The fifth season of Game of Thrones ups the excitement with a nice amount of treachery and war. By far the best production in this incredible saga that has attracted a wide audience and garnered a remarkable number of awards. The acting has retained the brilliance that began five years ago and in this season over shadows anything they have done in the past. Brilliant sets, costumes and make-up keeps the series fresh with locations fit for a kingdom in peril. If you haven’t yet seen season five or just want to relive it, put this season of treachery and sinister surprise on yes list. Read more
Being that 10 Cloverfield Lane has been touted as a sequel to the 2008 release of Cloverfield, I thought we would find ourselves where the action thriller left off. Well I was pleasantly surprised that this chapter surrounds a mystery that had me spellbound from the creative opening to the Cloverfield tie-in. It’s an eerie addictive sequel that captivates and compels as it moves along from one strange scene to the next. Read more
One of this year’s Foreign Film Oscar nominations, Embrace of the Serpent opens this weekend in several markets around the nation. Brilliantly shot in the jungles of Columbia, the movie is loosely based on the events from the journals of two explorers. Well-acted, photographed and directed the fictional story takes you on an adventure that must have been as dangerous making it as the real life drama from which it has been extracted. Read more
The cute, brave and cuddly animals of Disney’s Lion King take over your DVD player in Lion Guard: Return of the Roar. Fun filled for the youngsters this new adventure tells a coming of age for Simba’s growing up cub Kion. It has strong values like making the right decision, leadership, friendship, bravery and identifying the strengths of others. It plays best to boys, but the girls will have fun too because the music’s lively and Simba’s daughter Kiara has a role in the film as well. Read more
A one-hit mini-season wonder, The Spoils of Babylon a spoof on soap operas, has been released on DVD. The campy six episodes were shown on the Independent Film Channel in 2014 and are a satire to the movie making industry with cardboard cut-out sets, green screen epic views, one camera cinematography, simplified special effects and other cheaply devised movie tricks. Whew! That was a mouthful. That said, the 6 part miniseries homage strikes the silly heart strings resonating to those who have worked in the industry and love the life. For all you other folks this comedy’s just a flat out mash up of plots from Gone with the Wind, Giant, “Rich Man, Poor Man” and even a little bit of “Dynasty” to name a few. Read more
Last year’s Disney film Cinderella came out around the same time as this Friday’s release of Disney’s Zootopia. While Cinderella’s March release went on to make a massive amount of money for the mouse house, time will tell if an animated film directed to families will do the same. Certainly Zootopia has a good storyline with a message that it doesn’t matter who you are, you can make your dreams come true, “as long as you work hard to accomplish them”. With that in mind and an excellent voice cast too boot, the family film should start good out of the gate. Read more
Youngsters have a chance to see what the movie series Star Wars were all about at their own level. The just released Lego edition of Star Wars: Droid Tales follows the saga from start to finish cutting out most of the violence and character buildup that gets boring to the young folks. It’s a fun 115 minutes of adventure and comedy that should keep your 7 to 12 year olds excited and happy.
Although the true story of The North Star has wide reaching meaning and intentions behind it, the acting, direction and cinematic expertise fails miserably. Because of the very pedestrian production, instead of a compelling drama we get a historical vignette that has been used in films way beyond the scope of the script that gets presented here. That said, for an after school special directed at older teens, The North Star gets an average grade. Informational, yes, but captivating, marginal. Read more
A fun little film called Eddie the Eagle opens today in theaters across the country and it’s a true story. Steeped with energy, determination and a will to succeed, the movie features very good performances, fine direction and wow cinematography. Touching and heartwarming, the audience will find themselves inspired by this dynamo of man who is determined to participate in the Olympics. The film gets comical showing the ambitious man becoming a dare devil even in the face of the impossible odds. The movie gives the feel much like the Jamaican bobsled team in Cool Runnings that competed the same year in Calgary. Read more
Relive the fun and journey of The Good Dinosaur, Disney/PIXAR’s kid friendly and graphically stunning animated adventure. Now on Blu-ray and DVD, 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, Arlo and young Spot.
As if Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” needs another adapted storyline, then the release of the movie Frankenstein pops up. This past year even saw Victor Frankenstein with a story that shows the monster from the point of view of Igor. But, I guess it’s never to late to modernize the creature that has had a good run at the box office for many years. Well in this new edition we are treated to a present day view. Now on Blu-ray/DVD the film shows promise throughout the first two acts, but unfortunately has a lackluster ending. Read more
Taking a gander at law abiding citizens smoking pot in Denver, the film Rolling Papers transports you into the heart of the Rockies for an in depth tour of Amendment 64. The documentary features the growing, harvesting, production and sales of weed and oh, the smoking of the mind expanding recreational drug as well. Yes I did say recreational. While most states are clamoring for the medical value of smoking marijuana, Colorado has determined it’s as safe as alcohol. And it makes the State very rich from the sales tax. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves because there’s as much documentary as comedy in the wacky film. Read more
“Bipolar Disorder: any of several psychological disorders of mood characterized usually by alternating episodes of depression and mania —called also manic depression, manic-depressive illness” Merriam-Webster Dictionary
It’s an odd way to start out a film review with a dictionary definition, but apropos with the movie Touched With Fire, a drama dealing with the psychological problem that alters the life of two poets. Written and director by Paul Dalio and taken from true experiences, gives this production a keener perspective of the lives he portrays on the screen. Heartfelt and heartbreaking the movie provides the audience with the realism of the troubles that go with bipolar disorder.
A twisty twisted tale of crime and punishment Criminal Activities will keep you guessing till the final turn of events. The film has a very good up-and-coming cast with a balance of A-list actors Jackie Early Haley and John Travolta. If you like your entertainment gutsy and gritty, then this film has the right elements for you. The movie enters the DVD/Blu-ray market today. Read more
The fun film Dough opens in the United States wide and it’s far fetched about being half baked. But, Dough is also about dealing with prejudice and finding value within yourself. If you can overlook the fact that using marijuana in London does have consequences no matter what the screenplay shows you, then everyone should accept a little fantasy when it comes to filmmaking. The acting and directing in Dough is very good with fine cinematography and sets. Read more