Showing posts with label Movie Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Movie Reviews. Show all posts

Friday, April 12, 2019

Love's Complicated - Hallmark Movie Review

Love's Complicated - Hallmark Movie Review
While searching for light entertainment last weekend, I came across the Hallmark Movie, Love's Complicated starring Holly Marie Combs and Ben Bass.  Within a few minutes of watching, I knew that I had found exactly what I had been seeking. 

Hallmark is always a reliable source for good movies that usually leave me feeling relaxed, and sometimes even revived after a long day of work and stress.  I know I never have to worry about nudity, excessive foul language, or extreme violence when I turn on the Hallmark channel.  

In a time when movies seem to compete to see which one can be the most extreme, I am most appreciative of a reliable source of mild, lighthearted entertainment that is never embarrassing to watch regardless of whether I am alone, in mixed company, or with my children and parents.  


Love's Complicated Movie Synopsis 


It is easy to like the mild mannered, considerate & compliant Leah in Love's Complicated.   She is the type of person we all enjoy being around.  She rarely, if ever, complains, she does not engage in debates or challenging opinions, she simply goes along happily with whatever others in her life dictate.  Leah doesn't really intend to be a doormat for others, she just doesn't like confrontation.

 Love's ComplicatedCheck PriceWhen her boyfriend of 2 years enrolls her in a conflict management class, she doesn't understand why she would need to be there, especially when she finds out he is not attending the group with her.  Of course, it makes her mad and confused, but she decides to comply with his wishes and attend the sessions.  However, in an unexpected turn of events, she comes face to face with the most annoying people she has ever met.  After all, it was Cinco Dublin who criticized her published book on his radio show, stating that "although well written, Ms. Townsend's safe, Leave it to Beaver take on her childhood, leaves me wanting nothing more from this author, ever."  It is clear from the beginning that Leah has built up resentment toward Cinco and the conflict management class gives her the perfect opportunity to unleash her pent-up emotions. 

The verbal exchanges between Leah and Cinco are revealing about both of their personalities and are often humorous.  They might not be funny to me if I was one of the participates in the conversations, but listening to them made me laugh several times.  

When Leah accepted an unwanted proposal of marriage from her boyfriend, just because she wanted to comply with his desires, and her parents wishes, she finally realizes that she must learn to confront real issues.  Otherwise, she will end up in an unhappy marriage and always letting someone else dictate her life.  At that point, the need for the conflict management classes becomes apparent to Leah.



Additional Thoughts About the Movie, Love's Complicated


While I very much enjoyed this movie and watching a romantic relationship develop, I found I was more intrigued by the concept that conflict management classes were also for people who needed to learn to express their anger, instead of keeping it inside.  I've always thought those classes were for people who lashed out uncontrollably or without an obvious reason.  Recognizing that some attendees might just need to learn how to express their feelings, was rather enlightening for me.



Currently, "Love's Complicated" is available on Amazon with a subscription to the Hallmark Channel.  

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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Black Butterfly Movie Reviewed

Movie Full of Suspense

Black Butterfly Tattoo courtesy of pixabay.com
A few weeks ago, I watched the movie Black Butterfly after it was recommended to me by my daughter. Let me just say that I was not disappointed.

One of the first reasons that my interest was piqued was that Antonio Banderas was one of the leads in the movie. I can't remember ever not enjoying any character that he has played. Good guy or bad guy, I like his portrayals. Besides, he isn't hard to look at either!

My daughter didn't give me many clues as to why she thought that I would enjoy the movie. Her comment was just that she was pretty sure that I wold enjoy it. Since we often like the same films and books, I took her advice and streamed it one Saturday night.

Banderas plays a writer who is struggling with writer's block while he tries to create a career saving screenplay. He has had some success in the past but not recently. In the beginning of the movie we see him at a typewriter typing the words I'm stuck several times. Being a writer, myself, I could relate to that frustration. He lives alone in Colorado in a pretty secluded area. His money is running out so he is trying to sell his property as quickly as possible while working on the story that just won't come to him. 

