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Julio Torres recommended Julian is a Mermaid in Books (curated)

Julian is a Mermaid
Julian is a Mermaid
Jessica Love | 2019 | Children, Fiction & Poetry, LGBTQ+, Science Fiction/Fantasy
(0 Ratings)
Book Favorite

"Nick Kroll, the comedian, asked if I had read this—it’s a children’s book and it’s very lovely. For some reason water and mermaids is something I keep writing about, and this book touches on the same themes."

Olympic Dreams (2020)
Olympic Dreams (2020)
2020 | Romance
8.0 (1 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Beautiful Story
A dentist working the winter olympics falls in love with one of the athletes.

Acting: 10

Beginning: 2

Characters: 10

Cinematography/Visuals: 10

Conflict: 9

Entertainment Value: 8

Memorability: 6

Pace: 10
At just 82 minutes, the movie feels even shorter. It flows smoothly from scene to scene without ever feeling rushed. Director Jeremy Teicher does a phenomenal job of time-management and making you feel a connection in such a short amount of time.

Plot: 10
A part of what makes the story pop so well is how different they made the two main characters. They drive and move the story so smoothly because of their constant conflict. The concept is also very original as well.

Resolution: 8

Overall: 81
If you’re looking for a cute love story that’s not over-the-top sappy, Olympic Dreams is definitely the way to go. I didn’t enter the movie with very high expectations but I ended up absolutely loving it. Nick Kroll and Alexi Pappas are magic together.

LoganCrews (2843 KP) rated The House (2017) in Movies

Sep 19, 2020 (Updated Sep 19, 2020)  
The House (2017)
The House (2017)
2017 | Comedy
Not a better movie than 𝘊𝘢𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘰, but by far a better analogy between crime-soaked gambling and the bloody baseball bat of capitalism - as unintentional as I'm sure the allusion is here. Given how much of a dead horse the target of whitebread suburbia is even well through twenty-five years ago now, I'll give this some freshness points in the way it portrays the quest for fair financial stability in lieu of absurdly-gouged education prices, big banks, etc. by the warping of the upper-middle-class into an entire demographic forced to confront their own morals when they're encouraged into private crime upon the abject failure of their own government by way of goofy dark comedy. Starts off like your routine bland improvy entry into the 'haha raunchy families' trend and progressively becomes more and more doused in blood, blunt trauma, property damage, and general chaos that throws moron policemen, corrupt officeholders, and the inherent violence of America's economic system into the fire in its wake. Plus it's brisk (for fucking once with this genre good Lord) and has a ton of laughs even though I believe it still seems generally uninterested in its own plot in addition to criminally underutilizing both Ferrell and Poehler's talents together as well. The bit with Nick Kroll at the end was fucking gut-bustingly hilarious.
Uncle Drew (2018)
Uncle Drew (2018)
2018 | Comedy
After spending his life savings to enter the Rucker Classic street ball tournament in Harlem, Dax (Lil Rel Howery) loses his team his team, girlfriend, and home to his longtime rival (Nick Kroll). Seeking to turn things around and win the $100,000 cash prize, Dax stumbles upon the legend of streetball, Uncle Drew (Kyrie Irving) and convinces him to return to the court one more time. The two men embark on a road trip to round up Drew’s old basketball squad (Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, and Nate Robinson) to take on a new generation of ballers and redeem their legacy.

There have been countless sports films that have used basketball as a backdrop. Uncle Drew takes many of the charming and humorous elements of films like Like Mike, White Men Can’t Jump, He Got Game, and more to make a film that attempts to wedge itself into the genre instead of simply being a marketing gimmick that has been dragged out longer than it should be. Although the story is very shallow, and the plot is very predictable, the point of the movie is to showcase love and friendship. The film demonstrates that sport is a way to connect people across racial lines, economic class, and across borders. Despite its weaknesses, it brings fans together for ninety minutes to laugh and enjoy the antics of a group of senior citizens and one outcast looking for redemption and a home.
Captain Underpants (2017)
Captain Underpants (2017)
2017 | Animation, Comedy
Based off the bestselling kids’ book series by Dav Pilkey, Captain

Underpants tells the story of George Beard (Kevin Hart) and Harold Hutchins

(Thomas Middleditch), a couple of over imaginative elementary school kids

that spend their days trying to make the most out of the daily monotonous

chore that is school by secretly playing pranks to keep themselves and

their fellow schoolmates entertained. And, trying to make sure they don’t

get caught by the school principal, Mr. Krupp (Ed Helm). Outside of

school, they spend countless hours in their treehouse creating comic



Their greatest creation is the underwear sporting, high flying,

overly friendly, and extremely unintelligent superhero Captain Underpants.

Mr. Krupp’s main purpose in life is to make everyone else’s life

miserable. When he threatens to separate the boys, put them in different

classrooms, after being caught playing a prank. The boys decide to

hypnotize their principal into becoming the incredible Captain Underpants.

Ecstatic about seeing their comic book come to life, they suddenly realize

their plan backfires when Mr. Krupp in Capt Underpants persona hires

Professor Poopypants (Nick Kroll) to be the school’s new science teacher.

