Before I Fall (2017) | Movie Review

before i fall

 

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver is one of my favorite books. The plot follows Samantha a girl in a group of mean girls who experiences an accident. She soon finds herself repeating the same day over and over again, this is because there’s something she has to fix.

I was excited to learn that the film was being made into a movie. I always thought it would make a very good film. And….it did! The movie was a very good adaptation. It stays pretty loyal to the source material (there are still changes, of course.)

However, I’ll avoid doing too many book comparisons and look at the movie as a separate entity. The main girls in the film – Samantha, Lindsey, Elodie and Ally are your typical popular teenage girls. Their focus is on social lives, boys, parties, etc. However, they have a mean streak (Lindsey, in particular) and much of that is directed at an outcast girl named Juliet, a former friend of Lindsey’s. Samantha isn’t really  mean just a passive witness of meanness at first.

I saw a reviewer say that the girls were too unlikeable and unrealistically nasty. And I didn’t see it, I’ve seen girl- on-girl bullying that was much worse in high school. So, I think that reviewer is really naïve and may have missed the point. The girls are realistic, for the most part, and their level of cruelty isn’t uncommon to see in real life – far from it.

The girls eventually go to a party which leads to an intense scene when Juliet shows up uninvited. After the party, there’s an accident. There’s a bright light and soon Samantha wakes up in her bed. But she’s experiencing the same day all over again. And she will keep repeating the day until she finds out what she has to fix. This unravels a whole mystery and Samantha’s emotions go on a whirlwind.

Watching Samantha go through this strange phenomenon is interesting. I didn’t feel the film got boring when it kept making her go through the same thing. Her going through all the stages of grief was well-presented.

My only issue with the film is that they could have done more with Juliet. She’s the key to Samantha’s situation and I felt they could have done more with her background. In the book, much more is learned about her. In the movie, however, they made it seem like her falling out with Lindsey was what drove her over the edge when there’s much more to her story.

When Samantha finally learns what she has to fix and does so near the end, I felt the movie kind of amped up the cheesiness as well. That could have been toned down.

But other than that Before I Fall is a great film and good adaptations to one of my favorite books.

4/5

 

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Suicide Squad (2016) | Movie Review

suicide-squad

I’ve been wanting to do this review for a while (I saw it when it first came out in theaters!) but I’ve put it off. But now I’ve seen it again (on Amazon video) and I’m ready to give my review.

The premise of Suicide Squad is Amanda Waller assembling a team of criminals and villains in case a massive threat that normal authorities couldn’t handle arrives. Well a threat does arrive and the team sets out for their job. They’re controlled via a device in their necks that can blow them up with the push of a button.

I enjoyed the movie but I recognize the flaws.

First of all, most of the members of the suicide squad/task force X aren’t much better than a team of well-trained soldiers would be. While I love Harley Quinn in this movie she’s just hitting things with bats and shooting with a pistol – not something a regular soldier couldn’t do. Captain Boomerang, while entertaining, isn’t much of an asset either.  Out of all of them, El Diablo with his fire powers and maybe Killer Croc are the only ones I see being above regular soldiers.

So, basically Waller’s plan is pretty dumb and that means the entire premise requires a full suspension of disbelief.

Despite this, I think the movie is really fun but I can understand why others would find it nonsensical.

Next there’s Jared Leto’s Joker – it seems this joker is getting mixed reception. Well, I thought it was “meh” the performance wasn’t terrible but it didn’t really feel like The Joker to me. Sometimes it felt like Leto was trying way too hard.

If I had to pick something I really hated about the movie I would say Slipknot – why was he even in the movie? Why is he even on some of the posters? He shows up randomly and then is gone before the action starts. He was basically a prop to show that the things in their neck actually work, I guess? Either way he didn’t need to be there – and he’s the most embarrassing part of this movie.

Either way, I liked the movie overall. Harley Quinn is probably the best thing about it. I have always loved the character and went in worried they would mess up her character but I was proven wrong – Margot Robbie did great. I also wish they would have done more with Katana’s character – I feel she had a lot more potential that wasn’t tapped into.

Pushing aside flaws, Suicide Squad is an enjoyable film but don’t take it too seriously.

4/5

The Boy (2016) | Movie Review

boy3

Spoilersss

Greta goes to the UK to escape her abusive boyfriend and get her life straight. She takes a job as a nanny for an old couple, and the son (Brahms) she has to look after turns out to be a doll. Despite the weirdness of this, she still takes the job due to her need for money and sympathy for the couple. Then the creepy stuff starts happening.

The boy had a lot of potential. I mean, the doll does look pretty unsettling and there’s some nice build up in the beginning. But that’s where the positives end – about mid-way through it starts to get really stupid.

Like I said, the start of the film has a nice, slow creepy build up. Greta is afraid of the doll, not just due to its appearance but because weird things/sounds keep happening. The film builds itself up as a ghost/paranormal film throughout most of the movie. And it should have stuck to doing that. (more on this soon!)

Brahms have a list of rules he’s dead set on having Greta follow. At first, she refuses because she’s scared. But then Brahms makes her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (her fav) and she feels he might not be so bad after all. This is where the movie starts to go downhill.

Seeing Greta following the rules and trying to appease Brahms was a bit stupid. Things get worse when her abusive ex-boyfriend shows up (he just walks in uninvited, couldn’t she have just called the police?)

Soon we get to the big twist of the movie: Brahms isn’t a ghost boy, he’s a grown man that lives in the walls. The scene where he first comes bursting through was really cool, I must admit. But the twist itself irritated me. I guess I just wanted a ghost/creepy doll story. Brahms turning out to be a rapist/weird guy just wasn’t what I wanted for this movie.

Still, I’d say the movie’s watchable enough.

2.5/5