Custom Search





The Post

Insidious: The Last Key

January 11, 2018

The Post (***) PG-13

Steven Spielberg’s The Post is a solid, though not exceptional, retelling of the events leading up to the 1971 publishing of The Pentagon Papers, brought to prominence by notorious whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg. The focus here is on The Washington Post and their decision as to whether they should follow the story or not. Paraphrasing Shakespeare, its best described as a conundrum of whether to publish or not to publish.  

The film’s setting in the offices of The Washington Post is interesting in that it allows The Post to become almost a prequel of sorts to the much superior film from forty one years ago, All the President’s Men. This was the catalyst that would eventually lead to the Nixon administration’s decision to hire a crack team to break into the Watergate hotel, eventually toppling that presidency.  The Pentagon Papers would have lasting reverberations, the likes of which are still being felt today.

The central players here are Kathryn Graham (Meryl Streep) and Washington Post editor, Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks). Graham has recently been installed as publisher and is feeling the burdens that come along with the job. Bradlee is the controlled editor who keeps a tight leash on his reporters and a close eye on his competitor, The New York Times. When he comes across information that the rival paper is going forth with the Pentagon Paper story it weighs mightily on him as to whether his own paper should do the same. Graham, of course, has her own problems as she weighs the multiple ramifications that go along with publishing such a potentially incendiary story such as the one at hand.

Hanks & Streep in The Post

There are several problems with the film. The first and most obvious one is that Spielberg and company can’t seem to decide on which story they’re going to tell. The two basic threads here are, chiefly, Kathryn Graham’s personal story and additionally, a look at the legal/moral/ethical ramifications that publishing a story like this might have on our society. These two halves never seem to coalesce and appear to be at odds with one another through most of the film, which gives The Post something of an identity crisis.

The secondary problem with the film is Spielberg’s tendency to want to go big with scenes that require more nuance and would be more effectively executed in a smaller manner. The direction is sure footed and, along with the superb technical contributions from all involved and the first rate acting, there’s a lot to admire. I just wish that The Post didn’t suffer from the inevitable comparison to that aforementioned film from the mid 70s which covers similar ground. Perhaps that something that couldn’t be avoided but it doesn’t do The Post any favors.

Insidious: The Last Key (**) PG-13

When the original Insidious was released nearly seven years ago I was giddy with delight. It was the kind of horror film I had been waiting for although I wouldn’t have guessed that prior to the experience of seeing it. It was full of disturbing imagery of the variety that lingers long after the film was over. Furthermore, the scares in the film were not scattered conservatively throughout its running time. The filmmakers began doling them out right away and never really let up until it was over and done. It may not have been award worthy but the original Insidious was a good time to be had at the movies.

And then the sequels came along, each one watering down what good memories I had of the original Insidious experience.

Which brings me to the latest in what has become a certified film franchise. It’s also become quite a profitable one at that. Frankly, I will admit that this was something I didn’t see coming and was actually quite surprised when the first sequel appeared, never dreaming that there would be four films and counting only a few years after the initial entry was unleashed upon the world.

Lin Shaye, left, in Insidious: The Last Key

The latest Insidious film is probably not the worst of the series but that’s not saying much since the last two were pretty rancid. The only good thing that can really be said about the latest entry is that it gives us a seventy plus year old female as its protagonist. Now that’s something you don’t see every day in a time when ageism is rarely, if ever, addressed in societal circles. Unfortunately, that’s about as close as this film comes to breaking new ground.

Elise, the paranormal investigator seen in theses films, is the character to which I’m referring. She’s played once again by veteran actress Lin Shaye, who was better known for her work in comedies made by the Farrelly brothers (There’s Something About Mary, Kingpin) before the Insidious franchise sent her career spinning in another direction. Here she continues her journey into the ‘further’ when she called upon to investigate a haunting in the home she resided in as a child.

