REVIEW of A SIMPLE FAVOR – Rated R

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A SIMPLE FAVOR – Rated R – 1 hr. 57 mins.  

DIRECTOR:  Paul Feig

WRITERS:  Based on the Novel by Darcey Bell, Screenplay by Jessica Sharzer 

STARRING:  Blake Lively, Anna Kendrick, Henry Golding, Andrew Rannells, Jean Smart, Ian Ho and Joshua Satine 

As we meet single mom/Vlogger Stephanie (Anna Kendrick), she is working on being the ‘BEST MOM EVER” for her son Mile (Joshua Satine), while also helping those other Moms in the video world, sharing her insight via her video blog.  When Miles becomes friends with fellow student Nicky Nelson (Ian Ho), it seems that a playdate is in order…and better sooner than later…

Enter Nicky’s Mom, the high-profile PR Exec, Emily Nelson (Blake Lively), who isn’t sold on the whole playdate thing…but what the hell…

As Emily and Stephanie strike up a friendship, it seems that Emily is a lot more than meets the eye, as they both begin to totally bond over an afternoon cocktail, and deep dark secrets…

When Emily heads out to go on a business trip, she is forced to leave Nicky in Stephanie’s care, as her husband Sean (Henry Golding) is out of the country, taking care of his ailing mother.  When Emily doesn’t return, it seems that her trip may have gone awry, as no one knows what has happened to her, or even if she is still alive…

As Emily’s past life begins to surface, it is becoming quite apparent Stephanie never really knew the truth about Emily, her career, or even her home life…

Now, as everyone struggles for answers to Emily’s disappearance, it seems that the meek and mild Stephanie better put on her “Big Girl panties”, as her life, and Emily’s tall tales, are all about to implode… 

I give A SIMPLE FAVOR a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN!  Captivating from the very start, Lively and Kendrick know how to draw you into these characters, and their dysfunctional existences, throughout every single inch of this film.  Not really sold on Kendrick’s casting as “Super Mom Stephanie” in the beginning of this film, I became totally sold on her fabulous performance half way through.  Lively’s performance although is award worthy throughout, as she mastered playing the elusive, beautiful and super crazy Emily.  Surprising along the way as well, is the amount of humor that they managed to intertwine amongst the madness of this fabulous film. I was totally not expecting to be laughing as much as I did, since from the trailer, I was really getting a GONE GIRL kind of vibe, which is apparent for sure throughout the storyline, but the funniness throughout gives A SIMPLE FAVOR a much lighter, and less intense reality, which plays out perfectly!  And then, when you add in the superb casting of the “Sexiest Asian Ever” in my eyes, Henry Golding, you end up with one incredibly provocative, and passionately powerful film.   I also think that after this film’s release, it’s time for Golding to exit his stint as host of BBC’s The Travel show, because he is going from his perfect casting as Nick Young in the Multi-Million dollar at the Box Office gem “Crazy Rich Asians”, to his next perfect casting, playing professor/hubby Sean Townsend in A SIMPLE FAVOR, which will for sure be sending his movie career into the stratosphere.  So don’t waste any more time, and head out to a theater near you to catch A SIMPLE FAVOR NOW! Because, Yes, it really is THAT GOOD! 

Kathy Kaiser  

Review of ALL IS SEE IS YOU – Rated R – 1 hr. 50 mins.

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ALL IS SEE IS YOU – Rated R – 1 hr. 50 mins. 

Starring Blake Lively, Jason Clarke, and Ahna O’Reilly  

As we meet the blind since childhood heroine of our story – the beautiful Gina (Blake Lively), she is in a loving relationship with her hubby James (Jason Clarke), who enjoys assisting her, and helping her through life, as she tries to mange without her sight…

When a procedure that may restore some of her eyesight is suggested, Gina longs for the ability to see the images she hasn’t seen since childhood, and her hubby’s face for the first-time too…

When her eyesight is partially restored, and Gina begins to live out her intensely exciting sighted life, her hubby James seems to be thrown off by all of the newfound confidence and independence Gina is experiencing…

Now with the ability to see everything around her, Gina’s sighted existence is nothing like she imagined it was when she was blind. Wanting to put every aspect of her life in place to coincide with what she assumed her life was when she was blind, Gina and James are now forced to face the realities of their extremely dysfunctional marriage, and the life that Gina longs to live, no longer needed James assistance…

I give ALL I SEE IS YOU a rating of WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON NETFLIX or STREAMING ~ Lively’s performance is okay, as the blind woman finally gaining back her sight, much to the dismay of the man who supposedly loves her, but it isn’t anything that we haven’t seen from her before   Clarke’s performance is just okay too, as the man whose own life is unraveling, as he feels threatened by his wife’s sight, while he is unwilling to share his own emotional torment. Director Marc Forster (MONSTER’s BALL, QUANTUM OF SOLACE, WORLD WAR Z) has done some incredible work in the past, but I’m thinking his take on this blind vs. sighted storyline, and totally dysfunctional marriage, falls short of his previous work, thus leading me to suggest that you wait and catch ALL IS SEE IS YOU on NETFLIX or STREAMING when it becomes available a few short weeks from now…

Kathy Kaiser

Check out the Trailer for Sony Pictures THE SHALLOWS – Hits theaters June 24th

THe Shallows

In the taut thriller The Shallows, when Nancy (Blake Lively) is surfing on a secluded beach, she finds herself on the feeding ground of a great white shark. Though she is stranded only 200 yards from shore, survival proves to be the ultimate test of wills, requiring all of Nancy’s ingenuity, resourcefulness, and fortitude.

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