Little Movie Review

I was absolutely taken with the little dynamo in ‘Little.’ 14-year-old Marsai Martin (Black-ish), who’s also executive producer of the film, blew me away with her performance. The rest of the main cast was memorable with their well-rounded characters as well, but Martin had… ‘it.’ You’d be hard pressed to find someone her age with as much talent in the recent past… maybe ever. She can dance, she can sing, she can act… but she also writes, directs and produces. She pitched the idea for this movie when she was ten. TEN! Asked what she wants when she grows up, she responded, ‘I want to be a legend.’ Well, I’d say you’re well on your way.

In ‘Little,’ Jordan Sanders, played by the delightfully witty Regina Hall (Think Like A Man, Girls Trip), has a difficult time in Jr. High School. So difficult that she vows that when she grows up, she’s never going to be bullied again. Instead, she’ll be the bully. She’ll make sure she’s the boss and always in charge, especially of her feelings. No one will ever get close enough to hurt those feelings again. There’s a lengthy set up that gives you time to see how evil she’s become. No doubt the set up also gives poor Regina some screen time. You’ll be so dazzled by her tiny replacement and the high jinks written for the kid that you won’t miss her.

Jordan walks through her building and everyone runs to avoid being abused by her. One unlucky employee who has no choice but deal with her is April who’s played by actress Issa Rae from ‘The Hate U Give.’ Jordan likes to push her around because she thinks April is weak. She treats her as if she’s a used tissue but hoping to be able to move up in the company, April does her best to please Jordan while at the same time taking the brunt of the maltreatment for her co-workers. She makes sure Jordan gets her coffee at just the right temperature, warns everyone when she’s about to walk through the door so they can hide, and she also stashes the carbs, so Jordan doesn’t see them. These things usually do the trick, but things change when Jordan is given some bad news. She’s told that her biggest client is leaving unless she and her team can come up with a reason for him to stay. They have forty-eight hours. Hearing this, Jordan is particularly cruel and when she runs into a child who’s practicing a magic trick, she takes everything out on the enterprising enchantress.
This is where Regina Hall gets to release a line of dialog that had the audience rolling with laughter. Her Jordan snaps off an order to April to, ‘Get that little chocolate Hogwart out!’ Welp! That’s all it took. The little girl pulls out her wand, waves it and wishes Jordan to become little so that she can be put in her place.

As you would expect, the spell works overnight. Jordan awakens the next morning to discover that her ‘natural teardrop boobs’ are gone. She looks in the mirror and realizes she’s once again that little child who was always laughed at and tormented.

Low on options, because she has no friends, she does the only thing she can think to do. She calls the person who puts up with the most… April. She steps in and helps, of course, but not for free. Knowing the desperate situation her boss is in, she demands to be made ‘Creative Executive’ at the firm. This shows she has a spine and Jordan steps back, sneers and says something you wouldn’t expect to hear from such an adorable face. Mockingly, Jordan acknowledges the blackmail and suggests to April that her ‘balls have dropped.’ Part of why Jordan is in such dire straits is because Child Protective Services has gotten wind of the fact that she’s an unaccompanied minor running about. She must get enrolled in school; her old school, in fact. She gets just what the young magician had wished upon her when she ends up back in her own personal hell. Meanwhile, April has to run the office and get people to come up with ideas for their dissatisfied client.

Almost every scene has young Marsai Martin handling its demands with ease. She uses her eyes, facial expressions, her voice inflections and her body in ways that work to enhance the comedy in this film. After the madness, it comes to a smooth, natural and foreseeable conclusion but doesn’t feel too contrived or cheesy. Most reason is that Martin was that damn good. In the end, Jordan learns her lesson and when this happens, Martin turns down the comedic side she finds in herself to play Jordan and turns on the compassion switch. Everything about her completely changes.

I’m happy I saw this movie. Sure, the idea that this filthy rich woman’s entire, embarrassingly successful company’s future hangs in the balance because of one spoiled Gen-Xer is extremely weak BUT I ask you to overlook it and just enjoy the message, the comedy, and the bright new star and you won’t even notice the trivial things. I wasn’t sure I wanted to see it because I thought ‘Little’ was going to be ‘Big.’ Interestingly enough, it was BIG, but nothing like it. And that’s a good thing.

