And the Oscar Goes To… Not a Clue

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Review: MA

My oh Ma! What a departure for Octavia Spencer, playing a lonely, twisted woman in a teen horror flick. The Oscar-winning actress (The Help, Hidden Figures) commands the screen – and the scream – as Sue Ann, a veterinary assistant in a quiet Ohio town who befriends a group of teenagers on a beer run. She agrees to buy the kids alcohol and invites them to hang out in her large secluded basement so they can have a safe place to party. What could possibly go wrong?

Mini-Reviews: I, Tonya

Both of us chicks saw this one at Middleburg. Both of us liked it. Here are our mini-reviews:

Bad Words

“The end justifies the mean.” That’s one of the tag lines for Bad Words. And that pretty well sums it up, because you spend the majority of the movie waiting to discover why the main character is such a prick. Pardon my language, but seriously, that’s the most appropriate word to describe Guy Trilby, a 40-year-old man who forces his way into a kids’ national spelling bee competition by exploiting a loophole in the eligibility rules. The usually-endearing Jason Bateman takes a walk on the dark and crude side to play Trilby in this R-rated comedy that also marks his feature directorial debut. At first, it’s hard to buy the baby-faced Bateman as an evil spelling genius who’s willing to do whatever it takes to sink his young and emotionally-vulnerable competition. But by the third or fourth ‘oh no, he di’int’ moment, bad Bateman becomes believable.

The Way, Way Back

I first saw The Way, Way Back way back in early May. I loved it then. And I think I love it even more now (considering the array of films I’ve seen since). It’s a good, solid coming-of-age indie that has the mainstream appeal of a Little Miss Sunshine or The Descendants. As it happens, The Way, Way Back is made by the same people who brought you those two gems. It’s sweet, funny, poignant, sappy, sad and hopeful – with an excellent cast to boot.

Struck By Lightning

Struck By Lighting is an odd movie – a heartfelt drama/comedy that isn’t nearly as laugh-at-loud funny as it claims to be. Chris Colfer (a.k.a. ‘Kurt’ from Glee) plays Carson Phillips, a high school outcast who is struck and killed by lightning. The End. Okay, maybe not the end. That’s actually the beginning. Carson proceeds – in voiceover- to recount his upbringing by a depressed and over-medicated single mother (Allison Janney), his lifelong passion for writing, and his strong desire to get out of his small town and into his dream school, Northwestern (my alma mater).

The Help

Fans of the book will be relieved to know that the movie does it justice, evoking all the same emotions – from disgust, disgrace and dignity to honesty, humor and hope.