LIKE A BOSS – Rated R – 1 hr. 23 mins. 

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“LIKE A BOSS is the total chick flick you need to check out, with all your girls in tow”  Kathy Kaiser

 LIKE A BOSS – Rated R – 1 hr. 23 mins. 

DIRECTOR:  Miguel Arteta 

WRITERS:  Sam Pittman, Adam Cole-Kelly (screenplay) Danielle Sanchez-Witzel (story) 

STARRING:  Rose Byrne, Tiffany Haddish, Salma Hayek, Billy Porter, Jennifer Coolidge and Karan Soni

As we meet lifelong friends Mel (Rose Byrne) and Mia (Tiffany Haddish), they have embarked on creating their own beauty company together, one incredible formulation at a time!  When one of their products catches the eye of global makeup company CEO Claire Luna (Salma Hayek), it seems that their business woes, might be a problem of the pas.  But, it might also mean the end of an era for their relationship too, if they’re not careful…

I give LIKE A BOSS a rating between MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN and WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON DVD!  This total Chick-flick of a comedy brought a big ol smile to my face, as I enjoy the work of all of these ladies very much!  The chemistry between Byrne and Haddish is palatable throughout, and as much as I love Haddishs’ brash comedic roles, I was also pleasantly surprised by how not going “Full-bore Haddish” played out better for her “a tad bit more serious “ role. I also thoroughly enjoyed the performances by Billy Porter and Jennifer Coolidge too, with her role playing out very reminiscent of her character in Legally Blonde, volumes 1 & 2.  And as much as I love Hayek, I don’t really like when she plays “the mean girl”, but with that said, her performance is good in that particular role throughout Like A Boss as well. And the message conveyed thanks to writers Danielle Sanchez-Witzel, Sam Pitman and Adam Cole-Kelly, is a rally cry for female empowerment, and following your dreams, which is  fabulous for every woman viewing this film too.  So with all these positive accolades, why not give LIKE A BOSS a perfect review?  Well because even though it’s a perfect girls night out film to check out at a theater near you, none of the performances throughout are totally mind blowing, and even though I did laugh throughout, it’s not over the edge funny either, thus leaving me no other choice but to give it a “less than totally glowing” review…

FROZEN 2 – Rated PG – 1 hr. 43  mins. 

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“It’s Hard to believe, but FROZEN 2 is better than the original, in sooooo many ways! “- Kathy Kaiser, Matineechat.com

 

FROZEN 2– Rated PG – 1 hr. 43  mins. 

DIRECTORS:  Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee 

WRITERS: Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck, Marc Smith, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez

STARRING THE VOICES OF:  Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff, Sterling K. Brown, Evan Rachel Wood and Jason Ritter

As we venture back to Arendelle to find out what Princess Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Princess Anna (Kristen Bell) have been doing for the last 6 years, it seems that our sisters are as happy as ever together, and lucky for us, Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Sven and Olaf (Josh Gad), have been able to hang around the castle, and Arendelle this whole time too…

But now it seems, a strange voice from the mist is calling to Elsa…harkening her to a land that neither she, nor Anna know, but as they both vow to stick together, not matter what lies ahead, they both, along with their trusty sidekicks of course, will find themselves venturing into the great unknown…

I give FROZEN 2 a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN!  Wow, it was quite a long wait to catch our favorite Princesses in action again, but oh was it soooo worth it!  Disney has managed to once again outdo themselves, as the storyline and music this time around, is even more incredible than in the original film!  And whether you loved FROZEN just as much as your kiddos did, or you were one of those parents that thought ” if I have to hear “Let it go…” or “Do you want to build a Snowman?” one more time, I’m going to lose it!”…I assure you that the songs from Frozen 2 won’t nearly annoy you as much, as they are truly magical and much needed for this incredible storyline, the whole way through.  Kudos too to Writers Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck, Marc Smith, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez, as they managed to take Anna and Elsa on an adventure that’s even more exciting, than their first escapade into the wilderness!  Suffice to say too, that Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell are even better in their respective roles as well this time around, as they seem more confident as to who Elsa and Anna are, and who they are both destined to become!  So, buckle in for another Disney Magic excursion that is going to leave you wanting more, even though I’m not sure if this is the plan, or not, this time around.  And I think that this second Frozen is focused more on the older children this time around too, and why wouldn’t it be, as the children who fell in love with the original are all 6 years older, and more mature as they say, although its perfect for the younger ones too, in so many ways! Rest assured all the fun, all the emotional connection and of course, all the love you felt for the first film is about to return, and then some…so gather up all the youngsters in your household, and all the old farts too, as everyone in the family is going to want to check out Disney’s latest masterpiece ASAP, at a theater near you!

