Lil Rel Howery

#HerBoyfriendsSecret, #HouseOfDarknessNewBlood, and more – TV Reviews

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Table of Reviews

Her Boyfriend’s Secret – Review

Her Boyfriend’s Secret – Lifetime – 2 hours and 3 minutes

Her Boyfriend's Secret

Melissa was recommended by her friend Travis (a contractor) to decorate John’s home.  She prepared several design options and he loves her work.  And her.   After flirtation exchanges, the two start to date.  Melissa thinks her new adventure loving, horse-riding, pilot boyfriend is a dream come true.  They are quickly falling for each other.  But when Carey, John’s ex, visits, she warns Melissa that John is obsessive and attacked her.  Also, he lied about his job and his name.  Carey informs Melissa that he is smart and dangerous.  Melissa blows off Carey’s warning until Travis warns her that John can be a little weird.  She decides to investigate John’s home, car, and past.  This “great” boyfriend has more than one secret.

Seriously, how many warnings do you need!! As Melissa gets more clues to John’s dark side, she continues to stay in the relationship.  While she tells Travis it’s to investigate, she tells Carey she still believes him.  Melissa makes so many dumb decisions while attempting to be a smart investigator.  It’s hard to care about Melissa taking John down because you are too busy yelling at the screen.  You just want to shake her.  Even though this movie leaves you wanting more from its protagonist, John can’t be ignored.  His charm is infectious and his lies will leave you up at night.  He is the perfect sociopath.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

I’m not ready – Travis

I want you to know I’m not going anywhere – John

I’m gonna post something – Ashley

You still haven’t told me who you are – Melissa

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House of Darkness: New Blood – Review

House of Darkness: New Blood – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

House of Darkness: New Blood

After her husband left her a ‘Dear John’ letter and never came back, Brooke and her son Dylan are left to pick up the pieces.  With Judd’s proposal, she feels almost whole again.  She starts to fantasize about the perfect wedding when Judd’s mother Elaine’s nurse abruptly quits.  He wants to go back to his family home, find a nursing home for Elaine, and sell her house.  Alison feels this is too much for him to handle alone, so she asks Judd to bring her and Dylan.  Judd is happy to have the help.  On her first night, she hears and sees things in the night.  She explains it as a side effect of her medication.  But she decides to stay because her son loves being there.  However, the longer she stays the worse her delusions get until she can’t take it anymore.  Just as she is about to leave a picture, film negatives, and a file will expose the truth about the house.  And the truth doesn’t care about what you believe.

This movie has a very slow build to tell the back story of both Judd and Alison while creating a connection between then and Elaine.  The movie even sets up a reason for Alison’s delusions with her heavy sleeping medication.  So you start to wonder if she is having a mental breakdown.  To get in a few scares, this movie uses creepy figures, a sleeping child calling for its mother, and scary voices.  For seasoned thriller/horror pros, this movie is laughable.  The fainter at heart may jump once or twice.  But it’s the truth that will leave you with more questions than answers.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

It’s ok. It’s been a while since there were kids in this house – Dylan

It was Judd’s favorite and Michael loved it – Elaine

There’s no shame in being sensitive – Doris

Well, you better figure it out – Brooke

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The Bobby Brown Story – Review

The Bobby Brown Story – BET – 4 hours and 0 minutes (divided over 2 days, 2 hours each day)

The Bobby Brown Story

Part 1

In 1980, Bobby Brown rode bikes with a friend, within minutes that friend was stabbed to death in front of him.  When he comes home after being fired from New Edition, he walks past the foyer where his friend died.  He enters a state of depression and decides to get money any way he can.  When his mother Carol sees him looking for her gun, she calls Jheryl Busby to set him straight.  He gives Bobby hope by reminding him the company is obligated to give him a solo album.  With his brother Tommy as his manager, Bobby starts a solo career.   When his first album King of Stage gets mediocre responses, Busby convinces Motown to give Bobby Brown another chance with L.A. Reid and Babyface (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  Motown agrees.  Bobby is happy with the second chance but he must be able to do this album his way.  That decision leads Bobby Brown to become the King of R&B.

