Girls Trip (2017)

Director: Malcolm D Lee

Writer: Kenya Barris, Tracy Oliver (Screenplay) Erica Rivinoja, Kenya Barris, Tracy Oliver (Story)

Starring: Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Tiffany Haddish, Larenz Tate, Mike Colter, Kate Walsh

 

Plot: When four lifelong friends travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival, sisterhoods are rekindled, wild sides are rediscovered, and there’s enough dancing, drinking, brawling, and romancing to make the Big Easy blush.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Heart, Slightly Too Grossed Out

 

Story: Girls Trip starts as we meet our four college friends the Flossy Posse who have gone their separate ways in life, Ryan Pierce (Hall) is well on the way to becoming one of the icons of television with her husband Stewart (Colter), Sasha (Latifah) whose journalism career has fallen into a gossip blog, Lisa (Smith) who is a single mother and nurse while Dina (Haddish) hasn’t grown up yet still partying.

When Ryan is on the weekend that is going to make her career, she brings her girlfriends out for the Essence Festival in New Orleans. The worlds between them do collide over the weekend and test their friendships will be tested as the girls learn that not everything is what they had imagined.

 

Thoughts on Girls Trip

 

Characters – Ryan is a successful author, television presenter and icon for women across America, she is going to be the speech person at the Essence Festival, she brings the friends along as they have been drifted apart. She has stood by her husband even though he hasn’t been faithful to him. Sasha is the best friend of Ryan through college but we learn that something has drawn a line between them as they have tension through the film. Lisa has past her prime by becoming a mother but this trip is going to open her up again. Dina is the wild loose cannon of the group, she gets all the jokes and usually puts the girls into the trouble they find themselves in.

PerformanceRegina Hall, Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith are all great in their roles showing a side of comedy you wouldn’t expect from them as they are all playing the roles you wouldn’t expect from them, but it is Tiffany Haddish that steals the movies even if some of her jokes do go on for times, she doesn’t seem to have a pause button giving the film all the energy needed.

StoryWhen you look at the story I do feel we have the heart needed in the film to show the sisterhood between the friends which is the important part of the film. When you look at this you are left with jokes that don’t feel natural for the weekend these characters are going on. This is a story you can see people enjoy and the real-life situations the characters are going through in real life are believable.

ComedyThe comedy does go full gross out level in places and you will never look at grapefruits the same again.

SettingsNew Orleans is a wonderful setting for partying where the girls can enjoy a weekend away.

Scene of the Movie – The speech.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The constant use of the N word isn’t needed.

Final ThoughtsThis is a comedy that people will be enjoying, it wasn’t the style of comedy I truly enjoy but I can see people truly enjoying.

 

Overall: Comedy Fans will love.

Rating

 

 

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Sleight (2016)

Director: J.D. Dillard

Writer: J.D. Dillard, Alex Theurer (Screenplay)

Starring: Jacob Latimore, Seychelle Gabriel, Dule Hill, Storm Reid, Sasheer Zamata, Michael Villar, Brandon Johnson, Cameron Esposito

 

Plot: A young street magician (Jacob Latimore) is left to care for his little sister after their parents passing, and turns to illegal activities to keep a roof over their heads. When he gets in too deep, his sister is kidnapped, and he is forced to use his magic and brilliant mind to save her.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Throughout

 

Story: Sleight starts as we follow young street magician Bo (Latimore), Bo looks after his little sister Tina (Reid) after their mother has died. At night to make money he is a drug dealer for Angelo (Hill) and he uses all his tricks to stay one step ahead of people.

When Bo gets to see the darker side of the drug dealing game as he learns just how territorial Angelo is, forcing him into actions he would never imagine even though this is the only option for him to make enough money to give his sister the future he wants for her. We are left to see is Bo can get himself out of this world before it is too late.

 

Thoughts on Sleight

 

Characters – Bo is a young street magician, he takes care of his little sister the best he can which means he has become a drug dealer on the side, but when he starts to look for a way out he only finds himself needing to use all his skills to leave the world. Holly is the new girlfriend that walks into Bo’s life, she offers him support through the difficult decision he finds himself in. Angelo is the drug kingpin in the city that Bo works for, he starts off being a friend or father figure for Bo but he soon shows he darker side when it comes to people crossing him.

PerformanceJacob Latimore is great in this leading role, we manage to understand every emotion he finds himself needing to go through during the movie, Seychelle Gabriel is a good in the supporting role but you do feel in places we could have more from the character, Dule Hill is an actor I only know from comedy most Psych, but he shows he can pull off serious in this film being a threat you didn’t see coming.

StoryWe have seen the story of an innocent kid/young man falling into the drug dealing world before, but not many films have shown us a character in Bo that had little choice, while the consequences he faces are only he own doing. Part of myself wonders why he went on with his decision because he seems like he is making the money to make ends meet and follow his magician dreams too. While I do enjoy where this film went I did kind of wish we would see more from the magician side of everything.

Action/Sci-FiThe action side of the film does come from anything on the drug dealing side of the story, while the sci-fi comes from the magic and how it is all achieved.

SettingsLA makes for a wonderful setting to show us just how easy it could be to get caught up in a drug circle, he may not be using but he is selling and dealing with the consequences involved.

Scene of the Movie – Getting Tina back.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It feels like he didn’t need to do what he did to cause everything.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good look at the drug world people can be dragged into, it shows us responsibility that Bo needed to face and most importantly how far people will go for an art form.

 

Overall: Enjoyable movie well worth watching.

