Archive for Music & Performing Arts

Hartbeat Productions, Universal Pictures,

Kevin Hart

This film is a recorded stand-up performance by Kevin Hart in front of 50,000 screaming fans at Philideplhia’s Lincoln Financial Field, an outdoor arena. Kevin is from Philly and so it’s a homecoming for him. This film broke records as the first time a stand-up comedian filled an NFL stadium to capacity. It was an amazing night!

There is a little wrap-around story of Kevin as a James Bond style super spy that features a lot of cameo appearances. But essentially this film is really just a stand up show, but certainly a very funny one. Kevin is very funny, and his tales of current events and human nature really rock the house. Everyone appeared to have a really good time, and I don’t think this performance was any less than the classics by Richard Pryor or Eddie Murphy. If you enjoy stand-up comedy and Kevin Hart, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy this film. It was an incredible show.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 


 

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Warner Bros., Iron Horse Entertainment (II),

Adam Rodriguez, Gabriel Iglesias, Amber Heard, Jada Pinkett Smith, Kevin Nash, Elizabeth Banks, Michael Strahan, Channing Tatum, Donald Glover, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Andie MacDowell

Mike (Channing Tatum) has broken ties to the strip club where he worked and started his furniture business and is following his dream of the first movie in this sequel. But the business is failing and he has only one employee and he’s not able to pay for health care for him, and his having trouble paying him at all. So when he gets a call telling him that Dallas is gone, he heads off to pay his respects when he finds out that the old gang, minus Dallas are headed up north for the convention and competition. Mike has the itch to get back in the game, but once again as a short timer only in if for the bucks, and the kicks. So this road picture is the road trip to the convention and the hi-jinks of the gang of misfits on the way.

Of the first Magic Mike, I said “It is not a very good film”. Well if that was said of the first one, this sequel without McConnaughy is 10 times worse. This could definitely win an award, but that would be the award for the “Most Pointless Movie Ever Made”. It was truly awful and really did have no point at all. I think this was a blatant rip-off for the gals in love with Tatum and their desire to watch him running around without his shirt, as there is nothing else worth seeing here. It certainly misses McConnaghy’s Dallas character. Without him, the movie just seems to flounder. There is no plot going on here, and it’s about a bad as if it were a parody version on Magic Mike that just isn’t funny and doesn’t seem to be in on the joke. I really disliked this film, and I think the box office staying power of this movie lasted about 8 hours. There was a good reason why nobody saw this that wasn’t trying to do a “girls night out” to a theater that serves alcohol. In the words of Mad TV’s “Men on Film”……..”Hated It.”

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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PCH Films,

Glen Campbell, Bruce Springsteen, The Edge, Chad Smith, Bill Clinton

Glen Campbell, an accomplished musician, song writer, and performer and part of the famous “Wrecking Crew” [click here for Ed’s Review] was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2011. Unlike any other celebrity, Glen’s wife Kim decided to make the diagnosis public. In addition, the decided to do a simple three week goodbye tour, as Glen loved doing the live shows, and surprisingly it helped him when he was performing. This turned into a huge 151 event coast to coast tour that kept going and going and going. But in addition to the tour, she also decided to document his sad journey through this film which goes right up to the point where Glen recorded a huge hit farewell song, “I’m Not Going to Miss You”. [Click here for the video on YouTube.] Additionally though, this film documents Glen’s amazing career, through Country and cross over pop music writing hit after hit, and winning many awards and lifetime achievement awards. This is the definitive documentary of a wonderful life that Glen has forgotten, but we never will.

