The Lady in the Van

The Lady in the Van is a “mostly true story” as mentioned at the beginning of the film. That’s because Alan Bennett had to put up with an old homeless woman for 15 years by allowing her to live in her van in his driveway. Maggie Smith plays Mary Shepherd, an old woman literally living out of her van. But after moving into his driveway, Bennett slowly learns that Mary is not the person he and everyone else think she is.
It’s a bit of a mystery for us too until we learn Mary’s background, her real name, and why she’s so bitter yet fragile at the same time. While all this plays out slowly, albeit with typical British humor, the film is only enjoyable because of Maggie Smith. Her shrill voice, her piercing eyes, frail one moment, then boisterous the next, Smith is simply exceptional.
The Lady in the Van is bound to please just about anyone. And like the titular character, it’s a film hard to love, but once you do, it’s equally hard to resist.


Must Go
The Merc with a Mouth is not for children!
“Once in a generation, a movie comes along that your whole family will love – if your family is a fucking group of inbreds,” Betty White, 94, cracked. The beloved actress turned out to be a huge fan of Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool and she didn’t hold back on sounding off on it, delivering a raunchy, pull-out-all-the-stops review that perfectly stayed in step with the mutant hero’s potty-mouthed persona.
Deadpool will remind you, over and over again, often in fourth wall breaks, how much he doesn’t care about the rules. The majority of “Deadpool” plays out in flashbacks after an opening sequence in which Deadpool destroys a convoy carrying his nemesis, Ajax (Ed Skrein). We learn that Deadpool used to be a merc named Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds). We meet two key figures in Deadpool’s life: girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) incredibly good looking and best bud Weasel (T.J. Miller) Wade. Leslie Uggams is delightful as Blind Al. The opening and closing credits are inspirational.
Go see this movie for some great mindless entertainment.

Hail Caesar

No Go
A Joel and Ethan Coen brothers flop.
The film is mostly billed as a comedy (see any trailers?) and this it is not. Just a couple giggles, nothing more. Nothing was that funny about this Comedy/Drama/Musical. Nothing was very dramatic either.
It is just a bunch of scenes barely linked together with no regard to an actual plot. It is too boring to even care about the characters. The movie keeps teasing that something worthwhile is going to happen and then the credits roll.
The dance number with Channing Tatum ala Gene Kelly is very entertaining; but one number does not justify the price of admission.

Kung Fu Panda 3

The chi is strong with this one.
Very enjoyable film with a good lesson about blended families. Jack Black is awesome as Po, as is Tigress, Angelina Jolie.
You will enjoy this romp with the Dragon Warrior as much or more than the two previous films.