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TWSM Movie Review ‘Double Jeopardy’

Double Jeopardy…I have my movies.  My go-to movies. The ones I watch every time I need a pick me up and/or they show up on to. Sometimes I seek them out because that’s just how much I like them.  This is one of those movies.

Libby is a happily married wife and mom.  She has it all.  Wonderful husband, beautiful son, great friends, and a life to be envied by many.  Her wealthy husband surprises her and takes her on a weekend sailboat trip – just the two of them.  She wakes up one morning to blood all over her and the boat.  It was everywhere.  Her husband was gone.  She found a bloody knife on deck, but he was nowhere to be seen.

To cut to the chase, she was charged and convicted of his murder.    After spending six years in prison, she was finally paroled after befriending two other women who did murder their husbands.

While in prison she finds out that her best friend, who she had asked to adopt her son while she was imprisoned, had run off and created a life with her still alive husband.  The puzzle starts to fit together.

This brings out a side in her that even she didn’t know existed.  She begins working out, getting into the best shape of her life.  One day while running in a pouring rainstorm her friend says “I’ve never seen anything like it.  What’s driving you is pure hate!”  

One of her best friends in prison happened to be a lawyer “once upon a time”.  She trains Libby on the exact words to say in order to convince the parole board that she has been reformed.  It works, and she is out.  

She tracks her ex-husband and ex best friend down to New Orleans and goes through a living hell trying to find her son.  Even as far as being trapped in a casket in a cemetery with a dead body, thanks to the hands of her husband.  But she tries everything.  

All to get to her son.

This movie shows true grit.  Once realizing she had been framed, a fire ignites inside her.  It drives anything and everything she would every need to get out of prison and find her son. 

What drives you?  Is it love? Hate? Passion? Fear?  The truth is we are all driven by hidden truths, none of which are necessarily wrong.  It’s the reason behind the drive that matters.  

This movie teaches us that we can find friendship in the most unlikely places.  The two women that Libby told in the beginning of the movie to back off and leave her alone ended up being her biggest allies and true friends.  We are all people.  We are all human.  We all have made mistakes.  It’s what we do with these experiences that forms us into who we were meant to be.

How do you think the movie ends?  You could probably figure it out.  But then, maybe you can’t.  Life is full of surprises both good and bad.  And so are movies.

Just remember, just as Libby dealt with whatever life threw at her she stood strong and never gave up.  We can do the same.  We are all strong.  It just depends on how we want to show up for life.

Streamed from Netflix,

~Sherri

‘Always Be My Maybe’ TWSM Movie Review

Always Be My Maybe

Starring:  Randall Park, Ali Wong

Even though it was a cold February day, I was watching this movie with a smile on my face and the warmest heart ever!  It just makes you feel good about life and love, and the fact that even though life takes us through many twists and turns, we always end up right where we belong.

Sasha Chan and Marcus Kim were best friends since childhood.  They were neighbors.  Sasha’s parents weren’t home a lot and she was left to fend for herself, including fixing her own dinner.  (It was amazing what she could do with Spam and rice!) Many nights Marcus’s mom would have her come to their house and help her cook and then eat dinner with them.  In many ways, they were more like family to her than her own parents.

Sasha and Marcus were constant companions even though their teenage years.  Until one unfortunate day an argument ensued, and they parted ways, never to speak to each other again.  Sasha went on to become a famous chef owning fancy restaurants where only the elite dined.  Marcus never left home.  His mother passed away unexpectedly and in his grief of losing her, as well as his best friend, he claimed that he was his father’s “caretaker” even though his dad was not in need of such a thing.  He also continued to play in a band that he had been the leader of since high school.  In essence, his life hadn’t really changed at all while Sasha’s life had become a red-carpet walking life that most people only dream of.

Sasha decided to open a new restaurant in San Francisco where she had grown up.   She rented a house in an upscale neighborhood which is where she became reunited with Marcus – when he and his dad came to service the air conditioner in her rented home.    

