Movies I Watched in 2023

I wanted to share my review of the movies that I saw this year that you might be able to catch on streaming now. Regal theaters are only $6.87 on Tuesdays and $17.91 any other time so now I only go to the movies on Tuesdays.  I've been trying to get back into going to the movies since I've hardly gone the last 5 years. I always walk out the theater having a magical experience as the film takes me to another world and the escapism of seeing a movie in theaters,  I don't look at my phone for 2 hours. 

Do you think cinemas are dying or do we prefer to stream at home? There's never more than 5 people in the 132 seat theater when I go.  I have to ask, do we still need assigned seating? There's way too many previews that I always arrive 10 minutes after start time. I also think theaters are way too loud now a days. I used to buy the child's size popcorn but now I resist completely so I hate having to smell everyone else's. lol 

I remember when I went to college in NYC, my roommate and I often walked an hour to Lincoln Square to see movies. I think going to the movie theater allows you to experience  the way they're intended to be experienced. Then you walk out having a sensory experience. 



Barbie 

You can stream this right now on Amazon Prime, Hulu Premium, Youtube Primetime, Apple TV or Vudu for $20. 

Set in the colorful Barbie Land, stereotypical Barbie lives a perfect life every single day. One day, she shows signs of being...a human. She decides to go to the Real World to find the cure in order to make herself perfect again. Starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling and Barbie Ken the movie also stars Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, Dua Lipa, John Cena, and Emerald Fennell as Mattel dolls in the flesh; and America Ferrera, Rhea Perlman, and Will Ferrell as humans; with Helen Mirren serving as narrator.

I talked about on my blog how the fashion world embraced Barbiecore a year before the movie came out with designers including Valentino creating bold pink looks for its Fall/Winter 2022 Pink PP collection. During the Barbie press tour around the world on pink carpets Margot wore replicas of Barbie outfits and America Ferrara only wore black, making us wonder if she's getting a spin off movie. 

Fun trivia: "Barbie is 23% larger than everything in Barbieland to mimic the awkward, disproportionate scale that real Barbies and Barbie activity sets are produced in. This is why Barbie sometimes appears too large for things like her car or why ceilings seem to be too low in the Dreamhouses." imdb

The movie featured music from Nicki Minaj since her fans call themselves Barbies. Margot Robbie requested that the movie had a mermaid Barbie which Dua Lipa played so she also had a song on the soundtrack. In the movie they played a classic son by the Indigo Girls "Closer to Fine".

I wasn't going to see this movie but since EVERYONE was talking about it and going to opening weekend in pink outfits, I finally relented and saw it. I'm glad I did as I enjoyed it and rate it a 7/10 because it was a bit cheesy.



Priscilla 

It's a Sophia Coppola movie based on her book titled Elvis and Me written in 1986. I watched this right after I got back from Las Vegas  so I loved seeing vintage Vegas in the film! It's current available to stream.

The cinematography was excellent. The hair and costumes were on another level in this film. Visually the movie was dreamy and beautiful. I visited Graceland once and what struck me about the film is that she ore heels everyday at home on their white wall to wall carpets. 

It had bad casting for Elvis and Priscilla as the difference in their heights was really distracting. Elvis wasn't a lanky 6'5 and the actress who played Priscilla was 5'1 and looked like she was 12. 

The movie spent a significant amount of time watching how they met in West Germany when he was stationed there in the army. but the later years felt like we were skipping stuff. Elvis is toxic and abusive while Priscilla is his toy wife. Thats the theme of the movie.

Lisa Prescily was 9 when her dad died and wrote to the Coppola that she felt the film was in accurate and didnt support it. She threatened to speak out against the film. 

I can't help but think that Elvis was such a short part of Priscilla 80 year life and yet still after all this time its the only part she focuses on. Did you know she later had another child?  She also dated Rob Kardashian. Priscippa's mom was 19 when she gave birth to Priscilla and her husband died 3 years later. She then remarried and had 5 more kids. Pricisilla threatened to run away if her parents wouldn't let her see Elvis. Pricilla was in the 9th grade when she started dating Elvis. Later they both dyed their hair black. The film did not get permission from Elvis's estate to play any of his music in the film. 

We had an Elvis movie the year prior, did we need another? Yes, I watched it on Netflix and it's a completely different portrayal of his life. 

I rated this movie 6/10 just because it was dark and depressing.




Wonka

There's been three movies about the same story. The first one I watched many times as a child. Then Johnny Depp did a remake but the special affect visuals aren't that great looking at it now. This movie is a new story line, it's a prequel as it focuses on how young Wonka started his factory. It will be on streaming on January 30.

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) 

Wonka (2023) 

It had a very diverse cast for a period film. Starring Timothée Chalamet (I only know his name because he dated Kylie Jenner) and Hugh Grant as an Oompa-Loompa. Vanity Fair said "Hugh did not have a jolly good time playing a little orange man as it was a living nightmare." Later in the interview, Grant explained that the problem isn’t necessarily specific to Wonka — apparently he “slightly hates” making movies, but he has “lots of children and needs money.” He has 5 kids with 3 different women, 2 of which delivered at the same time. Hugh is 63 and all of his kids are  under the age of 12.

Everything from the set pieces to the costume design is perfect. I was in awe the entire time at how gorgeous this film is as the colors really pop. The CGI animals seemed so realistic! This is a musical. The common theme in the movie is good vs evil but it felt a bit Oliver Twist to me but I was smiling throughout the film.  The story line is Willy Wonka  dreams of opening a chocolate shop in the city, but is plagued by bad luck and targeted by the chocolate cartel.

Timothée doesn't have a dark edge like his predecessors in the role did. Instead it's just a heartwarming story of a kind person who just wants to make the world a better place. There is a a lot less magic than the first film and you don't feel like you're being taken on a magical trip as its lacking the vibrancy and uniqueness that made previous films stand out. I think kids who never saw the first film will enjoy it as a stand alone film.

I would rate this movie  a solid 7/10.





Born in Gaza


This is a documentary on Netflix that was filmed shortly after the 2014 Gaza war and examines how violence has transformed the lives of 10 Palestinian children. It is a beautifully filmed documentary describing the devastating physical and psychological effects of children who live lives of uncertainty in a war torn country where in any day they could become orphans or lose a family members. It's a powerful film done through the eyes of children. It's an eye opening to show you what the reality of their life is like. Never could I have imagined the size of and scenery of massive destruction of their land. The trauma is real, children in Gaza are prevented from having a childhood; its humanizing. Absolutely heartbreaking as the plight of Palestinians has never been shown as real as this.  I wondered how many of these ten children are still alive ten years after this film?

Movies coming out in 2024

I'm anticipating the following releases:

Wicked - based on the musical

Bad Boys 4

another Ghostbusters sequel 

A Gentleman in Moscow based on the book

The Nightingale based on Kristin Hannah's book which I loved!


Related links:

House of Gucci & Most Iconic Gucci Bags

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Ghostbusters

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