Currently browsing the "Joey King" tag.

Quickie Reviews: Wish Upon; A Ghost Story; City of Ghosts; The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography

For those who don’t go bananas over blockbusters like War for the Planet of the Apes, there are some alternatives out there. But, be careful what you wish for.

Wish Upon This creepy horror movie from the director of Annabelle starts out with a fair amount of promise, but quickly deteriorates into a dud. It stars Joey King (White House Down) as Clare Shannon, a High School teen whose widower dad (Ryan Phillippe) gives her an old Chinese music box that he found while dumpster diving. She’s able to decipher enough of the Chinese lettering on the box to know that it will grant her seven wishes. But for some reason, she doesn’t clue into the second part of the message, which basically warns that for every wish, there’s a blood price to be paid. So she starts making the typical teen wishes (to get the shallow stud muffin to fall in love with her, to be rich, to be popular, etc.) and people die. Gruesome, twisted deaths. Oops.

The Conjuring

Okay, kids. Gather around the campfire and settle in for a treat. No campfire? Then the movie theater should do. Oh, The Conjuring is rated ‘R’?! That’s kind of ridiculous. I’d rather let the (older) kids pick this movie over a PG-13 offering like Grown Ups 2. Let’s call it PG-15. There’s no sex, gratuitous or graphic violence, or foul language. Just good ol’ fashioned suspense, creepiness, and scare tactics – elevated by some fine acting. It’s definitely too scary for the wee ones and the faint of heart (of any age), but fans of the traditional, touchstone horror movies (Amityville Horror, Psycho, The Exorcist, Poltergeist, etc.) will likely find The Conjuring to be among the best the genre has had to offer in recent years. And that’s coming from someone who doesn’t particularly like horror movies.

White House Down

White House Down is, quite simply, a guilty pleasure that transcends critical analysis. The plot is preposterous. The dialogue is cheesy. And if you saw Olympus Has Fallen, then you’ll surely find yourself in a constant state of déjà vu. No matter. It is what it is… a mindless opportunity to put a little Channing in your Tatum (you can blame Jimmy Kimmel’s viral video for that reference!). White House Down won’t win any awards outside the MTV variety, but it can satisfy a craving for a fun, chick-flicky action movie with guy and gal appeal. It’ll stick with you about as long as a bag of popcorn. But once in a while, that’s okay. Here’s the gist:

Ramona and Beezus

I loved Beverly Cleary books growing up. And now I remember why. They are filled with heart and humor and mischief and extremely relatable characters… especially if you’re a young girl, or used to be. So it came as a relief to see the essence of the books preserved in the big-screen version of Ramona and Beezus, even if it did feel – a lot – like a Disney Channel movie.