Eilis

Custom Search




banner2

banner3

banner3

banner2


Eddie The Eagle

The Witch

February 25, 2016

Eddie the Eagle (** ½) PG-13 

The true story of Michael ‘Eddie’ Edwards, the underdog skier who made his mark at the 1988 Calgary Olympics, serves as the basis for the film, Eddie the Eagle. The resulting film is an easy enough to digest concoction of sentiment and humor that’s likely to win over those who have no knowledge of Edwards’ story or simply weren’t around when the events depicted in the film actually transpired. It’s obviously aimed at a family audience but the film doesn’t pander and, though it doesn’t tread any new ground, is interesting enough to keep moviegoers engaged throughout its unspooling.

Eddie is winningly played as an adult in the film by Taron Egerton, who made a splash on movie screens last year with Kingsman: The Secret Service. It’s no surprise that he should turn up here as the Eddie of the film’s title since this is produced by the same team responsible for the aforementioned Kingsman. Eddie the Eagle contains some similar flourishes found in that earlier film, albeit to a lesser degree.

The basic narrative doesn’t really tread any new ground, as previously mentioned, but that’s okay, I suppose.

Taron Egerton & Hugh Jackman in Eddie the Eagle

It’s basically the same ‘inspirational’ type of endeavor that’s been coming down the pike as long as films have existed. The film manages to hit most of the tropes that sports films of this type generally tend to do.

Here we are introduced to Eddie as a child in the film’s early scenes as a youngster with a passion for the Olympics. His hope is to find a sport with which he can successfully make an impression, despite of some physical limitations that don’t give others in Eddie’s orbit much to root for in terms of his ability to succeed.

Eddie attempts to make some inroads toward making his dream a reality in his own hometown but can’t seem to get anything going until he journeys to Germany. This is much to the disapproval of his father who believes the boy should follow him into the plastering business. After all, where would be in a film like this if we didn’t have parents who lacked the ability to encourage their offspring to follow their dreams, no matter how irrational?

Once Eddie gets to Germany he teams up Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman), a washed up former skier who now makes his living driving a snowplow. Peary eventually warms up to Eddie, agrees to take the boy under his wing and they both decide that an attempt at ski jumping might not be totally out of the question. Christopher Walken also turns up later in an amusing turn as Peary’s former trainer.

The best things about the film can be found in the technical details, from director Dexter Fletcher’s choice of camera angles and down to Matthew Margeson’s cheesy, 80’s synth film score. For these reasons Eddie the Eagle soars higher than it should with such a well worn story serving as its underpinning.

The Witch (**) R

The Witch marks writer-director Robert Eggers first time behind the cameras and it’s obvious that the fledgling filmmaker is hoping to leave his mark with this little cinematic excursion into the horror genre. If he’s looking to build a career then this is a film that will definitely get him noticed. As far as being a solid piece of entertainment that can be recommended, well that’s another story.

The Witch may not elicit comparisons to the Paranormal Activity films—at least the early entries, where the quality was a bit higher—but it should. The film utilizes a structure that put me in mind of those films right off the bat. While The Witch isn’t as gimmicky as the Paranormal films in terms of their tendency to toss out fake scares every so often, it does hold out until the film’s final act to unload the majority of its genuine shocks. That’s a gimmick that I’m frankly growing tired of and it doesn’t help that the payoff in The Witch is just confusing more than anything else. The film may be a bit more elegant and polished than the Paranormal films but that’s about the only department in which it holds the upper hand.

The setting is the year 1630. William (Ralph Ineson) is a farmer in rural New England who, along with his family, finds himself banished from the church.

Anya Taylor-Joy in The Witch

This being a rural New England community in the 1600s, the church is the cornerstone of the community.

William vows to move his family into the wilderness and start a new life, putting the past behind him.

Quicker than one can utter the word boo!, a baby disappears and several of the animals began to exhibit truly strange behavior. The staging of these early scenes is some of the most effective stuff in the film, especially the abduction of the baby, which managed to send a chill or two up my spine. It’s also safe to say that you’ll probably never look at a goat or a rabbit in the same manner either. If the movie does indeed have a takeaway then most of it would be found in the first half hour.

The film then devolves into a mystery as William’s younger children insist that his oldest daughter, Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy), is a witch and the culprit behind the strange goings on in the family’s new locale. Things eventually go from bad to worse with occasional scares thrown in somewhat effectively before an unsatisfying denouement.

What makes the film work when it actually does succeed is mainly due to Eggers’ insistence on making the film such a quiet affair. It’s mainly because of this that the shocks work so well. Because of the disquieting nature of the film, the scares are doubly amplified. It’s too bad that the film’s great atmosphere is not enough to save it from its lackluster finale.

Eddie The Eagle opens Friday, February 26, in Hickory and everywhere.

The Witch is playing now in Hickory, and everywhere.

Questions or comments? Write Adam at filmfan1970@hotmail.com.

