Don’t Let Your Kids Watch This Movie on Disney+: A Critical Look at “Poor Things”

Disney+ has become a treasure trove of entertainment for audiences of all ages, offering a wide array of family-friendly movies and TV shows that cater to diverse tastes. However, not all content is suitable for younger viewers, and it’s crucial for parents to be discerning about what their children are exposed to. A prime example of content that might raise eyebrows is the movie “Poor Things,” starring Emma Stone.

The Controversial Plot of “Poor Things” tells the bizarre tale of Bella, a character portrayed by Emma Stone, who undergoes a grotesque transformation at the hands of a mad scientist. read more

What to Watch: Netflix Spoiler Free Beef Review

“Beef”: A Critically Acclaimed Masterpiece on Netflix

In the realm of television, few series manage to encapsulate the whirlwind of human emotions as deftly and powerfully as Netflix’s “Beef”. This ten-episode journey is a rollercoaster of feelings, brilliantly blending humor, drama, suspense, and raw emotion into a narrative that’s both compelling and profoundly moving. “Beef” is not just a TV show; it’s an experience that will make you laugh, cry, and sit on the edge of your seat, often all at once.

At the heart of “Beef” lies the intricate dynamics between its two protagonists, whose initial encounter sparks a series of events that are as unpredictable as they are riveting. The show delves into themes of anger, sadness, grief, self-loathing, and rage with a finesse that is seldom seen on screen. It’s a deep dive into the complexities of human emotions and relationships, exploring the impact of childhood experiences, family issues, societal expectations, and much more. The characters’ journey is a testament to the notion that understanding and reconciliation can emerge from the most unlikely circumstances. read more

Ending Explained Spoiler Review Netflix’s ‘Leave the World Behind’

Spoiler Warning: This blog post contains spoilers for the Netflix adaptation of “Leave the World Behind”.

Netflix’s adaptation of Rumaan Alam’s novel, “Leave the World Behind,” presents a compelling narrative that intertwines the unease of a mysterious global disaster with the microcosm of individual responses. However, it’s the film’s unique ending that strikes a particularly resonant chord, especially in its portrayal of the younger generation’s reaction to crisis. read more

Disney Missed The Mark With “The Marvels” Movie – Review.

As a long-time fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I approached “The Marvels” with high expectations, especially given the buzz around cameo appearances of iconic characters like Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Captain America (Chris Evans) in the trailers. However, my anticipation quickly turned to disappointment when these scenes were noticeably absent from the actual film. This bait-and-switch tactic set a disheartening tone for the rest of the movie.

See the trailer they used here: read more

Choose Love Interactive Netflix Romcom Review

So, I just watched Netflix’s interactive romcom “Choose Love,” and honestly, I’ve got mixed feelings. First off, the concept is basically an Otome game come to life. You get to make choices for Cami that affect her career and love life. The love interests? Totally dreamy, all of them. There’s her long-time boyfriend Paul, her high school sweetheart Jack, and this rockstar named Rex.

But here’s where it gets a little sketchy for me: the acting. It’s bad. Cami even breaks the fourth wall, and that just makes it worse. However, the cinematography in some scenes is stunning, like the one with the white sheets—absolutely beautiful. And the way the studio lights hit Rex? Magic. read more

Barbie Movie Review From An Adult Doll Collector

As an adult doll collector, fan of ’80s and ’90s nostalgia, and a proud owner of a pink-dressed Azone Iris Petite, the Barbie Movie has been the highlight of my year. This film isn’t for kids; it’s a pop culture extravaganza tailored for grown-up enthusiasts like me.

With adult humor galore, such as Barbie’s comments about genitalia and the over-the-top macho Kens, the movie keeps you entertained throughout. Sugar Daddy Ken, Earring Ken, Pregnant Barbie, Midge, Allen, and even the “weird” Barbie – who is now getting a doll of her own – have unforgettable roles. read more

Super Mario Bros. New Animated Feature Length Movie Film Review

The Reviews for the new animated Super Mario Bros. movie are in, and they are not good. But, I decided to go see the film today and I really enjoyed it. FYI, I didn’t care for the 90s live action film, which is notorious for being the worst movie of all time to many film critics. Some of the critics are saying it’s better than the new 2023 movie, but I disagree. Despite bad reviews, I was happy with the new 2023 Super Mario Bros movie.

