Friday, January 5, 2018

Insidious: The Last Key

My ViewInsidious: The Last Key  (2017)  PG-13  Parapsychologist Dr. Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) is used to battling the paranormal bad guys. This time it’s personal; they are taking over her childhood home.  As this series progresses (this is the fourth one), the filmmaking becomes sloppier. The dialogue in this film is horribly written with lines that seem to be created by a ten-year-old. The scary parts of the film are your ordinary jump-out-of-the-dark variety. I did enjoy a rather interesting twist to the story but feel the ending was rushed and didn’t give me much satisfaction. The tension never builds, and I never sensed that Dr. Rainier (the hero of the story) was ever in any real danger (a problem for horror films). Let down by a weak script and even weaker plot, this series should probably be put to bed or at least hidden in a corner with the ghosts.  My Rating: Cable   Insidious: The Last Key Website
My ViewHostiles  (2017)  In 1892, legendary Army Captain and Indian Fighter, Capt. Blocker (Christian Bale), reluctantly agrees to escort a dying Cheyenne Chief (Wes Studi) back to his native lands so that the Chief can die in peace.  I enjoyed this western (a genre that I love), especially the performance of Christian Bale, who plays the rough and tumble Captain. Writer/Director Scott Cooper wrote this film with Bale in mind, and you can tell because it plays to Bale’s strengths as an actor who uses silence and small gestures to communicate what he is thinking and feeling. Wes Studi gives a moving and intense performance of the Cheyenne Chief who wants to go home to die. I also enjoyed the performance of  Rosamund Pike who plays a widow that the Captain agrees to transport to the next fort. The action sequences are plentiful and realistic, making the scenes very powerful. The message of the film is that you might not know your enemy as you think you do, as there are always two sides to every battle.    My Rating:  Full Price   Hostiles Info
In Case You Missed It (Movies just released on DVD/BluRay): Battle of the Sexes  (2017)  PG-13  This film is loosely based on the 1973 tennis match that all America watched between Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell), an aging huckster who used to be a great tennis star, versus Billie Jean King (Emma Stone), the best woman tennis player of all time. This is two films in one; the story of how the most watched tennis match happened, and the slow realization by Billy Jean King that she is a lesbian. I enjoyed this film because I am old enough to remember the match, and the look and feel of the early 70s is perfectly captured. The film does a superlative job of mixing in actual footage from the match, including showing Howard Cosell on-screen with Natalie Morales, who plays tennis player Rosie Casals. Steve Carell is brilliant as the bombastic Bobby Riggs, who was a man who lived and loved to gamble. In contrast to Carell’s over-the-top Riggs (warranted because that’s how Bobby Riggs acted), Emma Stone gives a quiet but convincing performance of a woman who dared to take on the world to get women’s tennis the prize money and notoriety it deserved. The film feels long because it spends so much time on King’s awakening to her true feelings. There are too many scenes of her exchanging glances with the hairdresser (Andrea Riseborough) with whom she eventually falls in love. Overall, buoyed by the spectacular cast, Battle of the Sexes is an exciting look at a time when a tennis player changed her sport through her toughness and determination.    My Rating:  Full Price   Battle of the Sexes Website

In Memory of Ed Wood (A Movie I've Only Seen in Trailers but Just Looks Like a Bad Idea)Fifty Shades Freed  (2018)  R  The third installment of the Fifty Shades of Grey series. I have somehow managed to avoid the first two films…I think I will keep this streak alive.   Fifty Shades Freed Website

Forgotten FilmA Slipping-Down Life  (1999)  R  Evie (Lili Taylor) is a lonely young woman living in a small town. One evening, she hears a small-time rock star, Drumstring Casey (Guy Pearce), interviewed on the radio promoting a local gig. She goes to the gig and instantly becomes obsessed with the singer, and it changes her life forever. Lili Taylor gives a breathtaking performance as Evie, who restarts her life with one shocking act (I won’t tell you what it is, but it is brutal to watch). The film feels real, helped by a supporting cast including Tom Bower, John Hawkes, and Veronica Cartwright. It will be a long time before you forget Evie.    My Rating:  Full Price   A Slipping-Down Life Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Hostiles:  Virtual Instrument Designer

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You: Proud Mary  (2018)   Mary (Taraji P. Henson) is a hit woman for hire whose life is turned around when she meets a young boy during a hit gone wrong.  Taraji P. Henson shooting guns and taking names, sign me up!    Proud Mary Website
Until Next Time!

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