Movie Reviews

By Robert Waldman

Movie Reviews By Robert Waldman




movie reviews


movie reviews


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Murder on the Orient Express Murder on the Orient Express (PG) * * *

Soul Train!


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 Thor: Ragnarok (PG) * * * *

Target Fun!


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 The Killing of a Sacred Deer (PG) * * * *

Crisis Point!


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 Cirque du Soleil's Kurios (G) * * * *

Imaginative Classic!


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 Leatherface (PG) * * * *

Last Supper!


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 The Snowman (PG) * * *

Winter Wonderland!


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 Rebel in the Rye (PG) * * *

Catch 22!


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.



The Mountain Between Us The Mountain Between Us (PG) * * *

Survive!


Trouble engulfs a pair of road weary travellers in The Mountain Between Us. People learn a lot when on trips. Many cringe at the whole airport experience. Settle in for lots of food for thought in this high altitude drama from 20Th Century Fox now ensnaring viewers at countless Cineplex arenas the ought B.C.

Front and centre is Canada's westernmost province in what turns out to be quite a tale of survival. Stranded by fate in the wicked wintry wilderness two well meaning adults must brave the elements and confront each other n his chilling tale of love amongst the ruins.

Bouyed by brilliant performances by Academy Award winning charmer Kate Winslet (Titanic) and sought after James Bond in the waiting Idris ilba The Mountain Between Us takes us on a first rate journey of the dangers that befall a Pair of innocents when Mother Nature decides to deal them a bad hand. As love stories to this tragedy in the making rings true as two lost at sea stranded souls do wha they can to live another day.

That feeling of emotion couple with desperation and fear sure rings true as you have two people really up against unbelievable odds that day by day seem to grow dimmer. Through sheer determination The big question is whether these two can somehow get by with little in the way of ratio s and help seeming a distant memory,

Scintillating cinematography of a bone chilling December just adds to both the atmosphere and realism of a struggle to survive. Snuggle up to a loved one to feel the blessing of having someone who cares by your side.



Mother! Mother! (PG) * * * *

Mommy Dearest!


Prepare to be freaked out. Paramount Pictures gets a big jump on Halloween with the stylish Mother! Get set to jump out of your seats if you have time to catch your breath at Cineplex Cinemas around B.C.

The witching hour has come early. Nothing comes easy for a new couple relocated to an old fix me up house somewhere in the American countryside. Tranquil and serene is the new address adopted by the new residents simply known as Mother and Him. Young Jennifer Lawrence gets jumpy as the adoring wife while James Bond baddie Javier Bardem exudes a foreboding presence as a frustrated poet.

While our wife busies herself preparing the house elements of a haunting nature start to take over. Worse things happen when a pair of unlikely strangers happen upon the secluded spot and not before long invite themselves to stay. Unless you're a true believer you really have to buy into this visit and take it all in With a big grain of salt . Suspend your belief for a bit and undertake a big leap of faith as guests Woman and Man slowly but surely manage to get under the homeowners skin.

Able to take the plunge into the dark side with nary a sweat are former scream queen Michelle Pfeiffer and once upon a time astronaut Ed Harris. These two ramp up the tension, unease and downright evil as this newly renovated home becomes a stalking ground for all things evil.

Fans of director Darren Aronofsky know he has a take no prisoners attitude and here pushes the limits further with a stylish horror whose atmosphere is chilling to the bone. Blood curling fun (?) develops as Mother! Takes all sorts of sordid turns. All the casting is great only Jennifer Lawrence seems somewhat miscast as her presence is just too genteel and needs more force to confront the rage revolving around this family retreat.



American Assassin American Assassin (PG)

Thrill Kill!


Open your eyes Canada. Bad people are everywhere. Cast a wide net and there's no telling what will pop up. In The days of the Internet the World Wide Web is proving to be a goldmine for terrorist recruitment. See what happens when a renegade American seeks sweet revenge in American Assassin. Settle in for this actioner from EOne Entertainment now blowing away all comers at Cineplex Theatres still left standing across beautiful British Columbia.

Young love cut short is all the motivation a raw recruit needs to sign up for more dangerous quasi military heroics out in the field. Wet around the ears Mitch is not one who puts authority on a pedestal. Rough around the edges Dylan O'Brien shines as Mitch Rapp. Watch the race within all but consume Rapp who almost immediately rubs his new covert training boss the wrong way.

Solid as always Michael Keaton embodies just the right degree of toughness and tact as veteran commander Stan Hulrley, the not so tranquil taskmaster assigned to develop a lethal killing arsenal. Together this pair become involved in a nefarious plot to wreck havoc on much of the world.

