Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul is a supposed comedy about a scandal at a megachurch. I found very little humor in the film. In fact, I would call it mega-ridiculous.
In the film, Regina Hall plays Trinitie Childs, the First Lady of a Southern Baptist megachurch, and Sterling K. Brown plays Lee-Curtis Childs, Trinitie’s husband and the pastor of the megachurch. At one point their megachurch had tens of thousands of attendees, but after a huge scandal they must find a way to rebuild their following. They pursue every measure to help regain their following but, sadly, they do a rather terrible job at this task.
Even though the film is quirky and not very funny, its character development between Hall and Brown is excellent. The subject matter is the problem. There is not enough detail regarding the scandal to know how serious to take the film. And overall it is just an obscure and harsh film, and rather blunt and out of focus. I also found this film to be off-putting. Some fans may find it funny, but I am sure many will find it offensive or a waste of time. My expectations going into the film were neutral, and I left disappointed.
I am not extremely religious, but my relationship with my religion is important. I didn’t find the title of this film, Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul particularly appealing, and I will say it is a film of consistent mediocrities. It is one of those films where I was questioning my laughter based on its rather off premise. The film tries to find its hysterical elements, and it doesn’t do a good job at that. I had my times where I felt intrigued and laughed here and there, but it was more from the humor of Brown’s ego. With that, I will say just two stars for Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul.
Director Ridley Scott released two films this year—The Last Duel and the recently-released House of Gucci. I love Scott’s directing, but despite the low box office numbers for The Last Duel, I actually preferred it over House of Gucci.
House of Gucci certainly has an all-star cast. Lady Gaga is Patrizia Reggiani, who marries Maurizio Gucci, played by Adam Driver. Jeremy Irons is Maurizio’s father, Rodolfo Gucci, and Al Pacino is Maurizio’s uncle, Aldo Gucci. Jared Leto plays Aldo’s son, Paolo Gucci. The film focuses on the breakup between Patrizia and Maurizio and the downward spiral of the Gucci family and brand.
House of Gucci is faithful to its story and its representations of the Gucci family seem accurate enough. My issue with the film is its sometimes flaky and inconsistent acting. And although makeup was no doubt a big part of the era in which the film was set, the makeup in House of Gucci was just over the top, particularly on Jared Leto as Paolo and Lady Gaga as Patrizia, if it’s possible for her to be over the top.
Despite its problems, House of Gucci has some impressive performances. It could also be a thrilling and daring ride, and at times just plain fun. But there is a limit to how much glamour, fashion, and wealth I can take. I just think the film was over-hyped and is overrated. Two and a half stars for House of Gucci.
There are times where life seems unfair and too hard, and where navigating life’s struggles is a real challenge. Some issues in life may seem unresolvable. There are many of those scenarios in C’monC’mon as director Mike Mills brings us a black and white film that is brilliant and touching, and relatable to life in so many ways.
Joaquin Phoenix delivers a knockout performance in C’mon C’mon, as does Gabby Hoffmann as his sister and Woody Norman as his nephew. Phoenix plays Johnny, an introverted radio journalist who is close with his sister Viv, played by Hoffman. Viv’s husband Paul, played by Scott McNairy, is having serious problems, and Viv is struggling to care for her son Jesse, played by Norman. To help out, Johnny takes Jesse on a cross country trip that becomes the focus of the film.
Joaquin Phoenix is one of those actors who can play all kinds of characters with interesting personalities and a wide range of emotions. The connections between Johnny and Jesse in C’mon C’mon are heartwarming, and though there are moments of grief and frustration between the two, Phoenix keeps a laid-back persona throughout the film. Mills use of monochromatic cinematography mirrors Phoenix’s persona.
I found C’mon C’mon relatable in many ways, and I loved the film. I believe this was a role for the ages for Phoenix, and his performance will draw Oscar buzz. And C’mon C’mon may be one of the best films yet for Mike Mills, who really knows how to direct films that centers on life issues. Four stars for C’mon C’mon.