Friday, January 18, 2019

Glass


My View:  Glass  (2019)  PG-13   Three men are being held in a high-security mental institution: David Dunn (Bruce Willis), a former security guard who has somehow supernatural powers, Kevin (James McAvoy), a killer that has 24 personalities and a mysterious man named Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson). The film is much too long, and the middle portion of this film slows down, with Sarah Paulson, playing a therapist, that just sits there and lectures the three men, sometimes alone, sometimes at all three together. Samuel L. Jackson’s character Mr. Glass is in a drug-induced haze for much of the film. Bruce Willis looks puzzled and uninterested. As with his performance in Split, James McAvoy is fantastic as he instantly goes from one personality to another. I had hoped that M. Night Shyamalan had gotten back on track, but it proves once again that when given a big budget, he tries to do too much. Glass is a superhero movie that rarely lets the superheroes be heroic.  My Rating: Cable   Glass Website
My View:  Destroyer  (2018)  R   A police detective (Nicole Kidman), seventeen years ago, went undercover and things went horribly wrong. Now she is exploring her past to make peace. I found the storyline a little weak, and it takes a while to get going, but the reason to see this movie is Kidman. She gives a deep, vulnerable performance as a broken woman who is trying to right the wrongs that she created 17 years ago. I liked the ending of the film, which ties everything up, I wish it had gotten to that point a little quicker.  My Rating:  Bargain Matinee   Destroyer Website
In Case You Missed It (A movie just released on DVD/Blu-Ray):  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 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
Forgotten Film:  Control  (2007)  R    Fascinating film about the troubled life of Ian Curtis (Sam Riley), the lead singer of the legendary band Joy Division. The film gives us insight into why at age 23 he decided to commit suicide. The film at times almost feels like a documentary and is based on Curtis’s wife Deborah (played by Samantha Morton) book on Curtis’s life. The photographer Anton Corbin, whose pictures of Curtis, made him the sex symbol of young, like-minded teens, directed the film. The film is shot in black and white, and the cinematography is just gorgeous. I loved the performance of Morton as Ian’s long-suffering wife in the movie. Her performance is almost magical it is so good. Control is a movie about a man who came to the conclusion that he must end his life to stop his misery.  My Rating: Full Price   Control Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Glass:  Prosthetic Makeup Design and Fabrication: Charlayne Woodard's Aging

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  The Kid Who Would Be King  (2019)  PG   King Arthur’s half-sister Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson) is going to take over the world in 4 days in modern times. Alex (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) has found the legendary Sword in the Stone and is able to pull it out. Now Alex and his friends must go on a quest to find the opening of hell and battle Morgana. The guy, Joe Cornish, who wrote and directed Attack the Block, is back with a new film, so you know I’m seeing this one.    The Kid Who Would Be King Website
Until Next Time!


Friday, January 11, 2019

A Dog's Way Home

Family FaireA Dog’s Way Home  (2019) PG    A dog is separated from its owner and travels over 400 miles to find him. I enjoyed this family-friendly film that caused me to tear up several times. I really like Bryce Dallas Howard as the voice of the dog Bella. She hits all the right notes with her portrayal of Bella’s voice. The dog is adorable, and I love the fact that Bella is a pit bull, a dog that if raised right is sweet and loving. What I loved about this film is the humor, as it is told from the viewpoint of the dog. Bella sees most things as a game and gives them names, like 'Stop chewing on the shoes' game. There was a couple of out and out laughs and a lot of chuckles from the audience that I saw it with.  I would caution that there are a couple of scenes with coyotes threating Bella that might be really scary for really young kids.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee   A Dog's Way Home Website
My View:  The Upside  (2017)  PG-13  A wealthy man (Bryan Cranston) with quadriplegia hires a man (Kevin Hart) with a criminal record to be his assistant. A friendship develops between the two men that will change both their worlds.  Unfortunately, this movie doesn't come close to matching the intelligence and warmth of the original film that this film is based on, the 2011 French film The Intouchables. The Upside is too simplistic in its ideas about race and friendship. Its plot is highly predictable, and its biggest flaw is the performance of Kevin Hart. Hart can't help but overact, continually mugging for the camera, when a lighter touch is needed for this part. I can't help thinking what someone like Idris Elba or Mahershala Ali could have done with this part.    My Rating: Cable    The Upside Website

