Friday, February 10, 2023

Magic Mike's Last Dance

My View: Magic Mike’s Last Dance (2023) R  Mike (Channing Tatum), after a business deal that has gone bust, is bartending when he meets a woman, Maxandra (Salma Hayek Pinault), who could change his life, again. Maxandra persuades Mike to come to London and do what he does best: dance. This is the third and possibly final dance for Magic Mike. Unlike the first two films, this film doesn’t revolve around Mike but around Max, a fiery, wealthy woman who wants to prove to her soon-to-be ex-husband that she can be powerful and successful. As with the first two films, there is plenty of dancing done by men with their shirts off. The best is early in the movie when Mike dances/seduces Max at her house. The plot is not as fun as the first two films, and the plot of Mike creating a show-stopping dance revue in four weeks is a little unbelievable. Still, Tatum looks like he is having a blast, and he does, surprise, surprise, takes off his shirt and dances quite a bit for a character that claims he has given up performing.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee  Magic Mike's Last Dance Website  Now playing in theatres nationwide. 

My View: Sharper (2023) R  Madeline (Julianne Moore) is a woman who sets out to seduce and bag a famous and wealthy financier (John Lithgow). Her adult son, (Sebastian Stan) is a conman known for planning scams that earn big payouts. Set among New York City’s wealthiest bedrooms, bars, and boardrooms, nothing is as it seems in a game for riches and power. I loved the first third of the film, where we get to know the players in this con and how they know each other. Sharper is a movie, like most films about conmen and women, that has a ton of twists and turns. The problem with Sharper is the last third is not as smart, interesting, or thrilling as the first two-thirds of the film. Still, it’s a fun ride with Julianne Moore and Sebastian Stan as two characters who seem to be competing on who can out-con who.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee Sharper Info  Now playing in select theatres and on the Apple TV+ platform on Friday, February 17, 2023. 

My View: Somebody I Used to Know (2023) R  On a trip to her hometown, Ally (Alison Brie) meets up with her old flame, Sean (Jay Ellis), and it seems like old times. The only problem, Sean is engaged to Cassidy (Kiersey Clemons), and it’s like Ally is meeting the person she used to be. The film, an old rom-com plot of a girl wants the boy back who is about to be married, is fun because of Alison Brie. Brie has terrific comedic timing, and even though Ally is very self-centered, we still want her to figure out how to be happy. The film puts a nice spin on the rom-com plot when Ally realizes Cassidy is lovely, talented, and needs a friend, not a rival. There is some excellent chemistry between Brie and Ellis, with a get-together near the film’s beginning that shows just how well their characters interact. Somebody I Used to Know is one of those films where you can tell the cast had fun making it. And by the way, stay beyond the initial credits for a bonus scene.   My Rating: Full Price  Somebody I Used to Know Website Now playing on the Amazon Prime platform. 

My View: Your Place or Mine (2023) PG-13 Debbie (Reese Witherspoon) and Peter (Ashton Kutcher) are best friends but live on opposite coasts. Peter is headed to LA and convinces Debbie, a single mom, that he will take care of her kid, Jack (Wesley Kimmel), while she travels to New York City and takes a vacation in his apartment. Peter is about to find out that taking care of a kid is hard, made more challenging when Debbie meets someone in New York. The problem with this film is that there isn’t a lot of chemistry between Witherspoon and Kutcher, but I am not sure that it’s their fault, as for most of the film, the two either talk on the phone or FaceTime. I enjoyed the fact that the two main characters have a great relationship, but we can see from a mile away that Peter is in love with Debbie, and we also know how all this will play out. The film never finds its footing and wastes the talents of the two leads, though it is worth watching if just for the sidekick deadpan lines of Tig Notaro, who plays an old friend of Debbie and Peter.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee  Your Place or Mine Website  Now playing on the Netflix platform. 