This movie gives you 5 minutes of pre-New Edition Bobby Brown and the rest is after New Edition.  So, it’s a good idea to see The New Edition Movie first.  It showcases Bobby’s strong family ties and determination to make it as a solo artist.  However, he always did it with New Edtion in mind.  He always wanted to top them to prove he was needed.  That is the way Bobby handled everything in life. He was constantly proving himself to doubters.  While the first half will feel like a long music video with Girlfriend, Rock With’cha, and My Prerogative, it’s a testament to the career and talent of Bobby Brown.  In case you are watching for Whitney, the couple meets, gets engaged, and gets married in this part.  But their story was never a fairytale with drugs, infidelity, and two pregnancies before they even said ‘I do’.

You know if you take that thing out of here, you probably gonna have to use it – Carol

For this to work, you need to get the right producer – Ralph

So fellas, who’re your stylist – Tommy

Y’all gotta let me be me – Bobby

Your son’s got a real head for business – Brian

I don’t know which show is better – Whitney

Oh, is that all I am? I was here before you and I will be here after you – Robyn

Part 2

Deep into his addiction, Bobby Brown is consistently on the wrong side of the law.  Drug use has made him paranoid, get in car accidents, and have a stroke.  As he lies in a hospital bed, Whitney and Bobbi Kristina, his daughter, are by his side.  They decide to stop using all drugs and get their lives back on track.  The first step, go on a vacation to the Bahamas.  The second step was to go to rehab but when the family lands, Bobby is arrested for a parole violation in Florida.  He is sentenced to a stint in jail.  It’s there that he sobers up for the first time and resist the temptation of drugs.  Meanwhile, Tommy has been working on a way to rehab Bobby’s image to get him back on top.  A reality show starring him and with his family.  This show solidified what their fans feared.  The world of the Browns was falling apart, no one was at the helm, and Bobbi Kristina was there for it all.  Bobby has to put his life back on track before he loses his life.

The second half of this movie is filled with so much pain and sadness, it’s hard not to cry.  This movie pulls no punch but doesn’t cast complete blame.  While Carol Brown refused to see her son’s faults, he saw them within himself.  The same drive he put into the growth of his career, he put that same drive into the downfall of his career.  The hardest revelation in this movie is the truth all addicts bare: just as they are getting themselves together, everything around them falls apart.  As Bobby finds love, a career, and sobriety, he loses four family members in 3 years.  The movie ends on one positive note: The real reason Bobby Brown is standing today.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

I’m a start without you – Whitney

We need to rehab your image – Tommy

It feels desperate – Bobby

Do I look like Whitney to you – Alicia

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His Perfect Obsession – Review

His Perfect Obsession – Lifetime – 2 hours and 3 minutes

His Perfect Obsession

Allison and her daughter Abigail enjoy their time together while talking on the phone with their Aunt Charlotte.  Then they hear a sickening sound.  Charlotte was hit by a car and died.  At Charlotte’s funeral, Allison, Abigail, and Allison’s husband Wyatt meet Bart.  Bart was Charlotte’s accountant and want to help get her affairs in order as quickly and painlessly as possible.  Wyatt on the other hands sees something else, he believes Bart was hitting on Allison and wants him to stay away.   Wyatt’s possessiveness leaves Allison shocked because Wyatt is having an affair.   She and Abigail overhear him talking to his mistress, so she ends their relationship and kicks him out.  Wyatt goes to drown his sorrows at a bar and runs into Bart.  After they exchange words, Bart leaves.  Wyatt believes he has won but he doesn’t know that Bart has been quietly stalking Allison on social media and he feels now is his chance to make his move.   He will do anything to have Allison and Abigail all to himself.  Even kill.

