Archive for 3 Star Rating

Perfect World Pictures (Beijing), Universal Pictures, Will Packer Productions,

Kimberly Elise, Danny Glover, John Michael Higgins, Romany Malco, Mo’Nique, J.B. Smoove, Gabrielle Union, Omar Epps, Nicole Ari Parker, Jessie Usher, DC Young Fly

Walter (Danny Glover) is the father of a big family who are all grown-up and moved away, and he’s suffering the loss of his wife and it’s 5 days until Christmas. Walter has asked everyone to come together and his only wish is for the whole family to get together for 5 days without it all blowing up. Of course that’s a lot to ask of this bunch, and though Walter’s obsessed with getting his wife’s Sweet Potato Pie just right, the rest of the gang from Aunt May (Mo’nique) all the way down to the grandchildren are all about to kill each other. This is a typical dysfunctional family survives Christmas films.

Almost Christmas is certainly a well covered topic, with the frustrated Dad trying to keep his kids from tearing each other apart story line, but due to the excellent acting from Glover and Mo’Nique through JB Smoove, Gabriel Union, and right on down the line, the talent helps to make the story come alive. There are some hysterical moments that are really well done including one of the best dining room table bits that I’ve ever seen. This film is not going to be classic enough to gain cult status, but it’s really pretty well done and though it does jump from sad to silly and back quite fast, still it’s a highly enjoyable film and one that makes us feel good because our families are not near as bad as this clan. Or are they? That’s something you’ll be wondering about as you enjoy this charming Christmas Movie.

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Broadway Video, Michaels-Goldwyn, Relativity Media,

Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Jason Sudeikis

Steve (Owen Wilson) is a bad guy. But he’s tired of the little nickel and dime capers, and thinks it would be great to pull of an armored car heist, but needs someone on the inside. Kelly (Kristen Wiig) has the solution. Kelly work for the Loomis Fargo company for a short while and knows that innocent, but not too bright David Ghantt (Zach Galifinakis) has a crush on her, and has worked for the company for many years. So Kelly flirts with David to convince him that he could pull of the heist, disappear to Mexico where she will shortly join him in a happy and carefree life with tons of money. But they are just playing him for a sucker. David pulls off he heist, heads to Mexico with his share (all he can stuff into his underwear, to Mexico where he finds the Interpo, and a hired killer named Mike McKinney (Jason Sudakeis) is looking for him. Not to mention that stupidly all of these “masterminds” left behind a huge amount of evidence, and the law is closing the noose.

This is a funny film, that does have a good many laugh out loud moments. It’s not as funny as it thinks it is though. Based on the real life 1887 Loomis Fargo robbery, it misses on a lot of the jokes and ends up being more silly than funny. It’s not nearly as good as many of the other films featuring these same actors, and I blame the script and the director for letting it fall into silliness right away. This is produced by Lorne Michaels which explains all the SNL actors in this film, and that also explains a lot of it. SNL has gone a long way towards losing their sense of humor lately as well, and is getting really hard to watch anymore. As a rental flick, this isn’t that bad, and these guys are really good actors, with very thin material to work with, granted, but they do their best. Several of the moments were really good, and I think it’s worth it to give it a go when you don’t have to pay big money to see it in the theater, but all in all, it’s not near as good as it should have been.

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Visible Pictures(II), All Entertainment,

Masey McLain, Ben Davies, Sadie Robertson, Korie Robertson, Bella Robertson, Jaci Velasquez, Jennifer O’Neill

Rachel Joy Scott (Masey McLain) was the first person shot by the Colombine High School shooters, they asked her if she was still a Christian, and when she confirmed her belief, she was viciously shot and killed. Rachel was not a perfect person. Being a High School girl, she had problems and issues, like everyone else, but was a very outstanding young person trying to help others and do the right things. She wrote a journal, and her Mother decided to publish the last few months and weeks of her life to show what a difference her daughter made. This is a biographical story in her own words of how she lived to make the world a better place and to reach out to those who needed her friendship.

