12 STRONG – Rated R – 2 hrs. 10 mins

12 strong movie poster

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

12 STRONG – Rated R – 2 hrs. 10 mins

Director by:  Nicolai Fuglsig

Cast:  Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Pena, Rob Riggle, William Fichtner

Based on the true story, 12 Strong follows twelve American soldiers that led the first attack on the Taliban after the 9/11 attacks.  


War movies are always hard to judge.  The spectrum is so broad that it’s hard to decide where one war movie should be placed.  At one end you have AMAZING (Saving Private Ryan, Dunkirk, Black Hawk Down, Fury, Glory) and on the other end you have NOT SO GREAT (Pearl Harbor, The Thin Red Line, Alamo).  The NOT SO GREAT war movies aren’t bad, per say, they just don’t hit the mark like the great ones do.  The desire to honor the military & its’ soldiers is there, but it just doesn’t work for some reason or another.  Something is always missing, which brings me to 12 Strong.  What was missing from this movie? I can’t exactly pinpoint it.  Maybe it was the story.  Maybe it’s because the director is from Denmark.  Maybe it’s because our lead actor is Australian.  I don’t know, I don’t have the answer, but for some reason this movie falls somewhere in the middle of the “war movie” spectrum.  The story felt more like a “made up” action movie then one that was based on a true story.  I mean this story really happened and it was incredible, but in this case the story is better TOLD, then WATCHED.  

On to the cast now.
I like Chris Hemsworth.  I really do think he’s a good actor.  And I get it ladies, he’s soooo dreamy, but aside from the Marvel movies and Snow White and the Huntsman, his only quality movies are the ones he’s played a supporting role.  For example, A Perfect Getaway (great ending!), The Cabin in the Woods (the merman still gives me nightmares), Star Trek (he played Kirk’s dad, remember?), Vacation (now I understand why the ladies love him, LOL), and Ghostbusters (he was the only good thing about that movie & I’m including the cameos).  All of his leading role movies just don’t make the cut for me.  Red Dawn (didn’t deserve or need a remake), Blackhat (Michael Mann owes me now), In the Heart of the Sea (they should’ve just made a Moby Dick movie), The Huntsman: A Winter’s War (unnecessary sequel) and now added to the list is 12 Strong.  Now he does bring everything he’s got to each of his films and you do see that he’s got what it takes to be a leading man, but his movies just keep missing the mark.  If it wasn’t for Thor and those giant guns he calls his arms, I really don’t think we would be seeing as much of him as we are now.  Let’s get off of Chris Hemsworth right now (which no woman would ever say in her life) and list briefly how the other cast members of 12 Strong performed in this film.  Michael Shannon (HEY, he’s not playing a villain in this movie…YAY!!!), Michael Pena (felt like every other role he has ever done), Rob Riggle (it was nice to see him in a drama and not a fart comedy) and William Fichtner (where was his hair in this role?…weird).  All in all I think 12 Strong is definitely one you can wait to see at home.  Until next time, thanks for reading.  

LA LA LAND – Rated PG-13

“LA LA LAND is absolutely the Magic of Cinema brought to life…”

Kathy Kaiser, MATINEE CHAT


LA LA LAND – Rated PG-13 – 128 mins.

 Starring Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Rosemarie DeWitt and JK Simmons

Never in my wildest dreams could I have conceived that the writer and director that brought us 2014’s riveting, astonishing and profoundly uncomfortable WHIPLASH ~ Damien Chazelle ~ could turn around to bring the magic of musicals, movie making and the City of Angels to life…yet here we are…THIS IS LA LA LAND!!!

As we meet aspiring actress Mia (Emma Stone), she is hoping for that one big break that will make all her dreams come true. When a chance encounter brings her into the life of young and sexy jazz musician Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), it seems that maybe all their dreams are coming true.

Caught up in the love they share, and their aspirations of making it BIG in their respective professions, Mia and Sebastian must face many of life’s harshest realities, all amongst the glamour, excitement and magic of LA LA LAND…

I give LA LA LAND not only a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN, but also a rating as MY #1 MOVIE OF THE YEAR!!! Everything about this film makes you smile, as you experience all that is “old Hollywood” amongst the musical talents and chemistry of Gosling and Stone, set in present day LA. The magic of this film is extremely strong and powerful, as you follow the mesmerizing music, dancing and storyline throughout its many frames. Take my word for it, if you love musicals, love classic films, love stories that take your breath away ~ LA LA LAND is the splendor of all those things, and so much more!! Chazelle has managed to make a present day cinematic musical masterpiece, filled with an original soundtrack that beckons you to sing along. Here’s hoping that the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards follow suit after the Critic’s Choice awards presented this film with the BEST PICTURE AWARD last week (Was so happy to be a part of that selection process!)  There were some were some really good films this year, but nothing that can compare to the mystically powerful feel of LA LA LAND…it absolutely is the Magic of Cinema brought to life!

Kathy Kaiser