Not Fooling Around With This Review

Nobody's Fool Poster

 

Tiffany Haddishhas gotten a major career surge since her time back in Girl’s Trip.  Her wild, loud, and aggressive personality has brought laughs on a variety of stages and it looks like there is no end in sight for the young woman’s success given the number of things she has produced.  And this weekend, the young woman tries again in a comedy that hopefully will bring some more magic to the mix.  Robbie K with another review in the works, hoping to help guide your decision making process for the films.  Let’s get started as my focus today is on:

 

Movie: Nobody’s Fool (2018)

 

Director:

Tyler Perry

Writer:

Tyler Perry

Stars:

Tiffany HaddishCourtney HenggelerMissi Pyle

 

 

LIKES:

 

Tiffany Haddish  The star character needs to be mentioned, for Haddish is back in full swing with little to no filter.  For most of this, I enjoyed her antics, her shouting bringing some solid dialog to life as she acts out every vengeful, hateful thought you’ve felt for someone who betrays you.  It comes natural to her, and her energy runs through much of the movie keeping you not only into the movie, but awake as you laugh yourself silly enough to cry tears.  The simplistic fun will be the bait for this movie and the heart of the entertainment.

 

Fast Pace:  Given some of my dislikes to the movie, the pace of the movie helps curb those the factors by getting through the movie as fast as possible.  Yes, you won’t have to worry about prolonged, drawn out character development, or story design because this movie is all about the entertainment value and shoving it in your face.  While normally rapid fire doesn’t work for me, but this time, getting through the movie faster was a good thing.

 

Breaks From the Comedy: It’s important to find some device to slow down and allow things to reset.  Many don’t like to do this, choosing to maximize the laughs to the point of making you either want to vomit, or laughing too hard your sides split.  Surprisingly, Nobody’s Fool utilizes the technique to allow a reprieve from the in your face comedy, giving the story some growing room to flourish and proceed, and build up for more future laughs.  This kept me laughing through much of the movie, and for the most part at least brought some small balance to this extreme film.

 

The Lessons:  Nobody’s Fool is certainly about the laughs and drama, but the movie surprisingly has a crown jewel embedded in the raunchy mines of sex appeal and crude humor.  The moral building, life lesson is a strong one, and the scene is very well-designed to bring the emotional heat with it.  It utilizes all the techniques to bring it to full swing, it’s just too bad that moment was then lost in more comedic craziness.  Still kudos for trying.

 

Boyz II Men Song:  Okay, small deterrent, but when a movie can use a song well and sort of revive the nostalgia you get bonus points with me. Nobody’s Fool hits one of the best songs from the R&B group and while a little cheesy, utilizes it as a device to help the story and maximize the emotion.  This might have been my favorite scene of the bunch, mostly because I like the song.

 

DISLIKES:

Filter Removed: Filters are tricky, but upon removal they can lead to the balance shifting way too much towards the aggressive, crude, and uncreative writing that many shows seem to go with.  Nobody’s Fool falls into this category, and while Haddish’s delivery is top notch, I get tired of the over use of certain words.  Probably won’t bother many, but to this reviewer the stale writing is a little too much.

 

The Story:  Linear, predictable, and quite boring, Nobody’s Fool’s story is like a Tyler Perry Drama trying to be funny without Madea.  Rather than strong, character guided drama that leaves both main character and audience a little stronger and better.  In this film though, the drama is mostly just excitement and gossip starting, trashy, sex driven antics that don’t add much to the story.  The silver lining of this, it adds fodder for Haddish and Whoopi Goldbergto bring some fantastic comedy work.

 

Danica:  When you have a main character you expect mistakes and flaws at the beginning, but by the end can give them more respect.  Not the case with this movie.  Danica is not a character I jumped on board with, awful core characteristics, strong flaws, grandiose dialog, and a lack of intelligence that is surprisingly present.  While there is some tapering, development and growth of Danica was rather shallow and quite honestly disappointing to see.  Danica was not my cup of tea and I strongly wanted classic Tyler Perry to come back in and work his drama story magic.

