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’10 Cloverfield Lane’ movie review

A high-tension thriller packed with twists and turns

I love movies that come out of nowhere. Eight years ago, that’s exactly what “Cloverfield” did. Of course, it was a polarizing movie. Some hated the use of the old found-footage schtick, others hated the feeling of one big tease without much of a payoff. And others just flat out hated the characters, feeling they were dumbasses and not very likable.

Personally, I loved it. I thought it was a fantastic way to inject some life into the kaiju movie monster genre and the same can be said for the sequel (ish) — but this is more of a suspense thriller, with less monsters — well…hmmm.

Fear and paranoia are strong with "10 Cloverfield Lane", the new thriller from producer JJ Abrams. (Paramount Pictures)
Fear and paranoia are strong with “10 Cloverfield Lane”, the new thriller from producer JJ Abrams.

In “10 Cloverfield Lane”, we get a pseudo-sequel from producer J.J. Abrams and director Dan Trachtenberg. I say pseudo-sequel because it’s not a direct follow up — it’s a movie that takes place in — well, I tell you what, it really is best to know as little as possible going in.

Is it a sequel. Yes-ish. The basic premise is Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is involved in a pretty intense accident. When she wakes up, she is being held hostage in a bunker. Her captor, Howard (John Goodman), says he’s keeping her alive — but she cannot leave because there has been an attack and the air above ground is poison.

Michelle has to decide whether or not to trust him. Can he be trusted?…and what exactly happened outside?

Full 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE movie review

Release date: March 11, 2016

Directed by: Dan Trachtenberg

Written by: Josh Campbell, Matthew Stuecken, and Damien Chazelle

Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman, and John Gallagher Jr.

MPAA rating: PG-13 for thematic material including frightening sequences of threat with some violence, and brief language

Running time: 105 minutes

‘Monsters University’ is mildly funny but mostly unnecessary sequel

MonstersUpicI wasn’t a huge fan of “Monsters, Inc.”. I felt it was one of the weaker Pixar movies. It would not be on the list of Pixar movies that I thought ever needed a sequel.

Pixar is amazing, there is no doubt there. But lately, it seems like they’re just kinda going through the motions. This time we go back in time, prequel style, to when Mike and Sully first met — in college at “Monsters University”. Enter stereotypical college movie jokes here, cuz they’re all there.

For the most part it’s funny, there is plenty to entertain the kids but it doesn’t get interesting until it’s too late and even then it’s too brief.

Continue reading: Monsters University movie review at Examiner.com

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