Movie Mondays ~ Monday, July 22, 2019

Movie Mondays ~ Monday, July 22, 2019

Despite feeling like total crud this week due to a head cold, I’ve managed to sneak in a trio of films to review here on #MovieMondays. One of them happens to be a classic and a personal favorite of mine but I’ve never reviewed it here on my blog, so since I was in the mood for it when I saw it listed on TCM movies on demand, I thought what the hell — let’s give that a watch this week! The other two are new films released just this year and one of them happens to be out at theaters right now. As always, thanks for reading! ~ Chris K.

 

 

FILMS VIEWED WEEK OF 07/15/2019 – 07/21/2019

(click on images to enlarge on the screen!)

 

 

 

80. Toy Story 4

Animated, Comedy (2019)
Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Tony Hale, Christina Hendricks

 

This Pixar franchise happens to be my absolute favorite of any of the Disney series of films. I adore the key characters that make up Andy’s toy collection, but more than anything, I enjoy how well the TOY STORY series captures the joy of being a child and the significance our toys play in our lives. And I love the clever way the various filmmakers behind the three previous films have captured in a very believable manner how our toys might feel (if they could feel) as their little admiring fans (their kids) begin to outgrow their toys.

 

New to this latest iteration is Forky, a little art project that Andy’s younger sister Molly whips up during kindergarten orientation. He’s voiced by the always delightful Tony Hale of “Veep” and with Forky, viewers gain yet another hilarious addition to the already awesome brood of toys who will do anything for each other and for their kids. This time around, charming Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks) oversees this new member of the toy family who seems to go out of his way to disappear from little Molly’s belongings, and Woody is determined to return him to her backpack and the rest of the gang even if it means some faraway travels.

 

There aren’t many films I can honestly say remain good four entries into the series — most of the time, we feel like we’ve seen it before or characters will take actions that seem unlike their usual behavior. The group behind the TOY STORY film series has done a tremendous job preserving the sweetness, joy, hilarity and complexity of growing up and moving on from our toys, even when our hearts don’t want to part with them. This film is a real winner… that’s four in a row if you ask me. See it, see it, see it! I can’t fathom how anyone could be disappointed. And enjoy Forky for all of his dopey and zany charm! There is nothing ‘trashy’ going on here. Only heartfelt and entertaining magic! Four films and twenty-four years later, I’m just as enamored with this film series as the first one all those years ago.

 

 

Score: 92

 

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81. Deadwood: The Movie

Western (2019)
Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker

 

The HBO western TV series from a decade ago had a special distinction in our house. We watched it —regularly. And I always left loving it but to be perfectly honest, it often felt like good Shakespeare —-  I enjoyed what I saw but frankly, I wasn’t always sure I understood what they were saying! This time around, the script and plot are a little more straightforward. We return to our favorite place and characters, but there is still some justice to serve. Olyphant and McShane may have different ways of doling out justice but when the pair team up, there’s something kind of exciting about that.

The cast is tremendous, and it was wonderful to see all of our old favorites once again. If you were a fan of the show, you will definitely enjoy catching up with everybody and seeing where life has led these characters so far. If you were not a regular viewer of the TV show, you may find a good season 1 binge will be helpful but it isn’t completely necessary for you to enjoy this film still. Thank you, Deadwood cast, for reminding us what good TV looks and feels like, and giving us the opportunity to have a little closure we didn’t otherwise have for this beloved TV series. Good work, gang!

 

 

Score: 86

 

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82.  12 Angry Men

Drama (1957)
Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, E.G. Marshall, Ed Begley, Sr., Jack Klugman

 

I’ve been a fan of director Sidney Lumet’s work for years, but this is where it all started, and I recently learned that it was a gamble that actor Henry Fonda took on a young, in experienced director when he hand-picked Lumet to oversee the film adaptation of the classic 1954 play by Reginald Rose. The play was first performed as a television stage production, but that was way before my time and probably most of you reading this. This is a play that many of us were first introduced to when we were asked to read one of the juror parts aloud in American Literature class or saw it performed in our high school or college auditoriums.

 

The play gets to the heart of  serving on a jury: that we hold someone’s future in our hands. The actual facts of the case are not relevant to we the viewers the way they are to the jurors considering the details, but it is fascinating to watch the actors break down each different aspect of the accused’s case. The acting is top-notch, and the way Lumet shoots the film to let the growing physical heat and tension in the room mount with each other and weigh on the jurors — especially the impatient ones who can’t wait to get home or to the baseball game.

 

There are so many wonderful actors roaming across the screen , and you’ll recognize so many of them even if you can’t place exactly where you saw them.  If you want to see skillful acting, masterful directing and a captivating story, check out this film classic. Lumet went on to direct such wonderful films as DOG DAY AFTERNOON, NETWORK and RUNNING ON EMPTY. But this is where it all began, and it’s a great place to start exploring his work. Enjoy!

 

 

Score: 94

 

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