Friday, April 14, 2017

The Fate of the Furious

My View:  The Fate of the Furious  (2017)  PG-13  Dom (Vin Diesel) is seduced by a mysterious woman (Charlize Theron) and becomes a terrorist, betraying his friends and family. Now the gang has to get back together to try and defeat Dom.  I have liked this series since Fast Five (2011) when the studio decided the characters were superheroes and could do amazing things like jumping from one car to another while they are dropped from a plane. This film has plenty of action, and I love the start of the movie which is a tribute to the first films of the series when it was all about suped-up cars racing on the streets. In this film, the gang races a submarine in the Arctic, so don’t think the studio is cutting down on the special effects. The stunts are so outrageous in this film I believe the next movie in the series will be in space. If that happens, I can guarantee that it will be fun!  My Rating: Bargain Matinee   The Fate of the Furious Website
My View:  Gifted  (2017)  PG-13  Frank (Chris Evans) is raising niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) by himself. His mother (Lindsay Duncan) feels that Frank is not fostering the child’s talent for math. His mother decides to sue him for custody of Mary.  I loved this movie about parenting in challenging circumstances and sacrifices we make so that our children have the best opportunities in life. The cast is what makes this film work so well. Jenny Slate is wonderful as Mary’s new schoolteacher who becomes attracted to Frank. Chris Evans is outstanding as the man who is just trying every day to make sure Mary is healthy and happy. It’s Mckenna Grace who makes this film so rewarding to watch. Under a lesser actress, Mary could have come across as overbearing and strange, but Mckenna Grace is brilliant as the smart, cute little girl who knows she is special but sees herself as just an average girl. The chemistry between Grace and Evans is something magical, shown in a scene shot against the setting sun as Mary climbs all over Frank as they talk about God and life. Gifted just might be the “feel good” film of the year.  My Rating:  I Would Pay to See It Again   Gifted Website
Indiefest:  Land of Mine  (2016) R  In post-World War II, a group of young German POW’s are forced to clear a beach of thousands of land mines.  Writer/director Martin Zandvliet brings us a taut and tension filled film that is worthy of its Foreign Language Film nomination at this year's Oscars. The film is uncomfortably tense right from the start and continues throughout to build the tension, as we get to know, and in some cases, fall in love with the boys. There are powerful moments in the film that aren't going to leave you soon. Some of the most high-powered scenes surprisingly aren't the deaths that occur, but the small moments when connections are made during this horrible experience. Zandvliet makes use of the brilliant widescreen cinematography of Camilla Hjelm, who makes the beaches seemly, endless and impossible to clear. Land of Mine is a film that dares to make heroes out of villains as the boys are shown to be paying for the sins of a nation and ideology that, due to their young age, they didn't have much to do with.   My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again   Land of Mine Website
My View:  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 half way 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
Indiefest:  Their Finest  (2016) R  This film tells the story of a British Ministry of Propaganda film team making a morale-boosting film during the Battle of Britain and the London Blitz.  Gemma Arterton plays Catrin, a woman in an unhappy relationship who is hired to help write the film. Her job is to help head writer, Tom (Sam Claflin), make his film more relatable to women stuck back at home. Their relationship starts out a little rocky, but soon, as they get to know and trust each other, they begin to work well together. As they work together and their writing and conversation starts flowing, they fall in love. I loved this film which has a feel of the old war films of the 40’s. There is incredible chemistry between Arterton and Claflin, making their relationship seem real. Bill Nighy gives a funny performance as an egomaniacal actor who thinks he invented acting and will let everyone know it. The film bogs down a little in the middle, but I thoroughly enjoyed this film and its look behind the scenes of making a movie during wartime in Britain.  My Rating: Full Price   Their Finest Info   
Indiefest:  Tommy’s Honour  (2016)  PG  The film tells the story of the pioneering Scottish golf champions Old Tom Morris(Peter Mullan) and his son Young Tom Morris (Jack Lowden).  If you are a golfer, you will love this film about the origins of the sport and the two men who shaped it.  The film is based on a true story, and it’s fascinating how far golf has come from its very primitive ancestry.  Most of the film takes place in Scotland at the legendary Royal, and Ancient Golf Club and the scenery is rugged and beautiful. The golf scenes are the best part of the film creating some badly needed tension. The heart of the movie is the father that is set in his ways and his son who is determined to change the way the game is played. While the movie is predictable and went on a little too long, I found the golf games in the film fascinating (that’s how good the games are, they make it fascinating).    My Rating: Bargain Matinee   Tommy's Honour Website
Forgotten Film:  Betrayed  (1988)  A woman (Debra Winger) starts working on Gary’s (Tom Berenger) farm. They become friends and fall in love. The problem is that Gary is an anti-government white separatist. Little does Gary know that the woman he has fallen in love with is hiding a past also.  Debra Winger gives another superb performance and has great chemistry with Berenger. The plot is a little thing, but Winger makes this film worth watching.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee   Betrayed Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of The Fate of the Furious:  Cultural Advisor

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  Born in China  (2017)  G  Living in Atlanta, I have gotten to see not one but two sets of panda twins born here. This film will show us how pandas live in the wild, along with other animals like snow leopards and monkeys in the forests and tundra of China. I can’t wait to see it.   Born in China Website

Until Next Time!


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