Movie Reviews

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Good Remake of Birth of a Nation

Re-Birth of a Nation Allows Director,

Writer-Actor Nate Parker to Control Film

By Sandra Olmsted

Say Birth of a Nation and anyone who has had a film studies class will think D.W. Griffith ’s racist film that was also Hollywood’s first block buster and used innovative filmmaking techniques. Well, writer, director, and star Nate Parker is turning that thinking on its head by appropriating the title of Griffith’s film.

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Movie Review:

Bridget Jones’ Baby: Just For Fun                              

  by Sandra Olmsted

Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger), the symbolic modern woman for many, returns with a new adventure, this time in motherhood, as only Bridget Jones and Zellweger can do it. A perennial screw up and single girl, Bridget, now 43, still embodies the experience of being a woman pulled snagged, and shagged as it is here, between traditional roles and the independence and responsibilities of modernity.    The story picks up with Bridget as an established television producer who soon attends a memorial for old flame Daniel (Hugh Grant), who has gone missing in South America i.e. the wilds of not coming back for this third installment in the franchise. The memorial service sets the stage for Bridget’s snarky observations, first whispered to friends and then, at the encouragement of Daniel’s mother, Bridget’s gift for not getting what to say exactly polite but often correct kicks in with a vengeance, hilariously so. She was probably unnerved, as she so easily is, by the appearance of another old flame, Mark (Colin Firth), and his wife at the memorial.      Encouraged to celebrate her birthday with a weekend at a music festival by friend and co-worker Jude (Shirley Henderson), Bridget shows her stuck-in-the-past beliefs when she comes dressed an all-white outfit to the muddy field (this is rainy Old England) of apparently identical yurts. The white outfit and all-too-similar yurts lead to not only a meet cute but a delicious impromptu shag with Jack (Patrick Dempsey), a rather charming and very accommodating American, who it turns out is an online dating guru.    A week later at a christening, Bridget runs into one time sweetheart Mark, who is now practically divorced. Then Bridget and Mark rekindle their difficult, but deeply-held, love for one night of passion. In the morning, Mark finds only an empty bed and a note from Bridget explaining she can’t have a relationship with him again because they tend to disappoint each other too much and too often. Meanwhile, Bridget has other problems, namely the ultra-hipster new boss (Kate O’Flynn) at the television station. Being required to make her show shallow and hip rubs Bridget and Jude the wrong way, but Bridget soon discovers she really needs her job.    Emma Thompson who steals the scene after scene as Dr. Rawlings, Bridget’s very perceptive gynecologist. The scene was delightful where Zellweger and Thompson negotiate the problems of Bridget’s problematic paternity situation and “geriatric” pregnancy. Zellweger and Thompson have good chemistry as sparring and later cooperating characters.    Firth and Dempsey are equally good as heartthrobs, and Henderson also makes an excellent best friend and conspirator for Zellweger. The well-timed comic acting and the talented performers, include the many ones reprising roles from the two earlier installments, make the small problems with the script almost unnoticeable. Director Sharon Maguire, who directed the 2001 original, brings back the whimsy and power of Bridget’s everywoman experience negotiating womanhood in the twentieth and now twenty-first centuries.    Because Bridget Jones’ Baby is not an adaptation of Helen Fielding’s 2013 Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, the third novel in her Bridget Jones series, perhaps there are more adventures ahead for Bridget and her fans. The original adaptation, Bridget Jones’ Diary, is well worth revisiting.                Although Bridget Jones’ Baby is clearly aimed at the female audiences, Maguire includes plenty of gags that capture the problems of impending fatherhood for males, especially because Bridget has trouble telling Mark and Jack that she doesn’t know which is the father and won’t until the baby is born. Neither will the audiences unless unscrupulous reviewers spill the beans.    Because Bridget Jones’ Baby is not an adaptation of Helen Fielding’s 2013 Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, the third novel in her Bridget Jones series, perhaps there are more adventures ahead for Bridget and her fans    Bridget Jones’ Baby is rated R for language, sex references, and some nudity and is definitely an adult comedy and does require suspending disbelief, but let go and just have fun as Bridget and company poke fun at getting older and dealing with the new hip. Bridget Jones’ Baby, a Miramax release, runs a quickly-paced, fun and funny, 122 minutes, and is in theaters now.      Bridget Jones is still wacky with Renee Zellweger revising the role with Colin Firth and a new man in her life Patrick Dempsey in Bridget Jones Baby now playing area theaters

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New Western Hell or High Water in Theatres

Hell or High Water: The

Return of the Western

By Sandra Olmsted

Hell or High Water is a tongue-in-cheek, thrillingly fun, darkly comic, and heart-felt gallop through the Western genre. Set in the familiar territory of sun-baked Texas, director David Mackenzie’s Neo-Western has the look and feel of a John Ford Western, pays homage to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), and owes a bit to Bonnie and Clyde (1967).

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End of Summer Movie Reviews

Dog Days of Summer Movie Recap

by Sandra Olmsted

Although, according to the calendar and the path of the sun, summer continues until Sept. 21, the return of the students to classrooms and the days getting shorter mean that another summer is waning. Happily there are lots of movies in theaters now, and here is a recap of recent films.

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Up and Coming Movies

Mid-Summer’s Movie Recap;

Some Entertaining Films in Theaters Now!

By Sandra Olmsted

Ghostbusters (2016)

Years ago, Dr. Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig), now an untenured Columbia University professor, and her former best friend, Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy), wrote a book proving ghosts exist. When Abby begins selling the book online to fund her continuing the research into the paranormal, Erin could lose her bid for tenure and goes to find Abby.

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Moview Reviews

The Dog Days of Summer: 3

Films to Relief the Doldrums

Secret Life of Pets

By Sandra Olmsted

In the case of Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (Fox release), Mike (Adam Devine) and Dave (Zac Efron) are the high-fiving, chaos-causing dawgs of the Stangle family. At every family gathering, especially weddings, the brothers wreck the celebration, destroy things, and cause injuries. Now, they must bring nice girls as dates to their only sister’s Hawaiian wedding or stay home.

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