Showing posts with label Movie Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Movie Reviews. Show all posts

Friday, September 13, 2019

Glass by M. Night Shyamalan - Movie Reviewed

Glass is the final movie in this M. Night Shyamalan movie series!

Glass by M. Night Shyamalan - Movie Reviewed
I'll tell you in advance, I have seen an interview with Shyamalan and he does not plan to have any additional movies in this series.  I think that is a mistake.  This movie left me wanting more.  Of course, wanting more is the sign of an excellent movie.

I have previously reviewed the first two movies in this M. Night Shyamalan series:  Unbreakable and Split.  If you haven't already read those reviews and seen those movies, I recommend them before you watch Glass.

Glass could be a stand alone movie, but I believe seeing the other two movies is best.  They introduce the characters and set everything up for this movie. It is hard for me to say for certain since I have seen the previous movies several times, but I'm not sure everything in this movie would be completely clear if you don't have the basis of information and background from Split.

Once you have viewed all three movies, I would love to have you return to this review and tell me which movie in the series was your favorite.  I definitely have a favorite and I suspect everyone will have a clear preference.

I'm going to do my best to give you a review of Glass that won't spoil either of the movies for you in case you haven't seen the previous two.


Glass Movie Synopsis

 
There are three main characters in Glass. Each possesses at least one superhuman characteristic. All find themselves in a battle of good vs. evil and they are not on the same side.

 GlassCheck PriceBy now, you may already know Samuel L. Jackson is Glass, or Mr. Glass.  His real name is Elijah Price.  Elijah was born with a rare disease (osteogenesis imperfecta) that makes his bones break easily. In this movie, Elijah requires a wheelchair for mobility.  However, Elijah is a brilliant man and though he is physically limited, he is mentally superior. 

David Dunn (Bruce Willis) seems like a mild-mannered, average man with a grown son.  Together, they run a surveillance company, but they also have a side venture. David Dunn is an extremely strong vigilante with a sixth sense. His son is his point of contact for research and quick information. When David is on a mission, he and his son, Joseph, stay in constant communication.

Then there is Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy) who suffers with DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder), more commonly referred to as a split personality.  Crumb fights the battle between good vs evil within himself, as well as in the outside world.  As I stated in my review of Split, James McAvoy is an exceptional actor.  His performance alone makes this movie worth watching.

The movie opens with 4 teens being held as food for the imminent beast. David Dunn is determined to find the kidnapped girls. However, before he can free the girls, he comes face to face with their kidnapper who is surprised to find a worthy opponent.  But, neither David nor the kidnapper realize they are both prey for a totally different adversary.  


My Conclusion and Recommendation of Glass


Like all Shyamalan movies, Glass is full of unexpected events with a shocking ending. Even as a Shyamalan fan, I didn't expect the ending.  It took me over a week before I could write this review without expressing too much emotion in my choice of words.

If you prefer a realistic ending, you will love this movie.  If you watch movies as an escape from reality, you are likely to be disappointed.

I watched this movie with my son and my husband. While we were all taken aback by the ending, we each had a different opinion or rating of the movie overall.  This is one movie where every individual will have to judge for themselves.  

Regardless, how can you resist a movie that includes Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, James McAvoy, and M. Night Shyamalan!







Previously Reviewed on Review This!
 
Unbreakable by M. Night Shyamalan - Movie ReviewUnbreakable by M. Night Shyamalan - Movie Review
Unbreakable is an exceptional thriller movie & the beginning of a great series. M. Night Shyamalan is a master of suspense and unexpected twists.



Split by M. Night Shyamalan - Movie ReviewSplit by M. Night Shyamalan - Movie Review
Split is the best psychological thriller that I have ever watched. Almost every emotion a person could feel is toyed with in this movie as we helplessly watch.






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Friday, September 6, 2019

Split by M. Night Shyamalan - Movie Reviewed

Split by M. Night Shyamalan Movie Reviewed
I want to start by saying that reviewing Split was not an easy task.  This movie is so physiologically deep that I worried I would not be able to capture the intensity with mere words. I was also concerned that I might unintentionally dissuade readers from watching the film by telling too much.  It really does need to be watched in order of events, instead of reading any brief synopsis that delves into the plot.

James McAvoy does such an excellent job of playing the part of Kevin Wendell Crumb, I know, without a doubt, I would be frightened to be in his real life presence.  I liken his acting job in this movie to that of Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter.  For years after I first saw that movie, Anthony Hopkins was the face of evil in my mind.  Therefore, for me to compare the two, is truly the greatest compliment I could give to James McAvoy.

The title and DVD cover warn you in advance that the movie will be a terrorizing tale of a man with a split personality.  But, the film is so much more than just a story.  It gives you a close-up look at how the individual with DID (dissociative identity disorder) is tortured by his own mind.  So many times throughout this film, I felt sorry for Kevin, but I felt more than sorry for his victims.  


An Introduction to Split starring James McAvoy


SPLITSPLITCheck PriceThis is the best psychological thriller that I have ever watched.  Almost every emotion a person could feel is toyed with in this movie as we helplessly watch the spellbinding, terrifying events. 

Kevin Crumb has worked hard to lead a normal life and to control the disorder that plagues his life.  He doesn't try to deny his mental difficulties that are the result of the torture he survived as a child.  It is clear when "Kevin" or "Barry" is in control, that he is desperate to be good, loved, and accepted.

Dr. Fletcher has been Kevin Crumb's therapist for years. She has been able to help him with his DID by identifying 23 distinct personalities.  Up until recently, he has been leading a productive life, holding down a good job for years, and coming in for his weekly therapy sessions. She is very proud of him, but becomes greatly concerned when he starts sending her emails at night.  She schedules emergency appointments with him, but one of his dominant personalities shows up for the appointment and assures her all is well. 

