by Chris Stouffer

My partner was never much of a moviegoer before meeting me. In fact, he shared with me once that he rarely made it through a full motion picture in a theatre without falling asleep!? WTF! I offered to take him out and revisit the full movie experience all over again, and soon we were hitting the big screen new releases almost weekly. Although we don’t go as often these days, we still make sure we keep up with what’s trending in theatres while also attempting to keep up with the Kardashians at home. I’m not the biggest fan either, but TMZ is all about them AND I will admit that I occasionally get sucked into one of their marathons. Yeah, I tell myself, “OMG these people are such a waste of my….wait! Khloe don’t do that!” Next thing I know, I’m on my third episode. Stop letting me stray from what I was really talking about — movies. We checked out two movies in the past two weeks that I consider totes “big-screen” worthy for any cinema nut.

First up, the indie film Hello, My Name is Doris, which stars Sally Field in the title role of Doris Miller. The movie opens with a funeral where we are introduced to Doris and learn her mother has passed away. She has very little family, and later learn that the little family she does have had been estranged from her for some time.

She’d been living in her mother’s house all her life, so as they all pay their final respects, Doris’s brother and sister-in-law ask Doris to leave the house and move to the city where she can be closer to work (but we all have family, so the audience knows what’s really up). Of course Doris tells them its her home and she would have no where to go, but this arrangement had been made many years before as the audience later finds out.

Doris returns to work, but with a new outlook, and somewhat of a new journey in life having no longer her mother to look after. Doris returns to work, so that she can adjust to this new life, but we also get to see some of the life she’d been living. Having a cluttered house with piles of junk in every corner (and having convinced her brother she’s a hoarder), we see Doris pick up a small lamp on her walk to catch the ferry taking her from Staten Island to New York. All I could do was laugh. Fields plays such an adorable 60-something-year-old woman who just seems so new to everything.

Her wardrobe is wildly eclectic, but the audience knows it’s been in her closet for years. Still for some reason, it seems very trendy and just makes fashion sense for the time. Upon returning to work, she is introduced to one of the Directors for the company played by Max Greenfield (New Girl) who transferred from their Los Angeles office. This of course is immediately after an awkward run-in with him on the elevator ride up to their office.

Doris is instantly attracted to the 30-something guy, but it’s not until she attends a self-confidence seminar with friends Roz and Val played by Tyne Daly (Cagney & Lacey, Judging Amy) and Caroline Aaron (The Secret Life of Zoey, The Young & the Restless), that she’s convinced to pursue this new crush. Not knowing much about….well, anything really, as far as dating goes, she recruits the help of Roz’s granddaughter, Vivian (Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs) who teaches her the basics of Facebook stalking.

I had to take a step back for a minute to understand Doris. I first thought she might have had mental issues, but it turns out she’s just a woman with wants and needs. You know what I mean, ladies, don’t ya? After an emotional outburst with her brother we learn of the heartache and sacrifices she made which brought her to this stage in her life. You’ll laugh, and maybe cry, but you’ll honestly love this flick. Hello, My Name is Doris may or may not still be playing in theatres since I saw it a couple of weeks ago at The Bijou.

X-Men: Apocalypse opened last Friday. This one finally introduces us to the young Storm, Jean Grey, and Scott Summers/Cyclops. Of course our other favorites are also back, but this time to take on the most powerful mutant, and the first recorded in history, En Sabah Nur/Apocolypse played by Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Drive).

Just as they did in X2: X-Men United, the newbies have to quickly learn that although they may technically still be children, they have to grow up fast and learn to fight. And unlike X-Men: The Last Stand, we get to see Grey, played by Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones) unleash The Phoenix in one of the most intense battles of the franchise.

If you’re anything like me, who grew up on movies and pop culture, then you too will be saddened by a cameo from Ally Sheedy as Scott’s high school history teacher. How could they only give her a minute of air-time! It’s pure madness. You will however enjoy a cameo from one of our most beloved mutants.

I’ve never followed the comics, but I’ve seen all the movies. The thing that never makes sense to me is the fact that the timelines never seem to match. Am I missing something here? Is it Groundhog’s Day revisited….almost. It’s like characters die, but then they’re back. Or characters are “re-introduced” but at a later of even earlier time than their original appearance in another installment. If you know the answer, please school me on this because it seems to me just as perplexed as math.

X-Men Apocalypse is in theatres now. Don’t miss it.

 

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