Rating

 

 

George A. Romero Between Night and Dawn

George A. Romero Between Night and Dawn

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OUT ON DUAL FORMAT 23RD OCTOBER

Fast sell:

Three films from the late, legendary horror director, George A. Romero, showing that although he might have defined zombie cinema, it didn’t define him.  There’s Always Vanilla, Season of the Witch and The Crazies, made between Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, showcase the extraordinary versatility and dynamism of this irreplaceable American auteur.

Key talent:

Director

George A. Romero (Dawn of the Dead, Martin)

Cast

Lynn Lowry (Shivers, Cat People)

Richard Liberty (The Mean Season, Day of the Dead)

Will MacMillan (The Enforcer, Used Cars)

Ann Muffly (Knightriders, Creepshow)

Raymond Laine (The Booby Hatch, Sudden Death)

Bill Hinzman (Night of the Living Dead, FleshEater)

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Synopsis:

THERE’S ALWAYS VANILLA (1971)

Young drifter Chris and beautiful model Lynn embark upon a tumultuous relationship which seems doomed from the outset.

SEASON OF THE WITCH (1972)
Joan Mitchell is a bored housewife whose dissatisfaction with her humdrum life leads to an unhealthy interest in the occult.

THE CRAZIES (1973)

A small rural town finds itself in the grip of an infection which sends its hosts into a violent, homicidal frenzy.

We like it because:

When George A. Romero passed away in July, the film world didn’t just lose its beloved ‘King of Zombies’, but also a groundbreaking and fearless innovator who inspired not only generations of genre directors, but also experimental and guerilla filmmakers for whom he laid down the template.

The three films collected in this box set – two early Seventies ‘lost films’ and a classic plague panic thriller – show there’s more to the legendary director than simply gut-munching ghouls. The comedy romance There’s Always Vanilla, psychological thriller Season of the Witch, and infection horror The Crazies – all filmed in and around Pittsburgh – serve to display the broader thematic concerns and auteurist leanings of a skilled craftsman too often pigeonholed within the genre; that said, The Crazies is one of his strongest horror offerings, with memorable performances from Lynn Lowry and Richard Liberty.

Romero managed to inject his films with subtle social allegories, nuanced examinations of the human condition, and just the right amount of black humour, so that they were immediately recognisable as his and his alone. The box set showcases the director feeling his way towards the mainstream and showing a formidable assurance in three very distinct genres.

This fantastic box set includes brand new restorations of the three films, a lavish 60-page booklet featuring new writing on this fascinating chapter of Romero’s career, a wealth of extras including interviews, featurettes and behind the scenes documentaries, reversible sleeves for all three films featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork, and a beautifully designed and striking slipcase featuring an iconic image of the man himself.

Limited Edition Contents:

High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard DVD presentations

English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

Reversible sleeves for each film featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx

Limited Edition 60-page booklet featuring new writing on the films

THERE’S ALWAYS VANILLA

Brand new 2K restoration from the original negative

Brand new audio commentary by Travis Crawford

Brand new interviews with actors Judith Ridley and Richard Ricci, producer Russ Streiner and sound recordist Gary Streiner

Digging Up the Dead – The Lost Films of George A. Romero – archive interview with Romero looking at his early films There’s Always Vanilla and Season of the Witch Trailer

Trailer

SEASON OF THE WITCH

Brand new 4K restoration from original film elements

Alternate extended cut

Brand new audio commentary by Travis Crawford

When Romero met Del Toro – celebrated filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro sits down with George Romero for this candid career-spanning conversation

The Secret Life of Jack’s Wife – archive interview with actress Jan White

Alternate Opening Titles

Trailers

THE CRAZIES

Brand new 4K restoration from original film elements

Brand new audio commentary by Travis Crawford

Romero Was Here – featurette revisiting The Crazies filming locations in Evans City, PA

Never Before Seen BTS footage

2016 Q&A with Lynn Lowry from Abertoir Film Festival

Alternate Opening Titles

Trailers

The Simpsons Challenge – Season 3 – Episode 16 – Bart the Lover

The Simpsons Challenge

Season 3

Episode 16 – Bart the Lover

Couch Gag – This time with one of the aliens hiding out on the couch before escaping before the family arrives.

Plot SynopsisAfter Mrs. Krabappel gives Bart a month of detention, he gets his revenge by responding to her newspaper singles ad. Meanwhile, Marge suggests Homer to start a swear jar to stop him cursing.

What is going on reallyWe start with Bart watching in video in a world without zinc sending him to sleep as always. We watch how Miss Krabappel is living a single working girls life, lonely after teaching and looking for love in the person ads.

When the class gets obsessed with yoyo Bart becomes the popular kid in class again but his latest trick finds him in one month detention, but this gives Bart a chance to learn about Miss Krabappel search for a man and decides to play along.

With this story we have the side story of Homer’s cursing causing troubles in the Flander’s household. This leads to a wager where Homer must put money in a swear jar and Ned will shave off his moustache.

Bart learns that he pranks could go too far when he stands Miss Krabappel up on the date with the dream man he has created but he learns that just pranks can effect the personal life of the people he plays them on and must find a way to say goodbye to Miss Krabappel that doesn’t break her heart.

Star Character

Bart & Miss Krabappel

Final ThoughtsThis is a one of the more memorable episodes, it shows how lonely Miss Krabappel is in her life and how she does have a connection with Bart. We also get a small lesson on how Homer can change himself with age.

Rating 5/5