“King Richard”

“That man’s crazy.”

Story: Once upon a time, a man named Richard had a lovely, intelligent wife and five lovely, intelligent daughters. But Richard had plans; he’d train his two youngest girls to become tennis pros, moving the family out of Compton and into history. And y’know what? He did just that.

Genre I’d put it in: Movie-of-the-Week Sports Biopic Elevated To Worthwhile Oscar Bait

Remake, Sequel, Based-On, or Original: Based on the lives of tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams, their family…and, of course, their dad Richard.

Gotta say: Everyone that knows me knows I suck at tennis. I long to be at least Z-grade, but? I can’t hit the ball. From crazy-talented tennis friends in high school to a boyfriend who just knew I only needed a little help…everyone who’s tried to teach me, has failed miserably. All because of me and my inability to swat. Or whatever – go sports! But even I know of the Williams sisters. I’ve been gobsmacked by their talent, and glued to my TV every time they’d perform those feats of tennis skill. Those women are at the pinnacle of their sports top names, and rightfully so. Richard tells us the story of how these girls went from regular ol’ kids to sports legends, and I was sucked in from the get-go.

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In Queue Review – “Dead and Beautiful”

“Seriously, you have something in your mouth.”

Genre: Louche Foreign Vampireness
Release Date: 2021
Where I Watched: Shudder

Story: Meet a group of twenty-something children of billionaires in Taipei. Living life the way they feel like it, doing whatever they want, whenever they want to. And they’re bored out of their gourds. One night, Our Gang picks the wrong place to go camping in the middle of the woods. Beautiful old temple area? Yep… Gorgeous, but cursed? Probably. A local man comes by and do some kind of strange ritual mixing blood, smoke and who knows what. Sure go ahead and breathe that in y’all. I’m sure nothing will go wrong…hey, they’ve got fangs now!

Talky talk: If you’re looking for a slow burn story where vampires navel gaze and think about how life is affecting their meaningless lives? Look no further. Beautiful takes a lot of beats from other films, like Less Than Zero, Crazy Rich Asians, and The Lost Boys, so it’s almost worth watching just to pick out all the homages. However artistic this film may be, the story feels hollow. It’s as if the film is just like its characters, trying desperately to figure out what to say to its audience that’ll leave a lasting mark.

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Christmas Village in Baltimore is back – starting this weekend!

Holiday fun! Local goodness! German food! Mulled wine! RIDES! I absolutely love the Christmas Village in Baltimore, and I’m so happy that it’s safe enough for them to return to the Inner Harbor this year. This weekend is completely free – no fee required! So wander around, check things out, and definitely try that Raclette, honey! Trust me, that cheese is absolutely incredible. Me? I can’t wait to try out the new carousel and Ferris Wheel…and all the cookies. ALL OF THEM.

Read on for the full 411 – and check out those luscious food photos – after the jump!

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“Spencer” – history inspires cinematic art

“Where the fuck am I?”

Story: Princess Diana, aka Lady Diana Spencer, goes to Sandringham Castle for the Christmas holidays in 1991. But you know the story, and you’ve read and seen lots about Diana. This film digs into feelings, thoughts, and fantasies that evoke this emotional moment.

Genre I’d put it in: to quote the text at the beginning of the film, this is a “Fable From A True Tragedy”.

Remake, Sequel, Based-On, or Original: Based on the life of the Royal Family, specifically the immediate family of Queen Elizabeth II…and, of course, Princess Diana.

Gotta say: In an interview with Rotten Tomatoes, Stewart said “You bring all the things you know about her to the film”, and I know I did. Spencer is a surreal fantasy that may not be everyone’s cuppa – folks who go to movies to see action instead of “people talking all the time” may find this a snooze. However, if you’re willing to sink into this version of a group of real-life characters in the hope of some sort of semi-joyful catharsis we were all denied by Diana’s tragic death in 1997? You’ll eat this up. To repeat myself, I know I did.

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“Eternals” an ambitious romp through world history

“Well, I’m sure that was a lot of fun for you.”
‘It was.
‘ (I really love the lived-as-friends-for-SO-LONG banter this crew has.)

Story: Seven thousand years ago, a group of beings were sent to Earth by the Celestials to watch for “Deviants”, monsters intent on nothing but destruction. That’s it. Nothing else; Do Not Interfere Full Stop is their one rule. In present day, the Deviants are long dead…OR ARE THEY? Hey – let’s get the band back together!

