Late Night Movie Review

The highly energized, clever and witty film ‘Late Night,’ tells the story of the first and only female late-night talk show host named Katherine Newbury (Thompson). The script by, Mindy Kaling, is sharp and spirited. From the trailer, you could think this is just another office comedy, but I assure you it’s much more. Read more

american woman movie poster

American Woman Movie Review

‘American Woman’ gives a captivating study of human nature as it tells the story of a woman named Deb (Miller), living in small-town America. That small town starts closing in on Deb fast when she finds herself facing the biggest challenge of her life. Deb has relaxed values and big dreams but seems to be going nowhere. When in high school, those dreams were dampened by the fact that as a teen, she got pregnant and had a daughter, Bridget (Ferreira). Now, that teenage daughter has had a child of her own, a toddler named Jesse. They’re both living with Deb who, with what little skills she has, does the best she can to care for them.


Living across the street from her wise, older sister Katherine or ‘Kathy’ (Hendricks), who she often quarrels with, helps when she needs someone to turn to for advice. Living that close isn’t always easy but when Kathy isn’t getting into her business too much, they get along. Kathy encourages Deb to stop rejecting her advice but cares for her sister despite her own failures of getting her to listen.


Due to many disappointments in her life, Deb has anger issues and can be difficult to deal with herself. She has learned how to be tough, trusts very few people and is getting harder with each passing year. She comes across as abrasive which is the façade she uses to protect herself. Though she hasn’t seen much proof of love outside of her family, she believes in it and yearns to be cherished… for the time being. There are early scenes that not only set up how selfish she can be but how genuine and caring, as well. Deb has learned to be fiercely independent, however, the little girl inside of her still aches to be cared for and longs to be adored. Despite how everyone feels about it, she dates Brett (Audley) a married man, yet feels liberated to tell Bridget who to date and who not to. Bridget attempts a relationship with Jesse’s father, Tyler (Neustaedter), hoping to get back with him, but her mother doesn’t make it easy. Bridget goes out with him one night, leaves him early and never returns home. Deb blames him but when days pass and the town is organizing a search and rescue group, she fears the worst and turns her attention to her own sanity. Seeing Brett would help! He agrees to meet with her but when he doesn’t show, there is one hell of an intense scene to follow.


Now, her only concern is taking care of and comforting her grandson. We watch as years go by. You know how many by the age of the boy. Deb hooks up with a man named Ray (Healy) because she needs comfort but finds out how strong she is without a man when he abuses her, and she fearlessly takes him on. She grows to the point of deciding she doesn’t need a man to make her whole. She goes to school and starts a career where people count on her to help them instead of the other way around. She meets Chris (Paul) and likes him… though she wants to be romanced, she doesn’t see any reason to pursue a relationship. This drama is heavy. It has great characters embroiled in intense situations. There’s impressive photography throughout this film from start to finish. Several emotional scenes in the film are conveyed without a word being uttered. The overall tone is set right away and like the film’s protagonist, you can’t break free of it no matter what you do.


‘American Woman’ is a tale that displays the strength of family; how they stay together no matter what comes at them but also offers that there’s a time when you must move beyond their support and define your own abilities. Kudos to the performances of the entire cast! By the time the movie’s over, you’ll feel like you’re a part of the family.


In the Phoenix area, see this at:

AMC Desert Ridge 18

Harkins Chandler Fashion Center 20

Shea 14

Superstition Springs 25  

American Woman

Director Jake Scott
Writers Brad Ingelsby
Stars  Christina Hendricks, Aaron Paul, Sienna Miller
Rating R
Running Time 1h 51m
Genres Drama



The Last Black Man in San Francisco movie

The Last Black Man in San Francisco

“The Last Black Man in San Francisco” is a small independent movie about the power of a house when you consider it home. But the house in question is a quaint little place in a very old section of San Francisco. With the influx of cash and modern hipsters brought in with gentrification, the slow change of the mix of people in the neighborhood has sped up. One black man was told as a young child that his own grandfather built this very same house many years ago. Now, his family has many years been removed from this special house, and he desperately wants back in. But the current value is up into the millions. This ragtag man and his close friend can only come by once a week to paint he trim. He has an unachievable goal, but he will not drop his desire to get back into ‘his’ house.


Jimmie Fails (Jimmie Fails) and his close friend Montgomery (Jonathan Majors) is the man with only eyes for one place to live in San Francisco. But with his meager job, he and Monty have nowhere else to live. So, he stays with Monty with his Grandpa Allen (Danny Glover). Jimmie spends most of his days going back to the beautiful rowhouse on the street in San Francisco, the place that he believes that his grandfather built from the ground up. He rides his skateboard, or the bus, and sometimes the train. Neither of these guys can afford a car, much less a house that costs over four million. But one day, the current residents move out of the house. So, Jimmie and Monty break in and decide to become squatters to take possession of the house.


