The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (2017) Rated TV-MA

 An anthology series centered around America’s most notorious crimes and criminals. Starring Edgar Ramírez, Ricky Martin, Penélope Cruz, Darren Criss, Max Greenfield.

The second series in this anthology takes on the murder of Versace. The story jumps from the murder of Versace to the start of Andrew Cunanan’s killing spree. We go back and forth between what is real and what is in Andrew’s mind. The actors are excellent, bringing these characters to life, and Ryan Murphy weaves together the story of Andrew Cunanan even when there isn’t much information about the reason why he went on a killing spree. This series in my opinion was better than the first series, especially the acting. This is worth a watch.

 

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Posted in 2017, Biography, Crime, FX, Rated TV-MA, reviews, Tv shows | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New This Week in Theaters, February 15, 2018

 Looking Glass (R)
Opens on Friday, February 16
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Robin Tunney, Marc Blucas

A couple buy a desert motel where they find that strange, mysterious events occur.

  Black Panther (PG-13)
Opens on Friday, February 16
Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira

T’Challa, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king.

 Nostalgia (R)
Opens on Friday, February 16
Starring: Hugo Armstrong, Shinelle Azoroh, Annalise Basso, Bruce Dern

A mosaic of stories about love and loss, ‘Nostalgia’ explores our relationships to the objects, artifacts, and memories that shape our lives.

 Early Man (PG)
Opens on Friday, February 16
Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Maisie Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Timothy Spall

Set at the dawn of time, when prehistoric creatures and woolly mammoths roamed the earth, Early Man tells the story of Dug, along with sidekick Hognob as they unite his tribe against a mighty enemy Lord Nooth and his Bronze Age City to save their home.

 Samson (PG-13)
Opens on Friday, February 16
Starring: Jackson Rathbone, Billy Zane, Taylor James, Rutger Hauer

After losing the love of his life to a cruel Philistine prince, a young Hebrew with Supernatural strength defends his people, sacrificing everything to avenge his love, his people, and his God.

 The Party (R)
Opens on Friday, February 16
Starring: Timothy Spall, Kristin Scott Thomas, Patricia Clarkson, Bruno Ganz

Janet hosts a party to celebrate her new promotion, but once the guests arrive it becomes clear that not everything is going to go down as smoothly as the red wine.

 Aiyaary (NR)
Opens on Friday, February 16
Starring: Anupam Kher, Sidharth Malhotra, Naseeruddin Shah, Rakul Preet Singh

Two officers with patriotic hearts suddenly have a fallout. The mentor, Colonel Abhay Singh has complete faith in the country’s system while protégé Major Jai Bakshi thinks differently due to a recent stint in surveillance.

 Nelyubov (R)
Opens on Friday, February 16
Starring: Maryana Spivak, Aleksey Rozin, Matvey Novikov, Marina Vasileva

A couple going through a divorce must team up to find their son who has disappeared during one of their bitter arguments.

 Oh Lucy! (NR)
Opens on Friday, February 16
Starring: Shinobu Terajima, Josh Hartnett, Kaho Minami, Kôji Yakusho

A lonely woman living in Tokyo decides to take an English class where she discovers her alter ego, Lucy.

 L’amant double (NR)
Opens on Friday, February 16
Starring: Marine Vacth, Jérémie Renier, Jacqueline Bisset, Myriam Boyer

Chloé, a fragile young woman, falls in love with her psychoanalyst, Paul. A few months later she moves in with him, but soon discovers that her lover is concealing a part of his identity.

 Tehran Taboo (NR)
Opens on Friday, February 16
Starring: Farhad Abadinejad, Jasmina Ali, Rozita Assadollahy, Alireza Bayram

In their desperate search for freedom and happiness, four young people from Tehran, Iran are forced to break the taboos of a restrictive, islamic society.

