IT WAS A BIG LOGISTICAL OPERATION THAT I was responsible for, though at the time I had never heard of the word “logistical.” My job was to plan out the route my friends and I would take for Halloween. I considered how long we would be able to stay outside, so persuaded everyone to get an early start for trick or treating. Each of us was dressed up in a costume; I was a pirate. The key to our success I determined was having a home base that was in the middle of the square mileage I envisioned we could cover. It turned out that central location was my house. The area I mapped out was 16 blocks in width and 12 blocks in length. Living in the city, this meant within our territory we would be covering houses, apartment buildings and businesses. In other words, we would be taking in a lot of candy. I broke down the blocks into four quadrants. We would focus on the southeast one first then come to my house to empty our candy filled bags before tackling the southwest quadrant and so on. I thought it was a brilliant plan that would yield massive amounts of candy. As it turned out the plan worked perfectly where all of us had enough candy to last us for months; we were overjoyed. FAST FORWARD A FEW YEARS AND for some unexplained reason my desire to go trick or treating waned. I was not alone for my friends felt the same way. At some undetermined point in time we each lost interest in getting dressed up and going door to door to get candy. We still hung out together, starting at a friend’s house where we now found ourselves on the giving end of Halloween. My friend would answer the front door and hand out candy to the trick or treaters who were perched on his front porch with outstretched arms, shopping bags dangling from their hands. That was us a few years back, but now we were the “adults” handing out candy. We grew up I guess. It is funny how that happened; after years waiting and planning for our Halloween trek through the neighborhood, we now had no desire. Looking at some of the kids’ costumes I recalled how I used to sit and pour over the store catalog, looking for the perfect outfit. After having been a pirate, a vampire and a superhero; I now looked at this holiday with boredom. Even this adventure comedy couldn’t change my feelings. WHILE CLEANING OUT AN OLD ABANDONED house Sonny and Sam, played by Jeremy Ray Taylor (It, 42) and Caleel Harris (Boys in Blue-TV movie, Skyward-TV), found a secret room that contained a single book. The boys did not know there was a reason the book had a lock on it. This family fright film also starred Wendi McLendon-Covey (Bridesmaids, Blended) as Kathy, Madison Iseman (Beauty Mark, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle) as Sarah and Chris Parnell (21 Jump Street, Labor Pains) as Walter. Based on author R.L. Stine’s horror series, this sequel had some fun special effects in a retro type of way. There was something about this picture that reminded me of those Saturday afternoon matinee films I used to go to that were low end productions. With a mixture of slapstick and corny humor I felt this film would only entertain the youngest of viewers; it was rated PG. There was some creativity used for several scenes but overall, I was bored through most of the story. Growing up I was not a fan of candy corn; never liked getting them in my Halloween bag. For me, this picture was a dose of candy corn for the holiday.
1 ¾ stars
Maybe it is my own prejudice but I tend to be suspicious of individuals who date the same type of looking people. You know, like dating only blonde haired people or tall people or those who wear glasses; there are all kinds and though I may not understand it I respect it. I never could comprehend why a certain color of hair or actually any particular physical feature would contribute to hopefully a long lasting relationship. Sometimes I will joke with a friend and ask them what they would do if the person they are dating decided to dye their hair or get contact lenses. They usually tell me it would not make a difference but I have seen the pattern and know eventually they will end the relationship. For me the same thing applies to age differences because I believe our age only represents how long we have been alive, nothing else. I ask you, do you understand what it means when someone says, “act your age”? How should a 72 year old act or a 23 year old? For me as long as the person is not harming anyone and enjoying life, they can do whatever they want to do. A short time ago there was a lot of buzz about older woman dating younger men; they were referred to as “cougars.” Funny, when it was an older man and a younger woman there never seemed to be the same type of humor. There were several television programs that turned these types of relationships into a comedy. Sure there are times where a wide gap between a couple’s ages can result in amusement; however, why would anyone care about someone dating an older or younger person. I have encountered people older than me who acted like little kids just as I have met younger folk who act much older. I will let you decide what you think about the main characters in this dramatic comedy. AFTER taking care of her mother for many years shy yet colorful Doris Miller, played by Sally Fields (Mrs. Doubtfire, Lincoln), found a way to come out of her shell. This film festival winning romance had a wonderful script that came across with honesty and respect. Included in the cast was Max Greenfield (The Big Short, New Girl-TV) as John Fremont, Wendi McLendon-Covey (Bridesmaids, Blended) as Cynthia and Tyne Daly (The Autumn Heart, Judging Amy-TV) as Roz. I thought the entire cast did a great job, but Sally was outstanding in her role. It was just great watching Sally in this character; she came across as a real person. The mix of humor and sadness blended together perfectly, never letting the story turn sappy or maudlin. The pacing of the story never allowed for any boredom to set in; plus, I enjoyed the way the writers played with the generational differences. Whether “younger” or “older” this film can be enjoyed by all ages.
It is not easy to keep a smile on your face when you are sitting across from a jerk. There have been situations where a friend wants to introduce me to their new boy or girlfriend. I have no qualms meeting them but it can be hard when I see or hear things they say or do that raise a red flag in my mind. What can I say in private that will not offend them about the person they are dating? I have learned to only offer advice if I am asked and to remain supportive towards my friends. It is much harder to do this when it involves family. At a wedding where 2 families have come together to celebrate the marriage of their relatives it can be a challenging time for me. Sitting at a table with a relative from the other family, who is making rude and inappropriate remarks, can be an unpleasant experience. If it was one of my relatives I could say something, but with this virtual stranger, I have to be careful not to start a family feud and later see it all posted on the internet. Hopefully my unresponsive face and silent stare is enough of a clue for them to keep quiet. It can make for an uncomfortable time; but when I am forced to sit with someone who is prejudicial, my silence has served me well in the past. No one in this comedy film was related to me but I still had to sit through it being uncomfortable and bored. After a horrible blind date Lauren and Jim, played by Drew Barrymore (Charlie’s Angels, Big Miracle) and Adam Sandler (Happy Gilmore, Big Daddy), accidentally found themselves at the same vacation destination, both with their families in tow. There would be no way they could avoid each other at the all inclusive African resort. It must have been time for Adam and his real family to take a vacation so this story was set in an exotic location. I enjoy all types of comedy but when you know what the punchline will be to every joke, it is not funny. The infantile script was filled with stereotypes and even used children simply as sight gags. I knew Terry Crews (The Single Moms Club, The Expendables franchise) as entertainer Nickens was supposed to be a parody, but I found his character annoying. Drew was the best part of this movie. It was clear to me that Adam plays the same character in every movie now; I find it pure laziness. If only he could have seen my blank face from the theater audience.
1 2/3 stars