THYME REVIEWS ◽ TIPS
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The Menu **

From the previews, this restaurant movie looks mysterious and sinister and intriguing. And It stars Ralph Fiennes.  And the girl from The Queen's Gambit.  There's a luxury dinner  for invited guests, and then there's the "extra" couple, and the chef and his staff run the show, and literally control it.  Deaths occur, secrets are revealed, fear is rampant...and the girl - the date of the guy who is obsessed with the chef - well she's not having it. Will she survive when she asks for a cheeseburger instead of what the chef has prepared?  It's a gory watch and mysterious, with an odd ending for sure.    You'll want to talk about it and figure it out after you leave, but then you'll move on because it was just a weird story that could have been better...or was it told just right?

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She Said **

It's the story of Harvey Weinstein and the journalists that interviewed until they were able to get to the truth of his actions towards women in the entertainment industry.  Carey Mulligan is the main journalist and she's one of my favorite actresses, so I for sure wanted to see the film.  There's not a lot of character development or drama in this film, but rather the relentless pursuit to get to the truth, to get these women to speak up, and to get the story told.  It's a long film, it's not the best, but it's a good one to see if you want to know more about this too-often-heard story of women being mistreated by bosses.

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Devotion ***

He's a black aviator pilot - and an excellent one - in the Korean War - among a squadron of white pilots.    He's married and has a wife he leaves at home, and one particular pilot befriends him and often tries to "defend" him.  The whole group has to learn to fly a specific plane and then fly into combat.  But the other, just as real, combat is on the ground with those that just don't see this man for who he is.  There are so many poignant scenes, the acting is superb, and the "true story" is a good one to see this holiday season.

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The Banshees of Inisherin **

I read that this movie will be nominated.  I suppose the acting is good, after all it's Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson.  They were best of friends, but now one has decided to cut off the friendship for good.  That's not all he decides to cut off, either.  It's an odd film, an even more odd story, and it's gruesome and gross.  Now, I like odd and parts of this film and the story line intrigued me.  But the other parts - there's no other word to describe - but odd.  Will this village of characters ever see these two men become friends again? How many thuds at the door will it take?  Will the other seek revenge? Go see for yourself...but be forewarned.

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Till ***

She doesn't want her son to visit his relatives in Mississippi because she feels it isn't safe, but he goes, and it turns out - it's not safe.  This is the true story of Emmett Till who was lynched in 1955. The actress that plays his mother is a force to be reckoned with as she seeks justice for her boy, who indeed was just a playful young kid, undeserving of the slander and abuse he received.  Danielle Deadwyler gives an Oscar-worthy performance, in my opinion.  The story is heavy to watch, but it's told so well.  A great film for this season...

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Ticket to Paradise ***

I'm pretty sure this movie won't win any awards, but there are few romantic comedies that aren't filthy or stupid. And this is one of the rare ones. And whether or not you like Roberts or Clooney, they're good together in this story of an estranged couple headed to their daughter's wedding, to stop it. It's heartwarming, the girl we all loved on Last Man Standing plays their daughter, and it's actually funny and a good watch.  You can save it to watch at home, but don't ignore it.  Be sure you don't miss it.  We need more feel-good movies like this on the screen, with good endings... 

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Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont****

Maybe the best heartwarming movie on Netflix right now...  She's an elderly elegant woman, a widow, staying at an old hotel.  He's a young handsome writer/musician that's a disappointment to his mother.  The widow and the writer cross paths and form a very close friendship, each having something the other needs.  The casting is spot-on, and these characters will draw you in at the first meeting, as well as the other residents at the hotel that find Mrs. Claremont and "her son" intriguing...  Great storyline.  Grab a tissue, you might need it.  But you'll enjoy lots of smiles as well.

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Black Panther ***

If you enjoy this genre of movies, you'll like this one.  It's very long (almost three hours!) so that loses a star for me...  There are moments of silence at the beginning and end for Chadwick Boseman, and the story is a good one.  Angela Bassett plays The Black Panther's mother and this story is about his sister.  There are amazing costumes, and it's not a hard story to follow like some longer films. Remember to stay after the credits to see a preview of more to come.  Other than that, I do recommend seeing this on the big screen.  I also liked the humor mixed in with the suspense, the drama and the heart of this amazing movie.  The characters are good - you'll like them all.

