Friday, January 25, 2019

The Kid Who Would Be King

FamilyFair:  The Kid Who Would Be King  (2019)  PG    King Arthur’s half-sister Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson) is going to take over the world in 4 days in modern times. Alex (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) has found the legendary Sword in the Stone and is able to pull it out. Now Alex and his friends must go on a quest to find the opening of hell and battle Morgana. I loved this film. It’s a great family film with an excellent message for kids. Adults will enjoy this film just as much as the kids will. The cast is outstanding with Angus Imrie playing a young Merlin who makes noises with his hands and mouth to cast spells side-splitting funny. Take you your family and go see this beautiful, entertaining, moving film.   My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again    The Kid Who Would Be King Website
My View:  Stan & Ollie  (2018)  PG  Once the greatest comedy team in film, Laurel (Steve Coogan) and Hardy (John C. Reilly) attempt to revive their careers as they go on a stage tour of England. First of all, the two leads look so much like Laurel and Hardy (John C. Reilly had to be in the makeup chair for 4 hours each day). It’s a touching tale about two men who just can’t accept that they will never make another film. Both performers are top notch in the film and perfectly do some of Laurel and Hardy’s best bits. It’s a bittersweet film that I hope inspires people to go explore their great library of movies.   My Rating:  Full Price    Stan & Ollie Website
My View:  Serenity  (2019)  R   The past of a fishing boat captain (Matthew McConaughey) comes back to haunt him when his ex-wife (Anne Hathaway) tracks him down with a plea for help. For a good portion of this film, it felt like an R rated version of a lifetime movie. Then something happens (that I didn’t see coming) and this movie gets really good. It’s a bold move, and I applaud writer/director Steven Knight (who also wrote/directed the brilliant 2013 film Locke). McConaughey and Hathaway have great chemistry together. I think most critics are going to kill this film, but I enjoyed it.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee    Serenity Website
My View:  Cold War  (2018)  R  In the 1950s, a music director (Tomasz Kot) tries to get his lover and lead singer (Joanna Kulig) to defect from communist Poland to France. The film with its B&W cinematography perfect sets the mood of the 1950s in Europe. The movie about star-crossed lovers is heartbreakingly beautiful, and the performances are breathtaking, especially Joanna Kulig, who can not only act but also sing, I can’t express just how I loved the look and feel of this movie.  My Rating: Full Price   Cold War Website
Forgotten Film:  The Wedding Banquet  (1993)  R   Wai-Tung (Winston Chao) is a gay young man from Taiwan who lives with his American boyfriend Simon (Mitchell Lichtenstein) in New York City. His parents don’t know he is gay and wonder why he hasn’t found a Chinese woman to marry and start a family. So Wai-Tung sets up a marriage of convenience to a tenant in his building named Wei-Wei (May Chin, who needs a green card. Wai-Tung world spins out of control when he finds out his parents are coming for a visit and they want to host a banquet to celebrate the wedding. This is a hilarious film, where things start going bad and keep getting worse. Unlike the horrible The Birdcage, this treats homosexuality with real characters that are warm and funny. This is a very early film of two-time Oscar-winning director Ang Lee (it was a nominee for the 1994 Best Foreign Language Film).    My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again    The Wedding Banquet Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of The Kid Who Would Be King:  Lead Facial Modeler

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  In Like Flynn  (2018)  R   Before Errol Flynn (Thomas Cocquerel)  became a famous actor, Flynn was a bit of a rascal, working in Australia as an opium smuggler, gambler, street fighter, adventurer, gold prospector and of course, womanizer. Errol Flynn is one of my favorite actors so I would love to see his early life.   In Like Flynn Website
Until Next Time!

