Friday, February 5, 2016

Hail, Caesar!

Starring: George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Ralph Fiennes, Channing Tatum, Alden Ehrenreich, Tilda Swinton, Scarlett Johansen, and Jonah Hill
Running Time: 1 Hour and 40 Minutes

This movie is a production of the Coen brothers, Ethan and Joel. Their first movie in three years since, "Inside Llewyn Davis" in 2013. "Hail, Caesar", takes place during Hollywood's golden age in the 1950's.
It stars Josh Brolin who did a great job as Eddie Mannix, a Hollywood studio executive who is trying desperately to hold everything that goes on at the Capital Pictures Studios together while trying to take care of some of his own personal issues as well.
 There is a lot of chaos on the sets of several motion pictures in production that Eddie is trying to oversee ranging from an epic Biblical picture to a corny comedy picture and a grand swimming pool movie.
George Clooney stars as the big studio headliner, Baird Whitlock who is somewhat of a numbskull brain and has mysteriously disappeared. Later they find out he has been kidnapped by a group of upset screenwriters who just happen to be Communist's who refer to themselves as "The Future".
This movie is many movies within a movie, but it really works! It is a very clever and just a lot of fun. They pay great attention to 1950's detail along with the drama and the comedy!
 I really enjoyed Channing Tatum's "No Dames" tap dance scene. He and his counterparts portray a group of sailors in a bar contemplating life on their ship with no females anywhere to be found for a very long time.
I also enjoyed the spectacular swimming pool scene starring Scarlett Johanssson as DeeAnna Moran (very reminiscent of the magnificent Esther Williams swimming pool movies).
 The real scene stealer for me though, was the young Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich), a singing cowboy who has been promoted to star as a romantic leading man.This scene was hilarious and I can honestly say that I have not heard the audience laugh that hard for a very long time!
This is really just a fun uplifting popcorn movie.
Parents be advised: This movie is rated PG-13. This movie is pretty light on profanity with the exception of God's name being used and a couple of mild others. There is also a reference to getting "knocked up".
I am giving "Hail, Caesar" three bags of popcorn.

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Finest Hours

Starring: Chris Pine, Holliday Grainger, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Kyle Gallner, and Eric Bana
Running Time: 1 Hour and 49 Minutes

This movie is based on a true story that took place in 1952. It is about a death defying sea rescue that takes place after a very violent blizzard off the New England coastline.
Chris Pine stars as Bernie Webber, a coast guard member who is somewhat introverted and shy. He meets a young lady named Miriam (Holliday Grainger) whom he has only talked to on the telephone because she is  a switchboard operator who struck up a conversation with him and they begin a relationship. She is the dominant one and pursues him. She wants to continue their relationship further but he isn't quite sure about it.
A horrible blizzard slams the Eastern seaboard and Webber's superior, Daniel Cluff (Eric Bana) commissions him to go out on a rescue mission to save men who are stranded at sea on the oil tanker SS Pendleton that has been ripped in half by 70-foot high waves. When The Pendleton loses its captain, Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck) takes over the helm and tries desperately to save the vessel and its crew of over 30 mariners. They all fight valiantly to stay alive and not give up hope.
 Coxswain Webber and his crew of three, Andy Fitzgerald (Kyle Gallner), Richard Livese (Ben Foster) and Ervin Maske (John Magaro) set out in a tiny boat to try and rescue the crew of The Pendleton.
Webber was determined and would not give up hope even through the most unbelievably difficult circumstances. He truly was a hero!
This is a harrowing and edge of your seat boat ride that you won't soon forget.
This was an interesting and a much different role than I am used to seeing Chris Pine star in.
Parents be advised: This movie is rated PG-13. There are disturbing scenes of massive waves and ship destruction, people in peril and scary situations. I think children ages 12 and over will be okay with this movie.
I am giving "The Finest Hours" three bags of popcorn.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Star Wars:The Force Awakens

Starring: Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Warwick Davis, Oscar Issac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max Von Sydow, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Lupita Nyong'o and Kenny Baker
Running Time: 2 Hours and 16 Minutes

