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SERENA

1920’S America, George (Bradley Cooper) and Serene (Jennifer Lawrence) Pemberton, love-struck newly-weds, begin to build a timber empire. As the business starts to thrive Serene soon proves herself to be equal to any man: overseeing loggers, hunting rattle snakes, even saving a man’s life in the wilderness. With power and influence now in their hands, the Pembertons refuse to let anyone stand in the way. However, George has a hidden past and once Serena discovers this she faces an unchangeable fate as there passionate marriage begins to unravel leading toward a dramatic reckoning.

This book adaption is nothing but bland bland bland, so disappointing considering the stars of the film are big Hollywood stars we know to have certain chemistry. Quite frankly, it feels like it’s so up its own backside it can’t see the light. There are no heartfelt moments and it doesn’t engage the brain. AVOID.

See If You Liked: Silver Linings Playbook, The Poker House

THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU

The Altman family doesn’t get along, and they haven’t all been together in years. But when Dad passes away, the whole clan is expected to fulfil his final wish and sit Shiva for him for an entire week. Now newly divorced, newly jobless, Judd Altman (Jason Bateman), has to travel home to face his dysfunctional family, including his hot-to-trot psychiatrist mom (Jane Fonda), his sarcastic older brother, his unhappy sister and his too-perfect younger brother in an effort to see if family bonds will prevent them from killing one another.

This is what it is, A simply comedy, no thrills and to be quite frankly would be better off as a Sunday afternoon sitcom. It may have an all star cast in Bateman, Fonda and Tina Fey but apart from Fonda’s breast moment you can’t help feeling you’ve seen this somewhere before.

See If You Liked: It Runs In The Family, Corina Corina

TIME IS ILLMATIC

Twenty years after the release of Nas’s groundbreaking debut album ‘Illmatic,’ NAS: TIME IS ILLMATIC takes us into the heart of his creative process. Returning to his childhood home in Queensbridge, Nas shares stories of his upbringing, his influences – from the music of his jazz musician father Olu Dara to the burgeoning hip-hop scene in New York City – and the obstacles he faced before his major label signing at age 20. Featuring interviews with his ‘Illmatic’ producers (Large Professor, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, L.E.S., and DJ Premier) and musical peers (including Pharrell Williams and Alicia Keys), NAS: TIME IS ILLMATIC is a thrilling account of Nas’s evolution from a young street poet to a visionary MC.

A well-made music documentary that is a must for any Hip Hop muso, it’s a welcome companion to the classic album of the same name. I have to admit though this wasn’t for me; I became easily distracted and lost interest about half way through. That being said though, showing scenes and commentary spanning his early life will definitely inspire.

See If You Liked: Searching for Sugar Man, Made In America

THE BOOK OF LIFE

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MY PICK OF THE WEEK: TIME IS ILLMATIC

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