2018 PG-13 DRAMA 1h 42min
CAST — John Cho, Debra Messing
DIRECTOR — Aneesh Chaganty
Sometimes interesting, often ill-conceived mystery that tech lovers should gravitate towards. Shown exclusively through the lenses of various electronic devices, the story centers on a single father (John Cho) whose beloved daughter, unbeknownst to him, is leading a double life, involving skipping school and using drugs. One day she vanishes and Cho tries to go through legal channels to find his girl. Searches are conducted, clues are gathered, possible motives are bandied about. But still the girl is nowhere to be found. Cho begins to look through his daughter’s laptop in hopes of finding clues, but realizes he never truly knew his daughter in the first place. Suspecting everyone, from family members to online strangers, Cho soon seems to become unhinged, but really, his grief is overwhelming his sense of normalcy. His only ally is a detective, one who may have an agenda all her own. Filmed in a novel way for a thriller this feels almost like a found footage film/semi-documentary as questions upon questions arise. Never hits the heights of suspense that was no doubt intended, but fair entertainment for the duration.
OUR RATING— **
2018 PG ANIMATED 1h 36min
CAST — Channing Tatum, James Corden, Zendaya, Common, LeBron James
DIRECTOR — Karey Kirkpatrick
Call them what you like: Yeti, Sasquatch, Bigfoot. These horrific beasts of legend are anything but. The Yeti are a peaceful people, living a life of contentment on a mountaintop in the Himalayas. Their own legends tell of their supposed history and that they live on a floating mountain supported by mammoth woolly mammoths. The elder of the village, the Stonekeeper, keeps the ancient records and presides over the Yeti. What the Stonekeeper can’t control are legends of small creatures with small feet called (how’d you guess) Smallfeet, otherwise known as human beings. A Yeti named Migo just wants to live a boring Yeti life but soon makes the acquaintance of a small group of friends who are determined to prove the existence of the elusive Smallfoot. Below the cloudy mountains Percy Patterson, an opportunistic human, while filming a nature video, discovers that the town he’s staying in is the world capital for Yeti sightings. Seeing a chance for his video to go viral he tries to fake a Yeti sighting but runs into Migo, himself seeing the world for the first time. Migo attempts to show his village that Smallfeet are real. Though there’s a language barrier between the two species Percy shows the Yeti all manner of interesting inventions and doohickeys that blow the minds of the Yeti, much to the chagrin of the Stonekeeper. See, his job is to protect his people by lying to them about themselves, their origins, the supposed dangers of Smallfeet, etc. On which side will the people stand on: the tried and true message of ignorance being blissful, or will they decide to buck the status quo and accept that humans and the Yeti can be peaceable toward one another? The film delves into the standard themes for kids’ movies: question authority, follow your heart, etc. (throwing in a bit of existentialism for good measure). This means that the film feels like nothing more than the usual mediocrity spewed out by the industry. Though the cast seem to be enjoying their respective roles, the audience may be yawning throughout. Even undemanding kids may feel cold towards this one.
OUR RATING— **
The Egg and I
1947 NR COMEDY 1 hour 48 min
CAST — Claudette Colbert, Fred MacMurray, Marjorie Main, Louise Allbritton, Percy Kilbride
DIRECTOR — Chester Erskine BASED ON— The Egg and I (novel), by Betty MacDonald
How do you like your eggs? Boiled? Fried? Scrambling over the entire farm? The latter is what newlywed city girl Claudette Colbert faces in the morning (noon and night, as well). Her husband (Fred MacMurray) is rather a jerk throughout the picture, as he proves to be inattentive to his wife, lustful over the pretty neighbor’s high tech farm, and showing more love and pride for the farm than for his slaving housewife. This fish out of water tale does produce the giggles as the two stars acquaint themselves with farming. The real showstoppers here are played by Marjorie Main and Percy Kilbride as Ma and Pa Kettle, two backwoods hillbillies whose obviously fertile loins have blessed the Earth with a horde of dirty, scurrilous offspring. This marked the first film in which the Kettles appeared, which launched a spin-off series devoted to these popular mountain folk. Later developed into a television series.
OUR RATING— ***
1958 NR SCIENCE FICTION 1 hour 33 min
CAST— Al Hedison, Patricia Owens, Vincent Price, Herbert Marshall
DIRECTOR— Kurt Neumann BASED ON— The Fly (story), by George Langelaan
Another science fiction favorite that would be nothing without its hokey effects. Patricia Owens stars as the wife of a brilliant scientist on the cusp of a breakthrough. It seems that he’s perfected the art of teleportation; with his teleporters he can transport objects to and fro through thin air. But an unforeseen accident occurs while teleporting himself; a fly accompanies him along his journey, thereby blending the two beings. On the other side he is horribly disfigured (what else would you call a man with the head of a fly?). As for the fly… you’ll see. Vincent Price plays neither a mad doctor nor a gothic murderer, but rather the kindly brother of the doomed scientist, while Herbert Marshall looks extremely uncomfortable throughout. The film’s final moments may either startle or send the viewer into a fit of giggles. Either way, it’s a fun throwback to the SF of yesteryear. Final note: those with strong dispositions might wanna check out the re-worked remake, The Fly (1986), horror-fied by director David Cronenberg.
OUR RATING— ** ½