‘A Wrinkle In Time’ Movie Review


Disney’s newest film ‘A Wrinkle In Time‘ will hit theaters this weekend. The spectacular cast includes Oprah Winfrey, Chris Pine, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Storm Reid, Deric McCabe, Levi Miller, Zach Galifianakis, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Michael Pena. This film is based on the novel by Madeleine L’Engle which was also adapted into a TV movie back in 2003 with a completely different cast. It follows a young girl named Meg Murray (Reid) & her younger adopted brother Charles Wallace Murray (McCabe) who, with the help of their friend Calvin (Miller) and three mysterious beings (Winfrey, Witherspoon & Kaling), seek to find their scientist father (Pine) who disappeared 4 years ago while searching for a way to traverse the galaxy using only the power of the human mind. The visuals are beautiful and quite stunning! The acting by the entire cast is absolutely fantastic! Sadly, these elements only barely manage to lift the film beyond the status of the TV movie that preceded it.

A Wrinkle In Time - Golden Globes TV Spot (screen grab) CR: Disney

As I was watching it, the acting drew me in and allowed me to overlook the rather simplistic and trite script which is a huge credit to the actors in the film. Great actors are able to do great things with even very mediocre writing and that was certainly the case here. I also found the movie to be very predictable and the plot to be very generic. Obviously the effects and the visuals employed were gorgeous and, again, that helped keep an otherwise dull movie afloat longer than it would have without them. However, I left the film feeling as though I had just watched a “Made-For-TV movie” that had been somehow forced into existence by someone with a nearly unlimited budget. I was excited by the idea of the movie and the previews certainly make you think you’re getting ready to see an epic film, but this is definitely a picture where it’s reach far exceeds it’s grasp. If you’re a fan of the players in this piece and are looking for a diversion on a rainy Saturday afternoon this month, then by all means you should see this movie. Otherwise, I’d say that some movies currently playing in theaters are a better bet and you can save this one for viewing from the comfort of your home. On your TV… like it was originally intended to be seen. On a scale of 1 – 10, I’m sorry to say ‘A Wrinkle In Time’ only manages to “tesser” it’s way to a 6.5.



‘Annihilation’ Movie Review


I got to see the film ‘Annihilation‘ last night. While I loved the movie, I find myself having a hard time telling you succinctly why I loved the movie. What I find most interesting about that is that my inability to describe the movie with great clarity and relative ease perfectly mirrors the protagonist’s (Lena, played with a voracious intensity by Natalie Portman) inability to describe what she encountered during her journey into what the characters call “The Shimmer”. Let me begin there: Portman plays a former soldier and current John Hopkins biologist named Lena who, at the start of the film, is in an isolation chamber describing what she just witnessed to several scientists who have been studying and probing “The Shimmer” – an ever-expanding area of energy radiating out from a lighthouse that was struck by a small meteor a few years back. Attempts to send in probes, animals, even teams of researchers have proven futile as nothing ever comes back out after going inside of its field. Lena’s husband Kane, a soldier in the army (a haunting performance by Oscar Isaac), is the only person to ever come out of “The Shimmer” and he doesn’t appear to have come back quite the same. Soon, Lena finds herself at a secret research base on the edge of the phenomenon and, in an effort to save her husband, volunteers to go along with a group of researchers who plan to make their way to the lighthouse and discover the source of whatever is happening in an attempt to understand and stop it.


