Archive for 4 Star Rating

Chernin Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation,

Kate Winslet, Idris Elba, Beau Bridges, Dermot Mulroney, Waleed Zuaiter

Alex Martin (Kate Winslet) is a photographer, working a story in the NorthWest, but on her way home for her wedding to Mark (Dermot Mulroney) who is anxiously waiting for her back East. A storm has grounded all flights and there’s no way out. But Alex gets and idea to charter a plane, and finds a doctor, a neurosurgeon named Ben Bass (Idris Elba) who is desperate to get back for a surgery on a little boy, so Alex invites him to share the cost and take the plane flown by gritty old pilot Walter (Beau Bridges). But when a tragic accident brings the plane down on top of a snow covered mountain in Idaho, far from any civilization, they find out that the pilot has not filed a flight plan, and neither of the two have called anyone to let them know they were flying. Fighting terrible odds, injuries, and horrible weather, the two must depend on each other, and Walter’s dog who was in the plane with them, to figure out how to survive in this hostile and deadly environment, or die trying.

This movie, especially with the trailer, looks like an adventure/survival movie, which it is, of course, but it’s much more than that. The accident and the survival attempts are merely the backdrop for this intensive character study of the two characters, plus the dog, of course. It is in depth character development. The two have to depend on each other, but each have their own personal problems that affect who they are and how they react. They find they are very different from each other, and extremely different personalities, mainly because of what they do, and what they have experienced in life. Yet, without each other, neither has a chance of making it out. There is a lot of suspense, and some beautiful Canadian mountain views, and some intense struggles every day for the weeks they are stranded together, but they really find that they are strangely attracted to each other, but neither knows if it’s because they really care for each other, or if it’s the unusual circumstances that they find themselves in. The acting in this film is definitely Oscar worthy for both of them, and there is really only the two of them through 99% of the movie. Just when you think it’s over, it turns on it’s side again and goes on for another half hour. It’s beautifully filmed, a wonderful story, but it’s all about the actors in this movie. They deserve all the praise I feel they are about to get for these superb performances. This is a must see film.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Coram Deo Studios, Birchwood Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

AJ Michalka, James Denton, Kevin Pollak, Shawnee Smith, Michael Welch, Jamie Grace, Emma Catherwood, Chris Ellis

Gracie Trey (AJ Michalka) is the daughter of a well known “one-hit wonder” singer Johnny Trey (James Denton) who gave up his career at the peak in order to serve as the musical director of his church. Gracie has been raised as a Christian girl, and plays in the group that performs at the church, but Gracie has a great deal more talent than anyone realizes, and she wants to do her own music. When Dad’s old hit song suddenly gains a lot of ground on YouTube, Frank Mostran (Kevin Pollak) who is his former manager approaches him to make a new version on the song and kick start his career all over again, but Johnny wants nothing to do with it. Behind his back, Gracie contacts Frank, and since she is now 18 decides to move to LA to seek a career of her own, but the pressures and difficulties of making a start are more than she imagines, and when things really start to heat up, Gracie is forced to look at what is most important in her life when her values are threatened to crumble.

AJ Michalka has scored a number of commercials and TV roles and is a very beautiful and talented musician, coming from a musical family of her own. She really shines in this film. It’s a little movie, but a very well done story without the usual preachiness of pure Christian films, but filled with good messages, hard choices, and inspiring characters. The story moves along quickly and really sucks you in to the story. What is the true cost of our dreams? When is it no longer worth it if the cost is too high? How do you find a middle ground, walking along the fence without toppling to one side or the other. There are all feelings you’ll have watching this film. Very good acting, and a cleverly written script with some really good music thrown in. All in all, this movie was a hidden gem, and I’m glad it bubbled up in my queue until I was finally able to see it. It was well worth it, and I highly recommend this film.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Pictures,

Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Kurt Russell, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Sylvester Stallone, Glenn Close, Sean Gunn, Chris Sullivan, Nathan Fillion, Laura Haddock, Tommy Flanagan

The Guardians are back in Volume two of this Marvel series, with all the usual characters. But Peter (Chris Pratt) is wondering about his true identity when a powerful godlike person named Ego (Kurt Russell) shows up claiming to be his real Father. He convinces Peter to travel back to his planet where he can explain the whole history of who Peter really is, while the rest of the team is left behind, being attacked and trying to fight off a new evil villain and his gang. If you’re a fan of the first movie this film is a must see.

