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Brief and not-so-brief opinions: Part 1

"I saw it a little while ago, but, um…yeah, I remember, uh, you know, it was…I liked it." -Carl from Enemy

By 'Vive AkughaPublished 11 months ago Updated 2 months ago 18 min read
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Collage of Posters from different sources

Manifest, Hypnotic(2021), Citadel, Love Tactics, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, Nothing to Hide, Inside Job, Young, Famous and African, Spanglish, Enemy, Self/less, Luckiest girl alive, and Behind her eyes.

First!

I have made several changes and I now have a schedule! I will be posting on the first and last Friday of each month starting from August. The first post will be a focused article(on a show, movie, character or topic) and the second post will be my opinions on some watches (movies and/or shows). You could subscribe to my new mailing list for updates and more.

That aside…

The 'brief and not-so-brief opinions' articles are my outlet to rant about or appreciate movies and shows as well as their elements. I will express my thoughts while watching and after or only after watching, it depends. I will not be rating. These are not spoiler free for the most part and no research will be made for or about them(unless curious or accidental which would be mentioned). They are in no particular order of recent watching as well. However, the opinions are in order of viewing the movie or show (for the most part). This wouldn't be as structured or detailed as well and there will be no set number of picks per article, it would be just as things go. It is intended to be casual. So think, conversations about movie plots, characters, topics-so something like that.

This is the first of many in my lined-up list of brief and not-so-brief articles and I've created a list for you to visit and revisit if you miss it or are curious for more. This will be a staple in my monthly postings. Thank you! If you have any opinions to share feel free to comment or let me know at [email protected]

To the opinions, brief and not-so-brief…

Manifest (2023)

Image Credit: Screenshot from Netflix on YouTube

Such a remarkable show. It's one of the best things I've ever been recommended to watch. I haven't finished it yet but I really wanted to mention this. I liked Ben. After his doubts, he was relentless in saving Cal, his family and others. I really liked Mick she was empathetic, open to miracles, hopeful, determined and relentless too. Same as Saanvi. I liked their group with Vance and others. There are so many Biblical and mythical tones to the show that teaches empathy and assistance. There is a curiosity about purpose and paths as well as being called for a greater good or bad. So happy I was suggested this because it is wonderful. Congratulations to the cast and a 'well done' for their performances! I saw that they said 'Thank you' and surprised great fans on the Still Watching Netflix Youtube channel.

One thing I do want to ask is….do we feel bad for Lourdes or not? Because I was going to add her to my These characters didn't deserve this list. I thought she might appear again before the end of the show but because I have not finished it, I searched IMDB and she indeed did not return.

Lourdes deserved more?

Lourdes was introduced as Jared's wife and best friend to Mick. Mick was one of the passengers on Flight 828 that was affected by the 5-year difference. Before the flight took off, she contemplated and decided to accept her then Boyfriend, Jared's proposal. We see the message does not go through, therefore it is not relayed to him that she wanted that or is interested. 

So when she came back 5 years later, a lot of confusion and other feelings are shared between the three of them. Jared wants to get back with Mick and cheats on Lourdes, Mick feels betrayed but conflicted because Lourdes never forgot her despite marrying her boyfriend, and Lourdes is deeply apologetic. It was sad because you would always feel like you were settled for which is not always bad (depending)but would make you feel like the second choice as she confessed she felt. 

She felt awful and desperate for Mick's approval to be with Jared. She still cared for her. She also made posts on Facebook remembering her, praying for her and wishing her a happy birthday each year. She tried to bond with her again but it was awkward. Lourdes had lost two of her best friends, lost her husband (who honestly was pushing it with Mick) and lost the possibility of a child with Jared. To be fair, the relationship was kind of doomed because they trauma-bonded over losing Mick, so much so that when the issue causing the trauma was resolved (ie. Mick coming back) they unravelled. It was messed up and Mick did say that Lourdes always thought Jared was great but I still felt bad for her especially knowing that they thought she died as the plane disappeared. Although, maybe this was what she needed to grow. We don't know much about her and she is not referenced again after speaking to Mick the last time but I hope the best for her, whatever that looks like.

Also, I want to mention that Danny was great.

