Friday, May 31, 2019

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

My ViewGodzilla: King of the Monsters  (2019)  PG-13  The Titans have awakened and the three-headed King Ghidorah is taking over. It’s up to Godzilla to save the world from Ghidorah and the army of titans. So the fights between Godzilla and the Titans are cool but there is just too little fighting and too much human talking. The film feels longer that it’s two hours and eleven minutes in length. The film wastes the talents of Vera Farmiga and Sally Hawkins. Millie Bobby Grown is given almost nothing to do in the film other than hug people and scream. The plot has holes as big as Godzilla himself and much of it doesn’t make sense. Do stay through all the credits as there is a clue for the next Godzilla film.   My Rating;  Cable   Godzilla Website
My ViewRocketman  (2019)  The life and music of Elton John (Taron Egerton). This is one of the best films of the year and Egerton gives one of the great performances I’ve ever seen. Egerton perfectly captures the magic of Elton John’s performances and you get to see John and lyric writer Bernie Taupin create their greatest songs. This is a different type of biopic as the music tells most of the story. My only complaint about this film is the last third of the film lags a bit as Elton John goes down a dark hole of drugs and alcohol, cutting off everybody he was close to. All your favorite Elton John songs are in this film making it a trip down memory lane. If you are an Elton John fan this film is a must but really it is a must for any film lover.   My Rating: Full Price    Rocketman Website
IndiefestAll is True  (2019)  PG-13  William Shakespeare (Kenneth Branagh) retires from writing and goes home to his family. I liked this film because I felt that I got to know the man behind the legend. Branagh is perfect in the role of Shakespeare, bring the man to life in front of our eyes. I loved the look of this film, as all the interior scenes were shot only using candlelight. Fans of the bard are going to love this movie.  My Rating: Full Price    All is True Website
Forgotten Film:  Collateral (2004) R   Max (Jamie Foxx) is a cab driver who picks up a passenger, Vincent (Tom Cruise) who gives Max 600 dollars to take him to five stops. What Max soon learns is that Vincent is a contract killer and is going to kill someone at each stop. What I enjoy about this movie is not the action sequences, it’s the conversations that Max and Vincent have in the cab and at a nightclub that Vincent makes Max go to. Their conversations are interesting and meaningful, as Vincent is constantly thinking about the meaning of life, even though his occupation is taking life away.  My Rating: Full Price    Collateral Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Rocketman: Facial Hair

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YourLate Night  (2019)  Molly (Mindy Kaling) joins the staff of a late night talk show hosted by Katherine (Emma Thompson) who is told that her show is in its last year. Could Molly be the one to save the show? The trailer looks amazing and I love Mindy Kaling, so I’m really looking forward to this one.    Late Night Website
Until Next Time!

Friday, May 24, 2019


My View:  Aladdin  (2019)  PG  A street urchin named Aladdin (Mena Massoud) and an evil, power-hungry Gran Vizier (Marwan Kenzari) vie for an all-powerful genie (Will Smith) who resides inside a magic lamp. Both men are also vying for the hand of Jasmine (Naomi Scott). I had hope that this film would be good but it’s just ok. I had a big problem with the dance sequences as director Guy Ritchie decided to do some unnecessary camera tricks as he speeds up the action and then freezes it, which made the dancing almost unwatchable. I did not like Will Smith’s performance as the Genie which seems so generic. I wanted more from Smith’s Genie but his performance felt restrained and use autotune as much as you can, Smith just can’t sing. The movie felt longer than the 2 hours plus and it begs to ask the question, why does Disney think we want remakes of classic films in their library?   My Rating: Bargain Matinee    Aladdin Website
IndiefestThe 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 is one of the best documentaries that I have seen in the past ten years. A funny and moving film about the struggles of a husband and wife who try to rebuild a farm. While the overall tone of the film is upbeat, the Chester’s do go through some struggles, some of which threaten their farm. The film takes place over seven years and the transformation of the farm is remarkable. If you want to be inspired by a film, then this one is for you.  My Rating:  I Would Pay to See it Again    The Biggest Little Farm Website
IndiefestBe Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blache  (2018)  The story of modern filmmaker Pamela B. Green’s attempt to find out about the life and films of a pioneer French filmmaker, Alice Guy-Blache, who made over 1,000 films in twenty years but it forgotten today. A marvelous film about an incredible woman whose pioneer work in cinema we have forgotten until this film. Part detective film as Green travels the world to uncover the life and work of Alice. This is the perfect film for a cinema lover in you.   My Rating:  Full Price   Be Natural Website
My View: Brightburn (2019)  R  Like a certain superhero, what if a child from another world crash-landed on Earth but instead of becoming a hero, he evolves something more sinister? A family snuggles with the fact that slowly, but surely it is very evident that their boy is very different than the rest of the population. This more of a horror story than an organ story. The violence is bloody and gruesome, at times the gore overpowers the storyline. The storyline takes forever to get going, and when it does, it is incredibly predictable. We just don’t care about any of these characters, especially the boy who becomes the anti-hero. The film ends with a place for a sequel, but I can’t imagine this doing any sort of box office to warrant that.    My Rating: Cable   Brightburn Website

