Friday, May 19, 2017

Alien: Covenant

My View Alien: Covenant  (2017)  R  The crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet, discover an uncharted planet that, on the surface, seems perfect. The perfect world quickly becomes deadly, and the crew must scramble to retreat.  Talking to my fellow critics, I found that a lot of them hated this film. I didn’t; in fact, I had a good time watching it. After the weird and disappointing Prometheus (2012), director Ridley Scott has gotten back to what made Alien (1979) one of the all-time scary movies, the ”Alien” monster on a ship in space with humans. This movie has plenty of scary scenes, and I enjoyed the performance of Katherine Waterston, who has to match wits with the monster. I will warn you that if you got queasy during the chest burst scene in the first film, there are quite a few more scenes just like that one. The film moves at a quick pace, and the action sequences are extremely well done. My biggest problem with this movie is how stupid the crew is; from deciding to endanger the colonists they are shuttling to exploring an unknown planet without any sort of protection or protocol is just plain dumb. Overall, I found the film exciting and quite scary.   My Rating:  Bargain Matinee   Alien: Covenant Website 
IndiefestEverything, Everything  (2017) PG-13  Maddy (Amandla Stenberg) is a 17-year old girl who, due to a rare disease, has to stay inside her sealed, filtered air home. Her life is changed when Olly (Nick Robinson) moves in next door.  This is a satisfying film about first love and all its complications. I enjoyed the performances of the two leads, as Stenberg and Robinson have a charming chemistry together. The plot is a little shallow, but the romance that develops between two people that can’t meet in-person is delightful. There are a few twists and turns to the plot, especially one that I didn’t see coming, that help the film feel fresh. Overall, Everything, Everything is not a bad attempt at a young adult type of film.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee  Everything, Everything Website
Family FaireDiary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul  (2017)  PG  The Heffley family is going on a road trip to Meemaw’s 90th birthday party.  Greg (Jason Drucker), though, needs to find a way to re-route the trip so that he can go to a video gaming convention.  If jokes and pratfalls involving peeing into a bottle, pigs farting, vomiting on a carnival ride and hearing someone go to the bathroom are your ideas of funny, then this is the movie for you. I don’t think I laughed once, and the kids at my screening were bored. It’s sad to see how far down Alicia Silverstone's once promising career has gone when you see her playing the mom in this film. Hey, it should tell you a lot that a kids movie is rated PG. This movie has already been placed on my worst films of 2017 list.   My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again   Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul Website
IndiefestThe Lovers  (2017)  R   Michael (Tracy Letts) and Mary (Debra Winger) are in a marriage that has seen better days. Both of them are having affairs, and, as soon as their son finishes his visit, they plan to break up. Their relationship becomes more complicated when a spark between them suddenly ignites, leading them into an impulsive romance.  I didn’t like this film because I could not tell if the film was supposed to be a drama, comedy or a dark comedy. It’s almost if writer/director Azazel Jacobs had written two versions of the script and then combined the two into this mess of a movie. I did enjoy Debra Winger’s performance as a woman who starts to reconsider her choices in life. It’s just a shame it’s wasted in this film that some “art house” critics are going to say is a masterpiece.  I just say it’s a mess of a film.   My Rating: Cable   The Lovers Info
IndiefestGraduation  (2016)  R  Romeo (Adrian Titieni) has raised his daughter, Eliza (Maria-Victoria Dragus), with the idea of her going to college. After she gets assaulted a day before her final exams, her scholarship could be in jeopardy.  This is an absolutely brilliant film about a man who, in trying to ensure the future of his daughter, gets caught in a web of intrigue that slowly spirals out of control. Titieni is brilliant as the father who is good at heart but is willing to do anything to make sure that his beloved daughter gets out of Romania, even if it means that he will have to suffer consequences.  It’s a heartbreaking film that is beautifully told. You want to reach up and shake Romeo, warning him what’s about to happen if he goes through with his actions. I hope we hear about this film again come Oscar time.  My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again   Graduation Website
Forgotten Film: Me and Orson Welles  (2008)  PG-13  Richard (Zac Efron) is a young man who hopes to be an actor. A chance meeting with the legendary Orson Welles (Christian McKay), gets Richard a part in Welles’ latest production. Richard is star-struck and in over his head, especially after meeting Sonja (Claire Danes) with whom he quickly falls for. Will Richard make it to opening night or will his lack of experience finally catch up with him?  The reason to watch this film is the performance of McKay as Orson Welles, the larger than life actor who, when at the top of his game, was an egomaniac but had the talent to back it up. McKay is perfect in the role, so perfect that I forgot at times that it wasn’t Welles, himself, on the screen.  My Rating:  Full Price   Me and Orson Welles Website

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul:  Animatronic pig and Manny effects

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  Dean  (2016) PG-13   A New York City illustrator, Dean (Demetri Martin), is not dealing well with the death of his mother and the fact that his father (Kevin Kline) is thinking about selling the family home.  He meets a woman (Gillian Jacobs) at a party and, after hitting it off with her, decides to follow her to California.  This film was one of the movies that people were talking about at this year’s Atlanta Film Festival. Demetri Martin wrote, directed and stars in this film.   Dean Info
Until Next Time!

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