With a long week ahead of you, treat yourself to a movie night with one of these two movies! We were fortunate to have Val Cameron in our studio to chat with us about her thoughts on these movies.
Even In My dreams
A family film with Utah ties. If you are looking for a family film and girls’ night out this weekend this may be what you should see. Made right here in Utah, you will have fun recognizing locations and people. It is an inspirational movie about a young girl, Sam Bradshaw, who loses her sister and then heads to Nashville to follow her dreams to become a singer. This is as all-American family film as you can get. Apple pie and Hallmark channel. You will also recognize Debra, Sam’s manager played by Little House on The Prairie Star Alison Arngrim, and she is just as spunky as Nellie was. The movie is a low-budget local film, and you can tell. It is endearing and for those that love the inspirational Hallmark feel, it hits the spot. For Cameron, it is for a younger, female audience that watches made for television movies. Not really an across-the-board audience film. It’s a little too clean-cut and predictable and at times it’s a little slow and cheesy.
The Suicide Squad
Don’t let the “The” in the title confuse you, this is a sequel to Suicide Squad. In James Gunn fashion (the director) The title is simple, but the movie is anything but. The original Suicide Squad movie from 2016 was one that DC fans were looking forward to. There was so much hype leading into the release we were seething for the Dark DC ensemble movie that we, as fans, felt we deserved. However, it was surrounded by many underwhelming other DC movies like Batman Vs Superman and Justice League. It fell victim to a script that got off track by studio heads changing the direction of the movie, many needed scenes with character development left on the cutting room floor and Warner Brothers running around with their heads cut off trying to compete with Deadpool instead of making the movie David Ayer set out to make. Needless to say, I was not a fan of the first Suicide Squad and the thought of another was not very enticing.
Now here we are in 2021 with James Gunn directing a no holds barred Suicide Squad movie with no interference. He was given full reign to make this movie as successful as The Guardians of The Galaxy movies, Avengers End Game and Infinity war, of which he was an executive producer. No pressure.
Walking into the screening Cameron had absolutely no expectations. Yes, she liked Gunns past films for the most part, but lately DC seems to fall short no matter what cast they are given and who is at the head of the ship. In this version of the film, we have Idris Elba as Bloodsport. He plays a similar character to Will Smith’s character in the original. A criminal father who is estranged from his daughter and flung into the Suicide Squad against his wishes. Luckily Elba got a better script and better director and no one at the studio second-guessing the dress they picked out for prom night. Elba does a great job as this reluctant leader of some of the strangest villains from the DC universe. I could watch him as Bloodsport in many other movies to come.
One of the highlights of the film is Margot Robbie back as Harley Quinn. She had prominent parts in the original movie and her own movie Birds of Prey, but it is her performance in this movie that really shines. She is strong, independent, full of Harley surprises and carries her own. I could not look away when she was on screen and I never got the cringe feeling in my stomach as a female, watching another female on screen, hoping that she would stop because she was embarrassing us. This film gave her the chance to show why Harley should be kept around in the franchise and maybe even leading her own Suicide Squad at some point.
Similar to the first film, the second film has a great cast of people. Similar to the first, but times 100, don’t get attached to some of the cast; most of them are gone before you get too attached to them. Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Viola Davis, Sylvester Stallone, Peter Capaldi, David Dashmalchain, Daniela Melchior, Michael Rooker, Pete Davidson and Nathan Fillion are just a few of the highlights.
The crew that ends up being the final suicide squad in the movie have great rhythm and chemistry with each other. You get attached to them. Viola Davis is even more cruel and powerful in this movie and Daniela Melchior is a shining light on screen. Oh, and John Scena was funny, not outstanding but he held his own.
Now let’s get the unfettered action, violence and mayhem that Gunn sets before us. This is a very very rated R movie. From the language to killing, Gunn just does not hold back. There are things in this movie, when it comes to killing someone, that Cameron had not seen in any other movie. Some things are creative and super funny, and some are just downright gross. She does have to give Gunn points for not holding back, after all, DC is a dark place to play and these villains are as dark and sometimes as stupid as they come.
Lastly, the cinematography blew her away. As much as she was grossed out, she was also in awe of the creative vantage points we got to experience as an audience. Just like Guardians and Avengers, Gunn knows how to create excitement and how to shoot action while still staying in a “Comicbook” style of storytelling.
So, to Cameron’s surprise, this movie did not suck. She does think some of the shock and awe violence was too much for her and the movie could have been tighter in the middle. Was it Gunns best work, no. Was it his most gutsy superhero/villain movie, yes, she thinks so. He may have gone a little too far in some places. You will be entertained; you will be shocked and if you are a bird lover you will also be pissed. So much better than the original, his will be an experience that has you go through every emotion and come out of the movie a little out of sorts.
Find more reviews from Cameron online.