Movie Reviews By Robert Waldman
Robert Waldman's Interviews:
Read Robert's Interview with Ali Liebert
The Commuter (PG) * * * *
Yes there was a film from the 80s called Runaway Train that clicked back in the day with audiences. Not to be confused with the savvy courtroom thriller Runaway Jury. Going back to the rails came out the semi comical Money Train that proved popular There has always been something romantic about train travel. Modern forms of train journeys have gone high tech with commuter trains ever so popular. Hop on board a simple commute from New York that is anything but in The Commuter. Fresh fun from VVS Films this is an action packed trip sure to appeal to scores of thrill-seeking folks tired of space operas. Not far-fetched in a galaxy far far away enjoy this more realistic free-wheeling ride at Cineplex Cinemas across B.C.
Newly minted action star Liam Neeson (Taken) is back in his element as Michael MacCauley. Solid as a rock this happily married - yes happily married - family man loves his job and seems to be on a solid foundation. Funny how fast things can change. One day on a normal ride home on the commuter train mild-mannered Michael becomes involved in just an unbelievable scenario. Something terribly wrong is going on here and a chance encounter turns downright deadly when a mystery missing person becomes the centre of a tug of war with Deadly consequences.
Smart, sexy and totally unpredictable The Commuter shows how good an action-movie can be if it has a good story-line. All the passenger portrayals are very well down. Those who enjoyed the rather slow-moving Murder on the Orient Express get so see some real tension on board this train. Give Liam Neeson a good story and let him run with it. Here he is great and one of many fights on this speeding bullet bring back fond memories of Sean Connery's brilliant fight to the finish on The Orient Express in 1964s classic From Russia With Love.
Add on Great support from Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson ( Hard Candy) and The Commuter is a ride you should not miss.
Fight for Beauty (G) * * * * *
Not all businesses are created equal . Those that are successful know all too well it's good to give something back. One local company that has definitely made it in more ways than one is Westbank. Apart from creating some outstanding local buildings the company has gone that extra mile by creating a truly unique exhibition. Besides being good. Best of all it's free to attend. How's that for a holiday treat! Here until February is the visually stimulating Fight for Beauty. Open most days from 11:00-5:00 this showcase for architectural wonders and fashion delights is located at the Plaza Pavillion right beside the Fairmount Pacific Rim Hotel at Canada Place in downtown Vancouver.
Under the guidance of company founder Ian Gillespie guests will look and listen in Awe as a very well-thought out commentary walks us through an eye-opening exhibit. Somehow Gillespie and his talented team came up with a simple yet unique concept: show the beauty implicit with buildings and their design alongside that of women's clothing and dresses. Put simply both places where we work/live and clothes we wear benefit from proper planning, design and manufacture. It all begins with an idea and the free thinkers at Westbank along with their associated architects have a lot in common with the pioneers of haute couture at Channel et.al.
Go behind the scenes and see full-scale models and learn the path taken to create some local landmarks in the area of community living such as Oakridge, Telus Gardens and Vancouver House. Whether you are a music lover or not prepare to be dazzled by a one of a kind Butterfly Fazioli Piano which is a new tradition tacked onto most Westbank projects. Liberace would be so proud of this one of a kind marvel. Narrated in an easy layman's language that all can understand the fact is that Fight for Beauty is an exemplary showcase that focuses on Vancouver's changing landscape. Under the wise imagination fostered by Ian Gillespie it's not hard to see how our city and fabric of life will continue to improve and be a beacon for freedom and free-thinking that all should warmly embrace and aspire to.
Call Me By Your Name (PG) * * * *
Tastes change over time. So do public mores. Prepare to be swept off your feet with Call Me By Your Name. Witness a wondrous tale of human emotion from Mongrel Media now enthralling audiences at the Fifth Avenue Theatre in Vancouver.
