Win Passes to the 2018 Kansas City Planet Comicon

What if you could go to a party and chat with Alice Cooper, John Cusack, Jason Mamoa, Danny Trejo and others?  You’d jump at the chance, of course!

Media Mikes is giving (4) lucky readers the chance to win weekend passes to the 2018 Kansas City Planet Comicon.  If you’ve ever attended, or read our annual write-ups, you know that Planet Comicon is THE Midwest convention and the one that all of the others strive to be.

All you have to do is let us know below what guest you would like to see at a future convention.  On February 14, (4) random commenters will be chosen to receive (2) weekend passes to attend the show.

Planet Comicon runs from February 16 -19, 2018 and will be held at Bartle Hall in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.  For more information click HERE

Good Luck!

Pick the Winners of the 2017 Media Mikes Awards and Win Some Swag!

Hello 2018.  Which means it’s time to say goodbye to the films and performances we loved in 2017.  And once again, the readers of MediaMikes.com will have the opportunity to choose the winners of the 2017 Media Mikes Awards.

All you have to do is let us know your pick as the Best in each of the following categories:  Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress and Animated Feature.  You can leave your nominees in the comments below or send them HERE

All nominations will be totaled up and the winners announced on Monday, February 12th.  (5) random entries, either on this post or via email, will be selected and will receive a selection of 2017 movie swag.  Balloting runs through 6:00 pm CST on Sunday, February 11, 2017.  Thanks for voting!

Film Review – “The Post”

 

 

 

THE POST
Starring:  Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and Bob Odenkirk
Directed by:  Steven Spielberg
Rated:  PG 13
Running time:  1 hr 56 mins
20th Century Fox

 

They were called The Pentagon Papers, an analysis of the almost 30-year history of the United States’ involvement in Vietnam which did not paint a rosy picture for a war that would eventually take the lives of nearly 60,000 Americans.  Their impact, not only on how the war was perceived but in how the press was regarded, is the story of Steven Spielberg’s latest film, “The Post.”

Passengers on a government jet observe a young man chatting with current Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara (Bruce Greenwood). “Who’s that,” someone asks, unaware that the subject of his question will one day set in motion a series of events that, in today’s cycle of “fake news,” will open eyes to the power of the press.  The young man in question is Daniel Ellsberg (Matthew Rhys).  Unhappy with what he has observed and been told, the military analyst leaks a series of reports commissioned by the Rand Corporation to the New York Times, which in 1971 begins to publish excerpts.  Outraged by this, President Nixon orders government attorneys to file a suit forcing the paper to stop publishing the papers in the interest of national security.

In Washington D.C., Ben Bradlee (Hanks), editor of The Washington Post, is upset.  Once again, the Times has scooped him.  This is such a common occurrence that Bradlee brandishes a copy of the Times and asks his reporters “anyone else tired of reading the news?”  The Post is owned by Katherine Graham (Streep), a D.C. socialite whose grandfather had owned the Post and who inherited the publisher’s mantle when her husband, Phillip, committed suicide.  She is wary of Bradlee’s plans.  Not only is there a chance that publishing the information will put her in jail – “Wouldn’t you go to prison to stop this war,” Bradlee asks – but she also risks alienating some of her closest friends, including Bob McNamara.  Decisions, decisions.

A film that packs a powerful punch, “The Post” joins “All the President’s Men” and “Spotlight” as films that show the true power of the press in the face of adversity.  Hanks has fun as the tough but compassionate Bradlee and Streep adds another outstanding performance to her already amazing resume’.  The supporting cast is just as strong, with fine turns by Odenkirk, Carrie Coon, Sarah Paulson, Jesse Plemons and Tracy Letts.  Even Richard Milhouse Nixon gets raves as the evil Wizard who thinks he can rule the Emerald City, and this country, anyway he deems fit.  Rather than employ an actor to portray our 37th President, Spielberg uses Nixon’s actual words and voice, through taped telephone conversations, to show what a devious and paranoid man the President was.

Spielberg keeps the story moving and, as with all of his films, the technical aspects are first rate.  And add another magnificent John Williams score to perfectly accompany the story.

