Monday, September 16, 2019

New on Blu-ray & DVD September 17, 2019 "X-Men: Dark Phoenix" and "Wild Rose"

Wild Rose
Starring: Jesse Buckley and Julie Walters
Rated R   

In the film a 23 year-old single mother from Scotland tries to change her life by becoming a Nashville star.

“Wild Rose” is an endearing story focusing on overcoming one's obstacles and fears and not letting those fears stop you from attempting to achieve your dream.

International singing star Jesse Buckley takes on the role of “Rose-Lynn” with an engaging enthusiastic and heartfelt approach to her performance.

“Wild Rose” plays better and more realistic than other films in this category.

It gets a B and is rated R.

Dark Phoenix
Starring: Sophie Turner, Jennifer Lawrence and James McAvoy
Rated PG-13    

During a mission something goes wrong and mutant Jean Grey finds her powers increasing and corrupting her. Can the X-Men stop the most powerful mutant in the universe?

“Dark Phoenix” is the last of the X-Men films made under the 20th Century Fox banner as Disney bought the rights to the franchise when they purchased Fox.

The film offers better acting and special effects than the last couple of films, exuding “Logan,” but the film also lacks a sense of continuity and is rife with plot holes, unanswered questions and time filler subplots.

The biggest problem with the film is that with all it had going for it, including its pedigree, acting ensemble, special effects and soundtrack, it still managed not to be engaging for the audience.

In the end, “Dark Phoenix” is a simply miss that should have been a hit.

It gets a D and is rated PG-13.

Monday, September 9, 2019

New on Blu-Ray & DVD September 10, 2019 "Aladdin," "The Dead Don't Die" and "John Wick 3"

The Dead Don't Die
Starring: Bill Murray and Adam Driver
Rated R   

A small town becomes a battleground as the undead begin rising from their graves.

“The Dead Don't Die” could have been the next “Shawn of the Dead,” but the film lacked energy and any comedic spark that would have given the audience their money's worth, especially with the talents of Bill Murray and Adam Driver in the lead roles.

Unlike the zombies in the film, “The Dead Don't Die” dies 30 minutes in and stays dead.

Pass it by! It gets a D and rated R.

John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Starring: Keanu Reeves and Halley Berry
Rated R   

John Wick 3” begins just after the events in 'Chapter 2' as our gun-toting hero now has a $14 million dollar price on his head.

The film starts off with the non-stop high violent action that you'd expect from a “John Wick” sequel. But somewhere around the 40 minute mark, the movie becomes tiresome, confusing and repetitious.
And that's the core problem with a franchise action film. One you've peaked, you have no where to go.

In the end “John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum” kills everything including any fun or any desire to see a chapter 4.

It gets a D and is rated R.

Starring: Will Smith, Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott
Rated PG   

Disney's live action version of their 1992 Oscar award-winning animated film.

After not being too impressed with the release, earlier this year, of “Dumbo,” Disney bounced back with this sure-fire, audience pleasing hit under the direction of Guy Ritchie.

“Aladdin” is simply magical and grants the viewer its wish to be entertained. Of course there will be comparisons to the animated film, and that's ok. But this revisit has it's own pace and heart.

Will Smith and the main cast are spot-on and offer up exuberant performances with spectacular special effects and a wonderful score by Disney alum Alan Menken.

All in all, “Aladdin” is excellent. It gets an A and is rated PG.

Monday, September 2, 2019

New on Blu-ray & DVD September 3, 2019 "MIB International" and "Booksmart"

Men in Black: International
Starring: Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson
Rated PG-13   

When a double agent infiltrates the headquarters of 'The Men in Black,' 2 agents pull out all stops to save the planet and their jobs.

“Men in Black: International” is another in a long line of disappointing sequels relying on past successes to sell tickets.

From it's poorly conceived ping-pong plot and wooden acting to it's over produced CGI “MIB 4” will have you anything but entertained.

The film offered up a very few and scattered humorous moments but not enough to save the film from its own overindulgence.

It gets a D and is rated PG-13.

