Sunday, June 16, 2024

Weekend Watch: ‘Game Night’ and ‘Annihilation’ Showcases Diversity (VIDEO)

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(L-R) Kylie Bunbury, Lamorne Morris, Billy Magnussen, Sharon Horgan,, Jason Bateman, and Rachel McAdams. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

*“Game Night” has tons of laughs and commentary that adds to its appeal. Pop culture references and relevance is best served at times with comedy.

A case in point is the answer “white people” Kevin (Lamorne Morris) gives when responding to a trivia question. Denzel Washington will be proud and of course that’s not the case with Bill Cosby mention.

Besides fun and games, the movie turns into a crime caper that has all the elements of car chases, death threats, and shootouts. One of the takeaways is the ridiculous premise of the film that Annie (Rachel McAdams) is not able to conceive because of hubby Max’s (Jason Bateman) insecurities that stem from sibling rivalry. Max has always been jealous of his brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler) and his successes. Another minus for the film are some of the non-funny, crass jokes.

In this comedy Max and Annie, board game and trivia enthusiasts, have weekly playoffs. Brooks, who wants to raise the fun level, stages a fake kidnapping that turns out to be real. Directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein, Kylie Bunbury, Jesse Plemons, and Sharon Hogan also star.


Gina Rodriguez, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson and Tuva Novotnyin. Paramount Pictures and Skydance.

J.J. Abram’s Bad Robot’s mission to bring more diversity to Hollywood is documented on many levels, especially in his latest project “Annihilation.” A team of diverse women, led by Dr. Ventress (Jennifer Jason Leigh), is sent on a top-secret mission into the Shimmer to find out why everyone who has gone before them—except one—never returns. That one person Kane (Oscar Isaacs), is the husband of Lena (Natalie Portman), a member of the group. The Shimmer, a government cover-up, is an area of coast and swampland being enveloped by that unknown phenomenon. Its energy field is increasing at an alarming rate and is poised to envelope the entire earth.

“Annihilation,” in all its glory and great special effects. leaves much to be desired. The film brings to mind “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” “The X-Files,” and many other movies, TV shows, and books that deal with this sci-fi subject matter. Seeing the psychedelic lights of the Shimmer in “Annihilation: is probably what it was like for some on an acid trip back in the day.

Written and directed by Alex Garland, “Annihilation” is based on Jeff VanderMeer’sSouthern Reach Trilogy, so expect follow-up films. Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez, and Tuva Novotny also star.       Twitter: @thefilmstrip


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