Kelly’s Quarantine Watches – Part II: Feature Length Films I Meh-ed

In no particular order, here’s a dump of short reviews of things I’ve watched while Safer at Home is still going on and on and on. These are the ones that didn’t hold all my attention or asked a lot of “Why?” questions while it was on. If you are thinking about one of these, maybe this will save you some time.

Quarantine: The Miniseries/Television edition is in the works, so stay tuned. Mostly, this is some practice for me and an attempt to get back in the groove of writing more again, so forgive how rambling it is.

Ma 001

Kelly Saw Ma (2019).
Rating: C
Review:

I watched this for Octavia Spencer. She was great! Overall, this definitely follows more of a Don’t Breathe kind of template as in our group of adolescents think something might be off, continue to do dumb things anyway, and then things get really weird. Also, Luke Evans shows up and we’re supposed to believe they went to high school together. Feels a little long despite being only an hour and 39 minutes- the plot fails to keep escalating and it gets a little slow in the middle. And despite it being really short, it’s highly forgettable.

Togo 001

Kelly Gives a Treat to Togo (2019)
Rating: C+
Review:

I’m not a Dog Movie person, so you may enjoy this if the genre appeals to you. I watched this to test out Disney+ original content and I’m not mad about it. Out of all the dog movies that came out last year (The Art of Racing in the Rain, The Call of the Wild, and Togo), I went with the free one that used a real dog. (CG dogs are WEIRD.) Also, Michael McElhatton and Richard Dormer are in it, so that checks a lot of our my boxes. Togo is basically the “real” dog behind Balto, a beloved non-Disney animated tale that Disney promptly takes a giant dump all over. You know, they get to brag and they also get a Puppy Hero. There’s some cheesy CG (ice and water is hard to do) and for the most part, it’s just Willem Dafoe talking to dogs and trying to figure out if they are a tool for his livelihood or beings worthy of affection. Spoiler alert, even the Green Goblin is a victim to the charms of a wagging tail. You don’t need to watch it, but it does show lots of promise for original content on Disney+.

Lovebirds 001

Kelly Watched The Lovebirds (2020).
Rating: C
Review:

This is basically the perfect movie for a streaming channel. Honestly, I’m so glad I didn’t see this in theaters- it’s a lighthearted romantic comedy about a couple on the verge of a break up. It highlights the improv chops of Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae (she’s delightful) and it doesn’t really do much else, nor does it need to. The thing about this movie is that it feels long. About halfway through, I lost interest mostly because you can see the ending coming from a mile away. It gets a little nonsensical and too chatty at times, but I think it’s a sweet movie for staying in and curling up on the couch. I’m eyeing My Spy to have the same feel to it. 

Romeo 001

Kelly Got Bored During Romeo Must Die (2001)!
Rating: D
Review:

We had a Chan/Chow/Li weekend back in May, hankering for some good action. This movie let us down. There’s wirework when you have JET LI. There is choppy editing when you have JET LI. It tries too hard. It’s garbage. It didn’t help that we watched it after Police Story and Kung Fu Hustle. Next.

National Treasure 002

Kelly Abandons National Treasure (2004)!
Rating: C
Review:

This was another July 4th weekend watch, obviously. I wanted to watch The Patriot, but my partner refused and so we settled on Nicolas Cage. I would never watch it otherwise. (We kicked it off with Hamilton– full review coming your way!) This came out the same year as Pirates of the Caribbean when Disney started making more live-action family movies- I feel like this was a rejected script for Indiana Jones in America.  National Treasure is… an action-adventure, except replace “action” with “exposition”- the history is just rambled by Cage and while it takes place around landmarks and bits of America’s history, the clues aren’t forthcoming or visual enough for this to be that fun kind of mystery adventure. This came out a few years after the original Lara Croft: Tomb Raider series and those did a better job of keeping the puzzle-solving visually interesting. And also action. And also Angelina Jolie. And also Angelina Jolie on a motorcycle. And motorcycles being used to dropkick baddies. Let’s watch Lara Croft: Tomb Raider instead!

National Treasure 003

Kelly Sits Through National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007)!
Rating: C-
Review:

“Why would you watch the second one if you didn’t like the first one?” Because I don’t like leaving things unfinished and I also think Justin Bartha is kind of endearing in this series. The first one is better, not by much, and it’s much more… Wacky Cage, I guess we can call him. Like he saw that the aforementioned Pirates was very successful due to Johnny Depp’s flamboyancy and Jack Sparrow, so he decided to up the Cage-isms and just exclaim things while waving his hands every other sentence. It’s much. The clues are less thematically linked and it is very copy-and-paste from the first movie. Gotta go find Diane Kruger. Gotta find dad. Gotta have a fellow treasure hunter using Nic Cage to find the next clue. Gotta limit the number of antagonists during the final discovery. I also think it’s hilarious that they made room to drop the possibility of a sequel, although if the rumored miniseries is true, I can see it working.

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