Archive for 5 Star Rating

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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Chernin Entertainment, TSG Entertainment,

Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Amiah Miller, Terry Notary, Judy Greer, Karin Konoval, Ty Olsson, Alessandro Juliani, Michael Adamthwaite, Max Lloyd-Jones, Aleks Paunovic, Sara Canning, Gabriel Chavarria, Chad E. Rook

Caesar (Andy Serkis) is the leader of the Apes. They have fled to a hideaway deep into the forest. Caesar simply wants peace, but the Colonel (Woody Harrelson) is building a fortress at the old base and is relentlessly looking for the hideout of the apes in order to wipe them out once and for all. But when Caesar’s wife and son are killed, he sets out after The Colonel to seek his revenge, only to learn that there is an even greater danger just above the horizon for both sides.

These darn Planet of the Apes films just keep getting better and better. This has to be the best one of all. It is hard to watch the original Planet films now, with the special effects, CGI, and the wonderful scenery and sets make this a stunning thing to watch. Add to it the 3-D and a huge screen and recliner seats and it was really an experience. I enjoyed every second of this film. It was amazing entertainment. They really make the apes more expressive than the humans are, and the script has to be one of the best ever. This is a rather simple war story that will likely strike a chord with everyone. This is a very good story, and everything came together in every way. This is the must see film of the year, and one I would always expect this kind of film to kill at the box office. Kudos to everyone involved with this film, and if you haven’t gone out to see it, what the heck are you waiting for???

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Mandeville Films, Walt Disney Pictures,

Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson

This live action version of the classic Disney feature Beauty and the Beast stars Emma Watson as Belle, the beautiful daughter of Maurice (Kevin Kline) who is captured and imprisoned in the cursed enchanted castle of The Beast (Dan Stevens). In order to break the curse, the Beast must learn to love, but also be loved in return. Naturally we all are cheering with the hope that love once again conquers all.

This is a film that could have come out completely different. Disney wanted to NOT make this film a musical, and tell a story without the songs. But the songs are far too amazing to be left behind, and it would have been a huge disaster. As it is, there is a lot of time, a lot of additional backstory, and the correction of a few error that makes this as familiar as ever, but with much more richness and beauty to add and make it a must see. The story is handled with loving care, and the things that are added to it only made it better. Emma Watson is beautiful as Belle, and a lot of her personal strength and attitude went into it as she added few changes to the role that fixed the story. It is stunningly beautiful, from the ugly castle, to the snowy forest filled with wolves, to the ballroom scene. This version of the mandatory Be Our Guest song is wonderfully done. SO many things could have gone wrong to ruin this movie, but it is perfect. This certainly came together well and will ensure Disney has enough money to shoot themselves in the foot again in the future, but this time they came through unscathed. And from the audience reaction to the trailer for the next “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie, it seems that one is a lock too. I completely loved this film and will definitely add this to my list of memories I will never lose. This was a very good movie, and one I encourage everyone to get out to see while you can! It’s definitely worth it.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Columbia Pictures, LStar Capital, Village Roadshow Pictures,

Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Michael Sheen, Laurence Fishburne, Andy Garcia

Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) is a passenger aboard a commercial ship with 5000 passengers and several hundred crew all sound asleep in a sort of hibernation. The trip takes 120 years. The 5000 volunteers agreed to the journey leaving their friends and relatives behind for a new start in a new world. But a strange malfunction takes place on the self contained, self repairing ship and Jim and Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence) are the only ones awakened 90 years too soon who have nothing to look forward to but growing old and dying on the ship all alone.

This was a movie that I really longed to see. This is 100% my type of movie, and I got a chance tonight to watch it on the big screen with ATMOS sound and I was in awe. The characters, there are really only 4 of them, are extremely well developed, and this is an amazingly deep story. It really makes you think, and addresses very significant moral struggles. But the suspense is “edge of your seat” spectacular and the view is stunningly beautiful. There are some shots that are some of the greatest I have ever seen. This is a stunning performance from both Chris and Jennifer, but also great performances from Michael Sheen who portrays an android bartender with great wit and wisdom, and Laurence Fishburne with his usual gusto in his role attempting to save the day. All in all, this is a wonderful people story with great characters and deep thoughts, but matched with a very exciting disaster science fiction adventure that is very, very exciting. This is the best film I have seen in 2016 and I waited to see this on December 31st. If can catch this one in the theater, this is well worth the price of the ticket. Don’t miss this the way it needs to be seen. Don’t wait for rental on this movie.

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Hammer & Tongs, Illumination Entertainment, Universal Pictures,

Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Tori Kelly, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton, Scarlett Johansson

Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) is the owner of a failing theater in the city. He has an idea to host a talent show and pay the owners 1000.00 which is the last of his money, but a clerical error prints the flyers at $100,000. Hundreds of animals line up for a chance to audition to win the grand prize including a misunderstood gorilla son, a very shy elephant, and a fun mixture of musical animals. Buster needs help to try to save the theater or it’s all lost.

On the day after Christmas 5 of my grandchildren and their parents, and my wife and I saw Sing in 3D. I have been waiting for this one for quite some time. I was not disappointed. This was a beautiful little film. The music is really good and the comedy was non-stop. Everyone from the smallest 6 year old to the oldest 65 (myself) and every one in between thought it was really good. The animation is top notch and the picture is great. There are some great voices in there, and the characters were very well played. I must say, “Very Well Done”. If you get a chance to catch this one in the theater, don’t miss the opportunity. Give yourself one more Christmas present this year!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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