Spoiler-Free Review of “The Menu” in Theaters: Deliciously Fantastic

*This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!*

“Go with the flow…let it be magical…”

The Menu released in theaters on November 18th 2022. The dark comedy-horror film stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Fiennes, Nicholas Hoult, Hong Chau, and John Leguizamo. It runs for approximately an hour and forty-six minutes.

A young couple travels to a remote island to experience an exclusive dinner with a renowned chef when they soon discover that the unique menu contains some shocking surprises.

Here is the trailer:

The Menu is captivating from start to finish with the perfect ingredients to satisfy your appetite. Is it worthy of YOUR next watch? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Images courtesy of Searchlight Pictures

Anya Taylor-Joy is perfection.

She is already one of my favorite actresses and she shows off her talent and range once again in The Menu. She was absolutely stunning in that lavender dress and I hope I can find something similar for my own closet!

There was a great back-and-forth between her and Ralph Fiennes, creating a unique dynamic, which was so entertaining to watch unfold on screen. She stole the show for me and then some, proving once again to be an unstoppable force in the horror genre.

Images courtesy of Searchlight Pictures

Perfect balance of dark comedy and shocking thrills.

It’s not easy achieving this and I thought that this film executed this balance seamlessly. I absolutely loved the moments of dark comedy, which actually had me laughing out loud quite a few times. The pacing worked really well and I never looked at the time even once. In a lot of ways, this film had the same kind of vibe as Ready or Not, which was fantastic.

Images courtesy of Searchlight Pictures

Satisfying ending.

There will be no spoilers in this review, but I was thoroughly pleased with the ending. I often watch films that are completely brilliant and then fail to stick the landing. I think this film really nailed it and carved its spot as one of my top films of the year. It’s safe to say that I will be watching this one over and over again. 

The Cons:

Images courtesy of Searchlight Pictures

I really don’t have any…

I loved everything about this film and I don’t have anything negative to say about it…

So am I in or out?

Images courtesy of Searchlight Pictures

I’m in 100 percent!!

Twisted, savory, and a pure delight!

What are you waiting for?

Go see The Menu and bring your appetite! It’s worth every bite.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on The Menu in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

A VACATION TO DIE FOR…

Blood Rose Island Ad

When sisters, Nina and Gemma are vacationing in Hawaii with their friends, they get invited to an exclusive party on a private island that seems too good to be true. There’s only one rulethey can’t miss their ferry at midnight or they’ll have to wait until morning to leave the island. Only they didn’t realize that breaking this rule meant they would be hunted down on the island one by one.

Who will make it off the island alive?

I hope you enjoy my new island thriller!

Blood Rose Island is available here!

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

Spoiler-Free Review of “Last Night in Soho” in Theaters: An Alluring Mystery

**This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!**

“You have to pretend you’re someone else…”

Last Night in Soho released in theaters on October 29th 2021. The psychological thriller horror film stars Thomasin McKenzie, Anya Taylor-Joy, Michael Ajao, Matt Smith and Terence Stamp. The film runs for approximately an hour and fifty-five minutes.

A young fashion student from the country gets an exciting opportunity in London, but quickly finds herself being transported to the 1960’s as she uncovers a mystery surrounding a woman named Sandy.

Here is the trailer:

Last Night in Soho unravels a mystery in a unique way, creating a welcomed kind of chaos that will captivate your attention. Is it worthy of YOUR next watch? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Images courtesy of Focus Features

The music, the fashion, and the setting transport you somewhere else in the best possible way.

I always pay attention to the music soundtrack and the fashion in all films, but wow did this movie truly impress me. I honestly felt like I was going back in time and I loved every moment of it. The music was really powerful and it actually really enhanced the overall tone of the film. It wasn’t just background music…it complimented the scenes and really added an authenticity to them.

Images courtesy of Focus Features

Captivating performances.

I’m always so impressed by Anya Taylor-Joy and she truly was stunning and magnetic in this film. I was pleasantly surprised by the performance by Thomasin McKenzie. She was so incredible and I thought these two really had a great dynamic on screen.

A gripping mystery that hooks you from the start.

