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3/4/17 6:40 P

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Logan
I've never been a big fan of the Wolverine character. And this movie continued that. Why all the blood? Just to make it R-rated? (Language didn't bother me.) I feel like I have seen this movie before. Why is Wolverine always leading children from being captured by mean humans? And the unknown daughter storyline....been there, done that. The movie just felt dated and re-done.
Grade: C
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1/29/17 4:18 P

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A Dog's Purpose:
I just finished reading the book so I thought I would go see the film. As someone who has a dog nearing the end of his life, it was a difficult book to read and a difficult movie to watch. But I enjoyed both. Different in their own way. (Of course, as always, the book is better. But we all know that movie makers must change things in order to make a two hour film.)
Grade: A-
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1/21/17 5:32 P

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Split
I usually pride myself in figuring out Shyamalan "twists" before seeing the movie. This time, I didn't figure it out. Problem: I never understood the twist when it was revealed. Or, maybe there wasn't a twist???? I think there was. I think it had to do with the flashbacks for the girl, but I really didn't get those. Someone will need to explain it to me.

I did enjoy watching McAvoy's acting. I only wish his personalities weren't stereotypes. But I liked how he physically changed with the personality changes.

Grade: B-
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1/14/17 6:50 P

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Moonlight:
Why is this movie getting such high praise? It isn't that it is a bad film, but compared to Manchester by the Sea and Fences, it doesn't hold up in the drama department. I also have a pet peeve about shaky cameras. Isn't that fad over? Hold the camera still. And why intentionally have it blurry? Is this artistic or just juvenile film making?
Grade: B-

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Edit: The music was outstanding. I'm really liking the music lately from movies. New composers with new ideas.

Edited by: BAIXOMUSIC at: 1/14/2017 (18:53)
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1/11/17 8:51 A

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I watched Underworld Blood Wars yesterday. I am a long time fan of the franchise. I enjoyed this film a lot. I was given answers to questions prior films had left me hanging. I don't like films that are gory. The Underworld franchise would be gory if it weren't for the blue and black filters that are used. I appreciate the filtering of blood and guts. However, I am not so closed minded that I can't read what the critics say and understand where they are getting their criticisms. This was a fan film and not an epic release for the masses.

Underworld Fans: A-
All Others: D

Edited by: JNWELDON at: 1/11/2017 (08:52)
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1/9/17 6:29 A

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I have got to get busy watching movies.

I did see Arrival. I love to get different perspectives from different people. I loved the movie. I did think it was complicated but eventually came together as the film wrapped up. I was so emotionally moved as I walked back to my car. I even wiped away a couple tears driving home. It was late because I caught a 10:00 pm showing. I have told people it was my favorite movie of 2016. (A+)

I watched Passengers last night. I enjoyed it. I was surprised at some of the twists I didn't expect based on the previews. I will say the previews seemed to put a conspiratorial spin on the film that I didn't get while watching it. I would give it a B-.

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1/8/17 9:19 P

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Hidden Figures:

This is a good movie, but not a great movie. There were moments that seemed forced (let's give each character their academy award moment....) Even Kevin Costner had his "moment". Don't get me wrong, it is a good film, but I just don't like that critics are giving it sooo much praise.

Grade: B+
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1/2/17 8:59 A

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Fences:
Powerful performances especially by Viola Davis. (Why she's up for "supporting" actress is beyond me....it is a main role.) Like Manchester by the Sea, this movie is about LIFE. The fact that this is from a stage play is obvious. The set doesn't change very often.
Grade: A
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12/30/16 5:19 P

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Rogue One:

Wasn't great, wasn't bad. Solid picture. There were a couple of times that things happened on screen that I felt were "funny" but weren't supposed to be (Forest Whitaker breathing from his inhaler devise.) I've always had the idea that the stealing of the death star plans were very secretive and "small" in scope (even though they say many died to bring us this information....) So although, I liked the ending battles, it didn't seem right to what my imagination had created.

