Debra Martin Chase

Debra Martin Chase

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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Opening Night Gala

Debra Martin Chase - Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Opening Night Gala - Arrivals - New York City, United States - Wednesday 3rd December 2014

HBO and Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley

Debra Martin Chase - HBO hosts Special Screening of Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley at The Apollo Theater 253 West 125th Street - NYC, New York, United States - Friday 8th November 2013

Debra Martin Chase

Sparkle Review


OK

An energetic cast and some terrific music make up for the rather hackneyed plot of this Dreamgirls-style drama. Remade from a 1976 film, the story is that familiar trajectory of musicians who achieve fame only to fall into a string of ugly problems. It's just about watchable, but what makes it notable is that it features Whitney Houston in her last film role.

It's set in 1968 Detroit, where Sister (Ejogo) is determined to become a star. Her singer-songwriter sister Sparkle (Sparks) is the one with real talent, but she's happy to stay in the background with their other sister Dee (Sumpter). As Sister and Her Sisters, they are managed by Stix (Luke), a fast-talking charmer who falls for Sparkle. But the girls' intensely religious mother (Houston) is under no illusions: she has been there, done that and continually warns her daughters that they shouldn't go the same way she did. But of course, they have to live their messy lives themselves.

Since it's such a familiar story, the film has a cheesy, soapy feel to it, playing on the sisters' rebellion against their religious upbringing. Of course, danger is represented in the men they fall for. While good-girl Sparkle tries to keep Stix at arms' length for awhile at least, Sister must choose between two men: the poor but nice Levi (Hardwick) and the flashy but drug-addled Satin (Epps). Since we know that she will choose the wrong guy, we know it's not going to be a happy journey for her. But this trawl through the dark side gives Ejogo a chance to steal the film with a much more emotionally charged performance.

Continue reading: Sparkle Review

The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement Review


Terrible
How's this for timing: Almost three years to the day after the release of the original The Princess Diaries, and on the heels of its sparkling new special edition DVD, we get the follow-up Diaries in theaters! You knew the sequel would eventually follow - after all, we just have to see the little princess take her throne.

Now a college graduate, Princess Mia (Anne Hathaway) has returned to her home country of Genovia to celebrate her 21st birthday. According to Genovian law, she is eligible to replace her widely popular grandmother (Julie Andrews) as the queen. Unfortunately for the young Mia, the law also states that a princess must be married before she is crowned. Complicating matters further, Viscount Mabrey (John Rhys-Davies) demands that his nephew Sir Nicholas (Chris Pine) is the rightful heir to the throne. What's a princess to do?

Continue reading: The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement Review

The Princess Diaries Review


Weak
Anne Hathaway is a gorgeous, young woman with a gentle screen charisma. It's hard to believe she will turn 19 this fall; she looks and presents herself like a woman who knows all the answers.

This is someone who should not be the lead role in a movie about puberty blues, but here she is. In Garry Marshall's latest outing, The Princess Diaries, Hathaway plays a smart, gawky 10th grader who learns she is the heir to the throne of a small European country.

Continue reading: The Princess Diaries Review

Miracle Review


Excellent
You'd have to work extra hard to botch the feel-good story of the underdog U.S.A. hockey team that overcame adversity in the 1980 Olympics and earned an unexpected gold medal. Miracle, which recounts the team's remarkable Olympic run, receives a calculated, polished, and affectionate treatment courtesy of Disney's involvement, but benefits immensely from the casting of relative unknowns in the prime hockey player roles. These actors actually look a lot like kids from Minnesota and Boston. Think how distracting it would be to see Matt Damon as Mike Eruzione or Ashton Kutcher as unflappable goalie Jim Craig.

Miracle's focuses falls heavily on coach Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell), both in how he chooses his players and how he re-trains them to play his way en route to the winter Olympic games in Lake Placid, N.Y. Brooks preaches team chemistry to his players, but it's the cast that catches on. Miracle isn't a movie of individuals, it's the perfect combination of unknown actors and veteran stars.

Continue reading: Miracle Review

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Review


OK
You don't need to be a teenage girl to enjoy The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I thought it was a fun movie, if not a bit disingenuous. For every truth the movie offers into the secret lives of girls, a pat resolution or a schmaltzy moment follows. It's not a perfect movie, except for the young girls this movie beckons to.

Based on Ann Brashares' novel, Pants focuses on four 16-year-olds, all lifelong friends. Bridget (Blake Lively) is the go-getter of the bunch and a soccer star in the making; Tibby (Amber Tamblyn) is a sarcastic, wannabe filmmaker who favors black on her clothes and blue in her hair; Lena (Alexis Bledel) is the prudent one of the bunch; and Carmen (the outstanding America Ferrera), the narrator, is an aspiring writer and the only one whose body actually has curves.

Continue reading: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Review

Debra Martin Chase

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