Archive for April, 2017

Paramount Pictures, Skydance Media, Huahua Media,

Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Danika Yarosh, Austin Hébert, Patrick Heusinger, Aldis Hodge, Holt McCallany, Robert Knepper, Robert Catrini

“Jack Reacher” (Tom Cruise) in 2012 present Tom Cruise as an ex military police, lone vigilante type real badasss. [Click Here for Ed’s Review] Jack is back, this time under suspicion for murder, and watching people near him getting taken out at a speedy pace in this sequel to the 2012 film. Turner (Cobie Smulders) is in the office and is his primary contact, but when he arrives to see her in person he finds that she has been arrested for espionage, and those who are out to get him are after her too. It turns out it could be a huge conspiracy involving high up military personnel as well as a primary private contractor involved in a massive corrupt scheme. But Jack isn’t ready for another surprise as he finds out that he’s also wanted as a deadbeat Dad, since a woman filed a claim against him for a daughter he never knew anything about. She’s 15 now, and a true street rat named Samantha (Danika Yarosh) who is suddenly mixed up with Reacher and Turner as all three of them are on the run and trying to stay alive in this ultimately violent and extremely intense action film.

So it’s not surprising to anyone when I say that I’ve not been a Tom Cruise fan for many years, especially after the Mission Impossible disasters which I absolutely loathed. But I have to admit that he does a really good job with his Reacher character. It’s been a long time since we’ve had someone as rough and tough as this guy. He reminds me a lot of Charles Bronson in his heyday, and there is a feel a lot like the Death Wish films from the 70’s. The prime difference here is that Bronson was a private citizen who is wronged and heads out to exact revenge. But Reacher is an inside guy with his military background who has become discouraged with the corruption and heads out on his own against the system, but still with a strong feeling of right and wrong. Much like the Bourne films too, but Reacher is maybe not as smart as Bourne, but he’s certainly tougher than anyone I’ve seen in a long time. I actually really liked the original Jack Reacher, and I liked this one just as much. It’s every bit as exciting, and the addition of Cobie Smulders and Danika Yarosh really help, as both of them are really good here as well. I think Cobie was pretty good in this tough guy role, but Yarosh really blew me away with her acting skills. She really did an excellent job. All in all this is a very action filled crash fest with lots of fist fights, gun fights, and car chases, with some of the best cat and mouse scenes I’ve seen in a long time. If you like action, this is a really good film. I recommend this one for fans of the action genre. It’s a great sequel to a good original film.

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Apaches Entertainment, La Trini, A Monster Calls,

Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Lewis MacDougall, Liam Neeson, Toby Kebbell

Conor (Lewis MacDougall) is a young boy struggling with life in the private school where he is being bullied by some of his classmates. A horrible tragedy has struck, and Conor’s Mum (Felicity Jones) and his Dad (Toby Kebbell) have separated and Dad lives in the U.S. Conor is staying with his Grandmother (Sigourney Weaver) who is very strict and quite cross. To keep his sanity, Conor has a tree monster friend (Liam Neeson) who has promised to tell him three stories, then Conor must tell the fourth to solve his problem and relieve his pain. In the end, Conor must face the truth of his situation.

This was a very surprising film. It looked like a typical kids fantasy story, but is much, much more. This is a very difficult story to tell and to make it interesting enough for adults, yet not too extreme for younger folks. This is not a fantasy science fiction-y fairy tale, but a true life story of love, loss, death, and pain, told in a gentle way. The power of this story is impressive, and the director J.A. Bayona did an amazing job of bringing this story to the screen. Lewis MacDougall was absolutely amazing as Conor. He deserves a lot of praise for the professional way he played his role. Sigourney Weaver, of course, was fantastic too. In fact, the entire cast was really awesome. This is such a touching story, and one that was so very well presented, that I was really moved. The Monster in this film, is mostly real as well, with many different pieces of the tree built as practical set pieces that could be used for filming. Kudos for not resorting to CGI for most of it. Excellent choice. I have to recommend this film, a great fantasy, with such a powerful story that you’ll never forget it. This is a must see film.

