Movie Review – Replicas

Movie Review - ReplicasThere are two movies coming out this week about dogs. One is A Dog’s Way Home. The other is Replicas, which has no dogs in it, but it is a dog.

Question: why does the saying, “This movie is a dog,” imply that a movie is bad, yet we also know this one: “A dog is a man’s best friend.” Someone ‘splain English to me, please. 🙂

I can’t criticize the actors because they had nothing useful to work with. Three minutes into the movie, and the dialog was already clumsy and heavy handed. The only good reason to watch this movie is for a film student to see how not to write dialog.

It was strange that the CG for the computer displays — the 3D images seen when characters have the HUD on –were pretty snazzy, but then the robot CG was 15 years out of date. It was so jerky it looked like stop motion.

The only good thing I can say about Replicas is that the credits are 11 minutes long, making this only a 95 minute movie.

BTW, Keanu Reeves, if you’re reading this, my apologies.  I love your work. There’s nothing anyone could have done to save this miserable script. But I have to ask, “Did you lose a bet? Why on earth did you take this role?”

Grade: F

About The Peetimes: I have 2 Peetimes here. Both are fine, however, there is a crucial scene following the 2nd Peetime. The credits for this movie are 11 minutes long with no extras, so the movie is really only about 95 minutes.

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Replicas. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (PG-13) for thematic material, violence, disturbing images, some nudity and sexual references
Genres: Crime, Mystery, Sci-Fi

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Movie Review – If Beale Street Could Talk

 

Movie Review - If Beale Street Could TalkIf you question what it means to be in love and not just love someone, If Beale Street Could Talk will truly give you clarity. This movie defines love while defying the odds. I was very enthralled in the plot of this movie, because every scene with Fonny and Tish seem to be intense in a quiet, subtle kind of way. The way that they looked at each other was like they were speaking without uttering one word or sound.

You know when you hear the phrase “life happens?” That’s exactly what happens to these childhood BFFs/high school sweethearts. This plot is not your normal black guy/black girl/white racist cop with his underroos in a knot. This story actually lays out how the racism affected two families, a pregnant 19-year-old, and a dreaming fiancee in such a way that everyone will empathize with the couple. Pay attention though, because the movie starts with Fonny in jail, and the scenes bounce between his life with Tish before he got there, and her jail visits. The love story is well laid out about the two naive young adults. I will say that I was drawn to Tish, because she seem to have a serious look all the time, as if she was unsure or not confident. I thought there was going to be an emotional explosion in some way to release her inner uncertainty…to no avail, though.

It was ironic that Tish and her family, along with Fonny’s dad, did all the fighting to try to free Fonny. Fonny’s mother and sisters were the epitome of bougie. They did not approve of Tish or her “low life” family. As soon as they walked in Tish’s mom’s house, I knew Fonny’s female relatives were a bunch of bible thumping, judgmental, and conceited women. Don’t worry though: Tish and her “female brigade” told off the Hunt women, to the point they left Tish’s house crying…looking for holy water to sprinkle on the door post on the way out…figuratively speaking. LOL!

I gave it a solid B for the good acting, especially Regina King (she never fails), the numerous comedic moments to lighten the mood, and the somewhat unique story twist, despite that the ending left you with a few unanswered questions.

I hope you enjoy this review. My theater attendees (mostly whites) sure did, so much so that they stayed afterward, discussing the movie. Walk in confused about love, but you’ll walk out love struck, and yearning to love everyone with just a little more intention.

TTFN (Ta Ta For Now), DanaSimone!

Grade: B

About The Peetimes: There are 3 Peetimes in this movie. Several of the scenes had no dialogue or did not yield to the importance of the plot so it was easy determining the Peetimes. I would use the 1st or 3rd one for sure but do not get sidetracked, come straight back as the plot thickens a little after each Peetime.

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of If Beale Street Could Talk. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (R) for language and some sexual content
Genres: Crime, Drama, Romance

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Movie Review – Holmes & Watson

 

Movie Review - Holmes & WatsonHolmes and Watson was really disappointing. Being a huge fan of the Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly comedy duo, I was expecting more. A lot more. I know these guys are amazing together; I personally think this film was simply poorly written.

The characters lacked a depth that made you care about them, and the off-beat secondary characters left you scratching your head as to why they’re even in the movie. They detracted too much — way too much.

