Moana, movie review

The same people who made “The Little Mermaid” and “Pocahontas” created “Moana.” If you see the movie in theaters you’ll learn this fun factoid because the makers of the movie do a little “thanks for seeing this in the theater” speech before the film begins. Gotta love it when they do that. Armed with that knowledge, I noticed a few similarities between the films. I mean, there’s the obvious bit about all three being focused on a strong woman as the lead character. But what makes this movie stand out is the fact… there is no romance!!

Throughout the entire film there is a bit of chemistry between Moana and the demi god she is searching for, Maui, but unlike most fairy tales, the two do not fall for each other. They both help each other learn, grow, and become better people, then go off to fulfill their own destinies. I love the message this sends. Not all quests or stories need to be about finding your true love. You don’t need that to be happy. At least, that was the message I got from it.

I don’t think Moana is going to be as popular as the big hitters Disney has made, but I do think its a great tale and has good lessons for us all. Plus, the animation is amazing. I cannot believe how well the water was designed. Oh, how far we have come in the animation world. So… go see it!!

Oh, its good for all ages too, nothing too scary, just some fight scenes, which are really just people jumping around. Not many boring periods either. All of the kids watching it when I went were well entertained.


Bleed for This, movie review

I’m a sucker for a good underdog story. “Bleed for This,” is the classic sports underdog story, and its based on true events. If you stick around when the credits roll, you’ll see some of the original interviews and news footage of the boxer’s experience.

I was a little surprised that it took the movie an hour before the car accident occurred. It was a bit much in the build up of Vince’s background, but it worked okay. There is plenty of tension in the fight scenes to keep you wondering if he suffers some serious injuries before the car accident. Things slow down a bit once the accident occurs, but that’s be expected when your main character is bed ridden for a few months.

The acting from all involved is top notch, maybe not Academy Awards worthy, but close. I’ll be interested to see if the movie makes the cut this year.

If you are a fan of boxing, or underdog stories, you’ll enjoy this film. I wasn’t squirming nearly as much as I expected, so you don’t have to worry about the gore being too overwhelming. It’s a great story to watch unfold and it did a good job of making me understand what motivates some people to push themselves to the limit. The best quote from this film was, “Do you know what scares me the most about quitting? How easy it is.”

This movie is a must see for anyone looking for a little inspiration.


Arrival, movie review

This is not your typical alien invasion movie. There is minimal action. Minimal dialogue, which the creators try to make less obvious by playing music throughout the film, but it didn’t help much. This is a “thinking” movie, with a well thought out plot that takes place in multiple times… ie, the past, present, and future. To add to the already mind boggling time line, there is borderline time travel, and plot changes that make you wonder if you are seeing scenes from the past or future. Eventually it all comes together at the end and you get it, but the reveal isn’t so dramatic that it makes up for the fact it took us two hours of slow plot to get there.

Some of the ideas are creative, the language of the alien being circles with varying dots and waves, each meaning a different word. But this is then coupled with stupid moments, like the Army Officer asking the linguist to translate a bunch of grunts from a tape recording. Who can do that? No one. another scene he salutes his troops, um, shouldn’t his enlisted peeps be saluting him first? The main character, Louise, is asked several times to explain herself, and I understand that the directors are having her do this in an effort to explain things to the audience without having to go through the effort of showing them things. But geez, the movie is already slow paced and boring, so could it really have hurt to do a bit more showing and less telling?

My friend put it best, “This movie would make a great book.” Guess what? It was based on a book, by Ted Chiang ‘Story of Your Life.” To which she replied, “Oh, well then is should have stayed a book.”


My new novel! Available now, “Not a Big Deal”

My newest M/M Romance Novel is now out. “Not a Big Deal” published by MLR Press.

notabigdeal_wd

Conspiracies surface in the racist police department when Clayton, a white goody-goody cop, the police chief’s son, starts dating a black man from the projects.

Clayton’s hometown is full of white racist cops who enjoy targeting the dominantly black neighborhoods. His father, the police chief, has supposedly improved the situation.