His aunt Wanda (Tichina Arnold) remembers that house fondly. She has the furniture that used to be in the house. She gives all the old stuff back to Jimmie and Monty – so they can put it all back into that wonderful house. She does not know that he does not officially stay there. Jimmie also meets with his estranged father, James Sr. (Rob Morgan). He is the one who had told Jimmie that the house was built by Jimmie’s grandfather. But James Sr. is a bit of a grifter and con man, so the less time that Jimmie spends with him the better. Montgomery happens to visit a local real estate agent named Clayton (Finn Wittrock). Clayton has the deed and title papers for that special house. It shows for a fact that the house construction is not as Jimmie believes. But how can he break the news to Jimmie?


Monty works on sketches and writes plays. There is a local street tough named Bobby (Mike Epps). Bobby used to harass Monty and Jimmie, but it was different after they moved into the new house. But Bobby is killed in a gang fight, and Monty decides to put on a special one-man play about all the people in the hood. All the locals are invited, and the people in the audience learn some hard truths about that old Victorian house and the love that Jimmie has for it. The ones who are in attendance are puzzled why Jimmie is so upset at the news…


This is a very different type of movie. It has essentially three main characters. It has Jimmie Fails (who is played by Jimmie Fails). It has Montgomery (Jonathan Majors). And it has the house. The house itself is a particular character. It is goal of Jimmie, and it is also the thing that eventually breaks his heart. Jimmie Fails has a unique style in that he can create a great thousand-yard stare. He can just stare out into the distance, as if he is pondering some great thoughts. He and Jonathan Majors work well with each other to create a bond of friendship on the screen. The house is glorious piece of design work, inside and out. It is a fancy place of refined beauty. One could see how a person would fall in love with a structure, especially when it is like this.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco

Director Joe Talbot
Writers Joe Talbot, Rob Richert
Stars Jimmie Fails, Jonathan Majors, Danny Glover, Tichina Arnold, Rob Morgan, Mike Epps, Finn Wittrock
Rating R
Running Time 2h 00m
Genres Drama



Shaft Movie Screening

Shaft Advance Movie Screening

Movie Screening Summary

“Shaft” is the next chapter in the film franchise featuring the coolest private eye on any New York City block. JJ, aka John Shaft Jr. (Usher), may be a cyber security expert with a degree from MIT, but to uncover the truth behind his best friend’s untimely death, he needs an education only his dad can provide. Absent throughout JJ’s youth, the legendary locked-and-loaded John Shaft (Jackson) agrees to help his progeny navigate Harlem’s heroin-infested underbelly. And while JJ’s own FBI analyst’s badge may clash with his dad’s trademark leather duster, there’s no denying family. Besides, Shaft’s got an agenda of his own, and a score to settle that’s professional and personal.

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Advance Movie Screening For SHAFT

Find your chance to receive special advance movie screening passes below.


Phoenix, Arizona

Advance Movie Screening Details

Movie Screening Date: Monday, June 10
Location: Harkins Tempe Marketplace
Movie Screening Time: 7:00pm

Las Vegas, Nevada

Advance Movie Screening Details

Movie Screening Date: Monday, June 10
Location: AMC Town Square
Movie Screening Time: 7:00pm

Advance Movie Screening Information

To redeem a pass, simply click the Get Passes button. You will taken to our movie screening partner site (where you can sign up for a free account). Once you’ve done so, you’ll be able to print out your pass and bring it with you to your screening or event. Admittance into a screening or event is not guaranteed with your pass. Events and advance screenings are filled on a ” first come, first served ” basis. To ensure that you stand a good chance of being admitted, we recommend that you show up 30 minutes to one hour early. The number of admissions that are permissible for each pass are printed clearly on the ticket that you print out. You are allowed to bring as many guests as is indicated on your pass. For example, if your pass is for ” Admit Two, ” you can bring yourself and one guest. If you have an ” Admit One ” pass, you can bring only yourself.


If you have any other questions or comments, please contact us.


5B Advance Movie Screening

Movie Screening Summary

5B is the inspirational story of everyday heroes who took extraordinary action to comfort, protect and care for the patients of the first AIDS ward unit in the United States. 5B is stirringly told through first-person testimony of the nurses and caregivers who built Ward 5B at San Francisco General Hospital in 1983, their patients, loved ones, and hospital staff who volunteered to create care practices based in humanity and holistic well-being. The result is an uplifting yet bittersweet monument to a pivotal moment in American history and a celebration of quiet heroes worthy of remembrance and renewed recognition.

