Friday, March 31, 2017
Love guru Matthew Taylor (Shemar Moore) is the author of the new best seller, "The Bounce Back." Accompanied by his enterprising business manager, Terry (Bill Bellamy), he's been hawking the self-help book on plenty of TV and radio programs.
Since Terry believes that "Image is everything," he's concerned that Matthew hasn't settled down since his divorce. "A relationship guru should be in a relationship for longer than a minute," he counsels his BFF/boss.
That sentiment is echoed by Matthew's teenage daughter, Aleya (Nadja Alaya), who says, "Dad, you really need to get a girlfriend." Nevertheless, her father tends to settle for one-night stands, like the one he recently shared with Lizette (Marta Cross), the makeup artist at a TV station where he'd just appeared.
Matthew finally meets his match, literally and figuratively, the day he crosses paths with Kristin Peralta (Nadine Velazquez), a fellow therapist also making the rounds on the talk show circuit. Trouble is, while there's evidently chemistry between the two, they have conflicting adivce to offer folks nursing wounds from a painful relationship.
Rated PG-13 for profanity, sexuality and brief drug use
Running time: 104 minutes
Distributor: Distributor: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Posted by Kam at 8:46 AM
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Blu-ray Review by Kam Williams
Adam Driver Is Sublime as Stoic Bus Driver in Unsentimental, Minimalist Saga
Paterson (Adam Driver) is stuck in a rut. By day, the municipal bus driver repeatedly negotiates his way around a boring route around the New Jersey city which shares his name. After hours, he hangs out at a dingy, neighborhood bar where he dutifully limits himself to just one beer per visit. Then, he heads home to be with his loving wife, Laura (Golshifteh Farahani), and loyal bulldog, Marvin.
Writing provides Peterson his only escape from the mind-numbing monotony. Whenever he finds a little free time, he enjoys scribbling poetry into a secret notebook he always carries around. Laura wants him to make a copy of the precious journal before it gets lost or accidentally destroyed.
By comparison, she's relatively ambitious. Despite her foreign accent and a lack of musical knowledge, she dreams of becoming a Country Western singer. So, she's planning to purchase a guitar and to take lessons they can't really afford. She's lucky that her jaded husband's just too blase' to complain.
Ostensibly resigned to his fate, unassuming blue-collar hero takes everything in stride, whether dealing with passengers, unwinding with his wife, or interacting with the colorful regulars at the local saloon. Thus unfolds Paterson, the latest offering from the legendary Jim Jarmusch (Stranger than Paradise).
. The introspective character portrait relies upon the sort of dialogue-driven script for which has become a Jarmusch trademark, an adventure more concerned with character development than with events of cinematic consequence. Irrepressible Adam Driver tones down his ordinarily over-the-top act considerably, here, to play the title role of an undistinguished Average Joe.
But the picture's charm rests in its gifted director's ability to elevate a humble Everyman into a curiosity worthy of an audience's contemplation. A minimalist saga serving up an unsentimental slice of working-class life .
Very Good (3 stars)
Rated R for profanity
Running time: 118 minutes
Distributor: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Blu-ray Extras: None.
Posted by Kam at 9:15 PM
BIG BUDGET FILMS
Posted by Kam at 1:51 PM
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Excellent (3.5 stars)
Rated R for sexuality, nudity, profanity and brief drug use
Running time: 118 minutes
Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Blu-ray Extras: Audio commentary with writer/director Mike Mills; The Making of 20th Century Women; and 20th Century Cast.
To see a trailer for 20th Century Women, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxcvng_CpMQ
Posted by Kam at 4:29 PM
Posted by Kam at 3:11 PM
Monday, March 27, 2017
Surreal Fantasy Features Liam Neeson as Voice of Anthropomorphic Tree
Conor O'Malley (Lewis MacDougall) is understandably miserable. First of all, the 12 year-old divorced mom (Felicity Jones) is terminally ill. Second, they're both estranged from his father (Toby Kebbell) who has long since started another family over in America.
Third, Conor is tired of being mistreated by his cold-hearted grandmother (Sigourney Weaver) who cares more about her prized possessions than his welfare. And finally, he's routinely teased at school by a bully (James Melville) about always being off in his own dream world.
So, it's no surprise when Conor starts being plagued by nightmares on a daily basis. A few minutes after midnight, the giant yew tree (Liam Neeson) standing in the graveyard outside his bedroom window turns into an intimidating, anthropomorphic monster.
