Dennis Quaid

#KINmovie and #AXLMovie – Movie Reviews

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Table of Reviews

KIN – Review

KIN – Budget of $30 million – 1 hour and 42 minutes

KIN
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Elijah goes around town finding scraps from abandoned buildings to sell. He is saving for a new pair of shoes. On one of his explorations, Elijah finds dead bodies and a high tech weapon. He gets spooked and runs home. He comes home to his disappointed father Harold. Elijah was suspended for fighting a kid who spoke badly about his deceased mother. Harold tells him if he is not in school he will be doing chores all day. In addition, his brother Jimmy will be coming home after a 6-year bid in jail. Elijah goes back to the abandoned building to clear his head. The bodies are gone but the weapon is still there. He grabs the weapon and it lights up. So he puts the weapon in his bag, sneaks into the house, and hides it under his bed. The next day Harold finds Elijah’s scraps and tells Elijah taking those things is stealing. He wants Elijah to call all the Section 8 housing directors and apologize. When they get Harold’s business to make the phone calls, Harold notices the chain is broken. He tells Elijah to stay in the car until he comes out. Elijah puts on his headphones and waits. A few minutes later Jimmy comes out and tells Elijah their dad is staying because someone broke in and poured concrete everywhere. Harold told Jimmy the two should immediately go on a trip to Lake Tahoe (their mother’s favorite place) and he will meet the two later. Elijah is happy to get away from the chores. In a hurry, Elijah grabs some food, clothes, and his new secret weapon. But Jimmy is hiding a huge secret too. Before he ran to the car, he helped two men (Tyler and Dutch) break into is Harold’s business to steal money he owed them. When Harold tried to stop them, Tyler killed Harold and Jimmy killed Dutch (Tyler’s brother). Jimmy knows Tyler and his crew will come after him and kill him and Elijah. Unknowingly, Elijah is on the run from the police, Tyler, and his crew.  Oh and let’s not forget, someone is looking for that weapon.

This movie, produced by Michael B. Jordan, mixes a complex storyline with a sci-fi flair.  Elijah is learning what it really means to be a man and the true definition of a family each mile of the road trip.  As Jimmy takes him to motels, a strip club, and a poker game, he does it with the intention of keeping Elijah happy.  But Jimmy hates himself for keeping their dad’s death a secret.  Jimmy is not represented as cold and evil, just irresponsible and lost.  While this movie starts with a weapon as the answer to some of his problems, it’s really the key to unlocking the truth.  Parents, be forewarned, that this movie does involve strippers.  They are clothed but it’s equal to a bikini.  While this movie has a strong message about manhood, the strip club scene is 10 minutes long and up to your discretion.  But this is a strong movie that deserves a second look and possibly a part 2.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

I don’t even know why I listen to you – Elijah

I got a lot of money. I am looking to get drunk. He is looking to get caffeinated. You want to join us – Jimmy

Don’t hide it. It proves you’re a survivor – Milly

You are not a replacement – Harold

Be careful, it’s slippery there – Tyler

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A-X-L – Review

A-X-L – Budget of $10 million – 1 hour and 40 minutes

A-X-L
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Miles is a motocross racer who feels like he has nothing going for himself. He did poorly in school, has no money, and no sponsors. He feels that racing is all he has. Sam, the competition has money and sponsor. Miles believes if he had those things, he could have made it to nationals by now. So when Sam asks Miles to attends one of his parties, his dad tells him it may be the connection he needs to move up in the racing world. He has fun and gets to meet Sara again. He saw her after a race and kept a picture she drew and threw away. Sara is the daughter of Sam’s housekeeper. While Sara sees Sam is an arrogant, playboy, Sam sees Sara is one of his girls. After losing Sara and a race to Miles, Sam sees him as a threat. So he causes Miles to wipe out on his bike and leaves him in the middle of nowhere with gas. When he tries to start up his bike, he hears banging in a container. Inside the container, he finds a robot dog. The dog chase Miles on his bike until the dog gets impelled by a large pipe. When Miles removes the pipe, the dog sees Miles as a friend and delivers maintenance instructions to his phone. Miles learns the dog’s name is A-X-L (Attack, Exploration, Logistics). Axl was created to replace K9s. It biometrically links with its owner, can carry a slew of payloads, and kills. When the dog is activated, it alerts its owner Craine Systems. When the owner discovers the dog is advancing like never before, he decides Miles will be the first human subject and he will study Axl’s progress. Axl, however, is very volatile and extremely dangerous. Axl snapped once to escape Craine Systems, he will snap again. His new owner Miles may be in danger but will he be able to give Axl up?

