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 EXPERIENCETHAT 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 DolbyÔCinema in 3D at AMC, IMAXÔ3D 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.”
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.
If you’re looking for reasons to see ‘Cold War’ I’ll give you a few. One is that it’s said to have received a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival. After seeing it, I can believe this. Another is that Rotten Tomatoes has certified it as 93% Fresh. On to my reasons as to why you should make a trek to the theatre to watch this movie. Yes. I said it. There’s no waiting for home viewing with a movie this alluring. Its beauty is sophisticated, profound and slight. It doesn’t scream directly in your face but rather hits you when you revive the entity the film was to you from your memory. The black and white cinematography will look clean and quiet while whispers of genius glide across the screen and entices you to watch this lovely heartbreaking story of love. I promise you that you’ll not be able to look away. It’s a real treasure to observe. Part of why was the 4:3 aspect ratio used that allows the viewer to examine the picture as a piece of photographic art. By shrinking its scale, it’s also possible for the audience to see themselves in the characters or better relate to what they’re going through.
In the story, we have two main characters named Zula and Wiktor. She is a student and he’s her teacher at a school that advocates for Polish folk music and dance. ‘Cold War’ recounts the tale of Zula (Kulig), who’s a gifted singer, and Wiktor (Kot), her teacher and interestingly enough, a songwriter. When they meet, they fall instantly in love. Set in Poland in 1949, the lovers, who dream of being together once and for all, have not only their station in life but communism to worry about. Sadly, for the next fifteen years, this perfect pairing must perform a dance of hiding their relationship from everyone, while at the same time trying not to have the torch they carry for one another extinguished by their circumstances. They secretly meet one another whenever and wherever they can until they can stand it no longer and finally decide to leave and be together once and for all. Best laid plans, right? He leaves for the border where he waits for her to join him. However, afraid of what could happen to them, she doesn’t meet him. Realizing she’s not coming, he decides not to go back and goes on with her. Several years go by and during this time, she struggles deeply. Oh, if only she could find him aga… wait! Look! Here comes Wiktor who can always put a smile on her face. Well, not really. Though they do find one another, it isn’t long before they’re separated again. This storyline is repeated over and over. They’re doomed to a life of searching which is good for their art but terrible for their hearts.
She’s married when they meet once again in Paris. These scenes are the most rewarding. The music, and her performance, in particular, is outstanding. During this period, she’s drunk all the time and they’re both miserable but with so much working against them, how could anyone truly be happy? What’s most provocative about this ‘love story,’ is that when they find themselves together, it never works out. It’s as if they have longed for it so deeply, that’s all they know how to do. Wanting is one thing… having what you reach for is quite another. Who are Wiktor and Zula if not the two seeking one another? The ending, that I’m not revealing to you here, is superb. It couldn’t have been improved upon. All of that said, describing this film does nothing for what it essentially is. It’s magnificent. See it before Oscar season. It’ll most likely be everywhere.
Ali Davis (Taraji P. Henson) is a successful sports agent who’s constantly boxed out by her male colleagues. When Ali is passed up for a well-deserved promotion, she questions what else she needs to do to succeed in a man’s world… until she gains the ability to hear men’s thoughts! With her newfound power, Ali looks to outsmart her colleagues as she races to sign the next basketball superstar, but the lengths she has to go to will put her relationship with her best friends and a potential new love interest (Aldis Hodge) to the test.
WHAT MEN WANT is the latest comedy from director Adam Shankman (HAIRSPRAY) and producers Will Packer and James Lopez (GIRLS TRIP), co-starring Tracy Morgan, Richard Roundtree, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Josh Brener, Tamala Jones, Phoebe Robinson, Max Greenfield, Jason Jones, Brian Bosworth, Chris Witaske and Erykah Badu.
