House Of Gucci

Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) is your average, hardworking Italian woman who always knew she was destined for more. When she meets Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver) at a party, she vows to do everything possible to land him as her husband. Marrying into the Gucci family will give her that stability and, most importantly, power. Over time it becomes apparent that Patrizia’s ambition is too much for the Guccis’ to handle causing a spiral of betrayal, and ultimately, murder.

Lady Gaga was the star in House Of Gucci. Despite her questionable Italian accent, her acting chops have stepped up even more since A Star Is Born. I couldn’t take my eyes off her and she really commanded every scene she was in. In a way it was almost as if Adam Driver wasn’t the best match for her, though you could tell he was trying his best. Another standout was in Jared Leto’s portrayal of Paolo. First of all, he’s completely unrecognizable in the role and he was hilarious too. I just wish we had had more of other supporting cast members in Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and Salma Hayek. It didn’t seem like we got the full capacity of their talent.

My expectations for this movie were at an unbelievable high. What started off really strong unfortunately didn’t stay that way. The pacing slowed significantly and the run time was starting to wear on me. It definitely could have been cut down by about forty five minutes. It also seemed like there was a lot of build up for a short climax.

That being said, House Of Gucci was a fascinating take on the famous family. The only aspect I knew about their history was the murder and so I appreciated learning everything else. I truly believe that it is a film worth watching, if only for the performances. I can see some award show buzz in the future.

Rating: ♥♥♥

Tick, Tick…Boom!

What are we meant to do with the time that we have? That is the question that Jon (Andrew Garfield) can’t help but ask himself as he attempts to write the next great American musical. Preparing for the showcase that will make or break his career, Jon feels pressure from everyone and everything around him. His job waiting tables at the Moondance Diner is not stimulating enough, his girlfriend Susan (Alexandra Shipp) dreams of something more herself and Jon’s best friend Michael (Robin De Jesus) transitions from a life of fantasy to something more stable in the advertising industry.

There was no question in my mind that Tick, Tick..Boom! would be a revelation. Anything that Lin Manuel Miranda touches is, let’s be real. His directorial debut saw him adapting Jonathan Larson’s life before his untimely death right as he finally broke into Broadway.

Andrew Garfield was mesmerizing as the titular character. I knew the guy could act, but I had no idea whatsoever that he could sing. Everything that he brought to the role of Jon was amazing to watch. More stunning performances from Alexandra Shipp and Robin De Jesus helped strengthen the film. And who could forget Vanessa Hudgens as Karessa and Joshua Henry as Roger, friends of Jon’s through and through. It also wouldn’t be a Miranda production without some cameos from other much projects of his.

An ultimately sad story, Tick, Tick…Boom! was really something else. I love how it made me think about just how I am spending my time here on this Earth. The fact that this took place during the AIDS epidemic in the 1990s only added to that notion. Mixed together with a stellar soundtrack, this is a movie that I won’t soon forget.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

The Princess Switch 3: Romancing The Star

The Princess Switch franchise is back for another holiday instalment. Following the events of last year, the story follows Queen Margaret (Vanessa Hudgens) and Princess Stacey (Vanessa Hudgens) having to do damage control when a priceless artefact is stolen. In order to get it back, they enlist the help of cousin Fiona (Vanessa Hudgens), who has been doing community service hours in a convent. Together along with Fiona’s henchmen Mindy (Florence Hall) and Reggie (Ricky Norwood) as well as a man from her past Peter (Remy Hii), they are the perfect team to outsmart Hunter (Will Kemp), the man who took it to begin with. But no Christmas is complete without a switch and once again, Margaret and Stacey are roped into the escapade.

Vanessa Hudgens is a pretty impressive actress. The fact that she plays three very different characters, each with distinctive mannerisms is not something you see every day. Sometimes it’s hard to tell each one apart, especially when they do switch and pretend to be each other. It’s always nice seeing the rest of the cast in Nick Sagar as Kevin, Sam Palladio as Prince Edward, Mia Lloyd as Olivia and Suanne Braun as Mrs. Donatelli too. The movie wouldn’t be complete without them!

The storyline this time around was more enjoyable for me. I remember feeling like something was missing from part two, however, the decision to focus more on Fiona was the right one. There was so much we didn’t know about her and learning about her past really had me sympathizing with her. The various hijinks everyone found themselves in throughout were just as out there as usual and I loved the festive atmosphere of Montenaro once more.

Overall, The Princess Switch 3: Romancing The Star, while utter crap, was fun, entertaining crap that I enjoyed every single second of. These movies are not to be taken seriously whatsoever and they are something that I look forward to each year. In all honesty, I’d be happy if they did seven more too with many more variations of Hudgens’ character because they are just so much fun.

