Geek For E!

MOVIE REVIEW: The Father (opening 03.12.21 in theaters, 03.26.21 SVOD)

Film Synopsis: Anthony is 80, mischievous, living defiantly alone and rejecting the caretakers that his daughter, Anne, encouragingly introduces. Yet help is also becoming a necessity for Anne; she can’t make daily visits anymore and Anthony’s grip on reality is unravelling. As we experience the ebb and flow of his memory, how much of his own identity and past can Anthony cling to? How does Anne cope as she grieves the loss of her father, while he still lives and breathes before her? THE FATHER warmly embraces real life, through loving reflection upon the vibrant human condition; heart-breaking and uncompromisingly poignant – a movie that nestles in the truth of our own lives.

Geek For E Review (Matthew Snider)

This movie is not for the faint of heart nor the weak-minded. What unfolds is a “memento-esque” deep dive into dementia and how it impacts not only the person diagnosed with it but everyone around them as well.

Sir Anthony Hopkins puts in a spectacular performance as Anthony, an aging dad who seems to be quickly on the decline with his understanding of reality in his truly hard-to-watch battle with dementia.

The film takes place mostly in Anthony’s flat of over 30 years, or so it seems. As his mind unravels we are invited into what he sees. Some of which makes sense, yet a lot of which doesn’t. We meet Anne, his daughter and caretaker, and a few other outside characters but it mainly focuses on Anthony and Anne and their ups and downs in navigating this tumultuous relationship and disease impacting The Father.

Not only do the performances pull on your heartstrings, but it also brings you along for a ride on a roller coaster of emotions which is hard to swallow. You see so many sides of this disease ravage both Anthony and Anne that you are left exhausted and confused by the end of the film.

Directed by Florian Zeller, and lead by Sir Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Colman, Mark Gatiss, and many more familiar faces you can’t help but feel for these people, their story, their pains, and figuring out what the next right thing is for each of them.

What plagues this film is the direction giving by Florian. It follows the mind (or lack thereof) of Anthony which takes away from a fluid and linear timeline/story. Due to this “memento-esque” storytelling sometimes you lose the characters and their storyline amongst trying to figure out what the hell is going on.

While this technique is used to show the sheer confusion of dementia itself, it takes away from the storyline and the pain suffered by all a little too much.

The Father is a behind-the-scenes look into this degrading, frustrating, and life-altering disease that impacts more than 6 million Americans, and more than 50 million worldwide. 

It is a film that brings to the light family, and the senior years, and all that can come with it. The Father brings to the screen a story that is almost always behind closed doors, a story that asks you to suffer alongside its characters, to feel for them, to want to help, and to just sit and hold them. 

The Father is a film I recommend you to see, albeit with a box of tissues nearby.

MOVIE REVIEW: Judas and the Black Messiah (everywhere FRI 02.12.21)

Judas and the Black Messiah tells the true story of the rise of Fred Hampton (Kaluuya) as the revolutionary leader of the Black Panther Party and how the organization is infiltrated, and he is ultimately assassinated with the help of a fledgling crook named Bill O’Neal (Stanfield) supported by an unscrupulous FBI system led by J Edgar Hoover (Martin Sheen).   

First and foremost, major props to Director Shaka Smith.  He is young, but learned, as this is his first true feature film and he succeeds admirably with his tone and angle usage.  The tension the audience feels with the inevitable betrayal and death of its lead character was palpable from the opening scene (and the lead wasn’t even in it).  It’s not surprising he was given the helm of this subject matter (he co-wrote the screenplay) and we even chimed in to ask why he wanted to make a film focused on the Black Panthers?  “The Panthers led with love,” he said.  It’s that type of passion that led him to make what he calls “a vast film, a dense film.”  He succeeded, watch the film.  You’ll see it’s range, its power to incite, Hampton’s propensity to love through a sea of racial hatred and most importantly ‘feel’ what it’s like to be a ‘Judas.’

Lead performances here are no surprise from Daniel Kaluuya (Fred Hampton) and Lakeith Stanfield (Bill O’Neal).  Kaluuya is a past Oscar nominee, I knew he could handle the subject matter but asked all the same what drove you to portray Hampton in the film?  Said Kaluuya, “his love for his people and I’m humbled and honored.”  What I wanted to see  (and have not from his past work) is his ability to feel.  To show a loving touch and nature.  His relationship with Deborah Johnson (mother to his unborn child, played masterfully by Dominique Fishback…more on her later) is where I hoped he could prove it.  And he did.  His ability to be softer and accessible and still be convincing as a revolutionary leader is what I needed to see, and I did (all without dropping his accent).  He’ll get an awards nod for this, but regrettably, he won’t win it.  Not because he isn’t that good with the character, but I’ve seen the Best Actor winner already (no spoilers from a Geek!)