This is a great adventure film, and very, very well done, as was the first film. The filmmakers have created a great cast of characters and have added to it with some clever new ones. There are also a lot of cameos in this movie as well that are fun to see. But the excitement and adventure level if very high, and it’s fast moving and perfectly paced to keep you into the whole film. Chris Pratt is excellent, and his under the surface relationship with Gamora (Zoe Saldana) is not only hysterically funny, but quite touching. Each of these characters who are now known to us are much better developed, and they play together better than any group I’ve seen. As you know, I’m not a big fan of comic book movies, but this one really breaks the usual mold and is a very interesting movie. I enjoyed the first one, and definitely found this one to be just as good. If somehow you managed to miss this sequel, since it’s out on DVD it’s a definite must see. I highly recommend this movie for young and old alike. Well done.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Paulilu Productions, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE),

Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer, Zoƫ Kravitz, Paul W. Downs, Dean Winters, Demi Moore, Colton Haynes, Ty Burrell, Karan Soni, Natalie Gold

Jess (Scarlett Johansson) is running for office and highly involved in the campaign, much to the chagrin of her fiance. But since she’s about to be married, her college friends put together a bachelorette party in Miami that is bound to be way over the top. These four plus one, Jess’ new friend Pippa (Kate McKInnon) from Australia is along for the party. Drugs, drinking, dancing, are just getting started when Alice (Jillian Bell), Jess’ freshman roommate accidentally kills the stripper, they make the fatal decision to hide the body to give them time to think. From that point everything goes off the rails as things get worse and worse all night in this raucous prenuptial dark comedy.

This is a fun romp that is just like a zillion others. That is the down side of this film, but on the upside it is filled with really good performances. If you had told me Kate McKinnon of SNL could play a whole feature film in an Australian accent, I wouldn’t have expected much, but it is hysterical. She really is pretty good at it. Jillian Bell is one of the funniest comediennes I have ever seen, and she was really good at this role that usually goes to Melissa McCarthy or Rebel Wilson, but she was really perfect for the maid of honor role here. The story is predictable, but still fun to watch and certainly there are plenty of laughs to go around here. This is a funny film, probably not worth a $13.00 movie ticket, but well worth a rental fee. I enjoyed this movie and it’s a good female Hangover type film that is fun from start to end.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Orange Pictures, Shotgun Pictures, Universum Film (UFA),

Susan May Pratt, Richard Speight Jr., Niklaus Lange, Ali Hillis, Cameron Richardson, Eric Dane

Six friends and a baby are in Mexico on a holiday aboard a luxury yacht looking forward to a wonderful time. Amy (Susan May Pratt) and her husband James (Richard Speight Jr.) and their baby Sara have joined Dan (Eric Dane), the reckless one of the group and his new girlfriend Michelle (Cameron Richardson) and their froends Zach (Niklaus Lange) and Lauren (Ali HIlls). They were college friends and are looking to a swell reunion and to celebrate Zach’s 30th birthday. They stop for a dip in the ocean but are soon horrified to learn that through their fooling around, they forgot to lower the ladder and now are trapped on the side of the ship with no way to get back into the boat. Stranded at sea, able to touch the boat, but they may as well be miles away, as with horror, they realize the baby is still on the boat.

There is a series of three Open Water films. The first one was about a couple of people who were part of a scuba diving group that got left behind out in the ocean without any way back in the heavy shark infested waters. Open Water 3 will be released in a few weeks on DVD and is the third installment. I’m looking forward to that one as well, but this 2006 one came and went and I didn’t even realize it, until I saw the 3 on the new one. So I dropped this into my queue on a lark, figuring to catch up on this 2006 film before the new one is released. I was glad I did. This is an independent film, and the only connection to the first film is the ocean. Otherwise, this is a completely different story, and it was rather interesting. Now I suppose that true sailors will find that it’s really silly and that there is a very simple solution to being stranded on the side of your yacht, but I’m not of a nautical nature, so I will just accept that they’re stranded out there. Then comes the questioning of whose fault it is, and what in the world they could do to solve the problem. This is really point of view camera work, and it’s bound to make you think about what you would do if you were in that situation. This is a small film with a basically unknown cast, made by folks who love to make movies, and it shows. The suspense if very good and the movie’s not that long, so it evolves quickly and is a pretty good escape film that allows you to relax and enjoy the ride. This is another hidden gem of a movie that I didn’t even know existed, but the suspense and pure terror of the plight of these folks made it really fun to watch. Give it a try, it’s a good one.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 


 

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