REVIEW: Girls Trip [2017]

Better recognize ya blessings. The narrator of Girls Trip has a new book called “You Can Have It All,” a title describing her ability to be both a powerful entrepreneurial woman and a loving wife simultaneously. It’s a message that Ryan Pierce (Regina Hall) has embraced as a brand alongside her former football player husband Stewart (Mike Colter), one that’s transformed her into an Oprah 2.0-type figure en route to a potentially lucrative endorsement deal from a high-end department store looking for their wholesome, successful image to speak for the…

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REVIEW: Sparkle [2012]

“You snuck out of the house for less” I can’t wait for the Director’s Cut. No, not Criterion’s much ballyhooed 216-minute edit of Michael Cimino‘s Heaven’s Gate. I’m talking about Salim Akil‘s Sparkle. I need to try and piece together the gaps leading towards its imploded Motown trio’s back-up singer earning a sold out first ever solo show with full orchestra and gospel choir after barely receiving two minutes of unsolicited time from the record executive who already dropped her once. I don’t care if her voice is like listening…

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REVIEW: Joyful Noise [2012]

“Tap it and die” For a film about a gospel choir and the push and pull of faith within its singers’ lives, Joyful Noise has a funny way of getting its message of love and hope across. I understand it’s 2012 and we must show a progressive slant on the church in order to reach audiences and not turn a majority away before the theatre lights dim, but some of the stuff happening in this film is borderline offensive as it panders to the lowest common denominator in its clumsy…

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FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #6: Hairspray [2007]

“Good Morning Baltimore” Boy does the trailer for Hairspray really forget mentioning exactly what it’s about. Going through its beats, the advertisement talks about its young star Nikki Blonsky and her character Tracy Turnblad’s dreams of overcoming her weight and society’s bigotry to seize her dreams, dance on TV, and get her man. The jokes, the campiness, and the transvestites are present—and what work based on a John Waters film wouldn’t—but everything is displayed out of context. Soundbytes and visuals are shown without explanation and believed to just be a…

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REVIEW: The Dilemma [2011]

“… took more virgins than Francis Albert Sinatra” Sometimes all you need is a little Vince Vaughn. Don’t even ask how much I dreaded checking out The Dilemma despite him, due to the directed by Ron Howard label. I like the guy, don’t get me wrong, but his by-the-books Dan Brown adaptations were sorely lacking in cinematic ingenuity, (I cringe at the fact he’s handling The Dark Tower Series as a result), and thus a seemingly straight forward comedy wasn’t looking too palatable. But sometimes a director can excel by…

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REVIEW: Just Wright [2010]

“You’re da bomb dot com” It truly is a pleasure to see Queen Latifah in a starring role; the woman is good. I’ll admit, I often forget her knack of acting naturally and ability to charm her way across the screen when all I see is her doing thankless parts in Valentine’s Day or Stranger Than Fiction, both of which make you wonder why they bothered casting someone of her caliber and expense to do absolutely nothing. Her talent and constant good-natured attitude force you to pull for her character…

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REVIEW: What Happens in Vegas [2008]

“Oh Lovebiscuit; Yes Tickle-Monkey?” I went into the screening of What Happens in Vegas thinking I was in store for a train-wreck; I mean the trailer looked horrible. I suffer the pain for all of you readers, though, in the hopes that you won’t have to live the same fate. In actuality, the movie ended up being a same-old, same-old rom-com that had some laughs, but overall just plodded along to its inevitable conclusion. Being that this pair of New Yorkers, married after a night of heavy drinking in Vegas,…

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REVIEW: Ice Age 2: The Meltdown [2006]

Ice Age came out in 2002 giving me no real inspiration to go check it out. Of course I finally did and found it to be well voiced and scripted. So, when Ice Age 2: The Meltdown debuted, I had a bit more interest in seeing it, even though the idea of sequels usually doesn’t hold much clout in my eyes. To my surprise the film kept most of what worked from the original. The performances from Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, and Denis Leary are all humorous and heartfelt. The…

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