The Great Gatsby, Peeples and more - Sandy Kenyon reviews

May 10, 2013 5:20:48 PM PDT
There's an old saying in Hollywood that certainly applies to The Great Gatsby: "If it's worth doing, then it's worth over-doing."

The jazz age comes alive to the sounds of hip hop and "The Great Gatsby" is on the big screen in 3-D, but the film is not as weird as that sounds.

Would you want to go see a movie about life among the rich on Long island a century ago? Before you say 'no' consider that "The Great Gatsby" stars 1 of the world's biggest stars in the title role and the guy who played "Spiderman" stars as his pal.

It's based on a novel often called the greatest ever written in America.

The new film is in 3-D with music by Jay Z, his wife Beyonce and other hip-hoppers.

Gatsby is a self-made man: a crook who stages big parties hoping to attract the attention of his long lost love "Daisy Buchanan."

The love story is timeless, but director Baz Luhrman has given it new life for a younger generation so I forgive him for going over the top too often and for giving us an idealized New York created in a computer and filmed in Australia.

"The Great Gatsby" will make for a great date, but if you and your date want to laugh then check out "Peeples."

Craig Robinson steps up and out of his supporting roles and proves he's funny enough for stardom. Kerry Washington from ABC's "Scandal" plays his fiance who is reluctant to take him home to meet her mother (a former disco diva) and her dad (a federal judge) played by David Alan Grier, who you may recall as a young man "In Living Color" on TV. He is even funnier now.

"Peeples" is producer by Tyler Perry and his fans will not be disappointed.

We have one more movie to tell you about: a fascinating documentary about Venus and Serena Williams. Before they were tennis icons, they were sisters from the mean streets of Compton, California, groomed for stardom by their father from the moment they were born. The film called "Venus & Serena" promises you will discover the truth behind the legends. Now it may not be the whole truth, but you will come to know them as never before. What lingers in my mind is the extraordinary bond between the two sisters, who have never married.

You will understand why and learn much more. I have to thank Sade Baderinwa for bringing this terrific movie to my attention. It's at the Magic Johnson Theater in Harlem.