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Movie Review – Gifted

Grade – A

RunPee Mom starts: Gifted unfolds beautifully, and just keeps getting better. The cast was excellent, and the chemistry between the main characters was palpable. There were tender moments and humorous moments. This is a great movie for audiences of all ages.

Jill, RunPee Co-Creator adds: This is the second movie this year where Octavia Spencer appears in an movie about mathematical genius – someone’s developing a niche? LOL. Her role was pretty basic in *Gifted*, but she interacted very well with the titular genius child…we could believe she was the little girl’s best friend, odd as it may sound to someone used to more typical children.

And speaking of Mary (Mckenna Grace) – the child actor is wonderful. What a fresh new talent: in every scene on screen she simply shone. She had moments charming childish glee/anger, mixed with a plethora of precocious adult mannerisms. She was completely believable in the role, easily upstaging every adult. In fact, the moments she didn’t appear were only the scenes the movie lagged (mainly every courtroom segment – we’ve seen all that before, and those acts felt like they were simply going through the motions). I loved the scene where Mary beat up on much older child to defend a young boy – and where she really pulled through for him a little later – that was quite heartwarming. We come to see there is a fantastic child in there, nearly buried under quantum mechanics and unsolvable math equations.

Chris Evans turned in a good performance – nothing amazing – but definitely more challenging a role than anything Captain America ever asked of him. 🙂 I think he can be proud to put this film on his filmography. Here’s to hoping he can continue to grow his acting talents to meatier (but less beefcake, enjoyable as those are) roles.

Is this movie sad? I’d say there are some scenes that are tough to watch, probably especially for parents. No one enjoys watching adults rip a child’s life apart in the name of “what’s best for them.” What ultimately occurs is kind of confusing, legally, but without giving anything away, this is not a tear-jerker. (There were two moments I choked up, and one of them was about a cat.) 🙂

I recommend this film, but waiting for the DVD wouldn’t take anything away from the experience.

Movie Review – Logan

    Grade: A+
    Dan writes: I just watched the movie, so I’ll think about it some more before I write a full review. Until then, I can easily say that this is by far the best X-Man movie. (Not that that is a high bar to clear.) The story, dialog, acting, pacing, and fighting were all extraordinary.
    You can probably tell from the credits that this is an emotional movie. I’m man enough to admit that I cried more than once. And the ending… Yeah, I’m getting misty just thinking about it.
    Jill, RunPee Wife here: With Dan in Hong Kong, I’ll expand on the Logan review.
    So. The X-Man franchise has been wildly inconsistent. Some of the films in the series were dreadful (hey there, Last Stand and Apocalypse). And some were extremely competent and enjoyable (X-Man 2, plus First Class and Days of Future Past). The original X-Man movie was genre-defining, giving us a live-action superhero ensemble with real storytelling. It provided a mold for future superhero films to follow. There was nothing really like it before. And, we got our first taste of Wolverine, and the world fell instantly in love with the brutal, endearing character.
    …And then…there were the Wolverine stand-alone films, which were problematic. The first one was stricken from cannon. Not sure if the second was similarly disowned. But Hugh Jackman so owned the iconic role that really, no one should be surprised they went in for thirds.
    The difference this time is astounding. Logan is a perfect movie. It’s character-driven, a drama. The stakes are thankfully small, and so is the focus. It doesn’t even feel like a superhero flick – it takes more cues from Westerns (Unforgiven springs to mind, and Lonesome Dove; Shane is specifically homaged). It’s also a traveling buddy film, with Jackman and the always fantastic Patrick Stewart playing brilliantly off each other. Lastly, it is a movie about family – even with such three damaged individuals as Wolverine, Professor X, and newcomer Laura. I completely bought into Laura: she embodies the feral child we would expect on learning her background. Her fierceness was bold and exciting – violently gleeful – and also deeply realized. Kudos to this young actress  – she completely holds her own against the two grizzled veterans.
    Where Logan succeeds the most is in execution of a sunset arc for a really broken character – a man who has sometimes been a hero, and sometimes just a wild thing. You feel the real emotional weight of this movie, from the first three minutes, to the final moments; nothing that ultimately happens here should come as a shock to fans.
Amazingly though, even non-fans can jump right in, with no prior X-Man knowledge. That is a rare thing. Try taking a newbie to an Avengers film (and I love the Avengers). I saw Logan with a Muggle, and she cried right along with me. Which is also to say: bring tissues. There’s humor here, and some very cute moments, but this isn’t a happy film. It is an ending. And I don’t know where this will fit into X-Man cannon – since they established time-travel is a thing, anything can be changed – but neither do I care. Logan is just right, where and as it is.
    Thank you, Hugh Jackman, for providing the universe with an unforgettable character, and having the integrity to not sell your arc short in the end. And thank you, too, for publicly admitting you love the RunPee app. We love you right back.