Blind Man Abandons Family after Regaining Sight in Midlife Crisis Drama

 
The Ticket,  Film Review by Kam Williams, Dan Stevens, introspective, midlife crisis drama, Ido FlukThe Ticket

Film Review by Kam Williams

Blind Man Abandons Family after Regaining Sight in Midlife Crisis Drama

James (Dan Stevens) was blinded during childhood by a pituitary tumor. To his credit, he never let the condition prevent him from marrying or making a living.

Despite their modest circumstances, he’s been grateful for the love of his plain but supportive wife, Sam (Malin Akerman), who bore him a beautiful son, Jonah (Skylar Gaertner). Career-wise, he’s been happy having a steady job in real estate where he works alongside his blind BFF, Bob (Oliver Platt).

But James’ perspective of all of the above changes dramatically after he miraculously regains his sight. It’s not long before he becomes more ambitious and demands a higher paying position. He also stops hanging around with Bob whom he accuses of now being jealous.

He treats Sam just as cruelly, asking whether she was with him more out of pity than love. Then he proceeds to abandon her for a pretty colleague (Kerry Bishe), and moves out of the house for nicer digs.

That is the intriguing point of departure of The Ticket, an introspective, midlife crisis drama directed and co-written by Ido Fluk (Never Too Late). Once you’re okay with the picture’s novel premise, don’t be surprised to find yourself sucked into its super-realistic, if harsh realities.

The Ticket,  Film Review by Kam Williams, Dan Stevens, introspective, midlife crisis drama, Ido Fluk

Dan Stevens in THE TICKET. Photgrapher: Zack Galler

How would you behave in James’ situation? We all like to think of ourselves as far more virtuous than the creep he turns into. Yet, this thought-provoking character study suggests that you really might have to walk a mile in his moccasins to have a good idea.

There but for misfortune may go you or I.

Very Good (3 stars)

Unrated

Running time: 99 minutes

Production Studio: Rush River Entertainment

Distributor: Shout! Factory Films

Source:  GIG News

For movies opening April 7, 2017

 

OPENING THIS WEEK

Kam’s Kapsules

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

by Kam Williams

For movies opening April 7, 2017

MOVIES OPENING THIS WEEK,   Kam's Kapsules,  Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun,  by Kam Williams

BIG BUDGET FILMS

The Case for Christ (PG for mature themes, incidental smoking and medical descriptions of crucifixion) Faith-based docudrama based on investigative journalist Lee Strobel’s (Mike Vogel) best seller of the same name chronicling his conversion from a skeptical atheist to a devout believer after two years of trying to convince his Born Again wife (Erika Christensen) that God doesn’t exist. With Faye Dunaway, Robert Forster and Frankie Faison.

Going in Style (PG-13 for profanity, drug use and suggestive material) Remake of the classic crime comedy revolving around a trio of retirees (Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin) who conspire to rob the bank that bankrupted their pension fund. Supporting cast includes Joey King, Ann-Margaret, Matt Dillon, Kenan Thompson and Christopher Lloyd.     

Smurfs: The Lost Village (PG for mild action and rude humor) Reboot of the animated franchise finds Smurfette (Demi Lovato) and BFFs Brainy (Danny Pudi), Hefty (Joe Manganiello) and Clumsy (Jack McBrayer) racing through a forbidden forest filled with magical creatures to find a lost village before the evil wizard Gargamel (Rainn Wilson). Voice cast includes Mandy Patinkin, Julia Roberts, Michelle Rodriguez, Meghan Trainor and Gordon Ramsay.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

Aftermath (R for one scene containing graphic violence) Fact-based docudrama about a grief-stricken vigilante (Arnold Schwarzenegger) who seeks to take revenge on the air traffic controller (Scoot McNairy) whose mistake led to the crash which claimed the lives of his wife and daughter. Supporting cast includes Maggie Grace, Kevin Zegers and Hannah Ware.

Alive and Kicking (Unrated) Musical documentary taking an informative look at both the Depression Era roots as well as the present-day popularity of swing dancing. 

The Assignment (R for profanity, sexuality, violence, drug use and graphic nudity) Crime thriller about a double-crossed assassin’s (Michelle Rodriguez) quest for vengeance against the rogue surgeon (Sigourney Weaver) who performed her gender-reassignment surgery against her will. Featuring Tony Shalhoub, Anthony LaPaglia and Lia Lam.