Grade: B
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12/29/16 4:29 P

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LA LA Land

Bright, colorful, fun...but still dramatic and heartfelt. Loved watching it. Can't wait to download the songs.

Grade: A+
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12/22/16 6:27 P

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Manchester by the Sea

This time, the critics are right. This is a really thoughtful movie about a simple subject: Life. It is a pretty amazing work that engrossed my attention.

Grade: A+
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12/3/16 8:41 P

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Arrival:
Why is this movie getting rave reviews? It should be called WTF. Maybe my tiny brain just isn't capable of grasping the story.

Grade: C- (the music is great.)

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11/27/16 11:27 P

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Not only does this movie have the longest title for a 2016 film....but it is also a delight to the eye. Fantastic visuals. Nice sound track. The story has a lot of characters and it was a little difficult to follow (who's that....who's that....)
There was a part at the end of the film where two characters bump into each other which was what happened at the beginning of the film and began the chaos. A child in the audience said "not again". I kind of agree with the kid. I was done with it. I did not want more. I've had enough. The movie is just a little too long and too many characters.
Grade: B
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11/20/16 6:27 P

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Edge of Seventeen
This is a good movie, but not great. Worthy of netflix or matinee prices, but not full evening prices. I'm not sure who the audience is for the film. I think teens/young adults would be bored even though the movie is about that age bracket. As a teacher, I mostly got a kick from Woody Harrelson's role as a teacher to the main character. Lots of the best/funniest parts of the film are seen in the trailers. It was still much, much better than Madea Halloween...

Grade: B
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11/6/16 6:13 P

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Dr Strange
Visually stunning. I was never a fan of this character when I was into comic books growing up. The character is a real prick. Even at the end of the movie, you think he's gone thru this major change, but he's still an arrogant prick. I guess all super heroes don't need to be kind people.

Grade: B
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10/29/16 4:40 P

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What a drought! I haven't been to the movies for over 2 months....

Boo: A Madea Halloween
I've never seen a Tyler Perry movie before.... Now, I know why. This was not a good film. I love the trailers. But you see all the good stuff in the trailers. The rest of the film is too much talking....no not talking...rambling....on and on about nothing. The end of the movie tries to incorporate a "moral" but honestly....I did not like the film. Sorry Tyler.

Grade: D-
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Edited by: BAIXOMUSIC at: 10/29/2016 (16:41)
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8/14/16 6:42 P

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Pete's Dragon

OK, I has a soft spot for this film because of my fond memories of the original 1977 film. It was one of my earliest memories going to see that movie.

This version has MORE heart than the original. It doesn't have the great songs sung by Helen Reddy (but it does have some good songs in the film.) It doesn't have an animated dragon (well, cgi). But I really, really liked this movie.

Grade: A+
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8/12/16 8:46 P

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Florence Foster Jenkins

Is it well done? yes. Is Meryl Streep a hoot as FFJ? yes. But sadly, I think they missed a more meaningful possibility. From the trailer, I thought the movie was going to be about the power of music. How music can transform you and you don't need to be a professional. (I'm a music teacher) But the movie is more biopic. This is one case where I would have preferred the movie director had taken more liberties with the story instead of being too true to her life story.

It isn't bad at all. I was just hoping it would be my favorite movie of the year. So far, my favorite movie has been Captain Fantastic.

Grade: A-

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8/6/16 4:22 P

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Suicide Squad
Sadly the critics are right. The storyline really has issues. Are we supposed to care about these criminals? Joker is in the movie more than the critics make you think. The editing is better than Star Trek, but the story suffers. The movie isn't bad. It is a fine popcorn action film.
Grade: B-

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8/4/16 5:38 P

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Captain Fantastic

I didn't think the trailer made the movie look interesting. But after reading Martin's review(see link below), I thought, what the heck, let's go see this.

WOW, what a remarkable little film. Reminds me of the Way, Way Back a couple of summers ago. Low budget, little indie film that makes me think that there is hope for good film making out there somewhere.

