Archive for May, 2014

Moving Picture Company (MPC), Roth Films, Walt Disney Pictures,

Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, Lesley Manville

We have all been told the story of Aurora and how she slept 100 years waiting for her prince to come and awaken her with loves first kiss. So in this new live action film from Disney, Aurora (Elle Fanning) comes to tell us the true story of what happened in her own words. We find that Maleficent was a good fairy and one of the strongest of the people in the land of fairies and elves, across the river from the land of humans who didn’t get along with the fairies. But Maleficent turned into her evil self by having her heart broken by someone she though she loved. When Aurora was born, Maleficent showed up without an invitation and put a curse on the baby that she would prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and sleep until awakened by loves first kiss.

This is a twisted look at the story in a new way, and was a fantastic fairy tale movie that turns things around. Legend is never absolute truth, and what we know of the story of Sleeping Beauty that is like no other. I think Disney stole some of the ideas from “Once Upon a Time” as there are many similarities between the two stories. I felt Maleficent was much more of a multi faceted personage that has the capability for both good and evil depending on the circumstances she is faced with. Angeline plays a perfect Maleficent, and did an excellent job. Elle Fanning is also very good, and she’s grown so talented and beautiful. I saw the film in IMAX 3-D and it was worth every cent. I really enjoyed the movie from start to finish, and it was very, very well done. The 3-D effects are never in your face, and very subtle, but add a lot, especially on the IMAX screen. The sets and scenery are awesome. I could have enjoyed the soundtrack a bit more if it wasn’t so off the wall, but it still rocked. The two lands are very different, and the fairyland is really beautiful. The three fairies were definitely the comic relief and they were pretty funny.

Essentially, this is Angelina’s movie, but it was so made for her that it’s hard to not appreciate it. She has a range of emotions off the scale, and she pulls it all together. I am certain Disney has a huge box office coming for this film, and it’s good to see another blockbuster coming out of the Mouse House that isn’t a cartoon. It’s PG, so there is a little bit of scary stuff that might scare tiny kids, but it’s really made for children, and yet it has the means to pull out the inner child in each of us. This is a must see.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 


 

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Day Twenty- Eight Films, Rishon Films,

Vanessa Hudgens, Rosario Dawson, Brendan Fraser, James Earl Jones, Ann Dowd, Stephanie Szostak, Emily Meade

Apple (Vanessa Hudgens) is a 16 year old runaway teen. She’s pregnant and has had a very hard life. Her father and mother did not stay together, and her mother is a drug addict and very abusive. About all she cares about Apple is the money she gets from welfare and her excitement about the coming baby is that she’ll get more drug money. Apple has been shoved from foster home to foster home and abused in every way and is very tough on the surface. She heads out on her way to find her father, Tom (Brendan Frasier) now a successful Wall Street broker. She hopes to find out why he abandoned her. But when they find out she is pregnant, and wants to keep the child, she has to leave her father’s home and is back on her own. This is a story of pain and suffering as well as love and redemption, but it’s a factual story without preaching or trying to teach us a lesson. It’s up to us what we take from this.

Vanessa Hudgens is doing her best to try to shake her Disney Channel image, and I’m sure it was a calculated move to accept this role. In fact, I’d be surprised if she didn’t chase the role down. I wasn’t sure how she’d be able to handle this heavy a role that is so out of character for her. I was impressed with her work here, but I must say I’m not sure that she is quite ready for this much of a bad girl role. I’m not sure she totally pulled it off. Don’t get me wrong, this was a reasonable story and it was well designed. I could feel her pain, and Rosario Dawson who played her Mother was awesome. But if I was looking for a flaw in this story, it would be that Brendon Frasier and Vanessa Hudgens were both a little bit too lightweight to pull this off. The story is so strong, that it kind of makes up for that, so it’s still worth watching. But it does have an After-School Special TV movie feel rather than a Hollywood blockbuster. That may explain why it didn’t do well. Seeing Vanessa playing a bad ass is not enough reason to go out to the theater for this film. But it was worth the rental. This is certainly not a must see, but it was worth the time and effort to watch it on DVD.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Indian Paintbrush, Mr. Mudd, Right of Way Films,

Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Gattlin Griffith, Tobey Maguire, Tom Lipinski, Maika Monroe, Clark Gregg, James Van Der Beek, J.K. Simmons, Brooke Smith, Brighid Fleming, Alexie Gilmore, Lucas Hedges, Micah Fowler

Adele (Kate Winslow) is a depressed single mom raising her 13 year old son, Henry (Gattlin Griffith). She hardly leaves the house, but just before one Labor Day weekend, she has to go out for some supplies, and while they are shopping, Henry meets a bloody guy who says he needs help. He asks for a ride. Reluctantly Adele allows Frank (Josh Brolin) to ride with them, and to stop at her house to rest before he catches a train out of town. He promises to leave first thing in the morning, but he doesn’t, and though he’s very helpful fixing things and helping around the house, it quickly becomes clear that his intentions are not what he said, and his past may change their lives forever.

This is a very strange romantic drama. The story is not really like any I’ve seen before, and we learn piece by piece and bit by bit what is actually Frank’s story, but we can’t really tell what his motive really is. Is he acting, or is he genuine? The three main characters in this story are really well cast. Josh Brolin is not my favorite actor, and he’s been miscast in a number of roles, but in this one he’s a perfect Frank. Kate Winslet does a great job as the fearful and timid Adele who is afraid of her own shadow. Gattlin is very good as the teen son as well and handles a big role like a pro. It’s sad, and it warm and touching, and it’s suspenseful, all good emotions in a romantic drama like this. This is a very well done script and the actors also play it very well. This was a very interesting story. Based on a novel, the story is set about 25 years ago, and it helps us to capture the whole story as told by the adult Frank (Tobey Maguire). The story is a bit slow developing suiting the background and the small town life. Aside from that, the story is really well told, and I thoroughly enjoyed this film.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Movie Rentals Releasing Tuesday May 27, 2014

  • 24 Exposures
  • A Birder’s Guide to Everything
  • Cheap Thrills
  • Endless Love
  • Gambit
  • Independence Daysaster
  • Journey to the West
  • The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
  • Patrick: Evil Awakens
  • Run & Jump
  • The Trials of Cate McCall

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Warner Brothers, Gulfstream Pictures, Happy Madison Productions,

Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Joel McHale, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Kevin Nealon, Bella Thorne, Terry Crews

Jim (Adam Sandler) is a widower, raising three daughters on his own and still dealing with the loss of his wife and struggling with trying let his little girls grow up. Lauren (Drew Barrymore) is a divorced mother of two boys who miss their never present Dad. They are matched up on a disastrous date where Jim took her to Hooters and they really failed to click. But after a couple more random encounters that didn’t work out too well, they find they really hate each other. But due to a random coincidence they end up on a “blended family” vacation on the savannah in Africa together, where they must pretend to be together in order to take advantage of the trip.

Now to digress. I must admit Adam Sandler has had some problems lately. Several of my favorite Sandler films were with Drew though, as “The Wedding Singer” was classic as was “50 First Dates”. And of course the early stuff such as “Happy Gilmore” was epic funny. But lately he’s had some serious bombs. Let’s face it, “Jack and Jill” and “That’s My Boy” were just awful. So I really think it’s a “thing” now to bash Adam Sandler. I really don’t like it when the critics all jump on the film before it’s even released. As a result of all the press, with headlines like “New Sadler Film Set to Bomb at the Box Office”, I think the negative attitude against him is going to hurt this movie. I think it already has, opening in third place on it’s first weekend. The megaplex where we saw it had it on only one screen, showing a half dozen times. As a result, the theater was packed, and we missed a lot of the gags because the whole audience was howling. Truthfully, I haven’t laughed at a movie as much as this one in a long time. Some comedians have the ability to completely crack you up and then break your heart. I feel the audience, me included, felt the whole range of emotions in this film. Yes, it’s a bit formula driven, but just the same, it’s packed with surprise moments, and some really, really funny gags. This is a gag movie, like some of the best, for example, Hangover, where you go from one hilarious moment to another. One of the things that Walt Disney was known for is paying employees for “gags” to put in the movie. Things like Dopey swallowing the soap and blowing bubbles were thrown in to the film that weren’t critical to the plot, but added a lot to make these films so memorable. This movie has the same feel. It seems like from time to time they came up with a gag here or there, and that’s part of the delight of this movie.

My hope is that it will catch on due to the word of mouth, and redeem Drew and Adam a bit. I found it hysterically funny, and I really enjoyed it all the way through. My crew really enjoyed it, and it seemed the audience did too. Every player in this film had their own quirkiness and everyone was just perfect in their particular role. There were no weak parts, and it was just a really fun way to spend an evening. I highly recommend this one if you’re in the mood for a real simple funny movie. The scenery in Africa was stunning. It’s filled with lots of safari animals, and it’s a little bit naughty for the little ones, but fits the PG-13 crowd pretty well. Good job Adam, you found a good story this time!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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