Author Archives: Emily E

The Great Wall – A Review

The great wall

1700 years to build. 5,550 miles long. What were they trying to keep out? That is the big question for Universal’s new movie, The Great Wall starring Matt Damon.

When I first watched the trailer for  The Great Wall, I knew that I was intrigued and wanted to see more. I can appreciate a great historical film, but I love when there is a twist! This movie is action-packed, suspenseful and serves as a reminder that being brave and selfless is important. 

The Great Wall begins with two westerners, William (Matt Damon) and Tovar (Pedro Pascal), being chased in the desert. They end up running right into the Great Wall of China. This is where they meet the very intense and prepared, elite army that is ready for battle against a swarm of gruesome creatures. Now they must decide whether to help the soldiers stay alive or leave to save themselves.

The Great Wall was very well put together. I felt as though the story line was smooth and touched on important virtues such as bravery and selflessness. I think Zhang Yimou (director) added a few very creative elements, such as the army’s battle techniques. I feel these techniques really  helped give this movie an edge. Scenery throughout The Great Wall was breathtaking, including perfectly matched scoring. The battle scenes are intense and realistic, pulling you right into this movie! It was these elements that really helped bring the movie together. 

This movie is rated PG-13 for “sequences of fantasy action violence”. I’d say this rating is appropriate and fits the content of the movie. As usual, use your judgement when bringing younger children. However, this is definitely a movie for those that enjoy an action-packed monster fantasy. I would definitely recommend seeing this movie. 

The Great Wall intrigued me from the very start and I am very happy I was able to see it! This movie was a perfect blend of action, fantasy, and real life virtues. Zhang Yimou really put all the pieces together to make this a well rounded movie. I would recommend The Great Wall. Go see it and get ready for a very exciting and nail-biting battle!

THE GREAT WALL has been rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned – Some Material May Be Inappropriate for Children Under 13) for sequences of fantasy action violence.   Running time: 103 minutes

Starring global superstar Matt Damon and directed by one of the most breathtaking visual stylists of our time, Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers), Legendary’s The Great Wall tells the story of an elite force making a valiant stand for humanity on the world’s most iconic structure.  The first English-language production for Yimou is the largest film ever shot entirely in China.  The Great Wall also stars Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe and Andy Lau.

The film will be released in 3D by Universal Pictures.

***Disclosure: We were invited to a special screening of this movie in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are our own. No other compensation was received. 

Fifty Shades Darker – Review

50 Shades darker

50 Shades darker

Fantasies.

Desires.

We all have them, especially when it comes to romance. Some are basic and platonic while other fantasies are intimate and thrill seeking. E.L. James portrays those sexual thrills exquisitely in her novel turned movie, Fifty Shades Darker, the sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey. This film  had me intrigued by the way it made me laugh and tear up, but mostly by how it made me want more!

 Fifty Shades Darker opens with Anastasia (Dakota Johnson) receiving a massive bouquet of white roses from Christian, whom she broke off ties with at the end of the first movie. Anastasia(Ana for short) starts her new job at SIP as an assistant to one of the editors. She is trying to build her career while Christian (Jamie Dornan) tries to lure her back into his life. She caves in, but not too quickly without new arrangements for the sexual relationship they have. Things start getting hot and heavy until the past tries to come back. Shadowy figures from Christian’s past try to eliminate any chance of a future for the couple. Now Christian will do anything within his power to make sure that does not happen.

 James Foley (director) and Niall Leonard, who wrote the screenplay, put E. L. James novel together elegantly. They really focused on all the little details without straying away from the plot. My favorite details were  Ana’s outfits and lingerie. Her outfits were chic and her lingerie was elegant and sexy. The scenery was gorgeous and made everything flow so well. You can tell how hard the whole crew worked and how much they put their all into making this movie.

The movie is rated R, purposely so for the fact that there are multiple sex scenes and some language.  This type of movie is not everyone’s cup of tea, if you will, but it is definitely worth watching. If you love romance and fantasy, this drama packed movie is for you.

