FORD V. FERRARI – Rated PG-13 – 2 hrs. 32 mins.

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“A TOTALLY EPIC JOY RIDE, from Beginning to end!” – Matinee Chat with Kathy Kaiser

DIRECTOR:  James Mangold

WRITERS:  Jez Butterworth, Joh -Henry Butterworth, Jason Keller

STARRING:  Christian Bale, Matt Damon, Jon Bernthal, Noah Jupe, Josh Lucas, Ray McKinnon, Tracy Letts, and Caitriona Balfe 

Buckle up boys and girls, as we are about to embark on one totally epic joy ride, as we meet real life race car driver, and designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon), who is looking for a new road to travel upon in life, when he decides to venture into the race car making business, by the insistence of Car man extraordinaire, Lee Iacocca (Jon Bernthal).  Now, with Lee by his side and Mr. Henry Ford II (Tracy Letts) himself calling all the shots, it seems that Shelby is in need of his friend, top mechanic, and the best race car driver he knows, Ken Miles (Christian Bale) to join him on his next big adventure…

But, when Shelby is asked to design a race car that can take out Ferrari at Lemans, all bets are off, as it’s going to take all the muscle, all the know-how, all the expertise and precision they can muster, to perfect a car that can not only take on Ferrari, but leave him, and his race cars, in the dust…

I give FORD vs. FERRARI a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN!:  Talk about a legendary film in the making, even if you don’t love racing, or Damon or Bale for that matter, it doesn’t matter, as FORD vs FERRARI will turn you into a lover of racing, by the time it’s all through!  Whether you are drawn in by the incredibly intense cinematography – it’s as if you are actually in the race car with Bale throughout most of the film, or whether you are as drawn in as I was by the perfect chemistry between Damon and Bales, as Shelby and Miles, throughout every inch of this film, suffice to say that FORD vs. FERRARI is one of those fast-paced, super exciting films that you will have to view on the biggest screen you can find!  And besides Damon and Bale, the rest of the cast this time around is perfect in every way too, including Tracy Letts playing Henry Ford II, the adorable and very talented Noah Jupe playing Ken Miles son Peter, Jon Bernthal playing legendary car guru Lee Iacocca, or Josh Lucas playing total douche Leo Beebe, no matter what direction this movie heads in, this superb cast, and exceptional true story of American racing at its finest, will draw you in, and not let go! I mean, I’ve been married to a total “gear head” for many, many years now, and even he was blown away by how superb this film was, stating that all I should say is “it’s the best film this year, bar none!” he was that impressed by all of it!   Well, since I haven’t viewed all the Oscar contenders yet this year, I can’t in good faith go that far, but I will tell you that FORD vs. FERRARI won me over, and it will definitely be hitting on my TOP FILMS of the year, and i promise this film will resonate with you, in just he same way, long after you head out after viewing it, at a theater near you…

 

Review of MIDWAY  – Rated PG-13 – 2 hrs 18 mins.

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This review is brought to you by Kathy Kaiser 

MIDWAY  – Rated PG-13 – 2 hrs 18 mins.

DIRECTOR:  Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, The Patriot, The Day After Tomorrow, White House Down,)

WRITERS:  Wes Tooke

STARRING:  Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Luke Evans, Mandy Moore, Dennis Quaid, Aaron Eckhart and Nick Jonas 

Based on the real-life stories of the brave men of our American Naval Fleet, who went against the Imperial Japanese Navy in one of the pivotal engagements within the Pacific during WWII – The Battle of Midway.

I give MIDWAY a rating between MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN and WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON DVD:  Moving and powerful, MIDWAY is another one of those WWII films that should be shown in every history class within our great nation, as to share with our children, and our children’s children, exactly how brave and honored those who served, were to defend our country, and our way of life.  Hearing and seeing the stories of the men that went up against the Imperial Navy, and to get a sense of exactly how brave and committed these men where was astounding.  The performances throughout were exceptional, especially Pilot Dick Best (Played by Ed Skrein), whose handling of an aircraft was nothing short of a God-given talent.  And finding out about Intelligence officer Edwin Layton (Played by Patrick Wilson) was amazing too, as his intel saved many, many lives, and if our countries intelligence would have listened to his warnings sooner, Pearl Harbor may not have ever happened.  And who better to play Officer Chester Nimitz, who is put in place to conduct our operative at Midway, than the “just a bit crazy” man himself, Woody Harrelson.