As a 41-year-old gamer girl who has grown up with the 8-bit NES and witnessed the evolution of the gaming world, the 2023 animated Super Mario Bros. Movie was a delightful and nostalgic trip down memory lane. read more

Free Guy Movie Review

Free Guy is the best film of 2021.

Here’s why:

You’ll love Free Guy if you’re a gamer!

First of all, I’m a huge gamer. You have to be a gamer to “get” Free Guy. If you’re not a gamer, this is one to skip. But for me, it’s my favorite film of the year. Not all will agree. My husband said 20 minutes into the movie that he didn’t understand it. I explained it by referencing Dead Pool, another film starring Ryan Reynolds. In Dead Pool, the main character realizes he’s inside a comic book. In Free Guy, “Guy” (Ryan Reynolds) realizes he’s inside a video game. Realizing that they cannot die, and that nothing they do matters, they develop an almost god like complex. But in Free Guy, Ryan Reynolds is actually a good guy and motivated by love. read more

The Mitchells VS The Machines Movie Review

The Mitchells VS The Machines is the #1 movie on Netflix today. I watched it on a whim this evening all by myself as I waited for my fiance to get off work. I went into the movie completely blind, knowing nothing about it at all. Within the first three minutes I was literally laughing out loud. I almost NEVER laugh when watching TV – I cry easy watching TV – and The Mitchells VS The Machines had me shed a few tears too before all was over.

It’s a movie with a lot of heart. The characters feel very real. Although flawed as the family might be, they have a very human like quality. It’s also very relateable due to the topics it includes. No, not robot apocalypses, but the themes of family, and growing up and fear of failure and taking risks and learning to let go, and let your children chart their own course. read more

Captain Marvel Super Hero(ine) Comic Movie Review About Girl Power & The Feminist Movement

I just watched Captain Marvel lastnight. For those living under a rock, Captain Marvel is the leader of Marvel’s Avengers. She’s a famous super hero(ine) and tough as nails army (airforce) girl turned super hero.

She’s not new, created by famous comic book legend, Stan Lee, and making her comic book debut in 1967.

The movie however is more recent, releasing about 2 years ago in March of 2019.

So just a heads up – yes I am a woman, but I am definitely not a feminist. I don’t really like the movement or concept that a woman can only be strong if she dresses and acts like a man. I am very much a girly girl. I don’t wear makeup (mostly cuz I’m too lazy and also have no idea how to wear it correctly lol). But I do love me some dresses, and I’d consider my personality to be more on the sweet and timid side and softly spoken, and also sometimes passionate or bubbly when I’m chatting about my interests. My interests may sometimes overlap with tomboy interests when it comes to geeky things like anime or video games, but that’s about it. I’m not into sports or whatever else most tomboy girls are into. read more

Life Itself – Movie Review

How many times have you ever sat down to watch a movie, and had to turn it off without finishing it because it was just such a bad movie? I can guess a lot of people chose to turn off this movie… So I’m here to tell you to give it another chance. This movie is amazing… but it doesn’t seem that way at first. Much like life itself in reality. Life Itself (both the movie, and well… Life) can have some pretty horrible things happen when we least expect it… but Life Itself (again both the movie, and actual real life), can have amazing beautiful moments that teach us the power of the human spirit, the power of love, and the importance of family. read more

Cats 2019 Movie Review

I just watched the 2019 remake of Cats. I have watched the original on VHS when I was young, but didn’t remember much of anything. I do like some musicals, but I’m not a musical buff and I tend to prefer more modern musicals like Moulin Rouge. I went into this pretty blind, and afterwards, I looked up some information, and I see it has been called the worst movie of all time. The worst movie ever made. I disagree with that. And here’s why.

