Dolemite is My Name

The key to success is having a dream and despite all the naysayers, pursuing it way beyond your comfort zone. And… knowing your market! This is what you learn from watching this film. Eddie Murphy does a nice job depicting one of the G-dfathers of Hip Hop (Rudy Ray Moore) in his latest return to the screen. The cast is a bit of a hodgepodge which adds to the stylistic feel of the film. Much like Boogie Nights and The Disaster Artist, it’s a “period piece” perhaps filmed as Moore would himself have done it. Surprisingly brought to you by Netflix and not the movie-houses, you may want to make this one a group date night movie to better enjoy the experience – sometimes the audience can make it even more enjoyable.

The Laundromat

Kudos to Netflix for standing up to the lawyers who tried to ban this film!

Based on the Panama Papers, the director “plays” it well, wish I could say the same for Meryl Streep. Sadly, we know her tricks and she relies heavily on them – was it too many words, the fact that she’s trying hard to make a statement or she’s tired of digging in deep and becoming the character(s)?

Gary Oldman reminds us he is a powerful stage actor able to transcend mediums while Antonio Banderas performance is reminiscent of Evita. Supporting cast does just that and they do it well!

Like the subject matter the film clumsily breaks many rules but somehow it works. Learn about shell companies and get frustrated with the system. Date night with drinks, possibly part of game night!

Just Mercy

The film reminds one of Dead Man walking while reflect on where we are in the world with anger and ignorant determination. How do we ensure justice and fight the lack of justice is some states who still live in the past?

While the cast is strong, Jaime Fox surprisingly proves to be the weak link with a surprisingly unsteady performance wobbling between Oscar worthy and phoning it in. Based on a real life story, there are some sections that feel painfully slow and could have been tightened. Overall, it’s well done and reminds us that we need to get involved with life and connect with people beyond the internet. Real life still has bumps that we need to pay attention to. Potentially date night worthy, depends on how serious a night you would like.

Judy

Not sure what was more depressing – the end for Judy Garland or the movie. The question remains – what was the purpose of the movie? To highlight the opioid crisis plaguing America or to give you a taste of the challenges and tragedy Judy faced post studio rule. Left me wondering, in the age of #metoo, where are we at holding executives responsible for drug use.

The film is the ugly view of the end of Judy’s life in which she toggles between being charming and rising above, to being a tragic victim of life, with guilt driven choices clouded by ambition.

The elements are there, obviously a well made movie, just the script is lacking, relying strictly on the talents of the cast and cinematographer. There’s an attempt to handle the story with some tenderness for America’s beloved talent but it feels a bit more like Mommie Dearist meets Renee Zellweger .

Do not see it if you want Judy to remain a sweetheart or aren’t in the right frame of mind for the endless sadness that comes with it. Performances aside, can not recommend it for date night.

Unbelievable

Small change from the usual path to talk about a series on Netflix based on a true story about a rapist and strong women. From strong women cops to a very strong victim, this one will capture your attention for throughout the series as you look for justice to be served. There is no Hollywood spin which can leave you a bit unsatisfied, but isn’t that good? Masterful cast well placed. Music, cinematography and direction contribute to making it a series you want to binge and understand. People are messed up but there are some good ones out there, with luck you find them. Given the serious matter, can’t say it’s date night worthy but if you enjoy watching a good book unfold, curl up with you glass of wine and blanket for this one. (PS makes you want to watch a new female copy series with Merritt Wever and Toni Collette)

A Simple Favor

A stylized comedy mystery thriller, what could be better to take your mind off a stressful week! Directed by Paul Feig, with Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively, it’s a winning combination that puts women in the drivers seat. Semi predictable the direction, music and costumes keep you entranced. Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively are masters of their own domain who almost have chemistry together. It’s like watching the first few minutes of friends in the making but not quite getting past that. You get to linger in those delicious first few minutes but don’t necessarily need to go beyond, like a sequel. Yes to date night worthy, might even have some fun while watching, wink wink.

Juliet, Naked

It seems this sweet little film came and went with little fan-fair in 2018 which is a shame as it’s charming. Yes that’s the word for it! Nicely directed by Jesse Peretz you know that with Judd Apatow as one of the producers, you’re in for some witty fun. Ethan Hawke, well, have to say, fell in love with him as a washed up musician. Rose Byrne does her fair share in holding her own between Ethan and hilarious Chris O’Dowd. Azhy Robertson plays Ethan’s adorable son. It’s about choosing life and second chances. Great to see with a glass of wine and snuggle buddy making it a stay at home date night worthy movie.