Despite its imposing presence, the beast gradually gains the kid's confidence, agreeing to tell a trio of insightful allegories on the condition that Conor reciprocate with one of his own. The idea, ostensibly, is that there will be a meaningful lesson to be learned from each of the parables.
That is the point of departure of A Monster Calls, a bittersweet escapist fantasy directed by J.A. Bayona (The Impossible). The movie is based on the illustrated children's novel of the same name by Patrick Ness who also adapted it to the big screen. Ness' award-winning book was inspired by the late Siobhan Dowd, who passed away before she could tackle the semi-autobiographical project herself.
The film is less a feel-good flick than a picture about making the best of a bad situation. For, the monster's stories paint a sobering picture of life that's anything but rosy. However, they do ultimately enable Conor to own up about his deepest fear, when it's his turn to share.
Given the mature themes and the dire plot developments, it's hard to recommend A Monster Calls for vulnerable youngsters. Nevertheless, it is unique in its approach to preparing a tweener to processing an impending tragedy.
A visually-enchanting, if fateful, fairy tale.
Very Good (3 stars)
Rated PG-13 for mature themes and scary images
Running time: 108 minutes
Distributor: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Extras: Deleted scenes; The Making of A Monster Calls; and Making of the Tales.
Posted by Kam at 12:54 PM
The zoo was closed to the public after being repeatedly bombed by the Luftwaffe during the siege of the city. However, the Zabinskis continued to live on the grounds with their young son (Timothy Radford) and the beleaguered animals that survived the attacks.
But once Warsaw was occupied by the Nazis, the couple was ordered to report directly to Lutz Heck (Daniel Bruhl), the Third Reich's recently-appointed chief zoologist. Despite being married, Heck never bothered to hide his lust for attractive Antonina, shamelessly forcing himself on her as they attended to the agglomeration of exotic beasts scattered around the premises.
Knowing that resistance was futile and might cost her her life, Jan directed his wife to submit to the unwelcome advances. And he understandably ended up feeling utterly emasculated by the frustration of failing to prevent her being pawed by the creepy Hitler henchman.
Rated PG-13 for violence, disturbing images, mature themes, smoking, sexuality and brief nudity
Running time: 126 minutes
Studio: Scion Films
Distributor: Focus Features
To see a trailer for The Zookeeper's Wife, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJNFeHHGGN4
Posted by Kam at 12:12 PM
Sunday, March 26, 2017
DVD Review by Kam Williams
Eddie Redmayne Stars as Wizard in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter Spinoff
It's New York harbor in 1926, which is when we are introduced to Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) as he disembarks a steamship from England that's just docked at the pier. The young wizard has to resort to a sleight of hand to slip through customs, since his suitcase is filled to the point of bursting with a unique brand of contraband.
Newt happens to be hiding a menagerie of mythical creatures with unusual names like obscurials, bowtruckles and dougals. Given the unreliable latch on his tattered, leather satchel, it doesn't take long for a mischievous niffler to escape. We soon observe the odd-looking critter breaking into a bank vault where it proceeds to indulge its insatiable appetite for gold by stuffing its pouch with glittery coins.
Newt, however, must get it right back under wraps ASAP, before it arouses the suspicion of Mary Lou Barebone (Samantha Morton). She's the leader of the New Salem Philanthropic Society, a group of no-majs, aka muggles (meaning ordinary human beings), dedicated to the extermination of wizards and witches.
Newt whips out his wand to recapture the naughty niffler in front of Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), an affable Everyman applying for a loan with hopes of opening his own bakery. Trouble is, since the unassuming fellow has just observed the use of magic, wizardry protocol calls for his memory to be wiped clean on the spot.
But Jacob not only flees before being "obliviated," he inadvertently takes Newt's bag of tricks with him to boot. Next, Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), a comely witch with the Magical Congress of the United States of America, comes to Newt's rescue.
Thus unfolds Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a visually-captivating adaptation of the J.K. Rowling best seller of the same name. Although the book was alluded to in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, one need not be familiar with the Potter series at all to appreciate this delightful debut of a fantasy franchise designed for five episodes.
Excellent (4 stars)
Rated PG-13 for fantasy action violence
Running time: 133 minutes
Distributor: Warner Brothers Home Entertainment Group
Posted by Kam at 10:53 AM