Monday, September 18, 2017

New on Blu-ray & DVD for September 19, 2017 "The Big Sick" and "Wonder Woman"

The Big Sick
Starring: Kumail Nanjiani and Ray Romano
Rated R

Based on the real-life courtship between Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, “The Big Sick” tells the story of Pakistan-born aspiring comedian, who connects with grad student.

However, what they thought would be just a one-night stand blossoms into the real thing, which complicates the life that is expected of him by his traditional Muslim parents.

When Emily is beset with a mystery illness, it forces Kumail to navigate the medical crisis with her parents, Beth and Terry (Holly Hunter and Ray Romano) who he's never met, while dealing with the emotional tug-of-war between his family and his heart.

“The Big Sick” is a wonderfully eloquent and touching love story that goes far beyond a traditional romantic comedy.

Do not pass this one by. It gets an A and is rated R.

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Wonder Woman
Starring: Gal Gadot and Chris Pine
Rated PG-13

Gal Gadot is Princess Diana, who rescues a WWII pilot when he crashes in the waters of the coast of her hidden and mythical Island.

The downed pilot, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), tells her of the war that's being fought and Diana begins to realize her true purpose.

She leaves her island with Trevor to begin a battle against evil deeds.

“Wonder Woman” is a rip-roaring, action adventure and exactly what comic book films should be, exciting, fun, humorous and touching.

Gal Gadot is perfectly cast as the Amazon warrior. She is a fearsome fighter who never loses her femininity. It is a perfect balance she gracefully maintains. Also well-cast are the supporting characters including Chris Pine as the steadfast Steve Trevor. Pine delivers a terrific turn as Wonder Woman's guide into the world beyond her peaceful island.

“Wonder Woman” is a true summer blockbuster delivered with all the trimmings.

It gets an A and is rated PG-13.

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Monday, September 11, 2017

New on Blu-ray & DVD for September 12, 2017 "Captain Underpants" and "The Mummy"

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
Starring (Voices): Kevin Hart, Jordan Peele, Thomas Middleditch and Ed Helms
Rated PG

In the film, two overly imaginative pranksters named George and Harold, hypnotize their principal into thinking he's a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero named 'Captain Underpants.'

“Captain Underpants” is a funny film but with a few restrictions. 

The movie moves at warp speed to keep the core audience's attention, (8 to 12 years old) but because of the film's fast-pacing there is virtually no continuity in the plot. And the film keeps taking unnecessary detours 

There are several story line changes during the film, but it's all at top speed giving the audience the feeling the film suffers from a cinematic form of ADHD.

“Captain Underpants: The First Epic Film” is a harmless film to take your kids to, but nothing in this animated movie ends up memorable.

It gets a C and is rated PG.

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The Mummy
Starring: Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe
Rated PG-13

Long ago, an Egyptian princess is buried alive for her evil deeds and swears to return to rule the world.
In present day, a mercenary, played by Tom Cruise, uncovers the tomb of the evil princess and unwittingly sets her free.

This latest version of “The Mummy” lacks so much. Imagination, direction, interesting characters, characters that are completely unnecessary, dumb plots, confusing story lines and clunky special effects.

And there is really no reason for any of that, other than sheer lack of caring on the studio's part. This film needed rewrite after rewrite as well as a few cast changes. Russell Crowe had no business being in this film, other than to add his name to the credits. His character, “Dr. Jekyll,” (Yes THAT Dr. Jekyll) gave the impression it was tacked on at the last moment.

Crowe added nothing to the storyline.

Tom Cruise was just miscast. Cruise could have played this role 15 years ago. The actor struggles to keep himself centered in the part and loses the audience early into the film.

“The Mummy” should have stayed buried. It gets a D and is rated PG-13.

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Thursday, September 7, 2017

New in theaters September 8, 2017 "Home Again" and "It"

Home Again
Starring: Reese Witherspoon
Rated PG-13

Life for a single mom in Los Angeles takes an unexpected turn when she allows three young guys to move in with her.

Ever been to a movie that not only you were embarrassed to be seen watching but actually embarrassed for everyone in it?

“Home Again” is that movie.

Everything in this film is formulaic and cliché, almost as if the producers were reading a step-by-step manual on how to write a romantic comedy. The film simply has no soul, no comic pacing and no connection with its audience.

“Hone Again” is a flat and uninspired piece of drivel not worthy of your attention.

It gets a D and is rated PG-13.

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Starring: Bill Skarsgard and Finn Wolfhard
Rated R
In the film, based on the Steven King novel, seven kids are united by their terrifying and strange encounters with an evil clown and the history of brutal murders plaguing their small town.

I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of this new cinematic version of Steven King's “It” with real anticipation. I am a fan of King's writing and I do know that King does not translate well to the big screen. In fact, I will go out on a limb and say the best adaptation of a King novel to film is “The Shawshank Redemption.”

That being said, the latest adaptation of Steven King's “It” is not a scary film as much at it just creepy. The main antagonist, 'Pennywise the Clown,' isn't foreboding enough and although the film offers up some moments that will make you jump, it isn't enough.

Add that to the identity crisis “It” suffers from, as the film seems to not know if its a scary film, a comedy, a coming-of-age story or a kid's adventure movie, and you have a bit of a diluted mess.

“It” just doesn't have 'IT.'

It gets a C and is rated R.

