Monday, October 15, 2018

Tag: Meryl Streep

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018)*

Title: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
Rating: PG-13
Directed by: Ol Parker
Written by: Ol Parker
Starring: Christine Baranski, Pierce Brosnan, Dominic Cooper, Colin Firth, Andy Garcia, Lily James, Amanda Seyfried, Stellan Skarsgård, Julie Walters, Alexa Davies, Josh Dylan, Jeremy Irvine, Hugh Skinner, Jessica Keenan Wynn, Cher, and Meryl Streep
Release Date: 7/20/2018
Running Time: 114 minutes

Official Site
IMDb

What did you think of this film?
In this sequel to Mamma Mia! (2008), Sophie learns about her mother’s past while pregnant herself.


Are There Any Extras During The Credits? Yes

Click to see whats: during the credits

Are There Any Extras After The Credits? Yes

Click to see whats: after the credits

Is this stinger worth waiting around for? Vote DownVote Up (+33 rating, 51 votes)

Special thanks to Noah, Allison, Ty, and Roger for this submission


Post, The (2017)

Title: The Post
Rating: PG-13
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Written by: Liz Hannah, and Josh Singer
Starring: Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Alison Brie, Carrie Coon, David Cross, Bruce Greenwood, Tracy Letts, Bob Odenkirk, Sarah Paulson, Jesse Plemons, Matthew Rhys, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bradley Whitford, and Zach Woods
Release Date: 1/12/2018
Running Time: 115 minutes

Official Site
IMDb

What did you think of this film?
A thrilling drama about the unlikely partnership of Katharine Graham (Streep), the first female publisher of The Washington Post, and its driven editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks), as they race to catch up with The New York Times to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spanned three decades and four U.S. Presidents. The two must overcome their differences as they risk their careers—and their very freedom—to bring long-buried truths to light.


Are There Any Extras During The Credits? No

Are There Any Extras After The Credits? No

Dedication: For Nora Ephron


Florence Foster Jenkins (2016)*

FlorenceFosterJenkinsPoster

Title: Florence Foster Jenkins
Rating: PG-13
Directed by: Stephen Frears
Written by: Nicholas Martin
Starring: Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg, Rebecca Ferguson and Nina Arianda
Release Date: 8/12/2016
Running Time: 110 minutes

Official Site
IMDb

Set in 1940s New York, Florence Foster Jenkins is the true story of the legendary New York heiress and socialite (Meryl Streep) who obsessively pursued her dream of becoming a great singer. The voice she heard in her head was beautiful, but to everyone else it was hilariously awful. Her “husband” and manager, St. Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant), an aristocratic English actor, was determined to protect his beloved Florence from the truth. But when Florence decided to give a public concert at Carnegie Hall, St. Clair knew he faced his greatest challenge.


What did you think of this film?

During Credits? Yes

Click to see whats: during the credits

 

After Credits? No

Is this stinger worth waiting around for? Vote DownVote Up (+1 rating, 3 votes)


Suffragette (2015)

SuffragettePoster

Title: Suffragette
Rating: PG-13
Directed by: Sarah Gavron
Written by: Abi Morgan
Starring: Carey Mulligan, Anne-Marie Duff, Helena Bonham Carter, Grace Stottor, Geoff Bell, Amanda Lawrence and Meryl Streep
Release Date: 10/23/2015
Running Time: 106 minutes

Official Site
IMDb

The foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, women who were forced underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal State.


What did you think of this film?

During Credits? No

After Credits? No

In Memoriam: In Memory of Christopher Collins 1962 – 2014 and Bob Gavron 1930 – 2015


Ricki and the Flash Review – 3 out of 5 Stars

RickiAndTheFlashPoster
I knew what type of movie this was going to be when I entered the theater. The trailers led me to believe that this would be yet another predictable snooze fest in the same line as Southpaw and The Judge. Now that I’ve watched it, Ricki and the Flash is absolutely the kind of movie that you think it’s going to be and there’s never a big, shocking moment or daring piece of storytelling. However, this movie was still a mildly pleasant surprise for a number of reasons. Ricki and the Flash is helped by a terrific cast and its general good will towards its audience. The movie doesn’t aim to constantly manipulate or bore like Southpaw but rather be a light, funny and ultimately charming experience that even manages to discuss a few worthwhile topics throughout.

Ricki (Meryl Streep) is a near broke rock singer who spends her days working at a grocery store and her nights playing in a band with her boyfriend Greg (Rick Springfield) in a bar. After she finds out that her daughter Julie (Mamie Gummer) was divorced, she flies back home to visit her ex-husband (Kevin Kline) and her 3 children. In this, she rebuilds her relationship with her children and she comes to terms with the things she gave up in the name of pursuing her dream.

