THE CALL OF THE WILD – Rated PG – 1 hr. 40 mins.

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This review is brought to you by Kathy Kaiser

 

THE CALL OF THE WILD – Rated PG – 1 hr. 40 mins.

DIRECTOR:  Chris Sanders 

WRITERS:  Based on the Novel by Jack London

                    Screenplay by Michael Green

STARRING:  Harrison Ford, Karen Gillan, Kara Gee, Omar Sy, Bradley Whitford and Dan Stevens 

As we meet the mischievous Buck, he is scarfing down his family’s dinner, as if he’s king of the world!  But when times get hard, anything is our society is possible…even stealing and selling dogs for cash, which is where it seems poor Buck is headed next…

But when he is purchased by a wonderful Dog sled Captain by the name of Perrault (Omar Sy), it seems that for a little while, Buck’s luck is about to change…

Now, as he learns the ways of the world traveling with his team, the Call of the Wild is beckoning to him, turning him into the type of dog, he was destined to be!

But when life throws a curve ball into Buck’s journey yet again, it seems that his next big adventure is about to begin, when he crosses paths with John Thornton (Harrison Ford), who seems to be in need of a companion, even more than Buck does.  And now, as their journey together begins to unfold, the Call of the Wild seems to guide them both, into the great unknown…

I give THE CALL OF THE WILD a rating between MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN and WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON DVD!  Director Chris Sanders brings to the big screen a very heartfelt film, full of fun and adventure for the entire family, as he takes us on the journey portrayed in Author Jack London’s 1903 novel, and which was previously adapted for the big screen back in 1935, which starred starring Clark Gable, Loretta Young and Jack Oakie.  But this time around, the big stars of the story consist of a rather large, computer generated dog by the name of Buck, and the relationship that forms when he becomes “man’s best friend” with his new companion on his journey, John Thornton, played by Harrison Ford.  And as the relationship between these two starts to unfold, you can’t help but be drawn to their connection with one another, as they embark on their great adventure into the wilderness together.   And adventure they do, as they struggle sometimes too, as the wilderness calls guides them both throughout every inch of this film.  So, with all this adventure and family fun unfolding, why am I not rating THE CALL OF THE WILD a definite “Must See”?  Well, even though I did enjoy many parts of this adventurous film, and I was super excited to see Harrison Ford, in this perfectly cast role, on the big screen again too, I feel that the CGI created animals throughout, began to take away from the ambiance of this film. I just feel that a film that is solely based on a Dog, and his relationship with man, and the wild from which he came, really needs a real animal portraying this role.  I mean, I get that CGI is easier than trying to get real animals to do exactly what you need them to do, and maybe it was to keep the cost of the film down, or to keep PETA from having issues along the way in the making of this adventure too, I just feel that for this particular storyline, it would have become a more incredible film, if we could have experienced real animals throughout.  But with that being said, if you enjoy adventure, heartfelt stories, and taking your kiddos to see films that aren’t always animated, and that they will thoroughly enjoy, then this weekend your best bet is to take gather your brood and head out to a theater near you to catch THE CALL OF THE WILD, as it will put a big ol smile on everyone’s face, over the age of 5!

Kathy vs TK’s view of STUBER – Rated R

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This review is brought to you by Kathy Kaiser

STUBER – Rated R – 1 hr. 33 mins.

DIRECTOR:  Michael Dowse

WRITER:  Tripper Clancy

STARRING:  Kumail Nanjiani, Dave Bautista, Mira Sorvino, Natalie Morales, Betty Gilpin, Karen Gillan, Jimmy Tatro and Steve Howey

When undercover detective Vic Manning (Dave Bautista) gets a tip on the rats he’s been tracking a long time, it seems that impaired vision after Lasix surgery is no match for this cop on a mission!  Now, unable to drive, Manning must enlist the services of the nearest Uber driver…enter Stu (Kumail Nanjiani), who is more than happy to take Manning wherever he needs to go, as he continues to strive for a 5 star rating!  But when a one-way ride with his new passenger ~ turns into a crime stopping spree of epic proportions ~ Stu’s soon realizes his second job as an Uber driver to help pay his bills, is about to totally up the ante of his less than exciting life…

