Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Ralph Breaks the Internet

Family Faire: Ralph Breaks the Internet  (2018)  PG    Ralph (John C. Reily), and his pal Venellope (Sarah Silverman) go on a search on the internet for a new joystick for Ralph’s game. If they don’t find the joystick, Ralph’s game will be turned off. I liked this film more than the first film, Wreck it Ralph. I think it’s funnier and has a better message than the first film. This film is all about friendship and putting other peoples needs and feelings in front of yours. I loved that they got a lot of the Disney princesses voices, like Kristen Bell and Ming Na to do their characters voices. The film is enjoyable for both kids and adults, though some adults may not get all the jokes, as some of them are aimed at the ‘YouTube’ generation. The film moves at a quick pace and is fun to watch. This is the perfect film for families to go out to see this holiday season.  My Rating: Full Price  
 My View:  Creed II (2018)  PG-13   With Rocky’s (Sylvester Stallone) help, newly crowned light heavyweight champion Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) faces off against Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu), the son of the man that killed Adonis’ father. This is a disappointing film because the first Creed film was one of the best of that year. Sylvester Stallone co-wrote this film, and it has his heavy hand all over it. This feels more like a Rocky picture than a sequel to Creed. What is surprising is how good Dolph Lundgren is as Ivan Drago, the boxer who lost everything when Rocky beat him thirty years ago. Lundren makes Drago a real character who wants revenge through his son and it’s the best performance in the film. I just wish the movie wasn’t so over the top and is much too long.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee
In Case You Missed It (A movie just released on DVD/Blu-Ray):  Dog Days  (2018)  PG    A group of interconnected people in Los Angeles are brought together by the dogs that fill their lives with love and hope. This very bland movie has a few cute dogs in it, but that’s about it. The film is made up of a bunch of stories about people and their dogs. A morning TV hosts (Nina Dobrev) gets a new on-air partner, and their dogs get along better than they do. A husband (Rob Corddry) and wife (Eva Longoria) adopt a young girl who seems unhappy until a dog enters their life. All the stories are dull and lifeless, and worse yet, highly predictable. Go walk your own dog around the block rather than going to the theatre to see this film.   My Rating:  Cable   Dog Days Website
Forgotten Film:  Drugstore Cowboy  (1989)     Led by Bob (Matt Dillon) two couples travel from on seedy motel to another in search of drugs. Dillon gives one of the greatest performances of his life as he and his friends travel to find any drug that they can find or steal. While not a happy film it is worth seeing for Dillon’s performance and the interaction of the 4 characters who treat each other like they are family.   My Rating: Full Price   Drugstore Cowboy Info

Weird Credits: From the credits of Creed II:  Contact Lens Painter

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouMary Poppins Returns  (2018)  PG-13    Decades after her last visit, Mary (Emily Blunt) returns to help the Banks family through a difficult time in their lives. The trailer is amazing, and I will go see anything that Emily Blunt is in.   Mary Poppins Returns Website
Until Next Time!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

My ViewFantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald  (2018)  PG-13   After Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) help apprehend the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp), Grindelwald makes good on his promise and escapes. Grindelwald sets about to find followers in his plot to take over the world from all non-magical beings. Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) convinces Newt to take on Grindelwald once again. I loved the first film which was filled with wonderful beasts of all types. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about this film. There are so many characters which take forever to develop, and it takes so long to get going, the film feels like it’s four hours in length. The first film was fun, this one is just tedious, and unlike the original film, this one doesn’t give us enough new beasts. A couple of characters that I loved in the first Fantastic Beasts, Jacob, the sidekick of Newt and Jacob’s love Queenie, are just lost in this film filled with characters. Once again, Johnny Depp sleepwalks through another performance. Can Hollywood quit giving him jobs he longer deserves? The film feels like one long setup for the next film and has a horrible, anticlimactic ending. There are no closing credit scenes in this film, but I suggest you just skip the whole thing.   My Rating: Cable   Fantastic Beasts Website
My ViewInstant Family  (2018)  PG-13  A couple (Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne) want to adopt and fall in love with an adorable kid. To their surprise, if they want that child, they have to adopt the kids two siblings. Can the couple survive this ‘Instant Family?’ I can’t believe I am saying this about a filmmaker who gave us the Daddy’s Home series, but I adore this film. It’s funny, warm, sweet look at a foster family trying to figure out the dynamics of it all. Yes, the film can get a little silly at times, but this film is full of heart and writer/director Sean Anders (who has fostered kids in his own family) is passionate about this subject, and it shows. The film was shot in Atlanta, and many of the kids in the movie are actual foster kids in real life. Go see this fantastic film. You will laugh and shed a few tears along the way.   My Rating: Full Price   Instant Family Website
My ViewWidows  (2018)  Their husbands have died in a botched heist, and a drug lord is demanding the money that was stolen from him, three of the widows plan to rob a local politician. Academy Award winning director Steve McQueen and writer Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) gives a heist movie like no other. The film has plenty of twists and turns (one I unfortunately saw coming from a mile away) and moves at a quick pace. The cast is top notch with Viola Davis giving another outstanding performance that only she can give. This isn’t a perfect movie, I have a few problems with some of the plot, but it is worth seeing because of the incredible acting of the cast.  My Rating: Full Price   Widows Website
IndiefestThe Ballad of Buster Scruggs  (2018)  R  An anthology film comprised of six stories taking place in the old west. So let me tell you that this is a Coen Brothers movie and it acts like it. The film is six stories tied together by a storybook that we see when each story starts. The film is part comedy, part drama that is at times funny, other times sad or even scary. The story I enjoyed the most was the first one of the film, a play on the singing cowboy films of the 30s and 40s. The singing cowboy is played to perfection by Tim Blake Nelson, a cowboy who plays guitar while riding his horse and is the best gunslinger in the west. The ending of the story has a big payoff that I really enjoyed. Not all the stories worked, but there is enough in this film to satisfy any viewer. I will warn you that there is quite a bit of violence and death in this film, some of it comedic, some of it incredibly heartbreaking and poignant, so don’t be fooled by the trailer thinking that the whole movie is a comedy. I am a big fan of westerns, so I really enjoyed this film and its variety of tales that it told.   My Rating: Full Price   The Ballad of Buster Scruggs Website
