Friday, June 15, 2018

Incredibles 2

My View:  Incredibles 2  (2018)  PG  Bob (Mr. Incredible) is playing “Mr. Mom,” taking care of Jack-Jack while Helen (Elastigirl) is out saving the world. While not as good as The Incredibles, the film is still a lot of fun and the ending of the film is as good as any live action adventure film. The film moves at a quick pace and has a few twists and turns to make the film interesting. As with the first film, this is a movie not just for kids but adults as well. The best character in the film is the baby, Jack-Jack, who starts developing super powers that Bob has to deal with while Elastigirl is out saving the world. These are some superheroes that we have missed for thirteen years. The lovely short Bao plays before Incredibles 2 and it's a welcome addition to Pixar short film library.   My Rating:  Full Price   Incredibles 2 website
My View:  Tag  (2018)  R  A group of former classmates get together every year and play the kids game, Tag. One of the members (Jeremy Renner), who has never been tagged, announces he is quitting the game after this year.  I have severe problems with this film. It wants to be a raunchy comedy, but it also wants to be a serious picture about friendship, and it fails on both counts.  The film makes jokes of miscarriages and cancer. I did enjoy the performances of Isla Fisher, who plays the wife of Ed Helms and takes the game too seriously, and Hannibal Buress, who plays one of the gamers who sees a conspiracy theory in everything.   Both actors bring some energy and fun to the film. Unfortunately, both Jon Hamm and Ed Helms bring very little to the picture and take the air out of it in their main scenes. The film never finds its footing and just doesn’t deliver enough laughs to overlook the horrible writing.  My Rating: Cable   Tag Website
In Case You Missed It (A movie just released on DVD/Blu-Ray):  Love, Simon  (2018)  PG-13  Simon (Nick Robinson) is a gay high school student who hasn’t come out, even to his best friends. He is in love with an anonymous classmate whom he has only talked to online.  Now, Simon’s life will change in a big way.  This is one of those rare movies about teenagers where the characters on the screen are real people with real problems, ones we can relate to and feel. Nick Robinson gives an intelligent and moving performance as the teenager who is afraid to come out. Simon just wants to last until he is out of high school before revealing he is gay. He also doesn’t want to rock the boat with his closest friends, especially with his best friend, Leah (Katherine Langford), whom he has known since childhood. Love, Simon is a funny and sweet movie that hits all the right notes. At the screening, when the big scene near the end of the film happened, teenage girls jumped up out of their seats and cheered. Go see this film, and you just might do the same.    My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again    Love, Silmon Facebook Page
Forgotten Film:  Atlantis: The Lost Empire  (2001)  PG  Atlantis is a rare Disney animated film that doesn’t have any songs or dances. It’s an adventure story of a team of explorers looking for the lost city of Atlantis. The movie is based on a story idea by Buffy and Angel creator Joss Whedon. The animation looks very different than most Disney movies, with almost a Japanese anime feel to it. The storyline is sharp and it has an ending that delivers. While the film is aimed at kids, adults may also enjoy this movie with its adventure theme.  My Rating: Full Price    Atlantis Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Tag:  Hoagie’s Mom Photo Double

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  A Star is Born  (2018)  R  A musician (Bradley Cooper) who has seen better days, helps a young singer (Lady Gaga) as she becomes a star. His demons get a hold of him as he falls for the young singer, and their relationship suffers. Bradley Cooper also directs this film, and the trailer looks brilliant.    A Star is Born Info
Until Next Time!


