Archive for Drama

Calamity Films, Feigco Entertainment, Perfect World Pictures,

Madison Ingoldsby, Emma Thompson, Boris Isakovic, Lucy Miller, Emilia Clarke, Maxim Baldry, Margaret Clunie, John-Luke Roberts, Michelle Yeoh, Bilal Zafar, Patti LuPone, Lydia Leonard, Henry Golding, Michael Addo, Peter Mygind

Last Christmas is a brand new holiday film about a family who moved to London from Yugoslavia and especially the daughter Kate (Emilia Clarke) who is struggling. Kate has a job as an elf in a Christmas all-year-long store run by Santa (Michelle Yeoh) who is very eccentric person for sure. Kate is struggling with life and making lots of bad choices, but when she meets the very handsome Tom, (Henry Golding) he helps her find meaning in her life. But Tom is very quirky as well, and though he is a big help to her, he is not very consistent. This is a lovely Christmas story filled with lots of heart and a great deal of values and good feelings.

This film is hard to categorize, as it is many different things. Most of all, it is very heartwarming, but this is not like a Hallmark Christmas movie, as it is a LOT deeper than that. There is serious drama, and side splitting humor, mixed in with a charming romantic tale as well. Kate’s family is hysterical, and has a wealth of back story to fill in the richness of the story. Emma Thompson is absolutely astounding in her performance and deserves the award for best supporting actress for sure. It is an awesome character she brings to life. Emilia Clark, as well, is absolutely fantastic in her role, and she brings a great deal of professionalism as Kate. She really steals the show. And thought Henry Golding is not in every scene, he certainly carries himself very well in every scene he is in. The casting in this story is exceptional, as each role is played to the hilt by the perfect actor for each role. From Kate’s sister, to her poor father, to those who try to help Kate when she is at rock bottom, everyone helps move this film forward and each role adds a lot of depth to the story. I went to see this film without a lot of expectations, and I was really blown away. Yes, there is a bit of a Shamalayan twist too, but there is also a lot of George Michael music, and all in all this is a movie that I think most everyone could enjoy. Filmed on location in London, the city itself is a star character as well. This filim is firing on all cyylinders and is a MUST SEE for this Christmas season. Go ahead and pass up some of the others if you must, but head out to see this one. I really, really enjoyed it, 100%. I loved this movie.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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BRON Studios, Creative Wealth Media Finance, DC Comics,

Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Shea Whigham, Bill Camp, Glenn Fleshler, Leigh Gill, Josh Pais, Rocco Luna, Marc Maron, Sondra James, Murphy Guyer, Douglas Hodge

Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) is a very poor man, living in a run down tenement in Gotham City with his aged mother Penny Fleck (Frances Conroy). He makes a few bucks any way he can, working as a clown trying to sell product or to entertain children. But Arthur’s dream is to be a standup comedian. His idol is Murray Franklin (Robert DeNiro) who is the late night talk show host on Gotham TV. But things are not easy for Arthur, and things keep going from bad to worse. His social worker (Arthur definitely has mental issues) is taken away during budget cuts, and when Arthur loses his job, there is not much left to live for. An odd turn of events makes Arthur take on his alternate ego of “Joker” and things looks very bleak for his future.

This is a stunning film. It is not at all pretty, and is very caustic and violent at every turn. It will turn your stomach as you realize the crap a poor man in Gotham has to go through just to survive, and this is the background story of the arch-enemy of Batman, The Joker. We see what made him turn into the deranged villain he was, and we also learn a lot of what we though was true was actually not what happened at all. This film was extremely coarse, but very, very well done. I was stunned at the performance Joaquin turned in here, and I think he’s looking at a great number of awards this season! This has to be nominated as the best performance by a lead actor. It’s really that good. The film is excellent, and has some excellent performances, but Joaquin steals the show and is extremely outstanding. I was deeply moved by this film, and I personally think it was an amazing experience to see this movie that is simply based on one character out of the batman series. This really helped me to understand Joker, and I will certainly not soon forget it. I didn’t expect much when I went to see this film, but I was really touched. I recommend this to anyone who can handle the extreme violence and the very sad things that happened to this poor fellow. I will never think of Jack Nicholson again when I think of Joker. Joaquin was THAT GOOD!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Big Beach Films, Depth of Field, Kindred Spirit,

Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, Diana Lin, Aoi Mizuhara, Shuzhen Zhao, Gil Perez-Abraham, Jim Liu, Han Chen, Diane Dehn, Ines Laimins, Yongbo Jiang, Hong Lu, X Mayo, Becca Khalil

This is a story of a young Chinese lady, Billi (Awkafina) who is struggling to survive in New York City on her own. Billi is close enough to her parents, but trying to survive on her own without their help. She is still close to her Grandmother in China, and keeps in touch with her as her dreams fall by the wayside one by one. When her Grandmother is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, the family uses the excuse of Billi’s cousin’s (who lives in Japan) snap wedding to make a trip home to China for one last visit to her Grandmother. Her parents don’t want Billi to go because of her hard times with the finances, but Billi goes anyway. The family has decided to lie to Grandmother and not tell her about the cancer. The journey brings a lot of pain and joy to the entire family as they all are together for this side celebration while trying to hide the sadness of the fact that this may be last time they ever see Grandmother again.

