New This Week in Theaters, January 18, 2018

 Den of Thieves (R)
Opens on Friday, January 19
Starring: Gerard Butler, Jordan Bridges, Pablo Schreiber, Evan Jones

A gritty crime saga which follows the lives of an elite unit of the LA County Sheriff’s Dept. and the state’s most successful bank robbery crew as the outlaws plan a seemingly impossible heist on the Federal Reserve Bank.

 The Leisure Seeker (R)
Opens on Friday, January 19
Starring: Donald Sutherland, Helen Mirren, Kirsty Mitchell, Janel Moloney

A runaway couple go on an unforgettable journey in the faithful old RV they call The Leisure Seeker.

 Forever My Girl (PG)
Opens on Friday, January 19
Starring: Alex Roe, Jessica Rothe, John Benjamin Hickey, Abby Ryder Fortson

After being gone for a decade a country star returns home to the love he left behind.

 12 Strong (R)
Opens on Friday, January 19
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, William Fichtner, Elsa Pataky

12 Strong tells the story of the first Special Forces team deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11; under the leadership of a new captain, the team must work with an Afghan warlord to take down the Taliban.

 Mary and The Witch’s Flower (PG)
Opens on Friday, January 19
Starring: Hana Sugisaki, Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Yûki Amami, Fumiyo Kohinata

Based on The Little Broomstick by Mary Stewart, a strange flower grants a girl magic powers.

 This Giant Papier-Mâché Boulder Is Actually Really Heavy (NR)
Opens on Friday, January 19
Starring: Christian Nicolson, Sez Niederer, Daniel Pujol, Lewis Roscoe

Three ordinary guys are thrust into a parallel world of an old Sci-Fi movie. Trapped in a low budget universe they must somehow fight their way home before it is too late.

Synopsis by IMDB.

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To Rome for Love (BRAVO) Rated NR

 A group of women head to Rome to find love. Starring Mercedes Young, Cece Counts, Diann Valentine.

This is a reality show that takes a group of African-American women to Rome to find love. I have two problems with the show. One, it is only comprised of African-American women and not just women in general. They try to make it a way to honor the women, but I just couldn’t get over how often they commented on the skin tone. Two, it’s a typical reality romance show. Get a group of women together looking for romance, and you get the cattiness of them bickering about the men and comforting each other as they talk about how awful their previous men were. There are two sides to every romance, and it’s hard to see them rip the men apart. This is one that isn’t worth a watch.

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26TH Annual Movieguide Award Nominees

Epiphany Prize to the Most Inspiring Movie of 2017

All Saints
Bitter Harvest
The Boss Baby
The Case for Christ
Let There Be Light
The Promise
The Star

Epiphany Prize to the Most Inspiring TV Program of 2017

Blue Bloods
The Crown
Last Man Standing
Little Big Shots
The Long Road Home

Faith & Freedom Award for Movies

Bitter Harvest
The Boss Baby
Darkest Hour
The Lego Batman Movie
The Promise

Faith and Freedom Award for TV

Blue Bloods
The Crown
Five Came Back
The Long Road Home
The Middle

Best Movie for Families

The Boss Baby
Cars 3
The Case for Christ
Despicable Me 3
The Emoji Movie
The Lego Batman Movie
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Smurfs: The Lost Village
The Star

Best Movie for Mature Audiences

All Saints
Bitter Harvest
Darkest Hour
Justice League
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
The Promise
Thor: Ragnarok
Wonder Woman

Grace Award for Most Inspiring Performance for Movies

Erica Christensen for The Case for Christ
John Corbett for All Saints
Oscar Isaac for  The Promise
Kevin Sorbo for Let There Be Light
Sam Sorbo for Let There Be Light
Terence Stamp for Bitter Harvest
Dan Stevens for The Man Who Invented Christmas
Mike Vogel for The Case for Christ

Christie Peters Grace Award for Most Inspiring Performance for TV

Tim Allen for Last Man Standing
Len Cariou for Blue Bloods
Jenna Coleman for Victoria
Bill Engvall for Last Man Standing
Claire Foy for The Crown
Steve Harvey for Little Big Shots
Tom Hughes for Victoria
Michael Kelly for The Long Road Home
Tom Selleck for Blue Bloods
Paul Sparks for The Crown

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Angel in the Family (2004) Rated NR

 A widowed father and his two daughters get a Christmas surprise when their mother returns for Christmas. Starring Meredith Baxter, Ronny Cox, Natasha Gregson Wagner.

A family is rife with turmoil when the two daughters come home to attend to their father, who has fallen ill. Once they arrive, they discover that their deceased mother is also inhabiting the home. As they bask in the memories of their mother, the tension grows, but throughout the course of the movie, they find forgiveness and connection with one another. It is a good holiday movie, but it is more poignant than joyful. I wish I enjoyed it more than I did. It is a pass.

