The Lion King – Can Disney Remake a Masterpiece?

My two cents worth as I anticipate The Lion King this week. I’m fascinated to see how Disney can remake a masterpiece. The original movie was amazing, and the stage musical was also, in an entirely different way. When my daughter, Destiny, and I saw the musical in Chicago, we were absolutely blown away by the production and costumes. I didn’t think I could love the movie anymore, but I did even more after the musical experience.

Destiny and I love ALL things Disney, and we are amazed at their attention to detail.  I’ve also taken the leadership course at Disney Institute, and their behind the scenes operational ethics are inspiring. For example, when Disney was making the Lion King musical, they spent months figuring out how to make the stage elephant blink perfectly, timely, and look real, simultaneously.

I especially can’t wait until I see the opening scene of the movie. I literally cry every time I see it, and I cried during the musical as well. They used live animals to enter from the back of the theatre, and walked to the stage (Pride Rock) —  and it was absolutely the most amazing and breathtaking thing I had seen in all my life.

Like many of you, I’ve seen The Lion King, via DVD, more than 25 times, and I know every scene and song. So to say, I’ll be especially sensitive watching the remake to ensure Disney didn’t ruin my ultimate love affair with my DVD replay. This is an understatement. I’m sure Disney is feeling the pressure too, but if I know them at all, this too, will be A+ amazing.

So don’t underestimate the magic of Disney. Walt Disney and the entire staff thrive on his words: “If you can dream it, you can do it.”  And on Thursday, July 19, Disney. will. do. it. again! (Exhale)

The Lion King – Lyrics and Video to Hakuna Matata

The Lion Sleeps Tonight Lyrics & Video from The Lion King

 

Movie Review – Stuber

Movie Review - StuberAfter you watch Stuber, you’ll never look at your Uber driver the same way again. I’m a Uber consumer and could totally relate to this action comedy completely.

Big burly LAPD Cop Vic Manning (Dave Bautista) has an unusual day after he has lasik surgery. Vic has been working on a drug case for a while, tracking the main suspect (Oka Tadjo) aggressively. After Vic’s surgery, his daughter Nicole (Natalie Morales) takes him home, and he gets a tip about Tedjo. Vic attempts to drive himself, and basically demolishes a couple of blocks in his neighborhood. So he summons an Uber (Uber Pool, I might add) to take him to follow the case lead. Calm, friendly, OCD, sporting goods store worker by day, night Uber driver Stu arrives for duty.

This movie is funny and entertaining! Annoying at times though, because Stu is so mellow, but somewhat of a pussycat. He screams like a little baby during the grossly violent scenes. At one point, Vic says something like, “Take this gun — it’s a baby gun — it allows you to fire while crying.” LOL! All the actors did okay in their roles; nothing noteworthy; so don’t go in with overly high expectations despite the two lead characters.

Warning: while you may want to take the children, there’s excessive sex, nudity, violence, gore and profanity.

Definitely go see this movie for comedic relief after a long day. The laughter will be good medicine for your soul. Then sign up for Uber…and don’t forget to rate the driver “five stars” if you have an amazing adventure or learn a few things about “adulting” along the way.

Grade: C

Stuber vs Uber – Welcome to the Ratings Game, in Real Life

About The Peetimes: The movie has a lot of humor, so I’ve tried to not put Peetimes where there might be a gut-busting funny scene.

I would recommend the 2nd Peetime, which has no action and only a little humor.

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

Rated (R) for violence and language throughout, some sexual references and brief graphic nudity
Genres: Action, Comedy

Movie Review – Ma – Octavia Spencer in a Creepy Horror Thriller

Movie Review - MaIf Ma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy! Is that how the saying goes? If not, that’s how it played out in this horror-thriller. I just watched Ma, starring the beloved Academy Award-winner Octavia Spencer. This isn’t a scary movie per se, but it is extremely creepy; Octavia, of course, nails the role perfectly. I didn’t expect anything less from her.

In a small rural town, a single woman befriends a group of teenagers after they convince her to buy them liquor. After the woman notices a connection to the teenagers, she invites them to party at her house “for their safety.”

I enjoyed seeing Octavia stretch in another role. I also enjoyed the timing and that the plot didn’t take long to build. Additionally, I liked the character surprises sprinkled in that made me think back to something said or shown earlier in a scene. Sorry — I can’t elaborate more without spoilers.

