Friday, November 6, 2015


My ViewSpectre  (2015)  PG-13  While M (Ralph Fiennes) battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond (Daniel Craig) ties to uncover a sinister organization called, SPECTRE, after receiving a cryptic message.  This film is a step back from the brilliant Skyfall (2012). Spectre opens with an exciting action sequence that takes place in Mexico City during a Dia de Los Muertos celebration. Unfortunately, the rest of the film can’t live up to that opening pace or action. The film has one of the worst Bond credit rolls of all time with a horrible song sung by Sam Smith, and the film just goes downhill from there. It is overly long, the plot is confusing and full of holes, and Daniel Craig seems to be bored by the whole thing. Monica Bellucci is in the film for about 3 minutes, and it takes forever to get to the bad guy played by Christoph Waltz. While Daniel Craig is signed for a 5th film, he apparently wants out. I think he got a look at this script and said, “I’ll do this one, but then that’s it.”  The film is the costliest Bond film ever, but I don’t think they spent any money on a script, and it looks it.    My Rating: Bargain Matinee   Spectre Website   
Family FaireThe Peanuts Movie  (2015)  G   A new girl is attending Charlie Brown’s school, and Charlie tries to figure a way to get the courage to talk to her. Meanwhile, Snoopy is embarking on his most dangerous mission: flying his doghouse in World War I.  I had a smile on my face the whole time I was watching this movie. While the film has a new type of animation, it still has plenty of roots in the old specials and comic strip. A lot of your favorite gags are in the film; Lucy and the football, Snoopy and the Red Baron, but there is a new story with Charlie Brown trying to get up the courage to talk to the Little Red-Haired Girl. Fans of the specials and the comic strip will be happy, and this film may  create new fans from a generation who hasn’t seen the antics of the Peanuts Gang.  The film uses 3-D to great effect, and it’s worth the extra money. There is a bonus scene, so stay through all the credits.     My Rating: Full Price   The Peanuts Movie Website   
IndiefestMiss You Already  (2015)  PG-13  The life-long friendship of two women (Drew Barrymore, Toni Collette) is put to the test when one starts a family, and the other gets sick with cancer.  Collette and Barrymore have great chemistry together, making it very believable that they are life long friends. I am not a big fan of Barrymore, but I felt she gave a very restrained performance that emitted warmth and humor. Collette had the hard role of a person who is selfish and a bully, but she carried it off with grace. I liked that the film dealt with relationships in a real-world sensibility that made you want to be apart of the two women’s world. It’s a film that doesn’t pull any punches, just like best friends should.    My Rating: Full Price    Miss You Already Website
IndiefestSuffragette (2015)  PG-13  Maud (Carey Mulligan) has worked at a laundry service since she was twelve.  Maud is married to Sonny (Ben Whishaw) who also works in the laundry service, and they have a young son named, George (Adam Michael Dodd). It’s hard, dangerous work with boiling water and harsh chemicals. It's a job that is filled with long hours and unappreciative bosses, and Maud believes that her workplace is unfair as women do the toughest work but earn half of what the men earn. She starts listening to friends, including rebel rouser Edith Ellyn (Helena Bonham Carter), about the woman’s right to vote movement and starts getting involved with the cause. It’s a path that causes Maud great pain and anguish as she soon has to choose between a cause that is dear to her heart and her family who needs their mother and wife.  Carey Mulligan gives a powerful and touching performance as the headstrong young woman who risks everything for women to have the right to vote. Helena Bonham Carter gives an intense and vivid performance as one of the leaders of the movement whose own health is compromised by her repeated jailing. Though short, Meryl Streep gives a compelling and charismatic performance as the head of the suffragette movement. I found this film moving and compelling and well worth the experience of discovering the history of the struggle for women’s rights in the United Kingdom.   My Rating: Full Price   Suffragette Website 
Indiefest: I Smile Back (2015) R Laney (Sarah Silverman) seems to have the perfect suburban life with two loving children, a great husband and a home that everyone dreams about. Laney has a secret: she suffers from depression and has a drug problem. Can she get the help that she needs or will she destroy her family? This is a difficult film to watch as we watch a woman go deeper and deeper into a huge valley that she may never get out of. Silverman gives a gutsy and powerful performance of a woman who feels that she will never be worthy of love and doesn’t want to deal with the pain of life. Josh Charles plays Silverman’s put-upon husband who deeply loves his wife but can’t save her from herself. Charles is brilliant in the role as we feel his pain in dealing with a situation that he can’t fix. The biggest problem with the film is we never really get to know Laney and her past is quickly dealt with in one brief scene with her long-estranged father. The film is worth watching for the two leads, but I would have like more substance and background to the story.    My Rating: Bargain Matinee     I Smile Back Website     
Forgotten FilmThe Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)  R   Blue (Robert Shaw) leads a group of armed men to highjack a subway in New York City.   Police Lt. Zachary Garber (Walter Matthau) takes the lead in negotiations and then tries to figure out how the men can be caught before they disappear into the bowels of the subway system. I love the casting in this film. Shaw, with his proper British accent, is in direct contrast with the gritty New Yorkers.   Matthau, as the world-weary lieutenant, is perfect in the role. The rest of the cast are mostly New York-based actors including Jerry Stiller, Martin Balsam and Lee Wallace, who all offer the film an authentic feel. It’s a tension filled movie that works while using the Subway as its main character.   My Rating:  Full Price   The Taking of Pelham One Two Three   

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Spectre:  Snow Consultant

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:   Brooklyn  (2015)  PG-13   An Irish immigrant (Saoirse Ronan) moves to Brooklyn in the 1950’s and finds a job and a new romance. But her mother country is calling, and now she has to choose between love and family. Critics are gushing about this film and Ronan’s performance.   Brooklyn Website
Until Next Time!

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