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Advance Movie Screening For 5B

Find your chance to receive special advance movie screening passes below.


Phoenix, Arizona

Advance Movie Screening Details

Movie Screening Date: Wednesday, June 12
Location: Harkins Tempe Marketplace
Movie Screening Time: 7:00pm
[button link=”” type=”big” newwindow=”yes”] Get Passes[/button]

Advance Movie Screening Information

To redeem a pass, simply click the Get Passes button. You will taken to our movie screening partner site (where you can sign up for a free account). Once you’ve done so, you’ll be able to print out your pass and bring it with you to your screening or event.

Admittance into a screening or event is not guaranteed with your pass. Events and advance screenings are filled on a ” first come, first served ” basis. To ensure that you stand a good chance of being admitted, we recommend that you show up 30 minutes to one hour early.

The number of admissions that are permissible for each pass are printed clearly on the ticket that you print out. You are allowed to bring as many guests as is indicated on your pass. For example, if your pass is for ” Admit Two, ” you can bring yourself and one guest. If you have an ” Admit One ” pass, you can bring only yourself.

If you have any other questions or comments, please contact us.


Watch Simba take his place as king in this new sneak peek of Disney’s “The Lion King,” featuring the voice of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala.

Cast: Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, Billy Eichner, John Kani, John Oliver, Florence Kasumba, Eric André, Keegan-Michael Key, JD McCrary, Shahadi Wright Joseph, with Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and James Earl Jones.

Director: Jon Favreau

Producers: Jon Favreau, Jeffrey Silver, Karen Gilchrist

Screenplay by: Jeff Nathanson

Disney’s “The Lion King,” directed by Jon Favreau (“The Jungle Book”), journeys to the African savanna where a future king is born. Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar, Mufasa’s brother—and former heir to the throne—has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his.

Staying true to the classic story, director Jon Favreau utilizes pioneering filmmaking techniques to bring the iconic characters to the big screen in a whole new way. Featuring the voices of Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa and Billy Eichner as Timon





Hashtag: #TheLionKing

In Theaters July 19, 2019

Rocketman Movie Review

If you’ve always liked Elton John songs, recently discovered his music or have no clue as to who he is, you’ll enjoy the way this movie presents his life story. Most biopics tell you about the person using dialogue to describe them but since Elton John was such a big star, director Dexter Fletcher allows the songs to tell you who Elton, originally named Reggie Dwight, is. You may not realize what you’re in for when purchasing a ticket to see this, so I’ll inform you. The movie is similar in style to films such as, ‘Mama Mia,’ in that the narrative is largely told through musical numbers, complete with dancers. I wasn’t quite expecting that but enjoyed the way it went about telling the audience who ‘Reg’ (Egerton) became, through lyrics in his songs. Though the songs were written by his partner Bernie Taupin (Bell) and weren’t necessarily used in order of release date, the lyrics were meaningful and impactful, and you don’t question Fletcher’s decision to be part of the script; to have the lyrics chronicle Elton’s personal development, concentrating on the earlier years. At times, the film gets depressing, but if he hadn’t experienced heartbreak, he would never have become the musician he did.

The movie starts with Elton Hercules John going to therapy for the first time, telling everyone why he’s there. He’s a sex addict, a drug addict, an alcoholic and a shopaholic. When his childhood is brought up, a young Elton is singing on the streets of where he grew up. Adult Elton, dressed in one of the wild costumes that he wore to the therapy session, stands and watches the child. He’s invisible to the child, much as the child he once was is invisible to the parents in the scene… particularly to his father. Luckily for the little boy, and luckily for music fans everywhere, his grandmother Ivy (Jones), notices his talents on the piano. The boy can play by ear. She supports him and gets him piano and music lessons which then leads to a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music. Once it’s clear how much talent the young boy has, it isn’t long before he’s playing backup for singers. Outside of his grandmother’s constant endorsement, he’s never had anyone really encourage him until he plays backup for a Soul tour from America. They’re more than happy to give him the advice he needs, which is to write some songs and let his inner musician out… stop hiding his true self. Since he can write music to a monologue, he takes that advice and finds a writer who needs music for his lyrics. That writer is Bernie Taupin. During this segment of the film, not only does Elton realize how talented he is but that he’s gay. Taupin supports him no matter who he is. They get on a record label and get booked in America at the famous West Hollywood nightclub called the Troubadour. The Troubadour has been hosting famous musicians since 1957.

