Reel Rating: 4 out of 5 Reels
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some suggestive material, partial nudity and smoking

Released in Theaters: Feb. 26, 2016

Best for Ages: 13+

Genre: Sports, Biography, Comedy

Runtime: 105 minutes

Directed by: Dexter Fletcher

Studio: 20th Century Fox Film Corp.

Cast: Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Christopher Walken

MOVIE SYNOPSIS: Taron Egerton plays Eddie Edwards, the tenacious British underdog ski jumper who charmed the world at the 1988 Winter Olympics.

MOVIE REVIEW: I'm trying to remember what I was doing in 1988 and why I hadn't heard the story of Eddie the Eagle. I was in my 20s and figuring out what to do with my life. Apparently, I wasn't paying much attention to sports. So for that reason alone, I'm really glad this movie is in theaters now, for me and anyone who doesn't know the inspiring story.
Eddie the Eagle tells the story of working-class British ski jumper Eddie Edwards (Taron Egerton). From the time he's a nerdy kid in a leg brace, he spends his days dreaming of making it to the Olympics.

Of course, everyone thinks he's nuts. After all, Eddie's not exactly your typical sportsman. Still, he tries sport after sport and finally becomes proficient in downhill skiing in the mid-1980s.

But the British Olympic Committee refuses to let him compete for a spot on the team. Then he learns that the UK hasn't sent a ski-jumper to the Olympics since the 1920s. There's a loophole that will him to compete, as long as he successfully completes one qualifying jump in competition.

Eddie scrapes together some cash and moves to Germany to train at Europe's ski-jumping center. Again, no one there believes he'll ever make it, but he holds fast to his dream. One day he meets Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman), a former ski-jumping champion whose own dreams have faded. He reluctantly agrees to train Eddie for the Olympics.

Eddie the Eagle is a true underdog story, the kind that makes you remember what it's like to have a dream and go for it, despite overwhelming odds. As Eddie, Egerton (who starred in Kingsman: The Secret Service) plays the goofy-looking Eddie with ease. Jackman's hard-drinking Bronson is the perfect foil, as he works through his own emotional baggage of throwing away his Olympic dreams long ago.
Some of the characters are probably stereotypical, like the snobby British Olympic officials who scoff at the idea of Eddie competing. But should you need some encouragement to restore your faith in humanity, the simple tale of Eddie the Eagle is just the ticket.

Ultimately, it's a sweet tale of determination, courage and discipline. And the 1980s vibe is super cool, too.

PARENT OVERVIEW: Eddie the Eagle includes some innuendos and sexual references, and a pub owner propositions Eddie. In one scene, a group of naked male ski jumpers takes a sauna together, with their bare chests and legs showing. Language includes a few uses of "s--t," "arse," "bloody" and "ass." Adults smoke and drink in pubs, and one character appears to be an alcoholic.

PARENT DETAILS (May Contain Spoilers):
Violence/Gore: Ski jumpers are injured during training and at the Olympics. Eddie winds up in the hospital after breaking some bones.

Sex/Nudity: Bronson encourages Eddie to think of ski jumping as lovemaking, with an emphasis on "the release." A character jokes about how many women he can have. A character jokes that if he couldn't jump, he'd spend all his time having sex.

Profanity: Occasional use of "s--t," "git," "sod," "arse," "bloody," etc.

Drugs/Alcohol: Some cigarette smoking. Adults drink at pubs and at home. Eddie doesn't drink, but is encouraged to do shots the night before the Olympics opening ceremony. A character appears to be an alcoholic.

JANE’S REEL RATING SYSTEM:
One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it.

Two Reels – Coulda been a contender

Three Reels – Something to talk about.

Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick!

Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.

MOVIE REVIEW: GODS OF EGYPT

Reel Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Reels
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for fantasy violence and action, and some sexuality

Released in Theaters: Feb. 26, 2016
Best for Ages: 13+
Genre: Fantasy
Runtime: 127 minutes
Directed by: Alex Proyas
Studio: Summit
Cast: Brenton Thwaites, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Gerard Butler, Courtney Eaton, Elodie Yung

MOVIE SYNOPSIS: When a merciless god of darkness grabs Egypt's throne, it plunges the once peaceful and prosperous empire into chaos and conflict. Mortal hero Bek teams with the god Horus in an alliance to restore peace and harmony.

