Showing posts with label Cleaning Tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cleaning Tips. Show all posts

Friday, April 6, 2018

"Tyler Perry's Acrimony" and The Week in Reviews

[I review "Tyler Perry's Acrimony" as well as DVDs "Pitch Perfect 3" and "The Disaster Artist."  There are two Books of the Week this week - Good Housekeeping's "Simple Cleaning Wisdom" and "Simple Household Wisdom."  I also bring you up-to-date with "My 1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project" with "Ride Lonesome."]

Tyler Perry's Acrimony

A woman with an anger problem thinks her husband is cheating on her.  Not a good combo.

Taraji P. Henson was robbed.  

She was the heart and soul of "Hidden Figures," but didn't even get an Oscar nod for a movie that was one of the Academy Award Best Picture nominees for 2017. Though she made a name for herself as the tough over-the-top Cookie on the hit TV show "Empire," there was not a sign of Cookie in her performance as real life mathematician Katherine Johnson and she brought humor and poignancy to the role.  I loved her in that movie. However, since then she has gone back to the more "Cookie-like" characters with the recent "Proud Mary" and now this one.

When we first see Melinda (Taraji), she is in court and being ordered by a judge to stay away from her ex-husband, Robert (Lyriq Bent) and his soon-to-be wife, Diana (Crystle Stewart) and to seek counseling for anger management, so during the course of the counseling Melinda tells her story in flashback.

Melinda met Robert in college and, though she was slow to warm to him, they eventually got together.  Robert's obsession was designing a self-charging battery and for some reason that seemed to get in the way of his getting a job. He also has no family to speak of and lived in an RV.  Melinda's two sisters were less than thrilled with Robert and gave Melinda a hard time about him.  When Melinda's mother died, Melinda inherited her mother's house and $750K and, then, all of a sudden Robert needed a new car, help with his tuition and money to put into his battery invention.  

Robert comes off as a kind of a sleazy type and we start to worry about our Melinda and what she has gotten herself into, especially when she catches him cheating on her with Diana in his RV.  However, here is where we get a little insight into Melinda's anger issues - she rams his RV with her truck, not once, but twice! - and knocks it over!

But we women are ever forgiving and despite this incident Melinda takes Robert back and they get married, but Melinda can't quite shake the feeling that Robert is cheating on her and using her for money, especially since her two sisters are constantly fueling the fire.  Robert and Melinda go through some hard times, with Melinda having to work multiple jobs but eventually the money runs out, she loses her mother's house because Robert asked her to mortgage it and his battery has gone nowhere. They eventually divorce but, wouldn't you know, right after that, Robert's battery hits it big with the help of his old lover, Diana, who just happens to work at the very company Robert has been lobbying to buy his invention.

Well, let me tell you this.  That does not sit well with Melinda! And all of a sudden, things take a turn, and we start to wonder if perhaps things are not quite right with our Melinda.

Tyler Perry likes to put his name on his films, and I guess I don't blame him, since he writes, directs and produces them.  This one is no exception.  Though the story pulls you in, it's a strange little film that plays like a Lifetime Movie and though I mostly enjoyed it, I had some issues with it.

First of all, I wasn't sure if this was a drama or a comedy.  

Oh, I know Perry meant this to be a drama but at times it was so over-the-top dramatic, it made me laugh. I even laughed at the end and I don't think I was supposed to, but you never know.  Perry is known for his Madea comedies, and some of the stuff in this movie was so outrageous I started to think maybe he was putting us on.  As the movie progressed, I started to think that maybe Melinda was a young Madea.

Also, though I liked the idea of a younger actress playing the younger Melinda (Ajiona Alexus), though Taraji could have probably pulled that off, and likewise a younger actor playing the young Robert (Antonio Madison), it was quite distracting when Taraji and Bent stepped in as the older versions of the characters and Robert appeared to have grown about a foot! The young Robert was the same height as the younger Melinda but the older Robert was about a foot taller than Taraji.  I don't think college guys usually grow a foot after college, do they?  

Finally, if you see the film, please answer these questions for me: Why was the house and money left only to Melinda, the youngest daughter and why didn't the sisters seem to care? And at the end, how did Melinda get on the boat and how did the crew get back on so fast after they all jumped off?

I know those may seen like minor things, but when I watch a film, I notice plot holes and continuity issues and when I notice them they throw me off and mar my ability to really get into a film.  My mind keeps going back to them...mmm, why did Melinda's mother leave everything to just her?

Though this is melodrama of the highest order, I love Taraji and enjoyed seeing her tear up the scenery though I would like to see her do more subtle serious roles like she did in "Hidden Figures," because as an actress she has a vulnerability and warmth that doesn't come through when she is playing bad asses.

Rosy the Reviewer says...a Lifetime movie on steroids!

***Some Movies You Might Have Missed***
(And Some You Will Be Glad You Did)!


Pitch Perfect 3 (2017)

The Barden Bellas are older now and have all gone their separate ways, but reunite for a USO tour and the usual over the top shenanigans ensue.

Why do I keep doing this to myself?