After a chance encounter with a drifter one day, he invites the stranger to his cabin for a meal and a night's stay. Knowing that the man needs some money to continue his travels, Paul (Banderas) offers Jack (the drifter) a few odd jobs to do before he goes on his way. The relationship gets quirky pretty quickly. 

There have been a series of abductions and murders near where Paul lives and it doesn't take him long to suspect that Jack may have something to do with it. Jack is a pretty edgy guy confronting Paul about his writing and his drinking.

I won't go much further than this little narrative because I don't want to give anything away. I can't tell you how many times that I thought that I had the plot figured out. I love when a story either in movie or book form keeps me guessing. Black Butterfly has several twists and turns to keep the viewer interested. The ending blew me away! It looked as if it was ending one way only to twist one more time. I loved it!

If you are looking for a movie that will grab your attention and keep it until the end, I highly recommend this one. I don't think that you will be disappointed.



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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Widow Series Reviewed

Interesting Drama Series

jungle scene
The Widow searches in the Jungle
(image courtesy of pixabay.com)
My husband and I just finished watching The Widow, a drama series that we streamed from Amazon. I thought you might be interested in a review of the series.

We thought that this eight episode series was fascinating to watch. The episodes are each around 45 minutes so it didn't take too awfully long to watch. 

The story begins with Georgia Mason (played by Kate Beckinsale) suspecting that her husband Will might actually be alive after a plane crash three years before in the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo). The reports of the crash stated that there were no survivors of that crash and Georgia has spent three years in mourning her loss. A broadcast of a riot in the DRC shows a man that looks very much like her husband that begins her search to find him. She can't see the man's face but he is wearing an orange baseball cap just like the one her Will wore. 

As you can imagine, Georgia decides to go to the DRC hoping to find her husband. She had been there before just after the crash and had befriended a man who had lost his wife in the same crash. Georgia meets Emmanuel again on this second trip; asking for his help to find out if her husband somehow survived that crash. 

The series is filled with suspense and action as Georgia encounters people who knew Will. As viewers we see corrupt people taking advantage of the poverty stricken people of the region. We find out about smugglers and the recruitment of children for rebel militias. While watching each episode we are given a hint of what it might be like to live in the Congo as a person with some means and as a person who is barely surviving. 

My husband and I liked the several twists in the plot as the story unfolds. There were some flashbacks offered to explain some of what drove the different characters in their choices and those were interesting, also. Overall, each episode kept us interested and wanting to see more. We have found that we very much enjoy the original series that Amazon has produced.

If you like suspense and action that occurs in a place you might never be ever to see, I think you will enjoy this series, too.




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Friday, February 1, 2019

Be My Valentine (2013) Hallmark Movie Review starring William Baldwin

Be My Valentine (2013) Hallmark Movie Review starring William Baldwin
With Valentine's Day just around the corner, it is befitting that we should review a movie entitled "Be My Valentine". 

Of course, this is a sappy romantic movie with the perfect ending.  After all, isn't a sweet love story exactly what we are all seeking for Valentines?  

So, why not go ahead and tell you now, this is it! 

William Baldwin might not be as well known his brother, Alec, but he is every bit as likeable.  Perhaps, even more so.  His role in this movie as a single father actually makes him very endearing.  We see his playful side as well as his sensitive side.  But, mostly we see a father who loves his son and is willing to help him in ways that might normally be considered a mother's job.

Oh, and one more important thing, the fact that it is a Hallmark channel movie ensures us that the movie is appropriate for any age to view.


Be My Valentine (2013) Hallmark Movie


 Be My Valentine on DVD,
Prime Video or Hallmark Channel
Check Price
Firefighter, Dan Farrell (William Baldwin), believes all of the embers of love were completely doused for him when his wife died.  But, fear not, he is good-natured and happy as a single father.  His daily focus is on his son and his job.  He is definitely not looking for romance when cupid smacks him upside his head.

Kate Burlington (Natalie Brown) plans to spend Valentine's Day with old movies and comfort food.  Still feeling the sting of a failed relationship, Kate isn't looking for anyone special.  She is not even interested in having a date for Valentines.  However, when a small fire breaks out in her flower shop, she comes face to face with someone very special indeed.  The mutual interest is immediately ignited between Dan and Kate.