 

Editing/Rush:  Movies these days seems to have difficulty finding the art of knowing when enough is enough, and this movie continues to prove the theory.  While still short enough, nobody’s fool’s editing is rather spotty at times, with extra scenes sort of piece into the film in an odd, awkward attempt to bridge to the next sequence. Some of these scenes were semi worth the inclusion, but many I felt were needless exclusion meant to be included on the deleted scenes section of the movie, including the final scene.  Sorry if they are some of your favorite moments (which weren’t ruined by the trailer), but editing needed to let these moments go.

 

 

The VERDICT:

 

            Nobody’s Fool is the predictable, fun, laugh riot that you are expecting when it comes to the trailer and the actress.  And while it is funny at part, the movie’s main thing is a lack of balance between drama and comedy.  This film is designed to just be the aggressive, in your face smack fest that Haddish’s energy is and if that’s what you want, you’ve got to check this film out.  Yet, if you are looking for a little more story, character development, and drama that is a little higher than a high school relationship gone wrong, this film is not meant for the theater visit.

 

Overall my scores are:

 

Comedy/Drama:  6.5-7.0

Movie Overall:  4.5-5.0

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Acrimony Bologna

Acrimony

 

Robbie K back with yet another movie review this weekend, this time on a more dramatic film that promises to get the audience screaming “Oh no she didn’t!”  The legendary writer/director Tyler Perry brings yet another piece to try to entertain, in hopes of making a dent in the box office.  Will it work?  Please read on to find out as I analyze:

 

Title: Tyler Perry’s Acrimony

 

Director:

Tyler Perry

Writer:

Tyler Perry

Stars:

Taraji P. Henson,  Lyriq Bent,  Crystle Stewart

 

 

LIKES:

Presentation:  Acrimony’s delivery is nothing super unique, but it is also a little off the beaten path from what I have seen in the past.  Told during the perspective of a meeting, Acrimony’s main tale is told through the voice of Henson while the scene plays out.  The voice over works, as it acts like an internal conscience describing the feelings of her character, adding comedy and a little heat to an already boiling situation.

 

Acting:  Tyler Perry’s plays require good acting to bring his… unique characters to life and fortunately the main cast does a great job of bringing those too life.  All the supporting cast play their part well in this soap opera, but the main cast are the ones who really make it shineHenson no doubt carries much of the film and portrays the mental breakdown of a scorned woman quite well in regards to delivering the lines, holding the bewildered eyes, and even the mannerisms.  Meanwhile, Lyriq Bent has a fantastic transition over the course of the movie, with a fantastic ability to play the complex Robert and spur the crowd on.  The chemistry between these two is very melodramatic, but it fits well with Perry’s work to illicit drama into the mix.

 

The Twist:  I went in expecting the movie to be yet another drama, that was all about overreacting, cheating, and insulting one another. Truth is it was, but the movie was much more different than what the trailer presented.  Perry’s twist on presentation had things a little more engaging, a deeper psychological thriller that made you wonder how far down the rabbit hole the cast was going to fall.  I can’t reveal much more, but let’s just say this movie is darker than you might get from the trailers… you’ve been warned.

 

DISLIKES:

The Pacing:  My fellow audience members agreed that the pacing of this movie was way off.  Acrimony gets applause for being detailed, however the initial opening was a little long winded, unnecessarily delaying the journey to the climactic drama at hand. Even worse, Perry sometimes goes into such painstakingly details one might think they were reading a Tolkien book. This slows the movie down considerably and adds unnecessary length to the movie that could have benefitted from other areas.

