Reviews
Review: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Print E-mail
Friday, 17 November 2017 22:39
 
 
 
Rating:  No Zs
 
By:  Amy Elizondo
 
Summary:  A woman has three billboards painted with a message directed at her town’s police chief after months have passed and still no criminals have been caught in her daughter’s murder.
 
The Good:  This movie was heavily driven by all of the characters and all of the actors did an amazing job in their roles.  No matter how big or how small the role was, the entire cast absolutely crushed their part.  There were some characters you liked, some you loved, and some you hated; the actor behind that character ensured that you would feel something, regardless if it was good or bad.  The caliber of acting by the cast as a whole is unparalleled.  Frances McDormand (Fargo, Almost Famous) is indescribable.  She is a classic mama bear who will stop at nothing to protect her family and get justice for her daughter.  Although she and the rest of the characters are deeply flawed, they are all still loveable in their own ways.
 
The Bad:  There wasn’t much that I didn’t like about this movie.  One small issue I may have had with it is that Peter Dinklage’s (The Boss, Game of Thrones) part wasn’t big enough.  His acting skill is superb and really didn’t get to shine for as long as some of the others did, but for the amount of time he did get, he was absolutely amazing.  The ending was also not a predictable ending, but if we remember that this film is more about the people than the story, it is a lot easier to accept the ending.
 
The Ugly:  Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri can best be described as part drama, part comedy, and completely enveloping.  It grabs your attention from the very beginning and never lets go.  Although the storyline is not quite conventional, it is still a great story nonetheless and I think, mostly thanks to the actors portraying these great characters, many people will find it entertaining.  

 

 
 
Film In Austin’s Review Grading Scale
 
No Zs – A solid, outstanding movie; there wasn’t any 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: Murder on the Orient Express Print E-mail
Friday, 10 November 2017 22:11
 
 
Rating:  ZZ
 
By: Amy Elizondo
 
Summary:  When someone is murdered on a train, everyone is a suspect and it’s up to detective Hercule Poirot to solve the case.
 
The Good:  Kenneth Branagh (Dunkirk, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) as detective Hercule Poirot was probably the best thing about this movie.  His quirks and mannerisms were so spot on that he turned into such a delight.  He had, by far, the most screen time out of all the other characters in the movie and it was probably the best choice out of the other characters in this movie.  The scenes and cinematography were also very pleasant to look at.
 
The Bad:  The direction of this film was very incohesive.  From the plots and sub-plots to the reveal at the end, everything was just a little off.  The most disappointing thing to me, however, would have to be how so many of the actors in this star-studded cast were under-utilized.  Dame Judi Dench (Philomena, Spectre) did not get nearly as much time on the screen as she deserved.  I understand that it’s very difficult to get everyone equal screen time with a cast this size, but she really could have been used a lot more.  Another who needed more time was Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man, The Great Wall).  It was also disappointing to see that the train itself didn’t get the pomp and circumstance it warranted.  The entire story pretty much takes place on a train, yet it didn’t always feel like they were on the train.  I just needed there to be a bigger deal made of the fact that this was all taking place on the train.  Instead, to me, it was almost as if they were trying to forget they were on a train.  Branagh's direction of this film could have also been a lot better.  There was so much going on that it was hard to really focus on one thing.  More than anything, the movie didn't feel very suspenseful or mysterious.  Agatha Christie would be disappointed.
 
The Ugly:  Murder on the Orient Express wasn’t as good as it could have been.  There was a lot of room for improvement, from the acting to the set.  The story was sub-par, but I’m glad it wasn’t worse.  If you wish to see this film, I suggest doing it from the comfort of your own home.  This film doesn’t need to be seen on the big screen.

 
 
 

 
 
Film In Austin’s Review Grading Scale
 
No Zs – A solid, outstanding movie; there wasn’t any 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: Thor: Ragnarok Print E-mail
Friday, 03 November 2017 18:11


Rating:  No Zs
 
By:  Amy Elizondo
 
Summary:  In this third installment of the Thor franchise, the titular character must stop the destruction of his home with help from unlikely sources.
 
The Good:  One of the things this film does very well from the beginning is the comedic timing.  It’s apparent from the interactions the characters have with one another that the cast got along in a way that almost echoed a family.  The writing was also much more fluid and laid back than in previous installments which completely worked in Ragnarok.  Chris Hemsworth (Ghostbusters, In the Heart of the Sea) and Tom Hiddleston (Crimson Peak, Kong: Skull Island) are so comfortable together, you would think they were actually brothers in real life.  The action sequences were some of the best I’ve seen in that they weren’t completely over the top as they have been in other movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Even the addition of The Hulk, played once again by Mark Ruffalo (13 Going on 30, Spotlight), was nice in that it added a new dimension to the Thor universe other than simply Loki and Thor.  However, the real showstoppers would have to be the women introduced in this film.  Cate Blanchett (Carol, Blue Jasmine) as the antagonist Hela was flawless; Tessa Thompson (Selma, Creed) as Valkyrie was stunning.  Both women played strong female roles and they were perfect.

The Bad:  There really wasn’t much about this film that I didn’t like.  It was a surprisingly good length and didn’t feel like it was dragging at any particular time throughout.  The only thing I would say about it is that at times it just seemed like there was too much going on all at once and we would leave one story plot to dive into another.  It was a little frustrating to be pulled out of one sub-story and thrown into something else, but at least it happened seamlessly for the most part.  Jeff Goldblum (Jurrasic Park, Independence Day) was really made for the role of Grandmaster, but he also came across as Jeff Goldblum being Jeff Goldblum.

The Ugly:  This was by far my favorite Thor film.  It had action and comedy in spades.  There weren’t any awkward lulls or pauses in the story and moved along at a great pace.  The actors were funny throughout the entire film and it was just very fun to watch.  There were also a couple of great surprise cameos.  If you haven’t liked the previous Thor films as much, give Thor: Ragnarok a chance.  You will thoroughly enjoy yourself.


 
 
Film In Austin’s Review Grading Scale
 
No Zs – A solid, outstanding movie; there wasn’t any 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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