Thursday, October 31, 2019

Review: Saand Ki Aankh

Release date: October 25, 2019
Running time: 146 minutes
Starring: Taapsee Pannu, Bhumi Pednekar, Prakash Jha

Saand Ki Aankh tells the unlikely story of two 60 plus year old grandmothers who decide to take up target shooting as a way to help their daughters to a better life.  The Tomar grandmas find that they have a natural talent for the sport and go on to compete in local Indian competitions.  However, they live in a very conservative village that forbids women to even step foot outside of the village walls, so must get creative for both practice and competitions.  

The film's premise is so ridiculous that you would think that the writers were just having fun, until you realize that the movie is actually based on two 60 plus year old grandmothers.  It's an incredible story and one that is all the more pertinent now.  The women must battle not only their own inhibitions, but must defy their husbands and village elder’s closed minded views in order to continue competing in what they love.  The two main leads are very enjoyable as the Tomar grandmothers, and do a good job of portraying talented but extremely sheltered women as they experience more and more.  They are helped along by a stellar performance from their teacher and coach, Dr. Yashpal (Vineet Kumar Singh) who encourages them along the way.  

The film is accompanied by an inspiring score that helps to set the mood throughout.  During the intense scenes the music picks up, and during the serious scenes it plays a much more somber soundtrack.  And the score is not the only inspiring thing about this film.  The hardships that these grandmothers and the other women in the village must endure is painful to watch at times, and seeing these two experience life, even at 60 plus, is a joy to see. 

If there is a complaint, it is that the two grandmas are played by women who are nowhere near 60.  They do a good job for the most part, but you can often tell that their age is the result of Bollywood makeup.  They look too tan at times, and the gray in their hair and eyebrows is inconsitent and noticably painted on.  Additionally, as with many Bollywood movies, the film wraps up too convenienty in the end.  However, don't let these minor issues stop you from seeing a truly enjoyable film.

Saand Ki Ankh is an inspirational movie about women finding their passion regardless of their age.  It has a great cast and an amazing story, and teaches lessons that are on target! Make sure to give this one a shot!

Watch it

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Review: Motherless Brooklyn

Release date: November 1, 2019
Running time: 144 minutes
Starring: Stars: Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Dallas Roberts 

Directed, written, and produced by Edward Norton, “Motherless Brooklyn” (which is loosely based on Jonathan Lethem's 1999 novel) follows Lionel Essrog (Edward Norton), a lonely private detective living with Tourette’s syndrome and OCD.  Essrog’s journeys through New York takes him from the jazz clubs in Harlem to the hard-edged slums of Brooklyn and, finally, into the gilded halls of New York's power brokers looking for clues to solve the murder of his only friend, mentor and boss Frank Minna (Bruce Willis). Lionel is convinced that Frank was on the verge of exposing corruption within the inner city hall leaders before his death. During this journey Lionel is helped and hindered by a variety of characters including Moses Randolph (Alec Baldwin), a pessimistic titan in the world of development who looks to take New York into the next generation of urban planning by any means necessary. Also he meetings a community activist Laura Rose (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) whose life is being affected by Minna’s development.

Motherless Brooklyn wasn't just a movie but an experience.  The filmmakers went all out to establish this world, including an amazing score—with an original song by Thom Yorke—and art that totally captures the essence of New York City in the 1950's. This movie was also brimming with activity, from the very rich soul of the jazz clubs to bright New York City night lights and ambitious residences trying to stop its corrupt politics.  With such a star studded cast, Edward Norton is without a doubt the highlight with his portrayal of a character with Tourette’s syndrome.  And although this condition isn't a laughing matter, he truly give the audience someone they can enjoy rather than being uncomfortable which is a brilliant life lesson. The dialogue in the movie not only provides tons of laughs but also tons of perspective about power and abuse of power in how it effects others.  One speech especially at the end of the movie is a real hard pill to swallow.

