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Ed Aycock
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Posted: 25 July 2018 at 8:21am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

"Wanda," a little seen film from 1970 that was written, directed and starring Barbara Loden.  For 1970, the trifecta of that being done by a woman was pretty much unheard of.  Very powerful film about a woman trying to escape her rust belt existence but not knowing where she wants to go. 
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Phil Kreisel
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Posted: 30 July 2018 at 12:34pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Went to see The Incredibles 2 at the theatre this weekend.  The sequence with Jack-Jack vs the raccoon was priceless!
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 20 August 2018 at 4:32pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply


THE MEG

My son and I both loved it!  So much more enjoyable than I was expecting... dumb fun, but not stupid, with some welcome humor and pleasant performances throughout.  I'm not exactly what you'd call a Jason Statham fan, but he's very appealing in this one.



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Adam Schulman
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Posted: 20 August 2018 at 9:32pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

SORRY TO BOTHER YOU. Bizarre but brilliant. See it!
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David Allen Perrin
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Posted: 26 August 2018 at 1:44am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

BlackKKlansman

Wow.  This movie shut down the audience in a way I havenít seen in a very long time.  Total. Dead. Silence....when it ended.  It pulled no punches in drawing the parallels between the Klan and their beliefs and the 45 President and his.  

One of Spike Leeís best.
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Kirk Moberg
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Posted: 28 August 2018 at 6:36pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Mission Impossible Fallout.  I enjoyed the film immensely...saw it twice so far and will definitely get the blu-ray when it comes out.  The fact there was no CGI made it even more enjoyable.  
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 28 August 2018 at 7:54pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply


Disney's CHRISTOPHER ROBIN

A crushing disappointment.

I didn't have particular high hopes for this to begin with, but my youngest (11 years) daughter wanted to catch this before starting middle school this year, and she & I rarely get a chance to see movies together, just the two of us (when I also have another daughter and a son), so I figured this would at least be a passable, pleasant time in the theater...

I found this to be an excruciatingly lackadaisical, aimless, dramatically-inert, overlong, ill-conceived and awkward mess.  It's slickly produced of course (it is a Disney film after all), and I suppose it's sweet in spots, but in the end I found it to be a colossal chore to sit through.  (My daughter, though claiming she thought it was okay, was also restless and yawning throughout.)

Not what I was expecting.  So far, my least favorite film of 2018.



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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 01 October 2018 at 9:05pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply


THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS

Exceeded expectations... handsome-looking production with admirable restraint from the usually-grisly torture-porn auteur Eli Roth.

My 8-year old son and 14-year old daughter both loved it... it gave them the creeps, in a good way, just in time for October.  It'll definitely be added to our annual Halloween viewings next year!

Good stuff, very much recommended, for anyone who has any interest.



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Peter Martin
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Posted: 11 October 2018 at 8:09pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

A Star is Born.

There's lots and lots that is good about it, but at the same time, I wasn't totally blown away as a whole.

Bradley Cooper is very good in the male lead (almost too good, as it unbalances the film to a degree in the second half) and Sam Elliot is also excellent as a (much) older brother. Cooper sounds unrecognisable; he did remarkable things with his voice in this film, both with his dialogue and as a singer. Gaga is brilliant at the singing part, naturally, and her performance is great in that first half, but I found her character's arc less interesting as her star ascends.

The performance footage is simply brilliant. Wonderful cinematography; wish there was more of it. The scene where Gaga first shares the stage with Cooper is electric.

I found that the film lost something dramatically as it got deeper into the story, as the outcome seemed so inevitable. Without a sense of 'anything can happen', it's hard to get too wrapped up in the journey.

A memorable film though, with some strong songs and an outstanding performance from Bradley Cooper.


Edited by Peter Martin on 11 October 2018 at 8:09pm
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Gregory Harshman
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Posted: 12 October 2018 at 2:51pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

First Man

Apollo 13 draws the viewer into the film almost from the start and makes you care about the characters. Not so with First Man.

I did not find any of the players particularly likeable.  Armstrong was portrayed as odd and distant, and the film seems to go out of its way to paint Aldrin in a negative light.

