Movie Review: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Going into this movie, everybody knows this is a cartoon. What someone would not know is that graphic arts quality is nothing like a movie like “Toy Story” produced by Pixar or most other quality cartoon movies. The graphics for “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” looks terrible on the screen, especially the background drawings. The story is about as bad as the cartoon quality and so hard to sit through I left early. Why this movie got a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes is anyone’s guess, this movie is a “must miss”.

I don’t agree with or recommend this movie, even for children.

Movie Review: Kandahar

A different perspective to review the new movie “Kandahar” is to understand the hardships of the cast and crew of this movie – while filming this average story about the war in Afghanistan in Saudi Arabia. All of the scenes of this movie are in barren desert locations, under the hot sun and sand for months. One can only wonder how much the star of this film, Gerard Butler was paid to go through a long period of time living in tents in a hot desert. After reading the script, which is nothing special, and then considering so many months of a filming schedule, it is hard to understand why Butler took this role. There is almost no story here, just a series of events that we have all seen many times before.

The story of Kandahar is about a CIA operative, played by Butler who following a successful mission to blow up a nuclear facility is exposed as a spy in the second mission and is forced to leave the country. The rest of this movie is nothing more than a series of chase scenes, gunfire, and explosions, making this one of the most minimal war movies I have ever seen. As far as the cast, Butler is the only well-known actor in this film with most of the other actors taken from a local actors pool in Saudi Arabia.

The Rotten Tomatoes ratings for Kandahar is a low and correct 46% that I agree with and do not recommend this film.

Movie Review: You Hurt My Feelings

For the second time in the history of this blog, a movie being reviewed – in this case “You Hurt My Feelings” has reminded me of one of the best quotes I have ever seen from the CEO and self-made billionaire of the company Spanx, Sara Blakely:

In order to be your unique creative self, you will need to let go of caring what others think about you. It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. It takes self-awareness, self-reflection, determination, and lots of courage, Not caring what others think about you doesn’t mean you don’t care about them, it just means you don’t need their validation to be you. It’s been my life’s practice to work on this … I hope it becomes yours too.”

The point is, never let the opinions of others affect in any way, who you are and what you believe you can do. Never let what other people think or say affect your self-worth. This concept is entirely the premise of the new movie starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “You Hurt My Feelings”. Julia plays a novelist, Beth who has released one book and has been waiting to hear back from her publisher about her first work of fiction. Her husband Don, played by Tobias Menzies is a highly paid psychiatrist – who is having doubts about his own career.

As any husband would do, Don reads Beth’s book and has some glowing comments during the entire two years Beth wrote the book and is waiting for feedback from her publisher. Unfortunately, Beth overhears her husband’s real opinion about her new book in a retail store when she is standing behind her husband and his friend. This of course leads to a major conflict resulting in a key point in this story. This issue about a husband or wife critiquing the work of their spouse is a lose-lose situation. If you do not like the work of your spouse, then that will cause major problems in the relationship. If you lie and say you like their work, when you don’t, this can cause other problems. Either your lie will be uncovered or the spouse will realize that their partner is lying. This is a situation with no middle ground. There is no way of saying, “I kind of felt just OK about your book, or work”, because this would cause a whole set of new problems. The only way out of this complex issue is to either lie and never be discovered, or genuinely love the work of your spouse. The best line during these entire two hours is when Don says to Beth, “What do you think about your book? That is the only thing that matters”. This is the essence of  Sara Blakely’s quote above.

As far as this film, it is a highly cerebral, art-like movie, where the acting and the dialogue are the most important thing. There is nothing out of the ordinary, or attempt to be very different, and of course, there are no special effects.

Other characters in this story are the real-life husband and wife David Cross and Amber Tamblyn, who play Jonathan and Carolyn, angry clients of Don, who is having serious doubts about his ability to help people, especially after Jonathan and Carolyn ask for a 33 thousand dollar refund because they have made no progress in years. The problem with too many jobs in life is that the opinions of others, good or bad, are far too closely tied to making a living. This is why so many people venture out to start their own companies, so they can be in charge of their own destiny.

You Hurt My Feelings is a high-quality film with solid acting and a good story and an important message. The Rotten Tomatoes ratings are too high 95%, with my rating around 85% and a strong recommendation.