TCMFF 2023 Highlights

There is so much build-up going into the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival (TCMFF) and it goes by in a flash. From April 13 through April 16 thousands gathered in Hollywood to watch movies, get a glimpse of movie stars, mingle with TCM hosts, and meet up with like-minded friends. It is an event many […]

TCMFF 2023 Highlights — Once upon a screen…

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret (2023)

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret is a 2023 American coming-of-age period comedy drama film directed by Kelly Fremon Craig, based on the 1970 novel of the same name by Judy Blume. The film stars Abby Ryder Forston as the title character Margaret Simon, along with Rachel McAdams, Benny Safdie, and Kathy Bates.

Sixth grader Margaret Simon and her parents move from New York City to the suburbs of New Jersey. Since one of her parents Christian with the other is Jewish, she tries to find her identity of religion. The film follows the eleven year old as she goes through puberty, experiencing the normal girl experiences like growing breasts, her first bra, boys, shaving, and getting her period, but also her exploring both of her parents’ religious upbringings. She becomes friends with several popular girls in her grade and they form a secret club called the Pre-Teen Sensations where they talk about boys, bras and menstruation. The girls axiously await their first period, preparing by buying pads. They also do exercises to increase their bust sizes: “We must, we must, must increase our bust!”

Gretchen gets her period first, which causes Margaret to worry that she is abnormal because she hasn’t started to menstruating. Margaret is jealous of her classmate Laura Danker, who started menstruating and wears a bra. She has a crush on the popular boy Philip Leroy. They kiss while playing “two minutes in the closet” during a party. Margaret’s parents plan to spend the spring vacation with Sylvia, her Jewish grandmother, in Florida. The day before the vacation, Margaret’s conservative Christian grandparents, Mary and Paul Hutchins visit. Because they disapprove of their daughter’s interfaith marriage, Mary and Paul have been estranged from Margaret’s mother for fourteen years. Margaret’s mother cancels the Florida trip. Margaret is upset but tries to be polite to her grandparents. When her grandparents mention religion, arguing starts. Margaret boils over with anger saying she doesn’t need religion or God. On the last day of school, Margaret gets her period.

This film differs a bit from the book it is based on. In the book, Margaret tells her friends why she has no religion, in the movie she is unsure and asks her mother. Barbara (Rachel McAdams) explains to her daughter that as “devout Christians.” her parents did not want a Jewish son in law, so if she married Herb, she’d no longer be their daughter. The book focuses mcuh more on Margaret’s experience, that her parents are almost empty pages. In the movie she and her parents equally focused on.

In the book Barbara is portrayed as stereotypical overworked mom, in the movie, she is warm throughtout the majority of the runtime, as she must be a safe haven and must conquer her rocky journey to realization. Barbara is a bigger presence in Margaret’s life in the film, than in the book, but that doesn’t make either version bad. McAdams is great in this role, bringing the overly-sweet and overly protective mother to life thoughout the film.

Abby Ryder Forston is a powerhouse of a star. She brings the awkward pre-teen girl to life in a way that is nostalgic and relatable, as well as funny at times. This girl is definitely going on to more big roles. Benny Safdie does a fine job as Herb Simon, a hardworking, yet awkward father, who also embarrasses Margarget. He is the typical New York City Jewish dad, without actually affiliating with the religion much. Kathy Bates is great Sylvia Simon, Marge’s Jewish grandmother. She also is a typical New York Jew, but she still follows the religion.

Overall, the film is equal parts awkward, funny, nostalgic, heart-warming, and cute. It is the perfect mother-daughter movie. It is a little too silly in some parts, much more than the book, which make the film a bit cheesy at times. Boys will probably not enjoy this one as much as girls, as it does deal with pre-teenage girl subjects throughout. Conservatives will likely object to the relgious theme, but those with an open mind will find this more engaging.

