Geek For E!

MOVIE SCREENING: Do The Right Thing & Get Out (WED 08.12.20 @ 7PM)

Don’t call it a comeback geeky faithful, we’ve been here through all this crazy COVID stuff but we’re not letting it get us down.  If you can’t go in a theater, how about going to one outside?  Sounds crazy for Millenials, but Gen X & Y know all about drive in-movies and now with coronavirus at our door, drive-ins are making a comeback.  Luckily we have one here in the Maryland area (also another a bit up north and further south in VA, but that’s a story for another day).  The good news is, the movie studios are embracing the drive-in format to promote new and old films.  Now, let’s not get carried away when we start thinking about what the film selections will be in the drive-in format.  It’s extremely unlikely that say, Warner Bros will make a special 70MM to drive-in movie format copy of their incredible new sci-fi thriller ‘Tenet’ which was due to come out like five months ago.  But it is very likely they’ll dust off some of their older, quality and entertaining releases to the drive-in format.  And that brings us to our special ticket giveaway for this week courtesy of Amazon Studios & actor/producer Michael B Jordan (Creed, Fantastic Four).  Check the details below the banners and we hope to see you (and all the humans you can comfortably, and social distance style, fit into your car) at the movies!

Amazon Studios and Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Society present to you ‘A Night At The Drive-In.’  A nation-wide screening of selected films celebrating multi-cultural voices.  This week, nation-wide is your opportunity to catch Spike Lee’s 1989 comedy-drama-thriller, ‘Do The Right Thing.’  The film centers on one of the hottest days in 1980’s Brooklyn and the simmering racial tensions that come to the surface as the heat heightens; culminating into a powerful and thought-provoking narrative about race, class, gender and even ageism in America.  One of Lee’s best works and it cemented him as a versatile, opinionated and worldly Director.  Directly following that film, will be Jordan Peele’s 2018 thriller ‘Get Out.’  Set against the backdrop of current day America, the film takes you on a journey deep into the bowels of race, trust, prejudice, belief, love, and betrayal (of yeah, there’s some comic relief too).  The world knew writer and Director Jordan Peele had talent from his previous work in comedic stage and TV acting, but winning the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for this film cemented his moxie and slow draw film style into the cinematic landscape.

We’re super stoked that Michael B and Amazon are doing this and when asked why he was embarking on such a bold summer move, he said “with this drive-in summer series, I hope that friends and families are able to not only enjoy, but to learn and grow. Now more than ever, amplifying Black and Brown stories means engaging culture to speak to hearts and minds about the world we live in. As we use this opportunity to reimagine community and proximity, I am excited that these films will be shared and celebrated all across the country.”

As part of the concessions for the screenings, all attendees will receive refreshments provided by Black and Brown owned businesses, which are Path Water, Pipcorn Popcorn and Partake Cookies.

SCREENING INFO:

Box offices opens @ 7PM and closes at 10PM – you are free to arrive and claim your ticket anywhere in between. The first film begins @ 8:30PM (hey…the sun has to go down right?). COVID policies are in effect – you must wear a facemask for entry and there is a $15 charge to bring in outside food.

TICKETS: Check our Facebook page, that’s where the ticket code will be posted in the 9PM hour (FRI 08.07.20)

Some helpful tips for attending films @ Bengies:

  • The theater and box office open at 7PM, and best seating goes to those who get there early, but NOTE!  4×4’s and SUV’s only get one row of dead center parking (at the back of the lot), otherwise you are located to the 45 degree left or right of the screen
  • You are not allowed to run your car during the film.  If you try and cheat by turning the key over without engaging the engine (cause you need some AC bad), make sure your car battery is strong.  If not, no worries, Bengies is prepared with mobile car jumpers (no charge), however, once they start your car – you will have to leave the facility
  • You cannot sit any higher than your vehicle.  What does that mean?  If you drive in with a Ford F150 with a nice towbed and decide you’ll place your lawn chairs in the bed to get as high a seat as possible…you’ll be asked to take them down.  In fact, Bengies has staff wandering around with stretches of rope to help you bring your rear hatch doors down to no higher than your vehicle’s height.
  • Don’t test them on the personal food.  If you plan to bring your own food, pay the $15 fee at the gate.  There are roaming Bengie staff looking for you, and they know what their food items look like!  You’ve been warned.