Yet another sequel that reminds me why I hate sequels. I didn't really like the first one, though at least at the time, it felt new, original and fun, but it certainly didn't warrant a sequel and the sequel was just a rehash of the first one.  Now we have #3 and, though it's not a rehash of the first two, it's worse and had me begging the powers that be that this please, please, please be the last one.

The film starts with a cold opening and I was trying to be positive, thinking, OK, maybe this won't be so bad. I will give it a chance.  Beca (Anna Kendrick) and the other Bellas are on a cruise ship doing a routine when it becomes apparent that they are performing under duress.  Then Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) shows up, does some karate chops and they all jump off the boat in a flurry of explosions and all of a sudden it seemed like we and the Bellas were in the middle of a spy-thriller.  Flash back to three weeks earlier to discover how they ended up there.  I already didn't care.

Beca and Fat Amy are back and living together.  Fat Amy has been making a living playing Fat Amy Winehouse and Beca has just quit her job.  So why not join The Bellas to reunite for one last time on a USO tour of Italy, Greece and the South of France and, of course, this wouldn't be a Pitch Perfect movie if there wasn't a rival singing group to compete against and so there is one with the unfortunate name "Ever Moist," a girl group that - gasp! - actually plays musical instruments!

Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins are also back as Gail and John, the snide judges who this time are doing a documentary on the Bellas (not sure why), so they tag along on the USO tour. DJ Khaled is also there and he looks like he is wondering why.  Turns out the groups are all vying to become his opening act, though I wonder what his fans would think with an a cappella group opening for him. 

To complicate matters even more, Fat Amy's long-lost Dad, Fergus (John Lithgow) shows up and Amy is happy until she discovers what he is really up to. He is an Australian mafioso after Amy's money, and that is the crux of the film which deteriorates into an inexplicable melee that involves thousands of bees and a fire. 

Watching this film I couldn't help but ask "Why?" - I think I said that aloud several times - and to say "Please Lord, don't let there be a 'Pitch Perfect 4' and if there is hold me down so I don't order it from Netflix.  I don't want to have to endure any more lines of dialogue like this: 

"We will be clinging to you like mom jeans to a camel toe."

Rebel Wilson's ability to go for it, to do whatever is necessary to get a laugh, can sometimes be funny but unfortunately the fat jokes and inappropriate comments wear thin after awhile.  And I know this is an unpopular stance, but I don't really think Anna Kendrick can sing.  I think she has a really nasally singing voice that I find irritating. Not a fan.

Though there is lots of catchy music to bop to, the story written by Kay Cannon and Mike White and directed by Trish Sie, is so ridiculous and not funny that you stop listening to the music and ask yourself what the hell you are doing watching this film. Mike, what happened?  You wrote such a lovely screenplay for "Brad's Status." 

Makes me sad to say that the best moment in the film was seeing one of the Bellas wearing a pair of bedroom slippers that I own!  I am a discerning movie- goer. I notice stuff like that.

Rosy the Reviewer says...thank the Lord, this is the last one.  It IS the last one, right?

The Disaster Artist (2017)

The true story of the making of "The Room," a cult favorite film now hailed as one of the worst movies ever made.
The film begins in San Francisco in 1998.  Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) and Tommy Wiseau (James Franco) are both in an acting class together and when Tommy does an over the top interpretation of Marlon Brando in "A Streetcar Named Desire," Greg is drawn to him.  The two move to LA and when acting jobs are few and far between they decide to make their own movie.

Tommy is a rich and mysterious guy who says he is from New Orleans but his accent belies that.  No one knows much about him, where his money comes from or even how old he is.

He has also clearly never made a movie before and you wonder if he has actually ever seen one.  He is absolutely clueless about making a film e.g. he films in 35mm and HD at the same time and buys cameras rather than renting them.

Most of the film is about the making of the movie, recreating scenes for comic effect, but I think it would have helped if I had seen the original movie first.

Directed by Franco (James) with a screenplay by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (based on the book Sestero wrote about making the film), the film is mostly enjoyable because of the performances.  James Franco, with that big smile of his, has some acting mannerisms he usually relies on, but his Tommy is far from anything you have ever seen him do before but, that said, ironically the film plays a bit like a one joke movie, the joke being Tommy himself, with his weird accent, long hair and total lack of self awareness and talent. So sadly, despite the fact that I give Franco props for his portrayal, the character of Tommy annoys after awhile and, since we never find out anything about his motivations or even his life, the film is ultimately unsatisfying. 

But don't miss the end credits where they show side-by-side scenes from the real movie next to the ones recreated here.

Rosy the Reviewer says...James Franco as you have never seen him.

***My 1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project***

149 to go!

Have YOU seen this classic film?

Ride Lonesome (1959)

One of those westerns where a bounty hunter is trying to get a bad guy back to town for trial and a bunch of bad guys are trying to stop him.

My Dad loved westerns and Randolph Scott was one of my Dad's favorite actors, and he is, indeed, a perfect Western hero though in this one he is starting to get a little long in the tooth.  Here he has what I consider one of the all-time great names for a Western hero:  Ben Brigade.  

