CATS – Rated PG – 1 hr. 50 mins. 

Cats

CATS – Rated PG – 1 hr. 50 mins. 

DIRECTOR:  Tom Hooper 

WRITERS:  Lee Hall, Tom Hooper, based on T.S. Eliot’s poems titled “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” 

MUSIC BY:  Andrew Lloyd Webber 

STARRING:  Judi Dench, Idris Elba, Ian McKellan, James Corden, Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, Jason DeRulo, Rebel Wilson and Francesca Hayward

Based on the Broadway Musical CATS, which originally hit the stage in 1982, and adorned the Winter Garden Theatre stage for 18 years ~ we meet a menagerie of discarded Jellicle cats, that decide each year, which one of them will ascend to the great unknown, only to return to a new Jellicle life…

I give CATS a rating of DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY:  If you love musicals as much as I do, I know you have been waiting with bated breath to see this award-winning, longest running Broadway musical to date, hit the big screen.  And with such an incredible cast, including my favorite late-late night host James Corden, songstress Extraordinaires Jennifer Hudson and Taylor Swift, the “Dame” herself Judi Dench and the incredibly talented Idris Elba in the mix, you know that this much anticipated film is going to be a big hit right!  Well, maybe not so fast!  As incredible as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music is throughout, the film itself, just misses the mark in so many directions, it’s kind of hard to know where to start.  From Hooper’s misdirection – including his keeping the pipes of Jennifer Hudson at bay until almost the end of the film, to the not exactly cat-like persona portrayed by everyone throughout this film, to the not quite provocative, although some of the scenes seem to try to get to that point of confusion throughout, this film is quite simply misstep after misstep, after misstep.  The fact that I had to fight not falling asleep through at least the first hour of this slowly moving musical, became excruciating.  Even sadder for me, was the fact that Taylor Swift’s performance – albeit only being about 10 minutes throughout the entire film – outshines in both acting and singing what Hudson gets to put on screen.  I was even more surprised when I realized that Amblin films was behind this creative disaster, as Spielberg usually has a much better eye than what ended up screen with this ill-fated production (Hoping his next musical project West Side Story, fares much better in 2020). I was even more saddened throughout by the fact that even Judi Dench didn’t have the star power this time around, to save this “cat”astrophe of a film.  Please take it from someone who will sit through Musicals all day, every day, if given the chance, no matter if on stage, on the big screen, or even on TV at home that CATS will now be my one exception to the that rule – as I truly don’t know if I can force myself to sit through this film EVER again…

Review of THE GOOD LIAR – Rated R – 1 hr. 49 mins.

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THE GOOD LIAR – Rated R – 1 hr. 49 mins.

Directed by:  Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters, Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Parts 1 & 2, Beauty and the Beast)

Written by:  Based on the novel by Nicholas Searle, Screenplay by Jeffrey Hatcher 

Starring:  Helen Mirren, Ian McKellen, Russell Tovey and Jim Carter

If you love suspense and intrigue, then follow me into the life of meek and mild new widow Betty McLeish (Helen Mirren).  Betty has been looking for a new companion, when she happens upon the likes of smooth, and very shrewd Roy Courtnay (Ian McKellen).  Smitten to say the least, or so it seems, Betty and Roy are embarking on a courtship per se, that is until Betty’s grandson Steven (Russell Tovey) starts poking around in Roy’s past, in an attempt to save his grandmother, from this troll of a man…

Well, needless to say Betty knows best, as she ventures into a business agreement with Roy, and his partner in crime Vincent (Jim Carter) too, but in this game of cat and mouse, who’s really playing who???

I give THE GOOD LIAR a rating between MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN and WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON DVD!  If suspense is your game, and if you love twists that you definitely won’t see coming, then you have to catch Mirren and McKellen in action, as these a little more mature than usual con artists, totally keep you guessing the whole way through!  Mirren is spectacular once again, playing the meek and mild, or maybe not so much new widow, and McKellen is awesome as well as the smooth, and debonair older gentleman, hell bent on sweeping his latest endeavor, right off her feet.  Jim Carter is excellent too, playing the con man’s accomplice to his dastardly ways!  But the most important part for me within this film, was the plot twist that arrives slowly and methodically, without any warning, alas stopping me in my tracks. Yes, THE GOOD LIAR totally eluded me as to where we would actually end up, with one of the best plot twists in any film I’ve viewed so far this year! So, with all the accolades, why not a perfect review?  Sadly, because I found it rather annoying the lack of chemistry on and off with our leads throughout this film, but as I pondered and analyzed the incredible turn of events that actually ends up taking place once the incredible twist in the storyline arrives, maybe that disconnect was purposefully orchestrated by Director Bill Condon, and if that’s truly the case, then all I can say to that is bravo dear sir…BRAVO!!

 

Check out the TEASER TRAILER for Disney BEAUTY and the BEAST – Hits Theaters 3/17/17

Beauty and the Beast

The first sneak peek at Disney’s upcoming live-action re-telling of “Beauty and the Beast” is out. Giving audiences a glimpse at the highly anticipated film based on the animated classic which refashions the iconic characters and musical numbers from the tale as old as time, the film stars Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson. “Beauty and the Beast” opens in U.S. theaters on March 17, 2017.

 

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BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

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Website:                                   TBD

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Genre:                                     Live Action Musical

Rating:                                     TBD

U.S. Release date:                   March 17, 2017

Running time:                          TBD

Cast: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Audra McDonald with Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson

Director:                                   Bill Condon

Producers:                               David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman

Executive Producers:               Jeffrey Silver, Thomas Schumacher, Don Hahn

Screenplay by:                                    TBD

Based on the 1991 Animated Film

Music by:                                 Alan Menken

Lyrics by:                                 Howard Ashman and Tim Rice

Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” is a live-action re-telling of the studio’s animated classic which refashions the classic characters from the tale as old as time for a contemporary audience, staying true to the original music while updating the score with several new songs. “Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince within. The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Oscar® winner Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s eccentric, but lovable father; Josh Gad as Lefou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Golden Globe® nominee Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, the candelabra; Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; six-time Tony Award® winner Audra McDonald as Madame Garderobe, the wardrobe; Oscar nominee Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and two-time Academy Award® winner Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.

Directed by Oscar® winner Bill Condon from a screenplay by TBD based on the 1991 animated film, the film is produced by Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman with eight-time Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken, who won two Academy Awards® (Best Original Score and Best Song) for the 1991 animated film, providing the score, which will include new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Howard Ashman, as well as several new songs written by Menken and three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice. “Beauty and the Beast” will be released in U.S. theaters on March 17, 2017.