Archive for 5 Star Rating

The Weinstein Company, Screen Australia, See-Saw Films,

Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman, David Wenham, Pallavi Sharda, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Eamon Farren, Priyanka Bose, Benjamin Rigby, Menik Gooneratne, Anna Samson, Arka Das, Deepti Naval

The year was 1986. A 5 year old boy, Saroo (Sunny Pawar, Dev Patel) is off on an adventure with his big brother, but becomes lost and alone. He climbs aboard an empty train to sleep, but is unaware the train is decommissioned and is being driven to Calcutta, thousands of miles away. When he finally escapes the train, he is all alone in a a new city where he can’t speak the language and has nowhere to go. Saroo’s life greatly changes, but as he matures, he can’t help wondering who he was and where he came from and he feels the need to find out based on the little bit he can remember.

Another Hidden Gem of a film that I love to find and bring to you. This is a true story, based on the book “A Long Way Home” by the real Saroo Brierley. This movie will touch you. It is an Australian Independent film, and is probably one of the movies you have never heard of. I found it streaming on Netflix and with the insistence of my daughter, I decided to watch it. To say that it had an effect on me is an understatement. This is one of those movies that will stay with me forever. This is such an awesome story, and the time and effort put into getting the right people to play each of the roles really shows. IMDB claims that 4000 boys were looked at to play 5 year old Saroo. The one that they ended up with, Sunny Pawar, though not an actor at all, was perfect in the role and did an absolutely amazing job. The fact that this is a real story and actually happened, makes it all the more impactful and really touches your heart. The fact that Saroo isn’t alone, and that thousands of children go missing in India every every year makes it more touching. Everyone in this film gave their heart to it, and it shows. IF you don’t have a Netflix account, the price of it is well worth it just for this film. Seriously, this is a great movie. I’m sure that fact that Weinstein Company owns the film is a concern to many people, but this movie is far too valuable to let that bother you. This is a story that needs to be told. Make sure to stick with it to the end, because if you don’t read the text at end, you can easily spend the rest of your life wondering why this movie is titled “Lion”. It also has some great clips of the real people from the film and well of real footage of a really special meeting in India at the end. This is one of the best stories I’ve seen in a long time, and one that I highly recommend for everyone. It is an amazing journey.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Warner Bros, Warner Animation Group, LEGO Systems A/S,

Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Tiffany Haddish, Stephanie Beatriz, Alison Brie, Nick Offerman, Charlie Day, Maya Rudolph, Will Ferrell, Jadon Sand, Brooklynn Prince, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill

This sequel to 2014’s “The Lego Movie” [Click Here for review] is a long awaited adventure back into the world of the kids and the games they play with their LEGO bricks. Sometimes “Everything’s Not Awesome” when the citizens are facing a brand new threat of LEGO Duplo invaders from outer space who are set to wrecking the world as we know it. These are amazing invaders that have the ability to reconfigure themselves into all kinds of shapes on a whim. They plan to merge the worlds into one via marriage, so the original group of characters have to try to fight to save the world.

This movie was REALLY fun. I enjoyed every second of this film. First of all, look at the cast! The interesting thing to me, was to make sense of the whole thing by switching back and forth between real life and the imaginary world of two kids sometimes multiple times in the same flight or fall. The absurdity of the huge big sound effects and musical drama to a shot of a plastic LEGO piece tied to a string flying across the bedroom is hysterical and really funny. I started into this film thinking I had wasted my money on the ticket, not to mention wasting my Saturday morning. The though, “What is the point of all this?” did cross my mind a number of times, and the quick cuts from real life to make believe jarred me and confused me. It wasn’t like Mr. Roger’s trolley that takes us back and forth between real and pretend. 🙂 But pretty soon, it hit me with the key to what is going on in the real world which makes the make belive story make sense, and I really got into it. I had forgotten how much I had enjoyed the original film, but this is even better than that, and the LEGO Batman Movie [Click Here for Ed’s Review] and is the strongest of the series. I really liked this, and my grandson and my son who watched it with me all agree that it’s a good movie. Give this one a chance!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM),

Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton, Charley Grapewin, Clara Blandick

Dorothy (Judy Garland) lives on a small farm in Kansas, but longs for a better world over the rainbow. When a tornado tears the house away with Dorothy inside, it lands on top of the Wicked Witch of the East, killing her. Dorothy finds out she is now in the land of Oz, and the only way back home is to travel to Emerald City to find the Wizard (Frank Morgan) to help her. On her journey, she finds new friends who join her on her quest to find her way back home.