Something had triggered the dominant personalities and Kevin's protective personality is about to appear.  Several of his dominant personalities have teamed up to suppress "Kevin" and to take control of his actions.  What happens is characteristic of the ultimate villain.


My Recommendation


If you know you can handle a tough psychological thriller, you will definitely want to see this movie.  If you have a strong interest in psychology and enjoy delving into the inner depths of DID, then this movie is for you.  However, if you are prone to nightmares after watching an intense movie, I wouldn't recommend it.  

As for me, I had no trouble sleeping after watching the movie, but I can understand how it might frighten some.   






Previously Reviewed on Review This!
 
Unbreakable by M. Night Shyamalan - Movie ReviewUnbreakable by M. Night Shyamalan - Movie Review
Unbreakable is an exceptional thriller movie & the beginning of a great series. M. Night Shyamalan is a master of suspense and unexpected twists.






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Friday, August 30, 2019

Unbreakable by M. Night Shyamalan - Movie Review

Unbreakable by M. Night Shyamalan - Movie Reviewed
It is hard to believe that Unbreakable, starring Bruce Willis, was released almost 20 years ago.  Sixteen years later, Split was released which caused a resurgence of interest in Unbreakable.  

At first, it isn't obvious what the two movies have in common other than the fabulous M. Night Shyamalan.  However, hang on until the last minutes of Split and you will understand what they have in common.  And, prepare yourself, there is a third movie, Glass, that ties them all together.

In this post, I'm only going to review Unbreakable and recommend that you plan to watch Split & Glass also.  However, I will tell you in advance, Split is a much harder to watch due to content.  Keep in mind though, these are categorized as "thrillers" for a reason.  


Unbreakable Starring Bruce Willis Reviewed


 UNBREAKABLECheck PriceWhat do you get when you combine M. Night Shyamalan, Bruce Willis, and Samuel L. Jackson?  A magnificent movie!

Samuel L. Jackson is Elijah Price, aka Mr. Glass.  The opening scene of the movie is the birth of Elijah.  The baby has both arms and legs broken.  Sadly, he has a rare bone disease (Type I osteogenesis imperfecta) that makes his bones break as easily as glass, thus his nickname.

As a child, Elijah resists playing with other kids.  Partly because of his disease and the fear of more subsequent broken bones, but also because he doesn't like being mocked.  In order to encourage his outdoor play, his mother starts giving him comic books as gifts for going outside.  It is no wonder Elijah becomes a comic book story and art expert.

Bruce Willis is David Dunn, a security guard that seems to have a sixth sense about people he touches, intentionally or inadvertently.  He also has another unusual trait.  One that even he does not acknowledge or recognize until Elijah Price points it out to him.  Elijah Price becomes suspicious of what makes David Dunn different when David is the only survivor of a train crash that killed all of the other 131 passengers.  Not only did David survive, he walked away from the crash with no injuries.  

David's son, Joseph, adores his father.  He would rather spend time with him when he works out than to play football with friends.  Joseph is amazed, perhaps even mesmerized, by his father's physical strength.  When Joseph accompanies his dad on his initial visit with Elijah, he is intrigued by what Elijah has to say.  He can certainly see the possibility that Elijah may well be right.

Elijah has a theory that for every extreme, like his fragile bones, there must be someone of the opposite extreme that is unbreakable.  Elijah believes that person is David Dunn, and he befriends David for the purpose of proving his theory.  He likens their physical traits and limitations (or lack thereof) to comic book characters.  He encourages and challenges David to test his theory.  



My Conclusion & Personal Opinion of Unbreakable


I don't ever wish to give so much information in a review, or synopsis, that I ruin the movie for others.  It is my desire to give you just enough information that you want to watch the movie yourself.

If you enjoy thrillers, I highly recommend Unbreakable.  As a  M. Night Shyamalan fan, I generally like all of his movies.  Unbreakable is one of my favorites.  However, I will warn you in advance, you will also wish to watch the subsequent movies, Split and Glass.  I will repeat my earlier caution about Split, it is much harder to watch, but clearly an excellent thriller movie.

M. Night Shyamalan is a master of suspense and unexpected twists.  I can easily state that he is one of the most exceptional writers, producers & directors of our time.  He doesn't simply remake an old movie or produce mindless drivel.  He actually writes a gripping story with psychological aspects, and produces excellence for the screen for those of us who enjoy intriguing thrillers without extreme gore.





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Monday, August 26, 2019

The Handmaid's Tale TV Series Review

Gripping and disturbing are two descriptions which immediately surface when asked to describe the original television series The Handmaid's Tale. The television series is based on Margaret Atwood's 1998 book of the same name of which many are familiar.


The Story

The story of The Handmaid's Tale is categorized as speculative fiction or futurism. The disturbing reality of The Handmaid's Tale is the reality of history when any group, government, country or sector persecute any group of citizens who do not meet a defined criteria.

Gilead is the fictional world where woman and men are categorized into well defined roles. Offred is the main character kidnapped from the United States and transported into a dystopian society of which women who can bare children (handmaidens) are the only priority so the society can repopulate.

The handmaidens' are assigned to high ranked Commanders with wives unable to conceive. The handmaidens' role is to conceive a child by the Commander and then give the child to the couple after birth.

The complexity of the story further evolves with the emotions and interactions between the Commanders, the wives, the family, the handmaidens and all those involved in each Commander's goal to have a child. All are intertwined and though the characters are neatly categorized into roles, the emotions of each differ markedly as well as the varying interactions between the classes of Gilead and its' rules.


