Oscar Telecast 2023
MY PACING WAS ON TRACK AS the clock was ticking away the minutes. I was having a good day, working out in the morning and doing chores after lunch. I purposely ate dinner early because I wanted to be able to stretch out on the sofa during the telecast. A diet element I have done for years is to wait two hours after eating before laying down. It also is a good policy for digestion. While eating dinner, I went over my list and the one I printed out for all the nominations. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I felt good because I had seen more films than last year. Granted it was not up to pre-COVID times where I saw every film, but at least I was going in the right direction. I had a couple of quick things to do before settling down and gratefully I finished everything on my to-do list five minutes before the show was to begin. I THOUGHT THE OPENING FOR THE Oscar telecast was fun without being too long. Having Jimmy Kimmel parachute down from the rafters was a perfect ending to the opening and a perfect way to start the show. In my opinion, Jimmy could easily reach the status of a Bob Hope or Johnny Carson, regarding being the host. I would have no objection in fact, if Jimmy was made the permanent host; he was excellent. Most of his jokes landed and were smart and topical. He was never mean spirited when he would throw out a dig/zinger at a celebrity. I thought the pacing of the show kept a steady pace. For the most part speeches were shorter than I remember and noticeable to me was the fact that more of them were truly heartfelt, without the addition of political/cause comments. Being a fan of music, I always appreciate when the best song nominees are there performing. The day before the show, I had heard Lady Gaga was not going to be available to perform her song because of filming commitments. It was a surprise to me when she appeared on stage stripped down with no announcement. But did she ever sing her heart out with her song; I thought it was a fantastic performance. Watching the performance of the song Naatu Naatu from the film RRR, I cannot wait to see this movie. AS FOR THE WINNERS, I WAS pleased with who received the Oscar. I especially loved the acceptance speeches from Ke Huy Quan, Jamie Lee Curtis, Brendan Fraser and Michelle Yeoh. I had tears in my eyes. Speaking of winners, it was good to see the return of all the categories; I felt it was the right thing to do. Let us face it, we all know the Oscar telecast can go on for hours; it is a fact. But cutting out categories was not the way to save time. This production had no musical numbers except where they belonged in the song category, there were few humor bits to eat up time, and it seemed as all the nominees knew that after 45 seconds the music was starting. So, though it was sad to see, let us say, two people going up to get their Oscars and only one of them gets to talk, it falls on the first speaker to give a short speech; if they do not then it is on them for shortchanging their collaborator. BY THE TIME THE SHOW ENDED, I was fully sated, filled with joy and satisfaction. It was a wonderful telecast with an eye-opening set design and a slew of interesting fashion choices. There is only one complaint I have regarding the show. I would like to know who allowed that guest to sit in the audience with the large, white swirl of fabric around her head?!?! I thought that person was so inconsiderate to choose such an outfit, knowing they would be sitting in a theater without stadium seating at the very least. Shame on them for being rude, just to make some fashion statement. I hope all of you enjoyed the show as much as I did and let us hope that the new year brings us the opportunity to see as many of what will become Oscar nominated movies for next year’s telecast. Happy viewing and see you at the movies!
OSCAR PREDICTIONS 2023
WHEN THE OSCAR NOMINATIONS WERE ANNOUNCED, I had the choice to be either optimistic or pessimistic. As I looked at the categories, I felt excited that I had seen a good portion of the films nominated. It was certainly more than last year’s nominees. On the other hand, I still am not back to my original place of having seen every nominee in the major categories. It used to be where several movies would premiere on the west and east coasts before new year’s eve, then open everywhere in January or February. If that is still in place I have not seen evidence of it, which I believe is one of the reasons why I have not been able to see every nominated film. The other reason is due to the streaming services. Some of the services’ movies get a nomination and the corporation keeps them exclusive to their streaming platform. If I were to add every major streaming service to my television package, I might have to get a second job; it is getting ridiculous with everyone jumping on the streaming bandwagon when they all used to be free on network TV or cable. And I will forgo for now my pros and cons to seeing movies at a theater compared to one’s home. So unfortunately, again I have not seen every movie in the category which puts me at a disadvantage. For the sake of tradition, I will do my best to pick what I think deserves the Academy Award and what the academy will do. I will also note which group is incomplete for me. Enjoy the telecast and remember whatever you eat during the show does not have any calories. Happy Oscar’s Day!
