Movie Rentals Releasing Tuesday May 2, 2017

  • The Comedian
  • A Dog’s Purpose
  • Gold
  • I Am Not Your Negro
  • MindGames
  • The Red Turtle
  • The Resurrection of Gavin Stone
  • Rings [Click Here for Ed’s Review]
  • The Salesman
  • Saving Banksy
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Black Label Media, Gilbert Films, Impostor Pictures,

Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, Rosemarie DeWitt, J.K. Simmons, Finn Wittrock, Meagen Fay, Callie Hernandez, Sonoya Mizuno, Jessica Rothe, Tom Everett, Josh Pence

Mia (Emma Stone) is a wannabe Hollywood actress, but stuck working as a barista in the studio commissary. She is frustrated, but full of ambition. Meanwhile, she keeps running into jazz pianist Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and tempers flare until sparks begin to fly. But each is filled with ambition and drive, and their paths are certainly separate from each other, so they have to face many difficult choices along their way for a relationship that seems to be doomed from the beginning. This is certainly a musical, but it’s filled with nostalgia for Hollywood yesterday, and old fashioned falling in love.

This film will ever be remembered as the film that Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced as the Best Picture winner at the Oscars in 2017 when it actually lost. This was a classic screw-up of massive proportions. But was this film the Best Picture, really? La La Land is a paradox of ups and downs, goods and bads. On the good side, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling were absolutely great in their roles. They nailed the style and motif of the film perfectly. They both pulled off some really amazing skills that blew everyone away. For example, the plan was to use a pianist to play the piano with Ryan only pretending to do it. But he took lessons constantly that allowed him to play the music himself and perform the songs effortlessly. Even John Legend was impressed. Emma has a huge audition scene which she also performed herself, flipping between acting and singing without any the usual prerecorded track. The cast was very impressed. The cinematography is very well done. The look and feel of Hollywood is colorful and beautiful and show many of the sites and locations that mean so much to those of us who live here in LA. The story is very nostalgic, but that’s what we are really looking for. It pays homage to the Hollywood of yore and does it very well. It’s a simple boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl story, told with music. Now for the bads. The music is highly forgettable. When was the last time you heard a huge hit song from the new musical LA LA Land on the radio? It’s really simplistic and seems to mostly just fill in time. That part could have been done very much better. The story is rather simplistic. The drama seems really contrived and not really very believable. But the negatives don’t really destroy the experience, and it was very popular with the Foreign Press! For those who have had the acting or musician bug, it’s right up your alley, but not everyone is going to love this. I did not think it was best picture by any means, but it is good enough for a high recommendation. It is a great opportunity, like watching and old movie on AMC, to kick off your shoes, lie back, and enjoy a couple hours of pure unadulterated nostalgia. Finally a word about the ending. This may catch some folks by surprise, but there is an epilogue to the film that is a performance art sort of piece showing the “what ifs” of what life could have been. This film is about wishes and dreams, more than about love and romance, and it’s an interesting way to send us off think about that. The final ending is stunning. Wait for it.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Paramount Pictures, Skydance Media, Huahua Media,

Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Danika Yarosh, Austin Hébert, Patrick Heusinger, Aldis Hodge, Holt McCallany, Robert Knepper, Robert Catrini

“Jack Reacher” (Tom Cruise) in 2012 present Tom Cruise as an ex military police, lone vigilante type real badasss. [Click Here for Ed’s Review] Jack is back, this time under suspicion for murder, and watching people near him getting taken out at a speedy pace in this sequel to the 2012 film. Turner (Cobie Smulders) is in the office and is his primary contact, but when he arrives to see her in person he finds that she has been arrested for espionage, and those who are out to get him are after her too. It turns out it could be a huge conspiracy involving high up military personnel as well as a primary private contractor involved in a massive corrupt scheme. But Jack isn’t ready for another surprise as he finds out that he’s also wanted as a deadbeat Dad, since a woman filed a claim against him for a daughter he never knew anything about. She’s 15 now, and a true street rat named Samantha (Danika Yarosh) who is suddenly mixed up with Reacher and Turner as all three of them are on the run and trying to stay alive in this ultimately violent and extremely intense action film.

So it’s not surprising to anyone when I say that I’ve not been a Tom Cruise fan for many years, especially after the Mission Impossible disasters which I absolutely loathed. But I have to admit that he does a really good job with his Reacher character. It’s been a long time since we’ve had someone as rough and tough as this guy. He reminds me a lot of Charles Bronson in his heyday, and there is a feel a lot like the Death Wish films from the 70’s. The prime difference here is that Bronson was a private citizen who is wronged and heads out to exact revenge. But Reacher is an inside guy with his military background who has become discouraged with the corruption and heads out on his own against the system, but still with a strong feeling of right and wrong. Much like the Bourne films too, but Reacher is maybe not as smart as Bourne, but he’s certainly tougher than anyone I’ve seen in a long time. I actually really liked the original Jack Reacher, and I liked this one just as much. It’s every bit as exciting, and the addition of Cobie Smulders and Danika Yarosh really help, as both of them are really good here as well. I think Cobie was pretty good in this tough guy role, but Yarosh really blew me away with her acting skills. She really did an excellent job. All in all this is a very action filled crash fest with lots of fist fights, gun fights, and car chases, with some of the best cat and mouse scenes I’ve seen in a long time. If you like action, this is a really good film. I recommend this one for fans of the action genre. It’s a great sequel to a good original film.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Apaches Entertainment, La Trini, A Monster Calls,

Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Lewis MacDougall, Liam Neeson, Toby Kebbell

Conor (Lewis MacDougall) is a young boy struggling with life in the private school where he is being bullied by some of his classmates. A horrible tragedy has struck, and Conor’s Mum (Felicity Jones) and his Dad (Toby Kebbell) have separated and Dad lives in the U.S. Conor is staying with his Grandmother (Sigourney Weaver) who is very strict and quite cross. To keep his sanity, Conor has a tree monster friend (Liam Neeson) who has promised to tell him three stories, then Conor must tell the fourth to solve his problem and relieve his pain. In the end, Conor must face the truth of his situation.

This was a very surprising film. It looked like a typical kids fantasy story, but is much, much more. This is a very difficult story to tell and to make it interesting enough for adults, yet not too extreme for younger folks. This is not a fantasy science fiction-y fairy tale, but a true life story of love, loss, death, and pain, told in a gentle way. The power of this story is impressive, and the director J.A. Bayona did an amazing job of bringing this story to the screen. Lewis MacDougall was absolutely amazing as Conor. He deserves a lot of praise for the professional way he played his role. Sigourney Weaver, of course, was fantastic too. In fact, the entire cast was really awesome. This is such a touching story, and one that was so very well presented, that I was really moved. The Monster in this film, is mostly real as well, with many different pieces of the tree built as practical set pieces that could be used for filming. Kudos for not resorting to CGI for most of it. Excellent choice. I have to recommend this film, a great fantasy, with such a powerful story that you’ll never forget it. This is a must see film.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Movie Rentals Releasing Tuesday April 25, 2017


Author: EdG

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