Friday, October 12, 2018

First Man

My View First Man  (2018)  PG-13    The life of Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling), the American astronaut who was the first man to walk on the Moon. The film is technically a marvel, with the space scenes some of the most amazingly shot films of all time. The lunar landing is amazing to watch, and you really feel that you are apart of the experience. This is a great film, but I came away from this film feeling that the subject of the film, was a joyless man who couldn’t show (and maybe feel) emotion, other than sadness and that makes the film feel a little flat. The film does a great job at showing just how amazing and complex it was to get a man on the moon.   My Rating: Full Price   First Man Website
My View: Bad Times at the El Royale  (2018) R    Seven strangers meet at the El Royale, a hotel with a dark past. In one night, all seven will have a shot at redemption before things go to hell. I enjoyed this film which is reminiscent of a Quentin Tarantino film. I loved how the film slowly reveals the story and the background of each character based on their room numbers. There are plenty of twists and turns in the plot, and it will keep you guessing how it's going to turn out until the final credits. By the way, I did not recognize Chris Hemsworth who must have lost 40 pounds of muscle for the role. The film is a little long but well worth the time.    My Rating: Full Price   Bad Times at the El Royale Website
My ViewThe Old Man & the Gun  (2018)  PG-13      Based on the true story of Forrest Tucker (Robert Redford) who escaped from San Quentin and then went on to rob over 80 banks while in his seventies. If this is genuinely Redford’s last acting performance, then he goes out on a high note. It’s a brilliant, understated performance that only someone with skill like Redford can do. Redford’s performance is bolstered by the performances of Casey Affleck, the world-weary cop trying to catch Forest, and Sissy Spacek, who slowly falls in love Forest. The film is based on a true story, and I loved the ending of the movie where they used old photos and footage of Redford to illustrate the 16 prison escapes that Forest did over the years.   My Rating: Full Price   The Old Man & the Gun Website
Family FaireGoosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween  (2018)  PG    On Halloween night two boys named Sammy (Jeremy Ray Taylor) and Sam (Caleel Harris) find a manuscript written by R>L. Stine (Jack Black) in an abandoned house. When they open the manuscript, it releases Slappy (Avery Lee Jones) an evil ventriloquist doll. Slappy plans to create a Halloween Apocalypse with the help of his Halloween monster allies.  While not quite as fun as the first Goosebumps film, it’s still an enjoyable film to watch. Slappy is still really creepy, and the monsters that he unleashes are imaginative. I loved the unconventional ending to this film, and I am guessing that we will meet up with Slappy again. A word of caution: some of the monsters are quite scary, so very young children should probably not see this film.    My Rating: Bargain Matinee   Goosebumps 2 Facebook Page
Indiefest 22 July  (2018)   The story of Norway’s worst terrorist attack in which over seventy people, mostly children,  lost their lives. The first third of this film is compelling and scary as we see the killer prepare and then carry out the attack, far more terrifying than any horror film that I have seen. The next two-thirds of the film are quite as interesting, as the government tries to figure out how the attack happened and if it could have been prevented, along with the trial of the attacker. The film bogs down in the 2nd half as the debate on whether the attacker can use the insanity defense in his trial. The film is extremely long and it just drags on as we focus on one of the kids that was shot by the attacker goes through his rehab. I am going to give this an excellent rating because of that first third was so well done and horrifying as hell.    My Rating: Full Price   22 July Website
IndiefestTea with the Dames  (2018)  Documentary where Dames Eileen Atkins, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright, and Maggie Smith talk about their careers and friendship that goes back more than fifty years. A fascinating documentary with four legendary actresses talking and laughing with each other. The film does a great job of giving us background on the four women, and we get to see plenty of their performances on stage and screen. The film also does a great job showing us old interviews that the women did earlier in their careers. I loved the ending of the film when it showed footage of the women receiving all the awards they have gotten during their careers.   My Rating: Full Price   Tea With the Dames Website
Forgotten FilmComing Home  (1978)   Sally (Jane Fonda) is married to a captain (Bruce Dern) in the U.S. Marine Corps who is fighting in the war in Vietnam. With nothing to do, she decides to volunteer at a veterans hospital. There she meets Luke (Jon Voight), a former soldier who was wounded and paralyzed fighting in Vietnam. Sally slowly changes her outlook on the war and falls in love with Luke. Excellent film about dealing with the aftermath of the war in Vietnam and how we treated the soldiers that fought there. What I love about the film is the opening scene which was filmed with actual Vietnam war vets and was unscripted. This was one of the first films that openly dealt with the conflicts about the war in Vietnam. The film won three Academy Awards and probably should have won more.       My Rating:  Full Price   Coming Home Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween:  Slappy Lead Puppeteer 


Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You Halloween  (2018)  R   Michael Myers comes back to get revenge on Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) four decades after their first confrontation. All I needed to know was that John Carpenter was doing the score for this film that I knew I wanted to see this film.   Halloween Website
Until Next Time!


Friday, October 5, 2018

A Star is Born

My ViewA Star Is Born  (2018)  R  A legendary musician, Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) takes a young singer (Lady Gaga) under his wing and guides her to becoming a star, all the while his career beings to suffer due to his drinking. This is a fantastic movie with an excellent soundtrack (some of the songs were written by Cooper and of course, Lady Gaga). I highly recommend going out and buying the music to this film because there isn’t a bad song in the bunch. Bradley Cooper not only co-wrote the film and stars in it, he also directed the film and did an incredible job. I had doubts about Lady Gaga in the role, but she knocks it out of the park with a multi-level performance that will bring you to tears. Cooper is perfect as the weathered music star whose career has seen better times. I can’t recommend this film more. Go see this magical film but bring a tissue or two.    My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again   A Star is Born Website
My View: The Sisters Brothers  (2018)  R  In 1850’s Oregon, two legendary gunmen (John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix) the Sisters brothers, are chasing a gold prospector (Riz Ahmed with the help of a scout (Jake Gyllenhaal). I highly enjoyed this slightly unconventional western. Phoenix is excellent as the brash, drunken younger brother but it’s Reilly steals the movie as the older, more thoughtful brother who dreams of a girl back home. Reilly’s performance is moving and funny as his character struggles to deal with his troublesome brother who tends to get them into trouble. I liked the performances of the rest of the cast, including Jake Gyllenhaal as the thoughtful scout trying to track the prospector down and Riz Ahmed as the said prospector who is on the run because he possesses something take could make a lot of money. It's also fun to see Allison Tolman (season 1 of Fargo) as the hooker with the heart of gold.   My Rating: Full Price   The Sisters Brothers Website
My ViewVenom  (2018)  R  When Eddie (Tom Hardy) acquires the powers of a symbiote, he will have to release his alter-ego “Venom’ to save his life. I went into this film with minimum expectations, and all I knew about the Venom character was from the horrible Spiderman 3. That being said, I enjoyed this film. It was very different than what I was expecting. The Venom character is what you would call an ‘anti-hero.’ He really isn’t about the normal Marvel hero who is all about saving lives, he is all about what is best for him. Eddie is a self-called ‘loser’ who is his own worst enemy. His world changes when he gets infected by Venom, a creature from outer space. What was the most fun in this movie was the interaction between Venom and Eddie. Venom talks to Eddie in his mind and Eddie talks to Venom out loud, which made for some hilarious interactions. The action sequences are well done, and there is a thrilling chase sequence about halfway through the film. I didn’t like that fact that it took too long for Venom to show up (about 35 minutes into the movie) which made the film much longer than it needed to be. All in all its a fun ride, not a great film, but still fun to watch.    My Rating: Bargain Matinee   Venom Website
Indiefest:   Hal  (2018)  Documentary on the legendary director Hal Ashby, who directed cinema classics in the 1970s including Harold and Maude, Shampoo and Being There. Exceptional documentary about a talented man who consistently fought for his films. Ashby went on a run in the 70’s where he directed 7 films in 9 years, and Hal rightly concentrates on those years. Those seven films got twenty-four Oscar nominations and seven wins. Unfortunately, Ashby fought the studio system constantly, and his movies in the eighties suffered for it. This is an excellent introduction to a director that should be talked about in the same circles as Coppola, Scorsese, and Lucas.  My Rating: Full Price   Hal Website
Forgotten FilmShampoo  (1975)  Directed by Hal Ashby and written by Robert Towne and Warren Beatty, the film is about a Beverly Hills hairdresser named George (Beatty) who sleeps with just about every client. George is sleeping with Felicia (Lee Grant) a wealthy married woman who George hopes will give him money to start his own shop. George’s girlfriend is Jill (Goldie Hawn) whose best friend is Jackie, an old girlfriend of George. The performances are top notch, and Lee Grant won an Academy Award for her performance of Felicia, a woman who is a little too involved with the life and loves of George. This is a scintillating look a man who loves women too much and his indiscretions will soon catch up with him.   My Rating: I would Pay to See it Again   Shampoo Info

