Past Movie Review: Seven


This film has perhaps the best, most dramatic and most perfect ending I have ever seen in all my years of going to the movies. The premise was perfect, seven deadly sins and the amazing ending tied the whole movie together for a perfect conclusion that involved the seventh deadly sin and one of the evilest villains I have ever seen in any movie. The music and sound effects during the dramatic conclusion also greatly enhanced the ending.

The actors were also top notch, including Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kevin Spacey in one of his greatest performances. The story was as dark and depressing as the rainy and dark scenes throughout the film. I also thought that Brad Pitt has never been better in any movie, especially during the last scene.

If you ever see the movie Seven, that was released in 1995, you will never forget it. For those who have not seen this great movie in 22 years, I highly recommend it.

Movie Review: An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power


There are still many people in this world who still believe that Global Warming is a hoax. Some of them believe that Al Gore created this Global Warming hoax to make money because he made something around 100 million dollars from this first movie “An Inconvenient Truth” that was released in 2006. These same people ignore the pictures, they ignore the ever changing weather patterns, they ignore the average temperatures around the world always going up every year and the ever increasing occurrences of storms and droughts around the world. They ignore the rising ocean levels in many areas around the world, one of the worst in Miami Florida. Most amazingly they ignore the obvious pictures of the polar icecaps reducing every year. To them, despite all the alarming evidence, they still think Global Warming is a hoax. They believe its all a vast conspiracy to make a few people very rich, starting with Al Gore. Very recently, as was mentioned at the end of this documentary, President Trump pulled out of the Global Warming Paris Agreement for reasons that for me had some merit, but the real reason Trump pulled out was because of political pressure from very large coal and oil companies and ultimately Trump’s continuing insane belief that Global Warming is still a hoax. I remember thinking during Trump’s speech about why he was pulling out of the Paris agreement is that progress in the United States should not stop just because we pulled out of the Paris agreement. At least I sure hoped it wouldn’t.

Al Gore’s sequel to An Inconvenient Truth, “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power”, is similar in many ways to the first documentary as we follow Gore’s travels around the world educating others about Global warming by giving speeches and seminars. What is lacking in this movie is more of the same scientific proof of the severity of Global warming around the world provided in the first movie, mostly due to carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. Perhaps the reason for this is there is nothing more scientific to say about something that is now pure fact. I did like the fact that this documentary was not all doom and gloom like the last movie and there were some very encouraging evidence that many millions of people around the world are working hard to increase the use of solar energy and wind power and some cities in the United States are now using Solar and Wind power for 100% of their energy needs. From this point on, all humanity can do is hope that the progress continues and more importantly, that its still not too late to not only halt the damage to this planet but to even turn it all around so the planet earth can heal itself. If not then humanity is in a great deal of trouble.

I have often wondered since the year 2000, when Al Gore lost the Presidential election he really won, about how different the world would be now, if Gore was allowed to take his rightful place as President. Would we have had the Terrorist attacks in 2001, the IRAQ War or even the financial crisis because of the real estate bubble of 2008 had Gore been President instead of Bush? Another way of looking at what happened in 2000 is, would we have made anywhere near the progress around the world with Global Warming were it not for Al Gore because he was not the President? Was Al Gore more valuable as President or as the leading advocate for perhaps the most important crisis in the history of the world? This is a question that everybody can decide for themselves.

This is a very good documentary about one of the biggest challenges humanity has ever faced and I do recommend it.

Movie Review: Detroit


There is not a white person in this world who can ever say that they understand what its like to be black person and under the injustice of how the police sometimes treat black people. The reality of police brutality has happened many times during the last few years but it was at its worst during the 60’s in this country because of the protesting and rioting that went on for many reasons, most of them socioeconomic.

Most of us have heard about the LA Riots or the Riots that happened after the Rodney King verdict, which is the costliest in US history but the third worst is the riot that happened in Detroit in July 1967, known as the 12th Street Riot and this is the subject of the new movie Detroit. This movie was shot in a very unusual way, with lower quality film and has the look of a documentary.

The first half of this movie focuses on the Detroit Riot that was born out of frustration and unemployment as factory jobs were taken away from the inner city to the suburbs and this trend accelerated after World War 2 but then the rest of the story is about what is known as the “Algiers Motel Incident”. The Algiers Motel Incident occurred in Detroit, Michigan on July 25, 1967, during the racially charged 12th Street Riot and centered around several young black men who were in a hotel with 2 white women. What happens in this motel is very difficult to watch both for the brutality and the injustice of several white police officers, the worst one, is played very convincingly by actor Will Poulter. This one young and very evil police officer believed that because he was a police officer, that the law or any level of decency or humanity did not apply to him. I thought the motel part of this film was unnecessarily long, especially because the brutality and insanity of the police officers was so difficult to witness. There is a trial after this incident and I will of course not give anything away about the verdict.