This is a very well done documentary. It’s rather controversial in some ways, and many people have criticized Kim’s decision to put Glen on display when his abilities were weakening, and making sort of a sad clown, but the fans flocked to get to see him once more, and were enthralled at the opportunity. Glen also loved it, and was by far the best when he could be on-stage, so what right did they have to take that away from him. Some question the choice to announce the diagnosis and cause the world to look at him. But this is a documentary, and is an unflinching look at the trials and tribulations of this horrid disease along with the great moments of peace and triumph. I am glad they did this while Glen is still with us, though after the last show it was clear there won’t be any more. But his connection to his fans is something to admire and cherish. This was originally shown on CNN, but is now available on DVD. This is an excellent story of a great man and a bad disease, and looks carefully at both. I highly recommend this movie, even though it’s a documentary, it was fascinating.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Marcy Media, Olive Bridge Entertainment, Overbrook Entertainment,

Cameron Diaz, Rose Byrne, Jamie Foxx, Bobby Cannavale, Quvenzhané Wallis

This musical remake of Annie is a nod to the original movie musical, but modernized and brought into today. The story is a bit similar of a kid, Annie (Quvenzhane Wallis) who’s been from Foster Home to Foster Home who is cared for by a rich businessman, Will Stacks (Jamie Fox) who is trying to improve his image, while his accountant is planning to make a deal with Ms Hannigan (Cameron Diaz) to have fake parents claim Annie to rip off Mr. Stacks.

There are movies that should never have been made. This is one of them. There was absolutely no cause to destroy this story. They have completely changed the story, and changed a lot of the songs around so that they are not recognizable. Many are lost completely, and the whole charm of the original comic strip was lost. First of all, Annie was an orphan, and it’s not Little Foster Child Annie. Jamie Fox is a good actor, but he was completely wrong for this film. Ms. Hannigan was also badly damaged, being more of a nice lady who is in an unfortunate situation. Cameron’s not about to play a nasty old lady who hires her brother to pretend to be Annie’s father to get Stacks’ stack of cash for a reward. But the updating of the music and changing the songs, and blowing away most of the story to where it doesn’t resemble the original musical is unforgivable. It would be like taking The Sound of Music and updating it to Rio in 2015 and filling it with salsa music. This would have been a good idea were they to do this as a TV special, change and update the cast, but keep the story and the music the same. But when I found out they were going to update the story and the music and make this into a movie, I knew that even releasing it in December couldn’t save it. I was sure this would be a disaster, and I was right. This was one that I wish I had not watched and I recommend you run far away from this one!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Big Indie Pictures, ShivHans Pictures,

Al Pacino, Annette Bening, Jennifer Garner, Bobby Cannavale, Christopher Plummer, Josh Peck

Danny Collins (Al Pacino) is a rock and roll legend of the 1970’s. He sang some garbage songs that become hugely popular, and here 40 years later, drugs and booze have taken their toll. Danny is still singing the same songs, and wasting as much money as he can. But things are getting rough, and Danny’s best friend and manager Frank Grubman (Christopher Plummer) has set him up with another world tour to bring in some much needed cash. But he has a surprise for him. Frank just got his hands on a letter that was written back in the 70’s from John Lennon himself after a televised Danny Collins concert with some really good advice and invited Danny to call John and discuss it. The letter had never been delivered. Danny was struck deeply by the letter and the advice John gave him and cancels the tour, heads to a hotel in New Jersey to stay long term to change his life around and make thing better. But there are a few other secrets that made Danny choose New Jersey as his estranged son and his family live nearby. With the help of hotel manager Mary Sinclair (Annette Bening) who Danny took a liking toward, he’s trying to change things around. This story is loosely based on a real person who received such a letter from John Lennon that had been undelivered for many years and is based upon his experiences trying to live up to the advice John really did give.

Al Pacino really nailed this role. I was not expecting him to be able to pull this off. Michael Corleone, yeah, or even Satan himself, but a 70’s rock star? Really? He gave it a great deal of effort and played it amazingly. He was extremely funny and quite believable, and really did carry this film. But he had some excellent help. Annette Bening was also very good in her role and it was very nicely done. Jennifer Garner also played the wife of Danny’s son and she had a wide eyed innocence in trying to deal with the whole issue that really added a lot to the film as well. And of course Christopher Plummer was also perfect in his role as the long suffering manager but more of a best friend who really wants to help. All in all, this is a fantastic cast, and I was really blown away with the film. I enjoyed it very much, and highly recommend this movie. I’m not sure how I missed hearing about this one, but this is a great DVD rental and a really enjoyable evening watching this. I was very impressed.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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