Jordan Peele's 'Us' is a Creepy Tale That Sadly Mirrors Our Reality

On May 25, 1986, approximately 6.5 million Americans stood hand in hand forming a human chain that stretched from New York to California for an event called Hands Across America. It was a fundraiser project from USA for Africa (the same people who produced the “We Are the World” single the year before) in hopes of raising $100 million to fight hunger and homelessness. The hope was that everyone who participated would donate $10 for the cause. Families stood and sang together for 15 minutes. And then it was over.

I had trouble remembering if Hands Across America really happened or if it was a gimmick for the film when the original commercial for the event flashed on the big screen during the opening of Us. I only vaguely remember the event, which might have to do more with the fact that I have lived in Washington State my whole life and we weren’t involved in the project. I doubt that I’m the only one and I suspect that was also some of Jordan Peele’s reasoning as well whe…

Paddington Will Win Over Your Heart

Review of "Paddington."
The TV commercials for the new Paddington movie do not do the movie any justice. The images of the little bear riding a bathtub down the stairs and the bewildered Mr. Brown look like the film Beethoven that replaces a bear for a St. Bernard. It’s not. In fact, most of the scenes in the TV trailer take place in the first few minutes of the film and there is so much more to see.

Review of "Paddington."
Mrs. Brown (Sally Hawkins), Paddington and
Mr. Gruber (Jim Broadbent).
What director Paul King does with the story is pretty magical. Yes, there is some slapstick that the kids will love, but those scenes are a lot more elaborate than someone slipping on a banana peel. Each is caused by a real mishap in the story – not something that was just tacked on to be cute. What makes this film shine, above and beyond many other children’s fair, is that it is well rounded for all audiences. There is plenty of dry humor for adults too. In addition, King chooses some truly unique ways to move the story along that gives the film its charming tone. There is no bathroom humor – except for the funny scenes that actually takes place in the bathroom!

Review of "Paddington."
Paddington and Mr. Brown (Hugh Bonneville)
The movie has strong messages about family, marriage and taking care of people – or bears – less fortunate than you. In this case, the Brown family unit is broken. Not terribly broken – they are similar to many of our own families – but still broken. Mr. Brown (Hugh Bonneville) is a worrywart who is constantly spewing random and off-based statistics of injuries that can happen to a person doing the most menial things. His son, Jonathan (Samuel Joslin) wants adventure in his life so bad, but it’s never going to happen while dad is around. Mrs. Brown (Sally Hawkins) is a children’s book writer and illustrator. She is very “artsy” which annoys her daughter, Judy (Madeleine Harris). Living with the family is Mrs. Bird (Julie Walters) who might be a grandmother, but it isn’t clear.


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