As they spend time together, they find they have a lot in common.  Therefore, a friendship between them just seems natural.  It isn't until Kate's ex shows up that this new relationship is challenged to the extreme.  After all, Kate had wanted to marry Gavin and it was his lack of commitment that caused the breakup.  Now, Gavin is back and wants to get married.

Ok, so the movie is probably "cheesy" and a bit predictable, but it is also still adorable.  A sweet love story for Valentine's Day for sure!







"Be My Valentine" is available on DVD or Amazon Prime Video
Currently, "Be My Valentine" is available on Amazon with a subscription to the Hallmark Channel.  


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Monday, January 28, 2019

Reviewing the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Reviewing The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is an Amazon original series set in New York in 1958, starring Rachel Brosnahan. Mrs. Maisel (Brosnahan) is living her dream. She is married, loves her husband, has two children, and lives in a beautifully appointed apartment in Manhattan. From a very young age, she has dreamt about and planned it all: college, wedding, and her adult life trajectory. She tells us about it during a flashback to her beautiful wedding. Everything is going exactly as planned, until suddenly - in one evening - Mrs. Maisel learns that others can completely de-rail her best plans.

Midge Maisel is a loyal, happy housewife who works hard to please her husband. Mr. Maisel (Joel) is a salesperson with an office job. But at night, he performs at a club as a stand-up comedian. He's not very funny and Midge bribes the club manager with briskets to get Joel into better time slots with a better audience. On the same night that he completely bombs, things completely fall apart for Midge. She is devastated and lost. Am I making this sound like a drama? It is not. It is a comedy full of quirky characters.

A co-worker told me to watch the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Since she has recommended an author that has quickly become my favorite, I trusted her opinion and I began watching the series the first weekend I had a few spare minutes. I am able to watch it for free because of my Amazon Prime membership. I watched several episodes that first day and binged watched into season 2 the next weekend. 




The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel reminds me of I Love Lucy - but a naughtier version. The buildings, clothing, baby carriages and way of life are all from that time period. Rachel Brosnahan's facial expressions and/or timing of her humor remind me quite a bit of Lucille Ball. She's a bit sneaky, like Lucy. An example being reminded of Lucy was during a scene at bedtime. Midge goes to bed in a negligee and still made-up. As soon as Mr. Maisel is asleep, Midge gets up and does her beauty routine; putting her hair in curlers and applying an over-night face mask. She sets the blinds so that the sun shines through the crack in the morning - waking her before the alarm. She completes her beauty routine and is back to bed; perfumed, made-up, and looking beautiful. She closes her eyes and he wakes. This scene made me laugh and reminded me ever so much of I Love Lucy

Am I making this sound like an I Love Lucy rehash? It is not. There is cursing, "sex" scenes (not the type of sex scenes shown on cable tv but sex scenes nonetheless), and some modern colloquialisms that aren't from the 1950s. For me, these things are a bit like watching a cartoon with a child and the cartoon includes adult humor and references - out of place but funny (although, I wouldn't be bothered by less profanity).

If the title sounds familiar, it may be because Rachel Brosnahan won a 2019 Emmy for Best Actress in a Television Comedy. Deservedly so, I think.






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Friday, January 18, 2019

Sabrina (1995) Movie Review

Sabrina (1995) Movie Review
Sabrina is an older movie from the 50's that starred Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart that was remade in 1995.  The newer version starred Harrison Ford and Julia Ormond. Normally, I prefer the original, especially when actors like Bogart and Hepburn are in them.  However, with this particular movie, I actually prefer the '95 version.  Surprisingly, I felt Ford was more believable than Bogart in the part of Linus Larrabee. 

The plot of the two movies is similar, but has some major differences aside from the actors.  In the 50's version, distraught by David's lack of interest, Sabrina attempts suicide, but is discovered by Linus before the deed is done.  In the 90's version, Sabrina loves David, but does not even consider suicide and simply leaves for a fashion internship in Paris.  I prefer the stronger woman who doesn't define herself totally by a man's interest, or lack thereof. 

It is really hard to believe it has already been over 20 years since the Ford & Ormond version was released.  Whether you wish to go back 20 years, or 60 is up to you.  Either way, it is a great romantic movie!



