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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Check out the TRAILER for THE INVISIBLES – Hits @ The Landmark Plaza Frontenac Theatre on Friday, February 15th, 2019

Poster - THE INVISIBLES - Courtesy of Greenwich Entertainment

A Greenwich Entertainment release
THE INVISIBLES

OPENING FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15th in St. Louis

Landmark Plaza Frontenac

Like THE INVISIBLES on Facebook
#TheInvisibles

Official Selection: New York Jewish Film Festival 2018 (Presented by The Jewish Museum & The Film Society of Lincoln Center)

Winner: Audience Favorite World Cinema, Mill Valley Film Festival 2018

While Goebbels infamously declared Berlin “free of Jews” in 1943, 1,700 managed to survive in the Nazi capital. Claus Räfle’s gripping docudrama traces the stories of four real-life survivors who learned to hide in plain sight. Moving between cinemas, cafés and safe houses, they dodged Nazi officials and a dense network of spies and informants. Yet their prudence was at odds with their youthful recklessness, prompting them to join the resistance, forge passports, or pose as Aryan war widows. Masterfully weaving these story threads together, The Invisibles is a testament to the resourcefulness, willpower and sheer chance needed to survive against incredible odds.

“What “Invisibles” documents and dramatizes is really pretty darned incredible.” —The Epoch Times

“Fascinating, true story of four Jews who were among the thousands who survived the Holocaust by hiding out in Berlin…plays like a thriller but is all the more remarkable for being true…keeps you on the edge of your seat.” — The Jerusalem Post

T.K. vs Kathy’s view of FIRST MAN – Rated PG-13 – 2 hrs. 21 mins. 

FIrst Man Movie

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

FIRST MAN  – Rated PG-13  – 2 hr. 21 mins

Director by:  Damien Chazelle

Cast:  Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Pablo Schreiber, Corey Stoll, Ciaran Hinds, Ethan Embry, Shea Whigham, Lukas Haas, Patrick Fugit

This biopic follows the life of astronaut Neil Armstrong and the events leading up to him becoming the first man to walk on the Moon.

ONE SMALL STEP FOR MAN AND NO SPOILERS BELOW

WARNING: The following segment contains the words, “SEE FIRST MAN IN iMAX” sporadically throughout the reading.  DO NOT be alarmed, but DO follow it’s instructions. Thank you for your time and you can now proceed to the article below.

When I think of an astronaut film or an “outer space” film that is based on actual events my go to movie has always been APOLLO 13.  Well…now APOLLO 13 has to share the spotlight with another film and that film is FIRST MAN. SEE FIRST MAN IN iMAX. I was hooked from the very beginning of this film because it put the audience inside the eyes of not only Neil Armstrong, but the cockpit of whatever he was sitting in.  Most astronaut films show you what is happening outside the spacecraft or launchpad by using a camera wide shot of the entire scene, but FIRST MAN bypasses this technique and creates something even more special. SEE FIRST MAN IN iMAX. It shows you a first person perspective of the cockpit that the actor is in.  When the action happens, instead of jumping outside and giving you the answer to what is going on, the audience is experiencing the same issue that the astronaut is facing in real time. With every single moment that passes inside these completely true situations, the audience can now feel the tense pressure, the deafening sound, the constant movement, and the raw emotion of what could be someone’s last decision.  It is an experience that…if you let it…can be one of a kind. SEE FIRST MAN IN iMAX. July 20th, 1969 is the date in history that humankind marked as showing anything is possible. This movie not only glorifies this moment, but it also shows us how Neil Armstrong deserved to be the first man to walk on the Moon. SEE FIRST MAN IN iMAX. FIRST MAN is the third film directed by Damien Chazelle and he did not disappoint me.  His resume just keeps getting stronger and stronger with directing such films as WHIPLASH and LA LA LAND. I now consider him to be one of the best directors working today and I am definitely looking forward to his next project. SEE FIRST MAN IN iMAX. Ryan Gosling plays Neil Armstrong and does an amazing job as always. Gosling is one of my favorite actors working today and continues to pump out outstanding performances one after the other.  Go see FIRST MAN in theaters it’s well worth your time and money. And…maybe go see it in iMAX…I hear it might be better. LMAO. Until next time, thanks for reading.

P.S. – There is no post credit scene because this isn’t a comic book movie.  LOL

FIRST MAN – Rated PG-13 – 2 hrs. 21 mins. 

