Friday, August 11, 2017

Annabelle: Creation

My View:  Annabelle: Creation  (2017)  R  Several years after the death of their little girl, a doll maker and his wife let a nun and several orphan girls into their home. They soon become the target of the doll maker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.  If you like horror films that use the jump out of the dark technique to scare you, then you will be pleased with this fourth film in the Conjuring series. While not as imaginative as the first Conjuring film, this movie is far better than the first Annabelle film, and this one gives us answers to how and why the doll became possessed.  The audience I watched this film with thoroughly enjoyed this movie, almost from the start. While not a great film, it’s still a lot of fun if you like to be scared at something creepy coming out at you from the dark.  Fans of the series will want to stay through the first section of credits as there is a short bonus scene.  My Rating:  Bargain Matinee   Annabelle: Creation Website
Family Faire: The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature  (2017)  PG  Surly (Will Arnett) and his friends are back.  Life is good with the nut shop giving the gang a huge supply of food. A corrupt mayor (Bobby Moynihan) is out to replace the park that Surly calls home with an amusement park.  Can Surly rally the gang to stop the Mayor from his plan?  The only time I laughed was during an outtake shown during the closing credits. The film is annoying and other than a Kung Fu fighting mouse, has a bunch of characters we really don’t care about. The kids whom I saw this film with were bored and didn’t pay much attention after the opening sequences. The plot is laughable, and the animation is dark and dingy. While not as bad as The Boss Baby, it’s still not anything you should spend your family money on.  My Rating: Cable   The Nut Job 2 Website
Indiefest:  The Glass Castle  (2017)  PG-13  A young woman named Jeannette (Brie Larson) looks back at her childhood when she was raised by a mother who was an eccentric artist (Naomi Watts) and an alcoholic father (Woody Harrelson) who kept his family moving to avoid the bill collectors.  Based on a true story, the film never reaches that emotional impact that you expect from a movie like this. The film seems every bit of its 127-minute runtime. I think the big problem is that it continually shows how badly the father treated the kids. While he seems to have a good heart, he consistently puts his needs (most cigarettes and booze) over the needs of his family. The film does have a number of superlative performances with Brie Larson playing the grown up daughter who is trying to forget her past and Ella Anderson, who brilliantly plays Jeannette at age 10. Anderson is superb, giving her role depth and compassion. The film just never comes together, and due to its extended flashback sequences, seems disjointed.  Fans of the best-selling book may enjoy this film, and anytime I can see Brie Larson perform is a good thing, but the film never hits the mark, making you feel you watched a very long movie for nothing.  My Rating:  Bargain Matinee   The Glass Castle Website
Indiefest:  Escapes  (2017)  Documentary chronicling the life of actor and Blade Runner screenwriter Hampton Fancher. This is a film about a man who isn’t quite as fascinating as he thinks he is. It’s like going to a cocktail party, and one guy tells a story that is an hour and a half long. Portions of the film are boring as a story or two is told that don’t go anywhere. There are times that his tale comes alive, and you see why while Fancher was never a star, kept working as an actor for a long time. The last 15 minutes of the film is about the writing of the script for Blade Runner. If the film had concentrated on this aspect of his life, it would have been a better, more entertaining film.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee   Escapes Website
Indiefest:  Whose Streets?  (2017)  R  A documentary that looks at how the killing of 18-year-0ld Mike Brown inspired a community to fight back and inspired the world to take a stand.  The film does an outstanding job of letting us see and get to know some of the people who live in this community and care about it. We visit their homes, seeing how they live and deal with the day to day of running their families, all the while trying to make an impact on their community. Whose Streets? is a gritty and sometimes tough to watch documentary that shows you what it was like as part of the community of Ferguson, what they went through and continue to experience. It's a fascinating film that gives you what it was like from the right there inside the protests and the community of Ferguson. While the film is very one sided, that’s the point of this film, the director’s felt only one side was being told. It’s a movie that’s going to make you mad, sad and wonder how we got to this point in our society.   My Rating: Full Price    Whose Streets? Website
Indiefest: Wind River  (2017)  R  An FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) teams with a town’s best game tracker (Jeremy Renner), with deep community ties and a haunted past, to track down a killer on a remote Native American Reservation. The film is a slow moving mystery/thriller that will keep you captivated because Renner and Olsen work so well on screen together. The movie isn't just a solve a crime film; we get to see the pain of losing a loved one so suddenly, how it still affects you years later as Renner’s tracker character has suffered a loss that motivates him to work so hard on this mystery. Renner gives the role both depth and warmth, so much so you instantly like his character. Olsen does a bang up job as the naive but determined FBI agent determined to solve the crime, despite the odds and the weather. Beautifully filmed in a land that you have to move quickly or the snowfall will wipe out any trace of clues. This is a movie where you don’t get lucky, you just survive, or you don’t in an unforgiving land. Wind River a mystery that you will want to solve.    My Rating:  Full Price   Wind River Facebook Page
Forgotten Film:  Raising Cain (Director’s Cut)  (1992)  R  This is a review of the director’s cut that was released on DVD/BlueRay and not the version that was released in the theatre. A prominent child psychologist (John Lithgow) has a seemingly perfect life, a wonderful practice, a beautiful and loving wife (Lolita Davidovich) and a lovely child. The father, the John Lithgow character, decides to take a year off to help raise their child. There’s only one problem:  the father has a secret that could change their family forever. This is a film that messes with the thriller genre and constantly changes the narrative to mess with the audience's minds. It uses humor to make this more of a dark comedy than a thriller, and it works.  My Rating: Full Price   Raising Cain Info

Weird Credits: From the credits of The Glass Castle:  Child Coordinator

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  Battle of the Sexes  (2017)  PG-13  The legendary true story of the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.  Emma Stone is playing Billie Jean, and Steve Carell is Bobby Riggs, the legendary tennis hustler.   Battle of the Sexes Website
Until Next Time!


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