FLICKS: Justice League

Posted on 07 December 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

According to box office reports, DC Comics’ Wonder Woman is the most popular comic book movie of 2017, followed by Marvel Comics Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok. But, for the most part, Marvel Comics movies have dominated the DC Comic Universe in both critical acclaim and box office.

For the most part, the Marvel Comic Book movies contain stand-alone stories. If one goes to see Black Panther next February, there is not a need to see the character’s introduction from Captain America: Civil War. However, it would enhance one’s viewing pleasure. Based on who the protagonist is, each film is uniquely different. Tony Stark’s Iron Man lives in our world, while the Guardians of the Galaxy live outside the far reaches of our solar system.

The problem with Justice League is that this DC flick looks the same as its predecessors: Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman. There are many fights, chases and explosions that were created from the fevered mind of a computer special effects specialist. There is a battle between good and evil, but the visuals are not concise enough to determine who is fighting who.

[Spoilers follow regarding Batman v Superman]. Justice League opens with a video featuring Superman (Henry Cavill) talking to a kid. Superman is asked what he likes about Planet Earth, but the video cuts out. As the credits roll, we learn that the world is grieving the death of Superman, based on the ending of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Batman (Ben Affleck) perceives a threat from outer space. He contacts Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) to help him uncover the mystery of the three boxes. One box can be found in Wonder Woman’s hometown, while another box may be found under the sea in the ruins of Atlantis. While investigating the missing box of Atlantis, Batman meets Aquaman (Jason Momoa).

Kind of like Professor Xavier from the X-Men series (oops … that’s Marvel), Batman recruits two young people with mutant abilities. Cyborg/Victor Stone (Ray Fisher) is a half teen/half machine whose father (Joe Morton) tried to save his son’s life with Krypton machine scraps. Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) can run very fast, so he is called The Flash.

The character interaction is the best thing about Justice League, but unfortunately the formulaic plot and dull visuals mar emotional empathy. The account executives with Warner Brothers Studios need to fathom why their own Wonder Woman and Kong: Skull Island are just so much more fun to watch than Justice League.

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FLICKS: The Star & The Man Who Invented Christmas

Posted on 30 November 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

As I slowly awoke Thanksgiving Day morning, I watched NBC’s broadcast of the Macy’s Day Parade, but grew weary of the Peacock network’s self promotion. Feeling nostalgic, I said, “March of the Wooden Soldiers,” and this Christmas classic appeared on my television screen. I was thrilled. As Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy and Mickey Mouse prepared to overthrow the villainous Barnaby Silas and the Boogey Men, the CW Channel saw fit to interrupt Victor Herbert’s soaring climatic musical score for viewers to stay tuned for five hours of a Friends marathon … nostalgia interruptus …

With a smaller marketing mix than last week’s champion, Coco, The Star is another animated motion picture that opened. This film is a religious movie that is not preachy. It is the story about Mary’s pregnancy and how she was guided by a bright star. The story of Mary’s nine months is seen through the eyes of a donkey named Bo and a mouse who is a witnesses.

The story is simple, but entertaining. Traditional Christmas carols are given modern update without sounding intrusive. Despite having a light touch, The Star has many tender moments about faith, hope, redemption, forgiveness and salvation. Patricia Heaton, Kris Kristofferson and Oprah Winfrey voice a cow, a mule and a camel, respectively; as Herod, Christopher Plummer’s voice is perfectly typecast.

Plummer is also delightfully typecast as Scrooge in The Man Who Invented Christmas. Plummer does not actually portray Ebenezer Scrooge, as the character is a figment of Charles Dickens (Dan Stevens). Based on the book written by Les Standiford, The Man Who Invented Christmas details Dickens’ personal demons and inspirations that inspired his classic work, A Christmas Carol: Being a Ghost Story of Christmas.

The film opens with Dickens on a successful world-wide tour to promote his acclaimed book, The Adventures of Oliver Twist. The film fast forwards three years and Dickens has written three bombs. While outwardly being optimistic, Dickens sees creeping debt with his housing expenditures.

