Showing posts with label Peter Ibbetson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Peter Ibbetson. Show all posts

Friday, July 26, 2019

"Crawl" and The Week in Reviews

[I review the new horror film "Crawl" as well as DVDs "Fighting With My Family" and "Instant Family."  I also bring you up-to-date with "My 1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project" with "Peter Ibbetson."]


After a Category 5 hurricane, alligators are running amok!

A Category 5 hurricane is coming, but young Haley (Kaya Scodelario) and her sister are worried about their Dad (Barry Pepper).  They haven't heard from him despite texting and calling so Haley decides it's a good idea to head to her Dad's house, which, of course, is in the heart of the hurricane. But our girl has gumption so despite road blocks and flooded roads, she gets to her Dad's house.  Not finding him anywhere in the main part of the house, nooooo - Haley goes down into the basement.  Now we all know that in horror films you are not supposed to go down into the basement, but our Haley must not have seen those films so down she goes and finds her Dad unconscious in a flooded crawlspace. And he's not the only one in there.  Two ferocious alligators who have been washed ashore by the hurricane are in there, too, so Haley has to not only rescue her Dad but save herself as well.

When her Dad wakes up, the two fight off the alligators but also find the time to have a heart-to-heart about their estrangement and Dad's divorce.  What better time to talk about Mom and Dad's marriage than when you are neck deep in water surrounded by blood-thirst alligators, right?  Nothing like bonding over fighting off killer alligators.

Writers Michael and Shawn Rassmussen had fun with the title and making sure that we got it.  First of all, this is about blood-thirsty alligators on the loose and when alligators are on land, they CRAWL, right?  Get it?  Our heroine Haley goes to the University of Florida, which makes her a Gator, get it?  And she is on the swim team specializing in the CRAWL.  Get it?  She and her father are trapped in a CRAWL space with some hungry gators.  Get it?

Okay, I got it.  Yes, kind of cheesy but there are times when I like a bit of cheese and this is one of them.  And there is one more thing.  Directed by Alexandre Aja, who also directed "The Hills Have Eyes" and "Piranha 3D," this film was hyped as the new "Jaws," except with alligators and, just in case you didn't get that, either, there is a little shark bobblehead on Haley's dashboard. 

Both Pepper and Scodelario starred in the "Maze Runner" movies together. Scodelario is an engaging screen presence and does having gumption - I mean you need gumption to fight off those mean old alligators, right?  Pepper was less inspiring.

This is not "Jaws," but it's fun and gory (I had my hands over my eyes for most of the film), and the gators were impressive, but it was hard to believe that Haley and her Dad would get bitten so many times by those gaters and not lose a limb or two.  Suspend your disbelief all ye who enter here.

Rosy the Reviewer monster movies go, this is a fun one.

***Some Movies You Might Have Missed***
(And Some You Will Be Glad You Did)!


Fighting With My Family (2019)

The family that wrestles together stays together.

Well, not exactly.

Zak (Jack Lowden) and Saraya Knight (Florence Pugh) are brother and sister wrestlers in England on a small-time wrestling circuit - that means their Mom (an almost unrecognizable Lena Headey) and Dad (Nick Frost) book them into pubs (they also run a wrestling school), but Zak and Saraya both dream of making it to the WWF (now WWE).  When The Rock comes to town, they have the opportunity to try out for WWE trainer Hutch Morgan (Vince Vaughn) and only Saraya gets signed much to Zak's disappointment.

Based on the true story of professional wrestler, Paige (Saraya-Jade Bevis), Saraya goes to America and goes through the usual fish-out-of water issues, insecurities, disappointment and disillusion as she tries to make it as a professional wrestler. She is an outsider with black hair, black fingernails and piercings trying to make it in a world of Barbie Dolls, but, as is usual in these kinds of rags to riches tales, is able to tranform herself and eventually triumphs.

Written and directed by actor/director Stephen Merchant (based on the documentary "The Wrestlers: Fighting With My Family"), this is your typical story of beating the odds, but what elevates this film is an inside look at the unfamiliar female side of wrestling and Florence Pugh, who is a wonderful actress.  She wowed me in "Lady Macbeth" and is currently starring in the horror film "Midsommar."  This role couldn't be further from her role in "Lady Macbeth," so she is a young actress to watch as it looks like she can do it all.

