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July - Films

Movie Lovers Plus 2

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Jul 1, 11:35am Top

I still have a couple of reviews for last month to do....

Best: Spacewalk. 2017. (Russian)
Worst: Sunday's Illness. 2018. (Spanish)

Edited: Jul 1, 6:41pm Top

Best: Last Flag Flying
Worst: I really didn't have a worst this month. I did have two really good series...Major Crimes season 1 and the last of the recorded 18 seasons of Criminal Minds

Jul 1, 8:54pm Top

Best: Solo: A Star Wars Story
Worst: Downsizing Great idea but lousy movie

Jul 1, 9:33pm Top

4/5 stars
A story of the Army Captain and his soldiers who are escorting a group of Native Americans back to lands owned by their tribe. I enjoyed this film. Well made!

The Incredibles 2
4/5 stars
I was so looking forward to this film since I loved the first film. What took them so long to make a second one. I was impressed with the quality of the second film. Fun for adults and children.

*Couldn't find a picture of the second film so used the first film picture.

Complaint about fellow patrons- the theater was packed and we like to sit in the back row when a woman and a husband and a young 20 something girl sits next to us. The husband is talking loudly and is confused and the girl has her phone out filming what is on the screen. So I asked her if she was going to filming the whole time. She said something snarky to me and we decided to move down to the front. Then she had the nerve to come down after the film and told me that she didn't use her camera the whole time. It wasn't so much her filming as her father talking during the film and the wife shushing him that caused us to move. I know he could not help it. But she had no excuse for using her phone during the film.

Jul 2, 12:59pm Top

Dark Skies. 2013. Horror. I don't watch too many horror films for the simple reason that they're usually awful, predictable and not in the least scary, so I'm not sure why this was in my TBW box. Recommendation possibly. A fairly affluent family are going through hard times because Dad is unemployed. Mum's stressed. The eldest son hangs with a weirdo friend his father disapproves of and the younger one starts having bad dreams. Inexplicable happenings occur at night and the Sherlock Holmes quote becomes appropriate.... "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” It was OK, but I'm not sure if I've seen it before or if it was an amalgam of other similar films in it's genre. 5/10

Jul 2, 1:33pm Top

Naked Among Wolves. 2015. War. I believe this was a remake of a film of a nonfiction novel. 1945 in Buchenwald as the allied forces push the German army back, a small Jewish boy is found in a suitcase. His discovery could ruin the plans the prisoners have made for an uprising, but no-one wants to be the one to hand him over to his certain death. As the American army surges forward, the inmates suspect that the German High Command will order their total annihilation, so the child's survival becomes a symbol of life. This boy was so incredibly cute. Death camp films are never much fun, but avoiding them is not an option for me. 6/10

Jul 2, 2:25pm Top

Walk Like a Panther. 2018. British sporting comedy. I'm not sure how well this would go down with US audiences, but many of us Brits had a love affair with TV wrestling in the 60's and 70's. Some of my most vivid memories are of sitting with my grandparents on a Saturday afternoon to watch the wrestling. My normally placid, well-mannered nan would turn into a vicious beast, shouting abuse at Mick McManus and the like and my grandad would laugh and cough so much, he would turn an alarming shade of blue and someone had to thump him on his back to get him breathing again. Glorious times! The start of this film showing those yesteryear faces would have been worth the price of entry alone. To get back to the film...Mark (Stephen Graham) always wanted to follow his father's footsteps into the ring, but never did, so he now runs the pub The Half Nelson. At a wake for one of their former team members a mouthy scrote gets lippy and gets a good hiding from these aging fighters. The fight is filmed and goes viral on YouTube The old team are brought together for a one off match to save the pub, which is being closed by the slimy brewery manager. It's in the same vein as The Full Monty, but doesn't quite pull it off. It's still entertaining, and I do love Stephen Graham. 6/10

Jul 2, 2:40pm Top

>4 JulieLill: I wish I had the courage to bring people to task over their bad behaviour. I just chunter to myself.

