Friday, April 26, 2019

Avengers: Endgame

My View:  Avengers: End Game  (2019)  PG-13  After the disastrous results of Avengers: Infinity War (2018), where Thanos turned the world’s population to dust, the Avengers must assemble what is left of them and try to undo Thanos’ actions. This film exceeded my expectations. It is everything I wanted. First off, the film has a lot of humor in it, very similar to Thor: Ragnarok. They did an excellent job of not letting one of the three leaders of the group, Ironman, Capt. America and Black Widow, dominate the scenes, all are important to the story. Yes, the film is over three hours long but it didn’t feel that way. The film never lags and moves a great pace. Brie Larson does an incredible job with Captain Marvel, even more, amazing performance considering she shot this film before Captain Marvel. Yes, you are going to shed a few tears, and you are going to be thrilled with the final battle sequence between Thanos and the Avengers. Marvel did an amazing job with this film and the films leading up to this ending, setting pieces up in those other films that get resolved in this one. Go have a blast and see this brilliant film.    My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again    Avengers: Endgame Website
Indiefest:  Sunset  (2018) R  A young woman named Irisz (Jul Jakab) shows up at a famous hat shop in pre-WW I Budapest, wanting a job. She is hiding a secret that  may get people killed. After we saw the film, I asked another critic whom I really respect, do you have a clue what we just saw and he said ‘no’. All I can tell you is the plot, and the character motivation are incredibly unclear. I can tell you every time Irisz leaves the house something bad happens, but she keeps doing it. This film directed by Laszio Nemes, the Oscar-winning director of the intriguing  Son of Saul (2015), which I loved, so I was disappointed by this film. The film was shot from the point of view of Inisz, and I got incredibly tired of the camera following her from behind, so we see scene after scene of us looking at the back of her head and neck. The film is 2 hours and 22 minutes but it felt like a four-hour film at least.    My Rating: Cable     Sunset Trailer
Indiefest:  Wild Nights with Emily  (2018)  PG-13  The little known life of writer Emily Dickinson (Molly Shannon), in particular, the great love of her life, a woman named Susan (Susan Ziegler) her brother’s wife.  Much lighter in tone than the Cynthia Nixon starring film A Quiet Passion (2016) which took the traditional route that Dickinson was a recluse and was never in love. This film takes a very different view of Dickinson, both her life as a spinster and her love life. In this film, Dickinson has a sense of humor, is in love with her brother’s wife and that Dickinson wrote almost all of her poems for Susan. I am not a fan of poetry, and there is a lot of it in this film, so at times I was a little bored. If you are a fan of Dickinson, then this is a must see to see a different take on her life.     My Rating: Bargain Matinee     Wild Nights with Emily Facebook Page
IndiefestFamily  (2018) Kate Stone (Taylor Schilling) is focused on her career. She really doesn’t get along with anyone and doesn’t care. Her life changes when she has to baby sit 12-year-old Maddie (Bryn Vale), her brother’s misfit daughter. I loved this sweet and funny film about two very strange people connecting as a family. Kate is only focused on her career, that is all she does. She gets to the office before anyone else and is the last one to go home. She sees weakness in everyone and is fully confident that she is the one that will always come out on top. When her brother’s mother in law is near death and must be put into hospice, he and his wife are desperate to find someone to take care of Maddie. After much browbeating, Kate reluctantly agrees to take Maddie for one night. When she goes to find Maddie at her ballet class, she sees Maddie, in a tutu next door doing karate. Schilling and Vale have great chemistry together on the screen,  and I really enjoyed Vale as the peculiar Maddy. I loved the running gag as Kate’s life starts getting more and more complicated, the break room coffee performs less and less. Go see this warm film about family, and where you can find it in unexpected places. Just a bit of a warning, the Insane Clown Posse is a big part of the film and so you hear a lot of cussing, both in song and spoken.   My Rating: Full Price    Family Info
Forgotten FilmSaint Jack  (1979)  R  Jack Flowers  (Ben Gazzara) plays an American hustler in the 70s Singapore. He dreams of opening a brothel so he can make some money to make it back to the states. The film gets a little slow but Gazzara gives a performance of his lifetime.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee   Saint Jack Info

Weird Credits: From the credits of Avengers: Endgame:  Senior Fur Groomer

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:    The Biggest Little Farm   (2018)  PG   A Documentary cameraman and his food blogger wife, decide to leave the city and become farmers of a failed 200-acre farm. This documentary was shot over seven years and was one of most talked about films of the 2019 Atlanta Film Festival.        The Biggest Little Farm Website    
Until Next Time!