The film was tedious. I kept looking at my watch to see how much longer it was, and I found myself dozing off a few times. Also, key moments were breezed through to focus on other things (trying to be spoiler free).

The camera was jerky in every scene inside the space capsule. I understand that that was the way it was in real life, but cinematically it was very distracting.

I have read quite a bit about the space program and about the only positive thing I can say is that the mission details of the Gemini and Apollo missions, and other training exercises were portrayed accurately.

Update: I did think of one more positive thing. The soundtrack\ score is very good.


Edited by Gregory Harshman on 12 October 2018 at 3:45pm
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Jozef Brandt
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Posted: 14 October 2018 at 8:23pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply



Just saw MANDY. 

Jodorowski meets Beowulf meets Death Wish meets uhhh....David Lynch?

It's a pretty wild movie.  I'm still digesting it days later. 
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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 15 October 2018 at 10:07am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

FIRST MAN

High recommend.

My impression differs completely with Gregory Harshman. I found all performances top notch and all characters endearing. The presentation of Buzz as bluntly out of step with polite courtesies and Armstrong as a still-waters-running-deep test-pilot are accurate and brought with more nuance than, for example, the more classic Hollywood approach of Apollo 13. That said, the cost of presenting the people in complex, conflicted emotional portrait is that some will find it "distant" while others do not. The movie is more Terrance Malick than Ron Howard. I was completely captured from the first scene. Having been around a lot of pilots, I found Ryan Gosling's Armstrong recognizable and convincing as a man used to the heavy weight of his job.

Stellar marks on all scores, but especially the almost creepy recreation of the period. The seamless effects work had me baffled about how such convincing footage was created without actually building rockets and sending actors to the moon.

But the biggest surprise was the emotional punch this story carried in its portrayal of Armstrong's family and the shadow of doom they marched through together. A new favorite for me.

Edited by Mark Haslett on 15 October 2018 at 10:12am
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 15 October 2018 at 12:21pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN IT'S WALLS

My son chose it as his Birthday movie.
An entertaining watch. They used the fun type of magic that I enjoy. My son really liked it.
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Phil Kreisel
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Posted: 18 October 2018 at 11:38am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

We did a double-header last week:

A Star is Born - Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga.  I had not seen any of the previous versions of this film.  I was pleasantly surprised how much I liked it.  Lady Gaga was really good, and who knew Bradley Cooper could sing.  My only other encounters with Gaga are her numerous costume changes and personas, so I was really delighted to see her as a "real" person.

Venom - It was better than I thought it would be.  Not a tremendous amount of character development, but stuff blows up.  They've already set the seeds for a sequel.
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Robert Kowalewski II
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Posted: 19 October 2018 at 10:46pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Halloween(2018) - It was good, Carpenter & his son do an excellent job scoring the film. I wasn't disappointed.
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 21 October 2018 at 3:34pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply


GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN 

My 3 kids have watched Part 1 a number of times already, which I thought was only mediocre.  This one was an unexpected improvement.

Better story, better acting, better special effects, funnier & spookier.  My two youngest and I all loved it!  Definitely will be another annual Halloween pick going forward.



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Peter Martin
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Posted: 21 October 2018 at 5:29pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

I went to see First Man and paid up to see it in IMAX. I try to learn as little about a film beforehand these days. Had I known that it was mostly shot in a wobbly handheld manner, on grainy 16-mm and 35-mm film, I would have chosen to see it on a regular screen.

The artistic choices worked for me though -- it helps create a convincing feel of the era and the film succeeds in being very immersive. It made me feel nervous and claustrophobic being locked into those capsules and even though I knew all the outcomes, it still succeeds in creating a feeling of uncertainty at times and packing an emotional punch. 

Man, was it loud! Great editing and sound design. Memorable score by Justin Hurwitz as well; he really is crating a reputation for himself as one of the more talented young composers working in film.

I really liked Chazelle's previous films, so when the advance word for this was suggesting film of the year, it sent my expectations soaring. The film didn't quite meet those expectations, but it is still an impressive piece of work. One great achievement is to communicate how big and dangerous a task they were undertaking and to strip away the confidence that goes with the historical knowledge of this most famous of successes.