My ViewReplicas  (2018) PG-13  A scientist (Keanu Reeves) becomes obsessed with finding a way to bring back his family after a fatal accident. Well, after seeing this film, I now know why it wasn't shown to critics. With plot holes the size of Puerto Rico (that's where the movie takes place) and an ending that is just so stupid, Replicas is already on my worst films of the year list. It tries to do a twist at the two-thirds part of the film, but it doesn't even close to succeeding. I question making Keanu Reeves a cutting edge scientist, but then I remember that Reeves production company is responsible for this mess of a film. Even if you a Keanu Reeves fan, stay at home and wait for John Wick III to come out.  My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again   Replicas Website 
In Case You Missed It (A movie just released on DVD/Blu-Ray): 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    Mid90s Website
In Memory of Ed Wood (A Movie I've Only Seen in Trailers but Just Looks Like a Bad Idea):  The Sex Trip (2017)  A womanizer refuses a kiss from a homeless woman and then wakes up in a woman’s body. It’s not a good thing when the only cast member you recognize is Frank Stallone.    The Sex Trip Info
Forgotten Film Pawn Sacrifice  (2014)  PG-13  Set during the Cold War, a brilliant but troubled young man, Bobby Fisher (Toby Maguire) takes on the Soviet Union and their Grand Master chess player, Boris Spassky (Liev Schreiber). While the script is a little clunky, the performances of Schreiber and Maguire are fabulous to watch. If you play chess, you will want to see this film that gets the art of playing down perfectly.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee    Pawn Sacrifice Infor

Weird Credits:  From the credits of A Dog’s Way Home:  Cat Trainer


Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouIsn’t It Romantic  (2019) PG-13  A young woman (Rebel Wilson), down on love and hating romantic comedies, hits her head and passes out. When she wakes up, she is in an alternate universe and is in her own romantic comedy. I have high hopes for this as the trailer looks really good and I love Rebel Wilson.    Isn't It Romantic Facebook Page
Until Next Time!


Friday, January 4, 2019

Escape Room

My ViewEscape Room  (2018)  PG-13  Six strangers travel to a mysterious building to experience the ‘escape room’ – where payers compete to solve a series of puzzles for the ultimate prize of one million dollars. What they soon learn is that each room is an elaborate trap that will cause someone to die. I actually enjoyed this horror film because the rooms they go into are interesting to try and solve. The ending was a little too predictable, and the film itself was a little too long, but I had fun watching it. If you like horror films, then this one should be checked out.  My Rating:  Bargain Matinee     Escape Room Website
In Case You Missed It (A movie just released on DVD/Blu-Ray)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
In Memory of Ed Wood (A Movie I've Only Seen in Trailers but Just Looks Like a Bad Idea)What Men Want (2019)  A woman (Taraji P. Henson) isn’t made partner at her sports agent job. She is given an edge when after an accident, she gets the ability to hear men’s thoughts. I didn’t laugh once when I saw the trailer. This looks so bad.   What Men Want Info
Forgotten Film Kinsey  (2004)  R  A look at the life of sexual behavvorest Alfred Kinsey (Liam Neeson) who wrote the 2948 publication ‘Sexual Behavior in the Human Male.’ The reason to see this film is Neeson’s performance where he makes Kinsey come to life. For a while, Kinsey was one of the most famous men in America, and his book became a huge bestseller. It’s a fascinating film about a very interesting man.   My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again    Kinsey Info

Weird Credits: From the credits of EscapeRoom: Property Buyer


Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouThe Lego Movie 2: The Second Part  (2019)  It’s been five years since ‘everything was awesome.’ Invaders from outer space are destroying the planet and its up to the gang to defeat the invaders. I loved the first film, so I am hoping this one will also be great.    The Lego Movie 2 Website
Until Next Time!




Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Vice

My View Vice  (2018) R   The story of Dick Cheney (Christian Bale) who rose from poverty to become a Washington insider, ultimately become the Vice President under George W. Bush (Sam Rockwell). Bale gives an incredible performance, becoming Cheney right before your eyes. This is from Adam McKay, who gave us the Oscar-winning The Big Short, and like that film, there is quite a bit of humor, including a running gag throughout the film that will have you rolling on the floor. I enjoyed this film, but the big problem with the film is that the main character holds everything very close to his vest, so it’s hard to know just what this character is thinking. I found Sam Rockwell portrayal of George W. Bush was just a little too cartoony for my taste. The actor, besides Bale, that stands out is Steve Carell, who is brilliant as the fiery Donald Rumsfeld. Amy Adams doesn’t have a lot to do as the wife of Cheney, Lynne.    My Rating: Full Price    Vice Website
IndiefestIf Beale Street Could Talk  (2018)  R   A newly engaged and pregnant woman (Tish Rivers) in Harlem struggles to prove that her fiancé (Stephan James) is innocent of a crime. This emotional and stunning film is one of the best films of the year. Rivers and James give outstanding performances but the performance of Regina King, as James’s character’s mother is the best thing about this film. Although set in the 1970s, this film could easily be set in 2018, and its message would be the same. This is a magical film that everyone should see.   My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again   If Beale Street Could Talk Website
My ViewOn the Basis of Sex  (2018)  PG-13   Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Felicity Jones), along with her husband, Martin (Armie Hammer) begins a fight for equal rights for women that takes her all the way to the Supreme Court. I enjoyed this film, but it is kind of dull because the case that she presents is rather dull itself. I like Felicity Jones in the role of Ginsberg, as she gives some spunk and passion to the character. There is excellent chemistry with Hammer, who plays her loyal and devoted husband, who believes more in her than even himself. The film is a little slow moving but overall is enjoyable about a remarkable woman.    My Rating: Full Price   On the Basis of Sex Website
Forgotten Film:   The Apartment (1960)  A up and coming insurance worker, .C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon), to gain favor, lets his male co-workers use his apartment to have affairs. He is secretly in love with an elevator operator, Fran (Shirley MacLane), who is having an affair with the big boss of the company, Mr. Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray). When Mr. Sheldrake finds out about the C.C.’s apartment, he makes a deal with C.C. to get, but little does C.C. know that Mr. Sheldrake is romancing Fran. On Christmas Eve, Mr. Sheldrake breaks it off with Fran and Fran tires to commit suicide in C.C.’s apartment, with C.C. coming to rescue. While it doesn’t sound like it, this is one of the greatest comedies of all time. Directed by Billy Wilder, the film won five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor/Actress.   My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again   The Apartment Website

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Vice:  ADR Actor


Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouGlass  (2019)  PG-13  Three men are being held in a high-security mental institution: David Dunn (Bruce Willis) a former security guard who has somehow supernatural powers, Kevin (James McAvoy) a killer that has 24 personalities and a mysterious man named Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson).  M. Night Shyamalan’s follow up to his 2016 hit Split. I love the trailer, I just hope this is as good as Split was.     Glass Website
Until Next Time!


