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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Cindy Prascik's Review of The Nice Guys

Dearest Blog: Yesterday it was off to Marquee Cinemas for one of 2016's best offerings thus far, The Nice Guys. Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know from the trailers. 
When a mismatched pair of sleuths goes looking for a missing girl, they find something far, far bigger. Well, dear Reader(s), THIS is how it's done. The Nice Guys wraps a clever mystery in some great comic bits, and fleshes it out with outstanding performances throughout. 
Co-leads Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling are terrific together, with Crowe reminding us why he's one of the world's best-regarded actors, and Gosling displaying some excellent comic chops. 
A particularly strong supporting cast includes 15-year-old Angourie Rice, who is precocious but not in the annoying way of so many child actors, and Matt Bomer, no less great for being somewhat under-used. 
The mystery at the heart of The Nice Guys will keep you guessing right to the end, and the film features some great action sequences as well. The humor ranges from subtle verbal exchanges to broad physical comedy. 
Gosling's bathroom-stall scene, partially featured in one of the trailers, is one of the funniest things you'll ever see, and not at all in a crass "bathroom humor" way. Set in 1977 (for the record, my favorite year of my favorite decade), The Nice Guys displays the music and fashion of the 70s in all their glorious disco majesty, a treat to behold. Finally, the picture is well paced and smart enough not to wear out its welcome, a true cinema home run. 
The Nice Guys clocks in at 116 minutes and is rated R for "violence, sexuality, nudity, language, and brief drug use." The Nice Guys is a smart, funny, all-around excellent picture. With Summer Blockbuster Season kicking in, it probably won't hang around long, so I strongly encourage you to get out and see it while you can. 
Of a possible nine Weasleys, The Nice Guys gets eight and a half. Until next time... 


Two years after feuding with a rowdy frat that moved next door to them, young parents Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) are about to have their second child and move to a new house. Unfortunately, their attempts to sell their current home hit a snag when a sorority led by a rebellious college student (Chloë Grace Moretz) become their new neighbors. Desperate to get rid of the hard-partying gals, the couple forge an alliance with Teddy (Zac Efron), the former fratboy who tormented them the last time around. Directed by Nicholas Stoller. ~ Jack Rodgers, Rovi

Director: Nicholas Stoller

Cast: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Chloe Moretz, Selena Gomez

Release Date: May 20, 2016

Rated: R for crude sexual content including brief graphic nudity, language throughout, drug use and teen partying.

Runtime: 1 hr. 32 min.

Genres: Comedy


Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising provides some hefty laughs here and there throughout it’s runtime but never really hits the level of consistency of the original.  There’s a haphazard attempt at feminism throughout the film which is about as subtle as a hammer.  It’s a weird mixture since it could have been an interesting slant if it’d been handled properly.  As is, this sequel is another raunchy ride through a recycled plot with characters which are never really fleshed out.  It’s a shame because Chloe Moretz seems like she would have done well with the comedy.  Rogen and Byrne ease back into their roles easily with their interplay being a highlight of the movie.  Byrne continues to impress in her comedic roles but she feels a little underused.  Sadly, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising is another comedy sequel which will be easily overlooked and forgotten since it never reaches the level of the original.


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Cindy Prascik' s Review of Money Monster

Dearest Blog: Yesterday it was off to Marquee Cinemas for the entertaining-as-it-is-depressing Money Monster. 
Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know from the trailers or if you've personally been hosed in the Market, I guess. 
When one of his stock tips proves to be a bust, a brash TV presenter and his crew are taken hostage by an unhappy investor. Money Monster is a bit hokey at times, but that's about its only shortcoming. 
Blessed with two of Hollywood's most capable and engaging leads, George Clooney and Julia Roberts, and edge-of-your-seat storytelling, the movie grabs your attention and does not let go. 
Jack O'Connell is also terrific, and it's a credit to his performance how easily you'll begin to side with the guy waving the gun around. 
Money Monster expertly maintains tension throughout, spelled with perfectly-timed humor, and is smart enough not to wear out its welcome. 
The movie's very obvious message is about greed and corruption, but also paints an uncomfortable picture of today's society, as as the hostage situation plays out on live television as "entertainment." 
Money Monster clocks in at a smart 98 minutes and is rated R for "language throughout, some sexuality, and brief violence." It may not bring much new to the table, but Money Monster is an exciting and well-acted picture that's well worth your movie dollar. 
Of a possible nine Weasleys, Money Monster gets seven (and fangirl points for Giancarlo Esposito). 
Until next time... 

Sunday, May 8, 2016


Political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability when the actions of the Avengers lead to collateral damage. The new status quo deeply divides members of the team. Captain America (Chris Evans) believes superheroes should remain free to defend humanity without government interference. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) sharply disagrees and supports oversight. As the debate escalates into an all-out feud, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) must pick a side.

Release Date: May 06, 2016 RealD 3D 

Runtime: 2 hr. 26 min.

Genres: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Director:Joe Russo, Anthony Russo

Cast: Chris Evans, Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie


Captain America: Civil War is a busy film that has a lot of ground to cover.  It’s the type of film that has a clear agenda and while the story is fairly predicable it never bores you much, the first act is a tad slow moving, as it moves its chess pieces into place.  The Russo brothers deserve a massive amount of praise for keeping all the proverbial balls in the air while giving each character their time to shine.  It’s an impressive trick considering the size of the cast and none of the characters feel short changed.  The new additions add a welcome breathe of fresh air with Tom Holland’s Spiderman leaving the biggest impression.  As always, the action set pieces are massive and impressive with the airport battle shown in all the promos being the centerpiece.  The best action sequence though might be a fight in an apartment building which is a masterwork of choreography.  Captain America: Civil War is a fun film with a healthy bit of pathos at play but when everything is said and done the story isn’t quite as ground shaking as some have made it out to be. 

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