My ViewThe Front Runner  (2018)  R  American Senator Gary Hart (Hugh Jackman) was in the driver’s seat for the Democratic nominee for President in 1988. His career and campaign are ruined when it’s discovered that he has been having a scandalous love affair. This film explores the campaign of Hart that literally fell apart in just three weeks. It was the beginning of when mainstream news reporting became tabloid news. Jackman gives an excellent performance as the man who thought his personal life wasn’t anyone’s business.  This film is more about how the alleged affair (Hart and the woman he was caught with to this day deny that slept together) affect the people in the campaign and his family, especially his wife played by the incredible Vera Farmiga. I am guessing that the film left out one of the most famous photos of all time, Donna Rice sitting on Hart’s lap in front of the ‘Monkey Business’ boat due to copyright issues but by not being in the film, it sits out like a sore thumb. I liked this film, but I just don’t thank any aspect of this movie is Oscar quality.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee    The Front Runner Website
Indiefest:  Green Book  (2018)  PG-13  An Italian-American bouncer, Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen) is hired to drive an African-American classical pianist, Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) across the deep south on tour in the 1960s. This is a highly enjoyable movie with two great actors who have unbelievable chemistry together on the screen. This road-trip film about two people with nothing in common moves at such a quick pace that the movie feels more like an hour long than its two-hour length. This is a funny, touching and often moving film that explores how we may think we are vastly different from each other but in reality, we have a lot in common. My favorite scene, which is near the end of the film, is where the two men go to a bar and Don gets up and plays rock and roll with the house band while the whole bar goes nuts. I think you will love this film as much as I did.    My Rating: Full Price   Green Book Website
My ViewA Private War  (2018)  R    One of the greatest war correspondents of our time, Marie Colvin (Rosamund Pike) is devoted to getting the story at all costs. Its always hard to make a story about a person you don’t like, but director Matthew Heineman and screenwriter Arash Amel pull it off. Colvin was a reporter that went to some of the worst war-torn areas of the world and did insightful and often moving stories about how war was affecting the civilians in that part of the world. Pike, in a demanding role, makes us root for Marie even though she was a problematic, self-centered person that certainly suffered from Post-traumatic stress disorder. The supporting cast is exceptional with Jamie Dornan standing out as a photographer that teams up with Marie. A Private War is not a perfect film as the story lags a bit in the middle  but it does give you an inside look at what reporters go through in war.  My Rating: Full Price
Forgotten Film:  All the Real Girls  (2003) Paul (Paul Schneider) is what we call a womanizer, a guy who sleeps with any woman he can seduce, only to move on from her when he has slept with her. His world changes when he meets his best-friends sister, Noel (Zooey Deschanel), an 18-year-old who has just come back home from boarding school. Looming large in the relationship is that Noel is a virgin. What I love about this movie is the film isn’t about Noel’s virginity, it’s about Paul trying to have a healthy relationship with the first woman he has let into his heart. The dialogue is sharp and feels real. If your type of movie is about falling in love with the right person for you, then this is a perfect film for you.    My Rating: Full Price   All the Real Girls Website

