Snapshots - #38: Only the Brave, Jane, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

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Only the Brave (2017), (♦♦♦♦): Based on the true story of the effort it took to get a municipal crew of firefighters from Prescott, Arizona, certified as Hotshots. After battling thousands of wildfires since their inception, the Granite Mountain Hotshots answered a call to battle the Yarnell Hill fire—about 30 miles away from Prescott—along with several other crews. How they got to that point and what happened is what this movie is about.
Only the Brave is a drama with some thriller on the side, and excellent performances to boast of. It's got a dynamic pace, engaging plot, amazing shots of wildfires, fun camaraderie, and great music to underscore the action. As an audience, we care for the journey of that crew, individually and as a group, and as heartbreaking as the closing scenes are, we stand in awe at the sacrifices that firefighters and their families make every day of their lives. Only the Brave is a darn great tribute to them, and elite firefighters such as the Granite Moun…

The Conjuring (♦♦♦♦)

Rhode Island, 1971. The Perron family buys an old property from a bank at an auction. They happily move to the country, but they couldn't have predicted their charming property was possessed by a demonic entity feeding on their fears.

Enter Ed and Lorraine Warren, a couple of demonologists who help the Perron family at the mother's request. The entity becomes so malevolent that Ed and Lorraine must perform an exorcism on a family member to rid them of the incubus for good.

Did I like The Conjuring? I say it was very good and free of cheap tricks so used in the genre to make the audience jump from their seats. It was effective and scary, more psychologically so than most of the movies meant to do so. Let me say that The Conjuring is the typical example of why I avoid this kind of movies.

My mother kept interrupting the showing and for once I was grateful; I don't think I would have been able to watch the entire film without feeling a bit apprehensive without my mother's interruptions. I'm way too sensitive to that topic.

The screenplay and the acting were noteworthy, particularly Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as the determined ghosts hunters Lorraine and Ed Warren, Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor as the Perron spouses, Joey King (Ramona and Beezus) and Mackenzie Foy (Breaking Dawn Part II) as two of the Perron kids.

In summary, The Conjuring raises the bar regarding what these movies are able to achieve. It's not on the same level as The Exorcist or Poltergeist but it's definitely above average.

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