|By date||Most helpful reviews||By my score||By metascore||By user score|
Average User Score: tbdOct 16, 2018What could be more fun than spending 80 minutes with 4 female senior citizens who have been friends for years? How about 800 minutes or aWhat could be more fun than spending 80 minutes with 4 female senior citizens who have been friends for years? How about 800 minutes or a lifetime?!?
Dame Eileen Atkins, Dame Judi Dench, Dame Joan Plowright and Dame Maggie Smith have no problem making fun of the Dame title but they are at the same time proud of it and having it presented to them by either Queen Elizabeth or Prince Phillip.
The 4 ladies have no problem 'dishing' themselves, each other, their husbands, their co-stars, sometimes their work but they are very respectful of the theatre, more so than the movies or television they have done.
The 4 women get together every year at Plowright's Sussex home, where she lived with Laurence Olivier, to hear what each has been up to and some of the past. We see snippets of film from past experiences only making us hungry for more just as we want more of their reminiscing of the various mediums they played in and talk about why some succeeded and others didn't.
Plowright, now blind, and Atkins may not be as well known as Dench and Smith but all are given equal time to talk about their looks, or lack of them, when they started, though nothing is referred regarding the #METOO so prevalent today while the casting couch was part of the norm when they entered the theatre world, let alone the world of film.
Instead of drinking water or tea and a toast of champagne at the end, it would have been a lot more fun if it had been reversed though all 4 Dames don't hold back in expressing their feelings nor letting their laughs come through whether laughing at themselves or each other.
Hopefully there is another hour or two that was filmed of "Tea With the Dames" and will be released on the DVD version but don't miss this just in case!… Expand
Average User Score: 7.1Oct 13, 2018Robert Redford announced that this would be his last picture as an actor only to rescind that which is a good thing as he must have seen “TheRobert Redford announced that this would be his last picture as an actor only to rescind that which is a good thing as he must have seen “The Old Man and The Gun”. Nothing wrong with the film except it is pretty lame to use as a swan song!
The movie is based on the true story of Forrest Tucker, who was a serial bank robber, and supposedly was caught 17 times and escaped from jail 17 times. Sounds like it would be a shoot ‘em up, car chases not to mention jail scenes but all you get is one chase scene. Forrest seems to have been a polite and charming bank robber whose victims had nothing bad to say about him and makes for a somewhat boring movie.
Let’s face it that the role should fit Redford like a glove as he is known as a charmer, is known for his smile and no one is Hollywood seems to have anything bad to say about him which really doesn’t make for excitement! We learn very little about who the man was except robbing banks was his job and he loved his job.
We learn very little about his 2 partners in crime Danny Glover and Tom Waits and how they became the Over the Hill Gang.
We do learn more about Casey Affleck as the detective determined to get Tucker but we don’t know why, like we meet his wife and kids but get to know very little about an interracial marriage in Texas in 1981. Tika Sumpter, who plays a real nasty woman in Tyler Perry’s “The Have and The Have Nots” with relish, yet here is the sweet little wife and mother.
The main reason to see this movie is Sissy Spacek. It is far from a revelation to express what a fine actress is but here as Jewel, a woman Redford strikes up a romance with, and in most of their scenes her charm puts his to shame! Like the bank robberies and the aftermaths of being caught, prison and escaping the same, the romance between these two is so low keyed you aren’t sure anything happened!
“The Old Man and The Gun” is a blank and shouldn’t be Redford’s last acting job.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.3Oct 9, 2018Why did I go to a movie that I felt I wouldn’t like only to have it cost me $111.92? In 70+ years of going to the movies there are probably 4Why did I go to a movie that I felt I wouldn’t like only to have it cost me $111.92? In 70+ years of going to the movies there are probably 4 or 5 westerns that I liked and most of them made before the 1960s and, yet, here I found myself going to see “Sisters Brothers”.
The main thing prominent in most westerns is violence and it is here more visual than in most opening with a shoot out with bodies falling all over, barns being burnt and horses afire running.
The only thing missing are Indians and the scalping of ‘white men’ but we do get horses with men on them galloping across desert, mountains, going down from Oregon to California stopping in small dusty towns and a sophisticated hotel in San Francisco along with panning for gold in streams and rivers.
The Sisters brothers, Eli (John C. Reilly) and Charlie (Joaquin Phoenix) are hunting down the enemies of the Commodore (Rutger Hauer) while they are being hunted by John Morris (Jake Gyllenhaal) who has picked up a foreigner Hermann Kermit Warm (Riz Ahmed) also wanted by the Commodore but who has come up with a lethal liquid to find nuggets of gold in the aforementioned rivers and streams.
