Kathy vs. TK’s view of READY PLAYER ONE – Rated PG-13 – 2 hrs. 20 mins.

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READY PLAYER ONE – Rated PG-13 – 2 hrs. 20 mins.

Director:  Steven Spielberg 

Writers:  Zak Penn & Ernest Cline 

Based on the Novel by Ernest Cline 

Starring:  Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, Simon Pegg, TJ Miller, Mark Rylance, Philip Zhao and Win Morisaki

Set in the futuristic world of 2045, we meet gamer Parzival, leaving his real world as Wade, and venturing into the virtual reality world of the Oasis as often as he can to escape the harsh reality of his real life.  Lucky for Parzival, he’s met some pretty cool dudes along the way in this alternate universe – like his friend Aech (Lena Waithe), and Daito (Win Morisaki) and Sho (Philip Zhao) too.

When the creator of the OASIS, Halliday (Academy Award Winner Mark Rylance) unexpectedly passes away, he opens up a game war amongst all his followers ~ and the prize???  An Easter Egg that will give its owner total power over Halliday’s virtual reality universe, and make them keeper of the inspirational finding that Halliday has uncovered over his years of research. But with new gamer Art3mis (Olivia Cooke) now entering the game, and all of Sorrento’s (Ben Mendelsohn) minions converging into this virtual war too…the race is now really on, like Donkey Kong, to see who can crack the codes, to become master of this virtual world…

I give READY PLAYER ONE a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN ~ Spielberg managed to bring together the nostalgic feel of the 80’s, and meshed it into the virtual reality world of today, in a fascinating, exciting, and very heartwarming way!  Sheridan is superb as Wade/Parzival…finding that the real world may end up being way better than he ever thought possible.  Cooke, Rylance and Mendelsohn are also perfectly cast, bringing their own vibrant and realistic presence to their roles.  I’m not sure if it was my love of the entirely reminiscent soundtrack, or if it was the overwhelming feeling that Spielberg’s storytelling was coming full circle ~ as portions of this film seemed reminiscent of how I felt watching ET, A.I. and Jurassic Park, right down to the epic music sequences throughout. I truly think you are going to have to watch this film more than once to catch all the incredible goodness that is strewn throughout.  It was also enjoyable to experience the positive message intertwined throughout the frames of READY PLAYER ONE purposefully placed there for viewers to take away, just like every other Spielberg film we’ve come to love over the years.  I mean, if your children love video games, and you, like me, grew up loving the 80’s, then rally the troops and head out to catch READY PLAYER ONE this holiday weekend ~ you’ll be totally excited that you did 🙂

Kathy Kaiser


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

READY PLAYER ONE

Director by:  Steven Spielberg

Cast:  Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Mark Rylance, Simon Pegg, T.J. Miller

In the not so distant future, a group of gamers hunt for an easter egg inside a virtual reality program that will give them instant fame and fortune, but an evil corporation is after the same egg and will stop at nothing to find it.

BELOW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS…CONTINUE READING AT OWN RISK

Ready Player One was fantastic!  Steven Spielberg is by far one of my favorite storytellers/directors of all time.  Talk about someone who has morphed their craft with the changing of the times. He is not scared to try things that are new in the world of major motion picture film making, while still holding on to his usual style and tone that audiences have now grown to love.  Ready Player One does an amazing job of combining pop culture, realistic special effects, and live action. Spielberg’s camera angle choices always stop my heart because they are always incredible and come out of nowhere. You can tell he was having a ball making this film and the evidence is up there on the screen as proof.  As far as the pop culture icon references (i.e. King Kong, Back to the Future, Tears for Fears, Terminator 2, etc.) he didn’t add them just to add them. He placed all of them very casually and without focusing too much on one or the other. It felt like while I was watching Ready Player One, I was on my own easter egg hunt for all of my favorite icons.  I can’t wait to own this movie because I’m going to search through each frame to find something new every time I watch it.

Now, on to our players…

Tye Sheridan was great.  The first time I saw him was in the movie Mud and I knew that wasn’t going to be the last time I saw him.  Same goes for Olivia Cooke. I saw her in Bates Motel and knew she was going to be a name to look out for. Both of them have a Spielberg casting quality to them.  You see them in Ready Player One and truly believe you could place them in any other Spielberg film. This was a hard movie to do and both Tye and Olivia brought everything they had to their roles and NAILED them home.  Ben Mendelsohn is another brilliant casting choice for this film. He’s been hiding as a bit of a supporting actor in his films, but Ready Player One is going to change all of that. He does a fantastic job as the movies antagonist and proves, once again, his range as an actor has no limit.  In conclusion (if you haven’t guessed already…LOL), my suggestion is to GO TO THE THEATER and see this one on the big screen. Go see it twice because I guarantee you will not see EVERYTHING the first time you watch it. Annnnd…I also suggest you buy this one when it comes out on blu-ray (not dvd…this one deserves to be seen only on blu-ray or better).  Until next time, thanks for reading.

