Home Again #review

Single mothers already have a lot on their plates when it comes to raising their kids and providing financially for them. Now, add the city of Los Angeles, turning 40, an emotionally manipulative ex-husband, a supportive and loving mother and three charming young filmmakers from New York and we’ve got a story. So, was “Home Again” the feel good comedy it appeared to be or will we need to divorce ourselves away from this film? Let’s dive and take a look in this review.

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The overall movie examines life through the eyes of the main character Alice (played by Reese Witherspoon). We meet her on her 40th birthday and we get a glimpse into her life, as she perceives it. There are moments that depart from that as she is not in all the scenes and I’m happy to report the supporting cast of characters are each delightful on screen. This felt similar to films like, “Music and Lyrics,” “Crazy, Stupid, Love” and “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” It’s light hearted, humorous, sincere and character driven in how it tells its story.

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Some of the moments in this film felt very real however it tends to shy away from really digging into the issues they present on screen. We get a lot of surface level dialogue about relationships, family, friendship and achieving goals. Typically, we could say that’s a negative but not in this particular instance. The writing and the actors deliver genuine moments that, while they feel thin, still feel true.

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The character struggle that Alice goes through resonated with the (primarily older) female audience I was surround by. In fact, I found myself seated in the midst of women providing real time commentary on the behaviors and actions of the men in the movie as well as Alice’s reaction. This was not a quiet moviegoing experience as the theater, almost in chorus, had an opinion about the men on screen. So, because the film seemed to elicit real emotional responses from the female viewership I enjoyed the film all the more.

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Home Again” is in theaters now! I will recommend you get out and see this film on the big screen. As I mentioned, it doesn’t dig deeply into the characters but as I discovered from the audience response, it did well enough to communicate realism that would evoke true responses from my fellow movie watchers. I laughed and I also could relate to some of the characters in the film at different points in the story which is more than I thought I would get walking into the theater. It’s a heartfelt story that looks at family, friends and being human in todays modern society. Check it out!

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American Assassin #review

Terrorists attack a beach paradise while everyone is relaxing and enjoying their holiday. Many of the travelers don’t survive but one does and decides he’ll kill them all himself, for taking the life of his fiancee. So, does “American Assassin” live up to the action promised in the trailers or should we black bag this operation? Let’s dive in and take a look in this review…

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The trailer does a great job of describing the film we’re about to watch. The plot is as simple as, guy loses fiancee to terrorists, guy wants revenge, guy gets revenge. This movie might have some of the most accurate trailers which was a positive. I walked into the theater with a certain expectation and that expectation was met, plus exceeded, slightly. The overall story is direct and to the point. We meet all the players in the film rather quickly and we get right into things. The writing doesn’t waste much time on building out characters because the team behind this story is trusting that we as an audience are smart enough to understand how an action movie works. So, yes, this movie follows the action movie tropes quite well. It makes no excuses for their blatant use of the cocky, arrogant lead who doesn’t play by the rules. The seasoned veteran who is head strong and unsure about the new guy but comes around eventually and more.

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Overall, I thought the film was a popcorn devouring good time. The dialogue feels like people talking at each other, not with each other. It’s not conversational at all which I found troubling. However, it doesn’t detract from the story and it probably won’t draw your attention away from the action. The movie really embraces the fact it’s a fun end of summer action flick. It’s not surprising this was released in September as things are winding down from summer blockbusters and gearing up for Oscar movie season. When I walked out of the theater one of my first thoughts was, “This movie will crush on DVD and VOD.” I really see this film being celebrated around the office water coolers once it’s available for home streaming.

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The majority of the time, this is a fist and feet action flick. That means, the action is believable because it’s gun fire, martial arts and boxing. There isn’t grand CGI action sequences like cars falling out of buildings, insane earthquakes toppling cities or tsunami’s giving downtowns a permanent bath. This is people getting kicked in the chest, punched in the face and critically shot, over and over. That being said, the ending felt incredibly out of place. The ending is nothing but a CGI chaos fest. The ending felt like it was ripped right out of a film from the early 2000’s. It’s an over-the-top CGI extravaganza. I couldn’t believe the spectacle. If I had to offer any critique to the story, rewrite the ending. It was absurd. Similar to the shock I had at the end of “Dark Knight Rises” when Batman sets an atomic bomb off in sky far from Gotham, I couldn’t believe what I witnessed in this film, only at the very end.

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American Assassin” is in theaters now! If you enjoy action flicks that will keep your eyes fixed on the screen while you shove handfuls of popcorn down your throat, this is a great movie for you. I had a fun time in the theater with this story. It didn’t pretend to be something it’s not and delivered on everything promised in the trailers. The story also sets up for a sequel and even if that doesn’t get green lit, this could very easily carry on as a graphic novel or video game franchise. I recommend you get out and see this film while it’s in theaters. Check it out!