I couldn’t get to the Gifted screening this week, despite my admittedly-embarrassing love for Chris Evans. Sorry, but I’m a busy Mom and sometimes sh*t happens, which is why I’m grateful for my movie-buddy Rebekah Black. She was able to see Gifted and write a review for me, though she clearly expected it to suck.
“As much as I hate to admit it, Gifted is pretty great. Well, SAD but great. It’s about young Mary (McKenna Grace), who is clearly gifted (especially in math), just like her dead mother. Her uncle Frank (Chris Evans) knows this but wants her to have a normal life, which her mom didn’t have and suffered for. Long story short, Grandma (who has been out of the picture for years) learns that Mary is gifted and tries to get custody of her. She does this NOT because she loves Mary but because she wants her granddaughter to complete the legacy her daughter wasn’t capable of. There’s a big custody battle, which leads to some heartbreaking moments. Seriously, you will be thankful for Fred the one eyed cat! Gifted is summed up by one moment, when Mary tells a counselor that Frank loved her long before she was ever good at math. Awww! Oh, and the acting is fantastic. That little McKenna Grace is GOOD, which is the key to any film with a child. Otherwise you’ll end up with that Heaven movie, starring Greg Kinear and the worst child actor on Earth! Score- 1+1+1+1+.5 out of 5 stars”
The Heaven movie Rebekah is referring to is Heaven is for Real, which was butchered by some of the worst child-acting I’ve ever seen. Sorry little dude. I know we’re supposed to be sweet to kids and tell them how great they are but…you killed that movie.
If you haven’t heard the gossip, Chris Evans and Jenny Slate started dating while they filmed Gifted. I have spent far too much time researching their relationship online (another embarrassing obsession), but it’s nice to read all the sweet things they said about each other. Click HERE to read more about that, so we can all start rooting for them to get back together. You can also buy tickets to see Gifted by clicking HERE.
Also out this weekend is Going in Style, a remake of the 1979 film starring George Burns. It’s comedy about retirees who rob a bank, starring Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin. I could approach this review like a Film Critic, with my teeth sharpened and ready to attack OR I could review it like a regular movie fan. I’m choosing to do the latter because Going in Style doesn’t hold up under harsh scrutiny. It DOES, however, give you plenty of reasons to smile.
Willie (Freeman), Joe (Caine) and Albert (Arkin) are best friends who worked together at the local manufacturing plan. Panic sets in when they discover their pensions have been dissolved and they decide to take drastic measures, like robbing a bank.
The realities behind Going in Style are actually very scary, but director Zach Braff (yep, the guy from Scrubs) and writer Theodore Melfi (yep, the guy from Hidden Figures) never let the weight of failing-health or home-eviction get too heavy. In fact, the movie is almost blase about the risks these men are taking. It’s also fantastically far-fetched, with our elderly gentlemen taking crime-lessons from a “bad guy” (who also runs a pet-adoption service). There are also plot-points that are downright stupid, like a dry-run robbery of the local grocery store. Yes, it offers some of the movie’s funniest moments, but it’s also borderline insulting.
None of this really matters because Freeman, Caine and Arkin are having so much FUN. You can’t HELP but cheer these guys on as they plot their dangerous plan. I also had the pleasure of seeing this movie in a theater packed with elderly folks. Several people from a nearby assisted-living facility were given passes to the screening and I think they had more fun than the rest of us! Going in Style might be ridiculous but it IS great fun and the perfect movie to take your Sassy Grandma to. Watch out though, because Going in Style just might launch an Elderly Crime Wave. Wait, I’d kind of like to see that!
You can buy tickets to see Going in Style HERE.