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Escape Room Movie Review by Ms. H

Disclaimer:  The views expressed here are mine alone and do not represent those of

Introduction to Escape Room Movie Review by Ms. H

When I saw the movie poster for the Escape Room film a few months ago, I was curious as to what the movie was all about. I came to the conclusion that puzzles would be involved because puzzle pieces appeared on one of the main actor’s faces on the promo poster. However, when I actually walked into the movie theater and took my seat -- I did not know what to expect from this movie. Did I like what I saw? Check out my movie review to find out.

Note:  There are a number of spoiler alerts in my movie review, so if you plan to see Escape Room, I recommend you see it first before reading my review any further.

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Plot of Escape Room

Of late, some movies seem to be going back to the previous years’ playbook where someone can watch an entire movie and find out the actions taking place on screen did not actually take place in the story as shown.  For instance the story you thought you were watching was either the product of some one’s imagination, a dream, flashback, etc. Think of movies such as a Beautiful Mind, the Recruit, Tully and many others.

Spoiler alert: This is true for the movie Escape Room. Unbeknownst to me -- I thought the events in the movie were actually taking place until the end when I found out maybe it was all someone’s imagination.  

Back to the plot -- It looks like several people were sole survivors in catastrophic events. During certain parts of the film, you see a flashback of the actual incidents that happened where they were the only survivors. These sole survivors are beckoned to participate in the ultimate reality type game that involve escaping dangerous, life-threatening rooms -- under the guise of winning a prize of $10,000.

I could  understand why two people were lured into this game -- the character who likes to solve puzzles, a mine worker, a veteran, and another who enjoyed games. However, it is an enigma to me why one person chose to participate -- but he did. This character was an executive played by Jay Ellis, who did not seem to be wanting for money. However, as the movie progresses, you may figure out that in many cases, he acted as the leader in the game, even though in some aspects he may have seemed crude and rude.

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Acting Skills Displayed in Escape Room Movie

For the most part, the actors played their role adequately.  One of the youngest actor, Taylor Russell who played the role of Zoey Davis began with a rocky start saying her lines -- but warmed up and got better as the movie progressed.  Spoiler alerts: One of her best acting scenes was when she made a decision to physically destroy the  cameras -- even though this could of course have been done by her stunt-double.

Conflict in the Escape Room Movie

As can be expected, with limited resources in these rooms, there was going to be a level of camaraderie as well as self-preservation and quest to survive.  As the intensity of the escape room games increased, you may begin to wonder who will survive.

Were the Events in the Escape Room Movie Actually Happening?

This is the question you may ask yourself as the movie progresses.  Spoiler Alert:  During the end of the movie, it looks like the youngest member of the group survived and was trying to show the detectives where the events occurred.  This scene gave me the impression that maybe the events did happen.

However, during the course of the movie, there were only two actual survivors of the game-- Taylor Russell’s and Nik Dodani characters. Spoiler alerts:  During the final scenes,  Taylor Russell’s character is trying to coax him to come with her to search for something or someone -- which I was unfortunately, not too clear on. So the question still stands, if the events shown in the movie really happened to the characters or was it all in someone’s imagination.

Spoiler alert:  To add to the confusion, the movie ends with what looks to be an airplane disaster -- which in reality was an acting crew pretending that a disaster occurred.  Go figure.

Assessment of the Escape Room Movie

Unfortunately,  I’m unable to give the Escape Room a high rating.  You may walk away from this movie with lots of questions.  This may be frustrating to some and may be interesting to others.  As for me, I am neutral on this movie and will leave it up to you if you want to watch it or not. Personally, I think a movie is worthwhile seeing when it is entertaining, suspenseful, informative, or add some type of value.   I can only say that the movie Escape Room was at least suspenseful even it it was not all that entertaining to watch.

Based on a rating of 1 star to 5 stars with 5 stars being the highest, I rate the Escape Room movie 2 stars.