The cast and their performances are nothing short of brilliant. Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez and Tuva Novotny are all riveting to watch as the group of explorers each with a different field of expertise and each driven by their own distinct purposes for being there. The pace of the movie never falters and there is constant sense of unease that I got while viewing it that I don’t recall feeling from any other movie since last year’s ‘Split’. As the team pushes ahead, they encounter images and sights that range from surreal, to spectacular to downright horrifying until the film’s climactic end which truly defies description. Director Alex Garland, who gave us 2014’s ‘Ex Machina‘, once again delivers an incredible spectacle of cinema that is as thought-provoking as it is breathtaking. I consider myself to be a fairly intelligent person but even I was perplexed by what exactly the ending signified and that made me like the film even more. There are a few “Gotcha!” type scares but there are also plenty of horrific images that will stick with you long after you’ve left the theater. For a movie to be so brilliant and gorgeous and frightening all at the same time is quite the achievement. ‘Annihilation’ is the first movie of 2018 that I am already planning to see again at the first available opportunity and that kind of immediate rewatchability on a film forces me to score it as a solid 9.5. Get out there and see it in a theater near you THIS WEEKEND!!


‘Game Night’ Movie Review


Anyone looking for a hilarious, adventure-filled and just plain FUN film definitely needs to check out ‘Game Night‘ in theaters this weekend! Jason Bateman & Rachel McAdams play married couple Max & Annie who host a weekly game night with their friends. On this particular evening, Max’s big-shot brother Brooks (played by Kyle Chandler) comes to town and insists on hosting game night at his place – with a twist! Brooks arranges for a company to stage a kidnapping leaving the other players to follow a set of clues to solve the mystery. But when real criminals show up to attack and kidnap Brooks, the group realizes that the stakes have been raised significantly as they race against time to rescue Max’s brother.


The movie is directed by the same gentlemen that wrote ‘Horrible Bosses‘ (Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley) so the humor is very similar with Jason Bateman being his usual charmingly wry Jason Bateman-y self. Rachel McAdams shows exceptional comedic timing as she and Bateman play off of each other with remarkable chemistry. Kyle Chandler is perfectly douchey as the older brother driven by sibling rivalry. The rest of the cast (Lamorne Morris, Kylie Bunbury, Sharon Horgan, Billy Magnussen & Jesse Plemons) also help deliver plenty of laughs as they go from just being competitively driven to win into being driven just to stay alive as they enter into a world of mob bosses, stolen jewelry and double-crosses. It’s a great blend of action and comedy that will have you laughing each time you reach for your Jenga game. Some of the plot is a tad predictable from time-to-time and one or two of the jokes are telegraphed a little too much, but on a scale of 1 to 10, I’d rate ‘Game Night’ a very playable 8.0!gamenight_02

Review of the Special Features on ‘Blade Runner 2049’ Bluray


Starting today, fans of the most anticipated sequel of perhaps the BEST science fiction movie ever created have cause to rejoice! ‘Blade Runner 2049‘ is available on Bluray and DVD. Those who have seen the movie are no doubt anxious to bring home this film to add to their personal collection. But the question always asked is: “What about the special features?” Sometimes the special features may consist of nothing more than a few deleted scenes and the original TV spot for the film, etc. Luckily for us, the special features on ‘Blade Runner 2049‘ are very special indeed! It’s easy to appreciate the unique style and feel of this movie on its own merits, but after viewing all of the work and incredible effort that went into making it, one feels truly awestruck and daunted at the grand scope of elements that the common movie-goer may take for granted. Director Denis Villeneuve gleefully introduces various the viewer to the incredible efforts of everyone involved from the actors to the lightning & sound crew, to the set designers and beyond.bladerunner2049_04

Probably my very favorite special feature was one of the short films that Villeneuve charged the brilliant Shinichiro Watanbe to create that acts as a sort of small prequel that leads into the events of the actual feature film. This gorgeous anime called ‘Black Out 2022‘ bridges the gap a bit between the original ‘Blade Runner‘ movie gives us some backstory of “The Black Out” that is referred to in the sequel on a few occasions and provides a new perspective on the actual movie and some of it’s characters. Whether you have not seen the movie in theaters before or if you’re now seeing it again for the 2nd or 3rd time, I’d advise you to watch this short film first before delving into the feature presentation as well as another that is directed by Luke Scott and focuses on the character Sapper Morton played wonderfully by Dave Bautista.


