Movie theatres are closed for the foreseeable future, so here are some movies you can watch at home:
The following are this week’s new releases available on digital platforms:
Trolls World Tour (2020) PGREAD MORE: Brian Austin Green And Sharna Burgess Welcome Baby
Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and Branch ( Justin Timberlake) discover that they are but one of six different Trolls tribes scattered over six different lands. An evil Queen and King (Rachel Bloom, Ozzy Osbourne) want to wipe out all types of music, but hard-rock and Poppy, Branch, and their gang must unify the Trolls of each land to save all music. Trolls World Tour Website
What to Watch For: Voice cast includes Flula Borg, Kelly Clarkson, James Corden, Ester Dean, Sam Rockwell, Betsy Sodaro, Karan Soni, Kenan Thompson, Charlyne Yi, George Clinton, and Mary J. Blige.
Word on the Street: This is a sequel to the 2016 Oscar-nominated film Trolls.
My Take: Anytime I can hear Anna Kendrick sing is a win in my book.
Extra Ordinary (2019) R
Rose (Maeve Higgins) looks like an ordinary driving instructor, but this sweet, lonely Irish woman has supernatural talents. Rose is determined to use her powers to save Martin’s (Barry Ward) daughter from the clutches of a washed-up rock star (Will Forte) that has made a pact with the devil to return to his glory days. Extra Ordinary Website
What to Watch For: The Dublin Film Critics Circle gave their Best Irish Film Award to the film in 2019.
Word on the Street: This is the first feature film for the directorial team of Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman.
My Take: I thought that Will Forte deserved an Oscar nomination for his work in the 2013 film Nebraska.
Love Wedding Repeat (2020)
Jack (Sam Claflin) is trying to make sure that his little sister has the perfect wedding day. Little did Jack expect that the girl of his dreams (Olivia Munn) that he let get away will come back in his life while the wedding falls apart at the seams. Love Wedding Repeat Website
What to Watch For: This is the first feature film for writer/director Dean Craig, known for his work on TV shows Hit the Road and Off the Hook.
Word on the Street: The film is based on the award-winning French comedy Plan de table.
My Take: I became a fan of Olivia Munn on the 2009 TV series Greek.
Almost Love (2019)
Ensemble comedy revolving around Adam (Scott Evans) and Marklin (Augustus Prew), whose once hot relationship has forced them to reconcile with each other’s shortcomings while their friend’s lives are crumbling around them. Almost Love InfoREAD MORE: 'Stranger Things' And Its Super-Sized Season Finale
What to Watch For: The film was a big winner on the film festival circuit, including Best Feature Film at the 2019 Westfield International Film Festival.
Word on the Street: Cast includes Michelle Buteau, Kate Walsh, Zoe Chao, and Colin Donnell.
My Take: I know the film was a big hit here in Atlanta at the 2019 Out on Film Festival.