And besides all the fabulous performances, MIDWAY’s battle scenes are superb, leaving you with a sense of truly being a part of this important battle in response to the devastation at Pearl Harbor, at the hands of the Japanese.

So, if I enjoyed the portrayals so much, and its battle scenes too, then why the less than perfect review?  As awesome as it was to hear real-life stories of what really happened during this event in the Pacific, there was way too much CGI throughout for my liking, as I know this is the perfect way to convey these battles, I just wish it could have been toned down a bit, with more screen time focused on the actual men, and their stories. I also was expecting a lot more intenseness throughout, as Emmerich has created some really fabulous films throughout his career.

But even though I wasn’t totally sold on everything about this film, hearing from the Veterans who had served in WWII, that were present with me viewing it, and hearing them clapping at the conclusion of the film, made it all come full circle, thus forcing me to adjust my interpretation of this film somewhat, as they all felt “moved to their core” at the “realism” of it all…

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DOCTOR SLEEP Review – Rated R

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This Review is brought to you by KARL SIDES of the FLICK FANATICS – check out his site too at flickfanatics.com

DOCTOR SLEEP Review

Starring:

Ewan McGregor- Danny Torrance

Kyliegh Curran- Abra Stone

Rebecca Ferguson- Rose the Hat

McGregor “shines” as Danny Torrance in “Doctor Sleep”, the sequel and ending to the great horror film “The Shining”.

Director Mike Flanagan (Ouija: Origin of Evil) has penned and directed Doctor Sleep, a screenplay to close out the story of Danny Torrance and his mother Wendy (Alex Essoe) following the events at the Overlook (The Shining). Ewan McGregor is an adult Danny Torrance that is still haunted by the ghosts of the Overlook Hotel and tries to negate his special ability aka “Shine” in bottles of booze and strange women.

Dan Torrance now in his mid-30’s still remembers the days after they escapes the Overlook hotel with his mother. In a flashback, young Danny refuse to talk, except to the ghost of his friend Hallorann (Carl Lumbly) who was killed by his father at the hotel. Hallorann shows Danny a special box and has him study it so he can recreate it in his mind. Danny uses the box to capture the Overlook spirits. Once the ghosts are gone Danny opens up and talks to his mother.

Dan tired of drifting from town to town, settles in a New Hampshire town and makes a friend Billy Freeman (Cliff Curtis) who sets him up in an apartment and a job at a hospice clinic. Dan notices the clinics cat visits a patient’s room when they are in there final hours. Torrance also keeps them company and helps ease them into the afterlife with his “Shine”. This earns him the nickname Doctor Sleep. Back at Dan’s apartment, one of the walls in the room is slate lie a chalkboard. Dan starts getting mysterious messages from another person who also “shines”.

There are folks crossing America with another type of ability called the True Knot. The True Knot, a pack of “Steam punks” led by Rose the Hat that hunt down children with “shine” and torture them and kill them in order to extract the power (in form of steam) from them. The stream gives Rose and the group a strange blue gleam in their eyes and pro-longed life. Rose and Crow Daddy track down a boy in Iowa with the “shine” and as they take his steam another powerful presence is watching them. Rose tells Crow Daddy how strong the girl was and they must find them.

Dan starts to get mysterious messages on his room wall and he begins to communicate with them. The other person sending the messages is Abra Stone, a young girl with a strong “shine”. Abra gets in Dan’s head to tell him about the boy in Iowa and the True Knot group killing people like them. Danny chooses to help Abra and protect her from Rose the Hat and her gang. Helping Abra will come at a cost and take Dan Torrance to a familiar location to battle Rose.

Doctor Sleep is a legit thriller that allows Ewan McGregor to shine as Dan Torrance and give fans closure to the classic film “The Shining”. Rebecca Ferguson is excellent as the creepy killer and Kyliegh Curran is amazing as the strong child with the special power. My only issues with Doctor Sleep are with the long running time (2 hrs. 31 mins) and the lookalikes used for the Overlook ghosts.

