He’s All That

Based on the 1999 classic She’s All That, He’s All That is the gender swapped remake that has been on everybody’s lips since news broke that it was being made. Popular girl and social media influencer Padgett (Addison Rae) is humiliated when she catches her boyfriend Jordan (Peyton Meyer) cheating on her during a live stream. In order to revive her image and get her sponsorship back, she makes a bet with her friend Alden (Madison Pettis) to makeover a geeky guy into Prom King material. What Padgett doesn’t bargain for is that Cameron (Tanner Buchanan) is unlike anybody she could have imagined and she finds herself falling for him.

I knew going into this movie that I shouldn’t expect too much. The original version has such a huge following and has become absolutely iconic since its release. I also heard that the storyline and acting weren’t very good which had me weary. Still, I was intrigued.

To be honest, I have to say that it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Some of the acting really wasn’t great – I’m not a fan of Addison Rae and thought she was kind of annoying throughout but not everybody was awful. Tanner Buchanan was fine (both acting and looks wise) as was Isabella Crovetti who played his sister Brin.

It was also awesome to see Rachael Leigh Cook and Matthew Lillard in this. Despite the fact that they didn’t reprise their roles from the original and played new characters instead, it made me feel all nostalgic to see them again. I appreciated the various callbacks made to the older version as well. Some of the lines were almost identical, if I remember correctly, and the dance battle scene at Prom was on point.

He’s All That is nothing to write home about though. Parts of it were boring and predictable and I definitely thought there was room for improvement. That being said, it wasn’t one of the worst movies I have ever seen and I think people are being way too harsh about it.

Rating: ♥♥.5


Ruby, (Emilia Jones) a seventeen year old girl who lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts is the only hearing member of a deaf family. All her life, she has gone above and beyond to help her mother Jackie (Marlee Matlin), her father Frank (Troy Kotsur) and her brother Leo (Daniel Durant). When her family’s fishing business finds itself in trouble, Ruby feels herself being pulled in two directions. She wants to be there for her family, but she just started singing in the school’s choir led by Bernardo Villalobos (Eugenio Derbez) who is aiding her to audition for Berklee College of Music.

All of the buzz surrounding CODA and the fact that it did so amazingly at the Sundance Film Festival is what made me want to watch it. I had a feeling that it would be something special. I just didn’t realize how much.

This was absolutely phenomenal. Based on a French movie called La Famille Belier, CODA had my heart breaking and mending simultaneously throughout. Ruby was such a relatable teen and yet I could never even begin to imagine how difficult it must have been for her to choose between her family and her dream. At the same time, I felt bad for her family who wanted to be treated as equals, but who were also scared to put themselves out there. The fact that actual deaf actors were casted in the roles of Ruby’s parents and brother made it all the better and more impressive. More films should take a cue from this one going forward.

I didn’t know what to expect going into CODA and it wound up completely blowing my mind. The storyline, the music – everything was perfectly executed. It’s a film that really makes you think and one that will definitely make you cry. I know I did.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥


Based on the true story of Aretha Franklin’s life, the movie follows Aretha (Jennifer Hudson) as a child singing in her father’s (Forrest Whitaker) church choir to her rise to fame as an international superstar.

There was a lot about Ms. Franklin that I did not know and so I found Respect to be rather interesting. I had no idea that she went through so much at such a young age that my heart broke for her several times. I have always enjoyed watching biopics and this one was no exception. The few things that worked did so very well while there were other aspects that could have been better.

Jennifer Hudson, for starters, was the standout of the show. I had a feeling that she would be and while I haven’t been a fan of her work in the past, one thing is for sure and it’s the fact that she can sing! I don’t see how anybody else could have stepped into this role and I understand why Ms. Franklin handpicked Hudson herself. The fact that they spent such a long period of time working on this special project showed.

The other cast members such as Forest Whitaker, Audra McDonald, Marlon Wayans, Marc Maron, Tituss Burgess, Tate Donovan and Mary J. Blige all helped to bring their notable characters to life. In addition, I felt like I was transported to this time and was mostly stuck into the story throughout.

While the movie was capitivating enough, I have to admit that I felt there was something missing. I can’t exactly put my finger on it though. Maybe there needed to be better closure on some of the plot points. It seemed like we jumped around a lot and like things weren’t tied up properly. I definitely could have used some more singing as well. I don’t care that we’ve already heard Respect or Think, I wanna hear it another TEN times. It was also a little bit too long and the pacing too slow.

