Movies that make you think are probably my favorite sort of movie. The kind where the complete meaning or plot is not laid out perfectly for you to understand. You must connect the dots, put the puzzle pieces together, and make sense of it all on your own. That being said, you can see why I was very eager for Glass to come out. I was a huge fan of “Split” (James McAvoy blew me away). Now, I will be honest and say I had never seen “Unbreakable” before, and “Glass” was supposed to be the sequel to both of these movies. So, what did I do? I grabbed some candy, sat on the couch, and watched “Unbreakable”.  

Unbreakable (2000) Directed by M. Night Shyamalan Shown: Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis

First, let me just say that if you have not seen BOTH “Unbreakable” AND “Split” then do not even bother seeing this movie. It WILL NOT make sense. You will not understand the full impact of certain scenes, nor will you fully understand the characters. You will not get the most out of the movie, and in the end will go on to tell everyone how much this movie sucked. There are innuendos within the movie that would have been completely missed had I not seen both movies prior to this one.

“Glass” is a thinking movie, and very heavy on the dialogue. It’s not scared to take it’s time and slowly let things unfold. M. Night Shyamalan (director) really did his thing with the camera angles to capture the scenes. However, I feel as though a lot of the characters did not have much depth to them. They sort of got glossed over by the story-telling and trying to fill all three (Willis, Jackson, and McAvoy) into the movie.

James McAvoy (yes, he deserves his own paragraph for this film) was nothing short of phenomenal. He takes on 24 different characters and personalities for this role. All I could think to myself was he better get paid 24 times over because I was completely taken aback by his talent. The way he switches from character to character within seconds, never skipping a beat was astonishing. It looks like you are watching a completely different actor/role on screen and I would tell you to go see this film JUST for that. He deserves all the awards for this film!

There are definitely some unexpected twists in the movie, which always makes for a good time. I did feel as the first half of the film was built up and the last half was a bit of a letdown. I sort of felt that the character’s stories weren’t complete, and it left me wanting more. I would recommend it if you enjoyed both “unbreakable” and “Split”. It all boils down to your expectations, and I’ve always been a glass half full kind of girl 😊.

FINAL RATING: 6/10


This film (inspired by the 2011 French original “Intouchables”) stars odd couple Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston. As much as I hate to admit it – I will probably see any movie that has Kevin Hart in it. Despite his predictable comedy routine and playing the same character in every movie, I will be in attendance! However, I will say that this one particular film caught my attention since it seemed as though it was considerably different than his typical roles. Although this movie did get horrible reviews, let’s be honest what do those movie critics know anyways 😊

A lot of the negative reviews come from comparing this film to the original, which I think is unfair. I may be biased since I’ve never seen the original, but I thought “The Upside” stood strong on its own.

Let me start off by saying that this film can be deemed a little cliché with the “incompatible buddy film” genre going on. This involves a film where two people are so incompatible (race, class, personalities, etc.) that when you put them together it causes tension for the film, then after a period of time together they start to build a bond – much like in “The Upside”. However, despite how cliché the film is, who doesn’t love a feel-good movie? I know I do, which is exactly why I wanted to see this one.

This movie had a lot of potential with the chemistry Cranston & Hart have. We have all seen the success from The Rock & Hart’s friendship, and I was internally wishing for the same type of vibe from this movie. Unfortunately, even though I saw the chemistry there, I don’t think the film fully showcased the entirety of it. I would have liked to have seen more of it on film.

Hart attempting his first role as a dramatic actor did amazingly well – and honestly better than most comedians do at taking that leap. I would love to see more of him in this type of role, maybe get him away from that stereotypical role he plays in almost every movie. He plays a much more grounded character in “The Upside”, and it works well for him. Cranston on the other hand, did a phenomenal job. Since he plays a quadriplegic – acting with only his facial expressions and demeanor – he gives a star performance.

Although it is classified as a drama, it does have some funny parts here and there, which I enjoyed. The movie doesn’t go over sentimental and mushy – which I also enjoyed 😊. This movie’s positivity and optimistic outlook is a great way to start off your 2019 year!

Final Rating: 8/10

Upon the release of this trailer, I must say I was very intrigued. Was this movie a mystery? Comedy? Thriller? Romance??? –  I could not figure it out. Well whatever it was, I knew I wanted to see it. Of course, it helped that it had Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively in it as well.