Review of LAST CHRISTMAS – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 42 mins. – NO SPOILERS HERE!

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This review is brought to you by Kathy Kaiser 

LAST CHRISTMAS – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 42 mins.

DIRECTOR:  Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, The Heat, Spy, A Simple Favor, Ghostbusters)

WRITERS:  Emma Thompson, Greg Wise and Byrony Kimmings 

STARRING:  Henry Golding, Emilia Clarke, Emma Thompson, Michelle Yeoh and Lydia Leonard

Kleenex in your pocket?  Check.  Ready to catch the first Christmas film of the year?  Check.  Now get ready to settle into that comfy reclining seat as we meet Kate (Emilia Clarke), basking in a life of making all the wrong choices, especially for a 20-something that not long ago, was very, very ill.  But, as they say, when you’re young, you think you have all the time in the world…

So, as Kate tries to get our act together, bouncing from one friends home to another and trying to keep her job as one of Santa’s (Michelle Yeoh) elves ~ yep you heard that right ~ Kate is intrigued when she meets the dashingly handsome Tom (Henry Golding), who seems to have a arrived out of nowhere, and who has stolen Kate’s heart in an instant…

Now it seems, the hard-partying life is going to have to go, as Tom presence in her life brings out the best in her, forcing her to evaluate her life, and the many ill-thought-out choices she sadly continues to make.

With her life changing all around her, only this time, in a good way, Kate is forced to face a lot of things she really hasn’t wanted to, including the fact that Tom, and his disappearing act is getting way frustrating…but what’s a girl to do, once she finds the right path for her life, and the guy who has stolen her heart too…

I give LAST CHRISTMAS a rating between MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN and WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON DVD:  Enchanting throughout, but a little lengthy and draw out in places too, LAST CHRISTMAS is one of those heartfelt movies that each Holiday season needs to be complete!  Golding is “just what the doctor ordered”, as what women wouldn’t be smitten by those dreamy eyes, and his charismatic persona.  Clarke is really good too playing Kate, who is less concerned with her responsibilities, or her family for that matter, than she is living each day as if it was her last..and believe me when I tell you too, there is not a hint of Daenerys Targaryen within this performance!  Plus, Writer and Actress Emma Thompson is enjoyable to view too, playing Kate’s rather peculiar mother, wanting only what’s best for her daughter, even though her methods are quite annoying, making Kate and her Sister Marta (Lydia Leonard), almost lose their minds.  And as soundtracks go, this one is exceptional too, as this beautiful storyline unfolds amidst all your favorite George Michael tunes the whole way through too! So, with all these accolades abounding throughout, why can’t I give LAST CHRISTMAS just a MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN? Sadly, there are a few reasons that kept me from singing from the roof-tops that LAST CHRISTMAS is a must see.  First and foremost, even though it’s only 102 minutes, there were many scenes throughout this film that could have been edited down, so that we could just get to the point.  I know, I know, who wants a movie that’s full of love and good cheer to speed along, but it just felt like it really needed to step up its pace it quite a few places.  And I also felt like some of the humor throughout was a little forced, even though I chuckled with my fellow movie viewers a few times, I just hoped at some point this film would send me into some genuine holiday cheer, but it just never managed to get me there.  But, we have to mention too, what’s a good Christmas movie, without needing a few tissues, and I’m happy to report that you will definitely need a few Kleenexes along the way, as when the eventual plot twist finally arrives, you will need those “devastation paper products” to help you get through.

So, suffice to say, if you love heartwarming Christmas films, with wonderful storylines, and performances throughout too, then by all means, please head to a theater near you this weekend to catch LAST CHRISTMAS, but just remember, I warned you that you might want to check your watch a time or two throughout as well, before it manages to finally get to the good stuff…

Review of JOJO RABBIT – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 48 mins. 

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This Review is brought to you by Kathy Kaiser

JOJO RABBIT – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 48 mins. 

DIRECTOR:  Taika Waititi 

WRITERS:  Christine Leunens (Novel), Taika Waititi (Screenplay) 

STARRING:  Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Scarlett Johansson,  Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson, Stephen Merchant and Taika Waititi

Alas, we finally get to view a film that will literally strike at your funny bone, more than once, as we venture into Nazi Army training camp with young Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis), as he, and his imaginary friend, none other than the Fuhrer himself, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), are attempting to turn him into a young man worthy of being a part of the German infantry…

Torn between his love for his friend Adolf, for his country, and for his single mother Rosie (Scarlett Johansson) too, Jojo becomes more and more concerned that his mother doesn’t seem quite as infatuated with the Fuhrer as he is, or with the war he is striving to be a part of…