The Drama And It's Characters


The emotional and physical brutality of the television series I found difficult to watch. The powerful acting vests you into the plot and the characters. If you like strong character driven books, movies or television series you will vest in these characters as presented and for the future.

  • The dystopian society of Gilead is scary, thought provoking, disturbing and yet compelling.
  • Thought provoking to events of history and could it happen again?
  • Disturbing because of the violence and intolerance of anyone 'not like them.'
  • Scary to think of the power and misuse of power to propel unwilling members of society to an unwanted goal.
  • Compelling because of the acting which brings you into their world so effectively it compels you to think of the above questions and thoughts.



I highly recommend this original television series; however, viewing is not for the timid. Is it entertainment? Is it entertaining? I liken this to watching a disaster unfold, difficult to watch, but difficult not to watch.  

It is a pleasure to watch such powerful acting, but one must be in the mood to watch a serious television series as this is a series which provokes afterthoughts of past society and the future should power go awry.


Where To View A Handmaid's Tale?

This is an original series by Hulu, so a membership is required to view the current season or past episodes of season one or two. Season three began in June 2019.

However, Amazon members can stream seasons one and two and the third season will be released after its' first run on Netflix. The series is available here to purchase per episode or per season.


The Testaments


To date A Handmaid's Tale has over 14,000 reviews on Amazon, is a number one New York Times best seller and a sequel The Testaments is anticipated for September 2019.


The end of season one of the television series correlated to the end of the book. The Testaments is Ms. Atwoord's voice as to the future of the main character Offred and the society of Gilead.


Books Similar In Theme To A Handmaid's Tale


1984 by George Orwell
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury




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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Unplanned: The Movie, a Review!

Unplanned, is the most controversial Movie of 2019.  

Here's my Review!

Now before I get into the Review proper, I must tell you that I am a Christian and this subject is very personally repugnant to me.  But, having said that, I think this is a movie that should be shown to every "adult"  person.  Why?  Because there is so much misinformation out there about abortion.  There is also so much anger and polarization about this topic.  This review may seem one sided, but that is my point of view.  After seeing this movie you can make up your own mind. 

The Movie is based on the book Unplanned by Abby Johnson!  It is a true story and there is nothing added or taken away from her experiences.  The movie is very emotionally charged in all aspects. Happiness, sadness, anger, hope, joy and so much more.

 

I personally have not read the book, but have seen the movie and the book is on order. I like to read and re-read on this topic because I feel it is so important to be completely clear on all the information and implications. After all this is supposed to be helping women and looking after their health care. There is so much information that gets twisted by the emotional aspect of the subject.

Now you may be wondering what the heck the subject of this Movie and Book are.  Well, there's no easy way to say it's about ABORTION, and the whole abortion industry. (Make no mistake, it is an industry.)

Abby Johnson, the author, should know the industry better than anyone.  She worked for many years as a Director of a Planned Parenthood facility in Texas.  She had worked her way through the system from handing out flyers to college kids, working as a volunteer at the clinic and ultimately becoming the clinic's director.  She was so good at her job that she was awarded the Planned Parenthood highest accolades, Employee of the Year at their annual convention.

Coincidentally, this is the moment that Abby finds out that Planned Parenthood's  mission statement is a lie! In one meeting she goes from Employee of the Year to questioning everything she has always believed.

I don't want to give away too much of this story, because I really want you to see it!  Many movie theaters will not show this movie because of it's controversial topic.  Not to worry,  you can get to see it on Hoopla!

Hoopla is a free service and you can borrow movies, books, and so much more.  Tracey, one of our writers let us know about this service and I'm so thankful to her for sharing this with me.

I also don't like movie theaters telling me what I can and cannot see!  There are so many questionable movies out there that are readily shown to the public, but,  when a movie takes a moral stand, they deem it inappropriate and don't allow it to be seen in their venues.   So in order to understand this, I watched this movie using Hoopla!

Please be aware, you might want to watch this movie first before sharing it with your family,  It is a very emotional topic, but one that really needs to be understood from all sides.












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Friday, August 2, 2019

Justice League Movie Reviewed

Justice League Movie Review

The Justice League is literally the DC Comics superhero team that includes Batman, Superman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, and Flash.  Together, they protect the earth from evil and invading forces.

Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman have been well known superheros all of my life.  However, until the Justice League was created, they worked as individuals.  I can easily remember many discussions between myself and my brothers when I was a child over whether Superman or Batman was better.  There was never a question of IF we liked them both.  

Until recent years, Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman were not well known to anyone who didn't actually read the DC Comics.  However, with the movies and TV series that have been released over the last few years, we are all now familiar with Cyborg, Flash and Aquaman


The Awesome Team of Superheroes in the Justice League
Information Below Based on Current Justice League Movies. They do not always follow the DC Comics Characters & their history, but all characters are based on the DC Comics

Batman:
  Justice League Movie Actor - Ben Affleck
     Character's Real Identity - Bruce Wayne
     Origin - Earth Human
     Earth Home City - Gotham
     Powers - Weapons, Specially Made Vehicles, Martial Arts Training, & Genius
     Additional Points of Interest

           • Wealthy philanthropist           
           • Mortal Human
 
           • Wears his Armored Bat Suit to protect his real identity             
           • Committed to fighting criminals after witnessing his parents murders