DIRECTOR:  Damien Chazelle (WHIPLASH, La La LAND) 

WRITER:  Based on the book FIRST MAN:  THE LIFE OF NEIL A. ARMSTRONG by James R. Hansen

                    Screenplay by Josh Singer 

STARRING:  Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Corey Stoll, Pablo Schreiber and Christopher Abbott

As we meet young Pilot and family man Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling), he is hoping to be accepted into the Aerospace program at NASA, although at present, most of his purpose and energy in life is laser-focused on his young daughter Karen (Lucy Stafford), who is dying of a brain tumor…

When Karen tragically passes away in 1962, Armstrong is hell bent on not only making it into the Space Program, but making sure that his is one of the few Astronauts in training, that will solidify the US surpassing Russia’s efforts to put the first man on the moon…

As Neil’s wife Janet (Claire Foy), and Sons Rick (Gavin Warren/ Luke Winters) and Mark (Connor Blodgett) try to find a way to get any attention they can from their stoic husband/father, it seems that Neil’s tunnel vision on becoming the first man to touch the moon’s surface, is unrelenting, thus leaving him untouchable, even by his family, or his friends…

I GIVE FIRST MAN a rating between MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN and WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON DVD:  Chazelle managed to create a very visual, riveting and  volatile film for All Mankind, that takes you deep into the personal turmoil, yet gratifying life of Astronaut extraordinaire Neil Armstrong.  Gosling does a superb job of conveying Armstrong’s personal journey, as he takes us through the many pitfalls, and thrills, that this TRUE AMERICAN HERO lived throughout his lifetime.  Foy is also very good as Armstrong’s wife Janet, showing us the sacrifices and joys she too got to experience, as the wife of the world’s most famous Astronaut.  Add in the rousing performances by both Stoll as Astronaut Buzz Aldrin and Clarke as Astronaut Edward Higgins White, and you have one very captivating and exhilarating film – that will not only touch you emotionally, but might make you queasy along the way too, as some of the scenes throughout this film take you literally into every aspect of NASA Training and Space Travel, so if you get motion sickness easily, you might want to wait and catch FIRST MAN on the small screen, allowing for a much more subdued viewing opportunity, as some of the special effects that you are going to experience on the big screen will engross all of your senses, including nausea…so consider yourself WARNED 😉

Kathy Kaiser

OPERATION FINALE – Rated PG-13 – 2 hrs. 2 mins.

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“If history is “your deal”, then get ready to experience an intense game of “truth or dare” that you don’t want to miss a minute of…” – Kathy Kaiser, Matinee Chat

OPERATION FINALE – Rated PG-13 – 2 hrs. 2 mins.

Director:  Christopher Weitz

Writer:  Matthew Orton 

Starring:  Oscar Isaac, Ben Kingsley, Melanie Laurent, Nick Kroll, Michael Aronov, Greg Hill, Torben Liebrecht, Peter Strauss, Joe Alwyn, and Haley Lu Richardson 

As we are thrust into Israel, circa 1960, it seems that the notorious “Architect of the Holocaust” Richardo Clement – a.k.a. Adolf Eichmann (Ben Kingsley) is alive and well,  and living in Argentina without a care in the world.  When his whereabouts are finally revealed to Israeli Mossad Agent Peter Malkin (Oscar Isaac), and his fellow team members, the race is on to capture this monster, and bring him to justice in Israel.

Once it is confirmed that Clement is truly Adolf Eichmann, it seems that capturing him shouldn’t be too hard, but getting him out of the country to stand trial…and under his own free will, is a whole other story.  As Malkin is forced to come to face-to-face with the atrocities this demon he is holding captive has inflicted upon his people, but his own family too – he and Eichmann shift to playing an intense game of truth or dare, which neither of them is prepared to lose…

I give OPERATION FINALE a rating between MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN and WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON DVD.  Powerful, and very moving, Christopher Weitz has managed to Direct an intense, and very historically significant film for modern day.  Isaac is perfectly cast as Agent Peter Malkin, as he brings a sense of depth and intricacy to every frame of this film.  Kingsley is also sheer perfection, playing the loving family man Clement, as the perfect façade for the demon within that is Eichmann.  And talk about an incredibly written script, Orton manages to share many of the details needed for the audience to become engaged in the historical significance of this material, without making this film seem extremely dull and impersonal.  So, with all these accolades foretold, why not rate this film “A must see on the big screen”? Because, even though I was thoroughly entertained throughout, and the story line totally kept my interest the whole way through, parts of OPERATION FINALE seem to drag on for no apparent reason, making even this historically significant film, feel a little subpar.  I also wish that Weitz would have shared more of the footage from the actual trial at the end of the film – which was actually televised worldwide back in 1962 – as to add to the importance of telling this story to the masses. So, if you enjoy Historically significant films as I, or if you are of Jewish decent, then I suggest, by all means that you head out to a theater near you before weeks end to see the award worthy performances of both Isaac and Kingsley throughout OPERATION FINALE. But if you aren’t a history buff, or of Jewish decent, then you might want to wait and catch OPERATION FINALE when it comes out on DVD, so if it seems to be getting too slow for you too, you can fast forward a few times, while still experiencing the significance of the Israelis finding this demonic man, and bringing him to justice…

