Cars 3

  • The first Cars movie came out when my Daughter was two, and it was the first movie I took her to see in the theater; so there’s an emotional connection to this series that she’s grown up with, from her (obviously) to me watching her grow with it.
  • There’s a tradition with the three Cars movies so far: get them started really fast and then SLOOOOOWWW THEM DOWWWWWNNNNN. This one gets a little messy with it’s story during that down-time.
  • It’s hard not to look at this movie without comparing it to the first one. It is a trilogy, right? This movie is not as good of that first in terms of pacing and keeping your interest, but it’s way better than the second movie’s “Cars are also international spies” misfire.
  • In the first movie, Larry the Cable Guy’s “Mater” character was a lot of fun and a good comic relief to the overall serious tone of the movie. In this one, he makes awkward, comedic cameos that don’t fit with the tone of the movie. Yes, the first two Cars movies are kind of serious with some really lighthearted moments, but either bring Mater in as a main character or just leave him in the background.
  • This movie makes me want to attend an actual Demolition Derby.
  • It also makes me want to go to racing school.
  • The racing action in these movies are still great fun, and this one brings some good intensity with it.
  • It’s nice to see some new characters with fun personalities thrown into the mix, which adds to the over-all message of the movie (more on that later).
  • Cristela Alonzo!
  • Nathan Fillion!
  • The soundtracks to these movies are fun, and a good mix of “pop-country” with old, twangy bluegrass.
  • Message Time: [possible spoiler alert] This movie introduces a lot of new characters, but also deals with older characters having to realize that it is time to move on to leaving a legacy. People aren’t young forever (DUH), and all the “Yolo’s” in the world can’t compete with the eternal hourglass. Themes like these help me understand what my own Dad was talking about, and recognizing his teachings will help me teach my Daughter.
  • Final Score: B

    Jose Zuazua is editor-in-chief of Quick Lunch Break Reviews. He has an associates degree in film production. He’s on twitter (twitter.com/josezuazua) and instagram (instagram.com/josezuazua).

Wonder Woman

  • It’s got a running time of two hours and twenty minutes, but it feels longer. The pacing is pretty slow and is bogged down by scenes that run far too long and dialog that gets “over-preachy” with trying to convey the underlying message of the film.
  • The musical score to the movie is largely forgettable, and the only thing you’ll remember is that main “rock-ish” piece of music that was introduced back in Batman v Superman.
  • I was definitely one of those people angrily protesting (at the time) the hiring of Gal Gadot to play Wonder Woman. I felt she was too skinny to play someone so powerful (lookup pictures of her from before she got cast), but she gained weight and worked out heavily for the role, and I think it really “bulked up” her performance. Wokka wokka! But hey, she’s able to carry the role with a strong AND feminine balance. I never questioned the femininity, just the strength.
  • Some of the shots in this movie will be very iconic and some of the scenery is BEAUTIFUL (especially the shot representing Steve Trevor’s first sight of Diana. HOLY WOW [insert heart emojis here].)
  • Speaking of “first sight”, the first time we see her in her actual “Wonder Woman costume” was very powerful to me.
  • Hey, this film WAS SHOT ON ACTUAL FILM! Listen, Joe Moviegoer: you don’t care. Shot on digital, shot of film, blah blah blah; as long as the movie is good, right? Sure. BUT for someone like me, it’s great to see grain and shallow depth of field on the big screen again. (insert more heart emojis here)
  • There’s a really cool sequence where an oil painting moves, and the end credits also have this very interesting animation style to them. Yay, animation!
  • Let’s face it: No one really enjoyed Man of Steel (except me) and for the most part, both Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad weren’t well made movies. All the DC movies so far have been just “eh”. Marvel really slam dunked with Iron Man (in terms of quality entertainment), and now DC has their Iron Man movie to hopefully help us forget the poor starts.
  • All in all, this should be a very empowering movie. It’s about the first female superhero, it’s directed by a female and has a very clear (albeit overdone) message about something that is sadly kind of disappearing in the modern world.
  • “TANK you very much!” COULD HAVE been a line in the movie, but I’m glad it wasn’t written by Freddy Kreuger.
  • Final Letter Grade: A-

Jose Zuazua is editor-in-chief of Quick Lunch Break Reviews. He has an associates degree in film production. He’s on twitter (twitter.com/josezuazua) and instagram (instagram.com/josezuazua).

