Starring: Matt Damon, Christian Bale, and Jon Bernthal

Rated: PG-13 

Runtime: 2 Hours 32 Minutes

4/5

 

            With Ford losing sales in the market they decide to build a race car in order to compete against Ferrari at the twenty-four hour race at Le Mans, France. To achieve this objective, they enlist the help of race car builder Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles.

 

            Ford v Ferrari, earns four out of five, Llama Bite Monkeys. The story is a testament to the struggle between bureaucracy and the innovative spirit of achievers. The acting is very well done and the cinematography captures the feel of the race and the tension of driving in circles at high rates of speed. Certainly worth the price of admission to see on the big screen.

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska

Rated: PG-13 

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

3/5

           

            A vast private security agency recruits women to fix the injustices of the world. Set with fun technology and nerves of steel they run, jump, and roll into action. While tracking one nemesis, they find another more sinister foe lurking in the shadows.

 

            Charlie’s Angels, earns three out of five, Rock Crushing Monkeys. The story is set at a fast pace with a loose plot that unwinds in bits and pieces. The acting is pretty good and the action is fast and hard hitting.

 

            Charlie’s Angels, is a fun movie to watch and is reminiscent of the old Bond films. Kristen Stewart, is stretching her acting chops in this film and adds some fun into the mix. While this is not a great film, it is fun to watch and will leave you entertained and is worth the price of admission.

Starring: Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr., and Joe Alwyn

Rated: PG-13 

Runtime: 2 Hour 5 Minutes

5/5

 

            Minty, a young slave leaves her family behind to seek freedom. She makes her way to freedom and in Philadelphia, she takes on the free name of Harriet Tubman. There she takes on the mantel of conductor in the Underground Railroad and leads people out of bondage and into liberty.

 

            Harriet, earns five out of five, Liberty or Death Monkeys. The writing is perfect and tells a rousing story of the spirit of liberty and, that, spirit resides in the breast of all people and when it is denied us, its true value burns through until we either surrender to oppression or sacrifice everything to live in Freedom. The acting is amazing and the production value is very good.

 

            I have a new Hero in, Harriet Tubman. She is an inspiration to us all and her bravery and conviction to be free and to free others is a burning brand that lights the heart and prods one to strain against the chains of oppression that are layered upon us with every stroke of the legislators pen. Go and see this movie and take a friend or three. Buy it when it is released on video.

Starring: Naomie Harris, Frank Grillo, and Mike Colter

Rated: R

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

4/5

                        A young war veteran returns to her home town in order to serve as a police officer, in as attempt to affect positive change. She runs into a few snags when she comes across corrupt police officers and hard headed citizens that fear the risk of doing the right thing.

 

            Black and Blue, earns four out of five, Body Cam Monkeys. The writing of the film is very well done. It starts with racial tension and quickly turns the characters into humans rather than representatives of racial and authoritarian divides. The acting is very well done and the action is fierce and brutal in places. All in all this is a good movie that leaves you with a bit of hope in humanity and shows that we have problems in our society that we can overcome when we remember that we are all human and more alike than we are different.

Starring: Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Mackenzie Davis

Rated: R 

Runtime: 2 Hours 8

Minutes  4/5

 

            This is the sixth rising of the machines. Sarah Connor, is pulled back into the time loop as several timestreams merge on 2019 earth. Skynet is crushed and a new human defense system rises in its place. The defense system gets frustrated when it can’t hook up to a printer and decides to wipe out all of humanity. (That last sentence is complete speculation on my part, but I can relate.) New fighters rise to meet the challenge of saving humanity from their own creation.

 

            Terminator: Dark Fate, earns four out of five, Drape Hanging Monkeys. The story has many of the elements of the other five Terminator movies, by default. However, the story is saved by adding more depth to the future and tying in new elements of the present.  The real treat is in the character development and unique traits that they have. The acting is very well done and the special effects are off the hook.

Starring: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, and Emma Stone

Rated: R

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

2/5

            A cadre of apocalypse survivors travel to Washington DC to make the Whitehouse their home. Soon, discord arises that necessitates a road trip.

 

            Zombieland: Double Tap, earns two out of five: Hook Hanging Monkeys. The story is shallow and well designed for cheap entertainment for a quick dollar. The acting is good and the action and cinematography are very well done.

