Boies / Schiller Film Group, Wrigley Pictures,

Elizabeth Lail, Jordan Calloway, Talitha Eliana Bateman, Peter Facinelli, Dillon Lane, Tichina Arnold, Tom Segura, Lana McKissack, Anne Winters, Matt Letscher, P.J. Byrne, Valente Rodriguez, Louisa Abernathy, Charlie McDermott, Jonny Berryman

A Nurse, Quinn Harris (Elizabeth Lail}, downloads a popular new app that tells you exactly when you are going to die. The other nurses are having fun looking at the 70 years or so they have left, while Quinn’s shows she only has a few days. Thinking it’s just a harmless joke app, she suddenly starts seeing mysterious hidden figures following her, and she quickly learns that the clock is ticking and as she finds other folks with time running out, she realizes that she has to figure out how to beat this thing before the clock runs out.

This is a rather unique concept for a horror film, and it is mildly horrific and suspenseful, but it’s not all that overly scary, and isn’t all that original. Just the same, it is a decent horror film and it has it’s moments. Elizabeth Lail does a really good job in the lead role, and does a decent job carrying the film. The movie obviously owes a great debt of gratitude to the Final Destination series, as they truly stole a great deal of the format and ideas from that source! Final Destination was a ground-breaking film with the format of unusual deaths and the formula for breaking the chain and trying to beat the system, but quite a few original ideas have been added to make it more interesting in Countdown. All in all it was an enjoyable film, decently suspenseful, and fun to watch, but hardly worth your hard earned bucks on the big screen. I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to see this in the theaters, but if you have the chance to watch this sometime on video, give it a shot. It was an enjoyable time, and isn’t bad.

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Calamity Films, Feigco Entertainment, Perfect World Pictures,

Madison Ingoldsby, Emma Thompson, Boris Isakovic, Lucy Miller, Emilia Clarke, Maxim Baldry, Margaret Clunie, John-Luke Roberts, Michelle Yeoh, Bilal Zafar, Patti LuPone, Lydia Leonard, Henry Golding, Michael Addo, Peter Mygind

Last Christmas is a brand new holiday film about a family who moved to London from Yugoslavia and especially the daughter Kate (Emilia Clarke) who is struggling. Kate has a job as an elf in a Christmas all-year-long store run by Santa (Michelle Yeoh) who is very eccentric person for sure. Kate is struggling with life and making lots of bad choices, but when she meets the very handsome Tom, (Henry Golding) he helps her find meaning in her life. But Tom is very quirky as well, and though he is a big help to her, he is not very consistent. This is a lovely Christmas story filled with lots of heart and a great deal of values and good feelings.

This film is hard to categorize, as it is many different things. Most of all, it is very heartwarming, but this is not like a Hallmark Christmas movie, as it is a LOT deeper than that. There is serious drama, and side splitting humor, mixed in with a charming romantic tale as well. Kate’s family is hysterical, and has a wealth of back story to fill in the richness of the story. Emma Thompson is absolutely astounding in her performance and deserves the award for best supporting actress for sure. It is an awesome character she brings to life. Emilia Clark, as well, is absolutely fantastic in her role, and she brings a great deal of professionalism as Kate. She really steals the show. And thought Henry Golding is not in every scene, he certainly carries himself very well in every scene he is in. The casting in this story is exceptional, as each role is played to the hilt by the perfect actor for each role. From Kate’s sister, to her poor father, to those who try to help Kate when she is at rock bottom, everyone helps move this film forward and each role adds a lot of depth to the story. I went to see this film without a lot of expectations, and I was really blown away. Yes, there is a bit of a Shamalayan twist too, but there is also a lot of George Michael music, and all in all this is a movie that I think most everyone could enjoy. Filmed on location in London, the city itself is a star character as well. This filim is firing on all cyylinders and is a MUST SEE for this Christmas season. Go ahead and pass up some of the others if you must, but head out to see this one. I really, really enjoyed it, 100%. I loved this movie.

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** Christmas Camp

Almost Never Films Inc., MarVista Entertainment,

Lily Anne Harrison, Talkha Kahn, Reece Ennis, Megan McQueen, Stephen Katz, Shadner Ifrene


Here is the URL for this movie on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries.

An advertising executive is up for a promotion, but finds a bit of competition when it comes to a new client who is a toy company, looking for a classic Christmas doll for the holiday. She is definitely not “classic Christmas” material so her boss sends her to Christmas Camp, a lodge that is all about Christmas traditions to learn how to do it right. But thigs get complicated when she starts to fall for the lodge owner’s son, and she begins to realize how much she’s been missing by spending every holiday working for her biggest client in the Bahamas. Turns out snow and holly makes a great holiday, and she has a lot to catch up on really fast.