Elise and her two assistants, Specs and Tucker, head out to the home where she attempts to get to the bottom of things, while also dealing with her own personal demons lingering from her childhood. There are flashbacks to the time when Elise was coming of age that really don’t offer much that you haven’t seen before, and this offers an excuse to introduce Elise’s estranged brother, Christian (Bruce Davison) into the proceedings.

The biggest problem with Insidious: The Last Key is that it just isn’t scary enough. When the tally of scares is less than a dozen at the seventy-five minute mark then you know you’re in trouble. The PG-13 rating certainly doesn’t help matters either. Lackluster is the word that comes to mind.

AMC Hickory’s website shows The Post and Insidious: The Last Key playing as of January 12.

Questions or comments? Write Adam at



Molly’s Game

The Darkest Hour,All The Money In The World

Downsizing,The Shape Of Water

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

The Disaster Artist, Wonder Wheel

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri • Last Flag Flying

Justice League • Lady Bird

Daddy’s Home 2 (**) PG-13

Murder On The Orient Express Thor: Ragnarok

Suburbicon & The Florida Project

All I See Is You & Only The Brave

Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down The White House

Blade Runner 2049

Brad’s Status & Battle Of The Sexes

American Made

Kingsman: The Golden Circle


Good Time

Logan Lucky • Crown Heights

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power • Wind River

13 Minutes & In This Corner Of The World

Annabelle: Creation & Detroit

A Ghost Story

Maudie & Atomic Blonde

War For The Planet Of The Apes • Dunkirk

The Big Sick • The Hero

Spiderman: Homecoming

The Beguiled & Baby Driver

All Eyez On Me

It Comes At Night & Paris Can Wait

The Lovers • The Mummy

Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales & Wonder Woman

Alien: Covenant


Guardians Of The Galaxy & Volume 2

The Lost City Of Z


The Fate Of The Furious & Going In Style

T2 Trainspotting

Life • Wilson

The Sense Of An Ending


Kong: Skull Island

I Am Not Your Negro & Logan

Get Out & The Red Turtle

A Cure For Wellness & Fifty Shades Darker

Rings & John Wick: Chapter 2


Split • The Founder

Silence • Patriots Day

A Monster Calls & Hidden Figures

Paterson & 20th Century Women


Fences • Sing • Rogue One

Nocturnal Animals • La La Land & Collateral Beauty

Why Him?

Manchester By The Sea Allied • Loving

Rules Don’t Apply • Moana & Bad Santa 2

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them • Moonlight

Arrival & Dr. Strange

Hacksaw Ridge

Inferno & Ouija: Origin Of Evil

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

The Girl On The Train & The Accountant

Masterminds • Deep Water Horizon • Birth Of A Nation

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children

Snowden & The Magnificent Seven

Bridget Jones’ Baby & Blair Witch


The Light Between Oceans

Hell Or High Water & Don't Breathe

Sausage Party & Indignation

Florence Foster Jenkins & Pete's Dragon • Café Society

Eat That Question & Suicide Squad

Star Trek Beyond & Jason Bourne

Lights Out


The Purge: Election Year

Independence Day: Resurgence • The BFG

Free State Of Jones & DePalma

Now You See Me 2 & Finding Dory

The Conjuring 2 & Me Before You

X Men: Apocalypse Love And Friendship

The Lobster & The Meddler

Money Monster • The Nice Guys Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

Miles Ahead

Elvis And Nixon Green Room

Midnight Special Everybody Wants Some

The Jungle Book

I Saw The Light • The Boss

Hello My Name Is Doris & Krisha

Divergent: Allegiant & Batman v Superman

10 Cloverfield Lane & Brothers Grimsby

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot & London Has Fallen

Triple 9 & 45 Years

Eddie The Eagle• The Witch

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


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


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


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 &

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




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


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


Whiplash & The Theory Of Everything

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 • Horrible Bosses 2

Dumb And Dumber To

Birdman & Interstellar




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


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



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



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   BannerEventAd-01.jpg

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

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 - 2018 Tucker Productions, Inc.