Chris’ Quick Thoughts Movie Review: Red Sparrow

Chris’ Quick Thoughts Movie Review

Red Sparrow

Rating: 5/10 (Average)
Recommendation: Redbox It

I won’t lie, I wasn’t really looking forward to seeing this film. It sort of looked generic and, no surprise, it was…for the most part.


The pacing in this movie is pretty good. The plot is fleshed out better than anticipated. And the acting isn’t too bad from Jennifer Lawrence, like usual.


This film drags. It’s says 2 hours and 19 minutes but you’ll feel like you’ve been there for 4. There are a ton of plot twists in the third act and they come at you fast. And, finally, the payoff for all of what you watched just feels cheap.


If you’re looking for a movie that provides a good narrative but don’t mind sitting there for what feels like an eternity at times, then this will suit you just fine. It’s not groundbreaking by any means, but it’s a better version of what Atomic Blonde tried doing last year.

Viewer Discretion: There is a ton of nudity, violence, and dialouge that can make you feel a bit uncomfortable at times. That’s just my warning though.


Chris’ Quick Thoughts Movie Review: Game Night

Chris’ Quick Thoughts Movie Review

Game Night

Rating: 6/10 (Fine)
Recommendation: Redbox It

Real quick, I think I’m going to try something new this year. I’m going to shorten up my reviews to a couple of paragraphs. Main reason? Eh. I need change and long reviews are sort of dying out. With that being said, here’s a quick rundown of Game Night.


The characters are really likable. Jason Bateman (A very underrated actor) and Rachel McAdams (Another underrated actor) have fantastic chemistry. You get very involved with their lives and start to really care about them as time goes on. And the action scenes are actually great.


Plot gets very muddled. Story is predicable. The comedy can be very hit and miss. Also jokes run on too long. And the film starts to follow cliches about halfway through.


This is a movie that will entertain you but it most likely won’t stick with you for years to come.

Cayle’s Movie Review: “Black Panther”


Following the events of Captain America: Civil War, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) is about to become the King of Wakanda and become the next Black Panther. However, there is another claimant to the throne…


Recently, I’ve been trying to watch new movies without any preconceived notions. On the other hand, it’s hard to judge a movie that’s overly hyped like this one. This makes Black Panther all the more disappointing.

The best part about this movie is its cast. Chadwick Boseman did a great job portraying T’Challa/Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War. He is also great in Black Panther. Andy Serkis (in one of his few non-motion capture performances) was entertaining as the comic relief Klaw. The movie also has a solid supporting cast thanks to the likes of Lupita Nyong’o, Daniel Kaluuya, and Forest Whitaker amongst others.

Among the handful of trailers that was shown before Black Panther, there was a trailer for the second Deadpool movie that mocked the extensive use of green screen in superhero movies. If that isn’t awkward, I don’t know what is. The CGI for this movie would feel right at home in the late ‘90s or the early 2000s.  At certain parts of the movie, I was reminded of the now-dated CGI of the Star Wars prequels.

Another problem I had with Black Panther is its writing. Most of the characters in this movie are either one-dimensional or they’re underdeveloped. While Michael B. Jordan does a great job as Killmonger, I felt his character was severely underdeveloped. While I won’t spoil the movie, but his backstory was only explained briefly during the third act. The movie’s plot pretty much reiterated the plot points made in Civil War. The movie wanted to be Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but it ended up being an unofficial remake of the first Thor movie. A common complaint of the more recent MCU movies is that they’re too reliant on its humor. Personally, I felt that most of the humor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was well-executed. However, most of the humor in this movie was rather forced in its attempt to be hip and fresh.


Black Panther felt like a generic superhero movie. This is the second time in a two-month period that I disagreed with the consensus of a movie (the other one being The Last Jedi obviously). Just like The Last Jedi, I felt that Black Panther had the potential to be a great movie. As much as I hate to admit it, Black Panther is one of the lesser MCU movies.

SCORE: 5/10

Cayle’s Movie Review: “A Silent Voice”


Shoko Nishimiya is a sixth grader who had transferred to a new school. Due to her hearing impairment, Shoko is singled out for bullying by her classmates. After a classmate by the name of Shoya Ishida takes the bullying too far, he is ostracized by his classmates.

Several years later, a remorseful Shoya (who is now in high school) happens to bump into Shoko. He uses this opportunity to apologize for his past mistakes and make amends with her. Although reluctant at first due to her past trauma, she slowly but surely accepts his friendship over time.


The best thing about this film is its character development. While Shoko is the focus of A Silent Voice, Shoya is arguably the main character since the audience gets to see his progression from an immature child to a young adult taking responsibility for his past behavior. At its core, A Silent Voice is a story about redemption. As for Shoko, you really feel bad for her since she has no control over her disability. You just want to give her a hug. The supporting characters are also worth mentioning, including Shoko’s younger sister Yuzuru and the comic relief Tomohiro.