If you are a horror movie fan or just like creepy stuff, this is for you. The movie is rated R, contains moderate sex and nudity, severe violence, profanity, alcohol, and intense scenes. If you enjoyed the 1976 Carrie movie, then this is somewhat of a modern day version of it.

Enjoy the film and a Icee, but don’t ask Ma to buy it for you – LOL!

Grade: C+

About The Peetimes: While it was a little difficult choosing Peetimes, I have 3 for you to pick from, all around 3 minutes long. As this is somewhat of a creepy (not scary) movie, it was risky picking good times for you to leave and not miss part of the back story. The 3rd Peetime is best, but don’t be late returning or you’ll miss a crucial scene.

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

Rated (R) for violent/disturbing material, language throughout, sexual content, and for teen drug and alcohol use
Genres: Horror, Thriller

Movie Review – The Best of Enemies

Movie Review - The Best of EnemiesThis biopic is set in Durham, North Carolina, in 1971. First of all, the plot took me by surprise, given the magnitude of racial tension that still exists. This is not your normal racially-charged kind of black-versus-white-movie where tensions escalate, folks get hung, justice is never served, and everyone walks out the movie theater quiet and mad as hell. Nope, this one is completely different.

Durham is faced with a court-order to desegregate its schools when the black school becomes severely damaged, and those students need a place to learn. Unfortunately, the whites are against the blacks coming to their school, so a court-order is issued, and the town must figure out how to solve the problem themselves with little financial help from the State. The State calls upon the help of a Raleigh organizer known for his success in implementing charrettes.

char·rette /SHəˈret/ (wiki)
a meeting in which all stakeholders in a project attempt to resolve conflicts and map solutions.

During the span of the Durham charrette meetings, two co-chairs are selected who are the most vocal/influential in the white and black communities, respectively; then more community members discuss issues and concerns, a senate is developed of representatives that will vote on desegregating the schools overseen by the co-chairs, and an open-forum is held where everyone from the community are invited to witness the voting process.

Ann Atwater (Taraji P. Henson) and C.P. Ellis (Sam Rockwell) are chosen as the co-chairs. C.P. is the president of the Ku Klux Klan and Ann is an aggressive and “by any means necessary” community activist. The two of them know of each other very well and the thought of working together for the charrette makes their blood boil, but they agree to co-chair for selfish motives. C.P. is a typical KKK member with a family and owns a gas station. He has a son with Down Syndrome that doesn’t live with the family, but in a nearby psychiatric center. While C.P. is a tough guy filled with hatred, his weakness and soft spot is his ill son. Despite the hatred Ann has for C.P., she uses this weak spot to forge their Best of Enemies relationship.

While the relationship isn’t like that seen in the movie Greenbook, Ann softens C.P.’s heart, one artery at a time. The dynamics of how their role in the charrette plays out is really interesting and thought-provoking. C.P. discovers the void in his life as a child that influenced his membership into the KKK may no longer be valid, but that epiphany comes with drastic consequences. However, his newfound friend comes to his rescue, yet again.

Overall, the acting was good. The plot kept a good pace and didn’t dilly-dally to get to the climax. Ann’s brass and sassy humor will have you laughing throughout the entire movie. In addition, Taraji’s acting was spot-on, right down to that walk (I chuckled a couple of times watching that walk).

On the other hand, the plot doesn’t provoke a need to discuss the issues with friends later on after seeing the movie. The movie will, however, stimulate some self-reflection on how we treat others. But, given that our country seems to be widely-divided right now and sometimes mirrors the 60s and 70s racial undertones, I’m not sure many people will leave the theater creating a charrette of their own, or singing Kumbayah. Wait for the credits at the end to discover how C.P. and Ann’s friendship evolved after the charrette experience.

Grade: B

About The Peetimes: It was difficult finding good Peetimes for this well edited and well paced movie. At times, it seemed like the start of a scene would make a good Peetime, but then the plot thickened, adding value to the story. I would suggest suggest the 2nd Peetime.

There are extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of The Best of Enemies. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (PG-13) for thematic material, racial epithets, some violence and a suggestive reference
Genres: Biography, Drama, History, True life story

Clever Moments You Might Have Missed Watching The Horror-Thriller Movie Us

Jordan Peele movie poster for Us
Absolutely, you need to see Us twice.

We all know watching a horror movie comes with the expectation you’ll be screaming, and anticipating moments that you’ll be startled.  This oftentimes leads to you missing an important yet subtle symbol or scene. I loved Director Jordan Peele’s debut horror film Us, and found a lot of interesting and super-clever tidbits that make everything come together.

