REVIEW: A ‘Little’ too unoriginal

I have to admit, I’m getting somewhat exhausted by all of these movies where something mystical happens to a woman we’ve had recently. Seriously, in the last 12 months we’ve had “I Feel Pretty,” “Isn’t it Romantic,” “What Men Want” and now this picture “Little.”

The movie introduces audiences to the character April (Issa Rae) who works as the main assistant for an app development company run by Jordan (Regina Hall). Jordan is one of the toughest bosses that anyone could have, always demanding the best from her employees with basically a zero tolerance policy for any sort of fun or enjoyment to be had in the workplace.

In the first act, the audience learns that Jordan’s company is potentially going to lose one of its top clients. With stress building, Jordan begins to snap at people, including a little girl who gets upset and wishes that she’d be younger so she couldn’t push people around. The wish comes true and Jordan wakes up the next day back as a middle school student (Marsai Martin). So, now her and April need to team up to navigate life for the next few days as they figure out how to switch things back.

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REVIEW: ‘Isn’t it Romantic’ has the laughs, charm to engage an audience

This isn’t the first time the romcom genre has been poked at in satirical fashion, and likely won’t be the last. In terms of quality, “Isn’t it Romantic” isn’t the best or worst of its kind, but falls somewhere in the middle.

“Romantic” centers on Natalie (Rebel Wilson) an architect who lives a fairly straightforward life, but is rather skeptical of love, largely because of her hatred of romantic-comedies.

Her worst nightmare is realized, though, when one day she wakes up in a generic romcom world, complete with perfect jobs, romantic rivals and even somewhat of a love triangle.

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REVIEW: ‘What Men Want’ is a forgettable, generic feature

The question of what women want was answered with a movie starring Mel Gibson, so naturally there’s an alternate version titled “What Men Want,”… 18 years later.

This time around, the movie follows Ali Davis (Taraji Henson), a businesswoman working at a sports talent management agency, looking for her next promotion. With the next NBA draft right around the corner, Ali is hoping to sign the next big basketball star and earn the promotion she thinks she deserves. However it doesn’t go that way and the promotion ends up going to one of her office rivals.

Not long after, Ali goes to a bachelorette party, still angry about the situation at work, especially in regard to the misogynistic nature of the business. At the party, though, during a meeting with a psychic, Ali somehow picks up the power to hear what men are thinking. While she’s hesitant at first, Ali eventually decides to use the ability to her advantage.

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REVIEW: By-the-books ‘Upside’ has its moments

“Upside” is a film with both ups and downs, leaving the overall quality of this film about friendship somewhere in the middle.

The film follows the story of Dell Scott (Kevin Hart), a man out on parole, estranged from his family and looking for a new job. In his search, he crosses paths with Philip (Bryan Cranston), a billionaire who became disabled in an accident and is in need of a life auxiliary.

In a state of depression and with little care to who works for him, Philip decides to hire Dell. Despite both being unenthusiastic about the situation, the two eventually form a friendship which is explored through the rest of the picture.

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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: While its heart is in the right place, ‘Green Book’ is largely average

I knew Peter Farrelly directed this picture going in, but it still seemed strange seeing the name of the person who helmed movies like “The Heartbreak Kid” and “Hall Pass” attached during the end credits.

“Green Book” is titled after a sort of brochure used decades ago in the Jim Crow era which listed hospitality businesses that were safe and/or open to African Americans, mainly in the southeastern United States. The movie follows a lower-middle class Italian nightclub bouncer-turned driver named Tony (Viggo Mortensen), whose latest job is driving Dr. Don Shirley (Maherhsala Ali), an African American pianist.

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REVIEW: ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me’ is a fantastic dramedy

I can certainly forgive Melissa McCarthy for “The Happytime Murders” thanks to her work here.

“Can You Ever Forgive Me” is a movie taking place in the early 1990s. The film follows Lee Israel (McCarthy), an author whose main focus are biographical books. Unfortunately, the line of work hasn’t exactly produced much in earnings.

Behind on rent, and with not much new income, she decides to sell an old letter by another writer. Upon doing so, she learns that it warrants some good money. As a result, she comes up with a scheme to forge these types of letters and sell them to the highest bidder. The process is successful initially but her work ends up leaving a paper trail for law enforcement.

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REVIEW: ‘Night School’ fails the laugh test

I like Kevin Hart, I think he’s a pretty funny dude. In fact, I like most of the cast featured in this flick. However, I can’t say I actually liked the movie.

In his latest comedy feature, Hart stars as Teddy, a high school dropout who’s always struggled with tests. Despite this, Teddy is still able to claw his way into a fairly good life, becoming a hardworking retail salesman who’s in line to become the general manager of the store he’s at. Additionally, he’s in a good relationship with his girlfriend.

However, through a series of events where Teddy tries to propose to his girlfriend, he ends up losing his job and needs to find new employment. Without a high school diploma, though, it isn’t easy. The end result is Teddy returning to school to get his GED. The task is tough, though, because of a strict teacher named Carrie (Tiffany Haddish) and a principal with a vendetta against Teddy, Stewart (Taran Killam).

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REVIEW: ‘Happytime Murders’ is a contender for worst of 2018

The concept of “The Happy Time Murders” was introduced around 2008 and over the next decade, the movie idea wandered in development hell. With its release this weekend, maybe it should’ve stayed there.

“The Happytime Murders” takes place in a world where puppets exist and live among humans. The film focuses on Phil, a puppet who after leaving the Los Angeles Police Department, became a private detective. In his latest investigation, he comes across a larger case than he expected.

Phil (Bill Barretta) soon learns that there are murders taking place, with the victims being cast members of a popular TV show. Even more significant is that Phil was very close with some of the cast. As he starts investigating, he’s forced to work with his former police partner, Connie Edwards (Melissa McCarthy).

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REVIEW: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is a charming, insightful romcom

Subjects such as wealth, power and differences in the social hierarchy based on income are all packaged and put before audiences in this summer romcom.

As the name implies, the film centers around very affluent Asian individuals. However, the main protagonist Rachel (Constance Wu), isn’t one of them. Rachel is an economics professor living in New York City and is in a relationship with Nick Young (Henry Golding). The two are a happy couple, yet when Nick invites Rachel to his best friend’s wedding, she finds out that he’s been hiding something.

It turns out that Nick’s family is extremely wealthy and holds great influence in Singapore. Upon arriving in Singapore, Rachel experiences some of the perks of her boyfriend’s wealth, but at the same time, their relationship becomes strained. This is mainly because Rachel isn’t remotely close to being a rich person, and some of the individuals close to Nick look down on her for it.

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