Archive for August, 2019

Mythology Entertainment, Vinson Films,

Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Mark O’Brien, Henry Czerny, Andie MacDowell, Melanie Scrofano, Kristian Bruun, Nicky Guadagni, Elyse Levesque, John Ralston, Liam MacDonald, Ethan Tavares, Hanneke Talbot, Celine Tsai, Daniela Barbosa

Grace (Samara Weaving) is a young bride who finds out on her wedding day that her ultra rich in-laws have a custom that anyone who joins the family must play a game on their wedding night due to an ancient curse from generations ago. Anyone who doesn’t play the game will die and the rest of the family will die as well. Unfortunately Grace picks the “Hide and Seek” game which turns into a deadly hunt to find and destroy her before dawn. What follows is an intense and suspenseful blood bath, literally!

This brand new film is rather unique, although similar in style so some older familiar movies, but this one has a ton of comedy mixed in with the horror that makes it a unique and an enjoyable experience. Samara Weaving steals the show and is excellent in this role, and the rest of the cast is a collection of misfits that make it a very strange family, indeed. You would never realize that Samara is actually Australian since she plays an American perfectly. I found the suspense to be not quite as intense as I would have liked, but I did really enjoy the funny parts quite a bit. All in all, it was very captivating, and it was really hard to predict what would happen next. There are some really nice touches in the film, including the quirky “Hide and Seek Song” that is played a couple times in the film. All in all, this is a really quirky film that was really fun to watch, so I do recommend it. It reminds me of the movie “Clue” in many ways due to the fun to be had in watching people get wiped out. Additionally, this is one where you want to see it as soon as possible as there are some surprises in this film that you don’t want to be tipped off in advance for sure. Have a fun time and go see it while it’s still in theaters!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Big Beach Films, Depth of Field, Kindred Spirit,

Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, Diana Lin, Aoi Mizuhara, Shuzhen Zhao, Gil Perez-Abraham, Jim Liu, Han Chen, Diane Dehn, Ines Laimins, Yongbo Jiang, Hong Lu, X Mayo, Becca Khalil

This is a story of a young Chinese lady, Billi (Awkafina) who is struggling to survive in New York City on her own. Billi is close enough to her parents, but trying to survive on her own without their help. She is still close to her Grandmother in China, and keeps in touch with her as her dreams fall by the wayside one by one. When her Grandmother is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, the family uses the excuse of Billi’s cousin’s (who lives in Japan) snap wedding to make a trip home to China for one last visit to her Grandmother. Her parents don’t want Billi to go because of her hard times with the finances, but Billi goes anyway. The family has decided to lie to Grandmother and not tell her about the cancer. The journey brings a lot of pain and joy to the entire family as they all are together for this side celebration while trying to hide the sadness of the fact that this may be last time they ever see Grandmother again.

This film was really wonderfully done. It is a touching story that is very, very Chinese. This is really a Chinese story, and the culture and customs are really interesting for an American guy like me to see. Sometimes life is really different. This film was advertised as a Comedy, but one look at the trailer lets you know that this is going to be a very heart touching dramatic piece for sure. I was right. Although some of it is really funny at times, it still really tugs the heart strings a LOT. I remember the laughs and jokes we had at my own Dad’s funeral a year ago, while feeling the sorrow at losing a parent, but remembering as well the good times and fun we had. This is the same way, as the family is really happy to get together, and see each other, and it’s too bad it’s a such a sad occasion that brings them together. It was also interesting to note that this is a biographical story loosely based on Writer and Director Lulu Wang’s real life story of a visit to China to visit her Grandmother under similar conditions where they used a mostly fake wedding as an excuse to go home to visit her Grandmother who they determined not to tell about her cancer in a similar fashion. Also, it was very, very difficult to get this movie even made, as Lulu found American producers would not touch it because it was too Chinese with all Chinese characters, and a LOT of the dialog is in Chinese and subtitled, while Chinese producers would not make it either because it was too American. I think after the success of “Crazy Rich Asians” it was finally able to be made. (This is merely my opinion, and probably wrong as obviously this movie took a long time to come to fruition, but it is a good thought). At any rate, it was an extremely moving movie, and very much worth the cost of a movie ticket to see this excellent story. I really enjoyed this film, and I would highly recommend it, as likely it is one of those films that is hard to find and is a hidden gem that may be way off your radar. If you can get a chance to see this film, I can really highly recommend it. I want to also mention that this was a great vehicle for Awkwafina. This is really her movie, as it should be, and she and Grandmother really carry the movie without only a little help from the rest of the cast. Not that they were not good, as well, but Awkafina really knocked this one out of the park. She was really funny in “Crazy Rich Asians” and that led to a hosting role on “Saturday Night Live which she also nailed, but his is a very serious and very somber role which shows her amazing acting ability and she really nailed it. I suspected she was a really good actress, but this one really shows she is no shallow actress only capable of playing a silly fool character. The really gave 100% to this role and she was awesome. I hope she is give the recognition she certainly deserves from this movie, as it so well well written, directed, produced, and performed that I consider it a must see. Enjoy it. I really did!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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1212 Entertainment, CBS Films, Double Dare You (DDY),

