A Simple Favor is a mystery thriller film, directed by Paul Feig from a screenplay by Jessica Sharzer and based on the 2017 novel of the same name by Darcey Bell. The film follows a small town vlogger who tries to solve the disappearance of her mysterious and rich best friend. A very twisted plot that is a pleasant change from the all the aliens and super heroes we’ve been bombarded with lately.
Stephanie Smothers (Anna Kendrick) is a widowed single mother who runs a mom vlog featuring crafts and recipes. During one of her sessions, she discusses an investigation, along with her feelings surrounding the disappearance of her best friend, Emily Nelson (Blake Lively). In a flashback, Emily is a busy working mother, as a PR director for a fashion company. Emily’s son, Nicky Townsend-Nelson (Ian Ho) attends the same elementary school as Stephanie’s son, Miles Smothers (Joshua Satine). As a result of their new, fast growing friendship, which includes having play dates for the boys, and martinis for themselves the two women became inseparable.
They traded confidential and personal information about each other, at Emily’s request. Emily learned of a secret Stephanie held about her half brother, Chris (Dustin Milligan), which she would playfully tease Stephanie about. Emily reveals a secret about her husband, Sean Townsend (Henry Golding), an English professor who is also pursuing a writing career that has lead to their financial detriment. One day, Emily has a work crisis and asks Stephanie to babysit Nicky after school, which she happily obliges because Sean is in London.
This is the most I can reveal about A Simple Favor because the plot is so twisted I don’t want to give anything away. This movie is intense and exciting. The characters are intriguing yet shallow. The relationships between the two women was started fast and never got beyond 2 weeks. Sometimes we find ourselves drawn into a new relationship that is going so fast, we can’t seem to control it. We even find ourselves saying and doing things we don’t ordinarily do in order to satisfy the friendship. At some point we make a decision as to weather the relationship is a good one or a bad one, then we either get out of it or stay in. In the cast of Emily and Stephanie, we see that something is really stinking in Denmark. I liked the movie but found it somewhat unbelievable. However, you will be fully entertained as well as surprised at the final outcome. I recommend A Simple Favor to all — Check it out!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged a simple favor, andrew rannells, anna kendrick, blake lively, emily nelson, ian ho, jean smart, joshua satine, linda cardellini, miles smothers, nicky townsend-nelson, rupert friend, stephanie smothers, vlog
Trolls is a fantastic story told with beautiful vivid dazzling colors and out of this world graphics. The music was especially good because it took me back to the days when I grew up listening to the kind of music I loved but don’t get to hear much any more. It was great hearing those old songs mixed with some great new ones.
Trolls are small doll like creatures (also popular in my youth) who live in an almost perpetual state of happiness, singing, dancing, and hugging all day long. That’s all they do. Life was good until they were discovered by the Bergens, who are the opposite of the Trolls. They are not very attractive, large creatures who never feel happy, but discover they can feel momentary happiness if they devour a Troll. The Bergen’s capture the Trolls and place them in a cage, then hold an annual festival in which, each Bergen gets their feeling of happiness, by eating a Troll. On the day that Prince Gristle Jr. (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) was supposed to eat his first Troll, they had all escaped through underground tunnels, led by the troll King Peppy (Jeffrey Tambor). Furious Bergen King Gristle Sr. (John Cleese) banishes his Chef (Christine Baranski) who was in charge of the Troll preparation. After 20 years, the Trolls were never seen or heard from again by the Bergens.
King Peppy’s daughter, an extremely happy and optimistic troll Princess Poppy (Anna Kendrick), decides to throw a huge party to celebrate the Trolls’ 20th year anniversary of freedom and the escape from the Bergens. Poppy ignored the fears and warnings of the grey, grumpy, glum troll who wouldn’t sing, called Branch (Justin Timberlake), that loud parties could attract the Bergens. Branch’s fears become true when the banished Bergen Chef, sees the fireworks and captures a number of Trolls. Poppy is among the Trolls who manage to hide, but discovers that none of the other Trolls dare to venture to Bergen Town to rescue their friends. She goes by herself, but gets trapped by several spider-like creatures. She is saved by the reluctant Branch, and together they go to Bergen Town.
Poppy and Branch discover that their friends are being guarded by the Scullery Maid Bridget (Zooey Deschanel), and strike a deal with her: If she frees their friends, they will help her get a date with the now King Gristle Jr. Poppy and Branch learn that Creek (Russell Brand), a Zen-like Troll is being held apart from the rest in a jewel that decorates the king’s mantle.
