The Book of Henry is drama directed by Colin Trevorrow and written by Gregg Hurwitz. The Book of Henry is about an 11 year old genius who has taken on the role of an adult including concocting a plan to save a young girl living next door from abuse. This film is not what the title implies but instead a beautiful story with multiply messages that says a whole lot about our society, our youth and gives us insight into some real soul searching.
The Book of Henry takes place in a small suburban town called Hudson Valley, where an 11-year-old boy genius named Henry Carpenter (Jaeden Lieberher) and his younger brother, Peter (Jacob Tremblay), are being raised by their single mother, Susan, (Naomi Watts) a waitress who is also working on writing children’s picture books. Henry uses his intellect to invest in the stock market and has built up a very substantial portfolio for his family. Henry is also very close to his brother, protecting him from the school bully as well as building Rube Goldberg machines in their tree house. Henry doesn’t have a whole lot of friends but is fond of his next-door neighbor, who is also his classmate, Christina Sickleman, (Maddie Ziegler) who he noticed has recently become withdrawn. One day, while looking through his bedroom window, Henry discovers the reason for Christina’s mood change. She is being abused by her stepfather, Glenn Sickleman, (Dean Norris) who is also the local police commissioner. Henry reports the abuse to social services and the school principal, Mrs. Wilder (Tonya Pinkins) but Glenn has connections throughout the local government, and Principal Wilder is reluctant to challenge the commissioner without “conclusive evidence”. Henry is unable to get the authorities to launch a serious investigation that would protect Christina but keeps a red notebook in which he documents his thoughts, somewhat like a diary.
From this point on, The book of Henry takes on a whole different approach with a turn of events you’ll never see coming. This film flew way under the radar and most likely, in real life, never would have happened the way it’s portrayed in this movie. The message is so profound I think it’s worth seeing by any means. More than how it all comes together, it shows us how we, as a people, react in a situation when we should step up or get involved but let our fears hold us back. This film is thought provoking, informative, inspirational, inspiring and emotional. Most of all, The Book of Henry had a somewhat satisfying ending that made it all worth seeing. You can get this film on DVD and Blu-Ray — Check it Out! You won’t be sorry.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged christina sickleman, dean norris, glenn sickleman, henry carpenter, jacob tremblay, jaeden lieberher, maddie ziegler, mrs. wilder, naomi watts, peter, susan, the book of henry, tonya pinkins
Rough Night was a rough movie. While some of it was funny most of it was a play on male bonding comedies done many times before. I found Rough Night down right silly yet tolerable. There were quite a few “not so bad moments” along with too many annoying moments, as well.
The movie starts in 2006 with 4 friends Jess (Scarlett Johansson), Alice (Jillian Bell), Frankie (Ilana Glazer) and Blair (Zoë Kravitz) in their first year of college. During this period of friendship and bonding, they are doing what first year students do, attending silly parties and performing senseless acts, like spitting a ball across the room to break a rubber boob. Oh my, what a party that was. Guys dressed in thongs, women dressed in ridiculous outfits that served no purpose and everyone just drank and did stupid things. Nothing that really resembles a real party like dancing and meaningful conversation. The film then takes us 10 years in the future where Jess is running for office and is engaged to be married to Peter (Paul W. Downs). She seems to be out of touch with her old friends from college except for her upcoming bachelorette party. Alice, who always considered herself Jess’s best friend, decides that the four friends should spend the weekend in Miami partying. They are also joined by Pippa (Kate McKinnon), Jess’s friend from a semester she attended in Australia. The friends get high and party at a club and then decide to hire a male stripper (Ryan Cooper). When the stripper arrives, the adventure really gets going.
