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
“What Men Want” is a fantasy comedy directed by Adam Shankman and is loosely based on the 2000 film, “What Women Want” in reverse gender. The plot follows a woman who, after drinking a potent concoction given by a shaman, gains the ability to hear men’s inner thoughts. While this is not a new concept, the movie is surprisingly funny.
Ali Davis (Taraji P. Henson) is an executive sports agent working for Summit Worldwide Management, which is mostly male-dominated. She’s been over-looked for partner several times but believes today is the day. She and her gay assistant Brandon (Josh Brener), who wants to be a sports rep, are gearing up toward a celebration, believing she is going to make partner. Ali is passed over once again, which makes her fighting mad. Ali’s boss, Nick (Brian Bosworth), acknowledges that Ali is a hard worker but he says she just doesn’t connect well with the other men. Ali announces to everyone in the building that she WILL sign rising basketball superstar Jamal Barry (Shane Paul McGhie) and prove to others why she deserves to be partner. Ali goes to meet her co-workers as they try to work out a deal with Jamal and his father, Joe Dolla (Tracy Morgan) but fails.
Ali spends time with her father Skip (Richard Roundtree) at the boxing gym he manages before they go to grab dinner. Skip points out a new bartender named Will (Aldis Hodge), whom Ali finds attractive. She stays there to introduce herself, and Will makes her a special cocktail. They go back to his house where they end up engaging in a wild night of sex. In the morning, Ali is in for a surprise when Will’s six year old son Ben (Auston Moore), appears in the bedroom wearing her panties on his head siting, “Wakonda forever” from the movie, Black Panther. She realizes she is late for work and runs out, showing up to a photo shoot wearing evidence of her wild night.
Ali is scheduled to attend a bachelorette party that evening for Mari, (Tamala Jones) one of her three best girlfriends, which also includes Ciarra, (Phoebe Robinson) and Olivia (Wendi McLendon-Covey), who employed the services of a psychic named Sister (Erikah Badu). Ali is first to get a reading by Sister and is given tea made of weed, Peyote and Cocaine. While dancing, Ali is hit by a questionable object that causes her to fall, hit her head and pass out. She wakes up in a hospital where she discovers she is able to hear her male doctor’s thoughts. Ali is so freaked out by her new found power, she runs all the way to her company building able to hear the thoughts of all males around her. Upset, she tracks down the psychic for help. Sister advices her to use this gift to get what she wants at work. Agreeing, Ali goes back to her job and starts listening to the mind of her colleagues.
I was truly surprised at how funny “What Men Want” is. The original with Mel Gibson was nowhere near as funny. The story is full of scenes that are both hilarious and entertaining. Keep in mind, “What Men Want” is a fantasy comedy and consider my above lead-in to be short and sweet because there is so much more to come in the actual film. The acting is absolutely brilliant as is the plot. Viewers rated “What Men Want” five out of five stars, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that happen before. Rotten Tomatoes was just that, a rotten rating of only 43%. I have no clue why they rated the movie so low but I really enjoyed it. Check It Out, you won’t be sorry.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS, STREAMING
Tagged aldis hodge, alison "ali" davis, auston jon moore, ben, brandon, brian bosworth, captain fucktastic, chris witaske, ciarra, danny, eddie, erykah badu, ethan, grant hill, jamal barry, jason jones, joe "dolla" barry, josh brener, karl-anthony towns, kellan lutz, Kevin, mari, mark cuban, max greenfield, nick, olivia, pete davidson, phoebe robinson, richard roundtree, shane paul mcghie, shaquille o'neal, sister, skip davis, tamala jones, taraji p henson, tracy morgan, wendi mclendon-covey, what men want, will
An unlikely plot when 2 high ranking women decide to plot murder on the terrorist responsible for the death of their son/fiance. In other words, revenge. Alfre Woodard and Katherine Heigl are CIA and President of the United States, respectively. Katherine Heigl plays Charleston Tucker, the CIA Official who was engaged to Aaron Payton, the President’s son, played by Mark Tallman. Alfre Woodard plays President Constance Payton, a former war veteran and Courtney B. Vance plays the President’s husband, Marshall Payton. For some reason, they were all together in Kabul, Afghanistan where they were attacked by a terrorist group lead by Omar Abdul Fatah. Aaron was killed but the women were not. It appears that their mission, going forward, is to kill any and everyone responsible for Aaron’s death. There are many secrets yet to unfold. While I love a good drama, I’m not sure this one is going to make it. There’s nothing wrong with the acting or the characters, except I’d hate to think that the President’s main agenda is revenge, yet I was happy when we took down Osama Bin Laden.
