Archive for March, 2013

DreamWorks Animation,

Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman, Clark Duke

The Croods is a stone-age family in a time that’s tough on stone-age people. One by one their friends and neighbors have come to a tragic end, but The Croods are still around due to the diligence of Grug (Nicholas Cage) who teaches his family to “never not be afraid”. The family is not allowed to go outside the cave except in broad daylight and as a group, but never at night. But daughter Eep (Emma Stone) is a free spirit and is really tired of being in the cave all the time. But the world is changing as the continents are dividing and when their cave is destroyed, the family has no choice but to leave their home and head off to safer places. It’s a long journey, but one filled with adventure, new friends, and exciting discoveries.

This is the latest film from the Dreamworks folks who brought us Shrek and the Ice Age series and many other films. This one is a really funny family comedy adventure, and is extremely well done. The humor is really good. There are so many really good gags here, that I found myself laughing out loud numerous times along with the audience. I was interested in the story and the fascinating characters. The little kids loved this movie, and my grandson watched it twice already. But the older folks enjoyed it just as much as it was really a crack up. I didn’t expect a lot from this film based on the previews, and I was prepared to be disappointed, but on the contrary I was very pleasantly surprised. It was an excellent animated film.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Thinking Bee Productions,

Barry Cowsill, Bill Cowsill, Bob Cowsill, John Cowsill, Paul Cowsill, Richard Cowsill, Susan Cowsill

In the Spring of 1964, Bill, Bob and Barry Cowsill put together a rock band. From the very beginning it appeared that they had an amazing musical ability to harmonize wonderfully. Their father Bud realized their talent. He was a military man who ran his family with an iron fist, and then some. He insisted that the other brothers John and Paul also join the band, along with little sister Susan and their Mother Barbara. In 1967 they hit the big time with the #1 hit, “The Rain, the Park, and Other Things”. The following year they hit the charts again with “Indian Lake” and then the theme song from “Hair”. During this time, some TV executives approached them with the idea of doing a TV sitcom about the Cowsills, but they wanted to have Shirley Jones play the mother, as Barbara was not considered appropriate to play their mother. The family declined, and so they hired actors to play the roles and named the sitcom “The Partridge Family” but as Shirley Jones states, they brought pictures of the Cowsills and told them “This is who you are going to be playing.” Times have been hard for the Cowsills, and their lives were filled with a lot of pain and suffering. They have gotten back together a few times, but there were also some very tragic times. Life has not been easy. This documentary was made to tell their story, and it’s a very interesting, although a wild story that has to be seen to be believed. Filled with music and memories, this film tells the back story behind the family that really were The Partridge Family.

This documentary was made by the family themselves, and is very intriguing. I really enjoyed watching it. Back in 1969 I was in college and saw The Cowsills at a homecoming concert. They were wonderfully talented and could harmonize in 5 part harmony that is unique among family groups. They were definitely afraid of their terror of a father, and forced to act like trained seals, but at the same time, they were certainly successful for a while. This film features each of The Cowsills, and their own personal memories and stories, as well as some wonderful performances from the old TV programs on which they appeared. This film is running on Showtime this month, but may also be found on-line or at movie download sites. It’s hard to find, but well worth seeking out, especially if you’ve ever wanted to head on down to Indian Lake yourself. This is a fine documentary.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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New in theaters this weekend Friday March 29, 2013

  • G.I. Joe Retaliation
  • The Host
  • Tyler Perry’s Temptation
  • The Place Beyond the Pines
  • Room 237
  • Mental
  • Blancanieves
  • Welcome to the Punch
  • Wrong

Last Weeks top Box Office:

1 – The Croods
2 – Olympus Has Fallen
3 – Oz the Great and Powerful
4 – The Call
5 – Admission


Author: EdG

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Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Working Title Films,

Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Matthew Macfadyen, Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Kelly Macdonald, Ruth Wilson, Olivia Williams, Emily Watson

In 1874 Imperial Russia, Aristocratic socialite Anna Karenina (Keira KNightley) falls in love with a young cavalry officer Count Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) though she is married to cold and stoic Count Alexei Karenin (Jude Law) and she has a son. He is very set on not allowing her to embarrass herself and the family and keeping her away from her lover, but she is so brazen in taking chances that the whole court is talking. This classic Tolstoy novel gets a fresh look in this remake of many former copies of this film.

Call me a grouch, but I’ve never been a fan of these old time costume dramas, and this one is no exception. That being said, I think they did a pretty good job on this film. The costumes are good, the scenery is good, and all in all it’s a pretty showy piece. I’ve also never been a huge Keira Knightley fan either, but I have to give her props for this performance. She did a really good job of playing the wide range of emotions in this film. From the awful shame she felt, to the intense passion she has for her new love, to the pity for her poor husband, to the pity for her son, she is wracked through all kinds of emotional issues. But she pulls it off pretty well. She’s really good in this kind of story.

So, suffice it to say, that this is not the kind of film that I get really interested in, but if you a fan of the period pieces and classic novels, this is one of the better ones.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Columbia Pictures, Annapurna Pictures, First Light Production,

Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Jennifer Ehle, Mark Strong, Kyle Chandler, Édgar Ramírez , James Gandolfini, Chris Pratt, Reda Kateb, Scott Adkins, Taylor Kinney

Maya (Jessica Chastain) is a CIA operative being trained in the harsh interrogation procedures handled by the CIA on the Al Quaida terrorists. But when she gets a lead on the possible location of Osama bin Laden. After convincing the CIA leaders to go after him, the story tells of the Navy Seals and the events of the day bin Laden was killed.

A lot of people really were blown away by this movie. I was not, and I’m not really sure why. Argo was a much better movie than this was, although Argo wasn’t nearly my choice as the best picture either. I’ve been really struggling with why I didn’t like this story. I guess there are really a couple of reasons. For one, this is a recent event, and it was covered thoroughly by the media, and debated heavily at the time. So the details are really fresh, and there really wasn’t much new here. The story plodded. It wasn’t really very exciting. We’ve seen much better computer animation on the History Channel, and A&E, as well as on the network news. Jessica Chastain’s Maya wasn’t a nice character. She kind of bugged me through the whole movie. She was playing a strong woman who knew she was right, but throughout she was a bit of nagging wench. Furthermore, when the moment of truth came around, it was shot in a Blair Witch kind of shaky, dark camera way, that it was hard to follow what was going on. All in all, it wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t that great either. I expected a great story told in a grand way, and I got more of a History Channel TV documentary. I was underwhelmed. I waited for it to get really interesting, but there wasn’t anything more to tell, I guess, than what we already knew. This was not the blockbuster film I expected. I think most people fell patriotic about the subject, and so the movie got a lot more attention due to the events that happened than by the actual movie. So if you’re interested, give it a go, but if you’re looking for something to blow your mind, I don’t think it will.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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