Tag Archives: Kimberly Elise

ALMOST CHRISTMAS (2016): The Things I Liked…

Almost Christmas (2016), Mo'Nique, D.C. Young Fly
Almost Christmas (2016), Mo’Nique, D.C. Young Fly

At the heart of David E. Talbert’s Almost Christmas is a dysfunctional family who haven’t all fully dealt with the recent passing of their mother.

Starring Mo’Nique, Gabrielle Union, Kimberly Elise, Danny Glover and more, the dysfunction, laughter and mayhem begins when the family comes together for their first thanksgiving without their matriarch.

I wouldn’t call Almost Christmas a terrible movie but I don’t think it’s great either. As well as having some memorable scenes and lines, the film also has a few character story executions that I, as an avid moviegoer have seen far too many times before. Therefore, the complete lack of refreshing newness in these moments just makes them seem like a less than great filler to bulk up the movie, instead of all that they could have been.

The answer to the question of what the best thing about Almost Christmas is is simple; Mo’Nique. Her character is fun and arguably has the best lines. My favourite of her lines being the one that starts with ‘You, you dumb…!’ Talk about skilled delivery and excellent comic timing!

There’s also the great scene at the dinner table just before the above line when the penny starts to slowly drop leading up to everyone finally getting to meet ‘grandma Cheryl’.

Almost Christmas is a movie you watch if you’re curious enough. You will remember the great scenes but you may sense that it could have been better. I  like how the movie reminded me of something I wish everyone would remember always – and that’s the fact that not everybody’s ‘happily ever after’ looks the same – nor should it.

Happy Film Loving

G

JOHN Q (2002): The Things I Liked…

JOHN Q (2002), Denzel Washington
JOHN Q (2002), Denzel Washington

A memorable Denzel Washington movie, John Q is a film about the love a father has for his young son and the resultant lengths he will go to, in the struggle to keep his son alive when his health suddenly deteriorates.

Set against the backdrop of the united states’ less than adequate healthcare system, the unfortunate predicament the protagonist finds himself in is one many millions of Americans dread and can likely empathise with.

The light shed on the very relevant social issues through the excellent performances by Washington, Kimberly Elise, Robert Duval and James Woods’ are my favourite things about John Q. I was glad to learn so much as I enjoyed the dramatics.

JOHN Q (2002), James Woods
JOHN Q (2002), James Woods

One of the things that did stand out in the movie, but not for a good reason is the musical score. I found it more distracting than complimentary to the drama and action. Particularly in the first third / half of the film.

John Q is directed by Nick Cassavetes and though it’s not a perfect movie, I still think it’s worth seeing for Denzel’s performance and a little education.

Every time I finish watching a good Denzel movie, I remember that I really need to re-watch one of his very best, 2001’s Training Day (2001).

Happy Film Loving

G

ALMOST CHRISTMAS (2016): New Trailer From Gabrielle Union, Romany Malco, Omar Epps & Kimberly Elise

Almost Christmas (2016), Romany Malco, Danny Glover, kimberly Elise, Gabrielle Union, Mo'Nique, Nicole Ari Parker
Almost Christmas (2016), Romany Malco, Danny Glover, kimberly Elise, Gabrielle Union, Mo’Nique, Nicole Ari Parker

Read my spoiler-free movie review of Almost Christmas (2016).


It’s definitely too early for ‘seasons greetings’ but apparently it’s the right time for a Christmas/Thanksgiving movie trailer.

Almost Christmas is the latest film directed by David E. Talbert and it stars Gabrielle Union, Kimberly Elise, Mo’Nique and Danny Glover, among others. The movie is a comedy that centres  around a large dysfunctional family and their first Thanksgiving after their mother passes…

The word dysfunctional is what got my attention. The level of outrageousness present in this trailer also appeals.

I just hope that I’m not as disappointed as I was with Talbert’s previous release, Baggage Claim (2013). The trailer for that movie wasn’t good, so I should have known. But this one does look promising.

Other key cast includes J.B. Smoove, Nicole Ari Parker, Romany Malco, Omar Epps and Jessie Usher.

Almost Christmas Release Dates: November 11th, 2016 (US); November 25th (UK)…

Happy Film Loving 🙂

G

DOPE (2015): For The Cleverness, Comedy, Music & Style

Dope (2015), Kiersey Clemons, Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori
Dope (2015), Kiersey Clemons, Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori

Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori and Kiersey Clemons play the three main characters of rick Famuyiwa’s letest, Dope. Blake Anderson, Kimberly Elise, rapper, A$ap Rocky, Zoe Kravitz and De’aundre Bonds make up some of the key supporting cast.

I’ve watched several of writer/ director Rick Famuyiwa’s films in the past. One of them being The Wood (1999); a movie similar to Dope in the way that it’s a comedy/ drama that tells the story of high school friends growing up in one of America’s toughest neighbourhoods, Inglewood, California.

The beauty with Dope is in the complexity and cleverness of the story, the vibrant cinematography and the way Famuyiwa’s film feels like a celebration of the smarts of the high school geek.

Considering where the film takes place, naturally there are some tense and hair raising moments. Moments that will have everyone that has never lived in a similar neighbourhood counting their lucky stars.

Dope (2015), Zoe Kravitz
Dope (2015), Zoe Kravitz

The good news is that Dope manages to remain positive and an authentic and fun film experience. One that steers clear of becoming far too grim.

Yes, you’ll probably feel grateful as you watch, but what you’ll remember most are the colours, the funny and clever script, the positive / uplifting music and the seldom celebrated smarts of the geek.

Watch it because it’s good.

Happy Film Loving 🙂

G