Overall, I thought the acting was very well done including John Boyega and Anthony Mackie but I didnt think this was a great movie about an important incident in American History only a good one and I do recommend this film.

Movie Review: Kidnap


We have all heard the stories about a mother rescuing her child from under a car by lifting the car up with temporary super-human strength. In many ways this movie demonstrates super-human strength and determination of a mother, played very well by Hallie Berry who would do anything to save her son who she witnessed being kidnapped by two very disgusting criminals. After the abduction of her six year old son at a carnival, what follows are some very horrendous car chase scenes and some massive car accidents on several highways. All of this is believable because of the acting of Hallie Berry and her desperation to save her son at all costs. Some of the scenes and ideas here are a little outlandish but ultimately I ignored all of this because of the intensity that engaged me about what was happening on the screen. The two criminals in this thriller were also very believable and well played by Chris McGinn and Lew Temple.

The reality of this world is that kidnapping rings run by lowlife like this actually do exist and unfortunate parents have to live the rest of their lives wondering if their child is dead or alive and this is a life very few of us could ever endure. This movie does a very good job in demonstrating what such an abduction of a young child would be like and what the desperation and anger of a mother would be like within such an intense situation.

For some reason the reviews for Kidnap are not very high and this movie completed filming in 2014 and was then shelved for several years before finally being released that could have something to do with the bankruptcy of the film studio that produced this film.

Despite some negative opinions and several flaws in this story I do recommend this movie.

Movie Review: Valerian and the City of One Thousand Planets


At the beginning of this film, I thought it presented some of the most imaginative aliens and space special effects I have ever seen. At the end of this movie, and I had to leave early because I could not stand to sit through it anymore, I thought it was another typical special effects with no story movie where the producers were only interested in the computer graphics and had no interest in taking a year to write a good story. In fact, there is no real story here at all. I would recommend this movie for people who are on LSD or Heroin, but for the rest of us who are trying to at least stay awake for 2 hours, this movie is a waste of time and computer software. In the end, after going into my 3rd coma watching this mess, I just about had to run away from this disaster.

The few good points of this film are some of the special effects and the actress Cara Delevingne who should have a bright future in Hollywood but given the fickle nature of that business and this bad film who knows. Towards the end there is an appearance of Rihanna who has a small cameo, but not nearly enough of an appearance to rescue this film.

This is a B movie that should have went straight to DVD and I do not recommend it.

Movie Review: Atomic Blonde


What will draw people into this movie because of the previews are the action scenes of hand to hand fighting and martial arts which are very well choreographed and impressive, but unfortunately the rest of this movie was disappointing as far as the complex spy story in Berlin combinations of which we have seen before, the depressing and gray locations where the film was shot in Hungary and the constant chain smoking, mostly with Charlize Theron’s character that was done far too much, even for the 1989 time this story takes place. Once you are drawn into a movie like this to see some of the action scenes, you want something more and for me that was just not present in this film which at times I found rather boring and run of the mill.

This movie also stars James McAvoy and John Goodman who play parts we have seen them in before, specially Goodman as one of the leaders of the MI6 organization Theron’s character is working for. While watching this film, that I thought was too long, I wondered about people like this who risk their lives every day as spies, realizing that at any minute they could be killed. You just have to admire the dedication and courage of people who believe in their cause so much they are willing to give up any sort of a normal life but unfortunately this movie tells a mostly bad and boring story and for that reason I cannot recommend this movie.

Movie Review: Girls Trip


For two reasons, this blog and the relatively high ratings for “Girls Trip”, 88% on Rotten Tomatoes and 71% on IMDB, I decided to see this movie. Everybody can tell just from the previews that this film was going to be pretty raunchy and it was, but what is funny? In my opinion, not funny enough because there were not many laughs in the theater I was in and in my opinion the last movie that created the perfect combination of raunchy and funny was the film “Animal House” that was released in 1978.

If I were Jada Pinkett Smith and I read the script for this movie, I would have demanded that some embarrassing scenes that included her character on top of a zip line in New Orleans urinating on people on the street below or some of the other overly raunchy or embarrassing scenes, be either toned down or eliminated altogether if for no other reason than pride or reputation. But, once again the pressure to remain relevant and active in Hollywood seems to be greater than pride for too many actors today who are lucky enough to be in movies and this would include the two other famous actors in this movie Queen Latifah and Regina Hall.

