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#FallenKingdom – Review – In Stores Now

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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – Budget of $170 – 187 million – 2 hours and 8 minutes

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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
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Isla Nublar, 120 miles off of Costa Rica, is inhabited only by the dinosaurs left behind after Jurassic World was forced to close its doors because a genetically modified hybrid, the Andomus Rex, destroyed the park.  Three years later a volcano is set to destroy the island and all life on that island.  While some believe this is God fixing man’s mistake.  Others believe that dinosaurs are animals that should be protected like all other endangered species.  Claire is on the dinosaurs’ side.  She runs the Dinosaur Protection Group and calls every member of Congress and the Senate to help.  She is saddened when she sees a news state that the U.S. will do nothing to help.  Just in moments of hearing the news, she gets a call from the Lockwood Estate.  Lockwood worked with John Hammond to create the first Jurassic Park.  Now elderly and ill, he looks after his granddaughter Maisie with the help of Iris and Eli.  Eli Mills, head of the estate, tells Claire they have a new sanctuary for the dinosaurs.  No cages, no fences, no humans.  It if is fully sustainable and safe for the dinosaurs.  He feels he has the manpower to save 11 species, including Blue.  But Claire knows no one will ever get close enough.  Only one man can get Blue.  Owen.  Owen is resistant to save the dinosaurs.  He believes that the park and all the animal should die.  However, he is drawn to save Blue.  So Claire, Owen, Zia (Dinosaur Protection Group’s paleoveterinarian), Franklin (Dinosaur Protection Group’s systems analyst and hacker), and Ken Wheatley (a mercenary sent to command the Isla Nublar mission) board a plane to the volcanic Isle Nublar.  It doesn’t take long for Owen to find Blue, then shots ring out.  Ken shots Blue with a tranquilizer dart.  But she doesn’t go down and attacks one of his men.  Then, Blue is shot with a bullet.  Owen knows he and Blue have been crossed.  Owen tries to attack Ken but is shot with a dart.  Owen wakes up to find Zia taken as a medical hostage for Blue and Franklin and Claire in the path of a stampede.   Now they understand Mills was lying about saving the animals but for what purpose?   That purpose will lead Claire to a hard decision of letting life happen or destroying it.  Welcome to Jurassic World.

This has all the scares to make you jump, the anticipation to make your heart beat faster, and the dumb decisions that will make you talk to the screen.  There are new moments in this film.  Like when Owen, Claire, and Franklin have to choose death by dinosaur or death by lava.  However, 1993 Jurassic Park fans will get snippets of the original film (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  For example, the girl trying to pull down a door while a dinosaur charges toward her.  Or hiding behind a log during a stampede.  It’s those moments and consistent reminders of John Hammond that connect this movie to the original.  It pays beautiful homage to its predecessor while maintaining its originality.   Also, be ready for a new dinosaur that will send a chill down your spine.  The sequel to Jurassic World will not disappoint finds with action, graphics, and comedic timing.  However, the growth of the love story between Owen and Claire is nil.  And it replays itself again in this film.  If a third is made, which it will be, they should either be together or stay apart.   But don’t drag this out for another film.  While Dolby is great, 3D will have glitches with reflects in a glass.  And stay past the end credits for a brief look at a true Jurassic World.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

They’re all going to die and no one cares – Claire

You should write fortune cookies – Owen

You call this a plane. My cousin has a drone that’s bigger than this – Franklin

This will be a nice centerpiece for my necklace – Ken

They need a mother – Dr. Wu

He blood is contaminated – Zia

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#WhiteBoyRickMovie, #ASimpleFavor, and more – Movie Reviews