Media Mikes staff picks the Best and Worst Films of 2017

As 2017 comes to a close it’s time our film critics look back on the movies they enjoyed and the ones they didn’t.  Enjoy!

 

Mike Smith –  You must remember, it takes a lot for me to dislike a film – if it’s in focus I’ll give it a “star” – so the few on my list are, as Joseph Bologna said in MY FAVORITE YEAR, “Stinkburgers!”  Happy New Year.

 

THE BEST

1.  ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD – I was a teenager when John Paul Getty III was kidnapped and I was intrigued about the case then as much as I am now.  For those of you who may have been out of the loop, director Ridley Scott had already finished this film, with Kevin Spacey appearing as billionaire/grandfather John Paul Getty, when news of Spacey’s “issues” came   out.  Rather than have his film judged, unfairly in my opinion, with it’s association with the disgraced actor, Scott was able to gather his cast and crew together in late November and re-shot all of Spacey’s scenes with Christopher Plummer now playing the part.  That he was able to do this and complete a flawless edit in a month is worthy of an award just on that achievement alone.  I wonder if Plummer will thank Spacey in his Oscar acceptance speech?

2.   GET OUT – I was late to the table in seeing this (thank you Academy screeners).  Writer/director Jordan Peele gives us not only one of the most original horror films ever created, but also uses his art to make us all sit back and recognize the world we are living in.

3.  THE POST – Tom Hanks.  Meryl Streep.  And the master director, Steven Spielberg.  Put them together with a story that was actually taken from the headlines and you’ll get a lesson not only in first-rate film making but in how this government is supposed to run.  Will make an amazing part of a double feature with ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN.

4.  THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI – A first rate story backed by powerhouse acting, if this film doesn’t bring Sam Rockwell his first Academy Award nomination then the fix is in.  Extra points for it’s make-up work, created by the drummer of my garage band in high school , Corey Castellano.

5.  SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING –  Yes, there have been some great superhero films the past few years, but THIS was the Spider-man we’ve all been waiting for.  Instead of the polished young man/junior photographer, we get a nervous, anxious teenager still trying to understand his gift.  Extra points for making Aunt May a hottie.

6.  IN DUBIOUS BATTLE – The first film on my list to star and be directed by James Franco, this adaptation of a John Steinbeck novel features amazing performances from a cast lead by Franco and Vincent D’Onofrio.

7.  THE SHAPE OF WATER – Guillermo del Toro’s love letter to THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, proving that love can exist anywhere.  Sally Hawkin’s wordless performance is heartbreaking.

8.   THE DISASTER ARTIST – Film number two from Mr. Franco and company.  A behind the scenes look at the making of a film that ranks as one of the most unusual off all time.

9.   STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII – THE LAST JEDI – I don’t understand all of the backlash this film is taking.  Writer/director Rian Johnson has taken the galaxy on a new direction and I have no doubt that J.J. Abrams will bring this final trilogy to a satisfactory conclusion.  If you don’t tear up when Luke Skywalker and Princess/General Leia embrace than you’ve obviously gone over to the Dark Side.

10.  IT –  If you read my review, you know I FRICKIN HATE CLOWNS!  That being said, this is the film that kept me up nights long after I first saw it.

 

THE WORST

BEFORE I FALL – Good lord, what a piece of junk!  Imagine if you will the worse movie ever made involving the supernatural and GROUNDHOG’S DAY.  Now multiple that by 100.  A young girl keeps dying, then coming back, only to die again.  After the third time I was silently praying that the next one to die would be me.  Note to the filmmakers – Valentine’s Day is on February 14th, not the 13th.

THE SPACE BETWEEN US –  This came out a few weeks before BEFORE I FALL, and the latter was so much worse that I found myself apologizing to it on my Podcast.  A woman gives birth to a baby while in space.  For some reason, this makes him as vulnerable to the world as Sam Jackson was in UNBREAKABLE.  Now a teenager, the youngster comes to Earth to meet his on-line gal-pal and find his father – whose identity is obvious 10 minutes into the film.