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Black Panther ***

If you enjoy this genre of movies, you'll like this one.  It's very long (almost three hours!) so that loses a star for me...  There are moments of silence at the beginning and end for Chadwick Boseman, and the story is a good one.  Angela Bassett plays The Black Panther's mother and this story is about his sister.  There are amazing costumes, and it's not a hard story to follow like some longer films. Remember to stay after the credits to see a preview of more to come.  Other than that, I do recommend seeing this on the big screen.  I also liked the humor mixed in with the suspense, the drama and the heart of this amazing movie.  The characters are good - you'll like them all.

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Confess, Fletch **

Jon Hamm, remember him?  He's discovered a dead body in his apartment, he's got a girlfriend missing expensive art from her father, and Hamm's character once was an astute inspector, now writer - and ends up helping the inept police solve the crime.  It's supposed to be a comedy, and there were lots of laughs (especially about the word "bespoke" - so funny).  However, the story was all over the place and it was a bit hard to follow, well, a lot hard to follow.  So if you watch, pay attention and listen and try not to get lost . Because if you do, you'll never figure out who's who and what's what... but then maybe that's the point of the story.

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Railway Children **

The movie poster and name reminded me of the Boxcar Children, a favorite childhood book I read.  So I wanted to see this family film.  The story is of a mother sending her children away from the bombing during the war, where the kids then discover a soldier in an abandoned train, and form an unlikely friendship to help him, as they wait to go back home.  They have to secretly help him, keeping their activities hidden from the lady who cares for them.  I loved the characters, the story was heartwarming, but perhaps a bit slow in parts.  It's one of those films you're glad they still make, one you can watch with the family, one with a bit of history...and still a lot of hope.

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Woman King ****

From the previews, I wasn't thrilled to see this movie about what looked like women power and war...and I was more than pleasantly surprised to be drawn into the story of a powerful mom.  And...while there is controversy about this film, I try to steer from that and make my own judgment. I think nominations will occur, and rightly so.  Viola Davis is amazing.  But the young girl played by Thuso Mbedu is the whole story . The story is engaging and the costumes incredible.  It's not really like any other film, and it's so interesting that there really was a tribe of women back centuries ago that had to fight in so many ways for so many things.  It's a good story, violent at times, but I really liked it. A LOT.  We left with a "Wow."

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Don't Worry, Darling *

We talked about this movie a while, after it was over.  And the era and the fashion was fun to see...BUT...the movie itself I think most would either love it or hate it.  It's a society where the folks don't question anything, and when they do...certain death is sure to come.  This premise is interesting.  However, the story and the scenes are confusing and odd, the sex is dirty, the end well - I'm not sure.  Is there a message in this story?  Are the women just objects and pawns? Will Florence Pugh be nominated?  I can't say I liked much about this film, but the fact that it kept us talking and wondering after the credits rolled gave it one star...but that's about it.  Maybe two...but then no.

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Beautiful Blue Eyes ***

This is the last movie Roy Scheider made and he passed away before it finished filming.  And that was several years ago.  So now, they were able, with AI tech, to finish it.  It's another holocaust story, but yet different.  As a young man, he saw his entire family taken and killed.  Now it's 56 years later, he's visiting his estranged son, and swears he sees the man that killed his family. He lives in his son's building! But his son now has a family, so can he believe his dad, put aside their distance, and help his dad seek justice...on their own?  How could it really be the same person?  It's a thriller, and I like Schieder.  He was hoping to win an Oscar with this one...

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Gigi and Nate ***

The story is based on a true story, and honestly when I saw the previews about a boy and a monkey...seriously?  I wasn't that interested.  However, we were drawn into the story from the beginning to the end...it was heart-wrenching...we could feel his pain...and the family dynamics were believable.  Marcia Gay Harden was a believable (she's so good) mom to an injured son, I could so relate.  All the actors interacted well together.  The boy becomes disabled, and the best option to help him is a unique chimp.  But there are those that disagree.  And there's nothing easy in this story. I did read that part of the movie was a computer generated monkey, but I never noticed!  For one of "these kinds" of movies, it's really good!  It's different...go see it.