With the era of social media, this story rings too true.  It’s easy for a stalker to watch your page, post, or tweets for years and you never know.  Quietly creating an obsession without you knowing they exist.  And with Bart being a quiet unassuming guy, Allison would have no need to worry about her or her family’s safety.  As things start to turn for the worse, Allison must count on her greatest strength: Abigail.  Being recently blinded to medication, most movies would have her be a hindrance.  But this movie shows Abigail as ABLED not disabled.  This is the most beautiful quality of this movie.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

She cries sarcasm instead of tears – Allison

Are we all going to pretend he wasn’t hitting on you right in front of me – Wyatt

I want you to leave – Alice

I may be many things but I am not clueless – Bart

Why did you park in the street – Abigail

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Dinner For Two – Review

Dinner For Two – TVOne – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Dinner For Two

Chris prepares a soul food meal, pours a glass of wine, and plays a mix CD.  Then he hears a knock at the door.  It’s his ex Angie.  She knows Chris needed her so she came by to help.  While he cooks Angie’s favorite meal, the two talk about how they meet at Pierson University in 1992.  Chris was awestruck by Angie’s singing voice and beautiful looks.  While they eat, they discuss their first breakup over infidelity and how they got back on track.  Angie continues to talk hoping it will help Chris stop drinking and get his life back on track.  Chris continues to talk because he hopes they will get back together and have his family again.  Angie wants him to stop looking at the past and focus on the future.  Chris doesn’t see a future anymore and wants to end it all.

This is the serious talk all couples should have before they decide to break up.  This couple doesn’t get loud, talk down to each other, or throw things.  They have a true heartfelt conversation.  Both have messed up in the past and married for a brighter future.  As they look back using objects, food, words, they see unfulfilled promises and multiple warning signs.  Each college scene is emphasized with wardrobe and technology to put you back in that time period.  While each is at fault, they have a hard time accepting those faults.  This movie should be used as an instructional video on how to correctly argue.  Sit back and watch with your significant other.  Have the conversation you have been too proud, too hurt, or too angry to have.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

It’s alright. People make mistakes – Chris

You know how we do. Whenever you need me, I’ll be there – Angie

You know you are a good guy Chris – Jay

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He’s Watching – Review

He’s Watching – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

He's Watching

After a few FaceTime calls, Angela is worried her boyfriend Michael is cheating and she just isn’t sure what to do without proof.  Then she looks up from her desk and sees Kyle., her old college boyfriend and famed photographer.  He wants help with his financial portfolio and has hired Angela’s company.  But only if he can work with Angela.  The business meeting evolves into a dinner out and drinks.  The two talk about the past and talk about continuing their friendship.  However, after Kyle’s art exhibit sparks fly and the two end up in bed.  The next morning Angela wakes up to breakfast by Kyle and a voicemail from Michael.  Michael’s voicemail is a “first date” anniversary message for Angela that leaves her in tears.  She regrets her night with Kyle and breaks it off with the hopes they can just be friends.  She is ready to trust Michael and make their relationship work.  Kyle won’t ever let that happen.

The story of Kyle and Angela is old and boring.  However, Kyle’s backstory holds more promise.  He is the Bad Seed all grown up.  His ability to weasel his way into Angela’s life is believable and eerie.  With just a smile and a camera, he can charm himself into anyone’s life.  Another saving grace is Laurie. The comic relief, best friend says all the right things at the right time.  Plus she his handy with a gun and a computer.  DVR this one and watch it for a rainy day.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

It wasn’t luck, Michael – Angela

I only care what we have now – Michael

Kyle, I only do elevators on the second date – Laurie

I’m glad we can have a different kind of future now – Kyle

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#HotelT3, #SicarioMovie, and more – Movie Reviews

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 Table of Reviews

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation – Review

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation – Budget of $65 million – 1 hour and 37 minutes

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hotel-transylvania-3-summer-vacation-6-1024x553
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Mavis realizes the more she and her father Dracula work together, the less time they spend together as a family.  She wants to make sure Dennis knows his grandfather.  So, Mavis books a cruise with several stops and the final stop being the Bermuda Triangle.  At first, Dracula isn’t impressed because he believes a cruise boat is just a hotel on the water.  But he changes his mind when he sees Captain Ericka.  Dracula hasn’t told his family, but he has been feeling lonely and wishes he can feel the “zing” again.  He hasn’t felt it since his wife died.  So, having that “zing” come back the moment he sees Ericka puts a pep in his step.  But Dracula doesn’t know that Ericka is the great-granddaughter of his arch nemesis Abraham Van Helsing.  And she has one mission, to retrieve an item to destroy all of monster-kind, including Dracula.