   
Superman:
     Justice League Movie Actor - Henry Cavill
     Character's Real Identity - Clark Kent  (Krypton Name was Kal-El)
     Origin - Krypton
     Earth Home City - Metropolis
     Powers - Superhuman Strength, Flies, Impenetrable Skin, X-ray vision, heat vision (projects high intensity heat),
                     Superhuman Hearing, Breath with powerful blows, freezing ability, can hold breath in space & under water
     Additional Points of Interest
           • Sent to Earth by Real Parents right before Krypton was destroyed
           • Found/Adopted by Jonathan & Martha Kent
       
           • Wears his Superman "S" suit with cape to protect his real identity
           • Works at the Daily Star/Daily Planet as a Newspaper Journalist
(name changed on radio series)          
           • Co-worker/Girlfriend/Wife is Lois Lane
           • Kryptonite weakens his strengths
           • Best Selling Comic Superhero of All Times


Wonder Woman:
     Justice League Movie Actor -  Gal Gadot
     Character's Real Identity - Diana Prince
     Origin - Themyscira (Amazonian City - Paradise Island)
     Powers - Superhuman Strength & Powers, Flies on Earth & in Space, Trained Warrior, Wields the Lasso of Truth
     Additional Points of Interest

           • Daughter of Zeus          
           • Immortal as a demigod

           • Protector of World (not just Earth)            
           • Wears an Amazon uniform made for her by her mother,
Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons 
   
The Flash:
     Justice League Movie Actor -  Ezra Miller
     Character's Real Identity - Barry Allen
     Origin - Earth Human
     Powers -  Extremely Fast Running (in a flash)
     Additional Points of Interest

           • University Student          
           • Struck by Lightening during a Radiation charged Thunderstorm

           • Wears a Burgundy/Red Suit with a Helmet Mask
           • The Fastest Man on Earth

   
Aquaman:  
     Justice League Movie Actor - Jason Momoa
     Character's Real Identity - Arthur Curry
     Origin - Half Earth Human & Half Atlantean (from underwater City of Atlantis)
     Powers - Aquatic Abilities, Extremely Strong, Trained to Wield a Trident, Enhanced Hearing
     Additional Points of Interest

           • Proper Heir to the Throne of Atlantis (mother was princess)         
           • Superhero on Land & Sea

           • Breathes Underwater and on Land           
           • Swims & Jumps like a Dolphin or Whale

   
Cyborg:  
     Justice League Movie Actor - Ray Fisher
     Character's Real Identity - Victor Stone
     Origin - Earth Human
     Powers -  Naturally Interfaces with Internet & Computers, Flies,
     Additional Points of Interest

           • Cybernetic Reconstruction after near-fatal accident when a mother box exploded in father's lab       
           • Infused with Mother Box power   
           • Former Athlete

           • Permanent Robotic Parts (half human & half robot)           
           • Both Parents are/were Scientists 


 


Justice League Movie Synopsis


 Justice League
(DVD, Blu-ray Or Prime Video)
Check Price
With Steppenwolf and his legion of Parademons scouring the earth for 3 "Mother Boxes" of power, the Justice League unites in order to prevent Steppenwolf from obtaining the ultimate power.  

Each Superheroe's specialty is needed at some point in this battle, therefore they must all work together as one cohesive unit.  That will prove to be challenging at times due to pre-existing conflicts, but they are all committed to protecting the world.

Before the entire Justice League comes face to face with him, Steppenwolf had already obtained 2 of the Mother Boxes.  He defeated the Amazons in Themyscira to capture the first Mother Box.  Then, he defeated the Atlantean guards for the second.

While it might seem certain that the Justice League could defeat Steppenwolf, the reality is far from obvious.  After all, he and his army of parademons are strong and vast.  The Justice League must take an extreme action to even feel strong enough to face him and that action could certainly have consequences. 

If you have seen Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and you look carefully at the artwork above, you will get a hint at what extreme action must be taken, but I am not going to tell you.


My Personal Opinion


In spite of negative reviews, I really enjoyed Justice League!  I find myself wondering what critics really had against this movie, DC Comics, or Warner Bros.  The actors were tremendous!  The storyline might seem somewhat familiar, but seriously, how often do we really see a movie with a unique story?

One of my favorite scenes is when Aquaman gets up close and personal with Wonder Woman's lasso of truth.  I find myself laughing again as I recall it.

I'm glad I didn't let those negative reviews keep me from watching the Justice League.  Otherwise, I would have missed a really great movie filled with wonderful actors.  I hope you won't let them influence your decision either.   







Marathon Watch Order of Justice League Movies


Recommended Movies For Batman's Background - These movies star Christian Bale, not Ben Affleck
  • Batman Begins (2005)
  • The Dark Knight (2008)
  • The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Justice League Movies




Other DC Comic Movies Reviewed on Review This!


Wonder Woman 2017 Movie ReviewWonder Woman (2017) Movie Review
Wonder Woman (2017) is truly a wonderful movie.  I encourage everyone to set aside any preconceived notions and watch the new movie.   The back story on Diana, aka Wonder Woman, is awesome!


Aquaman Movie ReviewAquaman Movie Review
Aquaman, starring Jason Momoa, is a fabulous DC Comic movie! Aquaman is half man & half Atlantean, but he is the rightful heir to the throne of Atlantis. It is his destiny to ensure peace between the Atlantis kingdoms and humans.








 

 

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Friday, July 12, 2019

Spider-Man: Far From Home Movie Review

Spider-man: Far From Home Movie Review

Spider-man is one of the best known Avengers.  All over the world, people recognize Spider-man and love him!

If you are a Marvel comics fan, most likely you knew the names of all of the Avenger superheroes long before they became superstars on the silver screen.  However, movie-goers have been entertained by the friendly neighborhood Spider-man for decades and he has been able to stand his cinematic ground all alone.  Multiple actors have had the opportunity to don the suit and become our favorite young hero.  However, none of the previous actors have represented Spider-man better than Tom Holland.