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Lifemark **

I always want to like the faith-based movies. And while this movie that is pro-life and in favor of adoption, not abortion, that's the only good thing going for it.  And...it's based on a true story.   That gave it two stars for me.  But it lost the other two because the acting lacked a lot (even Kirk Cameron!), and the reaction of the boy that was adopted, and his adoptive mother just didn't seem real to us, at all.  In real life, I'm pretty sure it's not that sweet and cheery.  However, the biological mom did a good job of portraying her experience. We exited the theater frustrated.  Yes, the biological mom was distressed over the years of separation...but the son - would he really just forgive immediately?  And would the adoptive mom really be so giddy about the whole process?  You tell me...  But kudos for putting the movie out there, to encourage life...

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The Beautiful Fantastic **** (Prime)

This story got high ratings because it had all the parts a good movie should have, and was a delightful watch.  Four quirky characters draw us in.  She's odd and OCD and a recluse.  He's old and grumpy, but they're neighbors.  The other two are guys of interest. But there's this frustration of the old man with her, the girl that won't keep her yard up.  And that's a big problem.  Unlikely friendships start to form, and then there's learning and being taught about gardens...and life.  There's heartbreak, and there are walls that come down.  And the acting by Tom Wilkinson (the old man) is superb.  It's such a good watch I've told many to watch it.  And I don't do that often... (oh, and she's from Downton Abbey).

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Corsicana **

It's the late 1800's and he's the first black US Marshall on a hunt for the five guys visiting farms and killing women and children.  There are some grisly scenes at the beginning of this western when Marshall Bass Reeves (Isaiah Washington) has had enough. He and two others (a sharpshooter and a knife thrower) head out across Texas to capture these men and stop the murders.  Some parts are a little slow, but Texas is big...and they do finally catch up and the show really begins.  It's based on a real Marshall, and if you like westerns, you'll probably like this show.  Ruthless men are hard to watch on the big screen, but if you can get past all that...

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Fall **

It's a crazy premise - two friends that climb a 3000 foot tower in the middle of nowhere.  And it's a thriller, FOR SURE.  But the previews don't tell half the story.  And let me emphasize half...  It's a nail biter, because this rickety tower has some loose bolts, and these two friends have some surprising reveals, and then the last part of the movie turns horror...I had to look away.  That being said, I enjoy a good thriller where danger is lurking.  And I couldn't believe what kept occurring and how in the world these girls were going to survive...or would they?  It did turn horror...but I still say go see it if you like adventure/thriller/oh-my and omg movies.  But be prepared  for so much more than the previews show...

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Nope ***

Sometimes odd and quirky, scary and sinister works into a film that's just different enough to make you leave the theater and say, "I think I liked that."  And you're not even quite sure why.  Two siblings lose their dad and they're then left with his place where odd things occur...freaky things.  They try to capture these things on camera and still survive, and there's this other place nearby - a theme park that's creepy, as well.  Somehow, the characters, the visuals, and the storyline all work for a picture-perfect horror/not horror story that's worth seeing.  

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Easter Sunday **

If you want a light hearted, simple end of summer flick, this might be it.  And if you like comedian Jo Koy.  This film is also a great and fun look into the Filipino family culture.  Koy plays a single working dad that takes his teenage son home for Easter.  But he gets in a scandal of sorts with a relative, his mother and aunt are in a feud, and his son would rather be anywhere than with his dad.  All sorts of mayhem ensues, and yes, there are lots of moments to laugh.  The couple we went with said they needed that.  I especially liked the lady who played his mom.  And I had never heard of Jo Koy, so now I have...

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Bullet Train *

I tried to have an open mind with this one, even though the previews looked so dumb...in my opinion.  Brad Pitt is hired to do what he's told to do- a "simple job" of grabbing a briefcase on a train.  It turns out to be anything but simple.  Sounds like it could be a great thriller, but instead it turns out to be Thomas the Train stickers, anime, stupid characters and a story line that's well, just boring.  I will say that some audience members laughed and perhaps enjoyed it.  There's a Sandra Bullock cameo, too.  But this film is like one of those jigsaw puzzles with no edges.  Some like that sort of thing...and some don't.  I don't.  

