Friday, February 22, 2019

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Family FaireHow to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World  (2019)  PG  When Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) discovers that Toothless isn’t the only Night Fury dragon, he must seek ‘The Hidden World.’ a secret dragon utopia with Astrid (America Ferrera) before a hired tyrant named Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham) finds it.  The third and final film in the series is a fitting ending to a wonderful series of films about the love of a young man and his faithful dragon companion. The animation is striking, the storyline is heartfelt and the film moves at a nice pace. I am going to miss these characters that I have grown so fond of. One warning, if you haven’t seen the other two films in the series, you need to watch them before you take in this one.  My Take:  Full Price   How to Train Your Dragon Website
My ViewFighting With My Family  (2019)  PG  Sayara (Florence Pugh) has been dreaming of wrestling in the WWE since she was thirteen, working small shows that her family puts on in England. She gets her chance when she is picked from a tryout with the WWE. Now can she beat the odds and make it to the big time? I am going to say something shocking, this is a really good movie! I can’t believe I am saying this about a WWE production, but the movie is fun, touching and moving. Now be warned that Dwayne Johnson is only in two scenes in the film but both are fun to watch. I loved all the cameos that the WWE wrestlers did in the film. The wrestling scenes are well done and Pugh is a force on the screen. Go see this film!   My Rating:  Full Price   Fighting With My Family Website
In Case You Missed It (A movie just released on DVD/Blu-Ray)Can You Ever Forgive Me?  (2018)  R    Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy) has made her living writing about celebrities. When she falls out of style and can’t get published, she begins to forges letters from deceased authors and playwrights. Melissa McCarthy gives a stunning performance of someone who is utterly unlikeable. In fact both her character and her best friend, Jack (played superbly by Richard E. Grant), a gay man who doesn’t seem to have a job or a home, are horrible people. McCarthy’s character thinks that she is the greatest writer in the world and that nobody realizes that. It makes Lee bitter and angry at the world. Jack gets by on his looks, which are rapidly fading as he ages, and by selling cocaine. The film is entertaining to watch as we wait for when it will all fall apart for Lee. You are not going to like these characters, but you are going to love the film and its performances.    My Rating: Full Price     Can You Ever Forgive Me? Website
Forgotten FilmOtley  (1969)  Otley (Tom Courtenay) is a down and out antique dealer and sometime pickpocket that gets thrown out of his apartment for not paying rent. He sleeps that night in a friends home for the night and wakes up two days later in an airport field. He finds out he is wanted for killing his friend and then finds himself entangled in international espionage. Because of the success of the James Bond books and films, the 60s were filled with spy thrillers but also films that made fun of the spy thrillers. This is a fun ride with a number of twist and turns that make this film so much fun to watch. Courtenay is brilliant in the role of an everyday guy that gets caught up in stuff that is way over his head.  My Rating:  Full Price    Otley Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Fighting With My Family: Personal Barber to Dwayne Johnson

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouApollo 11  (2019)  G  Documentary on the Apollo 11 mission that placed the first man on the moon. I really want to see this film on an IMAX screen. The film won the editing award and was up for the Grand Jury award at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.     Apollo 11 Info
Until Next Time!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Alita: Battle Angel