Dumbo Movie Review

‘Dumbo’ is the latest live-action remake of the Disney films. This 1941 animated classic gets a new look and feel by the genius mind of Tim Burton. ‘Dumbo’ wasn’t known as one of Disney’s most influential films, therefore, anything Tim Burton could add to the story would improve it significantly, and he does just that. Included in this retelling is the magic that makes you feel as if you’re watching an old-style Tim Burton movie. Maybe because he realized how important a story about elephants would be. With the circus industry taking a big hit because of animal abuse, especially toward the elephant, he had to send a strong statement that he wasn’t condoning harming animals. He does this several ways. He gives you characters that both charm and please you. With his ‘bad’ characters, he gives you cruelty but only in the realm of suggestions. There’s no genuine love for the circus whatsoever. This is clear from the beginning to the end. Especially the end, which you’ll appreciate dearly. The animals are all CGI and he makes a point to let you know his story is a love letter to animals if nothing else… especially to the beloved pachyderm.

With every Tim Burton film comes a land of wonder and excitement to explore but what also appears is a note of hard reality and a ruthless villain to wake you from any trance-like state you could be in from his breathtaking visuals. ‘Dumbo’ has similar elements with an actual ‘Dreamland’ to try and seduce you. This is where it seems its most Burton like. The film is seen mostly through the lens of the children which is good and bad as it doesn’t dig very deeply into the adult characters. To extend the length of the film, the original was only one hour and four minutes, Burton spun a yarn around a veteran and his children. Their mother has passed on, he was gone, and they were being raised on the road. They need to bond once again and become a family.

In the beginning, we meet Holt Farrier (Farrell) who was once a circus star and is now a war hero. After returning from war minus a limb, the owner of the circus he worked for, Max Medici (DeVito), rehires him to take care of the elephants. Holt’s two children are more than happy to help when the female elephant gives birth to a bright, blue-eyed bundle of… big ears?!? Max bought the mama knowing that a baby would bring people to see him but when he sees what he calls a freak, he wants ‘it’ and the mother gone… and his money back! Already struggling to make ends meet, he can’t afford more loss! As he stomps around, visibly angry, the mama gets very upset and goes ‘mad.’ He sells her, keeping her and her darling baby apart. The children see Dumbo breathe in a feather and sneeze wildly. When this happens, he flaps his ears and… and he flies! Good enough! When word of this gets out, an enthusiastic businessman named Vandevere (Keaton) talks Max into going into a partnership in his park called Dreamland; where they make the impossible, possible. He explains that the future of business isn’t to have you packing up and traveling for the audience. If the audience wants to see what you’ve got to offer, they’ll have to come to you. Keaton and DeVito. Batman and the Penguin. Together again. This will not get by the fans of the Burton directed, ‘Batman Returns.’ Nor will the appearance of Dreamland compared to that of Disneyland where they’re already selling Dumbo toys in the remarkably similar theme park.

Vandevere’s aerial artist, Colette Marchant (Green) sees that she and the little flying elephant can soar through the tent together and swoon the audiences below. Max closes his circus and joins Vandevere’s Dreamland, managing to keep his entire troupe together in the process. While traveling through Dreamland, you’ll see a somewhat spooky message about the 20th Century and about automation ‘helping’ humans. Watching the scene, I couldn’t help but think how spot on he is. It has helped. But are we the better for it? Is Max better for getting into business with a snake? Time will tell. 

If you’re wondering why you should see this version of ‘Dumbo,’ Tim Burton is reason enough to attend, but he also brought along the magnificent Danny Elfman to score the film. Elfman’s arrangement for the ‘Pink Elephants on Parade’ is simply sublime. It’s quite distinctive from the original and the visuals are more low-key which I think may have been done so you could simply sit back and experience what Elfman offers your ears. The film is touching, it’s sweet and magical. This is imaginative but now that they’ve opened it up, I’d like to see Disney attack the subject of what elephants are facing today with one of their Disney Nature films. The truth of it needs to be treated with utmost urgency. 

