Flicks With Nicki – Very brief movie reviews
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“Alien: Covenant” (2017)
I have no words. Worst movie I’ve ever seen, and I saw the movie “Leviathan” in theaters. Grade F-.
“Avengers: Infinity War” (2018)
Welp. A lot of clues. Almost like LOST season 2. Grade B+. Some of you are going to say it’s Grade C-, but you’re going to realize it really is a B+ after I explain the clues to you.
“Black Panther” (2018)
If you think it isn’t a movie for you, I implore you to see it. From a feminist perspective, you will see the way Black women are viewed by Black men. It is vastly different from how white men in Hollywood portray women of any color. I saw a lot of my relationship with my husband reflected in the film and my relationship with my family. I’m sure I’ll say more on this on another day. I don’t want to overstate this, but the scene in where Killmonger sees his father on the ancestral plane might be the best piece of cinema ever made. Synopsis is hero must save the world from doom. In this movie, there are many heroes. Grade A.
“Blade Runner 2049” (2017)
True story. This is the first time I’ve ever seen a movie with Ryan Gosling. He was in an episode of “Goosebumps””” my kids watched on Netflix circa the 1990’s. I only know him from his “Hey, girl” memes. That said, the movie was pretty dumb and wasted the talents of Robin Wright. For that Ryan Gosling owes me $12. Actually, I saw it for free on the airplane, but I still want my $12. They did try to pull something together from the original. I kind of respect that. So, hey girl, save yourself $12 and 2 hours and 43 minutes of your life. No lie, it’s that long. Grade C.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” (2018)
SPOILER ALERT: Absolutely the same premise as every musical biopic ever. Too much sex, too much drugs, too much alcohol. Then your ungrateful self will die [insert Lady Sings the Blues or A Star is Born]. Grade B+. Come on. Even if you don’t like Queen, you like Queen. I almost agree with the Best Actor.
Boy wants to play music and his family wants him to make shoes. He gets zapped into the afterlife and seeks the truth about his ancestors. The fact that the family outlawed music like Ariel’s Dad in the Little Mermaid was a deal breaker for me. The love and friendship the boy had with the grandmother was worth the price of admission. Grade C.
“Crazy Rich Asians” (2018)
1. It’s not a romantic comedy. 2. There’s a complex story of feminism, family, caste systems, and culture identity. There are mothers and grandmothers, but only one father in the entire film. The absence of elder men is both profound and sad. 3. The younger men decide to make up for it by losing their shirts for half the film. Nary a person complained about such beauty. 4. Michelle Yeoh is everything. 5. The movie isn’t about being Asian. There was the food, obligatory mahjong scene, and being set in Asia. Really, it’s a story any immigrant or Third Culture kid can relate to. Conclusion: I liked it. I did not love it. I hate romantic dramedies so I’m the wrong one for this kind of movie. But it is worth seeing. C+ or B- whichever will still get me the invites to your Chinese wedding. I will come with red envelopes.
400,000 British dudes and one French guy try not to die on the beach during a war. Civilians decided to intervene in rescue because every military ship is torpedoed. Don’t go below on a boat. Stay near the escape door. Fly a plane that has lots of fuel. They never discuss the water temperature during the movie, but that’s all I could think about. Grade B+.
“The Florida Project” (2017)
Why is life so raw and flawed and sweet and devastating? This movie will not answer any of these questions. You will want to cry, but it will be stuck in your throat for a few weeks. Grade B+ including newly discovered actors and Willem Dafoe.
“Game Night” (2018)
Husband gets shot, and I laughed for 5 minutes. Rachel McAdams is precious. I love her. Unfortunately, Jason Bateman is a solid meh. This impacted my enjoyment of the movie. Perfect for on the airplane or while you’re doing laundry. Grade C.
Chris Evans does not take off his shirt once. Super predictable, but heart of the movie is love for math and a one-eyed cat. Animal Oscar to that cat, y’all. Normally a movie I would hate. Shockingly a Grade B-.