All that being said, I still think that Respect was a story that I won’t soon forget. JHud blew this out of the water and I loved seeing her return to the types of roles that she does best. I wouldn’t be surprised if this sparked some award nominations in the near future.

Rating: ♥♥♥. 5

Free Guy

Guy (Ryan Reynolds) is a bank teller who lives in Free City. Every day is the same and soon he starts to wonder – is there more to life? When he realizes that he is actually a background player in an open world video game, he takes matters into his own hands. Instead of playing it safe, Guy will become a hero.

One of my most anticipated movies of the year, the theatrical release of Free Guy had previously been impacted by the pandemic. I finally had the chance to watch it over the weekend and it truly was everything I had hoped it would be and more.

This is Ryan Reynolds at his absolute best and he did not let me down. The story was intricately planned out and executed, the special effects were brilliant and all the jokes had me laughing out loud.

The rest of the cast were so on point too. I have loved Jodie Comer since discovering her talent on Killing Eve and she was wonderful as coder Millie. After seeing her in this role, I hope she will go on to star in many more blockbuster hits. Joe Keery of Stranger Things fame was a pleasant surprise. Like Jodie, I hadn’t seen him in anything outside of the show that launched him to stardom. I enjoyed his characters Keys and thought he added something extra to the story. And then there was Taika Waititi who was outstanding as antagonist Antoine. He was both hilarious and over the top crazy which I got a kick out of.

Everything about Free Guy landed for me. It was such escapism and held my interest from the get-go. In addition to it being a ton of fun, it also has great morals and will surely leave you in a great mood.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥.5


Ever since he was young, it was always Vivo (Lin Manuel Miranda), a kinkajou and his owner Andres (Juan de Marcos Gonzalez) against the world playing music for the people of Havana. When tragedy strikes, Vivo takes it upon himself to deliver a love song from Andres to Marta Sandoval (Gloria Estefan), his lost love and a famous singer. With the help of a teenage girl named Gabi (Ynairaly Simo), they travel through Florida in hopes of getting to Marta’s farewell concert before it’s too late.

Vivo had been on my list for some time. I really wanted to see it because of Lin Manuel Miranda who not only stars as the title character, but who wrote and composed all the music. They were certainly the highlight of the film and brought such a bright atmosphere to an otherwise somber movie.

Despite the colorful setting and the very talented cast which also included the likes of Zoe Saldana, Michael Rooker, Nicole Buyer and Katie Lowes, the rest of the plot was just okay. It wasn’t very surprising and at times I kind of wanted it to move along more. I think I kind of expected more from it at times.

All that being said, Vivo is a story about hope and finding your place in the world. It is also about accepting others as well as yourself in the process. It did leave me feel warm and fuzzy inside so I guess it did it’s job!

Rating: ♥♥♥

The Kissing Booth 3

It’s the last summer before college and Elle Evans (Joey King) is determined to make it the best one yet. Together with her best friend Lee (Joel Courtney), his girlfriend Rachel (Meganne Young) and Elle’s boyfriend Noah (Jacob Elordi), they make a plan to stay at the Flynn family beach house before it’s sold. But Elle has some decisions to make and she soon finds herself torn between Lee and Noah. Lee wants her to go to Berkeley with him like they always planned, but Noah is banking on her choosing Harvard where he studies. It will surely be a summer neither of them will forget.

I was curious to see how the final instalment of The Kissing Booth trilogy would come to a close. And while I was mostly satisfied with the ending, I have to say that everything leading up to it left much to be desired.

Elle and Noah are supposed to be this cute couple that you want to root for, but fuck were they annoying. I couldn’t take their constant back and forth and just wanted them to either sit down to talk or break up for good. Instead though, Elle was whiny and would turn to anyone but Noah to talk about their issues and Noah was just a straight up douche who would flee whenever a problem arose. To say it was exhausting watching them is an understatement.

I also didn’t think the way Lee treated Elle was right. They are supposed to be best friends who have each others’ back through it all and it didn’t seem that way. I understand her choosing between the two brothers is integral to the plot, however it got old fast. No wonder Elle could barely figure out what she wanted to do with her life. She was being pulled in every direction.