Official Website:

Like us on Facebook:



Avengers: Endgame Trailer

The grave course of events set in motion by Thanos that wiped out half the universe and fractured the Avengers ranks compels the remaining Avengers to take one final stand in Marvel Studios’ grand conclusion to twenty-two films, “Avengers: Endgame.”

Kevin Feige produces “Avengers: Endgame,” and Anthony and Joe Russo are the directors. Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo, Trinh Tran, Jon Favreau and Stan Lee are the executive producers, and Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely wrote the screenplay.

Like us on Facebook:

Follow us on Twitter: @marvelstudios

Instagram: @marvelstudios

Hashtag: #AvengersEndgame

In theaters April 26

Live-Action “Dumbo” to Soar with Spirit Airlines! *Take a peek….

Celebrating the upcoming release of Disney’s live-action movie “Dumbo,” Spirit Airlines today unveiled its specially-themed Airbus A321 that features a larger-than-life image of the beloved Disney character Dumbo!
Spirit and Disney revealed the new plane with a short time-lapse video of the decal-wrapping process which took place at Spirit’s state-of-the-art Detroit maintenance hangar.

From Disney and visionary director Tim Burton, the all-new grand live-action adventure “Dumbo” expands on the beloved classic story where differences are celebrated, family is cherished and dreams take flight. Circus owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito) enlists former star Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) and his children Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins) to care for a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him a laughingstock in an already struggling circus. But when they discover that Dumbo can fly, the circus makes an incredible comeback, attracting persuasive entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton), who recruits the peculiar pachyderm for his newest, larger-than-life entertainment venture, Dreamland. Dumbo soars to new heights alongside a charming and spectacular aerial artist, Colette Marchant (Eva Green), until Holt learns that beneath its shiny veneer, Dreamland is full of dark secrets.

 “Dumbo” flies into theaters on March 29, 2019.

Social Media:






Directed by Tim Burton (“Alice in Wonderland,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”) from a screenplay by Ehren Kruger (“Ophelia,” “Dream House”), and produced by Justin Springer (“TRON: Legacy”), Kruger, Katterli Frauenfelder (“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” “Big Eyes”) and Derek Frey (“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” “Frankenweenie”)

Hellboy (2019) ‘Red Band’ Trailer


Based on the graphic novels by Mike Mignola, Hellboy, caught between the worlds of the supernatural and human, battles an ancient sorceress bent on revenge.

Starring: David Harbour, Milla Jovovich, and Ian McShane, Sasha Lane, Penelope Mitchell, with Daniel Dae Kim.
Directed by: Neil Marshall 

Lionsgate and Millennium Films present, a Lawrence Gordon/Lloyd Levin production, in association with Dark Horse Entertainment, a Nu Boyana production, in association with Campbell Grobman Films.

Social Media:

In Theaters April 12



ROCKETMAN is an epic musical fantasy about the incredible human story of Elton John’s breakthrough years. The film follows the fantastical journey of transformation from shy piano prodigy Reginald Dwight into international superstar Elton John. This inspirational story – set to Elton John’s most beloved songs and performed by star Taron Egerton – tells the universally relatable story of how a small-town boy became one of the most iconic figures in pop culture. ROCKETMAN also stars Jamie Bell as Elton’s longtime lyricist and writing partner Bernie Taupin, Richard Madden as Elton’s first manager, John Reid, and Bryce Dallas Howard as Elton’s mother Sheila Farebrother.


Dexter Fletcher


Lee Hall


Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, Gemma Jones and Bryce Dallas Howard


Matthew Vaughn, David Furnish, Adam Bohling, David Reid


Elton John, Steve Hamilton Shaw, Michael Gracey, Claudia Schiffer, Brian Oliver

Follow ROCKETMAN on social media for more updates!

Facebook: Twitter: Instagram:

In Theaters MAY 31

Alita: Battle Angel Movie Review

“Alita: Battle Angel” is a new visual treat of a movie that is based on a long admired Japanese manga series. The people behind this movie are superb craftsman; Robert Rodriguez as the director, and James Cameron as producer and co-writer. However, perhaps that is part of the disconnect of this movie. There is a fully realized vision of a bleak future landscape. Yet the story-line bumps and clunks along with the grace of an ancient Model-T running in the Daytona 500 NASCAR. The characters are one-dimensional, even at the same time the screen pops with a vivid 3-D treatment of the visuals.

