MOVIE REVIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
There are many movies that came out in the past 365 and I have seen many of them! If you have not made your way to the theater and you need some help deciding what to watch, let me help you. Personally, I do not think it is possible to compare a thriller to a love movie. The ratings below reflect how good the movie is for the genre it’s in. I am using a scale of 1-5. Five (5) representing excellence, three (3) okay and one (1) trash. The category legend is as follows:
(L) Love or Comedy
(A) Action/Thriller or Mystery
Disclaimer: I believe your current emotional state affects the way a movie is received. For example, if someone is in love with you they may tend to enjoy a love movie more than a person who is experiencing a recent break up or a person that doesn’t even believe in love. For myself, I found that movies that depict a funeral or references to cancer affect me more than most movies and may have tainted my review process.
STILL In THE THEATERS : 2019
Clicking the title of the movie will redirect you to the trailer for the movie.
MISS BALA (A) : Rating 4 - Of all of the movies listed, MISS BALA is the movie that I watched in a DOLBY theater. The leather reclining seats that slightly vibrated at every explosion and gun shot added a special touch. In my opinion (IMO), the lead character had an odd face. Seems irrelevant but, I do think there was a reason for that. Despite the drugs, money and danger, my biggest concern was how the romantic elements would unfold. The movie was full of action and offered a decent story line.
SERENITY (A) : Rating 3 - This is more of a mystery. The creators were on some other stuff when they made it this. After watching, you will think about the power of the mind and the consequences of decisions.
ESCAPE ROOM (A) : Rating 3.5 - The graphics in this movie are great. The evolution of the most shy character was very interesting. I know for sure that I would not have escaped. The chances of me going to any type of escape room now is about ZERO percent.This movie is highly entertaining.
THE UPSIDE (L) : Rating 5 - The reason I love this movie is because of how well it was written. There were layers to the comedy and seriousness. I was deeply engaged. The film touches on socio-economic trends, physical disabiliites, love, and trust. A must see.
IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK (ST) :Rating 5 - Sharon (Regina King) was the glue of this movie. There is a lot of music in the transition scenes and, I am not sure why, but that bothered me. It was probably there to help you think about what you just saw and have time to process your feelings as they switch scenes. I appreciated the artistry but still wanted the scenes to be shorter. The love that Tiff and Fonny shared is unbreakable. This movie is based on the book, “If Beale Street Could Talk” written in 1974 by James Baldwin.
FRESH OUT THE THEATER : 2018
VENOM (S) : Rating 3 - Made me laugh. This is not for kids at all. I didn’t know what to expect from this movie. Venom himself was pretty vulgar and kind of scary to look at.
AQUAMAN (S) : Rating 2 - The character of Aquaman is sexy and relatable however, his supporting members ruined it for me.The villain could not act all. I don’t know how he was cast for his part. The costumes were odd and I disliked Aquaman’s lovers hair. Her hair was terrible a red wig with an awkward looking part. Their on-screen chemistry wasn’t impressive either. Aqaman’s journey was the most meaningful to me. My biggest take away was comparing my current state to part of Aquaman’s journey.
BUMBLEBEE (S) : Rating 3 - Kid -friendly. This movie had a lot of character development. So if you are looking for lots of combat action, this isn’t the flick for that. I feel like I know more about Bumblebee, but ultimately I’m ready to get back to the entire team of Transformers.
SPIDER-MAN INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE (S) : Rating 5 - Family-friendly. This movie is fire for several reasons. Excessive art expression. Miles is relatable to African-American children; his clothes, shoes, hair and music selection are a true depiction of many teens. I appreciated his relationship with his father. The comic words throughout the movie were cool. Exploring the multiple dimensions was a creative way to include several time periods, nationalities and characters.
ROBIN HOOD (S) : Rating 3.5 - Jamie Foxx was a Moorish commander. That is not something that you see everyday. It was action packed. The star Taron Eagerton was charming at times. It just had that predictable feeling for the duration of the movie.
RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET (L) : Rating 5 -I was so amused. Although it was a cartoon, I didn’t feel like I was suffering through another kid movie. Explaining the internet isn’t easy. but the creators did a great job illustrating it. One of my favorite scenes was the comment room.