Lakeith Stanfield who portrays the ‘Judas’ that is Bill O’Neal gets a nod and hats off from me.   It’ll be sensitive to read, but I’ll write it all the same – he brings (to me) a bit of Richard Pryor ‘scared n*gga’ to his roles which seems to fit this film perfectly, after all he’s portraying a Judas – he should be afraid.  Not in his dialogue, but in his eyes when it’s needed.  From the opening scene which showcases his characters range as a thief, you can see an underlying fear which stays with him as he confidently infiltrates the Panthers, rises through its ranks, deals with the FBI and even becoming Head of Black Panther security.  All the while with a confident but doomed look for the fraud he knows he is.   There’s a moral burden even portraying such a character, and he spoke about it at great length.

The unsung hero here is relative newcomer but soon to be household name, Dominique Fishback who portrays the lead character Hampton’s empowering, viscerally literal, and fierce girlfriend and fiancé.   I had to look up the actress, could there be anything in her past work that showed an inkling of what she poured out here?  From her introduction, playing a waifish adorizing young girl – her delivery was perfect.  Deifying Hampton but still with a mind of her own – hats off to Director/writer Shaka King for writing her well and major ups to the make-up/production crew for her onscreen appearance.  I thought she was 16 when her character meets Hampton for the first time at a rally, I had to Google to find out, the actress is nearing 30yo.  You go girl, reached right back into that younger time and brought her through with shining colors, I hope the awards machine sees you this season.

See this film people, if not for its social relevancy – than just to get a bit of education in Black History month.  Do you really know what the Black Panthers were all about?  A- #JudasandtheBlackMessiah

Judas and the Black Messiah (in theaters and streaming exclusively on HBO Max, FRI 02.12.21) – Win Tickets Now!

Judas and the Black Messiah tells the true-life story of Fred Hampton who was the Chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party that was fatefully betrayed by an FBI placed informant into the organization.  Academy Award nominee Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out) stars as Hampton, with thriller alum LaKeith Stanfield (Sorry To Bother You) starring as William O’Neal the fateful betrayer. 

CONTEST:

Find the Facebook post from us that brought you here and post up your best homages to actor Daniel Kaluuya, LaKeith Stanfield or meme a message on the Black Panther Party.  You can get creative with your posts, just stay PG-13.  To be eligible, YOU MUST add the hashtag #JudasAndTheBlackMessiah to your post. If GeekForE ‘LIKE’s’ your post, you are a winner and we’ll Inbox you your unique redemption code.  The code can be used at participating movie theaters or through Fandango online (we’ll send you the additional details!)  Facebook voting begins right now, and all LIKE’s will be issued by THU 02.11.21 (just in time for the show!)

PVOD & Twitter Watch Party: The Croods: A New Age (FRI 12.18.20 @ 7PM)

The future ain’t what it used to be.

DreamWorks Animation’s THE CROODS: A NEW AGE is on PVOD this Friday, December 18th

Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | #CroodsNewAge

The Croods have survived their fair share of dangers and disasters, from fanged prehistoric beasts to surviving the end of the world, but now they will face their biggest challenge of all: another family

The Croods need a new place to live. So, the first prehistoric family sets off into the world in search of a safer place to call home. When they discover an idyllic walled-in paradise that meets all their needs, they think their problems are solved … except for one thing. Another family already lives there: the Bettermans. 

The Bettermans (emphasis on the “better”)—with their elaborate tree house, amazing inventions and irrigated acres of fresh produce—are a couple of steps above the Croods on the evolutionary ladder. When they take the Croods in as the world’s first houseguests, it isn’t long before tensions escalate between the cave family and the modern family. 

Just when all seems lost, a new threat will propel both families on an epic adventure outside the safety of the wall, one that will force them to embrace their differences, draw strength from each other and forge a future together. 