This is not the most entertaining coming-of-age movie, but it is also far from the worst. It has it’s laugh out loud moments, but some scenes are pretty slow, but that’s to expected if you ever read the book. There are uncomfortable themes throughout the movie like body-shaming, and talking about the sizes of private body parts, but that’s what makes this film relatable for any lady that was a pre-teen or teenager then as well as pre-teen and teenage girls today. Though this movie is PG-13, it is still a must see for any tween or teen. This film can also help girls and their parents discuss uncomfortable subjects. This is a cute and charming film, filled with heart and laughter. 11+ 4.5/5

Judy Blume Forever (2023)

Judy Blume Forever is a 2023 documentary film centered on the author Judy Blume, directed by Davina Pardo and Leah Wolchok. The film covers the life, career, and legacy of Judy Blume, including her experiences with some of her books being banned and the current condition of free speech in the United States. It covers her life from her upbringing in New Jersey to suburban housewife to novelist. It includes new interviews with Blume, as well as talk show appearances, photographs, as well testaments from celebrities and the impact Blume has had in their lives.

Blume leads her audience with a gentle tone of narration. recalling stories both funny and sad, memories of happiness, and reading parts of her books with warmhearted zeal that brings the characters and the scenes to life-often with visual animations, as well as live footage from the past, like old ads of the time, and newsreels to take viewers on rides to various times in Blume’s life, which is then shown by using a montage of family photos and home movies. Sitting before the camera, Blume is a powerful storyteller. She isn’t afraid to tell about the more painful momets in her life, like the sudden death of her father, early marital issues, just as much as she is excited to talk about the development of some of her books.

Blume’s presence is the most important one, but many intuitive friends, family members, and fans join her. Childhood friends remember some of the schoolyard horseplay and conversations they shared with Blume, that later inspired some of her books. The film also includes interviews from her children, Randy and Lawrence, and her husband, Goerge Cooper, for a peak at the author’s life beyond writing. Celebrity fans like Jacqueline Woodson and Alex Gino, axtresses Molly Rongwald, and Lena Dunham, and comedian Samantha Bee. add more praise and appreciation for her work. Finnaly we hear letters written to Blume from children struggling with issues who found comfort in her books. Blume is impactful in their lives as she spends unknown hours looking after her readers of all ages.

With over 80 million copies sold and 25 titles, there is lots of Jufy Blume stories to tell. In this documentary, Pardo and Wolchok conceive a heartwarming admiration of an American literary hero, that brings up memories of nestalgia, talks about how powerful the written word is, and tells of the inspiration behind notable lines, and reminds us of her fight against literary censorship still is especially in her home state of Florida and is on a mission to ban children not just from reading her books, but also those of LGBTQ authors and writers of color.

This documentary is a proper tribute to the life of writer catering to generations of readers still growing up and finding their voices. There is humor, tragedy, inspiration, appreciation, and controversial topics throughout Judy Blume Forever. All of it makes for a well put together documentary, that is steaming on Amazon Prime Video just in time for the theatrical release of the film version of Blume’s “Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret.” Even though she’s retired (since 2015), she is still one of the most influential and best selling writers of all time and people today are still finding her books and enjoying just like when they first published. She wasn’t afraid to tackle controversial subjects when her books were published, and isn’t afraid to tackle them today. This film shows the gentle and tough sides of Judy Blume in interesting and entertaining way, that make you want to reread, or if you haven’t read any yet, her books. Today, though she may be a bookshop owner, she a true American icon. 13+ 5/5

On James Stewart — Humanizing The Vacuum

To be a young cineaste in, say, 1964 was to endure Jimmy Stewart’s aw-shucks drawl: as terrifying a feature as Julie Andrews’ teeth. But the canny actor who cultivated a gangly Everyman image for decades understood, as self-help books and other uniquely American addictions do not, how folksiness and malice co-exist, like a clownfish and […]

