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Movies, Movies, Movies! #59 – November 17, 2020

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Welcome to another installment of Movies, Movies, Movies!

Vampires vs. the Bronx (2020) (netflix)
Starring: Jaden Michael, Gerald Jones III, Gregory Diaz IV, Sarah Gadon, Method Man, Shea Whigham, Coco Jones, The Kid Mero, Chris Redd, Zoe Saldana, Frank Polidori, and many more
Director: Osmany Rodriguez
Genres: comedy, horror (not very scary)
Synopsis: Three teenagers figure out there is a connection between the new real estate brokers in their neighborhood and the recently increasing number of missing persons. Clue by clue and person by person, they make their neighbors aware of the menace and learn how to fight back against it.
Impressions: targeted at younger kids, there are lessons being taught along the way with the story. Most of the cast are of color, and white people are the villains. The plot also serves as a slam against what is being seen around the country, inner city neighborhoods are being bought up and gentrified, driving the long-term residents out.
Grade: 6
Etc.: from imdb:

At the beginning when Becky is signing the paperwork the letterhead is for “Murnau Enterprises”. This is a nod to F.W. Murnau who directed “Nosferatu” which is considered to be the first vampire film.

Awards: too soon

How to Build a Girl (2019)
Starring: Beanie Feldstein, Cleo, Donal Finn, Paddy Considine, Laurie Kynaston, Stellan Powell, Emma Thompson, Freya Perry, Harper Perry, Violet Amer, Sara Solemani, Andi Oliver, Michael Sheen, Sue Perkins, and many more
Director: Coky Giedroyc
Genres: comedy, music
Synopsis: Johanna Morrigan is a bright high school student and a brilliant writer. It gets her “A’s” in school but her dream is to be a professional writer. She worms her way in to a top music review magazine and soon she is the talk of the music reviewer community – but at what cost?
Impressions: I really liked this movie for many reasons, and I think anyone who is a musician, a music lover, a music reviewer, or aspires to be one would enjoy watching How to Build a Girl. I had no idea what this movie was about, I just liked the jacket cover. The humor is sharp, and the cast is up to the task. The girl’s family is endearing, but not in a sappy way.
Grade: 7.5+
Etc.: UK made film; trivia from imdb:

The main character’s last name is Morrigan, which was the Irish goddess of war. She was the main opponent of Cuchulainn and often connected with crows. The novel is semi-autobiographical and this is both a nod to Caitlin Moran’s (the writer’s) Irish ancestry and a pun on her name.

Awards: none seen

Good Morning, Veronica S1 original title: Bom Dia, Veronica(2020) (Netflix, 8 episodes)
Starring: Taina Muller, Camila Morgado, Eduardo Moscovis, Antonio Grassi, Cesar Mello, Silvio Guindane, Alice Valverde, Elisa Volpatto, Dj Amorim, Adriano Garib, and many more
Director: Rog de Souza, Jose Henrique Fonseca, Izabel Jaguaribe
Genres: crime, drama
Synopsis: Veronica is a clerical support person for the homicide unit, but she also carries a gun and a badge (this is the Brazilian law enforcement.) There are a couple of main story lines. The big one is how she has taken on a special case to attempt to bring a really violent serial killer to justice who has run amok in the city and the complicated circumstances surrounding her limitations in her position along with who the killer is. The sub-plot is her investigating into how her father, who was also a homicide detective, was discredited in his position.
Impressions: Excellent plot that really keeps you on the edge of your seat. Veronica (played by Muller) does an excellent job navigating who and what she needs to navigate to get what she needs to get the job done. The killer (played by Moscovis) is one of the most chilling monsters I’ve ever seen on the screen. The character played by Morgado is also excellent in her role. The rest of the cast are decent as well. I really hope they make a Season 2! Quality television. Reminds me of the True Detective series. Warning: disturbing scenes of graphic violence.
Grade: 9+
Etc.: made in Brazil, Portuguese language, dubbed in English
Awards: too soon

