Archive for 4 Star Rating

Atomic Monster, New Line Cinema,

Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Bateman, Lulu Wilson, Philippa Coulthard, Grace Fulton, Samara Lee, Tayler Buck, Anthony LaPaglia, Miranda Otto, Lou Lou Safran, Mark Bramhall

Bee Mullins (Samara Lee) is a sweet little girl who lives with toy maker Sam Mullins (Anthony LaPaglia) and his wife Esther Mullins (Miranda Otto). When Bee is killed in a sudden accident, the little family is devastated, but try to move on, but a really evil doll, Annabelle who we met two movies ago, decidedly did not want any peace in this house. 12 years later, Samuel and Ester (who is now bedridden and unable to walk) decided it was time to make amends, and invite a nun, Sister Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman) and six young women and girls who are orphaned, into their home for a kind of penance for the evil that has overtaken their house. They think it is save, but two of the little girls are very curious of what is hidden away, and the evil is free again in this prequel to a prequel to a great horror movie series. But the team that puts together these stories is really good, and even though you wouldn’t expect it, this film is awesome. It is very, very scary in a number of different ways. I mean, there are great jumps and jolts from the awesome camera work mixed with loud noises, that we often decry as cheap scares, but the are mixed in with a really truly creepy story that keeps building and building suspense. The children who play the orphans do a wonderful job, and the two main children have a quite challenging role for each to play, but the do it stunningly. Mr. and Mr. Mullins are also very good, especially

This whole series of movies has been extremely good for the most part. In Conjuring 1 and 2 we met the Warren’s, a husband and wife who ran a paranormal investigation team and had a cellar full of haunted and possessed artifacts, the key one being a very scary looking doll in a glass case named Annabelle. We knew from the very first time that we saw her that this doll must have had a demented history. We found out what the doll could do as a conduit of a demon in the first movie, a prequel to the Conjuring films called Annabelle. The very end of this film is the actual opening of Annabelle, and though Annabelle told the story of the what the doll can do, this prequel to a prequel, Annabelle: Creation tells us the story of how the doll was made, how the demon came to control it, and what happened to the original owners before the last movie. Since this is a while ago, this becomes a period piece of sorts, and even though it’s awesomely presented in the past, the year really doesn’t matter. But even though it shouldn’t be, it is really an awesome movie! This thing is really very scary. There are a nice mix of scares, and though there are some well done jump scares with the excellent camera work combined with loud noises from a great soundtrack, sometimes these are decried as cheap scares because they are overused. But these are excellently done because they are mixed in with some really intense suspense that builds and builds throughout. The team that puts these films together are masters of suspense, and that is why it is doing so good in the box office this week. The girls who play the orphans in the movie are really good, especially the two girls who play the leads. These two girls are the youngest and best friends, a lot because the other 4 girls exclude them from the group as much as possible. These two do an unbelievable job turning in this difficult performance, and it is nearly perfect. Mr and Mrs Mullins are also very well played, both as the happy young couple with a lovely daughter , and as the worn out and nearly destroyed couple that take in these kids as a sort of last attempt at redemption. Anthony LaPaglia is especially good since he is a major part of the film, where as his wife has a much smaller, yet critical role. But I think I was most impressed by Stephanie Sigman who plays Sister Charlotte who also did an excellent job. She is hopeful and cheerful while trying to do her best to keep her girls together even though times are very tough. She gave a wonderful performance. The special effects are really top notch, and the setting and camera work is excellent. All in all, this was a really good horror film and one that any fan of scary movies should see. This film helped save my summer. Well done!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Legendary Entertainment, Tencent Pictures, Warner Bros.,

Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, Tian Jing, John Ortiz, Terry Notary, John C. Reilly, Toby Kebbell, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Shea Whigham, Thomas Mann

A team of scientists convince their congressman that there is an urgent need to visit and document a hidden island, behind circle of constant storms, to document what exists there. They agree to send a team to visit the island first, but insist it must be lead by military leader Preston Packard who is sad that the Viet Nam war has been shutdown and he has nothing to do. But the island is more dangerous than they realized, and the wild creatures that live on the island wre extremely aggressive and the team is in big trouble from the very start, and trying their best to just stay alive, when the learn the king of the island is a giant ape known as Kong.

This is not really a Kong movie, and has very little to do with the giant ape. Kong only has a cameo or two and is a bit player in this story, but the other wildlife on this island are the key to the story. This is basically a military story much more than a giant ape story! Samuel L Jackson as Preston Packard is absolutely nuts as the driven soldier who naturally pushes too hard and is very stubborn and unwilling to listen. John C Reilly is a standed WWII soldier who has been stranded on this island for decades who is a major add to the story. The action in this movie is excellent, the battles are very exciting, and the acting is pretty decent, considering the non-stop action. Truthfully this movie is much more like The Battle of Los Angeles or Battleship than it is a Kong movie. They surely borrow some of the story from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s THe Lost World, more than anything. So as long as you’re looking for monsters and action rather than a King Kong movie sequel, you won’t be disappointed. Granted you have to suspend belief and threat this as science fiction, but the action is good, the monsters are realistic, and it’s a lot of fun.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

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Ad Hominem Enterprises,

Woody Harrelson, Laura Dern, Judy Greer, Margo Martindale, Cheryl Hines, Isabella Amara

Wilson (Woody Harrelson) is a lovable oaf who is still in love with his ex-wife (Laura Dern) of 17 years since she left him, moved to Los Angeles, and aborted their child, or so he thought. But when he runs across his ex, he finds out that she had the baby and gave her up for adoption 17 years ago. Wilson is really, really lonely, and pushes himself onto everyone he meets no matter how inappropriate, but when he starts stalking his daughter, things get really complicated in a hurry.