Hints and Clues to Notice in the Movie Us:

1. The rabbits appear again in this movie just like in Get Out. Also, I noticed that the rabbits were mainly just white with only a few brown or black ones mirroring America, or some of the many environments we work and live in. Other rabbit sightings: the daughter’s t-shirt; when the homeless guy was taken into the ambulance, he looked to be wearing a rabbit’s foot around his neck; and the doll the young Ade played with was a white rabbit.

2. Don’t miss that deer on the wall of the fun house; it reminded me of the deer at the beginning of Get Out.

3. The signal to move when the doppelganger family stood in the driveway was the Wakanda arms pose from the movie Black Panther.

4. The counselor and the parents thought the daughter was suffering from PTSD.

5. There was a subtle spider doppelganger in the vacation home.

6. The son, nor the mom, had rhythm when the song I Got 5 On It was playing in the car on the road trip. Hmmm (remember I said this when you watch).

7. Jeremiah 11:11 “I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape” appeared as a reference several times: on the homeless man’s sign in 1986, during the present day when he got put into the ambulance, and then as the son Jason noticed the time was 11:11 at the vacation house, just before the doppelgangers arrived.

8. The name of the fun house in 1986 when young Ade entered was called Vision Quest, but in present-day of the movie when Momma Ade entered it was called Merlin’s Nest Hall.

9. Jason’s mask is red, like the doppelgangers’ clothing. More importantly, why does he have a mask in the first place? (Remember I said this, too.)

10. Jason growled like his doppelganger when he and his sister entered the neighbor’s house. Very questionable, or just a little touch of humor? (Remember this.)

11. Momma Ade and her doppelganger, Red, never seemed tethered like the others, as they didn’t have synchronized movements like some of the other copycat pairs. (And again, remember I said this…)

12. The scene of Momma Ade crying reminds you of the Get Out movie character Chris Washington, crying before he was sunk in the chair by the teaspoon-stirring Virginia.
13.  Jordan Peele has been making a cameo appearance in both his movies that no on would notice.  He does the voice of what sounds like a dying rabbit in Get Out and in Us.
14. While there were no extra scenes before or during the credits, Jordan Peele did list the doppelganger cast names in a unique way.  He listed the human cast name in regular color, then he put the doppelganger name right to it in red…which is what color they all wore…and the lead doppelganger name is Red.

Lastly, I’ll mention those gold fabric scissors. I think they represent the act of cutting the ties or the tether between the two pairs. We often are our own worst enemy (as the movie subtitle states) and sometimes we need to sever that tether in order to escape what oppresses us.

While we all have a different “rabbit’s eye” that we view in life, what else did you notice in the movie?  Do you want to watch Us more than once to catch everything? Leave your insights in the comments below.

Movie Review – Us – Tons of Symbolism, Creepy, and a Great Time at the Movies

Movie Review – Us – Tons of Symbolism, Creepy, and a Great Time at the Movies

Movie Review - UsI’m by no means a lover of horror movies anymore, but when Jordan Peele writes one, you can’t help but wonder what it will be like. His freshman movie, Get Out, was creepy enough to motivate me to see more from him. Us didn’t let me down. It’s a little hard to write specifics about the movie without giving away spoilers, because there’s so much to say, due to Director Peele’s love for symbolism and thought-provoking cliffhangers.

Let me start with a little framework. Director Peele stated in interviews that the idea of this movie came from various iconic horror-based inspirations, but the 1960 Twilight Zone episode entitled Mirror Image, where Vera Miles encountered her own doppelganger in a bus terminal, sent his imagination over the top.

The movie begins with a few sentences on the screen, pointing out that there are miles and miles of tunnels and secret passageways underneath cities in America, of which some have no purpose at all. At first, when I read that I wondered if the theater had put the wrong movie on. The next scene didn’t do much for immediately confirming that I was watching the right film given that the time setting was 1986, and a very old television was playing a “Hands Across America” infomercial inviting people to take part in the hand-holding (thus, a tethering which you’ll see resurface as symbolism) around the USA, to raise money to fight hunger and homelessness.

The movie is extremely scary and creepy. Jordan does a good job setting up each scene, especially when the black doppelganger family arrived in the driveway. Director Peele took his time before revealing the family, I’m sure, to increase the suspense and wow factor.