Wow! Just wow! I was so excited to see "Star Wars" reprised  on the big screen again and to see how the always awesome J.J. Abrams was going to pull this off. I am such a huge fan of George Lucas and the "Star Wars" phenomenon that I just wasn't sure if it would really have that "Star Wars" feel. As you all know, our entire society has been raised on "Star Wars" with the original being released in 1977, that is 38 years of "Star Wars" impacting society! This is the seventh episode in the franchise.
I really loved  the fact that they brought back Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in their original roles. It was so fun to see them back, even if it was for just a short time. They were all in perfect form!
I don't want to divulge the storyline here, this is definitely one that everybody just needs to see for themselves!
I will say that I really enjoyed the new characters that they introduced, the young Finn (John Boyega)  and Rey (Daisy Ridley) were perfectly cast in their roles. The new cute little robot BB-8 was a heart stealer!! You couldn't help but fall in love with him. I really enjoyed this movie. I was broken-hearted in one scene and I certainly was not anticipating the outcome of it! I genuinely feel that J.J. Abrams has done himself proud in this episode!
 For all of you who are already suffering and needing another "Star Wars" fix... hang in there,
"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" will be released on December 16th of this year.
Parents be advised: This movie is rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence. As all the other "Star Wars" movies before it, there is a lot of fighting and light saber violence. There are battle scenes between X-Wings and TIE Fighters that end up looking like fireworks. Also there are some new alien beasts which slither around and are very hungry. I think children ages 10 and older will be fine with this movie.
I am giving "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" four bags of popcorn.

Friday, December 11, 2015

In the Heart of the Sea

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy, Ben Whishaw, Brendan Gleeson and Frank Dillane
Running Time: 2 Hours and 1 Minute

This is a dramatic seafaring adventure that takes place in 1820 and just happens to be the true story about how Herman Melville's epic novel "Moby Dick" came to be.
The movie takes place in Nantucket, Massachusetts, one of the top whaling destinations during that era. Whaling was a huge industry and fiercely competitive. The demand for whale oil was at an all time high. Whaling was a very tough and demanding career and definitely not for the weak of heart!
The seasoned and very qualified Owen Chase (Chris Hemsworth) was hired on as the first mate to assist on the New England whaling ship the Essex, alongside the new and inept Captain George Pollard (Benjamin Walker). They set out to sea during the winter under very tough and dangerous conditions. Under the defiant Captain's orders they plowed right through an incredible storm and sustained an extreme amount of damage to their ship. The captain wanted to return back to Nantucket for the ship's repairs but Owen insisted they continue on their journey.
When they finally come upon the infamous whale colony they encounter "the whale of all whales"! This was not any ordinary whale, this was a whale that defied all description! It was a monstrosity and had a vengeance that no one had ever encountered before. As Owen fought valiantly, he was more determined than ever to take down this behemoth! After a series of most unfortunate circumstances, the crew is left stranded at sea for 90 days with supplies drastically dwindling and feeling like giving up, they must continue and not give up hope. As it becomes a most desperate situation, they are forced to do the unthinkable just to survive.
Parents be advised: This movie is rated PG-13. This was a hard PG-13 solely based on graphics. There are several very graphic depictions of killing, cutting and stripping apart a whale. Not just a little bit of cutting, but a lot!!! All the way to the point of inserting a young fourteen year old boy inside the whale to remove every ounce of oil from its insides.
Also, they have to resort to cannibalism, so this also takes place with a graphic description of how they remove and eat the organs! Not for the faint of heart!!! They kept repeating the same swear words (GD) over several times too.
This was truly an epic adventure directed by Ron Howard. Definitely a "man's-man movie"!
 The graphic scenes were just a bit too much for me. Chris Hemsworth did an outstanding job as usual.
I am giving "In the Heart of the Sea" three bags of popcorn.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Good Dinosaur

Starring the voices of: Raymond Ochoa, Jack Mc Graw, Jack Bright, Jeffrey Wright,
Frances McDormand and Sam Elliott
Running Time: 1 Hour and 40 Minutes

