Review: Mudbound
Review: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Mainstream Chick with Greta Gerwig @Middleburg

Mainstream Chick’s Quick Takes: The Boss; Demolition; Mr. Right

The Boss posterThe Boss – Sadly, The Boss kinda sucks. Or, to put it more gently, it’s really weak. The R-rated comedy starts out with huge promise and some very funny moments, but fizzles rather fast. Here’s the gist: Melissa McCarthy plays Michelle Darnell, a very successful but not-so-nice Suze Orman/Martha Stewart hybrid type who gets sent to prison for insider trading. She emerges from prison friendless and broke, but determined to rebrand herself and rebuild. Considering she screwed over a lot of people during her rise to the top, including her former assistant Claire (Kristen Bell), Darnell’s road to redemption is sure to be a rocky one. The Boss is no Bridesmaids. The plot is extremely contrived, relying mostly on physical comedy gags to break the monotony. Without a doubt, the character of Michelle Darnell needs to stay relegated to smaller, SNL-style skits. This full-length feature film treatment doesn’t do her, or the audience, any justice. Case dismissed.

Demolition posterDemolition –This movie was much slower-paced than I expected (feeling way longer than its 1 hour, 40-minute running time), but it’s still an interesting flick that will serve those who prefer thought-provoking drama over laugh-out-loud comedy or adrenaline-fueled, action-adventure. Here’s the gist: Jake Gyllenhaal plays Davis, a successful investment banker who struggles to rebuild his life after his wife dies in a tragic car accident. While family and friends are worried that he is completely unraveling, Davis quietly embraces the opportunity to re-examine his life and embark on a new journey of self-discovery. He finds a kindred spirit in Karen, the customer service rep of a small vending-machine company who receives lengthy letters from Davis requesting a refund after a machine in the hospital ICU ate his quarters. Never mind that his wife just died. He wanted those peanut M&Ms!
Karen (Naomi Watts) is a single mom with a good heart and a penchant for pot. Her teenage son Chris (Judah Lewis) is a troubled kid in the midst of an identity crisis. Together, the three form a somewhat bizarre familial bond as they each try to work out their own issues. For Davis, it helps to demolish stuff, literally and figuratively. Thus, the title, Demolition. It’s not a great movie but the performances are solid, and the story is intriguing. I’d place it firmly in the middle of the mainstream-arty divide.

Mr Right poster_Mr. Right – Wow, this movie is weird. It’s sort of like the Deadpool of romantic dramedies. It stars two talented and incredibly likeable actors, Sam Rockwell and Anna Kendrick, yet there didn’t seem to be any pre-release buzz or publicity, at all.
It’s definitely worth watching if you like Rockwell and Kendrick — and quirky. Here’s the gist: Rockwell plays a rather endearing hitman who has had some sort of attack of conscience. He decides that murder is wrong, so now he mostly just kills the people who hire him to kill others. That doesn’t sit well with his former business partners, so he’s become a target too. His enemies are closing in, just as he finds his soulmate in a batty chick played by Kendrick. She doesn’t really buy his whole “I kill people for a living” spiel, but she humors him (and herself) — until she witnesses him actually knock someone off and must decide if Mr. Right is all wrong, or the perfect guy for her, warts (and knives and bullets) and all. Mr. Right is ultimately forgettable, but oddly entertaining. I can’t really explain why. It just is.

Check out the trailers for all three flicks:

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