In Spider-Man: Far From Home, we are reminded that Peter Parker is a teenager still in high school and not a "man" as his superhero name would imply.  He simply happened to be the one bitten by that radioactive spider when he was 15 years old.  He may have the physical strength of some of the other Avengers, and he may be extremely smart like the Hulk or Tony Stark, but he is still "just a kid".  If you have seen The Avengers Infinity War, you will recall that Tony Stark (Ironman) loved Spider-man for his intelligence, his enthusiasm, his natural defender instincts, and his natural physical abilities, but Tony also tried to protect Peter.  

Unfortunately, Peter Parker no longer has his Ironman protector and he has to face a fierce opponent without the aid of any of the other Avengers.  Plus, he has some really hard personal decisions to make.


Spider-man: Far From Home Movie Synopsis


 Spider-Man: Far From HomeCheck PriceAs Peter Parker is making plans to go on his class trip to Europe, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) is calling.  We all know, when Nick Fury calls it is important, and you better answer.  However, Peter doesn't want to "play" superhero this week.  He wants to go on his trip with his classmates.  So, he ignores the phone calls.  He even intentionally does not pack his Spider-man suit.  Peter is determined to enjoy his trip!  But, as they say, the best laid plans of spiders and men often go awry.  (You know they say "spiders"!)

When Peter is stopped by customs and his luggage is searched, he sees that his Aunt May added his Spider-man suit for him, like any good parent or guardian would do, of course.  That turns out to be a good thing, because Peter isn't in Venice for long before he needs that suit.

When Venice is attacked by a water monster (Water Elemental), what appears to be a new superhero, flies into the scene to defend the city.  However, Spider-man is soon needed to help protect the people in the area and his suit is back in the hotel.  Peter realizes he can't just let the surrounding buildings fall on his friends and other tourists.  He goes into action with only a carnival mask to hide his identity.

Once the Water Elemental is defeated, Peter finally meets with Nick Fury who gives him a gift that was left to him by Tony Stark.  It seems Ironman has entrusted Peter with his most precious legacy.  (No spoilers here.  You will have to watch for yourself!) 

Peter is also officially introduced to Quentin Beck, who has now been publicly dubbed Mysterio since he so heroically saved Venice from certain destruction.  Peter is relieved to have another superhero around to talk to and to fight alongside.  It seems Beck is content to be Peter's new mentor.

For comic fans, you will already know all about Mysterio.  You will recognize him immediately.  However, for those who only follow the stories through the movies, this film will reveal several tremendous revelations for you.


A Must for Avenger Fans


There are many reasons to love the movie, Spider-man: Far From Home.  It is delightful, funny, and entertaining, but for Avenger Fans, it holds greater significance as a continuation of the beloved Avenger movies.  The Endgame was definitely not the end!






FOR A LIST OF AVENGER MOVIES AND THE RECOMMENDED WATCH ORDER, CLICK HERE



More Marvel Movies Reviewed Here on Review This!


 
Avengers: Endgame movie provides fans with opportunities to laugh, cheer out loud & a few unexpected moments that reduced us to tears.



In the movie, we discover the background story to how Carol Danvers becomes Captain Marvel and aligns herself with the Avengers.



Marvel fans love Avengers: Infinity War!  All of our favorite Avengers, plus the Guardians of the Galaxy join the battle to save the world from evil domination and genocide by Thanos. Expect some very shocking and even upsetting deaths in this movie. Real Mavel fans will need Kleenex!


The movie Doctor Strange is based on the Marvel comics character. A fabulous fantasy fiction movie that is quite accurate with the depiction.



Guardians of the Galaxy is a truly fabulous Marvel movie that I would recommend for anyone! The movie is a mix of sci-fi, great animation, engaging stories, & witty dialog.



Ant-Man & The Wasp Movie ReviewAnt-Man & The Wasp Movie Review
Paul Rudd (Ant-Man), Michael Douglas (Dr. Hank Pym), and Evangeline Lilly (The Wasp / Dr. Pym's daughter), join together in battle. However, this time it is against a very unexpected mysterious foe, while also having to elude the FBI.



Ant-Man Movie ReviewAnt-Man Movie Review
Dr. Pym (Ant-Man suit inventor) & his daughter, Hope, train Scott Lang to work with ants and to become Ant-Man in preparation to "defeat" Darren Cross and his Yellowjacket invention.




The movie Iron Man sets the foundation for all of the following Avengers movies. Every Marvel fan, old or young, needs to see the movie Iron Man.





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Sunday, June 23, 2019

Good Omens 2019 TV Miniseries Review

Lovers of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman rejoice! Good Omens finally has been released as a television miniseries for Amazon Prime Video and BBC Two viewers.

Good Omens TV miniseries on Amazon Prime Video - image courtesy of Amazon

When Pratchett and Gaiman's World Fantasy Award-nominated satirical fantasy novel Good Omens was published 29 years ago, it was my first introduction to Neil Gaiman's wonderfully twisted mind and wickedly funny sense of humor. If Neil Gaiman’s name doesn’t ring a bell, you may know him from the big-screen adaptations of some of his novels, such as the 2007 movie Stardust starring Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Sienna Miller, Mark Strong, Rupert Everett, Ricky Gervais, Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer and Peter O’Toole or the 2009 3D stop-motion animated film Coraline featuring the voices of Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French.