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald: Support Staff for Johnny Depp

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:   Ralph Breaks the Internet  (2018)  PG  Ralph, and his pal Venellope go on a search on the internet for a new joystick for Ralph’s game. If they don’t find the joystick, Ralph’s game will be turned off. I loved the first film, and the trailer for this film looks like the filmmakers have found magic once again.    Ralph Breaks the Internet Website
Until Next Time!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Dr. Seuss' The Grinch

Family Faire:  Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch  (2018)  PG  T  he Grinch (Benedict Cumberbatch) lives a solitary life with his loyal dog Max. The cynical grump goes on a mission to steal Christmas from the residents of Whoville. Kids are going to love this colorful and funny film. Adults, especially fans of the old 60s TV special maybe a little bored by the story that covers no new ground. I did love the Grinch’s dog Max, who steals the movie with his antics. Cumberbatch, doing the voice of The Grinch is almost unrecognizable in the role.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee   Dr. Seuss' The Grinch Website
My View: The Girl in the Spider’s Web  (2018)  R      Computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Claire Foy) is back on the prowl dispensing her style of justice. With journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Sverrir Gudnason), Lisbeth gets caught up in a web of spies, cybercriminals and corrupt government officials. So this film takes place three years after the third book (and the third Swedish films). I really enjoyed Claire Foy’s performance as she perfectly captures the fire and ice of Lisbeth’s personality. It was a little jaring getting used to a much younger Mikael Blomkvist, and though he isn’t given that much to do, Sverrir Gudnason is fine in the role. The action sequences were well done and the several chase sequences are fast and exciting. I am a big fan of the Swedish trio of films starring Noomi Rapace and I think this film is equal to those films. It is certainly better that the 2011 American version.  My Rating:  Full Price   The Girl in the Spider's Web Facebook page
Indiefest: The Great Buster  (2018)  Documentary on who is considered one of the greatest silent film comedians, who at the height of his fame, lost control over his movies and ‘talkies,’ film with sound brought his downfall. Directed by Academy Award nominee and film historian Peter Bogdanovich, The Great Buster is a loving look at one of the greatest filmmakers of the silent era. Using interviews with friends and family, vintage photos and footage from his numerous films, Bogdanovich lets us get to know Buster, warts and all. What I loved about this film, is that Bogdanovich looks at the ten featured films that Keaton did in the 20s, going into detail why each is a masterpiece. I am a fan of Keaton and his films, but I still learned a lot about the man and his movies.   My Rating: Full Price   The Great Buster Website
Indiefest:  Boy Erased  (2018)  R  The son (Lucas Hedges) of a Baptist preacher (Russell Crowe) is forced to go to a church-sponsored gay conversion program. If he doesn’t complete the program, his family will kick him out. While Lucas Hedges gives us a passionate and insightful performance as the troubled Jared, it’s the performances of Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman that shine in this film. Crowe, playing the father who is conflicted by his love of his son versus the conviction of his faith that the gay lifestyle is wrong in the eyes of his religion gives a first-rate performance. Kidman is brilliant as the mom who is conflicted by the love of her son and the religious beliefs of her husband. I was let down by this film because it never delivers the emotional punch that the film needs.   My Rating:  Bargain Matinee   Boy Erased Website
In Case You Missed It (A movie just released on DVD/Blu-Ray):  BlacKkKlansman  (2018)  Based on the true story of Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), the first African-American police officer in Colorado Springs. With the help of a white police (Adam Driver), Ron infiltrates the local Ku Klux Klan, becoming a confidant of the Imperial Wizard himself, David Duke (Topher Grace) and eventually becoming the leader of the local pack. A young woman (Vanessa Hudgens) starts volunteering at a rescue center when she finds a dog wandering on its own on the street. This is one of the best films of the year and probably director Spike Lee’s most mainstream movie he has made. The amazing thing about this film is that almost everything that happens in the film actually happened to Ron Stallworth. I loved the performance of John David Washington, and he and Adam Driver have fantastic chemistry that makes this film a joy to watch. Do yourself a favor and go see this brilliant gem of a movie.   My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again   BlacKkKlansman Website
Forgotten FilmState of Grace  (1990) R    A New York cop (Sean Penn) is recruited to return to his old neighborhood and infiltrate a mob run by his childhood friend’s brother (Ed Harris). There are some incredible performances in this film, including Ed Harris as the crazy mob boss. There is a rather neat twist that happens around the middle of the film that changes the complexion of the movie. This film was overshadowed by Goodfellas, which came out about the same time. If you are a fan of great acting and love mob movies, this is one for you.   My Rating: Full Price   State of Grace Info

Weird Credits: From the credits of Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch:  Characters Surfacing Supervisor

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouWidows  (2018)    Their husbands have died in a botched heist and a drug lord is demanding the money that was stolen from him, three of the widows plan to rob a local politician. The film is directed by Academy Award winner Steve McQueen and stars Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Liam Neeson, Robert Duvall, Carrie Coon, and Colin Farrell.   Widows Website
Until Next Time!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Bohemian Rhapsody

