Archive for July, 2018

Mad Money

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Bridget Cardigan is shocked to learn that she is on the verge of losing her home and comfortable upper middle class lifestyle when her husband Don is downsized from his job. Armed only with a decades old English degree and years as a dedicated mother and corporate wife, Bridget is forced into the unfamiliar labor market with no job skills. Finally, she accepts the only position she can find–janitor at the Federal Reserve Bank. The one-time suburban mom soon discovers she has more in common with her new co-workers than she thought. Bridget forges an unexpected bond with Nina, a hard-working single mom with two kids to raise, and Jackie, an exuberant free spirit with nothing to lose. Caught up in a system that underestimates their talents and keeps their dreams just out of reach, Bridget, Nina and Jackie set out to even the score. After a lifetime of playing by the rules, the three devise a plan to smuggle soon-to-be destroyed currency out of the supposedly airtight Reserve. As the unlikely crime syndicate amasses piles of cash, it looks like they have pulled off the perfect crime–until a minor misstep alerts the authorities. With more money than they know what to do with, the women are pushed to the limits of their ingenuity to stay one step ahead of the law!

What people are saying:

“Mad Money is a light and lively, likable low-tech lark. Don’t expect big laughs, but you can at least bank on it to hold your interest.” 2 1/2 stars

“Provided you can get past its improbable premise, this madcap crime caper’s trio of talented leading ladies manage to provide enough moments of mirth to make the rest of this raucous romp worthwhile.” 3 stars

“This movie was cheesey. I dont know if thats necessarily a bad thing… As always I love Queen Latifa’s performance… that woman is very likeable!!… Katie Holms was a little painful to watch, she doesnt ever convince me of her characters… and Diane Keaton was a little annoying too… the movie itself was goofy… again, not sure if thats a good or bad thing… I’d pass on it if i could have the decision over again.” 2 stars

“With an interesting idea, an okay story, a good script written by Glenn Gers, fine dialogue, a talented cast headed by Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah, Katie Holmes, Ted Danson and Christopher McDonald, exciting directing by Callie Khouri (Thelma and Louise), exciting scenes and a perfect pace and flow, Mad Money will teach you how to be careful with your money but not steal it.”

“This movie is simply a light hearted romp with some very good actresses who are handicapped by a screenplay that begins very weakly. Much of that has to do with the weak plot that is rolled out in the first half of the movie. Because of the screenplay reason, this film is not able to shine as a comedy or a heist film either for that matter. The first half may easily have you going blah blah blah. The second half of the movie however improves considerably and saves it into the semi-respectible, worth your time, 3* category. I have to admit, I truly loved Katie Holmes’ role. This turns out to be a pretty good film that you can relax to because it truly requires very little mental exercise.” 4 stars

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Below Her Mouth

Posted in Drama, Independent, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , on July 30, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Jasmine is a successful fashion editor living with her fiancé in Toronto. On a night out in the city with her best friend, she meets Dallas, a female roofer recently out of a relationship. Surprised by the confidence with which the two very different women connect, Jasmine becomes infatuated with the mysterious woman who is working with a crew on the house next door to Jasmine’s. The chance meeting soon turns into desire that ignites in Jasmine which she becomes more acquainted with Dallas which leads Jasmine to accompany Dallas to her low-rent loft where the two women soon engage in a passionate affair. As much as Jasmine struggles with her feelings over being sexually involved with another woman, she fears her tryst with Dallas might ruin her engagement with her fiancé should it ever become known.

What people are saying:

“Despite the female filmmakers at the helm, the film treads into exploitative territory, with the ratio of screen time given to writhing female bodies far outweighing that given to their unique experiences as gay or closeted women in the world.” 2 stars

“A sexually frank but narratively flimsy girl-meets-girl romance that never gets under its gorgeous characters’ amply exposed skin” 2 1/2 stars

“Though at times nakedly exploitative, Below Her Mouth is nonetheless a powerful drama about two people falling deeply in love; beautiful erotica doesn’t get much better.” 3 1/2 stars

“The movie was definitely sexy as hell but then the characters would speak and kill the mood. The actors were both really good with what they had but the dialog was a chore that I don’t think any actor could really pull off. I think the direction, the general plot, and the acting were all pretty solid and made for a good little indie movie, but the dialog was a bit stumbling block in my enjoyment of the film.” 3 stars

“The film is an unquestionably pornographic fantasy barely trying to pass as something other than masturbation material. Below Her Mouth‘s stiff acting and dialogue suggest a misguided Blue Is the Warmest Color influence reduced to the sexy aesthetics of lesbian sex but completely oblivious to that which actually animates the film’s impossibly beautiful, unbearably smooth, and perpetually horny bodies” 3 stars

The Temptations

Posted in Drama, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Told chiefly through the viewpoint of founding member Otis Williams (Charles Malik Whitfield), this biographical miniseries — based on the book by Williams and Shelly Berger — chronicles one of Motown’s most influential singing groups. But success, it seems, never comes without temptation as Williams and company wrestle with cocaine addition, booze, depression, envy and ballooning egos that threaten to destroy their hard-earned fame and fortune.

