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Movie Review: Escape Room

 

Available now on DVD is the thriller, Escape Room.

The film stars Evan Williams, Annabelle Stephenson, Elisabeth Hower, Dan J. Johnson, John Ierardi, Kelly Delson, and Iris Avalee, to name a few. I am honestly not familiar with any of the actors, but that is OK.

Tyler (Williams) is about to celebrate his 30th birthday. His girlfriend, Christen (Hower) gives him an unusual gift – admission into one of those popular escape rooms. 

If you are unfamiliar with an escape room, they are very popular these days. In fact, my husband and I did one once. Thankfully we came out of it alive, unlike most of the characters in this film (sorry for any spoilers). Escape rooms can be a lot of fun, especially if you do them with a group of people (my husband and I wish we had help solving some of the clues). To ideal of an escape room is to solve mysteries/puzzles in order to escape from the room (or a series of rooms). You have to escape before the clock counts down or you lose. In this film, you lose more than just the game (if you know what I mean?).

The friends all seem to be enjoying themselves, that is until Christen disappears. She reappears again on a video, naked and caged with some kind of clock counting down. Where is she and why is there a countdown clock near her? What happens when time runs out?

The friends soon realize this is not just a game for the fun of it – it’s a game for the lives.

One by one the friends are picked off. But why? Who is doing this to them? Is it someone whose hell bent on destroying Tyler’s birthday (and more?), or is there something more sinister at play here?

To find out you need to pick up a copy of Escape Room. Look for it where ever movies are sold.

I’m not sure if this film is being promoted as a horror movie, or a thriller. I’m leaning towards thriller. As a horror genre fan I was not scared one bit.

This film was a bit predictable, sad to say. Almost from the start you have an idea of what direction the film is heading towards. In a way it reminds me of the Saw movies.

I find it interesting that the characters do not seem like people who would typically do an escape room. They come across as a bit too “snooty” in the film. Going to something fun and adventurous as an escape room would seem out of character for people like them.

The acting wasn’t anything too spectacular (no Academy Awards nominees here), but the Cinematography was pretty good. I was surprised by that.

The whole concept of the film (escaping with your life) is a great idea. It’s one of those “why didn’t someone think of it sooner” sort of thing. Sadly, I don’t think they evacuated the film was well as the could have. It was entertaining, don’t get me wrong about that, but the film had the potential to be a lot better.

My husband and I were entertained enough by the film, but we didn’t love it. It was just “OK.” There were some good parts. Like I said, the film had potential to be great. For some reason it was just lacking something that would have pushed it to the next level.

There are bonus features on the DVD including Director Commentary (I never do the commentary – I am not a fan of it), deleted scenes and oddly enough, bloopers (not as many bloopers and I’d like to have seen).

Below is the trailer for your entertainment.

 

Kimberly

*I received a free screener copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are that of my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Movie Review: Girl’s Trip

 

Now available today on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download is the comedy film, Girl’s Trip.

Girl’s Trip features Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Tiffany Haddish.

This film is rated “R”, and rightfully so. If you have seen the red band trailer for this film you’ll know why. It can be a bit raunchy at times.

Girl’s Trip is about four women who are college friends, but have been distant over the years. They were once known as the “Flossy Posse.”

Ryan (Hall) is a self help guru that is married to a retired football player. She is asked to speak at a conference in New Orleans, LA.

Ryan thinks this is a great opportunity to reconnect with her friends, especially Sasha. They had a falling out years ago over business deal that went sour.

Also along for the ride is Lisa (Smith), a very proper, “goody two shoes”, divorced mom and Dina, who has a bit of an “anger issue.”

As you can probably guess, madness and mayhem ensure when this quartet reconnect in the French Quarter. A LOT of craziness ensues.

There is romance, as well as an issue that could rip a pair’s friendship up forever and destroy one of the friend’s lives. I won’t go into much detail, but I wanted to mention that so that people don’t think this movie is just about sex crazed ladies having too much of a good time. There IS a story line/plot to the film.

 

I wasn’t sure about this film at first. I am NOT a “prude” by any means, but I am also not a fan of overly sexual films/scenes that are obsessed with sex and every sexual joke imaginable. I get it, some of it can be funny, but it’s not necessary to make the entire film revolve around it. This film DOES have A LOT of sexual references and jokes, but thankfully the rest of the film makes up for that and it’s not just about “getting it on.”