Friday, June 8, 2018

Ocean's 8

My View:  Ocean’s 8  (2018) PG-13  Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) puts together an all-female crew to attempt an impossible heist at the New York City yearly Met Gala. Sandra Bullock plays the sister of Danny Ocean (George Clooney in Ocean’s Eleven - Twelve, Thirteen) and she has just spent the last six years plotting how to steal a legendary diamond neckless at the toughest ticket to get, the Met Gala. I liked this film as it has some nice twists and turns, a couple that I didn’t see coming. The problem with this film is there isn’t any chemistry between Bullock and Cate Blanchett, the two leaders of the heist. What made Ocean’s Eleven work and so much fun was the sparkly chemistry between George Clooney and Brad Pitt. The other cool thing about Ocean’s Eleven is we get to see them run through the heist and fail, a lot which creates both humor and tension. In Ocean’s Eight we don’t see them run through the heist, so there is a lot less tension when they start the heist. I did like the humor of the film. There is a hilarious scene where Helena Bonham Carter and Mindy Kaling have to keep coming up with lies to see and secretly photograph the diamond necklace at Cartier’s. The best performance in the film is Anne Hathaway who plays a full of herself actress that they dupe into wearing the necklace. Hathaway is brilliant in the role and makes this film a blast to watch. By the way, there are a ton of cameos from both the fashion and acting worlds. I think you will have a great time watching the gang try and pull off an impossible heist.  My Rating: Full Price   Ocean's 8 Website
My View:  Hotel Artemis  (2018)  R  Set in riot-torn, near-future Los Angeles, ‘Hotel Artemis’ is a secret hospital. The Nurse (Jodie Foster) runs the emergency room that only takes in criminals. This film reminded me of some of the smaller action films of the 80s, low budget with lots of set up before the big action sequence at the end. The outstanding cast gives it there all with Sterling K. Brown and Jodie Foster leading the pack. Dave Bautista is incredibly funny in the role of the muscle/assistant to Nurse. Bautista has found a way to use his sense of humor in his roles and his scenes were my favorite in the film. Tension builds slowly in this film as we learn about each of Hotel Artemis’s patients. The writing is smart and witty, with some sparkling dialogue. The big action scene at the end is exciting and well choreographed. I enjoyed my time in Hotel Artemis and I hope that we get to visit it or another clandestine hospital in a sequel.  My Rating: Full Price   Hotel Artemis Facebook Page
Indiefest:  Hereditary  (2018)  R  When the matriarch of the Graham family passes away, her daughter’s (Toni Collette) family starts to experience strange events that become increasingly terrifying.  While there are aspects of a horror film, with scary events and a few 'jump out of the dark' moments, this more of a psychological study of a family that is being ripped apart. The film builds tension throughout the film, taking us on a wild ride to an ending that  I guarantee you will not see coming. Collette is the center of the film, and it’s emotional core, giving a performance that could get her an Academy Award nomination. Be warned; the film is extremely graphic and sometimes gory.  My Rating: Full Price   Hereditary Website
Forgotten Film:  The Abominable Dr. Phibes  (1971)  PG-13  A doctor/scientist (who also plays the organ for inspiration) seeks revenge on the nine doctors Dr. Phibes (Vincent Price) considers responsible for his wife’s death. I love this schlocky, low budget horror film. It knows it’s not an arthouse movie and just has fun with the plot. Dr. Phibes kills the doctors in the most bizarre ways (he kills one doctor with bats). Price gives an over the top performance that perfectly fits the film. Joseph Cotton hams it up on the screen as the detective that is trying to catch Dr. Phibes. The film was made by AIP, known for the low budget, drive-in movies. So go back in time when studios purposely made bad movies just for the fun of it.  My Rating: Cable (but in a good way)   The Abominable Dr. Phibes Info  

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Heredity:  Animal Wrangler Ants

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  Tag  (2018)  R  A group of former classmates get together every year and play the kids game tag. One of the group (Jeremy Renner) who has never been tagged announces that he is quitting the game after this year. The rest of the group vows to tag him finally.  This film could go anyway (bad or good), but the cast is solid, the trailer is hilarious and heck, Jeremy Renner broke both his arms making the film, so I’ll give it a shot.    Tag Website
Until Next Time!

Friday, June 1, 2018

Adrift

My ViewAdrift  (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 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

In Case You Missed It (A Film Just Released on BlueRay and DVD):  Red Sparrow  (2018)  Ballerina Dominika Egorova (Jennifer Lawrence) is injured in a freak accident. Her dancing career is over, and she is forced to join the “Sparrow School,’ a Russian intelligence service where she is forced to use her body as a weapon. Her first mission is to seduce an American CIA agent (Joel Edgerton). When the mission starts to unravel, it just might threaten the security of both countries. If you think you are going to see something like last year’s Atomic Blonde, you aren’t. While a violent film with a couple of very hard to watch torture scenes, this is more of a movie about the psychology of breaking people down to become someone who will do anything for their country. The film is too long (two hours, twenty minutes), and the storyline, while it has some nice twists and turns, is too slow. Lawrence doesn’t do a Russian accent well, to the point that it just gets distracting. While Atomic Blonde was a blast to watch, I was either revolted at the torture or bored by the countless talking head scenes. I did enjoy the all too brief part that Mary-Louise Parker has as a wisecracking chief of staff of the American Embassy. She breathed life into the film, but her role was too short to save this film.   My Rating: Cable   Red Sparrow Facebook Page