What people are saying:

“I have not been so emotionally involved in a television film in a long time,but along comes this charming,insightful,and wonderful film. The cast does a superb job. I never knew much about the temps, one of the greatest groups of all time, had so much strife and personal pain.This movie is an instant classic. I have a much better appreciation for their impact on rock and roll history after seeing this movie.” 5 stars

“A solid bio-pic that I’m hoping is handled better in the future.” 4 stars

“This is a sanitized “Hallmark” version or politically correct tale of the Temptations story. It’s enjoyable, well-acted, and well-directed. You can’t help but like this movie since the songs are wonderful and the characters are endearing. It would have been a better film at 2 hours – the extra 55 minutes wasn’t necessary. However, for Temptations fans, you’ll love the illusion that this movie is peddling, and it’s a story that makes us feel good about who they were and what they accomplished.” 4 stars

“One of the best music bios ever. I’m not even debating the artistic licenses that might have been taken. Insofar as a great story with awesome music and wonderfully recreated performances, this is tops. I’ve watched it twice over the holiday season and still am not sick of it!” 5 stars

“The TV movie story of the street-doowop to soul-superstar Temptations from 1958 to 1995 when bass singer Melvin Franklyn died. Strict historical accuracy is not what this film is about, but what is accurate is the reconstruction of the act and the music, which is what matters in a movie. The first half is full of vignettes of the (black) music biz in Detroit in the early Motown days, which is genuinely moving in a few places; and although the second half tends towards the schmaltzy, it’s good to be reminded of the seminal records that the group continued to put out after David Ruffin parted company, and of the way that members of a group that big have deeper bonds than most people, including their own families. It’s told from the viewpoint of Otis Williams, who is the only Temp to survive all incarnations of the group, so he naturally he tends to get an easy ride, but it does acknowledge (in the great end sequence) that the David Ruffin lineup was the best there could be. The scene where he and Eddie Kendricks sing to the punter in the supper club is a killer. Well worth the two-and a half hours running time, which is not something you can say of many TV movies this long. Better IMHO than Walk the Line, which was no turkey itself. If you love Motown, don’t miss it.” 4 1/2 stars

Trailer Thursday 7/26

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on July 26, 2018 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

It’s been awhile since I’ve visited a Doris Day film, so let’s have a look at a trailer for one of her films. From the looks of this, i will most definitely be checking out in the future.

Enjoy Please Don’t Eat the Daisies

School of Rock

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on July 25, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Fired from his band and hard up for cash, guitarist and vocalist Dewey Finn finagles his way into a job as a fourth-grade substitute teacher at a private school, where he secretly begins teaching his students the finer points of rock ‘n’ roll.

What people are saying:

“[Jack] Black’s exuberant, gleeful performance turns School of Rock into a hilarious, rocking good time” 3 1/2 stars

“In his prime Mr. Black has been mediocre at best. It is of my opinion his prime was quite over with the release of this $hit. The music was alright genre pending, the story, like Mr. Black was just mediocre. If teachers taught like Mr. Kung Fu panda here, the average IQ would severely drop. I think the only movie i even liked him in, was when he was playing his real life, in the cult hit “Orange County” So with no Identification, no qualifications, “Shallow Hal” here gets a job as a teacher. No respect to common sense, this movie becomes the desired result. There are a lot of stupid people out there, but to mock teachers, and our kids potential is straight up disrespectful. I will now drink colon cleanser, and will be depositing the effects this movie had on me in the toilet.” 1 star

“It’s genuinely good hearted, and features child actors that look like real kids, all permeation of geeky, fat, skinny, sullen and silent in that way that only actual kids can be.” 4 star

“A big, fun, good-natured romp for Jack Black who plays an unsuccessful musician turned substitute teacher who ends up teaching a bunch of uptight prep school kids how to rock out. The cast is excellent, the kids are adorable, Mike White’s script is really funny and the underlying message — we need to keep music in our schools — is an important one. My only regret is that the hilariously edgy comedian Sarah Silverman was given such a limited role as the shrewish girlfriend. But aside from that, I highly recommend this film!” 5 stars

“Although the plot might sound a little sappy and sentimental, the performances, especially those of Jack Black and the children, ensure that it never falls into that trap. But, don’t make the mistake of thinking that lack of saccharine sentimentality means lack of heart; Black brims with a kind of electricity and joy, which, even the most world-weary and cynical amongst us would find it hard not to get swept along with. As this type of movie goes, School of Rock is just about the best there is, with the exception, maybe, of Sister Act. And, for a music-based film to be mentioned in the same breath as Sister Act is very high praise indeed.” 4 stars

Despicable Me 3

Posted in Animation, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 21, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

After he is fired from the Anti-Villain League for failing to take down Balthazar Bratt, the latest bad guy to threaten humanity, Gru finds himself in the midst of a major identity crisis. But when a mysterious stranger shows up to inform Gru that he has a long-lost twin brother—a brother who desperately wishes to follow in his twin’s despicable footsteps—one former super-villain will rediscover just how good it feels to be bad.

What people are saying:

“What shines through is the visual wit and innate sweetness of the storytelling, and Carell’s cackling, cueball-skulled misanthrope — a (mostly) reformed scoundrel who can still have his cake, and arsenic too.” 4 stars

“To me, this franchise seems tired. An overly complicated plot seems to waste time while we wait for the inevitable showdown between Gru and the supervillain, former child TV star, Bratt. But the characters are still solid.” 3 stars

“What garbage. Really not much more than a serious of gags and poop jokes. That’s what this series has been reduced to. Clearly, the writers ran out of ideas for this franchise – not surprising at all – and they’re forced to crank out this… “stuff” to keep printing money for Universal. Minions started out as good comic relief in the first two movies and established a cult following, even among adults. Then they got so popular that they studio decided they needed to make a Minions-only movie, and then basically split them off on their own in this movie so they could be the stars of their own little B-story. Problem is, with their simple minds and goofy language, they can only be funny for so long before they just become parodies of themselves. You can say that gags and poop jokes are fine because this is a movie aimed at kids, and I would ordinarily agree with you. But then why so many 80s references with Balthazar? This movie can’t decide what audience it wants to placate. Too dated for kids. Too stupid for adults. They can keep pooping out these movies. I’m done watching them. Two was enough.” 1 star

“The problem with continuing a franchise whether it be live action or animation is that the content dries up until all you are left with is a series of sequences joined together with little in the way of good narrative, to get people to the seats based on their knowledge of the previous installments. This is the problem with Despicable Me 3– apart from the need to make money there is no reason for this film to exist. Not all is bad though and whilst adults might want to skip this film, kids will probably enjoy it as much as the earlier films. (A fine family outing movie but nothing more than that)” 4 stars

“3 is without question the “least good” of the Despicable Me movies, but I absolutely loved the others so that’s not really a big negative for this one. The minions have a much smaller role to play in this movie; it’s mostly Gru and his suddenly-appearing brother Dru, with Lucy and the girls having small side adventures to keep them relevant. I’d consider the sidelining of Lucy and the girls a big negative for the movie, because I really don’t feel that much of a connection to the mysterious brother (I spent a good chunk of the movie thinking he was either the villain in a disguise or a henchman for the villain because Dru is REALLY bad at contributing anything of value). The movie’s entertaining in its own way, lots of jokes and slapstick and a few adorable moments with the girls, so it’s not a “bad” movie, per se, but they could have done a much better job and they have in the past. Personally, I really wanted Gru to go back to being a villain, THAT would have been fun to watch. Instead we have Gru dealing with his brother, Lucy struggling to figure out how to be a mom (they don’t touch on that enough for it to be a big theme, and I think they missed out on something there, as well), and of course young Agnes goes off into the woods to find a unicorn, because cute needs to happen. It’s all good, but it could have been better.” 3 stars

The Family Man

Posted in Comedy, Drama, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , on July 20, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Jack’s lavish, fast-paced lifestyle changes one Christmas night when he stumbles into a grocery store holdup and disarms the gunman. The next morning he wakes up in bed lying next to Kate (Tea Leoni), his college sweetheart he left in order to pursue his career, and to the horrifying discovery that his former life no longer exists. As he stumbles through this alternate suburban universe, Jack finds himself at a crossroad where he must choose between his high-power career and the woman he loves.

What people are saying:

“Despite good performances by Cage and especially by Leoni, The Family Man is too predictable and derivative to add anything new to the Christmas genre. Also, it sinks under its sentimentality” 2 1/2 stars

“Leoni is a revelation. Vibrant and gorgeous, she plays her role of the determined mother in love with teasing, salty charm, providing just enough grit to save the film from Ratner’s slushy direction.” 4 stars

“A lovely side-by-side contrast of the ultra financially successful man of the world and the apparently commonplace, mundane life of the family man. This is beautifully done here in the sense that no particular weight is thrown in either direction — this is this and that’s that. The road not taken always has its mystery and allure. It is an open-ended presentation in the sense that the choice is not mutually exclusive. Thankfully, the family is not overly idealized. Also, ruthlessness in pursuit of wealth, as long as it is within the bounds of the legal and the ethical, does not make a person a heartless monster. This is a fairly balanced presentation of the material, emotional, and spiritual options available to us. It is up to the individual to find the right mix. ” 3 stars

“Cliches a plenty and obnoxiously long at 2hrs, but The Family Man is still a well made holiday vehicle elevated by the performances of Cage and Leoni.” 3 stars

“There’s not much similar with ‘it’s a wonderful life’ in this movie. There is a few moments of emotion , and the movie stays interesting. Basically a man, leaves his girlfriend, after college, to pursue a career, and he continues to pursue it for 15 years, and doesn’t return to his girlfriend. But, through an act of courage, to save others from a bad person, the bad person ends up being an angel, who tests people, who gives the man – a view of a life he could of had, a reality -all complete with kids and a job, and his college girlfriend -as his wife And he soon begins to realize- that he really doesn’t have everything he wants, and prefers this dream reality as preferable But comparing it to ‘it’s a wonderful life’ is no comparison, for it’s a wonderful life, is one of the best movies ever made, and this movie , only has occasional emotion. But, it is worthwhile.” 4 stars