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White Boy Rick – Review

White Boy Rick – Budget of $29 million – 1 hour and 56 minutes

White Boy Rick
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Rick Sr and his son Rick Jr buy guns in Oklahoma to sell in Detroit.  While he can legally sell guns, it’s his homemade silencers that are the real problem.  Sr. uses those silencers as an upsell for his guns.  Rick Jr takes his dad’s advice and goes to the local auto body shop run by Detroit’s biggest dealer, Jackson, to sell the guns.  They buy Rick Jr’s guns but it’s his bravado that wins them over.  He is dubbed White Boy Rick and asked to come to the Skate and Roll by Booh (Jackson’s little cousin).   Rick goes home with money in his pocket but his family is falling apart.   His sister Dawn is a drug addict and is leaving with her drug-dealing boyfriend Ty.  And a gun his father sold was used in a murder.  Wanting an escape, Rick goes to the Skate and Roll and have fun.  But on is way home, three cops ask him to get in a car.   They give him money to buy drugs at one of Jackson’s house to help get dirt on Jackson.  If he doesn’t help, they will throw his father in jail.  Rick agrees and succeeds.  A few days later, the cops give him cocaine.  They tell him to make crack, get a crew, and sell it.  Any money Rick makes, he can keep.  They want Rick to get more information about the crew so they can make a better case.  But when Rick is shot, he is out of the game for 2 years.  But with one major life event, Rick decides to use his new knowledge to become the country’s youngest kingpins.

Based on a true story, it’s hard to believe everything happened in 3 short years.  Rick went from being a 14-year-old gun dealer to a 17-year-old drug kingpin.  However, when you watch the movie, you have to ask yourself one question: Who gave Ricky his start?  The cops, who gave him his first brick of cocaine to sell.  His dad, for not stopping his son and insisting Ricky do something different with his life.  The system, for not allowing Ricky back in school after he was a victim of a crime.  Ricky, for not seeing any other options for himself and his family.  Or all of the above.  A sad reality this movie points out is having more than 655 grams of cocaine in Detroit offered a stiffer penalty than murder.  So, dealers worried more about the weight of drugs they carried than the lives they took.  It was this dragnet that caught Ricky in the long run.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

What do you think dad is Ricky – Dawn

I didn’t steal the car. I borrowed it. Someone stole it from me – Ricky

Be a lion – Ricky Sr.

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A Simple Favor – Review

A Simple Favor – Budget of $20 million – 1 hour and 57 minutes

A Simple Favor
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Stephanie starts her vlog by saying hello to all her followers.  But before she starts her next project, she updates them on her friend Emily’s disappearance.  The two met five days ago because Stephanie’s son Miles wanted to have a playdate with Emily’s son Nicky.  Emily has them all back at her house.  And while the boys play, the two mom’s have martinis and talk. Stephanie reveals she is an English Lit major and homemaking guru.  She was widowed when her husband and brother died in the same car accident.  Because her husband left a life insurance policy, she can afford to be a single stay-at-home mother until 2020.  She likes to keep busy and uses her vlog as an outlet to help other moms.  Emily is the Director of Public Relations for a fashion designer.  She pursued her husband Sean and got him to marry her in a few months.  Sean wrote a successful book but hasn’t written anything in 10 years.  Now he is a college professor.  While everything looks great on the outside, the couple is house poor and in financial debt.  After a few more playdates, the two are at ease with each other.  So at ease that Emily asks Stephanie to watch her kid while she takes care of work.  The first pick up goes without incident, but the next is different.   Emily doesn’t come back, doesn’t answer calls, and doesn’t answer text.  Worried, Stephanie calls Sean in London with his sick mother.  Sean flies home and agrees that the police need to be called.  That was 5 days ago.  With a phony plane ticket, a car rental, and $4 million, Stephanie wonders what happened to her friend Emily.  Let’s hope Stephanie has some faith.

