Archive for February, 2016

20th Century, Anonymous Content, Appian Way, Monarchy Enterprises S.a.r.l.,

Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, Lukas Haas

Set in the 1820’s this is a story of some fur trappers guided by Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) who were attacked by the Indians who wanted to steal the pelts. Scouting ahead, Glass is attacked by a grizzly bear and when he is found, he is nearly dead and not expected to make it. Three men were left behind to take of Glass and bury him properly when he died, but they took off to collect the reward and left him for dead. But he didn’t die, and against all odds, sets out to find the man who left him behind.

This is an epic film, two and a half hours long and very moving. Nominated for Best Picture for 2016 it did not win it, but perhaps it should have. But it was good enough to get the best actor nod for Leo. He deserved that as well. This is a tale of extreme cold and misery with a little starvation thrown in, not to mention the horrible wounds his body suffered at this graphic attack by the bear. This was extremely well done, and today’s technology is a far cry from a guy in a bear suit. If you don’t totally believe Leo was mauled for real, I don’t believe you. The location is the 2nd biggest star of this film, and it was so realistic looking that it blew me away. This is definitely a BIG SCREEN movie so hurry to watch it before it goes away. Usually the Academy Awards lift will give it extra legs. Leo’s performance was unbelievable, and he really put his whole heart and soul into this movie. There were other really great performances as well including Tom Hardy as “Fitzpatrick” the real villain in the story, and Captain Andrew Henry (Domhall Gleeson) who add a great deal, but this is truly Leo’s movie. The effort that went into producing this blockbuster must have been epic as well. It’s quite long, but hardly long enough, and the action and adventure is over the top. This is definitely one of the best films in a number of years, and is one you really don’t want to miss. This is an exciting movie. Don’t miss it.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Parts and Labor, RT Features, Rooks Nest Entertainment, A24,

Anya Taylor Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Ellie Grainger, Lucas Dawson

A Puritan family is deeply religious living in the 1600’s in New England. The live on their farm alone and work hard to try to eke out a living in a harsh climate and location. But the children are forbidden to ever go into the woods, and the family seems afraid of what might be in there. But when one child is stolen, and another dies mysteriously after visiting the wood, there is something very evil going on here. This is an art film, and homage to classic horror films of old when it was all about what you don’t see that scares you.

This film is wildly split between the defenders and the haters. Most critics enjoyed the film, whereas Joe Cinema simply hated it. This is NOT another Paranormal Activity found footage film. This is a real work of art. That being said, there are many reasons you very well might want to avoid it like the plague. First, the dialog is done in Olde English and is very hard for the average English speaker to follow. You damn near need subtitles to follow it. This is one problem for a lot of people. Secondly, it’s slow evolving. We get to know the family members and their fears and quirks, but we don’t really know who is involved in what’s going on and who is not. Yes, there is definitely a demon working in this forest, but he’s certainly not what you’d expect. With a very creepy soundtrack and a great setting, it’s a beautiful film in that respect, but it doesn’t rely on the blood and guts and huge soundtrack noises to startle you. We study step by step what is going on here. Another problem is that though the last fifteen minutes or so of the film is very suspenseful, it’s one of those where you’re not given all the answers wrapped up with a pink ribbon and handed to you. You’re going to have to work to figure this out, and I promise you when you’re done, you still won’t have it all figured out. So this will ruin it for the standard theater goer who enjoys modern day horror with lots of clever kills. “How about we suck him into a giant vacuum cleaner?” It’s not at all like that, so be forewarned. With all that being said, I enjoyed watching this movie, and I found myself really trying hard to understand to dialog to get the gist of what they were saying. I must admit I was impressed how even the little children spoke in the Olde English very proficiently. How did they do that? But I didn’t love this film, and run to give it 5 stars, as I do feel it has it’s flaws, and I really would have appreciated a little bit more help with what it all means. There must be a lot more to the story of where this film came from, and I’d love to find a book, or some background on why it’s like it is. But it was solid enough for me to recommend it if you’re able to get by the common faults that perturb people. IF you want to give it try, it is a truly old style artistic horror film, and worth the price.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Varient, Busted Buggy Entertainment,