Made for mature audiences suitable for its theme this loving portrait is set in Northern Italy. Coming of age stories are not new In Hollywood though in the last some themes were considers off limits and even taboo. Taking place in 1983 we see an intellectual couple and their children leading the good live.You might as well call this film the newer La Dolce Vita as the parents seem to be quite liberalized. Blessed with a young son named Elio visiting for the summer things begin to heat up rather slowly as the boy's sexuality seems to be beckoning.
While on this summer retreat the arrival of Oliver, a handsome visiting American charged with helping the father with His archeology work leads to a new found friendship that tests their sexuality. Armie Hammer (The Man From U.N.C.L.E.) turns in a heroic performance of a much older man whose feelings for young Elio lead to a host of special moments. Handled with skill and poignancy the shared feelings these two share and they way the family reacts to what may or may not be happening is a textbook example that showcase tolerance and respect.
Complete with amazing cinematography of dreamy Italian landscapes and villages with an exceptionally well-rounded cast Call Me By My Name is a delightful experience that works on all levels filmed with grace and tact. Director Luca Guadagnino pulls off an incredibly well thought out film that connects on all levels,
Made mostly in English with the odd sprinkling of Italian it's not hard to see we this film will be right up there with the contenders for best foreign film at next year's Oscars and could well snag nominations in some other categories as well.
All the Money in the World (PG) * * *
Money is the root of all Evil. Money can't buy you love. Two classic phrases illustrate all that is good and bad in people. See how excess leads to tragedy in All the Money in The World. Sure to make waves for its controversial casting criminal intrigue this fascinating look into a man and his possessions is stoking interest at select Cineplex Theatres around B.C.
Master tactician Ridley Scott is in full control as the director who was able to reshoot crucial scenes when star Kevin Spacey became embroiled In various serious harassment allegations. Under the good auspices of Sony Studios Canadian culture icon Christopher Plummer ( The Sound of Music) rose to the occasion and gives an Oscar calibre performance as J. Paul Getty. Long remembered as the richest man in the world back in the day this movie traces the harrowing experience of a kidnapping and the reluctance of the eccentric billionaire to do the right thing,
Older folks may remember the international uproar when the 16 year old grandson of mister moneybags was kidnapped in Italy. True to form this movie shows the hysteria surrounding the abduction, the evil masterminds behind the attack, the prying press and an estranged mother out of her wits to get her boy back.
Hearts will go out to Michel Williams as an on edge mom who has all sorts of issues to deal with in a desperate attempt to get her boy back. On Hand to help out is Mark Wahlberg as a sobering go-between. People looking for a glimpse into lifestyles of the rich and famous where things go off base in A big way and want to catch up on a bit of criminal history may find it here with All The Money in the World.
The Post (G) * * * * *
Bravery comes in many shapes and forms. Hats off to 20Th Century Fox and Dreamworks for taking on a special project with The Press. Made with the help of Canadian philanthropist and man with a social global conscience and EBay co-founder Jeff Skoll's Participant Media The Post takes an insightful look into American politics. Share the love at select Cineplex Theatres across B.C.
For the first time ever two of the movies biggest stars share screen time in this scintillating story that reveals the tug of war between a free press and a not so willing to share White House. Multiple Oscar winning actors Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks (Philadelphia) being their A-game and then some as the owner and editor at The Washington Post. Locked in a tug of war with the fabled New York Times these two become embroiled in a larger than life controversy to get at the truth when news of various government misdeeds come to light.
Remember this story broke during the Nixon administration and tricky Dicky did not exactly share any fondness for the press. When a mystery source uncovers some secret documents related to The Vietnam War it sends shock waves among the powers that be at the newspaper and its corporate paymasters.
High intrigue on a number of levels gives this movie both a sense of urgency and need. Publish or perish gives The Post its momentum as an owner and editor have huge decisions to make. Shot masterfully by no less than humanitarian director Steven Spielberg The Post is an outstanding look at the costs of freedom, government malfeasance, corporate hoarding and people doing the right thing.