Sabrina, the Movie


 Sabrina (1995)Check PriceThe Larrabees are an extremely wealthy family that consists of two sons and their widowed mother.  Linus is extremely serious and completely devoted to the success of the family business.  David is a playboy and is only interested in spending money and women.  They live in a huge house with pools, tennis courts and plenty of staff, including a chauffeur.

Sabrina Fairchild is the chauffeurs daughter who grew up "above the garage next door" to the Larrabee brothers.   Secretly, she had a huge crush on David, the younger brother all of her life.  Even as a young adult woman, Sabrina is still enamored with David in spite of his playboy, womanizing ways.  

The movie opens with Sabrina, a young woman, climbing a tree to watch David and his latest conquest from afar.  Of course, she wishes she was the one dancing and laughing with David.  He may know who she is, but he is not the least bit interested in Sabrina.

In an attempt to help Sabrina, her father sends her to Paris for a few years to study fashion, to mature and hopefully to get over David.  When Sabrina returns home with a totally new look, she is still smitten with David.  Because of her new haircut, contacts, stylish clothes, and make-up, David doesn't recognize Sabrina and is immediately interested.  He invites her to attend his mother's birthday party that night and she accepts.  Linus, on the other hand, knows Sabrina immediately and is not the least bit happy about his brother's interest in her.

David is engaged to the daughter of the owner of Tyson Electronics, which is currently considering a merger with the Larrabee company.  Linus is not about to let David mess up their business deal by betraying Elizabeth Tyson while playing around with Sabrina.  Linus intentional sets out to distract Sabrina and pursues her romantically himself.

No one expects the outcome of the games these two brothers are playing, especially Sabrina.  It is truly a very sweet love story.






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Friday, January 11, 2019

Lucky 7 Hallmark Movie Reviewed

Lucky 7 Hallmark Movie Reviewed
If you are seeking a sweet, romantic movie to watch, you need look no further!

You can probably tell by looking at the actors photos that this is an older movie.  It was actually released in 2003.  However, unless you are familiar with the real ages of the cast, you would never guess that Lucky 7 is over 15 years old by watching it.  I didn't note anything else in the movie itself that would "date" it.  Perhaps, I was enjoying watching it too much to look closely. 

This is not your typical "girl has to choose between two boyfriends" movies.   The plot is more detailed than that.  In fact, one of these men only needs a pretend girlfriend for a weekend.  And, Amy is not quite ready for the other one to call her his "girlfriend", even though she hopes to marry him.


The Plot of Lucky 7


At the age of 7, Amy's (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) ill mom is spending the last days of her life on this earth with her husband and daughter.  During a mother-daughter chat, she gives her daughter an outline of what and when she should do things in her life.  She lists things like summer camp, high school, and the age she will be when she goes on her first date.  At that point, Amy asks if she will marry him and her mother says no and places a #1 by the word "boy".  The timeline continues through grad school and #7 boyfriend, the one that Amy will marry.
 
Lucky 7 Hallmark Movie Review
Amy lives her life by that timeline.  It is the thread that still binds her to her mother.  She has finished grad school and is working as a lawyer.  When she meets the man she believes is the one she should marry, she has to devise a way to postpone things somehow since he is only #6.  

Amy was recently invited to attend an out of town wedding with the man who serves her bagels every morning.  She decides that is her opportunity to sneak in a #6 boyfriend, therefore Daniel (Brad Rowe) will ultimately be her #7 boyfriend and she can marry him and remain true to the timeline.

Peter Connor (Patrick Dempsey) isn't looking for a girlfriend, but he wants his friends to stop worrying about him.  He believes if he takes a "girlfriend" to an upcoming wedding, they will think he has moved on with his life after being jilted.  Therefore, he needs someone to go to his friends' wedding with him and pretend to be his girlfriend.  He asks Amy, a nice customer in the bagel store, if she will go with him.  She commits to helping him find someone.  When she shows up the day before the wedding saying she will go with him, he is rather surprised, but happy to have a companion.

Things don't exactly turn out as planned.  I'm sure you will enjoy the movie as much as I did!


