A Monster Calls

Last week I viewed two movies that I thought were children’s films. The first was “A Monster Calls” and the second was “Monster Trucks. Do not confuse these two monster movies. “A Monster Calls” is NOT a children’s movie. It is a depressing film that children will have trouble with. I did,

“A Monster Calls” is about a twelve year old boy, Conor, who is having trouble accepting the fact that his mother (Academy Award nominee Felicity Jones) is dying of cancer and he will have to live with a grandmother (Academy Award nominee Sigourney Weaver) he dislikes.

Lewis MacDougall stars as Conor, an unlikable young man who is bullied at school and talks to a monster tree voiced by Academy Award nominee Liam Neeson.

Directed by J.A. Bayona, the screenplay for “A Monster Calls” was written by Patrick Ness based on his book, A Monster Calls” The book was based on an idea by Siobhan Dowd. Screenplays written by the same person who wrote the book often fails because the writer doesn’t want to change anything about the book.

I went to “Monster Trucks” expecting to see an animated film. It is not animated but it is appropriate for children of all ages. The story was a little too complicated in places for the littlest kids to understand but the monsters are so lovable the little kids loved them.

“Monster Trucks” is about Tripp, an unhappy high school senior, who builds a truck from bits and pieces of scrapped cars. After an accident at a nearby oil-drilling site displaces strange and subterranean monsters with a taste and a talent for speed, Tripp finds a means to make his “monster truck” the fastest on the road.

“Monster Trucks” stars Lucas Till as Tripp. You may recognize him as the new MacGyver on television. Jane Levy is his girlfriend, Meredith. Rob Lowe is the villain, Reece Tenneson. Barry Pepper plays Sheriff Rick and Danny Glover has a small role as Mr. Weathers.

“Monster Trucks” was directed by Academy Award Winner, Chris Wedge who has directed all the Ice Age films. The screenplay was penned by Derek Connolly based on a story by Matthew Robinson and Jonathan Aibel & Glenn Berger.

This was a nice little film that everyone in the family can enjoy. I was concerned that the young kids wouldn’t get it but I interviewed twelve to fifteen kids as we left the film and they all said they loved it. The youngest child was four and the oldest 16.

“Monster Trucks” opens Friday at AMC Showplace Edwardsville 12 and Jerseyville Stadium Theater.

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