One of the other special features I was impressed by was entitled “Designing The World of ‘Blade Runner 2049′” in which Villeneuve gives us a clear insight of the grandeur of all that went into creating the futuristic, dystopian world in which the we see before us. Villeneuve’s insistence on using as little green screen as possible is very admirable in it’s premise and even more unbelievable upon seeing the finished product. In the modern era of movie making where so many films are using green screens and motion capture tech to achieve their results, you’ll be significantly impressed and truly blown away by all of the work that went into giving us this breathtaking piece of cinema. The in depth look at the different characters, the commentary by the stars of the film and fresh look at the tech and story of this movie are all right there for you to see with just the click of a remote. I had a blast going through each and every one of them and had a newfound appreciation for the film itself and for the level of commitment from both the director and the crew. Be sure to take the time to savor all of the special features that are loaded into this release! This is one instance where they are, truly, quite special indeed! I’d assign them a solid 9 out of 10!


‘The Commuter’ Movie Review


Your first “Must See!” movie of 2018 hits theaters this weekend in the form of ‘The Commuter‘. Liam Neeson plays Michael MacCauley, an ex-cop turned life insurance salesman, whose day-to-day routine is always the same: Wake up, eat breakfast with his wife, help get his son ready of school, head to the train, go to work in the city, come home on the train, rinse, lather, repeat. When his big insurance company lets him go after 10 years, he meets up with his former police partner (Patrick Wilson) for a drink to commiserate over his extended double mortgage and how he will be able to pay for his son’s college. On his way home, he meets a woman named Joanna on the train (Vera Farmiga) who poses a hypothetical situation to him: Would you do a seemingly simple task for someone you just met if the reward was $100,000? MacCauley’s unwitting acceptance of the $25,000 upfront money launches him into a race against time to find a mystery person on the train and plant a GPS device on them before the train reaches the last stop. The stakes are raised when MacCauley learns that his wife (Elizabeth McGovern) and son are being threatened and when people he knows on the train begin to be murdered. Without knowing for whom he is searching or what it is the unknown person is carrying, MacCauley desperately searches the train, narrowing down the possibilities while the mysterious Joanna seems to be watching his every move reminding him of how much he has to lost if he fails.


I found this movie to be very enjoyable. The entire cast was sharp and the action was relentless. To me, it felt a great deal like a 90’s action movie (and I mean that as a compliment) in the style of ‘Con-Air‘ or ‘The Fugitive‘. In fact, 20 years ago, this would have been a movie starring Tommy Lee Jones or Harrison Ford instead of Liam Neeson. That’s not to say that the movie was predictable or boring – quite the opposite! There were even a few times when I actually made an audible “OH NO!!” while in the theater. (I try not to be “that guy” but it happens. LOL!) The pacing was solid with great performances from every single cast member all the way down to the ensemble members (Clara Lago, Andy Nyman, etc). With a svelte run time of 1hr 44min, the movie hurtles by like the very train on which the majority of the film takes place. It’s ‘Taken‘ meets ‘Speed‘ and I loved ever single second of it. On a scale of 1 – 10, I’d give it a strong 8.5! If you’re looking to get out of the house and shake off those winter blues, then ‘The Commuter’ is a movie that will definitely bring the heat to theaters all across the country this weekend!!!


‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Movie Review


Of all the movie reviews I’ve done, this may be the toughest one yet. I’ve been a Star Wars fan ever since I was a little kid. I remember being given ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ on VHS for Christmas one year and watching it over and over again to the point where I had the entire thing memorized within a month’s time. ‘Return Of The Jedi‘ was the first movie that I was old enough to see when it came out in theaters and I was thrilled when my dad told me he was taking me to see it! Star Wars toys were the first ones that I actively collected as a child and the franchise has been part of my life for as long as I can recall. Even when the “new trilogy” came out, I still left the theater excited for what I had just seen. Unfortunately, ‘The Last Jedi‘ was the first one I can remember leaving the theater and thinking to myself: “That was… pretty good.”


