Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a darkly comic drama about a mother who starts a kind of personal war on the local law enforcement of a small Missouri town when they fail to catch her daughter’s killer. This is a masterfully crafted, highly unpredictable, and expertly acted film which manages its tones of grief and tragedy with black comedy very well. It is also an eye-opening depiction of rural America. I think Three Billboards is one of the best films of the year with superb characterization and a pretty good score too so I highly recommend you go see it.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is surprisingly violent and in general a mature movie so I would suggest 14 and up for seeing this with kids.

Currently in Theaters.

 

 

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TV Review: Stranger Things (2016- ) [Season 2]

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The second season of the beloved sci-fi fantasy horror drama Stranger Things is just as good if not better than the first, the acting is still great especially from the kids and the music and special effects are even better this season. Stranger Things is the latest character driven show like Firefly, the kind where probably the best part of the show is the interactions between the awesomely written characters, and there is even more of that this time. This is the first time I have enjoyed the second season of a Netflix series anywhere near as much as the first and I think this season solidifies Stranger Things as my favorite currently running TV show.

There is some stuff that might scare little kids but obviously if your kids have seen season 1 they can see season 2.

Available only on Netflix.

Mr. Nobody (2009) [Extended Director’s Cut]

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Mr. Nobody is a beautiful film about a man named Nemo Nobody who experiences life and time differently than everybody else. It is one of those movies with a plot that can take many viewings to fully piece together, but unlike many of those movies, I believe every little detail adds up to a story that makes sense. Even the things I thought were continuity errors the first time around, I realized on second viewing had significance and meaning behind them. Mr. Nobody is full of wonderful imagery and great cinematography, it utilize’s it’s beautiful score as well as it’s non-orginal music extremely well and Jared Leto gives a great performance as Nemo. If you’re into delightfully strange and confusing films than I highly recommend Mr. Nobody.

There is barely any violence in this movie but it is fairly mature and has some sexual content so I would suggest 14 and up.

Extended Director’s Cut available on iTunes and Amazon.

Theatrical Cut available on iTunes, Amazon, and Netflix.

 

Watchmen (2009) [Director’s Cut]

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Watchmen is Zack Snyder’s film adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name which takes place in an alternate 1985 and is about former superheroes coming out of retirement after an old colleague is murdered. As far as book-to-film adaptations go this is a job pretty well done, its very faithful to the source material and cuts out and changes only minor things and only when necessary, until, that is, 30 minutes before the end of the movie when a major plot point is severely altered which I believe took a great deal of emotional weight out of the story. The casting choices for all the characters (especially Jackie Earle Haley who is perfect casting for Rorschach) are great, except for Matthew Goode as Adrian Veidt which I think was the wrong decision for the character. There is plenty to like about this film though, the cinematography, tone, action scenes, and music choices (nearly all of them are directly from the novel) are all great. Even though Watchmen is not as emotional or deep as the graphic novel, it is a great action epic that is worth watching.

There is a lot of violence and sex in this film so I definitely wouldn’t suggest younger than a mature 14 to watch this.

Available on iTunes and Amazon.

Book Review: Watchmen (1986-1987)

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Watchmen is an ingenious science-fiction graphic novel/limited series that takes place in an alternate history where superheroes emerged in American society during the 40s and 60s and vigilantism is now outlawed, the story follows two generations of superheroes from the close of World War II to the Cold War. It is truly an extraordinary masterpiece of visual and literary storytelling, it uses synchronicity, symbolism, and repeated imagery brilliantly and virtually every detail in every captivating panel means something. The highly fleshed out mythology and characters are extremely intriguing. Watchmen has inspired and continues to inspire many other works of art and I believe it is the best book I have ever read so I very highly recommend it to everyone that has not read it at least once before.

Watchmen deals with many mature subject matters and is very complex, 14 is the youngest I would recommend this too.

War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

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War for the Planet of the Apes is the third entry in the rebooted Planet of the Apes trilogy that has gotten better and better with every film. Matt Reeves has accomplished something incredible by creating such a technically impressive film with amazing motion capture technology as well as an emotional and meaningful story from start to finish where the audience cares a great deal for the characters, and he has made it even better than Dawn, which he in turn made superior to Rise. Andy Serkis as always does an amazing job of acting in motion capture and Michael Giacchino delivers one of the best scores of his career. I highly recommend watching or rewatching Rise and Dawn then going to see War for the Planet of the Apes because it is a beautiful, technically and emotionally impressive, masterpiece.

This is a fairly dark movie at times but if your kid has seen the first two films, they can probably handle the third.

Available on iTunes and Amazon.

 

Colossal (2017)

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Colossal is a sci-fi dramedy about a young alcoholic woman named Gloria (Anne Hathaway) who is kicked out of her life in New York city and moves back to her hometown, meanwhile a seemingly unrelated giant monster is attacking South Korea. This movie is wholeheartedly original and fairly compelling, however, even though it is advertised as a comedy, it is much more a drama than a comedy. The characters are complicated but somewhat unrealistic. Although it suffers from these flaws, Colossal is still a fresh and entertaining story I recommend viewing.

Colossal is much darker than advertised so I wouldn’t propose kids younger than 13 see it.

Available on iTunes and Amazon.