Rated: PG-13
Release Date: 07/21/2023
Production Company: Warner Bros. Pictures

Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, Rhea Perlman and Will Ferrell.

Director: Greta Gerwig. Producers, Greta Gerwig, Tom Ackerley, Robbie Brenner, Christine Crais, David Heyman and Margot Robbie. Executive Producers: Greta Gerwig, Noah Baumbach, Richard Dickson, Toby Emmerich, Ynon Kriez, Josey McNamara, Michael Sharp and Courteney Valenti. Cinematographer: Rodrigo Prieto. Music: Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

The long-awaited "Barbie" movie from Sacramento director Greta Gerwig ("Lady Bird" and "Little Women") and her screenwriting partner Noah Baumbach ("White Noise"), is a visually arresting, flashy, splashy parade of popping pink imagery. However, the rambling and preachy feminist, storyline leaves a lot to be desired.

In addition, despite its PG-13 rating, "Barbie" is a bit mature for kids. Much of the content will likely go over their heads. It's fun at times particularly during the film's dance sequences that feature a terrific Ryan Gosling ("The Fall Guy") as the handsome, hunky, and underappreciated Ken showing out to the Mark Ronson/Andrew Wyatt cut, "I'm Just Ken."

The other Kens that bring humor to "Barbie" are Kingsley Ben-Adir, ("Bob Marley: One Love"), Simu Liu, ("Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings"), Scott Evans, (TV's "Grace and Frankie"), Michael Cera, (TV's "Life and Beth"), Ncuti Gatwa (TV's "Sex Education"), Rob Brydon (TV's "My Lady Jane") and even John Cena ("Fast X") pops in for a bit.

Margo Robbie ("Asteroid City") delivers as the "Stereotypical Barbie." She's beautiful and has the most perfect life in Barbieland. There's that tony dreamhouse, the cool, pink Corvette, designer clothes, shoes, and handbags to die for, and all her self-confident, self-sufficient, and successful Barbie friends who are equally happy in their matriarchal society. They include Alexandra Shipp (Writer Barbie), Nicola Coughlan (Diplomat Barbie), Emma Mackey (Physicist Barbie), and Issa Rae (President Barbie) Dua Lipa (Mermaid Barbie), among others.

So, with all that girl power, why would Barbie suddenly start thinking about dying? Initially it's a fleeting thought, but one that causes her world to spiral. It starts when her perfectly arched feet go flat. She's forced to visit Weird Barbie (an occasionally funny Kate McKinnon, (TV's "Saturday Night Live") who informs Barbie that she needs to get out of Barbieland and head to the real world, Los Angeles.

Barbie’s leap into the real world comes with real consequences. For starters, she's looking for a girl named Sasha (Ariana Greenbelt, "65") who "owned her." It's not the meeting Barbie expected. Sasha can't stand Barbie because of all the wrong messages she's sent girls about womanhood, body image and the like. Barbie gets another shock when she is taken to Mattel headquarters and discovers it's a man's world and the CEO (Will Ferrell, "Strays") has ulterior motives for her and Ken. Sasha's mother, Gloria (America Ferrera, "Dumb Money"), who works at Mattel, understands Barbie's plight and is willing to help her. She also gets some sage advice from Barbie creator, Ruth Handler (Rhea Perlman, TV's "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia").

Meanwhile, Ken, who snuck in Barbie's car and went along for the ride to the real world, suddenly has a new lease on life. He's discovered that men rule in the real world. Now, he wants to gather the other Kens and turn Barbieland into "Kendo" and make all the Barbie's submissive to the men. It works for a while, until the women wise up and rise up to reclaim "Barbieland."

Though well-intentioned, "Barbie" is just an odd movie that didn't quite click on all cylinders for me. It will undoubtedly be a draw for Barbie fans young and old, as well as a huge hit at the box office. I was more impressed with the clever and phenomenal marketing and promotional campaigns leading up to the release of "Barbie" more than the film itself.

Look At This Trailer For "BARBIE"

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays now at 5:17 p.m. and 6:47 p.m. on radio station KFBK 93.1 FM and 1530 AM.


<b> That Man Bolt</b> Title: That Man Bolt
Year Released: 1973
Running Time: 103
Production Company: Universal Pictures
Director: Henry Levin and David Lowell Rich
Director of Photography: Gerald Perry Finnerman
Screenwriter: Charles Johnson and Ranald MacDougall
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

REVIEW: Updated Feature--2023

After Fred "The Hammer" Williamson carved out a stellar career as a defensive back in the National Football League with teams such as the Kansas City Chiefs (Williamson played in Super Bowl I), The Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Francisco 49ers, Williamson tackled Hollywood and became an...
Which one of the following TV shows was re-made into a big screen movie and starred Fred "The Hammer" Williamson?
"Starsky & Hutch"
"Charlie's Angels"
"Hawaii Five-O"