I’m Not Okay with This Season 1 Review

I’m Not Okay with This Season 1 Review

Now streaming on Netflix. Rated TV-MA.

I’m not quite sure what compelled me to watch this series, but in retrospect, I’m glad I did. As a big fan of superheroes and their lore, I was immediately brought in by the prospect of a young woman developing telepathic abilities. The opening scene that introduces the film added to my interest as it is reminiscent of the horror classic Carrie. In many ways, there are a lot of parallels between I’m Not Okay with This and Carrie, as well as X-Men (and I’m sure many related works that I’m not thinking of at the moment of writing this).

I’m Not Okay with This is a charming coming-of-age story full of angst and sarcasm. We follow as the characters in the series go through very real struggles, and– in the case of our protagonist– mysterious struggles as well. Additionally, we get a considerably accurate depiction of depression, anxiety, and grief. The characters seem very real, as none of them is perfect and their imperfections are beautifully portrayed by the actors flawlessly. 

This show also boasts some pretty impressive special effects that, to me, are reminiscent of the ingenious effects used in films like Chronicle. It’s subtle and seamless, and the sparse use of it is perfect for the tone the show maintains throughout. 

The story is fast-paced and easy to follow, and with only eight 30 minute episodes this is a quick watch. The story, which you can probably infer from what I’ve written thus far, is very much character-driven which culminates into an emotional ride. As the season progresses we are given a glimpse into what this series can become as small details are revealed and questions are raised only to be left unanswered. The questions interesting enough to warrant interest in a second season.

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The Half of It (2020) Review

The Half of It (2020) Review

Directed by: Alice Wu

Written by: Alice Wu

Starring: Leah Lewis, Daniel Diemer, Alexxis Lemire

Rated: PG-13

Run-Time: 1h 45m

Genre: LGBTQ, Comedy, Drama

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%

Availability: Netflix

She’s a gifted introvert. He’s a sweet jock. Both are smitten with the same girl. Friendships– and first loves– can be complicated. (Netflix)

In my opinion there hasn’t been a teen movie that falls among the ranks of the classics for quite a while, but The Half of It might just fit the bill. Not only does the film include relatable romance, but it has an emphasis on friendship and platonic love, something we honestly need more of in both film and books. 

The film is a heartwarming examination of friendship and young love, as well as the struggles of immigrants, their children, and LGBT youth (especially in the midwest). It vividly illustrates the growth of romantic and platonic love on a number of levels, something we don’t often see in teen films. The film avoids the cliche of the relationships in the film becoming diluted by an overdone love-triangle. Rather we watch the blooming romance between two people, and the growth of a close friendship. Romance takes the back seat to the emphasis on friendship, which is exceptionally refreshing. And with the addition of including the struggles of the film’s protagonist as an immigrant only adds a realistic depth to the film. For viewers who immigrated to the States at a young age, as well as viewers whose parents are immigrants, the main character is exceptionally relatable.

This is one of those films everyone needs to watch and it’s one of those films you can watch more than once. Be warned though, you’ll probably be crying by the time the credits roll.

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A Whisker Away (2020) Review

A Whisker Away (2020) Review

Directed by: Junichi Sato, Tomotaka Shibayama

Written by: Mari Okada

Starring: Mirai Shida, Natsuki Hanae, Hiroaki Ogi

Rated: TV-PG

Run-Time: 1h 44m

Genre: Drama

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%

Available on Netflix

A peculiar girl transforms into a cat to catch her crushes attention. But before she realizes it, the line between humans and animal starts to blur. (Netflix)

The trailer for A Whisker Away immediately brings you in with the visuals of a cute animated cat, but if you’re like me and only saw it in passing when browsing through Netflix. The movie is about a cute animated cat, but it’s a little more complicated than that. 

A Whisker Away takes you into a whimsical world that’s softly developed in a very Ghibli-eque manner. What you find is that in this world there is a cat merchant, who, in exchange for your human face, will give you a mask that allows you to become a cat (your face is then in turn provided to a cat who is then able to take your place). Of course, you are given a trial period, so see whether you really want to be a cat. To an extent the film is reminiscent of Ghibli’s The Cat Returns, but doesn’t manage to quite hit the mark. 

The film seems to be an attempt to capture the whimsy such a story told through animation can have, but falls short. It’s not easy to say where because there’s nothing blaringly wrong with the film. It’s unique, but not so unique that you can say you’ve never seen anything like it before, because you probably have. It’s beautifully animated, but doesn’t do anything special in regards to it’s animation. The characters aren’t memorable, even after watching the movie twice I can only remember two characters’ names, primarily because of how often the names were said. Otherwise, there isn’t much to say about them. The motivations for what they did was relatable, but the way they handled it wasn’t which made it hard to truly relate to them. The film wasn’t engrossing as films should be, rather than being transported to another magical world, the film feels like nothing more than… well a film. In the end, I can’t say I regret watching it, but it’s not a movie you’d be excited to watch more than once.

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I’m Not an Easy Man (Je ne suis pas un homme facile) (2018) Review

I’m Not an Easy Man (Je ne suis pas un homme facile) (2018) Review

I Am Not an Easy Man is a humor film with an obvious feminist agenda that manages to be more hilarious than preachy. Though at times the way the aspects of the story are presented is ridiculous it manages to paint an interesting alternate universe where society is matriarchal. As a women, this sounds like a blessed idea, but the film does a good job of showing the importance for equality, that even in a truly matriarchal world has its own flaws. The characters are well written and the presentation of this world is done well, with both obvious and subtle differences. It does a very good job of raising topics of discussion, regarding topics of toxic masculinity to the effect of a gender dominated society. 

The only true downsides I could find in the film is some of the cultural differences in the matriarchal society that were hard to believe and therefore brought me out of my suspension of belief. The film features a number of scenes with shirtless women, a parallel to how our society has no problem with partial nudity of men but think differently when it comes to women. This simple fact doesn’t bother me, but when a short scene included a shirtless women going on a job my immediate thoughts were “God that must hurt!” Because, even in a society where it is totally okay for a women to be out shirtless its hard for me to believe someone would be content running while shirtless. For those who don’t have breasts, let me tell you, it is not comfortable to run without some sort of support. Scenes with similar minor grievances are littered throughout the film and while they do not detract from the basic storyline i am going to consider them a negative of this film because they still managed to pull me out of this world. Even in a good film, little things like this can affect the experience greatly.

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