Ready Player One

Brush off those 80’s movies and experiences as there are more references in here than you may remember!  And, if you haven’t seen The Shinning, you might want to before watching.  Special effects are great as you are bolted in and out of a video game and reality.  Avatars are very lifelike. There are a ton of messages and comments about society wrapped up with a fun action adventure and of course, it wouldn’t be Spielberg to let us go without touching our heartstrings, innocent romance.  He tries really hard to have something for every generation from some baby boomers through Gen Z and men/women/boys/girls.  All is great – music, cinematography, actors – just a bit long in some parts and a bit too much of a commercial for the inevitable game to accompany it!  Date night yes, may as well bring the kids as you can also watch it with the fam., but not the grandparents.

Black Panther

black pantherAppropriate it’s part of the Marvel universe as it’s a Marvel.  The opening sequence starts with terrific animation/cgi.  The actors are masterful offering life and culture to this world.  There’s fun play with 007 throughout the film – including the token odd white guy –  and strong women, not just physically!  Well written script I wonder how these characters will mesh with the others in the universe.  The interplay with the characters in Black Panther is a different type of fun, with a sense of importance than those from others in the marvel universe so it will be interesting to see how they plan to mesh them all together for the upcoming film.  Yes to date night!

Unleashed

A silly but fun romantic comedy from 2016 with a great quirky cast who had to have done it just for the heck of it.  Who doesn’t love the Shameless star Steve Howey, especially when he’s topless!  Justin Chatwin, broke our hearts in Shameless and is fearless in unleashed, he really show’s actors how to go method!  Kate Micucci is her adorable quirky self leaving us wonder what life is like with out our true best friends.  While the story line is somewhat predicatable it’s a fun ride getting there.  Definite chick flick but you boys would be smart to watch it with your chicks!

The Game Changers

(Sundance Film Festival) There are plenty of movies about what you eat and how to have a clean diet so why this one?  And why were there so many men in the audience?!  Well, it takes a different approach.  There are no scare tactics like in What the Health (puss coming out of meat) or some of the others before it.  Yes there are statistics but there are no visuals of abused animals.  Instead they take a more athletic approach and one part of the film touches on virility in men. Don’t be surprised if after watching the film more men want to eat plan based meals before date night, if there is to be some hubba hubba involved (how’s that for a tease?!).  MAA fighter, strongest man in the world, Olympic athletes and make it an interested (if not eye pleasing) watch.  The goal isn’t to make you a vegan but to get you to think about what you eat, expressed through a positive journey of exploration.  Another intelligent date night worthy movie.

A Polar Year

(Sundance Film Festival) This slice of life film takes you to a remote location in freezing cold Greenland – Tiniteqiilaq.  There are only 80 villagers and a Danish primary school teacher is there to teach the kids his language, but not to learn theirs.  The director plays with the blurred line of documentary and fiction as some of the sceenes are obviously set up.  But there is no mistaking the beauty and culture of this community.  It’s interesting and opens you to a world you wouldn’t have discovered otherwise and can lead to some discussion.  Not sure I’d call it date night worthy as much watch it with a nice glass of wine when you can stream it.

Seeing Allred

(Sundance Film Festival) If you’re like me, you probably only know about Gloria Allred from the news and the picture painted is she’s a tough as nails lawyer and opportunist.  And while you see her defending female victims you may not think they too are opportunists.  A reluctant subject, the director paints a different picture of this passionate woman.  You get to know and respect her.  She has been through personal tragedy which helps her relate to those she advocates for and the movie leaves you feeling glad there is someone out there like her who cares about women and their rights.  It also further strengthens the message I continually get from these trips to the sundance film festival, be passionate and stand up for what you believe in, whatever the topic, because you can make a difference and you can succeed.  Girls date night movie with martini’s.  (The film sold to netflix, expect it late Feb).

The King

(Sundance Film Festival) One reason I like going to the festival is for opportunities like this one.  It had only one screening followed by an open dialogue with the director and one of the top LA producers.  They wanted to know what we thought of the film, if it had the impact they were hoping for.  Ethan Hawke even stayed for the feedback, almost missing the screening of a movie he directed!  How’s that for a set up. One word to sum it up, relate-able.

It’s an interesting film that explores the parallels between Elvis Presley’s life and America.  Like Elvis, the country is getting lost- going from a democracy to an empire.  Lot’s of very interesting comparisons.  Get another view of Elvis’s life, see america and get interesting perspectives as you take the journey cross country in the back of Elvis’s Rolls Royce.  Cinematography is great as is the music, interesting cast of characters and ADD direction is sure to keep you involved.  Sounds like there will be a big push for this film in various mediums to try to sway a country, create activists.  Smart date night movie which will instigate interesting conversations – if only I could be a fly on the wall!