FIST FIGHT – How in the world can you make Charlie Day UN-funny?  This film has three credited writers, none of whom apparently have never heard of comedy.  Shame on you.  Charlie deserved better.

 

Mike Gencarelli

 

BEST

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST – Music was amazing, especially the new songs. Emma Watson was amazing. Overall perfect!

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY – VOL 2 – Nearly perfect. Love everything about this film. Drax steals the show!

THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE – I’ve seen this film probably 25 times already and it only gets better and better with each viewing. So much is packed in here and is super funny and yet still heart filled.

GET OUT – Funniest movie I’ve seen all year (according to the Golden Globes assholes). It is really a creepy mind fuck that does not get out of your head.

IT – Expectations were HUGE and they were destroyed! Great scares. Finally a GOOD Stephen King adaptation

BLADE RUNNER 2049 – Gorgeous, slow moving yet full of detail and deeper meanings. Perfect sequel.

THOR: RAGNOROK – Absolutely insanely funny, easily one of the top Marvel films to date.

COCO – Great songs and a real family message, which I loved.

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI – No explanation needed.

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN – Music is outstanding. This movie makes me so happy.

 

 

 

WORST

RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER

RINGS

GOESTORM

ALIEN: COVENANT

BAYWATCH

THE DARK TOWER

THE EMOJI MOVIE

TRANSFORMER: THE LAST KNIGHT

POWER RANGERS

THE GREAT WALL

 

 

Lauren Damon – Lauren will share her reasons behind her choices later this week in a separate article.

 

BEST

 

  1. THOR: RAGNAROK
  2. CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
  3. I, TONYA
  4. STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI
  5. IT

 

WORST

 

MOTHER!

 

 

Jeremy Werner – I didn’t rank my top movies of the year because I felt like anyone of these movies could be my favorite on the year. That’s how good 2017 has been to us cinephiles.

 

Top 5 in No Particular Order:

 

BABY DRIVER –  With Edgar Wright in the driver’s seat, nearly every little thing about “Baby Driver” is perfect, from the action sequences, the dialogue callbacks, and the perfect harmony between soundtrack and cinematography. One of the most accessible and fun movies of the year.

 

 

GET OUT – Jordan Peele’s satirical horror has already cemented the first time director in the annals of horror movie history. From the first to final frame, “Get Out” meticulously weaves a thrilling horror,that not only scares, but masterfully comments on 21st century racism.

 

DETROIT –  On that same note, “Detroit” gives a history lesson on America’s racism. Unlike “Get Out,” Kathryn Bigelow couldn’t tinker much with reality. Out of everything I’ve watched on the year, “Detroit” was the most visceral as it unrelentingly forces viewers to live through a horrific and tragic ordeal.

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBINGS, MISSOURI – This may be writer and director Martin McDonagh’s best work, thanks to an outstanding ensemble cast, led by Frances McDormand. The film is a puree of heart-wrenching drama, side splitting comedy, and a mixed message about how morality is never black and white.

THE FLORIDA PROJECT – Some in modern America don’t have a home, or even an apartment, to retreat to at the end of the day. Those lower class families, sometimes with unemployed and/or single parents, scrounge for pennies to pay to live at rundown motels in the shadow of America’s corporate greed. “The Florida Project” is about those people and at times it’s oddly beautiful.

 

Movies on the Outside Looking In:

 

BLADE RUNNER 2049

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES

GOOD TIME

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI

 

Movies You Should Never See That Were Unfortunately Released in the Same Year as the Above Movies:

 

A DOG’S PURPOSE – Mixing reincarnation with a Christian message is confusing, but at its core I believe this film attempts to preach a misguided and dangerous message about humanity’s power and even God’s power over animals. If you’re a dog lover, donate to a local animal shelter instead of buying this dog turd of a movie.

 

BAYWATCH – So it IS possible for the Rock to make a genuinely terrible film?  Lacking in any heart, fun or laughs, this comedy reboot tries to follow in the footsteps of “21 Jump Street,” but instead trips and falls flat. A TV show about hunky beach detectives shouldn’t be that hard to make fun of.

