Ordinary Love

The plot synopsis comes early in Ordinary Love, as worried wife Joan (Lesley Manville) asks her husband Tom (Liam Neeson) what they would do if the lump in her breast was found to be cancerous. “We would do whatever has to be done to cure it,” Tom responds. That’s exactly what’s happening for the next 85… Continue reading Ordinary Love

The Photograph

There is no specific photograph of note involved in the plot of The Photograph. That still isn’t the weirdest thing about this perfectly lighthearted drama following two romances set in the ’80s and (probably) 2019. For example, The Photograph is the biggest Wealth Porn extravaganza to come along since Crazy Rich Asians. Modern-day reporter Michael (played by LaKeith Stanfield)… Continue reading The Photograph

Queen & Slim

(from left) Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) and Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) in Queen & Slim, directed by Melina Matsoukas.

Angela Johnson is having a pretty bad day when she decides to swipe right on Tinder and ends up in a crappy diner having dinner with Ernest Hines. The beautiful attorney (played by Jodie Turner-Smith) explains to her sorta schlubby date (Daniel Kaluuya) that “the state decided to execute my client.” Judging from Angela’s ability… Continue reading Queen & Slim

Last Christmas

The soundtrack to Last Christmas is a perfect collection of George Michael’s finest songs. The actual movie is literally the worst holiday film ever made. That’s in the most literal sense of “literally,” since screenwriter (and supporting actress) Emma Thompson couldn’t come up with a better idea than to directly translate the lyrics of “Last Christmas” into… Continue reading Last Christmas

Emma Roberts Makes a Holidate in Atlanta

Emma Roberts (Nerve, American Horror Story) will star in the Netflix romantic comedy Holidate, which is expected to film in Atlanta in May. John Whitesell (Big Momma’s House 2, Malibu’s Most Wanted) is directing the lighthearted tale, written by Tiffany Paulsen (Adventures in Babysitting), of two perpetually single strangers who hate the pressures of holiday… Continue reading Emma Roberts Makes a Holidate in Atlanta

Five Feet Apart

Why can’t Hollywood come up with any original ideas anymore? Five Feet Apart plays like a blatant rip-off of a House episode, or is it Grey’s Anatomy? That’s right, it’s Grey’s Anatomy, specifically Season 7, an episode called “Not Responsible” (I’m so embarrassed for knowing/realizing this!). Basically in that nauseating episode, Dr. Teddy Altman (Kim… Continue reading Five Feet Apart

Isn’t It Romantic

The Final Girls was the best film of 2015, with director Todd Strauss-Schulson going meta with a perfectly loving tribute to the doomed casts of ’80s slasher movies. In a rare burst of inspiration, Hollywood responded by recruiting him for this comedy about a cynical gal (Rebel Wilson) who finds herself stuck living in a glossy… Continue reading Isn’t It Romantic

Under the Eiffel Tower

As a fired Kentucky bourbon salesman who drinks too much, Stuart (Matt Walsh) sifts through plates of food, glasses of wine and juvenile romantic paranoia when he accepts a friend’s offer to join them on a family vacation in France. After a shaky abrupt proposal to the couple’s 24-year-old daughter is rejected, the middle-aged Matt meets… Continue reading Under the Eiffel Tower

A Star Is Born

Everyone seems to bitch, moan, gripe incessantly about how Hollywood is so out-of-touch, out of ideas, is just so unoriginal. Folks complain about how they just can’t stand for another prequel, sequel, reboot, or remake, yada, yada, yada, but then comes the new A Star Is Born, directed by Bradley Cooper, and starring Cooper and… Continue reading A Star Is Born

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

(L to R, center) Rosie (JULIE WALTERS), Sam (PIERCE BROSNAN), Sophie (AMANDA SEYFRIED) and Tanya (CHRISTINE BARANSKI) in "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again." Ten years after "Mamma Mia! The Movie," you are invited to return to the magical Greek island of Kalokairi in an all-new original musical based on the songs of ABBA.

