Table 19: Movie Review

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Going into Table 19, I was expecting a typical cliché romantic comedy. A lighthearted movie that would make me leave the theater feeling warm and fuzzy inside. However, this isn’t to say that I didn’t leave feeling happy, but Table 19 throws in a few curveballs I wasn’t expecting.

The movie starts out with Eloise McGarry, played by Anna Kendrick. This role is a bit different for Kendrick. While still getting the charm and laughs that we expect from Kendrick, we also see a more serious side that hasn’t been explored all that much in her other roles. From the beginning, we watch Eloise struggle about whether or not to go to a wedding. As the movie progresses, we discover Eloise is the ex-Maid of Honor. The Bride’s brother and Eloise were dating, but broke up a few months before the wedding. Eloise arrives to the wedding and discovers she is at table 19, with the rest of the people that “should have known to rsvp no, but couldn’t after buying something off of the registry.” Leading up to this point, we meet the rest of Table 19: Nanny Jo, a lovable elderly lady who was once the bride’s nanny, Walter Thimple, who is the cousin of the bride who just got out of prison, Rezno, a teenager just hoping to find a girl for the night, and Kepp’s, husband and wife with an interesting dynamic. Each actor plays their character perfectly, creating relatable characters. Through the movie, the band of misfits come together as they all try to figure out what this thing call life means, each in their own way.

Throughout the movie, we explore different themes: marriage, adjusting to life, accepting yourself, and when to really call it cuts on a relationship. Overall, the movie has a solid message. The characters are lovable and hilarious. You feel their emotions with them and root for them all the way. Nothing is what it seems from the outside. Together this band of misfits explores all of that. It was a joy watching them come together, each in their own hilarious style. In the end, Table 19 is a pretty good movie that made me feel more than I thought it would. If you are looking for a movie this weekend, check out Table 19. You won’t be disappointed.

Fifty Shades Darker: Movie Review

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When people think of 50 Shades of Grey they think of sex, whips, chains, and Christian Grey. Let me start off by saying, 50 Shades of Grey is all of these things; however, 50 Shades Darker, expectedly, takes a darker turn (pun 100% intended). By darker, I do not mean that the sex and domination got more intense. Actually, quite the opposite.

Finally, the story develops and we actually have a reason to continue watching and even more importantly, a decent excuse to tell our friends when they ask why the hell we went to see this movie. But let’s be honest, are we really going to see this movie for the plotline? No. Is the plotline an aid to what we’re already seeing? Yes. 50 Shades Darker was more, in simple terms, boring in comparison to its predecessor.

For starters, the last movie ended with a dramatic breakup, only to be picked back up in the 50 Shades Darker as a still-broken, but by no means over, relationship. It took all of 10 minutes for the pair to reunite which, referring to the ending of the first movie, is by far and away not the amount of time it would have taken to mend what was made to look like heartbreak. Additionally, Anastasia makes it clear that the kinky things Christian is used to, will not be accepted if they are together to which he responds that she is more important to him than beating her sexually*entire audience groans in disappointment*. Thus, we have 50 Shades Darker. A tale of two people who really like to do it but also are in love. Sounds like most relationships I’ve ever heard of. Minus the fact that most men don’t have a creepy stalker that used to be their sex slave, a 50+ aged woman that taught them how to have sex, millions and millions of dollars, a dead crack-addicted mother, and a helicopter that will inevitably crash. But hey, they’re a normal couple right?

Let’s just say that this movie, while more intimate in the love aspect, is almost too far off the beaten path. Being a sadomasochistic millionaire is probably enough to make a compelling movie so I’m not sure that the 132 separate issues were quite necessary, at least not all in the same movie. I mean I genuinely thought the movie was going to end on a cliff-hanger at least 5 times in the hour and a half that it played; and it definitely did, but it had nothing to do with any of the things I even mentioned before. I can barely keep track.

Now if I start critiquing the acting, we’d be here for a while, but I’ll end by saying, Dakota Johnson gave a wonderful performance, and her counterpart, Jamie Dornan had a bit of a harder time. I want so badly for him to do well in this roll and to give us all of the things that Christian Grey is. Unfortunately, in a movie having much less to do with the over-the- top sexual escapades of his character and more to do with his past and feelings, he fell flat.

I wouldn’t say that 50 Shades Darker was a total bust. I enjoyed myself and I can’t lie about it, but is that because the movie was good? Or because it’s so crazy that you just have to keep watching. You tell me!

A Dog’s Purpose: Movie Review

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A Dog’s Purpose is a heartwarming tale about finding the meaning of life through a dog’s eyes.  Bailey (Josh Gad) the dog, is seen progressing through multiple lifetimes, each one different from the last.  The viewer gets to experience the cycle of life through Bailey’s multiple deaths and rebirths, sharing many laughs and just as many cries.  

During one of Bailey’s many lives he meets a boy named Ethan (Bryce Gheisar), and becomes Ethan’s family dog.  The two become inseparable throughout everything that is thrown their way.  As Ethan and Bailey grow up their bond only grows stronger.  

After decades we find Ethan again, this time he is much older.  And just when it seems like hope is lost Bailey bounds back into Ethan’s life, just as a slightly different dog breed in a scruffier body.  This film illustrates an almost unfathomable connection between a dog and his owner, one that is irreplaceable and fosters an unforgettable bond that can stand the test of time.  

Whether you are a dog lover or not, you might need to bring along the tissues for this film.  A Dog’s Purpose will take you on an emotional roller coaster ride, but leave you with some peace in realising the meaning of life is sometimes simply life itself.