These are not silent men but men who talk, talk and then do some more talking even when killing, lead by Reilly, big brother to Phoenix while Gyllenhaal talks with an indefinable accent and Ahmed doesn’t seem to have any accent at all. There are 2 women who have lines in the screenplay by Jacques Audiard and Thomas Bidegain but mostly females are shown as townspeople in background shots. Jacques Audiard, a French director makes his English speaking movie debut here.
There are a couple of scenes of violence to people and animals that most people will either turn their head away from the screen or just shut their eyes.
The movie is 2 hours, seemingly longer, with too many ‘scenic’ shots and certainly too many ‘speeches’. There are also two men in Davy Crockett type hats who really added nothing to the movie except being there for another shootout and flowing blood.
“Sisters Brothers” has a clever title but that’s all the good I can say about it.
(Oh about that ticket price--getting my ticket I dropped my phone, cracked the glass and couldn’t get anything to download!)… Expand
Average User Score: 8.9Oct 5, 2018The first 3 productions of “A Star Is Born” revolved around the female star while the 2018 production is more about the male star which, to aThe first 3 productions of “A Star Is Born” revolved around the female star while the 2018 production is more about the male star which, to a certain degree makes it a vanity project since Bradley Cooper stars, coproduced, was one of the three who wrote the screenplay, also wrote a couple of the songs and directed the film. His makeup suntan and/or sunburn distracts in many scenes as he is the only one with that look. The camera is on him in many major scenes, many with Lady Gaga, taking away from other performers.
Cooper has made many changes with the most erroneous being the classic last line of the three other productions while the most interesting changes are the addition of a brother and a somewhat sleazy acting manager who takes over the star on the rise and turns her into something she isn’t.
On the other hand Cooper gives a strong performance and gives Lady Gaga a sensational movie debut. In the opening scenes we watch as Cooper gets to meet Lady Gaga as she does a rousing, sexy version of “La Vie En Rose” though not as strong as the meeting in the second movie version when James Mason meets Judy Garland in an afterhour’s jazz bar singing “The Man That Got Away” that defines her character. A definite contrast in the latter with Lady Gaga’s scene taking place in a drag bar!
We meet Lady Gaga’s father played by a subdued Andrew Dice Clay, her best friend played by Anthony Ramos, Sam Elliot as Cooper’s older brother and David Chappelle as his friend of many years all giving substantial performances.
Director Cooper handles the love story between him and Lady Gaga with help from the natural chemistry between them. He, also, delves into the masks that entertainers put forth when they become famous losing the real selves that made them famous and how it affects them.
The three remakes all have music that defines the singers and the eras in which the movies take place. In this version Lady Gaga, Lukas Nelson and Bradley Cooper have written most of the original songs either together or coupled and even solo. Of the 17 songs there are 5 duets by Lady Gaga, 3 solos by Cooper and 8 by Lady Gaga. Though many of the songs are already on their ways to be being hits I left the theatre not remembering one except the last and that is because of Lady Gaga’s performance.
As a novice director Cooper’s version runs a bit long at 2 hours and 15 minutes but overall his debut of this Hollywood often told story is quite good.
Having seen all 4 versions of “A Star Is Born” in my opinion the 1954 version, starring Judy Garland, in the uncut version is the best while this 2018 version has nothing to be ashamed of in its approach.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.4Oct 2, 2018Watching a boring movie is even worse when you can hear only half the dialogue. Knowing the story of Lizzie Borden helps you follow the movieWatching a boring movie is even worse when you can hear only half the dialogue. Knowing the story of Lizzie Borden helps you follow the movie but then the screenwriter, Bryce Kass, has approached it from a different angle and you miss many of the undertones.
The production itself is mainly dark, which is understandable in a film like this and the director Craig William Macneill handles both the frontal nudity and the mother getting the ’40 wacks and her father 41’ discreetly up to a point. By the way, if the wacks are a spoiler you are too young to see this movie.
Chloe Sevigny, as Lizzie, is okay but she has yet to really impress me. Kristen Stewart, as the maid Bridget, adds another intriguing acting job in an independent film as she has done since playing Bella Swan in The Twilight Saga.
The cast including Jamey Sheridan as the father, Fiona Shaw as his wife, Kim Dickens as Lizzie’s sister Emma and Dennis O’Hare as an uncle all deliver the goods.
The most interesting part of “Lizzie” is the end credits when we learn what happened to Lizzie, Bridget and Emma leaving me to wonder how much of that information is true.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.4Sep 28, 2018It is not surprising to see a mesmerizing, completely involved performance by Emma Thompson as a British judge who is an expert in family inIt is not surprising to see a mesmerizing, completely involved performance by Emma Thompson as a British judge who is an expert in family in “The Children Act” law nor is there any question that in any movie Stanley Tucci would do a solid job, here as the judge’s husband of 20 years but does the name Fionn Whitehead ring a bell? Until I just looked up his credits and even after that I didn’t recognize him or the name as the young man who played the protagonist in last year’s “Dunkirk”.