TwiView: Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), A-

You know it’s hard to reboot a videogame into a movie with the right formula.  Many have tried and failed (anybody ever see Super Mario Bros?), but hats off here because this Sonic works and borrows just enough visible cues from the game to make this a delight for the 6, 16 and even 60yr olds of the world – and that’s no small feat.  The story centers on our blue hero who is chased from his home world and into ours only to be comically and relentlessly hunted by the evil Dr. Robotnik (of course it’s Jim Carrey, who else could portray a methodical genius and a haphazard buffoon at the same time!).  Aiding Sonic on Earth is an upstart Montana town Sheriff James Marsden (Cyclops of X-Men fame) who struggles with his place within a small Montana town and yearns for some action.   When Sonic and Robotnik hit the scene, we’re all treated to a videogame style melee that hits all the marks.  I was truly surprised at how enjoyable and just plain fun this was to watch.  I’m even going all-out on my fearless box office forecast:  It will be #1, it will beat Fantasy island & The Photograph on its way to a $40M+ box office weekend.  A- (why a minus?  Just something about the demographic makeup of the fictional town of Green Springs, Montana – but it’s a movie, so I’ll let it slide)

TwiView: Bad Boys For Life (B+)

TwiView: Bad Boys For Life (in theaters now!) They’re back! Will Smith (Mike Lowery) and Martin Lawrence (Marcus Burnett) return after a 17yr hiatus and the two haven’t skipped a beat. Still just as funny, and despite their ages, just as action-packed. BB4L centers on a revenge plot being taken against Mike Lowery that inevitably pulls everyone from his past into focus. The ‘boys’ reluctantly team up in attempt to thwart the plot but also to help Mike get his mojo back (we know, how did he lose it right? And why would the boys be reluctant to join up?) Oddly, after 17yrs the series is not stale, and Miami looks as stylish and as hot as ever. What separates this 3rd chapter of the BB series from other buddy-cop stories and their third chapters (we’re thinking Lethal Weapon series) is…nothing, ok maybe a little something. Of course it has the same formulaic lost love that needs to be rekindled, the same tragedy scenario that befalls one of our heroes, and the obligatory death of a major character. Where BB4L separates, is a really unexpected plot twist that you don’t see coming, but you’ll get a small kick out of it all the same (can someone say the ‘Bad Boy Universe?’). BB4L has the laughs, the explosions, and the hot cars to take its place in the pantheon of action-comedy hits and our only complaint is that even though the characters got older (like Grandpop, gray haired and hittin’ the Grecian formula!), their action-moves did not. These characters are 50yo+ and still jumping, flying and kicking a lot of ‘arse’ – hey maybe they’re just in great shape and we’re jealous! You won’t mind though it though as you’re being treated to a barrage of bullets, one-liners and oh yeah, Reggie (memba him?). BB4L is rated R with a 2hr and 4min running time. We give this solid little threequel 4 out of 5 stars. Fearless Box Office forecast: $51M opening weekend).  Oh yeah, BB4L is taking a page from Marvel, so stick around for the credits!

BB4L (2020)
This time, it’s personal

TwiView: Dolittle (2020)

After losing the love of his life Dr. Dolittle (Robert Downey Jr.) shuts himself and the doors of his animal sanctuary off from the world. That is until Queen Victoria (Jessie Buckley) is taken ill, and Dr. Dolittle is summoned to help her. With the help of a young boy Tommy Stubbins (Harry Collett) and Dr. Dolittle’s animal friends, Poly (Emma Thompson), Chee-Chee (Rami Malek), Yoshi (John Cena), Plimpton (Kumail Nanjiani), and Dab-Dab (Octavia Spencer), they all set sail to find the one thing that will cure the Queen.

Dolittle will have you laughing out loud from start to finish. It is also a movie that helps to remind us there is nothing we can’t overcome. Especially when we have great friends by our side. Dolittle has an amazing all-star cast that also contains Antonio Banderas as King Rassouli, Michael Sheen as Dr. Blair Müdfly, Jim Broadbent as Lord Thomas Badgley, Tom Holland as Jip, Craig Robinson as Kevin, Ralph Fiennes as Barry, Selena Gomez as Betsy, and Marion Cotillard as Tutu.

