Win Mortdecai on Blu-ray!

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Poltergeist - Review

PG-13  |  93 min  |  Horror, Thriller 
Review - Kathryn Waite

In theaters May 22nd. 

                It can certainly be said that the classic horror films have been getting a face-lift from Hollywood in the past decade. From the poorly received Carrie (2013) to the well-accepted Evil Dead (2012), it is easy to miss the mark if you add to much “newness” to a story. As moviegoers, we treat classics like mama’s recipes and remakes with fearful wary and trepidation. We love our Mother’s food and don’t want anyone to mess it up if they are doing their own take on a dish. Thankfully, Poltergeist presents itself with all of the familiar scares and tones while injecting itself with modern technology and culture. Of course, it doesn’t bring a lot of new surprises; it is an excellent watch for the memorial day weekend.

                The story follows the Bowen family as they have moved into a new home in a quiet suburb. They have left their friends and family to a more affordable home which causes some issues between the parents (Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt) and their teenage daughter (Saxon Sharbino). Their middle child Griffin (Kyle Catlett) is afraid of everything and youngest Maddie (Kennedi Clements) just wants to play imagination. Griffin feels unease about the house from the start, his gut feeling about the place will unfortunately be true. A horrible secret lies beneath them, but once the evil spirits present themselves fully poor Maddie is kidnapped by them and taken to the spirit world. Only with the help of paranormal researchers and professionals will this family have the chance of not only getting their daughter back, but surviving the poltergeist they are living in.

                All around, this movie stays very true to the original. Rockwell and DeWitt have great chemistry and acting chops and it really shows here. Rockwell certainly gives a more standout performance, but little Kennedi certainly holds her own. She is a child actor that does not overdo it on screen which happens so often with children in film. The pacing in Poltergeist does seem jumpy at bits. It can go from horrifying to comical in a matter of moments; it caused the audience to laugh on multiple occasions. Even with that small issue, Poltergeist keeps the essence of the original. There are not any new scares in this remake, so do not go in expecting to be blown away if you are an aficionado of horror in general.

                Poltergeist is rated PG-13 for intense frightening sequences, brief suggestive material, and some language. There were some younger children in the audience (around the ages of 9-12) who were in attendance, but I would not recommend it to anyone younger than 12… unless you want them to have nightmares about your house wanting to steal them away to the underworld. I would recommend this movie to those who are rather new to the scary movie world. It provides a good balance of scare and comedic relief. This will also bring a new generation of teenagers into the genre as well. 

                I give Poltergeist a four out of five burial sites. It is always with worry that we enter the theater for a remake, but this film creates an eerie world that should not be passed up.

I'll See You In My Dreams - Review

PG-13  |  92 min  |  Comedy, Drama 
Review - Matt Mungle @themungle

In select theaters May 22nd. 

We have seen Blythe Danner play the supporting role splendidly. But can she carry an entire film? We get the chance to find out in the geriatric Drama-Com, I'LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS

Carol Petersen (Danner) spends most of her days in the same fashion. She has a set schedule of gardening, drinking wine, reading, and playing cards with her friends. When a sudden tragic event rattles her routine she begins to branch out and explore what else life has to offer. Things really spice up when she meets Bill (Sam Elliott), a suave, free spirit who seems to know how to truly live. These changes get Carol out of her shell and back in the game. 

This is a sweet movie that shows how one woman decided to take control of her future and discover that she has a lot left to give and to explore. Danner is fantastic and grounds the character into the story line. She doesn't over play the role or try to move and breathe outside her age bracket. This isn't a fantasy about someone doing things that are inconceivable. Instead it is a relevant and believable piece of fiction. Carol is a simple woman who has a lot of life left to live. The film shows her going through highs and lows. It doesn't sugar coat her world but shows that real life deals some hard hands sometimes. Bottom line is that Danner conveys all the emotion that comes with that perfectly. 

It is also enjoyable to see Sam Elliott have fun with a character. He is always the man's man and with the voice and eyebrows he can still deliver the "smooth". As with Carol, Bill is not trying to recapture his youth but instead live out his life taking advantage of the finer things. They are both comfortable in their demographic. The supporting cast includes 3 very funny and talented older women. June Squibb, Rhea Perlman, and Mary Kay Place prove that there needs to be more roles in Hollywood for ladies like this. Writer/Director Brett Haley pens a script that gives them all a chance to shine and then steps back and expertly directs them in each scene. 

I'll See You In My Dreams is rated PG-13 for sexual material, drug use and brief strong language. There is nothing crude or offensive in this film. Granted it is made for older audiences and the experience might be lost on younger viewers. It is the perfect date night for married couples or those needing a little reminder that life does hold lots of living. I give it 3.75 out of 5 munchies. Heartwarming, sincere, and emotional. With a good dose of smiles. 