Flick analysis grade: 4/5 stars

Review of LAST CHRISTMAS – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 42 mins. – NO SPOILERS HERE!

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This review is brought to you by Kathy Kaiser 

LAST CHRISTMAS – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 42 mins.

DIRECTOR:  Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, The Heat, Spy, A Simple Favor, Ghostbusters)

WRITERS:  Emma Thompson, Greg Wise and Byrony Kimmings 

STARRING:  Henry Golding, Emilia Clarke, Emma Thompson, Michelle Yeoh and Lydia Leonard

Kleenex in your pocket?  Check.  Ready to catch the first Christmas film of the year?  Check.  Now get ready to settle into that comfy reclining seat as we meet Kate (Emilia Clarke), basking in a life of making all the wrong choices, especially for a 20-something that not long ago, was very, very ill.  But, as they say, when you’re young, you think you have all the time in the world…

So, as Kate tries to get our act together, bouncing from one friends home to another and trying to keep her job as one of Santa’s (Michelle Yeoh) elves ~ yep you heard that right ~ Kate is intrigued when she meets the dashingly handsome Tom (Henry Golding), who seems to have a arrived out of nowhere, and who has stolen Kate’s heart in an instant…

Now it seems, the hard-partying life is going to have to go, as Tom presence in her life brings out the best in her, forcing her to evaluate her life, and the many ill-thought-out choices she sadly continues to make.

With her life changing all around her, only this time, in a good way, Kate is forced to face a lot of things she really hasn’t wanted to, including the fact that Tom, and his disappearing act is getting way frustrating…but what’s a girl to do, once she finds the right path for her life, and the guy who has stolen her heart too…

I give LAST CHRISTMAS a rating between MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN and WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON DVD:  Enchanting throughout, but a little lengthy and draw out in places too, LAST CHRISTMAS is one of those heartfelt movies that each Holiday season needs to be complete!  Golding is “just what the doctor ordered”, as what women wouldn’t be smitten by those dreamy eyes, and his charismatic persona.  Clarke is really good too playing Kate, who is less concerned with her responsibilities, or her family for that matter, than she is living each day as if it was her last..and believe me when I tell you too, there is not a hint of Daenerys Targaryen within this performance!  Plus, Writer and Actress Emma Thompson is enjoyable to view too, playing Kate’s rather peculiar mother, wanting only what’s best for her daughter, even though her methods are quite annoying, making Kate and her Sister Marta (Lydia Leonard), almost lose their minds.  And as soundtracks go, this one is exceptional too, as this beautiful storyline unfolds amidst all your favorite George Michael tunes the whole way through too! So, with all these accolades abounding throughout, why can’t I give LAST CHRISTMAS just a MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN? Sadly, there are a few reasons that kept me from singing from the roof-tops that LAST CHRISTMAS is a must see.  First and foremost, even though it’s only 102 minutes, there were many scenes throughout this film that could have been edited down, so that we could just get to the point.  I know, I know, who wants a movie that’s full of love and good cheer to speed along, but it just felt like it really needed to step up its pace it quite a few places.  And I also felt like some of the humor throughout was a little forced, even though I chuckled with my fellow movie viewers a few times, I just hoped at some point this film would send me into some genuine holiday cheer, but it just never managed to get me there.  But, we have to mention too, what’s a good Christmas movie, without needing a few tissues, and I’m happy to report that you will definitely need a few Kleenexes along the way, as when the eventual plot twist finally arrives, you will need those “devastation paper products” to help you get through.

So, suffice to say, if you love heartwarming Christmas films, with wonderful storylines, and performances throughout too, then by all means, please head to a theater near you this weekend to catch LAST CHRISTMAS, but just remember, I warned you that you might want to check your watch a time or two throughout as well, before it manages to finally get to the good stuff…

Review of JOJO RABBIT – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 48 mins. 

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This Review is brought to you by Kathy Kaiser

JOJO RABBIT – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 48 mins. 

