REVIEW: ‘Last Christmas’ lags far behind better flicks in the genre

If I wanted to watch a Hallmark holiday movie, I’d just turn on the channel rather than go to the theater. But that’s what “Last Christmas” asks audiences to do.

This latest holiday romance flick, featuring a big helping of George Michael music, stars Emilia Clarke as the protagonist Kate. At the movie’s beginning, Kate isn’t in a very good place, her career as a singer isn’t going anywhere, she’s stuck as a cashier at a job she’s not very fond of, she parties too much and doesn’t have her own place, meaning she’s either staying with her parents or couch-surfing.

This whole situation comes several months after a severe illness and as a result, Kate has become rough around the edges and overall very cynical. Her sour look at the world begins to soften, though, when she meets and gets to know Tom (Henry Golding). Eventually, Tom’s positiveness begins to push Kate in a better direction as their relationship grows.

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REVIEW: One can just move on to tomorrow, because ‘Yesterday’ doesn’t offer much

An Oscar and Golden Globe winning director, a writer with several charming hits, along with a fantastic concept ripe for all sorts of possibilities. On paper, “Yesterday” looked like a slam dunk, which makes it a total shame that it turned out so poorly.

The movie follows a struggling singer named Jack Malik (Himesh Patel), who lives day-to-day playing small gigs with help from his manager Ellie (Lily James). Getting fed up with his lack of success and his dead-end job, Jack considers leaving music all together.

However, during one bike ride home, Jack is hit by a bus at the exact same moment a blackout occurs worldwide. When he wakes up and recovers from his injuries, he comes to find himself in a world where the Beatles never became a band and their music does not exist in the pop culture landscape. Seeing an opportunity, Jack starts singing the songs and claims credit for the work, which of course leads him to his own fair share of fame.

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REVIEW: Chemistry with leads boosts ‘Long Shot’

What? No general or midterm election this year? Well let’s have a political film to fill that gap. At least it’s a comedy.

“Long Shot” tells the story of Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron), the Secretary of State for a fictional president, who’s looking to run in the 2020 presidential race. She has a good amount of experience under her belt, but her campaign staff sees opportunities to improve her speeches and become more personable.

Enter Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen), a loose cannon investigative journalist who recently found himself unemployed. However, because he knows Field, Fred comes to work as a speech assistant for Field, especially with helping punch up the statements. However, on top of working together, Frank and Charlotte find themselves falling for each other.

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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: ‘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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REVIEW: ‘The Big Sick’ Is A Triumph Thanks To Great Humor, Meaningful Drama

Once in a while during a summer, a great movie comes out that’s in a genre not associated with super heroes or action stars. “The Big Sick,” a romantic comedy, is one of those flicks.

The picture stars Kumail Nanjiani and is actually inspired by the story of how he met his wife Emily Gordon. The film follows Nanjiani through his life in Chicago as an Uber Driver and a stand-up comedian. By way of the latter, he meets Emily, played in the film by Zoe Kazan, and the two start a relationship. Things get a bit complicated, though, as Nanjiani’s family wants him to marry a Pakistani woman.

The situation becomes more complicated when Emily comes down with a sudden illness just after the couple has a fight and she is placed in a medically induced coma for treatment. This leads to Nanjiani having to balance his relationship with his parents and building a new relationship with Emily’s parents.

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Love the Coopers review

Director:
Jessie Nelson
Cast:
Diane Keaton
John Goodman
Ed Helms
Amanda Seyfried
Alan Arkin
Olivia Wilde
Anthony Mackie
Marisa Tomei
June Squibb
Jake Lacy
Rated: PG-13

“Love the Coopers” is a story of a large extended family who are, for the most part, all dreading a Christmas Eve dinner where everyone gets together. The two main characters of the film are Charlotte (Keaton) and Sam (Goodman), a couple who’ve been married for 40 years, however, their relationship is falling apart. This holiday stress coincides with their son Hank (Helms) losing his job, having a strained relationship with his ex-wife and children and their daughter, Eleanor (Wilde) meeting a soldier named Joe at an airport and developing a friendship with him.

These plot threads and more, such as one of Hank’s sons having a teen romance and another where Charlotte’s sister Emma (Tomei) being arrested ,develop for much of the film’s first half until they converge when everyone meets for Christmas.

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Trainwreck review

Director:
Judd Apatow
Cast:
Amy Schumer
Lebron James
Bill Hader
John Cena
Rated: R

In “Trainwreck,” Amy Schumer plays Amy (really a stretch), a good writer for a popular magazine who happens to live a promiscuous lifestyle. Her life begins to change, though, when she meets an athlete doctor named Aaron for an assignment.

After meeting for a few interviews, the two start to hit it off and for the first time, Amy seems to be able to hold on to a steady relationship. Old habits die hard, though, as Amy finds it difficult to leave her party lifestyle behind which results in some drama.

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What if review

Director:
Michael Dowse
Cast:
Daniel Radcliffe
Zoe Kazan
Adam Driver
Rafe Spall
Rated: PG-13

Daniel Radcliffe plays Wallace in “What If.” A guy who is fed up with love and relationships after a not so great break up, Wallace finds himself just stumbling through life with no real direction. His life brightens up, though, when he meets a woman named Chantry (Kazan) at a party one night.

The two have an instant connection and develop a friendship, the problem for Wallace, though, is that Chantry is already in a relationship with her boyfriend Ben, played by Rafe Spall. This leads to the dilemma of Wallace getting close as a friend while keeping his romantic interest a secret.

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