If there’s one complaint about this movie, it’s that Lionnel’s journey is a long one. The movie is well over two hours long, which might be too much for some viewers. And much of that time is spent with Lionel; i wish there was a little more screen time for the other interesting characters that we meet.  But that being said, if you are a fan of crime, mystery and drama, this movie will have you putting on your detective hat to looking for clues, putting pieces of the puzzle together, waiting to make the big bust!

Motherless Brooklyn is an experience, with a fantastic setting that captures the lights, sounds, and soul of 1950’s New York and fills it with a cast of interesting characters to meet along the way.

Watch it

Tuesday, October 29, 2019


In theaters: November 8, 2019

Cast: Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Kyliegh Curran, Carl Lumbly, Zahn McClarnon, Emily Alyn Lind, Bruce Greenwood, Jocelin Donahue, Cliff Curtis

Director: Mike Flanagan

Supernatural Thriller. “Doctor Sleep” is the continuation of Danny Torrance’s story 40 years after the terrifying events of Stephen King’s The Shining. Still irrevocably scarred by the trauma he endured as a child at the Overlook, Dan Torrance has fought to find some semblance of peace. But that peace is shattered when he encounters Abra, a courageous teenager with her own powerful extrasensory gift, known as the “shine.” Instinctively recognizing that Dan shares her power, Abra has sought him out, desperate for his help against the merciless Rose the Hat and her followers, The True Knot, who feed off the shine of innocents in their quest for immortality. Forming an unlikely alliance, Dan and Abra engage in a brutal life-or-death battle with Rose. Abra’s innocence and fearless embrace of her shine compel Dan to call upon his own powers as never before—at once facing his fears and reawakening the ghosts of the past.


Screening Details:
Regal Majestic Silver Spring

Be sure to Like and Follow Watch or Pass on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and share with your friends!

As always, screenings are first-come, first-served so please arrive early to ensure you get a seat. 

Monday, October 28, 2019

Screening: Last Christmas

In theaters: November 8, 2019

Cast: Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh and Emma Thompson
Director: Paul Feig
Rating: PG-13

Emilia Clarke (HBO’s Game of Thrones), Henry Golding (A Simple Favor, Crazy Rich Asians), Michelle Yeoh and Emma Thompson star for director Paul Feig (A Simple Favor, Spy, Bridesmaids) in Last Christmas, a romantic comedy inspired by a George Michael beat, from a screenplay by Academy Award® winner Thompson (Sense and Sensibility, Bridget Jones’s Baby) and playwright Bryony Kimmings.

Kate (Emilia Clarke) harumphs around London, a bundle of bad decisions accompanied by the jangle of bells on her shoes, another irritating consequence from her job as an elf in a year-round Christmas shop. Tom (Henry Golding) seems too good to be true when he walks into her life and starts to see through so many of Kate’s barriers. As London transforms into the most wonderful time of the year, nothing should work for these two. But sometimes, you gotta let the snow fall where it may, you gotta listen to your heart … and you gotta have faith.

Last Christmas features the music of George Michael, including the bittersweet holiday classic of the film’s title. The film will also premiere brand new unreleased material by the legendary Grammy-winning artist, who sold more than 115 million albums and recorded 10 No. 1 singles over the course of his iconic career.

Screening Details:
Last Christmas
Tuesday, October 29
Regal Majestic

Be sure to Like and Follow Watch or Pass on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and share with your friends!

As always, screenings are first-come, first-served so please arrive early to ensure you get a seat. 

Friday, October 25, 2019

What to Watch This Weekend: October 25, 2019

In Theaters: The Current War: Director’s Cut
The Current War takes an interesting struggle and powers it with an all-star cast; it tells an entertaining story that sheds some light on the race to illuminate the United States.  For more information, check out our review!

In Theaters: Parasite
Parasite is like having two films in one, and the combination of the two results in a suspenseful, methodical story that has some interesting characters and plenty of surprises.  For more information, check out our review!

At Redbox: Stuber
STUBER is a wild ride from start to finish that has plenty of laughs, ridiculous situations, and interesting commentary on societal norms.  For more information, check out our review!  

