Movie Review: Acrimony (2018)

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Summary: A faithful wife, tired of standing by her devious husband, is enraged when it becomes clear she has been betrayed.
There will be spoilers because I don’t care.
Pros:
Leading Characters. I don’t think any of these characters are that interesting apart from the two leads, nor do I think the acting is that great throughout the movie. I will give a shout out to Ajiona Alexus as Young Melinda, she is great with her facial expressions and you do sympathize with her.
  • Taraji is always a Win. Taraji P. Henson is a very good actress and I generally think she does a great job in her roles. I think with the writing she was given, she managed to elevate in certain places throughout the movie. The narration (while I didn’t like it) was humorous in some areas and you can tell that she was truly affected by what was going on with her. I think Taraji is very engaging to watch even when she’s playing crazy.
  • Lyriq Bent as Robert. It’s kind of weird but while the character was mostly crap, Lyriq is really good at this role. He’s this man who is down on his luck and he just keeps trying to make this battery thing work and you can tell he really wants it too, but he’s so narrow focused on his own problems that he doesn’t see what he’s doing to his wife.
The Idea of the Story. The whole woman scorned thing is okay, I mean we’ve seen it many times before and this isn’t anything different but the idea of watching this woman stand by her man for a long time and then finally let it go and the things he promised are given to someone else, all that’s fine. I wouldn’t mind it so much if the execution was good… I guess I’m getting ahead of myself.
Cons:
The Narration.I won’t say I hate narration but I HATE unnecessary narration. We first see them in court and then we see Melinda in therapy and she’s talking about her feelings. We then get to see her entire backstory with Robert and Taraji is narrating it while she’s telling her therapist. I usually dislike this setup because NOW we get to hear her tell us her feelings and thoughts instead of allowing us to live in the moment! THERE WAS TOO MUCH NARRATION! Gah it was so annoying. You want me to feel bad for her but you are literally telling me in the narration that she KNEW something was up! She kept saying “Con man!” because YES I know she’s telling it from her point of view, but dang Tyler Perry, trust your audience to get that from Ajiona Alexus’ acting. There’s a part where young Melinda sees Robert’s home and they have an intimate moment and we can CLEARLY SEE that he’s affecting her with his Nina Simone and his charisma, WE DIDN’T NEED THE NARRATION TO TELL US THAT! It was super annoying.
Over the top. Sometimes things being over the top is fine but it does not work in this movie. It’s ridiculous to be honest. They wanted me to feel bad for Melinda, which I did for a little while. It wasn’t until the crazy stuff later on that I was like “nope”. I mean, in the beginning when she was younger, she found out Robert was cheating and she literally ran her jeep into his mobile home until it tipped over. She busted her face, got internal bleeding and had to get her uterus removed. I mean… why? Why couldn’t it just have been her breaking an arm or leg, or hurt her neck? I mean jeez. Then later, after she gets the divorce, she decides she wants to sue him for half of everything once he gets his battery off the ground. Look, I get it, you were there the entire time he’s been failing and you feel like you should get something, I get it, but listen, you divorced him and he gave all the money you spent on him and more. I know it’s not necessarily all that you probably deserve but it wasn’t like he divorced you after he made it big ya know? Plus, I’m sure seeing him give everything he said he was going to give you to someone else had to be upsetting, I get it. Completely. But you stalk his fiancée on Facebook and leave threatening messages and then try and sue him. I mean what? lol it doesn’t make sense and I feel no sympathy anymore. If anything, I just feel bad for you and not in a good way. If the movie wanted that then great job but if they wanted me to feel for Melinda lol psht. Just ridiculous.
The Last Two Acts. I think the first act with the young versions and up until the divorce was fine. Painful but fine. When they get a divorce and she sees that he is now living the life he always said he wanted to live she loses it. Now, I don’t mind her being upset and the whole “woman scorned” thing but wow, the movie begins to take this break neck pace where it starts to get embarrassing and my friend kept rolling over because it was so painful to watch. It was like a car wreck. It went from this woman feeling betrayed to this “misery” thing and it was just… ugh ridiculous.
