Archive for Drama

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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Lascaux Films, Latitude Productions, Revelations Entertainment,

Michael Cristofer, Diane Keaton, Morgan Freeman, Cynthia Nixon, Claire van der Boom, Korey Jackson, Carrie Preston, Sterling Jerins, Josh Pais, Miriam Shor, Alysia Reiner

Ruth (Diane Keaton) and Alex Carver (Morgan Freeman) have been married for over 40 years. Most of their married life they have lived in a walk-up apartment in Brooklyn, and the 5th floor, and without an Elevator. Alex is an artists, and loves his home, but Ruth is worried that they are getting older and sooner or later they won’t be able to climb five flights of stairs and need to find an apartment with an elevator. So with the aggressive help of Aunt Lily Portman (Cynthia Nixon) who is a realtor, the decide to put their apartment up for sale to see what they can get for it. That is Lily and Ruth put it up for sale, as Alex wants nothing to do with it. We’re blessed with Alex’s reminisces of their early life and how they met and fell in love in a series of flashbacks. But several unexpected events makes it as though fate is out to destroy everything. This is a touching “elders” film that is really well done and right on point.

This movie has the feel of a stage play in the way it tells the story. IT feels very unscripted, although it is based on a novel, but it’s the skill of the primary actors, Diane and Morgan and Cynthia Nixon are really talented actors, and they just work together in one of the most comfortable and believable stories I’ve seen in a long while. I would suspect anyone who like character driven films would love this movie and appreciate its charm, but it’s perfect for those of us around retirement age as we realize the problems and troubles they experience are very similar to our lives. Ruth was a free and easy flower child in her youth, and her decision to enter into an interracial marriage in those times was pure grit and stubbornness. It’s fascinating to see how it has morphed into today, when they’re both elderly and to see how it worked out and how much they care for each other, but still have issues today, even though much less that earlier days. There is a side story about their only child, their dog Dorothy who has grown old with them and has serious problems of her own. Facing her crisis and in turn facing their own mortality is a very pleasant and touching story in itself. This is a slow and steady character piece without a lot of action, and yet it’s very suspenseful at the same time and you can’t wait to find out how it’ll end up. This is a really wonderful story told in the charm of New York City, by terrific actors, and is well worth watching. What a nice experience it was to watch this story.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 


 

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Tashmoo Productions, Amber Entertainment, Belladonna Productions

Willa Holland, Amy Jo Johnson, Tatanka Means, Elise Eberle, Cynthia Stevenson, Lucien Dale, Forrest Fyre, Russell Means

Davey Wexler (Willa Holland) is a young lady still in school, and loves her life in Atlantic City with her parents and her little brother. But when her father is killed in a robbery, and her mother finds herself lost and in deep grief and taking too many pills, she decides to take Davey and her brother to New Mexico to live temporarily with her sister’s family. But her mother seems to be slipping further and further from reality and Davey is getting more and more frustrated and having a really hard time fitting in at the new school. Davey goes for a journey to the canyon, and meets a strange guy named “Wolf” (Tatanka Means) and they hit it off in a very beautiful friendship. Wolf is a secretive and has walls as high as Davey’s but he still manages to teach her to look at life from a different point of view and to face and overcome the many obstacles in her life and to change her point of view completely. This is a touching and classic book by world famous author Judy Blume and her husband Lawrence Bloom wrote the screenplay and directed this heartwarming story.

This is another of those films that I missed years ago in it’s release due to Netflix’s DVD throttling practices and it finally bubbled up to the top of my queue. What a wonderful story and very well done performances. A lot of it is filmed on location in the mountains of New Mexico. This is a perfect story for preteen and early teen girls, like most of Judy’s books, and is a perfect story for them, but the value of the softly told story, definitely not in your face, I found I really enjoyed it as well. It has much of the feel of a Wonderful World of Disney TV movie from back in the 60’s but is much deeper than those. Wolf is, of course, a native American who has a lot of love for his culture and heritage, and a few secrets of his own. He did a wonderful job in performing this role, and was perfectly cast. Willa is an amazing actress. I have to admit I was very impressed with her performance. She can portray pages of dialog with just her expression and when she’s wordless, is some of the best moments in the film. From shock, to pain, to frustration, to worry, to love and caring, it’s all there in the emotion her face can portray. She was superb in this movie and is building a large volume of work. The location and the majestic scenery is also stunning. All in all, this little film is an excellent hidden gem that I didn’t know about, but was very happy to stumble upon. It was a pleasure. This is one of those films, that, when it was finished, I went back and watched it all over again with the commentary by Judy and Lawrence Blume, which was every bit as good as the movie itself. The love and caring they put into this story, and the hard work and dedication the cast put into playing the part, makes this a very worthwhile film to watch. Look for it.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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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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The Film Community, Electric Entertainment,

Josh Charles, Julia Stiles, Avan Jogia, Tracie Thoms, Leo Fitzpatrick, Mike Houston, Jasper Newell

Tom Seymour (Josh Charles) is a psychologist, married to his wife Lauren (Julia Stiles), and the two are down by the sea when they notice a young man jumping off the pier. Despite his wife’s warnings, Tom climbs the fence and jumps in to save this young man from drowning himself. When he meets his new patient, Danny Miller (Avan Jogia) he learns that he is the same man that he saved from drowning, but also the man was the boy of 11 that his testimony sent away to prison decades before. How odd that the two are once again together, but Tom soon finds Danny inserting himself into his life in very strange ways. Was it all a coincidence, or is Danny really dangerous? This is an eerie mystery and a creeping insight into Tom’s secrets.

This seems like a movie based on a book that might be very, very good. But the movie lacks a lot. The characters are relatively well developed which is more than I can say about the story itself. The script never gets off the ground, and is a bit of an abortion. I’m not sure what the makers of this film were aiming for, but I’m disappointed that they seemed to miss the mark entirely. The film is very slow and dragging, and each moment you think that something is going to make sense, it doesn’t. All in all, the air above my head was filled with question marks throughout the whole film, and I never figured out what it could possibly mean. Who is Julia Stiles supposed to be, and what use is she to the film. Sadly, she has a mysterious role that we never get a clue of. I don’t know who this kid/man is/was, and by the end I really didn’t care. Is the doctor an evil bastard, an abused wimp, or a hero of some sort? Hell if I know. It ended, and the big surprise ending didn’t do anything to bring anything to a close either. After it was all over, I’m just completely confused as to what it was all about. This movie really looked like it had a superior idea for a story that just fizzled out after the initial rescue and never recovered. Now I’m left wondering if this actually based on a decent book that could give me some peace at understanding this tale, or if it’s just something I need to forget and move on to the next movie and forget this ever happened.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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