Based on a children’s book of the same name, The House with the Clock in its Walls (written by John Bellairs) will delight the younger audiences with magic and fright.
After the death of his parents, Lewis Barnavelt (Owen Vaccaro) is sent to Michigan to live with his uncle Jonathan (Jack Black) who is a warlock, and lives in a house with a mysterious clock in its walls. As the young Lewis is learning to cope with his own tragedy, he must find his own power as well as the power of true friendship.
Jonathan’s best friend and warlock, Isaac Izzard (Kyle MacLachlan) returns from World War II a changed man. He’s evil and is bent on ending the world. When his plans go awry and he dies, he must return from the dead with a little unwitting help from Lewis in order to complete his master plan. Now it’s up to the non-warlock Lewis to find his magic and save the day.
The house is a magical place. One any child would love to be a part of, from a lion topiary which acts like a mischievous house cat to a dirty old recliner which acts like a dog. The picture frames play Lewis’ favorite television shows and the stained glass window predicts the future.
Jack Black plays his character much like he plays most of his other characters, over the top and a little too much like himself. However, Cate Blanchett as Mrs. Zimmerman, a friendly witch who lives next door, is amazing. The quips fly fast and furious between the two as the one up each other with silly name-calling.
Owen Vaccaro is a fun fresh face who has been in Daddy’s Home and the sequel most notably but he’s a young actor we will see more of in the future. He plays Lewis with a nerdy and needy bent which delights viewers.
The House with the Clock in its Walls is sure to delight audiences even though the ending is a bit forced. Fans of the children’s book will enjoy seeing a favorite come to life. For Michigan fans though, this movie has a special honor since the author wrote about his hometown of Marshall, Michigan and used places such as the Cronin Mansion as a basis for his books.
While some of the scenes could prove frightening to younger audiences, the mix of laughter and silliness as well as a happy ending will dispel some of the frights. Just be sure to know your child since even the doll scene could upset some adults. Maybe your children can cover your eyes!
When Riley North’s family is murdered, she finds revenge.
Riley North (Jennifer Gardner) is a middle-class mom. One daughter, Carly and her mechanic husband. When her husband considers a job as a get-away driver, he is targeted by the Mexican drug dealers and made an example of on his daughter’s birthday at the Christmas carnival.
Riley awakens from a coma to find she’s the only one who survived the drive-by but in a system where the judge, lawyers and even police are corrupt, she doesn’t get justice for her family, until she takes matters into her own hands.
After going off the grid for five years, stealing cash and guns, Riley re-emerges to kill everyone who was involved in her family’s death. The FBI and local police are out to stop her and the Drug Cartel puts a target on her back. The battle is on.
Jennifer Gardner returns to her action roots and shows off her physicality in this role, as Riley isn’t above using her fists to get her point across. She knows she’s going to die when this is all said and done but she’ll do anything to end the bad guys first. Directed by the man who did Taken with Liam Neeson, Peppermint feels much like that movie but with a female in the lead.
The storyline will have to you surprised at times with twists you don’t see coming, especially among the police, and while the movie is predominately about revenge, there are a couple of fun scenes where Jennifer reminds viewers being a mom is at her core.
The theater was packed for a Friday morning. The most I've seen at the theater in a while. Occasional cheers were heard as Jennifer got the bad guys. This movie appeals to women who like a strong female lead who isn’t afraid to hurt the people who hurt her family. A couple of ladies at the theater were wondering after the movie if any of their friends could take out a drug cartel. However, the movie takes a lot of hits for its racial tone of bad Mexicans. Yet, there is a diverse cast especially on the law enforcement side.
With the level of violence and death, this isn’t a movie for younger audiences. Fans of Jennifer will enjoy seeing her back in action but the overall storyline is a typical revenge movie. From the first scene, you know who the killer is. But if you are looking for a movie which will remind you not to mess with an angry mom—this is it!
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