Friday, November 10, 2017

Murder on the Orient Express

Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Judi Dench, Derek Jacobi, Michael Pena, Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe an Josh Gad
Running Time: 1 Hour and 54 Minutes

This is a remake of the 1974 version and both of these movies are based on the very popular Agatha Christie novel.
This is such a classic and sophisticated mystery that I do not want to divulge any secrets that might give away the plot.
I will just say that I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and I found it to be highly entertaining with a serious touch of elegance. It also has an impressive cast of characters!
This is the story of an upscale train en route from Istanbul, Turkey to London, England that caters to the rich and elite. They suddenly find themselves caught in a ferocious storm and the train is suddenly derailed. They are stranded for hours until help can come and rescue them.
Mysteriously a passenger (I'm not going to identify) is murdered  and everyone becomes a suspect!
It just so happens that the world's most famous and very best detective Herecule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) is a passenger on board! He immediately goes to work to find out who amongst the passengers is guilty of the heinous murder.
This is a story that finds that all of the passengers are unknowingly intertwined to the murder victim. There are a lot of twists and turns and it is very intriguing. The perfect nostalgic whodunit! A classic Agatha Christie thriller.
I really enjoyed this movie. It was entertaining and thought provoking. I appreciated the old time feel it had. If you just want a fun mystery escape movie, this will fill the bill.
Parents be advised: This movie is rated PG-13. I would recommend this movie for children over the age of 13. It is more of an adult movie. There is really nothing objectionable it is just better suited to adults. I don't think it would hold a child's or young adults interest. I don't recall any profanity but the murder victim is shown and that was somewhat gruesome.
I am giving "Murder on the Orient Express" three and a half bags of popcorn.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Goodbye Christopher Robin

Starring: Will Tilston, Alex Lawther, Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie and Vicki Pepperdine
Running Time: 1Hour and 47 Minutes

This is the true story of how all of the "Winnie The Pooh" books came to be.
The author A. A. Milne (Alan Alexander Milne) was a noted writer and playwright before he wrote the "Winnie The Pooh" books.
He grew up in England where he served in both World Wars I and II. He married Dorothy
 "Daphne" de Selincourt and they had a child, a son whom they named Christopher Robin.
With all of the incredible success of "Winnie The Pooh", they moved out of London and into the beautiful English Countryside of Sussex where "the hundred acre wood" got it's beginning.
Christopher Robin was an only child whose mother Daphne (Margot Robbie) was very unhappy that he was a boy and not a girl (she wanted a daughter). Plus, she claims during the birth that he almost killed her and she forever had a chip on her shoulder against him and really wanted very little to do with him.
She insisted on hiring a nanny to care for baby Christopher Robin, they hired Betty
 (Vicki Pepperdine) who adored the child and he grew to really love her too.
His mother Daphne was a very social debutante  and would leave their home to go back to London to mingle with her friends for months at a time. She did however, introduce Christopher Robin to the stuffed animals made so famous in the "Winnie The Pooh" stories. She gave him the stuffed bear, tiger, donkey, piglet. kanga and roo from her travels to London where she named them and played with them with Christopher Robin occasionally. He loved his toys and they held a very special place in his heart.
He was left alone with his father Alan Alexander (Domhnall Gleeson) when his nanny suddenly had to leave to attend to her dying mother.
His father struggled with debilitating post traumatic stress disorder from his tours of duty. Christopher Robin and his father had to learn to function with one another. They had to depend on one another which was difficult in the beginning, they would take walks together in the countryside and actually started to form a bond. Christopher Robin would reassure his father that everything was ok when a loud noise or boom would go off. He helped his father to overcome some of his insecurities.
Christopher Robin was taken out to public signings and social events to promote the books where he was idolized! He was very nervous and insecure in those situations.
As time went on, Christopher Robin was sent away to boarding school where he was not accepted with the other boys and bullied mercilessly for being the famous character in the classic books. He always felt like an outcast. He then enlisted in the military where he was sent away.
This was a very interesting and informative movie. It was really fascinating to learn the true history behind these magical childhood classics! I must admit, this movie left me very sad, I feel like he had a very lonely and unhappy childhood. There were some happy moments and the scenery was beautiful but it was still a very somber movie. I have a completely different perspective about those little storybooks now.
Parents be advised: this movie is rated PG. I would not recommend this movie for children under the age of 13.
 Don't be fooled by the title. Not that there is anything bad or objectionable, rather just a very somber, melancholy and lonely story of a character (who is a real human being) that we have all grown up with and loved and admired, It is definitely for more mature audiences,
I am giving "Goodbye Christopher Robin" three bags of popcorn.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Only The Brave