This movie is actually pretty funny. These ladies have a great chemistry together. I think that is why their on screen friendship comes across as genuine and believable.

This is a long movie (over two hours) but it honestly didn’t feel that long because there was so much going on at all times that it made time pass quickly. There are also A LOT of bonus materials worth checking out, most especially the Outtakes and Outrageous Moments (great featurettes for more laughs).

Admittedly I didn’t partake in the commentary. I am not a fan of commentaries.

 

  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Director Malcolm D. Lee
  • Outtakes
  • Planning the Trip
  • Outrageous Moments
  • The Essence of NOLA
  • Extended Performance “Because of You” by Ne-Yo
  • Feature Commentary with Director Malcolm D. Lee
  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Director Malcolm D. Lee

I’ve never been to New Orleans before, but after watching this film I think I’ll add it to my “Bucket List” of places I want to visit some day, although MAYBE it’s a wee bit too wild for my taste. LOL!

Look for Girl’s Trip where ever movies are sold.

You can also check out the film on social media (GirlsTripMovie on both Facebook and Twitter).

Did you see this film? If so, what did you think about it? Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

Kimberly

*I received a free screener copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

 

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Movie Review: Baby Driver

 

Rev up your engines! The high octane film, Baby Driver, is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download.

Baby Driver stars Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, John Bernthal, Eliza Gonzalez, Jon Hamm and Jamie Fox.

Baby (Elgort) is the getaway driver for a crime boss, Doc (Spacey). He’s serving penance for robbing Doc. As his punishment he must be the getaway driver for other robbers who work for Doc. Baby has a few more drives to do before he’s done with Doc.

Baby’s world is all about music. His whole world is centered around music and the various playlists for his life. For that reason the soundtrack for this film is awesome. I checked the soundtrack for this film and there are 30 songs listed. WOW!!!

Baby world changes when he meets a waitress Debora (James). He falls for the beautiful young lady and realizes his life of crime is not worth risking the affection of his new found love. Baby wants to go straight, but how easy will that be?

Will Baby be able to get away from a life of crime, or will Doc (or something else) hold him back? To find out you need to pick up (or download) Baby Driver. Look for it where ever movies are sold.

To be honest with you, the first time I heard the title I legitimate thought the movie had something to do with an actual baby. Who knew the lead character, a twenty-something male, would go by that name.

If you love movies with kick-a$$ car chase scenes, you’ll love this film. It’s along the same vein as Fast and the Furious, and it’s predecessors like Smokey and the Bandit and Gone in Sixty Seconds.

 

I think what makes this film stand out is the soundtrack. It’s all about the music. It’s an eclectic soundtrack too. There isn’t just one genre of music being played throughout the film. Admittedly I haven’t hear of most of the artists, but I would say I enjoyed at least half the songs, if not more.

It’s true that music can really enhance a moment on the big screen. This film is filled with those moments. Almost every scene (most especially the car chase ones) are accompanied with music that really gets your heart pumping and brings the action on screen to life.

Believe it or not there is some humorous parts in this film. It’s a great mix of drama, romance, comedy and high octane action.

I thought Ansel Elgort was an interesting choice for the part of Baby. I wasn’t sure if he could pull it off (I still think about his performance in A Fault in Our Stars).

Kevin Spacey was ideal as the role of Doc. He pulled the character off perfectly, as I would expect him too. He was made for roles like this.

My husband and I loved the film. It’s one of those films we plan on watching again and again.

The bonus features are certainly worth checking out. There is a lot of behind the scenes stuff that I found to be very interesting, most especially when it came to how they did all those amazing car chasing scenes, as well as why the soundtrack for an essential part of this film.

Below is the theatrical trailer for your enjoyment. Remember, this film is available for home viewing.

 

Kimberly

*I received a free screener copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Happy 40th Anniversary Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas

 

Have you ever seen the Jim Henson’s movie Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas? I remember watching it on television when I was a kid.

I had mentioned it to my husband not too long ago. He too remembered seeing it as a kid.

Imagine our surprise when I we found out the movie was celebrating it’s 40th Anniversary this year.

WOW! WOW! WOW! Now I feel REALLY old!

I was sent a copy to review. It’s now available on Blu-ray and DVD.

