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Showing posts from 2020

DOLPHIN REEF

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A coral reef is home to a variety of sea creatures, including a three-year-old Pacific bottlenose dolphin named Echo. With help from his mother Kumu, the coming-of-age youngster must learn survival skills. But Echo is more interested in exploring the reef and beyond. Now mother and son venture to the hunting grounds where the young dolphin's self-sufficiency and his value to the community will be determined.

The latest entry in the Disneynature series is an eye-catching undersea exploration. While writer David Fowler's screenplay is simple and

BLOW THE MAN DOWN (2019)

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Death and dark secrets hang over the small fishing village of Easter Cove, Maine. The passing of Mary Margaret Connolly (Linda Shary) is difficult on her daughters Priscilla (Sophie Lowe) and Mary Beth (Morgan Saylor), who are left with financial and personal troubles. When an encounter at a local bar goes terribly wrong for Mary Beth, the more responsible Priscilla must help her younger sister out of the dilemma. As the siblings attempt to solve their problems, the town's mysteries are revealed.

Directors/writers Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy successfully venture into Coen brothers' territory with this delicious feminist film noir. Sophie Lowe and Morgan Saylor deliver strong

ONWARD

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In a fantasy world where magic has been replaced by modern technology, teenage elves Ian (the voice of Tom Holland) and older brother Barley (voiced by Chris Pratt) are about to embark on a mystical quest. Their mother Laurel (the voice of Julia Louis-Dreyfus) gives the boys a wizard's staff from their late father, who died before Ian was born, on Ian's 16th birthday. The staff's gem has a spell that will bring their dad back for 24 hours. Discovering he has powers, Ian is only able to conjure up his dad's legs before the precious stone is destroyed. Now the brothers must take the legs and seek out another magical gem to restore their father before time runs out.

Happily, Pixar abandons sequels in favor of an original concept. This wondrous CG animated feature is packed with heart and humor. Director Dan Scanlon ("Monsters University"), who wrote the screenplay with help from Jason Headley and Keith Bunin, was inspired by

DOWNHILL (2020)

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A family's ski vacation in the Alps splits them apart. When a controlled avalanche hits the lodge patio, husband Pete (Will Ferrell) bolts - leaving wife Billie (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and their two sons (Julian Grey & Ammon Jacob Ford) to fend for themselves. The remainder of the trip is spent coming to terms with what happened and taking a hard look at their lives.

What could have been a powerful and emotional family drama quickly disintegrates. This American remake of director/writer Ruben Östlund's (listed as an executive producer on this misstep) 2014 Swedish drama "Force Majeure" gets

BIRDS OF PREY (AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN)

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After the Joker breaks up with her, Harley Quinn's (Margot Robbie) life takes a turn for the worse. Everyone's out to get her, including nasty crime lord Roman Sionis/Black Mask (Ewan McGregor). Standing in his way of getting back a valuable diamond stolen by young pickpocket Cass (Ella Jay Basco) is Quinn. She gets some unexpected help from vigilantes Dinah Lance/Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), a metahuman with hypersonic screams, and revenge-seeking Helena Bertinelli/Huntress ( Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Joining the battle is Gotham police detective Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez), who's building a case against Sionis. Defeating the villain and his main henchman Victor Zsasz (Chris Messina) proves to be dangerous.

This spirited DC big screen venture is a mixed bag. Mesmerizing comic book visuals and a pop tune soundtrack, with artists like Halsey and Megan Thee Stallion, keep things

THE RHYTHM SECTION

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When depressed, drug-addicted prostitute Stephanie Patrick (Blake Lively) learns the plane crash that killed her family wasn't an accident, she sets out to avenge their deaths. With the help of a former British MI6 agent (Jude Law), Stephanie trains to become an assassin. Under various disguises, she takes on missions that will lead to vengeance.

A strong performance by Blake Lively and sudden bursts of action can't save this mostly lackluster thriller. Based on the popular book by Mark Burnell, who also wrote the screenplay, director Reed Morano ("Meadowland") relies heavily on

BAD BOYS FOR LIFE

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Miami buddy cops Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) are contemplating changes in their lives. Marcus wants to retire and enjoy life - bringing an end to the successful team. When Mike is targeted by an unknown assassin, Marcus gathers the strength to help save his partner and police department from a deadly threat.

Put your brain on hold and savor another wild joyride with Lowrey and Burnett. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence were an

1917

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During WWI, young British soldiers Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) and Schofield (George MacKay) are tasked with going behind enemy lines to deliver a message to advancing troops that a German trap awaits them. If the messengers don't arrive in time, there will be a massacre that includes Blake's brother (Richard Madden).

This sensational war drama presents the familiar deadly mission scenario in a unique way. Director Sam Mendes ("Skyfall"), who co-wrote the script with Krysty Wilson-Cairns, draws