I could not take my eyes off the screen during this film. The mystery was so interesting and I thought that everything was revealed in such a different way. I’ve seen a lot of psychological thrillers, but this one was truly extraordinary. The reveals were well placed and the overall pacing was solid as well.

The Cons:

Images courtesy of Focus Features

Chaotic at times.

I wouldn’t necessarily call this a con because it was a maddening chaos that I embraced. It added to the overall vibe of the movie, but it is one of those movies you need to pay attention to. I would recommend watching it all in one sitting or you may feel slightly disconnected to the overall story.

So am I in or out?

Images courtesy of Focus Features

I’m in 100 percent!

A fascinating watch!

This movie was stylish, immersing, and riveting! 

It really struck a chord with me and I thought the unique story-telling really suited this film. The performances were incredible and this may have just become one of my favorite films of the year!

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Last Night in Soho in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

DON’T TAKE THE JOB…

It was only supposed to be temporary…but when Olivia Crewe accepts a new position that seems too good to be true, she soon discovers that twelve other girls previously had the same job as her. Only none of them lasted for more than thirty days. No notice. Nothing…right before they mysteriously disappeared without a trace.

My supernatural thriller Girl Number Thirteen is out now! I hope you enjoy!

Girl Number Thirteen is available here!

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

Ranking your Favorite Female Performances on Television for 2020

We had so many incredible female performances on television in 2020, as these strong, courageous, and slightly quirky women lit up the screen. Whether it was a moment of empowerment, the unexpected transformation of a character, or a breakout role, these women captured our undivided attention throughout the year.

Again, it was difficult for me to narrow down my favorite female performances for 2020 because there were honestly so many and I didn’t think it was possible for me to choose my absolute favorite one, which is where you came in!    

I ran a three round poll (randomized tournament style) on Twitter and asked for fans to cast their votes so that we can all decide who our favorite female performances are for the year.  Thank you so much for your participation and support, as the tournament was so much fun and actually really competitive!

Round One featured the following Female Performances on TV from 2020:

  • Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper from Riverdale
  • Kaley Cuoco as Cassie Bowden from The Flight Attendant
  • Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth Harmon from The Queen’s Gambit 
  • Cynthia Erivo as Holly Gibney from The Outsider
  • Nicole Kidman as Grace Fraser from The Undoing
  • Kerry Washington as Mia Warren from Little Fires Everywhere
  • Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison from Homeland
  • Jodie Comer as Villanelle from Killing Eve
  • Marie Avgeropoulos as Octavia Blake from The 100
  • Kiernan Shipka as Sabrina Spellman from Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
  • Rhea Seehorn as Kim Wexler from Better Call Saul
  • Danai Gurira as Michonne from The Walking Dead

After your votes, the following female actresses moved on to Round Two:

  • Danai Gurira
  • Jodie Comer
  • Nicole Kidman
  • Claire Danes
  • Anya Taylor-Joy
  • Kaley Cuoco

After your votes in Round Two, the following female actresses moved on to the FINALS:

  • Jodie Comer
  • Danai Gurira
  • Claire Danes
  • Kaley Cuoco

Honorable Mention: Anya Taylor-Joy came up short, but I think she should honestly get an Emmy for her performance!!!!! Perfection!

Image courtesy of Netflix

After your votes in Round Three, the FINAL results are:

4th place: Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison from Homeland

Image courtesy of Showtime

Claire has always been so intense and emotional in her portrayal of Carrie, but I thought that she also channeled a lot of maturity and strength in the final season. Well deserved!

3rd place: Kaley Cuoco as Cassie Bowden from The Flight Attendant

Image courtesy of HBO Max

Kaley Cuoco really showed off a completely different side of her by delighting us in one of my favorite shows of the year. Her quirky portrayal of Cassie was spot on and it really made the show that much more enjoyable. I can’t wait to see what she does next!

2nd place: Danai Gurira as Michonne from The Walking Dead

Image courtesy of AMC

It wasn’t easy knowing it would be Michonne’s final season, but wow did Danai deliver some incredible performances along the way. She brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion and really reminded us that she has been the heart and soul of this show for so long! Thank you Danai!

Drum roll please…

I am so beyond excited to announce your WINNER for Favorite Female Performance of 2020: Jodie Comer as Villanelle in Killing Eve!

