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Matt McCabe Posts

MOVIE REVIEW: Spies in Disguise

6.5 (Must-See) Fun for the Whole Family

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Animated. Will Smith voices a super-spy who is transformed into a pigeon and has to clear his name after being framed. Tom Holland plays the young sidekick inventor.

Release Date: 25 December 2019 (USA)
Studio: Blue Sky Studios
Director: Nick Bruno and Troy Quane
Writer: Brad Copeland and Lloyd Taylor
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1h 42min
Starring: Will Smith, Tom Holland, Reba McEntire View Full Cast
Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure, Spy
View Official Site


Base Score: 4 (Pretty Good)

Finally, here is an animated movie that performs exactly as advertised. I saw the trailers, I thought it looked funny, and it lived up to my expectations exactly. There was no bait-and-switch. It was cool. It was funny. It was family-friendly.

What you see from the trailer is what you get.

The comedy of the movie appeals to kids (potty humor) while being tolerable to adults. I’m sure on the car ride home, kids will gleefully say, “Wasn’t that funny when you see that guy’s butt?” You can laugh and realize that this will likely be forgotten before the next kid’s movie comes out. There is nothing horrific that would be inappropriate for younger views.

What was refreshing is that there was some subtle humor that only adults would pick up on. That’s not to say that the jokes were “adult,” but that they were easy to miss. I chuckled under my breath at moments the kids behind me missed. I even snorted out loud in a too-quiet theater. Does my laugh sound like that?

It was good stuff. It is highly recommended. The modifiers below make this a must-see. Bravo, creators.


Is it worth 3D, IMAX, or any other special viewing? Probably not. I saw the 2D version on a normal screen, and I didn’t feel I was missing anything.

Would I see it again? Yes, I think I would. If someone hadn’t seen it, I would go to the theater again. If it was on video, I would sit through it again. There wasn’t anything annoying in it. If a kid really took to it and I had to watch it 20 times… that’s what a cell phone is for. (+.5)

Should I rent it? Buy it? It was a great film, but you could save some coin to watch it on the small screen. This one would hold up to multiple viewings, so if the kids request it, buy it. (+.5)

Is it family safe? It is rare nowadays to have a family-safe movie. There is some low-brow humor, but nothing objectionable. Hey, it makes the kids laugh, right? I didn’t notice any language. (+.5)

Did it have “the look?” Animation has gotten to the point where a realistic image is easy to pull off. Well, maybe not easy, but technically possible. Then, the trick is to make something that is visually interesting. Something will style. Like a comic book. It’s not supposed to look natural. It’s supposed to look fantastic. This movie looks fantastic. (+.5)

Did it have “the feels?” Yes, this had some strong “triumphant” moments. I was brought to tears at one point. (+.5)

Score Breakdowns

Base Score: 4 + Modifiers: 2.5 = 6.5 (Must-See)

Spies in Disguise movie poster

It Chapter Two

Summary: Pennywise the Clown is defeated by a group of under-dog kids. Now, they are all grown up. They promised to return if Pennywise was still alive. Killing begins again, so the group returns to end the clown for good.

Score: 4/5 (pretty good) This movie surprised me. It is more of an adventure than a horror movie. I like an adventure. I usually dislike horror movies. The scares are telegraphed before springing, so I could brace for impact. Like typical Stephen King, I liked the characters more than the scares. Think of this as a grown-up Goonies.

Rated: R
Duration: 2h 49min
Genre: Horror
Release Date: 6 September 2019 (USA)

Review: I don’t like horror movies. I don’t like the feeling of being afraid. That’s not why I go to movies. Life is scary enough as it is. Why would I choose to go to experience fear on my fun time?

At the same time, there are different kinds of horror. If it is completely impossible (like a zombie film), I can detach from the film and view it as a story. If it is horrible violence (like a psycho killer), I can do without. Psycho killers actually exist, and I am very much afraid of them.

The real question: Is this movie the former or the latter?

Some people like horror movies of both types. It mystifies me. Is it like a roller coaster?

As a kid, I liked Stephen King novels. They were thick and meaty. I could appreciate the rich character development. I didn’t so much like the horror elements, but I believed his characters were real people. That was cool.

The original It resonated with people. It was about “loser” kids who embrace their fear, come together, and defeat something scary. A lot of us can identify with that.

The book was a best-seller. The book turned in to a mini-series. The mini-series turned into a movie. Now, the movie turned into a sequel. I knew the plot of the original, and I was curious about how the story continued. I sucked it up and got a ticket. I was wincing on the inside. Would I regret my choice?

No, the movie was a lot better than I expected. It was actually good.