This movie falls in line with the Hotel Transylvania franchise (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  It has enough kid humor to keep children entertained while providing the musical score parents will love.  This movie features a DJ mix off you will never forget.  While it does have several aspects you will love, it starts to get boring and predictable.  Your mind will start to wander.  However, it does provide a message of love and loss that children and adult will understand.  See this movie matinee

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

She’s my right arm’s cousin – Frank

When will you Van Helsing learn to get go of that – Dracula

Yes, I’m human but don’t hold that against me – Ericka

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Sicario: Day of the Soldado – Review

Sicario: Day of the Soldado – Budget of $35 – 45 million – 2 hours and 2 minutes

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Sicario: Day of the Soldado
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The U.S. Government want to add Mexican Drug Cartels to the terrorist list after several suicide bombers attacked on American soil with the cartels’ help.  At first, they consider going after the head of the cartel.  However, Graver knows this approach will only create more cartels.  Graver decides to start a cartel war by going after the kingpin’s children.  He will kidnap Isabel with the help of Alejandro.  And during the kidnapping, they will make Isabel think they are saving her in order to gain her confidence.  But when the mission changes Isabel and Alejandro are collateral damage that must be dealt with immediately.  Will Graver hurt or help this situation?

The second act of Sicario, this movie is not a continuation of the first but still keeps the same momentum (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  It has lots of action and twists to keep you entertained.  But some moments are just dull and slow.  It was bloody, violent, and with government cover-ups, however, it never fully captivated the audience.  The stand-out moment was the US/Mexican shootout near the border.   It provided more action in that one scene than most action movies have it their entirety.  If you are a fan of the first, you will enjoy this one.  To newcomers, you don’t need to see the first to watch the second.  Also, there is a great potential for a part 3. But this won’t be the cult classic the first movie became.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

You believe that change is the goal. You have been doing this too long to believe that – Cynthia

Remember what happened to the price of cocaine after 9/11. Tight borders are good for business – Gravers

So you want to be Sicario. Sit down. Let’s talk about your future – Alejandro

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Uncle Drew – Review

Uncle Drew – Budget of $17 – 19 million – 1 hour and 43 minutes

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Uncle Drew
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Uncle Drew was the biggest name in Rucker tournament.  However, after a clash with his team members, none of the 5 players showed up.  Now, the tournament has a $100,000 prize and creates legends.  Dax is a Ruckers coach who has lost his players, girlfriend, and home.  He needs this $100,000 to get his life back on track.  As he sits on the sidelines, literally and figuratively, trying to figure out what to do, he sees an old man teaching a young man about the game.  Dax, like most onlookers, laughs at the elderly man, until he starts to win.  Dax quickly finds Drew and ask him to be on his team.  Drew tells Dax it has to be his team and his rooster.  Dax tries to counter but Drew breaks him down.  Dax and Drew go on a road trip to find:

  1. Boots – on a psychiatric hold and in a wheelchair
  2. Big Fella – a Karate instructor
  3. Lights – blind
  4. Preacher – A preacher with a wife who WILL find him

While they all get closer, Drew and Dax are both keeping a secret.  Dax isn’t opening up about his missed hoop dreams and lack of love.  Drew isn’t opening up about his role in the team’s break up.  In order for the team to become a family, everything must come out into the light.

While this movie is better than expected, it’s what you expect.  It has some laughs, some heart, and some good basketball.  The team not only play in the Rucker Tournament, they also play against high school girls.  This movie also has a lot of messages.  First about letting go of the past.  Second, keep playing.  Three, don’t let your pride get in your way.  Even though it has all these messages, it doesn’t get preachy.  So if you are looking for a decent laugh, see this movie matinee.  If you love basketball, wait for Netflix or Vudu.  Stick during the end credits for bloopers and behind the scenes shots.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

A bag of Dax makes more sense – Mookie

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take – Uncle Drew

You’re Gladys Knight and they’re the Pips – Dax

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