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!



Friday, April 27, 2018

Avengers: Infinity War


My View:  Avengers: Infinity War  (2018)  PG-13 The Avengers and their allies must risk all to defeat the mighty Thanos (Josh Brolin before he destroys the universe.  First, the film moves along at a brisk speed, which makes the film seems shorter than its 2 hours and thirty-minutes. I loved that other than focusing on the main bad guy, Thanos, the film does a great of spreading out the storyline to all the good guys, so no one dominates the film, with the exception of Thor, who steals a little bit of the thunder (pun intended) in the last third of the film. Thanos is one of the best bad guys in the Marvel universe who has a plan to kill half the world’s population. The action scenes are well done and intense, and I especially loved the dialogue when the Guardians of the Galaxy are on screen.  The director of the first two Guardians films, James Gunn, wrote the dialogue for those scenes. I will warn you that young kids may be upset because there are some superhero deaths in the film, one of which is incredibly moving. Do stay through all the credits for a bonus scene that will set up the next Avengers film.   My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again   Avengers: Infinity War Website
Indiefest Lean on Pete  (2018)  R   A troubled teen named, Charley (Charlie Plummer), starts working for a cantankerous horse trainer (Steve Buscemi). Ray falls in love with a quarter horse named, Lean on Pete, that, if he doesn’t start winning, the horse will be sold.  Charlie Plummer gives a mesmerizing performance as a teen who falls in love with a horse and will do everything in his power to keep it alive. A great deal of this film is Charlie talking to the horse about his life, his loves, and his troubles. Buscemi and Plummer have great chemistry on screen, and the little heart to heart talks that they do are magical. Lean on Pete is not a film for children as there are some very adult themes in the movie, and there is one scene in particular not made for kids. Go see this small bittersweet film that has a ton of heart.  My Rating: Full Price   Lean on Pete Website
Forgotten FilmAkira  (1988)  R  In a post-World War III era, a secret military project endangers the city of Neo-Tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a psychopath. The city’s only hope is two teenagers who, with the help of a group of psychics, try and stop the psychopath’s rampage. The reason to see this film is the detailed animation (hand drawn) that gives this movie its super realistic look. The storyline is very adult, and there is quite a bit of grisly violence, but it’s worth checking out.  My Rating: Full Price    Akira Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Avengers: Infinity War:  Weather Consultant

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You: Dead Pool 2 (2018)  This is what the studio left for the synopsis of the film on IMDB which sums up their rather creative marketing campaign:  After surviving a near-fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry's hottest bartender while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste. Searching to regain his spice for life, as well as a flux capacitor, Wade must battle ninjas, the Yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines, as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family.    Deadpool 2 Website
Until Next Time!



