Note to readers: I currently am not willing to risk my health (I’m 63 and an asthmatic) by visiting a theatre. All films that I have seen for review have been screened in my home. I am not going to tell you whether or not to attend a theatre. Just be aware of the risks, do your research, and follow the instructions
My View: Mortal Kombat (2021) R MMA fighter Cole Young (Lewis Tan) goes on a quest to find the Earth’s greatest champions in order to stand against the enemies of the Outworld to battle over who will control the universe. Short on plot and filled with plenty of blood and gore, the film is one long video game. I never played, but I watched my friends spend hours after hours on this game to be familiar with the characters that I knew who had what kind of fighting style and power. The film is not for young kids as the death scenes are over-the-top brutal, and there is a lot of cussing. The fight sequences are fun to watch, but this film is way too long at almost 2 hours in length. I enjoyed some of the banter between the fighters, especially Josh Lawson, who plays the rough and tumble Kane and Jessica McNamee has some flair as one of the heroes, Sonya Blade, making her scenes fun to watch. Lewis Tan plays the main hero of the story, and though he lacks some acting skills, he does pull off the fighting sequences with flash and skill. The dialogue is cheesy, especially when the bad guys show up, and the storyline is pretty simplistic, but you came for the spurting blood, the gnarly deaths, and lots and lots of fighting, and that’s what you get with this film. My Rating: Bargain Matinee Mortal Kombat Website The film is currently playing in select theatres and on the HBO Max Format.
Indiefest: Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street (2021) PG Documentary on the creators, artists, writers, and educators who started one of the most influential children’s program in the history of television. It is just a wonderful documentary on how a group of educators, TV people, and some puppeteers changed the world of television for children and their parents. The film has excellent interviews from both the past and the present that helps tell this fantastic story. Is it nostalgic? You bet it is, but I thought I knew a lot about Sesame Street and the Muppets, and yet, I found that this film kept bringing up new information about the show that I had never known. There is a ton of behind-the-scenes footage, including a hilarious bit of outtakes when the puppeteers go way off-script. The film gives you great insight into the making of the show, both creatively and technically, and lovingly lets us go back in time when people like Jim Henson was making the world a brighter and better place. We should all spend a little time on that magical place called Sesame Street. My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again Street Gang Website The film is currently playing in select theatres including in Atlanta at the Landmark Midtown Art
Indiefest: Tu Me Manques (2019) Following the death of his son, Jorge travels from Bolivia to New York City to confront Sebastian, his son’s boyfriend. While Jorge works to accept the death of his son, Sebastian decides to channel his grief into a play to honor the love that he shared with his boyfriend. This is a wonderful but, at times, strange film about two things; a father going on a journey to try to understand who his son was and why he ended his life and a former lover of the son who wants to put on a play in Bolivia about his lover to explore what it means to be a gay man in a world that doesn’t accept you or your lifestyle. One thing to fully understand about this film is that the play, also called Tu Me Manques, was a massive hit in Bolivia and was groundbreaking in getting a conversation going about homophobia in that country. The film, at times, feels a little overbearing with some of the tricks that it employs; going back and forth in time, using different actors to portray the same characters, and the meshing of the play and real-life together, all of which can be a little confusing. The film, though, with these tricks, makes the film's message of acceptance, understanding, and that all people deserve to find love so meaningful and emotional. My Rating: Full Price Tu Me Mangues Info The film is currently playing in select theatres.
Indiefest: Together Together (2021) R Matt (Ed Helms) is a man in his forties who is alone but wants to have a baby. Anna (Patti Harrison) is in her twenties and decides to become the gestational surrogate for Matt. Now two strangers have to come together to challenge their perceptions of boundaries, connections, and love. This is a sweet and lovely film about two people who are alone and fine with that, no matter what everyone around them thinks and says about it. What I loved about this film is we start off with the interview between Matt and Anna, so we slowly find about them through their discovery of each other. This film has a lot to say, mainly in a funny, smart and kind way, about gender roles and how we see single parents, especially ones that choose to take on that role. As you can imagine, Ed Helms is simply superb in the role of Matt, a man who wants to become a father, deciding that he is ready for the challenge. Matt is a man with a good heart and, yes, a little goofy (calling the TV show Friends ‘the godfather of sitcoms’ tells you a lot about the man). Patti Harrison is perfect as the independent woman who slowly warms up to Matt but has to figure out just what role she plays in the relationship as the surrogate. Harrison plays Anna as a woman who has a sly sense of humor and is cautious on how much she shares about herself with others. Together Together is a fun, witty look at a couple of people who get together to have a baby and maybe, just maybe, make a friend along the way. My Rating: Full Price Together Together Website The film is currently playing in select theatres.
Forgotten Film: Gambit (1966) A con man/cat burglar (Michael Caine) involves a dancer (Shirley MacLaine) in a plot to pull off the perfect heist, but then everything goes wrong. I can’t give too much of the plot away because there is a massive twist at almost the beginning of the film, but this is a fun caper film with a great sense of humor. Add in Michael Caine at the start of his career and MacLaine as the perfect companion for Caine’s character, and you have a movie that is a blast to watch. The film was nominated for 3 Oscars but didn’t win anything that year. Don’t fall for watching the much, much less fun 2012 remake with Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz. My Rating: Full Price Gambit Info
Weird Credits: From the credits of Tu Me Manques: Barber/Groomer
Where Have I Seen You Before?: Matt Robinson was the original Gordon on Sesame Street. He is the father to actress Holly Robinson Peete (21 Jump Street, Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper).
Coming Soon to a Screen Near You: Here Today (2021) PG-13 A veteran comedy writer, Charlie (Billy Crystal), meets New York street singer Emma (Tiffany Haddish), and they form an unlikely friendship. Billy Crystal directed the film and co-wrote the film with legendary comedy writer Alan Zweibel. If that wasn’t enough to see it, the cast includes Sharon Stone, Kevin Kline, and Barry Levinson. Here Today Info