 

CHIPS – Speaking of reboots, here’s one that should have been left behind at the pitch meeting. Dax Shepard, who I’m sure is a wonderful outstanding guy, continues to find funding for his terrible movies. Dax, maybe the things you liked as a kid should remain a fond memory.

 

HOME AGAIN – I’m not the target audience for this film, but I’m also not sure who is. It plays out like a weak sitcom before the predictable ending that wraps up every problem with a neat bow tie. I felt like I was watching a “Lifetime” original TV show lacking any creative effort.

 

POWER RANGERS – I am the target audience for this and I found myself bored. I’m not sure why the Power Rangers needed a gritty reboot, complete with forced subliminal advertising, but I would have been fine with it if it had attempted any character development or compelling storytelling.

 

Other movies that should be forgotten about forever and never mentioned again: THE MUMMY, THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD and XX.

 

 

Loey Lockerby

 

BEST

 

GET OUT

THE DISASTER ARTIST

THE BIG SICK

ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD

DOWNSIZING

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI

BLADE RUNNER 2049

DUNKIRK

STAR WARS:  THE LAST JEDI

LOGAN

WORST

WISH UPON

THE MUMMY

THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD

SUBURBICON

VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS

 

 

Win Passes to the Kansas City Premiere of “The Commuter”

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Lionsgate Films to give (50) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new Liam Neeson thriller, “The Commuter.”

The screening will be held on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at the AMC Studio 28 in Olathe, Kansas and will start at 7:00 pm

All you have to do is click HERE.  The first (50) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the advance screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.  Once all (50) passes have been claimed the giveaway has ended.

LINK HAS BEEN ACTIVATED – MY APOLOGIES – THANK YOU

 

The Commuter

                                 When:  Tuesday, January 9, 2018 – 7:00 pm                                                                       Where:  AMC Studio 28 Theatre – Olathe, Kansas

Film Review – “Molly’s Game”

 

 

MOLLY’S GAME

Starring:  Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba and Kevin Costner

Directed by:  Aaron Sorkin

Rated:  R

Running time:  2 hrs 20 mins

STX Entertainment

 

 

Did you ever have friends over to your house for a night of poker?  This was a regular thing in my life from the mid-1980s through 1995.  Those of us who worked until midnight would get together after work a spend hours eating pizza, drinking Coke out of the little bottles (none of that NEW Coke for us) and playing games like Follow the Queen or Sh*t or Get Off the Pot.  Our highest bet allowed was $5.00.  I mention this only because Molly Bloom did the same thing we did, only her stakes were much higher.

 

Molly (Chastain) was a one time Olympic hopeful whose injuries took her from the ski slopes to a would-be journey to law school.  However, before she can crack the books she takes a job with real estate agent Dean Keith (Jeremy Strong), a bossy type who runs her ragged as his assistant.  One day she is given the phone numbers of (9) people and told to invite them to a high stakes poker game he is hosting.  Molly is put in charge of the buy in money and at the end of the night ends up with $3,000 in tips.  A fast learner, she soon begins to run her own game, rubbing shoulders with some of the most renowned actors, athletes and politicians in California.  When she moves to New York she again hosts games.  Things go well until she is arrested by the FBI for her actions.  What are the odds Molly beats the rap?

 

The first film to be directed by Academy Award winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (he also adapted the script from the real Molly Bloom’s book), “Molly’s Game” is a smart tale about how even the slightest mistake can come back to haunt you.  The cast is first-rate, with both Chastain and Elba, who plays Bloom’s attorney, Charles Jaffe, giving award-worthy performances.  The supporting cast is equally strong, including Michael Cera, identified simply as Player X, and Costner, who plays Molly’s hard-pushing father.  The film even serves as a “Dances With Wolves” reunion, with Graham Greene playing the judge who hears Molly’s case.

 

The script is pure Sorkin, which is always a good thing.  His work behind the camera is equally well done.  All in all, “Molly’s Game” is a fine inaugural effort from a budding new filmmaker.

