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.

The Kingsman: The Golden Circle (R) ★★★ Radio Podcast

The Kingsman: The Golden Circle (British Secret Service Comedy)

This is the sequel to The Kingsman: Secret Service (2014) A year has passed since Eggsy Unwin (Taron Egerton) and the spy organization Kingsman saved the world, yet lost his mentor Harry Hart (Colin Firth) to a gunshot. The opening scene is worth the price of admission as Charlie Hesketh, a former Kingsman trainee who lost his arm and vocal chords in the prior film, ambushes Eggsy. This insane hand to cybernetic hand combat scene takes place in the back seat of a black cab with the completion in Hyde Park Lake all while Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” blares in the background.

Poppy Adams, (Julianne Moore) the world’s largest drug cartel queen, broadcasts a message telling the world about a toxin she laced within every recreational drug available.

Statesman, a secret American organization posing as a Bourbon whiskey distillery in Kentucky introduces us to Jeff Bridges as Agent Champagne and Channing Tatum as Tequila they wear Stetsons and carry electrified lassos to play off the English Bowlers and weaponized umbrellas.

The Bottom-line: This is a wacky film with a fight scene in the Cambodia jungle, inside a 1950s red and white “Diner” set that uses a giant donut (think Randy’s Donuts) for a shield. Elton John is dressed in a peacock feathered suit while he’s kicking some bad guys around while “Saturday (Wednesday) Night’s Alright for Fighting” blares. The zaniness won me over by the film’s endless parade of creative ridiculous gadgets and weapons.

Cast: Taron Egerton as Gary ‘Eggsy’ Unwin ,Colin Firth as Harry Hart, Julianne Moore as Poppy, Mark Strong as Merlin, Pedro Pascal as Agent Whiskey, Sophie Cookson as Roxy Morton, Halle Berry as Ginger, Channing Tatum as Agent Tequila, Jeff Bridges as Agent Champagne, Poppy Delevingne as Clara, Elton John as himself.

Credits: Director Matthew Vaughn, Writer (comic book The Secret Service) Mark Millar, Dave Gibbons, Writer Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn, Cinematographer George Richmond, Editor Eddie Hamilton, Composers Henry Jackman, Matthew Margeson.

Run Time: 2 hours and 21 minutes

The radio podcast will post after the review has aired. Stay Tuned.

Posted in Film Review Podcast Archives, Hollywood 360, Movies 2017, Radio Podcasts, Reviews

Home Again (PG-13) ★★★ Radio Podcast 🎙

Reese Witherspoon stars in “Home Again” Directed by Hallie Meyers-Shyer, the daughter of Nancy Meyers. Nancy Meyers is the writer and producer of many films such as “It’s Complicated”, “Father of the Bride”, and “Private Benjamin”.

Staring Reese Witherspoon (Alice) she’s a recently separated mom who moves back to her hometown of LA with her two young daughters. Austen her husband played by Michael Sheen lives in NY.

Candace Bergen, Alice’s mother, suggests that Alice should help out three filmmakers she recently met as they need a place to stay. They end up living in her guesthouse. When a romantic involvement starts with one of them the film takes a serious shift.

The Bottom Line: This is a fantastic romantic comedy with plenty of laughs and old fashion family fun, they just don’t make them like this anymore. It’s pleasantly entertaining as well. I especially enjoyed seeing Candace Bergen back on the big screen!

Cast: Nat Wolff (Teddy), Reese Witherspoon (Alice Kinney), Candace Bergen (Alice’s Mom), Lake Bell (Zoey), Michael Sheen (Austen)

Credits: Directed and written by Hallie Meyers-Shyer.

Studio: Open Road Films

Run Time: 1 hour 37 minutes

Posted in Film Review Podcast Archives, Hollywood 360, Movies 2017, Radio Podcasts, Reviews

It (R) ★★★

Stephen King’s novel “It” comes to the big screen in an updated adaptation. Andy Muschietti is the director.

Review coming soon!🎈

Posted in Film Review Podcast Archives, Hollywood 360, Movies 2017, Radio Podcasts, Reviews

Tulip Fever (R) ★★½ Radio Podcast 🎙

The setting is Amsterdam in 1634 and tells the story of tulip mania, aristocrats, servants, orphans, portrait painters, deception, betrayal, and consequences. Based on the best selling book by the bestselling book by author Deborah Moggach, I found the book both engaging and captivating.

A wealthy elderly man—two-time Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz—Cornelius Sandvoort, known as “the King of Peppercorns,” clad in an enormous “Dutch Master” frilly collar, sashays into an orphanage with the sole intent of purchasing a teen orphan that will become his bride. His end-game is to impregnate his child-bride in order to conceive a son that will serve as heir to his fortune.