 

            This isn’t a horrible movie. It is just not a great movie. The jokes and gags were easy and grew tiresome as the body count rose. My suggestion is to stay home and wait for it to hit free streaming.

Featuring the Voices of: Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, and Chloë Grace Moretz

Rated: PG

Runtime: 1 Hour and 27 Minutes

2/5

 

            A Macabre family is driven from their homeland by a frightened populace and find respite by infesting an abandoned insane asylum. Through the years the family settle into a routine of casual torture and attempted murder, said routine is interrupted when a new town is built in the idyllic vision of a reality TV, home designer.

 

            The Addams Family, earns two out of five, Sword Dancing Monkeys. The story seems to be written more as a sight gag film than a fully realized premise. The animation is crisp in its style and reveals an interesting palate. The voice acting is top notch larynx acrobatic gold.

 

            The Addams Family, is a fun film to see at home after it is released to streaming and video, not so much worth the price of a ticket to see on the big screen. However, if you are a fan of the TV show, don’t listen to me go and watch what you want and enjoy, or else...

At the Studio Movie Grill in Rocklin

 

            Twenty some odd years ago the heavy metal band, Metallica, teamed up with the San Francisco Symphony in a collaboration that melded two forms of music into one amazing performance that true fans can celebrate. This was a fun experience and everyone in the theater seemed to really enjoy it.

 

            I am in no way a music critic so I will give no evaluation to the quality of the music. I do however have a feel for venue experiences. Ordering dinner and drinks while watching a movie or in this case a concert is new to me and it was an interesting experience.

 

            Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. Once seated a waiter brings a menu and starts a tab. You push a button when you are ready to order, the waiter takes your order and the food is delivered directly to your seat. You may order more food or drinks during the show. This is not any more distracting than someone getting up to go to the snack bar during the film. At the end of the performance or movie your bill is brought to you and you sign it and go home. Tickets were $15.00 per person and dinner was $45.00 for two of us. Regular movie tickets will cost less than special events.

 

The theater was clean and the staff was friendly and the seats were comfortable. All in all it was a good experience and worth the drive to see. I personally will save it for a movie that will be epic or to go with a group of friends. As if I have those.

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, and Zazie Beetz

Rated: R 

Runtime: 2 Hours 1

Minute 2/5

 

            A mentally ill man struggles to find his place in, Gotham City. After the social program that provided his counseling and medicine is cut and events from his past are revealed, he takes a more active roll in the direction of his life, to the detriment of others.

 

            Joker, earns two out of five, Stair Dancing Monkeys. The story is dark and gets darker, the characters have few redeeming qualities, standard for a DC Universe film. The acting is superbly done and the cinematography is reminiscent of late seventies early eighties films.

 

            This movie starts in a dark malevolent place and spirals down into deeper darker madness with every scene. There are few scenes that entertain, mostly they move from bizarre to strange and then over to, unpleasant to behold. The value of this film will be the spotlight it puts on mental illness and hopefully how, we as a society, can help manage the problem. Not a film for those who do not have a firm grasp on reality or anyone else for that matter.

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Paz Vega, and Yvette Monreal

Rated: R 

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

2/3

            An old war veteran comes home to raise help raise his niece and tend the family farm. To occupy his time, he rides horses and digs tunnels, lots and lots of tunnels. When his niece travels south of the border to find her father and falls into trouble, John J. Rambo, heads down to Mexico and true to his nature unleashes all manner of heck.

 

            Rambo: Last Blood, earns two out of five, Tunnel Running Monkeys. The story is clunky and forced, it failed to reach any depth beyond blood and mayhem. The acting is as good as can be expected. The best part of the film is the action. The scenes are brutal and bloody and induce cringes and a few gasps.

 

            Rambo: Last Blood, isn’t a horrible movie, it just isn’t worth the price to see in theaters. Sylvester Stallone performs amazingly well for even a man half his age, which is thirty-five. His fused neck makes his movement look stiff, but he still delivers a solid action packed performance. The true failing of the film was the writing, much like this article. 