This Christmas in July holiday premier from Hallmark Movies and Mysteries is a refreshing film, as it’s a new movie right in the middle of the Christmas celebration in the heat of the summer, but unfortunately it’s a very worn out story premise. Over-worked anti-Christmas executive has to travel to a Christmas destination that she hates, but she learns to love Christmas while falling for the owner’s son. Yeah, that’s been done a hundred times it seems. I Have to give them some credit though as it is well done, and there is a certain number of possible holiday stories that can be told, and with dozens of new films to develop every season it’s really hard to do anything unique at all, but they should, at least, try for something a little bit fresh. Ah well, let’s go around the table one more time and say what we’re grateful for so that we can all feel like we’re really shallow people, eh? Sorry, not to be too excited about this premiere Christmas movie in July, but I’m sure it will be back around this Christmas, so you’ll have a chance to catch it if you wish.

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Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures, thefyzz,

Sophie NĂ©lisse, Corinne Foxx, Brianne Tju, Sistine Rose Stallone, Brec Bassinger, John Corbett, Nia Long, Axel Mansilla, Khylin Rhambo, Davi Santos

Two step-sisters are trying to get along together while Dad who is a deep sea diver, archeologist, tour guide is trying to pull the family together. But one sister has to put up with a lot of guff from the other girls in their island school. Dad sets them up on a “touristy” sightseeing tour to see the sharks from a glass bottomed boat, but the two sisters along with 2 other friends decide to head out to a remote site where an underwater Aztec cave city is located. Knowing they are not supposed to go in there, the girls decide to take a chance and explore just the opening, but an underwater disaster finds them trapped in the labyrinth of underwater caves with no way out and their supplies and air dwindling. It will take a lot of skill and a lot of luck for anyone of them to survive this disaster as it end up filled with man eating great white sharks as well.

This is not a sequel to the original 47 Meters Down from 2017. See Ed’s Review of 47 Meters Down here: The story is very different and unrelated, although similar in a few ways (i.e. Sharks and running out of air!). This film did go a little too far in the end, and could have had a better ending, (not unlike the killer who gets killed, but gets back up and disappears only to kill again), but it was a really suspenseful film, and the scenery was spectacular. The underwater city was breathtaking. The suspense was super, and the girls did a good job of being capable, yet a bit reckless, teen-age girls, which is what they were supposed to be after all. The photography was outstanding and it really kept us on the edge of our seats. I just did a review for the latest Stephen King film which is a major motion picture, and gave it a 3 rating, where I give this bit of fluff a 4 rating, so I had to stop and think of why I did that. I remember a saying from the Bible where (paraphrased) it says “where is much is given, much is expected” and I think that’s the reason. This is not setting out to be a Hollywood Blockbuster major motion picture, but a simple underwater thriller, and it totally nailed that and was highly enjoyable entertainment. On the other hand, I expected a lot from King’s movie and was disappointed. That is the reason why this film deserves a 4 star rating because it does exactly what it sets out to do and is well worth the time spent having your heart racing while we wonder if any of these poor girls are going to make it. Even with the silly ending where they went a bridge too far, it was a well done film and I do recommend it. Perhaps it was not as suspenseful as the first film, but it was a lot more spectacular to look at. Enjoy it.

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KatzSmith Productions, Lin Pictures, New Line Cinema,

Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, Andy Bean, Bill SkarsgÄrd, Jaeden Martell, Wyatt Oleff, Jack Dylan Grazer, Finn Wolfhard, Sophia Lillis, Chosen Jacobs, Jeremy Ray Taylor

All of the “Loser’s Club” of Derry, Maine have grown up and moved away except for Mike Hanlon (Isaiah Mustafa) who has stayed in Derry. Mysteriously (at least to me) they have all forgotten about the things that happened, but Mike remembers and has been studying the weird happenings. But suddenly, on queue, 27 years later, young people are beginning to disappear again, and it appears Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard) has returned on schedule. Mike calls every one of the childhood friends and asks them to return to Derry to fight Pennywise once again. All but one return, and the terror of their childhood returns.

This is a sequel to the earlier IT movie from 2017 which was a remake of the original. This is a LONG, LONG movie, the longest horror movie to receive a regular release. In many ways it was interesting to watch, but it did seem to go on and on and on. The horror of the first film wasn’t really there this time, and it was more about the Loser’s Club members crying over how hard their lives have been and how much they want to go back home. Pennywise is hardly in the 3 hours of this film, and when he is, he’s not near as frightening as he once was. We have to sit though all the angst of the characters one by one as they self reflect and try to remember the past and how they screwed up both back then and today in their lives. It’s a psychological drama piece more than a horror film. And did it say it goes on and on and on? I was rather disappointed in this sequel and really feel like it wasn’t necessary to make this. It seems a lot self serving for the author and the producers to do this, and it seems like they pushed the cash cow a bit too far. I wasn’t really impressed with it and can’t really recommend it. I mean, if you watch a lot of movies, and have the time to spend on this thing then it’s probably worth it to see how the story progresses, but I don’t feel like it was really that good to invest the time into this. I would suggest you just skip it, unless you’re really interested, or really bored, either one.

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