Edited: Jul 3, 6:44am Top

>4 JulieLill: What she did may have also been illegal. You could have reported it to the management but it probably would have been a mute point. You did the only thing you could have done by moving. We are becoming a nation that bad manners... or no manners..are becoming more the norm than the exception. >8 .cris: Chuntering to yourself is much safer even if it's not more satisfying. In these times taking people to task can get you killed.

Jul 3, 3:35pm Top

>8 .cris:>9
I thought she would have been glad that we moved and freed up space. I have no idea why she was filming. It was a cell phone and I don't think she could have gotten all of the movie on the phone. I think she didn't like being challenged and I could of gone to management but didn't think they would do anything and I just wanted to see the movie not run around complaining about people. We should have waited a couple weeks till the crowds died down to see it.

Edited: Jul 3, 3:51pm Top

Dead Alive
2.5/5 stars
A young man lives with his aging, demanding mother. He meets a girl but his mother does not like her. When the mother is bitten by a rat monkey she transforms into the living dead. Others get infected and it turns into a huge nightmare.
This is a Peter Jackson film and I believe I had seen this once before years ago. Not a great film and the special effects have not held up considering all the advances in this area -though at the time they were considered state of the art.

My Friend Dahmer
2.5/5 stars
This film looked at the life of the mass murderer Jeffrey Dahmer, his family life and his school life prior to his murder spree. He is kind of a outcast till his senior year when a group of "so-called" friends bring him into their fold. You sense the rise of his mental illness and the film also shows his mother who has problems with alcohol and she exhibits bizarre behavior too causing a divorce between the parents. Very creepy!

Jul 4, 5:18pm Top

The Breadwinner
3.5/5 stars
Set in Afghanistan in 2001, this animated feature follows the story of Parvana, an 11 year old girl who has to help her family after her father is jailed. Unfortunately, girls are unable to work and she has to disguise herself as a boy to help support her family. She ends up meeting another girl in the same situation where they both realize what they have been missing as girls in a oppressive culture. Sad story but beautifully told.

Jul 5, 10:34am Top

Major Crimes season 2 (2013)

Loved it . Moving on to season 3

Jul 5, 1:02pm Top

Molly's Game
4/5 stars
A young woman destined for the Olympics is injured after a skiing accident. Trying to find something to do with her life, she starts running a high stakes poker game with high powered players. She is later arrested and turns to a lawyer to help her out.
I did not realize this was based on a true story before I saw it but I found it a fascinating movie and an intriguing look at high stake poker games.

Edited: Jul 6, 8:55am Top

Everest: Based on the true story of the 1996 Mt. Everest disaster (as related in Into Thin Air and several other books). Great cast, beautifully shot, and a fascinating subject. I wish I had gotten to know some of the characters more as people beyond just the Everest expedition, but I guess that is what books are for. 4/5

ETA: This is the 2015 film starring Josh Brolin, Jason Clarke, John Hawkes, and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Jul 6, 11:42am Top

Only the Brave
3.5/5 stars
Very moving film about a wild fire company and the trials and tribulations of working in this area.

Edited: Jul 6, 2:49pm Top

The Ninth Life of Louis Drax

Louis Drax is an accident-prone nine year old. Having endured eight near-death accidents throughout his life, according to cat years, he would be on his last and is fully aware that he may never grow up before his time comes to an end. With this knowledge and history behind him, he finds himself in a coma after falling off the edge of a cliff, and the circumstances of which are left a vague mystery to be uncovered, including the related disappearance of his father. Was it an accident? Or was it something more? I found it to be an intriguing movie but the early premise of the suspected killer almost gave the entire ending away. Still it deserved 4 stars.

Jul 8, 5:42pm Top

>17 Carol420: I really liked that film.

Edited: Jul 8, 5:55pm Top

Proud Mary
2.5/5 stars
A professional hit woman takes in a young boy to protect him from a crime syndicate. This really did nothing for me. No new material - just a lot of violence IMO.