Here are my reviews of movies just released on DVD/BluRay:
Little Women (2019) PG
In the aftermath of the American Civil War, the film explores the lives of the March sisters, Jo (Saoirse Ronan), Meg (Emma Watson), Amy (Florence Pugh) and Beth (Eliza Scanlen), all under the watchful eye of their beloved mother, Marmee (Laura Dern). I am a massive fan of the writer/director of this film Greta Gerwig, both as an actor (Greenberg (2010), Frances Ha (2012), and as a director (Lady Bird (2017), which I thought was one of the best films of 2017. Gerwig has done it again, bringing freshness and light to the Louisa May Alcott story that has been adapted to the screen seven times before. I loved the performances of the cast, especially Saoirse Ronan as, Jo, the young woman who is filled with passion for writing and Florence Pugh, as the self-centered Amy. Ronan brings a fierceness to the role; you can see the determination in her eyes as she wills Jo to succeed where almost everyone, including some in her family, feels that she is battling against windmills. Pugh is delightful as Amy, a young woman who is quite as mature as her fellow sisters, sometimes making decisions based on her heart and not her head. Little Women is a beautiful film, full of heart and occasionally, heartbreak, about growing up and having to face the harsh world, but always knowing that your family is there to fall back on. Take the whole family and enjoy the wonderful world of a group of four sisters experiencing the trials and tribulations of life. My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again
Dolittle (2020) PG
Seven years ago, the famed doctor and veterinarian of Victorian England, Dr. John Dolittle (Robert Downey Jr.), lost his wife and has been sequestered behind the walls of Dolittle Manor with his menagerie of animals for his only company. When Queen Victoria (Jessie Buckley) falls ill, Dr. Dolittle sets out on an epic adventure to find a cure. Dolittle is an unfunny and rather stupid film that only young, and I mean really young, kids will enjoy. Downey has some sort of Welsh accent that I have no idea what he was saying about a third of the time. The plot is predictable, and the only fun animal in the whole bunch is a squirrel (voiced by Craig Robinson) that thinks people are out to kill him. The CGI is unimpressive, with some of the animals looking like they were drawn by eight-year-olds. I hope the paycheck was huge for Downey because he isn’t going to live down this film for quite a while. My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again
Cats (2019) PG
A tribe of cats called the Jellicles must decide every year which one of their clan will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new Jellicle life. Ok, if you love the Broadway musical, you will probably like, maybe even love this film. For the rest of us, it is just a bizarre movie-going experience. With the only human character in the film showing up at the beginning to toss a cat into an alley, the movie is populated by singing and dancing cats. There is almost no plot to this film, as we go from song to song, introducing us to the cast of characters in the movie. The most famous song, Memories, is sung several times, by Jennifer Hudson, playing the down and out cat Grizabella and Francesca Hayward as the innocent newcomer, Victoria. At times, the film feels like a bad parody that Saturday Night Live might put on, as some of the songs/dances are just unbelievably campy. There is a lot of talent in this cast, but most, including Idris Elba and Ian McKellen, are given roles that are on the verge of embarrassing. And yes, Taylor Swift sings a song, Golden Globe-nominated ‘Beautiful Ghosts’, as the cat, Bombalurina, where she gets everyone high on catnip. My viewing of this film was not helped by several of the audience members who thought the film was a comedy (it’s not) and were laughing out loud throughout the film. Stay at home and watch a classic musical like Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, you will have a much better viewing experience. My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again
Here are my reviews of films that studios are releasing on the VOD platform this week.
The Last Full Measure (2019) R
Scott Huffman (Sebastian Stan) is given the task of investigating if thirty-four years after his death, Airman Willam H Pitsegnbarger Jr. (‘Pits’) is worthy of getting the nation’s highest military honor, for his actions on the battlefield. Huffman will discover that there are many secrets being hidden to Pits’ story. This is such a remarkable story that you want the film to be better than it is. With a cast that includes Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Plummer, Bradley Whitford, Ed Harris, William Hurt, Peter Fonda, Amy Madigan, and Diane Ladd, you would think that this film would just fly by, but instead, it drags as we keep going back to flashbacks to the day that Pitts died. There are a lot of talking head scenes as Vietnam vets anguish over that day, but the film never delivers the emotional punch that is needed to make this film worth watching. My Rating: Cable
Gretel and Hansel (2020) PG-13
A young girl, Gretel (Sophia Lillis), leads her little brother, Hansel (Sam Leakey), into the woods in search of food and shelter. They come across a woman named Holda (Alice Krige) who claims that she wants to help the children, but Gretel senses that there is something evil about the woman. This is a movie that once you have seen it (and I hope you never do), you will go ‘what the heck was that and what happened?”. So, there is a witch, and I guess that she wants to train Gretel to be her replacement (?), while all the while wanting to eat Hansel (I think). The film never delivers any scary moments, and there is a lot of sitting around a table while the witch lectures Gretel on how to be a woman/witch. To say that I hated this film would be an understatement as I had flashbacks to the awful European horror films from the 60s and 70s that I saw as a kid. My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again
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My movie rating system from Best to Worst: 1). I Would Pay to See it Again 2). Full Price 3). Bargain Matinee 4). Cable 5). You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again