Cezanne et Moi (R for profanity, nudity and sexual references) Bifurcated biopic chronicling the lifelong friendship of novelist/philosopher Emile Zola (Guillaume Canet) and Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cezanne (Guillaume Gallienne). With Alice Pol, Deborah Francois and Pierre Yvon. (In French with subtitles)

Colossal (R for profanity) Sci-fi comedy about a just-dumped and just-fired slacker (Anne Hathaway) who abandons New York City for her hometown where she suffers a nervous breakdown that leaves her convinced she’s in control of a giant monster making mincemeat of Seoul, South Korea. Ensemble cast includes Jason Sudeikis, Tim Blake Nelson, Dan Stevens and Simon Pegg.

Gifted (PG-13 for profanity, mature themes and suggestive material) Coming-of-age adventure set in a Central Florida coastal town where a 7 year-old orphan (Mckenna Grace) raised by her uncle (Chris Evans) since her mother’s suicide becomes the subject of a custody battle when her grandmother (Lindsay Duncan) learns she’s a promising math prodigy. With Octavia Spencer, Jona Xiao and Jenny Slate.

Graduation (R for profanity) Crime drama, set in Transylvania, about a physician (Adrian Titieni) who loses his moral compass after his 18 year-old daughter (Maria-Victoria Dragus) is left traumatized by a sexual assault right before taking her college entrance exam. Support cast includes Rares Andrici, Lia Bugnar and Vlad Ivanov. (In Romanian with subtitles)

Salt and Fire (Unrated) Strange bedfellows drama about a couple of environmental activists (Gael Garcia Bernal and Veronica Ferres) who grudgingly join forces with the corrupt CEO (Michael Shannon) of a corporate polluter when an active volcano threatens to trigger an ecological disaster. Featuring Anita Briem, Lawrence Krauss and the film’s director, Werner Herzog. (In English, Spanish, Quecha and German with subtitles)

Speech & Debate (PG-13 for teen sexuality, mature themes, profanity and substance abuse) Adaptation of the Off-Broadway play of the same name about a trio of teenage outcasts (Liam James, Sarah Steele and Austin McKenzie) who deal with their hypocritical parents and teachers by reviving their high school’s dormant debate club. With Janeane Garofalo, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Kal Penn, Roger Bart, Lucy DeVito (Danny’s daughter) and creator of the Broadway hit Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Their Finest (R for profanity and sexuality) Romantic dramedy, set in London during World War II, about a young woman (Gemma Arterton) enlisted to write scripts for British propaganda films who finds herself falling for the movies’ handsome producer (Sam Claflin). With Bill Nighy, Jake Lacy and Eddie Marsan.

The Ticket (Unrated) Changed circumstances drama about a blind man (Dan Stevens) who turns into a jerk, dumping his plain wife (Malin Akerman) for an attractive young woman (Kerry Bishe), and deserting his blind BFF (Oliver Platt), after miraculously regaining his sight. Supporting cast includes Peter Mark Kendall, Liza J. Bennett and Skylar Gaertner.

  

Source:  GIG News

Freeman, Arkin and Caine Co-Star in Remake of Classic Crime Caper

 

Going in Style

Film Review by Kam Williams

Freeman, Arkin and Caine Co-Star in Remake of Classic Crime Caper 

Released in 1979, Going in Style revolved around a trio of retirees who break the monotony of their dreary daily lives by robbing a bank. That critically-acclaimed, comic caper co-starred a trio of entertainment icons in George Burns, Art Carney and the legendary Lee Strasberg, the father of method acting.

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/going_in_style_2017#&gid=1&pid=n-1431306

Ordinarily, one would think twice before mounting a remake of such a beloved classic. Not Zach Braff (Garden State). Despite the daunting challenge, the ambitious actor-turned-director decided to give it a go.

First, he turned to Oscar-nominee Theodore Melfi (for Hidden Figures’ screenplay). Melfi came up with a terrific script only loosely based on the original. He retained the main characters’ names and the basic “bank heist” premise while updating the dialogue and overhauling plot to yield a rollicking, laff-a-minute adventure.

Second, Zach retained the services of Academy Award-Winners Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin to play the leads. Although 79, 84 and 83, respectively, these reliable, accomplished thespians generate an endearing camaraderie and deliver every punchline with perfect timing.