Starring: Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Connelly, James Badge Dale, Taylor Kitsch, Andie MacDowell and Matthew Van Wettering
Running Time: 2 Hours and 13 Minutes

This is such a dramatic and realistic movie, that you are drawn into it from the very start.
With all of the deadly and devastating wildfires that have taken place recently in Northern California, I think it made this movie even that much more realistic.
This is the true story of the "Granite Hotshots", as they are referred to, a group whose mission was to fight wildfires, located out of Prescott, Arizona.
There were twenty firefighters in the hotshot crew. They were a great group of young men comprised of mostly of 20-30 year olds. This story is centered around only a few of the primary characters, namely Eric Marsh (Josh Brolin) the superintendent of the Hotshots, his wife Amanda Marsh (Jennifer Connelly) and their personal trials and tribulations. Also the story of young Brenden McDonough (Miles Teller) nicknamed Doughnut and the difficult obstacles he has to overcome to become a coveted "Hotshot".
These young firefighters are a typical bunch of young men, a little rowdy at times but always full of life and love. They were always willing to put their own lives on the line for the greater good!
The Hotshots were trained to the highest standards to be able to fight the most perilous fires and to be able to survive under the very worst of conditions.
On June 28th 2013 a lightening strike near Yarnell, Arizona ignited a wildfire which grew out of control. On June 30th the fire overran the fire lines at lightening speed and trapped 19 of the Hotshots. They had absolutely no where to run for safety and this is the most unfortunate story of the infamous Granite Hotshots.
This is such a moving and highly emotional story. Just such a heartbreaking and devastating set of circumstances. This story puts firefighting these horrific and deadly fires into perspective and you come to really, really appreciate these young men and all they do and sacrifice for us!
I was amazed how totally realistic this film was, I honestly felt like I was right on the fire lines myself. The special effects were totally incredible!
I also loved how they paid tribute to the firefighters at the end of the movie, it made it very up close and personal. God bless all of the fallen firefighters and their families!!!
Parents be advised: This movie is rated PG-13. This is a very intense movie with dangerous firefighting situations front and center! There is some raucous behavior, male behind nudity (several times), the f-bomb was used twice along with other profanity and a bedroom scene between a husband and wife. I would not recommend this movie for children under the age of thirteen.
I am giving "Only The Brave" four bags of popcorn.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Battle of the Sexes

Starring: Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Elizabeth Shue, Sarah Silverman, Alan Cumming, 
Jessica McNamee and Bill Pullman
Running Time: 2 Hours and 1 Minute