This movie is a mix of Transformers, Alpha, and Frankenstein (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  It uses Axl’s POV to help the viewer understands how he makes connections between friend and foe using body scans, commands, and hacking.  If you blink, you will miss this critical information.  Also, in the first 2 minutes, the movie gives a brief explanation of the start of the Axl program.  But don’t worry if you miss it, there is a longer recap later.  While the tech and human/robot dog relationship is fun to watch, this movie is better suited for adolescents and pre-teens.  It’s a good matinee movie for the entire family.  Otherwise, wait for Redbox.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

Axl, remember this – Sara

We’re friends, right? Friends don’t bite friends – Miles

Yo, send it – Axl

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#MidnightSunMovie, #LOVESIMON, and more – Movie Reviews

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Table of Reviews

Midnight Sun – Review

Midnight Sun – Budget Unknown – 1 hour and 31 minutes

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Midnight Sun
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Katie has spent the day sleeping and the night awake.  She has a rare disorder called Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP).  The UV light, even the smallest amount, can trigger a reaction that can kill her.  When she was 5, little girls called her a vampire because she stayed inside with tinted windows.  However, Morgan wasn’t afraid and become her best friend.  There is one thing Katie looks forward too.  That is Charlie.  A boy in the neighborhood the goes past her house every day.  She has the biggest crush on him but resolves to see him from afar.  After graduation, Katie begs her father to let her go out one night and play her guitar at the train station.  He melts at his daughter’s request and she is out the door.   While at the train station, she catches Charlie’s ear.  He introduces himself.  She pretends not to know him, freaks out, and runs.  Leaving her songbook behind.  The next morning she begs Morgan to get her book.  Morgan finds the book and Charlie.  She sets up a plan for Katie to meet the crush of her life.

While it has the same premise as Everything, Everything, it is not the same movie.  This illness is real and it can kill.  Katie is not presented as resentful or hateful because of her disorder.  On the contrary.  She accepts her limitations and works within them.  She dreams of being out in the daytime but settles to spend her time at night.  This gives the viewer more compassion for her, her family, and her illness.  This is a great drama/love story for teens at full price.  Everyone else, matinee.  And Patrick Schwarzenegger is a star in the making.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

Stupid tree – Katie

You couldn’t last 2 hours – Morgan

It’s all my fault – Charlie

I can lift weights – Jack

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Love, Simon – Review

Love, Simon – Budget of $17 million – 1 hour and 50 minutes

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Love, Simon
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Simon has a normal life with a smart mother, strong father, and culinary enthusiasts sister. He spends the majority of his time with his friends Abby, Leah, and Nick. He has known Leah and Nick since they were all 5-years old. And while he only met Abby months ago, he feels like he has known her forever. With so much love and support around him, he still doesn’t feel comfortable telling anyone he is gay.  One day, Leah calls him to check out a blog post.  In the post, a kid calling himself Blue admits he is in the closet.  Blue feels like he is on a Ferris Wheel going up and down keeping this secret inside.  Simon makes an email account and writes Blue back.  Simon calls himself Jacques.  The two correspond for days.  But when Simon leaves his emails open on a school computer, his classmate Martin screenshots them.  Martin threatens to out Simon unless he helps him get with Abby.  Now he is playing with his friends’ emotions and secrets, just to keep his secret and keep Blue in his life.

