Friday, July 15, 2016

Ghostbusters

PG-13
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth, Andy Garcia and Neil Casey
Brief Cameo appearances by: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts and Sigourney Weaver
Running Time: 1 Hour and 48 Minutes

I honestly had no idea what to expect when I attended the screening for this movie. I definitely was not impressed that they had turned the entire Ghostbusting team upside down, I felt that, that much of a change was going to destroy the whole concept of the original 1984 "Ghostbusters" which I loved!
Much to my dismay, it worked! I mean, it really did work and I ended up being very impressed with the new female characters and the women who played them.
I was drawn in so quickly and the movie held my interest the entire way through it.
When New York City finds itself being haunted with apparitions and unusual goings on, two young women, Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) and Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) decide to start a company dedicated to finding and capturing these detestable creatures.
Abby had formerly written a book with Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) who is currently seeking tenure in her profession and wants nothing to do with Abby and the study of Ghosts. They argue over who has the rights to the book. Erin is afraid if her superiors find out about her past with the paranormal, it will destroy any chance she has for an advancement in her career. But when Abby insists Erin goes with them to an old mansion which is believed to be haunted, she reluctantly goes and they encounter a dreadful apparition.
The encounters become more frequent and more intense as well. A new character, Rowan North (Neil Casey) is a very strange type of human who you just know is going to end up being an evil creeper.
Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) works for the NYC Subway system and is drawn into the fabulous Ghostbusting team when another apparition appears to them all while down in the dirty and disgusting subway.
The women form a team of four and hire Kevin (Chris Hemsworth) to be their receptionist even though he has very little skills of any sort.
When word gets out that Ghosts have been haunting New York, the Mayor (Andy Garcia) wants to eradicate the rumors and have the Ghostbusting team labeled as frauds.
All chaos breaks out and the Ghostbusters come to save the day!
There were brief cameo appearances by the original Ghostbusters except for Harold Ramis, who sadly passed away in 2014.
Be sure and stick around for a bonus scene after the credits too.
I actually thoroughly enjoyed this movie. I really had my doubts that they could resurrect this franchise and make it worthwhile. The audience reaction was very positive too. Every time one of the original characters surfaced, they went wild!
This truly is a very fun movie. It has substance and humor. It is just a movie that will let you escape reality for a short time.
Parents be advised: This movie is rated PG-13. There is a fair amount of profanity but no F-bombs.
 It also has some very intense moments that can be intimidating and frightening, The apparitions are scary and realistic. I would not recommend this movie for children under ten years old.
I am giving "Ghostbusters", three and a half bags of popcorn.







Friday, July 8, 2016

The Secret Life of Pets

PG
Starring the voices of:  Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Ellie Kemper, Albert Brooks, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan, Chris Renaud, Steve Coogan and Michael Beattie
Running Time: 1 Hour and 30 Minutes

If you feel the need for a reprieve after all of the grim news lately, this little movie is your answer.
I admit that I did have very high expectations for this movie, and I was a little disappointed.
But overall, I found it to be a sweet and fun little popcorn movie.
As the title "The Secret Life of Pets" implies, this movie is about little Max (Louis C. K.) a darling and very happy and content little terrier that lives alone with his owner Katie (Ellie Kemper) in New York City. It focuses on his life and what happens to him after Katie leaves everyday for work.
 He has a network of other animal pals in his apartment building that collaborate together to get through the doom and gloom of life after their owners all abandon them for work everyday!
One day Katie brings home a great surprise for Max... another dog! A very large and messy dog named Duke (Eric Stonestreet). Well, Max is not happy about this at all! In fact he is angry!!!
Max and Duke are very different and Max is determined to get Duke in trouble.
The two of them set out on an interesting journey where they encounter many obstacles and unusual animals where it gets a little scary for them. They encounter fire escapes, roads, sewers, animal control and a tough little bunny named Snowball (Kevin Hart) who is anti-human because of the way he and his buddies have been treated by them.
Max's friends back at the apartment building notice he is missing and Gidget (Jenny Slate) a pup who is sweet on Max form a team to set out and find him to bring him safely home.
The graphics and coloring were incredible in this movie.
Parents be advised: This movie is rated PG. There are some scenes where the animals are running from danger, a deadly snake scene plus the story of Duke's treatment from his former owners is hard to hear too.
I am giving "The Secret Life of Pets" three bags of popcorn.





