Yesterday is a British romantic comedy directed by Danny Boyle and written by Richard Curtis, based on an original screenplay by Jack Barth and Mackenzie Crook. A struggling musician who, after an accident, finds himself as the only person in the world who remembers the Beatles. That leaves him with the unprecedented opportunity to become famous by taking credit for writing and performing Beetle songs. The film falls a little short on imagination but since it’s the Beetle’s songs, it “rocks”.
Yesterday opens with Jack Malik (Himesh Patel), a struggling singer-songwriter from Lowestoft. His manager and childhood friend Ellie Appleton (Lily James), begs a bewildered Jack, not to give up on his dreams. During a global blackout, Jack gets hit by a bus, when he awakens, aside from two missing front teeth, he discovers that no one else on Earth had ever heard of the Beatles. Once he confirms his suspicion, he begins performing Beetle songs, claiming he wrote them. Soon he is heard by a local music producer, Gavin (Alexander Arnold) and records a demo for him, which leads to a performance on local television, which leads to Jack being invited by pop star Ed Sheeran (Ed Sheeran) to play as his opening act in Moscow. Ellie declines to join him, saying she has to work her day job as a schoolteacher, so Jack’s roadie friend, Rocky (Joel Fry) travels with him instead. After the gig, Jack is signed by Sheeran’s agent, Debra Hammer (Kate McKinnon), and rises to global fame. Hoping to trigger more memories of Beatles songs, Jack goes to their hometown of Liverpool, visiting landmarks such as Strawberry Field, Penny Lane, and the grave of Eleanor Rigby.
This being a good place to stop, I can only say that I enjoyed Yesterday, especially the music. I felt too much of the story went unanswered, leaving me to fill in the blanks myself. I also didn’t love Himesh’s singing voice and style. He seemed a bit “pitchy”, to coin a phrase. Yesterday gave us lots of school for thought but didn’t really satisfy our need for explanations. This is a totally British production and therefore, culturally different but still entertaining. Perhaps I’m suffering from culture shock but Yesterday could have been better. The acting was brilliant — too bad the story wasn’t. I recommend you wait for the DVD/Blu-ray. FYI: Getting the rights to include the Beatles’ music cost the filmmakers $10 million. Although none of the Beatles were involved in the production, Boyle received blessings of the project from them and their families. The film received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for the premise, performances, light tone, and musical sequences, but criticism at the familiarity and simplicity. Check It Out, after all, this is only my opinion!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged Alexander Arnold, camile Chen, carol, Debra hammer, Ed Sheeran, Elise Chappell, ellie Appleton, Gavin, Harry Mitchell, himesh patel, jack Malik, Jaimie killer, james corden, Jed Malik, Joel fry, John lennon, Justin edwards, Karl Theobald, karma sood, kate mckinnon, lamorne morris, Leo, lily james, liz, lucy, Meera syal, Michael kiwanuka, nick, robert carlyle, Rocky, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Sarah Lancashire, Shelia Malik, Sophia di Martino, terry, wendy, yesterday, young ellie Appleton
Bird Box is a post-apocalyptic thriller film, directed by Susanne Bier from a screenplay written by Eric Heisserer and based on the 2014 novel of the same name by Josh Malerman. The film follows a woman and two children who must travel through a forest and down a river blindfolded to avoid supernatural entities that cause people who look at them to commit suicide. I thought Bird Box was over rated via Netflix and local TV ads, but I still found it entertaining.
Bird Box opens in a post-apocalyptic world as Malorie Hayes (Sandra Bullock) advises her two young children, Boy/Tom (Julian Edwards) and Girl/Olympia (Vivien Lyra Blair) that they will be going downstream on a river in a boat. She strictly instructs them to not remove their blindfolds, or else they will die.
Five years earlier, a pregnant Malorie is visited by her older sister, Jessica (Sarah Paulson). A news report is being shown on television about unexplained mass suicides originating in Russia and quickly spreading across Europe. After hearing the devastating news report, Malorie visits Dr. Lapham (Parminder Nagra) at the hospital for her routine pregnancy checkup. Jessica accompanies her sister for support however, when leaving the hospital, Malorie sees a woman bashing her head into a glass panel followed by others panicking as chaos quickly erupts throughout the town. Malorie and Jessica attempt to drive away from the violence, but Jessica witnesses the phenomenon affecting the masses, loses control of herself and the car she is driving, which overturns. Injured, Malorie watched Jessica purposely walk in front of an oncoming truck that kills her instantly.
