I wonder why specifically 1995. Eh, here’s to hoping this movie is full of 90’s cheese and nostalgia. If your movie takes place in the 90s, you owe that to your audience, movie!

I’ve been seeing the trailer for a while now. It looks like it’s about this pair of sisters finding out that their father is cheating on their mother, but for whatever reason, don’t tell her, and just spend the entire movie hating him and bonding with each other. It looks like it could be enjoyable enough, but this movie will immediately lose a point if the entire plot is a liar-reveal story. You know, characters keeping a secret until everything comes out in a contrived, predictable way by the end of the second act. That thing that so many movies have done in the past that it’s grating to everyone’s senses. Here’s hoping that the details of the movie elevate it.

Here’s the cast. Starring, we have the ever-amazing Jenny Slate (DESPICABLE ME 3 [2017], THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS [2016], THIS MEANS WAR [2012], and the upcoming THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2 [2019]), Abby Quinn (1 episode of LAW & ORDER, and the upcoming Transformers spin-off, BUMBLEBEE [2018]), Edie Falco (MEGAN LEAVEY [2017], and TV shows NURSE JACKIE and THE SOPRANOS), and John Turturro (TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT [2017], HANDS OF STONE [2016], MR. DEEDS [2002], and the upcoming Big Labowski spin-off, GOING PLACES [2017]). In support, we have Jay Duplass, known for BEATRIZ AT DINNER (2017), PAPER TOWNS (2015), and TV show THE MINDY PROJECT.

Now for the crew. Directing and co-writing is Gillian Robespierre, known for OBVIOUS CHILD (2014). Co-writing is her partner-in-pen, Elisabeth Holm, whom also co-wrote OBVIOUS CHILD. Question mark… why does this movie have three composers? We have Chris Bordeaux (OBVIOUS CHILD), Clyde Lawrence (unknown projects), and Jordan Cohen (debut – congrats, sir). Finally, the cinematographer is Chris Teague, known for OBVIOUS CHILD- jesus, it’s an enormous reunion, isn’t it?

Overall, I think it could be a cute enough movie, but we’ll see how it goes.

This is my honest opinion of: LANDLINE


Set in 1996, New York City. Dana (Jenny Slate) and Ben (Jay Duplass) are a loving couple about to get married. Dana’s younger sister, Ali (Abby Quinn), is a rebellious teenager who wants the freedom to do what she wants without judgment. Things take a complicated turn when Ali discovers that their father, Alan (John Turturro), is having an affair on their mother, Pat (Edie Falco). To make matters even worse, Dana ends up having an affair on Ben as well, forcing the sisters in situations that help them bond, and make it through their terrible decision-making.


I really wanted to like this film. I tried really hard, but God damn it, this movie wasn’t as likable as I thought it’d be.

The very opening of the movie was enough to start me off with a bad taste. It’s just Dana and Ben trying to have sex in the woods, which fails. Somehow, that was supposed to be an attempt at comedy, which failed too. Which brings me to one of the major problems of the movie. It’s clearly a dramedy, but the comedy portion doesn’t really work. Which is such a shame because Slate is quickly becoming one of those actresses where if her name is stamped on the project, I want to see it. And she’s not even bad in this movie. Her acting really does shine through. She’s clearly supposed to have charm, this woman who is getting cold feet and does something terrible and struggles with what she wants thinks she wants. I do legit like the chemistry between Slate and Quinn as sisters, but everything in between is harder to stomach. Before Dana cheated on Ben, you never get a sense of cold feet in her. They’re affectionate and even have a scene where they’re in the shower together, she’s got poison ivy, and she’s comfortable with him peeing on her. So by sheer presentation, all you really see is her cheating on her fiancé, which left a really bad taste in my mouth. To make matters worse, she doesn’t even seem to be struggling with the cheating. She leaves her fiancé at home and she’s getting her pussy licked in a movie theater. When was I supposed to empathize with her? And you never understand her motivations until toward the end.