WHITNEY (ST) : Rating 4.5 - This is the only documentary on the list. What I enjoyed most was seeing video clips of Whitney that have never been seen before. Topics covered in this documentary included sexual abuse, sexual preference, embezzlement and training to be one of the biggest stars in the world.
NIGHT SCHOOL (L) : Rating 3 - The movie offers similar banter to “Girls Trip”. If you hate that type of comedy, then you won’t like “Night School”. Straight silliness from beginning to end. I heard many people say they didn’t like it. I don’t know what they were expecting. An old guy goes back to school…what exactly where they expecting?
NOBODY’S FOOL (L) : Rating 4 - This movie was so cute and funny. Danica (Tika Sumpter) the lead character was so uptight and she reminded me of myself. The movie focuses on her love life and work life. The main sex scene in this movie alone makes it worth the look. Tika Sumpters hair and make up was flawless. Movie touches on alcoholism and being catfished.
SECOND ACT (L) : Rating 4 - Mya (J-Lo,) the main character. basically works at Walmart and finagled her way into a high profile job. She struggled between her new lifestyle and her old life. Discovery of personal secrets make up the majority of the story line. J-Lo looked so beautiful in this movie. Super fit. All single mothers should look at this.
SUPERFLY (A) : Rating 4 - Personally, I fell in love with the main character Priest. He is so stylish and full of knowledge. Once I fall in love, I start getting stressed out wondering if and when he will die! The movie is a bit long but if you are looking for an around the way movie, with some elements of street life and the consequences, that is not low budget or poorly shot, then this is a great place to start. The original Superfly was made in 1972 featuring music by Curtis Mayfield . Click here to see the original trailer.
WHITE BOY RICK (ST) : Rating 4.5 - I sat in the chair and blinked for 10 minutes after this movie was over. Based on the true story of Richard Wershe Jr., the youngest informant in FBI in history. The movie illustrates how he was lured into a life of drug dealing, then abandoned. The story is set in Detroit during the 1980’s crack epidemic.
FIRST MAN (L) : Rating 4.5 - Based on the book, “First Man: The Life of Neil Armstrong”. This movie is serious and long. Even though most of the attention is on the main character, I was paying attention to his wife. The visuals were good but it was one of those movies with funerals that made me want to close my eyes. But, in order to receive the entire message, I had to keep looking. The main character is the definition of determination.
GREEN BOOK (L) : Rating 5 - This film was fire! Dr. Don Shirley is an African-American pianist that takes a tour in the south. His hired security is an Italian man named Tony Lip. The movies explores racism, music, friendship, sexuality and love. It is well balanced. Dr. Don Shirley displays poise, tact and elegance on-screen. His internal conflicts, mixed with the worlds’ biases, create a story worth watching.
A STAR IS BORN (L) : Rating 4.5 - The music was blasting me out of the theater. Really intriguing to see Lady Gaga without her costumes and heavy make-up. Brady Cooper was believable in his role as Jack. Jack was a drunk rock star and his inability to resolve what drove him to drink was disturbing to both the love of his life and all that surrounded him. In the mist of this chaos…a star was born. The song “Shallow” was my son’s immediate favorite. He requested for me to play it and it evoked emotions which led him to cry openly and talk to me about missing his grandma about a month after seeing the film.
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (ST) : Rating 5 - The story of the British rock band Queen. It follows the lead singer Freddie Mercury and shows how he influenced the band. The movie takes us through the make-ups, the breaks-ups and the creation of the musical hits. Watching this movie will remind you, if you don’t already know, how dope Queen is. You will realize you know so many of their songs and albums, even if you never purchased them, because they have tons of iconic tracks under their belt.
WIDOWS (A) : Rating 4.5 - When the movie picked up I was on the edge of my seat. After I watched, “Set it Off” many years ago, any movie with a group of at least four women doing something dangerous has to be watched. Veronica (Viola Davis) does not disappoint. The scary guys in this movie really are scary considering theses women have no one they could turn to for help or protection.
