Front Runner

ZZZZzzz…wake me up when it becomes a movie.  I suppose it’s mean to mimic some TV counterparts in a documentary type style but it barely catches your attention.  Starting out with you in a campaign meeting, the best it gets is when Hart if confront, about mid way through the movie, by reporters.  Jackman does a great job with what he’s given in that he’s an intelligent yet aloof man who has no real arc in life.  Seems to always be in shock with what life throws him, even when apologizing to his wife.  Good cast, not a fan of the direction/cinematography and odd use of music.  Not sure what the film is mean to do – mark one of our pivot points in history when paparazzi scratched the door or politics or … remind you that all political stories have become the same as “the goodwife”.  Not date night but maybe late night can’t sleep film.

A Star is Born

star

Before I begin, there is no question Bradley Cooper is the real deal.  Not only does he write the screenplay, direct, sing and act but he also wrote some of the songs, not to mention is sexy as heck.  He masters a subtle accent and finds a deep voice.  You believe he’s a rock star but, you don’t see his arc nor really see/ understand his fall from stardom.  Lady Gaga does Madana one better in that she can sing and is a decent but not complete actress.  She has chops and at times shows potential, a step above a scene study class.   Their chemistry is in and out.  Stylistically it’s somewhat interesting as there are a lot of tight shots at an attempt to feel personal and a switch from profile/hiding shots in the beginning to full face shots by the end, as though you have been let into the world.  Overall it feels jumpy, lacks consistency and enough depth to get your really vested in the characters.  In that sense, you can tell it’s an actor driven piece as it needs some guidance in sewing it together.  Sam Rockwell reminds us he’s got talent and the music is of course great.  It’s more of a chick flick than date night worthy but, he’ll probably come along knowing you’ll enjoy it and well…need I say more?!

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.