From Time to Time (2009) Rated PG

 A boy visiting his grandmother discovers he can travel between two centuries and unlocks family history mysteries. Based on the book, The Chimneys of Green Knowe by Lucy M. Boston. Starring Alex Etel, Timothy Spall, Maggie Smith, Dominic West.

I wanted to watch this film mainly because I wanted to see what Julian Fellowes made before Downton Abbey. The film is brilliantly told with great cinematography. It’s well written and it showcases Fellowes’ great storytelling. With that, I have to say the story is rather predictable. There were aspects of the film that weren’t as smooth or consistent as they could have been. Even with those blunders, though, the film is worth a watch.

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Blood Drive (SYFY) Rated TV-MA

 Set in the future, a cop is forced to participate in a death race where the cars run on blood. Starring  Alan Ritchson, Christina Ochoa, Thomas Dominique, Marama Corlett, Colin Cunningham

This is the worst show I’ve seen. It’s over the top bad. Yes, it has the grindhouse basics film genre but it is a show that doesn’t need to be on TV. The gore is very grindhouse and the sex is over the top. The writing needs some work although, it does have a good story that could unfold as the series goes on. The cohesiveness of the show just doesn’t work. It’s a show not worth watching.

Posted in 2017, action, Adventure, comedy, horror, Rated TV-MA, reviews, Sci-fi, SyFy, Thrillers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New This Week in Theater, November 16, 2017

 Justice League (PG-13)
Opens on Friday, November 17
Starring: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller

Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy.

 Wonder (PG)
Opens on Friday, November 17
Starring: Julia Roberts, Jacob Tremblay, Owen Wilson, Mandy Patinkin

Based on the New York Times bestseller, WONDER tells the incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time.

 The Star (PG)
Opens on Friday, November 17
Starring: Steven Yeun, Kristin Chenoweth, Zachary Levi, Gina Rodriguez

A small but brave donkey and his animal friends become the unsung heroes of the first Christmas.

 The Breadwinner (PG-13)
Opens on Friday, November 17
Starring: Saara Chaudry, Laara Sadiq, Shaista Latif

A headstrong young girl in Afghanistan disguises herself as a boy in order to provide for her family.

 Roman J. Israel, Esq. (PG-13)
Opens on Friday, November 17
Starring: Denzel Washington, Colin Farrell, Carmen Ejogo, Lynda Gravatt

Denzel Washington stars as Roman Israel, a driven, idealistic defense attorney who, through a tumultuous series of events, finds himself in a crisis that leads to extreme action.

  Mudbound (R)
Opens on Friday, November 17
Starring: Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Clarke, Jonathan Banks

Two men return home from World War II to work on a farm in rural Mississippi, where they struggle to deal with racism and adjusting to life after war.

 Big Sonia (NR)
Opens on Friday, November 17
Starring: Sonia Warshawski, SuEllen Fried, Caroline Kennedy, Regina Kort

In the last store in a defunct shopping mall, 91-year-old Sonia Warshawski – great-grandmother, businesswoman, and Holocaust survivor – runs the tailor shop she’s owned for more than thirty years. But when she’s served an eviction notice, the specter of retirement prompts Sonia to revisit her harrowing past as a refugee and witness to genocide. A poignant story of generational trauma and healing, BIG SONIA also offers a laugh-out-loud-funny portrait of the power of love to triumph over bigotry, and the power of truth-telling to heal us all.

 Almost Friends (NR)
Opens on Friday, November 17
Starring:  Freddie Highmore, Odeya Rush, Christopher Meloni, Haley Joel Osment

Charlie is an unmotivated man in his mid 20s still living at home with his mother and stepfather who falls for a young woman who has a serious boyfriend.

 Mr. Roosevelt (NR)
Opens on Friday, November 17
Starring: Noël Wells, Nick Thune, Britt Lower, Daniella Pineda

After a loved one falls ill, struggling comedian Emily Martin returns to her college town of Austin, Texas and must come to terms with her past while staying with her ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend.

Synopsis by IMDB.

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The Central Park Five (2012) Rated NR

This documentary examines the rape of a woman in Central Park in 1989 for which five black and Latino boys were convicted. Years later, a serial rapist confessed to the crime. Starring Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, Kharey Wise, Matias Reyes.

This is a brilliant documentary, revealing how the pressure police face to get a conviction for a crime can change the course of innocent people’s lives. It covers crime in New York in the late 80’s, what the boys were up to during that time, the time line of the crime, and the DNA evidence. It also shares what happened to the boys after they were convicted. You cannot turn back the hands of time. I can only imagine how hard it would be to forgive such a grievous mistake. This film definitely sides more with the victims (the boys who were wrongfully convicted), which is understandable, given how messed up the case became. This documentary is worth a watch.

