Category Archives: Movie Reviews

Hidden Figures Is a God-Ordained Miracle!

Hidden Figures – Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae). Photo Credit: Hopper Stone.

Hidden Figures, which had a two theater Christmas release for awards consideration, opens wide this weekend and it is a remarkable film.

The story of three African American women who made major contributions to the space race while working for NASA in 1961, it is a story of glorious achievement against a background of casual racism and sexism.

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Silence Speaks Volumes About Faith and Culture

Martin Scorsese (left) directs Andrew Garfield as Father Sebastião Rodrigues in SILENCE.

Silence is the story of resilience in the face of persecution. Based on true events, director Martin Scorsese’s latest epic chronicles the tale of two Portuguese Catholic Jesuit priests, Sebastião Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Francisco Garrpe (Adam Driver), as they travel to Japan in the 17th century. There, the two men of God hope to find their long lost mentor, Father Cristóvão Ferreira (Liam Neeson), and continue his work of spreading Christian to the country’s inhabitants. Continue reading Silence Speaks Volumes About Faith and Culture

2016 Sheldon’s Favorite Fifteen – Films!

ZOOTOPIA – OFFICER HOPPS — Judy Hopps (voice of Ginnifer Goodwin) ©2015 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Despite low income and not being on every distributor’s critics list, I still saw one helluva lot of movies in 2016. A few were awful, a few were brilliant and most were somewhere in the middle.

Fifteen were the absolute best I saw and slightly more than a handful more hovered on the edges of brilliant. Bear in mind that these selections are based on a combination of how much I was entertained and how much I was persuaded to think. The best films are the ones that get one involved and these certainly did that for me.

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Manchester by the Sea Explores the Tumultuous Tides of Grief

Joe (Kyle Chandler-L), discusses options with his brother Lee (Casey Affleck-R) on a chilly in MANCHESTER BY THE SEA.

Manchester by the Sea is the story of Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck), a man who has experienced loss in a nearly unimaginable way. At the film’s opening, Lee is living in Boston working as a maintenance man for several apartment complexes where he is mostly unappreciated. His is a solitary life, typically avoiding human contact and interaction as much as possible. One routine day, Lee receives a call he appears to be both expecting and dreading—his brother, a man he loved, has passed. Continue reading Manchester by the Sea Explores the Tumultuous Tides of Grief

La La Land Rejuvenates Movie Musicals!

La La Land – Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Photo courtesy of Summit Entertainment/eOne

La La Land is a strange beast – influenced equally by Hollywood musicals like Singing in the Rain (to which there is a fun reference) and Jacques Demy’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg – that is something more than mere colorful fun.

Damien Chazelle’s second film is the story of two struggling artists – jazz pianist Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and wannabe actor Mia (Emma Stone) – who don’t exactly meet cute, then do before going on to have a very real relationship (cleverly camouflaged as piece of fluff musical).

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Timeless Fences Prompts Brilliant Performances!

Denzel Washington plays Troy Maxson and Viola Davis plays Rose Maxson in Fences from Paramount Pictures. Directed by Denzel Washington from a screenplay by August Wilson.

August Wilson’s play Fences is a timeless – and therefore timely – story about an African American man dealing with race relations, marriage, fatherhood and a past that was never quite what he wanted it to be.

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Lion – A Lost Boy Finds Home… Twice!

The story of Saroo Brierley is one of epic proportions to the point that if it were fiction it might be hard to believe.

How an Indian child of five could fall asleep on a decommissioned train in Ganesh Talai in the Khandwr Province of India and wind up in Calcutta, in Bengali Province and then survive for two years on the streets before being placed in an orphanage and being adopted by an Australian couple… Well, it’s like something out of an international soap opera – only it’s true.

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Sing Sings!

The latest animated tale from Illumination is a ‘let’s put on a show’ story that weaves over 75 songs – most well-known – into the story of Buster Moon’s last gasp attempt to save his run down theater.

With a sparkling voice cast (everyone performs their characters’ songs) and a heaping helping of wit and charm, Sing is unexpectedly great fun.

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Assassin’s Creed Is Awful!

Callum Lynch wakes up the morning after his execution to discover he’s the essential part of a plan to travel back in through – through an ancestor’s memories – to locate the Apple of Eden for the contemporary Templars. In doing so, he learns that that ancestor was an assassin, tasked with keeping the Apple out of the Templars’ hands at all costs.

Assassin’s Creed is a jumbled mess of a movie that ties to achieve a mystical conclusion via a quasi-scientific means – and fails spectacularly.

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Miss Peregrine Soars, but in a Jumbled Flightpath

Seated on the floor: the twins (Thomas and Joseph Odwell), Fiona (Georgia Pemberton) and Hugh (Milo Parker), Left to right: Emma (Ella Purnell), Jake (Asa Butterfield), Horace (Hayden Keeler-Stone), Miss Peregrine (Eva Green), Enoch (Finlay Macmillan), Claire (Raffiella Chapman), Bronwyn (Pixie Davies) and Olive (Lauren McCrostie) – are the very special residents of MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN. Photo Credit: Leah Gallo.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is the adaptation of the popular young adult novel by Ransom Riggs which chronicles the tales of people, particularly youngsters, with extraordinary abilities. Such gifts might include the ability to control air, water, time, or even reanimate the dead or lifeless. When Jake (Asa Butterfield) discovers this hidden world of remarkable individuals, his life changes forever.

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Pretty People, Pretty Pictures – Passengers!

Passengers is a lovely film if all you’re looking for is pretty pictures of pretty people on a beautiful starship.

Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt find themselves awakened from suspended animation thirty years into a 120-year voyage from Earth to a new colony on Homestead II. Their meeting isn’t particularly cute – it’s kind of creepy – but since they’re stuck there…

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