The Women. I don’t know what Tyler Perry’s issue is with black women, but literally all of the women in this movie are just out of their minds. Melinda of course has her issues that come full force later in the movie and I think it’s ridiculous that no one in her life addressed it beforehand. I know the black community has a hard time with mental health but still, considering the fact that Melinda knew her father had the same issue as her, it must have been mentioned. Why not more often by other people? They all seemed to know that she had this anger issue, so why hasn’t it ever been helped before? It’s a movie, she can go to therapy. Then her sisters were just stereotypes. Brenda was the one who just knew all the answers and was constantly putting Robert down and always always in Melinda’s business. I know she’s the oldest sister and she was protective but there are boundaries ma’am and you keep crossing them. The second sister, she was so timid… I guess? She was the other extreme to the oldest sister where she was always so mellow and tried to be the peace keeper but she always sided with Brenda. Then you have the lady that Robert ends up with and at first I was like okay, because she was like “I didn’t know about Melinda” when they were younger but she for some reason, started watching all of the videos he’d sent over the years (even though he was JUST issued a restraining order from the company) and you can clearly see her falling in love with him again and I’m like… girl lol, just because he’s brilliant doesn’t mean he’s not crazy. I just can’t. The only sane one was the friend.
Bad Acting. Outside of our leads the acting was horrible. I thought the friend was fine but the sisters, the other woman and the husbands were all just bad.
Overall, this movie is so bad I could barely finish it. I wanted to give up. I knew it was going to be bad but I hoped that it wouldn’t be so terrible since the two lead actors are good at their jobs, which they are. There’s nothing wrong with telling the story of a woman who wasted her life with someone who didn’t give her everything and more that she gave. I get it. I really do. Anyone who can relate, sure, but there’s a line between you feeling like you are owed and then just going crazy. It’s just so over the top that it’s not even good or interesting storytelling. It makes the main character who we’re supposed to sympathize with look bad and as the audience, I no longer care. The acting is bad minus, the women in this movie are stereotypes and terrible. The last two acts of the film are rushed and full of bad writing. I just can’t. I’m done with this movie lol.
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Acrimony? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts on the movie down in the comments below. If you liked it, tell me, I’m curious.
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Movie Review: Proud Mary (2018)

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First 2018 movie review of the new year! Whoo! Anyway, onwards!
Summary: Mary (Taraji P. Henson) is a hitwoman working for an organized crime family in Boston. Mary’s life is completely turned around when she meets a young boy whose path she crosses when a professional hit goes awry.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. There are really only two characters in this film that matter. There are a few supporting characters outside of Mary and Danny but meh.
  • Taraji P. Henson as Mary Goodwin. Mary is an assassin, she’s been keeping an eye on Danny, she finally finds him and takes him in to protect him. She also wants to get out of this killing life. All you need to know is that Taraji is good, she’s very good.  She handles emotion so well, she can be awesome and badass in one moment, but then she can turn around and cry when she needs too and she really manages to put some emotion in scenes that I just did not think were worthy of her talents. It was great to see her do action like this, but I wanted to see her do more action because I think she could do it. She has a great fighting face lol. I liked her interactions with Danny,
  • Jahi Di’Allo Winston as Danny. He’s the kid in the film, he’s had a hard year, and he comes across Mary after she finds him. Danny is a bit street smarts, got a smart, potty mouth and he goes toe to toe with Mary a lot of the time. They’re very similar. He has a lot of tragedy in his life, so a lot of that haunts him but he is able to make it day-to-day. I’ve never seen this kid in anything, and I thought he was good. There were a few times where his acting wasn’t that strong but I think overall, he manages to do a good job and hold his own in this movie.