Peter Rabbit
3.5/5 stars
This is the new one and it started out a little slow but got better as it went on. It is a updated version of the classic tale. When farmer McGregor dies, his nephew takes over the farm after losing his position at a department store. However, the animals go wild and McGregor and the animals start feuding. But things change when the new McGregor falls in love with the girl next door. Funny, romantic and amazing graphics. Not a great film but fun.

Jul 10, 4:24pm Top

Crown Heights (2017)

In the spring of 1980, a teenager is gunned down in the streets of Flatbush, Brooklyn. The police pressure a child witness to identify a suspect. As a result, Colin Warner, an 18-year-old kid from nearby Crown Heights, is wrongfully convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Crooked cops, an injustice justice system and the politics of the day (Ronald Reagan's "Get Touch on Crime Policies"), all steam rolled Warner's efforts to prove his innocence. Watching this you just have to ask yourself how did this innocent man survive being incarcerated for 21 years of life with no one but his brother and one attorney that was just starting his practice willing to believe him? It made you wish it was a Hollywood script.

Jul 11, 12:20pm Top

>20 Carol420: Sounds very interesting.

Jul 12, 4:01am Top

I have been slacking. Doing jigsaws while listening to a Game of Thrones book. Rewatching TV series and playing a great little game (Leaves: The Journey) on the PC, but I did watch this last night and wished I had someone to discuss it with.

The Tale. 2018. Autobiographical story written and directed by Jennifer Fox. Ms Fox (Laura Dern) is a documentary maker who receives several frantic phone calls from her mother (Ellen Burstyn) who has found an essay Jenny wrote about the summer she spent at a riding school when she was 13. She loved her riding teacher, Mrs G and her running coach, Bill, because they saw through her insecurities to the beautiful woman she would become. As modern day Jenny replays her childhood in her head, she realises she has misremembered the past, in order to live with it. Very cleverly made, but I don't know if she would have been better off continuing to believe her own version of events. 7.5/10

Jul 12, 5:16pm Top

>22 .cris: Sounds really interesting.

Jul 12, 5:20pm Top

3/5 stars
Sarah Winchester is visited by a doctor to evaluate her for the Winchester Company. The company is concerned about her mental status due to the fact she keeps building onto the home she lives in and the reason for it. Of course terrible things happen when the doctors comes for the evaluation. This got extremely horrible reviews but I didn't hate it. I have always wanted to visit the Winchester Mansion and the sets were just amazing and so were the special effects. The story was so/so.

Jul 12, 5:58pm Top

>24 JulieLill: There is a DVD out...I believe it's produced by the History Channel or the Discovery Channel called the "Haunting of the Winchester House". That is one strange building.

Jul 12, 6:04pm Top

Major Crimes Season 3

I am so glad I found this series but I'm very sad that I only have 3 more to go. TNT cancelled it just before the season 7 was to be filmed. Bummer!!! I love how this team works and plays together. Oh well...on to season 4.

Edited: Jul 13, 10:06am Top

Keep Watching (2017)

A family become imprisoned in their home by intruders, who force them to play a life-and-death game, where the mysterious rules become clear as the night unfolds.

Another film that bases it's entire story line on the depravity of mankind in it's attempt to see how much helplessness, blood, and mayhem can be crammed into 90 minutes.

Jul 13, 12:07pm Top

Pa Fylla (10 Drunken Short Stories). 2017. Norway. Ten stories warning young people about the moronic things that are done under the influence. Each film is less than three minutes long, and some were really funny, but one actually made me barf. I do recognise a (much) younger me in some of these vignettes. Shameful!

Jul 13, 12:10pm Top

>25 Carol420: My library system has a couple of DVDs on Winchester House and other haunted houses. On of them was the one you mentioned. I ordered them to see what info they have on them. Thanks for the tip.

