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Win Deepwater Horizon on Blu-ray

  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: 
     Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • DVD Release Date: January 10, 2017
  • Run Time: 97 minutes

  • For a chance to win a copy of your own simply send an email to giveaway@mungleshow.com with "Deepwater" in the subject line. No cost or obligation, standard contest rules apply. 

  • SynopsisA story set on the offshore drilling rig Deepwater Horizon, which exploded during April 2010 and created the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

  • Review: Most people remember the event but few know the name of the oil rig, DEEPWATER HORIZON. The new film from director Peter Berg shows us what took place during those tragic hours and the crew that lived through a fiery hell. Part Towering Inferno and part Poseidon Adventure this action thriller graciously overcomes its many flaws. Just keep your eyes on Wahlberg and all will be fine. 

  • Mike Williams (Mark Wahlberg) kisses his wife (Kate Hudson) goodbye as he hops on a helicopter to head back to work on the oil rig, Deepwater Horizon. The Chief Electronics Technician is joined by Installation Manager Jimmy Harrell (Kurt Russell), and Andrea Fleytas (Gina Rodriguez). When they arrive they are greeted by BP executives (John Malkovich) and discover that all the much needed safety tests have gone undone. A decision that will have devastating results just a few hours later.The explosion and aftermath of rescue and survival are the meat of this film and its sole redemption. Oh, and Mark Wahlberg. 

  • The first half hour of the film is a mottled script of technical jargon and confusing discussions about who did or didn't do what. It is easy to understand the point of the opening scenes and luckily none of the dialogue matters after the action starts. The main point is a common one. Corporate executives cutting costs with no real idea or concern for the outcome. The crew know what needs to be done but the suits and ties do not want to hear it. It is a conversation that takes place in every office around the country. Bottom line: BP bad. Crew good. But the rig is not a respecter of persons and when its fury is unleashed it will take them all to the bottom with her. 

  • Mark Wahlberg has the ability to make you like his character immediately. You instinctively trust him and hope that others will follow. Williams and Harrell are fed up with the execs but their hands are tied. Russell is perfect as the seasoned install manager who knows the job backwards and forward. It is up to these two to do what needs to be done once the proverbial feces and fan have their meeting. 

  • Kate Hudson unfortunately gets the worst part of the script. The lines she is asked to read early on are cliche and dripping with Hollywood pulp. You hear the collective groan from the audience as she converses with her hubby. Thankfully they are quite few. She is redeemed later when you see her as the distraught wife watching the event on TV and wondering if she will ever see her husband alive. Malchovich is by far one of the greatest actors ever and he is forces here to take on some Cajun bayou accent that is as horrifying as the explosion itself. So much so that no more should be said about it. 

  • Again once you get passed the initial setup of what should have been done the film takes on a whole different, and better, element. It becomes a fast paced catastrophe film that looks and feels like a shot for shot narrative of the real events. You are engulfed in the horror of smoke, fire, and melting iron. It is an edge of your seat white knuckler that holds you riveted until the final body is taken from the water. 

  • While the event is true I am sure the writers took a few liberties with the characters interaction and participation. If you go back and read the actual case transcripts you can find some faults. But why would you? The film is correct in how it makes you feel and the anger that boils over against the company that allowed this to happen. It is the same aggravation that hit America when the event happened.

  • DEEPWATER HORIZON is rated PG-13 for prolonged intense disaster sequences and related disturbing images, and brief strong language. It is best suite for those 15 and up due to the horrific imagery and emotional moments. I give it 3.5 out of 5 told you so's. A solid action thriller that delivers where it needs to. 


A Monster Calls - Review

PG-13  |  108 min  |  Drama, Fantasy | Theaters 01.06.17
Review - Matt Mungle

SynopsisA boy seeks the help of a tree monster to cope with his single mom's terminal illness.

Director: J.A. Bayona
Writers: Patrick Ness (screenplay), Patrick Ness (based upon the novel written by)
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Lewis MacDougall 

Review: A Monster Calls is an emotional journey anchored by an impressive debut by young star Lewis MacDougall. At first glance it looks to be another cliche riddled fable with recognizable voices and regurgitated story lines. But, surprise, this one will stir the stoniest of hearts and leave not a dry eye in sight. Not perfect or without fault but it delivers powerfully where it counts.

Conor (MacDougall) is a carrying more baggage than anyone his age should have to tote. He is watching his mom (Felicity Jones) struggle through a horrible illness, bullied at school, sent to live with his strict grandmother (Sigourney Weaver), and his absentee father (Toby Kebbell) is no help at all. A monstrous tree (voice of Liam Neeson) seems to be just another problem until it begins to help Conor deal with all his wide range emotions. 

I was not a fan of the 2009 film version of Where the Wild Things Are. My concern was that this one would travel that same route. A destructive young boy with anger issues who we are forced to pity. Though I felt very manipulated by that movie this one was more organic and offered the raw emotion in a genuine manner. That is very key to its success. Yes Conor is responsible for a lot of his troubles but he is not without sympathy. 

