REVIEW: A walk in ‘Beale Street’ is worth taking

No matter what neighborhood you grew up in, you will leave this movie knowing how it feels to live on Beale Street.

“If Beale Street Could Talk” follows the story of a young woman named Tish (Kiki Layne) and her boyfriend Alonzo (Stephan James), who’s sitting in jail because a police officer suspected him as the assailant in a rape case.

As the movie goes on, Tish is coming to terms with the fact that Alonzo was wrongly accused while also learning that she’s become pregnant. Over the course of the picture, Tish goes through the stages of her pregnancy while also trying to clear Alonzo’s name, with the help of her family.

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REVIEW: Inconsistencies are a detriment to ‘Vice’

Director Adam McKay had a few comedies under his belt before hitting the award circuit in a major way with “The Big Short” in 2015. In that film, McKay took on the 2008 housing crisis and Great Recession with brilliant humor,  while still exploring the serious subject matter. McKay tries to do the same thing here with “Vice,” but the results are much more mixed.

The movie is about the rise of former Vice President Dick Cheney (Christian Bale), who served alongside former President George W. Bush (Sam Rockwell) from 2001-2008. The picture explores how Cheney went from a Congressional aide, to a House member, then to having seats in the White House staff, and finally, assuming the vice presidential position. Over the course of its runtime, “Vice” shows Cheney’s relationship to his wife Lynne (Amy Adams), his daughters, and his political allies, such as Donald Rumsfeld (Steve Carell).

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REVIEW: Go ahead and skip a trip to ‘Marwen’

AKA “Action Figure Women of the OSS.”

“Welcome to Marwen” follows the story of Mark Hogancamp (Steve Carell), a man who was brutally attacked one night while out having a drink. The attack not only resulted in physical damage, but mental wounds as well, with Hogancamp losing most of his memories.

As a way to cope with the strains of his injuries, as well as his post traumatic stress disorder, Hogancamp finds comfort in the art-form of constructing a series of miniatures and photographing them. However, with the legal matters still taking place, Hogancamp must will himself to go to court and confront his assailants. Meanwhile, he also meets a new, kind neighbor in Nicol (Leslie Mann).

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REVIEW: ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ without the magic

What a disappointment.

After several decades, the character Mary Poppins has finally returned to the big screen. The new film with the iconic character takes place several years after the original, but follows some of the main characters. The Banks siblings, Jane (Emily Mortimer) and Michael (Ben Whishaw), are now grown and Michael has children of their own.

However, times are tough again for the family, as Michael’s wife has passed away and bills are piling up. In fact, Michael’s financial troubles lead to the possibility of him losing the house. Because of all the difficulties, Poppins (Emily Blunt) arrives again to help get things back on track.

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REVIEW: ‘Aquaman’ is flawed, but fun

Despite rocky a rocky reception over several movies, the DC Comics Cinematic Universe still has movies coming out. The latest is this feature following the hero of the deep.

“Aquaman” takes place after the events of last year’s “Justice League” and follows the water-based hero, played by Jason Momoa, whose actual name is Arthur. Embracing the idea of being a hero, Arthur has taken it upon himself to fight crime and rescue people on the high seas.

However, while this is taking place, the politics of his estranged home Atlantis are turning dangerous. Arthur’s half-brother Orm (Patrick Wilson), who’s now a ruler in Atlantis, is fed up with humans negatively impacting the ocean and now wants to launch a war. In order to stop the potential conflict, another Atlantis royal, Mera (Amber Heard), recruits Arthur to take his place as the true king.

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REVIEW: ‘Bumblebee’ is an enjoyable action flick with heart

My goodness, they finally managed to get a “Transformers” movie mostly right.

“Bumblebee” is the fifth movie in the “Transformers” universe. However, it largely stands apart from its Michael Bay-helmed counterparts. The film is actually a prequel and takes place in the 1980s.

Bumblebee is a transformer who, because of a war, is forced to seek refuge on Earth, where he can regroup and form a base for his comrades. Over the course of the film, Bumblebee, who’s damaged from battle, is discovered by Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), a young woman with an interest in mechanics. After meeting, the two start a friendship

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Monday Movie Report: Globes select Jeff Bridges for Cecil B. DeMille award

Acting legend Jeff Bridges has been selected as the recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

The honor will be given to Bridges during the 76th Golden Globe Awards, scheduled for Jan. 6, 2019. Bridges is well known for his work in pictures such as “The Big Lebowski,” “True Grit” and “Crazy Heart.” For the latter, Bridges won a Golden Globe and later, an Academy Award.

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REVIEW: ‘At Eternity’s Gate’ provides a meaningful vision of a great artist

The life and times of Vincent Van Gogh are uniquely portrayed in this feature from director Julian Schnabel.

“At Eternity’s Gate” tells the story of Van Gogh (Willem Dafoe), picking up with him as a struggling artist in France and following his career when he lives in a smaller community.

Along with the work he did on the canvas, “Gate” also takes time to explore and address some of Van Gogh struggles with his mental illnesses.

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REVIEW: ‘The Favourite’ is an incredible dramatic comedy

This movie features not one, not two, but three women who are worthy of winning Best Actress awards this season.

“The Favourite” is the latest film from director Yorgos Lanthimos and it tells the story of Sarah (Rachel Weisz), the adviser and assistant to Queen Anne of England (Olivia Colman). The movie gets started with Sarah’s cousin Abigail (Emma Stone) coming to the castle seeking work as a maid. Abigail quickly shows her value as a staff member and manages to work her way up in the hierarchy, eventually falling into favor with the queen herself.

As she does this, something of a rivalry develops between Sarah and Abigail over who’s best at serving Queen Anne. As all of this is taking place, there is also the fact that England is at war and politicians are trying to pull the queen in various ways to fit their agendas. Both the rivalry between the two women and the ongoing political debate end up crossing over in this dark comedy with phenomenal results.

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REVIEW: Plot issues cause ‘Mary Queen of Scots’ to stumble

I really, really wanted to like this one more.

As the name implies, “Mary Queen of Scots” tells the story of Queen Mary of Scotland (Saoirse Ronan), who for much of her adult life, was a rival to England’s Queen Elizabeth (Margot Robbie). The film follows Mary returning to Scotland after some years away and assuming her responsibilities on the throne.

With time passing, Mary and her advisers see a legitimate claim to the English throne as well and decide to take action, with the idea of Mary replacing Elizabeth. Along with heritage, the situation is also driven by religion, with Mary being a Catholic and Elizabeth ruling as a Protestant.

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