Based on the novel A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell, this movie is more than a roller coaster ride (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  It is the entire theme park.  With out-of-this-world twists and turns, it’s hard to keep straight what is really going on.  And don’t take Stephanie’s innocent face for a sweet backstory.  She has plenty of skeletons in her closet that will make you cringe and want more.  These women together are one combustible mix that makes for a unique, fun, and intriguing movie.  This is the type of movie that makes you want to read the book.  See it now before someone ruins it for you.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

Like my mom always said, lies are like margarine. Easy to spread but bad for the heart – Stephanie

The best thing I can do for Nicky is blow my brains out – Emily

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere – Sean

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A Boy. A Girl. A Dream. – Review

A Boy. A Girl. A Dream. – Budget Unknown – 1 hour and 30 minutes

A Boy. A Girl. A Dream.
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Cass’s watching the state by state results for the 2016 election when Frida crosses his path.  He takes a moment to talk to her.  Frida stopped at a food truck after she couldn’t get into a club.  Cass – a club promoter – tells her he “doesn’t do lines”.  And if she rolls with him, she won’t have to stand in line.  She turns him down and continues to eat.  He walks away with his friend and a group of women.  After an affirming conversation with his son, Cass’s joined by Frida.  She changed her mind and decided to come.  Once in the club, the two accidentally kiss.  In shock, Frida runs to the bathroom.  Cass joins her and they start to make out.  But when Cass goes a step too far, she leaves the club.  He offers to get her a ride but she brushes him off.  Then he turns away only to hear a commotion.  Two men are harassing Frida and he fights them off.  Cops witnessing this assumes Cass’s the perpetrator and slams him against a wall.  Frida screams to the cops that they are attacking the wrong guy.  With the 2 men in the wind, the cops leave Frida is awestruck and Cass bloody.  Having a guy fight for her instead of fighting her strikes a nerve in Frida.  The two will spend the rest of the night talking about their hopes and dreams while the world changes.

Amazingly this movie was shot all in one take.  It’s hardly noticeable until the camera has to readjust on the fly or the actors’ head is cut off.  But having a play on a street with multiple building, traffic patterns, and actors is a difficult orchestra of planning.  Because this is all in one take, you don’t delve too deep into what lead each character to their current positions in life.  Just that each was following a dream and now they are stuck.  But with the night’s conversation, their dream deferred will be their mission in life.  There are moments when your mind will drift as the two are quiet for long periods of time, so be prepared for that.  Also, while Cass’s dream is spoken, you won’t get to see it. Only imagine it.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

Nobody ever gets what they really want – Frida

I’m just doing my job – Cass

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#AlexAndMe, #TheWrongFriend, and more – Movie Review

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Alex & Me – Review

Alex & Me – Nickelodeon – 1 hour and 30 minutes

Alex & Me

Reagan just moved to a new town and wants to join the championship girl soccer team.  When the coach is watching, she gives a less than stellar performance.   Reagan tries to reason with the coach by mentioning that she is in the same position as her favorite player, Alex Morgan, was in at her age.  The coach sees this as a “dog and pony” show that all newcomers try to use.  He dismisses Reagan and she leaves her with crushed dreams.  She goes home and rips all the posters and memorabilia off her walls.  As she tries to take down her Alex Morgan poster, she slips and bumps her head.  She is awakened by Alex.  Reagan believes she has lost her mind due to the fall and calls her mother.  Alex tells Reagan is very real and here to help her.  Of course, no one else can see Alex.  But Alex gives Reagan the confidence to try out for another team, train harder, and try new techniques.  With a guiding force by her side, Reagan will be unstoppable.

For the kids and soccer fans alike, this is a fun and wholesome movie about true perseverance and strength.  When everyone is doubting Reagan, she uses her “guardian angel” to be her guiding force.  While her inspiration is magic, her skill development is not.  She trains harder, more often, and increase her skill set every day.  She even keeps track with a goal chart, which inspires her brother, Logan.   An interesting dynamic is the family relationship.  Her parents are so focused on Logan’s scholarship, that they ignore Reagan.  It’s an overheard conversation with Amy that makes them see that Reagan and Logan need their attention.  This is a good movie for the whole family.