The tree too redeems itself from the initial meeting. I was concerned that the unmistakable voice of Neeson would separate me from the films intent. Is this Aslan in the form of a tree? Does this tree have a particular set of skills? Will it release the Kraken? I wasn't sure. But the animation graphics and movement of the tree easily remove you from the voice and it takes a life of its own. Yes the voice is recognizable but it never over powers the emotion. 

Jones is also an important element in the high level of emotion in this film. Her love for Conor is so believable that your heart breaks for their situation. Anyone who has experienced the deep adoration of a single mother will immediately be grafted to this one. Along with Conor we watch her deteriorate in front of us which helps carry us along the journey with him. 

All of the afore mentioned facts mean nothing if MacDougall doesn't give us one hundred percent. If Conor is even the slightest of a weak link the entire project fails. That is a lot of pressure for a young actor. This may be his first major role but he never falters. He is in every scene and not once do we see him lose focus or take us out of the moment. That is impressive for any actor. Even when standing toe to toe with an imposing Sigourney Weaver or having an emotional moment with his mum; he is outstanding. 

A MONSTER CALLS is rated PG-13 for thematic content and some scary images. There are some hard themes in this one and younger viewers might find them a bit much to process. Older teens will be fine with the content and might even relate to many of the issues Conor faces. I will go out on a limb and give it 4 out of 5. No sap in this one but a strong root system of emotion.


Blu-ray releases for 01.03.17

  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: 
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • DVD Release Date: January 3, 2017
  • Run Time: 94 minutes

In 1967 two CIA agents go undercover at NASA to investigate a possible Russian mole. In disguise as documentary filmmakers, they tap phones and break into offices while purporting to learn more about the Apollo project.  But when they end up uncovering a shocking NASA secret — and a major government cover-up — they decide to embark on a new mission that may put their own lives at risk.


  • Audio Commentaries
    • Director’s Commentary with Matt Johnson
    • “The Look of Operation Avalanche” Commentary with Directors of Photography Andy Appelle and Jared Raab, Colorist Conor Fisher and 16mm Film Artist Pablo Perez
    • “Writing Through Editing – The Post Production of Operation Avalanche” Commentary with Producer Matthew Miller, Editor Curt Lobb and VFX Supervisor Tristan Zerafa
  • Deleted Scenes
    • “A Huge Mission”
    • “Setting Up”
    • “Webb Tap”
    • “Shut It Down”
  • Behind the Scenes Featurettes
    • “Behind the Scenes: Operation Avalanche
    • “Behind the Scenes: Car Chase”
    • “Behind the Scenes: Pool Party”
    • “The Creators Project – Reanimating Kubrick”
    • “Vice Presents – The Making of Operation Avalanche


Girls Season 5

  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Studio: HBO Studio


Hidden Figures - Review

PG  |   |  Drama
Review - Matt Mungle

In theaters 01.06.17

Synopsis: A team of African-American women provide NASA with important mathematical data needed to launch the program's first successful space missions.

ReviewRarely do we get a PG rated film with as much depth and story as HIDDEN FIGURES. The untold story of three mathematical wizards working at NASA in a time when women, especially African-American women, were  unheard of. At times humorous and always inspiring; this is a very enjoyable film.

Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer), and Mary Jackson (Janelle MonĂ¡e) are focused on in this story. Each of them completely motivated and talented in their own field. Race is only one of the hurdles facing these ladies. All three are driven to overcome the obstacles of the day in order to achieve notoriety in a man's world.

If the tale was not intriguing enough it is told against the backdrop of the early space race between Russia and the US. It was a time in American history when every citizen had their eyes on the skies. The fear that the Russians would not only beat us to the moon but drop bombs on us in the meantime had everyone on edge. Hidden Figures also focuses on this element and the team at NASA who were responsible to get Glenn (Glen Powell) in to orbit.

Kevin Costner plays Al Harrison the man in charge of it all. He is tasked managing the team and getting the job done. Costner gives us what we expect and it is a typical performance. Nothing we haven't seen from him before but it works here. Jim Parsons also stars as a NASA mathematician and it is fun to watch him in the role. You actually don't like him much which is a contrast to his Big Bang Theory character. Other notable supporting roles include Kirsten Dunst and Mahershala Ali.

Henson is fantastic in this role and helps the simplistic script. Although the story is great and the characters fresh the writing takes very few risks. Even the drama never feels heavy but skirts around the issues of the day modestly. This helps keep the PG rating but some may find it too light and fluffy. Much of the tension is erased with a convenient solution. The turmoil of the day is viewed through a different lens than other movies that deal with gender and race equality. It is actually refreshing and removes any agenda and allows the wonderful moments to shine through.

Rated PG for thematic elements and some language HIDDEN FIGURES is a film the entire family can enjoy. A cast of award winning men and women plus the inspiring story make it one of the better well rounded films of the Holidays. It gets 4 out of 5 blastoffs. If this is a sign of what 2017 has in store then it is going to be a wonderful year for movies indeed.