Joy's Reviews

JoyProfile.jpg

Joy's Reviews

"Can I please get a waffle"

Crazy rich asians

Growing up, I never really got to see people who looked like me in movie theaters or on television screens. All the Asian representation I got was either in the form of nerdy guys you’d roll your eyes at, or timid girls that didn’t have any personality besides being submissive and shy.

And this movie...this movie has characters that you haven’t seen played by Asians before, who range from bold and confident (Piek Lin) to handsome and charming (Nick) to flamboyant (Oliver). There are also some characters you HAVE seen before: there’s the main girl who’s thrown into a whole new world that she doesn’t know how to navigate (Rachel), and the overbearing and strict tiger mom (Eleanor). Do some of them play into existing stereotypes? Of course. But the beauty of casting so many Asians is that some can completely follow existing tropes with no subversion, but others can break the mold and act in a way that we haven’t seen Asians represented before -- and all of it feels natural.

What made this movie special, aside from some great performances and an intriguing story, was the little details that made a film mainly about luxury and decadent lifestyles more realistic. When (minor spoiler alert?) all the characters are sitting at a table making dumplings by hand, I think I audibly gasped. I’d seen my mother make dumplings exactly like that hundreds of times at home, but I never thought I’d see it in a rom com that made over $30 million at the box office its first weekend.

I highly doubt everyone who sees this movie will relate to it as much as I did, but all personal anecdotes aside: Crazy Rich Asians is, objectively, a romantic comedy that stands on its own. It has quite a few beautiful scenes (the WEDDING!) and good character development, plus some hilarious one-liners. Does it use a lot of typical rom com tropes? Definitely. But it doesn’t feel exhausting, and the ending still somehow managed to surprise me (and my entire theater, judging by all the gasps).

TL;DR: If you want to see a good romantic comedy that will make you laugh at some points and make your heart ache at others, watch this film. The representation is just a bonus.


blindspotting

I tried to think of several Hamilton jokes for this review but my brain wasn’t working.

Positives:

  • Tackles issues like police brutality and gentrification in a way that doesn’t seem forced or preachy at all; the way they address these topics is amazing

  • It’s downright hilarious at some points

  • Can go from being funny to super tense in the next scene. I’ve never felt so anxious for a character before -- my heart nearly stopped once or twice

  • The acting is absolutely phenomenal in this, especially Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal

  • Great writing!!! Wow!!!

  • A diverse cast, which is always a bonus

Neutrals:

  • The rapping caught me a little off guard and wasn’t really my thing, but it’s also been really well received by others, so take my opinion with a grain of salt

Negatives:

  • I can’t think of any just go watch this movie

In conclusion: really funny, really thought-provoking, all around amazing


 POSITIVE

POSITIVE

ant-man and the wasp

Having liked the first Ant-Man film, I also quite enjoyed this one (mostly due to the Wasp). Why do I like these movies? In a nutshell: they’re just wholesome and entertaining, and they never try to be deeper or more serious than they actually are.

What I loved:

  • The part where things shrink and then get bigger? Things get gigantic and then get tiny? THINGS CHANGE SIZE AND THE HEROES USE THAT TO THEIR ADVANTAGE IN THE COOLEST WAY POSSIBLE! That’ll never get old for me, I think. It’s just fun to watch and it’s a nice change from the usual powers that you see in superhero films (telekinesis, super strength, etc)

  • The Wasp / Hope van Dyne is the best part of this movie -- seriously. She absolutely shines in her role; I’m so glad that Marvel decided to give her just as much focus as Ant-Man (because honestly, now that she’s given more attention, Scott kind of pales in comparison to her)

  • The action scenes were pretty cool (again: things get tiny and get huge! AMAZING)

  • Not all the jokes land, but there are some funny ones

  • It’s always heartwarming to see how Scott interacts with his daughter and how much they support and love each other; it’s rare to see such a positive portrayal of family in the MCU (Thor, Loki, and Odin’s weird, twisted dynamic comes to mind)

However:

  • Scott’s character development is pretty much at a standstill during this movie; while his characterization is consistent, he doesn’t do much growing, instead serving mostly as a foil to Hope’s character and cracking jokes to break the tension

  • There are some scientific inconsistencies that might make the plot a little hard to follow, if that bothers you at all

  • Both sets of villains are on the weak side in terms of what motivates them and the choices they make

IN CONCLUSION:

This movie is light-hearted, fun, and provides a brief break after the somber ending of Infinity War. It also shines more light on a great new superhero who, let’s be honest, probably deserves her own movie now after this one.


 POSITIVE

POSITIVE

Ocean's 8

What I liked about this movie:

  • It’s a female heist movie. This type of movie has a particular target audience and I AM IT

  • Though it was pretty much all female, I don’t think the fact that they were all women detracted from the plot or writing in any way; in fact, it worked to their advantage in some cases, which was refreshing

  • Good, engaging performances from the above mentioned females

  • CATE BLANCHETT ON A MOTORCYCLE

  • It’s not super hilarious by any means, but it does have some funny moments

  • Not only was the cast mostly women, there was a fair amount of diversity too, which is always nice to see onscreen and might not mean much to viewers who are accustomed to seeing people who look like themselves in films, but as an Asian American female, I don’t get to see that often and it was just nice

  • Characters from Ocean’s Eleven!!!

  • CATE BLANCHETT IN GENERAL

  • Honestly this review is basically a love letter to Cate Blanchett

However…

  • The movie brought nothing new to the table; in terms of the heist itself, it’s well thought out but no more clever or special than Ocean’s Eleven, Inception, etc.

  • Predictable at some points, though not overly so

  • James Corden...probably shouldn’t have been cast for his role

OVERALL:

A fun summer movie that isn’t particularly groundbreaking or amazing, but is still decently funny and shows that it’s possible to make movies starring mostly women without making said women into stereotypes or utilizing cringe-inducing tropes.


 POSITIVE

POSITIVE

Incredibles 2

Having rewatched the first Incredibles movie the night before watching the sequel, I can safely say that this movie was definitely worth waiting for.

It is not perfect by any means; the other new supers are pretty uninteresting and one-dimensional and the plot is more than predictable, but this movie is meant for children, and it made me feel like a kid again in all the best ways.

Elastigirl, as usual, is engaging as the main protagonist of the movie (much more than Mr. Incredible, unfortunately for him) and it’s always interesting to see how gender role reversals work out in movies. It’s got some very well done action scenes and a satisfying ending.

 

Also: the animation! THE ANIMATION!!!

 


 Positive

Positive

Sorry to bother you

Pretty good and also pretty weird. Don't let the weirdness stop you from giving it a shot.

The positives:

- Amazing performances!!! The acting is so good in this holy crap

- Great social commentary - Some really original ways of depicting everyday things (the phone calls especially)

- Humor is really good at points

- WHITE PEOPLE VOICES

The neutrals:

- Gets really weird in the last third of the movie (which may or may not be your thing; it wasn't particularly funny to me so it left a strange impression)

The negatives:

- There is a LOT going on all at once, which normally wouldn't be a problem, but it gets a little confusing and feels overwhelming at points

OVERALL: Pretty good and also pretty weird. Don't let the weirdness stop you from giving it a shot.

7/10