This is charming… just darling. I’ve made it a point to keep an eye on what Netflix has been putting out and I’ve been pleased. However, I’m not quite sure why they’re not releasing all their films in the theatres nationwide instead of only in select theatres. Read more
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.
Movie Screening Summary
“What if I told you I could get you to fall in love with me…?” College-bound romantic Daniel Bae (Melton) and Jamaica-born pragmatist Natasha Kingsley (Shahidi) meet—and fall for each other—over one magical day amidst the fervor and flurry of New York City. Read more
Admittedly, as we go about our daily lives, national security isn’t something we tend to have to think about. Luckily, we’ve never had to truly worry we’re about to be invaded nor have we had to wonder about the ‘IF’S.’ ‘If that happened what would I do?’ ‘If that happened, could I do this?’ One of the biggest questions someone could face is, ‘What would you do for your country?’ ‘Red Joan’ examines the theme by telling us the story of the woman who was tasked with answering that question.
We haven’t heard of her in America, but she’s known, most certainly in the UK, as the ‘Granny Spy.’ Her real name was Melita Norwood, someone you may want to look up before or after the movie. In the film, she’s Joan Stanley (Dench). When we meet her, she’s in her 80’s, she’s friendly, unassuming and tending to her charming British garden. Quickly after she’s being introduced to us like this sweet, innocent, granny-like figure, there’s a knock on the door and she’s suddenly in handcuffs. We learn it’s alleged she was a KGB spy. Overwhelmed, but not sorry she had done it, she admitted she was guilty of giving, to the Russians, research the British government had done on the Atom bomb. There are a few clues before Joan opens the door, so pay attention to everything that’s going on… and continue throughout the film. When Joan’s arrested, it’s for twenty-seven breaches of the Official Secrets Act. Treason. They then take her away and interrogate her. We learn everything about her and what leads up to the moment at her front door through the use of flashbacks.
A file was started on Joan in 1938. The film travels back to see her then. No longer in her 80’s, Joan (Cookson) is now a physics student at Cambridge. While there, she meets new friends Leo (Hughes) and Sonya (Srbova) who, through words of hope, courage, action, and honor, compel her to join a group of young Communist who look good and speak well, selling to her their ideologies. Sonya is rowdy and fun but it’s Leo who intrigues Joan most. The audience is onto them right away. When she leaves school, she gets a job working on something very secretive. She has always wanted to change the world and is happy to know she’s working in her chosen field. When she finds out her work is to build a bomb, she’s deeply concerned she’s doing what’s right. After signing her life away to never give away the secret, her boss Max Davis (Moore) explains how they need to make a bomb before Germany does. They need the leverage.
By this time, she’s lost touch with Leo. He returns to fill her head with propaganda and tries to talk her into giving him everything she knows. She’s against the idea and gives him a firm, ‘No!’ However, while on a trip to Canada, she learns of America’s success with their bomb. This so shocks her that she decides to help even the playing field across the globe. She decides to get Leo the information he seeks. She later tells the world, at a press conference held in her front garden, that she wanted everyone to share the same knowledge to prevent a global catastrophe. When someone in the crowd shouts to her that she’s a traitor, she attacks the insult with force exclaiming that she loves and doesn’t believe in ‘working against one’s country.’ She did this to prevent another world war. She also says that when we look back at history, ‘you’ll see I was right.’
Judi Dench was perfect in this role. Underused in the ‘Granny Spy’ part of the story, you wish you could see more of her but what she does is essential and really isn’t needed beyond what you see. She’s passionate and with this performance, you know that in her heart she believes what she has to say. Cookson is impressive. Had they never added the eighty-year-old version of Joan, the film wouldn’t have lacked anything. Once she gave the secrets away, I would have liked to have seen more in that era but it was still a good movie and an interesting theory to ponder. Was she right in what she did? What if the Russians never received this information? Would they have gotten it another way or would the world be very different today? We’ll never know.
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.