He’s no ordinary school teacher. Professor Poopypants wants to rid the

world of laughter starting with kids the at George and Harold’s school. Oh





This film is everything you would expect it to be: outlandish, vibrant, and

full of potty humor. Just enough to keep parents entertained and the

kiddos completely engaged. From what I gather, not having read the books,

but my son has, it follows the storyline pretty closely to the first novel

in the 8 book series. I am not surprised if Dreamworks capitalizes on this

and releases a movie for each book.
Sing (2016)
Sing (2016)
2016 | Animation, Comedy, Musical
The team that brought us “Despicable Me” and “Minions”‘- Illumination Entertainment, brings us the animated musical “SING”.

Buster Moon (voiced by Matthew McConaughey), has achieved his childhood dream of owning a theater. Business have become bleak, the once grand Moon Theater is in disrepair. With the bank ready to repo the property, in a stroke of desperation, Buster comes up with the idea that a singing competition would be the solution. Aided by his trusty assistant, Miss Crawley, Buster begins the audition to find the next big star.

The audition brings out all creatures great and small; from Meena, the shy elephant with the gift of song (voiced by the exceptionally talented Tori Kelly) to Mike, the mouse (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) a crooner who is out for himself. The rag-tag bunch includes Rosita (voiced by Reese Witherspoon), the stay at home mom who feels like she has lost who she was, paired with Gunther (voiced by Nick Kroll) the dancer with the greatest self image ever. Johnny (voiced by Taron Egerton) the dedicated son who does not want to go into the family business with his dad, who instead wants to sing. Rounding out the performers is Ash (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) the timid girl that breaks out into an angst-y rocker that just wants to play her music.

The story is cute and charming with some laugh-snort moments. We are given glimpses into the lives of each performer, providing us with the background on what motivates each to be in the competition. We also get some history of Buddy, how he came to own the theater, his best friend Eddie (voiced by John C. Reilly) and Eddie’s Grandmother (Older Nana – voiced by Jennifer Saunders, Younger Nana – voiced by Jennifer Hudson). The last third is the best part of the film. We finally see each performance where we were only given little glimpses prior. There are some surprising performances. I had no idea that Taron Egerton, who plays Johnny, the silverback(The Kingsmen, Eddie the Eagle) sings so beautifully. The highlight for me is when Tori Kelly (Meena) sings the Stevie Wonder tune “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing.” Her rendition lives on still as my earworm.

I was pleasantly surprised by the film, I definitely did not expect it to be quite as enjoyable. It’s not “Despicable Me” or” Minions”, it is a fun family movie that is worth watching that has laughs for the adults as well.
Operation Finale (2018)
Operation Finale (2018)
2018 | History, Mystery, Thriller
Fifteen years after the end of World War II there are still high ranking Nazi officials who have not been brought to justice. One of the biggest names to yet be captured is Adolph Eichmann (Ben Kingsley), the so called Architect of the Final Solution. Then in May 1960 someone in Argentina tips off the Israeli government that Eichmann may be hiding out in near Buenos Ares, Argentina. When the leader of an Israeli special unit finds out he sends an agent, Zvi Aharoni (Michael Aronov), to confirm the identity of the war criminal. When they determine that this has to be their man, a unit of operatives led by Peter Malkin (Oscar Isaac) set out to bring Eichmann to justice. In the past the unit has been able to deliver swift justice and in most cases there was no trial. But for a man that brought so much pain to so many Jewish people they must bring him to justice in the newly established state of Israel for all the world to see. Unfortunately the Argentine government would object to such an operation on its soil. So risky and daring plan for Peter to grab Eichmann near his home and get him to a safe house nearby. The would then have disguise him and Doctor Hanna Elian (Melanie Laurent) would have to keep him drugged all the way to the airport and on to awaiting plane out of the country. All of this will dodging Nazi sympathizers both in the police and roaming the streets. But for the 6 million of their people who died at the hands of men like Eichmann they must try.

This is the incredible true story of the capture of one of the top Nazi officials. The story is set up well by Director Chris Weitz (About a Boy, The Golden Compass). Ben Kingsley and Oscar Isaac give outstanding performances. Kingsley’s character and how his story develops is interesting. The entire supporting cast does well and Nick Kroll (Sing, The House) brings a surprising bit of fun to a heavy story line. Some may say the bits of humor might be a little odd given the subject matter but I thought it brought a realness and humanity to the film. The balance between the humor and showing the horror of World War II was really well done. At a little over two hours it does run a little long and there are flashback scenes that are at inconsistent times.

I was pleasantly surprised by this film. Not having heard this story before I enjoyed how this film was laid out for the audience. It definitely made me want to learn more about this unique true story. I think this is a film that shows the importance of people fighting to bring truth and justice to the world regardless of the odds.
Operation Finale (2018)
Operation Finale (2018)
2018 | History, Mystery, Thriller
Very Good Film with 2 Very Good Performances
The kids are back in school, the leaves are beginning to turn and Halloween is just around the corner (if you believe the displays in the stores), which means it's a "dead period" at the Cineplex for decent films. So, the BankofMarquis headed to the "Art House" to check out a well made, well directed and well acted post WWII drama - OPERATION FINALE.