Enemy (2013)

Image Credit: Screenshot from Rotten Tomatoes Trailers on YouTube

I watched this as a recommendation and with the negative reviews in mind. I found it weird but more interesting than expected. I found that Adam was the double or clone or whatever it seemed. This becomes obvious when he visits his mother who talks about his dream to be an actor (that Anthony is) and asked if he wanted blueberries (which Anthony likes). Also, Adam had a ripped part of the picture Anthony had. I felt bad for Mary because she slept with Anthony thinking it was Adam and died in the car accident as Anthony tried to push her out of the car. Adam should have warned her because Helen knew both of them existed and could tell the difference which they point out when she asked Adam who was posing to be Anthony how class was that day. Also, it was interesting that Helen was confused when she called Anthony after talking to Adam. I got the part of the conversation but the call was answered after he turned the corner, it would have been better if she still saw him walking and then got through to Anthony. Despite the research, we still didn't get the essence of the spider depictions, an explanation for Adam and Anthony, and other things but an article from Vulture.com helped a bit as they drew from several backgrounds to make sense of things. Otherwise, the movie is rather slow. I didn't prefer the tint as well but I found it interesting that the Canadian representation is boredom, haha.

Ask Taktikleri//Love Tactics (2022)

Image Credit: Screenshot from Netflix Türkiye on YouTube

I was genuinely surprised they didn't just let her through at the airport, being a recognizable personality and all. I liked that a ticket was booked for her instead of some unexplained access to the plane. It was simple but smart regardless of its ineffectiveness. Also, I liked that the cursing and screaming are what made the men move after trying to make them root for love. It was more realistic since they had no real reason to hinder their work. Asli and Kerem as the title explains played love tactics with each other. They bet their friend group and readers(Asli) that they could get someone to fall in love with them, then the games began. Although, despite their joyous reunion at the end of the movie, another game begins for Asli and Kerem in the sequel. Love Tactics 2 will be coming out on Netflix on July 14th.

Video Credit: Netflix on YouTube

Young, Famous and African (2023)

Image credit: Screenshot from AfricaonNetflix on YouTube

I watched season one and wrote about it on Black Ottawa Scene. I liked season two. It was a good follow-up of season one with various references. There were new settings, outfits, cast and conflicts. The new additions to the cast were great. I felt the development in all areas with this season. It continued where the previous season ended with Zari, Andile and Diamond. I was happy for Kayleigh and the development of her relationship with Naked. It's a big change from the first season when they were going to therapy and she said he wasn't romantic enough. I liked the change with Luis as the episodes kept on. He seemed more genuine and personable. I liked the scene with him, Zari and Khanyi because they kept looking at him and including him in the discussion. Annie said that people just want her to say he messed up which is true to a point but people think she's hopelessly in love with him and hope she's happy and can be an individual (ie. mentally strong etc.). In the first season, I remember him saying to Khanyi that he is sometimes surprised about how much she loves him and after seeing season 1, we can only hope for the best for her. I still like Andile and Annie's friendship. The conflict resolution between Annie and Swanky through Andile was pure. This season was much more hopeful and positive. This season ends with Diamond leaving after he and Fantana exchange that they love each other. They did well this season. A lot of them were more understanding and accepting of change. Season 1 had seven episodes while Season 2 has 9. In this season they still showed off African locations, African attire and African languages as we learn more about their backgrounds, desires, conflicts, and relationships.

Spanglish (2004)

Image Credit: Screenshot from FilmTrailersChannel on YouTube

Flor is a powerhouse. I loved her determination and heart. Adam was great in this movie. When watching the trailer, I saw someone's comment saying that this is the best Adam Sandler movie to them (or something like this ) and I agree (at least, that I've seen). What was up with Deborah, really? Deborah's lack of care and understanding for Bernice was horrifying especially when she expressed that care to Christina. It's her generational trauma as she felt her mother, Evelyn was terrible during her formative years. Although, I liked Evelyn. Ohhh, I see the pattern again. Evelyn was patient with Flor and not her daughter even when she was giving her advice to avoid continuing her affair, it seemed comical because Deb's a mess but it really was not the best way to talk to one's daughter. There's so much love in this movie though, it's a great watch. The actress, Shelbie did great as Christina. I also saw in the comment section that people hated the ending but I was content with it. If they ended up together, truly, how would that have gone? Despite Deb's demeanour, she was right about being on the same page to have a united front but her methods and everything else were not the best.

