I Used to Go Here (2020) Movie Review

Director: Kris Rey

Writer: Kris Rey (Screenplay)

Starring: Gillian Jacobs, Jermaine Clement, Josh Wiggins, Forrest Goodluck, Hannah Marks, Kate Micucci

Plot: Following the launch of her new novel, 35-year-old writer Kate is invited to speak at her alma matter by her former professor. After accepting the invitation, Kate finds herself deeply enmeshed in the lives of a group of college students.

Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: I Used to Go Here starts as we meet Kate Conklin (Jacobs) who has just released her first novel with her press tour being pulled and her wedding plans falling through, until she gets invited back to her college by her former professor David (Clement) for reading, with a plan for another reason, to offer her a job teaching.

Once in her college town, she starts to enjoy the trip down memory lane wondering where her life went wrong, looking to get things back on track after spending time with a group of college students who want to follow in her footsteps as an author.

Thoughts on I Used to Go Here

Characters – Kate is an author with her first book just getting released, her book tour gets cancelled after her marriage gets called off leaving her alone with her friends married with children on the way. She returns to her college hometown for a reading and spends her time bonding with the students in her old college home, remembering what she was like during her time in college. David is the professor that taught Kate and invited her back, he is delighted to see her succeed and still has his ways with the students. Hugo is one of the students living in the old college house that Kate lived in, he along with the other students offer her company in time in the old town.

PerformancesGillian Jacobs in the leading role is great to watch in the leading role, she makes us understand all the struggles she is going through during the film. The supporting cast fill their roles well through the film, without getting in the way of Jacobs performance.

StoryThe story here follows an author that is struggling with the release of her first novel when she ends up return to her college town to walk down memory lane learning and giving life lessons to people there. This does show us how important not having the biggest expectations in life can take time to learn, once you finish education, you could blink and realize you have missed large parts of life, but you can always snap out of routine to make something more, because people will be there for you. The story does well to help Kate learn about herself, while she can also help the students learn about what will come next in their lives, with a big heart about making the most of life.

Comedy/Romance The comedy in the film does work, it comes with more heart than pure laughs, with the difficult stage of Kate’s life getting more laughs at the way she feels older when looking at the student she remembers fondly, with the romance being more about what was once lost, more than looking for more sparks to fly.

SettingsThe film uses the small town college setting to show how the places we grow up, will be the places we won’t forget in life, each place brings back a memory for Kate.

Scene of the Movie – Tall Brandon special night.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not enough of the professor, which did include his offer to start the film rolling.

Final Thoughts This is a film filled with a way to look at life in a reflective mood and see what could have been, but most importantly, what could be.

Signature Entertainment presents I Used To Go Here on Digital HD 14th September

ABC Film Challenge – 80’s Movies – G – The Golden Child (1986) Movie Review

Director: Michael Ritchie

Writer: Dennis Feldman (Screenplay)

Starring: Eddie Murphy, Charles Dance, J.L. Reate, Charlotte Lewis, Victor Wong, Randall ‘Tex’ Cobb, James Hong

Plot: A private detective specializing in missing children is charged with the task of finding a special child whom dark forces want to eliminate.

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fun 80’s Movie

Story: The Golden Child starts when a mysterious powerful Golden Child (Reate) is taken by Sardo Numspa (Dance) a powerful wizard who wants him for his own power, Kee Nang (Lewis) goes in search for looking for someone to help locate the child, with private detective Chandler Jarrell (Murphy) being the man asked to help, a man that has dedicated his career to finding missing children.

Chandler learns that he is getting involved in a case which does include the supernatural, one he will have to take more seriously than anything before, one that will see him travel to world to try and save the Golden Child’s life.

Thoughts on The Golden Child

Characters – Chandler Jarrell is a streetwise private detective who specializes in solving missing children’s cases, he doesn’t care about reputation, he just wants to do the right thing for saving innocent children. He is bought in on this latest case, one that will see him need to question everything he knows about the supernatural world and questions whether it is even real when he comes face to face with the latest case. Sardo Numspa is a shapeshifting wizard that has taken the Golden Child and will exchange him for a knife that would give him more power. Kee Nang is assigned to find someone who could help save the Golden Child, with her choice being Chandler, she is left to question her beliefs as she falls for Chandler. The Golden Child is worshipped, with his power being able to bring people back to life, considered special, while also being dangerous to anyone that tries to hurt him.