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:
MY CHOICE: Angela Bassett—Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
ACADEMY PICK: Jamie Lee Curtis—Everything Everywhere All at Once
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE (INCOMPLETE):
MY CHOICE: Ke Huy Quan—Everything Everywhere All at Once
ACADEMY PICK: Ke Huy Quan—Everything Everywhere All at Once
ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE (INCOMPLETE):
MY CHOICE: Michelle Yeoh—Everything Everywhere All at Once
ACADEMY PICK: Michelle Yeoh—Everything Everywhere All at Once
ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE (INCOMPLETE):
MY CHOICE: Brendan Fraser—The Whale
ACADEMY PICK: Austin Butler–Elvis
MY CHOICE: Steven Spielberg—The Fabelmans
ACADEMY PICK: Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert—Everything Everywhere All at Once
MY CHOICE: All Quiet on the Western Front
ACADEMY PICK: All Quiet on the Western
COSTUME DESIGN (INCOMPLETE):
MY CHOICE: Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris
ACADEMY PICK: Everything Everywhere All at Once
MY CHOICE: Everything Everywhere All at Once
ACADEMY PICK: Everything Everywhere All at Once
MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING:
MY CHOICE: The Whale
ACADEMY PICK: All Quiet on the Western Front
WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY):
MY CHOICE: All Quiet on the Western Front
ACADEMY PICK: All Quiet on the Western
WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY) (INCOMPLETE):
MY CHOICE: Everything Everywhere All at Once
ACADEMY PICK: Everything Everywhere All at Once
MY CHOICE: Avatar: The Way of Water
ACADEMY CHOICE: All Quiet on the Western Front
MY CHOICE: Everything Everywhere All at Once
ACADEMY PICK: Everything Everywhere All at Once
There you have it, my picks for this year’s Academy Awards. No matter who gets the Oscar, I hope all of us have can have a fun and enjoyable time watching the telecast. Best of luck to you.
Flash Movie Review: She Said
TO MY HORROR, THE ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL told his secretary to go pull the students out of class and bring them down to the office. I had just finished telling him about the abuse I was experiencing from these students and now he wanted his secretary to bring them in while I was still sitting in his office; I wanted to run and hide somewhere. If the assistant principal thought he was making me feel better, when he said he would make them stop attacking me, it was not working because I knew it would only anger the students. They would only intensify their efforts in getting me. I stared at the wall clock wishing school was over for the day and I was safely back at home; my anxiety was increasing with each passing second. It was a five-minute wait until the office door opened with the secretary leading the students into the room. The assistant principal did not offer any of them a seat; he immediately went into his speech about respecting fellow students and their type of behavior was not acceptable. I could not even look at any of them; instead, I kept my gaze directed at the floor. Other things were mentioned but I did not pay any attention to them since I was suddenly feeling nauseous and just wanted to get out of there. I realized the assistant principal was finishing up when he told the students he did not want to catch them bothering me ever again. Yea, right. IT WAS A COUPLE OF WEEKS of “peacefulness” before I was pushed down a flight of stairs in school. I never saw who did it and luckily, I was able to grab a hold of the banister from tumbling all the way down the stairs. A few days later I was eating lunch in the lunchroom when a partially eaten apple hit me in the face. It came from somewhere across the room, but I had no idea who threw it. Well, let me say I did not see who threw it, but I knew who it had to be; one of the students who was called into the assistant principal’s office. Other incidents took place to the point I started skipping classes from time to time and always changing the way I went from class to class. Besides enduring the abuse, the hardest part was explaining the bruises that were visible on me or the stains on my clothing or the dirt covered books. I just had to find a way to get through the time until graduation and go far away to college. Me saying something did not bring me any relief which is one of the reasons why I could sympathize with the victims in this historical drama. FEELING LIKE THERE WAS A POSSIBLE story behind the little news they had heard about a big, powerful Hollywood producer; two reporters agree to work together to see if they could get to the truth. Their challenge would be to find a witness. With Carey Mulligan (The Dig, Promising Young Woman) as Megan Twohey, Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks, The Big Sick) as Jodi Kantor, Patricia Clarkson (Out of Blue, The Bookshop) as Rebecca Corbett, Andre Braugher (The Baytown Outlaws, Brooklyn Nine-Nine-TV) as Dean Baquet and Jennifer Ehle (A Quiet Passion, Zero Dark Thirty) as Laura Madden; this movie based on true story was riveting at times. Carey and Zoe were outstanding together, which added to the movie watching experience. I thought the pacing was better in the beginning and end than during the middle parts; however, because of the familiarity I had with the story, I stayed focused on the events. The story is frightening, horrific, and a variety of other emotions; even if you are not familiar with the news of this event, it is well worth watching this taut, suspenseful film.