Posted in 2012, Crime, Documentary, historical, Rated NR, reviews, Tv shows | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beat Shazam (FOX) Rated TV-PG

Teams race to name songs the fastest to win a million dollars. Starring Jamie Foxx, October Gonzalez, DJ Irie.

A modern take on “Name That Tune,” this show is fun to watch. It’s crazy to see teams guess songs after only two seconds of playing time. I did find it distracting to have a DJ playing the songs, though; I guess every game show needs a beautiful woman for a sidekick. Also, I normally love Foxx, but I found his comments bordering on racist. Granted, he is African American, but the way he teased the only African American team about their knowledge of black music artists was really off-putting. If a white man had been hosting the show, it would have been canceled. It was enough to make the show a pass for me. It’s not worth watching.

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The Comedy Get Down (BET) Rated TV -14

This series follows a group of comedians as they go on their comedy tour and all the antics they get into. Starring Eddie Griffin, Tawny Newsome, Cedric the Entertainer, D.L. Hughley, George Lopez, Charlie Murphy.

You’d think, with this kind of cast, you’d get some laughs, but this show was anything but funny. Like so many behind-the-scenes based shows, this one was plain old boring. Unless, of course, you find it funny to hear the “N” word used excessively. And, what is with the fake pie brand that the assistant couldn’t get right? This show was a waste of time; I guess they keep all the humor for the onstage, because there certainly wasn’t any backstage. It is a pass.

 

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New This Week on DVD, November 14, 2017

 Atomic Blonde (R)

An undercover MI6 agent is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents. Starring Charlize Theron,
James McAvoy, Eddie Marsan, John Goodman, Toby Jones

 Wind River (R)

A veteran tracker with the Fish and Wildlife Service helps to investigate the murder of a young Native American woman, and uses the case as a means of seeking redemption for an earlier act of irresponsibility which ended in tragedy. Starring Kelsey Asbille, Jeremy Renner, Julia Jones, Elizabeth Olsen

 The Nut Job 2 (PG)

Following the events of the first film, Surly and his friends must stop Oakton City’s mayor from destroying their home to make way for a dysfunctional amusement park. Starring Will Arnett, Maya Rudolph, Bobby Cannavale, Gabriel Iglesias, Jeff Dunham

 Kedi (UR)

A profile of an ancient city and its unique people, seen through the eyes of the most mysterious and beloved animal humans have ever known, the Cat. Starring Bengu, Deniz, Duman

 The Women’s Balcony (NR)

A bar mitzvah mishap causes a major rift in a devout Orthodox community in Jerusalem. Starring Evelin Hagoel, Igal Naor, Orna Banai

 Brigsby Bear (PG-13)

Brigsby Bear Adventures is a children’s TV show produced for an audience of one: James. When the show abruptly ends, James’s life changes forever, and he sets out to finish the story himself. Starring Kyle Mooney, Mark Hamill, Jane Adams, Greg Kinnear

 Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary (NR)

The film explores the global power and impact of the music of John Coltrane and reveals the passions, experiences and forces that shaped his life and revolutionary sounds. Starring Denzel Washington, Reggie Workman, Ravi Coltrane, Bill Clinton

 Aquarius (NR)

Clara, a 65 year old widow and retired music critic, was born into a wealthy and traditional family in Recife, Brazil. She is the last resident of the Aquarius, an original two-story building, built in the 1940s, in the upper-class, seaside Boa Viagem Avenue, Recife. All the neighboring apartments have already been acquired by a company which has other plans for that plot. Clara has pledged to only leave her place upon her death, and will engage in a cold war of sorts with the company. This tension both disturbs Clara and gives her that edge on her daily routine. It also gets her thinking about her loved ones, her past and her future. Starring Sonia Braga, Maeve Jinkings, Irandhir Santos

 Whose Streets? (R)

Whose Streets? is an unflinching look at how the killing of 18-year-old Mike Brown inspired a community to fight back and sparked a global movement. Starring Brittany Ferrell, Bassem Masri, Tef Poe

 Wasted: The Story of Food Waste (TV-MA)

Through the eyes of famous chefs, audiences will see how they make the most of every kind of food, transforming what most people consider scraps into incredible dishes that create a more secure food system. Starring Anthony Bourdain, Mario Batali, Massimo Bottura

 Pearl Jam: Let’s Play Two (NR)

Concert film centering on the rock band Pearl Jam’s August 2016 shows at Chicago’s Wrigley Field. Starring Jeff Ament, Matt Cameron, Kenneth ‘Boom’ Gaspar

 6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain (PG-13)

An adrenaline seeking snowboarder gets lost in a massive winter storm in the back country of the High Sierras where he is pushed to the limits of human endurance and forced to battle his own personal demons as he fights for survival….” Starring Josh Hartnett, Mira Sorvino, Sarah Dumont