Awake (2007)
Starring: Hayden Christensen, Jessica Alba, Terrance Howard, Lena Olin, Christopher McDonald, Sam Robards, Arliss Howard, Fisher Stevens, Georgina Chapman, and many more
Director: Joby HaroldGenres: drama, crime, medical
Synopsis: Christensen is a wealthy young man living in his family’s ultra mansion with his stern mother (played by Olin. He has it all materially, but unfortunately he has a congenital heart condition and has been waiting for an organ donor for a long time. He also has fallen in love with his mother’s personal assistant but is afraid to tell her as she might frown on what she considers a low-class person that is beneath her son. The action really picks up once he gets the call that a heart has been found for him. To give away any more of the plot would be cruel.
Impressions: It’s a taught thriller with lots of moving parts and unexpected twists. Looking back on it, it was decent but not outstanding. Worth a watch if you like any of the actors that are in it or like medical thrillers.
Grade: 7
Awards: 1 win and 3 nominations

better not to watch a trailer or important plot points will be spoiled for you

Jexi (2019)
Starring: Adam Devine, Alexandra Shipp, Rose Byrne (voice,) Ron Funches, Charlyne Yi, Michael Pena, Wanda Sykes, Kid Cudi, Justin Hartley, and many more
Director: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
Genres: comedy, romance
Synopsis: Devine’s character grows up with a cell phone in his hand, which hasn’t helped him become very socialized. He is a writer in a “click bait mill” but his dream is to write substantive investigative journalism. He lives in the paradise of San Francisco but has his nose stuck in his phone so doesn’t notice. When he breaks his phone and has to replace it, his new phone’s operating system (named Jexi) is a hilarious busybody who decides to reform the poor anti-social geek. Throw in a little romance and adventure and you’ve got a light-hearted romp.
Impressions: The cast is funny and Jexi makes it pop. Targeted to yuppies and younger but still funny for oldtimers like me.
Grade: 6
Awards: 1 nomination

The Nightingale (2018)
Starring: Aisling Franciosi, Baykali Ganambarr, Damon Herriman, Charlie Jampijinpa Brown, Harry Greenwood, Claire Jones, Michael Sheasby, Addison Christie, Maya Christie, Sam Claflin, Eloise Winestock, Ewen Leslie, Matthew Barker, and many more
Director and Writer: Jennifer Kent
Genres: adventure, drama, historical
Synopsis: lifted directly from imdb:

THE NIGHTINGALE is a meditation on the horrors of Australian colonization, set at the turn of the 19th century (~1825.) The film follows Clare, a 21-year-old native Irish wife and mother held captive beyond her 7-year sentence, desperate to be free of her obsessed master, British lieutenant Hawkins. Clare’s husband Aidan intervenes with devastating consequences for all. When British authorities fail to deliver justice, Clare pursues Hawkins, who leaves his post suddenly to secure a captaincy up north. Unfamiliar with the Tasmanian wilderness she enlists the help of an orphaned Aboriginal tracker Billy. Marked by their traumas, the two fight to overcome their distrust and prejudices against the backdrop of Australia’s infamous ‘Black War‘.
—Mae Moreno

Impressions: There is a mini-film as a special feature on the DVD that interviews the director and the cast, where it talks about the meticulous attention to being accurate about every detail of the buildings, clothes, atrocities, etc. that they gleaned from research and through consulting with Aboriginals with the knowledge needed. The Nightingale is not a movie to be viewed or taken lightly. It shows many ugly realities about how the whites did their best to commit genocide of the Aboriginal Peoples who lived on the land in harmony with nature. The acting is superior by Franciosi and Ganambarr and convincing with the rest of the cast. Warning: the level of brutality and graphic violence in the film is extreme.
Grade: 8.5
Etc.: Australian movie, set in Tasmania
Awards: 25 wins and 26 nominations

12 thoughts on “Movies, Movies, Movies! #59 – November 17, 2020

            1. I found it at hoopla through my library (the whole book) and got a chuckle out of the Ghostbuster theory. Hard to argue with 😉
              “how many penetrating human insights do you need in one lifetime? Two? Three? Once you’ve realized that no one else has a clue what they’re doing either… any further insights into human nature just start getting depressing, really”

              Liked by 1 person

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