The Art of Racing in the Rain

“The Art of Racing in the Rain” is based on the best-selling novel by Garth Stein. The story is about a race car driver, Denny Swift (Milo Ventimiglia), who has a dog named “Enzo”. Together they go through the day to day of life as a Racer Car Driver and his dog. Denny soon meets a woman, Eve (Amanda Seyfried) who becomes the love of his life. Denny and Eve soon get married and life really starts. The story unfolds from there…

I did not read the book, but I thought the movie was pretty good. It held my attention and had many elements that are expected in a dramatic type of film. There are lump in the throat moments and teary eyed moments, but that is to be expected because this story brings those emotions to the surface. While there are a lot of things going on in the movie, one thing stand out, “A Man and his Dog” going through good times and bad times. A Dog is one of the most faithful friends a person can have.

The paid critics were not too high on “The Art of Racing in the Rain”, but I think it’s worth a look. The movie is about life and almost everything that is in the movie could happen in real-life.

This is a 3 ½ Star Movie!!

Molly’s Game

My movie going experience was enhanced today because my brand new husband went with me!! For those of you who did not know, One week ago today I got married! Going forward from time to time my husband may attend the movies with me making my reviewing experience more fun!!

Finally “Molly’s Game” has opened. I have been waiting for this movie for months and it does not disappoint!!

“Molly’s Game” is based on the true story of Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain), an Olympic Down-Hill Skier who ran the most exclusive “High Stakes Poker Game” operation for over a decade before she was arrested in the middle of the night by the FBI.
Molly’s players included some of Hollywood’s Royalty, Sports Stars, Big Business Tycoons and unbeknownst to her, members of the Russian Mob.

Molly’s only ally turned out to be her criminal defense attorney Charlie Jaffey (Idris Elba) who learned that there was a lot more to Molly than what the tabloids reported. The story unfolds from there…

“Molly’s Game” is awesome!! It’s suspenseful, intriguing and edge of your seat entertaining. I love Jessica Chastain and she does not disappoint!! She makes it up as she goes along. The only down turn of the movie was there wasn’t enough “poker play” shown.

Molly’s Game was worth the wait. You should check it out!!

This is a 4 Star Movie!

Hidden Figures

This is a special edition of “Thursday Night at the Movies w/The Movie Warrior”

What a way to start off 2017!

Based on a true story, “Hidden Figures” is a very eye opening, moving and entertaining movie.
In the 1960’s NASA employed a number of women of color who were Mathematicians and Engineers. These brilliant women helped NASA figure out how to get a man on the moon and then back to earth safely.

The movie chronicles these historic events while dabbling in the personal lives of the three main female characters. The story unfolds from there…

The movie is awesome! My only complaint is that the personal lives of the three main female characters, Katherine Johnson (Henson), Dorothy Vaughn (Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Monae) should have been a bit more prominent in the movie. It would have been nice to find out how they actually got to NASA.

Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae were awesome in their roles. The entire cast was really good.

“Hidden Figures” is definitely worth a look and deserves all of the buzz it’s been receiving.

This is a 5 Star Movie!

Criminal

“Criminal” offers familiarity, but lacks cohesiveness.

Bill Pope (Ryan Reynolds) who is a CIA operative is kept alive so that his memories can be surgically implanted in a dangerous criminal (Kevin Costner) so that the CIA can use the knowledge to stop an International terrorist. The story unfolds from there…

The problem with “Criminal” is there is no basis or context for the actions and events that take place in the first 12 minutes of the film. The story does not start of right, so you are left to your own devices to try and figure out the “What’s”, the “Who’s” and the “Why’s”.

While “Criminal” isn’t great by any stretch of the imagination, it is better than the 2014 “3 Days to Kill” which also starred Kevin Costner.

“Criminal” will be an excellent watch on DVD or Blu-Ray.

This is a 2 Star Movie

McFarland, USA

Based on a true story, “McFarland, USA” is about how the economically challenged 1987 McFarland High School Cross Country team beat the odds to become a power house and go on to win 9 State Championships in 14 years.

The story is engaging, intriguing and quite entertaining. This is an excellent Disney production.

Kevin Costner was excellent as Coach Jim White.

This is a 4 Star Movie!!

Black or White

Imagine losing your seventeen year old daughter when she is giving birth and then losing your wife in a tragic traffic accident. All you have left is your granddaughter.
The extended family hasn’t really been part of your granddaughter’s life and definitely not her biological father, but now that your wife has died, the extended family wants to play a bigger role. They even want sole custody.
This is what the movie “Black or White” is about although during some parts of the movie it becomes more about “Black or White”.

