Movies: Patti Cake$, American Assassin, Home Again

Patti Cake$

It should come as no surprise, we are not big rap fans.  While often impressed with the success of the genre and the socio-economic impact rap has made on society, its underbelly can be disturbing.

Putting that soapbox away, we found this film both interesting and intriguing, fresh and realistic.  It brings a fresh perspective on its underdog foundation.  It makes an impressive first film by Writer and Director Geremy Jasper.

The cast is extensive.  Headliners include Danielle Macdonald as Patti, Bridget Everett as her Mom, Siddharth Dhananjay as the best friend, Mamoudou Athie as the counterculture muse and Cathy Moriarty as Nana.  At least two dozen more actors round out the cast.

This film is rated R for language throughout, crude sexual references, drug use and a brief nude image.  In our opinion it is not suitable for youngsters.

The genre is Drama and runs 108 minutes.  It is in limited release but worth seeking out if you are in the mood for something new and different.


American Assassin

This Triller/Action film is a gripping but violent look at special forces operatives trying to stop bad guys from starting a nuclear war.  It is a challenge for the audience to keep up as it takes place in Malta, Ibiza, Istanbul, Tripoli, Romania, Roanoke and Rome.

The cast includes Michael Keaton in his best role in many years, Dylan O’Brian (The Maze Runner) as the new super soldier, Taylor Kitsch (X-Men), Sanaa Lathan (The Best Man) and Scott Adkins (Doctor Strange).  There are another dozen actors rounding out the cast.

The story is based on the novel Assassin by Vince Flynn.  The film is less than perfect and the critics were not particularly keen on it.  We found it just different enough to keep our interest.  It is fast paced with lots of unexpected twists.

It is rated R for strong violence, some torture, language and brief nudity.  It runs 1 hour, 51 minutes.


Home Again

The premise is a bit shaky.  Recently separated, Reese Witherspoon’s character moves back to Los Angeles with her two daughters when she meets three young film makers at a party.  The young wannabees need a place to live and Reese has a guest house…

That said, the acting overcomes some of the obvious story line flaws until the Ex shows up to seek reconciliation…  Ultimately, it is a charming, fun film that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Michael Sheen plays the Ex.  Pico Alexander plays the young love interest, Jon Rudnitsky plays the rising playwright and Nat Wolff plays the aspiring actor. Candice Bergen is a nice surprise as Reese’s Mom.

It is rated PG-13 for some thematic and sexual material.  The genre is listed as a Drama/Comedy/Romance.  It runs exactly 2 hours.


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