Movie Review: The Mitchells vs. The Machines (2021)

While I miss going to the cinema, it’s nice that I still can experience brand new movies from the safety of my own home. And this one comes to us straight from Netflix.

Ladies, gents, and non-binaries… “The Mitchells vs. The Machines”.

Going on what is meant to be a family bonding road trip, the dysfunctional Mitchell family find themselves caught in the middle of a robot apocalypse, and must do everything they can to survive and possibly also save the world. So yeah, this movie blends a lot of familiar elements into its story. There’s the whole dysfunctional family angle, the misunderstood teenager, there’s a road trip comedy, there’s robots trying to take over, there’s social commentary on modern tech… yeah, this soup has a lot of ingredients. And they all come together quite well to make for a highly enjoyable narrative. Yes, it really doesn’t do much new, but that’s okay, because it handles its familiar ideas in really fun, easily digestible ways. It also helps that it seldom lets anything outstay its welcome, thanks to a crackling pace. But it does also know to slow down when there needs to be a bit of character drama. It’s basically a good, well paced story that I highly enjoyed.

The characters in this are all charming, colorful, and highly entertaining. They all have some quirk to them that is used in fun ways throughout the movie, and it also at times makes for some interesting character dynamics when needed. I don’t really wanna say too much more, as I feel the characters and their unique charms are best left experienced, so let’s just mention some of the actors in this, all of which are great in their respective roles. You got Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Michael Rianda, Eric André, Olivia Colman, Fred Armisen, Beck Bennett, and many more.

The score for the movie was composed by Mark Mothersbaugh, and I think it’s great. It’s very energetic and fun, fitting the fast pace of the movie. I also think the heavy use of synths add a lot to it, complementing both the robot uprising and the bouncy family adventure. There’s also a few licensed songs used here, and they work fine.

“The Mitchells vs. The Machines” was written and directed by Michael Rianda and Jeff Rowe, and I think they did a terrific job with it. This movie has this really energetic and snappy direction that really helps keep any moment from getting stale, and which makes action scenes an absolute joy to behold. Speaking of beholding, holy crap, this animation in this is spectacular. It is of course 3D/CG in its basis, but it also seems to incorporate elements of cel-shading, some traditional 2D animation, and even a few other styles at a few points that I won’t spoil. But yeah, it makes for animation that really pops off the screen lingers in the viewer’s (AKA my) mind. The movie is also insanely funny, there’s so many jokes here I laughed really hard at. There were also a few I didn’t really enjoy, but thanks to the movie’s fast pace they didn’t really outstay their welcome, so the overall experience remained very positive.

This movie just came out, so ratings might change over time (I will however not change anything, for I am lazy). On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 96% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 80/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8.2/10.

“The Mitchells vs. The Machines” is an insanely fun and hilarious family film that I highly enjoyed. It has a really good story, great characters, great performances, great music, fantastic direction/animation, and hilarious comedy. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Mitchells vs. The Machines” is a 9.67/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “The Mitchells vs. The Machines” is now completed.

It’s been a while since I laughed so much that it made me cough. Good on ya, movie.

Movie Review: Maggie’s Plan (2016)

Since it’s valentine’s day, I thought I’d watch a romance movie. So here we go.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Maggie’s Plan”.

Maggie (Greta Gerwig) has a plan to get impregnated, but without getting married, and raising the child on her own. But her plan and life gets a bit messier when she gets romantically involved with a married man (Ethan Hawke). So we follow Maggie through the ups and downs that come from this situation so now we have our romantic dramedy plot. And is it any good? For the most part, sure. It has some interesting ideas, and I was somewhat invested throughout the entirety of it. But I was also slightly bored. It was interesting enough to continue following through the entire runtime (a little over 90 minutes), but I somehow found myself a little bored by it all. It’s quite the enigma. So I guess it was… fine.

The characters in this are pretty interesting. Greta Gerwig plays Maggie, the titular lady whose plan gets a bit fucked. She’s a very kind and intelligent young woman with a lot on her mind, and it’s interesting to see her characteristics tested throughout everything that happens. And Gerwig gives a great performance. Ethan Hawke plays John, the married man that Maggie gets romantically engaged with. He’s an author and college professor with a lot on his plate. And he’s generally an interesting individual. And Hawke is great in the role. Then we have Julianne Moore as John’s wife Georgette. I’m not gonna say too much about her as she’s best experienced, but she’s quite a unique character. And Moore is really good in the role. Then we have Travis Fimmel as a guy named Guy (yes, really), and he’s the guy that Maggie more or less chose as donor for her pre-conundrum baby. And he’s a sweet guy with understandable ambitions. And Fimmel is good in the role. Then we have Bill Hader and Maya Rudolph as Tony and Felicia, two of Maggie’s closest friends. I’m lumping them both together since they kind of serve the same purpose, which is to deliver truth bombs to Maggie while also being a bit self-deprecating, which leads to a good amount of funny humor. And Hader & Rudolph and really good in the roles. It’s a well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Michael Rohatyn and it was good. It’s a pretty quirky and fun score with tracks that fit pretty well within some of the quirky romantic comedy scenes. At times it isn’t a perfect fit, but for the most part it works. There’s also a whole bunch of licensed tracks used throughout, and they work pretty well in their respective scenes.

