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Reel Quick Movie Reviews

"Marvel-ous" action movie: Captain America

It was a “hit and miss” week at the theatre for me, but hopefully you’ll find these spoiler-free reviews useful for your next movie night out!


Captain America: The Winter Soldier

I’m not sure why America’s only hope for safety lies in the hands of a 95-year old war veteran, but I guess it makes for a good story.  Even though he’s not my favourite superhero, the plot twists and awesome action scenes made this a solid sequel. (Physics fans may not appreciate all the stunts he survived, but Marvel fans are used to it by now.)

My Rating: 28/34

Reminded me of: Captain America, Thor, Jack Ryan


The Grand Budapest Hotel

Wes Anderson fans rejoice! Full of intricate sets, witty banter, quirky characters and a star-studded cast, this story has Anderson’s distinct art flavor all over it. Not family friendly, but if you’ve never seen a Wes Anderson movie before, you’ll be shocked to see Voldemort acting with a nose. 

My Rating: 28/34

Reminded me of: Moonrise Kingdom, The Royal Tenenbaums



There were so many things I hated about this low-budget Canadian movie. Slow to start, this 1.5 hr movie dragged on with its lack of plot, minutes of silence (spanning several scenes), no suspense and tons of HUGE spiders. So save your money and time and don't watch this movie, even if it stars Jake Gyllenhaal.

My Rating: 5/34 (And I'm being generous)

Reminded me of: Rust and Bone, Freaky Friday, Her


See you at the theatre!


Noah and the flood of controversy

It's cheap night Tuesday at the theatre! Any of these movies go well with popcorn, but what are you in the mood to watch? 



Don't watch Noah if you're looking for an accurate portrayal of the Bible story, since even the director, Darren Aronofsky describes it as 'the least biblical biblical film ever made" ( The serious "artistic liberties" from the expected plot are sure to spark some conversations, but visually and thematically - it was awesome. It's hard to ignore the breathtaking cinematography and special effects, as well as the suspenseful script and exceptional acting.

My Rating: 30/34

Reminded me of: Honestly, it's not really like any movie I've seen. It has snippets that were similar to Lord of the Rings and Tree of Life.



Without reading the book first, this futuristic story initially seemed to be just another "dystopian world with a strong female lead". I wasn't disappointed though, and my only complaints were that it was a bit cheesy in some parts (with predictable teenage romance), and I felt it should have been shorter. But overall, it was an adventurous and action-packed flick with enough Theo James to make you count down to the next movie in the series, Insurgent (coming out in 2015).

My Rating: 26/34

Reminded me of: Hunger Games, Ender’s Game, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Spectacular Now


Muppets Most Wanted

I appreciate any sequel that can make fun of itself through singing and dancing. And for those who are looking for nostalgic dose of Kermit and Miss Piggy, it won't disappoint Muppets fans. I was surprised at the length (almost 2 hours!), but the cameos throughout made it more enjoyable.

Bonus: There's a Monster's University short at the beginning of the movie. Don't miss it!

My Rating: 23/34

Reminded me of: The Muppets, Mr. Bean's Holiday, Mr. Peabody and Sherman

See you at the movies!

March movies... in a theatre near you!

Mr. Peabody and Sherman

It’s a punny and fun cartoon that will entertain parents as well as kids, but some references will make more sense if you’ve seen the original show. The time-traveling duo will give you a free (and semi-accurate) history lesson, but will embrace every cultural stereotype available. Falling in the wake of The Lego Movie, I didn’t like it as much, but as far as animated films go, it was pretty humorous with a decent story to it.

My rating: 25/34

Reminded me of: The original Mr. Peabody and Sherman cartoons, The Croods, Meet the Robinsons


Besides Mr. Peabody and Sherman, I haven’t been impressed with the selection of new movies out in theatres. However, if you haven’t seen Non-Stop or The Lego Movie, I definitely recommend those!

March will still be a busy month with the release of:

Divergent: The newest book-to-movie adaptation that’s being described as the next Hunger Games. Set in a futuristic sci-fi world, it’s guaranteed to have teenagers, hormones and special effects.

Muppets Most Wanted: This will be the star-studded musical comedy for those who are looking for a nostalgic dose of the classic Kermit and Miss Piggy.

Noah: With so many award winners in the cast, this movie adaptation should be as epic as the story on which it’s based. It’ll be an awesome “big screen” movie, and I’m happy they have only released it in a 2D version, since 3D can be really overdone in live action films.

Enemy: This movie doesn’t look like it’s been released in Kelowna yet, but since it’s from the makers of Prisoners, I’m looking forward to watching Jake Gyllenhaal lose his sanity again.


See you at the movies!


Non-Stop adrenaline rush in theatres

If you like some adrenaline with your popcorn at the movies, you may want to check out Non-Stop as my movie pick this week. Check out other short reviews below!
Liam Neeson is probably used to being in stressful situations by now, but this intense airplane thriller was full of unexpected twists and turns. Even with a few loose ends I would have liked to have resolved, it didn't take away from the clever, suspenseful and action-packed plot. Not the best movie choice if you're going to be going on a flight soon, but it's a promising edge-of-your-seat "whodunit" that will have you guessing the entire time.
My Rating: 30/34
Reminded me of: Flightplan, Clue, Red Eye, and Taken.



Pompeii told the story of a city that did not have any form of a Safety Evacuation Plan. And if you think that imminent and certain death would stop Hollywood from creating a love story, you'd be wrong. It had a decent story, great 3D effects and gladiator fighting scenes, but the second half of the movie had me rolling my eyes a few times.

My Rating: 25/34

Reminded me of: Dante's Peak, Gladiator, Troy, and 300.



I believe movies that are based on true stories have so much more depth and beauty to them. Philomena was told so fantastically, there’s certainly no surprise that it received Golden Globe nominations for Best Picture and Best Actress after Judy Dench’s spot-on performance. It’s a beautiful drama, complete with both sarcastic and compassionate moments that takes you right into the heart of a mother's search for her son.

My Rating: 29/34

Reminded me of: The King's Speech and The Queen.


See you at the movies!

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About the Author

Alyssa Quigley is an enthusiastic chocoholic who thinks life is too short to be taken too seriously. When she's not writing movie reviews, she loves watching movies - especially musicals - with friends, playing volleyball and is an avid Amazing Race fan.


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.

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