Bewildered and hurt, Malorie attempts to flee on foot through the mass chaos. Suddenly, Malorie encounters a woman, Lydia (Rebecca Pidgeon), who invites her to seek shelter in her home even though her husband, Douglas (John Malkovich) doesn’t want to let anyone in, friends included. However, right before his wife reaches Malorie, she goes into a trance, begins talking to her dead mother, and casually climbs into a burning car, which subsequently explodes. Malorie is rescued and brought into Lydia and Douglas’ house by Tom (Trevante Rhodes), a fleeing passerby. Another survivor, Charlie (Lil Rel Howery), who is seeking refuge in the house, theorizes that a celestial entity has invaded Earth, taking the form of its victim’s worst fears and driving them insane before causing them to commit suicide. At the insistence of Tom they cover all windows in the house and use blindfolds whenever they must venture outside. As the supply of food decreases and with the arrival of a new pregnant survivor, Olympia (Danielle Macdonald), decisions have to be made quickly. Ultimately, Greg (BD Wong), who is also seeking refuge in the house, volunteers to tie himself to a chair while monitoring the house surveillance cameras, hoping to find the issue of the entity, but kills himself by rocking his chair violently and slamming his head into a hearthstone after seeing it.
Although Bird Box is deemed a thriller, it’s also a mystery. What’s going on, who or what is causing this chaos and mass suicide to take place? Is this an alien invasion or is it something in the food or water? Where is Bird Box going with this movie and is there any hope? Only some of these questions are answered, however the journey is quite interesting with much more twists and subplots to be revealed. Survival demands the use of common skills that are most difficult to withstand. There is much sadness in Bird Box but it’s worth watching. The acting is brilliant and the cinematography is exceptional. Bird Box is streaming on Netflix — Check It Out, if you have Netflix already, what do you have to lose?
Posted in STREAMING
Tagged amy gumenick, bd wong, bird box, boy, charlie, cheryl, danielle macdonald, david dastmalchian, douglas, dr lapham, felix, gary, girl, greg, happy anderson, jacki weaver, jason, jessica, john malkovich, julian edwards, keith jardine, lil re howery, lucy, lydia, machine tgun kelly, malorie hayes, olympia, parminder nagra, pruitt taylor, rebecca pidgeon, rick, river man, rosa salazar, samantha, sandra bullock, Sarah Paulson, taylor handley, tom, tom hollander, Trevante Rhodes, vince, vivien lyra blair, whistling marauder, yelling marauder
Going in Style is a 1979 remake of a totally unrealistic answer to a realistic problem in today’s society. Too bad we couldn’t all be clever enough to pull off a guilt free bank heist, (just kidding). Going in Style is also a delightful, humorous story of three senior citizens who are lifelong best buddies who are getting the shaft every where they turn. Living off their less than modest pensions, in situations that afford them little to no extras in life, they are now faced with the company they worked for all their lives being bought out, causing their pensions to become a thing of the past. Ironically, an unusual incident at the very bank that’s threatening to take what little they have, becomes the very solution to a peaceful, happy existence for these 3 old geysers and their families.
Joe Harding (Michael Caine) has a small house in which his divorced daughter, Rachael Harding (Maria Dizzia) and his granddaughter, Brooklyn, (Joey King) are living in with him. Joe has been receiving pink foreclosure notices from the bank and will have 30 days from the forthcoming red foreclosure notice that will render them homeless. Despite Joe’s x son-in law’s, Murphy (Peter Serafinowicz), estrangement from his family, Joe attempts to get Murphy involved in his daughter’s life. Willie (Morgan Freeman) and Albert (Alan Arkin) live together, directly across the street from Joe. All three belong to the usual community clubs for the elderly and do the usual senior citizen activities like food shopping, frequenting the park, eating at the senior citizen shelter and for Willie, Skyping with his daughter, Cary Sachs (Melanie Nicholls-King) and granddaughter, Kanika (Ashley Aufderheide) who he seldom gets to see because of the long distance between them and his financial situation. Willie also learns that he is in need of a Kidney and should confide in friends or family members to get one asap or prepare for his funeral. In the meanwhile, Albert is having a much easier time at life being pursued by Annie, (Ann-Margret) a beautiful senior worker at the super market where he shops.