My View: Booksmart  (2019)  R  Two high school overachievers (Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein) have always placed academics over anything else. They decide they have missed the fun of being a high-school student and decide to cram four years of fun into one night. Dever and Feldstein have incredible chemistry on the screen and their timing, finishing each other’s sentences. The dialogue reminded me a little of the Gilmore Girls, where the two leads just keep it up with non-stop dialogue. The film is sidesplitting funny and what I really like, it’s an original storyline, unique in this day and age of the remake. If you want a fun time at the cinema with some winning characters, go see this film.   My Rating:  Full Price    Booksmart Website
Forgotten FilmThe Out of Towners  (1970)  George and Gwen Kellerman (Jack Lemmon, Sandy Dennis)  travel to New York so that George can interview for his dream job. Unfortunately just about anything that can go wrong, does. This is such a fun film to watch as we see George and Gwen get their butt kicked by NYC. Nothing goes right for the couple from Ohio but they keep going, with George determined to make it to his interview on time.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee    The Out of Towners Info

Weird Credits: From the credits of Aladdin:  Splinter Unit Director

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouRocketman  (2019)  Described as a musical fantasy, this is the story of Elton John’s (Taron Egerton) breakthrough years as one of the greats of pop music. I can’t wait to see this film.     Rocketman Website
Until Next Time!