After Clayton transfers to the department, he begins a relationship with a black man who lives in one of those neighborhoods. Clayton tries to keep his job and ties to the police force a secret from his new lover. It doesn’t help that his new love interest also has secrets, too.

Clayton has to decide who he should trust– his brothers in blue or the man sharing his bed.

Not a Big Deal on Amazon and MLR Press


Doctor Strange, movie review

I’ll admit I’ve been a bit turned off with how complicated the marvel movie world has become, with all the interlinking of the different story lines and movies, but Doctor Strange looked independent enough that I wouldn’t feel lost by the fact I can’t recall the details in all the other movies.

I am happy to report I was correct. It wasn’t until the bonus end scenes played, that the links were put in that connect the film to the other marvel movies. In other words, I’ll be lost in the sequels. But this origins story stands fine by itself. So if you’ve never seen any other marvel movie, you can go see this one and walk away happy.

The story is good, lots of action, great witty dialogue, mostly believable, and the time altering stuff was done as well as a person can hope for. I did see it in 3D and I’d say if you can afford the extra dough, it’s a movie worth seeing in 3D.

So, this gets a thumbs up from me.


Trolls, 2016 movie review

This actually wasn’t as good as I was expecting. I guess the hype had built it up a little too high. I was expecting something on the Shrek or Lego movie level. This fell more in the, Rapunzel realm, if any of you can remember that movie.

A bunch of clueless, overly idiotic trolls, are being eaten by large ogre type giants known as the Bergens, because eating them makes the ogres feel happy. The moral of the story is some version of instead of taking drugs to feel good, you need to go out in the world and find real happiness. But the kids who are going to enjoy the barrage of color and song, aren’t going to get the message. If anything, kids are now going to try to eat their toy trolls. I mean, when I saw this was the plot, I was horrified. Why make a movie about eating cute innocent trolls? Talk about a dark movie, that is trying to not be dark by throwing lots of glitter and songs into the mix.

Most of the songs are remakes, and I didn’t feel any of the singers were getting a chance to sing to their full potential. Anyone could have sang the tunes and sounded just as good—thanks to auto-tune.

The animation was entertaining. Everything looked so fuzzy. And it was amazing to see how things came to life, landscapes turned into creatures, it was similar to something from a Dr Seuss book. And the little trolls totally looked like the toys—yes there was obvious marketing going on and I expect there is a brand new line up of toys hitting the shelves.

It’s hard to say what age group of kids will enjoy the film. I heard kids asking questions and being confused, so to me the movie tried to appeal to too wide of an age range and ended up not working well for any age. No kids in the theater seemed overly bored, but none were excited to be there either.

My suggestions on seeing this movie, if you are going to go, see it in 3D so you can get the full enjoyment out of the animation, since that’s really all the movie has going for it.

Overall, this is a skip it movie.


Storks, movie review

I thought this would be mostly a kid movie, not much in it for adults. When the reviews came out and I saw the numerous one star reviews, I figured I was correct. Until I started reading the reviews. For the most part, the movie either got a four or five star, or a one start. People either hated it or loved it. Why? Well, the haters, were literally hating it for one reason. For thirty seconds, in a sequence where random couples are flashed across the screen, a few are same sex couples. Its not something I would have even noticed if I hadn’t read the reviews and been watching for it.

So ignore those idiots. I’ve seen films do much more in your face political messages than this movie did. It didn’t even feel like a political message. In this movie, you can have a baby the normal sexual way, or you can order one from a stork. Gee, I wonder which couples are going to need the storks more? I’m surprised more of the couples weren’t same sex.

So, my rant done with that. What did I think of this movie? The humor worked well. The jokes I didn’t laugh at, the kids in the theater laughed at. So the humor was spot on. The plot was good, had a few twists, some predictable, some not. The ending, where the bad stork gets his just desserts for his behavior, could have been handled better. I wasn’t a fan of him just **spoiler** dying.  It would have worked better if he’d realized the error of his way and showed some sort of reform rather than a revenge type ending.

Other than that, I had no complaints. It’s a sound movie, full of comedy for both adults and children. All ages should enjoy it.

Storks