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Reviews and Editing by R. Allen Leider
with Andrew Johnson, Monis Rose and J. Brad Staal

February 9th, 2018
 

x"Peter Rabbit "..

As in the book published in 1902, the story begins with Peter Rabbit (James Corden) disobeying his parents' rules and sneaking into Old Mr. McGregor's vegetable garden for a snack. Old Mr. McGregor gives chase, but Peter and his trusty sidekick, Benjamin Bunny (Colin Moody) elude capture. All the running around gives the old man a heart attack, and Peter assumes all their problems are solved — until McGregor's great-nephew moves in.

Thomas McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson at his most playful) is a tightly wound Londoner who resents relocating to the countryside to care for the property. He's still apoplectic about being passed over for a promotion at Harrods, and that irritation is compounded when he discovers his great-uncle's house and garden are overrun with cotton-tailed cuties he calls vermin.
The rabbits' savior — and maybe Thomas', too — is Bea (Rose Byrne), a kind-hearted animal lover who lives next door. She moved to the country to paint, and her best pieces recall Potter's original "Peter Rabbit" illustrations. Those illustrations come to life at various points during the film. The simple, hand-drawn animation contrasts beautifully with the slick digital work that comprises most of the movie, inserting realistic-looking talking rabbits into live-action

Peter recruits his younger sisters into the battle for McGregor's garden. Margot Robbie, Elizabeth Debicki and Daisy Ridley respectively voice Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-Tail, and while these T-shirt-wearing bunnies are undoubtedly adorable, the top-level talent behind them is underused (with the exception of Robbie, who also narrates the film).
As the conflict over the garden escalates, it becomes clear that Peter and Thomas aren't just fighting over vegetables, but for Bea's affections. It's a modern romantic take on the classic rabbit tale.


The Players: James Corden, Fayssal Bazzi, Domhnall Gleeson, Sia, Colion Moody, Sam Niell, Margot Robbie, Daisey Ridley

Directed by Will Gluck
Screenplay by Rob Lieber
Released by Columbia Pictures


 

x"15:17 to Paris"..

In the early evening of August 21, 2015, the world watched in stunned silence as the media reported a thwarted terrorist attack on Thalys train #9364 bound for Paris--an attempt prevented by three courageous young Americans Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos and Spencer Stonetraveling through Europe.

The film plods slowly inthe beginning as it follows the course of the friends' lives, from the struggles of childhood through finding their footing in life, to the series of unlikely events leading up to the attack. Throughout the harrowing ordeal, their friendship never wavers, making it their greatest weapon and allowing them to save the lives of the more than 500 passengers on board.

Maybe havingthe real heroes star in the film seemed like a good idea, but the lack of familiarlity and the lack of charisma that big name stars would havebrought to the film makes it laborious to watch.


The Players: Jenna Fischer, Judy Greer Thomas Lennon, Jaleel White

Directed by Director: Clint Eastwood
Screenplay by Anthony Sadler
Released by Warner Brothers


xComing

"Rampage"



 
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