Tag Archives: John Lithgow

Cinema Dispatch: Pet Sematary

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Pet Sematary and all the images you see in this review are owned by Paramount Pictures

Directed by Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer

I don’t know about this one.  I mean I liked the original Pet Sematary and Stephen King adaptations in general, but the trailers are just not doing it for me.  For the most part I think I’m turned off by JUST how big of a tonal shift it is from a bright and colorful yet creepy tale of magic and grief into something that looks to be aping Hereditary which is doubly worrying considering the ONE BIG similarity between the two.  I have a certain limit when it comes to horror (mainly when you replace creepiness and suspense with misery and suffering), and I am not prepared to see a beloved classic from the eighties go down that same route just to chase a trend.  Still, even if the LOOK of the thing may be drastically different there’s still the original story which is quite well thought of for a reason, and I could just be looking at the original through rose tinted glasses.  I remember the movie in the broad strokes, but a lot of the nuance for me has been lost to time (it’s had to of been a decade at least since I saw it) and perhaps this one will do a great job of recreating all that I’ve forgotten about the original!  Wishful thinking perhaps, but there’s only one way to find out!!

The Creed family has just moved to a little out of the way country town in the middle of Maine (because nothing spooky ever happens THERE!) so that the father Louis (Jason Clarke) could take a less demanding job at a University hospital which will allow him to spend more time with his kids Ellie and Gage (Jeté Laurence and Hugo Lavoie/Lucas Lavoie) as well as his wife Rachel (Amy Seimetz) who’s already getting some bad vibes from this place right off the bat.  Eh, maybe it’s just nerves from her TRAGIC BACKSTORY that I’m sure will come into play later in the movie!  Anyway, Ellie learns about a place in the woods behind their house called the Pet Sematary where children (who don’t know how to spell) bury their dead pets in some sort of local ritual.  This is all well-known and expanded upon by the Creed family’s neighbor Jud (John Lithgow) who’s lived here all his life and may know even more about this place than he’s letting on.  Now as the family seems to finally be settling in, tragedy strikes as Ellie’s cat Churchill is hit by a truck on the road RIGHT outside the house (SEEMS A LITTLE BIT DANGEROUS IF YOU ASK ME!) and now Louis has to break the bad news to her which is not going to be pleasant, but Jud has an idea on maybe fixing this problem which may be more than just him being neighborly.  What kind secrets does this little town have that Jud can show Louis, and what will it end up costing the both of them in the process?  Will Louis be able to live with the knowledge that Jed is about to reveal, and what will happen in his own life to temp him to abuse this mysterious power?  Seriously, is that cat gonna get its own spinoff!?  The filmmakers are just in LOVE with that thing!

 

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“I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. HIIIIISSSSSSS!!”

 

 

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Cinema Dispatch: Daddy’s Home 2

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Daddy’s Home 2 and all the images you see in this review are owned by Paramount Pictures

Directed by Sean Anders

I don’t know about the rest of you, but the only thing I was wondering when I first heard about this movie was why they didn’t cast John Lithgow as the TOUGH dad.  Seriously, the dude’s got Cliffhanger, Ricochet, and even Dexter under his belt to show us all how despicably evil he can when the role calls for it, and it’d certainly be much better casting for Marky Mark’s mean deadbeat dad than the guy they got; though I’m pretty sure ANYONE in Hollywood who’s not currently being ostracized for inexcusable behavior would have been a much more palatable choice than Raging Mel.  I don’t know about this one.  I certainly didn’t expect much out of the first film and it managed to be a bit better than I was expecting, but what are the chances that we’ll get a half-way decent sequel out of that; especially as it’s a Holiday film which are almost always a bad idea for sequels.  Wait, didn’t I just say that like a week ago about A Bad Mom’s Christmas?  Now that I think about it… two unexpectedly solid comedies about parenting that made a HUGE amount of money at the box office get Holiday sequels about the parents of the characters in the first film… that are released within a week of each other.  Huh.  Well that’s… coincidental.  Anyway, does THIS Holiday sequel manage to AT LEAST be as good as the OTHER Holiday sequel we just got, or am I in for one HELL of a crappy movie going experience?  Well… Let’s find out…

The movie begins about a year after the events of the first film where Brad and Dusty (Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg) have put aside their differences and are the best co-dads of all time; sharing responsibilities with the kids and working together as a cohesive family unit!  Well… ALMOST perfect.  Dusty’s biological daughter Megan (Scarlett Estevez) reveals during the school’s Christmas Recital that she’s not happy about having the holidays split between two households, so the two families band together and decide to have just one Christmas together which seems like a great idea… until Dusty gets a call from his dad Kurt (Mel Gibson) who’s decided to come down for the holidays.  This is bad because Dusty’s dad is just like he was in the first film and will surely be nagging on him the entire time for not being MANLY enough whatever the hell toxic dinosaurs like him are always on about.  In addition to that, we’ve got Brad’s dad Don (John Lithgow) coming to town who is ACTUALLY a really nice grandpa but seems to be hiding something from Brad, an increasingly tense standoff between Brad’s wife Sara and Dusty’s wife Karen (Linda Cardellini and Alessandra Ambrosio) about how to raise the kids they share (Dusty’s biological kids and Karen’s daughter from another marriage), and to top it all off, Dusty’s biological son Dylan (Owen Vaccaro) is about at the age where he needs to have THE TALK which throws EVERYTHING into chaos as the four dads on hand have their own idea of how it should go and who should give it.  Will any of these plot threads come together into something resembling a cohesive whole?  Is there a single point in this movie where it’s NOT uncomfortable watching Mel Gibson on screen?  Can someone explain to me what I POSSIBLY could have done to deserve this!?