3 ½ stars
Flash Movie Review: Blonde
IT WAS SO LONG AGO, WHEN I first saw her. Back then, I thought she had an odd voice. I think I was still in elementary school when I saw Marilyn Monroe for the first time. It was the movie “Some Like it Hot” with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon and it was being shown on television. Liking both Tony and Jack, the movie easily kept my attention. When I first heard Marilyn speak, I thought that could not be her real voice; it sounded like a cartoon voice. Because I could not recall seeing any other woman that looked like her, I thought her voice added another layer to her cartoonish size physique. In my mind, she did not look real. The characters Tony and Jack played drew more of my attention than Marilyn’s character. I remember laughing at the two men when they were dressed up as women. After seeing this film, it was some years later before I saw another film that Marilyn starred in. And that movie was Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Though Marilyn’s character had a familiarity to it, I was older now and better able to understand the work that went in to create her character. Her timing was impeccable along with her line deliveries. Her character became a classic in filmdom. IN ALL HONESTY, I HAVE NOT seen any other of Marilyn’s films except one or two. I have seen news stories and articles, along with documentaries. In fact, there was a documentary series about her that aired earlier this year and it was the best one I had ever seen. The talk in Hollywood was Jayne Mansfield was highly intelligent. Well after seeing this latest docuseries, Marilyn was much smarter than what she let people see. For that time, as an actress, she yielded a lot of power. She knew exactly what she was doing to keep her name front and center. I was impressed with the things she achieved despite all the hardships she had to endure. The attribute of hers that I could relate to the most was her determination. She truly was a fighter and would not give up until she reached her goal. The perfect example is the film she did with the British actor who had no use for her and made her time during the filming of their picture a living hell, from what I understand. Now with my heightened awareness of her abilities, I have been working on watching anything that has to do with Marilyn. This is the reason I chose to sit through and watch this long movie based on Joyce Carol Oates’s novel. DESPITE THE HARD CHILDHOOD, YOUNG NORMA Jeane, played by Lily Fisher (General Hospital-TV, Station 19-TV), had a determination in her that would help her succeed in a man’s world. With Ana de Armas (No Time to Die, The Gray Man) as Norma Jeane, Julianne Nicholson (Black Maps, August: Osage County) as Gladys, Tygh Runyan (Dark Harvest, Road to Nowhere) as Norma Jeane’s father and Michael Drayer (Claws-TV, Mr. Robot-TV) as Deputy Will Bonnie; this biographical romance drama had one outstanding thing going for it. It was Ana; she was amazing in her role. Unfortunately, I found the rest of this film to be exploitive and shallow. Maybe because I had watched the docuseries, I found the script for this picture to be disjointed. There were times where it felt like little snippets of time were being shown without any depth to back them up. I was disappointed with this picture; it did not provide anything new or anything entertaining. I think Marilyn would have been insulted by this movie.
