Review: THE SHAPE OF WATER

By Liz Lopez

Rating: A+

Leave it to writer/director Guillermo del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth,” “Crimson Peak”) to infuse the romance genre with a story about a relationship set in the workplace between unexpected characters – a South American from the Amazon and another – a working gal who lives in Baltimore. The one line description on IMDb for “The Shape of Water” is just that, simple. But fans of del Toro’s work know that there is nothing simple about the story created by the filmmaker who co-wrote the screenplay with Vanessa Taylor (“Divergent,” “Game of Thrones”). For fans of films with a great story, yet know little about the award winning filmmaker (both in his native Mexico and internationally) – be prepared to view one of year’s best films for the complete production; from the story, to performances, fantastic music and cinematography with admirable aquatic scenes. I highly recommend viewing the film pre-film awards season. It should be nominated in various categories.    Read more »

Review: WONDER WHEEL

By Mark Saldana

Rating 2 (Out of 4 Stars)

With Blue Jasmine, filmmaker Woody Allen presents a story heavily influenced by Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire, but maintains the cinematic quality of its presentation.  The film is not only an intriguing character study, but is also an amazing showcase of Cate Blanchett’s acting prowess. Allen once again attempts to channel the acclaimed Southern playwright (via his New York sensibilities), but this time, sets his movie very much like a play.  The movie, Wonder Wheel, has elements in common with both Blue Jasmine and A Streetcar Named Desire, and is an awesome showcase for actress Kate Winslett; however, Allen’s story failed to intrigue or move me.  In addition, most of the characters have such hateful qualities and make such idiotic decisions that I simply could not empathize or relate to them.  The result is a pretty looking film with some great performances, but no heart and soul. Read more »

Movie Trailer: JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM

Source: Universal Pictures

It’s been four years since theme park and luxury resort Jurassic World was destroyed by dinosaurs out of containment. Isla Nublar now sits abandoned by humans while the surviving dinosaurs fend for themselves in the jungles. When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event. Owen is driven to find Blue, his lead raptor who’s still missing in the wild, and Claire has grown a respect for these creatures she now makes her mission. Arriving on the unstable island as lava begins raining down, their expedition uncovers a conspiracy that could return our entire planet to a perilous order not seen since prehistoric times. Read more »

Movie Trailer: 7 DAYS IN ETEBBE

Source: Focus Features

A gripping thriller inspired by the true events of the 1976 hijacking of an Air France flight en route from Tel Aviv to Paris, the film depicts the most daring rescue mission ever attempted.

Starring: Daniel Brühl and Rosamund Pike.

Director: José Padilha (“Narcos,” “Elite Squad”)

Writer: Gregory Burke (“’71”) Read more »

Movie Trailer: LEAN ON PETE

ACCLAIMED FILMMAKER ANDREW HAIGH RETURNS WITH AMERICANA ODYSSEY IN FIRST TRAILER AND POSTER FOR LEAN ON PETE, STARRING CHARLIE PLUMMER, STEVE BUSCEMI AND CHLOЁ SEVIGNY.

The film premiered to exceptional reviews at The Venice Film Festival in competition and also played Telluride and Toronto earlier this year.

Source: A24

From acclaimed filmmaker Andrew Haigh (Weekend; 45 Years), and based on the beloved novel by Willy Vlautin, comes Lean on Pete—a deeply moving story about love, loneliness, family, and friendship, told through the unique prism of one boy’s connection to a very special racehorse.

Fifteen-year-old Charley Thompson (Charlie Plummer) arrives in Portland, Oregon with his single father Ray (Travis Fimmel), both of them eager for a fresh start after a series of hard knocks. While Ray descends into personal turmoil, Charley finds acceptance and camaraderie at a local racetrack where he lands a job caring for an aging Quarter Horse named Lean On Pete. The horse’s gruff owner Del Montgomery (Steve Buscemi) and his seasoned jockey Bonnie (Chloë Sevigny) help Charley fill the void of his father’s absence—until he discovers that Pete is bound for slaughter, prompting him to take extreme measures to spare his new friend’s life. Charley and Pete head out into the great unknown, embarking on an odyssey across the new American frontier in search of a loving aunt Charley hasn’t seen in years. They experience adventure and heartbreak in equal measure, but never lose their irrepressible hope and resiliency as they pursue their dream of finding a place they can call home. Read more »