The quality of the film is not that great (it’s not hi-def), but that OK because the original film is 40 years old. It’s going to show it’s age.

The characters in this film are all puppets. They are made by Jim Henson’s company, so they are like Muppets. In fact, Kermit the Frog makes an appearance in the movie. Even some of the voices sound familiar (I would swear the lead singe of the River Bottom Band is Cookie Monster from Sesame Street).

Emmet and his mother are not very well off. They scrimp and save every penny to get by. Ma does the laundry for other people and Emmet takes any odd job he can get.

One day they learn that the town is having a talent contest. Both Emmet and Ma have the same idea (unbeknownst to each other) to enter the contest to win the grand prize so that they can buy presents for one another.

They even go so far as to take from one another for the sake of winning the contest. Ma hocks Emmet’s tools to buy a material to make a nice dress and Emmet takes Ma’s washtub to turn it into an instrument.

Who will win the contest? Will either of them win? To find out you’ll need to pick up a copy of Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas. Look for it where ever movies are sold.

It was great to see this film again It’s been decades since I’ve seen it last. I didn’t remember most of it, except for the plot.

It does have “Christmas” in the title, and it is a “feel good” movie, but I wouldn’t classify it as a holiday film. This film could be enjoyed year round. It’s NOT filled with holiday tunes. I think most of the music is exclusive to this film (I don’t recall ever hearing it on the radio or in other soundtracks).

The most Christmas-like thing in the film is that they want to buy holiday gifts for one another.

Compared to today’s special effects, these puppets are not up to today’s quality. But that is OK. After all, the film is 40 years old. It’s not going to be like today’s puppets.

The great thing about this movie is that its something both young and old alike can watch and enjoy together. Little kids might not be too keen on the songs, but the story it’s self is great for every age. As I mentioned before, it’s a feel good movie with a great story.

There ares some bonus features available. I was surprise that there was considering 40 years ago we didn’t have DVDs and I didn’t think that kind of material found in the bonus feature section (like deleted scenes) would still be available.

Bonus features on the DVD include deleted scenes, the song “Born in a Trunk,” Outtakes and Behind the Scenes in Frogtown Hollow (the behind the scenes feature was my favorite).

If you are looking for a fun film for Family Movie Night, Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas would be a fun choice.

Below is a clip for your enjoyment.

 

Kimberly

*I received a free screener copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Move Review: Wish Upon

 

Now available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download is the horror movie Wish Upon.

The film stars Joey King, Ryan Phillippe, Ki Hong Lee, Sydney Park and Shannon Purser.

Clare (King) was a young girl when she witnessed her mother commit suicide. Clare has never been able to get over that experience. To this day she still has nightmares about it.

Clare lives in her childhood home with her father Jonathan (Phillippe). Her father once dreamed of being a muscian. Now he is a professional “dumpster diver,” constantly going through dumpsters and bringing home junk. He has even gone so far as to frequent dumpsters near Clare’s school, much to her embarrsement.

Clare is not very popular at school. She has two best friends, but aside from that she tends to get bullied by the popular kids.

One day Jonathan brings home a strange music box that he found in the garbage. He gifted it to Clare because it has Chinese writing on it and Clare is studying the Chinese language at school. He figured she would like the unusual gift.

After one particular difficult day at school, Clare rests her hands on the music box and wishes harm to the popular girl at school who always picks on her.

To Clare’s surprise the next day she finds out that the girl she wished about had been infected with a terrible, flesh eating disease.

Sadly, after her wish came true, Clare’s beloved dog is found dead.

Soon Clare’s wishes seem to be coming true. At the same time her loved ones keep dying in horrible accidents.

Is there a connection? Could Clare’s wishes be causing her loved ones to die?

To find out you need to pick up (or download) Wish Upon. Look for it where ever movies are sold.

Below is the film’s trailer for you enjoyment.

 

As far as being scary is concerned, this movie wasn’t scary at all (not in my opinion). It did have a few moments that made you jump a wee bit, but that is about it.

The movie wasn’t terrible. As a die hard horror movie fan it takes A LOT to impress me. It’s been a long time since I reviewed a legitimately scary horror movie (Train to Busan). I didn’t think I’d like that movie and I ended up loving it. For that reason I always go into a movie review with an open mind.

Wish Upon is entertaining enough. If I happened across it on a premium channel (HBO, Starz…) I would probably stop and watch it again.