BAD TIMES AT EL ROYALE (A) : Rating 5 - This movie was all over the place. I was surprised several times an did not know what to expect. My favorite character was Darlene Sweet (Cynthia Erivo). Basically a bunch of people end up in a creepy hotel. Each character has a different back story and freedom becomes a common goal for them all.
PEPPERMINT (A) : Rating 3.5 - There is not other way to say it. She really kicked some people ass in this film. Her organized anger makes you feel like you can do it also. This film has the vibe of the movie Enough. She has no team to help her and has figure things out alone. Her only mission is justice and to protect the innocent. This film satisfies the me against the world take justice into your own hands concept.
ACRIMONY (A) : Rating 3 - Would I be this crazy if this happened to me? That is a question you may ask yourself after watching Melinda (Taraji P. Henson) snap relentlessly. I could see why some people said the couldn’t take it and it was too much. If recently had a break up watch it so she can carry out the rage you feel inside. If you are looking for a great movie for the evening skip this.
A LITTLE LATE : 2016 -2017
THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US: Rating 5 - I started watching this movie last year and I was too impatient that night. I opted to watch a comedy instead. Last week on a cold winter night, I decided it was time to try again. I’m too much of an Idris Elba fan to let any of his films slip through the cracks.
This is a story about survival and love! It was beautiful.
Love By The 10th Date was fun for me. Pure comedic relief. Lifetime movie.
I never knew it could be so hard to watch someone play the role of MJ. Although that was a struggle for me. I couldn’t stop watching because I wanted to hear the commentary of the security guards perspective of the final years with Michael. Lifetime movie.
The movie Confirmation recalls the events that took place in the 90’s with Anita Hill and her supervisor (Clarence Thomas). She was sexually harassed at work and endured a series of grueling hearings involving the incidents when her former supervisor Thomas decided to obtain appointment as a Supreme Court Justice.
Sometimes, I learn from movies. I did not know anything about this prior to watching the movie. After watching the movie, I went online and looked up “Anita Hill” the character Kerry Washington played to see her actual testimony. It was heart breaking. She was so brave.
This movie was hard for me to watch. The main character suffered from the same type of cancer as my mother.I found the story to be touching. Topics included siblings with different perspectives, dishonesty and questionable medical testing.
What bothered me most after watching this movie was the unsafe feeling in my heart. How much is being done to protect cancer patients and their families from experiencing similar situations as the Lacks’ family? Why is this okay?
HAVE I BEEN RAPED?
\ ˈrāp \
Definition of rape
(Entry 1 of 4)
1: unlawful sexual activity and usually sexual intercourse carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against a person's will or with a person who is beneath a certain age or incapable of valid consent because of mental illness, mental deficiency, intoxication, unconsciousness, or deception — compare SEXUAL ASSAULT, STATUTORY RAPE
2: an outrageous violation
3: an act or instance of robbing or despoiling or carrying away a person by force
Rape is one of the most uncomfortable subjects. Ignoring that it happens and not discussing it can’t help victims of rape. There are black and white examples of rape however thorough personal experience and discussion I have learned that a fake “grey area” has been created protecting many rapist in the U.S. around the world.
BLACK AND WHITE EXAMPLE
If you are walking home dragged into and alley and a man you do not know has sex with you against your will near a dumpster that is considered rape to anyone that hears the story.
FAKE GREY EXAMPLE
You just met a cute guy a few weeks ago. Thus far you have been on a date or two and text often. He invites you over and you arrive at 10 P.M. You decided to watch a Netflix crime show in his bed. He leans in to give you a kiss which you enjoy but then he attempts to pull your pants down and you say, “No, I am not ready for all of the that.” You have spent the past 11 months with no sexual activity in an attempt to spiritually cleanse. After you pull away, he pins your hand down, rips your pants off anyway and forces his was inside of you. Tears come down the side of your face. He keeps kissing you and when it is over he lays there and goes to sleep. You are stiff and frozen, you never fall asleep, you don’t leave but you don’t take the chance to kill him while he is sleeping either. You are upset but feel it is your fault because you came to his house willingly so that means you must have sent the wrong message.
First, Why doesn't no mean anything? Having to skip foreplay to shove it in because you know you don’t have consent but still desire to conquer the victim should be enough to know what happened was wrong. Right?
