Luck movie review

IN A NUTSHELL:

From Apple Original Films and Skydance Animation comes the story of Sam Greenfield, the unluckiest person in the world! Suddenly finding herself in the never-before-seen Land of Luck, she must unite with the magical creatures there to turn her luck around.  This is Skydance Media’s first animated feature film.

The film was directed by Peggy Holmes who used to be a choreographer at Disney.  The writing team includes Kiel Murray (CARS), Jonathan Aibel, and Glenn Berger.  This is John Lasseter’s first connection with a non-Disney-related animation.  You can definitely feel his touch on the movie.

 

THINGS I LIKED:

  • Who doesn’t love Simon Pegg, right?  He plays a magical, Scottish, polydactyl cat named Bob.  Get out your tissues for a reveal about him at the end.
  • Eva Noblezada gives a great voice to the unlucky leading lady and even sings a little in some scenes.
  • Jane Fonda plays a dragon who is as impeccably dressed as the actress is in real life.  While she could easily have retired years ago, she continues to pump out work.  Her popular TV series with Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie, just recently ended but she is keeping very busy still!
  • Other cast members include Jane Fonda, Whoopi Goldberg, Flula Bor, John Ratzenberger, and Lil Rel Howery.  They all do a fantastic job.
  • Fun fact #1: The first trailer was released on Friday the 13th of May.  That’s ironic because Friday the 13th is notorious for being bad luck.  In my family, it’s good luck though, because one of my sons was born on a Friday the 13th!  The bad luck of that formula was that he was born so fast that he was born at home on my bedroom floor!  ha ha
  • The animation is fantastic.  Things like hair and fabric look especially amazing.
  • Some of the characters are super cute.  I loved Jerry, the redhead who got super excited when he found out that Sam had eaten grilled cheese before.
  • Irish music, the Celtic knot, and even a Riverdance-looking system are utilized in the world of shiny lucky pennies with a bunch of leprechauns.
  • Cute musical number.
  • The bad luck sequences at the beginning of the movie are super entertaining and endear us immediately to Sam.
  • The powerful messages come through loud and clear.
  • They have included every kind of image and creature in the movie that has been associated with bringing good luck and bad luck for centuries.  There are rabbits, but no focus is on the rabbit’s foot, unfortunately.

 

 

THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE:

  • It would have been perfect if this had premiered during St. Patrick’s Day, right?  The movie has quite a few leprechauns and is all about luck (obviously).
  • When it comes to world-building, it seems like there are some missing details that make the rules seem inconsistent.  Bob tells Sam “It doesn’t work that way” and attempts to explain complicated systems.  That element of the movie is a bit messy and confusing.
  • I was surprised there wasn’t a cute, bonus scene somewhere in the final rolling credits.
  • Like almost every movie nowadays, the bosses are all women.

 

TIPS FOR PARENTS:    

  • Super sweet and fun for all ages
  • You and your kids might want to look on a map to find out where Latvia is.
  • People and creatures are often in chaotic, dangerous situations.
  • You might need to explain the foster system to your kids.  Hopefully, they’ll appreciate you as their parent more!

 

THEMES:

  • Good luck charms
  • Orphans
  • Friendship
  • Make your own destiny
  • Sacrificing for others
  • Success
  • Resilience
  • Gratitude
  • Courage
  • Loneliness
  • Doing good with your life
  • Sharing
  • Forever Family
  • The good qualities we develop through challenges

You can see the full review on the Movie Review Mom YouTube channel.

Fall movie review

IN A NUTSHELL:

The thriller is about two best friends, Becky and Hunter, who find themselves at the top of a 2,000-foot radio tower.  If you have an aversion to heights, you might want to skip this scary flick!  Acrophobes beware!       #lifeoverdeath

The film was directed by Scott Mann, as well as written by him with writing help by Jonathan Frank.