Whitehead, a 21-year-old, plays a 17 year 9-month-old Jehovah Witness with leukemia whose parents will not allow him to get a transfusion that could save his life. Being under the age of 18 he is not considered an adult and therefore has no say in the decision. This is an actor and a face I won’t forget again and the superb performance he gives with and opposite Thompson!
Aside from being about the judge who acts as the protector, agent and guardian who follows the British Children Act of 1989 we also see the price of a person who has to decide life or death constantly in her private life.
The thrust of the story is really the repercussions after the major decision is made. We also see the workings behind the courts and how a clerk, played by Jason Watkins, has many duties to perform so that all runs smoothly being important to the judge, the court and the law. As the parents of Whitehead, Ben Chaplin and Eileen Walsh don’t get as much time as they should but impress with a decision, no matter whom their God is, parents have to make.
The film, written by Ian McEwan, based on his novel, is an adult drama, a courtroom story, about moral responsibility, love, intimacy and, at points, heart rendering. The direction of Richard Eyre is felt in a number of key scenes though both the writer and director, in small ways, don’t ring true.
“The Children Act” is a must-see film not only due to the performances of Emma Thompson and Fionn Whitehead but also being a picture not heard about that should be making a lot of noise.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.0Sep 25, 2018Do you like a comedy/mystery or a mystery/comedy? How about a fashion show with Blake Lively wearing more sharp 3 piece suits than any man hasDo you like a comedy/mystery or a mystery/comedy? How about a fashion show with Blake Lively wearing more sharp 3 piece suits than any man has ever worn in one movie? Why not a modern home that just yells “MONEY”? Anything against a cute boy using the F word and getting laughs? How about a ‘better than you will ever be’ fashion designer? How about all these in one movie?
In “A Simple Favor” over volunteering single mother Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) is thrilled to be befriended by successful, busy Emily Nelson (Blake Lively) and is more than willing to pick up her son after school which soon becomes a habit. It doesn’t take long for one day Emily does not show up to pick up her son and, after 4 days, Stephanie not only becomes a mother to Emily’s son and become concerned about Emily’s husband Sean (Henry Golding) but also decides to search for her friend.
“A Simple Favor” is not only about a murder, husbands, wives, friends, kids but also having fun watching a movie, being confused by what is happening, not being sure what happened and leaving the theatre with a smile on your face, not caring that you really didn’t understand all that went on and fifteen minutes later forgetting all about it.
Anna Kendrick, as Stephanie, who does a home vlog every day, has that goofy act down to the point that gets every laugh, even those not written in the script by Jessica Sharzer. Blake Lively as Emily has different looks in the movie aided by costume designer that keeps your eye on her and makes her believable whatever persona she chooses. Henry Golding, in this his second movie, shows he was no fluke in “Crazy Rich Asians” and looks better in jeans than any man has a right to!
Joshua Satine as Stephanie’s son and Ian Ho as Emily’s kid with the potty mouth are fun while Andrew Rannells as one of the parents at school aids and abets Anna Kendrick in the comedy department while Bashir Salahuddin as a detective, Rupert Friend, as that snobby fashion designer and Jean Smart in her second blink and you’ll miss her appearance all make this a comedy/mystery and mystery/comedy movie.
I recommend “A Simple Favor” if you want to have a laugh with Kendrick, watch Golding’s career rise, maybe have a martini served in a frozen glass and a lemon twist added with Lively or just a movie that asks you do nothing more than sit back, laugh and, maybe, figure out the twists and turns of a murder.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.5Sep 17, 2018I stopped hating people about 40 years ago just as I stopped hating ‘things’ 30 years ago but I have never stopped hating movies that I walkI stopped hating people about 40 years ago just as I stopped hating ‘things’ 30 years ago but I have never stopped hating movies that I walk out of thinking “What the hell was that about?”, going home, reading a dozen critics that raved about the movie and not understanding what they are raving about!
I hate a 90-minute movie that seems like 3 hours and gets nowhere and worse than all I hate talking about the movie and thinking people will point a finger at me saying I am writing spoilers when how can it be a spoiler when it doesn’t add or diminish from a nonstory?
Is “We the Animals” about 3 brothers constantly running here and there, screaming, robbing a store, at one point having nothing to eat, at another being thrown into the water so he will learn to swim or their beating on their father or being shirtless most of the time? Is it summertime or is it they just don’t go to school?
Or is it about kids running around without supervision just so the director can have camerawork showing kids being kids and being like all kids would like to be when they don’t have to answer to adults?
Is it about a kid realizing he is gay? Is it about a supposed pedophile? Is it an excuse to show some porn?