My ViewAlita: Battle Angel  (2019)  PG-13  In the distant future, a man (Christoph Waltz) finds a deactivated female cyborg (Rosa Salazar) and repairs her. He treats her as his daughter but she doesn’t remember her life before she was deactivated. She goes on a quest to find out just who she was. The CGI in this film is impressive and well done. The action sequences are amazing and the choreography of the action sequences are amazing. The problem with this film is that they put way too much into the plot. There are way too many sub-plots in this film, that make the film feel slow and cumbersome. I did like Rosa Salazar’s performance but she can’t overcome the script (co-written by James Cameron).   My Rating: Bargain Matinee    Alita: Battle Angel Website
My View Isn’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. Go see this hilarious movie, especially if you are a fan, like I am, of rom-coms. I laughed throughout this film and there are a couple of amazing reoccurring jokes that are really funny. This is not the normal Rebel Wilson part, she is much softer in her performance. Adam Devine is perfect as her best friend and Liam Hemsworth is great as the love interest. There are even a couple of song and dance numbers in the film. The director, Todd Strauss Schulson, watched 65 rom-com films before making this one and so you see bits and pieces from a lot of your favorite films. I can’t recommend this delightful film more.  My Rating:  Full Price    Isn't It Romantic Facebook Page
My ViewArctic  (2018)  PG-13  A man (Mads Mikkelsen) is stranded in the Arctic after a plane crash. After months of surviving the tough environment, he must decide to stay or embark on a possibly deadly trek through unknown territory. I was cold watching this film so you might want to bring a jacket to the theatre when you see this film. A great performance by Mads Mikkelsen makes this film so watchable. The film is almost a silent film as Mads says very little throughout the film. The film is beautifully shot and the editing is top notch. The story moves along at a nice pace and this tale of adventure and survival is exciting and moving.   My Rating: Full Price    Arctic Website
IndiefestNever Look Away  (2018)  German artist Kurt Barnert (Tom Schilling) has escaped East Germany and he now lives in West Germany. He continues to be tormented by his childhood under the Nazi’s and the East German government. The film follows the adventures of Tom from his childhood during WW II to his art career in his 30’s.  First I will warn you that this movie is a little over three hours long but it worth seeing. Tom Schilling is dazzling as the artist who feels repressed by his East German communist government. I loved Paula Beer as the headstrong fashion major who falls for Kurt and supports his efforts to become an artist. The film’s cinematography is gorgeous and worthy of its Academy Award nomination for Cinematography. This is a deeply moving film that shows us just how important art is in the world.    My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again    Never Look Away Website
My ViewHappy Death Day 2U  (2019)  PG-13  Tree (Jessica Rothe) has experienced this before, she is reliving the same day over and over as she and her friends are being killed. I loved the first film, which I thought was funny and fun. I liked the first Happy Death Day, which I thought was fun because of all the ways Tree died and it had a sense of humor to it. Unfortunately, this storyline of this film isn’t quite as much fun, though there are a couple of scenes where Tree kills herself that are funny. It also isn’t a scary as the first one and it tries too hard to hit the heartstrings. Overall, a disappointment. Note that there is a bonus scene after the first end credits that set up the third movie in the series.   My Rating: Cable    Happy Death Day 2U Website
Forgotten FilmThe Pink Panther  (1963)  Sir Charles Litton (David Niven) is a jewel thief known as ‘The Phantom.’  He goes to a deluxe Alpine resort under the guise of a vacation, but he is really there to steal a jewel known as ‘The Pink Panther’ which is owned by a princess (Claudia Cardinale). On the Phantom’s trail for years, a bungling policeman named Inspector Clouseau (Peter Sellers). It may surprise you that the film isn’t about Clouseau, its main character is The Phantom but Peter Sellers is so great and funny in the Inspector role that he steals the film. Probably the best film in the Pink Panther series, mostly because all the other films in the series went overboard on the silliness.  My Rating: Full Price    The Pink Panther Info

Weird Credits: From the credits of Alita: Battle Angel:  Picture Car Fabricator

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouCaptain Marvel  (2019)  PG-13  Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes and she will need that power when Earth is caught in the middle of a battle between to alien races.  You had me at Brie Larson!     Captain Marvel Website
Until Next Time!

Friday, February 8, 2019

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

My ViewThe Lego Movie 2: The Second Part  (2019)  PG  It’s been five years since everything was awesome and there is a new threat, Lego Duplo invaders from outer space are wrecking everything. While this film doesn’t have the heart of the first Lego Movie, this is still a funny movie with some great songs. There is a cameo in this film that had me laughing on the floor. I love how they make fun of Chris Pratt who plays our hero Emmet. Tiffany Haddish is fine as the evil Queen Watevra, but I miss Will Ferrel as Lord Business.  Be sure to stay through the first section of credits because the song that they play at that time is hilarious.   My Rating: Full Price   The Lego Movie 2 Website
My ViewWhat Men Want  (2019)  R Ali (Taraji P. Henson) is passed over for a promotion at her agency. Ali visits a psychic who gives her a mystical tea, then Ali hits her head at a club and develops an ability to hear men’s thoughts. The film is a remake of the 2000 film What Women Want that starred Mel Gibson. This is your ordinary comedy that follows a formula that you can see coming from a mile away. I am a fan of Taraji P. Henson, and she has a flair for comedy, I just wish the script was better and gave her more to do. I did enjoy the fact that the film is set in Atlanta and is quite the love letter to the city. I really liked Tracy Morgan as the very involved father of a basketball player who is going to number one in the draft. There are a ton of cameos in the film, and I especially enjoyed the poker game where Ali is reading all the guys in the game. This isn’t a bad film, but it could have been better.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee   What Men Want Website
In Case You Missed It (A movie just released on DVD/Blu-Ray):  The Sisters Brothers  (2018)  R  In 1850’s Oregon, two legendary gunmen (John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix) the Sisters brothers, are chasing a gold prospector (Riz Ahmed with the help of a scout (Jake Gyllenhaal). I highly enjoyed this slightly unconventional western. Phoenix is excellent as the brash, drunken younger brother but its Reilly steals the movie as the older, more thoughtful brother who dreams of a girl back home. Reilly’s performance is moving and funny as his character struggles to deal with his troublesome brother who tends to get them into trouble. I liked the performances of the rest of the cast, including Jake Gyllenhaal as the thoughtful scout trying to track the prospector down and Riz Ahmed as the said prospector who is on the run because he possesses something take could make a lot of money. It's also fun to see Allison Tolman (season 1 of Fargo) as the hooker with the heart of gold.   My Rating: Full Price   The Sisters Brothers Website
Forgotten FilmBaby It’s You  (1983)  R   In a 1966 New Jersey high school, Jill (Rosanna Arquette) and Sheik (Vincent Spano) begin a relationship that is doomed to fail. Jill is prepping for college, Sheik just wants to survive high school. Written and directed by John Sayles (Eight Men Out, Matewan) the film perfectly depicts life in a 1960s high school. Arquette is brilliant in the role as the smart Jill who falls for the wrong guy.  Look for Robert Downey Jr. in a small part.  My Rating: Full Price    Baby it's You Info  