1 ¾ stars
Flash Movie Trailer: Lucy and Desi
THERE WAS NOT AN ANNOUNCEMENT, LET alone any acknowledgement, but I knew someone had walked into the ballroom. There was a shift in the air, like that moment before lightning strikes when the air has an electrified, static crispness. I was attending a fundraiser that was being held in the ballroom of a downtown hotel. Easily, there were over two hundred people in the room, dressed in tuxedos and evening dresses. When I felt that shift in the air, I started to look around the room. My gaze shifted to the far end of the ballroom when my ears detected a low buzzing sound from that direction. It was the crowd murmuring to each other as President and Mrs. Obama had walked in. The two who were tall compared to the guests around them, were easy to spot. I am not exaggerating when I say there was a definite shift of energy in the room; a building excitement and respect as the guests started to nonchalantly shift around to get a better look at this couple. The term “power couple” was something I had heard before, but I had never experienced it live, until now. These two were a major power couple; one could feel it on and below the skin surface. It was an extraordinary feeling, I have to say. It was as if the energy in their bodies was emanating out to every person standing in the room. THE TERM “POWER COUPLE” TO ME is more of a modern term. I cannot recall it being used back even in the 1970s or 80s. It seems as if a marketing department created the title to bestow on a couple where both participants are active in their fields of interest or work. One of the earliest couples I can remember who were considered a “power couple” was Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. I remember how the news reported on them, from walking the red carpet of a movie premier or awards show to a humanitarian trip at a place that had experienced a natural catastrophe. For some reason, I never thought of a king and queen being a “power couple,” though I guess it could happen. By my definition, Eva and Juan Peron of Argentina would be labeled a “power couple.” It is funny, I never thought of the couple in this documentary as a “power couple;” however, after watching this movie I have to say they were most definitely a strong, dynamic couple who deserved to be called a “power couple.” WITH SO MANY TV SPECIALS AND articles having been done on Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, one would think there was nothing more to learn about them. Luckily, it turns out not to be the case with the release of this intimate, biographical comedy. Directed by Amy Poehler (Baby Mama, Parks and Recreation-TV) and written by Mark Monroe (The Cove, The Dissident), this film focused on honoring the celebrity couple. With the blessing of Lucy’s and Ricky’s daughter Lucie Arnaz Luckinbill, never seen footage was expertly mixed within the story and celebrity interviews, which were given by such celebrities as Carol Burnett and Bette Midler. It was obvious while watching this movie that Amy has a strong fondness for Lucy. But I also appreciated how Amy handled Desi’s successes and demons; he does not always get the credit he deserves for the new and progressive things he did for the industry. The home footage used was wonderful to watch. I felt like I was seeing Lucy and Desi in a fresh, unique way. Part tribute, part history; this was a well-done film that provided not only entertainment but unknown facts about one of Hollywood’s true “power couples.”
3 ½ stars
Oscar Predictions 2021
EVERY YEAR AT THIS TIME, I have felt a sense of excitement and joy in anticipation of the Academy Awards telecast. In the past, I would have more than likely seen every movie nominated in the major categories. Various family members and friends would list their picks on who they feel deserves to receive an Academy Award, to see who had the most correct predictions. I was always invited to viewing parties but declined all of them because I did not want to have any interruptions or too much noise interfering with my enjoyment of sitting back and watching the television show. All of that changed when COVID came into our lives. It has been a long time coming but movie theaters have reopened, though not all of them and this year’s telecast will be televised live with three hosts. DESPITE THIS GOOD NEWS, THERE IS a part of me that is sad and stressed out. I looked at the list of nominations and out of the films I was able to see this past year, there was only one I physically saw in a movie theater. For the others, I had to either stream them at home, rent them, or plead with friends to make time for me to come see a film on their streaming service; and sadly, I again this year have not been able to see all movies nominated. I also have to say, watching a picture on a small screen in the comforts of one’s own home has a different affect on the movie watching experience than sitting in a dark theater. The past year I may have given one or two films a 4-star rating; part of me thinks the lack of a big screen did not let me get fully into the story. Regardless, I do want to offer below my list of films I feel deserve to receive an Oscar award and those that I think the academy will pick.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
MY CHOICE: ACADEMY PREDICTIONS
AUNJANUE ELLIS ARIANA DEBOSE
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:
DRIVE MY CAR THE POWER OF THE DOG
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
KODI SMIT-McPHEE KODI SMIT-McPHEE
BEST FILM EDITING:
DUNE THE POWER OF THE DOG
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE:
BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE:
DRIVE MY CAR DRIVE MY CAR
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS:
JESSICA CHASTAIN JESSICA CHASTAIN
BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH WILL SMITH
JANE CAMPION RYUSUKE HAMAGUCHI
THE POWER OF THE DOG THE POWER OF THE DOG
SO, THERE YOU HAVE IT; MY list of who I would recognize for an Oscar and who I think the academy will pick, all from the limited group of films I was able to see this past year. No matter how it plays out, I hope the televised show brings enjoyment, thrills and excitement to all of you and to me, too. I could use a good show to comfort and transport me to my happy place.