DIRECTOR:  Taika Waititi 

WRITERS:  Christine Leunens (Novel), Taika Waititi (Screenplay) 

STARRING:  Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Scarlett Johansson,  Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson, Stephen Merchant and Taika Waititi

Alas, we finally get to view a film that will literally strike at your funny bone, more than once, as we venture into Nazi Army training camp with young Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis), as he, and his imaginary friend, none other than the Fuhrer himself, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), are attempting to turn him into a young man worthy of being a part of the German infantry…

Torn between his love for his friend Adolf, for his country, and for his single mother Rosie (Scarlett Johansson) too, Jojo becomes more and more concerned that his mother doesn’t seem quite as infatuated with the Fuhrer as he is, or with the war he is striving to be a part of…

When Jojo happens upon a young Jewish girl in their home, that his mother has chosen to keep from the outside world, Jojo doesn’t know which way to turn, as outing his mother isn’t really an option, nor is letting anyone find his new friend Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie), as Jojo now struggles with his loyalty to his beloved Germany, and for that matter, his imaginary friend Adolf too, bringing nothing but anguish to him, and on which way to turn…

I give Jojo Rabbit a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN! :  I have been  looking forward to viewing any movie this year that could actually make me laugh out loud, and shed a tear a few frames later too, and by golly, who would have thought that a movie with a ten year old boy, day dreaming of Hitler, while keeping a Jew hidden from view would be “just the ticket”, and  incredibly, its true!  Young Roman Griffin Davis is hilarious, playing the “Hyle Hitler” smitten young German Jojo.  His innocence, mixed with his ideology for his country, and Hitler for that matter is literally fabricated throughout every inch of this film, but in a way, that it all seems genuine, and oh so real.  Johansson is also fabulous this time around too, playing Jojo’s single Mom, who wants to go through this life, doing only what is best for her son. Rockwell’s performance as German Captain Klenzendorf is sheer perfection too, as his time on screen isn’t significant, but just as vital to the story at hand.  I was happy to see Rebel Wilson try to extend her acting chops too, with her small, and almost crucial role.  But the best part for me, was Director Taika Waititi playing the “imaginary” Adolf Hitler throughout the film, as his visions and advice for young Jojo, just keep the laughs coming throughout.  Of all the films that are popping this year ~ Jojo Rabbit was one of the few films that I just couldn’t wait to view, and I am happy to report that every bit of it, met with my expectations going in, and that very seldom rings true.  Is the premise rather quirky, why yes, of course it is, but this is one of those rare films that manages to touch your entire spectrum of emotions, without making you linger on any of them for far too long, making JoJo Rabbit, once of this year’s best films for me, from start to finish!

Review of HARRIET – Rated PG-13 – 2 hrs. 5 mins. 

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This Review is brought to you by Kathy Kaiser

HARRIET – Rated PG-13 – 2 hrs. 5 mins. 

DIRECTOR:  Kasi Lemmons

WRITERS:  Kasi Lemmons and Gregory Allen Howard

STARRING:  Cynthia Erivo, Joe Alwyn, Leslie Odom Jr., Clarke Peters, Omar Dorsey, Antonio J. Bell, CJ McBath,  Janelle Monae, Jennifer Nettles and Vondie Curtis-Hall

Based on the real-life story of Iconic American Freedom Fighter, Harriet Tubman, we meet Harriet (Cynthia Erivo), aka Minty, as she struggles to gain freedom for herself, and her family, from the viciousness of slavery.  Left with no other choice but to find a way to free herself, Harriett escapes the throws of slavery in the South, venturing to the North and the “land of the free”.  With her freedom now secured, but longing for her family and friends to join her, Harriett sets out to help free hundreds of Slaves from their bondage, thus changing the course of their lives, and our country’s history…

