My View: Drive-Away Dolls (2024) R Jamie (Margaret Qualley) regrets her breakup with her girlfriend and needs to get away to forget her troubles. Her best friend Marian (Geraldine Viswanathan) just wants to get away. The two embark on a road trip to Tallahassee in search of a fresh start. They rent a car intended for a group of inept criminals, and now the chase is on, but the girls don’t know that. I am a huge fan of the Coen brothers movies, especially Fargo. So I was excited when I saw the trailer for this film. Boy, was I disappointed. I wanted this film to end almost as soon as it started. It feels as if it is half a film (maybe brother Joel has the rest of the plot) with storylines that seem to end without any result, characters talking on and on without any rhyme or reason, and an ending that felt too easy. The film is full of stunt casting, so be warned that some actors are on screen for just a few moments. There isn’t a lot of heart in this film, and it feels almost like a parody of the sex romp films of the 80s with a lesbian slant, but that would be giving it too much credit. My Rating: Cable Drive-Away Dolls Website Now playing in theaters.
My View: Ordinary Angels (2024) PG Sharon (Hilary Swank) is a hairdresser known for getting involved in people’s lives. She finds out about a critically ill young girl whose widowed father, Ed (Alan Ritchson), is in over his head trying to get her treatment. Sharon does what she does best and single-handedly rallies an entire community to help pay for an operation. It will take a miracle, but that’s what Sharon does. Ordinary Angels is a touching story with a bit of Christian overtones that gets a little schmaltzy at times but works because of the message that if we work together and show some human kindness, miracles can happen. Swank has fun as the heart-of-gold hairdresser who has a troubled past and wants to right a few wrongs, primarily through her ability to talk anybody into anything. There are plenty of tears along the way, but it’s a story that loves a good miracle or two. My Rating: Bargain Matinee Ordinary Angels Website Now playing in theatres.
Indiefest: lo Capitano (2023) lo Capitano is about two teenage boys, Seydou (Seydou Sarr) and Moussa (Moustapha Fall), who leave Dakar in Senegal to go on an epic journey to the greener pastures of Europe. Little do the young men know the hardships and dangers they will encounter along the way. This powerful film takes you on an unbelievable journey of two boys who are forced to become men along the way. lo Capitano is a film that treats its characters with tenderness as they endure horrific times. You are given insight into why the two boys want to go to Europe, but you also see why, once they have left, they miss their families and home. Seydou Sarr gives an incredible performance as a young man who is good at heart, loves his best friend, and is horrified at what he has to deal with and endure. It’s a brilliant performance that hits you in the gut and keeps punching because that's how bad this journey of two teen boys trying to find a better life. lo Capitano is a film about dreams and the journeys we travel to make them come true, no matter the hardship. My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again lo Capitano Website Now playing in theaters.
Indiefest: Stopmotion (2023) R Stopmotion is the story of Ella (Aisling Franciosi), a stop-motion animator working under the demanding, legendary animator Suzanne (Stella Gonet), who happens to be her mother. When her mother dies, Ella hopes to finally make the films she has always dreamed of. Unfortunately, those dreams may become nightmares when a character she is filming suddenly comes to life. I am a huge fan of stop-motion animation, and this film is packed with incredibly creepy and scary animation. Ella is a frustrated animator who has lived under the shadow and thumb of her mother. When Ella finally starts working on her own creation, it’s actually a story from a neighborhood kid that takes a life of its own. Stopmotion is a story of a woman who doesn’t know what is real and what is made up. The storyline is a little light, but the melding of stop-motion animation with live-action makes this horror film stand out and gives you plenty of scares. My Rating: Bargain Matinee Stopmotion website Now playing in theaters.
Forgotten Film: Heartaches (1981) R A young wife (Annie Potts) is pregnant, and she doesn’t want to tell her husband (Robert Carradine) because of one little problem: it’s not his. So she leaves home to get an abortion and meets up with Rita (Margot Kidder). Though the two are opposites, they decide to pair up and soon find they have much more in common than they realize. While not a great movie, the performances of Margot Kidder and especially Annie Potts make this film worth watching. While Kidder’s character is the more outrageous, Potts dominates the film as a woman who has finally realized that she is far more capable than her worthless husband ever lets her be. My Rating: Bargain Matinee Heartaches Info
Weird Credits: From the credits of Drive-Away Dolls: Chief of Zoss
Coming Soon to a Screen Near You: Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire (2024) The Spengler family has returned to where it all began, the iconic New York City firehouse, to team up with some of the original Ghostbusters. Their mission is to stop an evil force unleashed by an ancient artifact that threatens to turn the world into a second Ice Age. This is the first movie in the Ghostbusters franchise that the late Ivan Reitman won’t be involved in. The film was going to be a Christmas release but was delayed by the actor and writer’s strikes. Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire Website The film is out on Friday, March 22nd.