Movies, mostly not about time travel (#SFWApro)

DREAMGIRLS (2006) is the film adaptation of the stage musical about a Supremes-like group that crosses the colorline to become a hit with white audiences, thanks to the bag of tricks employed by manager Jamie Foxx and the good looks of lead singer Beyonce Knowles, whom Foxx picks over plainer-faced, stronger-voiced Jennifer Hudson. This might have worked if they’d focused on Hudson’s travails as the Fifth Beatle, or on any of the characters. Instead this takes an overview of the group’s history that drowns out the individual character arcs and is just too sprawling and aimless to engage me. The cast, including Eddie Murphy as a womanizing soul singer and Danny Glover as a nightclub owner, is excellent though. “Think of all the beautiful black women who aren’t even born yet.”

220px-Casa_de_los_babysCASA DE LOS BABYS (2003) is a John Sayles’ film about American women staying in a small South American hotel while waiting to see if their adoption application hits the jackpot (and typical for Sayles, it’s also about the community around the women). The cast includes alcoholic Mary Steenburgen, brink-of-divorce Maggie Gyllenhaal, wannabe-single mom Lily Palmer, genetically troubled Darryl Hannah (“The baby lived for a whole two days.”) and Rita Moreno as the hotel owner. All the ingredients are there, but they never quite combine to the level of Sayles’ best work (all rights to image with current holder). “You cannot buy our babies with American Express—but there is a cash machine in the lobby.”

PARADOX (2013) is set in a world where a la Lord Darcy, magic fills the same role as science in our Earth and science is considered a fringe New Agey belief. Kevin Sorbo is a cop with an irrational belief in mundane methods (“I believe looking someone in the eye is a better gauge of his honesty than a truth spell.”) who discovers a series of impossible magic-less murders are the work of someone with access to our science-based world and our science-based guns … but who? Sorbo doesn’t really fit as a hardboiled cop (he looks very out of place in a trenchcoat) but this is a good Filmed Comic though some elements (why exactly would Winston Churchill retire to Wichitaw?) probably worked better in the original. And the equation of a world of science with meritocracy and equality is a fairly odd idea. Christopher Judge plays Sorbo’s boss. “I’ve been chasing the gun when I should have been chasing the horse.”

MAXIMUM SHAME (2010) is an arty feature in which a woman gets sucked into a strange otherworld on the eve of our Earth’s destruction and subjected to pretentious speeches and BDSM games; despite the other dimensional aspect, not even close to qualifying for the book or to quality. “Pain is something you can’t see but it exists.”

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Filed under Movies, Now and Then We Time Travel

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