Tagged: Kofi Siriboe

Girls Trip

 

Summary: When four lifelong friends travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival, sisterhoods are rekindled, wild sides are rediscovered, and there’s enough dancing, drinking, brawling, and romancing to make the Big Easy blush.

Year: 2017

Australian Cinema Release Date: 31st August 2017

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Malcolm D. Lee

Screenwriter: Kenya Barris, Tracy Oliver, Erica Rivinoja (story)

Cast: Deborah Ayorinde (Simone), Ricky Bell (himself), Donna Biscoe (Delores), Michael Bivins (himself), Mariah Carey (herself), Morris Chestnut (himself), Kyle Clements (Officer Sims), Mike Colter (Stewart Pierce), Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs (himself), Common (himself), D-Nice (himself), Gabrielle Dennis (herself), Ronnie DeVoe (himself), Ava DuVernay (herself), Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds (himself), Aadyn Encalarde (Riley), Estelle (herself), Faith Evans (herself), Kevin Frazier (himself), Doug E. Fresh (himself), Johnny Gill (himself), Lara Grice (Bethany), Tiffany Haddish (Dina), Carla Hall (herself), Regina Hall (Ryan Pierce), Melissa Harris-Perry (herself), Lalah Hathaway (herself), Sunny Hostin (herself), Charreah Jackson (herself), Queen Latifah (Sasha Franklin), Alona Leoine (Sonya), William Levy (himself), Mase (himself), Maxwell (himself), MC Lyte (herself), Terry McMillan (herself), Robert Miano (Hobo Bob), Ne-Yo (himself), Shrey Neil (Vikram), Jaina Lee Ortiz (herself), Jannette Sepwa (Rhonda), Jada Pinkett Smith (Lisa Cooper), Kofi Siriboe (Malik), Tonia Stewart (Aunt Marian), Larenz Tate (Julian Stevens), Lorraine Toussaint (herself), Ralph Tresvant (himself), Iyanla Vanzant (herself), Kate Walsh (Elizabeth Davelli), Ricky Wayne (Ted), Cayden Williams (Austin)

Runtime: 122 mins

Classification: MA15+

OUR GIRL’S TRIP REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths:

 

Comedies aimed at a female audience have proven to be very popular at the box office over the past few years. Some, like Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect have been on song (excuse the pun) and worked wonderfully well. Then came Rough Night, the film that Hollywood hoped would be a female version of The Hangover, but it flops badly. Following on with that same goal we now have Girls Trip… a film that is head and shoulders above Rough Night.

In a story of friendship we meet The Flossie Possie – made up of  the world’s new Oprah, Ryan Pierce (Regina Hall – Scary Movie 4, Law Abiding Citizen), almost-bankrupt gossip columnist Sasha Franklin (Queen Latifah – Living Single, Chicago), boring divorced mother Lisa Cooper (Jada Pinkett Smith – Collateral, Scream 2) and the fun loving but very violent Dina (Tiffany Haddish – Keanu, Meet The Spartans).

The Flossie Possie started out in High School but have drifted apart over the years, but now they are back together and heading to New Oreleans where Ryan is the keynote speaker at a conference while her agent Elizabeth (Kate Walsh – Grey’s Anatomy, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower) works on a business deal that will see Ryan and her husband Stewart (Mike Colter – Luke Cage, Million Dollar Baby) become one of the richest celebrity couples in America. But with their marriage not as perfect as first seems and each of the members of the Possie dealing with their own demons this could turn out to be a very interesting weekend indeed.

As a film Girls Trip does hold up. The characters are instantly likable and for once a comedy gives you just enough back story for each of the characters to seem real, and even more importantly is there a no clichéd characters here. These important things all working with the screenplay and for director Malcolm D. Lee (Undercover Brother, The Best Man) means as an audience you find yourself barracking for these characters straight away.

What also works with the screenplay is the relationships between the characters. We get that there is tension between Sasha and Ryan without the screenplay having to spell it out in plain English for us. The script also allows for an interesting development between Ryan and Stewart by introducing his mistress, Simone (Deborah Ayorinde – Luke Cage, Game Of Silence) and then introducing a potential love interest for Ryan in the form of the almost perfect bass-player Julian (Larenz Tate – The Postman, Ray). The twisted four-way relationship never feels forced, which the screenwriters need to be congratulated about, and once again draws the audiences interest.

However, the major flaw of Girls Trip is that it feels like the screenwriters were never one hundred per cent sure what kind of comedy they were looking to make the film. There are witty lines and great moments of comedy that will make you laugh, Dina’s exchange with her boss as she is being fired is hilarious, but then when you suddenly find yourself watching a women pee on a crowd beneath her while she is on a zip line or another giving fellatio to a banana you find yourself wondering what are they trying to achieve here. These kinds of gags work in films like American Pie or The Hangover because they are constant, but there they seem out of place. Ironically it is when this film is showing moments of true heart and feelings between its characters that it works, that makes the outrageous comedic moments seem like an even stranger fit.

