticipating Movies

New year…bring on the movies. So this is the list of my top 10 movies I’m looking forward to seeing this year.

January  1917- The trailer along looks visually gorgeous add on a great story about WWI and a race against time, it immediately stay in my head. Can’t wait to see it!

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March Onward- Pixar, of course. Two elf brothers on a quest to bring back their father. Bring on the adventure and tears.

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A Quite Place 2- The first movie completely blew me away. So I can’t wait to see what the sequel brings.

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Mulan- When I heard that they weren’t going to make it a musical, of course I thought that it would not be worth my time, however…the trailer looks amazing. Can’t wait to see Mulan kick ass!

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May- Black Widow- Do wish they would have released her standalone before the events of Endgame, but this is a movie I have been waiting for and so ready to finally see it!

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June- Wonder Woman: 1984- Absolutely loved the first one so of course the sequel was going to on my list of movies I want to see in 2020.

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July- Free Guy- Ryan Reynolds’s character that discovers that he’s actually in a video game. Ryan Reynolds is one of the funniest actors in Hollywood so this is right in his element.

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November- Eternals- A fantastic cast in the Marvel movie is all the more reason to be excited for it.

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2020 is looking promising in the movie department and do hope that the movies I’m most excited for doesn’t let me down. Either way, their going to be getting my money because I will go see it on the big screen!

Never, Never: Part 3 Book Review

Hallmark. That’s what came to mind.

Minor spoilers.

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The mystery continues. Silas and Charlie have both experienced memory loss for the forth time, I think. Reading journals and love letters has somewhat helped them piece together that they were madly in love. From the start you a few questions off the bat. Why did they both lose their memories? Why is the loner girl so distant and afraid of them? Why did Silas’s bed have muddy and blood?

Basically, the questions that was making this book a mystery. And this book fell flat on that aspect. The moment it started to feel like a Hallmark movie was when some of the questions were answered and one remained. You know those movies where they fall in love, conflict, and then something “magical” happens and they fall in love again and all is well. And no not all romance books are like that cheesy channel! It wasn’t a big shocking moment because by then you had already had your suspicion and they were right. What didn’t stick the landing was one of the main reason for this story to begin with, and that’s them losing their memories together, same time, multiple times.

It was disappointing but I have to say I still looked forward in reading every page, chapter and though it feels a bit unresolved or not a satisfying ending, I don’t regret reading it. The race for time, mystery of family vs. family, drama, piecing together along with the characters, I enjoyed it. It kept me entertained and distracted me from the world, so it did it’s job.

 

Never, Never: Part 2 Book Review

Clues, upon clues.

Minor spoilers.

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Silas finds letters written by Charlie and himself, revealing that their memory loss has happened before. Every forty eight hours. Charlie is missing and Silas wakes up to having no memory, again, tries to piece together what is going on and find someone he thinks he has never met.

One thing I really like about the book is that it’s not very long. Which is odd for me to say but this story has caused me to feel a bit anxious. And as someone who has anxiety having the books short is great for me. The two characters struggling to remember their lives and everyone around questioning them, plus them having a few hours before it happens again, it’s a nail biting, edge of your seat, anxiety filled story.

Trying to figure what caused their memory loss or why is still a huge mystery to me. Though it’s clear that someone in particular has answers, I have absolutely no idea as to why or how. Though I have some theories, I look forward to reading if I’m right or even close. Which is all the find in all mysteries. You being on the detective seat and look for clues and try to piece together the pieces.

Part 2 had answered some questions but you end up having more by the end. Fast paced, and good mystery story. Enjoyable.

 

Never, Never (Book 1) Book Review

First, Happy New Year! 2019 couldn’t finish fast enough. That being said, THANK YOU TO EVER SINGLE ONE OF YOU, for every single person that has ever read my reviews and/ or commented. Determined to make an 2020 a better year and have more reviews you guys! 

That being said…Let’s get on with the first review of 2020!

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Never, Never is a three book series of the same name. Which I didn’t know they did. So that was cool surprise. A girl and a boy, Charlie and Silas, both have no memory of anything. Not their names, family, friends. Nothing. From what they could gather they use to date one another and were childhood best friends.

Charlie has an alcoholic mother and a sister who hates her.

Silas comes from a wealthy family, football player, and madly in love with Charlie.

The two now have to try to ask questions about themselves without anyone thinking their both insane. The more the dig into who “Charlie” and “Silas” were, they realize that both of them weren’t the nicest people. You begin to see that they do have feelings for each, considering that they dated, but more and more you start to think that their either trying to one up each other on who can’t hurt the other more, or just hormonal teens.