Split: Movie Review

split-movie-wallpaper-hd-film-2017-poster-imageM. Night Shyamalan is back in the game with one of the best psychological thrillers I’ve seen in awhile. This movie doesn’t rely as much on the typical horror scheme (i.e., jump scares, predictable plot line, beginning, middle, end) but instead sends your mind around in circles as new characters continue to pop up, all of which are not exactly who you are meant to fear in the end.

These multiple characters come in the form of Kevin Crumb, a man suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder. When 3 girls are kidnapped by him it is up to them to face his multiple personalities in order to learn the truth and find a way out. James McAvoy is the actor behind the madness whose performance is something that stunned me to no end. He was able to portray these many different characters in such a way that, besides coming from the same body, were completely different people. Without him I don’t think this movie would have stood a chance.

He stars alongside Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch) who has to use quick thinking to escape her captor while battling demons from her own past. This story plays on the themes of childhood trauma and the effect it has on the psyche. Shyamalan also plays up the complexity of mental illness and sheds light on DID, a disorder that many seem to sweep under the rug. A must-see for out-of-the-ordinary thrill seekers.

Passengers: Review

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If you had the chance to escape from this Earth, to start from scratch on a new one, would you do it? If so, climb aboard the Avalon, a space ship that holds 5000 passengers and 200 crew in hibernation for 120 years until they reach their new home on Homestead II. Until the last five months of the journey, everyone is asleep while the ship travels on autopilot. With everyone asleep, what happens if something bad happens?

Meet Jim Preston, a man who wakes up 90 years early due to the impossible chance of a hibernation pod malfunction. Jim quickly discovers he is all by himself on the ship. The only kind of interaction available for Jim is a lovable, witty android bartender. He tries everything in his power to find a solution but to no avail. One year later, Aurora Lane finds herself awake as well. Together, Aurora and Jim accept this unexpected life. Soon they start to discover why all the malfunctions are happening and they are the only ones who can stop the ship going down.

Overall, Passengers is a pretty good movie. The pacing is nice, keeping viewers entertained until the main climax. Visuals are done very nicely. The space scenes look amazing, along with the Avalon. Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence give great performances, besides maybe a few over dramatic scenes. The concept keeps you wondering what you would do through all the scenarios that arise; these situations that you can never fully judge until you are in that spot. The movie makes you wonder while enjoying a new romance and witnessing amazing space scenes.

The ending is left pretty open ended for you to fill in the gaps and wonder more about what happened. Personally, I wish there would have been more information along the way. What is the big need to leave Earth? What’s up with this 20 percent income back? But, I’m the kind of person who wants to know more information on all fronts so I may just be a bit picky. Overall, Passengers is a good movie to reach out to hearts and to explore new ideas. If you are looking for a movie this holiday season, Passengers is a good pick.

Review by: Kayla Colwell

Disney’s Moana: Review

IMG_2678.JPGDisney’s Moana encaptures you from the very start. This film, directed by Ron Clements, Don Hall, John Musker, and Chris Williams, bring to life the historical background of the South Pacific Islands. Clements and Musker were directors of Disney classics such as The Little Mermaid and Aladdin and have worked their magic on this film just the same. The animations seem to jump off the screen and envelop the viewer in spectacular island and ocean scenes alike. Moana does not fall short on the musicality either. With original songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda, this film is packed with many sure to be timeless new Disney songs. Moana seems to have captured the essence of Polynesian culture and leaves the audience seeking a little adventure in their own lives.
Moana, voiced by Pacific Island native Auli’i Cravalho, is the story of the daughter of the chief who must journey across the ocean in order to save her people from their dying island. Along her way she encounters many enemies and friends. including the demigod Maui, voiced by Dwayne Johnson.
Moana and Maui’s journey across the ocean is not a safe path and they must rely on and trust each other in order to reach the island of Te Fiti. Of course, some of the major themes are pretty standard for Disney, such as believing in yourself and following your heart but Moana also teaches girls that if they make a mistake, they should try again. It also teaches them that they don’t need a prince to be a princess which is probably the most important lesson.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Review

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Get ready for the Wizarding World to come back to life! Five years after the last installment of the Harry Potter series, Potter fans rejoice as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits the screens. Fantastic Beasts takes place in 1920’s as Newt Scamander and his case of beasts enter New York. Scamander has an interesting exchange with a muggle, Jacob Kowalski.  From this exchange, Newt gets in some serious trouble and has to race the Aurors to rescue the escaped beasts while the rest of Magical Officials search after a mysterious magical force, mostly likely connect to the dark wizard Gellert Grindlewald, terrorizes New York. Watch as the adventure plays out on the quest to right all the wrongs while trying to keep the Wizarding World a secret. Fantastic Beasts does a great job keeping all the things we love the Harry Potter era, while introducing many new aspects. Discover the Wizarding World in America and how it differs from the world we already know (No-Maj, really?).

The cast is phenomenal. Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell and Katherine Waterston all have amazing performances. Eddie Redmayne plays Newt Scamander perfectly. Johnny Depp even appears for a few minutes.  The special effects in Fantastic Beasts are everything you would expect from previous Harry Potter movies. The beasts seem so life-like. As Newt cares for them, you feel like you are right there with them.  You feel all the emotions the beasts have and get swept away in the beasts’ world. Overall, Fantastic Beasts is a great movie. Harry Potter fans will love it and maybe even some non Harry Potter fans. Fantastic Beasts is a great movie to bring back that world you have been trying to keep alive since the Harry Potter era ended.