Reel Quick Movie Reviews  

Mockingjay flies into #1 spot

25 articles and 73 movies later, I would like to thank every single one of my readers for checking this column for their spoiler-free reviews. Although this will be my final article for Castanet, I hope that you had as much fun reading my reviews as I did writing them! 
Big Hero 6

Disney nailed this one. I’ll admit, the plot had distinct familiarity, but the script had me laughing so many times. Perfect to watch with the whole family, it'll take you on a hilarious and emotional adventure with Beymax. 

Bonus: There’s an adorable Disney short before the movie – so don’t be late! And afterwards, there is a scene after the credits.

My Rating: 30/34

Reminded me of: How to Train your Dragon, The Incredibles.


I'd imagine several of the actors needed therapy after shooting this powerful movie, because I felt like I needed therapy after watching it. It did not lack emotion, blood, sweat, or verbal abuse. The actors were clearly dedicated to their roles, and though it stretched the imagination a bit with some unrealistic situations, this one made me want to play Rockband with friends. 

My Rating: 22/34
Reminded me of: A very serious School of Rock, Fame.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1
It's a cruel but brilliant marketing technique to slice the final book into 2 movies (or 3, if you're The Hobbit). The highly anticipated Hunger Games - Mockingjay is no exception, and though I loved the movie, I was disappointed with how nothing really happened during the 2 hours. Fans of Katniss should still go watch it and we'll all be waiting with bated breath until Part 2 comes out in 2015. 
My Rating: 28/34
Reminded me of: Both the previous Hunger Games.
~This article is dedicated to you, my reader. Thank you. I'll see you at the movies!


Interstellar is a must see!

There's no question for my pick of the week. The highly anticipated Interstellar was mind-blowing and incredible. Keep reading below for my other reviews this week. 



This mind-bender, time-bender blockbuster with a perfect soundtrack will awe you. It's a 3-hour long adventure and, just like most every Christopher Nolan movie, there were a lot of moments when I had no idea what was going on. However, with its brilliant special effects and cinematography, it's a must-see on the big screen. 

My Rating: 31/34

Reminded me of: Gravity, Inception, Wall-E, Elysium



Bill Murray fans rejoice! This story had the right amount of greasy characters, solid actors and heart to make it better than I expected. Murray entertains with his dry humour, grouchy persona, and his typical, but terrible sense of style.

My Rating: 27/34

Reminded me of: Dennis the Menace


Men, Women, and Children

If it was going for shock value, this movie had it in spades. It unashamedly exposed the secrets, the awkward lies, and the rarely discussed truths of life in a blatant and non-14A way. I admired its honesty, but this serious flick about internet, body image, and social media made me never want to have kids so they never have to endure high school. 

My Rating: 20/34

Reminded me of: Disconnect, Stranger than Fiction, Short Term 12


See you at the movies!

Brad Pitt's "Fury" explodes into theatres

All these movies are perfect with popcorn, but what are you in the mood for? 
Lots of swearing, shooting, and blood; it's probably one of the best war movies I've ever seen. The graphic scenes were intense while the cinematography, music and sets worked perfectly to depict the atrocities of war. Pitt's performance was nothing less than stellar, but it was the Percy Jackson kid (Logan Lerman) who really nailed his part and impressed me. 
My Rating: 30/34
Reminded me of: Lone Survivor, Inglorious Basterds, Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Though it was another victim of one of those "the funniest parts are in the trailer" movie, it still was an enjoyable flick. It made several references to the classic kid's book and there's sure to be a scene that everyone in the family can relate to. I certainly wouldn't call it a big screen movie, but you can tell that the fun cast had a blast while filming.

My Rating: 25/34

Reminded me of: The Odd Life of Timothy Green, Diary of a Wimpy Kid

The Judge
The acting was great in this dysfunctional family situation, but even with Robert Downey Jr's snark, I thought this movie was too long. Now that I've said that, it'll probably be nominated for a bunch of awards. Be prepared for a lot of Robert Downey breakdowns though - I've never seen him cry so much.
My Rating: 23/34
Reminded me of: August: Osage County, A Few Good Men
See you at the movies!


A disappearing wife, cheap flights & trolls

The title pretty much sums up the current movies this week. Fall is coming and the movie selection keeps getting better! I found some gems this week, so read on to check out my 3-sentence reviews!
Gone Girl
It's hard to describe or even review this thriller without spoiling any of the twisted and suspenseful plot. But let me say this - if you liked the book, you won't be disappointed by the movie and if you haven't read the book, be prepared for anything. The casting was near perfect but with an 18A rating, you'll want to find a babysitter for the kids.
My Rating: 29/34
Reminded me of: Prisoners, Side Effects, The Call


Hector and the Search for Happiness

In my opinion, this movie could have been a whole lot shorter if Hector had just gone to Disneyland. That being said, his more expensive route made for a soul-searching story with a lot of heart. Solid performances all around, it was an inspirational flick about taking risks and cheap flights to make sure your priorities are in check.

My Rating: 31/34
Reminded me of: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The F Word, Kings of Summer

The Boxtrolls

Oh, this was a delightful, charming, and all-around quirky movie. It's mind numbing to imagine how much work went into the creation of this stop-motion masterpiece, but it's truly a work of art. Some unexpectedly weird parts, (and a lot of characters biting each other), but the unique story was a welcome change from a "just-for-comedy" animated movie.

My Rating: 27/34

Reminded me of: ParaNorman, The Great Mouse Detective, An American Tail, Tarzan, Despicable Me 

Bonus: There's an extra scene about 2 minutes into the credits that's worth sticking around for. 

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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 does not warrant the contents.

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