The two became friendly again and eventually became romantically involved.  That is until it was time for Sasha to leave for New York to open yet another restaurant.  She wanted Marcus to join her.  He wanted nothing of it.  As she was leaving, she accused Marcus of hiding from life and never living.  He accused her of not living either, because her “living” a life that wasn’t really her.  It was full of glamour and fakeness, everything that the real Sasha was not.   Everyone could see that these two were meant for each other ….. but could they?

Life takes twists and turns and has ups and downs.  We make right decisions as well as wrong ones every day.  It’s through all these challenges that we learn about ourselves and what makes us who we are.  The truth is that we all grow and change, but in the end, true love and friendship will always prevail.  We just have to let it!

~Sherri

TWSM Movie Review ‘Kidnap’

TWSM Movie Review ‘Kidnap’

“Marco!”

…..”Polo!”

“Marco!”

…”Polo!”

That’s pretty much all you hear between Karla (Halle Berry) and her son Frankie on a beautiful sunny day at the park.  This is how she keeps track of him, making sure he’s still close when he’s not in her sight.  Karla is a divorced, single mom working as a waitress in a local diner.  Frankie is her world.

While at the park Karla receives an unexpected phone call from her lawyer telling her that her ex-husband and his girlfriend want to file for primary custody of their son.  Karla is devastated at this news and is afraid as well.  Her ex is in real estate and his girlfriend is a pediatrician.  When her lawyer evidently asks her if she is gainfully employed, she tells him that she is a waitress and to “do the math” when it comes to financially comparing her to her ex.  All the while she is not forgetting about the “Marco Polo” game.  That is why once she is off the phone and yells “Marco” and receives no response she is immediately concerned. After several “Marco” attempts she finally realizes that Frankie is nowhere to be seen. She begins yelling for him by name but still no answer.  Eventually she finds his toy voice recorder on a bench.  When she plays it back, she can hear a woman named “Margo” convincing Frankie that it is ok for him to go with her.  She frantically runs through the park yelling his name and eventually sees a woman struggling with her Frankie to put him into her car.  She runs to the car and clings to it, desperately trying to save her son.  In the end, she is thrown from the car and loses her phone in the process.  

For just a couple of seconds she is dumbfounded.  What just happened!  But then she realizes that someone has taken her son.  Mom mode sets in.  Trust me, Mom mode is nothing to be taken lightly.

She gets in her minivan and takes off after the green mustang which evidently houses “Margo” and her beloved Frankie.  She goes after them HARD!  She is fearless, aggressive, and will never EVER give up.  After many miles of a chase and many close encounters in which it seems like she just might almost have him, nothing has worked.  Nevertheless, Karla is a mother and even when her van runs out of gas, there is no force in the universe that can stop her when it comes to her child.  She flags down a fellow driver begging for his help. 

The kidnappers (yes, Margo has an accomplice) realize how close she is to getting to them and ram into the side of the good Samaritan’s car.  Unfortunately, the kind person who stops to help her make it…..but neither does Margo’s accomplice.  She grabs his wallet to find out where he lives and discovers that she is only two miles away from his house.  She walks there…in the dark.  Not much more I can say about the movie because at this point it would be giving away the ending, and “spoiler 

In all honesty, this is not one of the best movies I have seen.  Particularly not one of Halle Berry’s best.  It seems like a lot of the movie is her driving in her minivan chasing after the abductors.  But just stop and think for a minute … what is this movie really all about anyway.  “Kidnap” projects the innate force of love and protection a mother has for her child.  I know that personally all during the movie I kept thinking “Yeah, I would do that for sure!  I would do that!  Oh, I would hit her with that shovel so hard she wouldn’t wake up until the next century!” And yes, I believe all of that about myself and then some – because they are my children and I am their protector. 

If you’ve ever doubted yourself as a mother, or ever doubted yourself and what your capable of, well this movie is proof positive that you have inside of you more than you realize.  It proves that no matter what walk of life we have come from or what we are going through, we will do whatever it takes to protect our children.  My mantra has always been, “You can say or do whatever you want to me, but don’t mess with my kids.” Honestly, in this lifetime when you involve my kids in something, then we have taken life to a new level that no one knew ever existed. This level includes a new me, a different me, a me you will never see unless you mess with my kids.

