Category Archives: Review

…grin and bear it

This Friday we find ourselves on the very edge of Oscar season, crusaders. Film buffs are getting their final thoughts in before the nominees are announced next Tuesday, everyone is eager to see what this year’s select few will be.

Everyone has their own opinions and their own award prediction litmus tests. There are the Golden Globes to consider, the SAGs and from our British brethren, the BAFTAs. At the end of the day, we just have to wait and see.

So, this Flick Friday, I’d like to present, for your consideration, a film with not one, not two, but three BAFTA nominations, not to mention a “Lady Bird”-dethroning 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes, “Paddington 2.”

Yes, that “Paddington 2,” and you can check your cynicism at the door because you’re not going to need it.

This superb sequel jumps right into this bear  (from darkest Peru) called Paddinton’s (voiced by Ben Whishaw) life in London. And what a life it is.

With one grump of an exception, the city has embraced Paddington with open arms and Paddington wants nothing more than to share that joy with his Aunt Lucy (Imelda Staunton), who you’ll recall is still in Peru living in the home for retired bears.

Since she can’t come to London, Paddington sets his sights (and incredible work ethic) on sending it to her in the form of a very valuable, antique pop-up book from the shop of Mr. Gruber (Jim Broadbent).  Read the rest of this entry

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…give it your best shot

This Flick Friday we sit on the edge of full-blown Oscar season, crusaders. Sunday the Golden Globes will set our expectations and then we have to wait until Tuesday, January 23, for the nominees.

In the meantime, there’s a whole lot of considering to do. So today, I present one of the many hopefuls, a western with an eye on history and another on its modern audience—“Hostiles.”

From the start, one thing is clear, Rosamund Pike is the star of this movie. Yes, I know Christian Bale is listed first and he’s in the center of the poster to the left of this sentence, but Ms. Pike (and the arc of her character, Mrs. Quaid) is what makes this movie work. Read the rest of this entry

…Put On A Show

Suspension of disbelief is essential in the world of entertainment. We do it every time we see a movie or watch a television show. We allow the performers to lie to us. For the most part, this deception is harmless. We know that the performers are just playing their parts. In director Michael Gracey’s “The Greatest Showman,” this complex relationship between the audience and the entertainer is called into question.

This colorful, joyous celebration of a film tells the story of famous showman, and circus founder, P. T. Barnum (played by Hugh Jackman and Ellis Rubin). Starting with from childhood, we see Barnum as a boy and then man willing to take risks to better his circumstances. First, he pursues the girl who’s out of his league (Michelle Williams and Skylar Dunn). Then, when he finds himself out of a job he cons his way into a bank loan, and creates a new kind of theatrical spectacle. Read the rest of this entry

…persist

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Two years ago when we returned to a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” even though there were new faces, the story was familiar, and after its long absence having the formula intact was comforting. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” threw it out the window, and thank goodness for that.

I would imagine that many “Star Wars” traditionalists out there were flummoxed by “The Last Jedi,” and I understand why. It set up many scenarios we’ve seen before and then provided completely different and unexpected outcomes. How exciting is that!?! Read the rest of this entry

…tell another tale

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This What to Watch Wednesday, in preparation for the forthcoming holiday binge viewing (you know you do it). I thought I’d share one of my favorites from this fall of television, an old favorite that’s new again in the most magical way possible…

“Once Upon a Time,” this long-running juggernaut of a show did something incredible (and I’m not just talking about the musical episode). This show built on adding twists to classic fairy tales added the ultimate twist. They started over.

I admit, when the series hit a clear reset, with older Henry as the new lead, I was skeptical that it was a cop-out. I was wrong. Read the rest of this entry