Friday, May 17, 2019

The Sun is Also a Star

My ViewThe Sun is Also a Star  (2019)  PG-13   Natasha (Yara Shahidi) is going through a tough time in her life. After a chance meeting on the street, Daniel (Charles Melton) tells her he can make her fall in love with him in one day. That is going to be hard because Natasha doesn’t believe in love. First, let's talk about the good things about this film. The chemistry between Shahidi and Melton is a wonderful thing to watch and Shahidi lights up the screen. Melton has a boyish charm that he uses to great effect. The problem with this film is the dialogue is filled with just jarringly bad lines that make you cringe when the actors say their lines. Furthermore, there are so many aerial wide shots of New York City that after seeing the film, I felt I had watched a travel program. There were a couple of times that the audience I watched the film with laughed at some of the scenes where the film forced the couple to be back together. One scene stands out, a montage of the couple through the years as we see them get married and have a kid. You will roll your eyes at that sequence. This film tries too hard to hit the heartstrings but never finds it.   My Rating: Cable   The Sun is Also a Star Website
My View:  John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum  (2019)  R   Assassin John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is on the run again after killing a member of the International Assassin’s League. He now has a price tag of 14 million dollars and every assassin in the business is gunning for him. I loved the first two John Wick films, and this one does not disappoint. It takes place immediately after the 2nd film with Wick and his dog running in the streets of New York, Wick all sorts of beat up. The cast from the last film are in it including Ian McShane as the Hotel Continental manager, Laurence Fishburne as the Bowery King, but they have added some new characters: Anjelica Huston as The Director, someone from John’s past, Asia Kate Dillon as The Adjudicator, come to shake things up in NYC, Mark Dacascos as a killer assign and finally in a spectacular role, Halle Berry as Sofia, a woman from John’s past that owes him a debt. The fight sequences are what make this movie, and once again they are outstanding and brilliantly choreographed. What I really liked was there is a fight sequence where John and Sofia are fighting together and the film focuses on Berry’s Sofia’s battle instead of John. I loved this film, though I will warn you the violence is almost over the top nasty and brutal. If you loved the first two films, go see this one, you won’t be disappointed. And yes, there will be a fourth one.    My Rating: Full Price   John Wick 3 Website
IndiefestAniara  (2018)    The story of a spaceship bound for a colony on Mars that collides with an asteroid and knocks the space ship off course. The passengers soon realize that they will never get home to Earth or to Mars, bound for a sure death. The film centers on Mimaroben (Emelie Jonsson, MR for short, who is in command of a computer that allows humans to experience their favorite places on earth and let go anything that is bothering them. When things go wrong MR and the computer becomes overwhelmed, her only chance of keeping sane is a relationship she starts with a stoic pilot of the ship named Isagel (Bianca Cruzeiro). The film time jumps through the years, and that’s the problem with the film. We don’t get enough of the background of the characters to really care about them. The film feels much longer than the 1 hour and 46 minutes in length. The CGI is impressive and the sets are amazing but that doesn’t make up for a storyline that just moves so slowly that you just want something to happen and most of the time doesn’t.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee    Anira Website
My View:  A Dog’s Journey (2019)  PG  A dog is reincarnated many times having been given the task of looking after CJ (Kathryn Prescott) as she goes through life. First, there are a lot of deaths (mostly the dogs, though all die with their masters by their side and it's their time), including a couple of humans, plus a couple of other scary moments, so I don’t know if you want to take really young children to this. This from the same writer that gave us a film that came out earlier this year, A Dog’s Way Home (2019), so if you liked that film, you will like this one. I loved Josh Gad as the voice of all the reincarnated dogs (even when one of the dogs is female). He brought the right about of tone to the role, making the dog the main character in the film.  Does it get a little sappy at times? Yes, but I expected that. Does it tug at the heartstrings? Maybe too much, because the dog keeps getting reincarnated and having to find CJ. The script often times goes for the obvious and there are too many times we see what’s coming from very early one. Still, if you love dogs you will love the message that dogs can fill a void in your life or give you support when you need it with their unconditional love, and that’s a good thing.  My Rating:  Bargain Matinee    A Dog's Journey Website
In Case You Missed It (A movie just released on DVD/Blu-Ray)Fighting 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 Memory of Ed Wood (A Movie I've Only Seen in Trailers but Just Looks Like a Bad Idea):   Dora and the Lost City of Gold  (2019)  Dora (Isabela Moner) was raised by her parents to be an explorer. Now she is on a mission to save her parents and find a lost city of gold. Watch the trailer and tell me you want to see this film. The makers of the film are counting on the nostalgia factor for people who grew up on the animated series that taught kids about foreign countries and their language.   Dora and the City of Gold Website
Forgotten FilmThe Shout  (1978)   Robert Graves (Tim Curry) meets an asylum inmate (Alan Bates) who tells him a tale of how he used magic to take over the lives of a married couple (Susannah York, John Hurt). Once the tale is told, Graves must decide if the story is real and take on the inmate or just blow off the story as a tall tale. This film at times is really scary, and it’s also a little confusing (on purpose). If you are a fan of the original The Wicker Man this film is made for you.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee    The Shout Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of John Wick: Chapter 3: Dog Colorist 

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouBooksmart  (2019)   Two high school overachievers (Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein) have always place academics over anything else. They decide they have missed the fun of being a high-school student and decide to cram four years of fun into one night. The film is directed by an actress I really admire, Olivia Wilde. The word of mouth on this film is through the roof.     Booksmart Website
Until Next Time!

