I guess now I know who to thank for the high scoring Big 12 games on Saturdays.
Luke Wilson is Coach Rusty Russell in “12 Mighty Orphans.” As the name implies, the movie centers on a group of orphans who live at a Texas home for children and teenagers without families. Sadly, their home has seen better days and one of the educators, Frank (Wayne Knight), mistreats the students.
However, their fortunes begin to change when Russell arrives at the school in the midst of the Great Depression, along with his wife Juanita (Vinessa). On top of both Russells being teachers, Rusty also has experience as a football coach. He decides to apply that and forms a team. As orphans, though, the unit has to fight for respect both on and off the field.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Despite problems, ‘Mighty Orphans’ still cross the goal line for the win”
If you like yelling, and I mean a lot of yelling, then this is the movie for you.
Ryan Reynolds returns to the role of bodyguard Michael Bryce in this sequel. Because of his actions in the first film, though, he’s lost his status as a AAA bodyguard. To escape the stress of the situation, he decides to take his therapist’s advice and go on vacation.
Unfortunately it’s all quickly interrupted when Sonia (Salma Hayek), wife of hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) approaches him. Turns out, Darius was kidnapped and Sonia needs Michael’s assistance in the rescue. The whole situation gets the trio mixed up in an evil plot to devastate Europe, and they’re recruited by government agents to help stop it.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Don’t bother with ‘Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’”
“In the Heights” is an appropriate name for this film and the stage production its based on.
Not only because it takes place in New York City’s Washington Heights neighborhood, but also because it’s an experience that earns high scores.
The film is set in a Latin community and follows several characters, but the main focus is on Usnavi (Anthony Ramos), a bodega owner who dreams of reopening his late father’s beachside business in the Dominican Republic. One of the regular customers to Usnavi’s shop is Vanessa (Melissa Barrera), a young woman working at a salon who wants to pursue a career in fashion.
Early in the film, Usnavi and Vanessa meet up with Nina (Leslie Grace), a Stanford University student whose father owns a taxi company. That company is where Benny (Corey Hawkins), who has relationship history with Nina, works. The four of them spend time with others in the neighborhood and try to navigate their futures during a heat wave across New York City.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Get in the theater for ‘In the Heights’”
The races featured in “Dream Horse” aren’t related to the American Triple Crown competitions, but it still feels like the right time to watch this flick.
“Dream Horse” takes place in a small town in Wales and revolves around a group of residents who decide to invest in a racing thoroughbred. Mainly, the movie follows Jan (Toni Collette), the woman who comes up with the idea and convinces other community members to pitch in.
Together, they breed a horse and because it was a group of residents coming aligning for a cause, they name it Dream Alliance. The proposal initially seems like a risky gamble until Dream Alliance becomes a success on the track.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Dream Horse’ won’t be in award races, but it can still please viewers”
The totally not con-artist Warrens are back in another movie about a demonic possession that really happened and wasn’t made up.
Yes, there was a lot of sarcasm in that lede.
The eighth film in the “Conjuring” cinematic universe takes place in 1981 with Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) assisting in an exorcism of a young boy. In the process of the exorcism, the demon possessing the boy is transferred to a man assisting in the situation, Arne (Ruairi O’Connor).
During the altercation, Ed suffers a heart attack and is taken to a hospital. When he recovers, he warns of Arne’s possible possession, but it’s too late. Arne commits murder on his landlord and is arrested by the police. Facing a potential death penalty sentence, the Warrens begin an investigation into the possession to try to prove in court that it was a demon that caused the murder.
Continue reading “REVIEW: The Devil went down to ‘Conjuring’ and it wasn’t a good time”
Zack Snyder’s “Dawn of the Dead” from 2004 is one of the finest horror remakes.
His latest zombie genre attempt doesn’t reach that quality, unfortunately.
In “Army of the Dead,” an accident involving military vehicles driving away from Area 51 ends up unleashing a zombie plague on the city of Las Vegas. After an extensive effort to fight the threat, the city is eventually walled off and the zombies are contained.
A plan is ordered to hit the city with a nuclear strike and eliminate the threat. However, before that happens, a soldier named Scott (Dave Bautista) is tasked with entering the city and retrieving money from a safe by a rich businessman. Scott puts together a team of mercenaries to do so, with the promise of getting millions of dollars. However, he also agrees to take his daughter Kate (Ella Purnell) into the city as she’s looking for her lost friend.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Army of the Dead’ is an exhausting zombie flick”
Angelina Jolie has taken a break from playing Maleficent to return to the action genre.
This time, though, she plays a character with survival skills, rather than being a master martial artist or super spy.
In “Those Who Wish Me Dead,” Jolie portrays Hannah, an elite firefighter in Montana who’s trying to get over a traumatic event that took place about a year ago. Because of the experience, Hannah is taken off the frontlines and instead is stationed at a fire lookout tower.
Meanwhile, a father and his son Connor (Finn Little) go on the run. The father, Owen (Jake Weber), is an accountant mixed in a situation where he could potentially expose several financial scandals and therefore has a hit on him. Those looking to take Owen out do succeed, but Connor escapes. After doing so, he runs into Hannah, who takes on the task of protecting him.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Those Who Wish Me Dead’ brings big sky thrills”
Not sure why the full title of this film was “Spiral: From the Book of Saw” when “Saw” was never a book, but I digress.
Chris Rock stars as Detective Zeke Banks in “Spiral.” A longtime investigator, Zeke doesn’t particularly get along with the rest of the police force and likes to work alone. This is mainly because others in the department are dirty cops.
When a new investigation regarding the death of an officer is launched, though, Zeke reluctantly teams up with a rookie detective, William (Max Minghella). The two soon come to the realization that the officer was killed in some kind of trap, and later learn that the person responsible is a copycat of John Kramer, who was known as the Jigsaw Killer.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Spiral’ is a solid renewal for the ‘Saw’ universe”
This is a film with some good ideas and a strong cast, but unfortunately, it all came together in total mess.
Amy Adams stars in the film as Anna Fox, a child counselor who lives with agoraphobia, something she’s dealt with since a traumatic event took place. She lives most days secluded in her apartment but one day notices a new family moving into the flat across the road. Eventually, she meets the matriarch of the family, Jane (Julianne Moore), and the two have an afternoon with a bit of bonding.
A short time later, Anna sees Jane appearing to be murdered. She calls the police but the detectives and the husband from the new family, Alistair (Gary Oldman) approach Anna telling her she’s wrong. They then bring out another woman who say’s she’s Jane (Jennifer Leigh). With that new information, Anna begins searching through details to determine if she saw what she saw.
Continue reading “REVIEW ‘The Woman in the Window’ has too many story woes”
An odd couple is usually reliable to make a comedy movie work, and that’s certainly the case with “Together Together.”
The two main characters, Anna (Patti Harrison) and Matt (Ed Helms) aren’t a romantic couple, but instead have another element bringing them together. Matt, who’s in his 40s, is looking to become a father and Anna, in her late 20s, was selected as the surrogate mother.
The movie takes place over the course of the pregnancy, following how Anna wants to keep more of a distance, while Matt is dedicated to helping her with the pregnancy for the betterment of his child and Anna herself.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Together Together’ triumphs with sweet, funny relationship”