This movie was written and directed by Rebecca Miller and I think she did a good job. Her direction here is competent, even though it doesn’t do anything unique with it. It looks pretty good, but never really stands out in direction. But it’s still good enough to get the viewer (me) a bit more invested in what’s going on.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 86% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 76/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,2/10.

“Maggie’s Plan” has a lot of good things going for it, though it has flaws. It has a fine plot, good characters, great performances, good music, and pretty good directing. As previously mentioned, the plot here is a bit of an enigma, somehow being both boring and interesting at the same time. And some of the music doesn’t quite fit perfectly. Time for my final score.  *Ahem*. My final score for “Maggie’s Plan” is a 7,77/10. So while flawed, I’d say that it’s definitely worth a rental.

My review of “Maggie’s Plan” is now completed.

Happy valentine’s day or something.

Movie Review: The Way Way Back (2013)

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I am gonna be completely honest with you, summer is not really my favorite time of year. It is too warm, there are mosquitos everywhere and people expect you to throw off all your clothes for like swimming trunks or bikinis or whatever you are expected to wear. I am a guy who prefer to sit inside all day and watch movies rather than walk around outside without a shirt. Plus, it is not the best time for me since I got pollen allergy. I am more of a spring/autumn guy. But alas, I have to endure the summer every fucking year. Is there anything about the usmmer that I like? Yes… movies set during the summer. And today we are taking a look at such a movie.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Way Way Back”!

This movie is about the story of shy 14-year old Duncan (Liam James). He and his mother Pam (Toni Collette) are going with Pam’s boyfriend Trent (Steve Carell) and his daughter Steph (Zoe Levin) to their summer house near a beach. Of course Duncan isn’t too happy about it considering he is shy and a little antisocial. But one day when he goes to the water park “Water Wizz” he meets a man named Owen (Sam Rockwell) who he quickly befriends and starts haning with every day. Hell, Owen even gives him a job at the park where he gets to meet the employees there and just have something to do all day… but neither his mom nor Trent knows about this little new occupation of this. And this is kind of what we get. We get to see Duncan interact with the people who work at the park and also see how his friendship with Owen evolves. We also get to see how Duncan’s relationship with his mom and “family” kind of bounces around. And I have to say I really liked the story of “The Way Way Back”. Sure, some things in it are very familiar and not original but that is not the idea of a thing like this. The idea of a thing like this is to take those familiar things but keep them entertaining in it’s own way. And this movie does this perfectly. The story was fun.

The characters in this movie are perfectly portrayed. Not jsut in the acting department, but also because they are very well-written. The characters are very realistic and have some really good dialogue. I also feel like all the characters are very unique and feel different from each other (in a good way). For example, Liam James plays the shy yet likeable main character in this movie, he is just a guy who you know you will like. Then we got Steve Carell who surprisingly plays a pretty convincing dick in this movie. Not saying he is completely unlikeable, he just happens to be a bit of a dick. And I can’t hold it anymore… Sam Rockwell in this movie is honestly fantastic! He was really made to play this character, just like him this character is wise-cracking and full of energy and he did it perfectly. I also think his and Liam James’ chemistry was fantastic. It is rare for me to see that kind of chemistry these days. So as you may have guessed, I liked the characters in the movie.

The music is kind of interesting because the majority of tracks you here are licensed tracks. Sure, there are a bunch of original tracks as well done by Rob Simonsen that all work, but you don’t notice them as much. And I have to admit that the licensed tracks didn’t really bother me. I actually think they worked to really sell the summer-feel of this movie. And I have to say that the tracks were pretty enjoyable. And the original score was good as well.

The camera work, while not groundbreaking, was still really good. The camera guy for this movie really knew how to frame a scene and just make the entire thing look good. I also feel like I have to touch on how this movie isn’t a straight up comedy but rather a comedy with a fair amount of dramatic bits. Sure, none of the dramatic parts made me cry, but they did actually get to me. And I have to say that at first I thought “Okay this movie is pretty okay”. But as I got further into it I really started liking it more and more.

This movie was pretty well-received by both critics and audience members alike. On Rotten Tomatoes this movie has an 85% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 68/100. And finally on imdb.com it has a 7,4/10.

“The Way Way Back” is a movie filled with a ton of funny moments, some good drama, a ton of good performances and a lot of heart. It also has one really catchy soundtrack. So maybe it is time to hand out my final score. My Final score for “The Way Way Back” is surprisingly a 9,55/10 which grants it the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”. I was really surprised how much I liked this.
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“The Way Way Back” is now reviewed.

A summer movie in october… weird.