Signature Entertainment presents Miss Virginia on Digital HD 2 October 2020

Based on the inspiring true story of Virginia Walden Ford’s fight to create positive educational opportunities for African-American students in Washington D.C., Miss Virginia is a gripping drama about community empowerment with a powerhouse central performance from Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black).
 
Virgina Walden (Uzo Aduba) an impoverished single mother who is losing her fifteen-year-old son to the rough streets of Washington D.C. Unwilling to see him drop out and deal drugs, she places him in a private school. But when she can’t afford tuition, she launches a movement to change the system that is destroying him and thousands like him. Attacked and threatened by those who don’t want change – from a corrupt politician to the local drug lord, Virginia must discover depths of strength she never knew she had.
 
Because of Virginia Walden Ford’s tireless campaigning, in 2002 the United States’ government enacted the first-ever Opportunity Scholarship Program for low-income children, leading to a complete overhaul of Washington D.C.’s education system. 
 
Miss Virginia stars Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black) in the titular role, Niles Fitch (Roman J. Israel, Esq., This is Us) as her son James, as well as Matthew Modine (Stranger Things), Vanessa Williams (Shaft), Adina Porter (American Horror Story) and directed by R.J. Daniel Hanna.

A Kid Like Jake (2018) Movie Review

Director: Silas Howard

Writer: Daniel Pearle (Screenplay)

Starring: Claire Danes, Jim Parsons, Octavia Spencer, Priyanka Chopra, Ann Dowd, Amy Landecker

Plot: Loving parents of a four-year-old must come to terms with their child being transgender.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: A Kid Like Jake starts as parents Alex (Danes) and Greg (Parsons) are looking for a school for their son Jake (Davis) in the competitive school district, when they start to notice that Jake is different to the rest of the students, he enjoys princesses, over male figures, which sees Alex and Greg starting to investigate what might have caused this, or what the bigger issue might be.

When Greg starts to come to the realization that Jake is a transgender, he needs to get this through to Alex, while Judy (Spencer) is struggling to find a safe school for a transgender student to attend.

Thoughts on A Kid Like Jake

Characters – Alex is the mother that gave up her time as a lawyer to raise the couple’s son, she has suffered miscarriages and when Jake starts wanting to wear dresses, she doesn’t know how to deal with this happening to her son, not understanding how to deal with the fact her son is different. Greg is the therapist father that will start to take a step back to see what is happening and suggests Jake see a specialist to help understand the changes he is going through. He is more open to what Jake wants and must help Alex understand it isn’t a bad thing. Jake is the son in question, while he isn’t on screen much, he is the one that is trying understand why he is different to the other students. Judy helps the children find the schools, she is aware things will be difficult for Jake and is trying her hardest to help prepare Alex and Greg for the future.

PerformancesClaire Danes and Jim Parsons are both brilliant here, showing us just how difficult it could be to understand the situation they are in, showing how it can become even more difficult without having anyone to prepare them. Octavia Spencer gives us one of her trademark quality supporting roles, with the whole cast shining through here.

StoryThe story here follows parents that start to learn that their son is a transgender and must start to learn about it, the struggles they will need to go through as less people will be accepting their son going forward. This movie does get to show us the difficulties parents would have when it comes to learning about their child being different, while they are not different in any sort of bad way, it is hard to adjust to what they were expecting. It shows that not everyone is going to be accepting, which is going to cause problems going forward for Jake too. We focus on being prepared for what the future is going to hold.

SettingsThe film is set in New York, which highlights the competitiveness of trying to get kids into the schools within their district with the added stress thrown at the parents in this situation.


Scene of the Movie – The argument, showing both Danes and Parsons full skills.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We don’t really get to see Jake point of view from anything going on.

Final Thoughts This is an important drama that will highlight the changes people will be going through in a more modern world that isn’t going to be found in an educational system.

Signature Entertainment presents A Kid Like Jake on Amazon Prime September 4th

Signature Release Here Awhile Coming 12th October

Anna returns home to Portland to reconnect with her estranged brother, Michael, after 15 years apart and what feels like a lifetime of guilt.  Under the guise of reconnecting, Anna needs her brothers support to make an important life decision that puts a new strain on their recently repaired relationship. By spending time with her grown brother, his girlfriend, her own life partner and quirky neighbor, Gary Anna and the group form a bond that strengthens their relationship more than she could have ever expected.  In each of their own ways, they learn to celebrate life, love and maximize the time that they have together.

 

Here Awhile Stars Anna Camp (Pitch Perfect)Steven Strait (The Covenant), Joe Lo Truglio (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) and is directed by Tim True.

Signature Release Ravage Coming 5th October

Harper, a young nature photographer on assignment in the woods of the Watchatoomy valley, captures a disturbing event of a man being brutally whipped and beaten in the woods. After reporting the incident to the local sheriff, she is quickly captured by the culprits and taken to an abandoned farm in the woods to be tortured. Due to Harper’s experience as a survivalist, she is able to escape but is on the run and has to quickly outsmart her captors.

 

Ravage stars Annabelle Dexter-Jones (Cecile on the Phone)Bruce Dern (The Hateful Eight) and is written and directed by Teddy Grennan.

ABC Film Challenge – Animation – # – The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019) Movie Review

Director: Chris Renaud, Jonathan del Val

Writer: Brian Lynch (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Patton Oswalt, Kevin Hart, Harrison Ford, Eric Stonestreet, Jenny Slate, Tiffany Haddish, Lake Bell

Plot: Continuing the story of Max and his pet friends, following their secret lives after their owners leave them for work or school each day.


Tagline – They still have their secrets.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Simple Sequel

Story: The Secret Life of Pets 2 starts as we see how Max and Duke are adjusting to having a kid in their lives, with Max feeling the stress of protecting him, which sees the whole family have a weekend away in the country, Snowball and Daisy end up trying to release a tiger from a circus, giving Snowball a chance to be the hero he wants to be.

Back in New York Gidget gets involved in her own adventure, trying to recover the lost toy from an apartment filled with cats all before Max returns and learns his friend has lost his prized toy.

Thoughts on The Secret Life of Pets 2

Final Thoughts When it came to the first Secret Life of Pets, we got to see the adventures of the pets in New York as they deal with changes in their lives, this story does take everything to the next level for Max, shows Snowball on yet another wild adventure and puts the rest of the characters in a position where they must do the right thing for the animals. This is one that the kids will get the enjoyment out of, though the more adult audience will struggle to get behind the bland characters that are mostly forgettable by the end of the film. The animation still looks incredible, though certain actions are very worrying to see, even if this is only added for slapstick.

Overall: Basic Animation.