Indiefest: Seriously Red (2022) R Red (Krew Boylan) is a realtor who isn’t happy with her life. Red quits/gets fired from her job and discovers that she has a genuine talent; she is a fantastic Dolly Parton impersonator. I want to like this film. I mean, who doesn’t love Dolly Parton? However, the problem with the film is that you come off not liking the main character, the person you are supposed to be rooting for. Red isn’t a likable person. She is unreliable, lets her friends/family down constantly, and will do anything to get into a relationship. I will say this: Krew Boylan does a great job when her character is on stage as Dolly, but isn’t very funny when she is Red. Seriously Red is a strange film with Rose Byrne as an Elvis impersonator who hits on Red/Dolly and then becomes her rival and Bobby Cannavale, as the man who owns the celeb impersonator business and is a Neil Diamond impersonator himself. Dolly fans might enjoy the film (her inspirational quotes are featured throughout the film), but for the rest of us, the Dolly impersonation gets a little old.  My Rating: Cable  Seriously Red Website  Now playing in select theatres. 
My View: At Midnight (2023) R Sophie (Monica Barbaro) is a world-famous actress who has been dating another famous star for five years, and they are starring in a superhero movie together. When she catches him cheating on her on the set, she breaks up with him. At the hotel the cast is staying at, she meets Alejandro (Diego Boneta), who works at the hotel, and these two are destined to begin secretly meeting ‘At Midnight.’ When you do a rom-com, you need two things: a chemistry that shows up on the screen between the two leads and a good plot where we know we will get a happy ending, but we still worry the two won’t end up together. In At Midnight, we get the first. Monica Barbaro and Diego Boneta have some magic going on between them, making us like their characters and want them to fall in love. The problem is the script is so weak, with plot holes that make you shake your head in wonder that the stars can’t overcome it, along with a soundtrack that wants us to relive the screen romances of the past but seems so out of place. Also, for a film that wants us to fall in love with Mexico, other than a brief musical montage of an outing in Mexico City, the film could take place in just about any coastal or island resort. I think it will take a few more margaritas ‘at midnight’ before I want to see this film again. My Rating: Cable  At Midnight Info  Now playing on the Paramount+ platform.
: Consecration (2023) R After the alleged suicide of her brother, the priest, Grace (Jena Malone), travels to the remote Scottish convent where he fell to his death. There she discovers that the Church’s account makes little sense and that the convent has a deadly and disturbing past. I thought this would be more a jump out of the dark horror film, but it’s mostly a slow suspense film. The film starts out promising as Grace experiences ghosts from her past in both flashbacks and actual ghosts showing up at both her apartment and when she visits the convent. The scares are few, and the plot slows down to a crawl when Grace stays at the convent to discover what happened to her brother. Jena Malone has a fabulous presence on screen as Grace but can’t overcome a film that never finds its way to make the movie feel and look scary. I wanted more scares and chills from Consecration and instead I got less. My Rating: Cable  Consecration Website  Now playing in select theatres. 

Forgotten Film: Antwone Fisher (2002) PG-13 Antwone (Derek Luke) is a young man who is a good sailor but has trouble controlling his temper. He is forced to see a Navy psychiatrist (Denzel Washington) who slowly peels back the layers of Antwone’s past and finds out why Antwone is so damaged. Directed by Denzel Washington and written by the man whose story it tells, Antwone Fisher is an amazing film about a man who has to confront his past and find a way to heal. This is an emotional rollercoaster of a film that is beautifully acted and directed. Derek Luke holds his own while performing with Denzel. And the film features a role for Viola Davis, who plays Antwone’s mother in a scene you won’t forget.  My Rating; I Would Pay to See it Again  Antwone Fisher Info  The film is available to rent on most online platforms.

Weird Credits: From the credits of Somebody I Used to Know: River Safety

Coming Soon to a Screen Near You: Air (2023) R The story of a shoe salesman, Sonny Vaccaro (Matt Damon), who convinces the head of Nike, Phil Knight (Ben Affleck), to develop and market a shoe around a basketball player that has never played a professional game. That player, Michael Jordan. The cast includes Jason Bateman, Chris Tucker, Chris Messina, Marlon Wayans, and Viola Davis, and is directed by Ben Affleck. Lace-up your shoes! I am betting that this will be fun.  Air Info  Film will be in theatres in early April.

Until Next Time!

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