Tom and Jerry

I grew up with Tom and Jerry so this movie sparked my interest from the beginning. While I wasn’t an avid watcher, I have seen my fair share of episodes and enjoyed watching the feud between the cat and mouse. I was curious to see how these characters would be brought into 2021. Additionally, the premise of having them in a live action setting was quite appealing and I was curious to see how that would be done.

When Jerry (himself) moves into New York City’s most prestigious hotel on the eve of the biggest wedding of the year, his rivalry with Tom (himself) is inevitably reignited. In order to get rid of Jerry, accidental event planner Kayla (Chloe Grace Moretz) hires Tom to get rid of Jerry. This task will not be easy and as the battle between the two escalates, not only is Kayla’s job on the line, but the future of the wedding and the hotel are in jeopardy.

The combination of bringing cartoon characters into a real life setting was really well done. I thought the way it was done seemed normal in the grand scheme of things and it kind of made me wish we actually lived in such a world. I liked how the people were still themselves, but the animals were all animated. I feel like it made sense that way since the story was mostly told from Tom and Jerry’s perspectives.

Another positive point for me was how Tom and Jerry was given a modern update. The choice to put upbeat, hip hop music was genius and really made the story more relevant. This in comparison with the new special effects really gave a fresh spin on things. It seemed like the way in which the cartoons were drawn in particular was much sharper than they used to be as well.

Unfortunately, that is where the enjoyment stopped. I didn’t feel the plot was extraordinary by any means and couldn’t help but feel like this was targeted to a younger audience. All in all, I do think that Tom and Jerry is a fun movie than can be appreciated by families around the world. The hilarious antics of the cat and mouse will be thrilling for children while parents can relive their younger years while watching.

Rating: ♥♥.5

I Care A Lot

I didn’t know what to expect from I Care A Lot. All I knew was everyone and their mother was talking about how amazing Rosamund Pike’s performance in it was. Frankly that was enough to gauge my interest. What I didn’t bargain for were the emotions this film took me on. I was gripped from the get go and can’t get over how eye opening it was at the same time.

Marla Greyson (Rosamund Pike) is a legal guardian who always gets off scot-free when she screws over her clients. Up until now she and her partner – in crime and in life – Fran (Eiza Gonzalez) have never had any problems. When Marla decides to target Jennifer Peterson (Dianne Wiest), however, she lands herself in hot water. Jennifer’s son Roman (Peter Dinklage) is a powerful gangster who will stop at nothing to make sure his mother is safe.

This movie is pegged as a comedy thriller and I definitely agree with that. At times it seems as though the comedic aspects don’t quite fit in, but I am glad that they are there because it is a nice balance to the darker nature of the story.

To reiterate what everyone has said about Rosamund Pike’s performance, I do believe that this is one of her best yet. We may not see her in a lot of projects, though when we do, she always gives 110% to whatever the role is. In some ways, I like how the character of Marla has been compared to Amy Dunne from Gone Girl. They are both conniving, ruthless and badass. I definitely think that Rosamund’s Golden Globe nomination is well deserved. In addition, the rest of the cast are brilliant too.

I think that what struck me the most about I Care A Lot is that it is based on true events. Being an elderly person in the United States is no easy feat these days because people really do pose as legal guardians in hopes of getting money. On top of this being eye opening, it was also educational and kind of scary.

I Care A Lot was a surprise for me. The fact that it was unlike what I was expecting it to be in the best way possible was just a bonus. It took me on a rollercoaster journey and I really loved every moment of it.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

The Map of Tiny Perfect Things

Time loop stories may no longer be original, but they will always be interesting to me. I heard about The Map of Tiny Perfect Things recently and was instantly intrigued. Each version that I have seen so far of this concept has been different and I was curious to see how it would all unfold this time around. The film was certainly enjoyable though I do think I expected too much from it.

Mark (Kyle Allen) has been stuck living the same day over and over for some time now. It has gotten to the point where he almost doesn’t care what he does with his time because he’s sure that nothing will ever change. But then one day, something does happen that changes everything. Mark meets Margaret (Kathryn Newton). Turns out she is also reliving the same day Mark is. They decide to team up to try and figure out why this has happened to them and how they can break out of it.

What I liked the most about this was that the story picked up in the middle of the time loop and not at the beginning of it. We as the audience knew from the start that Mark had been stuck for quite some time now as he had adopted a similar routine for himself to follow. I think that this had more of an impact and it made me curious to find out why he was in this predicament to begin with. I also liked how Margaret was introduced and that the two of them could sort out their issues together.

While they tried to give depth to the film, I do think that there could have been more. Unlike Palm Springs for example, I don’t think that this version was different than what we have seen before. I did appreciate the fact that the two main characters really tried to focus on the smaller things in life that we otherwise don’t pay attention to, but I was hoping for more at the end of the day.

