Showing posts with label 80 for Brady. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 80 for Brady. Show all posts

Sunday, April 30, 2023

When "Cocaine Bear" is the Best Movie You Have Seen in Weeks! Some Movies You Might NOT Enjoy Watching At Home.

[I review the movies "Cocaine Bear," "80 for Brady," "Magic Mike's Last Dance," and "Women Talking"] 

Is "Cocaine Bear" a wonderful movie?  No.  I wouldn't go that far. But I knew what I was going to get - an entertaining, sometimes funny, horror film - and that is important. I wasn't disappointed, so it's the best movie I have seen in a long while.  

Sadly, the other movies I am reviewing here were very disappointing. I think they were trying to do something more but failed miserably.  What is going on in the movie world these days? So far, for me, few have been worth seeing.  And that makes me sad.  Let's hope it's just a blip, but in the meantime, I'm going to be b**chy, er, tell it like it is about the movies. As always, you can count on me.

Cocaine Bear (2023)

A huge black bear goes on a rampage after ingesting cocaine.

So how does a bear find cocaine?  Well, a drug smuggler (Matthew Rhys) tries to parachute out of his plane with a duffel bag full of cocaine but knocks himself out as he exits the plane, falling to his death.  The duffel with the cocaine falls into the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest where a black bear eats it, likes it, goes berzerk and attacks two hikers from Iceland.  The hikers should have realized they were in trouble when they saw the bear beating its head against a tree. 

Meanwhile middle-schoolers Dee Dee (Brooklynn Prince) and Henry (Christian Convery) skip school and head for the forest where they find a brick of cocaine and try some.  When she discovers that Dee Dee has skipped school, her mother, Sari (Keri Russell), enlists the aid of Liz (Margo Martindale), a forest ranger, and ventures into the forest to find her daughter.  At the same time, the drug smuggler's cohorts Daveed (O'Shea Jackson Jr.) and Eddie (Alden Ehrenreich) are sent looking for the cocaine by their boss, Syd White (Ray Liotta in his last role) and some local delinquents are hanging around causing complications.  

All of these disparate characters encounter the bear and mayhem ensues - literally.  Legs and arms are flying around all over the place and it isn't always the bear doing the damage. The characters are not the sharpest tools and find ways to hurt themselves too! I have to admit I laughed quite a bit, because, though, grizzly (pardon the pun), this film is actually funny. Nothing like a head rolling into view after a particularly bad encounter with the bear.

Now I know the idea of a bear eating cocaine and going berserk sounds rather far-fetched, but believe it or not, this film, written by Jimmy Warden and directed by Elizabeth Banks, is actually based on a true event, though granted very loosely based. In the original event, the bear unfortunately died.  Here, the bear gets hooked and therein lies the comedy. All of the actors seem to be having a good time and you will too. And you will find yourself rooting for the bear, who it turns out, aided by lots of CGI, is quite a good actor.

Rosy the Reviewer says...if you like over-the-top comedy/horror, you will enjoy this.  And remember that old anti-drug commercial - "This is your brain on drugs?"  Well, this is a bear on drugs!  (now streaming on Peacock)

Okay, so I liked "Cocaine Bear." 

It didn't try to be anything but what it was - a comedy/horror film with a sense of humor about itself. But as for the next few movies I am going to review...let me preface them with this.

If you have never read the search description of my blog, here it is: 

"In her often humorous yet personal style, Rosy reviews movies, TV shows and books you will want to know about (and some you will want to avoid)!" 

Well, here comes the AVOID part.

(And I know some of these films may have fans, but you know that old saying "I don't know much about art, but I know what I like?"  Well, I know a lot about movies and I know what I DON'T like!)

80 for Brady (2023)

Four women of a certain age go on a mission to attend the Super Bowl and meet Tom Brady. 

Four friends - Trish (Jane Fonda), Lou (Lily Tomlin), Maura (Rita Moreno) and Betty (Sally Field) - are all octogenarians.  Well, not Betty, as she keeps pointing out. They bond over their love of Tom Brady.  They discovered him sixteen years ago when Lou was battling cancer.  They thought he was hot and they started a tradition of being super fans. So now it's 2017 and the Patriots have made it to the Super Bowl against the Steelers, and the four are determined to somehow go there to see their hero. They manage to win tickets for the game and off they go. Silly, Old Lady shenanigans ensue. And that's it. That's the whole movie.

