“The Handmaiden” A Spicy Mystery with a Tryst



Spicy and exciting the film The Handmaiden enters select theaters this weekend and for adults it’s a powerful mystery drama with romantic overtones. The fine direction, acting, story and cinematography make the film pleasurable. It’s for those who like a titillating movie experience tied in with a sordid plot that takes some unexpected twists. The film, if it had been rated, could have easily received the highest MPAA judgement possible. Read more

“A Man Called Ove”, Tugs at the Heartstrings



Heartfelt, touching, compassionate and tragic yet romantic, the film A Man Called Ove comes to America from Sweden. The country’s choice for their entry into the Academy Awards best foreign film, the movie should make the top 5 in that category. All around best in direction, acting, cinematography, music and script the film has the potential for a nomination in the top 10 for overall Best Picture. Read more

“Once in a Lifetime” a Challenging Assignment



The true story Once in a Lifetime offers a sincere look into the lives of a classroom of teens who get to tackle one of the most challenging assignments of their life. The opening scene however, shows a discord between a Muslim student and a faculty member regarding the wearing of a hijab (Muslim head covering). While this incident never gets fleshed out, according to the press notes supplied, producer Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar includes the scene to show freedom of expression and the principle of secularism. The scene has the power to suggest a whole new plot for a different film on the subject yet does not take away from the production that follows. Read more

“Jack Reacher: Never Go Back”, a Military Crime Thriller



Where I was not too fond of the first Jack Reacher film that came out in 2012, the sequel “Never Go Back” delivers much more energy. The action sequences are quite good even though they are not on par with Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible series. In addition the storyline has pangs of déjà vu from other action films within the past years. All that said, if you are a big fan of Cruise or just want to escape to a movie where you can forget a bad day, then this military crime thriller should do the trick. Read more

“The Accountant”, Killing by the Numbers



The most electrifying and suspense-filled film this year, The Accountant has opened nationwide and it’s a thriller. From opening act to the closing credits it keeps you glued to your seat waiting for the exciting scene. Under the keen direction of Gavin O’Connor who brought Miracle and Warrior to the screen, the cast makes The Accountant a winner. If you thought that Ben Affleck was good in movies like Gone Girl, Argo or The Town, witness the actor at his level best. Read more

“American Honey” Looking for Meaning to Life



Here’s a quirky little film that could sneak in for an Oscar if the wind blows their way. It’s called American Honey and works its magic with a strong appeal to mature teens through 20’s. The film has a radical edge that takes a stab at the wealthy and also preys on the goodness of middle class America. That said, it’s also an eye opener of America’s failure to influence the young toward important social values and the danger of negative ones. Read more

“Shin Godzilla” Gojira is Back



Get ready for the powerful lizard returning to attack Tokyo in Shin Godzilla or as he’s loving called by the monster’s fans, Gojira. It’s been awhile since the huge prehistoric dinosaur, a cross between a Stegosaurus and a Tyrannosaurus, has starred in a movie. The last one to my knowledge, that was Japanese made like this one, served up Godzilla vs Biollante where the huge reptile fought against a mutated rose bush. Read more

“Silver Skies” Seniors Stand their Ground



Kind of an off-beat comedy the film Silver Skies brings a little more nostalgia to the screen with a cool blast from the past cast. Much like the recent review on the film Wild Oats, this little movie delivers a warmhearted memory of actors that show their stuff even in their senior years. It’s mainly targeted to the older set, but 35 and up should get a kick out of it. Read more

“The Girl on the Train” a Suspense Filled Mystery



Captivating and suspenseful the movie The Girl on the Train takes you into the mind of a witness to murder. The intriguing film hooks you from the beginning, tantalizes with possible suspects and then leads you down a path to a deadly finale. Taken from a bestselling novel by Paula Hawkins, the movie gets a Hollywood make over true to the book. Be forewarned the story gets a little contrived, but it doesn’t ruin the overall melodramatic experience. Read more

“Come What May” a Powerful War Drama




“The German offensive of May 10, 1940 drove almost 8 million people from their homes, one of the largest displacements of people in the twentieth century. To my mother, a young girl among those who took to the roads”Director Christian Carion

With many World War II films out there on video, another foreign made movie has entered local theaters with a different take. It’s a heart ‘tuger’ based on a true life happening titled Come What May. It features the French people and two German refugees fleeing their home country. The war drama shows how large numbers of innocent people had to flee the murderous onslaught by the Nazis. Read more

“Tanna” a Touching Story of Forbidden Love



Quite an undertaking with a very good result the movie Tanna tells a touching Romeo and Juliet story in the most striking way. Filmed on the island of Vanuatu in the South Pacific using tribes that still inhabit the volcanic isle, Directors Martin Butler and Bentley Dean fashion a story based on a true happening. Not the ordinary staged Shakespearean presentation, but one that has all the substance of the tale of forbidden love. Read more

“The Magnificent Seven” a Rip Snorter Western



Hitch up your “hoss” to the nearest tie post, take your saddle into the nearest movie house and treat yourself to a hum dinger of a good time with The Magnificent Seven. It’s not the old 1960 rerun, but a spanking new show with memories of the original. Branded with Antoine Fuqua direction this wild west ditty has some mighty woop ass scenes that can rival the likes of Tombstone and Silverado. Read more

“Max Rose” a Heartfelt Story and Performance



The heartfelt story Max Rose showcases the amazing talent of Jerry Lewis. His performance here just may earn him a nomination of high honors in a leading role, it’s that good. Pleasantly surprised at his ability to show his vitality and pathos the remarkable actor puts on a show that will be remembered way after you leave the movie theater. Add to this a delightful scenes with the magnificent Claire Bloom and you have a fine evening of movie-going. It’s an older crowd’s film that’s not to be missed. Read more