Soaring performances and attention to detail second to none, palpitating tension, an uncanny perceptive atmosphere of the times and chilling footage from broadcasting icons of the day make The Post one of the best films in years and easily deserving of lots of attention come Oscar time. And it also looks at the not so subtle discrimination levelled against women no matter how capable they are or their abilities. The Post scores the highest makes on all levels.
Paddington 2 (G) * * * *
Warmth and charm abound in Paddington 2. People who missed the first film based on the popular British children's book need not fret. You will lose nothing by not having seen the first instalment in one loveable bear. Think family as opposed to the raunch depicted in Ted and you will fall in love with a lost in London bear in all sorts of trouble. Share the fun depicted in This Warner Brothers film sure to warm hearts at Cineplex Cinemas all over B.C.
Right from the warmth depicted in The opening scenes you just know you will be in for a treat. Sent to London to live with the Brown family in a quaint London suburb this Peruvian beat still longs for his animal kingdom. Still the littler critter is well cared for by his new human friends. Even people in the neighbourhood have taken a liking to this little charmer. At least most of them.
Charming performances abound in This sure to be classic children's movie. Apart from all the fluffy warm stuff something bad comes our bear's way. Through no fault if his own the bear mistakingly is placed behind bars. Here the laughs abound as those pesky cons set out to make mincemeat out this innocent cub. Ah, but prison can make for strange bedfellows. While left alone on the inside the Browns engage all their energies and faculties to clear Paddington of all those alleged wrongdoings. Let the fun begin.
Smart and witty Paddington 2 shows the importance of working together, family and doing the right thing. Stand-out performances by Julie Walters As the matriarch of the Brown family, Hugh Grant as an actor on a mission and Ben Whishaw ( Spectre) as the voice of the most famous bear this side of Yogi and Paddington 2 soars as a terrific tale with imagination to burn.
The Shape of Water (PG) * * *
Let loose with your imagination and there is no telling how far you will go. The sky's the limit for revolutionary storyteller Guilermo Del Toro who continues to probe the inner recesses of the mind with his spellbinding The Shape of Water. Fresh and fun this unbelievably entertaining encounter comes as fresh as they come. Dare to see something different and impressive from Elevation Pictures now making favourable impressions at the International Village Cinema
Sit back In Awe as we enter the wild world of 1950s America. Remember this is in the era of suspicion and deep divide in the Russian / American relationship. Shrouded in secret are both their military and political programs. Action in The Shape of Water revolves around a couple of women working in some sort of top secret government program.
Actress with a heart and maybe actress our our generation Sally Hawkins pulls off a miraculous performance (again) as a plain simple cleaning lady with a heart as big as the Grand Canyon. For her there are no depths too deep to traverse. This becomes abundantly clear when she learns something is amiss at her place of employment.
Under a cloak of secrecy this ultra hush hush government military lab is overseen by an appropriately spooky G- man played with delicious devilishness by Michael Shannon. Busy as can be Hawkins toils away as a cleaning lady alongside Octavia Spencer. By some bit of twisted fate the lean plain Jane lady learns all about danger, love and hope when she winds up domaine experimenting if her own. Call it a meeting of the minds with willing bodies as one if the most unbelievable tales of love ensues.
Del Toro truly plunges into a subterranean wonderland complete with a creature looking to be a direct descendant of some black lagoon. A great 1950s atmosphere, superb acting and an ethical dilemma come together to make The Shaoe of Water a delight to see. Take the plunge.
Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle (PG) * * *
Can lightning strike twice? Perhaps. That's what the powers that be at Sony are hoping for with their big budgeted continuation of the Jumanji Classic. Indeed they partly succeed. Share the love found in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle now unfolding at Cineplex Cinemas across B.C.