I give HARRIET a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN!  Cynthia Erivo is Oscar nomination bound for her outstanding performance as Harriet Tubman, of that, I am certain.  From encompassing her days as a slave as Minty, to the courageousness she managed to portray throughout every inch of Harriet’s life, Cynthia personifies the life and times of this iconic figure, in our History, with such passion and glory, that everyone in this country needs to see.  I won’t be surprised if this film becomes a “must see” in every history class from 6th grade through College too, as Director Kasi Lemmon’s strategically places the emphasis of this film on Harriet’s life, without diminishing her struggles, but without focusing the intent of the situations that develop, solely on the cruelty and violence of slavery, thus making this historically significant tale a visual masterpiece that everyone over 12 can view.  Lemmon also surrounded her lead with some fabulous supporting actors throughout as well ~ including Janelle Mona’e, Joe Alwyn and Vondie Curtis-Hall ~ which managed to add significantly to the story that was being told too.  And along with Lemmon’s’ perfectly crafted storyline, came a visually stunning film as well, with perfect scene, after perfect scene, after perfect scene, transporting you to a time and place that you just have to experience for yourself.  Suffice to say that there was not one viewer that I spoke with after the screening that wasn’t profoundly moved by Erivo’s incredible performance, or the way that this film manages to draw you into Harriet’s struggles, and triumphs, with each passing frame…

Review of TERMINATOR:  DARK FATE – Rated R – 2 hrs. 8 mins,

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This Review is brought to you by Kathy Kaiser

 

TERMINATOR:  DARK FATE – Rated R – 2 hrs. 8 mins,

DIRECTOR:  Tim Miller

WRITERS:  James Cameron, Charles H Elgee and many more

STARRING:  Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, Diego Boneta, and Gabriel Luna

Believe it or not, it’s been two decades since Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) rewrote the fate of the human race in TERMINATOR 2:  JUDGEMENT DAY (1991).   And for this next installment, we meet a young girl by the name of Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes), living the simple life with her father and brother Diego (Diego Boneta) in Mexico City…

Now, unbeknownst to any of them, a highly advanced Rev-9 Terminator (Gabriel Luna) has been sent from the future to destroy their family and eliminate Dani too. Lucky for Dani, an advanced superhuman soldier named Grace (Mackenzie Davis) has been sent to protect her, but if they are both going to make it, they will also need the assistance of the original bad-ass Terminator exterminator Sarah Connor.

And as our heroines take on this demon from the future, it seems that they are being beckoned back to a blast from Sarah’s past, being forced to join forces with Mr. T-800 himself (Arnold Schwarzenegger), if they have any hope of saving Dani, and our future…

I GIVE TERMINATOR:  DARK FATE a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN!  If you love Arnold Schwarzenegger in his most iconic role, and if you can’t wait to see Linda Hamilton at the ripe young age of 63 still be able to eat Terminators for lunch, then you have to set out this weekend to see TERMINATOR: DARK FATE at a theater near you!  Tim Miller’s direction this time around is superb, and even though James Cameron isn’t in the Director’s chair this time, his storyline this time around is as TERMINATOResque as it can get, making sure the feel of this film too, is maintaining what we love about the TERMINATOR franchise ~ but with some added twists and turns that will keep you guessing, the whole way through.  It’s truly hard to believe that Hamilton, and her tough as nails persona throughout this film, is just as engaging as it was some 28 years ago, thus showing off that she still has the stuff to keep our future secure.  Mackenzie Davis’s role as the super-human hero sent to save the day is a refreshing addition to the storyline too, as is the quest to save the young, beautiful Dani, played by Natalia Reyes, as without her, the future of the human race is doomed!  But the best part for me throughout this film, is the appearance of THE TERMINATOR, Mr. T-800, himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, as he assists our ladies in making things right!  Even my hubby has been singing this film accolades since he joined me for the advanced screening this week, and he is very hard to please, especially when it comes to sequels to movies that he loves.  So, if you are looking to head out to a theater near you this weekend, grab yourself a couple tickets to see TERMINATOR: DARK FATE, as I promise, you are going to enjoy every non-stop, extremely action packed minute of it, the whole way through.

Review of MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN – Rated R – 2 hrs. 24 mins.