While it was refreshing to see Robert Downey Jr. in a role outside of Iron Man it was really the animated animals who stole the movie. Chee-Chee (Rami Malek), Yoshi (John Cena), and Plimpton (Kumail Nanjiani) have some of the funniest lines in the movie and will have you rolling with laughter. Dolittle is rated PG, and is a movie all ages can see and enjoy. I give Dolittle a B+. You can find Dolittle in theaters Friday, January 17, 2020. (R. Barry)

TwiView: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

In Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker the battle between the Resistance and the First Order rages on while Rey (Daisey Ridley) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) continue their journey to find out who they truly are. In the conclusion of the Star Wars saga, fans will find themselves torn between the good and the bad. During parts, The Rise of Skywalker is fantastic, such as the visuals, but it has many parts that will leave you shaking your head. The Rise of Skywalker also brings back stars John Boyega (Finn), Oscar Issac (Poe), and Kelly Marie Tran (Rose), but some of the stand out characters in The Rise of Skywalker are the Droid C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) and newcomer Babu Frik. Director J.J. Abrams was given a huge task to not only finish the Star Wars saga but also try to tie up every loose end left by The Last Jedi, and I feel he did the best he could with what he had.

Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker

So, how do I rate the movie? As a Star Wars fan, I rate the movie a B. It is rated PG-13 for sci-fi violence and action. There is death, a little bit of blood, some curse words, and of course scary Sith. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in theaters December 20th. (R.Barry)

TwiView: Jumanji, The Next Level (A-)

Jumanji, The Next Level (in theaters FRI 12.13.19).  Is this sequel beating the concept like a dead horse?  That answer, would be no.  This is hands down the funniest and most adventurous of the series!  JTNL picks up roughly a year after the last film, and the crew has grown older, a bit wiser, and for young Spencer (Alex Wolff), a bit more depressed.  Desperate to relive the glory of Jumanji, he re-enters the game on his own leaving his old crew to figure out what’s happened to him.  Determined to save their friend, they re-enter the game, but with a complication this time.  Spence’s grandfather Eddie (Danny Devito) and Eddie’s elder best friend Milo (Danny Glover) who are unwittingly pulled into the video game action.   In the best and funniest twist possible, the game avatar ownership gets changed as the crew gets pulled into the action – this time, old grandpa Eddie becomes Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson) and Milo becomes the impish zoologist, Franklin Finbar (Kevin Hart).  And to keep you completely rolling on the floor, the rest of the crews avatars are swapped which introduces new characters including the wily, Ming (Awkwafina).  A new evil threatens Jumanji and his name is Gregor The Hound…sorry, I mean ‘Jurgen The Brutal.’  portrayed by Rory McCann of GOT fame.  Couldn’t resist.  Our intrepid crew must battle ostriches, humid deserts, and crazed baboons on their way to thwarting Jurgen’s evil plot to use a stolen precious gem and an arranged marriage to become King of the land.  This is by far the best of the series and what makes this version special is how well Hart & Johnson are able to personify the elderly characters their avatars inhabit.  I was really looking for ‘cracks’ between the two of them and the others as they haphazardly swap identities throughout the film.  The entire cast did a fantastic job of staying in their original characters voice and personalities, just a phenomenal job.  If I had one complaint for this version, it would be the ‘bad guy Jurgen’ motivation.  Oddly, once you get to know him, he’s not really evil and his plan, outside of stealing the precious gem isn’t as dastardly as his predecessors, it’s actually a bit benevolent.  Put that aside and you’ve got a raucous and wild ride and what is sure to be a box office success.  A- (Fearless box office weekend forecast: $71 million)

TwiView: Knives Out (2019)

Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is a popular crime novelist with an entitled and eccentric family. When Harlan is found dead after his 85th birthday party the police and Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) come in to investigate. Even though the police believe Harlan’s death to be an open and shut case Detective Blanc has the feeling nothing is as it seems. Soon Detective Blanc learns almost every one of Harlan’s family members is hiding something and has a possible motive. Who killed Harlan, and why?

Hands down the best whodunnit movie of the year. With an all-star cast that includes Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, and Toni Collette it is Daniel Craig and Chris Evans who give the standout performances and provide some of the best quotable movie lines that will have you rolling with laughter. Even those who are not murder/mystery movie fans will be entertained by Knives Out. I give Knives Out an A. Even though Knives Out is rated PG-13 it does contain a lot of strong language and violence. Opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 27, 2019. (R. Barry)  

A Look Inside A Movie World Premiere After-party

On November 7, 2019, one of Geek for E’s contributors, Rachel Barry, had the opportunity to attend the World Premiere of Frozen 2 on behalf of her blog. She walked the red carpet, saw the world premiere of Frozen 2, and attended the after-party. So, what happens during a movie premiere after-party? Here’s a quick sneak peek!

Location and Photo Ops

The Frozen 2 World Premiere was held at the Dolby Theater in LA. (It’s where they hold the Oscars!) After the premiere, we took the elevator up to the after-party where it was all Frozen themed. There were photo ops galore! You had the chance to take pictures with Olaf, Anna, and Elsa. This helped to spread the after-party crowd out since they had photo ops outside the party and inside the party perimeter.