I give STUBER a rating between MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN and WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON DVD!  For all you Uber drivers out there…I can only hope that your excursions with your passengers are ½ as much fun as the encounter portrayed in STUBER, as I haven’t had this much fun watching a comedy in quite some time!  Perfectly cast together, Nanjiani and Bautista bring their own spin to “the partner scenario”, playing off one another very well, thus making this film a laugh a minute the whole way through.  And the supportive character cast, including Sorvino, Morales, Gillan, Tatro…even the cameo performance by Steve Howey, were so perfectly played out this time around, they all had me chuckling throughout every frame that they occupied too.  Suffice to say that if you love Nanjiani the way I do, or if you are dying to see Bautista play a character totally different than Drax in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, then you have to head out to a theater near you this weekend to catch STUBER.  But, if buddy films that are a laugh a minute aren’t really “your deal”, then you’ll be fine waiting to catch STUBER when it hits on DVD too, as even though this film it very entertaining, it’s still not one of those super funny films that you just can’t wait one more second till you get the opportunity to see it.  And regardless of which way you view this film, know too that you don’t need to stick around past the credits, as there are no post credit scenes shared once its through…Enough said…

 

This humble opinion is brought to by you T. K. Edwards

STUBER –  Rated R  – 1 h 33 mins     

Director:  Michael Dowse

Cast:  Dave Bautista, Kumail Nanjiani, Mira Sorvino, Karen Gillan, Iko Uwais

A detective recruits his Uber driver into an unexpected night of adventure.

NO SPOILERS BELOW

STUBER had the potential to be a really funny movie filled with amazing action, but instead it misses the mark ever so slightly. Buddy comedies are hard to do because it is entirely based on the chemistry of the actors in the film.  Bautista and Kumail are both great individually and their resumes speak for themselves, but their chemistry in STUBER just couldn’t quite find its groove. I mean there were a few moments in the movie that were laugh out loud, but not enough for me to consider this movie a “hit” or a “must see”.  It felt like Kumail was holding back too much and Bautista was too worried about being more dramatic. There was no common ground between the two of them and that caused the jokes to be less funny. Normally, when this happens the action is upped a few more notches and this in turn compensates for the movie dragging, but even the action couldn’t keep my attention, which is a real shame because you have Iko Uwais in your movie and his martial arts skills are unbelievable to watch.  Even the movie’s story had the potential to be better than it was, but once again it fell just shy of the goal line. I think if they added about 30 more minutes of story and focused a little bit more on the relationship of our two leads, then the finished film would have turned out better. Now, I do realize that I’m getting greedy when it comes to a movie about a quasi-blind cop commandeering an uber driver to help him solve his ongoing case…I see that – LMAO, but Hey…I want, what I want.  In all honesty, I really was pulling for STUBER to be better than it was and had high hopes that it would turn into a classic comedy worthy of a sequel, but unfortunately it just didn’t entertain me as much as I wanted it too. I love action comedies and we don’t see enough of them and I will be in the front of the line for the next one that comes down the pipeline. As for STUBER, save your money and watch this one at home. It still has some funny parts in it and it’s worth a watch, just not in the theaters.  Until next time, thanks for reading.

P.S. – There is no post credit scene.

Review of DARK PHOENIX  – Rated PG-13  – 1 hr. 53 mins

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This humble opinion is brought to by you T. K. Edwards

DARK PHOENIX  – Rated PG-13  – 1 hr. 53 mins

Director:  Simon Kinberg

Cast:  James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Sophie Turner, Jessica Chastain, Tye Sheridan, Evan Peters, Kodi Smit-McPhee

Jean Grey begins to develop incredible powers that corrupt and turn her into a Dark Phoenix. Now the X-Men will have to decide if the life of a team member is worth more than all the people living in the world.

DARK PHOENIX is the 12th installment in the X-MEN franchise started by 20th Century Fox back in the year 2000.  Here is a list of all the films up to DARK PHOENIX just in case you can’t place them all:  

  1. X-Men (2000)
  2. X2 (2003)
  3. X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
  4. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
  5. X-Men: First Class (2011)
  6. The Wolverine (2013)
  7. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
  8. Deadpool (2016)
  9. X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
  10. Logan (2017)
  11. Deadpool 2 (2018)
  12. Dark Phoenix (2019)

