Friday, September 28, 2018


Familyfaire:  Smallfoot  (2018)  PG  Migo (Channing Tatum) is a Yeti who is convinced that he saw a ‘Smallfoot’ also known as a human. He goes on a quest to prove to his friends and family that humans do exist. I liked this film but didn’t love it. Other than an inspired rap by Common, the songs in the film feel very generic. The story is very predictable, and I didn’t like the ending at all. I did enjoy the lead character of Migo (voiced by Channing Tatum), and it was fun seeing how the Yeti and the human heard each other’s voice. Better songs would have made a better movie.    My Rating:  Bargain Matinee   Smallfoot Website
My View:  Night School  (2018)  PG-13  A group of troublemakers are forced to attend night school taught by a no-nonsense teacher (Tiffany Haddish). Kevin Hart’s one-note act is getting a little long in the tooth. About halfway through this film I just wanted him to shut up. Unfortunately, Haddish is given almost nothing to do in this film, other than being mean to Kevin Hart’s character. Now, I will say that most of the audience I saw the movie with were continually laughing, I rarely chuckled and I never really did laugh. The film goes too many times for the easy laugh and feels much longer than it’s nearly 2-hour length.  My Rating: Cable   Night School Website
Indiefest:  Colette  (2018)  R  Colette (Keira Knightley) is pushed by her husband (Dominic West) to write novels under his name. When the novels become a success, she fights to be known as the writer of the books, challenging gender norms. While the storyline moves a little too slowly at times, the performances by Knightley and West outshine the script and make this a compelling film to watch. The fact that this film is based on a true story makes it even more interesting, especially how Colette’s husband, Willy, turned her writing into an industry, with Colette dresses, hairstyles and even soap being sold under the brand.   My Rating: Full Price   Colette Website
Indiefest:  The Children Act  (2017)  R  As her marriage falls apart, a judge (Emma Thompson) must decide a case where a teenage boy (Fionn Whitehead) is refusing a blood transfusion due to religious principles. Emma Thompson is a tour de force as a judge who’s world is crumbling, but she must continue her life and work. The film never gets boring as Thompson's multifaceted performance is a delight to watch. I was worried when the blood transfusion trail ends about 45 minutes into the film, but the movie finds new roads to go down and explore.    My Rating: Full Price    The Children Act Website
Indiefest:  Blaze  (2018)  The life and loves of country musician Blaze Foley (Ben Dickey), the best singer/songwriter you have never heard off. The heart of this film are the songs, and they are heartbreakingly beautiful. Ben Dickey gives a masterful performance as the man who was his own worst enemy. I absolutely loved the performance of Alia Shawkat as the one woman who Blaze loved and was, for a short while, happy with. This is a sad and sometimes frustrating look at a man who should have been a star. Luckily, we still have his songs to listen to.  My Rating:  Full Price   Blaze Website
Forgotten Film:  Liberty Heights  (1999)  R   The story of two brothers, Van (Adrien Brody) who goes to a local college and Ben (Ben Foster) a senior in high school, growing up in the 50’s in Baltimore. This comedy/drama is the last of the four Barry Levinson’s ‘Baltimore Films’ that included Diner, Tin Men and Avalon. Ben becomes enamored with a black teenager named Sylvia (Rebekah Johnson) who has just joined his class in high school. Their father, Nate (Joe Mantegna) runs a failing burlesque theatre and a numbers racket which will eventually cause his downfall. This is a typical Levinson film, filled with funny moments along with deadly serious ones as well.  My Rating: Full Price    Liberty Heights Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Colette:  Water Supply Operator

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  Beautiful Boy (2018)  R  The heartbreaking story of a father (Steve Carell) and his son (Timothee Chalamet) dealing with addiction over many years. Many film critics that have seen the film feel that Chalamet will get another Academy Award nomination.    Beautiful Boy Website

Until Next Time!