Flash Movie Review: Mank
THE PROFESSOR WROTE A NOTE NEXT to the grade on my term paper. She wrote, “I had no idea you were paying attention in this classroom. Please come see me after class.” I was both amused and hesitant because I wondered what she wanted to talk about. When class was over, I hung around until the other students had left then went up to the professor. Any concerns I had were alleviated by her chuckling. Since I received an “A” on my paper, she told me she was pleasantly surprised but wanted to know why I never participated in any of the class discussions. I told her talking made me nervous, that I was better at communicating my thoughts through the written word. She accepted what I said but encouraged me to participate with the other students because she liked the way I looked at problems, based on what I had written in my term paper. I made her laugh when I told her that my mind takes its time to process information before I can talk about it. Pushing my luck, I said some people talk without thinking and it is a distraction for me. “Aren’t there times where you just sit there and wonder where the student got their thoughts on a subject,” I asked her. All she offered was some students were more excitable which led them to speak out first before thinking everything through; I agreed with her and that was the extent of our conversation. ONE OF THE THINGS I LEARNED from that professor was how the order of words one puts to paper can alter perceptions. Along with that there was the aspect of style; the way the person puts their voice down into their written words. I saw firsthand how easily style is conveyed through written words. A student who sat next to me received back his term paper and it had gotten a grade of “F.” I did not want to appear nosy so I tried to read the professors comments out of the corner of my eye. The professor wrote “not your writing” next to the grade and below that she had highlighted parts of paragraphs with side comments I could not make out. The student must have seen me trying to read the comments because he acknowledged me and said he had misunderstood the instructions; he had copied passages from a book into his term paper. Now he did not tell me; but I assumed he copied the passages word for word, which I had to say was not the best decision. Not that I am an expert, but from the things I heard him read in class, I knew anything he found in a book was not the same as him telling a story. He loved to draw out a point with the use of humor or shock; most textbooks I had read didn’t often have those two elements in its writing. In my opinion he would have been better to employ the use of a term paper writer; I saw their advertisements in the school paper. They would not write the paper; they simply directed the student towards writing a better paper. It is not so dissimilar to what took place in this biographical comedic drama. DESPITE A BROKEN LEG THERE WAS only a short amount of time to write the screenplay for Hollywood’s latest wondered. What wasn’t helping Herman Mankiewicz, played by Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour, The Courier), was his love of alcohol. With Amanda Seyfried (The Last Word, Mean Girls) as Marion Davies, Lily Collins (Tolkien, Mirror Mirror) as Rita Alexander, Tom Pelphrey (Hostage, Iron Fist-TV) as Joe Mankiewicz and Arliss Howard (The Time Traveler’s Wife, Full Metal Jacket) as Louis B. Mayer; this film festival winner had the extra burden of viewers’ anticipation due to the subject matter of Orson Welles and his movie. Visually I thought this film was gorgeous, both in look and style. Ultimately, the big seller in this picture was Gary Oldman’s performance. Whether the script was close to the true events, I do not know; however, I enjoyed the behind the scene aspect, nonetheless. However, as the story was playing out, I was getting less engaged with it. It seemed as if there were pieces of this film that blended well, but then others came across disjointed. There is no doubt in my mind that the whole process of creating what some say is the best movie of all time had to be an amazing experience; I only wished this movie had gotten the same amount of attention.
