My View: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3 (2023) PG-13 Still hurting from the loss of Gamora, Peter/Star-lord (Chris Pratt) and his team are adjusting to life on Knowhere when parts of Rocket’s past resurface. In order to protect him, the Guardians must go on a dangerous mission that could lead to the team disbanding forever. The Guardian series is my second favorite in the Marvel Universe, behind the Avenger series. I love the Guardians and how easily filmmaker James Gunn is able to mix comedy with serious situations; all the while, we still get plenty of action sequences full of fights, weird aliens, and spaceships. This is Rocket’s story as we see how he was created from a raccoon to our beloved fast-talking pilot who loves to shoot things and maybe even blow them up. Because of Rocket’s past, his life is in peril, and the rest of the Guardian gang drops everything to save his life. This film is full of funny situations, lines, and action scenes, but at its core, it is about family and how we will do everything, sacrifice even our lives to help someone in trouble. I loved this film, and it’s a fitting end to the Guardian gang (which keeps getting more extensive), where you might need a tissue or two along the way of our guys battling their way across the Galaxy. And yes, stay through all the credits for many bonus scenes. My Rating: I Would Pay To See it Again Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Website Now playing in theatres nationwide.
My View: Love Again (2023) A young woman, Mira Ray (Priyanka Chopra Jonas), tries to ease the pain of her fiancé’s death by sending texts to his old phone number. Unknown to her, the number has been reassigned to a stranger named Rob (Sam Heughan), who is intrigued by the texts and decides he must meet the woman who has written them. The only way you will enjoy this film is if you are a huge Celine Dion fan or you are desperate to see Nick Jonas (playing a Playboy idiot) make out with his wife in a comedic way. The film is sometimes painful to watch, especially any of the scenes with Celine Dion, in what seems like half the film. Celine’s music fills the movie (surprise, surprise that Dion was one of the film’s producers) to the point where we are to believe that Sam Heughan’s character sings her songs in the shower. The film’s plot is right out of the Hallmark pattern of a guy lies to a girl, falls for a girl who falls for him, and then the girl finds out about the lie. Everything about this film is incredibly predictable, and at times, the romance feels like a bad date with two people that don’t have any chemistry together. Much like a picture in the film of Mira and her late love, the movie feels like a horrible Photoshop version of a Celine Dion song that was added to an album at the last minute to give it an even number of songs. My Rating: Cable Love Again Website Now playing in theatres nationwide.
My View: What’s Love Got to Do With It? (2022) PG-13 Zoe (Lily James) is an award-winning filmmaker whose next project is documenting her best friend’s (Shazad Latif) journey into an assisted marriage in accordance with his family’s Pakistani heritage. While filming his hopeful quest to marry a stranger, Zoe challenges her attitude towards love and relationships. I enjoyed this film with two stars that have some spark between themselves and a storyline that kept me guessing. This is a romantic film, and we hope, almost from the start, that the two characters, who have grown up next to each other and are great friends, figure out that they are meant to be together. I love that the two families are part of each other’s lives and have fun doing it. The film has a kind of low-key charm to it, though I must say that Zoe sucks as a cameraperson, so much so that I didn’t for a minute believe that Lily James was playing an award-winning documentary filmmaker. The film explores the idea that arranged marriages have a vastly higher success rate than traditional Western marriages. Still, we hope the two characters wake up before it’s too late and realize that the love they are searching for is right there in front of them. My Rating: Bargain Matinee What's Love Got to Do With It? Info Now playing in theatres.
My View: Judy Blume Forever (2023) This is a documentary on the writer Judy Blume, who for generations of readers have been affected by her writing, often because of her frankness about puberty and sex. I never read any of Judy Blume’s books as I thought (wrongly) that they were for girls, and I was reading every Sci-Fi book I could get my hands on. After seeing this remarkable documentary, I am sorry that I didn’t read them, and I think I will at least try out her adult books. Fans of Blume’s work won’t be disappointed to learn that the woman who dazzled readers with tales of adolescence is a beautiful and intelligent person who cares about her readers. What is amazing about Blume is that not only did she read the letters that her fans wrote her, she answered a lot of them and, even better, kept in contact with some of her readers long after they became adults. The film lets Blume tell her story of how she became a writer, her battles with book banning, and the controversies her books created, which she met head-on. I loved how the film mixes celebrities, authors, and her readers in the interviews, letting us know how Blume’s works had a lasting effect on their lives. Go watch this marvels documentary, and then after you see it, buy a Judy Blume book for yourself or maybe some 12-year-old that reminds you of yourself at that age. Judy would love that. My Rating: Full Price Judy Blume Forever Info The film played recently at the Atlanta Film Festival and is playing on Amazon Prime.
Forgotten Film: Under Fire (1983) R Three journalists (Nick Nolte, Gene Hackman, and Joanna Cassidy) are covering the last days of a corrupt regime in Nicaragua about to fall to guerrillas supporting a revolution. Nick Nolte plays a photographer who falls for Joanna Cassidy’s radio reporter, who is about to end a relationship with TV reporter Hackman who dreams of being an anchorman. Adding to this mix of relationships are the facts that Nolte’s character is siding with the guerrillas; Hackman’s character will let his love go for a chance to get ahead in the broadcast game. I love Joanna Cassidy as the reporter who falls for Nolte’s photographer, but doesn’t like the fact that he will do anything for one side over the other while she tries to stay impartial. Add to the cast Ed Harris as a shady American that is probably a CIA agent, and this is a film that works from start to finish. My Rating: Full Price Under Fire Info The film is available for rent/buy on iTunes and DVD/Blu-ray.
Weird Credits: From the credits of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3: Hair Designer for Mr. Pratt
Coming Soon to a Screen Near You: Blackberry (2023) R The story of the impossible rise of a Canadian phone manufacturer that shocked the world by creating a phone that everyone had to have, until they didn’t. This is a drama/comedy that stars Jay Baruchel as Mike Lazaridis, a man who had the vision to create a phone that would fit in your hand and could do email and send messages, something no one thought could be done. The film has been a big hit on the film festival circuit, including just playing at the Atlanta Film Festival. Blackberry Website Film will be released on May 12, 2023.
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