Paul McGuire Grimes of Paul’s Trip to the Movies fills us in on some movies he thinks might be worth seeing.
BOOK CLUB (theatrical release)
Diane, Carol, Sharon, and Vivian have been best friends for the past forty years dating back to their old college days. They’re all in different places in life in regards to being married, dating, single, or widowed. Part of their friendship includes their monthly book club sessions where they each get their turn picking out the book. Vivian picks the salacious Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James as their next selection leading to some rolled eyes and negative reactions from the other three women. Sharon is less than enthused with her pick as she and Diane scoff at such frivolous trash. It’s Carol who decides this book may just be the spark to reignite her sex life to husband Bruce. The less than stellar writing certainly has its surprising effects on all four women, each approaching sex or relationships with a different lens. Whether it’s an old flame, played by Don Johnson, or Andy Garcia’s sexy pilot, a few new men enter their lives giving the women an excuse to step outside their comfort zones in more ways than one.
-Starring: Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Mary Steenburgen, Candice Bergen, Andy Garcia, Don Johnson, Craig T. Nelson, Richard Dreyfuss
-It’s quite fun to see Fonda, Keaton, Steenburgen, and Bergen together in the ensemble scenes. They’ve never worked together, yet their chemistry together is incredibly rich as if they’ve been lifelong friends.
-The characters feel tailor-made for each actress. Candice Bergen gets to be feisty, while Jane Fonda gets to be the natural free spirit of the group. Bergen is downright hilarious as she stumbles through using the dating app Bumble. Diane Keaton is perfect with physical comedy, and her initial scenes with Andy Garcia are a stitch as two fumbling lovebirds would be.
-Book Club is not some kitschy Fifty Shades rip off type movie with these actors reenacting parts of the book. That doesn’t happen. The book is merely a catalyst for guiding these characters to a new outlook on aging, enjoying life, and starting over when society has thrown them to the waste side.
– It’s refreshing to see an adult rom-com with well-written characters, good acting, and one that focuses on an older demographic.
-The script gives each of our leading ladies an honest exploration many people their age face in this chapter of their life.
-The film tackles serious issues, but the director knows how to resolve it with a hysterical approach that never cheapens what came before. There are plenty of cheeky innuendos and sexual proclamations oftentimes given with sheer perfection by Candice Bergen.
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? Grab a glass of wine as you’ll want to join this book club.
RATING: 4 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
DEADPOOL 2 (theatrical release)
Wade has seen his better days being the foul-mouthed mercenary Deadpool. The job never ends, but it won’t stop him from celebrating his anniversary to his wife Vanessa. They’ve decided to start having a family, which brings a world of joy to Wade. In the middle of their romantic night a few hitmen break in turning the night into tragedy. He starts to feel extra mopey wondering if his actions and lifestyle were the cause of all of this. He’s literally scooped by the mutant Colossus and taken back to Xavier’s Home for mutants in an attempt to turn him into one of the X-Men. One of their first missions is to rescue a young mutant named Russell/Firefist who’s in the middle of a hostage situation at his orphanage. Firefist comes with more baggage than realized at first when Deadpool comes face to face with Cable, a robot sent from the future to kill Russell. Wade’s growing paternal nature comes into play as he feels the call to save and be Russell’s protector from Cable.
-Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, Terry Crews, Bill Skarsgård
-If you enjoyed the first film, you will get a kick out of this one. The sharp, R-rated tone is back in full force. It’s ultra-violent, profane, and not appropriate for kids.
-While other super hero movies take themselves too seriously, what sets Deadpool apart is how fun it is at all times. There’s a self-deprecating nature to its sense of humor as it pokes fun of star Ryan Reynolds, Marvel, DC, and a variety of other references to the superhero genre. There are so many references and jabs packed into any given scene that you have to know the material to appreciate the humor.
-Ryan Reynolds knows how to make this character stand out. He’s incredibly egotistical and mouthy which could be off-putting for some, while the target audience will holler with laughter
-Like many sequels, it doesn’t feel as fresh and original as the first only because we are now used to the character and what to expect. On the flip side, it’s bolder, bigger, and definitely pushes the boundaries.
-Josh Brolin always makes for a strong bad guy, and Cable has a few tricks up his sleeve. His character along with the film’s plot feels very inspired by The Terminator. This is his second time playing a Marvel villain within a just a few weeks following the release of Avengers: Infinity War. Yes, there’s a jab at that movie too.
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? There’s no sequel slump for Deadpool 2
RATING: 3.5 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
BLACK PANTHER (streaming pick)
We were first introduced to Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War. Marvel has now given the character his own standalone film to build on his backstory and legacy. As we saw in the previous movie, T’Challa/Black Panther’s father was killed at the United Nations explosion. T’Challa is now the rightful heir to the thrown taking his place as the new king of the African nation Wakanda. Wakanda is not the third-world country people make it out to be. It’s a technologically advanced community run on a mysterious element known as vibranium. When ingested, as we see with T’Challa, he gains strength, speed, and lightning-fast instincts. T’Challa’s newly appointed title doesn’t sit well with Erik Killmonger who believes he should be the new king. He partners with an arms dealer to steal some hidden vibranium in London to use against T’Challa and the people of Wakanda.
-Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Angela Bassett, Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis, Daniel Kaluuya, Sterling K. Brown
-Black Panther is one of the very best in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Broke box office records becoming the third highest grossing film of all time at the domestic box office making $700 million
-As Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman commands every scene he is in whether it’s the smaller intimate moments dealing with his father’s death or the big action sequences.
-If Wonder Woman laid the groundwork for strong female heroes, than Black Panther continues that tradition by giving actresses Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead), Lupita Nyong’o (Star Wars), and Letitia Wright the chance to be just as dynamic and powerful. They battle alongside Black Panther every step of the way.
-Empowering to see a massive blockbuster superhero film written, directed, and starring people of color. Crosses the boundaries of the characters we are used to seeing from black actors.
-The costumes are STUNNING. They fit well into this idea of traditional intertwined with modern and contemporary. The film honors and displays the rich centuries old African culture while fusing it with a slick, ultra-cool futuristic society. You see this played out in the music, writing, and production design.
-The ending monologue drives home the film’s themes of looking at what connects us as humans versus what is constantly dividing us.
-As the new king, T’Challa has to wrestle with a few issues that seem topical in today’s society. He struggles with how to protect and serve his people when he’s supposed to lead with peace. Does Wakanda and/or the United States have a responsibility to use their resources and technology to help other less fortunate countries?