Wondercon (2017)

  • I didn’t read a lot of comics when I was a kid with the exception of the Archie Comics and the little comics they would give you at Bob’s Big Boy (yes I am aging myself). I knew a few of my friends were really into it and have been more than a few times but this was my first exposure into this world and thought I would start with something small, hence going to Wonder Con.
  • SIZE – Small is an understatement. There was so many people that I think my eyes were going to pop out of my head.
  • COSTUMES – A truly spectacular site! So much craftsmanship and love going to everything I saw. I was amazed and I don’t know if I would have the time and the patience!
  • MERCHANDISE – Possibly everything you can imagine, including mystery boxes and bags you can buy from $5-$100 plus the monthly subscription boxes you can create yourself. Truly beyond measure!
  • PARKING – just driving out to Anaheim (which is easier then probably driving down to San Diego) is a bit of a stretch. Combine that with looking for parking for an hour is enough to make your nerves fry. And you could not park on the residential streets without a permit! What’s a girl to do? I found a couple of hotels that charged $40 (yes$40) to park there unless you park all the way down to Angels Stadium and take the shuttle. And not being too familiar with Anaheim (and no signs telling me where the stadium was), I opted for the $40 parking spot which put a hole in my heart and my wallet. If I were to plan it out better, maybe next year I’ll stay down there at a hotel (or crash on my cousin’s couch) and go to Wonder Con.
  • AUTOGRAPHS – I wondered around the convention center seeing all the beautiful (and pricey) works of art, comics and unique toys but when it came to seeing the different celebrities and seeing how much they would charge for just an autograph? I mean I like the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld, I don’t think I would pay $30 for his autograph. And it said Lou Ferrigno was going to make an appearance, but I didn’t see him there. I would have paid $30 for a Lou Ferrigno autograph because he has more star power than Soup Nazi.
  • CROWDS – I generally don’t have a problem with crowds and the convention center is big enough to hold a lot of people. Just trying to get into the convention center was like trying to squeeze into a size 2 when you’re a size 14.Virtually impossible.
  • MERCHANDISE – I’m putting this here as well because as much as it was awesome to see all those things, you need a RIDICULOUS amount of cash if you intend to purchase anything. I probably spent at least $50 on 5 items. Not that it wasn’t worth it but if you want something that’s either creative or something from your favorite show, you might want to take out a loan.
  • FOOD – <SIGH> Where do I begin. Not really a lot of choices. It might be smarter to bring your own food or snacks. For what they had available they charged way too much for. If I want to pay $15 dollars for a burger, I’ll go to The Counter. They had food trucks outside, but again WAY too expensive.
  • So the question is will I go again? Most likely because I did enjoy myself. I would just have to tweak things around and save some money at least just for the hotel.
  • Final Letter Grade: B-

Veronica Zuazua-Kuznets is a girl who was always curious about Comic Con but had never gone. She’s a big fan of Downton Abbey. Tweet her here (https://twitter.com/admrlackbarsbae) and on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/verzuakuz).

Alien: Covenant

  • It’s great to see my second favorite movie monster, the “Xenomorph” (that’s the name of the actual “alien” for those unfamiliar) again, even if it is for a short time.
  • The orchestral score by Jed Kurzel is very good.
  • And so’s the cinematography by Dariusz Wolski.
  • Hey, Guy Pearce!
  • There are a few sequences in this movie that are absolutely terrific.
  • But…
  • The plot / story line of the actual movie feels quite unfocused and scenes drag in attempt to hammer blatant points, and one of those attempts in particular had me swallowed in disbelief by how self-indulgent, pretentious and egotistical it was.
  • Speaking of dragging, the pace of the movie is very slow for the entire first hour, then ZIPS through the last.
  • I began to fall asleep within the first half hour of the movie, and I HARDLY fall asleep during movies in the theater (no comment on seeing movies at home).
  • This movie is a sequel to the movie Prometheus, which was a prequel to the entire Alien franchise, and that Alien franchise has never been one to cop to cheap jokes that demeans it’s characters. In Prometheus, there’s a bong joke. In this movie, there’s a cheap sequence that feels so out of place, I felt like I was watching one of those shitty 80’s slasher movies that had shitty characters making really shitty decisions.
  • There was one sequence that was so silly, it made me question the entire purpose and direction of the film.
  • Also, if both Prometheus and Alien: Covenant take place BEFORE Alien, ALIENS, Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection, then why is the technology of the past better and more advanced? Speaking of advancement, how are the androids and Xenomorphs themselves more advanced than the ones the in the future?
  • If you don’t like movie blood, then don’t see this. It’s the goriest of all the movies.
  • Towards the end of the movie I started thinking: How many Ridley Scott directed movies have I actually seen and of those, how many do I actually like? The answer to the first question is seven. The man has directed 40 films and I’ve only seen seven. But how many of them did I actually enjoy? ONE. And that was Hannibal, the Silence of the Lambs sequel that I only saw once when it came out in the theater SIXTEEN YEARS AGO. Taking that film out, I’ve seen the other major Ridley Scott films: Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, and Prometheus. Why don’t I like the movies? The answer is simple: the characters that he oversees are characters I just don’t care for. Maybe a little care was given towards Maximus in Gladiator, but I feel like his movies are very cold and emotionally disconnected. Sure, people can talk about introducing Ripley in Alien, but Ripley did not become the ICONIC, WARM-HEARTED BADASS that everyone loves until the sequel ALIENS, which was written and directed by James “Titanic” Cameron. Ridley Scott gives me nothing to connect to, and no one to root for.
  • It’s a good thing I had a free ticket.
  • Final Letter Grade: D+

    Jose Zuazua is editor-in-chief of Quick Lunch Break Reviews. He has an associates degree in film production. He’s on twitter (twitter.com/josezuazua) and instagram (instagram.com/josezuazua).