This is the second Disney Pixar release this year. "The Good Dinosaur" is following on the heels of  the extremely popular "Inside Out".
This movie has a little different spin from the theory that we have always been taught about the comet hitting the earth and destroying all dinosaur life. In this movie the comet misses the earth and so the dinosaurs and the humans coexist at the same time for a totally different perspective.
The baby dinosaur Arlo (Jack McGraw) is hatched into a very loving and supportive family. He learns the importance of survival and being self- supportive. He is taught how to grow corn and harvest it for the year.
He needs to work hard so that he can follow in his family's footsteps and have the honor of putting his paw print on the corn silo alongside his parents and siblings. He soon finds that the work is more difficult than what he ever imagined.
One tragic day he is out alone with his father (Jeffrey Wright) when a horrible storm overtakes them and he is separated from his father. His father perishes and young Arlo finds himself lost and alone.
He encounters a young cave boy named Spot (Jack Bright). Arlo is very reluctant and after a rocky start the two of them form a bond and become the dearest of friends.
This was a very unique and different movie than what I had anticipated from Pixar. I enjoyed it but it was not all that I had hoped for. There were some very serious moments which were quite intense for young viewers. The graphics were incredible and the animation was state-of-the-art which we have all come to expect from a Pixar movie.
Parents be advised: this movie is rated PG, a lot more real-life drama and excitement than I had been  expecting. Young Arlo encountered many difficult situations which could be upsetting for young viewers. He had to deal with separation, death, attacks, bad storms loneliness and heartbreak. I think it is appropriate for children over the age of seven. I took my little four year old grandson and I felt like it was too intimidating for him.
Also, the Pixar short before the movie was sweet but also a little intimidating and scary for young children.
I am giving "The Good Dinosaur" three bags of popcorn.

Friday, November 6, 2015


Starring: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes. Dave Bautista, Monica Bellucci, Lea Seydoux, Ben Whishaw and Naomie Harris
Running Time: 2 Hours and 28 Minutes

Daniel Craig is back as James Bond, agent 007. And... he is back with a bang! This movie starts out with a gigantic bang and just keeps going from there. It begins on "The Day of the Dead" in Mexico City amongst a whole myriad of unique characters. There is a whole web of intrigue and drama as Bond sets out on a rogue mission to uncover a nefarious organization known as "Spectre".
A new leader, "C" (Andrew Scott) has been assigned to the Centre of National Security in London that Bond questions and isn't quite sure of his intentions. "C" wants to do away with 007's job and change things up. Bond just isn't having any of it and carries on with the help and assistance of Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and "Q" (Ben Whishaw).
Meanwhile, Bond heads to Rome to uncover a secret meeting where he encounters the head of "Spectre", the diabolical heartless and sinister, Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz) whom Bond actually has a history with!
The plot thickens when bond finds Mr. White (Jesper Christensen) in Austria and pledges to find and protect his beautiful daughter Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux) and rescue her from a bad situation.
This movie is filled with suspense, drama, action, intrigue, you name it, it is filled with all the stunts you have come to know and love affiliated with James Bond! Add in very expensive race cars, helicopters and airplanes too.
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie! I maybe didn't enjoy it quite as much as "Skyfall", but it was a very close second for me! I thought Daniel Craig was great and very convincing as Bond.
Parents be advised: This is a PG-13 James Bond movie! There are two different love scenes with two different women that get fairly suggestive. There is also one torture scene that is difficult to watch and a death scene too. There is a lot of action/adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat. I don't really remember any swearing or cursing.
I am giving "Spectre" four bags of popcorn.

The Peanuts Movie

Starring the voices of: Bill Melendez, Noah Schnapp, Hadley Belle Miller, Noah Johnston, Alexander Garfin, Venus Schultheis, Trombone Shorty, Rebecca Bloom, Anastasia Bredikhina, Francesca Capaldi, Kristin Chenoweth, and A. J. Tecce
Running Time: 1 Hour and 33 Minutes

So Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Lucy, Schroeder, Pig Pen, Peppermint Patty and the whole entire Peanuts crew are back, in living 3-D color.
This is the classic and nostalgic Peanuts gang you have come to know, love and enjoy for the past half century. It was interesting to see these little characters back in all their sweet little glory to enjoy again. I feel like this Charles Schulz's next generation really stayed true and very close to the original iconic characters.
A new character surfaces; The Little Red-Haired Girl and rocks Charlie Brown's world. He tries valiantly to impress her but as we all know, things don't come easy for good old Chuck!
 I think how they brought the plot together was sweet and honest to the original series.
Snoopy is back, he spends a fair amount of time trying to write a book about a flying ace and his antics with the Red Baron.
I found this movie to be a sweet and simple road back to the original Peanuts gang. An adorable and tender little movie that the entire family will enjoy. One thing I really appreciated about this movie was that they kept all the original music which I love!
Parents be advised: I found it refreshing that it was wholesome and rated "G"! A movie ideal for any age.
I am giving "The Peanuts Movie" three and a half bags of popcorn.

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