Now for the other sister. Ali is atrociously annoying. She’s the standard “I don’t give a fuck” type of teenager. Smoking, sneaking out to party, doing drugs, it’s one of the most tired clichés that can be put into movies. Once again, though, there isn’t a lot of redeeming value. None of her actions are some proverbial cry for help when she finds out about the affair. She’s not subconsciously trying to get both her parents to unite against her because uniting to be mad at her is at least being united. Nope, it’s just what she does.

The vast majority of the movie is sadly a bunch of jokes that don’t work, or don’t even make sense. Nobody does the right thing, or even the smart thing, so I found it impossible to really connect with the central characters. But, I’d be lying if I said there weren’t a few things that I liked.

For one thing, usually when I see Turturro’s name in a movie, I’m beyond scared. He can be a funny actor when given the right material (MR. DEEDS and THE BIG LEBOWSKI [1998]), but he can be painfully unfunny when not. I’m looking at you, Transformers sequels. But here, he’s not a comedic character. He’s… normal, which is different for him. He’s just a father trying to be a good father to his daughters and a good husband for his wife, but just happened to screw up because of a rough patch in his marriage. And Falco is also really good in the movie as the much more direct and stern of the two parents, but she’s usually amazing in anything that she does, no matter how small her role may be.

Overall, this is a story that’s been done before and in better films. The two leads are difficult to empathize with, and because it is a character-driven story, that critically hurts it. The acting is great from everyone, which does elevate it somewhat, but I can’t honestly claim it to be a good movie. Viewer beware, is how I’m going to recommend it. If nothing else, save it for a rental. I don’t like it, but I’m sure this could find an audience somewhere. Personally, I’d rather pull the chord from this 90’s phone so I don’t have to hear it ring again.

My honest rating for LANDLINE: a weak 3/5






Starring: Martha Higareda (NO MANCHES FRIDA [2016] and STREET KINGS [2008]). In support: Vadhir Derbez (HOW TO BE A LATIN LOVER [2017])

Co-writing: Martha Higareda


In the present day, two friends are told by a college rival that he knows where to find a friend of theirs who disappeared under mysterious circumstances. In flashback, we’re shown how these friends met and challenged one another to be inspired to do the things that they want to do, falling in love, and challenging what is perceived to be the conventional.


On paper, this doesn’t sound too bad, and can even have a pretty strong message if done right. Sadly, it was not done right. The movie is painfully unfunny, what with its overuse of fart jokes. While some ideas are interesting, the rest of the film barely justifies it. Even the romance between characters Poncho and Mariana feels forced. It somewhat breaks my heart to say this because even though I don’t remember liking NO MANCHES FRIDA all that much, I did really like Higareda. I remember liking her performance, and she’s no worse here. But it’s a chore to sit through this. To my understanding, this movie is a Mexican adaptation of an Indian film similarly called 3 IDIOTS (2009). Whereas IMDb gives this movie 3.9/10 (as of 6/15/2017), IMDb has the Indian original at an 8.4/10 (as of 6/15/2017). Wow. That’s an insane contrast. I’m rather interested in seeing that myself just to see if such a rating is warranted. But alas, this quick review is about this one. It’s not funny, makes zero sense most of the time, and even resorts to a crap load of clichés. I don’t recommend this. Not even as a rental. Check out the Indian original. It’s gotta be better than it’s Mexican remake.

My honest rating for 3 IDIOTAS: 1/5





Starring: Demetri Martin (IN A WORLD… [2013], TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT [2011], and TV show HOUSE OF LIES), Kevin Kline (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST [2017], THE ROAD TO EL DORADO [2000], and WILD WILD WEST [1999]), and Gillian Jacobs (DON’T THINK TWICE, HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 2 [2015], and TV show COMMUNITY).

Directing and written by: Demetri Martin (Debut. Congrats.) Co-composing the score: Mark Noseworthy (unknown work) and Orr Rebhun (TV shows ENLISTED and THE CRAZY ONES). Cinematography by: Mark Schwartzbard (TV show MASTER OF NONE).


The story follows Dean (Demetri Martin). His mom just passed away and he’s having trouble grieving, unlike his estranged father (Kevin Kline), who just wants to help him. Instead of grieving, Dean takes a vacation to Los Angeles and falls for a young woman named Nicky (Gillian Jacobs).


