Tag Archives: John Lithgow

Bombshell Movie Review

Since the beginning of human history, sexual assault and sexual harassment has been the norm. Especially by powerful men who use sex as a tool against female subordinates or women who lack power. In our era, the balance is starting to tip against the men who use sex as a weapon, but not without the brave women who have come forward.

The new movie, Bombshell, tells the story of Fox News sexual harassment scandal from the perspective of the women who broke the scandal and stopped the harassment in it’s tracks. Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron) and Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) are the headliners. Kayla Pospisil (Margot Robbie) is the newbie. Rumors of sexual indiscretions against the female staff by the late Roger Ailes (John Lithgow) have been floating around for years, but have not been verified.

The women must make a choice. Do they speak up and lose their jobs? Or do they stay silent and let the toxic atmosphere remain?

This movie is incredibly timely and at times, incredibly uncomfortable. But, I suppose, that is point of this film. Lithgow, as Ailes, is creepy, but not overtly so and not in the first few minutes of the audience meeting him. It is that initial lack of creepiness that makes the audience think that maybe he is not so bad.

If there is anyone to give kudos to, it is the makeup and hair teams. At first glance, one would not know the difference between the really Megyn Kelly and Charlize Theron in character. The resemblance is uncanny.

But, if this film has one flaw, it is that the slow burn is too slow. Anyone who watches the news knows how the movie ends. But it takes a little too much time for the filmmakers to get to that point.

Do I recommend it? I am leaning towards yes.

Bombshell is presently in theaters.

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Filed under Feminism, Movie Review, Movies, National News, Television

Pitch Perfect 3 Movie Review

It used to be that adults in middle age experienced a mid-life crisis. The new crisis experienced by the younger generation is called the Quarter-life crisis.

This is the basic premise for Pitch Perfect 3. It’s been three years since the audience has seen the Barden Bellas. Adulting has not come easy for them, to say the least. The Bella’s unofficial leader, Beca (Anna Kendrick) is working for a record label, but it seems that the career she imagined in college does not fit her reality. At a Bella’s reunion, Audrey (Anna Camp) informs the girls that she can get them onto a USO tour. When the girls arrive at their first stop, they discover that the tour is actually a competition. The winner of the competition will be the opening act for DJ Khaled. Not only are the Bellas going against acts who use instruments, there is also a little issue with Fat Amy’s (Rebel Wilson) previously unknown father, played by John Lithgow.

Can the Barden Bellas win the competition or are they stuck  in the past?

 

Directed by Trish Sie, in terms of the narrative, it is the weakest of the films in the franchise. However, there is an undercurrent of girl power and diversity that helps to make up for the parts of the narrative that needs work. The overall message of the film, which I truly appreciate is that family, whether by blood or emotional connection is forever and it is ok to move on with our lives, if we have the courage to.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Flashback Friday-1980’s Edition-Parents Just Don’t Understand-Footloose and Ferris Buellers Day Off

In 1988, Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff broke into the music scene with Parents Just Don’t Understand. Which is the theme of this Flashback Friday post.

Footloose (1984)

Ren (Kevin Bacon) has moved from Chicago to small town America. Rock music and dancing have been banned. While the town preacher, Rev Shaw Moore (John Lithgow) continues to preach against rock music and dancing, his teenage daughter Ariel (Lori Singer) is rebelling against her father and constrictions placed on her.  With prom coming up quick, Ren and his classmates have to stand up for themselves against the adults in town in favor of the prom they desperately desire.

This movie is an out and out classic. It’s the perfect teenage rebellion movie, coupled with one of the best soundtracks ever. There was a reboot in 2011, but it doesn’t quite stand up to the original.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) does not want to go school today. He devises a plan to avoid his parents and the school principal, Mr. Rooney (Jeffrey Jones), who is eager to catch Ferris in the act of cutting class. With his girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara) and his best friend Cameron (Alan Ruck), they head to Chicago for a day of fun and adventure.

This is a 1980’s John Hughes directed teenage movie. It is nearly 30 years old and as perfect a teenage movie as it was when it premiered in 1986.  And did I mentioned that the parade scene where Ferris sings Twist and Shout is awesome?

I recommend both movies.

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Throwback Thursday-Shrek

Fairy tale male leads are often a certain type. Tall, dark, handsome, charming and maybe a little flawed, just to make him interesting. He is the one who not only rescues the princess, but also marries her. Their happily ever after and ride into the sunset is predictable from the word go.

Shrek (2001) smashed this stereotype, forever altering the way we see the male lead character in fairy tales.

Shrek (Mike Myers) is an ogre. He is rude, smelly, keeps to himself and not the image that a female would conjure up when she thinks of Prince Charming.  Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow) starts to encroach on Shrek’s swamp. Shrek makes a deal with Lord Farquaad to rescue his intended, Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) and bring her back to his kingdom. If Shrek agrees and bring bring the princess, he will be left in peace for the rest of his days. Traveling with Shrek is Donkey (Eddie Murphy), a talking ass who is part sarcasm, part performer and part wise old man.

Did Shrek break the mold for fairy tales? No. Did the story have the predictable, typical happy ending? Of course.  But what this movie does brilliantly is to take the stereotypes of genre, flip it on the head and skewer in a way that is pure genius. The twist in this story (which I will not share, in case anyone has not seen this movie), certainly goes a long way in redeeming the standard ending.

Do I recommend this movie? Sure. Do I recommend the sequels? Let me put it this way. Outside of Star Wars, Star Trek and  a handful of the most recent superhero movies, most movies that have multiple sequels begin to loose their steam after a while. The sequels that followed this movie are among the movie sequels that will never be as good as the first.

 

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