For Kids: I give it 4 out of 5 stars

Everyone else: I give it 3 out of 5 stars

Are you really doing all this stuff – Logan

Sometimes I wish my dad would pay more attention to me – Reagan

Do I know you – Alex

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The Wrong Friend – Review

The Wrong Friend – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

The Wrong Friend

Riley confronts her boyfriend Matt with evidence of cheating.  When he doesn’t take responsibility, she shows him the door and goes back to the pool party.  Again she meets Chris.  New-to-town Chris asked Riley and her best friend Kim to put the word out about his pool party.  He gives Riley a drink and it’s not long before Kim notices she is drunk.  Kim tries to convince Riley to leave but she wants to stay with Chris.  The next morning Riley wakes up in bed with no memory of what happened.  She goes to school to find a furious Matt.  Someone sent him pictures of she and Chris together.  Riley can’t believe it and goes to Chris for answers.  Chris laughs at her threats and goes on the warpath.  Riley doesn’t know that Chris is a man on a revenge mission and she is just a pawn in his game.

Riley doesn’t take long to realize who is harassing her and she doesn’t point blame at anyone else.  But this movie isn’t a cautionary tale about date rape but more about slut shaming.  When they delve into Chris’s past they see he left a trail of bullying behind him that lead to a girls death.  Chris isn’t just insane, he is also manipulative and charming.  It doesn’t take time for that charm to melt away because he has the wildest crazy eyes ever on Lifetime.  As he takes a scene from A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, he turns up the nutty with an evil villain laugh (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  So if you enjoy your evil villains with a smile, this is the movie for you.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

Could you lower your voice just a tad, please? People are staring. You don’t want to make a spectacle out of yourself – Chris

It’s a promise – Matt

Its messed up he can do this to us – Kim

I hope I never see him again – Riley

I thought I told you to run – Jaclyn

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The Bad Seed – Review

The Bad Seed – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

The Bad Seed

Emma confidently waits to hear her name called for the Citizens award.  She has been working hard all year to earn that medallion.  It would look great next to all her other awards.  Until Milo’s name is called.  She is floored to hear he beat her but she keeps a calm, cool, and collected look on her face.  She believes his medallion is hers and she gets it back.  And Milo is found dead in a river at the bottom of a cliff.  Emma can’t understand why people are so sad about Milo dying because everyone dies.  Emma is happy to have her medallion but now she has to deal with a new babysitter Chloe.  Emma knows Chloe is sneaking pills and Chloe knows Emma is a killer.  Even though Chloe keeps her secret, she constantly taunts Emma about her teacher Ms. Ellis, her dad Mr. Grossman, jail, a little pink electric chair.  Emma must gain control of everyone around her before she loses the love of her dad.

A remake of 1965’s classic The Bad Seed, which was based upon the book by William March, this movie lives up to the hype (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  While it does modernize itself, gone are the sweet angelic face of a little girl.  Instead, you get a devilish grin that practices being kind and sweet in the mirror.   You will be taken back each time this girl switches from kind to manipulative to pure evil.   As her father slowly sees signs of his daughter’s dark nature, he is left with a heartbreaking decision that separates this movie from the original.  And fans of the classic movie, keep your eyes open for Patty McCormack: the original Bad Seed.  She and Emma share a joke only they will understand.  Watch this movie with the lights on and know where your kids are.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

Emma is very focused. She’s a normal girl but she can be very focused – Mr. Grossman

We should go back now – Milo

You little bitch – Chloe

Bring me a couple of cookies while you’re at it – Emma

Emma I’m gonna tell you a secret, I did the exact same things as you when I was your age – Dr. March

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Wedding of Dreams – Review

Wedding of Dreams – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Wedding of Dreams

Debbie Taylor is a former teen sensation turned music teacher.  She released a new song a year ago but fans want more.  Her manager Ray is trying his best to get her to do more music but he wants her to start with a remote interview first.  During the interview, Debbie’s student’s interrupted her with questions.  While answering them, she accidentally accepts a guest appearance on a TV show.  She starts to worry because her boyfriend Noah just proposed.  Even though they wanted the wedding in July, it had to be moved to June so they can get the room they wanted for the reception.   So in one week, Debbie has a guest appearance, a TV guest appearance, and a wedding.  Noah offers to help with all the planning but have both took on too much? And how will obligations affect their future?

