The Revenant, an Extraordinary Story of Survival and Redemption

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Attack, survival, revenge and retribution, The Revenant, involves a true story of one man’s fight in the wilderness and the brutal battles he faces. Selected in my top five films of the 2015, this action thriller has the four qualifiers of an excellent production; fine direction, compelling storyline, excellent acting and amazing cinematography that’s second to none. From the opening minute to its gut wrenching finish, the fast paced two and a half hour film flies by with a spellbinding attraction that won’t let go way after you leave the theater. Read more

Diablo, a Psychological Thriller Set in the West

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Taking a bite out of the West, Diablo tells a tale of kidnapping and killers. The theme may be familiar, but this psychological thriller works some nice magic for those who like a compelling film with some questionable motives. The direction, acting and cinematography are good considering the low budget. Respectable enough to entertain those who like a good western for a change. It’s not The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, but this Eastwood gets to follow his dad’s footsteps. Read more

Robo-Dog, His Bark is Bigger than his Bite

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Fun for the whole family, the movie Robo-Dog comes to DVD and it’s a winner. The film has good acting, direction and very good special effects. There have been other films that may remind you of the story, but should not bother youngsters who like animals and kids their age getting into a mess now and then. You’ll have your 4 to 7 year old asking to watch it over and over again. Read more

Wrecker, Kill or be Roadkill

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The film Wrecker, now on DVD, may be quite familiar as it’s just a newer model of a long list of road kill films. Nicely made however the cinematography makes for entertaining viewing and the production value is a step up from other films in the genre. The acting by the main cast typify the characters and a tip of hat to director Micheal Bafaro for getting realistic performances. If you are a fan of the devil on wheels chasing innocent travelers in a dangerous game of cat and mouse, then this is your cup of tea. Read more

The Green Inferno, a Gorefeast in the Jungle

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I really didn’t expect a gore festival more realistic than in the movie Bone Tomahawk, then up popped The Green Inferno taking me into the blood bath of cannibalism. Now on Blu-ray and DVD the film has excellent cinematography, good direction and a story that’s more a sick mutilation scare fiesta than a piece of cinematic art. If you like Eli Roth’s brand of filmmaking like the frightening Hostel 1 and 2, then this film certainly is up to your expectations. If you haven’t seen the aforementioned films then get ready for something really different. Read more

The Hateful Eight, a Twisted and Decadent Action Thriller

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The much anticipated release of another Quentin Tarantino movie opens this weekend. Called The Hateful Eight the movie features all the title suggests and more. Packed with twists and turns the movie builds to a rip roaring finale. The cast will blow your mind with stellar performances by Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson and Jennifer Jason Leigh to single out a few. And the story, it’s so decadent, action lovers will be going back to see it again. A western it’s not, just a rip snorting drama taking place in a past when horseback and stagecoaches were the only transportation. Trust me here, if you like Hitchcock thrillers and screen violence doesn’t make you ill, you’ll walk away talking about the film for months or at least until you see the movie Revenant.
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Bone Tomahawk, Hatchets of Horror

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Now here’s a gem for those who like a thriller filled with good acting and a wild storyline. Now on Blu-ray/DVD it’s called Bone Tomahawk a dark western horror flick that will make your day if you like the genre. It may be a little long, but it sure has a big payoff with action throughout and a twisted ending. It’s not your usual horse opera and that’s a good thing. This review comes with a warning: There’s a very ghastly scene in the finale that looks so real it may make you squirm and turn your tummy.  Read more

The Danish Girl, a Controversial Love Story

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Out of the ordinary, the true life biography of Lili Elbe The Danish Girl opens this weekend. The drama features excellent performances by Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander so look for an Oscar nomination for either or both. The film delves into one of the most talked about life choices of our time involving sex change and written nicely for the screen by Lucinda Coxon. Read more

The Big Short, Buying Up America

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Excellent acting by the ensemble cast The Big Short takes you into the world of creative finance and how millions of people lost their homes while a select few made billions. Unfortunately it’s a true story with a ‘”little” Hollywood embellishment, but still a must see. Get ready for the down and dirty business of Wall Street where the rich get richer and the middle class bails them out. Read more

In the Heart of the Sea, a Whale of a Story

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One of the more aggressive films about the sea In the Heart of the Sea follows the tale of Moby Dick by Herman Melville, but this time with a twist. Nicely filmed and containing a lot of action on the Atlantic Ocean, the picturesque views become a good portion of the movie. The acting and direction are stellar with Chris Hemsworth playing the lead and a fine support cast helmed by Ron Howard. Read more

Room, Surviving in Captivity

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One of the most compelling and disturbing films Room comes to the screen with a story so bizarre that it will cringe even the most hardened person. Well-acted Brie Larson gives the performance of her screen acting life in a role that mesmerizes and captivates. Her co-star is just a young boy, Jacob Tremblay, who does a terrific job of acting out a heart wrenching youngster who’s never been in the outside world. This is one film I recommend you see in a movie theater where you can focus on the story and the characters. Read more

Grace of Monaco, Saving the Crown

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This made for television film surprises with very good performances by Nicole Kidman and Tim Roth making the docudrama interesting and compelling. Based on true accounts Grace of Monaco opens sanctified doors of the Palace to show how strong willed Grace Kelly was during a period of isolationism and threats by the French Government. If you like melodramas about famous people, then this is your cup of tea. Read more

Ant-Man, the Tiny Superhero

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Introducing the smallest Marvel Comics character to the big screen, Ant Man, now of DVD and Blu-ray the superhero takes a turn saving humanity. Aiming to equal his predecessors such as Iron Man and Captain America this little giant comes in close to the pack. The comedy and drama are very good, but much like the movie introductory of the character Thor the opening story does get strung out a bit. If you are a Marvel Comic addict, then Ant Man is sure to thrill as it did for the multitudes that saw the newest hero in movie theaters. Read more

The Good Dinosaur, A Fun Family Adventure

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One of their best made animated movies Disney/PIXAR ups their portfolio with The Good Dinosaur, an adventure filled with surprises and comedy. It’s a fun family film that features good values about growing up, facing your fears and friendship. The story may be a little familiar for the teens if they have seen most of the animated films in the past 6 years or so, but the youngsters should love the dinosaurs and young Spot. Don’t believe a word of the not so flattering reviews as they’re written by older jaded critics that have seen everything. Read more