Ok I have a few complaints before I can get to telling you why I actually liked cats. Here are some things I really disliked about it. read more

My Neighbor Totoro Ghiblifest 2017 Anime Movie Review

I went to see My Neighbor Totoro subbed last night as part of the 2017 GKids Studio Ghiblifest. The theater I went to seemed to have a fairly good turnout for the show, but not as popular as the theatrical SailorMoon Release which I reviewed here (dub) and here (sub)

Still it is nice to see anime getting more coverage in theaters. I drove almost an hour to go see Totoro, but it was still closer than the nearly 2 hour drive I made (twice) to go see Sailor Moon. It’s also awesome to see old anime like Totoro from the 80s and SailorMoon from the 90s finally on the big screen!

The excitement of seeing such childhood favorite films on the silverscreen inspired me to want to do a review for Totoro today.

Also be sure to check out the Studio Ghiblifest home page, there will be other Studio Ghibli films in theaters all summer long, with the next one being Kiki’s Delivery Service on July 23 (dub) and 24 (sub). I like Kiki’s Delivery Service so much, that I might just go to both of them :).

Onto the review:

Title: My Neighbor Totoro

Studio: Studio Ghibli

Release Date: 1988

Genre: Slice of Life, Adventure, Fantasy

Geeky: 2/5 This film is beautiful to watch, even now, 20 years after its initial release. But plot wise, this is a very slow moving film, slow and uneventful for almost the entire film, and then insanely rushed in the last 10-15 minutes of the film. Actually the ending feels really disjointed from the rest of the film and you can read about that under the Conspiracy Theory below. The languid plot and ending that feels out of place make this a hard film to like, unless you’re watching it for the beautiful backgrounds and cute characters. Systematically though, I can’t give it high “technical” points due to the poor writing.

Sweetie: 4/5 Like most Ghibli films, this is super charming with a lot of heart. It depicts every day life of two little girls living in a new home in the forest with their father as they wait for their mother to return from a hospital. The girls encounter magical creatures, and those creatures are super adorable to boot. Blending slice of life in traditional Japan in a quiet countryside rural village, alongside the mystical and fantastical secret world that only the girls can see, and all the new magical friends they make, this tale is full of sweet cute moments sure to appeal to anyone looking for a kawaii cute family friendly and feel good anime. — It loses one point because there is no plot or character development. Unlike other Ghibli films, this one just never seems to get off the ground or accomplish much.

Story: 6/10 The story is a slice of life look at the life of 2 very young girls. Their mother is sick in the hospital with some unexplained illness, and their father has just decided to move the family to a new home in the country, thinking the fresh air from the trees would be good for his wife once she returns back home. While exploring their new surroundings, the two girls stumble upon a magical creature which they dub Totoro. Their father says Totoro is a very old forest spirit, and the father, along with Totoro, teaches the young girls to love and respect nature.

Characters: 9/10 The real reason to watch this show is because all of the characters are cute, unique, heart warming, and funny. Not just the adorable Totoro and his friends, but also the human children. The anime puts a lot of work into making us like and care about the girls and their father. In fact, the entire film, until the very end, is just day to day stuff that the girls find exciting about their new home, or sharing loving family moments with their father. — That said, unlike most Ghibli films, there’s really no character “development” the characters do not change much at all throughout the movie. This, combined with a very slow moving plot, makes the anime feel slow and sleepy at times.

Conspiracy Theory: If you’ve already seen the film, here’s something you may be interested in reading. There are spoilers below here, so proceed at your own risk.

[spoiler]

By the way have you heard the conspiracy theory that Totoro is actually a Shinigami and that the girls both die in the film? After watching the film again last night, this seems likely. Studio Ghibli denies those rumors and has even gone as far as asking fans to please stop talking about it.

A Shinigami is angel of death, often appearing to children who are about to die and taking comforting forms such as animals etc to help children cross over. Look at other anime such as Full Moon Wo Sagashite and how “cute” the Shinigami appear there. One of the Shinigami in Full Moon Wo Sagashite is even a white rabbit and there is a very old folk tale / superstition about white rabbits. It says if one appears in a village where someone is very sick, that person is sure to pass away soon. This same superstition is also tied to another superstition that says if you say “rabbit, rabbit, rabbit” (note 3 rabbits) on the first and last day of the month, you will have good luck. And in the movie, there are 3 Totoro (who look very much like rabbits to me). Also the Totoro could be symbolic of the girls and the mother themselves! Mei says there is one GREAT BIG Totoro, a “little” Totoro, and a “tiny” Totoro. The big one could represent the mother, the little one the older sister, and the tiny one the young sister.

