Friday, March 17, 2017

Beauty And The Beast

Starring: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Kevin Kline, Hattie Morahan,
 Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Nathan Mack, Audra McDonald, Stanley Tucci and Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Running Time: 2 Hours and 9 Minutes

It's hard to believe after waiting for such a long time and so much anticipation...
"Beauty And The Beast", is finally here!
I have always truly loved this classic Disney fairy tale and I was so excited to see it. There has been so much hype and controversy surrounding this remake that I wasn't quite sure what to expect.
I will say that I am delighted with this movie and I found it to be a feast for the senses!
 It was an incredibly beautiful adaptation of the original 1991 animated Disney version. There have been several other remakes of the tale, one dating as far back as 1946.
This "Beauty And The Beast" takes place in a small village somewhere in France where you find beautiful Belle (Emma Watson) walking through the village where the townsfolk find her quite a peculiar girl because of her great love of books and literature.The most desired bachelor Gaston (Luke Evans) in the village has his eyes set on marrying Belle and does not want to take "no" for an answer! Belle has no interest in him and actually finds him offensive and does everything she can to avoid him! She has been raised alone by her widowed father after her mother had tragically passed away. Her father Maurice (Kevin Kline) loves her dearly and has done all that he can to give her a good life. He has to leave for a short trip to deliver some goods and promises Belle he will return as soon as he can. While out on that trip he encounters a bad storm and loses his way. The horse is spooked and the cart crashes. He finds himself lost and totally disoriented. Suddenly he is surrounded by wolves! Very  intimidating and terrifying wolves that appear very, very hungry! He is barely able to escape and finds his way to a castle. He enters inside and finds it dark and dreary. He finds some cute little creatures, Cogsworth (Ian McKellan) and Lumiere (Ewan McGregor) who entice him.
He searches around where he encounters the BEAST (Dan Stevens)!!! The beast flies into a rage and locks poor Maurice up in a cell! A few days later their horse returns home to the village, but not with her father Maurice, so Belle jumps on the horse and sets out to search for her father. The horse follows the path he had traveled earlier and Belle falls into the very same fate! Attacked by the very vicious and wicked wolves, she survives and finds herself also at the dark and dreary castle! She enters reluctantly and eventually finds her father locked up! The Beast confronts her and she begs him to release her elderly father and the Beast agrees... but only if she takes his place. So her father is set free and she is locked up!
Many years beforehand, there was a young and handsome prince who lived in the castle and he had greatly offended the enchantress Agathe (Hattie Morahan) who quickly put a curse on the prince, the castle and the grounds surrounding it! The only way to break the curse was for the prince/Beast to fall in love before the last rose petal falls off of the rose that the enchantress had encased in a glass dome for many, many years.
In my opinion this movie is a true masterpiece! It was just as beautiful of a movie as you can possibly imagine. I loved the people they cast in these truly iconic roles. The amazing special effects and how they brought all of these objects to life, were simply incredible! All of the little characters we have grown to love over the years like; Mrs. Potts (Emma Thompson) and Chip (Nathan Mack), Cogsworth, Lumiere, Plumette (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), Madame Garderobe (Audra McDonald) and Maestro Cadenza (Stanley Tucci). They were simply delightful!
Gaston was his usual over-the-top self with his sidekick Lefou (Josh Gad) who took the brunt of Gaston's collateral damage. This movie is not without its controversy, there was said to be a "gay" scene towards the end of the movie, so I watched closely for it. It consisted of a very brief (maybe five seconds if that) of Lefou dancing with another male during the grand ball. I found Lefou to be just a jovial kind of guy throughout the entire movie.
Emma Watson did an outstanding job as Belle. She was perfect in this role! Dan Stevens was also exceptional as The Beast!
I was truly entertained and did not want the movie to end even at 2 hours and 9 minutes! A great movie for adults as well as youth!
Parents be advised: This movie did have several very intense scenes that I feel will be very intimidating for young children. The Beast has a harsh temper in the beginning and can be scary! What I found to be the most frightening were the wolves! The wolves were terrifying!
I would recommend this movie for children over the age of eight.
I am giving "Beauty And The Beast" four bags of popcorn.