Emily VanCamp, Michael Nyqvist, David Call, Michael Cristofer, Talia Balsam, Ana Mulvoy Ten

Alice is a 26 year old woman who works for a publishing company. She’s struggling with writer’s block and is not really able to handle relationships and finds herself a loner. When she is given the assignment to assist with the publishing of a novel for a well known writer, Milan Daneker (Michael Nyqvist), she recognizes him as an adult who molested her 15 years earlier, using her life and experiences as the main character in his first novel. She obviously has not dealt with the issue, and it seems to be the root of all the conflict and problems in her life, so 15 years later she is about to confront him with what he has done and make him own up to it.

This is a very interesting drama with quite a unique look at this kind of situation where an adult in a parental type relationship misuses and abuses a young person for their own personal gain. The story is told as a dual story showing us the young Alice (played remarkably by Ana Mulvoy Ten) and the older, still messed up Alice of today in a series of flashbacks to help us understand the entire story. It is hard to watch, as you want to reach through the screen and strangle this low life poor excuse of a human being, but yet you can see how it happened. Striving for success as a writer while destroying a young person’s life is inexcusable, but we try to see how it happened. Though not graphic, but very jarring, the subject is handled very tastefully. One of the nicer things of the film is that we don’t get to see the future and how it all works out, so we’re left with the hope that Alice somehow will be able to put this all behind her and move on. This is written very well, and the primary characters are very well developed. Though it’s hard to watch, you’ll find it interesting in a forbidden sort of way like an auto accident, you won’t want to watch, but you can’t help yourself. I think they did a very good job on this film, and it was disconcerting to watch, but gave me a lot to think about. Very well done. It was a pleasant surprise to find this film.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Movie Rentals Releasing Tuesday February 16, 2016

  • The 33
  • Black Mass
  • Criminal Activities
  • Steve Jobs
  • Trumbo

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CBS Films, Groundswell Productions, Imagine Entertainment,

Alan Arkin, Marisa Tomei, June Squibb, Jake Lacy, Amanda Seyfried, Diane Keaton, Anthony Mackie, Olivia Wilde, Ed Helms, John Goodman

Love the Coopers (Shouldn’t this be Love, The Coopers?) is a Christmas Holiday film where, much like the Griswolds, the Cooper family brings four generations together for the holidays. Like all families, they have their problems and issues, but everyone is trying to make the holidays special. But a bunch of surprise visitors and unexpected events turns it all into turmoil until the family is able to right the ship and figure out how to get the ship back on keel to have a successful holiday.

Ok, I must admit (as if you didn’t know it) that I’m a sucker for Christmas films, even in February, but even so, I can see some issues with this movie. Still, the movie does have some flaws, but does that mean I did not like it? Hardly, as I really enjoyed watching it. One of the problems is too many family members to keep track of, and the characters don’t have enough time to develop more than a superficial way. Still since the cast is filled with fantastic actors all over the place, one of the high points too is to get to see them work things out. Diane Keaton and John Goodman are really good together, and I must say are two of the best around. Then aside from these two, star after star appears. The comedy is hit and miss. Some of it is really funny, and some of it is really touching, and that’s what you’re looking for in a Christmas film like this. It certainly would be more fun though to see it in November, and I’m not sure why it was released so early in the new year, except maybe with that title, it doesn’t look like a holiday film. I felt the actors did pretty good, and aside from their being a LOT going on which is hard to keep up with, the lack of time to develop each of the characters as much I would have liked, and the fact that this family is so inappropriate dropping all the family secrets to anyone who will listen, and finally, the unneeded narrator talking over everything, it did work. I really enjoyed it, and I liked it a lot. I know I make is sound terrible, and many critics didn’t like it, but since I did really enjoy it, I have to recommend it, and I do. It was quality work by top notch performers, and cleaning up the script a little would have made an awesome film.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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