Rebecca Ferguson

#MissionImpossible, #MammaMia2, and more – Movie Reviews

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Table of Reviews

Mission Impossible: Fallout – Review

Mission Impossible: Fallout – Budget of $178 million – 2 hours and 47 minutes

Mission Impossible: Fallout
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Ethan has a choice, complete the mission or save his friend.  He chooses Luther and loses the plutonium.  Now, the Apostles are going to use the plutonium to make three nuclear weapons.  Ethan feels horrible for losing the plutonium but he knows he did it for the right reason.  Alan sees the good in Ethan and decides to give him another chance.  A broker called the White Widow wants to trade the plutonium with a man name John Lark.  They plan to get Lark, scan his face, and become him to intercept the trade.  But Erica has other plans.  She doesn’t see the need for IMF and wants one of her people to go.  Alan is furious at the news but Erica clearly states, if her guy Walker doesn’t go, then no one goes.  Now, Ethan and his team, while being watched by Walker, have to get the plutonium before it can be weaponized.  But, of course, it won’t be that easy. This is his mission and he chose to accept it.

This movie is pure adrenaline from beginning to end.  Just when you think you have an idea of what is going on, something is flipped.  This movie is a complete fit for the Mission Impossible series (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  Each choreographed fight scene is done with such precision, you feel each punch and kick.  It’s astonishing to see the team stick together even as Erica is doubting Ethan’s loyalty.  As Ethan hangs off a cliff, as Luther explains Ethan’s team devotion, or as Ilsa go toe to toe with the face of evil, you will hang on every second not knowing which way is up or down.  This is the thrill ride only Mission Impossible can pull off.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

IMF is just Halloween. A bunch of grown men in masks playing trick or treat – Erica

Sorry, Luther – Ethan

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Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again – Review

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again – Budget of $75 million – 1 hour and 54 minutes

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
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Sophie has finally finished her mother’s biggest project: to redo and update the hotel.  She decides to name it Hotel Bella Donna.  And she invites everyone to the grand re-opening.  While she is happy that her mom’s best friends, Rosie and Tanya, can come.  She is disappointed that only one of her three dads can come.  Also, her relationship is in a tough place.  Sky has been offered a job at a New York hotel and he wants Sophie to come.  Sophie believes her place is in Greece and she doesn’t want to leave it or the hotel.  Just when Sophie doesn’t think things can get harder, a storm rolls through that stops boats and planes from traveling and leaves a huge mess of her new hotel.  And what keeps her strong is memories of her mother and how she came to Greece.  This is the untold story that will unfold in front of your eyes.

While it’s pretty obvious the path for Sophie’s storyline, it’s Donna’s storyline that is the most interesting.  Seeing Donna’s first encounter with Harry in France the day before she went to Greece.   And how she met Bill because she missed the ferry to Greece.   And the chance meeting she had on a rainy road with Sam to help a horse.  Even though, each time Donna met them she said she wasn’t “that kind of girl”, she left in her inhibitions behind her and made some memories.  This movie has the songs, choreography, and laughs you know from the prequel (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). But it doesn’t spark a moment with you.  If you are a fan of first, see the second matinee.  Otherwise, wait for Redbox.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

Be still my beating vagina – Tanya

He has a boat – Rosie

I disappointed her – Sam

That’s a strange name – Ruby

Focus greatest motivator is the last minute – Sophie

It’s not a punishment – Donna

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Blindspotting – Review

Blindspotting – Budget Unknown – 1 hour and 35 minutes

Blindspotting
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Collin has 3 days left on his year-long parole after serving time in jail and he is doing everything possible to stay out of trouble.  He works as a mover with his best friend Miles in their hometown of Oakland, California.  He keeps is 11 pm curfew at a halfway house.  In addition to staying out of any kind of trouble.  As he is driving home one night after work, he sees a man running.  Moments later, that man is shot 4 times by an officer right in front of Collin.  Collin goes home but can’t shake a sick feeling as the news reports come out.  The next 2 days will leave test him in love, friendship, culture, and perception.