MOVIE REVIEW: Gods of Egypt is the kind of campy swords-and-sandals movie that you have to just accept for what it is. It's cheesy and funny and dumb, but there's also a lot to love about it.
Set in ancient Egypt, the story begins on the day that Osiris (Bryan Brown) is about to crown his son, Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), Lord of the Air, the next king. At the ceremony, Osiris' jealous brother, Set (Gerard Butler), shows up to kill Osiris, exile Horus, and seize the throne. And oh yeah, take Horus' magical, all-seeing eyes, which allow him to turn into a shiny winged creature.

Meanwhile, a mortal couple - Zaya (Courtney Eaton) and her lover, a young thief named Bek (Brenton Thwaites) - devise a plan to steal Horus' eyes back from Set's booby-trapped vault. If anyone can do it, the charming Bek is the one to do it.

Bek manages to steal one of the eyes, but Zaya's employer, Urshu (Rufus Sewell) - who's also Set's royal architect - kills her for her treason. A grieving Bek takes her body to Horus, where they strike a bargain. Bek will give him back his eye, but Horus must revive Zaya. He's a god, so he can do that.

Maybe.

Together, Bek and Horus embark on a journey to defeat the evil Set before he destroys their world.

As mentioned, Gods of Egypt is campy and cheesy, and don't expect to see a great piece of cinematic art here. But the special effects are magnificent. Humans turn into shiny gold and silver gods with ease, and the Egyptian settings are nothing short of spectacular. Think lots of pillars, pyramids, gold, jewels, and sepia-toned architecture.

Both Gerard Butler (300) and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones) are adept in this genre. And of course, they're both very handsome, even though Butler is the bad guy and Coster-Waldau is the good guy.

Bek and Zaya are super cute together, and unlike other recent movies about gods and demons, there's actually some character development here. Bek and Horus are funny together, with their ancient Egypt road trip banter. And there's a love interest for Horus in Elodie Yung, a beautiful woman who has the ability to make others do whatever she wants.

Just accept Gods of Egypt for what it is - a fun popcorn movie with great special effects - and you might just love it.

PARENT OVERVIEW: This action fantasy includes lots of violence, mostly sword and fist-fighting, though most of it isn't too gory. Language includes a few uses of "ass" and "s--t." There's a fair amount of sexual innuendo, implied sex, and partial nudity (bare backs and side-breasts). Characters drink, and some appear drunk and/or hungover.

PARENT DETAILS (May Contain Spoilers):
Violence/Gore: Good amounts of violence, including stabbing, decapitation, hand-to-hand battles, sword-fights, and cruelty (a god cuts off his ex-wife's wings and then kills her). Not much blood is shown, and in fact, when gods bleed, they bleed in gold. Two characters ride atop giant snakes that spew poison and chase the good guys.
Sex/Nudity: A naked couple is shown in bed together, and it's implied that they've had sex. Bare backs, shoulders, a side breast, and male chest are shown. A young woman's silhouette is visible as she changes behind a screen. Female characters wear revealing outfits. A goddess of love has a sexual relationship with two different characters.
Profanity: "Ass," "s--t."

Drugs/Alcohol: Adults drink, and a god appears hungover in one scene. People are strewn about the room sleeping the morning after a party. A female character drinks from a flask and appears drunk. A character asks another if he's brought wine.

JANE’S REEL RATING SYSTEM:
One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it.

Two Reels – Coulda been a contender

Three Reels – Something to talk about.

Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick!

Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.

Jane Boursaw is the film critic and editor-in-chief of Reel Life With Jane. Contact her at jboursaw@charter.net. Images in this review used courtesy of the studio and distributor.

NEW MOVIES IN THEATERS: MARCH 4, 2016 - ZOOTOPIA, LONDON HAS FALLEN
New movies this week feature Christian Bale in Terrence Malick's Knight of Cups, some cute animals in the family film Zootopia, Tina Fey in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Gerard Butler in London Has Fallen and lots more. Let's take a closer look at the new movies in theaters.