To be clear –  there were parts that worked really well but there were other parts that sort of fell flat or seemed wasted. In order to keep this review SPOILER FREE, I can’t give those details without revealing key moments in the film or crucial plot points. I will say that the acting from the entire cast was absolute perfection. There wasn’t a single performance that was weak or lacking in any way, shape or form. I will also say that the movie was very different from what I expected. For critics who complained that ‘The Force Awakens‘ was a formulaic rehash of ‘A New Hope‘, I can safely say that this is not a criticism that can be leveled against this most recent film. One of my complaints is that the movie felt long and, at times, felt like it didn’t know what to do with itself. The run time of 2 hrs and 32 mins could definitely have been shaved down had some of the unnecessary scenes been taken out or had the plot been simplified slightly (this was also a complaint I had with ‘Attack Of The Clones‘). Overall, Rian Johnson is to be commended for changing things up with this story and giving us a new look at the  Star Wars Universe as we’ve come to know it. I’m very interested to see what the final installment will bring and how things will move forward after the events of ‘The Last Jedi’.


For my general takeaways:
1) I did get very teary-eyed with all of Carrie Fisher‘s scenes. Knowing that we won’t have our beloved Princess / General moving into Episode IX caused every appearance she made in this film to be all the more heart-breaking.
2) Adam Driver needs to be nominated for “Best Actor”. You could tangibly feel his internal struggle and his emotions wash over you as you watched his scenes.
3) Luke Skywalker will always be my favorite Jedi and Mark Hamill remains brilliant in everything he does. (And he gave us what will be, I’m sure, the most used .GIF of 2018. You’ll know it when you see it.)
4) Benicio Del Toro was underused and I’m hoping that he is brought back in a big way for Episode IX.

So with the release of this latest film, my order of favorite to least favorite now goes: Empire, New Hope, Rogue One, ROTJ, Force Awakens, Revenge, Last Jedi, AOTC, Phantom Menace. While the film excels as breaking the mold of Star Wars films as we’ve come to know them, it also fails to deliver the “Wow!” Factor that I was hoping for with Luke training Rey, the mystery of her parents, Finn vs Phasma, etc. I went and saw ‘The Force Awakens’ 3 times when it was released in theaters, but I am not so sure I feel the need to revisit ‘The Last Jedi’ until it hits Bluray. As it stands, I’d rate this movie a solid 7 out of 10. Get your tickets now for it’s release on Friday 12/15/17!!


‘Justice League’ Movie Review


It’s finally here. Whether you are excited by it or even if you are dreading it, in many ways ‘Justice League‘ may well be the most highly anticipated movie of 2017! The surrounding controversy and behind-the-scenes drama have certainly created a huge amount of buzz for this film with the news of multiple reshoots, the passing of the baton from Zack Snyder to Joss Whedon for directorial duties, etc. After seeing it last night and going in with low expectations after the severe disappointment of ‘Batman vs Superman‘ and ‘Suicide Squad‘ but still cautiously optimistic in the wake of how incredible ‘Wonder Woman’ was, I’d have to say that Warner Bros & D.C. Comics have a bonafide hit on their hands and that the DCEU is finally on solid ground moving forward. If ‘Wonder Woman‘ was the movie that helped the franchise find it’s footing, then ‘Justice League’ is the film that sets them running full-speed ahead.


