My View: Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul (2022) R Trinitie (Regina Hall) and her husband, pastor Lee-Curtis (Sterling K. Brown), used to be the king and queen of a prominent Southern Baptist Mega Church. However, that was before a major scandal, and now they must rally and put the pieces back before it all goes away. I loved the performances of the two leads, especially Regina Hall, who dominates every scene she is in. Hall can do more with a look to the camera than most actors can do with a whole speech. Unfortunately, the film doesn’t know what it is. Is it a mockumentary? Is it a comedy? Is it a drama? Most of the film is shot as if it is for a documentary, but there are times when the film isn’t part of the documentary, as in a bedroom scene where the couple attempts to have sex, which makes for a very confusing mess of a film. I will say that there is a hilarious scene during a car ride where the two get into a rather profane rap song, but that’s the film's highlight as far as humor goes. The problem is that the film is a one-trick pony on how a Christian couple is more concerned about their wealth than their souls, and it pounds us over the head with that notion throughout the film. My Rating: Bargain Matinee Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. Website Now playing in theatres nationwide and is currently on the Peacock platform.
My View: Love in the Villa (2022) Julie (Kat Graham) is a woman who always has a plan. After a long-term boyfriend breaks up with her, she takes the ‘romantic trip’ to Verona, Italy, that the two had planned together. Once there, she discovers that the villa she reserved has been double-booked, and she’ll have to share her vacation with a cynical British man (Tom Hopper). Come on, what more do you want in a rom-com than a trip to Italy with two mismatched, great-looking soon to be in love people. Predictable, but with the beautiful scenery, who cares? The first third of the film is a bit rough (a little too much of a grab for humor), but Graham and Hopper give the movie a bit of a spark, and you get an ending that you want. And there are all those shots of Italy. My Rating: Bargain Matinee Love in the Villa Website Now playing on the Netflix platform.
Indiefest: Gigi & Nate (2022) PG-13 Six weeks away from his first year at college, Nate (Charlie Rowe) suffered a horrible accident, leaving him a quadriplegic. His world seems small and cold in that wheelchair until a unique service animal entered Nate’s life. A tiny capuchin monkey named Gigi. This is a film that is in two parts. The first part is an enjoyable film about a young man who finds hope and solace in a service animal. The film is enjoyable as Gigi and Nate slowly bond, and both Nate and his family begin to heal. The second half of the film takes a hard turn to try to give us a message that seems very heavy-handed, making a statement that it doesn’t know how to deliver without hitting us over the head with it. The film takes a big swing and misses. It's too bad because the first half is winning look at overcoming a horrible thing with the help of love and family. My Rating: Bargain Matinee Gigi & Nate Website Now playing in select theatres.
My View: Wire Room (2022) New recruit Justin Rosa (Kevin Dillon) is working in ‘the Wire Room,’ where federal agents monitor in a remote facility the most dangerous criminals in the world. Rosa is watching a cartel member, Eddie (Oliver Trevena), who he has been told to keep alive at all costs. Things go wrong when Justin sees that a team of assassins has descended on Eddie’s house, and Justin warns the man of the danger. It’s a move that could cost both of their lives. It is tragic this is the last film that Bruce Willis will be in, and it is evident that he was having trouble with lines, with all the one-shots he is involved with, speaking one sentence at a time. Most of the film is horribly put together, with a plot line that stretches any sort of reason. It’s sad that your two leads only have action sequences near the film's conclusion, and then it’s mostly a shoot-out that ends with a whimper. Sad end to what was a great career. My Rating: Cable Wire Room Website Now playing in theatres.
Indiefest: The Good Boss (2021) With his company up for an award that could save it, Blanco (Javier Bardem) is willing to do just about anything to ensure it happens. First, I went into this film thinking it would be a comedy, but it’s more a drama with humorous undertones. Blanco is a man who is used to things going his way. He is all bluff and bravado, thinking he can talk his way out of anything. However,from the start, we see cracks in Blanco’s life and work. A worker he has let go of is causing a scene right at the film's beginning, and things get worse as Blanco tries to control an out-of-control situation. Blanco's world is slowly crumbling around him, from his right-hand man having a breakdown to a fling that turns horribly wrong. Javier Bardem is brilliant in a role that is very different from most that he has done in the past. This is a performance for the ages, as the more that Blanco tries to put out the fire, the more the flames rise up to bite him. It’s a character that, at first, we like, but as we get to know him, the more we detest his ability to charm. But is Blanco as slick as he thinks he is, or will everything come tumbling down? You will have to watch to find out. My Rating: Full Price The Good Boss Website Now playing in select theatres.
Forgotten Film: Silvia Prieto (1999) R Silvia (Rosario Blefari) is a woman in her late twenties who is perfectly happy going from job to job, moving around when she feels like it. It all changes when she finds out a second person is also called Silvia Prieto, and her life changes. Unfortunately, these changes are not what she hoped for. This delightful film from Argentina works because of the performance of Rosario Blefari, who is marvelous in the role of the strange and flighty Silvia. The film is full of wit and an excellent supporting cast. Truly a gem of a film and well worth watching. My Rating: Full Price Silvia Prieto Info
Weird Credits: From the credits of Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul: Child Labor Coordinator
Coming Soon to a Screen Near You: Barbarian (2022) R A woman (Georgian Campbell) rents an Airbnb to find that someone else is already renting it. She reluctantly stays the night, only to find that the home has hidden secrets that could cost her more than the rent. The film is getting great word of mouth. The film is in theatres nationwide on Sept. 9, 2022. Barbarian Info