“A STAR IS BORN” INVITES MOVIEGOERS TO A SPECIAL ENCORE ENGAGEMENT OF THE FILM, FEATURING NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN MOMENTS
The award-winning movie, with almost 12 minutes of additional footage, including extended musical performances, will be released on 1150+ screens in North America for one week beginning Friday, March 1
Burbank, CA – February 27, 2019 – This Friday, March 1, for one week only, Warner Bros. Pictures will release an “Encore” version of Bradley Cooper’s global hit “A Star Is Born” in theaters throughout the U.S. and Canada. This special edition of the film contains extended performances of such songs as opener “Black Eyes”; “Alibi”; and Lady Gaga’s Ally in her impromptu a cappella performance of “Shallow,” which received the Oscar for Best Original Song at the 91st Annual Academy Awards, following Cooper and Gaga’s moving performance during the ceremony.
Moviegoers will also be treated to never-before-seen footage of Ally singing to Jack “Is That Alright?” in the wedding sequence; Jack in his studio singing “Too Far Gone”; Jack and Ally writing a new song together, entitled “Clover”; and much more, totaling nearly 12 additional minutes.
HERE IS THE LINK TO PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS
About “A Star Is Born”
In “A Star Is Born,” Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga fuse their considerable talents to depict the raw and passionate tale of Jack and Ally, two artistic souls coming together, on stage and in life. Theirs is a complex journey through the beauty and the heartbreak of a relationship struggling to survive.
In this new take on the iconic love story, seven-time Oscar nominee Cooper (“A Star Is Born,” “American Sniper,” “American Hustle,” “Silver Linings Playbook”), made his directorial debut. He stars alongside multiple award-winning music superstar Gaga, who took home the Oscar for Best Original Song for “Shallow,” and who was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress in her first leading role in a major motion picture. Cooper portrays seasoned musician Jackson Maine, who discovers and falls in love with struggling artist Ally. She has given up on her dream to become a successful singer until she meets Jack, who immediately sees her natural talent.
The film also stars Andrew Dice Clay (“Blue Jasmine”), with Dave Chappelle (“Chi-Raq”) and Sam Elliott in his Oscar-nominated performance for Best Supporting Actor.
In addition to playing Ally, Gaga—who also previously earned an Oscar nod for the song “Til It Happens to You” from the film “The Hunting Ground”—performs original songs in the film with Cooper, which they wrote with a handful of artists, including Lukas Nelson, Jason Isbell, and newly minted Oscar winners Mark Ronson, Andrew Wyatt and Anthony Rossomando (Best Original Song, “Shallow”). The music is original and all vocals for the movie were recorded live during filming.
“A Star Is Born” was produced by Bill Gerber, Jon Peters, Bradley Cooper, Todd Phillips and Lynette Howell Taylor. Ravi Mehta, Basil Iwanyk, Niija Kuykendall, Sue Kroll, Michael Rapino and Heather Parry served as executive producers. The screenplay was written by Oscar-winner Eric Roth (“Forrest Gump”) and Bradley Cooper & Will Fetters.
Cooper’s behind-the-scenes team included Oscar-nominated director of photography Matthew Libatique (“Black Swan”), production designer Karen Murphy (“The Light Between Oceans”), three-time Oscar-nominated editor Jay Cassidy (“American Hustle,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Into the Wild”), and costume designer Erin Benach (“Loving”).
Warner Bros. Pictures Presents, in association with Live Nation Productions, in association with Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures, a Jon Peters/Bill Gerber/Joint Effort Production, “A Star Is Born.” The film is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is rated R for language throughout, some sexuality/nudity and substance abuse.
Five Feet Apart
Stella Grant (Haley Lu Richardson) is every bit a seventeen-year-old…she’s attached to her laptop and loves her best friends. But unlike most teenagers, she spends much of her time living in a hospital as a cystic fibrosis patient. Her life is full of routines, boundaries and self-control – all of which is put to the test when she meets an impossibly charming fellow CF patient named Will Newman (Cole Sprouse).
