Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan, Richard Armitage, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, and Benedict Cumberbatch
Running Time: 2 Hours and 24 Minutes

This is the final installment of "The Hobbit" series. Always a bittersweet moment and a realization that all things must come to an end!
Make sure you study up on the previous two installments of Peter Jackson's"Hobbit" trilogy before you go and see this one.
"The Battle of the Five Armies" throws viewers right into the thick of the battle with Smaug (voice of Benedict Cumberbatch) that was left unfinished at the end of the previous film. The heavy action will leave audiences hooked, but the plot and character development in this film rely almost too heavily on the previous films. As a Tolkien fan, I have enjoyed this trilogy and found this series to be very fun.
However, Peter Jackson has not recreated the magic of "Return of the King" with this movie. This one does provide some great links between the Hobbit trilogy and the subsequent "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, and will still find a place in movie lovers and Tolkien fan's movie collections.
Parents be advised: This movie is constantly showing some sort of battle scene, some mild and some more violent. It was very dark and serious! I would recommend this movie for children age 10 and over.
I am giving "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" three bags of popcorn.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Exodus: Gods and Kings

Starring: Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, John Turturro, Aaron Paul, Maria Valverde, Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley
Running Time: 2 Hours and 30 Minutes

This is the classic and timeless Bible story of Moses and his epic adventure to free 600,000 Hebrew slaves from the wrath of the almighty Pharaoh Ramses.
This rendition under the direction of Ridley Scott is similar, but yet very different from the 1956 Cecile B. DeMille "The Ten Commandments" version we have all grown up with.
With the state of the art computer generated graphics, it puts a totally different spin on the story. Christian Bale gave a very good and solid performance as Moses in the first half of the movie. I felt like he got a bit weaker and a little confused towards the end. The epic parting of the Red Sea was completely different and I was underwhelmed with this one. I have always been so impressed with the DeMille version that it was always completely magical to me!
The scenes when he talked to God were unusual to me as well. Ramses was played by the actor Joel Edgerton and he gave a strong and commanding performance as the Pharaoh.
I really enjoyed this movie and I would highly recommend it, just realize it is the same story with a different twist with incredible graphics. It is long at two and a half hours, but worth the time you invest in it.
Parents be advised: There is a lot of Biblical violence which consists of plaques, pestilence, famine, large alligators and frogs, many frogs! It also deals with the deaths of the first-born Egyptian sons which was heart-breaking to watch!
This is rated PG-13, I would recommend this movie for children ages 13 and over.
I am giving "Exodus: Gods and Kings" three bags of popcorn.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence,  Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Julianne Moore
Running Time: 2 Hours and 3 Minutes

Well, here we go again... kind of, its "The Hunger Games", but no games this time around.
 If you remember from last year, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) destroyed the games!
This is the story of the destroyed District 13 under the presidency of Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) and how she and Plutarch Heavensbee (The late Philip Seymour Hoffman) try to persuade Katniss to be their "Mockingjay" which will make her a hero and the face of rebellion for the people of District 13.
District 13 is trying to hold it own under the attack of  President Snow (Donald Sutherland) with his iron-fisted my way or the highway mentality. He continues to intimidate and wreak havoc with his citizens of The Capitol by forcing them to be subjected to his tyrannical dictatorship!
When Katniss discovers that her friend and hunger-game partner Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) has been captured by President Snow, she becomes very alarmed and wants to find him. She thought that maybe he had been killed. When Peeta is broadcast live over the airwaves, he is not acting like himself and appearing very strange, she becomes very concerned. She knows she needs to locate and rescue him.
I was not impressed with "Mockingjay". I am disappointed that they turned this third book in the "Hunger Games" installment into two parts. I think it was long, drawn out and somewhat convoluted. It felt weak and not very interesting. I think they should have just done it all at the same time and wrapped it up!
Parent be advised: There was some war violence and a disturbing execution scene. Also, some mild profanity.
I am giving "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1" two bags of popcorn.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Dumb and Dumber To


