HOME AGAIN — Review by Martha K. Baker

‘Home Again’ squeaks by as “romcom,” almost begging to be made fun of. It encourages the critic in everyone to have a field day with adjectives describing its mediocrity, with phrases applied like plasters to its clumsiness, with capital letters to proclaim its failure as an end-of-summer romantic comedy, known by the conflation “romcom.” Continue reading…

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THE WEEK IN WOMEN – Image Update: Like Yourself As You Are! — Brandy McDonnell Comments

penelope2The message that women should love their looks even if their features aren’t magazine perfect was central to Penelope (2006), the Christina Ricci starrer about a girl born with a pig snout nose. A decade later, the issue still resonates in the media flap about Carrie Fisher’s appearance in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. When can women stop trying to look perfect? Let’s declare, as Penelope does, “I like myself the way I am!” and stop letting billion-dollar industries decide who and what is beautiful in movies, and in life. Plus news about Reese Witherspoon, Amy Adams, Lily Collins, Gal Gadot and have YA series run their course in Hollywood? Read more in THE WEEK IN WOMEN…

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THE WEEK IN WOMEN: TV’s SUPERGIRL Soars, but Regendered Movie Remakes Fall Flat – Brandy McDonnell reports

supergirlSupergirl soars as the season’s top rated new series, featuring Melissa Benoist as Superman’s cousin Kara Zor-El, and a primarily female cast of major characters. Its debut episode’s delightfully fun and decidedly feminist attitude dealt with double standards women face — though she has all of Superman’s powers, Kara’s discouraged from trying to save the world. Between Supergirl‘s super-success on CBS and Netflix’s hotly anticipated Nov 20 debut of Marvel’s superheroine series Jessica Jones, it’s worth asking this question a hundred times: Why are we waiting so long for a superheroine movie? And why, meanwhile, are we expected to settle for regendered movie remakes that fall flat? Plus the latest on Ava Duvernay, Reese Witherspoon and women in animation. Read this week’s THE WEEK IN WOMEN.

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THE WEEK IN WOMEN: Is TRAINWRECK a Feminist Success or Feminist Failure? Plus Updates on Reese Witherspoon, Ricki Lake and Cobie Smulders – Brandy McDonnell Comments

amy schumer 1Trainwreck writer and star Amy Schumer is being lauded not only as Hollywood’s new “it” girl but also as its new feminist icon.
Schumer herself would be the first to point out that her shoulders are sturdier than those of the average Hollywood waif, that’s a heavy load of expectation to put on a seasoned star of stand-up and the small screen making her first foray into film. Trainwreck deserves a good look at its feminist successes and failures, and where they leave Amy in the fray. Plus Reese Witherspoon to receive American Cinemateque Award, Ricki Lake docs advocate for women’s health and Cobie Smulders enjoys her Unexpected ride ti Indie glory. Read on…

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HOT PURSUIT – Review by Susan Granger

It’s truly pathetic when the out-take bloopers during the end credits are more amusing than any scenes in the shoddy film – and they’re not even all that funny. Petite Reese Witherspoon (“Legally Blonde”) and statuesque Sofia Vergara (TV’s “Modern Family”) are beautiful, gifted comediennes, so why they wasted their energy and talent on this vacuous, buddy/odd couple-comedy is a profound mystery. Read on…

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AWFJ Movie of the Week, May 4-10: HOT PURSUIT

Opening May 8, the AWFJ Movie of the Week is Hot Pursuit, which teams Reese Witherspoon (Wild, InherentVice) and Sofia Vergara (TV’s Modern Family, Wild Card) as a by-the-book career cop and drug boss widow being pursued across Texas by a menagerie of crooked cops and gun wielding criminals, all out to get their hands on some cash. Read on…

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AWFJ Movie of the Week, Dec. 8-14: INHERENT VICE

Opening Dec. 12, the AWFJ Movie of the Week is Inherent Vice, the latest work from writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood, The Master). An adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s novel – Anderson being a self-confessed mega fan of the author – the film reunites Anderson with his Master star Joaquin Phoenix, who here takes the lead role of cop Larry ‘Doc’ Sportello. Working in LA in 1970, Sportello is fuelled – like most of the city – by a heady mix of drink and drugs, and finds himself rather over his head while investigating the disappearance of ex-girlfriend Shasta (ethereal newcomer Karen Waterston). Read on…

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AWFJ Movie of the Week, Dec. 1-7: WILD

Opening Dec. 3, the AWFJ Movie of the Week is WildJean-Marc Vallee’s follow-up to 2013′s Dallas Buyers Club, which won stars Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto Academy Awards for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor respectively (and was also nominated for Best Picture). Expect similar accolades for Reese Witherspoon, as critics are calling her lead performance one of the best of her career. She takes the role of real-life hiker Cheryl Strayed, who embarked on an 1,100 mile solo trek along the challenging Pacific Crest Trail in a bid to overcome the untimely death of her mother. It’s a raw and honest turn from Witherspoon, who also produced the film, showcasing both her natural talent and impressive dramatic range. Read on…

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52nd New York Film Festival: Provocation and Pleasure – Rania Richardson Comments

Many of the films in the recently concluded 52nd New York Film Festival will fill theaters, fuel discussions, and collect awards for months to come. Topping the list is Citizenfour, a late edition to the tightly edited festival’s main slate of 31 features. Read on…

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Water For Elephants” – Review by Diana Saenger

Christoph Waltz emerges as the standout performer in this film, Witherspoon embodies the sexuality and charms of 30s and 40s bombshells such as Virginia Mayo, Jean Harlow and Rita Hayworth. But no chemistry exists between her and Pattinson. The art decoration and cinematography are superb. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Water For Elephants” – Review by Susan Granger

Given the quality and popularity of its visually rich, romantic source material, this screen adaptation disappoints. But it’s not a total loss.

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