A Dog's Purpose FILM REVIEW

A dog and his humans in the sentimental canine tale A DOG'S PURPOSE. A devoted dog discovers the meaning of its own existence through the lives of the humans it teaches to laugh and love. *** out of ***** A DOG'S PURPOSE Director: Lasse Hallström Screenplay: W. Bruce Cameron & Cathryn Michon & Audrey Wells & Maya Forbes & Wally Wolodarsky. Based on the novel by W. Bruce Cameron Starring: Josh Gad, Dennis Quaid, Peggy Lipton, K. J. Apa, Britt Robertson, Bryce Gheisar Rated PG for thematic elements and some peril Running Time: 1 hour 40 minutes Rating Scale: ***** = Outstanding ****1/2 = Excellent **** = Very Good ***1/2 = Above Average *** = Good **1/2 = Mediocre ** = Fair

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter FILM REVIEW

Milla Jovavich returns as Alice as she and a band of rebels take one last stand in RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER. Picking up immediately after the events in RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION, Alice is the only survivor of what was meant to be humanity's final stand against the undead. Now, she must return to where the nightmare began - The Hive in Raccoon City, where the Umbrella Corporation is gathering its forces for a final strike against the only remaining survivors of the apocalypse. *** out of ***** RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER Director: Paul W. S. Anderson Screenplay: Paul W. S. Anderson Starring: Milla Jovovich, Iain Glen, Ali Larter, Shawn Roberts, Eoin Macken, Fraser James, Ruby

XXX: Return of Xander Cage FILM REVIEW

Xander Cage returns and sits down with Xiang and Serena Unger, two members of a group he's been sent to find. After coming out of self-imposed exile, daredevil operative Xander Cage must race against time to recover a sinister weapon known as Pandora's Box, a device which can control any orbiting satellite and bring it crashing down to earth. ***1/2 out of ***** XXX: RETURN OF XANDER CAGE Director: D.J. Caruso Screenplay: Jonathan Penner Based upon "The Bridge to Body Island" by Robert Damon Schneck Starring: Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone, Kris Wu, Ruby Rose, Tony Jaa, Nina Dobrev, Rory McCann, Toni Collette, Samuel L. Jackson Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of gunplay and

Split FILM REVIEW

James McAvoy stars in M. Night Shyamalan's SPLIT, a film about a man with multiple personalities. Though Kevin has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher, there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all of the others. THE SPOILER-FREE REVIEW: THE SPOILER REVIEW: ***1/2 out of ***** SPLIT Director: M. Night Shyamalan Screenplay: M. Night Shyamalan Starring: James McAvoy, Betty Buckley, Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson, Jessica Sula Rated PG-13 for disturbing thematic content and behavior, violence and some language Running Time: 1 hour 56 minutes Rating Scale: ***** = Outstanding ****1/2 = Excellent **** = Very Good ***1/2 =

My Father, Die FILM REVIEW

Gary Stretch stars as Ivan, a man targeted by a hate-filled and vengeful son in MY FATHER, DIE. Deaf and mute since having his hearing knocked out at the age of twelve, Asher has been training for over a decade to avenge himself on Ivan, the man that killed his older brother, fourteen years ago. **** Stars My Father, Die Director: Sean Brosnan Screenplay: Sean Brosnan Starring: Joe Anderson, Gary Stretch, Candace Smith, John Schneider Not Yet Rated Running Time: 1 hour 42 minutes Rating Scale: ***** = Outstanding ****1/2 = Excellent **** = Very Good ***1/2 = Above Average *** = Good **1/2 = Mediocre ** = Fair *1/2 = Poor * = Bad 1/2* = Abysmal

The Salesman FILM REVIEW

THE SALESMAN Director: Asghar Farhadi Screenplay: Asghar Farhadi Starring: Shahab Hosseini, Taraneh Alidoosti, Babak Karimi, Mina Sadati Language: Persian with English subtitles Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements and a brief bloody image Running Time: 2 hours 5 minutes **** out of ***** While performing Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, Emad and Rana Etesami find their relationship being tested in THE SALESMAN. Confucius' famous proverb says “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” Now that could be taken literally or figuratively. In one respect the quest for vengeance may result in closure but could cost you your life. On the other hand it could also m