KNIGHT OF CUPS
Rated R for some nudity, sexuality and language | In Theaters 3/4 (limited) | Ok for Kids 18+ | Broad Green Pictures | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels

This dreamy drama from director Terrence Malick follows a screenwriter named Rick (Christian Bale) who lives in present-day Santa Monica. But as a kid, his father used to read him a story about a young prince whose father, the King of the East, sent him into Egypt to find a pearl. But the prince drank a mysterious beverage and fell into a deep sleep, prompting the King to send out messengers to find his son. Intermingling the story with Rick's current life, this film is about longing, reaching beyond the predictable, and figuring out how to find meaning in life.

ZOOTOPIA
Rated PG for some thematic elements, rude humor and action | In Theaters 3/4 (3D/2D) | Ok for Kids 6+ | Disney | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels

This cute animated family movie takes place in the modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia. A city like no other, it includes neighborhoods like ritzy Sahara Square and frigid Tundratown. It's a melting pot where animals from every environment live together. And it's a place where no matter what you are, from the biggest elephant to the smallest shrew, you can be anything. But when optimistic Officer Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) arrives, she discovers that being the first bunny on a police force of big, tough animals isn’t so easy. Determined to prove herself, she jumps at the opportunity to crack a case, even if it means partnering with fast-talking, scam-artist fox Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) to solve the mystery. Also features the voice talent of Idris Elba, Alan Tudyk, J.K. Simmons and Octavia Spencer.

LONDON HAS FALLEN
Rated R for strong violence and language throughout | In Theaters 3/4 | Gramercy Pictures | Reel Preview: 3 of 5 Reels

This sequel to 2013's Olympus Has Fallen continues the high-octane thrills and suspense. After the British Prime Minister dies, his funeral becomes the target of a terrorist organization out to destroy the world's most powerful leaders, devastate the British capital, and unleash a terrifying vision of the future. The only hope of stopping it rests on the shoulders of the President of the United States (Aaron Eckhart), his formidable Secret Service head (Gerard Butler), and an English MI-6 agent (Charlotte Riley) who (of course) trusts no one. Morgan Freeman also stars as the Vice President of the United States.

DESIERTO
Rated R for strong violence and language | In Theaters 3/4 | STX Entertainment | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels

From Jonás Cuarón and Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity), this action thriller stars Gael García Bernal (The Motorcycle Diaries) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen). What begins as a hopeful journey to seek a better life becomes a harrowing and primal fight for survival when a deranged, rifle-toting vigilante chases a group of unarmed people through the treacherous U.S.-Mexican border. In the harsh, unforgiving desert terrain, the odds are stacked firmly against them as they discover there's nowhere to hide from the unrelenting killer.

WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT
Rated R for pervasive language, some sexual content, drug use and violent war images | In Theaters 3/4 | Paramount | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels

This adaptation of Kim Barker’s wartime memoir, The Taliban Shuffle, stars Tina Fey and chronicles the journalist's experiences covering conflicts in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The dark comedy follows Barker's fish-out-of-water experience and the challenges of being a woman in wartime Afghanistan and Pakistan. Also stars Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Josh Charles and Margot Robbie.

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DOOR
Rated R for some bloody violence | In Theaters 3/4 | Ok for Kids 17+ | 20th Century Fox | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels

Sarah Wayne Callies and Jeremy Sisto star in this thriller about a family living an idyllic existence abroad until a tragic accident takes the life of their young son. The inconsolable mother learns of an ancient ritual that will bring him back to say a final goodbye. She travels to an ancient temple, where a door serves as a mysterious portal between two worlds. But when she disobeys a sacred warning to never open that door, she upsets the balance between life and death.

THE WAVE
Rated R for some language and disaster images | In Theaters 3/4 | Ok for Kids 17+ | Magnolia Pictures | Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels

Nobody does thrillers like the Scandinavians. This movie (with English subtitles) takes place in a beautiful tourist locale nestled in Norway's Sunnmøre region, Geiranger. But the threat of a mountain collapsing into the fjord is real, and no one knows that more than geologist Kristian (Kristoffer Joner). The day he's about to leave with his family for a new job with an oil company, the mountain begins to crumble, and every soul in Geiranger has ten minutes to get to high ground before a tsunami hits. Director Roar Uthaug keeps things hurtling forward in a state of high anxiety and eerie realism until the very end.

Jane Boursaw is the film critic and editor-in-chief of Reel Life With Jane. Images in this feature used courtesy of the studios and distributors.