Daily Archives: March 3, 2017


A glimpse of Golden Globe® winner Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins

Here is the first glimpse of Golden Globe® winner Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins in “Mary Poppins Returns,” the all new sequel to Disney’s 1964 film “Mary Poppins.”   Directed and produced by Rob Marshall, “Mary Poppins Returns” also stars Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer and Julie Walters with Colin Firth and Meryl Streep. […]


Table 19 – Movie Review

“Table 19”

 

Directed by: Jeffrey Blitz

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Craig Robinson, June Squibb, Lisa Kudrow, Stephen Merchant, Tony Revolori, Wyatt Russell and Amanda Crew

2 Frames out of 5

By: Shari K. Green

 

 

If you’ve ever found yourself as the party guest who has been invited to the party but can’t be super involved due to the placement of your table, then you’ll understand why this movie was made.  It was made for all the odd men out who have watched all of the festivities from afar.  So far away in some cases that you can barely even say you were there!  You were practically scuttled off into another room or the hallway, at least this is how you begin to feel.  If you have ever sat and scanned the table in which you’re seated and noticed you’re at a table full of strangers rather than with those who invited you, and your tablemates seem not to fit in with the other guests, you need to do one thing… examine why you’re at that table, too.  Consider this movie a wake-up call if you’ve ignored this happening to you, especially if it has happened more than once.

 

Writers Mark and Jay Duplass have either been there or have put people there; waaay back there at Table 19 because they certainly hit the nail on the head as to how a guest would feel when realizing they’ve been relegated to the outskirts of a given gala or celebration.  They did a good job writing a script that empowers anyone who has felt shunned in this manner.  At a lost, distant table, one can find hope, friendship and maybe love, if they just open their minds to it.  I liked how it championed for those who should have checked no on their RSVP, but the movie goes out of its way to make a few characters likable that just aren’t.

 

It starts off well, revealing Eloise’s’ (Kendrick) reason for being at the bad table.  She’s the ex-girlfriend of the bride’s brother, Teddy (Russell), and now ex-maid of honor.  One by one, explanations for the other characters at the table are established.  They’re even accompanied by flashbacks.  We have some witty banter which at times, especially when dispatched by Walter (Stephen Merchant), have you laughing and at other times has you feeling sorry for this group of misfits, which isn’t good when you made your way to the theatre, promised a comedy, and are having a hard time finding a reason to chuckle.  It is labeled on IMDB as a comedy, drama but who are we kidding?!  Duplass writing for this cast?!  I’ll not highlight that too soon.  Back to the characters.

Jo (Squibb) is a sweet old woman who all but raised the bride and is being treated horribly by her today.  Rezno (Revolori) is an incredibly obnoxious and extremely unfunny virgin who figures, along with his mother, this is where he can land a drunken, foolish young woman to be his first.  Drunk and foolish is what she’d have to be because no one in their right mind would be into this awkward nightmare of a character.  Rezno was simply too far out to be believable and I thought the film would have been so much better had he not been a part of the story.  Kudrow and Robinson are Bina and Jerry, a couple who has been married for years and are falling out of love.  Though at a wedding, they don’t find it an issue at all to air their differences in front of everyone.

 

I liked some of what was going on.  I can’t say that if you enjoy a character driven story that you shouldn’t watch this one but there is a lot wrong with Table 19.  It, at times, shows real promise.  The characters grow and you’re genuinely happy about that.  I was having fun watching these flakes get to know each other and also wanting to help one another through the vexing situation they realize they’re all in but at times I actually found myself looking around the theatre to make sure I knew the location of the emergency exit.  It was all over the place with what kind of movie it wanted to be.

 

I think had the writers focused on one genre, director Jeffrey Blitz (The Office and Parks and Recreation) would have had a much better script to work with.  Choosing drama over comedy then switching back and… my head is spinning!!  It got a little frustrating.  Sure there’s comedy in misery but it was anguishing watching how miserable some of these poor things are.  For Squibb, Robinson and Merchant, I’d say watch this when it hits cable.  It isn’t a terrible waste of your time.  But be sure you’re in the mood for a comedy, I mean, be sure you’re in the mood for a drama… well, you get the drift.  When you don’t know what you want to see, seat yourself at Table 19.  Sometimes that’s where you just find yourself being put but maybe you won’t mind being there.