In a far, far future Earth, there are only leftovers and broken remains from the destruction due to the Earth’s war against URM (United Republics of Mars). The planet-bound people are poor and insignificant. However, up above there is a wealthy and powerful population in a floating ‘sky city’ of Zalem. There are few that go from the crusty and rusty Iron City up to glowing wonder of Zalem. Many are discarded and fall from grace, but the few that rise are the champions who can win at a most violent (and popular) sport called Motorball. It is full of speed and of danger and violent death. But most of the contestants are Cyborgs (half human, half robo-mechanical creatures). So, they never really die, they are rebuilt by people like Dr. Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz).

Dr. Ido finds a valuable treasure in the trash heap that is under the floating Zalem paradise. Anything that is considered junk is dumped from the city down in the pile of junk. But Ido finds a discarded ‘CORE’ of a cyborg. It is a teenage girl head and torso, which Ido attaches to a fitting cyborg body. Alita (Rosa Salazar) is created out of excess junk but she becomes a stand-in for Ido’s dead daughter. She is young and naive, but she quickly picks up battle skills. She is noticed by Chiren (Jennifer Connelly), who is Ido’s ex-wife. She and Ido once had a high place up in Zalem but were ousted for some reason. Alita also meets Hugo (Keean Johnson), while he is out collecting scraps around Iron City. He sells stuff to make a living. Alita is smitten with the world-wise scavenger and entrepreneur.

But there’s trouble afoot, up in the Zalem city – there is a bad guy named Nova. He sees Alita as a threat to him and to his henchman Vector (Mahershala Ali) in Iron City. Vector sends robotic cyborg bounty hunters named Zapan (Ed Skrein) and Grewishka (Jackie Earle Haley) to track Alita and kill her.  Alita finds an upgraded body based on URM technology. Once Dr. Ito takes care of the body upgrade for Alita, she finds that she can fight and defeat anyone, human or cyborg. Dr. Ido and Hugo are also targeted for death, and Alita is worried about them. The only way that she can get up to the floating Zalem city is by playing and winning the next Motorball contest. That is difficult thing to do, but Alita is souped-up and ready to rumble.

“Alita: Battle Angel” takes some difficult source material and has attempted to do it justice. When this has been done before, the results are always hit or miss. That same thing goes for this movie. The visual world that it creates is a big thumbs-up hit. The characters that populate this movie, with all the odd personality tweaks and clunky dialog, is a bit of a miss. The CGI effects are world-class, especially Alita with the super-sized ‘manga’ eyes. All the robots and cyborgs and the city design and the battle scenes are amazing to watch. Too bad the story and dialog does not reach up to the same lofty levels as the rest of the movie.

The movie hits a home run with the beautiful formation of the visual landscape, and the people and creatures that roam in this world. But it plays some sour notes with the ‘borrowed’ story elements (from ‘Elysium’, Rollerball’, even the doomed love affair from ‘Titanic’). There are too many 2-D characters in this vivid and lush 3-D movie.

Yesterday Trailer

Yesterday, everyone knew The Beatles. Today, only Jack remembers their songs.

He’s about to become a very big deal. From Academy Award®-winning director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting, 28 Days Later) and Richard Curtis, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Four Weddings and a FuneralLove Actually and Notting Hill, comes a rock-n-roll comedy about music, dreams, friendship, and the long and winding road that leads to the love of your life.

Jack Malik (Himesh Patel, BBC’s Eastenders) is a struggling singer-songwriter in a tiny English seaside town whose dreams of fame are rapidly fading, despite the fierce devotion and support of his childhood best friend, Ellie (Lily James, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again). Then, after a freak bus accident during a mysterious global blackout, Jack wakes up to discover that The Beatles have never existed … and he finds himself with a very complicated problem, indeed. 

Performing songs by the greatest band in history to a world that has never heard them, and with a little help from his steel-hearted American agent, Debra (Emmy winner Kate McKinnon), Jack’s fame explodes. But as his star rises, he risks losing Ellie — the one person who always believed in him. With the door between his old life and his new closing, Jack will need to get back to where he once belonged and prove that all you need is love. 

