Movie Review: Lucy in the Sky

In February, 2007 there was this extremely strange story about a female NASA Astronaut, Lisa Novak – who in a fit of jealousy drove across the United States to Orlando Florida to confront her former boyfriend and his new girlfriend. She took many items in her car with her on the cross country trip, including diapers so she would not have to stop, to improve her time for the trip. What is most interesting about this story, diapers aside, is that nobody would expect a highly educated and intelligent Astronaut to do anything insane and irrational like this, that included spraying her former boyfriend with pepper spray. It is well known that NASA Astronaut’s are chosen not only for their high level of intelligence, but also for their ability to stay calm within any extreme situation, making this story from 2007 that much more shocking. The question then is, is this story interesting and strong enough to make a movie about it, 12 years later? Unfortunately the critical consensus is no. There are some good ideas here, including the fact that any human being can crack under extreme stress or work injustice, but there is not enough story here to keep an audience interested for two hours.

“Lucy in the Sky” stars Natalie Portman and Jon Hamm, two very well known and bankable stars who took this movie most likely because they were impressed with the work of director Noah Hawley in the TV Series Fargo, which has been outstanding. Unfortunately, this is one film that should have been made as a documentary produced for Netflix or Amazon and never a major movie release.

The Rotten Tomatoes ratings for Lucy in the Sky are extremely low at 22% and the movie has been released in very few theaters, most likely due to the very low ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. My rating is more in the 50% range, agreeing that the movie is not good, but it does not warrant a rating of only 22%. This one should be skipped.

Movie Review: Zombieland: Double Tap

The logline for “Zombieland”, released in 2009 and the sequel, “Zombieland: Double Tap” are about the same. “A story about some friends after a zombie Apocalypse, who try to survive by running from and killing zombies, with some humor, camp and sarcasm mixed in”. The problem with both of these movies is, we have all seen many zombies being killed and zombies eating people and the humor is not strong enough to rescue either one of these movies.

This sequel to Zombieland, released 10 years after the original, is about the same as the original and I was surprised that they made a sequel but did not add anything new or special to this version. This movie stars all of the original cast members, Jesse Eisenberg. Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone,
Abigail Breslin and Bill Murray – who makes an appearance at the end of this movie.

The end of this film has one of the new trends in the industry where the audience thinks the movie is over, but its not, with this one having an unnecessary scene involving Bill Murray, who was killed in the first film. Once a movie is over, the audience wants to stand up and go home, but far too often, we have to stand up, wanting to leave, but we are forced to see one last scene that most of the time should never have been added. I hope this practice ends, because it does nothing more than annoy the audience. With some other movies, some last teaser scenes are shown long after the ending credits start, a good example being the recent “Hobbs And Shaw”, released this summer. I happened to see several of the “end of film teasers” for this movie by accident, while waiting for the start of another film. Why is this done? I have no idea.

Like with the last Zombieland this one fails with its most important ingredient, its just not funny enough. I agree with the anemic ratings on Rotten Tomatoes of 67% and I do not recommend this film.

Movie Review: Where’s My Roy Cohn

The new documentary, “Where’s My Roy Cohn” is about the late Roy Cohn, arguably the most criminal and corrupt lawyer in the history of the United States. Despite his years of lying, stealing and destroying other people (including the Joseph McCarthy hearings in the 1950’s), he had many celebrity friends, including even Barbara Walters, Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump. All of them turned their back on him, after he was disbarred after years of corruption in the legal profession. Cohn was disbarred in part, for getting a wealthy dying man on his death bed, to sign over his property so Cohn could steal his money as his executor. It later turned out that the man’s signature was not only invalid, but nothing but a series of illegible lines.

Roy Cohn was a genius, with a photographic memory and an extremely high IQ. Despite this, he turned his powerful mind into wrecking the lives of other people rather than helping others. This documentary, like the recent movie “Joker” does a very good job not only showing the bad things Roy Cohn did in his life, but also why he became the hateful and despicable person he was. People become who they are for reasons, and it is never enough just to show the end result of anything. Cohn even became the lawyer to the Mafia, including even John Gotti, one time getting him a reduced sentence of 2 years for murdering someone in broad daylight in front of many witnesses.

The story about Roy’s mother was that she was so unattractive that her family had to promise a Judgeship to a local lawyer so he would marry her. Roy was an only child, who was spoiled and doted on by his mother, turning him into a selfish and mean child, who was smart enough to graduate from Columbia Law school when he was only 20 years old. Roy was very short and ugly man who was gay, but considering the time he lived could never admit he was gay. In fact, Cohn never admitted he was gay even days before he died of AIDS at age 59 in 1986. Roy’s vicious and attacking legal style attracted the likes of Donald Trump who considered Cohn his mentor, adopting many of his tactics to win legal judgement’s including getting away with not paying hundreds of Polish Immigrants who helped to build the Trump Tower in New York City in 1983.

While watching this documentary, it became easier to understand Cohn’s angry and vicious personality. Many of us have encountered in our personal lives or at work, people like Roy Cohn. People who are bitter about the way they look, and in the case of Cohn, having to hide being gay to save his career. People like Roy Cohn turn their anger outward and derive pleasure from damaging other people and for a time, make themselves feel temporarily better about their own miserable reality.

I agree with the very high rating for this documentary of 85% on Rotten Tomatoes and highly recommend this film.