 The Boy Downstairs (PG-13)
Opens on Friday, February 16
Starring: Zosia Mamet, Matthew Shear, Deirdre O’Connell, Sarah Ramos

A young woman is forced to reflect on her first relationship when she inadvertently moves into her ex-boyfriend’s apartment building.

 Western (NR)
Opens on Friday, February 16
Starring: Meinhard Neumann, Reinhardt Wetrek, Syuleyman Alilov Letifov, Veneta Fragnova

A group of German construction workers start a tough job at a remote site in the Bulgarian countryside. The foreign land awakens the men’s sense of adventure, but they are also confronted with their own prejudice and mistrust due to the language barrier and cultural differences. The stage is quickly set for a showdown when men begin to compete for recognition and favor from the local villagers.

Synopsis by IMDB.

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Doug Jones

 Arrow (2012– ) Rated TV-14

Spoiled billionaire playboy Oliver Queen is missing and presumed dead when his yacht is lost at sea. He returns five years later a changed man, determined to clean up the city as a hooded vigilante armed with a bow.

 The Guardian (2001–2004) Rated NR

Nick Fallin is a hotshot lawyer working at his father’s ultra successful Pittsburgh law firm. Unfortunately, the high life has gotten the best of Nick. Arrested for drug use, he’s sentenced to do fifteen hundred hours of community service, somehow to be squeezed into his 24/7 cutthroat world of mergers, acquisitions, and board meetings. Reluctantly, he’s now The Guardian, a part-time child advocate at Legal Aid Services, where one case after another is an eye-opening instance of kids caught up in difficult circumstances.

 The Strain (2014–2017) Rated TV-MA

A mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism ravages the city of New York.

 Falling Skies (2011–2015) Rated TV-14

Survivors of an alien attack on earth gather together to fight for their lives and fight back.

 Three Kings (1999) Rated R

In the aftermath of the Persian Gulf War, four soldiers set out to steal gold that was stolen from Kuwait, but they discover people who desperately need their help.

 The Neighbors (2012–2014) Rated TV-PG

A New Jersey family moves to an affluent gated community composed entirely of extraterrestrials.

 Men in Black II (2002) Rated PG-13

Agent J needs help so he is sent to find Agent K and restore his memory.

 The Benchwarmers (2006) Rated PG-13

A trio of guys try and make up for missed opportunities in childhood by forming a three-player baseball team to compete against standard children baseball squads.

Synopsis by IMDB.

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Top Valentine’s Day Films 2018

 Pride and Prejudice (1995) Rated TV-PG

Jane Austen’s classic novel about the prejudice that occurred between the 19th century classes and the pride which would keep lovers apart. Starring Jennifer Ehle, Colin Firth, Susannah Harker

 Paperman (2012) Rated G

An office worker meets the girl of his dreams and uses a fleet of paper airplanes to get her attention. Starring John Kahrs, Kari Wahlgren, Jack Goldenberg

 Gone with the Wind (1939) Rated TV-PG

A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.  Starring Thomas Mitchell, Barbara O’Neil, Vivien Leigh

 Fiddler on the Roof (1971) Rated G

In prerevolutionary Russia, a Jewish peasant contends with marrying off three of his daughters while growing anti-Semitic sentiment threatens his village. Starring  Topol, Norma Crane, Leonard Frey

 Walk the Line (2005) Rated PG-13

A chronicle of country music legend Johnny Cash’s life, from his early days on an Arkansas cotton farm to his rise to fame with Sun Records in Memphis, where he recorded alongside Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins. Starring  Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Ginnifer Goodwin

 My Fair Lady (1964) Rated G

A snobbish phonetics professor agrees to a wager that he can take a flower girl and make her presentable in high society. Starring Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Stanley Holloway

 Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) Rated G

In 1850 Oregon, when a backwoodsman brings a wife home to his farm, his six brothers decide that they want to get married too. Starring Howard Keel, Jeff Richards, Russ Tamblyn

