Archive for 3 Star Rating

Monkeypaw Productions,

Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Cali Sheldon, Noelle Sheldon, Anna Diop, Kara Hayward, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Nathan Harrington, David M Sandoval Jr., Madison Curry, Duke Nicholson

The Wilson Family is on vacation up in Santa Cruz, Ca near the seashore. They need a break, and some time to unwind. But after a visit to the famous boardwalk, when they return to the cabin, four strangers are standing in their driveway. As they investigate further, they determine that the four characters look like each of the family members, and as time passes, they definitely intend harm to the Wilsons, their neighbors, and lots of other people. It’s going to be a long night.

I wanted to see this movie opening weekend. I’m glad I did, as I’m starting to see a lot of whines and complaints about this movie, most of which are not really justified. This is a really creepy story with lots of violent actions, and a great deal of suspense. However, it’s not you usual horror film with no real story, just lots of loud noises and sudden jumps. This is a deeply dark and suspenseful story that is quite complex with a lot to think about and figure out. So those who just want another straight forward horror fest are going to be disappointed. You need to be aware that the story is a lot more complex than it appears on the surface, and be prepared to invest some brain cycles to figure it all out. Secondly, this is the second film from Producer/Director Jordan Peele. This makes it normal that people would want to put the two films (The other one is Get Out) side by side and compare them This is a big mistake because these films are not at all alike. Now on the other hand, there are some problems with this movie. It might be because it’s only Jordon’s second film, or it could be simply some bad advise. It’s also hard to discuss this all without giving away too much, but speaking generically, they took great pains to try to explain how this all happened. Unfortunately, it’s not a very good explanation, and leaves us with some really strange plot problems. It seems like the tried to throw in a twist in the end, as it seems proper to do, but it doesn’t work at all with the entire rest of the movie, and was very ill advised. Sometimes we are better off not knowing the cause for the crisis, and it is better to leave a lot more up to the viewer to determine what it all means. Still, I did enjoy this film (although my companions in theater did not) and I think it was worth the trip to see it. I do like stories with thoughtful questions and deeper meanings, and every horror film does not need to be a shallow slasher with no plot. I just wish they had done a little more work on the script to fix some of the problems in the story. This film would have been a lot better with a little more thought into the plot holes and how to plug them up.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Ilion Animation Studios, Midnight Radio, Nickelodeon Movies,

Sofia Mali, Jennifer Garner, Ken Hudson Campbell, Kenan Thompson, Mila Kunis, John Oliver, Ken Jeong, Norbert Leo Butz, Matthew Broderick, Brianna Denski, Oev Michael Urbas, Kate McGregor-Stewart, Kevin Chamberlin, Kath Soucie, Noen Perez

June (Sofie Mali, Briana Denski) is a young girl with a vivid imagination. With her Mom (Jennifer Garner) she uses her toys to design and build an imaginary amusement park called Wonderland. But things change as Mom becomes sick and Wonderland gets put away. On a trip to summer camp, June runs away to go back home, but on the way she finds that Wonderland is real, and that since she left it behind, it has fallen into decay and is in bad shape, but with the help of her toy friends, she may be the one who can put it back together again and save the park.

I have been looking forward to this film since I first saw the preview, and thought that I had to see this one. I was disappointed though and I feel quite a bit let down. The colors and the design of this animated film are really good, and the music and soundtrack are well done, but the story lacks any oomph to make it interesting, and I found it just didn’t move me. This is more like a Saturday morning cartoon than a feature movie, and it should have had a lot more work done on the actual story itself which is where the movie fell short. I definitely think it is worth seeing, but as to paying the cash to see this in the theater, maybe there are better things to see than this one. This is a definite rental somewhere down the road, but I sure wish there had been a better story to tell than it provided, so I can’t really recommend running out to see this. Nickelodeon has disappointed me in the past, and I think perhaps they don’t have the depth to make a really good feature film. They just often don’t compare to the big guys. It’s a shame as this looked like a really great opportunity. I am sad.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Mas Films, Paradox Films, StudioCanal,

Liam Neeson, Micheal Richarson, Tom Bateman, Tom Jackson, Emmy Rossum, Domenick Lombardozzi, Julia Jones, John Doman, Laura Dern, William Forsythe, Aleks Paunovic, Ben Hollingsworth, Nathaniel Arcand, Glen Gould, Bradley Stryker, Elizabeth Thai

Nels (Liam Neeson) is a simple hardworking snow plow driver who keeps the road open to a popular resort destination in Colorado. Its a small town, but has really gotten very popular after a fancy ski resort opened. When his son, Kyle (Micheal Richarson) turns up dead from a heroin overdose, Nels doesn’t believe it was an accident. He starts to investigate on his own, and finds a connection so some very shady drug racketeers from Denver he stars seeking vengeance on them This leads to one final showdown that is really something to see!