Starring: Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Kathleen Turner, Rachel Melvin, Laurie Holden and Rob Riggle
Running Time: 1 Hour and 50 Minutes

This is the sequel to the 1994 movie "Dumb and Dumber". Jim Carrey stars as Lloyd Christmas who has been in an institution for the past twenty years. His old buddy Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels) shows up to help him, he tries desperately to communicate with Lloyd but he is completely withdrawn. 
Then miraculously he starts talking and confesses that the whole act for the past twenty years was a complete joke!
That pretty much sums up the theme of this movie. Harry takes Lloyd out of the institution and they start their new adventure together. Harry confesses to Lloyd that he needs a kidney transplant and also that he needs to find his daughter Penny (Rachel Melvin) that he had given up for adoption. They decide that if they find her, she being a biological match could donate a kidney to him and save his life. They travel around the country while trying to locate her and have some ridiculous encounters.
For me personally,I thought that it was rude and crude and just plain DUMB!!! So the title fits the movie.
I also thought that it sank to a new low in a couple of instances! I did not enjoy this movie at all! I realize that this is not the kind of movie that I would ever be drawn to and I am definitely not the target audience but it just didn't work for me. A lot of the people in the audience were laughing like crazy and were enjoying the crude humor. 
I realize that the original "Dumb and Dumber" has quite a cult following. They have been anxiously anticipating this one for twenty years, I think they will probably get a kick out of this movie as well.
Parents be advised: this movie is non-stop gross insults and perpetual potty humor.  There is profanity and a lot of suggestive stuff as well. I would not recommend this movie for anyone under fourteen.
I am giving "Dumb and Dumber To" just one bag of popcorn.

Friday, November 7, 2014


Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Bill Irwin, John Lithgow, Mackenzie Foy and Topher Grace
Running Time: 2 Hours and 49 Minutes

I am so excited about this movie! I would sum it up in one word-Stellar!!! It was an epic all encompassing experience! I was fortunate to see it in IMAX. There were only press at the screening so there were just a very few people. I felt as if I were all alone at this movie and it totally just enveloped me! This movie is outstanding and seriously Christopher Nolan has blown the lid off of this movie! It is eleven minutes short of three hours and you will enjoy every minute of it.
Matthew McConaughey stars as Cooper, a widowed father of two who is an ex-NASA pilot. He is put between a rock and a hard place when he is called upon to fly on a mission of extreme importance. He must go and leave his two children for a significant amount of time and this causes a real dilemma especially with his ten year old daughter Murph (Mackenzie Foy) she is very close to her father and protests him leaving for the mission.
He is accompanied by Amelia (Anne Hathaway) and two others. This mission is crucial for the very survival of the human race. Planet earth is in trouble and they need to find another planet that is similar that can sustain human life.
This is a story not only about the amazing space mission but also about the relationship between the father and his children specifically his daughter. Cooper is able to receive Skype type messages from earth, but he cannot transmit any messages to them. It is very difficult for the children and they become disillusioned!
This movie is fascinating and riveting! It was very realistic and a truly amazing experience. Matthew McConaughey gave the performance of a lifetime! There is also a surprise cameo by someone who I will refrain from identifying because of the intentional element of surprise.
You can tell I was quite impressed by this movie, so I would encourage you to take the time to see it and I strongly suggest you see it in IMAX only!
Parents be advised: this is a high intensity movie with a science fiction theme and a doomsday scenario. I would recommend this movie for young adults 13 and over plus it is a long movie and there is some profanity.
I am giving "Interstellar" four bags of popcorn.

