Friday, April 10, 2015

The Longest Ride

PG-13
Starring: Scott Eastwood, Britt Robertson, Alan Alda, Jack Huston, Oona Chaplin, Melissa Benoist and Lolita Davidovich
Running Time: Two Hours and 19 Minutes

This movie is based on the Nicholas Sparks bestseller, "The Longest Ride". When I went to screen this move I was prepared for the usual Nicolas Sparks basic love story that I have come to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised.
This movie actually really delivered for me. I thoroughly enjoyed "The Longest Ride".
We have a young up and coming bull rider, Luke (Scott Eastwood) (and yes, he is Clint Eastwood's son) who has previously been injured while competing and Sophia  (Britt Robertson) a senior Art student at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, who meet each other at a championship bull riding event. When they saw each other after it was over, Luke asked Sophia out on a date.
They both come from totally different worlds and they had completely different dreams and aspirations.
While on their date they came upon a car wreck where  they pulled an older gentleman, Ira (Alan Alda) out of his car right before it started on fire and saved his life. He begged them to get a box out of the car before it was engulfed in flames. Sophia retrieved the box and kept it with her. Sophia took an interest in the man and she wanted to deliver the box he had requested so she decided to pay him a visit at the hospital. She had opened the box and found it full of love letters he had written to the love of his life, Ruth (Oona Chaplin) (and yes she is Geraldine Chaplin's daughter and Charlie Chaplin's granddaughter). Sophia gave him the box and asked him who Ruth was? Then the movie went to a flashback to his youth, how he met Ruth and how their relationship began back in the late 1930's and early 1940's, during the beginning of World War II. He asked her to please read the letters to him so he could reminisce. Sophia started to have a sweet relationship with him, visiting him in the hospital, reading the love letters out loud to him and helping him to recover from his accident.
As time goes by Luke and Sophia develop a relationship and struggle to make it work with each of them going in different directions. After Sophia read Ira all the love letters, she realizes how much she cares about Luke and how important he is to her. She and his mother Kate (Lolita Davidovich) beg him to give up bull riding because it is so dangerous and he cant afford another injury. Luke is also uncomfortable in Sophia's fast and trendy Art world, so they both need to come to some kind of a compromise.
To make a long story short. this is actually two love stories in one. Luke and Sophia and Ira and Ruth. Both in different times and different places, but both very touching and endearing love stories!
I found this movie to be really moving. I enjoyed how it had both history and culture in it and it had a lot of depth to it too.
I believe Scott Eastwood is going to be a very popular new star, he has his father's good looks and star quality. Kind of reminds me a little of the late and great Paul Walker.
Parents be advised: This movie is rated PG-13. I would advise children over the age of 13 and even older for this one. I didn't notice much cursing but, there were about four intense love/sex scenes that were fairly provocative. A lot of innuendo without total nudity but clothing removed for love scenes.
I am giving "The Longest Ride" three and a half bags of popcorn.




Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Freetown

PG-13
Starring: Henry Adofo, Michael Attram, Alphonse Menyo, Phillip Adekunle Michael, Clement Amegayie, Bright Dodoo, Great Ejiro, Robert Conder and Stacy Afful
Running Time: 1 Hour and 56 Minutes

"Freetown" is based on actual events that took place during the bloody civil war in the capital city of Monrovia, Liberia in West Africa in 1989. The warring factions pitted the Krahn vs the Gio and Mano tribes.
A group of young Latter Day Saint  missionaries are working diligently to search, teach and help the local people any way they can. As the situation continues to worsen, the missionaries find that they can no longer safely stay there with their existence being in peril. With people being confronted and asked directly, from which tribe they descended. If they were not from the right tribe they were immediately executed. It was a horrific situation where thousands of civilians were massacred and hundreds of thousands fled their villages. Under the direction of their Mission President, President Cunningham (Robert Conder) they are instructed to flee Monrovia and set their sights for Freetown in the neighboring country of Sierra Leone. President Cunningham called upon a member of his local ward, Philip Abubakar (Henry Adofo) to drive six missionaries to Freetown in his tiny beat-up car over very rough and impoverished country roads with many dangerous rebel-held checkpoints to get through. They had several alarming encounters while on their journey. They also had many funny and humorous moments where the missionaries are all cramped inside the tiny car in the sweltering heat and humidity. However, they never lost their sense of purpose or the reason they had chosen to serve The Lord!
I found this movie to be much better than what I had anticipated it would be. I felt like the audience was also pulled right into the dramatic sequence of events as well. "Freetown" was gripping and riveting. A real edge of your seat thrill-ride!
This is Garrett Batty's second movie. His first movie was released in 2013, the very successful "The Saratov Approach".
"Freetown" was incredible, it has a very professional feel to it. The music and photography were amazing! It was shot on location exclusively in Ghana, Africa with all local people.
Garrett Batty just  happens to be my wonderful next door neighbor, Sheryl's son. He is a great young man and comes from a wonderful family!
Parents be advised: "Freetown" is rated PG-13 for war-torn reality and the violence associated with war. I think children ages seven and over will be fine with this movie.
I am giving "Freetown" four bags of popcorn.




