Film Review “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot”

Starring: Tina Fey, Margot Robbie and Martin Freeman
Directed by: Glenn Ficarra and John Requa
Rated: R
Running time: 1 hr 52 mins
Paramount
Our Score: 4 out of 5 (stars!)

It’s 2006 and we meet hard-driving Kim Baker (Fey) in the middle of an assignment as a news reporter imbedded in Afghanistan with a Marine regiment. Things are typically hectic, though Baker’s story isn’t.

Flashback to 2003 where we discover Kim Baker in a dead-end job as a news writer for television. As the war in Iraq has intensified, the station is looking for ANYONE that will volunteer to cover the “forgotten war” in Afghanistan. The only requirements are that you can’t be married or have kids. Taking this as a sign, Kim volunteers and soon finds herself in Kabul, where her bright orange backpack helps her stick out like a sore toe. She make the acquaintance of a fellow female journalist, the beautiful Tanya Vanderpole (Robbie). Tanya tries to cheer Kim up by pointing out that she is “Kabul cute,” meaning where she might be judged as a 6 back in the states she is a solid 8.5 or even a 9 overseas. Good news indeed.

Well-made and much more serious than it’s being marketed, “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” gives Tina Fey to flex some acting chops you may not know she possessed. She does have a few good one-liners, but the story keeps her character grounded in the middle of war and the carnage it continually provides. In between assignments Kim stays at a boarding house where unwinding after being involved in a firefight begins with alcohol and ends…well, sometimes it never ends. The film gives an inside look at the various cultural differences that many here in the states may only have heard hints of. Even the local women scold Kim harshly for the slightest offense. However, this new influx of excitement in her life keep her going.

The film is well cast, with each actor playing well off of the others. As a Scottish journalist interested in Kim, Freeman is well meaning and sympathetic. As the Marine general whose unit Kim follows, Billy Bob Thornton is strong and unflinching. And very thin. Someone buy this man a sandwich. Alfred Molina gets the majority of the humorous lines as an Afghani politician slowly working his way up the power ladder. The battle scenes are well staged and, again, the horrors of war may not be what audiences are expecting so be warned. War is still hell.

Win Passes to the Kansas City Premiere of “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot”

Media Mikes has teamed with Paramount Pictures to give (30) of their readers and a guest the chance to be among the first in Kansas City to see the new comedy “Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot,” starring Tina Fey and Billy Bob Thornton.

The screening will be held on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 and will begin at 7:30 p.m. The film will be shown at our favorite theatre, the Kansas City Alamo Drafthouse in downtown Kansas City.

All you have to do is go to http://www.gofobo.com/VWdqU69208 and register. (30) lucky entrants will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening. Winners will be notified by email on Sunday, February 28. Good luck!

Opening Date: Friday, March 4, 2016
Official Website: www.WhiskeyTangoFoxtrotTheMovie.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/WTFTheMovie
Twitter: @WTFTheMovie #WTFTheMovie
Rating: Not yet rated.

Synopsis:
When reporter Kim Barker’s (Tina Fey) life needs something more, she decides to ‘shake it all up’ by taking an assignment in a war zone. There, in the midst of chaos, she finds the strength she never knew she had. Sometimes it takes saying ‘WTF’ to find the life you were always destined to have. Also starring Margo Robbie, Martin Freeman, Alfred Molina and Billy Bob Thornton, the film is directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (“Crazy, Stupid, Love”) from a screenplay by Robert Carlock (“Saturday Night Live,” “30 Rock”).

Nick Nicholson talks about debut album “Stronger Than Whiskey”

Nick Nicholson is a country singer, who recently released his debut album “Stronger Than Whiskey”. He also appeared in the documentary “Off the Boulevard” directed by Jeff Santo. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Nick about his album and what his love for music.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about the release of your debut album “Stronger Than Whiskey”
Nick Nicholson: We put that song out a year before the release of the entitled Cd and it did well on the Music Row Charts hitting 103 Nationwide for around 16 weeks total. I believe it could of done a lot better if it were promoted properly but again…..Indie pockets aren’t deep and you wanna believe in your promotions team but in the end it fell into yet another statistic of this business……MONEY…. Aint that a bitch.

MG: Now that “Stronger Than Whiskey” is released, what is the next step for you?
NN: Right now I am just kicking back collecting my thoughts [laughs]! I really can’t answer that one.

MG: What do you enjoy most about getting up on stage and performing?
NN: Having people believe what I’m saying.

MG: If you can perform like with any musician on stage, who would it be and why?
NN: It used to be Elvis Presley but he has faded out of this generation’s eye. Since I have performed with a lot of people already including singing Whiskey Girl with Toby Keith himself. (Wow) I would enjoy doing a song or two with Keith Urban. Mainly because I re-recorded Freedom’s Finally Mine on my 1st CD in Nashville around 2005. I really dig his alternative bluesy take on Country Music. He isn’t standard and neither am I [laughs]!

MG: What do you have to say to other struggling independent artists?
NN: Try not to fall into the standard money traps in this business. Go straight for the “gate keeper” not for the middle man. Ass kissing is part of it. Believe none of what you hear and only ½ of what you actually see. Stay true to who you are, don’t fall short and sell your soul, because one day when or if you succeed you will have done it your way. If you don’t get what your after well…you still did it your way. Most importantly, just Have fun because a recording contract isn’t everything.

MG: Tell us how you got involved with documentary “Off the Boulevard”?
NN: I met Jeff Santo about 5 or 6 years ago while he was in post production of “Jakes Corner” and promoted the movie at my shows because we hit it off from the start. He contacted me a year or so later and said he was filming a documentary on Indie artist ofall genres and wanted to include my struggles as an indie musician in the movie. So he started shooting my footage two years prior to the release. We really got to be great friends throughout the filming process. He hit the road with me and the band gathering footage and interacting with the process of dragging your ass from town to town selling units outta the back of your car.

MG: What do you have planned for the rest of 2012?
NN: Acoustic shows promoting Stronger than Whiskey “Grass Roots” style. Keeping the overhead low as well as the stress. Being happy and falling in love with music all over again with the bullshit buffer on 11! I have been cast as 8 ball in an awesome film called “Dead In 5 Heartbeats” (due out later this year) from the book written by Sonny Barger. Not a real big role in this movie but hey maybe I’m on to something with this acting stuff. It will also feature my song “Can’t Get Here From There” (Co-written with CJ Watson and David Norris) on the soundtrack to the film. So keep an eye out for this release from Santo Films!