Friday, May 10, 2019

Pokemon: Detective Pikachu

FamilyFaire Pokemon: Detective Pikachu (2019)  PG  When his father, ace detective Harry Goodman goes missing, his son Tim (Justice Smith) teams up Harry’s former partner, Detective Pikachu (voiced by Ryan Reynolds), a wisecracking Pokemon who is one of the world’s best detectives to find Harry. A wisecracking Ryan Reyolds just can’t save this dull film. I wanted to like this film but it’s just too slow and stupid to like. The plot can be seen from a mile away and is just too predictable. Fans of the Pokemon franchise may like the movie because they can see all their characters come to life but most will find this film a big dull trip.  My Rating: Cable
My View:    The Hustle  (2019)  PG-13 Two con artists (Anne Hathaway, Rebel Wilson) team up to take down some men that have done them wrong. This may be the worst film of the year. They took all the elements of the 1988 film Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and then took out all the funny bits to make this film. I don’t think I laughed once during the screening, though some of the audience that I saw it with did. I like both actors but this film did not do them justice.   My Rating: Cable
My View:    Tolkien  (2019)  PG-13  J.R.R. Tolkien (Nicholas Hoult) was an orphan who had to work hard to get anywhere. He falls in love with a fellow orphan, Edith (Lily Collins) and just when he finds his calling, language, he is swept away in the horrors of WW I. I am a huge Lord of the Rings fan, so I was excited to see this film. While not bad, the film is a bit dull and spends too much time during Tolkien’s time in the war. I wanted more about how he came up with the idea of the books and less of his time looking for his best friend in the war.   My Rating; Bargain Matinee
Indiefest:  Hail Satan?  (2019)  R  A look at the quick rise and influence of the controversial religious group known as The Satanic Temple. What a fun film to watch. The film is filled with interesting people who are more about the separation of church and state than about praising Satan. The wide range of people you meet in this film is amazing, all are about human rights and not about worshiping the devil. I will warn you that their both male and female nudity.   My Rating: Full Price
Forgotten Film:  Electra Glide in Blue  (1973)  A motorcycle cop (Robert Blake) is promoted to detective and is assigned a case that will have question why he wanted to become a cop.  Robert Blake gives the performance of a lifetime as a cop who gets what he thinks he wants and then decides that his life was better before.  My Rating: Full Price

Weird Credits:  From the credits of The Hustle: Wetsuit Cutter

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  John Wick 3: Parabellum  I don’t care what the plot is, I just want to see John ill as many people as he can. 
Until Next Time!