Grade: A+
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Martin's Review: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
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nal_individual.asp?blog_id=6210556


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7/29/16 5:51 P

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Cafe Society

Loved the music (even bought the CD), loved the look of the film, beautifully shot. Not as good as "Midnight in Paris" or "Magic in the Moonlight", better than last year's "Irrational Man" (yuck).

I wish Woody Allen would allow actors to act how THEY want rather than trying to imitate Woody Allen. Jesse Eisenberg was awkward acting like woody allen. I didn't believe his character. Kristen Stewart was surprisingly good. Corey Stoll is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors.

The story had some of the traditional woody allen comedy, but not enough. It was more serious than I think he was going for. I'm still trying to figure out the title "Cafe Society"....maybe a better title would have been "Cocktail Party".

Grade: B
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7/23/16 6:34 P

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Star Trek Bed, Bath and Beyond

What are people smoking to think this is a good movie? This film has the worst editing job I've seen in a movie in years. Was I falling asleep thru the movie? One minute characters are captured by the bad guy, the next scene the same characters are some place else. This happened THREE times in the movie. Obviously scenes were cut, but that made for characters with magic abilities (maybe they got lessons from Harry Potter.)

Also, there is a 15 minute scene in the middle of the movie that is so dark that you can't see what the hell is going on. I just kept wishing someone on screen would find a flashlight so we could see what was going on.

I really like Star Trek films, but this one is just bad.
Grade: D

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7/15/16 5:02 P

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Ghostbusters
If the original 1984 version didn't exist, everyone would be saying this is the movie of the year. It is excellent. Funny. Well done. Great fx. Fun story.
Boo to all the nay sayers out there.
Grade: A
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Edited by: BAIXOMUSIC at: 7/15/2016 (17:03)
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7/12/16 7:22 P

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The Secret Lives of Pets
I love the commercials for this movie so I figured I would really like it. Most of the funny stuff is in the commercials/trailers. Although I did find myself laughing several times in the second half of the film. So half of it is good.
Grade: B
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7/11/16 5:44 P

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The BFG
This movie doesn't have a story/script. No heart. Honestly, I wasn't even that impressed with the cgi fx. The main giant is the smallest of all the giants (they call him runt.) So shouldn't the title be SFG (small friendly giant)??? Sadly, I give BFG a BFD. Not impressed.

I'm wondering if this would be doing better at the box office had they released it in October. It has more of an autumn/halloween feel. Why did Disney release this right after Finding Dory? Dumb move Disney.
Grade: C+
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7/9/16 2:43 P

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Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates
I really like the four main actors in this film....but, for a comedy, I didn't find it very funny. I didn't think the sexy parts were sexy and I didn't find the offensive parts all that offensive. It just didn't work for me. The one minute trailers are better than the film. This movie would have made a great 5 minute SNL sketch.
Grade: C-
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7/7/16 3:46 P

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The Legend of Tarzan
Style over substance. I understand the storyline. But, the movie makers didn't make me CARE about danger. I enjoyed the adventure. The animals were well done (not as good as Disney's Jungle Book...but well done.) Alexander S made a wonderful Tarzan and I could believe his character. Samuel L Jackson was wrong (maybe the character was wrong....). Just didn't fit. Christoph Waltz was scary as usual. Margot Robbie made a good Jane.
grade: B
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6/25/16 7:40 P

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Special Theater Review

The SpongeBob Musical
Here is Chicago we have the pre-Broadway production of The SpongeBob Musical. A lot of fun for both the kids and adults (esp. if you've seen the tv show). I've had a complaint about musicals written in the past 10 years: Every song has to have a big broadway ending. Whatever happened to gentle ending songs? There is ONE gentle ending song in this show. Which was one of my favorite songs. Sets and costumes are A++++, storyline is simple, nothing too involved so B, Many of the singers are A+++. Too me, this looks like an expensive show to produce. I hope it makes it to Broadway, but it won't surprise me if it doesn't find an audience (sadly).
Overall grade: A-