 

Ridiculous:  Perry’s dramas are often melodramatic, lust filled, journeys that feign the idea of true love.  However, they usually are grounded in reality and keep the coincidences to a minimum.  In this case, not so much, as Acrimony takes the ridiculous moments and amplifies them to levels that we see in Lifetime.  The over the top crying, the aggressive acts, and even the stunts of the bewildered characters are so out there that it destroyed the reality basis of this movie for cheap thrills.  And while I appreciate the twist…. Its central focus was a little too farfetched to hold my favor, again belonging as a made for television movie in regards to quality and stereotypical soap opera behavior.

 

The Writing/Production Quality: Acrimony is not the flashiest or most impressive visual work to grace the theater.  It’s rather simplistic shots, lack of music/sound editing, and even the design of all the sequences themselves are not the prettiest production.  Even worse is the semi-lazy writing contained within this film.  There are some funny, edgy lines that are perfectly designed to represent the frustration of the main character. Other times, it’s just mindless swearing, that feels like nothing but a giant rage fest that feels more like a temper tantrum than a respectable expression of frustration.  While this may be the closer representation of the real world, it isn’t the most engaging dialog I’ve ever seen…or the most original.

 

The VERDICT:

            Acrimony is not what you are expecting in terms of plot, but nevertheless it delivers the package of being the melodramatic, Tyler Perry adventures we’ve come to know.  Despite a strong acting and presentation though, the movie really doesn’t deliver the same punch his previous work does outside of a shock factor and sewing future seeds for GIF videos. Still, if you are looking for a movie this weekend to get your drama factor on, this movie will satisfy it, but otherwise, go to a better movie like Ready Player One to maximize your funds. 

 

My scores are:

 

Thriller:  5.5

Movie Overall:  4.0

The Message and Family Fun Shine Bright! Yet Would Have Been Better Direct Release

The Star

 

The spirit of Christmas a common theme of movie around this time of year trying to teach us the main reason we get a vacation and give gifts in December.  And about every five years, we get the retelling of the first Christmas that brought with it hope, grace, and salvation from how horrible of people we are.  This weekend that retelling comes through again, but this time from the perspective of the animals and what they went through that fateful night.  Robbie K here with a review on the Star, an animated movie that hopes to shine bright in this weekend of big releases.  What’s in store?  Read on to find out my friends!

 

LIKES:

Good animation:  With the age of computers, you expect fluid animation, and the Star doesn’t disappoint.  The animal movements are excellent examples of anatomical study, capturing the foot, neck, muzzle, or whatever other body part you want your animal to move in an accurate manner.  In addition, the designers do a nice job of anthropomorphizing the animals as well, creating a hybrid of personalities that are fun to watch.  And while your either admiring, or ignoring the animation, you can be sure that your little one will be stoked to see the characters clumsy antics and slapstick humor result in a laughable adventure with fluid details.

 

The Voice Acting:  While acting in full form is a highly challenging task to try to accomplish, there is something to be said about the art of voice acting.  The assembled cast gets two thumbs up for me in their ability to bring the simplistic animal roles to life with semi-memorable characters.  There are too many characters to name, but Steven Yeun as the main character carried a heavy load as the adventurous, yet stubborn donkey Bo who was a fun character to watch.  Keegan-Michael Key was another welcome addition to the cast, his solid comedic delivery perfect for the comical character of Dave the Dove whose quips have been diluted down for the kid friendly atmosphere of this movie.  However, my favorite character was the camel Felix, Tracy Morgan who had the most zany, crazy, and comedic punch of the whole movie with his sarcasm and sheer idiocy. All in all, they do their parts well, and create that wholesome family feeling.

 

Artistic Tale of Christmas:  When it comes to religious and kid’s movie, it can be difficult to find the balance that lays between cheesy, annoying, and of overzealous religious zeal.  Fortunately, the Star was able to accomplish this goal to the point that it delivers the manner in a heartfelt way without falling into Hallmark sappiness territory.  The Star maintains its cute, slapstick tones throughout the whole movie up to the predictable ending that we all know is coming.  And when that climax occurs, it somehow delivers the powerful message and keeps things fun, which isn’t easy given the imbalance that plagues the cinematic world.  Nevertheless, this movie has an art to its delivery, which nets points in my book.