Mary and Danny. I think the strongest aspect of this film is definitely the connection between Mary and Danny. That’s the part I was most invested in. I liked how she was a bit awkward with him at times, even while trying to be a friend, or trying to be motherly. It’s an instinct that some women have and it was easy to see that she was trying to act on it. Danny had a little smart mouth, and he had a hard life in the last year which she is a bit the cause for and I really enjoyed their dynamic. Both actors had really good chemistry and I would rather just watch an entire movie with the two of them. I wish it was just the two of them.
The hallway action scene. There’s a scene towards the end of the movie where Mary finally gets a really cool action scene and I very much enjoyed it. It was choreographed okay, the violence was good, and the music choice… of course.
The opening credits. The opening scene I think for one, is one of the best scenes due to the aesthetic and the feel of it. It definitely has that 70s blaxploitation feel to it, or very much in the vein of Pam Grier’s Foxy Brown. The yellows and oranges, the edits, it was really cool and it should have been a set up for how the film would be.
The Idea. I think the idea behind this movie is really cool. A hit woman who gains a conscious when it comes to a young kid, and does whatever she can to save him, I think that’s really cool. Plus, the idea of being an homage to 70s black films, I thought was really unique to be handled today. I really wanted that.
Cons:
The Supporting Characters. So wasted. There are some interesting characters in this film but it doesn’t care about them so they’re either just not there most of the time, or they’re only there to serve a purpose and when their purpose happens, you’re like “wait… what? Why have that actor if you’re going to do that to them? That’s dumb”. Being this film is about leagues of assassins and families and what not, everyone in this movie is the stereotypical character that is usually in this film. Blech.
The Story. I think the film loses the story in the middle of the film. It wants to tackle too many things that I think it begins to lose sight of what it wanted to do in the first place. I get it, I get what it wanted to do but it’s so cliché and old that it just feels like the usual and it should be exciting to watch because we never really get to see a black woman in a film like this. Or what this film should have been. Basically, it tackles the whole cliche idea of the assassin wants to get out but the leader doesn’t want to let them out thing and that becomes a running thing in the movie and I just rolled my eyes a lot. I really wanted it to focus on Mary and Danny and while it was there, but they wanted to do this thing with warring families and just ugh, then it was the getting out thing, and there was this thing about family and loyalty… just ugh. All over the place. If anything, they should have stuck to the storyline of Mary feeling guilty about Danny and wanting to help him, but she knows she can’t do both, so she wants to get out and then there’s this whole thing about loyalty. That was in there but it sort of showed up out of the blue.
The Music. Outside of Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary” song, I can’t even tell you if there was any other music to help the film. I don’t remember any of it and the music I do remember was so ineffective that it did nothing for the film. Music is a big part of the movie and I don’t think it did anything that enhanced the movie. If you remember the film Four Brothers, that film had awesome music and this movie in a way, feels like that one, the music in that is memorable.
The Action. So, I wasn’t necessarily expecting like physical action be to like over the top or anything, it was more going into a room and shooting people with silencers and what not, but I think, especially considering that really good scene in the hallway, that this film could have benefitted from having Mary do some physical action, to see her actually kick butt. There is a MAJOR missed opportunity towards the end, when she faces off against a character who apparently is important to her, or at least was and she should have faced off against him instead of what happened. There is also a scene where Mary goes running, and she shoots someone, there SHOULD HAVE BEEN A FIGHT THERE!! I mean are you kidding? There were so many times where she could have physically fought there but didn’t. It would have been so cool and it was set up like it.
Underwhelming.  I was really bored watching this movie, I didn’t expect much but I at least expected a good time and I didn’t really have that. I thought the story was underwhelming, the action was underwhelming, even the violence my friend enjoyed felt underwhelming. Mary and Tom’s encounters were very underwhelming, there should have been more between them, not like romance or anything, but like that chemistry of two people who grew up together and I didn’t get that. Just… very underwhelmed.