This is a typical Liam Neeson movie of revenge hunting to the max. This is a bit darker than most of the others, but has a lot of similarities. The best part of the film is the beautiful scenery in the Rockies in the wintertime. It is truly breathtaking. The suspense is really intense, and it’s easy to follow. It took a while to get everything straight as the beginning jumped around a bit and made it kind of hard for me to follow for a while, but after I got every straightened out in my head, it was really easy to follow. Laura Dern is a great actress and was kind of wasted in this movie, and I’m not sure why. She didn’t have much to do, and her character was very superficial. I wish she had been given more to do. In some respects it is a bit over simplified. It is extremely violent, though, with lots of blood and guys all the way through, so it earns it’s R rating for the extreme violence, but it is a very exciting roller coaster of a movie. It was very intense, and well worth the time.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Marvel Studios

Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael PeƱa, Walton Goggins, Hannah John-Kamen, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Douglas, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, T.I., David Dastmalchian, Abby Ryder Fortson, Randall Park

Ant-Man, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is a dad most of all. His efforts have been focused on trying to take care of the family duties, but a major critical mission comes up and pulls him back into the superhero business. Along with the Wasp, Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lily), and Dr. Pym (Michael Douglas) he heads off into the adventure once again to rescue Dr. Pym’s wife who’s trapped in another dimension all the while being chased by the Feds and the bad guys who want the technology Dr. Pym has invented.

The original Ant-Man was a very humorous movie, and this sequel has a lot of the lunacy and downright laugh-out-loud moments like the first one did. Paul Rudd is actually really good in this role. As I’ve said thousands of times, I’ve never been a big fan of superhero movies, but every now and then a really good one captures my attention and takes me along with the ride. This one did. I actually enjoyed this one. The cast is superb and the humor was spot on, so this was a pleasure to watch. I really had a good time, and I can recommend this movie.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Walt Disney Animation Studios, Walt Disney Pictures,

John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Alan Tudyk, Ed O’Neill, Taraji P. Henson, Susan Lucci, Jason Lee, Idina Menzel, Anika Noni Rose, Judy Reyes, Grant Show, Ana Ortiz, Ming-Na Wen, Rebecca Wisocky, Paige O’Hara, Linda Larkin, Mariana Klaveno, Daria Ramirez, Tom Irwin, Edy Ganem, Irene Bedard, Jodi Benson, Anthony Daniels, Gal Gadot, Kristen Bell, Mandy Moore, Kelly Macdonald, Auli’i Cravalho

Ralph (John C Reilly) and Vanellope are still best friends. Ralph enjoys life, living in the arcade, and enjoying the down time when the Arcade is closed, but loving the sunrise every morning and looking forward to going back to Fix-It Felix. But Vanellope is looking for a bit more. She’s getting tired of the same six courses and she already knows all the secrets of the game and wants a new challenge. There is something new in the arcade though as the owner Mr Litwak (Ed O’Neill) plugs in a WiFi router to connect his business to the Internet. When Vanellope’s game is broken, She and Ralph head out through the wifi to the internet to find the missing part. Naturally things go really wrong as they always seem to do. This Disney film is a sequel to Wreck-It Ralph.

I really enjoyed this movie, although a lot of people were left feeling that it was lacking something. The problem is that a lot of people have a great deal of nostalgia for the old games in the past. I too feel a longing for the old Arcade and miss the games of old. Times were simple then, and video games today are extremely complex and I have a tough time getting into most of them. Sometimes I long for the old days when Donkey Kong jumped over barrels and a little yellow circle ran though a maze eating dots. But the internet just doens’t have that kind of nostalgia as we feel from the 70’s arcade days. There are a number of really cute references to old obsolete web sites that have long been replaced and sent to the the bit cemetery in the back realms of the internet, but nothing that really strikes a chord with the younger folks. It doesn’t hold the same kind of place in our hearts. Another problem is that Disney has gone overboard with the political correct stuff, and most of the less successful movies of late are so preachy that they really turn people off. Looking back at films like Wall-E for example are a “humans are bad” to the max experience. This movie would have been a lot better if it had not been overly skewed to the “You’re a bad friend and I don’t want you anymore” side. This movie is more about how Ralph pissed off Vanellope and she retaliates by turned against him. The key message of this film is insecurity and toxic friendship. It shouldn’t be. If you have not seen the original, then this isn’t a bad movie at all but as a sequel to the original, it’s bound to let you down as it’s just not a sweet and charming as the original. I think it could have been, but it went off course into a place I wish it hadn’t. I enjoyed it a lot, but it didn’t wow me like the original did.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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