When Jojo happens upon a young Jewish girl in their home, that his mother has chosen to keep from the outside world, Jojo doesn’t know which way to turn, as outing his mother isn’t really an option, nor is letting anyone find his new friend Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie), as Jojo now struggles with his loyalty to his beloved Germany, and for that matter, his imaginary friend Adolf too, bringing nothing but anguish to him, and on which way to turn…

I give Jojo Rabbit a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN! :  I have been  looking forward to viewing any movie this year that could actually make me laugh out loud, and shed a tear a few frames later too, and by golly, who would have thought that a movie with a ten year old boy, day dreaming of Hitler, while keeping a Jew hidden from view would be “just the ticket”, and  incredibly, its true!  Young Roman Griffin Davis is hilarious, playing the “Hyle Hitler” smitten young German Jojo.  His innocence, mixed with his ideology for his country, and Hitler for that matter is literally fabricated throughout every inch of this film, but in a way, that it all seems genuine, and oh so real.  Johansson is also fabulous this time around too, playing Jojo’s single Mom, who wants to go through this life, doing only what is best for her son. Rockwell’s performance as German Captain Klenzendorf is sheer perfection too, as his time on screen isn’t significant, but just as vital to the story at hand.  I was happy to see Rebel Wilson try to extend her acting chops too, with her small, and almost crucial role.  But the best part for me, was Director Taika Waititi playing the “imaginary” Adolf Hitler throughout the film, as his visions and advice for young Jojo, just keep the laughs coming throughout.  Of all the films that are popping this year ~ Jojo Rabbit was one of the few films that I just couldn’t wait to view, and I am happy to report that every bit of it, met with my expectations going in, and that very seldom rings true.  Is the premise rather quirky, why yes, of course it is, but this is one of those rare films that manages to touch your entire spectrum of emotions, without making you linger on any of them for far too long, making JoJo Rabbit, once of this year’s best films for me, from start to finish!

DOLOMITE IS MY NAME – Rated R

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DOLOMITE IS MY NAME – Rated R

By Mary Cox 

Raunchy is the only word I can think of when I think of “Dolomite is My Name.” The film is the real-life story of Rudy Ray Moore who was best known as “Dolomite.” Moore, (Eddie Murphy), was a failed musician in the 1970’s who became a sensation as a stand-up comedian. He was known for his rhymes.He is considered the father of Hip-Hop. Moore decides to make a movie using all of his own money and money he had to borrow because no one else will finance it in the movie industry.

“Dolomite is My Name” is the first movie that Eddie Murphy has made in three years. This Netflix movie has no shortage of financial support as witnessed by its star-studded cast: it is full of African-American movie stars. Murphy is supported by Wesley Snipes, Mike Epps, Chris Rock, Snoop Dogg and Keegan-Michael Key. Da Vine Joy Randolph is Lady Reed. Randolph and Murphy bring a very warm human touch to their roles. You really feel for them and it made the film for me. Moore was an over-the-top kind of guy and Murphy seems to love hamming it up. This role was made for Eddie Murphy. Craig Brewer directed and was able to bring out the best in his cast. The successful writing team of Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, who wrote “The People vs. Larry Flynt” and “Man on the Moon” and many more, penned “Dolomite is My Name.” I loved the costumes. Moore was known for his flamboyant outfits. His cronies all adopted garish clothes too. The costume designers must have had a ball trying to replicate the costumes. People who are turned off by the F-bomb and nudity will hate this film and need to stay far away. Moore seemed to call everyone a Mother-F bomb. If you can get through the risqué language and nudity, there is an interesting story underneath. But beware, there is more vulgarity in this film than usual. I left the theater happy for Moore and his cohorts and generally feeling good about the film.
“Dolomite is My Name” can be seen at the 24:1 cinema and Moolah Cinema on October 18 th . It will open on Netflix on October 25 th .

I give this film 4 stars.

Review of MALEFICENT:  MISTRESS OF EVIL – Rated PG – 1 hr. 58 mins.

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This review is brought to you by Kathy Kaiser

  

MALEFICENT:  MISTRESS OF EVIL – Rated PG – 1 hr. 58 mins.

This Review may contain Spoilers – Proceed at your own risk  

 

DIRECTOR:  Joachim Renning 

WRITERS:  Micah Fitzerman-Blue, Noah Hapster & Linda Woolverton

STARRING:  Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Harris Dickinson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Robert Lindsay

As we venture back to the fantasy land that Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) and her goddaughter Aurora (Elle Fanning) inhabit, it seems that Prince Phillip is bound and determined to make Aurora his wife, sending both Maleficent, and Phillip’s Mother, Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer) into a tizzy…

And as Aurora and Phillip make plans to wed, it seems that there are many dark forces throughout both of their kingdoms, at work against their union…leaving the Prince and Princess to wonder if they will ever be free to embark upon their very own “happy ending”…