Greg (Rick Springfield) and Ricki (Meryl Streep perform with the Flash at the Salt Well in TriStar Pictures' RICKI AND THE FLASH.

I don’t want to set this movie up as more than it is; it has some major issues that keep it from being more than just okay. It’s wasn’t so much that there was anything offensive about it as much as there were a lot of areas that felt numbing. The story about the aging star whose empty inside because they didn’t spend enough time with their family is nothing new, that could even be the brief summary of last year’s best picture winner Birdman. The movie has a lot to jump over to make this seem fresh and while there are a few things that give it a bit of momentum, it doesn’t exactly leap over the barrel but rather land comfortably in the middle of it. The film might not have anything terrible but after a few days you won’t remember much about it asides from that you found it a tad entertaining.

You can basically copy and paste a lot of the complaints I had towards Southpaw to this movie. There are too many scenes in here that have been done before like the fight between the ex-wife and the new wife, the awkward family dinner and the wacky reception where everyone becomes friends again. Unlike Southpaw, the movie manages to do these things competently enough as to where they aren’t boring but still they aren’t inspired enough as to where they demand your full attention. The whole experience lacks full staying power or edge which is shocking when you consider the two people who were brought on to make this. Diablo Cody made the honest, hilarious Young Adult and Jonathan Demme made Silence of the Lambs, one of the most daring films of the 90’s. With the talent that was brought on you can see why this didn’t entirely suck but you can’t see why there finished product together still felt so mediocre.

Clichés and mundane aspects mentioned, I still found this flick to be surprisingly enjoyable. As I mentioned above, this is partially due to the talent on board in terms of the writer, director and cast.

While there are plenty of moments that make the screenplay feel contrived, I was actually impressed with some of the topics Cody tried to bring up. Though at times awkwardly pulled off, it was an interesting touch that despite how crazy and wacky Ricki may seem, she was still this surprisingly conservative person who made snarky comments on Obama and seemed uncomfortable when one of her sons told her that he was gay. A lot of artists decide to center their films around very liberal characters and it’s interesting to see someone attempt to portray a different opinion from the cinematic norm in a fair and humanized way even though I consider myself to be a heavy liberal. It was also creative when this movie brought up the way our culture looks at men and women differently. When the man leaves a family to pursue their career, there a bold hero that must still be respected. When a woman decides to leave, she’s a horrible mother who’s cruel and selfish. People can leave a family for a lot of reasons but to center there self-worth on their gender is blatantly incorrect logic. And though it has been done multiple times before, I liked the relationship between the old mom and the new mom and the mutual respect they were able to find with their differences by the end. I enjoyed that it still managed to talk about some provoking subjects despite a conventional story.

The movie also aims at times for this slice of life quality which keeps it from feeling like too much of a melodrama. The movie never seems to be throwing anything in your face and the way it handles even the more typical story arcs feels natural because of the humor and sincerity with which Cody wrote everything. The best scene in the movie is when Ricki, her ex-husband and her daughter find some weed and listen to some old rock music and hang out. It’s the sort of scene we saw last year in This is Where I Leave You but here it feels much sweeter because of the performances and because it comes from something that is genuine. The real difference between this and Southpaw is that all of this movies clichéd elements like the suicidal daughter or the washed up rock star come from a well-intentioned place as though Diablo Cody really wanted this to mean something. It never beats you over the head with anything and it never feels cheap despite how overused it is. It’s that quality to the script that allowed me to let pass a lot of the things that have annoyed me in recent dramas.

There’s also a lot to be said about the actors who worked on this. Meryl Streep was Meryl Streep. She can give a good performance in anything. A part of me does wish Streep would try to give a great performance in a great movie but regardless this is another really touching part by her and she adds a lot to the character. Kevin Kline is quite good as her ex-husband and Mamie Gummer was impressive as Streep’s odd daughter in what could’ve been a very campy and gimmicky part. The chemistry between Streep and Gummer and the overall mother daughter relationship is one of the finer areas the movie had to offer. Lastly, I have to mention how weirdly fantastic Rick Springfield was here. You wouldn’t expect it from the singer of Jesse’s Girl but Springfield is really sympathetic and heartfelt in the few scenes where he plays Greg. I love the scene where he sort of breaks down in front of Ricki and addresses his own flaws to her.