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Where the Crawdads Sing ****

I had read the book, but it had been a while.  And I know most say books are way better than the movies.  But I really liked this movie.  She's called the Marsh Girl because she grew up alone in the marsh, and is an outsider...but she's an artist and a writer...and smart.  Two young men show up a different times, but only one is nice.  And we see at the beginning of the film that the bad boy is dead, and she's on trial for his murder.  The movie then goes back as we watch her life unfold, and are completely won over by this amazing young woman.  There's no way she's guilty...but who did kill the boy?  It's an engrossing film for sure, and the story is compelling...and so is the ending.  

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Mr. Malcolm's List **

It's somewhat of a Hallmark movie on the big screen, but with a refreshing storyline that's humorous and romantic, and the characters remind me some of the Bridgerton ones in attitude and costume.  He's not enamored with the young women who swoon and hope he will look their way.  Instead, Mr. Malcolm has a list which "the one" must meet the requirements he's laid out, the girl he deems worthy of his affection.  She learns of this list and is not about to be "chosen" by this man with his list.  You can imagine the rest of the story as we watch to see who wins out in this quest for love between two strong willed people, and the story is delightful to watch from beginning to end...a feel-good popcorn movie for those who like all things romantic from another era...

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Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris ***

If you're looking for a feel-good, clean movie that has a delightful main character...this is it!  She's a WWII widow, a cleaning lady, and she dreams of owning a Christian Dior gown.  When that dream becomes a possibility, this determined, honest, and caring woman shows up and rocks the world of the fashion industry...when they try to squelch her world.  Such disappointments pile up, and it seems her dream is shattered...but then.  Thankful for the "but then!" One couldn't "buy" a Dior gown in the 50's, one had to visit the creative people that made them.  That was so interesting, and the entire story was a refreshing summertime movie.  Go see it.  And take a friend.

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The Gray Man **

It's Ryan Gosling, playing a CIA agent...only how he got there is different.  And how he operates is unstoppable.  Once he realizes he's the one being hunted, the rest of the movie he's on the run.  Super entertaining and unbelievable escapes, but the characters he thinks he can trust and the ones he can't keep us guessing.  I whispered at one point that he was MacGuver, the Bionic Ban and Superman all rolled into one - as honestly the repeated exploits of almost getting caught and then not...were a bit much.  But hey, it was still a good summer film with popcorn in hand...and not a chance of nodding off...because we have to know if he makes it!  

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Elvis ***

Most anything Tom Hanks is in, we like to see.  He's Elvis'  manager, as you can see in the previews.  And the story about this man is one I knew nothing about.  So just that initial take drew us in.  The young Austin Butler as Elvis was amazing.  Just watching him in this role was spellbinding.  So all of that went together for one of the blockbusters of the summer, for sure.  Elvis was a bit before my time, but of course I have heard his music and seen him move.  This story is more about the person, the boy, and those around him.  And as heartbreaking as it is, the acting draws in the viewer as if we lived and knew him...and certainly cared about him.  Best movie of the season so far...

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Thor: Love and Thunder *

Let's just say that I normally enjoy the Marvel movies.  Not this one.  It starts out dumb and stupid in every way, especially the acting.  And I heard a lady exit the theater who had seen the movie before us and her comment was, "It was nice to see him naked again." Seriously?  That's the main takeaway from a Marvel film?  There's a creepy character and children get snatched...so yeah, keep the little ones home.  And lots of gods and being angry at the gods for not protecting people.  Even that whole attitude bothered me.  There are scenes that are entertaining, but we both lost interest in the film 10 minutes in...and never gained it back.  Even the story was lame.  Go if you must, and see what you think...

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Top Gun: Maverick ****

We didn't refresh ourselves with the first film, and that was okay, because this one was enjoyable on its own.  Maverick is supposed to teach a group of elite young pilots and train them for a deadly mission - one that cannot have even one mistake.  However, Maverick's past is a huge obstacle, and one of the cadets cannot forgive.  Jennifer Connelly is in the movie, and it's nice to see her again!  A favorite actress of mine.  And although Tom Cruise is NOT a fave, he's excellent in all ways in this film.  The characters, the story, the danger, the intrigue...all play together for one of the best films of the year.  And the theater was full...which was actually cool.

