REVIEW: ‘Summerland’ slumps after strong start, but still good overall

Being the guardian of a child seems like enough work as it is. This movie throws a world war into the mix, too, so no wonder the main character is stressed.

“Summerland” takes place during World War II as the Battle of Britain is going on. Because London is being bombarded, children, including a young boy named Frank (Lucas Bond), are sent to live in the English countryside.

Upon arrival, the government places Frank with Alice (Gemma Arterton), a writer and researcher of mythical literature. Alice isn’t sociable and doesn’t like kids all that much. However, as time goes on Alice becomes more of a mentor and true guardian for Frank.

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REVIEW: ‘Radioactive’ drags despite strong Pike performance

I’m not exactly a person who’s easily distracted. However, the song “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons kept making its way in my head during this movie.

Starring Rosamund Pike, “Radioactive” tell the story of Polish scientist Marie Curie, who accomplished her groundbreaking work in France. The movie depicts her relationship with her husband Pierre (Sam Riley), as well as their discoveries of the elements polonium and radium.

As the movie progresses, Curie’s life continues to be documented, and both the negative and positive impacts of radioactivity are shown. From this, the audience is able to learn how Curie’s life work went hand in hand with her relationships.

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REVIEW: ‘First Cow’ is a strong film about gentle people

How now, first cow?

This feature from the studio A24 does in fact feature a cow, but it also includes a whole lot more. The movie is set in the early 1820s, during the days where pioneers pushed west for trades such as gold and fur. We’re immediately introduced to Otis “Cookie” Figowitz (John Magaro), a cook who’s part of a fur trading group making their way to a fort.

Cookie isn’t exactly on friendly terms with the others in the team, though, as they claim he doesn’t provide enough food. Once he gets to the fort, though, he does manage to start a friendship with a Chinese immigrant named King-Lu (Orion Lee), who he met earlier during his travels. Not only do the two form a bond, they also begin a money-making scheme where they secretly milk the first cow brought to the area and use it to make high quality baked goods.

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REVIEW: Poor execution short-circuits ‘The Current War’

The intense competition between innovators and businessmen to expand the energy industry across the United States is an interesting subject, but unfortunately, isn’t well displayed in this feature.

“The Current War” mainly focuses on a time period where George Westinghouse’s (Michael Shannon) company went head-to-head with the business owned by Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch). The movie explores how both men approached the subject, with Edison seeking a legacy of discovery while Westinghouse was trying to build an empire.

As the situation between the two escalates, more players come into the game, such as futurist Nikola Tesla (Nicholas Hoult) and Edison’s assistant Samuel Insull (Tom Holland). Their influence in the business race is also displayed here.

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REVIEW: ‘Cold War’ is a captivating romantic drama

“Cold War” is a movie about trying to escape, but it’s certainly not escapist entertainment.

The picture tells the story of a singer, Zula (Joanna Kulig), and a composer, Wiktor (Tomasz Kot). Zula and Wiktor find themselves as part of a government funded music group in Poland, which is tasked with giving pro-Stalin performances.

The two soon find themselves in a romance, but they’re also in the Soviet Union during the Cold War, making things difficult. As a result, the two consider fleeing Poland. However, the power of the government and life in general throw a lot of issues at the couple.

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REVIEW: Latest ‘Emma’ adaptation is a stilted experience

“Emma” is a novel rich enough to spawn several on-screen adaptations, but unfortunately, the latest is rather dry.

Anya Taylor Joy plays the titular character here. A wealthy young woman in England, Emma has a reputation as a matchmaker. The movie picks up with her starting a friendship with Harriet Smith (Mia Goth), and eventually, she decides to try and set her up with one of the local suitors.

At the same time, Emma herself is looking at starting her own relationship with someone. However, some of her previous actions make the process somewhat tricky.

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REVIEW: Execution issues ground ‘The Aeronauts’

A daring adventure through the skies is on display in “The Aeronauts,” yet the film as a whole never really takes off.

The picture is a rather loose telling of James Glaisher (Eddie Redmayne), a scientist who took to the skies to obtain a better grasp on how the weather works. In the movie, Glaisher is joined by a hot air balloon pilot, Amelia (Felicity Jones), who agreed to help him reach new heights to advance meteorology.

Their work is dangerous, though, as they come in contact with harsh elements with very little protection.

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REVIEW: ‘Little Women’ is positively wonderful

There’s already been six adaptations of “Little Women,” so why not add another one to the list?

Actually making a new one was a good choice, because it turns out to be one of the greater book adaptations and one of 2019’s finest films.

Like other adaptations, “Little Women” follows the stories of Jo (Saoirse Ronan), Meg (Emma Watson), Amy (Florence Pugh) and Beth (Eliza Scanlen). They live in Massachusetts during the Civil War with their mother Margaret (Laura Dern) while their father is off fighting for the Union Army.

The picture explores their lives as teenagers living together as well as their time as young adults, where they’re off on their own adventures. For example, Jo, is working to become a steady author, while Amy is an aspiring painter in Europe.

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REVIEW: ‘Abbey’ is a good watch for fans and those unfamiliar

I walked into the theater blind with this one. I never watched an episode of the television series “Downton Abbey,” and despite my attempts at research, I was still a bit lost. With that said, though, it was a pretty enjoyable time.

From what I could pick up, the film takes place following the events of the show, featuring stories of both the Crawley family and those who work at their estate. In this film, the family is welcoming King George and Queen Mary to stay at Downton Abbey as part of a royal tour along the country-side.

Over the course of the visit, the Crawleys have moments of inter-family drama mixed with trying to make a good impression for the Royal Family. The staff, meanwhile, have their own sub-plot where they compete to maintain their service in spite of being pushed aside by the Royal Family’s staff.

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REVIEW: ‘The Kitchen’ doesn’t serve audiences anything good

There are some movies that on paper, look like they might be pretty good. “The Kitchen” certainly was one, with a pretty good cast and a writer looking to make a debut in a classic genre. But when the movie is put to screen, one sees that the positive appearance was just a mirage.

“The Kitchen” is set in the late 70s, taking place in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen area. The picture follows three women who are married to members of an Irish crime syndicate, including Kathy (Melissa McCarthy), Ruby (Tiffany Haddish) and Claire (Elisabeth Moss). The flick picks up in the midst of a robbery by their husbands, which was being watched by the FBI.

As a result, the three men are sent to prison and their wives are left to fend for themselves. Having not enough to survive and getting little help from the Irish mob, they decided to go into “business” for themselves, and end up becoming powerful figures in their burrow.

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