My husband and I have long been huge fans of Sir Terry Pratchett's work, especially his well-known and much-loved Discworld fantasy novels. We have read or listened avidly to pretty much every Pratchett book or audiobook we could get hold of (many of them multiple times). So when Good Omens was published, we were quick to buy the paperback. It was bizarre and intriguing, but it had such a huge cast of characters, many in fairly minor roles, that I found the story hard to follow and had to listen read it a second time. Both Pratchett and Gaiman are brilliant – and hilarious – but they do require their readers to do their part by giving the their full attention to their extraordinary writing, especially if you don't wan't to miss all the puns and dry humor. Admittedly these authors' works aren't to everyone's taste, but my husband and I love them.

We also love audiobooks, so when Good Omens was released as an audiobook narrated by one of Pratchett's favorite narrators, Stephen Briggs, I downloaded immediately. I enjoyed it immensely - much more than the print edition. Briggs' distinctive voices for the different characters also made it much easier for me to keep them all straight! Sadly, that recording is no longer available for some reason, but there is a very good unabridged audiobook of Good Omens on Audible narrated by Martin Jarvis.

Good Omens – The Miniseries That Almost Wasn't


After listening to Good Omens I thought what I always do after reading or listening to a Terry Pratchett novel: "Wouldn't this make a great movie?" I didn't hold out much hope, however, since none of Pratchett's books have been made into movies and only three of his Discworld novels have been made into television miniseries: The Color of Magic with Sean Astin as the naive and ever optimistic tourist Twoflower, David Jason as the hapless "wizzard" Rincewind and Jeremy Irons as the wily Patrician; Hogfather; and my personal favorite, Going Postal starring Richard Coyle as Moist von Lipvig, Claire Foy as Adora Belle Dearheart and David Suchet as dastardly Reacher Gilt. (Pratchett's characters' names are always a hoot!)

However, there were, indeed, concerted efforts to have Good Omens made into a movie, to be directed by Terry Gilliam of Monty Python fame, which continued long after the book’s publication in 1990. Then in 2011, Gaiman’s website announced that a television series adaptation of the book was “in the works” from another member of the Monty Python troupe, Terry Jones. But in 2016, Gaiman announced that he himself was writing the scripts for a six-part TV series at the request of Terry Pratchett in 2015 shortly before his death from Alzheimer’s disease.

When my husband and I heard that Amazon Studios and BBC Studios would be co-producing a miniseries based on Good Omens and written by Gaiman himself, we were really excited, especially when the cast was announced, including David Tennant (our favorite Doctor Who), wonderful Welsh actor Michael Sheen, Mad Men star Jon Hamm, Miranda Richardson and the voice of Frances McDormand!

Often, movie or television adaptations of books are poor imitations of the original. In the case of Good Omens, however, having to streamline the story for video made the TV miniseries even better than the book in many respects. It makes the intricate story line much easier to follow. (Even so, this isn't something you'll want to watch while checking email, or you're likely to miss an important detail or plot point.)

What I Love About Good Omens, the 2019 Television Miniseries


The Fabulous Cast and Terrific Performances

While the entire cast is wonderful, David Tennant and Michael Sheen are simply outstanding. Sheen, an actor I wasn't familiar with before watching Good Omens, is marvelous as the fastidious, antiquarian bookshop-owning angel, Aziraphale, who sometimes chafes at the restrictions of being "good" by the book, especially when it prevents him from doing what he believes is right. He's the perfect foil for Tennant's inspired portrayal of  Crowley, a creepy yet strangely likeable demon who enjoys his powers and revels in the freedom of being "bad" but who also, deep down, shares Aziraphale's secret desire to do what's right for humanity.

Jon Hamm's Archangel Gabriel pulls heavily from his Mad Men character, Don Draper (without Draper's infamous womanizing tendencies, obviously!). Miranda Richardson is perfect as the endearing medium and former madam with the heart of gold, Madame Tracy. And Frances McDormand is perfect as the voice of God, who narrates the miniseries.

The Authors' Perspective on Good vs. Evil

The interplay between the "good" angel Aziraphale and the "evil" demon Crowley is brilliant. Watching these two find common ground over the course of centuries in pursuit of a worthy goal –saving humanity from Armageddon – is both fascinating and believable.

The Brilllant Script and Deft Word Play

Pratchett and Gaiman share a deep love of language and word play (as well as irreverent but affectionate satire), such as placing common phrases in uncommon or ironic settings. For example, Crowley catches himself starting to say, "Thank God!" and Aziraphale catches himself starting to say, "What the hell..."

In Gaiman's script for the miniseries, the conversations between Aziraphale and Crowley are masterpieces where what isn't said is as important as what is said. These conversations serve to draw the arc of growth for these two central characters as these historical enemies first learn to understand each other, then work together and, finally, develop a true and lasting friendship. And, even though they can never overtly state their affection for one another, Tennant's and Sheen's superb performances allow us to watch its growth over the course of the show.

What's Not to Love? 


The Questionable Motives of both Divine and Infernal Characters

Gabriel, Beelzebub and their respective followers in Heaven and Hell are absolutely obsessed with starting Armageddon, just to see which side wins.

The Negative Portrayal of Organized Religion

The authors of Good Omens appear to view organized religion as a human construct that has been used as a tool for both good and evil throughout human history.

The Implication That Neither Good nor Evil is Absolute 

There are no purely "good" guys or purely "bad" guys in this story, an idea that some people may find disturbing.

An Irreverent Religious and Social Satire


Humans often struggle to determine the right thing to do in a particular situation, especially when the only option seems to be choosing the lesser of two (or more) evils. The fundamental message of this extremely funny, firmly tongue-in-cheek story seems to be that most humans – and even an angel and a demon who live among us and have become extremely fond of our kind – are neither purely good nor purely evil, and that human morality is not absolute and may sometimes depend on the circumstances.

