On DVD & Blu-Ray: July 31, 2018

There is a point in the first ten to fifteen minutes of Jason Reitman’s Tully where it’s fair to think this is going to be “one of those movies”. One of those movies that chronicles the small, but sometimes enormously stressful lives of middle-class suburbanites that have become increasingly difficult to feel sorry for in the climate of a world gone off the rails. Everyone has their issues, their problems, their struggles, and they come to be dealt with just as uniquely or just as commonly as the problems themselves might be, but there is no point in asking an audience, who is paying hard-earned money to be entertained, to feel sorry for someone who is going through some of the same experiences they've likely had. This is the key, the turning point really, for Tully in that the movie never asks the viewer to feel sorry for its protagonist and it never asks for forgiveness for her actions either. In fact, the titular character that comes to be embodied by Mackenzie Davis and who is described as a "night nanny", never passes a single judgement on Charlize Theron's Marlo thus encouraging the viewers to do the same; or to at least hold that judgement until we are delivered the entirety of the picture. And so, in many ways Tully simply asks the viewer to either sympathize or empathize with its characters plight, knowing that said viewers might be able to relate, rather than necessarily making a stand about opening up a hidden world beyond the greeting card society we all like to pretend we exist within. The film, written by Diablo Cody (Juno, Young Adult), is best when it gets specific and Cody is known for excelling at this. There are multiple moments of unfiltered truth that capture the essence of what it feels like to be a parent to a newborn that, given how tired and how on auto-pilot new parents are, it’s a mystery how Cody had the forethought to write examples of as much down or even find the humor in certain situations, but she does and it is in these small truths, these everyday instances and challenges where the movie consistently keeps it real and yet moves on as we all have to do that the viewer is able to appreciate what Tully is doing, what it is saying, and what it becomes rather than dismissing it as another in a line of narratives that purport to pull back the curtain on the middle. Full review here. B

From a parent perspective: I was overcome with emotion the moment the youngest of Anna Faris' daughters gets on her training wheel-less bike and chases down Eugenio Derbez's Leo after his memory returns and he elects to leave them.

Needless to say, this was more of a response than I expected to give what seemed like little more than a corporate-mandated re-make of the Goldie Hawn/Kurt Russell gem that I watched countless times during my adolescence. I understand continuing the effort to turn Derbez into as much of an international pull as possible, but why re-make what is among the pinnacle of romantic comedies? Turns out there isn't really a good reason, but that 2018's Overboard is funny and charming where it counts and genuinely affecting when it matters most makes this a perfect candidate for a "movie night" rental. A well balanced meal with sweet and salty flavors that coasts off the conceit and capitalizes on the charisma of its two leads. C+

Jim Carrey and Charlotte Gainsbourg star alongside the bad guy from the first Equalizer movie (Marton Csokas) in Dark Crimes which follows Tadek, a police officer who finds similarities between the assassination of a policeman and a crime narrated in a book by the writer, Krystov Kozlow. When Tadek begins to track down Kozlow and his girlfriend, a mysterious underground sex club worker, his obsession will grow and descend to the underworld of sex, lies and corruption to find the terrible truth. Sounds a little loopy, but Carrey does so little work these days I'm somewhat compelled to see what he found so enticing about this project. Or maybe I'll just watch Showtime's Kidding instead.

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