In Memory of Ed Wood (A Movie I've Only Seen in Trailers but Just Looks Like a Bad Idea):  Uncle Drew  (2018)  PG-13  After draining his life savings, Dax (Lil Rel Howery) to enter a team in streetball tournament, he loses his star players to a rival (Nick Kroll).  Dax stumbles across a legendary streetball player, Uncle Drew (Kyrie Irving) and convinces Uncle Drew to assemble his legendary streetball team and join Dax’s squad for the tourney.  All have to tell you is that Shaq is in this film to let you know how bad it’s going to be based on Shaq’s past films (Kazamm, Steel).   Uncle Drew Website

Forgotten FilmThe Descent  (2005)  R  A caving expedition goes horribly wrong as six women become lost inside a previously unexplored cave. Trapped in the cave, they desperately try to find a way out as a strange breed of predators pursues them. This little-seen horror film was one of the best movies of 2005. The film builds the tension almost from the start, and there are some first-rate performances. I will warn you that this film is very gruesome and rather graphic, but if you are looking for a horror film, you can't do better than this one.  My Rating: Full Price    The Descent Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Adrift:  Tattoo Builder


Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouDon’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot (2018)  R  John Callahan (Joaquin Phoenix) has been in a horrific car accident and is permanently confined to a wheelchair.  On his journey to sobriety, he uses his mangled hands to draw hilarious, often controversial cartoons, which gives him a new lease on life.   Don't Worry Facebook Page
Until Next Time!



Friday, May 25, 2018

Solo: A Star Wars Story

My View:  Solo: A Star Wars Story  (2018)  PG-13   Han (Alden Ehrenreich) is desperately trying to get back to the world where his girlfriend (Emilia Clarke) is held captive. He joins a thief (Woody Harrelson) and his band of thieves, meets his future co-pilot, Chewbacca, and encounters the flashy Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover).  I enjoyed this origin’s story of how Han got the Millennium Falcon and how Chewbacca became his co-pilot. It’s a rollicking, fun adventure with a surprising number of laughs and some exciting chase sequences. I was worried when the studio cast Alden Ehrenreich for the part of Han, but Ehrenreich really pulls it off. The man who steals the movie is Donald Glover, playing Lando Calrissian to perfection. The film’s pacing is a little off, but that may be due to the film changing directors after it was already in production. Overall, I think that Star Wars fans will leave the theatre happy. I know I did. There is not an after credits scene in the film.   My Rating: Full Price
In Memory of Ed Wood (A Movie I've Only Seen in Trailers but Just Looks Like a Bad Idea):  Action Point (2018) R   An owner (Johnny Knoxville) of a failing amusement park decides that, to bring in the crowds, his thrill rides will be dangerous. I think all I have to say is the star of the film is Johnny Knoxville, who also came up with the story idea.


In Case You Missed It (A Film Just Released on BlueRay and DVD): Wonderstruck (2017)  PG  Ben (Oakes Fegley) goes on a journey to New York to try and find his long-lost father, and we also see a young deaf girl named, Rose (Millicent Simmonds), 50 years ago, making her way through the streets of New York to see her mother (Julianne Moore). The film is divided into two stories: one takes place in 1927, is in black and white and is shown like a silent film (dialogue is displayed with title cards and a musical soundtrack), and one story is set in the 1970’s, is in color and uses a soundtrack of popular music from that time period. I loved the silent film part, and Millicent Simmonds (who is deaf in real life) is brilliant as the strong-willed Rose. The story, though, drags a bit in the 70’s section. I did enjoy the performance of Oakes Fegley, and I especially enjoyed Jaden Michael as Jamie, a kid who befriends Ben, and who breathes some life into the 70’s section. This is a film that I wanted to love but only liked. If only the 70’s scenes had lived up to the brilliance of the silent film part.    My Rating:  Bargain Matinee


Forgotten Film:  Moon  (2009)  R  Astronaut Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) is about to go back to Earth after a three-year stint sending parcels of a resource that has helped diminish Earth’s power problems. His return to Earth is threatened when he encounters a major problem, a problem that may kill him. Moon is an extraordinary film exploring the loneliness and isolation in space. Rockwell gives one of his best performances, and the storyline has a few twists and turns that you don’t see coming. The film was made on a minimal budget, but it looks as good as 100 million dollar films.   My Rating: Full Price

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Solo: A Star Wars Story:  Action Vehicle Dressing Props

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  Eighth Grade  (2018)  A teenager (Elsie Fisher) tries to survive her last week of middle school before she starts what she hopes will be a successful high school transition. This was the closing night film of the 2018 Atlanta Film Festival and got a lot of positive response.

Until Next Time!