Big Hero 6

Starring the voices of: Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, TJ Miller, Alan Tudyk, Genesis Rodriguez, Jamie Chung, Damon Wayans Jr., James Cromwell and Maya Rudolph
Running Time: 1 Hour and 48 Minutes

This is the story of a fourteen year old boy who is a genius named Hiro. He lives in San Fransokyo with his brother Tadashi and his aunt. It is a futuristic city part San Francisco and part Tokyo. He was orphaned as a young child and he is obsessed with technology. Technology is his escape and his way of coping with the tragic loss of his parents.
His brother Tadashi attends college and takes a course where he invents things. He has five schoolmates that invent as well. Tadashi surprises Hiro one day when he brings him to class and introduces him to his friends and also a robot he has invented. This is not your average run of the mill robot. He is an unusual robot named Baymax. He is a large white balloon type of robot who is created to check on humans and their medical condition. He is a nice and kind, thoughtful type of a robot. When an unfortunate accident takes place, his brother Tadashi is killed and Hiro is even more alone! He isolates himself and refuses to leave his room. He is distraught and very sad and lonely when suddenly Baymax comes to life. Baymax is kept in a small suitcase type of holder with a battery to inflate and charge him. He befriends young Hiro and they start to form a bond.
His late brother Tadashi's friends rally around Hiro and try to help him. When they find out that there is an evil and sinister villain who contributed to Tadashi's death, they form a super-hero group and are determined to take him down.
This is actually a Marvel comic book super-hero first for Disney. The first time time they have tried an animated super-hero movie and it works!
This was a very sweet story with amazing technology and graphics. This is a movie that the whole family will enjoy.  When you see this movie, be sure and stay till after the credits roll, there is a great scene at the end that you don't want to miss!
Parents be advised: the evil guy wears a scary mask and he is intimidating. He has a strange power that might be too much for small ones. I am recommending this movie for children ages five and over.
I am giving  "Big Hero 6" four bags of popcorn.

Nowhere Safe

Starring: Natasha Henstridge, Jamie Kennedy, Danielle Chuchran, James Gaisford,Tatum Chiniquy
and Jeremias Elvegaard
Running Time: 1 Hour and 30 Minutes

This is a movie based on a true story. It deals with a young high-school age girl, Ashley Evans (Danielle Chuchran) who has been extremely bullied and cyber-bullied! The problem gets increasingly worse with time when students push her around and assault her at both school and her home, she feels very scared and threatened! She and her mother, Julie Johnson (Natasha Henstridge) make the difficult decision that they need to escape their home and move on to a new community with a fresh start. They packed up all of their belongings and left in the middle of the night.
Young Ashley was accused of writing bad things about other students and teachers in her school! Several girls joined together and used Ashley's name to open a fake page on a social media site to spread the malicious lies and rumors. They convinced others that Ashley was the perpetrator and that she was a mean and heartless girl to the point that no one wanted to be seen with her or be her friend! Nothing could have been further from the truth! She was a nice, sweet and kind girl with a good heart.
When they arrive at their new home things seem to be okay with a few rough spots adjusting to her new school and new life. There are some dominant kids who try to run her down and belittle her which causes her to have flashbacks from her previous school. She rolls with the flow and tries to adapt and make the best of it.
When the cute, handsome boy Nick (James Gaisford) starts to become interested in Ashley, his girlfriend Carrie (Tatum Chiniquy) is upset and tries to cause her problems all over again!
I found this movie to be interesting and very touching! It is always very hard to see these young, kind innocent kids be victims of bullying and harassment. I think that this movie did a really great job portraying Ashley and all of the agony that she endured! She fought her battle and came out victorious in the end. She was a good and strong example for other young people to look up to and emulate in their own personal struggles with bullying and ridicule that unfortunately is so prevalent in our society today.
I think this is an excellent movie for all young people to see!
Parents be advised: There are some scenes in this movie which are hard to watch because of the violence and ridicule that is perpetrated on young Ashley. Some of the students hit and punch her and cause bodily harm to her!
"Nowhere Safe" is available on DVD in stores.
I am giving "Nowhere Safe" three bags of popcorn.

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