Mr. Church - Promotion

PG-13 | 1h 44min | Drama
Review - Matt Mungle

*In select theaters September 16th 2016 *

Synopsis"Mr. Church" tells the story of a unique friendship that develops when a little girl and her dying mother retain the services of a talented cook - Henry Joseph Church. What begins as a six month arrangement instead spans into fifteen years and creates a family bond that lasts forever.

Review: It was intriguing to see Eddie Murphy return to the big screen in MR. CHURCH which could be his most dramatic and somber role to date. Gone are the side splitting Klumps and in its place is a quiet, introverted character that you want to know more about. 

Mr. Church (Murphy) shows up at the house of Marie (Natascha McElhone) and her daughter Charlotte (Britt Robertson) and begins to cook. He has been hired by a third party and understands his role. This begins an extended relationship with the family that is full of ups and downs. Through it all they create a bond that lasts decades. 

My interview with Britt Robertson:

This is an emotional film with rich dialogue and believable characters. It is not perfect and at times does feel a tad manipulative and cliche. Also a lot happens in the 104 minutes. Time flies in the lives before us and so we never get to linger long at any place and time. This in some ways robs us of the deep attachment that comes from a film that grounds us in a moment. The performances are strong enough though to carry us through the worst of times and when it shines it really glistens. 

MR CHURCH is rated PG-13 for thematic elements. Totally recommend this for mothers and their older teen daughters. There will be lots of laughter and tears before it is over and hopefully conversations afterwards. I give it 3 out of 5 pats of butter. Good to see Eddie back in this role and a joy to watch him and Britt together. 


Hillsong: Let Hope Rise - Review

PG | | Documentary, Family, Music
Review - Matt Mungle

*In theaters September 16th 2016 *

SynopsisA documentary on the Australia-based band Hillsong and their rise to prominence as an international church.

Review: If you spend any time at all in the modern Christian church there is no doubt that you are familiar with the music of Hillsong; regardless if you have heard of them as a band. Their contemporary worship anthems.are a staple of praise bands world wide. But it is the history of this group that is so very intriguing. From a humble pantry sized gathering to a global church they have become. All because a few people decided to follow God's passion. 

Not since U2: Rattle and Hum has a film so captured the music, heart & passion of a band. Full of candid conversations and more then a few lighthearted moments we get a glimpse at common flesh and blood men and women who simply decided to use the talents they have been give with no idea what lay ahead. We see them sweating over song lyrics, recording in the studio, and daily trying to live out what their songs proclaim.  It is a virtual backstage pass to one of the most energetic and powerful events you will ever encounter as they prepare for a huge concert at the LA forum.

These are young people who started out as youth ministers at their small local church in Australia. Hillsong began with a husband and wife sharing the gospel. It is now one of the largest international churches in the world. The praise band grew too due to their poignant lyrics and powerful music. The songs that flow from them are inspiring, motivating, and grounded in the heartbeat of their God. They have been able to keep their focus even after selling millions of albums and touring the world. They still long to have each word and each note to impact the people around them. 

The film invites the viewer early on to join in. There are several front row seat moments as Hillsong perform some of their most popular songs. Those familiar with these tunes will find it hard not to jump to your feet and sing along. The energetic stage show is contagious and so fun to watch. Part concert and part emotional exploration of the people, HILLSONG: LET HOPE RISE is a powerful piece of documentary film making.

Rated PG for some thematic elements. Those involved share their hearts so openly and honestly that you will feel as if you know them intimately. I give it 4 out 5 chorus lines. Expertly shot and edited with the perfect balance of music and personality. HILLSONG have sold more albums and their music is heard by more people than most prominent pop artist yet few know of them. Now is your chance.


Conjuring 2 (Blu-ray + Digital HD)

  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R for terror and horror violence
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: September 13, 2016
  • Run Time: 134 minutes

Listen to my interview with the dynamic writing duo of brothers Chad & Carey Hayes as we talk about The Conjuring 2.

  • SynopsisLorraine and Ed Warren travel to north London to help a single mother raising four children alone in a house plagued by a malicious spirit.

ReviewWhen The Conjuring released in 2013 it received high praise from genre fans and critics alike. The pressure was on with this one to avoid the sophomore jinx and deliver a follow up with even more scares and white knuckle moments. Mission accomplished. 

The Warren's have many case files and have seen it all. But according to Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) this one is the most disturbing. It was the case that many called the London Amityville due to the Amityville horror a few years earlier. Was this one real or a clever attempt for attention? The Warren's front critics as well as demons to get to the truth and help a troubled family. What makes this case even more dire is the fact that Ed's (Patrick Wilson) life might also be in jeopardy. 

The screenplay is again written by the Hayes brothers who also felt the stress of delivering a solid story. They spent time researching not only the original case but going to lengths to make sure that the ominous tones were prominent and thick. Yes there are several jump and shiver moments but they are grounded in an engaging and riveting plot. 

Director James Wan takes all of these elements and uses them to scare the pants off us. The framing and subtle pans increase the terror and make each scene frighteningly engulfing. There is an art to making these films and often filmmakers take the easy routes of cliche shots and predictable grabs. Wan and his team obviously take the craft seriously and here deliver a top notch production. 

The Hayes brothers say that this one is a scarier film and it is hard to argue. Granted it is a tad long (over two hours) and at times it seems a bit drawn out. One too many conversations might make many nod off but they are few and you are quickly thrown back into the horror. 

THE CONJURING 2 is rated R for terror and horror violence. This is not a film for youngsters or those with a skittish nature. The evil is prevalent and malicious. Fans of the genre and the first endeavor will find much about this one to applaud as well. I give it 4 out of 5 habits. Make sure you have a good book ready afterwards because you will certainly be up at night. - Matt Mungle

The Meddler - DVD

  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: 
     for brief drug content
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 6, 2016
  • Run Time: 103 minutes

  • Synopsis
  • With a new iPhone, an apartment near The Grove and a comfortable bank account left to her by her beloved late husband, Marnie Minervini (Academy Award® Winner Susan Sarandon, Best Actress, Dead Man Walking, 1995) has happily relocated from New Jersey to Los Angeles to be near her daughter Lori, a successful (but still single) screenwriter, and smother her with motherly love. But when the dozens of texts, unexpected visits and conversations dominated by unsolicited advice force Lori to draw strict personal boundaries, Marnie finds ways to channel her eternal optimism and forceful generosity to change the lives of others. While making new friends, she finds a new purpose in life and launches into an unexpected romance with a motorcycle-riding ex-cop named Zipper (Academy Award® Winner J.K. Simmons, Best Supporting Actor, Whiplash, 2014).
  • Written and Directed by Lorene Scafaria, THE MEDDLER was produced by Joy Gorman Wettels, with Paul Green, Steve Golin, Shea Kammer and Susan Sarandon serving as executive producers.

Blu-ray & DVD Special Features:
Commentary with Susan Sarandon and Director Lorene Scafaria
Two Featurettes:
o   “The ‘Real’ Marnie”
o   “The Making of The Meddler
Gag Reel