Friday, May 25, 2018

Solo: A Star Wars Story

My View:  Solo: A Star Wars Story  (2018)  PG-13   Han (Alden Ehrenreich) is desperately trying to get back to the world where his girlfriend (Emilia Clarke) is held captive. He joins a thief (Woody Harrelson) and his band of thieves, meets his future co-pilot, Chewbacca, and encounters the flashy Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover).  I enjoyed this origin’s story of how Han got the Millennium Falcon and how Chewbacca became his co-pilot. It’s a rollicking, fun adventure with a surprising number of laughs and some exciting chase sequences. I was worried when the studio cast Alden Ehrenreich for the part of Han, but Ehrenreich really pulls it off. The man who steals the movie is Donald Glover, playing Lando Calrissian to perfection. The film’s pacing is a little off, but that may be due to the film changing directors after it was already in production. Overall, I think that Star Wars fans will leave the theatre happy. I know I did. There is not an after credits scene in the film.   My Rating: Full Price
In Memory of Ed Wood (A Movie I've Only Seen in Trailers but Just Looks Like a Bad Idea):  Action Point (2018) R   An owner (Johnny Knoxville) of a failing amusement park decides that, to bring in the crowds, his thrill rides will be dangerous. I think all I have to say is the star of the film is Johnny Knoxville, who also came up with the story idea.

In Case You Missed It (A Film Just Released on BlueRay and DVD): Wonderstruck (2017)  PG  Ben (Oakes Fegley) goes on a journey to New York to try and find his long-lost father, and we also see a young deaf girl named, Rose (Millicent Simmonds), 50 years ago, making her way through the streets of New York to see her mother (Julianne Moore). The film is divided into two stories: one takes place in 1927, is in black and white and is shown like a silent film (dialogue is displayed with title cards and a musical soundtrack), and one story is set in the 1970’s, is in color and uses a soundtrack of popular music from that time period. I loved the silent film part, and Millicent Simmonds (who is deaf in real life) is brilliant as the strong-willed Rose. The story, though, drags a bit in the 70’s section. I did enjoy the performance of Oakes Fegley, and I especially enjoyed Jaden Michael as Jamie, a kid who befriends Ben, and who breathes some life into the 70’s section. This is a film that I wanted to love but only liked. If only the 70’s scenes had lived up to the brilliance of the silent film part.    My Rating:  Bargain Matinee

Forgotten Film:  Moon  (2009)  R  Astronaut Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) is about to go back to Earth after a three-year stint sending parcels of a resource that has helped diminish Earth’s power problems. His return to Earth is threatened when he encounters a major problem, a problem that may kill him. Moon is an extraordinary film exploring the loneliness and isolation in space. Rockwell gives one of his best performances, and the storyline has a few twists and turns that you don’t see coming. The film was made on a minimal budget, but it looks as good as 100 million dollar films.   My Rating: Full Price

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Solo: A Star Wars Story:  Action Vehicle Dressing Props

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  Eighth Grade  (2018)  A teenager (Elsie Fisher) tries to survive her last week of middle school before she starts what she hopes will be a successful high school transition. This was the closing night film of the 2018 Atlanta Film Festival and got a lot of positive response.

Until Next Time!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Deadpool 2

My ViewDeadpool 2 (2018)  R  Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) is back, and this time he has assembled a team to take on a mercenary from the future named, Cable (Josh Brolin), who is out to kill a young boy (Julian Dennison).  I thought the first film was one of the best movies of 2016, and, while not quite as inventive as the first, Deadpool 2 offers a fun ride with plenty of surprises. This film, like the first, never takes itself too seriously, even when there is a sad moment. Deadpool 2 has thrilling fight sequences and, along the way, introduces a bunch of new and exciting characters. Make sure to stay through the first section of end credits because they contain some of the best post-credit sequences I have ever seen. Just remember, this film is raunchy and isn’t meant for young children. I had a blast watching Deadpool2, continually laughing throughout and you will too.   My Rating: I Would Pay to See It Again    Deadpool 2 Website

My View: Book Club  (2018)  PG-13  Four lifelong friends (Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen) get together once a month to drink wine and discuss their lives. A certain trashy romantic book is about to change them.  I liked this film, mostly due to the performances of the four leading ladies. The storyline is a little weak, but the film treats the four women with dignity and humor. Don Johnson, who plays an old flame of Fonda’s character, has the best storyline of the secondary characters, and he is perfect for the role. Book Club is an enjoyable comedy that shows that life after sixty can be fun, adventurous and it is possible to find love again. So, grab a glass of wine and watch four amazing actresses work their magic.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee    Book Club Website

Family FaireShow Dogs  (2018)  PG  Max (voiced by Ludacris), a police dog used to being on his own, is partnered with an FBI agent (Will Arnett) to go undercover and track down an animal smuggler at a prestigious dog show. One of the dogs in this film says, “They don’t make films about talking dogs anymore, and there is a reason.  Talking dog movies are horrible.” I think the only time I laughed was when Will Arnett made a joke about the Lego Batman movie. The plot makes no sense, is highly predictable and feels much longer than its ninety-two minutes.  Only very young children will enjoy this film, and adults will probably take a nap.  My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See It Again    Show Dogs Website

Forgotten FilmAcross the Universe (2007)  PG-13  A love story told in song between an upper-class American girl (Evan Rachel Wood) and a poor British artist. The film is set in the 1960’s and uses more than thirty Beatle songs to tell the story of the two lovers. Across the Universe is a very unusual, intriguing film that uses even animation to move the story along. What I love about this movie is that it doesn’t always play the Beatles songs the way that they did. Slow songs are performed quickly, and happy songs are used to express sorrow. If you are a Beatle fan or a fan of musicals, you will enjoy this film.  My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again   Across the Universe Info

