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Movie Review

'Inside Out' Movie Teaches Emotional Acceptance To Kids (And Adults!)

Samantha Rodman PhD | Posted 06.29.2015 | Parents
Samantha Rodman PhD

Inside Out should be required viewing for all elementary school and middle school kids, if not all people of any age. There are wonderful lessons and conversations starters for families, especially if kids struggle with intense emotions, like Highly Sensitive Children or ADHD kids.

'Max' Is a Weeper and a Keeper

Jackie K. Cooper | Posted 06.28.2015 | Entertainment
Jackie K. Cooper

"Max" is a family film, and it is all about the dog. This movie follows in a long line of dog movies such as "Lassie," "A Dog of Flanders," "Old Yeller," "Rin Tin Tin" and many, many more. When you place the camera squarely on a four footed hairy creature who barks then you know chances are good you have yourself a hit.

'Beyond the Mask' Is Adventure With a Message

Jackie K. Cooper | Posted 06.13.2015 | Entertainment
Jackie K. Cooper

Beyond the Mask is not your typical fait- based film. It has a Christian message, but it is deep inside this tale of a man who was a hired assassin for the East India Company back in pre-Revolutionary days.

Popcorn Preview: Chagall-Malevich

Leslie Sisman | Posted 06.08.2015 | Entertainment
Leslie Sisman

Most of Chagall-Malevich centers on the time Chagall was Commissariat of the Academy of Modern Art, 1917-18. While the story is set against historic events, it makes no claim of historic accuracy, which becomes obvious fairly quickly. There's a kitsch yet wonderful fantasy quality about the story.

Where Hope Grows, Is a Heart-warming Movie

Jackie K. Cooper | Posted 05.19.2015 | Entertainment
Jackie K. Cooper

I guess it is old-fashioned to call it that, but "Where Hope Grows" is an old-fashioned kind of movie in that it harkens back to a time where movies promoted positive values.

'Playing It Cool' Has Two Leads With Chemistry

Jackie K. Cooper | Posted 05.10.2015 | Entertainment
Jackie K. Cooper

Sometimes you get a movie with a silly premise, and all the information about the movie makes it look like a dud. Then you see the movie and the chemistry between the two leads is so good it almost makes the movie worthwhile. Note I said almost.

'Unfriended' Keeps on Keeping on

Jackie K. Cooper | Posted 05.03.2015 | Entertainment
Jackie K. Cooper

If you like horror movies, then you are going to love this one. It is smart, timely and well-acted. You will be drawn into its plot from the first frame of film, and will stay there until the last "fade to black." It may look ordinary in the trailers, but it manages to rise above that level in a host of ways.

Popcorn Preview: 24 Days

Leslie Sisman | Posted 06.26.2015 | Entertainment
Leslie Sisman

Ilan's family isn't rich, but his kidnappers think they are... are they just after money, or is there another motive?

'The Reconstruction of William Zero' Is a Film That Will Make You Think

Jackie K. Cooper | Posted 06.15.2015 | Entertainment
Jackie K. Cooper

There has been a recent spate of mindless sci-f/horror movies that have been barely worth your time, much less the price of admission. To save the day comes The Reconstruction of William Zero, a well made movie of this type that actually makes you think.

Popcorn Preview: Dial a Prayer

Leslie Sisman | Posted 06.10.2015 | Entertainment
Leslie Sisman

Dial a Prayer is the second feature film by writer/director, Maggie Kiley. It's an enjoyable hour and a half; even though Cora, the central character, seems to mope through life... always as dreary as the interminable Michigan winter.

Popcorn Preview: Woman in Gold

Leslie Sisman | Posted 06.10.2015 | Entertainment
Leslie Sisman

As the film opens, we see the restless Adele Bloch-Bauer sitting for a portrait by Gustav Klimt. Who would have guessed that a family portrait would become the center of an Austrian identity crisis? Especially a portrait of a Jewish woman. In 1998, Maria Altmann's sister Louisa is laid to rest. A

Popcorn Preview: Effie Gray

Leslie Sisman | Posted 06.11.2015 | Entertainment
Leslie Sisman

n depicting the events of John and Effie's marriage, the movie is quite reserved and beautifully nuanced. Many of the filmmakers come from Merchant Ivory Productions, and Effie Gray is very much in that tradition. It's hard to know with certainty what went on in the marriage, but there are letters and written accounts that served as source material.