In the wild for example, there is nothing more powerful than a Mama Bear with her cubs.  The same holds true for we humans.  I honestly believe there is no more powerful bond than the love between a mother and her child.  

This movie depicts a lot about the mother doing whatever it takes to protect her son.  You might think some of it is farfetched.  That’s ok because the entire reason I decided to go ahead and write a review for this movie is that motherly instinct that lies within us all.  Don’t ever doubt that if faced with any sort of similar situation that you would back down.  You would not.  You are a mom.  A mom is the highest calling in the world.  

Even if you were raised by a mom that might not have had that “motherly instinct”.  Maybe it was someone who mistreated you, or just didn’t treat you the way an innocent child needed to be treated.  Even if all or one of these is true, it does not define who you are as a mother or who you will be when you become one.  There are bad seeds in every walk of life.  But this movie, fiction as it may be for most of us as far as the circumstances, shows what a mom does when it comes to her child.  If your mom wasn’t there for you in your darkest hour and when you needed her more than you ever have, I am so deeply sorry for you.  Just remember that the reason for it, or lack thereof, had absolutely nothing to do with you.  It was all on her, and everyone has a different story to tell.

What would you do if your child were in danger?  You would go to your farthest point and then one million miles beyond that.  Don’t doubt yourself.  Believe in the power that lives inside you!

~Sherri

‘Spies in Disguise’ Will Surprise You – And Keep the Kids Entertained

Many of us are making the interesting transition to being home with our children 24/7 in light of the current stay-at-home orders. If you’re like me, this has drastically changed what type of content you’re consuming on the daily. I was less than thrilled when my little one saw the “Spies in Disguise” movie pop up on our Vudu platform, which he promptly insisted on watching. 

I agreed to watch the movie, “Spies In Disguise”, where one of the main characters gets transformed into a talking bird for half the film. Needless to say, I went in with very low expectations.

I have to say – I was pleasantly surprised.

“Spies in Disguise” is full of heart, humor, and good messages. Not only that, but it’s got a stacked cast. The movie centers on Walter (Tom Holland), an inventor working for a government agency where Lance Sterling (Will Smith) is the alpha superspy. Walter, an outcast, spends his days watching soap operas and making inventions that are rather…unorthodox. 

Lance goes on a secret mission, where a database with all of the spies’ locations and names is stolen by an evil villain, Killian (Ben Mendelsohn) with a robot hand. During the fight preceding the theft, Lance tries to use one of Walter’s inventions to ward off attackers. Lance throws the gadget into the air, only to find out it is a Kitty Glitter Bomb. When Lance returns from his mission, he promptly fires Walter, citing the fact that Walter’s “weird” invention could’ve gotten him killed. 

Lance is called in by his boss, Joyless (Reba McEntire) to meet with an Internal Affairs investigator, Marcy (Rashida Jones). Marcy has video surveillance that shows that Lance is the one who stole the database, not Killian. Thus begins Lance’s journey on the lam. A series of events brings Lance to enlist Walter’s help, which is where things go awry.

Walter turns Lance into a pigeon. 

Yeah, they almost lost me there. But, trust me, there are plenty of antics to keep you and your kids entertained. Lance and Walter make an unlikely team as they try to track down Killian and retrieve the stolen database, all while running from Marcy and Joyless. 

One of the best parts of this film is that it begins with Walter being shy and afraid of what others think. Throughout the film, though, he learns to embrace his uniqueness. He is sensitive. He loves hugs and glitter bombs. This is not the typical male character in a movie. It was refreshing to see a male character on the screen that teaches young boys that it is okay to like hugs and glitter, to be smart, and to embrace their weirdness. 

So that’s how a movie about a talking pigeon made me squeeze my boy a little tighter and hope that one day when this pandemic craziness is all over and he is a little older, we can sit down and watch this movie again, and he’ll see a little reinforcement that being unique is his superpower.

Happy Streaming!