Friday, September 21, 2018

The House with a Clock in its Walls

My View:  The House with a Clock in its Walls  (2018)  PG  A young, recently orphaned boy named Lewis (Owen Vaccaro), in 1953, moves in with his magical uncle (Jack Black) in an old, creaky house. Their mission is to locate a clock that has the power to bring about the end of the world. I enjoyed this film though it does drag a little bit in the middle but it kicks back up to a beautiful finish. This is similar to the movie Goosebumps but not quite as funny. I did enjoy the performance of Cate Blanchett, who plays a witch who lives next door and has lost her ability to do magic. I will warn you that there are quite a few scary bits in the film and small kids might get scared. I loved the special effects all the different creatures in the movie, especially a Griffith made out of shrubs that have come to life.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee    The House with Clocks on its Wall Website
Indiefest:  Life Itself  (2018)  R  The film centers on a couple (Oscar Isaac and Olivia Wilde) who go from a college romance to marriage and the birth of their first child. The New York couple go on a journey that spans generations, but these generations are all connected by a single event. You know I didn’t like the film, when I looked at my watch, think we would be about an hour in and the movie has only been going on for 30 minutes. The film is predictable and has some of the worst pacing I have ever seen. This is a Dan Fogelman ((This is Us) film, so you know that the film will move around to different timelines, all somehow connected, and that there will be some critical deaths. Fans of This Is Us are going to be disappointed in this film that moves at a snail's pace and has an ending you can see coming from about halfway through the pictures.   My Rating: Cable   Life Itself Website
Indiefest:  Fahrenheit 11/9  (2018)  R  Documentary by filmmaker Michael Moore on the 2016 United States presidential election and the presidency of Donald Trump. This is a typical Roger Moore documentary. As usual, Moore puts in some funny stuff, but I didn’t like the message that he chose to end the film with. I give away too much but let's just say Moore doesn't have much hope for America. That’s too bad because in the middle of the film there is hope with the Parkland High School teens speaking up and a number of women that are running for office. Moor tries to cover too much in this film including the Flint water problem. If you are a supporter of the President or Hillary Clinton, you might want to skip this film.   My Rating:  Bargain Matinee   Fahrenheit 11/9 Website

Indiefest:  Love, Gilda  (2018)  Documentary on the late, beloved comedienne Gilda Radner. You will fall in love with Gilda Radner all over again, and if you don’t know the talented Radner who was taken from us much too soon, you will want to see her appearances on Saturday Night Live as one of the original cast members. The film looks at Radner with a loving eye but isn’t afraid of showing her faults also. The film is mostly told through Radner’s voice in audio that was just recently discovered and she recorded right before she died. Radner, though taken much too soon, had a wonderful life giving us her unique brand of comedy and the film lets us experience her wit once again.   My Rating: Full Price   Love, Gilda Website
Indiefest: Five Fingers for Marseilles  (2018)  Twenty years ago, the Lion of Marseilles (Vuyo Dabula) and his ‘Five Fingers’ gang fought brutal police opposition. After fleeing, The Lion is now returning to his South African town, which is under a new threat. Not all will welcome The Lion because many see his fleeing as an act of cowardice. I love westerns, and this is a modern day western set in Africa. This film has some classic western undertones; you have the stranger (the Lion) who comes back after to his town because there is a new threat, he is a man alone, against all odds because the town won’t rally around him, and an act of redemption for what he did in the past. There is a little bit of The Searchers in this film, as well as High Noon and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. I enjoyed the performance of Vuyo Dabula, the man that comes back to his town to correct old sins. If you like westerns, I think you will love this Five Fingers for Marseilles.   My Rating: Full Price    Five Fingers for Marseilles Facebook Page
Forgotten Film:  Beyond Rangoon  (1995)  Laura (Patricia Arquette) is trying to recover from her husband and child being murdered and travels to Burma with her sister (Frances McDormand). Laura falls in love with the Burmese people and decides to help them overthrow a ruthless dictator. Arquette is the reason to watch this film as she is spectacular is the determined and compassionate Laura. Arquette gives one of her better performances and is a force to watch:  My Rating: Bargain Matinee   Beyond Rangoon Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of The House With a Clock in its Wall: Griffith Tamer

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  The Old Man & the Gun  (2018) PG-13  Based on the true story of Forrest Tucker (Robert Redford) who escaped from San Quentin and then went on a spree of robberies. The stellar cast includes Casey Affleck, Sissy Spacek, and Danny Glover.   The Old Man & the Gun Info
Until Next Time!

