My View: Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2017) R Alice (Milla Jovovich) is the only one to survive the last battle against the undead. Now, she must return to where it all began, The Hive in Raccoon City. The Umbrella Corporation is gathering its forces for one final battle against the only remaining survivors of the apocalypse. The sixth and hopefully last in the series starts out with plenty of action but never really delivers the sequences that you crave. The camera seems too close to the action, making all the fight sequences, and there are a lot of them, seem very uneven, rough and hard to follow. The film has way too many plot holes, and it seems that it forgets what damage has occurred to Alice (Milla’s character) to make things a bit easier for the story to continue. While the film does answer a major plot point that has been brewing almost from the start, I never really felt the closure of the series that I wanted. Even though it was shot in 3-D, save your money, as the technology was never utilized. Here’s hoping that such a fun game is rebooted in the near future and they spend a few more bucks for the special effects. My Rating: Bargain Matinee Resident Evil: The Final Chapter Website
My View: Gold (2016) R Kenny Wells (Matthew McConaughey) has never had luck in life. Now he is pushing his bad luck as he teams up with a geologist (Edgar Ramirez) to try and find gold deep in the uncharted jungles of Indonesia. Mathew McConaughey gives a riveting performance as the hard luck prospector who thinks his ship has finally come in. Unfortunately, McConaughey is let down by a script that never can find its footing and editing that seems choppy and uneven. Bryce Dallas Howard is given very little to do as Kenny’s supportive girlfriend, mostly seen in scenes where she pats his hand and tells him he will win. While there are few sparks up on the screen between Howard and McConaughey, there are quite a few in the bromance between McConaughey and Edgar Ramirez, who plays the geologist in charge of finding the location of the mine. The film comes alive when the two are interacting on the hunt for gold. The film kind of plods along, though, much like Kenny Wells hiking in the Indonesian jungle; it moves slowly and uneasily, stumbling to find its way in the impenetrable story-line. My Rating: Bargain Matinee Gold Website
Indiefest: Julieta (2016) R Julieta (Emma Suarez) is about to move with her boyfriend from Madrid to Portugal. She learns that her daughter, who she has long been estranged, is alive and living in Switzerland with her husband and three children. Julieta decides to stay in Madrid with the hope that her daughter will contact her. Part mystery, part drama, the film slowly reveals how and why the mother became estranged from her daughter. Emma Suarez gives a remarkable performance as the mother who is willing to sacrifice her life to reconnect with her daughter. Directed by Pedro Almodovar (Volver, The Skin I Live In), the film kept surprising me both in narrative content and emotion. This is an exceptional film that will keep you interested in Julieta’s quest until the end. My Rating: Full Price Julieta Website
Indiefest: Neruda (2106) R Poet and Communist Senator Pablo Neruda (Luis Gnecco) gives a speech that criticizes President Gabriel Gonzalez Videla’s brutal anti-communist repression. The President calls for his arrest, and Neruda goes on the run, trying to evade the manhunt led by fascist Chief of Policía de Investigaciones Oscar Peluchonneau (Gael García Bernal). This is an incredibly dense, wordy film that I had trouble connecting to, almost from the start. Neruda is a poet, first, and politician, second, and because of this, he has a tendency to speak in poetic form, making the film feel that it’s one long poem. Even the narration, done by Gael Garcia Bernal, who plays a policeman who is trying to track down Neruda, speaks in very flowery and poetic dialogue. I did enjoy Bernal’s performance as the sad sack policeman who is full of self-importance and consistently makes the wrong decisions. The film drags in several places, as Neruda travels to hide in houses of his supporters, making the film seem a little repetitious. I did enjoy the last ten minutes of the movie as Neruda goes on foot and horseback over the Andes to try and elude the policeman as he closes in on his prey. My Rating: Bargain Matinee Neruda Info
Forgotten Film: Goodbye, Columbus (1969) R Neil (Richard Benjamin) has just graduated college and is trying to figure out his next move. He meets a beautiful girl, Brenda (Ali MacGraw), at a pool party. She is from a rich, Jewish family that revels in their wealth. Much to the dismay of her family, especially her mother (Nan Martin, Brenda starts dating Will because he isn’t her typical rich guy date. Soon the couple is in love but will their differences be too big for this couple to overcome? The film is a funny and touching look at dating and how families can affect a relationship. MacGraw and Benjamin have great chemistry on the screen together, making their scenes feel real and passionate. I’ve not always been a big fan of MacGraw, but she is the best thing in this film. My favorite scene is at a wedding reception near the end of the film. When you watch that scene, look for Bette Midler, Susan Lucci, Michael Nouri, and Jacklyn Smith as wedding guests. My Rating: Full Price Goodbye, Columbus Info
Weird Credits: From the credits of Gold: Snake Wrangler (no snakes appear in this film).
Until Next Time!