Set in the early 1960's, OPERATION FINALE tells the tale of Israeli Secret Service Agent's attempt to capture Adolph Eichman in Argentina and bring him back to Israel to face a very public, world-wide trial for his role as the "Architect of the Final Solution".

In other hands, this film could have very easily devolved into a Jason Bourne-type action flick with kick-ass Mossad agents fighting Nazi-loving Argentinian police (with assists from once and future Nazi's). But, in the hands of Writer Matthew Orton (in his major Screenplay debut) and Director Chris Weitz (ABOUT A BOY) this film becomes something much more, much deeper and much more interesting than that, it becomes a character study between Eichman and Mossad Agent Peter Malkin.

The first 1/2 hour of the film starts out "action-y" enough, with the discovery of Eichman and the Mossad's planning of the caper that will bring him to justice. We get the "gathering of the team" - and there's a couple of interesting characters in this group - specifically the characters played by Nick Kroll and Melanie Laurent - but the film really takes off and finds it's footing when the team - and the film - is forced to slow down (waiting for their escape plane to show up) and coax a confession (of sorts) out of Eichman.

So the middle part of this film is really a "two-hander" interrogation between Malkin (Oscar Isaac) and Eichman (Sir Ben Kingsley) - and both really bring it. Isaac (EX MACHINA, STAR WARS) shows a sadness and vulnerability as the agent who's life was deeply affected by the death of his sister (and other family members) at the hands of the SS. He is out to nail Eichman for his crime, but discovers a humanity (both in himself and in Eichman) along the way.

But the picture really belongs to the performance of Sir Ben as Eichman. This is a larger than life actor portraying a larger than life character and more than holds the audience's attention whenever he is on the scene - and when it comes down to an interrogation of Eichman by Malkin, the positions are quickly switched and it is Eichman who is the interrogator and Malkin is in the hot seat. It's not quite an "Oscar-worthy" performance, falling just short of that, but darn good nonetheless.

The final 1/2 hour of the film falls prey to the "Argo" ending - making a more exciting escape than it was in real life - but that is just a quibble for a really good, really intelligent and really ADULT film. One that is well worth checking out at an Art House near you.

Letter Grade A-

8 (out of 10) stars and you can take that to the Bank(ofMarquis)
The Addams Family (2019)
The Addams Family (2019)
2019 | Animation, Comedy, Family
Can anyone ever say the name of this film without finger snapping?

When their home life is dislodged by pitchfork-wielding townsfolk the Addams pack up their car and hit the road for a new beginning. They come across a mansion on a hill, it's creepy and it's kooky, mysterious and spooky... it's perfect for the Addams family.

Years of idyllic isolation fly by but the outside world is closer than ever. Wednesday is intrigued by the perils that lay beyond their gates and the family can no longer ignore their neighbours in the valley, their very perky neighbours who live in their little cookie cuttered dream houses below.

What's not to love about the madness of the Addams family? You can pretty much guarantee entertainment, and that's what you get from this film.

There's a gripe... there's always a gripe... so let me get it out of the way first. It annoys me more because it's accurate to the source material so I should love that, but modern adaptations have ruined me! Gomez Addams, he's not what you see when you think Gomez. I have been brainwashed by films and it annoys me. He is a perfect representation of the original cartoons by Charles Addams, he's still suave, sophisticated and playful like we know him to be, but he's no Raul Julia or John Astin.

On a similar note, when I heard Oscar Isaac and Charlize Theron were playing Gomez and Morticia I was elated, imagine my disappointment to discover they were to be animated and not live action. You couldn't get better casting for a live action couple if you tried! Anyway, moving on.

The voice cast is littered with famous faces including Elsie Fisher of Eighth Grade fame and Bette Midler... BETTE MIDLER!! We've also got Allison Janney as out saccharine sweet villain, Janney has a knack for the villain roles and I wouldn't mind seeing more of them.

There's just one role I object to, and I found it to be an incredibly lazy decision on someone's part. Nick Kroll as Uncle Fester. While I understand the nice-but-dim style voice is perfect for Fester it has basically been recycled from Big Mouth's Coach Steve. There will be no real issues with this for the intended audience as Big Mouth comes in at a 15 compared to The Addams Family's more subtle PG, but as someone who's old enough to watch both, I was annoyed.

The artwork on this really does play a great homage to the cartoons and despite their age it works really well for a modern audience. The story also brings it nicely up to date with its reality TV slant and the perfect American dream town. There are lots of great touches throughout that amuse.

I understand that each new adaptation has to do its own thing, and I like how it brought an original story (of sorts) to us but I didn't feel like it took previous iterations of the characters into consideration... this is a daft thing to complain about too, I know that, but the Addams family are iconic. Wednesday has always been my spirit animal, but to see a rather lacklustre version here made me a little sad.

But, ultimately I still enjoyed my time watching it, I just don't think I'll be placing it higher up the ranking than any of the previous ghoulish outings.

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