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

Smart Watches and Dumb Theatergoers…

A group of us headed to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science for a fun experience the other day: the film Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on the DMNS IMAX screen. Big screen, primed audience, and a dark story that was rather more scary than I remembered. Fortunately I didn’t bring my 14yo with me as I think she would have had a hard time with some of the heavier scenes: a…Read More

Movie Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story

While much of the Star Wars universe revolves around the hero’s journey of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), looking back on the series reveals that a lot of the characters were rather flat and uninteresting. Luke himself was the farm boy in the big city. What made the series really fly was the extraordinary imagination of the entire crew and the Lucas special effects team that did a remarkable job converting dreams into images on the…Read More

What is a “Steelbook” DVD or Blu-Ray Movie?

Here’s one that came up for me this morning: I got a press release about the upcoming DVD release of the smash hit Black Panther. I’ll watch that again, I might well succumb and buy physical media. But this wasn’t just about the movie and its release on disk, it was about what the industry calls a “steel book”. As in Black Panther Collectible Steelbook edition. Which got me wondering… what the heck is a “steelbook”? And…Read More

Film Review: Rampage

While I’m a big fan of Dwayne Johnson, my expectations going into the theater to see Rampage were pretty darn low. The trailer certainly makes it seem a daft monster movie and the video game to movie curse seemed likely to strike again. And then the film started and I was startled to realize that it was way better than I expected. In fact, the opening scene was terrific and completely unexpected. As the story…Read More

Film Review: Chappaquiddick

It’s the late 1960’s and the nation’s attention is focused on something amazing: A man is about to walk on the moon. As it turns out, the same weekend that Apollo 11 is hurtling towards the lunar surface, Senator Ted Kennedy and pals are hosting a party at a remote cabin on Chappaquiddick island, one of the many islands that make up the Martha’s Vineyard area of Southeastern Massachusetts. After one drink too many, the…Read More