Friday, May 3, 2019

Long Shot

My ViewLong Shot  (2019) R  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? I had so much fun watching this movie. It reminded me of the goofy romcoms of the 80s with the difference is that the man is the shy, goofball and the woman is that smart one that is in control. Rogan and Theron have a blast, and they have incredible chemistry right from the start, making their attraction seem real. You will have to leave your brain at the door for a couple of sequences (especially the final ending which we see in the credits) but that doesn’t detract that this film is funny, warm and surprisingly sweet. I could have done without the drug sequence but it’s a Seth Rogan production, so it’s kind of a given. As with any Rogan comedy, it gets a little raunchy but it fit into the storyline, so it works. Go see this winning comedy. By the way, I believe this is Charlize Theron’s first comedy, and she hits it out of the park. Let's hope she gets to do more like this one.  My Rating: Full Price    Long Shot Website
My ViewThe Intruder  (2019)  PG=13  A young married couple (Meagan Good, Michael Ealy) buy an isolated house on several acres of land only to realize that the man that sold it (Dennis Quaid) does not want to give it up. First let me say that the audience that I saw this film with thoroughly enjoyed the film, reacting every time Quaid made an appearance in the shadows or when the main characters made bad decisions that we knew would cost them.  That being said, this is a horrible movie that doesn’t bring anything new to the bad guy is in your house genre. Dennis Quaid gives one of his worst performances as he goes so over the top that the audience, which wanted to believe him as a villain starting laughing at some of his antics. The film is incredibly predictable and follows all the genre’s rules, including the wife that just can’t see the possibility that she could be in danger until it’s too late. Unlike the audience I saw it with, I wasn't ever scared, just annoyed by how badly the film was written.   My Rating: Cable    The Intruder Website
FamilyFaireUglyDolls  (2019)  PG  The UglyDolls have been content to live in their little world until a group decides to go exploring. They encounter a world that seems to be perfect and where the UglyDolls don’t fit in. However, soon the UglyDolls learn that perfection isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. With a bunch of forgettable songs (that waste the talents of singers like Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, and Janelle Monáe and a plot, while its heart is in the right place, just is boring and slow. Parents are going to be looking at their watch a lot (as I did) wondering when this film will stop, and kids are not going to be entertained by a bunch of characters that are badly thought out. Unless your kid is a big UglyDoll fan, just skip this film that doesn’t work on any level.   My Rating: Cable     UglyDolls Website
IndiefestRed Joan  (2018)  R  Joan is a young brilliant student at Cambridge in 1938. She meets the love of her life, Leo (Tom Hughes), the leader of the university Communist student group. When World War II breaks out, Joan is asked to work on a top-secret project, one that could change the world, but she will also be asked by her former lover to betray her country. The question is will she?  If you are going to see this film because Judi Dench (she plays Joan in 1990) is in this film, you will be disappointed. Dench is merely a supporting player, used to bring the flashbacks of Joan’s life in the 30s and 40s. Dench does a lot of staring off into the distance, as we then travel back to see the 1940s Joan trying to decide to betray her country. The story is hurt by the constant back and forth of 90s Joan and Joan in the past storylines, making the storyline progress in sprits instead of flowing along if they had just stayed with the more interesting plot. I got to the point in the film, where I didn’t care what happened with either Joan, both deserved whatever fate they got.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee     Red Joan Website
IndiefestAsk Dr. Ruth  (2019)  Documentary chronicling the amazing life of Dr. Ruth Westheimer, a Holocaust survivor who overcame almost insurmountable odds to become the world’s most famous sex therapist.Brilliant documentary on the long and sometimes tragic life of a dynamo of a woman, Dr. Ruth. Dr. Ruth was orphaned at age ten, though she didn’t fully know what happened to her parents until she visits a Holocaust museum in Israel late in the film. Her childhood experiences are told through animation, which helps soften the blow of such a difficult childhood where basically by age 13 she was an indentured servant at an orphanage in Switzerland. Sr. Ruth constantly fought against the odds to get as much education as she could, whether it was being taught by an orphan boy at night or going to graduate school as a single parent, Dr. Ruth was on a constant drive to better herself and get as much information as she could absorb. I loved this film and we get to know Dr. Ruth, though you get the feeling that she is always holding back a bit about her troubled childhood. Go see this year's RBG, you are going to fall in love with this smart woman who fearlessly talks about sex, making us re-examine the way we see ourselves.    My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again     Aks Rr. Ruth Website
Forgotten Film: The Wrecking Crew  (1968)  PG  Super secret agent Matt Helm (Dean Martin) is set to see if he can stop a crime boss from cornering the world’s gold. Unfortunately, the British send in their own agent Freya (Sharon Tate) who just keeps making this worse for Matt. In the 60s, the secret agent craze hit movies and TV. Brought out mostly by the success of James Bond, not only were there serious attempts to dethrone Bond but also a number of films went the other route and made fun of the super slick agent that could bed any woman. At the top was the Matt Helm movies, which not only made fun of (in a cool way) the James Bond films but also made fun of Dean Martin’s reputation as a drinker and womanizer. The Austin Powers films took a lot from the Helm movies, all in good fun. This film is distinguished from the other two Matt Helm movies because of a brilliant performance by Sharon Tate. Her portrayal of the bumbling agent Freya is so good, you don’t want the movie to stop. These aren’t great films and are incredibly dated but they are still fun to watch.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee     The Wrecking Crew Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of The Intruder:  16mm Film Projection

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouTolkien  (2019)  PG-13  J.R.R. Tolkien (Nicholas Hoult) was an orphan who had to work hard to get anywhere. He falls in love with a fellow orphan, Edith (Lily Collins) and just when he finds his calling, language, he is swept away in the horrors of WW I. Tolkien has always been one of my favorite authors, so to see what influenced his “Middle Earth’ writings will be fascinating.    Tolkien Website
Until Next Time!