There’s an instant flirtation, though restrictions dictate that they must maintain a safe distance between them. As their connection intensifies, so does the temptation to throw the rules out the window and embrace that attraction. Further complicating matters is Will’s potentially dangerous rebellion against his ongoing medical treatment. Stella gradually inspires Will to live life to the fullest, but can she ultimately save the person she loves when even a single touch is off limits?
Directed By: Justin Baldoni (Jane the Virgin, My Last Days)
Starring: Haley Lu Richardson (Split, The Edge of Seventeen), Cole Sprouse (Riverdale, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody), Moises Arias (The Kings of Summer, Ben-Hur), Kimberly Hébert Gregory (Vice Principals), Paraminder Nagra (ER, Bend it Like Beckham), Claire Forlani (Crystal Inferno, Precious Cargo)
Written By: Mikki Daughtry (Sleep Tight, The Children) & Tobias Iaconis (Behind Enemy Lines: Colombia, The Children)
Produced By: Cathy Schulman (The Foreigner, The Space Between Us), Justin Baldoni (Jane the Virgin, My Last Days)
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.
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX OFFERS FANS FREE SCREENINGS OF ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL FROM PRODUCERS JAMES CAMERON AND JON LANDAU AND DIRECTOR ROBERT RODRIGUEZ ON THURSDAY, JANUARY 31
BE THE FIRST TO WITNESS THE AMAZING CINEMATIC EXPERIENCE THAT IS BEING CALLED
“A WILD, VISCERAL RIDE THAT OFFERS KICK-ASS ACTION AND AN IMMERSIVE VIRTUAL WORLD”
LOS ANGELES, CA – January 28, 2019 – Twentieth Century Fox is inviting fans across the country to be the very first to experience the highly-anticipated action-adventure epic ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL from producers James Cameron and Jon Landau (AVATAR) and director Robert Rodriguez on Thursday, January 31 at 7PM EST/PST/C. The film opens nationwide on February 14.
The screenings will take place in DolbyÔ Cinema in 3D at AMC, IMAXÔ 3D and other select 3D premium large format theatres. In addition to the film, fans at selected theaters will get to see a conversation with the filmmakers and cast including James Cameron, Jon Landau, director Robert Rodriguez and cast members Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connell, and Keean Johnson and a special inside look at the making of the film.
Said Cameron, “People may have heard of Alita, but don’t know who she is. Why is she called the Battle Angel? What is her world like? Well, I think you’ve simply got to see it to believe it. And the best way to see it is in a cinema, and in gorgeous 3D, the way Robert Rodriguez shot it. So we’ve decided to do some special free screenings, for fans around the country, to introduce our Alita to the world. When you see how big a heart she has, and what she stands for, and how she kicks major butt — you’re going to fall in love with her, the way I did.”
Fans can RSVP to the free screenings via ExperienceAlita.com and submit questions for the filmmakers and cast on James Cameron’s newly launched official Instagram @JamesCameronOfficial and Facebook @OfficialJamesCameron pages in the comments section using the hashtag #ExperienceAlita.
About ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL
Cameron (AVATAR) and Robert Rodriguez (SIN CITY), comes ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL, an epic adventure of hope and empowerment. When Alita (Rosa Salazar) awakens with no memory of who she is in a future world she does not recognize, she is taken in by Ido (Christoph Waltz), a compassionate doctor who realizes that somewhere in this abandoned cyborg shell is the heart and soul of a young woman with an extraordinary past. As Alita learns to navigate her new life and the treacherous streets of Iron City, Ido tries to shield her from her mysterious history while her street-smart new friend Hugo (Keean Johnson) offers instead to help trigger her memories. But it is only when the deadly and corrupt forces that run the city come after Alita that she discovers a clue to her past – she has unique fighting abilities that those in power will stop at nothing to control. If she can stay out of their grasp, she could be the key to saving her friends, her family and the world she’s grown to love. @AlitaMovie #Alita
About Twentieth Century Fox Film
One of the world’s largest producers and distributors of motion pictures, Twentieth Century Fox Film produces, acquires and distributes motion pictures throughout the world. These motion pictures are produced or acquired by the following units of Twentieth Century Fox Film: Twentieth Century Fox, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox Animation and Fox Family.