For a respectable list of firsts for Martin, as writer, director, and star, this is an impressive feat. He has a good sense of character writing and relationships, and every one of his actors are believable in their respective roles. Whether it’s because he was genuinely a great director or it was a great collaboration with his actors, it’s hard to say, but it pays off well. It’s got some good comedy and drama. Jacobs steals the show any time she’s on. There’s even a few surprises that I didn’t see coming. Having said all that, the movie is pretty basic in its design. If you read my summary, the movie is about what you’d expect to get. It’s not saying anything particularly profound, or trying anything all that new, and has been done in better movies that came before. Overall, it’s a safe movie, but it’s an impressive movie for someone who’s never written, directed, or starred in a movie before, and throwing a couple of surprises does elevate the movie to above average. If you’re a die-hard Martin fan, I recommend a matinee screening. Otherwise, I recommend it as a solid rental. It’s nothing amazing as a whole, but it’s not too shabby either.

My honest rating for DEAN: a strong 3/5




Starring: Sam Elliott (ROCK DOG [2017], GHOST RIDER [2007], and TV show THE RANCH) and Laura Prepon (THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN [2016], and TV show ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK and one episode of CASTLE). In support: Krysten Ritter (BIG EYES [2014], TV shows JESSICA JONES and DON’T TRUST THE B— IN APARTMENT 23, and upcoming TV show THE DEFENDERS), Nick Offerman (MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI [2017], HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 [2015], and TV show PARKS AND REC), and Katharine Ross (DONNIE DARKO [2001], BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID [1969], and THE GRADUATE [1967]).

Directing and co-writing: Brett Haley (short films). Co-writing: Marc Basch (unknown films). Composer: Keegan DeWitt (MORRIS FROM AMERICA [2016]). Cinematography: Rob Givens (short films)


Lee Hayden (Sam Elliott) is a seventy-one year old struggling actor, seemingly only known for one role for the last forty years, a western called THE HERO, of which he is being offered a lifetime achievement award for the role that made him famous. Despite all this, Lee hasn’t worked that much since, and often finds himself voicing over for commercials. When he’s not doing that, he’s getting high with his friend and drug dealer Jeremy (Nick Offerman) and being reminded that he wasn’t the best father to his thirty year old daughter Lucy (Krysten Ritter). And despite striking up a relationship with a much younger woman named Charlotte (Laura Prepon), as well as finding internet fame for a speech he gave at his award ceremony, he finds himself diagnosed with cancer and finds himself in a situation where he needs to sort his life out.


You’d think it’d be incredibly morbid for elderly actors playing roles that tease their deaths, but give credit where credit is due, Elliott owns this movie. You feel every inch of his frustration as a struggling actor and, despite being so popular in one film, hasn’t given him the clout to get better roles. But it is delightfully entertaining to watch him get high off his ass. And usually I get a little queasy watching an old man make out and have sex with a much younger woman, but the characters are written so well that their chemistry does make it very sweet to watch… of course, I have a cousin who might be pretty annoyed with this. Either way, from the small amounts of comedy to the heavy drama, Elliott carries this film flawlessly. And for the life of me, I will never forget, “Lonestar Barbecue Sauce. The perfect partner… for your chicken.” There is sadly some predictability to the film, as in you know how they’ll get resolved and even when. Other scenes drag on much longer than necessary, and one or two questionable character decisions, but overall, this is a good movie. I recommend it and can see this getting Elliott an Oscar nomination next year. It’s not great, but it’s good and worth seeing.

My honest rating for THE HERO: 4/5





Starring: Salma Hayek (HOW TO BE A LATIN LOVER [2017], SAUSAGE PARTY [2016], DESPERADO [1995], and the upcoming THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD [2017]) and John Lithgow (MISS SLOANE [2016], INTERSTELLAR [2014], SHREK [2001], and upcoming films DADDY’S HOME 2 [2017] and PITCH PERFECT 3 [2017]). In support: Connie Britton (AMERICAN ULTRA [2015], and TV shows NASHVILLE and AMERICAN HORROR STORY), Chloë Sevigny (THE DINNER [2017], LOVE & FRIENDSHIP [2016], and TV show BLOODLINE), Amy Landecker (DOCTOR STRANGE [2016], DAN IN REAL LIFE [2007], and TV show TRANSPARENT), Jay Duplass (PAPER TOWNS [2015], and TV shows THE MINDY PROJECT and TRANSPARENT), and David Warshofsky (WILSON [2017], NOW YOU SEE ME 2 [2016], and TAKEN [2008]).