Streaming (STARZ): Shaun of the Dead
We wanted to put some Halloween-themed movies in this list, and there’s nothing better than the classic comedy zombie movie, Shaun of the Dead.  One of Simon Pegg’s earlier roles has him dealing with a zombie outbreak in his small UK town in a hilarious and gory adventure.

Streaming (Vudu Free With Ads): Maggie
Abigail Breslin is currently starring in a fantastic zombie sequel, but an earlier role has her pair with Arnold Schwarzenegger as an infected girl whose father is doing everything he can to help her survive and not turn.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Review: Parasite

Release date: May 30, 2019
Running time: 132 minutes
Starring: Kang-ho Song, Yeo-jeong Jo, So-dam Park 

Parasite is an odd title to categorize.  It starts off as a hustle movie, where the Kim family takes advantage of the wealthy, trusting Park family.  However, part way through it turns into a more suspenseful film as the scam starts to unravel and new issues arise with the situation.  

To call this film different would be an understatement; it doesn't do anything particularly amazing but it tells an interesting  story that deals with class inequality, the extreme lengths some will go to survive, and some very suspenseful situations.  The film doesn't have many characters, but the ones that are there are perfectly cast and acted; with the hustler family coming off as capable and conniving and the wealthy family coming off as out of touch and in over their heads.  You want to root for the hustlers as they are just trying to survive, but you also feel sympathy for the wealthy family as they are being taken advantage of.  

The story is slowly paced but I appreciated that about this film.  The build up is steady, but when the film switches from a scam to suspense, the pace of the film increases dramatically.  Most of the film is set in either families' domiciles, and the sets are used perfectly.  The differences between the living situations of the Kims and the Parks are pretty dramatic, and the first time you see the Park manor, it genuinely takes your breath away.  The film also makes excellent use of light to both highlight these differences and build the suspense when it takes its turn.  This movie really is something that has to be experienced as it is tough to describe!

Parasite is like having two films in one, and the combination of the two results in a suspenseful, methodical story that has some interesting characters and plenty of surprises. 

Watch it

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Review: The Current War (Director's Cut)

Release date: October 25, 2019
Running time: 107 minutes
Starring: Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon

Originally released internationally in 2017, the Current War finally gets its U.S. domestic release as a Director's Cut; a new cut of the film coming two years after it was originally scheduled.  The film details the battle between some of the most prolific inventors in modern history to determine the standard of America's power infrastructure.  On one side you have Thomas Edison (Cumberbatch) who champions direct current (DC) power; on the other you have George Westinghouse (Shannon) who is a proponent of alternating current (AC) power.  If this sounds dull well, don't worry, the battle between these two powerful men is electrifying to watch.  As the feud plays out there is intrigue, deception, some huge egos, and some wonder as America is pulled into the modern age.

Although the story is about America's power infrastructure and the men who ushered it in, the main draw of this film are the actors.  Cumberbatch does an exceptional job as Thomas Edison.  I was worried that the film would sand down some of Edison's rough edges; but thankfully the film pulls no punches.  Shannon's Westinghouse is the perfect foil to Edison, a man only interested in letting his work speak for itself and with no desire for the spotlight.  Throwing in Nikola Tesla (Nicholas Hoult) adds some additional intrigue to this fight as a third brilliant inventor whose ideas also help to shape America's future.  And finally, Tom Holland is great as Edison's assistant who knows much more about the man and his inventions that he initially appears.  

The story is slowly paced but I appreciated that about this film.  It gradually introduces the main characters and events that led to the competing standards, with a slow methodical pace to match the scientific progress in the film.  I wish it would have delved even deeper into some of the science behind these inventions and where the knowledge came from, but it does provide enough explanation to give the viewers the main ideas behind the dispute.  However, speaking of the story, the film is only "inspired by true events."  That flexibility with the facts allows for a very entertaining film about these great men, but makes me concerned with what liberties were taken to Hollywood-ize the story.  But that being said, this film does a good job of introducing the main players and telling an interesting and entertaining story; this will hopefully lead to people reading more about these individuals and their feud.