Cornelius pays for a beautiful teen, age fifteen, Sophia played by 2016 Academy Award winner Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl). She’s told by the Abbess, “You have been an orphan girl on a stormy sea. Marriage is a safe harbor. Love, honor, and obey.” Cornelius takes her to his home as if he’s purchased a new puppy.

Cornelius decides to have their portrait painted, so people will at least know that even though he and his wife could have no children, he can at least have people think he was a “lucky old dog” to have such a beautiful young wife. Sophia’s not so sure about the idea but is intrigued from the get-go when she meets the young artist Jan Van Loos, played by Dane DeHaan. He, too, is intrigued with her luminousness beauty. An affair starts between Jan and Sophia begin an affair and the film takes many twists and turns from there. 

The Bottom Line: Having read the book, I found it both engaging and captivating. Unfortunately, the film adaption never reaches full bloom, but rather wilts, due to a diluted (over-watered) script with extensively over-pruned scenes—with — no rays of sunshine on the horizon.

Credits: Directed by Justin Chadwick Screenplay, Deborah Moggach, and Tom Stoppard

Cast: Christoph Waltz as Cornelius Sandvoort. Alicia Vikander as Sophia Sandvoort, Cornelius’s wife. Dane DeHaan as Jan Van Loos. Jack O’Connell as William. Zach Galifianakis as Gerrit. Judi Dench as The Abbess of St. Ursula, Holliday Grainger as Maria. Matthew Morrison as Mattheus.

 Studio: Weinstein Studios

 Running Time: 1 hour 47 minutes

* Author’s note, Tulip Fever has been a troubled film since its delayed release going back to 2014. No film critics, including me, were able to pre-screen the film. We were also under an embargo with an exact time Friday, September 1st at 8:00AM ET and 5:00AM PT of when we could write anything about this film. Strangely, all of the promotion quotes for the film are from book authors.

Sarah Knight Adamson© September 2, 2017

 

Posted in Film Review Podcast Archives, Hollywood 360, Movies 2017, Radio Podcasts, Reviews

Tulip Fever (R) ★★½

Christoph Waltz and Alicia Vikander star in “Tulip Fever” Photo Credit: The Weinstein Company

🌷Tulip Fever Never Blooms

Amsterdam in the 17th century (1634) is the setting for this historical fiction film that tells the story of tulip mania, aristocrats, servants, orphans, portrait painters, deception, betrayal, and consequences. Having read the bestselling book by author Deborah Moggach, I found the book both engaging and captivating. Unfortunately, the film adaption never reaches full bloom, but rather wilts, due to a diluted (over-watered) script with extensively over-pruned scenes—and alas—no rays of sunshine on the horizon.

The stellar slice of the film is the set design and costuming of 1634 Amsterdam with its bustling canals, ships, pubs, and carnival-type atmosphere along with the drama of tulip back-room mania. One does feel as though they’ve been transported back to that era, which is a major achievement. Unfortunately, with all of Holland’s beauty, there isn’t one wide shot of the tulip fields in full bloom. Talk about a missed opportunity.

To be fair, the story is overly depressing. A wealthy elderly man—two-time Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz—Cornelius Sandvoort, known as “the King of Peppercorns,” clad in an enormous “Dutch Master” frilly collar, sashays into an orphanage with the sole intent of purchasing a teen orphan that will become his bride. His end-game is to impregnate his child-bride in order to conceive a son that will serve as heir to his fortune. Read more…

Posted in Movies 2017, Reviews

The Trip to Spain ★★★ Radio Review Podcast 🎙

Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan star. Photo Credit:IFC Films

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The Trip to Spain is based on the British sitcom, The Trip (2010). It’s the third film in the series, the second, The Trip to Italy (2014). Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, Marta Barrio and Claire Keelan all return in this film.

Coogan and Brydon have shown us the rolling countryside of Northern England, Italy, and now Spain with the addition of their local food and drink.

The Bottom-Line? Watching Coogan and Brydon bounce off each other is great. The pair has a perfect combination of ease and playful desire for one-upmanship.

Cast: Steve Coogan (Steve), Rob Brydon (Rob), Marta Barrio (Yolanda), Claire Keelan (Emma)

Credits: Directed by Michael Winterbottom.

Studio: IFC Films

Run Time: 1 hour and 47 minutes

Posted in Film Review Podcast Archives, Hollywood 360, Movies 2017, Radio Podcasts, Reviews

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