Friday, November 8, 2019

Doctor Sleep

My View:  Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep (2019) R   Years after the events of The Shining, a now-adult Dan Torrance (Ewan McGregor) meets a young girl, Abra (Emily Alyn Lind), who has similar powers like his. Dan takes the girl under his wing and tries to protect her from a cult known as The True Knot. Their mission is to find and prey on children with powers so that their members can remain immortal. I haven’t read the book, so I don’t know how closely the movie follows the King storyline, but I think most fans of the first film will enjoy this movie that continues the story of Danny. The film effectively uses actors who look like the characters in the first film in a series of flashbacks that Danny keeps revisiting. I appreciated that the filmmakers took this route instead of trying to CGI the original actors into the film. While I never really got scared, I did enjoy the tension that the movie kept building as Danny and Abra try to defeat The True Knot. I don’t know if this film will be considered up there with The Shining, but it certainly does a great job of filling in the story on what happened after Danny’s dad died.   My Rating: Full Price     Doctor Sleep Website
My View: Last Christmas (2019) PG-13   Kate (Emilia Clarke) is a person who keeps making one wrong decision after another, sleeping with men who pick her up at bars, staying on friend’s couches until she wears out her welcome, and avoiding her mother’s phone calls. Kate works as Santa’s elf for a local, year-round Christmas store. Her life takes a new turn when she meets Tom (Henry Golding) outside the store. Tom seems perfect, but Kate is doubtful as he looks too good to be true. While I don’t think this will ever be a Christmas perennial, I did enjoy this film about a selfish young woman who learns to give from a man who shows up unexpectedly in her life. Clarke and Golding have strong chemistry that makes their give and take conversations seem real and enjoyable. I especially enjoyed Emma Thompson (who also wrote the script) as Kate’s overbearing mother and Michelle Yeoh is hilarious as Kate’s boss, a woman named Santa. Last Christmas is a warm and appealing way to get into the holiday spirit.   My Take: Bargain Matinee   Last Christmas Website
My View: Midway (2019) PG-13   After the disastrous attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese, the U.S. Navy is reeling. Now, America, against heavy odds, must fight the Japanese Navy in the Battle of Midway, a turning point in World War II. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the film, especially in the air battle sequences. I loved the tension that the film created (even though I knew the outcome of all three battles), wondering if the heroes that we can come to know and love were going to survive. Standouts in the big cast are Ed Skrein, as a cocky pilot who starts to doubt his leadership abilities when disaster strikes, Patrick Wilson, as an Intelligence officer who has the guts to say that Midway will be the Japanese next target after Pearl and surprisingly, Nick Jonas, as a heroic seaman who isn’t afraid to face death. The film is a little too long as Aaron Eckhart’s storyline of Doolittle’s raid on Tokyo is really not necessary and could have easily been left out, but the story and the action move at a pretty quick pace and will have you on the edge of your seat.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee    Midway Website
Familyfaire: Playing with Fire (2019) PG   A crew of firefighters called smokejumpers, led by tough as nails Jake Carson (John Cena), meet their match when they rescue a trio of rambunctious children. This is one of those films when you look at your watch, thinking that the movie is undoubtedly about over, and you are shocked that there is still an hour to go. John Cena has shown in the past that he can do comedy, and he is supported by a comedic all-star lineup of John Leguizamo, Judy Greer, and Keegan-Michael Key, but all their talent can’t save this un-funny and sloppy film. I hate movies where the kids do horrible things, like destroy property and causing chaos, and we are expected to laugh because the kids are so cute. Fans of Deadpool are going to be disappointed in the performance of Brianna Hildebrand, who shows nothing like the spark we saw when she was Negasonic Teenage Warhead. Only small kids will enjoy this film, as I don’t think even the WWE fans of Cena will find anything in this film to laugh about.   My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again    Playing with Fire Website
Indiefest: Cyrano, My Love (2018)   Edmond Rostand (Thomas Soliveres) hasn’t written anything for two years. Married with two kids, he tells everyone that he has a new heroic comedy though all he has written is the title: ‘Cyrano de Bergerac.’ I had such a good time watching this marvelous telling of how Rostand came up with one of the most beloved characters in theatre. Having a wife and a best friend believe in Edmond only makes things worse. When a legendary actor, Constant Coquelin (Olivier Gourmet), is introduced to Edmond, the actor insists that the playwright come up with a play that can fill his theatre for two weeks. What I love about this film is that Edmond doesn’t come up with the ideas for his play all at once, but instead, it is a trail of happy circumstances that inspire him to come up with his play. If you enjoy theatre and especially if Cyrano has a soft spot in your heart, you will want to see this fantastic and funny film.   My Rating: Full Price    Cyrano, My Love Website
Forgotten Film: Gregory’s Girl (1980) PG  Gregory (John Gordon Sinclair) is a typical teen who, because of a recent growth spurt, has become quite awkward, notably on the soccer pitch. He likes Dorothy (Dee Hepburn), who is a much better player on the soccer team than Gregory is. Gregory finally gets the courage to ask Dorothy out, but that’s when Gregory’s troubles begin. This is an enjoyable and pleasing film about growing up in Scotland at an age when one mistake can seem like the end of the world to a teenager. The two leads are superb in their roles of teens in love and make the film a joy to watch.   My Rating: Full Price    Gregory's Girl Info

Weird Credits: From the credits of Midway: Electric Swing Production Assistant

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You: Little Women (2019) PG The classic tale of four young sisters coming of age in America in the aftermath of the Civil War. Written and directed by Greta Gerwig, the follow up to her two-time Academy Award-nominated 2017 film Lady Bird, which is all I need to know.    Little Women Website
Until Next Time!

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