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James Quillinan, known primarily for his expertise in the areas of Estate Planning, Probate, Trusts, Conservatorships and related Litigation is also an avid movie-goer.  His reviews started in the Law Office around 1998 when associates and clients began asking him about the movies he had seen.  He began sending his reviews by email to a list of friends and movie fans which now has grown to include world-wide distribution.

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Monday Morning Movie Reviews, June 29, 2015

Ted 2.  The foul-mouthed bear is back again. Once was enough, a few yucks aren’t worth the continuing assault on our ears and sensibilities. This time Ted and Tami-Lynn are newlyweds. They want to have a baby, but in order to qualify to be a parent; Ted has to prove he is a person in the eyes of the law. His lawyer (Amanda Seyfried) flubs the trial and they need to convince Morgan Freeman (the voice of god) to take the case to the Supreme Court. Somehow a trip to Comic-Com in New York City convinces Morgan Freeman to take the case and all ends well. But drugs and extremely boorish behavior largely fuel the path to recognition. Many cameo appearances by celebrities provide some pizazz. Rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, and drug use.

A Little Chaos.  An enjoyable period piece that allows a bunch of British actors to dress up like French Royalty and act very Frenchy but with British accents. The romantic drama follows Sabine (Kate Winslet) who despite being a woman in an all man’s world is a talented landscape designer. She submits a winning design for a new garden at Versailles for King Louis XIV.   She not only designs the garden but supervises it being built. She has an interesting encounter with the King (Alan Rickman) who without his wig and regalia can be quite charming. But Sabine’s real struggles are with class barriers as she becomes romantically involved with the King's legendary landscape artist, Andre LeNorte. LeNorte’s wife and the court’s intrigues almost scuttle Sabine’s garden, but her talent and perseverance carry the day. This is a fun little period piece with loads of style and some nifty performances. Rated R for some sexuality and brief nudity. It is a Peggy’s Pick.

Testament of Youth.  One hundred years ago World War I was raging and taking with it an entire generation of young men. In the aftermath of World War I, Vera Brittain (beautifully portrayed by Alicia Vikander) was a young woman who wrote elegantly of her life during the War, the lives of her generation and the futility of war. Her book remains in print to this day and has been faithfully brought to the Big Screen. Vera saw the carnage of the war first hand as a nurse. She lost her brother and her fiancé to the ravages of the trenches. She recounts coming of age during the War. Her story is one of young love, the senselessness of war, and how to make the best of the darkest of times. “Ghosts are everywhere and we must learn to live with them”. This is a thoroughly engaging historical drama with themes as valid today as they were 100 years ago. Rated PG-13 for thematic material including bloody and disturbing war related images. It is a Peggy’s Pick.

Dope.  An inner city coming of age drama that has many comic moments but goes off the rails for a while and then rights itself. Malcolm (Shameik Moore) is a high-school geek infatuated with 1990s hip-hop. He is carefully surviving life in a tough neighborhood in Inglewood, CA. He fends off the gangsters and drugs dealers, while being a good student who hopes to attend Harvard.  An invitation to a big underground party for a drug dealer, leads Malcolm and his crew of misfits into a graphic escapade of drugs and sex. They encounter bad characters as they get caught in a drug lord feud. Malcolm makes many bad choices but perseveres as he parlays his geek into a pile of bit coins and a Harvard admission. A very interesting and different take on life and what it takes to get ahead. The one thing that is clear, Malcolm is no one’s dope. Rated R for language, drug use, sexuality, nudity, and some violence-all involving teens.

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