My ViewBohemian Rhapsody  (2018)  PG-13  Story of one of the world’s greatest rock bands, Queen, led by their flamboyant lead singer Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek). I loved the concert scenes, especially the last 20 minutes which is from their legendary 1985 Live Aid appearance. This is probably the best I’ve seen in a film of four actors playing instruments, all for play with skill and conviction. I really enjoyed the first half of the film; it’s fun to see how they were formed and how they came up with their unique sound. What I didn’t like about the movie is that they mess with the timeline. For example, Freddy was diagnosed with Aids in 1987, but in the film he is diagnosed in 1985 before Live Aid, making that concert appearance more meaningful. I didn’t like how the made Freddy the party boy, and the other three members of the band come off like perfect husbands and fathers. I found that I didn’t enjoy the 2nd have of the film (except for that ending) when Freddie starts acting like a diva and breaks up the band. The 2nd half seems very long and isn’t much fun to watch. Unlike the rumors that were circulating this year, it does deal with Freddie being gay, but it’s pretty sanitized. If you are a fan of Queen like I am, you will enjoy the film, but you probably won’t think its a great movie, but you will enjoy the concert scenes.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee    Bohemia Rhapsody Website
Family Faire:   The Nutcracker and the Four Realms  (2018)  PG  Clara (Mackenzie Foy) is on a search for a key that will open a box her late mother gave her. When Clara searches for the key, the trail takes her to a magical, mysterious parallel world. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this film. The art direction, costumes, and hair design are fantastic in this film. The storyline moves along at a great pace and is fun to watch. It takes the basis of the Nutcracker story and makes it its own original story. There is an ode to the Nutcracker ballet with a fantasy sequence where some of the famous dance is performed. I immensely enjoyed the performance of Mackenzie Foy who plays Clara, the girl trying to find the key to open up her dead mother’s gift.   My Rating: Full Price   The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Website
Indiefest:   Suspiria  (2018) R    A promising young dancer, Susie (Dakota Johnson) joins a world-renowned dance company. Susie soon learns that mysterious things are happening at the company and dancers have gone missing. This is a bizarre, weird, sometimes violent film that has plenty of nudity and a couple of extremely violent scenes, one early on in the film that is really hard to watch. There is quite a bit of modern dancing in this film, much more than in the original 1977 Suspiria. The film feels every bit of its 2 hours and twenty-minute length. This is very different than director Luca Guadagnino’s 2017 film Call Me By Your Name. There is a subplot about a highjacked plane that I don’t have any clue why it's in the film. The director tries to get too cute with strange camera angles, slow-motion scenes that don’t work and an ending that is very creepy. This is a horror movie that just isn’t scary. I did not enjoy this film, and I plan on never seeing it again.   My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again     Suspiria Website
My View:   Can You Ever Forgive Me?  (2018)  R    Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy) has made her living writing about celebrities. When she falls out of style and can’t get published, she begins to forges letters from deceased authors and playwrights. Melissa McCarthy gives a stunning performance of someone who is utterly unlikeable. In fact both her character and her best friend, Jack (played superbly by Richard E. Grant), a gay man who doesn’t seem to have a job or a home, are horrible people. McCarthy’s character thinks that she is the greatest writer in the world and that nobody realizes that. It makes Lee bitter and angry at the world. Jack gets by on his looks, which are rapidly fading as he ages, and by selling cocaine. The film is entertaining to watch as we wait for when it will all fall apart for Lee. You are not going to like these characters, but you are going to love the film and its performances.    My Rating: Full Price    Can You Ever Forgive Me? Website

Forgotten Film: Mary and Max  (2009)  This film is done in claymation, but it’s not for kids. It’s the tale of a 20-year friendship between two unlikely pen pals: Mary (voiced by Toni Collette) a lonely 8-year old girl from Australia and Max (voiced by Philip Seymour Hoffman), an obese, 44-year old New Yorker with Asperger Syndrome. It’s a beautiful story about friendship that is funny at times but can also be melancholy as it deals with topics like depression and isolation. This is a lovely film that will make you think and maybe shed a tear or two.  My Rating: Full Price   Mary and Max Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of The Nutcracker and the Four Realms: Hair Technician

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You Creed II  (2018)  With Rocky’s help, newly crowned light heavyweight champion Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) faces off against Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu), the son of the man that killed Adonis’ father. I loved the first film, so I am hopeful that this will be good. I am a little worried because the writer/director of the first Creed film, Ryan Coogler, is not involved with this film.   Creed II Website
Until Next Time!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Hunter Killer