Elton is excited for the chance to show America what he has until he finds out Neil Diamond is in the audience. He gets nervous but once that passes, he finds his strength and, consequently, this is where his unique style blossoms. He also meets John Reid (Madden) who becomes his new manager and lover. Scenes with Reid get rather steamy. This character and their time together aren’t exactly explained very well but go with it. You’ll figure out who he is and when their years together were. Reid is responsible for the young musician becoming the wealthiest musician in the world. Unfortunately, Elton is living proof that money can’t buy you happiness. His career couldn’t be better, but he still doesn’t have his fathers respect, something he has been trying to get since he was born. He tries to have thoughtful conversations with his mother several times throughout the film. The best she can do for him is to try and advise him that if he chooses homosexuality, he’ll never be loved.

Having mostly been disappointed by those closest to him, he eventually comes to the conclusion that, ‘Real love is hard to come by, so you find a way to cope without it.’ Soon after, he fights with Bernie and tries to end his own life in an underwater scene where wee Reggie makes another appearance. You’d think that her son trying to kill himself would soften his mother toward Elton but not Shelia (Howard). She gets worse. She likes his money, though. It’s hard to believe but she tells him that she should have ‘Never had kids.’

Next, comes the song, ‘Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word,’ which has the lyrics,

‘What have I got to do to make you love me?
What have I got to do to make you care?
What do I do when lightning strikes me?
And I wake to find that you’re not there?’ 

By this time, you’re most certainly invested in the film and the characters. The acting by Egerton and the entire supporting cast surpasses expectations and the script is authentic and true to who Elton was and is inside. After watching, you can’t help but think about the fact that most biopics of this nature are made after the artist passes on.
Knowing we’re all going to be watching, Elton gets to observe his life story unfold on the big screen and not only relive his experiences but see how others have interpreted his actions. It must be daunting.
After seeing the finished product, I believe he has to be happy with how it was done. However, why they decided to insert Egerton into the original video for ‘I’m Still Standing’ makes little sense, particularly since it was at the end of the film. That would have been a good time to have allowed the audience to see the real Elton John having some fun so using Elton in his own video would have been a better choice in my humble opinion. Regardless, see this movie asap! Good luck getting his songs out of your head after.

*Stay during the credits for more information.        



The Souvenir Movie Review

Sometimes, a movie based on a true coming-of-age drama based, on the life of a writer or a director, can be beautiful and moving. But then could also end up like “The Souvenir”, which has a fine setup – but totally misses the execution. When the main character is there in place as a stand-in for the writer/director, you can feel that the message should be delivered thoughtfully. However, here the cast is excellent – but the story meanders and drips out so slowly and in such a convoluted manner that you might kick yourself to stay focused. The level of the actors is so high that they deserve to tell a soaring tale, yet they are given very limited story that barely keeps any interest.

Julie (Honor Swinton Byrne) is an English woman in her young 20’s. She is working to strike out on her own, using her skills in photography to get into film school. She has some very loving parents, including her mother Rosalind (Tilda Swinton). Julie has a boyfriend who is much older than she is. Anthony (Tom Burke) is somewhat charming and he has a broad education. But he has many woeful character traits. He works for British government in a high position. But he has left his wife, and he cheats and steals. The worst part is that he has a heroin addiction. Julie tries to see past all the bad stuff, and she accepts him with all his flaws.

They are together is a small flat in town. Anthony has strange hours for work and many times goes abroad. Julie is attending school and working on film project. She wants to make a documentary of a now defunct ship-building operation in a nearby town. How has the shutdown of the plant affected the people that remain? But when she has lunches with Anthony and diners with her parents – she is at a loss of words about how to describe her project. Mother Rosalind thinks that Julie could do much better for herself, by getting into a better school and finding a boyfriend who is not as unpredictable.

So, Julie attends school and meets with Anthony from time to time. They take a trip to Venice. But the little apartment also gets robbed one day. And then later Julie finds a shady character hanging out in the flat, waiting for Anthony. This other guy was looking to score some heroin, and he wants to get some from Anthony. Julie chases him out. But she is worried that Anthony is hooked up in something that is really bad. Anthony is defiant, but later on, he succumbs to the addition more and more. He is on a final downward spiral, and even Julie’s help will not save him. Julie works and struggles to get her documentary completed. Rosalind stops over quite often to see if there is something she can do, or if she can loan her some cash.