The pilot features Dr. Benjamin Butler who is working in Africa and who resembles the President’s dead son, Aaron. While in Kenya, the doctor and his colleagues were kidnapped and threatened with decapatation by a newly formed terrorist group. In the meanwhile, the mission to take down the much sorted after Omar Abdul Fatah, already targeted and in clear site of a US ground military strike team (MI6) was called off by CIA Official, Charleston, in favor of rescuing Dr. Butler instead. It wasn’t quite clear if the mission was redirected in favor of saving the doctor over killing Fatah because of the doctor’s resemblence to Aaron or Charlie’s explanation “waiting 6 months would allow us to get Fatah and his entire network instead of just Fatah”. A lot of risky business here. It’s worth waiting to see what happens in the next few weeks. One thing is clear, there is more going on than meets the eye. A relationship was introduced between Charlie and Nick Vera (Chris McKenna) a CIA asset who worked for Charlie and is keeping a secret regarding Fatah. There seems to be an obvious resentment between the two despite their romantic involvement. Nick has been “dark” for over a year. Secret photos that suggest Charlie and Nick are semi quasi partners in crime are repeatedly sent to Charlie’s cell phone. Charlie does not remember all that happened the day Aaron was killed. Her therapist is suggesting that Charlie is blocking out something she doesn’t want to remember.
I find this series a little ambiguous and I don’t think it’s very authentic. The busyness of the Presidential Staff and the ambiance of the White House is missing. Scenes like the President walking away from her son’s grave site, after speaking at a memorial, without visual body guards or Charlie being the President’s Daily Briefer which in real life is done by the Director of Intelligence, which is totally separate from the CIA and the fact that we don’t really ever see any of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, gives support to the unofficial look and feel of this White House. Also, there are a lot of black women e.g., Angela Bassett, Viola Davis, Kimberly Elise, Thandie Newton or Jenifer Lewis, I feel would have made a more believable US President — it’s not an acting thing, it’s the unnaturalness and the energy I find lacking. State of Affairs airs on NBC. I still think it has potential.
Posted in Action, Dramas, LOCAL TV & CABLE CRITIQUES, Thriller/Mystery
Tagged aaron, alfee woodard, alfre woodard, charleston tucker, charlie, cia, courtney b vance, fatah, katerine hyakel, katherine heigl, mark tallman, marshall, nick, president payton, secret, state of affairs
Every week the Grimm (Nick Burkhardt), played by David Giuntoli and his partner (Hank Griffin) played by Russell Hornsby, go out on police cases involving Wesen and other strange looking demon like creatures. Because these perfectly normal looking people can change back and forth from human to creature, no one knows that they are not completely human. They can be seen in their unhuman form if they choose to be seen that way. If they don’t, only the Grimm can see what they really look like. The Grimm is not one of the creatures. Legend says the Grimm only hunts and kills these creatures. This series is quite complicated as the Grimm has many of these creatures as friends, including a very close Wieder Blutbad named Monroe, played by Silas Weir Mitchell and his fiance, a Fachsbau named Rosalee Calvert, played by Bree Turner and his boss, a Fluent Francophone named police captain Sean Renard, played by Sasha Roiz. There are many twist and turns in this series. These creatures are not all bad. Some are quite good. The stories are interesting, the acting is great and the concepts will keep you tuning in week after week. As it turns out, this Grimm does not follow legend, he does not hunt and kill unless a gruesome crime has been committed by one of them and causes him to hunt and/or the reaction to a violent act causes him to kill. No one knows about these creatures or the Grimm except a few choice folks. This series is well written and keeps the production light hearted enough that no one is completely grossed out by these demonic looking creatures. It’s a very good show. Check it out. The Grimm currently airs on NBC and is not suited for children under 15.
Posted in Action, Dramas, Horror/monsters, LOCAL TV & CABLE CRITIQUES, SciFi/Fantasy, Thriller/Mystery
Tagged creature, fachsbau, fluent francophone, grimm, hank, julliet, kill, monroe, nick, police captain, rosalee, sean renard, violent, wieder blutbad