Now back in March of this year, Disney completed their merger with Fox and because of that deal, all the X-Men characters will eventually make their way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  What does this mean? It means DARK PHOENIX should be the last installment of the X-MEN franchise starring all the actors you have grown to love over the past 20 years. And to be honest, I am actually looking forward to this franchise coming to a close because the continuity throughout these films can be summed up in one single word…chaos.  Aside from X-MEN & X2, none of the films flow together properly and some of them probably should not have been made. It is time 20th Century Fox ended it all and moved on to something else. As far as DARK PHOENIX goes, I actually enjoyed it and was surprised by its director Simon Kinberg. This is his first feature film debut behind the camera as a director and he really made some bold choices.  He’s normally credited as a writer or producer, but with DARK PHOENIX he shows his audience that he can do it all. One thing that stands out for me in particular is the way he shoots his camera. It has a fluidity to it that I really wasn’t expecting and was highly impressed by throughout the film. The main issue I had with DARK PHOENIX is that it did take me awhile to connect to my X-Men characters.  Aside from Michael Fassbender, the main returning stars seemed to be just coming back for the paychecks and not the story. They came across as anxious to leave and “ready to go”, like someone at party that doesn’t know anyone and already has one foot out the door. But all and all, this was a very enjoyable movie and an adequate ending to such a discombobulated franchise that I have loved since the beginning.  My suggestion is to go see DARK PHOENIX in the theaters and give a proper goodbye to a series of movies that has been around for so long and done so much for comic book movies to become what they are today. And btw, it’s not really goodbye because you know the MCU is going to bring all the X-Men back later in their upcoming films along with some others we haven’t even seen yet. Very exciting!!! Until next time, thanks for reading.

P.S. – There is no post credit scene.

Review of ONCE UPON A DEADPOOL – Rated PG-13 – Contains Spoilers

Once-Upon-A-Deadpool-Poster_1200_1780_81_s

ONCE UPON A DEADPOOL – Rated PG-13 – CONTAINS SPOILERS   

Director:  David Leitch 

Writers:  Ryan Reynolds, Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick

Starring:  Ryan Reynolds, Fred Savage, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison,

Zazie Beets, TJ Miller, Leslie Uggams, Karan Soni, Brianna Hildebrand, Eddie Marsan and Stan Lee

Hail the all mighty storyteller Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds), as he embarks upon a tamer and younger viewer-friendly version of his Summer sequel – Deadpool 2 – only this time we incorporate a 1987’s Princess Bride feel…as an adult Fred Savage is being forced to listen to the tales of our anti-hero, thus critiquing this story, and its problems, along the way too…

I give ONCE UPON A DEADPOOL a rating of WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON NETFLIX or STREAMING.  Even though I was intrigued of re-releasing the Summer Blockbuster – Deadpool 2 – as a tamer, and acceptable movie for youngsters to view, I feel that removing a lot of Deadpool’s persona, action sequences, and totally demeaning ways, thrusts him into a subpar reality, that couldn’t hold a candle to the original script…even if parts of it were written rather lazily.  I also enjoyed the retro take in making Savage revisit his Princess Bride bedroom, as parts of this retro flashback were not only funny, but rather nostalgic too.  But sadly, even this premise couldn’t make up for the missing action sequences, and verbally abusive rhetoric, that makes Deadpool the badass that he is.  And even though I did chuckle in places like I did when I saw this film over the Summer, and enjoyed the banter between Savage and Reynolds along the way too, the only real positive for me while watching this film, was the montage and ode to Marvel Creator Stan Lee, which takes place at the very end of the film.  So, if you decide to not head my warning, and you venture out to see this film on the big screen with your 13 and over youngsters in tow, make sure you stay till the very end, so you don’t miss the only reason worth spending the cash you did to view this action subdued, storyline adjusted, much-cleaner Deadpool on the big screen!

Kathy Kaiser

Review of WIDOWS – Rated R – 2 hrs. 9 mins.

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WIDOWS – Rated R – 2 hrs. 9 mins.

DIRECTOR/WRITER:  Steve McQueen

WRITERS:  Gillian Flynn (screenplay), Lynda La Plante (Book)

STARRING:  Viola Davis, Liam Neeson, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Daniel Kaluuya, Brian Tyree Henry, Robert Duvall, Colin Farrell, Cynthia Erivo and Carrie Coon

From the Director who brought us the 3 time Academy Award winning film – 12 YEARS A SLAVE – Steve McQueen – we now venture into the life of Veronica Rawlings (Viola Davis) and Harry Rawlings (Liam Neeson), their lives seem picturesque living in Chicago, but not of long…as Harry’s chosen criminal profession is about to unravel…leaving Veronica and the wives of his newly expired crew, Linda (Michelle Rodriquez), Alice (Elizabeth Debicki) and Amanda (Carrie Coon), seeking a way to save what’s left of their, and their children’s tattered lives…