One of the main things that does work in favour of Girls Trip though is the performances of its cast. Everybody comes together really well and together Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish are one of the best comedic ensembles that we have seen in quite a while. Hall brings are sensitivity to the film, Latifah brings heart and Haddish is there for the more outrageous moments. Then you have the utility – Smith who does a mixture of whatever each scene calls for. Then there is Larenz Tate who must be itching towards a headline role in a film soon, while Kate Walsh also delivers some of the film’s most funny moments.

Girls Trip does have a little issue with its comedic tone but for the most part this is a film that works pretty well. There are moments that will make you chuckle, which is more than you can say for a lot of comedies these days, while there is enough heart to win over any audience. If you’re looking for the perfect girls night out then Girls Trip should be number one on your list.

Stars(3)

 

Greg King:

 

 

Bridesmaids pretty much set the standard for the R-rated raunchy girls misbehaving comedy, and we have seen a lot of these female centric versions of The Hangover. But subsequent films in this subgenre, like the recent Rough Night, Bad Sisters and even Sex And The City 2, have continually lowered the bar. And now we get to Girls Trip, an African-American variation on the girls behaving badly formula. But this is a dreary, offensive and largely unfunny comedy which, quite frankly, scrapes the faecal matter off the bottom of the barrel.

As with Rough Night the basic plot centres around the reunion between a group of female friends who were once tight in college, twenty years ago, who get together for a wild weekend. Known as the “flossy posse” they were known for their hard partying ways. Over the course of time though they drifted apart and haven’t seen each other for five years.

Ryan (played by Regina Hall) is now a successful author and self-help guru who supposedly has it all. She is married to Stewart (Mike Colter) a former football star and is about to sign a lucrative deal to host her own nationally syndicated television talk show and book deal. She has been asked to deliver the keynote address at the annual Essence Festival in New Orleans. So, for some reason she decides to get the flossy posse back together to share in her success.

Sasha (Queen Latifah) graduated with a degree in journalism but, strapped for cash, is now reduced to writing for a low rate gossip blog. She dishes the dirt on celebrities. Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith) is a conservative, straitlaced divorcee, a helicopter mum who tries to protect her two children. She plays it safe and leads an unadventurous life and has to be talked into going to New Orleans with her former friends. And Dina (Tiffany Haddish) is still the wild child, the sexually aggressive hard partying type who hasn’t really changed her behaviour. She is unable to hold down a job because of her brash manner and a series of wrong choices.

Once the quartet hits New Orleans the ladies cut loose. However, before too long old resentments, lingering tensions and new revelations threaten the friendship and test their bonds. Sasha learns the truth about Stewart, who has been cheating on Ryan with seductive and well-endowed Instagram model Simone (Deborah Ayinode), and she has to choose whether to publish her scoop or remain silent out of loyalty to Ryan. Dina’s wild ways get them thrown out of a luxurious five-star hotel and they find temporary accommodations in a two-dollar hooker hotel. Cue plenty of drinking, brawling, crass sexual innuendo, and some frank dialogue, but little of it rings true.

Girls Trip has been written by a trio of writers, including Erica Rivinoja, who hails from a background in television and animated films; Kenya Barris (Barbershop: The Next Cut, and lots of tv work including Blackish); and Tracy Oliver (Barbershop: The Next Cut, etc). Directed by Malcolm D Lee, better known for Barbershop: The Next Cut and Scary Movie 5, Girls Trip gets the tone wrong from the start. As with Rough Night, I found it hard to believe that a successful character like Ryan would hang out with these losers by choice, especially at such a pivotal point in her career. This is fairly formulaic stuff, with plenty of the gross out humour and crude dialogue that we have seen before.

Most of the main characters are an unlikeable bunch, and the time spent in their company is tiresome. At an overly generous 122-minutes, the film is way too long for what it wants to say. Although this ode to sisterhood delivers some positive messages about friendship, female bonding, the joys of being single in the 21st century, and staying true to yourself, we have to sit through nearly two hours of dreck to get there. The film also explores issues of race, class and gender politics.

There is some surprisingly strong chemistry between the four leads though. Girls Trip reunites Latifah and Pinkett Smith twenty years after the both appeared in the heist thriller Set It Off. Hall delivers her usual solid performance here. Latifah always has a brash style and plenty of attitude, but here she often seems uncomfortable and doesn’t exactly bring her A-game. This is a breakout performance from Haddish, who delivers a volatile and scenery chewing performance as the unpredictable Dina, and she does bring some energy to the material, and virtually steals the film.

There are also lots of star studded cameos though from celebrities playing themselves. Girls Trip is a sub-Apatow like comedy, but it is largely unfunny, with too many flat spots and many supposedly humorous moments that are misjudged. The film hits a low point with a tasteless sequence set on a flying fox over New Orleans’ famous Bourbon Street that sets a new low for this kind of comedy.

Stars(1.5)

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(2)

 

IMDB Rating:  Girls Trip (2017) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Girl’s Trip Reviews: You can also listen to Dave’s Girl’s Trip review from That’s Entertainment  on 31/08/2017 right here.