Friday, December 21, 2018

Aquaman

My ViewAquaman  (2018)  PG 13  Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) learns that he is the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis. Now he must step forward to lead his people and become a hero to the world. So you can say that this is better than Suicide Squad or Justice League but not by much. This film is way too long (two and a half hours), has one too many villains and a plot that doesn’t always work. If it weren’t for the charisma of Jason Momoa, this film wouldn’t be watchable. Momoa does have excellent chemistry with Amber Heard, who plays his love interest and allay. I will say that the film looks incredible and the special effects are well done.  There are bonus scenes in the credits at the end. To tell you silly this film is, there is a giant octopus playing drums before a big fight.    My Rating: Cable   Aquaman Website 
My ViewMary Poppins Returns  (2018)  PG  Decades after her last visit, Mary (Emily Blunt) returns to help the Banks family through a difficult time in their lives. If you are a fan of the Julie Andrews Mary Poppins, you will like this one. This is a sequel to the original film, and they have captured the spirit and look of the original. There are a couple of surprises in the film, and yes, there are dancing penguins. Emily Blunt can sing and dance with the best of them. There are some great original songs, and it helps when you have Lin-Manuel Miranda in your cast. I was smiling all the way through the film.    My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again   Mary Poppins Returns Website
My ViewWelcome to Marwen  (2018)  PG  Mark (Steve Carell) was savagely beaten outside a bar and had to relearn how to walk and talk. He lost the ability to draw (he was an illustrator) and to deal with what Mark has gone through he takes pictures of dolls in the make-believe town of Marwen. I enjoyed this sweet film about a very troubled man. Steve Carell gives a very complex performance, playing Mark and his alter-ego Captain Hogie. The supporting cast is phenomenal with Janelle Monae and Leslie Mann standing out.   My Rating: Full Price    Welcome to Marwen Website
IndiefestBen Is Back  (2018) R  Much to the unhappiness of his mother (Julia Roberts) and his step-father (Courtney B. Vance), Ben (Lucas Hedges) has left rehab and come to visit his family on Christmas Eve. This isn’t the Oscar bait movie everyone thought it was going to be. It’s not to say that Julia Roberts performance isn’t powerful and moving. I just didn’t like the storyline, and the movie seemed too long.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee    Ben is Back Website
Forgotten FilmBlack Christmas (1974)  R  During the Christmas breaks, a group of sorority girls are stalked by a killer. It’s hard to believe that the guy that directed A Christmas Story directed one of the first slasher movies. This is a pretty darn good slasher film. The great thing about this film is it is relatively scary.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee Black Christmas Info 

Weird Credits: From the credits of Aquaman: Special Makeup Effects and Creature Sculptor


Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouDestroyer  (2018)  R  A police detective (Nicole Kidman) goes undercover, and she explores her past to make peace. Many critics feel Kidman could win another Oscar for this performance.    Destroyer Website
Until Next Time!


Friday, December 14, 2018

Once Upon a Deadpool

My View: Once Upon a Deadpool  (2018)  PG     You may have seen all the promotional material for this film starring Fred Savage. So the added footage is a tied up Fred Savage being read to by Deadpool, like Savage’s appearance in the classic 1980s film The Princess Bride. It is a very creative idea and hysterically funny. The main story hasn’t changed with the exception of most of the language has been cleaned up, and the violence is not as savage as in the first version. While not quite as much fun as the first Deadpool film, it’s still a blast to watch. Stay through all the credits as there are three bonus scenes, one at the end of all the credits that if you are a Marvel fan, you will want to see.    My Rating:  I Would Pay to See it Again    Once Upon a Deadpool Website
My View:    Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse  (2018)  PG   Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) has been bitten by a radioactive spider and has become Spider-Man. When alternate universe Spider-people start showing up, they decide to team up and save the world from Kingpin (Liev Schreiber). Not only is this one of the best-animated films of the year, it’s one of the best overall films of the year. The storyline is highly creative, and the movie is hilarious. I loved all the ‘Spider-People’ especially Peter B. Parker voiced by Jake Johnson, a sort of sad sack Spider-Man, Gwen Stacy, ‘Spider-Woman’ voiced by Hailee Steinfeld and Spider-Ham a ‘Spider-Pig[ voiced by John Mulaney. The ending is satisfying, and I can’t wait to see the spinoffs that they will be doing.    My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again   Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse Website
My View:   Mary Queen of Scots  (2018)  Mary Stuart (Saoirse Ronan), after many years in exile, decides to return to Scotland and attempt to overthrow her cousin Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie). I can’t quite put my finger on why I didn’t like this film because Ronan and Robbie are fantastic in the parts of rival queens. I think it may be due to all the talk with minimal action making the film feel all of its 2 hours and 4 minutes length. The film is still worth seeing to see Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie battle it out.   My Rating:  Full Price    Mary Queen of Scots Website
Indiefest:  Vox Lux  (2018)  R  As a teenager, Celeste (Natalie Portman) survives a major national tragedy. At the memorial service, she sings a song that starts her pop singing career. We follow Celeste over eighteen years as her journey takes her on the highs and lows of a global superstar. This is a very strange film that is in three sections.  The first third of the film is the horrific shooting at a school where Celeste (played by Raffey Cassidy) is wounded. She and her sister perform a song that they wrote, and it makes Celeste a star. We then see Celeste get corrupted by the star-making machine. The middle portion of the film is a day in the life of the adult Celeste, played by Natalie Portman, who has somehow acquired a New York accent. This Celeste is a jaded and self-important star who abuses drugs and treats everyone around her, including her daughter (strangely played by Raffey Cassidy) poorly. The last portion of the movie is a year later, and Celeste has cleaned up her act. We then see her perform some of Celeste’s big hits. It’s an interesting way to end the film. I think if I were you, I would wait until this film comes out on DVD/VOD and then skip the middle of the film, just watch the beginning and end.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee    Vox Lux Website
Forgotten FilmHoly Rollers  (2010)  A young Hasidic Jew (Jessie Eisenberg) is sucked into drug smuggling  As the storyline develops, the young man gets more and more involved in trafficking (turns out he is good at it). The reason to see the film is Eisenberg, as he goes from an innocent, wide-eyed young man to a person who is recruiting other Hasidic Jews to help him bring in more drugs. It’s a powerful performance that only someone as talented as Eisenberg can deliver.    My Rating:  Bargain Matinee    Holy Rollers Info