Weird Credits:   From the credits of Deadpool 2: Chinook Helicopter Tech Advisor

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You Hearts Beat Loud  (2018)  A father (Nick Offerman) and his daughter (Kiersey Clemons) bond over writing and performing songs before she goes off to college.  This film was one of the movies that wowed audiences at the Atlanta Film Festival.   Hearts Beat Loud Info
Until Next Time!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Life of the Party

My View:  Life of the Party  (2018)  PG-13  After her husband asks for a divorce, a middle-aged mother (Melissa McCarthy) goes back to college to complete her degree at the same school her daughter goes to. Another comedy dud from the married team of Ben Falcone and Melissa McCarthy. This tedious and unfunny film feels twice as long as its one hour and forty-five minute running time. The film’s plot is highly predictable and with plot holes the size of a keg of stale beer. McCarthy’s fish-out-of-water performance gets old very fast, and Gillian Jacobs’ performance as ‘Coma Girl’ is strange and offsetting. Rent Back to School, instead, and stay away from this mess of a film.    My Rating:  You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again    Life of the Party Facebook Page

My View:  Breaking In (2018)  PG-13  A woman (Gabrielle Union) fights to protect her son and daughter from home invaders in a remote vacation home. While not a great movie, I still enjoyed this action film where a mom will do everything in her power to keep her kids safe. Union gives the part her all and is very believable in the action sequences. Billy Burke makes a compelling bad guy who has to deal with a woman who outsmarts him on just about every move. The premise of the plot is a little thin, but once the action starts, you don’t really care, you just want to see Gabrielle Union kick major butt.    My Rating: Bargain Matinee    Breaking In Website

Indiefest:  The Rider  (2017)  R  After suffering a near-fatal injury in a rodeo and with doctors telling him he should never ride again, a young cowboy, Brady (Brady Jandreau), has to figure out a new direction for his life. An absolutely gorgeous film about dealing with life’s disappointments. The film is heartbreaking as Brady is not allowed to do one thing the one thing that he loves - ride horses. Jandreau gives an astonishing performance that is full of grit and grace. The cinematography of this film is some of the best work in recent history. The story, at times, is a little slow, but it lets you get inside the mind of Brady and see his point of view clearly. This is one of the best films of the year and will surely be on my top ten list.   My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again   The Rider Website

Forgotten FilmOut of Sight  (1998)  R  A career bank robber, Jack (George Clooney), breaks out of jail with the help of his friend, Buddy (Ving Rhames), and kidnaps a U.S. Marshal (Jennifer Lopez) when she threatens to expose their big heist plans. After spending time together, Jack finds that he is attracted to the Marshall. I love this film and the remarkable chemistry that Clooney and Lopez have. This is a fun and witty film with phenomenal dialogue with plenty of twists and turns in the plot that you just don’t see coming.    My Rating: Full Price    Out of Sight Website

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Life of the Party:  Period Hair Stylist

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You Won’t You Be My Neighbor?  (2018)  Documentary on the life of Fred Rogers, host of the long-running PBS children’s program, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. This film was the talk of the 2018 Atlanta Film Festival.     Won't You Be My Neighbor? Website   
Until Next Time!


Friday, May 4, 2018


My View:  Tully (2018)  R  Marlo (Charlize Theron) is a mother of three including a newborn, and Marlo is about at the end of her rope. She is gifted a night nurse named Tully (Mackenzie Davis) by her brother. Tully is the godsend that Marlo needs. Tully is the third collaboration between director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody. While I am a huge fan of their first film, Juno (2007), I never warmed up to their 2nd film, Young Adult (2011). I am happy to say that third time’s a charm, as Tully is witty, funny and overall moving…and packed with a few surprises. The cast is superb, led by Charlize Theron’s Marlo, a performance that could get her an Academy Award nomination. We forget just how good Theron’s comedic timing is, and she uses it to perfection in this film. Theron’s on-screen chemistry with Davis is sublime and makes this film so enjoyable to watch. While not quite on the level of the brilliant Juno, Tully still is a film not to be missed. It’s a hilarious film that any mother can relate to. Now, if every mother could just get someone like Tully to help her out…   My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again   Tully Website
In Case You Missed It (A movie just released on DVD/BluRay) 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 halfway 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
In Memory of Ed Wood (A Movie I've Only Seen in Trailers but Just Looks Like a Bad Idea): Life of the Party (2018)  PG-13  After her husband asks for a divorce, a middle-aged mother (Melissa McCarthy) goes back to college to complete her degree. This movie is written by McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone, whose track record is not good with Tammy (2014) and The Boss (2016).   Life of the Party Facebook Page
Forgotten FilmOpen Range  (2003) R  Two cowboys (Kevin Costner, Robert Duval) get into trouble when they take their herd near a town controlled by a crooked sheriff (James Russo). Any movie with Robert Duval can’t be bad, and this movie is actually an exceptional western. Costner and Duval have great chemistry, and Russo is an excellent villain. If you like westerns, then this one is for you.  My Rating: Full Price   Open Range Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Tully:  Mechanical Effects Designer

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You: How to Talk to Girls at Parties (2017)  R  An alien (Elle Fanning) touring the galaxy breaks away from her tour group and finds herself in the most dangerous place on the planet, the suburbs.  Elle Fanning has been in some fascinating films lately.   How to Talk to Girls At Parties Website
Until Next Time!