Friday, June 17, 2016

Finding Dory

PG
Starring the voices of: Ellen DeGeneres. Hayden Roylance, Albert Brooks, Ed O'Neill, Ty Burrell, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy, Idris Elba and Kaitlin Olsen,
Running Time: 1 Hour and 43 Minutes

In this very special follow up sequel to the 2003 Disney Pixar movie "Finding Nemo", we find Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), Nemo (Hayden Roylance) and Marlin (Albert Brooks) are all back together again for another action packed sea-life adventure.
When Dory miraculously remembers she has a family of her own which is a miracle in and of itself because she struggles mightily with short-term memory loss. She decides she must go and search for her mother and father.
Nemo's father Marlin is opposed to Dory leaving and searching for her family on her own. He is very comfortable with things they way they are and wants them to remain that way. Dory insists and ventures out on her own. The three of them ultimately end up together at a Marine Life preserve.
Dory encounters Hank (Ed O'Neill) an octopus with just seven legs.
Some other fun new characters that were introduced were some sea-lions, a beluga whale named Bailey (Ed O'Neil) who struggles with his sonar skills, and a whale shark named Destiny (Kaitlin Olson) who is partially blind. All of these characters have an issue that they are dealing with along with Dory and her short-term memory loss. These issues help them all to develop there characters and become even stronger.
Eventually Dory is re-united with her parents and it ends up being a very sweet movie.
I really enjoyed "Finding Dory", but I still found "Finding Nemo" to be my favorite of the two.
The animation was absolutely spectacular in this movie!
Parents be advised: "Finding Dory" is rated PG. It is a sweet and very touching movie with a couple of very minimal perilous scenes including being captured and trapped and being chased by predators. I think it will be fine for children ages four and older.
I am giving "Finding Dory" three and a half bags of popcorn.







Friday, June 3, 2016

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

PG-13
Starring: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Stephen Amell, Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard, Pete Ploszek, Alan Ritchson, Tyler Perry, Laura Linney, Brian Lee, Stephen Farrelly, Gary Anthony Williams, Peter Donald Badalamenti II, and Brad Garrett
Running Time:1 Hour and 52 Minutes

When the first "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" movie in 2014 was resurrected from the original cartoon series, a lot of the die-hard fans were left feeling a little let down and disappointed claiming that there was no real content carried over from the cartoon series.
Well, I'm guessing that the filmmakers got that message and decided to follow the fans wishes.
This sequel went directly to the roots of the cartoons and brought back some of the most beloved and iconic characters.
This movie starts out with a bang! Pitting the good guys vs the bad guys against each other. The always evil Shredder (Brian Lee) is back and up to his nefarious ways!
The turtles really do come out of the shadows and become the heroes they are known and loved for. Michelangelo (Noel Fisher), Donatello (Jeremy Howard), Leonardo (Pete Ploszek) and Raphael (Alan Ritchson) are back at it again behaving the way they always do, goofing off and squabbling like most siblings do. Their beloved Splinter (Peter D. Badalementi II) is still their revered guru and counselor whom they still look up to.
April O'Neil (Megan Fox) is back and doing all she can to help the turtles. Casey Jones (Stephen Amell) is a bit of a vigilante but trying to become a police detective.
Also returning are the bad yet funny guys Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady/Sheamus (Stephen Farrelly). They featured the always dreaded bathroom humor! That brings me to the most diabolical of all, Krang (Brad Garrett)!!!! He is evil beyond description, but hey, cowabunga dudes isn't that what good guys vs bad guys is all about? Just some turtle power nostalgia for you.
Do not go into this movie expecting a cerebral challenge! This is simply a reprisal of the original cartoon series brought back to life for fun and entertainment. I took my die-hard TMNT son /fan with me to the screening. He found the movie to be a lot of fun and very clever! He got a real kick out of it.
Parents be advised: this movie is rated PG-13. It has a lot of what I call, clang and bang. (loud sequences) Also a lot of CG action and energy. There were some intimidating characters and some dark scenes too. There was also some profanity, no f-bombs though. I think children ages 8 and older will be fine with this movie.
I am giving "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows" two and a half bags of popcorn.
(My son said I should give it three bags of popcorn.)




Friday, May 27, 2016

Alice Through The Looking Glass

PG
Starring: Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska,
 Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter and
Sacha Baron Cohen
Running Time: 1 Hour and 53 Minutes

This a sequel to the original 2010 movie and blockbuster "Alice In Wonderland" which took in over a billion dollars!
Alice (Mia Wasikowska) finds herself as captain of her fathers large ship on very troubled waters. Needing to return home safely to England after a long voyage she finds The Lord of England, Hamish Ascot (Leo Bill) (who had asked for her hand in marriage in the previous movie, which she declined) trying to take advantage of her mother Helen Kingsleigh (Lindsay Duncan). He is trying every way he can to unethically acquire their property. When Alice angrily confronts him and finds herself in a very awkward situation, she flees and that is when she escapes through the looking glass.
She finds herself back in Wonderland complete with all of the former characters enjoying their extravagant tea party, The White Queen/Mirana (Anne Hathaway), The Red Queen/Iracebeth (Helena Bonham Carter), and the voices of Tweedledee and Tweedledum (Matt Lucas), Absolem/Blue Caterpillar (the late Alan Rickman), Cheshire Cat (Stephen Fry) and McTwisp/The White Rabbit).
They inform her that The Mad Hatter/Tarrant Hightopp (Johnny Depp) is very sad and melancholy. When she visits him she finds him depressed and withdrawn. His family is dead and he blames himself. She tries desperately to console him with no avail. He begs her to bring his family back, the only way she can do that is to go back in time and acquire the chronosphere.
The chronosphere is the most cherished, revered and paramount piece of equipment in all the land.
It controls time and life itself! Just one small problem, the chronosphere is housed in a very large, dark and complex building. It is controlled by the the evil villain Time (Sacha Baron Cohen). Time's life is not only controlled by the chronosphere, but hangs in the balance by it!
Alice's mission is to find and remove the chronosphere to save and restore Hatter's family.
While in the big black building, all pandemonium breaks loose. Alice is under siege by all kinds of commotion and many different forces are against her.
I was very entertained by this movie and pleasantly surprised. It really held my interest and it was an amazing visual experience! The animation and the graphics were absolutely stunning. This movie is a feast for the senses.
Another aspect of this movie that I enjoyed was the story behind the two queens. The White Queen and The Red Queen and how their stories came to be.
Parents be advised: This movie is rated PG. It contains some intense and dark scenes.Some strange and unusual characters but also some cute and charming characters as well. There was no profanity.
I would recommend children over the age of six for this movie.
I am giving "Alice Through The Looking Glass" three bags of popcorn.