Unlike the original version two sees a group of bad kids "accidentally" hurled into a magical world when one young lad makes the mistake of opening a mysterious board game like no other. All this is set in 1996 and the kids become full blown adults as they make their way through fauna and monsters in a desperate to unlock a puzzle, save their lives, and return them to reality. This is a tall order but good casting dies make things interesting.
Here two storylines with a good set of actors playing the four teens and their older much more humorous versions. All the kids play their parts role but without question the driving force and selling point are the A-list actors who wrestle with all sorts of calamities in a desperate bid to survive.
Front and centre in thIs relief effort is Dwayne Johnson. Call his younger alter ego a nerd with attitude. Team him up with comic giants Jack Black and Kevin Hart and you know there will be laughs aplenty. Perhaps it is unfair to compare this second return to a board game gone haywire with the original but the 2017 episode lacks the novel appeal of the original and suffers from the manic energy of the incomparable Robin Williams.
Still worth a look Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is still a little charmer that those who like imagination will enjoy. And you can never go wrong with The Rock.
Molly's Game (PG) * * *
Sports and gambling are big business. Need any proof of this- just ask the B.C. Government or any other jurisdiction across Canada or the United States. Cross a moral code and things are bound to happen. Don't be shy when watching Molly's Game . Just go with the flow of this effective true story thanks to EOne Entertainment now showing at the International Village Theatre, Fifth Avenue Cinemas and other Cineplex cites around B.C.
Luck be a lady was a famous lyrical phrase from crooner Francis Albert Sinatra. For a time that may have perfectly described the career trajectory of Molly Bloom. Able to do just about anything and smart as a whip this wonder child first made her mark as a freestyle mogul skier whose training in snowy Colorado looked Olympics bound. Fit for the part is Jessica Chastain (Miss Sloan) who takes to the character like a duck to water. Nerves of steel come in handy when an accident sidelines her dreams of gold.
Out of work and somewhat depressed let's just say a change of scenery was just what the doctor ordered. Westward we go and not before long Ms. Bloom latches onto a complete role reversal. Good looks and a quick study prove to be somewhat of a godsend when the lass gets involved in the clandestine world of gambling. Not before long this lady whose good with numbers emerges as the go to girl when putting on poker parties. Forget about minor neighbourhood pub outings. To play at these tables the stakes are sky high with high rollers aplenty ready to get In on the action.
Good things can quickly turn bad and Molly winds up in the sights of a determined law enforcement agency out to destroy her routine. With a will to survive this high achiever enlists the aide of a smooth talking lawyer played by Idris Elba in a concerted effort to stay afloat.
Full of good performances from the likes of Kevin Costner (The Untouchables) and Jesse Eisenberg ( The Social Network) it's not hard to see why the glamour and excitement of gaming is so enticing to so many. Here the atmosphere is electric and the filmmakers wisely show the good and bad sides of such a highly popular and at times addictive type of widely accepted entertainment form. Deal me in!
Mudbound (PG) * * * *
Stand up and get noticed . Upstart Netflix continues to grow and inspire with its sassy Mudbound. Worthy of a theatrical release this family drama is heartfelt and riveting from start to finish . Share this epic drama by signing up for Netflix by contacting your local Shaw, Rogers , Telus or Bell cable or on line carrier.
Learn a lot about history by watching Mudbound. Elements of fear and racism collide and are smartly woven together that they come full circle. Odd woman odd Carey Mulligan again shows why she is one of the most accomplished young actresses of her generation. She is married on screen to a good old boy from the South in the late 1930s. Together the two farm the land. Bear in mind that this was the time when black people were not exactly treated nicely.
On the homesteaders' land a black family busies itself as farm labourers. Conflicts occur as the Alabama where all reside is rife with hatred. When the war gets in the way of normal activities a page is turned nationally. Still hard feelings remain as both families head on a collision course as nasty racial elements forge a divide among them
Brilliantly conceived and wonderfully acted Mudbound paints a stirring portrait of injustice and the danger of mob mentality. Even among these trying times it's good to see men and women of good will stand up for good and who are ready and willing to take stands most of the public would find discomfort with. Sweeping in scope Mudbound is a wonderful drama of pain and perseverance, poignancy and passion.
