Updated: 10/07/2016 3:59 PM
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10/7 Movie Trip
Two movies are opening this weekend with a lot of buzz around them. TCL’s movie guy Paul McGuire Grimes say they will both have you talking well after you leave the theater.
THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN (theatrical release)
It’s the fall release that book lovers have been waiting for as the Paula Hawkins page turner finally gets the big screen treatment. Rachel Watson takes the train into work every day. She passes the time by sketching and daydreaming about other people she sees along the way. Every day she passes by a gorgeous house with a beautiful couple inside who always look deeply in love. The house happens to be just a few houses down from her old house that she shared with her ex-husband, Tom. Tom is now remarried to Anna, and they have a young daughter together. It’s the life Rachel always wanted, but she’s now left with nothing. She takes a liking to the mystery couple only to find out that she’s cheating on her husband. One morning Rachel wakes up after a drunken night out and finds that she bruised, battered, and bloody with a faint recollection of what happened the night before. News breaks that Megan Hippwell, Rachel’s mystery woman, has disappeared and that Rachel was seen lurking in the neighborhood. She gets herself in far too deep as she tries to figure out what happened to Megan and how is she connected to Tom and Anna. It’s a windy road of mistaken identities, torrid affairs, and the obsessive nature that lies within us.
-Starring: Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson, Luke Evans, Justin Theroux, Edgar Ramírez, Allison Janney, Lisa Kudrow, Laura Prepon
-Emily Blunt completely nails Rachel. She makes the character far more sympathetic and understandable than in the book. She deeply grasps the psychological aspects of being an alcoholic more than just playing her as a crazy drunk character.
-Based on the bestselling book Paula Hawkins. Faithful adaptation, told in the same non-linear fashion and starts off being told in different chapters focusing on the three main female characters. One big difference is the movie is set in upstate New York versus London.
-For me the book felt more murder mystery driven with Rachel desperately trying to figure out what happened to Megan. The movie felt more character driven to understand who these three women are and what role their actions have on this story.
-Will naturally draw comparisons to Gone Girl being it is female driven, missing woman type mystery involving illicit affairs and extremely flawed characters. The Girl on the Train is not as stylish, violent, or shocking as Gone Girl was in its execution.
-Has the feel of the old Hitchcock thrillers. Slow burn approach as all of the pieces are put back together. It plays on that concept that certain people, scenes, and moments in life are not always how they appear to us.
-For anyone new to the story, it will surely keep you guessing as to what happened to Megan Hippwell as there are twists, turns, and a surprise ending
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? Those that loved the book should be satisfied with the movie
RATING: 3.5 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
THE BIRTH OF A NATION (theatrical release)
The Birth of a Nation takes a look into a very dark portion of our nation’s past centered on Nat Turner. He was told as a young boy that he was a child of purpose and would one day be seen as a prophet. He was taught at an early age how to read the Bible from Elizabeth Turner, the wife of the slave owner on the plantation he lived on. He stayed on that plantation and grew up picking cotton and leading church services for the other slaves. Elizabeth’s son Samuel, who is roughly Nat’s age, takes him on a preaching tour in order to gain a profit. Throughout Nat’s work spreading the Lord’s word his eyes are opened up to the horrific conditions many other slaves are forced to endure. The friendship he has with Samuel as slave and owner was not found on other plantations. He is continually haunted by his prophecy and now believes he has found his mission in life. It’s not just to preach but also to lead a rebellion of slaves to fight for their freedom.
-Starring: Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Aja Naomi King, Jackie Earl Haley, Penelope Ann Miller
-Passion project for Nate Parker as he has written, directed, and produced the film as well as playing the lead.
-Has the rough and unpolished look that some small budget films have. It doesn’t feel like your big, sweeping Hollywood epic about slavery. It can be violent, gruesome, and hard to watch but it didn’t feel overly dramatized to showcase the brutality. It’s still very effective without completely turning the audience off.
-Parker brings hope and strength to Nat Turner and the role spirituality plays in his life. It’s hard for him to maintain faith and belief in God when the abuse continues to grow around him. What does it mean for someone so peaceful to then feel like he’s being called by God to inflict harm and murder on the slave owners?
-The whole story feels all the more timely given the culture we live in. His dialogue at times feels ripped from the current conversations being had today. Hopefully it can strike up conversation about recent tragedies that have occurred, not only about the events themselves, but how do our reactions and the aftermaths reflect what happened during Turner’s life.
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? It’s a controversial film, but a story that should be known.
RATING: 4 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
TALLULAH (home release)
Tallulah “Lu” is a free spirit drifter with big ideas. She is unemployed and lives out of her van with her boyfriend. She seems perfectly content with this lifestyle despite have bigger and better ideas of what she wants out of life. Money and food are hard to come back so she resorts to sneaking into hotels to eat the leftover food scraps left outside the room doors. She gets caught one day by one of the guests thinking that she’s the maid. Carolyn is half naked and brings Lu inside her room for a favor. She begs Lu to watch her baby daughter in order for her to have a wild night out. Even for someone like Lu, Carolyn is a bit of a mess as she is already drinking and ignoring the baby. Lu takes her up on the offer, as it’s easy money that she needs. At the end of the evening Carolyn arrives back and passes out on the bed completely ignoring the baby. Lu feels no choice but to steal the baby hoping to take better care of her. She has good intentions of returning the baby in the morning but arrives back at the hotel to find a lobby full of police. She heads right back out without getting noticed, as she doesn’t want to deal with them. Instead, she turns to Margo, her boyfriend’s mother, for help. Margo lives in a rich apartment, so Lu lies her way into introducing the baby as Margo’s granddaughter.
-Written and Directed by Sian Heder. She is best known for being a writer on Orange is the New Black. It’s a wonderful choice for moviegoers looking for a female voices and storytellers in Hollywood.
-Netflix Streaming exclusive as it is part of the ever-growing original content. It’s one of those gamble picks that pops up in your queue that you’ve never heard of it thanks to its extremely small budget with no word of mouth. Take a chance on it as it’s completely worth it.
-Starring: Ellen Page, Allison Janney, Tammy Blanchard, Uzo Aduba, John Benjamin Hickey, Zachary Quinto
-Ellen Page and Allison Janney are reliable choices and fit their roles to a T. Roles feel like they were written with both women in mind, which wasn’t the case but showcases the strong writing at hand.
-Tallulah’s a wild child, an unpredictable kind of character and you wonder how long she’ll be able to keep up this charade of pretending to be the baby’s mom
-Unique dynamic between Tallulah and Margo. Both come from very different backgrounds, incomes, lifestyles and it’s interesting to watch how they learn from each other
For more reviews on these and other movies visit http://paulstriptothemovies.com/