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The Package (II) (2018)
5/10
This was...okay?
10 August 2018
I mean, there wasn't anything particularly hilarious at any given point, but it was a pretty cute movie. Another reviewer states how the gags didn't always work...giving the film a single star. I don't understand how not particularly enjoying a film translates it to being the absolute worst garbage you can possibly view, but this is by no means a 1-star film. Can we stop with that, guys? The characters are likable, even relatable, and some of the situations, while, not being "laugh out loud" funny as much as I'd have liked, will have you smiling.

A cute little film that's worth...eh, maybe a lazy Sunday afternoon.
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I, Tonya (2017)
10/10
More than about tabloid trash, this movie should be watched
28 December 2017
Anyone who was old enough to be sucked in by the media circus that this scandal turned into should make it a point to take a look at this film, in my opinion.

The media seemed much more about the sensationalism of it all than it was about maintaining the kind of objective balance that'd presume Tonya's innocence until evidence proved otherwise. But being honest, even if evidence came along that absolved Harding of any wrongdoing in the Kerrigan attack, how happy would the media have been to report it? Or would we have been to hear it? Because we've got to admit that, although it might not seem very nice, there was quite a bit of fun to be had during the couple months we spent focusing on this Hillbilly girl and her bumbling husband, right? Well with that in mind, what would the thought of her innocence have brought, other than damage to the narrative we were having such fun with? Regardless of where you stand in regards to her innocence, its only fair to acknowledge that her role had been laid out for her pretty much from the get-go. Kerrigan was its hero the moment she became the victim, could we have honestly entertained the notion that maybe Harding wasn't as much the villain as seemed to befit the story? How fun would that have been? Really?

In the last couple months, the articles about this upcoming movie had comment sections riddled with people mostly bemoaning the current state of Hollywood. Not the scandals, but that it'd even stoop so low as to peddle this kind of white trash story. "White trash" came up repeatedly of course, and while comment sections generally aren't the place to find the best sampling of voices, I personally wasn't able to find a single comment that was anything other than damningly derivative of Hollywood and/or Tonya...certainly not one suggesting the possibility that maybe there was more to this story than what we already knew. But that was always a possibility, wasn't it? The telling of a side that we hadn't heard?

After seeing the flick last night, I passed along my recommendation of it to a friend, commenting that Tonya Harding's guilt might have to be re-thought. In response, I got a chuckling, "Oh I have a hard time believing that!" Which, sure that has to be the prevailing opinion, I'd imagine. But why? Do we really and truly think that we have the kind of information on the subject that'd allow for the most objective, fact-based decision on it? Have many of us ever stopped long enough to have wondered whether or not we did? The line of questioning isn't likely to be met with much more than scoffs by those who've yet to view the movie, but they're questions that end up being well begged and something that the same people may find themselves unwittingly exploring afterward. I sure have been.

In the meantime, this isn't just a great movie, but a great sports movie, detailing an ice skating prodigy who love for skating drove her life, and whose life ultimately served as a testament to just how influential a class system can be that many of us are barely cognizant of even existing. Based off interviews and testimony from the key players in the Kerrigan scandal, watching it brings a much needed sense of balance to the story and will likely leave you amazed at how easily the truth can be blurred when viewed through the lens of sensationalized media coverage.

10/10, great movie that grabs you from its opening scene and will have you entranced throughout.
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9/10
Pretty amazing little show
31 October 2017
I'm not much for reviewing shows, but after watching the first six episodes of this one, coming here to see that it didn't have any yet, I feel like I owe it to the music enthusiasts out there to give you a heads up here. Okay, well aside from Jerry Lee Lewis, the episodes have only focused on country music stars so far (Waylon Jennings, George Jones etc (legends, really)), but you don't have to be a fan of country to enjoy them (I've never been much for it, myself). The first hand accounts of the behind-the-scenes antics will have you fascinated, riveted to your screen and often laughing your butt off. I tried the first episode on a whim, having little idea what I'd be watching and then ended up binging the next five episodes...before coming here to rave a little bit.

Its the stories, combined with top-notch story-telling...these guys, musical geniuses do the most surprisingly insane things...everything from stealing cars to engaging in heated arguments with their split personality (that speaks with a Donald Duck voice). Some of this stuff is just...you can't make it up, its hilarious, its debauchery, its just entertaining as hell.

I suppose that in the end though, they're stories about extraordinary, yet ordinary and flawed people, without the spotlights, fanfare and glitter. The retelling of them lays their humanity bare and you can be belly laughing in one moment and getting dust out of your eye in the next. That's another thing...they do a great job of giving the viewer an insight into the rambunctious nature of some of these people, but the arching narrative of their life is woven throughout, which balances the show into one that has "human interest" written all over it.

If you're 25-45, maybe older, this series is likely one that your parents would be grateful for you turning them on to, which is exactly what I plan on doing tomorrow...my Mom is going to freak.

Oh, except for the fact that its animated, which I don't quite understand. Not all of it...just the people telling the stories. For true fans of the musicians being showcased, I can see the animation being a turn-off, as they're likely much older. No problem for the Beavis and Butthead generation, except that at 44, I'd heard some of the songs, but had never heard some of these names behind them.

The animation might be necessary for the reenacted scenes, but wish they could just show the storytellers without it. It seems like an unnecessary, separating layer that distances the viewer from the speaker, detracts from the intimacy, I guess. Hence 9 stars instead of 10.
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Jungle (I) (2017)
10/10
The movie takes you away
20 October 2017
I'm not much for writing reviews, have never been a fan of the Harry Potter series or Daniel Radcliffe in particular, but after having just finished the movie, I can't help but want to give it its due. Firstly, it's beautiful...its gorgeously shot in lush environments and once the tale starts to take hold, its one of those movies that will suck you in and hold you tight. The only thing that broke it for me was the inevitable intermittent thought when watching such an engaging movie - how glad you are that you decided to check it out. Its that good.

Another reviewer described it as a little slow here and there, which might be true for some, but I don't think the film would have near the impact it did were it done any other way. Having the narrative give you time to soak up a moment is key to compelling cinema; knowing when and where to linger for effect is an indicator of good story telling and what gives a movie depth. And IMO should be lauded here as it was done very well.

Man this is a good movie. You know that to be the case when it takes you a few moments to readjust to your surroundings once its ended! Great acting from Radcliffe, the guy brought me to tears at on point and his well written character was one the viewer won't be able to help but empathize with.

Good job guys, a beautiful (if deadly) world to escape into for a bit and a unique story that was well worth the retelling...wish more films like this were made these days.
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