On James Stewart — Humanizing The Vacuum

The Greatest Films About or Featuring Dogs

  1. Isle of Dogs – 2018
  2. 777 Charlie – 2022
  3. Togo – 2019
  4. The Shaggy Dog – 1959
  5. 101 Dalmatians – 1996
  6. Benji – 1974
  7. Lassie Come Home – 1943
  8. The Adventures of Tintin – 2011
  9. Turner & Hooch – 1989
  10. Because of Winn-Dixie – 2005
  11. Where the Red Fern Grows – 1974
  12. Oddball – 2015
  13. Shiloh – 1996
  14. White Fang – 1991
  15. Bolt – 2008
  16. The Call of the Wild – 2020
  17. My Dog Tulip – 2009
  18. My Dog Skip – 2000
  19. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey – 1993
  20. The Incredible Journey – 1963
  21. Marley & Me – 2008
  22. Old Yeller – 1957
  23. One Hundred and One Dalmatians – 1961
  24. Cruella – 2021
  25. Red Dog – 2011
  26. Best in Show – 2000
  27. Hachi: A Dog’s Tale – 2009
  28. The Fox and the Hound – 1981
  29. Lady and the Tramp – 1955
  30. The Secert Life of Pets – 2016
  31. As Good as it Gets – 1997
  32. Dog – 2022
  33. Babe – 1995
  34. Red Dog: True Blue – 2016
  35. Heart of a Dog – 2015
  36. Wallace & Gromit: The Cure of the Were-Rabbit – 2005
  37. Lassie – 2005
  38. White Dog – 1982
  39. Snoopy, Come Home – 1972
  40. Baxter – 1989
  41. White God – 2014
  42. Wendy and Lucy – 2008
  43. Frankenweenie – 2012
  44. Megan Leavey – 2017
  45. Alpha – 2018
  46. A Boy and His Dog – 1975
  47. I am Legend – 2007
  48. Rescued By Ruby – 2022
  49. Dog Days – 2018
  50. Chicken Run – 2000
  51. Fantastic Mr. Fox – 2009
  52. Oliver & Company – 1988
  53. The Triplets of Belleville – 2003
  54. Howl’s Moving Castle – 2004
  55. Crawl – 2019
  56. The Truth About Cats and Dogs – 1996
  57. Lady and the Tramp – 2019
  58. Eight Below – 2006
  59. Amores Perros – 2000
  60. Blind Love – 2015 (Polish)
  61. Eliot & Me – 2012
  62. John Wick series – 2014-Present
  63. The Drop – 2014
  64. My Dog Stupid – 2019
  65. My Life as a Dog – 1985
  66. Year of the Dog – 2007
  67. Seven Psychopaths – 2012
  68. The Sandlot – 1993
  69. The Wizard of Oz – 1939
  70. The Artist – 2011
  71. Beginners – 2010
  72. There’s Something About Mary – 1998
  73. Umberto D. – 1952
  74. How the Grinch Stole Christmas – 1966
  75. Anchorman: The legend of Ron Burgundy – 2004
  76. The Nightmare Before Christmas – 1993
  77. The Thin Man – 1934
  78. Up – 2009
  79. The Muppet Movie – 1979
  80. A Boy Named Charlie Brown – 1969
  81. Annie – 1982
  82. The Queen – 2006
  83. Men in Black – 1997
  84. The Phantom Tollbooth – 1970
  85. Widows – 2018
  86. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – 2001
  87. The Hound of Baskervilles – 1959
  88. The Champions – 2015
  89. Patton – 1970
  90. Down and Out in Beverly Hills – 1986
  91. Balto – 1995
  92. The Accidental Tourist – 1988
  93. Alpha – 2018
  94. The Thing – 1982
  95. Coco – 2017
  96. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior – 1981
  97. Back to the Future – 1985
  98. Beyond the Myth – 2010
  99. A Dog Named Gucci – 2015
  100. We Don’t Deserve Dogs – 2020