There were some funny moments, but definitely not what I was hoping for. If you’re a fan you’ll understand; the humor in this one was at like a quarter volume, compared to Step Brothers on full blast.

The chemistry with the rest of the cast lacked terribly. I wasn’t a fan of any of them. The more I think about it, the more I really didn’t care for this one.

I petition that these two guys knock out another film soon, so I can get the taste of this one out of my mouth. Save your money; wait for Netflix, and chill with them then.

Grade: C-

Movie Released: 2018-12-25

About The Peetimes: This was a really short flick — I think 1 Peetime works just fine. I found a great one that gives you plenty of time.

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Holmes & Watson. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Movie Review – The Mule

 

Movie Review - The MuleClint, how do you do it? Year after year, for how many years now? 50? 60? Do you ever get tired? Is it ever hard to drag yourself out of bed and face the cameras? I ask these questions because after seeing The Mule, I have to accept the fact that you are not just human, but superhuman. To not only produce, but to direct this magnificent piece of work, no mortal man could do that at the age of 88. For that reason alone you should be rewarded with a Best Actor nod from the awards community.

The movie was a very good flick. It was even paced, well written, and of course well directed. We got to know Earl fairly well, but not any of the other characters…but you know, we really didn’t need to. This was all about Earl.

We did get a heavy dose of ‘family commitment’, but that’s what gave the movie its backbone. Watching Earl as he drove around the country wasn’t going to make for a good story. By putting Earl’s occupation aside and looking at the man, not the mule — that’s what made the movie.

So get some rest Clint; I think it’s going to be a busy awards season for you.

Grade: A

About The Peetimes: I have designated the 2nd Peetime as the preferred break because of the length of said break: you may take 4 and a half minutes to get back to your seat.

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of The Mule. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Quiz- Clint Eastwood, Actor, Director, Mayor, Musician

Quiz – How well do you know Clint Eastwood’s career?

Bradley Cooper, Actor, Director, Musician

Movie Review – Widows

 

Movie Review - WidowsWidows is a tightly wound drama that keeps you on the edge of your seat with perfect pacing, incredible acting and spot-on directing. I want to give kudos to Joe Walker for the amazing way this movie was edited. In the opening scene, he takes us from a sexy bedroom scene to a chaotic police shoot out, and back to the bedroom, then one more shot of the chaos. And all of this flowed almost naturally. I never felt confused — and if you ask my children, confusion is a-natural state for me.

The acting was awesome. It would be hard to pick one stand-out performance, since everyone did exactly what they’re supposed to do — wow us with a perfect interpretation of their character.

With Gillian Flynn’s outstanding screenplay, I was never bored. Just when you think you have it all figured out, Flynn would throw a curve ball that seemed to take the movie in a whole different direction. That’s superior writing! The production value of Widows is so polished you can almost see your reflection in it. Don’t miss the opportunity to see a truly flawless movie. Hollywood isn’t making a lot of those anymore.

Grade: A

About The Peetimes: The pacing of the movie made it easy to find 2 good Peetimes in the early and middle part of the story. However, due to the length of the movie I added a 3rd just for emergencies.

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Widows. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Movie Review – The Girl in the Spider’s Web

 

Movie Review - The Girl in the Spider's WebIt’s a sad fact: sometimes a good book can make a not so good movie. Such is the case of The Girl in the Spider’s Web.

The pacing was frenetic, making the plot hard to follow. There were scenes that went by so quickly, I hardly had time to incorporate them into the movie in my brain. Most of these scenes were filled with gratuitous explosions or implausible car chases that hurt my brain.

I didn’t feel there was any chemistry between the characters, and in my heart of hearts, I don’t think the actors had fun in making this movie. I most certainly didn’t have fun watching it.

TGitSW could have been shot in black and white, and it wouldn’t have made a difference. There was very little color, except for a brilliantly red outfit worn by Camilla during a portion of the movie. And speaking of the red outfit: hats off to Sylvia Hoeks for running up a snow-covered hill while wearing six inch red stilettos. You go girl!

I’m assuming that the target audience are those who have read the book, which I have not. How well did the movie follow the book? Did the personalities of the book follow the personalities of the movie? I don’t know, because I haven’t read the book and probably never will.