Overall, I really wanted to like Proud Mary, it had this feel to it that I thought I would enjoy but I didn’t. Taraji P. Henson is the reason to see this movie as she is good in her role, this movie is alive because of her, without her, it would just fall completely flat, but she helps it but she’s way to good for this flick. Her chemistry with the young actor who plays Danny was really strong and I was more interested in seeing their story together compared to everything else. I also did really like that one action scene towards the end of the film, that was really the only time I thought they allowed her to really show off her skills as an assassin. The opening credits were really cool and the idea behind the film could have been great but unfortunately the story is all over the place, and completely cliché. There is not enough action in it to allow Mary to show us that she is this awesome assassin, I’m sorry, pointing, ducking for cover and shooting is not enough for a film that used its trailers to bank on the action. The music is also very forgettable minus Tina Turner’s iconic song, and it’s very underwhelming and boring. I wanted to like it but I just didn’t.
Rating: 2 out 5 stars.
Have you seen Proud Mary? What did you think about it? Let me know your thoughts below!
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Hidden Figures (2017) Review

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Summary: Based on a true story. A team of African-American women provide NASA with important mathematical data needed to launch the program’s first successful space missions.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. There are a lot of characters in this film, but I’m going to stick to talking about the three women who are the focus. I may mention the others but they’ll be categorized as “Secondary”.
  • Taraji P. Henson as Katherine Goble. She is a mathematician, a genius at that. She works in the “Colored Computers” area of Nasa and gets the chance to work with the Space Task Group. She seems a bit reserved and timid, not necessarily shy, but someone who doesn’t seem to socialize much outside of her two best friends. She is so smart, that she makes her situation work. Due to this being set during serration, she is the first African American woman to work in the group, she cannot use the bathrooms, and she even gets funny looks when she uses the coffee pot. It’s easy to see that it affects her, but she does her job and boy does she do it well. No matter how much it seems like the men in her group aren’t trying to help her, she manages to push past that and become even greater. I loved her relationship with her daughters, as well as Dorothy and Mary. She seemed like the middle sister of the group, the one who goes with the flow. I think Taraji was fantastic here, definitely some of her best acting. She’s funny, she’s sweet and kind but when moments need to be fiery she can do that too. She was wonderful and deserves all the accolades. I hope she gets them.
  • Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughn. Also a mathematician, she is the “supervisor” of her group of women, she is trying to officially get the job but is having a hard time. She is definitely the mother hen of the group (she’s the one who pushes for Katherine to be considered for the Space Task Group), as well as being pretty handy. When we first meet her, she is under her car trying to find out why it stalled lol, it’s pretty great. When she notices Nasa is bringing a machine to help calculate numbers, she takes it upon herself to make sure she knows how to fix and work that giant machine so she can make moves. You can’t go wrong with Octavia, you know that she is going to tell someone where to put it and when she does, it’s glorious. I loved just how motherly she was, as well as being strong for her friends, for her girls in her group and her kids. There’s this great library/bus scene she’s great.
  • Janelle Monae as Mary Jackson. An engineer, she is definitely like the little sister of her friend group. She is spunky, she will tell it like it is “this is civil rights, I can see fine in every color” lol. She is smart and works hard. She wants to be an engineer but her race and gender hinder that, so she wants to go to school to become eligible for the position. She works on fighting to get into a night school and she was not backing down. As this is Janelle Monae’s first film, it’s not noticeable, she holds her own quite well with the other actresses. She is likable, she makes you root for her and I think she does a really fine job here.
  • Supporting characters.
    • Kevin Costner as Al Harrison. The director of the Space Task Group and he was good. He helped with a lot of nudges, I thought it was some good acting from Mr. Costner.
    • Mahershala Ali as Jim Johnson. I really like this actor, he is such a natural. I find him very attractive lol, but he was definitely a supporting role. He sees Katherine and they talk. He’s so kind to her and her kids. *cries* I love it.
