“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”
Cope went to see this with his now teenage(!!!) daughter Cayley. He says the movie is from the same people who gave us the “Lego” movies. It already has a Golden Globe nom for “Best Animated Feature Film” and there’s lots of Oscar buzz. The fact that Cope’s younger brother Nicholas Cage voices Spider-Man Noir (Spider-Man from an alternate 1930s based timeline) has NOTHING to do with the love he’s giving this Spider-Man big screen adventure. Both Cope and Cayley loved it and so do the critics- we’re talking a rare 99% on Rotten Tomatoes. Some say it’s the best of the 7(!) Spider-Man feature films. It’s colorful, tight, exciting, and creative.
88(!!!) year old Clint Eastwood directed & stars as a down and out lily farmer who always put work over family. Facing foreclosure, he’s offered a “driving” job. Yes- the 88 year old becomes a drug mule for the Cartel!!! It’s based on a real life dude who was busted 7 years ago when he was 87. Dianne Wiest plays his estranged wife and real-life daughter Alison Eastwood plays his daughter who’s so ticked off at him she won’t even stay in same room. Taissa Farmiga (“The Nun” and Vera’s younger sister) plays the only family still showing him the love: his granddaughter. It’s Eastwood’s first major acting role in 6 years and it reunites him with Bradley Cooper (who plays a DEA agent). Eastwood directed Cooper in “American Sniper” 4 years ago. This is a great role for Eastwood. It’s just a great, heartwarming movie. You’ll leave with some with wise life advice. I just loved it.
“If Beale Street Could Talk”
This was directed & written by Barry Jenkins, who actually worked on this before his Oscar winning “Moonlight” came out. This poetic, soulful love story is based on a 1974 novel by James Baldwin. It’s set in early ‘70s NYC and is basically the story of young love in a racist society. Lead Kiki Layne is a newcomer. Her love, played by Stephan James, is best known for the TV show “Homecoming.” Regina King is already collecting awards in her role as the mom. I really felt like I was watching poetry in motion. There’s nothing quite like this film. The only false note for me was the racist NYC cop- he felt like a caricature.
3 ½ ♥
Going wider and one of the best films of the year: “The Favourite”
This is one of the most unusual period pieces I have EVER seen. British actress Olivia Colman delivers an award-worthy performance as England's Queen Anne. Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone play two women in her court vying for her favor. It’s sexy, wickedly funny and visually stunning. Think “Mean Girls” in the early 18th century!!