I give MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL a rating between MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN and WAIT AND CATCH THIS DISNEY FLICK ON DVD!  Don’t be fooled by the name of this film, as Maleficent’s EVIL, is nothing more than is to be expected from a Mother unsure of her daughter’s choice in men, or the divisive, and bitter to the core mother-in-law she is about to acquire. Jolie’s performance is as spectacular as she was in the original, and the storyline this time around is rather endearing too, as it literally keeps you guessing the whole way through.  Pfeiffer’s devious portrayal, beacons back to her very beautiful looking on the outside, but mean and nasty on the inside portrayal that she mustered up for 2007’s Hairspray.  And with Fanning all grown up this time around, she spreads her wings more within this film, showing that she can act just as well as her famous big sister.  And it seems that since Aurora is 5 years older, she gets to marry a much cuter Prince Phillip this time around too, as Harris Dickinson takes over this vital role.  Add in the additional storyline and characters brought to this film by Chiwetel Ejiofor and Ed Skrein as Maleficent’s “own kind”, plus the resurfacing of Maleficent’s favorite raven Diaval (Sam Riley) too, and you end up with one very entertaining, and very magical Disney creation, filled with superbly animated CGI throughout, and a feel good ending once it arrives too…

THE ADDAMS FAMILY – Rated PG – 1 hr. 27 mins.

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This review is brought to you by Kathy Kaiser & don’t forget to check out Emma’s thoughts on the film too in the audio below 🙂

THE ADDAMS FAMILY – Rated PG – 1 hr. 27 mins.

DIRECTORS:  Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon

WRITER:  Matt Lieberman (Screenplay)  – Based on characters by Charles Addams

STARRING the Voices of Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloe’ Grace Moretz, Finn Wolfhard, Nick Kroll, Snoop Dogg, Bette Midler, Allison Janey and Martin Short

Whether you we hooked when the original Comic Strip hit the New Yorker all the way back in 1938, or you were engrossed as a child in the television series featuring this ghoulish family, originally hitting little screen back in 1964, before syndication, or maybe you became charmed by the big screen version of the Addams Family throughout the 90’s, regardless, this latest animated version of our favorite family of creepers is all hitting the big screen yet again, and this time it’s all about being “the best neighbors possible” as we meet Gomez (Oscar Isaac) and Morticia (Charlize Theron), venturing to find the perfect abode to raise their adorable, yet rather eccentric children, Wednesday (Chloe’ Grace Moretz) and Pugsley (Finn Wolfhard).  Enter new housing developer, and new-fangled creeper to in her own right, Margaux Needler (Allison Janey), who is bound and determined to make the Addams Family disappear, before “their kind” ruin her neighborhood.  With a big family event about to take place, our favorite Butler Lurch (Conrad Vernon) is of course helping out, and all of our favorite family members are about to arrive, including Uncle Fester (Nick Kroll), It (Snoop Dogg) and Grandma (Bette Midler), and their new neighbors have no idea what’s in store, once they converge on them, full force…

I give THE ADDAMS FAMILY a rating between MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN and WAIT AND CATCH THIS ANIMATED VERSION on DVD.  Funny, charming, and so reminiscent of the TV show that we have all come to love over the years, The Addams Family this time around is enjoyable to view, and with a good message along the way for the kiddos too.  Oscar Isaac and Charlize Theron are perfect playing the Patriarch and Matriarch of our favorite Ghoulish family, as are Chloe Grace Moretz as Wednesday and Finn Wolfhard as Pugsley, both bringing a new “Edge” to the totally eccentric and slightly psychotic Wednesday and Pugsley, respectively!  Nick Kroll is also enjoyable playing our most favorite Uncle EVER, and even though she doesn’t arrive for quite some time within the storyline, Bette Midler playing Grandma, is really enjoyable view as well.  Lest we not forget the sinister character within our storyline, as its not any of the Addams Family with all the issues, it’s the neighborhood developer Margaux, played by Allison Janey, that is the “total creeper” throughout this film.  So, if you have loved this eccentric family right from the start, then you must pack up the kiddos and head out this weekend to catch this new perfectly cast THE ADDAMS FAMILY at a theater near you…but if you didn’t enjoy the Television show, or any of the three big screen versions of this family, like I did, then you might want to sit this one out, and catch it with your youngsters when it hits on DVD,  just a few weeks from now…

And now let’s hear Emma’s thoughts on her favorite parts of The Addams Family film…

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Review of ABOMINABLE – Rated PG – 1 hr. 37 mins.

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This review is brought to you by Kathy Kaiser 

ABOMINABLE – Rated PG – 1 hr. 37 mins.

