Cinema Dispatch: Fatal Affair

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Fatal Affair and all the images you see in this review are owned by Netflix

Directed by Peter Sullivan

I’ve seen my fair share of Black Romance Thrillers in my time, even Tyler Perry’s… interesting take on the genre, and if nothing else they tend to be ENGAGING if not always GOOD.  Well… maybe not The Perfect Guy which I recall being rather dull on top of being not especially well made, but in any case, as soon as I learned that Netflix was releasing one of these under a suspect title (if The Asylum hasn’t already made a knock-off thrill with this same name, I will be VERY disappointed) and starring Omar Epps, I was there ready to see it unfold!  Heck, one of my biggest regrets from last year is that his theatrical film Traffik came and went before I got a chance to see it, so perhaps this is my chance to redeem myself and give this man the credit he so rightfully deserves!  Does Netflix have yet another hit to brag about in this era where streaming is king, or is this just another mediocre outing that’s sole purpose is to bolster Netflix’s catalog?  Let’s find out!!

The life of Ellie Warren (Nia Long) has turned a corner and there’s nothing but blue skies ahead!  Her husband (Stephen Bishop) was hurt recently but is finally recovering, they got the big beautiful beach house they’ve always wanted, and as soon as this big case is over at the law firm, she’s going to start her own practice so she can finally be a literal Girl Boss instead of just being the figurative one at the office!  Heck, things get even better when an old college friend of hers named David Hammond (Omar Epps) is hired by the law firm and they get to catch up on old times!  Boy, it’s been a while, hasn’t it?  It’s like a whole lot of life has slipped away between her carefree college days and her grown-up life where her own daughter (Aubrey Cleland) is the one in college now.  In fact, things are getting kind of stale, aren’t they; especially with her husband who’s kind of a mope ever since the accident.  Maybe David has something to offer Ellie… IS WHAT I WOULD BE SAYING IF SHE WASN’T A PERSON OF SUCH HIGH VIRTUE!!  Sure, she makes out with him at a dance club, but she regrets it immediately and cuts all contact with David just to make it clear that she’s NOT INTERESTED!  That’s not good enough for David though who’s got a chip on his shoulder and a degree in Information Security, so for the next few weeks, he makes her life a living hell; calling her constantly, finding ways to ingratiate himself into her social circle, and even making fake screenshots of text conversations that apparently everyone would be willing to believe in a heartbeat.  Will Ellie be able to escape from the tightening grip of David’s obsession?  Why has he chosen now to make his big move on her, and is there something in his past that’s even darker than what we’re seeing now?  Who wants to bet this dude’s Twitter feed has more red flags than a MGTOW forum?

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“When you look at me, what do you see?”     “A collection of molecules arranged in such a way that you arbitrary get more rights than I do as a man.”     “Uh…huh.”     “Want to subscribe to my YouTube channel?”     “I’m gonna pass on that.”

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Cinema Dispatch: A Madea Family Funeral

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A Madea Family Funeral and all the images you see in this review are owned by Lionsgate

Directed by Tyler Perry

It’s Perry time once again and I COULDN’T BE HAPPIER!!  Oh who am I kidding!?  I cannot keep up the charade any longer!  I am definitely not looking forward to this guy trying to make a movie with nothing more than a living room, a couple costumes, and an absolute disdain for the art of editing.  I’ve had to sit through Boo 1 AND Boo 2 already!  You think I’m proud of that!?  Now we’ve got this movie that he’s claiming will be the last time we see Madea (as bad as these are I STILL want to see a Madea movie where she takes on the alt right and punches Richard Spencer in the face) which would hopefully means it’s a culmination of everything he’s learned as a filmmakers after all these years, but I think we all know better than to assume he’s thought that far ahead.  Can Tyler Perry send off his signature character with an emotionally satisfying swan song, or is this just like ALL the others which… actually would still be pretty fitting all things considered?  Let’s find out!!

Madea, Joe, Hattie, and Aunt Bam (Tyler Perry, Tyler Perry, Patrice Lovely, and Cassi Davis) are doing their own thing at Brian’s house (Tyler Perry again) but what’s ACTUALLY going on is that one of  Madea’s numerous relatives is having an anniversary party that all the grown kids on that side of the family are preparing for.  We’ve got the couple of the hour Anthony and Vianne (Derek Morgan and Jen Harper), their naïve yet good hearted son Jessie with his girlfriend Renee (Rome Flynn and Quin Walters), their older son AJ who’s a Tyler Perry stock villain along with his rich wife Gia (Courtney Burrell and Aeriél Miranda), and their daughter Sylvia with her husband Will (Ciera Payton and David Otunga) who are… just kinda there.  Oh, and also Uncle Heathrow (Tyler Perry AGAIN) who’s the WACKY relative who’s obnoxiously sexist humor everyone just kind of puts up with.  Anyway, while the party is getting ready and Madea and co are on their way, someone dies.  I’m not gonna spoil who, but what this means is that everyone’s gotta plan for a funeral now which involves Madea taking charge and being SUPER WACKY about it while everyone else who’s actually important to the story start to have their secrets bubble to the surface which could tear this entire family apart.  Can Madea pull off a successful funeral with only a minimal amount of mishaps in horror of the recently deceased?  What is everyone in this family hiding, and just how much popcorn should we get to watch it unfold?  Has any else noticed that there’s ALWAYS drama whenever Madea comes around?  It’s like whenever Jessica Fletcher visits a place and someone JUST SO HAPPENS to get murdered, only one of them doesn’t do a darn thing to actually help the situation.

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“Look here!  I’ve got me some drama bombs and I’m not afraid to use them!  I will ruin each one of your lives and make forty million dollars filming it!  DO YOU HEAR ME!?”

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