The Current War takes an interesting struggle and powers it with an all-star cast; it tells an entertaining story that sheds some light on the race to illuminate the United States.

Watch it

Tuesday, October 22, 2019



In theaters November 1
Rated R for language throughout including some sexual references, brief drug use, and violence
Run time: 2 hours, 24 mins

Cast: Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Willem Dafoe, Bobby Cannavale, Leslie Mann, Fisher Stevens, Cherry Jones, Michael K. Williams, Robert Wisdom, Josh Pais, Alec Baldwin
Director: Edward Norton

Drama. Set against the backdrop of 1950s New York, “Motherless Brooklyn” follows Lionel Essrog (Norton), a lonely private detective afflicted with Tourette's Syndrome, as he ventures to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend, Frank Minna (Willis). Armed only with a few clues and the powerful engine of his obsessive mind, Lionel unravels closely-guarded secrets that hold the fate of the whole city in the balance. In a mystery that carries him from ginsoaked jazz clubs in Harlem to the hard-edged slums of Brooklyn and, finally, into the gilded halls of New York's power brokers, Lionel contends with thugs, corruption and the most dangerous man in the city to honor his friend and save the woman who might be his own salvation.

Screening Details:

AMC Mazza Gallerie
Be sure to Like and Follow Watch or Pass on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and share with your friends!

As always, screenings are first-come, first-served so please arrive early to ensure you get a seat. 

Friday, October 18, 2019

What to Watch This Weekend: October 17, 2019

In Theaters: Zombieland: Double Tap
It's finally back!  Zombieland: Double Tap is a satisfying sequel to the original cult classic, with an all star cast (including fantastic new additions) and laugh out loud comedy.  For more information, check out our review!

At Redbox: Crawl
Crawl is a fun creature feature that goes a little over the top, but will leave you holding your breath as a father and daughter team try to avoid some seriously dangerous predators during a hurricane.  

Streaming (Amazon): Hell House LLC
A remarkably well done found footage horror film, Hell House LLC follows a team who attempt to set up a haunted house but get much more than they bargain for.  It develops slowly with plenty of suspense and surprise, as it builds to its horrifying conclusion. 

Streaming (HBO): Happy Death Day 2U
The sequel to the surprisingly good horror / comedy original, Happy Death Day 2U follows the events of the first movie with another killer loop that gets even more ridiculous than the first.  Tree is forced to make some very difficult choices as she tries to stay alive long enough to solve yet another groundhog day death trap.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Review: The Sky Is Pink

Release date: October 11, 2019
Running time: 143 minutes
Starring: Zaira Wasim, Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akhtar 

The Sky Is Pink tells the true story of a young family dealing with a serious medical condition, and how that condition affects their lives and relationships for years.  In an interesting twist, the film telegraphs the ending early on so that the movie itself is about the journey that got to there.  The film tells the story in chunks, jumping to different events in the family's lives; it's mostly chronological, but occasionally it will jump forward or back depending on what it is trying to depict.  It is an interesting way to tell the tale and mostly works, although one of the jumps just felt out of place.

The Chaudhary family consists of four individuals who we see grow up and older throughout the film.  They are all wonderfully cast with some really amazing performances showing how each member deals with the challenges and emotions of the family predicament.  The film is narrated by the youngest member of the family, Aisha, who has an interesting no holds barred, no filter style of narration.  It's enjoyable at times, but some of the jokes just didn't connect with me and some of her sayings felt forced.  And although the film's subject revolves around Aisha, Aditi seems to be the main character.  She is a complicated and fierce person: brilliant and stubborn, loving and manipulative, someone who speaks her mind regardless of who is listening.  I really liked her strong attitude, but there were times when her character was unlikable or her lines were too over the top.  Your appreciation of the film will likely stem from your reaction to her.  