DIRECTORS:  Jill Culton, Todd WIlderman 

WRITER: Jill Culton 

STARRING THE VOICES OF:  Chloe Bennett, Albert Tsai, Tenzing Norgay Trainor, Eddie Izzard, Sarah Paulson, Michelle Wong and Joseph Izzo

As we meet the incredibly talented Yi (Chloe Bennett), she is struggling with the circumstances of her life, even at her young age.  Venturing to her rooftop for her nightly escape, she finds an adorable Yeti hiding out there too, who is trying to escape his captors, Zoologist Dr. Zara (Sarah Paulson) and his owner Mr. Burnish (Eddie Izzard).  And as Yi decides how to help this wonderful creature escape from his predicament too, she garners the assistance of friends Peng (Albert Tsai) and Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor) to join her on her quest to get this Yeti back to his “real home”, Mt. Everest, as they find themselves embarking on an adventure of epic proportions…

I give ABOMINABLE a rating between MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN and WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON DVD:   Very entertaining from beginning to end, Abominable is the perfect family film for everyone in your life to enjoy, even the little ones who haven’t yet ventured to a movie theater yet.  Director and Writer Jill Culton has created a film, that is as magical, as it is adorable, as you find yourself drawn into the lives of these perfectly created characters, and of course, the sweet and adorable Yeti that is along for this adventure too!  DreamWork’s Animators have created a film this time around that is as breathtakingly beautiful, as the story that is conveyed throughout every frame as well.   And surprisingly for me too, the vibe that the trailer gives you of “been there, seen that”, ends up being totally misleading, as ABOMINABLE may have an incredibly cute Yeti just like last year’s Smallfoot, but that is where the similarities of these two films ends.  And as I sat there taking in all that was happening on screen, I must attest, that my favorite part of viewing the advanced screening of ABOMINABLE, was hearing all the adorable little giggles throughout the movie theater while it was showing, justifying that they all were enjoying this film, just as much as I was.  So, if you’ve been looking for a film that the entire family will enjoy, look no further than your nearest theater showing ABOMINABLE.  It will bring a smile to everyone’s face, and it’s not too long either, so your little ones will be able to sit through it too, making this film a total win/win in my book!!

Review of DOWNTON ABBEY – Rated PG

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DOWNTON ABBEY REVIEW

By Mary Cox

PG rated

If you are a fan of the television series “Downton Abbey” you are going to absolutely love this opportunity to spend a couple of hours with the Crawleys of Downton Abbey and their staff.  If you have never watched “Downton Abbey” on television you can still enjoy the elegant writing of Julian Fellowes.

The movie stands alone but like the television show the story is chuck full of twists, turns and tension when it is announced that the King and Queen of England plan to visit Downton Abbey.

There is only one word that describes the cinematography, sets and costumes: majestic.  Everything about this movie is regal; especially the acting.  Even though the television program saw all the characters going their own ways, Fellowes found a way to bring them all back flawlessly.

Michelle Dockery who plays Lady Mary Crawley looked terrific with her new bob hairdo and she seemed a little kinder than before.  Lady Edith, (Laura Carmichael), has never looked better.   Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern returned as Lord and Lady Crawley.

The downstairs staff is back with the Crawleys.  Mrs., Pattimore, (Lesley Nicol) and the irrepressible Daisy, (Sophie McShera), are in the kitchen.  The retired Carson, (Jim Carter), is brought back by Lady Mary.  Mrs. Hughes, (Phyllis Logan) is still head housekeeper. Anna (Joanne Froggatt) and Bates, (Brendan Coyle) have a son.  Anna saves the day when the royal staff come to Downton to replace the staff.

Imelda Staunton plays Maud Bagshaw, a cousin of Violet.  In real life she is Jim Carter’s wife.  You will recognize her from the Harry Potter series.

The banter between Violet Crawley, (Maggie Smith), And Isobel Merton, (Penelope Wilton),  was the highlight of the film for me and provided some of the funniest moments.

I am a fan of the “Downton Abbey” television show and I loved the movie.  I went to two screenings it was so good and I plan to purchase the film because this is a movie that you will want to see over and over; it will stand the test of time.  However, the best way to see the film for the first time is on the big screen.  “Downton Abbey”  needs to be seen on the big screen to do justice to the splendor of the production.

I GIVE THIS FILM 5 STARS

Review of HUSTLERS – Rated R – 1 hr. 49 mins.

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This review is brought to you by Kathy Kaiser 

HUSTLERS – Rated R – 1 hr. 49 mins

DIRECTOR/WRITER:  Lorene Scafaria

WRITERS:  Jessica Pressler (Magazine Article)

STARRING:  Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Mercedes Ruehl, Lili Reinhart, Cardi B, Mette Towley, Trace Lysette and Wai Ching Ho.