At the point of departure, we find Joe (Caine) in the midst of complaining to an unsympathetic loan officer (Josh Pais) about Williamsburg Savings’ impending foreclosure on his home when the place is suddenly held-up by a gang of masked men. Later that day, while commiserating with former co-workers Willie (Freeman) and Al (Arkin), Joe realizes they’ve all fallen prey to the bank’s shady practices which includes completely draining the pension fund they’re all dependent on.

But instead of alerting the authorities, the victims opt to take the law into their own hands, conspiring to retrieve at gunpoint precisely the same amount “stolen” from them. Of course, the hold up proves easier planned than executed, given that this is each of these geezer’s first felony.

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/going_in_style_2017#&gid=1&pid=n-1431306

Fortunately, the BFFs are not to be deterred, even after a disastrous dry run shoplifting at a supermarket. What’s bad for them is great for the audience, as the laughs just keep coming clear through the closing credits.

You can’t ask any more of a madcap comedy than this much hilarity!

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated PG-13 for profanity, drug use and suggestive material

Running time: 97 minutes

Distributor: Warner Brothers Pictures

Source:  GIG News

Smurf Series Rebooted as Animated Tale of Female Empowerment

 

Smurfs: The Lost Village

Film Review by Kam Williams

Smurf Series Rebooted as Animated Tale of Female Empowerment

Created by the Belgian cartoonist Peyo, the Smurfs started out as a comic strip back  in 1958. Over the intervening years, the popular series chronicling the exploits of a clan of diminutive blue humanoids crossed over to television and film, most recently, a pair of live-action features released in 2011 and 2013.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9NO8wk4n1Cs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Clumsy (Jack McBrayer), Brainy (Danny Pud), Hefty (Joe Manganiello), Smurfette (Demi Lovato), SmurfBlossom (Ellie Kemper) and SmurfWillow (Julia Roberts) in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation’s SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE.

Smurfs: The Lost Village is an animated tale of female empowerment co-written by  Stacey Harman and Pamela Ribon. That’s the same Pamela Ribon whose previous screenplay was the similarly-themed Moana. Here, she has ostensibly imbued the headstrong heroine of this production with some of the same attributes as the intrepid Moana.

The Lost Village revolves around Smurfette (Demi Lovato), heretofore the only female Smurf. In fact, she’s not actually a Smurf, but a facsimile fabricated from a lump of clay by the evil wizard Gargamel (Rainn Wilson).

As the film unfolds, we find her frolicking around the very peaceable Smurfdom with her best friends Brainy (Danny Pudi), Hefty (Joe Manganiello) and Clumsy (Jack McBrayer). Narrator/patriarch Papa Smurf (Mandy Patinkin) is quick to point out that all the other smurfs’ names tells you their dominant trait, ala Grouchy (Jake Johnson), Jokey (Gabriel Iglesias) and Nosey (Kelly Asbury), while Smurfette’s alone fails to reveal a hint about her.

The plot thickens when the adventurous Smurfette, with the help of an inverted leaf,  hang glides over the wall separating the Smurf compound from the Forbidden Forest. Her worried BFFs follow suit, and the quartet soon finds a mysterious map with directions leading to the Lost Village, an all-girl enclave of Amazonian Smurfs led by the imperious Smurfwillow (Julia Roberts).

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9NO8wk4n1Cs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Smurfs in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation’s SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE.

Next thing you know, the fearless foursome is in a a race with Gargamel to discover the place. He’s hatched a diabolical plot to kidnap all the Smurfs. The plan is to become the most powerful wizard in the world by ingesting their essence after boiling them in his lab.

Not to worry. There’s a two-fisted shero prepared to prove, in convincing fashion, that a girl can grow up to be anything she wants to be. A priceless primer for impressionable tykes!

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated PG for mild action and rude humor

Running time: 90 minutes

Distributor: Sony Pictures

Source:  GIG News

Nostalgic Tale of Female Empowerment Comes to Home Video

 

20th Century Women,  Blu-ray Review by Kam Williams, Santa Barbara, California 1979, Female Empowerment, inappropriately-titled homage20th Century Women

Blu-ray Review by Kam Williams

Nostalgic Tale of Female Empowerment Comes to Home Video

Nominated for an Oscar in the Best Original Screenplay category, 20th Century Women is an inter-generational coming-of-age tale set in Santa Barbara, California in 1979. The nostalgic ensemble drama revolves around the efforts of a neurotic single-mom (Annette Bening) to parent a naive 15 year-old (Lucas Jade Zumann) in dire need of a role model.