The Croods: A New Age features the voice talent of returning stars Nicolas Cage as Grug Crood, Catherine Keener as Ugga Crood, Emma Stone as their daughter, Eep; Ryan Reynolds as Eep’s boyfriend, Guy; Clark Duke (Hot Tub Time Machine) as Thunk and Cloris Leachman as Gran. They’re joined by new stars Peter Dinklage (HBO’s Game of Thrones) as Phil Betterman, Leslie Mann (Blockers) as Hope Betterman, and Kelly Marie Tran (Star Wars: Episode VIII-The Last Jedi) as their daughter, Dawn. 

The film is directed by Joel Crawford, who has worked on multiple DreamWorks Animation films, including Trolls and the Kung Fu Panda franchise, and is produced by Mark Swift (Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted).

Genre: Animated Comedy

Cast: Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman, Clark Duke, Leslie Mann, Peter Dinklage, Kelly Marie Tran

Directed by: Joel Crawford

Produced by: Mark Swift

Movie Premier: Antebellum (FRI 09.18.20, on PVOD everywhere)

“Enter to win a copy of Antebellum available to watch on Friday, September 18th.” To enter, check the details below the banner and movie synopsis, and we’ll see you (virtually) at the movies!

Veronica Henley (Monae) stars as a 21st century high-powered woman of industry who finds herself stalked, kidnapped and enslaved in a horrifying reality that may or may not be real.  Trapped in a slave world, she’s forced to confront her past, present and future demons in a race against time for her very life.  Produced by the minds that brought you ‘Get Out’ and written/Directed by Advocacy filmmakers Bush & Renz, this insane and mind-bending suspense thriller will have you gripping the cushions!

For more information on the film, visit the official site: www.antebellum.movie. Share your thoughts with us on social using the tags; @AntebellumFilm #Antebellum

CONTEST: If you didn’t know, ‘Antebellum’ will be released directed to premium streaming this FRI, 09.18.20.  Winners of our contest will receive a ‘1-time use electronic code’ which will allow you to stream the entire film from the comfort of your home…free of charge!  How do we pick you for the code?  Check it out below!

Find our Facebook page and post up your best images of star Janelle Monae – as many as you can.  Add the hashtag #antebellumfilm to your posts and sit back.  If G4E ‘LIKE’s’ your image, that LIKE will be turned into an entry for our random drawing of stream codes.  SO, post as many images/hashtags as you can – you only increase your chances of winning (although you can only win a code once!).  The writers of G4E will take all entries/LIKE’s and draw names – if you are a code winner we will direct Facebook Messenger you the stream code for the film.  All winners will be notified by THU 09.17.20 @ 9PM (so you can make your weekend plans!)  Remember, our LIKE is your entry to the contest – we will contact you directly via Messenger if your LIKE/Name is drawn as a winner.

TwiView: Angry Birds 2 (2019)

The birds are back and they are no longer angry. After saving the eggs of Bird Island from the Pigs in the first movie, Red (Jason Sudeikis), Chuck (Josh Gad), and Bomb (Danny McBride) spend their days feuding with the Pigs from Pig Island. Their job is never done and Red basks in the glory of being a hero.

That is until one day the leader of the Pigs, Leonard (Bill Hader), asks for a truce. Having discovered another Island whose inhabitants don’t have the best intentions in mind for Bird or Pig Island, Leonard asks Red for his help to stop them. Cue Red getting the bird band back together including Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage) and reluctantly adding Chuck’s sister, Silver (Rachel Bloom).

Funnier than the first Angry Birds 2 has a ton of laughs, and if the late ’90s and early 2000s was your jam a lot of the humor is right up your alley. (Especially if you loved Dawson’s Creek.) Some amazing actors join the cast for Angry Birds 2, Leslie Jones as Zeta, Awkwafina as Courtney, Sterling K. Brown as Garry, and Tiffany Haddish as Debbie. Angry Birds 2 is rated PG. It does have some adult language and rude humor. I give Angry Birds 2 a B. Angry Birds 2 opens on TUES 08.13.19 (R. Barry)

(L to R, front to back) Courtney (Awkwafina), Chuck (Josh Gad), Silver (Rachel Bloom), Red (Jason Sudeikis), Leonard (Bill Hader), Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage) and Bomb (Danny McBride) in Columbia Pictures and Rovio Animations’ ANGRY BIRDS 2.

Hair Love Short Film (2019)

There is an animated short film that shows before Angry Birds 2 called Hair Love. It is about a little girl who wants her hair done so badly and her father who tries to do it. It is one of the cutest and most heartwarming short films I have seen in a while. I give Hair Love an A. (R. Barry)

Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch – BluRay/DVD Giveaway!