Popcorn Preview: The Outrageous Sophie Tucker

Leslie Sisman | Posted 06.10.2015 | Entertainment
Leslie Sisman

She was the first woman to include risqué material in her act. She wasn't "The Last of the Red Hot Mamas"... she was the first. She promoted and taught classes for young women who wanted to become Red Hot Mamas, too. Everything she did was original... she was one of the first jazz singers... certainly the first of the white jazz singers.

Do You Believe? Aims For Its Target Audience and Succeeds

Jackie K. Cooper | Posted 05.24.2015 | Entertainment
Jackie K. Cooper

Do You Believe? is another faith based film from the makers of last year's God Is Not Dead. This time however, they have stepped up production values as well as having a much stronger cast.

Popcorn Preview: Merchants of Doubt

Leslie Sisman | Posted 05.20.2015 | Entertainment
Leslie Sisman

At first we wonder if we're in the right movie. Magician Jamy Ian Swiss puts on his signature red shirt, suit and tie for a performance at the Magic Castle. "My occupation is deception," he says. "I make an honest living."

Popcorn Preview: Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter

Leslie Sisman | Posted 05.20.2015 | Entertainment
Leslie Sisman

We first encounter Kumiko as she walks along the water's edge wearing her oversized red hoodie and carrying a piece of white cloth. Her footprints follow the line of the serf.

ReThink Review: Danny Collins -- A Beatle's Letter, A Better Life

Jonathan Kim | Posted 05.20.2015 | Entertainment
Jonathan Kim

Danny Collins isn't just about showbiz. It's about family, regret, second chances, friendship, inspiration, perseverance, and artistic integrity in a film where all of the actors give some of their best performances I've seen in years.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Is First Rate Entertainment

Jackie K. Cooper | Posted 05.06.2015 | Entertainment
Jackie K. Cooper

There is nothing remotely second best about the highly anticipated sequel to the charming The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel which was released in 2011. The cast of that movie included Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton, Dev Patel and Maggie Smith.

Focus Has Blurred Lines

Jackie K. Cooper | Posted 05.05.2015 | Entertainment
Jackie K. Cooper

There was a time in the past when Will Smith was the most charming of actors. Any movie he made was enhanced by the pleasure of his personality. Then came "After Earth" and his career has never recovered.

Oscar and Me

Tricia McCallum | Posted 04.12.2015 | Entertainment
Tricia McCallum

Some years were quieter celebrations, but just as ceremonial. Even watching them on my own, I bowed to the sense of occasion. I lined up my time-honored snacks, burrowed under my favorite quilt and glued myself to the proceedings, shouting at the screen the entire time.

The Loft Is So Much Better Than You Think It Is Going to Be

Jackie K. Cooper | Posted 04.01.2015 | Entertainment
Jackie K. Cooper

The Loft is a surprisingly entertaining film that keeps the audience in the dark as to its villain(s) until the very end. The fact the ending is logical and difficult to anticipate makes this movie an above average feature.

Popcorn Preview: American Sniper

Leslie Sisman | Posted 03.11.2015 | Entertainment
Leslie Sisman

At the recruiting office, they give him a brochure for the Seals... and we soon see Chris in basic training. "We're looking for warriors, not quitters." Training is brutal but Chris makes it to sniper school, where his "hell of a gift" sets him apart.

Popcorn Preview: Big Eyes

Leslie Sisman | Posted 03.09.2015 | Entertainment
Leslie Sisman

Amy Adams as Margaret is excellent. Christoph Waltz's over-the-top portrayal of Walter -- who, by many accounts was truly over-the-top -- can be a bit distracting. At any rate, it's an interesting exploration of how the "little hobo kids" became a household must-have.

Popcorn Preview: A Most Violent Year

Leslie Sisman | Posted 03.09.2015 | Entertainment
Leslie Sisman

As the film's title implies, there's a fair amount of violence in this movie, but it's not the kind of bloodbath we're used to seeing in modern movies. Instead, there's a feeling of danger that hangs over every scene right from the beginning.

Into the Woods Gets Lost in the Woods

Jackie K. Cooper | Posted 03.02.2015 | Entertainment
Jackie K. Cooper

There is a lot to like in Into the Woods but there is also a lot more that should have been better. If the playfulness and emotions inherent in Sondheim's songs had been delivered, the movie would not have been just good -- it would have been great.