I was lucky enough t be a child of the 50’s when Color TV’s were new, and the Wizard of Oz make a huge resurgence on a Sunday Night every year. My family could not afford a color set, but my Grandfather had one, and so we would visit her every time it was on TV along with all my Aunt and Uncles, and all my cousins. I was enthralled at the announcement repeated over and over that the beginning of the movie would be in Black and White, but when Dorothy arrives in OZ it would switch to beautiful color. This is because people would certainly think there was something wrong with their TV and keep banging on it to fix it. We used to do things like that. Fathom Events setup a two night special event which was so popular, another two nights were added. When I heard of the chance to see The Wizard of Oz on a big screen, something I had never done, I just couldn’t pass this up. First off, we were assured that the film was being shown in the original aspect ration, which was very small and only used a little of the center of the screen. 1939 was long before movies were made in the widescreen format that we’re used to today. My daughter went with me, and we were really anxious as the movie started. Everyone know this movie, which was really ahead of it’s time, but was sadly overshadowed (rightfully so I guess) by Gone With the Wind which was released the same year. Still this is a really wonderful film. A lot of the interesting facts about the movie are unknown to a lot of people, and some of them I found really fascinating. First of all, only the Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr) was the original actor who was cast for his role. Dorothy was supposed to be played by Shirley Temple, but her studio refused to let her do it at the last moment, and Judy Garland was quickly cast. Judy was 16 at the time, and a bit old for Dorothy so they did all the could to make her more of a little child, and she did a wonderful job. Jack Haley (The Tin Man) was cast as the Scarecrow (and he would have been wonderful in that role) and Buddy Ebsen (Jed clampett) was cast as the Tin Man. But he had a severe allergic reaction to the aluminum makeup, and ended up in the hospital in critical condition. But being a giant movie studio in 1939, he wasn’t told that Buddy almost died, and all he know was that he was fired. So Jack Haley moved over to the Tin Man, and Ray Bolger was quickly hired as the Scarecrow. Shirley Temple was immediately put into a “blockbuster” technicolor film “The Blue Bird” which was expected to blow The Wizard of Oz out of the water, but was pretty much a flop while The Wizard became a huge part of American culture, and even affected our language. Phrases like “I don’t think we’re in Kansan anymore” and “There’s no place like home” are among the many phrases from this movie to take a role in our language. Seeing this film again in the theater with a theater sound system was an experience I will never forget. The only surprise though was in talking to everyone I meet about this experience, how many people have never seen this movie at all. Now that is a shame!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios

Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach, Jaime Camil, Alfonso Arau, Sofía Espinosa, Selene Luna, Ana Ofelia Murguía, Renée Victor, Luis Valdez, Herbert Siguenza, Edward James Olmos, Cheech Marin, Gabriel Iglesias, John Ratzenberger, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, Lombardo Boyar, Dyana Ortelli

Miguel (Anthony Gonzales) wants to be a musician like his ancestor Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt) who had died, but was loved and revered as one of the greatest guitar player and singers of all times. But when Ernesto left his wife to make his name as a singer, she banned music from the family entirely. Miguel has to sneak away to play the guitar. A series of tragic events brings Miguel to the “Land of the Dead” where those who are remembered are able to cross back over to the land of the living, but Miguel is more interested in finding Ernesto than finding his way back home. In the process he may uncover the truth as to why music is forbidden in their family.