Inspired by a New York Magazine Article, penned by Jessica Pressler (Julia Stiles), we meet Exotic Dancer Destiny (Constance Wu), trying to make a living in the world of Exotic Dance, not only so she can survive, but to aid her ailing grandmother (Wai Ching Ho) too.  When she finally meets “the Queen” of the Strip club they are both working at, the incredibly gorgeous, and smart Ramona (Jennifer Lopez), Ramona takes Destiny under her wing, and teaches her the ropes of their profession, and how to really make money from the tons of investment bankers, investment brokers, and Wallstreet tycoons that frequent their establishment, each and every week.  When the great fall of 2008 effects everyone’s bank account, including the gentleman that apparently can no longer afford their weekly stripper fix, Ramona, Destiny, Mercedes (Keke Palmer), and new girl on the block Annabelle (Lili Reinhart) decide to take matters into their own hands, coercing these gentleman once again, with their good looks, and dancing techniques, oh, and maybe a little drugging along the way too, before they manage to clean out their bank accounts, in order to continue to live the highlife, they have all grown accustomed to…

I give HUSTLERS a rating of WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON DVD OR NETFLIX:  Even though it seems that there are many other critics singing this films accolades, even determining that Jennifer Lopez’s acting is worthy of some accolades come awards time, I personally think that this film was rather run of the mill, and middle of the road.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, Lopez is perfectly cast in this role, and she is really good in it ~ If I only had her perfectly sculpted body and poll dancing moves at 50, which in itself is truly amazing stuff to view ~ but beyond those facts, I wasn’t so blown away by her performance, that I felt it was Golden Globe or Oscar worthy. I actually thought that Constance Wu’s performance was the best throughout this film, as she channels an entirely different character, than the squeaky clean persona she portrays in last years “Crazy Rich Asians”, and with much more depth and realism that I think I have ever seen from her before.  The most amazing thing about this film, for me actually, was that it is based on real-life events, where these Hustlers made sure that the men that wanted to view “their merchandise”, ended up in a situation that they were all ill-equipped to handle, paying exorbitant amounts of cash-o-la, for not a lot of pleasure, when it was all said and done.  But, if you are thinking that you want to have a super-fun girls night this weekend and catch a slightly better than average chick-flick, then by all means, gather your girlfriends and head out to a theater near you this weekend and catch Wu and Lopez in action, but if you are hoping to see an incredible movie, with Oscar worthy performances, take my word for it, you are going to be rather disappointed, so that is why I am suggesting that you still view this film…you just wait to do it, when you can view it, in the comfort of your own home.

Review of BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON – Rated R – 1 hr. and 44 mins.

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“So funny, so real, and so inspiring, you just have to see it on a big screen near you!” Kathy Kaiser, Matineechat.com

This Review is brought to you by Kathy Kaiser 

BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON – Rated R – 1 hr. and 44 mins.

DIRECTOR/WRITER:  Paul Downs Colaizzo 

STARRING:  Jillian Bell, Michaela Watkins, Alice Lee, Mikah Stock, Utkarsh Ambudkar, and Patch Darragh

Have you ever seen a film before that manages to move you to your core, and that’s just as funny, as it is real, with each passing frame?  Well, the Audience Award Winner at this year’s Sundance Film Festival is all that, and so much more, as we get the pleasure of venturing into the messed up life of 20-something party girl Brittany (Jillian Bell), always looking for a good time, and a way to escape her rather mundane existence.  Set to liven up her life through chemistry, Brittany seeks to acquire and experience the effects of recreational Adderall, but, much to her dismay, her physician of choice Dr. Falloway (Patch Darragh), isn’t caving into her request of how to make herself feel better.  Instead, he suggests another way, stressing the importance of living a healthier lifestyle, while conveying how much better she would feel in general, if she could manage to get 50 lbs. off her not so large frame.  And how, pray tell, does one manage to get that much weight off, without a gym membership, which Brittany totally can’t afford, or better yet, how do you get the ambition to take on such a monumental task?  Enter her upstairs neighbor, and running enthusiast Catherine (Michaela Watkins), who of course has the perfect body, the perfect disposition, and apparently, an unlimited bank account.  Apparently trying to deal with her own demons too it seems, Catherine finally convinces Brittany to take on the world by joining her running group, where she meets fellow slacker, turned running groupie Seth (Micah Stock). When our newfound companions decide It’s the perfect time for each of them to gain control of their lives, they set out to train to run the New York Marathon.  But even with Brittany pushing everyone to follow the path they set forth with running the Marathon, it seems that she is still in need of some self-introspection along the way, in order to defy all of her insecurities, and emotional baggage, which apparently have nothing to do with her losing a few more pounds…