Directing: Miguel Arteta (ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY [2014], YOUTH IN REVOLT [2009], and THE GOOD GIRL [2002]). Screenwriter: Mike White (NACHO LIBRE [2006], SCHOOL OF ROCK [2003], THE GOOD GIRL [2002], and the upcoming THE EMOJI MOVIE [2017]). Composer: Mark Mothersbaugh (PEE-WEE’S BIG HOLIDAY [2016], ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD CHIP [2015], THE LEGO MOVIE [2014], and upcoming films THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE [2017] and THOR: RAGNAROK [2017]). Cinematographer: Wyatt Garfield (short films and unknown movies)


Beatriz (Salma Hayek) is a massage therapist. She’s had a rough week what with her pet goat killed outside her home and the general stresses of her job at the hospital. But one fateful day, going to a rich neighborhood to take care of frequent client Cathy (Connie Britton), her car breaks down as she tries to leave. Being a gracious host, Cathy invites Beatriz to their dinner party that night to celebrate business deal with their equally rich and infamous Doug Strutt (John Lithgow). Soon, heads clash as Beatriz’s naive and pro-life attitude insights arguments with Doug, who is in love with his job and cares little about hurting others’ feelings.


Damn. In some ways, it’s a letdown, but in others, it delivers exactly what it promises: a minority arguing with a Donald Trump-like figure. Why is it a letdown? Because many of the arguments in the movie are pretty contrived and predictable. The movie has solid character-setup. We get a great sense of who Beatriz is when she’s introduced. She’s an animal lover and a passionate healer. When we meet Doug, he’s an asshole and a pig because he’s a rich white guy and he’s shameless about it. But as soon as they’re sitting down enjoying the dinner, you know that the arguments are coming. I know, that’s the whole point of the movie, but every fight ends with Beatriz apologizing and promising to keep a cool head, only to go ballistic again. Granted, for different reasons, but you’d think the first blowup would be indication enough of what kind of company she’s a part of and it makes little sense that she’d stick around. Even when she agrees to stay out of the way for the duration of the party, it’s still never enough for her to keep her mouth shut and continue to be a semi-ungracious guest. Don’t get me wrong, Lithgow is a fiendishly charming guy and Hayek probably delivers the best performance she’s had in recent memory. There is a passionate drive behind this movie and you can feel it in the insensitive-in-a-good-way comedy. I think in different character circumstances, this would have been a truly effective film. As is, it’s not bad, but it’s something a disappointment. It’s worth seeing, if only for the performances, but I think each important scene wasn’t transitioned into very well and that’s the supposed to be the whole crux of the film. I recommend it as a rental.

My honest rating for BEATRIZ AT DINNER: 3/5

TABLE 19 review

Hmm… alright, sign me up. This looks like a cute comedy. From what I can gather, it’s about this woman who’s invited to a wedding that she doesn’t want to go to, but decides to go anyway for… insert reasons here, but gets stuck at this table where the undesired guests of the wedding go, “table 19.” It looks like a simple movie, but still enjoyable. Not much more to say. Moving on.