Slow West - Review

R  |   |  Action, Thriller, Western 
Review - Matt Mungle

In select theaters May 22nd. 

Westerns are a hard sell for the big screen. They have a core audience that could be one of the smallest lining up at the box office. Maybe Michael Fassbender can make an exception of SLOW WEST.

Jay Cavendish (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is a young man crossing the wild west in the 1800's in search of his true love, Rose (Caren Pistorius). Never has there been such a tenderfoot so Jay has no choice but to illicit the help of a tough brute by the name of Silas Selleck (Fassbender). Silas may have his own reason for helping young Jay though. 

The cast is solid and the script decent enough. The story stays simple which is a good thing for the genre. Life had a slower, though more dangerous, pace back then and the dialogue and plot have to match the time period. It doesn't mean that this one is void of action and suspense. Quite the opposite. It actually has a few edge of your seat tense moments. But they are subtly simmering. Jay and Silas run into a few unsavories and their trek west is not an easy one. 

Fassbender has already proven that he can tackle any role efficiently. It is no surprise that creates a character that is multi-layered and grounded to the time period. He acts as if he were born and raised in that environment. Each movement feels like second nature.  I knew little about Smit-McPhee but was impressed with how he made Jay a believable, likable character. Jay doesn't care much for Silas but has little choice but to stick with him. Kodi is able to capture and evoke that disdain with exhaustion and desperation. 

There are plenty of twists and turns in this one. Up until the end you are never sure who will be left standing; or who you can trust. SLOW WEST is rated R for violence and brief language. There are plenty of guns a blazing and brutality. That garners the R rating but other than that there is little in offensive content. I give it 3.75 out of 5 saddle sores. It isn't perfect and only die hard fans can engage with the lone prairie. But kudos for taking on a genre that many avoid.

Tomorrowland on Blu-ray, Digital HD and DMA October 13

Number of discs: 2
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Walt Disney Studios
DVD Release Date: October 13, 2015
Run Time: 120 minutes

Review - Kimberly Mungle

Tomorrowland is a special place in another dimension where only certain people are invited to visit.  It’s a mecca for creative types, inventors and geniuses.  That’s all I’ll say.  Disney is trying to keep a lot of the plot under wraps and they really want the movie goer to go in not knowing much.

Here are the positives… 1. George Clooney does a good job.  2. Raffey Cassidy does a GREAT job (she plays the young girl/robot).  3. The film is family friendly; probably geared toward 7 – 12 year olds.  4. There are some decent special effects.  5. There is a beautiful message: If we would stop allowing our preconceived notions to be negative self-fulfilled prophesies, we could change the world.  Hmmm, that’s about it for the win column…

Here is what we didn’t like.  1. Brit Robison (plays Casey, a high school age NASA lover) is so blah.  I thought it was just me, but Gage thought the same thing.  She was not believable and sorta boring on screen.  2. The story was weak.  It had the potential to be something really inspiring but fell flat.  3. I personally thought there was some unnecessary violence.  I’m sensitive to this since it’s being marketed as a “whole family can see it” movie.  The violence is robot violence so Gage tried to convince me that was different.  I’m not sure. 4. It’s a little over 2 hours, and for most of that we were waiting for something good to happen.  When the movie ended, we felt a little cheated – like we had waited all that time to see something cool and nothing happened.

I’d give the film 2.5 stars.  Worth watching when it comes out on DVD/on demand as a family movie night at home with some good pizza.  A cushy couch and tasty pizza can help you overlook a lot of movie flaws.  10 dollar tickets and 8 dollar popcorn tend to make a us a little more critical – save your movie cash for something else.