Photo Ops. (Courtesy of R. Barry, Pretty in Baby Food)
Photo Ops. (Courtesy of R. Barry, Pretty in Baby Food)

Food/Drink

The main food was done by Wolfgang Puck catering, McDonald’s chicken nuggets were available, and there was an open bar. The food consisted of many kid’s favorites such as vegetables, mac & cheese and hotdogs. Which was genius since there were a lot of children in attendance for the after-party. There aren’t many places to sit unless you are a celebrity or part of their party so you eat real quick and then you go mingle and participate in the activities.

Celebrities

Of course, the cast and crew of Frozen 2 were also in attendance at the after-party. Many attended the premiere and after-party with their families. I had the honor of being able to meet Josh Gad, Sterling K. Brown, and Jason Ritter. All three gentlemen are so nice!

Sterling K. Brown
I got to meet Sterling K. Brown! (Courtesy of R. Barry Pretty in Baby Food)

Activities

One of my favorite things about the Frozen 2 after-party was the activities. They had different activity stations sponsored by different companies. Build-A-Bear sponsored a Charades booth where you could win prizes. Lego had a build your own snowman booth. Colorpop sponsored a Royal Treatment booth where you could get some Frozen 2 lip gloss. And much more! It was an amazing experience and I am so honored to have had the chance to go!

When R. Barry isn’t contributing to Geek For E you can find her writing over on her own blog Pretty in Baby Food where she covers lifestyle, entertainment, and travel.

TwiView: Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)

Judgment day came for all of the Terminator movies after Terminator 2, and they have been Terminated. Terminator: Dark Fate occurs over twenty years after the end of Judgement Day, and it delivers the original Terminator feel. Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) saved humanity and stopped Judgement Day, but still ended up losing the most important thing in her life, her son John who is killed by a T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger). It seems though humanity never learns from its mistakes, and one A.I. (Skynet) is replaced by another A.I. (Legion). Hell-bent on wiping out the human race Legion sends its own Terminator, Rev-9 (Gabriel Luna), back in time to kill Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes). To help Dani survive in the past the human resistance sends back an augmented human, Grace (Mackenzie Davis), to protect her.

But Grace isn’t the only help Dani has. No longer running from Terminators Sarah Connor has a new purpose in life, to hunt them. Receiving information from an unknown ally Sarah arrives just in time to help Grace and Dani escape Rev-9, and she decides to continue to help protect Dani in the hopes of preventing another apocalyptic future.

Terminator: Dark fate brings back the nostalgia of the first 2 movies thanks to the return of Linda Hamilton and James Cameron. If you are a Terminator fan you will enjoy and be entertained by Dark Fate. Linda Hamilton and Mackenzie Davis are the stand out actors and provide some of the best action and lines in the movie. I give Terminator: Dark Fate a B-. It’s entertaining, leaves you with questions, but is unfortunately predictable. The movie is rated R due to violence, language, and nudity. Out in theaters 11/1/19. (R. Barry)

The Lion King (2019); Free Screening, Bloomberg Philanthropies (FRI 10.25.19)

Did you miss your chance to see it in theaters? How about catching it again, and for a worthy cause. Tribeca Film Festival and Bloomberg Philanthropies have teamed up with City Pop-Up Baltimore to bring a one-of-a-kind experience to our city…and its free! Check the details below and #staygeeky

Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Tribeca Film Festival chose Baltimore for the inaugural City Pop-Up event in 2017, which featured the documentary STEP. Based on that success, and in continued recognition of the community’s resilient spirit, they returned for a second year. City Pop-Up was born from Bloomberg Philanthropies and Tribeca’s joint mission to help revitalize cities and build communities by bringing people together through film and entertainment. Last year’s event featured a screening of the groundbreaking film Black Panther and brought out hundreds of local residents to the event.

SCREENING DETAILS: On October 25, 4PM, they are hosting City Pop-Up: Baltimore, a community event featuring a free public screening of the 2019 version of THE LION KING. City Pop-Up takes place at the Under Armor House at Fayette, operated by Living Classrooms. This event is an amazing opportunity to bring the Baltimore community together for a night out featuring local food vendors, performances and music. Click the weblink for more details

Connect with Bloomberg Philanthropies & Tribeca:

Twitter: @Bloombergdotorg                               Twitter: @Tribeca         

Instagram: @Bloombergdotorg                          Instagram: @tribeca

Facebook: facebook.com/bloombergdotorg         Facebook: facebook.com/Tribeca