Movie Review – Thank You For Your Service

This is a movie that everyone needs to see, especially politicians with the power to make changes to an existing system that’s failing. Of course, I speak of the Veterans Administration. So, heads up to the current administration: with North Korea’s saber rattling — not to mention every other country that’s been offended by the countless rude remarks/action spewed forth by our ‘powers that be’ — we’re bound to end up with sons and daughters once again spilling their blood, only to come home to an ineffectual government who’ll turn a blind eye to the needs of our Wounded Warriors. And when that happens, the already overburdened VA will be inundated with returning vets in need of care, both mental and physical. As seen in *Thank You For Your Service*, the VA can’t deal with the current patient load, so will additional vets completely break the bank?

Probably.

Last week I saw *Only The Brave* with Miles Teller, and this week I had the pleasure of seeing him again, as the unsung hero. The rest of the cast did an awesome job of honoring the actual military men and women. I give especially high marks to Beulah Koale, who played the role of Solo, perhaps the most damaged of the returning vets. Please keep in mind that these characters are based on real people. These aren’t just actors given a fabricated role by someone who thought this would make a great movie. That said, if after seeing TYFYS you can still walk right past a vet without a second glance and not take time to thank them, then you didn’t see the same movie I did.

Movie grade – A+

Movie Review – Alien : Covenant

Movie Grade: A

Alien: Covenant was indeed a spectacular movie. Even though it was a physically dark movie, I found it rich and beautiful in its presentation. It goes without saying that the directing and pacing was spot on. The actors did a fine job, but I must give extra kudos to Michael Fassbender for his double role as David and Walter. I could actually believe that I was watching two different actors, rather than one actor playing two different roles.

Fans of Prometheus will be blown away by Alien: Covenant. And the wait for the next installment will give die-hard sci-fi fans something to look forward to other than Comic-Con. Be strong; we will be rewarded for our diligence.

Movie Review – The Circle

Grade – C+ (a little bit above average)

Imagine if Facebook and Google got married, had a monster-child, and named it Circle. There you have it. Could this really happen? Yes indeed, and to take that one step further, I’ll wager that there’s a monster-child already gestating out there in cyber space.

The Circle had a star studded cast, but if you’re going only because Tom Hanks is in it, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. Hanks has about 10 minutes of screen time; he delivers his few lines nicely, disappears for fifteen or twenty minutes, then shows back up to deliver more nice lines. Emma Watson does keep us pretty much entertained throughout the movie, but the real kudos goes to Glenne Headly and the late Bill Paxton. No one in Hollywood will ever be able to shout obscenities the way you did, Bill.

I’m a big fan of Dave Eggers, and his book *A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius* has been in my top 20 books since I read it when it first came out. I think it would have made a better movie than The Circle, but that’s only my opinion, for what it’s worth.

Aloha – movie review

alohaGrade: C-

I love Bill Murray. That being said, I must believe that he took the roll of Carson Welsh because his little buddy from St. Vincent, Jaeden Lieberher, was also in Aloha.

As for the other big names, Bradley Cooper, Emma Watson and Rachel McAdams: they showed up, and spoke their lines, but I didn’t feel emotionally invested in any of them except for maybe John Karsinski who spoke no lines whatsoever. His character, Woody delivered the best scenes of the entire movie especially the scene between he and Bradly Cooper.

The other problem is the plot, which is convoluted and even a little silly at times. It was nice that the movie attempted to introduce some Hawaiian myths and customs, but viewed within the context of this movie, it was swallowed up by talks of spies, illegitimate children, villains out the destroy the world and of course relationships.

Tomorrowland – movie review

tomorrowlandGrade: C+

I found Tomorrowland visually stunning, however the plot was convoluted especially for the younger set and was about 45 minutes longer than it needed to be.

Parents can be comfortable in taking the children to see this movie. There are several good role models and the violence is kept to a minimum.

Tomorrowland does attempt to send a message to the audience about our earth and the need to care for it now, but the message became a bit verbose. I wondered how Disney was able to land George Cloony for the lead role. After seeing the movie I believe George found Tomorrowland the perfect platform for doing the thing he does best — trying to save the world.

Pitch Perfect 2 – movie review

Pitch-Perfect -2Grade: A

Rarely does a sequel out-shin the original but such is the case with Pitch Perfect 2. The musical numbers are great and Fat Amy keeps us laughing.

If you liked Perfect Pitch, you’ll love PP2. This is definitely an A movie.

The Woman in Gold – movie review

woman-in-goldGrade: B+

The Woman In Gold is a wonderful venue for Helen Mirren to shine and for Ryan Reynolds to show us that he’s more than just a pretty face.

Reynolds dug deep and showed us another layer of his acting skills as Randol Schoenberg, the young attorney who took on the entire government of Austria and won in the American courts.

I don’t think this movie is for everyone. If you like to see justice prevail under insurmountable odds you’ll enjoy Woman Of Gold.

Effie Gray – movie review

effie-grayGrade: C

Effie Gray was a slow paced Victorian period piece. I would have liked to have seen more Emma Thompson and less of Dakota Fanning looking like a sad whipped puppy. I do enjoy Dakota and loved her in Hound Dog but this movie was not a great vehicle for her angelic face that I’ve come to love.

If you like period pieces you’ll like Effie Gray, but I found it to be nothing more than a middling movie.

Little Boy – movie review

LittleBoyGrade: B-

Little Boy is a little movie with a big heart.

It’s a great family movie that teaches us faith, the value of never giving up, and most of all teaches the younger set about the pain and hurtfulness of racism.

Children in the 7 to 11 year old range will enjoy Little Boy, but the older kids will be bored to tears. Parents will be happy that there’s no foul language or nude scenes.

The Water Diviner – movie review

TheWaterDivinerGrade: B

WW I history buffs will enjoy this movie ever though it’s not completely historically accurate.

Russell Crow did a respectable job directing Water Diviner and the acting was good. While this movie cannot be compared to other epic war dramas, Saving Private Ryan for instance, it does provide the movie goer with a satisfying period piece.