I did find it interesting that the movie opened with a ‘Me Too’ moment, showing Lisbeth emasculating an abuser by hanging him from the ceiling, and tazing the creep ’til he literally peed his pants. The icing on the revenge cake was when Lisbeth mostly depleted his fortune by transferring funds into a private account for the wife. A lot of people would consider this scene worth the price of admission. I did! I believe that TGitSW would have been so much better if tazing psychotic husbands had been the plot of the movie.

My bottom line…….wait for the DVD.

Grade: D+

About The Peetimes: This movie was almost non-stop action, making it difficult to get good Peetimes — however, I managed to find 2 action scenes that were easily summed up.

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of The Girl in the Spider’s Web. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Movie Review – The Sisters Brothers

Movie Review - The Sisters BrothersWhen I saw this movie yesterday, I really disliked it. I thought I’d sleep on it and see where my mind was later. I still dislike it.

Yes, it had an amazing cast. How can a movie with an ensemble like this not prove to be outstanding? I’m going to blame this on the writing. The story was okay at best and the pacing sucked. This movie dragged so bad that I’ll be honest…I nodded off twice  in the middle of the day.

I was under the impression it was going to be a funny movie. Luckily, the amazing John C. Reilly did in fact have some funny moments. In my opinion, he is the only one that pulled that off. The rest of the cast didn’t make me laugh at all. Reilly is the sole reason I’m giving this movie a C and not a D.

I’m at a loss on anything else to say; this movie sparks nothing in my mind. It was that boring.

Grade: C-

About The Peetimes: This movie is slow moving with a lot of dialog. A lot of the dialog is hard to hear. It’s one of the movies where you need to pay very close attention the whole time.

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of The Sisters Brothers. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Movie Review – Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer

Movie Review - Gosnell: The Trial of America's Biggest Serial KillerI have to grade this movie the same way I grade animated films; by determining the target audience, and grading accordingly.

Rotten Tomatoes audience score is at 98% as of this writing. So does this tell me most of the audience is made up of those who feel strongly about this issue, be it pro-choice or pro-life. I just don’t even want to go there. With such a polarizing issue, I’ll just step back and let those far more qualified slug it out.

There are many, many scenes that are not for the faint of heart, and equally as many photos. Please keep this in mind as you enter the theater.

I felt that the content and mechanics of the movie was done very well. This had to have been a difficult movie to write, but Andrew Klavan and Ann McElhinney knew the subject well. The acting and directing was above par and the pacing kept me interested at all times.

I was most impressed with Sara Jane Morris; you could almost feel the pain and anger that her character felt during the more emotionally packed scenes. Of course, Dean Cain and Nick Searcy, two great character actors, certainly gave fine performances.

By no means is this movie for everyone. But for those who feel passionately about this issue, and those who love to see justice served, you can’t miss with Gosnell.

Grade: B

About The Peetimes: There were a number of disturbing scenes in this movie. I couldn’t turn them all into Peetimes, but chose the 2 that I found most offensive.

There are extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Movie Review – The Old Man & the Gun

Movie Review - The Old Man & the GunSince The Old Man & The Gun is reported as being Robert Redford’s swan song; it seems only fitting that he reprises his most beloved character. As I sat in the theater, completely captivated by this movie, all I saw was the Sundance Kid, nonchalantly robbing one bank after another. So come on, Oscar committee, let’s honor this amazing actor by sending him off to retirement with one more Oscar for his mantle. And by no means would this be a ‘mercy’ Oscar, TOM&TG is an Oscar-worthy film.

The acting was superb, the directing was excellent, and the pacing was well done. The chemistry between Redford and Sissy Spacek was a beautiful addition to the movie. You could see the  admiration Redford’s character, Forrest, had for Spacek’s character, Jewel. This was the work of a really good actor and director.

Even though this is a ‘based on a true story’ movie, it doesn’t follow the real story exactly, but is still put together in a way that does give us insight into the life of Forrest Tucker.

All in all, I loved this movie. There was very little cussing, very little blood, and no nudity, so take a break this weekend and go see this remarkable film.

Grade: A

About The Peetimes: The Old Man & The Gun is an evenly paced movie, making it easy to get 2 good Peetimes. Both are of equal length, so let your bladder decide which is best for you.