Sure the story of a nuclear threat has been done before and some of the action and heroics are hard to fathom. Still the pacing is relentless and the characters developed are believable. Now and then. You just need a get out and kick some butt kind of movie. Here director Michael Cuesta delivers the goods.



Tulip Fever Tulip Fever (PG) * * *

Flower Power!


Engage your senses fully (not silly) with a visit to the International Village Cinemas or possibly The Fifth Ave he Cinemas to take in Tulip Fever. In a welcome departure from summer fluff this engaging drama from EOne Entertainment and The Weinstein Company features solid acting and an offbeat yet rewarding story.

Most people like flowers. Tulip Fever takes us back in time to the mid seventeenth century to scenic Amsterdam. Affairs of the heart take many forms. When a wealthy merchant in The flower trade takes on a new young wife in hopes of having a child let's just say there's a chilly reception,

James Bond SPECTRE bad guy Christophe Waltz ( Inglorious Basterds) plays a member of the pompous elite with relish. No one does it better. Out to make a better life for herself is the much younger Alicia Vikander who hatches a diabolical scheme to branch out and sow her own seeds. Wild oats come in many forms and this wealthy household holds many secrets as indiscretions go unchallenged. Or do they? Stay tuned,

Fellow 007 alumni Dame Judi Dench gives religion a good name in this zestful tale that looks at young and not so young love. On view is a terrific moody atmosphere of mid 1600s Europe and a rather realistic take on the action packed floral trade.

Though a touch long if you enjoy art, love stories, and the lengths people will go to. Be with the one they love then Tulip Fever will be right up your alley.



Bruce Lee: Birth of The Dragon Bruce Lee: Birth of The Dragon (PG) * * * *

Hai Karate!


Legends are few and far between. Icons in Hollywood are also a rarity. Perhaps a list might include The Duke (aka John Wayne), Clint Eastwood (as Dirty Harry and The Man With No Name), Sylvester Stallone as Rocky and Rambo ( the two rs) and perhaps a more recent Harrison Ford as famed archaeologist Indiana Jones. Oh, and let's not forget the legend of all Legends - Sean Connery, the real James Bond Agent 007. Only one man could ever have equaled ( or perhaps surpassed) the global phenomena that would become Mr. Kiss Bang Bang licensed to kill trademark - the incomparable Bruce Lee. Audiences get to relive those heady times when the Asian wonder was just gaining popularity. See the growth of an international hero with Bruce Lee: Birth of the Dragon. Yes there have been other movies about the famed superstar before. Lucky for us this Touchwood PR release is fun and entertaining from start to finish. Catch all the excitement at the Scotiabank Theatre. Metropolis. Silver City Riverport and Coquitlam Cinemas

Unlike your standard Kung fu movie this tale has a unique story. Set In San Francisco in 1964 our story is a tale of two wise men. On the one hand we have the up and coming street smart Bruce Lee out to make a name for himself. Contrast this "personality" with much more reserved fellow martial arts practitioner Wolf Jack Man who prefers using his mind and psychology plus sound reasoning over brute force. Out to show their stuff and strut their stuff are Philip Ng and Yu Xia.

Though made a year ago the casting of this film works flawlessly. Elements of forced labour and a penchant for gambling among Asians add a sense of mystery and pride to the proceedings. Seriousness aside, most folks go to see a martial arts movie for the stunts. Lucky for them the fighting and action sequences work well here. And Ng captures beautifully the cockiness and raw talent of a man destined to become a true superstar of the highest order.



Lucky Logan Lucky Logan (PG) * * *

Southern Charm!


Folksy fun and good old fashioned charm highlight Lucky Logan. Fresh and fun is this invigorating and inspiring flick from Entertainment One now strutting its stiff at Cineplex Cinemas around B.C including Scotiabank.

Unexpected going against type performance pahighlight this hip Steven Soderbergh saga. Heartthrob Channing Tatum dumbs down as a down on his luck good old southern boy trying to cope with some family and job re-adjustments not exactly to his liking or of his choosing. To make cash troubles go away the lad signs up some friends and a con or two for an ambitious and nefarious plan to rob and make (really take) some money,

Aided and abetted by blonde soon to be reborn Bond Daniel Craig the gang meticulously plan a heist. Like clockwork things go bad as the pressure builds.. First class direction by Soderbergh ensures never a dull moment in this classy caper. Different? For sure. Engaging? Fully.

Take a break and take in This cousin to Ocean's Eleven. Just substitute NASCAR for Vegas and you've got it made in the shade.