 My First Miracle (NR)

This is the story of Angelica, a 16 year-old girl who’s battling a rare kind of cancer called Myelodysplastic Syndrome, her struggles to try to live a normal life, and her hopes of finding her first true love before it’s too late. Starring Sean Patrick Flanery, Jason London,
Quinton Aaron

 Firehouse Christmas (NR)

Firefighter Jenny falls in love with local star Tom but his ex-wife and celebrity figure skating Mary is asking him to choose between reconciling or going through an ugly custody battle. With her natural warmth and kindness to the community Jenny starts to convince everybody that her love for Tom is real. Mary’s fierceness is more powerful than anything Jenny has ever faced before. Who will Tom choose in the end? Starring Anna Hutchison, Marcus Rosner, Anita Brown

 Preacher: Season 2 (TV-MA)

After a supernatural event at his church, a preacher enlists the help of a vampire to find God. Starring Dominic Cooper, Joseph Gilgun, Ruth Negga, Ian Colletti

 Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Murder on the Orient Express (PG-13)

A lavish train ride unfolds into a stylish & suspenseful mystery. From the novel by Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express tells of thirteen stranded strangers & one man’s race to solve the puzzle before the murderer strikes again. Starring Paapa Essiedu, Yassine Zeroual, Asan N’Jie, Kenneth Branagh, Daisy Ridley, Leslie Odom Jr.

 Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You (G)

The film centers on young Mariah, a little girl who dreams of getting a dog for Christmas after seeing a puppy named Princess at the local pet store. To see if she’s ready for the responsibility, Mariah is tasked with dog-sitting her uncle’s crazy canine Jack, who upends the family’s holiday preparations with his various shenanigans. Starring Mariah Carey, Breanna Yde, Henry Winkler

  Unlocked (R)

A CIA interrogator is lured into a ruse that puts London at risk of a biological attack. Starring Noomi Rapace, Orlando Bloom, Toni Collette, John Malkovich, Michael Douglas

 24: Legacy – Season One (TV-14)

A military hero who returns to the U.S. with a whole lot of trouble following him back. With nowhere else to turn, the man asks CTU to help him save his life while also stopping one of the largest-scale terror attacks on American soil. Starring Corey Hawkins,
Miranda Otto, Anna Diop, Teddy Sears, Ashley Thomas, Dan Bucatinsky, Coral Peña, Sheila Vand, Jimmy Smits, Tammie Marie Vaughan

 Doctor Who: The Complete Tenth Series (TV-PG)

The further adventures of the time travelling alien adventurer known as the Doctor, a Time Lord/Lady who can change appearance and gender, and his/her companions. Starring Matt Smith, David Tennant, Peter Capaldi

Synopsis by IMDB.

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Playing for Keeps (1986) Rated PG-13

 A group of friends discover a deed to a house and dream of turning it into a rock n’ roll hotel. Starring Daniel Jordano, Matthew Penn, Leon W. Grant, Marisa Tomei.

This film is really out there. Poor writing, direction, and production plague every aspect of the film. The first film by directors Bob and Harvey Weinstein, it is a complete chaotic mess. There is no plot line to follow, and the characters have no redeeming or endearing qualities to identify with. This movie is a pass.

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The Disappearance of Maura Murray (Oxygen) Rated NR

A young nursing student leaves school and vanishes without a trace on February 9, 2004. Her disappearance has fueled a legion of controversy. The show tries to unravel the misinformation and facts to uncover what happened to Maura Murray on that fateful day. Starring Maggie Freleng, Art Roderick.

Unlike The Eleven, the show I reviewed a few weeks ago, this show tries to uncover what might have happened to a girl who simply vanished. There are interviews with family, eyewitnesses, and law enforcement with details which have become clouded over time but still searching for answers to what happened. I was drawn in by this show, and have found myself wondering how a girl with such a bright future just disappeared. The more interviews I watched, the more intriguing the disappearance became. For a real and compelling mystery, this show is worth a watch. 

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The Matchmaker (1997) Rated R

An assistant to a senator, who is struggling with a re-election and trying to win over the Irish votes, is sent to Ireland to retrace the senator’s ancestors. Once there, she runs into more problems as a single lady in a town celebrating the annual matchmaker festival. Starring Janeane Garofalo, David O’Hara, Milo O’Shea, Denis Leary.

This film felt really forced. I mean, really, a struggling snator sends his assistant to Ireland to trace his roots, and she falls in love? Maybe I would have enjoyed the film more if the comedy was more pronounced, but Garofalo played her part with too much romantic cynicism to be endearing. I just couldn’t see her dry character falling in love on a business trip. This film is a pass.

Posted in 1997, comedy, films, Irish Films, Movie reviews, movies, Rated R, reviews, Romance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment