Movie Reviews

By Robert Waldman

Movie Reviews By Robert Waldman




movie reviews


movie reviews


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Beauty and The Beast Beauty and The Beast (G) * * * * *

Timeless!


Get ready for the movie of the year. Let your imagination run wild as the house that Walt built continues to dazzle with Beauty and The Beast. Bold as can be check out a host of flawless performances in this family friendly Walt Disney Picture now inspiring all at Cineplex Theatres around B.C.

Taken from the hit animated classic of the early 90s this full on live action movie takes us back in time to a lovely French village . From the opening frames we see how a rich prince lives the life of Reily only to access. Given the opportunity to be nice to a stranger the rich elite selfish pig learns the hard way that mistakes can be made and before you know it he is turned into an ugly creature.

Left alone and living the life of a recluse years later a opportunity for redemption presents itself when by a stroke of luck a pretty villager mysteriously comes his way. Enter Belle, a charming lass who is wanted by all but is a bit of an outcast nonetheless among the fellow commoners. Ready to charm all onlookers is a now grown up Emma Watson.

Besides being a terrific love story where the soul of Beauty and The Beast lies is in its ingenious set pieces, music,costumes and one of a kind production numbers. Full of comedy it is marvellous to see a host of normal everyday inanimate objects come to life. Ingenuous dialogue and great jovial chemistry sees the fun in Beauty and the Beast never let up.

Put simply Beauty in the Beast will have you singing and smiling all the way home. Consider this motion picture experience to be perfect fare for the entire family.



Window Horses Window Horses (G) * * * *

Poetic Justice!


Canada is known far and wide for a lot of good things. Apart from our breathtaking natural beauty and welcoming attitude to others our citizens are known for b one tolerant and accepting of others. Among our most precious assets is the National Film Board of Canada. Often heard on Oscar night a string of strong films helps broaden our nation's appeal to a global audience. Count Window Horses to continue this tradition with its creative flair and an underlying degree of humanity. Feel the warmth of this crowd-pleaser at The International Village Theatre on March 10.

Timely in the extreme on the heels of the international refugee crisis comes this wonderful take that touches our souls on so many levels. Inspirational directing from writer Ann Marie Fleming shows the plight of a young Chinese girl living in North Vancouver with her grandparents. Deep down inside our Miss Ming dreams of Paris and becoming a poet. Against all odds she wins the right to appear at a poetry conference in Iran of all places. At first her grandparents are bemused and shocked but ultimately cave in to their charges desires.

Left with no parents for guidance the determined lass heads off to Shiraz, Iran's fifth largest city. Once inside this once thought of as a hostile region Window Horses opens our eyes to see how plain people,talking and interacting with one another can in fact bridge political gaps.

Elements of Iranian and Chinese history are gently interwoven into this special story of a little girl lost trying to find her identity. All in all the film works flawlessly with gentle humour and an open approach that plays no favourites, takes no sides and just comments on how people can like and approve of one another despite political leaders who may want to keep their electorate down.

Wonderful creative animation with vivid colours and a calming attitude makes Window Horses a delight for all ages to experience. It's whimsical, it's charming and having the voices of Ellen Page and Nancy Kwan makes the story all the more special.



The Artist's Garden The Artist's Garden (G) * * * *

In Full Bloom!


With spring just around the corner and summer ready to burst out what better time to do some gardening - or go to the movies. Again Cineplex Events takes the cake by combining art, the big screen and this time the great outdoors in their captivating presentation of the spellbinding documentary The Artist's Garden. Just like the self-explanatory title suggests this motion picture experience from Touchwood PR looks at how gardens and flowers became key subjects of American Painters.

Back-ended by a string of interviews by noted art experts and curators The Artist's Garden takes us on a whirlwind tour of notable American painters at the turn of the 20th Century. Riding high on the works of masters from France these men and women artists hailed most notably from the East Coast and ushered in the new movement called American Impressionism.

Told in simple English that everyone can understand this documentary shows the importance of progress and modernization and how the spread of industry helped attract artists and new benefactors who welcomed a new style. Flush with gorgeous photography of modern gardens our story shows how the tranquil landscapes became prime subject matter for an emerging class of American artists who drew inspiration from their European counterparts, most notably Claude Monet.

Whether you are an art connoisseur or not this easy to understand movie gives us a glimpse into both North American history and the role art and nature have been in defining our culture.

Showtimes:
The Park Theatre: Wednesday March 22 @ 7:30 pm
Silvercity Riverport Theatre: Wednesday March 22 @ 7:30 pm
Cineplex Cinemas Coquitlam: Wednesday March 22 @ 7:30 pm



I Am Not Your Negro I Am Not Your Negro (PG) * * *

Stormy Weather!


Hard to comprehend. But easy to understand is the smart new documentary I Am Not Your Negro. How suitable and timely this movie is especially during the era of Trump and waves of intolerance sweeping across Europe. Share this telling portrait of the Black Experience in America by way of Mongrel Media. Check Out this award winning film already nominated for an Oscar in the best documentary category which will likely play at VanCity Theatre and International Village Cinemas in Vancouver.

Funny how history has a way of repeating itself. There is nothing remotely funny about this expose of how Negros have fared over the years in The United States. New York born Raoul Peck was fortunate enough to secure the rights to film a book that had just 30 pages written in manuscript form by noted author James Baldwin.

Through the use of news footage dating back to the Civil Rights era with Black History in the slave era we see how Peck takes us on an unforgettable journey linking the lives of cultural icons Malcolm X, Medgar Evers and Martin Luther King Jr. That would be enough for one movie or expose in truth but Peck updates the Negro experience and ups kthe ante considerably by including recent events that have ( or should have) shocked the conscience of a nation ( and outer world) with recent incidents of racial profiling and innocent shootings of blacks by police giving rise to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Even Hollywood gets into the act with clips from classic John Wayne movies, King Kong and others showing the stereotyping of blacks by whites and the impact of this legacy of manipulation . Insightful in the extreme are vintage clips of Baldwin who almost predicts a Black presidency. Seeing footage of segregation and the struggle for black children to attend public schools and the venomous hate hurled their way will make some squirm and others think.

Narrated by Sam the man Samuel L. Jackson this Amazon Films release is a wonderful look back at history and history in the making,p. It's quite a sobering ordeal.



The Last Word The Last Word (PG) * * *

Stand Tall!


Deliver the goods. Top quality acting can come with age. Perfect casting sees versatile thespian Shirley MacLaine ( Irma La Douce) shine in The Last Word. Brought to Vancouver by Elevation Pictures this inspiring drama gets a nice screening at The International Village Cinemas.

Dare to dream. That's the bottom line as The Last Word explores the unusual relationship between two women. Madame MacLaine plays Harriet Lauler a rather cantankerous 81 years young woman who comes across a young upstart played with poise by bright and shiny Amanda Seyfried. Here the hook is that MacLaine wants a writer to help write her obituary and the likely candidate is reporter Anne Sherman played by Seyfried. How the two interact with the project at hand is the key to whether the Film succeeds or falters. Lucky for us a smart script and compassionate compelling performances turns the tide.

Hit or miss can be the way Hollywood deals with morbid subjects like dying. One such film that wonderfully portrayed final days was The Bucket List. Almost as appealing is e heartfelt nature and tender touch that is pleasantly presented here. Family planning with a difference offers some sleight humour to the pain caused with confronting your own mortality. Full of spunk that's said to be Shirley MacLaine in real life and on screen she perfectly captures the flavour of fun and determination and drive to savour the moment and enjoy life,

With a good soundtrack and some surprisingly effective and engaging back-up performers The Last Word helps send a positive message about death and how much better it is to live life to the fullest.



The Shack The Shack (G) * *

Judgment Day!


Give me some of that old time religion. You rally need to be sort of righteous to appreciate the meaning of The Shack. Let's just say to play it safe those who are of the religious mind set may find this EOne Film to their liking. Geared toward Church goers and those into or curious about religion may fine their prayers answered by checking out this certainly different kind if film likely at the International Village Cinemas .

Humour is absent but hope springs eternal as we follow the path of Mack Philipps. Now married with a loving wife and three small children Sam Worthington plays this rather confused character wearing his heart in his sleeve. Together the clan make a habit of going to search. But a tumultuous past and a degree of uncertainty cloud Mack's mind ultimately causing him to question his life and life itself.

More troubles come this already confused man's way when a simple camping trip turns into anything but. Caught off guard and left to bear a horrendous loss our uprooted man somehow may have met his maker when he is miraculously transported to some dine of Shangri-La.

Destiny sees our Earthling meet some out of this world figures. Led by the humble Papa The Shack becomes surreal with all sorts of iconic images coming your way. Busy as ever Octavia Spencer offers a certain charm and warmth as Papa who message here is unmistakable. To find your way you must face your demons and our lost traveller must wrestle with some pretty big issues.

Unless your the spiritual type or enjoy all things religious with an imaginative shadow of God casting some sort of spell on you this rather nebulous offering may be too surreal,to move you or affect you in any sort of way. Big issues are definitely served up warmly in this drama that is colourful, at times shocking, and clearly different that most standard Hollywood fare. One good thing that the film does offer is truly inspiring and majestic scenery. Shot in British Columbia whether you like or believe or care about God you will fall in love with our gorgeous forests, mountains and waterways - which are right in our own back doors.



Bitter Harvest Bitter Harvest (PG) * * *

Heavy Handed


History is full of incidences of cruelty. Long ago Joseph Stalin ruled Russian With an iron fist.Relive some troubling times in Eastern Europe through Bitter Harvest. Lessons to bel earned here see equally applicable in today's modern world. Fans of history and quality drama period pieces should openly embrace this effective D Films release now playing at the International Village Theatre.

Dark in tone but hopeful in desires our story is set In a simple village in the Ukraine. Young love is in bloom with a rather charismatic lad with a political pedigree fawning senselessly and endlessly over a childhood sweetheart. How many times have we seen this romantic dilemma splashed on the silver screen. Under the forever hopeful,stares of Max Irons and Lucy Brown you buy into the actions and mindset of star-crossed lovers Yuri and Olena. Think of the pair of a more modern Romeo and Juliet.

Besides being a bit romantically aloof in showing their desires for each other at the start their special connection and commitment comes of age and intensifies as the invading Russian troops lay siege to the land and it's all important grain producing abilities. Under direct orders from ruthless Russian ruler Stalin this region becomes embroiled in a bitter conflict which spells dire consequences for not only Yuri and Olena but also also all the residents of what was a once upon a time tranquil region.

With great atmosphere, interesting characters on both sides of the conflict, topical costumes and realistic battle scenes show sing a rebellion in the making all coalesce to turn Bitter Harvest into a worthy look at a very bad time in the early 30s that one should never forget.



The Sense of an Ending The Sense of an Ending (PG) * *

Mismatched!


Don't you just love British Cinema. Known far and wide as historically being some of the finest actors the world has ever known that stately British Isle flavour is in full evidence in The Sense of an Ending. Presented by Elevation Pictures this high time drama is now holding court at The International Village Cinemas.

Certain directors love to take liberties it's time travel to tell a story. Depending on the material presented this technique can work or be wrought with problems. Said to be taken from a best selling novel The Sense of An Ending can't help escape that tawdry school boy British bastion so popular in the 50s and 60s. Two aging acting superstars play elder versions of a younger pair on the loose and on the make in London.

Now an older Jim Broad net bids his time while working at a simple camera shop while a mystery letter comes his way sent by a rather reclusive Charlotte Rampling (Zardoz). Never mind that the two now lead totally different lives. Something in the past is haunting and beings them together.

Decades earlier our prime couple were involved directly or indirectly in a romantic tryst. Those school boy days house a very dark secret long forgotten but now exposed in he fullness of light turning a series of lives completely upside down. Slow and downright podding this sordid tale is high in drama and tension. Understated performances do well capture the hearts of young love but due to be seeds of time the spark has long expired. What we're left with is a race mundane tale of revenge and missed opportunities making this film not too eventful or that engaging. Indifference more likely is wha you come away with in this sombre drama that shows that secrets should remain private forever.



Weirdos Weirdos (PG) * *

Awakening!


Long has there been a battle of hearts over what constitutes a Canadian film.People in the industry have long tried to craft meaningful experiences and to their credit some have been successful. Other successful jurisdictions like New Zealand, Australia and Britain with abundant help from the British Lottery Foundation have managed to inspire the world with local favoured stores. Now Canada tries to step up with Weirdos. Perhaps this title is rather fitting as the Taro Pr flick hits certain screens in Vancouver like Pacific Cinematheque

Lots of local talent and a penchant to call Canadian places by their real names starts things off in the right direction set in a long by gone era Weirdos looks at two young people trying to ignite their passions with another. My version of the film was black and white so this technique blends well with the plot that involves a coming of age story.

Sweet romances can work and include a few hippyesque parents and a real throwback to small town living and some people may like this film. Better suited to an arts crowd this small release is long on characterization and short on action. People looking for Hollywood action fare won't find it here. Instead you get to see some good youthful acting and a nice turn by local favourite Molly Parker who is quite enticing here in a supporting role.



Before I Fall Before I Fall (PG) * * * *

Sacrifice!


Now and again a teen movie clicks in. Thought to appeal to the Twilight crowd my view of Before I Fall is impressive. Look for this Elevation Pictures to have a broad lift and find a large range of appreciative followers at the international Village Cinemas and certain other Cineplex Theatres around B.C.

Shot in what looks like the majestic forest regions of the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia in particular director Ry Russo-Young turns some teenage girls loose at of all times their senior high school year. Girls will be girls and problems confronting modern teens rise to the surface as the typical cattiness and competitiveness is in full evidence here. And the day we are mainly focussed on here is Cupid's Day with all sorts of male/female ramifications.

Good friends can stay together or grow apart. Before I Fall looks at the dynamic between two life-long friends. Set to come out big time with the boys is rather shy and reserved Samantha Kingston whose best friend Lindsay is the oh so perfect blonde whose bitchy attitude speaks volumes on how to get along (or not get along) with others.

Perfect casting sees Zoey Deutch and Halston Sage tangle together with odd girl out Juliet Sykes being quite the motivational force as depicted bewitchingly by Elena Kampouris. Not a beat is missed as the filmmakers slyly sprinkle the plot with family matters, peer pressure, bullying and young romance.

Real good acting and a plot that resembles a cross between Mean Girls, Carrie and Groundhog Day make Before I Fall a zestful original romance with drama queens, Powerful acting, haunting surprises and an attempt at redemption that works flawlessly.



Logan Logan (PG) * * *

Clawed Wonder!


Say it isn't so. Sad times indeed may await X-Man Fans with the return of famed warrior Wolverine in Logan. Good writing and characters you care about again rule the day in this dynamic fantasy from 20th Century Fox causing controlled chaos at Scotiabank, the Fifth Avenue Cinemas and other Cineplex screens around B.C.

Dark in tone but full of hope Hugh Jackman returns to his most famous role as a mutant see I fly lost n space. Down and out we see an almost forgotten man somewhat on the run. Trying to protect mentor Professor Xavier our well intentioned freak comes upon a mystery girl who causes him even more angst and pain as if he already didn't have a full enough plate of troubles. Bed-ridden at times but still full of spunk is the wheel-chair bound Patrick Stewart whose almost fatherly advice comes in most handy as the trio are on the run from what appears to be a small army out to rid the world of mutants - or worse.

Look for big things to come out of the dynamic performance of young Daphne Keen who sizzles as Laura, a misunderstood child if there ever was one. She is spectacular. Tension abounds in this movie that follows a cross America trek . Add on gorgeous cinematography of lush Pacific Northwest forests and mountains and There is a genuine human feel to Logan as the impact of family is front and centre here.

Full of action and impressive stunts Logan will please fans of the X-Men series.



Get Out Get Out (PG) * * * *

Home Alone!


Film titles with just two words have become fashionable. Mind you it helps if they're good. Last year Don't Breathe took the world by storm. This year right now Universal Films expects to hit pay dirt with Get Out. Indeed they have hit the high mark with this bonafide thriller set to scare the pants off of you. Head down to your local Cineplex escape auditorium throughout B.C. To get your freak on.

Call it a cross between The Stepford Wives and Guess Whose Coming to Dinner. Those genres combine to make Get Out one of the best horror films in decades. Smart and sinister this shocker also taps into the hidden angst of those involved in mixed relationships. Now more popular than ever there still are elements in society that frown when a coloured man takes up with a white woman, for example. Or vice versa.

On the surface Chris Washington and Rose Armitage seem like your regular nice easy-going couple. Never mind the simple fact that they both have different racial backgrounds. Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams are terrific as the couple who decide to head out to meet the parents for a nice social outing. Needless to say once the Caucasian Armitage family meet Chris something seems amiss.

Something is a bit off with Rose's parents and even their guests seem like caricatures of a generation long gone. Poor Chris finds out the hard way he is a pawn in Some dangerous goings-on with dire consequences. Totally original and with tension galore Get Out is fresh, fun and spooky with a chill that won' t leave you. Complete with a dazzling score and superb music throughout this movie is offbeat and scary with enough surprises sprinkled along the way to keep you guessing - and sweating.



A United Kingdom A United Kingdom (PG) * * * *

An Unholy Alliance!


Mix race, politics and business and there's no telling what you will come up with. Warm up to the chills experienced by a couple caught completely off guard in A United Kingdom. Green lit by Fox Searchlight Pictures explore the growing pains of two people in a bit of a funk with the fate of a nation or would-be nation left hanging in the balance. Cheer on some standout performances at The Fifth Avenue Cinemas.

So far one of the best films of the new year this eventful tale is based on true events. Long has it been taboo in some quarters for whites to marry non-whites and vice versa. Imagine the ramifications when a commoner meets a royal back in the early 1940s and they hit it off. Perhaps this Cinderella fable come to life could even outshine some storied Royal romances as in then Princess Di and Prince Charles only moreso since the lass in question here is but a mere commoner while the future groom has Royal bloodlines.

Black and beautiful and busy at school is handsome Seretse Khama. Born to lead this king in waiting gets an eye-opening performance from David Oyelowo. Against all odds he meets local British typist Ruth Williams and the two hit it off - much to the dismay of both families. Classy and giddy and running with this role as the strong-minded poor local lass gal is Rosamund Pike (Die Another Day).

Love conquers all but the hoops these two have to go through even to see each other after being wed - let alone try to run a country/kingdom is unimaginable. And unbearable to on-lookers as well as themselves. Together they return to Botswana in Africa and must endure further humiliation at seemingly every turn. Just how the pair survive let alone prosper in a world where the British political hierarchy rally against their every move makes A United Kingdom seem anything but tranquil,and serene,

Will the stars align or will this relationship come tumbling down is brilliantly engineered by Amma Assante (Belle). With a wonderful cast including Jack Davenport (Pirates of the Caribbean) whose smug civil servant approach to good (?) governance seems more fitting as a charter member inductee to any hall of shame simply caps off a brilliantly constructed 1 hour and 51 minute drama/romance that will leave you breathless - and hopeful. Ah, the power of love.



A Cure for Wellness A Cure for Wellness (PG) * * * *

Healing Hell!


Switzerland is known for a host of things. Besides secret banks, smooth chocolates and snow-capped mountains that Curious nation is also blessed with spas. A mountain retreat holds all sorts of mysteries as evidenced in A Cure for Wellness. 20th Century Fox may have well called this thriller A Cure for Madness as this stylish chiller will keep you guessing till the very end. Keep an eye on on your pulse as hearts will surely beat faster at Cineplex Cinemas throughout B.C.

Business takes no prisoners . When a corporate big wig takes a much needed vacation (?) at a posh retreat in scenic Switzerland and is needed back home his Wall Street colleagues send a staff member to arrange the return trip.

Hot shot exec Lockhart is a man on the move. Playing a very compelling character well is Dane DeHaan whose job of extraction undergoes lots of upheavals at this famed retreat. Never argue with people of authority especially those in the medical profession. Consider it a battle of wills as Lockhart tangles with the facility's medical director, Dr. Volmer. Just the right German accent is voiced by Jason Isaacs whose creepiness oozes forward as a smug physician whose methods of helping patients may be a touch off colour. Let's just say his bedside manner may be a bit wanting.

Noted director Gore Verbinsky delivers an intense, unusual and entirely captivating movie. Here atmosphere means everything as this idyllic setting turns into an absolute nightmare for both patients and audiences alike. With a knock out ending that no one will spot, a rather fresh and original story and a growing suspense that gnaws away at you help make A Cure for Wellness just what the doctor ordered if you like medical mayhem and mad scientists. Even though it may be 10 minutes too long this nearly 2 1/2 hour movie is definitely worth a visit.



I, Claude Monet I, Claude Monet (G) * * * *

Inspirational!


Words like inspiring fail to do justice to classic artists. Renowned painter Claude Monet gets the Royal treatment as part of the Exhibition On Screen series at select Cineplex Cinemas courtesy of Touchwood PR. Be sure to check out this one of a kind film treatment which is only here for two special screenings on Feb. 22 and Feb. 26.

By all accounts Monet was a giant among artists and should be ranked right up there with the grandmasters. Dreamy are the visuals in this feast for the senses. Narrated in the first person by an expressive British actor this film traces the life of the art legend. Humble roots and an introduction to art by way of doing caricatures for something like 10 francs saw Monet, with a little help from his friends, hone his craft to become a giant in the arts world over time. Life long learning was one of his tenets,

Seduced by nature and the great outdoors Monet made a name for himself by capturing beauty on canvas in the form of landscapes, flowers and the enchanting sea. What the filmmakers have done here is cobbled together a meaningful intimate portrait of the man while including scores of his paintings. More impressive is how the creative men and women behind this effort appeal to all our senses, like Monet, by reeling us in with gorgeous shots of present day gardens, waterways and scenic cities before giving way to themes and subjects so dear to our noted French pioneer - and the transition works flawlessly.

Accompanied by entrancing classical music backgrounds I, Claude Monet leaves no stone unturned as we unravel the mysteries in a special one of a kind man's life. Personal tragedies and a resolve to forge ahead despite failing health flesh out an impressive life and a man whose vision and abilities have left a lasting legacy and enormous Impression.

Showtimes:

Wed. Feb. 22 7:30 PM and Sunday Feb. 26. 12:55 PM
The Park Theatre, Vancouver.
SilverCity Riverport Cinemas, Richmond
Cineplex Cinemas Coquitlam and VIP
Running Time: 130 minutes



Fist Fight Fist Fight (PG) * * *

Slugfest!


Who let the dogs out? Who let the jerks in? Just what the doctor ordered comes your way in the ridiculous,y inept yet miraculously entertaining Fist Fight. Leave your inhibitions behind as the nut jobs at Warner Brothers derive loads of laughter in this insanely funny movie now lighting sparks at countless Cineplex Cinema complexes around B.C. Leave your brain behind and savour the moment in this riotous romp perfect to cure our rainy February blues.

Even a message percolates in this decidedly politically incorrect farce. Action here begins and for one unlucky teacher effectively ends at Roosevelt High in Pittsburgh . No brotherly love is in evidence as a by the book teacher locks horns with a. Equally instance prof who delights in bullying all who come his way. Hapless Charlie Day takes being a nerd to new heights ( or should I say new lows) as a wormy English prof who accidentally (?) takes in a much larger meaner lecturer with a Raheem checkered and colourful past played in all his glory by ,an of all seasons (and less reasons) Ice Cube. Talk a match made in heaven.

Though this ultimate David versus Goliath showdown/smackdown is set for after class the school is also embroiled in an end of year last day bragging rights were rules are literally thrown out the window. Bring on some equally over the top teachers wi insane ideas about student/faculty relations. Family matters at home and a grudge match made in Heaven and you just know you're in for a riot if a time. Your assignment is to ditch the books and get ring side seats for Fist Fight



John Wick: Chapter 2 John Wick: Chapter 2 (PG) * *

Sweet Revenge!


Make it twice in a row. Or two times lucky. Leave our brain in check and prepare for more mindless mayhem in John Wick Chapter Two. Converts to the original get their prayers answered in this slick fast paced thriller from Summit and EOne Entertainment. Join this tale of adrenalin pumping action at Cineplex Cinemas throughout B.C.

Unlikely hero Keanu Reeves (Speed) returns to the fold as John Wick. Call him a hit man with a conscience. Strong and silent is his modus operandi. Now the man simply wants to go straight. Fat chance. Friends from his past come a calling. Needless to say the bodies start piling up In a hurry.

At the heart of this second instalment is a sort of family feud among some Mafiosos. Caught up The middle of the chaotic carnage is our Mr. Wick. Some grudges run deep and with scores to be settled it doesn't take long for things to get out of hand in A hurry.

Non-stop action with nary a second to relax means this man means business. Heaven help anyone who stands in his way. With a global manhunt out to finish Wick off one could say this man has more than nine lives as he chops and kicks and uses all sorts of everyday consumer products to make his point.

Ridiculous but highly entertaining if you like freaky action John Wick Chapter 2 is full on excitement. Besides the stupendous stunts and terrific choreography of the action sequences the movie also showcases some beautiful European landscapes. Bottom line on John Wick Chapter 2 is that if you liked the first you will be completely satisfied with this effective follow-up.



Below Her Mouth Below Her Mouth (14A) * *

Second Chance


My oh my how times have changed. Somehow Canadian taxpayers share some of the investment in Below Her Mouth. Definitely not for the kids this soft core porn drama masquerades as a love story. Those interested in getting it on can see some of the ladies in action. Probably shot on big city Toronto or parts of Ontario west coasters can catch some skin at select Cineplex,Theatres around B.C.

Marriages can be complex affairs. Throw same sexy relationships into any mix and more potential differences can occur. Our film looks at the goings on of Dallas, hot to trot female roofer with Swedish blonde good looks who's constantly on the make. Ready to bare it all is actress Erika Linder who clearly takes a shining to the role.

Good neighbourly love is on Dallas' mind when she by chance meets Jasmine. Cast as this first past the post naive lady is Natalie Krill. Hot and heavy they begin a torrid affair. Imagine what may happen if someone finds out.

One of the problems with Below Her Mouth is that you can spot the downside and impending chaos a mile away. Sure the sex between the two women is raw and exciting. Mat least it is for some. Getting graphic is one thing but showing the ladies go at it so often reduces the erotic effectiveness of the story.



Musical Special Musical Special

Ol' Blue Eyes Returns


Start spreading the news, Folks not fortunate enough to have seen Frank Sinatra perform live now get to see the next best thing. Countless performers have done their best to bring old blue eye back to life. Close your yes and prepare to be swept away by the luscious magical voice of Rick Michel and you'll swear you're listening to the leader of the pack - The Rat Pack that is. Be sure to relive those classic tunes of yesteryear by heading down to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver or the Royal And Port Theatres in Victoria and Nanaimo respectively to bring bring back all those classy memories in style ( and with an unending smile).

Clearly a Momma's boy it was Rick's mom who turned him on in to the famed singer that had all those Bobby soxed lassies swaying and dancing the time away. This young lad always wanted to be an entertainer and his (and our) prayers have sure been answered. All those sounds bring back so many memories of the good times associated with the velvety tones of The Chairman of the Board. What better tune than You Make Me Feel So Young to rank at the top of our top vocalist's wish list to belt out to admiring followers. Prepare to be transfixed with Rick's version of this timeless edition during his show which is a far cry from being merely an impersonation. No, it's much better than that. The show isn't work, it's the journey getting there. Just how Rick came up with this current show took not much time as he has the vision of the story he wants to tell and share with the audience - you and me,

Not content with simply singing the songs Rick wisely sets up each piece with a nice introduction all done in chronological order befitting Hoboken New Jersey's most famous Citizen. And that's not all that the pair have in common. Both are from the East Coast where Rick spent his youth growing up in the Big Apple New York before setting up shop in Sinatra's favourite home away from Home at that other famous city that never sleeps - Las Vegas. Come to think of it it was Sinatra who actually made Vegas. He did so bway back in the 50s as he invited his friends back to stay and perform there. And that closeness to Rat Pack members Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr is acknowledged in Rick's standout show.

which is really a salute to the greatest pop star of the 20th Century if not of all time. Good old Dean shares another interesting trait with Rick - both men fall asleep with the T.V. on. Musically speaking just one singer can compare to the main man - recent birthday baby Tony Bennett. Funny how two singers choose the same star to carry the torch of memorable music forward.

Being on The road can be tough. For relaxation this ultimate Sinatra follower sculpts while his mentor from afar if my memory serves me correctly liked to paint. Each man also did/does his best to ward off various much too admiring fans as well as groupies. Music has a way of appealing to folks in all sorts of ways and according to Rick one of the keys to Sinatra's success, apart from that strikingly alluring almost altruistic voice were the lyrics and words that uncannily appealed to the masses. From those youthful days people could (and did) understand the words to those classic tunes and they all had meaning. It is romantic music that people can relate to. Talk about a wide departure from the largely meaningless tripe of songs popular among youth today. Chances are most modern pop hits will be meaningless memories in only a few years while giants like Sinatra, Elvis and The Beatles will love on forever. Talk about being in good company,. And one could say Old Blue Eyes led the way. Accordingly to Mr. Michel the purpose to Sinatra's singing is best described in Without A Song which fittingly turns out to be one of this performer's favourites. How right this self taught hard-working entertainer extraordinaire is who sure has made all his family and friends proud.

From a long list of tunes it's fun to know that That's Life gets the biggest round of applause some time before a hush hush secret encore for your ears only magically materializes.. Years of practice and fine tuning each show for two hours clearly has paid off for everyone connected with this first time visitor to B.C.'s show along with what will be an adoring audience. Admirers of Neil Diamond and Dean Martin, like Rick, will also have their presences felt during this touring production. Be part of the golden memories courtesy of this master corner whose singing, impressions and comedy has caught on. Over a 30 year career of the notable guests to have caught previous shows include the man himself. - Frank Sinatra - former President Gerald Ford, Steve Allen and Tony Curtis. Now you too can join the club of satisfied guests. Why even some of show businesses' all time greats have noted Rick's warmth and obvious talents. Being able to work on stage with the likes of the legendary Mickey Rooney Canadian man of a 1000 voices Rich Little, Mr. Jefferson himself Sherman Hemsley and funny man John Byner have obviously been meaningful to Mr. Michel's burgeoning career,

One of the classic hallmarks of a great entertainer and generous person in any walk of life is the willingness to give advice. So Rick tells all those interested in becoming an entertainer to videotape themselves and go back to school on the bad notes. And most importantly connect with your audience right away. Sound simple reasoning from a class act through and through.

Showtimes and tickets:

April 3, 2017. 7:30 pm in Nanaimo at the Port Theatre.
Phone: (205) 754-8550
porttheatre.com
April 4, 2017. 7:30 pm in Victoria at the Royal Theatre.
Phone: (205) 386-6121
www.rmts.bc.ca
April 5, 2017. 7:30 pm in Vancouver at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Ticketmaster.ca



The Comedian The Comedian (PG) * * *

Yuk Yuk!


Acid laughs and a bittersweet taste flow freely in The Comedian. Given a top cast emotions are laid bare in this rather sentimental drama from Mongrel Media now in view at The International Village Cinemas.

Being good at comedy is no easy feat. Lots of funny men and women hail from New York with the oldie but still goodie Jackie being in a class of his own. Proven Democrat and liberal leaning Robert De Niro comes in strong in a cantankerous sorry of way as Jackie. Washed-up and largely out of luck this belligerent oldie has a habit of running foul all he time and rubbing people the wrong way.

Bad manners and crude humour run deep with this old fogey forum deep. So against all odds when he meets a younger woman some joy may have crept back into his life. Romance can be fleeting and Leslie Mann is terrific as an equally lost at sea daddy's girl with personal issues of her own. Leave it up to Harvey Keitel to chew up e scenery as a man caught off guard and in The middle

Family problems, slick comedy and generally well-acted moments all contribute to help make The Comedian interesting if not heart-warming despite what some may say is a mild descent into poking fun at the elderly. Complete with salty language The Comedian can make one laugh and sigh and cry at the same time - a worthy if not lofty ambition.



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