Another great thing about this film is its visual style and presentation. The animation, which was provided by the Kyoto Animation studio, is just gorgeous. The film manages to take a few liberties with its visuals. For example, whenever we see people from Shoya’s perspective, there are literal x’s that cover the faces of the other students to signify the fact that he blocks people from his life out of remorse. Another example of this would be how the visuals (and the sound mixing ironically enough) are designed to represent Shoko’s point of view at certain points of the movie. During one important scene in the movie, I thought that the theater’s speakers were giving out. I then realize that the soundtrack was supposed to represent Shoko’s hearing loss.

The only showing for the movie I was able to attend was for the subtitled version. Normally, I would go see the dubbed version of an anime movie first since I’m unfamiliar with the Japanese language. Despite the language barrier, I thought the voice acting was great, especially Shoko’s.

My biggest gripe with this movie is its pacing. This movie is 130 minutes long and boy, does it feel that long. A Silent Voice unfortunately suffers from ending fatigue. There were several times where could have ended right then and there.

This is the third non-Ghibli movie I’ve managed to watch in theaters in the past two years (the other two are The Boy and the Beast and Your Name respectively). Although I prefer the latter two, A Silent Voice is still a movie that is worth watching in theaters. There is controversy within the animation community about how this film was snubbed by The Boss Baby and Ferdinand of all movies for the Best Animated Feature Academy Award. It’s a crying shame that non-Ghibli anime films go unnoticed at the Oscars.


If you’re a fan of anime, A Silent Voice is an emotional film that deserves to be watched in theaters. Please the sustain the anime industry.

SCORE: 8/10

Cayle’s Anime Review: “School Days”


The anime follows Makoto Itou, a high school student who develops a crush on Kotonoha Katsura, a classmate who happens to ride the same train every day. With the help of his friend Sekai Saionji, he gathers the courage to ask her out. However, a dangerous love triangle between the three characters ensue.


Where do I begin?

At first, School Days seems to be your run-of-the-mill harem anime. However, it all goes downhill fast. School Days has one of the most controversial anime endings of all time. I will go into further detail later in the review.

School Days is a show that heavily relies on its idiot plot. Most of the characters on this show are either horrible people or very stupid. Makoto Itou is both. I get the fact that teenagers aren’t known for their rationality. However, Makoto is a selfish asshole who fucks anything that moves.

Sekai isn’t much better either thanks to her shitty personality. She’s easily the most manipulative character on the show aside from Makoto. The only character that had any redeeming qualities was Kotonoha. You really feel bad for her…until the end, that is.

In the process of writing this review, I struggled to think of any good things about this anime. Is School Days the worst anime of all time? The simple answer is…no. That honor goes to Pupa.

In all seriousness, the anime does have some redeeming qualities. I’ll give the anime credit for subverting the usual tropes that is prevalent in the harem genre. However, I wish it was better executed. Call it schadenfreude, but it is satisfying when Makoto gets his just deserts. These elements keep School Days from being a terrible anime.


Although it tries to be subversive, the show fails to live up to its potential thanks to its unlikable characters. If it wasn’t for its rather infamous ending, this show would be forgotten

SCORE: 4/10

Cayle’s Anime Review: “FLCL”


The show follows the adventures of 12-year-old Naota Nandaba. Aside from having a man-child for a father, his older brother’s ex-girlfriend hitting on him and the fact that he lives in a city that has a factory that is shaped like an iron, Naota’s life is rather…mundane. That is, until he encounters Haruko Haruhara…


To say that FLCL (or Fooly Cooly) is a unique show would be the understatement of the century. FLCL is a show that embraces its absurdity. The show manages to blend many visual styles (including the cut-out animation of South Park) while having its own style. If I had to compare the show’s visual style to another piece of media, I would compare it to Scott Pilgrim vs. the World for its absolute insanity. There is a debate amongst anime fans on whether FLCL has a plot or not. However, there is a plot that is hidden beneath the insanity of the show…

FLCL is a show that requires multiple viewings as it uses a lot of symbolism. At first glance, FLCL appears to be a random sequence of events. With repeated viewings, however, the themes of the show start to unravel. Repeated viewings should not be a problem since this show has only six episodes.  At its core, FLCL is a coming-of-age story, albeit a strange one. The series is essentially a metaphor for Naota’s transition from boy to man. However, the show has a surprisingly subtle message about not growing up too fast.

Another great aspect about this show is its soundtrack. Instead of the J-pop that is the standard in most anime series, the show’s soundtrack is performed by the Japanese alternative rock band The Pillows. I would describe the sound of the band as Oasis-meets-Radiohead. This soundtrack is the ultimate antidote to the usual anime soundtrack.