Oh the weather outside is frightful…And it looks to continue so why not stay warm by the fire with a heartwarming and grinchy tale to help you pass the frost-bitten hours?  Universal Home Video is proudly launching the box-office smash reboot of the classic Dr. Seuss hit, ‘The Grinch’ starring Benedict Cumberbatch on JAN 22 via digital and on FEB 05, 2019 for 3K Ultra, Blu-Ray and DVD.  Want to score a copy of the BluRay/DVD delivered right to your door?  Check the contest details behind the post, and #staygeeky

[Read more…]

TwiView: The Upside (in theaters now)

TwiView: The Upside (in theaters now). Kevin Hart (Dell) & Bryan Cranston (Philip) form the unlikeliest of friends in this touching, urbanely funny, and spirit lifting dramedy. After stumbling onto a job as a care companion for Philip, an agitated paraplegic billionaire, Dell discovers hope, challenge and change are in store for them both as each helps the other to recognize ‘the upside’ to their very different but equally difficult lives. For Dell, an estranged father to his son and girlfriend, there are lessons of humility and responsibility. For Philip, it’s learning that he can recover the pieces of his life he’d long thought gone based on his crippling condition. The film is light hearted enough and full of adventures between the two as the curmudgeonly Philip is shown a new way of looking at life by the optimistic and one-liner filled Dell. The true standout in the film is Nicole Kidman (Yvonne), who works for Philip as an Executive household secretary of sorts (even though she’s Harvard educated and capable of so much more). Kidman’s ability to showcase command of Philips home staff, while simultaneously displaying frailty over her own life and choices was mesmerizing. ‘The Upside’ is funny, yes – but at its root is a story of redemption – for both Dell & Philip. See it with a friend or date and see if you can gauge if in fact that is Julianna Margulies (TV’s ER & The Good Wife), portraying Philips long time pen-pal turned blind date. B+

Hart & Cranston from an enjoyable albeit unlikely friendship

MOVIE SCREENING: Mortal Engines (TUE 12.11.18 @ 7PM, Cinemark Egyptian 24)

How much power does the human body generate?  Enough to run a massive city-size engine?  Probably not.  And good thing it doesn’t have to in this jaw-dropping sci-fi apocalyptic thriller.  From famed action and fantasy helmer Peter Jackson (King Kong), comes an imaginative future-world based on the real-life novella series.  Set in a future world where a cataclysmic event has limited the planets populations, a densely packed but massively mobile city known as London roams the Earth assimilating all it contacts – a young female fighter named Hester emerges and teamed with her newfound friends Tom & Anna, wage a war for the people.

Yeah baby! We need a strong sci-fi tale to usher us through the holiday season, and we want you at the Baltimore area screening with us.  How you say?  Check the details below the film highlights, and get posting!  #staygeeky

[Read more…]

Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch (TUE 11.06.18 @ 7PM), Family 4-Pack Give-away

Loving you some Grinch? We’re kind of excited about Benedict Cumberbatch’s take on the wild, woolly, hater of all haters.  Cumberatch lends his voice to the infamous Grinch, who lives a solitary life inside a cave on Mt. Crumpet with only his loyal dog, Max, for company.  With a cave rigged with inventions and contraptions for his day-to-day needs, the Grinch only sees his neighbors in Who-ville when he runs out of food.

Each year at Christmas they disrupt his tranquil solitude with their increasingly bigger, brighter and louder celebrations.  When the Whos declare they are going to make Christmas three times bigger this year, the Grinch realizes there is only one way for him to gain some peace and quiet: he must steal Christmas.  To do so, he decides he will pose as Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, even going so far as to trap a lackadaisical misfit reindeer to pull his sleigh.

Meanwhile, down in Who-ville, Cindy-Lou Who—a young girl overflowing with holiday cheer—plots with her gang of friends to trap Santa Claus as he makes his Christmas Eve rounds so that she can thank him for help for her overworked single mother.  As Christmas approaches, however, her good-natured scheme threatens to collide with the Grinch’s more nefarious one.  Will Cindy-Lou achieve her goal of finally meeting Santa Claus?  Will the Grinch succeed in silencing the Whos’ holiday cheer once and for all? Check the contest details below the banner and find out with us! #staygeeky

He’s coming this holiday…for your toys

[Read more…]