This musical fantasy film from Pixar is another really strong entry from the Disney owned studio. This is a really colorful movie and the animation is exquisitely done. The music is fun, and the story is really interesting. Good for kids and adults, this is an all around hit. The Mexican culture is a real treat to see and learn. It is really a fascinating story and I really enjoyed this movie, even though it took me a while to get out and see it. I got really ill the week before Christmas and it was a rough season, which is why this site hasn’t been updated for ages. This was really the only film I got to see over the holidays, and I’m glad I got out to see it. It is one of the best family movies I have seen in a long time. This is one to see if you haven’t done it yet.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Syncopy, Warner Bros., Dombey Street Productions,

Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard, James D’Arcy, Barry Keoghan, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy

The Battle of Dunkirk, and the famous evacuation is one of the great stories of World War II. The Germans had been tearing through France and The Allied forces found themselves surrounded by the Germans on the beach in Dunkirk, France. A German army that outnumbered the Allies two to one had them pushed back to the sea. The English Channel was the only thing between the British and their homeland, and Churchill decided it was expedient to bring as many home as humanly possible. Knowing that the next stop for the Germans would be the British Isles, they decided not to risk all their ships on a cause that could have left them in big trouble should the German bombers sink all their ships, they called on civilian ships such as barges and ferryboats, down to fishing boats and private yachts to all head for Dunkirk to rescue as many as they could. Something that has never totally understood happened where the Germans stopped advancing and held their position for a number of days instead of wiping out the Allied forces on the beach. Instead they constantly attacked from the air with bombs and machine guns. But the halt of the advance, for whatever reason gave Britain the time to remove over 300,000 soldiers back to England. This historical wartime film by Christopher Nolan is a brand new telling of the events of that week and the evacuation that certainly changed the outcome of the war in the end.

This is an excellent blockbuster of a film. I got to see it in IMAX and it was certainly very much worth it for the huge screen and the amazing sound system. When the bombs explode and the ships shoot their big guns, it shakes you to the core, and it feels like you’re in the plane when they fire those machine guns. The big screen and sound effects were amazing. It has been such a long time since I saw a really, really good World War II movie. Pearl Harbor was a love story, but this is an unabashed War movie and it doesn’t have time for love interests. Historically, most of it seem pretty accurate although a few changes had to made to make it into a movie, and I can imagine that the characters in the story were representative of real people, although maybe not actual individuals. There are a couple of stories which are told simultaneously for the most part, and everything sort of ties up together nicely, probably not like real life where it was so very chaotic. The acting is excellent, but there isn’t a need for huge Hollywood stars, as this is such a powerful story, that the events are the real stars of the film. It’s very well paced, kept to about an hour and three quarters which is about perfect, and is about the best movie I’ve seen in a long time. It’s interesting how in war, it’s much easier to look back and analyze and make different choices after that fact. In the Civil War, the battle of Gettysburg was an accident, and the whole thing was about shoes. Both armies needed shoes, and Gettysburg was the place to get them. The North had fought for 3 days, and on the fourth day, both armies stayed in their camps and watched each other. The Southern Army was crushed, but General Meade decided not to attach General Lee and the Confederate Army while Lee was sitting wondering why they didn’t attack and put and end to them on that day, as they were finished. Meade’s thinking was that he had won the battle, and if he dared to attack on the 4th day, he might turn his victory into a defeat. His cowardly decision, some say, drove Lincoln crazy and added years to the war which could have been over that very day. In the case of the Battle of Dunkirk, what would have happened had the Germans driven forward and attacked them on the beach. They had double the men, and the Allies had left behind most of their heavy equipment, ammo, and supplies. There is much debate over why they stopped advancing with their tanks and decided to sit and wait and allow the British to evacuate 300,000 soldiers to live and fight another day. It was a great victory for the Germans, but did not wipe out the Allied forces at it could have. Many have argued different reasons for the decision, but it certainly had a huge effect on the success of getting all those men out of a suicide situation for sure. Perhaps it was like Meade, who was just afraid to turn a win into a loss, or perhaps there was much more to it. Had they been moving so fast that they outrun their supply train, and needed to catch up? Were there political reasons for letting the Allies escape? I guess we’ll never know, but this film tells us what happened, and that’s what really matters. This is such a beautiful and touching and moving film that it’s something you definitely should see, even if you’re anti-war. The good news, and the lift it gave to the British folks certainly was an important thing, perhaps even more important that the actual effect of getting those 300,000 men back. Had they lost them, it would have been a hard blow to morale in Britain. Go see this, and watch it on the biggest brightest screen you can find before you miss it. This is one film that is truly a MUST SEE!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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