Digital HD/SD*, Blu-ray Combo Pack & Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA)
·       Remembering the Future: A Personal Journey Through Tomorrowland with Brad Bird
Discover everything there is to know about the making of Tomorrowland through Director Brad Bird's perspective.
·       Casting Tomorrowland
Join Brad Bird, Damon Lindelof, George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, Britt Robertson, and Raffey Cassidy as they discuss the making of Tomorrowland.
·       A Great Big Beautiful Scoring Session
Famed composer Michael Giacchino invites Disney legend, Richard Sherman to join him in an informal visit to the Tomorrowland scoring stage, told through the personal lens of Michael’s brother, documentarian Anthony Giacchino.
·       The World of Tomorrow Science Hour - Hosted By Futurologist David Nix (Blu-ray and DMA Exclusive)
Believe it or not but Nix used to host a children’s television program about science. Now watch the recently discover outtakes from the show.
·       Animated Short: The Origins of Plus Ultra
An animated story of how Tomorrowland came to be.
·       Brad Bird Production Diaries
Diary Entry #1 – “The First Day” (Blu-ray and DMA Exclusive)
Diary Entry #2 – “Tomorrowland vs. the Weather” (DMA Exclusive)
Diary Entry #3 – “NASA”
·       Blast from the Past Commercial
Go back in time and watch this original commercial for the Blast from the Past store.
·       Deleted Scenes with Filmmaker Intro
Deleted Scene 1 - Joking on the Eiffel Tower
Deleted Scene 2 - Young Casey vs. The Volcano
Deleted Scene 3 - Doomsday Living Room
Deleted Scene 4 - As Originally Written Casey The Downer
Deleted Scene 5 - What Happened to Tomorrowland
Deleted Scene 6 - What is Tomorrowland
Deleted Scene 7 - Great Big Beautiful World World’s Fair (DMA Exclusive)
Deleted Scene 8 - Frank Walker age 10 (DMA Exclusive)
·       4 Easter Eggs
*Digital bonus offerings may vary by retailer          


Screening Pass - San Andreas

Hey Dallas! Get your FREE Advanced screening pass to see SAN ANDREAS. 

All you have to do is CLICK HERE to download/print your admit two pass. Once you do be sure and tweet your thanks to @themungle #mungleshow 

May 26, 2015
Tuesday @7:00pm
(Have your pass ready to show at the door)

After the infamous San Andreas Fault finally gives, triggering a magnitude 9 earthquake in California, a search and rescue helicopter pilot (Dwayne Johnson) and his estranged wife make their way together from Los Angeles to San Francisco to save their only daughter. But their treacherous journey north is only the beginning. And when they think the worst may be over…it’s just getting started.

Watch the official trailer for AMY

A24 Presents the official trailer for AMY. Check out Asif Kapadia’s documentary on the iconic singer and see why people are calling it heartbreaking and extraordinary.


Screening Pass - SPY

Hey Dallas and Austin! Get your FREE Advanced screening pass to see SPY. RATED R

All you have to do is CLICK BELOW to download/print your admit two pass from gofobo. Once you do be sure and tweet your thanks including @themungle #mungleshow 

6/02/15- 7PM- Angelika Film Center

6/02/15-7PM-Galaxy Highland

Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) is an unassuming, deskbound CIA analyst, and the unsung hero behind the Agency’s most dangerous missions. But when her partner (Jude Law) falls off the grid and another top agent (Jason Statham) is compromised, she volunteers to go deep undercover to infiltrate the world of a deadly arms dealer, and prevent a global disaster.


Where Hope Grows - Review

PG-13  |  95 min  |  Drama 
Review - Matt Mungle - @themungle

In theaters May 15th. 

I was pleasantly surprised at how good a film WHERE HOPE GROWS is. Where I was expecting emotional manipulation I actually got a solid, down to earth, feel good experience. Instead of unrelate-able characters with no real life issues I was handed lots of depth and personal struggle that was relevant and believable. And in place of a preachy, watered down script I was given a dialogue of hard, true to life questions about faith and family. Full of humor, drama, and heart stirring moments it could be the surprise hit of the early summer.

Calvin Campbell (Kristoffer Polaha) is a washed up major league baseball player trying to get a grip on the reality of life. He walks around in a drunken stupor which only alienates him from everyone; including his teenage daughter Katie (McKaley Miller). When Calvin begins a friendship with "Produce"(David DeSanctis), a local grocery store worker with Down syndrome, he begins to view life a bit differently. Produce always has a hug, smile, and word of encouragement for those he meets. At first this is strange to Calvin but he soon starts to see the real joy in Produce's life. 

DeSanctis is one of the only actors with Down syndrome to be cast as a leading character in a major motion picture. He does a great job here of grasping the emotion of Produce and carrying many of the scenes. He is funny and instantly lovable. Like Calvin you immediately want whatever it is that makes him so open and upbeat. 

The film as a whole is encouraging and heartwarming. At times the characters can be a bit overly stereotypical. Katie is super dramatic and rebellious. Calvin is extremely detached. It makes it hard to believe the pretty bow that is supposed to tie it all up. The film is not all puffy clouds though. The script does a good job of writing some solid life issues. Calvin's journey is full of questions that we all deal with. That helps with the grounding. 

I am not sure I would call this a faith based film. And it is better for it. There are questions of faith and God but not in the way that most church films are delivered. Produce is devout in his belief and it is reflected genuinely. WHERE HOPE GROWS is rated PG-13 for thematic issues involving drinking and teen sexuality, and for brief language and an accident scene. It is not a film for the whole family but one that you could and should watch with older teens. There is nothing gratuitous about it plus the story and dialogue will stir up some nice discussion questions for later.