Rating: ♥♥. 5

Red Notice

Red Notice follows FBI top profiler John Hartley (Dwayne Johnson) as he embarks on a mission to find some of the world’s most wanted. Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds), a renowned art thief, is trust into Hartley’s way, forcing the two of them to team up to find The Bishop (Gal Gadot), another art thief who is always one step ahead. On the hunt for Cleopatra’s eggs, Hartley and Booth will stop at nothing to get to them first, even if it means traveling the world, participating in some heists and having to put up with one another in the process.

My hopes for this film were high. How could they not be? Three of the most popular names in cinema right now star along side each other in this action adventure flick and I like them all individually. The chemistry between Johnson and Reynolds was exactly what I had anticipated while Gadot was great addition to the mix. My only problem with this trio was that once again, Reynolds was basically playing himself. I realized that this was the third movie I had seen him in this year and he really does tend to play the same type of character over and over again. While I do enjoy him as an actor, I also wouldn’t be mad if I didn’t see him in any projects in the coming year. I need a break.

I liked the storyline and thought the quest was interesting enough. There were some fun chase sequences and lots of twists along the way. The action was sort of lack lustre on the whole, however, and there was a bit too much predictability. I wish I had been caught off guard a few more times.

Netflix movies have mostly been full of misses lately and that makes me sad. I was really looking forward to Red Notice and while it was entertaining enough, my expectations weren’t really met. That being said, they set it up nicely for a sequel which I would still undoubtedly watch.

Rating: ♥♥. 5


The year is 1991. Diana Spencer (Kristen Stewart) is on her way to the Sandringham estate in Norfolk to celebrate Christmas with the royal family. It is evident right away that she would rather be anywhere but there. From having to weigh yourself upon entry to the castle, being told what to wear and for which occasion and always having an eye on her, Diana is unhappy and seemingly caged in. It is over these three days that she decides to leave her marriage to Prince Charles (Jack Farthing).

Directed by Pablo Larraín who was the man behind 2016’s Jackie, Spencer is described as being a fable based on a true story. The audience is sucked into Diana’s mind during these three days over the holiday and how she so desperately wanted to get away from it all. It is an interesting, and rather different, portrayal than what we have been used to seeing in the past.

Kristen Stewart received early praise for her performance as the beloved Princess and I was very excited to see it for myself. I had a feeling that she would be outstanding and she really was; I can see the award noms coming in now. The resemblance was uncanny, particularly in the way she held herself. She was surrounded by a great cast as well. In particular, Timothy Spall, who excels in everything he does, is Major Alistair Gregory, hired specifically to look after Diana during the weekend. And then there is Sally Hawkins, who stars as Diana’s dresser Maggie, and is perhaps the only person who she can trust.

As Spencer is a fable, it is important to keep in mind that the events depicted in the film are not necessarily true. If anything, I believe it is one interpretation amongst many. It’s all about the bigger picture: that this woman wanted nothing more than to break free from what society expected from her and what she had to do to make that happen. The story was haunting and beautiful although rather sad. To think she was able to walk away but then to have her life tragically taken from her years later.

Rating: ♥♥♥

Love Hard

Natalie (Nina Dobrev) is a hopeless romantic journalist from LA who has been on countless dates over the years. When she matches with handsome Tag (Darren Barnet) who lives on the East Coast, Natalie thinks that her luck is finally changing. The two spend a couple of blissful weeks talking non-stop until Tag suggests she visits him for the holidays. Taking a leap of faith, Natalie is completely surprised when she discovers that she has been catfished by Tag’s childhood friend Josh (Jimmy O. Yang). To get her to stay, Josh says he’ll help Natalie land Tag if she pretends to be his girlfriend in front of his family (James Saito, Rebecca Staab, Althea Kaye, Harry Shum Jr. and Mikaela Hoover) he tries so hard to impress.

I actually wasn’t going to review Love Hard at first. I thought it would be just another Netflix movie that would be forgettable right after I finished it. Well, I was totally wrong. While it wasn’t a masterpiece of any sort, I loved absolutely every single minute of it and figured that there was no way that I couldn’t not write about it!

There was never a question as to whether or not I’d watch the movie. The cast, in particular, reeled me in. I’ve been a fan of Nina Dobrev’s since her Vampire Diaries days. I hadn’t seen her in much lately which is a shame because she’s such a likeable person. Darren Barnet of Never Have I Ever fame is a rising star. Mark my words, he will be in a lot more projects for years to come. His looks don’t hurt either. It was also a treat having Harry Shum Jr. in this as Josh’s overbearing, perfectionist brother.

