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Movie Review: The Glass Castle / The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature

The Glass Castle, 08/11/17, 1HR 27 Mins, PG-13

The Glass Castle is the story of the Walls Family.  Jeanette Walls (Brie Larson) and her siblings learn about life from their eccentric and government hating parents Rex (Wood Harrelson) and Rose Mary (Naomi Watts).  The parents keep the family together despite being on the run from bill collectors and the law in a few states.  The kids always hope for more but never quite seem to get what they hope for.

You might think this film would be considered a tragic story but this slice of life is very well done.  The characters in this film are deep and learning about them throughout the film is a joy.  Woody Harrelson’s portrayal of a father who loves his family deeply but can’t always show it, is beautiful to watch. 

This film is based on a true story and it feels like it.  The scenes in which Naomi Watts and Harrelson are fighting and then making up are both crazy and touching.  This dysfunctional family hurts each other but at the same time would go to the ends of the earth to save their family.  You can see both the love and the disdain on the screen.  I have become a fan of the director Destin Daniel Cretton even though this is one of his first feature films.

The film is rated PG-13 and does depict violence in the home although the parents do not hit their children.  A daughter is taught to swim by throwing her into the water.  There is a suggestion of sexual abuse by a grandparent.  A woman is seen hanging from a window ledge.  A child’s clothes catch fire on the stove and she is burned.  There is some language and one daughter sews up a gash on her father’s shoulder.

The Glass Castle is a wonderful film and I am giving it an A-. 

The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, 8/11/17, 1hr 31 mins, PG

Yes folks there is a sequel to The Nut Job that came out in 2014.  This time around though it’s not a bad film.  Surly (voice of Will Arnett) has it made with his other animal friends in the basement of the Nut Shop. There is plenty to eat and life is good until the boiler explodes and they have to go back to the park.  Even that is troublesome though since the Mayor wants to replace the regular park with a revenue generating amusement park.

This may not be a bad film but it is also not a film that will change your life.  The story is simple and easy to follow which is good for kids.  Plus there are jokes that will make adults and kids laugh at the same time.  I was surprised since I did not have high hopes for this film from the start.  There are some touching moments and the characters go through a learning process during the film that is interesting.  All in all the film is fun and can be entertaining at times.

The animal characters are relatable but the bad guy in the film, The Mayor (Bobby Moynihan), is really annoying.  That may be what the filmmakers wanted but this was too much for me.  Plus his daughter is just Darla from “Finding Nemo.” 

Since the film is rated PG there isn’t much for parents to worry about.  I do have to say though that there is a bit of violence in the film but that is all animated and so not on a level of reality.  Many pratfalls and people being attacked by animals.  One character is a mouse that uses Martial Arts.  Animals are attacking humans to get them out of the park so there is some reasoning for the violence.  There is also a scene where a dog regurgitates his food on purpose and then eats it. Eww!

The Nut Job2: Nutty by Nature is rated PG and I am giving it a B-.      

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