Film reviews

Movie Night: Eddie the Eagle, Spotlight, Sister Act

Posted:  Thursday, February 8, 2018 - 11:00am

Every Friday evening, the residents of Quarry Hill in Camden hold Movie Night. The next morning, the Coffee Club there talks about the films and reviews each one. Because conversations take place over coffee, they rate the films with coffee cups. Five coffee cups and you have a winner; one is not worth seeing.  This month, with the Winter Olympics debuting, consider watching, or seeing again, Eddie the Eagle!


Eddie the Eagle

rated PG-13


Eddie the Eagle is a 2016 movie based on the true story of Michael "Eddie" Edwards, a British boy who overcame many obstacles in order to perform in the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta.

We meet Eddie (Tom Costello) when he is 10 years old, wearing leg braces and working very hard to train for an event to get him into the Summer Olympics. His mother, Janet (Jo Hartley) believes he can achieve anything he tries, but his Dad Terry (Keith Allen), feels he is wasting his time and needs to learn a trade. In his early teens, Eddie (Jack Costello) sees something that changes his outlook on the summer Olympics. His new challenge is to learn to ski and be in the Winter Olympics.

Eddie, as an adult (Taron Egerton), had finally found a sport he was good at but the British Olympic committee rejected him. He did not fit in with the other young men. Eddie was very awkward and unrefined. He was also determined to be in the Winter Olympics.

The United Kingdom had not entered anyone in ski jumping in 60 years so Eddie was sure he found his sport this time. Eddie got himself to Germany to watch some of the best jumpers in the world, and teach himself how to jump. He meets an American snow groomer, Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman), who is a former ski jumper and an alcoholic. After a lot of falls, Peary tries to talk Eddie out of jumping before he kills himself.

We all cheered Eddie on while we watched him fight to learn to ski, get someone to teach him to jump, and get mistreated by other athletes, and the British Olympic committee, because he didn't fit in. When the movie ended several of the viewers told us they had been to the Olympics that year and had seen Eddie jump.

This is a 2016 German, British, and American biographical movie. The world premiere was on January 26, 2016 at the Sundance Film Festival. The movie was very different than most movies released in 2016. It was nice to see Hugh Jackman and Christopher Walken in a movie about real people.

Twenty four came to the movie and all stayed. We talked about Eddie at coffee many times and wished for more "feel-good" movies.



rated R


Spotlight won the Academy Award for the best picture of 2015. Several of the actors also won awards but it is a movie that not everyone wants to see. Several Quarry Hill residents had seen it in the theater and had encouraged me to show it and they were right, it was worth seeing.

Spotlight tells the story of the Boston Globe, the newspaper that broke a story of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church by some of the clergy.

The opening scene takes place in a police station in 1976 and we get our first glimpse of the cover-up. Over the years, readers had sent information to the Globe, and some of it got printed, but it took a newspaper editor from New York to really go after the story.

The editor, Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber), meets with the head of the Spotlight team, Walter "Bobby" Robinson (Michael Keaton). This investigative team only works on one story at a time and keeps the subject secret until it runs in the paper. Marty had read an article in the Globe by Mitchell Garabedian (Stanley Tucci), stating that Cardinal Bernard Law (Len Cariou), the Archbishop of Boston, knew something of the abuse but did nothing.

We sat in disbelief while the reporters went back over old stories and found victims to interview. Many of the reporters were Catholic and leads they received took them back to schools they attended. In 2002, the Globe went to press and the phones at the newspaper offices started ringing with more victims wanting to share their stories. This group of reporters not only helped the victims in the Boston area but many pedophile clergy around the world were identified.

When the lights came on, no one got up, no one spoke, it was absolute silence. When they finally started to leave, several thanked me for showing it and even said they would like to see it again.

In trying to find the words to write this movie review, I read many other reviews. My favorite was one by Sister Helena Burns, FSP, who writes Catholic movie reviews. She said: "This is a story that had to be told, and the filmmakers have done a capable and responsible job. "

At coffee, we all said the same thing but in different words. But Sister Helena, said it best. Thirteen came and all stayed.


Sister Act

rated PG


Each year, the Friday before we go to see the fall production at Camden Hills Regional High School, I try to show the movie (if there is a movie) that is the basis of the play that year. Sometimes the movie and the play seem the same, sometimes, not so much. The music for the movie was very different than the play.

Sister Act tells the story of a nightclub singer Deloris Van Cartier (Whoopi Goldberg), who witnesses a mob hit and is taken into protective custody, by Lt. Eddie Souther (Bill Nunn). Souther is sure that the one place that Deloris will not be found is at a convent. Sister Katherine's parish is in a poor, rundown neighborhood and the church is as hard up as the area it is in.

The Reverend Mother (Maggie Smith) is just as upset about this arrangement as Deloris. But Lt. Souther and Bishop O'Hara (Joseph Maher) insist it will work out. Reverend Mother must convince Deloris to put on the habit so they can go to lunch. She is introduced to all the nuns at lunch as Sister Mary Clarence. Now she must try to fit in.

She is given duties, along with the other nuns but something always goes wrong. Out of desperation, the Reverend Mother puts her in charge of the worst choir we have ever heard. Now this Las Vegas showgirl has found her calling. The music she prefers rocks the church and the neighborhood. Of course the mob finds her, and the other nuns must save her.

We saw this movie on October 28, 2016 when we were sick of all the political ads on TV. When the movie ended viewers were all laughing and talking in small groups about all the trouble Sister Mary Clarence got into. Twenty seven came and all stayed to laugh and enjoy the music.