When Crime Boss / Campaigning Alderman Jamal Manning (Brian Tyree Henry) surfaces, it seems that good ol’ Harry has stolen lots of Manning’s moolah before his untimely demise, and Jamal wants his 2 Mil back, not caring what Veronica has to do to get it…leaving Veronica to try to figure out a way, before Jamal’s little brother/hitman Jetamme (Daniel Kaluuya) heads her way…

Seeking out the wives of the men in Harry’s crew, Veronica puts in motion a plan to get Jamal his money, in hopes of saving each of their lives in the process.  Now, with the plan in motion, and each of these Widow’s immersing themselves into a crazy world they know nothing about, it’s going to take everything they’ve got, to pull this heist off …

I give WIDOWS a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN!  Davis is incredible in her role as Veronica, proving that you can become whatever you need to in this life, if it means saving yourself, and the lives of your new friends too along the way! She is as buff as I have ever seen her, proving too that if you want something bad enough, like a role in a totally awesome female heist film, she will also in real life go to the lengths necessary, to be prepared for her next role! Rodriguez and Erivo are spectacular too, becoming some real badass bitches, seeking to save their own lives, and the lives of their children along the way as well.   Add in the superbly crafted performance by Debicki, who also totally impressed me every step of the way, having Ioved her in her sinister role in 2015’s THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. too!  Lest we not forget to give shout outs to the men who played key roles in McQueen’s thriller as well, as Neeson, Farrell, Duvall and Henry made their marks on the big screen throughout every inch of this film. But, the stand out performance for me when it comes to the male leads for this film, is none other than last year’s Golden Globe and Oscar nominee for his leading performance in GET OUT, Daniel Kaluuya!  Kaluuya’s performance in this film is about as intense and masterful as it gets, every time he’s on screen.  From its slow to burning beginning, to its strategically placed plot twists, to its superb casting totally across the board, WIDOWS Is one of those films that you have to experience on the big screen, at a theater near you, and no other way!!!

Kathy Kaiser

Review of BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY – Rated PG-13 – 2 hrs. 14 mins.

Queen

“Malek’s performance is absolutely captivating, leading Bohemian Rhapsody to totally Rock your world” – Kathy Kaiser, Matinee Chat

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY – Rated PG-13 – 2 hrs. 14 mins.

DIRECTOR:  Bryan Singer (XMEN, SUPERMAN RETURNS, VALKYRIE)

WRITERS:  Anthony McCarten (Story and Screenplay), Peter Morgan

STARRING:  Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joseph Mazzello, Aiden Gillen, Allen Leech, Tom Hollander and Mike Myers

As we journey to London circa 1970 –  we find ourselves thrown into the midst of the formation of one of the greatest Rock Bands of all time…as Lead Guitarist Brian May (Gwilym Lee), Drummer and Vocalist Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy), Bass Guitarist John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello), meet the self-assured and ostentatious Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek), who is in hopes of becoming the bands new lead singer…

When all the creative juices start flowing between these four band members, it seems that their sound, and their look, are about to change drastically under Freddie’s direction…once everyone gets on board…

Enter the beautiful Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton) into Freddie’s life, as she manages to uncover a side of Freddie that he, and the world, cannot ignore…

With Freddie’s persona unleashed, and his musical genius hitting full stride, Queen’s music, and subsequent stardom, are hitting the stratosphere.

As Freddie embraces his newfound fame, and his sexuality, Mary continues to be as supportive as possible, although choosing to no longer be in a close relationship with the man she loves…

And as stardom and excess start to cloud Freddie’s mind ~ it seems that the demons of this life are about to rear their ugly head ~ as Mercury feels the need to venture out into a solo career, alienating his fellow band members, and Mary too…

With his life in chaos and turmoil ~ along with his career ~ Freddie longs to make a triumphant return to the stage, and the spotlight, with his fellow Queen members by his side, as they bring down the house at Wembley Stadium in London during the LIVE AID Concert – July 13th, 1985, orchestrating one of, if not the greatest rock performance of all time…

