Friday, January 20, 2017

xXx: RETURN OF XANDER CAGE

Presumed dead, former government operative and extreme athlete Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) returns when a powerful weapon that can control satellites and bring them crashing back to Earth is stolen. With his old boss Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) gone, Cage now must report to the aggressive Jane Marke (Toni Collette). Xander assembles a team of daredevils to keep the deadly device out of the hands of alpha warrior Xiang (Donnie Yen) and save the world.

Explosive action, non-stop stunts and a barrage of barely passable special effects cover up the thinnest of familiar plots. Director D.J. Caruso ("Eagle Eye") seems keenly aware that the story is threadbare and the dialogue is goofy at best. He wisely maintains a frenetic pace (filled with scantily-clad women and beefcake men) that keeps the audience from thinking about the film's shortcomings. Vin Diesel is a believable action star, but he has

SPLIT

Teenagers Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy), Claire (Haley Lu Richardson) and Marcia (Jessica Sula) fight for survival after being kidnapped by Kevin (James McAvoy). He has 23 different, some dangerous personalities. The 24th and most deadly may be on its way.

Director/writer M. Night Shyamalan returns with a chilling and disturbing slice of psychological horror. James McAvoy's brilliant portrayal of a man suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder is the reason to see this film. Bouncing back and forth between personalities, at one point in rapid succession, has to be seen to be believed. Unfortunately, the plot's unfolding doesn't live up to his performance. Chief among the supporting cast is Anya Taylor-Joy ("The Witch") as an abused teen who finds

Friday, January 13, 2017

LIVE BY NIGHT

In the 1920s, Joe Coughlin (Ben Affleck), the son of Boston cop Thomas Coughlin (Brendan Gleeson), chooses a life of crime over law enforcement. His love for a gangster's mistress (Sienna Miller) and a stretch in prison take Joe from Boston to profitable illegal operations in Florida with his longtime partner Dion Bartolo (Chris Messina). Here his life becomes more dangerously complicated with gangsters, a Tampa sheriff (Chris Cooper), the sheriff's daughter (Elle Fanning) and finding a new

PATRIOTS DAY

Following the attack on the 2013 Boston Marathon, Police Sergeant Tommy Saunders (Mark Wahlberg) joins the manhunt to catch the bombers before they can strike again. Among those participating in the aftermath and intense search are Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis (John Goodman), FBI Special Agent Richard DesLauriers (Kevin Bacon), Mayor of Boston Thomas Menino (Vincent Curatola) and Watertown Police Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese (J. K. Simmons).

Based on the actual events surrounding
the horrific bombing, this gripping drama maintains a high level of suspense throughout. While the facts and outcome are well-known, director/co-writer Peter Berg delivers an interesting account with many edge-of-your-seat moments. This is yet

Friday, January 6, 2017

A MONSTER CALLS

ROG'S VIEWPOINT - Having to deal with his mother's (Felicity Jones) illness, an unsympathetic grandmother (Sigourney Weaver) and bullies at school, 12-year-old Conor (Lewis MacDougall) gets unexpected help from a tree monster (Liam Neeson - voice and performance-capture). The "Monster" comes to the young boy at night to tell stories that will

HIDDEN FIGURES

ROG'S VIEWPOINT - Desperate to beat Russia at putting a man in space, NASA enlisted the help of a group of African-American female mathematicians. Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle MonĂ¡e) lead this group of women who became the brains behind
the operation to put John Glenn (Glen Powell) into orbit and bring him safely back to Earth. Based on a little known true story, this inspiring and heartfelt film entertains while it reveals a piece of  U.S. history that has been all but buried for way too long. Director/co-writer Theodore Melfi has assembled a terrific cast to bring

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

LION

ROG'S VIEWPOINT - Separated from his brother Guddu (Abhishek Bharate), five-year-old Saroo (Sunny Pawar) gets lost on a train and taken away from his family and home in India. He learns to survive on his own before ultimately being adopted by