Tag Archives: Common

Cinema Dispatch: Girls Trip

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Girls Trip and all the images you see in this review are owned by Universal Pictures

Directed by Malcolm D Lee

I am so not looking forward to this one.  They just kept playing that trailer over and OVER again in front of everything I saw, and I never once found it funny; especially that joke (and I use the term loosely) about infectious diseases NOT being spread through the rectum.  Are we supposed to laugh because it’s ignorant?  I don’t know, but all that said it’s got a decent enough looking cast and trailers don’t ALWAYS accurately reflect the finished product.  Maybe there’s a chance this will turn out fine!  That’s possible, right!?  Well let’s find out!!

The movie is about four friends who were besties in college, but then life happened and they started to drift away as they found love, careers, and other things that kept them busy.  We’ve got Ryan Pierce (Regina Hall) who’s a self-help celebrity married to some dude named Stewart (Mike Colter), Lisa Cooper (Jada Pinkett Smith) who’s a divorcee as well as a helicopter mom, Sasha Franklin (Queen Latifah) who was going to be a great journalist but is stuck writing about celebrity gossip on her blog, Dina (Tiffany Haddish) who’s… well THE WILD CARD I guess.  Anyway, the titular trip of the movie happens when Ryan has an opportunity to get a TV show and is meeting up with the TV executives in New Orleans while she’s ALSO giving a speech at a women’s conference of some kind; both of which by the way are happening over the same weekend as the Essence Music Festival.  Given this once in a lifetime opportunity, she decides to call up her friends and invite them for a wild weekend which will surely be filled with shenanigans and wine coolers!  Of course, things don’t go as planned as all four of them have issues that bubble up to the surface during the trip and Ryan is at risk of losing that TV show deal if things get too far out of hand.  Can Ryan keep things under control between her wild friends and even her husband long enough to get what she’s always wanted?  Will Sasha betray her best friend once she gets her hands on some juicy gossip about her and her love life?  Will the other two resolve… whatever story arcs THEY have!?

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A selfie stick is the PERFECT accessory for any occasion… IN BED!!

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Cinema Dispatch: John Wick: Chapter 2

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John Wick: Chapter 2 and all the images you see in this review are owned by Summit Entertainment

Directed by Chad Stahelski

WOO!!!  JOHN WICK IS BACK!!  Now I wasn’t as over the moon as some people were with that first movie (), but I am never the less EXTREMELY excited to see what Keanu Reeves has up his sleeve in the sequel!  True, sequels to unexpected hits are almost universally terrible (*cough* Highlander 2, The Hangover 2, Taken 2 *cough*), but there’s not a whole lot of ways to screw up a formula like this; especially when what made it work the first time around was well choreographed and expertly shot action scenes; two things that Keanu Reeves and the returning director seem to prize above all else.  Can this manage to be as exceptional as the man himself and ACTUALLY be a good sequel, or has the air gone out of this series the same way the Matrix did when we got ITS sequels?  Let’s find out!!

The movie picks up RIGHT where the last one left off, namely with John Wick (Keanu Reeves) finishing off what remains of the Russian mob (his injuries have healed rather nicely considering how close he was to dying at the end of the last film) and getting his car back.  Of course, because of how much noise he made doing so, he gets a visit from a former associate who wants him to do a favor despite his insistence that he’s FINALLY going to retire.  This turns out to be a VERY bad move as the associate Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio) then blows up his fucking house because of this.  Doesn’t kill the dog though!  No, he makes to the end!  Anyway, apparently Santino has a Marker with John which supposedly makes all of this make sense (spoiler alert: it doesn’t) as a Marker is essentially a blood oath where one party owes the other a one-time request that they MUST do or else… I don’t know, they die?  I mean, good luck finding someone to kill John Wick!  Hell, if that was even an option, why don’t you send THAT person to do the job for you!?  Well no one was asking for my opinion when they were writing this, so John takes the job, executes his target, and THAT’S when things go to hell as the target’s bodyguard Cassian (Common) was  an old friend but now a SWORN MORTAL ENEMY, and Santino betrays John and tries to have him killed.  I totally didn’t see that coming, especially when HIS bodyguard Ares is played by Ruby Rose and was giving John dirty looks throughout the first act (angry dirty; not sexy dirty).  So now he’s got Cassian on his ass, Santino trying to kill him, and oh yeah A SHIT TON OF OTHER ASSASSINS as Santino has ALSO put a hit on him just for good measure.  Will John be able to kill his way to Santino and finally get his retirement once and for all?  Well… PROBABLY considering how good he is at head shots, but does Santino plan to keep John JUST out of arm’s reach?  Who can John trust now that there’s a huge bounty on his head and hit men are coming out the wood work for his very valuable head?   How many suits does this guy go through on a daily basis!?

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Trick question.  Anything John touches is automatically bulletproof.

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Cinema Dispatch: Barbershop: The Next Cut

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Barbershop: The Next Cut and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures

Directed by Malcolm D Lee

I tend not to review movies if I haven’t seen the original films first; even if the connection between them is tenuous at best.  Mostly it’s an excuse to keep my own sanity (*cough* Allegiant *cough*) but I think it’s fair to say that those who go see sequels without seeing the previous films are gonna be hard pressed to review it in the context of the series as well as in the context of itself as a singular film.  That said, I made an exception here; primarily because this is one of those years later sequels which means they’ll likely have a refresher of sorts at the beginning to catch everyone up to speed, and also because I thought the trailers looked pretty good with a solid cast and genuinely funny moments; That and the added bonus of seeing Nikki Minaj onscreen.  ANYWAY!  Does this manage to bring in a new audience while also pleasing the longtime fans of the series, or will this be a disaster borne from the cast and crew’s desire to just cash in on their previous success?  Let’s find out!!

The movie primarily follows the misadventures of Calvin (Ice Cube) who runs a joint barber shop/beauty shop where many of his friends work, including his wife Angie (Regina Hall).  Going to work every day with the people you love, shooting the shit, cutting hair; sounds like the perfect life, right?  Well it WOULD be if the shop wasn’t right smack dab in the middle of one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Chicago!  Calvin has to worry about gangsters shooting guns outside the shop, customers shooting them INSIDE the shop, and even his own son Jalen (Michael Rainey Jr) get suckered and seduced into the thug life.  Can this little barber shop prove to be the catalyst for real change in the neighborhood once they decide to take direct action?  Will Calvin sell the shop so that he and his family can get out of the bad neighborhood while leaving all his friends twisting in the wind?  Is Cedric the Entertainer going to live up to his name for once!?

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“What all this?  Where the hell am I!?”     “Relax.  You’re in a good movie.”     “… Say what?”     “YOU’RE IN A GOOD MOVIE!!”     Okay, you’re saying words, but they just sound all jumbled together and don’t make any sense.”

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