Reviews
Review: Free State of Jones Print E-mail
Friday, 24 June 2016 13:39
 
 
 
Rating:  ZZ

By:  Amy Elizondo

Summary:  Free State of Jones tells the story of 1860s Confederate solider Newt Knight (Matthew McConaughey) who grows tired of fighting for the Confederate army and decides to leave, becoming an outlaw deserter while trying to help those in need.

The Good:  The film does a good job of quickly setting up the story and letting the audience know what the stakes are and why Newt Knight leaves.  We know what he stands for and what is important to him.  There was a great arrangement of action and drama in the movie, as can be expected from McConaughey.  He did an excellent job of bringing his character to life.  The supporting cast was just okay with the exception of Mahershala Ali who splendidly portrayed Moses, a runaway slave trying to get back to his family.  

The Bad:  There were a couple of things that went wrong with this film.  The main one was a sub-story within the movie that pulls you out immediately when it happens, and then again and again.  This sub-story catches you off guard and it probably didn’t even need to be in the movie at all.  Although I do understand why that secondary story was put into the movie, it would’ve been fine without it.  The movie also felt a bit long, and the second story might have had something to do with it.  Also, in the beginning and throughout parts of the film, there is a bit of ambiguity as to which family is Newton Knight’s actual family.  That might have been done intentionally to coincide with the sub-story but it was difficult to decipher.

The Ugly:  All in all, this movie wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been, but it was worse than I thought it would be.  I might have just had too high of expectations for it.  McConaughey’s performance is the only thing that really pulls the film through and does so all the way until the end.  
 
 

 

 
Film In Austin’s Review Grading Scale

No Zs – A solid, outstanding movie; there wasn’t an snoozing in this movie

Z – Good movie, sometimes the story may be lacking in some area, but it’s still recommended; only fell asleep for a quarter of the movie

ZZ – Average, entertaining at parts, it may be worth seeing, but you will probably want to wait and rent it; fell asleep for half of the film

ZZZ – Very weak where entertainment, plot, realism, development and other vital elements are missing; fell asleep for a third of the movie

ZZZZ – Very poor to the point that you will only recommend for your family and friends “not to see it;” fell asleep right when the movie began and slept through the whole thing.  Well, you will wish you had spent that time sleeping

 

 
Review: Finding Dory Print E-mail
Friday, 17 June 2016 04:35

 

 

Rating:  No Zs

By:  Amy Elizondo

Summary:  Picking up where Finding Nemo left off, Finding Dory is about Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) remembering that she once had a family and going on a journey to find them.

The Good:  Finding Dory has a great balance of comedy for kids and comedy for adults.  Obviously in movies for kids, the film runs the risk of boring the adults or not being entertaining enough for the children.  This film, however, did not have that problem.  It was very enjoyable for all.  One of the things that made it fun to watch was the introduction of the new characters.  From a cranky octopus, voiced by Ed O’Neill, to a beluga whale, voiced by Ty Burrell, Dory’s new friends will leave a lasting impression.

The Bad:  One of the issues that some might have with this movie is the repetitiveness of certain themes, or one theme in particular.  The fact that Dory forgets everything is reiterated more than a few times, but it should be understood that this is her “thing”.  She’s a forgetful fish and when she remembers things, the audience is reminded that she will forget again.  The overall storyline isn’t an original one, but the way it is put together makes it interesting.  We know how the story will end, but it’s exciting to see how it gets to the end.

The Ugly:  Disney nails another family friendly film right on the head.  The pace was pretty even throughout; I was never bored.  The kids in the theater laughed several times as well as the adults.  Finding Dory is a movie that anyone can enjoy.


 

 

Film In Austin’s Review Grading Scale


No Zs – A solid, outstanding movie; there wasn’t an snoozing in this movie

 

Z – Good movie, sometimes the story may be lacking in some area, but it’s still recommended; only fell asleep for a quarter of the movie

 

ZZ – Average, entertaining at parts, it may be worth seeing, but you will probably want to wait and rent it; fell asleep for half of the film

 

ZZZ – Very weak where entertainment, plot, realism, development and other vital elements are missing; fell asleep for a third of the movie

 

ZZZZ – Very poor to the point that you will only recommend for your family and friends “not to see it;” fell asleep right when the movie began and slept through the whole thing.  Well, you will wish you had spent that time sleeping

 

 
Review: Maggie's Plan Print E-mail
Friday, 10 June 2016 12:53

 Rating:  Z

By:  JR Molina

Summary:  Maggie is a young woman who desires to have a baby, As she is going through the steps of having the baby through artificial insemination she meets John. John is a professor who hits it off well with Maggie. The only problem, he’s married to Georgette.  


The Good: The film can be really funny at times. Maya Rudolph and Bill Hader have limited scenes but they steal the show. They take material that could’ve easily been over dramatic and just have fun with it. Travis Fimmel also holds his own and has one of the more important scenes, which again can come off as over the top but his subtle performance doesn’t lead you on. As far as Maggie she really does feel like every other indie film main character but Greta Gerwig is the queen of the indie stars and thinks a simple character and makes it stand out. She delivers another stellar performance.

The Bad:  The film is badly written. The film has this huge time jump after its first act and you aren’t braced for it because nothing changes, maybe that was the point? Everyone seems to stay the same age. There’s also some cringey dialogue scenes that’s to on the nose. The ending’s pretty unbelievable as well. It feels like an indie version of a disney movie ending.

The Ugly: Despite being poorly written and having an odd pace, Maggie is worth the watch. Everybody in the cast brings their usual A game. Julianne Moore has this great accent she plays perfectly and it’s fun seeing all these talented people bounce off each other. Most movies get worse as time goes on, as time passe with this movie however, I find myself liking it more.

 

Film In Austin’s Review Grading Scale

 

No Zs – A solid, outstanding movie; there wasn’t an snoozing in this movie

 

Z – Good movie, sometimes the story may be lacking in some area, but it’s still recommended; only fell asleep for a quarter of the movie

 

ZZ – Average, entertaining at parts, it may be worth seeing, but you will probably want to wait and rent it; fell asleep for half of the film

 

ZZZ – Very weak where entertainment, plot, realism, development and other vital elements are missing; fell asleep for a third of the movie

 

ZZZZ – Very poor to the point that you will only recommend for your family and friends “not to see it;” fell asleep right when the movie began and slept through the whole thing.  Well, you will wish you had spent that time sleeping

 

 
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