Adding another movie to the “Of Dreams” series, the characters grow and have a real conflict.  While both are making a sacrifice, they have reservations.  This couples biggest issue is communication.  They are trying so hard to keep the peace, they don’t talk.  This leads to an embarrassing moment on live TV.  It’s not the best movie Hallmark has produced, it does feature original songs by Debbie Gibson and a funny Tiffany joke.  DVR and watch on a rainy day.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

I’ll take that as a compliment – Debbie

I’m not sure what those are but I am sure they won’t travel – Noah

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#Casino – Review – #ThrowbackThursday

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Casino – Budget of $40 – 50 million – 2 hours and 58 minutes

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Casino
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Ace has always been affiliated with the mob, but since he isn’t Italian he can never be a “made guy”.  However, he has always been a good earner and he has cemented a spot in the mob.   So when he decides to change from low-level bookie to casino boss, he heads to LasVegas.  LasVegas is known as “a morality car wash”.  All your sins are washed away.  Ace hopes to stay off the radar, pay back his mob loan, and go legit with a casino.  After some time there, his old pal Nicky joins him.  Nicky is a made guy and trusted by the mob, but Ace knows he is a hot head who could ruin his plans.  So Ace pleads with Nicky to keep his cool and do things right.  While watching over the casino, Ace meets Ginger.  He is impressed with her ability to manipulate anyone.  However, he learns there is one person she can’t overcome, her boyfriend/pimp.  He promises Ginger a better life if she has a baby and marries him.  With a Ginger and Nicky by his side, Ace will learn that what a person says and what they do rarely fall in line, especially with people you think you can trust.

Based on Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas by Nicholas Pileggi, this movie isn’t a warning about mob life but more about trusting your inner circle (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  Ace spends so much time looking around for perceived threats, he doesn’t notice the people around him will cause him the most harm.  This movie is great not only because of it’s impeccable storyline but its changes on point of view.  Ace, Nicky, or Ginger can be telling the story which legitimizes what you see.  Be warned this movie pulls no punches with the gritty details of violence and murder.  In addition, there is no real good guy in the story.  And without good guys, there are no victims.  Just survivors.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

It’s in the desert where a lot of the town’s problems are solved – Ace

Don’t look at me, pal. I gotta live with her – Nicky

If it doesn’t work out, what happens to me – Ginger

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#KINmovie and #AXLMovie – Movie Reviews

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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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#LethalSoccerMom, #TheArcher, and more – TV Movies

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Lethal Soccer Mom – Review

Lethal Soccer Mom – LMN – 2 hours and 1 minute

Lethal Soccer Mom

Cameron is not happy about moving to a new neighborhood and school but her mother Kate thinks its the best decision for her soccer future.  By joining the 4-time state champions – The Wildcats – Cameron will be seen by more college recruits.  And Kate believes Cameron has what it takes to join the professional soccer stage.  Coach Rhonda agrees with Kate.  However, she doesn’t see Cameron as an asset for her team, Rhonda sees her has a hindrance to her daughter Hailey’s future.  Rhonda has done everything to improve her daughter’s skills, get her notice, and make her a first string soccer player.  So, when Cameron comes to the Wildcats with the hopes of being a starter, Rhonda will lie, cheat, seduce, and attack to end Cameron’s dream and make Hailey a star.

This movie slowly turns up the crazy between each commercial break.  But Kate and Cameron make so many mistakes it’s easy for Rhonda to manipulate them.  It’s not without saying that Kate doesn’t have some tricks up her sleeve.  But she is no match for Rhonda.  With all that, there are two sad facts.   First, Kate and Rhonda are two sides of the same ‘soccer mom’ coin.  Second, Hailey hates soccer.  If she loved it and Rhonda was doing all this, it would be understandable.  But since she hates it, it makes Rhonda look more like a stage mom than a soccer mom.  This is a good one to watch for the bad guy’s manipulation skills.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

I know who you are, obviously – Hailey

I wasn’t worried – Cameron

Just a little friendly advice, you may want to consider laying off the late night snacking – Rhonda

