Bad, You Know It (Movie Thoughts: A Bad Mom’s Christmas)

badmomxI am still trying to go through Halloween, and then not looking forward to Thanksgiving, and now I already have to deal with Christmas movies? I was really trying to ignore ‘A Bad Moms Christmas’ because of a couple of things. First of all – Christmas. Second, I know I saw the original movie but was it even memorable for me? I guess it was a hit, hence the sequel. But I have my Moviepass card burning in my pocket and none of the other choices really excited me so I said I might as well, even though there is a part of me that was dreading this.

But, honestly, it wasn’t *that* bad, and some parts made me laugh. I didn’t realize that a big part of the focus here is on the bad moms’ mothers, and Mila Kunis’ character’s mom is played by Christine Baranski, and anything with Baranski is worth looking at. And even though Baranski’s role is one dimensional, this is a stupid comedy so who cares. I also likes Cheryl Hines as Kristin Bell’s mother, so that was an added plus. Susan Sarandon plays the third grandmom and frankly, it is just another variation of your typical Sarandon performance – does she play the same role over and over again? As for the original moms, only Kathryn Hahn is really worth mentioning, she is totally delightful here.

I mean, if I had to pay for this movie, I would probably me less generous. But be that as it may, I have to say that even the modest audience at my screening was howling with laughter. The mostly-woman crowd ate everything was serving, so should I really judge? It looks like this film is serving its main demographic, and if this is what Christmas means to them, then by all means Happy Holidays!

Nosey Neighbours (Television Thoughts: 9JKL, CBS)

9JKL-season-1-poster-CBS-key-artHow old am I that a watched a CBS sitcom? Old, for sure. I just saw the first two episodes of ‘9JKL,’ CBS’ crown jewel sitcom for this season, and you know why I think that? Well, because they had so much faith in this show that they are pairing it with ‘The Big Bang Theory.’ And this show is being ravaged by critics left and right.

What do I think? I mean, it’s not the worst, and it’s not that bad. I kind of like it’s classic traditional feel. Mark Feuerstein plays Josh, who moves back to New York in the same building as his parents and his brother, with an apartment between them. Sure it’s cliche in the highest level, but it kind of reminds me of a 70s or 80s sitcom, so I can’t really hate it enough. Plus, anything with Linda Lavin and Elliot Gould couldn’t really be that bad, right?  I don’t know if I will ever go back to watching this show after I have written about it here, and I don’t think I will furiously seek this, but perhaps on a cold night, with blankets on, I might binge watch it on Hulu.

(oops, just realized CBS shows are not on Hulu – oh well)

Merely Marvelous (Television Thoughts: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Amazon Prime)

Photo Sep 07, 7 23 36 PMIt really seems that this is the new Golden Age of Television, because you really great television anywhere, and I just found a show I will be following and perhaps I will be writing about weekly. Minutes after watching this, I knew it looked and sounded familiar – it has tht familiar feel of an Amy Sherman Palladino  show with a strong female character.

High Holidays (Movie Thoughts: Almost Christmas)

almost_christmas_filmThanksgiving is the official beginning of the Holiday season, so what better way to start by seeing a Christmas movie? I was not expecting much going into ‘Almost Christmas’ because I can’t remember seeing a good Holiday in some time now, but every year they keep on making them, and it seems that this one is the “urban” version of that tradition. At best, I thought this would be entertaining, but empty. But minutes into the movie, I found myself weeping. I guess that’s what Christmas means to me now – a day that starts with sadness. You would think that as each year passes by it gets better, but the sadness just deepens. But then you appreciate more and more that the little things matter most at this time of year.

The Meyers family is celebrating their first Holidays since the death of their matriarch figure earlier in the year, but besides that it seems to be business as usual for them. The siblings are still fighting, even though they are adults. There are secrets abound – substance abuse, financial problems, brinks of divorce. David Talbert, who wrote and directed this film, mines very familiar territory, some even carelessly. (I mean, one of the child is running for congress, and still campaigning around Christmastime?)  But you will forget all the flaws because of the two performance that anchor the movie:  Danny Glover’s Walter, the sensitive patriarchal figure, and Mo’Nique, who plays the sassy auntt. We see the two of them rib off each other early in the film, and the fun continues all through out. Mo’Nique is perfection, and so natural that this is probably very close to her real persona. It’s the kind of film where you start laughing, then the sad parts come in and you cry, and then with still tears in your eyes, you are laughing again. This is no rocket science, just honest outpouring of human emotions. During Christmas, that’s what you need the most.

Do It Again (Movie Thoughts: Do Over)

do-over-poster.jpegTrying to keep my mind off the politics of today, I wanted to see something stupid and fun, something that will not make me think, so I settled on ‘Do Over,’ which has been described as a millennial sex comedy. I mean, sure why not, could it be worse than a Trump presidency?

And it’s not nearly as bad. The film’s premise is kind of stupid: a group of friends go back to the person who they lost their virginity to, and do a “re-booty,’ improving from that first experience, because more or less these first experiences aren’t as satisfying. But sure, I will go along – and it doesn’t hurt that this has a very attractive cast: Drew Seeley, Zack Lively, Jonathan Bennett. At the very least, there is pretty eye candy that doesn’t make this as total waste of time. The film is an oversized episode of a sitcom, and even feels as such. If you aren’t expecting much from it, you will probably think it’s not as bad as it sounds like. I honestly thought it was entertaining enough. But it’s nothing more than that, for sure. Sometimes, it’s more rewarding to wtch this than something that holds promise but falls flat.

Wild Snooze (Movie Thoughts: Wild Oats)

v1-btsxmjiymtc2nttqoze3mtuxozeymda7mtywmdsyndaw‘Wild Oats’ is a wonderful idea. Just imagine – putting Shirley McLaine and Jessica Lange in a comedy (okay, even adding Demi Moore to the mix)  And the premise is precious: Eva (McLaine) mistakenly gets a $5,000,000 check instead of $50,000 and she and her friend Lange decide to cash it and hide in the Canary Islands. It had such potential – kind of an American version of Absolutely Fabulous. Somewhere along the way, this film literally got lost. It premiered in Lifetime and then got a theatrical release that, obviously, bombed. But that’s not even the worst of it – the screenplay is a hodge podge of tired ideas and I couldn’t help but feel bored ten minutes into the movie. McLaine and Lange looked like they felt the same way – their performances should be higher energy but it seemed like they couldn’t be bothered as well. About halfway through, I couldn’t wait for this film to finish and felt it was a waste of my time and energy, and felt sorry both all involved here

They Are Bad And They Know It (Movie Thoughts: Bad Mom)

bad-moms-posterSo yes, I know everyone and their mother has raved about ‘Bad Moms,’ but somehow I never saw it, and am very late in the party on this. But better late than never, I guess. This film is from the makers of ‘The Hangover’ so it could potentially be really funny, and definitely raunchy. And it has a great cast, led by Mila Kunis, who even though I don’t think i ever saw a ‘That 70s Show’ episode, has great comedic flair. (I thought Kathryn Hahn  steals the film, though) She plays a mom who one day just snaps and says eff this – the struggle to be ‘perfect’ just got into her, and fights back. She goes against an easy target – those supermoms are rife for ridicule.

I thought the movie was amusing at times, but I really didn’t feel the film. I know, I know. I am probably not the target demographic here, and that’s fine. Jay Hernandez plays Kunis’ love interest here and he plays an almost-middle-aged man, which makes me feel real old because he was the young male ingenue not too long ago – and at that time I thought it was too young. If he is middle aged now, then what does that make me?  Probably too old to appreciate this movie.