Movies: Wildlife, The Grinch, The Girl in the Spider’s Web


This film debuted at this years Sundance Film Festival.  It was actor Paul Dano’s directorial debut.  It’s based on the 1960 Richard Ford novel that takes place in Great Falls, Montana.

It is ultimately about a small family in crisis, falling apart bit by bit.  The acting that binds this story together is especially noteworthy.  Ed Oxenbould plays the 14 year old son.  Carey Mulligan plays the wife and mom.  Jerry, the husband and father, is played by Jake Gyllenhaal.  Bill Camp plays Warren Miller the wealthy widower.

The quality of the acting and screenplay is pivotal to this production.  It is sometimes difficult to watch.  Nonetheless each scene is essential and relevant to the body of work.

We were delighted it was still in the theaters.  It was released while we were traveling but not internationally (yet).  It is listed as a Drama.  It is rated PG-13 and runs 1 hour, 44 minutes.


The Grinch

This production of the Dr. Seuss classic with a twist has some conflicting press swirling about in the background.  This surprised us since we just saw it yesterday and came away with smiles and liked the pleasant twist to the ending.

That said, we will comment directly on the ratings.  It is rated PG for “brief rude humor”, “some slapstick violence and mildly scary moments.”  We can only chuckle at the negative comments as excessive hyperbole.

The production has an A-team cast.  Benedict Cumberbatch is perfect as the Grinch.  Cameron Seely is Cindy-Lou Who.  Rashida Jones is Donna Who, Pharrell Williams is the Narrator, Angela Lansbury is the Mayor and Kenan Thompson is the voice of Mr. Bricklebaum.  An additional 35+ cast members round out the cast.

Our audience ranged from infants to Great Grandparents.  The theater was filled with laughter and smiles.  The genre is noted as Animation, Kids & Family, Science Fiction and Fantasy.  The run time is 86 minutes.


The Girl in the Spider’s Web

The backdrop for this latest production is based on the fourth novel in the Millennium series.  The book was authored by David Lagercrantz and released worldwide August 2015.  The movie was released this week.

The story is complex with numerous twists and turns.  The main characters include Frans Balder, played by Stephen Merchant, who is fired from the National Security Agency.  He recruits Lisbeth Salander, played by Claire Foy, a computer hacker and Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist, played by Sverrir Gudnason.

The story focuses on a stolen computer program that can access codes for nuclear weapons worldwide.  The NSA tracks the activity to Stockholm.  Soon, Russia discovers the program and agents race to acquire control.

It’s not easy to follow.  It’s also challenging to watch.  But it is an exciting guilty pleasure to be sure.  It’s rated R for violence, language, some sexual content and nudity.  It is absolutely not suitable for children.  It’s genre is listed as a Drama/Thriller with a run time of 1 hour, 57 minutes.


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