 Dirty Dancing (1987) Rated PG-13

Spending the summer at a Catskills resort with her family, Frances “Baby” Houseman falls in love with the camp’s dance instructor, Johnny Castle.  Starring Jennifer Grey, Patrick Swayze, Jerry Orbach

 Gigi (1958) Rated G

Weary of the conventions of Parisian society, a rich playboy and a youthful courtesan-in-training enjoy a platonic friendship, but it may not stay platonic for long. Starring  Leslie Caron, Maurice Chevalier, Louis Jourdan

 Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) Rated R

A British woman is determined to improve herself while she looks for love in a year in which she keeps a personal diary. Starring Renée Zellweger, Gemma Jones, Celia Imrie

Synopsis by IMDB.

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Small Town Crime (2017) Rated R

An alcoholic ex-cop finds the body of a girl and becomes hell-bent on finding the killer. Along the way, he gets his family in trouble. Starring John Hawkes, Anthony Anderson, Octavia Spencer.

A bit far-fetched and rushed at the end, but this film still pulls you in and takes you for a ride. A cop who loses his job because of his drinking, finds a woman and instinctively determines to find her killer. As he heads down the path of redemption, he gets his family involved. The crazy ending still manages to bring closure to the story. It’s not the best film, but it keeps you hooked, making it worth the watch.

Posted in 2017, Crime, films, Movie reviews, movies, Mysteries, Rated R, reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New This Week on DVD, February 13, 2018

 Wonder (PG)

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. Starring Jacob Tremblay, Owen Wilson, Izabela Vidovic

 Roman J. Israel, Esq. (PG-13)

Roman J. Israel, Esq., a driven, idealistic defense attorney, finds himself in a tumultuous series of events that lead to a crisis and the necessity for extreme action. Starring Denzel Washington, Colin Farrell, Carmen Ejogo

 Hazlo Como Hombre (R)

Raúl, Eduardo and Santiago have led a happy and “straight” life since their childhood, until, one day, Santiago confesses to them that he is gay. Starring Mauricio Ochmann, Alfonso Dosal, Humberto Busto

 Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You! (PG)

Ash Ketchum from Pallet Town is 10 years old today. This means he is now old enough to become a Pokémon Trainer. Ash dreams big about the adventures he will experience after receiving his first Pokémon from Professor Oak. Starring Unshô Ishizuka, Rica Matsumoto, Sarah Natochenny

 Blade of the Immortal (R)

Manji, a highly skilled samurai, becomes cursed with immortality after a legendary battle. Haunted by the brutal murder of his sister, Manji knows that only fighting evil will regain his soul. He promises to help a young girl named Rin avenge her parents, who were killed by a group of master swordsmen led by ruthless warrior Anotsu. The mission will change Manji in ways he could never imagine – the 100th film by master director Takashi Miike. Starring Takuya Kimura, Hana Sugisaki, Sôta Fukushi

 The Ballad of Lefty Brown (R)

A thrilling and action-packed Western, The Ballad of Lefty Brown is a story about loyalty, friendship, and the relentless pursuit of justice. Starring Bill Pullman, Peter Fonda, Joseph Lee Anderson

 Animal Kingdom: The Complete Second Season (TV-MA)

The series centers on 17-year-old Joshua “J” Cody, who moves in with his freewheeling relatives in their Southern California beach town after his mother dies of a heroin overdose. Headed by boot-tough matriarch Janine “Smurf” Cody and her right-hand Baz, who runs the business and calls the shots, the clan also consists of Pope, the oldest and most dangerous of the Cody boys; Craig, the tough and fearless middle son; and Deran, the troubled, suspicious “baby” of the family. Starring Ellen Barkin, Scott Speedman, Shawn Hatosy

 The Deuce: The Complete First Season (TV-MA)

A look at life in New York City during the 1970s and ’80s when porn and prostitution were rampant in Manhattan.  Starring James Franco, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gbenga Akinnagbe

 The Sinner: Season One (TV-14)

