Thursday, January 4, 2018

Wind River

Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olson, Jon Bernthal

Rated R

This factual based movie tells the story of a young Native American woman on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming who was killed.  This is a very suspenseful, thought provoking, and at times, a hard hitting movie to watch.  It is a murder mystery but the twists and turns of the plot will leave you breathless. Jeremy Renner plays Cory Lambert, who is a Fish and Wildlife Service Agent who is tracking a cougar when he comes across the dead body of the woman. The FBI are called in to assist with the crime. Jane Banner, who is played by Elizabeth Olsen, needs his help as well as the local reservation police.  This story points out the need of many missing Native American women do not get enough recognition for crimes against them. It shows the hatred of people but also the compassion of those who must learn to live with the loss and regardless of race – become united in fighting against them. This is a superb movie and one that will get under your skin.  One that you’ll think about for quite a while. 

The Mountain Between Us

Kate Winslet, Idris llba


Two strangers decided to share an airplane ride.  The airplane crashes.  They are stranded in the rugged wintry mountains with no help in sight.  What will become of them?  This movie takes right off with us meeting Alex (played by Kate Winslet) and Ben (played by Idris llba), meeting in an airport.  Due to circumstances, their flights are cancelled and they decide to split the fee and charter a private plane.  The plane crashes, the pilot dies and this is where our two strangers must face the bitter cold truth – how do they survive?  This isn’t one of those “survivalist” stories in the way you think – but a love story.  It will take two strangers, in the midst of their darkest fears, to find the strength they need to survive.  Along the way they delve deeper and deeper into each other’s lives until they reach the soul of who each other really are.  They find out that even in the depths of life and death - that there is a raw connection that makes us human and vulnerable.  At times, the story is unbelievable, but it’s a poetic piece of work with an ending that leaves you wanting more. (and just an  F.Y.I., the chemistry between the two is outstanding!  Love how it all worked in the beauty of the backdrop).


The Mountain Between Us

This was one of those movies I like where you can put yourself in the character’s place and try to think what you would do in the same situation.  After Alex and Ben, who are complete strangers, chartered a plane to Denver, the pilot that is flying them has a stroke mid-flight and they all crash in the mountains.  This all happens in the first few minutes of the movie, so after that, they are on a survival mission.  It’s bitter cold, snow and ice everywhere, and they are in the middle of nowhere with no cell service and not another person around!  Besides the pilot dying in the crash, they also had some injuries they’ll need to deal with and a lot of life or death decisions to make.  What would you do?  Luckily, Ben is a doctor and wasn’t injured as badly as Alex, but all they have is what they took with them on that flight.  It’s not a good situation and they will have to overcome many, many obstacles if they’re going to survive.  I liked this movie quite a bit.  It may not be a classic and didn’t have quite the “big picture” feel of some movies, but it’s definitely worth watching. 

The Zookeeper’s Wife

Jessica Chastain and Daniel Brϋhl


This is a  true story based on events that took place in 1939 in Poland at the Warsaw Zoo.  Antonia Zabinska, husband and son own the zoo and take care of all the animals.  Their life for them is idyllic until the Germans invade their country and take the zoo as their own to use for staging.  This movie is very emotional as we see the animals killed at the hands of the Nazi’s as well as the as the demise of the Jewish people in their town.  As the Zabinska families see their friends being rounded up and thrown into the ghetto – they decide to take a risk and save those that they can.  Using the animals cages in the basement of their house – they bring in the Jewish people and let them stay till they can sneak them out of the country.  Jessica Chastain does a superb job as she takes us into this woman’s world.  We see her struggle with the loss of her zoo, her community, her friends, but yet she still finds a way to save those she can – even at the risk of her own life.  Also, a great book!

Life on the Line

John Travolta


So, let’s talk about anything positive with this movie.  It was meant to be a tribute to those men and women who work on the power lines and for those who died doing their job.  It was also meant to show to what extremes linemen go through to keep our power on through the fiercest of weather. 

For those who do this job, thank you.

Now, to the movie itself.  It was horrible!!  Everything about the movie was bad – there were just a “few” scenes that were decent but overall - it was bad.  John Travolta plays a “down-home rough and tumble” linesman.  He’s raising his niece as his brother died while also being a lineman and lineman is in his blood.  The story centers around his niece and her involvement with her boyfriend, then there’s an “ex” boyfriend that brings some drama into it, a bar fight, neighbors with some history that eventually revolve around the niece and then of course the ending you saw coming as soon as the movie started.  What was worse – were the performances. John Travolta’s was ugly!  I thought he must be pretty hard up to do this film because he gave a stoic performance and could barely open his mouth to get his southern drawl words out and I didn’t believe him for one minute!  The movie “tried” to show what it takes to be a lineman – but between the bad storyline and the bad acting – it just got lost, muddled, and went totally off the grid for entertainment.  Glad I didn’t expect much from this movie - because there was nothing that came from it.

Life on the Line

I’d never heard of this movie, but thought it looked like it could be good, so I gave it a shot.  Christy already told you the story and she had let me know it was pretty bad, but it has John Travolta and Sharon Stone in it – a couple of big names, so it can’t be that bad, right???  After watching it, I now know WHY I’d never heard of it!  I wish I’d listened to her and had just not watched it!  After viewing this, I felt like it almost ruined my day and even my weekend!  It was a total waste of time!!!  The acting was horrible, the lines were ridiculous, and it covered every cliché in the book!  Even the ending was stupid and you could see it coming from a mile away!  It’s actually taken me five or six movies just to get this one out of my head…  I heard it went straight to DVD – it should have gone straight to the trash!  You’ve been warned!!!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Men Tell No Tales

Rated PG-13
3 hours
Starring: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, and Javier Bardem

I did not intend to watch this movie, but I’ve seen all the others so I might as well.  We all know that the first Pirates was amazing! We loved the swashbuckling Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) Elizabeth Swan (Keira Knightley) and Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush)!  They were all wonderful characters who made us cheer for the pirates and “oohh and awe” as the skeletons walked under water.  From there though, the following movies went downhill.  They got all squishy with water and drenched.  Will and Elizabeth didn’t always come back and eventually, it seemed it was all about the money of the franchise and not the story.  Then along comes, Dead Men Tell No Tales!  It doesn’t rate as good as the first one but it does rank higher than some. 
What I really liked about it is I did become engaged in the new characters.  It centers around Will’s and Elizabeth’s son, Henry, who's on a mission to rescue his dad, Will, from The Flying Dutchman.  Along the way he teams up with a spunky woman, Carina, who is looking for her dad.  The two share the same  goal and they must also trust Jack to help them.  It wouldn’t be a Pirates movie without the plundering, the explosions, the funny off-beat jokes and a true hearted pirate that sacrifices all so that another could live.
There were a few twists and turns that kept me engaged and even though I thought the movie was too long  – the ending still held up to a Pirates standard.  If this is the final one of the series - then I’m glad I went along for the ride.  It’s always nice to be with friends one last time, before they eventually head out to sea for their final voyage.