The picture’s protagonist is Dorothea Fields, a middle-aged chain-smoker who owns the dilapidated rooming house where the bulk of the story is set. Paradoxically, she recruits a couple of considerably-younger females, Abbie (Greta Gerwig) and Julie (Elle Fanning), to help with raising her son, Jamie, conveniently ignoring the availability of a pleasant and ostensibly-plausible father figure in her handyman, William (Billy Crudup).

Consequently, tenant Abbie tries to indoctrinate the impressionable kid by having him read popular feminist manifestos like “Sisterhood Is Powerful.” Meanwhile, worldly-wise Julie, 17, is happy to share a Platonic relationship with him. After all, they’ve known each other since they were little.

The engaging ensemble drama intermittently resorts to voiceovered flashbacks to develop each of the lead characters’ back stories. First, we hear Jamie ruminating about life with his mom. Then, it’s her fretting about understanding him less and less every day. We later hear Abbie’s concern about her cervical cancer scare, and Julie’s resentment of her therapist mother’s forcing her into group therapy sessions.

When not engaging in personal reminiscences, 20th Century Women effectively transports the audience back to the late Seventies. For, besides resurrecting the era’s fashions and decor, the action unfolds against a variety of painstakingly-recreated, period familiar backdrops. In addition, the film’s score features an eclectic mix of musical artists ranging from Rudy Vallee to Louie Armstrong to David Bowie to The Talking Heads.

Though there isn’t much of a message to glean from this inappropriately-titled homage to the dawn of female empowerment, one can easily appreciate its vivid triptych of poignant personal portraits.

Excellent (3.5 stars)

Rated R for sexuality, nudity, profanity and brief drug use

Running time: 118 minutes

Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Blu-ray Extras: Audio commentary with writer/director Mike Mills; The Making of 20th Century Women; and 20th Century Cast.

To order a copy of 20th Century Women on Blu-ray, visit: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01MRA563W/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 

Source:  GIG News

Top Ten DVD List for April 4, 2017

 

This Week’s DVD Releases

by Kam Williams

Top Ten DVD List for April 4, 2017

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story  https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01MXLWO5D/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20  The Talk: Race in America  https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01MZD6TAZ/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01MXLWO5D/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

The Talk: Race in America

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01MZD6TAZ/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Mary Higgins Clark: 5 Films [I’ll Be Seeing You / Pretend You Don’t See Her /  You Belong to Me / We’ll Meet Again / Before I Say Goodbye]

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B06VVHW13C/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Three

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01NAW7CGT/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Paterson

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01N9T6WN3/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 

The Bounce Back

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01N7WMV7Z/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Legend of Bruce Lee: Volume 2

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01N7WC8KC/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Office Christmas Party

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01LTHZX6I/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Lonely Hearts

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B06WD3GWLS/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Three Can Play That Game

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B06W553W7C/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Honorable Mention

Youth in Oregon

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01N35XONC/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Levity

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B06X18NZ9T/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

We Don’t Belong Here

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01MUE02S8/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Actor Martinez

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B06VTFHQPX/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Dead Reckoning: War, Crime and Justice from WW2 to the War on Terror

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01M34Z068/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Smithsonian: Sports Detectives [Season 1]

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01MQPXE33/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

 

Source:  GIG News

Surreal Fantasy Features Liam Neeson as Voice of Anthropomorphic Tree

 

A Monster Calls,  DVD Review by Kam Williams, Lewis MacDougall, Toby Kebbell, Felicity Jones, visually-enchanting, Patrick Ness, Sigourney Weaver, facing deepest fearsA Monster Calls

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Surreal Fantasy Features Liam Neeson as Voice of Anthropomorphic Tree

Conor O’Malley (Lewis MacDougall) is understandably miserable. First of all, the 12 year-old divorced mom (Felicity Jones) is terminally ill. Second, they’re both estranged from his father (Toby Kebbell) who has long since started another family over in America.

Third, Conor is tired of being mistreated by his cold-hearted grandmother (Sigourney Weaver) who cares more about her prized possessions than his welfare. And finally, he’s routinely teased at school by a bully (James Melville) about always being off in his own dream world.

So, it’s no surprise when Conor starts being plagued by nightmares on a daily basis. A few minutes after midnight, the giant yew tree (Liam Neeson) standing in the graveyard outside his bedroom window turns into an intimidating, anthropomorphic monster.