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New This Week on DVD, January 16, 2018

 Blade Runner 2049 (R)

A young blade runner’s discovery of a long-buried secret leads him to track down former blade runner Rick Deckard, who’s been missing for thirty years. Starring Ryan Gosling, Dave Bautista, Robin Wright

 Happy Death Day (PG-13)

A college student must relive the day of her murder over and over again, in a loop that will end only when she discovers her killer’s identity. Starring Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine

 The Snowman (R)

Detective Harry Hole investigates the disappearance of a woman whose scarf is found wrapped around an ominous-looking snowman. Starring Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg

 Loving Vincent (PG-13)

In a story depicted in oil painted animation, a young man comes to the last hometown of painter Vincent van Gogh to deliver the troubled artist’s final letter and ends up investigating his final days there. Starring Douglas Booth, Josh Burdett, Holly Earl

 Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent (R)

Both a biopic of a complicated man and an exploration of the gathering forces that converged to shape a new American cuisine and create the cult of “celebrity chef”… A consummate hedonist, Jeremiah Tower’s career spans the riotous sexual revolution of the 70’s to the high rolling “greed-is-good” spirit of the ’80s. Key interviews with celebrities & celebrity chefs cement Tower’s influence on today’s food culture and reveal how he transformed the restaurant industry and in the process changed the way we eat. Starring  Mario Batali, Anthony Bourdain, Francesca De Luca

 I, Daniel Blake (R)

After having suffered a heart-attack, a 59-year-old carpenter must fight the bureaucratic forces of the system in order to receive Employment and Support Allowance. Starring Dave Johns, Hayley Squires, Briana Shann

 Better Call Saul: Season Three (TV-MA)

The trials and tribulations of criminal lawyer, Jimmy McGill, in the time leading up to establishing his strip-mall law office in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Starring  Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks, Rhea Seehorn

 Trial & Error: The Complete First Season (NR)

A spoof of crime documentaries about the arrest and trial of a beloved poetry professor from a small town in South Carolina, who is accused of brutally murdering his wife, and the young Northeastern lawyer hired to defend him. Starring Nicholas D’Agosto, Jayma Mays, Steven Boyer

Synopsis by IMDB.

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The Christmas Snowman (2017) Rated NR

 A woman who helps the neighborhood kids build a snowman dreams of the perfect guy. Starring Erin Boyes, Anthony Konechny, Islie Hirvonen.

This short Christmas romance, while kind of cute, is probably the worst I’ve seen this year. It was hard to feel the Christmas magic when the movie is based on a woman who dreams of a snowman coming to life and falling in love with her. Apart from the oddity of wanting to fall in love with a snowman was the inordinate amount of time this woman spent sleeping. It’s obvious she has no life outside of sleeping Christmas away, with no family or friends to speak of, dreaming of a snowman coming to life and romancing her. That is crazy single lady syndrome, and I didn’t find anything endearing or romantic about it. This film is a pass.

Posted in 2017, Christmas Films, Drama, films, Movie reviews, movies, Rated NR, reviews, Short | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ordinary Miracles (2005) Rated NR

 A Judge takes a troubled teen into her home after no one else wanted her. Starring Jaclyn Smith, Lyndsy Fonseca, C. Thomas Howell, Corbin Bernsen.

An unspectacular Hallmark production, this film travels a well-worn story line. A hard-nosed judge takes in a troubled teen who just wants to be part of a loving family. Both have their relationship issues to overcome in order to care for each other. There are no surprises. Well-written and performed, it is easy to connect into these characters’ lives. However, the predictability keeps me from recommending it. This film is a pass.


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The Christmas Trap (2017) Rated NR

A soon-to-be-divorced couple on the way to their lawyer’s office gets stuck in an elevator. Starring Lucia Walters, Colin Lawrence, Alistair Abell.

This short is another taste of holiday magic. (Spoiler alert) While a married couple is stuck in an elevator, they get a chance to talk out their problems and learn to love each other again. Brilliantly written, we can see through their interaction a taste of their family’s life and the possible cause of their marriage’s derailment, as well as their realization of what they can do to get it back on track. The cause seemed a little petty to me, but it is a short film, and there isn’t time to delve into deeper issues. This film is worth a watch.


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Trucker (2008) Rated R

 A trucker leading a carefree life is forced to face the life she left. Starring Michelle Monaghan, Nathan Fillion, Benjamin Bratt, Joey Lauren Adams, Matthew Lawrence.

This film explores the life of Diana, a freewheeling truck driver who must change her ways to help her son. We watch her journey of transformation from a heartless woman to one of compassion and tenderness. Monaghan and Fillion carry this film with their stellar performances, and the spectacular cinematography adds depth and beauty to their story. It is also a realistic view of a trucker’s life on the road, which can be quite lonely. This film is worth a watch.

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Donnelly Rhodes (1937-2018)



 Sliders (1995–2000) Rated NR

A boy genius and his comrades travel to different parallel universes, trying to find their way back home.

 The X Files (1993– ) Rated TV-14

Two FBI agents, Fox Mulder the believer and Dana Scully the skeptic, investigate the strange and unexplained, while hidden forces work to impede their efforts.

 Battlestar Galactica (2004–2009) Rated TV-14

When an old enemy, the Cylons, resurface and obliterate the 12 colonies, the crew of the aged Galactica protect a small civilian fleet – the last of humanity – as they journey toward the fabled 13th colony, Earth.

 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) Rated PG

Two Western bank/train robbers flee to Bolivia when the law gets too close.

 The Golden Girls (1985–1992) Rated TV-PG

Four previously married women live together in Miami, sharing their various experiences together and enjoying themselves despite hard times.

Synopsis by IMDB.

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