I meant to write this installment of this post…months ago. The last one I did was all the way back in July 2021. The reason I put it off so long was simple–I wasn’t watching movies at as fast a rate. I started a new job, I was catching up on shows, etc etc etc.
Since it’s November, I considered just leaving it until the end of the year. But given I’ve watched three movies in the past week or so, and will probably watch more when I get into the holidays, I’m doing it now. As always, trailers are linked!
Gunpowder Milkshake: This Netflix movie starred Karen Gillan (who I love, and was the main reason I watched this movie), Lena Headey, Michelle Yeoh, Angela Bassett, and Carla Gugino. The lead character Sam (Karen Gillan) was raised by the crime syndicate her mom worked for after her mom abandoned her, turning into an elite assassin. When a hit job goes wrong, she finds herself returning to the “library” and group of female assassins her who were her mom’s associates in order to protect a young girl as well as herself. This movie was really fun, considering the subject matter. It was campy, it was action packed, it had comedy and drama, it had epic fight scenes. It was so so cool to see a movie like this that was female led, especially since so many of the women were “older” for a female action star. If this sounds like your kind of thing, go for it, it’s a fun time.
Black Widow: I wrote about this being the first movie I had seen in theatres since COVID started back in August! I stand by my quick review at the time: loved it, would die for Yelena Belova, fuck the patriarchy. There are scenes in that movie I was thinking about for a long time after the movie ended. If you’re a Marvel fan, I’m sure you’ve already seen this.
Awakening the Zodiac: I’ll be honest, I barely remember this one, which probably isn’t a glowing review. This movie stars Shane West and Leslie Bibb as a couple who discover the film reels of a serial killer (the zodiac killer) and decide to try and capture him themselves in order to get a monetary reward. If you like serial killers and mediocre thrillers it’s a decent way to spend an hour and forty minutes, but I can’t say it stood out for me weeks later.
Cinderella (2021): If you’re like me, you might have seen the trailer for this movie and thought, “Why do we need another Cinderella? Is this one contributing anything new?” I watched it and am still not sure of the answer. It stars pop singer Camila Cabello as the lead role–she does a pretty good job (although I don’t think her voice suited the main “I want” song written for her, oddly enough) and the movie feels a bit like it’s meant to be a star vehicle for her. The movie isn’t terrible, but it’s not particularly great either. There’s some funny moments–James Acaster as a mouse/footman was fun to see–and some fun musical numbers. There’s also some deeply confusing song choices in this jukebox musical, and some very very clunky messaging. I’ll note that I’m definitely not this film’s intended audience, and this is almost definitely some 8 year old girl’s favourite movie right now, so I can’t drag it that hard.
Definitely, Maybe: Released in 2008, this is one of those rom coms I meant to watch and never got around to. It stars Ryan Reynolds as a divorced father who tells his daughter (played by Abigail Breslin) the love story of him and her mother–without telling her which of the three women he talks about in the story are her mom. It’s funny and cute and heartwarming and I’m really glad I finally watched. If you’re a fan of rom coms, I would definitely recommend.
Eternals: The second Marvel movie on this list!! This is another one I watched in theatres, and I was so excited to have done so. It’s got grand special effects, beautiful cinematic shots, and beautiful people, so it’s absolutely worth a theatre watch. I really enjoyed it, and how it was a slight shift from the typical Marvel formula. It still had the comedic moments and the action sequences and it’s still set in the same universe, but it has a darker tone, grander cinematography (they actually filmed much of it in real locations, which actually isn’t super common in the MCU), and a really interesting way of rolling out the story and characters. I can see so many ways in which this movie will impact the MCU going forward, and where these characters and storylines go from here (including those credits scenes, if you have seen it you get me) but also enjoyed it as a film on its own).
Love Hard: This Netflix romcom is about a woman (Nina Dobrev) who meets what she thinks is the perfect guy on a dating app. She flies to Long Island to surprise him only to discover she had been catfished by a man (Jimmy O’Yang) who was using the pictures of one of his more conventionally attractive friends (Darren Barnett). To make it up to her, he agrees to set her up with the guy whose pictures he used. Hijinks ensue. If you have ever seen a rom com you can probably guess where it went from here, but it’s a pretty cute and funny ride. You have to be kind of careful with a plot like this, but I think they did a pretty good job of balancing it and not letting anyone get off that easily. A nice Christmas themed rom com watch if you’re okay with awkwardness.
Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings: And the last movie of the list is yet another Marvel feature, what a surprise!! I unfortunately wasn’t able to get to the theatres to watch this movie when it was out, so waited patiently until it was released on Disney Plus this past weekend. I LOVED IT. This is another Marvel movie that shifts from the typical Marvel formula, although in a very different way. It’s very much inspired by martial arts films, and characters speak Chinese nearly as much as they do English. The fight scenes were indeed memorable and fantastic, and the film was well acted by everyone involved. I look forward to seeing where they go as well, and love that it’s a Chinese-Canadian man in the starring role!! I honestly think all the marvel movies on this list can be watched without having a ton of familiarity with the MCU. There are some references you will miss, but it’s not too bad.