 

ARCHIVES:

Where To Invade Next & Son Of Saul

Deadpool • The Choice • How To Be Single

Hail Caesar & Fifty Shades Of Black

The Finest Hours & The 5th Wave

Mustang & The Lady In The Van

Anomalisa • 13 Hours: The & Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi

The Revenant • Youth

Carol • Joy • The Hateful Eight

Star Wars: The Force Awakens • The Big Short • Concussion

Daddy’s Home • Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Road Chip

In The Heart Of The Sea • Krampus

Creed • Brooklyn

Spotlight

‘Mockingjay Part 2’ • All Things Must Pass • The Night Before

Trumbo

Spectre & The Peanuts Movie

Steve Jobs & Our Brand Is Crisis

Crimson Peak & Room

Bridge Of Spies & Goosebumps

99 Homes

The Martian • Sicario & The Walk

The Intern • The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials • Everest

The Visit & Black Mass

Mistress America

The Diary Of A Teenage Girl A Walk In The Woods

American Ultra • No Escape • Sinister 2

Straight Outta Compton, The End Of The Tour, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Irrational Man & Fantastic Four

Ricki And The Flash & The Gift

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation • Southpaw • Vacation

Ant-Man & Trainwreck

Self/Less

Amy • Magic Mike XXL, Terminator: Genisys

Me & Earl & The Dying Girl, Ted 2

Inside Out & Dope

Love and Mercy & Jurassic World

Insidious Chapter 3

San Andreas & Aloha

Poltergeist &
Tomorrowland

Mad Max: Fury Road

Hot Pursuit

Avengers: Age Of Ultron

Ex Machina

While We’re Young & Unfriended

The Longest Ride

Fast & Furious 7

It Follows

Divergent

Cinderella

Chappie

Focus & The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Hot Tub Time Machine 2

Fifty Shades Of Grey

Jupiter Ascending

Still Alice

The Imitation Game A Most Violent Year

American Sniper Inherent Vice

Selma & Taken 3

Unbroken

Big Eyes • The Interview

Night At The Museum The Secret of the Tomb • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Top Five • Wild • Annie

Foxcatcher

Whiplash & The Theory Of Everything

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 • Horrible Bosses 2

Dumb And Dumber To

Birdman & Interstellar

Nightcrawler

Ouija

Fury

The Judge

Annabelle & Gone Girl

The Equalizer & Happy 75th, GWTW!

The Drop • A Walk Among & The Tombstones

No Good Deed

The Identical

As Above, So Below & November Man

If I Stay & Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

The Giver • Code Black & The Expendables 3

Boyhood • Into The Storm & Magic In The Moonlight

Get On Up & Guardians Of The Galaxy

Lucy

Begin Again & The Purge: Anarchy

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

Chef & Tammy

Transformers: Age Of Extinction

Jersey Boys

22 Jump Street & How To Train Your Dragon 2

The Fault Is In Our Stars & Edge Of Tomorrow

A Million Ways To Die In The West

X-Men: Days Of Future Past Maleficent

Godzilla • Summer Preview

Neighbors • Godzilla

The Amazing Spiderman 2 & Belle

The Other Woman & Brick Mansions

A Haunted House 2 & Heaven Is For Real

Oculus & Rio 2

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Noah

Divergent

The Grand Budapest Hotel & Veronica Mars

300: Rise of the Empire

Non-Stop & Son Of God

Three Days To Kill

Robocop & The Past • About Last Night

The Monuments Men

Labor Day

I, Frankenstein

Inside Llewyn Davis & Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Lone Survivor & August: Osage County

Her • Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom & The Wolf Of Wall Street

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, Saving Mr. Banks, American Hustle, Anchorman 2

The Hobbit: The Desolation & Of Smaug • Nebraska

Dallas Buyers Club & Oldboy & Out Of The Furnace

Philomena & The Book Thief

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire & Delivery Man

About Time & All Is Lost

Thor: The Dark World & 12 Years A Slave

Ender’s Game & Last Vegas

Bad Grandpa &The Counselor

Carrie & The Fifth Estate

Captain Phillips, Enough Said & Machete Kills

Gravity & Runner Runner

Metallica: Through The Never , Rush & Don Jon

Prisoners & Rush

Insidious: Chapter 2 • The Family & The Spectacular Now

Riddick

Getaway

The World’s End You’re Next

Lee Daniels’ The Butler • Jobs • Blue Jasmine

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters & Elysium

2 Guns

Blue Jasmine • The Wolverine & Fruitvale Station

Fruitvale Station • The Conjuring & The Way Way Back

Pacific Rim & Grown Ups 2

The Lone Ranger & Despicable Me 2

The Heat & White House Down

Monsters University, World War Z, Before Midnight & The East

Man of Steel & This Is The End

The Internship & The Purge

After Earth, Now You See Me & Frances Ha

The Hangover Part III Before Midnight

Star Trek: Into Darkness & Fast and Furious 6

The Great Gatsby & Frances Ha

Iron Man & Peeples

Pain and Gain & Mud

Oblivion & Lords of Salem

42 and Scary Movie 5

Evil Dead & Jurassic Park 3-D

G.I. Joe: Retaliation Tyler Perry’s Temptation

Spring Breakers Admission

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone • The Call

Oz: The Great And Powerful West Of Memphis

Jack the Giant Slayer The Last Exorcism, Part II

Dark Skies & Snitch

A Good Day to Die Hard & Safe Haven

Side Effects & Identity Thief

Bullet To The Head Warm Bodies


 

 

 

BannerEventAd-01.jpg   fanjoylabrenz.jpg

PO Box 1721 | Hickory, NC 28603 | 828.322.1036 | Office Hours: Mon. - Fri. 9am - 5pm | focusnews@centurylink.net

Home • Reviews: MoviesAdam Long • Editorials: FocusHave Chainsaw Will TravelSid On SportsBobbi GSara MawyerPeople PicturesPlaces/PeopleExtra Events Listing
Out Of Focus • News: Local NewsNational NewsHoroscopes • Info/Links: Staff/ContributorsList Of AdvertisersOnline AdvertisingOnline ClassifiedsContact UsFocus BLOGStoreLinks

© 1978 - 2017 Tucker Productions, Inc.