Friday, September 14, 2018

The Predator

My ViewThe Predator (2018) R  A young boy (Jacob Tremblay) accidentally triggers the universes most lethal hunters’ return to Earth. A ragtag group of ex-soldiers and a science teacher (Olivia Munn) are the only hope to prevent the end of the human race. This is a movie co-written and directed by Shane Black who also made Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and The Nice Guys, so you know this isn’t your normal Predator movie. This film is full of humor and is a fun ride (there are a couple of jokes that fall flat, but that’s pretty rare). Now, I’ll let you know that this film is really violent, with heads being cut off and limbs flying around, but it’s also a fun film to watch. The third act has a few problems, but it didn’t hurt the movie much. If you like action films with a lot of humor, then this film is for you.  My Take:  Full Price   The Predator Website
My ViewA Simple Favor (2018) A mommy blogger, Stephanie (Anna Kendrick), seeks to uncover the truth behind her best friend’s, Emily (Blake Lively), sudden disappearance from their small town. The film is directed by Paul Feig, who directed Bridesmaids, Spy, and Ghostbusters, so you know there is quite a bit of humor in this film. The film is a mystery and is very dark at times. Blake Lively is brilliant as the best friend who says anything on her mind and forms a friendship with the somewhat naive mommy blogger played by Anna Kendrick. Henry Golding, who plays Emily’s husband, is having quite a run having also starred in the big hit, Crazy Rich Asians. This film is a delight to watch, and I think will be in my top ten list at the end of the year, and I could see Blake Lively getting an Oscar nomination next year.   My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again    A Simple Favor Website
Indiefest:  Pick of the Litter (2018) Documentary that follows a little of puppies from the moment they’re born and begin to train to become Guide Dogs for the Blind. I can’t tell you how much I loved this film. I was crying two minutes into the movie with stories about how guide dogs had saved lives, including a man who was led down 79 flights of stairs by his guide dog during the 9/11 Twin Towers attack. This is a fantastic feel-good film where all the dogs end up with great homes, even if they didn’t make it as guide dogs (only 300 dogs out of a pool of 1100 make it as guide dogs every year). You will fall in love with these dogs, especially a dog named Phil. Go see this film, you will feel better about the world we live in if you do.    My Rating:  Full Price    Pick of the Litter Website
My ViewThe Basement  (2018)  R  A deranged serial killer known as ‘The Gemini,’ (Jackson Davis) tortures and slays his victims in the basement of his home. The Gemini selects his next victims the musician Craig Owen (Cayleb Long) and a long night of role-playing is in store for Craig, a night that could end with his death, I did not like this film. It’s not scary but one long act of torture porn. The film mostly takes place in the Gemini’s basement as he appears as a number of characters, all bent on making Craig suffer through the worst night of his life. The dialogue made it feel like this was a production of a small neighborhood play production. The film is hard to watch, I would have walked out if I wasn’t reviewing the film.   My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again    The Basement Website
Forgotten FilmHard Times  (1975)  PG  A drifter, Chaney (Charles Bronson) during the depression, meets a street fight promoter (Jame Coburn) and they team up to make money in a tough sport. This is one of Bronson’s best performances, and the film is perfectly directed by Walter Hill, who after this film (his first) went on to direct The Warriors (1979), Southern Comfort (1981), and 48 Hrs. (1982). This is a gritty film about an ugly sport but is well worth your time.   My Rating: Full Price   Hard Times Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of The Predator:  Specialty Suit Costumer 

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You Colette  (2018)  R  Colette (Keira Knightley) is pushed by her husband (Dominic West) to write novels under his name. When the novels become a success, she fights to be known as the writer of the books, challenging gender norms. Hey, it’s Keira Knightley, do I have to say anymore?    Colette Website
Until Next Time!

Friday, September 7, 2018


My ViewPeppermint  (2018)  A young mother (Jennifer Garner) is hellbent on getting revenge on her enemies who stole her life from her. Her husband and daughter are killed by a drive-by shooting and are let go on a technicality. I liked this film, and I really don’t know why. Maybe it’s me wanting to relive Garner’s Alias TV past, but I thought she did a great job The story is little unbelievable but think a female John Wick. Like John Wick, this film is very violent and there is a lot of blood shed. This won’t be for everybody, and I am guessing that not many film critics will like it, but I did.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee    Peppermint Website
Indiefest:  The Wife  (2017)  R  A woman (Glenn Close) questions her life choices and what she gave up when she became the wife of a famous author (Max Irons), who is slated to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. Glenn Close gives a fantastic performance in this film, but I was often bored with the very predictable storyline. There isn’t a happy person in this film, and the movie makes sure that you know that. It’s an unhappy film about miserable people who feed off of each other’s misery. The film is made worst by really gross flashbacks as we see how she met her husband, who was her professor who hit on her. Close may get an Academy Award nomination for her performance but this film won’t.  My Rating: Cable   The Wife Website
In Case You Missed It (A movie just released on DVD/Blu-Ray):  Adrift  (2018)  PG-13  A young couple, Tami (Shailene Woodley) and Richard (Sam Clafin)  who are avid sailors, head out on a small boat for the ride of a lifetime. What they don’t know is that they are about to head directly into one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in recorded history  Part romantic movie and part survival film, Adrift successfully melds the two together, mostly due to Woodley and Clafin. The movie moves back and forth, between their courtship in Tahiti, and the storm and its aftermath. Woodley and Clafin have spectacular chemistry and their characters falling in love seems real and beautiful. Woodley has to do the heavy lifting for the wake of the storm, and as usual, Woodley is masterful in her performance. Shot in Tahiti and New Zealand, the landscapes are spectacular, and the storm sequence is riveting. There are some nice twists and turns along the way, and the film moves at a quick pace. You are going to enjoy this film, going on an adventure of a lifetime with Tami and Richard.   My Rating: Full Price   Adrift Website
Forgotten FilmThe Brave Little Toaster (1990) Five household electric appliances have been waiting for 2000 days for ‘The Master,’ a thirteen-year-old boy, to return.  They decide to go to the big city to find their friend. The film feels like a classic Disney film which holds up well in repeated viewings. This is a film that both adults and kids will enjoy and should be a staple in your animation collection.  My Rating: Full Price   The Brave Little Toaster Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Peppermint: Biscuit technician 

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  First Man (2018)  PG-13  A look at the life of the astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. The film is directed by Damien Chazelle, who directed Whiplash (2014) and La La Land (2016).   First Man Website
Until Next Time!