While both actresses play roles they are typically type-cast for, Anna Kendrick as the typical goofy charmer and Blake Lively as the mysterious beautiful best friend, the first thing I noticed in this movie is the amazing chemistry these two have on-screen. Kendrick & Lively, although not stepping outside of the box too much, were incredible onscreen together. The entire first half of the movie is filled with laughable banter back and forth between the two of them.

Anna plays Stephanie, who is a mommy blogger and an over-enthusiastic PTA mom who tries to be perfect in all that she does. She comes complete with eye rolls from the other moms for being so put together and sweet. Blake on the other hand plays the martini-guzzling, f-bomb dropping mom. The two pair up for an unlikely friendship, when Stephanie starts to notice that things just aren’t quite adding up in her new BFF’s life.

Henry Golding (“Crazy Rich Asians”) stars in his second big screen role, and does quite well with it in my opinion. He’s well equipped to play the dashingly handsome charmer – and that’s exactly his role here. Nothing stellar, but eye-candy on the screen is never a bad idea. This film simply would not work without the one-two punch lines that Kendrick and Lively play back and forth. They both really step into their roles, which really do play a lot on their real life personas.

The director Paul Feig (best known for Bridesmaids) really executed the film well in my opinion. Throughout the entire movie, I got major Hitchcockian vibes.

Most directors dream of this type of genre, but unfortunately most end up disappointing. It was clear what Feig was leaning towards, however he falls a little short in pulling it off. The film has its moments, but it gets a little messy towards the end. There are a lot of twist and turns in the movie, enough to keep you on your seat believe me. Some were very predictable, and some will throw you for a loop. Yet, I found that towards the end the plot-twists move rather hastily and it ends up unraveling quickly – almost too quick to take any of it seriously.

If you were hoping for another “Gone Girl” or “The Girl on the Train” then I am sorry to tell you – this is not it. This was more of a “whodunit” except you don’t really care who is to blame, you just want to get to the bottom of it. Pulling off a mystery is hard, but mystery-comedy is almost unheard of. Feig is best known for his comedic films, and to no surprise those were the highlight of this film as well.

“A Simple Favor” keeps it light with a nod to parody mommy vloggers, and funny one-liners throughout. Overall, I got my dose of mystery, thriller, and comedy all in 1 hour & 57 minutes. So go ahead and head to the theatres, grab a martini and do yourself a favor in seeing this film.

FINAL RATING: 7.5/10

Jumanji is one of those movies that you must watch every single time it comes on TV. It doesn’t matter how old I am, or what I’m doing, Jumanji is getting watched! Robin Williams performance in the film was phenomenal, and personally, one of my favorites. This being said, I was very weary about the new Jumanji coming out. I knew for sure thy would ruin it. No way could they compete with the modern classic!! 22 years later & all I could gather up were low expectations and mild interests.

However, given my low enthusiasm of this film, I was pleasantly surprised by how “fun” the movie is. The movie theatre actually filled with laughter (mine included). You couldn’t help but smile your way through it. Given the all the components (Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, and Jack Black) comedy is sure to ensue. And let’s face it…anytime Kevin & Dwayne do anything on screen together, I don’t care what it is, I’m there.

Unfortunately, I will say that Kevin Hart is exactly that in this movie, Kevin Hart. We all know his humor, and to be honest it is getting sort of old and routine. His comedic style is very predictable and sometimes overdone. Jack Black (Bethany) delivers a great performance with his rendition of a white teenage girl that will have you laughing the whole way through. His one-liners kept a smile on my face the whole movie, and surprisingly he became my favorite character.

Going into this movie, I had to keep reminding myself that it is not, by any means, a remake of the original. There were very scarce similarities, and I found that as an upside. I loved the fact that the film tried to stand on its own. They weren’t trying to recreate and redo this classic that they could potentially ruin. Going in with an open mind really helped me enjoy this new Jumanji film. It delivers a continuation of the film with some major modern updates for the 2000 generation.

“Jumanji” (1995) was thrilling and chilling. You’re lying if you say you weren’t terrified of those humongous spiders or Van Pelt with his shotgun. “In the jungle you must wait, until the dice read 5 or 8” was my constant reminder to NEVER play Jumanji, even if the board game was bought at the nearest Walmart. However, “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” was not scary or thrilling at all. It definitely is more comedic than adventurous, which depending on your preferred genre, may be a plus or negative to you.