Friday, April 3, 2015

Furious 7


PG-13
Starring: Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriquez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Nathalie Emmanuel, Djimon Hounsou and Kurt Russell
Running Time: 2 Hours and 17 Minutes

Okay Furious fanatics, here it is. The movie everybody has been patiently waiting for! Does this movie really deliver the goods that would not only honor but respect the late and amazing franchise sweetheart Paul Walker?
Is it still the same kind of get your blood pumping action that you have come to expect from the furious movies?
I will admit my favorite of the franchise is and always will be the first and original 2001 "The Fast and the Furious".
In "Furious 7", they have reunited all the original cast back together again.
 Dominic Torretto (Vin Diesel) is being hunted down by Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) who is exceedingly angry with him for the death of his brother and is on the warpath to search and destroy anyone who had anything to do with his brothers demise. Also his true love, Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) who was previously left for dead is suddenly back with a case of amnesia and ready to resume her place in the racing scene. Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) is back as the kindhearted and heartthrob young husband and father. Dominic insists that Brian joins and helps to assemble the team back together again to hunt down the evil Deckard Shaw. Add Hobbs (Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson) to the mix and all the rest of the team and you just have total chaos!
I felt like I was in a world of the past and future here. Constant flashbacks and current scenes were confusing. I felt like they were trying way too hard to make bigger and better action sequences that were totally unrealistic! Granted, that's what you expect from this franchise, but these were totally over the top and so far from reality that it was like a science fiction movie.
Also, throw into the mix a terrorist, Jakande (Djimon Hounsou) who is out to destroy a female computer Hacker, Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) with a super surveillance device called "God's Eye" that can virtually detect anybody on the planet earth! There were too many stories going on in this movie. They travel to Azerbaijan and Dubai where there is even more extreme action going on. Non-stop and unbelievable.
Just don't have any real expectations if you go and see this movie. It was unbelievable, but it was still entertaining.
As you may know Paul Walker was killed in a very tragic car accident half-way through the filming of "Furious 7".  His two brothers, Cody and Caleb Walker stepped in to help film the remaining scenes in honor of him.
 I was very impressed with the end of the movie and the tribute to Paul Walker. It was a walk down "The Fast and The Furious" memory lane with funny and very touching memories of him.
Paul was a class act and I have great respect for him. He was an all-around good guy and the fact that he sponsored his own charity "Reach Out Worldwide", to help people when natural disasters strike, speaks volumes about his character, he will be missed!
I wouldn't be at all surprised if there were another "Fast and Furious" sequel in the works.
Parents be advised: This is definitely a PG-13 movie. I would not advise anyone under the age of 13 to see this movie. There was a lot of physical violence, fighting and beating people up. Violent car crash scenes, very scantily clothed young women and profanity too.
 This movie speaks for itself, it is what it is!
I am giving "Furious 7" two and a half bags of popcorn.



















Friday, March 13, 2015

Cinderella

PG
Starring: Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden, Helena Bonham Carter, Derek Jacobi, Stellan Skarsgard, Sophie McShera and Holliday Grainger
Running Time: 1 Hour and 52 Minutes

Such a pleasant surprise! The classic Cinderella fairy-tale retold again in 2015 with all of its beauty and charm. To say I enjoyed this movie would be an understatement, I really loved this version!
It was beautiful, touching, colorful and breathtaking. I really did not want it to end!
I grew up enamoured with The Rodgers and Hammerstein's classical 1965 version with Leslie Ann Warren and so I was really looking forward to Disney's new rendition.
It follows the classic 1697 version written by the French author Charles Perrault.
Young Ella finds herself an orphan when her wonderful mother suddenly becomes very ill and perishes due to illness. Her dear mother gave her some very wise words of wisdom shortly before she passed and told young Ella to "have courage and be kind",  that she should never ever forget that advice! Left all alone with her beloved father, he became very lonely and decided to take a wife, Lady Tremaine (Cate Blanchett)  until he too suddenly and tragically dies.
 Ella is left alone in her beautiful estate at the mercy of her new and very evil and sinister stepmother Lady Tremaine and her two perfect daughters Anastasia (Holliday Grainger) and Drisella (Sophie McShera).
The stepmother was kind in the beginning but little by little became more demanding and then just downright mean and cruel to Cinderella! Insisting that she do all of the work, cleaning, cooking and all of the chores around the house. She would work around the fireplace and get the cinders and dirt on herself, so one of the step-sisters decided to call her "Cinderella" instead of Ella, and so she was known as Cinderella from there on out.
One day when Cinderella was on her own out riding her horse, she ran into a very fine young gentleman who just happened to be the prince (Richard Madden) of the land. They exchanged words and found out that they were fond of one another. When they departed they both felt a spark of attraction.
When the prince returned back to the kingdom, he told his father the king (Derek Jacobi) about the young maiden he had met but he never found out who she was.
His father decided it was time to hold a grand ball in the palace to find his son a wife. The prince consented to the grand affair only if he would allow all the young maidens in the land, both nobility and commoners to attend.
When word spread of the grand ball, everyone was anxious to attend, getting beautiful new ball gowns and shoes for the magnificent affair. Cinderella was also very happy and excited to attend, she  fixed up her own dress the best she could using an old dress of her mothers.
When Lady Tremaine saw her all dressed up, she dashed her dreams by shredding her dress to rags.
In classic fairy-tale style, Cinderella's wonderful, personal Fairy Godmother (Helena Bonham Carter)  magically appears and comes to her rescue to save the day! the rest is, quite simply, a perfect fairytale
Cinderella was just a sheer delight and wonderful escape movie. I thought Lilly James who played Cinderella was a perfect fit. Young, sweet, trusting of others and always remembered the advice of her beloved mother, "to have courage and be kind", to help her get through all of her difficult times.
Cate Blanchett was also perfect as the wicked stepmother. She was delightfully sinister in this classic role, perfectly cast!
Parents be advised: Cinderella is rated PG. I think children over the age of five will be fine with this movie. There is a lot of cute interaction with the mice and some other animals, but there is also some cruelty to Cinderella by the wicked stepmother.
I am giving "Cinderella" four bags of popcorn.




