HAPPY NEW YEAR greetings to all! We send our best wishes to you for a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!!
Please see the odd mix of films and their reviews below. We are unable to explain the logic other than it appears to be a ‘free for all’ as the year comes to an end. These four films each have quirky distribution and release dates. They may not be available in some markets at all. If by chance you have seen any of these, we would love to hear your comments.
Special note: This was a record breaking movie count for us this year, 228 films in theaters! It will be an interesting year ahead as companies like Movie Pass struggle to survive and AMC’s A List grows and streaming sources continue to carve out their chunk of the audiences.
This complicated and sometimes confusing Japanese animated feature film by Director Mamoru Hosoda tells the story about a young boy struggling to find his place in his family when his baby sister joins the household.
It’s quite creative and insightful. There is a magic garden, time travel, many adventures and a few spooky encounters. There are a few dark scenes that seem to represent frustration and despair but these are balanced with many uplifting moments of discovery and joy.
The entire film is dubbed in English which makes it easy to watch (rather than reading subtitles). It is rated PG for thematic elements including some scary images. It may not be suitable for young children. In fact, there were no children in the theater where we viewed the film.
The genre is listed as Animation, Anime & Manga, Art House & International, Kids & Family with a run time of 98 minutes.
This is an unusual film about former Vice President Dick Cheney and his role as Vice President to President George W. Bush and the 2000 presidential election. There is nothing new or surprising from a historical perspective except for the “how” things occurred rather than “what” occurred.
The acting is excellent with an all star cast. Christian Bale transforms into Dick Cheney. Sam Rockwell captures George W. Bush. Steve Carell becomes Donald Rumsfeld. Amy Adams is brilliant as Lynne Cheney. Justin Kirk is Scooter Libby. LisaGay Hamilton is perfect as Condoleeza Rice. There are dozens more including bit parts for Eddie Marsan, Naomi Watts, Alfred Molina and Jeff Bosley.
The film is rated R for language and some violent images. We do not think this film is appropriate for children. It is listed as a drama with a run time of 132 minutes.
If Beale Street Could Talk
This powerful film is set in 1972 Harlem. It is based on the novel by the same name. It is stunning movie making. It’s a testimony to an African American couple’s unbreakable bond with each other in a racially biased world.
The acting is exceptional. KiKi Layne is the wife, Stephan James is the husband. Regina King is the mom. Colman Dominggo is the father. Ed Skrein is the bad cop. Dave Franco plays the real estate agent.
The film is expertly crafted, brimming with social commentary and a sensory script. It is sometimes painful to watch but there are also moments filled with love and compassion.
It’s rated R for language and some sexual content. It’s not suitable for young children. It’s already nominated for three Golden Globes. There’s undoubtedly more accolades to come. It’s genre is Drama, Romance with a run time of 117 minutes.
This ‘feel good’ movie works mostly because of the believable characters offered to the audience. It’s the story of an undervalued assistant store manager, Jennifer Lopez, who manages to maneuver her way into a high profile Management job while juggling friends, family and a boyfriend. It asks a lot from the audience.
That said, the cast comes together just enough to pull it off. Milo Ventimiglia plays the boyfriend. Vannessa Hudgens is the daughter. There is a mix of friends and coworkers rounding out the core characters.
It is rated PG-13 for some crude sexual references and language. It’s listed as a Comedy, Romance. We feel it is suitable for mature children. The run time is 103 minutes.