Rss

  • linkedin

Archives for : Drama

Movie Review: “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” Fails its Predecessor

Jurassic World was everything we had been waiting for since the first Jurassic Park was released in 1993. The park was opened and running smoothly. It was also set in some attractive green scenery. Of course, one day everything goes wrong when a wild test subject is let loose and the whole park falls apart! A simple premise with so much entertainment. Now what happened to that kind of writing with this sequel?

Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom starts off okay enough. It’s been three years since the tragic incident and the Jurassic World theme park is no more. But now an impending volcanic eruption on the island will wipe out the existing dinosaurs and render them extinct once again. The question is do we save the dinosaurs and bring them to the states, or do we let them die? For Dr. Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), the decision is easy. Let the dinosaurs die and save humanity from a potential life-threatening attack. However, previous park staffer, Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) still feels a connection to the dinosaurs and jumps at the opportunity to save them when approached by Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell), the one time partner of Jurassic Park mastermind John Hammond. Mr. Lockwood and his caretaker/right-hand man, Eli Mills (Rafe Spall), plan to rescue the remaining species from the island and bring them to a sanctuary where they will be allowed to live in peace.

Only problem is they need the skilled velociraptor trainer, Owen (Chris Pratt), to come along this mission and find Blue, the only raptor left of its kind. FYI, the best thing about this movie is the connection between Blue and Owen. Luckily, Claire finds Owen in his new quiet life, building a cabin in the middle of nowhere. How convenient and cliché. After some banter about their previous relationship she convinces him to join the mission and save Blue.

I won’t go into the plot any further than that to avoid spoilers, but eventually we are taken on a chaotic ride.

There are many problems with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom; beginning with its characters. With the exception of Pratt, Howard, and the best character, Blue, I could careless about anyone else on screen. In fact, who are all you people? Claire brings along two new faces, feisty “paleo-veterinarian” Zia Rodriguez (Daniella Pineda), who knows everything about these creatures but has never actually seen one in person, and tech-geek Franklin (Justice Smith), who constantly screams at any sign of danger. They had no business being in this movie. Because again, who even are you?

The villain is weak and their “evil” motive is just lazy writing. There were other characters too but, honestly, I just don’t care enough about them.

Though the film has intense action-packed sequences that will keep you enthralled till the end, the ridiculous story is unforgiving. Oddly enough, I’d still say it is worth watching the action on the big screen, but don’t go in with high expectations. Grab some popcorn and try not to think too much while watching.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom leaves the door wide open for another sequel, and maybe, the writers will get it right on their third try with what will hopefully be the final chapter.

Rating: 2.5/5

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom hits theaters June 22.

Share

Interview: Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal talk “Blindspotting”

Image result for blindspotting movie

There was lots of buzz surrounding the new drama/comedy, “Blindspotting”, at the 2018 Dallas International Film Festival.  While at the festival, I got a chance to sit down with the stars and writers of the movie, Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal.  We discussed their film, the idea of blind spots, should you ignore your best friend’s ex, and more!

“Blindspotting” is a powerful film and one that will leave you thinking about its message long after you finish watching.

“Blindspotting” hits theaters July 27.

Share

Interview: Dennis Quaid talks “I Can Only Imagine”

Country music is full of stories that can make your eyes leak,  and “I Can Only Imagine” is even more poignant because it really happened (at least in a cinematic sense.) I sat down with one of the stars of the film, Dennis Quaid, to discuss, the movie, his character and never giving up on your dream.

“I Can Only Imagine” hits theaters March 16.

Share

“Get Out” One Year Later – Free Screenings on President Day!

First-Come, First-Served Offer Valid at 55 AMC Theatres Nationwide to Guests of the 7:00 P.M. Screenings on Monday, February 19

Universal City, CA, February 13, 2018—Filmmaker Jordan Peele, in conjunction with Universal Pictures, today announced free screenings of Universal’s Get Out on Presidents’ Day, February 19, at 55 AMC locations nationwide.  Each guest who requests a ticket the day of the screening—at a participating location—will be given one free admission to the 7:00 p.m. showing, up to theatre capacity.

Since its release in theatres in February 2017, Get Out has been nominated for four Academy Awards®, while inspiring audiences and artists worldwide.  A compilation video was also released that showcases the artwork inspired by Get Out—featuring the hashtag #GetOutOneYearLater—to encourage audiences to share more of their artwork, experiences and discussions that were influenced by the movie.

The promotion will be available at each of the 55 AMC Theatres playing the special screening of Get Out at 7:00 p.m. on February 19.  Free tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis and may only be picked up at the AMC box office that day.  Each guest must present a valid ID to receive their ticket, with a limit of one free ticket for each ID presented, while supplies last.  This offer is valid for the 7:00 p.m. showing of the film on February 19, only.