As the world mourns the loss of Superman, Batman (played supremely well by Ben Affleck) continues to investigate a mysterious alien threat and, after an exciting and comic book worthy battle against a Parademon high above the rooftops of Gotham City, decides that his plan to assemble a team of people with powers must move ahead at once. While Batman goes to recruit The Flash (played with great comedic timing by Ezra Miller), Wonder Woman (portrayed confidently & brilliantly by Gal Gadot) sets off to bring Cyborg (wonderfully performed by Ray Fisher) into the fold. The goal? Prevent Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds) from uniting three Mother Boxes left behind during his previous attempt to conquer Earth and, thereby, turning the world into a new version of his home planet of Apokolips. Soon, Aquaman (brought to us in pitch(fork) perfect form by Jason Momoa) joins the fight but even he may not be enough to turn the tide (sorry, I’ll stop) in our heroes’ favor. Luckily, Batman has a plan: Use the remaining Mother Box currently in their possession in conjunction with the Kryptonian birthing chamber (used by Luthor to create Doomsday) to resurrect Superman! Will their plan work? Will Superman come back normal or “Pet Cemetery” style?!? (LOL! Ezra Miller…)


Now… as for what worked and what didn’t: I will say that, overall, I think the movie was as close to comic book perfection as Warner Bros has given to us thus far. Considering all of the rewrites and reshoots, it is very hard to say which parts of this can be attributed to Zack Snyder and which parts are the responsibility of Joss Whedon and which parts are because of Geoff Johns being installed in a ‘Kevin Feige’ style position with the DCEU. For my money, the greatest area was the notable change in tone for Superman (a sparkling performance by Henry Cavill). He was brightly colored, smiling (even laughing) and full of light and hope in a way we’ve yet to see him in the previous two outings (aka: ‘Man Of Steel‘ & ‘Dawn Of Justice‘). The interaction between the lead characters was also very well done! Affleck’s portrayal of Batman is my favorite since Michael Keaton and the chemistry between him, Gadot, Momoa, Fisher & Miller was palpable! This goes double for the scenes shared by Ezra Miller’s Flash & Ray Fisher’s Cyborg. I would pay money to see a “The Brave & The Bold” style film with just the two of them. That being said, one of the negatives for me was the way The Flash’s character was written. Given his demeanor and style, he seemed more suited for a Wally West or, better yet, a Bart Allen style Flash than he did for a Barry Allen type. This is one glaringly obvious place where the writing stumbled over it’s own feet as far as characterization is concerned. Ray Fisher nails the role of Cyborg right out of the gate and the characterization here is a great mix of the original straight out of George Perez‘s & Marv Wolfman‘s “New Teen Titanscomic combined seamlessly with the “New 52” upgrades that we’ve come to accept and appreciate in the character. For the brief time they were in it, both J.K. Simmons‘ Commissioner Gordon & Amber Heard‘s Mera were also completely on-point!! I’m certainly looking forward to seeing more of them both in the upcoming solo films for Batman & Aquaman respectively! Some have complained about the story being a little flat, but I found it to be very solid. It perfectly incorporated aspects from all of the previous films into the narrative of this movie in a way that effectively made us feel that the build up to ‘Justice League’ was all worth it. Where ‘Dawn Of Justice‘ felt overstuffed with too many story lines being furiously cobbled together, this film felt well-paced, slick and exceptionally well-balanced. I could have also stood to see a little more of Aquaman, but aside from that, I think the once troubled DCEU franchise is now firmly established. On a scale of 1 – 10, I give ‘Justice League’ a strong 7.5 and I am looking forward with great anticipation and excitement to see where we go from here!! (BTW: There are TWO post-credit scenes and BOTH are very, very well worth sticking around for, I promise!)


‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Movie Review


It’s been almost a decade since Marvel Studios gave us ‘Iron Man‘ and began creating a connected film world that brought our favorite comic book characters to life on the big screen. Now with the release of ‘Thor: Ragnarok‘ next weekend, we will have our 17th installment in the wondrous world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe! This 3rd film in the “Thor Trilogy” is a notable departure from the first two chapters in so much that it is laden with quite a bit more humor than the preceding movies even though the stakes are much higher for the Odinson than ever before. After the events of ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron‘, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has been following his recurring visions in an attempt to ensure Asgard’s safety from outside threats. Upon his return, he realizes that Loki (Tom Hiddleston) has been impersonating Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and ruling Asgard in their father’s place ever since the final events of ‘Thor: Dark World‘. On their way to find where Loki banished Odin, they are introduced to Odin’s first born; Hela the Goddess Of Death (Cate Blanchett). Hela easily defeats both Thor and Loki resulting in their being dumped on to a remote planet called Sakaar which is ruled by The Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum). Thor can win his freedom in the gladiator ring if he defeats Grandmaster’s champion – The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo)!! Meanwhile, Hela is intent on ruling all of the Nine Realms but cannot leave Asgard because Heimdall (Idris Elba) has stolen the Bifrost Sword. Will Thor be able to find a way home and, even if he does, will he be able to defeat his elder sister Hela and prevent Ragnarok? Or will this finally be the end of fabled Asgard?


Once more, Marvel has brought an incredible movie to the fans which gives us specific character focus while also still moving the overarching story of the combined Cinematic Universe closer to the climactic showdown with Thanos in next year’s ‘Avengers: Infinity War‘. The cast of ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ may be one of the most impressive of any Marvel film to date! Cate Blanchett is terrifyingly perfect as Hela as she embodies the beauty and horror of The Goddess Of Death combined with the smoldering rage of the prodigal daughter come to forcibly take what she believes to be her rightful place as ruler of Asgard and beyond. Returning players Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston and Idris Elba are excellent as always in their respective roles and it was fantastic to see more action from Elba’s Heimdall than we have been privy to in previous installments. The standout for me was Jeff Goldblum who chews the scenery as The Grandmaster in his own Jeff Goldblum-y style. Tessa Thompson is equal parts badass & divine in her portrayal of newcomer Valkrie and I’m hoping we get to see more of her character in future offerings from Marvel Studios.


While this film is certainly my favorite of the three Thor movies, I still found a few little details that slightly bothered me. The previous two Thor films had a weighty gravitas to them that portrayed the style with which I’ve grown accustomed to seeing Thor. Almost Shakespearian in tone, if you will. This film almost had too much humor and felt more like an extension of ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy‘ than of ‘Thor‘. It also felt like a 70% Thor film and a 30% Hulk film simply because Marvel has neglected to do anything with Hulk outside of his 2008 standalone movie and then the two Avengers films. (Not entirely their fault as they have legal hurdles to overcome with Universal still owning the distribution rights to the character.) There was also a scene with Odin & Thor that was a little too Dumbledore-esque for my tastes. Again, these are small wrinkles and, to me, easily overlooked given the clever plot that almost seamlessly combines the Ragnarok story from the Thor books together with the now classic Planet Hulk saga. I also loved the 80’s look and feel of the graphics and colors in the film and the style of music throughout. While certainly not the best of the MCU films up to this point, ‘Thor Ragnarok’ is still an impressive outing for the franchise and one that you should definitely get out there and see sooner rather than later!! On a scale of 1 – 10, I would rate ‘Thor 3’ as a strong 8. AND… there are TWO post-credits scenes on this one so if anyone tries to get you to leave the theater before they both play, hold Mjolnir high over your head and tell them “NAY!!”


‘The Snowman’ Movie Review


The Snowman‘ film, based on the best-selling novel by author Jo Nesbo, has all the markings of a fantastic crime thriller. The cast is an extraordinary one consisting of A-Listers such as Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, J.K. Simmons, Toby Jones and Val Kilmer. The premise of a cat-and-mouse game between an elite detective (Fassbender) and a vicious and elusive serial killer who is triggered by the first snowfall sounds exciting. The exotic backdrop of Norway and beautiful scenes shown throughout the film hold a decorative yet unsettling thrall for the viewer. Sadly, all of these elements fail to save the incoherent and jumbled story of the movie itself. This is a film I was anxious to see, somewhat glad I saw, but still felt somehow very disappointed by the end product.


