A Few Thoughts on Kong: Skull Island, Gifted, & Get Out (SPOILER-FREE)

Kong: Skull Island

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I was surprised by HOW MUCH I enjoyed this action/special effects movie! I saw it (in IMAX 3D) at a free pre-screening last WED. You will recognize some of the actors (Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, John C. Reilly and Toby Kebbell), BUT there are also newcomers. Unlike MOST action films, each minor character gets a moment (or two) to reveal their personality. As for Kong- he’s a BIG creature who is considered “king” of Skull Island (somewhere in the South Seas). However, there are MANY other creatures on the island, BUT I don’t want to give much away. Also, there are SOME twists that you wouldn’t necessarily expect (in this genre). If you want 2 hours of escapist fun, then definitely go check this out!   

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I saw this TERRIFIC drama starring Chris Evans (who I’d never seen before) and McKenna Grace (the child actor) last THURS (free screening). The acting is solid, the writing is smart (and sometimes funny), and the themes are universal. (You can see this film w/ the entire family!) The film centers on a single man, Frank (Evans) raising his 7 y.o. niece, Mary (Grace) in small-town Southern Florida. Their neighbor, Roberta (recent Oscar nominee Octavia Spencer), helps take care of Mary on the weekends; they all share a special bond. Frank has homeschooled Mary, BUT then decides that she needs to be w/ kids her own age. However, Mary is NO ordinary 1st grader- she’s a math prodigy (like her deceased mom). Frank wants Mary to have a normal life (friends, sports, extracurricular activities); his sister missed out on all that b/c she was mostly focused on solving one math problem.  In time, Grandmother Evelyn (British actress Lindsay Duncan), arrives from Boston to seek sole custody of Mary. There is also a nice subplot (romance) in the story which is natural and believable. I wanted to see a BIT more of Roberta’s character (b/c Spencer is such a fine actor).

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I never thought this movie would get made. Honestly! I have been on television for years and I still didn’t feel like this movie was possible.-Jordan Peele, director

I saw this film (directed by Jordan Peele) this afternoon w/ 3 of my gal pals; we ALL liked it!  The theater was packed, esp. w/ viewers in their teens and 20s. This is currently the top grossing movie at the box office. It REALLY makes you think, so be ready for some discussion after it ends. It’s NOT a typical horror genre movie- it’s more of a thriller. 

The film hits you with the scary at choice moments, which is truly some unsettling and blends it with the humor. A running joke that should’ve got more air time was the gaffe about Obama, where the father says, “I would’ve voted for a third term for Obama if I could.” Timely, if anything.  -Excerpt from okayplayer.com

The premise comes from Peele’s own life; he was once dating a young woman who didn’t tell her parents he was a black before introducing him to her (white) parents. (Peele is now married to comedian Chelsea Peretti, one of the ensemble cast on Brooklyn Nine-Nine). The film stars Daniel Kaluuya (a British actor on Season 1 of Black Mirror) and Allison Williams (Girls) as an interracial couple visiting the home (more of an estate) of the her parents (played by Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford) together for the first time. Chris (Kaluuya) is a a photographer who has a reserved personality; Rose is more talkative and assertive. 

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