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. Read more
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.
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.