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Showing posts from November, 2020

THE CROODS: A NEW AGE

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In prehistoric times, Grug Crood (the voice of Nicolas Cage) and his family go in search of a better place to live. Leaving their cave, they journey to a land beyond a great wall. This paradise is lush, has plentiful food and something unexpected: the evolved Bettermans. Grug feels threatened by the modern family and their tree house with advanced inventions. A reluctant friendship develops and grows stronger when a menacing force outside their safe habitat becomes a problem. The future is at stake. Fans of 2013's "The Croods" won't be disappointed with this fun journey. First-time feature film director Joel Crawford (TV short "Trolls Holiday") finds a comfortable mix of action and humor within visually stunning animation. Children will be amused, but a couple of scary moments may frighten smaller kids. There's not much for adults beyond a harmless tongue-in-cheek joke or two (one involving a toilet). A marvelous voice cast brings the characters to life.

FREAKY

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School bullies are the least of Millie's (Kathryn Newton) problems when she comes face-to-face with serial killer The Butcher (Vince Vaughn). During the confrontation, the pair magically swap bodies thanks to an ancient dagger in the maniac's possession. Now in the psychopath's body, Millie discovers she only has 24 hours before the switch becomes permanent. After convincing her friends Nyla (Celeste O’Connor), Joshua (Misha Osherovich) and object of her love Booker (Uriah Shelton) of the dire situation, they set out to stop The Butcher and get her female form back before he piles up new victims at Blissfield High. Chills and laughs collide in this fresh take on body-swapping. Although an uncomfortable mix at times, director/co-writer (along with Michael Kennedy) Christopher Landon largely succeeds at blending horror and humor. The son of actor Michael Landon, he honed his directorial skills most recently on "Happy Death Day" and "Happy Death Day 2U" and

LET HIM GO

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A few years after the tragic death of their son, retired sheriff George Blackledge (Kevin Costner) and his wife Margaret (Diane Lane) face another change in life. Daughter-in-law Lorna (Kayli Carter) remarries and takes their only grandson away from them. The Blackledges leave their Montana ranch and head for the Dakotas to find their grandchild, who now resides with controlling matriarch Blanche Weboy (Lesley Manville) and her vicious clan. After the Weboys refuse to let mother and child go, George and Margaret prepare for a deadly confrontation. Striking emotional drama and a powerful cast highlight this intense modern western. Based on Larry Watson's novel of the same name, director/screenwriter Thomas Bezucha ("The Family Stone") has created an imposing portrayal of family, loss and determination. It follows the structure of "High Noon": character-driven, with the bulk of action at the end. The deliberate slow-pacing allows the main characters to develop whi