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Flash Movie Review: Ma

IN YEARS LONG PAST, PARENTS WERE either cool or nerds. There was the family who had a mother that liked to dress up like her daughter. It was funny, where no one noticed the daughter’s attire; most people would not forget what the mother was wearing if they happened to see her in the neighborhood. On the other hand, there was another family that had a mother who seemed to be stuck in an era long past; she dressed and looked like an old movie to me. Mothers by the way were not the only ones who would stand out to the kids in the neighborhood. Living a couple of blocks away from me was a father who rode a motorcycle. To a young kid this dad seemed ultracool dressed up in leather jacket and pants with a matching black helmet. Another father in our school district would always tell these “dumb” jokes that made most children groan. It did not matter what our parents did for a living; every child tended to judge other parents solely on their looks and actions. The only time a parent would be considered mean was when they would not let their child come out to play. That was the extent of our feelings about parents.      CURRENTLY THE NEWS HAS HAD SEVERAL stories about adults who have or have attempted to commit crimes against children. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen or read news alerts about an adult who tried to lure a child into their vehicle. Recently there was a verdict in a trial where the parents had kept their children locked in cages in the basement of their home. It is stories like these, that reaffirm my belief that people should be required to have a license to have a child. One needs a license to drive a car; so, why not have a test for adults to see if they are fit to have a child? I am not going to go into my rant again about parents who bring their young children to violent/sexual R rated films, just because they want to see the movie, or they do not want to pay for a babysitter. In fact, I am uncomfortable sometimes when I go to review a children’s animated film by myself. The reason being it looks odd to the families sitting around. There I sit, an older man without kids, at a children’s film. I have gotten some curious looks from the parents. They should see the adult in this movie if they want something real to worry about.      AFTER SUE ANN, PLAYED BY OCTAVIA SPENCER (The Shape of Water, Hidden Figures), agreed to buy alcohol for a group of underaged friends; she felt it would not be safe for them to be driving and drinking. She offered the young adults her basement as a place to party and she was going to be the best host. With Diana Silvers (Booksmart, Glass) as Maggie, Juliette Lewis (Natural Born Killers, Cape Fear) as Erica, McKaley Miller (The Standoff, Hart of Dixie-TV) as Haley and Corey Fogelmanis (Girl Meets World-TV, PrankMe-TV) as Andy; this horror thriller needed to thank Octavia for starring in the key role. She was so good in the role that she creeped me out a bit. With that being said, the other aspects of this movie did not live up to the trailers. There were holes in the story where I questioned the validity of the situation; at other times, I thought the script was being lazy and generic. This could have been a real knuckle holder, but instead it only provided me with a glimmer at times of something that could have been frightening. Sue Ann and this movie had something in common; they were both troubled.


2 ½ stars     

Flash Movie Review: Your Sister’s Sister

How many incidents can trace their root cause to the consumption of alcohol? I may not be an expert on the subject, but I certainly have had my share of over served people around me–I was always the designated driver. In this wonderful film Jack, played by Mark Duplass (Safety Not Guaranteed, Humpday), was still struggling with the death of his brother. Iris, played by Emily Blunt (The Five Year Engagement, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) was not only the brother’s girlfriend but also Jack’s best friend. She offered him the use of her family’s remote getaway home, hoping it would help Jack come to terms with his loss. Upon his arrival, he discovered Iris’ sister Hannah, played by Rosemarie DeWitt (Rachel Getting Married, How I Got Lost), was staying at the home, having just gotten out of a 7 year relationship. With both people suffering; it did not take long for the two to sleep together after a night of drinking. What followed was a story filled with raw emotions, humor, incredible performances and convincing characters. Some of you already know how much I enjoy Emily Blunt and you will understand why after she showed up to surprise Jack. This film had no special effects, no hidden twists, just a realistic story about flawed individuals who were honest enough to recognize their flaws and simply work through them.


3 1/3 stars


Flash Movie Review: Project X

I cannot understand why there were parents in the audience with their 10-12 year old children. Why would they take their kids to see this movie? There was little entertainment value, zero story and nothing original. I did not find any humor in blowing smoke into a pet’s face or tying a bunch of helium filled balloons to a small dog and watch them slowly rise into the sky. Whether you call it a mock documentary or a found film shooting method, the story was about three high school friends who wanted to throw a birthday bash and document it all on video. So everything we saw was through the viewfinder of a handheld camera; I am not a fan of this technique. The reason was not as much to celebrate one of the friend’s special passages of time, but to gain a cool factor among their peers. In high school I wanted to just blend in, never dreaming that I would attain cool status; so, I totally understand the reasoning to throw the party. However, to sit in the theater and watch 128 minutes filled with drinking, drugs, nudity and stupid pranks was just a big bore for me. With his parents away for a weekend trip, birthday boy Thomas, played by Thomas Mann (It’s Kind of a Funny Story, As Cool as I Am), allowed his good friend Costa, played by Oliver Cooper (Weekend Dad, Rick White), to orchestrate a party at his house, that spiraled out of control. Every cliche you could think of was used in this ridiculous movie. My only hope was that the parents sitting in the theater were using this film as a tutorial for their children, on what not to do when they graduate to high school. If not, I should have called Child Protective Services.


1/2 star


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