Before I Fall – Movie Review

“Before I Fall”

 

Directed by: Ry Russo-Young

Starring: Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage, Logan Miller, Kian Lawley, Elena Kampouris, Cynthy Wu, Medalion Rahimi, Diego Boneta and Jennifer Beals

 

Rated: PG-13

Run Time: 1h 39min

Genre: Drama, Mystery

3 Frames out of 5

By: Shari K. Green

 

 

In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was the king of Ephyra (now known as Corinth).  He was punished for his self-aggrandizing craftiness and deceitfulness by being forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it come back to hit him, repeating this action for eternity.  Through the classical influence on modern culture, tasks that are both laborious and futile are therefore described as Sisyphean.  Why is this English lesson pertinent to this review?  It’s not but it’ll help you better understand why it’s used in the movie and will help you grasp the intent behind the yarn.

 

Before I Fall starts with a voice of a young woman, Sam (Deutch), explaining that, ‘people may have a lifetime of days to waste but…’ and then throws some wisdom out that anyone only truly has today and warns that wasting time isn’t how one should see any moment they’re in.  I try not watching the trailers of, or read too much about, movies before I screen them for review so that I don’t have any preconceived notions of what I’m about to see but it was obvious very quickly that I was in for the teenage dramatic version of Ground Hogs Day with this one.  That being the case and not minding the idea, I got comfy and watched the story unfold.

 

Alarm clock belonging to Sam goes off and we meet Sam.  Sam loves her friends Lindsay (Sage), Ally (Wu) and Elody (Rahimi).  She is always with them and them her.  They’re rich, spoiled and have no respect for anyone, including one another, but outside of sleeping, they’re pretty inseparable.  Like any group, there is a pecking order and though rather high in position, Sam isn’t at the top.  That honor goes to Lindsay who is anything but a likable person.  She’s mean-spirited, loves to watch people squirm as she puts them in their place and enjoys gossiping behind their backs the moment they turn around.  Unaware it happens to them, the pack ignores yet allows Lindsay to say and do as she pleases, as long as she’s nice to them.  As she does every morning, Lindsay picks Sam and the others up one by one and off to school they go.  However, this day is special; it’s different.  It’s Cupid’s Day and they can’t wait to see who receives the most roses throughout the day as this determines who is the most popular.

 

They go through their day as they usually do, being petty to parents and being mean to students.  Sam gets an invite to a party being thrown by her old friend, and the films nice guy, Kent (Miller) and the girls decide to attend.  At the party, Sam plans to lose her virginity to her boyfriend, Rob.  While there, however, she watches Rob get horribly drunk and act like a fool and decides not to go through with it.  Before leaving, the foursome drinks, do their usual teasing of a favorite victim named Juliet (Kampouris) and get in the car and go home.  An accident occurs and then; cut to alarm clock… and the day starts over.  Knowing the things that had happened throughout the day, you see where this is leading.  Sam isn’t Lindsay.  She isn’t mean at her core.  She’s more of an obliging witness where she may play a hand on occasion but would rather not.  If she isn’t dreaming, can she change things about her life?

 

The movie continues in this fashion for the rest of it.  Sam learns a little each time she wakes up to the same ugly day that awaits her.  Is she in hell?  Can she do the right thing and be redeemed?  Eventually, you notice one situation that she hasn’t necessarily made a big effort at correcting.  A slight attempt at a stand but not the true attack it needs.  Why?  Could be because she’d see where she was at fault for having created it in the first place.  Well, why is she on this day to begin with?  By the end of the film, she gets it but is it too late?  Are the answers in the actions she herself has made or in those of other people?  Will she now pay a price for not being a virtuous soul?  Will she have to sacrifice something herself to correct the course she’s now on?

 

I like that you don’t know these answers and that’s why I enjoyed the movie.  I would hate to categorize it as a chick flick but I think I have to.  The length of time spent with the teenage girls in the car, listening to music, hating on people and talking about boys makes it abundantly clear that the film wasn’t made for adult males.  The audience it was made for, the teenagers will absolutely love it.  Zoey Deutch is a good choice to play the sweet-faced martyr and Halston Sage does a good job of reminding us what we hated about high school more than even the homework.  If you’re a fan of dramas packed with mystery and wouldn’t mind the Mean Girls vibe, check out Before I Fall and look for all of the answers to the questions above.  Is she dead?  You tell me.