The Greatest Films About or Featuring Cats

  1. Puss in Boots – 2011
  2. The Lion King – 1994
  3. The Rabbi’s Cat – 2011
  4. Kedi – 2016
  5. The Voices – 2014
  6. That Darn Cat! – 1965
  7. Harry and Tonto – 1974
  8. Stuart Little – 1999
  9. The Aristocats – 1970
  10. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey – 1993
  11. The Incredible Journey – 1963
  12. Puss in Boots: The last Wish – 2022
  13. The Cat From Outer Space – 1978
  14. A Street Cat Named Bob – 2016
  15. Keanu – 2016
  16. Inside Llewyn Davis – 2013
  17. The Shrek Francise – 2001-2005
  18. A Whisker Away – 2020
  19. Lady and the Tramp -1955
  20. Lady and the Tramp – 2019
  21. Meet the Parents – 2000
  22. The Harry Potter Series – 2001-2011
  23. Alice in Wonderland – 1951
  24. The Secret Life of Pets – 2016
  25. Coraline – 2009
  26. The Grand Budapest Hotel – 2014
  27. From Russia With Love – 1963
  28. Bell, Book and Candle – 1958
  29. The Godfather – 1972
  30. Kiki’s Delivery Service – 1989
  31. Alien – 1979
  32. Breakfast at Tiffany’s – 1961
  33. The Jungle Book – 1967
  34. The Third Man – 1949
  35. A Cat in Paris – 2010
  36. The Future – 2011
  37. Aliens – 1986
  38. The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo – 2011
  39. The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo – 2009
  40. The Cat Returns – 2002
  41. Whsiper of the Heart – 1995
  42. True Grit – 1969
  43. True Grit – 2010
  44. The Black Cat – 1934
  45. Re-Animator – 1985
  46. Batman Returns – 1992
  47. The Long Goodbye – 1973
  48. L’Atalante – 1934
  49. La Dolce Vita – 1960
  50. Day for Night – 1973
  51. Ghost – 1990
  52. Can You Ever Forgive Me? – 2018
  53. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night – 2014
  54. Elle – 2016
  55. A Bucket of Blood – 1959
  56. Gifted – 2017
  57. Tales of Terror – 1962
  58. Gladiator – 2000
  59. Zootopia – 2016
  60. The Tomb of Ligeia – 1964
  61. House – 1977
  62. Two Brothers – 1974
  63. A Man Called Otto – 2022
  64. A Man Called Ove – 2015
  65. Kuroneko – 1968
  66. The Incredible Shrinking Man – 1957
  67. Escape to Witch Mountain – 1973
  68. Cat’s Eye – 1985
  69. Babe – 1995
  70. Cat people – 1942
  71. Pinocchio – 1940
  72. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio – 2022
  73. Aladdin – 1992
  74. Captain Marvel – 2019
  75. Life of Pi – 2012
  76. Bringing Up Baby – 1938
  77. The Wizard of Oz – 1939
  78. Born Free – 1966
  79. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – 1977
  80. Mine – 2009
  81. The Electrical Life of Louis Wain – 2021
  82. Madadayo – 1993
  83. The Last of the Lions – 2011
  84. Duma – 2005
  85. Apocalypse Now – 1979
  86. A Gift From Bob – 2020
  87. Men in Black – 1997
  88. The last Unicorn – 1982
  89. My Neighbor Totoro – 1988
  90. Feral Love – 2018
  91. The Lion in Your Living Room – 2015
  92. African Cats – 2011
  93. The Travelling Cat Chronicles – 2018
  94. Dogtooth – 2009
  95. The Strange Little Cat – 2013
  96. April and the Extraordinary World – 2015
  97. Take Care of My Cat – 2001
  98. Burning – 2018
  99. Sita Sings the Blues – 2008
  100. The Secret World of Arrietty – 2010

Classic of the Week: Sex and the Single Girl (1964)

Sex and the Single Girl is a 1964 American Technicolor comedy film directed by Richard Quine and starring Natalie Wood, Tony Curtis, Henry Fonda, Lauren Bacall, and Mel Ferrer. The film is very loosely based on Helen Gurley Brown’s 1962 non-fiction book of the same name. 

Bob Weston works for Stop, a tabloid magazine whose owner and staff are proud of being known as the filthiest read in the U.S. One of Bob’s colleagues has just written an article about Dr. Helen Gurley Brown, a young psychologist and author of the best-selling book Sex and the Single Girl, a self-help guide with advice to single women on how to deal with men. The article raises doubts on her experience with sex and relationships. Helen is very offended, having lost six appointments with patients due to the article discrediting her as a “23-year-old virgin.” Bob wants to follow up by interviewing her, but she turns him down. 