I swore I was not going to see this movie, because I am not a fan of movies where Old Ladies are made to look ridiculous, and I had a feeling that's what was going to happen in this movie. But I am Rosy the Reviewer, after all, so I felt that I needed to do due diligence for my fans, and as an Old Lady myself, I felt I had the cred to give my take on this film. So I watched it and I was right. It was a nightmare of Old Ladies running around like madwomen trying to get tickets to the Super Bowl so they could drool over Tom Brady, and once they were there, getting themselves involved in all kinds of crazy stuff. It was also about Old Ladies obsessed with sex (which is almost always a theme in these kinds of movies), smoking pot and getting high (another cliche) and participating in silly antics for the amusement of the masses. 

"Oh, look at that old lady.  She is high and wearing a mask and thinks she is in an 'Eyes Wide Shut" scenario with a bunch of guys who all look like Guy Fieri. Isn't that hilarious?" Not

"Oh look Betty is competing in a hot wings eating contest and can eat the hottest of the hot! Isn't that hilarious?" Not.

"Gee, Trish writes erotic fan fiction about Rob Gronkowski.  Isn't that hilarious?" Not.

"Wow, look at Lou giving Tom a pep talk so that he can come back from behind and win the game! Isn't that hilarious?" Not. 

But the final straw was when the ladies made their way into the coordinator's booth and called the plays for the game!! What? Hilarious, right? Old Ladies calling the plays for the Super Bowl and their team wins.  I give up.

So here's the question.  

What are seasoned, award-winning actresses doing in a mess like this?  Shouldn't they be playing the great roles for older women created by Shaw, Lorca, Chekhov and Wilde?  But no, they have to pander to the masses and make fools of themselves, and for that, okay, they did a good job of that. Because instead of playing some of the great roles for women of a certain age, they are playing old ladies lusting after Tom Brady!

I know actresses of a certain age have to hustle for roles.  They are not respected as they should be and I get that but c'mon, ladies. Can't you finance something serious for yourselves that celebrates being a successful woman of a certain age that helps us learn something from your lives? Or maybe Broadway is calling. Broadway doesn't require close-ups (though Jane at 80 looks like a baby doll - I need to know who her plastic surgeon is!), and it doesn't pander to Avenger fans.  Don't soil your awards with stuff like this.  You deserve better.

Written by Sarah Haskins and Emily Halpern and directed by Kyle Marvin, this film is based on a true story and I will give it props for celebrating female friendships, but why make this movie? So four Old Ladies love Tom Brady and want to go to the Super Bowl.  That's really stretching it as the plotline for a film. Oh, right, Tom Brady is one of the producers.

The best thing about this movie was the football footage and I'm not even a football fan!

Rosy the Reviewer says...if you want a good movie about older women watch "Driving Miss Daisy," "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" or "The Joy Luck Club."  But not this one. (Streaming on Paramount+, on DVD and for rent on Amazon Prime)

Magic Mike's Last Dance (2023)

Magic Mike (Channing Tatum) is back and offered a deal he can't refuse.

And thank god this is his last dance.  I mean, how many more hip gyrations can our now aging Mike do before he throws his hip out?

When the movie starts, Mike is 40 and the pandemic has taken a toll on him. He feels adrift.  He has given up dancing and started a furniture store but it was failing so now he is hustling and taking any gig he can get.  But then, while bartending at a charity event, he meets Max Mendoza (Salma Hayek), an older, very rich woman who is also adrift. Her marriage is in trouble and she is bored. She propositions him.  At first, Mike thinks she has mistaken him for a male prostitute, but then she explains that one of her friends had told her he did a "nice little dance."  She thought if he danced for her, it would lift her spirits.  She asks him how much and he says "$60,000."  That's a bit much even for a very rich woman.  How about $6000?  It's a deal.

Well, my peeps, let me tell you. Boy, did our Mike do a dance!  It was actually a bit cringey but when he lifted her up onto his shoulders and pressed her against the sliding glass door... Let's just say it all became less a dance and more like a simulated sex act, but still really cringey...and, then, well, they ended up in bed as one does after a dance like that.

And based on that dance, Max gets her groove back and decides to hire Mike to come to London to choreograph a show in her theatre.  You see, her husband (Alan Cox) owns a famous, historic theatre - Rattigan's - in the West End and Max looks after it. So far, they have been producing stuffy period plays but now Max, with her newly ignited passion, wants to capture the magic of our Mike and put on a male stripper show.  How do you think that's going to go over?

This is not just a sequel to the first hugely successful 2012 "Magic Mike" movie.  And you already know how I feel about sequels (if you don't, you haven't been reading my reviews very long). This is a sequel to a sequel  and the fact that it's a sequel to a sequel makes it that much worse.  They should have all stopped while they were ahead.  

I am a Channing Tatum fan and was a fan of the original movie, but this is a perfect example of wringing as much out of a concept as possible, and not in a good way. With a screenplay by Reid Carolin (he wrote the first two Magic Mike films), this is about as far-fetched as you can get and takes away any good feelings you might have had about the original film. It did for me, anyway. 