In the meantime, the scenes played out with a little humor from the father Gabe, going from suburban sweet-talking with reason, as he’s a little naive to what’s going on, to straight up hood trash-talking. On the other hand, the mom Ade has a very good idea that something terrible is about to happen. That’ll make more sense as the plot thickens, and at the end of the movie (wink).

There’s a lot of killing, with blood flying and gushing everywhere. If you have a weak stomach for blood, cover your eyes, but don’t keep them shut, as the movie is not filled with massive narrative scripting as much as visuals and sound effects. Jordan Peele used Michael Abels again to do the music, which is the same man Jordan found on YouTube to do the music for Get Out.

The acting was very good by all the characters. Shout-out to Lupita Nyong’o who plays the mom, Ade. She needs an award nomination for the dual role she played — exceptional job, and that spooky voice she created for her doppelganger made her even scarier. Now, let me point out a few things I noticed about the movie that you may have missed, or you should look for when you see it a second time. You have to see it 2 or 3 times because you’ll discover something new every time you see it.

These notes aren’t true spoilers, but if you want to go into the film with no foreknowledge at all, you might want to stop reading here, and return after you’ve seen it. But I think these notes will help your first-time viewing enjoyment, so this will have to be your call:

1. The rabbits appear again in this movie just like in Get Out. Also, I noticed that the rabbits were mainly just white with only a few brown or black ones mirroring America, or some of the many environments we work and live in. Other rabbit sightings: the daughter’s t-shirt; when the homeless guy was taken into the ambulance, he looked to be wearing a rabbit’s foot around his neck; and the doll the young Ade played with was a white rabbit.

2. Don’t miss that deer on the wall of the fun house; it reminded me of the deer at the beginning of Get Out.

3. The signal to move when the doppelganger family stood in the driveway was the Wakanda arms pose from the movie Black Panther.

4. The counselor and the parents thought the daughter was suffering from PTSD.

5. There was a subtle spider doppelganger in the vacation home.

6. The son, nor the mom, had rhythm when the song I Got 5 On It was playing in the car on the road trip. Hmmm (remember I said this when you watch).

7. Jeremiah 11:11 “I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape” appeared as a reference several times: on the homeless man’s sign in 1986, during the present day when he got put into the ambulance, and then as the son Jason noticed the time was 11:11 at the vacation house, just before the doppelgangers arrived.

8. The name of the fun house in 1986 when young Ade entered was called Vision Quest, but in present-day of the movie when Momma Ade entered it was called Merlin’s Nest Hall.

9. Jason’s mask is red, like the doppelgangers’ clothing. More importantly, why does he have a mask in the first place? (Remember I said this, too.)

10. Jason growled like his doppelganger when he and his sister entered the neighbor’s house. Very questionable, or just a little touch of humor? (Remember this.)

11. Momma Ade and her doppelganger, Red, never seemed tethered like the others, as they didn’t have synchronized movements like some of the other copycat pairs. (And again, remember I said this…)

12. The scene of Momma Ade crying reminds you of the Get Out movie character Chris Washington, crying before he was sunk in the chair by the teaspoon-stirring Virginia.
13.  Jordan Peele has been making a cameo appearance in both his movies that no on would notice.  He does the voice of what sounds like a dying rabbit in Get Out and in Us.
14. While there were no extra scenes before or during the credits, Jordan Peele did list the doppelgänger cast names in a unique way.  He listed the human cast name in regular color, then he put the doppelgänger name right to it in red…which is what color they all wore…and the lead doppelgänger name is Red.

Lastly, I’ll mention those gold fabric scissors. I think they represent the act of cutting the ties or the tether between the two pairs. We often are our own worst enemy (as the movie subtitle states) and sometimes we need to sever that tether in order to escape what oppresses us.

I also agree with another theory that Peele portrays the doppelgangers as a means for him to continue to explore ‘double consciousness’ — W.E.B Du Bois’ influential race theory of how Blacks see themselves two-fold: as themselves, and as themselves through their oppressor’s eyes. Hence, the beginning of the movie with the long camera shot of the white rabbit’s eye staring at us.

Okay, I told you there was much to say without giving away spoilers, only tips to pay attention to as you watch. Hopefully, you enjoy it as much as I did. I’m headed to see it again tonight. Let me know your thoughts below.

Grade: A

About The Peetimes: Oh my! I’m still shaking in my seat. It was difficult to find Peetimes. The plot didn’t let up much or long enough for anyone to leave their seat and not miss a good part, or one of the many symbolic references. I recommend the 3rd Peetime — it’s the longest.