Ways You Can Watch Lucky 7 



Currently, "Lucky 7" is available on Amazon with a subscription to the Hallmark Channel.  

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Friday, December 21, 2018

Broadcasting Christmas Hallmark Movie Review

Broadcasting Christmas Hallmark Movie Review
When you mix Melissa Joan Hart, Dean Cain and Hallmark, what do you get?  An amazing romantic Christmas movie!

Broadcasting Christmas takes place at Christmastime in New York with Emily and Charley competing for the same job.   It isn't the first time they have both been considered for the same position either.  Both are television reporters who previously worked for the same station and who were previously romantically involved.  Actually, they were in a relationship until they were pitted against each other 6 years earlier for a different job.   The newscaster job that Charley subsequently landed. 

This Hallmark movie is available on DVD, or you can view it with Amazon Prime or as a subscriber to the Hallmark channel on Amazon.


Hallmarks' Broadcasting Christmas


 Broadcasting ChristmasCheck PriceWhen Emily hears that the "Rise & Shine" morning show is replacing one of their co-hosts, she is determined to get the job.  Unfortunately, when Emily contacts a friend at the network, is told that she really is not a reasonable candidate for the station since they are seeking a known "name" to fill that position.  In a rare moment of passion, fueled by years of struggling and desire to get a break, Emily makes desperate plea on the air to be considered for the co-host job.  Of course, the next day, she regrets that rash action and tries to apologize, only to find out that her plea is trending on Twitter and the stations viewers love it.  As a result, the network decides to give her a chance.

Emily will once again be competing with Charley and two other well known television faces.  It seems highly unlikely that she will be the one to get the job.  Plus, she will have to face her boyfriend from the past.  

When Charley got the newscaster job 6 years earlier, Emily ended their relationship, refusing to move to Manhattan with him so he could work at the job she wanted.  Not to mention, she would have to leave her present position and would not have a job in New York.

This movie might be somewhat predictable, but there are a few fun surprises.  It truly is a really sweet romantic movie with the perfect ending for the couple we all adore.



Currently, "Broadcasting Christmas" is also available on Amazon with a subscription to the Hallmark Channel.  
 


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Friday, December 14, 2018

Finding Father Christmas Hallmark Movie Reviewed

Finding Father Christmas Hallmark Movie Reviewed
Hallmark never fails to bring us movies that are touching and wonderful!  Finding Father Christmas was no exception.

I especially love watching the Hallmark movies during the holidays.  I suspect that is simply because Christmas time tends to get hectic and we all need breaks from the work. Since Hallmark is a trusted source of great entertainment, I enjoy taking my breaks with Hallmark and watching the Hallmark Christmas movies offered online.

Oh, and in case you are wondering, yes, of course there is romance in the air too, but it is not with Father Christmas!


Hallmark Movie:  Finding Father Christmas


The movie opens with Miranda (Erin Krakow) as a child watching and listening to her mother performing in a production of "Scrooge" onstage.  Having heard her mother play the part many times, Miranda also has all of the lines memorized.  When her mother suddenly stops speaking, Miranda races to her to find that she has died.  Needless to say, having her mother die at Christmas when she was only 9 years old, leaves her avoiding Christmas celebrations in the future.  

The movie quickly transitions to Miranda as an adult at Christmas time.  She receives a call from a gentleman at the theater where her mother died.  While renovating the theater, he had found an old suitcase that belonged to Miranda's mother and wishes to give it to Miranda.  When Miranda goes through her mother's belongings, she finds a few clues about her unknown father, including an angel bracelet and a picture of Father Christmas.  She imagines these clues will at least show her where she might find him.  She immediately plans a trip to Carlton Heath, Vermont in the hopes of finding her father, but first, she must find Father Christmas to determine why his picture was among her mother's hidden treasures. 

 

The Sequel is also available!



Currently, "Finding Father Christmas" is also available on Amazon with a subscription to the Hallmark Channel.  
 


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Friday, December 7, 2018

Debbie Macomber's Mr. Miracle Hallmark Movie Review

Debbie Macomber's Mr. Miracle Hallmark Movie Review
Mr. Miracle is a delightful Hallmark movie about a new angel and his first assignment on earth. 

