Friday, June 17, 2022

Movie Review: ‘Old’ not one of M. Night Shyamalan’s best

By Matt Pascarella

Rated: PG-13

Runtime: 1 hour, 48 minutes

As a fan of horror movies, this has been on my “to watch” list for some time. The idea of a beach that somehow ages its visitors I found very fascinating.

But before you start streaming, while this directed by M. Night Shyamalan, I felt it was not as good as I expected it to be.

When a family arrives at the picturesque Animika Resort,  they are let in on a secret secluded beach where they and another family and a couple are dropped off for the day.

It does not take long for them to discover that there is something unusual about this beach. After a startling discovery is made, it is discovered the kids are different – they’ve grown and aged.

After time, it’s not just the kids who continue to age at a rapid rate. It becomes clear that some visitors might be sicker than initially thought. “Old” stars Gael Garcia Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, Alex Wolff, Thomasin McKenzie, Abbey Lee, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Ken Leung, Eliza Scanlen and Aaron Pierre.

Guy (Bernal) and Prisca (Krieps) have been struggling in their marriage and would like to give their kids one last vacation before telling them of their possible separation.

When they arrive at this resort, kids Trent and Maddox are six and 11.

The resort manager tells them of a private beach where they can have a once in a lifetime experience.

When they and another family are dropped off at the beach, the driver tells them to call when they want to leave, or he’ll be there at 5 p.m.

It doesn’t take everyone long to figure out there is no cell service and they do not know how to leave without blacking out.

Maddox sees rapper Mid-Sized Sedan (Pierre) who is waiting for a woman he came with who is swimming far out in the water.

A medical emergency occurs on the beach, and one of the members of the other family, Charles (Sewell) is a doctor.

The strange occurrences and mysterious aging are taking a toll on people’s mental faculties. Charles keeps asking what movie starred Jack Nicholson and Marlon Brando.

The group soon figures out that one half hour on this beach equals one year of life.

As each member of the group tries some way to escape, bad things happen. Now everyone is aging.

There is a scene with the other mother Chrystal (Lee) where she is trapped in a cavern going after Trent (Wolff) and Maddox (McKenzie) that was a bit hard for me to watch.

Can any of them make it off the island?

This is based on the graphic novel “Sandcastle” by Pierre Oscar-Levy and Frederik Peters. Since this was an M. Night Shyamalan movie I was waiting for the big twist. I don’t like giving away spoilers, but I will say he’s done better. This is less a horror movie and more a creepy movie as you learn details about the beach and its visitors; it’s also a little sad in parts.

One thumb up.

Available on HBO MAX and to rent. <

Friday, June 3, 2022

Movie Review: ‘Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers’ nostalgic fun

By Matt Pascarella

Rated: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 37 minutes

What’s the first thing that pops into your head when you hear “Chippendale?” Obviously, it’s cabinetmaker Thomas Chippendale. And maybe next those dancers who were famous for doing something, I forget what. But the third thing is probably the two crime-solving chipmunks who gained fame and (I’m assuming) fortune from their hit TV show “Rescue Rangers.”

Thirty years later, they have a new movie starring the voices of John Mulaney, Andy Samberg, Kiki Layne, Will Arnett, Eric Bana, Flula Borg, Dennis Haysbert, Tress MacNeille, Seth Rogen and J.K. Simmons.

The year is 1982. Chipmunk Dale (Sandberg) is starting a new school in the middle of the third grade and he’s having trouble making friends. All that changes when he meets Chip (Mulaney) and they become inseparable.

Now it is 1990 and the two have just wrapped season three of their popular show “Rescue Rangers.” Everything is going well until Dale tells Chip he’s going to try for his own TV show. Chip expresses concern and says it could put their show in jeopardy. Dale tells Chip he’s done being second banana. Both shows are later canceled.

In present day, Chip is an insurance salesmunk. He gets a message on his landline from co-star Monterey Jack (Bana) telling him he needs help.

Monty tells Chip he owes money to the Valley Gang, or he is in danger of being bootlegged.

Monty also called Dale who has now had CGI surgery which has improved his career. Chip is not happy to see Dale. Dale tells Chip there’s talk of a “Rescue Rangers” reboot; he saw a Facebook fan page about it – and they don’t just give those away.

Chip doesn’t really want anything to do with Dale.

Monty gets kidnapped, and Captain Putty (Simmons) says it’s pretty much hopeless to find him. Chip and Dale put their differences aside and along with police officer and superfan Ellie Steckler (Layne) agree to find Monty.

They go undercover to locate Sweet Pete (Arnett), who runs the entire operation.

The two get in some trouble but must find their friend before it’s too late.

I wouldn’t normally review two kid-oriented movies back-to-back, but this is an exception.

I grew up watching “Rescue Rangers” and in the first 10 minutes of this movie I was brought back with a flood of memories from those days.

Smartly written and funny, this nostalgia-oriented “comeback” is slightly more geared toward adults who may have watched the “Rescue Rangers” growing up. That is not to say kids wouldn’t enjoy it; they would.

It is chock full of references and appearances from a variety of characters from the 1980s and 1990s; from Skeletor to Roger Rabbit to Lumiere.

Simply put, this is a fun movie. The characters have a tongue-in-cheek style humor, and it is pretty action-packed.

This is one for the entire family, whether you grew up watching Chip and Dale or are introducing a new generation to their antics and friendship.

Two “Rescue Rangers” pogs up.  Stay through the credits for more fun.

Available to stream on Disney+. <