Past Movie Review: An Innocent Man

Back in the mid 80’s the actor Tom Selleck was just about the hottest celebrity on Television with the success of the TV Series Magnum PI . Everybody thought that he should easily be able to parlay that success into being a huge movie star, even after he supposedly turned down the starring role in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” which came out in 1981. After some failed attempts at being a movie actor with movie such as Lasiter and Runaway Selleck finally got the movie role of a lifetime with An Innocent Man , which came out in 1989. This great movie is a story about an innocent man who works as a repairman for Jet Aircraft and one day inside his own house he is mistaken for a drug dealer and then shot because he is holding a hair dryer. After this, the criminal and corrupt police officers frame him and stage a shooting, making it look like he shot at the police officers with an illegal gun he had in his possession as he lay wounded on the floor of his bathroom unconscious . What follows is years in prison and the attempts of his wife, played by Laila Robbins to get him out and dealing with the corrupt two cops who framed her husband.

In all my years of movie going I have never seen a movie more realistic in terms of the nightmare of being in prison  with animals when you have done nothing wrong. This movie also depicts the very harsh reality of the rules of prison which include the drugs, gang rape and murder which as commonplace as getting coffee in the outside world.  Selleck’s character in this movie, Jimmie Rainwood soon finds out that survival and the laws of the outside world do not apply inside a low level prison.  Within the first few weeks of Rainwood’s illegal incarceration, he finds out that he has to “stand up and take care of business”, which means murdering the head of a black gang in order to avoid being as they all called it “someones kid”. Rainwood is schooled on what to do and how to take care of business in prison by a prisoner who befriends him named Virgil Cane played expertly by F. Murray Abraham in what I consider one of this best roles. Their friendship and interaction during this movie is the best part of the whole story and they both were incarcerated by the same two corrupt police officers. After Cane instructs Rainwood and expertly organizes the plan to take care of business and kill the head of the black gang and what follows is an incredible scene in a large bathroom and a shiv with about as much drama and tension as I have ever seen in any movie. This one scene and the events leading up to it maintain a level of tension that is similar and maybe even exeeds the movie Heat which came out in 1995. This is what movies are all about and when they work this well they should be recognized. In my opinion, this movie with this gritty realism, tension, injustice and revenge is one of the best movies ever made and is largely unrecognized.

The last part of this movie is about Rainwood getting out of prison and then revenge against the two police officers who ruined his life that is one of the best conclusions to a movie I have ever seen. Revenge is always sweet and in the case of these two dirty criminal lowlife police officers, the revenge in this movie is one of the best final scenes of “getting even” ever produced. Many people would rather die than go to prison for any length of time, most especially if they are innocent and after seeing this movie you would definitely rather die than go through what Rainwood went through in this story. This movie also makes you think about all the people in this country unjustly imprisoned perhaps even for the same reason of corrupt police officers and this fact just adds to the believably of this story. There are several lines in this movie that stand up and are still memorable to this day; “you ain’t got to stand tall in here but you sure better stand up!” and F. Murray Abraham’s line when he started to teach Rainwood the way of the world in prison “Its simple in here, anybody fucks with me and its their life” and his final line at the very end of this movie, “Aint life a motherfucker”.

If you have never seen An Innocent Man, you owe it to yourself to see it as it is quite simply a great movie.


An Innocent Man – IMDB

Movie Review: My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

The first Big Fat Greek Wedding came out in 2002, and when it was released it was funny and unusual and provided some insight into Greek culture. During the last 14 years there has always been talk of a sequel to this movie and now its finally been released. With this much time to think of ideas and write a script you would think that the sequel to the original would consist of a better story, ideas and perhaps something that was close to as funny as the first movie. After sitting through these latest 2 hours of my movie going career, this version seemed like it was better as a TV soap opera rather than a widely released movie. I for one was surprised at both the number of people in the audience and the fact that nobody laughed even once during this entire movie. 14 years of time to think of some good idea and there is no good script here and nothing really funny or memorable. Some bean counter at a production company in Hollywood calculated what it would cost to put this movie out at the lowest possible cost against the guaranteed audience based on the first movie and as a result we have 2 hours of boredom and overall a pretty bad experience.

Miss this movie unless you are a huge fan of the first one and if you are, you will still be rather disappointed.


My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

Movie Review: Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice

The concept of Superman started in 1938 and was published by DC comics. Perhaps its acceptable within a comic strip to have a character wearing a cape and a woman’s red underwear who can fly in the air because he is an alien from another planet, but when this story was told with real life human characters then the story has to be upgraded and improved. First of all, the idiotic idea of a human being or alien who looks like a human being – putting on a pair of glasses and from the glasses alone totally disguising himself is absurd and always has been absurd. Why do we all buy into something this stupid? With all the movie special effects we have had for over 30 years and given that Superman is alien with special powers why cant his glasses disguise be more sophisticated and when he puts on the glasses his face and body mutates into making him look completely different? This improvement in the story would greatly improve the believably of the entire concept and is just plain common sense, but it will probably never be done.

The other absurdity is the cape, which is completely unnecessary. Bernoulli’s principle has to do with lift and the shape of an airfoil and the presence of a flapping fabric cape would give no additional flying ability to Superman or for that matter any flying superhero including Batman who has no need for a cape even ignoring the fact that Batman doesn’t even fly.

As far as the red woman’s underpants issue, this has been fixed in this latest Superman movie and the new outfit is one-piece, blue and looks far more masculine than some of the previous ridiculous superman outfits of the past. The Batman outfit is also far better now as well and much better than the Batman TV series where the actor wore black underpants and tights, which was another ridiculous and embarrassing outfit.

As far as this movie, “Batman vs Superman”, overall if your a big fan of Marvel action movies there are some very good special effects. If you are fan of a great story and screenwriting than this movie falls short on many levels. This movie is very much like other huge action movies recently; as they are almost as if there are totally different directors involved, or perhaps too many hands on the pot and as an end result there is no flow to the story and the plot seems disconnected and at certain points hard to follow. The entire idea of Lex Luthor pitting Superman and Batman together with this twisted elaborate and overly complicated plot is somewhat ridiculous and one had to think while sitting through this over 2 hour movie that there just had to be a much easier way of getting these two superhero’s to fight. The idea of Batman ever having any chance of defeating superman in any fair fight is also very absurd even with the use of Kryptonite which was used in this movie. The end of this movie was impressive with Wonder Woman joining in the fight against a Lex Luthor generated Krypton alien but these final action scenes are nothing more than what we have all seen before many times.

Both Ben Afleck and Henry Cavill are effective as Batman and Superman and the fight scene in this movie was well done as far as the special effects even though it was not believable.

See this movie if you are a fan of Marvel action superhero movies, but do not see it if you appreciate a well told and interesting story that makes sense.


Batman vs Superman – IMDB