The Sky Is Pink's story is methodically paced: is a slow burning family drama, with information dealt out at a steady, but not too quick stream.  And, due to the fact that the film focuses on a family medical condition, it is also an emotional roller coaster as you experience the trials and tribulations that this family goes through.  There are many heart wrenching moments in the movie, which is made all the more touching by the slow pace of the film's build up and the fact that you know so much about what these characters have faced.  Be prepared to experience all the emotions and the movie definitely pulls at your heartstrings at times.

The Sky Is Pink is a beautiful story about a young family dealing with a truly challenging situation.  The movie is well-acted, with likable characters and an emotional story.  

Watch it

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Review: Zombieland: Double Tap

Release date: October 18, 2019
Running time: 99 minutes
Starring:  Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin, Emma Stone

10 years after the original “Zombieland” hit the theaters Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) are back for “Zombieland: Double Tap” as they take refuge in Washington, D.C. on their way to the American heartland.  But they don’t take refuge just anywhere, they end up the President’s Palace where they can almost resume life as normal.  But despite this protection, issues develop that will year the makeshift family yet again. 

Zombieland: Double Tap continues the comedic interpretation of the zombie apocalypse. As much as you may want to take the drama and suspense seriously, the movie quickly reminds you to have fun with its comic-style mayhem.  And even with intense action it still finds ways to keep this movie fun specifically with some new asides and awards. Not to mention this movie has a ton of irreverent pop culture references to keep you on your toes. The cinematography was enjoyable but I particularly liked the lack of CG as most of the zombies were actual actors. It’s refreshing to see this attention to detail and I didn’t realize how nice it is to not have to step into the uncanny valley! 

Although this film is about the classic foursome, the addition of new cast member Rosario Dawson adds another layer of stardom to this movie and she is a joy to watch. Her chemistry with Woody was epic. But let it be known, the character Madison played by Zoey Deutch absolutely stole the show. She managed to take a cliche role and make it the highlight of the film. I thank her for the headache achieved from overly laughing.

With a runtime of 99 minutes, this movie was a fun adventure and the perfect October weekend movie to get into a humorous Halloween spirit. The film is a satisfying sequel to the cult classic, with an all star cast (with fantastic new additions) and laugh out loud comedy.  I think Columbus’s next survival rule would be see this film!

Watch it

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Review: Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Release date: October 18, 2019
Running time: 118 minutes
 Michelle Pfeiffer, Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning

Just when you thought that the House of Mouse has enough on their plate with the release of several live action remakes and many more in production, they announce the follow up to Maleficent with a 2019 release! Picking up 5 year after “Maleficent” the dark fairy Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) returns now twice upon a time in the new movie “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” where we see the cursed child Aurora (Elle Fanning) is now Queen of the Moors, which was given to her by her godmother Maleficent. Additionally, Aurora and Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson) are now set to wed one another. This would not only mean a union between the two but a union between the two kingdoms, a peace that at one time never seemed possible. However, everyone doesn’t share the same desires.

Michelle Pfeiffer and Elle Fanning in Maleficent: Mistress of EvilIn the interest of furthering this union the royal family King John (Robert Lindsay) and Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer) has invited Aurora’s family to attend a dinner.  But the Queen of Ulstead has other ideas and constructs a wicked plan to divide the humans and fairies forever. 

Building off the success of the first movie, twice upon a time is just so fitting! When it comes to Disney you know the visual effects and designs are always top tier providing vibrate colors and over the top special effects. Angelina Jolie is absolutely brilliant and the moment she is on screen all eyes are on her! She is very funny and her sarcasm and wit were the highlight of the movie even in the most intense scenes. 

Speaking of intense, the movie still balances the double dose of action while being a respectable fairytale. What I really appreciated about this movie was the look into the origins of Maleficent and the discovery of the Dark Fey species lead by Conall (Chiwetel Ejiofor) both fearless and heroic ally.  This lets the film expand into more diverse costume designs and explores a new area of this universe. I absolutely loved everything that the Dark Fey represented, which I think sends a good message to the viewers. Much like the first movie, this movie has a shocking twist at the end and without a doubt is a must see.  The not so evil Maleficent will bring a smile to your face so do yourself a favor, spend that extra coin and see it in IMAX or 3D; it’s worth it.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is wickedly entertaining surprise sequel, with a stellar cast, superb visuals, and an interesting new faction that expands and potentially sets up a sequel within this universe. 