DUNKIRK is up for BEST PICTURE @criticschoice Awards tomorrow 1/11 @ 7CT on the CW – and it’s the #1 CHOICE for BEST FILM OF 2017 @matineechat.com too!!!

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Director, writer, producer Christopher Nolan teamed with a stellar ensemble cast and a singular team of below-the-line artisans to immerse you in one of the most monumental events in history in this sweeping, emotional epic.   The film opens as hundreds of thousands of British and Allied troops are surrounded by enemy forces.   Trapped on the beach with their backs to the sea and home almost within sight, they face an impossible situation as the enemy closes in.  As the story unfolds on land, sea and air, RAF Spitfires engage the enemy in the skies above the Channel, trying to protect the defenseless troops below.  Meanwhile, hundreds of small boats manned by both civilians and military embark on a desperate rescue mission, risking their lives in a race against time to save even a fraction of their army.  When 400,000 men couldn’t get home, home came for them.

Starring Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard, James D’Arcy and Barry Keoghan, with Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy.  Nolan directed “Dunkirk” from his own screenplay, utilizing a mixture of IMAX® and 65mm film to bring the story to the screen.  The film was produced by Emma Thomas and Nolan, with Jake Myers serving as executive producer.

The behind-the-scenes creative team on “Dunkirk” included director of photography Hoyte van Hoytema, production designer Nathan Crowley, editor Lee Smith, costume designer Jeffrey Kurland, visual effects supervisor Andrew Jackson and special effects supervisor Scott Fisher. The music was composed by Hans Zimmer.

Warner Bros. Pictures presents a Syncopy Production, a film by Christopher Nolan, “Dunkirk.” Opening in conventional theatres and IMAX, the film is being distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

This film has been rated PG-13 for intense war experience and some language.  Running Time:  106 Minutes.

DUNKIRK – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 46 mins. 

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DUNKIRK – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 46 mins. 

Starring Tom Brady, Mark Rylance, Jack Lowden, Kenneth Branaugh, James D’Arcy, Cillian Murphy, Fionn Whitehead, Aneurin Barnard, Barry Keoghan, and Harry Styles 

Written and Directed by acclaimed storyteller Christopher Nolan (BATMAN BEGINS, THE DARK KNIGHT, INTERSTELLAR), we venture to “the Mole”, on the shores of France during World War II, as Allied forces from Belgium, England and France attempt to escape Germany’s relentless attack…

With 400,000 men awaiting removal from this hell, it seems that without the help of the civilian ships harbored in England, few soldiers will be able to escape before Germany finds a way to finish them off…

As this battle from the air and sea intensifies on the shores of DUNKIRK, Airmen Farrier (Tom Brady) and Collins (Jack Lowden) mount a counter attack against the German air barrage…while civilian boat captain Dawcett (Mark Rylance) heads to Dunkirk, saving drowning soldiers along the way, as he and his make ship crew attempt to save as many as soldiers as possible…and return them to England…

I give DUNKIRK a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN!! Nolan is definitely at the TOP OF HIS GAME with the making of this awe-inspiring film! DUNKIRK is one of the most intensely REAL war films I have experienced in decades. From the award garnering performances across the board (including Harry Styles’ big screen debut), to the powerful soundtrack throughout orchestrated by Hans Zimmer, to the astounding imagery by cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema ~ DUNKIRK is a film in a class all its own.   Even if you don’t usually enjoy war films, DUNKIRK is a MUST SEE…as Nolan also managed to make this film as intense as possible, without too much bloodshed or goriness throughout either. Take my word for it, you will be utterly amazed at the experience you are about to partake in, as DUNKIRK is by far the BEST FILM OF 2017 thus far…

Kathy Kaiser

THE BFG – Rated PG – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

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THE BFG – Rated PG – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Directed by Academy Award Winning Director Steven Spielberg

Starring Academy Award Winner Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill and Penelope Wilton

Based on the book by English Author Roald Dahl – the man who brought us many a scrumpdillyicious story including WILLIE WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, MATILDA and JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH, we venture into the life of orphan Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) who is up at all times of the night, unable to sleep because of what all happens at the “bewitching hour” of 3 a.m.