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What the heck did ANY of us do to deserve this?

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Cinema Dispatch: Miss Sloane

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Miss Sloane and all the images you see in this review are owned by EuropaCorp

Directed by John Madden

If you really take a look at Jessica Chastain’s acting career, it becomes clear that she’s truly one of the most versatile actors working today.  Not only has she been in high caliber Oscar fare of multiple genres including The Martian, Zero Dark Thirty, and Tree of Life, but she’s also been fantastic in other places like The Huntsman: Winter’s War, Crimson Peak, and Lawless.  Now she’s headlining a political thriller at right about the time that EVERYONE is not in the mood to even be thinking about politics.  Well, I guess we can’t blame her or the director for that, and just because the world is going straight to hell doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy movies like this anymore, right?  Can this new vehicle for Jessica Chastain turn out to be another high point in her illustrious career, or will her role in that Frozen knockoff with Chris Hemsworth turn out to be her highlight this year?  I mean… that WAS a really solid movie that no one but me seems to appreciate, but even so!  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows the greatest lobbyist ever, Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain) who’s faced with a crisis of… conscious maybe?  Either conscious or competitive zeal; one of those two.  Anyway, the crisis is that the lobbying firm she works for wants her to campaign against a bill that would restrict gun sales to criminals, those on the terror watch list, etc, and her boss (Sam Waterson) is being a REAL overbearing jerk about it.  Not one to suffer fools lightly, Miss Sloane packs up her desks, grabs the best millennial interns under her command, and goes to work for Rodolfo Schmidt (Mark Strong) who is heading the Pro-Gun restriction effort.  Of course, when you bargain with the devil (or in this case someone know what it takes to win) you get exactly what you pay for and Miss Sloane proves to be INCREDIBLY effective despite how uneasy some of her methods make some of her allies, particularly Esme Manucharian (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) who experiences firsthand just how far Miss Sloane is willing to go to get what she needs.  Will the best of the best be able to stand up against the most funded lobby to ever exist?  What can all these starry-eyed liberal babies learn by watching Miss Sloane in action?  What exactly led her to being like this?  Personal tragedy?  A drive to succeed?  Rich relatives that changed her life for the better?

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“Now this is the story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside down.”

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Cinema Dispatch: The Accountant

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The Accountant and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures

Directed by Gavin O’Connor

Who is the Accountant?  More importantly, why should I care?  On the list of movies that I was looking forward to this year, this certainly isn’t one of them; not because the trailers looked BAD but because we’ve already got enough spy movies out there and we’re getting a Jack Reacher sequel next week that’s probably gonna be the best we can hope for this year.  Still, there could be something here if Ben Affleck signed on for it, and I guess it’s POSSIBLE the premise of someone with high functioning Autism being a super solider could be done gracefully, though I kind of doubt it.  Is this a fun and engaging action film to add to Ben Affleck’s increasing impressive résumé, or is he just desperate for something to get people to forget Batman v Superman, and he took the first crappy project that landed on his desk?  Let’s find out!!

The movie is all about Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) who is the enigmatic ACCOUNTANT!  Who is THE ACCOUNTANT!?  Well according to Treasury Agent Raymond King (JK Simmons) who will serve as our exposition-bot for this movie, he cooks the books for the most dangerous men on the planet and he needs to be stopped!  What Agent King doesn’t know though is that he’s ALSO Batman with a much more lax murder policy and can certainly hold his own if he ever gets betrayed by one of his shady business partners.  That doesn’t happen in the movie though.  Instead, he’s hired as an accountant instead of THE ACCOUNTANT by Lamar Blackburn (John Lithgow) who has NO IDEA who he just hired, and has him look over his company’s book since a low level employee Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick) found some irregularities.  These irregularities by the way are enough for the person who CAUSED the irregularities (i.e. stole a few bucks) to start sending out murder squads against everyone because of reasons.  Okay… well I guess THE ACCOUNTANT now has to fend off the bad guy’s henchmen (which include Jon Bernthal) and save Dana from being murdered… for looking at finical statements.  Whatever.  So just who is stealing money from the company and feels the need to send The Punisher to kill everyone who has ever looked at the company’s finances?  Will THE ACCOUNTANT go out on too far a limb to save this woman he just met a few days ago and give Agent King the lead he needs to find him?  Can someone please explain to me what the hell is going on here?

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The dude’s writing all this shit on the windows!  Isn’t it a bit late to try covering it up!?

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