The Hitman's Bodyguard The Hitman's Bodyguard (PG) * * *

Smack Down!


Vancouver's main man is front and centre in The Hitman's Bodyguard. Consider this action lark to be pure summertime fun courtesy of VVS Films. Tap into the excitement at Cineplex cinemas around B.C. Such as Scotiabank.

Over the top in the extreme British Columbia's favourite son Ryan Reynolds stars as a crackerjack bodyguard. Call Michael Bryce the elite of the elite . No one can be at the top of their game forever - especially in this line of work. Relief may be in sight as a new assignment may improve the man's ho hum life . Or turn it into chaos.

Hired to protect hit man Darius Kincaid this pair turn out to be the ultimate odd couple. Scene stealer and love guru Samuel L. Jackson is at his his humorous best as the sharp shooting acid tongued wit whose poetic music and romantic advice would even get Dr. Ruth to do a double take.

Success for a buddy type film like this almost solely rests on the chemistry of the lead actors. Lucky for us Reynolds and Jackson are wonderful together. Chemistry and laughs are omnipresent here as this chase story starting in Britain runs its course. Classy intrigue and a jaunt to Amsterdam buoyed by another flamboyant performance by acting ace Gary Oldman make the carnage unfolding all around fun to witness from afar.



Wind River Wind River (PG) * * * *

Chill Out!


Some groups in society get raw deals. British Columbians especially know the plight of missing Aboriginal women. Clearly this blight on society has gone under the radar. Now with the VVS Films release of Wind River perhaps this issue may come time fore. Inspired by true events this drama is both gripping and thrilling. Best of all it features top notch performances. Check it all out at the Fifth Avenue Cinemas.

Crisp dialogue and an honest atmosphere are revealed by director Tom Sheridan. Pricing that the Oscar nominated Hell or High Water was no fluke the determined director turns his sights to a remote Indian reserve. Bad things can happen to good people. Snowy Wyoming is the setting for this murky thriller. Now used to the snow Jeremy Renner gets top billing as Local trafficker for the wildlife department who by chance encounters a dreadful crime.

Bad news travels fast and when the local authorities headed by veteran acting ace Graham Greene admit they are in over their depths a friendly FBI agent is sent to help out. Out of her element Elizabeth Olsen plays the travel weary federal investigator who learns the hard way that life out in the wilderness is not all it's cracked up to be..

How this particular crime unfolds and the efforts to get at the truth are mind blowing. No punches are pulled and there's no telling the good guys from the bad as the stakes,are,raised sky high in this fight for vengeance and redemption.

Here's one suspense laden thriller that is original, crippling and will keep you guessing and min the edge if your seats throughout.



Annabelle: Creation Annabelle: Creation (PG) * * * *

Freak Out!


Dream big. Chills should go down your spine if you are brave enough to check into Annabelle: Creation. Horror films recently have been dull. Not so here. Warner Brothers pulls out all the stops in this bonafide chiller. On view at Cineplex theatres around B.C. Annabelle: Creation is making inroads.

Here we go again. A rather religious family in a small rural town faces a loss of a child. Clues abound as to what happens over the next 12 years. Suffice it to say that bad things begin to pile up when a small group of orphaned girls find their way to the still grieving parents' home

Able to glamour down and say lots of Hail Mary's James Bond recent squeeze Stephanie Sigman shows her acting chops as the leader of the girls. Where this movie succeeds is the characters all have their own personalities as do a few odd dolls. Thanks to a very creepy atmosphere and sly direction that doesn't use music to give away upcoming jolts Annabelle: Creation is that rare little gem that has suspense in abundance.



Atomic Blonde Atomic Blonde (PG) * * *

Shady Lady!


Word on the street is that the next James Bond movie will come out in 2019. Just last year the original Jason Bourne returned to active duty. In Between these cultural pop icons see a woman take on the baddies in Atomic Blonde Fresh fun from Universal Pictures is hitting its stride at scores of Cineplex Theatres around B.C.

Lots of intrigue reached a natural crescendo during the Cold War. East versus west was the order of the day way back when. Amidst this turmoil our story begins. Set in the days of the dwindling Berlin Wall comes a foxy lady from Great Britain on a mission.

Fit and svelte Charlize Theron packs quite a punch as a feisty MI6 operative sent to both Berlins when news of a colleague's demise reaches home. Under the watchful eye of handler James McAvoy the able lady runs into a wall of foes and non stop danger. Told in a smart flash forward style Atomic Blonde simply proves that anything a man can do a woman can do better.

