The Snowman

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A serial killer leaves a snowman at each kill site, and it is up to detective Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) to find him. The story is interesting, even though it wasn’t difficult to guess the killer’s identity (if you haven’t read the book). BUT the movie is too slow – it took almost 50 minutes to show a killing and dismemberment in progress! Before that, you see case files and police work but not the killing itself. The movie runs just under two hours, but if they compress it by 30 minutes, it will be way better. Nevertheless, this is not a bad movie – just stock up on concessions so you have something to munch on as you wait for the story to slowly unfold.

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Goodbye Christopher Robin

20171017 poster Goodbye Christopher Robin

Young Christopher Robin, called Billy by his family, is mostly brought up by a nanny. When both his nanny and his mother are gone for a few weeks, he develops a close relationship with his father, Alan Milne, who takes him and his toys on walks in the woods, and this inspires Alan to write the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. And lest you think this movie is all happy happy, bring some tissues with you, too, as this movie aslo captures the aftermath of the sudden fame that Billy receives as fans identify him as Christopher Robin. Domhnall Gleason as Alan Milne, Margot Robbie as the mother, and Kelly Macdonald as the nanny, are good. And Will Tilston, the young actor who plays Christopher Robin, is adorable. A good watch.

Official Movie Website

Mark Felt – The Man Who Brought Down The

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If you want to know more about Deep Throat (aka Mark Felt) of Watergate Scandal infamy, this movie is for you. The movie deals mostly with events related to the Watergate Scandal, but also touches on Felt’s personal life. The movie is well-done, and the acting is good. This is definitely a Liam Neeson vehicle, but there is a whole slew of supporting characters who help bring this story to life. The one nit for me is that Liam Neeson sounds like Liam Neeson – he does not change his tone or inflection or accent to sound more like Felt. Other than that though, I found the movie good and informative, although not necessarily a rush-out-to-watch-it-on-opening-weekend kind of movie..

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American Made

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This movie is based on the life of airline pilot turned drug and arms smuggler turned informant Barry Seal. The movie does take liberties with the story, making the dangerous flying feats and dealings with the Medellin drug cartel look more like fun and games, so much so that this movie seems more fiction than true story. Nevertheless, Tom Cruise does a great job portraying Seal as a daring, even funny, character who also loves his family very much and understands the consequences of his actions. Definitely a good movie to watch!

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Victoria and Abdul

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This movie is “mostly” based on the true story of the unique friendship between Queen Victoria and Abdul Karim during the latter years of her reign, and the friction the friendship caused with the Queen’s Royal Household. As Queen Victoria learns about the Indian world, Abdul also learns about the English world. However, this is not a movie about British Indian political history. As expected, Judi Dench does a great job as Queen Victoria, but the rest of the cast also do a great job. The movie is also surprisingly funny. So, as long as you are not looking for a history lesson, you’ll enjoy this movie.

Official Movie Website

‘Til Death Do Us Part

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Woman fakes her death to escape abusive husband. Something happens to arouse his suspicions and he tracks her down. He confronts her and she kills him. The story is not original (remember Julia Roberts’ Sleeping with the Enemy and Jennifer Lopez’s Enough?). The movie draaaags. Several plot points don’t make sense. The acting is mostly just so-so. Taye Diggs has top billing but is only ornamental. And they use horror-movie sound effects and even camera angles (think Blair Witch Project shaky camera) to heighten the tense scenes, which makes the scenes laughable instead! I am not recommending this movie, BUT the subject matter is important. We need to raise awareness of domestic violence and ways to protect abused partners. Faking your own death is not necessarily the answer.

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Stronger

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Most people are familiar with Jeff Bauman, a 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing survivor, and one of the public faces of #BostonStrong. But this movie also depicts his private mental and emotional struggles, and the circle of family and friends who are his strong, albeit imperfect, support system. Jake Gyllenhaal does a good job of capturing the humor and mannerisms of Bauman, including attempting a Boston accent. The movie is a bit too long for the content, in my opinion, but a good and emotional movie to watch nonetheless, whether on opening weekend or later.

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Home Again

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Reese Witherspoon plays a recently-separated woman who gets involved with one of three young men who move into her guest house. Add to that two cute and sassy daughters, Candice Bergen as her mother, and an ex-husband who gets jealous of the three young men. No, this is not going to be an instant classic like some movie ads say, but this is an easy-to-watch light-hearted romantic comedy, a nice and enjoyable way to get some laughs and while away a couple of hours.

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Patti Cake$

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I’m not a big rap music fan, but I enjoyed this movie. Patti Cake$ is an aspiring rapper who does not look or act anything like your stereotypical rapper. The story is interesting, with occasional funny scenes thrown in, and the music enhances the story. Patti Cake$ may be the main character in the movie, but there are good supporting characters as well, each with their own unique traits. If you like underdog stories, you’ll like this movie.

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The Hitman’s Bodyguard

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Whatever you expected from the movie, you probably are right. An Executive Protection Agent is called upon to protect his mortal enemy, an assassin who happens to be a star witness at the trial of a despotic ex-ruler. Acting-wise, Samuel Jackson is vintage Samuel Jackson – obnoxious and foul-mouthed, and Ryan Reynolds is Ryan Reynolds – adorably sarcastic. It is almost like their characters were written with these two in mind! The action sequences are fast-paced but sometimes too drawn-out, too violent, and obviously unrealistic. But overall, the movie is a fun romp.

Official Movie Website