Friday, April 19, 2019


Family Faire:  Penguins   (2019)  G  The documentary follows the adventures of Steve the Penguin, as he tries to find love and raise a family. Film over 900 days, the film explores the life in Antartica from the viewpoint of a penguin who is a little small and is rather clumsy. Steve does succeed in finding a mate and they have two chicks, with Steve doing most of the raising. This is a fun film to watch and you will fall in love with Steve and his little family.  My Rating:  Full Price    Penguins Website
My View:  Teen Spirit  (2018)  PG-13   A young girl (Elle Fanning), against the wishes of her mother (Agnieszka Grochowska), enters a singing competition with the help of an ex-opera singer (Zlako Buric). First off, Elle can sing and the songs are catchy. I enjoyed the chemistry between Fanning and Buric whose character becomes both her manager and her father figure. The film has a couple of twists and turns and it moves at a nice pace If you are a fan of singing competitions, then this film is for you.    My Rating: Full Price    Teen Spirit Website
Indiefest:  Little Woods  (2018)  Ollie (Tessa Thompson) is just days away from getting off probation. Her sister (Lily James) has become homeless and now Ollie must bring drugs across the Canadian border in order to help out her sister.  Thompson gives a powerful and moving performance of a young woman trying to do the right thing but seemly insurmountable obstacles keep getting in her way. Thompson works well on screen with James who plays her sister who keeps messing up, making everything incredibly complicated. You will be on the edge of your seat until the end of the film, hoping that Ollie doesn’t get caught.    My Rating: Full Price    Little Woods Website
Indiefest:  Fast Color  (2018)  PG-13  After years on the run, a woman, Ruth (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) with supernatural abilities returns to her family. While it is about a woman who can cause earthquakes, it is more about family and how decisions from the past can influence the present. Lorraine Toussaint is magnificent as Bo, who Ruth abandoned along with Ruth’s daughter (Sanlyya Sidney).  This is a beautiful film full of meaning and deep emotions. Ruth and Bo will have to work hard to mend the fences in their troubled relationship, that is if Ruth can’t keep the government from taking her away.  My Rating: Full Price    Fast Color Info
My View:  Peterloo  (2018)  PG-13  The story of the 1819 Peterloo massacre where British troops attacked a peaceful pro-democracy rally in Manchester, England. Way too many speeches in this film making the 2 hours and thirty-four-minute film seem much longer. The film takes forever to get moving, as we meet a ton of different characters on both the pro-democracy side and the side of the government. The massacre is hard to watch as not only men were hurt and killed, but also women and children. I also would have liked some sort of graphic at the end of the film to tell us how many died and how many were injured, plus did this incident help or hurt the pro-democracy movement. It is an interesting subject that is brought down by the length of the film.    My Rating:  Bargain Matinee    Peterloo Website
Forgotten FilmNiagara, Niagara  (1997)  Marcy (Robin Tunney) and Seth (Henry Thomas) meet in a store that both are shoplifting from. Marcy has Tourette’s Syndrome but Seth is too shy to acknowledge it. The two misfits start a love affair that is certain to go bad. Both don’t have good home lives, so they decide to run away to Canada. Henry Thomas gives a fine performance as the troubled Seth but this film is Robin Tunney’s and she gives an amazing performance as the girl who is just trying to survive in her world.   My Rating: Full Price     Niagara, Niagara Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Penguins:  Head of Music Preparation

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouLong Shot  (2019)   Fred (Seth Rogan) is a writer, Charlotte (Charlize Theron) is Secretary of State and is about to run for President. Fred and Charlotte used to know each other and they have a chance meeting at a party. Charlotte decides to hire Fred to punch up her speeches.  Can love be far behind? The trailer looks really funny and is directed by Jonathan Levine, who wrote and directed one of my favorite films, Warm Bodies (2013).      Long Shot Website
Until Next Time!

Friday, April 12, 2019

Missing Link

Family Faire Missing Link  PG  Mr. Link (voiced by Zack Galifianakis) is a Bigfoot who dreams of finding more like him. He convinces explorer Sir Lionel Frost (voiced by Hugh Jackman) to take Mr. Link to the fabled lost valley of Shangri-La, where it is rumored that it is inhabited by Yetis. With the help of a former flame of Sr. Lionel, Adelina Fortnight (voiced by Zoe Saldana), the three go on a trip halfway across the world. The animation studio, Laika Entertainment, who did Kubo and the Two Strings (2016) and Coraline (2009), do some brilliant stop-motion animation and this film looks amazing. The stop motion is so smooth it looks drawn. The story is warm and funny and Mr. Link, who later decides his first name is Susan, is just plain fun. It’s a silly movie but there is nothing wrong with that. Take the kids, they will have a blast and you just might end up having fun too.  My Rating: Full Price   Missing Link Webste
In Case You Missed It (A movie just released on DVD/Blu-Ray)Vice  (2018) R   The story of Dick Cheney (Christian Bale) who rose from poverty to become a Washington insider, ultimately become the Vice President under George W. Bush (Sam Rockwell). Bale gives an incredible performance, becoming Cheney right before your eyes. This is from Adam McKay, who gave us the Oscar-winning The Big Short, and like that film, there is quite a bit of humor, including a running gag throughout the film that will have you rolling on the floor. I enjoyed this film, but the big problem with the film is that the main character holds everything very close to his vest, so it’s hard to know what this character is thinking. I found Sam Rockwell portrayal of George W. Bush was just a little too cartoony for my taste. The actor, besides Bale, that stands out is Steve Carell, who is brilliant as the fiery Donald Rumsfeld. Amy Adams doesn’t have a lot to do as the wife of Cheney, Lynne.    My Rating: Full Price    Vice Website
In Memory of Ed Wood (A Movie I've Only Seen in Trailers but Just Looks Like a Bad Idea)Aladdin  (2019)  PG   A street urchin and a Grand Vizier vie for a magic lamp that has a genie in it that will give its owner incredible power. The Disney animated was good but is terribly dated. The trailer for this film looks horrible and Will Smith as the genie looks uncomfortable, the rest of the cast is 2nd rate.    Aladdin Website
Forgotten FilmThe Transformers: The Movie  (1986)  PG  Considered by most Transformer fans the best Transformers film (including the Michael Bay films), this animated film has the Autobots fighting on two fronts: against a colossal planet consuming robot and of course, the Decepticons. The film has a very strong voice cast, including Orson Welles in one of the last acting jobs he did before he died. This film is really dark and well made. I just wish the Michael Bay films had this kind of writing.  My Rating:  Full Price    The Transformers Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Missing Link:  Hair and Fur Fabricator

