Monkeypaw Productions,

Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Cali Sheldon, Noelle Sheldon, Anna Diop, Kara Hayward, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Nathan Harrington, David M Sandoval Jr., Madison Curry, Duke Nicholson

The Wilson Family is on vacation up in Santa Cruz, Ca near the seashore. They need a break, and some time to unwind. But after a visit to the famous boardwalk, when they return to the cabin, four strangers are standing in their driveway. As they investigate further, they determine that the four characters look like each of the family members, and as time passes, they definitely intend harm to the Wilsons, their neighbors, and lots of other people. It’s going to be a long night.

I wanted to see this movie opening weekend. I’m glad I did, as I’m starting to see a lot of whines and complaints about this movie, most of which are not really justified. This is a really creepy story with lots of violent actions, and a great deal of suspense. However, it’s not you usual horror film with no real story, just lots of loud noises and sudden jumps. This is a deeply dark and suspenseful story that is quite complex with a lot to think about and figure out. So those who just want another straight forward horror fest are going to be disappointed. You need to be aware that the story is a lot more complex than it appears on the surface, and be prepared to invest some brain cycles to figure it all out. Secondly, this is the second film from Producer/Director Jordan Peele. This makes it normal that people would want to put the two films (The other one is Get Out) side by side and compare them This is a big mistake because these films are not at all alike. Now on the other hand, there are some problems with this movie. It might be because it’s only Jordon’s second film, or it could be simply some bad advise. It’s also hard to discuss this all without giving away too much, but speaking generically, they took great pains to try to explain how this all happened. Unfortunately, it’s not a very good explanation, and leaves us with some really strange plot problems. It seems like the tried to throw in a twist in the end, as it seems proper to do, but it doesn’t work at all with the entire rest of the movie, and was very ill advised. Sometimes we are better off not knowing the cause for the crisis, and it is better to leave a lot more up to the viewer to determine what it all means. Still, I did enjoy this film (although my companions in theater did not) and I think it was worth the trip to see it. I do like stories with thoughtful questions and deeper meanings, and every horror film does not need to be a shallow slasher with no plot. I just wish they had done a little more work on the script to fix some of the problems in the story. This film would have been a lot better with a little more thought into the plot holes and how to plug them up.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Blumhouse Productions, Dentsu, Digital Riot Media,

Jessica Rothe, Ruby Modine, Israel Broussard, Suraj Sharma, Rachel Matthews, Charles Aitken, Steve Zissis, Caleb Spillyards, Sarah Yarkin, Laura Clifton, Wendy Miklovic, GiGi Erneta, Phi Vu, Tenea Intriago, Kaleb Naquin

In Happy Death Day (the original film) Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) has finally stopped waking up every day in a strange guy’s dorm room, and reliving the same day over and over again, each time ending by getting killed by a guy in a baby mask. As this sequel takes off, another of the friends claims that it’s now happening to him and he’s getting killed every day by the same guy, and reliving it over and over. Tree and rest of the gang, mostly science nerds, set out to solve Ryan’s (Phi Vu) problem and get involved in the problem as they finally realize what caused the strange things that happened to Tree and are now happening to Ryan. There are many more consequences to what is happening and it’s extremely important for everyone that they find a solution, but that’s not going to be easy.

The second in what is supposed to be a trilogy, this movie answers a great many of the questions that we had in Happy Death Day. At the end of it, there were a lot of questions left open as to how the hell this was happening and why Tree was caught up in the middle of it. This film is probably even better that the firs tone which I also rated four starts. Now granted, i enjoy horror films, and always have, but this group is much better that they average slasher film. Blumhouse has been putting out some pretty good horror films of late, and they are doing a great job of turning out entertaining scary movies. Kudos guys. This is a thoughtful story, and not overly gory, but highly suspenseful and really worth the price of admission. Be sure to see the first one though before this one, as it really will be more enjoyable that way. If you can see them close together, that’s the best, as you will certainly have questions after the first one this the second installment will answer. If they do have a third segment, it will be interesting to see where they go from here, but all in all, this was a good horror film.

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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Ilion Animation Studios, Midnight Radio, Nickelodeon Movies,

Sofia Mali, Jennifer Garner, Ken Hudson Campbell, Kenan Thompson, Mila Kunis, John Oliver, Ken Jeong, Norbert Leo Butz, Matthew Broderick, Brianna Denski, Oev Michael Urbas, Kate McGregor-Stewart, Kevin Chamberlin, Kath Soucie, Noen Perez

June (Sofie Mali, Briana Denski) is a young girl with a vivid imagination. With her Mom (Jennifer Garner) she uses her toys to design and build an imaginary amusement park called Wonderland. But things change as Mom becomes sick and Wonderland gets put away. On a trip to summer camp, June runs away to go back home, but on the way she finds that Wonderland is real, and that since she left it behind, it has fallen into decay and is in bad shape, but with the help of her toy friends, she may be the one who can put it back together again and save the park.

I have been looking forward to this film since I first saw the preview, and thought that I had to see this one. I was disappointed though and I feel quite a bit let down. The colors and the design of this animated film are really good, and the music and soundtrack are well done, but the story lacks any oomph to make it interesting, and I found it just didn’t move me. This is more like a Saturday morning cartoon than a feature movie, and it should have had a lot more work done on the actual story itself which is where the movie fell short. I definitely think it is worth seeing, but as to paying the cash to see this in the theater, maybe there are better things to see than this one. This is a definite rental somewhere down the road, but I sure wish there had been a better story to tell than it provided, so I can’t really recommend running out to see this. Nickelodeon has disappointed me in the past, and I think perhaps they don’t have the depth to make a really good feature film. They just often don’t compare to the big guys. It’s a shame as this looked like a really great opportunity. I am sad.

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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