It’s about damn time. Greg Berlanti, producer, writer, director known for his work in movies (The Broken Hearts Club, Life as We Know It) and TV (Arrow, Flash), brings us the first gay teen romance movie to the big screen on more screens you would normally see for a movie with a homosexual main plot. Yes, Moonlight may have won the Oscar for best movie last year but that movie only made it on 600+ screens. Love, Simon has made it onto over 2,000 screens. Kudos to 20th Century Fox for taking the chance as the first major studio to release this film under their label.
This honest and heartfelt film adapted from the book “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda”, involves Simon, a teenager who has a huge secret he is keeping from his friends, family, and classmates that he is gay. A situation threatens that secret being revealed and he must face those he loves and come to terms with his own identity. The lead playing the loveable and relatable Simon Spier is Nick Robinson, who stole our hearts before in Everything, everything another teen romance adapted from a book. With both his voice in narration and his on-screen presence shines on screen. He did a great job playing Simon in the film.
From Left to Right – Kylie Bunbury, Larmorne Morris, Billy Magnussen, Sharon Horgan, Jason Bateman, and Rachel McAdams ready to play the game. pic provided by Nerdist.com
Clue finally came out with a remake in the form of a murder mystery game night for 6 friends. Actually 5 friends and a stand in as for the date as one of them is a womanizer who see a different woman each week. I am just kidding about the Clue remake part but who else got that same feeling when watching the trailer for this latest comedy by directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein. You know, those men responsible for the remake/sequel Vacation and for the stories of Spider-man: Homecoming and Horrible Bosses 1&2. So, you already know this movie is in the right hands to make writer Mark Perez’s story comes to life. Perez’s track record includes writing films for The Country Bears, Accepted, and Herbie: Fully loaded. What an interesting combo. As you might question the quality of this film just from that list of movies, you will be pleasantly surprised that this pairing works so well on so many levels, you will be jealous you never had a game night like this one.
Horrible Bosses alum Jason Bateman is paired up with long absent from the comedy world, Rachel McAdams as Max and Annie who are notoriously competitive and serves as the driving force for their love story as game playing enthusiast. Each week, they get together with friends to have game night with some good old-fashioned games we all grew up with such as Pictionary, Charades, Scrabble, etc. With the arrival of Max’s brother Brooks, played by Kyle Chandler (TV’s Friday Night Lights), Max and his friends are in for one hell of a night as Brooks decides to up the stakes and host a murder mystery party. Brooks is kidnapped right in front of his guest and its up to the rest to figure out his location to win the game, save his life, or both. It’s a just game, right?
Judging from the trailer I had a sneaking suspicion that I wasn’t going to get a movie about humans being shrunk to live in a different community. I guess I should have done my research before going into the film. I don’t really like hearing too much about a movie before going to avoid expectation. Having said that, what I got from this film is exactly what I didn’t want to see in the movie.
picture via heyuguys.com
Matt Damon stars in this imaginative world where they have discovered the ability to shrink humans down to the size of an ant and use it to help with the population problem and hopefully gain the economy back as well as solve a lot of world problems we are facing today. I would say this can be categorized as a dramady. Sort of in the same way that Matt Damon’s The Martian was labeled. A dramatic tale with a lot of humor in it. I was ready and wanting to see how adapting to life as a shrunk person would play out. Not really in a physical comedy sort of way but to see how the world would handle which such technology. Instead I was given more of a commentary on prejudice, world hunger, our belief in global warming, and how no matter what we do, the world, specifically the U.S. will always find a way to take something great and powerful and use it in the worse way possible. Basically, we are just not allowed to have nice things. For my last review of 2017, here are my thoughts on Downsizing.