Do you remember all the way back to 1973 and the rollicking tennis rivalry between Billy Jean King and Bobby Riggs? The date was officially September 20th 1973 when the exhibition match dubbed the "Battle Of The Sexes" took place at the Houston Astrodome.
This movie is based on that story. It tells of the circumstances that led up to that infamous tennis match.
Billy Jean King (Emma Stone) is in her top form as one of the very best female tennis players in the world. She and British Tennis superstar Margaret Court (Jessica McNamee) have their own rivalry going on for the title of best female tennis player. 
When 55 year old washed up ex-men's champion Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) tries relentlessly to persuade Billy Jean to verse him in an exhibition match, she is not interested. He continues to try and convince her otherwise with no avail. 
This movie delves into their individual personal lives and that helps to set the stage for this story.
This all took place during the women's movement and the sexual revolution of the 70's.
Billy Jean is a 29 year old married woman who is constantly on the road and away from her husband Larry (Austin Stowell) . When she is getting her hair done by a new hairdresser, Marilyn Barnett (Andrea Riseborough)  Marilyn takes a very personal interest in her and they develop a friendship. Billy Jean invites Marilyn to one of her big tournaments in San Diego, and Marilyn decides to attend. One thing leads to another and they begin a lesbian relationship. 
On the other hand, Bobby Riggs is struggling with his own personal demons of gambling and trying to re-invent himself. He is also having marital issues with his wife Priscilla (Elisabeth Shue) and she is becoming tired of his shenanigans.
That is the basis for one of the most watched sporting events ever with record 90 million viewers worldwide and the rest is history!
I liked this movie, I enjoyed watching their stories and how the "Battle Of The Sexes" officially came to be. I did take issue with the lesbian scenes. It seemed to me that it was highlighted a lot and it made me uncomfortable! It also showed Bobby Riggs posing nude (You can't see anything but you get the idea) for a magazine. 
Parents be advised: This movie is rated PG-13. I would recommend children ages 13 and above for this one, maybe even older. There are some suggestive lesbian scenes with brief partial nudity and also brief male partial nudity. Some mild profanity and some misogyny.
I am giving "Battle Of The Sexes" two bags of popcorn.

Friday, July 21, 2017


Starring: Fionn Whitehead, Aneurin Barnard, Harry Styles, Mark Rylance, Barry Keoghan, Jack Lowden, Tom Hardy, Tom Glynn-Carney, Kenneth Branagh, Damian Bonnard and James Bloor
Running Time: 1 Hour and 46 Minutes

What a completely engrossing movie! One of the most realistic movies I have ever seen!
Dunkirk is the true story of an epic war event that took place between May 26th to June 4th, 1940 in Dunkirk, France during World War II. 400,000 Allied troops (British, French, Polish, Belgian and Netherlands) found themselves trapped by the Nazi's closing in on all sides in the remote area of Dunkirk. They were at the mercy of (mostly British) civilian humanitarians. The call went out to anyone in England who had access to a boat or boating vessel of any kind to answer to the plea for help.
This movie takes place from the land, the sea and the air. There is a lot going on with three different viewpoints taking place. Everyone's life is in peril and they have to think smart and fast!
It's so humbling to see these extremely young soldiers trying desperately to make the right choices and still putting the wounded before themselves for the greater good.
Director Christopher Nolan known for these great movies ("The Dark Knight", " Dark Knight Rises", "Inception", "Interstellar" and "Batman Begins" to name a few) broke out of his regular fictional movies to "Dunkirk", and he did an outstanding job!
The scenery and the photography, especially the. action scenes are second to none! You feel completely immersed into the drama and the vulnerable surroundings! Hans Zimmer does the intense musical score which just helps to keep you on the edge of your seat as well.
The movie is loosely based on three young soldiers, Tommy (Fiona Whitehead), Gibson (Aneurin Barnard) and Alex (Harry Styles)... yes, the Harry Styles from the legendary rockband
"One Direction"! They are the "on land" story which depicts their incredible struggle to just stay alive during this most trying time!
Then you have the "on air" story,which depicts an RAF pilot,  Farrier (Tom Hardy) who struggles mightily to save the friendly troops and survive the enemy all the while trying to fly his plane.
Lastly, you have the "on sea" story ever unfolding. This is the story of a civilian father Mr. Dawson (Mark Rylance) and his two sons George (Barry Keoghan) and Collins (Jack Lowden). who set out on a yacht to help save their military comrades.
All in all this is a very dramatic edge of your seat spectacle that will leave you moved beyond your imagination!
The "Battle of Dunkirk"is also know as the "Miracle of Dunkirk"! The movie poster says something to the effect, that if the soldiers couldn't get home, then home came to them!
I think that pretty much sums it all up! They recommend that you see "Dunkirk" in a 70 mm theater.. however, there are no 70 mm theaters in Utah. So, make sure you see this epic story in an IMAX theater!!!
Parents be advised: "Dunkirk" is rated PG-13. This movie is about true, actual war events with violence and extreme action sequences. Fortunately they spare you the real gritty, blood and bodies being ripped apart in this movie. It wasn't as gruesome as what I thought is was going to be. There is some profanity, two F-bombs are dropped and some other mild curse words. I would not recommend this movie for children under fourteen. The entire movie is very intense!
I am giving "Dunkirk", four bags of popcorn.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Spider-man: Homecoming