Based on the book Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, this extremely funny, romantic, and mysterious movie isn’t about ‘coming of age’ (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). Simon isn’t a brat, spoiled, or coming from a bad situation. He is a great kid with a good home and a large secret. He isn’t coming of age or discovering himself. He knows who he is but he just hasn’t told anyone else. Simon discovers how much the people around him love him and that everyone has a secret. This movie will bring tears to your eyes as Simon finds his love story.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

Well, maybe not that gay – Simon

I am figuratively dying – Abby

Are you her barista now – Leah

What’s the deal with Abby and Martin – Nick

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I Can Only Imagine – Review

I Can Only Imagine – Budget of $7 million – 1 hour and 50 minutes

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I Can Only Imagine
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Bart Millard sits in a recording studio being asked about the inspiration for a song he wrote.  With his bandmates Mercy Me, shipping out CDs to local radio stations, Bart recalls his past.  It started as a young boy who loved music, especially Amy Grant (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  His father was an abusive alcoholic while is mother was fearfully complicit.  One day, his mother drove him to Camp Glorieta and he meets Shannon.  Bart was asked to journal during is camping experience and he wrote that camp was the best week of his life.  However, when he gets back home, his mother is gone and his father’s drinking binges are worse.  So to make his father happy he played football.  Until he injured his feet and couldn’t play ever again.  So as he was rehabilitating, the only club activity open was Glee Club.  It’s there a teacher heard a voice, that will sell millions of records across the globe.

Based on the song I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me, this is a funny movie about hope and forgiveness (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). As a kid, Bart hides his abuse from everyone around him. As an adult, that abusive past is holding him back from opening up to people off and on stage. Even the band’s manager Brick notices that he shuts himself off during the middle of a performance. Only forgiveness can bring this song to light. And that forgiveness comes had the hardest moment for himself and Arthur. It’s this forgiveness that really reaches the audience.  This is an experience for the whole family to enjoy at the matinee.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

Dreams don’t pay the bills – Arthur

I just don’t like being alone – Bart

It’s totally safe. Well, except for that one kid – Shannon

You can and you will. There will be no discussion about it – Mrs. Fincher

She’s the smart one – Brick

Can Only Imagine – Budget of $7 million – 1 hour and 50 minutes

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#GoldMovie, #MonsterTrucks, and more – Movie Reviews

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Table of Reviews

Gold – Review

Gold – Budget of $3.5 million – 2 hours and 1 minute

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Gold
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In 1981, Reno, Nevada, Washoe Mining was doing well. Washoe, created by Kenny’s grandfather, and grown by Kenny’s father, is making great money. However, Kenny Sr had died and 7 years later the business is failing due to the recession. Kenny Jr and his employees are working out of a bar and Kenny is desperate to find gold mine. One night, Kenny has a dream about Indonesia being rich with gold and finds Michael Acosta, a geologist, to help him find it. Michael informs him that working in Indonesia will not be easy or cheap. Kenny promises to come up with the capital if Michael can find the equipment, permits, and workers. The two start working together and keep a 6 man crew working 12 hour shifts everyday. Just when the workers strike, Kenny gets malaria. In fear that he will die without anything, he gives Michael is last bit of money to bring the workers back. When Kenny gets better, Michael gives him the good news. They struck gold!!!! News of their gold find soon hits the US and everyone wants a piece of it. It’s not until long Kenny is at the New York Stock Exchange and Washoe is trading publicly. But with untrustworthy bankers, blood thirsty competitors, and an FBI investigation, you will only ask yourself one question: Did Kenny know?

This movie, inspired by the Bre-X mining scandal, is a decent mystery. It’s gold fever set in the 80s. Kenny’s passion for the gold business is striking and keeps you watching. As much as Kenny tries to hold on to his family’s business, he is losing his grip on reality. Michael, on the other hand, keeps his cool and has a vast knowledge of Indonesia. With their separate styles, they love the art of gold mining and can’t wait to be successful. Even with a great premise, the movie lags in the middle and your mind will wander. They could have cut 15 to 30 minutes out of the film and still had a great story line. Also, you see more of Matthew McConaughey in his underwear than necessary. The ending will leave more questions than answers about Micheal and Kenny. This is a decent way to kill 2 hours at matinee prices, otherwise wait for On Demand.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