Markets that will playing Get Out on Presidents’ Day include ones in Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Boston, MA; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Cincinnati, OH; Columbus, OH; Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; Houston, TX; Indianapolis, IN; Jacksonville, FL; Kansas City, MO; Los Angeles, CA; Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Minneapolis, MN; Nashville, TN; New Orleans, LA; New York City, NY; Oklahoma City, OK; Orlando, FL; Philadelphia, PA; Phoenix, AZ; Pittsburgh, PA; Raleigh/Durham, NC; San Diego, CA; San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, CA; Seattle/Tacoma, WA; St. Louis, MO; Tallahassee, FL; Tampa, FL; and Washington, D.C.  To find out more information, visit www.getoutoneyearlater.com.

“When Jordan approached us about a way to thank fans one year after the release of Get Out, we thought a Presidents’ Day screening during Black History Month would be a wonderful way to commemorate the film’s impact,” said Jim Orr, President, Distribution, Universal Pictures.  “The success of his stunning vision would not have been possible without the audience’s passion for both Get Out’s groundbreaking storytelling and its deft use of art as society’s mirror.”

For more information and a list of theatres offering the special screenings, please visit www.getoutoneyearlater.com.  Broadcast-quality clips from Get Out are available at www.epk.tv, and stills are available at www.image.net.

 

About Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures is a division of Universal Studios (www.universalstudios.com).  Universal Studios is part of NBCUniversal.  NBCUniversal is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience.  NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group and world-renowned theme parks.  NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.

Interview: Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos, & Anthony Sadler talk “The 15:17 to Paris”

On a summer vacation to Europe, three friends experience a terrifying ordeal when a terrorist threatens the passengers on a high speed train. Now THAT sounds like a movie. And it is! Clint Eastwood’s newest film, “The 15:17 to Paris” is based on a real life event that happened in France in 2015 and three American lads (Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos, and Anthony Sadler) are the heroes! Check out my interview with the real life heroes/stars of the movie!

“The 15:17 to Paris” opens in theaters February 9.

Share

Interview: Jeannette Walls talks “The Glass Castle”

I sat down with writer and journalist Jeannette Walls, author of “The Glass Castle.”  We discussed the new film based on her memoir, the proper way to raise a family and much more!  Check out the interview below.

“The Glass Castle” opens in theaters on August 11.

Share

Movie Review: “Fifty Shades Darker” – A Foolish Tale Laced with Sex and Thrills

Ana and Christian are back in an even hotter and more ridiculous film!

Let’s get one thing out of the way before I begin. Yes, E.L. James’ Fifty Shades book series is unrealistic and incredibly cheesy. And Fifty Shades Darker encourages even more eye-rolls with its Lifetime style drama. However, this time around the film has added enough excitement and sex to where you can let go of reality, and just have fun with this Made-for-TV quality movie.

When we last left off on Fifty Shades of Grey, Ana (Dakota Johnson) had broken up with Christian (Jamie Dornan) after discovering how much pleasure he got from giving her so much pain. She realized she couldn’t be in a submissive relationship with him.
 
As we pick up with Fifty Shades Darker, some time has gone by and Ana seems to have moved on with her life, working for a handsome, yet questionable boss (Eric Johnson) at a publishing company. But it’s at her friend Jose’s (Victor Rasuk) photography exhibit that we find out Christian has been lost without her. Christian wants Ana back and is willing to have a relationship with no rules, no punishments, and no secrets. Essentially giving Ana the “vanilla” relationship she always wanted. Of course, this now “normal” boyfriend/girlfriend status isn’t going to progress smoothly by any means.
 
The two sexual love birds, who literally are going at it during any spare moment, must deal with an inappropriate boss, a former submissive girlfriend (Bella Heathcote), and “Mrs. Robinson” (Kim Basinger) – the woman who turned Christian into the sex hungry dominatrix. All three of these new characters create thrilling turmoil and more intrigue, as opposed to the previous film’s lackluster conflict of “will they or wont they” stay together.
 
Though some may find all the different struggles going on in the film messy or idiotic, I found them extremely entertaining. I mean Christian and Ana go through so many near death experiences that you almost can’t blame them for wanting to continuously have sex. It could be their last time! And as Ana says in the film, “We haven’t had enough time.”
 
Speaking of sex! Fifty Shades Darker turns up the heat with plenty of steamy sexual sequences that will have audiences either immensely uncomfortable, or anxiously awaiting their own bedrooms. Director, James Foley, allows for more provocative sex scenes by introducing a few new toys and intensifying the couple’s “love making”. The scenes are tastefully filmed and still limits the nudity to topless and butt shots. And might I add, Jamie Dornan looks better than ever! The man is ripped and the film clearly wants to show off the efforts from his intensive work outs.
 
Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan have grown as actors since their last performance as these characters. They are what truly makes this film watchable. They succeed in delivering every cringe-worthy line with such conviction, that you might not notice the stupidity of what actually was said.
 

As much as I can ridicule Fifty Shades Darker, there’s no denying the moments of satisfaction. Though, this is still very much a film for fans of the book, the intended audience should sit back, throw away your thinking caps and enjoy the hell out of this electric and tantalizing romance.

