Tag Archives: phylicia rashad

JINGLE JANGLE: A Christmas Journey (2020) – My rating: 7.5/10

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey is a Christmas musical fantasy film written and directed by David E. Talbert. I was a little reluctant to see this movie because it appeared to be a children’s film.  I was correct — albeit a children’s film, it was an exceptional children’s film.

An eccentric toymaker named Jeronicus Jangle (Forest Whitaker) and his adventurous granddaughter Journey (Madalen Mills), construct a magical invention in this imaginary world which, if they can get it to work in time for the holidays, could change Jeronicus and his family’s lives forever.

Jeronicus employs an apprentice named Gustafson (Keegan-Michael Key) who betrays the toymaker along with a new toy called Don Juan Diego (voice: Ricky Martin), causing Jeronicus to lose his ability to believe in himself and to also mistrust anyone who comes into his presence, for years to come.  Meanwhile, a magical invention called Buddy 3000 (voice: David E. Talbert) has the power to change all their lives.

I found Jingle Jangle to be a little slow but interesting.  Forest Whitaker,  Lisa Davina Phillip (who plays Ms. Johnston), and Madalen Mills’ talents are unending and brilliant.  I had no idea Forest could sing, he held his own and delivered a top-notch performance.  The musical numbers were “music to my ears”, as I loved the words and the melodies.  The style of dancing didn’t match the time period but was the “creme de la creme” anyway, which brought some humor into the production.  I also loved the fashionable costumes. The designs and colors were fabulous.  So far, IMDB has rated Jingle Jangle 6.9 out of 10.  Parts of this production reminded me of Hamilton but is no real comparison. The film was released on Netflix, November 13, 2020, Check It Out!

CREED II (2018) – My rating: 8.5/10

Creed II is a drama directed by Steven Caple Jr. and written by Juel Taylor and Sylvester Stallone, from a story by Sascha Penn and Cheo Hodari Coker. A sequel to Creed (2015) and the eighth installment in the Rocky film series. Creed II was definitely a film I wanted to skip, I am so glad I didn’t, as the movie was quite entertaining, despite the same old plot and a predictable outcome.

Creed II follows a fight over 33 years in the making, as the current heavy weight champion meets a new adversary in the ring.  Three years after his loss to “Pretty” Ricky Conlan (Anthony Bellew), Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) scores several wins, culminating in a victory over Danny “Stuntman” Wheeler (Andre Ward) to win the WBC World Heavyweight Championship. Now a worldwide star, Adonis proposes to his girlfriend, Bianca Taylor (Tessa Thompson) who agrees to marry him.


Meanwhile, a former Soviet boxer named Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), who was responsible for the death of Adonis’ father, Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) thirty-three years earlier, sees an opportunity to regain the glory he lost in Moscow fighting Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) by pitting his son, Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu) against Adonis.  However, Rocky refuses to support Adonis’s decision to accept Viktor’s challenge, so feeling betrayed by Rocky’s decision, Adonis moves to Los Angeles where he and Bianca settle down in a luxurious apartment close to Adonis’s adoptive mother and Apollo’s widow, Mary Anne (Phylicia Rashad). As Adonis and Bianca adjust to their new life on the west coast and prepare for the upcoming match with Viktor, Bianca learns that she is pregnant. Caused to choose a new trainer, Adonis recruits Tony “Little Duke” Evers (Wood Harris), son of his father’s trainer, as Rocky’s replacement.  Overwhelmed with all the recent developments in his life, Adonis rushes into the match, getting himself badly injured. Viktor gets disqualified for hitting Adonis while he is down, allowing Adonis to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.

At this point you might think I’ve revealed the entire story but I haven’t even gotten started.  Creed II is packed full of excitement and twisted plots.  There is much more to explore and learn about the life of Adonis.  Knowing that Adonis and Viktor will fight again you have to wonder how it happens and who will emerge the victor.  I liked Creed II very much but I wouldn’t want to see a Creed III.  The actors were brilliant and Creed II is a nice way to end the Rocky series.  Sylvester Stallone’s enunciation was better than any other movie I’ve seen him in, I actually understood every word.  I recommend seeing Creed II — Check it out!


CREED (2015) – My rating: 8.3/10

CreedEmotionally packed, Creed turned out to be a pretty good movie. Sylvester Stallone still speaks as though he has a mouth full of mush but he is who he is and he delivered a solid performance as the beloved Rocky Balboa. Old and completely out of the fighting game, Rocky is persuaded to help the illegitimate son of another famous boxer and old rival friend (Apollo Creed), to train as a fighter. After much convincing, Rocky consents to train Adonis “Donnie” Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) known for Fruitvale Station, only to find that they both would be up against the fights of their lives. Creed takes you places that will have you holding your breath to fight back tears and covering your mouth to hold back anger at some scenes.  After the death of Apollo, his wife, Mary Anne Creed (Phylicia Rashad) takes in Donnie (who’s mother is also deceased) and raises him.  Educated and working at a securities firm, Donnie quits to pursue his dream of being a professional fighter.  He  tries to get training at LA’s elite Delphi Boxing Academy but was turned down before traveling to Philadelphia to find Rocky.

Stallone won his first Golden Globe award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Rocky Balboa in Creed.  An award I’d say was way over due.  Creed is among one of the best Rocky movies.  You won’t be disappointed.