This film really reminds me of “The World According to Garp” which is a similar type of story with similar characters in many ways. But Wilson is more of a loser, and is just so damn inappropriate. When I was about 1/3 of the way through this film, I had the urge to turn it off as I was really thinking I didn’t like Woody’s Wilson, and it was getting on my nerves, but I’m glad I stuck to it, as soon I realize that I finally got it, and his portray of the title character is brilliant. Wilson is an unusual character, but as it proceeds you really get to understand him, and to understand why Woody played him the way he did. It was an interesting and very entertaining experience to watch this unfold slowly piece by piece and bit by bit. This seems like it must be an excellent book, and one I wouldn’t mind looking for, as it was quite an original story. I think we probably all know someone like Wilson, and as it moves along, you like him more and more and yet understandable as to why everyone avoids him as much as possible. He’s a guy with no filter at all. If you get to watch this film on DVD, in the “extras” there are some deleted scenes. If you get a chance to watch them, they’re really worth it. Some of the very best Wilson moments ended up being cut. Never hysterical, but it always puts a smile on yourself, Wilson is a very good film. Check it out.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Broad Green Pictures, Busted Shark Productions,

Joey King, Ryan Phillippe, Ki Hong Lee, Mitchell Slaggert, Shannon Purser, Sydney Park, Elisabeth Röhm, Josephine Langford, Kevin Hanchard, Sherilyn Fenn

Clare Shannon (Joey King) is a school age daughter living with her Dad (Ryan Philippe) who is a collector. Their house is filled with junk he collects from the neighborhood dumpsters to reuse someday for something useful. This is really embarrassing for Clare as her schoolmates constantly harass her for this. In fact, she’s typically being bullied by the cool kids in school. Clare is a misfit. But on his journeys, Dad finds an interesting Chinese music box in the trash, cleans it up, and gives it to Clare as a gift. But this is a very special and evil wishing box which, if you hold it, and make a wish, the wish will come true. Clare starts using the box, but there is more to the deal, and no one can seem to translate the ancient writing on the box. When Clare learns that price that is taken for each wish, she has to try to use all her wits to figure out a way to defeat the demon in the box.

This horror film came out in a time when the theaters are filled with too many sequels of superhero films, and so a decent horror film was a good change of pace and much appreciated. There was a pretty good turnout when I went to see this film, and it seemed the crowd enjoyed it, but there has been a lot of hate for this movie. The film was directed by John Leonetti who also directed Annabelle which is a pretty decent film. I enjoy horror, and though there is some reuse of some of the ideas (after all the evil box movie isn’t new, is it?) it is really well done, and I enjoyed it. It was really creepy, and it has a nice pace. The surprise ending really caught me by surprise, and I really enjoyed the ending. The clever twists and turns were interesting, and though obviously this is low budget, it’s not bad at all. If you’re in the mood for something a little different, give this one a shot.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Franklin Street, Myriad Pictures, Parkside Pictures,

Shirley MacLaine, Amanda Seyfried, Anne Heche, AnnJewel Lee Dixon, Thomas Sadoski, Tom Everett Scott, Philip Baker Hall, Alanna Ubach, Joel Murray, Adina Porter, Sarah Baker, Steven Culp, Basil Hoffman, Gedde Watanabe

Harriet is a retired businessman, and very wealthy woman. She is also the worlds biggest control freak and everyone hates her. She lives in a small town, and over the years was the primary supporter of the local paper due to her advertising revenue. One day, while reading the obituaries, she notices that the beautiful words describe people in the greatest light, even though she really didn’t like any of them. Then she got an idea. She decides to visit the paper and find the girl, Anne, a frustrated writer who wants to be so much more than an obituary writer. She informs Anna that she is now hired to write her obituary now, while she’s still alive, so that Harret can make sure it’s done well enough. She doesn’t want to leave it to chance. So she provides Anna with a list of all her contacts, her estranged daughter, her ex-husband, and everyone else in her life. Problem is that no one has anything good to say about Harriet.

This comedy is really in the wheelhouse for Shirley. She nails the grumpy old lady who has her way 100% of the time. No one can every do anything right in her eyes, and though she’s sweet at the center, the harsh exterior is played perfectly. It’s a great role for AManda as well and she works with Shirley very well. It’s a very interesting story, and very, very funny. This might have appealed to me more as a Senior Citizen myself, but I found it really funny. It’s very cleverly written, the script is excellent, and the acting is really well performed. All the cylinders are firing, and I found this to be a very pleasant surprise. I enjoyed this movie, and I recommend it for a bunch of laughs and a pleasant time.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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