Kathy Kaiser

VICTORIA and ABDUL – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 52 mins. 

Victoria and Abdul

VICTORIA and ABDUL – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 52 mins. 

Starring Judi Dench, Ali Fazal, Tim Pigott-Smith and Eddie Izzard

Based on the book by the same name by Shrabani Basu, we meet the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Ireland and the Empress of India ~ Victoria (Judi Dench) ~ who is stifled in her world of pomp and circumstance, and. as it seems, is just waiting for her existence on this earth to end…

When two individuals from India are selected to present a gift to the Queen, it seems the handsome Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal), has caught her Majesty’s eye, which immediately sparks the old’ girl back to life…

Much to the dismay of her staff and her family, especially her horrible son Bertie, Prince of Wales (Eddie Izzard), Queen Victoria has found comfort in her new found friendship with the handsome stranger Abdul…and as their friendship grows, the Queen sees fit to give Abdul even more power over her affairs, as her friend, her confidant and most importantly, her spiritual advisor, as the years roll by…

Seeing fit to bring Abdul’s family to their royal estate too, Queen Victoria and Abdul form a bond that no neither family or staff can ever sever…no matter how hard they try…

I give VICTORIA and ABDUL a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN – Dame Judi Dench is vying for another Oscar, as her performance as Queen Victoria is not only majestic, but also stirringly marvelous…all at the same time. Fazal’s performance is also first-class, as he plays friend and confidant to the aging Queen, Abdul. And Izzard’s performance as the pompous and irritating Prince of Wales is absolutely fabulous too. Suffice to say that VICTORIA and ABDUL is one of the best films I have viewed this year, leaving me to suggest that you head to a theater near you this weekend and catch VICTORIA and ABDUL on the big screen, as you don’t want to have missed seeing this exquisite film, when all of the accolades start mounting up come awards season!!!

Kathy Kaiser

DETROIT – Rated R – 2 hrs. 23 mins. 

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“EXCRUTIATINGLY RAW & EMOTIONAL – DETROIT is one film that every adult in this country needs to experience…” – Matinee Chat with Kathy Kaiser

DETROIT – Rated R – 2 hrs. 23 mins. 

Starring John Boyega, Will Poulter, Algee Smith, Jacob Latimore, Anthony Mackie, Ben O’Toole, Peyton Alex Smith, Malcolm David Kelly, Kaitlyn Dever, Hannah Murray and John Krasinski

From Director Kathryn Bigelow, who has previously brought to the big screen intense historical dramas before, including THE HURT LOCKER and ZERO DARK THIRTY, comes another painfully real, and very disturbing time in our countries history…this is DETROIT!

The time is July 1967, as Detroit is ablaze with the malice and racism overwhelming this once tranquil city. As riots continue to break out in the streets day after day, it seems that no one is safe from the destruction happening at every turn…right before our eyes…

As the Detroit police, Michigan State Police, and the Michigan National guard are put in place to bring some sense of peace to the streets, rogue police officer Krauss (Will Poulter) has other thoughts on his mind…allowing his own cruelty, hatred and racism to rear its ugly head against the blacks of Detroit…

When singer Larry (Algee Smith) and manager Fred (Jacob Lattimore) find themselves held up at the Algiers Motel, little do they know that the Motel will soon be under attack, after a false report that a sniper resides within its walls. And much to the dismay of all the residents at the Motel on this fateful night, they too will find themselves praying for their lives, at the hands of three individuals who took a vow to “Protect and serve”…not extinguish the innocent lives that they take, all in the name of their own warped sense of justice…