Film Review: “All the Money in the World”

 

ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD

Starring:  Michelle Williams, Mark Wahlberg and Christopher Plummer

Directed by:  Ridley Scott

Rated:  PG 13

Running time:  2 hrs 12 mins

Sony Pictures

 

 

J. Paul Getty was a son of a bitch.

 

The first person in the WORLD to accumulate a fortune worth one BILLION dollars, he was a hard-driven man who had no time for family.  So when his assistant announces that the police are on the phone because his grandson has been kidnapped, it’s no surprise when he instructs her to tell them that he is “not available.”  Thanks grandpa!

 

Based on a true story (one I clearly remember from my youth), “All the Money in the World” is a tale that lives up to the old saying that “money can’t buy everything.”  We meet 16 year-old Paul Getty (Charlie Plummer, no relationship to Christopher) as he prowls around the red light area of Rome.  Clearly under-age he is scolded by the women he approaches and walks along the road.  Suddenly a van pulls up and Paul is swept inside and quickly blindfolded.  He is secluded out in the country and his mother Gail (an always great Michelle Williams) is contacted.  The kidnappers want $17 million for Paul’s return.  They are unaware that, like the majority of the Getty heirs, she has no money.  She turns to the boy’s grandfather (Christopher Plummer) for help.  He gives her his answer when he is asked by a reporter how much he would pay to rescue his grandson – “Nothing.”

 

This film has gained some extra notoriety due to the fact that Kevin Spacey had originally been hired to play J. Paul Getty and that, in fact, the film was finished when news of Spacey’s alleged misdeeds was made public.  In an unprecedented move, director Ridley Scott chose to replace Spacey with Christopher Plummer and reshoot every scene that had once featured Spacey.  In six weeks’ time he managed to gather the entire cast and crew and pulled off a cinematic miracle by meeting the film’s original release date.  And what an amazing cast.

 

Williams, who was heartbreaking in last year’s “Manchester by the Sea,” is the tough, no nonsense mother who puts her son first in every decision.  She is cool and collected even when we, the audience, would be inconsolable.  Wahlberg is a former CIA operative who now runs Getty’s personal security.  He does his best, at Getty’s request, to negotiate with the kidnappers but finds little luck.  But the film rightly belongs to Christopher Plummer.  You can still watch the original trailer for “All the Money in the World” on YouTube, and you’ll come away with the feeling that Spacey would have given a strong performance.  But here Plummer is more than strong.  He’s brilliant.  He’s taken a character that the audience should hate and somehow makes his actions seem sensible, no matter how little.  Also, J. Paul Getty was 80 years old when Paul was kidnapped.  Spacey is 58 and required a lot of make-up.  Christopher Plummer is 88 and every year is ingrained on his still handsome face.  He recently received a Golden Globe Award nomination for his performance here and I wouldn’t be surprised if that is soon followed by his third Academy Award nod (he won an Oscar in 2012).

 

Director Scott keeps the story moving and the technical aspects, from art direction to photography, are well deserving of praise.  This is an amazing piece of filmmaking, made more so by the quirky back story, and is easily one of the best films of the year!

“Under the Wizard Moon” – A Great Book for Children of All Ages!

 

Under the Wizard Moon
Author:  Aunt Raini – some illustrations by Nikki D. Caravella
Publisher:  Art Bookbindery
Hardcover – 36 pages
A weaver of dreams.  A talking toad.  And kittens that roam at night.
These are just a few of the magical characters you’ll meet in the new book for children of all ages, “Under the Wizard Moon.”
Full of smartly written poems, and brilliantly illustrated by both the author and PhoenixIllustrations’ Nikki D. Caravella, the stories are fun to read while the brightly colored accompanying illustrations will help describe the story even more.  And while some things may naturally frighten small children, the wordplay used will soon make them friendly and acceptable, an important lesson for children.  Of all ages.
To order a copy of “Under the Wizard Moon,” you can contact her on her Facebook page HERE
Beware the Kitties at Night!

