BOOK CLUB: The Next Chapter * * * (Comedy)
This sequel to “The Book Club” follows the adventures of four older friends as they face the realities of …
BOOK CLUB: The Next Chapter
* * *
This sequel to “The Book Club” follows the adventures of four older friends as they face the realities of their senior years and decide to take a trip together to Italy.
While the original had them reading “Fifty Shades of Grey”, the sequel has them reading wine lists as they drink their way from Rome to Venice and on to Tuscany.
Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen are all goog actresses who deserve good roles in their senior years. They are joined by three good older actors-Craig Nelson, Andy Garcia, Giancarlo Giovanni-in secondary roles.
The problem with the movie is that while they are given some funny lines and situations, they are also given some corny lines, cliches and situations.
And then when the writers inject some serious situations, the movie falls flat.
There are some gorgeous scenes of Italy, especially Venice and the Italian countryside.
The women encounter sexy Italian men, deal with their life back home, get arrested, have their luggage stolen, and survive it all, right up to the very corny ending.
* * * *
A handful of ancient history scholars tell the story of Cleopatra, with dramatic scenes added to make the epic tale come to life.
Why didn’t they have movies like this when I struggled through my college Ancient History class?
In addition to covering all the historical events, “Cleopatra” delves into the culture and traditions of the times (around 40 BC).
Cleopatra comes through as a true African Queen, the perfect example of female empowerment, both a scholar and a scientist. But also a schemer and a seductress.
Her story begins at the age of 17 when she faces an arranged marriage with Caesar and continues until her death, supposedly by suicide.
This is not Shakespeare’s Cleopatra, or even the facts about her we learned in history books or the Hollywood movies.
These are the best guesses and research done by Egyptian scholars.
“Cleopatra” makes for fascinating viewing as we learn about her relationship with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, how she manipulated both men, and how she dedicated her life to her country.
Whoever figured when they were in school that ancient history could be so interesting and dramatic.
SOMEWHERE IN QUEENS
* * *
Ray Romano wrote directed and starred in this poignant family drama.
Romano plays Leo, the put upon son who works with his brothers and father in the family construction business.
Leo can do nothing right by his father, who takes little interest in his grandson (Jacob Ward), who is the star of the high school losing basketball time.
Leo, on the other hand, is completely dedicated to Sticks and is committed to getting him a basketball scholarship to a good school.
When Sticks’ first love dumps him, his basketball prowess goes in the dumps, and Leo interferes, causing more problems.
But Romano writes himself out of a jam and the story has a happy ending.
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