Superb stunts brilliantly choreographed with Charlize Theron giving an ultra macho performance that even Sean Connery would be proud of - just minus that old classic 007 style from the swinging 60s. Given This woman's charm and a never give up attitude make Atomic Blonde simply irresistible.



Despicable Me 3 Despicable Me 3 (G) * * * *

Rough Ride!


Call it third time lucky. Third time is the charm for Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment as they deliver Us pure joy with Despicable Me 3. Bound to appeal to kids and adults alike this wild and crazy animated lark is ours in fun. Catch a good time with this movie at Cineplex Theatres around BC.

Where you've seen any of the previous two Despicable Me movies makes no difference here. Back in the saddle for more merry mayhem is the delicious evil power comrade in arms Gru. Voiced again by Steve Carrell our man Gru has somehow turned the other cheek and working for - who else - the government. Along with his agile crime fighting wife this dynamic duo do what they can to rid the world of nasties while busy at home trying to raise three young daughters

Whole Gru has apparently turned the other cheek a new menace is wrecking havoc in the world. Done up in campy style is the slick and dance happy Balthazar Bratt. Now it!s showtime and the ultimate battle if good versus evil in This rock em sock em funny bone feast,

Vivid colours and bright dialogue pepper the screen with laughs galore. Real creativity and superior stunts that are as playful and imaginary as can be make this film a total treat.



Baby Driver Baby Driver (PG) * * * *

Hot Pursuit!


Original films in Hollywood are few and far between. Good writing and appealing characters can and do go a long way to make movies memorable. Someone at Sony Pictures clearly made the right choice by giving the green light to make Baby Driver. Decidedly different this dazzling display of acting, romancing, racing and murder is now driving its point home at Cineplex Theatres across British Columbia.

Good films right from the get go grab your attention. Director/writer Edgar Wright is right in establishing a fully likeable character living in a not so likeable world. Known to friends and all who care as Baby we have as our main hero a baby-faced "kid" who makes his living driving cars. Star in the making Ansel Elgort simply sizzles as the go to guy when the mob needs a wheel man. Please forget about the hot wheels approach made famous by Vin and comic that not so fast Fast and Furious fame, This kid will simply have them spinning their wheels and leave me in the dust.

Every criminal in the making needs a boss. Who better than nice guy Kevin Spacey to show the lad the ropes when it comes to making crime pay. So Baby joins a crew of malcontents and the quartet manage to wreck havoc on Atlanta. But tensions ultimately arise amongst the team which includes the likes of Jamie Foxx and John Hamm hamming it up considerably to make their points while increasing the size of their bank accounts.

Illicit gains from criminal activities ultimately take their toll on many of those concerned. When Baby meets a young woman played by Lily James it sets his already mixed up mind into overdrive. Being responsible for clean getaways and a new blossoming romance further heightens the tension in this truly original drama that works on all levels.

Over the top? Yes. But with one of the best soundtracks ever put to film and a truly dazzling display from Ansel Elgort whose charisma is contagious Baby Driver ascends to the level of instant classic. And consider Edgar Wright to be a master of the crime czar in a fresh face way. Reminiscent of Tarantino and Bonnie and Clyde all rolled into one Baby Driver is definitely worth a test drive. But better buckle up. You're in for one hell of a ride,



Beatriz at Dinner Beatriz at Dinner (PG) * * * *

Festive Treat!


Dinner is an important meals the day. Family sit downs and breaking bread with friends is a time honoured tradition. Few could predict the aftermath of a "friendly" after hours meal in Beatriz at Dinner. Be sure to make an early reservation to see this cinematic treat from Elevation Pictures now serving up quality entertainment at Vancouver's Fifth Avenue Cinemas.

Some important issues are touched on in Beatriz at Dinner. Cast as Beatriz in a very impressive dramatic role is Salma Hayek. Respected for her healing abilities this immigrant worker has made quite the impact at a California wellness centre . Among her clients are an upscale couple who now consider her part of the family.

During a normal session at the upscale couple's home one thing leads to another and as a friend of the family she is invited to stay for dinner. Somewhat out of place the other guests mix and mingle and before you know it this misfit becomes a rather eventful interloper with all sorts of unexpected surprises on the menu.

Wild and wooly Beatriz at Dinner comes off as a totally unpredictable and truly eventful evening out. Scene stealer John Lithgow is at his best in a part that could well make Donald Trump proud. Consider this film to be an excellent example of the haves and have nots doing battle with a green agenda thrown in to make things even more interesting. Something totally different and highly engaging is this smartly written creative cultural gem.



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