GET OUT and CALL ME BY YOUR NAME Dominate the Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards

 

GET OUT, writer/director Jordan Peele’s darkly funny horror film and CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, the story of a young boy who meets a visiting American while on vacation with his family, took home the lion’s share of prizes as the Kansas City Film Critics Circle handed out their 52nd Annual James Loutzenhizer Awards for the best in film for 2017.  Media Mikes writers Mike Smith and Jeremy Werner are members of the group.
GET OUT took home the prize as the Best Film of 2017.  In addition, Jordan Peele won for his Original Screenplay and the film was also named the winner of the Vince Koehler Award as the year’s best Science Fiction/Horror/Fantasy film.
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME earned recognition for Timothée Chalamet, who was named Best Actor as well as for it’s Adapted Screenplay, written by James Ivory (based on the novel by Andre Aciman).  The film also received the groups Dr. Tom Poe Award as the year’s best LBGT film.  The film shared the Adapted Screenplay award with LOGAN, written by Scott Frank, Michael Green and James Mangold, based on the popular Marvel Comics character.
Guillermo del Toro was named winner of the Robert Altman Award as the year’s Best Director for THE SHAPE OF WATER,  which also won the Best Actress award for Sally Hawkins.
The Kansas City Film Critics Circle is the second oldest film critics group in the country, founded in 1967 by Dr. James Loutzenhizer.  The group’s annual awards were named for Dr. Loutzenhizer after his passing in November 2001.
Here is a complete list of winners:
BEST FILM –  GET OUT
ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTOR – Guillermo det Toro, THE SHAPE OF WATER
BEST ACTOR –    Timothée Chalamet – CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR –  Willem Dafoe – THE FLORIDA PROJECT
BEST ACTRESS –  Sally Hawkins – THE SHAPE OF WATER
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Laurie Metcalf – LADY BIRD
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY –  Jordan Peele – GET OUT
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY –  James Ivory – CALL ME BY YOUR NAME/Scott Frank, Michael Green and James Mangold – LOGAN
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE –  COCO
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM –  IN THE FADE (Germany)
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE –  JANE
VINCE KOEHLER AWARD –  GET OUT
DR. TOM POE AWARD –  CALL ME BY YOUR NAME

Win Passes to the Kansas City premiere of “Downsizing”

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Paramount to give (25) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the latest film by Alexander Payne, “Downsizing.”

The film, starring Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig and Christoph Waltz, will be screened on Monday, December 18, 2017 at the Cinemark Palace on the Plaza in Kansas City.  The screening will begin at 7:00 pm

All you have to do is click HERE.  The first (25) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway. When the allotted number of passes have been claimed the giveaway is over.

Good luck!  “Downsizing” opens nationwide on December 22nd

DOWNSIZING
Where:  Cinemark Palace on the Plaza, Kansas City, Missouri
When:  Monday, December 18, 2017 – 7:00 pm

 

Film Review – “Star Wars – Episode VIII: The Last Jedi”

 

STAR WARS – EPISODE VIII: THE LAST JEDI

Starring:  Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley and Carrie Fisher

Directed by:  Rian Johnson

Rated:  PG 13

Running time:  2 hrs  32 mins

Walt Disney Pictures

Has it really been 40 years since the world was first introduced to the young dreamer Luke Skywalker?  It has.  Heck, if you don’t count the brief appearances in Episodes III (as a newborn baby) and VII (the last moment of the film), it’s been 34 years since Luke has been on the big screen.  But those numbers are in the past as the Jedi master finally returns in the eighth chapter of the original saga, “The Last Jedi.”

The film begins where “The Force Awakens” left off.  We are there as the galaxy’s newest hero, Rey (Ridley) finally tracks down Skywalker (Hamill) and hands him his old lightsaber.  His reaction is not what she expects.  Meanwhile, the first order, led by General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), both of who are under the power of Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) have closed in on the Resistance, led by General Leia Organa (Fisher, in her final screen role).  As things begin to go from bad to worse, Leia reluctantly begins to trust in the leadership and ideals of ace pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) who in turn butts heads with Vice-Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern).  Can everyone agree on the right path to take or will evil finally win?

With a script by director Johnson, “The Last Jedi” is a mash-up of many different stories, but all with the same main plot line; good versus evil.  As Rey tries her best to convince Luke to return with her to help the Resistance, he gives her many reasons why he should not.  Among them is the guilt he feels over how his one time student, Ben Solo – his nephew – has transformed himself into the evil Kylo Ren.  In another part of the galaxy, we discover Finn (John Boyega) on an adventure of his own, one in which he meets the funny and resourceful Rose (a much welcome Kelly Marie Tran).  Rose is one of the many new faces that dot the screen, along with Dern and a wiley Benicio Del Toro.  But don’t despair, there are a few old faces that pop us as well.