Edited: Jul 13, 12:12pm Top

>28 .cris: That is a bizarre topic to film. Not in my library system - but I would totally watch that.

Jul 15, 4:42am Top

>30 JulieLill: I found it on YouTube, The translation leaves a lot to be desired but it's very visual.

Edited: Jul 16, 12:21pm Top

Ant-Man and the Wasp
4/5 stars
I loved the first movie in this series. Paul Rudd is so good as Ant-Man. This wasn't as good as the first one, IMO, but there is a lot of humor and action. I think action films are getting a little too long and action filled. I would like more content and a better story line. But I do like this series.

Jane 2017
5/5 stars
This is a wonderful documentary on Jane Goodall who was sent to record and document the lives of chimpanzees in Tanzania. I knew a little about her before seeing this film but I was blown away with all the work she did with chimpanzees. She met her husband through her work when he came to photograph her work and her son was raised in Gombe among the apes. Highly recommended. Definitely will be on my top film list of the year!

Jul 16, 4:31pm Top

>32 JulieLill: Glad you found the second Ant-Man movie entertaining, as I will probably be seeing it.

I streamed Game Night last night, and it was very entertaining. Max and Annie are a super-competitive couple who host a weekly game night with their friends. Max's better-looking, more successful older brother takes over, though, with a surprise murder mystery, during which he is kidnapped. However, he is kidnapped for real, which the other players don't realize at first. Several very funny sequences and lots of references to classic games make this a fun movie. 4/5

Jul 16, 4:56pm Top

>33 sturlington: I enjoyed Game Night too.

Edited: Jul 16, 5:42pm Top

The Spinning Man (2018)

You leave this film thinking "what was the point anyway?". It started with the question of did he or didn't he and you knew the answer in the first 10 minutes of the film. The idea was good but the execution was lacking. Too many unanswered questions and a very rushed ending.

Jul 17, 5:07pm Top

Alpha Gateway (2018)

What would you do if you found out that many parallel worlds existed side by side...that all were alike in someways...some small differences and some huge? Now imagine that someone you loved that had died was alive in at least some of these worlds and you had the ability to find them and bring them into your world? One thing I can say for this film was that it never had a dull moment...it was interesting throughout and the plot was old but had some good twists. I did think that there was more that could have been explored and incorporated into the story but not a bad way to spend 90 minutes.

Jul 17, 5:18pm Top

>36 Carol420: I'll look for this one. It's got a higher audience rating than critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which usually means it's pretty watchable. I love parallel world stories.

Jul 18, 9:39am Top

>37 sturlington: I found it very watchable. I just thought the parallel world angle could have been explored more but I guess they only had 90 minutes:)

Jul 18, 10:35am Top

>36 Carol420: I like parallel universe stories too.

Jul 18, 12:15pm Top

>36 Carol420: I never heard of this but my library system has one copy. Looks interesting.

Edited: Jul 18, 4:36pm Top

>40 JulieLill: I had never heard of it either. The director of my library has been my friend for about 30 years and she knows the type of movies I like so she saved it for me. Hope you like it.

Jul 18, 4:44pm Top

>41 Carol420: You've had a friend for 30 years? Most people can only take me for 30 minutes.

Edited: Jul 18, 5:14pm Top

>42 .cris: LOL! I've considered you my friend for more than 30 minutes. Of course we are separated by several thousand miles and a really big ocean:)

Jul 19, 3:48am Top

>43 Carol420: Those small obstacles obviously help.

Edited: Jul 20, 5:16pm Top

>44 .cris: LOL! You might be right but I bet I'd be your friend for at least a couple of hours:)

Edited: Jul 20, 5:38pm Top

Room (2015)

I just read the book...it was my "Blind Date With A Book"...and really enjoyed it. I couldn't believe that I had never watched the movie so decided to remedy that. It was one of the best movies that I had watched in some time. I love the little character of Jack. The book and the film are told mostly from Jack's 5-year old point of view. It's based on the novel by the same name, by Emma Donoghue who also wrote the screenplay. Both the book and the movie was based on a true story about a girl in Austria was kidnapped in 2008 and held captive by her own father. years.