I’ll be honest with saying that this movie did not peak my interest much until I watched it. And I’m glad I did!  I will definitely recommend this movie to all of my friends. There are twists I did not see coming, tears I did not know I would shed, and laughter I did not realize would come out. Fifty Shades Darker  will make you want more – just like it did to me!

FIFTY SHADES DARKER has been rated R for strong erotic sexual content, some graphic nudity, and language. Fifty Shades Darker opens in theaters Friday, February 10, 2017.

Disclosure:***Written by Guest Blogger, Mara B.*** We were invited to a special screening of this movie in exchange for a review. All opinions are our own and no other compensation was received.

Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson return as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades Darker, the second chapter based on the worldwide bestselling “Fifty Shades” phenomenon.  Expanding upon events set in motion in 2015’s blockbuster film that grossed more than $560 million globally, the new installment arrives for Valentine’s Day and invites you to slip into something a shade darker.

 

When a wounded Christian Grey tries to entice a cautious Ana Steele back into his life, she demands a new arrangement before she will give him another chance.  As the two begin to build trust and find stability, shadowy figures from Christian’s past start to circle the couple, determined to destroy their hopes for a future together.

 

Also returning from Fifty Shades of Grey are Academy Award® winner Marcia Gay Harden, Rita Ora, Luke Grimes, Victor Rasuk, Eloise Mumford and Max Martini, who are joined for the first time by Oscar® winner Kim Basinger, Bella Heathcote and Eric Johnson.

 

Fifty Shades Darker is directed by James Foley (Fear, House of Cards) and once again produced by Michael De Luca, Dana Brunetti and Marcus Viscidi, alongside E L James, the creator of the culture-spanning blockbuster series.  The screenplay is by Niall Leonard, based on the novel by James.

A Dog’s Purpose – Review

a dog's purpose

a dog's purposeIf you are a dog owner, I am sure you have, at one point or another, had the  thought, “I wonder what my dog is thinking right now.” Amblin Entertainment’s newest movie, ‘A Dog’s Purpose,’ sets out to give us that answer by sharing a dog’s perspective on the world they live in. This movie will get you to experience some of the many different emotions a dog could go through –  happiness, laughter and sadness. Dogs are known as ‘man’s best friend’ and generally make people happy. What could be better than a movie completely dedicated to our furry best friends? Because I am a dog lover, I knew I would need to see this movie. 

‘A Dog’s Purpose’ follows one dog’s journey through many different lives. Yes – you read that right. MANY different lives. During one of his lives, a puppy meets a young boy named Ethan (Bryce Gheisar). They form a friendship that cannot be broken. Ethan names his new pup Bailey, and they end up doing everything together. Through Bailey’s many lives, he wonders a lot about why he is ‘here’ and what his ‘purpose’ is. For every new owner he has, he learns another lesson about the importance of love and laughter. 

While I truly believe that ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ was adorable and had a few important messages behind it, I do feel as though the story line was a bit scattered.  I do not want to give away any spoilers, so I will not be going into too much detail. At some points during the film, I felt unsure of what I was supposed to be feeling. Bottom line, this movie was really sweet and could teach about the important things in life. I laughed, I smiled and I cried a whole lot! 

‘A Dog’s Life’ is rated PG for “thematic elements and some peril.” I would say be cautious when thinking of bringing your little ones. The movie does touch on a few themes that you may not be comfortable with younger children seeing. Worth noting (and a potential SPOILER – you have been warned), the film depicts the reincarnation of Bailey many times –  which brings up the point that the movie does hint at the dog’s passing each time.

a dog's purpose‘A Dog’s Purpose’ is a beautiful movie that can make you cry and laugh all at the same time! The many different dogs and puppies were great and there is no shortage of cuteness in this movie. I would recommend this movie for any dog lovers. “A Dog’s Purpose’ is such an important reminder of why we should take care of our furry family members and why they are our best friends! 