A young mother tries to find out what’s causing her to have violent tendencies. Starring Jessica Biel, Christopher Abbott, Dohn Norwood

 Broad City: Season Four (TV-14)

Broad City follows two women throughout their daily lives in New York City, making the smallest and mundane events hysterical and disturbing to watch all at the same time. Starring  Ilana Glazer, Abbi Jacobson, Hannibal Buress

 The Gospel of Matthew (NR)

Four writers. Four narratives. One life. For the first time in film history the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John have been reconstructed in four feature length, documentary-style films. Narrated word for word by some of the world’s leading voice talent, the Gospels are coming to life like never before. Starring Selva Rasalingam, Karima Gouit, Ramdane Aala

 Queen Elizabeth’s Secret Agents (NR)

The secret agents that protected Queen Elizabeth from treason for over 40 years, through the execution of Mary Queen of Scots to the death of Queen Elizabeth, the capture of Catholic fugitive John Gerard and the infamous Gunpowder Plot. Starring Colin Tierney, Dominic Green, Kevin James

 A Dash of Love (TV-G)

An aspiring chef lands a dream job at her idol’s restaurant, but when she and another chef are both fired from there, they decide to open their own eatery. Starring Jen Lilley, Brendan Penny, Peri Gilpin

Synopsis by IMDB.

 

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Stolen (2009) Rated R

 A detective deals with the loss of his own son when he discovers the corpse of a boy that’s 50 years old. Starring Jon Hamm, Josh Lucas, Rhona Mitra.

This thriller takes on a parallel murder case based on a true story. The film goes back and forth between the time lines as we try to figure out who the murderer was. I really enjoyed Josh Lucas’ portrayal of the father in 1958 who lost his son. The film has some difficulty making the combining of the two stories gel. At times, it seems over-the-top, and the end felt rushed. Although the premise was interesting and Lucas was great, the writing was lacking, making this film a pass.

Posted in 2009, Crime, Drama, films, Movie reviews, movies, Rated R, reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years (2016) Rated UR

 A documentary containing found footage of the touring years (1963-1966) of the Beatles. Starring The Beatles, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr.

This film combines found footage, interviews and stories from the touring years of the Beatles. It is interesting to hear out of the Beatles’ own mouths their side of the story and how crazy it really was. It also puts into perspective the history surrounding this time- all of the violence- that really isn’t so different from the world we live in today. We get a chance to think about how music can take us to a different time and place, where we can escape from our present troubles. A well done film, this one is worth a watch.

Posted in 2016, Documentary, films, Movie reviews, movies, Music, Rated UR, reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Escape From Planet Earth (2013) Rated TV-PG

An astronaut gets caught in a trap when responding to an SOS on an alien planet. Starring Brendan Fraser, Rob Corddry, Ricky Gervais.

Great animation and good morals, but this film fails to impress. There is a lack of consistency to the story line, and it doesn’t have that WOW factor that would make it a standout. It might have been enjoyable at the first watch, but anything more would just be annoying. This movie is a pass.

Posted in 2013, Adventure, Animation, films, Movie reviews, movies, Rated TV-PG, reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reg E. Cathey (1958-2018)

(1958-2018)

 

 Se7en (1995) Rated R

Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his motives.

 Person of Interest (2011–2016) Rated TV-14

An ex-assassin and a wealthy programmer save lives via a surveillance AI that sends them the identities of civilians involved in impending crimes. However, the details of the crimes–including the civilians’ roles–are left a mystery.

 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999– ) Rated TV-14

This show introduces the Special Victims Unit, a specially trained squad of detectives in the NYPD who investigate sexually related crimes.

 Grimm (2011–2017) Rated TV-14

A homicide detective discovers he is a descendant of hunters who fight supernatural forces.

 St. Vincent (2014) Rated PG-13

A young boy whose parents have just divorced finds an unlikely friend and mentor in the misanthropic, bawdy, hedonistic war veteran who lives next door.

Synopsis by IMDB.

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