The Map of Tiny Perfect Things was a cute take on a familiar story. It was entertaining enough for an hour and a half, however I wish it had left more of an impression on me.

Rating: ♥♥♥

To All The Boys: Always and Forever

The highly anticipated end to the popular To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before franchise is finally here. Like every other fan, I was eagerly looking forward to seeing this last installment. I was so hoping that the story would be wrapped up in a perfect bow so that it would be easier for me to say goodbye to these characters that we have come to know and love. Luckily I got my wish!

Returning from a family trip to Korea, Lara Jean Covey (Lana Condor) is about to start her senior year! Together with her boyfriend Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo), best friend Chris (Madeleine Arthur), nemesis Gen (Emilija Baranac) and friend Lucas (Trezzo Mahoro), they are ready to conquer everything from their trip to New York, Prom and graduation.

As she tries to immerse herself in her final days at Alder High, Lara Jean can’t help but be conflicted as to where she wants to go to college. The plan was to attend Stanford with Peter so they can stay together however when she gets into NYU, LJ isn’t so sure she wants to stay on the West Coast after all. Maybe following her dreams instead of her heart isn’t such a bad thing after all?

It has been some time since I read the trilogy so I can’t compare the movie to the books. Overall I was happy with how it all came together in the end. The characters got their happy ending and I liked how there were a lot of odes to the first two films. I’m sure that was much appreciated by the fans.

The only thing that bothered me throughout was how unsure Lara Jean was throughout the movie. She spent most of the time going back and forth between her decision and almost always based her choices on what she thought Peter would want her to do. Not going to lie – it got tiring after a while. It seemed like this whole topic of college swallowed up time she could have spent enjoying her last days at Alder High and with her family. I’m sure if she had been honest from the beginning, it would have saved a lot of heartache.

To All The Boys: Always and Forever was what I hoped it would be. If you are a long time fan of the series, I am sure you will be just as satisfied with this ending as I was.

Rating: ♥♥♥.5

Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar

Don’t you just love it when a movie is so unexpected in all the right ways? That is exactly what happened with Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar. I don’t actually think I even knew what it was about though that didn’t matter whatsoever because it had a much better impact that way. I was amused, confused and thoroughly entertained the whole way through.

When lifelong friends Barb (Annie Mumolo) and Star (Kristen Wiig) lose their jobs, they are left wondering what to do with their lives. After much deliberation, they decide to leave behind their small Mideastern town for the first time ever to go to Vista Del Mar for a vacation. Vista Del Mar seems like the perfect place for middle aged people like themselves but nothing can prepare Barb and Star for the adventure that awaits them.

Words cannot describe how hilarious this film was. All the jokes slapped and I was laughing out loud on multiple occasions. I was worried that the humor wouldn’t be my cup of tea, but fortunately I was proven wrong. It all worked.

The casting choices were A+. Kristen Wiig was a standout and was her perfect compliment Annie Mumolo. Their friendship was serious goals and they worked so well off each other. I loved Jamie Dornan in this too – not only is he wonderful to look at, he is actually quite diverse in the roles that he chooses (you’ll understand what I mean by this once you watch). Other well knowns rounded out the cast perfectly: Damon Wayans Jr., Wendi McLendon-Covey, Vanessa Bayer and Rose Abdoo.

Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar was the greatest surprise I have had while watching a movie in a long time. I honestly went into it thinking it was going to be a drag and it turned out it was the complete opposite. If you need a pick me up, I recommend checking this one out!

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Malcolm & Marie

Quite possibly one of the most anticipated films of the year, Malcolm & Marie made headlines just under a year ago when news broke that it had been made during quarantine. People’s curiosities grew and so did the hype. Everyone wanted to know what the big secret was. I remember being incredibly excited to add this title to my list.

The story takes place over the span of one night. Malcolm (John David Washington) and Marie (Zendaya) have just returned home from a film premiere. Marie is disappointed in Malcolm because he forgot to thank her in his speech. What follows is a tumultuous evening complete with heightened tensions, many arguments and revelations between the two characters.

This movie left me feeling a mixed bag of emotions.

The acting was brilliant. Both John David Washington and Zendaya gave raw and chilling performances. At times I really did feel like I was right there in the room with them. I think it helped that it was just the two of them on screen as well. This made for a much more intimate experience that I won’t soon forget.

Something else that I loved was the cinematography. The black and white ambiance was a cool touch. I appreciated that it added a flair of timelessness. It was also filmed in 35mm which is unusual but added a uniqueness to the film.

However, the constant fighting really started to get to me after awhile. Just when you think it’s over, it starts all over again. The movie really is not for the faint hearted but it was eye opening at the same time. The message of giving gratitude to those you love was brought across perfectly and I felt a sense of solitary for Marie throughout.

Overall, Malcolm & Marie is a film that left an impression on me. I really don’t think I have seen anything like it before. Unfortunately the hype was too strong and it didn’t end up being like I expected.

Rating: ♥♥♥.5