I give BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN:  It’s very rare to come across a film that is a true story, and scripted, acted and directed so well, that it manages to move you, without coming across as fake, or contrived, and that my friends is exactly what you are in store for with newcomer Colaizzo’s film, Brittany Runs a Marathon! Comedian Jillian Bell has spread her wings to show us all that she is one heck of a dramatic actress too, as her performance is so superb as Brittany, that it totally transcends all of her previous roles to date. Watkins, Ambudkar and Lee also manage to bring depth to this film in their respective roles, as they all convey a genuineness in this film, that is not only memorable, but moving as well.  Tender, touching and sometimes in-your-face all too real, Brittany Runs A Marathon is one of those uniquely created films, that will manage to not only affect, but totally inspire each and every person who gets the opportunity to view it, regardless of where you are peon your own life’s journey.  There is truly not one scene within this perfectly crafted film that you cannot relate to in one way or another, either from a point of reference earlier in life, or as for me, as I personally shed a tear of two when it came way too close to my present existence, so be prepared for to possibly shed a tear or two along the way as well!  Just know that from its comedic laughs to its heart-wrenching realities of life, Brittany Runs a Marathon is the definite “Must See” film this weekend, even with its limited release here locally, so just plan on taking that 30 minute drive to see this awesomely fabulous film, and I promise you, you won’t be sorry!

Round Table interview with Marlon Wayans, chatting about his new Netflix film – SEXTUPLETS.

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Round Table interview with Marlon Wayans, chatting about his new on Netflix – SEXTUPLETS.

When you meet someone as authentically genuine and tuned in as Marlon Wayans, you can’t help but to admire him, and his talents. And as you’ll soon find out, his passion for his work, and his family, are what keep him striving to do his best work, each and every time.

As our interview started, Marlon explained how much his sister Diedre loved his new film, “She was so excited about the fact that in this film, I don’t hump anything, she didn’t see my ass, not one time.”  She said “I love this movie; this is for everybody.  This is what the world needs.  They need to play this at the Hong Kong airport…it’s going to heal the world…:”

Tom Stockman from Wearemoviegeeks.com shared with Marlon that he thought this film is his best work, and that it totally wore him out just watching it.  Marlon laughed and said “I’m still tired, I need an IV after this.  I need like 10 of them.  I need to cleanse…this film was like going to war…and I just can’t recover…”

Marlon also shared that this film was the hardest thing he’s ever done…” Like, when I’m shooting a scene and it has four characters in it, I at least have to do it four to five times, and each day is a different character.  It’s not like I had monitors around, oh like this is what I’m doing, I have to remember what I am doing, because there is an ear rig in my ear, so I have to remember what I did as Dawn, in order to react like Alan, but then there is another person in the scene, it’s all interactive.  The camera is always moving.  The motion capture that we did was like doing Avenger technology with a soul plane budget.”

Kevin Brackett of Reviewstl.com asked Marlon if they had to film on greenscreen to get the seamless interaction with all 6 of his characters?  “No not really.  Since we shot it on motion capture camera, your moves have to be in rhythm and your eyelines have to be perfect.  Like the last scene where Ethan and Alan meet each other, and they are circling each other, that is a hard move to do.  I had a stick for my eyes to follow.  And Because I person couldn’t do it in the same rhythm as another, but since they were all me, and my rhythm, I could do it.  If you check out my IGTV you can see what I’ve put up to show what we were doing.  And the last scene in the film with Jasper and Alan, and Russell and the Mom, if you look at the floor, there are marks all over the floor, it’s like a dance.  Everyone is choregraphed to go to all the marks on the floor and then we erase them all, but I’m doing everything in the scene…so when I’m doing Russell and I’m reacting to Allen, they really aren’t having a conversation, it’s me talking to a stick!”

I shared that I thought that filming this way had to be really hard to do.  But Marlon assured us that this is what he was meant to do “It is hard, but this is what I have been training to do my whole life.  This is like when I was five and played “Casey at the Bat” in my PS11 play, this is what I’ve always wanted to do.  It’s what I’ve always dreamt of doing.  I want to be the biggest star in the world, and in the meantime, you have to do the work.  And have the confidence and continue to get better.  That’s why I started doing standup, because stand up allows me to be a more engaging performer, and a better communicator.  It teaches you when you need to let up on the gas, and when to excel.  This is the most appropriate movie I’ve done…audience wise.  I mean I usually go Rated R, crazy, fluids everywhere.  This one is restrained, and everyone can see it.  It’s exciting to have finally made a movie that my Dad can see.