Friday, April 20, 2018

I Feel Pretty


My View:  I Feel Pretty  (2018)  PG-13  A woman (Amy Schumer) who works in a crappy job and is insecure, has an accident and hits her head. When she awakens, she believes she is the most beautiful and capable woman on the planet. She begins to live her life fearlessly and to the fullest. I adored this film, and it’s very evident that the whole cast had a blast making it. I loved the chemistry of the cast, especially between Schumer and Aidy Bryant/Busy Philipps who play Schumer’s character’s best friends. I also enjoyed the character that Rory Scovel played. He is Schumer’s love interest, and he plays a very unconventional boyfriend who loves Zumba and coordinates his outfits. Schumer is brilliant in the role, as she has to play her character in two different directions. The dialogue is witty and fun, and there are some barrel laugh scenes that are so entertaining.  My Rating:  Full Price   I Feel Pretty Website
In Case You Missed It (A movie just released on DVD/BluRay): The Circle  (2017)  PG-13  A young tech worker, Mae (Emma Watson), gets a job at a powerful internet company and quickly makes her mark in the business.  She learns that her company is involved with getting and keeping information on everyone, information that could be used to hurt her friends, family and even threaten the future of humanity. This is a dull film that never creates the tension that it needs to make us care about what happens to Mae. Emma Watson has to play a character that shows some smarts by how quickly she understands her job but is also so gullible that it becomes laughable.  Then we are supposed to believe that she can pull off what happens at the end of the film. Tom Hanks basically plays Steve Jobs but appears nicer. Karen Gillan is wasted as Mae’s best friend who gets her the job, as she almost sleepwalks through her role. This is a film where main characters just disappear for stretches, making the film appear it needs one or two more rewrites. Co-writer/director James Ponsoldt is one of my favorite directors out there (my love of his The Spectacular Now is well known), but he really misses the mark in this movie.  My Rating: Cable    The Circle Website
In Memory of Ed Wood (A Movie I've Only Seen in Trailers But Just Looks Like a Bad Idea)Overboard (2018)  PG-13  A spoiled, wealthy yacht owner (Eugenio Derbez) mistreats a carpet cleaner (Anna Faris). There is an accident, and the yacht owner falls overboard, on the way hitting his head. When he becomes conscious, he doesn’t remember who he is, and the carpet cleaner tells him that he is her husband. This is a remake of a bad Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell comedy, and the trailer for this one makes it look worse than the original.   Overboard Website
Forgotten FilmProzac Nation  (2001) R A young woman’s (Christina Ricci) world starts unraveling as she struggles with depression in her first year at Harvard. Ricci is spectacular as Elizabeth, a woman whose best-laid plans are falling apart right in front of her eyes. The supporting cast is magnificent, especially Michelle Williams, who plays the put-upon roommate. The film has a few faults, like an ending that wraps up everything too quickly, but it’s worth seeing for Ricci’s and Williams’ performances.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee   Prozac Nation Info

Weird Credits:  From the cast of I Feel Pretty: Visual Effects Supervisor: Duderama

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouThe Rider (2017) R  After suffering a near-fatal injury in a rodeo and doctors telling him he should never ride again, a young cowboy (Brady Jandreau) has to figure out a new direction for his life. The film is stacking up awards, and film critics are saying this could be one of the best films of the year.   The Rider Info 
Until Next Time!


  


Friday, April 13, 2018

Rampage

My ViewRampage  (2018) PG-13  Primatologist Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson) shares an usual bond with George, an intelligent gorilla who has been under Davis’ care since birth. A rogue genetic experiment goes wrong, and George grows in size at an unbelievable rate.  My father, who was a playwright, always said that if you have more than two writers in a movie credit, the film had problems. This film has four writer credits, but I think one of those writers had his five-year-old son who was playing with toys and said ‘this would be a cool movie’ and the father said “I’ll get right on it”1 The movie throws big monsters at you to distract you from how bad the script is. The dialogue is horrible, and there are plot holes the size of a giant mutant alligator. The movie makes no sense, and it takes way too long to get to the big battle scene in downtown Chicago. I was bored for a good portion of this film, as the plot takes forever to get going. We all loved the old Godzilla movies because they were so campy and fun. This film takes itself way too seriously, and it misses out on what could have been a fun ride.  My Rating: Cable   Rampage Website   
My View Beirut  (2018)  R  Caught in the crossfires of civil war, the CIA brings in a former U.S. diplomat (Jon Hamm) to negotiate for the life of a friend left behind.  This is the best performance that Jon Hamm has given in a film. He is perfect as the world-weary diplomat who is forced to help a friend get released from kidnappers. It’s refreshing to see a movie that doesn’t explain everything, and you have to pay attention to keep up with the plot. There are plenty of twists and turns that keep the story moving, and the ending is quite surprising. If you like a good spy caper, then this film is for you.   My Rating: Full Price    Beirut Website  
In Case You Missed It (Movies just released on DVD/BluRay) The Greatest Showman  (2017)  PG  P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman) loses his job and decides to create the most fantastic show that you have ever seen, a show soon to be called, “The Greatest Show on Earth.”  I love this film as it is full of life and energy and made me smile from the first moment. The songs (there are eleven of them) are by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the same team who gave us those great songs in La La Land. The songs are unbelievably moving, and the choreography is dazzling and, at times, intense. Hugh Jackman and Michelle Williams are exceptional, but it’s the supporting cast who really stand out, including Zendaya, who plays a high-wire artist, and Keala Settle, who plays the bearded lady. Do yourself a favor and see this dazzling film.   My Rating:  I Would Pay to See it Again    The Greatest Showman
Forgotten FilmFlirting With Disaster  (1996)  A young man (Ben Stiller), his wife (Patricia Arquette) and their incompetent adoption caseworker (Tea Leoni) go on a cross-country trip to try and find his birth parents. This is what you would call a ‘screwball comedy’ with a large and funny cast whom the trio encounter on their trip. This film is hilarious and gets funnier as it moves along. The cast looks as if they are having a great time, and the variety of characters is vast, from two gay F.B.I. agents to a truck driver who lets his son drive an 18-wheeler. The dialogue is crisp, and the plot is brilliant. This is one of my favorite comedies of the 90’s.  My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again   Flirting With Disaster Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Rampage: Barber for Dwayne Johnson