The story is a bit disjointed. You have to piece it together bit by bit. The movie is not bad. At times it’s rather entertaining. The young lady (Jillian Estell) who portrays the granddaughter Eloise Anderson is cute and adorable. She plays well with Kevin Costner.

The paid critics were rather harsh about “Black or White”. I think it deserves a look.

This is a 3 Star Movie!!

Draft Day

If you are an avid Pro Football Fan, You will be intrigued by “Draft Day”.

The 2014 NFL Draft is just hours away…The back room, under the table deals that occur between the front offices of NFL teams is mind boggling if not staggering.

Sonny Weaver (Kevin Costner) has the opportunity to trade for the number one player and thus rebuild his team, the Cleveland Browns. The fans, the coaches, the owner and his Mom are counting on him. Sonny makes what everyone believes is the best possible deal with the Seattle Seahawks to get the number one pick, but before the actual draft starts Sonny does his own homework on the number one pick and starts to have doubts. The story unfolds from there…

The movie starts off a bit “Ho-Hum”. It does pick up steam and really starts to roll, but a bit too late because the movie is almost over when it gets exciting. There are definitely a few surprises which make things interesting.

I found the on-screen chemistry between Jennifer Garner and Kevin Costner to be a bit strange. They are not the best “Love” match. I really like both of them as actors. The cinematography is great as you will get a different look at some of the best looking NFL Football Stadiums around the country.

The paid critics were a bit harsh on “Draft Day”, but I think it’s worth a look.

3 Days to Kill

Kevin Costner looks “Hot!!” in “3 Days to Kill” and he has smooth assassin moves. The cinematography is interesting; you will get to see a lot of Paris, France. But that’s it.

In “3 Days to Kill” Ethan Runner (Kevin Costner) is a retired Secret Service agent who has been called out of retirement to pose as an International Spy. His skills are needed for one last job. The request causes Ethan a tremendous amount of anxiety because he is attempting to recapture his old life. Currently Ethan is estranged from his wife and he hasn’t seen his daughter in years. He has kept them at bay and they don’t know what he really does.

If this new assignment isn’t enough, Ethan is also terminally ill. The agency supplies Ethan with injections that help to minimize the pain and agony that often afflicts him. They (CIA) need him to kill one of the most notorious International criminals. The story unfolds from there…

The problem with “3 Days to Kill” is that the story is disjointed; it does not flow and you have no idea of how you arrived at point B from point A. It’s like a runaway train that has no final destination. The plot is interesting, but there is no real understanding behind it. There are at least three stories going on in the movie at one time, but you are not given enough background information to really understand the reasoning behind the events that occur.

Needless to say I am disappointed. I expected better. “3 Days to Kill” is best viewed on DVD, Blueray or Cable.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

It’s always fun to see a Tom Clancey character brought alive on the big screen. “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” would be brilliant if the storyline weren’t so weak and the plot so “Been there before…”

To his friends and family, Jack Ryan (Chris Pine) is just another executive working to make a living. Little do they know Jack has been working for the CIA for years. He was originally brought in to handle Global data, but Jack soon uncovers a carefully planned scheme to crash the Global US Economy and create mass chaos.
When Jack flies to Russia to put a stop to the scheme, he soon finds himself caught between a Russian Leader, his clueless fiancée, and his secret handler. The story unfolds from there…

“Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” is fast paced, non-stop action, a bit of intrigue and some nice cinematography. Unfortunately that’s where it ends. The story, the plot and the reasoning are all very weak. There are quite a few holes in the story at the beginning, so you are forced to draw your own conclusions.

The movie appears to end when things just seem to be heating up. If the movie had been made with a bit longer running time, the extra time would have served it well.

Man of Steel: An IMAX 3D Experience

Remember “Batman Begins”? “Man of Steel” is Christopher Nolan’s first installment of the untold story of Superman. I say untold because this movie starts at the very beginning just as Superman is about to be born.
The planet Krypton is about to be destroyed. Superman’s biological parents want to save him from a certain fate, so they ship the infant off to earth. Fast-forward about 20 years…now a grown-up Superman must confront his secret extraterrestrial heritage when people from Krypton come to earth to get him back. The story unfolds from there…
“Man of Steel” does a nice job of giving snippets of Superman growing up in rural Mid-West America. The cinematography and special effects are really good. The action at times is really intense. The story does come together nicely, although there are times that it jumps around too much and becomes a bit mundane.
You definitely want to see this in IMAX, although 3D is not required. The 3D aspects are pretty good, but not worth the extra dollars.
As I stated earlier this is a Christopher Nolan production. We can expect several more installments just like he did Batman.
If you are a Superman fan, by all means do go see “Man of Steel”.