* * * * * (Joyce) * * * * ½ (Don)
Brendan Fraser plays Charlie, a 600-pound online typing teacher with all kinds of personal issues.
First of all, he’s overweight, and can’t get out of his chair or fall asleep without the help of his nurse and friend, Liz, or mechanical devices.
He became estranged from his wife and teenage daughter when he became involved with one of his male students, it had been eight years since he had seen them.
He is visited by a missionary, with whom he engages in deep conversations about life, death, and the existence of God.
He teaches his writing class via Zoom, with his screen image too black to stop due to his morbid obesity.
He finds a way to visit his daughter by helping her write an essay for graduation.
There is a lot of symbolism in the story, centering around the whale and Melville’s classic tale of Moby Dick.
Suffering from congestive heart failure and tempted to die at every turn, Charlie indulges in pizza and pushes his bloated body and psychotic mind to the limits.
There’s a lot more to this two-hour-plus movie, taken from the Samuel D. Hunter play.
Frasier is great, as are the supporting cast. Makeup should take hours.
The screen is square, sure
Confinement to Charlie’s Crowded House.
Major issues of homosexuality, suicide, religion, alienation, resentment, and obesity are dealt with, leaving the viewer emotionally drained.
Joyce said that for the first time since “Saving Private Ryan,” a film brought tears to her eyes.
If you want to indulge in a whale movie (I can’t imagine an actor doing this every night on stage), watch “The Whale”.
I wanna Dance With Somebody
* * * ½
(Whitney Houston biopic)
Naomie Ackie makes Whitney Houston believable, lip-syncing dozens of the singer’s songs and passionately portraying her career ups and downs and her life.
Stanley Tucci, who can play any role handed to him, plays Clive Davis, Houston’s producer, who knows the moment he sees her she’s going to be a star.
Davis is also a producer of the biopic.
While we know too well the tragic ups and downs of Whitney’s life, we take a closer look at her relationship with her “friend” and subsequent marriage of 15 years to Bobby Brown.
Brown’s abusive treatment of Whitney appears to be downplayed, from what we remember from the media.
The movie plays out like many biopics, with the music different, which is nice.
There is no doubt that Whitney Houston was the best singer of her generation, if not the best, and we get to hear her actual voice.
* * ½
(epic, often offensive comedy/drama)
Less than 15 minutes into the more than three hour movie, the couple next to us walked off the stage.
I think the elephant pooped and the woman peed was just too much. They missed full nudity, vomiting, spitting, and kinky sex. Do you want to watch a freak show with tasteless sex and a man who eats rats? Stay around!
What would have been rated a few years ago is now a decadent rendition of what was supposed to be popular in 1920s Hollywood.
At the center of the corruption is Jack Conrad (Brad Pitt), an epic silent film actor/director.
Diego Calva plays his Mexican ranger, who rises in charge, and succeeds when the silent film industry switches to the speakers, leaving Jack in the dust, along with his leading lady, Indigo (Margot Robbie).
Often mundane and profound, Babel is an epic depiction of the film industry with all its flaws, innovations, and racism.
We are sure we either turned you on or off with this review. We have definitely raised your curiosity level.
We learned the fates of all the main characters before the movie came to a screeching halt.
The Glass Onion: Knives Out of Obscurity
* * * (Joyce) * * ½ (Don)
Joyce loves this genre and I love it.
I like it more when the book gives you clues that will make you a participant in solving the murder.
While this guy is throwing some red herrings at you to keep you from solving the puzzle, he’s also changing the game by adding some scenes that weren’t previously shared with the audience.
If the actors play it straight, then there is some bad acting. If they’re comic, there’s some bad acting… including Benoit Blanc’s self-proclaimed Daniel Craig, the world’s best detective.
Edward Norton plays a wealthy high-tech entrepreneur who invites old friends he hasn’t seen in years (there’s a reason for that) to his posh Greek island for a weekend game of murder-solving.
Someone dies. Who and why?
By this time, I didn’t care.
The host has many expensive things in his mansion, including the Mona Lisa, who plays a major role in the story.
The problem is, we saw the famous painting in the Louvre, and it’s almost the size of the painting in the movie.