As always, Hallmark provides us with an hour (actually 86 minutes) of entertainment appropriate for all family members.  

Not only does this movie have a touch of romance and divine intervention, but it also provides a few laughs.  That bit of comedy is needed though as a relief to the intense subject matter.  Addie is facing her first Christmas after her father's death and having to come to terms with her own purpose in life.      

Also, the movie Mr. Miracle looks like the perfect setup for a series of "Mr. Miracle" angel movies.  Since I really like the actor and the character, I hope there will be more to come.


Debbie Macomber's Mr. Miracle Movie Plot


Harry Mills (Rob Morrow) is an angel on assignment for the first time.  Part of the fun is that everything on earth is completely new to him.  This provides a touch of comedy to the movie since Harry takes everything literally.  What might be common phrases to us, mean something totally different to him.  As a cover for his angel duties, Harry is placed in the community college as a literature professor and provided a home across the street from his "assignment".

As I mentioned in the introduction, Addie (Britt Irvin) and her mother are facing their first Christmas without Addie's father.  After returning home and re-enrolling in the community college, Addie lacks the confidence to stick it out and succeed.  She feels the need to graduate only to meet her father's expectations, not because she has a direction.

Harry is quite certain he can solve all of Addie's problems quickly once he identifies her purpose in life.  He plans to set her on the right course and move on quickly.  It isn't as easy as it sounds in the beginning, and even though Harry resists help from his angelic mentor, he must also find the right course for his duties.



Debbie Macomber, the Author


Debbie Macomber has long been a recognized author that we can all depend on for a great story with clean content. Her books and movies don't require a lot of graphic images or colorful language to grab, and hold, your attention.

A few of our Contributors here on Review This, have previously reviewed some of Debbie Macomber's books.

Reviewed by BarbRad.  How does a woman move on after a painful divorce? Debbie Macomber tackles this subject in her new novel. The book follows the emotional journey of two women after they divorce their husbands.



Reviewed by Diana, Renaissance Woman. Book review of New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber's One Perfect Word. She shares how her chosen words have changed her life in profound ways



Reviewed by BarbRad. If you love a romance series that is true to life with characters you can relate to, you will want to read the Rose Harbor Series by Debbie Macomber. Each story builds on the last, so start at the beginning for an enjoyable journey through stories of hurt, love, and healing.





Currently, Debbie Macomber's "Mr. Miracle" is also available on Amazon with a subscription to the Hallmark Channel.  
 


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Friday, November 23, 2018

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Movie Reviewed

Fantastic Beasts The Crimes of Grindelwald Movie Poster
Newt Scamander and his Fantastic Beasts return to discern and defend what is right in the magical realm of Harry Potter.  Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, just like Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, takes us back in time to 1927, decades before Harry Potter is born.  It gives more details about the past than we were ever given in the Harry Potter books or movies. 

For Harry Potter fans, you will be very pleased to see the background relationship and understand the bond between Grindelwald and Dumbledore.  For Fantastic Beasts fans, you will be trilled to see some of your favorite beasts again, as well as meet a few new beasts.  

Our entire group was immediately enchanted by the baby Nifflers at the beginning of the movie.  

Speaking of enchantments, as you would expect, this fantasy movie is filled with magic, spells, and special powers.  We even get to see Newt ride some of the Fantastic Beasts, which was truly fantastic!

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Movie Released In Theaters on Nov. 16, 2018


The Plot of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald 


 FANTASTIC BEASTS: CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD (2018) Original Authentic Movie Poster 11x17 - Single - Sided - Eddie Redmayne - Johnny Depp - Ezra Miller - Kathrine WaterstonCheck PriceGellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp), who has been imprisoned by the Magical Congress of the United States of America, is being released into the custody of representatives from the London office.  However, on their return to London, Grindelwald escapes with help from one of his followers.

Grindelwald has a cult-like following that desires to maintain the pure blood line of wizardry, as well as declare their supremacy to muggles (non-wizards).  According to Dumbledore, Grindelwald  has "a vision that he would rise to dominance over the Wizarding world".  