2 ¾ stars
Flash Movie Review: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
SHE THOUGHT SHE WAS SUGGESTING SOME new concept to me, but I knew better. I was sure if I had been in the room before her she would have turned around and walked out after seeing me. She had done it before. I never said a word to anyone, but I felt she was rejecting me because to her I was old. When I walked into the classroom I saw some familiar faces who were participants in my yoga class; but then, I saw this one member was already seated on the floor on her yoga mat. I announced I was subbing for their instructor. This woman said nothing until after I went over what we would be doing in class that day. As I started to sit on the floor to begin our warmup poses, the woman asked if I could shut the lights off because the other instructor does it. This other instructor, by the way, was much younger than me; she only recently started teaching yoga. And in her class, she would shut the lights off, turn on a couple of battery-operated votive candles and play chimes periodically. When I told her, I would do it towards the end after observing how everyone was moving in class, she made one of those sounds associated with disgust, picked up her mat and walked out. TECHNICALLY, THIS MEMBER NEVER SAW ME teach class; she had to be rejecting me based on my appearance, it seemed to me. Though I can understand someone having reservations about trying a different instructor, I would not use appearance as a reason to reject a person. I have taught with other instructors who do not stereotypically look like a fitness person. They were not buff and had extra weight on their body; however, they taught a tough class. From my years of teaching fitness, I can put people into two separate groups: those that work out to look good and those who work out to feel good. Some members are predominately focused on their appearance; they are not interested in understanding how exercise is to be used for one’s quality of life. They think the more they sweat the better they will be and that is rarely the case. This group of people would be more likely to reject me simply because I have gray hair. I guess it goes with the territory, where people get judged either all or partially on their looks. Some lines of work can be tougher than others; that is why I understood what the main character was going through in this comedic drama. DURING THE LATE 60’S, HOLLYWOOD WAS going through changes: changes that would have a deep affect on actor Rick Dalton, played by Leonardo DiCaprio (The Great Gatsby, Titanic) and his stunt double Cliff Booth, played by Brad Pitt (Fury, Mr. & Mrs. Smith). It did not help that a new, young actress was living next door. With Margot Robbie (Suicide Squad, The Legend of Tarzan) as Sharon Tate, Austin Butler (The Dead Don’t Die, The Carrie Diaries-TV) as Tex and Al Pacino (Danny Collins, Dick Tracy) as Marvin Schwarzs; this film took a while to kick in for me. Clocking in at 2 hours and 39 minutes, there was nothing one could say negative about the acting. Leonardo, Brad and Margot were wonderful through the entire story. I enjoyed seeing the movie making scenes as they were only one aspect of the story. The script had a couple of main stories that slowly blended in together. With multiple cameo roles and a great soundtrack; I loved watching this film and felt time went by quickly once I got into the story. There were a couple of violent bloody scenes and there was a quick extra scene during the credits.
Flash Movie Review: Teen Titans Go! to the Movies
I FELT TRAPPED IN THE MIDDLE of a group of strangers, with no way to get out. It was the weekend and I was a guest at a party where everyone knew each other except for me. The introductions had all been been made as I found myself an empty seat among a small group of guests, who were sitting outside at the back of the house. No one was being mean to me; they just did not engage me into any of their conversations. Well actually there really weren’t multiple conversations going on amongst this group; there was one individual who was orchestrating the conversation. Everyone else was just listening to him and occasionally making a comment or agreeing with this fellow’s statements. As I quietly sat there I heard this person talk on a variety of subjects. He went from camping stories to traveling ones to skiing escapades to stories about his son’s achievements. Since I had never met him before I did not want to make a snap judgement based on a few of his stories. But do you want to know something? As the other guests nodded their approval or chuckle at this guy’s escapades, I could not help but feel that this man’s conversations were simply a way for him to brag about himself. THERE WAS ONLY SO MUCH I COULD endure before I excused myself to find a place to sit somewhere far from this braggart. Later in the evening I discovered an interesting fact concerning that man. It turned out he was the husband of a woman there who had a prominent position with the same company as several of the guests at the party. You may be asking why this was an interesting fact; I will tell you why. There was a reason why this