Jul 21, 3:43pm Top

>46 Carol420: I did not want to watch this movie-the topic was chilling but I did enjoy it and thought it was well done.

Jul 21, 3:47pm Top

The Party
5/5 stars
A candidate for government wins an important election and family and friends gather for a celebration though not is all it seems when the candidate's husband reveals he is leaving her. This was a pretty interesting film about the relationships we sow and how we don't really know the people that we are closest to. Highly recommended. Great cast!

Jul 24, 7:05am Top

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Really enjoyable. I prefer superhero movies that have a fair amount of comedy, and all of the minor characters in this one were entertaining. I think it was better than the first one. 4/5

Jul 25, 10:48am Top

>49 sturlington: The only superhero films I like rely on comedy and not taking themselves too seriously (The Dark Knight series excepted), but I've been told it helps to have seen Captain America to know the back story?

Jul 25, 1:27pm Top

>50 .cris: It references Captain America: Civil War, but I don't think it's necessary to have seen it. That just explains why Ant-Man is under house arrest and his falling out with Hope and Hank. I think you can get the gist from the dialogue.

Edited: Jul 27, 12:24pm Top

Looking Glass
2.5/5 stars
A couple escaping from a tragedy buys an old motel in a different city to move on with their lives. Unfortunately, this was not the place to settle, when they find their motel is being used for nefarious purposes. This started out pretty well but went down hill towards the end.

Jul 28, 5:11pm Top

The Closer - Seasons 1 & 2

This is what Major Crimes is a spin-off from. I love Major Crimes and was so sorry to learn that TNT cancelled the show before season 7 was filmed. They should have cancelled The Closer after season 1. The only saving grace for this was that the detective team in this went on to have a big part in Major Crimes. Kyra Sedgwick was the "STAR" of this and I do mean "STAR". The guys that are so good in Major Crimes are merely her puppets here. She is suppose to be so smart and solve the crime with almost no help but she is an airhead with a sappy southern accent. I think I'm going to skip the remainder of the Kyra Sedwick Show.

Jul 29, 8:35pm Top

The Equalizer 2
4/5 stars
This is the second film in the series based on the original TV series. Denzel Washington does a great job in this action film, exacting revenge on those who will take advantage of others. I thought this was better than the first but Denzel is aging somewhat and don't know how he keeps up with all the stunts.

Jul 29, 9:17pm Top

>54 JulieLill: I didn't realize this was out. I'll have to get it. I really liked the first one.

Jul 30, 12:06pm Top

Love, Simon
4/5 stars
This teen film is about a young boy who is gay but has not come out yet and his journey to be his full self. Sweet and funny!

Thelma Norwegian film
4/5 stars
A young girl who has been kept home for years is allowed to go away to school. When she experiences a seizure, she finds that she also is experiencing supernatural abilities and everything about her past comes full circle including learning about a grandmother that may have had the same abilities. Starts slowly but builds up. Very creepy but I really enjoyed it.

Edited: Jul 30, 5:01pm Top

Footsteps 92003)

Daisy Lowendahl is a best-selling suspense novelist who finds herself at her isolated beach house with a local young fan who knows almost everything about her, and two men - one of whom may be trying to kill her, the other of whom could save her life, causing Daisy to be thrown into the middle of a real-life drama.

One of the strangest movies I have seen this year. There was not much of a plot in spite of what the movie description says. Candice Bergen is not interesting in the role of victim. She comes across as boring. At times I was actually rooting for the killer, plus there is too much dialog and everyone is rather dense. If you are looking for an edge-of-your-seat thriller... then by-pass this one.