The story starts pretty quickly and the way it ended I’m beginning to think that perhaps there’s some supernatural element in the series. But other than them both having amnesia, as the same time, you don’t see a paranormal theme. That being said I am curious to see why and how it happened. If I had to guess, without spoilers, I would say someone did this to them because these two people are total dicks. Frankly, don’t blame them either. I found it interesting how the characters were feeling when they would find out something about themselves but no accepting it because they really don’t know those people. It’s refreshing to read something I haven’t before.

Overall, the book is a quick one and one that when finished you feel unresolved which makes you want to pick up book 2, which is the point.

 

 

Star Wars Episode 9: The Rise Of Skywalker Movie Review (Spoilers)

Watched it for a third time and still want to talk about it…So bring on the spoilers!

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Kylo Ren has found a device called the Sith Finder and with it has located a voice he has been hearing. It’s none other than Palpatine, who reveals that he has always been in Kylo’s head, and Snoke was nothing more than a puppet. Palpatine tells Kylo Ren that he must kill Rey who just happens to be his granddaughter.

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Rey has continued her training with the help of Leia and before I go on I have to say that what they were able to do with unused footage of Carrie Fisher was amazing. Her farewell couldn’t have been done more eloquently. Rey learns about the Sith Finder through Luke’s journals and Finn and Poe tag along to retrieve it. Which leads them to come face to face with Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams). It was great to see him back especially when he gets behind the Millennium Falcon along side Chewie.

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On the planet Paasana Rey and Kylo have another Force connection and end up coming face to face. But Rey is distracted when Chewie is taken by the First Order and trying to bring the ship back using the force, Kylo pushes Rey to unleash electric spark towards the ship, exploding it. Rey has seen a vision of her turning to the dark side and it’s getting harder and harder to stay focused when Kylo continues to push her in revealing what she has always known.

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The trio find out that Chewie is still alive and he’s on Kylo’s ship, so they go on a rescue mission. The movie is on a constant move and some people have said that the pacing is either too fast or just weird feeling, whatever that may mean. For me it feels exactly what the characters are feeling. It’s action from beginning to end. This is war, no time for rest! Rey is determined to locate the Sith Finder but with the translation that’s on the dagger could on be read if C3-PO gets a full memory wipe, which they end up doing. What I will say is this movie had me on edge way, way too many times.

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Translated the trio arrive where the first Death Star crashed. Rey not wanting to wait goes alone and has an epic battle with Kylo Ren. Just as she starts to break down from exhaustion Leia uses all of her strength to reach her son. Kylo Ren feels the fading of his mother and Rey uses that distraction to stab him with his lightsaber, only to realize that Leia has died. Rey looks at Kylo and heals him and telling him that she did want to take his hand, Ben’s hand and flies away. Here is the moment where Kylo Ren became Ben Solo. Standing on the edge of the Death Star he hears a voice of none other than his father Han Solo.

I lost it! How they were able to convince Harrison Ford to return, I will never know but it made for a very power Harry Potter themed conversation. Why Harry Potter? Well Ben knows that what he’s witnessing is nothing more than a dream but it’s a conversation that he wished he had with his father instead of what ended up happening in the Force Awakens. You now like Harry had with Dumblebore in his dream. Ben then tearfully says “Dad” and Han replies with “I know” which just couldn’t have been more prefect!

Ben Solo returns and throws his lightsaber into the ocean. Ultimately confirming the death of Kylo Ren.

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Rey returns to the island from the Last Jedi and just as she’s about to throw the Luke’s lightsaber, Luke’s force ghost appears telling her that a lightsaber should be respected, which is the biggest diss to episode 8. Luke tells Rey that Leia had a vision of her son’s death on the last day of her training. Luke gives his lightsaber and Leia’s for her to take with her when she faces Palpatine. Luke then uses the force to bring out his X-wing out of the water which would make Yoda proud.

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Using Luke’s X-wing Rey heads to face Palpatine and the team locate her codes (using Google maps located sharing) and follow her to help destroy the hundreds of ships that Palpatine has risen. Coming face to face with Palpatine aka her grandfather, Rey is in a quite a pickle when she learns that if she kills him all the siths would go to her. So let the evil bastard live and have her friends die or turn into something she fears. Just then Palpatine opens up his skylight to show Rey of the war going outside, just like he did with Luke.

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Outside Poe is losing hope when no one shows up to help, but then Lando arrives with a every ship ever known riding right behind him ready to fight. Which was just a cool sight, especially when Wedge popped into the screen!

Rey is struggling with her decision when outside Ben is rushing in to help her. Ben is met with the Knight of Ren and they rough him up. Just in time Rey senses him and passes her lightsaber through their bond and a glorious moment when Ben shows off his lightsaber and does a total Han Solo gesture shrug and kills the Knights. Rey and Ben are now side by side ready to take on Palpatine.

