Film Review: Robin Hood

The latest cinematic retelling of the Robin Hood myth from English history starts with a portentous voice warning you to “forget everything you know about Robin Hood. Forget history.” Perhaps a more apt warning has never appeared at the beginning of a movie, because this retelling of Robin Hood has nothing to do with the outlaw living in the forest with his band of merry men. It’s an abomination all its own. The era is…Read More

Film Review: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Author J.K.Rowling has deserved all of her tremendous success with the extraordinarily successful Harry Potter franchise. Seven books. Eight movies. A stage production. Countless toys. And then there’s Fantastic Beasts, a related franchise that takes place in the “Potterverse” as a set of prequels to the famous story of The Boy Who Lived. The first film in the franchise, 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, started as a short book by Rowling that was…Read More

Film Review: Ralph Breaks the Internet

This Internet thing we all use seems pretty durable but is apparently a pretty fragile thing, susceptible to viruses and all sorts of problems. At least, that’s true in the strange but visually lush world of Ralph Breaks the Internet. Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) is a lovable lunk of a guy, the antagonist from an old school video game who we first met in the 2012 animated Wreck-It Ralph. This newer installment opens…Read More

Film Review: Overlord

The gorgeous and gory new horror movie Overlord neatly ties together two facets of World War II history: Operation Overlord and Hitler’s obsession with the occult. Operation Overlord was the codename for the Battle of Normandy and the Allied troops really did land behind enemy lines to clear the way for the massive beach invasion of D-Day, as suggested in the film. But what if the Allied troops encountered more than just determined German soldiers?…Read More

Film Review: The Elf

I can totally imagine how this went down in some Brentwood living room, or maybe an apartment in West Hollywood: Writer/Director Justin Price is shooting the breeze with his buddies and someone asks “Hey man, did your folks ever do that Elf On The Shelf thing when you were a kid?” After the laughter and one-upmanship of weird Elf on the Shelf stories dies down, Justin gets moody and thoughtful. “What if,” he finally says,…Read More

Does “City Slickers” Still Hold Up? Some Kids Just Yawn…

[[ A guest post by film critic and father Christian Toto ]] This so-called film expert got Family Movie Night wrong. Again. I thought my boys (ages 7, 9) would love Billy Crystal’s cowboy antics in the 1991 comedy City Slickers, just re-released on Blu-ray. Slapstick comedy is right in their wheelhouse, the broader, the better. Or maybe I was too curious about my own reaction to the movie all these years later, given its…Read More

Film Review: First Man

In curious ways, the new biopic First Man mirrors the experience of a trip to the moon, alternating between breathtakingly exciting and boring as watching paint dry. Don’t get me wrong, First Man is a really good movie and a fascinating insight into the emotional journey of astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to step foot on the moon. But it’s also dull at times, heavy with dialog and too reliant on a wooden Ryan…Read More

Film Review: Aliens At The Pentagon

There’s something undeniably appealing about a good conspiracy theory. I mean, what if there is a secret cabal that’s ruling the world, what if there really is an Illuminati controlling the actions of millions, what if there really are aliens? And they’re among us?! Self-avowed “world’s leading expert on UFOs, the unexplained and conspiracy theories” Nick Pope acts as writer and on-screen host for the documentary Aliens At The Pentagon and it’s an entertaining 66 minutes…Read More

Movie Review: The House with a Clock in its Walls

It’s a pretty typical coming of age story with a dose of Harry Potter, but The House with a Clock in its Walls is an entertaining read. The book has some tension and suspense, but mostly it’s straight “horror” teen literature. Which is why it’s surprising that the film adaptation turns out to be teetering on the edge of being too frightening for its very market, children and tweens who want a good scare, but…Read More

Movie Review: The Predator

There were a lot of great action films released during the 1980’s, from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark to Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Back to the Future to Ghostbusters. There were also a number of iconic sci-fi films that starred the Austrian action star Arnold Schwarzenegger, including The Terminator, Commando and the sly The Running Man. “Ah-nold” became iconic with his enormous muscles and thick accent, and rarely did…Read More

Movie Review: The Meg

When Steven Spielberg directed a film about a shark based on a best-selling Peter Benchley book of the same name, he had no way of knowing that it was going to not only be one of the first true cinematic blockbusters, but would influence a generation of swimmers too. The 1975 film Jaws turned sharks into toothy celebrities that are now memorialized in our culture through media events like Shark Week. With three increasingly weak…Read More

Movie Review: The Darkest Minds

How’s this for an original idea: an inexplicable pandemic hits the world and 98% of children die without warning. The remaining 2% gain various superpowers but are hunted down by the government. The unlucky children who are caught end up in dark, Orwellian prison camps, slave labor to an evil regime. The lucky ones get together in small villages, trying to live in kid-only harmony while staying hidden from the military. These children are divide…Read More

Giveaway: Hotel Transylvania #1 and #2 Movie DVDs!

Just in time to help you enjoy the full Hotel Transylvania trilogy with the release of Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, I’ve been invited by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment to give away a double feature of Hotel Transylvania and Hotel Transylvania 2. If you’re not familiar with the overall storyline it’s quite amusing: Dracula is a single dad who has ended up running a resort hotel catering to a rather monstrous clientele. Because monsters need…Read More

Movie Review: The Jurassic Dead

A mad scientist wants to bring America to its knees by shooting missiles at major cities. But that’s not all, he’s also invented a potion that brings the dead back to life! In fact, he’s brought a T-Rex back to life too, and it’s on a rampage in his secret desert HQ! And two groups end up fighting for their lives against both the T-Rex, the mad scientist and their friends who have been turned…Read More

Movie Review: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Who doesn’t love dinosaurs? And who doesn’t love the idea that we could recreate extinct species through DNA manipulation? Put them together and you not only have a great Michael Crichton book but one of the great movie franchises. The original 1993 Jurassic Park was a huge success, though its two sequels were not only increasingly dumb but were considerably less successful at the box office. The franchise rebooted in 2015 with the summer tentpole…Read More