Friday, January 18, 2019


My View:  Glass  (2019)  PG-13   Three men are being held in a high-security mental institution: David Dunn (Bruce Willis), a former security guard who has somehow supernatural powers, Kevin (James McAvoy), a killer that has 24 personalities and a mysterious man named Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson). The film is much too long, and the middle portion of this film slows down, with Sarah Paulson, playing a therapist, that just sits there and lectures the three men, sometimes alone, sometimes at all three together. Samuel L. Jackson’s character Mr. Glass is in a drug-induced haze for much of the film. Bruce Willis looks puzzled and uninterested. As with his performance in Split, James McAvoy is fantastic as he instantly goes from one personality to another. I had hoped that M. Night Shyamalan had gotten back on track, but it proves once again that when given a big budget, he tries to do too much. Glass is a superhero movie that rarely lets the superheroes be heroic.  My Rating: Cable   Glass Website
My View:  Destroyer  (2018)  R   A police detective (Nicole Kidman), seventeen years ago, went undercover and things went horribly wrong. Now she is exploring her past to make peace. I found the storyline a little weak, and it takes a while to get going, but the reason to see this movie is Kidman. She gives a deep, vulnerable performance as a broken woman who is trying to right the wrongs that she created 17 years ago. I liked the ending of the film, which ties everything up, I wish it had gotten to that point a little quicker.  My Rating:  Bargain Matinee   Destroyer Website
In Case You Missed It (A movie just released on DVD/Blu-Ray):  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 to rob over 80 banks while in his seventies. If this is genuinely Redford’s last acting performance, then he goes out on a high note. It’s a brilliant, understated performance that only someone with skill like Redford can do. Redford’s performance is bolstered by the performances of Casey Affleck, the world-weary cop trying to catch Forest, and Sissy Spacek, who slowly falls in love Forest. The film is based on a true story, and I loved the ending of the movie where they used old photos and footage of Redford to illustrate the 16 prison escapes that Forest did over the years.   My Rating: Full Price    The Old Man & the Gun Website
Forgotten Film:  Control  (2007)  R    Fascinating film about the troubled life of Ian Curtis (Sam Riley), the lead singer of the legendary band Joy Division. The film gives us insight into why at age 23 he decided to commit suicide. The film at times almost feels like a documentary and is based on Curtis’s wife Deborah (played by Samantha Morton) book on Curtis’s life. The photographer Anton Corbin, whose pictures of Curtis, made him the sex symbol of young, like-minded teens, directed the film. The film is shot in black and white, and the cinematography is just gorgeous. I loved the performance of Morton as Ian’s long-suffering wife in the movie. Her performance is almost magical it is so good. Control is a movie about a man who came to the conclusion that he must end his life to stop his misery.  My Rating: Full Price   Control Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Glass:  Prosthetic Makeup Design and Fabrication: Charlayne Woodard's Aging

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  The Kid Who Would Be King  (2019)  PG   King Arthur’s half-sister Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson) is going to take over the world in 4 days in modern times. Alex (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) has found the legendary Sword in the Stone and is able to pull it out. Now Alex and his friends must go on a quest to find the opening of hell and battle Morgana. The guy, Joe Cornish, who wrote and directed Attack the Block, is back with a new film, so you know I’m seeing this one.    The Kid Who Would Be King Website
Until Next Time!

Friday, January 11, 2019

A Dog's Way Home

Family FaireA Dog’s Way Home  (2019) PG    A dog is separated from its owner and travels over 400 miles to find him. I enjoyed this family-friendly film that caused me to tear up several times. I really like Bryce Dallas Howard as the voice of the dog Bella. She hits all the right notes with her portrayal of Bella’s voice. The dog is adorable, and I love the fact that Bella is a pit bull, a dog that if raised right is sweet and loving. What I loved about this film is the humor, as it is told from the viewpoint of the dog. Bella sees most things as a game and gives them names, like 'Stop chewing on the shoes' game. There was a couple of out and out laughs and a lot of chuckles from the audience that I saw it with.  I would caution that there are a couple of scenes with coyotes threating Bella that might be really scary for really young kids.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee   A Dog's Way Home Website
My View:  The Upside  (2017)  PG-13  A wealthy man (Bryan Cranston) with quadriplegia hires a man (Kevin Hart) with a criminal record to be his assistant. A friendship develops between the two men that will change both their worlds.  Unfortunately, this movie doesn't come close to matching the intelligence and warmth of the original film that this film is based on, the 2011 French film The Intouchables. The Upside is too simplistic in its ideas about race and friendship. Its plot is highly predictable, and its biggest flaw is the performance of Kevin Hart. Hart can't help but overact, continually mugging for the camera, when a lighter touch is needed for this part. I can't help thinking what someone like Idris Elba or Mahershala Ali could have done with this part.    My Rating: Cable    The Upside Website