In Good Omens, there are no sacred cows (as it were). The authors lovingly and humorously poke fun at everyone and everything, although that humor also points out serious human failings. For example, Pestilence has retired as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and has been replaced by Pollution, a scourge of humanity's own making. The story also puts a humorous, contemporary twist on things. For instance, The Horsemen – actually, two horsemen and two horsewomen – ride motorcycles.

Fair warning: if you find religious and/or social satire offensive, Good Omens is definitely not for you.

The Good Omens television miniseries provides nearly 6 hours' worth of rollicking entertainment with a brilliant script, a fabulously talented cast and extraordinary sets and special effects. It definitely doesn't take itself seriously, and neither should its viewers.

Good Omens Main Characters


Aziraphale – the angel who is Heaven’s representative on Earth; previously the guardian of Eden’s eastern gate, now the owner of an antiquarian bookstore in London. Fastidious in his dress, language, posture and manners. He loves humans even though he's often disappointed in them.

Anthony Crowley – the demon who is Hell’s representative on Earth; previously known as Crawly, the serpent who tempted Eve with the apple. His most prized earthly possession is his beloved, pristine 1926 Bentley. Predictably hedonistic, coarse and jaded, he swaggers, slouches and lounges. He's grudgingly grown fond of the humans he routinely tempts as part of his demonic duties.

Agnes Nutter – a 17th-century witch, history’s only 100% accurate prophet and author of The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch. Burned at the stake in 1656 by a mob of Agnes’s neighbors led by Witchfinder Major Thou-Shalt-Not-Commit-Adultery Pulsifer. Like the witches in Pratchett’s Discworld novels, Agnes wore many hats, including those of midwife, doctor, herbalist, wise woman, psychologist, undertaker, showman and the moral center of her witching “territory”.

Anathema Device – witch, occultist, Ph.D. holder and distant descendant of Agnes Nutter. Also, the only person who can prevent the impending Apocalypse – if she can just figure out what Agnes’s cryptic prophecies mean in time.

Adam Young – a sweet and charismatic but also odd boy with a dog; also, respectively, the Antichrist and his hellhound. Due to a hospital mix-up by Satanic nuns under Crowley's direction, the newborn Adam was switched at birth with the baby of a random couple, Mr. and Mrs. Young, instead of with the baby of the U.S. ambassador to Britain and his wife, the Dowlings.

Newton Pulsifer – a failed, would-be software engineer whose attempts to fix any electronic device are pretty much guaranteed to render it unusable. A descendant of Witchfinder Major Thou-Shalt-Not-Commit-Adultery Pulsifer, Newt is working as an overqualified wages (payroll) clerk when he is reluctantly recruited into the Witchfinder Army by Witchfinder Sergeant Shadwell.

Gabriel – archangel and leader of the forces of Heaven; hell-bent (so to speak) on winning the Ultimate Battle Between Good and Evil against the forces of Hell, led by Beelzebub. Sees humans as a way to keep score in the final battle between.

Witchfinder Sergeant Shadwell – the last remaining member of the Witchfinder Army; invents fictitious additional members with names inspired by whatever his eyes light upon, e.g., Sergeant Cabinet. Lives above the rooms of Madame Tracy.

Madame Tracy – professional name of Marjorie Potts, an over-the-hill but warm-hearted madam; also a medium who offers weekly séances for the gullible. She has a soft spot for crusty Sergeant Shadwell, who calls her Whore of Babylon, Painted Lady, Jezebel, etc., yet still grumblingly joins her for afternoon tea and accepts her financial help when he’s a bit short of funds.

Good Omens Plot


Two of Hell's Dukes, Haster and Ligur, deliver the newborn Antichrist to the demon Crowley who, in turn, entrusts him to the Chattering Order of St. Beryl, a Satanic sisterhood that runs a hospital in Lower Tadfield (a fictitious village in South East England). Crowley instructs the nuns to switch the newborn Antichrist with the infant son of U.S. Ambassador Dowling and Mrs. Dowling. But, thanks to a mix-up at the hospital, Satan's spawn is given instead to Mr. and Mrs. Young, a perfectly ordinary Tadfield couple. While Mrs. Young is sleeping after giving birth to her biological child, Sister Mary Loquacious suggests several names to her husband for the newborn he believes to be theirs. But Mr. Young rejects those names (e.g., Damien, Wormwood) in favor of "a decent English name," which is how the Antichrist was christened Adam Young.

The Archangel Gabriel and Beelzebub are both gung-ho for long-awaited Armageddon to finally start so they can see, once and for all, which side will ultimately win,  But their earthly representatives, the angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley, respectively, aren't exactly keen on their bellicose and very competitive superiors' plans to destroy the human race.

After spending hundreds of thousands of years living side by side with humans and intervening in their lives, both Aziraphale and Crowley have grown extremely fond of them. And while the angel and demon are enemies in theory, in reality their shared love of humanity, coupled with the humans' very brief lifespans, have made the unlikely pair each others' only real friends. Crowley accepts this reality with equanimity, but Aziraphale is loathe to admit their friendship, even to himself. His inner conflict about collaborating with Crowley while trying to stay true to his "good" principles is portrayed very cleverly. For example, his deeply ingrained good manners compel him to hold the door open for Crowley while saying to him, "Get thee behind me, Satan!" – followed immediately by a polite, "After you."

Crowley persuades Aziraphale that they will need to collaborate if they are to have any chance of thwarting their higher-ups' elaborate plans to trigger Armageddon, The frenemies hatch a plan to provide Adam Young with Divine and Satanic influences in equal measure during his formative years, in the hope that he will grow up as an ordinary boy and not fulfill his dreadful destiny. They help cover for each other so Gabriel, Beelzebub and the rest of their minions won't discover their disobedience as they try to protect humanity.