Coco (G) * * * *
Pixar films have a solid reputation among families and animation aficionados. Like most films or series even Pixar films in Recent years have been hit or miss affairs. Rest assured Disney has hit and actually exceeded the mark with Coco. Not to be confused with a similarly titled film about the French fashion marvel this animate sure to be classic is total enchantment now on screen throughout British Columbia by way of Cineplex Cinemas.
Besides being a hot tourist destination Mexico and the colourful culture of its people is finally getting good coverage on the silver screen. First major exposure came a few years ago with the breathtaking opening extended tracking shot pre-credit sequence of James Bond spectacular SPECTRE. Now PIXAR goes all out in this delightful tale of a boy and his dream.
Family matters. Or so it should. Young Miguel faces a big decision as his dream is music. To choose between following your heart and dreams or staying true to your loved ones lies at the heart of Coco. For two hours prepare to be taken on a wondrous journey as Miguel and his family go from the present to let's just say the other world.
Superb animation, wondrous songs, a great ode to Mexican heritage and customs, some unforgettable surprises and a family like no other make Coco truly stand out. Here even the 3-D effects work for a change. Above all else the key to this film's success ultimately rests with its writing. Creative juices ooze forth in a variety of ways. Painstaking attention to facial details, gestures and mannerisms coupled with some great set pieces and elaborate choreography breathe life into this boisterous tale of hope and understanding.
Like Disney's classic Bambi Coco will become a member of the beloved Disney family that adults and children alike will cherish.
Wonder (PG) * * * * *
Silence is Golden!
Tis the time for goodwill. Get in the holiday season by taking in Wonder. Made with considerable conviction this outstanding heart-warming tale from EOne Entertainment will leave many a wet eye in The audience. Go ahead and feel the love at the International Village Cinemas and special Cineplex Cinemas around BC.
Good fortune by far rests with good health. Happily married are the Pullman clan headed by so much in love Isabel and Nate Pullman. Suitably matched Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson capture the essence of both being in love and always putting putting the welfare and wellbeing of their kids first. Like most parents raising kids is a hard enough task -only for the Pullmans they have a more perilous road to hold. While things are fine with their high school daughter young Auggie is "plagued" with a handicap.
No one likes being an outsider. Forced to live in a world not entirely of his making is Vancouver actor Jacob Tremblay. Thanks to a physical deformity the young lad must endure all sorts of dilemmas facing childhood. Standing out in a negative way to some leads to taunts and drama and becomes a burden to Auggie and the entire family, just how bad things get and how to cope helps turn Wonder into a superb tale about the underdog facing down your demons and maybe even changing a few minds ( and ultimately hearts)
Given a truly wonderful script from director Stephen Chbosky Wonder turns out to be a heartfelt looking about differences, bullying and coming of age. Throw in a terrific turn by Mandy Patinkin as an educator with the wisdom of Solomon and you have an enduring entertainment experience through and through.
Roman J. Israel, Esq. (PG) * *
Judge a man by his deeds. Back to school we go as a legal beagle enters the world of big city lawyering in Roman J. Israel, Esq. Well-written and acted with conviction this high stakes drama from Sony Pictures is now in Session at various Cineplex halls of entertaining across B.C.
Make no mistake about it - Denzel Washington can act. Whether he plays a drugged up pilot, a lethal assassin or a jazz loving gumshoe this cat can do no wrong. Fans of Denzel will appreciate his Going back to his roots and heritage, so to speak, as a rather crusading New Your City lawyer.
With a mind like a computer this mild-mannered legal sleuth is the best as they come. Busy at work in a small two man firm our biblical named scholar has his work cut out for him With the death of a colleague. In search of the truth that activistic streak in Roman's DNA is called into question when one too many cases weighs a bit heavy on his mind.