This movie doesn’t have the brain you want it to have but its heart is in the right place. Everyone seemed to be trying to give everything to give this very predictable story an emotional center. Streep, Springfield and Gummer stand out and Diablo Cody uses the premise to address some issues and build up a warmth that allows for it to at least feel like a short movie going experience. Don’t go in expecting anything new, but still, I am actually giving this one an out of nowhere recommendation.

Rating:(3/5)

Review by: Ryan M.

Release Date: 8/7/2015

Rating: PG-13

Cast: Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Mamie Gummer and Rick Springfield

Directed by: Jonathan Demme

Screenplay by: Diablo Cody

Ricki and the Flash (2015)

RickiAndTheFlashPoster

Title: Ricki and the Flash
Rating: PG-13
Directed by: Jonathan Demme
Written by: Diablo Cody
Starring: Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline and Mamie Gummer
Release Date: 8/7/2015
Running Time: 102 minutes

Official Site
IMDb

A musician who gave up everything for her dream of rock-and-roll stardom returns home, looking to make things right with her family.


What did you think of this film?

During Credits? No

After Credits? No

Note: The band performs another number and the wedding party dances along during the credits.

Dedication: Dedicated to Rick the Bass Player 1949 – 2014


Into the Woods Review – 3 out of 5 Stars

IntoTheWoodsPoster
You can say that I’ve seen a lot of three star movies this year. To the credit of Into the Woods, this is the best movie that I’ve given three stars to in a while. This movie has aspects that are amazing and has songs and performances that I loved yet there are problems with the movie that are too big for me to ignore. Still, this is an entertaining film and should be seen even if my rating for the film is disappointingly low.

For those like me who didn’t know about the beloved Stephen Sondheim Broadway play walking in, Into the Woods is a musical that connects most of the famous Brothers Grimm fables into one story. A Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) want to have a baby but a witch (Meryl Streep) has a curse on the Baker’s family that keeps him from having a child. To have the curse reversed from the witch, they have to find a red cape, a golden slipper, a white cow and golden hair.

IntoTheWoodsReviewStill2

When I was hearing about this movie, a lot of people were calling Steven Sondheim a genius and we’re praising how great the music is. Having seen it, Into the Woods truthfully has some of the most impressive numbers I’ve seen in a musical maybe since the 60’s. Stephen Sondheim has an extreme talent in writing catchy as hell songs and lyrics. Don’t be worried that most of the story is told in song. Unlike Les Misérables, all the songs here feel necessary in moving the story forward and revealing character and they don’t come off as cluttered and lacking in atmosphere. I had no problem with the story being told with music and the movie soars when it’s doing just that. All the actors maybe with the exception of Lilla Crawford do an exceptional job singing the songs and Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt are especially on their A game. Whatever problems I had with Into the Woods aren’t the problem of the music and you should look beyond that if that’s the things that keeping you from checking this out.

This is a movie that seems to have had a lot of people working on it in the technical field that clearly cared about the material. All of the areas like the production design and the costume design do a good job getting a classical fable tone to the setting with the houses look and especially with what different characters are wearing. The make-up is top notch and what they did to Meryl Streep in particular is awesome in making her go from a very hideous witch to a beautiful witch. As with most musicals, you have to admire the sound design because they have to mix together what is happening in the scene, the singing of the performer and the music throughout. Seeing how stable this musical was in comparison to others I’ve seen as of late, this makes the sound design that much more worthy of praise.

I mentioned above that the cast is really great and I stay with that statement. I think Meryl Streep is extremely talented but she has been doing a great job in fairly mediocre films for some time. While her character is the messiest, she still is given a lot more here and she delivers her best performance since Doubt. The witch has the most memorable songs in the movie and Streep rises to the occasion whole-heartedly. She is putting her heart into every note and it’s a perfect mixture of dedication and sheer fun with the part she has to play. The Last Midnight song is probably my favorite scene and that part alone makes it one of the best supporting actress performances of the year. Meryl Streep will get an Oscar nomination and for once it’ll be in a role that challenged her and showed a different side of her acting chops. Meryl Streep isn’t the only great actor in the films ensemble. Emily Blunt shines every time she’s in it and much like Streep she seems to be putting her heart into it. Chris Pine as Prince Charming and Anna Kendrick as Cinderella both have moments where they get to show off their acting and singing chops. I haven’t seen James Corden in a lot but between this and Begin Again; he shows a charisma and confidence that shows the potential of a future strong leading man. And while they’re the weakest singers, Lilla Crawford and Daniel Huttlestone both give strong enough debut performances as Little Red Riding Hood and Jack. I didn’t even mind Johnny Depp as The Wolf. This is coming from a guy that thinks Depp one of the weakest actors working in Hollywood today. You get the sense that it’s made up of actors who really enjoyed the source material and wanted to present it in the best way they were able. This kind of enthusiasm from an entire cast is rare and really nice to see every once in a while.

