Tag Archives: Blake Lively

Cinema Dispatch: A Simple Favor

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A Simple Favor and all the images you see in this review are owned by Lionsgate

Directed by Paul Feig

I only got the trailer for this movie once and I was honestly not sure if it was a joke.  Not in the sense that I thought the trailer was FAKE, but more that I wasn’t sure if there was supposed to be some kind of ‘gotcha’ in this; like with A Deadly Adoption explicitly being an April Fool’s joke despite the film itself being rather straight faced about the whole thing.  To me it looked like a Tyler Perry thriller along the lines of Temptation or Acrimony, and the fact that it was directed by noted comedy director Paul Feig seemed like an indication that this was in some way a satire of that kind of movie, but it never really clued me on the punchline.  I guess that’s as good a way as any to go into a movie as I know it exists but have absolutely no clear sense of expectations for it which gives it a chance to truly surprise me.  Will it surprise me in the right way and turn out to be either a fun metatextual examination of the genre or just another great entry in it?  Alternatively, it could be an utterly confused mess of a movie with no clear idea of what it wants to be, but in any case, let’s find out!!

The movie follows Stephanie Smothers (Anna Kendrick); a single mom who has more energy every single day than I could muster in a lifetime as she constantly finds something to do for her son or for his school despite it making all the other parents look bad.  One such parent is Emily Nelson (Blake Lively), though she has the advantage of not actually caring what other people think of her and actually finds something endearing about Stephanie after the two are forced to spend some time together as both of their sons are best friends.  She’s a bit caustic, maybe likes to use people a bit too much, and certainly has no problem deflecting all of her problems onto everyone else, but there’s something that Stephanie finds fascinating about her and they become best (if slightly unhealthy) friends!  That is until Emily calls Stephanie one day asking her to watch her son as she’s got an emergency at work and then just disappears.  No one knows where she went, not even her husband Sean (Henry Golding), and it seems that the authorities aren’t taking the case all that seriously.  I guess it’s up to Stephanie The Fixer to not only try to find Emily but to keep her family together in her absence which starts to make things a bit awkward between her and Sean and ESPECIALLY between her and Emily’s son.  Twists and turns are the name of the game here as more and more information is uncovered about Emily as well as Sean, which points to possible foul play or something equally sinister!  Will Stephanie uncover the truth of just who Emily is and will she like what she ends up finding out?  How much is she willing to put her neck out for this woman, and will she have to pay some serious consequences for her incessant snooping?  Most importantly, WHAT WILL THIS MEAN FOR HER COOKING BLOG!?

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“Welcome back to Cupcakes and Cold Cases!  A quick update; we haven’t located their head JUST yet, but we’re searching every nook and cranny!”

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Cinema Dispatch: The Shallows

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The Shallows and all the images you see in this review are owned by Columbia Pictures

Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra

Everyone wants a crack at that Jaws money, or I guess that Shark Week money now that THAT has become a cultural touchstone… for some reason, and this is no exception.  The big innovation this time though is to make it a bottle film which makes a certain amount of sense considering that any situation other than STRANDED AT SEA means it would be hard for a shark to get you.  It’s either that or you’ll have to stick them in a tornado, and that shit got old REALLY quickly.  Does this manage to be a taut and exciting thriller as Blake Lively tries to outsmart a shark, or is this just a low budget imitator of much better films?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows Nancy (Blake Lively) who’s gone to Mexico to find a beach that her mother visited long ago, and the reason she’s there in the first place is to work through some problems by surfing them away.  Unfortunately, a whale had died close to the beach which has attracted a shark that then proceeds to attack Nancy while she’s catching waves alone.  She survives the attack and manages to climb her way onto a nearby rock, but she’s got no phone, she’s got a huge bite mark in her leg, and the rock will sink back under the water once it’s High Tide.  Can Nancy manage to find a way back to the shore without getting eaten?  Will someone come by to rescue her before the sea rises?  What is this shark’s problem!?

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“It’s eating them.  And then it’s gonna eat me!  OH MY GOOOOOOOOOOOODD!!”

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