Weird Credits: From the credits of The Sisters Brothers: With the Participation of Rutger Hauer


Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouVice  (2018)  The story of Dick Cheney (Christian Bale) and his turn as Vice President of the United States.  Christian Bale does another chameleon job as he looks so much like Cheney. All you need to know is that it is written and directed by Adam McKay who won an Academy Award for The Big Short (2015) and the cast includes Amy Adams, Steve Carell, and Sam Rockwell. In addition, the film is being released in late December, which means the studio thinks it could win some major awards.   Vice Info
Until Next Time!


Friday, September 28, 2018

Smallfoot

Familyfaire:  Smallfoot  (2018)  PG  Migo (Channing Tatum) is a Yeti who is convinced that he saw a ‘Smallfoot’ also known as a human. He goes on a quest to prove to his friends and family that humans do exist. I liked this film but didn’t love it. Other than an inspired rap by Common, the songs in the film feel very generic. The story is very predictable, and I didn’t like the ending at all. I did enjoy the lead character of Migo (voiced by Channing Tatum), and it was fun seeing how the Yeti and the human heard each other’s voice. Better songs would have made a better movie.    My Rating:  Bargain Matinee   Smallfoot Website
My View:  Night School  (2018)  PG-13  A group of troublemakers are forced to attend night school taught by a no-nonsense teacher (Tiffany Haddish). Kevin Hart’s one-note act is getting a little long in the tooth. About halfway through this film I just wanted him to shut up. Unfortunately, Haddish is given almost nothing to do in this film, other than being mean to Kevin Hart’s character. Now, I will say that most of the audience I saw the movie with were continually laughing, I rarely chuckled and I never really did laugh. The film goes too many times for the easy laugh and feels much longer than it’s nearly 2-hour length.  My Rating: Cable   Night School Website
Indiefest:  Colette  (2018)  R  Colette (Keira Knightley) is pushed by her husband (Dominic West) to write novels under his name. When the novels become a success, she fights to be known as the writer of the books, challenging gender norms. While the storyline moves a little too slowly at times, the performances by Knightley and West outshine the script and make this a compelling film to watch. The fact that this film is based on a true story makes it even more interesting, especially how Colette’s husband, Willy, turned her writing into an industry, with Colette dresses, hairstyles and even soap being sold under the brand.   My Rating: Full Price   Colette Website
Indiefest:  The Children Act  (2017)  R  As her marriage falls apart, a judge (Emma Thompson) must decide a case where a teenage boy (Fionn Whitehead) is refusing a blood transfusion due to religious principles. Emma Thompson is a tour de force as a judge who’s world is crumbling, but she must continue her life and work. The film never gets boring as Thompson's multifaceted performance is a delight to watch. I was worried when the blood transfusion trail ends about 45 minutes into the film, but the movie finds new roads to go down and explore.    My Rating: Full Price    The Children Act Website
Indiefest:  Blaze  (2018)  The life and loves of country musician Blaze Foley (Ben Dickey), the best singer/songwriter you have never heard off. The heart of this film are the songs, and they are heartbreakingly beautiful. Ben Dickey gives a masterful performance as the man who was his own worst enemy. I absolutely loved the performance of Alia Shawkat as the one woman who Blaze loved and was, for a short while, happy with. This is a sad and sometimes frustrating look at a man who should have been a star. Luckily, we still have his songs to listen to.  My Rating:  Full Price   Blaze Website
Forgotten Film:  Liberty Heights  (1999)  R   The story of two brothers, Van (Adrien Brody) who goes to a local college and Ben (Ben Foster) a senior in high school, growing up in the 50’s in Baltimore. This comedy/drama is the last of the four Barry Levinson’s ‘Baltimore Films’ that included Diner, Tin Men and Avalon. Ben becomes enamored with a black teenager named Sylvia (Rebekah Johnson) who has just joined his class in high school. Their father, Nate (Joe Mantegna) runs a failing burlesque theatre and a numbers racket which will eventually cause his downfall. This is a typical Levinson film, filled with funny moments along with deadly serious ones as well.  My Rating: Full Price    Liberty Heights Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Colette:  Water Supply Operator