Bob’s friendand neighbor, stocking manufacturer Frank Broderick, is having marriage issues with his strong-willed wife Sylvia, but cannot find time to go to a counselor. Therefore, Bob decides to imitate Frank and go to Helen as a patient, with the goal of getting close to her in order to gather more information. Meanwhile, he will report back to Frank on her advice. During their first couple of sessions, Bob acts shy and infatuated, and tries to slowly seduce Helen. She seems to respond to Bob’s polite advances, all while insisting that it is a transfer and that she will play the role of Sylvia to the benefit of his therapy. After he fakes a suicide attempt, the two of them end up making out at her apartment, with Bob realizing he is actually falling in love with Helen, which is the reason he has still not written anything about her, prompting a proposition from his boss. 

Helen panics at the idea that she is falling for a married man, and upon suggestion from her mother, she meets Sylvia and encourages her to go back to work at Frank’s office, where the two of them first met and could stand together against Frank’s business rivals. Sylvia agrees. 

A very lovesick Bob forces another meeting eith Helen and tries to convince her his marriage is not legal, but Helen insists on hearing it from his wife and secretly asks her to come to her office. In the meantime, Bob asks his girlfriend, nightclub singer Gretchen, to pose as his wife (or rather, Frank Broderick’s wife), and when she cancels at the last minute because of an audition, he asks his secretary Susan to go instead. WIthout telling him, Gretchen decides to forgo her audition, so she shows up at Helen’s office. Witnessing three different women claiming to be Mrs. Broderick, Helen becomes extemely confused, while an angry Sylvia calls the police on Frank, who is arrested for bigamy. 

Helen comes to visit Sylvia with fellow psychiatrist Rudy DeMeyer, who has had a crush ever since the article hinted she might be a virgin. In trying to convince Sylvia to pardon Frank, she finally discovers the man who has been coming to her office was not Frank Broderick at all, but rather Stop magazine’s managing editor Bob Weston.

Like said above, this film is VERY LOOSELY based on the 1962 book of the same name, that is supposed to be a non-fiction advice book that encouraged women to become financially independant and experience sexual relationships before or without marriage. The film seems much more unrealistic than a self-help book, like if it is based off a book, even loosely, than it be a comedy book. This film is only partly based on Helen Gurley Brown’s book, the rest is basically about a woman that’s supposed to be Helen, only a semi-fictional version, as she wrote the book from a psychologist and marriage therapist point of view, but was never either one, unlike Natalie Wood’s character. 

Natalie Wood’s “Helen” is smart, sassy, flirty, adorable, funny, and sexy. The perfect role for her and she does it perfectly, even though this movie is anything but. Tony Curtis’s “Bob Weston” is sexy, smart, sleazy, and secretive and he plays the character outstandingly. There are multiple times throughout the movie that make reference to his 1959 film with Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe Some Like it Hot, which are very clever jokes and one may not get them if they haven’t seen that film as well or at least know what it is. Henry Fonda’s “Frank Broderick” is womanizing, a workaholic, and a cheater. Fonda plays the character fantastically. Lauren Bacall’s “Sylvia Broderick” is naive, yet hard working and Bacall plays her well, though this is not her finest performance. Fran Jeffries does a fabulous job as Gretchen, Bob’s girlfriend, much better than Bacall and just as good as Wood in her role. Mel Ferrer does a fine job as psychiatrist and colleague of Helen’s Rudy DeMeyer. 

This film is a romantic comedy all the way. One would not believe (if they didn’t know already) that it’s fairly based on a sex guide book for single working women. It is a very feminist movie, just like the book, but it is also very silly for much of its runtime of nearly two hours. The film does not paint psychology or marriage counselling well, as Helen refuses to help for certain problems. The film also makes light of serious issues like cheating, suicide, and bigamy. The film also pokes fun of the fact that the main character is a virgin and still single at 23, even though that is still very young, although most women at that age back then were already married and most had at least two children. It was still the age of housewives, so many women didn’t have careers and were “Suzy Homemakers,” so it is interesting to see a lady with a full-time job in the early 1960’s. 

