CAN WE GO “HOME” AGAIN?

THE WALTONS: HOMECOMING – a 60 Second Movie Review

WARNING: REVIEW CONTAINS PISS ANT SPOILER

When the CW announced recently that the beloved TV series, The Waltons would be receiving a reboot on their network, old people throughout the world rejoiced, and every young person went, “Huh?”

Never mind that. So, after trumpeting the news of this Christmas miracle, I feel obligated to providing my thoughts on the movie special that aired on December 28 on the CW Network – a holiday special featuring a family forced to deal with everyday life in the era following the 1929 stock-market crash and the hard times that followed.

SECOND WARNING…

Never watch a movie reboot with two sisters who remember every detail of the original adaptation and can’t get past the fact that every adaptation comes with new edits and dialogue. I understand their passion for tradition, but we are not the CW Network’s desired demographic. While I am sad that Mary Ellen no longer calls Elizabeth a piss ant (seriously, this is the best line in the original, and the mother’s reaction is priceless), I can only hope that this reboot brings a new crop of quotes to today’s younger generation. As a viewer who visited with the original Walton kids weekly, I have to say I was charmed by the new cast, with familiar faces filling the iconic roles (Hang on while I Google John Boy in Waltons Reboot. Oh yeah, 17-year-old Kevin from This is Us).

My only criticism is the needless Hallmark touch added to a show that attempts to depict life in an era that was darker and dirtier than what is shown in this sterilized version. But I am thankful and appreciate to be revisiting with this family on Walton’s Mountain. I cannot fathom this wholesome TV series surviving on a network full of shows overflowing with angst and superheroes, but something tells me that’s what they said the first time around.     

Heidi McCrary is a writer and a regular contributor to Moxie Magazine. Her novel, Chasing North Star is available wherever books are sold. Follow Heidi at heidimccrary.net and facebook.com/HeidiMcCraryAuthor

What Makes a GOOD Movie BAD?

Movie Review – The Woman in the Window. Now on Netflix

The other day, a friend of mine asked me for my thoughts on “The Woman in the Window,” a Netflix-produced drama starring Amy Adams, Gary Oldman, and Julianne Moore. This mystery isn’t shy about copying the stylings of the late Alfred Hitchcock, and with its claustrophobic, one-room setting, viewers cannot help but draw comparisons to the 1954 “Rear Window.”  

Amy Adams portrays a woman struggling with agoraphobia, and while hiding away in her apartment, she is sure she has witnessed a murder across the street in a neighbor’s apartment. But did she?   

Adams reaches beyond the Romcom mechanics needed for many formula movies and instead, presents us with a woman that is interesting and flawed. The mystery intensifies as new characters are introduced, and we’re left wondering who is fooling us.

For the most part, “The Woman in the Window” is the type of movie that is an excellent Character Study, where nothing is black and white, and no one is simply good or bad. A great movie can introduce you to a character that seems one way, only to peel away at layers until we see the person in a new light. The best stories are grimy, bumpy, and messy­­–forcing us to question what is unfolding on the screen.

Where “The Woman in the Window” fails, is the end. All too often, strong storylines fizzle. Thoughtful dialogue is replaced with the standard fare of psycho attacks and eye-rolling actions that have you yelling, “Just go outside!” Which, of course, no one hears. The result is a good movie that ends on a sour note. And another good movie gone bad.             

Heidi McCrary is a writer and a regular contributor to Moxie Magazine. Her novel, Chasing North Star is available at Kazoo Books, This is a Bookstore, and online wherever books are sold. Follow Heidi at heidimccrary.net and facebook.com/HeidiMcCraryAuthor

Movie Review – PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

Described as a “Thrilling and wildly entertaining story about a delicious new take on revenge,” this Oscar nominated movie takes viewers on an exhilarating emotional rollercoaster as Carey Mulligan grabs hold of the role of anti-hero, Casandra, and chokes it to delightfully new heights.

While billed as a thriller, please note that this goes far beyond the mindless storyline of FRIDAY THE 13TH wannabe slasher movies. Rather, PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN delivers on all cylinders – creating a story that encompasses the heart and compassion found in another movie billed as a thriller… THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, which won several Academy Awards, including  BEST PICTURE, BEST ACTRESS, and BEST DIRECTOR. And like THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, this film peels back several layers, revealing the horrifying ramifications that can result from the victimization of women that is still gaining traction from the ME TOO movement.

Halfway through this movie, I said aloud, “This can’t end well.” Boy, was I wrong, what an ending! Rent it tonight on Amazon for $5.99 and cheer on Carey Mulligan and Director Emerald Fennell tomorrow at the Oscars.       

By Heidi McCrary, author of CHASING NORTH STAR

RADIUM GIRLS

60 Second Movie Review – RADIUM GIRLS

For those of you who remember analog watches, you’ll recall how many glowed in the dark. I would camp out in the closet of my bedroom, watching the soft glow of my watch, staring in wonderment at the neon light—dreaming of acquiring a jar of the paint so that I could add it to my clothes and radiate in the dark like a shimmering fashion model. As I grew older, my time-piece eventually became digital, and I gave little thought to my glowing memories of my watch that glistened in the dark.    

Radium Girls – a movie that premiered on Netflix this past December is a movie based on the true story of a group of young ladies working in a factory in the 1920s, painting radium onto the faces of watches. Told the substance was harmless, they licked the brushes with each stroke in order to give the brushes a fine tip. Off-hours, they also added the glowing paint to their fingernails and faces, believing what they had been told by factory management, that radium was healthy.    

A powerful story that shines a light on a true-life event, and the women who fought to reveal the deadly effects of radium. Radium Girls is a must-watch.