 

DISLIKES:

 

Character Use:  The Star is another example of jumping the gun and hiring too many actors for a limited cast.  While there are a few characters, Bo, Dave, and the wolves, who get an adequate amount of screen time on camera, many of the characters are reduced to unnecessary cameos that serve little purpose.  The Field Mouse, the random goat, even the bad king himself are just expensive shout outs that could have been used towards developing a stronger story.  Hollywood may be doing favors for the friends, but this reviewer found much of the characters a waste of time.

 

The story: Before you shout blasphemy towards me, I don’t hate the first Christmas story, far from it.  What I mean in this dislike is how bare the story felt in this telling. It’s one geared towards kids, doing little to curtail the story to adults, which limits its entertainment purposes for a variety of people. Yes, I get it, it’s a kid’s movie, but think of how well Pixar can cater to both audiences and get the job done.  The Star’s message is great, the package is cute, but it’s limited in the audience members it can truly entertain. 

 

The Animation:  Other major studios know that every detail is important in animation.  While Bo and the main characters movements look great, the rest of the characters (primarily the secondary background characters) walk stiff or are limited in their movements.  While a minor dislike to some, this reviewer has developed an eye for world building, and the Star kind of failed on that level for me. Biblical times may not have been the mega city behemoths of the modern world, but I’m pretty sure it had more splendor than this movie made it out to be.  The Star seemed to cut costs on this movie where it could, unfortunately making the world succumb to characters caught in mundane worlds.

 

The VERDICT:

 

            The Star is cute, it’s spiritual, and it is one of the most family friendly movies of the entire year to bring your little ones too.  With good primary animation, voice acting that is energetic and fun presentation, this is a Christmas story I can get on board with.  However, this studio dropped the ball on using their characters and world building, cutting corners to give a simplistic presentation that is dull compared to Disney’s worlds.  In addition, the limited audience entertainment faction is also a strike against a tale that held much potential.  The Star is good for a church group to go to, but it’s place would have been better in a direct release film in my opinion, instead of a costly theater run.

 

My scores are:

Animation/Adventure/Comedy:  6.5

Movie Overall: 5.5-6.0

Boo 2 or Boo Hoo? Madea’s Familiar Tactics Will Treat Fans to Laughs, but Not To Plot

Madea 2

 

Hellur!  No, I’m not ill, it’s just a signature catchphrase of none other than Madea, the Mad Black Woman who brings her own sense of justice to so many.  Tyler Perry’s signature character has made her mark for so many years, teaching lessons in her own unique manner.  These movies have come in all sorts of scenarios, many being close carbon copies of the predecessors that laid the foundation.  This series continues to rope loyal fans into the theater though, never tiring of the gimmicks cooked up at Perry Studios.  Tonight, the sequel to Madea’s Halloween tale emerges, in hopes of mimicking the success it brought not long ago.  What’s the verdict?  Robbie K, here asking you to read on to find out his opinions.

 

LIKES:

 

Familiarity:  When it comes to Madea, you don’t expect much deviation from the formula, a comforting factor indeed.  Perry’s writing doesn’t try to be anything it’s not, and that nets some respect in bringing the laughs that make so many laugh.  And if you’re a fan of this series, you’ll have nothing to fear in regards to the comedy at hand (as evidenced by many people howling with laughter in my showing.)

 

Plenty of Madea:  Some Madea movies don’t do give the mad lady her adequate screen time, choosing instead to go for a more drama (soap opera like) plot. Boo 2 is more than happy to give you a Madea fix, with much of the 100-minute run time staying on our “protagonist.”  She leads much of the banter, and her insults are more than enough to keep things engaging alongside her older colleagues.  So, for a movie promising Madea, this film delivers on this aspect as well.

