Paul McGuire Grimes (creator of Paul’s Trip to the Movies) has three movies for you can check out, that are all based on true stories.
BATTLE OF THE SEXES (theatrical release)
Emma Stone and Steve Carell are a winning pair in their second outing together after starring in 2011’s Crazy, Stupid, Love. Battle of the Sexes could be set in 2016 and 2017 and the story wouldn’t feel any differently. The sad reality is that this is set in 1972 and 1973 at the height of Billie Jean King’s career. Stone plays the U.S. Open champion who fought for women’s equality in sports. She was the greatest female tennis player at the time yet was only offered $1500 for her next match versus the $12,000 offered to her rival male counterpart. As former pro and commentator Jack Kramer tells her, “People pay to see the men play. They’re the draw.” King proceeds to back out of the match stating she along with the rest of her girls will start their own organization. She knows she’s risking her career along with theirs by leaving the US LTA (Lawn Tennis Association). Her daring move to bring equality to female athletes draws the attention of Bobby Riggs, a former US Open champion who’s probably more known for his male chauvinist ways. He’s nicknamed “The Mouth” for his garish and appalling rhetoric to women. He’ll say anything to get arise out of others. Bobby offers Billie Jean the opportunity to do a “man vs. woman” exhibition match where he’ll prove that men are the definitive gender. It sounds like it should be a ludicrous idea that someone would be so publicly vile like Riggs, yet not so far off in reality. At first she balks at the idea but eventually accepts after being fueled by his chauvinist behavior in the press. She feels no choice but to beat him and be a pioneer for her beliefs.
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? A crowd-pleaser thanks to the dynamic performances by Emma Stone and Steve Carell
RATING: 3.5 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
AMERICAN MADE (theatrical release)
It was the late 1970s and Barry Seal was the youngest TWA pilot in the company’s history. His work smuggling Cuban cigars gets noticed by CIA agent Monty Shafer. Shafer offers him a deal to work a reconnaissance mission flying planes and taking photos over Nicaragua and Columbia. His work is kept a secret to everyone including his wife and kids. Seal easily succeeds at that job and is spotted by the Medillin Cartel including Pablo Escobar. They counter offer him another job with transporting cocaine back to Miami on his way back to the States. The money is too good to pass up, but not for a lack of negotiating on Seal’s behalf to Escobar and his partners in crime. Seal’s work with the Cartel is briefly halted by the DEA where he’s caught on sight and arrested. His luck continues when Shafer shows up and essentially gets him into hiding in Mena, Arkansas with another business plan. This time it’s to fly AK47s to the Contras in Nicaragua. His operations become extremely profitable to the point where he’s swimming in cash and literally has a hard time hiding it on his property. His mission then becomes part of the White House’s war on drugs under the Reagan administration leading to the Iran Contra Hearings.
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? Despite a strong Tom Cruise performance, the movie is as generic as its title.
RATING: 2.5 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
THE BIG SICK (home release)
Kumail Nanjiani is living the struggling performer life in Chicago. He’s trying to make it big as an aspiring stand-up comedian while driving Uber on the side. During one of his sets, an audience member “woo-hoos” him and distracts him. Emily’s a grad student out for the night with her friend looking for a good laugh. Kumail proceeds to inform Emily that any audible noise can be a form of heckling, but she disagrees with him. Easy flirtation is followed up by a one-night stand. They both declare that they can’t get involved in a relationship, but continue to spend time with each other which negates this whole idea. Throughout all of this, Kumail is being pressured to follow Pakistani tradition and agree to an arranged marriage by his parents. His mother is so eager to set him up, she’s constantly inviting over new girls for dinner. He can’t bother to tell his parents the truth about Emily, and this cultural divide threatens Emily’s trust in him. His love for her is truly tested when she becomes gravely ill and is now forced to interact with her parents who view him in a negative light.