Archive for December, 2014

Lucamar Productions, Marc Platt Productions, Walt Disney Pictures,

Anna Kendrick, Johnny Depp, Chris Pine, Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Lilla Crawford

A Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) live next door to a wicked witch (Meryl Streep) who informs them that their house is cursed because of something his father did years ago, and they can never have a child unless they retrieve four items from the woods before midnight on the third day. This happens to be a fantasy forest where all of the major fairy tale characters live, such as Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Jack (Daniel Huttlestone) and his mother (Tracy Ullman) and many more. The poor baker and his wife set out into the woods to meet up with all these other characters to try to locate the items in time while lots of perils and troubles plague everyone. This film is a musical based upon the Broadway musical by Stephen Sondheim of the same name.

I have been waiting for a long time for this film. I suspect it will get mixed reviews. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion of what art is, and one man’s pile of junk is another man’s brilliant sculpture. I went to the theater positive this would garner a 5 star review. I was sorely disappointed. The look of this film is tremendous. The sets and locations are stunning. The effects are dazzling, but the music did not impress me much. They tried to throw all the characters together, which is a lot to bite off, but they cut what they didn’t want, modified the stories to fit the plan, and then drew out parts that seemed like they would never end. Oh, and the music. I wasn’t sure if i heard different songs, or one long song that changed it up once in a while. I won’t remember any of the music tomorrow. It seems like they said a word or two, made a point or shared a value judgement, then everyone stopped to sing about the same thing over and over for quite some time. The songs did not drive the story forward, they seemed more like a timeout every few minutes. Some of the characters were good. Meryl Streep was amazing, of course, and this was a great role for her. If you can’t imagine her as a wicked witch, that’s the idea, cause she pulled it off. Chris Pine has a nice singing voice, and he’s actually a pretty decent guy, really, but this role had nothing for him to do. I have no idea what happened to him towards the end, as he just went insane and faded out of the picture????? In fact, when the story comes to a nice smooth ending, where Cinderella and the Prince get married and the baker and his wife have their baby, everything is swelling up to a fine fairy tale finish and credits, and then this film takes a bizarre turn into a land where no one ought to go. Bodies are piling up, everything turns really, really dark, and no one is unscathed. We plod on and on and on and on, with no end in sight, and it seems like the whole theater turned really restless. Things got pointless, as I said, extremely dark, and not much made sense after that.

This is a PG rated film, that is very violent and extremely dark for kids. You really need to use Parental Guidance on this one. But even more I would hate to unleash this long dragged out musical on the kids who would probably enjoy a 45 minute version of this without any of the music. I’m not sure where the new musical thing came in where there is really no dialog ,but everything is sung. Les Miserables was like that. I would have liked the story much better if they would have talked more and sung much less. Granted there are great songs in Les Mis, but all the singing in between the songs is what drove me nuts. This is even worse as they sing and sing and sing the same stuff over and over making the same points again and again, and it’s really chaotic. I am speaking heresy here, and the Sondheim fans are going to crucify me, but my reviews are my opinions, and I really felt cheated here. I had such high hopes.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Movie Rentals Releasing Tuesday December 30, 2014

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Alcon Entertainment, Boxing Cat Films, Color Force,

Harry Connick Jr., Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Kris Kristofferson, Nathan Gamble, Austin Stowell

Several years have passed since Sawyer Nelson (Nathan Gamble) and Dr. Clay Haskett (Harry Connick Jr.) rescued Winter, a dolphin without a tail. Sawyer has the opportunity to attend a very special program which means moving far from home, and he’s not very anxious to leave Clearwater Marine Hospital. But when Winter’s partner Panama dies of old age, that leaves Winter alone in her pool. Government regulations require that a dolphin cannot be housed alone, so the team has 30 days to solve the situation or Winter will have to be transferred to a marine park or zoo somewhere else. This is the sequel to 2011’s Dolphin Tale.

This is a really good family movie like the good old days. There haven’t been many movies like this in the past 20 years or so, but this is a good one. It’s truly PG, it’s a true story, and it’s excellently told. Clearwater Marine Hospital is a real animal hospital and they allow the public to view the animals, but their only purpose is in their motto, Rescue, Rehabilitate, and Release. This place is dedicated to rescuing animals in serious trouble, fixing them up and setting them back out to sea as soon as it’s possible. Winter, if you remember the first film, will never be able to be released back to the wild because being seriously harmed by a fishing net, he lost his tail. Fitted with a prosthetic tail, he is surviving, but will never be able to survive outside.

This is being attacked by closed minded people who insist these animals are being captured in the wild and forced to perform for the amusement of humans. Nothing could be further from the truth with this facility, but they immediately jump to that conclusion based on the subject of the film. Personally, I appreciate zoos and marine parks, and have visited Sea World, Marineland, and Miami Sea-Aquarium, as well as the old Theater of the Sea out in the Florida Keys. I feel that there is a valuable lesson for people learned by seeing the animals up close and personal. IMAX films are great, but seeing a dolphin face to face really makes you understand the beauty of these animals. But people have their causes. I wanted to make it clear that I’m not an anti-Sea World guy, and I think they helped me and my five children learn a lot about life under the sea. But as far as this film is concerned, I really enjoyed it. very much. I liked the characters, I liked the care and concern they showed, and yes, this is based on a true story just like the first one. I think people who love real family films will like this, though I’m sure there’s a lot who won’t watch it, and that’s ok, too.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Automatik Entertainment, Low Spark Films,

Laurence Fishburne, Brenton Thwaites, Olivia Cooke, Beau Knapp, Sarah Clarke, Lin Shaye, Robert Longstreet

Nic (Brenton Thwaites) and two friends are off on a field trip, but being a bit nerdy, they had noticed a signal coming out of the desert in Nevada. Since it’s not far out of the way, they decide to go find out where it’s coming from. Suddenly everything goes dark, and when Nic wakes up they are in a mysterious facility with no idea where they are, or what’s happening to them. Someone is controlling them, but they have no idea what’s going on in this science-fiction thriller.

This is a very unusual film. It really starts out like a horror film, but there’s way more to the story than you know. Things keep changing and we find out there’s a lot more to the story than we first suspected. Then the ending twists everything on it’s side once again. It’s a rather a cerebral film, and as a result, it’s not to everyone’s taste. It’s slow, especially at first, but there’s a lot of things that happen here, and if you’re one of those people who like to figure out the mystery you’ll probably enjoy this movie. I didn’t expect a lot from this movie, but I did find it quite interesting. I enjoyed the twists and turns of the story and am glad I watched it. It was a bit of a pleasant surprise. If you’re a sci-fi fan, this is a really different one.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Porchlight Films, Lava Bear Films, Blue-Tongue Films,

Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson, Scoot McNairy, Anthony Hayes, Gillian Jones, David Field, Susan Prior, Nash Edgerton

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