Was Pennywise the Clown scary? Yes, but all the scary scenes were brief. I could also see them coming. That let me brace for impact.

The actors were all a good choice, both young and old. Good choices all. My favorite was Bill Hader. His character grew up to be a famous stand-up comedian. He brought fun one-liners to the party.

It was cool how old memories are revealed one by one. The characters came to town without memories of their childhood. It’s been a while since I have seen the movie. I had forgotten a lot. There were a couple “Oh, yeah!” moments throughout the film.

Lastly, Pennywise was creepy. A couple of weeks ago, 47 Meters Down: Uncaged, featured sharks with razor teeth. Pennywise was creepier. But more on that some other time.

Is it worth 3D, IMAX, or any other special viewing? Probably not. The regular size is plenty scary. I’m all about the plot, which plays well at any size.

Would I see it again? Actually, I would. If somebody wanted to see it, I would sit through it again. Would I want to see it again? No. I know what happens. I’m good. (no score adjustment)

Should I rent it? Buy it? If you are a fan of Stephen King movies or the first one, rent it. I don’t think it would stand up to repeat viewings. Don’t buy it. If you are a fan of scary movies, I’m not sure it would be scary enough for you. It was plenty scary for me. I’m a mild salsa kinda guy. So, unless you’re a fan of this storyline, skip the rental. (no score adjustment)

Is it family safe? No, not really. There is some adult language and the violence could be a bit unsettling. I would peg this at a PG-13. If your teens really want to see it, they should be OK. Keep your little ones away. (no score adjustment)

How to Take a Cold Shower

Brrr… Oh HECK no!

Yes, I used to be one of those guys, too. Then I read article after article on Medium talking about the benefits of taking cold showers. Finally, with a shrug, I said, “I guess we’re doing this.”

You won’t die. You won’t shiver. You might even like it.

This article doesn’t talk about why you should do it. I will let other articles talk about that.

If you are here, then you have already decided to take the plunge.

Let’s do this thing.

First, let’s talk about what happens in your body when you take a cold shower. This is just me reassuring you that you won’t die.

There are pockets of brown fat on your body. These only serve one purpose — to heat up and keep you warm. You thought you were imagining things when cold water gradually felt warm. Nope! It was your body doing its job. Yes, this also burns a few extra calories.

The biggest advantage I experienced was the sudden wake-up and attitude adjustment. I no longer drink coffee in the morning! I’ll take one double-cold shower, please.

The steps. Turn the water on until there is plenty of pressure, but no hot water. I don’t dive right in, ’cause it’s a jolt. I use the sprayer at first.

Your job is to systematically spray down every warm part of your body.

  1. Spray down your feet and legs. Yes, my precious. This is about to happen.
  2. Spray down nether regions. This just got real.
  3. Hang the spray nozzle back up. Brace for impact.
  4. Take a deep breath and douse your head. This is the only hard part of the shower. It makes you breathe quickly and your heart pumps. This is the part that wakes you up, if you weren’t, already.
  5. Turn around to wash your hair. This gives you a chance to cool your back and hindquarters.
  6. Wash under your arms. Remember, you are attacking all of your warm regions.
  7. Rinse your hair. You’ll notice that while this is bracing, it is much “warmer” than the first time you rinsed your hair.
  8. Finish your wash. Go after any part of your body that needs more attention. You will notice that the rest of the shower is bearable, if not enjoyable.
  9. Final Challenge — 30 seconds. Before you turn off the shower, get your full body under the shower for 30 seconds. You are moving slightly to make sure every part of you gets covered with the cold water.

You are attacking every warm area of your body.

The first few days I tried a cold shower, it was something I had to make myself do. I squealed a lot. After the first week, I started to enjoy the experience.

Now, after about a month, I take cold showers. It’s just something I do.

Give it a week. I dare you.

Featured image by Valentin Lacoste on Unsplash

Step Three… PROFIT


In an effort to monetize the site a little, I have applied to Amazon Associates. Here’s how it works. I post a link to a product on Amazon. You look at it and say, “That’s cool, but I don’t want that.” Then you browse around Amazon and find that cool unicorn adult pyjamas that you’ve had your eye on. It was a moment of weakness… you buy them. Since I was the one that referred you to Amazon (with my initial link), I will get a small commission (so small).

The really cool thing, for those of us trying to make a buck, as that Amazon leaves a cookie on your computer. That cookie says, “HEY! This guy referred me to Amazon!” Then, if you go back to Amazon and buy a matching unicorn purse, I will also get a small commission (so small).

If that was all TL:DR (too long, didn’t read), you can help me a ton by clicking the link below. You don’t have to buy anything! Just click that link. But… unicorn pyjamas…