When she happens upon a rather large creature outside her bedroom window one night, and he spots her too, THE BFG – Big Friendly Giant (Mark Rylance) has no choice but to snatch this rather small creature from her perch, and take her back home with him.

Although BFG and Sophie become fast friends, it seems that the even larger giants who live in BFG’s part of the world, like nothing more than to have little humans for lunch or dinner!

As BFG and Sophie try to figure out what is the best course of action for both of them in this crazy, mixed up world in which they frolic, it looks like it is going to take someone even more powerful than they are, to take care of all those nasty giants, and to make our world a better place for everyone in the end…

I give THE BFG a rating between MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN AND WAIT AND CATCH THIS ONE ON DVD ~ I know, your thinking. “Is she really telling us that we might not want to run out the theater to catch Spielberg’s latest creation?” And, yes, that is exactly what I am telling you!! Even though parts of this film are very endearing and charming, and Rylance’s voice is perfect as the BIG FRIENDLY GIANT too, the first hour of this film almost had me nodding off, as it is super slow and not exciting at all to say the least. Luckily though, the second hour was much more watch-worthy, as it is full of excitement, endearing storyline, and plenty of twists and turns, which is what I was hoping the whole film would be going in. Since I had mixed feelings throughout my viewing on this one, I reached out to a young man and his friends and family as I left the screening, as he shared with me that he had read the book. I asked them all to share their take with me on this classic tale ~ and the response from all the youngsters was – “It was funny”, and “they really enjoyed it”. But, they also shared that “parts of it was were hard for them to follow, as they didn’t understand all of what the giant was trying to say…” and “It was hard for them to follow along with the storyline too”, as apparently Spielberg and writer Melissa Mathison took a few liberties with how this version of the story unfolds, rearranging quite a few of the sequences from Dahl’s original story. Which leads me to share that if your kiddos have been talking about how much they want to see this film for weeks now, then by all means, head out this weekend to a theater near you and check out THE BFG. But remember I shared too, that the beginning was quite a snoozer this time for me, so if you feel the same way once you view it, just remember that I warned you about that little situation too 😉

Kathy Kaiser

CHECK OUT THE NEW TRAILER FOR DISNEY’S ~ THE BFG ~ Hits theaters July 1st

 

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THE BFG

DISNEY, AMBLIN ENTERTAINMENT in association with WALDEN MEDIA

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Genre: Fantasy-Adventure

Rating: TBD

U.S. Release date: July 1, 2016

Cast: Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill, Penelope Wilton, Jemaine Clement, Rebecca Hall, Rafe Spall, Bill Hader

Director: Steven Spielberg

Screenplay by: Melissa Mathison

Based upon the Book by: Roald Dahl

Producers: Steven Spielberg, Frank Marshall, Sam Mercer

Executive Producers: Kathleen Kennedy, John Madden, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Michael Siegel, Frank Smith, Naia Cucukov

The talents of three of the world’s greatest storytellers – Roald Dahl, Walt Disney and Steven Spielberg –

finally unite to bring Dahl’s beloved classic “The BFG” to life. Directed by Spielberg, Disney’s “The BFG” tells the imaginative story of a young girl and the Giant who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country. “I think it was kind of genius of Roald Dahl to be able to empower the children. It was very, very brave of him to introduce that combination of darkness and light which was so much Disney’s original signature in a lot of their earlier works like in ‘Dumbo,’ ‘Fantasia,’ ‘Snow White’ and ‘Cinderella,’ and being able to do scary, but also be redemptive at the same time and teach a lesson, an enduring lesson, to everyone, it was a wonderful thing for Dahl to have done, and it was one of the things that attracted me to want to direct this Dahl book,” says Spielberg.

The BFG (Mark Rylance), while a giant himself, is a Big Friendly Giant and nothing like the other inhabitants of Giant Country. Standing 24-feet tall with enormous ears and a keen sense of smell, he is endearingly dim-witted and keeps to himself for the most part. Giants like Bloodbottler (Bill Hader) and Fleshlumpeater (Jemaine Clement) on the other hand, are twice as big and at least twice as scary and have been known to eat humans, while the BFG prefers Snozzcumber and Frobscottle. Upon her arrival in Giant Country, Sophie, a precocious 10-year-old girl from London, is initially frightened of the mysterious giant who has brought her to his cave, but soon comes to realize that the BFG is actually quite gentle and charming, and, having never met a giant before, has many questions. The BFG brings Sophie to Dream Country where he collects dreams and sends them to children, teaching her all about the magic and mystery of dreams.