Starring: Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein
Rated R   

On the eve of their graduation two high school over achievers realize they should have studied less and partied more.

“Booksmart” is a buddy party comedy. But, unfortunately this party never happens for the audience as the main characters are not engaging enough for the viewer to want to follow on this adventure.

“Booksmart” is guilty of force feeding the audience tired and worn out jokes, one-liners and sight gags backed up by terrible and lackluster performances.

In the end “Booksmart” doesn't graduate and deserves to be left behind.

It gets a D and is rated R.

Monday, August 26, 2019

New on Blu-Ray and DVD September 27, 2019 "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" and "Rocketman"

Starring: Taron Egerton & Jamie Bell
Rated R    

A musical fantasy based on the life and times of Elton John.

“Rocketman” is not trying to be a traditionally presented, sanitized biopic like “Bohemian Rhapsody” was. In fact if you're looking for another “Bohemian Rhapsody,” you won't find it here.

What “Rocketman” is, is a performance piece highlighting the early days of Elton John's career and the obstacles he overcame to become one of the greatest performers in the world.

The film doesn't pull any punches when discussing Elton John's drug addictions, his relationships and his sexuality.

Taron Egerton does a terrific job in presenting us with a very human and flawed character. Egerton also does a wonderful job in performing Elton John's songs.

Despite a few moments in the film that seem forced and tacked on, “Rocketman” is a film well worth experiencing. It gets a B and is rated R.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Starring: Vera Farmiga and Mille Bobbie Brown
Rated PG-13    
The crypto-zoological agency Monarch faces off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed Monster Zero.

“Godzilla: King of the Monsters” is simply a throwback to the Saturday afternoon movies I went to as a kid to watch a variety of monsters battle it out.

Despite the plot being slightly confusing and some loose ends aren't tied up, the film is exactly what it should be... a high octane, cheesy monster bash with some great special effects.

“Godzilla: King of the Monsters” gets a B and is rated PG-13.

A small note Mille Bobby Brown and Kyle Chandler will be back for "Godzilla vs King Kong" in 2020.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

New in Theaters August 15, 2019 "Good Boys," "47 Meters Down: Uncaged," "Blinded by the Light" and "Angry Birds 2"

Good Boys
Starring: Jacob Tremblay and Brady Noon
Rated R 

3 sixth grade boys ditch school and embark on an epic journey on their way to attend an awesome party.

“Good Boys” begins well enough but comes apart at the seams in the first 30 minutes. The film is uneven, erratic and disjointed.

The idea of young kids cussing isn't new and after the 30
th time isn't funny and becomes boring rather quickly.

I was hoping for something smarter and more focused and was disappointed when I received a bland, one-note comedy that was nothing more than a tired, hashed out episode of South Park.

Miss this one.

It gets an F and is rated R.

47 Meters Down: Uncaged
Starring: Sistine Rose Stallone and John Corbett
Rated PG-13 

In the sequel to 2017's “47 Meters Down,” 4 female divers find themselves trapped in an underwater maze of caves surrounded by deadly sharks.

“47 Meters Down: Uncaged” is exactly what you'd expect a sequel to be... a bigger, more expensive remake of the first film. And even though the film is filmed bigger with a more expensive budget, it isn't any better.

The movie offers layers and layers of cliché dialog, action sequences and jump scares but there's nothing original to be found in these waters.

The film gets a C and is rated PG-13.

Blinded by the Light
Starring: Viveik Kalra and Hayley Atwell
Rated PG-13    

A teenager living in 1987 England finds himself and discovers his path with the help of the music of Bruce Springsteen.

“Blinded by the Light” is a full-on audience pleasing film. It resonates with heart, warmth and an intricate deepness. Although there were a few missteps along the way, please take this journey and enjoy one of the best films of the summer and one of the best soundtracks of the year.

“Blinded by the Light” gets an A and is rated PG-13.

Angry Birds 2
Starring: Jason Sudeikis and Rachel Bloom
Rated PG   

The birds and the pigs join forces to fight a new enemy.

“Angry Birds 2” is a surprisingly good sequel with terrific animation and a very funny script that will please old and young.