With his back against the wall, Dickens strikes a deal with his publisher to produce a Christmas/ghost story in a mere six weeks. Holing up in his office and play acting each role, Dickens works feverishly on his novella. Unfortunately, family interruptions keep impinging on his craft, especially from his father (Jonathan Pryce), who unwittingly becomes the personification of Ebenezer Scrooge.

The Star, The Man Who Invented Christmas and Coco are three good family movies on the big screen these days. While The Star and Coco may induce the most tears and laughter, The Man Who Invented Christmas is thought-provoking about family, craft and charitable inspiration.

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FLICKS: Coco & The Man who Invented Christmas opens this weekend

Posted on 22 November 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

Was he a good boy?” David Eller asked my mother while lunching at Duffy’s. Fortunately for me, Mom answered in the affirmative.

This exchange symbolizes my almost two decade professional relationship with my publisher and boss. Like my Grandfather, Dave G. Watson, Mr. Eller held positions of responsibility, yet he made a point of reaching out to his employees and celebrating their accomplishments. David Eller’s southern charm, loyalty to his employees and commitment to community philanthropy will be his legacy for many years. [See story about Mr. Eller on Pg. 1].

Opening this Thanksgiving weekend, Coco is a family friendly movie about memory and mourning. Despite what the mass marketing has revealed about a kid playing a cool looking guitar, this Disney/Pixar animated movie has much heart with an emotional roller coaster ride from tears to laughter.

When the opening credits roll, we learn about a man who runs away from his wife and child to pursue a musical career. For many generations, the family bans music from the household. As the generations pass through time, the great grandson Miguel feels the lure of music and keeps a guitar hidden.

When El Dia de Muertos approaches, Miguel is expected to participate in the annual family rituals. Instead Miguel tries to sneak off and enter a talent contest. The matriarch gets upset and smashes Miguel’s guitar. Angered, Miguel runs away from home and tries to enter the talent contest without his guitar. Told that he needs an instrument, Miguel sneaks into the tomb of the musical legend Ernesto de la Cruz and borrows his unique guitar. This theft causes a shift in the fabric of the universe and Miguel enters the land of the dead.

While this transition to the land of the dead provides the scariest portion of Coco, this film is full of beautiful amber, orange and gold imagery, which enhances this excellent story. The conflicts which drive the character motivation follow a logical progression, though with many surprises and character revelations. The character of Coco has limited screen time, but is the heart and soul of the movie.

Being a Disney/Pixar movie, Coco is filled with many visual details reminiscent of the award-winning Up. As Brave promoted Scottish folklore, Coco celebrates Mexican culture. The song, “Remember Me,” will be heard frequently during the awards season. The holiday cinema season is off to a fine start with the opening of Coco this season.

Based on Les Standiford’s book, The Man who Invented Christmas also opens this weekend. Starring Beauty and the Beast’s Dan Stevens as Charles Dickens, the story details the author’s inspiration to write A Christmas Carol. Christopher Plummer portrays the curmudgeon who inspired Ebenezer Scrooge. The buzz is good for this film and if you cannot get a ticket for Coco, then The Man who Invented Christmas could be a fine substitute. Happy Thanksgiving!

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FLICKS: FLIFF’S grand finale, featuring Karen Allen

Posted on 16 November 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

After You’re Gone is an appropriate title for the closing night film of the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) because the 32nd annual event will soon be a mere memory. From the Russian Federation, After You’re Gone features the story of a ballet dancer with a bad back who tries to understand the end of his career. Writer/director Anna Matison will be in attendance with a wrap-up party at Bailey Hall [at Broward College in Davie] featuring grilled wings, pizza and paninis.