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

– Is only 15 minutes longer than the first BUT it feels much longer due to their being multiple subplots that slow down the middle of the movie. They eventually get resolved (and resolved greatly) but this one definitely felt longer to me.
– Every main character (including some supporting ones from the first movie) get to do more with their characters this time around (see subplot note above).
– The pop soundtrack is back, and once again the chosen songs help define the emotions of specific scenes.
– There are some cheap jokes in this one, which disconnected me from the movie at times. I’m not a fan of them.
– If you’ve ever seen James Gunn’s earlier film “Super” (trailer here), you’ll realize that he has a DEEP understanding of what a “hero” actually is, and how necessary it is to become and stay righteous.
– The Milano is a beautiful ship (as are the space battles that appear in the movie [that’s not a spoiler, ok? It takes place in space. Do the math.]).
– The film has heavy father-son themes, and made me think A LOT about my Dad, and how I miss him. I haven’t cried in & after a movie like this in…………………………….ever.
– Final Letter Grade: A

Jose Zuazua is editor-in-chief of Quick Lunch Break Reviews. He has an associates degree in film production. He’s on twitter (twitter.com/josezuazua) and instagram (instagram.com/josezuazua).

The Terminator Tech Noir Shootout

The coordination of this scene is IMPECCABLE, and is a masterclass in editing:
– Sarah ducking at the last moment.
– The slow motion dancing (and MAN I LOVE that song).
– The slow motion meeting of eyes with Kyle Reese.
– ALL THE SLOW MOTION.
– The dance music fading into terror as the T-800 sees it’s target.
– We go from people having fun to people fearing for their lives in a matter of seconds.
– The scene DRIPS with suspense as we know Arnold is there to kill her and doesn’t care that she’s in a crowded nightclub. It’s James Cameron channeling Alfred Hitchcock.

Jose Zuazua is editor-in-chief of Quick Lunch Break Reviews. He has an associates degree in film production. He’s on twitter (twitter.com/josezuazua) and instagram (instagram.com/josezuazua).

The Jungle Book (2016)

– I’ve never seen (that I can remember) the original animated Jungle Book movie that Disney is remaking with this live-action version. 90% of my exposure to it comes from the 90’s Disney-spinoff-cartoon “Tailspin”, which featured Baloo the bear as a cargo freight pilot and only Shere Khan and King Louie returning. That was a fun show, with a catchy theme song (as many 90’s cartoons had).
– It’s amazing how realistic this mostly blue-screen/CGI version turned out. Some of them dang animals look pretty doggone real. Did the same team work on this that worked on Beauty & the Beast? The CGI in that WAS NOT good at all (see our review to that movie here).
– Bill Pope is THE BEST CINEMATOGRAPHER working right now. His team creates incredible compositions. What’s a cinematographer you ask?
“sinəməˈtäɡrəfər”/noun:
1. a person who oversees or directs photography and camerawork in movie-making, especially one who operates the camera.

      “the film has been shot by an award-winning cinematographer”
Who’s Bill Pope you still ask? Just the cinematographer behind:
The Matrix, Army of Darkness, Spider-Man 2, Scott Pilgrim vs the World and some pretty awesome music videos like Metallica’s “One”.
– Jon Favreau has a very nice resume BUT also please see “Chef”. That movie is great.
– The movie really hooked me with Bill Murray’s Baloo (Bill Murray has that effect on movies) but I FELL IN LOVE WITH IT during their rendition of the classic “Bare Necessities” song. SO GREAT.
– Shere Khan is a very menacing, intimidating villain and Idris Elba has a very menacing, intimidating voice, which makes them a match made in heaven (or a jungle).
– (insert Jose’s usual rant about lazy screenwriters recycling the same dialog from other movies over and over and over again comment here).
– This movie actually made me want to read the book, which I’ve never wanted to read. Books, check ’em out.
– Final Letter Grade: A-

Jose Zuazua is editor-in-chief of Quick Lunch Break Reviews. He has an associates degree in film production. He’s on twitter (twitter.com/josezuazua) and instagram (instagram.com/josezuazua).

13 Going on 30 Thriller Dance

– Look at how happy everyone gets in this scene. I’m not much of a dancer AT ALL, but dancing gives people joy. Seeing people with utter joy on their faces is something very wondrous and beautiful.
– Thriller is a great party song, and one great song can really liven up dead space.
– That handshake.

Absolutely fantastic.

Jose Zuazua is editor-in-chief of Quick Lunch Break Reviews. He has an associates degree in film production. He’s on twitter (twitter.com/josezuazua) and instagram (instagram.com/josezuazua).