Movie review: Tully

Since Charlize Theron won an Oscar for Monster it should be a no brainer for the academy to grace her with a second gold statue for Tully. You should know Charlize gained 50 pounds for her role, stating she wanted to stay true to her character of Marlo. That alone should be reason enough for her to rule at every awards show this next season.

This is a great movie for this Mother’s Day weekend. Don’t let the R rating dissuade you from seeing Tully. There was one very short scene with mildly explicit sex, and trust me, you’ve seen much worse on television. There is a great deal of strong language, but this is a movie about an overweight, frustrated, exhausted, and ‘at her wits end’ wife and mother with three children, with a husband who seems to be off in his own little world.

As mothers, which of us have not found ourselves standing in a parking lot, gazing upward and praying for just a moment of peace?

Grade: A

Movie Review: Sgt. Stubby – An American Hero

Sgt. Stubby is an amazingly good movie. It seems that service animals have become quite popular in today’s cinema and that’s a good thing. My father had a saying, “The more I’m around people, the better I like dogs.”

To animal lovers, our pets are a member of the family — and how gratifying it is to see these four-legged heroes being honored, by giving them their own biographical movies.

I do recommend this movie to everyone — however I’ll include one caveat; there are some very tense moments when Stubby is doing his hero thing. Even though I knew Stubby was going to survive the war, there were times I had to turn away from the screen, in fear that somehow the writers felt that they should put a different spin on the movie and not let Sgt. Stubby come home. Hollywood has done some mean things just to make a bio a little more interesting — I’m just saying.

Anyway, if you feel that the little ones might get too stressed and have nightmares, maybe you should save this film for later.

Grade: B+

Movie review: Chappaquiddick

I wholeheartedly recommend this movie to anyone who remembers this tragic event that dominated the news for months. Even though we all know the outcome of tragedy, what we are not privy to is how the outcome was reached. I appreciate the fact that writers, Andrew Logan and Taylor Allen, resisted the temptation to “Hollywood Up” the story by needlessly adding salacious details that would ultimately dilute the political impact of *Chappaquiddick*.

The acting was respectable, the pacing was well done, and the directing was spot-on. If political drama is of your liking then take a couple of hours out of your weekend and enjoy this intriguing movie.

Grade: B

Movie review: Paul, Apostle of Christ

Okay, so Rotten Tomatoes gave Paul 25%; however, the audience score is 94%. With that in mind, I’ll address those who fall in the 94% group as my target audience.

I had the pleasure of interviewing several people as they left the theater. All gave it an A rating. No one was disturbed by the actual or implied violence, nor by the plot of the movie. Some critics panned *Paul* because of the time period chosen by the writers, who focused on the last days of Paul, rather than the earlier years: when he was first persecuting the Christians, or when after a visit from Christ (on the road to Damascus) he became the number one fan of Jesus. With a character from the Bible as interesting and colorful as Paul, you could choose just about any time in his life and still make a good movie.

The acting was above par, but the directing fell short. There were many scenes filmed in semi-darkness and often times the dialog was unintelligible, making the movie a little less watchable.

I enjoyed *Paul* and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys faith based movies.

Grade: B

Movie review: Entebbe

Let me begin by saying that I’m a retired flight attendant. So when I watch movies dealing with aircraft or aircraft personnel in peril, it does influence how I feel about a movie. With that said, I feel confident in giving Entebbe an A.

We all know the outcome of this movie before we see it, so why see it? Because what I don’t know is how the passengers and flight crew responded to this crisis. And I would venture to guess that much of the audience came for the same reason.

Jose Padiha did an excellent job, making us feel as if we were on that plane. He pulled great performances out of not only the main characters, but also the supporting players. The flight crew and passengers showed real emotions like helplessness, hopelessness, and fright, rather than being directed to doing the over-the-top yelling and screaming that seems to please some directors.

I would suggest going to Wikipedia to read the article about this event. It gives a concise rundown on the politics involved in this rescue mission.

Grade: A

Movie review: Thoroughbreads

After the movie I knew that I was not the target audience. I didn’t care for Thoroughghbreds. I’m sure there was a point to the movie, or some message that I just didn’t get. It’s hard for me to critique the pacing and directing, since I didn’t understand what the writer and or the director wanted me to feel — however, the acting was very good. It was bittersweet to watch Anton Yelchin give a superior performance — which turned out to be his last; RIP Anton, you are missed. Olivia Cooke and Anya Taylor-Joy played off each others strengths and weaknesses beautifully.

I found the movie itself to be uninteresting and boring. But for the three fine performances I just stated, I would have asked for my money back.

Grade: C

Movie review: Sampson

It saddens me to have to give a movie about one of the greatest stories from the Bible such a poor grade, but Samson was so poorly made — I was compelled to give it a failing grade.

The direction was sub par, the pacing was tedious, and the acting was an insult to the actual characters. It really pains me to say that, because it was nice to see Lindsay Wagner and Rutger Hauer working again.

If you want to see Samson on the big screen you’d better hurry; this movie will not be in the theaters long.

Grade: D+

Movie review: The Revenant

All the elements needed for an outstanding movie are present in *Revenant*: top notch directing, superb acting, and an excellent screenplay. Having seen all the Oscar-nominated movies this year, I can say with all confidence that *Revenant* should win for each category in which it’s nominated.

If DiCaprio doesn’t win Best Actor this time around, there’s something terribly wrong in the Academy universe.

Note: There IS something terribly wrong in the Academy universe, but hopefully DiCaprio will win Best Actor anyway.

Grade: A+

Movie review: Zootopia

Zootopia is one of Disney’s best animated films. It takes adorable characters, wrapping them in an underlying message to the entire audience about bigotry and stereotyping.

The adults in my theater laughed louder and longer than the children. I recommend this movie to anyone who has ever enjoyed a Disney movie.

Grade: A

Movie review: The Secret Life Of Pets

*The Secret Life Of Pets* will appeal to movie goers of all ages. It has all the ingredients needed for a hit movie: outrageously funny, great characters, lots of action, and a cute plot with a message.

My theater was packed with parents and children alike, making it difficult to know who was laughing the loudest. I give big kudos to the casting director for the voices, especially Albert Brooks voicing the falcon, Tiberius.

Delightfully, I give *The Secret Life Of Pets* a well deserved A.

Grade: A