I give BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN! Having listened to Queen, and their incredible music throughout “my formative years in music”, I literally could not wait to view this film. Needless to say from my rating, I was ecstatic by what I experienced on screen. Malek’s performance is absolutely incredible as he portrays legendary ROCK GOD Freddie Mercury. He so embodied every aspect of Freddie’s mannerisms, and style, it was as if he was channeling Freddie throughout every inch of this film.  Kudos to him for even attempting to take on the persona of this legendary front man, as taking on such a role can either make, or break, your career.  Kudos too to the casting director who cast Lee as Brian May, Hardy as Roger Taylor and Mazzello as John Deacon, as they also embodied their real-life roles perfectly! I also thoroughly enjoyed that the central focus of the film was on the band as a whole, and not just all about Mercury.  Don’t get me wrong, a lot of BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY is about Mercury, his creative genius, the loves of his life, and his rise and fall from Queen.  But there is also enough about the “other boys in the band” that this film is a biopic about Queen as a whole, and not just about their lead singer.  I also loved too that they managed to incorporate the real-life storyline of Mercury’s long-time love, and muse Mary Austin, as the love they shared for one another, whether in a relationship, or not, was apparent throughout this film as well.  And although the film might have been more exciting with an R-rating, I’m glad that they decided to go with a much more conducive for viewing rating of PG-13, allowing for even the youngest of Queen fans to experience this fab film as well.  Here’s to Malek getting a Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and/or Oscar nod for his captivating performance.  Make no mistake about it, you have to check out BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY at a theater near you this weekend! It’s one musically charged biopic that you have to experience on the big screen, and no other way!

Kathy Kaiser

Kathy vs. TK’s View of THE PREDATOR – Rated R

THE PRedator

THE PREDATOR – 1 hr. 47 mins. – Rated R – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS 

DIRECTOR:  Shane Black

WRITERS:  Fred Dekker, Shane Black

Based on Characters by Jim & John Thomas 

STARRING:  Boyd Holbrook, Sterling K Brown, Trevante Rhodes, Keegan Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Jacob Tremblay, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen and Augusto Aguilera

And for the 4th installment in the Predator film series, which managed to scare the bejeebers out of me with its original film back in 1987 ~ we meet Solder Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook), who has encountered the return of these Alien Predators to Earth, only to realize that this time they seem to be larger, meaner, and deadlier than ever before…

When Scientific team lead Traeger (Sterling K Brown) gets n strapped with containing the beast, he calls upon Scientist Casey Bracket (Olivia Munn), to give her take on McKenna’s incredible find…

But why have these creatures returned to Earth now?  Seems that McKenna’s super genius youngster Rory (Jacob Tremblay) has mastered communication with the Predators…leaving his father, and his band of ex-solders no choice, but to take on these creatures to try to save Rory, and our world as we know it…

I give THE PREDATOR a rating of WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON NETFLIX or STREAMING:  Even though I was super pumped at the fact that I could watch this film without totally jumping out of my skin, I’m guessing for A PREDATOR FILM, that isn’t a good thing.  And even though I liked the fact that the men were relying on a women’s take on things to know what to do in fighting against these creatures, I wasn’t buying their ineptness along the way either.  And I know, a lot of you are going to say, “she just becoming a picky bitch now”, but If I have to watch one more action film with a woman who can’t run, well, I’m going to start a revolt.  In Munn’s defense, it may have been the flat bottom Adidas sneakers they put her in, but if you are running from a Predator, you need to be able to run like the wind, if I’m going to buy you getting away!!  And even though there is lots of action to keep your interest throughout, the cinematography/CGI in places this time around is totally sloppy, along with the fact that the editing throughout is totally sloppy too, as I’m not even sure when we lost Sterling K Brown along the way, and since he’s our beloved “home town boy”, I kind of wanted to know how he met his demise, as I truly was not sure L.   Needless to say, if you love these films, and Black’s previous work too, then don’t let me stop you from heading to a theater near you to catch this next installment.  But, if you’re not a fan of these films, or Black’s work, then I suggest you wait and stream this film, a few months down the road…

Kathy Kaiser

This humble opinion is brought to by you T. K. Edwards

THE PREDATOR  – Rated R –  1 hr. 47 mins

Director by:  Shane Black

Cast:  Boyd Holbrook, Olivia Munn, Trevante Rhodes, Keegan-Michael Key, Thomas Jane, Sterling K. Brown, Jacob Tremblay, Yvonne Strahovski, Jake Busey

An elite soldier accidentally sends his son sophisticated alien hunter technology and now must stop the actual “alien hunters” from hunting down his family and taking it back.