Friday, May 18, 2018

Deadpool 2

My ViewDeadpool 2 (2018)  R  Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) is back, and this time he has assembled a team to take on a mercenary from the future named, Cable (Josh Brolin), who is out to kill a young boy (Julian Dennison).  I thought the first film was one of the best movies of 2016, and, while not quite as inventive as the first, Deadpool 2 offers a fun ride with plenty of surprises. This film, like the first, never takes itself too seriously, even when there is a sad moment. Deadpool 2 has thrilling fight sequences and, along the way, introduces a bunch of new and exciting characters. Make sure to stay through the first section of end credits because they contain some of the best post-credit sequences I have ever seen. Just remember, this film is raunchy and isn’t meant for young children. I had a blast watching Deadpool2, continually laughing throughout and you will too.   My Rating: I Would Pay to See It Again    Deadpool 2 Website

My View: Book Club  (2018)  PG-13  Four lifelong friends (Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen) get together once a month to drink wine and discuss their lives. A certain trashy romantic book is about to change them.  I liked this film, mostly due to the performances of the four leading ladies. The storyline is a little weak, but the film treats the four women with dignity and humor. Don Johnson, who plays an old flame of Fonda’s character, has the best storyline of the secondary characters, and he is perfect for the role. Book Club is an enjoyable comedy that shows that life after sixty can be fun, adventurous and it is possible to find love again. So, grab a glass of wine and watch four amazing actresses work their magic.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee    Book Club Website

Family FaireShow Dogs  (2018)  PG  Max (voiced by Ludacris), a police dog used to being on his own, is partnered with an FBI agent (Will Arnett) to go undercover and track down an animal smuggler at a prestigious dog show. One of the dogs in this film says, “They don’t make films about talking dogs anymore, and there is a reason.  Talking dog movies are horrible.” I think the only time I laughed was when Will Arnett made a joke about the Lego Batman movie. The plot makes no sense, is highly predictable and feels much longer than its ninety-two minutes.  Only very young children will enjoy this film, and adults will probably take a nap.  My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See It Again    Show Dogs Website

Forgotten FilmAcross the Universe (2007)  PG-13  A love story told in song between an upper-class American girl (Evan Rachel Wood) and a poor British artist. The film is set in the 1960’s and uses more than thirty Beatle songs to tell the story of the two lovers. Across the Universe is a very unusual, intriguing film that uses even animation to move the story along. What I love about this movie is that it doesn’t always play the Beatles songs the way that they did. Slow songs are performed quickly, and happy songs are used to express sorrow. If you are a Beatle fan or a fan of musicals, you will enjoy this film.  My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again   Across the Universe Info

Weird Credits:   From the credits of Deadpool 2: Chinook Helicopter Tech Advisor


Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You Hearts Beat Loud  (2018)  A father (Nick Offerman) and his daughter (Kiersey Clemons) bond over writing and performing songs before she goes off to college.  This film was one of the movies that wowed audiences at the Atlanta Film Festival.   Hearts Beat Loud Info
Until Next Time!


Friday, May 11, 2018

Life of the Party


My View:  Life of the Party  (2018)  PG-13  After her husband asks for a divorce, a middle-aged mother (Melissa McCarthy) goes back to college to complete her degree at the same school her daughter goes to. Another comedy dud from the married team of Ben Falcone and Melissa McCarthy. This tedious and unfunny film feels twice as long as its one hour and forty-five minute running time. The film’s plot is highly predictable and with plot holes the size of a keg of stale beer. McCarthy’s fish-out-of-water performance gets old very fast, and Gillian Jacobs’ performance as ‘Coma Girl’ is strange and offsetting. Rent Back to School, instead, and stay away from this mess of a film.    My Rating:  You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again    Life of the Party Facebook Page

My View:  Breaking In (2018)  PG-13  A woman (Gabrielle Union) fights to protect her son and daughter from home invaders in a remote vacation home. While not a great movie, I still enjoyed this action film where a mom will do everything in her power to keep her kids safe. Union gives the part her all and is very believable in the action sequences. Billy Burke makes a compelling bad guy who has to deal with a woman who outsmarts him on just about every move. The premise of the plot is a little thin, but once the action starts, you don’t really care, you just want to see Gabrielle Union kick major butt.    My Rating: Bargain Matinee    Breaking In Website

Indiefest:  The Rider  (2017)  R  After suffering a near-fatal injury in a rodeo and with doctors telling him he should never ride again, a young cowboy, Brady (Brady Jandreau), has to figure out a new direction for his life. An absolutely gorgeous film about dealing with life’s disappointments. The film is heartbreaking as Brady is not allowed to do one thing the one thing that he loves - ride horses. Jandreau gives an astonishing performance that is full of grit and grace. The cinematography of this film is some of the best work in recent history. The story, at times, is a little slow, but it lets you get inside the mind of Brady and see his point of view clearly. This is one of the best films of the year and will surely be on my top ten list.   My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again   The Rider Website