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouAvengers: Endgame  (2019) PG-13 The question is not who will be resurrected but who will die?  After this movie, the Marvel Universe will never be the same.     Avengers: Endgame Website
Until Next Time!

Friday, April 5, 2019


My View:  Shazam!  (2019)  PG-13  Billy Baston (Asher Angel), a newly foster kid, s picked to become a superhero named Shazam (Zachary Levi). All Billy has to do is say the word ‘Shazam’ and he becomes the world’s greatest superhero. This film is a blast to watch as the makers of the movie decided that they were just going to have fun with these characters. The film is hilarious and you may have to see it twice because you will be laughing so hard you won’t hear some of the dialogue. Zachary Levi is perfect in the role of Shazam, who throughout the film, keeps learning new powers he has. Mark Strong, as the evil Dr. Sivana, makes a good bad guy who wants to take Shazam’s powers for his own. The film is a little slow at first but really gets going once Shazam shows up and then it just takes off for plenty of thrills. The action is fast paced and the fight sequences are well done. But it’s the humor that makes this film work and boy, does it ever. Be sure to stay through all the credits as there are two bonus scenes.    My Rating:  Full Price   Shazam! Website
My View:  Pet Sematary  (2019)  R  A family relocates from Boston to rural Maine. They soon discover that their house is located near a pet cemetery that has a mysterious past. This was a highly disappointing film. Almost all the scary stuff is the jump out of the dark category. It is a very violent movie and there are a couple of gruesome scenes. This film fails as a horror film, in fact, several times, the audience laughed at scenes that were not meant to be funny. It’s sad when the best performance in the film is by the cat, though I will say that I also liked Jete Laurence, who plays the daughter. This is one of those films that after you see it, you wonder why they even bothered to make the movie because it feels like they were just going through the motions.   My Rating: Cable   Pet Sematary Website
Indiefest:  The Mustang  (2019)  R  Roman (Matthias Schoenaerts) is a violent convict who has just come out of isolation. His prison trains wild mustangs to sell to the public. Roman is assigned to work with the Mustangs and he becomes attached to a very wild, maybe un-trainable Mustang. This experience will change Roman’s life. I loved this movie about a troubled, flawed man who falls in love with a wild mustang and creates a bond with the horse that few people have. Schoenaerts gives a dazzling performance as Roman, who because of his anger issues, made a horrible mistake that he will be paying for the rest of his life. His only hope is to find some healing hope from the wild, unruly mustang. What I love about this film is that it is based on an actual program that takes place in four states. Do yourself a favor and go see this wonderful film about hope and redemption.  My Rating: Full Price     The Mustang Website   
Forgotten Film:  Terms of Endearment  (1983)  PG  The life of Emma (Debra Winger) and her controlling mother Aurora (Shirley MacLaine) as Emma grows up, gets married to Flap (Jeff Daniels) and has kids. The mother/daughter dynamic between Emma and Aurora is a difficult one and their relationship will be tested many times over the years. The film was nominated for eleven Academy Awards and won five, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress for Shirley MacLaine and Best Supporting Actor for Jack Nicholson, who plays an astronaut that lives next door to Aurora. This is a smart, sometimes funny, sometimes deeply moving film that has some brilliant performances. Winger is amazing as the headstrong daughter who wants to live her life on her own terms. MacLaine gives one of her best performances and there is one scene she is in that will break your heart. Nicholson is hilarious as the hard-drinking, womanizing astronaut who becomes interested in Aurora. The movie is worth all its Oscar wins.   My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again    Terms of Endearment Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Pet Sematary:  Wikipedia Article Creator

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  Missing Link  (2019)  PG  Mr. Link (voiced by Zack Galifianakis) is a bigfoot who dreams of finding more like him. He convinces explorer Sir Lionel Frost (voiced by Hugh Jackman) to take Mr. Link to the fabled lost valley of Shangri-La, where it is rumored that it is inhabited by Yetis. With the help of a former flame of Sr. Lionel, Adelina Fortnight (voiced by Zoe Saldana), the three go on a trip halfway across the world. The animation studio, Laika Entertainment, who did Kubo and the Two Strings (2016) and Coraline (2009), do some amazing stop motion animation.     Missing Link Website
Until Next Time!