This is a very entertaining movie, but there is far too much silliness and talking about affairs and cheating. The film gets even sillier towards the end. The acting is great, but film itself is graceless and rediculous for the most part. There is literally no sex, only implied, despite the title. The closest you’ll see is kissing and one make out scene. Had the film had actually sex scenes would it have been better? No, it would have actually made it worse. This is a comedy film, though I found myself mostly laughing at the Some Like it Hot jokes. 

This was supposed to be a fodder for the Sexual Revolution of the 1960’s, and it is to an extent, but with some slapstick and fairly offensive humor thrown in. Though the entertainment factor is there, the whole film is pretty much a rushed up mess, with some fine acting added that is the only thing that makes it fairly enjoyable. Had this film dialed back on the goofines and been more dramatic and been more like the book, it could get an A rating, instead it is almost nothing like the book and relies too much on bad humor and tries to make it up with a well acted cast, which barely works.

The real Helen Gurley Brown thought the movie version was awful and couldn’t believe she gave them rights to film it. I wouldn’t call this one awful, but great is not the word either. It is somewhat enjoyable, has a bit of sexiness and sassiness, but very little else. If you’re looking for a classic rom-com with sex, this isn’t it. Natalie Wood’s attractiveness and sex appeal won’t save you from this pile of mess. 17+ 2.5/5 

80 for Brady (2023)

80 for Brady is a 2023 American sports comedy film directed by Kyle Marvin, written by Sarah Haskins and Emily Halpert and produced by former NFL player quarterback, Tom Brady. The film follows four lifelong friends (Lily Tomlin, Sally Field, Jane Fonda, and Rita Moreno) who travel to watch Brady and the New England Patriots play in Super Bowl LI in 2017. Billy Porter , Rob Corddry, Alex Moffat, and Guy Fieri also star. 

In 2017, Lou, Trish, Maura, and Betty are four best friends that are huge fans of the New England Patriots, especially the quarterback Tom Brady, having becoming fans in 2001 while celebrating Lou successfully completeting chemotherapy. 15 years later, the four are celebrating the Patriots’ success over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game and makes plans fot the Super Bowl LI watch party. Lou suggests the idea of actually going to the Super Bowl in person, but the other ladies are not interested due to the cost. However, a local sports radio show runs a competition for free tickets, and the foursome enter by sharing stories of their love for the Patriots. Later, Lou says that that they won the tickets and they prepare for their trip to Houston. 

Lou, Trish, and Betty break Maura our of her retirement facility with help from her friend Micke, and the four women fly to Houston. The next day they go to the NFL Experience, where Betty wins a chicken wing eating contest hosted by Guy Fieri, but loses her fanny pack wity the tickets. Trish meets former NFL player Dan O’Callahan and mututal attraction forms between them, but Trish is uncertain as she has not had a  very successful love life. Dan invites her to a party, after learning about the loss of the tickets as Fieri will also be there. At the party, the ladies are given cannabis edibles which disorient them greatly. Maura joins a poker game hoping to win enough money to buy tickets, but learns that the game is for charity and gives her winnings to a guy a she meets, Gugu’s charity. Unable to find Fieri, the girls decide to return to the hotel and continue to look in the morning. 

The next morning, the ladies go back to the NFL Experiece, to find that it has closed down. They then go to tailgate parties around NRG Stadium to see if they can buy tickets from scalpers, but have nowhere near enough money to buy even one ticket. Trish finds the radio hosts they won the tickets from and brings up the situation to them, but they are confused as they gave their tickets to another group. Betty finds Fieri and  gets her back back, but when the ladies try to enter the stadium, the security guards reveal that the tickets are fake. Lou confesses that she bought the “tickets” online for a lot of money after selling her car, as she wanted one last fun memory with her friends before she hears back from the doctors as she fears her cancer may have returned. To their luck, they run into Gugu, who gets them under the guise that they are backup dancers for Lady Gaga’s halftime performance, as gratitude for Maura’s generous donation the previous night. 