Let’s take a look at the cast. Starring, we have the unbelievable Anna Kendrick. What can I say about this woman that I haven’t already? She’s one of the most talented actors working today. Whenever I see her name plastered on a poster, I want to see it. I want to see her act the crap out of this movie like a pro. And she always does, even if I’m not a fan of the movie itself. She owns comedy (MIKE AND DAVE NEED WEDDING DATES [2016] and the Pitch Perfect movies), she’s amazing in drama (THE ACCOUNTANT [2016] and UP IN THE AIR [2009]), and a damn wonderful singer (TROLLS [2016] and INTO THE WOODS [2014]). She’s one of the best and is a sweetheart in real life, what more could you ask for? I’m sure there’s a few FRIENDS lovers out there excited to see Lisa Kudrow (NEIGHBORS 2: SORORITY ROW [2016], EASY A [2010], and TV show FRIENDS) in this. I always liked her on screen charisma. I don’t know why I didn’t watch FRIENDS as a kid. Hmm. Beyond that, other talents include Craig Robinson (SAUSAGE PARTY [2016], THIS IS THE END [2013], and TV show BROOKLYN NINE-NINE), Stephen Merchant (LOGAN [2017], THE INVENTION OF LYING [2009], and RUN, FAT BOY, RUN [2007]), Wyatt Russell (EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!! [2016], 22 JUMP STREET [2014], and COWBOYS & ALIENS [2011], and will be in the upcoming GOON: LAST OF THE ENFORCERS [2017]), and Tony Revolori (THE 5TH WAVE [2016], DOPE [2015], and THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL [2014], and will be in the upcoming SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING [2017]).

Now for the crew. Directing is Jeffrey Blitz, known for directing TV shows REVIEW and THE OFFICE. Co-writing, we have Jay and Mark Duplass, both are known for JEFF, WHO LIVES AT HOME (2011) and TV show TOGETHERNESS. Composing the music is John Swihart, known for YOUTH IN REVOLT (2009), NAPOLEAN DYNAMITE (2004), and TV show SWITCHED AT BIRTH. Finally, the cinematographer is Ben Richardson, known for THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (2014) and BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD (2012).

Overall, yeah, I’m looking forward to this. I like the cast and it looks pretty funny.

This is my honest opinion of: TABLE 19


Eloise (Anna Kendrick) was once the maid-of-honor to her best friend’s wedding. But after her boyfriend Teddy (Wyatt Russell), who happens to be the bride’s brother, breaks up with Eloise over a text, Eloise is relieved of her position as maid-of-honor and debates whether or not she goes at all, before ultimately deciding to go. She is then seated at the dreaded “table 19” where essentially sit the people who were only invited because they got nice gifts for the happy couple, but were still not the more desirable guests to have around and only loosely know the couple. There, the folks of table 19 begin to unravel secrets and explore their reasons for being at the wedding at all.


Ehh, if you’ve seen any early reviews and ratings for the movie, you’ve probably picked up that this movie isn’t getting well-received. And it’s hard to say, but yeah, this movie isn’t very good. It’s not bad, by any means, but… grr, let’s just dive right into it.

At first glance, depending on how you feel about Kendrick as an actress, the movie starts off almost extraordinarily well. Eloise is looking down at her wedding invitation, running an impressive slew of emotions all in the span of less than thirty seconds, showing heartbreak, confusion, and frustration. Giving Kendrick some serious credit, she knows how to rope in an audience. Her physicality, checking off that she’ll attend the wedding, then scribbling it out to check off that she won’t, then scribbling that out to check that she will attend, and then lighting the invitation on fire, blowing it out and sending it back checked that she’ll go and half burnt. I found that entire few minutes ripe with comedy and brilliant acting from Kendrick.

Even the next bit featuring married couple Bina and Jerry Kepp (Lisa Kudrow and Craig Robinson respectively) isn’t all that bad. They debate whether or not to go while playfully flinging middle fingers at each other. I don’t know, couples that still act immaturely with each other and bust each other’s balls holds a special place in my heart.

But then the first red flags start cropping up and crop up mercilessly. Rezno (Tony Revolori) is this kid that his mom sends off to the wedding alone… all in the name of finding a girl who will get him laid. Something that he doesn’t seem to want. Um… what kind of mother is that invested in her kid’s loss of virginity? And now that I’m thinking about this… is this relationship between Rezno and his mother supposed to be a nod to BIG BANG THEORY? I mean, you have this loser, socially awkward guy who lives with his mother whom you never see, but hear constantly. Funny enough, she’s voiced by Margo Martindale. Seriously, does her face ever appear on screen? And the way he interacts with other people, I’m sorry, no one in real life is this bad at social interaction in a group setting. There’s also Walter (Stephen Merchant). Man, if you told me that Merchant was a good actor, I’d believe you. He was perfectly serviceable in LOGAN, but this was a painful acting job. He is horribly unfunny. Nearly every joke falls flat, with exception of one or two. He is so socially awkward and says every line like he’s trying to hold in a fart. I’m calling it, this was a problem with direction, not the actor. Even Nanny Jo (June Squibb) is really awkward a lot. She just blatantly chats up everyone about nothing. Again, it’s awkward and almost uncomfortable.