This movie proves that everyone has a blind spot.  Miles and Collin see the world around them changing.  With gentrification, Miles and Collin don’t know where they belong.  However, the biggest question is about their friendship.  Miles believe Collin’s parole is changing him into a water down version of himself.  Collin believes that Miles is so busy being a tough guy that he isn’t growing up.  And Val, Collins’s ex, believe Miles will be Collin’s downfall.  This movie gives a spectacular narrative to a white guy growing up in a predominately black neighborhood and a black male growing up trying to not be a stereotype in a black neighborhood.  With each of them growing up together, they still have a blind spot for each other’s pain and pressure.  And during one scene, you will hold your breath and silently hope everything doesn’t fall apart.  See this movie today.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

They have really great produce – Collin

He already biracial, why does he need to be bilingual – Miles

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Eighth Grade – Review

Eighth Grade – Budget Unknown – 1 hour and 34 minutes

Eighth Grade
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With one week left in the 8th-grade, Kayla is still a social media introvert.   She posts vlogs giving advice, like pics on Instagram, and put on makeup to be “flawless, I woke up like this” on Snapchat.  But when she goes out in the world, she can’t talk to people, keeps her head down, and was voted quietest in the class.  Later, she is handed her 6th grade Time Capsule and becomes disappointed.  She realizes that in 2 short years, she has not lived up to any of her hopes and dreams.  So in 7 days, Kayla hopes to turn things around by going to a party, making friends, and trying new things.  She just wants to put herself out there.  And with this choice, she will find her true self and prepare for high school.

With an honest looking at 8th-grade life today, Kayla tells the tale of being a tween in today’s generation.  She doesn’t feel like a child however she is just becoming a teenager.  She has become a slave to her screens and doesn’t know how to interact with the real world around her.  She sees others around her with friends but she never notices that they are always looking at their phones. Each time you see this sincere portrayal, it becomes even sadder.  With every way kids have to connect to the world, Eight Grade shows us that they still don’t know how to communicate.  Watch this movie with your tween and start a conversation today.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

Do I make you sad – Kayla

Eighth grade is the worst. I was a mess then – Olivia

You don’t think I’m funny – Mark

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#MollysGame, #GreatestShowman, and more – Review Repost – In Stores Now

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Molly’s Game – Review

Molly’s Game – Budget of $30 million – 2 hours and 20 minutes

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Molly's Game
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Molly Bloom survived a 63-degree curve in her spine to become an Olympic hopeful.  And with a frozen branch, her path to life took a dangerous, illegal, and drug-addicted turn.  She started working as a cocktail waitress at a nightclub at night and a director’s secretary in the day.  With a high LSAT score, the best college education, and a head for numbers, Molly knew her boss’s company was failing.  However, he was still making money.  Molly didn’t know how until he told her to contact a list of numbers for an underground poker game he ran.  As Molly collected the buy-in, took tips, and cashed out the players, she studied every term, play, and every player to become the “Princess of Poker”.  But no princess could ever do what she did.

Based on the novel Molly’s Game by Molly Bloom, this movie goes at a pace as fast as a poker game (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  Molly explains how she got in the business, why she got in the business, and who she is outside the tabloid headlines.  She remained clean and even paid taxes, but the last 2 years were a downward spiral with drugs, attacks, and illegal rake taking.  She doesn’t lie about who she is or what she did.  However, she protects the players who have not been exposed.  Even with a million dollars on the table and no money to her name, she refuses to give up her players.   She is a stand-up woman in a man’s game.  This is a movie to watch twice and see if you can keep up.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

The United States of America versus Molly Bloom. I like to bet on the heavy favorite – Molly

You choose now to read The Crucible – Charlie

I like to destroy people’s lives – Player X (Michael Cera)

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The Greatest Showman – Review

The Greatest Showman – Budget of $84 million – 1 hour and 45 minutes

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The Greatest Showman
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Phineas Barnum was a tailor’s son.  Although his father made and fix clothes for the rich, Phineas still had holes in his shoes.  During a job, he meets Charity and made her laugh causing her to spit out her tea.  Phineas was slapped and Charity was sent to finishing school.  Although the two were separated and living vastly different lives, they continued to write each other letters.  When she comes back, he is waiting to present her with a ring.  Several jobs and 2 kids later, Phineas has lost his job and believes he has failed his family. Although Charity tells him she is happy, he wants to give them the life he believes they deserve. So with fake paperwork, he secures a loan from the bank to create a Museum of Oddities. He has no takers until his girls given him an idea. They tell their father he has too many dead things in his museum. If he wants people to come, he has to have things that are alive and spectacular. P. T. Barnum collects the oddest humans he can find to create the Greatest Show on Earth. With his success will P.T. ever be taken seriously or just another act in his “freak show”?