Taraji P. Henson, Aldis Hodge, Richard Roundtree, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Tracy Morgan
Coming out films are often stories filled with struggle and pain. The writers and directors generally fill the hearts and minds of their audiences with some of the trauma that a person who’s in love with the same sex oftentimes goes through. This isn’t the case with ‘Lez Bomb.’ This is a comedic take on how Lauren, played by the writer/director herself, Jenna Laurenzo, marches up that hill with a family who simply won’t listen. She’s nervous. She’s scared. However, she also feels confident enough in their acceptance that she chooses Thanksgiving to tell them the big news. Maybe she figures the tryptophan will relax them enough. If that doesn’t work, there’s plenty of wine.
On Thanksgiving morning, before other arrivals, Lauren finds a moment alone with her mother, Rose (O’Connell), to tell her who she really is. Rose, playing a caring mother with naïve tendencies, doesn’t really give Rose any reason to fear telling her but she’s simply too busy to give her daughter any of her attention. She’s running around the kitchen like a chicken with its head cut off. Very much like a television sitcom, this scene along with many others following, felt contrived. Lauren finds out that her parents have been looking at her social media accounts and have short-sightedly mistaken a friendship with her male roommate, Austin (Brandon Micheal Hall), as the relationship she’s trying to hide. They also believe she’s pregnant. Even though Lauren is an adult and they like Austin, this suddenly becomes a problem, one of which her father, George (Pollak), threatens Austin’s life unless he officially brings the relationship to light. As the movie continues, what is revealed isn’t what poor Lauren is trying so desperately to shed light on, but instead how insane her family is. They stumble over one another, refusing to hear the other and throughout the film, and sabotage what Lauren wants to accomplish.
There are funny moments; you’ll laugh and you can thank Bruce Dern, who plays Lauren’s grandpa, and Cloris Leachman, who plays Josephine, for a lot of that. However, for the most part, the comedy feels less instinctive than forced and strained rather than composed. In ‘Lez Bomb,’ we have a comedy but often a comedy of errors. A woman is desperately trying to come out to her parents and is stopped at every turn. She tries over and over to inform them that the friend she has with her means much more to her than they realize and as she quietly takes it, you want to be her voice. It’s frustrating to watch. I wanted to like it more but I thought the characters were weak and some of the situations they were put in too sophomoric to accept.
Academy Award-winning writer/director Barry Jenkins’ first film since the Best Picture Oscar-winning Moonlight is If Beale Street Could Talk, his adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel — the first English-language feature film based on the work of the author, to whom the movie is dedicated.
Set in early-1970s Harlem, If Beale Street Could Talk is a timeless and moving love story of both a couple’s unbreakable bond and the African-American family’s empowering embrace, as told through the eyes of 19-year-old Tish Rivers (screen newcomer KiKi Layne). A daughter and wife-to-be, Tish vividly recalls the passion, respect and trust that have connected her and her artist fiancé Alonzo Hunt, who goes by the nickname Fonny (Stephan James). Friends since childhood, the devoted couple dream of a future together but their plans are derailed when Fonny is arrested for a crime he did not commit.
Through the unique intimacy and power of cinema, If Beale Street Could Talk honors the author’s prescient words and imagery, charting the emotional currents navigated in an unforgiving and racially biased world as the filmmaker poetically crosses time frames to show how love and humanity endure.
Director: Barry Jenkins
Writer: Barry Jenkins
Producers: Megan Ellison, Barry Jenkins, Adele Romanski, Sara Murphy, Jeremy Kleiner, Dede Gardner
Cast: KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Regina King, Colman Domingo, Teyonah Parris, Brian Tyree Henry, Michael Beach, Ed Skrein, Diego Luna, Dave Franco, Pedro Pascal
Ali Davis (Taraji P. Henson) is a successful sports agent who’s constantly boxed out by her male colleagues. When Ali is passed up for a well-deserved promotion, she questions what else she needs to do to succeed in a man’s world… until she gains the ability to hear men’s thoughts! With her newfound power, Ali looks to outsmart her colleagues as she races to sign the next basketball superstar, but the lengths she has to go to will put her relationship with her best friends and a potential new love interest (Aldis Hodge) to the test. WHAT MEN WANT is the latest comedy from director Adam Shankman (HAIRSPRAY) and producers Will Packer and James Lopez (GIRLS TRIP), co-starring Tracy Morgan, Richard Roundtree, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Josh Brener, Tamala Jones, Phoebe Robinson, Max Greenfield, Jason Jones, Brian Bosworth, Chris Witaske and Erykah Badu.