And of course, I had to ask Marlon which one of these fabulous characters he had the most fun playing?  “I had fun playing them all, but I really liked Ethan.  He was a little mischievous, he was a shapeshifter.  He started out trying to steal Alan’s identity, but end’s up having a heart, and you realize that he had a really tough road along the way too.  And as an Actor, Alan and Ethan are identical, so for me, being able to pull off the same guy, but with a totally different feel, I thought that would be impressive to me to pull off…”

To change it up a bit, Tom Stockman of Wearemoviegeeks.com, asked Marlon about a pet project he talked about last time he was in town, about doing a biopic about Richard Pryor which Tom thought he would be perfect for…”This project isn’t happening right now, but I trust God, as I know if it doesn’t happen, it’s not meant to be.  It means that you have to did deeper.   I feel there is always a silver lining.  Getting the role of Pryor, ended up bringing me to the stage.  The method actor in me also brought me to stage to play my comedic hero.  And even though the movie didn’t come to fruition, I stayed on the journey of Comedy.  I did my first special. It’s funny because I started out wanting to play a great, and now, I want to be a great.  So, instead of worrying about doing the Richard Pryor story, I’m living, trying to be the Marlon Wayans story.  And I think having that perspective about my life, that when it doesn’t happen, it wasn’t meant to be, is a good thing.  And now if the movie happens now, because I’ve stayed on this journey, and because I’ve been doing standup, because I’ve been evolving as a comedian, now I can look at that project with my past experience and go, “Where is he at in this part of the standup?  Is he about to film a Special?  Is on tour?  Is he trying to figure it out?  How big is the venue? Is this the first show, the second show or the third show of the night.  I know now how to play the details of it from a performers perspective, because I’ve put in 9 years of method acting by being on a stage every weekend to become a comedian, and when you combine that with my acting skills, I think I could do this project so much more justice now.  And if this project never gets made, I hope at some point in my life, some young comedian will want to do the Marlon Wayans story.

Rocky Knuckles from DeLux Magazine asked Marlon about bringing his entourage of himself, Rick and Mike to another project, and does he feel that he would want to return to his past, to recreate some of his classic work “I would love to bring things back, I would love nothing more than to bring some projects from my past back, because I think society needs those types of films now.  People think people are sensitive.  I don’t think that people are sensitive.  I think people are being programmed to be sensitive, but that’s very unamerican.  We live in a place where our constitution states that we have freedom of speech, we have freedom of thought, we have freedom of opinion and I think we all need to exercise these things, and stop being programmed by social media, as they keep trying to state what the themes of our country are.  We are individuals, and as an individual you have the right to have your own sense of humor.  If I find fun in a funny ass racist joke, I’m going to laugh.  Look, Don Rickles had some really funny racist jokes, why can’t I laugh at that now?   Why would I go “Don Rickles isn’t funny because that is not appropriate? “Don Rickles was funny then, he’s funny now.  Here’s the beautiful thing about White Chicks…they tell me that I couldn’t make White Chicks now?  And I say sure I could, because you know who loves white chicks the most?  WHITE CHICKS!  So, you know what that makes it…a god damn good joke.  A good joke is when the people you are sending up, are laughing the loudest.  So as long as you are doing things with kid gloves, and you are making it an inclusive laugh, there is no wrong in comedy like that.  Offensive is if I do Dawn, and black women hate it, I got a problem.  But if I do Dawn, and Dawn is the black woman’s favorite character, then boo, I did that.  I mean every now and then you are going to get sensitive people, because some people are just raised in a bubble, but that’s not PEOPLE.  But this is the influence of other countries trying to squash our first amendment rights, by changing the narrative throughout our country through social media, through twitter and fake accounts.  And then the media picks it up.  I do standup every weekend, and people laugh at the darkest and craziest joke as long as it’s funny.  If you get “ohhhhh” in the dark, and you bring them back with a big laugh, people are going to respect you for that.”

Kevin Brackett of Reviewstl.com sighted that Marlon has stated in the past how Eddie Murphy has influenced his comedy, as he wondered if he spoke with Eddie about playing the multiple roles in SEXTUPLETS, like Murphy’s done in numerous films? “No, I talked with him when we were making Norbet, and were doing a scene together, and I said this has to be so much fun getting to do so all these characters, and he said, “yeah but man, this is work”. Yeah but you get to stretch and do all these characters, and he says :Heh, I said this is work”.  Now fast forward to my nephew being on the set of SEXTUPLETS, and he’s my stand in, and my body double, and he is like “This has to be so much fun uncle, playing all these characters, and I said to him “This is work…”

And I had to one more question to ask Marlon before our time was through, so I had to know if he channeled any of this family members while performing any of these incredible characters in the film?  “Dawn is a combination of two of my sisters…and Ethan is my sister Diedre and my brother Damon, back in their criminal days…”

Don’t miss your chance to check out the multi-talented Marlon Wayans in his new film Sextuplets, playing NOW on NETFLIX!