Sometimes knowing what lies ahead actually helps in a way. Knowing what happened with Apollo 1 added extra frisson to those scenes in Gemini 8... That the procedures and equipment were not totally safe and that risk was inherently part of the undertaking.
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Richard White
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Posted: 25 October 2018 at 4:42am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Possum (2018)

Attended a special screening of this very creepy British psychological horror, with the director Mathew Holness in attendance.

It follows Philip, played by Sean Harris, a puppeteer who returns to home in rural Norfolk after some undisclosed disgraced. Here he reunited with his abusive stepfather played by Alun Armstrong. What follows is a surreal and creepy tale.

Writer and director Mathew Holness, who some of you may know as Garth Merengie then took part in a really enjoyable questions and answers session.

Nice to see a film shot in my neck of the woods too.
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 25 October 2018 at 10:58am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Bohemian Rhapsody, i liked it a lot, the music is great,
the leads are very credible in both look, mannerisms and
speech.The casual fan will like it, but the more
knowledgeable fan will need to overlook a bit of
dramatic licence and mixed up chronology.

P.S. it took me a while to spot Mike Myers, i wonder if
he got the role because of Wayne`s World?

Edited by Bill Collins on 25 October 2018 at 10:59am
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DW Zomberg
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Posted: 25 October 2018 at 11:11am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

HALLOWEEN (2018)

Technically well-made, but not much in the way of scares. I think the original is one of those films--like JAWS--that can't really be re-visited.

And seriously--Laurie Strode builds a bunker for herself, but designs it with a front door that has windows? DUMB.
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David Miller
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Posted: 25 October 2018 at 1:37pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE

It should have been titled BAD TIME AT THE MOVIES. Incoherent,  terrible and the kind of predictable that leaves the audience muttering the cliched dialogue ahead of the unlikable characters. A waste of a fun cast. (I wonder what it will take to get Jon Hamm to appear in somethng good again?) And too, too long. Lots of Tarantino-esque lingering static shots of people dancing to a juke box. Afterwards my friend and I debated which was worse, this or VENOM, and concluded VENOM was ultimately better because of its much shorter run time.   
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 28 October 2018 at 11:07am | IP Logged | 22 post reply


STAR WARS: FILM CONCERT SERIES - A NEW HOPE*

At the Bushnell Theater in Hartford, CT... Live concert presentation while the sort-of original was projected above the stage... it was the infamous Special Edition of course, but the experience was grand enough to compensate for the egregious & eye-rolling additions (Jabba the Hutt was met with dead silence, and the Han & Greedo shoot-em-up was met with huge laughter, when someone sarcastically blurted-out right after, "Han shot first...!").

All-in-all, a very fun experience, with a huge capacity crowd filled with all ages, and with lots of applause and laughs throughout, and maybe even a tear or three by the time the throne room sequence brought the film to a close (at least for this old-school fan).  And hearing the wonderful score in a live setting was just as goosebump-inducing as you'd imagine.

*(Yes, I just call it "STAR WARS," but that was the official name of the presentation.)



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Jason Ditzel
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Posted: 28 October 2018 at 7:13pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Halloween (2018) was ok. What's the story behind the Voyagers! clip that was on the TV? Loved that NBC show back in the day.
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Daniel Gillotte
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Posted: 29 October 2018 at 1:24pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

The Hate U Give with my 12 year old daughter, who had read the book, my wife and her 65+ year old mom.

We all really liked it, left kind of stunned. It's a well done film tackling difficult subject matter. 

Acting is top notch. Worth a watch. There is a minimal amount of violence but it's not sensationalized.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 31 October 2018 at 12:39pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

HALLOWEEN 

I quite enjoyed this. Whatever flaws the film had were no big issue for me as the positive aspects eclipsed them.

It felt like it commendably did its best to provide a homage to the original, and a film true to the spirit of the franchise, whilst not simply rehashing everything. It did appear to do something different here and there.

It can't be easy to satisfy fans of a 40-year old movie, and all the baggage that brings, whilst moving forward in a fresh direction. 

There are some great performances throughout, and plenty of scares. I was very impressed.
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