My one complaint with this show is the execution of its symbolism. While some of the metaphors are well executed, others are as subtle as a bass guitar to the head. Case in point, the innuendo…


FLCL is a show that aged like wine. It is a show that was tailored made for the Adult Swim generation. Although the show seems a bit chaotic at first with its erratic visuals and far-out sense of humor, the show does have a heart. FLCL is probably the strangest coming-of-age story of all time…

SCORE: 9/10

Cayle’s Top 10 Best Movies of 2017

Hello, welcome to my top ten list of 2017. These films are my personal favorites of the past year. There are a few guidelines for this list:

  • I had to see them between January 1st and December 31st of last year. However, I can’t see every movie that comes out. I’m sure that The Post and Call Me by Your Name are great films. However, I did not get to see them because they were not released in my city at the time.
  • I had to see them in theaters. Sorry, VOD exclusives…
  • They had to have a score of 9 or higher.

Anyway, here are my top ten films of 2017.

10.) Mother!

I’m still surprised that this film was green-lighted by a major studio for a wide release. This film is a nice antidote to the formulaic blockbusters that are released en-masse by Hollywood. Not only that, this film contains great performances by Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem. However, this film is not for the faint-hearted.

9.) Get Out

2017 was an interesting year for the horror genre. First, the recent adaptation of It is now the highest-grossing horror movie of all time and now, Get Out might be getting Oscar nominations.

Get Out is a clever satire that explores the idea of passive-aggressive racism. This film pushes the boundaries of what a horror film can do. Jordan Peele has the potential to be a great director.

I’m aware that I originally gave this film an eight out of ten. However, this film managed to grow on me. That’s the power of cinema for you…

8.) The Shape of Water

Guillermo del Toro once again knocks it out of the park with The Shape of Water. Although the film has a bit of a weird premise, the film manages to sell it thanks to its direction and screenwriting. The film has arguably one of the best ensemble casts of the year.

7.) Logan

Deadpool and this film are both game-changers for the superhero genre. Both films solidify the existence of the R-rated superhero movie, albeit in different ways. Logan shows that a comic book movie can have depth and range thanks to its direction by James Mangold. However, I’m afraid that this trend will not continue after the Fox-Disney merger is finalized.

Logan is a great finale for the characters of Wolverine and Charles Xavier respectively. Hugh Jackman gives the performance of his career in this film.

6.) Coco

This film is proof that Inside Out was not a fluke…Pixar is back, baby. This film shows why we loved Pixar in the first place thanks to its great storytelling and its heart. Speaking of the latter…

This is a film that almost made me cry thanks to its affirming themes of family and creativity.

5.) Your Name

I know that Your Name is technically a 2016 release. However, it did not get a wide release until April of this year. Living in the Midwest sucks sometimes…

Anyway, Your Name is a refreshing take on a tired science fiction trope (i.e. the “body swap” narrative). Throughout the duration of the film, you get to see how the relationship of the main characters grow due to their unique situation. The film is a visual spectacle thanks to its stunning animation and gorgeous backgrounds.

In my opinion, this is Makoto Shinkai’s best film to date. It’s a crying shame that The Boy and the Beast and this film were snubbed at the Oscars.

4.) Dunkirk

Dunkirk is pretty much Christopher Nolan’s Saving Private Ryan. Although it’s not as violent as the latter due to its PG-13 rating, it’s still an intense war film. You can feel the hopelessness of the situation thanks to Nolan’s direction. This film manages to combine the unconventional narratives of Nolan’s early films with the visuals of his later films.

The film is a great tribute to everybody involved in the Dunkirk evacuation.

3.) The Disaster Artist

While I was making this list, reports of James Franco’s sexual misconduct came to light. If these allegations are true, then James Franco is a piece of shit. However, this didn’t keep me from enjoying this film.

The Disaster Artist is surprisingly the most pro-artist film of the year aside from Coco. James Franco manages to humanize the otherwise enigmatic Tommy Wiseau. The Franco brothers manage to capture the odd friendship between Wiseau and Greg Sestero.

The Disaster Artist: it will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will make you question your reality.

2.) Baby Driver

For a while, Baby Driver was my favorite film of 2017. In fact, it was almost number one on this list. That’s how good this film was.

Edgar Wright has an impressive resume that consists of the likes of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Baby Driver contains all the best elements of a great Edgar Wright film: witty writing, great music, rapid-fast editing, and of course, genre-mashing.

1.) Blade Runner 2049

In my opinion, Blade Runner 2049 is one of the best sequels of all time. The original Blade Runner is arguably one of the most influential science fiction films of all time. Not only did this film managed to live up to the hype, it also managed to exceed all expectations. Blade Runner 2049 manages to expand on the themes of the original film. The film also manages to explore more of the world that was presented in the original.

Director Denis Villeneuve manages to pay homage to the visuals of the original film while giving them his own flair. Out of all the films that came out this year, Blade Runner 2049 has the best cinematography. I will riot if Roger Deakins does not win the Oscar for Best Cinematography.

While Ryan Gosling was great, Harrison Ford was even better. It’s his best role in recent memory.

Thanks for reading my top ten list! Have a happy new year!