A brilliant mind and all the good things a man has worked for come into question as a moral dilemma confounds this bright shining light. Career advancement can be a good thing. So how a new era develops for Israel under the high flying George Pearce is rather telling. Smooth as silk turns out to be Colin Farrell (Phone Booth). Talk about a chameleon actor - like Denzel, Farrell is terrific as a smug know-it-all hot shot slick Wall Streeter whose legal ethics seem driven by the bottom line. Watching these two diverse yet highly effective actors duke it out and transform their personalities is a casebook example of purposeful acting.
Solid performances centred on morality and tradition make Roman J. Israel, Esq. a well presented drama ideal for those who seek out Justice on all fronts.
Murder on the Orient Express (PG) * * *
Talent abounds on a perilous journey in 20th Century Fox's dynamic Murder on the Orient Express. Based on the classic Agatha Christie adventure be prepared to be swept away. Hop aboard this charmer at Cineplex Odeon Theatres around B.C.
Man of all seasons multi-talented Kenneth Branagh reigns supreme as both writer and director of this classy caper. Cast as master detective Hercule Poirot our no nonsense inspector makes mincemeat of the likes of Colombo or Inspector Clouseau. Once aboard the fabled Orient Express the man simply wants a relaxing vacation. Fat chance.
Perhaps inspired a bit by the popular Sean Connery entry from the 1970s now a new cast faces off when one of the passengers meets a rather untimely death. Watch with awe as our Belgian crime fighter tries to figure out just who is guilty in this convoluted highly engaging trip.
Awesome scenery from mysterious Istanbul through snowy Europe makes this ride bumpy but fully engaging. Among the jaw-dropping cast are Johnny Depp, Dame Judi Dench and Willem Defoe who all share in scores of secrets shrouded in danger and deceit.
Keep them guessing is a hallmark of a good mystery and Murder on the Orient Express proves to be a wonderful travelogue laced with murder among the jet (make that train) set.
Thor: Ragnarok (PG) * * * *
Imminent danger. Considerable fun. Together these two commodities are on ample display in Thor: Ragnarok. Marvellous Marvel Studios again creates a winter in this visually stunning creative spectacular now charming viewers of all ages at Cineplex Theatres around B.C.
Whether or not you have enjoyed the two previous encounters this third instalment is by far the most fun yet. Back in action handsome Chris Hemsworth is at his charming best as the hammer wielding tied. Tied up from the moment go our reluctant hero undergoes metamorphosis as his family routes come back to haunt him in the present.
With nothing but the fate of the universe at stake somehow our reluctant hero must go back ( or dies he get thrust forward) in Time to save his beloved planet from a master criminal out to reclaim the title of ruler of their former homeland.
I a quest for immortality our flawed hero gets side-tracked and kidnapped to a different colony where he winds up in some sort of Hunger Games battle to the finish. Under lots of make-up Jeff Golblum ( Independence Day) is terrific and a scene stealer as a Stanley Tucchi like impresario.
While Wonder Woman may have stolen a bit of that Marvel lustre rest assured that the house that Stan Lee have upped the ante considerably with two dynamic female characters. Consider Cate Blanchett and Tessa Thompson to pack quite the one two two dynamic punch as lethal ladies who tangle with our blond boy wonder. Add on a few past characters plus the odd other Marvel hero/zero and you have a wildly entertaining movie.
