Jun 16 2017

The Book of Henry

A wildly precocious 11 year old named Henry (Jaeden Lieberher) discovers his classmate and next door neighbor, Christina (Maddie Ziegler), is being abused by her stepfather (Dean Norris). Meanwhile, Henry’s mother Susan (Naomi Watts) is doing her best to keep up, but, tragedy always seems right around the corner, between Henry and brother Peter (Jacob Tremblay) Susan’s fight to keep the family above water might just reach a tipping point; how to forge a path forward? Told with creative zeal, Writer Gregg Hurwitz and Director Colin Trevorrow have created a dramatic adventure/thriller that wrestles with several heavy adult topics, mortality, child abuse, “good” parenting, alcoholism just to name a few. And, for the first two thirds of the film, this endearing story bounces along with many quick comedic quips and jabs as Henry, 11 going on 40, finds his own way in the world while questions of who’s parenting who, echo throughout. However, with the film’s final act, an over-reach in multiple capacities breaks the film’s balance and stride, ultimately watering down its recipe and losing impact. Regardless, performances from Lieberher and Tremblay are down right magical and still worthy of a matinee viewing or rental later. The Book of Henry is rated PG-13.

Jun 9 2017

The Mummy

Present day, an ancient Egyptian princess erased from history, Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), is awakened from her tomb/prison buried deep within the deserts of the war torn Middle East; smack dab in the center of the chaos is soldier and relic thief Nick Morton (Tom Cruise). Cursed with evil Nick and colleague Jenny (Annabelle Wallis) do their best to set things straight, but it will take the assistance of some rather strange individuals, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Russell Crowe) to make the final steps possible. Can the princess be stopped and at what cost? Directed by Alex Kurtzman, The Mummy represents Universal Pictures’ latest attempt at a franchise launch, Dark Universe, a throwback to fictional horror/monster figures of literary and cinematic history. But, oddly paced and emotionally challenged, this kickoff comes at time when theatre goers are still buzzing from last week’s Wonder Woman, tough luck and stiff competition. With a narrative driven by what feels like a pre-teen’s monster fantasy, and cinematic shortcuts this monster movie brings a few chuckles but also a handful of eye rolls with lack of imagination at the center. Still, for Universal, everything is not yet lost, perhaps there will be more redeemable as the franchise builds, more of a rental but passable as a matinee, the Mummy is rated PG-13.

Jun 9 2017

It Comes at Night

Hidden deep within the woods, one man, Paul (Joel Egerton) along with his wife and son (Carmen Ejogo and Kelvin Harrison Jr.) are staying alive as a strange and unknown threat destroys humanity. But, what terrors may disturb this family’s peace when an even younger family discovers their refuge? Written and Directed by Trey Edward Shults, this new breed of “horror” seems less about monsters and more about inner demons and humanity’s struggle for morality in the face of intense strain; a sense one could say is horrific but not necessarily traditional horror and perhaps more based in the suspense thriller genres. Solid acting all round gives notable performances to the entire ensemble, and well paced tension, sound design, and shot composition keeps the film interesting up to its vivid completion. Clocking in at 91 minutes of runtime, welcomes are not overstayed, although equally enjoyable on the small screen this gem is best considered a rental. It Comes at Night is rated R.