Based on the beloved bestselling novel by W. Bruce Cameron, A Dog’s Purpose, from director Lasse Hallström (The Cider House Rules, Dear John, The 100-Foot Journey), shares the soulful and surprising story of one devoted dog (voiced by Josh Gad) who finds the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans he teaches to laugh and love. The family film told from the dog’s perspective also stars Britt Robertson, KJ Apa, John Ortiz, Juliet Rylance, Luke Kirby, Peggy Lipton, Pooch Hall and Dennis Quaid.

A Dog’s Purpose is produced by Gavin Polone (Zombieland, TV’s Gilmore Girls). The film from Amblin Entertainment and Walden Media is executive produced by Alan Blomquist, Mark Sourian and Lauren Pfeiffer, and it will be distributed by Universal Pictures.

SPLIT – Movie Review

Split

Split

Chances are, if you are reading this review,  you are like me and love watching a good thriller! You know – the one that gives you goosebumps and you just can not look away; a thriller that makes your heart almost pump right out of your chest. That was exactly what I felt while watching M. Night Shyamalan’s newest release, SPLIT. There are many moments of suspense, some terrifying scenes and even a few laughs. This movie had me on the edge of my seat during some scenes and hiding my face for others!

SPLIT begins with three teenage girls, Casey, Claire and Marcia, being kidnapped by Kevin (James McAvoy), a man with DID (dissociative identity disorder). Kevin has 23 different personalities (alters) that live in his mind. The girls soon learn that they were kidnapped by one of these “alters” and they start to meet a few different ones. With the help of a quick thinking Casey (Anya Taylor Joy), they start to slowly figure out what has happened. Now they have to find a way to escape and maybe one of the alters can help them.

In my opinion, this movie was well  put together. M. Night Shyamalan amazes me as a writer, director and producer. I tend to think about the truth behind movies. SPLIT is about Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), which was more commonly known as Multiple Personality Disorder. Many people in the world deal with this disorder. SPLIT was thought provoking and eye opening as to what a person with this disorder may have been through and go through daily.

James McAvoy (Kevin) blew me away with his ability to portray so many different personalities for his role. His many transformations on screen were unbelievable.  I really feel like he put his all into this role and it pays off. Betty Buckley (Dr. Fletcher) also does a beautiful job in her role as Kevin’s therapist. You can feel every emotion with her throughout the movie and you can tell she is very passionate about helping Kevin and his alters. Anya Taylor-Joy (Casey) was such a refreshing addition to this movie. Taylor-Joy is great at keeping your attention and knowing how to convey her feelings without ever saying a word. You really just follow her character every time she’s on screen.

SPLIT is rated PG-13 for “disturbing thematic content and behavior, violence and some language.”  I will say that the trailer made this movie seem more terrifying than it actually turned out to be. But that does not mean it was not scary at moments or that you shouldn’t be cautious with bringing your teenagers. This was less of the normal “scary movie” type and more disturbing because it has such a truth and realness to it. It’s definitely not a movie for young children, but its a great movie for the adult crowd that enjoys psychological thrillers.

M. Night Shyamalan’s SPLIT peaked my interest from the very beginning. Now that I’ve seen it, I can say with certainty that I will be seeing it again. The cast really makes this movie worth seeing.  I would highly recommend SPLIT. When you do see it, get ready for some twists and turns and an ending you would never think of! SPLIT is in theaters now.

Writer/director/producer M. Night Shyamalan returns to the captivating grip of The Sixth SenseUnbreakable and Signs with Split, an original film that delves into the mysterious recesses of one man’s fractured, gifted mind.  Following last year’s breakout hit The Visit, Shyamalan reunites with producer Jason Blum (The Purge and Insidious series, The Gift) for the thriller being hailed as “Shyamalan’s most terrifying film to date.”

 

Though Kevin (James McAvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities—each with unique physical attributes—to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley), there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all the others.  Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy, The Witch), Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him—as well as everyone around him—as the walls between his compartments shatter apart.

 

For the film The Guardian calls “a masterful blend of Hitchcock and horror,” Shyamalan and Blum reassemble their core team from The Visit, the No. 1-grossing horror film of 2015.  Their fellow collaborators on Split include producer Marc Bienstock and executive producers Ashwin Rajan and Steven Schneider.

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