The Bye Bye Man FILM REVIEW

Photo: STX Entertainment No matter where you are, even in a library, THE BYE BYE MAN will find you. When three college students move into an old house off campus, they unwittingly unleash a supernatural entity known as The Bye Bye Man, who comes to prey upon them once they discover his name. The friends must try to save each other, all the while keeping The Bye Bye Man's existence a secret to save others from the same deadly fate. * out of ***** THE BYE BYE MAN Director: Stacy TItle Screenplay: Jonathan Penner Based upon "The Bridge to Body Island" by Robert Damon Schneck Starring: Douglas Smith, Lucien Laviscount, Cressida Bonas, Carrie-Anne Moss, Faye Dunaway, Doug Jones, Leigh Wannell

Scary Endings: The Water Rises FILM REVIEW

SCARY ENDINGS is a web series where filmmakers come together to make short films which deliver thrills, chills and screams. The films are lean and mean and are often quite funny or genuinely unnerving. Their spooky stories have dealt with the supernatural, clowns, monsters, politics and even Santa Claus himself. Besides the sly sense of humor and unsettling creepiness the one thing these films have in common is they all must have a zinger of an ending; hence the name of the series. Being this is a horror film series one would not be mistaken to assume that all episodes will have traditional horror themes. Up until this point the series has done just that. Now in its second season, wr

Underworld: Blood Wars FILM REVIEW

Selene (Kate Beckinsale) and David (Theo James) seek shelter in UNDERWORLD: BLOOD WARS. Vampire death dealer, Selene must fend off brutal attacks from both the Lycan clan and the Vampire faction that betrayed her. With her only allies, David and his father Thomas, she must stop the eternal war between Lycans and Vampires, even if it means she has to make the ultimate sacrifice. *** out of ***** UNDERWORLD: BLOOD WARS Director: Anna Foerster Screenplay: Cory Goodman Story by Kyle Ward and Cory Goodman Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Theo James, Charles Dance, Tobias Menzies, Lara Pulver, Daisy Head Rated R for strong bloody violence, and some sexuality Running Time: 1 hour 31 minutes Rating Sca

La La Land FILM REVIEW

LA LA LAND Director: Damien Chazelle Screenplay: Damien Chazelle Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, J.K. Simmons, John Legend, Rosemarie DeWitt, Tom Everett Scott, Rated PG-13 for some language Running Time: 2 hours 8 minutes **** out of ***** Spirits soar and sparks fly when an actress and a jazz pianist meet in Damien Chazelle's LA LA LAND. Over the last several decades the big "movie musical" has usually been comprised of big-screen adaptations of Broadway hits, like LES MISERABLES or CHICAGO, and animated musicals like FROZEN or MOANA. Baz Luhrmann's MOULIN ROUGE was probably the last real attempt to bring an original musical spectacle to the big screen. The 1930s, 1940s and 1950s

Ernie's picks for the Best Films of 2016

Another year closes which means it's time to look back at 2016's cinematic offerings and choose the best of the bunch. Of course, films are very subjective so there's that grey area between being the best, insert your favorite THE ROCK quote here, and being a favorite. As is this case with any year, one person cannot see every film released which results in missing some films that would have likely appeared on this list. Films I have yet to see include MOONLIGHT, NOCTURNAL ANIMALS, FENCES and LION. My cut off is the stroke of midnight on December 31st so if I hadn't seen a film at that point it doesn't make the list and I don't like to amend. With that being said, here are my picks for

Hidden Figures FILM REVIEW

HIDDEN FIGURES Director: Theodore Melfi Screenplay: Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi Based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, Glen Powell Rated PG for thematic elements and some language Running Time: 2 hours 7 minutes **** out of ***** Dorothy Vaughan (OCTAVIA SPENCER), Katherine G. Johnson (TARAJI P. HENSON) and Mary Jackson (JANELLE MONAE) prove that men aren't the only ones with the right stuff in HIDDEN FIGURES. HIDDEN FIGURES chronicles the untold story of a group of women who were instrumental in getting the space program off the ground. It's been more than

A Monster Calls FILM REVIEW

A MONSTER CALLS Director: J. A. Bayona Screenplay: Patrick Ness Starring: Lewis MacDougall, Felicity Jones, Sigourney Weaver, Liam Neeson, Toby Kebbell Rated PG-13 for thematic content and some scary images Running Time: 1 hour 48 minutes **** out of ***** Young Conor seeks the help of a giant tree monster in J.A. Bayona's A MONSTER CALLS. Benjamin Franklin famously said that "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." It's a sad and undeniable fact of life that we all must face and come to terms with death and the resulting grieving process. We all come to grieve in our own way which makes us human. We go through a series of emotions, in some cases none

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