From the opening number to the final song, you will feel chills with each performance. Admiring one person on the screen cheats yourself of all the stunning performances on the screen. Like P.T.’s Circus, there are 5 different things happening on the screen at one time. If you do not see this movie in the theater, you can not understand the true beauty and awe of each performance. The songs will ring in your head and become a soundtrack to get you out of hard times in your life. You will feel a connection to each oddity on the screen. As stated in the film, P.T.’s ability to put people of different sizes, backgrounds, races, creeds, religions, and stations in life together on stage was a celebration of humanity.  Not a freak show.  Come and enjoy this movie/musical of inclusion and acceptance with the whole family.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

I wish for happiness like this forever – Charity

What happened to thriving off of controversy – Ann

I have to go – P.T.

You’re here – Phillip

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All the Money in the World – Review

All the Money in the World – Budget of $50 million – 2 hours and 13 minutes

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All the Money in the World
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In Rome 1973, Paul “Paolo” Getty walked up to some prostitutes to find a good time.  After being rejected for his age, he is kidnapped and held for $17 million dollars.  Now to some, this is a large sum of money but Paul is the grandson of John Paul Getty.  John is the richest man in the history of the world.  He discovered a way to get oil out of Saudia Arabia and created a shipping company to get the oil to the US.  He is a billionaire a few times over.  He can make the ransom in interest alone.  But when asked by the press, John believes the price to pay is nothing.  He has 14 grandchildren and believes paying the ransom will put them all at risk.  However, behind the scenes, John has hired Fletcher Chase; his #1 deal maker.  Fletcher has to strike a deal with the kidnappers and handle his toughest obstacle: Gail Getty, Paul’s mother.  John has refused her request to see or speak to him about helping her son.  She has been broke since she divorced her husband (John’s son) and got full custody of the kids due to her husband’s drug addiction.  This mother will stop at nothing to help her son, even go after an empire publicly.

Based on the novel Painfully Rich by John Pearson, you will leave being disgusted and saddened by John Getty (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  It’s understandable to see his concern about how ransom payment will make his family victims.  But how much money is enough for one person?  And when is the money controlling you?  John valued things not people and could hold grudges for years.  Gail was the polar opposite of John.  She valued her family and was determined to go to every extreme to get her son back.  While the world believes she was rich, she only got the Getty name, not the money.  She will take the empire to task and you will cheer for her each time she stands up to John.  The biggest turn around in the entire movie is Fletcher.  He will go from one of John’s henchmen to Gail’s biggest supporter.  This is one to see and experience.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

If you can count your money, then you’re not a billionaire – John Getty

We’re not poor, we’re broke. There’s a difference – Gail

There you go, using that word again ‘joke’ – Fletcher

You should give me a discount on account of my age – Paul

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#PitchPerfect3, #GreatestShowman, and more – Movie Review

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Table of Reviews

Pitch Perfect 3 – Review

Pitch Perfect 3 – Budget of $45 million – 1 hour and 33 minutes

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Pitch Perfect 3
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The Bellas are in the real world and they hate it.  After seeing the new Bellas, they wish the could sing again.  Aubrey’s father gets them into the USO performance.  If they win, they will be the opening act for DJ Khaled.  The women are excited to show what they can do until they see the other groups.  The bands have instruments along with great vocals and the girls don’t know how they can compete.  They decided to do what they do best.  If they can’t win, they can at least perform one last time together.  While the girls are getting applause, Fat Amy’s past will lead the girls to one final explosive performance.

This story is one of the most far-fetched in the saga but it stays true to its roots with a riff-off, bonding, and a competition.  DJ Khaled does what he does best: be himself.  It’s great to see the movie make fun of itself and its actors.  It could’ve become too serious in the but it doesn’t and sticks to its formula of laughs.  Now be prepared, most of the scenes in the trailer are short flashback points in the film.  So if you are coming to see that one part, you will be disappointed.  If you are coming to see a great conclusion of the Bellas, then you are in luck.  Each Bella is given an exclamation point in their lives and the fans have a satisfying end.  Definitely, see this one matinee.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

We’re going to cling to you like mom jeans to a camel toe – Amy

I made your song great – Becca

Always give 100% except for blood and divorce – Aubrey

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The Greatest Showman – Review

The Greatest Showman – Budget of $84 million – 1 hour and 45 minutes

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The Greatest Showman
Click on a vendor to purchase: Amazon, Best Buy (Exclusive Set), iTunes, Target (Exclusive Set), Vudu, and Walmart (Exclusive Set) (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer)