Starring: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Jacob Batalon, Jon Favreau, Laura Harrier, Donald Glover and Zendaya
Running Time: 2 Hours and 13 Minutes

Back to the ultimate gravity-defying teenage superhero!
Peter Parker AKA Spider-man (Tom Holland) stars as a geeky High School Sophomore who lives at home with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei). Still overwhelmed by his experiences with The Avengers fresh on his mind, he diligently strives to be very discreet about his true identity. He also just happens to have an internship with Stark Enterprises under the guidance of  the infamous Tony Stark AKA Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.).
 When his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) a superhero fanboy, just happens to surprise Peter in Peter's own bedroom, the cat is out of the bag! Peter not knowing that Ned was there, was climbing on the ceiling in his Spider-man suit when Ned caught him red-handed and was elated that his very best-friend Peter Parker, was indeed the elusive super-hero, Spider-man! Peter tries desperately to deny it but the evidence speaks for itself. Peter finally concedes and demands that Ned keeps his ultimate secret. Then the action really begins! Spider-man eventually encounters Adrian Toomes AKA The Vulture (Michael Keaton), a formidable foe. Adrian stars as a conniving and evil man who is determined to take down and destroy young Spider-man!
This movie is a great addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe! It takes you from Peter's humble beginnings as the friendly neighborhood Spider-man to a real strong Superhero!
I found "Spider-man: Homecoming" to be a lot of fun. A movie with a new revved up and more believable Spider-man. It was an entertaining story with a lot of comedy and humor.
Parents be advised: This movie is rated PG-13. It contains some mild profanity, sci-fi action violence and a brief reference by Peter's friend Ned about pornography.
I am giving "Spider-man: Homecoming" three and a half bags of popcorn.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Cars 3

Starring the voices of: Owen Wilson, Cristela Alonzo, Larry the Cable Guy, Chris Cooper, Nathan Fillion, Armie Hammer, Ray Magliozzi, Tony Shaloub and Bonnie Hunt
Running Time: 1 Hour and 49 Minutes

The legendary Lightening McQueen is back! It was fun to return back to "The Cars" franchise.
The original "Cars" was released all the way back in 2006, "Cars 2" in 2011 and now we have
 "Cars 3".
This was very sweet and tender movie that primarily focuses on racing superstar, Lightening McQueen (Owen Wilson) who Is returning back to the racing scene with a lot of bright and shiny fast entertainment.
Lightening finds himself just a little overwhelmed when a very fancy new generation race car, Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer) rolls into town! Lightening is use to being the number one draw at the speedway. Suddenly he feels like he is being overlooked for this flamboyant new kid on the block! When Lightening's good buddies start to get discouraged by Jackson Storm, they start to retire from the racetrack while Lightening is starting to lose his own self confidence and questioning his own ability to race. On his final race he finds himself in a bad crash where he sustains some serious damage! He questions if he is getting too old to race anymore and considers whether he should retire too?
He consults with his great friends from Radiator Springs, Sally (Bonnie Hunt and Mater (Larry the cable guy) fortunately,  they encourage him and boost his confidence to get back on the racing circuit. He leaves for Florida to begin training and he unexpectedly has a new sponsor, Sterling (Nathan Fillion) who has a fantastic state of the art facility. Lightening still questions if he has the prowess or if he is getting too old to continue to race?
" Cars 3" felt like it had returned to the original and sweet story of "Cars 1". It felt more true to form. This is a story that the entire family can go and see and all will enjoy it without hesitation. As with all Disney Pixar movies, the visuals were off of the chart! Just a charming little movie
Parents be advised: "Cars 3" is rated G, it's been a really long time since I have reviewed a movie rated "G"! It's really nice  and refreshing to finally have a "G" rated movie in the theaters.
I am giving "Cars 3" four bags of popcorn.

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