Friday, March 6, 2015

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

PG
Starring: Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Richard Gere, David Strathairn and Dev Patel
Running Time: 2 Hours and 2 Minutes

This is the follow-up movie sequel to the very popular 2012 movie
"The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" based on the novel by Deborah Moggach. It is the story about the young hotel entrepreneur Sonny Kapoor (Dev Patal) and his plight to try and get his second hotel up and running while still trying to keep his beautiful fiance Sunaina (Tina Desai) from the clutches of his competitor Kushal (Shazad Latif).
Several elderly British citizens move to India to live out their golden years to find peace, tranquility, excitement and love.
 Ms. Muriel Donnelly (Maggie Smith)  has a very sweet and dear relationship with Sonny and he looks to her for wisdom, guidance and counsel in matters of many difficult situations he is faced with.
Evelyn Greenslade (Judi Dench) unexpectedly finds herself in a rather precarious situation. Being offered a most important job and  falling in love at her age is very confusing, she has to contemplate what she should do.
Joining the group of British retirees is the American, Guy Chambers (Richard Gere).  He finds himself interested in Sonny's widowed mother Mrs. Kapoor (Lellete Dubey) much to Sonny's dismay.
 This is a most colorful and beautiful story of life in both the older crowd and also the young Indian couple. I really enjoyed the insight into Indian life and the circumstances that surround it,
I especially enjoyed the beautiful Indian wedding of Sonny and Sunaina. It was very rich with Indian culture, tradition and color. This was an emotional and very touching movie.
Parents be advised: This movie is rated PG. I really enjoyed this movie and would recommend it for children over 10 years of age, not because of objectionable content but just because the story is suited for an older audience.
I am giving "The Second Best Marigold Hotel" three bags of popcorn.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Post Oscar results

Well, I am a little surprised that "Birdman" won The Best Picture category over "Boyhood".
"Boyhood" took over twelve years to film with the same cast including the young character Mason (Ellar Coltrane) who literally grew up during the duration of this massive undertaking. 
I do know that "Birdman" was a very strong contender and that is why I chose  "Birdman" as my very close second choice.
Other than The Best Picture, I called all of my other predictions. I guess five out of six isn't too bad.

Thanks to everyone who follows me on Utahmoviemom!!! I really appreciate your support and your confidence in me!!! I will keep trying to keep you informed with my best opinions on the movies, to help you have the enjoyment and entertainment that you deserve. 
With movie tickets as expensive as they are these days and even more important to me...
 are your children and your family's well being, that is first and foremost to me!!!
I will honestly try to always do my best!!!

Once again,
Thank you so much
Marilyn Phillips, Utahmoviemom

My personal Academy Awards predictions 2015

Ok-here I go, out on a limb again this year for the biggest night in Motion Pictures.
My predictions are as follows, simply my own opinion, but time will tell tonight how my choices pan out.
*Best Picture- "Boyhood" with "Birdman" coming in as a close second.

*Best Actor- Eddie Redmayne for "The Theory Of Everything" with Michael Keaton coming in as a close second for  "Birdman".

*Best Actress- Julianne Moore for " Still Alice".

*Best Supporting Actor- JK Simmons for "Whiplash".

*Best Supporting Actress- Patricia Arquette for "Boyhood".

*Best Animated Feature- "Big Hero 6"

Ok, Let's watch The Oscars now. Hope everyone enjoys the program.


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