Forgotten FilmOut of Sight  (1998)  R  A career bank robber, Jack (George Clooney), breaks out of jail with the help of his friend, Buddy (Ving Rhames), and kidnaps a U.S. Marshal (Jennifer Lopez) when she threatens to expose their big heist plans. After spending time together, Jack finds that he is attracted to the Marshall. I love this film and the remarkable chemistry that Clooney and Lopez have. This is a fun and witty film with phenomenal dialogue with plenty of twists and turns in the plot that you just don’t see coming.    My Rating: Full Price    Out of Sight Website

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Life of the Party:  Period Hair Stylist

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You Won’t You Be My Neighbor?  (2018)  Documentary on the life of Fred Rogers, host of the long-running PBS children’s program, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. This film was the talk of the 2018 Atlanta Film Festival.     Won't You Be My Neighbor? Website   
Until Next Time!

 

Friday, May 4, 2018

Tully


My View:  Tully (2018)  R  Marlo (Charlize Theron) is a mother of three including a newborn, and Marlo is about at the end of her rope. She is gifted a night nurse named Tully (Mackenzie Davis) by her brother. Tully is the godsend that Marlo needs. Tully is the third collaboration between director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody. While I am a huge fan of their first film, Juno (2007), I never warmed up to their 2nd film, Young Adult (2011). I am happy to say that third time’s a charm, as Tully is witty, funny and overall moving…and packed with a few surprises. The cast is superb, led by Charlize Theron’s Marlo, a performance that could get her an Academy Award nomination. We forget just how good Theron’s comedic timing is, and she uses it to perfection in this film. Theron’s on-screen chemistry with Davis is sublime and makes this film so enjoyable to watch. While not quite on the level of the brilliant Juno, Tully still is a film not to be missed. It’s a hilarious film that any mother can relate to. Now, if every mother could just get someone like Tully to help her out…   My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again   Tully Website
In Case You Missed It (A movie just released on DVD/BluRay) Colossal  (2016)  R  Gloria (Anne Hathaway) returns home when her boyfriend kicks her out of their NYC apartment because of her drinking. She soon learns that she is somehow connected to a giant monster that is terrorizing downtown Seoul, South Korea.  Writer/director Nacho Vigalondo brings us an unusual tale of part Science Fiction and part domestic abuse film, with a splash of alcoholism thrown in. It’s strange mix with giant monsters appearing straight from those bad 60’s Japanese larger-than -life reptile movies. At first, used for comic effect and then later as the symbolism of the struggle between good and evil, the monsters appear halfway across the world in Seoul, South Korea. The biggest problem with Colossal is that Hathaway’s character is very one dimensional. We never really know why Gloria drinks so much and never find out what demons she is trying to escape. Hathaway is what I call a pretty drunk - someone we can laugh at, and not be too concerned with because, other than a boyfriend who drops her, her drinking never seems to get her in trouble. Her realization that being intoxicated could cause other people pain seems shallow and too simply realized. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed this film, but I just don’t think there is as much to it as Nacho Vigalondo wants us to believe. Much like the Japanese monsters, the film is what you see on the surface; there’s not a lot of substance lying beneath the water.    My Rating: Bargain Matinee   Colossal Website
In Memory of Ed Wood (A Movie I've Only Seen in Trailers but Just Looks Like a Bad Idea): Life of the Party (2018)  PG-13  After her husband asks for a divorce, a middle-aged mother (Melissa McCarthy) goes back to college to complete her degree. This movie is written by McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone, whose track record is not good with Tammy (2014) and The Boss (2016).   Life of the Party Facebook Page
Forgotten FilmOpen Range  (2003) R  Two cowboys (Kevin Costner, Robert Duval) get into trouble when they take their herd near a town controlled by a crooked sheriff (James Russo). Any movie with Robert Duval can’t be bad, and this movie is actually an exceptional western. Costner and Duval have great chemistry, and Russo is an excellent villain. If you like westerns, then this one is for you.  My Rating: Full Price   Open Range Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Tully:  Mechanical Effects Designer


Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You: How to Talk to Girls at Parties (2017)  R  An alien (Elle Fanning) touring the galaxy breaks away from her tour group and finds herself in the most dangerous place on the planet, the suburbs.  Elle Fanning has been in some fascinating films lately.   How to Talk to Girls At Parties Website
Until Next Time!