I thought the bright spot of this film was Tiffany Haddish who showed some real comic timing and instinct and to some degree almost saves this story, which is about 4 old friends from college that are reunited in New Orleans for a festival for black women. Some of the later drama that included Regina Hall’s husband having an affair and that affair threatening the release of their new book, was well done but rather misplaced in a raunchy comedy like this one.

Even allowing for the fact that some people might find a movie like this entertaining, I cannot recommend it, because there were not enough laughs to cover up the many flaws in this film that included a story that for the most part was not unique enough to anyone to remember.

Movie Review: Dunkirk


I am very amazed at the very high scores for the new Christopher Nolan film “Dunkirk”, 92% on Rotten Tomatoes and 89% on IMDB. I thought this was a war movie that was trying so hard to be different that it forgot to teach the audience the history of what really happened on May 26 to June 4th 1940, during an important battle of World War 2. One scene jumps to another scene, there is no real story or character development and at times I found the movie boring. Considering this is a war movie about an important battle of World War 2 “The Battle of Dunkirk” I was not expecting to be bored. I believe that in order to be respectful to the men who died in a major battle in any war, you cant try so hard to direct a movie where your goal is more about trying to tell a story in a different way rather than creating an accurate depiction of an important battle of World War 2.

This movie stars Tom Hardy who spends his time in this film in the cockpit of an airplane and most of his face is covered by a mask which I thought was highly unusual. Kenneth Branagh plays Commander Bolton one of the leaders of the trapped forces who appears mostly towards the end of the film. Both of these actors seem to be misplaced in this film, almost as if they were added on at the end, so the movie would have a few more famous actors to perhaps generate box office.

The bottom line is that this movie does not educate the audience about exactly what happened during the Battle of Dunkirk because it tries to tell a story in a new way and because of this, it ignores the most important part of a war movie, which is to tell a story accurately and to respect the people who died in battle.

For these reasons I cannot recommend Dunkirk.

Movie Review: War for the Planet of the Apes


The reviews for “War for the Planet of the Apes” are very high, 94% on Rotten Tomatoes and 83% on IMDB. I am surprised at numbers that high for this film, because for me, for reasons I will explain I am more in the 70% range as overall I thought this was just a good and not a great movie.

However, I do give the special effects and the “Performance Capture” technology a 100% grade and you realize immediately that none of the 3 recent Planet of the Apes movies would be possible without this technology because the actor would be in a makeup chair for 8 hours a day. The technology they use involves the capturing of the movement of each actor and then filling in the ape makeup using CGI later. The facial expressions of the apes, as well as the hair on the body and the movement of each ape actor in this movie, is flawless and extremely impressive. Where this film becomes more average is with the story, that I thought was too simple, took too long to progress and in the end was pretty average.

The original Planet of the Apes was released in 1968 and was one of the first films I had ever seen in a movie theater. The original story had to do with a nuclear holocaust where the apes take over after humans destroy the world and this movie explains more about a virus that followed the nuclear conflagration that made apes more intelligent and humans more like animals, starting with their inability to talk. The acting is very good, including Woody Harrelson who plays an evil Colonel and Andy Serkis, who reprises his role as Ceasar, the leader of the apes for the 3rd time, I was hoping for a more interesting story here and I thought that the story for this movie dragged on too long and was too simplistic.

I give War for the Planet of the Apes a mild recommendation.

Movie Review: Spider-Man Homecoming


One thing a movie must do, if it is a continuation of a previous movie, in this case, the latest Avenger film Avengers: The Age of Ultron, is to explain all of the items that carry through to the new movie. Unfortunately, this new Spider-Man movie does not really explain the left behind alien machines that the evil villain in this movie, played by Michael Keaton, was trying to use to dominate the world. I thought the story of Spider-Man Homecoming was told in an unusual and erratic way, almost as if the screenwriter was trying to invent a method of telling a story. For the most part, this method of storytelling worked, but I thought that there was too much jumping around and less control over the continuity of the scenes.

The new Spider-Man is a 15-year-old boy still in high school and is played very well by 21-year-old Tom Holland and like all of the other Spider-Man movies, the special effects for this film are outstanding but I still think, like many others that the second Spider-Man movie that was released in 2004 was the best in the series so far.

Robert Downy Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man makes several appearances in this movie as the mentor of Spider-Man as well as Stark’s best friend played by Jon Favreau. There are also several mentions of the next Avengers movie, Avengers: Infinity War that will be released next year as this is the new marketing campaign for all of these Marvel movies when they try and connect each Marvel movie to the next one.

Overall I thought this movie was very good and on a par with all of the previous Spider-Man movies and I do recommend it.