Second Act Movie Review by Ms. H

Disclaimer:  The views expressed here are mine alone and do not represent those of

Introduction to Second Act Movie Review by Ms. H

Did you know that at one time Jennifer Lopez had a number one album (J.Lo) and movie (The Wedding Planner) during the the same week -- back in 2001?  I think she was at the height of her career during that period. The good news is Jennifer Lopez shows no signs of slowing down. Her latest movie is called Second Act which can be described as a comedy drama, leaning more on the comedy genre.  Should you drop everything and rush out to see Second Act? Check out my movie review to find out.

Pros of Second Act Movie

Adequate Movie Length:  The movie, Second Act  is not that long, lasting only 1 hour, 45 minutes. If you decide to see it, you will not have to allot a lot of time out of your day to do so.  With some movies lasting more than 2 hours or more, a film that lasts a reasonable length of time is a welcome change.

Relatable Storyline: I think many people can relate to the plot of the movie which is Jennifer Lopez’s character's quest to get a better job or career -- minus the deceit. This is the essence of the storyline of Second Act.

Fashion: I give the wardrobe staff passing marks for choosing Jennifer Lopez’s outfits for this movie. They also selected the perfect outfit for her demo/promotional poster as well.

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Cons of Second Act Movie

Coinciding Plots: I label this section “Coinciding Plots" because in addition to getting a better job under false pretenses including using a fake resume, etc., there is another plot dealing with a daughter that Jennifer Lopez’s character gave up for adoption that manifests itself in the movie.

Low Laugh Factor:  Unfortunately, Second Act is not one of those laugh out loud type movies.  You will see her slip and fall and trading slaps with one of her costars, which were more slapstick humor and were not really funny to me.  Additionally, actress Leah Remiini is the comedy relief for the movie -- but she was not that funny.

Slow-Motion Action: Of the many camera tricks done for movies, one of the least favorite for me is the slow motion action.  Even though eliminating this action would not have improved the movie much -- in my opinion, it is annoying to see this camera trick done.

Poor Acting Skills of  Vanessa Hudgens:  Vanessa Hudgens who played Jennifer Lopez’s character's estranged adopted daughter, needed more acting lessons.  During supposedly sad parts of the movie, she continued to have a bright smile on her face as if everything was fine. I think she needs to learn to adapt her facial expressions for the specific scene she’s appearing in.

Cliche-heavy movie script:  I think the complete movie was a cliche starting from the plots to lots of the dialogue in the movie. In other words, there was nothing new to be seen in the movie. For example --  It is expected that Jennifer Lopez’s character would present herself falsely to get a job; that she would eventually come clean with it, and that she would leave the company due to her previous false pretenses.

Lack of suspense:  A little suspense was attempted to be added when the head of the company who adopted Jennifer Lopez’s daughter admitted he knew who she was all along -- even though he believed her false resume at first.  This revelation aimed to be suspenseful -- but was not.

Poor Ending: Spoiler Alert: At the end, the movie took a turn and changed focus to her adopted daughter instead of Jennifer Lopez.  You have to “assume” that Jennifer Lopez’s character went back to her old or similar job. Spoiler alert:  The movie ends with her daughter completing college, returning home to meet her mother on a jogging path, and the question is asked “What now?” Then they jog off together with Jennifer Lopez saying another cliche about everyday everyone has second chances. This is a good message, but is pure logic. It think the audience could have been spared these scenes if the movie had ended earlier.Second ActSecond Act

Assessment of Second Act Movie

I was not surprised regarding the caliber of movie Second Act was  after I saw the move trailer.  I knew it would be your typical television type sitcom that was playing on the big screen, probably because it was starring Jennifer Lopez.  To make this movie more enjoyable to watch, my recommendations are to have the movie storyline focused on either Jennifer Lopez’s character getting a job or having an adopted daughter (not both), add more funny lines, eliminate the slapstick and end the movie with Jennifer Lopez career in the spotlight. Probably show her making a decision to go to college or use some other means or training to get a better career legitimately.