Friday, May 6, 2016

Captain America: Civil War



PG-13
Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Tom Holland, Daniel Bruhl, William Hurt, Frank Grillo and Marisa Tomei
Running Time: 2 Hours and 27 Minutes

If you are a Marvel Comics fan...this movie will truly blow you away!  This is the mother of all of The Marvel movies combined. This is the one that the Marvel fans have been waiting for.
A Super-hero smackdown! I found this movie to be incredible from an emotional standpoint, an action standpoint and a comedic standpoint. "Winter Soldier" stood as the movie that most fans had declared as their favorite in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I am willing to say that this will now be the ultimate treasure of them all! That is a tall order when you are accompanied by the Marvel giants "Guardians of the Galaxy", Iron Man 1 and 2, "The Avengers" and "The Avengers:Age of Ultron" and so on.
After another super-hero save that caused an unfortunate amount of collateral damage, the super-heroes have been put on alert! No more intervening or fear of reprisal will be waiting. Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) believes that superheroes should be free to govern themselves where Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) feels that they need to follow the laws of the land and respect them. They have a difference of opinion where an all out brawl ensues and the Civil War begins! The other super-heroes, Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff  (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye/Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) find themselves choosing sides. Two new heroes are added to the mix,
 Black Panther/T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) was a great new addition to the heroes family and Spiderman/Peter Parker (Tom Holland) was a great and fun fit as well. There is an absolutely epic action scene that lasts about seventeen minutes that will knock your socks off!
Overall, this movie is very entertaining and is worth the ticket price to see it, I personally, really enjoyed this movie.
Parents be advised: This is a PG-13 rated movie. There is a lot of super-hero action violence with blood and injuries. Plus the emotional upheaval that takes place is sad to watch but the comedy is a lot of fun, so it balances itself out. There is also a small amount of profanity but nothing too significant.
I am giving "Captain America: Civil War" four bags of popcorn.










Saturday, April 30, 2016

Mother's Day


PG-13
Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Julia Roberts, Jason Sudeikis, Sarah Chalke, Britt Robertson, Timothy Olyphant, Jack Whitehall and Aasif Mandvi
Running Time: 1 Hour and 58 Minutes

Okay, so this is undoubtedly a so-called "chick flick". I really feel that women are going to enjoy and relate to this movie more than our male counterparts. These movies that involve several different stories in one are quite popular with the female genre. I was really looking forward to this movie,
I found myself completely involved and enjoying every minute of it even though it was a little edgy!
Jennifer Aniston stars as Sandy, a recently divorced mother of two young boys trying to come to terms with her new situation as her ex-husband Henry (Timothy Olyphant) had already moved forward with his life.
Kate Hudson stars as Jesse, a young woman trying to live her life apart from her prying and disapproving parents. She felt the need to suppress the news of her marriage to Russell (Aasif Mandvi) and the birth of her child from them.
Julia Roberts stars as Miranda, a home-shopping superstar! A very famous and beloved TV personality who is actually very lonely.
Britt Robertson stars as Kristin, a single mother with a British boyfriend Zack (Jack Whitehall) the father to her child who is just dying to marry her and make their little family complete. She is struggling with her situation because she was adopted and she really wants to find her birth-mother.
Jason Sudeikis stars as Bradley, a newly widowed father grief stricken over the loss of his wife and father to two teenage girls trying to find his way through his new reality.
There was also some really fun comedy with Jesse's parents, Flo (Margo Martindale) and Earl (Robert Pine) that added some humor to the story-line too. All of these lives were intertwined and and they were all embarking on celebrating Mother's Day, each in their own unique way.
There is a lot going on in this movie, but it works. I spoke with several women after the movie was over and they all said they loved it! I found myself being lifted-up and then being a little let down and  then being lifted up again and wishing things would happen sooner. Go and see this movie with the important women in your life, there are many tender moments that were very touching.
Overall, I really enjoyed this movie and I was still wanting more when it was over.
Parents be advised: This is a PG-13 rated movie. It contains real-life stories and more adult themed content. One of the relationships involves a Lesbian couple. The F-bomb is dropped and there is some other mild profanity. This movie is definitely edgy! I would only recommend this movie for children over the age of 13.
I am giving "Mother's Day" two and a half bags of popcorn.











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