Archive for the ‘ENTERTAINMENT’ Category

“Whitney”–documentary film review   Leave a comment

It looks like 2018 is a documentary summer with one about Supreme court Justice Ginsberg, another about children’s host Fred Rogers, this past week one telling the story of Whitney Houston and this coming Friday the story of triplets separated at birth that discover each other 19 years later.

I, generally, don’t go to see a documentary film in the theatre but due to ‘improvements’ being made to my apartment I’ve had to get out a few hours and what better way, whether hot and humid or raining, than going to a a/c movie theatre!?!

I admired Whitney Houston’s voice, though at times I felt she was screaming too much and after hearing “I Will Always Love You” for the 4th million time (you couldn’t escape it!) I sort of tuned her out.

In “Whitney” we hear from/about her brothers, mother, father, relatives plus several from the music and movie industry as the documentary director Kevin Macdonald sort of tilts the story to get the audience to feel sorry for this woman who had everything and lost it all, an old entertainment story. On one side it is said, and shown, to have had an idyllic childhood while on the other hand

At one point Houston signed a $100 million contract only a few years later having to make a movie because she was broke. How much her marriage to Bobby Brown was related to her drugs problems, though it seems she started to go grass and cocaine at 16, is sort of dismissed because he was jealous of her and though not proven it seems one of her aunts sexually abused her when she was a child plus she had a long affair with her best friend and assistant Robyn Crawford.

Whitney Houston is seen hitting bottom and she does just as we see her at the height of her success and she shows what made her a major talent.
“Whitney” is a must see for her true fans and a wait until it is on television for others.




“Boundaries”–movie review   Leave a comment

“Boundaries” is one of those movies that have a super cast with each individually enjoyable to watch and when they have interaction your eyes and ears will be glued to the screen. It is also a movie that has an equal amount of good and boring moments.

It is a road trip with Grandfather Jack (Christopher Plummer), his adult divorced daughter Laura (Vera Farmiga) and his grandson Henry (Lewis MacDougall) going to see his other daughter Jojo (Kristen Schaal). Both daughters are emotional wrecks because of their upbringing while the grandson is being expelled from school for drawing nude pictures of his teachers with the males all having extremely small penis’s. Oh yes, Grandfather Jack is being thrown out of the old folks home where he has been living and, unknown to them, growing marijuana and wants to sell. Oh yes Laura hasn’t met a stray dog that she didn’t love and take in whether at home or while driving in a car.

From all this a road trip takes place so the grandfather can make stops, sell the post and give money to Laura to send Henry to an expensive private school and in return be able to live with Laura in her big enough house while his other daughter lives in a studio apartment.

We meet Jack’s friends, hippie art forger Christopher Lloyd, wealthy friend Peter Fonda (looking good!) plus Leonard, (Bobby Cannavale) Henry’s father who left him and his mother years ago.

It takes an hour and 44 minutes to get everyone’s problems straightened out and have a ‘Hollywood’ ending.

Plummer is a joy to watch, more so then when he was young and I have yet to see Farmiga give a bad performance. Lewis MacDougal’s Henry seems natural though he certainly isn’t a ‘normal’ kid.

“Boundaries” is a good enough picture to watch in an air-conditioned theatre when it is 92 degrees out with high humidity.

Movie trailer

“Ant-Man and the Wasp”–movie review   Leave a comment

Sequels are very seldom as good as the original and “Ant-Man and the Wasp” just shows that again. Not being a sci-fi or Marvel man the only reason I went to see the original was because I am a Paul Rudd fan and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the humor brought to it.

The sequel, written by 5 people, is a mish-mash of ideas, special effects, and illogical sequences all over the place. Ant-Man is now a small ant then a small man then a giant as is the Wasp, buildings, cars and anything else that comes along, except Michael Douglas and Michele Pfeiffer going back and forth through the 4th level! Oh did I mention that Douglas has a digital face lift while Michele doesn’t?

Along with every special effect you can think of, that is at least repeated 2-3 times as are the chases of all kinds there are more jokes thrown out that don’t land.

Paul Rudd is good as the Ant-Man and as a father to Abby Ryder Fortson along with at 14 other actors and comedians given time in the movie to do their ‘thing’ though some like Bobby Cannavale are completely wasted.

“Ant-Man and the Wasp” seems endless with 3-4 endings

Okay Tom Cruise don’t make me regret going to see “Mission Impossible” sequel number 563!


Movie trailer

Posted July 6, 2018 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW, Uncategorized

“Uncle Drew”–when was the last time you cheered in a movie theatre?   Leave a comment

The amazing thing about “Uncle Drew” was how much I enjoyed it! I went in begrudgingly knowing it was a movie about a bunch of old men, ex-basketball players, who want to recapture their youth and there would be the tired Viagra, prostrate plus many other comedy clichés about old people and, yes, they were all there. You know who is going to win the game and, yet, how the heck did I and the rest of the audience cheer the old geezers on and applaud when they win!

There is heart, tears, cheers, laughs, and just, in general, a good feeling as you walk out of the theatre. Oh yes, be sure to stay for the end credits and it’s NOT a body double for Shaquille O’Neal! Along with Shaq there is Kyrie Irving as Uncle Drew, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, Nate Robinson and Lisa Leslie as the ‘old’ players. The make-up for them alone is worth seeing the movie.