To answer the question posed above -- I don’t think you should rush out to see Second Act.  This movie will be available to watch later on DVD or via some of the streaming services. 

Rating of Second Act

Based on a rating of 1 star to 5 stars, with 5 stars being the highest, I rate Second Act 1 ½ stars.

Bird Box Netflix Movie Review by Ms. H

Disclaimer:  The views expressed here are mine alone and do not represent those of

Introduction to Bird Box Netflix Movie Review by Ms. H

Unless you live under a rock (just kidding), you may have heard of the Netflix movie Bird Box starring Sandra Bullock.  The previous movie she appeared in was Ocean's 8; however, she seemed to have topped her performance in her latest movie Bird Box. This was not a surprise to me.  After winning an Oscar and many other acting awards, there was no doubt in my mind that Sandra Bullock would do this movie justice.

As a caution, there’s news of an internet “craze” called the Bird Box challenge where certain tasks are dared to be done while blindfolded -- in real life.  In fact, Netflix has sent a message warning people about these challenges. Along those lines, I found out that even though it looks like Sandra Bullock is blindfolded during the movie, she revealed in an interview that she was able to see the whole time. She was only acting like she couldn’t see. That being said, hopefully people will heed Netflix’s warning.

Sandra Bullock is Back in Bird Box

Sandra Bullock, like many other actors seems to be turning to Netflix for work.  I was glad to see that she has returned so soon after Ocean's 8.  Even though Bird Box is a Netflix movie, I think this is a film that could very well have appeared in movie theaters on the big screen.

Plot of Bird Box Movie

Bird Box has what I would consider a gruesome plot where people survive by not looking at certain alien creatures.  You can tell if someone looked at these creatures because their eyes would take on a glassy look and they sadly destroyed themselves, even if just a few moments prior they seemed to be so full of life. Sadly, this happened to a number of characters in the movie including Sarah Paulson who played the role of Sandra Bullock’s sister in the movie.

The story is told partially in a flashback from the present to the past and back to the present again. Additionally, In the movie, Sandra Bullock has a child. Without going into a lot of detail, she became responsible for two children -- one who was her own and the other who was the child of one of the victims of the alien creatures.  

Realism and Suspense in Bird Box Movie

WIthout the acting skills of Sandra Bullock, as well as the expert writing and directing, this film could have been a run of the mill Netflix movie.  However, Sandra Bullock as well as the other actors used their acting skills to make it seem as if such an outrageous phenomenal could actually happen. There is also an element of suspense when you really do not know what will happen to the people who have not yet succumbed to these alien creatures.

By the way, one of Sandra Bullock’s costars  was Trevante Rhodes who I gave accolades to for his acting skills in the movie Predator which I reviewed recently.

Camera Angles in the Bird Box Movie

I particularly liked one of the camera angles in this movie when Sandra Bullock is shown being very stern and seemed to be angrily giving instructions not to remove blindfolds to some people. In this scene, only her face is shown up close --  until you realize that she’s talking to two small children -- who are of course sometimes prone to either forget instructions or do not quite understand why they cannot take off their blindfolds.

Assessment of Bird Box Movie

As with most films, there were some shortcomings of this movie as well.  Spoiler alert: For example,  it seemed unlikely Sandra Bullock’s character and the two children would survive the rough waters while on a canoe during their journey to safety, especially after the canoe tilted over.  

Spoiler alert: Also, there was a scene while on the canoe where they met a man who seemed to have been exposed to the alien creatures. It was strange that he did not destroy himself but managed to attack Sandra Bullock.  I guess there were some exceptions. There could of course have been other unreal scenarios.

However, even with these “movie fails” which included the sad plot and the questionable ending of the movie -- I think Bird Box is a movie worthy of your time.  

Rating of Bird Box Movie

Based on a rating of 1 star to 5 stars with 5 stars being the highest, I rate Bird Box 5 stars.


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