“Get Out” (2017)
Accurate portrayal of just about all of my interactions with white people ever. I had one of these interactions last week. Only change is the twist ending. Yes, I snap flash photos of Black people at social events. No, you can’t touch my hair. Most scared I’ve ever been during a movie. I’ve seen all the scary movies. I call this movie Get Out aka The Truth. The girlfriend should have gotten an Oscar! #fruitloops Grade A+.
“The Greatest Showman” (2017)
I saw Hugh Jackman “Logan” before I saw this movie. If you watch “Logan,” then immediately watch “The Greatest Showman,” you will love “The Greatest Showman,” Zac Efron, Zendaya, and the foolishness because it is happy and a fantasy. You will be hypnotized into forgetting that the movie is actually pretty insipid. That’s worth the price of admission. B-.
“Incredibles 2” (2018)
I like Jack Jack, Dash, and Frozone. The rest are intolerable. But my kids loved it so I faked it. Scene with Jack Jack falling asleep on his dad was my favorite thing ever. I didn’t like the original if that helps guide you. C+ for too much talking. Completely predictable. A+ for bit part by Edna.
“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” (2017)
Why didn’t you guys tell me how cute this was? It was like “The Breakfast Club” plus every movie The Rock Dwayne Johnson has ever been in. I laughed. I ALMOST CRIED. Oscar caliber acting. Grade B+.
“Justice League” (2017)
I once had hiccups that were more entertaining. Even ruined Jason Momoa for me. That’s should be damned near impossible. Bright side is that Superman is sporting chest hair? I’m grasping at straws. There was no bright side. Grade D+.
“Love, Simon” (2018)
Only lost some points because the ending was stolen from Never Been Kissed. Some sweet people make mistakes. Some sweet people fall in love. Why are parties in teen movies better than any real-life party? This film cannot answer this question. Earned a point for being very Atlanta. Grade B+.
“The Martian” (2015)
Matt Damon eats potatoes grown from his own shit. Grade B-.
“Mission: Impossible – Fallout” (2018)
I hate Tom Cruise. He is the worst spy ever. Please go see the movie for Henry Cavill reloading his bicep in bathroom fight scene with completely perfect Liang Yang. I got a teensy bit pregnant during this scene. Was really confused by Alec Baldwin in a serious role. They did OK with female leads sort of. Conclusion: my dad would have loved this movie so much. Me? Grade B- What can I say? I like chase scenes and ridiculous explosions. It was all very stupid. Like I hated every character. They were all stupid. But yeah, I’m sticking with B-.
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a film that makes me feel crippled with grief and longing and hope. There was not a single character in the movie like me, but I felt like I knew every character. I wish my writing was as evocative as this film. The wish everyone would see it. Be prepared to be challenged. Grade A-.
“The Mountain Between Us” (2017)
I made a couple of mistakes before I saw this movie. First, I got three hours of sleep. Then, I watched it on an airplane experiencing a lot of turbulence. Two hot British strangers trust busted up, old, questionable-health Beau Bridges and his extra busted airplane. Wires are hanging out it’s so busted. These two dummies get on this 4-seater plane and crash. Super cute dog and super cute Idris are unhurt. Rest of the movie is man against nature. Kate Winslet cannot be trusted on Titanic or frozen tundra. Even with broken leg, concussion, drowning, hypothermia, and mountain lion attack, she musters up the energy to get Idris naked. And the people said Amen. One scene with him in shower at 90 minutes 57 seconds if you watch on Delta. Plot horrible. Acting horrible. Resolution like two comatose mimes. Dog stole the show to cover for all the bad humans involved in the film. Grade D-.
“The Post” (2017)
Rich lady owns a newspaper and regular guys are reporters for the paper. No one respects the lady. Rich lady has to decide if they publish secret stuff. They people eventually respect the rich lady. Hero of the story is the copy editor who had a sharp pencil and quick hand. Final shot of printing press was worth price of admission. Heavy handed messages from beginning to end. No worries if you will get the message. Grade B-.