Weird Credits: From the credits of Once Upon a Deadpool:  Specialty Tattoo Designer


Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  Stan & Ollie  (2018)  PG  Once the greatest comedy team in film, Laurel (Steve Coogan) and Hardy (John C. Reilly) attempt to revive their careers as they go on a stage tour of England. I love the Laurel and Hardy films so you know I am going to see this film.    Stan & Ollie Website
Until Next Time!


Friday, December 7, 2018

Roma


My ViewRoma  (2018)  R  Two-time Oscar winner (Gravity, 2013) Alfonso Cuaron brings us a tale of a family in transition in the early 1970s in Mexico City. Based on Cuaron’s own childhood the center of the film is a live-in maid named Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio) as she tends to a large family. Roma is a beautiful film, shot in glorious black and white. Aparicio is brilliant as the maid who would do anything to make sure the children she cares for are loved and safe. The film takes place over a year as the marriage of the husband and wife falls apart. Cleo tries to make the lives of the children as normal as possible, but she is dealing with a dead-beat boyfriend and a ton of other problems. This was a passion project for Cuaron, and it shows on the screen. This is one of the best films of the year and a shoo-in for a ton of Oscar nominations.    My Rating:  I Would Pay to See it Again   Roma Website
My View:  The Favourite  (2018)  R In early 18th century England, a frail Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) occupies the throne. Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) and a new servant, Abigail (Emma Stone) vie for the attention of the Queen. While Colman, Weisz, and Stone give Oscar-worthy performances, I would like to single out Nicholas Hoult as a snarky Earl who uses any means necessary to obtain power. Hoult’s wisecracks and put-downs are the best part of the film, and there is an incredible outdoor scene with Emma Stone that will have you laughing out loud. The makeup, the sets and the costumes are simply breathtaking. This tale of two women who battle over who can gain the affection and ear of the Queen is brilliant. Think Dangerous Liaisons with a touch of a lesbian War of the Roses.   My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again    The Favourite Website
In Case You Missed It (A movie just released on DVD/Blu-Ray):   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 a 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
Forgotten FilmTerri (2011)  R  John C. Reilly plays a high school Vice Principal who takes an overweight 15-year-old boy,  named Terri (played by Jacob Wysocki), under his wing.  Terri’s life is complicated and isolated, as his parents leave him to care for his bi-polar uncle whose moods seesaw from an almost cationic state to a hyperproductive state. Terri has given up on life and school, and in the midst of his depression, only wears pajamas.  He also has a crush on a popular girl but chooses to just stare at her from far away.  With the help of the Vice Principal, Terri starts coming out of his shell and even makes a few friends along the way.  Reilly is good in this small but well-done film, and Wysocki gives a powerfully understated performance.    My Rating:  Full Price    Terri Facebook Page

Weird Credits:  From the credits of The Favourite:  Prosthetics Painter


Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouCold War  (2018)  R   The story of star-crossed lovers set in Europe in the 1950s. This film is being mentioned by film critics as a possible Best Foreign Language Oscar contenders. The film received a standing ovation of 18 minutes at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.    Cold War Website
Until Next Time!