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Downton Abbey: A New Era ***

I never saw the TV series...sorry.  But I did see the first movie, and then this one.  There was a nice synopsis of the storyline and characters shown before the film.  And I'll be honest.  The best thing about this movie is Maggie Smith, and the clothes...and the hair clips!  Even that aside, the story is a good one, and of course what is there not to like about this period piece with such delightful colorful people involved in all sorts of things? I love all of the house staff! If you like this drama ser, you won't be disappointed.  And enjoy some scones and tea afterwards, while you discuss all things Downton!

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Montana Story ***

This got an extra star for the acting on the part of Owen Teague.  The setting is the vastness of the land of Montana, and there's a horse that's symbolic if you look for it...and those two things I liked.  Even though the Montana landscape is empty and vast, this adds to the storyline of two estranged siblings arriving home as their father is dying. They've been apart for seven years, but now they're faced with their father's death and they have to talk, they have to bring up the past, and they have to decide how to move forward.  It's a brother/sister relationship that draws in the viewer, stirs empathy for both, and ends so dramatically...sad and yet hopeful.  It won't be for everyone, but I'm still thinking about the film a week later...just realizing what the horse demonstrated at the end of the movie.

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Father Stu ****

We like Mark Wahlberg, and his performance in this film about a boxer that becomes a priest is award-winning, in my estimation.  I didn't know anything about this "true story" but wow - it tells the story that we all need to hear - and let sink in over time.  He's rough, he's tough, he's raw and he's real. And this guy was honest in his experience with God, and in his then traumatic diagnosis that changes his life and others around him.  Wahlberg's language and accent and attitude are spot-on, as are his humility and stamina at the end... I want to see it again.  I want others to see it.  We all need a bit of Father Stu's understanding of suffering and grace.  One goes so well with the other.

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Ambulance **

This a long movie, and it seemed that 2/3 of it was the ambulance chase.  There's never a dull moment, for sure. One brother needs money, the other one sees a way to make a lot, and together they think the job will be over and done - but it's not.  They end up in an ambulance trying to outsmart the police chasing them down.  That's really the story in a nutshell.  If you like action and suspense, this is a winner.  Nothing award-winning, but not nap-inducing either. it's a good Friday night thriller with popcorn kind of a film.

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The Mulligan **

This is a faith-based, inspirational story told through the game of golf, and through the eyes of the character played by Pat Boone (yes, he's still alive).  There's a dad that's way too driven in his work, has left behind his son and wife...and through his relationship with "The Old Pro" (Boone) he gets a second changes (the mulligan).  It's a great story about second chances and forgiveness for sure, BUT the Hallmark ending sort of ruined it for me.  It was a little bit too neatly wrapped with a bow, which is so not reality, at least in any families I've seen that are so broken. I love stories about God's grace, but I also love to see the struggle as part of the story...because that speaks volumes as well.  All in all, it was a good story with a good analogy to the game of golf.

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Aline **

This movie is the story of singer Celine Dion from childhood to stardom.  The worst part is that the actress that played Celine is 57 years old in real life, and she played even the childhood Celine - which was totally weird.  If you can get past that, and if you really like Celine, I think you'll enjoy the movie. She's the 14th child in her family, she marries her producer (26 years her senior) and her life was anything but easy.  I did like Celine Dion way back when, so I found the movie entertaining, moving and enjoyable.  (After I shook my head at the casting.)

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Stand with Ukraine: The Guide ***

The director of this film speaks at the start, and the proceeds from this movie go to support Ukraine.  That's why we went.  It's not a new film, but the story fits with world happenings now.   A young Ukrainian boy is taken in by a kobzar (you'll learn who that is) because the boy is carrying important documents about Russia.  It's a suspenseful story, and a reminder that loss of vision doesn't mean loss of purpose, and that music and singing lifts the darkest of nights.  And all that's wrong in the world is still being permeated by what is right.  It's a foreign film with subtitles, but of course it would be.  Worth seeing.

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The Adam Project **

I like the actors in this film, but I wasn't crazy about the previews...not a fan of time travel stories.  However, the young actor that plays the younger version of the Ryan Reynolds character, and his relationship with Reynolds, is worth seeing!  There's a story within the story, and the time travel part is just the frame of the snapshot inside.  Jennifer Garner plays the single mom in mourning, and her little boy really needs some direction and love because he's lost his father.  But the deeper story is relationship among all.  It's not award-winning, but it's entertaining and you'll still like the actors you already loved...plus a new one!