I give DETROIT a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN: Talk about disturbingly real and emotionally draining, Bigelow has once again brought the frailties of our humanity, to the big screen, with a raw and painful display of a segment within our countries history. Each performance throughout this film is more gut wrenching than the next, as you see the racism and hatred emblazoned in late 60’s Detroit erupt all over the screen. It was truly excruciating and agonizing to watch what happened at the Algiers Motel, as it harkens to the events still happening throughout our nation, some 50 years later, regarding police brutality. Being too young to remember these events first hand, I was glad to have had the opportunity to experience the complexities of the racism that gripped our nations past, throughout each and every frame of DETROIT. I left the theater extremely moved, and with a greater sense of clarity to the struggles experienced by the Black American’s of our past, and with a new resolve to help change the racism that still manifests itself within the cities and streets of our nation today…

Kathy Kaiser

Check out the NEW TRAILER for DARKEST HOUR – Film hits in select cities 11/22/2017

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Focus Features will release Darkest Hour in select cities on November 22, 2017 

Story: A thrilling and inspiring true story begins on the eve of World War II as, within days of becoming Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill (Academy Award nominee Gary Oldman) must face one of his most turbulent and defining trials: exploring a negotiated peace treaty with Nazi Germany, or standing firm to fight for the ideals, liberty and freedom of a nation. As the unstoppable Nazi forces roll across Western Europe and the threat of invasion is imminent, and with an unprepared public, a skeptical King, and his own party plotting against him, Churchill must withstand his darkest hour, rally a nation, and attempt to change the course of world history.

Director: Joe Wright (“Atonement,” “Hanna,” “Pride & Prejudice,” “Anna Karenina”)

Writer: Anthony McCarten (“The Theory of Everything”)

Cast: Gary Oldman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Lily James, Stephen Dillane, Ronald Pickup, and Ben Mendelsohn

For more info, please follow the film on social:

Official Site I Facebook I Twitter I Instagram

#DarkestHour

FREE STATE OF JONES – Rated R

Free State of Jones

FREE STATE OF JONES – Rated R – 2 hrs. 19 min

Starring Matthew McConaughey, GuGu Mabatha-Raw, and Keri Russell

Torn from the pages of our countries history during the Civil War, we meet real-life nurse and surgical assistant Newton Knight (Matthew McConaughey), aiding to the wounded on the Confederate side of this war…

Choosing to aid in this manner, rather than fight in a war he doesn’t believe in, Knight is forever changed when a young man from his own family is slain during battle.

Taking this youngster back to his mama, Newt reunites with his wife Serena (Keri Russell) and young son, only to realize that this war we are fighting amongst ourselves is absolutely pointless and he’s not going back…

Now being branded a deserter, Newt follows nursemaid Rachel (GuGu Mabatha-Raw) into the swamplands to lie low for a while, where he meets a few ex-slaves who have sought refuge themselves within the swamps of Mississippi.

As the war rages on, Newt and his black followers join forces with a group of white farmers, who are tired of fighting this war on behalf of all “the rich and powerful Southerners”, who seem to be way too good to go to war themselves…

And as Newt’s company grows stronger and more volatile as they stand their ground against their own Confederate Army, it seems the tides they are a changing, as Jones County is now considered a FREE STATE OF JONES…

I give FREE STATE OF JONES a rating between MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN and WAIT AND CATCH THIS ONE ON DVD ~ McConaughey’s definitely went into this role vying for another gold statue ~ why yes he did ~ playing the scruffy deserter ~ turned visionary ~ seeking to change the course of his own life, and the course of our countries history as well. Mabatha-Raw is good too, as the ex-slave and eventual love interest for Knight, even though they were never allowed to marry. And Russell’s role this time around as Newt’s wife is significantly smaller than I expected, but her character’s role in this real-life story, turns out to be quite a significant one. So why am I not sending you running to a theater near you to catch this HISTORICALLY SIGNIFICANT FILM? First, this one plays out WAY TOO SLOW for my liking. I realize we don’t want to miss out on any important parts of this storyline, but I found myself wanting it to move along already more than once throughout this films over 2 hour timeframe. Secondly, I wasn’t too fond of the graphic nature of this film – I realize that the Civil War was a very gruesome time in our country’s history ~ both socially ~ and in the way we fought one another too, but this films graphic scenes became way to graphic, and way too many for my liking. I also felt that the side story which emerges, is totally unnecessary too, as all the bouncing back and forth between storylines ~ and decades ~just started to become annoying…which leads me to share…If you are a history buff and you love McConaughey, then of course you have to head out the theater this weekend to catch this one ON THE BIG SCREEN, but if history mixed with graphic violence isn’t really your deal, then you might want to wait and catch this one DVD, at least until we see if McConaughey’s performance yields him any big nods during awards season this year…

Kathy Kaiser