Rosy the Reviewer says...a fun feel-good movie. Stick around for the end credits where you get to see the real Paige and her family.

Instant Family (2018)

A married couple bites off more than they can chew when they decide to foster three kids.

Pete (Mark Wahlberg) and Ellie Wagner (Rose Byrne) thought they didn't want kids but suddenly decide they do and better get on it before it's too late.  So they decide to adopt but not really knowing much about that, they decide that they will try fostering first.

At an adoption "fair," Pete and Ellie meet Lizzie (Isabella Moner, who will soon star as Dora in "Dora and the Lost City of Gold"), a cynical teenaged girl who is certain no one will want to foster her because she is too old.  Nevertheless, Pete and Ellie are impessed with her but discover that she also has two younger siblings who she has no intention of leaving behind.  So begins the "instant family" as Lizzie, Juan (Gustavo Escobar) and Lita (Julianna Gamiz) move in with Pete and Ellie.

Pete and Ellie learn that the kids' mother lost custody because she was a crack addict but Lizzie still longs to get back with her mother, Carla (Joselin Reyes).  Lizzie is a hand-full and gets into all kinds of trouble. However, Juan and Lita warm up to the Wagners and things are looking good until the Wagners find out that Carla wants her kids back.

Written by Sean Anders and John Morris and directed by Anders, this is actually based on Anders' real life experiences.  But though hyped as a comedy, this is less a comedy and more of an ad for foster care which is not necessarily a bad thing, but as a film experience, it was less than satisfying.  I just wish there had been more humor and less preaching and sentimentality. The film is just too predictable and doesn't really say anything new. 

This is your typical Mark Wahlberg "comedy" when he's not playing super serious hard-asses in thrillers. And once again there is Rose Byrne playing the wife.  Does she ever play anything except the wife in comedies like these?  But the real star here is Moner who almost saved the film...but not quite.

Rosy the Reviewer says...wants to be a feel-good movie but I didn't feel good after watching it.

***My 1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project***

86 to go!

Have YOU seen this classic film?

Peter Ibbetson (1935)

The story of a love affair that never ends...and I mean NEVER!

Greg, also known as Gogo, and Mary, also known as Mimsey, are childhood sweethearts separated when Gogo's mother dies.  He is sent to England to live with his uncle who changes his name to Peter Ibbetson (Gary Cooper) and when Peter grows up he becomes an architect.  When he is hired to design a building for the Duke of Towers (John Halliday), he falls in love with the Duchess (Ann Harding) not realizing that she is... wait for it!  His long lost love, Mimsey! When the Duke finds out, he attacks Peter and a fight ensues and the Duke is killed.  Despite Peter pleading self defense, he is sentenced to life in prison but he and Mimsey are able to continue their love affair through their dreams. Yes, you heard me.

Cooper is at his most handsome here, Ann Harding is lovely in that 1930's way, and Ida Lupino has a small role and a very strange accent (it's always fun seeing actors in the early stages of their careers - I got that from my Dad.  He loved to watch the credits for that).  Directed by Henry Hathaway, the acting is surprisingly modern in that it is not the usual melodramatic over-acting so common during the 1930's.

Cooper is probably best known for his later roles in westerns, but in his early career he was a handsome leading man in films and a leading lothario in his personal life.

Why it's  Must See: "Described by Andre Breton as 'a triumph of surrealist thought,' [this film's] unashamed romantic sweep and sheer loopiness has few equals."
---"1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die"

Not sure about the surreal part, but yes, it's a bit "loopy" but not any loopier than many of the films from that era.  I mean, does "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" or some of those Nelson Eddy-Jeanette McDonald movies rings a bell?

Rosy the Reviewer's a super romantic film with a chance to see a young and handsome Gary Cooper and all of those old character actors from the thirties. If you like the old films from Hollywood's Golden Age, you will enjoy this.

Thanks for reading!

See you next Friday


"Once Upon a Time In...Hollywood" 


The Week in Reviews
(What To See and What To Avoid)

as well as

the latest on

"My 1001 Movies I Must See

Before I Die Project" 

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Next time you are wondering whether or not to watch a particular film, check out my reviews on IMDB (The International Movie Database). 

Go to, find the movie you are interested in.  Scroll down below the synopsis and the listings for the director, writer and main stars to where it says "Reviews" and click on "Critics" - If I have reviewed that film, you will find Rosy the Reviewer alphabetically on the list.