Sarah Knight Adamson is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and a voting member for the Critics Choice Awards for Movies.

Sarah Knight Adamson and Jessica Aymond are both Members of the Chicago Film Critics Association

Film Rating Code:

★★★★ Outstanding Film- Run, don’t walk to the nearest movie theater.

★★★½ Excellent Film- Highly recommend seeing the film in a movie theater.

★★★ Very Good Film- Recommend seeing the film in a movie theater.

★★½ Good Film- Wait for the DVD, the film is still worth viewing.

★★ Wait for the DVD and proceed with caution.

★½ Wait for the DVD the film has major problems in most areas.

★ Can’t recommend the film.

A Quiet Place (PG-13) ★★★½

Shh…Don’t Say a Word

Sci-fi giant spider-like creatures can’t see you—so no need to hide—except, if they hear you—they’ll kill you instantly. That’s the premise of this tightly edited, spine-tingling sci-fi horror film. Be prepared for 95 minutes of suspense building, nerve-wracking drama as a family attempts to survive in a dystopian world where making a sound means certain death.

John Krasinski stars as dad Lee Abbott, he’s also co-writer and director with Emily Blunt his real-life wife, playing his wife, Evelyn. Their two pre-teen children Marcus (Noah Jupe) and (Regan) Millicent Simmonds live in the year 2020; yet, in an upstate New York rural dystopian setting. All know, if you speak, you die.

Upon our first meeting of the Abbott family, we see two pre-teens and a younger brother Beau (Cade Woodward) around four years of age. They are tiptoeing while barefoot in a ramshackle pharmacy while mom Evelyn looks for medicine for Marcus. Beau finds a battery-powered toy spaceship and wants to keep it. A concerned dad, signs the word, “No,” then signs, “It will be too loud.” As he’s signing, words appear on the screen as captions. And wouldn’t you know it, before we can comprehend the gravity of the situation; big sis, gives Beau the toy while dad and mom aren’t looking? Very quickly, the film grabs hold of you and lets you know it’s playing for keeps as Beau meets a tragic end, all due to the eerie noise of an innocent toy. Read more…

Posted in Movies 2018, Reviews

Ready Player One Radio Podcast and Transcript (PG-13) ★★★½

Plot revolves around losing yourself in fantasy worlds, it zip-lines at hyper speed and changes environments just as quickly, jam-packed action with numerous pop-culture nostalgia. Yep, it’s fun!

Director Steven Spielberg’s latest movie is based on Ernest Cline’s 2011 book of the same name. Centering on a virtual world called ‘Oasis’ gamers spend much of their time due to the harsh everyday reality of a futuristic 2045.

Orphan Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan, Apocalypse 2016) escapes his bleak daily routine by immersing himself in Oasis. He lives in a trailer nearby while his aunt and her abusive boyfriend live a few trailers away.

Let’s Take a Listen: “People come to the Oasis because all of the things they can do, they stay because all the things they can be. “Can you feel this?”

“Yes, it’s the only place where I feel like I mean anything,” says Sheridan.

With much of the world in dire straights, the majority of humans waste their days in the Oasis. Designed by the late billionaire tech genius James Donovan Halliday (Mark Rylance), who appears in flashbacks wearing an‘Einstein fashioned’ wig. Halliday, a tech genius similar to a Steve Jobs of the future, created simulations in his world where you can fight King Kong, ski pyramids, hang out with Batman, go to a cool disco with a chic, stylish girl, and—better yet—you’ll have impressive dance moves. Read more…

Posted in Film Review Podcast Archives, Hollywood 360, Movies 2018, Radio Podcasts

Susan Walter Writer/Director Interview “All I Wish”

Writer/Director Susan Walter and Sharon Stone with their families. “All I Wish” Photo: Getty Images

My interview with writer/director Susan Walter of the film, All I Wish, a romantic comedy starring Sharon Stone as a late forties single woman who hasn’t found her dream career or the love of her life was eye-opening. The script was written over 13 years ago and has found its way into the hands of many other directors—namely male directors. Waiting, in this case, was exactly the right move to make as the script is with its rightful owner who turned her vision into her own dream.

Susan chats about the ups and downs of women in the filmmaking business—her own vulnerability, tackling ageism, and her fantastic working relationship with Sharon Stone. My written review of All I Wish can be found here: https://www.sarahsbackstagepass.com/all-i-wish-r-★★★/

Sarah Knight Adamson: I want to thank you so much for speaking with me, and congratulations on your film, All I Wish. It’s fabulous.

Susan Walter: Oh, thank you, Sarah. Thanks so much.

SKA: My first question is when you were directing Sharon Stone on set, did you ever have a moment where you just kind of thought, “Wow, this film is really breaking down ageism in Hollywood by focusing on a single woman who’s in her late forties and going into her fifties?”