Self/less (2015)

Image Credit: Screenshot from Rotten Tomatoes Trailers on YouTube

My favourite Ryan Reynolds performance. I first knew of him from RIPD but it was interesting seeing this contrast from his other characters that people say is just his sarcastic personality. He's one of Canada's favourites as he's gotten the Governor General's performing arts award and an upcoming street named after him. People love his personality and we know that sarcasm from his movies, ads (Aviation gin, Nuvei) and interactions. He loves Canada and Canada loves him too. The movie was good. I liked Matthew Goode's performance as well(I also liked him in Leap Year).

Inside Job (2022)

Image Credit: Screenshot from Netflix on YouTube

Incredibly disappointed it got cancelled especially when we were left off with a lot emotionally. We got to learn and bond with the characters a lot more and season two would have been excellent to watch more of Reagan's growth, the Robes' plan for her, her friendship with Brett, Rand's imprisonment and most of all how Ron's doing (if his memory was truly erased or not, if he remembers her or not, and if he's happy now or not).

Le Jeu//Nothing to hide (2018)

Image Credit: Screenshot from Movies BestTrailers on YouTube

I watched this a while ago but it was really good. As you watch, you guess who's secret will be revealed next and the severity of it in the midst of the tension. It was interesting to see that Marie was in fact the wrong one in her relationship after it was set up to believe otherwise. I liked Vincent's relationship with their daughter, Margot. I wish Léa still knew about Thomas's affair and unborn child and I wish she found out about Marie being a terrible friend in an affair with Thomas. Marco and Charlotte could have fixed their relationship but oh well. Liked that Ben was protecting Julien and that Marco was protecting Ben. There were so many explosive emotions all at once testing their relationships and friendships. However, they remain blissful or unblissful in ignorance to be unaware of the truths they shared while leaving the audience incredibly concerned for them.

Behind her eyes (2021)

Image Credit: Screenshot from Netflix on YouTube

Creeped me out. Felt bad for David and Poor Adam. Will they ever be free?

Luckiest girl alive (2022)

Image Credit: Screenshot from Netflix on YouTube

While this was deeply traumatic, I always wondered why she didn't use the recording she had of him as evidence.

Hypnotic (2021)

Image Credit: Screenshot from Netflix on YouTube
  • Terrifyingly capturing opener
  • 'Collin Meade' sounds like such a bland yet solid name. It sounds like it should be Connor though. [Ohhh, now I know where I was making the connection. It's Matthew McConaughey's Ghost of Girlfriends Past character]
  • It's funny how her friend's encouragement in this type of movie feels like a motivated trap similar to a cult recruitment but it's just encouragement because she really isn't doing well.
  • All these interesting forms of therapy
  • Oh, girl, no.
  • He's giving stalker. It's giving I visited you in your dreams, like in Behind her eyes.
  • I DON'T BELIEVE A WORD HE'S TELLING HER ABOUT HIMSELF.
  • uhn uhn, he's doing little things.
  • Clean shots though.
  • What is his aim here? To make her feel worse and make him her anchor? He keeps saying only you have the power which has some weight but ..
  • He's telling her to have faith and trust him
  • Her friend, Gina not believing her and blaming the other woman to be crazy is crazy. You gotta be open to some conspiracies sometimes (as it seems).
  • Oh yikes, she WAS hypnotized by Meade! So, she was projecting.
  • This is SUCH a bad idea, Jennifer. SUCH A BAD IDEA sis
  • He's hypnotizing Brunettes? well, except Gina.
  • oh, NO, GINAAAA AND SCOTT too wow.
  • Oh, don't drink the scotch Detective Rollins.
  • Don't tell him your plans!!!
  • How does he know his problem of insomnia? Hmmm
  • Oh, good God, he's gonna die.
  • Shit! He came here. Shut up, he's an evolved Joe Goldberg!
  • NOOOOO, he was doing good things and trying to be helpful! NOOOOO
  • Oh yay, he's safe.
  • Brian still isn't awake? wow
  • What if she's a recruit? Nah, I don't trust the therapist either.
  • oh, yay, she's not bad but yikes he's smart. This is scary asl
  • Sis don't go to HIM, especially alone. What if this is a trap by Xavier or Collins or both?
  • And she entered the house unwelcomed! AND IT SHUT IMMEDIATELY?
  • Of course, that's his dad! Oh, he was giving her suggestions in her head.
  • Detective Rollins is really helpful.
  • Trying to re-create his dead wife, not trial and error.
  • I knew he was getting into her dreams.
  • How did his wife die, truly? Cause it's sus.
  • Good God, poor Jenn. I fear for Wade(Detective Rollins).
  • Jenn kind of reminds me of Allyiah from Allyiahs face.
  • Yes for Dr. Graham's plan working!
  • Shit! Wade!
  • Yessss, she did it!
  • Wow, Brian still isn't awake. I mean, he could've died. I'm not belittling it, I'm just surprised he didn't wake up before the movie ended.
  • Yayyyy, Wade made it!!
  • Well, you have been warned, be careful if you choose to do guided meditations or hypnosis.
  • RIP Gina and Scott. I guess she thought he might not do anything to her because she wasn't alone but she was wrong. What he says is not incriminating but vaguely activating and he often calls with no caller ID.
  • Jen kept making the wrong moves, I get it she's desperate but nahhh. Even her trip to the house was not essential to know Collin's true identity because Wade (Detective Rollins) already ran his prints through the system to reconfirm that he is Xavier's son named Julian.
  • Collin definitely practiced hypnosis on Amy because why did he say she wanted to be a victim, insinuating that her mind was not strong enough to save her from his hypnosis or something. Maybe she figured out he was obsessive and wanted to run but he stopped her and in doing that she died. I believe this far more than her just dying. 
  • I enjoyed the movie!

