The Last Stand (2013) Rated R

 A small town sheriff must stop a drug cartel before they get to Mexico. Starring  Arron Shiver, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Titos Menchaca, Luis Guzman, Forest Whitaker.

There is nothing original or notable about this lackluster film. Although it is fun to see Schwarzenegger on-screen again, his performance is hardly compelling. It’s just another stop the drug smugglers before the cross the border movie with a healthy dose of violence to get the job done. It’s realistic enough, but poorly written, and hardly worth a watch. This film is a pass.

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Screen Actors Guild Award Winners 2018

 

 

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series

Claire Foy for The Crown

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series

Sterling K. Brown for This Is Us

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series

Julia Louis-Dreyfus for Veep

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

Frances McDormand for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series

William H. Macy for Shameless

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

Gary Oldman for Darkest Hour

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Allison Janney for I, Tonya

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Sam Rockwell for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series

Game of Thrones

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Film

Wonder Woman

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series

Veep

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series

This Is Us

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries

Nicole Kidman for Big Little Lies

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries

Alexander Skarsgård for Big Little Lies

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This is Bob Hope… (2017) Rated NR

 A look at the life of Bob Hope. Starring Gracie Allen, Woody Allen, Ann-Margret.

This documentary covers Hope’s life from his childhood all the way to his days with the USO. The documentary includes interviews with both family and friends as they talk about the man behind the scenes. Billy Crystal narrates the writings of Bob Hope which give us an inside look at what Hope was thinking during significant moments in his life. American Masters series always does an amazing job with these biographical profiles. This film is worth a watch.

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Saige Paints the Sky (2013) Rated TV-G

 Saige is a talented artist who loves horses. She’s a typical nine-year old, but when she discovers that her art class is cut by the school, she must find the courage to save her class and a friendship with the help of her grandma. Starring Sidney Fullmer, Alexandra Peters, Alana Gordillo

Like all of the American Girl films, this one is about an overachieving girl who saves the day. My main frustration with this story is her grandmother’s influence in the boycott of budget cuts which inevitably happens to all schools. Saige can’t save every school or every class. However, the message that if you put your mind to something, you can overcome your problems or obstacles is a valuable one. Saige is successful in both saving her art class and her friendships. It is a family-friendly film for sure, but not one of my favorites. It is a pass.

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Bullet Head (2017) Rated R

 Three career criminals are holed up in an abandoned  warehouse with cops closing in on them and a killer dog on the loose. Starring Adrien Brody, John Malkovich, Antonio Banderas.

This film is Cujo on steroids. I think writer/director Paul Solet wanted to remind us what a dog can bring to our lives if we are lucky to be loved by one. It was hard to see the gruesome torture this dog faced and its desperate need for human affection. Because the film’s central character is the dog rather than the criminals, there are plot holes. Solet chose to focus primarily on the dog, rather than developing the multiple story lines of the surrounding characters. It is a gruesome tale, without redemption, making it a pass for me.

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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
Victoria

Faith & Freedom Award for Movies

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

Faith and Freedom Award for TV

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

Best Movie for Families

The Boss Baby
Cars 3
The Case for Christ
Despicable Me 3
The Emoji Movie
Ferdinand
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
Dunkirk
Justice League
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
The Promise
Thor: Ragnarok
Wonder
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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