Paul McGuire Grimes, author of Paul’s Trip to the Movies, gives us his review of two movies.
GOING IN STYLE (theatrical release)
Alan Arkin, Michael Caine, and Morgan Freeman are all Oscar winners. Freeman and Caine have two apiece. At this stage in their career, they’ve lightened up and are taking on the goofy, bumbling, senior guy roles. The movie opens with Joe meeting with a banker to discuss the envelopes he’s receiving from the bank stating that his house is in jeopardy and that they’ll seize it from him if he doesn’t pay up. Right then and there, they become the victims of a bank heist. Joe later commiserates with his friends Albert and Willie over pie at their local diner. They’ve been friends for decades and were coworkers at a power plant. Willie is suffering from severe kidney failure and is nearing his final months if he doesn’t get a transplant soon. To make things even more complicated, the three of them find out that the plant is closing and that their pensions are being dissolved. Joe takes a page from that bank robber and suggests a bank heist to Albert and Willie as a way of making some fast cash. Albert’s a bit hesitant, but at their age, they have nothing to lose. A failed attempt at robbing a grocery store makes them realize they will have their work cut out for them if they want to attempt a bank. They hire a drug dealer to help put their plan in place to rob the very bank that’s looking to seize Joe’s house.
-Starring: Michael Caine, Alan Arkin, Morgan Freeman, Christopher Lloyd, Ann-Margaret. It should be no surprise that Christopher Lloyd is the scene-stealer of the movie by playing someone who’s hard of hearing and lost his marbles a long time ago.
-Directed by Zach Braff of Scrubs fame
-Modern day remake of the George Burns film of the same name from 1979. If you’ve never seen that, it feels like Hell or High Water meets Grumpy Old Men
-The humor relies heavily on clumsiness of old men who haven’t a clue as to what they’re doing. Other fun bits involve Ann-Margaret blatantly putting the moves on Alan Arkin, Freeman and Caine riding a motorized scooter “E.T. style”, and the three of them watching and heckling over The Bachelor together.
-References to other heist movies like Dog Day Afternoon and The Rat Pack version of Ocean’s 11
-Purely made to get a few good chuckles out of the audience who are probably all around the same age as these characters. Will easily appeal to that demographic
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? It’s easy light-hearted good fun.
RATING: 3 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY (home release)
As a young little girl, Jyn Erso is separated from her parents when Imperial forces (the bad guys) led by Orson Krennic land on the little colony her family lives on. Orson has come for Jyn’s father, Galen, in order to use his skills for the dark side. Time passes and Jyn grows up living under an alias not to have her identity known as an Erso. The Rebellion (the good guys) has its ways and captures Jyn in an attempt to track down her father. Rumors are flying high that the Empire has created a massive weapon that can take out entire planets. If you’ve seen the original Star Wars film (A New Hope), you know that weapon as the Death Star. Galen may be the man behind those plans for the Death Star as he has since been living under the Empire’s reign. What Jyn comes to find out is that her father has secretly hidden plans that describe how one could destroy the Death Star before it wreaks too much havoc on the galaxy.
-Starring: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, James Earl Jones
-Felicity Jones makes Jyn Erso an independent and strong character. She’s not afraid to stick to her guns and there’s a nice message about staying true to what you believe when no one else believes you. It can be an inspiring motivation for young kids who identify with her character.
-With this being a brand new story for moviegoers, there are a ton of new characters, planets, and creatures that come into play. It takes the first 20 to 30 minutes to readjust and figure out what’s going on.
-Even if you’ve never seen a Star Wars movie, Rogue One works as its own story, but is strengthened with the very fluid connection set in place leading up to A New Hope. It’s probably easiest to think this movie as “Episode 3.5”
-It’s fairly grim compared to the flashy and colorful world that came with The Force Awakens. It may be a little too dark for younger Star Wars fans.
-There may be a lot of action, but it never loses sight of the father/daughter relationship at the heart of the story between Galen and Jyn. It makes for an emotional journey as you really get connected to many of the characters that come into play.
-It left me wanting more as I grew to really like these characters and Jyn’s journey throughout the movie.
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? Lucas Film has another dynamite film to add to the Star Wars legacy