Phineas Barnum was a tailor’s son.  Although his father made and fix clothes for the rich, Phineas still had holes in his shoes.  During a job, he meets Charity and made her laugh causing her to spit out her tea.  Phineas was slapped and Charity was sent to finishing school.  Although the two were separated and living vastly different lives, they continued to write each other letters.  When she comes back, he is waiting to present her with a ring.  Several jobs and 2 kids later, Phineas has lost his job and believes he has failed his family. Although Charity tells him she is happy, he wants to give them the life he believes they deserve. So with fake paperwork, he secures a loan from the bank to create a Museum of Oddities. He has no takers until his girls given him an idea. They tell their father he has too many dead things in his museum. If he wants people to come, he has to have things that are alive and spectacular. P. T. Barnum collects the oddest humans he can find to create the Greatest Show on Earth. With his success will P.T. ever be taken seriously or just another act in his “freak show”?

From the opening number to the final song, you will feel chills with each performance. Admiring one person on the screen cheats yourself of all the stunning performances on the screen. Like P.T.’s Circus, there are 5 different things happening on the screen at one time. If you do not see this movie in the theater, you can not understand the true beauty and awe of each performance. The songs will ring in your head and become a soundtrack to get you out of hard times in your life. You will feel a connection to each oddity on the screen. As stated in the film, P.T.’s ability to put people of different sizes, backgrounds, races, creeds, religions, and stations in life together on stage was a celebration of humanity.  Not a freak show.  Come and enjoy this movie/musical of inclusion and acceptance with the whole family.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

I wish for happiness like this forever – Charity

What happened to thriving off of controversy – Ann

I have to go – P.T.

You’re here – Phillip

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Father Figures – Review

Father Figures – Budget of $25 million – 1 hour and 53 minutes

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Father Figures
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Kyle is back from Hawaii to attend his mother Helen’s wedding.  He is begrudgingly greeted by his fraternal twin brother Peter.  Peter is a divorce, father of 1, and doctor. While they are happy for their mother, they wish their father was with them. Then while Peter is watching Law & Order: SVU, he notices an actor bears a resemblance and birthmark like their father. Peter believes his father is the actor and still alive. When Peter talks to Helen and Kyle about his findings, Helen comes clean. The picture was a lie and their father is alive. She tells them their father is Terry Bradshaw but he wasn’t the nicest man to her, so they shouldn’t look for him. After a conversation outside, Kyle is convinced that the Universe is telling them to find their father. They embark on a road trip that will leave them to pick up breadcrumbs of their mother’s past. This road trip will include a train crash, incest, a robbery, and 2 shootings.

As dumb as this comedy may looks (and it is slightly dumb), it packs a lot of heart and endearing moments. These two men set up to go on a journey to find their father and, instead, find their brotherly bond and connection with their mother. While one question is left unanswered, you don’t feel cheated in the overall story. It takes you on a journey with several different men with different reactions to being a father. Some over the top, some angry, and some indifferent. But all three are truly honest reactions. This is a fun movie to see if you want a good laugh with heart.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

Well, good news. I found your keys – Peter

I bet you never delivered to the parking lot – Kyle

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Downsizing – Review

Downsizing – Budget of $68 million – 2 hours and 15 minutes

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Downsizing
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Dr. Jacobsen believes that overpopulation is mankind’s biggest irreversible problem plaguing our country.  After years of experiments, he has created downsizing.  The procedure will shrink a person down to 5 inches with no risk to their health.  For the past 5 years, dozens of downsized people have lived, created communities, and started families while accumulating enough trash to fill up 1/4 of a large trash bag.  The good doctor believes this will slow down the damage being done to the earth. For 10 years, Paul has considered it but didn’t think he was ready.  After his mother dies and they can’t afford a house, he and his wife Audrey check it out.  They learn that they can live a life of wealth and privilege and never have to work again.  Paul gets downsized but wakes up to learn that Audrey has changed her mind.  This leads to divorce and depression for Paul.  Paul is now on a quest to find a new path and reason for living.

It’s just too long.  While this movie could easily become a comedy, it uses its premise to tackle real issues with downsizing.  It mentions issues about the economy, terrorism, forced downsizing, and voting rights of the downsized.  It is truly something to contemplate.  Even the inventor of downsizing, Dr.Jacobsen, feels a need to apologize for the abuse of this technology.  You even get to see all the steps of the downsizing process including shaving, irrigation, and dental work.  While downsizing looks like a dream, its downside is thoroughly expressed.  Even too thoroughly.  As good as this movie is with the setup and the ending, it’s just too long and loses the audience to pure boredom.  Wait for RedBox.