Ben is escorting Billy John (James Best) back to Santa Cruz to face judgment and unwillingly takes on three companions - Mrs. Carrie Lane, a station master's wife (Karen Steele in the 50's Western staple - the push-up bra)) and a couple of bad guys, Sam and Whit (Pernell Roberts and James Coburn, both in early phases of what would be long acting careers) who are plotting to rob Brigade of Billy John.  And to make matters worse, Billy John's brother, Frank (Lee Van Cleef) is also in hot pursuit to free his brother.

I am not much of a western fan these days.  I think I OD'd in the 50's and 60's when westerns thrived on TV: "Bonanza," "Have Gun Will Travel," "Gunsmoke," and so many more, all regulars in our house because my Dad always secretly wanted to be a cowboy.  But I don't really know why I don't like them.  Westerns are just regular stories of love, drama and crisis except with horses and women wearing push-up bras.  

This film actually starts out one way and takes a dark turn when Brigade tells the story of what happened to his wife and he gets his revenge. You see, Brigade had some other things in mind besides the bounty and the film ends with an unforgettable image.

One of seven westerns directed by Budd Boetticher with a script by Burt Kennedy, it was the first of Boetticher's films to utilize Cinemascope and the film is beautiful to look at.

But these old westerns are so politically incorrect I just don't know where to begin, but I think I know why westerns were, and in some cases, still are so popular. It has something to do with "Make America Great Again."  Men were men, women knew their place, white men ruled the world and always beat the Native Americans in a fight, and it was easy to tell the good guys from the bad guys (good guys wore white hats and bad guys wore black hats). I guess some people think those were easier times.

Randolph Scott is a great western hero - handsome, stoic and a man of few words while Lee Van Cleef (who went on to become a famous bad guy in Clint Eastwood's spaghetti westerns), Pernell Roberts (who became famous on TV for "Bonanza" and "Trapper John MD") and James Coburn (who went on to many bigger film projects) made great villains in this film with a twist.

Why it's a Must See: "The seven Westerns Budd Boetticher made with leading man Randolph Scott are notable for Scott's wry, laconic, weather-beaten virtuousness, colorful secondary characters, visual gracefulness, stark, abstract landscapes, and a muted but aching sense of tragedy."

---"1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die"

Rosy the Reviewer says...if you like the old westerns, this is a good one!

***Books of the Week***

It's a two-for-one this week!

Good Housekeeping Simple Cleaning Wisdom: 450 Easy Shortcuts for a Fresh & Tidy Home (Simple Wisdom 2018)

Good Housekeeping Simple Household Wisdom: 425 Ways to Clean & Organize Your Home (Simple Wisdom 2016)

We can all use some tips on keeping our living spaces livable, right?

Books like this can serve a couple of different purposes: 1) you can bask in the fact that you are doing everything right or 2) you can learn some stuff or 3) you can realize what you have been doing wrong.

So I have divided this review into three categories:

Duh, I knew that (doesn't everyone)?

  • Keep supplies handy
  • Declutter before you clean
  • Use a shredder
  • Test paint on the wall before buying
  • If you want to iron less, take clothes out of the dryer and hang them up while still damp

I did not know that... 

  • Don't wash windows on a sunny day (they get streaky)
  • Let your cleaner do the work - watch how hotel maids do it.  They spray the tub or shower with cleaner and then go do something else so while they are doing something else the cleaner is doing it's job and when they return it's easier to clean
  • For a more efficient dishwasher, run hot water into the sink before starting your dish washer to get rid of any cold water in the pipes
  • Dish towels are the most contaminated items in the kitchen, so I guess that means wash them regularly
  • Placing newspapers in stinky shoes will eliminate the smell

and finally

Oops! (I've been doing it wrong)

  • Don't store your iron with the water in it
  • Don't spray furniture polish directly on the furniture
  • Don't flush the toilet with the lid up (the water sprays all over the room - ew)!
  • Don't wear shoes in the house - have your house shoes to avoid dragging in dirt.
  • Don't wash your car with dish soap

If you want to know why we should heed these do's and don'ts and get more tips, you will just have to check out these books!

Since Good Housekeeping has their "Seal of Approval," both books recommend cleaning tools and products to make our cleaning lives easier.

Rosy the Reviewer says...I will leave you with this bit of advice from Comedienne Phyllis Diller which echoes my cleaning philosophy: "The best way to get rid of kitchen odors is to eat out!"

Thanks for reading!

See you next Friday 

for my review of 

"A Quiet Place"

The Week in Reviews
(What to See or Read and What to Avoid)

 and the latest on

"My 1001 Movies I Must See Before 
I Die Project." 

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Check your local library for DVDs and books mentioned.

Next time you are wondering whether or not to watch a particular film, check out my reviews on IMDB (The International Movie Database). 

Go to, find the movie you are interested in.  Scroll down below the synopsis and the listings for the director, writer and main stars to where it says "Reviews" and click on "Critics" - If I have reviewed that film, you will find Rosy the Reviewer alphabetically on the list.