 

THINGS I LIKED:

  • I was so nervous for these two idiot girls the entire time!  Because of the ridiculously dangerous height, the movie is super suspenseful and nerve-wracking!  The movie does a great job of giving you thrills and chills.
  • I had never seen Grace Caroline Currey or Ginny Gardner in anything before.  I thought they did a really good job, especially considering that they were able to keep me engaged the whole time with just the two of them on screen for the majority of the movie.
  • I like Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the supportive dad in this movie.  We don’t see him a lot, unfortunately.  When he tries to help his daughter by reaching out to her friend, she says, “He had no right!”  which is silly because he has every right…he’s her dad.
  • The cinematography is pretty amazing!  Beautiful and scary at the same time.
  • It’s always fascinating to watch what survivors do in various situations to stay alive and get help.
  • There are a couple of twists that might surprise viewers to keep things interesting.

 

THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE:

  • My oldest son and his wife are big rock climbers.  I REALLY wish they would choose a safer sport..like bowling or something!  ha ha
  • Want to hear my parental advice?  Well, you’re going to anyway!  When your friends try to convince you to do something stupid, have the courage to say NO!
  • I think I would take my climbing shoes and gear more seriously than what the two girls had. They didn’t even wear gloves!
  • You’d think they would have reconsidered their plan when they saw the old, rusty tower.
  • What’s frustrating about this kind of movie is that the people involved don’t always consider all of their options before taking action.
  • There’s a moment at the 1-hour, 22 mark where the voice of one of the girls doesn’t sync with the audio.
  • There is a lot of foreshadowing that makes the movie pretty predictable.

 

TIPS FOR PARENTS:    

  • Lots of profanity
  • You see a married couple in bed
  • A girl sees imagined blood
  • A girl wears a super low-cut shirt and a Victoria’s Secret push-up bra in order to get clicks and likes on YouTube.   Nope, you won’t see me doing that.  Just saying!
  • Young adults do very dangerous things, specifically, climbing up an old, rusty 2,000-foot radio tower
  • You see vultures eating bloodied creatures
  • You see pee trickling down the tower

 

THEMES:

  • Fear
  • Courage
  • Choose your friends wisely because they WILL influence you
  • Mourning and grief
  • Depression
  • Doing things to get attention
  • Hope
  • Love
  • Trust
  • Betrayal
  • Friendship
  • Jealousy
  • Survival of the fittest

You can see the full review on the Movie Review Mom YouTube channel.

It Snows All The Time movie review

IN A NUTSHELL:
The heartbreaking story is based on a true story, one of many true stories about families who experience Dementia, mine included. This family features Paul, who did everything a person is supposed to do to keep their mind healthy, but now he has early-onset Dementia. As his disease progresses, his family comes together to decide what to do.

In the movie, we’re told that there are over 5 million Americans with Dementia. This film really hits close to home because my mother is currently living in a Memory Care facility with full-blown Alzheimer’s. One of the characters in the movie states something very true when he said, “You just get to know your dad in a different way.” It breaks my heart that my mother doesn’t really know who I am anymore. She has lost most of her physical abilities, but she’s just as sweet as ever.

The film was directed by Jay Giannone, along with writing help from Erich Hover and Eric Watson. Erich Hover also stars in the movie. The movie is dedicated to his father who passed away just last year. My sincere condolences to Erich and his family.

THINGS I LIKED:
I’ve always liked Brett Cullen. He does a good job and even looks a little bit like the real Paul Hover.
It’s been years since I’ve seen Lesley Ann Warren in anything in a long time. She looks amazing! I can’t believe she’s 76 years old already. I remember thinking she looked so glamorous in her version of Cinderella MANY years ago (1965 to be exact)!
The story takes place in Omaha, Nebraska. I actually spent a weekend there and had a great time! It’s a small city but there are still plenty of things to do and see and eat there.
We get to see live footage of the real Paul from the true story, as well as photos of his family.

THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE:
There are some oddly-written scenes such as when the mom drops a plate in the kitchen and so the daughter-in-law walks in to help. She says, “I’m here for you” and then immediately walks out without even picking up the broken dish on the floor. What?
So much yelling and fighting. Family members get angry with their dad, even knowing that he has been diagnosed with Dementia. In my personal experience, you have to show lots of patience and kindness and even laugh at the mistakes. I started a journal where I wrote down all of the funny and ridiculous things my mother said over the years.
There are a lot of bad acting moments.
The direction looks pretty amateur with weak camera angles, some shaky cam, and rough transitions.
The mom rejects financial help from her son and instead, says, “God will provide.” Ummm…maybe God is providing her with a generous, helpful son?! Later, she rejects the idea of placing her husband in a memory-care facility. It’s important that none of us judge the choices of others in these situations. My sisters and I provided in-home health nurses to my mother as long as we could but at some point, it just became too much for the shift nurses, which is why we moved her into a memory-care facility where she would get 24/7 care. All of the decisions are extremely painful and difficult. We’re so grateful that my twin sister is a Nurse Practitioner because she has helped us navigate the very complicated healthcare system.
Super melancholy, cheesy music throughout.
The fight scene in the bar was unnecessary and poorly filmed.

TIPS FOR PARENTS:
Kids will be bored.
No profanity. Yay!
We see men punching each other in a bar after one of them grabs a woman’s rear end.
A man gets lost in the woods, requiring help from a search party.

THEMES:
“Family First” – Jesse (Erich Hover)
Family responsibilities and duty
Patience
Dementia
Love
Aging

You can see the full review on the Movie Review Mom YouTube channel.

Paradise Highway Movie Review

IN A NUTSHELL:
It’s the presence of Morgan Freeman and Juliette Binoche on the movie poster that will pique your interest in this movie. Fans of Frank Grillo will take notice as well when they find out he’s in this action thriller. The film was written and directed by Anna Gutto as her debut feature.

THINGS I LIKED:
We’ve never seen Juliette Binoche look quite like this before! She’s gritty and tough as a big-rig truck driver. As always, she does a fantastic job.
Juliette Binoche spends most of the movie in her truck with the young actress Hala Finley, who also performs well.
It’s rare to see Frank Grillo NOT be in the middle of all the action in a movie like this.
There’s a sad conversation about why kids who are kidnapped in the sex trade don’t try to run away. I’ve often wondered that myself. Morgan Freeman’s salty character gives us an interesting and heartbreaking answer.
There is some suspense mixed with heartwarming moments.

THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE:
I thought for sure we’d see a beach scene at the end.
The title of the movie was an odd choice.
The movie doesn’t go deep enough.

TIPS FOR PARENTS:
Profanity and many F-bombs (several spoken by a little girl)
Jail scenes
We see cigarette burns on a man’s hands and tortured bruises on his chest
A child is kidnapped
Violence with various weapons
You see several people get shot and bloodied
A girl throws up all over herself
We see a young girl in her underwear

THEMES:
Family
Human trafficking
Sacrifices
Past traumas
Abuse
Betrayal
Trust
Loneliness
The US prison system
Conscience and doing what’s right
Protecting the innocent
Community
Friendship

You can see the full review on the Movie Review Mom YouTube channel.

Summering Movie Review

IN A NUTSHELL:
As their last summer before middle school comes to a close, four best friends face the uncertainties of growing up and embark on their biggest adventure yet. The movie was directed by James Ponsoldt, as well as written by him with help from Benjamin Percy.

I completely agree with the director when he said, “As the parent of three young children, I find myself constantly in this delicate gray space of both needing to protect my children and wanting them to live fearlessly.” He explained, “I wanted to make a film in which my daughter could see herself. And her friends. I hoped to dignify the emotional inner lives of young female characters, to explore their imaginations and fears and hopes while they’re on the cusp of adolescence.” He further shared that he likes to think of this movie as a platonic love story between four friends.