Of course, I won’t tell any more of the story, as not to spoil it for you–so check it out to see what happens. Trolls is a happy film that will make you feel good. I recommend it to all.
[TROLLS is nominated for Original Song]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged anna kendrick, bergens, branch, bridget, chef, christine baranski, christopher mintz-plasse, creek, gwen stepfoni, jeffrey tambor, john cleese, justin timberlake, king gristle sr, king peppy, prince gristle jr, princess poppy, russell brand, scullery maid, trolls, zooey deschanel
The Accountant is an extraordinary thriller, about a very high functioning Autistic child, Christian “Chris” Wolff (Ben Affleck) who is also a mathematical genius. Chris grows up and becomes a forensic accountant, tracking insider financial deceptions for numerous criminal enterprises brokered to him by a mysterious figure known as “The Voice”, contacting him only by phone. There are many surprises in this movie and the excitement never ends. I was on the edge of my seat most of the time. I don’t believe there’s anything predictable about this film. Much care and research had to go into the making of The Accountant. Watching how Chris compensates for his mental deficiencies to make himself more concise and better able to do what’s necessary to get the job done is nothing short of remarkable. I was quite impressed with the movie.
As a child, Chris’ parents (Robert C. Treveile and Mary Kraft) took him to the Harbor Neuroscience Institute in New Hampshire, where he was diagnosed with autism and offered residency there. Although Chris bonded with Justine (Alison Wright), the mute daughter of the institute’s director (Jason Davis), his father, a decorated military officer, declined the offer, believing that Chris should overcome the hardships inherent to his condition rather than expect the world to accommodate to them. The pressure of raising a special needs child drove Chris’ mother to abandon him and his younger brother, Braxton (Jake Presley) who were left in their father’s care.
As an adult, Chris is being pursued by Raymond “Ray” King (J.K. Simmons), the director of financial crimes of the Treasury Department, who knows Chris by the alias “The Accountant”. King recruits an analyst, Marybeth Medina (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) to help him identify and arrest the Accountant before his upcoming retirement. In the meanwhile, Chris is off on a new assignment where he meets Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick) a young CPA, who has found an accounting mistake in her company’s books. CEO, Lamar Blackburn (John Lithgow) and his sister and associate Rita Blackburn (Jean Smart) hire Chris to collaborate Dana’s findings. Because of what Chris and Dana find, they are targeted for assassination — and so the adventure really gets started. They are ruthlessly pursued by a hit man (Jon Bernthal). I consider The Accountant a much see thriller that will keep you guessing right to the twisted end.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged alison wright, anna kendrick, ben affleck, braxston, christian wolff, cynthia addai-robinson, dana cummings, jason davis, jean smart, jk simmons, john lithgow, john presley, jon bernthal, justine, lamar blackburn, mary kraft, marybeth medina, raymond king, rita blackburn, robert c treveile, the accountant
For one, I love these new fairy tale fantasies. Into the Woods is well done. Into the Woods sort of reminds me of “Once Upon a Time”, which I watch on TV. There are a couple of similarities however, Into the Woods is big budget and brought to you by Disney. Need I say more. There’s not even too much more I can say about Meryl Streep except that she is a phenomenal actress. Into the Woods is a delightful musical fantasy that takes Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy), Little Red Riding hood (Lilla Crawford) and Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone), and merges them together to make a new fairytale, with a twist. It all starts with the Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) that live in a house that was cursed many years ago. The witch (Meryl Streep) will reverse the curse if the baker and his wife bring her 4 items that they must retrieve from the woods. From this point, everyone is engaged with doing their part to get the job done. Many lessons are learned and many penalties are paid. If you see Into the Woods, you’ll love Meryl Streep as well as the rest of the cast. Tracey Ullman played Jack’s mom and Johnny Depp played the wolf. Christine Baronski played Cinderella’s step mom and was also great. Everyone seems so much younger than I thought they should be — good make-up. I found this movie to be entertaining with a good message. The singing was fantastic. Worth seeing!
[Into the Woods is nominated for Best Supporting Actress, Costume Design and Production Design]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged anna kendrick, cinderella, daniel huttlestone, emily blunt, into the woods, jack and the beanstalk, james corden, Johnny Depp, lilla crawford, little red riding hood, meryl streep, rapunzel, the baker, the witch, tracey ullman, wolf