 

Motherless Brooklyn poster

This Review is brought to you by Tony Mosello

Keep Pullin’ on that Thread

Taking place in the dreary 1950’s New York City, “Motherless Brooklyn” follows Lionel Essrog (Edward Norton), a young man suffering from Tourette’s syndrome.  Working for Frank Minna (Bruce Willis) as a private investigator, his World is turned upside-down when the man who’s been looking after him for so many years is murdered.  Caught-up in the case Frank was on, Lionel is determined to get to the bottom of why he was killed and what exactly he found.  His investigation leads him right to the Borough Authority and the unofficial King of New York, Moses Randolph (Alec Baldwin).  As he continues untangling the web, he begins falling for a gorgeous woman named Laura Rose (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) who finds herself right in the middle of the biggest case Lionel’s ever been on.  He battles his affliction, but proves that it may be just as much as a gift as it is a curse.  A story of deception, greed, and fraud; the rest of the film follows Lionel’s torrential pursuit for the truth and his demand for justice for his friend.

Period films usually find their way into cinemas a few times a year, but the decent, effective ones are few and far between.  “Motherless Brooklyn” revolves around a character who is dealing with Tourette’s.  Played by Norton, his affliction seems 100% authentic and by no means fake.  It also is used as a way to tell the story, not as just a meaningless plot point.  I found it to be extremely effective and as excellent portrayal for those who suffer from the syndrome in life.  While the main focus is on Norton, the film boasts an impressive cast including the likes of: Willis, Mbatha-Raw, Baldwin, Willem Dafoe, Bobby Cannavale, Leslie Mann, Ethan Suplee, Michael Kenneth Williams, Cherry Jones, Dallas Roberts, Josh Pais, and many more.  Mbatha-Raw continues to prove an elite talent, Dafoe is powerful and convincing (thought miscast due to age), and Baldwin is clearly-channeling his SNL Trump persona.  Edward Norton stars as the lead character Lionel, but he also wrote (from an earlier novel) and directed the film.  “Motherless Brooklyn” has been a passion project for the filmmaker and it clearly shows.

The film should also be applauded for its gorgeous set design.  “Motherless Brooklyn” beautifully-captures the look and feel of 1950 New York City expertly, giving the film an authentic feeling that serves to elevate the film.  However, the film has its fair share of struggles as well.  The central story does well enough to keep you guessing, but some of the twists are a bit too predictable.  A second issue I had with the film is its pacing.  At 144 minutes, the film could have greatly benefitted having various sequences cut and tightening up the overall finished product.  At the end of the day, “Motherless Brooklyn” ends up as an average film, elevated by its cinematic beauty and the performances of a few of its stars.  By no means a masterpiece, but there are far worse films at the box office currently; and none of them have the pleasure of calling themselves a daring work of art like “Motherless Brooklyn” certainly can boast.

3 out of 5

No tricks, just treats! Celebrate Halloween with THE ADDAMS FAMILY!  This Halloween, Thursday October 31st, moviegoers can see THE ADDAMS FAMILY in theaters with some SPOOKtacular Deals. 

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No tricks, just treats!

Celebrate Halloween with THE ADDAMS FAMILY! 

This Halloween, Thursday October 31st, moviegoers can see THE ADDAMS FAMILY in theaters with some

SPOOKtacular Deals. 

On Halloween, tickets are only $5 each at Cinemark Theaters nationwide.

You can also Buy One Ticket and Get One Free at Regal, Marcus, Harkins, Showcase Cinemas, Studio Movie Grill, B&B Theatres and Classic Cinemas Theaters nationwide. 

Have a SPOOKY, OOKY, and KOOKY Halloween with THE ADDAMS FAMILY! 

GET TICKETS 

 

Offers only valid on 10/31/19, please check with your local theater chain for additional details.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY

Get ready to snap your fingers!

The first family of Halloween, the Addams Family, is back on the big screen in the first animated comedy about the kookiest family on the block. Funny, outlandish, and completely iconic, the Addams Family redefines what it means to be a good neighbor. 

Cast:  Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz, Finn Wolfhard, Nick Kroll, Snoop Dogg as “IT” with Bette Midler and Allison Janney

Also starring Martin Short, Catherine O’Hara, Tituss Burgess, Jenifer Lewis, Elsie Fisher, Aimee Garcia

Executive Producers:  Kevin Miserocchi, Andrew Mittman, Joe Earley, Aaron L. Gilbert, Jason Cloth

Producers: Gail Berman p.g.a., Conrad Vernon p.g.a., Alex Schwartz p.g.a., Alison O’Brien

Based On: Characters Created by Charles Addams

Story By:  Matt Lieberman and Erica Rivinoja and Conrad Vernon

Screenplay By: Matt Lieberman

Directors:  Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan

 

 #MeetTheAddams

Official Site: AddamsFamily.Movie

Facebook: /MeetTheAddams

Instagram: @MeetTheAddams

Twitter: @MeetTheAddams

THE CURRENT WAR – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 47 mins.