Image courtesy of BBC America

Jodie has been such a joy to watch. Villanelle is a complex character and Jodie has really brought her to life. In the third season, we finally got to peel back some layers and witness what truly makes Villanelle tick. Her humanity has really been showing more and more, which makes her an even more remarkable character in my mind. Jodie will always be one of my favorite actresses and I am so pleased with the results! Congrats Jodie!

Thanks to all the fans who voted!  I wish you all the best for the New Year!

View Final Poll Results Here!

I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to post your thoughts and comments below on some of your favorite female performances on TV from 2020. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing for 2021!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

Spoiler-Free Review of “The Queen’s Gambit” on Netflix: Your Move

**This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!**

“Chess isn’t the only thing in life…”

The Queen’s Gambit is a limited series that premiered on Netflix on October 23rd 2020 with seven episodes. The series stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Harry Melling, Moses Ingram, and Marielle Heller. Each episode is approximately 50-60 minutes in length.

Based on the 1983 novel of the same name, The Queen’s Gambit follows the journey of chess prodigy orphan, Beth Harmon, who embarks on a quest to be the world’s greatest chess player. Over the years, Beth deals with addiction and grief while struggling to prove her worth in the male dominated game to earn her rightful place. The series takes place during the 1960’s.

Here is the trailer:

The Queen’s Gambit has so many defining layers that draw you into this world immediately. While female empowerment automatically comes to mind, the story that is told extends well beyond that, reminding us that even those of us with extraordinary talents can damage everything with the choices we make.

The Queen’s Gambit is filled with aesthetic appeal, a talented cast, and an inspiring story, but is it worthy of your next binge-watch? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

The Queen's Gambit Anya Taylor-Joy

Images courtesy of Netflix

Anya Taylor-Joy is perfection.

I was already a fan of hers, but she blew me away in her portrayal of Beth Harmon. She was magnetic on screen and so convincing down to the tiniest detail. Her wardrobe was fantastic and her emotions were so raw and convincing. I think she absolutely deserves some awards in the future for this role.

A story that pulls you in from the very start.

I didn’t immediately add this show to my watch-list and it’s not normally something that I would select on my own. However, I am beyond thrilled that I took this recommendation and I quickly found myself lost in the story.

There’s something about this story that transcends its premise. It has a lot of heart and inspiration embedded in its core, but it also doesn’t hold back when it comes to the mistakes and hardships either, which made me connect to it even more.

The Queen's Gambit addiction

Images courtesy of Netflix

Important lessons that really strike a chord.

While I loved the female empowerment elements in this series, I thought that the struggle with addiction was even more vital. Spiraling out of control into addiction isn’t usually defined in one moment. It’s slow and develops over time. Perhaps it stems from a past event or something beyond our control, but when it starts to cripple and destroy the extraordinary talent that so many of us would love to covet, it’s absolutely heartbreaking to witness.

The series could have really hit us over the head with a lot of this and I thought that its approach was simple, but effective. I think that there were a lot of really important messages throughout this series that should not be ignored and when we talk about overcoming something in life, we are the only ones with the power to change it.

The Cons:

The Queen's Gambit Cons

Images courtesy of Netflix

I don’t have a single con to mention…check.

So am I in or out?

The Queen's Gambit Netflix

Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m in 1000 percent! Checkmate!

I honestly went into this show without knowing what to expect. I thought that it might be somewhat interesting, but I was worried that I would lose interest quickly. Well, I was completely wrong and I am so glad that I started watching this show.

It was one of the best shows I have watched all year and it truly resonated with me. I recommend that you move this to the top of your watch-list even if it doesn’t seem like your cup of tea…trust me, you’ll love it!

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on The Queen’s Gambit in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

DON’T TAKE THE JOB…

Girl Number Thirteen Lurking Promo

 

It was only supposed to be temporary…but when Olivia Crewe accepts a new position that seems too good to be true, she soon discovers that twelve other girls previously had the same job as her. Only none of them lasted for more than thirty days. No notice. Nothing…right before they mysteriously disappeared without a trace.

My new supernatural thriller Girl Number Thirteen releases on November 12th 2020! Available for pre-order! I hope you enjoy!

Girl Number Thirteen is available here!

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!