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Monday, September 4, 2017

New on Blu-ray & DVD for September 5, 2017 "Megan Leavey" and "Rough Night"

Rough Night
Starring: Scarlett Johansson and Kate McKinnon
Rated R
In the film, five best friends from college reunite for a wild bachelorette weekend in Miami. Their hard partying takes a hilariously dark turn when they accidentally kill a male stripper. Amidst the craziness of trying to cover it up, they're ultimately brought closer together when it matters most.

Nothing in “Rough Night” is very redeemable. The film is terrible from beginning to end with a parade of ill-timed sex jokes, poor writing, unlikeable characters and hap-hazard directing. The film plays out as pretty much a total ripoff of “Weekend at Bernie's,” except less funny.

Miss this one at all costs. It gets a D and is rated R

Megan Leavey
Starring: Kate Mara and Edie Falco
Rated PG-13

The film is based on a true story of a young Marine corporal who forms a unique and binding bond with a combat dog during her assignment in Iraq. 

“Megan Leavey” is an emotional and satisfying film about the love between humans and their animals, in this case a dog. Over the years we've seen films like this which all touch our hearts. Films like, “My Dog Skip,” “Turner and Hootch,” “Eight Below,” “Max” and even as far back as “Lassie,” prove that movie makers know audiences love films about the human bond with animals.

“Megan Leavey” proves that the formula still works and is very powerful.

Kate Mara delivers an honest performance as the title character, who was lost in life until she decided to join the Marines. The film's best moments come from footage of Mara as Megan Leavey working with her canine trainee, Rex.

All in all “Megan Leavey” is a film well worth your time to experience.

It gets a B and is rated PG-13.

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Monday, August 28, 2017

New on Blu-ray and DVD for Tuesday August 29, 2017 "My Cousin Rachel" and "Baywatch"

My Cousin Rachel
Starring Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin
Rated PG-13

A young Englishman plots revenge against his late cousin's mysterious, beautiful wife, believing her responsible for his death.

“My Cousin Rachel” is an uneven romantic mystery with very little sustenance to feed the viewer. The lead characters simply have no chemistry and the script is fraught with plot holes. vanishing suspicions and twists that do not make any sense.

In the end “My Cousin Rachel” is not up to the challenge of holding anyone's attention for very long.

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

Starring: Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron
Rated R

Based on the TV series, “Baywatch” stars Dwayne Johnson as a no-nonsense lifeguard who must contend with new trainees and a drug smuggler.

“Baywatch” is a scattered comedy trying desperately to be liked but fails at just about every turn.

The spoof begins with a lot of hope for the audience, but degenerates quickly into one raunchy sight gag after another. Unlike the very funny “21 Jump Street,” “Baywatch” refused to connect with the audience, and although there were a few laughs, most of the film was a sloppy mess.

Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson, who plays “Mitch,” was regulated too muscle-flexing and running. Johnson, who does rather well in comedies like “Central Intelligence,” was let down by a way too underdone script.

Zac Efron, who is making a career of being in 'frat house films' like “Dirty Grandpa” and “Neighbors,” handed in an uninspired and lackluster performance as he plays “Matt,” a 2-time gold medal Olympian now disgraced.

In the end “Baywatch” is just another in a long line of poorly written, badly directed TV parodies that simply are not funny.

“Baywatch” gets a D and is rated R.

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Monday, August 21, 2017

New on Blu-ray and DVD for Tuesday August 22, 2017 "Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2"

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista and Kurt Russell
Rated PG-13

Set to the backdrop of 'Awesome Mixtape #2,' “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” continues the team's adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. 

The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill's true parentage.

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is as fun and unexpected as the first film. Set just a few weeks after their first adventure, “The Guardians” go from being universal heroes to the galaxy's most wanted and now must avoid their hunters.

In the process Peter Quill, I mean 'Star Lord,' discovers the truth about his special lineage, making him question his place in the universe.

“Guardians 2” is well-written and action packed with a near-perfect balance of humor, heart and action to keep the audience glued to their seats.

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” ends being a sequel well worth the wait. I gave it a B when it was released but the DVD and Blu-ray has a ton features that rockets this release to an A! It's rated PG-13.

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

New in Theaters August 18, 2017 "Logan Lucky" and "The Hitman's Bodyguard"

Logan Lucky
Starring: Channing Tatum, Adam Driver and Daniel Craig
Rated PG-13

The film centers around two brothers who attempt to pull off a heist during a NASCAR race in North Carolina. Channing Tatum plays 'Jimmy Logan,' who just lost a mining job and wants to use his time off to rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

To pull off the heist, they need to break an expert safe cracker, played by Daniel Craig, out of prison.

The film is a ballet in comedy. From the Southern accents to just sheer wide-eyed stupidity of the characters, this film is simply comedy gold, offering up some the wackiest and most hilarious moments you can spend in a movie theater.

Thank you Steven Soderbergh for this terrific treat!

“Logan Lucky” deserves an A. It's rated PG-13

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The Hitman's Bodyguard
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds
Rated R

In the film an elite bodyguard gets a new client, a hit man who must testify at the International Court of Justice.

If I were to describe “The Hitman's Bodyguard” in a few words it would be that the “Jason Bourne” movies married “Deadpool” and had a baby!

The film is a non-stop reverse buddy picture with Jackson and Reynolds at each other's throats, all the while trying to just stay alive.

If your tastes run to an 'anything goes popcorn muncher, “The Hitman's Bodyguard” is it.

It's gets an B and is rated R. 

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