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The Outfit ****

This is one of the best thriller films I've seen in a long time...  A simple tailor in a quaint shop in 1956 is the setting.  But soon it's not a simple shop at all...there are men dropping off packages in the back room, and suddenly the tailor and his assistant are in the middle of murder and mayhem.  Mafia style murder! Mark Rylance deserves an award for his performance, for sure. I loved the way the story was told with the "weavings" of the tailor's job mixed in with the mystery of the hunt. There's violence, so be aware.  But the story is one of the best - we talked about it for days after.  

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Dog **

From the previews, I wasn't all that excited to see this movie that just looked goofy.  But in reality, the story and the lightness and the dog were a nice diversion from the heavy world.  I usually don't go see comedies, but this one is a nice one.  The relationship between the dog and his driver is a sweet one to watch unfold.  Neither one wants to make the trip they have to make, but in doing so, all sorts of good takes place.  Kind of like all of our lives...so it's very relatable. Even heartwarming...  

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Moonfall *

Halle Berry and her fellow astronaut have a harrowing experience in space, for which he is sacked. Later, she's now head of NASA and the moon is coming of of its orbit, headed for Earth, and she needs him back. I love a good impending doom movie, so I was so hopeful for suspense and thrills.  First of all, Berry's acting ruined the movie for me.  Her expressions were lackluster, to say the least.  And the side stories of her ex and the other guy's ex just muddled the movie.  It was a mess from start to finish.  And it could have been a good movie.  Moonfall fell, it wasn't a good film, so I'll just hope and wait for another one that is...  I would recommend skipping this one.

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Blacklight **

If I was just giving stars for entertainment with popcorn in hand, maybe this would have obtained a 3.  Blacklight has all of the Liam Neesom feel with his amazing ability to snag the bad guys and right wrongs, with suspense and intrigue.  So if you like his usual films, you'll like that part.  This time we see a softer side of Neesom's character, because he now has a granddaughter and wants to get that relationship right, since he didn't have one with his daughter.  When he realizes that his own boss is involved in a shadowy operation, and that his family is at stake, he does what only he does best.  However, this particular movie seemed more like one that could have just been on TV, not the best...but still worth seeing.  Just felt a bit disappointed at the end, and I didn't like that feeling.

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Marry Me**

Honestly, I don't care for J-Lo as an actress and I'm not a fan of Owen Wilson, either.  The storyline seemed heartwarming, so we went.  The thing that makes this movie float, and even soar a few times, is the music.  We both really liked the music!  One can see what the movie is all about from the previews - she's a big star, she gets jilted, he's an ordinary guy that ends up with her on a whim...but wait!  There's a little more depth to the story and to the characters, and for that the movie wins a star.  The tunes are catchy and the acting is not half-bad.  We were both surprsied and pleased, when the credits rolled.

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Tales from the Loop ***(Amazon Prime)

We're only two episodes in, but I wanted to write while it's fresh in my mind.  This (season one) reminds me of Twilight Zone - the old series.  And it's slow-moving, eerie but not demented, and one of the stars is Rebecca Hall - I like her.  There's this plant where the parents work (and ignore their children) and there are robots and other oddities strewn about the landscape where the children roam while their parents work.  Odd things are taking place and the children are affected.  The first episode we see a house  broken apart by the loss of gravity, and the second one two teens switch bodies and it's downright scary.  It's the good kind of scary, you know - the kind where you want to get a bowl of popcorn and watch wide-eyed with someone next to you, so you can both look at each other and say...what just happened?  I like it...so far.  It's a bit slow...but it should be.

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Encanto ***

If you've read my reviews very often, you know I don't care for animated films. But the storyline of this movie caught my attention, and we went to see it without the kids!  Just on our own!  An entire family has "gifts" that are quite spectacular and quite define them all, except one young girl.  I mean, who can't relate to that?  She feels less than, wonders why she was passed over, how she fits in the family, etc.  The characters are delightful, the colors are bright, and the music is wonderful.  And besides that, the story and how is unfolds to show us how this young girl finds her way and thrives is encouraging to all ages.  You'll leave the theater smiling and maybe dancing, with your own spirits lifted a little higher.