Featuring new versions of The Beatles’ most beloved hits, Yesterday is produced by Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner (Love ActuallyAbout A Boy, the Bridget Jones series) alongside Matthew James Wilkinson and Bernie Bellew. Curtis and Boyle also produce. Nick Angel and Lee Brazier serve as executive producers.


Starring: Himesh Patel, Lily James, Kate McKinnon and Ed Sheeran

Directed by
: Danny Boyle

Written by: Richard Curtis

Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Bernie Bellew, Matthew James Wilkinson, Richard Curtis, Danny Boyle

Executive Producers: Nick Angel, Lee Brazier

Social Media:

Official Website 

In Theaters June 28

What Men Want Movie Review

Ali Davis, played by a very confident and amusing Taraji P. Henson (Proud Mary, Hidden Figures), is a female sports agent at a company who prefers to cater to male sports figures as well as male employees. We meet her when she’s doing her best to get and stay noticed. She’s of the opinion she’s about to get a big promotion to partner. One she feels she’s earned, is more than qualified for and that her company is happy to give. When the promotion, instead, goes to yet another man, she gets appropriately upset. When she asks what she has to do to get the approval she needs and be taken seriously, she gets a response she isn’t ready for. She’s told by the president of the company, Nick (Bosworth), that she doesn’t connect well with men and ‘to stay in her lane.’ Ali now makes a promise that she’ll show them all by personally signing Jamal Barry (McGhie), the young up and coming basketball star they’re all scrambling for.

When she leaves work, she heads for a tavern and meets up with a bartender named Will (Hodge). This scene is both sexy and hysterical as she climbs on top and takes all her aggression out on the poor unsuspecting fellow. Finding she just may be more like a man than you originally thought you’ll laugh hysterically watching what she does next. I’ll set the scene by saying, she got hers, rolls over and doesn’t worry about whether he got his. The next morning, she awakens to find she’s still in Will’s apartment. She’s greeted by his five-year-old son, Ben, who has her thong on his head. It covers his face and he’s acting out a scene from ‘Black Panther.’ This may have seemed funny on paper but watching it was a little disgusting. I liked this movie but panties on the face of the little boy, while funny looking, doesn’t work. Pushing boundaries is always a good thing but this was too far. Maybe this has happened somewhere in this world, and maybe it made someone laugh… but I don’t want to think about it.

‘What Men Want’ is a reimagining of the Nancy Meyers film ‘What Women Want’ that starred Mel Gibson. He played a sexist who ends up able to read women’s minds and grows because of this ability. In this version, the female protagonist must come to terms with the fact that maybe she’s somewhat a sexist herself. Both are equally motivated by self-greed. Ali believes the system is rigged against her, so she’ll use every tool in the kit available to get where she wants to go. She finds answers from the psychic ‘Sister,’ played extraordinarily well by Erykah Badu, who you won’t even recognize. Sister gives her a potent tea laced with weed and crack to help a girl out. This mixed with a bump on the head and suddenly Ali notices she has the ability to hear men’s inner thoughts. Realizing how this can be of use, she gets back with the bartender and rocks his world. She also makes an appointment to meet Barry and his father Joe ‘Dolla’ Barry (Morgan). Joe is the film version of LaVar Ball with dreams of using his son’s future fame in the NBA to his full potential. Leaning more toward Joe, Ali pays attention to the desires of both men and tells them what they want to hear. With the help of her assistant Brandon (Brener), she gets almost everything she wants.

As the story moves on, more and more ludicrous and hysterical situations occur. She crashes what has to be the funniest poker games you’re likely to see in a film. It’s filled with fantastic cameos. She uses her powers to get with a hot neighbor but regrets her decision when she finds he has more in store for her than she can handle. Though she’s having fun, it’s when she pushes true love aside that she finally comes to terms with the fact that maybe she doesn’t connect with men. Not in the right way, that is. What she does is carry a big chip on her shoulder. Now, as you knew would happen, she’s gotten herself into a big mess. She eventually returns to the psychic and asks that her abilities be removed. Sister tells her that with great power comes great responsibility. Ali has been looking at things the wrong way. She suddenly listens with a different ear and sets her life on a new course because winning isn’t everything if who you are on the inside is simply dreadful.