Lil Rel Howery as a hustler and sad sack holds his own against an obnoxious, annoying played for laughs by Nick Kroll are two rivals with the latter being responsible for destroying the former’s dreams.

Like everyone in the world who saw “Girl’s Trip” I, too, fell in love with Tiffany Haddish is starting to come on too strong, in a negative way, playing the same character in whatever she is doing. Yes, I don’t blame her for cashing in while she can but she just might have a longer career if she would just tone it down a bit.
Erica Ash as wheelchair-bound Robinson’s granddaughter and caretaker is a delightful new face, handling the comedy as all do.

Come on, when was the last time you saw a blind man playing basketball? Okay, it may be the only new idea in the movie, well let’s not forget the makeup though not new but funny as are the jokes, not new but still putting a smile on your face, especially the outrageous van and what goes on in it!
Go and see “Uncle Drew”, have a few laughs, let yourself be affected by the sweet, tender moments and don’t be ashamed to cheer at the last basketball game because you won’t be the only one!



Movie trailer

Posted July 5, 2018 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW, Uncategorized

“Sicario: Day of the Soldado”–movie review   Leave a comment

 I am a big fan of Benicio Del Toro and a huge one of underrated actor Josh Brolin because even though he usually gets rave reviews for his performances he very seldom gets the big awards! The 3rd reason I went to see this movie that there were very few new films opening today.

The main reasons I didn’t want to see “Sicario: Day of Soldado” is that I am not into gratuitous violence as there always seem to be in this type of movie let alone the screenplay not being that logical or understanding and this film proved those points!

The most I can say about the film is that Brolin and Del Toro were excellent and I was introduced to two new actors that impressed me, they being Isabela Moner and Elijah Rodriguez. The villains are villainous while some familiar pros like Catherine Keener and Matthew Modine deliver the goods.

I neither do or don’t recommend “Sicario: Day of the Soldado” as you know whether you will like this film before you walk in and I will say the 2 hours and 3 minutes moves pretty face.

Movie trailer

“Summer 1993”–movie review   1 comment

One of the major advantages of having a theatre like The Classic Gateway Theatre is that you get to see most of the independent films and will come across a stunner now and then but that is not the case with “Summer 1993”. Based on the true story of the director and screenwriter of the movie Carla Simon we follow 6-year-old Frida (Laia Artigas), upon the death of her mother and father, sent to live with her mother’s brother Esteve (David Verdaguer), his wife Marga (Bruni Cusi) and their 3-year-old child Anna (Paula Robles).

We watch Frida as she adjusts, or doesn’t, to her new life and how her new family adjusts or doesn’t, to this addition into their home. Unable to understand or vocalize her pain Frida lashes out in awkward, sometimes dangerous and, other times, bewildering ways.

I missed an important factor in the movie which is primarily explained in the title and the last 2-3 minutes of the film which became obvious about a few incidents that take place in the movie. I don’t usually give spoilers in film reviews and I won’t here but I am more surprised that I didn’t catch on to this.

In spite of that disclosure, I didn’t find “Summer 1993” interesting enough to recommend it though Laia Artigas as Frida gives a natural performance and you can feel what she doesn’t seem to be able to express.

Movie trailer

“Ocean’s 8”–movie review   1 comment

In 1979 Cindi Lauper sang “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and in “Ocean’s 8” they do and, as an added benefit, so does the audience. The first “Ocean’s 11” took place in 1960 and the remake in 2001 so it only took 58 years for the females to have their own caper. As the other Ocean films, this revolves around a heist, in this case of a diamond necklace worth over $150 million and, as in those films you really don’t have to follow all the ins and outs of the heist. Sit back, relax, enjoy watching the women, leave your logic at the door and don’t nick-pick at the holes in the story or wonder at some scenes that never would have been in the male versions.

All 8 women have a particular job to do regarding the heist though one who has not been recruited figures what is going on and joins in. The heist takes place at the Metropolitan  Museum of Art yearly Gala to raise funds where the stage, movie and social stars attend dressed to the nines and costumer Sarah Edwards does a great job of putting the stars in outstanding, mostly hug fitting, evening gowns. Aside from filming at the Metropolitan, we get to go into the Plaza Hotel, Bergdorf Goodman’s department store along with Cartier’s jewelry store including their underground vault. Also, there are famous people making cameos throughout the movie.

Regarding the stars, Cate Blanchett makes the biggest impression followed by a funny turn by Awkwafina and I wish she had loaned some of her playfulness to Sandra Bullock who gives a straight and unplayful performance which doesn’t belong in an “Ocean’s” movie. On the other hand, Helena Bonham Carter goes too far with her character. Anne Hathaway plays a vain movie star to the nth degree while Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson and Rihanna all come through with just the right attitudes and performances.

Along with the women, there are two major roles by men one being Richard Armitage and the other James Corden The latter offers a few laughs as an insurance adjuster and the former as ‘eye candy’. The problem is that Armitage’s role/story in the movie is one that never would have been allowed in any of the other Ocean films with a woman being the eye candy and the aim of revenge.

Oh, one spoiler, Danny Ocean (George Clooney) is dead but you find that out at the beginning.

“Ocean’s 8” is the second movie within 2 weeks, the other being “Book Club”, that focused on women being the stars and delivering the goods. In both, you know what to expect walking in and you aren’t disappointed but now it is time to give us a movie, or movies, starring casts of women where men are the followers or eye candy or are ‘just’ the husbands, boyfriends, etc.

Movie trailer

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