Friday, March 10, 2017

KONG: Skull Island

Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, John Goodman, Samuel L. Jackson, John C Reilly, Toby Kebbell, Corey Hawkins, Thomas Mann, Jason Mitchell and Shea Whigham
Running Time:1 Hour and 58 Minutes

There have been so many variations of King Kong movies made over the years that I really didn't think this one could be much different. However, this one definitely has its own identity with a nostalgic feel as well.
A special group of scientists including Bill Randa (John Goodman) get permission from the government to go and explore a very remote island that is hidden away and very obscure, hoping to find answers and cures to some of man's most deadly diseases.
The remote island is surrounded by perpetual mega-storms which have always deterred humans from exploring the island. However, the scientists feel that they must gain access to the island in hopes of finding worthwhile solutions to some of man's most perplexing issues.
The scientists convince James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) to accompany them along with Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson), some top-notch Vietnam soldiers, and a young photojournalist, Mason Weaver (Brie Larson) embark upon the dangerous journey.
 Once there they hop aboard the helicopters and head directly into the storms. The storms are much more powerful than they had anticipated and they are fighting to keep control of the choppers! They all land and crash in different areas and they are desperately trying to find the rest of their people.
When they find this island is not like any other place they have ever encountered, they realize they need to hurry and find their way off of the island as fast as they can! Suddenly they have a King Kong confrontation! As with all the King Kong movies before this one, the people encounter some of the most unusual and deadly creatures they could possibly imagine!  One pleasant meeting was when they come upon a World War II vet, Hank Marlow (John C. Reilly), that has been stuck there since the 1940's. He was a lot of fun and somehow miraculously survived all the hazards and dangers that thrive on the unusual island. As one thing leads to another the ultimate showdown takes place and King Kong proves that he is indeed, the King!
This movie was a very intense and intimidating movie.The creatures were violent and in a league of their own! Kong on the one had was fierce and held his own but also had a tender and gentle side as well. The special effects were off the chart and the creatures were incredibly realistic! I will say that the audience was totally into this movie and applauded loudly when it was over.
I really enjoyed the story, the scenery and the feel of the old time classic King Kong stories from the past. I also got a kick out of the seventies music and the feel of that genre. If you do go and see this movie make sure you stay until the credits are over, there is a really fun snippet at the very end you do not want to miss!
Parents be advised: I would not recommend this movie to children under the age of thirteen.
The creatures were alarming, frightening and might be too intense for youth that are intimidated by new and creepy beings. There was some profanity and one f-bomb and
another almost f-bomb.
I am giving "KONG: Skull Island" three bags of popcorn.

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Space Between Us

Starring: Asa Butterfield, Britt Robertson, Gary Oldman, Janet Montgomery, Carla Gugino and BD Wong
Running Time: 2 Hours and 1 Minute

This is a teen-age love story between two young people who meet online with a great deal of space between them.
Gardner Elliott (Asa Butterfield)  is a young teenage boy who was born on the planet Mars.
 His mother Sarah Elliott (Janet Montgomery) was chosen to lead a team of astronauts on a mission to Mars, just one small obstacle...she is pregnant and she passes away during his birth.
 Gardner is raised in this special space station where he is the only young person there. He is surrounded by scientists and astronauts who have raised him and he becomes extremely intelligent, he yearns desperately for the companionship of another youth. While looking online, he meets a beautiful and independent young girl, Tulsa (Britt Robertson). She is fighting some struggles of her own having lived in and out of foster care, she learns to fend for herself.
When Gardner finally gets the opportunity to come back home to planet earth, he finds Tulsa and they become a team. She helps him to try and find the father that he has never known.They have quite an adventure while they search.
They discover that they are more than just friends and they genuinely care for one another. Meanwhile, NASA  and Nathaniel Shepherd (Gary Oldman) are searching desperately to find him! They determined that he has a very enlarged heart due to the fact he was raised in zero gravity. Time is of the essence and the story evolves from there, plus a unique twist at the end of the movie.
I found this movie to have some very tender and sweet moments. It was exciting and had some fun and interesting scenes with a little bit of a  rebel feel to it too. This is definitely a young adult type of a movie.
Parents be advised: I would recommend this movie to young adults over the age of 13. I found nothing objectionable except one scene where Gardner and Tulsa discover their passion for one another and they are making out and it gets a little steamy.
I am giving "The Space Between Us" two and a half bags of popcorn.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Starring: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Wen Jiang, Ben Mendelsohn, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsem, Jimmy Smits and James Earl Jones
Running Time: 2 Hours and 14 Minutes

As you well know by now, This is one of several of the "Star Wars" trilogy prequels. But this movie finally does The"Star Wars" franchise justice! This is a very strong and entertaining "Star Wars" movie. This story is centered around a young woman named
Jyn Erso  (Felicity Jones) who was left alone to be raised by Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) after her parents were ambushed and her mother was killed and her father was taken hostage when she was just a mere child.
Fast forward and she is now a young adult and incarcerated. She has been chosen by Mon Mothma (Genevieve O'Reilly) a senator from the Old Republic, to head out on a dangerous mission to steal the plans for the infamous Death Star.
This has a great story and the special effects were nothing less than spectacular The action sequences were off the chart and the computer generated graphics were second to none!
I really enjoyed how they mixed the old traditional "Star Wars" characters/creatures with the new and ever evolving creatures from the new franchise.
There is one action sequence with the rebellion that is just outstanding!
I really enjoyed this new "Star Wars" prequel. I found it to be interesting and just a lot of fun!
Parents be advised: This is rated PG-13. It has quite a bit of fighting and violence. It is your typical "Star Wars" movie. I would recommend this move for children over the ages of 13 and older.
I am giving "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" four bags of popcorn

