Sunday, October 28, 2018

Beautiful Boy

Passionate performances and a heartbreaking story make Beautiful Boy one of the best films released so far this year. A young man battles addiction as his family tries to help. The intentions of the characters depict the struggles of addiction in a realistic, powerful way. At the core of all of the relationships is love. "I love you more than everything." "Everything?" "Everything!"

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Mom and Dad

When parents are infected with a virus that makes them want to kill their children all hell breaks lose in Mom and Dad. A silly monster movie that is tense and gory. The premise is crazy and make for a very entertaining horror film. Pretty good.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore

Doing research for an article on Diane Ladd, I re-watched Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore. I saw this film in the theater when it came out in the mid 70s. After meeting Ladd at Newport Film Festival I thought of this film often. Watching it now, I enjoyed the story of a woman struggling to support herself and her son after her husband dies. Taking a job at a dinner while working on her singing career, she meets Flo (played by Ladd) a no-nonsense woman with experience and a life philosophy that is deeper than Alice expects. It is from Flo that Alice learns that friendship has value. This film has grit and a lot of heart. It holds up.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Solo: A Star Wars Story

The Star Wars collection continues with Solo: A Star Wars Story. This is Han Solo's origin story. The story itself is OK, but the visuals are what shine in this movie. Sweeping shots of spaceship flight kept my attention throughout. There is drama and humor as well. I liked this addition to the Star Wars universe more than expected.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

I liked the movie  Mamma Mia! fine, but I didn't like it enough to have a desire for a sequel. I waited to see Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again until it came out in DVD based on that feeling. I was treated to an origin story that I really enjoyed. The lead performance of Lily James as young Donna is mostly to blame for that. Great voice, great screen presence, she carries this movie. I was also surprised by how much I liked the music. Some of the supporting cast was weaker than I expected, but the spirit was there and the ending was rather sweet. Glad I saw it.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

The Oath

With Thanksgiving on the horizon, The Oath is an excellent addition to holiday set films. A family gathers for Thanksgiving before the deadline of signing a loyalty oath to the US. The signing is optional, but strange things start happening to people who don't sign the oath. There are differing opinions among the family members and most interactions are tense. When members of an enforcement group show up this turns into a sort of home invasion story that turns pretty violent. Things go way off the rails. Though totally fictional, there is enough reality to make you think "what would I do?" the whole time. Intense film. I liked it.

Bad Times at the El Royal

Set at the El Royal Hotel in Lake Tahoe, the thriller Bad Times at the El Royal is  wild ride. Strangers meet, situations unfold, histories are revealed. The twists and turns are many. This film is a crazy, violent ride that I rather enjoyed. Well done.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Halloween (1978)

With the release of the latest Halloween film I was reminded that I have not seen a single film in the franchise. AMC was playing the whole series this week, so I decided to watch the original Halloween. This is a classic horror film with all the tropes, crazy killer and threatening music. Not really my cup of tea, but I respect what it is, and the performances of a young Jamie Lee Curtis as she reprises the role 40 years later. Glad I saw it.