My daughter is a better soccer player than yours and you know it – Kate

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The Archer – Review

The Archer – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

The Archer

Confused, Lauren sits and waits for her day in court while her mother signs papers.  Since Lauren defended her friend against an abusive boyfriend, she is a good student, and she has never been in trouble, she is assured that she will walk or get a slap on the wrist.  However, the judge thinks she has a volatile temper and needs to spend an undetermined amount of time in a youth correctional facility.  Lauren is completely taken aback to the judge’s remarks and sentence as the bailiff take her away.  Her first day there, she meets a runner Rebecca, the warden Bob, and the warden’s son Michael.   Rebecca thinks Lauren is hiding things but sees she is strong.  Bob takes an interest in Lauren because she is an archer like him.  He believes he can help her develop her skills while she is locked away.  Michael works at the detention center and Lauren notices he has an unhealthy interest in the girls and loves power.  Lauren tries to make the best of it until she learns most of the girls are there for minor infractions and sees multiple cases of abuse.  But when she learns why the girls are really there, Lauren and Rebecca will go on the run and risk their lives to help others.

Inspired by true events in Pennsylvania, this movie will make you question prisons for profit especially in the cases of children.  Lauren is the archetype for a strong female lead.  She uses her wits to think herself out to situations and adapts with little hesitation.  Another strong aspect of this movie is Lauren’s ability to not become bitter about the past.  She was betrayed by a friend whom she was attracted too, she doesn’t let that stop her from protecting or connecting to others.  She is like an arrow.  She shoots straight even though her start wobbles.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

If that’s what it’s like then I don’t want one – Lauren

You know, when you insult him its like you’re insulting me too – Emily

Do it again – Mike

You’ll need my help, Lauren – Bob

You won’t believe what I found – Rebecca

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Garage Sale Mysteries: Murder in D Minor – Review

Garage Sale Mysteries: Murder in D Minor – HMM – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Garage Sale Mysteries: Murder in D Minor

As Mr. Dietz is dying he decides to get his affairs in order by auctioning off his art collection for charity.  Two paintings have caught the eye of Helen.  She believes they were stolen during the raid of her home in Nazi Germany.  Jen and Dani go there for support but find an interesting piano has been added to the list.  The two women want it for their store.  After winning their items, Jen and Dani are approached by Jacque.  He wants the piano for a client and is willing to pay whatever they want.  But Jen refuses to sell and gives the piano to her friend Dean to inspect.  When Dean is attacked and the piano is vandalized, Jen wants answers.  Those answers will lead to a pre-meditated murder.  Jen has to find a killer, Dean’s attacker, and the dark secrets the piano hides.

If you are going to make a movie centered around the Holocaust, say the word Holocaust.  It’s not a dirty word, it’s history.  With that being said, this movie offers a great mystery along with a spooky nature.  With Jacque lurking around every corner and a killer on the loose, Jen must always look over her shoulder.  This is a decent addition to the series but it’s not the best.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

I put them in two piles: Pay now and Pay later – Dani

Oh no, I’m done with high school – Jen

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Her Worst Nightmare – Review

Her Worst Nightmare – Lifetime – 2 hours and 3 minutes

Her Worst Nightmare

Dakota sits in her Advance Psychology of Trauma class with one huge secret.  She is an expert on the subject since she was kidnapped and raped for an extended period of time with two other girls.  She is focused on living a “normal” life by doing all the things she dreamt of doing while in captivity.  She can write amazing papers but she is failing exams.  She asks her teacher Dr. Campbell for help but gets a bad vibe.  The new TA Max seems nice and offers help.  While Addie started on her bad side, she is quickly becoming an ally.  So, when items from her horrible past come back to the present, Dakota starts to panic.  She knows she is being followed and toyed with but she is not sure by who.   Could it be the man who kidnapped her, someone he knows, or a new person in her life?  Just when she thought the worst was over, her nightmare comes back for her.