THIS SEGMENT MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS, BUT I TRIED NOT TO

The latest installment in the PREDATOR franchise is the new movie entitled THE PREDATOR (btw, I hate this title bc it’s too damn close to the original 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger film title PREDATOR), don’t just put a “the” in front of an old title and say it’s new…it’s not new, it’s dumb and it’s confusing, next time take the time to work up a better title to your movie.  Anyways, this new film by Shane Black is by far the second best in the franchise. My new order of these films (not counting the AVP crossover films) go as follows:

  1. Predator (1987)
  2. The Predator (2018)
  3. Predator 2
  4. Predators

My reasoning for putting THE PREDATOR in second place now is because it reminded me of the original more than the other two movies did.  One of my favorite things about PREDATOR (1987) is the comradery between Arnold and his soldiers. If you took the actual “Predator Alien” out of the film and just made an action movie with those actors playing those characters, you would have a pretty damn good action movie.  The care and thought that John McTiernan (Director of the 1987 PREDATOR movie) put into each soldier and their background is subtle and modestly plentiful, which is what makes the first film so good. McTiernan lets the audience get to know each character and then puts them in a “being hunted” scenario where you care about who will die and who will live.  This is exactly what Shane Black does with the new film THE PREDATOR. He took a toll from his old director (btw, Shane Black played Hawkins in the original film) and he focused more on his characters personalities, which in turn allows his audience to get more emotionally attached to them when or if their time comes in the movie for an enormous alien with dreadlocks deciding to ram their giant jai alai glove made of razor sharp alien compound metal into their victims chest (No spoilers there…it was just fun to write, LOL).  Another reason why this film gets the silver medal in my book, is how well Shane Black mixes the comedy and the gore. There is just enough balance of the two throughout the movie to make this film a perfect new addition to the PREDATOR franchise. Go see THE PREDATOR in theaters, it is worth your ticket money. It has everything you want and are expecting from a Predator movie. Until next time, thanks for reading.

P.S. – There is no post credit scene, but the movie itself has loads of easter eggs and tons of references to the first two films.  Here’s a hint to my favorite one – Jake Busey.

ISLE OF DOGS – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 40 mins. – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS 

Isle of dogs

ISLE OF DOGS – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 40 mins. – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS 

DIRECTED by Wes Anderson 

WRITTEN BY Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman and Kunichi Nomura 

STARRING the voices of Bryan Cranston, Live Schreiber, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Courtney B Vance, Akira Ito, Scarlett Johansson, Harvey Keitel, Tilda Swinton, Bob Balaban and Koyu Rankin

When a dog flu hits Japan with a vengeance, it seems that the Mayor’s nephew Atari (Koyu Rankin), is going to have to learn to live without his best friend Spots (Liev Schreiber).

Banished to an island inhabited by other exiled dogs of Japan, it seems that this world away from their humans, is one pretty scary place.  When leader of the pack Chief (Bryan Cranston) decides to gather up his pack for safety from the other mongrels inhabiting their space, a vision appears from out of nowhere…bringing human life back to their island.

When Chief realizes it’s the Mayor’s nephew Atari looking for his dog Spots, Chief and the rest of his crew join forces to help Atari find his friend, as they all hope and pray, it’s not too late….

I give ISLE OF DOGS a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN ~ Anderson has managed to suck me in again with another somewhat imaginary, somewhat “oh so real” storyline, that will make every dog lover in this world shed a tear, or two.  Cranston is perfect as the leader of the pack, Chief, along with his comrades too along the way – voiced by Norton, Balaban, Murray, and Goldblum. It is truly awesome hearing all of these familiar voices in this one film!  And you couldn’t ask for a sweeter “girlfriend” for Chief too in this animated masterpiece, than the beautiful Nutmeg (voiced to perfection by Scarlett Johansson).  And I am happy to report too, that even the dog loving youngsters over the age of 8 can take this film in…as even though at one point I thought we might be headed into concentration camp territory, with lots of gruesomeness, I was happy to view that Anderson didn’t take it too far, so that it’s okay for the younger ones in the audience to experience.  Filled with emotion and empathy for our favorite furry friends ~ and the world in which we live ~ ISLE OF DOGS is one film that you, and your entire family must go see at a theater near you this weekend!!!

Kathy Kaiser

Love, SIMON – Rated PG-13

Love Simon

LOVE, SIMON – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 49 mins. 