PerformancesEddie Murphy is the star of the show here, he gets laughs and handles the action with ease, proving he was one the most impressive forces of the 1980s. Charles Dance makes for a wonderful villain, always showing the evil about his character through the film. Charlotte Lewis is great too, even if the character is more just for filling in gaps and love interest, we could have gotten a lot more laughs out of her character, with how certain things play out.

StoryThe story here follows a detective that gets hired to help search for a mysterious child who possess great powers, only he isn’t ready for the supernatural side to the investigation, where he is the only one that could save the world. This is a good story to follow, it does show us a detective that will always get the job done and just how important saving children is to him, despite his cocky streetwise ways. The idea of a special being in child form showing the goodness needed in the world is nice contrast to the evil coming from the shapeshifter looking to destroy the world. Everything does have a true 1980s feel to it, with how the story unfolds like you would imagine, but you can have a lot of fun along the way.

Action/ComedyThe action is an easy watch, with certain parts adding to the comedy in the film too, while Eddie Murphy controls the rest of the comedy with ease.

SettingsThe film takes the streetwise American detective to Tibet, a place he is constantly complaining about being too cold, it does show the different beliefs of the people on both sides of the world.

Scene of the Movie – Getting the knife.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Kee Nang seems like a more important character than the film lets her to be.

Final Thoughts This is a fun 80s movie, it has Eddie Murphy at the highest point of his career and fun with idea of good versus evil.

Overall: Fun and Entertainment.

The Black Emperor of Broadway (2020) Movie Review

Director: Arthur Egeli

Writer: Ian Bowater (Screenplay) Adrienne Earle Pender (Play)

Starring: Shaun Parkes, John Hensley, Nick Moran, Liza Weil, Nija Okoro, Lonnie Farmer

Plot: In 1921, Eugene O’Neill rejects the use of blackface and casts African American actor Charles Gilpin in the lead of his groundbreaking play “Emperor Jones”.

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Black Emperor of Broadway starts as we meet Charles S Gilpin (Parkes) a black actor in the 1920s whose only shows often involve himself needing to blackface despite his talent, until ambitious Broadway playwright Eugene O’Neill (Hensley) has created a new play, one with a black lead and he wants to break the barriers by having a black leading actor.

With Charles hired, it doesn’t take long before Charles and Eugene clash over certain words being used in the script, ones the Charles would never see one black man say to another black man, leading to Charles needing to learn the part and deciding whether to take a stand or work with what he is given to make history.

Thoughts on The Black Emperor of Broadway

Characters – Charles S Gilpin is a black actor that gets small roles, while making ends meet with his wife, he does get strong reviews when he performs, but being a black man, nobody wants to take him seriously, he is given the lead in a play which finds its way to Broadway, which brings new pressures, using words he never would imagine and dealing with celebrity status. Eugene O’Neill is the playwright that has a vision of making a new play with a black lead, he does push the limits to make this happen, challenging his star, with the words that a white man would have written, he will clash with Charles on set, wanting to break boundaries, casting black actors instead of going with blackface. Jasper Deeter is the co-lead in the play, he wants to work with the best talent, which includes Charles, knowing he will bring out the best in himself.

PerformancesShaun Parkes in the leading role shows the strength to make a difference for a race, while also showing the addictions which can consume a celebrity figure. John Hensley as the idealistic playwright shows us how living in the shadows of a famous father can make the decision process happens. Nick Moran is the middle ground between the two, showing that talent wants to work with talent.

StoryThe story here follows actor Charles S Gilpin a black man cast in a play that would be the first one to have a lead in a Broadway play, while trying to also make the character true to a black man, instead of one just written by a white man. This does show the struggles off stage to make change in the theatre process, by going against the normal of the time of blackface for black characters and turning to black actors to perform, while also bringing the ideas that a star can turn to their vices to see them spiral out of control. This does highlight an important change in history, showing how someone took a chance to make it happen.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show us the different location that the play would take place, showing how the people involved would leave away from the stage too.

Scene of the Movie – The first performance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not enough focus one the Broadway run.

Final Thoughts This is an important look at a change in the theatre process, showing us how a black actor is given a chance on the big stage for the first time, overcoming the troubles of the time.