My ViewReplicas  (2018) PG-13  A scientist (Keanu Reeves) becomes obsessed with finding a way to bring back his family after a fatal accident. Well, after seeing this film, I now know why it wasn't shown to critics. With plot holes the size of Puerto Rico (that's where the movie takes place) and an ending that is just so stupid, Replicas is already on my worst films of the year list. It tries to do a twist at the two-thirds part of the film, but it doesn't even close to succeeding. I question making Keanu Reeves a cutting edge scientist, but then I remember that Reeves production company is responsible for this mess of a film. Even if you a Keanu Reeves fan, stay at home and wait for John Wick III to come out.  My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again   Replicas Website 
In Case You Missed It (A movie just released on DVD/Blu-Ray): Mid90s  (2018)  R   Stevie (Sunny Suljic) lives in a troubled home in 90s L.A. with a mother (Katherine Waterston) that is never there, and an older brother Ian (Lucas Hedges) that takes out his frustrations on Stevie. Stevie’s life changes when he finds new friends at the Motor Avenue Skate Shop. This is a film that is not for everyone. There are some disturbing scenes involving Stevie drinking, smoking, doing drugs and even having sex. Also, there is a ton of cursing, some of it done by Stevie, who looks much younger than his age. There is also quite a bit of violence, most of which is committed by Ian on Stevie. The film does have some humorous scenes and at times is quite enjoyable, but it’s hard to overlook the sex scene where an older teenage girl seduces Stevie at a party. I will say this that Sunny Suljic gives an incredible performance as the kid who just wants to fit in with his idols, the skateboarders. Written and directed by Jonah Hill and shot on 16mm film, Mid90s captures that time-period so well that at times I thought I was watching a documentary.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee    Mid90s Website
In Memory of Ed Wood (A Movie I've Only Seen in Trailers but Just Looks Like a Bad Idea):  The Sex Trip (2017)  A womanizer refuses a kiss from a homeless woman and then wakes up in a woman’s body. It’s not a good thing when the only cast member you recognize is Frank Stallone.    The Sex Trip Info
Forgotten Film Pawn Sacrifice  (2014)  PG-13  Set during the Cold War, a brilliant but troubled young man, Bobby Fisher (Toby Maguire) takes on the Soviet Union and their Grand Master chess player, Boris Spassky (Liev Schreiber). While the script is a little clunky, the performances of Schreiber and Maguire are fabulous to watch. If you play chess, you will want to see this film that gets the art of playing down perfectly.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee    Pawn Sacrifice Infor

Weird Credits:  From the credits of A Dog’s Way Home:  Cat Trainer

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouIsn’t It Romantic  (2019) PG-13  A young woman (Rebel Wilson), down on love and hating romantic comedies, hits her head and passes out. When she wakes up, she is in an alternate universe and is in her own romantic comedy. I have high hopes for this as the trailer looks really good and I love Rebel Wilson.    Isn't It Romantic Facebook Page
Until Next Time!

Friday, January 4, 2019

Escape Room

My ViewEscape Room  (2018)  PG-13  Six strangers travel to a mysterious building to experience the ‘escape room’ – where payers compete to solve a series of puzzles for the ultimate prize of one million dollars. What they soon learn is that each room is an elaborate trap that will cause someone to die. I actually enjoyed this horror film because the rooms they go into are interesting to try and solve. The ending was a little too predictable, and the film itself was a little too long, but I had fun watching it. If you like horror films, then this one should be checked out.  My Rating:  Bargain Matinee     Escape Room Website
In Case You Missed It (A movie just released on DVD/Blu-Ray)Bad Times at the El Royale  (2018) R    Seven strangers meet at the El Royale, a hotel with a dark past. In one night, all seven will have a shot at redemption before things go to hell. I enjoyed this film which is reminiscent of a Quentin Tarantino film. I loved how the film slowly reveals the story and the background of each character based on their room numbers. There are plenty of twists and turns in the plot, and it will keep you guessing how it's going to turn out until the final credits. By the way, I did not recognize Chris Hemsworth who must have lost 40 pounds of muscle for the role. The film is a little long but well worth the time.    My Rating: Full Price    Bad Times at the El Royale Website
In Memory of Ed Wood (A Movie I've Only Seen in Trailers but Just Looks Like a Bad Idea)What Men Want (2019)  A woman (Taraji P. Henson) isn’t made partner at her sports agent job. She is given an edge when after an accident, she gets the ability to hear men’s thoughts. I didn’t laugh once when I saw the trailer. This looks so bad.   What Men Want Info
Forgotten Film Kinsey  (2004)  R  A look at the life of sexual behavvorest Alfred Kinsey (Liam Neeson) who wrote the 2948 publication ‘Sexual Behavior in the Human Male.’ The reason to see this film is Neeson’s performance where he makes Kinsey come to life. For a while, Kinsey was one of the most famous men in America, and his book became a huge bestseller. It’s a fascinating film about a very interesting man.   My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again    Kinsey Info

Weird Credits: From the credits of EscapeRoom: Property Buyer

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouThe Lego Movie 2: The Second Part  (2019)  It’s been five years since ‘everything was awesome.’ Invaders from outer space are destroying the planet and its up to the gang to defeat the invaders. I loved the first film, so I am hoping this one will also be great.    The Lego Movie 2 Website
Until Next Time!