Starring: Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, and Ruth Negga

Rated: PG-13

Runtime: 2 Hours 2 Minutes

3/5

            An astronaut is sent on a mission to make contact with his father, who was presumed lost on a deep space mission. Along the way he takes time to reflect on what is truly valuable when faced with the vast nothingness of the Universe. His mission takes unexpected turns and leads him down dark paths, that he must face with only this mission and his conscience to guide him.

 

            Ad Astra, earns three out of five, Terrifying Space Monkeys. The story is long and punctuated with muted plot points that link loosely together to form a more emotional journey that hard science fiction. The acting is tremendous and nuanced and the cinematography is beautiful.

 

            Ad Astra, is not a waste of money to see on the big screen. Good science fiction is hard to find these days and especially hard science fiction that adheres to our current understanding of physics and state of our universe. If you are looking for flashy rocket ships and alien interventions then this is not the film for you. The only information you get from the story is from the point of view of the main character, so side plots are not expounded upon and leave you wanting a bit more, but the writers are as unyielding in this as the vacuum of space

Featuring: Phil from Chico, Jerm Leather, and Cami Oh.

Hosted by Randy Warner

Rated: R

Runtime: 2 Hours

 

            This event was held at the Seven Mile House, surprisingly, located seven miles west of Marysville. For ten dollars you are treated to a perfectly cooked tri-tip sandwich, salad, baked beans, and a yummy peanut butter dessert.

 

            Roughly fifty people attended. Three comedians put on a show that made us laugh then cringe then cringe laugh. Comedy is a subjective activity. Sometimes the comics use forums such as this to work out new material so the jokes aren’t as good as they will be four or five shows down the road. So, it is not fair to critique an unfinished product.

 

            I enjoyed my time there and support the idea of live entertainment in our community. So often it is music, which is fun, but to find something different such a comedy or live theater is a benefit to the cultural landscape and life of our community.

Starring: Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, and Bill Hader

Rated: R

Runtime: 2 Hours 49 Minutes

3/4

            A group of adults are reminded of an oath they swore as children, to come back to their home town and fight a recurring evil that preys on innocent victims. Feeding on their fears as well as their flesh.

 

            It Chapter Two, earns three out of five, Cheeky Knife Monkeys. The story meanders along at a measured pace and echoes, It Chapter One, in several ways except with more finality. The acting is well done with the kids coming back to add to their performance value. The special effects fit perfectly with psionic attacks and psychotic slashers.

 

            This is not a great movie, but it is an entertaining one. Not a waste of money if you catch the early showing for $6.75. Stephen King, fans will not be disappointed or maybe they will, who knows what goes on in their twisted minds?

Starring: Gerard Butler, Frederick Schmidt, and Danny Huston

Rated: R 

Runtime: 2 Hour 1 minute

3/5

 

            After the fall of Olympus and London it was only natural that the target should shift from the President of the United States to his lead security officer. Well, Mike Banning isn’t going to stand for that. He might get shot for it or blown up for it stabbed a few times, but he will certainly not stand for it.

 

            Angel has Fallen, earns three out of five, Dad Finding Monkeys. The story is the standard bureaucracy failing in the face of a shadow attacker with the lone hero seeing the truth of things and fighting for justice while proving his own innocence. The acting is about as good as can be expected and the production value is very well done. The intent of this film is to give you eight dollars worth of entertainment. You get a solid eight seventy-five with this movie. There is a good chance another Fallen movie will be made, all depending on the box office totals of this episode. One thing Hollywood can do is recycle a story until the sun swallows the earth. Heaven forbid an original story see the flickering light of a dark movie house.

Starring: Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, and Mark O'Brien

Rated: R

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

3/5

            A young couple in love head back to the groom’s estranged family’s estate for their wedding. Little does the bride know that family traditions can be deadly, and little does the groom know that traditions are hard to break. After a night of intense family bonding the sun rises over a changed world.

            Ready or Not, earns three out of five, Goat Pit Monkeys. The story runs at a moderate pace with a nice balance of laughs and cringe. The acting is good, and the special effects are gruesome and very well done. This is an entertaining movie for its genre and not a complete waste of time or money to see on the big screen.