Taraji P. Henson, Aldis Hodge, Richard Roundtree, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Tracy Morgan
Will Packer and James Lopez
EXECUTIVE PRODUCED BY
Adam Shankman, Taraji P. Henson, Amy Sayres,
David McFadzean, Dete Meserve, Matt Williams
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Starring Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Mandy Patinkin, Olivia Cooke, Laia Costa, with Annette Bening and Antonio Banderas
Produced By Marty Bowen, Wyck Godfrey and Aaron Ryder
As a young New York couple goes from college romance to marriage and the birth of their first child, the unexpected twists of their journey create reverberations that echo over continents and through lifetimes in Life Itself. Director and writer Dan Fogelman (“This Is Us”) examines the perils and rewards of everyday life in a multigenerational saga featuring an international ensemble including Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Antonio Banderas, Annette Bening, Olivia Cooke, Sergio Peris- Mencheta, Laia Costa, Alex Monner and Mandy Patinkin. Set in New York City and Carmona, Spain, Life Itself celebrates the human condition and all of its complications with humor, poignancy and love.
If you’re interested in a narrative that has layers and depth, you need to see ‘Anything,’ a film that represents anyone who has ever loved for any reason and who will give of themselves… anything. It’s a moving piece because we can all relate to the characters and their powerful emotions of love. I say this with certainty as we’ve all, for the most part, experienced a love where we have given and where we have received.
The characters in the film are complex and more intricate then one might think based on the pedestrian one-word title it was saddled with. However, that word, as you can tell based on what I’ve written so far, plays an important role in the overall message of the story.
The main character is Early Landry. He’s a middle-aged widower, played by character actor John Carroll Lynch of ‘Fargo,’ who easily manipulates the audience into seeing this individual as both the prey and the preyed upon. At the moment Early is introduced to us, we’re seeing him through the eyes of his overbearing sister, Laurette (Tierney). He’s depressed, suicidal and since the passing of his wife, needs some love and support, but not as much or the kind Laurette has in mind. Not really giving him much of a choice in the matter, she makes him aware of the fact that she wants him to move in with her so she can help him with his feelings of despair and with settling things from his old life in Mississippi to his new life with her in L.A. Early does move in with her. Though he doesn’t speak up for himself, it’s not hard to tell that he’s quickly growing tired of her. She speaks to him and treats him as if he were a child and it’s not long into his stay that he decides he has to move out and be on his own.
Without informing her, he gets himself a little apartment in an area of town she wouldn’t approve of. This is most likely done to keep her away. In a short time, he meets his transgender neighbor Freda Von Rhenburg (Bomer), who works the streets and often gets into trouble with men and when money gets tight. Being the gentleman that he is, he’s there for her, no matter what she needs and a hot and cold relationship develops. It doesn’t take long for them both to see what’s good about the other and how deeply they need what the other has to offer. Perhaps at first getting to know Freda just might be the right thing to agitate Laurette but if that’s what he had in mind then he was just as surprised by the materialization of their romance as we, the audience, are. They’re an odd pairing but the performances both actors give to their roles accommodates the concept of their love and what the significance of a man from Mississippi being open-minded enough to accept the love of a man means today. I highly recommend this even though an obvious misstep is not casting a transgendered actress in the role of Freda. Regardless, Bomer is exceptional and deserves to be seen.