This film was really wonderfully done. It is a touching story that is very, very Chinese. This is really a Chinese story, and the culture and customs are really interesting for an American guy like me to see. Sometimes life is really different. This film was advertised as a Comedy, but one look at the trailer lets you know that this is going to be a very heart touching dramatic piece for sure. I was right. Although some of it is really funny at times, it still really tugs the heart strings a LOT. I remember the laughs and jokes we had at my own Dad’s funeral a year ago, while feeling the sorrow at losing a parent, but remembering as well the good times and fun we had. This is the same way, as the family is really happy to get together, and see each other, and it’s too bad it’s a such a sad occasion that brings them together. It was also interesting to note that this is a biographical story loosely based on Writer and Director Lulu Wang’s real life story of a visit to China to visit her Grandmother under similar conditions where they used a mostly fake wedding as an excuse to go home to visit her Grandmother who they determined not to tell about her cancer in a similar fashion. Also, it was very, very difficult to get this movie even made, as Lulu found American producers would not touch it because it was too Chinese with all Chinese characters, and a LOT of the dialog is in Chinese and subtitled, while Chinese producers would not make it either because it was too American. I think after the success of “Crazy Rich Asians” it was finally able to be made. (This is merely my opinion, and probably wrong as obviously this movie took a long time to come to fruition, but it is a good thought). At any rate, it was an extremely moving movie, and very much worth the cost of a movie ticket to see this excellent story. I really enjoyed this film, and I would highly recommend it, as likely it is one of those films that is hard to find and is a hidden gem that may be way off your radar. If you can get a chance to see this film, I can really highly recommend it. I want to also mention that this was a great vehicle for Awkwafina. This is really her movie, as it should be, and she and Grandmother really carry the movie without only a little help from the rest of the cast. Not that they were not good, as well, but Awkafina really knocked this one out of the park. She was really funny in “Crazy Rich Asians” and that led to a hosting role on “Saturday Night Live which she also nailed, but his is a very serious and very somber role which shows her amazing acting ability and she really nailed it. I suspected she was a really good actress, but this one really shows she is no shallow actress only capable of playing a silly fool character. The really gave 100% to this role and she was awesome. I hope she is give the recognition she certainly deserves from this movie, as it so well well written, directed, produced, and performed that I consider it a must see. Enjoy it. I really did!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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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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Lionsgate, Grindstone Entertainment Group, Gold Star Films,

J.D. Evermore, Joely Richardson, Bryce Romero, Aiden Flowers, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Whitman Groves, Carsen Flowers, Douglas M. Griffin, Dana Gourrier, Abigail Breslin, Jodie Moore, Raeden Greer, Laura Cayouette

A zombie apocalypse has struck the town, and tough father Wade Vogel’s (Arnold Schwarzenegger) beloved daughter Maggie (Abigail Breslin) has been infected. She realizes the danger she is to her family, so she runs off, but is captured and being held in a quarantine facility. Wade sets out to find her, and is able to persuade the town leaders to allow him to bring her home to care for her, but if she gets worse and becomes a danger to the family, he has to either bring her in to the quarantine center where she’ll be killed, or take care of it himself. But Wade is unable to accept the truth, that Maggie is serious trouble, and spends his time in denial until everything comes to a crashing climax.

This is an unusual science fiction movie that cares more about the characters than the horror. Most zombie films are all about the danger and the gore, and the chase to keep away from the monsters. This film is quite different, as the zombie disease is secondary to the feelings and pain that the family goes through, and that Maggie goes through as she loses herself little by little, but is somehow aware of the tragedy that is falling upon her and her family. It’s very touching and very moving and a very different zombie movie than you’ve ever seen before. Done with a minuscule budget, if not for the backing of Arnold who once he saw the script, knew it was meant for him created sort of a new career for the former Governor of California. As he says in his interview, there is no way he would have ever accepted this role in his younger days when success was measured in the number of kills and the size and quantity of big guns. But he has changed too as he’s matured and has a family or two of his own. He was so touched by the script, that he jumped all in and without his backing this probably could not have been made. As it is, it’s a very touching story with great emotional scenes that make you go through a whole range of emotions. Arnold was good, but so was Abigail who played a very difficult role and nailed it exceptionally. This movie was well worth the time I spent watching it, and though it’s mostly unheard of, it’s well worth looking out for it. Excellent.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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