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6/21/16 5:36 P

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Finding Dory-
A very good movie. Difficult to compare to Finding Nemo because the main characters weren't new so we knew what to expect. Some great new characters (maybe too many?) Stay for the very end of credits scene (possibly another set-up for future sequel?) There were some scenes where the underwater were so murky (done intentionally) that made the movie less bright than finding nemo.
Grade: A-

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6/14/16 6:32 P

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The Conjuring 2
Loved it. Made me jump. Gave me goosebumps. Spooky.
Grade: A

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6/7/16 5:17 P

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The Lobster
I'm still trying to decide if this was the best movie of the year or the worst. It was so strange. And, I'm still thinking about it. Weird. Definitely not a feel good movie....
Grade: A/D I'm not sure....
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5/29/16 6:33 P

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Alice Through the Looking Glass
OK, maybe the critics were right on target with their reviews for this one. I will say the opening 5 minute sequence was more exciting than anything from the three Pirates of the Caribbean movies. But the rest of the movie had a poorly conceived story. Incredible special effects. Incredible! But the plot/story....really, it was a made for tv plot....and not from a good tv network.
Grade: C
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5/28/16 6:33 P

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XMen Apocalypse
Don't believe the reviews. This is movie is much better than what you might think by the critics' reviews. One reason I liked it was because it doesn't rely on having that much of Wolverine. Sorry, I'm not a Wolverine fan. In fact, the part with him should have been totally cut from the movie and it would be a much better, cohesive film.
Grade: A-

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5/14/16 4:50 P

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being charlie
This movie is about drug abuse and how it affects the family and friends. Following the main character through rehab. Really nice performances from most of the cast. Singer/actor Common wasn't all that great (sorry! he sounded like he was reciting lines) It wasn't a bad film, but compared to other similar films (Less than Zero), this one seemed light-weight.
Grade: B-

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5/7/16 5:32 P

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Captain America Civil War
This was an Avengers movie, not a Captain America movie. Even though it was 2.5 hours, it moves incredibly well. Spiderman is well done. Does anyone else think the action in these movies move too quickly? Sometimes it moves so fast, all I see is a blur. Not sure who is fighting whom. If you know the comic book it is based on or have read predictions online, some are true and some are not. Overall, a really good movie. Not great. But, really good. Stay for the two end credit scenes (one early in the end credits and one at the very, very end.)
Grade: A-
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4/17/16 5:16 P

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Jungle Book
Maybe I'm in a bad mood this weekend....
Again, the movie has great reviews, 95% positive on RT, even oscar talk. Yes, the fx are incredible. The animals look so real. Incredible. The boy does a very nice job acting. Why didn't I love this movie? A couple of summers ago, I saw a staged version of Jungle Book here in Chicago that was incredible. I still don't understand why it didn't go to Broadway (maybe this movie was part of that reason...they didn't want two versions coming out at the same time.) Honestly, I think the movie was missing the FUN. It took itself too seriously. There was one look from Christopher Walken's King Louie that made me laugh, otherwise, it was too serious. If people thought BvS was too serious, why don't they think the same of this movie?
Grade: B
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Edited by: BAIXOMUSIC at: 4/17/2016 (17:17)
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4/16/16 4:46 P

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Everybody Wants Some!!
As of this writing, this movie has an 89% on rotten tomatoes. Critics love this film.
really?
It isn't a bad movie. But it isn't brilliant like the reviews would leave you to believe. It is about horny college kids looking to get laid. There are no moments of deepness or introspective thought. There is no resolution.
Great soundtrack collection of songs from the 70s/80s
Cute boys
Maybe I just missed the greatness of the film....
Grade: C
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Edited by: BAIXOMUSIC at: 4/17/2016 (17:19)
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3/28/16 4:30 P

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Hello My Name is Doris
No, my name isn't Doris, that's the name of the movie. Sally Field was incredible. Great performance. As I age as a single man, I fear I could have a little of Doris in me. Scary thought... Loved how they ended the film. Bravo to the director!
Grade: A-/B+ (A- for Sally; B+ for making me face my own future....)