Director:  Greg Berlanti 

Starring: Nick Robinson, Jennifer Garner, Josh Duhamel, Tony Hale, Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp, Logan Miller, Jorge Lendeborg Jr and Keiynan Lonsdale

Based on the Novel “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Becky Albertalli – we meet

High School Senior Simon (Nick Robinson), who is blessed with a loving family, life-long friends, and a secret he’s been keeping from everyone around him…or so he thinks…

When a message via email finds Simon, it seems that someone else within his class is struggling with the same exact issue, keeping from everyone around them that they are homosexual.

Simon ~ and his anonymous new friend via the internet ~ soon find that having the opportunity to share their feelings with one another, and their issues with letting the outside world know who they really are, is eased, just by having someone to talk to…

But when an acquaintance at school by the name of Martin (Logan Miller) finds out about Simon, and his anonymous friend, Simon is torn between telling everyone who he really is NOW, or to attempt to keep his secret from the world, if only for a little while longer…

I give LOVE, SIMON a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN:  Yep, that’s right.  I think everyone parent, every teenager, anyone who is struggling with any issue in their lives should see this film on the big screen.  I know you’re thinking” Dear God, another coming of age film…but with a “coming out” twist, really???” But don’t let the trailer for this film mislead you, as this film, and the way it tells Simon’s story, is not only touching and moving at every turn, but LOVE, SIMON makes you stop and look at the world, and each other, with more openness and acceptance, every step of the way.  From its multi-dimensional storyline, to its superbly mastered cast, there isn’t one inch of this film that I didn’t absolutely love!!!  Robinson’s perfect performance as Simon is exceptional throughout (Watch out Ansel Elgort, there’s new kid in town with the same look, and he’s really good too J ).  Add in the small, but endearing performances by Garner and Duhamel as his parents, with the perfectly portrayed performances by Langford, Shipp, Miller, Lonsdale and Lendeborg, and you have a down-right fabulous film the whole family.  I also thoroughly enjoyed the vastly comedic performance by Tony Hale, as Principal Worth, as well.  Take my word for it, each element of this film is so brilliant, so inviting, so genuine, that you just have to see this story play out on the big screen this weekend at a theater near you…That is ALL! J

Kathy Kaiser 

RED SPARROW – Rated R – 2 hrs. 19 mins

Red Sparrow

RED SPARROW – Rated R – 2 hrs. 19 mins

Director:  Francis Lawrence (HUNGER GAMES, I AM LEGEND) 

Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Charlotte Rampling, Mary-Louise Parker, Joely Richardson, Matthias Schoenaerts and Jeremy Irons

As we meet beautiful ballerina Dominika Egorova (Jennifer Lawrence) her world has been shaken to the core, when her ballerina dreams are ended, just as they had begun.

Searching for a way to keep her and her mother in the lifestyle they’ve grown accustomed to, Dominika decides to go undercover, entering the world of THE SPARROWS, as she soon learns how to use her feminine wiles to get anything she needs or wants, from anyone in her path.

When she crosses paths with American CIA agent Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton), Dominika falls hard and fast for this American, who returns the favor by trying to figure out a way to make her Sparrow days numbered, with getting her out of Russia, and more importantly, out of the hands of her disgustingly vial uncle and fellow Russian operative Vanua Egorov (Matthias Schoenaerts).

But the question is…is anything that Dominika or Nate are doing on the up and up?  Or are they just following the directives of each of their employers, while providing “undercover service” to one another, just to pass the time…?

I give RED SPARROW a rating between MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN and WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON DVD:  It was truly fabulous to see Lawrence on the big screen again, and playing a much more provocative role than we’ve ever seen from her before.  Edgerton is expertly cast this time around too, playing the CIA agent that wants what’s best for his country, and the women he falls hard for as well.  Rampling is also very intense in her role as “Sparrow Instructor”, and when you add in the small, but intricate roles of Schoenaerts, Parker and Irons, this is one spy thriller with a storyline that keeps you guessing until the very last frame hits the screen.  So, with all these accolades, why the less than perfect review??  From the long, and drawn out sequences in “sparrow school”, learning how you should conduct yourself as “a lady” or maybe just “a lady of the night”, for no good reason than to see exactly what Ms. Lawrence has to offer…to the graphically disturbing violence throughout, which doesn’t truly add to the storyline, this spy film just wasn’t as smoothly crafted as I so hoping it would be, since Director Francis Lawrence, has directed Ms. Lawrence three times prior, for her stint in the HUNGER GAMES series.  And I really wish that would have had Jennifer work as hard on her Russian accent, as they did on providing all the sexual encounters throughout this film, as it’s hard to take her seriously as a high-profile Russian agent, when her accent keeps going in and out throughout the entire film too.  Suffice to say, it’s entertaining if you enjoy really graphic violence, and a sneak peek around every turn of both female, and male nudity, but as female spy films go, this one can’t hold a candle to last year’s ATOMIC BLONDE, even with Jennifer providing a lot more skin, than Charlize did, the whole way through.