My View:  Hunter Killer  (2018) R   An untested American submarine captain (Gerard Butler) teams with U.S. Navy Seals to go on what could be a suicide mission that could start World War III, rescuing the Russian president, kidnapped by a rogue general. I went into this film thinking I wouldn’t have a good time but I quite enjoyed myself. Now the plot is pretty unrealistic, and there is some horrible, but the action sequences are well done and exciting. Butler doesn’t have to do too much, other than be stoic and commanding so that works in the film’s favor. I think most critics are going to kill this film, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee     Hunter Killer Website
My ViewJohnny English Strikes Again  (2018)  PG   After a cyber attack exposes all of the undercover agents in Britain, Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) comes out of retirement to find the hackers and bring them down. I have never been a big Rowan Atkinson fan because he mugs for the camera too much. This is a one-note film, as Johnny messes things up repeatedly due to him being incredibly stupid. I think that is the biggest problem with this film because you never believe that Johnny could ever be a Jame Bond-like secret agent. I laughed a couple of times, but for the most part, the jokes and stunts fell flat.   My Rating:  Cable    Johnny English Strikes Again
Indiefest:  Beautiful Boy (2018) R   A husband and wife (Steve Carell, Maura Tierney) deal with the downward spiral of their son (Timothée Chalamet) into drug addiction. Heartbreaking and moving, Beautiful Boy is full of brilliant performances by Chalamet and Carell. The two have great chemistry on screen, and it never feels that Chalamet is acting as the raw nerve of a teenager who wants to be clean but can’t because he wants to escape life. This is a film that is going to be hard for parents to watch, as Carell’s character tries everything he can to help his son. Based on a true story, the film is a little too long (almost 2 hours in length), the film’s pace is slow, and that hurts the emotional impact that you should have, especially at the end of the film. Still, this film is another chance to see Timothee Chalamet work his magic on the screen and that’s a good thing.  My Rating: Full Price   Beautiful Boy Website
Indiefest:  Mid90s  (2018)  R   Stevie (Sunny Suljic) lives in a troubled home in 90s L.A. with a mother (Katherine Waterston) that is never there, and an older brother Ian (Lucas Hedges) that takes out his frustrations on Stevie. Stevie’s life changes when he finds new friends at the Motor Avenue Skate Shop. This is a film that is not for everyone. There are some disturbing scenes involving Stevie drinking, smoking, doing drugs and even having sex. Also, there is a ton of cursing, some of it done by Stevie, who looks much younger than his age. There is also quite a bit of violence, most of which is committed by Ian on Stevie. The film does have some humorous scenes and at times is quite enjoyable, but it’s hard to overlook the sex scene where an older teenage girl seduces Stevie at a party. I will say this that Sunny Suljic gives an incredible performance as the kid who just wants to fit in with his idols, the skateboarders. Written and directed by Jonah Hill and shot on 16mm film, Mid90s captures that time period so well that at times I thought I was watching a documentary.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee    Mid80s Website
IndiefestStudio 54  (2018)   Documentary by Matt Tyrnauer about the New York dance club sensation Studio 54, that led the disco craze in the mid-70s. The film is told in three acts; the creation of Studio 54, its unbelievable success, and the downfall of its two creators, Steve Rubell, and Ian Schrager. Rubell died in 1989, so the film uses Ian Schrager to tell the story, along with news reports and the tons and tons of pictures taken of celebrities that used to go to be seen. It’s a fascinating look at a club that we will never see the likes of again.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee     Studio 54 Website
Forgotten FilmThe Escapist  (2008)  Frank Perry (Brian Cox) is in prison for life without parole. When his daughter falls ill, he conceives a plan to ingenious plan to break out of prison. This small film by Rupert Wyatt was little seen at the time of its release but is worth viewing, especially for the lead, Brian Cox. The plot has a bunch of twists that you won’t see coming and has an outstanding cast including Damian Lewis, Joseph Fiennes, and Dominic Cooper.    My Rating:  Full Price   The Escapist Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Hunter Killer:  Crowd Marshall

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouBoy Erased  (2018)  R  The son (Lucas Hedges) of a Baptist preacher is forced to participate in a church-sponsored gay conversion after being forcibly outed by his parents (Russel Crowe, Nicole Kidman). This is one of the most talked about films coming out in time for Oscar nominations.   Boy Erased Website
Until Next Time!