I give it 2 out of 5 stars

It’s not like we’re dying. We’re relocating – Aubrey

I’m sorry – Paul

What kind did you give me – Ngoc Lan Tran

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The Post – Review

The Post – Budget of $50 million – 1 hour and 56 minutes

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The Post
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The Washington Post is on the verge of going public in order to save itself from financial collapse.  Kay lost her husband to suicide and became the owner of the newspaper.  Even though her father owned it, due to the times it was passed to her husband.  Now Kay is lost in a sea of men the respect her position but not her opinion.  When they are scooped by the New York times on the Vietnam Study, the editor Ben wants to write the news instead of reading it.   With the help of an informant and 4,000 pages, the Post will get the story they always wanted.  However, when the U.S. government sues the New York Times, the Post’s lawyer ask one question: Is our informant the same that informed the New York Times used.  Kay is put on alert.  If the Post gets sued, the shareholders can stop the presses and end the magazine.  So with everything on the line, Kay and Ben must check their morals and past relationships, the determine if they should go or stop the story.

Not since Spotlight has the news been upheld in high regard as standing up for the governed and not the governors.  To see the gender and political struggle between Kay and Ben were magnificent.  Ben’s only concern was to ensure the Post readers got quality news.  However, during his time with the Kennedys, he has to admit he was compromised by getting to close.   Kay also has the same understanding.  She has made friends with Attorney Generals, Presidents, and Judges with the unspoken agreement not to write bad things about them.  They know that printing the truth could cost them their jobs, her paper, and their freedom.  How many journalists are brave enough to do what they did today?

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

Katherine, keep your finger out of my eye – Ben

Well, what I’m impressed by is how everything here is the same – Dan

I’m going to bed – Kay

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#Geostorm, #OnlyTheBrave, and more – Movie Reviews

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Table of Reviews

Geostorm – Review

Geostorm – Budget of $81 million – 1 hour and 50 minutes

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Geostorm
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After several horrific weather events, scientists from 17 different countries got together to bring Jake’s design to fruition.  That design is called Little Dutchboy.  Little Dutchboy puts a net of satellites around the world.  If any major weather event is detected, countermeasures are taken to stop that event.   Although the world loves Jake for his design, the government is not happy.  He turned on Little Dutchboy without government approval.  Jake feels that government red tape would have taken too long and lives were hanging in the balance.  So he took the initiative and started the program.  But since Jake refuses to play ball, he is fired and replaced with his brother Max.  Sadly, Max has to deliver the news.  Three years later, Jake has lost his job, home, wife, money, and daughter.  So he is surprised to walk outside and see Max talking to his daughter Hannah.  Max informs Jake of a malfunction in Little Dutchboy.  Somehow, it froze a small desert village in Afghanistan and killed over 300 people.  Jake has been asked to go up to the International Space Station and fix the satellites.  Once at the space station, Jake learns this anomaly was not a malfunction but a hack.  Jake, Max, and Max’s girlfriend Sarah (a secret service agent) must work together to save the planet.  If they fail, the satellites will make several murderous storms that will merge together to create a Geostorm.

This is a compelling story of Machine vs God.  Now be forewarned, this movie talks about global warming but doesn’t say the words.  While the story is a reminder of Armageddon, it is fun to watch (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  The graphics are amazing as lightning strikes hit Florida, searing heat melts Russia, and tsunamis take out Dubai.   The storyline of machines controlling the weather and sabotage is compelling.
However, the “why” the hack is being done, is not new or special.  On the other hand, how the hack is done and how deep the sabotage goes is impressive.  Also, the subplot of Sarah and Max & Dina and Max is witty and smart.  So, see this movie in theaters at the matinee price. If you love graphics, watching things blow up, and an okay storyline, this is the movie for you.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

Are you seriously asking that question – Hannah

Just roll over – Max

I will not be the president to hand over damaged goods. Not now. Not ever – President Palmer

