‘Cruella’: A film to behold rather than enjoy

“Cruella” – Cruella de Vil is one of Disney’s most feared villains, right up there with Maleficent, Ursula, and Scar.  The Hunter in “Bambi” (1942) won’t win any Man of the Year awards, especially from this critic.  “Bambi” was my first movie experience in 1975, and I remember crying my eyes out when the title character’s mom died.  I haven’t watched that film since, so yea, Disney antagonists sometimes leave a mark.  In that case, a permanent one.  Of course, Cruella originates from “One Hundred and One Dalmatians” (1961). She…

Catch this terrific Emily Blunt Triple Feature

Emily Blunt stars in “A Quiet Place Part II”, the much-anticipated sequel to the 2018 science-fiction/horror masterpiece.  In celebration of the new film and her career, here is a terrific Emily Blunt Triple Feature that features this London-born actress’ turns at comedy, romance, and action-adventure.  The three movies are available to stream right now, and “A Quiet Place Part II” arrives in theatres on May 28. Emily Charlton, “The Devil Wears Prada” (2006) – Even the most oblivious fashion-novices will appreciate director David Frankel’s light and bright adaption of Lauren…

‘A Quiet Place Part II’ is a louder, worthy sequel, but it sacrifices the original’s brilliant beats

“A Quiet Place Part II” – Leading up to April 2018, how many moviegoers raised an eyebrow when learning that John Krasinski was directing and co-writing a major studio release about visually-impaired aliens with other-worldly hearing who wipe out most of civilization, and a surviving family of five – a mom, dad, two children, and an infant – lowered their tones and lightened their steps to dodge the aforementioned invaders? This critic did.   Jim from “The Office” (2005 – 2013)?  What does Krasinski know about horror films?  What did…

Movie of the Week: ‘Midnight Run’

With Charles Grodin’s passing on Tues., May 18, AHFW’s Movie of the Week is our film critic’s – Jeff Mitchell’s – all-time favorite comedy, director Martin Brest’s “Midnight Run” (1988) starring Robert De Niro and Grodin. “Midnight Run”(1988) – Jack Walsh (De Niro), a former Chicago Police detective, works as a bounty hunter these days.  He bags some local jobs here and there, but Eddie Moscone (Joe Pantoliano) asks Jack to pick up a mob accountant Jonathan Mardukas (Grodin) in New York City and fly him back to Los Angeles,…

‘Dream Horse’: Experience every uphill step and thrilling downhill gallop

“Dream Horse” – “Can’t be that bad.  The pigeons keep coming back.” Jan Vokes (Toni Collette) walks by the aforementioned message – purposely painted on a closed florist shop – when walking home with a couple of plastic grocery bags in hand.  Economic hard times have hit her little Welsh community, as high-dollar corporations haven’t yet discovered this village that charmingly sits like a dollop on the bank of a rolling green knoll assembly, a classic example of the country’s landscape.  It’s not a surprise that director Euros Lyn captured…

‘Those Who Wish Me Dead’ plays it safe and flatlines

“Those Who Wish Me Dead” – Connor Casserly (Finn Little) lives a comfortable, orderly existence in Jacksonville, Fla.  His attentive dad (Jake Weber) and he enjoy a strong relationship and play by the rules at home, school, and work. Connor’s about 11, an age when boys still listen to the fathers.  If need be, this particular kid will follow his pop to the ends of the earth.  In director/co-writer Taylor Sheridan’s “Those Who Wish Me Dead”, he does.  Owen (Weber) and Connor find themselves in grave danger because two assassins…

Movie of the Week: ‘Bringing Up Baby’

Katharine Hepburn was born on May 12 in 1907, 114 years ago, so AHFW wants to feature our favorite Hepburn film as our movie of the week! “Bringing Up Baby” (1938) – Dr. David Huxley (Cary Grant) is trying to use the peak of his powers, as his life is coming into focus.  He works hard at the Stuyvesant Museum of Natural History and looks for one more bone – an intercostal clavicle – to complete a monstrous brontosaurus skeleton.  Just one more!   The good paleontologist just needs to convince philanthropist…

Statham and Ritchie release keen fury in ‘Wrath of Man’

“Wrath of Man” – Meet Patrick Hill (Jason Statham).  He applies for a job at Fortico Security, a private armored car company that transports millions of dollars from casinos, private banks, and department stores to their owners or whoever in greater Los Angeles.  Twelve trucks and one central hub can sometimes circulate up to 150 million dollars on a single day, so Fortico takes precautions with fortifying its facilities, vehicles, and workforce. So, Patrick takes an 8-hour test to ensure that he has the right stuff, including a marksmanship exam,…

Five Bad Movie Moms

Here’s wishing all the moms a Happy Mother’s Day!  Certainly, cinema has offered thousands of examples of altruistic moms over the last 100 years, but not always.  Sometimes, a movie will come along, and you’ll say to yourself, “Oh, I’m glad that horrible woman is not my mother.” Here are five downright scary examples of bad moms over the last five years.  Enjoy?? Blanche Weboy (Lesley Manville), “Let Him Go” (2020) – When Margaret and George Blackledge (Diane Lane and Kevin Costner) travel from Montana to North Dakota to see…

‘The Boy from Medellin’: The J Balvin doc doesn’t hit the right notes

“The Boy from Medellin” – Medellin is the capital city of Colombia’s Antioquia province.  It has a population of just over 2.5 million, and one of its favorite sons filmed his documentary here.  International reggaetón megastar J Balvin makes a triumphant return home to put on a massive show, but then again, “the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” Director Matthew Heineman follows this chart-busting marvel to his hometown for one week leading up to the planned live spectacular, but a set of soccer-stadium-sized stumbling blocks place…