husband spent a majority of the evening talking about himself. With his wife in an important position, it appeared to me he was feeling threatened by it. Sitting with his wife’s co-workers, this man wanted to show everyone that he was just as important or dominant or successful as his wife. Not speaking for the other guests, but now that I knew about this extra piece to the puzzle I felt sad for the guy. Instead of working on his confidence to be a supportive partner in the relationship he had to sit and regale the guests with stories about his so called incredible achievements. I could not imagine anyone at the party thinking any less of him. This animated action comedy has a similar situation with its main character, go ahead and check it out. TIRED OF NOT BEING TAKEN SERIOUSLY as a superhero Robin, voiced by Scott Menville (RoboCop, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), decided the way to step out from the shadows of the popular superheroes was to get a movie made about him and the rest of the Teen Titans. All they needed was a villain to vanquish and a top director. With Kristen Bell (Bad Moms franchise, The Boss) voicing Jade Wilson, Will Arnett (When in Rome, Jonah Hex) voicing Slade, Greg Cipes (Fast & Furious, Club Dread) voicing Beast Boy and Khary Payton (The Walking Dead-TV, General Hospital-TV) voicing Cyborg; I was pleasantly surprised at how fun this movie was to watch. The humor was sophisticated enough to please the adults in the audience as the script took swipes at the whole superhero genre. Where I had difficulty was the direction of the story; it stayed at a non-stop clip through the entire picture. I enjoyed the old school animation and it fit right in with the sarcastic script. Too bad I didn’t go see this film in lieu of sitting and listening to someone trying to make himself feel important.
2 ¾ stars
Flash Movie Trailer: The Disaster Artist
THERE HAS ONLY BEEN a small handful of individuals I have known who had a natural ability to excel in their life’s journey. Things came naturally to these people, where they did not need to be schooled or guided in conquering their dreams/goals. I am sure when you were in school you had at least one student who did not study before an exam and yet would still get a perfect score. From my college days I remember a student in one of my writing classes who had a book and few short stories published before the semester even began. The entire class looked up to this individual. Even outside a school setting I know a young adult who already is displaying an uncanny ability when it comes to electronics. Without any instruction, he wired and set up a burglary alarm system for his family’s home. NOW THERE ARE SOME people who excel at something but they need to work at it. You know that old joke about how does one get to Carnegie Hall and the answer is practice, practice, practice? Some individuals work hard trying to achieve their dreams. Whether it involves mental concentration or physical training, the individuals in this group sacrifice social interactions among other things to reach their goals. I am a firm believer in people attempting to reach their dreams; for it is better to have tried then spend the rest of one’s life wondering what life would have been like if they had at least attempted to reach their goals, in my opinion. I am sure it has crossed some of your minds, especially if you have watched some of those reality shows, that there are some people who should stop trying to be something they will never be. I know what you mean since I have seen a couple of those singing and dancing reality shows where some of the people auditioning show no talent for the task. It would not be fair for me to judge, but see how you feel about the main character trying to reach his dream in this dramatic comedy based on a true story. REFUSING TO ACCEPT THE negative comments about his acting abilities Tommy, played by James Franco (The Interview, Why Him?) not only liked the idea from his friend Greg, played by Dave Franco (Warm Bodies, Now You See Me franchise), he agreed to it; they would make their own movie to star in. This film festival winning picture also starring Seth Rogen (Funny People, Neighbors franchise) as Sandy, Ari Graynor (The Sitter, Mystic River) as Juliette and Alison Brie (Sleeping with Other People, Mad Men-TV) as Amber; was hilarious in parts. I and the audience around me were laughing out loud. The story is so bizarre it took me some time to actually believe this was a true story and not some big satire. Interestingly I was initially annoyed with James’ character, but after awhile I realized he was doing an excellent acting job playing this mysterious, odd character. I also enjoyed the variety of cameo roles that popped up throughout the movie. As I mentioned earlier it took me time to get into the story; I was confused by the script and was getting “antsy” for something to take place. However with James’ directing and the absurd idea behind the story coming to life, I had to applaud the achievements that were on display by the end. It goes to show you, follow your dreams because you never know where they will lead you.
3 1/3 stars