Archive for May, 2015

Working Title Films,

Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Charlie Cox, Emily Watson, Simon McBurney, David Thewlis, Maxine Peake, Harry Lloyd, Christian McKay

Stephen Hawkin (Eddie Redmayne) is well known as one of the worlds most brilliant scientists and theoreticians. This is his story, from his time as a youth attending school, through his diagnosis of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), and through many of the accolades and awards and discoveries he has made. This is a docu-drama, and basically a one man show about the life and times of Stephen Hawking so far, and the trials and tribulations he has had to face from this awful disease.

I was riding with my wife the other day and while we were waiting at a red light, a car turned left in front of us. The window was open, and I said to my wife, “I hate that guy!” She was surprised and asked if I knew him. My response was not at all, but I can just tell by looking at him that he’s a pompous ass. Was it was how he carried himself? Was it the way he was dressed? Was it the look on his face? Or did he remind me of someone else I don’t like. I don’t think so, but I could just tell. She thought it was funny and said if I got to know the guy, we might be best friends. Have you ever had that experience where you dislike someone instantly without knowing anything about them at all? It’s a weird thing. Now, I have to say that this is the way I felt about Eddie Redmayne. I don’t know him, I haven’t seen him in person, but when he showed up in Les Miserables, I took an instant disliking to him without even knowing him. When I saw him at the Oscars and making the rounds of the talk shows and other awards shows I felt even more instant dislike for the poor guy. I’m sorry Eddie, but I can’t help it. That overwhelming feeling actually affects my feeling about this film. I have nothing against Stephen Hawking personally. I am not completely in awe of him. I realize he’s a genius and probably much smarter than I’ll ever be, but I also realize he could be quite wrong on a lot of his opinions. He’s probably not, but he could be. When I was 19, they convinced me that Paul McCartney was dead. I was totally convinced because there was a LOT of evidence. I felt that, at least, if he wasn’t, that the Beatles went through a lot of trouble to convince us that he was. As you grow older you realize that prognosticating after the fact is fairly easy to prove anything, and people want to make sense out of the randomness of this world, and if you tie a bunch of theories together, you can pretty much convince yourself that you’re right. Sometimes you are, and the more evidence the better, but sometimes you’re just blowing smoke. I am not saying Stephen Hawking is just blowing smoke, but he could be wrong. But there is no doubt that his life has been extremely challenging and his story is quite astonishing. The facts of his life experiences make a good story. So why did I just not like this one so much? I can’t really put my finger on it, I just was not blown away by this story. I feel like they missed the mark. My instinctual dislike for poor Eddie aside, I felt a little like the whole thing was a bit pompous and sort of stuck up. The feeling I got through the whole thing was like someone was trying to tell me they’re better than me, smarter than me, and superior to me, and if I didn’t accept that I was just stupid. This is probably all in my own mind, but I couldn’t get past it. I wasn’t comfortable through the whole film. I know it got a lot of praise and a lot of awards, but for me, I just didn’t feel like I enjoyed it very much. I have to give it three stars because in my mind I realize it’s not a bad film, and I did go to wikipedia after the film and read up on the real Stephen Hawking and to find out how much of the story was true. It turns out that they did a pretty decent job on telling the true story. But I would not be interested in watching it again.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate this movie:
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Author: EdG

There are currently No Comments on this post.

Movie Rentals Releasing Tuesday May 26, 2015

  • Ballet 422
  • Cut Bank
  • Da Sweet Blood of Jesus
  • Hope Bridge
  • Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles
  • The Loft
  • Nightlight
  • See You in Valhalla
  • Seventh Son
  • Sons of Liberty

Author: EdG

There are currently No Comments on this post.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Ghost House Pictures, Vertigo Entertainment,

Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jared Harris, Jane Adams, Saxon Sharbino, Kyle Catlett, Kennedi Clements

The Bowen Family has moved into a new home. Times are rough for them as Eric (Sam Rockwell) has been laid off and his wife Amy (Rosemarie DeWitt) is a writer who hasn’t written anything new recently. They have three children. Very soon strange things start happening in this haunted house, and the youngest daughter is carried away into another dimension. Things get worse, so they call in a paranormal investigator from TV along with a professional psychic to help get their daughter back and find a way to get out of the house. This is a reboot (remake) of the original 1984 Stephen Speilberg classic film of the same name.