With four award winning actresses, you’d think this would be a fairly good movie, but it’s far from it. It’s cute and laugh out loud funny at times. Middle aged and elderly women and football fans will enjoy this one the most. It is entertaining, but also really cheesy at times. The female stars are fantastic, but Tom Brady and the few other players and actors that make cameo appearances, are terrible, though I think that’s the point, but it does add to the cheesiness and makes it a bit hard to watch. 

This film was inspired by a true story, so it’s not completely factual. The real ladies never tried to go to the Super Bowl, but were super Brady and Patriots fans and did get sad when Tom Brady announced his retirement. But this doesn’t make this a bad movie. The corniness and bad acting from the cameos does make it worse. This one won’t be winning any major awards, but I know the ladies and the players and the other actors had a blast filming this movie. This film makes you appreciate not just football, but sports in general more. 

This is a movie that I can’t believe was released in theaters. It is not deserving a theatrical release, as there are no special effects and it is not entertaining enough. As far as sports movies go, this one falls flat big time. You’ll laugh and maybe tear up a bit in a few scenes, but you want be cheering on the team or applauding the film in the end. The plot is is almost nothing like the real story. It is so unrealistic, that it will have you rolling your eyes. This film also makes you more thankful for your friends and this is a good movie to see with them. 

Overall, this is a cute and enjoyable movie, but it is also very goofy. If this film didn’t have the lady stars, football, or the humor, it would have been one boring watch. It is delightful, but not delightful enough to be a cheerleader for it, but it’s definitely not a snooze fest. It is no 1974 The Longest Yard, but it’s definitely not terrible. 13+ 2.5/5 

1960s Action animation Anya Taylor-Joy biographical black and white British choreography Classic Comedy coming of age Crime dancing dark death Disney disturbing documentaries documentary drama drugs Eddie Redmayne family Fantastic Beasts fantasy films horror humor indie film list love movies music musical mystery Netflix Pixar psychological romance romantic comedy science fiction sex soundtrack teen thriller

1960s Action animation Anya Taylor-Joy biographical black and white British choreography Classic Comedy coming of age Crime dancing dark death Disney disturbing documentaries documentary drama drugs Eddie Redmayne family Fantastic Beasts fantasy films horror humor indie film list love movies music musical mystery Netflix Pixar psychological romance romantic comedy science fiction sex soundtrack teen thriller

Armageddon Time (2022)

Armageddon Time is a 2022 American coming of age drama film written, directed, and produced by James Gray. The film stars Anthony Hopkins, Jeremy Strong, Anne Hathaway, Banks Repeta, and Jaylin Webb. Inspired by Gray’s childhood experiences, the story follows a young Jewish-American boy who befriends an African-American classmate and begins to struggle with expectations from his family growing up in a world of entitlement, inequality, and prejudice.

In 1980 Queens, New York City, on his first day of sixth grade, Jewish-American Paul Graff becomes friends with a rebellious African-American classmate named Johnny. Johnny was held back by a year and gets more severe treatment from their teacher when they both joke around in class. Paul often separates from his schoolwork and draws pictures instead. 

Paul lives with his financially stable Jewish family. He is close with his maternal grandfather Aaron Rabinowitz, who encourages him to pursue his dream to become an artist. His good-hearted but strict parents, Esther and Irving, are less convinced by Paul’s career expectations to be an artist. At night, Aaron tells Paul of how Aaron’s mother escaped antisemitic persecution in Ukraine, fleeing to London before eventually immigrating to the United States with Aaron and her British husband. 

One day, Paul and Johnny are caught smoking a joint in the restroom, unaware that it’s an illegal drug. Fuming, Esther forces Iving into beating Paul as punishment. In the hope that he becomes more disciplined, Paul is sent to his brother Ted’s private school, Forest Manor Prep, by his parents. Meanwhile, Johnny stops going to public school and following Paul’s expulsion. 

Forest Manor is financially supported by famous businessman Fred Trump, who also supports Ronald Reagan in the impending US presidential election. Many of the students are also supporters of Reagan. On Paul’s first day, Fred’s daughter Maryanne, one of the school’s famous alumni, delivers a speech to the students about working to earn their success. Paul sees the school’s advantages over his previous schooling but doesn’t feel welcome at the school. Paul is also unaffected by racist comments from other students when Johnny meets him at recess. Johnny also begins living in secret in Paul’s clubhouse, having nowhere to go other than living with his sick grandmother, where foster system workers searching for Johnny have started to visit regularly. 