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But Palpatine hooked on so much Sith mojo takes their force energy, which allows him to heal and knocking them out cold. Ben wakes up only to be knocked off a ledge, Rey wakes up and begs to the jedis to be with her. Hearing the voices of Luke, Anakin, Mace, Yoda, both Obi-wans, Unduli, Ahsoka, Aayla, Adi, Kanan and Qui-Gon. Using every last bit of strength left, Rey stands and destroys Palpatine and falls to her death. Ben manages to pull himself out of the ledge and holds Rey in his arms. Knowing that he can force heal her, he does and brings her back and here, ladies and gents my ship was finally created. Rey says “Ben” and smiles as does Ben and share a kiss, only for him to fall and become one with the force.

When Palpatine took their force energy they had enough to survive but not to give, and knowing that Ben sacrificed himself to save Rey, someone who he ultimately fell in love with.

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Back the Resistance base, everyone celebrates their victory and Rey, Finn and Poe embrace. Maz gives Chewie something that should have been given to him long ago…his medallion.

Rey goes to Luke’s homeland in Tatooine and buries Luke’s and Leia’s lightsaber and taking out her own lightsaber that looks similar to her staff and the color yellow. Just then a woman who was passing by asks who she was, and Rey hesitant, looks out and sees Luke and Leia’s force ghost and tells her, “Rey Skywalker.” Which to me mean the final slap to Palpatine. He’s name is gone and Skywalker, though died with Luke, will still live on with Rey and continuing their legacy.

The movie had great movements, and I definitely cried from beginning to end. It ended as it began in 1977 and you can say what you hated and what you wished they could have done, but to me, and I say ME, I truly loved it. It was a beautiful end to not just Leia but Carrie Fisher, a redemption story Luke always believed in, Rey is a total bad ass, friendship and conflicts and every thing I love in Star Wars.

I’m still no over the fact it’s truly over and I might never be but I do believe JJ Abrams worked with what he had and to the best of his ability created a Star Wars story worth telling and he did a great job. It’s a movie I have watched three times in theaters and it’s better each time. Does it beat the originals, no, never but I didn’t expect it to. I expect a good movie with an end to a 40 year old tell, and I got that.

Star Wars has my soul, and you might say I could be blinded by that but that didn’t help with The Clone Wars or Solo. Movies have flaws, even Star Wars but I must give credit when credit is due, and this movie had me entertained, I cried a lot, laughed and said goodbye to characters I have grown up with and new ones I’ve grown to love.

Star Wars Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker Movie Review (spoiler-Free)

Nothing says Star Wars has arrived than tons of negative views on the internet.

Viewing it last night was a rough one for me. For one it’s really saying goodbye to a franchise that has been around for 40 years and the first movie that I became obsessed with. I was fearful knowing that J.J. Abrams had a lot of damage control to do because of the events of The Last Jedi. Now, if you haven’t seen and you’re like me, and staying far far way from reviews, GOOD! I get no one is going to view the same movie. Everyone is entitled to love/dislike something.

That being said THIS REVIEW IS WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT IT! ME, ALONE!  

Kylo Ren hears the voice of the very alive yet physically impaled, Palpatine and is ordered to kill Rey who is still continuing her jedi training. Rey has come quite powerful and learns through Luke’s old books/notes about a the Sith wayfinder, a device that Kylo now has.

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Rey, Finn, Poe and Chewie head out to retrieve the artifact reuniting with Lando Calrissian. Kylo and Rey continue to sense each other through their bond and have a great battle scenes. Rey is in constant battle within herself when she gets vision of herself turned to the dark side.

It’s a vague review but I wouldn’t want to spoil the major twists that happened in the film, because there were so many.

But let’s talk about some of the things I didn’t like about because that’s a main topic on the internet anyway. The pacing. It’s really, really fast. Not sure why they didn’t just made the movie longer, considering it’s the last movie. Once the first act is down it’s pretty freaking epic.

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Was I left with all my questions answered? No, but some where answered.

Did I enjoy it? Absolutely!

Did I cry profusely? At a point after the credits I didn’t know how I was going to be able to drive home.

There are somethings I wished they would have down differently and I’ve said this before, movies, and yes even Star Wars movies have flaws. I might do a spoiler review to really talk about it, once I watch it again and see if I feel the same way a second time.

But I loved it. I truly felt that they combined all three original movies and had them here. They fixed things that have been on debates among fans and they were able to create something for the these very beloved characters that felt like a goodbye but a thank you.

