Saturday, June 25, 2016

Finding Dory - Just Keeping Swimming Even the World Outside Is A Mess

I didn’t expect anything less than kindness, happiness, and joy in a film voiced by the one and only Ellen DeGeneres.

"Finding Dory" reunites the friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish, Dory, with her loved ones.  Along this beautiful journey, everyone learns a few things about the true meaning of family.

A star studded cast including Ty Burrell, Idris Elba, Diane Keaton & Ed O’Neill add laughs as Dory travels the big blue ocean in search of her parents.

If you really want to appreciate how hard voice acting is, check out this clip from Finding Dory:

Just like 2003’s Finding Nemo, the writers accomplish something amazing – they leave out the villains and bad guys and instead focus on the goodness that still exists in this world.  What an amazing thing – to be able to take our families to the movies and remind each other – especially in our current state of affairs – that kindness matters and we should never be afraid to ask our neighbors for help.

For reasons I can’t quite figure out, Finding Dory is rated PG


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Movie Review: Maggie's Plan

Maggie 's plan to have a baby on her own is derailed when she falls in love with John (played by Ethan Hawke), a married man, destroying his volatile marriage to the brilliant and impossible Georgette (played by the always lovely Julianne Moore) But one daughter and three years later, Maggie is out of love and in a quandary: what do you do when you suspect your new husband and his ex wife are actually perfect for each other?

Fans of Greta Gerwig will most definitely enjoy Maggie’s Plan – it is her movie for sure.  But for the rest of us, we are left feeling a bit disappointed.  I found myself waiting patiently for the BIG MOMENT of the movie..and when it finally comes, it is the final thirty seconds of the film.  I would have much rather seen the next 15 minutes of that storyline unfold.

The shining performance for me wasn’t the big names mentioned above, but actually the character of Guy played to perfection by Travis Fimmel.  I only wish his storyline was a bigger part of the film.

Maggie's Plan is now playing in select theaters ( you can catch in Kansas City) and is rated R.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Movie Review: Me Before You

Fans of romance author JoJo Moyes, will be delighted she wrote the screenplay for her best seller, Me Before you.

For those of you who didn’t read the book, the story is of young and quirky Louisa Clark (played by Game of Thrones Queen Emilia Clarke) who moves from one job to the next to help her family make ends meet. Her cheerful attitude is put to the test when she becomes a caregiver for Will Traynor (Sam Claflin), a wealthy young banker left paralyzed from an accident two years earlier. Will's cynical outlook starts to change when Louisa shows him that life is worth living. As their bond deepens, their lives and hearts change in ways neither one could have imagined.

Be sure and bring your tissues – this is a real tearjerker – and pretty funny at times.  It touches on several issues that go far deeper than your normal “chick flick”, and the film gets a bit uncomfortable at times, but overall it’s a nice romantic movie perfect for an evening out with the girls.

Me Before You is Rated PG 13

Thursday, June 2, 2016

TMNT - Please go back to the shadows!

Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo, and Raphael return to theaters this summer to battle bigger, badder villains in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.

These unlikely superheroes bicker, eat pizza, wear bandanas, all while living in the New York City sewer system.   For some reason (still unbeknownst to me), the turtles occasionally save the world from destruction. 

Actors jumping into the sewer for this one include Megan Fox, Will Arnett and even Tyler Perry.  (Hard to believe he is in this movie and it wasn’t retitled “Tyler Perry helps Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles…you know where I am going here. ) I also have to wonder what possessed three time Oscar nominee Laura Linney to jump on the turte train..…

It’s noisy and chaotic, and I am sure the young ones will like this one, but for this critic, these turtles just need to go back into the shadows.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is rated PG-13

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Movie Review: Mothers Day - Not that Great of a Gift

As much as I wanted to love Mothers Day, it just didn't work.  They tried too hard for the laughs, and I was sadly disappointed.  Watch my full review here. 

Mothers Day is Rated Pg-13

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

You Must Accept "The Invitation"

Unfolding over one dark evening in the Hollywood Hills, The Invitation blurs the lines of  paranoia, mystery, and horror until neither the characters or the audience know what threats are real or imagined. 

From the moment he arrives at his ex-wife’s dinner party, Will struggles with memories of living in this beautiful home,  where their young son died in a tragic accident.  The film does a clever dance between paranoia on Will’s part (are Eden’s new friends part of an evil cult?) & friends gathering – both new and old – to try and bury the past enjoying wine, prescription drugs and perhaps some mutual affection…

While watching The Invitation, the audience is never really sure if Will has a true grip on reality.   Director Karyn Kusama, takes us on a terrifying rollercoaster of emotion. Though  there is plenty of gore and violence for fans of such films as “The Purge”, it’s the slow and steady climb that really makes The Invitation a  "Must Watch."

The Invitation is Rated R.

Follow BFCA Movie Critic Lisa Erdman on all social media @take2review for more movie reviews and news.  

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Everybody Wants Richard Linklater - Movie Review: Everybody Wants Some

Every college kid from the 80s is sure to love “Everybody Wants Some”, Richard Linklater’s latest film.   Just as “Dazed & Confused” was a nod to the director’s high school experience, “Everybody Wants Some” is a summation of his college years.

The opening scene takes us to a fictional Texas campus as seen through the eyes of the film’s main star, Jake – a freshman baseball player.   Within minutes we have met the rest of the team, and it’s a cast of characters we won’t soon forget.  It wouldn’t be easy to handle such an ensemble cast, but Linklater is the man for the job.

The soundtrack alone is enough to send everyone on a trip back in time.  The cars, the clothes, the hair – everything is styled to perfection. 

Everybody Wants Some in hilarious – and quite nostalgic.  It’s also one of the best movies I have seen so far this year. 

 I had the chance to meet three of the actors from the movie a couple of weeks ago at the Kansas City premier.  Super nice guys.

L-R Glen Powell, Myself, J. Quinton Johnson & Wyatt Russell

Everybody Wants Some is Rated R.