Tag Archives: Lamorne Morris

Cinema Dispatch: Yesterday

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

Directed by Danny Boyle

This may be a movie about music from fifty years ago, yet the premise is even older than that as the idea of a hapless someone getting a shortcut to fame and fortune is one of the most basic cornerstones of literature.  When you take that premise and make it about something other than say measurable wealth and status (i.e. Aladdin) to instead focus on some sort of perceived skill or art form (i.e. music), you can run into a few issues; namely that you have to sell the audience on the perceived greatness of something that is rather subjective.  You either have to play into the impossibility of someone ACTUALLY making the greatest music ever like with Tenacious D’s Tribute or even Fish Story, or your stuck trying to write it yourself and just ignore the disconnect (*cough* Harsh Mistress *cough*).  The workaround for all that though is what we’ve got here which is a jukebox musical of sorts where the songs being played are widely considered (at least somewhat) to be the greatest of all time, and in this era where Musical Biopics are now in vogue, it was probably the best way for yet another Beatles tribute to stand out among the crowd.  So then!  Does this movie manage to capture the magic of that one band from Liverpool, or will this be a bigger stain on their legacy than Magical Mystery Tour THE MOVIE?  Let’s find out!!

Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) is the typical struggling artist who spends his time stocking store shelves between gigs that no one bothers to see.  His manager and best friend Ellie (Lily James) still believes in him and his amazing songwriting skills, but if it hasn’t happened yet then it probably isn’t going to happen and so he decides that now is the time to hang it up.  The universe on the other hand has other plans for him because as he’s riding home on his bike that night, there’s a global power outage that no one ever finds an explanation for but did lead to Jack getting hit with a bus; breaking his guitar, his front teeth, and his spirit even more.  After a lengthy recovery though, he soon realizes that no one remembers who The Beatles or any of their amazing songs.  You know, songs like Yesterday, A Hard Day’s Night, and… others.  Okay, so there were A LOT of songs, but Jack can surely remember enough of them to finally have a chance to be the musical star he’s always wanted to be!  I mean these songs are culturally important and should exist in some form for the betterment of mankind, so Jack is practically doing a public service here, right!?  So that’s what Jack does as he starts recording classic tracks like I Want to Hold Your Hand and Let it Be (seemingly unconcerned with the arc the band took in their music) as well as songs like Back in the USSR which sounds a bit retro now, but still jams!  It takes a bit of time, but he does eventually start to get a following and it seems like all that success is just around the corner if he can just stick it out through the hardships and machinations of the music industry, but with so much changing so quickly and his loved ones seeming to get further and further away from him, is this truly what Jack wants now?  On top of that, if HE remembers who The Beatles are then there has to be other’s out there too, right?  Can he keep up the lies before this house of cards comes crumbling down, or will everyone be cool with it since no one knows who the fudge John Paul George and Ringo are anyway?  Most importantly, is he gonna get a mediocre Hanna-Barbera cartoon as well!?

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“Thank you everyone, and make sure to watch my web series!  We are sponsored by Audible!!”

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Cinema Dispatch: Game Night

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Game Night and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures

Directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein

It’s not easy trying to release a movie in the wake of an overwhelming success like Black Panther or really ANY Disney movie nowadays, and the idea of Counter Programming (releasing a movie that targets an audience vastly different from whatever else is in theaters) is becoming an increasingly less viable route to go when success is as massive as these year round tent poles have become.  With that said, it’s ALSO a common time to dump movies that the studio has little faith in as wasting a BETTER time slot in the year is the year would only make things that much worse for them.  For me, seeing this trailer quite frequently in the last month or so, it looks to fall into the latter as the premise of the film and the gags they showed us wasn’t inspiring much hope in me that this was going to be much of a comedy classic, but I have been wrong before about movies and I’m like the ONLY guy who’s like Billy Magnussen in everything I’ve seen him in; and that’s including Birth of the Dragon!  Does this action comedy bring the same fun and excitement you always hope to have whenever you have your own game night, or is this as exciting as playing Monopoly for two hours past the point everyone stopped caring?  Let’s find out!!

Max and Anne (Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams) are the picture perfect mid-thirties couple that LOVES playing board games on their weekly Game Night along with their friends Kevin and Michelle (Lamorne Morris and Kylie Bunbury) as well as good ol’ Ryan (Billy Magnussen) who frequently brings new dates to Game Name with the latest being Sarah (Sharon Horgan) .  OH, and uh… they used to invite the neighbor Gary (Jesse Plemons) over to play with them, but no one likes to talk about Gary; especially after the divorce.  ANYWAY, Game Night is the one thing that they all look forward to every week, but things start to run afoul this time around as Max’s brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler) shows up out of the blue with his badass car and super smooth swagger to take over Game Night and make it an evening they will NEVER forget; something that gets Max rather pissy right off the bat.  Oh, you know how brother are!  Always trying to one up each other even when it comes to something as trivial as Trivial Pursuit!  Brooks invites everyone over to his house to play one of those INTERACTIVE MURDER MYSTERY deals with actors pretending to be cops and robbers, but the party is crashed by ACTUAL robbers right off the bat; something that they REALLY should have realized was the case even if they were told this was going to be a big game.  They don’t realize that these are REAL crooks invading the party and kidnapping Brooks though, but they will soon enough as they find out more and more about Brooks and just how much trouble he’s really in.  Can Max, Anne, and their best buddies find a way to save Brooks before he gets two in the head?  What will Max learn about his brother during this absurd quest, and what will he learn about… HIMSELF!?  Anyone else feel like playing a game right now?  King of Tokyo?  Drop Mix?  Yu-Gi-Oh?

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“Who wants to play… PAR-CHEESE-I!?”     “Max, if you tell that joke ONE more time, I will personally shove this knife right through your eye socket.”     “Well then… I hope that after doing that… you’d feel SORRY!”

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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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