Why would a rich woman hire a perfect stranger, who gave her an elaborate lap dance, to come to London to choreograph a show at her theatre?  I don't care how good a dancer he is, she has known this guy for ONE DAY! And to make matters worse, the film is slow to get going, there is the requisite disaffected teenage daughter, which I have become sick of encountering in films, and there's not enough sex.  Some good sex can sometimes save a bad movie but, anyway, I digress.  This is basically a "let's put on a show" movie, but it makes you wish Judy Garland and Micky Rooney would turn up (I know, you young-uns don't have the slightest idea who I am talking about)! 

And then Max's husband does what he can to shut down the show. A bureaucratic prig has a problem with the stage, but the male strippers get her to change her mind by taking over the city bus she is riding on and doing a dance for her. Please. Have you ever been to London? THAT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN. I am absolutely gobsmacked that this thing was directed by Steven Soderbergh.  He must have also been affected by the Pandemic!

It seemed this film was striving for a metaphor - dance is life or something like that. The teenaged actress playing Max's daughter (Jamelia George) narrates and brings up highfalutin stuff about dance and life but if you are going to do that, DON'T CHOOSE MALE STRIPPERS.  When male strippers personify dance as life, I'm saying, nope.

Rosy the Reviewer says...just awful.

Women Talking (2022)

In 2010, the women and girls of an unnamed, isolated Mennonite colony discover that the men have been using livestock tranquilizer to subdue and rape them. What should they do?  Nothing?  Stay and fight?  Or leave?

When the women discovered that the men had been raping them, they had been told that the acts were the acts of demons.  Right, demon men in their community.  The attackers are arrested and imprisoned and the women are told they need to forgive the men and that forgiveness gets them into heaven.  If they don't forgive they will have to leave the colony.  So while most of the men are away posting bail, the women decide to vote on whether or not to forgive the men.  So lots of talking and arguing about what to do and we get to know the women.

Scarface Janz (Frances McDormand) wants to stay along with Salome (Claire Foy) and Ona (Rooney Mara), who is pregnant after being raped, but she votes to stay only if new rules give women equality. However, Ona changes her mind and joins Mejal (Michelle McLeod) to leave the colony along with Mariche (Jessie Buckley). There are those set in their ways who want to uphold the status quo, even when there is abuse, and then there are those who want to embrace change no matter what. 

August (Ben Whishaw), the colony's schoolteacher, joins the women to record the meeting, as none of the women were taught to read or write. Their reasons for leaving are transcribed by August: to ensure the safety of their children, to be steadfast in their faith, and to have freedom of thought. They decide to try to take boys aged fifteen years and younger with them. The women plan to leave at sunrise but it's not that easy.  Who will get away, who will stay?

Oh, the evil that men do.  Sorry, guys, but we women don't do this sort of thing, subjugating you, making you powerless, and worse, drugging and raping you.  But the bottom line here is the power that women have once they start talking and sharing and when they realize they are not alone.  When women get together and share a common bond of mistrust and abuse, watch out!  

Written and directed by Sarah Polley, the film is based on a 2018 Canadian novel of the same name by Miriam Toews (who also contributed to the screenplay) and was inspired by rapes that occurred at the Manitoba Colony, a remote and isolated Mennonite community in Bolivia. 

This film was nominated for Best Picture of 2022, which brings me to my usual rant about the Academy raising the number of Best Picture nominees from 5 to 10.  It is sometimes a stretch to get to 10 and, though this film has redeeming qualities in its message, I don't really see it as a Best Picture. It has limited appeal for various reasons i.e. it would mostly be of interest to women and those watching "Return to Amish (okay, don't come after me.  That's my sense of humor);" it's very claustrophic and talky; and it has a one note plot that is slow, slow, slow and not much happens. The film is aptly titled. The women talk and talk and talk and talk.  I usually have a high tolerance for movies like this, but my finger was itchy on the fast forward button for most of it.   

But it looks like I am in the minority. 

It was named one of the top ten films of 2022 by the National Board of Review and the American Film Institute and won Best Adapted Screenplay at the 28th Critics Choice Awards and the 75th Writers Guild of America Awards. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for it at the time but I am thinking you won't be either. 

I wanted to like this film. 

It had qualities I usually like: a film about women written and directed by a woman, an outstanding cast and a hopeful theme - that the young people will learn from the past and come to save us. God knows we need the young people to save us these days but sadly they can't save this movie.

Rosy the Reviewer says..though the film features an all-star cast and has redeeming qualities, it failed at the most basic level. It was boring.

Thanks for reading!

See you next time!

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