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Review: Labor Day



Release Date: April 29, 2014.
MPAA Rating:PG-13
Runtime:111 min
Director:Jason Reitman
Studio:Indian Paintbrush and Mr. Mudd
Stars:Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Gattlin Griffith
Your Rating: (2.5 out of 5 stars)

Labor Day is a new drama from Director Jason Reitman (also known for Juno) starring Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet. It’s starts with a mother lost in deep depression and her son being forced to take an escaped convict to their home and help him hide out until he can leave town. The love deprived mother, Adele, begins to allow this wanted man in to her heart and they grow to love each other. Will their love be able to conquer the truth of his past ? Will the Police catch him before they can have a happy ending?

The premise seemed interesting to me as I anticipated watching this movie. Everything I heard about the film going in gave off a Stockholm Syndrome type of vibe. The love story portion of it seemed a bit ridiculous as these two strangers fell in love in a matter of days, 5 to be exact.Even with the initial kidnapping and forced aiding and abetting of herself and her child she looks past his murder conviction, escape from prison, and willingness to manhandle and threaten her family and neighbors to fall for him. Insanity and outright bad parenting aside, they do seem to genuinely love each other and it comes through in the performances of Brolin and Winslet. Winslet plays the traumatized shut in Adele Wheeler with subtlety and grace. Never over doing it with the neurosis but laying it on just enough to show how damaged she is. Brolin is good in his role but I think the character had to jump to extremes at times too quickly. One moment he’s baking pies and making love to Adele and the next he’s snatching her around the neck to keep Henry from saying anything to neighbors. I kind of wished he stayed the same person in those situations. Gattlin Griffith plays the teenager coming of age Henry very well here. He is a bit awkward due to living with his mother and her condition. There’s also the ever so fun puberty stage where he’s getting interested in girls. This makes the situation with Brolin’s Frank, Adele, his Father and his new family all the more confusing. It was weird though that they picked up Tobey Maguire to play an older version of Henry for like a total of 5 minutes.

All in all, Labor Day left a lot to be desired for this viewer as it seemed it never really reached the point it was meant to. I just kept waiting for this drama to seem more dramatic.The actors chosen were fantastic and all but it seemed like the Director wasn’t quite capable of getting the feel just right. Labor Day could have but didn’t tug hard enough at the heart strings of this reviewer.

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No Question Mark Box Here; Super Mario Delivers a 1-Up in Theaters



If you were born in the ’80s, ’90s, or literally ANY decade after those, you know about Super Mario. A cultural phenomenon was brought to life on the big screen this last weekend. One that has not only stood the test of time but reinvented itself time and time again. This wasn’t even the first time it’s been made into a movie but, well, let’s be honest.. some of us choose not to acknowledge the LIVE action adaptation of the beloved game from 30 years ago. 

It was pretty bad… But this was animation. ILLUMINATION animation at that. The Universal company that brought us Gru and his Minions, showed us the Secret Life of Pets, and gave us a reason to SING! Still, I had my reservations and even some concerns, especially when the casting was announced. 

 Eyebrows were raised. As big of stars as they were on paper, could they really deliver on voicing characters from a staple of our childhood? They did.

Chris Pratt and Charlie Day may not be Italian, and Jack Black may not be a King or Turtle creature from the Mushroom Kingdom, but they make the characters their own all while paying homage to the lore of a video game. 

From the jump, the story reintroduces us to the brothers that just want to save Brooklyn one clogged sink at a time. We feel an instant connection and relate to these “underdogs of the plumbing world”. The movie is riddled with easter eggs, each of which tugs on the heartstrings of every generation of Mario fandom. And the soundtrack was beautifully put together to not only make us feel like we’re taking a walkthrough of the game but like an experience all its own with some familiar favorites thrown in.

Every word in the movie is pure eye candy for both those that are casual fans, and those analyzing every frame to see what they’ll catch next. Bowser’s ship, the Mushroom Kingdom, Kong’s arena, and the Rainbow Road.. They’re all meant to give us just enough of a “new” look at these amazing worlds, but stay true to how we remember them.

The movie itself moves along at the perfect pace. Although, if you don’t really know ANYTHING about the Super Mario Bros, you may have gotten a little lost and felt left behind in the green tunnel. But that’s ok! It’s an adventure of the imagination and a classic story of a boy that meets a girl and tries to save the world from a monster that wants to destroy it.

What’s funny is that you could easily say this is a story about two characters who couldn’t be more opposite if they tried, battling to win the heart of a princess. Who would’ve thought that the King of the Koopas was just trying to impress his crush?

And that song? Ohhh THAT song! It’s my new ringtone and deserves the Oscar for Best Original Song.

Back to the movie. 

Universal and Illumination clearly understood the assignment. Is it missing some things or could things have been done differently or even better? Absolutely! We’re the worst critics of the things we hold nearest and dearest to our hearts. But if you’re up for going on a 90-minute adventure through amazing worlds, with awesome music, and characters that’ll make you smile and laugh, then this is the perfect movie to spring you into that warm summer feeling.

Plus there’s the whole part with karts and shells, and banana peels and oh my goodness how amazing was that?? It’s enough to make you want to stand up and cheer, then go home and destroy your friends and family on your favorite track haha.

The bottom line, it pays homage in all the right ways to the little guy with the mustache, while giving us something new and exciting. Take the kids and go see Super Mario Bros. You’ll be glad you did!

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Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023



Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Opening Act Saturday, March 25 at 1:30 p.m. on North 200A. Talent confirmed so far to participate in the post-screening panel is Natalie Alyn Lind (Big Sky, The Goldbergs, Gotham) as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince and longtime RWBY cast member Lindsay Jones (Camp Camp) as Ruby, Kara Eberle ( RWBY: Ice Queendom) as Weiss, Arryn Zech (Detective Now Dead) as Blake and Barbara Dunkelman (Blood Fest) as Yang – along with Jeannie Tirado (Soul, Saints Row) as Green Lantern and Tru Valentino (The Rookie, The Cuphead Show!) as a cyborg. Also attending the panel will be producer/director Kerry Shawcross (series RWBY) and writer Meghan Fitzmartin (Supernatural, Justice Society: World War II).

Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023 with the big screen debut from DC Animated Films: highlights this year include the world premieres of the highly anticipated Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham and Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Part One the weekend of March 24-26 in Anaheim, California. Both screenings will be followed by panel discussions with actors and creators. Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham premieres at The Arena on Friday, March 24 at 6 p.m. Tati Gabrielle (Kaleidoscope, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Uncharted) as Kai Li Cain, Christopher Gorham (The Lincoln Lawyer, Insatiable) as Oliver Queen, David Dastmalchian (Dune, Suicide Squad, Ant-Man) as Grendon, producer/co-director Sam Liu (The Death and the Return of Superman), co-director Christopher Berkeley (Young Justice) and screenwriter Jase Ricci (Teen Titans Go! and DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem Across the Multiverse).

Both films will have encore screenings in the Arena on Sunday, March 26. Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One will screen at 12:15pm, followed by Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham at 2:00pm

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Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3



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