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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 - August 31, 2015

American Ultra.  An utterly ridiculous bloodbath that panders to our baser instincts, but it does have its comic moments as Jesse Eisenberg and Kristin Stewart obviously are having fun. Set in a small West Virginia town, Mike Howell (Jesse Eisenberg) is a dissipated stoner who spends his time getting high, writing a graphic novel about a superhero ape and disappointing his girlfriend, Phoebe (Kristen Stewart).  What we don’t know is that Mike was taught by the CIA to be a one man wrecking crew.  He has been decommissioned and had his memory erased. The CIA now decides to dispatch him but his old handler reactivates his latent skills to save him and the action begins. Mike wipes out all of the CIA goons and drones sent to kill him.  One near catastrophe after the next ensues while saving himself and Phoebe. But as the blood flies, all Mike can think about is getting wasted with Phoebe.   He gets his wish. Rated R for strong bloody violence, language throughout, drug use and some sexual content.

Grandma.  Lily Tomlin stars as the ultimate, cantankerous grandma, Elle Reid. Elle is a writer and academic known for her volatile temper and quick wit.   She is still in mourning after the death of Violet, her lover of 38 years. She has pushed away just about everyone else who cares about her. Then Elle’s only granddaughter, Sage, shows up at her door one morning, pregnant and wanting Grandma’s help to get an abortion. They go on an odyssey as they confront the father, ask the help of a friend, seek out Elle’s old flame, Karl, and eventually decide they have to seek the help of Sage’s mother. Old secrets are revealed as Elle and Sage forge a strong bond and both mature in their own way. The film celebrates women and the eccentricities of these strong characters. It even handles the abortion issue in a surprising way. Keep an eye out for Tomlin at Oscar time. Rated R for language, adult content and some drug use. It is a Peggy’s Pick.

The Phantom of the Opera.  The Andrew Lloyd Webber classic is back with a new National Tour – currently at the Orpheum in San Francisco, CA through October 4, 2015. Cameron Mackintosh is the producer of this new spectacular. New stage sets and design, new costumes, more choreography and special effects combine with the magical music to keep this stage performance vibrant. The cast is impressive with voices that fill the theatre with soaring melodies. This is a treat and worth the trip to San Francisco or a venue near you to see it. It is a Peggy’s Pick.

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