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Thursday, February 11, 2016

How To Be Single

This is not a sneak preview. This film has already released.

A girl (Dakota Johnson) on a "break" from her boyfriend runs to New York to discover who she really is. Her coworker (Rebel Wilson) tries to educate her on how to play the single girl in the big city. Leslie Mann is hilarious as the single doctor/older sister whose biological clock is ticking. Rebel is her typical riotous raunchy self. Dakota is looking for her Mr. Grey. This funny romantic comedy is about dating, boy/girl relationships, and the complexities of love.

Alien gives it 3 "checking it off your bucket list" stars out of 4.

The Boy

This film is not a sneak preview. This film has already released.

A Montana girl gets more than she bargained for when she accepts a babysitting job from a peculiar elderly couple in the UK. It seems that her job is to care for a porcelain doll. This well made film has an unknown cast but stars a beautiful mansion with mysterious noises & strange occurrences. The film plays like a spooky supernatural thriller. There is a scared pretty girl, a handsome grocery boy, an odd couple, secrets from the past, a creepy doll & house, and a stormy night.  Is the the doll possessed? Is the house haunted? Is the girl mentally unstable or does she drink too much red wine? Or is there a reasonable explanation for the "things that go bump in the night"? It's entertaining but not necessarily what everyone is looking for.

Alien gives it 2 ½ "follow the rules" stars out of 4.

Deadpool

Does Twentieth Century Fox step it up a notch with their latest unconventional Marvel superhero movie with a "R" rating or is it a desperate move to catch up with the Disney/Marvel juggernaut? Maybe, it is a little of both. Deadpool is a lesser known Marvel character but has a strong cult-like fan base. First introduced in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine"(Ryan Reynolds in both films), but this time the "Merc with a Mouth" has his lips unstitched to unleash some of the most outrageous lines & references. Unencumbered by the "PG-13" constraints, this over-the-top film pushes the usual expected boundaries to new limits. It is a revenge/save the damsel in distress/love story with a combination of high speed & super slo-mo intense action & violence interlaced with hysterical lines you'd never expect to be heard from a superhero. Two X-Men characters, Colossus & Negasonic Teenage Warhead, are introduced. Deadpool narrates & talks directly to the audience throughout the movie. Deadpool is really an anti-hero in a film that pokes fun at its own genre.  Don't be surprised at the language, nudity, violence targeting an adult audience & not toned down for the younger crowd. Look for Stan Lee in another iconic cameo. If you stay until the end of the credits, you'll hear some parting words from Deadpool. This February 4, 2016 review is being suspended for a later time at the request of the studio. Apparently, the studio claims there will be 2 teasers clips at the end of the final theatrical release version.

Alien gives it 3 "regenerating degenerate" stars out of 4.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

The Choice

Nicholas Sparks brings another of his cookie cutter romance novels to the big screen. A guy, a girl, a love triangle, a water scene with a flock of birds, a hospital, a moment in the rain, a budding romance, a tragic event. What else do you need to know? Yes, his stories are fairly predictable but true romantics go to see if they can connect & share the emotional ride he plans for his characters. A charming country boy veterinarian (Benjamin Walker) competes with a handsome rich doctor (Tom Welling) for the affections of a pretty intern (Teresa Palmer) with a dog. It's also "Meet the Parents" related to this love triangle. Look for a little side romance for a supporting character. If you like the main characters, you'll probably like the film.

Alien gives it 3 "a basket of puppies" stars out of 4.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Hail, Caesar!

The Coen brothers are at again with their latest quirky offbeat comedy poking fun of Busby Berkeley geometrically choreographed productions, Roy Rogers/Gene Autry singing cowboy westerns, Fred Astaire dance numbers, and Esther Williams swim related films. If you don't recognize those names, maybe this isn't the film for you. Josh Brolin plays a Hollywood film industry "fixer" who covers up any sandals involving their big box office draw stars. While filming a picture about a Roman tribune meeting Jesus Christ (Joseph Fiennes' role in the soon to be released "Risen"), their star (George Clooney) is kidnapped & held for ransom by a mystery group claiming to be the Future. Toss in some religious leaders, some communist screenwriters, hush money, a chain smoking film editor, & a Hedda Hopper/Dear Abby/Dear Abigail gossip columnist dual role by Tilda Swinton into the mix. Ralph Fiennes, Tatum Channing, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, & Frances McDormand have small supporting roles. This is a fun silly romp through the Golden Age of film making.

Alien gives it 2 ½ "Capitol Pictures Studio" stars out of 4.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

This is not a sneak preview. This film has already released.

Six U.S. security contractors at a nearby CIA annex decide on their own to spring into action when the U.S. Consulate in Libya comes under mob attack by jihadists on September 11, 2012. It is a heart pounding fire fight trying rescue ambassador Chris Stevens & protecting the American personnel at the annex as wave after wave of attacks are launched. Besides the intense action, the film gives some insights to these heroic warriors as to what drives these family men to do what they do. Photos of the real people portrayed are featured at end of the film.

Alien gives it 3 ½ "Are those friendlies?" stars out of 4.

Jane Got A Gun

This is not a sneak preview. This film has already released.

It's New Mexico 1871 and with her husband critically wounded, Jane Hammond (Natalie Portman) seeks her ex-boyfriend Dan Frost (Joel Edgerton) to help protect her family from the outlaw John Bishop (Ewan McGregor) & his gang. Jane, Dan, & John all have secrets that are revealed during the course of this Wild West drama, kind of a mini "The Magnificent Seven" minus six. But it's still a good shoot 'em up/guns a blazing shoot out film. Portman plays that strong western woman & Edgerton has a hand in writing this screenplay.

Alien gives it 3 "the Bishop Boys, Wanted Dead or Alive" stars out of 4.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Risen

The biblical story of Jesus' resurrection is told as seen through the eyes of non-believer Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), a fictional Roman tribune charged by Pontius Pilate to investigate the rumors of a Jewish messiah rising from the dead. This is a well made film with great costumes & sets. This movie plays like a police drama of an "Unsolved Mystery". Unfortunately for Tom Felton, his association with role of Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films unfairly draws more of a snickering reaction. 

Alien gives it 2 ½ "visual Sunday school lesson" stars out of 4.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Finest Hours (3D)

Based on a true story, the U.S. Coast Guard sends a small crew out on a blizzard stormy November night in 1952 to rescue any survivors of a sinking oil tanker torn in half. Is this the story of dutiful dedication or a suicide mission? It's high drama on the high seas. It's desperate people making desperate decisions under desperate conditions. It's a great character driven story about an strong independent woman, a by-the-book seaman, an out-of-place commander, & a leader of a crew wanting to abandon ship. The outstanding cast is lead by Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, & Eric Bana. Photos of the real people portrayed run during to the credits. 

Alien gives it 3 ½ "pitchpole" stars out of 4.

Monday, January 25, 2016

God Is Not Dead 2

Continuing on with some of the same characters from the 2014 "God Is Not Dead", this religious sequel involves a high school history teacher (Melissa Joan Hart) being tried in court on a separation of church & state issue after she answers a question posed by her student. Similar to the original film, the premise sets up a debate over religion with both sides being presented. Once again, many characters interact in subplots that contribute to the message. Among those familiar faces are Jesse Metcalfe, Robin Givens, Fred Thompson, Ernie Hudson, Ray Wise, & Pat Boone. During the credits, this well done film lists numerous real life court cases tried along the same topic. This film is scheduled to be released on April 1, 2016.

Alien gives it 3 "God is not dead, surely he's alive" stars out of 4.

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