    • Kirsten Dunst as Vivian Mitchell. I like Kirsten Dunst but ooo I want to punch her face in this movie (not the first time honestly though), just like the time period. Skating around legit questions, not providing actual answers… being a little nasty sometimes. I think Kirsten Dunst did well here too.
    • Jim Parsons as Paul Stafford. So jealous of Katherine, he was a bit mean to her sometimes. I don’t watch his show and I haven’t really seen him in anything but it just seemed so weird to see him being rude lol. It doesn’t fit him, sarcastic jerk seems better lol. But he does his job because I wanted to punch him too lol.
The Music. I loved it. It was very uplifting and though it was modern, it had a nice feel to it that indicated the time period.
The costumes. Time period films always call for some great looking costumes, but they were all great, especially Mary Jackson’s clothes. Every time she was on screen, her outfits got a reaction from me lol. I mean everything!
The Friendship. I love seeing strong black friendships in film. I love how each woman was so different but they were so close. They teased each other, they obviously loved each other, and they were each other’s backbones in the world they worked in. Not only were they women in a man’s world, but they were black women in a white man’s world and they helped each other. The scene where Katherine meets Jim Johnson was hilarious, her friends did just what friends do when their single friend finds a man good looking.
The Humor. It’s funny. It’s probably not bust your gut funny but it’s funny. Little comments from Mary about certain things, especially the beginning with the police officer. The way the three women act around each other, how they tease each other. Katherine’s expressions during scenes, same with Mary and Dorothy. It’s quite light hearted.
The story. The story highlights the three black women who worked in Nasa and who took charge and made a change. It’s such a great, uplifting story. It’s encouraging. Katherine has to work so hard just to do her job, a job that she is good at but is constantly met with adversity even as she makes progress. Dorothy wants to move forward in her job but it seems like they won’t let her, so she takes it upon herself to make sure she can do more than what they expect. Mary fights to be able to be “the first” so she can be an engineer and help create these shuttles. The fact that these black women were able to push past the barriers placed in front of them, it leaves the viewer, especially if you can relate, encouraged, determined. It’s so very well told as well.
The Bathroom scene. Without spoiling, there is this fantastically tremendous scene where Al Harrison asks Katherine where she goes when she disappears. Because there isn’t a colored bathroom in that area, she has to run about a mile to the West Campus just to go to the bathroom. It happened to have rained that day too. Taraji almost had me in tears during this scene due to her acting. Amazing. Katherine’s frustration, her pain of being treated that way, everything just came to the surface and she was no longer quiet about it. Ugh, such a great scene. If Taraji is nominated for an Oscar (which I think she should be), this should be the scene they show.
Cons:
Mixing old footage with the film footage. I didn’t think they needed to have that in there. You know, like putting in the old archived footage and then kind of having it blend out into the new footage? Wasn’t really necessary, we know it’s based on a true story, plus, what they do at the end in the credits helps too, so that was a little out of place.
Overall,
I loved Hidden Figures, it’s a feel good, inspiring movie. It’s one of those movies that will make people want to go and read the book, or go and research more about this because it’s so interesting, so great. I think what really shines here though is the acting/performances. It’s almost one of those films where what is remembered the most is the performances, what the actors did with these characters. Yes, there are memorable scenes, but it really boils down to the acting. I thought the three leads were fantastic, Taraji was superb. I completely get why Octavia Spencer has been nominated for her role, I’m not taking that away from her in any sense, however, I don’t think it’s legit that Taraji P. Hansen hasn’t really gotten any award recognition for her role and she’s the lead and she was fantastic. I hope she gets more recognition. I think Pharrell’s music was a nice blend for the movie, of being modern and of that time period, I thought Hans Zimmer’s score was lovely. The costumes were nice, the movie is funny and I loved the friendship between Mary, Dorothy and Katherine. Hidden Figures is a must see.
Rating: 4. 60 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Hidden Figures? If so, what did you think about it? Let me know in the comments below. Don’t forget to follow and like this blog!