The resulting movie is a repetitive series of little scenes from Julie’s life. It is all well and good. But there is nothing compelling or nothing that drives any of the characters. So, the result is two hours of inaction that lead up to a non-conclusion. People pass into the Julie’s life, and people pass out of it. She does not take a hard stand much of anything. Even when Anthony is abusing his situation and taking advantage of Julie – she does not do anything. She remains a passive observer of her own life. This is far from a dramatic, edge-of-your-seat immersive experience. You just sort of see what is happening. The direction is such that the movie becomes a meandering stream of random events.

The acting of Honor Swinton Byrne (as Julie) and Tilda Swinton (as her mother Rosalind) is very believable. But of course, Tilda Swinton is the actual mother of Honor Swinton Byrne, so that is a little like typecasting. Tilda is highly respected and accomplished actor. It seems like her daughter, Honor, will be quite capable of following along that path that her mother has opened for her. Tom Burke has a very difficult role, since he is playing a charming cad who is on a downward slope. He just keeps getting worse and worse, as his character gets consumed by his addition. But it does not help that he is basically a ten-pound sack of manure out in the sun for several days…

When you participate in something meaningful, you might want to bring home a little reminder of what you accomplished. But when it comes to seeing this movie, you might pass on the chance to pick up “The Souvenir”.

In the Phoenix area, this movie will open exclusively at the Harkins Scottsdale Camelview…

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Trailer


Written and Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

Starring: James Marsden, Margot Robbie, Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Pacino, Timothy Olyphant, Tim Roth, Dakota Fanning, Kurt Russell, Martin Kove and Luke Perry



Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood visits 1969 Los Angeles, where onetime TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) make their way in an industry they hardly recognize anymore.   The ninth film from the writer-director features a large ensemble cast and multiple storylines in a tribute to the final moments of Hollywood’s golden age.

Produced by:

David Heyman

Quentin Tarantino

Shannon McIntosh


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In Theaters July 26th

The Tomorrow Man Movie Review

This debut film by Noble Jones is a notably distinctive love story but not the most fascinating. I say this primarily for the reason that the main character’s logic for being who he is and doing what he does isn’t intriguing enough to keep you as engaged as you could have been. It’s a nice story of two older people finding each other but throwing in the threat of the apocalypse and concentrating so much on the predictive nature of the main character kind of spoils what could have been. Ed, played by John Lithgow, feels he’s in the know. He’s paranoid, refuses to be controlled and is preparing for the worst. He chats online about his doomsday scenario with others who believe as he does. He and his only friends discuss that no one is to be trusted and that the end is quite possibly near. It will be for him if he doesn’t take his medication properly but I’ll leave that for you to discover.

In his home, he has a shelter for when he needs to hide. In this shelter is a massive supply of everything he could possibly ever need to survive if he were required to hide for a long stretch of time. Since he built this, Ed likes to journey out to the grocery store to make sure his shelter is always stocked with a fresh supply of food. One day he sees something at the store that he doesn’t usually see. Someone he’d like to actually get to know. Based on the contents of her basket, is she a ‘doomsdayer,’ too? In a show of bravery, he makes his move and speaks with her. Ronnie (Danner) is quite meek and sweet and in an awkward but brave moment, Ed asks her out.

He doesn’t seem prepared when her answer is ‘yes.’ Adorable. This is what I liked about the movie! More of this, please! If the story had stayed with these two and this blossoming story of love, it would have been fantastic. John Lithgow and Blythe Danner are splendid together with glowing on-screen chemistry, something not used as much as it could have and should have been. When the film veers away from the romance between these two stellar actors, the expectations and interest in its outcome deteriorates.

Ed’s self-serving, almost manic race to be ahead of the game if the ‘shit hits the fan’, if there’s ever a need to be prepared for anything, grows weary fast. Ronnie listens to his conspiracy theories and is supportive though she doesn’t believe a word he’s saying. She placates him because she, too, has her secrets. He calls himself a ‘preparer’ and believes she is, too, but he sees what she’s been trying to keep from him when he finally goes to her house. She’s anything but prepared. In fact, she’s a hoarder. This seems to confuse him. ‘What to do with this information?’

This was fascinating because it proves how perfect they are for one another. They’re both keeping things just in case, aren’t they? She started holding onto things when her daughter died. He holds onto things in case of trouble. They’re both hoarding, aren’t they?

I can see this movie appealing only to an older crowd. Some conversations are a bit too contrived, but some points are right on the money. At the end of the film, one of these characters grows and the other isn’t yet ready to. It’s curious as to why it was one and not both but, regardless, Danner and Lithgow play these characters to a T with perfect harmony. What isn’t puzzling is why Jones hired these two to star in his film. The film can be slow but the performances can’t be missed.