Megan Good

The Intruder

First Hit: A day after watching this movie, I’ve forgotten almost everything about it.

A good film has you remember something about it, the next day, next week, next month, and next year. This film barely made it to the next day. A movie like “Wait Until Dark,” which might be categorized as the same genre, is still is with me today, and I saw it in 1967.

The idea of this film is; a couple decides to buy a country home in Napa Valley, fix it up, and hopefully raise a family in their new home. The house they fall in love with is owned by a man who claims his wife died about two years ago from cancer and it’s time for him to move on and live in Florida with his daughter. But, with any good horror mystery, there is a wrinkle in the idyllic story.

Here we have Annie and Scott Russell (Megan Good and Michael Ealy respectively), having had success, wanting to move from a condo in San Francisco to a home in Napa Valley. The home Annie falls in love with is owned by Charlie Peck (Dennis Quaid).

The faults started early for me. The looks and quick switches in attitude by Peck made him a creepy suspect too soon. He didn’t sell the story of his wife dying of cancer well enough. That is what disappointed me about this film. It telegraphed too loud and too early the player's positions in this film.

Annie, on her part, was too trusting too early and in apparent situations where caution would be the by-word, she wasn’t. Scott was on edge too early as well. His mistrust and skittishness seemed a little too fabricated.

Anyway, after buying the house, Peck keeps showing up at Russell’s home, mowing the lawn, yelling at people installing a security system, and trying to be helpful. He isn’t, and the creepiness oozes from his eyes and a fake smile.

The story unfolds as one might imagine, but the over crafting from the beginning led to an apparent predictable ending. Additionally, I live in the San Francisco Bay area I’m surprised that Scott, as a high-level advertising executive, would consider making a daily commute from Napa to San Francisco. It might have been better if they had moved to Mill Valley, Fairfax, or other Marin County areas, than Napa. I couldn’t get around the commute as being something viable.

Ealy was OK as Scott. However, his suspicions were telegraphed too early in the film. Good was acceptable as Annie. Her naivety towards Peck by not seeing his obvious behavior flaws was not believable. As a for instance, note the scene when she invites him in to share the pizza he delivers to her, dumb. Quaid overacted the part, but I did think his evil grin was well done. He sort of had a “Chuckie” look to him. Joseph Sikora as Scott’s close friend Mike was reasonable in his role as up and coming young, robust and rich guy. Alvina August was acceptable as Mike’s girlfriend who put up with Mike’s posturing. David Loughery wrote a good script, but it was the direction by Deon Taylor that failed to make the story memorable. He didn’t get much out of his actors and sided on overacting to make this film.

Overall: This film is totally forgettable and not worth seeing.

Think Like a Man

First Hit:  This film served up both truth and laughs.

Film follows 7 men who are close friends and hang out together often.

The film also follows the women whom they meet. So what is thinking like a man entail? It entails reading Steve Harvey’s book “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man”.

In this book he gives women advice of how to land men; who are mama’s boys, or can’t commit, or are players, and other behaviors. What happens is that we follow men who are being lured into relationships they actually want by women who are using the techniques written in the book to make the man do what they want.

At one point the men get copies of the book and try to blunt the girl’s attempts but in the end the men want these girls. Through all this is humor, some of it smart, some slapstick, some racial, but mostly it is the kind of humor one expects in the truth.

The bits with the professional basketball players is really funny and I would have liked even more of those scenes.

This film is smart in the way it handles the male and female parts.

This is a very good ensemble piece and although the actors are not largely known (A-list) the acting was strong: Michael Ealy, Jerry Ferrara, Kevin Hart, Terrence Jenkins, Romany Malco, Gary Owen, Chris Brown, Meagan Good, Regina Hall, Taraji P. Henson, Jennifer Lewis, Gabrielle Union, La La Anthony, Wendy Williams and Sherri Shepherd were all funny and good in their roles. Keith Merryman wrote the smart screenplay from Steve Harvey’s book. Tim Story directed this smartly with great movements between couples and scenes.

Overall: I really enjoyed this film because it rang of truth, was smartly written and well directed.