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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Movies In Review: 2015

When I first saw the previews for the movie Joy I had no idea what it was supposed to be about -- none whatsoever. But as the premier date got closer, the studio started to release better trailers and I was able to figure out that it was the story of a woman stuck in a rut who comes up with a genius idea that changes her life. This woman is Joy Mangano -- the HSN queen and real life inventor of a bevy of household products, including the Miracle Mop and Huggable Hangers.

The title character of Joy is played by the lovable and relatable Jennifer Lawrence. I totally think she's this generation's Julia Roberts, don't you? Joy lives in a house with a mother who is engulfed with soap operas, a father who shares a room in the basement with Joy's ex-husband, two young kids, and a grandmother who has more belief in Joy than anyone else.

After accidentally spilling red wine on teak wood and trying (with no avail) to mop up the wine and glass, but instead cutting herself in the process, Joy has an "a-ha" moment and creates her first big idea. The movie shows the trials, tribulations and even backstabbing Joy faced trying to get people (from her own family to QVC execs) to believe in her American dream.

I must say, even though David O. Russell once again reunites his favorite cast of characters in Lawrence, De Niro and Cooper (American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook), there is nothing in this movie that will wow you. De Niro is his usual sarcastic, wise guy self; Lawrence is her typical mix of strong and vulnerable at the same; and Cooper isn't really even in this film. I wished the film had focused more on Joy's best friend relationship with her ex-husband and her TV-obsessed mother and a little less time on her pushy sister and the quirks of Cooper's character.

But all in all, Jennifer Lawrence gives you moments here and there that bring you back to the meat and potatoes of this movie. Her best scenes are when she's bringing out her backbone and doing whatever it takes to make a name for herself. That's when she wins. That's when Joy wins.

If nothing else, this movie will make you more interested in Joy Mangano and make you crave more JLaw films that don't involve David O. Russell. She needs more Winter's Bone in her life.
Rent It ♥♥♥

Other Movies I Saw In December
  • Secret In Their Eyes -- 11/11
    • An FBI agent and her team seek to bring the man who murdered her daughter to justice. The movie is better than the reviews make it out to be and includes a nice little twist at the end. Rent It ♥♥♥ 
  • Victor Frankenstein -- 11/25
    • Mary Shelley's modern day Prometheus movie that tells the story of Victor Frankenstein's steadfast decision to create life from death. It gets a bit over the top as the movie continues, with its best attributes in the middle. Can Skip It ♥♥
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens -- 12/18
    • Long awaited and highly anticipated Episode VII of the Star Wars saga telling the story of the Resistance fighting against The First Order, with help from two unassuming new heroes. It definitely lives up to the hype, even with its silly quirks that are reminiscent of the original trilogy. Watch It ♥♥♥♥
  • The Big Short -- 12/23
    • The story of a few guys who predicted that the housing bubble was going to burst and how no one believed them. It's an all-star cast (featuring two of my favorites: Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt), with intensity and comedic relief. But, at the end, you still end up feeling a little sadder inside because this is all based on a true story and could easily happen again...with a tech bubble. Watch It ♥♥♥♥
  • The Hateful Eight -- 12/24
    • The 8th Quentin Tarantino film about a bounty hunter who is trying to take his prisoner to the hangman but gets caught up in a storm of deception. We were able to see this movie on Christmas Eve on 70mm film! The story and acting are superb, as they tend to be with a Tarantino movie, but it would be nice if he could cut down on the gore and derogatory name calling -- it's getting a bit old. Watch It ♥♥♥♥
  • Concussion -- 12/25
    • The third based on a true story movie on here, Concussion tells the story of Dr. Bennet Omalu, the forensic pathologist who discovered the link between football players and brain damage. Will Smith plays this role wonderfully, and the film gives great insight whether or not you're a fan of the sport. But it might not come off as memorable as it would like to, in the long run. Rent It ♥♥♥ 


  1. Thanks for these reviews, Cheryl! I'm kinda sad about Victor Frankenstein:( I'm a huge McAvoy fan but haven't seen this. Now, I may just wait to see it. And I still haven't seen Winter's Bone after all these years! Eeeeek!

    PS Star Wars=awesome:D

  2. I feel like one you've seen a David O Russell film, you've seen em all... especially when he keeps using the same actors lol but I do love me some JLaw. I'm more excited about her comedy with Amy Schumer!

    I still haven't seen Star Wars yet... don't kill me! lol I know it will be good, just a matter of getting around to it.

    And the Concussion movie I want to see but definitely think I can wait for it on Netflix.

  3. I rarely go to the movies and this is a very helpful review! Now that it is getting colder, going to the movies may now be my go-to and probably need to use your review for reference :)

  4. I like Jennifer Lawrence I think she would be reason to see this film and I must say, I LOVE her hair like this. I wish my hair would do this if I cut it like this, but I don't think it will.

    Allie of ALLIENYC

  5. I still have to see The Force Awakens! I definitely want to see Joy.

  6. Thanks for the reviews Cheryl! I'm so curious to see Joy, it seems like such an interesting story!

  7. I loved the new Star Wars film, it was amazing :))) Happy New Year to you x

  8. I felt the same way about the movie Joy. I had NO idea what it was about...but I went to see it anyway. Such an incredible and inspiring story. Happy New Year!

    Something About That

  9. I'm glad you liked The Force Awakens! I have seen it three times already. Who was your favorite NEW character?

  10. We finally saw Star Wars, but these others I've not seen yet, so it's great that you did a review. Happy New Year! :)
    Holiday Cheer For the New Year


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