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story (2023)

Image Credit: Screenshot from Netflix on YouTube
  • I felt India was going to deliver and she did. Everyone did so well! The casting was great! The hair, the outfits, everything was beautiful. I liked the title sequence as well.
  • I felt Agatha would have been a great Queen.
  • I loved Lord Ledger and Violet's relationship
  • I liked the scene with Princess Augusta and Lady Danbury when she broke down. It made us know that regardless of their race, the women still had to be goal-oriented and had endured unsavoury things to soar. They are indeed admirable advisories. It was also hilarious that she was shocked that she broke down like Agatha broke the script of their game but I liked the privacy and concern she showed. She was proud when Agatha got herself together.
  • Loved Coral and Brimsley
  • Felt bad for Charlotte
  • Felt bad for George
  • Did Reynolds die? Everyone thinks so (TikTok).
  • It was interesting seeing Charlotte's cheerfulness deplete over time and only shine through when she was with George. She had to be tough enough to face the tribulations.
  • I liked Lord Ledger and Agatha. It's the 5th affair I've rooted for. (I have the 1st-4th in my other upcoming articles)
  • Violet is so pure. It was nice to see that she has always been kind.
  • Agatha and Adolphus would have been great, but she chose herself despite wanting Lord Ledger. Arsema was great!
  • I saw a video (an interview clip actually)of Corey, Arsema and India being asked their favourite lines and mine is "There is reason they wanted me". I like "Sorrows, Sorrows. Prayers." too.
  • The weight of the race weighed on Agatha.
  • Agatha being betrothed at three was insane, INSANE.
  • The origin stories were needed for all the ladies
  • It was needed for Brimsley as well because I don't recall if it was season one or two of Bridgerton but he was depicted as particularly chatty or something. I liked this. It was needed to see more of him and his growth with Charlotte.
  • Because of some people's thumbnails, I thought the doctor kidnapped him or something but they actually gave consent when needed, even to his extreme measures (despite his growing need to humble and order the King).
  • He was strange though and I was so glad that Charlotte came in to save him when she did.
  • Although he wasn't wrong (in a way) that his nerves activate it. It seems to be triggered by his anxiety.
  • I know the show is fiction based on facts (for the most part) but I've seen some factual (and other Bridgerton and Queen Charlotte)information on TikTok from creators; Boitumelo Malunga, Aynsley Broom, and History with Amy.
  • The show explains a lot from the previous Bridgerton series as well. I liked that this explains why she has numerous Pomeranians around her after her first impression of said "deformed bunny". She wants to be close to George and his heart because he gave her the Pomeranian from his caged life to show that they will be free soon. She holds on to that hope still as Brimsley said she's stuck in time, forever his queen.
  • I saw on TikTok that to avoid any confusion for George, she did not adapt to wearing the simpler clothes worn in the Regency era like the other ladies.
  • I also saw that in reality, she died before him
  • I loved the scene of Charlotte embracing Edward. It was sad but hopeful. It was seemingly the first moment she ever showed Edward (and probably any of her children) love. She finally broke through to show emotion and Edward was hopeful despite the rarity of it. They had criticized her for being their Queen and not their mother so this was a hopeful moment as her desperation for a legitimate heir was calmed with the possibility. I thought that she also just wanted to have good news to tell George about continuing their line.