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The 355**

I really like the actresses in this movie, and I wanted to like the film.  After all, it's about four powerful women (agents) that save the world, and it's full of action and intrigue.  Jessica Chastain and Diane Kruger and Penelope Cruz and Lupita Nyong'O - I mean, how can this movie be anything but stellar?  However, I've grown a bit weary with films where women stick it to sorry men.  We all know there are bad men that treat women badly in this world.  But another movie where powerful women make men look bad is getting old, in my opinion.  It seemed that was the agenda, more than the storyline.  And that makes any movie lose a star, in my playbook.  I even fell asleep near the end...the end!  My husband told me what happened and the movie was forgotten.

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House of Gucci ***

I didn't know anything about the Gucci empire, how it came to be, only that it's a fashion name brand.  So I was intrigued before stepping foot in the theater.  Lada Gaga plays a young "wanna be rich" lady that marries the young Gucci heir, played by Adam Driver.  He's a likeable guy that doesn't want his dad's riches, only to make his own way.  However, the lady he marries turns into a force that is much like a deadly storm taking out everything in its path.  Gaga's performance is amazing, and worth watching.  The story is haunting, but a good watch if you like history and horror in the making...of an empire that's still around today...

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Ghostbusters: Afterlife **

I really liked the first part of the movie, where a single mom and her two kids arrive at a spooky old house left to them by their eccentric grandfather.  Paul Rudd is a teacher in the school, with an interest that connects them all...and the story is so entertaining and interesting.  Then...I felt like it turned a bit silly and goofy and that makes it wobble for me.  However, if you're a fan of this story, I think you'll like this new one.  The kids are great, and hilarious.  I just felt like I was intrigued in a good story with promise and then taken on a side trip that wasn't bad, just not where I wanted to go.

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West Side Story** 

I feel like you either know this story and all I need to convey here is whether or not this is a good adaption of it...or you've never seen it and want a summary.  There's forbidden love and a rivalry between street gangs, and this is a musical.  I hadn't seen the original, but those with me said this version was a bit different.  I really liked the cast, and the music, and the story was entertaining and again...long.  I'm all for getting my money's worth at the theater, but sometimes the movies are a bit too long.  This might be one of those.  Go see it, if you like musicals and you know this story.  Compare  the old with the new.  It will be great conversation after the credits roll...

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Spiderman: No Way Home ***

Everyone finds out who Spiderman is...you see this in the previews. And this wreaks havoc in Spiderman's world with MJ and friends, so he seeks help from  Dr. Strange to cast a spell to reverse this knowledge - at the expense of everyone forgetting who he is. Again, you see this in the previews.  What you don't see if the thrill of the film, where other enemies appear and so do a couple of surprise visits from the past - I think you'll love.  Will the spell work, does anyone die, who helps out Spiderman? All of these questions swirl, and lots of entertaining interaction takes place, as well as full Spiderman moves...all the makings for a great movie.  It's long, so you'll need lots of snacks.

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Nightmare Alley *

Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara and more...seems like it would be a good movie.  The setting is a 1940's carnival where dark and sinister characters lurk about.  He's a (newly acquired skill) mentalist and he's connecting to others with their own "tricks," and it doesn't prove to be a story worth watching, in my opinion.  It seemed to drag on and because of the dark screen and the dark characters, even though the actors are stellar, the darkness won...I fell alseep.  Enough said..

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American Underdog **

We went with another couple to see this film based on the true story of Kurt Warner, and they all loved the movie.  I liked it, as it was an inspirational tale of a young man that was determined to play the big leagues against all odds, and his relationship with a divorced mom of two.  The story was good.  But the actor who played young Warner is 41 years old in real life, and he played a 22 year old guy - and that bugged me the entire movie.  The actor did not look the part!  So if that doesn't bother you, if you love the game of football and remember this athlete, and you want a heartwarming tale, go see it.  It's a pretty amazing tale of faith and football.

