Estella (Emma Stone) has always dreamed of becoming a fashion designer. A grifter, she meets Jasper (Joel Fry) and Horace (Paul Walter Hauser) and the three of them build a life for themselves on the streets of London. When Estella lands a job working for Baroness von Hellman (Emma Thompson), she believes that she has finally made it. Unfortunately for her, the Baroness is not who Estella was hoping she would be and desire to rivel the Baroness grows. Before she knows it, Estella is no more and Cruella has taken her place.

The newest addition to Disney’s live action remakes, Cruella has been taking the world by storm. A lot of build up and anticipation for fans of the original classic, I have to say that this was a solid movie at the end of the day. It wasn’t perfect, but it definitely is one of the better films Disney has put out lately.

One of the things that worked best was the cast. They were all phenomenal and that says a lot because I wasn’t sure what to think of Emma Stone at first. I love her, but the idea of her as Cruella didn’t seem to fit. She proved me wrong though and I am so happy about that. Emma Thompson is a queen and she was fabulous in this. Paul Walter Hauser and Joel Fry were exactly how I pictured Horace and Jasper to be and the additions of Mark Strong as John, Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Anita and Kayvan Novak as Roger were also well done.

I cannot get over the beautiful costumes that were created for this movie. Heavily influenced by punk rock, it was different and edgy. I coveted all the looks! I also appreciated the music choices and thought that they fit well into the various scenes.

The only thing that I didn’t like was the length of the film. It felt too long and could have certainly been cut down a bit, especially in the beginning. The story took some time to really lift off though I have to admit that once it did, it didn’t let up for a second.

Cruella was a movie that I had been looking forward to ever since it was announced. I remember loving 101 Dalmatians as a child and so I was excited to see the origin story for its villain. I’m really glad that it delivered. It kept me thoroughly entertained and yes, I am hoping for a sequel.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Army of the Dead

After a zombie outbreak occurs in Las Vegas, a mismatched group of people are recruited to pull off the greatest heist ever. They must walk into the quarantine zone to retrieve money from a vault underneath one of the casinos. Putting their lives at risk, no matter what, is no problem when the payout is sure to be worth it.

Zack Snyder really has done it again. I don’t know where the man comes up with all these epic movie ideas, but he is a visionary. This was unlike anything I had ever seen before in the best way possible. There was not one dull moment starting right from the get go. That opening sequence alone helped set the tone and was completely captivating. The film didn’t let up afterwards and I was kept on the edge of my seat the whole time. I also caught myself constantly screaming at my TV when something crazy happened.

I must give a special shoutout to the incredible cast that helmed this movie. Each played their role so flawlessly and the chemistry between them was off the charts. I couldn’t have imagined a better group. Dave Bautista, in particular, was able to show off more of his range as Scott Ward. I also thoroughly enjoyed the characters of Vanderohe (Omari Hardwick), Dieter (Matthias Schweighofer) and Mikey Guzman (Raul Castillo).

To be honest, I’m not sure why I liked Army of the Dead so much. It’s not usually my cup of tea, however, there was just something about it that was so intriguing to me. It was fun, entertaining and pure escapism. That is truly what we all need these days.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

The Woman in the Window

The Woman in the Window was one of my most anticipated films of the year. I read the book by A.J. Finn at the very beginning of the pandemic in preparation for the big screen release. As we all know now, the date was pushed back and the rights were ultimately bought by Netflix. You can imagine the build up and excitement that I have harboured ever since. I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into it this weekend!

Anna Fox (Amy Adams), is a psychologist who has recently separated from her husband. She lives in their New York City home with her cat Punch where she sees a therapist on the regular for her agoraphobia. Since she doesn’t go outside, Anna often finds herself spying on her neighbours, assuming that she will never have to come face to face with them.

One day, new to the area Jane Russell (Julianne Moore) from across the street appears on her doorstep. The two form a bond over a game of gin and a couple bottles of wine. So, when Anna witnesses a violent incident happening to Jane through her window, who will believe her? Nobody saw them together and to make matters worse, Anna usually washes her medication down with alcohol altering her perception of reality. Not to mention the fact, that it appears Jane Russell (Jennifer Jason Leigh) seems to be alive and well, except she is not at all who Anna met that night.

Let’s start with the good. I thought the casting choices were well done. While I am not usually a fan of Amy Adams, I actually thought her portrayal of Anna was spot on. That was exactly how I imagined the character while reading about her a year ago. Julianne Moore as Jane was uncanny and the two had great chemistry together. Having Gary Oldman as Jane’s husband Alistair and Fred Hechinger as their troubled son Ethan were perfect additions. Rounding out with Wyatt Russell as Anna’s tenant David, Brian Tyree Henry as Detective Little and Anthony Mackie as Anna’s husband Ed, there are a lot of familiar faces to appreciate.

I enjoyed the twists and turns along the way. Despite knowing what they were going to be, seeing the reveals occur on screen was still satisfying. The pacing, while slow to start, was necessary for the film and helped set the tone. It was creepy and kept me on the edge of my seat which is really all that I could want from a thriller.

Unfortunately, as is customary with every book to movie adaption, some scenes just do not make the cut. Most of the time, these changes are necessary and I can understand them. This time around, however, there were two plot points in particular that I felt were integral to the story and therefore should have been included. I truly believe if they were added in that everything would have been fleshed out more.

At the end of the day, I am still happy that I finally had the chance to watch The Woman in the Window. It may not have been entirely what I was expecting, but I did like it for what it was.

Rating: ♥♥♥