This review is brought to you by someone who has never seen The Room or know who Tommy Wiseau even is. So, my thoughts on the film doesn’t come with any previous content to compare this true story directed by James Franco who also stars as Tommy Wiseau whose dream is to become a famous movie star. Hollywood doesn’t see him how he sees himself so Wiseau along with a friend, Greg Sestero, played by real life brother Dave Franco, he met in acting class decide to make a movie of their own. With an endless amount of money for budget, and a skeptical staff who is just living the dream assist him on making his vision come true.
Tommy Wiseau and James Franco. picture via avclub.com
Written by Wiseau himself, he creates a film that would go down in history as one of the worst movies ever made with one of the biggest unnecessary budgets ever. We get to see the story behind the movie as we witness the love of film between two people who move from San Francisco to Los Angeles to become actors but have trouble getting into the industry. Once they decide to make their own film together, you see the hardship that comes from working with the mind that is Tommy Wiseau. This wasn’t an easy ride for both of them and along the way they are tested to see if fame and fortune is worth risking their friendship for.
So, if you were like me and heard about the idea of Jumanji becoming a reboot, remake, sequel, whatever they were calling it back then, you were skeptical. Also, a little worried that they would try and update it and modernize it to appeal to the next generation and this is just one of those gems that can’t be updated with today’s audience. I guess I have to put my foot in my mouth because I was completely wrong and I thoroughly enjoyed this updated sequel to the 1996 version titled Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
picture via Denofgeek.com
The Rock a.k.a. Dwayne Johnson took center stage leading a whole new cast into the world of Jumanji. This time instead of the jungle coming into our world, the movie took you inside of the game to the jungle where Alan Parrish spent 26 years in. Along for the ride are Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Jack Black, and Nick Jonas who play avatars in a video game version of the legendary board game. 4 teenagers who fit the clear tropes of any high school movie are sent to detention for their own growing pains getting in the way of school. In detention they come across the video game, choose their avatars and once they hit start they are whisked away into the game. Once there, they must work together and complete the mission of the game in order to return home.
From the people who brought you La La Land. It’s time for another musical to lift up your spirits and make you want to sing and dance. A complete 180 from the jazzy, slow, ballad filled academy award winning movie, this time around it’s a more fun, campy, catchy, and pop tone to the soundtrack telling the story of the man who brings us joy through the circus P.T. Barnum. In other words, the song “Another day of Sun” times 8.
picture via Billboard.com
Hugh Jackman plays the infamous Burnham. A man who since his childhood has always been the one looking in as he watches the glitz and glam of the world from the wealth. Looking for his opportunity to shine and get his peace of the pie his imagination guides him to entertain but to also earn a fortune and create a life for him and the love of his life Charity (Michelle Williams) by using oddities around the world to showcase for people’s enjoyment. Along the way his journey is not an easy one as he loses site of what his dreams truly is and the townspeople who are against having him in town with his band of “freaks” causes problems for him.
That moment when you feel guilty for laughing at a time that should be a sad or real moment. There were a lot of those moments in this hardcore and raw drama set in Ebbing Missouri. I had to look it up on imdb.com if this was under the category of a comedy. Believe it or not, it is considered a comedy, crime, and drama. That relief I felt finding that it was okay to laugh when I shouldn’t, was great. If any of you decide to go see this movie in theatres, for any reason than award considerations, you are in for a mixed emotion thrill ride with a A+ cast as you guide.
picture via athenacinema.com
The amazing Frances McDormand takes us on an emotional journey into the life of tough as nails Mildred Hayes who is having a tough time handling the death of her teenage daughter who was murdered by an unknown criminal. The case unfortunately was never solved which doesn’t give her any closer. I mentioned earlier that Mildred is tough as nails so she decides to challenge the local police and put a fire under their asses to solve the case after time has passed by posting a blunt, straight to the point, and to some graphic message on three distinctive billboards close to her home, to the chief of the town and lead on the case Chief Willoughby, played by the brilliant Woody Harrelson. This starts a spiraling reaction to not only the police but the whole town of Ebbing with people who agree and disagree with her tactics to obtain justice.