You can strap this movie apart and broke it every which way. For me it was very difficult to say goodbye but I had a good time watch it. It’s another Star Wars film I could watch over and over again. And I can’t say that for all of them.

Star Wars changed the world, say what you want but it did. As sad as I am that it’s official over, this was a great conclusion to the saga.

The Force will always be with us!

 

 

After Ever Happy (After #4) Book Review

The conclusion for a series that made me feel things.

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Tessa and Hardin’s relationship isn’t healthy as many people say. Off and on again, fights, after fights, etc. Tessa can’t take anymore and who can blame her. In a course of a few days or weeks they receive bad news after bad news. Seriously, these guys can’t catch a break. Hardin realizes that he’s about 85-90% of the problem but how to fix is another issue. I was expecting for Hardin’s road to redemption and recovering, so when Tessa has to deal with her own problems it made it much more interesting to see both characters struggling and deal with pretty heavy shit.

As I was reading and Tessa and Hardin hadn’t gone back together, I was losing patience. Are you shitting me HESSA! But as I look back I realize the beauty of it. Real problems like alcoholism, drug addiction, father issues, abandonment issues, trust issues, you named it this book had it. You don’t expect them you just fall back into one another so quickly just because it’s a romance story. The reality of it is it takes time. And this book felt like that. A progress towards the very thing the characters were aiming for, peace and redemption.

Though this book wasn’t as intense as book 3, it being the finale book it felt like it was finally leading into resolution. As you’re reading you’re never at a point where you say, “yeah, they don’t end up together.” Because you’re routing for them to get back together but you also want them to break the very cycle that has been their foundation from the beginning.

Say what you want about the story or hell even the writer, for me, as a reader, she did any amazing job in creating this world where Tessa and Hardin felt real and their issues are valid or sometimes mess up, but they end up owning it. These characters felt real to me. Their pain, joy, love, struggles, felt real and it made the story all the more beautiful.

This book ended like it should have and going through the journey with Tessa and Hardin, you as the reader, feel like you achieve something like they did. I absolutely loved series and hope others find it for what it is. A story of love triumphs all even in those darkest moments. Redemption is possible. And family doesn’t always mean blood. Who doesn’t love a story like that?

After We Fell (After #3) Book Review

This book was 848 pages long. That being said, man oh man did a lot of shit happen. 

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Hardin and Tessa continue their off and on again relationship but what makes this book different is that the emotion that it brings. And no I’m not talking about crying or swoon on the romantic parts. This book had my heart racing and nearly hyperventilating. What Anna Todd does beautifully is when something happens to these characters you feel their pain because of development they’ve had for three books. It completely took me off guard and I’m glad. A book should make you feel what the character is feeling, otherwise what happens to them means nothing.

Tessa knows Hardin is a broken man, and has done some fucked up shit. But beneath the hard exterior, harsh words, is a loving, caring, protective man. Overly protective, but what ends up happening to her shows that the dude has a point in being a helicopter boyfriend. What I loved about this book that they know that what they have is unhealthy and try to fix. There was something so real in the book that I wasn’t expecting from a teen romance book.

Hardin struggles with anger issues, trust issues, daddy issues etc. The dude needs help for sure. But Tessa made him feel something he’s never felt before and of course he would want to protect it. Now, not defending his douche-y ways, but what I enjoying reading was his progress in changing that character trait. His character is so much more than just an asshole boyfriend that crosses lines and having to apologizes each time.

That goes for Tessa as well. Her being naive in certain things makes her target and her learning that life is a fucked up place and her growing into a independent and strong woman is so satisfying because it’s a character evolution. Totally made that up but it works! If these characters were the same for multiple books you wouldn’t give a shit if something happened to them. It becomes unrealistic in this fictional world. A fictional world, though fake, is meant to still feel real. This book felt very real.

There wasn’t a moment where I didn’t want to read, or be on the edge of my seat or cheer when something good happened to them. I’m extremely eager to find out the end of the story because these characters have come a long way and there’s definitely a ton of unanswered questions.

Now, I’m going to give a bit of a side note and take it the way you want. But I’ve seen people write reviews about this series in a negative way. Stating it gives domestic violence or toxic relationships a positive light. To me it doesn’t. He never hit her and granted the series does have a character that is a temper headed ass hole, but it’s revealed as to why. What I believe it does is show that actions of kids brought up in a household of violence, and addictions. And those very kids struggle to end the cycle in ways that is sometimes not right but, getting a bit romantic here, the love that brought them out of dark places shows them a way to change patterns that they were exposed of.

So know this right now, the book contains adult content not just sex. If you can’t see pass that then by all means don’t read because it’s not for you. That being said, I love this series and so glad I picked it up and it’s being made into movies!