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Movie Review: Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Arrives (now on Blu-ray, 4K Ultra, DVD & Digital)

 

Available today on Blu-ray, 4K Ultra, DVD and Digital is the sequel to Disney’s Maleficent, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. 

The film stars Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Michelle Pfeiffer, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sam Riley, Ed Skrein, and Imelda Staunton.

This film picks up a few years after the original movie. Aurora is now the Queen of the Moors. Maleficent watches over her as her protector.

Prince Phillip of the neighboring Ulstead has fallen in love with Aurora and proposes to her (she says “yes”). This does not sit well with Maleficient, especially because the people of Ulstead fear her and are against the fairies and creatures that call the moors their home.

Phillip’s parents, King John and Queen Ingrith, host a special dinner to celebrate their engagement. King John is excited that two kingdoms will unit, in hopes of peace between them.

Aurora begs Maleficent to join them. She begrudgingly agrees.

Dinner does not go well. The Queen makes comments that anger Maleficent. Maleficent goes into a rage and seemingly curses King John, causing him to fall into a deep sleep, similar to what happened to Aurora when she pricked her finger on the cursed spinning wheel.

Maleficent flees after Aurora refuses to leave with her.

Angelina Jolie is Maleficent in Disney’s MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL.

Outside the castle Maleficent is shot and falls into the ocean. There she is rescued by a mysterious being, who takes her back to where he lives, and takes care of her wounds.

Maleficent is now faced with something she never expected. She learns about what happened to her kind. All of this enrages her, and she plans to attack the castle and destroy Ulstead, even if Aurora is there. Aurora is a human, and Maleficent is against all humans for what they did to her and her kind.

What happens when Maleficent attacks Ulstead? Who will will? What secrets will be uncovered? Can Aurora stop things before it’s too late? To find out, you need to pick up a copy of Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. Look for it where ever movies are sold.

I really enjoyed the original film. I was looking forward to seeing this sequel.

This film employs the same interesting creatures as the first film. This time around there are a lot more enchanted creatures, including some new ones that are important to this film’s story line (the dark Feys).

The special effects in this film are really enjoyable. I especially loved it when Maleficent turned into a dragon. In the original Disney film she was a dragon. I have been waiting to see her transformation.

This film is visually stunning. Not only are the landscapes beautifully and very realistic, the lovely creatures that live in the moors are lovely to look at. I think this film is even more visually beautiful than the original film.

Elle Fanning is Aurora in Disney’s live-action MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL

I enjoyed the story line. You could tell right away that Queen Ingrith was up to no good. I wasn’t really sure what she was creating initially, but further on into the story line the movie explains what she is creating in more detail.

I don’t think the film was that predictable. Some instances it was, but for the most part I didn’t know what was going to happen until it happened.

I really enjoyed the film. I think it was a nice sequel to the original film. It makes me curious to see if there will be a third installment. The movie eluded tot he fact that there could be one (maybe if/when Aurora and Philip have a baby?).

There are plenty of bonus features with this film. My husband and I watched the digital copy, so I didn’t get the chance to watch the bonus features. Bonus features include;

  • Extended Scenes
  • Outtakes
  • Aurora’s Wedding
  • Behind the Scenes Look at the Magic of Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
  • And more!

Look for Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil where ever movies are sold.

In celebration of the release, MultiCultural Maven has created a how-to guide to making your own flower crown, inspired by the film. Check out the instructions below. Click here(Maleficent Flower Crown Craft) for a .PDF copy of the activity (easier to read).

You’ll find the film’s trailer below for your enjoyment.

Be sure to follow the film on social media – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  The official hashtag is #Maleficent.

 

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. 

The Big Trip – Available today on DVD, Digital and On Demand

 

Are you looking for a fun, family movie? If you are, you should certainly check out the new movie release called The Big Trip. It’s available today on DVD, Digital and On Demand.

The Big Trip is an animated film that features the voice talents of Drake Bell and Pauly Shore.

The film is from the writers of Madagascar, Vasiliy Rovenskiy and Billy Frolick, and has already won a Dove Seal of Approval for all ages. The film is from Lionsgate.

From a writer of Madagascar comes this funny, outrageous adventure about a gang of misfit animals on an exciting quest to return a panda cub to its family when a stork accidentally delivers it to the wrong place.

Check out the film’s trailer.

 

It looks really cute.

I love that the animals pick up new friends along their adventurous journey to bring the baby panda to it’s family.

I also think the animation looks really good too. Sometimes these direct to DVD films are not always the best quality, but the animation in this film looks really good.

There is one bonus feature on the DVD, “Giving the Characters a Voice: At the Recording Studio with Drake Bell and Pauly Shore.” I am not sure if this bonus feature is available on digital or On Demand.

The suggested retail price of the DVD is $14.98. I do not have the suggest price for digital or On Demand (On Demand would depend on your local provider).

