At the Movies with Val Cameron: Finch, Spencer, and Marvel’s Eternals


Rated PG-13 

Tom Hanks, a dog and not one but two robots! What more could you want in a film. Tom Hanks is Finch, a robotics engineer and one of the few survivors of a cataclysmic solar event that has left the world a wasteland. Finch and his dog, Goodyear, have been together for a long time and they seem to have a rhythm for the life they are now living. He creates a robot, played by Caleb Landry Jones, to watch over Goodyear when he no longer can. A big storm threatens their current living arrangements, so they head to San Francisco. During the journey into a very desolate country, Finch tries to teach Jeff, the robot names himself Jeff, the joy and wonder of what it means to be alive. Their road trip how broken-down humanity can get when we are threatened with death and starvation.  

Finch knows that he has been exposed to radiation for a long time and he knows his time is coming to an end. Trying to teach a robot who was “born yesterday” all about how life can be beautiful but also dangerous is a hard task. All three, plus a small robot WALL-E type, show us that bonds can be found anywhere with anyone. This movie is very much like the video game Fallout. And while it is not the most outspoken or memorable of post-apocalyptic movies, it is charming and definitely worth a watch. This is an AppleTV+ exclusive movie.  

Grade: B 


Rated R 

I am going to start out saying that I know more than most everyday people about the royals. I am not a scholar on the subject but I know more than the tabloids and whispers. So going into this film I have a lot of information in my back pocket. I have also watched all of The Crown as well, so have plenty to compare this film to. It was gutsy. I think when most of us think of a movie about the royal family and especially Diana, we think we will get something very polished and fancy. This is not that movie.  

We enter the movie at a very dark time in Diana’s life. She is heading to a Christmas weekend with the Royals just as the infidelity of her husband is becoming more well-known and in her face. The marriage of Princess Diana and Prince Charles has been cold for a long time now and during this holiday weekend it all comes to a head in her head…. “Spencer” is a dark tale of what they thought happened during that sad weekend. Dianna is already mentally reeling and the movie shows her mental ups and downs as well as her eating disorder and inconsolable demeanor.  

The Shakspearian feel and musical score will make you feel you are losing control just like her and that you need a break. It is almost horror film like music and cinematography will get in your head and have you questioning what this movie is supposed to be. 

I am a fan of showing how things really were and taking a darker spin on reality. The Director did a great job and although I was not sure about casting Kristin Stewart in this role for several reasons, she pulled it off most of the time. If you don’t know a lot about Diana’s life this movie may seem like a confusing twisted turn of events, with too many metaphors and not enough real substance. It is confusing to general audiences and at times pretentious. It will be nominated for awards and artsy movie goers will applaud it. I just can’t give a “B” to a movie that specifically makes itself inaccessible to a broader audience. 

Grade: C+ 


Rated PG-13 

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been around for a while now. With more than 20 films leading us to this point it is hard to imagine we will be able to lock onto another world of Super Heroes and love them as much as Ironman and Thor. “Eternals” introduces us to what will be an epic and exciting new team of Super Heroes. They are a group of ancient aliens who have been living on Earth in secret for thousands of years. Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, they are forced to reunite against mankind’s most ancient enemy, the Deviants. 

They thought they got rid of the Deviants centuries ago, but a strange turn of events puts Earth at the risk of extinction. While there are a lot of problems with this film, from the awkward love story to some very unrealistic timelines, it is entertaining and compelling. The cast alone is incredible; Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Kit Harington, Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani and more are all on screen together and they don’t get lost.  

The new story does touch “Endgame” and the story is already put in place by the main MCU. It is a wild ride with Super Heroes, Villains, Mythology, Science, love triangles, awesome suites and historical pasts that makes you want to keep watching. It was a good springboard to what is to come. Not the best MCU movie in the bunch, but a start in the right direction. I have to say that one of the things I am most impressed with is the inclusion and representation in the film.  

Grade: B 

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