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28th February
2020
written by Adam

Cecilia (Elisabeth Moss), the partner of suicidal and abusive tech genius Adrian Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) has many questions surrounding the details of Adrian’s reported demise. But, it’s her own sanity that Cecilia begins to question as mysterious and lethal coincidences begin lining up, could it be that she’s being haunted or followed by someone or something that no one can see? Written and Directed by Leigh Whannell this two hour and four minute descent into gas lighting preys upon a number of well established horror tactics to carefully induce this “monster in the house” tale of terror and retribution; which, for the better part of the first two acts works nicely if and for only the fact that we don’t “see” the monster, all too often once we see the monster, our fears are lifted as the unknown becomes known, spooks deflated. Sadly, it’s the soggy spook to finish the race in a rather predictable cat and mouse-capade that doesn’t close the film as strong as possible. Performance wise the film is Moss’s show, meanwhile for Jackson-Cohen, invisible suits him, perhaps he should have stayed that way to the end? Ouch. Maybe a matinee for those committed to suspense with a dash of horror, otherwise best a rental. The Invisible Man is Rated R.

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21st February
2020
written by Adam

Based on the novel by Jack London, an oversized dog with an oversized personality named Buck from California finds himself kidnapped, crated, and shipped up North to the Yukon to become a sled dog in the time of the gold rush. At the same time, John Thornton (Harrison Ford), makes his way to the same remote mining town; and, through a series of chance encounters the two become friends. But, as Buck spends more time in the hills and mountains loyal to a code of his own, it’s the call of the wild that ultimately will determine his fate.Directed by Chris Sanders and adapted for screen by Michael Green, this live action/CGI spectacle presents an interesting mix of old and new offering many of the original plot points with a mindset for the 21st century in casting and racial tone, which, in this case, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. So, our focus turns to the elephant in the room, in this instance a giant anthropomorphized CGI dog, a tough sell for fans of well trained cinema hounds of yesteryear, alas there’s certainly less to misinterpret from the Scooby-Doo antics of Buck, but still, prepare for eye rolls and groans from the non-believers. As for the film’s live cast, it’s hard to fault any of the caricature-esque portrayals, noted, over the top Snidely Whiplash inspired Hal (Dan Stevens) is particularly inspired. Cinematically the film does offer plenty of Yukon eye candy with a further blurring of the lines between actual landscape and CGI, interesting. Overall, this family friendly flick is a hard ask for top dollar ticket prices, consider a matinee or stream later. The Call of The Wild is rated PG.

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14th February
2020
written by Adam

Ski vacationing in the Austrian alps an American family is threatened by an avalanche. Surviving the event, Pete (Will Ferrell) and Billie (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) take a serious re-evaluation of priorities and desires, could this be their last vacation as a family?Written by Jesse Armstrong, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, based on Ruben Östlund’s screenplay Force Majeure (2014), Directors Faxon and Rash present this re-telling and re-packaging of an already well received foreign film creating a bit of a head scratcher. Specifically and sadly, a number of comedic and dramatic points appear to get lost in translation watering down the original story to something less than the original, and, American audience’s may be additionally confused by the rather straight delivery from typically buffoonish Ferrell, especially with consideration as to how the film has been marketed (comedy over drama). Never the less, enough of the original screenplay does remain intact to hold structure and the endearing chemistry between Ferrell and Louis-Dreyfus sticks the landing, mostly. Furthermore, coming in at a scant 86 minutes of runtime, plans for the the second part of your date night might still need to be thought out, Valentine’s planners beware. Downhill is rated R.

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