Susan Walter and Sharon Stone on set “All I Wish.” Photo Credit: Jalisco Wayne

Read more…

Posted in Celebrity Interviews, Interview Archives, Interviews

Isle of Dogs (PG-13) ★★★

“Isle of Dogs” stars (the voices of) Bryan Cranston, Liev Schreiber, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Scarlett Johansson, Jeff Goldblum, Courtney B. Vance and Greta Gerwig
Photo Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Isle of Dogs is a Treat for Audiences 

When people go to see a Wes Anderson film there are a few things they come to expect – clever dialogue, ornate sets, and scenes, and…at some point, Bill Murray. With his latest film, Isle of Dogs, his second stop-motion animation movie, Anderson checks all three boxes. The tale is set in a dystopian Japan and focuses on a group of dogs who are living on an island / garbage dump after the government banished them from the cities. The numerous dogs in the film are voiced by some Wes Anderson veterans (Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Jeff Goldblum) and some newcomers (Bryan Cranston, Liev Schreiber, Scarlett Johannsson), while the humans are mostly voiced by Japanese actors and are subtitled. The film is humorous and inventive, but the over-the-top depiction of Japanese culture and somewhat dark undertone may not appeal to everyone.

The movie opens with a narrator (Courtney B. Vance, The Mummy, 2016), describing (via flashbacks) a war battle between dogs and humans that resulted in the domestication of all dogs. Eventually, the long-standing peace between pet and master crumbles after all of the dogs succumb to a new, mysterious dog flu and allegedly pose a threat to the humans.  Although scientists are working on a cure, a new authoritarian government, led by Mayor Kobayashi (whose ancestor was killed in the dog-human battles), assumes control. Kobayashi sends all of the dogs to a landfill island where they are now forced to fend for themselves. To prove the seriousness of his law, Mayor Kobayashi sends a dog from his own house to the landfill first.

Read more…

Posted in Movies 2018, Reviews

All I Wish (R) ★★★

Sharon Stone Still Rocks

Should a 60-yr-old actress permanently be typecast as a mom or a grandma? Sharon Stone can answer that question—the answer—an emphatic no way! When first-time director Susan Walter took a chance on a major script change from Stone, she opened the anti-ageism floodgates for all females. You see, Walter sent the script to Stone inquiring if she’d play the lead’s mom—Stone replied back that it would be more interesting to play the lead daughter role, not to mention it’s a storyline viewers haven’t seen before. What’s fascinating is Walter’s rely, that the character she had in mind wears a bikini, plays beach volleyball, smokes pot, dances in bars, drinks shots, doesn’t want marriage and has casual sex. Stone’s message, “Don’t change a thing other than the age.”

Together they have finally broken through the ‘old’ Hollywood stigma (pun intended) by creating a contemporary character in which women can truly relate. Just because you’re approaching 50 doesn’t mean you can’t be intelligent, sexy, single, desirable, playful and still have dreams of an exciting career. We’ve seen many films with a lead guy in this position—sometimes it’s called; for lack of a better term—‘The Peter Pan’ syndrome. And now, frankly that I look at the situation through a female’s eyes, I see that label as antiquated. At age 50, is it so important that we (men and women) have everything figured out, especially those whoppers—love life and career?

Stone plays Senna a struggling fashion designer whose emotional state could be a character in the film; it indeed structures the tone, her actions, and the reactions of the cast. One minute she’s happy, the next—not so much. One thing we do know for sure, she doesn’t need a man to define her, nor does she need one simply to please her mom and friends. Her world does turn upside down when she falls in love with Adam (Tony Goldwyn), as he has plans of his own. Read more…

Posted in Movies 2018, Reviews

Pacific Rim: Uprising (PG-13) ★★

Pacific Rim: Uprising

Action Sequences Mirror Transformer Films

The sequel to Pacific Rim continues the ten years after the setting of the original film, the year is now 2035 in a science fiction world where monsters are at war with earth. These monsters named giant Kaiju’s are aliens that arrived via a breach in the Pacific Rim. They are unstoppable with the established weaponry. Only giant robotic warriors called Jaegers—piloted by humans connected, typically as a duo, as their minds are drifted together to double the strength and operate the Jaegers from within.

So, should you go and see it? In my opinion, I’d wait for the DVD or streaming format. In full disclosure, I was very excited about the first film—giving it a glowing review. The creative world of Kaiju’s and Jaegers was epic. The original ideas presented were thought provoking especially when it came to big screen action. “Pacific Rim: Uprising” lacks the newness factor, the wow factor, and the engaging storyline factor. Its tone is more of a ‘Transformers’ film, (loud, crunchy, whip-lash filming, somewhat teen-centered and wait, let’s not forget those continued earsplitting explosions. Read more…

Posted in Movies 2018, Reviews

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