When people try to remake a movie, there are really two paths that they try to take. Either it’s a true to the original scene for scene remake or it’s a completely different take on the story that is sometimes not even a resemblance of the original. This one is somewhere in the middle. Certainly the names have been changed and the story is a lot different in a few ways, but not so different that you don’t know exactly what’s coming. Things like the girl hearing voices in the TV and the rope from the closet that ends up in the middle of the ceiling downstairs are exactly the same. The child eating tree is here as is a lot of other things. The house is even similar looking. I tried really hard to find out if there was a relationship to the first film, and other than a dinner party where someone mentions a relative of his lived in that neighborhood that was built over an abandoned cemetery. But it’s never really clear if there is anything to that or not. That was odd the way they handled that scene as it didn’t give you any conclusion to come to. So how does this compare to the original. Well, in my opinion it’s not even close. Certainly the actors in the first were much more compelling. This one is a bit like cardboard cutouts of the original. The other thing is that it’s certainly been updated to modern technologies, so we’re dealing with a flat screen TV this time, along with iPads and laptops and smart phones. The cast is not nearly as likeable as the first. It’s as if they’re trying to make us dislike them right from the start. It’s hard to feel sorry for them when all but the youngest are really unlikable. Stephen Speilberg, in an interview, once explained that the movie ET was his dream about alien life and promise for a better future, and Poltergeist was his nightmare. Nightmare it is. The new technology special effects are really eye popping, and the 3-D does add a little to the enjoyment, although it’s not really that well done. I got the feeling that I was a looking into a little box that was the screen and everything in the box was in 3-D, but nothing came out towards us or outside the 3rd wall which was the surface of the screen. It was kind of weird that way. Also, there are some scary moments that scare the heck out of you. It’s pretty creepy. But when you remember the 1984 original, this will still pale in comparison to the original chills. Poltergeist 1984 was one of the scariest horror films of that time. This one is not nearly as memorable as that first one which nailed the paranormal in a way that every film since then has drawn upon. But I think there is a good audience for this film, and a lot of reasons to watch it. First, of course, there are millions of teenagers who have never seen the original and who do not share the experience of the first time we saw that. These are the ticket buyers for this kind of film, and it will be fresh and new to them, and the updated technology will make more sense to them that the 1980’s time frame. Secondly, those of us who do recall the original fondly, will be apt to want to see this just to compare and reflect on the terrible nightmares the first one gave us back then. That’s all good, and worth the effort. This is a short film, only 90 minutes, and so it feels a bit rushed, but that’s OK. The thing to be aware of though is that once you watch this, you’ll be strongly driven to look back to the first one again, as though this film is good enough, it’s not as satisfying as the original film was.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate this movie:
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Author: EdG

There are currently No Comments on this post.

Walt Disney Pictures, A113, Babieka,

George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, Britt Robertson, Raffey Cassidy, Tim McGraw, Kathryn Hahn, Keegan-Michael Key

Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) is a dreamer, an optimist. Frank Walker (George Clooney), on the other hand, is a pessimist. He once was a dreamer, but lost his way. The story of Tomorrowland, a Utopian city which may be the last best hope for Earth in the future, begins when Frank was a little boy. He was a child inventor, though not too successful, but he made his way to the New York Worlds Fair in 1964 to try to win. He was given a special pin that allowed him to go to Tomorrowland having been recruited by a little girl, Athena (Raffey Cassidy). Jump to today, and Casey, who’s father Eddie (Tim McGraw) worked for NASA, and she has not given up hope. She keeps reaching for the stars and surprisingly finds one of these little pins too. Together Casey, Frank, and Athena are going to try to go back to Tomorrowland and meet with Nix (Hugh Laurie) to try to repair the damage that has been done.