Paninis and pasta sounds like appropriate food for the much-anticipated TOGA Party at the Villa Di Palma. FLIFF Executive Board Member Steve Savor is presenting live entertainment featuring Otis Day & The Knights from the 1978 classic comedy Animal House, starring the late John Belushi, the late John Vernon, Kevin Bacon, Peter Riegert and Karen Allen, who is in town to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Best known for her blockbuster body of work from the 1980s, Karen Allen is truly a renaissance woman. Besides owning her own fiber arts business in Barrington, Massachusetts, Allen teaches Yoga and acting. Born in southern Illinois and raised in Washington D.C., Karen was a camp counselor for special needs children during her teens. A natural writer, Allen was bitten by the acting bug after seeing a tour of the Polish Laboratory Theater in 1972. As an actress, Allen [perhaps best known for her role in Indiana Jones films] balanced her acting career between film and theater.

In theater, she found diversity of roles in classics written by William Shakespeare, August Strindberg and Tennessee Williams. Besides Patty Duke, Allen has portrayed both Helen Keller and her teacher Anne Sullivan in stage productions of Monday After the Miracle and The Miracle Worker, respectively. In the past eight years, Allen has directed theater productions in the Berkshires.

This Saturday evening, at 6:30 p.m., Allen’s cinematic directorial debut will be screened at the Savor Cinema before the TOGA party. Based on a short story by Carson McCullers, A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud is a quiet story about an old man who meets a boy at a roadside cafe. Usually published as part of Carson McCuller’s novella Ballad of the Sad Cafe, A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud. was a story Allen wanted to visualize since reading it in her early 20s.

While they never worked together, both Burt Reynolds [who received his Lifetime Achievement Award opening night of FLIFF] and Karen Allen have much in common.

Besides successful acting careers on the big screen, both have made a point of passing on their knowledge to the next generation. The Burt Reynolds Institute for Film & Theater, located in Jupiter, has been in existence for 40 years. Karen Allen is a Lifetime Member of the Actor’s Studio and is on the board of the Berkshire International Film Festival.

Given their participation at this year’s edition of FLIFF, both of their appearances have raised the cultural standards of our local community. Tickets & info: www.FLIFF.com

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FLICKS: Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival

Posted on 09 November 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

With genuine emotion, Florida history and the traditional glamour that goes along with it, this edition of Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF2017) is shaping up to be one of the best ever. The regular venues, Savor Cinema & Cinema Paradiso Hollywood, are hosting unique themed parties that are supporting the international flavor of the film being screened. Yet, it will be the opening night gala at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel that will be talked about for many years to come.

Executive Producer Stevie Salas’ Rumble: The Indians who Rocked the World delivered. This intriguing documentary provided an entertaining history about the roots of the Blues and the birth of rock ‘n roll overturning much mainstream education taught in public schools and academic institutions.

Salas had played guitar for the Rod Stewart Tour, which became the first concert at Joe Robbie Stadium on July 3, 1988.

While posing on the red carpet with actor Graham Greene [who showed off his Lifetime Achievement Award], Burt Reynolds and Chris Osceola, Salas acknowledged the moment, saying, “I performed with Rod Stewart in the first concert in the stadium. Now, the Hard Rock owns the stadium!”

With a chorus of reporters humming “Hail to the Chief,” Burt Reynolds arrived on the Red Carpet in an oversized golf cart, referred to as a “mini TransAm.” It was a fun and light moment as the gregarious Reynolds posed with the “Rumble” crew, students from his acting school in Jupiter, and cast & crew from Dog Years, the opening night film, including Nikki Blonsky (known best from Hairspray) and local actors Todd Vittum and Amy Hoerler.

It was after the screening of his film Dog Years, when a weepy Burt Reynolds took center stage to accept his second Lifetime Achievement Award. The silence was deafening as Mr. Reynolds apologized for mistakes in his life. He talked about working with great people through the years and how many of them are no longer around. He talked about Heaven and Hell, Florida State University and his childhood friend who ended up dying in Vietnam. You can find Burt’s speech on the Cinema Dave YouTube Channel – www.youtube.com/cinemadave. For all the facets of fame and fortune, Burt stressed the importance of family, friends and coming home to Florida.

Burt’s message that had an impact on Blanche Baker, whose mom, Carroll, was the recipient of the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award. Blanche was in town to support a short film she directed, STREETWRITE, a 24-minute musical about free speech that encompasses all forms of Broadway musicals, operetta, rock, contemporary and hip-hop.