Many women are violated then take no action against their attacker when they know them. When did the factor of being ex lovers or potential lovers turn into a pass for having sex with a women whether she desires you are not?
Speaking first with my peers before looking at the numbers each women I spoke with about the subject had at least one experience that she felt was not acceptable. They felt powerless to stop it, filed no report and the attacker suffered no consequence.
I visited the national sexual violence resource center website to get up to date statistics on rape in relation to lovers these were my findings.
Sexual Assault in the United States
One in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives (a)
In the U.S., one in three women and one in six men experienced some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime (o)
51.1% of female victims of rape reported being raped by an intimate partner and 40.8% by an acquaintance (a)
52.4% of male victims report being raped by an acquaintance and 15.1% by a stranger (a)
Almost half (49.5%) of multiracial women and over 45% of American Indian/Alaska Native women were subjected to some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime (o)
91% of victims of rape and sexual assault are female, and nine percent are male (m)
In eight out of 10 cases of rape, the victim knew the perpetrator (j)
Eight percent of rapes occur while the victim is at work (c)
Cost & Impact of Sexual Assault
The lifetime cost of rape per victim is $122,461 (n)
Annually, rape costs the U.S. more than any other crime ($127 billion), followed by assault ($93 billion), murder ($71 billion), and drunk driving, including fatalities ($61 billion) (j)
81% of women and 35% of men report significant short- or long-term impacts such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (a)
Health care is 16% higher for women who were sexually abused as children and 36% higher for women who were physically and sexually abused as children (k)
If you would like to learn more about how to educate yourself or others on sexual violence. The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR) and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) aims to provide a variety of eLearning modules to educate and support you in your efforts to prevent and respond to sexual Violence.
CAN I BOOK A REAL SUPERHERO FOR A KIDS BIRTHDAY PARTY?
The short answer is YES! Hair Therapy member Tonya L. found BumbleBee for her son’s birthday party! As a woman always behind the scenes, I got the scoop from him myself. The costumes are self-made. Some other character he has are Iron Man and Batman. Contact information below:
Heroes For Hire, LLC
5 StAr Event HOSTING @ THE RiTz Carlton
Do you have your own company or a special event on the way? I had the pleasure of attending the Star Gala at the Ritz Carlton in Crystal City. If you opt to host your company event or special event here, this is what you can expect.
NEW PLACES TO EAT
RED MANGO : POTOMAC TOWN CENTER
New to our area, but not new to the world, Red Mango is here! Recommended to me by Hair Therapy member Dr. Groff and tried the same day. When I walked into Red Mango I was offered a SPK. “WTF is an SPK?” I thought to myself. I politely asked and was informed it Is Spinach, Pineapple juice and Kale. For years, I haven’t been able to try any of these green juices primarily because I don’t like kale that much and figured mushing it up would make it worse. This SPK was great. I actually ordered a life sized one. Offering smoothies, juices and a flex-atarian menu, Red Mango is here to give Tropical Smoothie a run for their money! And, they might win! With no added sugars to their drinks and the walk around the counter to hand it you service left a good first impression for me.
Food-wise, Issa tried the fanciest peanut butter and fruit sandwich and I tried the flatbread. He didn’t care for the fruits and requested the next time we get the sandwich with bananas inside. My flatbread was bland because I asked for it with pesto on the side. So after Googling exactly what is in pesto, I added it to my sandwich and it tasted much better.
OUTSIDERS PIZZA COMPANY
Detroit has a pizza style? Let’s blame the reason why I didn’t know that on me being from NY where Italian and Chicago are the only other styles I’ve ever heard about. I had to try this. The tag line DAMN GOOD really caught my eye. Found in Food Lion in Dillingham Square.
Cooked in 25 mins in the pan it was packed in and it was good! The fontina cheese… yum. The bread base wan’t like any home cooked pizza I have had before. I was afraid it would be weird but it was not. I am a bread lover. If you are on a diet or do not eat the crust on your regular pizza, skip this.
To learn more about the company click here. You may be in for another shocker on the website. They have Milawakee style pizza :)