Even though Studio Ghibli wants these rumors to end, they just won’t die. And with the re-release of the theatrical movie, we can be sure more and more people will be looking for these clues and debating about if Totoro is actually the god of death.

Most of the film is very cute and innocent, with not much going on. It’s a slice of life about 2 little girls living in a new home with their father in the country side. They go to school, pray at the shrine, play in the forest, and take baths and have dinners with their father. But the ending of the film is just so dark and creepy and weird compared to the rest of the film; for me the biggest clue is when the nanny asks Satsuki if it is Mei’s shoe. Satsuki tells her it’s not, and she does this very quickly without even really looking at the shoe. When she tells her this, the old woman’s face is NOT one of relief (Thank goodness Mei is still alive), but one of sadness, there’s even a tear in her eye, and disappointment (in Satsuki not being able to face reality and accept the death of her sister.) the Granny tries to stop Satsuki from looking for Mei, but Satsuki runs off anyways.

From there, the last 10 minutes or so of the film, feel dark and different. As the sun is literally setting in the film, and time is running out to find Mei, everything begins to get really demented looking.

The catbus even explicitly SAYS he’s going to the GRAVE as his next stop to FIND MEI.

In the end, when the girls are in the tree, the mother in the hospital looks out the window and says she could have sworn she saw her children laughing in the tree, but the father cannot see them, despite them all being right there at the same time.

The film takes place in Sayama, and there was a real life murder/suicide with 2 school aged sisters. The young sister is kidnapped and murdered, and the older one goes to find her, but upon discovering that she has already been murdered, the older sister takes her own life / blames herself. And in Totoro, Mei is the younger sister who “disappears” and Satsuki is the older sister who goes to look for her. Satsuki also blames herself (she had yelled at Mei earlier).  Also this murder took place in the month of May and the girls are both named May: Mei and Satsuki (Japanese word for May).

Then there’s the references to Billy Goat’s Gruff. In the fairy tale, there are 3 goats trying to cross a bridge. “Crossing a Bridge” is pretty universal for crossing over into the afterlife. And in the fairytale, it is only when all 3 goats are together that they can cross the bridge. And in Totoro, the three “goats” would be the mother and the 2 girls. The billy goat’s gruff is referenced countless times in the film, peering over the bridges, the story books the mom used to read, and even Totoro’s name is some variation of the Japanese word for troll (supposedly, I dunno what that word is, but it was a trivia thing before the show started asking how did Totoro get his name, and it said it was because Mei mispronounced the Troll from her story book). There’s even a SERIOUSLY VERY CREEPY goat near the end of the film who tries to take Mei’s corn. And in the billy goat’s gruff, the goats get safe passage across the bridge by yelling very loudly. When in Totoro, the Totoros and the Girls scream loudly as they fly around with Totoro, etc.

And if Totoro can be seen by children, why do none of the other children see Totoro or the Catbus when the girls are flying around, they even fly right past the boy that likes Satsuki, and she says “I guess no one else can see us”.

And all throughout the film they keep saying how their house is haunted and everyone is afraid to go inside it, etc.

Lastly, people say that in the final scene, the girls have no shadow when they had shadows in all the rest of the film. Though I think this was maybe just an error or oversight on the part of the animators.

Anyways, it is an interesting theory. It does ask the audience to discount the last 2 minutes or so of the film where the girls return home and are greeted again by the Granny and other children in the village. But aside from that, everything else fits this theory.

[/spoiler]

End of Spoilers.

Artwork and Animation: 10/10 The backgrounds are lovely and all of the character designs are imaginative, quirky, and cute. Totoro has become so iconic that he is now the mascot for Studio Ghibli and known around the world.

Music: 10/10 I don’t really love the opening song. However, I do super love all the background tracks throughout the film. The ending theme is also catchy.

Voice Acting: 10/10 The two sisters are adorable and precocious. They give very believable performances with a lot of energy and enthusiasm. Totoro’s well timed animal sounds are quirky and cute. And the father and mother both sound very sincere and loving. Granny sounds old and slightly scary, but also warm and loving as well.