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of The Old Man & the Gun. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Movie Review – The Hate U Give

 

Movie Review - The Hate U GiveI expected this movie adaptation of Angela Thomas’ book of the same name to be exactly what it was—-racially tensed and enlightening. While many people are aware of a few victims involved in police altercations that led to their deaths by police officers such as Trayvon Martin, Botham Shem Jean, Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, and Laquan McDonald, what I noticed about this movie are the “other” victims. I specifically mean those present when the victims are killed by the police officers. When 16-year-old Starr’s childhood best friend, Khalil, gets shot and killed by a police officer during a out-of-the-blue traffic stop, she becomes a victim in her our mind, her school, and her community as she finds her voice to speak up for what’s right.

Let’s start with the title, The Hate U Give. The first letter of the title spells THUG. Why is that important?

Remember the late famous hip hop rapper Tupac Shakur and his large abdominal tattoo saying “Thug Life”? There are several references to Tupac that define the plot development of this movie, that the director purposely includes. Tupac’s tattoo was an acronym standing for ‘The Hate U Give Little Infants Fu$%s Everyone.’

Other Tupac similarities include Maverick ordering the kids to learn the Black Panther Ten-Point Program — which recalls how Tupac explained one time in an interview that he was a militant, and his definition of thug came from his street side and his Panther side (his mom’s activism with the political Black Panther Party).

Another not so obvious reference was that the car (the neighborhood drug dealer leader) King drives is a black BMW 7 Series sedan with chrome and custom rims. On the night of Tupac’s murder, he was riding in a black 1996 BMW 7 Series sedan with chrome, custom rims.

I think that people will assume that this is just a typical black movie with commonly known stereotypes about blacks, but I think you should also view it from a different perspective, and pay attention to scenes that remind you of the patterns you see during a few of the real-life police shootings.

For instance, when Khalil was pulled over by the police, he responded to the officer by saying things like “Why are you pulling me over?” “Why turn my music down? I can hear you” and “I have rights.” This scene reminded me of the aforementioned Sandra Bland who made similar comments during her police stop, and was then arrested because she refused to put out her cigarette.

This movie right out the gate made me smile as it portrayed something very common, or uncommon, in black households, and that is the family eating dinner together and having deep life conversations. The not so common part is that not all black families have a mom AND a dad present. One other thing I’ll mention that I loved about the film — is the role played by hip-hop rapper Common, as Starr’s uncle, who is also a police officer in the same department as the officer that killed Khalil.

Towards the end of the movie, Starr draws an important distinction out of her uncle, and that is the action taken by police officers when they stop a black guy, versus when they stop a well-dressed white guy. Uncle Carlos admits that his behavior and reactions ARE different and racially biased, even as a black police officer. EPIC scene!!!!!

Let me speak to how Starr’s victim role was so robust. This was not Starr’s first experience with a BFF being killed; this is her second experience, and all before the age of 16. Starr lived two lives as she eloquently states it: Garden Heights Starr Version 1, and Williamson High School Starr Version 2. She had to bounce between the hood and the upper class private school she attended. Those scenes with her black friends and then her white friends, including Starr’s white boyfriend, was very well written and portrayed, and will be very familiar to many of your lives.

Spoiler below

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I’ll point out somewhat of a spoiler. Don’t miss the very climactic hairbrush scene between Starr and her Williamson High good friend Hailey. It gives you a glimpse of how some white people really think, but just don’t say it to black people out loud like Hailey did. Pray church! It got ugly. LOL

On another note, Starr bounced between two life roles that silenced her for many reasons. It’s so ironic, because 19-year-old Amandla Stenberg herself played similar roles in real life. She struggled with not being black enough (her father is Danish), and bounced between being straight and bi-sexual for a few years before finally embracing her designated sexuality (lesbian), and breaking her silence thereof. I think it’s so rhythmic, using “her voice” to make an impact onscreen, as well as off-screen.

Watch this movie without your “backpack” of pre-judgments of what you think you already know. Stay Open-minded. Be Empowered. Stay Woke.

#TheHateYouGive #AmandlaStenberg #PoliceShootings #Movies #NewReleases #MovieReview #RunPee #FemaleMasterpiece #BlackGirlsRock #TheHungerGames #LGBT #LGBTQ

Grade: B+

About The Peetimes: It was a little difficult getting Peetimes, because each one contains a little dialogue or dramatized scene that may appeal to somebody. However, these are 2 good Peetimes, both lasting 3 minutes. The 1st has an Alert flagged on it for people who might feel triggered by funerals/death. . .

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of The Hate U Give. (What we mean by Anything Extra)

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