High school musical theater gone wrong (it even has bad high school musical theater choreography) with nothing new added. The nauseating ABBA songs are now just regurgitated tripe from the first movie, overdone and completely irrelevant. The script/plot is absolutely preposterous. We still have no idea who the father is and there’s no new relevant… Continue reading Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

Krystal

Filmed in McDonough and directed by William H. Macy, this good-natured, character driven romantic recovery adventure follows Taylor (Nick Robinson) a teenager with a rapidly racing heart syndrome brought on by stress, who develops a crush on a stripper/hooker/addict named Krystal (Rosario Dawson) who he believes will notice him if he adopts a bad boy… Continue reading Krystal

The Mountain Between Us

If Alfred Hitchcock had made this film about survival in the High Uintas mountain range in Utah, the majority of the action would’ve centered around two strangers trapped in the fuselage of their wrecked propeller plane, which is exactly where Dutch-Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad stages his best scenes. Unfortunately the couple ventures out into the… Continue reading The Mountain Between Us

Home Again

Separated from her NYC-based music-biz husband, Alice (Reese Witherspoon) returns to LA where her former actress mom (Candice Bergen) can help out with her two kids. After a birthday night of binge drinking, she inadvertently invites three guys (Nat Wolff, Pico Alexander and Jon Rudnitsky) to stay in her guest house at her palatial home. A breezy… Continue reading Home Again

Frantz

At the close of WWI, with animosity toward the French still rampant, a Frenchman visits the grave of a fallen German soldier to pay his respects to the Hoffmeisters, whose son, Frantz, he had befriended. Going to great lengths to console Anna, Frantz’s widow, to bury her grief, their relationship is strained as she fields suitors, though… Continue reading Frantz

A United Kingdom

On the eve of South African separate-but-equal expansion, Seretse, the Prince of Bechuanaland (eventually to become Botswana) meets and marries a working class white woman (Rosamund Pike), escaping the segregation of Europe for the segregation of his African homeland.  From the outset, their chemistry is overshadowed by the chemistry of both genealogy and gemology as the British government is terrified… Continue reading A United Kingdom

Passengers

Don’t know about you but I miss the Joan Baez songs, but hey, there is a Bob Dylan song in its place! That isn’t all that confusing once you recognize that this sci-fail film centers around a lonely mechanic and his lovable “Roomba” bots who build an arboretum onboard a spacecraft, recalling Silent Running, a 1972… Continue reading Passengers

La La Land

If Nocturnal Animals is about the seeping darkness of junk culture, this one’s about that crucial juncture where American culture is about to lose its past and the gullible public is more than willing to allow it to happen. Director Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) stages musical dance routines to recall the glamor and allure of historical Hollywood… Continue reading La La Land

Rules Don’t Apply

As a summation of Warren Beatty’s career, the film’s title foreshadows that having worked for guys like Arthur Penn and Hal Ashby, he is capable of characterizing a time and place for this bio-pic without stooping into caricature, as the eccentric, reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes (Beatty, who also directed and wrote the screenplay) is portrayed… Continue reading Rules Don’t Apply

Allied

Photo by: KGC-160/STAR MAX/IPx 2016 3/31/16 Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard on the set of "Five Seconds of Silence" filming on Hampstead Heath. (London, England, UK)

Many of my favorite movies are about Parisians during the Vichy government: Jean-Pierre Melville’s Army of Shadows, Paul Verhoeven’s Black Book and Jean-Paul Rappereau’s Bon Voyage. Brad Pitt is Max, an intelligence officer stationed in North Africa, Casablanca to be exact, who’s been given the task of assassinating a regional Nazi officer while posing as the… Continue reading Allied

Fifty Shades of Grey

“Today, there is no day or night Today, there is no dark or light Today, there is no black or white Only shades of gray” – The Monkees, “Shades of Gray” Fifty Shades of Grey focuses on two consenting adults who are about to enter into a contractual agreement to get their rocks off. Naturally,… Continue reading Fifty Shades of Grey

The Book of Life

From private altars and trips to the cemetery to sugar skulls and family gatherings, the Guillermo del Toro production The Book of Life focuses on a wager between La Muerta, ruler of the Land of the Remembered where spirits live on in their loved ones’ memories, and Xibalba, ruler of the Land of the Forgotten… Continue reading The Book of Life