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Movie Rentals Releasing Tuesday April 25, 2017


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Studio Ghibli,

Nobuo Tobita, Toshihiko Seki, Yoko Sakamoto, Yuri Amano, Kae Araki, Jun’ichi Kanemaru, Ai Satô, Aya Hisakawa, Tomokazu Seki, Hikaru Midorikawa

Taku (Nobuo Tobita) is a young first year college student who returns back home to the seaside town of Kochi a little town on an island in Japan. When he arrives home for his high school reunion, he is reminiscing of his Junior year in high school and the young beautiful city girl Rikako Muto (Yoko Sakamoto) who transferred to Tokyo to his school. Stuck by her immediately, both are young and inexperienced in life, and have to go through many trials and tribulations, fights and disagreements, but when she doesn’t return to the reunion, Taku finally learns the truth and sets off for the city to find her again.

This is one of the most stunning films from Studio Ghibli which brought us 2001’s Spirited Away, 2003’s academy award winner for Best Animated film, and 2010’s The Secret World of Arrietty [CLick Here for Ed’s Review], this is an older film (1993) but every bit as good or better than the previous ones (and more) from Studio Gibli. This one has received a great makeover and is now available on DVD in the Unites States, and it’s not dated or old in the least. In fact, it’s one of the greatest coming of age stories of a young couple who don’t know they’re in love than any live action film I have seen that tries to touch the subject. Everything is simply spectacular. The story is very touching and the word that comes to mind is subtle, as it’s never pushy or in your face, but very tactfully told. The animation is completely stunning, and many of the scenes, especially in the city, you will forget that you’re watching animation. It’s animation is simply amazing. The movie is in Japanese, with English subtitles, but I think that was an excellent choice as the background music and score of this movie is as good as any Hollywood has done. If you are a lover of animation, this is simply a must see film, and is very, very worthy of the 4.5 stars I have given to it. The only problem is that you will have to focus and read the subtitles to get the touching story, but it’s well worth it as you need to pay attention to the detail and beauty of the animation. This is a love story as good as any, and well worth the extra effort to really pay attention to what you are seeing. I highly recommend this movie.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Transfilm, Archery Pictures, Canal+ Distribution,

Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Alison Pill, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jake Lacy, John Lithgow, Sam Waterston

Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain) is a Washington D.C. power lobbyist who is the best in the business. Everyone wants to work with her, but this time she’s taking on a gun control bill and is facing an uphill battle which may turn out to be the biggest in her career. She’s set on winning at any price, but the price may be too high as she may destroy herself along with lots of good friends along the way in this look at the lobbying profession and the special interests and corruption at the highest levels of government.

This movie brings out all kinds of opinions from the folks that see it. That’s one of the good things about it. This is about lobbying and political blackmail, and though it’s revolving around a particular gun control bill, it’s not about gun control, really. With stunning dramatic scenes and courtroom scenes as the attempt to bring Elizabeth down once and for all, it makes for a very exiting film right out of the pages of the newspapers. From the sly back deals that cost us millions as the Democrats bought votes for ObamaCare, to the corruption in California where Governor Jerry Brown just did completely illegal on the side pork barrel deals worth a billion dollars or more to get enough votes to increase gasoline taxes by nearly a half a buck a gallon and a new car registration fee of about 50 bucks a year on every car registration to help raise money to pay the government pension deals that we are being sunk by. In California it’s completely illegal to offer bribes or funding to influence the vote of a legislator, yet it was very publicly done. The final vote waas acquired by convincing a Republican legislator who is being termed out a deal to protect the business he is going back to getting him to break ranks and vote for this devastating bill that cannot be overturned by a referendum. That’s the kind of thing this movie is about, and it’s a good look at the bribery, blackmail, and much worse that goes on in the lobby business every day. For that reason, I found it an interesting film, but even without that, there is very good dramatic and suspenseful story going on as well, even if you are not interesting in the lobbying stuff. Especially the courtroom scene that comes in the last part of the story is very well done. This is a role that was built for Jessica Chastain, and with a whole crew of backup actors who also perform very smartly, this is a very well told story and probably worth watching. It’s quite a change of pace from the usual stuff, and interesting to watch.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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