There is nothing really scary about this film. There is gore, but thankfully it’s not outlandishly gory. Some of the characters do die gruesome deaths, but it’s nothing that is unbearable to watch.

The story was a bit predictable at times. I even guessed the ending of the film before it even happened (I was partially correct – the manner in which it happened I was wrong about).

For me, the three best characters in the movie were Clare’s best friends (June and Meredith) and her friend Ryan. Sadly the character of Clare didn’t come across as very likable. I couldn’t connect to her for some reason. That’s sad because I really enjoyed Joey King in White House Down. 

Die hard horror movie fans might want to pass on this title. Others might find this entertaining enough to watch.

There are some bonus features for this title as well. I liked the feature on what the cast of the film would wish for if they could have a wish come true. Of all the features that is the one that stood out the most to me.

Did you see this film? If so, what did you think about it? Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

Kimberly

*I received a free screener copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Movie Review – Open Water 3: Cage Dive

 

There have been A LOT of shark movies over the years. I guess sharks make for great horror movies because who wouldn’t be terrified to come face-to-face with one of the oceans most ferocious beasts.

There have been some great shark movies (Jaws, The Shallows) and there have been some “oh-my-goodness-this-is-awful” movies (ANY of the Sharknado movies, Sharktopus, Jurassic Shark). Most fall some where in between – they are entertaining enough but they are not going to win any kind of movie award.

Another shark themed movie makes its way to Blu-ray, DVD and of course Digital Download today – Open Water 3: Cage Dive. This is basically the same kind of movie as Open Water and Open Water 2. People find themselves bobbing around in the middle of the ocean while sharks surround them and kill off most of the characters. Sadly, this has is a “been there, done that” kind of film. The concept of people stranded in the water waiting to become a sharks next meal is so overly played out in Hollywood. Time for some original ideas.

In Open Water 3, a video camera is discovered that gives viewers an insight into what happened to missing divers – Josh, his half-brother Jeff, and Jeff’s girlfriend Megan. The trio traveled to Australia to cage diving to see sharks up close.

As you can probably guess, they find themselves stranded in the middle of the ocean after a rouge wave hits (and sinks) the boat they were travelling in. The sharks know they are there too and they are just waiting to pick them off one by one.

The movie is kind of split in half. The first part of the film gives you more of a backstory to the characters (we find out that Megan has not exactly been faithful to Jeff). The second part of the film is the survival part – where they try to survive long enough to be rescued.

I’d add more to the plot – but that is pretty much it.

What killed it for me right from the start is that this is one of those “found footage” type movies (think Blair Witch Project). I cam NOT a fan of this genre. There is too much moving around and it’s hard to follow along. Just shoot a film the way it’s supposed to be filmed. If I want to watch choppy, fuzzy, wobbly footage I’ll just look at my own home movies.

People stranded in the ocean surrounded by sharks – Done! Found footage films – Done! I am so over these types of films. Let’s get back to more original ideas.

Back to Open Water 3: Cage Dive.

The movie was predictable, and as I mentioned earlier, I am not a fan of “found footage” films, but none the less the film was entertaining enough to watch. It dragged on longer than it should (it’s an hour and twenty minutes long), but it entertained my husband and I enough on a Friday evening. It was better than watching repeats on television.

Would I watch it again if I saw it come on one of the premium channels? Maybe. I own the Blu-ray, and I’ll probably never pop it back in my player again. Unless one of my kids wanted to watch it (they are older so they can watch “R” rated movies).

The nighttime part was the most interesting and entertaining to me. I couldn’t imagine floating around in the ocean in total darkness while hungry sharks are circling around you. You can’t see them to know if they are coming for you or not (but they can “see” you). The idea of that does make my heart skip a beat.

Cage diving off the coast of Australia to see Great Whites is on my “Bucket List,” but hopefully if/when that ever happens I don’t end up like the characters in Open Water 3: Cage Dive. 

Remember, this is just one person’s opinion. Just because this film didn’t “wow” me that much, that doesn’t mean that you (or someone else) might think this is an awesome movie. I am pretty sure the film was made to entertain – which it did. I doubt the filmmakers anticipated being nominated or win an Academy Award for this film.

Below is the trailer for your enjoyment.

 

Kimberly

*I received a free screener copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions pressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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