The cast here is strong, with Hamill’s performance quite powerful.  He’s lived with this character for four decades and it’s obvious he’s invested heavily into it emotionally.  Driver, who came off as a little whiny in “The Force Awakens,” is much stronger here, a sign he has gotten comfortable with the character and its place in the story.  Sadly, this is Carrie Fisher’s last performance as Leia Organa, and the film is dedicated to her.  It’s apparent to me that Princess Leia would have been an integral part of Episode IX and I’m curious as to how they will handle her absence.  And if you’re looking for “cute,” not only is fan favorite droid BB-8 back but we also meet a creature known as a Porg, a puffin-like creature that makes the Ewoks from “Return of the Jedi” look like slugs!

To share anymore would necessitate the use of the words SPOILER ALERT and I would rather share less than more.  And with a 2 ½ hour run time, there is plenty I could spill.  But I would rather be dropped into a Sarlac pit then ruin your journey back to the galaxy far, far away.  May the Force be with you!

Win Passes to the Kansas City Premiere of “Molly’s Game”

 

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at STX Entertainment to give (20) of our readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new film “Molly’s Game,” starring Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba and Kevin Costner.

 

The film, based on a true story and written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, will be shown on Monday, December 18, 2017 at the B & B Shawnee 18 Theatre and will begin at 7:00 pm.

 

All you have to do is click HERE  The first 20 readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.   Once the allotted passes have been claimed the giveaway has ended.  Good luck!

 

SYNOPSIS: MOLLY’S GAME is based on the true story of Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade before being arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons. Her players included Hollywood royalty, sports stars, business titans and finally, unbeknownst to her, the Russian mob. Her only ally was her criminal defense lawyer who learned that there was much more to Molly than the tabloids led us to believe.

WEBSITE: http://mollysgame.movie/

RATING: R for language, drug content and some violence

RUNNING TIME: 140 minutes

Win tickets to the Kansas City Premiere of “All the Money in the World”

 

 

 

 

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Sony Pictures to give (25) of our readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the latest film from acclaimed director Ridley Scott, “All the Money in the World,” at an advance screening to be held on Monday, December 11, 2017 at the AMC Studio 30 in Olathe, Kansas.

 

The film, starring Mark Wahlberg, Christopher Plummer and Michelle Williams tells the story of the 1973 kidnapping of John Paul Getty III, whose grandfather, one of the richest men in the world, refused to pay the ransom.  The screening will begin at 7:00 pm.

All you have to do is click  HERE   

The first (25) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.  Once the allotted number of passes have been claimed the giveaway is over.  Good luck!

 

“All the Money in the World”

Where:  AMC Studio 30 Theatre – Olathe, Kansas
When:  7:00 pm

 

 

“All the Money in the World” opens nationally on December 25, 2017

 

ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD follows the kidnapping of 16-year-old John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) and the desperate attempt by his devoted mother Gail (Michelle Williams) to convince his billionaire grandfather (Christopher Plummer) to pay the ransom.  When Getty Sr. refuses, Gail attempts to sway him as her son’s captors become increasingly volatile and brutal.  With her son’s life in the balance, Gail and Getty’s advisor (Mark Wahlberg) become unlikely allies in the race against time that ultimately reveals the true and lasting value of love over money.

 

 

 

Win Passes to the Kansas City Premiere of “The Shape of Water”

 

Media Mikes has teamed up with our friends at Fox Searchlight to give (50) of our readers and a guest the opportunity to be among the first to see director Guillermo del Toro’s latest film, “The Shape of Water.”

The screening will be on Monday, December 11, 2017 and will be held at the Cinemark Palace at the Plaza Theatre.  The screening will begin at 7:00 pm

All you have do do is click HERE

The first (50) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.  Once the (50) passes have been claimed, the giveaway is ended.  Good luck!