Having both been on their own in the world up until now, their affection for one another quickly grows. But Sophie’s presence in Giant Country has attracted the unwanted attention of the other giants, who have become increasingly more bothersome. Says Spielberg, “It’s a story about friendship, it’s a story about loyalty and protecting your friends and it’s a story that shows that even a little girl can help a big giant solve his biggest problems.” Sophie and the BFG soon depart for London to see the Queen (Penelope Wilton) and warn her of the precarious giant situation, but they must first convince the Queen and her maid, Mary (Rebecca Hall), that giants do indeed exist. Together, they come up with a plan to get rid of the giants once and for all.

Directed by three-time Academy Award® winner Steven Spielberg (“Bridge of Spies,” “Schindler’s List,” ”Saving Private Ryan”) from a screenplay by Melissa Mathison (“E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,” “The Black Stallion”) based on the best-selling book by Roald Dahl, “The BFG” stars three-time Tony Award®, two-time Olivier Award and Oscar® winner Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies,” “Wolf Hall”), newcomer Ruby Barnhill, Penelope Wilton (“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” “Downton Abbey”), Jemaine Clement (“Rio 2,” “The Flight of the Conchords”), Rebecca Hall (“The Gift,” “Iron Man 3”), Rafe Spall (“The Big Short,” “Prometheus”) and Bill Hader (“Inside Out,” “Trainwreck”). The film is produced by Spielberg, Frank Marshall (“Jurassic World,” “The Bourne Ultimatum”) and Sam Mercer (“Snow White and the Huntsman,” “The Sixth Sense”) with Kathleen Kennedy (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Lincoln”), John Madden (“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” “Shakespeare in Love”), Kristie Macosko Krieger (“Bridge of Spies,” “Lincoln”), Michael Siegel (“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Rise of the Guardians”), Frank Smith and Naia Cucukov serving as executive producers.

Roald Dahl’s “The BFG” (Big Friendly Giant) was first published in 1982 and has been enchanting readers of all ages ever since. To date, the book has been published in 41 languages. Dahl’s books, which also include “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “James and the Giant Peach” and “Matilda,” have sold over 200 million copies worldwide. Originally created as a bedtime story, “The BFG” was Dahl’s own favorite of all his stories. “It was very important for us to be loyal to the language,” says Spielberg, “and the great writer Melissa Mathison, who also wrote ‘E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,’ wrote ‘The BFG.’”

“The BFG” opens in U.S. theaters on July 1, 2016, the year that marks the 100th anniversary of Dahl’s birth.

BRIDGE OF SPIES ~ Rated PG-13 – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

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Back for more historical tale-telling, Director Steven Spielberg sets out to share the true and epic drama of Lawyer James B. Donovan’s life, and his conviction and dedication not only to our country, but for his fellow man as well…as we venture onto the BRIDGE OF SPIES.

Engrossed in the day-to-day excitement of insurance law (ha-ha, just kidding ;), we meet family man and lawyer extraordinaire James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks).

As the Cold War rages on, our CIA is entrenched in locating anyone on our soil that might be spying on us for Russia. When our intelligence locates one Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance), they move in to incarcerate him, and find out what he knows…and what he has been relaying back to the Soviets…

Needing a lawyer to defend his case, Principal Attorney Thomas Waters Jr. (Alan Alda) offers the services of Donovan as Abel’s defense lawyer, ~ assuming it will be a guilty verdict, but everyone in this country ~ including spies ~ deserve a fair trail. Not keen on providing defense for this “mastermind of espionage”, Donovan hopes that Waters will reconsider his involvement in the case, but to no avail…

Focusing on a defense for Abel ~ while trying to come up an alternative for letting this spy rot in jail, Donovan comes up with a plan to use Abel as a pawn to gain access to one of our airmen held by the Soviet’s ~ a trade of sorts ~ And who better to negotiate this release than the good lawyer himself…

I give BRIDGE OF SPIES a rating of: MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN ~ This film is absolutely FABULOUS!!! It’s true, I do love Hanks and many of the films he has made over the last three decades, and since when has the joining of Spielberg and Hanks ever produced anything less than an extraordinary film ~ Like NEVER ~ and take my word for it, BRIDGE OF SPIES is no exception.   This film is SHEER PERFECTION from the first frame to the last ~ from the exquisite acting Hanks, Rylance, Alda, heck, everyone on screen…to the breathtaking cinematography captured throughout the film…to the historical significance of the storyline, that many of us may not have known anything about ~ including myself~ BRIDGE OF SPIES it’s absolutely one real-life drama that you don’t want to miss!!!

Kathy Kaiser