Friday, October 19, 2018


My ViewHalloween  (2018) R Michael Myers comes back to get revenge on Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) four decades after their first confrontation. Let me say first off that Jamie Lee Curtis gives one heck of a performance, giving the role everything she has. This is a sequel to the 1978 original film, it’s if all the other Halloween movies didn’t happen. So Michael has been locked up in a mental institution for the past 40 years. Laurie has been obsessed with Michael, convinced that he will come back for her and she wants to make sure she is ready. Laurie became obsessed with Michael has cost Laurie her family, her marriage broke up, her daughter taken away by child services when Laurie’s daughter was twelve. What I loved about this film is it captures the essence of the first film. The film continually references the first film both visually and in the storyline. The audience that I saw it with, thoroughly enjoyed the movie, continuously screaming throughout the film and there are plenty of twists and turns to keep you interested. I will say that this is different from the first film, the body count is high (only five people died in the first film) and extraordinarily bloody and violent. Lovers of the original will have a great time as Michael and Laurie battle it out once again.  My Rating: Full Price   Halloween Website
Indiefest:  The Guilty  (2018)  R  A police officer (Jakob Cedergren) is assigned alarm dispatch duty when he gets a call from a kidnapped woman. This tense thriller that has plenty of twists and turns, some of which I didn’t see coming and a plot that moves at a quick pace. The cool thing about this film is that it takes place all on the phone as the police officer attempts to track down the kidnapper and keep the kidnapped woman calm and alive. What starts out as an ordinary and boring night of answering and dealing belligerent, drunk callers turns into a night fraught with tension that continues to build as the film moves along. This Danish film that is their entry for the Foreign Film Academy Award competition is a riveting film that will keep you on the edge of your seat.  My Rating:  Full Price    The Guilty Info
In Case You Missed It (A movie just released on DVD/Blu-Ray)Eighth Grade (2018) R  Kayla (Elsie Fisher) is all about blending into the woodwork so that she doesn’t stand out. All Kayla wants to do is survive the last week of the eighth grade so she can start high school on a clean slate. Life has decided that Kayla should come out of the shadows. Kayla decides to give advice on how to navigate life through a series of YouTube videos. I loved this film, and Elsie Fisher is a delight to watch on screen. Her performance is heartfelt and beautiful and writer/director Bo Burnham treats her with a loving touch. The film is filled with beautiful moments about an awkward kid trying just to survive one last week of school. This is a film that everyone will enjoy going into the last week of eighth grade with Kayla.    My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again  Eighth Grade Website
In Memory of Ed Wood (A Movie I've Only Seen in Trailers but Just Looks Like a Bad Idea):   Johnny English Strikes Again  (2018) PG  After a cyber attack exposes all of the undercover agents in Britain, Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) comes out of retirement to find the hackers and bring them down. I have stated before I don’t get Rowan Atkinson’s style of comedy and I can’t believe they have now made three of these films. This one is not for me.    Johnny English Strikes Again Website
Forgotten FilmLymelife  (2009)  R  The story of two families in the 1970s that are struggling to stay together as seen through the eyes of two fifteen-year-old kids, Scott (Rory Culkin) and Adrianna (Emma Roberts). Charlie (Timothy Hutton) has Lyme disease, his wife, Melissa (Cynthia Nixon) is having an affair with their neighbor, Mickey (Alex Baldwin), whose wife, Brenda (Jill Hennessy) knows about the affair. The characters are complex and the acting, especially Hutton and Culkin, who give some of their best performances of their careers. This is a sad, sensitive film that sometimes delves in comedy.   My Rating: Full Price    LymeLife Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Halloween:  Prosthetics Lifecasting

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  Overlord  (2018)  R  Two American soldiers find themselves behind enemy lines on D Day. It appears that the Nazi’s have been up to some very evil experiments. The trailer looks really scary, and it’s being produced by J.J. Abrams.   Overlord Website
Until Next Time!

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!