I was sent a screener copy to review, but unfortunately I have been unable to view it as of yet. Once I have had the opportunity to watch the film, I will amend this post and provide you with a bigger synopsis as well as my thoughts.

If you happen to see the film, I would love it if you come back here and comment on this post and share your thoughts about it.

Kimberly

*I did receive a free screener copy, but I have not been able to view it yet. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

 

Movie Review: Joker – Now Available on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital and 4K Ultra HD

 

Now available for home viewing on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital and 4K Ultra HD is one of the most talked about movies of 2019, Joker. 

Joker stars Joaquin Phoenix and Robert DeNiro,

I did not see this film while it was still in the movie theater, but it was one of the movies my husband and I were anxious to see. Our son saw it with his girlfriend and he couldn’t stop talking about it (he almost gave us too many spoilers). Our son doesn’t really like going to the movies. He’s never liked movies and rarely watches television. The fact that he saw this film and wouldn’t stop talking about it, speaks volumes to me.

I received a free screener copy of the film to review. I couldn’t wait to see it.

Phoenix stars as Arthur Fleck. He’s a stand up comedian who lives with his mentally and physically ill mother, Penny (Frances Conroy). They reside in Gotham City, which if you follow the comic books, is the home of Bruce Wayne, better known as Batman (Batman is not in this movie, but his younger self is).

Arthur is a part of society that is poor and riddled with crime. He is also mentally ill and takes medication. He laughs a lot, even at inappropriate times.

Arthur gets brutally attacked by group of men. To help it from happening again, Arthur’s friend and co-worker provides him with a gun for protection. That turns out to be a bad idea after Arthur gets fired after accidentally revealing that he was carrying a gun. This sets off a serious of events that turn Arthur into the infamous Joker.

Using the gun that he was given, Arthur kills three men in self defense on the subway. The men are employed by billionaire Thomas Wayne, of Wayne Enterprises.

Thomas Wayne denounces the murders on the subway, and makes a comment about how crime like his is created by people who are jealous of wealthy, well off people (such as himself). He refers to such people as “clowns.”

Things start to spiral out of control for Arthur. His stand-up comedian job, issues with his medication, his mother’s health and a revealing secret about his paternity, all causes Arthur to “snap,” and thus the insane Joker is “born.”

I didn’t want to give away too much detail about the film. I just wanted to give you a bit of a “teaser” so that you have an inkling as to what the movie is about. Trust me, there is A LOT more to the film. I just touched upon the surface to give you a taste of the film.

Wow… just wow. I knew what to expect with this film, but I didn’t realize just how disturbing this movie truly was.

I have heard from others who have seen the film (both movie critics and friends) that this film has an underlying message to it. Most told me it had to do with society and people’s status based upon where they live, and how much money they make. There is also a theme dealing with mental illness and why it is so important the people with mental illness have the opportunity to get the support and medication they require, regardless of their social status and income.

I don’t believe that Arthur was innately a murderous criminal. I think he turned into the savage Joker because of the events that happened to him in his life. Another words, I believe in his case it was “nurture” and not “nature.” Although, his mom was also mentally ill, I believe it’s all of the events that happened to him that were the catalyst to making his “snap.” Arthur was a good man in the beginning, despite his mental illness.

I grew up watching Batman (Adam West). Joker appeared on the series, but there wasn’t any backstory for him. I don’t know if any of the comics touched upon Joker’s story. I appreciate this insight into the character and why he is the way he is.

This film is rate R for a very good reason – it’s violent, “dark,” and disturbing. A clown with blood on his person is the thing of nightmares for a lot of people.

When I first learned about the movie and found out that Joaquin Phoenix was going to be the Joker, I was like “meh.” I wasn’t much of a fan of him or his movies. After seeing Joker, I cannot image anyone else playing that part. He IS the Joker. He has the look, the laugh, and the acting chops to pull off such an intense, insane role.

Overall I am very impressed by this film. It’s not something I would typically watch, but I loved it. I plan on watching it again to see if I missed any of the details. This is one of those films that you end up thinking about long after the credits are done rolling at the end of the film. I even lied in bed that night thinking about the film.

There are a lot of bonus features with the Blu-ray. I’m not sure about the bonus features available for digital, DVD or 4K Ultra. I only have the Blu-ray copy. I would have expected more than there actually was (unless the other formats have more features?). Some of the features include;

  • Behind the scenes look at making this film
  • Alternative outtakes
  • Costume Tests

I have not watched the bonus features (yet), so I cannot comment on them (or remember all of them – sorry).

Joker is available where ever movies are sold or rented.

Below is the film’s trailer for your enjoyment. It’s the theatrical trailer. The film is no longer in theaters.

If you don’t like clowns, don’t watch the trailer (or movie).

 

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. 