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  Beautiful Boy (2018)  R  The heartbreaking story of a father (Steve Carell) and his son (Timothee Chalamet) dealing with addiction over many years. Many film critics that have seen the film feel that Chalamet will get another Academy Award nomination.    Beautiful Boy Website

Until Next Time!




Friday, September 21, 2018

The House with a Clock in its Walls

My View:  The House with a Clock in its Walls  (2018)  PG  A young, recently orphaned boy named Lewis (Owen Vaccaro), in 1953, moves in with his magical uncle (Jack Black) in an old, creaky house. Their mission is to locate a clock that has the power to bring about the end of the world. I enjoyed this film though it does drag a little bit in the middle but it kicks back up to a beautiful finish. This is similar to the movie Goosebumps but not quite as funny. I did enjoy the performance of Cate Blanchett, who plays a witch who lives next door and has lost her ability to do magic. I will warn you that there are quite a few scary bits in the film and small kids might get scared. I loved the special effects all the different creatures in the movie, especially a Griffith made out of shrubs that have come to life.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee    The House with Clocks on its Wall Website
Indiefest:  Life Itself  (2018)  R  The film centers on a couple (Oscar Isaac and Olivia Wilde) who go from a college romance to marriage and the birth of their first child. The New York couple go on a journey that spans generations, but these generations are all connected by a single event. You know I didn’t like the film, when I looked at my watch, think we would be about an hour in and the movie has only been going on for 30 minutes. The film is predictable and has some of the worst pacing I have ever seen. This is a Dan Fogelman ((This is Us) film, so you know that the film will move around to different timelines, all somehow connected, and that there will be some critical deaths. Fans of This Is Us are going to be disappointed in this film that moves at a snail's pace and has an ending you can see coming from about halfway through the pictures.   My Rating: Cable   Life Itself Website
Indiefest:  Fahrenheit 11/9  (2018)  R  Documentary by filmmaker Michael Moore on the 2016 United States presidential election and the presidency of Donald Trump. This is a typical Roger Moore documentary. As usual, Moore puts in some funny stuff, but I didn’t like the message that he chose to end the film with. I give away too much but let's just say Moore doesn't have much hope for America. That’s too bad because in the middle of the film there is hope with the Parkland High School teens speaking up and a number of women that are running for office. Moor tries to cover too much in this film including the Flint water problem. If you are a supporter of the President or Hillary Clinton, you might want to skip this film.   My Rating:  Bargain Matinee   Fahrenheit 11/9 Website