Kathy Kaiser

CHECK OUT THE NEW TRAILER for DEADPOOL 2…HITS THEATERS MAY 18th

deadpool-2-poster-405x600

After surviving a near fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry’s hottest bartender while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste. Searching to regain his spice for life, as well as a flux capacitor, Wade must battle ninjas, the yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines, as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family, friendship, and flavor – finding a new taste for adventure and earning the coveted coffee mug title of World’s Best Lover. In Theaters May 18, 2018 Connect with

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MAZE RUNNER: DEATH CURE – Rated PG-13 – 2 hrs. 22 mins.

Maze Runner Death Cure

This humble opinion is brought to you by T. K. Edwards

MAZE RUNNER:  THE DEATH CURE

Director by:  Wes Ball

Cast:  Dylan O’Brien, Aidan Gillen, Patricia Clarkson, Barry Pepper, Walter Goggins  

This last chapter of the Maze Runner trilogy finds Thomas and his friends set out to find a cure for the “flare” disease and also rescue their captured friends from the evil organization known as WCKD.

 

BELOW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS…CONTINUE READING AT OWN RISK

 

Maze Runner: The Death Cure is the final installment of the Maze Runner trilogy series and it is exactly the way I thought it was going to be.  Entertaining but not amazing.  You can always tell where a movie is going to take you by the opening scene and this one opened with a train hijacking scene that was mediocre at best.  The rest of the story moves forward with more of your dramatic cliche scenes, where your hero says he got to go do something on his own without anyone’s help, but his friends show up right before he leaves and say, “we started this together and we’ll finish it together” – (You know, that old chestnut).  So our heroes go to finish what they’ve started, only to find even more obstacles in their way.  One in particular is the discovery of an old enemy, thought to be dead, but now wants to help them.  Who can we trust?, becomes the question they begin asking themselves and as we all know, the answer is…no one.  Our story keeps moving forward and we finally make it to our climatic endings, (because there are like four of them) and we the audience finally get the closure we have been wanting since this Maze Runner film series began.  There is no final scene that shows there could be more story to be told.  There is no post credit scene that shows our Maze Runner villain somehow miraculously didn’t die.  There are no written words in the credits stating “Maze Runner will return”.  There is simply just closure and that is fine by me.

 

Now on to our cast…
Once again, Dylan O’Brien leads Maze Runner: The Death Cure as our hero Thomas and does a more than adequate job.  I really feel like he’s becoming a very good film actor.  He’s even started to branch out of being known as just “that maze runner guy” by either starring or co-starring in more well known movies like: American Assassin (WELCOME BACK MICHAEL KEATON!!!), The Internship (first we’re in a blender, now we’re saving lives…WHAT?!), and Deepwater Horizon (You almost lost me w/ Battleship Berg).  I think the Maze Runner series has helped shape him into a better, more watchable actor because it forced him to play a character that goes through all the movie genres (action, drama, comedy, sci-fi, and horror) and what more can an actor ask for in a franchise, let alone their career.  Some of the supporting actors that I thought did a very good job in this film were…Barry Pepper (Battlefield Earth will never leave our brains. Pepper…thanks a lot! – That was sarcasm…I hated that film), Aidan Gillen (Question – How did you let Bane get away?), and Walter Goggins (Major League: Back to the Minors – that’s all I’m saying…LOL).  Everyone brought their “B+” game and that was, once again, what I expected from them.  All in all, Maze Runner: The Death Cure was exactly what i thought it was going to be.  A conclusion to a story that I was not extremely interested in, but still watched anyways because…well…it was either that or the Divergent series – I chose right 🙂 .  My suggestion for this movie is to go see it in the theaters if you have spent the time to watch the other two previous films, otherwise wait to watch them all at home or not at all, it doesn’t really matter.  Until next time, thanks for reading.