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3/26/16 5:07 P

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My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2:
I really enjoyed this movie. Mostly because it wasn't trying to be political or trying to push a message about society. It was just fun to catch up with the family from the first movie. It was funny and you don't need to "think" too much to watch it. Fun. Maybe I can heal my broken ankle bone with some windex...
Grade: A
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3/25/16 5:26 P

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Zootopia
Grade: B
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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Grade: B
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Can we ban children from wearing those flashing shoes. At both movies I was distracted by children wearing shoes that would flash bright lights every time the child moved her feet...which was every 30 seconds.

Slow, but sure.


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3/12/16 6:39 P

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10 Cloverfield Lane
I limped over to the theater again with my boot on my right foot to see 10 Cloverfield Lane. I did enjoy the mystery of the film. John Goodman was creepy good as the eccentric farmer. Really a master class of acting. Mary Elizabeth Winstead as the protagonist....didn't quite do it for me. I thought she seemed to be acting. How was the movie going to end? you'll need to see it yourself.
Grade: B

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2/15/16 5:13 P

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Deadpool: Well I limped over to the movie theater on my sore ankle. From the opening credits (don't be late!) to the post-credits scene, this was a very funny movie. I was happy that they didn't over-do the breaking of the 4th wall. (That only happened occasionally). Can't wait for the copy cat movies to begin (none will be as good.)
Grade: A

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1/23/16 6:16 P

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13 Hours Secret Soldiers....
Don't worry there is nothing about Hilary Clinton's emails in this movie. I actually found the movie fairly intriguing.
Grade: B+

5th Wave....
Who ever told Chloe Moretz that she was an actress. Please stop making films. Terrible over acting. Pretty predictable story and plot. FX not bad. Some of the dialogue was downright terrible.
Grade: C-

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1/1/16 3:25 P

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The Danish Girl
I'm having trouble writing anything down that won't give away parts of the film. I'll just say that I would recommend this film. I found the acting incredible. The final scene was perfectly filmed.
Grade: A

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12/29/15 7:11 P

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Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2:
I was a rare person who enjoyed Part 1. Maybe I was having a bad day today, but this movie (part 2) was so scattered that it was difficult to follow. I had trouble figuring out if things were dreams or "real".

Maybe I'm just tired from shoveling so much sleet this morning.

Grade: C

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12/22/15 4:26 P

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Star Wars the Force Awakens
I love all the Star Wars films. This one fits perfectly into the others. However, I'm not sure why many people are going nuts over this film. It is basically the same story and plot as the original (IV) film. How many times will the Empire build a super-station death star? And, didn't the rebellion get the plans for it in the original film? Why haven't they built their own to destroy any new ones that the empire builds?????

This movie served a purpose: To transfer the old cast into a new cast. And I do love the new cast (good and bad characters). So, YES, this movie is well done. Great action. great music. OK acting (sorry). Plot/Story is just a re-do.
GRADE: A

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12/12/15 5:40 P

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Krampus: This movie really captures Christmas: the look, the feel, the arguments. I was hoping for a "Gremlins" type of scare, but it got much darker than Gremlins. I liked the characters too much to see them hurt. I'm still not sure if I loved the film or not. If you like movies like Gremlins, you'll like Krampus. I think I'll sleep on this and enter my grade tomorrow....
Grade: ?

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11/29/15 7:20 P

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I watched Spy with Melissa McCarthy last night. We must have been in the right mood for a comedy after a huge steak dinner because we all laughed and laughed. Jason Statham and Rose Byrne had some impressive comic chops. I highly recommend for a good comedy.

What doesn''t kill you makes you stronger.


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11/29/15 5:38 P

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Brooklyn:
What a charming film! Moments of heartbreak. Moments of joy. Moments of laughter. And, finally, an ending that I wasn't sure about. This one is definitely going into my top ten.
Grade: A+

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11/21/15 6:16 P

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I watched Non-Stop earlier and now in the middle of Gone Girl.

What doesn''t kill you makes you stronger.


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