Baker utilized the students at New York Film Academy, where she teaches.

There will be more fun this Veterans Day weekend when writer/director Ken Webb’s comedy, Serious Laundry, screens at the Sunrise Civic Center as the featured centerpiece film. ArtServe President & CEO Jaye Abbate and I will introduce the documentary, Cries From Syria this Friday, Nov. 10 at 6:15 p.m. (location TBA), which may be one of the most important films released in 2017. For schedule and showtimes for all FLIFF films, visit www.fliff.com.

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Thor: Ragnarok & FLIFF open

Posted on 02 November 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

With lightening and Led Zeppelin, Thor: Ragnarok opens this weekend with full sound and fury. As part of the Marvel Comics universe, Thor 3 feels more like the levity of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie than the character seriousness of an Iron Man, Spider-Man or Captain America movie. With the inclusion of the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Cate Blanchett as the villainous sister Hela, Thor Ragnarok is a critic proof movie that will be on the big screen through New Year’s Day.

While sticking around for only three more weeks, The 2017 Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) kicks into high gear this weekend with the annual Opening Night Party at the Seminole Hard Rock Cafe, which features Burt Reynolds and Graham Greene receiving their Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Graham Greene first came to fame with his Oscar nomination for Dances with Wolves. He has worked steadily as an ensemble player in big budgeted films like Die Hard with a Vengence, The Green Mile and The Twilight Saga: New Moon. Recently seen in the Western-Noir drama Wind River, Greene is a festival favorite and was seen in George Hickenlooper’s last movie about South Florida Casino gambling, Casino Jack, which debuted at the 2010 Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival.

Greene is expected to attend Rumble: The Indians who Rocked the World, along with Executive Producer Stevie Salas, a guitarist who wanted to share the contributions of Native Americans to rock ‘n’ roll. This documentary is presented on the big screen at the Seminole Hard Rock this Friday at 5 p.m.

Documentaries will be the strong suit of FLIFF this year and variety is the spice. Echoes will be screened at the Savor Cinema this Saturday and Cinema Paradiso Hollywood on Monday with musicians Nell Byrne & Ryan Kelly (from Celtic Thunder) in attendance. Essentially a small concert to promote their new album release, titled Echoes, this documentary features beautiful folk music and awe-inspiring visuals of Ireland.

The majority of the documentaries cover a variety of topics from fashion merchandising (Larger than life: The Kevyn Acoin Story) to forgotten mass genocide (Intent to Destroy). Both documentaries are slickly produced and will hold a viewers interest.

Cries from Syria represents documentary in its purest form. The visuals are horrible, featuring dead babies on the shoreline of the Mediterranean Sea. Told in English translation, mangled and deformed children describe the horrors of Isis on their Syrian homeland. This film fills in the bloody details of the Syrian Civil War that has taken on international proportions since 2011.

This film is a call for action, and the president listened… Having seen the slaughter of children from chemical weapons, President Trump launched 59 Tomahawk missiles last April in retaliation. It is appropriate that Cries from Syria screens Nov. 10, 2017 the first day of Veteran’s Day Weekend.

 

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FLICKS: Frankenstein at the library? FLIFF begins & Aida’s Secrets opens

Posted on 26 October 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

The Ghost of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein will manifest this 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon at the Deerfield Beach Percy White Library. Besides screening a Lon Chaney monster movie (title withheld due to licensing agreements), this program will discuss Shelly’s influence on popular culture. The program will also present a video about Kenneth Strickfaden, a pioneer in steam technology.

Written by Mary W. Shelley in the early 19th Century, Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus contained elements of horror fiction, but the story was influenced by Greek mythology about creation. Through the creator’s neglect and irresponsibility, the creation causes chaos upon the status quo. Every generation has their own Frankenstein creation that becomes a monster.

During the 1930s, Boris Karloff became a household name when he portrayed the monster in a trilogy of Frankenstein movies. The Karloff Frankenstein movies were heavily influenced by European Gothic sensibilities. When Karloff stopped playing the monster at age 51, Lon Chaney Jr., Bela Lugosi and Glenn Strange portrayed the character in the 1940s. Given the events of World War II, the monster was portrayed as a mindless lumbering brute to reflect Nazi aggression.