Genre I’d put it in: Mind-bending Marvel-ness

Remake, Sequel, Based-On, or Original: Based on the characters in Marvel comics, and part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Gotta say: I know nothing about the Eternals as comic book characters. Wasn’t a book I read – or even knew about – when I was devouring comics back in the day. So I walked into the theater as blind as one can be after watching a couple of trailers. And…it was interesting. Gorgeously shot, well acted, and hello cosplay goals! I’d even watch this film again, on my dime. Why? Because it gave me what I wanted; Marvel doing Marvel things marvelously (I couldn’t help myself. I’m already sorry I wrote my feelings like that. Apologies, but I’m not changing the truth.)

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Baltimore Screening Pass-palooza – “Belfast”!

Before hitting the multiplex, please consider the health risks involved with participating in group gatherings at this time. Take very good care of yourselves – I wanna see you on the other side.

Another Oscar contender you’ll want to check out before it’s time to place your bets… Synopsis!

Written and directed by Academy Award® nominee Kenneth Branagh, BELFAST is a poignant story of love, laughter, and loss in one boy’s childhood, amid the music and social tumult of the late 1960s.

Ready? Let’s go!

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TrailerWatch “The Book of Boba Fett” drops its first peek

Jabba ruled with fear. I intend to rule with respect.”

Fantastic to see Temuera Morrison and Ming-Na Wen suiting up again. This trailer is wonderful to look at, and as a friend said, gives nothing away…but awesomeness!

The Book of Boba Fett premiers on Disney+ December 29th, 2021.

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Baltimore Screening Pass-palooza: “Clifford the Big Red Dog”!

Before hitting the multiplex, please consider the health risks involved with participating in group gatherings at this time. Take very good care of yourselves – I wanna see you on the other side.

Who didn’t love these books when they were a kid? (And who else thought Clifford existed IRL? Just me? FINE.) Well’p, November is my Birthday Month, so I’m scooping up all the passes for y’all! Synopis!

When middle-schooler Emily Elizabeth (Darby Camp) meets a magical animal rescuer (John Cleese) who gifts her a little, red puppy, she never anticipated waking up to find a giant ten-foot hound in her small New York City apartment. While her single mom (Sienna Guillory) is away for business, Emily and her fun but impulsive uncle Casey (Jack Whitehall) set out on an adventure that will keep you on the edge-of-your-seat as our heroes take a bite out of the Big Apple. Based on the beloved Scholastic book character, Clifford will teach the world how to love big!

Ready? Let’s go!

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Halloween Horrors – “Ten Minutes to Midnight”

“Everything’s the same, ’til its not.” 

Genre – Locked Building Freakout Fest
Splat Factor – Lots of blood, though the most gruesome bits occur offscreen.
Year Released – 2020 festivals/2021 wide
Where I Watched – Amazon Prime

What it is – Amy Marlowe has spent thirty years as the midnight DJ at WLST, a small radio station. But tonight she got bit by a bat on her way to work, a category 2 hurricane just hit and so the station is on lockdown, and now she’s just found out she’s gonna be replaced by a young college graduate (that may or may not be schtupping the boss…) What would YOU do? Go nuts? I knew you were cool.

Why Watch ThisMidnight plays on multiple levels. A psychological thriller about a woman trying to accept that her time is up and she’s being replaced by younger woman. A crazy look into the process of becoming a vampire through the eyes of a freaked out baby vamp. A Jacob’s Ladder-esque tale where the end of someone’s career equates to death. Writer/director Eric Bloomquist doesn’t choose just one, he adds it all in, giving viewers a lot to chew on while the blood sprays and the freakouts…freak out. While this film may not be for everyone (looking at you, folks in the mood for a plot that makes sense from the jump), Midnight delivers plenty of blood, tons of insanity, and a whole lot of fun.

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Baltimore Screening Pass-palooza: “King Richard”!

Before hitting the multiplex, please consider the health risks involved with participating in group gatherings at this time. Take very good care of yourselves – I wanna see you on the other side.

It’s time for the Award Season Onslaught y’all! So, ready for Will Smith’s latest bid? Synopsis!

Based on the true story that will inspire the world, Warner Bros. Pictures’ “King Richard follows the journey of Richard Williams, an undeterred father instrumental in raising two of the most extraordinarily gifted athletes of all time, who will end up changing the sport of tennis forever. Two-time Oscar nominee Will Smith (“Ali,” “The Pursuit of Happyness,” “Bad Boys for Life”) stars as Richard, under the direction of Reinaldo Marcus Green (“Monsters and Men”). Driven by a clear vision of their future and using unconventional methods, Richard has a plan that will take Venus and Serena Williams from the streets of Compton, California to the global stage as legendary icons. The profoundly moving film shows the power of family, perseverance and unwavering belief as a means to achieve the impossible and impact the world.

Ready? Let’s go!

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