Trailer:

Whiplash

Summary: Andrew (Miles Teller – Rabbit Hole, The Spectacular Now), a promising 19-year-old drummer at an elite Manhattan music conservatory, has little interest in being just a musician. Haunted by the failed writing career of his father (Paul Reiser) and plagued with the fear that mediocrity is genetic, Andrew dreams of greatness. The pressure of success ratchets into high gear when he is picked to join a jazz group led by the infamous Terence Fletcher (JK Simmons giving an Oscar-worthy performance), a music instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student’s potential. Under Fletcher’s direction, Andrew begins to pursue perfection at any cost – even his humanity.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 23rd October, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Damien Chazelle

Screenwriter: Damien Chazelle

Cast: Melissa Benoist (Nicole), Jayson Blair (Travis), Sam Campisi (Andrew (8 Years Old)), April Grace (Rachel Bornholdt), Damon Gupton (Mr. Kramer), Charlie Ian (Dustin), Nate Lang (Carl), Chris Mulkey (Uncle Frank), Kavita Patil (Sophie), Paul Reiser (Jim), Henry G. Sanders (Red Henderson), J.K. Simmons (Fletcher), Kofi Siriboe (Nassau), Suanne Spoke (Aunt Emma), Austin Stowell (Ryan), Miles Teller (Andrew), C.J. Vana (Metz)

Runtime: 105 mins

Classification: MA15+

 

OUR WHIPLASH REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Adam Ross: You can check out Adam’s Whiplash review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #102 .

Stars(5)

 

Greg King: You can check out Greg’s Whiplash review on www.filmreviews.net.au

Stars(4.5)

 

Nick Gardener: You can check out Nick’s Whiplash review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #102 .

Stars(3.5)

 

David Griffiths:

It’s a very special moment when you realise that you are watching a GREAT film. It’s like the whole world suddenly stops and you find yourself so engrossed in the film that you will be talking about it for the next twelve months. Whiplash is one such film, sure one quick read of the synopsis may leave you expecting to watch something akin to an episode of Glee, but what you will up seeing is a film that is more like Full Metal Jacket meets Centre Stage. And it also manages to delivers two of the most intense acting performances in cinematic history.

Andrew (Miles Teller) is a talented drummer, the problem is he knows that he is a talented drummer. Not only does he know he is talented but he has a game plan that will see him eventually mentioned in the same breath as some of the greatest jazz drummers of all time.

The problem for Andrew is that game plan means studying at the Schaeffer Academy of Music and to reach the top there he needs to find a way to come up against and inpress the legendary Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), a harsh but talented teacher who makes a bully look like your friend and frequently has his students in tears.

Director Damien Chazelle has to be one of the most intriguing filmmakers in Hollywood at the moment. When he’s not penning music based films like Guy And Madeline On A Park Bench and Grand Piano he dabbles with horror like The Last Exorcism Part II, but nothing that he ever worked on before could ready a cinematic audience for just how good Whiplash really is.

With Whiplash Chazelle brings everything together perfectly. His script brings an amazing amount of suspense and drama to the table and there is no way you could ever expect a music based film to ever generate as much suspense as it does. Unlike most films that are made by the Hollywood machine today Whiplash not only has not one single wasted scene, it actually has no wasted lines either… ever single piece of dialogue is a gem and needs to be there. In the wash of this film over the next couple of months this is the film that every screenwriting lecturer is going to be using as an example of how to write the perfect script. Yes this is a screenplay that is going to be read for years to come.

One of the things that hits you the most during Whiplash is the harshness and brutality in the film. Blood, sweat and tears are literally spilt throughout this film and while a lesser filmmaker would have decided to try and incorporate more of Andrew’s problems with his family into the film Chazelle is a smart enough filmmaker to know that it shouldn’t be the centrepiece of this film. No this is more of a film that is really Andrew vs Flectcher, yes Andrew’s family are against him but at the end of the day it really is only Fletcher’s opinion that matters to Andrew and that’s where the film needs to focus. With the harshness of Whiplash it would have been very easy for Chazelle to slip up and deliver a weak ending, but he even manages to deliver a classic finale that is going to be talked about for a long time.

The other strong point to Whiplash is the acting. Like the above mentioned screenwriting students young actors will be hunting down copies of Whiplash and then concentrating on the performance that J.K. Simmons delivers to see the true way an actor should deliver a role with true intensity. Simmons is a shoe-in for an Oscar nomination (if not an Oscar win) for his brutal and engrossing portrayal of possibly one of the most foulest bullies to ever grace the big screen. His scenes with Teller are like two mountain goats butting heads and Simmons class also brings the best out in Teller as well. Miles Teller has been an actor on the rise for a while, actually ever since he was the best thing in the Footloose remake, and finally Teller gets to deliver with an emotionally involving performances that also allows him to showcase his classy drumming ability as well.

Whiplash isn’t just one of the films of the year, it is one of those films that is going to be talked about for years to come and ultimately will be labelled a dramatic classic. From its dramatic and intense screenplay to two of the best acting performances in modern cinema Whiplash is one film that is a definite must see for any serious cinema lover.

Stars(5)

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(4.5)

 

IMDB Rating: Whiplash (2014) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Reviews of ‘Whiplash′: For our full Whiplash review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #102 . You can also check Dave’s Whiplash review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.

Trailer: