Archive for October, 2015

Warner Bros., RatPac-Dune Entertainment, Berlanti Productions,

Levi Miller, Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara, Amanda Seyfried, Cara Delevingne

Peter (Levi Miller) is whisked away to Neverland where he teams up with hero Captain Hook (Garrett Hedlund) to fight the evil pirate Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman). This is the prequel to Peter Pan showing how Peter became the boy who never grew up, tells the early story of when Peter and Hook were still friends.

This is a film that is very beautiful. The look of this film is stunning. The sets and locations are splendid. The story, on the other hand, is somewhat flawed. There are great battles and awesome battle scenes. The action is really great. But Hook, the great Nemesis of Peter Pan is so un-Hook-like that it’s really hard to accept that he’s the same guy. They allude to the fact that later on Pan and Hook will be enemies, yet we never get any inkling of how that could happen. Basically, this could have been a blockbuster film, but I feel it missed on so many, many levels. It was certainly worth watching, but it really disappointed me in many ways. When I saw the movie “Hook” many years ago, I was completely blown away. Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman were so wonderful in that film. But the story was extremely well done and perfectly crafted. This one, on the other hand was a nice try, but just missed the mark.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Movie Rentals Releasing Tuesday October 27, 2015


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Worldview Entertainment, Dragonfly Pictures, Fastnet Films,

Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes, Hugo Weaving, Lisa Flanagan, Meyne Wyatt, Maddison Brown, Nicholas Hamilton

The Parkers, Catherine (Nicole Kidman) and Matthew (Joseph Fiennes), and their two kids have relocated to another very small town in Australia in the bush. There was some trouble in their last town and they’re trying to work through it. But daughter Lily (Maddison Brown) is highly sexualized for her young age, and both parents are having trouble controlling her. The parents also sleep in different rooms and have a very icy cold relationship. To say this family is dysfunctional is an understatement. But when both children disappear, the parents go into a panic to find them, or at least to find some answers.

This is a pretty dark character study type drama with few answers but lots of heart. Don’t look for heroes here as there aren’t any, they are only flawed people. There are many critics of this film which made me wonder, but as I looked at what others said, I recognized that they are criticizing what happens in the story and not how the movie is made. The movie is open ended, and the last half hour is a real trip, but it’s well crafted in that sense. You won’t have all the answers handed to you all nicely wrapped up and tied with a bow. There is a lot to think about, and many conclusions to come to on your own. It is quite interesting to see how many folks take one side or the other based mostly upon gender. Is the husband to blame? Is it the wife? Is it the daughter? Is it all of them? Come to your own decision, but rest assured it will be different than everyone else. As to the movie, it’s slow paced which helps to build the suspense. The scenes in the Australia are bleak and desolate, and as such very moving. What a hard life in a town like this. The character development is slow and steady. Nicole Kidman really does a fabulous job playing the crazed Mom of the family. Joseph Fiennes is purposely underplayed, so I feel he did alright. This is a harsh look at a hard life in the Australian Outback. This is certainly a dark film and difficult to watch, but I am not one of the haters. Regardless of the mistakes and actions this family has taken and the harsh consequences, it was worth watching. I enjoyed it. Not a great film, and it has it’s holes and flaws, but still an interesting film to watch.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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DisneyNature, The Walt Disney Company,

Tina Fey (Narrator)

Disney has now established a tradition of bringing us a new nature feature on Earth Day every year. This is the new one for this year, Monkey Kingdom. This follows a group of monkeys through a season, losing their home to a meaner tribe and attempting to win it back along with all their other trials and tribulations. Tina Fey is the narrator telling us the story of the action in this exciting nature film.

Walt Disney was one of the cleverest movie producers of his time. He was the first to recognize the power of Television and rushed to create content (and cut and reuse existing content) to fill up a Sunday evening time slot for the newly formed ABC network that was hurting for content. Walt’s biggest dream was Disneyland, and the Disneyland show was born advertising Walt’s new destination, helping ABC, and making Disney very popular in the process and raising funds to pay for the new park. One of the lands was “Adventureland” and Walt and the crew came up with the idea of creating stories of a wild animal of some sort and giving it human qualities and emotions and making it a “good show”. Films like “Charlie the Lonesome Cougar” came about and brought down some harsh criticism for making up a story about a wild animal and dissing Mother Nature in the process, so Walt set out some of his best photographers and the brought us the “Tru Life Adventures” that were actually very well done and tried to show nature in its natural glory without humanizing the animals. Now I am not naive enough to believe that these photographers did not stage some of these scenes to make a better story, but for the most part they did film hours and hours of footage to put together a one hour program. DisneyNature was to be the natural followup to these films. With the success of some of the IMAX films and the Penguin stories that we all came to know and love, it seemed like a good marriage for Disney. With better technology for not only getting the shots, but also displaying the stunning scenery on the huge screens in today’s theaters, it seems like a spectacular grand idea for the always “green” Disney Company to bring out on Earth Day, and it was pretty well received for the big splash in the first year or so. Lately it seems it’s been languishing in obscurity, and I’m not sure they’re faring well in the box office. I think this whole bit is about this one point. I think they are missing the point and bringing back the old Human animals idea which is sort of, in my humble opinion, against the very essence of what DisneyNature was supposed to be. This is a classic example of how far it has slipped back into the fiction category. Don’t get me wrong, this film is very, very beautiful and the photography is spectacular and well worth the 4 stars I am giving this film. My problem though is with the narration. They have really gone off the deep end with explaining in the “storytelling” what the monkeys are thinking, how they are feeling, emotions they may or may not be showing and the plans and war strategies that they are contemplating. I look at my dogs, and I want to say “Oh look how bored he is, or look how sad he is, or look how he wants us to forgive him. I WANT to think my dog has a whole strategy in his head, but he probably doesn’t think like a human. When I think he is showing remorse or guilt, perhaps he is just aware that I’m not in a good mood and somehow he’s involved in my mood and the likelihood of me giving him a nice treat is very slim, so he’s trying to do what has worked before in changing my mood so he can get something to eat. Maybe he can’t even reason to that level but is just doing what dogs do. I really think a group of monkeys do have a way of life that works for them, and I do think the make choices to some degree, but I don’t think the plan strategy for all this stuff. They proceed to have Tina Fey tell us how the royal born monkeys get the best seats and due to their lack of experience in the streets, they have no experiences dealing with the dangers like the street monkeys do. There are a host of examples all the way through where the monkeys have cute names and human-like personalities, and I think this detracts from the beauty and hard work of the cinematographers to bring such stunning images to the screen. You might want to consider turning down the sound and watching the movie in silence. Still, it’s a must see story for the images if not the hokey narration.

P.S. This review has to have had the highest number of spelling corrections of any I’ve done so far. It seems I cannot spell monkeys without spelling it Monkees. I guess I am a child of the 60’s after all.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Movie Rentals Releasing Tuesday October 20, 2015

  • The Exorcism of Molly Hartley
  • Going Clear:Scientology and the Prison of Belief
  • Jurrasic World [Click Here for Ed’s Review]
  • Paper Towns
  • Testament of Youth
  • The Vatican Tapes
  • The Wolfpack
  • Z for Zachariah

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