Paul McGuire Grimes, creator of Paul’s Trip to the Movies, shares with us a bombshell announcement from Warner Bros. Plus, he gives us his take on The Prom (Netflix) and I’m Your Woman (Amazon Prime).
Warner Bros. Shakes Hollywood with HBO Max Partnership
It was announced on December 3 that Warner Bros. studio would be releasing their entire 2021 release slate on HBO Max on the same day the movie will release in theaters. This includes high profile movies like: Dune, The Suicide Squad, In the Heights, Godzilla vs. Kong, and The Sopranos prequel movie The Many Saints of Newark, and more. This is a huge move by a studio to offer their movies in theaters and streaming for free for subscribers on the same day. Many industry insiders are like Christopher Nolan are livid about the decision stating it’s a bad precedent that’s being set. In times like this, it offers audiences an outlet to watch a big movie from the comfort of their home especially as theaters as closed or people feel unsafe going back.
What do you get with it? All HBO content past, present, and future! Get caught up on “The Undoing”, go back and watch “Six Feet Under” “The Sopranos” or “Watchmen” Numerous documentaries and original movies, and they have partnerships with DC, Studio Ghibli, Comedy Central, TCM, and more! Their movie selection is HUGE. This is on top of their own exclusive original HBO Max content as well like The Witches, SuperIntelligence and more.
Subscribe now as I can only imagine prices going up in the future. Check with your phone company or cable company as many offer HBO Max as part of their plans. We were given HBO Max as we already subscribe to XFinity, and I know another couple who got started subscribing after talking to their phone service, and now they’re hooked!
THE PROM (Netflix)
For Emma, all she wants to do is go to the prom with her girlfriend Alyssa. Newcomer Jo Ellen Pellman and Ariana DeBose play the couple in question, but the PTA led by Alyssa’s mother, played by Kerry Washington, decides to shut down the prom instead as they can’t bother to have gay students at the prom. Upon hearing this news, four Broadway actors played by Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Andrew Rannells, and James Corden decide to swoop in and save the day in an attempt to re-invigorate their middling careers.
The film boasts a massive cast and everyone gets their chance to shine. This marks the third movie musical for Nicole Kidman who gets the fun Fosse filled number “Zazz” Meryl Streep is perfect casting as the narcissistic Broadway diva Dee Dee Allen. She has the playful humor down pat with the number “It’s Not About Me” and “The Lady’s Improving” Keegan-Michael Key is a fun surprise too as the high school principal who has a crush on Meryl’s character.
Of the high-profile leads, the casting of James Corden is complicated. He can play and sing the part without question, but I’d rather have an openly gay actor play the openly gay character. There’s a needed authenticity that Corden can’t naturally have with his character. The real soul and power of this story comes down to the star making performances from Jo Ellen Pellman and Ariana DeBose. Both are so cute together and will have huge futures ahead of them.
There is so much heart poured into The Prom that its hard to not have a good time and be moved to tears afterwards with its messages. Expectations are key to enjoying it. This is a big Broadway romp, and if you’re not keen to flashy musicals with characters dancing in a mall or down the streets of New York City, it may not have the same impact.
RATING: 4 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
I’M YOUR WOMAN (Amazon Prime)
Rachel Brosnahan has won a variety of awards as Midge Maisel on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Get ready to see her in a whole new light in I’m Your Woman. Her new film is a 1970s crime story with Brosnahan’s character, Jean, caught in a web of lies and deception. She thought her life was going to be perfect, but she wanted a child and couldn’t biologically have one. Her husband Eddie deals in nefarious work, but one day he brings home a baby for them to raise. We don’t exactly know where the baby came from, and Jean has a hard time mothering someone else’s child. One night Jean is woken up in the middle of the night by one of her husband’s hit men, Cal, and is forced on the run with a baby she doesn’t feel connected to. She has no idea where her husband is or if he’s still alive.
Julia Hart keeps Jean front and center and never resorts to the damsel in distress housewife trope. Jean’s an intuitive character who quickly has to adapt to the life her husband led if she wants to keep herself and her baby alive. She’s plotting out what’s next and who she can trust and the evolution of her character is a worthy journey.
With the character of Jean being kept so in the dark a majority of the film, it offers the audience to feel that way as well. There are so many road blocks along the way that I never knew where the story was going and who she would run into next. There are twists, turns, and a plethora of explosive action sequences, but none of them felt forced.
Rachel Brosnahan goes a full 180 away from Midge Maisel into Jean. Jean moves at a slower and more internal rhythm benefitting the audience in order for us to separate out these characters. Brosnahan makes clear that Jean may be missing natural maternal instincts, but the love and protectiveness of the baby is always there. It’s a knock-out performance that proves she could take on an action franchise one day if she wanted.
I’m Your Woman has that vintage feel and is an unpredictable ride full of revelations and massive discoveries for Jean testing her along the way.
RATING: 4 out of 5 TICKET STUBS.