Movie Review: Echoes of Fear

 

Now available on streaming services such as YouTube, Amazon and Google Play is the horror film, Echoes of Fear.

The film stars Trista Robinson as Alisa, Hannah Race as Steph, and Marshall Hilton as David.

One night, Alisa grandfather has a heart attack and dies while taking a shower. His body was not discovered for weeks later after Alisa had the Police do a wellness check on him after she did not hear from him in a while.

Alisa is his only living relative. It’s up to her to clean up his home and sell it. Since this process could take a while, Alisa temporarily moves into the home. That is her first big mistake.

Almost immediately upon moving into her grandfather’s home, strange things start happening. Alisa hears strange noises, including a cat, even though her grandfather didn’t have a cat. She also thinks that she’s seeing thing including things moving and strange shadows.

As time goes on, more and more strange things keep happening. Alisa also starts to experience strange visions, or could they just be nightmares from an overactive imagination.

Alisa is convinced that something bad happened, and that her grandfather’s death was a heart attack brought on by fear. She believes there is something in the house that is the source of all the bad things that have been happening.

With the help of her best friend Steph, Alisa sets out to discover what secrets the house is hiding, even if it means she might become it’s next victim.

What is going on in that house? Is Alisa’s fears justified? Or is there something even more sinister than ghosts going on? To find out you need to rent/purchase Echoes of Fear. Look for it where ever movies are sold/steamed. I know it’s available for rent/purchase on Google Play, YouTube and Amazon Prime.

If you read my blog on a regular basis, you know that I love horror movies. I consider myself a “horror movie snob.” It takes a lot to impress me. I’m also not easily scared, especially with newer horror movies (nothing beats the classic). Today’s horror movies are all about sex, drugs and nudity. They are not scary at all.

Echoes of Fear does not rely on sex, drugs and nudity to convey a story. In fact, there is a brief rape scene, but I honestly don’t recall any nudity, and the rape was implied. It wasn’t not graphic (thankfully).

As far as the acting goes… meh. It was just OK. I’m not saying it was bad, but I have seen better.

I will have to say that the story was unique. I was thinking this was a typical haunted house film with evil ghosts or poltergeists. That was not the case at all. Story wise, I think this was an interesting story plot. It also shows you that ghosts are not the only things in life that are scary, and that is all I’ll say about that.

Alisa was crazy to stay in the house. After some of the things she experienced, most people would have fled and never looked back. There were a few things that happened to her that would have made even the bravest person flee in fear.

The movie was suspenseful, but not too scary in my opinion – however – if you don’t like movies with a lot of “jump scares” in it (meaning things that pop up suddenly), this film is full of them. Even me, a die hard horror movie fan, jumped a couple of times while watching this film. Kudos to the film makers for doing that. I can’t recall the last time a movie made me jump (not so much in fear, but because it happened so quickly and without expecting it).

Overall I think it was a good movie. If I happened to see it on television I would probably watch it again. I don’t foresee me popping the screener copy back in to watch it again, but I would “not” watch it if it came on television.

Echoes of Fear does have an official website, EchoesofFear.com. The film is also on Facebook and Twitter (EchoesofFear). The links are found on the bottom of their website. The website also shows you what other platforms you can view the movie on.

Below is the trailer for your entertainment.

 

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. 

Movie Review: Charlie Says

 

 

Now available for purchase, rent and streaming is drama, Charlie Says, based off the shocking murders that made the name Charles Manson synonymous with pure evil. This film focuses on the lives of three of his followers involved in those horrific murders –  Leslie Van Houten, Patricia Krenwinkel and Susan Atkins.

The women are portrayed by Marianne Rendon (Atkins), Sosie Bacon (Krenwinkle) and Hannah Murray (Van Houten). Sosie Bacon is the daughter of Kevin Bacon. She looks a lot like her father.

I’m not entirely sure if this film is totally accurate, but it does seem to give you a glimpse into the lives of these ladies who followed Manson and lived with him on Spahn Ranch.

The movies is based off a book written by Karelene Faith, who is a teacher that worked at the prison where the ladies were being held. The story is from the conversations she had with the three women.

Karelene Faith (played by Merritt Wever) is asked to teach the three ladies, who are being held together (different cells, same area) away from the general population. The prison doesn’t know what else to do with them. They don’t want them with the rest of the inmates in fear that the ladies will turn them into Manson followers.

As Karelene is trying to educate the women on a variety of subjects (mostly women related topics), she learns a lot about the women and their time with Manson.

A lot of the film is based on the memories of Leslie Van Houten, how she came to the ranch, and her life with Manson and his followers, as well as the events that lead up to the horrific murders.

Leslie arrived on the ranch after being recruited by other Manson followers. She was young and naive and instantly drawn in to the charismatic Manson from the very first moment she met him. It was also a bit overwhelming to her how life was on the ranch, especially after being given speed shortly after she arrived, and witnessed a lot of “free love” from other ranch followers.

