Movie Review: AMULET

AMULET movie poster | ©2020 Magnolia Pictures

Rating: R Stars: Carla Juri, Alec Secareanu, Angeliki Papoulia, Imelda Staunton, Anah Ruddin Writer: Romola Garai Director: Romola Garai Distributor: Magnolia Pictures Release Date: July 24, 2020 AMULET is a stylish, satisfying writing/directing feature debut from Romola Garai. Garai, a topnotch English actress (THE HOUR, SUFFRAGETTE) who does not appear here, demonstrates that she can get fine work from performers, and that she knows how to create an atmosphere that glides from dreamlike to nightmarish. We follow Tomaz (Alec Secareanu) in two timelines. In one, he is a young wartime guard at an Eastern European border crossing deep in the […]Read On »

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Movie Review: MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL

MALEFICENT MISTRESS OF EVIL movie poster | ©2019 Walt Disney Pictures

Rating: PG Stars: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Harris Dickinson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sam Riley, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Ed Skrein, Robert Lindsay, David Gyasi, Jenn Murray, Juno Temple, Lesley Manville, Imelda Staunton, Warwick Davis Writers: Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster and Linda Woolverton, story by Linda Woolverton Director: Joachim Ronning Distributor: Walt Disney Release Date: October 18, 2019 MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL is a sequel to 2014’s MALEFICENT, the revisionist version of SLEEPING BEAUTY. Angelina Jolie stars in both films as the title character, a dark faerie who, in the first movie, took righteous wrath a little too far. In MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF […]Read On »

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Movie Review: PADDINGTON

PADDINGTON | © 2015 TWC-Dimension

Rating: PG Stars: Ben Whishaw (voice), Nicole Kidman, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Peter Capaldi, Madeleine Harris, Samuel Joslin, Michael Gambon (voice), Imelda Staunton (voice) Writer: Paul King, screen story by Hamish McColl and Paul King, based on the character created by Michael Bond Director: Paul King Distributor: TWC-Dimension Release Date: January 16, 2015 PADDINGTON, based on the beloved illustrated children’s book series by Michael Bond about a young and very civilized bear from deepest Peru who comes to live in London, is the kind of movie that could have been made at almost any time in film history. […]Read On »

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Movie Review: MALEFICENT

MALEFICENT movie poster | ©2014 Walt Disney Pictures

Rating: PG Stars: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Tom Riley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, Lesley Manville, Brenton Thwaites, Kenneth Cranham, Isobelle Molloy, Michael Higgins Writer: Linda Woolverton, based on Walt Disney’s SLEEPING BEAUTY and Charles Perrault’s story LA BELLE AU BOIS DORMANT Director: Robert Stromberg Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures Release Date: May 30, 2014 Almost everyone who saw Walt Disney’s animated SLEEPING BEAUTY as a child, regardless of when that childhood was, had the crap scared out of them by the villainess Maleficent. An evil fairy who cast a death spell on an innocent baby, had green vapor surrounding […]Read On »

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Exclusive Interview: ARTHUR CHRISTMAS director Sarah Smith finds a new spirit of Christmas

Arthur in ARTHUR CHRISTMAS | ©2011 Sony Pictures Animation/Aardman Animation

Finding a new take on the familiar Santa Claus adventures is a formidable task, but writer-director Sarah Smith and co-writer Peter Baynham were up for the challenge with the new animated film ARTHUR CHRISTMAS. A CGI co-production between Aardman Animation and Sony Pictures Animation, the story follows wayward Santa Claus offspring Arthur – a well-to-do nebbish who believes in the true spirit of Christmas, but will sadly never be next in line for the Santa job with his much more together older brother Steve – who has completely streamlined the Santa operation for dear old Santa dad with a state-of-the-art […]Read On »

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Movie Review: ARTHUR CHRISTMAS

ARTHUR CHRISTMAS Movie Poster | ©2011 Sony Pictures

Rating: PG Stars (voices): James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy, Ashley Jensen, Imelda Staunton Writers: Peter Baynham & Sarah Smith Director: Sarah Smith Distributor: Columbia Pictures Release Date: November 23, 2011 Some fantasy subgenres are so populous that they have arguably outgrown the designation of “sub”: the lovelorn vampire, the quest through mystical lands, the zombie apocalypse. Add to this list (and check it twice) the genre of Santa having gift delivery issues on Christmas Eve. The newest iteration of this last is ARTHUR CHRISTMAS, the first 3D CGI animation (as opposed to stop-motion Claymation) offering from Aardman, […]Read On »

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Blu-ray Review: HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX Ultimate Edition

HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX - Ultimate Edition | ©2011 Warner Bros.

Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltraine, Warwick Davis, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Brednan Gleeson, Richard Griffiths, Jason Isaacs, Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman, Fiona Shaw, Maggie Smith, Imelda Staunton, David Thewlis, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters Writer: Michael Goldenberg based on the novel by J.K. Rowling Director: David Yates Distributor: Warner Home Video Suggested Retail Price: $49.99 Of all the HARRY POTTER films, I think HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF  THE PHOENIX is by far the weakest. Condensing an overly long book into this very short film proved to be a daunting task. Additionally, Michael […]Read On »

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Blu-ray Review: HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS – PART 1

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS - Part 1 | © 2011 Warner Home Video

Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Warwick Davis, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Brendan Gleeson, Richard Griffiths, John Hurt, Jason Isaacs, Alan Rickman, Fiona Shaw, Timothy Spall, Imelda Staunton, David Thewliss, Julie Walters Writer: Steve Kloves based on the novel by J.K. Rowling Director David Yates Distributor: Warner Home Video Viewers who caught HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS – PART 1 in theaters were divided into two factions – those that loved the film’s careful pacing and more character based moments and those that wanted the whole story in one slam-bang sweep. Add the […]Read On »

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Movie Review: HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PT. 1

© 2010 Warner Bros. | HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PT. 1 movie poster

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PT. 1 gets off to a bit of a wobbly start, as even those who are familiar with J.K. Rowling’s series of novels and the previous HARRY POTTER films (which is to say, the majority of the audience) may need a little while to remember just where we’re at in the story. Steve Kloves’ screenplay assumes we remember the salient facts from the last film, HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE, where the ailing Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) was killed by Dark Arts teacher Professor Snape (Alan Rickman), to the general horror […]Read On »

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