Collateral Beauty

                                                                         Starring: Will Smith, Helen Mirren, Edward Norton, 
                                                              Michael Pena,Naomie Harris, Keira Knightly,
                                              Kate Winslett and Jacob Lattimore
                                                      Running Time: 1 Hour and 34 Minutes

I was always intrigued by the previews of this movie and I thought it looked like it would be a good story, so I really wanted to see it. I had no clue how the story would play out, but once it started, I was hooked. Will Smith stars as Howard, he works for a high-powered advertising agency in New York City. He finds himself retreating from his duties after he is overwhelmed by personal tragedy. He had always worked closely alongside his team members which include; Whit (Edward Norton), Claire (Kate Winslet) and Simon (Michael Pena). They really love one another and they were more like family than co-workers.They are all trying desperately to keep up with the game when Howard is getting more and more lost trying to deal with his own issues. As time goes by, he is becoming incapacitated with his grief and completely shuts off from his team and the outside world as well.
Each of the team members are having their own personal issues as well, but they are still trying desperately to hold it together and win more accounts to keep their jobs.
Whit is suffering because he was unfaithful to his wife and his young daughter wants nothing to do with him and it is tearing his heart out. Claire is becoming frustrated because her biological clock is ticking by and she wants desperately to fall in love and have a family of her very own. Simon is working hard to take care of his wife and child when he receives devastating news about his own  health and is trying to cope the best that he can.
Howard  writes three letters, one to Love, one to Time and one to Death, trying to receive answers to his heart wrenching dilemma.
He comes into contact with three individuals, Brigitte/Death  (Helen Mirren)., Amy/Love (Keira Knightley) and Raffi/Time (Jacob Latimore). When he is finally able to connect his letters to these three individuals, he begins to understand how these three actually do connect and work in harmony together. Every one of these characters were dynamic. They all had a great story of their own!
I found this movie to be so intriguing and so interesting that it just consumed my every emotion. There is so much depth and beauty to this story. I have to admit, this was a tough movie to watch and I think it would be difficult for anyone experiencing any kind of tragedy or or the loss of a loved one recently.
Parents be advised: This movie is rated PG-13. I don't believe children under the age of 13 should go to this movie. I think the subject matter is too intense and the grief sequences are difficult to watch. Much better left to older teenagers and adults. There was nothing objectionable outside of the fact that there was one F-bomb dropped.
I am giving "Collateral Beauty" four bags of popcorn.

Saturday, November 26, 2016


Starring: The voices of: Auli'i Cravalho, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison and Jemaine Clement
Running Time: 1 Hour and 43 Minutes

This is such a beautiful movie! I loved everything about it. This is a showcase of the incredible Polynesian culture.
This is the story of a young woman, Moana (Auli'i Cravalho) who is fiercely independent and is the daughter of The King. She refuses to refer to herself as a princess however. She finds that she is the only person who can save their island from devastation and must take drastic action to do so.
She sets out by herself to save her people. She must journey over the reef into uncharted waters. When she finds herself in a terrible storm and washed up onto a strange island she knows she must depend on her intuition and strength to survive.
Along her journey she encounters the ever-so-daunting Maui (Dwayne Johnson). A self-absorbed megalomaniac. He feels threatened by her drive and determination to succeed. They join together and set sail on the open waters. They come across several enormous obstacles and yet they still seem to survive.
This is such a wonderful movie in every aspect! The story was interesting and Moana was a great and inspiring character. The movie in and of itself was spectacular! It was truly a feast for your senses. The animation was authentic and the colors were truly mind-blowing! Just a beautiful movie to watch, and the music was outstanding! I am going to go out on a limb here and I predict that this movie will surely rival the ever-so-successful "Frozen"!
Parents be advised: This movie is rated PG. There are a few scenes that are a little scary and might be intimidating to young viewers. There are some scary instances with a couple of new and unusual characters that could frighten young viewers. I think children of all ages will be fine with this movie.
I am giving "Moana" four bags of popcorn.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Free Screening of "SING"

To all of my friends and family, I am happy to offer you a free screening of the new movie "SING" on this Saturday morning November 26th at 10:00AM at The AMC Layton Hills 9 Theater.
This is a new animated movie rated PG and set to be released to the public on December 21st.
 This is going to be on a first come first served basis, so get there early!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy the movie.

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