Most of this film weaves the present day (with Karelene) and flashbacks to life on the ranch. Viewers of the film get an insight into what went on at the ranch, from the non-stop drug abuse and casual sex, to dumpster diving for food to Manson’s abusive and manipulative ways.

Karelene sees these women as victims more so than people who knowingly and willingly committed the murders. They DID know what they were doing, but they didn’t see it as “wrong” because of the psycho-babble Mason was feeding them on a daily basis. They thought they were doing what was necessary. They didn’t see it as being wrong.

I have read stories about how Manson was able to control his followers. However, what they did is unforgivable, even if these ladies were brainwashed. There had to be some kind of a conscious left that would tell these women that murdering is illegal and immoral.

I don’t think this film is meant to make viewers feel any kind of compassion towards these women. I think the film is meant to give you an insight into who these women are/were (Susan Atkins died of brain cancer) and how Manson was the ultimate “puppet master.”

This is an interesting film and story. I never knew any of their backstory. I found it fascinating how quickly Manson was able to lure people into is beliefs and how he was able to control and manipulate them so easily. He truly was the world’s most evil man.

Overall I found the film interesting. I think the acting was done well, and the casting was pretty good (Matt Smith portrays Charles Manson very well).

There is a lot of sex, nudity and drug use in this film. I think it was necessary for this film to show just how these women and other followers lived when they were with Mason. Sex and drug use was done as natural to them as drinking a glass of water, or breathing for that matter.

I think they did go a wee bit overboard with the sex stuff however. The could have tamed it down a bit (I’m not a prude, but I feel like somethings could have been done more tastefully).

Charlie Says is no longer in theaters, but you can find it on digital and for purchase.

Below is the trailer 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.

Movie Review: Rust Creek

 

Now available for purchase and on digital is the suspense thriller, Rust Creek. It’s directed by Jen McGowen.

Rust Creek stars Hermione Corfield, Jay Paulson, Sean O’Brian, Micah A. Hauptman and Daniel R. Hill. The film is distributed by IFC Films.

Sawyer (Corfield) is a successful college student who is heading to Washington, D.C. for a job interview. Her GPS sends her on the wrong path, and she is forced to pull over to navigate where she needs to go the “old fashioned” way – with a map.

While she is checking out the map, a truck pulls over in front if her and two men get out and head in her direction. They ask if she needs help, but she tells them that she is OK. The men insist that she needs help, and they approach her even closer. Sawyer is quick to pick up that these men are no good.

Sawyer’s assumptions are right when the men attack her. She fights back and it able to flee into the woods, but not without getting injured in the struggle.

Now Sawyer has to be on the run from these men, who clearly know the woods a lot more than she does. She’s lost, injured and on the run.

Sawyer meets another person who lives in the woods, but she’s not safe there with him either. The men are in hot pursuit. There is also another person who is out there looking for her. He has nefarious for finding her as well.

How will Sawyer survive in the backwoods? Will anyone be able to find her before it’s too late? To find out, you need to purchase or rent Rust Creek. Look for it where ever movies are sold or streamed.

Rust Creek is one of those “straight to DVD” type of movie. It was never shown in theaters are far as I know. Don’t let that fool you. Sometimes these type of movies are “hidden gems.” Rust Creek is one of them.

Admittedly, I thought I knew the direction this movie was going. But I was wrong. Initially you get the impression that this is going to be a movie about how Sawyer has to outrun the men and find food, water and shelter in the woods, and that’s it. But there is so much more to this movie. There are a lot of twists and turns in this film. It also had an ending that I didn’t see coming.

The cinematography really adds to this film. It’s dark and gloomy and it makes you feel wet and cold, so you feel for Sawyer’s predicament. It gives the impression that being in the backwoods of Kentucky is not the place you want to be.

The acting is pretty good.

Even though Hermione Corfield is the star of the film (Sawyer), I think it’s Jay Paulson’s character (Lowell) that really “steals the show.” His acting makes you really feel for Lowell and his situation. I found myself hoping that he finally found a way out of the woods along with Sawyer, even though technically he wasn’t trapped there.

Both Micah A. Hauptman and Daniel R. Hill pulled off being backwoods hillbillys very well. Their acting was very convincing, even though Daniel R. Hill didn’t get much screen time.

Overall I was impressed with this film. I would actually watch this film again. In fact, I purchased a digital copy of the film (I only had a screener copy of the film for this review). For me to purchase the film, you know I must really like it.

The film does have an 84% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Currently, the new Star Wars film is only at 57%.

The film does have an official website, in case you would like to learn more about it – RustCreek.com. The film is also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (RustCreek). The links are found on the bottom of the website.

Below is the film’s trailer 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.