Watch it
Angelina Jolie in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Review: Black and Blue

Release date: October 25, 2019
Running time: 108 minutes
Starring:  Mike ColterNaomie HarrisFrank Grillo

Black and Blue takes us to the streets of New Orleans as we follow military vet turned rookie cop Alicia West (Naomie Harris) returning home after her service.  Her return is bittersweet as she did not realize how much the city had changed in her time away.  After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina residents of this city are finding that they are forced to rebuild and survive by any means.  To make matters worse, the poverty in the city is compounded by the corruption within the law enforcement system, making West's job that much more challenging. 

This movie sets the tone right from the start, showing law enforcement discriminating against the city residents with aggressive and unlawful actions.  This has caused the residents of the city--predominantly African American--to have no little if any respect for law enforcement.  The situation in the city is truly Black vs. Blue, with West torn between her two worlds and hoping to mend the animosity.  But this quickly changes when she is forced into a difficult and dangerous situation that tests her loyalties.  crime.

I went in with low expectations for this film and was pleasantly surprised.  The movie ended up being a very entertaining thriller.  This was helped by the cast, including the already mentioned Harris, who is joined by Frank Grillo who is great in his tough guy with very intense roles as we seen in many previous performance as well as Mike Colter who unexpectedly plays the drug lord and absolutely kills it.  And of course, I really enjoyed seeing Tyrese Gibson, who typically provides the comedic relief, take a more serious tone in his role.  His character is emblematic of the problems the citizens of this city face, and he even brings back some crying reminiscent of his viral video.  

Now while this movie takes place in New Orleans it didn't truly capture the essence of this city's atmosphere and rich culture. Sure there was an amazing wall mural, which actually hides messages and clues, but this movie lacked the deep southern accents and attire, as well as a music selection that accurately represents NOLA.  While the plot touches on a number of huge societal problems, it's very predictable in its resolution. There are some very good messages to take out of this movie but some of the above issues make it so that you can get those message after its theatrical run.  

Rent it
Image result for alicia west black and blue tour

Friday, October 11, 2019


Release: October 25, 2019 (wide)
Distributor: 101 Studios
Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon, Katherine Waterston, Tom Holland, Tuppence Middleton, Matthew Macfadyen and Nicholas Hoult
Genre: Biography, Drama, History

Three brilliant visionaries set off in a charged battle for the future in The Current War: Director’s Cut, the epic story of the cutthroat competition that literally lit up the modern world.  Benedict Cumberbatch is Thomas Edison, the celebrity inventor on the verge of bringing electricity to Manhattan with his radical new DC technology.  On the eve of triumph, his plans are upended by charismatic businessman George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon), who believes he and his partner, the upstart genius Nikolai Tesla (Nicholas Hoult), have a superior idea for how to rapidly electrify America:  with AC current.  As Edison and Westinghouse grapple for who will power the nation, they spark one of the first and greatest corporate feuds in American history, establishing for future Titans of Industry the need to break all the rules.  Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl) with Producer Timur Bekmambetov, Basil Iwanyk and Executive Producer Martin Scorsese, The Current War also stars Katherine Waterston, Tom Holland, Matthew Macfadyen and Tuppence Middleton.

THE CURRENT WAR Official Channels
HASHTAG: #CurrentWarMovie

Screening Details:

Wednesday, October 16
AMC Mazza Gallerie
7:00 PM

Enter via the Rafflecopter below.  Make sure to use your real, full name on the entry as we are submitting a list of names for the winners!

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Be sure to Like and Follow Watch or Pass on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and share with your friends!

As always, screenings are first-come, first-served so please arrive early to ensure you get a seat.