Aug 1, 8:43am Top

The Hatred (2017)

A young girl gets to break free from her suffocating and overprotective father but this father who was close to the Nazis and even closer to Adolf Hitler won't allow it. In a fit of rage, he drowns her and then buries her in the grounds of his country home. He lies to the police and his worried wife claiming he knows nothing about her whereabouts. For reasons unknown, his wife then murders him by poisoning him. Years later, four young women travel to their professor's country home and discover its malevolent past.

It started out with a lot of promise. You had to wonder how this poor girl couldn't come back to haunt the house that she had such a terrible childhood in. Then it moved to the present day with the arrival of the 4 college students arriving to babysit a young girl. The action by the ghost was fine...not stellar..but watchable. The personalities of the four college girls was sappy and over dramatic and did more to discredit the film than to enhance it. So I guess I have to say it wasn't bad but I've seen better.

Aug 5, 10:37am Top

Tully. 2018. Comedy (?). Charlize Theron plays Marlo, a pregnant woman gradually drowning in motherhood. With a husband, who believes he pulls his parenting weight, a daughter who is fairly self sufficient and a son who is extremely demanding, she dreads the exhaustion that comes with being a sleep deprived new mum. Her wealthy brother pays for her to have a night-nanny, and the support, friendship and understanding of her needs from this young girl reinvigorates her. Was it a comedy? I didn't think any woman who's had an endlessly crying baby would think so. A good film. 7/10

Aug 5, 11:00am Top

The 12th Man. 2017. Norwegian true war story. Eleven trained saboteurs are sent from England, but are captured before their boat can land. They are tortured and shot, but paperwork found suggests there were twelve men. No one could possibly survive the sub-zero water temperatures, especially if the man was injured, as a blood trail suggests. The local nazi commander is prepared to declare the man drowned but his colleague takes pride in the fact that nobody has ever evaded capture by him, so the race is on for Jan Baalsrud to reach the safety of neutral Sweden with the dogged Kurt Stage just behind him. An incredible story of endurance and bravery. 8/10

Aug 5, 11:05am Top

>56 JulieLill: I can't say I enjoyed this as much as you Julie. Why was the mother in a wheelchair? 3/10

Aug 5, 11:25am Top

The Child in Time. 2017. TV movie. Benedict Cumberbatch plays Stephen Lewis, the father of a little girl who disappears while they are in a supermarket. The recriminations from his wife (Kelly Macdonald) cause his marriage to break down and he spends a lot of the film looking very sad. Meanwhile his friend, who has a top government job has some sort of mental breakdown and seems to believe his is one of Enid Blyton's "Famous Five". The Prime Minister is alarmed and asks Stephen to help. He then contacts his wife, they have sex and he starts looking happy again. Excuse me sounding unsympathetic, but it was Benedict Cumberbatch, the very famous actor, not a grieving father, and I think anyone THAT important in government would have been sectioned for his own safety. I couldn't buy into any of it. 3/10

Aug 5, 11:39am Top

Calibre. 2018. Thriller set in Scotland. Two old friends take a break in the Highlands. One is a seasoned hunter, the other a complete novice. The newbie lines up his first shot, an unsuspecting deer (you've lost my sympathy at this point), takes aim and shoots .....a child out hunting with his dad. There are two choices now. 1: Call the police and take your medicine or 2: ????? Not a bad low budget film. 5/10

Aug 5, 12:01pm Top

Tau. 2018. Sci-fi. IMDb: "A woman is held captive by a scientist in a futuristic smart house, and hopes to escape by reasoning with the Artificial Intelligence that controls the house". I quite like A.I. stories. I'm not sure Ed Skrein was quite right for the part of the anally-retentive scientist and having Gary Oldman as the voice of T.A.U. seemed a waste of money, but it was OK. Not as good as Ex Machina, but worth 5.5/10

Aug 5, 12:04pm Top

That's July done and dusted. Now onward to August.

Aug 5, 5:27pm Top

>61 .cris: Not sure but I wonder if she was injured during one of the daughter's episodes.

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