Katie

‘Little Fires Everywhere’ Will Be Your New Obsession

Since everyone is stuck in their homes for the foreseeable future, Hulu decided to be the real MVPs, releasing the hotly anticipated limited series “Little Fires Everywhere” early. The limited series, based on the novel by Celeste Ng, follows the intertwined stories of two polar-opposite families in Shaker Heights. Elena Richardson (Reese Witherspoon) lives a picture-perfect life. Her husband, Bill (Joshua Jackson) is a prominent lawyer. The couple lives in a large, picturesque home with their children, all four of whom look like they could be models. That is, before their youngest and most troublesome child, Izzy (Megan Stott) decides to set her hair on fire. Elena’s relationship with Izzy is her one wrinkle in an otherwise Stepford-like life. 

One day, Elena shows one of her family’s rental properties to Mia Warren (Kerry Washington) and her daughter, Pearl (Lexi Underwood). Elena, a rich white woman, sees Mia, a Black single mother, and takes pity on her, offering her the duplex for an extremely discounted rate. Elena tells Pearl all about Shaker Heights and remarks that her son, Moody (Gavin Lewis), is in the same grade as Pearl. Mia is a mystery to Elena – why would someone choose to live a nomadic, paycheck to paycheck life? 

As Pearl and Moody grow closer, their mothers grow wary of each other. The tension between them is palpable as they continue to show just how opposite they are. This is where Witherspoon and Washington shine – the silent, tense undertone of every meeting keeps viewers wondering just how long these two can interact with each other in this powder keg. 

Witherspoon and Washington are obviously two powerhouses, but the performances that were the most intriguing in the pilot episode were those of Stott and Underwood. Stott’s eyes pierce through the screen as Izzy seethes at her mother’s need for perfection, while Underwood’s emotion spills out during a fight between Pearl and Mia. 

The series may seem like a simple juxtaposition of the two opposite families from the pilot, but anyone who has read Ng’s smash hit novel knows that this is just the beginning…and things are about to get a lot more complicated. 

You can stream the first three episodes of ‘Little Fires Everywhere’ on Hulu. 

Happy Streaming (and social distancing)! Stay safe out there. 

-Katie

‘Set It Up’ is Netflix’s Best Kept Secret

Everyone loves a good romantic comedy, and for a while, it seemed like the industry had shied away from them. That is, until the last couple of years, where Netflix has been churning out some Original romantic comedies that have gained mainstream attention, like “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” and “Someone Great”. But, there’s a lesser-known Netflix rom-com that deserves your attention. “Set It Up” follows two New York-based assistants, Harper (Zoey Deutch) and Charlie (Glen Powell), as they try to set up their bosses in an effort to ease their workloads.

Harper works for Kirsten (Lucy Liu), a fiery ESPN reporter who is passionate and intimidating. Harper dreams to write sports articles, but with all the demands of being Kirsten’s assistant, she feels like she doesn’t have the time to write.

Charlie works for hotshot Rick (Taye Diggs), who treats Charlie (and everyone else) like garbage. He’s your typical rich guy – inconsiderate, demanding, and egotistical. He makes insane demands of Charlie and rarely treats him positively.

After a chance meeting in the lobby of their building, Charlie and Harper begin comparing their bosses and who has the worse assistant job. They joke together that if Rick and Kirsten were to get out of the office more, their lives would be much easier. The next day, Harper tracks Charlie down and suggests they play matchmaker – if Rick and Kirsten are preoccupied falling in love with each other, they won’t have as much time to make Harper and Charlie’s lives so hard.

Thus begins their mission – use their extensive knowledge of their bosses to manufacture a relationship between Rick and Kirsten. As Harper and Charlie work together to help their bosses find love, they discover that not everything works out as planned.

Deutch and Powell’s chemistry is palpable, and it feels as if the audience is just watching a pair of old friends throughout the movie. Their humor plays off of each other almost effortlessly.

“Set It Up” was written by Katie Silberman, who is also responsible for one of the best films of last year, “Booksmart”. From Harper to Amy and Molly in “Booksmart”, Silberman creates incredibly relatable female characters. “Set It Up” features not just one, but two females who have deep knowledge about and love for sports, which is a rare representation for us tomboys out there.

If you haven’t seen “Set It Up”, stream it on Netflix. Prepare to laugh, smile, and maybe even cry. I promise this movie is worth your time.

Happy streaming!

-Katie