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Hard Luck Love Song *

We had read that this movie was written from a song from songwriter Todd Snider.  It's about a young man that cannot seem to get his life together, although he seems to be talented musician and singer (and pool player!)  Strung out, addicted to drugs and alcohol, he finds himself in a dive hotel room...and then she shows up.  She's pretty and seems "better" than he, but we soon realize the the two of them are toxic together - more than the substances they abuse.  So the movie is long and pitiful, and he gets beat up, and it's boring to watch.  The best part is when the credits roll and Snider sings his original song with his guitar, and we get the hear all the lyrics.  I really enjoyed that - but that was it.  SO look him up and listen to the song.  I really liked the part about not fishing in the mainstream.  Maybe a song made into a movie is a cool idea, but not this time...

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The Eyes of Tammy Faye ***

Jessica Chastain is one of my favorite actresses and she deserves an award for her performance in this film about the infamous TV charismatic couple that stormed the world of TV preachers and personalities.  The movie really looks into the background of Tammy and Jim  Bakker, and we're drawn into how their childhood home life really affected the way they behaved as adults.  Who knows if it's all true, as this was a just a drama...but it sure made for a good movie.  I even related to some of their "performance" issues, and I truly felt sorry, and at the same time appalled, at all that transpired.  I read about Jim Bakker currently, when we left the theater.  He's still at it...making the news.  And her story...well it's just sad.  And Chastain nailed it.

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The Addam Family 2 ***

I wasn't that thrilled going in, but I had heard it was somewhat heartwarming, so we went. The storyline is about the daughter who doesn't want to be her family, a familiar "real" teenage drama in lots of homes.  So the dad takes the family on one last family vacation in hopes they will bond once again.  Well...you  might say they eventually do, but not really.  I guess I was a bit disappointed and really sad because it's animated, so might attract the kiddos, but it's not really for them.  At all... And we both didn't love the ending...at all, either.

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The Rescue ***

Remember the news story about the boys and their coach trapped in a cave in Thailand a few years back?  The wait, the conditions, the difficulties were really insurmountable...so it seemed.  However, the volunteers and people that arrived on the scene were brilliant and brave, and this movie chronicles what took place before "the rescue."  It was quite fascinating and amazing to watch.  It's a good see...and inspirational for sure.  Even though you know the outcome, the plans and the hope that continued to thrive and the process - I had no idea...

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The Card Counter ***

Oscar Isaac is usually good in whatever film he plays, and this one is no exception.  He's suave, sophisticated and an exceptionally good "card counter" with at least one odd behavior - he covers everything in his hotel rooms with white sheets and rope.  He has a past, and he has a mission.  He meets up with a young man that knows who Isaac's character really is, and the young guy needs help with retaliation.  What then unfolds is truly a story that escalates until the very end.  It's not a movie for the faint of heart, but it's a thriller for sure, and Isaac may win an award for this one.

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The Alpinist ***

We've seen other films about mountain climbers, and while this story is as far removed from anything I can even understand, it's one I wanted to see - a young man with a passion for climbing the most dangerous show and ice covered mountains without ropes or safety gear.  Sounds absurd, and it is.  But we get to watch and learn what makes this guy tick, from a young age, and observe with awe and terror as he climbs.  He has a mom.  He has a girlfriend.  And they support what he does.  It's a true story, and there are many climbers like him that risk their lives and throw caution to the wind...literally.  If you like documentaries and the shake-your-head kind, this one's a must see.

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Show Me the Father ***

It's a documentary style film, so know that going in.  But don't let that deter you.  This story is one that's put together very well, as we hear the stories of some well-known men and their dads.  Some are sports figures.  All have incredible experiences that had us interested from the beginning until the surprising finale.  This is one of the Kendrick Brothers films and it's maybe one of the best we've seen.  If you had a disinterested or abusive dad, or a missing dad, or just need to be reminded in an incredible way about the Father's love, this film will tear at your heart strings in an oh-so-good way.  Seriously, take tissues, and cry...with some of the best tears you'll ever shed.  It's a really good film.

DO YOU AGREE WITH OUR REVIEWS? WHAT ARE YOUR FAVE MOVIES, BOOKS AND SHOWS RIGHT NOW?
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Current Sightings
by Marcy Lytle
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This column is full of TV show and movie reviews.  It pays to be informed before we spend time watching or reading!

We will try to give a short synopsis, as well as our own opinion, along with a nod or a no, regarding suggestive content.

 

With movie theaters open and all sorts of channels available , we're all  wondering what to watch and enjoy...hope this helps!  If you have one to add, email us!