In the 1950s, Karloff portrayed the creator in Frankenstein 1970, which featured a sappy metaphor about nuclear energy and weapons.

Those who dare to enter the auditorium at Deerfield Beach Percy White Library this Saturday afternoon will see the Frankenstein monster from a variety of perspectives. Besides other surprises, the first 25 people in attendance will receive the catalog for the 2017 Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF).

Speaking of FLIFF, this week’s screenings at Savor Cinema and Hollywood Paradiso will honor the 30th anniversary of the European Film Festival Awards. Many of these films made their American debut through FLIFF. Among the classic titles returning to the Broward County screens: The Full Monty, Life is Beautiful and Amelie. This week’s screenings also include the winners of the made-in-Florida competition, featuring the Lifetime Movie Channel favorite Girlfriend Killer, starring Barbie Castro.

Thor Ragnarok will be getting the most marketing buzz next week; but, this Marvel flick will be on the big screen through New Year’s Day, whereas the Opening Night Party at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel only happens once a year. So plan accordingly. For ticket information and info. on all the events, contact 954-525 FILM or visit www.fliff.com.

Aida’s Secrets opens tomorrow. This documentary deals with Post Holocaust Europe and the long term effects on families and children. Aida’s secrets are two sons who never met, who form an instant bond. One son is blind, but, like a dogged detective, he is driven to uncover the mystery of this family separation.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween. Trick or Treat!

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FLICKS: Harvey Weinstein, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women & FLIFF news

Posted on 19 October 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

It has been 26 years since Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. It was riveting television, but Hill’s claims were proven not convincing through a lack of proof. Even though Clarence Thomas became a Supreme Court Justice, responsible employers mandated “Sexual Harassment Training” for their employers in the workplace. Apparently Harvey Weinstein did not attend this training in over two decades.

As disgusting as Weinstein’s behavior is, perhaps more abhorrent is the Hollywood’s elite being so complicit. Granted Weinstein produced some groundbreaking and award-winning movies (Shakespeare in Love, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Fahrenheit 911, all of Quentin Tarantino’s flicks) and actors/actresses need the work. It is the hypocrisy of morality that has truly struck a nerve in the American heartland. This latest scandal is a reminder that one must look beyond the headline of any news story, for objective journalism died when Walter Cronkite was forced to retire 36 years ago.

A look behind the scenes is what Professor Marston and the Wonder Women is all about. It is an historical drama about the first half of the 20th Century, though the Marston family has disavowed any involvement to the plot. Much like Ed Wood and Finding Neverland, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women is a story about the creation of one’s imagination.

Psychology professor and inventor of the lie detector machine, Professor William Moulton (Luke Evans) and his wife, Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall) were renowned for his development of the DiSC Theory, which explained the behavior pattern of dominant and passive individuals. While hiring a teacher’s assistant, Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcoate), the Moulton family invites a new individual who submits to their academic ideals. The relationship between employee and employer crosses academic lines and the Moultons are expelled from academia.

Given that this firing occurred during the Roosevelt Administration, the Great Depression and the war years pay their toll of these former academic aristocrats. Elizabeth is forced to take a job as a secretary, Olive becomes a housewife and William becomes the jack of all trades. While passing a store and seeing a corset in the shop window, William has an inkling of an idea about a new comic book creation based on Rosie the Riveter, a sort of wonder woman.

For a film audience that had witnessed The Secretary and the Fifty Shades of Grey and its sequel, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women has been considered “subdued” by urban elitist critics. Writer/director Angela Robinson explores the exotic and the erotic with taste and reserve, which advances the nature of the creative relationship between the Marstons and Olive Byrne.