Despite its imposing presence, the beast gradually gains the kid’s confidence, agreeing to tell a trio of insightful allegories on the condition that Conor reciprocate with one of his own. The idea, ostensibly, is that there will be a meaningful lesson to be learned from each of the parables.

That is the point of departure of  A Monster Calls, a bittersweet escapist fantasy directed by J.A. Bayona (The Impossible). The movie is based on the illustrated children’s novel of the same name by Patrick Ness who also adapted it to the big screen. Ness’ award-winning book was inspired by the late Siobhan Dowd, who passed away before she could tackle the semi-autobiographical project herself.   

The film is less a feel-good flick than a picture about making the best of a bad situation. For, the monster’s stories paint a sobering picture of life that’s anything but rosy. However, they do ultimately enable Conor to own up about his deepest fear, when it’s his turn to share.

Given the mature themes and the dire plot developments, it’s hard to recommend A Monster Calls for vulnerable youngsters. Nevertheless, it is unique in its approach to preparing a tweener to processing an impending tragedy.

A visually-enchanting, if fateful, fairy tale.

Very Good (3 stars)

Rated  PG-13 for mature themes and scary images

Running time: 108 minutes

Distributor: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Extras: Deleted scenes; The Making of A Monster Calls; and Making of the Tales.

To order a copy of A Monster Calls on Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack, visit: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01LTI21YY/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Source:  GIG News

For movies opening March 31, 2017

 

OPENING THIS WEEK

Kam’s Kapsules

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

by Kam Williams

For movies opening March 31, 2017

MOVIES OPENING THIS WEEK,   Kam's Kapsules,  Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun,  by Kam Williams

BIG BUDGET FILMS

The Boss Baby (PG for some mildly rude humor) Animated family comedy about a precocious infant (Alec Baldwin) who teams up with his 7 year-old brother (Miles Christopher Bakshi) to foil the dastardly plan of a diabolical CEO (Steve Buscemi) determined to destabilize feelings of love around the world. Voice cast includes Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Tobey Maguire, ViviAnn Yee and Eric Bell, Jr.

Ghost in the Shell (PG-13 for ) Futuristic sci-fi based on the Japanese comic book series of the same name about a cyborg counter-terrorist commander’s (Scarlett Johansson) deployed to prevent power-hungry computer hackers from purloining powerful, mind control technology. With Pilou Asbaek, Juliette Binoche and Takeshi Kitano.   

The Zookeeper’s Wife (PG-13 for violence, disturbing images, mature themes, smoking, sexuality and brief nudity) Jessica Chastain plays the title character in this true tale, set in Poland during World War II, recounting how a fearless woman hid hundreds of Jews during the Holocaust on the grounds of the Warsaw Zoo. Cast includes Daniel Bruhl, Johan Heldenbergh and Timothy Radford.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

Aftermath (R for one scene containing graphic violence) Fact-based docudrama about a grief-stricken vigilante (Arnold Schwarzenegger) who seeks to take revenge on the air traffic controller (Scoot McNairy) whose mistake led to the crash which claimed the lives of his wife and daughter. Supporting cast includes Maggie Grace, Kevin Zegers and Hannah Ware.

All This Panic (Unrated) Coming-of-age documentary, set in Brooklyn, chronicling  the transition of a group of teenage girls from adolescence to adulthood over the course of three years. 

Bwoy (Unrated) Homoerotic drama revolving around a closeted, former physician (Anthony Rapp) who starts cheating on his wife (De’Adre Aziza) with a hunky young Jamaican (Jimmy Brooks) in the wake of their son’s untimely death. Featuring Jermaine Rowe, Drew Allen and Ashton Randle.

Cexanne and I (R for profanity, nudity and sexual references) Bifurcated biopic chronicling the lifelong friendship of novelist/philosopher Emile Zola (Guillaume Canet) and Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cezanne (Guillaume Gallienne). With Alice Pol, Deborah Francois and Pierre Yvon. (In French with subtitles)

David Lynch: The Art Life (Unrated) Prestige biopic following David Lynch as he discusses the formative years of his life which helped turn him into an iconoclastic film director.   

God Knows Where I Am (Unrated) Poignant post mortem reenacting the events leading to the death by a starvation of Linda Bishop, a homeless woman who tried to survive a harsh New Hampshire winter in an abandoned farmhouse on apples and rain water.