Rating: 3/5

Fifty Shades Darker opens in theaters on February 10.

Share

Interview: Jovan Adepo talks “Fences”

Related image

Jovan Adepo portrays Corey in Denzel Washington’s adaptation of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize winning drama, “Fences.” I got a chance to talk with Adepo about the new film. We discussed how much someone’s career can affect their personal life, daily movie references and more!

“Fences” opens in theaters December 24.

Click Here to Watch Jovan Adepo Interview

jovan

Movie Review: “Certain Women” is a Beautifully Shot Snoozefest

Image result for certain women poster

There is beauty in simplicity, but there is also simply boring. I may come off a little harsh with Kelly Reichardt’s latest film, “Certain Women”, but unfortunately it’s hard to get captivated by the slow pace of each story-line and the dull main characters.

The film is essentially broken up into three parts as we follow three women whose lives intersect. They are adapted from several short stories by Montana writer Maile Meloy.

In the first story we meet Laura Wells (Laura Dern), a small town lawyer who’s having an affair with a married man. She is dealing with a frustrating client (Jared Harris), who was injured on the job and wants to pursue a case against his employer.

After that we are introduced to Gina (Michelle Williams) and her husband (James Le Gros), who was seen in the previous segment. The two have just finished a camping trip with their teenage daughter Guthrie (Sara Rodier). They visit their elderly neighbor, Albert (Rene Auberjonois) to purchase a pile of sandstone that’s been sitting in his front yard for years. Gina wants to use it for a getaway cottage she plans to build. This is by far, the most uninteresting part of the film.

Finally, the more intriguing moment of the movie is when we see Jamie (Lily Gladstone), a rancher; randomly walk into a night class she’s not registered for. The class is intended to teach the history of public education policy in the U.S. But it’s not the subject that fascinates Jamie; it’s the nervous young lawyer, Beth (Kristen Stewart), who’s the unfortunate instructor. Basically, she is forced to teach the class and has to endure a four hour commute. Soon enough, she befriends Jamie and after class they routinely go to a local diner for a quick dinner as Jamie just watches her eat. For Jamie, seeing Beth is the highlight of her week, however, Beth does not value their time together nearly as much.

By the time the film concludes, we have seen the very minor ways these three women’s lives intertwine. Ultimately, Reichardt does a good job of portraying the overdone, general theme of isolation and the difficulty of communication. But it’s the actual stories that don’t give you enough meat to bite into. Hardly anything pulls you in; with the exception of Jamie’s borderline stalking of Beth (maybe a full story on her might have been more satisfying).

On the positive side, the performances are strong and Christopher Blauvelt’s cinematography is about the only thing that truly shines in “Certain Women”.

Rating: 2/5

Certain Women opens in theaters October 28.

“Certain Women” Official Trailer HD

Image result for certain women

 

Movie Review: “The Girl on the Train” is a Messy, yet Intriguing Thrill Ride

Image result for Girl on a Train

Emily Blunt isn’t the only one taking a ride in The Girl on the Train. The audience should be warned of the many back and forth jumps throughout this mystery thriller.

The film follows Rachel (Emily Blunt), a divorced alcoholic who spends everyday on a train ride that passes her old neighborhood. She watches a couple, Megan and Scott (Haley Bennett and Luke Evans), whom she views as “perfect” and almost lives vicariously through them. All the while she still tries to contact her ex-husband, Tom (Justin Theroux), who is now happily married and with a baby.

One day during Rachel’s usual stare at Megan and Scott’s house, she notices Megan kissing another man out on her balcony and freaks out! Completely wrecked by the fact that Megan would “throw it all away”, Rachel gets even more drunk and angry. When she stumbles off the train that night she sees a blur that looks like Megan. She wakes up the next morning in her place with a bloody head, and unaware of anything that happened the night before. Ironically, Megan has now gone missing, and Rachel is determined to find out what happened to her.

If you find reading that premise at all confusing, it’s even more of a mess watching it. To be fair, by the end everything ties together and there are no loose ends. But it might be a struggle getting there for some.

Yes, the plot might have been poorly executed, but that doesn’t make the story any less fun. From the moment the film began, I was on the edge of my seat trying to add up of every clue and anticipating the expected twist. Though the climax and the unveiling of surprises are far from Gone Girl standards, they were still satisfying none-the-less.

What’s certain is the subtle yet believable performance Emily Blunt gives as a functioning alcoholic. She stays committed the whole way through. So much so, that her character can be extremely frustrating at times.

The Girl on the Train may not please everyone. And yes, Tate Taylor’s direction is less than adequate as he struggles to give a steady flowing narrative. Luckily the mystery and story alone are enough to keep this ride interesting.

Rating: 3.5/5

The Girl on the Train opens in theaters October 7

“The Girl on the Train” Official Trailer HD

Image result for Girl on a Train