Michael Fassbender as the lead (Harry Hole – yes, that’s the character’s name) gives a stoic but sincere performance as a brilliant detective who struggles with alcohol addiction. Unfortunately, while we are given examples of his alcoholism, we are merely left to understand, through some weak dialogue, about the brilliant detective part. That seems to be the theme of the movie – some jumbled scenes and a line or two of dialogue to establish the motives and backstory of the main characters. This, unfortunately, doesn’t help the audience to really feel invested in any of the players that we are randomly introduced to throughout the film. Some characters almost feel as though they were added as an afterthought to help shore up the shaky storyline and force it forward. Val Kilmer and Toby Jones are especially underutlized as a means of giving Rebecca Ferguson‘s character some sort of motivation in the case of Kilmer and then as a means to provide a bit of much needed exposition to Fassbender’s character in the case of Jones.


J.K. Simmons shows up as part of an almost secondary plot which never quite runs fully tangent to the main narrative. While his portrayal of his character is fantastic, it once again feels like he doesn’t NEED to be there due to the rambling plot and sloppy story which feels like it’s just all over the map. Towards the end, the movie makes a desperate attempt to pull the meandering threads together but it’s too little too late for my tastes. Having not read the original novel on which the film is based, I can only assume that the fault rests with Peter Straughan for the screenplay adaptation or with Tomas Alfredson‘s direction. There were even several quick scenes that I questioned the reasoning as to why they were included at all. The real letdown came at the end with how the killer is finally stopped. I understand the symmetry perhaps, but the finale doesn’t do much in the way of making it feel like our hero won the day. (You’ll understand when you see it.) Overall, if you’re a Fassbender fan (and who isn’t) then you may still want to check this movie out this weekend. Otherwise, you may want to hold off until it hits Netflix or Redbox. On a scale of 1 – 10, I’d have to , sadly, rate ‘The Snowman’ a very cold and disappointing 4.


‘Breathe’ Movie Review


The movie ‘Breathe‘ will be released in theaters this weekend and it marks the directorial debut of Andy Serkis. For my money, he has a winner on his hands right out of the gate! Based on the true story of Robin Cavendish, diagnosed at age 28 with polio and given only 3 months to live, the film is equal parts heart-breaking and uplifting. At the beginning of the film, we are introduced to Robin (played brilliantly by Andrew Garfield) as he meets, falls in love with and, subsequently marries, Diana Blacker (portrayed by the ever graceful Claire Foy). In 1957 while in Africa for his job as a tea broker, Robin suddenly falls ill and becomes paralysed from the neck down, unable to breathe on his own. A few weeks later, Diana gives birth to their son Jonathan but due to Robin’s condition, he is unable to even hold his newborn child. Despair sets in and Robin begs for death but Diana refuses to let him give in. (Interesting side note: the real life Jonathan Cavendish is one of this film’s producers!)


After forcing his release from the hospital and being told by a doctor that he would be dead within 2 weeks outside of their medical confines, his family and friends move him into a new home and Robin slowly begins to find his reasons for living. With the help of his friend Teddy Hall (played gleefully by Hugh Bonneville), an inventor and a professor at Oxford, Robin is able to mount his respirator on a makeshift wheel chair which allows him to experience more of life. The story is thick with emotion as you experience both the highs and lows of the characters in this gripping film about the heights of the human spirit. The entire cast is absolutely superb and they are skillfully guided by Serkis’ steady hand. While I felt there was a slight lack of chemistry between Garfield & Foy early on in the film, that didn’t seem to matter by the end as they both slowly draw you in to this sobering look at how life can change almost instantly and how what we choose to do with our life can be impacted by those with whom we surround ourselves. This will almost certainly get some award nominations in the upcoming season and I would rate the film a solid 8 out of 10. Just make sure to order a side of tissues with your popcorn and soda.