Here Alone (Unrated) Post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller chronicling the struggle of a young woman (Lucy Walters) to survive in the wilderness in the wake of a mysterious epidemic that has decimated civilization. Cast includes Gina Piersanti, Adam David Thompson and Shane West. (In English and French with subtitles) 

Live Cargo (Unrated) Crime thriller about a couple (Dree Hemigway and Lakeith Stanfield) that retreats to an island in the Bahamas to mourn the loss of a baby, only to become entangled in a turf war between the mayor (Robert Wisdom) and a human trafficker (Leonard Earl Howze). co-starring Sam Dillon, Ayumi Iizuka and Frantz Lecoeur. (In English and Creole with subtitles)

The Prison (Unrated) Action thriller revolving around an ex-cop (Rae-won Kim) who pretends to be a convict in order to infiltrate the crime syndicate operating behind bars responsible for the murder of his younger brother. With Woong-in Jeong, Seok-Kyu Han and Kim Sung Kyun. (In Korean with subtitles)

 

Source:  GIG News

Eddie Redmayne Stars as Wizard in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Spinoff

 

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,  DVD Review by Kam Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Samantha Morton, Harry Potter Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Eddie Redmayne Stars as Wizard in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Spinoff

It’s New York harbor in 1926, which is when we are introduced to Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) as he disembarks a steamship from England that’s just docked at the pier. The young wizard has to resort to a sleight of hand to slip through customs, since his suitcase is filled to the point of bursting with a unique brand of contraband.

Newt happens to be hiding a menagerie of mythical creatures with unusual names like obscurials, bowtruckles and dougals. Given the unreliable latch on his tattered, leather satchel, it doesn’t take long for a mischievous niffler to escape. We soon observe the odd-looking critter breaking into a bank vault where it proceeds to indulge its insatiable appetite for gold by stuffing its pouch with glittery coins.

Newt, however, must get it right back under wraps ASAP, before it arouses the suspicion of Mary Lou Barebone (Samantha Morton). She’s the leader of the New Salem Philanthropic Society, a group of no-majs, aka muggles (meaning ordinary human beings), dedicated to the extermination of wizards and witches.

Newt whips out his wand to recapture the naughty niffler in front of Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), an affable Everyman applying for a loan with hopes of opening his own bakery. Trouble is, since the unassuming fellow has just observed the use of magic, wizardry protocol calls for his memory to be wiped clean on the spot.

But Jacob not only flees before being “obliviated,” he inadvertently takes Newt’s bag of tricks with him to boot. Next, Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), a comely witch with the Magical Congress of the United States of America, comes to Newt’s rescue.

Thus unfolds Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a visually-captivating adaptation of the J.K. Rowling best seller of the same name. Although the book was alluded to in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, one need not be familiar with the Potter series at all to appreciate this delightful debut of a fantasy franchise designed for five episodes.

Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne (for The Theory of Everything) delivers afresh conveying an endearing vulnerability as the picture’s bashful protagonist. And he is ably assisted in this endeavor by a stellar supporting cast composed of both A-list actors and an array of computer-generated creatures.

Redmayne’s enviable acting range makes Newt Scamander a far more engaging and emotionally- accessible character than Harry Potter ever was. Heavens to Hogwarts! 

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated PG-13 for fantasy action violence

Running time: 133 minutes

Distributor: Warner Brothers Home Entertainment Group

Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Extras: Over an hour of expansive, multi-part feaurettes; 11 deleted scenes; and Before Harry Potter: A New Era of Magic Begins!.

To order a copy of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack , visit: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01LTHOAGM/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 

Source:  GIG News

Top Ten DVD List for March 28, 2017

 

This Week’s DVD Releases

by Kam Williams

Top Ten DVD List for March 28, 2017

This Week’s DVD Releases, Kam Williams, Top Ten DVD List, 03/28/2017

20th Century Women

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01MRA563W/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01LTHOAGM/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

A Monster Calls

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01LTI21YY/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Silence

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01LTI119U/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 

Jack Taylor: Set 3

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01MRMBAE0/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Patriots Day

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01LTI1WBC/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Blow Up [Criterion Collection]

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01MSZLUQ6/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Monster High: Electrified

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01N5SAI3C/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Frontline: President Trump

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01MSWRN9G/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Wishmaster Collection [4 Film Set]

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01NCYUBIC/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Honorable Mention

Arsenal

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01N4N2SE4/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Source:  GIG News