IntoTheWoodsReviewStill1

From the first chunk, you’re probably curious why I’m giving this such a low score. My praise comes from a genuine love I had towards a lot of things about Into the Woods. For the first maybe 90 minutes or so, this movie is around a 4 star rating. It’s this huge, epic blend of music, story and performances and it does a great job mixing together these different ideas and showing the different morals these people learned and how they are all connected. You have a lot of fun but at the same time it can be serious and it can say things about responsibility and ambition. There are a lot of sympathetic characters and it’s one of the quickest sits this year. All this movie needed to do was stick the ending and it might even have made my top ten. Unfortunately the film doesn’t end well…oh boy does it not end well.

There’s a point where the director obviously wants you to think that it’s going to end soon. And when they’re just about to conclude, something big happens and it doesn’t end for another thirty or so minutes. I’m not saying that some of the themes and ideas it tries to express in these final thirty minutes aren’t valid. In a better scenario, I can see some of the stuff it brings up being used brilliantly to show a contrast between the lighter first half and a much darker second half and how life really is. In the actual play, the stuff in the last thirty minutes makes up part two of the two part play. I haven’t seen the play, but from this you can assume that equal time is spent on these areas. Here’s the gigantic error with the film, 90 minutes are spent on the first act and a measly 30 minutes are spent on the second act. This stuns me that they even thought they could make a stable, well-paced play in going this route. I don’t care whether it was them trying to keep from making a three hour movie or whether it was them trying to keep it PG, it doesn’t matter and the fact remains the same. Act two is a complete train wreck.

I shouldn’t even have to explain why this didn’t work, you’re trying to tell this deep, powerful message and you’re jamming everything together in a very short amount of time. Important characters die in the most rushed and confusing ways possible and the other characters aren’t given enough time to fully react to what has happened in way that makes the audience care. Whatever chances are left of giving The Witch a solid character arc are gone and the way she exits the story makes no possible sense. You’re given all these things that are meant to mean something but I got so much whiplash from what was happening that none of it affected me or felt very successful in being impactful. Whatever momentum was built by the first act collapses in this cluttered mess of a second act. If the first act is 4 stars then the second act is probably around two stars. The sad part is that the music gets even better in the second act and you can see how in a three hour play these songs would be awe inspiring, here they just feel wasted. It fascinates me why they did this and why they would throw away what had for a while been a true return to a once proud genre.

There are plenty of things that are amazing about Into the Woods like the performances and the A+ music. The first act alone is definitely worth a watch. Sadly, to imitate one of the most famous song lines of the musical, I wish they hadn’t tried to squish an epic, big second act into a short period of time. Into the Woods isn’t just a disappointment for what it could’ve been but also for at a point what it actually was.

Rating:(3/5)

Review by: Ryan M.

Release Date: 12/25/2014

Rating: PG

Cast: Anna Kendrick, Meryl Streep, Chris Pine, Daniel Huttlestone, James Corden, Emily Blunt, Christine Baranski, Tracey Ullman, Lilla Crawford and Johnny Depp

Directed by: Rob Marshall

Screenplay by: James Lapine

Into the Woods (2014)*

IntoTheWoodsPoster

TITLE: Into the Woods

RELEASE DATE: 12/25/2014

RATING: PG

A witch tasks a childless baker and his wife with procuring magical items from classic fairy tales to reverse the curse put on their family tree.

What did you think of this film?


Official Site

IMDb


During Credits? Yes

Click to see whats: during the credits

 

After Credits? No

Is this stinger worth waiting around for? Vote DownVote Up (-16 rating, 40 votes)

Giver, The (2014)

TheGiverPoster

TITLE: The Giver

RELEASE DATE: 8/15/2014

RATING: PG-13

In a seemingly perfect community, without war, pain, suffering, differences or choice, a young boy is chosen to learn from an elderly man about the true pain and pleasure of the “real” world.

What did you think of this film?


Official Site

IMDb


During Credits? No

After Credits? No

Memoriam: In memory of Major Grey Lowry, USAF

August: Osage County (2013)

AugustOsageCountyPoster

TITLE: August: Osage County

RELEASE DATE: 12/27/2013

RATING: R

A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them.

What did you think of this film?


Official Site

Amazon

IMDb


During Credits? No

After Credits? No


Follow Us!

1,864FansLike
68FollowersFollow
112FollowersFollow
748FollowersFollow
31SubscribersSubscribe