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THE CURRENT WAR – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 47 mins. 

DIRECTOR:  Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

WRITER:  Michael Mitnick 

STARRING:  Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon, Tom Holland, Tuppence Middleton, Katherine Waterson, and Nicholas Hoult

Based on the true-life story of Electricity pioneers Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch) and George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon), we venture into the past of our great American Society, where up until now, it has only been lit by candlelight…

With Edison (Cumberbatch) in constant inventor mode, every waking minute of his life, he devises a way to create electricity, and a distribution plan for his newly invented electricity too, with the aid of his assistant, Samuel Insull (Tom Holland).

But fellow inventor, and shrewd business tycoon George Westinghouse (Shannon) has a few tricks up his sleeve as well, having invented a more cost-effective electricity source, and a better-developed distribution system too, thus being able to reach significantly more businesses and homes, than Edison’s ever will…

Enter Nikola Tesla, and his own ideas on transforming our world from a world of darkness, into light, as the late 1800’s in America is never going to be the same, with all the genius that is unfolding to light up our world, thus leaving the burning question, who will be one to actually make it to the finish line??

I give THE CURRENT WAR a rating between MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN and WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON DVD!  If you are into inventing, or just enjoy watching history unfold, then this is that one film you are definitely going to want to catch this weekend, at a theater near you!  Watching the “Electricity war” unfold between Edison and Westinghouse is a history lesson like no other, as it goes to show that even if you have the smarts to invent, you must also have loads of business savvy too, if you are going to take over the world! Cumberbatch is excellent as totally engrossed inventor Thomas Edison, who tries to make time for his wife, and children too, but just can’t seem to find a way to reach am acceptable work/life balance.  Shannon is exceptional this time around too, playing business mogul George Westinghouse, who knows his way to generate and distribute electricity to the masses is better, as he faces his own internal struggles too with forcing Edison, and his inventions out, to make way for what our country needs, and wants.  Hoult is also very good to watch in his less significant, but pivotal role as Tesla, joining forces with both Edison and Westinghouse respectively, bringing his genius along for the ride too.   And besides the storyline, the incredible cinematography throughout each and every frame of this film, caught my eye as well, as I felt that it’s focus on exceptional imagery throughout was very apropos for this film, since Edison invented the first motion-picture camera too!  All-in-all, I thoroughly enjoyed THE CURRENT WAR, and its history lesson throughout, but if you aren’t into inventors, or history for that matter, then you might want to skip heading to a theater near you, and wait to catch this film on DVD in a few weeks from now, as it’s fascinating storyline should be experienced by all…I’m just not sure if you’ll agree with the dropping money at the box office to see it, if you aren’t as into history or cinematography as I am…

BLACK AND BLUE – Rated R – 1 hr. 48 mins.

“Gripping and powerful…” – Kathy Kaiser, matineechat.com

This review is brought to you by TONY MOSELLO

Black and Blue poster

BLACK AND BLUE – Rated R – 1 hr. 48 mins.

DIRECTOR:  Deon Taylor

WRITER: Peter A. Dowling

STARRING:  Naomie Harris, Tyrese Gibson, Frank Grillo, Reid Scott, Mike Colter and James Moses Black

The Truth Made Her a Target

Back in the hometown of her youth, Alicia West (Naomie Harris) is surviving as a rookie police officer in New Orleans.  “Black and Blue” follows her third week of duty, as she rides along through the 9th Ward with her partner Kevin (Reid Scott).  Taking one for the team, she picks-up her first night shift alongside Officer Deacon Brown (James Moses Black) as she sees a whole different side of her city.  Towards the end of the morning, a suspicious, impromptu meeting unknowingly puts her life in extreme danger.  West witnesses Brown and officers Terry Malone (Frank Grillo) and his partner (Beau Knapp) execute unarmed kids, both with her eyes and her body cam.  Things escalate quickly as they fire multiple shots into her vest, but she manages to escape.  Alone, on the run, and afraid to trust any cops, West must escape and survive so she can download her camera footage at the precinct.