Starring: Zoe Margaret Colletti, Michael Garza, and Gabriel Rush

Rated: PG-13

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes 4/5

 

            With Halloween coming to Mill Valley a group of friends come together to celebrate their last year of dressing up and going trick or treating. There last chance to stand up for themselves against bullies. Little do they know that their foray into the battle for justice will lead to their worst nightmares coming true and their battles more desperate as they struggle their fears to see the mechanisms behind their torment.

            Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, earns four out of five, Wendigo Monkeys. The story is laid out in a manner that builds tension without belittling the intelligence of the audience. The acting is well performed and the production value is nicely done. This movie is set in the late sixties, however the dialog has more modern phrases that shine a contrasting light on the intended suspension of disbelief required to fully immerse into the story being told. All in all a well crafted scary movie that leaves you more fulfilled than the usual despondency associated with this genre.

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, and Idris Elba

Rated: PG:13 

Runtime: 2 Hours 14 Minutes 3/5

           

      Another drop in the bucket from the cash cow that is the, Fast & Furious, franchise. In this money raking installment Jason Statham and the Dwayne Johnson, team up to battle Idris Elba for the fate of humanity. It could not have been done without the connections of a brave Sky marshal.

           

    Hobbs & Shaw, earn three out of five, Virus Filtering Monkeys. The movie knows exactly what it is, an absurd plot to bring three of the top action actors together in order to make a lot of money entertaining the horde. The story is cohesive enough to add some substance to the explosions and helicopter towing trucks. There is even a mysterious villain that fires up the parade of bulldozers to plow the ten lane highway to yet another edition of the, Fast & Furious. The acting is fun to watch, and the effects are over the top fun. This is an entertaining movie and worth the money to see in theaters.

Starring: Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper, and Morfydd Clark

Rated: R  Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

2/5

           

A collegiate swimmer takes a trip to check on her father during a hurricane in Florida. She out maneuvers the law in order to accomplish her task. Little does she know of the horror that awaits her…..Crawl.  There is nothing like the look of hope and excitement on a young child’s face as he clutches his own bag of popcorn and climbs the steps of a dimly lit theater. Giant screen flickering behind him as he eats a piece of popcorn right out of the bag without the use of hands, not knowing that in the span of an hour a lifelong phobia of alligators will be cemented into his soul.

            Crawl, earns two out of five, Not Brick Breaking Monkeys. The story is one that is made up in a leaking basement while waiting for a hurricane to pass, somewhat preposterous and moist. The acting is not bad at all and the effects are very well done. I had low expectations for this film and they were met in perfect fashion. The absurdity of some scenes was humorous and the jump scare scenes were very well done and appreciated. This is a fun movie to watch, but not quite fun enough to justify the cost of a trip to the big screen. Please, don’t take the little tykes to see this film. The Lion King, is out, that is a much better choice of an animal movie for kids.

Starring: Dave Bautista, Kumail Nanjiani, and Mira Sorvino

Rated: R   

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

3/5

 

            A Los Angeles police officer loses a partner to a murderous drug trafficker. When the opportunity arises to bring him down he doesn’t let anything stand in his way, not blindness, walls, or hot sauce. His new ad hoc partner is willing to do nearly anything for a five gold star Uber rating.

            Stuber, earns three out of five, Propane Bottle Monkeys. The story runs blindly through the plot, dragging entertainment and laughs in its wake. The acting is as good as can be expected and the action of the film is coarse and bloody. It takes a base sense of humor to enjoy this film. That is why I laughed so much watching it. Be warned there are naked folk in a few scenes and some amazingly gory parts. Stuber may not appeal to the more refined movie goer

Spider-Man: Far From Home

Starring: Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, and Jake Gyllenhaal

Rated: PG:13  Runtime: 2 Hours 9 Minutes

5/5

            Peter Parker is looking forward to a nice relaxing vacation. After the events of Avengers: Endgame, he really needs a break. Does he get one? If he did, they wouldn’t make a movie about it would they? Peter must fight is way across Europe to save the world, yet again. All the while gathering the courage to tell the girl he like his true feelings.

            Spider-Man: Far From Home, earns five out of five, Assassin Drone Monkeys. The story is very well laid out. It deals with awkward plot devices that must be done right or they come out hokey. The director and editors did an amazing job. The actors did a great job and earned every bit of the cheddar they get. Definitely worth the cost and trip to see on the big screen. Be sure to sit all the way through the final credits.