What I liked most about this film was the moral it wanted to share. Never judge a book by it’s cover. I feel like this is so important, especially today where social media has such a strong influence. It’s so easy to pretend to be somebody else, but it is important to be yourself regardless. While some say that the outcome of the story was not entirely believable, I think it worked perfectly for the tone.

Love Hard officially marked my first Christmas movie of 2021. I swear I’m starting earlier and earlier, though I can’t lie and say that I really mind. Not only was it adorable, it had me laughing multiple times and swooning at others. It was a perfect light, feel good movie that instantly put a smile on my face right when I needed it.

Rating: ♥♥♥.5


Sersei (Gemma Chan), Ikaris (Richard Madden), Thena (Angelina Jolie), Ajak (Salma Hayek), Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani), Sprite (Lia McHugh), Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry), Makkari (Lauren Ridloff), Druig (Barry Keoghan) and Gilgamesh (Don Lee) are Eternals, aliens that have been sent to Earth by Celestials to defend humans against the Deviants. Learning to balance a normal life, they must reunite after years apart to defeat the Deviants once more.

I honestly had zero desire to watch Eternals at first. The storyline just did not interest me in the slightest. Eventually I caved and figured I’d probably be missing out on something if I didn’t give it a go, not to mention the fact that it is all part of Phase 4. The early critics weren’t great and so I went into it hesitantly.

The movie was better than I expected it to be. It wasn’t groundbreaking by any means and it’s not up there with my favorite Marvels, but because I went in thinking it would be awful, I was pleasantly surprised. One positive was the introduction and exploration of the characters. We really had a proper backstory and that was much appreciated. However, there were some that I still would have liked to know more about, such as Makkari and Druig, and felt that some definitely had more screen time than others. I also couldn’t help but notice many similarities in these individuals to those from the DC universe and I’m not really sure how that made me feel.

As usual, the cinematography was stunning. I don’t think I will ever watch a Marvel movie and not be in awe at the way it was filmed. I was curious about Chloé Zhao and the direction in which she would take things. She had a great approach and I hope that for future Eternal films, she will be onboard for them.

In addition to some characters being overshadowed by others, I also felt like the runtime was too long. A lot of the scenes dragged and I found myself checking my watch for the time. Not only that, but it seemed like there wasn’t enough build up to the climax of the movie which resulted in it happening too fast.

Overall, Eternals is not a bad Marvel movie, it’s just different. I believe that it will take some time before we really learn to appreciate how these superheroes will fit into the bigger picture. Does it deserve the negative reviews it’s been getting? No, I don’t think so. It was fine for an introduction film, however, it will be interesting to see what happens next.

Rating: ♥♥♥

Army of Thieves

The prequel to Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead which came out earlier this year, Army of Thieves follows Sebastian (Matthias Schweighöfer), or more commonly known as Ludwig Dieter, your average every day banker who just happens to have a knack for cracking safes. Bored of the regular nine to five life, Dieter hopes for something more. Then one day, he is approached by infamous jewellery theif Gwendoline (Nathalie Emmanuel) to join in on a top secret heist during the beginning of the zombie apocalypse.

I was one of the few people who actually really liked Army of the Dead. When I heard the universe was being expanded, I couldn’t wait, especially when the next instalment would be about my favorite character Dieter. I instantly fell for his charm and nerdy ways and so to have the opportunity to learn more about him was awesome. He was the perfect protagonist to lead this film. It was also impressive to discover that in addition to starring in the movie, he also produced and directed it.

The other characters were a lot of fun to get to know too. They each brought something to the table and I wouldn’t be surprised if they popped up somewhere down the line as there is still so much we don’t know about them. Super hacker Korina (Ruby O. Fee) was sassy and oozed girl power, meathead Brad (Stuart Martin) while wonderful to look at was kind of a dud and sandwich loving getaway driver Rolph (Guz Khan) was severely underused.

Being transported inside the safes was really cool. In fact, the way in which the film as a whole was filmed felt like it belonged in a comic book. The character introductions, location names, music choices and fight sequences sucked me in and made me feel like I was in another dimension.

While the film was full of entertainment, the storyline itself was more on the predictable side. It was easy to tell what was going to happen next and there weren’t many surprises along the way. I also felt that what was going on outside of the heist didn’t do much to advance the plot. I guess I expected a lot more action considering the original movie, but I was wrong.

Still, for an origin story, Army of Thieves was an enjoyable caper that left me pretty satisfied. The various Easter eggs bridging the two movies together was done well and I cannot wait to see what happens next in this franchise.

Rating: ♥♥♥.5