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

Rated (R) for violence/terror, and language
Genres: Horror, Thriller

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Movie Review – Roma – Alfonso Cuaron and his Netflix Masterpiece

oscars statue for the awards ceremony
The big one: this year’s Oscar Awards Ceremony

I decided to do a movie review of Roma for a couple of reasons. It’s not a widely-released in movie theaters in the US, and it will not be a part of the AMC Theaters Best Picture Showcase (#AMCBPS) despite being one of the eight nominated films for Best Picture.

Why? From what I read, in short, the movie rights were not released to American theaters: only to Netflix.

[pullquote]Colonia Roma is a neighborhood in Mexico City, set in 1970 and 1971. It is not the name of the leading actress, like I thought.[/pullquote] This movie is said to be 90 percent of scenes from Director Alfonso Cuaron’s childhood memories, based upon a nanny he adored named Libo (hence, the tribute during the credits). The story is mainly about a nanny, Cleo, who struggles with her life once she becomes pregnant and abandoned by the baby’s father. While, at the same time, she nurtures four children of a mom (Sofia) that also becomes abandoned by her husband.

I won’t write much about this storyline to avoid spoilers.

However, here are several random notes to give you some perspective. The entire movie is told via English subtitles, so don’t look away; you need to be focused. [Ed note: no way could we do Peetimes for a subtitled movie.]

More notes: the riot in the movie is known as the Corpus Christie Massacre. There’s one male nude scene. There’s a very graphic scene involving Cleo’s baby at birth that is a little disturbing; so brace yourself. Cleo and Sofia share a knowing look of despair without words, when a wedding is taking place next to them while they eat ice cream with the children.  [pullquote position=”right”]It’s obvious the pain the two women are feeling, as they both struggle putting their life back on track after their devastating heartbreaks.[/pullquote] I found it odd the children got painful sunburns during their beach visit, but the mom didn’t have any sunscreen.  Interesting that huffing in the 70’s is equivalent to juuling now.

How many dead animals can one person have in one house? Oh my! Taxidermy overload.  Also noteworthy was how families back in the day had one television, and everyone sat together and watched the same TV shows.

[pullquote]The scene I adored the most was when Cleo laid head-to-head with PePe (the youngest child) while he was mad at his brother who just hurt his feelings. This scene showed you how passionate and aware Cleo was about those children.[/pullquote]

Cuaron filmed this movie in Mexico City, which resulted in several mis-dated appearances regarding the airplanes and automobiles seen.

Finally, the ending took me by surprise, as I thought there was going to be another scene to wrap up the story, but there wasn’t.  Let me know if you felt the same way.

[pullquote position=”right”]You will likely enjoy this movie, despite the subtitles.  [/pullquote]The problems women experienced in the 70s is the same today, but now more women are smarter, stronger, and better equipped as Female Masterpieces to survive life’s roadblocks and setbacks.

Catch it on Netflix before the Oscars air on February 24. 

Movie Grade: B

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Rewatch Review – Mary Poppins – The Original & Classic Film

mary poppins flies with her unbrella
How do I get my Umbrella to do that?

As we approach the Oscar season, I decided to rewatch the original Mary Poppins (MP). I’m certainly torn as to which one is better, considering that Mary Poppins Returns is not a remake; it’s a continuation of the Banks family drama. I love Julia Andrews and Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins. They both have a sassy, arrogant, and attractive draw to their personalities that make each one a stand-out character.

[pullquote]I enjoy Mary Poppins so much, for so many reasons. It’s fun; the music is uplifting; the cross between human and animation scenes is intriguing, and there’s a morale message for both adults and children.[/pullquote] From the moment MP arrives floating from the sky until she fades into that same sky, my heart beats like a big.band.drum (tee he he).

The storyline tells a lot about parenting and coping with problems and stress. The Banks are so consumed with their careers and lives that they miss precious moments with their children. [pullquote position=”right”]Watching this movie as a child triggered different thoughts in me about my own parent’s attention to me, than watching it as an adult. [/pullquote]Today, I view the message through parental eyes and reflect on how I can do a better job of parenting my daughter, Destiny, and ensuring I don’t just let the street sweeper babysit her, just because I have a book signing or speaking engagement.

The movie truly gives perspective to managing work and life. I dare not say work/life balance, because I don’t personally believe work and life are ever balanced or equal. At some point, one or the other is sacrificed. I prefer to tell people that I’m standing on a see-saw where life is on one end and work is on the other. My goal to keep from falling my behind off the see-saw.