While playing at the park on the weekend, Paul tells Aaron of his struggles at school and how he does nothing when he witnesses racism from the other students. Aaron encourages Paul to stand up against prejudice; reminding him that while antisemitism still exists, he and his family still have the privilege of being white. Tired of living under high expectations from family and school, as well as the unfair treatment of Johnny, Paul convinces Johnny of his plan to steal a computer from school and sell it for money so they can run away together. 

This is a very serious movie, there is not one moment that is funny. There are many uncomfortable scenes, some involving racism, and one scene in particularly involves a child a being beat and whipped with a belt, which is extremely hard to watch. The acting is fantistic in this movie from the entire cast and the story is great, but this film is so slow and very depressing for the majority of its runtime. The only inspirational and truly caring and sweet character is Anthony Hopkins’s Aaron Rabinowitz, Paul’s grandfather. Paul’s parents are far too strict, controlling, uncaring at time, and at other times, abusive. Aaron seems to be the only one that truly knows what’s best for Paul and the only one that encourages him to follow his dreams. You pretty much hate Paul’s parents and his mean brother for 90 percent of the movie. 

Johnny comes from a harsh upbringing, his mother dies and he is then raised by his grandmother, he gets held back in school, his grandmother gets sick and can no longer take care of him, so he must be put in foster care, but he tries to avoid it by skipping school and hiding away in Paul’s club house. Paul’s life isn’t perfect either with his super stern parents, his rebellious behavior, and a school he hates, he has nowhere or no one to turn to, except his grandfather, who he ends up losing. I truly believe if Paul’s parents actually listened to him and stopped trying to control him, he wouldn’t have gotten into so much trouble and he might actually have friends apart from Johnny. Also if people didn’t sterotype Johnny because he’s black, he likely could have had a better life, but racism was bad then and is still bad to this day. 

This film is filled with racism, antisemitism, conservatism, and bad parenting, which doesn’t make the storyline bad, it just makes the movie hard to watch and/or listen to many times throughout. You see how tough Jews and African-Americans had it back then, and how conservative white Christian Republicans could be against them. Despite the slowness of this movie, it is still a powerful story and message. Had it not been so drawn-out and just plain depressing, it would have been more enjoyable. With Hathaway, Hopkins, and Strong as leads, you’d expect for the film to be outststanding, but it’s far from it. I thought Sir Anthony Hopkins could never do a sub-par film, but that is exactly what this one is. 

Despite this being a nostalgia journey for the director, it struggles with issues of race. Johnny is either treated unfairly for being black or just overlooked altogether and nothing good happens to him. Paul can’t save him and Paul’s parents, nor his borther will help Johnny. The film does do a good job of letting you know that Paul avoids juvenile detention when you see his father driving him home from jail. It also does a good job of letting you know that Johnny has to face jail time without ever showing it. 

Overall, there is far too much bigotry, juvenile delinquency, and sadness. There is very little happiness in this movie and the fantastic acting cannot make up for that. It is truly one of the gloomiest films featuring children I have ever seen. It’s not awful, but it’s definitely not great by any means. It had all the right things to make it an excellent watch, and the director did only semi-good witth such a tedious, heart-wrenching, yer somewhat moving motion picture. No, a movie doesn’t need a lot of action to be entertaining, but you still need to keep viewers engaged. I don’t understand how this film got a long standing ovation at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, but to each their own. Watch it or skip it? It’s all up to you, as I don’t love, nor do I hate this one. 18+ 3/5

Netflix Announces Pornhub Documentary — Consequence

Netflix will get a little less SFW on March 15th, 2023. The streamer has set a premiere date for Money Shot: The Pornhub Story, an upcoming documentary about the popular, yet controversial sex video website. Pornhub was founded in 2007 and subsequently changed the course of the adult entertainment industry — for…Please click the link below to…

Netflix Announces Pornhub Documentary — Consequence