This was a hell of a little Science Fiction thriller from the folks at Disney with the help of Lucasfilm special effects. It’s stunning in beauty, and very, very fresh in presentation. I saw it in Imax and was blown away by the effects, and simply the beauty of the whole thing. There are many ties back to Disneyland/Walt Disney World and the New York Worlds Fair which provided Walt with some of the most beloved attractions of the parks. From the music to the scenery, even to Athena’s look and dress (She’s Wendy from Peter Pan, I swear), it’s like a trip down memory lane with a stopover in the future we all dreamed about back in the 50’s and 60’s. The story is exciting, and thrilling, and very suspenseful, and they don’t give too much away, so you get to figure it out step by step. Yes, there’s some similarities to other future world movies, but those are mostly homage rather than copying, and truthfully this is certainly one of those films that you never want to end, and you’re sad when the trailers come up. The only thing that would stop this movie from being perfect is, like Wall-E, about an hour and half or so into it they have to go off on their anti-human, anti-American global warming crap and get all preachy and stuff, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying the story. It doesn’t last long, and the preachy guy gets shut-up pretty fast, to the delight of most of the audience. I’m not sure why Disney has to get all Nazi environmentalist on us. Walt used to love and present nature in an educational way teaching us to appreciate the world without getting all “the world is going to end in 10 years if we don’t stop driving cars and producing goods” on us. I don’t want to dwell on that as I’ve gotten up on my soapbox many times about my feelings on Global Warming, so I’m not going to do it again. But that truly is the only negative I could give this film. Even George Clooney does a really decent job as the grown up Frank, which impressed me. He’s carried some heavy duty roles, but this was a stretch for him, and he did it well. Britt Robertson was really good as the dreamer who would never give up, and she was an excellent casting choice, but the absolute star of this film by far is Raffey Cassidy. She absolutely NAILED this role, and was practically perfect in every way! She did such a good job, I have to give her tons of credit. This film is not one to miss, and I must say it was one of the most enjoyable afternoons I’ve spent in a long, long time. Disney did this one really well, and I have to give them the credit for producing a wonderful film. Make sure you see this on the BIG SCREEN while you can. I highly recommend plopping down the money to see this one in the theater.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate this movie:
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Author: EdG

There are currently No Comments on this post.

Cinelou Films, Echo Films, We’re Not Brothers Productions,

Daniel Barnz, Jennifer Aniston, Adriana Barraza, Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington, Chris Messina, Mamie Gummer, Lucy Punch, Britt Robertson, Paula Cale, Ashley Crow, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Camille Guaty, Allen Maldonado, Camille Mana, Julio Oscar Mechoso

Claire Bennett(Jennifer Anniston) is in major chronic pain. She still manages to keep her sarcastic sense of humor, but her life is very lonely filled with narcotics and vodka. She belongs to a support group with others who are experiencing pain, but when one of the members commits suicide, Nina (Anna Kendrick), Claire sets out to investigate everything she can find about this girl.

You won’t know what happened to Claire, and try not to find out before you watch this movie. This is a dark tale of a great deal of pain and suffering, but there are many bright points. One is Silvana (Adriana Barraza) Claire’s housekeeper who is the one who cares for Claire the most. It’s hard to find out the cause of Claire’s situation, especially because she is always in a haze from the booze and drugs, but piece by piece we get clues of what happened. The very last second of the film is very poignant. Why is it called cake? Well, you’ll have to wait 1 hour and 15 minutes into the film to learn that piece of information. This is definitely the best performance I have ever seen from Jennifer Aniston. This is definitely a dramatic role, there is very little fun in it at all, but but she carries the story like a champ. There are also some other very good performances. There is a great deal to think about, and this is a very thought provoking character study. There is a very small but poignant scene with William H Macy as well that is very, very touching. Sam Worthington as Roy, Nena’s husband is also very well done. Jennifer’s character is so very lonely, but it’s discouraging how she chases everyone away that even tries to show her some compassion. This is an excellent film, and one that is very worthwhile. I highly recommend it as one of the best dramas I have seen in a long, long time. There is a lot of criticism of the movie, mostly from folks like don’t like the non-resolution of all the problems and issues. Some things that could take much more development in a mini-series are left out. But to me, I think that shows the brilliance of the writer and director. These kinds of problems don’t come to a conclusion in 90 minutes. These kinds of problems take decades to work through. But I think we are told plenty to give us lots to think about, and to decide where we think Claire is headed. I think it’s about right, the way it’s handled. And if you figure out the reason why every A in the titles is laying down sideways, feel free to let me know. I have an idea, but I’m not sure if I’m right.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate this movie:
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Author: EdG

There are currently No Comments on this post.