Among children’s literature, the narrative of young people escaping from an adult with not so good intentions is a common one. The question is, does the specific narrative stand out or is it just simply forgettable?
In the 1995 television movie, Escape to Witch Mountain (a reboot of the 1975 movie of the same name), Anna and Danny (Elisabeth Moss and Erik von Detten) are an orphaned brother and sister duo with with psychic powers. When millionaire Edward Bolt (Robert Vaughn) take the children in, he appears to be the father they need. But Edward has other reasons for bringing Anna and Danny into his home, none of which are virtuous.
I think one’s perspective on this TV movie depends on one’s age. If the audience member is the same age of the characters, they might enjoy it. If the audience member is not of the same age of the characters, they might think that the story is a little too simplistic and the characters predictable.
When it comes to gangster films, female characters usually fall into one of two categories. If they are any sort of prominence within the narrative, they usually fall within the romantic or familial label: wife/girlfriend/mistress or the sister/mother/ daughter. If they are not prominent within the narrative, they are a nameless and faceless background character.
The new movie, The Kitchen attempts to change that. Based on the comic book of the same name, the film is set in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City in 1978. The Irish mob, known as the Westies, unofficially rules the neighborhood. When three of their members are sent to jail, their wives take their places within the mob organization.
Kathy Brennan (Melissa McCarthy) is a devoted wife and mother. Ruby O’Carroll (Tiffany Haddish) is treated like an outsider because she is an African-American woman married to a Caucasian man. Claire Walsh (Elisabeth Moss) has been knocked around by her husband more times than she can count.
Not only must the women contend with opposition from the men, they must also content with the fact they are breaking the law.
What I hate is that this movie has so much potential going for it. It has a great cast and a narrative, that if written well, could be compelling. Instead, this movie falls flat on it’s face.