 

Fast Pace:  Another positive for Boo 2 is that the movie doesn’t dawdle when it comes to getting to the laughs.  A small, simplistic opening makes way to the comedy at hand, taking less than 20 minutes to get to the first bout of Madea running her mouth.  Once that first joke flies, the movie continues at a steady pace and creating the effect of time flying (seriously had no idea an hour had passed). This leads to an entertaining environment that is simply fun on many levels, that’s right no complicated thinking in this film.

 

Joe:  By far the best part of the movie for me is Madea’s brother Joe.  While his sexually harsh jokes, lack of respect for others, and intense focus on drugs are not my main source of humor, this character has some of the best comedic moments of the movie.  His timing is well-executed, and his lines are just harsh enough to offset the bickering this movie holds within.  The piece de resistance though, is how well Perry delivers that gruff edge in his humor to maximize the punch of the line and keep the laughs fresh.  I found myself laughing the most with his scenes and was glad to see more Joe in this film.

 

DISLIKES:

 

Unoriginal: Familiarity is fun and entertaining, but it is also lacking the original twist I like to see in the films.  Every Madea film has a slight twist to it, but this film is too much a copy of the first Halloween movie that the tactics are fairly stale. Had it not been for the comedic timing at some parts of the movie, the bantering would have gotten much staler as the old folks complained about the same things consistently.  This dislike also goes to the fact that Madea’s jokes are losing favor with me, especially when they drop the morals for incoherent babbling and arguing.

 

The College Kids:  If you read my last Madea review, you know the college kids didn’t impress me.  Sadly, this movie managed to make me loathe these characters even more.  Rather than giving the younger characters some admirable qualities, outside of superficial looks, Perry crafted them to be the same, shallow, annoying selves they were in the past, only much worse.  The fraternity brother are even hornier, stupid meatheads with little contribution to the movie.  Leah (Lexy Panterra) is reduced to a squabbling airhead, who does little, but flash off her own body with overacted gestures and a skin-tight leopard shirt.  Yet, the worst character goes to Tiffany (Diamond White) the arrogant brat who supposedly learned her lesson last time. After all the punishing blows, the hotheaded teen hasn’t learned a thing and has fallen back into the same annoying qualities I despised in the first film.  What’s even more pathetic, is that they don’t use her selfishness very well to drive a moral filled plot, but just as a tool for more jokes.  Sadly, this movie doesn’t give the satisfying punch that its predecessor accomplished.

 

No story:  Boo 2’s other major dislike for me is that lack of a story.  It’s true, the movie runs at a quick pace and is entertaining, but the trailers have tricked you into thinking there is a story.  This particular Madea story is the lamest story of the bunch, with only a hair thin plot to ground the comedy too. Past this skeletal frame, the movie is only about cramming the most jokes into the run time, which also took away from the Madea formula.

 

The VERDICT:

 

Boo 2 is a sequel that accomplishes the goal of making you laugh with the same familiar tactics Perry has capitalized on for the last decade.  It’s simple fun, fast paced humor will keep fans howling in delight, while also welcoming a new age in with its simplicity.  Yet, I found this movie to be the weakest of the installments, particularly due to the unbalanced characters and lack of story to guide the mischief better.  Safe to say this movie is meant for home viewing pleasure where you can enjoy the banter and insults with better snacks and bathroom privileges.

 

My scores:

 

Comedy/Horror: 7.0

Movie Overall: 5.0

Boo Hoo! Madea’s Halloween Needed More Editing

madea

            Hellur there, Robbie K is back again and if you haven’t guessed my next review is on the latest Tyler Perry “masterpiece”.  Madea, and all her loveable qualities, has been making audiences laugh for almost twenty years. Although many of her movies are essentially double dipped versions with a slight twist, the crossdressing writer continues to get people to flood into theaters almost every year. So, let’s see if the mad woman can conquer a Halloween themed movie, shall we?