Indiefest:  Love, Gilda  (2018)  Documentary on the late, beloved comedienne Gilda Radner. You will fall in love with Gilda Radner all over again, and if you don’t know the talented Radner who was taken from us much too soon, you will want to see her appearances on Saturday Night Live as one of the original cast members. The film looks at Radner with a loving eye but isn’t afraid of showing her faults also. The film is mostly told through Radner’s voice in audio that was just recently discovered and she recorded right before she died. Radner, though taken much too soon, had a wonderful life giving us her unique brand of comedy and the film lets us experience her wit once again.   My Rating: Full Price   Love, Gilda Website
Indiefest: Five Fingers for Marseilles  (2018)  Twenty years ago, the Lion of Marseilles (Vuyo Dabula) and his ‘Five Fingers’ gang fought brutal police opposition. After fleeing, The Lion is now returning to his South African town, which is under a new threat. Not all will welcome The Lion because many see his fleeing as an act of cowardice. I love westerns, and this is a modern day western set in Africa. This film has some classic western undertones; you have the stranger (the Lion) who comes back after to his town because there is a new threat, he is a man alone, against all odds because the town won’t rally around him, and an act of redemption for what he did in the past. There is a little bit of The Searchers in this film, as well as High Noon and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. I enjoyed the performance of Vuyo Dabula, the man that comes back to his town to correct old sins. If you like westerns, I think you will love this Five Fingers for Marseilles.   My Rating: Full Price    Five Fingers for Marseilles Facebook Page
Forgotten Film:  Beyond Rangoon  (1995)  Laura (Patricia Arquette) is trying to recover from her husband and child being murdered and travels to Burma with her sister (Frances McDormand). Laura falls in love with the Burmese people and decides to help them overthrow a ruthless dictator. Arquette is the reason to watch this film as she is spectacular is the determined and compassionate Laura. Arquette gives one of her better performances and is a force to watch:  My Rating: Bargain Matinee   Beyond Rangoon Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of The House With a Clock in its Wall: Griffith Tamer

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  The Old Man & the Gun  (2018) PG-13  Based on the true story of Forrest Tucker (Robert Redford) who escaped from San Quentin and then went on a spree of robberies. The stellar cast includes Casey Affleck, Sissy Spacek, and Danny Glover.   The Old Man & the Gun Info
Until Next Time!


Friday, September 14, 2018

The Predator

My ViewThe Predator (2018) R  A young boy (Jacob Tremblay) accidentally triggers the universes most lethal hunters’ return to Earth. A ragtag group of ex-soldiers and a science teacher (Olivia Munn) are the only hope to prevent the end of the human race. This is a movie co-written and directed by Shane Black who also made Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and The Nice Guys, so you know this isn’t your normal Predator movie. This film is full of humor and is a fun ride (there are a couple of jokes that fall flat, but that’s pretty rare). Now, I’ll let you know that this film is really violent, with heads being cut off and limbs flying around, but it’s also a fun film to watch. The third act has a few problems, but it didn’t hurt the movie much. If you like action films with a lot of humor, then this film is for you.  My Take:  Full Price   The Predator Website
My ViewA Simple Favor (2018) A mommy blogger, Stephanie (Anna Kendrick), seeks to uncover the truth behind her best friend’s, Emily (Blake Lively), sudden disappearance from their small town. The film is directed by Paul Feig, who directed Bridesmaids, Spy, and Ghostbusters, so you know there is quite a bit of humor in this film. The film is a mystery and is very dark at times. Blake Lively is brilliant as the best friend who says anything on her mind and forms a friendship with the somewhat naive mommy blogger played by Anna Kendrick. Henry Golding, who plays Emily’s husband, is having quite a run having also starred in the big hit, Crazy Rich Asians. This film is a delight to watch, and I think will be in my top ten list at the end of the year, and I could see Blake Lively getting an Oscar nomination next year.   My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again    A Simple Favor Website
Indiefest:  Pick of the Litter (2018) Documentary that follows a little of puppies from the moment they’re born and begin to train to become Guide Dogs for the Blind. I can’t tell you how much I loved this film. I was crying two minutes into the movie with stories about how guide dogs had saved lives, including a man who was led down 79 flights of stairs by his guide dog during the 9/11 Twin Towers attack. This is a fantastic feel-good film where all the dogs end up with great homes, even if they didn’t make it as guide dogs (only 300 dogs out of a pool of 1100 make it as guide dogs every year). You will fall in love with these dogs, especially a dog named Phil. Go see this film, you will feel better about the world we live in if you do.    My Rating:  Full Price    Pick of the Litter Website
My ViewThe Basement  (2018)  R  A deranged serial killer known as ‘The Gemini,’ (Jackson Davis) tortures and slays his victims in the basement of his home. The Gemini selects his next victims the musician Craig Owen (Cayleb Long) and a long night of role-playing is in store for Craig, a night that could end with his death, I did not like this film. It’s not scary but one long act of torture porn. The film mostly takes place in the Gemini’s basement as he appears as a number of characters, all bent on making Craig suffer through the worst night of his life. The dialogue made it feel like this was a production of a small neighborhood play production. The film is hard to watch, I would have walked out if I wasn’t reviewing the film.   My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again    The Basement Website
Forgotten FilmHard Times  (1975)  PG  A drifter, Chaney (Charles Bronson) during the depression, meets a street fight promoter (Jame Coburn) and they team up to make money in a tough sport. This is one of Bronson’s best performances, and the film is perfectly directed by Walter Hill, who after this film (his first) went on to direct The Warriors (1979), Southern Comfort (1981), and 48 Hrs. (1982). This is a gritty film about an ugly sport but is well worth your time.   My Rating: Full Price   Hard Times Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of The Predator:  Specialty Suit Costumer 


Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You Colette  (2018)  R  Colette (Keira Knightley) is pushed by her husband (Dominic West) to write novels under his name. When the novels become a success, she fights to be known as the writer of the books, challenging gender norms. Hey, it’s Keira Knightley, do I have to say anymore?    Colette Website
Until Next Time!


Friday, September 7, 2018

Peppermint


My ViewPeppermint  (2018)  A young mother (Jennifer Garner) is hellbent on getting revenge on her enemies who stole her life from her. Her husband and daughter are killed by a drive-by shooting and are let go on a technicality. I liked this film, and I really don’t know why. Maybe it’s me wanting to relive Garner’s Alias TV past, but I thought she did a great job The story is little unbelievable but think a female John Wick. Like John Wick, this film is very violent and there is a lot of blood shed. This won’t be for everybody, and I am guessing that not many film critics will like it, but I did.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee    Peppermint Website
Indiefest:  The Wife  (2017)  R  A woman (Glenn Close) questions her life choices and what she gave up when she became the wife of a famous author (Max Irons), who is slated to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. Glenn Close gives a fantastic performance in this film, but I was often bored with the very predictable storyline. There isn’t a happy person in this film, and the movie makes sure that you know that. It’s an unhappy film about miserable people who feed off of each other’s misery. The film is made worst by really gross flashbacks as we see how she met her husband, who was her professor who hit on her. Close may get an Academy Award nomination for her performance but this film won’t.  My Rating: Cable   The Wife Website
In Case You Missed It (A movie just released on DVD/Blu-Ray):  Adrift  (2018)  PG-13  A young couple, Tami (Shailene Woodley) and Richard (Sam Clafin)  who are avid sailors, head out on a small boat for the ride of a lifetime. What they don’t know is that they are about to head directly into one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in recorded history  Part romantic movie and part survival film, Adrift successfully melds the two together, mostly due to Woodley and Clafin. The movie moves back and forth, between their courtship in Tahiti, and the storm and its aftermath. Woodley and Clafin have spectacular chemistry and their characters falling in love seems real and beautiful. Woodley has to do the heavy lifting for the wake of the storm, and as usual, Woodley is masterful in her performance. Shot in Tahiti and New Zealand, the landscapes are spectacular, and the storm sequence is riveting. There are some nice twists and turns along the way, and the film moves at a quick pace. You are going to enjoy this film, going on an adventure of a lifetime with Tami and Richard.   My Rating: Full Price   Adrift Website
Forgotten FilmThe Brave Little Toaster (1990) Five household electric appliances have been waiting for 2000 days for ‘The Master,’ a thirteen-year-old boy, to return.  They decide to go to the big city to find their friend. The film feels like a classic Disney film which holds up well in repeated viewings. This is a film that both adults and kids will enjoy and should be a staple in your animation collection.  My Rating: Full Price   The Brave Little Toaster Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Peppermint: Biscuit technician 


Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  First Man (2018)  PG-13  A look at the life of the astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. The film is directed by Damien Chazelle, who directed Whiplash (2014) and La La Land (2016).   First Man Website
Until Next Time!