Is it about a man beating his wife who he loves and her staying because she loves him? Is it about the parents loving their children though both working different jobs at night so the kids have to sleep where the father works?
Is it about life for one family in Utica, New York?
The 3 kids play their roles, the dad is masculine looking, a loser but not shown that way with all he has, the mother acts stronger and weaker than the role calls for and the few supporting characters do what is asked of them except the one that might or not be a pedophile.
I don’t know what “We the Animals” is about so please go and tell me what you saw and heard, aside from some beautiful set scenes with kids being kids, brothers being brothers, when they are left alone.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.5Sep 15, 2018Ricky Wershe Jr, AKA White Boy Rick, went to jail in 1987 at the age of 17 and is still in jail today though he was paroled 2017. “White BoyRicky Wershe Jr, AKA White Boy Rick, went to jail in 1987 at the age of 17 and is still in jail today though he was paroled 2017. “White Boy Rick” tells his story from the age of 14 to 17 with an addendum at the end.
The film covers many topics like the state of Detroit at the time, corrupt cops and politicians, drug dealers, teenagers giving birth, Black versus White subjects, all very lightly including time spent in prison. The two subjects that the film delves into are Ricky Jr., who as a teenager is used and gets involved in dealing drugs by ‘law-abiding’ adults. The other subject is about family and the fight to stay together.
The family consists of grandparents (Piper Laurie and Bruce Dern), father (Matthew McConaughey) brother (Richie Merritt) and sister (Bel Powley) each having problems but all there for each other for good or bad. All we know about the children’s mother is that she left before the film starts. The cast also includes Jennifer Jason Leigh and Rory Cochrane as FBI agents, Brian Tyree Henry as a narcotics cop, Eddie Marsan as a drug kingpin, RJ Cyler as Ricky’s friend among many who come and go without a chance to make an impact.
The movie mainly relies on McConaughey who plays the shady dealing con man with dreams and the father who loves his children giving a definitive portrait of the man. With more face time and some deeper scenes Merritt is at a disadvantage being a nonprofessional cast in his first role. At times he acts as a typical teenager, which may be natural, while at other times he doesn’t quite have the gravitas needed in some scenes.
Bel Powley as the daughter/sister is a match for McConaughey and, in a few scenes is too intense for Merritt.
“White Boy Ricky” is directed by Yann Demange with the screenplay by Andy Weiss, Logan Miller and Noah Miller with both sides seeming not to know what to concentrate on, a shaky camera coming and going for no any particular reason, which at times prevents the audience from being quite as engaged as it should and could be.
“White Boy Ricky” is an interesting film to see because it approaches an often done subject from a new angle.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.8Sep 11, 2018Last night I watched “Swiped: Hooking up in the Digital Age” showing how millenniums, along with others, are caught up in the Internet andLast night I watched “Swiped: Hooking up in the Digital Age” showing how millenniums, along with others, are caught up in the Internet and technology. Later in the evening in an episode of “Ballers” there were sections of texts being exchanged. (An aside: television has to learn to fill the screen with a text so it can be read!)
Today I saw the movie “Searchers” which, from beginning to end, takes place on computer screens, smart phones, face time chats, facebook, google, dozens of hook up sites, vblogs and anything that can be done on the social media sites of a desktop or laptop.
The film opens with montages of David Kim (John Cho) and his wife Pamela (Sara Sohn) happily raising their daughter Margot (various actresses at different ages with Michelle La at the age of 16) until Pamela’s death from cancer. Through FaceTime chat between father and daughter we see they are very close and are adjusting as well as they can.
Margot does have a habit of forgetting her job of taking out the garbage and David, jokingly, affectionately, sends her picture of the overflowing kitchen garbage can and she responds, apologizing, saying that she will take care of it the first thing when she gets home from school.
Margot doesn’t make it home!
Not wanting to give anything away, you know, spoilers, I’ll just say it becomes a mystery with the father going through everything on his daughter’s computer and phone to find her. There are a few red herrings but if you follow it closely and are good at solving mysteries you might get the answer.
Along the way we meet Detective Rosemary Vick (Debra Messing) who is leading the investigation and has a teenage child of her own, David’s younger brother Peter (Joseph Lee) who is more laid back than the older brother, along with schoolmates, teachers, chat room friends and people who claim they knew Margot more than they did.
The only deviation from the Internet and cell phone are a few television broadcasts but I was really surprised how easy it is to hack a website that you may think is so safe.
“Searching” is a decent mystery thriller told in a different form which will hold your interest. John Cho is the center of most of the screen shots and holds your attention whether it is showing the feelings for his daughter, his mastery of today’s technology or showing the range of emotions going through him not knowing what happened to his daughter.… Expand