 

LIKES:

  • Madea smacking on young kids
  • Some clever jokes and timing
  • A change in setting…sort of

 

I’ll come out and say that I’m not a die-hard fan of the series like others, but I’d also be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy her brand of justice.  Madea’s Halloween has plenty of moments where juvenile, annoying teenage characters meet her wrath.  Smacks in the back of the head, fists flying into rubber noses, and intense threats are just some of the tactics the old woman uses to scare the daylights out the brats. It’s silly fun that will keep many laughing most of the movie, but Perry sneaks a few morals into the mix to give some of the scenes a point.  Older generations will surely enjoy seeing the immature generation get some sense beaten into them.

And when Madea isn’t laying the smack down, she also manages to get some clever jokes into the mix.  Amidst the mindless ramblings that come out of our characters 90% of the time, Madea gets a few good lines in to maximize the laughs. Often this is in the form on an insult or a rebuttal to an accusation, but Perry has some witty moments that had me riling. Her brother Joe had me laughing even more, primarily due to his well-timed confession though I wish he could have a cleaner mouth at times.  Ms. Hattie and Aunt Bam also contribute some of the laughs, rounding out the comedy to appeal to as many people as possible.

Finally, it was nice to see Madea leave her home for…somebody else’s home. Madea’s Halloween hasn’t moved too far from her hood, but it integrated a new theme into the setting to freshen things up. The spoof on killer clowns, the integration of a frat house, and putting some ghost themed tricks into the mix finally broke the mold on the family drama that every other installment has. Halloween trades the tearful, preachy character moments for more laughs, giving it a more positive energy that doesn’t make you want to take a nap.  This new approach will be refreshing for most and may be the new formula to Madea’s success.

 

DISLIKES:

  • Annoying characters and antics
  • Rambling gets old
  • Editing

 

Tyler Perry certainly knows how to develop annoying character, and Madea’s Halloween does not get an exception.  As mentioned earlier, the teenagers are annoying representations of today’s youth, portrayed as being obsessed with booze, sex, and back talking parents.  The main girl Tiffany takes lead in this category. Her extreme rebellious attitude leads to over dramatic and overacted antics that rubbed my nerves raw. The rest of the cohort doesn’t fare much better, with the exception of one, that serve little more than becoming fodder for Madea and having audience members say “Oh no she didn’t!”  And I’ll get bashed for this, but Ms. Hattie was too much for me in this movie.  In her past appearances, the small woman’s high pitched voice was timed well to be fun and funny, but she was too much for me in this film.  Her antics were too overdone and her voice just rubbed me the wrong way. If you like her though, then good news, she’s in this movie a lot. 

Something else that started rubbing me the wrong way was the rambling.  Madea and company have many moments where all they do is gab, usually involving three to four people talking incoherently about drugs, sex, stupidity, drugs, sex, stupidity, police, crime, and stupidity. Then Madea comes in and shares her experience and the rambling starts again.  Yes this is Madea and it has come to be expected, but usually there are some other things to break it up.  Not the case in this film and the lack of balance quickly led to the ramblings getting stale and losing its comedic edge for me, though this wasn’t the case for a lot of the audience.

As for the editing, it is greatly skewed in this movie and quite poor to be honest.  At least three times the movie was just extended sequences of rambling that did little for me other than add forty-five extra minutes to the movie, though it did have others laughing their heads off.  Even more disappointing is that the Halloween theme is kind of lost to Madea’s rambling and so much potential for jokes is lost to the old hat antics, which is just so sad.  But with how much fun most will have with this movie, I don’t think this will be an issue to most.

 

The Verdict:

 

Madeas Halloween is surprisingly fun and refreshing compared to her other works. It’s filled with her characteristic rambling, corny insults, and the same types of jokes that have been played for years.  Unfortunately for this reviewer, the Halloween potential was lost to annoying characters and rambling, which only extended the run time for me.  While this is certain to win top box office this weekend, this reviewer thinks this movie is best left to TBS/TNT showings. 

 

My scores are:

Comedy/Horror: 6.5

Movie Overall: 5.5