Overall: 51/60 85% B “Very Good Anime for Girls”

PS: If you enjoyed Totoro also check out Wolf Children and My Summer with Coo

The Red Turtle Anime Review

I just purchased and watched “The Red Turtle” last night. The silent animated feature length film was done, in part, by Studio Ghibli, famous animators of feature length family favorite anime films such as My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away, Ponyo, and The Cat’s Return, just to name a few.

I have to admit, I didn’t really do my research on this title (and didn’t realize it was a silent film until I began watching it), but every time I saw a preview, I just wanted to see it oh so badly. When I realized I could buy it for only $10 more than the “rental” price ($15 vs $5) I immediately purchased it.

For about the first 20 – 40 minutes of the film, I felt disappointed and disinterested; that quickly changed as the plot began to advance, and by the end I was so emotionally invested that I was crying.

Read on for the full review below.

Title: The Red Turtle

Studio: Studio Ghibli

Release Date (theatrical limited release) : January 20, 2017 (dvd / bluray) : May 2nd, 2017

Length: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Geeky: 3/5 – The beautiful artwork has a story book like quality while the musical score helps covey the feelings of the wordless cast of characters.

Sweetie: 5/5 – Without any voice, this movie still manages to tell an uplifting, wholesome, sad, touching, and romantic tale. This film reminded me of the Song of the Sea (which I also HIGHLY recommend and will eventually get around to reviewing). It also reminded me of a silent “Little Mermaid”. Or a little of the Tom Hanks “Castaway” film or Swiss Family Robinson.

Overall:  42/50 84% B “Very Good Anime For Girls”

Story: 8/10 If you’ve watched any of those films, you can guess some of the themes present in the Red Turtle, a story about a man shipwrecked on an island trying first to leave the island, then coming to accept his new life and live off the land.

There’s really several stories within the story here if you’re paying attention. At first, it is just the man and the sea and land and creatures there of. But a miracle occurs one day, turning a lonely devastated man, into a protector, caregiver, lover, and eventually father.

It’s a very circle of life tale. You watch all of the characters as they age, grow up, grow old, while witnessing their triumphs and struggles as they evolve and grow.

Although there are no words, and it takes some getting used to (at least for me; the only other silent film I’ve ever liked is Wall-e.), if you keep watching, you will eventually fall in love with the characters, and by the end it will leave you in tears, as it did for me.

It does start slow. I think the first 30ish minutes of the man being alone on the island could have been cut down to about 10-15 minutes and still conveyed the same point, that he is unable to leave the island, that he is angry, cold, bitter, and vengeful, etc. — Still after the appearance of other humans, we witness how their love for him changes the man into a much different and better person.

Characters: 8/10 : The characters have no names, and no real back stories. It’s never explained exactly how or why things happened the way they did; whether that was intentional to allow you to insert yourself into their shoes, or just the nature of the silent story telling format, it doesn’t matter because the characters are still incredibly real, raw, and full of emotion and personality even without back stories and without voices. I felt an immediate connection to the characters and felt myself emotionally invested and caring about what fates and circumstances fell upon them.

Animation: 8/10 – Although it’s not done in any kind of “traditional” anime style (big eyes, fantasy hair colors, etc), it still has charm. The sea, the starlit sky, the forests, the land, and even the characters. This film had to rely 50 / 50 on music as well as animation to tell the story. The characters’ movements had to convey their emotion. This is no easy task, yet it is one that this film excels at. Whether it’s capturing the curiosity of a small child, the desperation and isolation of a lonely man, the love and tenderness of a woman, or the animals who share the island with the small family, there is no shortage to emotion and charm in the animation.

Music: 10/10 – Think of this as basically Fantasia meets the Little Mermaid. The music score, when music is present, is vital in telling the story. Many times throughout the film there will be little to no music and only ambient noises and sound effects. This makes the power of the instrumental musical pieces even more powerful when it is used to convey the emotions of the cast or even the power of nature itself.

Overall:  42/50 84% B “Very Good Anime For Girls”

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