7/14 Movie Trip

7/14 Movie Trip

7/14 Movie Trip

Paul McGuire Grimes, creator of Paul’s Trip to the Movies, gives us his review on season two of The Afterparty on AppleTV+, Mission: Impossible-Dead Reckoning Part One, and the new documentary on HBO, Rock Hudson: All That Heaven Allowed.

THE AFTERPARTY Season 2 (Apple TV+)

The AppleTV+ series The Afterparty was a huge hit for the streaming service, and now its back for a second season. Sam Richardson and Zoe Chao are back for more as their characters, Aniq and Zoe, are attending the wedding of Zoe’s sister, Grace, to her fiancé, Edgar. They pinky promise to each other to have a relaxing and fun weekend. It’s a beautiful wedding and reception until the next morning when Edgar’s body is found dead in his bedroom. Tiffany Haddish’s Agent Danner claims to be writing a book but uses this as the perfect excuse to get back on the scene. She arrives ready for the sequel interrogating family and friends as everyone becomes a suspect.

-Starring: Sam Richardson, Zoe Chao, Poppy Liu, Zachary Woods, Elizabeth Perkins, Anna Konkle, John Cho, Ken Jeong, Jack Whitehall, Paul Walter Hauser

-The first two episodes are now available and will release weekly after that for a ten-episode second season.

The Afterparty comes from the insanely clever mind of Chris Miller, Phil Lord, and Anthony King. Lord and Miller were also behind The LEGO Movie and Spider-Man Into the SpiderVerse.

-Their concept is to take the murder mystery genre and turn it on its head by giving each character their own episode to make their case and each episode is then told through a different movie genre or director style, like a rom-com sequel inspired episode, Jane Austen, and  a very Wes Anderson-inspired episode later in the season.

-This is primarily a new cast with Richardson, Chao, and Haddish being the main returning members from the first season. You will see some familiar faces pop up in cameos later in the season. Sam Richardson is so charming and lovely. You just feel bad he’s the target of everyone’s jabs and can never catch a break.

-The intricate nature of each genre shift allows each actor to play a little outside their comfort zone, and Anna Konkle and Poppy Liu shine in the Wes Anderson-inspired episode.

-The season starts off strong from the get-go. There are great one-liners, terrific misdirects, and shady characters.

-The storytelling is far more expansive this season going into character’s backstories long before they got to the wedding and spins a wider web as to why anyone could be a suspect in Edgar’s death.



Mission: Impossible-Dead Reckoning Part One is the seventh film in the franchise and will keep you on edge until the credits roll. Your heart may even stop beating with what Cruise pulls off. Director Christopher McQuarrie takes audiences to the bottom of the Bering Sea where a submarine mission is testing stealth capabilities. It’s exceeded all expectations in its attempts to hide a massive killing machine no man can find. It’s connected to a powerful intelligence entity that has the capabilities to hack in and control the world’s intelligence system. There are two keys that when interlocked can deactivate the threat. One key is believed to be with Rebecca Ferguson’s character, Ilsa, a former MI6 agent from the previous two films. Tom Cruise suits up again as Ethan Hunt whose mission is to find Ilsa, find the key, and stop the bounty hunters who are after her. As we know, the mission is never that simple.

-Starring: Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Esai Morales, Haley Atwell, Vanessa Kirby, Pom Klementieff

-Tom Cruise kicked off the Mission Impossible franchise with director Brian DePalma back in 1996. Since then, he and directors like Brad Bird and now Christopher McQuarrie have found their angle into making this one of the most daring and successful action franchises of all time as they literally try to live up to the title with the daring stunts they pull off.

-In Dead Reckoning Part One, Ethan Hunt is reminded that “We cannot escape the past” He joined IMF Impossible Missions Force thirty years ago, and this film certainly acts as a culmination of what this character has been through in these seven movies never backing down from the mission at hand.

-The care and precision McQuarrie and Cruise put into every action scene, and there are plenty here, is felt with an edge of your seat, pulsating vibe. It’s all set against the picturesque settings that Rome and Venice have to offer.

– The stakes have never been higher, and the cast knows it all delivering terrific performances. Haley Atwell is a force to be reckoned with as Grace who can match the wit and fast thinking that Ethan is known for. Pom Klementieff brings a Harley Quinn meets the Terminator vibe to her assassin.

-Christopher McQuarrie keeps this a relevant and timing entry tackling the dangers of AI. It’s a strong reminder to audiences and the industry that AI would never be able to pull off a film like this. The commitment to practical stunts, filming on location, and high stakes sets the bar high for action films moving forward when too often rapid fire editing and CGI dumbs down the power of the genre.



Rock Hudson had the charm and dashing good looks as one of the great leading men in the Golden Age of Hollywood. The new documentary Rock Hudson: All That Heaven Allowed from HBO Documentary Films chronicles Hudson’s life to remind us of the giant career he had and the groundbreaking impact he had society. Rock Hudson always knew he wanted to be a big star in Hollywood. Despite being young and gay, he didn’t let the stigma at the time stop him from pursuing his dreams. Director Stephen Kijay uses audio interviews with some people describing him as “The Tom Cruise of his day” and a “sexual gladiator” Kijay tells Hudson’s story in a straightforward chronological order, and it’s obvious why Hudson became a huge star from working next to Doris Day in rom-coms to an Oscar nomination for the James Dean film, Giant. Throughout his career, he never shied away from being gay in his personal life, but it was one of those things that unfortunately went unspoken until his diagnosis with AIDS. He knew he had to butch up and hide his more effeminate manner hoping to get the parts he wanted. He became the Prince Charming and the “Rock Hudson” identity was a role he played for the rest of his life according to Ileana Douglas who is one of the many people we hear profiled.

-Director Stephen Kijay features video interviews with many of Rock Hudson’s former partners, lovers, and friends like author Armistead Maupin and costars Linda Evans and Piper Laurie. Some are not afraid to go into explicit detail describing their relationship or the depths they had to go to hide it from the public when the FBI and tabloids were out to expose and criminalize anyone who was gay.

-This was in the 50s and 60s, and it’s not lost on me that this is still happening in Hollywood and in the real world when being your authentic self can be shunned and can ruin careers. Fake relationships are still being created to force a narrative on the “It” stars in Hollywood.

-On top of the video and audio interviews, Kijay cuts to moments in his film clips where it seems like art is imitating life with the sexual innuendos and double entendres.

-It should peak anyone’s interest who loves Old Hollywood, but that’s just one angle of the legacy he left behind.

-What he probably couldn’t have imagined and what the documentary directly hones in on is the impact he had after being public with AIDS. The gay community needed that public face to call attention to the deadly plague that was getting ignored by the Raegan administration.

-The stigma basically ruined the image he had, no one could look passed it and Stephen Kijay and his interview subjects want to reclaim his identity and what he should be remembered for.

-It’s a poignant and must-watch film as the history should not be forgotten.