Tongue in cheek humour and great line delivery by Hemsworth outs you right into the best frame of mind for this insanely entertaining movie. Visually stunning with a heart-pounding soundtrack Thor: Rangarok succeeds on all levels. Made in 3-D you don't necessarily see this version as even regular screenings will ensure a great time to spend with this two hour escapist extravaganza.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer (PG) * * * *
Doctors face important decisions on a continual basis. Visits to a hospital can be life and death affairs. From out of left field comes the completely original The Killing of a Sacred Deer. Think Missery meets up with ER in this superbly acted thriller from Elevation Pictures now causing people to squirm most likely at the International Village Cinemas,
An all-star cast is given first rate material and the result is an exciting story. Beware of the past. Good doctor Steven Murphy seems to have it all. Handsome Colin Farrell (Phone Booth) proves his bedside manner is in order especially on the home front with loving wife Anna. Australian national treasure Nicole Kidman (Eyes Wide Shut) embodies the persona of the perfect wife and mom to two adoring children - and a dog. But alas, all may not be well in Paradise.
Some subtle complications on the Homefront occur when the man of the house forms a friendship with Martin, a much younger boy more his son's age. Eyes will be focussed completely on the intense work of Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk). How this boy impacts on the otherwise normal family's life will keep audiences riveted in what could well be Oscar calibre work.
One good hallmark of a bonafide thriller is the action being able to get under one's skin. Here thanks to an outstanding screenplay and pitch perfect performances you will be on pins and needles throughout this descent into hell.
Choices are made by all of us in our everyday lives. Let's just say director Yorgos Lanthimus (The Lobster) ups the ante considerably as choices that would make Samson's biblical dilemmas pale in comparison to the game of real life Russian Roulette that our characters must endure here.
Cirque du Soleil's Kurios (G) * * * *
Canadian success stories in the business world are few and far between. Even less fame and glory comes out of Canadian culture and our national entertainment industry. One company able to buck this trend for years has been Quebec's Cirque du Soleil. Again magic is in the air locally. Both visitors and British Columbians of all ages should venture down to the Concord Pacific lands to behold Kurios - Cabinet of Curiosities. Only the creative geniuses at this monumental company could come up with the wild and wacky characters in This highly immersive spectacular.
Suspend belief and let your senses run wild as a crazy inventor manages to create all sorts of hocus Pocus in his factory of fun. Mad science never felt so good as a team of talented artists bounce around what appears to be a simple stage but turns out to be anything but. With a comic Frenchmaster of ceremonies prepare to enter a world of make believe that even Walt Disney would be proud of.
Unchartered waters give way to a chain of mystery as a host of acts that defy description come at you fast and furious. Not a bad seat rests under the huge white tent as your breath gets taken away for a good two hours. Act 1 sets the stage for an onslaught of show-stopping treats. Highlights to stay in your memory include an acrobatic act that makes earlier Ed Sullivan visits seem oh so rudimentary along with a gymnastic demonstration of sorts performed by four-five tiny women whose ability to mix and mingle will simply astound you.
Soar skyward as more than a few high flying trapeze artists will lave you gasping for air though you'd be hard pressed to sit back as more than a few chairs Reach to the heavens. New meaning is given to trampolining like you've never seen before. Besides being in top physical condition with strength to rival Samson's it's hard not to be fully engaged throughout this spectacular.
Breathtakingly beautiful costumes that are as creative as it gets, humourous performers and a singer and band that perfectly fits the groove make Kurios a delight to witness first hand. Oh, and don't be surprised of a little old-fashioned good -natured audience participation if you are Bold and want to be part of a spectacular show,
For information or tickets to his standout show which runs to Dec. 31 , 2017 go to www.cirquedusoleil.com.
Leatherface (PG) * * * *
Late October is the season for ghosts, Ghouls and Goblins. And the odd flesh eating family. Horror comes of age as Halloween approaches and the witching season. comes and goes with the return of those Texas Chainsaw Massacre maniacs. Come see the origins of this gruesome family in Leatherface. Available on home video on demand through Rogers, Shaw and Bell starting Oct .20 and onward if you want to see the carnage unfold on the big screen in living blood red colour then go to the Park Theatre on the very same day. Brought out by VVS Films this is must see viewing for those into dangerous horror.
