Monday, October 24, 2016

Keeping Up with the Joneses

Starring: Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fisher, Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot
Running Time: 1 Hour and 41 Minutes

Take a regular suburban couple just living their  traditional lives and interject an international espionage "super-couple" who just happen to move in right next door to them and all chaos breaks out.
Jeff Gaffney (Zach Galifiianakis) works as a human resources officer in an aeronautics firm. His wife Karen (Isla Fisher) is an interior designer and they have two sons that they had sent away to summer camp when the Joneses move in. Karen notices things happening that don't seem to be adding up in her opinion. Jeff just thinks she is making too big of a deal out of it all and she is feeling uneasy with the kids gone.
When the Joneses, Tim (Jon Hamm) and Natalie (Gal Gadot) come over and introduce themselves, they give the Gaffney's a gift. It is a sculpture that just happens to have a bug planted into it.
 Jeff invites them over to the big neighborhood summer party "Junetoberfest" to get acquainted with everyone. When the Joneses show up at the party, they are the talk of the town! Natalie swoons all the men with her stunning beauty and her dart throwing accuracy and Tim gets inside the Gaffney's home to search for information about Jeff's work.
One thing after another starts to add up and Karen finally convinces Jeff that things are not as they appear to be. When they get caught in the middle of a bad situation, the Joneses just happen to be there to save them and things really take off from there.
This movie is a comedy and it really was a lot of fun. They have been advertising it on TV as a diversion to all of the seriousness of the nation and the election at hand. There were so many fun and just downright silly scenes that you couldn't help but laugh. If you do need a lift and an escape from all of the election craziness, this movie will fill that bill.
Parents be advised: This movie is rated PG-13, this is not a movie for children. I wouldn't allow children under the age of fourteen. There is discussion of sex, partial nudity, lingerie, and adult themes. There is also violence, language, plus the infamous F-bomb is dropped once.
I am giving "Keeping Up with the Joneses" two and a half bags of popcorn.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Pete's Dragon


Starring: Robert Redford, Bryce Dallas Howard, Oakes Fegley, Oona Laurence, Wes Bentley, and Karl Urban
Running Time: 1 Hour and 42 Minutes

To be completely honest, I was not a fan of Disney's 1977 original movie "Pete's Dragon".
That was the movie starring Helen Reddy and I did not enjoy it at all, so I was very skeptical about how this new version was going to play out.
I was actually pleasantly surprised. This was a sweet and sentimental movie with a magical touch.
This story takes place in New Zealand where young Pete (Oakes Fegley)  has been orphaned since he was five years old. He survives by living in the forest where a giant dragon named Elliot befriends him and takes him under his wing. The two of them form a unique and loving bond living in a very isolated area.
There is a legend among the local townspeople of a very large and mythical dragon who lives in the forest! A man named Meacham (Robert Redford) claims to have actually seen the dragon in the forest. All of the people are reluctant to believe his story.
When the local loggers start to cut away at the forest, Pete and Elliot encounter humans for the first time. When Pete is discovered by a woman named Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard) and her boyfriends daughter Natalie (Oona Laurence), they take the bedraggled young boy into town with them where they try to figure out who he is. They discover that he is the lone survivor of a car wreck where both of his parent's were killed six years ago. They take Pete to the hospital for an evaluation where he escapes and they set out to try and find him.
I enjoyed this movie and found the magical relationship between Pete and Elliot the dragon to be heartwarming and touching. This is a great movie about imagination, determination and love.
Parents be advised: This movie is rated PG. There a a couple of scenes that might be difficult for young children to see, especially if they have pets and love animals. I think children over the age of seven are are appropriate to see this movie.
I am giving "Pete's Dragon" three bags of popcorn.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Jason Bourne

Starring: Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander, Julia Stiles, Vincent Cassel, Riz Ahmed and Ato Essandoh
Running Time: 2 Hours and 3 Minutes

I can say that when you go to see one of the movies in the Bourne franchise, you know exactly what your going to get. Well, this movie is right up there with the best of them, number five to be exact. Matt Damon is back as Jason Bourne and thrown right back into all of the action he is so famous for.
You find Bourne trying to make a go of it by engaging in underground prizefighting to make a living.
When Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) locates him and seeks him out, protests and anarchy just happen to be taking place all around them and all chaos breaks out!
It has been about a decade since Bourne went into hiding and disappeared, life has changed dramatically since then in the world of technology. Now that he has been located, they, (the CIA) can follow him anywhere in the world with just a computer keystroke! When he is detected by a sharp young CIA operative and computer whiz, Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander) in what appears to be a CIA  data/information center, she is instructed by the agency director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones), a tough as nails old geezer, to not lose contact with him. Dewey has hired an evil and heartless hitman called "the Asset" (Vincent Cassel) to take Bourne out.
Bourne is dealing with flashbacks that become more frequent and finally lead him to figure out the death of his father and who is responsible for it!
 This movie also involves a young up and coming mega computer genius, Aaron Kalloor
 (Riz Ahmed), a Mark Zuckerberg type character who owns a billion dollar company called, Deep Dream that just happens to be involved with Robert Dewey!
This movie definitely contains a fair amount of twists and turns and some major action sequences as well. I enjoyed the different locations that the movie took place in; Athens, Greece (it was actually Tenerife which is located in the Canary Islands) London, Berlin, Washington D. C. and then there's Vegas!!! Good old Vegas, that was quite a car chasing scene that took place on the strip and locations that most Utahn's are so familiar with.
I felt like this movie had a lot of issues which are so relevant and realistic to the times we live in now!
Parents be advised: This movie is rated PG-13, and it is a hard PG-13. The action scenes are fast and furious with some pretty tough violent scenes that can be hard to watch. There was some profanity but not a great deal of it. I couldn't make out if there was an F-bomb, but I don't believe there was. I would not recommend this for children under the age of 13.
I am giving "Jason Bourne" three bags of popcorn.

Friday, July 15, 2016


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

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

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

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.)

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