The characters are engaging, the story moves along briskly and you'll find yourself laughing quite a bit.

All in all “Angry Birds 2” is a 'worth the ticket in' summer movie you can enjoy with the whole family.

It gets a B and is rated PG.

Monday, August 12, 2019

New on Netflix and New Blu-Ray & DVD for August 13, 2019

Avengers: Endgame
Starring: Everyone in Hollywood
Rated PG-13    

After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War, the universe is in ruins. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers assemble once more in order to undo Thanos' actions and restore order to the universe.

After 10 years and 21 movies, Marvel Studios concludes this part of the Marvel Universe with a grand-slam home run.

“Avengers: Endgame” is masterful storytelling at it's best with its pitch perfect writing and the mix of CGI and acting, the Russo brothers take this finale film to another level, even for the Marvel Universe.

A genuine blockbuster film and a must see, “Endgame” gets a solid A and is rated PG-13.

Starring: Marlon Wayans and Bresha Webb
Rated TV-14    

Just as he's about to become a father, a man discovers he has 5 siblings and goes on a quest to find them.

“Sextuplets” is strictly a 'don't think about it' comedy with Marlon Wayans taking on all of the sibling roles in the film. I know most people are going to compare this film with 1996's “The Nutty Professor,” in which Eddie Murphy played 7 roles in that film. (If you're a real movie buff you'll also think about Jerry Lewis' turn as 7 characters in 1965's “The Family Jewels.”)

“Sextuplets” is more a look at how CGA and performance capture techniques have been upgraded to a new level, which add to the suspension of belief.

The film itself is an enjoyable 'wig' comedy with a few good laughs.

It gets a C and is rated TV-14. It premieres on Friday August 16th.

Check out our exclusive interview with Marlon Wayans and Bresha Webb!


Thursday, August 8, 2019

New in Theaters August 9, 2019 "The Kitchen," "The Art of Racing in the Rain," "Dora and the Lost City of Gold" and "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark"

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Starring: Zoe Margaret Colletti and Michael Garza
Rated PG-13   

Based on the popular young adult novel, “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” takes place in 1968 and focuses on a group of teens leaving high school and celebrating one last Halloween when eerie things begin to happen.

“Scary Stories” is a terrific horror film. It is replete with enough jump scares and shocks woven into an intricate and well-told script.

Backed up by a terrific cast and some great camera work, the film gains momentum and ends up an intense and very fun scare ride.

It gets a B and is rated PG-13

Dora and the Lost City of Gold
Starring: Isabela Moner and Eva Longoria
Rated PG   

Dora leads a group of friends through the jungle to uncover the mystery surrounding her parents disappearance.

“Dora and the Lost City of Gold” is a non-stop adventure aimed mostly at young viewers. The film is full of action and intrigue making this a terrific family film.

Think Indiana Jones for kids and you get the idea.

For its sense of humor, special effects and action “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” gets a solid B.

It's rated PG

The Art of Racing in the Rain
Rated PG
Starring: Kevin Costner, Milo Ventimigila and Amanda Seyfried

The personal trials and triumphs of a race car driver are seen and explained by his dog.

“The Art of Racing in the Rain” is a touching and well paced story about how we maneuver through life's obstacles and how we overcome them.

The film is not only a sweet and touching testament to the power and the bond people share with their pets, but to each other.

Don't miss this wonderful and warm family film. It gets an A and is rated PG.

The Kitchen
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss
Rated R   

Kathy, Ruby and Claire are 3 mob wives who take over the family business in 1978 New York when their husbands are locked up.

“The Kitchen” is an uneven and sloppy mob movie straining too much to be relevant.

Mostly known for their comedic performances, Melissa McCarthy and Tiffany Haddish seem out of place in the film, partly because the audience expects a more light hearted approach to their roles and partly because of the heaviness of the story.

Elisabeth Moss, on the other hand, is well cast and delivers and exceptional performance as 'Claire.'

All in all “The Kitchen” just never heats up. It gets a C and is rated R.