I observe. We are trained to notice disturbing details – Sarah

I got you – Jake

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Only The Brave – Review

Only The Brave – Budget of $38 million – 2 hours and 13 minutes

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Only The Brave
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Eric Marsh is the superintendent of the Prescott Fire Crew. They work on containing and stopping forest fires. While he loves his job, he hates the disrespect he receives from Hot Shots. Hot Shots are the top forest firefighters. They make the decision and the rules. And Marsh has seen their decisions cost people their homes and lives. He knows that he and his crew are the best and hopes they will be certified as Hot Shots. He has 17 great crew members but is looking for more. He gets 2 new men. He fills one spot with a Legacy and another with Brenden. Brenden is trying to trail a new path in his life since becoming a father. He has been sober for a few months and wants to provide a good living. Marsh’s men work hard and they get good news. The Wildland Division Chief, Duane Steinbrink, is going to fight to ensure that Prescott Fire Crew become the first municipal team to become a Hot Shot crew in the USA.

Based on Granite Mountain by Brendan McDonough, this ‘based on real events’ movie is a story of brotherhood, triumph, and pain (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). While you can’t get to know each person individually, you will see the real men at the end. It’s hard to see how much went wrong on the day of the Yarnell Hill Fire, but its great to see how one man honored so many. This movie has the same fight as The 33 but with a much different ending. You will leave with a heartfelt understanding of how firefighters view wildlands; not beautiful but as fuel. This should be seen on the big screen to appreciate the strength of the fire. It rolls through the forest like snow in an avalanche. It is awe strikingly disastrous. Be prepared to tear up dooming the end credits.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

Cause you’re smarter than I am when we squabble and it pisses me off – Marsh

Can you get that can – Jesse

We’re a real family – Mac

If you give me a chance, I won’t let you down – Brendan

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The Snowman – Review

The Snowman – Budget of $35 million – 1 hours and 59 minute(s)

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The Snowman
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Detective Harry Hole wakes up from a drunken stupor in a shed during the dead of winter. He staggers into the Oslo Police Department with the hopes of getting work. His boss tells Harry he is lucky to have a job. He won’t give Harry a case until he cleans himself up. Harry tells his boss that having a case would force him to clean up his act. But his boss walks away. Later, Harry receives a letter. The writer states he will build a snowman for the next victim and how that person will be murdered. At first, Harry sees it as a prank but when he sees Detective Katrine Bratt confidential files, Harry concludes this the work of a serial killer. Henry and Katherine must work together to find the snowman before he kills another victim. But Katrina’s past will have a lasting effect on the case and herself.

Based on The Snowman by Jo NesbØ, this is a very slow, disjointed story with an unnecessary subplot about a man in the 2018 Olympic Bid (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). You sit and hope someone will die just to get the story moving along. This thriller was better suited for the small screen. However, when you look closely, you will see this is book 7 of a series of 10 books. This was a horrible way to start a film series. Wait until this movie is on free TV.

I give it 1 out of 5 stars

You gonna lecture me about drinking – Oleg

I’ll take it – Harry

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#GiftedMovie, #LIFEmovie, and more – Movie Reviews

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Table of Reviews

Gifted – Review

Gifted – Budget Unknown – Time Unknown

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Gifted
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Six years ago, a brilliant mathematician and mother named Diana, went to her brother Frank for help with her newborn, Mary. Frank, a college assistant professor, was on a date and told his sister he could help tomorrow. The next day Diana committed suicide, leaving Frank to raise Mary. Frank gave up his job in Boston and moved to Florida. While being a freelance boat mechanic, Frank has been home-schooling Mary, but he believes she should go to school and be around children her own age. On Mary’s first day of school, her teacher Bonnie quickly realizes there is something special about the little girl. Bonnie believes she is gifted. Frank gives an easy answer to Mary’s abilities, but Bonnie alerts the principal. The principal urges Frank to put Mary in the Oaks Academy, but Frank says no and abruptly walks out. The principal takes matters into her own hands and calls Evelyn … Frank and Diana’s mother. Evelyn believes she should raise Mary with a proper education and the best of everything. Frank believes Mary should be around children her own age and socialize. Evelyn tries to reason with Frank, but when all else fails, she takes him to court. After a tough court battle, Frank and Evelyn compromise. However, this compromise will leave Mary in tears, Frank learning more about himself, and Evelyn learning more about Diana.

