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'Instant Family' Will Pull Your Heartstrings in a Good Way

MOVIE REVIEW
What started as an older man’s joke about wanting to adopt a five-year-old instead of starting from scratch, Instant Family was inspired by writer and director Sean Anders’ real-life family. Pete (Mark Wahlberg) “accidentally” makes the joke to his wife Ellie (Rose Byrne) not wanting to be become that “old dad” everyone knows and before you know it, the two are traveling down to road toward foster care adoptions. After numerous classes taught by two caseworkers (Octavia Spencer and Tig Notaro), the two meet three kids at a “foster fair” gathering. Lizzy (Isabela Moner) is the 15-year-old older sister who has protectively looked after her younger siblings Juan (Gustavo Quiroz) and Lita (Julianna Gamiz) while their mother has been incarcerated. She’s a tough cookie with trust issues. Juan is both accident prone and highly sensitive and Lita is super sweet as long as she gets to eat potato chips at every meal. Almost overnight they become an “instant family” and everything g…

Revisit with Sherlock and Friends



Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law are back at
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.
While I’m all for updating the Sherlock Holmes story (I love the modern PBS television version), I miss some of the more classic touches. I’m not talking about smoking the big pipe or wearing that funny hat. But I miss the “elementary my dear Watson”-ness. I miss the mystery.

Don’t get me wrong. Warner Bros. has done a great job with this new franchise. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law make a great pair and banter back and forth very nicely. There is an emphasis on their friendship, strange as it is. The soundtrack by legendary Hans Zimmer is both contemporary and nostalgic at the same time providing a nice background and the costumes and sets are fantastic, especially in the newest, A Game of Shadows. But, Guy Ritchie seems to be so bent on making an action and adventure film, that he forgets that Sherlock is a detective.

A Game of Shadows timeline takes place shortly after the first film with Watson’s marriage to Mary (Kelly Reilly). There’s an adventure getting the groom to the alter in the first place and the newlywed’s honeymoon is short-lived as he and Sherlock face their greatest foe, Professor James Moriarty, excellently played by Jared Harris.

If you are a fan of the first “Downey” Sherlock film, you will no doubt like Game of Shadows as well. Noomi Rapace, (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), is a welcome addition to the cast as Madam Simza Heron, a fortune-telling gypsy. We also get a chance to meet Sherlock’s brother, Mycroft (Stephen Fry) who appears to be just as eccentric as Sherlock, but in different ways. There are some beautiful shots of Switzerland this time around as well.

For the most part, Shadows is a very enjoyable film. No over-arching messages except maybe the value of friends, and nothing to be offended with either. It does feel a bit too long as the story lags between the action sequences, but still is an enjoyable visit with the sleuth.


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