Weird Credits:  From the credits of What Men Want:  Power/Temperature Technician

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouFighting With My Family  (2019)  PG-13   A former wrestler (Dwayne Johnson) and his family make a living performing at small venues around the country. His kids dream of one day joining the WWE. I have high hopes for this film because Stephen Merchant, who created the British version of The Office, wrote and directed the film.   Fighting With My Family Info
Until Next Time!

Friday, February 1, 2019

Miss Bala

My ViewMiss Bala  (2019)  PG-13  Gloria (Gina Rodriguez) goes to Mexico to party with her best friend. Next thing she knows, she is involved in a dangerous world of cross-border crime. Now she fights to find her friend and get the heck out of Mexico. Why Gina Rodriquez would agree to make a movie this bad is beyond me. A plot that has so many holes in it the size of the border of Mexico and Texas and an ending that is beyond stupid makes this film almost unwatchable. All you need to know is that the film was directed by Catharine Hardwicke, who also directed the first Twilight movie.   My Rating: Cable   Miss Bala Website
IndiefestThey Shall Not Grow Old  (2018)  R   A documentary on World War I told in a new way, from the men who fought the battle to save the world. An absolutely fantastic film from Peter Jackson who took over 100 hours of footage and made a movie that is moving and a loving tribute to the men who fought in ‘the war to end all wars.’ The movie is in 3D, so you need to see this in the theatres. It’s a remarkable film, one of the best documentaries that I have seen. The footage has been restored and made to look like modern film, with added colorization to make it, even more, stand out. He also hired a team of lip readers, so throughout the film, you hear what the soldiers were saying on the screen. The film is narrated by men who fought in the war from interviews they did in the 60s and 70s. I will warn you that this film is very graphic in depicting the horrors of war, including numerous shots of dead bodies. This is a film that should be seen by everyone because it is a touching tribute to the men who risked their lives to fight a war to save Europe.  My Rating: I Would Pay to See This Again    They Shall Not Grow Old Website
In Case You Missed It (A movie just released on DVD/Blu-Ray)Boy Erased  (2018)  R  The son (Lucas Hedges) of a Baptist preacher (Russell Crowe) is forced to go to a church-sponsored gay conversion program. If he doesn’t complete the program, his family will kick him out. While Lucas Hedges gives us a passionate and insightful performance as the troubled Jared, it’s the performances of Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman that shine in this film. Crowe, playing the father who is conflicted by his love of his son versus the conviction of his faith that the gay lifestyle is wrong in the eyes of his religion gives a first-rate performance. Kidman is brilliant as the mom who is conflicted by the love of her son and the religious beliefs of her husband. I was let down by this film because it never delivers the emotional punch that the film needs.    My Rating:  Bargain Matinee    Boy Erased Website
Forgotten FilmLooker  (1981)  PG  Written and directed by Michael Crichton, the film is about a plastic surgeon (Albert Finey) who is asked to make precise corrections to a bunch of models faces. Once he does the fix, he finds out that the models are being killed off and he decides to investigate their murders. This low budget sci-fi film is a bit looney, but it also is a lot of fun to watch especially Finey’s performance. A really strange little gem.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee    Looker Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Miss Bala: Temp Colorist

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You Us  (2019) A family goes to their beach house for a vacation only to be surprised by unexpected visitors that will turn their vacation into chaos. This is the latest film from Jordan Peale, who gave us the Oscar-winning film Get Out (2017).   Us Website
Until Next Time!