The writing in the movie is pure genius. The dialogue between actors flows with ease and grace. You quickly connect to Frank, Mary, and … in a way … Diana. You understand that everyone is doing what they believe is best for Mary, but it is easy to side with Frank’s point of view. Nonetheless, as Frank second-guesses his decisions, you start to second guess too. The screenwriter did an amazing job of making Mary sound like a smart girl with a child-like wonderment of the world. The one scene that stands out is Mary and Frank in silhouette, discussing God, in front of the sun. You are not focused on them, but their words. As Frank tries to navigate an adult conversation with Mary, she is jumping all over him like children do. It’s a strong and profound conversation. This movie is a must see and it will make you laugh, tear up, and drop your jaw. Full price is a steal.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

I look like a Disney character – Mary

This is going to be fun. You are going to meet kids you can borrow money from for the rest of your life – Frank

Fred’s not a killer. He’s a lover – Mary

You don’t bluff me. I don’t bluff you – Frank

You got on the bad side of a small minded person with authority – Evelyn

I got a book on the Fundamentals of Decision Making. You can borrow it – Roberta

This can’t … isn’t happening – Bonnie

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LIFE – Review

LIFE – Budget of $58 million – 1 hour and 43 minutes

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LIFE
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Six crew members (Hugh, Rory, Sho, David, Miranda, and Katerina) aboard the International Space Station are working to examine soil samples from Mars.  They discovered a dormant organism living within the soil and attempts to revive it by changing its atmospheric conditions.  Once they get the contained organisms atmosphere just right, it wakes up and reacts to stimuli.  After a contest, children name the organism Calvin.  Calvin is described as all muscle, all eye, and all brain.  Everything seems to be ok until there is an accident in the lab that leaves Calvin dormant again.  Hugh, a biologist, attempts to wake Calvin up with a mild electrical shock.   Calvin takes this as a threat and attacks Hugh, escapes from its enclosure, and engulfs a mouse.  Hugh believes that Mars’s atmosphere allowed it to be dormant for years, but they just brought it back.  The crew comes to a tough realization; Calvin can survive re-entry into earth’s atmosphere.  They must kill Calvin in order to survive and get back to earth.  However, Calvin knows he must kill the crew in order to survive.   With both species trying to survive, who will keep their LIFE?

Mix Gravity with Alien and just a dash of Planet of the Apes and you have LIFE.  This movie makes the best of nail-biting moments of tension and special effects.  The movie gives you 45 minutes to connect with each character, then picks them off one by one.  No spoilers on who will or won’t make it, but you will be able to figure it out before its revealed.  However, while it doesn’t do anything ground-breaking in suspense or space movies, it’s fun to watch.  You will close your eyes and peak during several tense moments.  Also, you will quietly hope some will survive because you know what is at stake for them back home.  But there could be a part 2.  See this movie at full price, but not 3D or IMAX.  And don’t stay past the end crawl.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

No more sorries – Rory

Awwww It’s beautiful – Hugh

I like it up here – Jake

You can do it. You can do it – Sho

All muscle, all eyes, all brain – Miranda

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Saban’s Power Rangers – Review

Saban’s Power Rangers – Budget of $105 million – 2 hours and 4 minutes

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Saban's Power Rangers
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Jason, a high school star athlete, made a bad choice.  The results of his choice: an injured knee, an ankle monitor, the town of Angel Grove is against him, and he has to attend a school for delinquents.  Kimberly and Billy are both attending this school and are shocked to see the town star in their class.  On his first day, Jason makes in impression on Billy by defending him against a bully.  Out of respect and admiration, Billy offers to rig Jason’s ankle monitor and allow him to move freely around the town.  Also, Kimberly catches Jason’s eye with a quick bathroom makeover.  Billy convinces Jason to come to an old gold mine to find something he believes is below.  It’s near that gold mine that Trini and Zack are trying to escape from their home lives.  But when Billy causes a huge explosion which triggers a rock slide, they all fall into a deep ravine.  They see 5 glowing stones and break the stones out of the rock.  After an “impactful” night, they wake up at home with no memory of getting back and stronger than ever.  They decided to go back to the gold mine together and look around for an explanation.  It’s there they find a spaceship, Zordon, and Alpha 5.  Zordon explains they are the Power Rangers, but since they have their powers, a great evil will come back in 11 days.  The great evil, Rita, was a good Green Power Ranger.  But she became consumed with power and turned evil.  Over the course of 11 days, she will regenerate, build her Putty army, summon Goldar (her giant minion), find the Zeo Crystal, and destroy the world.  They must train to work together, fight, and morph or the world will come to and end.  But as they train, they can’t morph.  It’s something inside holding them back.  They must figure it out as a team or Angel Grove is doomed.