Creepy times creepy.  With an opening reminiscent of the Cleveland kidnapping, you know this type of trauma is real and sickening.  As Dakota bravely sits in class and speaks up about “imagined fear” being a way of life for half the population, you get a pit in your stomach.  Most, thankfully, will never know Dakota’s trauma but her fear is understood.  As her past comes back with toys, locked doors, and videotape, you hope this evil person will be found and Dakota will get the ultimate revenge.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

I just wanna be friends. Everybody needs friends – Addie

I’ll study harder. Thanks, Dr. Campbell – Dakota

I figured I owed you that – Cynthia

She needs help – Max

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Season for Love – Review

Season for Love – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Season for Love

Tyler is back in her hometown of Red Rock, Texas, home of the best BBQ in Texas.  Her daughter Rosie is excited to come and see her grandmother Jo again.  Tyler falls right into step at her mom’s BBQ restaurant but notices the lunch shift is slow.  An influx of new BBQ eateries have taken businesses away and times are getting hard for Jo.  Tyler wants to help her mother but she reveals that she recently lost her job.  She is worried about entering into the annual BBQ contest but Rosie and Jo encourage her to try.  She decides to do it for the $25,000 prize.  The money will allow Jo to make updates to the restaurant and save her business.  Corey has written 3 successful books, has a line of cookware, and restaurants but he misses home.  So when his friend Jay asks him to be apart of the BBQ contest, he gladly accepts, without telling his manager Sophia.  Sophia has lined up a chance at a TV show, but he wants to go home.  She tells him to spend a few days there but he must come back to New York as soon as possible.  When Tyler and Corey see each other the old sparks fly.  This second chance at love will need to survive a contest, a job offer, and a chance at fame.

While it does follow the Hallmark pattern, it’s still pretty funny.  The movie offers a great score and amazing food tips.  Try not to get hungry while watching it.  While, it’s nice to see both make a sacrifice for love, love is not the only reason.  Tyler does it for her daughter and Corey does it for his sanity.  This movie is a prime example of how Hallmark can keep up the pattern but still make it fresh and fun to watch.  Get comfortable and have some BBQ nearby.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

I know the feeling. I made 2 friends the exact same way – George

You know, for a vegetarian, she sure eats a lot of ribs – Corey

What do I know? I’m just your mother – Jo

You were right.  For picking my sauce – Tyler

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The #HappytimeMurders – Movie Review

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The Happytime Murders – Budget of $40 to 47 million – 1 hour and 31 minutes

The Happytime Murders
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P.I. Phil is a disgraced cop who feels he let Puppet-kind down. He was the first puppet to join the LA police force. He hoped it would open the door for other puppets like him. But after a bad shooting leaves an innocent man and his partner shot, the expert marksman was labeled prejudice for not being able to shoot a puppet criminal. After his partner, Connie testified against him, Phil drinks to cope and his only friends are his secretary Bubbles and his brother Larry.  Sandra Jakoby walks into Phil’s office to investigate a threatening letter.  Phil recognizes one of the note’s magazine cutout letters as a porn magazine.  When he goes to a porn shop to double check his knowledge, the movies playing in the background drowns out the sound of several puppets being murdered by a lone gunman.  Connie is the first on the scene to investigate.  Phil and Connie are at each others’ throats.  But when Larry is murdered by several dogs ripping him apart, Phil knows the killer is going for puppets on the Happytime Gang TV show.  It was the first TV show with a predominantly puppet cast that included Larry.  They must find the murderer before every cast member is dead.

First things first.  THIS MOVIE IS NOT FOR KIDS.  THIS MOVIE IS NOT FOR KIDS.  This raunchy and dark tale of puppet life off camera is a good laugh for those who enjoy this type of humor.  So if you were not a fan of Sausage Party, it would be best for you to skip this movie.  It discusses prejudice, porn, and an 8-arm reach around in a way you have never seen before.  Also, Melissa McCarthy is in her element with these puppets.  You get a true sense that these puppets are alive and having real-world problems.  As the Happytime Gang is killed off one by one, you try to solve the crime along with Phil and Connie.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

You don’t have to sing and dance for the man anymore – Phil

Clean up on aisle Phil – Sandra

One day your gonna slip up Frank. And I’m gonna be there.  I’m gonna take you down with extreme prejudice – Connie