In a World filled with news stories of corrupt cops and crime, “Black and Blue” is sure to not sit well with our law enforcement (especially New Orleans PD).  Our city unfortunately has had its fair share as well.  The film relies on Harris and she delivers wonderfully, both empowering and commanding from start to finish.  The film’s extended cast does well, but they’re most type casted at this point and their arcs were easy to spot from a mile away.  The film’s story is thrilling, but albeit incredibly predictable; especially some of the “twists”.  I was also left scratching my head with the film’s final lines of dialog, as they felt both cheesy and entirely unlikely.  In-between the obvious plot development, “Black and Blue” is filled with chase sequences showcased in an in-your-face style as it brings the harshness and brutality to life.  The film’s score added tenseness, but I couldn’t help but think about “Sicario” as it sounded identical.  Not to be too nitpicky, but some of the gunshots sounded more like grenades going off as their sound levels were greatly exaggerated.  At a brisk 108 minutes, the film flows and leaves you on the edge-pf-your-seat!

While the film as a whole isn’t all too impressive, the film’s subject matter is entirely its salvation.  “Black and Blue” explores the current state of our views on society and police; that society hates cops and cops hate minorities.  Rather than glorify these unfortunate times, the heart of the film involves changing our Nation as a whole.  “Be the Change”, as West says in the film.  Now, I can’t speak to this with even an ounce of personal experience, but I believe in the film’s message.  I truly hope that people on both sides can experience the film with an open mind and without the influence of their personal agenda and if “Black and Blue” can serve as a possible talking (and turning) point, then it certainly may find a life.

“Black and Blue” is thrilling and compelling but unfortunately too predictable, while telling a story that is difficult to deal with in today’s society; but its handling of sensitive subject matter is exactly what we need.

3 out of 5

PAIN AND GLORY (Dolor y Gloria)– Rated R – 1 HR. 53 mins.

“Best Foreign Film of the year” – Kathy Kaiser, Matineechat.com

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PAIN AND GLORY (Dolor y Gloria)– Rated R – 1 HR. 53 mins. – Spanish Foreign Film 

DIRECTOR/WRITER:  Pedro Almodovar 

STARRING:  Antonio Banderas, Penelope Cruz, Asier Etxeandia, and Asier Flores

As we meet Film Director Salvador Mallo (Antonio Banderas), he is trying to come to terms with the fact that he is no longer engrossed in “his passion of life”, telling stories through film.  When Salvador is asked to present about his most famous film to date, he struggles with taking on such an event, with his failing health, and the fact that it seems he is going to have to reach out to the tempestuous actor that he cast within the film, Alberto Crespo (Asier Etxeandia).

As Salvador struggles to make a new life for himself, both personally, and professionally, it seems that the circumstances that are evolving, are causing him to reflect heavily on his life as a boy, thus bringing much solace to his life, and the path that he must take…

I give PAIN AND GLORY a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN!  Based on Director/Writer Pedro Almodovar’s own self-reflections, this one-minute poetic, and the next minute rather tragic tale of one man’s struggle to find peace and happiness in his “later years”, is one of masterful storytelling, and beautiful cinematography.  Banderas’s performance is truly spectacular, as he brings a tranquil and authentic quality to almost every frame of this film.  And this very-real storyline, focusing on the choices made – good or bad – throughout life, will cause you too, to stop and take account of your own choices in life too.  Cruz is also perfectly cast as the mother figure throughout this film, adding to its depth and sincerity throughout, as we experience her nurturing ways, and the exceptional beauty she brings to the screen this time around too.  And Etxeandia’s performance, opposite Banderas, and flying solo as well, is also masterful, and enjoyable to view.  Almodovar should be proud of his latest creation, because as Foreign Film’s go, this one is absolutely beautiful in every way, as it transports you more and more into the frailties of life, with each passing frame…