As Joe tries to deal with his foreclosure notice at the bank, he becomes a victim and a witness to a robbery in progress, carried out by three individuals wearing black masks. When, the robbers manage to escape with over 1.5 million dollars, Joe decides this might be a way out for the three seniors. Of course the bank was no help to Joe regarding his foreclosure notice and any chance of getting their pensions reinstated was never going to happen, as they later learned the bank intended to steal their retirement. Did I mention this plot was unrealistic but still fun to watch. Here are some other actors and actresses that are definitely an excellent reason to see Going in Style: Matt Dillon as Special Agent Hamer, an FBI agent who investigates bank robberies, Christopher Lloyd as Milton, the guys’ lodge buddy, Annabelle Chow as Lucy, the child witness, Kenan Thompson as Keith, a grocery store manager, Siobhan Fallon Hogan as Mitzi and John Ortiz as Jesus, a man of unspecified credentials who agrees to show the guys the ropes. Well done — no need to pick this one apart — just enjoy it for what it is, entertaining and funny!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged alan arkin, albert, ann-margaret, annabelle chow, annie, ashley aufderheide, brooklyn, cary sachs, christopher lloyd, going in style, hamer, Jesus, joe harding, joey king, john ortiz, kanika, keith, kenan thompson, lucy, maria dizzia, matt dillon, melanie, michael caine, milton, mitzi, morgan freeman, murphy, nicholls-king, peter serafinowicz, rachael harding, siobhan fallon hogan, willie
Wow, what an emotional roller coaster. Lion is one of the better movies of 2016. I really can’t say enough about this touching, true story about a little five year old boy who gets separated from his family, ends up in Calcutta, approximately 1,600 km away from home and ultimately lands in Australia, where he now lives with his new adoptive parents. How did this all come to be?
An East Indian family: a mother Kamla Munshiand (Priyanka Bose) called Mum by her children, her two boys, Saroo Brierley (Dev Patel), Young Saroo (Sunny Pawar), Guddu Kahn (Abhishek Bharate), and Shekila, their new baby sister lived in meager surroundings. Mum works for survival as a laborer who carries rocks and her two boys helps any way they could. One evening, Guddu, the middle child readied himself to go to work, but had to decide who was going to take care of Shekila, his baby sister. Mum had already left for her job, leaving the children unattended until someone came to look after the baby. Saroo wanted to help out so much he begged his brother to let him go with him to his job. After using every excuse he could think of to say no, he finally gave in and allowed his little 5 year old brother to come along. They ended up at a train station where Saroo finally fell asleep on an empty train car while his brother was off tending to his work. The train pulled off before Saroo awakened and despite his calls for help, there was no one on the train to provide any assistance. ”Saroo called out his brothers name over and over to no avail. He traveled two days before he was able to get off the train. He tried to tell authorities where he was from but apparently had the wrong name which rendered the home he tried to describe non existent. As Saroo explored his new surroundings, he almost got sold into a child molestation ring. He was suffering from hunger, eating out of garbage cans and off the ground while he encountered many other horrific problems, he finally ended up in an orphanage, then with an agency that would place him with parents who wanted to free him from his deplorable circumstances, via adoption. A loving couple from Australia ended up adopting Saroo but he never forgot his Mum and siblings. After 25 years, Saroo became obsessed at the thought of finding his biological mother. His adoptive parents John Brierley (David Wenham) and Sue Brierley (Nicole Kidman) were fantastic people and did all they could to make sure their son had everything he needed to move forward in his life.
This movie was brilliantly acted and the story was told with all the emotion and tenderness it deserves. I truly enjoyed Lion and am torn between which of the nominated movies is the best of 8 up for Best picture. You should definitely check Lion out.
[Lion is nominated for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Cinematography, Original Score and Adapted Screenplay]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged Abhishek Bharate, David Wenham, dev patel, Guddu Kahn, John Brierley, Kamla Munshiand, Lion, lucy, Mara Rooney, nicole kidman, Priyanka Bose, Saroo Brierley, Shekila, Sue Brierley, Sunny Pawar
I really loved this Sci-fi, futuristic movie. Lucy who is a student in Taipei, is 1 hour and 28 minutes of non-stop action. Scarlett Johansson was beyond eye candy. After forcibly becoming a drug mule, carrying a leaky bag of synthetic drugs containing CPH4 (a substance produced during pregnancy), in her stomach, Lucy instantly starts using the more than normal 10% of her brain. Going further than mankind has ever known, Lucy goes out to seek revenge on the crew responsible for her abduction and illegal smuggling as well as transportation of drugs into the streets using unwilling subjects. This movie is slick, fast, action packed and sexy. I thought the movie was too short but very effective, so time well spent. Morgan Freeman played college professor Norman who gave us powerful information regarding the nuances of the brain’s capacity. The special effects were pretty good but nothing new. See Lucy on the big screen or wait for the DVD. You won’t see too much difference in the two.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged abduction, brain, cph4, drugs, illegal, leaky bag, lucy, morgan freeman, pregnancy, professor norman, scarlett johansson, sci-fi, sexy, stomach, synthetic drugs, taipei