The series of events is the meat of Rough Night so I can’t list what follows. There’s a death, misunderstandings, an unexpected trip, unexpected sex, oversexed neighbors (Ty Burrell and Demi Moore), robbers, wild emotions, make ups, break ups, bodies, handcuffs, drugs, burner phones, diamonds, boats, a cop (Colton Haynes), hellos and good-byes. Rough Night is a roller coaster of crazy. It starts off crazy and ends crazy with crazy in the middle. Good acting — but doesn’t measure up to any of the guy bonding movies like The Hangover Trilogies. I would wait for the DVD.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged alice, blair, colton haynes, demi moore, frankie, ilana glazer, jess, jillian bell, kate mckinnon, paul w downs, peter, pippa, rough night, ryan cooper, scar, scarlett johansson, stripper, ty burrell, zoe kravitz
Confusing is not the word for the new category of “the world has ended” movies. Usually the youth are shut out, which causes them to fight the older population for any information that can lead to their freedom and a better functioning world. Their goal is a world that will allow them the right to make their own decisions with less stringent rules and a more flexible future for all. Included in these world ending series where people are also categorized by class, is the Maze Runner/Scorch Trails, The Hunger Games trilogy, Tomorrowland, The Giver, District 9 and Elysium. I found myself getting confused and overlapping stories, making Divergent and Maze Runner fitting nicely together as one story. Having pointed out Hollywood’s new obsession, let me add that it isn’t all bad. While these movies are dealing with similar themes, some are doing it better than others. I like the Maze Runner series better than the Divergent series. I found the Hunger Games to be a little over the top, given the ending. In this third installment of the Divergent series, we find Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) along with her brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort) and Peter (Miles Teller) running away from their home. No one is allowed to approach the wall which is heavily secured by members of Evelyn’s (Naomi Watts) coalition. However, they manage to get through and are greeted by an unknown army. The soldiers take the them to the Bureau of Genetic Welfare, a highly advanced city where they learn the truth about their society. Many years ago, the government believed that society’s problems were caused by “bad genes”. In an attempt to create a better society, they began to modify people’s genes, with disastrous results. The government set up “experiments” in an attempt to repair this mistake, establishing isolated cities across the remains of the United States. The hope was to raise enough genetically pure Divergent individuals to fix the “genetic damage” left in the wake of the Purity War. The bureau is headed up by David (Jeff Daniels) who deems Tris to be a pure Divergent and is therefore suited to help him get funding from the council he reports to in order to extend his experiments that will ultimately include the destruction of Chicago. Of course there is much more going on, but as usual, I don’t want to give away any more of the plot. Allegiant concludes with some very good turn of events. In my opinion, Allegiant is the best of the trilogy. The director (Robert Schwentke) ties events together quite nicely bringing good closure to this final sequel. Great acting and great special effects. There’s lots of adventure and the story is interesting and will keep you guessing.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged allegiant, ansel elgort, caleb, chicago, david, divergent, Evelyn, four, jeff daniels, miles teller, naomi watts, peter, shailene woodley, theo james, tris
Tyler Perry is the king of happy endings and endings with a good and spiritual message. The Single Mom’s Club is no exception. It’s the story of 5 women living the single mom life. We all know it’s not easy raising children with a husband so we know it has to be much harder without one. These 5 women are raising their children alone either because they are going through a divorce, by choice or the father is absent due to extenuating circumstances. Because their children are attending the same private school, the moms become friends and decide to form a support group and call it “The Single Mom’s Club”. The story is descent and the circumstances are somewhat relateable. Tyler Perry actually stars in this movie as a love interest for Mia Long, who plays May. Each mom eventually has a love interest and is invested in their child having a promising future. The story unfolds as each mom tries to put their live and their relationships with their children together. Wendi McLendon-Covey plays Jan who’s love interest is Eddie Cibrian who plays Santos. Amy Smart plays Hilary who’s love interest is Ryan Eggold (The Blacklist) who plays Peter. Cocoa Brown plays Lytia who’s love interest is Terry Crews who plays Branson. Zulay Henao Plays Esperanza who’s love interest is William Levy who plays Manny. The movie is a little corny but sends a good message. I enjoyed it on DVD.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged amy smart, branson, cocoa brown, eddie cibrian, esperanza, hilary, jan, lytia, manny, may, nia long, peter, ryan eggold, santos, single moms club, terry crews, tyler perry, wendi mclendon-covey, william levy, zulay henao