This film is a vacation from the ordinary film, which happens to be the motto for the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF). In the build up to FLIFF (which is held Oct. 27-Nov. 19), it has been announced that character actor Graham Greene will be joining opening night festivities at the Seminole Hard Rock. Besides receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award, Greene will be supporting the documentary, Rumble: The Indians who Rocked the World, which will be a full event. Burt Reynolds and Karen Allen are among the other celebrities slated to attend this year. For more information on the festival, visit www.fliff.com.

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FLICKS: Blade Runner 2049

Posted on 11 October 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

The biggest buzz in science fiction is the two minute, 30 second Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer that was revealed Monday night. Within hours, viral videos were created, in which detailed frame-by-frame analysis was provided by Star Wars fanatics. Clocking in at nearly three hours, Blade Runner 2049 has created less buzz in the social media.

Released 35 years ago during the summer of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn and Tron, Blade Runner was released to glowing reviews with a tepid box office. Through VHS and various re-releases and director’s cuts, Blade Runner grew into a cult phenomena, in which much attention was given to every nuance and cinematic detail. 

With the release of Blade Runner 2049, history is repeating itself. The new film opened to good, but not great, box office. According to Rotten Tomatoes.com, urban elitist critics rated Blade Runner 2049 better than the ticket buying public. The new film is not likely to make back its production costs during the first run, but Blade Runner 2049 is likely to be a science fiction, cult film for the next 35 years.

The film takes place 35 years after the events of the first film (a deliberate parallel with reality). The environment is still a mess. There was a massive electrical blackout and rogue replicants (cyborg slave labor) are still being terminated by blade runners. The film opens with K (Ryan Gosling) terminating Sapper Morton (Dave Bautista), who claims he witnessed a miracle.

With the help of his superior officer Joshi (Robin Wright), K investigates this “miracle,” which involves carbon life from a cybernetic organism. Through many detours, K’s investigation leads to Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a retired blade runner in exile. 

Harrison Ford’s character does not arrive until the final one third of Blade Runner 2049, which may have strained the patience of the cultists who want answers to the questions that were raised by the first movie. Instead, more ambiguity is served which seems to be the major theme of the Blade Runner movies.

With echoes of a Stanley Kubrick movie, Blade Runner 2049 is too long for its own good. Taking away the Harrison Ford subplot, the detours that blade runner K goes on are interesting and raise questions about individuality, relationships and the meaning of life. Blade Runner 2049 is a film to ponder.

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FLICKS: Battle of the Sexes nice, but disappointing

Posted on 05 October 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

While IT retained the box office crown, for the most part it was a disappointing weekend. Despite the multimillion dollar marketing campaign and much hype from the recent U.S. Open Tennis Championship, Battle of the Sexes was a major financial disappointment.

Battle of the Sexes reviews the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) that filled the Houston Astrodome on a Thursday night on Sept. 20, 1973.  The match was a special edition of ABC’s Wide World of Sports and was a ratings winner.

With consultation from Billie Jean King and her longtime companion Ilana Kos, we are presented with the behind-the-scenes drama. While Riggs and King trash-talked each other in the public eye, off camera it appears the couple had a professional relationship with one another. 

It is the relationships away from tennis that fill up most of the running time. While Riggs’ gambling addiction is the core of his domestic woes, it is Billie Jean King’s emotional growth as a lesbian that is given most of the spotlight. It is ironic that so much time is devoted to King’s relationship to her former hairdresser Marilyn Barnett, because eight years later Barnett sued King for palimony. 

As the reigning Best Actress Winner, Emma Stone does a fine job. She mixes Billie Jean King’s public professionalism with silent moments of reflection that is soul searching. As the rude, crude and socially unacceptable (by today’s standards) Bobby Riggs, Steve Carell gives a sympathetic performance. It would have been easy to make Riggs a villain, but Carell’s vulnerability makes one root for him.

Battle of the Sexes is an entertaining slice of history for those who lived in 1973. One is reminded about the fashion trends when hearing the pop music associated with the time. Yet, there is a mechanical feeling to the screenplay for this movie. There is no need to rush out and see it, for it will be played on television during Women’s History Month.

Battle of the Sexes is likely to be forgotten this weekend as the much anticipated Blade Runner 2049 opens, a sequel 35 years in the making. 

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