Henson has impressive chemistry with the entire cast, most especially with Tracy Morgan who’s a strong character opposite her. ‘What Men Want’ in no way shirks its duties as an R-rated adult comedy. It takes its obligation to meet that rating very seriously. If you’re looking to laugh, you’ll want to see this as soon as possible. Please, don’t expect ‘What Women Want.’

Go in knowing full well it gets down and dirty. That said, the end of the film is perfect for the theme. Speaking of the end, don’t get up and leave when the credits start to roll. There’s more to come.

Social Media:





The Kid Who Would be King Movie Review


Retelling the tale of King Arthur is as common as giant turkey legs at a Renaissance Faire. But in the movie “The Kid Who Would Be King” the ‘Once and Future King’ is a little on the young side. The Sword Excalibur is meant only for the hands of the King. But when a young kid pulls out the sword in a modern-day England – that schoolboy’s life gets turned around. Good thing he has help of an ancient and mighty sorcerer named Merlin. However, he is also portrayed as another young boy, just more eccentric. There is an evil presence from King Arthur’s day ready to return and destroy all of England, so the new Kid King has his work cut out for him.


Alex Elloit (Louis Serkis) is getting a rough time at school in a small town outside of London. He and his best pal Bedders (Dean Chaumoo) get picked on everyday. Two older kids named Lance (Tom Taylor) and Kaye (Rhianna Doris) are very cruel to Alex and Bedders. One night, while hiding from the two, Alex ducks into a construction site. He finds an unusual site – there is a sword in a stone. He’s is able to remove and take it home. Little does he know that an evil sorceress named Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson) has been imprisoned and knows the sword is active. She is the half-sister of King Arthur and she is held by a powerful spell from the Ancient Merlin (Patrick Stewart). She vows to escape and lead her undead evil minions to destroy the Kingdom.



Alex learns that a young version of Merlin (Angus Imrie) has come back to assist him. Merlin seems to be just an oddball at school, but he shows Alex, Bedders, Lance and Kaye some very powerful magic. In four days, during a solar eclipse, Morgana plans to rise from the prison of darkness and overtake the world. Alex does not know how to be a leader. Bedders is basically scared of everything. Lance is bully who puts himself first, and Kaye is not interested in helping other people. But with a lot of effort, this ragtag group travels across the country to seek out the truth, a Quest for the future of England.


Alex and his crew finally get to the place where Morgana is entrapped. They think they have defeated her, but there is another – and a much larger – battle to come. The solar eclipse releases Morgana and some terrible forces from the Earth. But Alex and gotten his entire school ready to fight. There is a huge CGI battle-fest, with undead minions on black horses and Morgana returned as a female bat-dragon type of thing. It is only because of the ‘Earth in darkness but not in night’ that allows Alex to have so many people join his crusade against evil. It is non-descript battle, seeing that it is to prevent the downfall of all humanity…



There are a handful of clever and creative ideas in this movie. But mostly it is a just a rehash of better movies on the same subject. Even Disney’s animated “The Sword and the Stone” covered much of this same ground. The bright spots are Angus Imrie playing Merlin, and when he gets swapped out occasionally for the older and wiser version – played by Patrick Stewart. Most of the child actors are pretty fun to watch, and they get the point across. The movie moves at an odd pace, with some sections dragged out for a quest going here and there in the English countryside. The internal logic of the movie is fuzzy, and there is one major scientific error that I cannot dismiss. There is supposed to be a solar eclipse in a few days, and right before that – the kids are out at night under a full moon. Ask your science teacher why that is wrong…


Joe Cornish has another movie under his belt where he wrote and directed (“Attack the Block”). That movie also starred mostly young kids, and he did a fantastic job with that one. He also wrote (or co-wrote) some great movies, “Adventures of Tin-Tin”, “Baby Driver”, and “Ant Man”. But he seems to have taken a few days of during this movie. “The Kid Who Would Be King” could be a very engaging movie, with a lot going for it. But the final results with this movie, it does not rise to the Throne. Cornish has pulled and pulled, but this time the sword stayed in the stone…