No, this isn’t a behind the music look at the song that was drilled into your head during high school dances.
Andrew (Cooper Raiff) has just graduated from Tulane University in “Cha Cha Real Smooth” and is hoping to visit his girlfriend in Barcelona before the end of the summer, but still seems a bit lost. Not long after returning home, he goes to a bar mitzvah with his younger brother David (Evan Assante) and meets Domino (Dakota Johnson) and her daughter Lola (Vanessa Burghardt).
Andrew ends up being a hit at the party, with people liking how he was able to get people out on the dance floor and have fun. He’s then hired as a party starter for other bar mitzvahs. As he continues to work at the bar mitzvah events, he begins to get closer to Domino, gives advice to his brother who has a crush, and connects with Lola, who has autism, all while navigating what’s next in life.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Post college struggles well portrayed in ‘Cha Cha Real Smooth’”
Some sports biopics inspire, others make you laugh, and there are those that do both.
“Phantom of the Open,” unfortunately, isn’t such a film.
The movie tells the true story of Maurice Flitcroft (Mark Rylance) a middle class shipping worker in an English port town. Upon hearing that the company he works for may be downsizing in the years to come, he begins considering what else he can do in life.
After a night of watching golf on TV, he decides to try his luck at the sport, entering the 1976 Open Championship. The only problem is Flitcroft is a complete amateur entering a professional competition. Despite this, he goes forward with support from his family.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘The Phantom of the Open’ is a below average biopic”
“The Worst Person in the World” is far from the worst movie in the world.
This film, from Norway, stars Renate Reinsve as Julie, a young woman who’s having trouble deciding what to do in life. The movie starts with Julie studying to become a doctor, before switching majors to psychology. Early on in the movie, she does this again, deciding to pursue a career in photography.
Her romantic life is fairly similar. Early in the picture, she meets and begins a relationship with Aksel, a successful comic artist. As their relationship is humming along, though, she meets another man, Eivind (Herbert Nordrum). Like her academic career, Julie feels herself being pulled in more than one direction romantically.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Worst Person in the World’ is a well-made Norwegian feature”
My ears definitely perked up when I heard this film was actually based on a graphic novel, which I now want to read.
Jennifer Lopez is Kat in “Marry Me,” a pop music super star who’s preparing for a concert like no other. She plans to get married on stage in front of a huge crowd to her fiance, Bastian, who’s also a singer.
However, before the show, she learns that Bastian cheated on her. Upset and wanting a quick fix, she decides to pick a stranger in the crowd to marry instead. That stranger is Charlie (Owen Wilson), a school teacher and single father. The two at first see it as an in the moment, reversible mistake, but soon grow closer.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Marry Me’ has enough rom-com magic to win viewers over”
Sometimes a good movie will introduce a new talent on screen.
It’s an even bigger treat when two new performers are introduced and give stellar performances.
That’s the case with “Licorice Pizza,” where first time performers Cooper Hoffman and Alana Haim star. Hoffman plays Gary, a teen actor with a ton of ambition. Despite being 15, Gary has a knack for hustling with small business schemes.
The film picks up in 1973, with Gary meeting Haim’s character Alana, a 25-year-old photography assistant. The two form an initial bond and from there, start working together on Gary’s business ideas. The film follows their relationship through the ups and downs of their lives during the summer months.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Paul Thomas Anderson serves up one of year’s best with ‘Licorice Pizza’”
Rock Chalk meets French culture in this new film from Wes Anderson.
“The French Dispatch” refers to an insert section for the Evening Sun newspaper in Liberty, Kansas. In the movie, a situation happens where the French dispatch will have to suspend production.
For the last publication, the paper republishes three important articles written by a trio of reporters. The film from there with an anthology approach, following how each reporter researched and interviewed for the stories.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘The French Dispatch’ is a delightful dramedy”
Sometimes a movie comes along and reinvigerates a person’s appreciation for a genre.
That’s what “CODA” has done for coming of age/teen drama films.
The title of the movie is an acryonym, meaning Child of Deaf Adults. The main character is Ruby (Emilia Jones), a teenager whose parents Frank (Troy Kotsur) Jackie (Marlee Matlin), as well as her brother Leo (Daniel Durant) are all deaf. On top of attending school, Ruby helps in the family fishing business, working on the boat and acting as a sign language interpretor for sales.
During her time at home, Ruby is a music lover and she expresses this on the boat with her singing. This inspires her to take up choir in her senior year of high school, where the film picks up. The movie then follows how she has to balance her job and her singing lessons, as well as her family’s reaction to her doing something they can’t enjoy or enage with.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘CODA’ delivers with humor and plenty of heart”
The races featured in “Dream Horse” aren’t related to the American Triple Crown competitions, but it still feels like the right time to watch this flick.
“Dream Horse” takes place in a small town in Wales and revolves around a group of residents who decide to invest in a racing thoroughbred. Mainly, the movie follows Jan (Toni Collette), the woman who comes up with the idea and convinces other community members to pitch in.
Together, they breed a horse and because it was a group of residents coming aligning for a cause, they name it Dream Alliance. The proposal initially seems like a risky gamble until Dream Alliance becomes a success on the track.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Dream Horse’ won’t be in award races, but it can still please viewers”
An odd couple is usually reliable to make a comedy movie work, and that’s certainly the case with “Together Together.”
The two main characters, Anna (Patti Harrison) and Matt (Ed Helms) aren’t a romantic couple, but instead have another element bringing them together. Matt, who’s in his 40s, is looking to become a father and Anna, in her late 20s, was selected as the surrogate mother.
The movie takes place over the course of the pregnancy, following how Anna wants to keep more of a distance, while Matt is dedicated to helping her with the pregnancy for the betterment of his child and Anna herself.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Together Together’ triumphs with sweet, funny relationship”
It’s always fun going back to the old stomping grounds by visiting your college town, that is if you’re not going through some problems like the main character in this movie is.
Written and directed by Kris Rey, “I Used to Go Here” follows Kate (Gillian Jacobs), an author whose first book was recently published. However, the sales aren’t going all that well, and her relationship status is difficult.
Needing a change of scenery, Kate accepts an invitation to speak at her alma mater, which was sent by a professor, David (Jemaine Clement), who taught one of her classes. During her time there, she talks with David about her career and also goes to a party at a frat house, which used to be where her and her friends lived while she attended school.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘I Used to Go Here’ is a charming indie dramedy”