Zoe Margaret Colletti, Michael Garza, Gabriel Rush, Dean Norris, Gil Bellows, Lorraine Toussaint, Austin Zajur, Natalie Ganzhorn, Austin Abrams, Kathleen Pollard

PLEASE NOTE: This link to Amazon is for a documentary about the book series “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” not the feature film that was just released. The series of books has been around for many years, but the movie is brand new and is not yet offered on Amazon”

The years is 1968 and Nixon is struggling with the Viet Nam War problem, but in this small Pennsylvania town, life is still pretty simple. The story revolves around a dead girl, child in a very rich and famous family who owned the factory that keeps the town alive, who has a deep dark secret. Four teens while exploring the deserted “haunted” mansion of the Bellows family discover a book, written by Sarah, which one of them takes home. Once the book is outside the house, all hell breaks loose and people are dying one after another in this suspenseful horror story.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark comes from an anthology of books, and follows the general format of things like Tales From the Crypt or Urban Legends, but the way it is put together is really very well done. This is an extremely scary film, using all kinds of methods to scare the daylights out of us. Yes, there are loud sounds that startle you, but there are also some really creepy stories with lots of scares that build from the intensity bit by bit. It’s just a well done story. Now, the down side of all this is that it really is designed for the teens, that’s for sure. They actors are young, and the story is about the angst of bullying and typical high school problems, so it’s really aimed for a young audience (hence the PG-13 rating). However, it was really well enough put together, that as a “senior” (citizen) I was also pulled into the horror elements of the story. It’s a dang good ghost story when you get right down to it. I did enjoy this movie, and though it is billed as a suspense thriller, which it is, it also is a darn good horror film as well and really satisfied the horror fan in me. I enjoyed this movie, and I recommend it if you’re a horror fan. I think it was well worth my patronage.

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Bona Film Group, Heyday Films, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE),

Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Emile Hirsch, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant, Julia Butters, Austin Butler, Dakota Fanning, Bruce Dern, Mike Moh, Luke Perry, Damian Lewis, Al Pacino

Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood is a fictional tale of life in the movie industry quite a few decades ago back in 1969 in the days of the Beach Boys and TV Westerns, filled with lots of period music and tons of nostalgia. It’s based on a fading ex-TV star, Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his boy Friday part time stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) and their adventures trying to stay relevant long after Rick’s TV career is long over and he’s trying to do small spots in other TV shows since his film career hasn’t taken off. Accidentally the two of them get mixed up with a group led by Charlie Manson and things spiral out of control as things go really haywire really quickly!

Quentin Tarantino obviously wrote this film (and it’s a long one, close to three hours in total) and directed it, because no one else could possibly have done it. It’s extremely funny. Folks have long awaited for Leo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt to work together, and they are in nearly every scene of this movie, since both have them have appeared in Tarantino films, but never together. These two are so absolutely hysterical together, they are the best duo since Martin and Lewis or Laurel and Hardy! They are so hysterical together and play off one another perfectly. It’s really genius. Now don’t expect a historical biography of the Manson Family either, as they are just a side story (although an extremely important part of the film) and this is much more of a “how it could have been” type of story, rather than “what really happened”. The ending will definitely blow you away! It’s certainly a total fairy tale, but yet so much of it is actual fact of the times, and many of the characters and locations are absolutely real. Living in LA for the last 35 years, it was really amazing to me to see the places we see every day look like we were right in the middle of 1969. I can see how Simi valley where the Spahn Ranch is located hasn’t changed much, but making Hollywood appear like it was 1969 was also pure genius and very well done. I really enjoyed every second of this movie and really felt is was too short. I never wanted this to end. Now be aware that this is a Quentin Tarantino film, so it’s going to have EXTREME violent scenes and very bad language, so this is not a kids film by any means, but if you can handle the likes of Pulp Fiction or Kill Bill I and II, you’re going to love this film. I have to say I enjoyed this film more than any movie I’ve seen in the last 20 years, truthfully. I found this so darn funny, yet very nostalgic and extremely exciting. I am sure this movie will not appeal to everyone, but it was a perfect movie for me, and I can’t wait to see it again. Excellent acting by so many wonderful actors, but certainly DiCaprio and Pitt were amazing. If you can handle the violent scenes (which are extremely funny at the same time) then be sure to go see this movie as I can’t say enough about how much I really loved it. Best movie of the year in my opinion. I am so tired of super heroes and scary dolls, that this was simply refreshing to watch!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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