It is definitely a great film for the family to see together right around the holidays, just don’t count on any Oscar nominations any time soon  😊

 

FINAL RATING: 6.5/10

 

 

The hardest part about planning a trip, is trying to decide which attractions and activities you will fit in while you’re there. Since I only had two days to fit everything in, I really had to prioritize!

Since my boyfriend lives close to the windy city, we decided to make the 3 hour drive into Chicago. Since he drives a huge truck, we also decided to rent a car that was more gas efficient. I think the highlight of this trip was seeing him drive this miniature car down the highway.

I think driving in really gave me the feel for the city, as I got to see the Chicago skyline & the water as we drove in. The first thing you will notice is how tall every building is. It’s like you’re surrounded by skyscrapers, and each building has a different look to it. We spent about 10 minutes trying to point out the Willis Tower and John Hancock building.

We decided to stay at the W hotel for the night, and it was a perfect choice. Not only was the hotel stunning (as most W’s are), it was right by Lake Michigan. We got a room with a city view, and luckily for us we scored a room on the 30th floor. We were in the perfect location to walk to many places, as well as uber if we needed to.

DAY 1

The first thing I wanted to do once we got there was visit the Willis Tower. That was on the top of my list, so I had to make sure we got it done! We ubered there from the hotel & upon arrival the first thing we observed was the amount of people there. I thought on a Friday we would have more luck with less crowds, but boy was I wrong. Now, you can opt for a “fast pass” to skip the line, however we decided to wait it out. The wait wasn’t too long (about 45 mins) before we got to the top.

The elevator ride was a bit shaky, which had a few of us (my bf in particular) a little concerned! However, once you get up to the 103rd floor, it is breathtaking.

Of course, if you make it up there, you absolutely have to visit the skydeck!! It is a bit scary at first, walking out onto the glass floor, seeing straight below you, your mind sort of plays tricks on you. I carefully stepped my way onto the deck, took a picture, and ran out! If you can muster up the courage, I definitely recommend it to everyone!!

Now on to the most important agenda for a trip: FOOD! I told myself I absolutely had to try a Chicago-style hot dog! We ended up at Portillo’s which is sort of like a huge hot dog stand that also serves burgers, ribs, chicken, and almost anything you could want. You wait in line to order, then pick up your food once they call it out of the pick-up window.

 

My Chicago-Style Hot dog was worth the 3 hour drive! It was delicious!!

After our meal, we both decided it would be best to walk off our “itis.” We decided to walk to Millennium Park so I could have a look at the bean. Of course, along our way we got to do some amazing sightseeing!

The bean is definitely a Chicago staple, and I think everyone should see it at least once. Once you get there and see it, your first inital reaction might be: “That’s it?!” There are always a million people there, so you sort of have to get in where you fit in for a photograph. The coolest part about the “Chicago Bean” is the reflective stainless steel material that allows you to look into & see the Chicago skyline looking back at you. It is really neat.

Now time for dinner!! I was told by many people that I just had to try out Pequod’s deep dish pizza. I am sure glad I listened!!

Pequod’s was sort of like a hole-in-the-wall restaurant. It had brick walls, and tables all pushed together, and it felt like you were deep in the heart of Chicago. It wasn’t touristy at all, which we both loved. We got a small deep-dish pizza and shared it. The slices are huge, and although I didn’t finish both of my pieces, my boyfriend did and he basically went into a food coma. The pizza was the best I have EVER had! The sauce, the meat, the cheese..everything! Although I do think my favorite part about it all was definitely the caramelized crust on the bottom. I could eat that again! After that meal, we had to tap out. We were full and tired!

DAY 2

Since we had hit almost everything we wanted on the first day, day 2 was sure to be a breeze. We decided to walk to brunch so we could get a little more of sightseeing in before we left. We walked through the park again, and even stumbled upon a Nutella restaurant!! If the wait wasn’t so long, I would have loved to check it out!

After brunch, we took an uber over to the United Center so we could catch a glimpse of the Michael Jordan statue. It’s now located inside of the Center.

After we visited the statue, we made our last stop on the Navy Pier. I will admit, this was not very exciting. There is a ton of people walking around, and honestly not much to do at all. At least I can say that I’ve been, right? I don’t recommend adding this to your list if you are pressed for time. It’s just not worth it. It does, however, give you a great view of the skyline as a backdrop to your picture!

The only thing we didn’t get a chance to make it to was the John Hancock tower. I would have loved to see the signature room, but there is always next time! Now I have a reason to go back!