Shocks and substance make Leatherface intriguing. Lone star Texas is the home of lots of rednecks and early on we see a group of dysfunctional men and women being abused at a state mental hospital. Run by an insane warden of sorts its only a matter of time before more mayhem ensues.
Family matters and innocence gets lost early as a few otherwise "normal" folks become indoctrinated with hate. Fear goes out the window as good becomes evil and the killing begins. Tasteless to some classic to others this out and out horror thriller has good pacing and believe it or not fine acting. No one can take this stuff seriously but this version telling of the origins of this murderous clan is well scripted and well portrayed by a group of actors simply running for this lives. Highly effective use of lighting , a dampening of that oh so often ramped up music and an all too familiar use of a certain heavy-duty outdoor tool help make Leatherface rather suitable for the blood and guts crowd. Full of violence and a few sexual moments Here's one movie that will be a guilty pleasure for some.
The Snowman (PG) * * *
Puzzles are a hallmark of good thrillers. Be on the lookout for a madman or madwoman or combo on the loose in The Snowman. Expect the tension to ramp up in this classy whodunnit from Universal Pictures now convincingly carving corpses up meticulously at Cineplex Theatres around B.C.
Snowy Norway is the ideal setting for this mystery. Based on the runaway international bestseller Michael Fassbender stars as a down on his luck detective whose unsolved past cases weight heavily on his conscience. When a new murder materializes trust the veteran sleuth to need all his innate abilities to solve the crime.
Aided and abetted by a new officer on the team with a hi tech approach to catching culprits the two wind up in a race against time as all of a sudden more bad things occur. Rebecca Ferguson nicely portrays the new team player whose own past comes into question as does Fassbender's character. Obvious baggage of the two become integral to the puzzle as a Series of suspects come to the fore. Like a game of CLUE all the pieces in this murky mystery don't quite fit leaving the authorities at a loss as to who exactly is responsible for the horrors gripping the land.
Top flight acting from the likes of Toby Jones, Val Kilmer and J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) only ups the ante in this suspense laden spectacular. Trust the cinematography to wonderfully caress the snowy seductive landscape of the Norwegian slopes and fiords as a murder spree spreads oh so cunningly.
Despite being only a tad slow at times and a teeny bit moody The Snowman only proves you should trust no one and perhaps take to living in warmer climes as the mix of murder and snow is most revealing.
Rebel in the Rye (PG) * * *
Sooner or later we all go to school. And love is gonna get ya - to coin a line from a classic 70s Rock tune. Love and school combine as Mongrel Media delivers the goods with Rebel in the Rye. Yes, countless films with school or literature themes have come at us over the years. Classics like To Sir with Love, The Blackboard Jungle and The Paper Chase come to mind. Now sit back and embrace the warmth of one of the literary world's all time classics destined for fame and fortune at The International Village Cinemas and select Cineplex Entertainment halls across B.C.
Never judge a book by it's cover. Generations the world over have met The character Holden Caulfield in J.D. Salinger's monumental The Catcher in the Rye. Finally we get to see how this literary masterpiece published in 1951 came about. Through the dark looking glass we go as we see one determined New Yorker's desire to become a writer.
Born Jewish to a strong minded dad but more genteel mom is one J.D.Salinger. Talk about being a confused messed up young man whose spirit of awkwardness is flawlessly enunciated by Nicholas Hoult. Given half the chance this inexperienced with the ladies gent wants to write. Able to harness that raw energy and plant the right seed to cultivate a yearning though confused mind is a college prof played with gusto, restraint and relish by the always pleasing Kevin Spacey.
That literary atmosphere combined with family strife and a stint in the war plus those countless rejections from both ladies and publishers help germinate a writer extraordinaire. Full of style and panache Rebel in the Rye is best-selling entertainment enhanced by the presence of such quality thespians as Hope Davis and Victor Garber. Looks like finally we are being gifted with a film that may get people reading as opposed to playing on their computers/smart phones.