This is a Christian movie, certainly. But it’s also very touching and down to earth. Unlike a made up story, this is the real story of Rachel and the struggles she faced. This is not a documentary of the Columbine shooting, although there is actual news footage including President Clinton that is real footage. This is the story of a girl, and her struggles and flaws and her attempts to do good things. In that respect, Masey did a great job of portraying the girl. There are several reasons why people might not like this film, but I think they can be summed up in a few words. One is that it is a Christian movie, and therefore does preach a lot. That turns off a lot of people. Secondly, they are not trying to put down or take away from each of the individuals that lost their life in this terrible tragedy, nor does it do much to explain the psychosis that these boys had that made them do what they did. This is not about the shooting, but is the memory of one person, and a few people that her life touched. So don’t expect a long documentary on the tragedy, as that isn’t here. But if you are able to take the story at face value, it certainly is a great story, and one that ought to be told. It seems each of us ought to have a movie made about our lives and how we made a difference, but sadly only a choice few have that opportunity. If Rachel had been run over by a bus, we never would have known her story and was a decent person she was, and that is sad. But due to circumstances she couldn’t control, she is able to make an impact on each of us. Well done, and a good, very sentimental and righteous story.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Heyday Films, LBO Productions (II), DreamWorks

Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz, Bryan Brown, Jack Thompson

Tom Scherbourne (Michael Fassbender) takes on the job temporarily as a lighthouse keeper way out in the ocean off the coast of Western Australia, but with his wife, Isabel (Alicia Vikander) they have a happy life away from the world for months at a time. But when Isabel finds she cannot have a child, she is filled with sadness. One day a rowboat appears floating in the water off the island where the lighthouse stands, and it’s filled with the cry of a little baby girl, Isabel’s dreams are fulfilled when they keep and raise the little girl, that is until the real mother Hannah Rennfeldt (Rachel Weisz) shows up and wants her little girl back.

This is a very touching and beautiful, but sad drama of a lonely man, and his adventurous wife, and a huge battle of who the child belongs to. It’s well acted by all the primary characters, and is a real lady film of romance and tragedy, and not a lot else. The men will probably fidget through the whole movie, as this is a very slowly, though beautifully told story. Not much action, just the story, but it is very beautiful. I found myself envying the guy for being able to live alone in such a beautiful place with no cars, no traffic jams, and no other people. Still, this is mostly a chick flick, so I warn the guys, but rent it for your wife or girlfriend on a good night when there’s a game on the other TV, and be sure to comfort her when she comes back at the end with tears in her eyes. It is a touching ending.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Broad Green Pictures, Ingenious Media, Miramax,

Billy Bob Thornton, Kathy Bates, Tony Cox, Christina Hendricks, Brett Kelly, Ryan Hansen, Jenny Zigrino, Jeff Skowron, Mike Starr

Willie Soke (Billy Bob Thornton) is back as the drunken no good oaf who’s as broke as always. He’s followed around by Thurman Merman (Brett Kelly) who was just a troubled kid in the original movie, but now is a 21 year old loser who won’t leave Soke alone for a second. To further torment him, his mother shows up, Sunny Soke (Kathy Bates) with a plan to crack a safe and rip off a charity event which will make Willie go back to playing Santa one more time. But perhaps the last straw is that he’s going to need the help of his “elf” partner Marcus (Tony Cox) who would really like to kill Soke instead of helping him, although a 2 million dollar payoff helps convince him. The plan is complex, and of course nothing goes right as everyone crashes through this EXTRA raunchy sequel to Bad Santa.

This film doesn’t quite hit the bulls-eye as it is much dirtier and nastier than the first one. This one really goes into the gutter. But that’s what you would expect from Willie Soke from his first film. Is it really possible that is was all the way back in 2003 when we got that Christmas Classic of Disgusting Material? Well, one look at a grown up Thurman will convince you that many years have passed. With a lot of smut, even more silliness and stupidity, over acting galore, and a suite of really goofy characters. Somehow it keeps you entertained and when it’s over, though you might want to hit the shower to wash off the crud, you’ll find that it was kind of funny after all. This crew makes us feel better about ourselves because no matter how badly we screw up, we can never be as bad as this bunch. If you like seeing Moe hit Curly with a sledge hammer, or love to rubber neck when there’s a bad accident on the freeway, and if you don’t mind a constant stream of extremely bad language, you’ll find yourself chucking all the way through. Kathy Bates is exceptional in her role as Willie’s Mom. It’s gross, it’s stupid, and dog gone it, it’s funny.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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