God we work hard in this business. Sometimes for nothing – Kenny Sr

Did you know Kenny? Did you know? – Bobby

It was never about the money. It was about the gold – Kenny Jr

Is like a dunk raccoon with a hope diamond – Brian

To the raccoon – Kay

There are no rights or wrongs in this business, only hits and misses – Micheal

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Monster Trucks – Review

Monster Trucks – Budget of $125 million – 1 hour and 45 minutes

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Monster Trucks
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Terravex, an oil drilling company that employs most of a small North Dakota town, has stopped drilling. They found a small pockets of water directly above their oil. Their environmentalist tells them that the area must be surveyed for signs of life, but Reece wants the drilling to continue. Jim Dowd, Terrevex geologist, gives them the green light to drill saying on life could sustain itself that deep under the earth. As soon as the drill hits the water, there is a huge explosion and 3 creatures come out of it. The Terravex’s crew found 2 but one is still loose. They want to find the creature and it’s home, so they can destroy it before environmentalists can stop their drilling. Tripp, a high school student, works in a junk yard for spare parts. He hopes to get his hold truck running again, but while working he hears a noise. It’s the creature. He calls the police to help, but it is laughed off as prank. “Creech”, as Tripp calls him, hides in his truck and becomes Tripp’s engine. He soon learns that the creature is smart, strong. and kind. He wants to keep him but knows Creech is in danger if he is found. Tripp is determined to bring Creech back home … until Creech disappears. Tripp must find out why Creech ran, save Creech, and return him before Terravex poisons Creech’s home.

This is a great movies for kids to learn about the environment and animal treatment while having fun. It has a good premise and good action sequences. The story, although it talks about the environment, is more about relationships. Tripp and Creech are both trying to find their foundations in life. So they bond one with each other. Also they are both looking for a true home, not one created out of comfort. Most of the graphics are nice but others are just too cartoonish. When Creech, in the truck, goes up a wall with Tripp in the cabin, the truck looks like it belongs in the cartoon network. One scene in particular, you can see the wires on the trucks as they launch in the air. If you have kids, see it matinee with them. For everyone else, wait for TV.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

Don’t you worry. I’m not going anywhere – Rick

You are going to need like 12 more of those things – Tripp

That kid knows something – Burke

Hey, you’re not dumb – Meredith

You enjoy that a little too much – Mr. Weathers

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A Dog’s Purpose – Review

A Dog’s Purpose – Budget of $22 million – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Note: This is only a review of the movie. Not the book or the controversy surrounding the movie.

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A Dog's Purpose
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A puppy is born into a warm environment with it’s mother until it is taken into the pound and put down … only to be reborn. While in a puppy mill, the dog breaks free and scooped up by two men. Since it’s a red retriever, they believe they can get a good price for it. Before they can sell it, they leave it in a hot car with the windows up. The dog prepares to start life again only to be rescued by Elizabeth and her son, Ethan. They take the dog home and name him Bailey (or Bailey Bailey Bailey Bailey Bailey according to the dog). As Ethan grows he is faced with an alcoholic father, love, fire, and a heartbreaking injury. But with each phase in Ethan’s life, Bailey is right by his side. That is until Bailey gets sick and dies. But once again, Bailey is reborn … as Ellie, a female K-9 partnered with Carlos. But with each life, Bailey remembers who he was and still wonders about Ethan and his purpose. Bailey’s purpose cannot be explained with just 1 life but the sum of all of his lives.

Honestly, you know how this story will end just by watching the previews. It’s the journey that is fun. Although, most of the movie is about the dog’s life as Bailey, his times as Ellie, Dino, Waffles, and Buddy are interesting too.. The costumes, technology, and decor were spot on for each story’s time periods. Even down to the classic 1950’s cars, Jheri Curl, and police uniforms. Based on the book, A Dog’s Purpose: A Novel for Humans, it has moments that pull at your heart strings (especially for dog owners) and takes you back to your childhood, but not for full price (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). This movie feels like an introspective Look Who’s Talking Now (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). The message isn’t new, just told from a dog’s perspective. See it matinee or wait for Redbox.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

This thing you two are doing is dirty pool – Tim

If he says no, we can run away and find a new family – Ethan

Such intelligent eyes – Hannah

So it’s not all perfect in Ethan land – Todd

You know what I’m thinking … pizza – Mia

Chips – Dino

I always hated shots, but this was the worst – Ellie

Would you give me a break – Carlos

I’m really stubborn – Ethan

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