Thursday, March 1, 2018

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

Rated R
1 hour 55 minutes
Starring: Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson

I’ve seen this movie twice and am sure I’ll be watching it again.  The main story centers around a mother whose daughter has been raped and murdered, with the killer never being found.  Feeling frustrated and like the police haven’t done enough to solve the case, she decides to put up three billboards “calling out” the chief of police for not trying hard enough.  Needless to say, this causes quite a commotion in their small town.  This film turned out to be much deeper than I’d expected.  Besides the main story, it went into many different subplots that covered anger, revenge, violence, forgiveness, change, racial tensions, and many different areas that really make you think about the way we all live.  Everyone is “real” and says pretty much what they’re thinking, which was a nice change from some movies.  I felt like I almost knew these people by the end of the movie and that just made it that much better to me.  I liked it the first time I saw it in the theater and liked it even better the second time.  If you want an unpredictable movie that might hit you pretty hard, give this one a shot!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Only The Brave

Rated PG-13
2 hours 14 minutes
Starring: Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Connelly

This movie destroyed me.  It follows the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, who were an elite group of firefighters that wound up paying the ultimate sacrifice to protect their town from a dangerous wildfire.  Watching what each of these people went through to obtain their hotshot status, the sacrifices they made with their life and families, and just seeing the toll doing that kind of job takes on them almost creates a feeling of “knowing” them.  I felt like I’d experienced it all right along with them.  Josh Brolin plays a fire commander who takes a risk hiring a young “burnout” played by Miles Teller who reminds him of himself when he was younger.  He wants to give the kid a chance to turn his life around and the opportunity to prove himself, which he does.  I knew what was coming in the end, but it was still incredibly powerful and very emotional!  If you’re looking for a gripping, sad, intense, amazing movie, this one’s for you!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Flatliners (2017)

Rated PG-13
1 hour 49 minutes
Starring: Ellen Page, James Norton, Diego Luna, Kiefer Sutherland

What has happened to having original ideas for movies?  Why do they have to remake so many movies?  Especially when there isn’t any reason to!  Some movies are classics and should just be left alone!!!  I’m not sure if I’d call the original Flatliners a classic, but at least it was a new idea and an interesting concept.  It involved medical students slowing their hearts down and “flatlining” before others were able to bring them back so they could experience dying and live to tell about it.  In the original movie, there was suspense and tension, a huge fear of the unknown and worrying about the ethics of it all.  This movie had almost NONE of that feeling.  There was only one person that seemed apprehensive and didn’t want to experience it – the rest just dove right in without any serious consideration of what could happen.  They observed that it seemed to make others “smarter” and think more clearly, so they just went with it.  I felt like this film was missing everything that made the 1990 version good.  The movie has the perfect title – it just “flatlined” for me!

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!