Movie Review: Ben is Back

The opioid crisis has understandably been responsible for two recent movies, the first is “Beautiful Boy” starring Steve Carrell and now “Ben is Back” with Julia Roberts. The message within both of these movies is the same: the pain drug addicts cause other people in their family is very often as great or greater than the pain they cause themselves. When you are desperately trying to rescue someone from themselves and they just continue on the same path, what can you do? Ultimately the responsibility for changing a disastrous human life is up to the person whose life is a disaster and no amount of hope, pleading, begging, paying for extremely expensive rehab, from anyone else is going to rescue any person from self destruction.

I thought the title of this film, “Ben is Back” is a bad one considering the dire subject matter but the acting from both Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges was outstanding. Ben is Back was both written and directed by Lucas Hedges father, Peter Hedges. Its been an amazing run for Lucas Hedges who is bound to receive and academy award nomination for this movie along with Julia Roberts, although I thought this movie was too weak in too many areas for her to win. The problem with this movie is after a very strong start, eventually degrades into a search mission to find a dog that was stolen from their house by some very dangerous drug pushers. I was surprised at this simplistic direction, considering how severe and complex the drug addiction problem has become in this country. Despite all of this, I do give Ben is Back a solid recommendation.

Movie Review: Bumblebee

The new movie “Bumblebee” finally answers the question, “will there ever be a good Transformer movie, if so, how will that happen?” Bumblebee is actually a good movie and after about 5 very bad Transformer movies the solution was to eliminate Michael Bay from the equation. Bumblebee actually has a good story, is not all about special effects, there is evidence of acting. All of these are never seen before concepts in over 10+ hours of 5 horrendous Transformer movies that have preceded Bumblebee.

This movie stars Hailee Steinfeld as Charlie, who is the young woman who discovers Bumblebee and John Cena as the US agent who tries to find him. This movie is far from perfect and some of the story line is far fetched. The ending represents a series of events, including climbing an alien high tower to cut wires that was ridiculous and a young girl of 17 would never do. But the need for story ending high drama includes adding scenes like this far too often. The Rotten Tomatoes reviews for this movie are extremely high, currently 93% and my rating is a solid 80%. I recommend Bumblebee, however some of the fight scenes might be too intense for young children.