I joined CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres. Today we talk about the threequel “Magic Mike’s Last Dance,” the non rom com “Somebody I Used to Know,” the Dolly Parton tribute “Seriously Red,” and, just in time for Valentine’s Day, “Your Place or Mine.”
I join CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to talk about the threequel “Magic Mike’s Last Dance,” the non rom com “Somebody I Used to Know,” the Dolly Parton tribute “Seriously Red,” and, just in time for Valentine’s Day, “Your Place or Mine.”
I join 1290 CJBK in London and host Ken Eastwood to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the threequel “Magic Mike’s Last Dance,” the non rom com “Somebody I Used to Know,” the Dolly Parton tribute “Seriously Red,” and, just in time for Valentine’s Day, “Your Place or Mine.”
I sit in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the threequel “Magic Mike’s Last Dance,” the non rom com “Somebody I Used to Know,” the Dolly Parton tribute “Seriously Red,” and, just in time for Valentine’s Day, “Your Place or Mine.”
Watch as I review three movies in less time than it takes to change a lightbulb! Have a look as I race against the clock to tell you about the threequel “Magic Mike’s Last Dance,” the non rom com “Somebody I Used to Know” and, just in time for Valentine’s Day, “Your Place or Mine.”
Despite Thomas Wolfe warning, “you can never go home again,” characters in rom com after rom com do just that. Just in time for Valentine’s Day comes “Somebody I Used to Know,” a charming new Alison Brie movie, now streaming on Amazon Prime, that defies the usual romantic comedy playlist.
Brie is Ally, the hard driving producer of the recently cancelled reality show called “Dessert Island.” Cut adrift from the long hours and stress of life in Los Angeles, she ignores Wolfe’s advice and returns home to her hometown, the quaint, Bavarian-styled village of Leavenworth, Washington.
Being home again stirs up some ghosts for her. Memories of the simple, happy life she had before her career complicated everything come flooding back, just as she has a chance encounter with her ex-boyfriend Sean (Jay Ellis).
They haven’t been in contact in 10 years, since Ally skipped town to pursue her career, but both feel a blast of nostalgia. “Here we are,” says Sean, “going down memory lane!”
“I kind of resented your entire industry for a long time,” he tells her, “for taking you away from me.”
A few laughs, some reminiscing and a quick kiss later, Ally wonders if Sean is the one who got away. Trouble is, he’s engaged to Cassidy (Kiersey Clemons), a punk rock singer about to give up her career to settle down.
Determined to win back Sean’s affections, Ally uses all the tricks she learned making reality TV to wage a not-so-clandestine campaign to derail the wedding and win back her ex.
“You’re not going to pull some Julia Roberts, ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’ stuff are you?” asks Cassidy.
“Somebody I Used to Know” defies the usual romantic comedy formula. You know how most, if not all, rom coms will end. The good ones are about the journey, not the destination. This one, director Dave Franco’s follow-up to the creepy “The Rental,” is about both, a classic rom com st up that walks a different, sometimes bittersweet, path to its destination.
It is a story about passion, but not romantic passion. It’s about a lust for life, following your heart and making choices. It’s a refreshing genre twist in a film, that despite a slow start, pays off as a compelling story about empowerment.
As Ally, even at her most devious, Brie brings enough authenticity and charm to keep the character likable. There is enough chemistry between her and Elis to fuel the film’s fire, but it is in her scenes with Danny Pudi, one of her former “Community” co-stars, where the platonic sparks fly.
The relative simplicity of “Somebody I Used to Know” is its main selling point. Unlike other recent rom coms—I’m looking at you “Shotgun Wedding”—it avoids screwball situations in favour of human contact and actual emotion.
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including “The Nest,” Jude Law’s story of avarice and privilege, the mind-bending Janelle Monáe drama “Antebellum,” Susan Sarandon’s end of life story “Blackbird” and the documentary “The Way I See It.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the twisty-turny Janelle Monáe drama “Antebellum,” “The Nest,” Jude Law’s story of greed, the documentary “The Way I See It” and Susan Sarandon’s end of life story “Blackbird.”
“Antebellum,” starring singer and actor Janelle Monáe in a dual role, is a horror film about the intergenerational impact of slavery.
At the film’s beginning Monáe is Eden, enslaved on a plantation at the onset of the Civil War. The plantation boss, Confederate Captain Jasper (Jack Huston), is a cruel drunk with a strict set of rules. He demands no talking and obedience “with a smile.” The cost of speaking out of turn or not working hard enough is misery. Forced to endure sexual exploitation, physical trauma and mental anguish, one night Eden shuts her eyes and goes to sleep.
When she awakens it’s 2020 and she is Veronica Henley, a famous writer on American race relations with a busy schedule that includes television appearance and live speaking engagements. Her latest work, “Shedding the Coping Persona,” a roadmap to revolution for historically marginalized people, examining the intersectionality of race, class and gender, is a hot button book that touches on some of the same concerns that plagued Eden’s life.
“Black women are expected to be seen and not heard,” she says at a conference. “To the patriarchy we’ve been practically invisible but their arrogance is their greatest vulnerability and our greatest opportunity.” She closes her speech with a quote from Assata Shakur, “The only thing that we have to lose are our chains.”
Although successful, wealthy and well-known, she is treated with condescension from everyone from a white television host to a hotel concierge, from a ghostly little girl in an elevator to a corporate headhunter (Jena Malone) who gives her kudos on her lipstick choice. “It compliments your skin tone,” she says. “I don’t think I could… pull it off.”
Eden and Veronica have a connection, brought forth in a ferocious climax, but there will be no spoilers here.
In a “Twilight Zone” finale “Antebellum” asks if Eden was a figment of Veronica’s imagination or vice versa. It’s hard to describe without giving anything away but the writing-directing duo of Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz have done some of the work for me, foreshadow the ending throughout. For instance, at one point Veronica tells her friend Sarah (Lily Cowles), “Our ancestors haunt our dreams to see themselves more.”
“Antebellum” is a horror film that doesn’t rely on jump scares to raise the hairs on the back of your neck. Instead, with a tip of the hat to Rod Serling, it blends social commentary on the legacy of American slavery with the supernatural to form a provocative essay on how the unresolved past can create turmoil in the present.