All in all, I kind of expected more from The Kissing Booth 3. While the story ended on a high, it was way too messy to get there in the first place and I’m happy it’s over.

Rating: ♥♥.5

The Suicide Squad

Our favorite supervillains are back in a sequel/reboot to 2016’s Suicide Squad. When the government decides to send Bloodsport (Idris Elba), Peacemaker (John Cena), King Shark (Sylvester Stallone), Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior) and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) etc. to the remote island of Corto Maltese, they soon realize that their mission will not be an easy one. Dealing with the various obstacles thrown in their wake, their biggest test of all will be not coming to blows with one another.

The Suicide Squad directed by James Gunn was quite possibly the movie I had been looking forward to the most all summer. It is certainly one that I was very excited to see this year. Unlike many others, I actually liked the first Suicide Squad, but even I have to admit that this version takes the cake. The stakes were higher and it was just completely epic.

I loved the over the top battle scenes and the blood and gore. They were brought to a whole new level and didn’t let up once! I was losing my mind in the cinema at how crazy some of the scenes were. Pretty sure had I been watching at home that I would have yelled multiple times out of pure excitement.

Additionally, the humor was on point. I was laughing out loud the whole way through and that was all thanks to the incredible cast. So many notable names and the characters they played. Honorable mentions go to Ratcatcher 2 and King Shark, however I can’t leave out my girl Harley. She was brilliant in this.

With fabulous music and a fast paced storyline that kept me on the edge of my seat, The Suicide Squad more than exceeded my expectations. Dare I go as far to say that it is DC’s best film to date?

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

The Green Knight

Based on the Arthurian legend, The Green Knight follows Sir Gawain (Dev Patel) as he embarks on a life or death quest to combat against the famous giant who has threatened Camelot. Risking his life (and his head), Gawain sets off on a journey that turns out to be so much more than he ever could have expected. Not only does he want to prove himself to his family and the court, but he hopes to learn more about himself in the process.

I grew up loving Arthurian legends and so my wanting to watch this movie seemed like a no brainer. I was really looking forward to it and the trailer looked amazing. Sadly, I was very much let down. This was not at all what I had been expecting. In fact, I left the cinema wondering what the fuck I had just watched. A day later and I am still scratching my head, unable to comprehend it.

First of all, the pacing of the film was way too slow. I struggled to pay attention and found everything happened at a snail’s pace. On top of that, it was confusing. I understand that this was supposed to be a unique and artistic approach to a classic story, but it didn’t work. The plot got muddled and the various chapter titles throughout were distracting as well as hard to read. Not to mention as well that the music was often too loud and would sometimes drown out what the characters were saying to one another.

I did think that the cinematography was well done, though it would have been nice to have less dark scenes. Sometimes it was hard to see what was happening on screen. I also thought that Dev Patel did a great job and I am a fan of Alicia Vikander, but that’s about all the positives I can say about it.

Unfortunately, The Green Knight missed all the marks for me. Maybe my expectations were too high, I don’t know. All I do know is that I wasted two hours of my life and I will never get them back.

Rating: ♥♥

Jungle Cruise

Based on the Disney ride, Jungle Cruise tells the story of Dr. Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) and her quest to find an ancient tree deep in the Amazon that holds the power to heal. Together with her brother McGregor (Jack Whitehall), they enlist the help of Frank (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson), a skipper who knows the river like the back of his hand. Their journey won’t be simple, however, as they are faced with all that the jungle has to offer as well as several foes who covet finding the tree too.

This was a ton of fun! I am so glad I made us watch this in the cinema because we got to experience it the way it was supposed to be experienced. I truly loved everything about this movie. It was full of humor and heart and I cannot get over the amazing chemistry that Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson had with one another. Their back and forth banter was captivating to watch and I could have watched them all day long. I must say though that Jack Whitehall really impressed me. He stole every scene that he was in and I could not stop cracking up at his lines.

The plot itself was interesting and kept me entranced the whole way through. I was on the edge of my seat and just when I thought I knew what was going to happen next, I had to think again. Time completely flew by and I didn’t want it to end.

Once again, Disney really outdid themselves. The effects were next level and at times I really felt like I was there. I had high hopes for Jungle Cruise and it did not disappoint. I was left a permanent smile on my face that I am sure won’t go away anytime soon. Fingers crossed they end up turning it into a franchise because I would totally be onboard.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