“A Quiet Place” (2018)
If you are curious about the kind of movie that universally appeals to me, this is it. I love a quiet post-apocalyptic world with aliens or zombies. Complete family a plus. Other examples are “Signs” and “I Am Legend.” Slight nod to “Get Out” which wasn’t post-apocalyptic, but was isolated. I could nitpick all these movies. “A Quiet Place” wasn’t perfect, but it was fun and scary. John Krasinski did a good job. Special thanks to the lady in the theater at North DeKalb who shouted, “Oh, Lord!” during the scariest scene in the movie. I hope she is there with you when you see it. Grade B+.
“The Shape of Water” (2017)
Mute and plain looking woman finds a boyfriend by feeding him eggs while he is captured and tortured by bad guy. Bad guy is so bad he wears bad guy face, uses a bad guy voice and acts like a bad guy. He is even the bad guy with his normal family. No worries about complex characters here. Also don’t worry, mute woman has both sassy black friend and gay male best friend! Y’all find friends like this. Stockholm syndrome is not an acceptable form of courtship. But the movie was visually unique. She had amazing shoes throughout. Grade C-.
“Silver Linings Playbook” (2012)
For the first 30 minutes, I thought this was the movie where Ryan Gosling kills his wife. The fact that I can’t tell the difference between Bradley Cooper in a romantic drama-comedy and Ryan Gosling in a murder mystery is another story. Bonus point for damaged family and strange football obsession and Philly. Negative points for the romance. They had no chemistry. I HATE ROMANTIC MOVIES WITH A PASSION. Give me a romance novel any day. Otherwise, it was strange enough to not be bad. I enjoyed the ensemble cast. Grade C+.
“Solo: A Star Wars Story” (2018)
This is long overdue, and the movie needs a longer review. I would love to story doctor this into the film it should have been. But here goes. It had a Wookie. I like Wookies. Grade C-.
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (2017)
Many very angry, violent, broken people do messed up things. Two black people sit at the end of the bar and watch. Francis McDormand was wonderful. I probably loved it because she represented all of my greatest fears. Grade A.
“Wonder Woman” (2017)
It turns out that I didn’t love Wonder Woman. I also didn’t hate it. I could not get enough of Robin Wright, I adore her so much. At the end of a movie about Wonder Woman, all I wished for was more screen time for her aunt. That’s being said, I enjoyed the depiction of Amazons. I took issue with the fact that her nanny/tutor was Black. I’m just telling you my truth. It rubbed me the wrong way. Chris Pine is a one trick pony. He used up his pony in “Star Trek” which I rather enjoy. I am in no way sorry I saw this movie. It was the best thing DC has put in theaters ever. And I’ve seen all of them. Every DC movie is 45 minutes too long. It is possible to not quite love a movie, but still enjoy it. That was “Wonder Woman” for me. That’s okay. I will see the “Justice League” movie for Jason Momoa just to give my ovaries a soundcheck and also heckle an Affleck. That’s one of my skills. Grade C.
“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” (2018)
About the career and activism of Fred Rogers. I did not want to see this movie. I’m not in the mood for crying movies right now. But sometimes you are stuck on an airplane and the movie choices are what they are. I did cry a little. Did you know that Mr. Rogers had an episode where he discussed the assassination of JFK? He was a man who thought we could and should talk to kids about everything. Part of my hesitation for not wanting to see this film was the chance I might see myself. Around the 50-minute mark, I appear on screen. I am 3 or 4 years old in the daycare at Yale University. I recognize myself immediately even though I haven’t seen this footage in 40 years. These scenes came from a nighttime special and can’t be found in the episodes online. There is little me while the world buzzes around me. Me and my book. The next scene shows me wearing my jacket as a cape and a boy pushes me down. I stand back up. Caught on film is a defining moment in my life. At 35,000 feet in the air, I am staring at my childhood self through time and space. That’s pretty weird. Grade A- because I don’t quite agree with his stance on superheroes. It’s all about perspective. But for him being him and being good and quiet and silent and loud and changing the world? That’s A+.