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You: Avengers: Infinity War (2018) PG-13  The Avengers and their allies must risk all to defeat the mighty Thanos before he destroys the universe.  Just looking at all the firepower on the movie poster, you know this will be big.   Avengers: Infinity War Website
Until Next Time!





Friday, April 6, 2018

A Quiet Place

My ViewA Quiet Place  (2018)  PG-13  A family of four is forced to live in silence while hiding from horrible creatures that hunt by sound. John Krasinski, who co-wrote the script and directed the film, has brought us one of the best horror films of the past ten years. The film is almost a silent film, as the family mostly communicates with sign language. Krasinski builds the tension throughout, making it far scarier than most jump-out-of-the-dark horror films. I loved the camera work in this movie, as it’s always giving us exciting angles and continually moving. The creatures in the movie are horrific and scary. The whole cast, which includes Krasinski's wife, Emily Blunt, Noah Jupe, Millicent Simmonds and Cade Woodward, are brilliant in this film, with Blunt and Simmonds standing out. At my screening, the crowd was quiet, and one person told me that they didn’t eat their popcorn because they were scared the creatures would get them. Don’t miss out on this unique movie going experience.   My Rating:  I Would Pay to See it Again     A Quiet Place Website
My ViewBlockers  (2018)  R  Three parents (John Cena, Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz) will do anything to try to stop their teens from having sex on prom night. The trailer for this film did not do it justice. Now, be warned.  Seth Rogan is one of the producers of this movie, and it’s very raunchy, but man, is it funny. There was almost nonstop laughter in the screening that I went to. People, including myself, were laughing so hard, you couldn’t hear some of the lines. John Cena is priceless in his portrayal of the father with a heart of gold. I loved the three young actresses who played the daughters, with Grealdine Viswanathan giving a winning performance as the jock who wants to lose her virginity. There is a sequence in the film that was so funny, I thought the person behind me was going to explode as they were laughing so hard.   My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again   Blockers Website
Indiefest1945  (2017)  In 1945, two mysterious strangers arrive in a small Hungarian village. The townspeople think that the strangers are there to take back the buildings they took when the Jewish inhabitants were seized by the Germans to the concentration camps. This film is all about guilt and how each townsperson handles it. As the two strangers slowly move through the town, the tension builds as the town worries that these men are going to claim what was once theirs. It’s a powerful film that doesn’t answer the question of what they are doing in the town until the end of the film.    My Rating:  Full Price   1945 Website
Forgotten Film The Hit  (1984)  Willie (Terence Stamp) is an ex-gangster living in Spain because he ratted out his former associates. Two British hitmen (Tim Roth, John Hurt) kidnap Willie to take him back to Paris for execution. On the trip, everything that can go wrong, does. Stamp is mesmerizing, and the dialogue between his character and the two hit men is some of the best of the 80s. This is more of a character study than an action film, but it’s worth checking out.  My Rating: Full Price    The Hit Info

Weird Credits: From the credits of A Quiet Place:  American Sign Language Coach

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouI Feel Pretty  (2018)  A woman (Amy Schumer) who works in a crappy job and is insecure, has an accident and hits her head. When she awakens, she believes she is the most beautiful and capable woman on the planet. She begins to live her life to the fullest and fearlessly. I love Amy Schumer and the trailer is hilarious.    I Feel Pretty Website

Until Next Time!