Category archive for ‘Reel Time with Tom’ rss

  • Kong: Dull Island

    This time around, I found many of the films playing in the area were “heavily” R rated (language and/ or sexually explicit), which I usually avoid unless it’s a compelling story.

  • Did I see the Oscars?

    The answer is NO. I preferred not to listen to the political rhetoric that would surely surface, and decided that re-runs of Everybody Loves Raymond were a better choice, which proves that every now and then I can make a good decision.

  • Hidden Figures and The Man Who Knew Infinity – two tremendous stories

    As of this writing Hidden Figures is number one in box office receipts over the past several weeks. Deservedly so.

  • La La Land – a musical treat & Passengers – first class adventure

    Our publication schedule precluded writing about these on a timely basis, but nonetheless, it’s rare that I see two films in a row I can actually recommend. It’s possible by now you’ve seen these; if not catch them while you can.

  • Cinematic ‘16: a year in review

    This is the Sun Day News’ third annual review of the past year in movies.

  • Tom’s Top Holiday Movies

    Christmas festivities are well under way for most of us. I thought I would summarize a list of “Holiday” films that, no doubt you have seen already. But if perchance you missed one or two of them, they are all worth viewing, AND they are all four star films, at least by my criteria.

  • ‘Nocturnal Animals’ has you hoping for daylight

    To begin with, there were two movies I was interested in seeing, but only one column to write. The first was Miss Sloan starring Jessica Chastain, the other Nocturnal Animals starring Amy Adams. Both are favorite actresses of mine, so I flipped a coin and it came up tails. I have since thrown the coin away; it made the wrong decision.

  • Try as I might – Rental Recommendations to take you through the holidays

    I thought I would give you some recommendations on movies a few years old; they are all great and worth your time to rent or stream.

  • Arrival – AAA rating, Amy Adams is Awesome & Hacksaw Ridge revealed

    This is science fiction at its best. The movie is adapted from “Story of your Life,” by Ted Chiang. Screenwriter Eric Heisserer should, and probably will be, lauded for his screen adaptation.

  • Inferno – Hanks sizzles, movie fizzles

    Author Dan Brown has written dozens of books, most of them international best sellers. Probably his most famous was The Da Vinci Code, the first in a series of four novels that includes historical themes and Christianity as motifs, some of them generating controversy.

  • The Girl on the Train – needs a new locomotive

    On April 20, 2015 The Girl on the Train became the fastest selling adult novel in history. By December 2015, it had sold 6.5 million copies, selling millions more since then. Several weeks ago this book was still the number one seller in the Chicagoland area.

  • Queen of Katwe – checkmate

    At the risk of being redundant, which I am, I repeat for the umpteenth time: true stories make the best movies.

  • Sully – run, don’t walk

    Director Clint Eastwood had me stymied for a bit as this movie began. The story starts out a little slow; not what I expected. But the man is a genius, give him his due, and just at the right moment, BAM, he launches the sequence of 208 seconds that will live forever in the annals of twenty first century heroics.

  • ALI – ALI – ANO’S

    One Saturday night, Jim and I realized that we had a couple of restaurant reviews in que. This allowed us a rare opportunity to have a leisurely date night at one of our favorite Italian restaurants and be “off the clock” for a change.

  • Acting superb in The Light Between Oceans but movie fails to shine

    To begin, kudos to Casting Directors Nikki Barrett and Francine Maisler for gathering together a superb cast. The movie stars two-time Oscar nominee Michael Fassbender, Oscar winner Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl), and Oscar winner Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardner), all of whom lived up to their reputations.

  • Ben Hur – terrible, Pete’s Dragon – ok

    It’s hard to know where to begin, but I can tell you I spent half the time playing solitaire on my smart phone while I suffered through this debacle. Since there was no one within 50 feet of me, it didn’t annoy anybody.

  • Captain Fantastic is, well, fantastic

    I went to see this movie for two reasons. Principally, because I love Viggo Mortenson, one of the best and most underappreciated actors on the big screen. Of the many films he has made, his roles as Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Frank Hopkins in the unforgettable movie Hidalgo, are his best works. The second reason is I read a brief summary of the storyline and it sounded like something worth seeing.

  • Star Trek Beyond – at last a sequel that works

    If you like action galore, sensational special and visual effects, and an enduring story line, this movie is for you.

  • The Legend of Tarzan – ok, but not great

    As far as I can tell, no other character, fictional or otherwise, has been the subject of more movies than Tarzan. This is the 53rd film starring Edgar Rice Burroughs epic hero, each story different from the others, but of course with lots of commonalities.

  • Independence Day: Resurgence – a huge disappointment

    Yes, this was not only a huge disappointment, but it was also almost alarming how bad this movie was.

  • Now You See Me 2 – I wish I hadn’t

    This is a sequel to the original “Now You See Me” released in June of 2013. I saw that film and here is a brief summary of the review I wrote at the time, with an entertainment rating of half a star:

  • X-MEN Apocalypse, you got that right

    This is the eighth in a series of films about the X-Men. The original was released in the year 2000, and every twelve to twenty four months another one comes out. The next one is scheduled for 2017. I admit I’d not seen any of them until now, although I’ve seen plenty of trailers and snippets on TV.

  • Money Monster – a technical glitch?

    I reluctantly gave this movie 2.5 stars based on an exciting, well-acted and unpredictable story line. It should be at least a 3-star film, but alas, the profanity was so prevalent I almost walked out.

  • Mother’s Day — Save Your Money

    I took a few minutes to research a list of 45 summer releases as we head into the “blockbuster” season. Too much chaff, very little wheat, but there were a couple that looked interesting.

  • The Jungle Book – another Disney slam dunk

    The strength of the wolf is the pack; the strength of the pack is the wolf. Words not to be forgotten.

  • Batman v Superman — an exhausting ride

    There are 170 million reasons to see this movie. That number equals the gross receipts for the opening weekend of this super hero adventure.

  • Miracles From Heaven — or was it spontaneous remission?

    “Miracles from Heaven” is a modest Hollywood production which had a budget of $13 Million. The movie was adapted from a book written by Christy Beam, the mother of a seven-year-old girl with an incurable disease whose name I can’t spell or pronounce.

  • London Has Fallen – a little too far for me

    This is the worst time of the year to find a good movie to see, much less write about. All of the films with Oscar potential were released at the end of last year, and its months until the summer “blockbuster” season.

  • The Oscars – justice finally served

    I had a number of complaints about the Academy Awards show last Sunday. First and foremost, they chose to show their panorama of self-adoration opposite the swan song episode of the world’s most popular TV show, Downton Abbey.

  • RISEN — indeed He has

    If you are a believer, this is at least a three star movie. If not, you may still enjoy a look at the greatest story ever told. The set designs, costuming, and cinematography are all outstanding, to say nothing of the realism created by director Kevin Reynolds.