In fact, it is Aziraphale's and Crowley's plan that is thwarted, Even a decade later, no one has found out about the Satanic sisters' mix-up at the hospital. So the pair have spent the past 10 years focusing their efforts on the U.S. ambassador's son, Warlock Dowling, whom everyone on both sides still believes to be the Antichrist. The hellhound designed by the Infernal Powers to obey and protect the Antichrist is destined to appear to him on his 11th birthday. Crowley and Aziraphale anxiously await the arrival of hound at Warlock's birthday party, but when tit doesn't materialize, they realize that something has gone dreadfully wrong and that they've been trying to influence the wrong boy for the past 10 years!

They rush back to the hospital run by the Chattering Order of St. Beryl to find out what happened to the infant Antichrist 11 years earlier, After Crowley finally gets the truth, he has to figure out which child is the Antichrist and more importantly, where he and Aziraphale can find him before it's too late. Then, as if things weren't bad enough, their bosses find out what they've been up to. Now they're really in Trouble, with a capital T!

Fortunately, Crowley and Aziraphale aren't the only ones trying to prevent Armageddon.

Back in 1655, rural witch Agnes Nutter published The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch. To this day it remains the only book whose prophecies were 100% accurate, as well as extremely cryptic. (For example, one of her prophecies mentions "an apple you can't eat," which turns out to refer to Apple Computer.) The following year, knowing she was soon going to be burned at the stake by Witchfinder Major Thou-Shalt-Not-Commit-Adultery Pulsifer and the mob of locals he has riled up, prophetic Agnes arranged to have the book passed down through various interim caretakers over the next three hundred-plus years  and, eventually, given to far-distant descendant, Anathema Device. Anathema will need to finish decrypting Agnes’s huge volume of prophecies in time to prevent the impending Apocalypse.

Anathema has spent most of her life working her way through Agnes Nutter's prophecies and, as a result, has moved to a cottage in Tadfield. She meets Adam Young, who seems like a sweet boy and the natural leader of his inseparable group of four friends. She shares with him some of her collection of magazines on the occult  and conspiracy theories, which he devours with fascination, while his friends pooh-pooh his assertions that Atlantis and aliens are real.

Meanwhile, Newton Pulsifer, a hapless, would-be software engineer working as a payroll clerk and, more importantly, a distant descendant of Thou-Shalt-Not-Commit-Adultery Pulsifer, becomes a reluctant recruit into the Witchfinder Army. While doing his witchfinder research, Newt finds what might be clues to witchy doings in Tadfield. Witchfinder Sergeant Shadwell sends him off to Tadfield to investigate, where he meets Anathema.

These two descendants of enemies from 300 years earlier are thrown together and must work together if the end of the world is to be prevented. In Good Omens, religion, rather than politics, makes strange bedfellows.

I'll stop here so as not to spoil the fun. As you can see, the plot is pretty complex, but fortunately, the 6-part television miniseries makes everything perfectly clear and the fabulous acting makes watching it a wonderfully fun and funny experience.

By now, you're probably wondering...

  • Will Crowley and Aziraphale escape their dooms at the hands of Beelzebub and Aziraphale?
  • Will Newt destroy Anathema before she can finish decrypting Agnes' final prophecies and prevent Armageddon?
  • Will Atlantis rise from the sea and little green men in UFOs land in England?
  • Will Adam Young fulfill his destiny as the Antichrist?
  • Will you laugh out loud while watching all the insanity unfold?

The only way to find out, of course, is to watch the Good Omens TV miniseries on Amazon Prime Video or on BBC Two, starting with the Episode 1, "In the Beginning."


An Inside Look at the Making of the Good Omens TV Miniseries 

I always enjoy behind-the-scenes special features. Since the bonus behind-the-scenes video of Good Omens is only 2 minutes long, I'd love to get the companion book to the miniseries, The Nice and Accurate Good Omens TV Companion by Matt Whyman. Since it's edited by Neil Gaiman, it's sure to be both excellent and accurate. And it's full of photos from the sets. Fun!

The Nice and Accurate Good Omens TV Companion by Matt Whyman, edited by Neil Gaiman, image courtesy of Amazon


Watching Good Omens on Amazon Prime Video


As Amazon Prime members, we were able to binge-watch all six episodes of Good Omens on Amazon Video for free, as well as two short bonus videos (a trailer and a 2-minute behind-the-scenes look at the making of Good Omens), as soon as the miniseries was released in the U.S. on May 31, 2019. For our friends across the Pond, the Good Omens miniseries will also will be shown as six weekly broadcasts on BBC Two.

IMPORTANT! In the US,  only Amazon Prime members can watch Good Omens and the TV miniseries adaptations of Terry Pratchett novels. 



We have been Amazon Prime members for years and have found the many benefits of membership well worth the annual fee, especially the enormous libraries of free video, music and Kindle content. This high-quality content includes Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning Amazon Original TV and movie productions, such as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Manchester by the Sea, Sneaky Pete, Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle,. Other benefits of Amazon Prime Membership including free 2-day shipping, free 1-day shipping (depending on your ZIP code) and Prime Now local delivery service with free 2-hour delivery (including groceries from Whole Foods Market), among other benefits. If you'd love to try out all those benefits and more without obligation, you can get a free 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime.

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Good Omens TV miniseries on Amazon Prime reviewed by
Margaret Schindel


Read more Amazon Originals and movie reviews on ReviewThisMovies.com.




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