Friday, August 31, 2018

KIN

My View:  KIN  (2018)  PG-13  A recently released con-man, Jimmy (Jack Reynor) and his adopted teenage brother, Eli (Myles Truitt)  who go on the run with a weapon of mysterious origin. The brothers are being chased by a vengeful criminal (James Franco), the feds and a gang of otherworldly soldiers. I wanted to like this film, but it has serious flaws, the most significant being that we are supposed to root for Jimmy, but he is an unlikeable person who makes one selfless lousy decision after another. How can you root for someone that causes every bad thing to his younger brother Eli. I did enjoy the surprise reveal at the end of the film but it much too long to get there.   My Rating: Cable   KIN Website
My View:  Operation Finale  (2018)  PG-13  A group of Israeli secret agents, led by a brash secret agent( Oscar Issac) go after Adolph Eichmann (Ben Kingsley), the man responsible for murdering six million Jews,. Eichmann, under a different name,  is hiding in South America among a group of Nazi supporters. I enjoyed this film, though the first half of the film is much better than the second half. Both Kingsley, playing the unapologetic Eichmann and Issac, playing an Israeli secret agent who hasn’t always done the right thing, give convincing performances as they play a cat an mouse game. And anytime I can see Melanie Laurent, who plays a fellow Israeli agent, on the screen, I’m happy.  My Rating: Full Price       Operation Finale Website
IndiefestThe Little Stranger  (2018)  Dr. Faraday (Domhnall Gleeson) is a country doctor, who is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall, a large estate that his mother once worked at. He begins to visit on a regular basis, and strange things started to occur. This is the type of film that some critics are going to love, but I hated it. Part supernatural thriller, part mystery, the film never worked for me. I found the ending of the film stupid and confusing, but that also sums up the rest of the movie. There is a reason this movie is being released at the end of summer, it’s just not good enough to play anytime else.  My Rating: Cable   The Little Stranger Info
My View:  Searching  (2018)  PG-13  After his 16-year old daughter (Michelle La) goes missing, her father (John Cho) with the help of a detective (Debra Messing) practically search for clues on where she could have gone. This film, if told in a conventional way, might make an OK TV movie, but because it’s told entirely from the view of a computer screen, makes the film exciting and fun to watch. I enjoyed both Cho’s and Messing’s performances, as they desperately search for his missing daughter, and they have good chemistry on screen together (though they are rarely in the same room). While the story was simple, I was entertained throughout the film by the smart and entertaining way the story was told.  My Rating: Full Price   Searching Website
IndiefestScotty and the Secret History of Hollywood (2018)  Documentary about Scotty Bowers, who spent decades as a sexual procurer to the stars in Hollywood. This should have been an interesting film because Scotty holds a lot of secrets about Hollywood royalty of the 40s and 50s. Instead, too much time is spent on Scotty and his wife living in a home that should be on Hoarders. The tidbits that you get on people like Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy (Scotty says both were gay and never slept together) are too far between seeing Scotty doing gardening and sorting through trash to make it enjoyable. My Rating: Cable    Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood Website
Forgotten FilmAlbino Alligator (1996)  Three robbers (Matt Dillon, Gary Sinise, and William Fichtner) try to hold up a bar and things go wrong, they take hostages, and they are cornered by police. While the actors are sometimes let down by the script, the performances are top-notch, especially Matt Dillon. While not a great film, if you are interested in characters and how they react to pressure, this is a film to check out.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee    Albino Alligator Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of KIN:  Tattoo Designer for Mr. Franco


Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouLizzie  (2018)  A psychological thriller based on the 1892 murders of the Borden family.  With a cast that includes Chloe Sevigny and Kristen Stewart, who I consider one of the best actresses of her generation, this film should be good. Lizzie Website 
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Until Next Time!