To be fair, there are reasons for most everyone at table 19 to be there and for pretty good reasons. Too bad even those good reasons are met with some awful turns in themselves. For example, Eloise is there to support her oldest friend, which is admirable enough. Too bad you never see them interact to get a real sense of their relationship. Hell, Eloise never even talks about her. She can talk up a storm about Teddy, but barely a word about the bride. Bina and Jerry have a rocky marriage now and Bina’s there to enjoy the wedding itself, to see a young couple be in love, while Jerry’s lost all interest in romance. Again, fair enough, but then why blurt out that she came there to have an affair? That seemed needlessly cruel. Especially if she isn’t really going through with it. Thank God for their great chemistry between Kudrow and Robinson, otherwise this would have been pretty unbearable. While we first learn about Jo being a pothead pretty early on, we learn that there’s a reason for that too. She’s got cancer and… yeah, the way she opens up to Eloise about it is pretty heartbreaking. The only characters that get very little development are Walter and Rezno. Rezno is literally just there to get laid and Walter is there… I have no idea why he’s there. He was in prison and he stole 100,000 plus dollars from the father of the bride. It actually make no sense why he’s there.




There’s sadly a lot of other problems too. Most of the jokes don’t work or even make sense sometimes, character motivations don’t always make sense either, the script isn’t especially well-written – seriously, was I supposed to follow Eloise’s rundown of all nineteen tables at this wedding? I forgot tables one through five by the time she got to table six – and some surprisingly shoe-horned and inappropriate slapstick. But by far the worst problem is that the movie goes nowhere for the longest time. No, really, once everyone gets settled in to table 19, nothing really happens. We just hear complaining, shady talk, awkward bantering, and bad jokes. I want to say that this is actually the intention of the movie, that it’s supposed to be kind of laid back and just enjoy the interaction between the characters, but every synopsis for this movie keeps alluding to “secrets being revealed.” Hell, I put that down in my own summary, but I feel like it’s not really true. Nothing about the more antagonistic characters it learned or carries much weight. It’s only with the protagonists, and while Eloise’s secrets carry some weight, it’s kind of mishandled.

So I guess I agree wholeheartedly with the critics and current ratings, huh? Eh, yeah, but whereas the movie is getting generally negative reviews, I just think it’s okay. First off, I do absolutely love Kendrick. She’s consistently likable and enjoyable to watch. And dear shit, that toothy smile of hers ought to be illegal for melting way too many hearts of stone. Damn it, Kendrick, we have a right to be unfeeling and unemotional twats in this world! Stop making us love you! Kudrow and Robinson are pretty good together, and for all their unfunny moments, Squibb and Revolori are pretty good too. Merchant’s the only one that gets the short end of the stick as far as both lines to read and direction… with the exception of:

Wait, Walter, where are you going?

To help with the hors d’oeuvres. They’re understaffed.

I know it’s out of context for you readers, but that was pretty funny. The movie’s only real strength, if you’re forgiving toward the lack of plot-progression and bad jokes, the connections made between the folks of table 19 are actually pretty enjoyable. Just these characters acting like themselves and talking among themselves, they are pretty charming and funny. And the ending is pretty cute.

I don’t think this is a bad movie, but it’s definitely not good. It’s just okay. I can understand where the negativity comes from, but I don’t think I agree with all of that. It has some solid character moments and good acting, but it’s impossible to ignore the jamboree of bad jokes, cringe-worthy writing, terrible character choices, and… that nothing really happens in the movie to advance the story, hence making it pretty forgettable. I say skip it in theatres, but it’s worth a rental. I saw it once, and I’m alright with that.

My honest rating for TABLE 19: 3/5

TITLE_1Sheet_27x40_MECH_0R0___FOX SPECS ONSITE_Per Mark Carroll