This film is better than expected.  Kudos are given to the writers by attempting to attract new fans and old fans of the original series.  With new graphic abilities and a “delinquent turned hero” plot, new fans are drawn into the story.  With original character names, colors,  and Zords, old fans get a treat of 90s nostalgia.  However with all the pros, please understand this movie may not be for viewers under 11.  These Power Rangers curse and make sexual innuendos.  So parents, be warned.  It does provide laughs, but it can get a bit sappy.  Nevertheless, that’s what the Power Rangers were known for in the past.  For 90s fans, consider this movie a 4-part TV special.  For new fans, consider this a normal teen superhero movie.  For 90s fans, keep your eyes open for 2 cameos.  Also, stay past the 1st end crawl … there are preparing for a part 2.  So if you are a new fan or an old fan, see it matinee with no advancements (3D, iMax, power recliner, etc).

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

We will die together Rita – Zordon

Can you stop touching me – Billy

I am a talking robot. You can trust me – Alpha 5

You’re crazy but so am I – Zach

It’s morphing time – Jason

Oww. You’re really hurting me. I’m just kidding – Rita

Oh so you know I punched his tooth out – Kimberly

Again? – Trini

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The Story of 90 Coins – Review

The Story of 90 Coins – Budget Unknown – 9 minutes 23 seconds

The Story of 90 Coins

Wang knows that Chen is the love of his life, but Chen believes they are moving in different directions. Wang wants to grow old with her and make her happy. Chen wants a career first then love. But Wang has an idea. He asks Chen to give him 90 days to fall in love and each day he will give her a coin. If after 90 days she still doesn’t believe they should be together, they will use the money to get a drink, make one last toast, and say goodbye forever. But if she does want him, they will use the money toward a marriage license. As time moves on, only 2 things stand in the way of their epic romance: Paris and Andre (Chen’s colleague). But it’s the coins that hold the story of a beautiful promise.

This short film provides a better story and romance that most romantic films. You will want it to be longer, but that may compromise the beauty in the story. It’s in its simplicity that it shines. You get a chance to see the couple go through normal relationship ups and downs (i.e. missteps in romance, fun times, illness, strength, and death) through the story of the coins.  Give this one your full attention.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

Perhaps, I should really consider Paris – Chen Wen

No need for explanations – Wang Yu Yang

You look stunning today – Andre

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#TheGirlOnTheTrain – Review

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The Girl On The Train – Budget of $45 million – 1 hour and 52 minutes

Note: This is a review of the movie only. Not a comparison of the book to the movie.
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The Girl on the Train
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Rachel

Two years after her divorce, Rachel is still falling apart. She drinks to blackout and fantasies about what could have been by watching others through the train window. Rachel is often depressed, calling her ex, and even grabbed her ex’s infant. Just when Rachel doesn’t think she can sink any lower, the wife she obsessively watches from the train window cheats on her husband. Rachel’s fantasy is dead. Someone must pay for all her pain.

Anna

Anna is a new stay-at-home mom with the help of a nanny she focus on household tasks. She thinks all is well until her nanny gives her 1 day notice that she found a new job. She doesn’t know what she will do without the nanny. Her husband, Tom, is always gone and she is afraid of her husband’s ex. She will do anything to protect her family, especially since Megan is missing.

Megan

Megan is constantly reinventing who she is. She has a husband, but is getting bored with married life. Her husband, Scott, wants to have a child, but he doesn’t know about her past. She recently quit her job for a position at an art gallery and loves her new job. She is seeing and propositioning her therapist while keeping secrets from him. Megan doesn’t know that her life will end at the hands of someone she knows.

What these women don’t know is that all their lives and secrets will collide after Megan dies. Who killed Megan? Why was she murdered? Only time will tell.

Based on the book, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, this movie takes you on a jerky ride because it doesn’t have a linear timeline (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). The flashes of Rachel’s memory keep you on your toes by making you wonder if her memory can be trusted. As she look for clues in her own mind, you don’t know if she is crazy or faking. With a strong cast and a good plot, this movie is enjoyable. However, most ID Sleuths or Lifetime watchers will be able to figure out the killer, before the cops. This is a great matinee/first date movie.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

There is no job more important than being a mom – Ann

I’m not the girl I use to be – Rachel

I’m not gonna protect you any more – Tom

Facebook and drunk ex-wives are not good friends – Cathy

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