Ticket to Paradise Movie Review

Not everyone is meant to live happily ever after. For every couple that spends their life together, there are many who have long since gone their separate ways.

In the new romantic comedy, Ticket to Paradise, David (George Clooney) and Georgia (Julia Roberts) hate each other with a passion. Divorced for years, the only thing they can agree on is their daughter Lily (Kaitlyn Dever).

A recent college graduate, Lily is on vacation to Bali with her bestie Wren (Billie Lourd) before the real world comes calling. When she meets Gede (Maxime Bouttier), their relationship goes from 0 to 60 in the blink of an eye. When Lily tells her parents that she is engaged, David and Georgia book a flight to the island. Their goal is to prevent their daughter from making the same mistake they did. The pilot behind the controls is Paul (Lucas Bravo), Georgia’s boyfriend.

This is a proper rom-com. Clooney and Roberts have a chemistry that is both undeniable and off the charts. I truly believed that their characters were once in love and are now in hate with one another. It wasn’t laugh-out-loud funny, but there were plenty of chuckles along the way.

Given what is going on in the world right now, I needed a break from reality. Ticket to Paradise is everything I could have asked for in that break.

Ticket to Paradise is presently in theaters.

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Never Stop Dreaming: The Life and Legacy of Shimon Peres Documentary Review

Dreams sustain us when everything seems dark. Without that light and that hope that dreaming provides, what we wish for will always seem far away.

The new Netflix documentary, Never Stop Dreaming: The Life and Legacy of Shimon Peres tell the story of the late Israeli Prime Minister, Shimon Peres. Born in a small shtetl in Eastern Europe in 1923, Peres and his family immigrated to what was then British-controlled Palestine in the early 1930s. When the modern state of Israel was created in 1948, he joined the newly formed government and over the decades, rose up and down in the ranking of leadership.

His story is both the story of Jews in the 20th century and Israel as we know it to be today. He faced political challenges that are universal and unique to the region. Above all, he believed that peace and co-existence with the nation’s Arab neighbors are not unattainable goals. Though they were not achieved within his lifetime, Peres opened the door for future generations of Israeli leadership to follow in his footsteps.

Narrated by George Clooney, this narrative is about a dreamer who was also realistic. Peres knew what he wanted the future to look like. At the same time, he understood that it would take work, courage, and being open to new possibilities to get the job done.

What I took away from the film was that dreaming is a good thing. But without getting your hands figuratively dirty, the image in your mind will remain just that. That inspiration crosses all boundaries and perhaps provides the lift we need to get off our buts and do what we need to do.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

Never Stop Dreaming: The Life and Legacy of Shimon Peres is available for streaming on Netflix.

Flashback Friday: One Fine Day (1996)

Life is hectic. We all have jobs, maybe kids, etc. Some days it feels like we blink and the day is over before we know it.

The 1996 romantic comedy One Fine Day introduces the audience to Melanie Parker (Michelle Pfeiffer) and Jack Taylor (George Clooney). To say that Melanie and Jack have a lot on their respective plates is an understatement. In addition to their busy careers, they are both divorced with young children. Jack’s daughter, Maggie (Mae Whitman) has a penchant for wandering away from the adults who are responsible for looking after her. Melanie’s son Sammy (Alex D. Linz) likes to put things up his nose.

One busy day in New York City will bring Melanie and Jack together in ways that they never expected and force them to see someone they might have missed entirely.

As rom-coms go, this one is not bad. It’s got all of the narrative elements of the genre, but is not entirely predictable or boring. Clooney and Pfeiffer have reasonable chemistry. What makes the film for me is the daily chaos that comes with being a single parent and having to balance a job with raising your child.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Ocean’s 8 Movie Review

Heist films are nearly as old as Hollywood itself. The question, is, does the film standout within the genre or is it just too unbelievable?

Ocean’s 8 is the next chapter in the Ocean’s movie series.

Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) is the sister of Danny Ocean (George Clooney), the protagonist of the previous Ocean’s films. When she gets out of jail, she gathers a crew together to steal a necklace worth millions of dollars at the Met Gala.

The crew includes Lou (Cate Blanchett), Amita (Mindy Kaling), Tammy (Sarah Paulson), Constance (Awkwafina), Nine Ball (Rihanna) and Rose Weil (Helena Bonham-Carter). The necklace is to be worn by Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway) at the Met Ball in New York City.

I loved this film. While it helps that the main cast is made up of a group of diverse female performers, it is the narrative that makes the film enjoyable. It is funny, well written, thrilling and worth a trip to the movie theater.

I recommend it.

Ocean’s 8 is presently in theaters. 

Flashback Friday- Intolerable Cruelty (2003)

Love is a subject that has been the topic of an endless number of stories. So is the lack of love.

In the 2003 Intolerable Cruelty, Miles (George Clooney) had made a name for himself as a cynical Beverly Hills divorce lawyer. His latest client is Marylin (Catherine Zeta-Jones), who is eager to divorce her cheating husband. After proving that her husband has cheated on her, Marylin expects to receive a fat divorce settlement. Instead, she gets nothing and quickly re-marries. But there is still the issue of the attraction to Miles, who is also fighting his attraction to Marylin.

Sometimes a movie suffers when they have a great cast, but the narrative is not all there. That is unfortunately the case with Intolerable Cruelty.
It tries to replicate the sophisticated romantic comedies of the past (i.e. Bringing Up Baby), but it misses the mark.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

The Critics Were Wrong (Maybe)- Batman & Robin (1997)

In every movie franchise, for every individual movie that succeeds, there is one that bombs horribly. In the Batman movie franchise, for every Batman Begins (2005) or Batman Forever (1995), there is a Batman & Robin (1997).

Gotham City is under a two pronged attack. Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman) and Dr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) are looking to control the city. Poison Ivy uses her feminine charms and poisons while Dr. Freeze just wants to see the city frozen over. Our heroes, who were able to successfully defeat Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones) and the Riddler (Jim Carrey) in Batman Forever, find that their relationship is at a crossroads. Can Batman (George Clooney), Robin (Chris O’Donnell) and Batgirl (Alicia Silverstone) defeat the villains and return Gotham City to peace and security?

Were the critics wrong? No.

I will give the production team points for trying. Sometimes when a franchise becomes too serious, a little lightening up is required. But this movie goes too far in trying to put the humor back into the story. It was just a little too over the top for me.

Do I recommend this movie? No.

 

Monuments Men Review- Monumental, Maybe

History is a surprising thing. Something when you think that all of the details have been shared, a new twist appears.

This is Monuments Men.  The movie is based on a book by Robert Edsel, about a group of art specialists who are dispatched to Europe just after the Invasion of Normandy during WWII. Their mission to find and save precious works of art that are in danger of being destroyed by the Nazis.

They are led by Frank Stokes (George Clooney). The motley band of anti heroes include James Granger (Matt Damon),  Bill Murray (Richard Campbell), Walter Garfield  (John Goodman),  Cate Blanchett (Claire Simone), Preston Savitz (Bob Balaban),  Jean Claude Clermont (Jean Dujardin), Sam Epstein (Dimitri Leonidas) and Donald Jeffries (Hugh Bonneville).

Among World War II movies, this is something new and different. It was little long, but I enjoyed the movie. The movie had a fish out of water quality to it, being that the characters that were part of the Monuments Men were not young men in their teens and early twenties, but men old enough to be their fathers.  Cate Blanchett as the only woman, whose character is critical in assisting our heroes in reaching their goals is in the beginning questionable on where her loyalties lie, but it becomes clear as the movie progresses on what she is looking to get out of this journey.

I enjoyed it, I just wish it was a little shorter.

 

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