In the same vein, the hard-working and overly focused Mr. Banks got an eye opener on how to live and laugh at the same time. [pullquote]The word that changed George Banks wasn’t the normal word we would think should crack this grumpy old man, like the word love. The word was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.[/pullquote] Phew! That was the game changer for him. That word opened his heart, mind, and his mouth with laughter, and a flood of love and awareness oozed from him like marshmallows in a s’mores.

As a bank examiner by day, I know the bank language they speak of in the movie regarding the tuppence. We see that story come full circle in Mary Poppins Returns as well, as with that kite which seems to get Micheal in trouble in both movies.

One thing that always stand out for me in MP is how the bankers fired George. They didn’t escort him out of the building with a guard and a pink slip in hand. They ripped his suit pocket flower, inverted his umbrella, and pushed a hole through his top hat. Every time I watch this movie, I laugh so hard because I guess for boujee rich people that was equivalent to being a disgrace, when your clothing and accessories are in disarray. Lol!

One more thing, did you notice in the credits of MP how Mr. Dawes, Sr.’s cast name was displayed? It showed as Navckid Keyd, then unscrambled before our eyes to reflect Dick Van Dyke. That’s because Van Dyke played the role of Bert and Mr. Dawes, Sr.

So of course, in Disney style, they had to make it magically-cute.

Mary Poppins will remain as one of my favorite movies, no matter how many times they add on to the story. To me, it’s practically perfect in every way. Now, chop chop, I have work to do here Peeple.

Movie Review – Mary Poppins Returns

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Movie Review – Saving Mr. Banks

While Mary Poppins Returns didn’t get any Golden Globes, it did boast four well-deserved nominations: 

Full List (and comments) for the 2019 76th Annual Golden Globes Nominees & Winners

Mary Poppins is now currently nominated for three Oscars: 

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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

Full List (and comments) for the 2019 76th Annual Golden Globes Nominees & Winners

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Classic Movie Re-Watch Review – It’s A Wonderful Life

it's a wonderful life movie
The meaning of Christmas in black and white.

I have to watch It’s A Wonderful Life (IAWL) every year during the holidays. It’s just one of those movies like that annoying drunk uncle at the family reunion…. it never goes away. I revisited Bedford Falls yet again, and this time with my husband (Scott) because he had never seen it (I know, clutch my pearls). Every time I watch this movie, I discover something new. Hold that thought; I’ll come back to that.

[pullquote]IAWL is a movie that makes you laugh, cry, and think.[/pullquote] Released in 1947…I didn’t see it until the late 70s, or early 80s. It’s about a big dreamer’s (George Bailey’s) plan to see the world, but his plan gets derailed when “life happens.” (pun intended).

Here’s the 30-second or less snippet: George saves his brother. George’s hearing is impaired. Angel Clarence saves George’s life. George discovers his leadership niche. Old Man Potter is evil. Wifey Mary is a superwoman. George learns the meaning of a meaningful life.

Now, here are a few things I discovered during this viewing: (1) Violet was a thirsty (a desperate hoochie. Always up in George’s face trying to vie for his attention); (2) The #MeToo movement started in Bedford Falls, when Harry slapped the maid Annie on the butt as she walked in the kitchen; and (3) The movie started with the big bell ringing, and ended with the same bell ringing.

Favorite line this viewing: Potter says to George, “Are you running a bank or a charity ward?”

Best love moment: When Mary leans over George, as children in the store, and says in his deaf ear, “I’ll love you until the day I die.”  Love that part.

Leadership at its best: during the deposit run, when George uses logic, patience under pressure, persuasion, and interpersonal skills to calm the community members that were demanding a withdrawal of their money from the bank.  He gave them a reason to trust him, to trust themselves with taking only what they needed and not what they wanted.

If you didn’t read this before, It’s a Wonderful Life is one of my favorite Christmas movies.  As a child, it was the first encounter I had with hearing about a “bank examiner.” I never knew bank examining was a job or career until that movie. Then I went to college and low and behold the FDIC was recruiting when I was 18 years old for bank examiners on my college campus.  Long story short — until you read it in my book — at age 21 FDIC hired me.  I’ve been employed with them for over 26 years and lived in 5 states via promotions and special assignments.  Interesting, uh?!?!

[pullquote position=”right”]Enjoy the movie this year and for years to come.  [/pullquote]If you notice something different about the movie when you watched it, comment below.  I’d love to hear your insight.  Happy holidays!

Movie Grade: A  

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