Citadel(2023)

Image Credit: Screenshot from Prime Video on YouTube

I didn't finish it but these are my opinions from the first episode of six.

  • Biased because I like Priyanka Chopra-Jonas as an agent and like Stanley Tucci, so I am optimistic but cautiously so because of the headlines I saw about it being a waste of $300 million or so. So I'm even more encouraged to watch.
  • It's portraying their skill so much that it seems comical. Like leaning into the 'spy, spy, spy' in the first couple minutes of the first episode.
  • For example, Stanley's character talks about Nadia being a spy and then the language battle between Nadia and Richard's character. I understand it's purpose is to show off their relationships and expertise but it could be different.
  • I didn't like that Richard's character didn't even bother to pretend to the cover guy. He was about to follow the target but Nadia stopped him and they kissed, which the cover guy saw. However, as Nadia follows the target, the cover guy follows her and Mason (Richard's character) follows him.
  • Mason tells the cover guy to stop by calling his attention, he said 'hey pal' and the man actually stopped. 
  • Then instead of lying first or something at least, he said that he knows how this is going to go right? and they start fighting. Why didn't he try something different or humourous which we know he has a bit of from his interaction with Nadia but he didn't. He could've asked why the cover guy was following his girl or something, especially since they kissed and he saw that.
  • Hmmm
  • Oof that was a bad hit
  • It's a trap?! NADIA!! 
  • oh, is this how they lose their memory?
  • Mason has been doing well.
  • Huh, he won!
  • That's twisted 
  • Oh, shit!
  • Well, who is he?
  • Oh, yay!
  • They do work well together
  • Ohhh, he's awake??!! 
  • No!!!
  • Manticore hmm?
  • Oh that was horrible. Despite the tragedy, I like the scene of the end part of the train car falling into the water.
  • hmmm
  • Wouldn't that be his fake identity?
  • I mean, he kind of had to be a ghost for his job
  • Ha, this would be so horrible to wake up to.
  • Oh, time jump… interesting.
  • There are a lot of tints/colour changes.
  • Dad? He has a family now? How did he go from being a ghost to being a father and husband with a home in the woods, I would actually like to see that.
  • Oh, the crash triggered the memory of his crash…hmm
  • Oh, he's in therapy?
  • Yes, he deserves to know. That's actually a good plan (well, if he knew if she survived or not)
  • Hahaha at least he's honest
  • Hmmm. Oh, he worked for Manticore.
  • Yikes, she could just say there would be consequences 
  • Bernard's alive?
  • WHAT THE…?
  • Jesus, man, you could have left him. Technically, I know he couldn't but still…
  • Kids. Why would they tell her that? They really said there will be a bombing, a war and an outbreak of cannibalism when she would be eaten. That's crazy.
  • Hendrix asking 'do you want to remember?' is probably the most important thing he's heard in a while.
  • They better not touch the kid
  • This is kind of horrible. Questioning everything, trying to have the memories last a bit more, and trying to make sense of things.
  • Does his current wife know that he was probably, maybe married before?
  • Bwahahaha he knocked him down
  • I'm surprised he didn't fight him. Not naturally, I'm surprised that subconsciously his skills didn't kick in and then he questions it
  • The gas dispenser is cool
  • This is absolutely horrible for Hendrix though
  • Ohhh, Marjorie snapped back 
  • Hmm Dahlia is interesting 
  • Hahaha the wife introduction was good
  • Ohhh, now I get why he didn't tell the cover guy any jokes or anything-he's impatient and easily agitated or perturbed or enraged.
  • Aw that was cute(the gift for names diss)
  • We're getting more personality!!
  • Crazy
  • Oh, NOW we get the skills? well, to be fair this is his reflex.
  • Well, it's not like he has a choice now hahaha.
  • Nadia!!! 
  • Oh, poor Abby's going to be out of the picture. Or maybe not, hmmm.
  • I didn't notice this until I had to promote this article on Instagram but, we have two people with the last names Archer and Kane in this as well. Ha! LANAAAAAA…
  • It seems good so far and it got better as the episode played on. I'm hopeful about the remaining episodes.

If you enjoyed this, for more of my articles:

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About the Creator

'Vive Akugha

I write on various things: social issues, well-being, cinema and out of curiosity. More!

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