THINGS I LIKED:
It’s a coming-of-age movie mixed with some humor, gentle insights, and mystery.
The cast of women and girls includes Megan Mullally, Lake Bell, Lia Barnett, Sarah Cooper, Eden Grace Redfield, Sanai Victoria, Madalen Mills, and Ashley Madekwe.
There’s a moment when the girls walk past a painting of a tree. The leaves are made out of painted handprints, which slowly fall to the ground. It was intriguing and symbolic, so I wish there had been more whimsical moments like that in the film. I thought it perfectly illustrated that fuzzy line between childhood fantasy and stepping into the reality of adolescence.
The movie was filmed in Utah during Covid and a heat wave.
There’s definitely a feeling of nostalgia that moms will be able to relate to, and I appreciated that the mothers’ perspectives were subtly added to the story.
Some of the young actresses do an outstanding job. With the help of a two-time, Emmy-winning casting director, Avy Kaufman, they were able to cast girls who had an authentic quality about them.
Director Ponsoldt knew that he and his writing partner would have blind spots when it came to telling a story in which all
of the protagonists – and most of the supporting characters – are girls or women. He shared, “We both have strong,
amazing women of different ages in our lives, so we made a pact that at every stage we would bring on female
collaborators to scrutinize the story and tell us what we were missing, whether it was our producer or our
cinematographer or the actors themselves.”
There’s a lovely musical score and final song.

THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE:
For a movie about young girls, there wasn’t very much screaming! The movie was written and directed by men. Have they been around squealy girls lately?
It’s super frustrating to watch the girls make terrible choices.
There are some bad acting moments.
Some viewers will get tired of waiting for something to “happen”.
There are some spooky moments that are never explained, other than they represent the girls’ fears. The crime, itself, is never resolved. Of course, it’s secondary to what it means to the girls, but it still would have been nice to have some closure.
The film vacillates between being a melancholy exploration of childhood as the girls end their summer together and a mysterious horror (PG-rated, of course). It felt honest and easy when the movie focused on the girls, yet somehow forced and contrived when it tried to introduce the ghost-like images.

TIPS FOR PARENTS:
Girls spit off a bridge onto the cars below
Kids lie to their parents One of the girls gives another one advice by saying, “You already lied. Just lie again.”
Kids see and handle a dead man
Kids spend time in a bar.
The girls have a seance.

THEMES:
Childhood
Death
Friendship
Truth
Fears
Anxiety
Hope
Sisterhood
Mother/daughter relationships.

You can see the full review on the Movie Review Mom YouTube channel.

A Love Song Movie Review

Though it’s a slow burn, “A Love Song” takes its time for good reason. That is for the audience to feel every moment of Faye’s (Dickey) life as it passes by. It’s always lovely to see the very underrated and underused Dale Dickey (Hell or High Water, Winter’s Bone) get a part built just for her because it rarely does.
Read more

Bullet Train Movie Review

“Bullet Train” is a fast-moving, action-packed, darkly cynical romp along the rails with assassins, trouble-makers, and one mean conductor.  The Japanese high-speed rail is the place for an all-out brawl, and a comedy of errors. It is superbly absurd, as suitcases get swapped, hit-men get hurt (and worse) and the general chaos extends past the end of the line. All Aboard! Read more

Thirteen Lives

Thirteen Lives Movie Review

Amazon Prime Video streaming as of August 5, 2022

 

“Thirteen Lives” retells the story of the Thailand boy’s soccer team who went into a local cave and required a rescue. But it was not only the local townspeople who were watching the rescue events unfold. The entire world was watching. Everyone who saw what was happening was hoping for the best, yet fearing for the worst. The dozen boys, and the adult coach, are trapped beyond any normal means of retrieval. So, in a last-ditch effort to save thirteen lives, the impossible was made to happen…

Read more