Because of a childhood pact, the beloved Hogwart professor, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law), cannot move against Grindelwald, so he meets with Newt Scamander to ask him if he will take on the task.  But, Newt prefers to remain neutral.  He does not want to pick a side, even though his own brother, Theseus, works for the Ministry of Magic. 

Regardless of his wish to remain neutral, Newt is once again pulled into the feud between the Ministry of Magic and Grindelwald.  There are some interesting plot twists and family ties that keep you spellbound right up to the end.



My Recommendations and Personal Opinion


Before you see the movie, be prepared and committed to paying close attention.  Distractions could cause you to miss some very important insights, comments or even characters.  For instance, Harry Potter fans will be especially interested in the character, Nagini.  

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and highly recommend it to Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts fans.  Most likely, you will come away from the theater with a greater appreciation for Newt Scamander.
 




Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie ReviewIf you haven't already seen Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, you can read that review and rent the DVD by clicking here.
Unlike the Harry Potter movies, "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" is not based on a published book. It is a screenplay based on a text book that was written by a fictional character in the Harry Potter books.







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Sunday, November 11, 2018

A Personal Review of the Movie Collateral Beauty

Several of the professional reviews of Collateral Beauty were, to put it straight, not kind. However, fortunately, I watched the movie first, and tripped on the reviews after.

Thanks to Netflix, this past Saturday Night was movie night. Here's the Warner Brothers movie summary that drew me in to give it a go:
Retreating from life after a tragedy, a man questions the universe by writing to Love, Time and Death. Receiving unexpected answers, he begins to see how these things interlock and how even loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty... by Warner Bros
The movie is jam packed with major talent: Will Smith, Helen Mirren, Keira Knightley, Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Jacob Latimore, Michael Pena, Naomie Harris, and Ann Dowd.

Does This Movie Have too Much Talent In It?

A few of the negative reviewers speak about their reluctance to trust the quality of a film stuffed with an endless list of high priced talent.

Sure, I get that. I can see why that thought crosses a mind. Hell, it crossed mine. But it was also what drew me into choosing the movie.

If the critics ask this nobody, I'd tell them that bad writing is made better with great acting, but good writing can be lost with bad acting.

So, this average-joe tends to look for films with acting talent first. That's not to say that movies free of big names aren't great movies, I'm just saying, the odds go the other away. With my Saturday nights, I play the odds.

Is Collateral Beauty Insensitive to Grief?

After withdrawing into the anguish of losing his six year old daughter, the movie centers around Will Smith's character, Howard Inlet, sending letters to Time, Love and Death.

Reviewers described this presentation of grief as an over simplification that misses the mark of the complexities entwined in loss.

What did I Personally think about this Film's Handling of Grief?
Collateral Beauty (DVD)Collateral Beauty (DVD) - Via Amazon
From an acting perspective, Will Smith's depiction of grief, to me, felt real. From the writing perspective, I also believed the pain.

The question for me was, would I write letters to Time, Love and Death?

In a way, that's how I handled my own father's passing: I was lost, I was looking for answers. I needed answers. In my search for those answers, I asked typical cliched questions, and I wrote.

So yes, although I understand the critical analysis that the movie was an over simplification of grief, I also believe in the principle of Occam's Razor; that the simplest explanation is often the best one.

Having Time, Love and Death appear as people was called corny by some critics. They continued on to say that the messages delivered were also predictable and lacking in depth. I'll agree with the later, that yes, there was depth lacking in the visits by Time, Love and Death. However, finding peace doesn't have to be a complicated process does it? So in my opinion, the clichés don't take away from enjoying the film.

There are a Few Surprises at the End

Very few movies can keep me from guessing the direction the writer is taking. Very few. In fact, it annoys some in my family that I can do this. We'll start watching a movie, and twenty minutes in, I'll hear, "don't tell us where this movie is going!". Lol. Oh well, it's a gift what can I say.

However, I must have been having a bad night, because there are two surprises at the end of the movie that I did not see coming! Two, what! I'm losing my skills or something. I'm a little miffed that I didn't anticipate them. So for that reason, I have to give this movie a good rating.

I say 3.5 stars out of 5, and a good choice for a Saturday night Netflix movie.


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